ADHD husband and clinically depressed wife

This is my first post after reading a bunch of stuff on this site.  I'm using my real name as my forum handle because to me it's a small part of taking ownership of my own actions, problems, issues, etc.  I'm the ADHD husband of our marriage.

About a year ago, at the persistent encouragement of my wife, who I will call Elisa (not her real name), I agreed to seek help for my ADHD.  We were sure I had it because of my behaviors, as well as the fact I was diagnosed with "hyperactivity" back in the 1970's as a child and had been on Ritalin for a while.  Over the years, I have tried to take some limited steps towards "fixing" myself, or at least trying to work around my particular traits.  These met with limited success.  I tended to not stick with things for very long.

So here we are in January 2013.  I have made some improvement, but I don't think it's going to be enough.

My wife suffers from clinical depression and social anxiety, which she is on medication for.  She is the daughter of a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder.

So here we are, both of us with some really heavy emotional, brain chemistry, and baggage issues.  

We both at different times become distant from each other.  She has tried in the past to share things with me and of course, I forget some of them and she is forced to re-explain things.  She is trying to deal with her feelings toward her mother, her own depression, and on top of that, trying to live with an ADHD husband.  Her mom attempted suicide twice, once in each of her failed marriages.  My wife was the one who found her after the second attempt.

In the past, I was terrible at managing money and went through a bankruptcy.  Today I'm much better at it, and have successfully kept a family budget going (thanks to YNAB software).  I still make impulsive purchases on occasion, but never anything so expensive as to ruin the budget.

I can see in myself what people in other threads meant about hyperfocus early in the relationship and how after a period of time it wears off.  Our relationship began as a semi lon-distance one, as we were separated by a four hour drive.  We could see each other on weekends, and often did.  We were married four months after we started dating.

As of September 2012 we had been married ten years.  It's been a rough ride, with good and bad times.  I am worried though, about what's going to happen next.  Elisa has completely shut herself off from me emotionally.  I've been trying to reach her, but she's not interested in talking.  I'm in the middle of dealing with a career change, initiated so that in the long term I can support both of us on only my income.  She is a telecommuter and works from home, rarely leaving the house anymore.  She also suffers from Fibromyalgia and many times she can't even get out of bed to go to the spare bedroom to work.

I know she has to be suffering right now, and for all the world I want to help her.  Problem is, I'm suffering also.  I'm feeling the pain of years of regret, lost chances, missed opportunities.  My emotions are a mess.  This morning the pressure got so bad I just started crying.  I feel a great sense of loss over what we as a married couple could have been, and a mounting fear of what's coming.  What's crazy is that, while I was in the midst of this emotional breakdown, I had an overwhelming urge to write and express myself.  It came out in a poem.

 

Tears fall

Unbidden and unwelcome
But they are here

A love trapped
Wanting to be free

Imprisoned by sadness and pride
Yearning for expression
But fearing it’s too late

A victim of imperfection
Slowly dying, wanting to reach out
But not knowing how


I ask, why?

Why two souls can’t find peace
Comfort and contentment together

Is there no hope?
For these children of Adam
To find each other again

To walk together life’s path
Hand in hand
Heart to heart

Forever together
Never apart

At this point I think we need to seek some marriage counseling from someone who knows about all the issues that we each have.  Any other suggestions?

 

Thanks for staying with my long-winded post.

I love this!

Your post is gorgeous. Sorry that things are going rough. I don't have the patience to write a long response- but get working on it!  Get on the therapy, the exercise, the diet (high protein, fish oils), the meds (if necessary)... As for your wife's issues...you can gently try to help her- work on the mutual issues... But some of it is hers alone. Depression is an insidious, devastating thing. You should get her into therapy as well and be really gentle with her, while still insisting that things should change. I wish you all the luck in the world. 

That poem was truly beautiful, by the way.