Advice for Husbands

FamilyOfaVet - Real world info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat
FamilyOfaVet - Real World info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat.
So things aren’t quite the way you want in your relationship.  She’s annoyed, angry,
frustrated and it feels like she’s taking it all out on YOU.

Well, while PTSD does affect your relationship outside the bedroom, it reflects your
relationship INSIDE of it even more.

Here are some insider tips from a woman who KNOWS on how to…shall we say…work your
way back into good graces.

Give her some space…without you…or the kids in it.

Ask any woman with children on earth what she really wants and she’ll tell you alone time.  
If you aren’t good at handling the kids then drop them off at a relatives or find a babysitter
who can watch them outside of your home.  You’ll be a hero in seconds.

Now GO AWAY.  Jeff Foxworthy has joked about how a woman will say, “’I need some
space.’  Which is actually half a sentence.  The rest of it is ‘without you in it’.”  Give her
space.  Tell her explicitly. “Honey, I’m taking the kids/dropping them off with so and so.  Don’
t clean the house. Don’t do laundry.  Don’t make dinner.  Go relax.  I’ll be home in an hour.”

You are now GOLDEN because you have administered to HER needs.  It’s really just that
simple.  GO AWAY.  Trust me, it helps!

Give her one on one time with you….without the kids.

Okay, now the kids are gone and she’s had some down time.  Come home and either make
her dinner or pick up take out.  Pizza Hut or the cheap Chinese place down the street is the
food of kings for the woman who doesn’t have to make it or clean up after it.  Expensive isn’
t key (it’s a nice touch…but not key).  

TURN OFF THE TV and actually talk during dinner.  That funny large object in the middle
of your dining room buried under children’s science projects, junk mail, bills, and homework
is actually called a TABLE.  Use it.  Sit down and eat dinner.  Talk.  Smile.  Hold hands.  

Just once, let her pick.

She’s so keyed in to trying and making your PTSD easier that she will probably pick what
you’d want anyway.  Better yet, pick something you KNOW she’d like for her.  Ask her mom
or friend for advice.  Curl up on the couch and just watch a movie together.  It’s just one
chick flick.  You won’t die.  Don’t make a move.  Pretend it’s your first date with your wife
and her Dad’s sitting at home polishing his rifle.  A little kiss here or there is cute.  
Molesting her while she’s watching something made by Disney is NOT COOL.  

Be romantic.

You might think what we’ve covered so far IS romantic.  It’s not.  It’s courtesy.  Roses might
not be in the budget but there’s nothing expensive about gentle caresses and taking your
time.  Good kisses, the kind the make you lose your balance.  In my house, I’m ecstatic just
to have my husband bring me home a cold Diet Pepsi.  It doesn’t take much to get her to
look at you like you’re Prince Charming.  Put a note in your wallet and paper clip it to a
dollar.  Write down – Get ___ Something.  

TRY to remember.

Okay, we understand PTSD and TBI affect your ability to remember things but please try to
remember her birthday and your anniversary.  Mother’s Day is another good one to get.  If
you have a hard time remembering, set up an automatic reminder through a service like  It’s free.  Set up 3 reminders per event.  Number one should be two
weeks in advance to remind you to get a gift.  Number two should be two days before to
remind you to wrap the gift and to pick it up if you forgot the first reminder.  Number three
should be ON the day of the event to remind you one last time.  

Gifts for absolutely no reason.

Okay, I know we’re harping on the gift thing but while we’re at it, gifts for no reason are not
only romantic, they’re priceless.  No one says it has to be something major.  It can be
something small and cheap.  It can be a card from the dollar store.  Trust me, she’ll be
grateful that you cared.

Try dating etiquette again.

You wouldn’t DREAM of taking a strange woman out on a date unshaven, unbathed, in
dirty clothes, in a car full of burger wrappers, and without brushing your teeth.  Don’t do it
to your wife.  She CHOSE you.  Help her remember why.  Please and Thank you go a
VERY long way.  Putting your dishes in the sink.  It’s the little things that ruin a marriage.  If
you get NOTHING ELSE out of this article, remember that sentence.  It’s the little things that
ruin a marriage.  Work on common courtesy and the little things and the big things will get

It’s easy to forget this stuff for her too.  Every ounce of effort will be repaid….so make the
effort and remind her that you love her.  Women often make the mistake of waiting for the
guy to make the first move.  It’s been ingrained in our heads since birth that it’s the “polite”
thing to do.  Take the first step.  You’ll be glad you did.

This article was written by our own Heather Hummert, the wife of an OIF Veteran & Purple
Heart Recipient.  If you would like to contact Heather directly, you can e-mail her at
Heather -at- or

If you would like to help us build this site and reach out to other Veterans, their spouses,
and children, please e-mail us at Info -at- or

Don't miss these other articles about PTSD & Intimacy:

Rules of Engagement
Advice for Husbands
Advice for Wives
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