Dating for combat vets

Be silent for a moment, composeyourselves, stand in front of each other, hold hands, look in each other’s eyes, and starttalking to each other this way.

Try this: if you and your partner are having aserious argument or harsh words, both of you stop.This is not a pokergame where bluffing and deception go hand-in-hand with winning.• Don’t lay a guilt trip on your vet, or present it as a test of your relationship.For example: “Ifyou really loved me, you would share more with me” Or: "If you really loved me, youwould understand what’s going on inside me.” Your veteran partner may already befeeling guilty about what he/she did or did not do in the war, or about the hardships youand the family may have gone through while he/she was deployed.• Do not ignore warning signs in your vet that there may be potentially serious problems, such asexcessive drinking, isolating, a deep-seated rage, mood swings, anxiety and sleepdisturbance.It is too sacreda subject to attempt to pry the details out of someone.Remember, you are trampling onhallowed ground.• Do not say, “Did you kill anybody? ” If the vet wants toshare this, the vet will share it.Side note: Also, the veteran may be very concerned about “taking the lid off” of all the pent-upfeelings and memories about war that have been buried.The fear is, “If I open the lid (of thememories, emotions, trauma) I may not be able to put it back on again.” This reluctance is whythere are a number of other war veterans who just don’t want to talk much to anybody, not even toother vets.Otherwise, this is perceived as an invasive and unwanteddemand for the most extremely personal of information.• Don’t take it personally when your veteran does not want to talk about it. Your veteran partner will probably be far comfortabletalking about the war experiences in any detail with another combat veteran.It is crucialto remember that the vast majority of war veterans feel that no one but other combatveterans could possibly understand.And do not EVERtolerate your veteran partner hurting you or your family. But to bring it back into the home is quite another. If you can’tprotect yourself or your family, then immediately go talk to someone who can help you.The Do’s• Do remember to reach down deep within and stay in touch with the love you have for yourveteran - even if it is more of a love for how he or she was before deployment than howhe or she is behaving right now.• Do remember that your relationship that should be at least as important as the individual needsand wants of each of you.

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