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Living with someone with PTSD & Anxiety.

Community Member

I am looking for other people who live with/married to, someone with PTSD anxiety and what they do to look after themselves?

The lack of communication, enthusiasm, failure to participate in life & constantly having to motivate my husband is starting to wear me down. He has regular Psych appointments & he is medicated but learnt behaviours and coping mechanisms means that we are constantly on a tail chasing story.

How do other partners get fulfilment in their lives?

How do they stop their partners' anxiety/depression suffocating their lives or break free from Ground hog day?

How do they stop feeling depressed?

I understand his diagnosis and support him, but I noticed I am starting to unravel. I am tired of "talking" about his lack of acknowledgement of the things that happen to me. I am tired and hurt & over being angry. 


18 Replies 18

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi LH, welcome to beyond blue forums

I am limited in the knowledge of PTSD. But for most of my life I had anxiety among 4 mental illnesses that also included bipolar 2, depression and dysthymia.

My anxiety peaked at 33yo after a workplace issue.Meds were prescribed and therapy along with relaxation exercises. It took 25 years to rid myself totally of anxiety, the meds were stopped after 12 years. So its such a long term thing...for most people not all. We are all different.

My concern is you are now desperate. You have been a carer, a therapist as well as a wife. It's time you a/ accepted that you need help b/ that you seek the confidence of your doctor and any further professionals that can sooth your pain and c/ that your partner is aware of a and b and can offer any assistance for you. After all you are a team right?

Hoping somone else can chip in here an help you to.

Tony WK

Thank you White knight for replying. I have spoken to his psychiatrist & a mental health coordinator. Interestingly enough the same message of "You need to set outcomes on a regular basis together" i.e. A family day or date night, and stick to them. Make sure it happens etc etc. Its very focussed (& so is most literature) on how to care for the affected partner, how to manage the disease - but not how to handle the grief regarding the loss of parts of a relationship. My partners anxiety means that he is happy when he stays home. Going out is, for him, an effort; spontaneous actions are non existent and attempts result in an episode. I know and understand why. But how, how do I still live a life that I know he can't. This didn' t start until 6 months after we were married (there was a trigger) so its not something that I thought I could change in him nor was it standard behaviour. Eeergh its so bloody hard.


my wife's cousin....I have met her many times, lovely lady, and never met her husband.

I ask my wife every time, why dont we see him? Because he is happy and secure in his home.  I wont invite myself there either. I'd rather wait until my wife's cousin invites us.

So there are many people like your husband that develop fears or simply insecurity. I've noticed this developing within myself. I own a large and colourful and unusual motorcycle. It attracts people like flies. Cameras come out etc. And among those "fans" I always find one, one admirer that is nasty or abrasive. And its that one person that, with his comments, upsets my day or days ahead.

Yep, it tough, so an attitude of managing your contacts with others is needed.

For example, you do need to get out and about. Choose wisely. Like an activity that will limit the contact with others. I wrote an article on this called "inexpensive recovery idea- camping" use search to find it. It is utilising free camping spots around Australia. You buy a book listing them and head off with a $30 tent and a billy etc.

If you have a bland car you wont be heavily in contact with others. Dont give up thinking of ways to overcome

Tony  WK

Thank you Tony for trying to help and for trying to understand. I have made an appointment with my GP to discuss things.

It is very hard to be a wife to someone you have to parent.

It is exhausting having to always be in control.

It is heart breaking not having your spouse be there for you when you desperately need them.

It is soul destroying having dreams broken or go wayside because of sabertage (I know that's not how its spelt but can't for the life of me remember how) or its simply too hard to put myself first.

I am managing all this with 2 kids under 5 (one with developmental issues - doesn't that create fun with an adult that can't handle it). Daily - daily I have to step in and remind the adult that they are children!!

This why I want to see what/how other spouses manage. What keys do they have? Do not get me wrong I love him dearly & vice versa, however is that always going to be enough?

Community Member

Hi Living Home,

I just wanted to say that I know what you are going through. I am married with 3 children between the ages of 2-7. I have been married for 5 yrs and my husband has PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks and depression. When I read your post, it feels like I could have written it myself. He sabotages special events, he does not communicate with me, he shuts me and the children out, and it is very hard. He is not able to work, so I am also working full time, while trying to look after him, the children, the household, the finances and anything else life throws at me. It is very hard at times, and I do not have any advice to give, but I wanted to let you know that I am here, going through the same thing and am happy to talk anytime you need. Sometimes, it can be comforting just to know that you are not alone.  

Hi 3Monkeys,

I'm sorry to see you are in the same place. Mine has progressed to seeking help, which is new for me. I think this is a poorly supported side of ptsd ... us! What do you do each day to get through each day? Is there something you get that makes you think this is worth it? Mine is the one on one time we spend together. This isnt balanced, but its something. We are going through a tough time at the moment with his family, and he just shut down again. It makes me cry. At least now we get to move which is monumental decision for him to leave his home town (change and him don't work). But it will isolate/regulate one form of stress. Ah fek there arr times this stuff sucks!! How are things for you?

Community Member
I think i am at the same place as you because a lot of the questions you are asking are ones i have asked myself. I can totally relate to feeling like the parent in the relationship and how tired those shoulders get sometimes. I am also tired of being told, after years of supporting my wife, that I am being selfish during those rare times when i get too tired and need support myself. Sometimes even a hug would be nice as i find myself standing alone in support of my wife in a space vacated by most of our "friends'. I spend long periods of time on my own questioning when or where this is all going and if I will ever get my own life back. So very much like you i could really use a carer / partner coffee date sometimes. We wouldnt even have to talk about PTSD i promise. Just being able to comment positively on how nice the scenery is outside the coffee shop without having to feel guilty or have it shot down in flames would be wonderful.

Hey Paully sorry I havent logged on for quite a while. I think its been easier to focus on the hamster wheel rather than the situation as a whole. My friends have been a rock but especially when the tears erupt during the most inocuous moments. Have noticed that I have been worn down. Slowly adapted my behaviour to suit and choose the easier options. Son has since I first wrote help! has been diagnosed with ASD so life took a really steep learning curve. Wish I could say I have learnt the answers to my questions but I havent. I went back to work where I could interact with other people. Added extra stress but some breathing room. Hubby back in a real low. Cycle has lulled again. I now can't motivate him out more actually I have run out of answers. Kinda got to the point where its angry wife " work it out and move on" not the best frame of mind. Psych sent him home from work for 3 days "for me time and rnr" - kinda want to strangle her atm. Where is my fekn break???? Sounding like Im throwing a tanty and I wish I could stamp my feet and get petulant. Just want happy moments, someone to take the reins for a bit. Still looking for answers. Oh well.

Community Member

Hi Living home

my husband has anxiety and depression, first hospitalised in 2016 but probably on a downward slide since 2015. Its been a journey and a learning curve. I needed to put boundaries in to protect myself - he has doctors and therapists to talk to about his depression so thats not my role as his wife. I also needed to recognise that my mood doesnt need to be tied to his, I can enjoy life and do activities despite where he is at. I sometimes use planners to plan my working week, time with friends, time for exercise and time for leisure. Sometimes I encourage my husband to go out fishing or diving to give me some space. I also have a son with ASD and both my husband and son dont filter very well so sometimes I get dumped with a bit of their stuff, its super important at those times that I can regather some energy away from the family. Its that old saying you cant pour from an empty cup - its so true though. If you are well and rested and have spent time doing things you enjoy and give you a boost everything else seems much easier to handle.