How to best support a long-distance not-boyfriend who is dealing with PTSD?
April 22, 2012 8:33 AM Subscribe
How can I be a (romantic?) long-distance friend to someone with PTSD?
posted by manicure12 to human relations (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A former boyfriend and I have been flirtatious and in touch off and on in the past 8 years since distance ended our dating relationship. It's been fun and carefree. We meet up occasionally, maybe once every two years, depending on if we're both single. We live a 3-hour flight/way too long drive away from each other, and we were even farther away when he was serving in the Army. We have kept in touch via phone, texting, email, and little snail mail presents.
We of course haven't been as close as an actual LTR, but we really care about each other. We had an amazing visit this summer, but communication has been sparse since then. I found out through a mutual friend that he had dropped off communication with many of his close friends too. Last time we talked on the phone, a few weeks ago, he said he was having trouble adjusting to "civillian life." His time in the Army is done, but he had a rough time over there and told me he was going to go to the VA to get diagnosed officially as PTSD.
I've seen advice given on being a partner or friend of someone dealing with PTSD, but want some advice specifically on our unusual and long-distance relationship. Should I give him space and wait for him to contact me? Should I "check in" on him more concerned-friend style rather than just reach out to say hi and flirt and do the how is your week going? (as I would usually do)
If you've been there on either side, advice and such would be great! Basically I guess what I want to know is, should I fall back into friends mode while this is pretty much taking over a lot of his life, or should I just carry on "as normal"? Want to be conscious of his vulnerabilities and be supportive. Just not sure how the romantic/sexual component fits in, or if it should fit in at all.
I know "talk to him" is the general answer, but I want to feel prepared, and on the best track, when I do that, cause this is new to me.