PTSD: What to Do When Your Spouse has PTSD

Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a difficult and often dangerous mental condition for patients and those around them, the immediate family, the children and especially the spouse. PTSD happens when someone comes back from a truly horrible, violent or near-death experience. Something in the brain snaps; gets rewired and the person with PTSD has no choice but to relive those traumatizing moments physically, mentally and emotionally.

When undiagnosed or untreated, what happens later is an endless stream of coping or adapting to the partner’s bouts of depression and feelings of weakness or uselessness by continuously comforting the partner; of staying up late when the partner experiences horrible nightmares or night terrors related to the experience or even during the day; of being wary for sudden mood swings that sometimes become violent; and of juggling everyday activities like work and chores amidst the demands for attention.

PTSD is a mental condition that needs to be treated and it will simply not go away by hugs and kisses and promises that ‘everything is all right’. Here are some things that need to be done if you have a spouse with PTSD.

Seek professional help – Even though the prospect is hard to accept, your spouse needs professional help and later even you. As a mental condition, professional psychologists can help heal your partner’s troubled psyche and also prescribe the appropriate medication to ease the symptoms.

Set up a security plan – PTSD can be dangerous especially when your spouse experiences vivid waking nightmares or flashbacks. Your spouse can be dangerous to his/herself and everyone around him/her because your partner might be reliving an experience and might not be able to differentiate what’s real. Set up things like having a wireless phone anywhere in the house in case you need help, keep dangerous objects like knives and guns in places easily accessible only to you and practice a quick exit.

Michael Anthony is an Iraq War Veteran and is the Author of: Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Destruction, and Dishonor in Iraq.


Check out some of our other posts on PTSD.

Main Updated Article: Best Ways to Treat PTSD for You or Your Spouse.

What To Do When Your Child Has PTSD.

What To Do When Your Spouse Has PTSD.

What To Do To Prevent PTSD.

87 Comments

  1. Lisa says:

    My husband has PTSD… I know this is normal because of the horrors of war and conflict that they have to go through (I mean who wouldn’t be stressed out!) but do you have any ways that I can further help my husband that doesn’t involve seeing a shrink?

    • Lisa,

      I’d say the biggest thing that helps is to talk to other people/Vets with PTSD. If your husband was in the military and has PTSD, it will probably help him to talk to other vets with PTSD. In fact, it’s probably more helpful for him to talk to these vets then it is for him to talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist.

  2. Brandi says:

    My husband has PTSD since his first trip to IRAQ in ’05. He finally starting dealing with it in ’08 and was doing great but ever since he returned from this last tour in November ’10 his rage has gotten worse. We’ve PCS’d, his last unit was brutal on his self esteem, his new unit has very high demands of him, we bought our first home, and are unexpectedly awaiting a 3rd child. I know that this many changes can induce a reset of PTSD but he thinks its me. That everything I do is wrong and he never stops yelling at me. I’m at a point that I have to leave but how do I get help for all of us so I’m not scared for our boys?

    • Jan says:

      Brandi, I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through when it should be a joyous time. There’s a Facebook page that has some pretty good conversations about handling family problems: Military with PTSD.

      http://www.facebook.com/MilitarywithPTSD?ref=ts

      Hidden Wounds may also point you in the right direction. They’re easy to find on the web.

      Prayers going your way.

      Jan

  3. tati says:

    Hello!! My husband has PTSD since 2007. I am trying to deal with this, but it’s very hard.
    He gets angry very easy for small things, and even hit me few times. Please help me, give me an advice i love my husband a lot he is a great person, but PTSD changed him a lot.

    • Michael says:

      Expect an email, and maybe I can help with something.

      • Ruby says:

        Please somebody help me too!!! I am desperate! My husband has PTSD as well and things have just gotte. So bad lately. I suggested we go to counseling and he asked how I was going to pay for it ( I’m a stay at home mom and don’t have an income) and when I said we’ll I’m sure the military can provide some bc of your PTSD… I didn’t say it in a mean way at all! I said it casually and he stated yelling at me to get out !! And told me never to speak to him like that again.. We have a baby and I’m scared for us.. Please someone contact me I don’t know what to do

  4. Sarah says:

    My husband has PTSD. We’ve been together for over 6 years, and he is in denial of any bad feelings associated with his tours to Iraq until we get in a fight, and then it all spirals down from there. He has never hurt me, but he has pushed me, and tonight, while he was having an episode, he held me against a wall by my throat. I am so lost. He let go of me and started crying, and said he needed help. I just don’t know what to do or how to feel. Anything will help.

    • Michael says:

      I just sent you an email.

      • JJ says:

        I also need help for my partner. Similar incidents, but he refuses to go to counseling and accuses me of being a mom when I try to talk to him even as a friend. He doesn’t allow his other friends to see that side of him so no one else knows. Please help.

  5. Natalie Lowery says:

    My husband came back from Iraq almost 2 years ago. We got married last year and things were going great. All of a sudden last week it was like he had multiple personalities. One day he tells me that he loves me and I am his world and the next he says he doesnt have feelings for me. I havent seen him for a week and he hasnt talked to anyone including his family. I am at a loss and dont know how to handle this. He does talk to my sisters husband who is also in the army and says that he doesnt want to lose me but he doesnt know any other way to deal with this. He has never hurt me but I do know that he suffers with PTSD. Please help me and give me advice on how to deal with this.

    • I just sent an email your way.

      • Anna says:

        This sounds exactly like what I’ve been going through. I dated a guy for over a year who had served two tours in Afghanistan for the Canadian Army (infantry). I met him online and when we met he was forthcoming about his PTSD. He had been home from Edmonton for about a year at this point. He wasn’t working and was receiving disability from the army because he was injured in an RPG blast when he was thrown in his vehicle and herniated two discs. This causes his a lot of back pain and he can’t stand for long without his legs going numb.

        Anyway we had a good relationship. At first he was so sweet and caring and I’ve never felt more appreciated or loved. He would take me out for dinners and to the mall, even though I knew these outings were hard for him. He would pop by my work to surprise me or send me flowers for no reason. Then he moved into a house with his bro and sister and law and their baby and I moved into a condo with a roommate. At first it was great. He would come over and stay over on the weekends and we would do things like go to the zoo or the museum. Or just stay in watching movies. But then it seemed things just started getting harder for him. He told me he could no longer come downtown to see me or pick me up because the driving down was causing him so much road rage and anxiety. Once a coffee shop we were at didn’t have toilet paper in the stall and he had to use his undies and he came out of the bathroom furious and threw all the tables and chairs on the patio yelling and swearing. These outbursts were few and far between and he always calmed down fairly quickly and he NEVER ever directed his anger at me. In the summer he came to 3 of my friends cottages and appeared to have a good time even though I know socializing was hard for him.

        He would try to end things with me every 3 months or so saying he can’t be in a relationship, he wasn’t good enough for me, he needs to be alone, that this wasn’t any kind of life for someone. But he would always change his mind a few hours or a day later and say how much he loved me and how he was crazy to leave me etc. See, when he wasn’t with me he would be in his basement apartment, smoking cigarettes and marijuana non stop and playing call of duty. He rarely left the house if he didn’t have to because he told me each time he left felt like a mission and he had to get back safe. He couldn’t go to movie theaters because being in a dark room with all those people caused his fight or flight reflex to go into hyperdrive. He couldn’t come to my family dinners unless i really coaxed him because he can’t sit still at a table and he’s always worried people are judging him. He never sits down at the table with his own family, so why should he do so with mine? (that was his reasoning anyway).

        In November he didn’t buy me a birthday present. He is on disability from the gov’t because of his back injury. All that money is spent on mortgage, car payments, bills and weed and smokes. But then we celebrated our 1 year anniversary and he bought me beautiful gold earrings. Christmas was great and we spend New Years a friends cottage in the woods.

        Then on a random Thursday we said goodnight and he texted me goodnight my love as he always did and on Friday i was at home cooking dinner for us because he was supposed to come over for dinner and sleepover and he pulled up outside my place but refused to come. So I went down to meet him and he wouldn’t kiss me hello and just said “I Don’t want this anymore” I managed to get him to sit in his car and tell me what he was talking about. He said i can’t do this, it’s not fair to me it’s not fair to you, i can’t have expectations over me. You want to get married right? I never want that. I don’t want it. DO you understand?” He showed zero emotion and didn’t once tell me he was sorry or he loved me or anything. I was too in shock to say much except cry. And then he left. He won’t answer my texts, he defriended me on FB, he won’t take my calls.

