I have ADHD!!!
The impact on my marriage has been devastating, in fact it may have killed it completely. The Jury is still out right this moment but this being the fourth time my wife has asked me for a divorce the odds are not in my favor and honestly they are pretty slim.
I know without doubt that I truly love my wife with all my heart and everything I am.
But I am coming to realize just how badly my ADHD has caused me to hurt her. Although I am now reasonably medicated ( thanks to her) I have never done the research into what I am really living with and learned the behavioral and psychological tools I need for coping with day to day situations that need to be learned in addition to having ADHD meds. It's become clear that having an in-depth understanding of the different symptoms such as anger, addiction, procrastination, forgetfulness and so on is an absolute must for anyone that lives with ADHD.
I would go as far as saying that if you are in a long term relationship or planning to be in a long term committed relationship that you had better acquire these skills and master them quickly as possible or the odds you live a content and loving life with your partner is slim to none.
What I think those of us with ADHD need to know is, by not fully understanding what we are dealing with puts us in the position of not fully understanding the position we put our partner in and how difficult it is for them to live with our day to day struggles. If we don't get it how can they?
An Example: I say to you that I love my wife and I really mean it but here's the kicker. It became so easy for me to get lost in my own little world that I became withdrawn from hers. I would come home from work and expect her to be loving and greet me with a smile and a kiss as she is cooking dinner and after we ate dinner I would trot of to zone out on the television while she cleaned the dishes, did the laundry, took the dog out, etc. As I sat there zoning out on mindless bubble gum it didn't even cross my mind that showing her that I loved her would be getting out of my chair and helping her so she could bring her day to an end as well and if the thought did come to me it would disappear just as fast.
Here's one even better: for those of us that experience anger and frustration it's a very difficult and ugly reality that manifests it's self in many different ways for many different reasons and therefore is hard to notice it growing larger and larger over time until one day you explode or absolutely lose it with your partner or in front of people that you would never want to see you like that.
For me, my anger got worse and worse over time and mostly towards my wife because she was unfortunately the one pointing out how disengaged I was and I resented her for it.
Eventually she had enough of my lashing out and attacking her with verbal abuse.
The worst part for me was when I had to admit to myself that I had an anger problem and that I was verbally abusing my wife, the one that I say I love so much remember? If you want to try on a real mind f**ck, try to reconcile knowing you deeply love someone and coming to the realization that you are abusing them. My wife is a kind and loving, beautiful person but she became angry, resentful and withdrawn because of my continued abuse. How do I feel? Pain, sadness, sorrow, guilt, shame?
Yes, all of the above. She didn't deserve it, any of it.
What I am saying in all of this is, not knowing myself and how my brain works kept me from realizing that I was not involved in my wife's life or our marriage. I was not living up to the promises I made when she married me. I was just a guy she was living with and not a very nice one at that.
The best advice I could give to anyone that is reading this and can relate to it in even the smallest way is:
Yes, medication is a wonderful thing when prescribed correctly but it's not the end of the road. You still have to do the work, put in the time to learn everything you can. Read all the book (no matter how tedious it is) watch all the videos, find a good Psychologist (that knows ADHD) join a group and anything else that you can think of and learn as much as you possibly can.
In the end the more you know yourself, the better your chances of avoiding my painful mistakes and living a happy life.
As to what's next for me? Well, I need to take my own advice and begin my own quest for knowledge and find the source of my anger and gain a deeper understanding of what I am up against and how to best to control those parts that I can. Hopefully when I have found the best version of me my wife will be able to live with what I have become and choose to stay. To be truly honest considering the hell I have put her through for the past eleven years it's going to be a pretty tall order and just short of a miracle if she does. God willing.
Now go, learn, live, love and be happy.
He is willing:)...But are you ready to do the work?
Submitted by c ur self on
One of the most honest and truest posts I've ever read!.....My wife is just like you! And when someone comes along as honest as you arein this post it encourages me...Thank You!
I pray things get better for you, Put a hand written list in your front pocket every morning or set phone alarms Reminder:....Kiss wife and ask how I can help...Then do it with a smile!
Being thankful and counting my blessings everyday (which I don't do everyday) seems to reduce stress which can cause my frustrations and anger...
My Semtiments Exactly BigRedDog
Submitted by kellyj on
Bottom line ....."What I am saying in all of this is, not knowing myself and how my brain works kept me from realizing that I was not involved in my wife's life or our marriage. I was not living up to the promises I made when she married me. I was just a guy she was living with and not a very nice one at that."
