My boyfriend is suffering from PTSD and pushing me away what do I do?

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I'm hoping someone can give me some advise.

Me and my boyfriend have been together nearly 6 years everything was perfect we bought our dream home and we planned our future for when he came out the army. March last year he left the army and to start with everything was good then last June he decided out of no where things weren't working and he wanted space so I moved back to my mums. After a couple of weeks he told me it was over and he didn't want to be with me anymore. I was destroyed heartbroken to me it came out of no where and he destroyed all our dreams and plans. Then after about of month of being nasty to each other and arguing he admitted to me he had been to the doctors and had been diagnosed with PTSD he had been put on tablets and put in touch with a counsellor. He told me he felt he needed me around but couldn't make any promises about out relationship and if I couldn't cope to walk away. I still loved him unconditionally so I stood by him and was there when he needed me and gave him space when he needed it. It was heartbreaking to watch the man I fell in love with who had always been so strong falling apart and I couldn't do anything to make it all better. He started to get better and as he did our relationship started to mend and by Christmas we were back living together and rebuilding our relationship. It was hard he went through phases of being really loving to being distant but I started to learn to give him space I even stayed at my mums once a week to give him some time on his own. Then a few weeks ago it happened again exactly the same time as last year he said he needed some space he still loved me but asked me to go to my mums for a while. This time it was slightly different cuz he phoned me regularly text me all the time and we saw each other and when we did it was like normal. Then the last week he distant himself from me and then at the weekend said it wanted to end it. I know this is his PTSD but I don't know what I can do to help him and make him see the answer isn't giving up on us. I love him unconditionally and would do anything for him but I feel so helpless and lost. Hope someone can help. X

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  • Posted

    Hi Charlotte...

    I'm a Vietnam vet who has struggled with PTSD since before it had a name or anyone was talking about it.  Based upon what you have described, your husband's behaviors are pretty typical.

    Hang in there.  Help him get into counselling.  Go with him.  Take advantage of the programs offered by the Veteran's Administration.  Good luck and best wishes to you.

