This is gonna be long, I'm sorry. But I need to vent.
I'm 22, my boyfriend is 29. We've been together for almost a year. He's a combat veteran and served for 5 years in the Army. He got blown up by an ied so long story short, he was pretty messed up for a while and was in a rehab center. He also suffered (& continues to suffer from) severe PTSD and had years of therapy. He was/is prone to violent outbursts and that's what the therapy helped with.
Let me start by saying that I am completely in love with this guy. I would do anything for him. He has such a good heart and is truly an amazing person. I know he loves me, he's told me countless times that Im his everything and he doesn't ever want to be without me, etc. (Typical corny stuff lol) We have plans for our future, etc and can both see this going long term.
Only issue is... it's turned somewhat toxic. His PTSD causes him to have very severe and negative reactions to ANY kind of stress. He expects me to be extremely submissive to him (which is fine to a point because I tend to be on the sub side of things anyway, at least sexually.) But I'm not "allowed" to question him on anything or "talk back to him" as he calls it because it stresses him out and when he gets stressed, he's reeeally nasty. He'll threaten to break up with me, say hurtful things, say he doesn't care about me, etc. He's called me a c*nt, b*tch, wh*re, etc. He blames me for anything that goes wrong in his life even though all I try to do is help. I'm not perfect, I've screwed up plenty of times but he never lets shit go. He holds things over my head from months ago even after he says we're past it. He acts so suspicious of me, like I'm always plotting against him or something. (He also put his hands on me once, during a really bad fight when we were both drunk. Grabbed me by the neck/hair/etc.) I'd do anything to fix this but it's like he's fighting me on it.
Is this even worth saving at this point? How can I even deal with this anymore?
Most Helpful Guy
Oh wow, I have a form of PTSD, TBI and it was trauma but four concussions in D1 and International Rugby I played for seven years. There is something you need to know, and something people can't understand because it's not a psychological injury, it's not an injury you can see that people can recognize like a limb, it is invisible to others and its a physical injury with many symptoms. Whether you know it or not, he is injured and he biology has been reconfigured and all his circuitry which controls emotions, social behaviors, particularly on the frontal lobe, right above your eye balls get a whole new protein called a Mau Protein that they are finding in soldiers and athletes which gives you emotional immaturity, inability to handle stress, feelings of doom; headaches and even paranoia. The VA has very good programs and it is good that he connects with his old buddies and does not get secluded or play video games. You don't want someone in his condition to be in a rut. They need constant stimulating and changing routines and schedules that make him feel things are on the up and up. Moreover he is used to a heorarchy and structure and frameworks to operate in, where everything had orders, tasks and completion of duty and accomplishments and validations. It is not like that I the civilian life and it feels chaotic , particularly with PTSD, and that is why he need to find his own structure with help and keep mentally occupied and in positions of accompaniments, even fixing a deck. Anything but siting around, doing vices, letting him think and not mature his emotional response to stress. He will get better but it has to do with him and his environment and structure and less to do with you, he feels alone as in many cases he is alone2
Most Helpful Girl
I can definitely relate. My boyfriend is a 10 year vet and he was also hit by an IED. It is hard to deal with at times. The only thing is it has never gotten physical. He is hard to communicate with at times. I'm like yourself. I tend to shut down when he starts the yelling. Sometimes I want to give up. Other times I realize that he really needs someone to help him. He does receive professional help as well. The only thing I know to tell you is love him and be patient with him. He has to be willing to listen though. There's an age gap between me and my boyfriend also. I'm 23 and he's 31. Sometimes, I feel like older men use that to their advantage. Not to say that we are naive, but we sometimes allow things out of love. If it gets to the point where it affects the woman that you are and bothers your self-esteem then maybe it's time to back away. He has to be willing to change also. It won't happen overnight, but he has to meet you halfway. Just like you take his situation and feelings into consideration, he has to be willing to do the same. It's not fair to you if it's just a one way street. Only you know if it's worth it or not. I can definitely say that it will be challenging!! Not sure if you are religious, but if you are, talk to the one who really can make things better! I hope this helps!! Thank you for your post!! This really helped me also!!1