I've allowed my marriage to get broken. My wife is so upset. Angry, disappointed, and sad. I'm disappointed and ashamed of myself. She feels I don't see her, don't value her, that she has no form or role in our life. I can see how she feels this way and when I tell her that I care and love her – which I desperately do – I know it sounds empty because my behaviors don't add up to my words. After 21 years we are potentially coming to an end which would probably crush me and be horrible for all of us, forever. I want better.! She says "I don't understand how ADHD could make you forget me" and things like this; it tears me up, (sad and ashamed, not angrey with her; it's not on her) and my feelings are on such lockdown that my face betrays to emotion. So, she doesn't even get to see me being upset, which would be some solace, some display that there's fire there. I look cold. She's very organized and linear – doesn't really forget things, without having lists all over, and manages her own business, our children, and our household for the most part. I've got a business also, not doing well now but has been fairly stable, though it gets disproportionate airtime and support compared to hers. Despite her having told me these things and asking for my help and support and respect and attention, I have failed. Her uncle who also is ADHD, she mentions "doesn't forget about his wife" and sees my accomplishments as evidence that I have the ability to do big things, so failing my role as husband - which should be so easy and natural - must reflect a lack of interest or love and respect and caring. I don't even want to try to explain that it's my adhd brain; even though it's true, I think it would sound like I'm full of shit. That's my current perspective. So I'm charting a course to fix my own issues and desperately need to.
I think I have only in the last few days come to the point where I've recognized that this is bigger than me and I cannot just effort my way through it. I know it is not "just ADHD", I'm sure I have habits and maybe even beliefs that need to be changed.
I feel like someone in a movie going into an AA meeting for the first time and asking for help, feeling broken inside like I have just acknowledged I am not enough. I had a formal diagnosis years ago and briefly experimented with meds, but didn't experiment enough and didn't have any therapy or guidance or the rest of what I'm learning must be part of the mix for success.
I'm so tired of hearing myself say, "don't give up on me, I'm trying..." When I know it sounds like BS without the actions. I have an appointment with a therapist next week and I think I should set an appointment with a psychologist also (because isn't this required if I need meds? how would I know if I really need meds or not?)
I'm still reading the ADHD & marriage book, but I get that there are three pieces – treatment, therapy, and interacting differently. I really feel I need to take care of "my part" before asking my wife to do anything. honestly, it feels like it's all 'my part.' With or without ADHD, I am an adult and need to be responsible for myself before even considering asking her to interact differently with me because of my ADHD.
I guess I'm asking for tips on navigating the beginning of this process. I don't want to dump all this on my wife, I think it would add insult to injury at this point. Thanks for listening.