IMAGINE Magazine-Spring2016 - Page 11

BREAKING A CODE OF SILENCE B Y M A R G A R E T J O Y W E AV E R T he unnoticed and unsung heroes of our time are spouses of war veterans. Although all family members can struggle to engage with and effectively support their returning soldier, the relationship between spouse and veteran is profound. The contrasting needs and capacities to uphold this intimate relationship are coupled with a spouse’s empathy for his or her partner’s wounds of war. Too often, spouses can become depleted about the silent, shared journey of my husband’s PTSD as a Vietnam veteran. For me, he is a most courageous, magnanimous man with dark corners in his heart and simmering wounds that mostly only a spouse would experi- and lack the empathetic support that they themselves are trying to provide. As a wife of a veteran for