I am hoping some of you can offer advice in what is a very dark time for me.
Some background: I am an ADHD 33-year-old with no hyperactivity and many effective coping skills when it comes to organizing my professional and financial life. But my DH's frustration and hurt resulting from my distraction at home is endangering my marriage - very seriously. I desperately want to fix the ways in which I have hurt him and continue to ... but I am not aware of any tactics that can reverse my behavior. I'm hoping some of you can share the skills you apply at home.
While I am able to keep my focus -- or at least hide my lapses -- during an evening out with a friend, I seem unable to do the same thing at home. When spending time with my husband there are times when he speaks to me and I don't respond. And, less frequently, there are times when I carry on a conversation but don't truly attend to it ... and then promptly forget it happened at all.
DH is often fairly patient with me, but at times my distraction is deeply hurtful, especially if he is trying to tell me something important. He had circumstances in his childhood that meant he often wasn't heard or paid attention to at home, and I know my behavior shakes his sense of self-worth. Meanwhile, when we do fight, he often flies into a rage and yells a great deal, which leaves me more likely to withdraw than engage ... although I try to stay present with him. As our crisis has worsened, my sense of self-worth has been shaken as well.
It is very painful that this is coming to a head right now, because we were just about to start trying to conceive. He is, I believe, wrestling with fears about whether I can be a good parent and whether he could ever get the attention he deserves with a child in the house. I have overall felt happy with him in the 12 years we've been together - and despite my fears had come to believe that if we loved our child a lot and did the best we could it would make up for our deficiencies. I never envisioned, not seriously, that we might not last.
I wish I could promise him that things will improve, but I feel very unclear about how much of this is truly in my control. What steps can I take to be more present at home? At least for now, I am stopping drinking wine with dinner in an effort to keep more of my focus in the latter part of the evening.
I keep thinking that if he could truly feel that my distraction was unintentional then it would become an inconvenience rather than a deep blow. But he says that he no longer cares why it is happening, and all that matters that it is happening to begin with. In his mind, if there's any chance that he -- or our future child -- could say 'I really need your help' and not be heard, then there is no way to repair this. I believe that right now he's not willing to embark on approaches or solutions that require that he do much of the work.
Thanks so much.