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Old 08-28-2016, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Partner's combat PTSD

Hi all,

Hopefully this is in the right place, otherwise I apologize in advance.

My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year and living together for the past 4 (almost 5) months. We are both crazy in love with each other and know that this is the real deal. We have plans to get engaged later this year (though I don't know exactly when, he insists on leaving that part a surprise.)
He is a purple heart OIF vet who was medically retired when the vehicle that he was in struck an IED.
He suffers from severe combat PTSD, anger issues, depression and anxiety. For example: When he is stressed or says his issues are acting up, he "shuts down" and shuts himself off for a few hours to a day. He'll lie down by himself, listen to audio books, watch documentaries, etc. He says its because he's trying to distract himself from the issues going on inside his head and that he's not doing it to be mean but he doesn't want to risk lashing out at me. This is completely new to me. I have never dealt with someone that has gone through what he has and I will admit, for a while I behaved selfishly and took it personally.

He is an amazing partner and has a big heart. Our relationship is fantastic overall. Sure we've had our fair share of fights but that mainly is due to a difference in communication styles. (I overreact easily and get very high strung/dramatic/panicky when upset, he hates that because of having a hyper response to stress and feeds off of my behavior.) And what couple hasn't had fights anyway? But I honestly just want to be the best support system that I can for him. His prior relationships have all been terrible. He's been cheated on, treated like ****/taken for granted, and I want to ensure that he knows I'm not going anywhere and that I'm here for him. And I admit that I still know next to nothing about PTSD. I have been doing some reading on my own but I'd love if anyone could give me some advice and/or input.

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Old 09-02-2016, 05:06 PM   #2
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My Mood: Partner's combat PTSD

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Hello equiiaddict: I'm sorry you did not receive a reply to this post. It certainly is deserving of one. Unfortunately, I'm not the best member to be responding to your concerns. Perhaps other members who are more knowledgeable may yet reply.

Are you familiar with California therapist Kati Morton? Kati uploads mental health related videos onto her YouTube channel. I know she has done quite a few on PTSD. If you're not familiar with Kati's videos, I highly recommend them.

Beyond that, hopefully, your partner is seeing a therapist in an effort to deal with his PTSD. Distracting himself in the way he is doing is certainly a worthwhile stop-gap measure. But, at least from my perspective, it's not a solution. Over the long haul, both of you will benefit from him acquiring other strategies to deal with his anger, depression & anxiety. I wish you both great success in your lives...
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Partner's combat PTSD

Hi! My husband is an OIF vet, Desert Storm vet and has served on the DMZ and Sinai in the Army. He has combat PTSD.

Has your boyfriend tried (or have you ever talked about) therapy programs? There are a lot of successful programs for veterans specifically. The VA can be pretty useless and hard to get an appointment, but you could look outside the VA at private psychiatrists, psychologists so forth. Honestly, it's made a difference for a lot of vets who can access it. New drug protocols, research protocols and established therapies like EMDR are so helpful.

It wouldn't hurt to do some research on those and talk to him. My husband resists help because he feels like he has to be all macho and crap, but I tried to talk to him about it. Never hurts.

Good luck with everything.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Partner's combat PTSD

Hi! I'm dating a man with combat PTSD, as well, and I can definitely identify with some of the things that you have brought up. I don't know much about my boyfriend's service, as he rarely talks about it. I know that he served in the Army as a combat medic and was in Afghanistan for a while. Communication has become very strained between us, and I make the mistake of taking it personally, as well. All of the time. I try not to, but I'm a very, very sensitive person.
We should talk sometime!
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