Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Between the Sheets: The PTSD Position of Sex


 Last year, I wrote a post about Sex and that seemed to be a popular subject among the spouses who are living with PTSD on my blog. I received an email day before yesterday from a reader who shared her story about PTSD and intimacy.  She brought up a valid point when she shared with me that she wasn't sure if half the time if it was her PTSD Veteran....or herself that lacked the interest in sex. I kept thinking about her email yesterday and last night in bed, and realized that I could relate to parts of what she was saying.

The last four years of my husband being home was rough often leading him to be sexually aggressive, or taking a long vacation in the land of no "salutes" mostly due to the all the medicines he was taking. There wasn't a safe in between. The first year, it really took a toll on me because I felt it a slap to my female ego or living with the thought my husband didn't want to be near me. When he was interested, it often took work on my part to get him stimulated which I didn't mind...but every once in a while, you really just want to be ravished and appreciated in bed without feeling like you are doing all the work. After a year and a half, we talked to his psychiatrist and medicines were changed which completely did a 360 in the sex department.This helped, but then it turned into fights because one of his medicines just made him sexually aroused all the time. Now I appreciate sex and have a healthy appetite, but you can only have so much and his needs were never completely fulfilled. I don't believe it ever would have been. His psychiatrist was laughing at me because I was like "its either resting on the tracks or coming at you with full steam....there isn't an easy train ride." I don't think it was the sex I missed because I could have gotten that, but the intimate moments before, during and after sex.

Being intimate doesn't necessarily mean having sex and most misinterpret that. You can have sex all day long, and still not be fulfilling that need of being wanted, loved, or gaining that moment of individual attention. Often times, the sex would be there but it wasn't in the least the romantic, knock your boots off, go to work with that cheesy grin plastered all over your face kind of sex. Often times, our sex life would fulfill him but left me somewhat empty. I always wondered if for a man, they feel the same when PTSD forces itself into bed. It seemed like for a long time, it was me who blamed me. Obviously I wasn't attractive enough, or turned him on like I used to do before he went to war. Then I went through that phase of resentment towards my husband because I felt like he was holding out on me. Now that I am more educated about PTSD, I realize that its hard to be intimate with your spouse if you are emotionally numb. I get that and felt better in the ego department of my head because then I realized it had nothing to do with me.

This past year has been better, but now I don't think it's him but me. I feel as if there is a shift in the relationship so to speak and wondered if other spouses are going through this? I feel myself pulling away a little bit, or feeling as if he just wants a quick, "let's get it over with romp in the hay" and I have no interest in it. It's not that I don't want to have sex, just a small part of me wants it to be better. I think much of it after thinking long and hard on this, is me being the caregiver for him. It has changed my opinion of him drastically and rather think of him in a sexual way...I am thinking "ok you have to call in his medicine, didn't I just remind him to take a shower? Oh God, please don't let him have a bad day-the kids are bitchy and I just can't handle another one on my hands today". Is it possible that being a caregiver to my Veteran has changed our relationship from husband and wife to just Caregiver/Veteran? I care for him like I do my children, always johnny on the spot with the Mother Hen routine. Is this hampering my sexual appetite? 

It's hard to really think about sex when you are looking at someone you really don't know anymore. Granted, things have come a very long way since he has been home, but still much of him is guarded and I will never see that. I try to think of him as a lover and my husband, but often it's hard to do that when all you see is the PTSD and TBI. I try not to be so hard on myself because I know I am under a ton of stress on a daily basis, and I am quite tired mentally and physically. I know I want sex, I want sex with him, so why the hell is it so hard to just hold him and love on him like before? I have noticed that are relationship is closer now, especially since we have been tossing ideas around for the support group. It gives us something in common to work together on and I really love that. The rest though, I feel as if I should just pat him on the back and say Good job for something he has done, or give him a peck on the cheek. The romance has somewhat dwindled on both of our parts, and I am not really sure how to get that part back. 

