Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"If Only" - The Heart of a Veteran's Wife

If only you cared enough to love me.
If only you cared enough to fight for us.
If only you cared enough to see my pain.
If only you cared enough to want happiness in our family.
If only you cared enough to hear my heart.
If only you cared enough to do what you need to and not what you want to.
If only you remembered how good we once were.
If only you cared enough to stand by your vows.
If only you cared enough to work towards us.
If only you cared enough to be kind.
If only you'd be tender.
If only you'd stop crushing me.
If only you'd stop hurting me.
If only you'd stop killing me.
My heart is broken and every time it starts to mend you break it again.
It takes a man to win this battle, to fight for his family, to stand with his wife.
It takes a man to do whatever it takes for the good of his sweetheart and child.
I wish this hurt and anger and overwhelming sadness would just go away.
I wish this wasn't my life - wasn't your life - wasn't our life.
Where are you and how do I call you back to me?
Why won't you fight? You fought for people half a world away, but you won't fight for me - you won't fight for us.
That makes me so mad at you but at the same time so overwhelmingly confused.
I don't understand why you act like you hate me.
I don't understand how you can be so cruel.
I don't understand why it seems like you like to hurt me.
I don't understand why you seem to need to put me down and break me.
I don't understand why you seem to need for me to be miserable.
I'm clawing with everything I can to hold this together.
But, I don't know how much longer I can.
I don't want to give up - I can still see us - I can still see you hiding behind this monster.
I can still see what was and what could be again.
I can still see glimpses of your heart.
I can still see glimpses of your love for me.
The fight is wearing me down.
The fight is defeating me.
I know I'm losing.
I know I'm losing.
Please God, help me.
Help me not lose.
Help me find a way to save us.
Help me find the strength to go another day.
Help me find a way to turn us back from the brink.
Husband, please hear me.
Dear one, please remember.
Sweetheart, please fight.
I need you.
I miss you.
I love you.


  1. i felt every word of that. I'm so sorry you are hurting. In the same sense I am so glad that I am not alone. I hope that you and your family recover from this and are able to make a happy life together.

  2. WOW. Were you inside my head and heart when you wrote this? I continue to struggle in a marriage of nearly 36 years. I too am unsure how long I can hold on. Thank you for your powerful and insightful words. I will pray for you and your family. Stay strong.

  3. Its my journey too. I found this by googling "overwhelming sadness army veteran wife." I dont think I can hold on anymore and what is worse I dont think anyone even cares if I do. They will scoop my husband up and medicate him out of his mind and put him somewhere crummy to live out his remaining 40years but no one will even notice the legacy of hurt,sadness and shame that my kids and I have now forever indelibly emblazoned on our souls. Nine years together with 8 years of sorrow, trauma and pain. What a deal. I hope you are all able to find some healing. I hope that for everyone else. I wish I knew how. Thank you for writing "If only"

  4. It seems as if you were right in my heart. I met my husband right after he was medically discharged. I did not know what I would be dealing with. I began to read this to him and he said that it bothered him anoying at that. He just can not face it. I feel like my heart it pounding out of my chest daily lately. He doesn't seem to care and my hear breaks. I just feel lost. Thank you for you poem, I don't feel so alone now, thank goodness. I have all of your families in my prayers and know we all will have the strenght to fight this monster of a disease!!!

  5. Thank You so much for your courage as I sit here with tears streaming down my face it helps so much to know that I am not alone and that SOMEBODY understands exactly how I feel!

  6. I'm crying my eyes out, which started streaming immediately after finding this site.

    (OMG Thank you for this site.)

    Yesterday I *snapped*, flew into a (verbal) fit of rage for about 3 hours. It didn't help that I started drinking after having snapped. I think I'm in need of a caseworker & medication myself these days.

  7. I crying reading this... well said

  8. I cried reading this. THIS is my life. My husband suffers from PTSD from his deployments in IRAQ. I feel so alone and hurt. I walk on eggshells all day trying not to upset him. What no one understands is that wives of veterans suffer too. I suffer from the verbal/emotional abuse. I feel forgotten about.

  9. I wrote this a little over three years ago... and honestly, that entire year (from November of 2009 through the end of 2010) was one of the worst we've seen. I spent the year barely holding on by the tips of my fingernails... and very often felt completely unable to even look at my husband, much less find a way to turn my heart back to him. But, I guess I want to reassure you (the most recent Anonymous - ((HUGS))) and all of you who have commented on this post, that it has gotten better. Not so much that PTSD has gotten better, but our way of working our life together with all that PTSD brings, has gotten better. It's still not perfect - but it's very much worth it. I wouldn't return to that dark time for anything (and hope with everything in me I never have to), but I am glad I fought through that time and refused to give up. I'm glad I made that decision, even though at the time there were days I didn't want to. ((HUGS)) to all of you... and to the others like us who live this life. It's not an easy thing we do. Oh my, it's not.


    1. We shouldn't have to live like this !! It's been 40 yrs that I've been married to a Vietnam Vet ( 101st Airborne) & it seems to be getting worse !!

    2. Hi Brannan,
      GOD Bless You!
      thank you for sharing this poem. Its beautiful and because you wrote this poem, I am gonna start my healing.
      The thoughts and feelings resonates with me. I lived every word in your poem.
      My veteran husband is now deceased, GOD rest his soul.
      Again, thank you