I'm desperate to change the communication style of my marriage before it all falls apart. Whoever can read and respond, I'd really appreciate it. I'm the ADHD partner in an 8-year marriage. I have my own things to work on and fix, lots of them. But I worry that none of this will involve participation from my wife, given how little she seems to want to control, discuss, or be asked about her feelings and actions. The message is just: "you make it better right now or it's over."
Communication can become so one-sided because of how much she seems to be filtering things as criticism or put-downs. The jump to anger/argument is almost instanenous now.
If I have a suggestion about something I read in a book, or a handout to do, or a prinout saying something like "Today I will not speak aggressively" - it means I'm telling her she's the one who has to change.
Asking for a cool-down, or to discuss something later, or to have her take a deep breath, means "shut up, b***h, I don't want to deal with you".
Insisting on a cool-down by walking into the next room, means I'm running away and ignoring her anger.
Making a poorly-worded suggestion about schedules, chores, or ways to do something, means that I'm giving orders because her opinion doesn't matter.
Mentioning a past argument, or bringing up things she did or said in anger, means "you just love to remind me of what a b***h you have made me into".
I crunched some numbers for our household budget and made a little one-page chart to show her. She was pleased until I said something like, "I know it's complicated but I'm glad I could help dumb it down." Meaning that she's an idiot and I relish every chance to show that I'm smarter than her.
Trying to be firm and direct with a not-raised voice is always yelling at her.
If we talk something over and make a decision that causes stress down the line, I expect to hear, well, you made us do it this way.