Homefront Ministry

For the Spouse, Family Member and Friends

Are you married to or the child of a veteran?   How about a family member or friend?  Has his/her behavior changed since they left the service?  If the veteran experienced traumas while in the service then he/she may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Psychologists are now finding that the loved ones of combat veterans also experience secondhand PTSD as a result of their veteran loved one's behavior. Some symptoms are listed below.

Homefront affiliates are led by spouses of veterans who have experienced the "war at home".  They have chosen Jesus Christ as their Savior and use Biblical teachings to find answers for family problems.  The first thing a spouse or family member needs to know is that they are not alone.  Meeting with other spouses in similar situations helps through prayer, comfort and divine solutions.  Beginning to understand their veteran's behavior in turn allows the spouses and family members to know how to address the PTSD issues in their households.  Guidance and encouragement by others is a profound asset to recovery.

The purpose of a Homefront outreach is to help the spouse or family member understand so they can initially strengthen their own faith and then begin helping their loved one do the same.  

Here are some symptoms to watch for:

Pre-occupation With the Veteran:

  • Constant tension and anxiety because she never "knows what he'll do next".

  • Critical or self-righteous, martyr attitude because of "what he has been through".

  • Continual manipulation of the Veteran and/or circumstances to "be in control' in a situation that is out of control.


May have few friends, or be unable to relate to friends as she would like to because:

  • The Veteran has alienated them with his attitude in the past.

  • The Veteran has isolated the family and/or is jealous of them relating to others.

  • She has alienated friends because of her constant "family hassles".

  • The friends and family she does have are always telling her to "get rid of him".

  • Constant thoughts of leaving the Veteran with very high and low points centered on the thoughts "because he needs me" or "he won't be able to survive without me".

  • Fear of leaving the Veteran because of what he may do to himself and the family - feelings of being trapped.

Emotional Starvation:

  • Sexual problems, feels that she cannot be truly intimate with her Veteran.

  • Distrust of God, "How could He let this happen to me?"

  • Low self-esteem.

  • Escapes into a fantasy world - TV, thoughts of having affairs, compulsive buying sprees, etc.

  • May lean on children, friends, or mother too heavily for emotional support.


  • Sense of helplessness and hopelessness, "tired of trying".

  • Sets self up for disappointments.

  • Low self-esteem that results in poor personal appearance, dirty unkempt home, etc.

Anger and Other Related Emotions:

  • Resentment and bitterness develop over the years, not only towards the Veteran, but others as well.

  • Withdrawal from Veteran and family emotionally.

  • Constant fear and anxiety.

  • May provoke or instigate fights or arguments with the Veteran, or "take it out on the kids."

Over Responsibility - The Enabler:

In an attempt to keep the family stable, may take over the financial and other responsibilities as well as the "wife" and "mother" roles, leading to such traits as:

  • Think and feel totally responsible for others.

  • Perfectionism.

  • Feel safest when giving.

  • Nagging or silence.

  • Peace at any price.

  • Doing things out of a sense of duty.

  • Feelings of anxiety, pity, guilt and the need to "help" husband and others.

  • Constantly harried and pressured, time pressure.

  • Takes blame for husband and children for 'spot' they are in.

  • Feelings of anger, victimization, feeling unappreciated and  used.


  • Guilt for having married the Veteran, having the children, or if the Veteran leaves.

  • Constant financial stress - never knowing how they will be able to pay mounting bills, how long he will work for, or be able to keep his job.

  • Feeling that "it's my fault - if I were a better wife he would be different."

  • Feel guilty about just about everything.

  • Fear of rejection.


  • Feels that "if one more thing happens, I'll go mad."

  • Over-commitment leading to constant time pressures.

Emotional Explosions or Projection:

  • Take out frustration on the kids.

  • Kids may become severely withdrawn or demanding, hyperactive and agitated.

  • Children may have taken over responsible roles to try to balance the family.

  • Children may have no/less friends because of negative home. environment, leading to their loss of self-esteem.

  • May try to find fulfillment in other worthy causes, including getting over-involved in church, children's activities, or other "worthy" organizations or projects.


  • Denial that she or the children have problems..."after all, in spite of the circumstances, look how well I have kept it all together."
  • Denial that the husband has a problem, or totally blames the Veteran for all the problems.
  • Denial that the Lord Jesus Christ, or anyone else can help her husband or her family. "I have tried everything I possibly can already and it doesn't work".

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