Yesterday I was working on disaster relief for flooding in a nearby city with my ADD husband and a good friend who I'm sure is at least ADD but I believe has AD/HD. If I remember correctly we had a discussion (he and his wife and I and my husband) about ADD a couple years ago when my husband was diagnosed.
We were laughingly discussing division of labor at home and how when everyone in the house is busy, it is hard to get everything done esp when you have a mate that literally doesn't see things that need to be done right in front of him.
Our friend has been married doubly as long as we have and as a couple they were much harder hit by the recent economic downturn, so when they talk about coping with stresses and things I tend to listen to them. He said that what he believes is the key to successful marriage is for each person to be willing to take care of everything else as long as you can have your mate with you. Never fight about who is doing more because if you have the attitude that you'd do it all to have this person, then anything you don't have to do is a gift.
I've been thinking this over for 24 hours now and I think there is a lot of truth in it, though I have to admit my first thought was that doesn't work if you have an ADD person in your marriage. In theory, if both ppl have that attitude, everything should be golden, but what about the ADD husband who would literally let you do EVERYTHING so that they don't have to?? That is the place of fear I operate from with this type of thinking, but I do not have a husband who would ever really do that, so from where does the attitude come? I think it is the issue of fairness.
Then I thought honestly about our situation at home. We both work, (me less hours than he does), we both volunteer at least 20 hours a week, and we both are pretty tired during what feels like are the very few hours we are at home. We both have some assigned jobs at home, and I work diligently at mine while he is hit or miss with his. Our absolutely most successful times helping eachother at home and getting everything done is when we both have the attitude that the house is my *job* and that he *helps* me with it.
There was a post on another thread about how infuriating this was to another nonADD mate and I feel the same way. He should not view it as *helping me* take care of OUR home, he should view it as doing his part to keep up our home (which his part is by no means 1/2 nor should it be since I am home more than he is). Our home is not my job entirely.....that is not fair and that is not what we agreed to when we got married.
HOWEVER, the truth of the matter is when he gets to see it as my *job* and he is *helping*, he helps more. He doesn't get yelled at for not doing his part when we are taking the view that he has no set part. When he has set jobs I have to *remind* him and *gently suggest* to him and yes sometimes *nag* him to get him to do. Eventually it gets done but we are both worn out from the effort!
The other truth of the matter is that I am married to a wonderful guy. He is always good with listening and caring when I am upset, even if he resists hearing what he did to cause it sometimes. When he isn't feeling overwhelmed and especially when he isn't feeling like I am angry with him, he is good with touch and holding me (which is a very important love language for me). In reality if I got to have him in my life, doing the things he does natually, and accepting gentle reminders that he is hyperfocusing on something else at times; and I got nothing else out of our marriage at all, I do believe it would be enough for me to still be happy. At least in part BECAUSE I know he'd never dump all the work on me and just leave me to it, but he loves the IDEA that it isn't his responsibility.
There is a Mars/Venus school of thought along this line too, which is why we ever tried the *home is my responsibility* type action, but we always stop because my resentment level gets so high at the idea that I have to *ask* him for help doing the things that need to be done at home. And he is free to say NO because it is not his job. INFURIATING in idea for anyone who believes in any type of equality. But since the reality works BETTER than each having jobs, wouldn't I do better to suck it up and take the responsibility off him if it is going to free him to be his own generous self??
He says he hates having jobs because when he does them it was just one more thing he had to do, but if he is doing it because I asked him, then he feels like my hero and like he is doing something specifically for me. That is a nice thought, right? Course I'm not sure when I get to be the hero but quite franky I don't spend a lot of time wishing I could be his hero LOL He is grateful for things that I do......and he doesn't notice everything that goes into keeping a house, but he comments when he does notice things. He thinks I am amazing because I can keep 5 balls in the air when he knows he struggles with 1. And he loves me for taking the extra burden off his shoulders......so I keep asking myself why not go back to that?? It kinda is only a semantics things....I have all the responsiblity but he really helps more so it's actually a better deal for me. There is just something in the message that he could literally have no responsibility for our home and feel free to dump it on me that I have trouble getting past.