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My husband is not the same man

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Old 08-20-2007, 05:55 AM   #1
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 516
Backinthesaddle HB User
My husband is not the same man

It is hard for me to comprehend what happened overseas during "Iraqi Freedom" what I do know is my husband is not the same and we are on the verge of divorce. My husband went over April of 2003 for 13 months as part of the Civil Affairs Unit. Before he left he was so kind to me and made me feel like I was his life. He wrote me beautiful letters about how he wanted to be the best husband ever. He came back cold, unemotional and treats me like I do not exist. He is chomping at the bit to go back in 2008. He eats drinks and sleeps war. He is 41 yrs old and now a Master Sgt. He is slotted unless things change to go back over October of 2008 for another year. We now have a 2yr old and I work fulltime and have chronic pain issues with my spinal cord and in need of a third surgery. Doing it all will be hard enough on me let alone having to deal with him again coming back worse. We have tried 3 different counslers and the last one ruled ptsd out. So I guess I have no idea what to do anymore.

I rambled on there since I have so much I could say. I just do not know what to do. He doesnt drink or anything like that, he isn't abusive just cold. He doesnt treat me like he loves me and honestly cannot remember anything I say. It is if I do not exist. I am to the point of believing he had an affair over there and that is not his nature so the and i figure he is having a hard time forgiving himself thus taking everything out on me. It is all my fault. He tells me if I did this or that then he would'nt be doing what the did. He blames Larium on his memory and that is bs because he remembers what he wants. I just am at my wits end. I do not want a divorce but I have no idea how to get to him besides kick him out and let him know how it will feel to be alone and not see his son everyday.

Any suggestions would be welcome.


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Old 08-20-2007, 01:29 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Byron, Wyoming USA
Posts: 6
diamond_rocket HB User
Wink Re: My husband is not the same man

My husband was over in Saudi back in 1990-1991. He is not the same either. We are working on his PTSD and other problems that have begun to arise. My husband has always been a very affectionate man but now he tends to slip...he forgets a lot of things...he has short term and long term memory lose. We can get togther on here and tallk about these things once in awhile if you would like. I am usually on my cp about every day. You sound like you need a friend to talk to.

Last edited by moderator2; 08-20-2007 at 02:35 PM. Reason: no emails on here - please read the rules

Old 08-25-2007, 06:32 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: KY,USA
Posts: 527
jodom1979 HB User
Re: My husband is not the same man

Hey backinthesaddle,

It takes time to "click" back into civilian life. PTSD can be a culprit for alot of soldiers returning as Iraq is really stressing to us. War changes your perspective on alot of things so its not uncommon upon returning to hear what your saying. Im a CP'er too now.. Good luck and stay strong.

Old 02-09-2008, 06:03 AM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Coast, USA
Posts: 21
ladyt24 HB User
Lightbulb Re: My husband is not the same man

I am a female veteran of OIF. I was in Iraq 2 years ago and when I returned it was difficult and still find it difficult to connect with my family and others that do not understand what I experienced. At times I feel very detached from reality, and I have not been diagnosed with PTSD either. I don't know if this might be similar to what you are dealing with in regard to your husband, but it could be similar. Living and working in a combat zone can drastically affect a persons view of life, and I am speaking from experience.

Men are very different than women when it comes to dealing with their emotions. So your husband may not feel comfortable talking to you or anyone else about what he experience or currently feels because it is so drastically different from reality. If your husband is like most military members he will not even discuss his feelings with others in the military because it could make him look weak. Also, he may not even be aware of what he truly is feeling because he is a man and does not want to explore his true feelings and admit that things have scared or affected him the way they did.

One suggestion that I would offer although you may have already tried would be contacting a local vet center which specializes in treating and working with combat veterans. It is separate from the VA and confidential even though it falls under the VA. I know that every vet center offers different services depending on staffing and location, but it might be helpful to you and your husband. I have started using my local vet center and have found it to be very helpful to me in dealing with all of my emotions. Here is a web link that can provide more information about vet centers [url][/url]

I hope this helps and if you have already tried this resource there may be others that offer special services for OIF vets in your local community and state. So I would start by researching support groups in your area for OIF vets.

Last edited by ladyt24; 02-09-2008 at 06:11 AM. Reason: Wanted to provide more information

Old 02-10-2008, 04:40 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 516
Backinthesaddle HB User
Re: My husband is not the same man

Thank you for your response you are so correct in the fact that my dh does not want to look week. He is a leader and wants his men and women to never see him weak. Unfortunately at home I am more the leader and he the follower. He never shows weakness anymore and I miss that. I miss the days he would have tears in his eyes if he thought I was mad or hurting. I miss him being loving and sweet. I am now stuck with a shell of what he once was.

