Hello everyone. I have been married to my ADHD wife for four years and we have an 18 month old daughter together. She was diagnosed as a child and only temporarily tried medication. We have both always acknowledge her ADHD, but I am only now beginning to understand it. Our relationship is quite stereotypical among the stories I have read so far. I was simply her sole focus when we met. I am active duty military and was making a cross country move for my job three months after we started dating; so I brought her with me and we moved in together. We were married a year after that. Two years later, our daughter was born. I supported the household financially while she stayed at home. We eventually fell into a pattern you are all probably familiar with, she would spend money impulsively, constantly lose her keys, leave things laying around the house; while I nagged her more and more and became more angry and frustrated. Nonetheless, we continued on. There are many things we do well as a couple which lead me to believe that we have good marriage overall. Our sex life has slowed, but I had been in a prior failed marriage and our sex life is better than the one in my prior marriage, so it never set off a red flag to me. We do a great job of parenting and discuss major life decisions before moving on them. We had our hurdles, but managed.
One of the major decisions we made together was for me to leave the military. We are both from the same general area, so once our daughter came into the world, we decided it was time for a career change that would allow me to spend more time and home as well as allow us to raise our daughter closer to our families. I still had a nine month deployment ahead of me that I already had orders for. My position requires me to travel a lot, even when I'm at my home station, but never more than four weeks at a time. I typically was gone about 10-14 days consecutively once per month. We decided that we would purchase a home near our families, and my wife and daughter would move there to be near them during my deployment. When the deployment was complete and my military time over, I would move in and we would start a chapter in life we had been working toward for years.
Everything went well for the first four months; we got to talk on the phone or video chat almost daily, we were sending one another notes and gifts, and she had begun spending time with my sister almost daily. After the holidays, she planned a two week visit to a female friend of hers in another state. Her friend went through a pretty ugly divorce about the time we were pregnant with our daughter. It was this time that she became very distant with me. It was almost if it happened over night. She was no longer the giving person to me she once was. She came back home and her family noticed it too. They tried planning events and including her in things to get her out. She stopped interacting with my sister. She planned another week to visit her friend.....This would be about seven months in to my deployment.
The night that she made it back to her friend's place she informed me over the phone that she was no longer "in it" and was thinking of taking our daughter and starting a new life out of state. He one week trip has now become five. I'm half way around the world and have no ability to actually talk to her face to face. Her family is as consfused as I am. Her father has become my best friend during this ordeal. I haven't really let my family know anything out of my wanting to protect her. She sited my increasing anger, our bickering, and our diminishing sex life as reasons why the marriage is "unhealthy" It was a marriage I would consider to need some improvement in some areas, but would never use the word "unhealty". She said it was an unhealthy environment to raise our daughter in as well. I found out that our mortgage hadn't been paid in two months. She seems to have simply made up her mind this is what she is going to do, without regard for anyone else.
Since she gave me this news, I have been researching relationship issues with every free moment I can. I ran across the ADHD correlation and the more I read about it; the more I felt like I was reading about my wife and I. I finally brought it up to her. I wrote her a letter exclaiming my excitement that I thought I was on to something and the best part was that neither of us was to blame. If we addressed the ADHD symptoms, we stood a chance of really addressing the majority of the grievances in the marriage. She responed by taking offense to it and by telling me getting treatment would be changing who she is; just because she loses her keys a lot doesn't mean there's anything deeper to understand. I still have about a month and a half before I am home and get to see her again.
From hearing many of your experiences, she manages daily life better than many with ADHD. I think I overwhelmed her with the responsiblity of a new house and a toddler while being gone so long. There may be issues outside of the ADHD as well; I'm starting to think she feels resentment for me deploying. I really thought that I had it all when I got on the plane. Thinking about my wife, daughter, and the future life we had put the foundation down for was really helping me keep my spirits high while away. Suddenly, it's as if she is trying to leave her life completely behind and start a new one. Does ADHD have a part in her making such a drastic impulse decision? If so, to what extent is it driving her? I still want the wife, daughter, home, and life I thought I had. What are some effective ways to approach her and our situation?