The marriage vow “…to love, honor and obey…”, is not exactly easy for us to obey. Especially when our very loved military/former military spouse comes home with a TBI or PTSD. That threw my starry-eye vision of love/laughter/rainbows and joy into a bit of confusion and martial turmoil. But, you know, knowledge is power and understanding what has happened to change the love-of-my-life can make a big difference in the re-building a marriage.
Here is a link to an article entitled, Marriage Tips for PTSD $ TBI Families, which gives some very good suggestions to help bridge that gap of “what the heck happened to my husband” to “this will take awhile to get it right, but we can make this marriage work!”
PTSD is no fun, as many of you military wives and husbands know. Focus on the Family’s, Pres. Jim Daily wrote a really great blog entitled, How Couples Can Work Through PTSD, as well as some great links that can really help with some other questions you might have. Just check it out. Okay?
I’d love to hear your feedback.
Margo was ecstatic. Her soldier/warrior husband, Dean had returned from Afghanistan safe and sound. Her family and friends are greeted him at the airport with signs welcoming him home. There was a flurry of hugs, tears, laughter and relief from everyone, most especially Margo. Dean was home, he looked wonderful, happy and a bit bewildered. She was eager to get him home, but was unsure of herself as he had been gone for almost a year, maybe he had changed. Dean was her hero, her husband, her one true love and she couldn’t wait to show him how she decorated their home in flags and flowers. She was proud of her soldier husband and was eager to show him off to her friends at the huge welcome home party she had planned for the coming weekend.
And yet, as they drove home together, Margo’s hand resting lightly upon his khaki-clad and muscular leg, she could feel that Dean’s tenseness. Wasn’t he glad to be home, did he not love her any more? What was wrong?
The above scenario is not unique. A veteran (a soldier who has been in the armed forces for over 6 mos.) coming home from deployment is understandably, a bit confused and disoriented. He or she has been in an environment where they have had to rely on themselves and their fellow soldiers for support and survival. They have probably seen friends or acquaintances killed or wounded, perhaps right next to them. Their life for months has been of order and fairly predictable. Coming home can be for many a very big…culture shock.
I would recommend anyone who is a friend or loved one read this helpful article-> Ten Things You Should Know to Help Bring the OIF/OEF Veteran All the Way Home By Alison Lighthall, RN, MS (Former Captain in the US Army Nurse Corps) Founder, HAND2HAND CONTACT.
Here is a brief excerpt of her pdf article:
10. OIF stands for Operation Iraqi Freedom, also known as the Iraq War, and it began on March 20th, 2003. OEF stands for Operation Enduring Freedom and is a multinational military operation aimed at dismantling terrorist groups, mostly in Afghanistan. It officially commenced on Oct. 7, 2001 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks;
9. Returning Service Members do not think of themselves as heroes, no matter how extraordinary their skills, courage, or actions may be. Their heroes are the ones still over there or coming home in a flag-draped boxes;
To read more, click (here) and it will take you to the HAND2HANDCONTACT.org webpage, scroll down halfway and click on the article “10 Things You Should Know About Today’s Veteran.
Other sites to visit:
The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering free in-depth online classes, From the War Zone to the Home Front II, which cover trauma, PTSD assessment and effective treatment. You can also checkout their Archive section for more information.
These classes/sessions are about one hour. Now these classes have already officially end tomorrow, but I believe you can view them “on demand.” Also, check out the Additional Resources for pdf’s and pertinent information on past classes.
Click HERE for more information.
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THE MILITARY TRAINS THEM TO GO TO WAR, BUT NO ONE TRAINS THEM TO COME HOME
The above is one of the reasons why we created the support group for Wives and Girlfriends of Veterans at Christ the King Church in Bellingham, WA. To learn the tools to help the ladies understand and assist their Veteran in reconnecting with civilian life.