Thread: Anger
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:12 PM
armywife armywife is offline
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Red face Not sure how to respond to husband's PTSD anger

I begin this post with a heavy heart. Let me start by saying that I just ran across this website today and I am already greatful for finding it. Here's my background and then I'll get into the meat of my post. I married a wonderful man who is also an Iraqi Freedom veteran from the war in 2003. I didn't know him before his deployment so I can't attest to the differences in him before and after his deployment. I sat at my desk today with tears streaming down my face after reading your posts about the anger you find yourselves having towards your wives. My husband suffers from PTSD and has many symptoms, the worst being anger. The situations you are describing happen under our roof on a weekly basis.

Now for the meat of my post. He agreed to seek PTSD counseling at the VA this spring. I was so relieved and he asked me to attend the sessions with him, which I was glad to do. But the feeling was short-lived when he stopped going after only two counseling sessions and would not tell me why. Realizing that he wouldn't go back and fearing another fit of rage if I broached the subject, I knew I couldn't consider asking him to go back to counseling again. Instead, I have immersed myself in resources on the internet and in books to help me understand PTSD. The good news is that I have found many resources that explain what PTSD is and what its symptoms are. The bad news is that I can't find anything about what spouses are supposed to do when faced with a fit of rage that seems to come from nowhere. I've been through all of the emotions, from guilt for thinking that his anger is a direct result of something I've done to resentment for having to walk on eggshells literally every minute of every day. On his good days, he is the most wonderful husband I could ever ask for. On his bad days, the emotional stress is becoming too much to bear.

So here's what I'm asking from all of you from a PTSD soldier's point of view: how am I supposed to respond during the intense rages of anger? Do I walk away to let him calm down? Do I play into it and apologize profusely for whatever he's angry at me about (most of the time he doesn't tell my why he's angry. He makes me try to figure it out)? It happens every 7 to 10 days, usually on weekends so I usually know its coming but sometimes it happens randomly, too. I just have absolutely no idea how I'm supposed to respond to him. Then one to three days later, he comes out of withdrawal and apologizes for being a jerk and then everythings fine for a few days.

I want to be supportive. I want him to know that I want to help him but I'm getting frustrated and I'm getting exhausted from trying to be perfect. I'm not a soldier and would never have the courage to be one but I'm fighting my own war and I don't have anyone to consult with about it. Please help. I'll take any advice you can give me. Books are good but people that have been through it are better.

God bless you all and thanks for reading my extremely long and venting post.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 3:4
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