Saturday, July 13, 2013

Making your marriage last even with PTSD

Making your marriage last even with PTSD
De-tour Combat PTSD Survivor's Guide
Kathie Costos
July 13, 2013

When I wrote FOR THE LOVE OF JACK HIS WAR MY BATTLE it wasn't about saving marriages of "normal" couples. It was about saving marriages like mine. Being married is hard enough but when you add in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the odds of staying together are pretty slim. We had been together for 20 years by the time it was done so I figured I had a lot to share and more than enough experience to prove that it was not impossible once couples had access to the knowledge I had to learn from clinical books and making plenty of mistakes.

By the time we met, at the age of 23, I was already divorced. My ex-husband tried to kill me. The last thing I wanted was to fall in love again and live with someone else. Jack was getting divorced too. Two failed marriages topped off with what my Dad called "shell shock" back then. While what war did to many war fighters was not new, it was all new to me. I never really paid much attention to my Dad, a Korean War veteran, or to my uncles, all WWII veterans. I didn't plan on paying attention to what he did ten years before we met. Much like his ex-wife, I didn't want to hear him talk about it. That changed when I fell in love and wanted to know about all of it.

In one of the clinical books I read the words Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. All of the signs were in him. Then I wanted to know more about Vietnam. I figured the more I knew the better our chances of staying married were. After all, by then he was my best friend. The signs of PTSD when it was mild weren't that bad but I had no clue from anything I read it could get worse.
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