Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?


Do you ever sometimes feel like you’re dealing with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario?   The frustrating part of dealing with sweet and nice Dr. Jekyll, when all of a sudden a completely different person, one who can be a complete and utter asshole comes out leaving the wind knocked from your sails?

Lately, my husband has been doing well, and for that I am extremely proud.  For the past year and a half, I have had to take a hiatus of sorts with regards to the support group to help my husband.  He needed me and demanded more of my time.  For the past months, he is been doing somewhat well: taking his medication as he is supposed to, contacting the VA to be seen for therapy (which is a complete 1st, and I am very proud of him), has been sweet, and even supportive of me getting back in to helping other spouses.

Then this morning, a different person pops out.  He let me sleep in, taking the baby when he woke up at 5am.  Sweet right?  I would come to regret it later.  After I woke up, and got ready for work, we were discussing family business.  Then the snide comment comes.  Completely out of left field.  I asked if he was serious.  He said yes he was serious.  I realize my husband memory is short, but is it that damn short that he forgets just yesterday that he was thanking me for everything I’ve done, and how I have held this family together?

I don’t say anything after that.  I gather my things for work, get our son, dropping him of at pre-school and go to work.  Honestly, I start to stew at that point.  Pissed doesn’t even begin to describe how his comment made me feel.  I felt he was being completely ungrateful, unreasonable, and shortsighted. Damnit, I have been the one keeping this family afloat and going. I’ve been the one sacrificing, and going through the motions, and doing everything in my power to get him help, to get us to a point we are today. And damnit, I think I have don’t a pretty good f-ing job of it too.

Needless to say, I did something I shouldn’t have, doing something I continually advise against. I sent a text filled with anger, cussing, and all around don’ts when it comes to relationships, especially a relationship with PTSD involved. Yup, I did it. After complaining at his comment, and telling him what I thought of his comment, I gave him the old F*** you. I know I know. Bad idea right? Right.

So after work, I come home, and I see him watching American Sniper. Of course, I know what the movie is, but I ask him anyway what he was watching. Nothing. Yup, nothing. Not a word. So, I ask if he is going to talk to me. No words, just shaking his head. He gets up, and speaks sweetly to the kids. Very nice to them. Not a word to me. Nope, not one word. He gets ready for work, and leaves shortly after my arrival home….going in to work 3 hours early.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Was I childish? Yes. Was the text necessary? No. Should I have done it? No. I just snapped in a moment of being tired of not snapping, and angry the way I felt, and the way he made me feel by his comment. Should I have conveyed that to him in a more productive and different way? Absolutely. When it comes to PTSD, for myself, the feeling of being unable to control the situation is maddening….

And then I begin to think…and think. Imagine the way he feels. Imagine the frustrating feeling at times of feeling out of control. Unable to stop the way he feels. Doing everything that he can to do it a different way, yet cant stop the way he feels. Of course, I think of this and what do I do? The thing we women do best at times we shouldn’t….feel guilt. Feel horrible at the way I reacted to him. With PTSD, I cant control his feelings, actions or sometimes the day to day, BUT I can control MY reaction, and the way I react to it. And today, I reacted horribly, and if I get down to it, I overreacted. Am I justified in my feeling? Maybe. Am I justified in the way I reacted? No.

And so it goes….I am going to do the only thing I know how…which is apologize….even if I don’t feel 100% at fault. While the child in me wants to stay mad, and give him the silent treatment, the adult in me knows that isn’t the right answer. I should apologize, realizing that I could in fact, be making things worse for him, worse for me, and worse for us. When it is all said and done, he is my best friend, he is my confident, he is my husband, and I don’t want it any other way. I accepted him just the way he is, PTSD and all. Sometimes, I have to do all I can to make things a little bit easier. That doesn’t mean I should accept bad behavior, but it doesn’t mean I have to be a bitch either.

12 thoughts on “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

  1. I deal with this on a daily basis. Most of the time I take the high road. Every now and then I do exactly what you did. I always feel like shit and always end up feeling guilty. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.