If I take initiative and want sex, often by the time the kids are in bed and I have showered/bathed...he is passed out in the recliner. So then I go to bed angry and wondering why I even bothered to shave my legs! I end up frustrated with him, frustrated with myself, and more importantly our marriage. So how does one switch between the role of Mother Hen, Wife, Mother, Caregiver and Wonder Woman with ease? Our relationship is closer, our friendship somewhat rekindled after four years of hell...but I just can't seem to put interest back into our sex life. I hate to already be worrying about sleeping in twin beds or separate rooms! Any other spouses finding themselves in this predicament or is it just me? Will it eventually pass and I will find that spark that once turned me on to my husband? How does one get back to the position of having a happy and healthy sexual relationship when living with PTSD? Or has PTSD permanently found a place in between us in the bedroom~

And you thought my title was leading to something dirty,





37 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! I could have written this myself just because I feel the same way! I am seriously thinking about copying this and taking it to my counselor and having her read it just so we can talk about it to see what she has to say! I couldn't have said it better myself! If you get any feedback or help/advice, I would love for you to pass it on. I miss him, that intimacy, so much! And like you said, it's as much about the intimacy as the sex.

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  2. Glad to see you. it's been awhile. There's also a dynamic between a caregiver and a cared-for that may impede the desire to be intimate.

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  3. Phew Gina! Glad to see I am not the only one sexually depriving myself! Hahah! It's hard to be in this situation...especially when you know you love someone, and you want that closeness..but its like you really don't know what to do with them! I hate being in this situation...

    Good to see you too Kurt! I missed ya!!

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  4. I TOTALLY understand everything you are saying, because we are in the same situation. We are also 4 years post injury and I struggle with all of this all the time. I really don't know how to switch between these two roles of caregiver and wife. There are times, when his meds have been the reason why nothing would happen, other times I know it is me and my resentment towards him for feeling more like his mother than wife most days. I am sure a large part of it is also that most of the time he is either angry all day or he is acting like a child (TBI,PTSD) and when we experience those days (they happen frequently) the last thing I want to do is have sex, or even intimacy of any kind. You are not alone, and I would say It's a tough topic because It just isn't the same emotionally after a war and I think as women we connect sexually more on an emotional level, where as for men It is more physical. Great topic!

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  5. Thanks Sara...just saw your blog and added you to mine! I think we are so emotionally starved, that it blocks our sexuality in so many ways. Like you, much of it stems from resentment, anger and a ton of frustration. He can just have the sex part and be just fine..but a huge part of me just feels a void where my emotional level is not being fulfilled. Hmmmm...I don't know if there is such a thing as a happy medium with our vets after war.

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    1. Thats the worst, is the alone feeling. He's there in body, not emotionally which I get so frusterated that I just can't feel intimate

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  6. Thanks for adding me! I am so new at this blogging thing, hopefully I will learn more over time. I agree and It is so incredibly lonely almost all the time. I think it is great that you addressed this issue, because so often people see it as taboo, but really it is an integral part of marriage and it needs to be talked about.

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  7. i too know all to well what you are saying here 'cept i have to opposite problem he Always wants sex .. talks about it jokes about . so much that i have discovered that it is like a addiction to him almost, insecurities, nightmares, waking terrors, flashbacks, just a bad day at work & bam he want sex, needs it almost as if to feel something, anything other than the horrors he lives with daily , i LOVE having sex with my mate, but i don't want it to be what he uses to make himself feel secure i want him to want Me !want him to understand the there is more to my body than just a pair of boobs & a Vjj i want him to touch me like he use to to explore my body not just the usable parts i want him to kiss me & hold me & massage me feel me stimulate me mentally not just my special places i need to do more than just watch him play video games & sex ..lol i need him to see me what my needs are not just for him to need to just to fix himself
    i miss my Lover..

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  8. It's really the hardest part of having a relationship when you feel all you are is an "escape" and sex is used for that purpose. I completely understand how you feel.

