- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
DEAR MS. VICKI: Husband needs help; wife needs backup
Dear Ms. Vicki, My husband has spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past five years, and he is not even active-duty. He is in the National Guard.
He has been home for six months and is not doing well by my book. That’s making it hard to communicate with him and keep our marriage going. I believe he has post-traumatic stress disorder and is using alcohol and possibly other drugs to help him cope.
I keep begging him to speak to a professional, but he refuses. He says he doesn’t want to lose his job, and he doesn’t want to have someone poking his nose in our business. He keeps saying he is fine, but I know he isn’t.
He also feels that soldiers shouldn’t get help, that it’s handled in the units. Why is he using this as an excuse? I’m really afraid for him If he continues on this way; I know something bad is going to happen. Where do I turn?
- National Guard Spouse
Soldiers are coming forth and receiving services. I know this is a difficult concept for your husband to grasp. Mental health professionals like me are doing all we can to erase the stigma of getting mental health services, and units and commanders are helping increasingly with this.
Studies show the numbers of service members coming forward and honestly reporting different changes and symptoms pre- and post-deployment are increasing. I think this is great. Unfortunately, there is still the thinking that receiving services means you are weak or unfit for duty. Some service members even think that speaking to a professional therapist could have an adverse effect on their career, i.e., loss of promotion or of a security clearance. It’s actually the reverse: Not seeking services when they’re needed definitely will have negative repercussions on one’s career.
Though you can’t make your husband reach out for services, I think it would be a good idea for you to speak to a professional counselor to help you. I think you need the support. I also think it’s imperative that I validate your concerns: Your husband does need help. He needs help right now. It’s only a matter of time before he has legal troubles, whether it be a DUI or problems on the job.
I’m also concerned about your support network. I think you should visit www.militaryonesource.com, which offers a host of services and resources for National Guard members and their families. You also can call and speak to someone by phone 24/7. All services are free.
I know this is a difficult time for you, and I don’t want you to think that I’m placing this all on your shoulders to handle alone. I encourage you to learn more about combat stress disorders. The more you know, the more you can share with your husband. Tell him that he can get help and still keep his dignity. Try soliciting assistance from trusted family members and friends who can encourage him to seek help. Hang in there and keep in touch.
Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband is preparing to leave for his third deployment. He’s superstitious and keeps saying, “The third time is the charm.” He says he knows he won’t come back this time and it’s only a matter of time before his luck runs out. I know he is scared, and he is saying he won’t go this time, but he would be AWOL.
After two miscarriages, I just found out that I am six weeks pregnant with our first child. I know he is excited he is going to be a father and he is angry that he could miss the birth of our first child or not be around to see his child grow up.
Trust me, Ms. Vicki, I’m trying to be the voice of reason and face this like a mature adult. If he goes AWOL, it won’t solve anything; it scares me to think of the problems that going AWOL would cause. He just won’t listen to me and says he wants to keep his parents out of this. (In a way, I don’t want to involve his parents, either. His dad has high blood pressure and his mother is a diabetic. They have stress of their own.)
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
- Nancy Pelosi washes immigrants' feet in humble Holy Week act then promotes on Twitter
- Former Blue Angels commander relieved of duty for alleged misconduct
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.