After receiving a diagnoses of PTSD, many spouses and family members are at a loss and don’t know where to turn. I’ve been there, so I understand what a hard time that is for everyone, you and your spouse. I’ve put together a list of books that may be beneficial to you and helping understand the PTSD and how you can help your spouse heal. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on the link, I receive a small amount. It helps with my domain fees.
Date night. Also known as a rare occurrence at my house. Usually when we have an unplanned night free, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Isn’t that sad? We should be able to think of loads of things to do when we are childless! Well, I’ve got the perfect date night for this weekend.
This weekend, the San Antonio Symphony kicks off its H-E-B Pops Concerts series with “Off the Charts! — Great Number one Hits” starring soprano Diane Penning and tenor Paul Langford. After this weekend, the Pops Concerts continue with special guests for the Holiday Pops and continues on into the spring with the Fiesta Pops. But back to this weekend for a minute. It’s the perfect date night! It’s number one hits that we all know and love!
Beauty and the Beast
You Raise Me Up
St. Elmo’s Fire
Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera
and lots more!
Even better, I’ve got a 50% off promo for Saturday night. Use code SAS-CHARTS on the Tobin Center site to save on 2 tickets.
Complete you date night for dinner at Rebelle in the St. Anthony Hotel. Show you ticket and get free parking and a complimentary glass of wine.
Win tickets for Saturday night’s show by leaving a comment below on what song you hope to hear during the show. Winner will win 2 tickets and will be chosen on Friday, September 23. The winner will be picked from comments left here and on social media posts.
Disclosure: I was provided tickets to the event in exchange for this post.
In military relationships, many spouses will tell you the hardest part is the separation. The deployments, TDY’s, trips to the field, and overnight duty all add up to time away from your spouse. Most are relatively short amounts of time and don’t involve trips to dangerous places, unlike deployments. Deployments are hard on everyone and hard on a marriage.
Call me crazy, but I think the time after the deployment is the hardest. I’m not talking about the initial reintegration. The days and weeks after they get home when they are trying to fit in at home again and you and the kids are changing your routine to fit them in. I’m talking about the months and even years after that deployment. The time when all the problems start to appear. The PTSD, the complications from the TBI’s, and everything that wasn’t there before the deployment.
My husband deployed to Iraq and came back basically the same. He had a few issues, but they weren’t major. It wasn’t until 9 years later that he was diagnosed with PTSD. There was other deployments in there, but everything mostly came from that first deployment. As time goes on, it has gotten worse. Since we know what is going on now, we have both learned his triggers and are trying different things to lessen the troubles.
A Dutch study found that veterans need to be screened for PTSD for a few years post deployment. “Overall, the average level of PTSD symptoms increased during the first six months after the soldiers returned home. One year after returning, the average level of symptoms tended to drop back to the pre-deployment level. However, there was another increase five years after the soldiers returned, which was larger than at all previous times.”Five years after the fact, many of them aren’t even active duty anymore. At that point, their chances of getting help are just slim.
The VA says that many veterans can go years without having PTSD, but it can still show up, as many as 50 years after the fact. One would think it would lessen over time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. This is referred to as LOSS, Late On-Set Stress Symptomatology. “The symptoms of LOSS are similar to symptoms of PTSD. With LOSS, though, Veterans might have fewer symptoms, less severe symptoms, or begin having symptoms later in life. LOSS differs from PTSD in that LOSS appears to be closely related to the aging process.”
Everyone says deployments are the hard part. If you can get through them, you can get through everything. I disagree. If you can hang around, stay supportive, and stay married after everything that is involved with PTSD, I commend you. It’s the hard part.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #loveandprotect #CollectiveBias
When we get married, it tends to be because we can’t live without the other person. You know, all that lovey dovey crap. As time goes on, especially in our case, we realize that we can’t live without each other for other reasons. The husband and I rely on each other for different things. On the serious side, he relies on me to remember things for him and deal with all things involving little girls. He also relied on me to ensure our children were taken care of during deployments. You can’t just throw some food at them and shut the door! We rely on so much more for the day to day stuff. Watch this video from Protective Life (I promise. It’s funny) and you’ll see what I mean.
I like to think I’m an independent woman and I don’t need my husband. He would laugh pretty hard if he heard me say that though. I was single once, then I was a single mother, then after he and I got married, I managed everything while he was gone on deployments and training. I could still email him my problems and expect him to fix them though. In reality, I can’t live without him. Here’s why.
He Kills Bugs – He hates it when I ask, but he’s a man. It’s his job to kill bugs. We live in Texas. I have found scorpions in the house, snakes in the yard, and there are currently three mosquitos flying around the house. It’s November! Where do they come from? He also relocates the lizards back outside for me.
He Fixes The Internet – If my internet stops working, I refresh a few times, then I reset the router. If it still doesn’t work after that, I call him. He always knows what’s wrong with it and magically makes it better. The internet is one thing I don’t have patience for.
He Mows The Yard – Don’t tell him this, but I don’t mind mowing the yard, like once a season. Anymore than that is just mean. He’s a man. It’s his job. He also weed eats like a pro. I can’t even get the dang weed eater started! It’s hated me since 2006.
