Six marriages and PTSD from Viet Nam? Is this a big red flag? Are there red flags all over the place?
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Some newsletters bring a boatload of responses while others are less engaging. Today, we share multiple responses from the On Life and Love After 50 Newsletter to last week’s column
One woman said, "Whoa Nellie! Stay cool, remain open, if he suggests visiting where you live, say yes; and then through the passage of time, get to know this man with eyes wide open. It's too soon to have the current worries when you don't know him."
A Texas man wrote, "Special Forces guys were not chopper pilots. Special Forces teams seldom had their own choppers. I bet he is lying."
Annette said, "I'm always surprised in this day and age that people feel that they have to marry. Why not enjoy the relationship for as long as it lasts without getting married? Therefore his six marriages don't matter at all."
Virginia: Oh, My God! There are red flags all over the place! I think she already feels there is something wrong or she wouldn't be asking for advice. If he has PTSD, then he is NOT going to magically get over it at 60-years-old."
Jan, "Donna is a wise woman in that she can see that the new man she met might be in her life for the purpose of better understanding her brother's Vietnam experience and his recent past. Not all connections are meant to be romantic in nature but it could still be a good friendship that evolves into a more solid romance based on that friendship! Maybe it doesn't have to be defined at this point!"
Anonymous: "I think it's a senior dating big red flag if he is still being medicated all these years later."
Marge, "Donna knows that people enter your life for a reason and maybe this man may be in her life now to help her through her brother's death. That may be the only reason he is there; her hesitation to 'get involved' is real and she should not ignore it. I'm sure there is more to the story."
Shirlene: "I would be very, very careful with all those marriages and psychiatric medication. I didn't pay nightmare-begins attention, and my life was almost destroyed. My ex continues to wreak havoc on my son and me with raging, paranoia, and aggressive anger. After the marriage, the nightmare begins."
George, "Donna needs to tread lightly and cautiously here--this guy is heavily traumatized and will never recover from those combat experiences. He is on the other side of a deep ravine, and the rope bridge connecting to the opposite side is frayed and hazardous. I advise her to look elsewhere - it's not his 6 failed marriages, it's that his psychological injuries are beyond repair. The medications which he must take are "Band-Aide Surgery."
Jennifer, "Maybe this man takes meds for some non-military psychiatric condition that he doesn't want to disclose. Maybe he has serious emotional problems that caused all his marriages to fail. He may be charming and able to make a good, initial impression, but so can many dysfunctional people. What is under the pleasant, sociable demeanor?
"My suspicion is that this man is not all that he appears. She has to ask herself why he would seek out a relationship with someone so far away, especially when she specified in her online listing that she had a 200-mile geographic limit? (200 miles is way too far and is not conducive to regular dating)."
Catie is a psychotherapist and former cofounder and manager of a Vietnam Veteran Era Services Center in Michigan. Her advice to Donna: "Wait for a while. Continue to see him if you like him, other than for the shared pain and understanding. Talk of other things that have nothing to do with the war, the past. In time, your confusion will clear, and healing from the loss of your brother will have progressed, and you will find your mood more stable, and enjoy regular life events again, without connecting the two men. You may find the both of you in love, or decide to remain good friends."
Liz, "His having had six marriages is a senior dating red flag she should not take lightly."
Brenda, "The old judgments having to do with divorce are so out of date since 62% of all marriages end in divorce and 69% of those people go into the next relationship with the same damaging behaviors as their previous relationship. I champion anyone who can keep searching for love no matter how many divorces."
Sarge, "I am retired military - Marine Corps for Vietnam and Army for Desert Storm. It's become chic to be a vet, even more chic to be a 'damaged' vet. I have spent a lot of time with veterans but never encountered anyone who was both a Green Beret and a helicopter pilot. I would look at this one carefully."
Pat wrote, "Tell Donna to run away from this guy. Being the widow of a career Army man I question the Apocalypse Trenches thing, what is that by the way? Also Special Forces, helicopter pilot shot down 3 times. His resume sounds way too heroic to me.
"Also the distance tends to soften the edges and makes the person bigger than life. Tell Donna to do research into this guy and what he has told her. It will be worth her time and money because if he is not what he says, it's going to cost her a lot more."
The overwhelming conclusion: Tread lightly Donna. Too many senior dating red flags; in fact, red flags all over the place.