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  9. I feel the same way and I didn't understand why. I thought maybe I was just weird and that deployment just screwed me up. I often wonder if I will ever be the fun easy going woman again or if I will fall into the pattern of doing what I do now which is take care of him and not have fun in the bedroom again.

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    1. exNavyChick/hubbywoundedvetJuly 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      Wow I feel just like u posted and how others feel. It's so hard to be happy. I love him dearly but I see I no longer love myself,I dont enjoy anything in life anymore. It's so hard :(. It's nice to know I am not alone in dealing with his PTSD problems.

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  10. Tiff, the relationship I think, changes in so many degrees from deployment and through injuries, that it's really hard to say yes there is a solution to the problem. Right now, I still struggle with the whole "caregiver or am I wife" situation so it turns me off. I don't know why...just feels out of sorts. However, it was something my husband and I discussed and he feels its his fault. Much of his medication just causes too many problems downstairs. The VA will give you Cialis if you talk to your doctor but its only two pills a month. LOL I guess they figure two pills a month is better than no sex at all! It's a tough situation, ours is. It's like we suddenly don't know who we are anymore and that has always been my biggest hurdle.

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    1. hey ask your VA Dr. for the prescript. you can get that refilled at your local pharmacy. for as many as you like. now I know that they cost, but you can have the script filled, and use as often as you like.. except only 24hr. between ea. lol
      have fun good luck

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  11. I couldn't agree more with what you have said. We really don't know who we are anymore and its hard to love someone else when you barely love yourself, and don't get me wrong I love my husband with my whole heart. It's just tough and I have always felt there was not a single sole that understood me. But thank god I found your blog because I have been through similar things that you have witnessed and they are the hardest things to deal with. Tonight I laid in bed and cried like a baby, and why I really couldn't tell ya today was an okay day PTSD wise but his TBI was raising hell as I call it, couldn't remember anything that he had tole me he wanted to get done and I just feel his frustration and pain but I do not want to talk to him about because when I try to tell him how I feel for 1. I feel I am saying the same thing over and over again and 2. I don't want to put more pressure on him than he already has. Any advice?

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  12. Tiff, Ok what I did and the psychiatrist said I was doing an awesome job...was this: I found repeating never works and all it does do, in agreement with you, is piss me off over and over again. I sometimes get mad at him, I sometimes get mad at myself for not remembering what is wrong with him, and then I get pissed off at everyone else! A dear friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, when I called to cry, was that you have to remember their minds just don't work like they used to. Once you get that part understood, it does make somethings a little easier to deal with. This year, what I started doing is smaller tasks. We have a magnetic board on the fridge and ALL the family has something they do on there daily. I made it out to be (hope he doesn't read this!) that I wanted to teach our younger children on chores and responsibility. After a family pow wow of mama and kids, the kids asked what about dad? I am simply am asking on their behalf that he do something to show them how it's done. When your husband's task is completed, praise and make a fuss over it. I know it sounds corny, but you have to remember most of the time, we are usually upset, pissed off, bitching, or sad. Now don't praise him like you would a kid or a dog, but enough to make him strut around a little. I found that these smaller tasks make him feel better with a sense of accomplishment, doing something for me, and it makes him feel normal and manly man. Some may say this is really dorky, but others have tried it and say it works wonders. Once you can get him on that path, the sex part of it usually gets better as well. THEN you can really really praise him! ;) I try not to hover, or take away his testicles as most veterans say their wives do....but I do know that keeping that sadness bottled up inside is hard to do. You want to sit down, with your "old" husband...have a conversation, have a normal fight, have a normal kiss and make up and we don't get that. You are absolutely correct in feeling upset, sad and you have a right to be! I think the spouses get left out while living with all this because to me, we have way more to deal with than they do! Sometimes Tiff, I just tell him anyway. I sit down and we shut the tv off and I just talk. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I yell. I know my husband doesn't act like he cares, sometimes it's lights on and nobody's home with him, but to ME it was needed. The "ME" thing was what made me feel better. Also, they aren't completely gone you know. They are in their somewhere and as you go along...you will see bits and pieces I promise. We are almost 4 years in and I see a huge difference. Maybe its because I am coping better and I think that is probably the case...but he is "reacting" better to me as well. Keep educating yourself, have that cry because damn girl...you deserve it and ALL of us need a good cry occasionally, knock the dust off your pants and keep at it.

