Conundrum;  A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma:

I tend to start a new post only when I'm struggling.  And I tend to really struggle on the weekend.  Yeah, there's a connection.

A comment from a friend led me to re-read the comments people have posted in response to comments I've posted.  And that review led me to my journals.  And all this led me to realize the "nut" of my situation.

My ADD guy is at his most easy-going, optimistic, motivated, i.e. happy when I am doing my best to be patient, understanding, self-sufficient, and "let things go."  Well, duh, of course, that's easy to understand.  Unfortunately, my reading tells me this is also when I am most despairing, ignored, confused, and pessimistic.  So I kinda feel like I must be a phony.  A boob.  A patsy.  Lying to myself.

My guy is at his most distant, oppositional, sarcastic, irritated, stone-walling, i.e. not a nice guy when I am doing my best to express my needs, not be a doormat, coaching him to communicate and share his time with me... I've picked up from the friend and the reading that I might not "stick up for myself" enough, or very effectively.  So I kinda feel crappy there, too.  Do I believe too much in the aphorism " do you want to be right or do you want to be married?"  Isn't there any balanced place between nothing and something?


MagicSandwich's picture

Brozillas and expectations

Could this unfairness and behavioral double-standards amount to a basic sexism? Maybe in this case, his ADHD is secondary to good ole male privilege.

Up and Down...

This sounds like the Roller Coaster that we hear so much about. When you are in your low you are less likely to ask more from your DH, or become outwardly upset by some of his behaviors? When does the cycle change for you? Does something tip the scales and cause you to express your needs? When I first read your post, I was thinking you sound the opposite of my DW, but I believe this was our cycle. Things would be going along just fine (In my view of the world), except for the fact that I was missing something, not seeing that I should be stepping up in some area and then Bam... My DW would (In my view of the world) suddenly be angry about something that I missed or should be doing/seeing and I feel attacked/surprised/guilty/unprepared. I would think "Why did she not say something before the anger built up to an explosive level?" I was not a Mind Reader??? These were the thoughts that went through my head. My ADD symptoms certainly assisted in this cycle. My DW probably dropped enough hints, but I did not see/remember them, so she assumed I did not care or just expected her to deal with it, so she eventually got mad and brought it up when she had enough. I'm sure at this pivot point I would be more distant and irritated because things seemingly changed from OK to Not OK in an instant.

Until I just now worked through this, I thought the Roller Coaster for us began AFTER my diagnosis. I believe to Ride is just different now. I would like to know where the answer is to this Conundrum too... In many ways, my DW and I thought we always had balance because of our different strengths and weaknesses.   

Oh My Goodness...

Where do I even begin???

You have hit the proverbial nail, right smack on the proverbial head gardener447!!!!

This is life here in New Jersey too.  :(       Same thing goes on here ALL THE TIME, and FOR YEARS AND long as I am not bitching, moaning, complaning, even suggesting, conversing and interacting....then ALL IS WELL!  If we just keep "going through the motions" forever.  HE...notice I said HE will have a very long and happy marriage.  

Have you read the book Codependent No More?  I started a day and a half ago.  I'm barely at 80 pages in and have about 75% of the book highlighted.  I see now, how I have been unwillingly and unwittingly CONTROLLED by this man for the last 25+ years, and it frightens and sickens me.  I thought that by "letting things go" and "helping him" and focusing on him and getting him better, that I was doing THE RIGHT THING......turns out, all I have gotten is grief, misery, arguments and tears.   have lost "ME".  My friends, and any chances I had at making friends are gone.  Family (oddly enough mostly his) no longer has anything to do with us because of HIM.(but in many cases it looks like my fault)

I want to be madly and passionately in love with this man again.  At the very least, I wish we had the comfortable, relaxed, trusting relationship that people who have known one another for 34 years, and been married for 25 have.  I feel as if I want to "work" on my marriage, I will never have that. 

I don't think there is a happy medium.  If there is, at least I have yet to come close to it :(

I can totally relate to this.

I can totally relate to this.  Here is how it plays out in my relationship.  (I'm using numbers to help separate the different factors):  (1) It seems as though my ADHD husband's biggest fear is "confrontation." I put that in quotation marks because I think that the word means different things to different people, but he has definitely said that he hates confrontation.  

(2) My husband also seems to think he is responsible for my problems.

(3) When my husband thinks he is responsible for a problem and he hasn't done anything about the problem, he feels guilty.

