Consider this......

Every once in a while when I'm feeling really down I look at this site thinking I will find some hope.  Instead I end up feeling even more discouraged.  Even in the 'hopeful' forum - it's all about being hopeful that the ADHD spouse will change and 'get better' and live up to the non-adhd spouse's expectations.  I read how everyone is at their wits end with their spouse and can't take it anymore.  Or how the adhd spouse is making progress but it's such a small step.

I AM the adhd spouse.  And I'm tired and I'm weary and I want to just be loved for who I am.  I don't want to be worked on or fixed or trained or graded.  Walking on eggshells is no fun.  Going along being happy and thinking life is good and then realizing I'm the only one who sees things that way.  Realizing that the person I love with all my heart is frustrated yet again for something I have or haven't done that I didn't even 'see'.  Hearing the same topic of frustration over and over again week after week.  There are times I work so hard and I'm patting myself on the back thinking I've made real progress only to hear that I've still not measured up and the same frustrating topic is right there again. 

Sometimes I wish I'd never pursued the realization that I had adhd because now that's what I have become.  It's stamped on my forehead and that's all my spouse sees.  And right next to me is a running scoreboard of my perceived successes and failures.  It's as if now everything I do is a measurement of progress or no progress.  I want to live and just be happy.  I feel like I am one of the happiest people I know but inside now I'm crumbling.  From the beginning to the end of the day I'm corrected, reminded, judged and defeated.  Even when my spouse isn't around I can hear in my head the frustration and irritation.  Even if it's nothing that's been spoken before now I know the eyes that things are viewed with and all I can see are the things I do wrong.  Now it's as if I'm trying to win the game each day.  I do all these things each day in hopes that today will be the day I'm not reminded of my adhd.  And yet I could do 400 things right but there will still ALWAYS be something I failed.  I wish I could just live my days again - just being the free me - instead of trying to prove I can do 'normal'.

All I can see now are the flaws I have and all the things about me that I know frustrate my spouse.  With all my heart I wish I could change those things overnight and be what my spouse wants but they are me and are who I am.  I'm not sure I even understand why some of the things are bad.  Why did it suddenly become bad to be me?  I talk too much or say the wrong thing.  I see the look on my spouse's face and know I've done it again.  There are times I tell my spouse things that may seem pointless but to me they're not - and the silence in response is deafening.  I get it.  The silence means I'm rambling about things that seem silly and pointless.  At times it feels like my spouse just wants to get away from me and it hurts and I feel so lonely inside.  I just want someone to tell me I'm doing a good job and it's ok to be me and I'm not such a disappointment to them.  Just one person.

For the first time ever my spouse poked fun at one of my adhd flaws at the dinner table and my children all laughed.  I wanted to die.  My heart was crushed and I wanted to sob like a little kid because it hurt so much.  In a way I feel like I've become a child in my spouse's eyes instead of a partner and that this label I now have comes with a free pass for constant correction and frustration.  At the end of the day there's a silent review going on and I always know what the unspoken grade is until it builds and builds as I wait and guess what it will be this time.

There will be no end to me being who I am.  I am sorry that it is so frustrating that I am this way.  My heart aches for the days when I didn't feel like I was doing everything wrong.  When the days weren't filled with dread and I didn't feel like I failed every expectation.  I wish that my spouse didn't feel alone.  When I learned that I felt like my world was shattered.  How could I be in such a different place and view things so differently?  And how could I unknowingly cause my soul mate so much pain?  I'm sorry that I wasn't doing my share.  I didn't realize it really was that way.  Now I try so hard to look at it from a different perspective and use the different tools and strategies to remember and try but it feels like it's never enough and it's too late to make a difference now because we had to discuss it rather than me just seeing it and so it's not the same.

If only my heart could express how much I wish I wasn't this way and how hard I'm trying to do all the things I can to fix it even if it's not a fast huge change.  I'm so very sorry.  I wouldn't wish this for anyone.

I hear you, brother (sister?)

I get depressed coming here too sometimes.  It really is frustrating and my days are much like yours.

my DOCTOR chuckled at me the other day when I described ADD situations resulting from the Adderall shortage.  He immediately was a bit embarrassed and said, "sorry... I shouldn't laugh..."  and I wanted to scream at him NO YOU SHOULDN'T, JERK!!!!  It's all very funny, unless it's happening to you.


