After over a decade together, my marriage to my ADHD spouse is over. He actually asked for the divorce, but I didn't fight it. He has threatened divorce more times than I can count, but this time I just said, "OK" and moved out. He told me later that he didn't mean it, he just said it to try and get me to "appreciate him" and realize how hard my life would be without him. I laughed. My life with him was a nightmare. I tried extremely hard to make it work. I went to therapy, I researched ADHD, I worked hard to change myself to accommodate his perceptions and needs time after time, but it was never enough for him. No matter what I did, another problem would surface for which I was always completely at fault. He took meds, but did nothing else. It's as if he believed that the meds were enough and as long as he took them, he could forget about all of the other ways ADHD manifested itself and impacted our relationship. I have been reading posts on this forum for years, and my marriage looked very much like what most people here post about. The explosive and irrational anger that causes walking on eggshells, the gaslighting, the avoidance, the getting blamed for everything, the constant trying to keep up with the chaos, the loneliness. This is my first post and I want to share what the past few months have been like for me now that I am free of the marriage.
I am happy. For the first time in over a decade, I can relax. I can take time for myself at the end of the day and read a book or watch a show without having to give someone 100% of my attention when he could never reciprocate that to me. My home is clean, and organized. My panic attacks and anxiety have disappeared. Nobody is yelling at me everyday. I can see my friends and my family without the embarrassment of explaining why my DH is hiding from them or acting cranky and withdrawn. I am no longer experiencing the daily pain of simultaneously being pressured to be available to him at all times, but ignored when I have needs for support or attention. I can go out with friends without being accused of cheating. Nobody is telling me I'm a bad wife/mother/person because I have passions and hobbies that I will not give up. When something good happens to me or I succeed at something, the people around me are genuinely happy for me instead of being jealous of my success and being mad that it might be an inconvenience to them in some way.
I have realized that I am not, in fact, crazy. I am good at handling conflict in a conciliatory and compromising fashion. I realized that it is not normal or healthy to have someone not validate your genuine feelings and argue with you in circles for hours or days on end and then to accuse you of being a terrible person for having needs of your own.
I have more energy. My depression has melted away, and I can function better mentally and physically better than I have in years.
I entered a new relationship with someone who respects me. Who listens to me. When I have a problem in the relationship, he doesn't get angry, instead he acknowledges my feelings and then doesn't repeat the behavior that makes me upset. He cheers me on in my pursuits in life, and is sincerely happy for my success. He trusts me. When he tells me he's going to do something, he follows through. That is something I'm still not used to. When he asked me if I wanted to go on a trip, I was shocked when he called me with the specific details about when, where and how we were going. I am so used to broken promises that I didn't expect it to actually happen. I remembered that most people follow through with plans for the SO, and I was so happy and grateful.
I became so used to the chaos and the circus, that I thought I deserved the hardship, loneliness and misery. I blamed myself. I have regained my sense of self worth, and now I know that I can have and deserve to have the life that I want and on my terms. My boundaries are no longer negotiable, and there is now nobody in my life who is trying to cross them and tear them down.
Things are hard. I gave up my big beautiful home, my financial security and my pets. I live in a tiny apartment, I only get my kid 50% of the time, and I work 4 jobs to make ends meet. However, I do not regret one damn thing. I am infinitely happier and more confident, and I thank God everyday for my new life. Thank you for reading, and I wish peace, happiness and success to everyone else here who is still struggling.