9 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
Fact checked

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) can have a significant impact on a person’s life, including their marriage. The condition can cause intense emotional and psychological distress, leading to a range of relationship problems. For the spouse of a PTSD sufferer, the experience can be challenging to navigate. Understanding the impact of PTSD on marriage and learning how to effectively deal with a PTSD spouse can be crucial for maintaining a healthy and strong relationship.

PTSD and marriage breakdown are often intertwined, as the symptoms of PTSD can lead to serious problems in the relationship. For example, individuals with PTSD may struggle with trust and intimacy issues, leading to infidelity and contributing to the breakdown of the marriage. Additionally, the stress and trauma associated with PTSD can put a significant strain on the relationship, making it difficult for partners to cope and ultimately leading to divorce.

PTSD And Marriage Breakdown

The impact of PTSD on the spouse can be just as significant. The spouse of a PTSD sufferer may struggle with feelings of isolation, frustration, and a lack of understanding of the condition. Moreover, the symptoms of PTSD can impact the entire family, including children, leading to a range of behavioral and emotional problems.

For those dealing with a PTSD spouse, it’s essential to seek support and resources. This may include therapy for both partners, support groups, and educational resources on the condition. By learning to effectively manage the symptoms of PTSD and working together as a team, couples can overcome the challenges posed by the condition and maintain a healthy and strong relationship.

Research has shown that there can be a significant impact of PTSD on the spouse. When a spouse has PTSD, it can cause difficulties in communication, intimacy, and overall relationship satisfaction, which can ultimately lead to a breakdown in the marriage. Here are five reasons why PTSD marriage problems can cause marriage breakdown.

Communication difficulties: People with PTSD may struggle with communication, especially when it comes to discussing their traumatic experiences. They may avoid talking about it or become easily agitated or defensive when the subject comes up. This can cause a breakdown in communication and leave the non-affected spouse feeling frustrated and unheard.

Intimacy issues: PTSD can also cause intimacy problems in a marriage. People with PTSD may struggle with physical intimacy due to symptoms like anxiety, hypervigilance, and nightmares. This can lead to a decrease in sexual desire and a decrease in physical affection, which can cause a rift in the relationship.

Difficulty managing emotions: People with PTSD may experience intense emotions, including anger, irritability, and mood swings. These outbursts can be triggered by small events and can make it difficult for their spouse to predict their behavior, which can cause tension and conflict in the marriage.

Trust issues: Trust can be difficult for people with PTSD, as they may feel betrayed by the traumatic event they experienced. This can lead to trust issues in their marriage, making it difficult for them to fully trust their spouse and leaving the non-affected spouse feeling like they are constantly being scrutinized.

Financial stress: PTSD can also cause financial stress in a marriage. People with PTSD may struggle with work and earning a steady income, and the added stress of financial insecurity can put a strain on the relationship. Additionally, the cost of treatment and therapy can also add to the financial stress.

PTSD can have a devastating impact on a marriage, but with the right support and resources, it is possible to overcome these challenges. Couples counseling can help both partners understand each other’s needs and work together to improve communication, intimacy, and trust. Medications and therapy can also help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, making it easier for the affected spouse to manage their emotions and participate in the relationship.

It’s important to remember that recovery from PTSD takes time and effort, and it’s essential to have patience, empathy, and understanding. Both partners should be willing to work together and support each other in their journey toward healing. By seeking help and working together, a marriage impacted by PTSD can be saved and strengthened.

Studies have shown that individuals with PTSD are more likely to experience relationship problems, including divorce. We will explore 10 common facts and figures about PTSD and divorce rates.

Higher divorce rates: Research has shown that individuals with PTSD have a higher risk of divorce compared to the general population. A study conducted by the National Center for PTSD found that 60% of male veterans with PTSD reported being divorced, compared to 35% of male veterans without PTSD. Similarly, women with PTSD also reported higher rates of divorce.

Increased alcohol and drug use: People with PTSD are more likely to engage in substance abuse, including alcohol and drugs. Substance abuse can lead to relationship problems and contribute to divorce.

Lack of support: People with PTSD may struggle to receive adequate support from their partners, which can contribute to relationship problems and divorce. A study found that lack of support was a significant predictor of divorce in couples where one partner had PTSD.

Higher rates of depression: People with PTSD are more likely to experience depression, which can contribute to relationship problems and increase the likelihood of divorce.

Domestic violence: Studies have shown that individuals with PTSD are at a higher risk of domestic violence, which can lead to relationship problems and divorce.

Different coping mechanisms: People with PTSD may have different coping mechanisms compared to their partners, which can contribute to relationship problems and increase the likelihood of divorce.

Impact on children: PTSD can also have an impact on children in the family. Children of parents with PTSD are at a higher risk of behavioral and emotional problems, including anxiety and depression, which can contribute to relationship problems and increase the likelihood of divorce.

Higher rates of infidelity: People with PTSD may struggle with trust and intimacy issues, which can lead to infidelity and contribute to divorce.

Geographical differences: Studies have shown that the prevalence of PTSD and divorce rates can vary depending on geographical location. For example, research has shown that the prevalence of PTSD and divorce rates are higher among rural populations compared to urban populations.

While these facts and figures suggest a higher likelihood of divorce for individuals with PTSD, it’s important to remember that not all marriages affected by PTSD will end in divorce. With the right support and resources, couples can overcome the challenges posed by PTSD and strengthen their relationship. Couples therapy, individual therapy, and support groups can help individuals with PTSD manage their symptoms and improve their relationships.

