Living for you, which is what you actually want, is harder for him. It is even harder for him if you are smart and do not need him to rescue you, since rescuing is something he does really well. If you are very competent at many things, he may at times question if you need him at all. He may not see that you stay with him as a conscious choice.
It is direct battle doctrine that when ambushed by a superior force, the correct response is "apply maximum firepower and break contact. A warrior has to be able to respond to threat with minimal time pondering choices. While this is life-saving in combat, it is not helpful in the much slower-paced civilian world. A better rule in the civilian world would be to give a reaction proportionate to the provocation.
1. PTSD is a very real illness
Small provocation, small response but this could get you killed on the battlefield. Tears are unbearable to him; they create explosive emotions in him that can be difficult for him to control. Unfortunately, that can lead to a warrior responding to strong waves of guilt by applying more "maximum firepower" on friends, family, or unfortunate strangers. He is afraid to get attached to anyone because he has learned that the people you love get killed, and he cannot face that pain again.
He may make an exception for his children because they cannot divorce him , but that will be instinctual and he will probably not be able to explain his actions. He knows the military exists for a reason. The sad fact is that a military exists ultimately to kill people and break things. Technically, your warrior may well be a killer, as are his friends. He may have a hard time seeing that this does not make him a murderer. The emotional side of killing in combat is complex. He may not know how to feel about what he's seen or done, and he may not expect his feelings to change over time.
What It's Really Like Dating Someone with PTSD
Warriors can experiences moments of profound guilt, shame, and self-hatred. He may have experienced a momentary elation at "scoring one for the good guys," then been horrified that he celebrated killing a human being. He may view himself as a monster for having those emotions, or for having gotten used to killing because it happened often. He's had to cultivate explosive anger in order to survive in combat.
He may have grown up with explosive anger violent alcoholic father? He may have been only nineteen when he first had to make a life and death decision for someone else. What kind of skills does a nineteen-year-old have to deal with that kind of responsibility?
One of my veterans put it this way: To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling. He may believe that he's the only one who feels this way ; eventually he may realize that at least other combat vets understand. On some level, he doesn't want you to understand, because that would mean you had shared his most horrible experience, and he wants someone to remain innocent.
But whatever it was, the sound caused Omri to jump in his seat and tremble. He gazed up at me, his eyes wet, his pupils swollen like black olives. The noise clearly carried a different meaning for him, one I didn't understand. He slowly took another puff of his cigarette, careful to steady his shaking hands.
The first time he shot a man dead, Omri told me, he cried. America's military systems actively discourages people from getting diagnosed and seeking treatment for PTSD because of the costs. Yet PTSD is fairly common in both military and civilian populations. They are unable to communicate, even with just little things.
PTSD: A Soldier's Perspective: Combat Vet Girlfriend Finds Hope and Support at PASP
They've numbed themselves to the extent where they have difficulty experiencing emotion at all, even forming opinions. Having PTSD, just like any stigmatized mental health issue, can be difficult and isolating. Yet dating someone with PTSD can sometimes feel just as challenging.
- The Difficulties of Dating When You Have PTSD - The Good Men Project;
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- 6 Things I Learned from Dating Someone with PTSD.
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- What It's Really Like Dating Someone with PTSD;
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- Top 10 Things Your Combat Vet Wants You To Know;
Past studies have shown that female partners of people with PTSD, in particular, report high levels of anxiety and stress by proxy. She knows exactly how lonely and exhausting dating someone with PTSD can be. She thinks of her last boyfriend as two different people: Katie dated her soldier ex before his deployment overseas, then off and on when he returned.
When he came back, she found that he experienced full-scale night terrors, which culminated in him trying to strangle her in his sleep. He closed off," Katie said. Yet the primary challenge of dating someone with PTSD isn't dealing with flashbacks and panic attacks every day. It's routine stuff, like asking "How did work go?
Today, there are millions of Americans juggling their love lives with the challenges of mental illness. But there is all kinds of stigma keeping people from seeking help, even though dating with untreated PTSD can be dangerous for both partners. That's a firm line in the sand," Ajjan warned.
Because many people with PTSD are scared to seek professional help, she recommends both partners start with peer support groups.
- 6 Things I Learned from Dating Someone with PTSD.
- The Difficulties of Dating When You Have PTSD;
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It's not your job to fix your partner's problem, but you can still be supportive. Dating someone with PTSD is different for every couple, and it's not always easy to interact with friends and family members who don't understand your partner's condition.