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He has PTSD. Should I give him another chance?

Tagged as: Dating, Health, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 August 2018) 6 Answers - (Newest, 8 August 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

How do i deal with someone who has ptsd ( from serving in the army )?

I met a guy on a dating site last year all was well for a few month then he seemed to have a melt down .He wouldnt see me or answer my calls and i got a bit worried.

After 2 month he messaged me said he had been in hospital and wanted to see me again but when it came to it he cancelled and 'vanished' again for a few week.

Yet again he messaged me said he wanted to see me this time we did meet up he said he had sorted things and was in a much better place. We both agreed that if there was to be any kind of future things have to change and not be like they were before. If there was any issue or he wasnt feeling himself but didnt want to directly say so then he was to use a 'code' so he could have time out but he never 'used' this.

its been a month since we last saw each other, id message and no reply so i texted him to say i was deleting him and blocking him and not to bother but i think i was too hasty. I know i cant change someone or cure them who have ptsd and life isnt easy with someone who does suffer but people cant just be written off because they have it.

Everyone can say look for someone else but its not always so easy or i might not want to bother anymore.

We had plans for the future but im not expecting them to happen anymore. I have read so much on ptsd and spoken to someone who suffers from it, i also think im sometimes too much for him at times and thats why he wants breaks.

My question is - should i text him , give him a chance ?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 August 2018):

Im the op. He does not have a secret wife or secret girlfriend. We live in the same area , i drive past his house when i go to work , he has to walk past mine to go to the local shop. When he goes quiet and i dont see him its because he is in his house and wont answer to everybody , he doesnt want everyone to see him when hes not feeling good.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (7 August 2018):

I served in the military, during a war-period. I served in the medical corp, and worked in military hospitals, clinics, and eventually a Veterans Hospital. That was only for a short-stint; prior to going to college full-time. I've seen first-hand, and worked with patients suffering PTSD. I have a good friend, recovered from PTSD. He's younger, and served in a different era and war-zone.

I'm going to be honest and straight-forward with you. If you're not married to him, don't have his kids, and you've given him unlimited chances after several episodes. You must leave him, and try to move on. He must concentrate on his treatment and therapy. He's not safe to be around, and he's not functional enough to carry-on a healthy relationship. You would be foolish to place your safety in jeopardy. What would it prove? How noble you are, until something tragic occurs?

Our service-people have made their sacrifice for the safety, protection, and freedom for our love-ones, family, comrades, and fellow-countrymen.

If we are damaged; our country owes it to us to be sure we are cared for, and provided whatever we need. While under treatment; those closest to the soldier should be notified in situations where they may be in harms way. There should be counselors/therapists prepared to contact immediate-family; if it is their professional-opinion a soldier could be a danger to his/herself and/or others. They should be immediately hospitalized. Unfortunately, that isn't the usual protocol. Something has to happen first!

If a soldier with PTSD is being properly treated and monitored; his/her family, spouse, or significant other should be fully-informed and aware of his/her progress. It should be no secret from those closest to them, if they don't show-up for therapy.

If he disappears and goes no-contact? That is a very bad sign. He could be secluded and contemplating harm to himself, or others; if he otherwise cannot be found seeking treatment. Those on drugs or suffering alcoholism, are sometimes on a binge. Isolated in some flop-house; or passed-out on some buddy's couch. Maybe with his girlfriend in another town.

No wife, child, parent, co-worker, or anyone close to the soldier; should suffer due to their poorly-managed illness. The purpose of treatment is for his/her well-being and safety. For public-safety.

Soldiers are trained to kill, we are weapons. A loaded-weapon is not left lying-around. It is properly-maintained and put away; or kept in a safe-place. Those who have endured combat; and suffer psychological-injury due to combat, are loaded-weapons.

You have been through too many scary situations. You are neither emotionally-prepared, nor professionally-equipped; to endure this situation indefinitely. Not without becoming afflicted with emotional and psychological-trauma yourself.

I would suggest that you notify him that you need to leave; because you may be too much stress for him, and admit that it is too much stress for you. If you live in fear, then you must notify his doctor, his family, and the police. This is no time to be noble, over-sympathetic, or foolish. His disability is not an excuse; or ticket to do whatever he pleases, when it hurts others.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (6 August 2018):

Tisha-1 agony auntI wouldn’t if I were in your shoes. You’ve given him plenty of chances to show he’s really interested in you; he hasn’t taken those chances.

Perhaps he’s just the warm up act for the next man who will actually be emotionally available. You’ve learned a lot about PTSD. So back off and do not count on this man at all.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (6 August 2018):

Honeypie agony auntI think you should leave him be. Hopefully he can focus on his mental health and get better with the help of VA.

If he can't handle you or a relationship with you due to PTSD, be probably isn't in a place where he SHOULD be dating at all. Not saying someone with PTSD doesn't deserve to have relationships or love, but I am saying someone who can't handle one with you is NOT a good pick for a future long term partner.

Plans for the future are just that plans. Doesn't mean they will come to fruition, and I think in his case they might be more of a fantasy than reality.

I live with a retired veteran. My husband does suffer from combat related PTSD and it's NOT easy. We were doing pretty good until he deployed for the second time to a war zone and I'd say that last 8-9 years have been been rough. If I was single now and met someone with that condition I would NOT go there. Now I stick by my husband and WE do make it work, but that is also due to 12 years of PREVIOUS history between us (we have been married over 20 years).

If he is in and out of the hospital, then he isn't stable.

I get that you care for him. Nothing wrong in that. But you CAN NOT have the kind of relationship you WANT with this guy and he can't have the kind of relationship that he NEEDS with you. Which makes the two of you a BAD match.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 August 2018):

I am the op , i have known him for a year and seen letters from his doctor, i know he doesnt have a wife and kids hidden away. He would show me proof and told me what hospital he was in / going in. But i understand you telling me to be careful which i am / will be.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (6 August 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntHow much do you actually know about him? Are you SURE he as PTSD or does he (perhaps?) have a wife or another girlfriend?

Just asking as disappearing for weeks on end then saying you have been in hospital sounds rather convenient. It MAY be that he is totally genuine, and that he really does have to go to hospital when he is bad, but do you know this for a fact?

I know this may sound cynical but just putting it out there as a friend of mine had a very similar situation with a guy who told her he had mental health issues and would disappear on a regular basis, appearing again with the story that he had been in hospital. Turned out he actually had a wife and kids and was just contacting my friend when he was working in the area so he could meet up with her for sex and free lodgings.

Please be careful. Even if he is genuine, you need much more information about his condition and prognosis to know what your long term future could be like and whether that is what you need.

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