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Thread: PTSD Counseling: to go or not to go

  1. Fresh Newbie
    DsrtFlwr's Avatar
    DsrtFlwr is offline
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    Dec 2016

    PTSD Counseling: to go or not to go

    My soldier and I have been together for 3+ years. As much as I have loved him, as much as I have supported him and dealt with the erratic behavior, the explosive temper, the running out, the demands (the Issues as I'll call them) there have been times I need to protect myself and my 2 teenage children so we broke up in January over his refusal to work (he does once a month Reserves but has turned down military positions, civilian jobs, schooling), refusal to contribute or commit, offensive language to me and criticism of my children. Twice before this happened and he promised to change, get help, go to work, but here we are again. So I haven't talked to him since January even though he sent emails asking to reconcile, apologizing, admission of guilt etc. As much as it hurts me the repetition has worn me down.
    Last year he finally applied for disability for a variety of physical and mental issues. He asked me to write 2 letters attesting to my knowledge of a head injury and an injury to his groin. I had written the head injury letter and was working on the second when he blew up which led to our first break up. All this time I have provided for everything and he would stay at my residence while I went to work and my kids went to school. When not with me he would live back at his mother's house, no bills no rent, living off deployment savings until it was all gone then off his Reserve pay but not wanting to get counseling, not wanting to talk about our issues, not wanting to do much of anything but hang out at my house, watch my tv, play in my garden.
    Last year I encouraged/helped him to apply for disability with the support of his CO which he did, he got a lump sum back check for over $20,000 in August. He didn't even offer to take me or my kids out for pizza to celebrate.
    Anyway he asked if I would talk to his counselors on his behalf as they are assessing him for PTSD to see if they should raise/lower/maintain his disability. I'm happy to help but he's talking about reconciling, has asked me to family functions, drove up to see me last week when my children were at their fathers. And happy as I am to be with him, any little issue (the car in front of him driving too slow, the wind blowing too loud) gets him upset. Then he says he cares for me, wants to be with me but will be living in his home town when he looks for school/a job so is proposing going from living off me/contributing nothing with me to living off his stepdad/contributing nothing without me but wanting me to be around to entertain him a few weekends a month.
    I told him I've fought for him twice when asking my family to take him back, got him a job he wouldn't work, shared my life, my home, my kids, my heart with him, did things "his way@his speed" for years and now he won't give anything for me/us. He blew up when I said I wasn't going to accept less than I've already had. That I'm not going to subject my children to his influence over me for no purpose.
    I know his thinking is off for a number of reasons and I truly care about him. I'd like to hear if I help with counseling the man I fell for will appear and he'll see things the way Everybody else does. Even his family says I deserve better and shouldnt accept less than he should give.
    Does anyone have any experience getting their soldier through counseling and having a happy ending?
    I know the reasonable thing to do but the heart wants what the heart wants. I've done the "right/responsible" thing and will again of course but I miss him. I love him. I want him to be his best with me so we can be happy together. I just don't know how to make that happen.
  2. Senior Member
    Medic2Doula's Avatar
    Medic2Doula is offline
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    Mar 2017
    San Diego, CA

    Well, dh doesn't have ptsd, but has depression and anxiety that at a time were crippling. He took everything out on our older two kids and myself. We tried marriage counseling, but I really have come to believe that marriage counseling is to work to make two halves function as a working whole, and when those halves are broken themselves (for lack of better wording), it can't be successful.
    It got to the point where I had to get my kids out of that situation, to protect them, to protect myself.
    At some point you have to cut your ties and know that you tried your best to get them help.
    DH ended up telling me he would be dead before I got home, because I had told him that I was taking the kids and leaving. I called 911 and the police took him to the hospital, where they figured out a medication that worked for him while he went to counseling and sorted through some issues that were killing him. It got so much better.
    I would say that if he commits to counseling and you see honest improvement, things can work out. They did in my family. We are happier than ever. I will say that I don't think this is how it ends most of the time.

    I'm not sure if this is the response that you want, but that's my honest answer. It got really bad for is for a while, but it did get better. I'm also not under the impression that he cannot relapse into his old ways, but I think a lot of dh's issues were able to be addressed, not to "cure" him, but to give him more understanding and more coping skills. I do believe that his willingness to attend counseling is an indicator of whether or not he's willing to try to improve his situation.
  3. Senior Member
    Sabrina22LE's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
    My brother-in-law had major PTSD after coming home from a year long deployment and was having a very hard time adapting. He would blow up on my sister and was constantly getting stressed out. He got mad at one of his group therapy sessions and refused to go anymore. He had a very short temper and yelled a lot. He had been medically discharged and wouldn't look for a new job or accept the job that I lined up for him. He wouldn't use his GI and go back to school. Months went by showing little to no improvement, but finally my sister talked him into going to therapy, but this time one-on-one rather than a group. His progression got a lot faster. He seemed happier, he would go out and do things more, he would visit family, his patience grew. It was amazing at much faster he was healing with the help of therapy. I was almost certain he wasn't going to make it to my wedding because he gets anxious in crowds, but he showed up and seemed to do very well with the large group of people. The kind, funny side of him is back.

    Just show him that you know he's suffering and that it's hard. Tell him you care. If you can talk him into therapy I think you'll get back the man you love.
  4. I'm not drunk, you're just blurry.
    amandalouwho2's Avatar
    amandalouwho2 is offline
    I'm not drunk, you're just blurry.
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    Sep 2012
    Jarrell, Texas

    OP can you please start a thread here:

    Thank you!

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