Laughed at you?!?

How unprofessional is THAT? You seem to have a good sense of humor from what I can tell. Were you using any humor in your ADD situation descriptions? I try to keep my sense of humor. Coping mechanism I guess.

I think my recent over-whelm and so much sadness here to address caused me to disappear for a bit. I felt like I did not have any time to address the posts with any sort of quality.


My doctor laughed too

My doctor also laughed during my description of ADHD woes. One of the lowest points so far ...


How unprofessional! Hello... Low Self-Esteem is a Major factor in ADD. Wow... Sorry you went through that.


So much here...I cannot

So much here...I cannot address a lot of it, I am the non-ADHD wife, but I did want to address what I felt I could help you with.

It is quite possibly ONLY YOUR reality when you talk of so much negative energy and score keeping coming from your wife. It is also possible that she's negative towards you, angry and resentful like many non's end up being, and she isn't seeing this as HER role in the destruction of the marriage. Suffice it to say, the majority of the time these ships don't sink due to one person's behaviors alone. It is EQUALLY difficult for us to come to THAT conclusion as it is for someone with ADHD to drop the defeatist attitude, put aside everyone else's personal opinions of them, and roll up their sleeves and start working TOGETHER to make things better. Sorry, but it is just plain old reality that things HAVE to change. Is that all up to you? Not even close.

Food for thought...

-"I want to be loved just the way I am"...we (non's) want to FEEL, through your actions, that you love us...and often we don't.

-"walking on eggshells is no fun" bet your butt it isn't...

-"All I can see now are the flaws I have and all the things about me that I know frustrate my spouse.  With all my heart I wish I could change those things overnight and be what my spouse wants but they are me and are who I am."... Seeing them is the first step in minimizing them. No one can change overnight, but what steps are you taking to hold yourself accountable? Are you acknowledging the behaviors that are hurtful in a way that says "I want to be accountable for this action...and make changes..even if it takes me 999 tries, I will get it right someday"?

-"I'm not sure I even understand why some of the things are bad.  Why did it suddenly become bad to be me?" They are "bad" because they are most likely hurtful to your wife. It didn't suddenly become bad to be you, more accurately, you probably aren't the same 'you' that she dated, fell in love with, and married. Hyperfocus has worn off and now you are a more accurate version of 'you' and she's going to fight, kicking and screaming, begging and pleading, manipulating and degrading the 'new' version of you in a desperate attempt to get back the 'old you'.

-"How could I be in such a different place and view things so differently?" Because you have ADHD and that is just one part of it. In such instances as this, it is devastating. Meshing the two realities is hard, but not impossible. This is done with COMMUNICATION. MUCH of your post just simply screams to me that there is very little meaningful and clear communication going on in your marriage. It is mostly just assumptions, blame, and everyone playing the victim.

I won't give you a pep talk, I know my husband gets really upset with me when I try to impose my 'rational/reasonable' "but honey, you can do this" kind of attitudes on him. Your situation isn't unfixable. It isn't something we don't see here everyday. You're 'seeing' things that are necessary in the process of moving're already a few steps ahead of most. Now, find someone who can work with you and your wife, that deals specifically with ADHD, and roll up your sleeves. It sucks just as equally on both sides of the fence...but change has to start somewhere...may as well start with you. :) Best of luck!


I'm adhd

I could tell you a whole lot of things right now but I think from your post thats exactly your point. you know you've got a long road and it's tough and your doing in. but everynight instead of a tally in your head you just want someone to say "hey, you worked really hard today and your doing good. keep taking it one step at a time"

so instead of telling you your wrong or right or going into a debate of the world of adhd, how bout I tell you something that is pretty obvious from your post.