        It’s been almost two weeks and I’m left feeling so confused and hurt and have SO many questions. Then a few days ago his sister in law (who he lives with) texted me to say she was so sorry about the whole thing and that she was hoping it was just an episode and that she thought I should just give up hope because he had a Plenty of Fish account. This is the website I met him on. So even though he told me he needs to be alone and work on him (Which he won’t do because he has no motivation and uses marijuana to numb out his life) he is back on a dating website right away. I don’t even know what to think.

        Is this PTSD or was it me? He said it was nothing I did. I am so confused and I just want to help him. That’s all I ever tried to do.

        I’m so lost and I don’t know what to do.

        • Drea says:

          Anna,
          I’ve been with my husband for 11 years going on 12 years. He suffers from PTSD and we’ve seen marriage counselors in the past to cope with his issues and how it directly effects our relationship. They think that they can move on and that the issues and the problems they’re having won’t move with them to the next relationship. But the PTSD causes them to think moving on his a better solution because the problems they’re having are somehow in relation to us or that they’re not good enough for us. It’s a terrible mental disease and quite honestly if you don’t want to cry yourself to sleep many nights you should move on. They have to choose to get the help, and you can’t force that upon them. I love my husband and I know he is capable of loving me with all that has when he has it, I’ve seen before he left for war in 2003 but it’s been a difficult journey in our marriage and I’ve chose to stick by him because I love him and we have children together. You were at the beginning stages of your relationship so you don’t have much invested, move on and maybe you can stay friends and be a support system if it’s not too much of a burden on you. If you choose to try and work it out, know that is a roller coaster of emotions ALL. THE. TIME. They are capable of loving once they get the adequate counseling they need. I know this reply is late but I hope you still get to see it and it helps you even if you’ve already made a decision maybe it can bring peace to you.

  6. Sammy says:

    I recently started dating a vet who has been to Iraq multiple times, he is really nice and a great guy and as I get to know him I like him more and more. Well things are starting to get a little serious and I found out he has PTSD and it kind of freaks me out because I have a daughter and I don’t think he would ever hurt me but is it possible when he’s having flash backs he could really harm us?

    • Sammy, just because a vet has, or has had, PTSD doesn’t always mean that they’re necessarily a ticking time bomb. There are varying degrees. On one end of the scale there’s the person who is just a bit more closed off than they used to be, and on the other end is the person who does something harmful to themselves or someone else.

      PTSD is a common thing for people with intense jobs like the military. It’s mainly talked about for Veterans, but firefighters get it, police officers, correction officers, EMT workers, ER doctors, etc.

      The thoughts and images of the war will always be there, so a soldier may always have that thousand yard scare, but counseling can help with how a person deals with the images, etc. Treated properly and PTSD can be eradicated, and going through the process can often be a great life changing event. The main thing is to know if your boyfriend is getting help for his PTSD.

      And there’s one more thing to remember; millions of vets are, and have, come home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s been estimated that roughly 18-25% come home with PTSD. That equals hundreds of thousands of soldiers with PTSD. Out of those hundreds of thousands, only a small amount are going to be on the side of the scale where they pose a serious danger to themselves or someone else—the reason it often seems like there’s a higher number of those people is because those stories are the ones that always make it into the news.

      So, no need to treat him like a leper, chances are he’ll be fine. But again, the main thing is to just make sure that he’s getting help.

      Also, how did you find out that he had PTSD, did he tell you or did an episode occur? That’s significant.

      Shoot me an email if I can help with anything else.

    • matta says:

      Thanks for making my family happy again, my father came back home and he can even take us out, something he never think of before!

  7. Tiffani says:

    Thanks for the article. I think I may be at my wits end. My husband spent 8 years in the Army Special Forces and has been diagnosed with PTSD since 2004.
    I just don’t know what to do anymore. He won’t Talk to anyone about anything and his temper just keeps gettin worse. Don’t get me wrong my husband is an amazing person and I truly love him to death. I am just really worried about him. He isn’t directly violent and has never laid a finger on me. I think he just can’t figure out how to cope with all of his emotions. Tonight he got so angry over something very trivial and put his hand through our kitchen wall. Please, any advice you could give me would be great!

  8. Elizabeth Etterlee says:

    I recently got married. My husband has PTSD and was properly diagnosed just recently. He is also going through the medical retirement process for a back injury and his PTSD. He had a couple therapy appointments but said they didn’t really help. Lately he has been flying off the handle more and he has never hit me but has gotten in my face. He seems to fixate on just a couple thing that anger him and does not let up. We are stuck in limbo waiting to get out of the army. He keeps saying he will be better when we can move back to his home town when he is out of the army when he is back around “his kind of people”. My hope is he is right he will get better but what do I do in the mean time to help him heal?
    Thank you for your time
    Liz

  9. Maureen says:

    My husband has ptsd. he is retired after 20 yrs. He worked as a civilian for 6 yrs in Iraq and Afganistan. He has changed. We had a very bad incident my husband tried to kill me. He thought i was trying to kill him. He didnt recodnize me. If it wasnt for my daughter coming in the room and hitting him on the head . I would not be here. He got arrested but the charges were dropped because of the PTSD He is going to the VA for counseling. They think it was medecine that brought it out. They have him taking so much. He is on the list to go to Biloxi. In the mean time Im so scared He said he will never do that again it was the medecine. He is starting to open up to me Which is good But I’m more scared I dont tell him because then he will not open up to me. He said he has hullucinations and and out of body experience he sees his buddys in the woods. hears voices in the woods. I’m so scared for me and my children. I’m wondering if it was the medecine. Which they stopped he has been acting fine now. Im scared could it happen again anyway.
    Pleas any advise would help Thank you

    • Maureeen,

      It’s good that he’s seeking counseling at the VA and they’ve taken him off medication that seemed harmful. I’ve talked to a bunch of vets who were put on medication and they felt like it just made them worse, and/or more depressed, too. But some medications can help, I guess it’s all about finding the right one and right dosage.

      As well as having a plan to help him, it’s also important to have a plan for getting out of the house if anything like this happens again; maybe keep a small bag with extra toothbrushes for you and your daughter, and a change of clothes, in your car or something, and have a relative or friend that you can stay with for a few days or a week, etc.

      The Neurofeedback program that I mentioned in this article: http://masscasualties.com/2012/08/best-ways-to-treat-ptsd-for-you-or-your-spouse/

      has shown to be really helpful as well as a lot of the other programs mentioned. Counseling is good, but to really nip something like this in the butt, it might be best to combine several different methodologies. Some VA’s also have groups for the spouses of service members going through PTSD and that can be a really helpful group as well.

  10. Kayla says:

    My husband is not diagnosed with PTSD, but I know he has it. He is having major anger problems and last night he was drinking and started screaming in my face. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through. I want to help him but I don’t know how because I think he will be mad if I seek a pro without consulting him….if I ask him to see a pro I think he will still be mad and also say no. I’m a newlywed and young. I’m scared, but I love him and I know he loves me. What should I do? I live so far away from home and I only have 2 friends here I can count on.

    • Kayla,

      One of the hardest things to do can be to get a vet suffering from PTSD to seek help. You can either wait until he’s in a better mood one day and then mention it to him–but often in those scenarios in can be like, “I’m feeling great, why would I need help” and they’ll just brush past what happened in the past–but a real option might be taking a trip to the VA yourself and just not telling him and see what they have to say. They have groups there for the spouses of service personnel going through PTSD so that might be a great place to start.

      And often getting someone to go to a therapy/counseling session can be the hardest, but there are programs that have been shown to help with PTSD that aren’t therapy/counseling programs (though the best option is always a combination). I just posted a new updated article about something which might be more helpful: http://masscasualties.com/2012/08/best-ways-to-treat-ptsd-for-you-or-your-spouse/

  11. Paris says:

    Hello my partner has been a service man for 16 years. He’s recently been out and has had help for it. We’ve been together a year and its fantastic until last week we had a row and now he is ignoring me and quit his job. We live together but I’ve gone to stay with my parents for a few days because he tried to strangled me when I asked him to talk to me. I really need some help please.

  12. Brittany says:

    My husband got out of the military about a year ago. He has PTSD. He has totally pushed me away. We’ve been happily married for almost 6 years but this past year has been bad. He kicked me out of our house and is telling me he wants a divorce. I stopped calling him and finally after a few weeks he started calling me. He says he feels nothing like he’s dead inside. I see how bad he hurts and I try to love and encourage him daily. I am trying to get him to let me move back in and let me be there for him as he gets on the road to recovery. But it’d like trying to knock down a brick wall. We are seeking help together and separately. He won’t take his meds anymore. I’m at a lost of what to say to him to encourage him to pull in close and let me help him help himself. I’m not trying to be pushy or needy but I want and need to go home. Please give me advice into helping him. What can I say or do to make him pull me close and let me be there for him?

