Frustration

So frustrated with my counselor right now...thinking it really isn't gonna work out and that I need to find another one, AGAIN!!!  OMG, yesterday was my second appointment and it didn't go well.  I was very upfront with him during the first appointment that I was NOT looking for a divorce and that I wanted to work on my reactions to my husband and strategies to deal with his ADHD.  And once again the counselor (number 3) is only concerned with what my "exit" plan is.....I DON"T WANT AN EXIT PLAN!  He feels that because my husband will not come to counseling with me and that the issues have continued for years that I need to "realize that these are deal breakers" and "no one should have to be in your situation".  When I tried to explain why I have stayed and why I am trying like hell to save my marriage..he basically told me that there was nothing to save and that I was rationalizing the situation to much.  Really?  Cause he doesn't deal with this on a daily basis!  This from a counselor that supposedly specializes in marriage counseling and ADHD!!!  I was bawling on the way home, I just want help...not another person telling me how wrong I am. 

Thanks for letting me vent! You guys are awesome!

Exit plan...

If you develop the "Exit Plan" with the counselor you don't have to use it. Maybe it could help set some boundaries/expectations to help you save your marriage? Maybe ask the doc what you can work on after the "Exit Plan" to keep the plan from being executed? It is so awesome to hear your dedication and support for your husband who has a disorder that affects almost every action he takes. He must have accountability too... You can work on ways to cope with his ADD, but he must work on improving his situation. The more I understand the ADD, the quicker I can see my symptoms start to show and take action.

You have every right to vent! ADD is so frustrating, sad and even worse, many people don't know that much about it.

Hang in there...


 

YYZ

If the counselor said that

If the counselor said that this is a deal breaker, that you need to think of yourself, and if your hubby doesnt want to see, or go to couseling with you, then how can you get help when the one person to help you isnt on board? Maybe talking about that can help you FIRST before you work on how to save your marriage. Maybe look at why you want to be with someone that doesnt want/or isnt capable of change...right now (maybe he will want to change later). Its a tough question to ask and a tough question to answer for your self. Maybe you need to look at you for a while. Change the focus and take care of you... Maybe the couselor has more compassion for you and is worried about you instead of focusing on the marriage. I know this isnt what you want, but they sometimes see what we dont or cant see for ourselves. (meaning taking care of you)

Exit

Honestly to me creating an exit plan is giving up and basically putting the last nail in the coffin of my marriage.  I understand where both of you are coming from, but we are only a month out from the diagnosis and I'm not expecting miracles.  He is going back to the doctor (as far as I know) tomorrow for the new medication, so hopefully that will make a difference.  He was making some progress on the other meds but the side effects were worse than the ADHD.  I just cant give up on him.....I know he can be an ass, but I also know the other side of him and for now the positives are still outweighing the negatives.  I survived a HORRIBLE first marriage, so I am not naive in thinking that things can work out. 

I went to the counselor with the expectation of getting help on how to positively support my husband and turn things around.  I know it will be baby steps, you gotta crawl before you can walk, but I'm still willing to put forth the effort.  Hell I have put forth 4 years of effort now...why when there is a light at the end of the tunnel would I turn around.  I have a problem with being told I am wrong and that there is nothing I can do to improve the situation.  I have an even bigger problem with being told to give up before they even know the whole story, almost like being told that your gonna get a divorce anyway so why try.  I wont give up on him...I have seen firsthand the way his family treats him and the lack of support they show (this is why we live 3 hours away from them).  Their motto seems to be "expect the worst and you wont be surprised".  They have tried to run into the ground every good decision he has made since we have been together and then remind him of all the bad ones.

I know I have to take care of me and I'm trying to make the changes I need to, I have started running again and taking some time each night to read and relax.  It's not easy though with kids and a house that always seems to be in a state of disaster!!  Clean one moment...looks like a bomb went off the next...lol.  Don't think I don't appreciate your replies....really I do!!!  I just cant see how planning to walk away will produce any positive change. 

 

Last resort...

What I meant to suggest was if the doc insists on a backup plan, consider it "The Last Resort" and then start working on ways to make the marriage work. Your husband will have to do his part, but you can also work on ways to assist and cope with the ADD. I'm an ADDer whos wife gave me a chance to make changes and I think we are both happy with having patience in the healing process. You don't have to give up, but your husband needs to work with you on this process. A month after diagnosis I still didn't know what I was really dealing with either...

Good luck and keep up the good work...

YYZ

 

To be honest, I'm not sure

To be honest, I'm not sure what 'creating an exit plan' means...unless he's suggesting you have a financial plan and some concrete ideas of how things would be worked out if you were to divorce. I've thought about sitting down and doing it 1000 times, but never have. I am not giving up on my marriage, but I am working on my Plan B.

