These are generalizations; not all veterans have these reactions, but they are the concerns most commonly shared with me. He is addicted to war, although he loves you. War is horrible, but there is nothing like a life-and-death fight to make you feel truly alive. The adrenaline rush is tremendous, and can never be replaced. Succeeding in combat defines a warrior, places him in a brotherhood where he is always welcome and understood.
The civilian world has its adrenaline junkies as well; just ask any retired firefighter, police officer, or emergency room staff if they miss it. Living for you is harder. It would be easy for him to die for you because he loves you.
What It’s Like To Love A Combat Veteran
Living for you, which is what you actually want, is harder for him. It is even harder for him if you are smart and do not need him to rescue you, since rescuing is something he does really well. If you are very competent at many things, he may at times question if you need him at all. He may not see that you stay with him as a conscious choice.
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It is direct battle doctrine that when ambushed by a superior force, the correct response is "apply maximum firepower and break contact. A warrior has to be able to respond to threat with minimal time pondering choices. While this is life-saving in combat, it is not helpful in the much slower-paced civilian world. A better rule in the civilian world would be to give a reaction proportionate to the provocation.
Small provocation, small response but this could get you killed on the battlefield. Tears are unbearable to him; they create explosive emotions in him that can be difficult for him to control. Unfortunately, that can lead to a warrior responding to strong waves of guilt by applying more "maximum firepower" on friends, family, or unfortunate strangers. He is afraid to get attached to anyone because he has learned that the people you love get killed, and he cannot face that pain again. He may make an exception for his children because they cannot divorce him , but that will be instinctual and he will probably not be able to explain his actions.
He knows the military exists for a reason. The sad fact is that a military exists ultimately to kill people and break things. Technically, your warrior may well be a killer, as are his friends. He may have a hard time seeing that this does not make him a murderer.
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The emotional side of killing in combat is complex. He may not know how to feel about what he's seen or done, and he may not expect his feelings to change over time. Warriors can experiences moments of profound guilt, shame, and self-hatred. He may have experienced a momentary elation at "scoring one for the good guys," then been horrified that he celebrated killing a human being. He may view himself as a monster for having those emotions, or for having gotten used to killing because it happened often. At least, this was the case with me. This realization came in waves over the three years we were together, mixed with intense feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
We cannot make anyone take the help. When I wanted to hang out with friends without having to spend an hour talking D. The caretaker has to stay strong if they are to become a support system, and they need to have support and healthy outlets to maintain that. After years of baby steps forward and monumental steps back, I ultimately made the decision to end the relationship. Still, he never made the choices to show he was ready.
The guilt, sadness, and feeling of defeat were all encompassing.
For two months I barely left my apartment. I felt like I failed him. Let go of guilt. You might feel sadness and grief over the loss of the relationship, but as much as possible, set aside guilt. Meagan Drillinger is a travel and wellness writer. Her focus is on making the most out of experiential travel while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
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What It’s Like To Love A Combat Veteran | Thought Catalog
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