A very common scenario when dealing with PTSD: My boyfriend has PTSD and has pushed me away. This is one of the saddest causalities of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. What do you do when your boyfriend or girlfriend who is suffering with PTSD pushes you away? The most obvious answer is to leave them alone for a while and hope that they can sort it all out and come back to the relationship soon. But as women, that truly does go against our nature. We want to draw closer to someone that we love when we know that they are hurting. We try to be comforting and supportive. This is instinctual for us. It feels like we are �falling down on the job� as women to go away and leave someone alone when they are in emotional pain. After all, when we are in emotional pain, the last thing that we want is to be left alone. It just feels so wrong.
The truth is, if your boyfriend, husband, or partner who has PTSD tells you that he needs some time alone, not honoring that request will do more damage than you might imagine. This type of request is never made without him considering the risk that it could make you angry, suspicious, or even jealous. We women do tend to read those types of themes into these requests. When you consider that we are dealing with PTSD, I wouldn�t jump straight to those conclusions unless he has previously given you a reason to do so.
People who have PTSD can become overwhelmed very easily and very quickly. Sometimes they have to be alone to recharge their batteries. Sometimes they need some time to sort out all of the craziness that is going on in their heads. Men who have PTSD are still men and we all know that they have to crawl in their caves every once in awhile regardless of whether they have a stress disorder or not.
The worst thing that you can do is send a steady stream of texts letting him know that you love him, are thinking about him, and hoping that he is ok. That will actually add to his stress and make him go deeper into himself- thus pushing you away even farther.
The good news is that there is something that you can do that will earn you major brownie points while making him feel respected and cared for. When you get these types of requests for space, give him a big hug and a kiss, if he will allow it. Tell him that you understand and that you will be calling him at a specific time the next day. Then, call him at that time. If he is still pushing you away, tell him that you will call him at another predetermined time. What you are doing is respecting his wishes, while letting him know that you won�t be pushed away too far. You will be in touch with him (whether he likes it or not) and if he�s not any better mentally, you�ll give him more time.
Set the boundary of communicating once or twice a day when he is like this. It will keep you from going crazy wondering how he is and what is going on. Dealing with a boyfriend or a girlfriend who has PTSD can be challenging and confusing at times. Sometimes you have to use a lot of critical thinking, common sense, and flexibility. At times, it is hard to know what will be the most helpful and what will set the person off. Ultimately, education is the key to dealing with PTSD. Once you know what to expect, it is not too difficult to personalize a solid plan that is specific to the person that you love.
Erin Harrington. I hold a BHSM and a MS/P. I have worked in the field of mental health for many years. In addition to being a sufferer of PTSD, I specialize in helping those who also have this disorder as well as the people that love them. Want to know how to manage and minimize the symptoms of PTSD and regain control of your life once again? Are you looking to help someone that you love through Post Traumatic Stress and have the best possible relationship with them? Visit my website below to find out how to bring the joy back into your life.