Let me start by saying my partner and I are currently in a co-parent relationship. Have been separated but living together for a year. Been together 8 years, never married.
I was just diagnosed as an adult age 40, was originally diagnosed at age 6 but never knew..
She was diagnosed as a child with adhd and was medicated until we met. When we met she was having a problem with controlling her meds. She decided to come off her meds all together. ( I know now why this was easier to do, a new relationship filled the dopamine void). We had a few ups and downs over the next 3 years. Then we added a child, and 13 months later, another one.
The time between the first and second child was a bit of a transition, but we handled it well. But with the second child, came postpartum depression. And I didn't handle it well at all. I was too distant when she needed me close. We had been arguing a bit more and I had a hard time hugging someone whom just berated me. I didn't take adhd and postpartum in to consideration. I truly regret not handling this better. Looking back I think my adhd made me focus more on taking as much weight off her as I could, and sometimes it overwhelmed me. She just needed to be told its ok and be held.
As I listened to "The ADHD Effect on Marriage" that I realized that I was both the adhd an non adhd partner. Being untreated I had no idea why we kept going in the same loop of arguing. Why we never finished a conversation, even if it was super important. It would fall into our "Now/Not Now" and we forget about it until the next argument, then they combine and snowball into a huge mess. Even then, it rarely gets resolved because we walk away to calm down. By the time we have we have to move on to our next daily task or interact with our 2 small children.
All of the big things we have never really truly dealt with. We've tried but it just brings up old hurts, and so much time has passed, our memories of the same event are widely different sometimes. Depending on how many times we've recounted it. So now we have these giant issues we are having trouble getting past.
Since our separation last year we have traveled around the country in our converted Rv. One of our major plans fell apart at the beginning of that trip and that was pretty much the final straw. She ended it. But I didn't really take it seriously because we were still together on the road. Still acting like the family we always had. Things were still very rough between us though.
Now we are in one location and have been for 6 months. We still live together. Have had many ups and downs since getting here. I found out about 2 months ago she has been talking to and seeing someone else. Once I found out I confronted the situation, but it is still ongoing. I know we are separated, but we are in each other's daily lives. She has only seen him in person a few time, but the phone thing has been going on for months.
I got my diagnosis shortly after I found out about all of this. Since then I have been trying to figure out how to resolve our issues and move forward with our relationship. I have been working hard to figure out my own adhd and seeing how it affected us in the past. As well as figuring out ways to help our combined adhds' mesh better.. I'm having a hard time getting "buy in" from her to even try to work on us though. Both of our kids are literally just like us, most likely both have adhd as well.
I've looked into the love languages as well. I think that if you and/or your partner has adhd that you add "Words of Affirmation" to your communication skills. Partners with adhd are commonly told they aren't good enough at some point in their day. Just remember to appreciate them by telling them. Also an adhd brain will probably be bilingual, meaning their top two languages will probably resonate, depending on the day they are having..
I'm looking for some ways to help save my family. How can I help her to be more open to listening? Its been 8 years together. Its been 4 ish months of the new thing. I need her to see that we can get past this, especially with the new knowledge and tools we have to succeed.