In the follow up book to “Warrior Lover: Battling the Combat PTSD Relationship”, author Leilani Anastasia explores the difficulties and rewards of being in a sexual relationship with a Combat Veteran. This book delves into the ways that partners of Combat Veterans can improve their relationships; both in and out of the sheets. Well-researched and factual, this book addresses the facets of the Combat PTSD sexual relationship and makes suggestions for gaining the most pleasure out of it.
So, you’re having the EXACT OPPOSITE problem, you say? Your “Lieutenant Lover Boy” has turned into “Captain Cheater”? Not only can you not keep him (or her) away from your bed, but he (or she) likes to be in everybody else’s as well? Again, Warrior Lover, you are not alone!
In a 1988 book “Vietnam Wives: women and children surviving life with veterans suffering post traumatic stress disorder” by Aphrodite Matsakis, PhD., Matsakis explores the relationship between Vietnam Veterans and their overabundant need for sex. She writes: “On one level, this intense need for sex [on the part of the combat veteran] can be related to the veteran’s loneliness. Socially isolated people are often lonely. Although they may desire to be separate, their isolation often results in their becoming “stroke deprived” — they do not receive the smiles, the hugs, the compliments, or any of the visual, verbal, or physical recognitions (strokes), large or small, which naturally come about when with supportive others. In this state of deprivation, the vet may turn to sex to meet his social and relationship needs. Sex becomes a substitute for in-depth emotional communication, or even casual socialization.
One vet called sex the ‘total stroke.’ For a long time, he believed that sex would satisfy all his hungers — his hunger for sex, as well as his hunger for human companionship and intimacy. Like many persons, he confused sex with love and emotional closeness. When sexual activity without communication left him unsatisfied, he increased his sexual activity. Even after more sex, however, he still felt restless and empty inside. Eventually he found that some communication with his sexual partner and more time spent socializing with others, not more ‘pure sex,’ helped satisfy him.
On another level, the vet’s need for sex can be intense because, biologically, sexuality is ‘the antithesis of anxiety.’ As has been repeatedly proven in studies of both men and women, anxiety interferes with sexual performance, especially with orgasm. Conversely, it is difficult, if not impossible to be anxious while highly sexually aroused. Hence, for some vets, sex is more than sex. It is a form of tranquilizer or sedative for their anxieties and other tensions. Not only does sex provide a sense of physical peace, but an emotional peace as well…in this sense, sex can be used like a mood-altering drug.”
I’ve got two words for that. NO BUENO! She believes that the stress of combat has made the Combat Veteran a constant thrill seeker in the form of sexual thrills. However, it does kind of make sense if you think about it. Here we have a person that was in a heightened state of alert for months at a time. His or her brain became USED to being in a constant state of arousal. Shopping at the Outlet Mall doesn’t exactly lead to that kind of excitement that your Combat Vet may be used to. So, what’s a Warrior to do? Go find something to get excited about. Duh!
Unfortunately, this leads to HUGE problems in relationships. Cheating isn’t exactly good for the dating business. It’s good for businesses like mine though. There’s plenty of books about relationship problems, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m going to go out on a limb here though, and some may not agree with me, but I think there can be a solution to the cheating. If you, dear Warrior Lover, are willing to try.
You see, as Dr. Matsakis states in her book, the Combat Vet is IN NEED of excitement. The missionary position every Wednesday at 10 p.m. doesn’t fill that need, I’m guessing. So why don’t you try mixing it up a bit? Get some toys. Not the kind that they sell at Toys R Us either. Buy a sexy (really naughty) outfit. Plan a hot weekend in Vegas. (Hotel sex is always hot, if you ask me.) Have dinner by candlelight. Color your hair a different color (for some reason, guys really dig this – I think it’s like having a new woman in bed.) In other words, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
Sure, there’s some men and women who are cheaters by nature. However, when we are dealing with a Combat Vet, we need to stop and ask ourselves a couple of questions. Was he (or she) always like this? Overwhelmingly, the answer is probably no. That nasty monster of PTSD has really changed your Vet’s personality. He (or she) might not have been such a thrill seeker before. Does the old stereotype apply (Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater) in every circumstance? Maybe not, if you can keep your Vet intrigued. And most importantly, do you UNDERSTAND that your Combat Veteran is mentally changed? Forever. The cheating is more than likely a SYMPTOM of the bigger picture.
I know that some of you gals (and guys) are thinking to yourselves right now that I’m condoning affairs. I’m not. What I am advocating is that you do what you can to solve the problem. In usual circumstances, you’d probably be right. However, this isn’t an everyday situation. You aren’t dating the guy (or gal) from high school that wanted to marry you but he (or she) was too boring for you. You aren’t dating the accountant or the engineer whose idea of a good time is watching the stock ticker. You are dating a Warrior! Warriors need excitement! Warriors like to blow shit up. Unfortunately, they’re pretty good at tearing up relationships too! If you don’t want your relationship to be another one of their casualties, my best advice is to try it my way first. If that STILL doesn’t do the trick, I think it’s time for you to go AWOL from the relationship! There’s no reason to sustain your suffering any longer than necessary. Some people are mentally addicted to sex. With several different partners. If your Warrior is one of these people, no matter what you do, his or her addiction is not going to change. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true.