How often to you lovingly consider your mate before acting?

I have been trying to figure out how to ask this question for about a week. My husband and I were talking about something back then and his account of his thinking was so completely foreign to me that he may as well have been speaking Greek in that moment.  It was nothing at all like how I think when I am deciding what I am going to do about something........I wish I could remember the exact situation not because it is important, but because I can't really think of another one and I think that is going to make it harder to receive replies.

I am getting the vibe from talking to many AD/HD mates and also from reading on several forums, that the AD/HD world even for a good mate is sometimes 'all you all the time'.  I am afraid that statement is going to cause offense and I don't want to do that.  I really want a dialogue about this.  Do you ever feel like your challenges are so big that the other ppl in your life could come to feel like it is your world and everyone else just has to live in it with you--like do you expect support to take the form of do X, Y, and or Z for me to help me?  Cause when we say we need X, Y, or Z, we frequently hear 'that would be nice but you can't have that because I am not up to that.'   What do you feel your responsibility is to your mate?  What do you think their responsibility is to you?

I genuinely, from the moment I became 1/2 a couple, no longer really think of myself as a separate entity.  If i am trying to decide something, one of my very first questions is if it will affect my husband and if it will, will it be a negative or positive.

I was a fairly independent single person, chose not to get married until my late 20s, and have never felt I NEEDED a man in my life, but I always felt that everyone's life is enhanced by love.  I'm saying that to say that I have never been a needy of clingy person and  I'd expect my husband to say something very similar except at the point we got together, he was more actively wanting to add a loving relationship to his life than I was.  Being together has been a wonderful experience for us and we each enhance the other's life.  It really is in many ways exactly what I'd hoped marriage would add. 

From the moment I got married, and really even before that, I have always considered myself as part of a couple.  I don't think of myself as a single person, I don't act as a single person, and I always think first of how everything will affect us and my husband before doing it.  Sometimes I think he doesn't organically think of me in the same way.  I asked him some type of form of this question about the issue that occurred a week ago and basically he said he just didn't think of how it would affect me at all.  He apologized and said that is something he needs to work on.

You could have knocked me over.   Just trying to grasp that thinking.........that you are a couple but that you think of yourself and not really your partner.  I don't think physically that I am capable of that, nor would I want to be.  Now my husband isn't proud that he is able to do this and I'm not saying he'd want to be this way, but there are times I just want it to be nonADD time......like when we were marriage planning and we'd have planning-free weekends to just enjoy being together. 

I read some of what gets posted by the ADD mates, and I agree your non mates are doing some frustrating things, demotivating things, demoralizing things, but sometimes it can feel like we are just satellites orbitting your ADD world.  Sometimes it even sounds like the irritation on the ADD end is coming from the fact that we are being poor satellites and not motivating properly or not sharing our feelings properly or being properly grateful for all the hard work you are doing......there is some validity of course, but are you doing all those things on your end? 

I know you can imagine how demotivating, stressful, infuriating, fear-inspiring even at times your behavior is.  I know my husband can.  Sure I get frustrated at what he doesn't do well and he gets frustrated at what I don't do well.  But there are times when I feel like so much of the onus of changing is on me because he has ADD.  And sometimes he makes decisions not really even thinking about how it will affect me.

This happened several times on our weekend away since we were with my parents and my dad was being a big slug, my husband goes into 'it is fine to be a slug' mode, and I was just being driven more and more and more crazy because he knows I HATE THAT SLUG CRAP.  Even when he was trying to do something or was up for something, it was so half hearted and felt like it took a poor second place to goofing on the computer that I felt completely unmotivated by the end.

On the way home I asked if he'd ever do the lake again with my parents and he said he thought it went pretty well and that he'd do it again.  He also said "I know it was too much resting and bumming for you, but I liked it"  I asked why he didn't try to respond when I tried to liven things up, and his response "I'd have done anything"  but he wouldn't have anything to do with the process that I just stopped trying much.

It was ok, but I will likely never do it again.  I suggested if he wanted that type of weekend away that he should do it without me, and he was offended and said he'd never do such a thing.  I said I'd way prefer that, if he wants that kind of weekend, to be seperate than to be forced to watch it.  He is sorry he wasn't thinking enough about what was good for me..........but I can't even get into the headspace to understand where he was coming from then.