"If we don't get it how can they?" .....including but not limited too....effectively and accurately communicating by which we can elicit ANY understanding from others if we can't communicate OUR needs for them... and in turn..... help them deal with the struggles that we impose ion everyone at times. It's certainly not all the time in all circumstances but.....it certainly is a good deal of the time in countless ways ranging from just annoying....to desperately exasperatingly frustrating and hopeless. It's imperative for us to understand.....it isn't just with our spouses or significant others either.....but the intensity and the effect becomes that much greater if you live with someone on a daily basis, and having to deal with the fallout from our dysfunctional living style all the time with no escape from it. At least friends and co-workers get a break and don't have to deal with things like finances and major life altering events that can materialize at times.
"As to what's next for me? Well, I need to take my own advice and begin my own quest for knowledge and find the source of my anger and gain a deeper understanding of what I am up against and how to best to control those parts that I can."
What we need mostly at times is patience, tolerance and acceptance from others and it is the very thing that we aren't getting. That I have found is one of the biggest sources where my own anger was coming from. The only way to get that from others is to have it yourself......FIRST!!! I have found that with these things....my anger has slowly changed into something else. The anger and resentment never goes away completely....but it does change from just reacting to it and having no control of it...to using it to tell me what to do and forces me to find other ways to express it better......that comes along with learning how to communicate your anger without letting it take control of you.
To this day....my wife still gets annoyed with me when I have managing my anger in those moments when I am both feeling it....AND communicating it better without losing control of it and having to take several breaks and come back to the conversation which I have found I can do now almost every time. I will say that even if I am not completely successful at doing this....I no longer completely lost my temper and gone on a raging tirade like I use to do in the past. Not saying that his will never happen again and that fear is one I hold onto tightly to keep me from doing it.....but I have also committed myself to not doing this ever again and I am maintaining that promise to myself at the very least. But this having to stop and take breaks to manage it is still part of it however...that is still annoying to her which she tells me (and even taunts me in the moment) at the worst and most the tenuous moments since.....they are also the most difficult to manage. This makes it even that much MORE difficult for me not to lose it when she complains about this yet.......I remind myself of the alternative and can quickly come to that realization. On my end.....this is as good as I can expect for a while and I still have to deal with her frustration even when I am controlling my anger. It may seem like a lose/lose for me at times..... but in reality.....it's not. We're actually talking about these things instead of fighting about them. That's a big win in my book and the doorway to more improvements in the future. Living with a certain amount of frustration and anger is what we must learn how to do and not let that spill onto other people. We're the ones with ADHD....they are not;)
The thing is.....that is where we are right now. Meaning.....I have to live with my frustrations now with the optimism that says that we are moving in the right direction but are still not out of the woods. I still have to put my best foot forward and keep doing it until we're there and keep moving forward. The effort we have to put in does not stop ever unless you don't want the past to come back and bite you. That's just our burden but that burden gets easier from the reward that you get from doing it.
What may not seem fair is that we have to be the bigger ones more often than not but.....how fair is it that others have to deal with ADHD if they don't have to? That's the kicker right there. They don't....we do. We don't have that choice but they can leave and find someone else to live with who doesn't have it any time they choose. Unless you've got your spouse hand cuffed and chained up in the basement (what a horrible thought)....they are free to walk out that door at anytime even under great financial difficulty and a great loss in all other respects. What incentive do others have who don't have to deal with the same issues at all if they don't choose to. Why stay in that kind of hell with no incentive or pay off for having to put all that effort in? A promise for a spot in heaven for living in hell all their life? Or a patch and a bumper sticker to put on your car......."honk if you've survived living with ADHD". It's too easy to forget that other people chose and honored us with choosing us to be the one they married or are committed too. All things considered here......what we owe them and what they are entitled is for us to be thankful and show them the gratitude that we appreciate the efforts and sacrifices that they have to make just being with us and not living with an angry abusive person for the rest of their lives. That much is clear to everyone. This part can start today if you make that decision and then start doing it.
If that's the case then....what do we do about it?
"The lord helps those who help themselves"......this applies doubly to us and shouldn't be forgotten whether you believe in a God or not.....the saying or phrase still holds just as true no matter the source. And It does work this way absolutely, without question..... no matter which way you slice it....it's still bread. In our case....it's our bread and butter:)
Nice post.....I couldn't agree with you more!!
I wish this would have been
Submitted by Mrs Secret on
I wish this would have been my husbands post.... We are separated and I do miss him very much. If he would have written a post like that, I would have asked him to move back immediately. I will pray for you.