Thought Work or Time to Leave

Hi Brooke,
I am a 38 year old woman in what I would call a loving relationship with a 38 year old man. We’ve been dating for 9 months. About 4 months into our relationship we started co-habitating. Similarly, about 4 months into the relationship, I discovered my boyfriend was dealing with PTSD from childhood. He was triggered through a family incident at that time, and it became very challenging to live with him and date him. Fast forward to now – 5 months later. We are still co-habitating and he is in therapy. I love him, and I can see a future with him when things are going well (which is about 50% of the time). I’ve been listening to your podcasts and teachings on love, and doing the model around my thoughts about being with him…but I’d like your insight. About once/week at this point, he gets escalated (because of his PTSD, I believe), upset, and eventually says something to the effect of – he wants to break up because our relationship is broken because he is broken. It’s heartbreaking to hear this. I love him so much, but it’s also true that he is often cranky and not as nice/supportive as I’d love for him to be. I’ve gotten to the point where I say I love him, but I understand if he wants to break up. I tell him I don’t want to break up, because I have hope that he can heal and we can heal and we can get to a healthy place. From there, he becomes remorseful and tells me he’s sorry, he loves me, and he doesn’t want to break up, but he feels so bad that he’s not treating me well. I have been trying so hard to manage my thoughts and be supportive for him. I want to love him unconditionally, be supportive, and believe that if I’m patient, he will heal and be able to be the kind of partner I wish for. In a lot of ways, he already IS the partner I wish for, except that he also wakes up in panic attacks several mornings a week, and is often depressed and cranky, as well. His therapist suggests he will be healing a lot this summer and be in a better place IF he sticks with his therapy (which he may/may not do). I came across a model of the Cycle of Abuse lately and it felt all too familiar. Not because I think he is abusive, but it’s a toxic process that we keep going through… We get along well, then tension builds, then he explodes, and then feels sorry…and then we go about a week and the cycle occurs again. I noticed yesterday on the coaching call that you said – if you say you’re exhausted, and think that, you will be. You need to manage your thoughts. You also said not to pretend that things are okay, but to really do your thought work on whatever the situation is. So here I am. My thought work is – I am in a loving relationship. And that feels good, and hopeful. Then I try to tell myself, my partner is working on healing, and that feels hopeful, too. But then I wonder… in this sort of situation – is it healthy to manage my thoughts so much…or should I admit, this is really hard, and I’m tired, and though I love him, it might not make him better…and truly decide whether I think I see a future with my boyfriend. Right now, it’s hard for me to see a way to having a healthy future with him. I’d like to be married and have children, and his behavior over the last 5 months leads me to be deeply concerned that we could have a healthy, relaxed, mutually supportive relationship. I know he loves me and I love him… but what kind of coaching might you have for me around this issue? Thank you so much! Your work is helping me immensely.