The cha-cha

When I started looking at this site after reading the book and seeing our frustrating relationship story being told over and over by strangers, I went through several emotions including relief that I was not  alone, anger that this could be done to me, anger that this is what my relationship had become, fear that it would not even be better and hopelessness that I could never see a change in our relationship, the man I loved and father of my children.  Over and over I read about the heartbreak on each side of the line be it, those who dealt with ADD internally (those with)or those who dealt with ADD externally (those in a partnership or marriage with someone who suffered from it). I nodded my head and sobbed at the unfairness of it all..... Surely there had to be a silver lining? Surely at some point everything will get better? I saw that several people asked the same questions, and the consensus seemed to be: yes it gets better and easier but those people are living their lives and don't need the support like they once did. I read every single forum topic and felt like I knew each of the frequent posters....they supported me without ever knowing who I was, but most of all they showed me that I wasn't crazy.  I wanted to come back and update my story....just in case I can help anyone else. Maybe not. I too disappeared when I was putting out fires and making it work, and hadn't posted much to begin with. Maybe I'll try to be more active even.

This was 8 months ago now.. My therapist recommended a book after hearing my story and down the rabbit hole we went, thank God. 8 months later, it's amazingly better. Different life better. Is it perfect or even what I want ideally- no. I feel like we dance the cha - cha everyday making sure we champion each of our needs and our needs as a family. He got control of the anger, which was HUGE! He couldn't do it until we found an amazing therapist and got him on the correct dosing of meds and both of those took time. I am a business woman and at that point I approached it like a project (right or wrong but that's what got me through) what sort of investment was I willing to continue to make or increase and what did I want to see in return. I could not change him into the man I wanted, that was up to him. What I could do is figure out what my bottom lines are and be willing to walk and figure out what I could do to help us achieve the outcomes. I communicated this to him, clearly, over (once even in his therapists office with her present) and over until I am sure he understood, then we took it one day at a time. Everyday it seemed to get a little better and suddenly sometimes out of the blue a stressful situation would happen and it seemed to come crashing down. We would address it and rebuild it together.

For example - I had to realize he will never be good with money, so I took it all over and make sure he had a budget. If he wants to fund a project he works with me to find the money in the budget and it is transferred to him. He gets his monthly walking money and it's transferred to him. Is it a pain, sometimes, but he doesn't have to fear that he'll screw it up and neither do I. He is still in control of his money though. I don't ask him to pay bills. I set up the budget in a spreadsheet on the laptop and have our finances figured out for the next 18 months, with rainy day and vacation money. He visually sees where it goes when I have to say no and he can see what overspending costs the whole family. Is this what I envisioned - no. Does it work for us? Hell yes! My objective was I didn't want to worry about money and I empowered myself to make sure I didn't have to, while still giving him freedoms. (On a side note - he still burns through the money and doesn't finish projects but he only has himself to blame and he sees that it's happening now and is more aware). As a bonus I also budgeted chores that we have a hard time completing to be hired out. He wants more spending money he can compete the chores we are paying for and we will have more money available for him to spend. The chores get done and I don't have to worry about it. Since it is planned out in advance most of our bills come out automatically so I don't have to think about it, other than logging our purchases. I realize this will not work for everyone. In some ways I'm very lucky but I have to work on it every day. 

That has been one of the hardest things I've realized- making sure we are on the same page is an every day occurrence. Our biggest set backs happen when we can't  or won't utilize one of our strategies. It's still heartbreaking but, I'm happy, our daughters are happy and so is he. He and I both have strengths and we both have weaknesses. Just like any married couple and we just need to continue to figure out how to capitalize on them. We still have a very very long road. I still sob at night sometimes and he still goes off into lala land when he's overwhelmed, but he's getting treatment and we are a family again, and I think the great times are now tilting the scales over the bad. I have sincere hope and expectations that it will continue. Neither of us are victims anymore. :-) I can't wait to see what happens after we have been addressing it for a year. I'm 100% positive we will both backslide but I think we can work through it.