I am so proud of you for being someone who stood up and took notice. I am so proud to have you here and be one of us. you are doing great and I know I dont have to tell you to keep trying because you will. you are a good person and all the past mistakes in the world cant change who you are. you are not a person who made years of mayhem and destroyed everything around you. you are a wonderful loving person who spread a world of good to other people. just because to everyone else it may not be their reality. doesnt mean your heart wasnt in the right place and it is pretty clear how hard you work and how much love you have to give. the things you described that you are trying to change and have done and the hard work you have done is all to clear in showing your character. trust yourself. your heart is good and you are capable and you will achieve what you set out to do. keep up the good work. it gets easier. you will start to understand more of whats going on as a little time goes by. 

it is pretty obvious from your post that when it was brought to your attention your good deeds and love were not reaching everyone like you thought it takes one brave and humble and good person to try to change their habits in order to have their love and good deeds get through like you intended. I'm not sure if I had a crappy counselor or a really good one because she didnt really say much or offer any advice. here and there she would just let me know she was proud of me for putting in the effort and it sounded like I was going in the right direction and it would just take a little while for everything to fit right and make sense and the world wouldnt end if I didnt fix it all today. as long as I was always living life and not trying to escape my problems I was headed in the right direction. but I found out thats exactly what I needed. a pat on the back just to reassure me I was headed the right way, someone was proud of me for trying hard and not giving up and to accept the good I had done that day because they could see I would try again tomorow and the next day and werent waiting for me to fail.

when you get that kind of encouragement it can do wonders and when you dont it's like an endless teeter totter of "should I even try or just give up and go my own way because I cant seem to win"

just because I dont know you personaly doesnt mean I cant see who you are in your post. your doing really good. not just "fine" your doing really good. dont give up. try not to be anxious, it will happen. if you feel able I would try to explain to your family that there are lots of thing you might be able to laugh about yourself on. .. but this isnt one. people dont always mean it that way. my husband laughed quite a bit but since I told him how much it hurt he did his best not to and admited he was just trying to ease some tension and thats how he grew up was making fun of issues in their family. it wasnt to hurt each other but just kind of a way for them to bond (yeah, sounds silly to me to and hurtful) but he stopped and I didnt feel so bad.  and with me telling him I needed him to just tell me I did ok and trust I would work hard tomorow to and I would get the hang of it he relaxed a little.  somehow he was holding onto each day as if I did something that one day it was what I was going to do every day. I told him no. that I was aware I didnt do everything right and I could only do so much in a day and there is a regular life to be led to.  also I asked him if he would like to talk about issues all day :) his answer of course was heck no. so I said, ok...neither do i. I cant possible have the energy to work on fixing every part of my new life all day long. it's exausting and no one can do it. do what you can every single day and it will happen. :) he had a little better view after that (not perfect :)

hope you have a better day tomorow and if you have no one else to do it we will be here, to pat you on the back! your doing awesome!

Thank you

Thank you for knowing.  In my low moment you took the time to write to a complete stranger exactly what I needed to hear.  Thank you for taking the time to say such kind things to me.  Each time I read your post I cried.  It is something I know I will come back to from time to time on the days when I forget to be strong or feel overwhelmed.  Thank you for sharing your experiences on communicating and keeping a balance so it doesn't become overwhelming.  Thank you for understanding that some days are just that way but reminding me that most of them are so much better.  There is no way to express how deeply I appreciate your words.  Thank you.

The first thing I'd like to

The first thing I'd like to say is that as soon as my DH gets home I'm going to hug him and apologize.  I can't remember ever specifically teasing him regarding his ADHD, and I definitely want to make sure that I don't.  How awful!  Does your spouse know how hurtful it was to you?

Right now, my DH and I are in a good place.  Most of the last 2 years ....not so good.  It's because he couldn't 'see' my reality, and his reality isn't the same.  He had all these coping strategies and deflectors that I didn't have!  I can take over the finances so the bills are paid, I can write him a million reminders.  But what if I want to feel love?  By my own admission, I am a sap.  I don't have a coping strategy for loneliness.  I don't have a strategy that turns me from the house keeper and nanny into a bombshell at the drop of a hat.  There are symptoms of ADHD that I can't avoid or minimize, I have to take them at full force.  And until I was able to present things in a way that he was able to 'see', I did take them.  But they left a residue with me that's going to be hard for me to get rid of.  If I see him relaxing his management, I get nervous.  If he gets too relaxed, I'm afraid he wont be able to 'see' anymore.  Him being the 'free him' means misery for me.  'Free him' assumes that because his life is great, mine must be too. 

I encourage you to keep striving!  Even if your spouse doesn't 'see' it yet, you're building up a positive residue. 