  13. Ruby says:

    Can Please somebody help me too!!! I am desperate! My husband has PTSD as well and things have just gotte. So bad lately. I suggested we go to counseling and he asked how I was going to pay for it ( I’m a stay at home mom and don’t have an income) and when I said we’ll I’m sure the military can provide some bc of your PTSD… I didn’t say it in a mean way at all! I said it casually and he stated yelling at me to get out !! And told me never to speak to him like that again.. We have a baby and I’m scared for us.. Please someone contact me I don’t know what to do

  14. alexzandria says:

    I think my husband has this everything that i have read adds up with the things that are going on with him and that has happened. I have talked to him about seeking help and he just gets mad. Please help me its getting bad for me and my children hes so angry all the time.

  15. Mackenzie says:

    I’ve been with my girl friend for a couple months now and ive known she served in the army but thats the most she’ll really tell me a few weeks ago her PTSD was reactivated when she found out one of the men she served with passed away before he was sent to Afganistan he gave my girlfriend his wifes wedding ring and asked her to return it to his wife and recently found the ring and cale his wife and found out for about 3 months he had been gone she started off having night terrors and when i would have to move my self away from her at night she would just jump up and sit there for about 10 min. and fall back asleep but last night (new years) the fireworks triggered her for about half an hour we were around friends when it started taking its toll for the first 15 min. she just grabbed me and held me then proceded to jump up and run out side one of my friends started just going along with it and got her back inside and after we got her inside it was probably 5 min. before she started to comeback and was constently checking me to see if she hurt me and then told me what she remembered and all she could think of was saving the man she served with who had passed away this is the longest episode shes ever had she i currently seeing a theapist twice a week but still has the wedding ring is there any thing i can do if this occurs again or any thing i can encourage her to do before it gets worse? thank you so much

  16. Claire says:

    Hi! I badly need help too! My husband got out of the military last sept. He havent been deployed but yet he’s showing symptoms of PTSD. He cannot control his anger. He verbally abused me all the time. He refused medications and doctors help too! What should I do? he also bought two guns. Pls help me! thanks!

  17. Jennifer c. says:

    I’m recently married a wonderful man named Nick. We’ve only know each other for a little over a year. it started about two months into our relationship, where he would just explode in anger for the smallest things. He does it about once a month now. Alcohol is always involved. Before we we’re married he told me he had been diagnosed with PTSD by army counselors and he was put on medication for anxiety, an antidepressant and seizure medication. He stopped taking all of his medications right before we meet. He says that he was diagnosed wrong and that there is nothing wrong with him and that its ask my fault. I suggested that we both go to see a professional either separately or together. He said ok but changed his mind the next day. I love him very much and I don’t want to lose him but I don’t know how to make this better. He discharged from the army almost three years ago after serving for six years. He was in Iraq for part of his term. He has never laid a hand on me but he does frighten me at times. Any help would be appreciated.

  18. Charlene says:

    My Husband has been diagnosed with PTSD, and he has become very dangerous over the last year. He has come very close to hurting me, and so far he has been able to stop himself. This past weekend, he had another episode of rage, and this scared me very much. My teenage sons came in the room, right when he was about to attack me. I think if my sons had not walked in, I might be dead now. His face was so full of rage, he was screaming at me, and I could see in his eyes, he was out of control. He did leave, after my sons were able to convince him to just go. Now, two days later, he wants back in my home, and I didn’t let him in, and he got angry again screaming through the door. I am terrified, I can’t sleep at night, I feel like he is coming to kill me. Is there anything I can do about this, will the V.A. admit him into the psychiatric hospital and help him? I just want him to get help, I have thought of calling the police and getting a restraining order, but I am afraid that will only make things worse.

    Thank you, Charlene

  19. Lacey says:

    My husband and I married young, I was 19 and he 20. We were married in August 2001, this August coming up (2013) will make 12 years that we have been married and 13 years that we have been together. In March 2003 he left for BCT and after graduation we became pregnant with our first child. Our beautiful and healthy baby girl was born in February 2004 and four months later, in June, my husband left for Iraq.
    He was an accomplished 91W, other wise known as a Combat Medic. He is highly intelligent, can retain and recall pretty much everything he has ever learned, and has what I can only explain as “Almost” Photographic Memory; meaning, that he can thumb through pages or chapters (barely skimming over the paragraphs) and then tell you anything you want to know about what he “read” nearly word for word.
    It was not until after my husbands tour was over that I was finally able to know where he was located in Iraq (for security purposes), he was stationed and located in Romny (or something along those lines, it’s been a long time). It was referred to, at the time, by TIME MAGAZINE as one of the top three deadliest places on Earth. Once in Iraq he was immediately introduced to an overwhelming amount of chaos, traumatic scenes, and unbearable experiences. Some of this includes, but not limited to: almost daily Mass Cals, suicide of a fellow soldier (in which my husband was standing right behind the young man that took his own life via gun shot to the mouth). My husband was in a humvee that was blown over on it’s side due to running over an IED in the road, and amongst countless other encounters, my husband was in a watch tower at a check point when it was hit by a vehicle driven by a suicide bomber that attempted to drive through the check point, however when the vehicle refused to stop it was fired upon and wrecked into the watch tower.
    The last major incident that he allowed me to be aware of took place during my husbands two week R&R. When he received his orders for R&R, another young soldier (21 or 22 I think) got his. The young soldier told my husband that since he myself and our daughter back home, the he should come home first while the young soldier took on his duties. So, that’s what happened, my husband came home and spent two amazing weeks with us, we later found out that while he was home we had created our son. When my husband returned to his duty station he was immediately informed that the young soldier had been killed…. That young man, died doing my husbands duties. Our youngest son is named after that soldier, the highest honor we could bestow.
    When my husband took his HONORABLE DISCHARGE from the Army, he seemed fine at home. I mean I noticed a couple of small things, but I thought it was normal after something like that. I mean he didn’t show any signs of the major things they said to watch for, nightmares, mood swings, flashbacks, ect… In fact, he never had any nightmares that I know about, he’s never had any that have woken him up or that he told me about. He never talked about his experiences overseas after he returned and I didn’t want to push him. The small things that I never really gave much thought to were things like, his lack of emotion-how he could just turn himself off it seemed like. He seemed to be so much colder after his return-again thought that was normal and would get better. He had a complete lack of care for any consequence that might have come up between us when it came to how he didn’t want anything to do with any of my side of the families get togethers. He was a harsher person that didn’t care if what he said or did upset me, or anyone else for that matter.
    It’s been eight years since his tour and for the most part I thought everything had been fine. He brought it up to me the other day that I thought that he may need to speak to someone. I want to encourage him without pushing him. What I really want to know is with everything that I wrote, are any of the”signs” actual symptoms or is it in my head? If they are, how can I help him?

  20. Jessica says:

    My husband has been diagnosed with ptsd. He has been out of the military for 4 years now and since his been home our marraige has been on the rocks. I have supported him since day one but I am finding that he is not going to his appointments. I dont know what to do at this point. We have two beautiful kids and our oldest is starting to pick us his ways. Im confused because he put up a huge fight to finally reiecve help that he was asking for and now that he has it he isnt going. I have talked to him after he had a angry moment letting him know the importants it is for him to continue his help. He has since missed two appointments. I guess with all of this babbling I dont want to feel like a mother to him and keep on him about it. I want to be his wife and support him but how can I do that if he chooses to continue not getting help?

  21. Everyone should have gotten a personal email back by now. Hopefully we can fight this in 2013!

  22. Ashley says:

    Good Afternoon,

    My name is Ashley and I am currenly a United States Marine. My husband served in the Mairne Corps from 99-07 where he was an 0311 (grunt). When I first met him he had just gotten out of the Corps and was a police officer in a small town where I am from. Long story short, We dated for only couple months and then I left for bootcamp, we were happy as could be and then I went on my first deployment and it all went south… fast. We got married after i came back and I thought it would really help but its just gotten worse. In the beginning I never though he had any kind of problems until he would dry heave and throw up or he would constantly be going to the rest room for long periods of times. It wasnt until we dated for almost 2 years that he told me that he was struggling with sleeping alone, sleeping during storms, sleeping with lights or tv on, anxiety issues, and the list goes on. We seem to be fighting more than we get alone and I know this is normal, not all marriages and relationships are perfect but I really do feel like this PTSD has really took a toll on our relationship.

