We present the findings from a qualitative study examining the marital perceptions of 9 wives of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data were from a semistructured in-depth focus group interview. Findings reveal how the lives of these women largely revolved around their husbands' illness. The wives faced constant tension between being drawn into a fusion with their husbands and the struggle to maintain their independence. In addition, the wives identified positive aspects of the marital relationship that granted them strength for current and future coping. Implications for practice are included.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Secondary traumatization