I think my favorite posts are from the ADHDers for a few different reasons.  One of the things that comes with being a sap is more empathy than I care to have sometimes; it's posts like these that remind me to be patient.  I also feel a little less silly out of making a big deal out of my DH remembering to grab a few paperclips from his desk before leaving work.  Does me acting like he walked in the door with my favorite chocolates count as a pat on the back?  I hope so..... I really needed those paperclips.  :)

DF's picture

It isn't the end

Having ADD(HD) isn't the end of the world.  You're not an outcast or the public fool.  It almost sounds as though you forgot all of your years before diagnosis.  Failure comes and goes, but for us it 'seems' to be a bit more amplified.  You need to focus on the fact that everyone fails and you're going to fail too.  You will only truly fail if you don't learn from the set backs that get in the way.  Remember the old saying - "Poop happens", guess what - "Fail Happens".

So what if you have ADD(HD) stamped on your forehead.  Your missing the point of being here if that's how you feel about it.  I was just as guilty of that once too, but look around and you'll start to see that you're in a room with 1000 people and 500 of them have some form of ADD(HD).  It's not so uncommon, it just means we see things and react a bit differently.

Also, start looking for what it was that led your relationship up to this point.  It never happens over night.  Addressing ADD(HD) is part of the fight, but you have so get over yourself.  ADD(HD) isn't always that which ends relationships.  It may be a facilitator, but not the cause.  Look deep inside and try to find what it is that got you to this point.  You and your spouse don't sound to me as though you're on the same page about giving and receiving love and understanding and that just puts a spotlight on your ADD(HD).  ADD(HD) is not a third arm sticking out of your head so stop treating it like that.

Sure it will be a bit harder to develop new habits, but setting routines can help.  Start small, one room at a time, one action/reaction at a time.  Keep your spouse in the loop until you two figure out how to talk to each other and hear each other.  ADD(HD) is not a disease or a handicap, it's a difference of perspective.  There's something kind of nice about living day to day and not dwelling on the future.  I know I don't much think on a "possible" divorce in my future, because today is a nice day and I have things I need to focus on for today.

So get your big girl or boy pants on and get to work.  Encouragement from us is nice to read, but unless you feel good about yourself you'll forget about what positive things we said to you by tomorrow and go back to feeling frustrated and hopeless.  You've gotten this far in life and you aren't planning to die tomorrow so it seems to me you write your own future.  How you want to live it is your call.

--> I'm not angry.  Just laying it out for ya.  Good luck!

wasnt trying to overlook it

I hope I didnt come off as too : just be happy and everyone else can deal with it.

I just meant that as adhd my own self I forget other people are trying to help point out where adhd might be giving trouble to help me see where it is I might add in my newfound therapy tricks or way of doing things. people will always get angry and it's bound to be extra hard for a long time it's just easy to forget your spouse is at least somewhat aware and wouldnt still be there if they didnt love you and arent always just pointing it out to point the finger at you but make it easier to see a current thing that in the past you might have had trouble with to give you a chance to stop and take note and try something new. it can come off as anger and pointing the finger (they may very well be doing it that way) but in my husbands case he was pointing out circumstances to me when they would happen and of course since we hadnt fixed it yet he still had the same anger and frustration from so many identicle situations that he was unable to do much except point it out and say it angry.

sometimes the sighs and dissapointed looks arent about how we fail so much as it's hard to just erase the usual feelings that came about from these situations in the past and it's just as important for us (adhd) to give them room to say things the wrong way for a while and have faith they are still here for a reason and they get just as discouraged as us and feel just as hopeless sometimes and it isnt always about us as a person so much as a frustration at the whole situation of trying to change everything. like trying to move from one house to another, only knowing it's going to take a long time even years to move one piece at a time very slowly and you spend half your time at both houses and it's frustrating trying to go back and forth and remember where things are. you get angry sometimes because it can feel like your spouse should have known to move a certain thing over first cause you would need it at the other house. all the while knowing full well once you finally get settled in only one house there are still going to be tons of things to fix and the house you moved into wasnt what either of you were hoping for your future.  nobody is really excited about the move :)

my husband always thought I was angry and pointing the finger at him (technically I was) but I told him it wasnt him I was mad at when we talked about issues and I would yell or get angry. I was angry at the circumstances or basically the misscomunication. I was tired of it just as he was. I tried very hard to remember that man across from me put all his love into me just like I did (were human...I'm sure we didnt do it all the time :) and his love and effort fell in the wrong places too.

