If you are suffering from PTSD, you know how painful it can be. But what is it like for your partner? I’m sure your partner is doing everything they can to be supportive and understanding, but it can be difficult to watch someone you love go through something so painful and not be sure how to help.

No matter what the trauma was that caused the post traumatic stress, it can surface in your relationship in many different ways according to Good Therapy’s article by Anastasia Polluck, LCMHC, Posttrauamtic Stress Topic Expert Contributor. She states that relationships affected by PTSD can look like:

  • Avoidance of and decrease in emotional and physical intimacy
  • Isolation
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness by both partners
  • Feelings of frustration, anger, confusion, and sadness
  • Increase in anxiety
  • More frequent arguments and difficulty finding resolution to problems

The most important thing here is to know that these items need to be addressed, spoken about, and a solution of some sort on the horizon in order for the relationship to survive. Ignoring or “waiting” until the traumatized individual “gets over” their PTSD is likely not going to happen in a healthy and productive manner. Anastasia Polluck goes on to list several things that the partner and the traumatized individual can do to get through this difficult time.

  1. Don’t try to fix or heal the trauma and the accompanying symptoms your partner is experiencing
  2. Don’t take it personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Consider getting counseling for the individual who did not experience the trauma.
  5. Involve your partner and communicate regularly.
  6. Attend counseling for the traumatized individual regularly, and work with your therapist to improve symptoms.

If you want to read more about how to execute these 6 items, head on over to Good Therapy and read the article. She writes a lot of good information, that can be enlightening to those who have a loved one going through something AND for those who are going through it.