(4) Feeling guilty causes his brain to shut down (his words).

(5) Being in "confrontations" also causes his brain to shut down.  

Here is one example of how these things tie together:  I feel depressed about something.  I share this with my husband (I actually don't share things like this anymore, but come on, play along, it's an example!).  My husband thinks he is responsible (item (2)).  My husband feels responsible (item (3)).  His brain shuts down (item (4)).  Because my husband does not like to have a shut-down brain, it seems to him that my problems are a horrible thing to be aware of.

Here is another example:  We have a joint problem, i.e., something that he has done that upsets me.  I bring this up with my husband.  He thinks he is responsible for the problem, and he is correct.  He feels guilty (3).  His brain shuts down (4).  I get upset because he's not responding.  I say that I'm upset (this constitutes a confrontation (1) and (5).  Now my husband is in the midst of the two things in the world that he hates the most, confrontation and feeling guilty, all seemingly brought on by me not being happy about something!  

So, from my husband's point of view, everything would be hunky-dory in our relationship if he could just always avoid feeling guilty and having confrontations.  But life isn't like that.  Problems are normal.  They happen to everyone.  Sometimes they go away if ignored, but usually they get worse.  

I understand that my husband's brain functions like a typical ADHD brain.  But I also know that it doesn't have to be that way, that if he worked on his coping mechanisms, things could be different.  So, although I understand his behavior, I do not find it acceptable.


Though I am typically one to be able to write own my feelings in a concise and comprehendible manner, when  come here, it seems I start, then I'm venting and complaining.

Rosered....I could have written EXACTLY WHAT YOU WROTE.....VERBATIM.....not one single solitary change needed....SAME HERE.  

I am also reading Codependednt No More and hear very LOUD AND CLEAR your final sentence...."So although I understand his behavior, i do not find it acceptable."

Now what??????????????????????????????????????? :(

HUGS by the way.....GOD knows we need them.

My hubby and I are like

My hubby and I are like roommates now instead of spouses.  Today, I sent him a list of things that I expect.  Here they are:

1) I expect that you will not lie to me and that you will be honest
with me.  Please interpret this broadly; to me, giving the impression
that something is one thing when you know it's something else is
2) I expect that you will contribute financially to maintenance of the
household.  That includes having paid work and depositing money into
an account from which bills can be paid.
3) I expect that you will contribute to the household by doing some of
the household work.
4) To the extent that you have mental and emotional problems and
behaviors that are interfering with the above, I expect you to deal
with them promptly and effectively.
5) I expect that you will not blame me for things for which you're responsible.

These are all behaviors that I regularly engage in and that I do not find difficult, but they will be hard for my husband.  Note that I did not include "being polite" or "showing affection" or "listening to me."  I think that accomplishing the behaviors I expect might be so challenging for my husband that he'll be grumpy and self-centered during the process of learning to live this way, and I can accept that.  Meanwhile, I'll do all the things above; I'll try to be polite and communicative; and I'll continue to focus on figuring out what I'm going to do with my life, without my husband or with him.

room mates

I was about to agree with you, regarding being like room mates, then I thought but when I had real room mates we SHARED the chores of the house, now I do them all, my room mates didn't spend all our money on unnecessary things. We are less then room mates. As most weekends go he has been doing his own thing, in his workshop ALL day tinkering with stuff that does not NEED to be done, but doing what he wants to do. My son and I went to the grocery store, helped him with home work, did laundry, help my other son with organizing his notebook (never ending there), made dinner, walked the dogs...and the night isn't over. Where is my room mate, still tinkering with something.  I wonder what it would be like to just do what I felt like doing and ignoring all the responsibilities of being a parent and homeowner. I have tried dividing the chores by making a list, my side has 17 things his has 3 not nearly 'fair' but I thought he could handle 3, and still his 3 don't get done. Polite, affection ? don't even know what those words mean anymore, don't think he has even held my hand in a year.  I hope your list works for you,...i am beyond frustrated.  Good Luck.

I don't think that my husband

I don't think that my husband will actually do all these things.  But these constitute my bottom line.  

I just found out this week that my husband lied to me about a significant issue repeatedly over the past few weeks.  This was a defining moment for me.  By lying, he engaged in behavior that was inappropriate not only for spouses but also for "roommates" and friends.  Maybe he could argue before now that he didn't know that lying to me was a big deal, but now he knows it's a deal breaker.