As a MilSpouse, the phrase Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is no new concept. But at the same time, I'm a little naive about it. I turn my head and think to myself "No way, not my husband. He's an electrician for cripe's sake..."
But then I hear stories of a couple that has been together for 10 years. We'll call her "Jane" to maintain her anonymity. Jane's husband was characterized as the most selfless, loving family man and father as one could possibly get. But then ... he came back from deployment. And now? He wants nothing to do with his family, he's cold and withdrawn from Jane ... he avoids his children and has openly admitted to not wanting to work on any of his "issues". While he hasn't engaged in any indiscretions, his behavior can be interpreted as emotionally abusive toward her. The harsh reality Jane is coming to is that he is not the man she married. She never thought this would be happening to her and the hardest part is learning how to let go and walk away ... or be strong enough to believe that he can pull himself out of the hole he's dug himself into. Who wants to walk away from their husband when he's going through such a dramatic and abrupt change; especially when it's the polar opposite of his normal persona? But then again, he doesn't want help and he shuts Jane out. She worries that the man she married is still in there, but this new person? This cold, unyielding force in her life? Rationality says to move on, but her heart still believes in the vows she took ... for better or for worse. But what happens when your husband doesn't seem to believe in those vows anymore? What if he's disrespecting your marriage in more ways than one and doesn't seem to care? Does this give you an out? When is enough enough? How far is a wife expected to go before it becomes unacceptable? Is this change permanent? He has all the love in the world with Jane and a caring family that is his, but is openly choosing to abandon it and turn the blame and problems on Jane. It's hateful and he doesn't seem to feel a shred of remorse for it.
It's bone chilling. The fact that good men can be turned into a complete 180. How much hurt do their families and loved ones have to endure?
What would I if the situation were reversed??