Supporting a Spouse with a TBI or PTS

An open letter to military spouses dealing with TBI or PTS:

Dear Spouse,

When the man or woman you love suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), a strain can immediately be put on your relationship.

To keep the relationship healthy, educate yourself as much as possible on your significant other’s symptoms as well as treatment options. This helps you avoid taking negative behaviors to heart that are a result of their PTS or TBI as something you may have done wrong.

By learning more, you can better identify warning signs of your partner’s stress or anger, and maintain your own mental and emotional health as well.

Read our list of tips below that can help you maintain a healthy and loving relationship with your spouse who suffers with PTS or a TBI:

Be Patient. Recovery is a long process. These things take time, setbacks will happen.

Listen. Be available for your spouse to talk to, and make it known that you are there to listen. When your partner is ready to talk, be cognizant of his or her feelings and struggles. Don’t worry about providing advice – the mere act of listening can do wonders for the recovery process.

Spend time together. Try carving out time in both of your schedules to spend together every day. Even if you are performing a mundane task, the quality time together can strengthen your relationship.

Join a support group. Surrounding yourself with people in similar circumstances can both build you up and provide you with advice.

Communicate. Be very cognizant of your word choices. Avoid things such as blaming, ultimatums and comparisons. They can be toxic to any relationship.

Deal with anger and unpredictability. Watch out for signs that your spouse is angry, like a clenched jaw or fist. Remain calm and ask if you can help him or her. Above all, keep your safety first. If they seem like they may hurt themselves or others, call for help.

Take care of yourself. Your partner will need to lean on you for support, but if you ignore your own needs, eventually you will get burned out. Make sure to manage your own stress and well-being. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Please go to friends and family for assistance when you need it.

We appreciate every military spouse for your hard work and unwavering support for the military. Keep up with us on Facebook for more information about what Intrepid is doing to help military families.

Posted on May 16 2016 in Blog

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