    I will have to say that he was going to the VA in Cincinnati, Ohio but this past March he moved down to North Carolina to be with me and he hasnt been getting treated at all. I guess I am not only asking for some advice on how to help him deal with everything but also somehow find a way to make him see that he needs to get help again. Thank you.

    Ashley

  23. Christian says:

    My husband was in the Marine Corps, and was diagnosed with severe ptsd. Since his second deployment ended a year ago, things have been bad. He has Eas’d and is now a civilian. His Ptsd is starting to run his and my life. I have been very understanding over the years, but things have been getting worse. I cannot get him to see a therapist for the life of me. I have been trying to help, and give him his space, but nothing has worked. He recently kicked me out of our house, and I have decided to give him the space he wants. We are still communicating, but he will not get the help that he needs. Any advice?

  24. Dominique says:

    Hello,

    My husband was diagnosed with PTSD in the Marine Corp, so as a result he was medically discharged. Shortly there after he reenlisted into the Army National Guard, had a injury was medically treated at which time he was again reassessed and diagnosed with PTSD plus his physical injury. He completed his contract and was medically discharged from the Army. We have been married since his medical discharge from the Army and have been living a very defensive and overprotective life (5 1/2 years). We started out nicely and then there would be days were we would argue for three days. Things would calm down we would have fabulous days and we have absolutely horrible days. Sometimes we go every other week and then arguments occurs. I have two children from a previous relationship and together we had one child equaling three children. I have become so protective of the children every time he communicates to them I worry that he will become aggressive or violent verbally or even physically. I think negatively of him often and I forget sometimes that he has PTSD and the way he reacts to me during ugly moments nothing makes sense and there is no emotion, no compassion or civility. He complains about everything, which leads to nothing is good enough mentality, he even says he is not good enough and then puts the blame on me for him feeling that way. He feels everyone is against him and puts him down especially if one suggests anything about anything. He has physically hurt me and I have fought back at times. He said he would never hurt me again, and encouraged us to work our problems out. I suggested professional help, he felt that therapists are a waste and that he has seen enough therapists, psychiatrists. We have however seen two different therapists one which could not take our insurance after that one appointment and then the other caused my husband to become so enraged he said he wanted a divorce, lied to the therapist and stormed out of the appointment. I have even on multiple occasions turned into a therapist for him, which I really become exhausted from and eventually resentful. Sometimes he blames me for his PTSD or that I am responsible for everything that has happened to him in his life. When he was growing up as a boy he was abused by his family physically, verbally and mentally. This last October he physically hurt again and in front of our youngest daughter and his friend. I could not take it anymore. I pressed charges to make it stop. He filed divorce, but then we reconciled and now are trying to work things out slowly. It has been very hard and I keep finding more compassion to keep this marriage alive. We agreed that if an argument would happen that he would leave. We have been laying down more boundaries and ground rules so not to hurt each other, but we still find hurtful things to say. I don’t want to fix him, I want to live. I want safety and security for my children and myself. He has the availability to go to the VA and get much help as he would like, but does not do it. I am reluctant to suggest this to him. I am exhausted from this roller coaster of emotional trauma and I do not want to live like this anymore. I want to be married and be the real person that I am verse becoming someone else that I am not in this relationship.. When he is positive he is encouraging and loving, sweet, kind, compassionate and supportive. Why can’t he just be the sweet man verse the demon? How do we break these patterns and how can he get the help he needs? What do I do?

    • Lynn says:

      I sympathize with what you’re going through. I am currently engaged to a retired vet after 6 months of dating. It may sound weird but we felt for each other deeply during the short period we’ve been dating. He was upfront about his condition but he said its controlled and functioning like a normal person. My fiancée was very charismatic in fact he’s been active in church and doing community service. However, I’ve seen few incidents where he was having episodes, severe mood swings over trivial stuff but he stays calm and not violent. Did a lot of research on how to deal with someone who has PTSD and gave me right perspective on how to cope with it. My approach to my fiancee is I stay quiet and let him have his moments and just do my normal chores. Of course, his different he was not violent or whatever but it helps to stay calm and not to argue. I know it’s difficult but my point is I can’t stress myself to deal with his PTSD I need to take care of myself too. When my fiancé is back to his senses that’s the time we talk about the incident. Often times he says he wasn’t sure why he acted like an asshole and just so apologetic about it. Then were back to normal having a good time, joking, enjoying each other and we are always communicating. I think people with PTSD needs to be loved and make them feel that we are not their enemies but somebody who will support them every step of the way. It is also important that couples who are in this situation should consider getting spiritual guidance because to us this is our secret weapon. Good luck to you and will keep you in our prayers.

  25. Amanda says:

    My husband and I have been married for a little over 3 months. He served in the Army several years before we met and the majority of that time was spent in Iraq. He has not been diagnosed with PTSD but I am worried that he has this. He suffers from severe anxiety and constantly worries about what could happen to us. He is insistent that we keep a loaded weapon in our home at all times, just in case someone was to break in. This does not bother me now because we do not have any children, but I do worry about the future. On several occasions since we have been together he has learned of friends, or soldiers that he served with being killed while in Iraq or Afghanistan. For weeks after he learns of this his anxiety is much worse. We do occasionally argue, as all couples do, when we argue I am always wrong, I have come to accept this, even if I know that I am correct. He has good days and bad days. When he is in a good mood things are great. If he is in a bad mood anything I do, whether I don’t get ready quick enough, or don’t put the dishes away the night before turns into an argument with him screaming and cursing at me. He is a wonderful man and I could not imagine my life without him. I just want to be able to help him and our relationship, and I’m not sure where to begin. I have to be very careful when I try to talk to him about how I feel. He generally just tells me that I am wrong, or stupid. He has never been physically abusive to me but the way that he talks to me is very disturbing. He has told me about his experience in Iraq, he was infantry. The things that he saw, experienced, and did would disturb anyone. How can I help my husband and our relationship?

  26. Again, everyone else by now should have received a personal email.

    After getting all your comments, and dozens of emails; I had updated this article. The update can be found here: http://masscasualties.com/2012/08/best-ways-to-treat-ptsd-for-you-or-your-spouse/

    The number one thing to keep in mind, though, is that there ARE options and things CAN get better.

    Again, here’s the updated article: http://masscasualties.com/2011/03/ptsd-what-to-do-when-your-spouse-has-ptsd/

    Anything else, please continue to send me your personal emails, too; and I’ll get back to you all as soon as I can.

    • Kelly Owens says:

      I am suffering so bad My boyfriend ex???? has severe PTSD from being captured in Iraq. He was clean and sober for some years but he texted me in June and it was like a knife his words were. He dumped me and blamed me. He brought up stuff from long ago old old wounds that he knew or hoped would drive me away
      I waited without a word from him for 2 years he was in touch early in his deployment and then he was captured
      I never gave up hope he was so so happy and grateful I was still here. He said anyone else would have moved on
      I didn’t regarding loving him. I sent a text after 6 months
      I got an unknown call on my phone soon after I sent one on new year’s day … I mentioned Nothing about his old
      text from June just that I am here I love him
      I’m struggling so much

  27. maru says:

    Hello, I’m new at all this. My bf has been diagnosed with ptsd and ever since we had our baby he’s been having mood swings. But tonight he hit me while my baby was in my arms. I was so scared for me but more for my baby. I don’t know what do if I leave him he’s all alone.

  28. RAEGAN says:

    I started dating my husband after he returned from Iraq. Prior to dating, we were best friends for almost a year. We have now been married for over two years (after dating for 2 years) and almost three months ago he was diagnosed with PTSD and PTBI. I noticed that alcohol sometimes triggered his aggression, nightmares, and abnormal behaviors. I am a health care professional and feel part to blame that I did not pick up the cues sooner. Several drunken nights he had gotten aggressive with me, but never hit me until we moved to new city (with no family or friends), started new jobs, and both were in the process of finishing grad school. The first night he hit me we had gone out to a concert and came home to wait for my brother and his wife who were driving to the city to visit. What they walked into was a punched down bathroom door, blood from my husbands knuckles all over my clothes and walls, him passed out cold in the hallway, and me crying, shaking, and bruised physically and emotionally. You can imagine the outrage that my brother had for my husband; seeing his 25 year old sister assaulted by her own husband. My husband went to counseling after the first episode or attack and made broken promises about never getting drunk again… and then the second attack occurred. This time he was having a flashback , ranting about things only he could see and when I attempted to reassure him he became angry and began verbally abusing me and then the physical abuse came….pushed me into the corner, kicked me, hit me across the face.. etc. I locked myself in the bathroom and called his family…because I knew at this point he was sick and needed more help than counseling. His sister flew into town the next morning and my husband, in efforts to save our marriage, went to the ER to obtain help. He was officially diagnosed with PTSD and PTBI…he started medication and therapy and things have seemed to calm down. I am slowly seeing the man I fell in love with; however he came home intoxicated yesterday. He continuously lies about how much he drank etc. I don’t know what to do…my friends and family are supportive but fear for me, luckily we have no children…only a teacup yorkie. I love my husband, but he is not taking the situation regarding drinking seriously. I don’t understand what kind of man continues to drink after he has physically abused his wife? I am lost and feel like I am drowning in my own sadness. Any advice?

