My husband and I have had issues since he returned last November from Iraq. He has changed a lot since he deployed. He doesn't spend time with me or our daughter -- no talking, no date nights, no spending time together.
For months now, my husband has come home pissed off. He really hates his job and being here in Europe. We got into a fight a few months ago, and he pushed me up against the wall and started hitting me until our daughter walked in.
My husband comes home from work and says that he wishes someone would shoot him. He wishes God would kill him so he doesn't have to live anymore. One night he was sitting on the couch and pretending to have a gun blowing his brains out. Our daughter was right there, too.
I've gotten to the point where I don't say anything to him when he does say something like this. He's been drinking too. I'm just stuck in a hard spot where I can't say anything to anyone around here. If I say he needs to see a counselor, and if he actually told them the truth, he could lose his job or our daughter could get taken away.
We went to see the marriage counselor for a few months, but my husband lied and said what the counselor needed to hear. So I know that he will do it again.
I asked my friend what to do and she said just leave him. She thinks that he has PSTD.
If I do leave him, I know he will come find us and try to take my daughter away. I really enjoy my job here; I'm trying to save up my own money too. Please help if you can.
Sincerely, Unhappy Wife
Dear Unhappy Wife,
Lord have mercy, this is not good! I am very worried about you, your daughter and your husband. We lose just about one servicemember every day to suicide, and this must be taken seriously.
Listen, one thing we know for sure is that ignoring what’s going on will not make it better -- it will get worse. Your husband is threatening to kill himself. Your husband is physically assaulting you. You cannot pretend this isn’t happening.
I don’t know if he has PTSD or not, but there is help available for him. One service he may not have heard of is the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255) that will respond to your husband’s concerns or your concerns by phone or by text.
Let’s look at it this way: There are many servicemembers both male and female who have been diagnosed with PTSD, but they are not abusive to their loved ones. They become proactive with treatment.
First of all, you need to call the MPs if anything else physical happens.
Secondly, I think you should speak with a Victims Advocate on base. You can speak to them off the record and they will give you advice about restricted and unrestricted reporting and other resources. They will advocate for you.
Just because your husband goes to counseling and pretends nothing is wrong doesn’t mean you have to go along with that. You can still see a counselor for support, advice and strategies to help you move forward.
I know this must be very scary for you. You and your daughter need to be safe. If your husband speaks up and admits he needs help, he will not lose his job or his daughter.
Please take this seriously. I’m happy you are enjoying your job because this is a great outlet for you and perhaps you are finding some support there too. However, more is needed. Something is very wrong with your husband; he needs help now!
In my opinion, his command will be involved sooner or later, but it’s better if they are involved now before there is a larger and more volatile incident. You can also call Military OneSource 24/7. It has international calling options for support and resources.
Sincerely, Ms. Vicki