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KBeguile posted 1/21/2014 15:31 PM

Heart's pretty well determined that she's suffering PTSD. As a result, neither of us really knows what to do in order to take steps to try and fix our relationship.

As far as I can tell, we are both more than willing and able to put in the energy and effort required to really mend this relationship. She wants this all over and dealt with (but she feels she can't put the past behind her and that forgiveness makes her a doormat), and I just want her to be happy.

Does anyone have advice on how to help someone cope with PTSD? It is a serious gut-check every time I watch her loop back around to conversations we've had before. I swear I'm listening to a recording sometimes, because she will even use the EXACT same words in the EXACT same order, so I can tell something is "wrong."

Any advice would be appreciated.

DixieD posted 1/21/2014 15:34 PM

Has she tried EMDR therapy? It helped me with PTSD and other members have said it's helped them too. It helped me process the endless looping cycle and leveled things (like my anger) out a bit.

I hope she can find something that will help her.

Aubrie posted 1/21/2014 15:43 PM

Was just thinking about that ^^^^.

Is she already in IC? Can she switch to someone more experienced with PTSD and EMDR?

Teach8 posted 1/21/2014 15:46 PM

I think ic/therapy for the ptsd too. Does Heart feel like she has to forgive you? I'm not sure if this is a major issue for her? My wh and I just talked about this recently. I was honest and said that I'm not sure I will ever forgive him. I'm still working on acceptance. The fact that I could be honest about that was like a weight lifted for me. I think I was pressuring myself to forgive. I thought I had to in order to truly reconcile, but I don't. I don't have to forgive least not now...if ever. I can love him, be his partner and worry about accepting his affair for now.

KatyaCA posted 1/21/2014 16:44 PM

If she is dealing with PTSD see if you can get her to read "Trauma and Recovery" by Judith Herman. The book is all about PTSD and as a person who has dealt with complex PTSD for a very long time it is the one book that has helped me to really understand and to help me deal with the aftermath. Note that this book does not deal with infidelity itself.

KBeguile posted 1/21/2014 22:37 PM

Teach8: She's already taken the step to forgive me. It happened a LOT sooner than I expected, and I couldn't have sworn that it would ever happen at all.

She has declared a few times now that she "feels broken" or that she knows "[she's] the one with the problem," but I don't necessarily 100% agree. If she did have a problem, I made it worse; if she didn't have a problem, I caused it. It's not as if she's "broken" because of anything she did.

DixieD/Aubrie: We've talked about having her go back to the IC we used to go to for combined IC/MC. Heart doesn't trust/open up to people very easily, so getting a new IC, even if they are well-versed in PTSD, might be a tough row to hoe. That said, I will definitely send a link to your responses to her so that she can make the judgment call on her own. Thank you for your suggestions.

KatyaCA: This might be the best solution, all told, considering Heart deals best with these kinds of problems through reading and reflection. Thank you for offering it.

SlowUptake posted 1/22/2014 01:04 AM

I swear I'm listening to a recording sometimes, because she will even use the EXACT same words in the EXACT same order, so I can tell something is "wrong."

First, 'DON'T PANIC'
There is nothing 'wrong', she's just processing.
Dude, your last Dday was less than a year ago, give it some TIME.

My experience was that the frequency of the repeated discussions, word for word, does lesson.
At first it was every day, after a year every three days or so, at four years it's about once a month.

It will get better.

mystified1970 posted 1/22/2014 04:25 AM

After reading just a few words at the beginning of this thread I though perhaps the OP might be my WH describing me.

KBeguile, is it possible that she had PTSD already and this has reignited it or worsened it? That's what happened to me. I unknowingly had PTSD for many years until I began having flashbacks to the trauma. Had it well under control for many years until D day. Now I have triggers on top of triggers and it' awful!

I ask the same questions, word for word, again and again and bit by bit, the truth comes out. If your BS is anything like me, she needs every little detail. I obsess over everything and need this puzzle put together as accurately as possible.

My instinct drove me to initial discovery (actually it was a dream/nightmare). Since then, I have trusted that instinct and it hasn't failed yet, that I ask the same question over and over and finally get the true answer.

I hope you're not withholding any truth. It will drive a person who knows better even more crazy!

KBeguile posted 1/22/2014 06:25 AM

Oh my gosh, no. If there's another lesson I've learned in my subjection to humility and the destruction of my narcissism, it's been that lying only prolongs the nightmare. But, thank you for your insight. It helps to understand what I'm working with.