when he changed the subject while I was trying to sort something out with him, it wasnt that he wasnt interested in fixing it or I was talking too much it was usually (after starting to change things) that he recodnised he wasnt getting it (what I said or how I explained it) and instead of falling back into old patterns he tried to find something more casual to prevent us from getting angry or arguing when it just wasnt going to happen this time.

part of the whole pat yourself on the back thing was to say that your spouse needs a pat on the back too cause he's saying things the wrong way and trying where we dont see it too. they feel just as picked on and they are not still hanging around because they are waiting for you to fix yourself so they can stand you. they are trying too and need the comfort of casual topics and breaks from the arguing just like us and it's not wasting time to try to put everything on the back burner and try to create intimate situations when you have a hard time looking at the other person because of all you've been through. it can be their way of asking you to relax with them and the only thing they know how to do is invite you to do what they know how to do. which looks alot like selfishness too but I found in our case my husband doesnt mean it that way it's just that at this point he's not sure what we really have in common or what we can do without arguing so he just gives it a shot and tries to jump in.

it looks to me, when he does things like that, that he's just expecting me to be different. but alot of times being normal with me is his way of trying and he cant always help that it leads to bad feelings. best thing I've found is when the situation is crumbling, stop trying to desperatly dig your way out and explain yourself and try to help him understand and take a deep breathe. I just tell him, I'm not going to say I'm sorry every five seconds but instead what I will tell you is that I love you. I just cant seem to say it right but thats what I'm saying is I love you and I want to do the right thing. more often that not and now almost everytime it works pretty well. he is relieved to not argue and understands the I love you better than the I'm sorry. he gets tired of hearing I'm sorry as much as I hate to keep saying it.  makes us both feel a whole lot healthier getting brought back to the essential I love you. it kinda sums up alot. take a few minutes on your own to write it out what you were trying to say or your side of whatever needed to be sorted out and I find I understand my husband alot better through paper.

since I have trouble seeing so much more behind what he's saying like his body movements or language it's easier to concentrate on what he was actually saying there on the paper and not filling in things myself or not catching everything. I can read the paper two or three times if I have to and he didnt have to say it that many times.

anyways, good luck and I feel sympathy towards both parties. I feel like just giving a giant shout out and hug to everyone here who is just trying to do the best they can. thats what all the frustration and anger and pointing fingers on here is about. people trying to figure things out and do the best they can. the best they can will vary from person to person and everyone has a right to their feelings, dont get discouraged :) it doesnt mean we dont all love each other :) 

DF's picture

Are you sure you're in the right place?

Who are you thendorbegining?  You're fun.  I like your upbeat energy and projected optimism.  Almost sounds like the 'Anger' forum is not where you ought to be.  I think it's great your spouse and you are working together.  It makes it so much easier when you're both doing the tango instead of each of you doing a different dance and trying to lead the other.  That seems to be the common theme in the 'Anger' forum where there's such a deep seated level of misunderstanding that it's hard to get past the frustration.

I was right when I said earlier that it's a nice day.  I met you and your enthusiasm has added to an already positive day.  Thank you -

Take heed whyisitsobad.  Life happens all around you and there's something pretty neat everywhere you look.  It just takes having perspective.

everywhere here is the right place sometime

you made me laugh ;) I'm glad I could help keep things bright :)

I hang out more in the anger and frustration section than is probably healthy :) just cause we should keep our head high doesnt mean we dont loose it. I like reading other peoples anger and frustrations because the many diffrent views and situations always shed light on the past present or a beware for the future :) it can feel discouraging on here sometimes like it's all going to stay stinky forever, but it's not exactly a crime to feel angry or frustrated.  I encourage my husband to read the anger frustrations section quite a bit because he identifies with posts on here and chances are they said it a different way and by reading the ones he points out to me I can "get it" where I might not have for a long time or ever if I relied on our own communication skills :) so I cant tell you how it's helped to have so many different writing styles on here and so many opinions and views. because the small differences can make the difference between staying confused and getting it. we've learned alot from many many different people on here and it was probably a different person every time :) keep on commenting, you never know who you might reach or help and boy will they be grateful even if they never got around to saying it or could remember where they saw the post :)

