Troubled vet

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 and a half years. When we met I was separated from my ex husband who at the time was in the same unit of the army as my current boyfriend. When the army found out that we were seeing each other because my divorce was not final my boyfriend got demoted and received extra duty from the army. He has been out of the army for a year and we have been going strong until a few months ago. He has pretty much decided that he is unable to put our past behind him. He says the way we got together basically tarnished his army career and he is unable to forget it. He thought being away from the army would help but it has only gotten worse. He says he loves me and wants nothing more than to be with me but is pretty convinced this will always haunt him. Since he has been out of the army he has not moved on to a new career basically hasn’t done anything to actually move on . I guess my question is…is this something that we can get past or should we just end it now?

A: It sounds to me that there is more troubling your boyfriend than your relationship. He hasn’t moved on in other important aspects of life either. Your guy is having trouble with reentry into civilian life. Yes, your relationship may have issues but I also think it is acting as a lightening rod for other strong feelings that have nothing to do with your history. Please talk to him about contacting the National Veterans Foundation at 1 888-777-4443. Vet Centers are located all around the country and serve veterans and their families for free. They offer readjustment counseling, and employment, education, and health services among other things. It’s certainly worth a phone call to see what they can offer.

I wish you both well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Dec 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Troubled vet. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/12/22/troubled-vet/