Healing From Abuse in Marriage

I’m a 62 year old man with ADHD, married for 29 years. My wife and I have 2 children, ages 29 and 28.  Although my wife and I knew I had ADHD all along, we never realized the extent that ADHD negatively impacted our marriage. Taking “The ADHD Effect on Marriage” last year helped turn our marriage around.  I’ve optimized my meds and have developed systems to improve my reliability and productivity.  My wife finally understood the destructiveness of her unrelenting criticism and aggressive anger, which frequently escalated to rage and abusive behavior. We’ve both successfully eliminated most of the negative behaviors that had contributed to an unhappy marriage.  Our marriage has greatly improved.  Thank you Melissa.

Before taking the course, I regularly experienced verbal, emotional and psychological abuse in my marriage.  And on one occasion, my wife hit me. The abuse was never reciprocal.

Due to the positive changes we’ve both made and instituting healthy boundaries, I know my wife’s abusive behavior will not reoccur.   Yet, I still bear the scars. Sometimes, I relive the specific incidents of abuse.  My confidence and sense of self-worth took a beating.  I have a diminished capacity to experience fun and joy.  In response to maternal gatekeeping, harsh criticism and abuse, I physically and emotionally withdrew from the family.  I was not the father I should have been to my children.  Witnessing their mother’s behavior, my children concluded long ago I was not worthy of their respect.

My wife and I have never discussed the abuse. It’s never been acknowledged nor apologized for.  I’ve not disclosed the abuse to anyone outside of therapy.  I’m no longer willing to bear my experience in silence.  I’m ready to face the darkness, start healing myself and hopefully remove a huge barrier in our relationship.

Melissa, I’d appreciate suggestions on how to raise this issue with my wife.

Thank you in advance.