Great stuff on this thread

I've ranted this week about my husband and the controled hoard that he's got going in and outside of our home. Well, this week he's made such amazing strides. Tomorrow he's going to the dump with TONS of stuff. Is it as much as I want? No. Does the backyard even resemble the yard that it was 6 years ago? No. And here is the point of my reply. All I see is what isn't done, what hasn't been thrown away, that it doesn't look manicured and wonderful. All I feel is the anger and resentment that it got this way and its going to take a lot of elbow grease and money in lawn seed and such to get it back. All I feel is daunted that now I"m going to have to argue and argue to stay firm to my boundries of how much stuff we can keep in the yard and such. I've let my resentment and unreasonable expectations rule me. I've let that poor man work all week without even a thank you or a kudos. Can you imagine how hard it was for him to see all that stuff go to salvage. REALLY HARD. Equally as hard as me not getting anything on special days. So, I guess what I'm saying is that it does certainly take two to tango and I can sit here on my high and mighty NON ADHD seat and spout gold and silver all day but the truth is......he's trying....trying really, really hard and I'm so in the pattern of disgust, resentment and anger that I have lost empathy and respect. I sent him a long text telling him that I'm so sorry or not respecting the work he's doing or thanking him and honoring how difficult this must be for him. All that said, I want to also say that I think I've come down to one very simple truth for my relationship and the issues that I have within it. If I knew the "real" him, I would've never married him. Not ever. So the realization that I'm in a relationship, married to someone who really isn't who I met and fell in love with is a very, very hard pill to swallow. Even though I know enough about ADHD to know that he would never deceive me willingly.....his ADHD brain simply was him being him. He was him when I married him and he's him now. It's just that the version that I married was night and day from what I encounter on a day to day basis. The anger I feel about that on some days almost chokes me. That anger has turned me into the wife I never wanted to be. But the women I've turned into is of my own making. He didn't make me this way, I chose it for myself. I have free will and I can chose to act any way I wish. But it's so much easier to blame him than simply change the way I am. Well, that ends today. His ADHD isn't responsible for me being a non empathetic idiot who can't even recognize an expression of love from my husband. I am. This dance has to stop. Maybe if I lead by example, it will come back to me two fold...and if it doesn't at least I will know my side of the street is clean. Bless all of you on this board. You have all provided me with such insite and friendship and care. Not sure I would be at this ah-ha moment without you. Gina B
DF's picture

two things

First - thendorbegining

I have my eye on a few people here and they know who they are.  Some have offered wise words to me when I needed it, but logic doesn't always get through when you're sitting in a dark place.  I'm not as active here as I had been some months ago but I like to see how others are progressing.  I've gone back to read some of your stuff and you've hurt my head.  ;)  It's a bit much to follow even on the meds, but it's cool that you get it.  I too went full bore trying to understand this and it's nice to have some understanding when events transpire and you see how you used to react vs how you react now being a bit wiser.  If your spouse is reading these forums as you mentioned he does -> " Get rid of those darn sweatpants!  She's dropping you a HUGE hint! " 

Which leads me to gratitudeiskey -

You are so very correct.  You are where you are by choice.  I myself choose to be happy and therefore I am.  I'm entitled to some frustration, but for the most part I'm my own mountain.  You seem to also realize that 24/7 you have to live with you and it's up to you to be who you "choose" to be.  I believe you when you say you're frustrated and it sounds like you're on a good track:

"...Maybe if I lead by example, it will come back to me two fold...."

But my concern is here:

"...and if it doesn't at least I will know my side of the street is clean....."

If you're planning on using the same approach you've used in the past to get your love across to him and yet here you are - you may want to pay closer attention to finding out what gets through to him.  A one-sided approach isn't fun, but once you find the right set of keys, I'm curious if things turn out like all the great books talk about.    Your second thought almost sounds as though you're already admitting to yourself he's hopeless and that's not fair to either of you.  He may not know exactly what works for him because he could be struggling with what he "thinks" is working for you.  If you can identify where you're butting heads ( not just the eyesore in the backyard ) you may rediscover what it was that brought you two together in the first place.

