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Relationship PTSD?

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I was in a brief relationship a couple of years ago, with someone I had very strong feelings for. He ended up cheating on my with his ex, the two of them called me and verbally attacked me together on the phone. Then I didn’t hear from him. But she continually called me to update me, telling me she felt bad for me and that he told her I was overweight and he never really loved me, things of that nature.

A year passed, I worked on being alone and recovering. Then he came back into my life. He apologized thousands of times and worked to get back together with me. He has changed so much.

I have worked on forgiving him for the lies, cheating, and the mental beat down. We have been together happily for two years since.

But I still get anxiety attacks, where I worry that he is cheating or something is being hidden. I have nightmares some nights that I wake up crying. I have tried anti depressants, but they don’t help. I love him, and he loves me. We live together and he has not done one thing to make me doubt him since we got back together. Yet my fear takes over sometimes. I just want to get control over my anxiety.

Relationship PTSD?

Answered by on -


Relationship trauma functions in a way very similar to what we normally thing about as PTSD. I think for the way you are describing it couple counseling would be a very good way to go. It is wonderful to hear that he is back in the relationship in a way designed to earn your trust, but it also makes sense that you would carry the original anxiety with you. A couple’s counselor will give you an opportunity to work this through.

The “Find help” tab at the top of this page and help you locate the therapist in your area, or you may find one from this location.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Relationship PTSD?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Relationship PTSD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.