disconnect in marriage

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD this past year and is currently talking medication which has certainly helped and was a courageous first step. He read some of Driven to Distraction and it brought him to tears. The diagnosis explained so much of his frustration from childhood and now. We have been living apart for about a year and a half and are both in individual therapy. I have encouraged him to see someone that can specifically help him with his ADHD but I think he is tired of going to therapy. (as am I, so I can certainly understand) We love each other, however recently my husband stated that sometimes love is not enough and he does not think he can be in a marriage. That he can not be what I want him to be. (a husband, father, partner in life) I am heart broken. There is a disconnect between us we can not get past. You do not often find love like we have, but he seems unwilling to move forward. I don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I am waiting. He feels like he is wasting my time. I do not want to give up on being with the man I know I was supposed to share my life with. -M

I’m really sorry to hear

I’m really sorry to hear about your impasse, I can understand how you must feel. I don’t have any advice so to speak, but we are in similar situations. In my case, I’m the ADDer and although the last year has been a phenomenal year for me and my awareness, (medication was huge influence) my wife, partner, soul mate, got fed up. And we both were somewhat taken back at the realization of what “life long” meant in the diagnosis. I’m sure that your husband is going thru a lot of realizing right now. Finding awareness and re-remembering his past, with corrected vision. Every situation has different circumstances, but I’m sure he has thought non-stop about how much he has lost, and how he didn’t know why he lost so much. He might feel like its all his fault, even though it’s not. It’s fantastic that you don’t want to give up on him and you shouldn’t, especially now that he is willing to make changes as he has proven with trying medication. I bet that he feels so much shame and remorse coupled with some fiercely low self esteem that he can’t even begin to think about letting you down, again. So he might be saying “this”, but feeling “scared to try again, fail, disappoint, so what’s the point?” and ask your self and make sure that it’s him that thinks he cannot be your partner, husband, and a father, or is it how he thinks you feel because maybe you gave him that idea. It has been devastating for me to realize all the times my wife was actually correct in her perception and that mine had been flawed. And very frustrating after my wife has put up with so much, for her to quit right when I started making some progress. The first progress I’ve made EVER. Even after you forgive him, it will tear him up. I’m not sure what you should do but don’t give up. Start small and make it fun. Date each other a little first. Pursue him romantically, and you will do wonders for his self worth. Make sure he knows that you don’t want him to change anything except how you guys get your feelings across. (Unless you do want him to change a bunch more) Tell him that you are confident that, with his new found awareness, it will be even better than you could have imagined. Make him fall in love with you again, and take time to fall again yourself. Take time to search out the various resources’ for non ADD spouse’s and try to forgive, as much as possible Good Luck! And Hang In There!

couldn't have said it better

I could not have said this better!  Thank you for your advice and input.  Your perspective and insight are invaluable.

Melissa Orlov

thank you both

Thank you all for your support. Your words brought me to tears. I have really been feeling alone in this because my husband asked me not to share what is going on with anyone. (Which I completely respect.) His family is a bit controlling and does not understand things like medicaton and therapy. Wow, I hope I did not hive him that idea. I don't think there is one way to have a marriage. Sometimes he clings to one thing I said and can not seem to let go of it. I did ask him what he thought I wanted him to be. He said a husband. That he cannot be in a relationship like that. He can not be in a marriage. And that I want a partner in life. He is right I do want a partner. But I want him. I guess I should talk to him about this further. Maybe I do not understand what he is feeling. I don't want him to change. I fell in love with all of him, all of those things other people roll their eyes at, I love. Especially his fresh approach to life and unique thought process. I am trying to give him space so he can feel safe and know that I will not judge him. We do date and see each other about three times a week. We still talk and confide in each other. We have been working on our communication. Thank you for that reminder! Sometimes it is easier to just have a nice day together and avoid talking through the hard parts. Communication has gotten a bit better, but the intimacy is lacking...he says he is not there yet. That he feels disconnected. Thank you for your reminder about his self worth. He is such a strong person that I forget he has low self esteem and that often hinders him from making decisions in life. I think he does feel scared and hurt and he is so angry at everything. I am so sad he will not let me be there for him and continues to push me away. Sometimes if I even offer to listen he feels controlled and voices that he has to do this himself. It is a hard balance to let him know I am here, but am not trying to make choices for him. It hit home when you said your wife corrects her perception. I do that all the time. I am learning I can not lose site of myself... I have forgiven him. It took me a year but I did. Funny he will not forgive me for mistakes in my past before we even met. That is something I do not understand. Why is he so stuck on my mistakes when I openly forgive him flying off the handle every day? One day at a time. I am not going anywhere....just worn out and a little discouraged.

