Married for 4 years (lived together 1.5 years) - Yes our dating and living together was all hyperfocused, now that I've learned about it from this website - but at the time I thought it was love. I (non-ADHD) was diagnosed with cancer, while we were living together - I went through chemo, radiation, surgery, chemo - my husband started drinking (heavily) - at first, I felt guilty because, after all I had cancer, it was stressful to me, I can understand that it must have been pressure for him. I'd mention his drinking, and he would promise to slow down or quit. Didn't happen, promises broken. Stop, start, stop, start - drama drama drama. Then he started stealing my pain medicine. (I didn't know this for quite some time). Ok, buddy, you need help, professional - can't deal with the addiction! - I set boundary after boundary, and he walked across each one several times. 4th time worked - well maybe! Did I forget to mention that he lies - I had no idea he had an addiction history - when I met him he didn't drink at all. SURPRISE. Not only lying about his history, but when he would take something to make himself high, I'd ask? His answer was always NO.
During this whole time (we are talking 3 of the 4 years of our marriage), I'm trying to fight cancer, and I'm dealing with ALL HIS DRAMA! So he has been "sober" for over 1 year (albeit he does continue at times to take something - always denied), and his behavior didn't improve. He's not a bad guy, in fact when we were dating and living together he was quite charming, is an extremely hard worker - albeit he takes disorganization to a level I've never seen.
I have felt ignored and in fact, INVISIBLE! He rarely would go to a dr. appointment with me, so I went by myself to it all - every chemo treatment, every radiation treatment, every test under the sun, and Lord, I was sick, but just plugged through it all with a positive attitude. But man I was lonely and horribly scared. What happened to that loving guy I lived with and married. All I needed was for him to show me some attention? I'd ask, he promise, promise ignored! Ok, I'm a fighter, I will make it alone, I can do this. Maybe his behavior was caused by his addiction - he's recovered, things will get better.
Then his focus changed to the internet! I'd talk to him, cry, scream, yell, and yes NAG! Why oh why can't he pay me a single bit of attention. He'd respond when did you get "so needy"? Do you expect me to just quit my job so I can pay sole attention to you? No, he is a hard worker - 12-14 hours a day. I work too, and I was sick, but there is so little communication that I dread him coming home - I get nothing - maybe a hi, how was your day, but when I would speak, he would just be looking at his blackberry, or roaming the internet, or walked in the other room mid-sentence. So I withdrew more and more.
Then I found the sexting - and I was crushed! He of course, lied, until i showed him the emails - and then he said, well you've been sick, and I was lonely, what is a guys supposed to do -- it is not like cheating! Yes, it is cheating in my eyes, and he knew it - we had discussed it when we were dating, when we lived together and before we got married. These were not just random emails, they were specific to certain women, and they were on-going, so much so, one mentioned that "she missed hearing from you this weekend").
I told him to leave, and he was gone for a few months, and then we agreed to work on our marriage, and then next thing I find is Adderall - of course, I thought he was taking drugs again and was using them for "speed" - after all he got them from someone that he works with. He said he can't focus --- I said, ok, then go to the doctor - who just asks some random person for their drugs? He never told me he went to the doctor, but apparently he did, and he gave him a prescription. Things dd not improve - I'm like why did you even bother to come back, he agree to start counseling. He told the counselor he had ADHD (when did this diagnosis happen)! She recommended that we read the Marriage/ADHD book, which of course, I did, and found this website. I have to say that it was mouth dropping shockingly true - it was like someone wrote the story of our marriage. I felt actually acknowledged and validated! There is actually a reason for his behavior.
I have tried to let go of the anger and resentment that was built up over the 4 years, but I'm struggling with it, because I think it's gone and then something will happen - usually it's just his completely ignoring me for hours on end, and it just comes up - it's like I can't control it. I can't deal with his emotional disconnection, and I really am struggling with all the lies -- do I want to spend the rest of my life (however long or short it is), with someone who seems incapable of being vulnerable, sharing an emotional connection? I read the blogs, and frankly I get more scared, because is this what my whole future will be like? What happened to that guy I met, lived with and married? WHERE IS THAT GUY? If they could focus during one sustained period of time, why can't they do it again - I'm not even asking for hyperfocus - BUT SOMETHING! I told him the book was very enlightening and he might find it beneficial for helping to manage his life, and he just rolled his eyes. He accepts very little responsibility for all the chaos that has occurred in our marriage - He calls his addiction period and the sexting - "a bad time" - a rough patch. I try to explain all the hurt I have felt, and still feel, especially because I really needed his emotional support while I was fighting for my life, and he just says - you weren't there for me! Check, ok, we are even - you are an addict, talk with random women on the internet about sex, completely ignore me - and I guess I, what, got cancer - ok, that makes us even! It makes me so angry I could just scream. He blames me - the bitchy, needy, sick girl. He is right, of course - I have been bitchy, I have needed his help when I was sick! I have withdrawn from him. At some point after so much drama, a person has got to guard her heart! and I really needed to save my own life. I needed to detach to just survive and focus on my own health issues. Have sex, are you kidding me, with a person that is completely emotionally void and who shares himself with strangers on adultfriendfinder! The other night I just could not take being in our house one more minute - I feel like I'm INVISIBLE, I told him to leave, I mean go - we're done, it's over! I need space to breath! Of course, now he wants to work on the marriage!
How do you build an emotional connection with someone with ADHD, is it even possible when all they do is blame you and refuse to recognize their own issues? Does it take a lifetime? Even if I did everything that was in the book - how do you rebuild trust? I get that they may be "wired" differently, but does that excuse bad behavior? All I can do now is breath in the house, without the constant tension from his presence, and work on my own life - what he does, is really up to him. Can someone else understand and give me guidance? I think a divorce is in order!