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  13. You will find what works best for you and him. You can feel his frustration and pain and that's good...but don't let it completely run everything either. If I don't put the occasional boot up my husband's ass...he will let PTSD and TBI consume him. We are simply, catering to their helplessness and impending their ability to do anything. I think that is really important because if we don't care...they don't care. Does that make sense? Don't overload with a list of things to do. Just one thing at a time. Setting up a routine daily is important. Repetition can help the memory issues. Mine also suffers from "change" issues so having a routine works on both sides of the house. Finding things to do together, whether it just be laying in bed and watching tv together, playing cards (which is good for motor skills and memory) or going for a walk encourages him. I don't know everything nor do I have all the answers, and most definitely don't claim to be a professional. Just simply trying things out, and talking about them. Everything is not perfect in my world as you can see, but we have had so-so days and that is a bump up from having bad days all the time. Try to find things that he is interested in and participate. Mine likes fishing, and while it just doesn't "do it" for me...will participate in almost anything just to get that time with him and feel like we are married. You aren't alone....am always here. Also on FB too (link above or you can find me at facebook.com/unclesamsmistress or just type in Living with PTSD and TBI) where there are many of us, vets included. Sometimes reading their words can be the best help you will ever get. I learned more from them than I ever did from books!! Hang in there....(((Hugs))) ~USM

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  14. PS- Repetition needs to be something they are doing on their own. Not us telling them over and over again. Set a routine, start by telling them and then allow them to keep at it by themselves.

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  15. Thank you for writing this. I have struggled for so long with rejection and trying to make myself believe it isnt me, its him. I went as far as to see a therapist and started taking antidepressants. It helped.
    Then I found out he was having an affair.... So, it WAS me?
    That was a year and a half ago. We are trying to work through things.... most days I think Im the only one who is trying. It is so difficult and so painful. What do you do when the person causing the pain is the one who is supposed to support you through it?

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  16. Thank you so much for the advice. its really conforting hearing from someone else that is "normal" for us military wives. PTSD is just so complicated and no one truley understands what is going on. What you are doing is amazing, you don't need to be a psychiatrics or anything like that, it is just nice to see someone else's point of view on things and to know that there is a great support system out for there for people like me who sometimes just don't understand and sites like this one really bring me back to reality when I feel I have lost control of my life and it is great to know that I can write on here and get great advice on how to handle this. What you are doing is amazing thank you.

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  17. My husband is usually the one asking for sex, I never initiate anymore. I feared it was the caregiver issue, but also I cannot connect the same as even a year ago. I feel like I am alone in our life together, and he wants to connect in the bedroom - but that's all I get from him emotionally. I can't enjoy it. Now I find myself cringing away when he touches me sexually. Meanwhile, you can imagine that this is just destroying him. I want him to know I love him, but I also feel like I give him everything - I don't want to give my body when I just don't feel it. I can come to terms (maybe - its a work in progress) with the PTSD, but I just want one thing that I don't have to sacrifice. I just want to have control over my body. But I look at him and talk to him and I want to be close to him, but I can't connect anymore. I don't know what to do now. I feel a little doomed. Thank you for posting here, I was feeling like a terrible and selfish wife. I think he needs to respect my boundaries while we work through this PTSD together. I have bent my life around the PTSD, I feel like he should be able to get on board with me not wanting sex. I do think he uses it as an escape maybe. I don't know. I'm at a loss. But at least I got some of it out.

