So Close Yet So Far Away

My life is in perpetual emotional turmoil. I am finding it very difficult to keep it together, and fighting to resist all urges to flee. The problem is we're so close to finally starting our life together. After 3 years of hell, 2 years of "homelessness", we finally are a month away from closing on the purchase of a beautiful home after my husband received VA benefits. Because of his severe PTSD, he has been unable to work, I have had a few jobs, but my husband's moods are very emotionally taxing, thus I had to quit my job, and devote myself to keeping the family together. So at the current time, we are living with my parents until we can move into our new home.

This is very stressful for my husband. He feels uncomfortable living with other people, and we have basically had to do so for the last two years because we have been struggling financially. Our relationship is strained. His and our 4 year old son's relationship is strained because he basically stepped back and allowed my parents and I to raise my son, but gets mad because we aren't doing it right. It's just been awful. I am so grateful for my parents willingness to let us stay in our time of need, especially with 3 dogs.

Because of my husband's stress from living with my parents, his moods are often unpredictable, and he tends to take things out on me. I get threats of divorce at least once a week. He blames me for everything, including us not having a home of our own. He's just really overwhelming and unbearable at time. It's just awful. I have found myself doubting our marriage a lot lately.

I am so tired of the foreboding feel of losing everything. I am never sure whether or not he is going to leave me. I have devoted the last 5 years of my life struggling to keep this family together, and sometimes I wonder what for? I am pretty sure I would be happier being a single mom on welfare than have to deal with the person I love threatening to take their love away constantly. It's just a double-edged blade. When we're in Washington (where we are moving to), my husband is a different person. He is kind, caring, and he and our son are best pals. We don't fight. It's almost like we're a normal family without the rage and screaming and outbursts.

He is miserable here and can't handle his stress. He doesn't want to stay in a hotel with 3 dogs, plus I don't know if they would allow 3 dogs even if they are companion animals. I don't know what to do. I don't know if he can change his attitude and suck it up for a month. It just seems ridiculous. I told him it was going to feel like the longest few months of his life, but then we would be able to finally attempt being a normal family. You know, repair our relationship, make up for all the things we have blamed each other for. Just love each other and live. All I know anymore is heartache and the sickness I get every time he threatens to leave. I love him, but sometimes I am afraid that even when we move, if he will eventually go back to the way he is here. If that's the case, I won't stay. I am sick of feeling that perpetual emotional turmoil.


Thank you for your support. I am hoping that once he starts therapy again he will be able to learn to communicate with me. I encouraged him to call his therapist and at least get therapy over the phone until we move permanently. He agreed. I really think we need marriage counseling as well. He just never sees what I see. His perception is really off kilter. I am really glad that I went to therapy and got on anti-depressants. I recently tried to ween myself off of them because I thought I was better. However, the stress I feel with my husband daily is too much. I just dread him getting up in the morning because I never know what mood he is going to be in. His fuse alters so drastically at times. I just don’t want to be in a marriage that I have to be on antidepressants the whole time. I keep trying but sometimes I wonder when enough is enough and I hate to say it but I am getting to that point.

I am so sorry for the way u are being treated. And I am sorry for ur son and ur parents having to be around and witness such emotions. It sounds like such a trying time w the only thing pulling u through is hope. Hope can be such a strong thing for us. It can get us through things we would not endure w/o, and I am glad u at least have that on ur side. I know PTSD is a serious condition, but does it constitute the way he is treating u and his family that is only trying to support him during this time of need? Idk if having any type of disorder would constitute such behavior around the clock, where one could act in the way u have described. Does he know that u feel so upset and saddened that u have thought that raising ur son on ur own sounds more of an option than weathering his temperament? Maybe if he did, he would seek treatment or put forth more effort to see the positive in the situation of how blessed u truly are. U have a home, thanks to a wonderful family, and now u will have ur own home shortly, and surely that is a blessing. He could choose to be thankful, choose to get through the remaining month as best as he can. Granted, it is very hard when we can't provide for our families. I just posted yesterday how I'd like to give up bc I can't provide for my own family, but I can't see taking it out on my kids. I just blame myself, lots of reasons really, but not my my family. They r all I have. I'd be up a creek without them. I hope he realizes what he has, appreciates u and ur family. I hope u get to Washington soon and can regain ur family and have happiness and love and laughter soon. And I hope he sees what he has put ud through.
Best wishes.

