Submitted by e-leo on 04/13/2008.
I am in deep trouble in my marriage. My wife told me 6 weeks ago that she wanted a divorce. She said that she was tired of supporting me and she no longer wants to be married. I was diagnosed about 1.5 years ago with ADD and placed on Adderal and Cymbalta for severe depression. I was also refered to a counselor for ADD and Depression. The counselor was not an expert in ADD and, unfortunately, she did not properly address the marriage issues properly. I asked my counselor if there was a book about ADD and the next week she recommended Driven to Distraction by Dr. Hallowell. Unfortunately she told me about the book after my wife told me about her filing for divorce. The counselor also confided in me that she had NOT read the book. In her defense I was in such a deep state of depression she thought that the depression should be addressed first. So, here I am. My wife says that she has had enough counseling because she does not see any results. After reading the book I have also purchased a few other books and have become quite informed on the subject of ADD. I realize that things would have been better if I knew a year ago what I know now, but, I can not change that at this point. Does anybody have any advice about how to convice a non-ADD spouse to agree to start over with counseling and restructuring our relationship? We are both in our 40's and have a 7 girl and 3 year old boy. She has stated that any attempt on my part to try to fix the relationship will be futile! She has said that her mind is made up and is not changing. I do not know what to do! HELP.
Get Your Wife Back
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
Unfortunately, it takes two to have a marriage. I will go out on another limb here with advice about a situation that I know next to nothing about...!
You write "she has stated that any attempt on my part to try to fix the relaitonship will be futile! She has said that her mind is made up and is not changing." Is there any reason from your past history together that you shouldn't believe her? Sounds as if she has simply had it, and is tired of trying. Unless she is blowing so much smoke, it sounds as if asking her to get back together in this situation will simply make her scorn you and/or lose further respect for you. Not a great position in which to be, as it doesn't help you at all.
Though it will make you angry and sad to "give up" on the marriage, think about the longer-term relationshps that you are trying to preserve. That means ADD treatment of some sort (don't forget some therapy with a person who actually understands ADD - either a therapist or coach, depending upon your unique situation.)
For the rest of your life, you will still have a relationship with both your wife and your kids. The most important question for you right now is this - assuming your wife is serious about not staying married, what do you want those relationships to look like? You owe it to yourself to make them the best relationships possible for all of you. Your best chance for happiness in this after-marriage scenario is to be happy with yourself, regardless of what your wife/ex-wife throws at you. Statistically speaking, your best chances for success will be to use a mediator to navigate your divorce, rather than lawyers, and to get your ADD under control.
Your wife sounds adamant. I can only hope that once she sees all the effort (AND PROGRESS) that you are capable of, that she'll soften up a bit. This doesn't mean that she'll be ready to stay married, but it may mean that she won't make it a crusade to make your life miserable, either. (from the sound of your email, it sounds as if this might be the case at this point...) If your marriage is anything like mine was when we were ready to get divorced, your wife is tired, tired, tired of having you affect her life to the negative all the time and needs a break.
How to approach a breakup is a very personal thing. My own opinion is that those who treat each other with respect during the process come out better than those who either beg to get back together or those who fight it out.
While this is certainly easier to say than do, I would respect your wife's point of view, admit that you have made her miserable and apologize for that, and state clearly that your goal is to remain on terms with her that are as good as possible for the sake of your children and joint responsiblities. Tell her that you are planning to pursue further ADD treatment for your own sake, and request that the divorce proceed in a way that is least hurtful to all involved - specifically, through mediation. If she balks at that, pull together some facts about the success in maintaining stronger relationships post-divorce with mediation, and present them to her in a clear-headed and business-like way...you are making a case for a certain type of treatment.
One of the hardest transitions, I understand, is moving a relationship from the personal to the business, which is what your relationship with your wife will need to become.
Good luck with your efforts, and I hope this helps.
Get my Wife Back! Thats what I want to Do!
Submitted by e-leo on
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
I'm glad to see that you responded as you did. My husband, who watches my posts to keep me honest, told me last night that I wasn't positive enough in my response to you. He chalks it up to my having a down day, which might be true. He reminds me that even though I told him over and over again what he was doing that to our relationship that I didn't like, he couldn't understand, or "hear", what I was saying until he had the jolt of working for a person with ADD and experiencing how poorly his boss interpreted all that people were telling them. Then he realized that perhaps I was right about what I was saying, and started to reevaluate how we were together. When he did it with an open mind, rather than a "I can't believe you're nagging me again about this inconsequential stuff" point of view he realized that what I had been saying wasn't inconsequential at all - and from that point on things did start to improve.
But the real improvement came when I, too, had had a jolt - the same one that you have now - the very real spectre of divorce. It does have a way of putting things into perspective for you!
In spite of my poor communication skills yesterday, you have an instinct for what is most important - that you need to get your act together relationship-wise. You need to do it for you, not her, because now that you understand what has been going on in your life you deserve create a life for yourself that won't just be a "long list of failures". You can forgive yourself (and your wife) for what has come before, and do better from today on. The worst-case scenario is that you will have a good relationsihp with your wife, though you will be divorced. ANother scenario is that you will end up together (some of this depends upon the timing of where you are in the divorce process).
Or, as my husband put it last night, "You have to change yourself so that you are the person you want to be. If your spouse sees that person and decides that "new" person is who they want to be with, great. If not, you are still in a much better place for a happy future."
That is exactly what happened to us, and why we stayed together. We had decided to separate (and told our kids), but then stuff happened. The biggest turning point was when I (the non-ADD spouse) decided that I was ready to be me again, rather than the witch I had become, whether or not George decided he wanted to be with me. This was a huge turning point for me, and the result was that George decided to give "us" one more try because he liked what he saw of my changes. The same may, or may not, happen for you. But please change for you, not for her.
It is funny that you mention that you get along better now that you are communicating better since the divorce process started. That exact same thing happened to my husband and I . I think it must have something to do with being more business like, and less emotionally irrational.
Good luck to you in your swim against the current! You won't drown - you have insight, kids, and much to look forward to in your life. You have come to realize your mistakes and, hopefully, will be able to forgive yourself for them and move on. Regardless of what has come before, today starts the rest of your life - do something good with it!
For Eric #2
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
Successfully changing things takes a plan. If you would like to share your plan with us - and get some input from others on the site who have been in similar situations - we would be delighted to help out and support your efforts.
Also for Eric
Submitted by weir220 on
Plan for a new Plan
Submitted by e-leo on
what happened to this couple
Submitted by Emily1997 on
My husband is trying therapy. I wonder what happened to this couple.