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  18. I'm reading these posts and just want to cry. My husband suffers from PTSD after a horrific tour in Iraq and has medically retired from the Army at 15.6 years because of it and a back injury. So, on top of the mental...the physical is a problem as well. He kills his pain with sleeping 14+ hours a day, overtaking/abusing meds, drinking ungodly amounts of cough syrup,drinking alcohol and going on spending sprees with credit cards he got through a P.O. Box I had no idea about. I have been dealing with this for 7 years now...each year getting worse. I am no longer a wife, but a roomie and a caregiver/counselor. Each time I am on the verge of leaving...he does just enough to get me off of his back. Setting an appointment with a psychiatrist, counselor, other medical professional and sleeping through them or blowing them off entirely. I don't know what to do...I have patiently and kindly dealt with these things...but you can't help someone who doesn't want help. What options do I have left, but to stay and be miserable all the time or leave and safe my last bit of sanity? Sorry for the rant...but I knew y'all would understand and most folks I talk with are clueless about this subject. Thanks.

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    1. OMG I FEEL YHE SAME WAY. I FEEL SO ALONE AND HURT

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  19. Chiyono Van Den BroekeNovember 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    Hi my Name is Chiyo, My Husband has had PTSD for 7 years now and i have struggled with this problem as well but in the last year i have finally figured out that he was not the only one who changed during his deployment to Iraq and his PTSD. We both changed i was so angry and frustrated with life that i "lost" my husband who he use to be i was bitter until i realized that he was not the only one who changed. Emotionally we both changed. That has literally changed my emotions about how things happen in our household it is still tuff but not nearly as hard as it use to be, I have come to understand that he is still the Man i fell in love with he has just changed but so have i. how selfish of me for all those years to think that OIF didn't change me. Im glad i stuck by his side and he staid by my side I LOVE him so much and couldn't stand to live my life without him in it. And P.S. our Love life has gotten extremly better since i realized this!!!

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  20. Kelly from Camp LeJeune, NCNovember 18, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    I have been married 24 sometimes amazing and sometimes crappy years. My husband was injured and diagnosed almost seven years ago with PTSD and TBI.After reading the blog and then the comments I felt compelled to join in. I agree with most of the comments about sex, the caregiver role, family complications, work issues,kid problems, money problems...the list goes on. I have thankfully found and attend a PTSD therapy group every other week for wives/caregivers. The first day I went I cried the entire time. It was such a relief to find out so many other women are dealing with the same issues. Being a wife and mother are hard enough to do with calm, grace and style. When you add caregiver to your role it adds so much more stress and responsibility. Some days you feel overwhelmed.
    We also make a list of daily chores for my husband. It helps him focus through out the day with less flashbacks if he is concentrating on a task or job. I have a how to list for every job he does..this means for example, on the inside of our laundry cabinet door is a step by step list of how to wash and then dry a load of clothes from open lid to when buzzer goes off to fold and put in basket. On the flip side we don't have him do things that are stressful for him ie. Going to the grocery store with me.
    This is my good news....although my marriage is different than what I had dreamed it would be....it is still an amazing marriage. Though the dynamics have changed the basic principles are the same. Be kind to each other, laugh together, share your day, talk to each other. My secret is in try to make things as normal as possible. We still have date night now it's a Saturday early movie same for eating out because crowds are stressors doesn't like crowds. We still have a large family dinner on sunday where we all eat at the table, the difference is that now he may need to spend time alone before or after. He wasn't violent before and thankfully he isn't now. We have finally found a combination of medicine that works for both of us.lol. We still sleep in the same bed, some nights we just don't sleep as much or as well. I always try to remember that every family has issues and problems.
    One of the things I struggle with the hardest is convincing my husband that he is an amazing man, father, son, brother, friend and retired USMarine.
    I love Him so much. One of the last things I said to him before that last deployment was the I would love him forever and that he needed to come home to me.
    He did and I still do.

    Sorry I was so long winded, I guess I had it all bottled up inside and am thankful to reach out and share with others.
    Thank you for your blog and allowing me to post.

    Once a Marine wife always a Marine wife...Simper Fi

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  21. exNavyChick/hubbywoundedvetJuly 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    This blog is so helpful. Nice to know I am not the only one going threw this.