He seems to do what he wants in the moment and apologize later, and those types of apologies just aren't working for me.  "I wasn't thinking" isn't getting anything resolved.   And I don't care what your reason is for not thinking.......START THINKING about it.  You know what I mean?

Hi, Aspen.  I don't want to

Hi, Aspen.  I don't want to generalize.  I will say that my husband, who has ADHD, seems to think less about what is good for the marriage and the family than I do.  Examples:  not looking for a job; not responding to my repeated requests for help with housework, help that I asked for mainly because I was overburdened with being the spouse doing most of the breadwinning, parenting, and maintaining of the household; not being able or willing to think about our future.  When he does think about me, he seems more focused on avoiding what he claims is my wrath than on responding to what I've stated are things I'd like (such as help with the housework).  It's very sad and frustrating.  makes me feel like I'm crazy for being a person who does think about the family.

Thanks Rosered

I don't want to generalize.  I will say that my husband, who has ADHD, seems to think less about what is good for the marriage and the family than I do.

I think I'd say the same about my husband, but here is the thing I am not getting...HE doesn't see it. He would say he thinks differently about the marriage and family than I do. He tells me that I am always on his mind, yet I can ask why he didn't do anything about something he could tell was actively bothering me and his response is "I didn't really think of that" or "I didn't know what to do" as if he expects it to make sense to me that to him doing nothing seems to be the better option.

When he does think about me, he seems more focused on avoiding what he claims is my wrath than on responding to what I've stated are things I'd like (such as help with the housework)

Sometimes I think his thoughts about me are about avoiding my criticism--probably wrath too though he doesn't say that--but while he says he does want to hear the good stuff instead of the bad stuff, he says he thinks of me positively all day long.  I ask why he doesn't SAY something to me more at those times and he doesn't really seem to know.

I am so sorry that you are in a place of getting little to no support from your husband. I feel like such a whiner here sometimes, but I do have these issues just milder versions of them as my husband holds a job that completely supports us and he will help non grudgingly around the house most of the time, but I want him to notice what needs doing and then DO IT on his own without comment from me or without waiting for me to start doing something first. 

But then last night when I was feeling the need for some TLC, he got up and made homemade pancakes, so there is that too...

Pbartender's picture

"I didn't know what to do..."

He tells me that I am always on his mind, yet I can ask why he didn't do anything about something he could tell was actively bothering me and his response is "I didn't really think of that" or "I didn't know what to do" as if he expects it to make sense to me that to him doing nothing seems to be the better option.

I've gotten stuck in that spot often enough.  As usual, I can't really speak for your husband, but maybe explaining what's goes on in my brain then will give you a little extra insight into what he's having trouble expressing.

First, when this happens to me, it usually happens because I am thinking of my wife and trying to figure out what to do about something that's bothering her.  But...

I get into trouble because:

  1. My memory and attention are helping me completely miss the clues I need to figure out precisely what is bothering her.
  2. Even if I can figure out what's really bothering her, my memory and attention are helping me completely miss the clues I need to figure out precisely what I should do to fix it.
  3. Without those clues to narrow things down, my hyperactive brain conjures up dozens upon dozens of possibilities for both A and B, which multiply each other into a bewilderingly long list of options for action.
  4. I get obsessively worried about guessing wrong and doing the wrong thing (yet again!), thereby making her mad and proving that I wasn't paying attention/don't care about her/am only thinking of myself/etc.
  5. I'm too scared to directly ask her what's bothering her, because it also makes her mad by proving that I wasn't paying attention, etc.
  6. Wonky time-sense allows me to roll all of this around and around in my brain until before I realize it, it's too late to do anything.

So, yeah...  There's a little more to it than just "I didn't really think of that" or "I didn't know what to do", but that is what it essentially boils down to.  I don't exactly choose doing nothing as a better option, but an overload of choices and anxiety about doing or saying the wrong thing mentally paralyzes me into inaction.

It's like the mental equivalent of trying load up a website and you watch that little loading icon spinning and spinning and spinning, but the page never shows up...  That icon just keeps spinning over a blank page.

 

Pb.

Us

Rosered, I hear you.

