Nothing hits a marriage quite like one spouse suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Anthony and Nelida Lewis are no exception.
Love didn’t come at first sight for Nelida Lozoya. A friend first introduced her to Anthony Lewis in December 2001. They shared a few dates, but didn’t spend much time together until Anthony’s accident. “He fell 17 feet from an air assault training course,” Nelida recounted. “He had surgery, and was not able to move back to the barracks.” She offered him a place to stay.
As roommates, the two saw a lot of each other. “I fell in love with him little by little,” Nelida said. “We had our share of struggles, but I saw his commitment to his job. I saw him get up every morning to go to physical therapy. He did not allow his injury to hold him back. I knew I was in love when the highlight of my day was seeing him walk through the door in his camouflage.” Anthony agreed: “I fell for Nelida after spending so much time together and realizing that she was the Bonnie to my Clyde. She would do anything for me and I’d do the same for her.” The couple married less than a year later, in October 2002.
Keeping the Peace
Three months into the young marriage, Anthony was deployed to Iraq. He returned a different man; his PTSD dramatically changed the mood of the marriage. Arguing became a daily occurrence. The supportive partnership turned into a battle between opponents. When divorce seemed to be the only option, the couple sought help through Oxygen for Your Relationships.
“I expected to hear a lot of man bashing and how my PTSD has ruined everything I love,” Anthony said of his expectations for the Oxygen seminar. “It was totally the opposite – supportive and very informative.” The couple learned tools to help them communicate, forgive one another, and resolve conflicts. “I learned that having a strong marriage doesn’t mean you are never going to disagree or have problems,” Nelida said, “but the tools have made a difference in how we respond to issues.”
The couple later participated in a second Oxygen seminar to refresh their knowledge.
. “Our marriage has made a 180o turn,” Anthony said. “It has brought us back together as a team. Thank you, Stronger Families!”