  29. I am looking for help for my husband. He was medically discharged from the Navy 2 years ago with PTSD. He is not doing good at all but he’s not wanting to seek help or take his meds anymore. I am slowly watching him fade away and its killing me. He is an amazing man and husband but this is taking his life over. I can’t go on letting this hurt him. The VA
    Is not doing much to help and getting an appointment is almost imposable . And all they want to do is drug him up. I don’t want him to be drugged up on pills all the time I just want him to get the help he need and put on the road to recovery. Please help me. Thank you Brittany

  30. Lisa says:

    About 4 weeks ago just after our son was born, I noticed my husband having strange behaviors like not communicating, being agitated, not sleeping well, coming home late and ignoring our children. I asked if he was having problems with his PTSD and he answered no. The next day he confessed he didn’t know if he loved me anymore. The behaviors continued, he would come and go and almost a week later he confessed his PTSD was out of control, he had extreme anger issues and while he was out he found someone to talk to without having to address his issues and cheated. He admitted he needed help and didn’t want to lose me, that our family meant so much. He said he didn’t think I loved him anymore, that he didn’t deserve to live and that he was a failure.
    For about two days my husband seemed sincere and apologetic, crying and saying he was sorry whenever he hugged and kissed me and the kids. But then it returned to he didn’t know if he loves me again and if we can get past what he did because he’s a bad person. He made an appointment at the VA but ended up walking out because he said the therapist was pushing him to talk about things he didn’t want to.
    My husband hasn’t spoken to or seen his family in 4 wks, he doesn’t saying to me and absolutely nothing about how he’s feeling or what he’s thinking. I do continue to reassure him how much I love him and how much he means to me as well as letting him know I’m here for him when he’s ready to talk. But this is difficult, I feel like he’s a stranger and I’m lonely as well as stressed taking care of a 2 yr old and a 6 wk old on my own. I should also explain that my husband has also been under a lot of stress from work and financial troubles. Is there any guidance you can give me?

  31. Pearl S. says:

    I am in desperate need for help! I have been with my husband for 8 years now. He was in the initial invasion in Iraq in 2003. He was diagnosed wit PTSD in 2009 finally after me begging him to go get help. After reading the above posts I am blessed that my husband has never hit me. He has thrown things (my laptop) at me and broke it, punched holes in the wall, etc.

    Basically my house is a war zone and the entire family besides our son together has to walk on eggshells. He is miserable, so isolated, hates the world, etc. He is also very passive aggressive and that is hard to deal with. He is going to the VA now to get help but I don’t see it helping at all. I am just so tired of the constant fighting, his tone of voice when he is talking to myself, my daughter, and even his own mom. He is rude, condescending, swearing at us all the time. He calls me horrible names and has done so in front of the children especially the one word a man should never call a woman. He says he loves me but I don’t see how that can be so. We split up 3 years ago when he up and left me and the kids in TN and he went back to WA. a few weeks after I found a way to get back home where i had friends for a support system he told me he was sorry and it was the meds the VA put him on that made him act like that. He is back to acting that way now and their is no meds to blame. I am scared that my kids will grow up and feel that this is normal. I am not innocent in any way as I will stand up for myself and not let him talk to me that way. I am just fearful to leave as I don’t have any family support as I have no family, I have been isolated from all my friends, and I have no financial support as I wouldn’t be able to make it on my own income. If anyone has any suggestions on what I need to do I would be grateful. The VA in his session I got to go to suggestedn the 24 day in treatment program but unfortunately we can’t afford for him to be gone 24 days with no or only half pay we live paycheck to paycheck. Please help as I love my husband I just don’t know how much more I can take! I definitely would say I have secondary PTSD from him and I am starting to think my children especially my daughtr (his stepdaughter) does as well.
    thank you Pearl

  32. Veronica says:

    My husband has sucked the life force out of me. Nothing is EVER his fault, its always I’M the one who is being unreasonable or over-reacting. He always claims I “blame” him for everything, even if its just me asking him where the laundry soap is. He is getting help for his PTSD and at first it was going well but then his VA therapist told him our marriage was one of two people going in the same direction on different tracks. Then they put him on meds and switched them like four times and each time he got more and more distant. Today he told me, as we were arguing for the umpteenth time about stupid stuff, that HE was getting help, that HE was being guided by his therapist and being told what was right and wrong so my mere “opinions” (i.e. feelings) were not his fault and something I needed to deal with. He said his therapist gave him a poem called LETTING GO and when I read it I basically felt like it was a pass for him to not have to deal with all the emotional injury HE has caused! I truly feel that his therapist has created a wedge between us and that he has allowed that to happen, like for whatever reason I’m just this dumb person who even though I helped him through all kinds of personal issues and drama is now persona non grata in this quest to heal his PTSD issues. But when I try to talk to him about how insignificant and hurt I feel he says, “Whatever, stop the charade and dramatics”. It hurts so bad to hear that, I truly feel he just thinks so low of me. WHY?? When I talked about maybe leaving for a while he starts in about suicide, to the point where I feel he is using it to scare me into being this mousy quiet person. I read another post where someone said “As he gets better I get worse” and that is my case. His therapist tells him he has made significant improvement (what man are they talking to???) but I am ready to walk out the door. The only thing stopping me is our three kids. He is a total asshole now and I started smoking weed just to be able to deal with his meanness. The angry stare like he wants to rip out my throat for speaking, the cold flat anger in his voice when he gets mad, or worse the roars. Even worse is that there is no rhyme or reason to it, his “bad moods” are totally unpredictable. Yet he says he loves me. THIS is better??

    • Grechin says:

      I am in the exact same boat.
      I would love to email chat if you would be willing. I am at a point where I don’t know what’s going on or what to do…..stay or leave.

  33. REBECCA BROWN says:

    HI, I AM IN THE SAME BOAT AS ALOT OF YOU.. I HAVE BEEN WITH MY BOYFRIEND FOR ABOUT A YEAR AND HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PTSD, DEPRESSION AND HE IS SUICIDAL..FOR 5 MONTHS HE WAS IN THE PSYCH WARD AND THE STARR PROGRAM.. I WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT EVERYDAY WENT TO SEE HIM, HIS PARENTS ONLY DID 2 TIMEX!! AND WHEN HE GOT RELEASED FROM THE STARR PROGRAM HE MOVED IN WITH ME. AT FIRST THINGS WERE GREAT AS USUAL, BUT HE STOPPED TAKING HIS MEDS AND HIS MOOD SWINGS BECAME UNBEARABLE… ALSO, HE SWALLOWED 3 BOTTLES OF PILLS AND I HAD TO PUT MY FINGER IN HIS THROAT AND MAKE HIM VOMIT.. IT GOT TO THE POINT OVER THIS 6 MONTH PERIOD TOO MUCH AND IM AT MY WITS END… FOR THE PAST 3 WEEKS, HE WAS SAYING THAT I DESERVED BETTER, AND HE IS NO GOOD FOR ME… AND THINGS HAVE GOTTEN VIOLENT. I DIDNT KNOW HOW TO HANDLE PTSD, BUT YES, I DEFINATELY HIT BACK… SOMETIMES HIS COLDS HEARTED ATTITUDE AND LACK OF FEELING WOULD GET ME ENRAGED! LAST WEEK, HE RAN INTO A BUDDY OF HIS, AND IT HAPPENED TO BE NOT EVEN A DAY AFTER A BIG BLOWUP OF A FIGHT WHERE I CALLED THE POLICE… HIS FRIEND, WHO ALSO WAS IN STARR, GOT KICKED OUT FOR HEROIN 2X.. SOMEHOW CONVINCED HIM THAT HE HAS TO CUT ME OFF COMPLETELY… BY THE WAY, I AM 9 WEEKS PREGNANT TOO AND WE SIGNED A LEASE TOGETHER. HE WONT TALK, SPEAK, NOTHING… AFTER ALL THOSE MONTHS OF SACRIFICE THAT I DID AND NO ONE ELSE GAVE A DAMN… I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND THIS COLD HEARTED ATTITUDE IS KILLING ME… HOW CAN I HELP? OR WHAT DO I DO? I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I DID FOR HIM TO SUDDENLY IGNORE ME LIKE I NEVER EXISTED.. OR WHAT HIS FRIEND SAID TO HIM… WHY WOULD THIS BE? AND WHAT DO I DO? HE ALWAYS REFUSED TO GET HIS APPOINTMENTS OR HIS MEDS… HE IS IN JAIL NOW FOR 30 DAYS.. HE HAD A BENCH WARRANT WHEN I CALLED THE POLICE AND NOW IS THERE FOR AT LEAST 30 DAYS.. IS THIS SOME TIME HE NEEDS AWAY WITH NO CONTACT? OR TO BE FORCED TO GET ON MEDS AND GET THERAPY? HE WAS GETTING THE ELECTRIC SHOCK TREATMENT AT THE VA HOSPITAL TOO. BEFORE WE WERE TOGETHER FOR THE PAST YEAR, HE WAS SO NICE, AND KIND… BUT HE WAS ON MEDS AND DOING COUNSELING TOO :(