"The more we are willing to step into a universal consciousness with our partner, the more we can shift our attention from the “I/ME” to the “US/WE.”...Depak Chopra

I have really loved the "us" more than the I or the him. Love meaning I care about the well being of someone or something.  The "us" meaning family and home - all that is whole and partnering. I have loved him and family more than I loved myself. I am seeing how my loneliness and sadness is the result of my trying so hard but not knowing how to bring others into the "us" with me.  I have been giving them their "space" to grow themselves and be who they are separately from me.  I see how some mothers "guide" their spouses and children to allegiance to the family (think real housewives). They seem happier than me in their games and stubborness. But it still doesn't seem right to me to bend others to my wishes and desires.  I am trying to find a soulful way to be connected to others without the games and fear and manipulation that seem to be connected with family and friends around me.  The only thing is that two people must BOTH be willing and interested in committing to the "us".  

DH often says, "I am me and you are you and you can't change who I am."  I am not trying to change you.  I am trying to connect with you to walk with you. You keep a shield of humor and distraction and avoidance between us. It seems to me like you are trying to keep your SELF in tact.  Like if you were to partner with me you would lose yourself and not get your way (or in your words, be who you are)... So I am sabotaged in my attempts to have you as part of my life.  It seems you want to be free to have "others" in your life beside me.  "Others" without boundaries that I submit to. That I am the threat to your freedom to "be who you are".    Don't you get it that a "loving couple" are a single unit that together, if one is in danger or in pain or feeling unwell, the other feels those feelings with them and works to make "it" better?

Maybe us nonADDers and us ADDers here on this site are similar in the aspect that we are here searching for understanding and tips for how to connect with our spouses and trying to be the WE rather than the I alone.  And it is frustrating that the "other" in our partnerships are turning away and not caring to join us. 

So on this Sunday morning, I am going to soothe myself with actions of universal conciousness...going to church being in prayer with others, meditating at the beach, going to yoga, breathing in the warm breezes and taking in the views of a beautiful world with people around me

 

 

God Bless.

 

I tried to submit a response

I tried to submit a response last night, didn't realize I wasn't logged in, and received a "YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO SUBMIT A RESPONSE," which effectively deleted the novel I was writing.  Go, powers of observation!

Allow me to attempt to summarize:  I have received a similar type of assessment from my DH as well..  He also tells me I'm not intentionally selfish, not a malicious human being, but that I put my needs first.  If that was as true as he claims, I would give my kids Lunchables daily because it would save me a detestable chore, would do my laundry first instead of theirs, would not constantly make food that my picky family can tolerate, even though I'd like to branch out a lot more, would not have received so much positive reinforcement at work, and so on...  Now, I didn't say there wasn't some truth to it.  There is.  I am working through this.  For me, at least, the fact that I have to work so hard to manage my time, prioritize, and organize, the fact that I fall short of my goals despite my expectations of myself is utterly MADDENING, as I know it is to my DH.  In going through my files this morning, I read a summary of a psych eval on me when I was a kid and clearly experiencing self-induced performance anxiety because I was different, knew it, and did not know how to function on the level of my intelligence.  My genuine difficulty in prioritizing tasks is one area where this shows up. 

Lately, I have been really focused on my office, which I consider to be the nerve center at home.  I correct in here, plan in here, do bills in here, and come here to post on this website.  And it has been a bleeping mess, 95% of the time.  Even when it's neat, it is overcrowded with crap, and I'm just realizing this (transferring the knowledge gleamed from my friend at school to home:)).  So it gets messy quickly, and I know it is a MAJOR reason I feel scattered and ineffective at home, which affects my family relationships.  My frontal lobe room is a sensory overload room.  Not good.  Not good for me.  Not good for my family.  Since this realization of the interconnectness of this issue to my home life, I have been working on it, much like the tortoise.  I want to approach this differently than I have in the past.  I want to purge significantly.  I want to work slowly to make sure my organization makes sense for the future, not just looking OK to others today.  But I have been dropping the ball on and off with chores, because I am convinced that once I get this place purged of extra crap and organized in a way I can actually maintain and that makes sense to my weird, weird brain, it will not only help me, but everyone in the house.  Visual clutter is mental clutter.  Mental clutter leads to poor planning, which leads to spousal frustration and eventually rage and hopelessness.  Clearly, I have to find a balance while I am pursuing this goal.  And that has always been a challenge for me as well:  to prioritize and multi-task, to get my stuff done and the family stuff done.  But I'm more aware than I was even a few weeks ago, and recognize that even though my heart was in the right place, that doesn't decrease my DH's stress level.  I can't just expect him to understand that I "didn't mean it," and because my thinking is so different, he has to accept what I conclude and the resulting actions, however well-intended I may be.  I am learning to view the world through his lens, too, VERY, VERY SLOWLY, and it's neither easy nor natural for me.  I don't see the big picture all the time.  But I know with the helpful suggestions and insights of the people on this site, I'll get there.  I appreciate your viewpoint BECAUSE it challenges me to look at the world through an NT lens. 