Hi, thank you for your post. According to the caregiver support hotline individuals, the training I have had for being a caregiver, and my counselor, the way he treats me is not OK. I realize that he has a serious syndrome, but he often uses it as an excuse to treat me bad. I encourage him to express his anger in different ways, rather than taking it out on me, but he really needs to go to therapy to get help in this area. His moods are so back and forth that I have a hard time waking him up in the morning when he asks me to because I am dreading not knowing how he will behave. It’s like walking on ice every day. I have told him how upset it makes me when he says he wants a divorce but it really does little good. For some unknown reason he has memory issues, and he tends to forget promises he has made to me. I have hope and fear for the future.

The way u describe his moods makes me wonder is there is more to it then PTSD, like maybe a personality disorder or a mood disorder, not that either of those would justify it. I have a mood disorder and I tell my loved ones openly, I am in this mood today '...', so please give me space or I need this or whatever the case may be. But it has taken me a long ways to get there. I know what its like walking on eggshells. I used to have to w my brother who I was convinced was a narc w BPD who refused treatment bc he felt nothing was wrong w him, everyone else had the problems... I have never felt so much more peace since I cut him out of my life. I'm not saying do that, but I am saying maybe there is more going on w ur husband... It seems his mood swings, they r way outta control. Again, I am sorry u r on the receiving end as loved ones typically are.

You know, I have been thinking a lot about the triggers and perhaps a reason for my husband’s constant threats of divorce. After talking to him last night about his feelings, I realized that often times the issue is not divorce. For instance, last night we were supposed to be spending time together since my son was at his aunt’s. My husband forgot that he made plans with a friend, so I took a drive up to a mountain top to take time for myself because I was getting overwhelmed with my son and parents. He said he would be back in a little while and I wasn’t there when he got back. He was upset with me after we hung out for a while and he started talking about all the reasons we shouldn’t be together. At the end of the conversation he revealed that he was really upset that I took a drive and didn’t tell him because he felt that I didn’t love him. The same thing happened the other day when I forgot to tell him that I love him on the phone. According to some information I read about PTSD, he takes his emotions to the extreme because his perspective is driven by fear. Thus, he is really trying to protect himself from being hurt or disappointed when he tells me he wants a divorce. I have to admit that I am not very good at knowing how to respond to him when he starts talking about divorce. I guess it’s hard for me to read behind the lines and realize there is an underlying issue. Because he often jumps to divorce when he is upset about something, we don’t really solve the issue because I have a hard time identifying it. Instead of saying to me, “Why didn’t you tell me you loved me when we got off the phone? It really bothers me. Is something wrong?” He automatically jumps to divorce as a way of coping. He cannot possibly think like a normal person because his perspective is driven by fear. I think that a lot of our problem is that I don’t look at his outbursts as a symptom of his PTSD. I attribute them to his personality. As a result, I react differently to him just thinking that he doesn’t love me and he is not a caring person, so I go into defensive mode. I think what I should be doing is redirecting him when he starts talking about divorce. Maybe I should say, “Look, I know you love me, and I know that I love you. Have I done something to upset you?” Maybe if I did that instead of giving in to his rants about divorce, it would help him talk about the real problem. He constantly says that I don’t support him and that I don’t do things to help him cope with his PTSD. Honestly, he is right. It is very hard for me to not be defensive, not take things personally, and read between the lines. I understand that a lot of his coping skills will have to be developed with counseling, but I think there is still some things that I can do differently to help. I guess I just need to do more research and realize that my husband is not normal, and that we won’t communicate normally. I have a lot of work to do.