AmandaLee,

I am not married to a person who has PTSD... but we have been together for long enough that he has developed new sensitivities, and when we clash, we clash. When someone has been in caretaking mode for a while, it's actually been known for the caretaker to develop PTSD-like symptoms themself. My husband now gets triggered when I raise my voice, which I do quite frequently because I'm naturally loud and very animated. I will be telling him a story of something that happened to me that I felt indignant about, and suddenly, my husband will get triggered, and both of us end up with hurt feelings.

What do we do? We talk about our triggers. We talk about what doesn't make us feel good in an effort to amend how we treat each other. It takes a longer time to resolve our conversations, but, I find this method helps to resolve them for good because we got to the root of the problem. Our marriage counsellor also suggested to have a tissue box that we would put on the table to signify one person was getting triggered or feeling flooded; When it was placed on the table, both partners would call a time out. It's very basic, but it was such a great tool for us, because backing off was hard to do in the heat of the moment.

I understand feeling totally thrashed when it comes to whose past affects whom and what is PTSD and what isn't... it sometimes still will do a number on me when I am feeling more vulnerable or depressed. I'm sure that being in a relationship where both partners have PTSD would be especially challenging when you both need validation at the same time and needing for the other person to be still and validating. How are you guys doing now? I hope that your nightmares have calmed somewhat as of late, those are hell to go through!

Take care of yourself Amanda!

Colourgirl