I am being referred for an adult assessment. My youngest daughter is also waiting for assessment. I have been reading The ADHD Effect on Marriage. I can see a lot of things that have contributed to a lot of the issues in our relationship and also other relationships of mine.
She does get frustrated and has got angry in the past with my poor organisation, impulsiveness, interruptions, high energy, carelessness, lack of focus, forgetfulness etc. She is really good at researching our daughter's ADHD and putting things in place to help her. She has family (brother, niece, possibly father) who also have ADHD.
I try and help out around the house. I do the food shopping, most of the cooking, pay bills, balance finances etc. I try and do stuff around the house but I am not great at DIY. She does do more in terms of the laundry, organising things for the kids and the general mental load.
Coming out of COVID lockdowns I was suffering from quite severe anxiety and depression. This was also putting strain on our marriage and family relationships. We got couples counselling which did help. We stopped that over a year ago as we felt we were in a better place. One conclusion of this was to get further help from another specialist on intimacy and sex. This has never happened and I have stopped asking. One other thing that came from that period was I moved to the spare room which is still the case unless we have guests. It makes me feel like a bit of a lodger in my own home. I often feel really alone.
In addition to the couples counselling I did have two lots of online CBT and my wife is still in therapy from that time also to address things that predate our relationship. I have restarted CBT with another therapist and this is face to face.
My principle love language is physical touch and my wifes is acts of service. I find the physical separation very hard in terms of sleeping arrangements. When we do sleep in the same bed if we have guests or go on holiday there are often a lot of comments about how she does not like sharing a bed due to the disruption of sleep etc. Sexual intimacy has been non-existent the last year and was minimal the year before. She will visibility cringe, flinch, eye roll or sometimes get angry when I try to give her a kiss, hug, hold hand etc. She stopped saying I love you back over 2 years ago.
Her current mindset is she wants to co-parent and co-habit and does not want anything else. She says we have no connection and we do not share the same values. This really triggers me emotionally and I get really upset as I have a fear of abandonment. I am working on my self esteem and confidence but this also feeds into that. She has been my only serious romantic relationship, I love her so much, she means the world to me and I would do anything for her. I have always been faithful. I cannot imagine life without her as my partner.
The time we spend together without the children is very limited. She often spends a lot of time with friends at the weekend or we are running the children around. Evenings she will go to exercise classes or we are taking the kids to their activities. We try and have coffee in the mornings in ‘her’ room but that is often interrupted. She will often be on her phone during this time. We sometimes watch TV together in the evening but I feel I have to nag her to do this and I feel like I have to nag to do things like go on a date, get a coffee, see my friends or family. I am starting to feel quite resentful about this as she says there is no connection but I feel like I have been pushed away over the past 2 years.
The relationship status came up this morning. I have been asking her to read the Orlov book and have it on a Kindle I left in her office. We got into a discussion about it and she made a few comments such as - well you never read anything I send you, it won’t change anything, why don’t you read it and tell me what you get from it. I think it is something that both couples should read and would get something from but her comments and attitude just make me think she has completely checked out and has made the final decision.
I am not sure what to do. I am not sure if I am just punishing myself for staying in this relationship.
Submitted by Giorgia on
I am very sorry you are feeling this way and that you ended up in this situation.
I would like to say that especially if you never cheated on her and you really want her as your partner, then things can still work out. For me this is huge think, if you know you want to be with her and also that you have been faithful even though there was not much of satisfaction in last two years physically.
The energy I got from your partner's behaviour is, yes she is done in many many ways with the relationship. Probably in order she can still respect herself to stay in this relationship she had to draw the line between you and that line is in the form of not having anything romantic anymore.
I believe this is due to her being let down in too many occasions in your relationship. Too many situations that were supposed to be romantic were stressful or disappointing for her. She probably kept telling you and probably you were not really listening.
By being more of that person she was hoping for to have and share her life with.. you could sparkle a new sense of hope in her. A hope for a change. Yes I think if you really want to change your situation in the relationship you will have to try to change for better partner for her.
When you talk about a confidence - the confidence that is really needed now is her confidence in you. What could you do so she could start to trust you more? What could you do so she would fell more appreciated? Stop thinking about that she is not appreciating you, but start to think about what could I say that she would appreciate or may be what could I not say and let her speak and be just listening her for once. Really listening.
What she kept telling you where did you let her down? Did you properly understand why? Do not underestimate the pain she felt in the past. That's why she is so done right now.
Keep going with the good things like being faithful and knowing she is the one. But bring up some new game and surprise her that you can be a man she hopes for. Forget about the ( she should love me for who I am ) no that's a bulshit, the love means how I can lover her as she needs to be loved ?
Hope that you will find at least some inspiration in this.
Good luck and keep going
Re: Checked out
Submitted by GibsonSG on
Thanks. I have tried everything. Writing poems, love letters, putting romantic notes in her luggage when she goes on work trips, flying over loved ones long haul after years of COVID separation, hot air balloon rides, spa days, romantic meals, candlelit baths with flower petals, telling her I love her every day and complimenting her. It's all 'too much' and being 'laid on too thick'. It makes me second guess everything I do. I am not sure if part of it right now is due to things being brought to the surface in her own therapy from before we met. I really do try and listen. I know she does not trust me always due to previous letdowns which I acknowledge and I am sorry for. I am trying my best to be a better person and not repeat these **** ups.
