My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years and are both medical students. I was diagnosed with ADD (mostly inattentive plus major depression and general anxiety disorder) in Nov of '06 after failing most of my med school classes.
The last year and a half have been a struggle for me in terms of giving myself a crash course in adult ADD and using therapy and medication to start the process of acceptance, as well as dealing with the humiliation that comes along with having any kind of learning issues in medical school, let alone just walking around with ADD.
While I was progressing through the issues, trying to get back to some semblance of 'normal' for me, so that I could be a fully functioning partner in our relationship, my husband's anger and resentment has been festering (unbeknownst to me). I think the anti-depressants/anxiety meds were dampening my relationship 'radar', to some extent. When I recently decided to come off of them, I feel like I've woken up to my worst nightmare. I feel more alive and passionate about my husband than I have in a long time but he hasn't known what to do about his side of the process so he's still stuck in all the resentment and anger. Unfortunately, med school is not the time or place that you want to be working on major relationship issues (hence, the reason so many medical students get divorced) so we are struggling to dig our way out of this mess.
I am beginning to feel resentful, myself, because I have worked my butt off for the last year and a half to pull myself out of the hole I was in but he's just been sitting on all of his emotions, not knowing what to do. I do have to acknowledge that he came into the marriage with very few relationship building skills and, although he has shown some major growth in that area, reaching out to me or taking the initiative to stimulate some growth in our marriage is still difficult for him. So, now I'm ready to start moving on but am facing the fallout of years of pent up anger and judgment.
I think we need to see a marriage therapist (he and I are already seeing therapists individually) to help guide us through this, although the logistics of doing that are going to be tricky. I just feel like we're stuck. I don't feel I can allow myself to trust him emotionally, if he is going to judge me everytime I make another mistake. And he just doesn't know how to work through his anger....so we're at a sort of stand-off.
To be fair, I am definitely super sensitive to any sort of criticism regarding my efforts to do what I said I would do or to any mistakes I make repeatedly. If I knew how to not repeat them over and over again, I wouldn't be writing to you all. I know I've neglected him throughout this whole med school catastrophe (been going on about 3 years now). With the threat of flunking out of med school hanging over my head everyday, I just wasn't capable of anything more than surviving day-to-day. I feel terrible about it but know there was no way for me to do it any differently. And he is making some effort to work through his issues. The problem for me is that a lot of this work goes on in his head. I don't know if he's thinking about stuff or when, and he doesn't come to me to get more information about my experiences or to share any realizations he might have come to.
I know this is ending up being all about what he's doing wrong. This wasn't my intention. I just don't know what to do from my side. Our relationship has crossed some lines recently, that we were careful not to cross in the past, so now I am really beginning to get worried about this resentment getting out of hand (on both our parts). I really don't feel comfortable just letting him be and waiting for him to figure his stuff out. But I also want to make sure that I am pulling my weight and taking responsibility for my own issues.
How do we break out of this holding pattern?