I’m in a triad with my wife and our mutual boyfriend, but as of late I feel very alone even when we are all together. I’m not sure why but I think it’s because I’m a combat veteran and neither of them can relate. Any advice?

That sounds really tough, and I’m sorry! It is, sadly, a known phenomenon that people who have experienced combat feel like they can’t relate or be understood by people who haven’t. 

My advice would be to first find a combat veteran social or support group in your area, where you can spend time around people who can share what you’re going through. There are also support groups online you can check out. Consider also talking to a therapist who specializes in veteran related issues.

Second, have you talked to your wife and boyfriend about this? It’s okay to say hey, I’ve been feeling alone and isolated, and it’s no one’s fault, but I need some help feeling more present and included. Be gentle with yourself and let them enter into this with you.

Try thinking through some of the reasons you may be feeling this way. Maybe there are certain topics of conversation that they get into what you can’t relate to. Maybe you’ve been feeling this way lately because an important date, a change in weather, a life experience, etc. has brought back memories of your time in combat. 

If there are specific things you feel alone in, specific feelings that they can’t relate to, naming those could help. Maybe there are articles you three could read together or documentaries you could watch that would help them understand what you’re going through. Maybe you need them to sit with you through these feelings and let you talk through your experiences as a combat veteran. 

To be honest, I don’t have much experience with veterans’ issues. This sounds like a tough situation and not one with an easy fix - but also, not something that can’t be dealt with through honesty, patience, and love. It’s okay to ask for more, or something new, to help get your needs met, once you identify them more clearly. Best of luck. I’m rooting for you and your triad!