We did go to a therapist who specializes in military ptsd type issues. It didn't do much. I guess my complaints are different then how he feels. He does much better now then he did but still not the same. I want to start back some counseling soon at least a few times because he is do to redeploy this summer and I already can see some of the signs starting.

But this time he not only leaves behind me he leaves behind a little 3 yr old boy who wants to be like his daddy, he leaves behind a wife with Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia and a household and land to care for. I try to speak in terms of how I will do it and have a nanny set up. I am not going to put upon him my distress. I fear being able to work fulltime care for my child and home alone. But I know I will. I fear mostly what I will get when he returns.

So for now all I can do is hope and pray they do not go and hope that if he does he gets it all out of his system and works past the issues he left there.

Thanks lady for listening.

Old 03-04-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Maitland, FL , USA
Posts: 6
JD1989 HB User
Re: My husband is not the same man

I just want to say good luck, I just recently enlisted in the Air Force, so I may not get to see that much battle action, wish I could, it would be an honor to serve are great nation no matter how misguided the cause is. To the point, that is one thing i think a lot of people miss, my girl friend included, when you are a soldier in any branch, you can not show weakness, or you will be rejected in one way or another. I know first hand how hard it is, I am already going through the transfermation, I guess you could call it. I cant speak for him, but all I can say is that you just have to trust him, to take another person life is not easy, and it WILL harden him. Lets not do what we did to the Vietnam Vets. Sorry if i rambled, just trying to say, that you are a soldiers wife, you have to understand that a soldier must show no weakness * especially in war times *, and as his wife, no matter how hard it is, you have to understand it, I know it is hard, but you have to. Good luck and I wish you both a happy marriage * if salvagable *, and a good surgery.

Last edited by moderator2; 05-13-2008 at 05:00 AM. Reason: unnecessary quote

Old 05-12-2008, 03:45 AM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 1
magjimarr3 HB User
Re: My husband is not the same man

Hi backinthesaddle,
I went through exactly the same thing with my husband when he came back from Iraq in 2003, he was a colour sgt while he was out there.
I was pregnant with our second child when he left, had me up on a pedastal always very loving, holding hands, cuddling etc. Sent loads of letters and seemed fine when he phoned home.
however was I in for a shock when he got home for the birth of our little boy, he was like you described your own husband cold, unemotional, wouldn,t say he loved me (not that he said he didn't love me either!) I remember the night after giving birth I took severe leg cramp and woke up screaming in pain, he sat up and shouted at me saying it was my fault as I had clearly not drank enough water which startled me as he'd never spoke to me like that, I lay crying as he went back to sleep!
He went back to finish his tour and came back the same if not worse, not talking, snippy etc I too thought my husband had an affair out there, though this isn't his charactor either. I even asked him, saying I could see why this could happen, during war, the preasure, thinking you could die anytime etc. He didn't do or say much to make me think otherwise simply said he hadn't but if that's what I thought there wasn't much more he could say! He even told my parents he thought I had postnatal depression!!
After about 4months of this I finally broke down and gave him the ultimatum he had to change or I was taking the kids and leaving, I explained how I felt and how he made me feel like nothing and unloved.
That night he finaly opened up to me, he spoke of the things that went on over there, how he couldn't cry when his friends were killed as he had to be strong for his men. He didn't want to tell me the stories as some things were horific but I didn't judge just simply listened to him. It was a gradual thing, he made more effort with us as a family and I was like his councillor someone he could talk to openly, none judgmental no matter what he had done.
It took a long time but I finally got my man back, only to be hit with the fact he was going back the following year, the dread was imence but he wanted to go back, I couldn't understand why either.
Thankfully it was completly different this time as the war was over, he still lost friends and still couldn't bring himself to cry or bring his guard down infront of his men but this time when he came home he was glad to be back with us and even laughed when telling me some of things they went through (army humour!)
Although I gave my husband the ultimatum it might not be right for you to do, you are the only one that can decide as to how you think your husband will react to this (I was fortunate as it could have taken a diferent course) what you have to think is, do you want to carry on this way or will it be better for yourself and kids to be away from your husband?
If you need anyone to talk please contact me, I was surprised to see I wasn't the only one to go through this, my friends all seemed fine and didn't talk about anything goinging wrong in there marriage, I felt very alone at the time too, hope it helps you to know there is light at the end of the tunnel although it may take sometime and effort on both sides you may still get your husband back to the man he was before he went to Iraq. Good luck and I'll be thinking of you
Best wishes

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