I'm relatively new to this whole thing.... I'm non-ADD, spouse is ADD since a young age.... I'm just finding out about it. We have been together 6 years, married 3. Been in marriage counseling as well as separate counseling. I'm on my way to being medicated for depression, SO is on way to talk to a ADHD specialist. All very positive things.
We bicker about household chores, but have seemed to come to a nice solution - hiring a house cleaner definitely helped with a lot of that. There is no adultery, no addiction, no abuse - we are working very hard on being open and honest about our feelings, and are finding ways to mend hurt feelings and move forward. My SO can be very defensive about the ADD and the symptoms that plague our relationship, but also willing to stay in the conversation and talk them out, and it's getting better. I try my best to "own" my contributions/problems in the marriage. I'm finding out that I often fall short in showing the SO support and appreciation. I'm also reading books and talking to my therapist about how to get past my anger so that I can offer my SO the things he needs from me.
One thing that keeps coming up for me is empathy - and an inability to show empathy when I'm having a hard time. I know SO is trying really hard, and WANTS to show empathy, but falls short and it ends up really hurting my feelings and I become resentful. Thing is, this ADD is new to me... it's not something I have had to "deal" with, it's not something I thought would be in my life, or our children's lives... and I am really having a hard time wrapping my brain around all of the things that will have to be adjusted in our life to make it better for us. It's like I'm grieving the loss of the life I had envisioned for us (and I know that sounds silly). I WANT to make things easier for us, I'm willing to adjust my expectations and things that have been engrained in me for 30 years. But the lack of empathy from SO towards how this is effecting MY life is killing me.
As much as I would love my SO to have empathy, or "get" empathy, I am understanding that it might just not happen. How do I get past it? How do I adjust my expectations when it's something that all of us inherently need? How do I explain it to SO in a way that doesn't cause defensiveness and frustration (or another "I never do anything right" moment)? How do you explain what you need in that moment? Suggestions?