Any insight?

This really isn't about anger, but it is about frustration..and confusion.

Yesterday we were having a conversation...actually started when I asked his opinion on something on this site...the behavior of a ADD spouse and what he thought was going on. Somehow this led to us talking about 'the past' when we were stuck in the vicious cycle of blame...him blaming me 100%, me blaming him 100%. This led to a conversation that still has me confused and worried. So often he admits his fault in the problems we had, just as often apologizing and stating how happy he is that we're not stuck in that same old pattern anymore. I got a small hint that he was 'defensive' yesterday which was my red flag to just drop the subject, but I didn't. We were discussing his affair and he points out that the only reason for the affair was attention...attention he wasn't getting from me. As a rule, it really irritates me to hear him say that because I know that he knows that I intentionally withheld attention from him...I openly admitted it all along...BUT the reason I did so was because of his consistent disrespect of our marriage and because of just the horrible state of our marriage. I was equally as responsible, and equally as miserable, but I didn't cheat. This is SOO important to me because I need to know that he understands that my lack of affection towards him wasn't for no reason. I told him 1000 times that I wanted attention and affection too..not just sex...and I wanted a good marriage..to be happy. It was a package deal. Anyway..my point...he said that he had "tried" to do what I wanted (i.e. stop the bad behavior) "for 4 or 5 days", saying it never got him any more attention or affection. I think shock took over at that point and I said "you don't fix years of a bad marriage in 4 or 5 days..it has taken us 10 months to get where we are..when you say things like that, I get scared that you don't understand that there was a reason for me putting up walls" and he immediately got defensive and SOMEHOW interpreted my comments to mean that all of our progress was "fake". HUH??!! I immediately tried to explain..he told me to just drop it..didn't want to hear it...and I told him it was unfair for him to say exactly what he wanted, but as soon as I try and explain, he cuts me off...like "I" am trying to start a fight. I literallly told him I felt like I was speaking French..he simply hears something completely opposite or unrelated to what I was trying to say.

I walked away...coming back later to tell him that I didn't want to fight with him over the past, that neither of us were like that anymore, and it didn't matter. But, the truth is that it scares the hell out of me that he would REALLY think that he "tried and tried" (would 'behave' for 4 or 5 days). It felt like him blaming me for the affair...even though I know he'd insist not. He takes full responsibility for it and I KNOW he feels a lot of shame and guilt and remorse for it. Truth of the matter is, he is a different person now and is getting help (both counseling and is considering medication) so should that be enough? Is it just that he got defensive and went back into that 'mode', but doesn't really mean or even believe it himself?

Our counselor says he depends on me to ground him...I am definitely his rock...and although I fully plan on giving him 110% of myself for as long as he gives me the same...I know that the amount of attention he gets from me is directly related to the way he treats me (MUCH better now) so if he starts behavior badly again and I eventually withdraw from him again, will another affair result? I cannot control him...so I suppose I have no choice but to pray his changes are as real as mine...and that this is never something I have to worry about. We had a dynamic in our marriage that drove a huge wedge between us that has been removed about 95%..so I don't think we'll ever have those problems again, if that helps. We RARELY ever fought before that 'wedge'.

Im wondering if this is the

Im wondering if this is the way the ADDer's mind works - to them 4-5 days is a large chunk of time - esp if they are focusing so hard to create a change or outcome and not let themselves give in to their distractions.  Where to us 4-5 days is just a blip of the radar screen -given the amount of time and challenges we had gone through to reach that point. 

Also, it seems that ADDer's seem to crave attention (good or bad, sometimes it doesn't matter) - I know that my husband will act out if I am unresponsive to him.  Then I get a "punishment" from him.  I think that when we are not responsive - they begin to panic. And the cycle of hyper focus to be good without immediate positive attention from us; they feel like they worked so hard to change and still received nothing in return for that work, so the bad behavior begins - that gets our attention.  It sounds crazy to us (the non-ADDer), but it seems to be their pattern. 

