I finally had my ADHD diagnosed about two years ago. I come from an ADHD family, but was never diagnosed. Like many on here, I always suspected I had it. Since then, I've tried different medications, individual counseling, and my wife and I have done couples counseling. The counseling helps, and I have felt at times, as a result, more clarity than ever before. While communication has improved, it remains to be our biggest issue. Everything seems to be connected to communication.
Lately, my biggest issue has been defensiveness. My wife is very direct, and would very much like to point out something when it initially bothers her, and then move on (after a few somber moments). My wife is a traveling business consultant. I see her only Thursday night through Monday morning each week. In many ways, its a good setup, because we both have very busy work schedules and work long hours. Our weekends are dedicated to time with each other. However, its felt recently like she's constantly pointing out things that she wishes I wouldn't have done, or done differently. My reaction is almost always a defense. This infuriates her and the battle ensues. Eventually, when I calm down after feeling attacked, I often have to ask her to describe how the situation went down or what was specifically said. Not until then do I realize my initial defensiveness.
How do I shed this feeling of being attacked?
Is it okay to ask her to simply not point out things that upset her so often? With her, it seems like every emotion is extreme. And, she's so intimately connected to how she feels, I don't think I can keep up. I rarely even acknowledge how I feel, unless I'm upset. And its just that... bland... just "upset."
In the end, I really do want to be less defensive. We've both agreed to work hard to pause more often before saying something. For her, that means pausing before pointing something out. For me, that's giving myself a moment to process her comment before making a potentially defensive remark.
Is there something else we should consider here? We both want our communication to be better. The constant arguing has to stop. And I need to stop feeling that its her that chooses to fight all the time simply because its her that gets upset about something I've done.
One last thing, my wife understands that I have ADHD, and I think she's come to terms with some of my challenges. But, she hasn't done any research or reading on the topic herself. Is there something I should suggest she read? If so, how should I go about asking her to read it?
I'd love to hear your feedback.