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We'Re On The Edge

My Marine and I are going through the most difficult period of our relationship yet. His deployment is already very close and I find it harder day by day to deal with his mood swings and his increasing inability to communicate in the loving and attentive way I have got so used to. He is also more and more annoyed with the pressures of the instructing assignment he has, he tells me he is always the one who "gets screwed" when it comes to teaching classes or to keep duty hours during field exercises. Lately he has turned to switching off his mobile, telling me he is "just done" with ringing back to people calling from the US, and in general he acts as if he can't be bothered about anything - and that includes dealing with me. The top (or should I rather say, low point) of it came when he decided to spend his last weekend of overnight liberty getting trashed with his mate instead of spending time with me. I was so heartbroken and frustrated that I talked about it to an acquaintance who is a counselor specializing in military couples, and she told me for all she knows it sounds as if my Marine is suffering from PTSD and that he probably should get treatment. Well, fat chance, with him going on deployment so soon. So I did a little bit of research on the matter and, well, me being of course an absolute layperson in these matters but I noticed in him several of the symptoms described as classic for PTSD: physical hyperactivity and jumpiness, anxiousness and guilt about the upcoming deployment, inability to sleep through the night, physical and mental exhaustion - he is a stickler for detail on orthography when it comes to writing mails and messages, and often corrects me when I misspell or use wrong words, but of late his typing just goes wild.

And yeah, hardest for me to deal with his impulsive anger at tiny things, alternating with emotional numbness. He was gone for a while on inter-operability training and I was so happy when he got back. We were skyping ever evening before his return and he looked so happy, but then we he got in he just sent me super-short text "I've made it back" and then stayed out of touch for several days. He has been in the USMC for 8 years and has deployed five times, including two times to Afghanistan. Whenever we talk about his upcoming deployment I can see him being worried but at the same time he always tries to reassure me that he will be fine because he's "been there before".

I really do not know anymore how to deal with him - and with my own anxiety as well, since every time he goes into what I now call his "Marine mode" I start thinking this is about me, and that probably he discovered that his feelings for me are not strong enough. I raised this subject countless times and he always says that "that is not it at all". When we argued badly after his night on the town and I really wanted to break up he said he didn't accept my words and he would do everything to see me again. I really do not want to let him down (I know a previous relationship broke during deployment) but I start feeling over my head with worries for his well-being, fear of the distance and my anxiety about his feelings for me. There are days when I am really sure he just dropped me and won't ever get back to me, well he did get in touch every time, but I am still constantly on the edge with this feeling :(

The worst thing in fact is that he's warned me about it, when the dates of the deployment became more clear he told me I should think about staying with him "not only with my heart but also with my head" because he didn't want me to get hurt in the process of his deployment. Well, at that time he still was his amazing and caring self and I didn't understand what he meant by that but now I do feel how rough all this is on me. (Obviously I can only speculate how hard it is for him.) I am doing yoga, I started to write diary, I am going to start working out more regularly again but still at times I find it hard to concentrate on my daily life. I am just really unsure what to think, and what to do, about it all :(
CarnationPink CarnationPink 31-35, F 1 Response Feb 27, 2013

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Carnation why don't you talk with that counselor and ask her if there is a way you could handle it better? that helps smooth it out a bit? I've never handle PTSD before and I don't think that is an easy thing to do...

Honeybee, thanks, I am actually planning to do that. I am really frightened by the prospect of what it all may mean though, on the other hand it breaks my heart to think of him going through all this by himself. When we met he was just super lively and attentive and full of emotions, he could talk for hours and he would nonstop text me and call me. Now when we video chat I see his face becoming more sad and tired and exhausted every day, and the only time he smiled of late was after our fight - when I got tired arguing and I told him, hey just smile at me once. He said, only if you smile at me first, and then we both laughed at how stupid we had been wasting our precious time on arguments. But sure enough, a call came in saying he has to pick up classes from another Marine and his frustration was triggered again. I am really sympathizing but at the same time he just sometimes makes me so mad. It's almost as if I and my feelings did not exist anymore for him. That's tough from a guy who would sms me to sleep and massage me for hours when I had THESE days or was just in a bad mood :(

Yes is like we are demanded to by psychologists with this guys.