About eight percent of people experience PTSD at some point. For those who don’t know, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that happens when someone has experienced a traumatic experience. This is not something that will just go away thinking of positive things or that it means they do not love you.

A traumatic experience includes a severe accident, physical abuse, sexual assault, military combat, domestic abuse attacks, survival of gun violence and natural disasters.

People who do suffer from this disorder often experience symptoms such as addictive behavior, feeling numb, constantly avoiding and reliving the experience they went through. As a married couple, it falls to you to do everything you can to comfort your significant other. However, it's not always as easy thing to do.

If they are worried about how their PTSD will conflict with their work, help them through it. If they need disability help them file for it. If they were in the armed forces and can qualify for educational assistance for military personnel, help them apply. Do the work they can't. Be a team.

Continue reading to learn three tips for understanding a spouse with PTSD.

Provide Social Support

The most common trait that many people with PTSD exhibit is withdrawing from family and friends. Although it’s important that you respect your spouse’s boundaries, providing comfort and support can help your spouse with PTSD deal with the grief and despair. In fact, study has shown that having face-to-face support is one of the most important factors in recovering from PTSD.

Here are some tips to help you provide the proper support:

Do not pressure them into talking
Engage in normal things like a class or a lunch date
Remain patient
Let your spouse take the lead

Listen To What They Have To Say

While it’s unwise to push your spouse with PTSD to talk, always listen to what they have to say without judgment or expectations. Show them that you’re interested, engaged and you care, but do not concern yourself with giving advice.

Here are some things you need to avoid:

Do not give your loved stock answers such as “everything will be okay”
Don’t stop them from talking about their fears and concerns
Do not give unwanted advice or tell your spouse what they should do
Do not give any ultimatums
Don’t minimize or deny their experience
Do not take over the conversation with your own experiences

Help Rebuild Trust and Safety

When a person experiences trauma, it can change their perspective on the world. It can make them think that the world is a frightening and dangerous place to be. It’s up to you to help your spouse rebuild their trust and sense of security.

If they say something makes them uncomfortable, listen. Don't rationalize irrational fears. Don't tell them to get over it. You will build trust with your actions. If you know their triggers, warn them when you see them on social posts on television. Let them know you take their health seriously as they do.

Here’s how you can do so:

Let them know you’re committed to the relationship
Eliminate as much of their stress as you can
Keep any promises you make
Encourage your spouse to take part in a support group

Dealing with a spouse with PTSD may seem overwhelming, but try to imagine what they’re going through. That should make it all the more important to understand and support them.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.