  34. Kell says:

    My boyfriend has ptsd and depression. He was injured in combat in Iraq and has lifelong pain due to think also. He has been so wonderful and all has been going well. The other day he went to VA and failed a hearing test. He does have ringing in his ears. He became very upset by this and has shut me out completely. I did go to his house to make sure he was ok and tell him I love him. He said he felt like a burden to me. I felt I should leave him alone bc he wanted to “sleep it off” and did not want me to see him that way. We hugged and kissed and I left. It has now been 24 hours and I have not heard from him at all. This is very concerning to me. I wanna hope that he is sleeping and doing better, but I am so worried bc I haven’t even received a text. I don’t know what to do. I feel like showing up there again is not really respecting his feelings or need for alone time. Please give any advice you can as I am new to this. I love this man and want to support him as much as I can.

  35. E A says:

    Ptsd sufferer as well as married to a veteran with Ptsd. I can tell you the reason he is probably shutting out stuff and not talking is because a major symptom of ptsd is using avoidance as a coping mechanism. You need to allow him to do that and leave it to a professional to change that behavior. By exerting your will you put yourself in line of possibly some extreme anger. Do not tolerate physical abuse. Even one time. Even if you feel that you caused it somehow. It is a line that you cannot un-cross except maybe with the help of a trained professional. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all and I hope things get better. Make sure that you and your partner get help. Don’t wait for it to be too late. I know there isn’t much I can say to make you decide to do something about your situations- but I truly beg that despite whatever fears you may have you pull through and handle it. Wander into the scary and unknown. You will come out on the other side. Be brave. Be strong.

  36. anonymus says:

    My man went to afghanistan and came back an angrier person. Not really at me but definitly to his friends. He said he cant participate in small talk full of petty complaints when hes seen worse overseas. This i can see. But then he started having terrible nightmares and crying sessions, but no matter how tight i hold him it doesnt seem to help. He wasnt bad to me until recently when he threw me across our room and came at me like he wanted to hit me. he didnt but was ashamed to tears. How do i help my love?! Hes my soulmate and i cant stand seeing him this way?! he wont talk to anyone about it aside from me because he denies to having ptsd! but i dont know how to help him!

  37. John says:

    My friend has ptsd. He has been ok I guess but he just got into a bad accident that would give anyone ptsd, so my question is if a person with ptsd from combat gets in a bad wreck what happens in their head?

  38. chris says:

    What can you do about the husband hitting, kicking, punching, and strangling you? He says he doesn’t mean it and its my fault cuz he has ptsd from deployment…..but I don’t know how much more my body n mind can take. From the mmoment he gets home from work he sleeps til I go to bed then stays up all night watching porn. And he is very violent toward me. But I don’t want to get him in trouble.

  39. chris says:

    Dreaming about doing those things, not following through*** still frightening though

  40. Ana says:

    My husband and I will be married for one year this month. We corresponded with each other while he was in Iraq. When he returned home we met and everything seemed perfect. His kids and himself filled with a love of God brought peace to my life. Over this past year though things have changed he drove his daughter away and she returned back to her mother. Fear though he never touched her his quick temper and anger frightened her. Now it is just him and I he has been diagnosed with PTSD but is constant denial of it given medication that he does not take. He is currently med boarding out of the Army for this and depression and several other health issues after over 20 years Army and National Guard. To me it is like living on an emotional roller coaster I myself have been diagnosed with ptsd from years of DV and depression. No matter what I do it is not good enough and sometimes I am afraid to even say hello to him. Who is this person? That keeps me in another room away from him. That I use to be able to talk to for hours. So I do not have to hear what a dumb a– I am and why are you with me and threatening divorce he has cursed his kids his family and myself all those that love him. It is like a spirit of anger has stolen my husband and I am in constant prayer. He has been diagnosed with sleep Apia but the machine does not work and the sleeping pills caused him the throw his machine across the room. I do not know what to do when he is like this no matter what I say he becomes angry. I have been through so much in my past and now this yet show him no disrespect and he will admit to that. Intimacy seems to a be thing of the past and all I want back is the man I feel in love with. Am I no more than a game a pawn in his life he drops something and waits for me to pick it up it is like living with a child not a grown man. Help

  41. Everyone who has comment should have recieved a personal email by now, let me know if you haven’t. I’m sorry if some of them take a while, but combined with comments on here, and emails received, it can often take more time than I like to get back to everyone.

  42. Also, I’ve been getting dozens of emails from people, every week, regarding PTSD ever since I started this blog. I’ve gotten back a lot of emails about people who have used the tips here and have healed, and/or lessened, their PTSD symptoms significantly after trying some of the things mentioned in the PTSD articles on this sight, especially the one: “Best Ways to Treat PTSD for You or Your Spouse.” Well, anyways, I think it’s finally time to do a blog post about all the people who have found a way to turn their PTSD around. So if that’s you, or someone you know, please tell them to contact me through the contact form on this blog–please don’t comment, just send me the email. Thanks!

  43. Kim says:

    My husband hasn’t been diagnosed with PTSD but I know he has it. I have been really studying up on it. Everything is my fault and if I would have done things better, he wouldn’t be like he is. He says he feels completely detatched from me, and that’s because he was in spec ops for 5 years. They found every chance they could to put him down and lower his self esteem. Right now he is outprocessing in a different state and I was wondering when he comes back what do I do? I have removed stressful things and people from my house, I talk positively to him all the time. Sometimes he laughs. He told me though that he thinks he is better off by himself and that nobody should want him. Well, when you have been married for a long time like we have, then its really hard to give up. I refuse to give up. I love him too much. I just am not sure what to do when he gets home.

  44. Elisha Y says:

    My boyfriend has severe PTSD. We have been together for almost 7 months now and I am struggling to be the effective and supportive understanding partner that he needs me to be. I find that his lack of communication hurts our relationship. Can you give me any advice on how to understand the troubles that people with PTSD have with communication?

  45. Sandra says:

    My husband of a year suffers from PTSD. He also was hurt in the war and is constantly in pain. He was able to keep the pain down with prescribed narcotic pain pills that also included a mood suppressant. Everything was great until his doctor abruptly stopped prescribing him medicine. Now he is in severe pain all the time and his moody, breaks things all over the house, curses at me and even pushed me tonight. He blames me for pushing him into a rage. It is so stressful, especially since we just had a baby and I’m recovering from surgery and taking care of the baby by myself while he is in bed all day. I don’t know what to do. He says he is just going to kill himself to make the pain stop. I love him very much but this is so hard with the baby and trying to keep things halfway normal.

