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Marital Problems and PTSD — Military Spouse (Part I)

July 8, 2011

Why all the fuss about “seeking help”?  Real men and/or women should be able to resolve their own issues.  Wouldn’t this be the ideal world if we never had to ask for or seek help?  The old pioneer spirit thinking.  Fortunately, we don’t have to go it alone, and help is available if we only seek it out.  For family,military spouses, and friends of PTSD sufferer, you must drag them to seek mental health assistance.  Below I will outline some of the reasons why.

Over the next few features, I will look at some of the statistical truths that PTSD sufferers and military spouses need to look at.  This is not anecdotal evidence which we hear all the time.  “I know a guy who…”  These statements I make will be based on statistical evidence gathered over a broad swath of cases.

First, my statement that with or without the existence of PTSD, there are no guarantees that a marriage will last a lifetime.  Divorces happen all the time and that’s the truth. The statistics I quote are from a study of Vietnam veterans which allowed the normal process of life to occur before looking at the problems of PTSD.  If this pertains to Afghanistan or Iraq you will have to extrapolate forward and assume the statistics will be similar now. 

In the study, approximately 38% of veteran’s marriages failed within 6 months of the veteran returning home, which is significantly higher than for the general population.  The divorce rates, rates for those with PTSD and their military spouses whether male or female were almost 2 times greater than for veterans without PTSD.  Additionally, veterans of the armed forces with PTSD were three times more likely than veterans without PTSD to divorce two or more times.

Some of the reasons include the fact that veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder were less self-disclosing and expressive with their military spouses.  They also noted a greater social anxiety as well as anxiety about sexual intimacy resulted in sexual dysfunction and decreased couple satisfaction.

More to follow in the next feature about Marital Problems and PTSD.