PTSD can affect anyone, including military personnel, first responders, survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence, and others. If your spouse has PTSD, it can be challenging to understand and manage their symptoms, but it’s important to approach the situation with empathy, patience, and a willingness to learn. Here are 10 steps for dealing with PTSD spouses.

Educate yourself about PTSD: Understanding the condition can help you better understand what your spouse is going through. Read books, and articles, or watch videos about PTSD to gain insight into the symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

Be supportive: Listen to your spouse and offer encouragement and support. Let them know that they are not alone and that you are there for them. Acknowledge their feelings and let them express their thoughts and emotions without judgment.

Avoid triggers: Triggers are specific events, places, or situations that cause a person with PTSD to relive their traumatic experience. Avoid these triggers and, if necessary, make changes in your environment to reduce your spouse’s exposure to them.

Be patient: People with PTSD can experience symptoms such as irritability, anger, and avoidance of certain situations. Be patient and understanding when your spouse experiences these symptoms, and try to remain calm and non-judgmental.

Maintain open communication: Communication is key in any relationship, but it’s especially important when one partner has PTSD. Talk openly and honestly about your spouse’s symptoms and how they are affecting your relationship. Ask for their input and listen to their concerns.

Take care of yourself: Caring for someone with PTSD can be emotionally taxing, so it’s important to take care of yourself as well. Make time for self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with friends and family.

Encourage treatment: Encourage your spouse to seek treatment, such as therapy or medication. If they are resistant to treatment, offer your support and help them find a mental health professional that they feel comfortable with.

Learn coping strategies: Work with your spouse to develop coping strategies to manage their symptoms. This could include mindfulness practices, deep breathing exercises, or physical activity.

Seek support for yourself: Caring for someone with PTSD can be challenging, so it’s important to seek support for yourself. Consider joining a support group for spouses of individuals with PTSD or seeking counseling to work through your own emotions.

Stay positive: Despite the challenges, it’s important to maintain a positive outlook. Focus on your strengths as a couple and work together to overcome obstacles. Remember that recovery is possible and that your spouse’s PTSD does not define their character or your relationship.

Dealing with a spouse with PTSD can be difficult, but with patience, understanding, and the right tools, it is possible to manage the symptoms and maintain a strong and supportive relationship. Seek help from mental health professionals if necessary, and remember to take care of yourself as well. By working together, you can help your spouse heal and move forward in a positive direction.

Seeking professional help for a spouse with PTSD is an important step in managing the condition and maintaining a healthy relationship. However, it can be difficult to know when the right time is to seek help. Here are some signs that it may be time to seek professional help:

Persistent symptoms: If your spouse’s symptoms of PTSD persist for more than a few weeks, it may be time to seek professional help. Symptoms of PTSD can include intrusive thoughts and flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and heightened anxiety and stress levels.

Impairment in daily life: If your spouse’s PTSD symptoms are affecting their daily life, it may be time to seek help. For example, if they are having difficulty at work, withdrawing from social activities, or struggling to maintain relationships, it may be time to seek professional help.

Strained relationships: If your spouse’s PTSD is putting a strain on your relationship, it may be time to seek professional help. Symptoms of PTSD, such as anger, irritability, and emotional detachment, can be challenging for a partner to deal with and can lead to relationship problems.

Substance abuse: Substance abuse is a common coping mechanism for individuals with PTSD. If your spouse is struggling with substance abuse, it may be time to seek professional help for both their PTSD and substance abuse issues.

Suicidal thoughts: If your spouse is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it’s important to seek professional help immediately.

Remember that seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. With the right support and resources, individuals with PTSD can manage their symptoms and maintain healthy relationships. A mental health professional can help your spouse work through their symptoms and develop coping strategies to manage their PTSD.

  1. PTSD and your marriage. Focus on the Family. Available at:
  2. PTSD and marriage: 5 things spouses need to know. Available at:
  3. The Definitive Guide to PTSD relationships that thrive. This Life This Moment. Available at:
  4. How PTSD can affect your marriage. Biltmore Psychology and Counseling. Available at:
  5. Understanding PTSD and its effects on marriage. Counseling & Wellness Center of South Florida. Available at:
  6. This is how PTSD can affect your marriage. Psych Central. Available at:


The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


a successful and proven concept focusing on underlying causes


0 Before

Send Admission Request

0 Before

Define Treatment Goals

1 week

Assessments & Detox

1-4 week

Psychological & Holistic Therapy

4 week

Family Therapy

5-8 week


12+ week

Refresher Visit

Trauma & PTSD Insights

latest news & research on Trauma & PTSD
Trauma And Epigenetics
Trauma And Epigenetics

Traumatic experiences can lead to long-lasting epigenetic changes, potentially contributing to mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

read more
Best Trauma Treatment Centers

Joining an intensive trauma treatment center is essential because these specialized facilities offer a comprehensive approach to recovery

read more
Best PTSD Treatment Centers

Many PTSD centers offer alternative and complementary therapies to support traditional treatments.

read more
Childhood Emotional Neglect

Childhood emotional neglect is a pervasive issue that affects millions of individuals worldwide.

read more


British Psychology Society
Institute de terapia neural
pro mesotherapie
Somatic Experience


Mallorca Zeitung
Khaleej Times
Entrepreneur ME
Express UK
Apartment Therapy
General Anzeiger
Metro UK
Marie Claire
National World
Woman & Home
Business Leader
Mirror UK
The Times
The Standard
The Stylist