ADHDMomof2

PS If I don't make sense, please forgive my rambling.  I couldn't sleep even a minute last night, for the second time in a week.  The first time was because of a fight with my DH, last night, who knows?

I hate that not being logged in racket...have done it myself

To tackle the last comment first...

PS If I don't make sense, please forgive my rambling

Are you kidding me?  I re-read my post and seriously I think I should have mulled my question for another week before posting that ridiculous mess.  I'd have tried to delete it but there were already some nice responses when I got up this morning........thanks for those but seriously sorry for my rambling post.

He also tells me I'm not intentionally selfish, not a malicious human being, but that I put my needs first.

Yeah I have definitely felt this not because I think he is trying to be selfish but because sometimes I think his world is just myopic.

But I have been dropping the ball on and off with chores, because I am convinced that once I get this place purged of extra crap and organized in a way I can actually maintain and that makes sense to my weird, weird brain, it will not only help me, but everyone in the house.

#1 on the plus side of your type of thinking here, I have a friend who I suspect has some ADD who always struggled with her messy house (not dirty mind you but messy and her husband is a neat freak though he will do NOTHING to get it that way nor keep it that way), who just recently turned her entire spare bedroom (mostly a wasted cluttered space that took a week for them to clean it out enough to have company in there the few times a year ppl came to visit) into a huge walk in closet that organized all her items.  Now she says her whole house stays clean because she feels everything has a place and she is happy with the set up finally so that she has no issues maintaining it.

On my side, I think I'd like to see my husband get that personally involved in any organizing project regardless of how much it made him drop other things.  Getting him to engage in this type of thing is one of my greatest challenges and I am starting to believe it can only come when he wants it to.  Kudos to you for getting there!

I can't just expect him to understand that I "didn't mean it," and because my thinking is so different, he has to accept what I conclude and the resulting actions, however well-intended I may be.

I find so many ADD spouses get really caught up in expressing their intention and I can sorta get it because when your actions are being judged as faulty or insufficient you at least want to be sure that the person you love knows you didn't INTEND it to be that way.  It is just that for so many of us our actions really do pretty closely follow our intention (even if it isn't an intention we are aware of or want to admit) so for one thing it is hard to understand that there isn't a MESSAGE being sent here even if it is subliminal.   Also, 'actions speak louder than words' really really really is true.  When words and actions conflict, the only thing you can really go on is action........at least I don't know what else to go on.  Certainly I value that I know the intention was almost always good......but then of course I also know the intention was sometimes completely missing as in "sorry babe I just didn't really think of you right then"

I don't know, I periodically get sick of trying to set up an ADD-friendly life and feel like he should be workign just as hard to set up a mate-friendly life, and he sure can't be doing that if he is focused on his own stuff, feelings, desires and not really thinking of mine. Know what I mean? 

I periodically get sick of

I periodically get sick of trying to set up an ADD-friendly life and feel like he should be workign just as hard to set up a mate-friendly life, and he sure can't be doing that if he is focused on his own stuff, feelings, desires and not really thinking of mine. Know what I mean? 

Yes, I know what you mean!  I've struggled for years to support my husband and his disabilities:  ADD, anxiety, depression.  But he does not support a me-friendly life.  So, now, as I gradually come around to accepting that my husband's inability to support me will never change, I have challenged myself to figure out a new way to behave.  And my conclusion is that I need to focus on me, not on the relationship.  Kind of ironic, I suppose, but I think it's a good thing.  However, my husband is not taking it well.  He doesn't like to ask for help but he sure seems willing to be taken care of, and he goes back and forth between acting like a victim and acting surly when I don't support him as much.

But I'm committed to this change.  Our daughters are gone for the fall, and I don't have to be "supermom."