Need to Understand the Illness

  I do not have PTSD, I am only in a relationship with someone who does, but I am looking to understand it better and get some advice.  My boyfriend of almost two years has PTSD from serving in Iraq nearly four years ago.  Most of the time our relationship is fine, and while he will have issues dealing with his ptsd, he does not take it out on me.  However, sometimes he does take it out on me and that's where my struggle comes in.

Currently we are in a long distance relationship, but I was planning to move up there in a few months when I graduate from college.  He was all gung-ho about this and excited.  However, suddenly he told me that he is scared for me to move up there and that things won't work out between us and that I'll have moved and he will have ruined my life.  I can understand the fear associated with me moving because that's a big change, but then it became more than that.  He went on to say that he didn't feel like we had a relationship, but only a friendship.  This really hurt me because I know we have a relationship.  I asked him how he could say that, and he said that he's never had a good relationship and doesn't know what that is, but that we just have a friendship, and he cares about me more than anyone, and we have a good sex life, but its just a friendship.  I tried to explain that what he was describing is not a friendship, but that is what a good relationship is.  He went on to say he just wasn't sure, and I asked him why then he told me he loves me and puts so much effort into me if he thinks we're just friends.  He told me his feelings he thought were those of love but that he doesn't know what love is really.  He continued to say that he doesn't have emotions and doesn't have an emotional connection to me or even to his son, and that he wanted to be single and find an emotional connection with someone so he could come back to me.  I told him that if I really do not make him happy and he really wants to find emotions with someone else that while it pains me to go ahead, but that I am not going to stick around while he dates other people and builds a bond with them because that makes no sense.

He then said that no that's not what he meant, he doesn't want me to leave and he doesn't want to date other people.  But he went on to say that he does want a relationship with me and that he wants to build things with me and grow in a relationship with me.  I told him that if that's true then what he was saying before wasn't logical.  It was a very circular argument and he continued just going round and round first saying he wanted to be with me, then saying he didn't, then saying he did, saying he didn't want me to move there, then saying he does want me to move there.  I told him I felt like he was pushing me away and he said that he was pushing me away because that he doesn't know if I am strong enough to handle him long term, and that if I knew the thoughts he really had in his head everyday that as soon as I knew them I would leave and push him away.


This really hurt me because I have always been there for him, and I have never once wanted to leave or run away, I was so hurt that he doesn't believe I would stay with him.  I know I will never understand what thoughts are in his head, but that doesn't mean I don't want to try and I don't want to be there for him and I don't want to support him.  Our conversation just kind of ended there, he wanted to go to bed, and said he'd talk to me at some point later.  So I have no idea what happened, I don't know if we broke up, I don't have any idea what happened.


i want to give him his space but I am scared to lose him.  I am scared he is going to throw everything away just because he can't handle his emotions.  I have started to research and I think all of this is related to his ptsd.  I have seen him have emotions with me, and I believe that he does have a connection to me, I would know if he didn't I feel like.  But he doesn't see that, or is scared to see that, or something.  I no longer feel like I can do this on my own, I don't feel like I know what to do about him on my own, but I don't want to lose him, and I want to show him I am here for him no matter what, but I don't know how to and I don't know what to do anymore.  I am looking for some advice or some something to help me with this relationship.  This isn't the first time this has happened, there's been other times he tries to push me away, but then will come back and act like nothing happened and when questioned really has no recollection of teling me those things or trying to push me away.  It is just really hard and I need some advice.

mla479 mla479
22-25, F
2 Responses Mar 14, 2009

I'm not sure I can actually give you advice, but I have PTSD and am pretty articulate, so if you want to understand more about it from the horse's mouth, message me. I know it can be really difficult for the family/friends of the PTSD sufferer, but understanding more about how we feel, what we go through, and why we think/say/do the things we do, can really go a long way in helping you learn how to work with it.

I am in exactly the same situation as you . I have just decided to take it day by day. though sometimes i forget and expect him to be like someone without ptsd and take it very personally even for a few moments.<br />
If you love him tell him you will be there whatever as longs as he lets you know its a bad day you can deal with it.