Becoming Your Spouse's PTSD Partner
Writing articles about PTSD can hurt at times. It’s probably my least favorite thing to write about, but the one that I find to be the most healing.
First, your spouse has to be open to you partnering with them. For some this will be easy, but for others it could prove to be more difficult. In the event that they are not able to receive your partnership, hold love for them in your heart, but also protect yourself.
The journey with PTSD isn’t a one and done. It’s typically a journey that lasts several years or even a lifetime. And, the evolution to becoming a PTSD partner can be just about as long.
So, let’s talk about some of the places where a PTSD partner can help:
A PTSD partner can notice triggers before they happen which helps to make you aware. When you are aware of these things before they happen it gives you time to prepare and perhaps put tools into place to minimize the impact of the trigger.
A PTSD partner can see when you have been triggered and can remind you of the techniques you have been trained to use in these situations. Because you understand the role of your partner you are more apt to receive the tips they provide you.
A PTSD partner understands when you need your space. They are able to recognize that it is not them, but an outside event that you need time to process on your own. They are not afraid to hold you accountable and remind you of your priorities after some time.
A PTSD partner works to establish boundaries in the case of an event that triggers anger or worse. They communicate the plan to their partner once it is safe, so they have a clear understanding of what will occur when the PTSD partner needs to step away or can no longer help them manage.
A PTSD partner can be there to lean on. Someone who can come up alongside you and listen when you are struggling, especially when life changes or feels heavy. They help to remind you when it is time to consult your counselor if you have not determined that on your own.
A PTSD partner can pray with you. Sometimes it is hard to find the words to talk to God on your own. A PTSD partner can help you to talk with Him when you are unable or need help as you work through traumatic stress. Two voices are usually better than one.
A PTSD partner can be there to laugh with. Living with PTSD is not all bad. In fact, most of life can be fun and enjoyable especially once you are receiving treatment for PTSD. Having a partner that can help you find the laughter or at least the good in a stressful situation can minimize its impact on you.
A PTSD partner knows how to manage their own stress and communicates their needs to their partner. They establish a strong network of people that they can lean on when necessary and identify healthy outlets to help them continue to grow as they offer an understanding place for their partner to land.
A PTSD partner is patient and kind. They understand that there might be setbacks and at times they might have to work through their own negative feelings while their partner receives additional support or takes a few days longer to work through an issue.
A PTSD partner works to rebuild trust and provide a safe environment. In some cases both were severely compromised as a result of past trauma. Following through, creating routines, even helping to pick out clothing or communicating changes in schedule in advance helps. Reassuring the person that you are committed to the relationship might also be necessary.
It does take time, a tremendous amount of prayer, and your own therapy to learn how to be a PTSD partner, but the investment is well worth the peace, trust, strength, and discipline that you will find more of in your life and the life of the person you love.
Ya’ll have a beautiful day!
All My Love,
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