HI there, I have been following this post for quite a long time to understand and support what I see and think my wife struggle with ADD is.
We all know how incredible is to be with someone that shares my same dysfunctional brain, by some description, gilt if managed by me. I'm 41 years old, and I was diagnosed with ADD back in my early years, around 3 or 4 years of age, and dealt with the pain of living in an education system that did not know how to manage my distractions. For that reason, and without proper treatment and medication, I began a journey to find out what kind of behavior is more appropriate as well as finding out my strengths and weaknesses. While I still have all the signs of someone suffering adult ADHD, I feel I have mastered my coping and ritual skills to minimize the impact that the gift has one me.
Fast forward to the present day; I'm married to an incredible woman that gave me the best thing in my life, a reason to keep fighting every day by supporting and understanding her so we can both raise our incredible daughter together as a reliable and lovable family. Before the birth of my daughter, we lived most of the time at my place, where I keep it very clean and organized. After her birth, she wanted to go back to her old home, since its larger and asked me to support her, which I did. As soon as she moved and I began to interact with the real person, I entered a world of chaos. I entered a world of impulsivity, emotional dysregulation, disorganization, lack of empathy, really good at remembering peoples names but never remember any of the promises she told me, always looking for someone else to do versus focusing on the important stuff, most of the time fatigated.... and the list goes on, so I wonder what happened to that woman that I loved and I still love so much. With that information in my arsenal, I began to look for the causes of this new behavior pattern, and I explored many possibilities. Postpartum depression, she does suffer for depression and countless other options.
Ironically the one that fits my relationship with her was ADHD, the same gift I have been suffering my entire life but have learned to cope with it and forgot about it.
At the verge of a divorce, and spending a ton in couples counseling, I decided to bring the topic to her attention and talk about getting her tested. Originally the idea was not well received by her but agreed to go to an expert to get her checked.
The expert met us and gave us the test, she has to fill the questionnaire and I have to do the same about her. The results were in, and we were there for a shock, quoting the expert he said; "in my years in practice I have never encounter results like this". Her perception of herself answering the questionnaire was so opposite than the one I filled that he didn't know how to process that information. At the time, I felt betrayed and hurt, that my wife, seeing how close we are to lose everything and have to break a family will choose to answer the test with misleading information just to keep her self-image intact and not being label.
Furthermore, a day after receiving the results we had again to visit our counselor, whom got mad at me for diagnosing my wife and he told me I should stop trying to help her, you are not a doctor, and you cannot diagnose her. He said. My only argument is that I live this life every day, that the person they are meeting is a version of the person I live with and I'm in an excellent position to analyze and contrast her behavior and struggles with my knowledge of the gilt.
At this point, I need to make some decisions, since the situation is not going to change and most likely it's going to get worse. Should I keep fighting for the relationship? Fight her denial by looking for second opinions? What should I do about counseling, where they are focusing on the relationship not on the gift as part of it? Should I leave and hope that time will fix things and my daughter will have a functional mother? If we both have it, means my daughter most likely will be suffering it, how can I handle the situation when my wife will be on denial about the situation and keep looking for people in her life that enable her behavior instead of re-enforcing coping strategies? I'm living a lonely marriage, with no intimacy, no love, no time for me, no interest for me, nothing, but at the same time she is suffering when I bring this issues since she doesn't see them and it frustrates me.
If anyone has ideas please I will love to read them. I'm running out of options but not love for that woman!
Thanks in advance.