Stay strong

 Your words say it all.. You do not often find love like we have I do not want to give up on being with the man I know I was supposed to share my life with. Then don't give up and do your best to stay strong. So many people are quick to walk away, it's refreshing that you love him the way you do.

A year and a half is a long time

A year and a half is a long time to live apart. I know you love him as you have demonstrated with your fortitude. You've made a lot of sacrificies and brush things aside on a daily basis. His inability to "forgive your past" troubles me. I have experienced this too, and frankly, it is ridiculous. Your past is your past. It made you who you are today... Are you sure he is still in love with you? I don't mean to offend, but even with ADD, I believe that someone who is in love or truly loves someone, would do whatever it took to stay together. A year and a half is a long time. Are you sure you are not wasting your time with someone who is no longer in love, but wants you in the background (just in case), and you have bought into "it's the ADD" reason for hanging around? Again, I don't mean to offend, but ADD doesn't explain this in my opinion..

a long time

Yes, it has been a long time. I certainly get discouraged. He said he loves me but sometimes love is not enough. That there is a disconnect between us. So does he love me? I would say yes he does, very much. What is going on? I have no idea. I actually do not place the blame on ADD. I began writing on this forum to see if there was something I was missing, some insite to what is going on with him that maybe I just do not understand. I do think the ADD is the cause of his lack of self esteem and lack of motivation to make a change in his life. For example 8 years in a job that he was done with 4 years ago. He is just figuring out that he really has to work to get out of there. He is a very smart man. He just can not seem to sit down and look for a job. It is so overwhelming for him. I imagine that is how he is feeling with our marriage. It is overwhelming and he feels defeated. Now that is not all ADD, but certainly where the self doubt comes from. Yes I am angry at him about not letting my past go. He will have to get over that or this will never work. I agree strongly that my mistakes shaped who I am now. He is trying- medication, marriage counseling, personal therapy...... I don't know, I just do not think it is over. Thank you for your honesty!

Women with ADD

This is going to be such a long story. And the worst of it, I'll go on and on and on, without actually getting to the point. AND I don't know where to even begin. I was diagnosed 2 years ago. Finally, at the age of 49 I really analyzed how awful the past 49 years have been. I have vowed the next 49 will not be. But I still struggle every day. At home, at work. I have trouble even getting out of the house in the morning, running to catch my bus to get to work. Luckily our work hours are flexib le . I always had so much trouble keeping on track. I live with horribly low self-esteem, my husband thinks I'm lazy, my daughter is always asking if we have groceries. It's an effort to get stuff done, but I eventually do. The more I ask for help around the house, the more they back away. My husband always said I didn't have it so bad at home. There was no reason I couldn't get things done. No offer to give me a hand. Neither of them help with any vacumming, dusting, laundry, dishes or preparing meals. I also work out of the home. I often stay late just to finish at work, so it looks like I can get my work done. All of my elementary and high school report cards have said I could do better if I only applied myself harder. Well I tried to so much. I just couldn't. When I was tested and my doctor started me on medication, I was so relieved . I was thinking 'so this is what normal is like?' I can sit down and pretty much start a project and finish it too. I just try to keep things simple at home and at work. ONE THING AT A TIME is my motto.