Fair enough.

I worry that her own impatience is hurting us as well. At times, she seems more insistent than I am that she should "be over this by now." Could that be a factor in the uneasiness I'm feeling? How do I reassure her that this just takes time and get her to go easier on herself?

NaiveAgain posted 1/22/2014 07:59 AM

KBeguile, please look into the book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. Everything you are talking about in your post is addressed in this book and I am only 3/4 of the way thru it. My WS and I are reading it together and it has helped us a lot!

It can help you both understand what each other is going thru and what to expect. It helps in the reconciliation after infidelity. It explains why the BS has to keep asking the same questions over and over, and it talks about how the WS can help them process the pain and betrayal.

We are going very slowly thru this book because each page opens up a topic for discussion between us, and as a result, the honesty, trust, and intimacy between us is growing deeper than before D-Day. I still haven't totally forgiven my WS and I still don't trust him fully, but it is making a huge difference for us because between that book and SI he understands better what "I" need to heal and he is willing to do whatever it takes.

Good luck!

p.s. She isn't supposed to be "over this" by now. Some of us never truly get completely over it and that is okay also. You can't erase the past. You have to accept it as part of who you are now and embrace it and take the lessons you can learn from your mistakes and use those to build something stronger and better. Trying to just "get over it and forgive" sounds like rug sweeping to me. It has to be fully worked thru and that takes a long time.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 8:02 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

Shayna71 posted 1/22/2014 10:06 AM

You might try "Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing" by Dennis Ortman.

I am a BIG reader, internet articles, blogs, message boards, books, We both read "After the Affair" and both my H and myself felt like it was a great resource.

He is almost finished reading "How to Help Your Spouse Recover From Your Affair" and said it has helped him get some things better than anything else. It's short and to the point.

I also just got "Not Just Friends" but haven't started it yet. I have heard from many that it is great.

I just got the book on PISD, and have only just started reading it, but it makes sense to me, and maybe it would help your wife. i have been going to Drs for months now for the physical and mental difficulties I am having. I just couldn't really believe that ALL of it was from stress, but it looks like that's the way things are going to pan out.

Do make sure that your wife has seen a Dr to rule out any medical conditions. It's very likely that she could also be dealing with depression and/or anxiety, and sometimes medications can help tremendously.

It's nice to see WS worried about their BS. I just found this forum and prior to this most of the info on WS I had was from BS, and the vast majority of it was SO negative.

KBeguile posted 1/22/2014 11:52 AM


Your post reminded me to add something here, just in case I wasn't completely clear. Thank you.

To be clear: I don't expect her to "just get over this by now." This is completely an expectation Heart has put on herself for reasons I don't completely understand. I routinely try to caution her that this is something that takes a lot of time and patience to recover from, both of which are not Heart's greatest assets.

And, NA, you might be very right in correctly identifying a point of cognitive dissonance she's having right now: she probably recognizes the act of "getting past and being done with" as rugsweeping, which then makes her feel like a doormat for doing it. The real way off the cycle is not to rugsweep in the first place, but I don't know how to get her to stop rugsweeping for herself.

An additional problem that I face in dealing with this is that Heart is very pill and doctor phobic. She gets it from her father, who also hates doctors, hospitals, injection needles, pills, and just about anything else that messes with the human body to any degree.

The fact that I got her to open up to the IC I was seeing was a HUGE change for her, and I'm still surprised that she did it in the first place.

And, I don't know that I'm fully deserving of such praise. I was dealing with Narcissism for a good long time before Heart, IC, and people on SI all managed to break it (and me). That was one of the happiest moments I remember in all of this: Heart being overjoyed that she could see I was confronting my Narcissism and it was causing me great emotional pain.

I say this because if you read a lot of my earlier posts, I probably won't sound as concerned or thoughtful. A lot of WSes aren't concerned or thoughtful as they probably should be, especially right after D-Day. Much like the healing process for the BS, the WS takes time to heal in a different way. For me, it was shedding Narcissistic tendencies and getting properly medicated to prevent me from using my addictive tendencies as a crutch.

Plus, there's the 180, too, which might make WSes on the path to recovery seem a lot more callous than they might otherwise.