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  22. This is great to read because everyday I miss my husband and I feel alone and I'm constantly unhappy because I don't have what I used to but I live him way too much to give up. Ppl in my life think I can do better, but they don't know him the way I do. And I know I cling to how it used to be...that makes it much harder on me. I always feel like he's over it or maybe I'm too chubby or maybe he can do different. And every time I express how lonely I feel he's great at reminding me about what he's going through and how selfish I'm being...so now I just keep it to myself and cry in private because the last thing I want is for him to think im unhappy. It's such a lonely life but im not willing to give up. I need help

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    1. I understand and feel the same way. Its hard being in this position...I love my husband but I miss desperately what we once had. Its been three years and not even so much as a hug...no I love you! I struggle to stay yet I cannot walk away. I cry in private as well because my family does not understand. They think I am crazy for still being here. And all my husband can say is "if you want to be with me you have to learn to deal with it because this is how I am now"
      my only question is..."What about me...what about who I am?" I am just at a loss...

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    2. Awww... sweetheart, I know its tough. I guess its all about how much your willing to put up with. Is he getting any kind of therapy at all? I completely understand when you say you struggle to stay but cannot walk away, and your right other people make you feel crazy,because you can't really talk to them about things. People that have never dealt with ptsd, or with a spouse who has ptsd, really don't understand, hell im still trying to understand, and just because im learning everyday about it doesn't mean I don't have my own issues with accepting it. Being a mother of two children and having a spouse with tbi, and ptsd has been the hardest, most emotional thing in my life,because you have to take care of spouse, and children and remain strong through it all, almost like your losing your mind. It almost feels like we suffer just as much and we just can't seem to make our husbands realize this.or in my case I feel like im doing everything alone and am not appreciated at all. So I guess, I don't really have advice but I can atleast tell you that your not alone,and you must be a very strong woman to be so hurt, and to try to stay and help him. He is a very lucky man, and hopefully one day soon, he will figure that out.

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    3. angie.jenkins70@gmail.comOctober 20, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      I have just recently found this blog. THANK YOU! My husband was in the Navy but his TBI happened at home just over 2 years ago. I have never spoken to another spouse that has walked in what feels to be "very lonely shoes." We have 3 small children and I work full time while my husband is unable to work. Some days I feel like I carry the world on my shoulders and if I crash I will destroy 3 little boys lives along with a TBI husband. I don't want to sound like "misery loves company" but it's nice to read that I'm not the only one struggling to keep my marriage vows intact and my family together.

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  23. The honesty and the message here are so important. PTSD is real and the effects are far reaching. I can feel how strongly you courageous women want your husbands back. I'm so happy that you bloggers are talking about this but sad at your losses. I wonder how many of your PTSD suffering spouses have tried EMDR... no medication required and is proven effective in many studies. One of my best friends from high School has a PhD in Psychology and in private practice in Chevy Chase, MD. She likes EMDR for PTSD patients who don't want to do heavy Psychoanalysis of their traumas and/or can't tolerate medication side effects.

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  24. Thanks so much for writing this. I honestly thought I was alone, the things my fiance was explaining to me made me think I was losing my mind, like it was almost an excuse to push me away. When we got together,he was perfect in my eyes, such a charmer,now it seems his depression, tbi, and ptsd has gotten to him again. I try to help him with everything, go to appts. Take care of his meds,take care of him in general, we were so happy,and im deeply in love,but the past 2 mos. Have been hell for me, we lack any kind of intimacy, he hasn't even slept in the same bed with me,he doesn't compliment me at all anymore, we haven't been able to get out to do anything,he just wants to lay around and pretty much ignore me,and its tearing me apart, he does still tell me he loves me everyday but its starting to be hard to believe, I know he has a lot of issues. With everything that has happened to him, and I can't even begin to imagine, I guess I just desperately want to get him back, any opinions on how I can explain to him, how he's hurting me and how to make him understand?