  46. Everyone should have gotten their emails by now again.

  47. Delane says:

    I have been married to a Vietnam vet for almost 40 years. He has a severe case of PTSD. Over the years I have stayed with him in spite of his moodiness, his lies, his temper, and even after an emotional affair with another woman. He refused to apologize for that relationship. He showed no remorse and no regret! I discovered about a year ago that he had used his cell phone to maintain contact with her multiple times through calls and texts back and forth. I own the cell account and had never looked at it. I felt that something was not right with him. He asked me to add texting to our phones—that he tried to do it, but the cell company would not let him. Over a 7-month period, there were about 600 calls and 800 texts that he had to pay for. He lied when I confronted him and became furious when I told him that I had looked ay my account! He kept saying that she was just a friend and that she meant nothing to him. I left and he called me to come home. At that point, I knew about the calls only. He told me that he loved me and to quit digging. The very next week, I found out about the texts. Again, he told me to quit digging. I don’t believe he knows how to tell the truth! He has alienated almost everyone he knows. In one of his recent arguments, he tried to blame me—this happens all the time! In a rage, he got a rifle and went outside to kill one of his dogs because he didn’t like the dog. When he came back inside (without killing the dog), he threatened to kill several people. I told him that he couldn’t go around killing people and he threatened to kill me. I know I provoked him. I left him and do not plan to go back until he is in the VA system receiving treatment. I recently took him to a doctor who prescribed anti-depressants and anxiety medication. He didn’t like the way the meds made him feel so he quit taking them. His rage is definitely out of control. I wanted to be there, but I did not like being threatened with dying! What else can I do to help him? He won’t go back to the doctor for a different prescription. Living with him has been a nightmare. I finally have some backbone and may end up leaving for good! I warned him that if he alienated me, he would have no one!

    • Natalie says:

      My husband has deployed 6 times 3 Iraq 3 Afghanistan. He has had SEVERAL emotional affairs. He has NEVER given me any answers as to why or what they talked about. He has said he was sorry but I want details!!! I found out like you did. Cell phone account. He claims no sex but I assume the worst.
      He’s an infantryman and he’s stubborn and angry.

  48. Crystal says:

    My husband has PTSD really bad. He abuses his prescription and to the point where he is taking money from me and constantly borrowing. He refuses to get help. He says that he will try and turn things around but everything always goes back to the same; yelling, fighting, screaming. We have been married for 8 years, and for 6 of those years I have been dealing with his PTSD. I have tried to do what he wants to make everything easier on him, but nothing seems to work. I love him, but I am stressed to my max. I am having panic attacks more than a few times a day and can not sleep or eat properly. I am at the point where I want to be happy again. Every time I mention that, he threatens to hurt himself and I am scared that he will. If there is any help that you can provide please send me an email.

  49. Stephanie says:

    My former fiance was diagnosed with PTSD last Spring and we were together for a year and a half. We have recently split again, for the second time. During our couple months of being engaged things started to get a little stressful and arguments kept building up. He left at a hindsight and said he couldn’t do it anymore. He cut off all ties-changed his phone number, didn’t respond to emails and deleted me off fb. I was devastated, but as weeks went on I knew I just had to do me, because I didn’t know if he would return. During our break I found out that he was talking to other girls, reached out to his ex and actually hooked up with her. A little over a month later, he reached out and wanted to work things out. We got back together and I admit, I was really insecure-always thinking that he was going to leave again and the whole ex thing. Things were going good for a little while, until about recently that he decided to end things again. He says it’s because I couldn’t get over the past and it stressed him out. He said he can’t deal with it anymore, he’s not going to live his life this way, he’s done, it’s over, he’s not going to give it another chance and definitely not a third try. When we got back together we got another puppy together, we signed a lease and were suppsoed to move in together in a couple weeks here but as soon as he said it was done he immediately called and cancelled his portion of the lease. I’m lost, I don’t know what this really means, if he’s going to come back?! I have all the patience in the world and am willing to make this work and be supportive. I haven’t made my vows, but to me an engagament speaks volumes and I’m not going to quit with something that I know can be managed.

  50. Everyone should have gotten an email back by now.

    I’ve been getting a lot of positive emails back from people though. So everyone should keep in mind that there is hope. There are answers. But let’s remember that violence is never an answer. If you think someone poses a serious threat to you, your children, or anyone, you’ve got to do something about it! Possibly contact the police, a friend, a relative, a therapist, or a member of your local clergy.

    • Diana says:

      My husband of 29 years just left me. He suffers from PTSD, depression and anxiety attacks. (Vietnam Veteran) I am now haunted by an incident with a gun that happened 2 years ago. I begged him to let me contact the VA and get help, but he cried and said they would lock him up. I gave in, but it has never left my mind. Each time I see a mass shooting, I remember how crazy he was and think “what if”. Now that he is living with his sister (a true saint) I am so afraid he do something crazy. He has been a verbal and mental abuser with me for years. I don’t want her hurt, and I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. I love the guy and hope he gets help and comes home. What should I do about this?

  51. Mia Wagner says:

    Wow, I can’t believe some many people going thru it just like me. My two time veteran husband served in Iraq has really rearranged my life talking bout some weed that’s how I dealt with the mood swings, cheating, lying, and trying to belittle me when I help him out from the beginning and now I’m the enemy. He wasn’t dignois with PTSD after we was already married with a baby on the way. I had to call the police on him right after I had our baby because he tried to put me out the house saying He just wanted to see what i was going to do after the police took him in handcuffs. My stitches wasn’t even heal for that first episode. Secondly we have arguments about petty little things, just recently there was and altercation my arm n right side of my face was slammed in the door because I wanted to leave he claim he didn’t try to it was a accident seems like everything is an accident and he is sorry. I remember one time he slam me down for calling him a crack head as a joke he call me plenty of names I never could slam him. I was furious he talks behind my back like a dog I feel like I lost myself dealing with him. My kids prior to him tennagers don’t want to be around him it’s like tip toe on egg shells. My youngest son took his gun that my husband had loaded under my daughter crib. Now that he has this second case pending he mad at me saying its all my fault that I never should of went thru the door. Everything is my fault he is never the blame. Also we tried counseling until we got in the room he blurted out your the reason I don’t see his son (not True) he gets so mad at his baby mother for telling all kinds of things he say behind my back that he don’t really want to be bother with her or him he tells me.

  52. a proud vets daughter says:

    My Dad its 62 years old and has had a stream of medical problems that stem from Vietnam. my husband and I have been together for eleven years but married a well and a half. My Dad walked me down the isle, partied (gently) with us till eleven at night and was admitted to the hospital at seven in the morning the next day due to a fall down an entire flight of stairs. He was released that afternoon and insisted on going to our family reunion and was relentless about it. We went and had a nice time, although Dad was so drugged up that he barely remembers it. He went and that us what counts. This was August eleventh, one day after he gave me away. On the twelfth, an ambulance came and picked him up around non and he has been there since. Doctors are trying top say he has been

  53. a proud vets daughter says:

    Having seizures but yesterday he showed that they were not seizures. He had a forty minute episode and was fighting the vc. I stood at his side and talked him thorough it. I am so scared for my Dad. At this point, we really don’t know what to do, if we could do anything. All I want is stay with him.

    • a proud vets daughter says:

      I know this sure is for but my Mom and I have been hand in hand when dealing with my Dad. I am very worried about her also.I have been her rock through most of this

  54. Lost.... says:

    Please help! My husband has been deployed many times but this last time he came back very different! It’s been 2 years since his last deployment and I just can’t deal with it anymore! He came back with a lot of anger and has no patience with anything including our daughter! I keep telling him he changed but he has every excuse in the book including its me and I just can’t handle it anymore! I want to save my marriage! I love my husband but there’s only so much I can handle and being treated like crap is not fun! Is this a sign?

  55. lauren says:

    Unlike all of the rest of these posts, I am reaching out because I am the one who is affected by ptsd daily. My ptsd stems froma younger age when iI was 12 years old and was rraped by my dads best friend. As I grew older I just tried to dismiss it and forget it ever happened, usually by drinking way too much at night, keeping myself preoccupied with other activities. Within the last year,however, I met a woman whom I fell desperately in love with. She was everything I could’ve asked for: kind, loving,funny,smart,beautiful. For the first time I wanted to open up to someone about it because I wanted to spend my life with her and that was something I didn’t want to keep from her. We would often bicker, like couples do, but for some reason I started having more and more flashbacks. I would lash out unknowingly, say awful things,and there were three Instances where I did put my hands on her. I can’t, for the life of me, understand how I let that happen. I would never dream of hurting someone I cared so much for. The third time I touched her I decided to get help. Found a support group,and a psychiatrist and was going to take my life back. After I started getting help I never physically harmed her but she tells me she can’t ever forgive me for what I did and who can blame her? I wish there was a way I could prove to her that it wasn’t me,it was the disease. I continue to get help constantly. I have cut out drinking,and being around negative people. My ex has recently started seeing someone else and says she can never forgive me or be with me again. I wish people understood that this disease is horrible, but it gets better with help and support. I will never allow myself to get to that point again but it pains me that she doesn’t even want me at my best,at my healthiest.

