I am ashamed of my anger and hate and resentment. I accept that I have been working too hard at this relationship - so much that the relationship is a burden to him and to me. I have become Pavlov's dog conditioned to expect disappointment and heartache. My ADD husband has been the manipulator who unknowingly? has been giving me the painful constantly surprising electric shocks of forgetting me/ignoring me/empty promises/empty words of love/flirting with others/staying distant when I need him. At first the little shocks were surprising and upsetting but with years and years the little painful schocks have become expected and tolerated to the point where I would let them kill me because I am now so accustomed to the pain. When I would dare to trust/be open/expect anything/communicate honestly/trust/trust/trust again, I would be rewarded with the little shocks of disappointment/denials/argument/crazy-making turn-arounds. My expectation of pain and disappointment has now extended itself to other parts of my life. I know if I had married someone who could have shared life WITH me, nurture the side of me that wants to love and trust and give to each other, I would not be carrying this regret and emptiness around with me. It's been 35 years. So, I will recognize and accept that in my life I felt I needed someone to walk this journey with to be happy. I thought I needed a dad to complete the mom and dad part in the family. I thought I needed a lover/husband/soulmate. I worked for that trying to extract that from this man who made me love him with his romantic ways and focus on me at the beginning. But the fact is, I can't have that with this man. He can only take care of himself and protect himself. I must "manage" him and have boundaries with him to live in a sane world. This does not describe a happy world to me. This does not even seem to be truthful and open way to exist in life or a marriage. But to survive this marriage, it must be my choice to be "the manager/manipulator" or go out into the world alone. Someone this week said it and it rings true for me too..... "I was stupid to stay in this marriage." I would bet even my husband does not respect me for staying and putting up with him.
So, what can I do? I KNOW that I have lost my self. I don't know what I want at this old age. I had been a willing servant to family - something I was happy to do while the children were young - I was "taking it on the chin" for the sake of family (that was stupid. I wish I had been stronger and stood up for myself and the kids more). But now, I am crazy with rage and regret inside and my husband said, "What did you EVER do for me?" I thought he would love me for the sacrifices I made but he didn't even notice and remembers that he did all the work and sacrifice in his mind and I just complained and was not happy. I feel stripped of the history I thought I was making. What can I do? I can be the person I want to be now. Not worry what people think. Not worry what he thinks - especially him because he doesn't remember to hold a grudge or even to have feelings about anything I do - he doesn't notice. I am not important to his world as long as I am taking care of everything. I can walk out the door and get an apartment, join a book club, go to exercise class, help others, take a painting class, run a marathon, make new friends, do yoga. I would rather cuddle and travel with someone I trust - but I can't have that anymore than a widow can. So I will be independent and work to get my integrity back. I will make getting my confidence and strength back for my self - not for him. I will become beautiful for my self. I will become calm and cheerful and plan excursions and happenings for people who appreciate it and appreciate me.
I don't know if I can do those things while being married to ADD guy. Something crazy goes on that sabotages my efforts at being independently happy. Something inside of me yearns for coupledom, comfort and familiarity and I fear failure and shame and bag-lady-itis. This is where I must be strong and focused myself about what I want and what really is. I will start to value integrity over comfort. I don't FEEL like doing that...I am tired. But I MUST to have any self respect and peace and to try to get over my raging empty heart.
Husband will be OK. He will turn his focus on his flirting ability and soon find a new me quickly. Part of my ego doesn't like that. I don't know if I could trust a new husband anymore. I am Pavlov's dog remember? My husband has taught me to expect to be mistreated. I write this for other's sakes. This is what happens when you have patience and understanding and compassion and forget that you are living your own life trying so damn hard in a dysfunctional relationship. Don't give your life away.