How do I help? Military BF

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Hey Everyone,

 I am not even sure where to start and could probably type/vent all day and feel like I have not adequately explained things, therefore I am going to keep this somewhat short and if you have questions we can go from there.

My boyfriend just got out of the Army a month ago, he is home for 2 years to finish college and then he will go back into the Army as an officer. He is having a extremely hard time adjusting and seems to be "on edge" all of the time. I know during this month I should have just been patient and supportive but unfortunately life threw some hard times my way (my grandmother died, and a few other things). I know he is suffering from PTSD and having flash backs from when he deployed. He has talked about it some and just said when he got home going through this nearly killed him but having his squad helped.. that he just has to find a way to cope.  When he first got back he had mentioned a break and I just was not for it I said if he wanted a break it sounded like we should just break up. Fast forward a month and we have tried but seem to fight over little things, he mentioned a break again and I guess that is what we are doing. He has been wonderful in explaining that it is not me it is him but that is so hard for me to process because I am not going through what he is. I guess my question is what can I do to help? How do I give him space to figure out things and get better and still show him I love and care.. I know it is going to be a fine line and I am hoping there are some veterans on here that can really help me see what to do.

Thanks

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hugs,  hugs and plenty of hugs,  reassurance and some space if he needs it,  ask for some help for you off your doctor and explain to them exactly what you said on here.  It's hard,  I have PTSD through some other reason and understand,  he might need some mild medication to help him out.  Good luck. X

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I started seeing a consular 2 weeks ago and that seems to help me some. It is just SO hard for me to not take him needing space personal, I know deep down it is not about me and he tells me that is is not but it is just really hard not to worry about our future or make it personal.
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    • Posted

      I understand your view,  but PTSD is very misunderstood,  both parties need support,  it's tough as the person without it feels trapped not knowing what to do to help at all.  The person with PTSD has an overwhelming feeling of guilt for putting the other person through it. Does he have to go back,  if he does will he do the same job he did before.  The Army try to help their soldiers and serving officers these days I think. May be a short trip to the doctors with you may help,  I'd you can drag home there! Either way if he goes back he's got to be more supported than he is now.  Is this the only thing he wants to do? It needs to be something he may be thinks about. Good luck,  a tough path follows! 

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    • Posted

      You are exactly right! I explained to him last night more that the fear of losing him the pain of knowing I can do nothing to help him sucks, because if I could I would take it away or lessen it. He has explained that there is nothing I can do and that he does not want to put me through this that is why he needs space which is hard for me because I do not get a choice. He is so protective of me that it does not matter if I want to go through it with him.  Yes he has to go back per the contract and they put a note in his file saying he needs to go back to the same job ( the curse of being good at what you do). They are supportive however there are still issues with being able to get help and do your job depending on what that job is. I did find out he is speaking to his old consular on the phone weekly so that is encouraging and he has reached out to a few guys in his old unit that have went through this and really helped him the first time. Thank you again I really appreciate the reassurance.
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    • Posted

      Look after you,  he's helping himself,  go out and enjoy yourself - give him space.  Find out when he's back and go from there,  1 step at time. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I am trying the space thing is VERY hard for me because we have never went a day without speaking but I am making myself not reach out to him today so we will see how it goes.
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    • Posted

      Aw you're trying,  he'll are that hopefully and will hopefully reach out to you instead.  Tough isn't it? My husband lets my counsellor do that job as it's too hard for him.  We've been through lots of different things recently all very emotionally tough,  but we try to give each other some space and some time together.  See how he gets on.  Oh and you. 

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    • Posted

      I really am, I fought the space thing for almost a month because it felt so personal but I also realize that we keep fighting over little things and that something has to give it is just so hard. I keep looking at the clock and thinking it is noon how have you not thought about me yet.. even though I know it is not the case it is where my mind goes. Hopefully everything works out for us sooner rather than later, it is just with my past this is so hard for me. 
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    • Posted

      Hang on in there you're being very brave.  Do something you want to do now and you never know he may ring. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you I just wish there was a handbook or a time frame, he says I can contact him but I am just not sure I should make the first contact. I am working for several more hours so hopefully at some point he does. 
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    • Posted

      He actually called about an hour ago, it was a short conversation but it did give me hope. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks, I had hope yesterday he called 3 times which was nice we just talked about what he was doing with his son that day. However today I just woke up hopeless again. I know I have anxiety because of my past and that I am projecting things onto this but I am trying. Hopefully today he reaches out as well.
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    • Posted

      Give yourself a break,  you're doing your best.  Don't be so tough in yourself.  He's not your past I've had to learn that myself.  I'm getting there! You will do too. X

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    • Posted

      I said goodbye to him, I just don't think I'm cut out for breaks. My anxiety is through the roof and I am just so sad. It has been a roller coaster ride for the last month and I love him with everything in me but I can't be sad all the time. 

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