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  25. USM! I absolutely love your blog. You are so honest and say what is on everyone's mind even if it can be painful. I saw that you already link to BrainLineMilitary.org, which we greatly appreciate! But why I'm writing on this post is because we recently interviewed an expert about the effects of TBI on sexual health. It was one of the most interesting interviews I have been in and she talked about a lot of very real issues for spouses and veterans. Check out her video interview clips here: http://www.brainlinemilitary.org/experts/profile.php?name=Glenn,Parkinson Let me know if you found any of her advice especially helpful! We love feedback! Thank you for what you do :) - Brooke

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  26. I have lived with PTSD from the Vietnam war, been on all sorts of medication and had the sexual problems too. The key is to get off of some of the meds, which cause the side affects. When you learn your problems you will avoid them, medication is just putting you in a comfort zone. Just my opinion.

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  27. I realize this was written awhile ago, but I am literally in tears right now. This is all so new to me dealing with my bf's PTSD. He iscurrently in a seven week inpatient program for PTSD at the VA, and I feel more alone, confused, and rejected than ever. I feel quilty for even wanting more sex/intimacy, let alone mentioning it to him since he has enough pressure on him ad it is. I am depressed, feeling neglected, and helpless.

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  28. I came to this blog in search of insight. I did not marry a man who was deployed but fell in love with a man I met when he came home from Iraq with PTSD and TBI. I know I could choose another relationship path. He is such a wonderful person I am exactly where I want to be. Nonetheless, I get scared some days. There are days I feel like his mother and that is certainly not a turn on. He has periods of time when he has no apparent interest in sex and I do. Reading the posts here give me much needed perspective on these issues. There is a time frame to how long couples have been dealing with these issues and that is helpful. I would like to thank everyone here for sharing these intimate issues. I think on the positive side I do not have to mourn the loss of the man he was before the war. I did not know him. I can only imagine how difficult it is rebuild a relationship with a changed spouse.

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  29. Krisaurand87 @ gmail.com
    If anyone still gets on this blog please email me. I can't post my story here its horrible. Seems like you women have experience and could help me maybe

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  30. This article and this one To the Spouses Who are Enduring Hell, describes what I am going through with my soon to be husband. I did meet him after he was Medically discharged. So I was very aware what he has gone through and the issues he left with from the military. He has attempted suicide 3 times. None with me but has suffered from those attempts. We seem to be on a teeter totter of hell and heaven. Whether it be arguments over cleaning the coffee pot to a screaming/violent fight. We have worked through some rough times but I am noticing a pattern. About every 2 months we stop having sex, we stop going out, we stop doing things we enjoy together. If anything stressful comes up in our life it is the end of the world to him. Right now, he asked me to marry him back in November. I held planning any kind of wedding until around Christmas. Knowing his issue with crowds and such. I decided I wanted a small wedding, very simple and go to go there. Taking into consideration that he is anti any kind of event because he manages to relate good things to bad things that have happened in his life whether it be with the military or personal life. I wanted this day to be the best day of our life filled with memories and such. When I started doing a little for the wedding he completely checked out. No intimacy, no conversation, no public outings. I call it the Elvis has left the building syndrome. I did try and talk to him about this twice. He says what he always says "im not good with change, im so stressed out, etc" Im sorry but I do not find this a credible answer anymore. Its like doing a dance with the devil every time. Im trying to be resonable and step lightly with "this wedding" I did call it off because I realized our relationship is more important than that. He is pissed because I recanted and now he thinks he is ruining my life. Despite my countless efforts to reassure him our relationship is more important. When I ask to discuss issues he thinks I am just venting and there is no resolution or anything. Sex?intimacy becomes unloving and almost traumatizing for me atleast. It lacks the sparks we usually have. And I will admit even though I don't want it I let him do it because I am afraid he will go somewhere else to get it whether it be porn, masturbation, whatever. Its so upsetting and I do not know how to talk about this with him to where he understands my feelings. I feel like I have gone mad just plain mad.

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