Thanks DF...really good point

This is one of our biggest stumbling blocks. It is very, very difficult for him to come up with “what works for him” as far as communication techniques, intimacy, love languages. What I do know about his feelings are that he would love it if I just let him “be”. Let me just hoard, let me just be a gamer, let me just spend our money, let me just view porn instead of having sex with you. He knows that's not feasable or reasonable but he says that's what he is certain he wants. All the rest is just really hard for him to identify and put in words. Part of why he married me, he said, is because he know I would take care of him and he could trust me to always do the right thing. I would’ve never guessed this because he was so amazingly “on top of things” when he was courting me and he was the one I always leaned on. It’s very different now. The dynamic is very much reversed. I know what I need and my needs are fairly straight forward. I have communicated these needs to him via our ADHD coaching sessions and it’s still very hard for him to meet those needs. I’m not saying he hasn’t tried andI think that it takes a lot of work. When he tries it’s so difficult that it’s just off putting to him. These are his words, not mine. Case in point….I would love for him to remember my birthday. Well, not just remember it but maybe even do something like take me to dinner. We have worked on several things with the ADHD coach such as sticky notes, messages on his phone, he has someone call him and remind him, etc. None of these have worked and he said they were just so stress inducing that it’s mind blowing. He says “I know this is hurtful to you and I’m so sorry but I simply can’t remember. It would be so much easier if you just simply didn’t expect me to remember.” That sort of answer is what I encounter a lot. I state what I need, he tries really hard and if it’s something that’s just too difficult, he leaves it for me to try and figure out a way to emotionally detach from the expectation. The truth is, I enable that. I say “it’s ok” and then I resent the fact that I’m not getting my needs met. That’s insane. Part of keeping my side of street clean is to honor my own feelings, express them and not let anyone tell me that I need to lower my expectations and change my feelings to accommodate them. My statement about leading by example is trying everything I can to honor my commitment to be a loving and respectful wife. To do my best to understand his ADHD, his needs and learn to communicate and show love in a way that he understands and in a way that is true to both of us. My statement about and if it doesn't at least I will know my side of the street is clean....." Well, I’ll be honest, although I have hope, I also know I can’t change what I can’t change. The only thing I can do is control myself and my actions. If I work hard at being a good partner with all that entails, maybe he will see the difference in the level of resentment and anger and it will also spur him to make changes. But even if he never, ever changes, I still have a responsibility to myself, to him and to my daughter to be a positive energy and influence in my home. Right now, I’m a bundle of anger and resentment. That’s not good for anyone but most of all not good for me. Thanks so much for your response. Wonderful to get an insightful point of view.
DF's picture

Ah the memories......

The gaming, spending money and not worrying about certain bills and dare I say...pornography.  My transition to growing up was slow and before diagnosis.  Indulge me as I revisit please.......

The porn or adult research ( sounds better ) was the first to go.  This was an issue with my wife too.  The other neighborhood dads we were with talked about it and I contributed to the conversations.  This was with all of our wives around and nobody complained so I thought it no big deal.  Then she told me it was and I stopped.  I became uncomfortable when the other guys would bring it up, but I refused to contribute to the conversation any more.  I saw my wife could see that I was trying.  I also stopped looking at pictures for a while and then as daily stresses took hold of my wife and the normal day in and day out "normalness" of marriage gripped me, I went back to the pictures.  I tried to be respectful and not make it so obvious, but she's no fool even if I did try to hide it from her so as not to cause her more stress.  The thing about adult research was that for me it was a way to feel excited and it didn't feel like I was going outside the marriage since it was just pictures and no communication of any kind.  I didn't stop loving my wife, I just stopped finding ways to keep "us" interesting.

The gaming.  That was a bit harder to let go.  I do occasionally indulge, but way far from what I used too.  I may do an hour or two once a week anymore and I don't crave it or care that I don't give time to it.  When the gaming got in the way of me helping my son with his school work and my wife getting upset about it, I tappered off.  Gaming, for me, was an escape from the stresses of the day.  I could just relax and stop thinking.  It's when I started going back to school that I shut it down.  I've always like reading, but I've found that studying makes me feel productive and good about myself.  I like this feeling more than the relaxed nature of gaming since I feel like I'm accomplishing things now.

