PTSD, Marriage…Divorce?

PTSD, Marriage…Divorce?



With 4th of July reminding us of the many men and women who braved into battle in order to protect our freedoms, one cannot help but to ponder those suffering from PTSD.  PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a disorder characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.  This of course doesn’t limit itself to people serving in wars.  PTSD may occur essentially from any traumatic event.  Therefore, while most individuals associate PTSD with soldiers coming back from war, it is a disorder which can affect anyone.  Not treating PTSD appropriately could lead to tension in the marriage. What makes matters more challenging is the reality that many spouses may not realize their significant other is suffering from PTSD.

The most common symptoms of PTSD include:

·       Reliving the trauma either through flashbacks or actual reenactments;
·       Reoccurring nightmares related to the trauma or the traumatic event;
·       Avoiding people or situations that remind one of the trauma he/she suffered;
·       Feeling on guard;
·       Becoming easily irritated;
·       Getting startled easily (more than the average person);

Before self-diagnosing, it is best to consult your doctor.  Typically, the symptoms listed above last for one month or more before it presents a concern.  .  Other forms of duress related to PTSD can manifest into chronic depression, anxiety, violence, substance abuse and becoming being emotionally shut off from loved ones. Clearly, these symptoms can lead to strained relationships.

PTSD affects the individual, but also those around him or her.  Friends, extended family, children and spouses all experience a change in lifestyle and / or the relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes a spouse or significant other, no matter how patient and understanding they may be, may no longer be emotionally, mentally, or physically capable of maintaining their relationship with the individual suffering from PTSD.  This can and will sometimes dissolve a marriage.

Of course, every individual and every situation is different.  If you’re finding yourself in this situation, don’t assume it can’t work out or that your loved one cannot recover from PTSD. 

While not all treatments for PTSD are successful, there are several helpful options available including, but not limited to:

·       One-on-one and group therapy;
·       Anger and stress management;
·       Assertiveness training;
·       Couples counseling;
·       Family education classes;
·       Family therapy;

If you or a spouse suffers from PTSD, you should first seek the assistance of a mental health professional.  There are ways to prevent the stress from PTSD leading to the end of a marriage.  If the approaches listed above are not successful, then hiring an experienced divorce attorney will be essential in guiding you through this difficult time.


Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law, based in North Andover, MA, also serves Methuen, MA and surrounding areas, including New Hampshire.  The law firm was recently recognized as a “Best Law Firm” from US. News & World Report for 2019, for 3 years in a row.  If you are considering divorce, or have other family law-related concerns such as child custody, mediation / arbitration, modifications, pre-nuptial / post-nuptial, and paternity matters, consider contacting Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law.

For more information and to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce attorney serving in Methuen, MA, please visit our website. To learn more about the U.S. News & World Report of Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law, click here .

For a family law and divorce consultation in North Andover, MA, 
contact us at Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law

(978) 681-5454 info@fsnfamilylaw.com

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