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  • Posted

    Is there an update on your situation? I to am struggling with my vet who I've been dating a year. He suffers from PTSD. Going on about 7 years now. When we met he was up front and honest telling me he will never be what I want him to be and is unable to love. I ofcourse didn't wanna believe that, figured with the right person he would be able to learn how to love again. His ex wife left him not long after he got out of the Marine Corps. This year has been a rollercoaster we started of as fwb about 2 weeks in I had questioned him on something that was bothering me. He would invite me over and as soon as I'd say yes he'd changed his mind so I asked why.. that set him off. It's been a learning experience he would go a few days ignoring me then things would be fine that happen from December 2015 till March 2016 it was a pattern,just gave him spaced yet would text him telling him I was thinking of him and was here when he was ready to see me. I knew I had to be patient and understanding I never questioned why he would ignore me just kind of let it go. From March till September we were great, seeing each other more often and it had been 6 months since he last ignored me then one morning in September I came over to bring him breakfast and he knew I was coming but he was leaving as I pulled into his driveway I got upset but didn't yell or cuss just asked why he didn't tell me he was leaving. I left the food there in a bag that I loved and I text him a few hrs later and no reply I gave it a few days and told him I was coming to get my bag and to leave it on his Porch if he didn't wanna see me . I pulled up and he called the cops. I was devastated I stuck by this guy for 10 months and I almost got arrested for just knocking on the door. There was no fight or anything. Cop said he throw my stuff away. At that point I didn't care about the bag next thing I know he blocked me from calling or texting. I cried for weeks! Was devastated. I downloaded a tx app and sent him a message saying that I missed him and wanted to put the cop situation behind us and he replied. We had went the whole month of September not talking. We saw each other the next day, things were great we got even more closer and we did things we've never done like going to eat and he took me to the fair. When we first were first intimate he never would look me in the face but he finally started to! At that point I knew he was feeling something, but I didn't wanna push it so I didn't bring it up. I had told my feelings back in January he knew I loved him and made a promise to him when we first met that I wasn't going anywhere and I would never hurt him. I've stuck to that promise for 13 months now. So after about the first 3 weeks in October he went back to ignoring me for 5 days then he text me and I went and seen him then at that point it was time to talk, it was time to stop sweeping everything under the rug I sat down with him and asked him what he wanted and how he felt about me he told me that if I was looking for him to say I love u, them words will probably never come out of his mouth. I told him I just wanted him to be honest with how he felt i also said that his actions show a lot and he said yes they do. I expressed how i felt and what I wanted he did say he wanted to be with me. He also admitted that when I gone he misses me but didn't like how that felt. I had to remember that he has been single for 6 years so I needed to go at his pase and not push anything. We say each other 3 days later and then all of a sudden he started ignoring Nov 1 2016. Ugh so I wrote him a text saying I loved him and I'm always here no matter what but I felt that I had failed him me maybe I shouldn't of pushed the fact inwanted more of a commitment on to him. I told him I felt like I had failed at making him happy and feeling loved and wanted. It was about 1230 am when he replied back saying I didn't fail him and I said It feels like it. He replied with I'm sure it does. He then said " I do love you as much as I'm capable of". Which shocked me. I knew deep down he did and the fact that he was able to feel that made me happy! I knew there was still hope I knew he is capable of feeling something he just has to learn it again. Well it's been 2 weeks since he sent that text and still no word from him I do text him every other day or so to let him know I'm still here. I love him with everything I have I'm 35 and he's 39 I've never felt this way before we have a very strong connection. I won't give up until he tells me it's over! If your still with your BF I would suggest reading everything u can about PTSD and maybe seeing A therapist to help you better understand him and what he's going through. That is my next step. I tried asking him what triggers him but he said anything can. I also asked why he ignores me and he said " there are somethings you don't need to be apart of ". I wasn't sure what that meant and he said I don't want to her u! Not sure if he mean physically. He hasn't opened up to me so I'm still learning. But it takes a lot of Patience and understanding. If you stayed with him just know it's going to be hard and possible won't ever get easier depending on if he gets the right help. Just keep giving him space and don't sit at home crying. Go out with friends take some extra shifts at work. Keep busy if you don't your gonna end up depressed you can't let his illness get to you. As much as you want and think you can help him you can't. Just gotta reassure him that you love him and your there for him. I don't know if I'll ever hear from my vet again but I have hope. He knows I won't wait forever but knows no matter who I'm with I will always be there if he needs me. I tend to keep that promise. I believe that if In was to block him and move on, that it will only make things worse for him. His wife gave up on him and I refuse to! Stay strong get some help to better understand and read,read,read! If you ever wanna talk, you can E mail me 😊

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  • Posted

    You can't help him hun. He has to figure this out on his own and or with therapists. All you can do is support him and be there as much as he will allow you. I use to think the same thing, I wanted to fix him but I can't I can just love him for who he is and be there when he needs me. You gotta ask yourself if your gonna be able to handle this for possible the rest of your life? It will get hard before it gets easy. I've gotten so use to being ignored and pushed away that I expect it. But nothing you can do or say will fix him they have to fix themselves. But you can't sit around and let it consume you. You need to keep busy. If you don't, your gonna end up driving yourself crazy and start feeling depressed.

