Every year, I tell myself "I'm not going to get upset THIS year. This year, I'm going to treat MYSELF like I'm something special." And that works for a little while...and then it doesn't. My (non-ADHD) birthday was yesterday. My ADHD husband did nothing to mark it, yet again. He didn't forget...he just made no effort, not even a small one, to mark the day.
He had been visiting with his grandmother for a few days, a few hours away. He said he was going to take me out to dinner at this specific restaurant when he returned, my favorite. We had a conversation about it, before he left:
Him: I'm going to take you out on your birthday!
Me: Great! Hmmm...I'm not 100% sure whether or not that place is open for dinner on Sunday...
Him: Welp, if it ends up not being open, we'll go another day!
Apparently, all he remembers of that conversation is "Not open on Sunday...go another day." He came home yesterday afternoon, having bought himself some gifts during the weekend, and was eager to show them to me. He had also taken himself horseback riding the day before. He didn't mention a thing about me or taking me out to dinner, that day or any other day. The restaurant was open; he never checked. He took a four hour nap, sleeping through dinner. When he woke, I had ordered pizza, and was slicing up the birthday cake I made for myself. I tried sooooo hard not to show my disappointment--good lord, I'm a grown woman, I don't WANT to act like a sulky child!-- but it came through. At his prodding, I finally GENTLY told him that I loved him very much, but that it hurt my feelings that he doesn't do anything on my birthdays. He looked sad...then confused ("We said we were going another day!")...and then angry at me. I am the bad guy now.
A few weeks ago, he spent 3 days making a birthday gift for our next-door neighbor (his pal), by hand. Because surprising our neighbor with a gift is a new and exciting thing for my husband, he was able to remember, and he delighted in doing it. It is not exciting anymore to make me happy.
I am new to understanding my husband's ADHD. We have been together for 8 years, and I knew he had ADHD, but never really understood the symptoms, and he does nothing to treat it.
I don't want these things to bother me...these special occasions. I am not a greedy woman who is always demanding proof of affection. But I am having a very hard time right now. The man I love feels 1000 miles away from me lately; I might as well be just a housemate, as far as he is concerned. It is so hard for me not to take this lack of effort--even for just ONE DAMN DAY a year--personally.
Edit: he feels supremely guilty today...and now I feel ashamed. I know damn well it's not really his fault. I wish I could reign my feelings in a little more. Sometimes I just get so sick of trying to be "understanding", I want to scream.