The spending.  Seperate accounts and overtime at work meant I couldn't figure out how much money I made every two weeks.  If I wanted something I could just get it and work a few more hours.  It was about what I wanted.  Then two things happened.  I'm no longer a consultant, but an employee so I get no overtime so I know what I get paid every two weeks and I can budget myself.  It's much easier for me knowing how much I have left after bills.  The second thing that happened to me was the biggest - I went through every room in the house and looked at all we had and everything I contributed to the house to make it a home.  There wasn't much.......

I remember a while back my wife and I watched the movie Couples Retreat and after it was over she asked my why I thought we didn't have sex more often.  I honestly thought I was being sincere and caring when I told her I believed she was under a lot of stress and I understood she wasn't always in the mood.  I shake my head now when I think of that moment.  One of many over the years I "thought" I was telling her what she wanted to hear. 

Your spouse sounds pretty lazy to me.  I got that way myself, but never did I say anything in regards to my wife taking care of me.  I'm no longer that guy and it's sad to hear about your spouse because I know where it got me.  Granted, my wife is in full bore mid-life crisis and that helped me wake up and become an adult, but I don't want to see anyone here hit that wall.  MLC is difficult enough on a healthy marriage.  I'm living some of the worst of situations, but I "choose" to accept the challenge and be better for it.  I've not given up on my wife and I like re-learning about me.  This is where my optimism comes from.

Your spouse is not lazy, so much as he's forgotten how to take care of himself.  Don't blame yourself, he/I let it happen too.  It sounds like he likes it when you do things for him, but I think he's confused with 'love' and 'comfort'.  Know what might get his attention -> slap him on the cheek.  Not to cause pain, but to rattle his noggin.  He's not thinking straight about what matters to him.  If you like going for short walks than he better know that that makes you happy.

DF's picture

New inspiration just spoted

I just saw something my 11 yr old son had written down:

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have"

That about sums it up for me........

Thank you all for your replies!

Each of your posts has reminded me of something I have forgotten, taught me something new or given me a new perspective.  Some of it pretty and some not so much but it has all been constructive and I appreciate that.  When I created my username in my mind I finished it off with 'to be adhd'.  Now I have to laugh because now I see that it sounds like all is lost and in hideous despair!

After a slew of glaring reminders over a few days I really felt low and managed to beat myself up pretty good.  One of you reminded me that maybe my perceived perception was making me feel worse than it really was.  I hadn't considered that before but think you are very right.  When things seem to snowball I am the first one to start pointing out every flaw and weak point I have.  That's not helpful.  When I reread my post it was all from my perspective of how I was judging myself of what I 'think' is going on - not what is actually happening.  That is really enlightening and has given me a lot of thought.

One of you made me chuckle reminding me to put on my big pants and get to work.  That's one of my favorite sayings!  I think that's one great thing about this discussion. While 'theendorbegining' told me what my heart needed to hear in my low moment - others of you reminded me all wasn't lost - and some of you provided a little bit of a 'pull yourself together and come to your senses slap' which by this morning was probably exactly what I needed. 

So I'm back in the saddle ready to ride - not wallowing in pity and wanting to hide! :)

I do want to share that we are working really hard on this together and although I managed to paint a pretty bleak picture in reality the majority of the time we are marching up the hill together side by side.  And yes - we have talked about the joke now.  My face instantly gave away my feelings when it happened.  I usually am the first person to chuckle and laugh at some of the silly things life brings to me but I don't think even I was prepared for how 'too close for comfort' that particular topic was. 

This has been so helpful and eye opening to new perspectives.  Thank you for helping walk with me along this bumpy pothole in my journey.  All of you have given me new ways to look at things and that is exactly what I needed.

Yay!!! See, I told you there

Yay!!! See, I told you there are good things (and peeps) here if you just don't give up so easily! :-)

BE PROUD. You're growing. Putting everything out there and just getting it all out is sometimes cathartic. It is sometimes better than therapy to just SAY what you're feeling, even if what you're feeling changes every hour. Your attitude is 95% of the battle. Believe that you can, and you will. I believe that you believe that you can. :-) (HUGS)