Couples Counseling

Has anyone had success with couples therapy?  My ADHD spouse thinks the marriage is "not meeting his needs" and wants a divorce. He admits to having ADHD but he refuses to explore how it has impacted our relationship. He sees how it affects his work but does not see that it has changed the whole dynamic of our relationship. (I've become his mother in a way, his porn addiction, his need for stimulation, his need to flirt) He has been to some therapy on his own and has been off and on ADHD and depression meds over the course of the year.  I found a therapist who specializes in couples work and ADHD. After meeting with her once on my own, she suggested bringing him in.  The appointment is next Monday but I have not yet asked him.  I am scared to!  In the past, he has come around a little when we went together, but then he would accuse me and the therapist of ganging up on him when we got home. I know I cannot "fix him" but I am fighting for this marriage and I have to do what I can.  Any insight?? Any ideas on how I can approach him with the invitation?

You cannot be afraid to put

You cannot be afraid to put yourself out there and say "it would mean a lot to me if you would do this"...and tell him when the appt is. Don't ask, don't wait for an answer...just tell him "the appt is Monday at X:00, it would mean a lot to me if you would come with me".  He is either going to go or he isn't...but you dreading it and worrying about it isn't helping you at all. Just tell him and walk away. Write him a note? Text it? No matter what, avoid it being a confrontation. If he gets mad, just say "I do not want to talk about it or fight about it. I will be there and I really hope to see you there too. If not, I respect your decision" Period.

Thanks

That's what I needed to hear, thanks.  The whole thing is so crazy.  He is sleeping elsewhere but comes home every night after work.  We live like a married couple until about 10 PM and then he's off.  He calls me pet names, kisses me, etc.  Then he goes.  I don't make a big deal about it when he leaves.  He seems confused when I just say "bye!"  Last night when I did that, he came back to the room and just stared at me.  Like he expected me to kiss his goodbye. I am just going to do what you suggested.  Tell him I found a great therapist who seems to understand ADHD and tell him I'd like him to join me for the appointment.  I am not going to mention "couples therapy."  I'll approach it in a way that looks like I'm trying to help HIM and not US.

OOOH...no, I would do it in a

OOOH...no, I would do it in a way that does not have any indication that you're trying to help/fix him. Just simply tell him you made an appt with a counselor and would like for him to go...NO ONE likes to feel like someone is trying to 'fix' them, especially not an ADDer. Good Luck!

Counseling Update

Yesterday was very intense.  After nervously waiting all day to see if he would join me for a session, I was very discouraged when he said he needed to go to the gym instead of the appointment.  But he said he may "meet with her another day," as if it was easy to just get an appointment whenever it fit his schedule.  So I was upset, obviously.  But I just replied by saying that it would mean a lot to me if he came but that I understood his reasons.  Within an hour, he replied "so who is this therapist and why do I need to go?"  I was amazed that he had done such a turnaround.  I think he expected to be ambushed in a marital counseling session. So I assured him that she does cognitive behavioral therapy and that she knows a lot about ADD. I even explained that I didn't need to stay the entire time and that he didn't either. I just wanted him to walk through the door!  So we went and I tried to let the therapist know (which I am sure she sensed) that we were unsure what kind of session it would be.  He was very guarded and tense, suspicious that I wanted to gang up on him and try to "fix" the marriage/reverse the divorce, etc.  The therapist asked him why he filed for divorce and at that point, he wanted to be alone with her.  I thought that was interesting since he has yelled at me several of times over the past year about his reasons.  I wondered why all of a sudden he felt uncomfortable expressing them. So anyway, he spent 20 minutes with her. When I returned, I explained that I just want him to seek help and that I would be happy if nothing else came from the session but another appointment for him!  She specializes in schema therapy, which is a form of CBT.  After researching it, it seems like that is the type of therapy he needs to start with.  So it looks like he is going to pursue treatment with her.  He already told me that he thinks that he will take the 2 openings she has in June.  So, despite the fact that we are not working on the marriage directly, I consider this a success.

I twist on couple Counceling...

Right after my ADD diagnosis my wife asked me to go see her Therapist, she had been seeing her of and on for years, and I was actually thinking it would be More productive than seeing someone who did not know either of us. Before Adderall and know of my ADD, I probably would have sensed an "Ambush" coming...

Two years later we still have some real bad issues in a repeat cycle O' death. I, the one with ADD, have been asking my wife to go see her therapist again. She has told me she needs to see her, but won't make an appointment because she just can't go through it all again. I have not been pushy, but have brought it up a couple of times over the last month or too. We had a break-through, I think, and I asked about her obvious high stress situation and how I was feeling like she had "Pre-Determined" a divorce and was pushing me to make the call. I explained that I did not believe we could resolve some of these issue without professional help. I asked for one couples session with her therapist to at least get a plan of action. She agreed...

I feel much better today...

YYZ

Thanks

That's encouraging.  We have a therapist we had both been seeing together.  Then she started seeing us separately in between couples sessions, until my husband stopped wanting the couples time.  At that point, she dropped him, saying that is a conflict of interest to see us both individually if he was unwilling to come with me as well on occasion. But she did give him the card of another therapist in the building. He never hooked up with the new therapist and has not gone to therapy at all since.  He needs a LOT of individual therapy. This new couples therapist told me that unless he gets individual help, the couples sessions will not be as fruitful.  But because the divorce proceedings are breathing down my neck, it is crucial that he attend at least one session with a therapist.  And that may mean that he has to come with me at least initially.  We always made progress with therapy together.  He would come in with one mindset, and after an hour, start to see things differently.  It is amazing how a safe environment helps put things in perspective.  He has spent so much time blaming me for not fixing the marriage. He does not admit that he has had a part in it as well.  Everyone sees that I am not the only factor in the marriage breakdown, and that it is impossible to expect me to be the only one to repair it. I guess it makes it easier on him to blame me and accept no responsibility.  Is this typical ADD to blame selfishly and take no responsibility?  I just wish his diagnosis happened years ago.  I see so clearly now, how his ADD has been affecting our relationship for many years. I pray it is not too late. 

Blame...

I think, as a general statement, "Blame" is something used by an ADDer to protect their self from another mess they are perceived to be in. There is a real long list of things gone wrong, so to try and keep a new addition to the list we try to rationalize how something would have gone right, if it were not for "XYZ". I don't like being wrong, but will admit when I am. Also... Every situation has so many variables that are involved in how we arrive at this "Wrong", but to an ADDer, in my experience it seems that the Only thing that matters is "You did this". I guess I need an example...

I was "Wrong": I disclosed personal info about my marriage to a female friend at work - I was wrong and it almost ended my marriage.

I just did not suddenly decide to do this, because I thought my wife would not mind. We had slowly turned into room mates over length of our marriage. We did not talk and were not close at all, except discussing things with the kids. I felt I could not talk to female family members as they are Very hard on my wife anyway and family events would become a nightmare, I did not have female friends, because of insecurity issues, and my best guy friend is a guy so he is useless... I became friends with a co-worker, just friends, and eventually I asked her if I could ask a personal matter to get a female perspective and try do something to help turn my marriage around. It was the single worst thing to ever happen to my marriage. My wife lost all trust in me and questioned everything. So I felt that all the anger being fired at me over "The Wrong" was justified because I did it, but there seemed to be no consideration at all as to how this event came to be.

It's like you said... Both parties have some responsibility in the overall health of the marriage. Pointing fingers does not help...

I hope this explains ADD blame a little...

YYZ