Valentine’s Day makes us contemplate the meaning of love
Some people wonder how to stay with a war hero husband. Of course when your spouse is on the front you are afraid of loosing him or her. It is easy to feel the potential loss as ever deeper and growing true love. The fear of loosing him or her, may actually grow your commitment to be there for your spouse, and to love your spouse with all your heart and soul. You care for and love your spouse so very, very, very much.
Later you are so glad that they survived, so thrilled that they came home with out loosing life or limb. You are so happy when they come home to you and your kids.
Trouble is that if he or she is suffering from a severe case of PTSD, your life will change as well. PTSD when expressed in a volatile and dangerous way is contagious.
Here is a true story:
A man, a vet came home from the war. He was such a lovely, intelligent and charming man. When he was conscious, that is.
When he wasn’t conscious, he turned into a hurtful, brutal and dangerous man.
In fact, because he was from a very good family, he was raised with the believe that a woman should be protected and cherished. He had many sisters and was raised to be protective of them as well. When he fell in love a deep calling rose up in him and he knew that he could be good for something, he could be a hero caring for his little woman. Even after all the atrocities he had witnessed during his service. He could protect that this lovely and shy girl who would be his bride.
The lady was raised in a Christian home and as a proper women who would love and cherish her husband. She was raised to believe that a husband and wife were bonded in the commitment to make marriage not just a holy sacrament, but also to obey and honor her spouse and support him in every possible way, in sickness and in health. And she was raised to support her husband’s growth in his career and standing in the community. In short a lovely and very proper woman.
And, OMG, it really worked. They started life together and enjoyed it fully, they worked hard, and bought a little home. They planted a garden and had common hobbies. He took her to romantic dinners, and was very proud of his “little woman.” They were very much in love and looked forward to a bright future with a lovely family.
What she had not realizes when they had this whirlwind romance, was that somehow during their romance, he didn’t experience any of the symptoms of the PTSD he had sustained in the war. His parents and siblings thought the young woman was a blessing in all their lives.
Then after they married he experienced some stress at work and the PTSD that the woman knew nothing about returned. The trouble is, when you are married to a man who has PTSD, no matter how many flowers you receive, no matter how many declarations of love you received, no matter how sincere these declarations actually are, the man may turn on a dime.
With a nightmare, with some trigger you were unfamiliar with, you might get hurt, beaten, strangled and severely physically compromised. The emotional pain is insufferable. A proper women may try coping mechanisms that they are taught. This woman tried to cope with the danger and pain by praying. She forgave him, she loved him, and she was determined to stand by her man.
The praying really did help her to keep her calm, but it didn’t keep her safe. Eventually she ended up in the hospital with a severe cut in her head, bruises all over her body, and she needed to get stitches so quickly to stop the severe bleeding, that she ended up with 27 stitches on her shaved skull without anesthesia.
Love alone is not enough. So if you have a good reason, a wonderful reason to love a man, a mighty and wonderful man. and he hurts you. Stop, in the name of love! Stop. Stop pretending it will get better, stop thinking that it is your fault. Stop. Stop the lies that keep you bonded to such an unhealthy situation.
Get help!!! Help is out there, and you can be free of an abuser. Even if you know that it is not his fault that he experienced such terrible hardships and pain. It is not your fault either and you don’t have to deal with it on your own.
PTSD is recently acknowledged as a potential result of war engagement. But if you are just a kind woman who loves your man, you may need some serious help to keep you and the children safe. Love alone will not heal this potentially dangerous condition. And, as many people found out, the constant stress and danger of living with an unpredictable, hurtful, disrespectful man, causes the spouse PTSD as well. Unfortunately it is contagious.
So get help. He needs therapy. There are some forms of therapy that are promising. But while he is in therapy, you and the kids may have to watch out for your own safely. The lady in the story eventually knew that she had to leave him, so he would not turn into her murderer. She did this after he held her at knife point of a long kitchen knife for 1 and 1/2 hours talking like a crazy man, wondering aloud if his pain would stop, if he killed her. She finally realized that it was her god given duty not to help him ruin his life entirely. She realized that she could best help him by being away from him.
The shock of loosing her helped him. He got therapy for PTSD and after 10 more painful years, he slowly got better. He told her that he was glad for both of them that she had left when she did. By leaving him she helped him to stop the negative spiral he was on. The loss of her and her love woke him up to the fact that he had a serious problem. Before she left him, he thought “she was the problem.” He thought if she was kinder, or more strong willed, or funnier or not as afraid of him, or not as angry, he would not have had to punish her all the time.
He told her that he strongly believed he may actually have killed her eventually, if she didn’t leave him. A study in 2015 showed that 94 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers.
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. More
Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is get away from someone you love. For the rest of us, who are in a wonderful and happy relationships that works or can be nurtured into working, we may wish to support those who are not so lucky. Support the National Coalition Against Family Violence