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  • Posted

    Your post breaks my heart and helps me understand my boyfriend, an Army medic deployed 3x. I don't have advice because I'm looking for answers. But no matter what they are going through, they need a lot more tools dealing with relationships. I feel lucky because my guy broke it off even though we signed a 30-year lease and made plans all the time. I was so in love and so happy. There was nothing more I wanted to do then come home to him every day. But something triggered his ptsd and he shut down, slept on the sofa, and watched TV. No more communication. It was like an alien invaded his body and made him a jerk. Then he announced he was moving out. And boom, I feel like a balloon looking somewhere to land. My only advice is to move forward, meditate, and put your focus on you. Date but don't live together. Be sure he has coping tools before moving in. He needs to do a lot of work in battling his demons. It's so sad. I wish the VA did a better job at helping vets. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Charlotte is he on medication?? PTSD is a disease that your boyfriend can't control, I know it is very hard on you when it occurs. I deal with the same stuff with my wife, she suffers PTSD and anxiety and Depression.. Even though my wife is on antidepressants those medications eventually stop working cuz your body starts getting immune to them. Now let me know this, when your boyfriend needs space from you is he messing around on you, is he cheating?? That's one thing you're going to have to find out considering when you love soneone and they want space from you , it makes you think why?? If he is cheating on you I say kick him to the curb. I know you love him but you're also a human being and being with someone that has this disease gives ypu every right to find out the truth. The most important thing for you is to try to focus on yourself , I know it's easier said then done but you can not let him walk on you because his actions towards you make you feel like you're a convienence. Correct me if I am wrong but this is pretty much the same stuff I deal with with my wife. I'm not saying go out and cheat on him but when he gets this way try to find out the truth while focusing on yourself, I know you Love him just like I love my wife with all my heart but you got to tell yourself this. You can't force someone to Love you and can't force someone to be faithful to you. There are a lot of selfish people in this world and by him pushing you away is a selfish act he might not realize he is doing that to you but it is very selfsih. Word of advice fight for him if you love him like you say you do but don't chase him and don't give him too much space. You ever hear the term give soneone an inch then they take a mile?, follow that because what he is doing to you is not normal. So I hate to say this but for your own sanity , become a spy , you have every right to . Try not to get busted but again you deserve the truth , if you need my help , I will gladly help you because I went through the same stuff with my wife. Hang in there and I pray for you

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  • Posted

    My fiance is doing the same thing. We have been together since 2000, we were split up in 2004 because of a stunt his ex wife pulled. We found each other again in Oct of 2016. All of a sudden this past 3 weeks he has been distant and pushing me away. I love him and want to be with him, I just don't know what to do.

    I also suffer from PTSD but for different reasons. I was raped over a couple of months when I was 7.

    Please any help or suggestions welcome.

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  • Posted

    My boyfriend just recently moved out of my home, he said it was due to our not being compatible. We've known each other for about seven years and we would date off and in here and there, but nothing ever solid. We started dating regularly back in December of 2016. We had (in my opinion at the time) minor flair-ups here and there, never anything that serious. I asked him to move in recently (July 1) and he was delighted, so he did. I wish now that I knew what to expect and how to deal with it, but he slowly became distant and uncaring which is not his normal behavior. I remember going to work for a few hours on August 12 after I saw him off for his day. I came home to find that he had moved all of his belongings completely out; I was distraught. After a few days and after me sending him an email of care and love, he decided that we weren't compatible, again I was distraught. I've read several articles of mixed opinions on this matter, but what I found common was that this is sometimes what's to be expected. All it takes is for something said, something done, or sudden changes and that could turn their already up-side-down world even more. You're dealing with someone who is constantly using a lot of energy just to cope and when they're faced with extra stress they are either going to fight or flight. So although we have no immediate plans of reconciliation, I've learned so much more of how to approach and deal with my ex-boyfriend. I hope this has helped a little.

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  • Posted

    I'll start again given that this damn computer cut off part way through!  PTSD - where do I start?  I am the one with it!  You need to give yourself some time to cope with this as well as your boyfriend there is only so much you can do.  Take it from me PTSD is horrible, my husband has had to get help for himself to cope with me and my problems, this is  unfair is a marriage that is just 9 years old.  I suffer from PTSD as I was raped and this was never dealt with at the time.  It's horrible having PTSD it's even worse trying to deal with someone who has it.  I have tried to get my husband to leave, told him having no family was my fault as I was raped, tried to kill myself and blamed myself for it all, I've self harmed, then sought help.  Luckily I had help through rape crisis, who were fantastic.  You need help for you and you need him to get help for himself.  Just give him time, you may need to talk to your doctor and see if there is something he can take to help him good luck it's hard and I should know as I know from the other side!

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  • Posted

    Wow. I have been searching for this discussion for days. I especially appriciate the input fro the Veterans with PTSD and their input.