Submitted by Elliej on
It really does sound like you are trying really hard to save your marriage. Can i ask, have you addressed/corrected the root cause of previous letdowns that have resulted in a lack of trust? All the things you have done are beautiful but most are experiences/events for a nice romantic day. And whilst they help build connection, they only help if the core foundations of trust, emotional safety and vulnerability are present. Perhaps ask her everyday "what can i do to make your day better?". It may be shopping, cleaning etc but that is the real stuff that shows you care about her wellbeing. Good luck
Submitted by GibsonSG on
Yes I am trying to address those things every day and with CBT. I want to improve communication but sleeping separately does not help in that regards as there are much fewer opportunities for any kind of connection. I do ask but I am also sometimes reluctant as when I ask the response is often I want you to take the initiative or if I have to tell you I may as well do it myself.
Im so sorry
Submitted by Elliej on
Firstly let me say im sorry you and your wife are in this place. Ive been there and its not nice to be chronically lonely.
I have no answers but i find it best to look at actions: you sleep in different rooms, theres been no intimacy for a year, you have been advised to seek professional help for sex/intimacy which hasnt happened, your wife sees you as a co-parent/room-mate, you stopped saying i love you, your wife says theres no connection/things in common.
It sounds like no one is willing to accept reality.
Do you and your wife really want to live like this? As without professional help do you think it will improve? She sounds checked out but doesnt want to say/cant cope with the upheaval of divorce. Also are you confident she has been faithful? She spends her free time with friends or at classes, not with her husband. One other point i considered before my separation was my kids......i wanted to show them what a healthy marriage looked like (i was also in seperate rooms. My husband snored, i asked for 2/3nights alone to sleep with the rest him with me until he sorted his snoring. He never sorted his snoring and moved into the spare room full time which killed me). Is this the blueprint marriage you want to teach your kids?? Is this what you would want them to have/settle for?
I really feel for you. But you have to accept reality, not focus on the past. Work out your next steps to either improve the marriage, stay as it is or go.
Best of luck but you both deserve more....either together or apart.
Re: Im so sorry
Submitted by GibsonSG on
Thanks. I do trust her. She is the most honest person I have ever met (brutally so sometimes). No it is not the blueprint for marriage I want to teach my children. I am not religious but I am 100% committed to my wedding vows. Yes I have messed up sometimes over the years but I acknowledge that and I am truly sorry and want to learn from every mistake I make. I also don't want to teach my kids that people should suffer and remain in unhappy relationships. I hope we can work out things together.
Hi, I am somewhat on the
Submitted by t2l on
Hi, I am somewhat on the other end of the situation. I am the non-adhd spouse and my W is the one who is withdrawing and wants to separate. I too love my wife dearly. Having read The ADHD Effect on Marriage I truly identify with the common pattens exhibited and the negative cycles it is so easy to get into with contributions from both partners. What I have learned on this difficult Odyssey so far is that you cannot change others, only yourself. From all my reading and research this is applicable to both sides of the neuro diversity spectrum. Self care is key (although easier said than done).
What I have found helpful is having some structure in working on myself. There are lots of resources out there however I have been using the PIES (Physical, Interlectual, Emotional & Spiritual) model (https://piesuniversity.com). There are plenty of podcasts and videos on YouTube on the subject too. The theory is logical, work on yourself to be the best version of you that you can be, so whatever the outcome you will still be that person (let's face it, it is guaranteed you will have to spend the rest of your life with you, so why not make that person the best and most lovable person that others too will want to spend time with too).
And whilst there is merit in reflecting on the past and somewhat considering the future, do not get bogged down in them (I have been paralyzed by this for yours). Reflect, apologize (only for what you are truly accountable for) and move on. Do not dwell as it will only hold you in place and stop you moving forward.
A quote I quite like:
“Forget yesterday - it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow - you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift - today.” -- Steve Maraboli
And in terms of working and fighting for your marriage, I am rooting for you and feel this is admirable in a climate and time of disposability. People do feel trapped and imprisoned however most of the time I feel the door to the prison cell is actually open and it is our choice to walk out, however it is something within ourselves holding us back. That is what I take from Melissa's book. We all have choices on both sides of the spectrum and it is a choice to acknowledge those patterns and emotions and chose to break out of them (or at least work on them). As with the PIES, as much as it helps to work as a team, as individuals we can all make that first step to improvement alone and hopefully inspire others to join us on the journey.
Whatever you choose to do know that you do have the strength to make positive choices and changes for yourself (which incidentally at times will positively impact others), even if you are the only one to acknowledge those changes.
I will leave you with one last quote I like as inspiration to keep up the fight
"Same old slippers, Same old rice, Same old glimpse of Paradise. --William James Lampton"
I think this is a more positive reflection of 'The grass is not always greener.'
Re: Hi, I am somewhat on the
Submitted by GibsonSG on
Thanks and I like the quotations. I agree on the comment on disposable culture these days and would never want to make anyone feel imprisoned. I will check out PIES. I hope things work out for you.