I know that for those of you married to combat veterans with PTSD, TBI or other war related injuries (seen and unseen) this is no shocker, but for those who are unaware of the connections it’s important to understand. If you are experiencing these problems in your own marriage it’s vital to recognize the symptoms, understand the problem, and work together to find a solution. This is something married couples can survive and even flourish through. It takes hard work and perseverance!
DoD studies intimacy issues among combat vets
Posted : Thursday Jan 19, 2012 19:00:25 EST
Brannan Pedersen was 16, attending a young activists meeting in Alabama when she first spotted Caleb Vines, then 19, an enthusiastic organizer who wanted to change the world.
She fell hard: Three years after their first date, they married. Later, when they watched the World Trade Center fall, Caleb pledged to join the fight: He enlisted in the Army infantry.
He deployed twice to Iraq — a 15-month stint extended by the Battle of Fallujah, then a year filled with bomb blasts and small-arms fire. At one point, a rocket-propelled grenade blasted him through the door of a Humvee.
But he came home seemingly unscathed. During their first reunion, Brannan recalled, Caleb was distant but affectionate. The couple conceived a child.
After his second deployment, however, Caleb changed from easygoing and enthusiastic to withdrawn, angry and forgetful.
Diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder and, later, traumatic brain injury followed. It provided an explanation for his symptoms, but that didn’t ease the emotional — and physical — gulf between the couple, Brannan said.
“Guys with PTSD have a much harder time being physically close, let alone emotionally close. And from a woman’s perspective, you almost require that closeness to be invested in a sexual relationship,” Brannan said. READ MORE