  2. I wanted to thank you for sharing this. The mood swings are an on going situation at our house. My husband acts like he wants to have the final say so in every aspect of the house hold but when i give that to him he cant cope with the stress of decision making for a family of 7. On the other hand, when i try to handle everything myself, to spare him the chaos of 5 teenagers he is upset by that as well. How do i find a happy medium?


  3. I love how people get on here and complain about their spouse and make it public so everyone has a window to their relationship. Oh that’s just us…? How do you deal with someone who’s had PTSD prior to the military? How do you talk to your spouse about being raped, abuse, and having sex for money? These things affect the relationship as well


    • Did you read the post in it’s entirety? I wasn’t complaining about my spouse, but sharing an instance that happened, and what I felt, and did. My husband is able to see all that I post on this page as well as the Facebook page. As far as PTSD prior to the military, I am not sure. I realize that PTSD is outside the military but I am only writing from what I, myself know, as the spouse of a veteran living with PTSD.


  4. Help my daughter Shana Kieswetter her life and my family’s life has been in a very unstable since January he’s been verbally and mentally abbusive hovering over her calling her useless all the things a husband and a father of five girls shouldn’t be doing. The latest is he has gotten my daughter out of the house with her 16 month old daughter on a dv case. He name called and hovered till she threw a plate on the floor a piece hit his leg scratching him he called the cops they took her to jail he’s been treating my daughter and granddaughters like shit and getting away with it he is a manipulating asshole nobody is helping my daughter I don’t know what to do to help her out of this. Some advice would be great. The situation needs attending now. Va doesn’t help him please someone lead me in the right direction for my family’s sake.


    • Hi sorry for the late reply. These notifications were sent to my spam folder. How have things been? Did your daughter get a lawyer? Unfortunately if he isn’t willing to get help, there isn’t much that can be done. If your daughter is engaging with him when he is in a different mind set, it can make things worse as well as make him worse. Sometimes it is best to leave the situation if he is being unreasonable. Also, marriage counseling is a must. Most Vet Centers offer it. Give An Hour is also a an option.


  5. Where do we get in help in dealing with the Dr. Jekle & Mr. Hyde syndrome? I have been married to my husband for 12 years, he is 100% service connected, I feel that I have done quite well in educating myself on vets with PTSD and TBI. I do everything in my power to avoid triggers and NEVER instigate fights. I never put him down, curse at him, or go out of my way to make him feel that his PTSD is a burden. I always make him understand that I work within his disorder. Though, these pass few months are almost too much. With the attacks from ISIS across seas and here on US soil coupled with all the attacks on our police my husband is constantly triggered. I walk into the door to only be greated by a hearty “fuck up” and everything is my fault, to furniture being thrown in my direction. I leave come back several hours to him only being more angry. The next day he is calm but feels no need to apologize because according to him, ” I will never get it” . Seriously, I am all for understanding and being sympathetic but an apology is warrented. What counseling services are there to help spouses and family members to cope with a loved suffering from PTSD. Us, the support system in families need outside support to.


    • Sorry for the late reply. The notifications were sent to a spam folder. Do you have a Vet Center near you? They provide marriage counseling and many now offer family counseling. If your spouse is willing to be seen there, you are able to get individual counseling. Another option is Give An Hour. They provide free counseling to veterans and their families. Go to giveanhour.org


  6. Thank you for sharing! These types of fights are very common in my house and its comforting knowing I’m not the only one. My husbands moods come in waves and when we have days like this, it’s one after the other. And then we will be good for a couple months. I try so hard to take the high road, but it’s very challenging at times.


  7. Thank you! My husband is a veteran with PTSD, and last night was a bad one, and this morning I’ve been reaching out to all the resources for veterans and trying to get him to talk to the doctor, but I don’t have to tell you how receptive he is to this. But I just randomly Googled “Wives of Veterans” and found the FB page and you had posted this… and its what I needed to find the strength to keep battling. Sometimes I question my sanity having put myself in this relationship and fighting for our family every day: who would CHOOSE this life? Knowing there’s other spouses fighting the same battle, who KNOW its worth it, even when common sense seems to say otherwise… well it makes a difference. Thanks again!


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