Granted, those who are actively and successfully in R are probably the minority rather than the majority. Here's hoping an abundance of shallow, conceited, unconcerned WSes don't spoil your outlook on the R process!

whattheh posted 1/22/2014 17:13 PM

My fWH is trying to help me with PTSD related to infidelity. We are near the one year of DD and he has researched this for me which is a first for him to take the lead. When he sent a link I asked him to take me thru it. He spent a few hours reading to prep and described what he learned. His hands on involvement gave me hope and helped pull me out of despair. Its also helping him understand the trauma I'm repeatedly subjected to.

One link he found is for a blog called written by a woman who says she got thru PTSD. We are going to try some of her suggestions. We are researching EMDR and there are youtubes with examples.

FWH is going to have us learn relaxation techniques together as well. And we are going to learn some anger management techniques since he meets my anger with anger at times and that gets us nowhere.

We both opted to avoid counselling and I'm also not a pill taker. Also I'm a worrier and the infidelity and aftermath has greatly increased my anxiety. I just don't feel safe anymore.

[This message edited by whattheh at 5:15 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

tooanalytical posted 1/22/2014 17:58 PM

No real major insights here other than at 9 months out I was no where near acceptance. I was dissengaged and angry at least until year 2 and lost any real passion for life until about year 3.

Forgiveness is also a process. I seen it somewhere that the steps are:

1. Forgive - I commit to forgive someone for something unforgivable because of the damage it does to myself and any chance at R. The first step is the choice to forgive.

2. Forgiving - When negative feelings arise I have to remind myself that I forgave WS. Forgiving over and over is a process. I choose each time to let it go.

3. Forgiven - I've reached the point where the strong negative feelings are gone. I may never forget but I have forgiven. That took 4-5 years.

20WrongsVs1 posted 1/22/2014 23:14 PM

I say this because if you read a lot of my earlier posts, I probably won't sound as concerned or thoughtful.

LOL. No shit. But, hey, join the club. You and I (and a few know who you are) are competing for the "Most Delusional Asshole" SI award for new 2013 Waywards. Please take that in the spirit in which it was meant...camaraderie.

You're clearly kicking the narcissism. I stopped responding to your threads awhile back because you struck me as a know-it-all who was mostly looking for attention. Now I see you're *actually responding* to posters. Good progress, keep it up.

sad34 posted 1/22/2014 23:26 PM

I tried to forgive my WH. Felt like something I needed to do. But I had to admit a few weeks later, I hadn't forgiven him at all. U see my actions and my words didn't mesh. I absolutely have not and may never. U may want to ask her about that. She might have taken a step she shouldn't have.

KBeguile posted 1/23/2014 09:08 AM


Well, we'll just see who gets to stand on that podium at the end of the ceremony with the traditional Golden Ass Award.

But, yes, it did occur to me that, while I was reading and absorbing the information, no one had any way of knowing that I was actually paying attention to what they were saying. Not everyone is a mind-reader or is inside my head ...

Thank you for the compliment.


It's hard to say. Now that I think about it, the fact that she's re-living these events might occasionally put her back to a time before she had forgiven me, and she might speak with that mentality without realizing it.


As an update, Heart is going to see a PTSD specialist tonight and going to start treatment. I hope it's successful.

DixieD posted 1/23/2014 09:23 AM

As an update, Heart is going to see a PTSD specialist tonight and going to start treatment. I hope it's successful.

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Best wishes Heart.

I was scared when I went to my EMDR session because I didn't know what to expect. I thought, what if it makes me worse, instead of better? I'm as untrusting of the medical profession as it gets. I'm so glad I went. I don't know where I'd be right now without it -- other than not a good place.

As far as forgiveness goes, I don't think it can be rushed. There was a time when just reading about it would make me seethe with anger and trigger me back again. I was not ready. My body was telling me, I was not ready. Now I'm much further along and do not react like that to the thought of forgiveness anymore. I'm much closer to it and I didn't force myself to get there.

sad34 posted 1/23/2014 20:28 PM

Good luck to heart

KBeguile posted 1/23/2014 21:36 PM

It's weird. Between you and musiclovingmom, I always seem to read what you have to say and think of Heart right off the bat. Your insight means a lot to me, and I thank you for it.

She just got back from the first appointment. No EMDR yet, but she ended up talking with the therapist a LOT longer than she had intended, which speaks very well to her actually being able to follow through with this stuff. Thank you for your thoughts.

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