I have been going at this for 14 years today. Things get better...I see hope...especially after the diagnosis...and then they crash down around my feet again. There is a very short list of ways these marriages survive: A) the ADHDer accepts full responsibility for the issues their ADHD brings to the table and commits him/herself to change. B) the non-ADHDer stays in the marriage for any various number of reasons...typically 20..30...40 years into it and still overwhelmed, unhappy, and lonely.

I think the counselor does see something that you and I cannot see. They see the truth...that the ADHDer will always be just exactly like they are TODAY unless and until something (external or internal) motivates them to change. We are 14 months post diagnosis and no closer to happiness and peace than we were 14 months prior to diagnosis.

Having said all of this...I am not a huge fan of having an exit strategy or creating a plan B...or even letting divorce be a part of the thinking within in the marriage. I am only creating my Plan B  because I fear for the financial safety of my children if my marriage does not work and I HAVE to at least be realistic in that aspect. I don't work...and I won't have a degree until next May. I could not support my family, if my husband and I were to divorce, with the skill that I have. We've come so close it is scary. I CANNOT CONTROL WHAT HE DOES AND HOW HE BEHAVES so I have to take some type of control for myself. It would alleviate my worries that he only stays out of obligation (very small concern of mine...but still a concern) and my fear that he'll do something that IS a complete deal breaker and I will be stuck here because I cannot afford to live on my own. I trusted him at one point...to take care of everything...but I don't now.

PLEASE take this advice...even if we don't like hearing it, everyone has something valuable to offer. I don't know what the odds are that your husband will come around, take meds, improve and be someone that you can be fully happy with...or at least content with. I don't know what the odds are that he won't. Either way, you have no control over him and for you to consider the possibility that you might need an exit strategy isn't putting a nail into any coffin, it is basically just saying "I know this disorder is very unpredictable when left untreated and I need to do what is in the best interest of myself and the kids just incase"

In the end, if you ever decide that there is nothing left to fight for, there will be no questions and no doubts...so no matter how many plans you have, whether they are plans to stay and fight like hell for your marriage or plans that will help incase the time comes to exit, you'll be there until death do you part...or you won't. No plans are going to change that.

Lastly, I have always been a huge supporter of 'work on yourself first' and do feel that the non-ADHDer needs to re-learn so many things (post diagnosis..now that we know what we're dealing with) so I do think you are doing the right thing by trying to get help for yourself so that you will know in the end that you are doing all that you can. Maybe you could share Melissa's book with them or ask your counselor to read it and help you identify with what your spouse is going through and how you can better react to it. I think your desire to learn to be more supportive is a very noble and healthy one, but I would bet that there aren't many people who are going to see you trying...and believe that your husband isn't getting help...and feel there is much hope for your marriage. Maybe that is what the counselor is feeling...that if he won't work with you, then you cannot save the marriage by yourself. I do feel counseling together is an absolute must to help deal with the communication issues and to break the vicious cycle of blame.

What is your goal for going to therapy?

I think discussing what you want to gain from the therapist with them would help. If your husband got recently diagnosed, it's going to be a pretty long road ahead. I know you said you had a horrible 1st marriage but that doesn't mean you should or shouldn't leave your husband. As @SherriW13 said, the counselor can see something as an outsider. Maybe the counselor needs to just focus on you and choices you can make. Or you could talk to an ADHD coach instead who will be more focused on coping strategies. Your husband might be willing to meet with someone who is a coach who will help him on an issue he will acknowledge such as inability to complete tasks or time management. If you need help with conflict resolution a couples therapist will be your best option. But therapists don't usually provide coping strategies specific to ADHD - that's more in the realm of a coach. The problem with coaches is that anyone can say they are a coach so it's hard to find that is really knowledgeable about ADHD.

Counselor

Willow...first off thank you for the advise.  I was very up front with the counselor with what I was looking for: ways to deal with my worrying and anger, then positive strategies to work with my DH so that I could hopefully break the pattern I have gotten myself into.  Also I was very clear that I was not there to end my relationship or bash my DH.  I chose him because he was the only counselor in the area that deals with ADHD at all.  We live in a very small area, so I was happy to even find one that was familiar with it, the nearest coach is 100 miles away!!!  We (as a couple) tried two other counselors and one just seemed to like to see us fight and blamed me for everything, the other just wanted me to leave and be done.  Now this one is talking about me setting up a plan to get out too, like he didn't hear me the first appointment!  So I'm pretty frustrated at the moment, I am going to go to one more appt. with this counselor and if its still focusing on the negative stuff with the DH, then I will find another one.