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PTSD Self-help: Getting your spouse on the team

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That "special someone" can be a strong part of your Healing Team. Ask them for their help! Photo credit: Master Isolated Images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re without a special someone in your life when you discover you’re ready to commit to healing from PTSD, you have a lot to be thankful for! You’re facing a wonderful opportunity to relinquish troublesome behaviors, ways of thinking and emotional baggage, in effect, creating a clean slate for welcoming that special someone into your life in the future.

For couples who suddenly find themselves facing the PTSD healing process well into their relationship, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an unbreakable relationship! It is likely your coupledom is no stranger to garden variety difficulties. However, finding one half of your partnership reduced to emotional jello with no end in sight, can be daunting. Welcome to the in-sickness-and-in-health wedding disclaimer (just keepin it real, here). Seize the chance to experience the rich and rewarding benefits of conquering a seemingly insurmountable foe together!

It was not always understood that successful recovery from PTSD requires a holistic approach that addresses the entire individual, not just their mental state. Since we are relational beings, it is wise to include our most trusted relationships in the process. Below are seven individuals being covered in this series, PTSD Self-help, who are crucial to helping you or your loved one overcome the debilitating effects of PTSD. Don’t start a healing journey without this Healing Team:

It’s easy to isolate yourself when daily survival is at the top of your list. However, healing from PTSD cannot be done alone. As a survivor, there are specific things you need to do in order to enter the PTSD healing journey as a responsible spouse or significant other. They are:

Shift

Your PTSD struggle has shifted. This isn’t just about you anymore. In order to heal from PTSD successfully AND retain a healthy partnership with your loved one, you and your spouse/significant other must wrap your minds around a new concept; being allies working toward a common goal. You’ll either become invincible allies or terrible foes. It all starts here, with your thought life.

Ask

It is probably no mystery to your spouse/significant other that you haven’t been acting like yourself. However, it is important to respect your relationship enough to ask for your loved one’s help, instead of just assuming it will be there. Your partner will have their own set of issues to ponder and decisions to make as a result of your commitment to the PTSD healing process, so it’s only fair to give them a choice in the matter. Ask them to partner with you and your Healing Team of professionals in overcoming this challenge to your relationship. Then, promise to resource each other with helpful information and insight as you work through healing PTSD together (a new series, PTSD Support for Spouses is coming soon!).

Be Transparent

Remember, you didn’t create the difficulties you’re both facing. The trauma was something that happened TO you, so try to overcome the fear of communicating openly with your spouse about how you’re feeling throughout the healing process. Doing so frankly and respectfully, although difficult at times, reinforces one of the cornerstones in your relationship – trust.

Believe

Choose to believe in change and love. The good news is, being in a love relationship during the healing process means your relationship is growing. It is not stagnant or dying even, if at times, the process becomes difficult. Your relationship will never be the same again, because YOU won’t be the same: You and your relationship will be BETTER. Choose to focus on the deeper character qualities that you fell in love with and see your partner not as a victim of your inability to cope, but as a courageous person willing to do whatever it takes to help your relationship be healthy.

The primary key to making your Healing Team a successful part of the overall healing journey is communication. Share what you’re trying out, what works best for you, and the knowledge you’ve gained not only with your spouse/significant other, but also with the other members of your team! It’s important for all Healing Team members to know if you’re trying medication, supplements or the do-it-yourself healing activities recommended in this series. If they know what’s going on in all areas of your life, they can better assist you if bumps in the road occur.

Join us on the journey! Subscribe, so you won’t miss out on upcoming articles on how to recruit each member of your Healing Team. It’s free! So, let the adventure begin! Also, feel free to ask questions, let me know what you think about the series, or just see what I’m up to! Here’s how to connect (handy buttons at the top of this page):

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3 responses »

  1. what an excellent article! So many times we think that someone is on our team and then realize that they are not completely on board when the rubber meets the road.
    Thank you for giving an honest, straight forward approach to talking with and partnering with the person in your life that should be your first choice on the list of the healing team 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you! You’re right. A spouse or significant other often IS the first choice a person makes when recruiting support. I find it sad when I hear about marriages unable to survive PTSD, but it’s even worse when they can’t survive the healing process. I’m looking forward to writing the new PTSD Support for Spouses series to help others through this difficult, yet wonderful opportunity.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: PTSD Self-help: Developing a Healing Team « PTSD Relief

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