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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Do PTSD sufferers understand how their partner feels?

Topic: Do PTSD sufferers understand how their partner feels?

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Rosebud2020
    Rosebud2020 avatar
    2 posts
    2 March 2020
    My PTSD partner wants space and has gone away for a while. I've been feeling like I'm walking on eggshells. She gets angry at me for so many things that seem so unreasonable to me. I never point out how unreasonable I feel she is being. These past few months is the first time I have witnessed the effects of her trauma being triggered. She has gone back to therapy. My questions is... after this passes, will She realise how unreasonable she has been and look at things from a different perspective?
  2. Deckt
    Valued Contributor
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    Deckt avatar
    195 posts
    2 March 2020 in reply to Rosebud2020

    Hey Rosebud2020,

    That's a tough question. It sounds to me that you are being as supportive as you can be. It's quite possible that she will come to that realisation by herself. On the other hand, if she does not, I don't really think that there's anything wrong with (once she is in a better place) talking about your own needs, one of which may be acknowledgment of how things are difficult for you as well. But (and this is something that I've struggled with myself) is the reason that you are supporting her because you love her, or because you want validation? Either is fine, as long as you are clear in your own mind. Are you only supporting her so that she will later say "Gee, Rosebud2020 is awesome. I'm so lucky." Honestly, I have felt unvalidated because I have been remarkably supportive, and this has gone unrecognised, so if you feel the same, that's understandable.

    Hope this helps, I wish you all the best.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
    3557 posts
    2 March 2020 in reply to Rosebud2020

    Hi Rosebud and welcome.

    Reading your post was difficult. Perhaps your story hit a bit too close to home somehow (my diagnosis is major depression and ADHD if it helps to disclose).

    Being a partner and supporting someone is never easy. It's easy to forget that you need support too. Do you have much support for yourself?

    You asked if your partner will eventually realise how unreasonable she has been and it reminded me of my husband saying a similar thing recently.

    I asked him what difference would it make if I said I know I'm being unreasonable?

    When I'm an absolute mess it's not a conscious choice I'm making to feel that way. I can't make myself stop feeling depressed or angry. Sometimes it's just about surviving the day.

    What I can control is recognising I need help and seeking it out. You mentioned your partner has returned to therapy. That in itself shows she is trying and cares.

    To answer your question in the title of your post... No. I have no idea what it feels like to be in my husband position. I don't envy him. Most days I wonder why he even bothers staying.

    But the reverse is also important to consider...

    He has no idea how it feels to live with major depression and to know you're not always in control of your own feelings.

    When I need space and isolate it usually means I'm beyond overwhelmed and unable to perform for anyone. Even talking can be too much. My sole concern is surviving each day and getting back to stable.

    Hubby can't always understand this because he hasn't ever felt like this. It isn't logical or reasonable. But I do what I have to because I love him and our kids and I want to be alive for them.

    No idea if it helps to share this. I hope so.


    1 person found this helpful
  4. LonsyBoy
    LonsyBoy avatar
    6 posts
    7 March 2020 in reply to Quercus

    Ofcourse we do, I feel more depressed about what I did to my partner than anything else that has happened. It makes me feel like I failed her completely even though she was trying to help me

    PTSD and other mental health issues is like driving through a heavy storm and the window wipers can’t keep up, we can’t just pull over and let it pass but the further we drive the more damage we are leading up to (if that makes sense)

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    10938 posts
    7 March 2020 in reply to Rosebud2020

    Dear Rosebud2020~

    I'd have to agree with LonsyBoy, yes you do know how you are behaving. That dies not mean you can change straight away, it does not mean you realise the entire extent of it at the time, and you most certainly will not know all the causes.

    PTSD distorts everything and introduces a while new set of needs, starting with a desire to not interact, and going downhill from there to the point where even a simple inquiry if you would like a cuppa can be met with resentment and anger.

    That's not the complete list by a long way but will do for now.

    I knew I was being impossible, even cruel. Sometimes in better patches I'd try to make up for it, though I felt guilt all the time. Love was there but buried so deep I did not know it. Stopped me being violent or too cruel. I'd even try to help or make a cuppa. A small return on so much grief.

    I did improve, and wondered why my partner stuck with me though all that, she said it was love.

    I always felt I owed her a great debt.

    Years later she had a lingering illness, with 9 months in hospital before she passed away. I was there for her every night, and sometimes during the day too. I've always been thankful for the opportunity to repay.


    1 person found this helpful
  6. Skye79
    Skye79 avatar
    4 posts
    28 June 2020 in reply to Rosebud2020

    I have PTSD and depression and anxiety I been married now for 20yrs, my husband has alway tried his best to support me.

    sometimes I don’t know how he does it because I push him away, I’m the same I go through weeks of just being so Angry and frustrated and fight getting through the day.

    I have no idea how my husband has been strong enough to support me for so long because he tells me he loves me all the time but when you hate yourself it’s the hardest thing to believe that he does.Even though I do know depth down he’s stuck around this long.

    18mths ago while seeking help I was advised to be honest with my husband and kids now that they are teenagers and really stop hiding my pain and talk it out with them.

    See I always hide what was really going on in my head my true thoughts, so we sat down as a family and talked, this helped answer a lot of questions with my kids and hubby, he never understood why sometimes I just sat in front of tv for hours or slept all day, or just lost it in a fit of anger.

    The kids to said it helped explain why I just couldn’t do stuff with them or be able to have there friends over.

    So as a family we decided on a plan the kids wanted to know if I woke up and it was not a good day, that’s all I had to say and then they knew it wasn’t them. I never wanted my kids to grow up thinking I didn’t love them I would do anything for my kids.

    Hubby and I to decided to talk more he might not of liked things I had to tell him but there was things he needed to know like everyday I wake up and I don’t want to be here so then I struggle all day just to do the basics, and that I don’t know what it feels like to be happy, this was hard for him to hear but on the other side it’s something he can’t fix, I just need to be left alone sometimes or to be held and to be told he loves me.

    You sound like you are a beautiful supportive husband and I just want to say hang in there. Enjoy the small things

    Even though I know I’m being unreasonable I try hard but can’t control it, so maybe when she does feel a bit better might be able to talk and make plans to help you both.

    sorry to hear you and your partner are going Through this pain

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