I read an article this morning in ADDitude that had the physical effect of a sock right in my stomach - it rang so true to my life's experience in my marriage - it made my stomach quite squeezey.
Here is a link - (Admin, if not allowed, I understand if you disable or delete it)
The odd part of discovering these sorts of things is, "What the same-hill do I do with this information?" It surely explains the science of how things happen. And I can truly validate the truth of this passage from the article:
"The person with ADHD becomes a people pleaser, always making sure that friends, acquaintances, and family approve of him. After years of constant vigilance, the ADHD person becomes a chameleon who has lost track of what she wants for her own life. Others find that the pain of failure is so bad that they refuse to try anything unless they are assured of a quick, easy, and complete success. Taking a chance is too big an emotional risk. Their lives remain stunted and limited."
This forum is specifically directed at the aspect of dealing with ADHD in the context of a marriage. So, here is Liz, on the outside looking in on the dynamics of her relationship, viewing in hindsight how her marriage has developed and changed and evolved.
"Stunted and limited" seem too harsh of words. I can, however, surely see what I believe has occured in my marriage - my spouse has surely expended a tremendous amount of time as a people pleaser, and it got way, way out of balance. It is a wonderful character strength to be a 'giver.' A normal pattern, I believe, is a person gets to a point where they realize when they are giving too much, and learn to take the corrective steps to "give from their extra and not from their want." Meaning they learn to take good care of themselves, they learn to politely say "no" and then if they have extra time, they can gift it to others. When that pattern gets out of balance, and they give because they 'want' and gotta have others' approval, then it has developed into a problem.
It is truly heartwrenching for me to see my spouse in emotional pain. He is. I can love him. I can encourage him. I can have empathy for how sad he gets, yet all I can do is go on with my life. Feels kinda cruel. I really cannot do anything else, our marrige cannot evolve or be re-negotiated. I woke up in a really odd and uncomfortable place. I have been running/hiding/ducking/dodging at full speed everytime I hear my own heart and brain express, "I really no longer care what happens to my marriage." That is not the person I want to be. And, yet there I am.
And here is the reality - I am as pissed as hell that I am not being fought for.
Really and truly pissed. About that anyway.
What I am doing this holiday season is what I am capable of doing - surrounding myself with those whom I love. Enjoying the time of the Season of Christmas. It is no longer about 'will my spouse ever wake up and smell the roses', it is about Liz chose to wake up and the smell the roses. Or Balsam Pine Boughs!!!!!!
P.S. I know a lot about co-dependancy and being a people pleaser. My own struggle started at a very young age, developed into an eating disorder, and took 15 years to get through. Recovery, if you choose to call it by that name, began for me at age 35. I am now 56. So, in that aspect, I know I can only work on my side of things. I cannot cry/beg/plead/holler/cajol/manipulate anyone into wanting something. They gotta want it so bad, they will do anything to get it. I did, so I know!!!!!!