October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a time to think about the problem and learn how and why domestic violence is so prevalent among our combat vets. With knowledge, we can try to “fight back” against this epidemic that is destroying so many lives.
I’ll be referring here to an excellent article from the National Center for PTSD, titled Partners of Veterans with PTSD: Research Findings. Their fact sheet provides information about the common problems experienced in relationships in which one or both of the partners has PTSD.
This fact sheet also provides recommendations for how one can cope with these difficulties. The majority of the research involved female partners (typically wives) of male veterans. However, there is much clinical and anecdotal evidence to suggest that these problems also exist for couples where the identified PTSD patient is female.
What are common problems in relationships with PTSD-diagnosed veterans?
Research has examined the effect of PTSD on intimate relationships and reveals severe and pervasive negative effects on:
- Marital adjustment
- General family functioning
- The mental health of partners
These negative effects result in:
- Compromised parenting
- Family violence
- Sexual problems
- Caregiver burnout
Studies have found that families of veterans with PTSD have more family violence, more physical and verbal aggression, and more instances of violence against a partner.
It has been noted that 42% of 50 Vietnam veterans in a particular study, showed they had engaged in at least one act of physical violence against their partner in the previous year. 92% had verbally abused their partner in the prior year.
The severity of the veteran’s PTSD symptoms was directly related to the severity of relationship problems and physical and verbal aggression against the partner.
To read more facts on this subject, go to:
Oh, how I relate to this personally, and in my next post, I’ll focus on “caregiver burden” and help for the combat veteran’s partner.