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When War Comes Home: “My husband has PTSD”

by Jocelyn on July 28, 2011

The following article was written by a military wife who chooses to remain anonymous, but hopes her story might bring hope to others in her situation.

Things were different when my husband came home from his second deployment. He was home physically, but his emotions and mindset were someplace else. He was angry, jumpy, and depressed. He was short-tempered and extremely unpredictable. My husband has PTSD.

It took a while for me to see it, and even a longer while to begin the road of understanding it. It is a dark and frightening place when your husband comes home a very different man than when he left. I knew that the man I loved was still there somewhere, but I didn’t know where, or how to reach him. I can share with you examples of the terror we lived with, but what I really want to share with you is how started to heal. Before my husband was admitting he needed help, before he could even really hear it from me, I began my search for healing. This was not some noble gesture on my part, but a deep and desperate cry out to God to touch the lives of my husband and my family. I had no idea what to do, no idea where to turn for information.

I knew I could turn to the military for help, but I didn’t. I was so afraid that stepping around my husband and doing that would make him very angry, and possibly ruin his career. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. What I did do was read my Bible, constantly. Life kind of stopped for me. I cried out to God in a deep and passionate way. I was losing my family!

I also picked up the second book that would be instrumental in my healing and understanding. That book is WHEN WAR COMES HOME: CHRIST CENTERED HEALING FOR WIVES OF COMBAT VETERANS. I read this book, cover to cover. Alongside with my Bible, this book guided me to understanding PTSD. It helped me to see how it affected my husband, myself and our children. It helped me to have compassion for my husband, but at the same time create boundaries of protection.

As a Christian, I had been concerned about the type of help I wanted. I was afraid that the worldly opinion would be to just leave him. That wasn’t what I wanted and I didn’t believe that that was what God wanted. We married for better or for worse, and this was the worst. I felt like my husband came home from war just as wounded as a soldier in a wheelchair, but that my husband’s wounds were invisible. He needed healing too.

As I began searching for answers for myself, I was no longer obsessing on thinking “I” could fix anything. I couldn’t. I asked God to do it. Eventually my husband did seek treatment. We were in the valley for a long, long time. If you are in this valley now, I want you to know that there is help.

This past spring I attended a conference called WHEN WAR COMES HOME, DON’T RETREAT. This was a gathering of military wives on this same journey. Based on the book I mentioned above, we studied and gathered strength from each other. It did so much for my heart to simply know that I was not alone. I was not alone in what we were suffering, but I was also not alone in my desire to serve my husband, and fight for my marriage and my family. I didn’t want the world’s answers to my problem; I wanted what God would have for my family.

If you are in this valley, I would encourage you to get the book WHEN WAR COMES HOME and read it alongside your Bible. This will strengthen and equip you for the battle you face. You are not alone. God see you and He is ready and able to give you strength to fight.

A note from Jocelyn: Military Ministry has several other wonderful resources for combating PTSD. For the veterans, check out The Combat Trauma Healing Manual. Churches, you might be interested in the Care & Counsel for Combat Trauma Training Course. Military Ministry is a partner of Faith Deployed ministries, and I highly recommend their resources.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebekah Benimoff August 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Than you for your courage in sharing! Yes, God is bigger than PTSD, and prayer is a powerful weapon we can weild agains the enemy’s attacks in that area! May He BE your strength for the journey!

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Anonymous December 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm

My husband and I are in this valley. He does not want help. He is deployed and is in a deep pit of hostility and is seeking to end our marriage. Please pray for us. I cry out to the Lord for help day and night. Please pray for us.

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Brittany Davis February 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I am looking for help for my husband. He was medically discharged from the Navy 2 years ago with PTSD. He is not doing good at all but he’s not wanting to seek help or take his meds anymore. I am slowly watching him fade away and its killing me. He is an amazing man and husband but this is taking his life over. I can’t go on letting this hurt him. The VA
Is not doing much to help and getting an appointment is almost imposable . And all they want to do is drug him up. I don’t want him to be drugged up on pills all the time I just want him to get the help he need and put on the road to recovery. Please help me. Thank you Brittany

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Rosie Williams February 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Hi Brittany
My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for your struggle. My husband is a Nam vet and has also struggled with PTSD. Although it has taken time, God has brought us through some hard times. I want you to know I am praying for you tonight. It is so difficult when they stop trying and refuse counseling. There is an excellent treatment program for PTSD at the Colmery O’Neil VA in Topeka, Ks.
We work with Point Man, a Christian ministry, and we provide weekly meals and support for the vets going through the program. I hope you can confide in someone who may be able to help reach out to him. We can be contacted through http://www.pointmankansas.org. God bless you and give you courage and strength :-)

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