He Gets Mean For Me – I’m too nice and I have a hard time saying no to people. If someone comes to the door to sell something, he will tell them no for me. If not, I’d have Kirby people cleaning my floors every week. That actually isn’t so bad, except it takes them like an hour and they don’t listen when I tell them I can’t afford a $2500 vacuum cleaner.
He Cleans The Dog’s Eye Boogers – Our dog has some weird thing with one of his eyes. It gets this weird film on it and oozes mucus. It grosses me out. He cleans the eye boogers for me though. I can pick up dog poo, but his eye boogers are just too much for me to handle.
He Always Drives At Night – I have terrible vision and even worse night vision. I have no depth perception at night and can’t read signs until we are right up on them. He always drives at night for me. That’s true love right there.
He Has A Great Wig Collection – No one has a finer collection of random wigs. They get worn on more occasions than you would think too. The Joe Dirt mullet wig is the best. How many wives can say that of their husbands?
He Can Make The Kids Leave Me Alone – He knows when I’ve hit my limit and will make them leave me alone. I can tell them to leave me alone and lock myself in the bathroom, but they ignore me and come in anyways. Frankly, he saves my sanity.
He Cuts The Boy’s Hair – I’ve never been comfortable using clippers to cut someone’s hair. I know it’s not a big deal because we can always buzz it if I mess up, but I still don’t do it. He does the boy’s haircuts for me.
He Got Us Cheap Health Insurance – The military has advantages! I don’t even want to know how much we would pay for insurance in the real world. What we pay now is ridiculously cheap. I don’t think I have to tell you how thankful I am that he made a career out of the military.
In a marriage, we come to depend on each other for things we never expected, especially when there is kids involved. The Holderness family (you may remember them from their funny YouTube videos that went viral) is no exception. While they teamed up with Protective Life to take a humorous look at this dynamic in their new video, there is also a more serious side. If something happened to you or your significant other, would your family be able to continue at the same level of financial stability? In most cases, we wouldn’t. My husband is the bread winner in our family. I have the education, but he still makes more. Funny how that works. This is why life insurance is so important for families to consider, because you never know. I’ve been worrying about this even more lately because of my husband’s issues, but we won’t get all sad and go into that right now. Instead, watch the Holderness Family’s video, “I Can’t Live Without You” for a laugh, and consider the reality of the situation and how that can be remedied with coverage from Protective Life.
For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center and see how you can protect yourself.
As the wife of someone in the military, I’ve heard it all, especially in our age of the internet. People, including other spouses, like to hide behind their computers and voice their opinions about what us spouses do or don’t do. I either ignore it or read it as a form of entertainment. You should try the entertainment part, it will seriously provide endless hours of fun. I promise!
Some military spouses like to play the one upper game. You know, my husband has been on more deployments than yours or my husband missed the birth of all 8 of our children, yada yada. Like that somehow makes them better. Others feel that they are actually part of the military and hold the same rank as their husband. Then their are the ones who feel that their role as a wife is somehow harder than the wives of civilians. They are sadly, Sadly, SADLY, mistaken. They want to complain when their husband has duty or works past 4. Apparently they’ve never been to this place we call the real world. Then there are the ones who stray the minute they have duty or deploy. The ones who clean out their bank accounts while their spouse is fighting for their country. They give spouses a bad name, which gives us the stereotype of being cheaters. I bet 9 times out of 10, there isn’t any cheating. The marriage dissolves due to the added stress in our lives or it just ran it’s natural course. We just always manage to hear the crazy stories. We hear and read about all the things that spouses do wrong, but how do we know what to do right? How do we avoid being on some of those Facebook pages? Well, common sense for one, but we all lack that at times. Ask my husband, he’ll tell you how often that one leaves me.
So, how does one become a good military spouse?
I’ve got 2 pieces of advice for you.
Love you spouse and have the desire to want your marriage to work.
If you marry for the right reasons, meaning love, and not for the benefits or because he is leaving for basic or PCSing, your marriage has a fighting chance! If you love your spouse, you’ll support them in their job. You’ll be their cheerleader and act properly at functions because you don’t want to embarrass them or get them in trouble. When they deploy, you’ll keep yourself busy with a job, the kids, or volunteering with the unit. You’ll be more than happy to send all the care packages you can. All that extra money? Sure, you might spend some after you’ve discussed it with him, but for the most part, you’ll save it for something you want in the future, together. Your marriage may have extra stressers thrown at it, with the moving and absences, but really, our marriage isn’t any harder or any better than anyone else’s. It’s not a competition. The love combined with respect for your spouse and wanting to make your marriage a success, means you’ll be fine.
My sister told me once that she couldn’t marry someone in the military. She didn’t think she could handle the lifestyle. It’s not easy. It does happen that someone knows what they are getting into, but once they are actually living the life, the realize how much they hate it. If they want to make their marriage work, they’ll figure it out. It won’t be easy and they’ll both have to make sacrifices, but it can be done. Don’t we all make sacrifices anyway?
*I know I refer to wives as being the crazy ones, but I’ve never met a crazy military husband. They’ve all been totally normal, supportive, and drama free.