Now your question was is the counseling and offer of med's enough?  I feel in my situation that as long as I see that progress is being made and he is still working toward making our lives better, I can accept that.  It doesn't make it easier or better (as you know) but it does offer hope.  It seems to me that your husband is still working toward that goal of working on himself (ADD issues).  Of course, you are the only one that can answer that question.

I don't have many answers to this ADD/relationship issues but I would strongly recommend mentioning this conversation to your counselor.  I have found that often the counselor finds other explainations of why my husband said or did what he did and the counselor then takes the role of exploring the topic - leaving me free of the worry of creating drama and bring on a past behavior that belongs in the past. 

It seems like the there will always be a time where counseling is needed - communication is so difficult in relationships w/o ADHD that having it kicks it up a notch.  I would utilize the counselor on this issue - before it grows.  You both deserve to deal with this - it maybe an issue that once dealt with may lead to another step toward your ultimate goal - happiness in your relationship.

Remember how strong you are, how much you have changed (for the better) and that you are in control of your life.  I will be praying and thinking about you.  ((HUGS))

I did bring it up in counseling

I brought it up, but not this specific conversation, in counseling the other day. He said something else...about him feeling like I had lost focus on the marriage...after that. It's a long story, but it was essentially the "punishment" you're talking about (that cycle is very familiar to me, that you speak of). Picking. He was just picking at me..to make me feel bad...for doing something that made him feel bad/insecure. I told our counselor that when he starts acting that way, makes comments like that, all I hear is "you're not giving me the attention I want, I'm going to cheat". He insisted I was wrong, taking it way too serious. I asked if he couldn't at least UNDERSTAND that when he says things like that, how it makes me feel. Our counselor interjected and said that he needed to understand that I'm very sensitive right now and asked if he couldn't watch what he says..consider how what he says will be HEARD by me. He apologized, said he didn't realize he was 'picking', and that he would pay more attention and stop being so hard on me. I flat out told her that it was because I had been talking about a man, a friend's husband, and that he is jealous of me having ANYTHING to do with ANYONE who has a penis. He admitted that is true. We will be focusing on his insecurities as well. They are irrational and cause me a lot of undeserved stress.

Essentially, our counselor feels his affair was a result of the 6 years of hell we'd put each other through and him basically giving up on the marriage. When I look back on how things happened it really does shock me...but I see God's hand in it at all times. I had no idea about the affair until AFTER I decided to let go of the anger, AFTER I went to him and told him I was sorry for not loving him and respecting him, AFTER my father died, AFTER I made my mind up to be a happier person and stop fighting with him. Once I started showing him..he started crying. He sobbed everytime I would see him. When he would watch the kids while I worked (we were separated) he would come to the house and cry the entire time he was here. We would go out on Saturday together for lunch...he would cry the entire time. I thought he was mourning his mother's death...but he was actually realizing that his choice (to have an affair) was probably going to cost him a chance, with me, at a new life. I remember one conversation in particular when I apologized for something and he said that I didn't know how much that meant to him, but that it was too late..he'd already destroyed our marriage and went on about how horrible he was. I didn't know about the affair, so I reassured him that he was just doing the best he knew how at the time...same as me for so long. He sobbed and sobbed. He had ended the affair almost a month before I found out. Anyway..didn't mean to ramble..I suppose I need to remind myself of all of the remorse and misery I saw in him when he thought he had surely lost me forever. Had I known about the affair any sooner than I did, before I saw the remorse and guilt I saw, I honestly don't think we'd be together. I'm glad it happened the way it did.

Our counselor told us, and it applies to this argument above, that what is happening NOW is far more important for our future than what happened 1-2 years ago. Whether he believes that 4-5 days is enough to rebuild the damage done, I don't know. His actions NOW make me believe that he gets that it rebuilding a much more long term commitment..one that he's been making consistent (very slow at first) progress with for 10 months. I have to learn to focus on that and stop listening to the 'old argument' of the past. Reality is, I can still argue my favorite point too "you shut me out, you pushed me away, you were mean and hurtful so I didn't give you any attention" but our reality isn't anything like that now..and I have to believe that it won't ever be again.

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers. They have gotten me through when I really didn't think I would get through.