    My guy is a Navy Veteran with diagnosed PTSD. I have PTSD from domestic abuse so I feel like the fact that we have made it this far (living together for 4 1/2 years) is an accomplishment.

    Some of the descriptions of what some partners/ significant others are going through sounds heart wrenching. (I wouldn't be able to do it).

    My guy does this quite a bit. He throws a fit, and makes a big show of leaving and takes off, usually to his best friends from high school (this includes his ex girlfriend). Then , I hear from him eventually, that he loves me and is coming  home. Drinking makes this whole cycle worse and now that he got a job- work (with lots of overtime plus drinking) makes a relationship pretty tough. He seems to not want me to have to suffer with it anymore. He took off to live at his job, took two pairs of clothes and I don't hear from him anymore. (One week tomorrow)

    I brought him a pie at his work and he had whiskey and a beer in his work station. Despite it all, I love the guy and I dearly miss him, he loves/loved me like a rock and I cannot bring myself to throw that away.

    I really hope he wants to start anew with me and I pray he is willing to do therapy with me.

    Doing all this research is helping me realize so many/ all the things I hated about his personality are PTSD symptoms. 

    It effects me differently. I get spooked by men, loud men, handsy men in close quarters... I used to take off in my car, or withdraw... I guess it's pretty similar actually.

    Godspeed to you all. This life is a long one. I am a therapist myself and highly recommend dancing, EFT,  animals and apologizing when you made a mistake. Cheers.

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  • Posted

    This is really helping me because I've gone through the same thing with a man that I truly love.  He was in the Army and saw things in the Iraqi war.   He suffers from PTSD, he drinks, he's volatile.  I tried understanding and I took the yelling and false accusations against me.  Just recently (a week ago), he ended things and I've been reeling over it ever since.  I've not reached back out to him because he ended things even though my heart is trying to mend over this - I don't know what to do.  This is very devastating to me.

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  • Posted

    Reading this was a God sent to help me understand why my very gorgeous army bf blocks me out after being so wonderful and loving.

    He just swipes me like I no longer matter.

    He tells me that he going through a bad time .... but works away so it is very hard to reconcile anything without that human contact. Looking into his eyes.

    This is now the second time he has done this. It distroys my soul.

    When we are good and he is not suffering it’s a dream. But then he becomes this person I don’t know.

    I’m so proud of what he has done in his career and we have done counselling together and he was progressing well. But In a matter of 2 days left for work and went down  spiralling saying he is very confused and wants nothing to do with me. I give him space and only text once a day.  Just to stay in touch and so that he knows I’m still here.

    He calls me sometimes but is so quiet I have to do all the chatting.

    His job is highly stressful and his sleep patterns are 3-4 hours a night.

    He has the same bad dream every night and I can feel when it kicks in after he falls asleep.

    He is text book ptsd.

    He refuses to take any medication.

    He has said that I’m the love of his life and we have been together 2.5 years.

    Ivd now learnt that he has been on a dating website and talking to other women while he has been away. He works remotely so there’s no chance of any physical action. But this made me feel physically sick.

    I’m in a relationship with two people- an evil vindictive man and a dream man.

    I’m a highly successful career woman and think I have a brain to think this through ....

    But do I wait again for him to “click back “.....

    I’m so heart broken.

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    • Posted

      Please understand that every symptom you just mentioned I am currently going through. From the breaking up  to  him joining dating websites. I try not to give up hope, but I truly don’t see an end to this pattern.  I’ve had to reach out to his mother and his ex in order to get a response out of him which I don’t think will really help.  I really don’t know what to do at this point.
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry you're going through this as I went through the same thing.   I've since learned that he had sociopathic issues before going into the Army and that he has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).   If you research this, you will find that all of the symptoms are there and they have absolutely nothing to do with PTSD.   Many people have PTSD - my wonderful cousin has it from her baby boy passing away in her arms after a long illness.   People with PTSD are not sadistic.   Please do yourself a favor and Google this - it will  enlighten you.   It has for me as I am still  recovering allowing this fool to get into my head.  I'm actually in therapy.

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