    Thank you for listening

  56. so sad says:

    My husband was just diagnosed with ptsd at crisis level, although he has been exhibiting all the signs for quite some time. He is not military. He is the victim of a kidnapping that happened while at his work. 3 crackheads jumped in his vehicle and made him drive them around to various places til they found the 4th they were looking for. He truly believed he would die when they made him stop his vehicle and go into a house with them. Since then his anger just keeps escalating, as do his feelings of worthlessness and impending doom. He has constant nightmares. I barely sleep anymore. I miss my beautiful loving husband of 25 years… I don’t know how to help him anymore than I have been.

  57. Michele says:

    As I sit here and write this it is with a heavy heart. My husband was in Iraq , and was diagnosed with PTSD about 12 years ago. I got him to open up, to talk to me, to see a psychologist. The first lot of therapy didn’t work because he couldn’t be honest. I got him back into therapy a year ago, and went into every session with him except his light/clicker therapy. Things are the worst they have ever been. He says the therapy made things worse and that’s my fault because I wanted him to go . There’s so much that has happened over the years I could write my own book. I love my husband with all my heart and we have two great kids but I really have got to the point where I just can’t take this crap anymore. He has sucked the life and strength from me and I am at breaking point. I think this really is the end for us. I have run out of options , it seems the only thing left to do is admit defeat and walk away :(

  58. sydney says:

    My husband went to Iraq twice, he was through with his enlistment with the Marines in 2005. We met and married four years after that. I knew he was a sleep walker/talker while we were dating because of some conversing he didn’t recall and different events. It wasn’t until after our marriage and our first pregnancy that these peaceful night jokes turned into terrors. He wakes up in such a fright nearly jumping off the bed and it takes a few minutes for me to calmly talk him down. I’ve woken up to being smothered by his pillow while I was pregnant with our first. When I was pregnant with our second he had his arm across my neck and was choking me. These severe ones have happened a few times but generally it’s him jumping up ready to fight. I’m finding myself scared to fall asleep bc they are nearly nightly. Even as I write this at one in the morning he woke up freaked out.

    I’ve told him what had happened and he’s very remorseful and I can tell he’s hurting. I used to be able to get him to participate in our local vet center and he was scheduled to tall to someone at the vet hospital about his ptsd but when he received the questionnaire in the mail he left it blank and didn’t go and seems to refuse setting another appointment.

    He has a short fuse and gets overly emotional when dealing with me and our children. He can turn from very happy to angry in a flash but this doesn’t mean he’s physical. I have heard him being very harsh with our two year old, using language that should never be used and I did make it clear that it wouldn’t fly with me. I’m just worried about the times I’m not home. I know my family believes he is over the top with our children but he’s very strict and wants our children to listen and behave.

    I am just at the end of my rope. I’m tired. I’m scared. I love my husband, but I can’t live like this. I could never see myself without him but the last time he choked me I could barely speak for two days and I am terrified that one day I won’t wake up to fight him off. Please help me.

  59. Temple says:

    Hello, I just recently started dating a man with PTSD. He has been so sweet to me. Looks out for me, does for me and is an all around great guy. I found out he had PTSD when he was telling me about his tour in Desert Storm and how it affected him when he returned home. He said he hasnt been on his medicine…How do I convince him to get back on his meds and what can a girlfriend do keep him calm…he sees a therapist already. (email please) with any other suggestions.

  60. Everyone should have gotten an email by now.

    Remember guys that there are options!

    Your first step should be your local vet center and/or VA.

    But also remember that therapy and medication aren’t the only options.

    A healthy diet, healthy exercise regimen, and yoga and meditation have been shown to have positive benefits in dealing with PTSD.

  61. Heartbroken says:

    Hi husband has done three tours of duty in Iraq he has ptsd and I don’t know what to do he wont go to therapy and he wont talk to anyone. I’m not sure what else to do?

  62. Emily L. says:

    What are some other options for the ones who won’t even talk about their experiences? Like many of the women here I’m at my wits end. I love him and don’t want do divorce but what can I do when things won’t get better?

  63. Nancy Glidden says:

    I have been engaged to a retired Navy Spec Op’s soldier for the last two and a half years. He retired in 2005 when his father was diagnosed with cancer. When we first started dating, he was charming and charismatic and could probably melt the hearts of the best of us. Being the mature woman I am and can spot a player a mile away, I didn’t pay too much attention to him because he was trying too hard to impress me. But then, I remembered how men of that generation knew how to treat a lady. However, there was an instant connection that went beyond physical attraction. He pursued me and I just melted when he would speak with his low southern drawl and his gentleman qualities. I had never gone into a Lowe’s or Home Depot where the sales person pushed my cart for me While I was purchasing mulch to redo my flower garden. I hadn’t had doors opened for me in quite some time. What I really noticed was how he treated other people. He was very socially inclined. I liked that because I am that way when dealing with people, and especially the ones I like. After about two months into our relationship, It didn’t take me long to discover he had some or most of the symptoms of PTSD. What he saw in the 24 years of honorable service to his country shocked and horrified him those dark memories would replay those horrible images in his brain. I have a very good friend who served two tours in Vietnam as a Marine in the Airborne Division. . Occasionally when he heard or felt something, such as the earthquakes we have been having in Oklahoma, he sat straight up in bed, grabbed his gun and started pacing the floor. I have more than one friend or loved one who has this disorer. My Vietnam friend would fly into rages over the most trivial things. He has been going to a PTSD support group for the last four years and he has come a long way in coping for this disorder. Just knowing you have support helps more than you will ever know. Some of these people have experienced the same situations during war time. I didn’t mean to take up the whole show, but it seems as though this is a great resource to tap into and utilize.

  64. Chris says:

    Is there any hope?… My boyfriend is in the retirement process and has PTSD & depression. He is also the most kind, considerate, caring man that I’ve ever been involved with. He openly acknowledges his issues and opens up the best that he can to me, but still holds back (which is ok, he holds back about specifics, but opens up about his behaviors and triggers). He has a therapist/counselor that he sees weekly. I read all of the stories here and wonder what might happen in 5,10, or 20 years… Is the any hope? He is getting so depressed about the retirement process right now that we barely talk any more. He doesn’t sleep which fuels his depression. He’s been very distant for close to two months. There is no progression with his retirement and he’s past the 200 day mark, just to receive his ratings. Every day is a guessing game right now. I totally understand him being depressed right now: his entire life is changing and he’s been in limbo for almost a year now. I know that every person is different, but I can’t imagine him being violent or aggressive at all and feel like the help that he’s getting is beneficial. Does it always turn to shit?

  65. Sandi says:

    My husband is an Army Ranger and served in the first Desert Storm. He has not been diagnosed with PTSD, but from what i have read it would explain a lot. He is a quiet man, a loner with not many if any friends.He and I met in 2000 at work, long after his 4 years of service in the early 90′s. We started dating and he moved in with me in 2002 with all his worldly possessions…2 duffel bags full of clothes, a 10 year old microwave and a sewing machine. All the warning signs were there, but love was blind. In the beginning everything was fine. Then all of the sudden, out of the blue, he would go into the spare room and not come out for days…..no apparent reason and no excuses. Just as if someone had turned a light switch on / off.Then there would be months that everything was great, until the next time. I asked him once after he came out what was the problem. He said he was unhappy. I asked him if it was me that he was unhappy with. He said no it wasn’t me. He was just unhappy and didn’t know what would make him happy. I told him he was free to walk out the door anytime he wanted to, but he didn’t. We married in 2005. Now it is 2014. Since our marriage, he has had more and more times of hiding in the bedroom, or spare room for days, sometimes only hours. Usually he gets angry at something small, like not finding the peanut butter…slams the bedroom door and the waiting begins again. 2 years ago he decided that he couldn’t sleep in our bed because the mattress wasn’t right, and he would get up after I went to sleep. I would find him either on the sofa or in the spare room. So we went and bought a new mattress set. That worked for a few months…then another excuse. He couldn’t sleep because of the dogs in bed. So we stopped allowing dogs in bed. Then it was the shift he was on, so he changed shifts/ ..now our shifts are opposite each other…but even on our weekends he gets up in the middle of the night. excuses, excuses.. I am at my wits end. Both his family and I have suggested help, but he will not go. I love him, and am going to a therapist to help me deal with the anxiety, depression, and blame I feel when he does this, as I watch the man I love and my marriage fall apart. Help!

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