My name is Dave and I have high level ADHD. I am married to the most wonderful, beautiful, caring, sweet, empathetic woman in the world. After being married to me for over 13 years and she is STILL with me proves it. About six months ago, she was done. Done with me being defensive about everything, mean to her, not helping in raising our two girls while she NEVER slept AND worked to pay our bills. I went and did what I thought was important, I had my ENTIRE priority list upside down, and I really had no clue what I was doing. I could not EVER figure out when she would cry and beg me to help or be nice in these situations, and I was flippant. As I look back, I was the champion jerk. I would always say to her later how much I love her, care for her, and love our kids, but for the life of me NOT figure out why I could be so heartless. Did I mention that K is incredible? We have always been honest, true, and trusting with each other, so no other outside influences...just me.
We decided to see a counselor who is an expert in marriage, and I found last night an expert in ADHD. I have been in a middle school teacher for 24 years, I knew I had it...my report cards showed it. My nine year old now has it too. My point? I had to idea until last night there was a correlation between my ADHD and my lack of husbandry/fatherly behavior. I am not diagnosed, I just know since I have filled out millions of forms, had trainings, and thousands of kids in my class. I am a the poster adult for this...and I have always been upbeat and positive about having ADHD. Not any more.
Last night, after the counselor suggested, or stated, that this condition of ours has had a DIRECT correlation to us. I found you all today. After reading MANY of the posts, situations, stories you could just plug our names into many of them....it is us. I am happy to know this, but EXTREMELY SCARED and worried I have pushed my wife over the edge. I have self medicated for years.....beer, wine, marijuana. It helped a lot. I was never fall down bad, never slurred, always happy/content....BUT I found, after talking six months ago with my wife, that I was always checked out, not 'present' enough to be emotionally involved in my family. My wife did it all.....I worked, coached and reffed wrestling, and whatever else I THOUGHT was what I should be doing. ANY TIME she would so sweetly bring up anything-kids, money, work, childcare- I would get defensive, rude, mean, and she would cry. I never knew why I would do that to her...to my love, my everything...she is my best friend.
I have changed over the last five months. I have read books on why I am a terrible husband. I have read books on how I have hurt and crushed my wife's spirit and esteem. I have not had one drink, pill, smoke, NOTHING. I have begun meditation for about two weeks now. All of this has helped. No more lies, empty promises, lip service. My wife needs me to prove to her how much I love and care for her and my two beautiful girls. I know she is hurt IMMENSELY......really bad.
What I want to know....be honest...non ADHD people...when she says show her and work for her to prove this....do you have advice? She said the last four months have been amazing, but when she sees me or we talk, she slides back into that hell and pain. I am living somewhere else for the month of February for her to begin healing and for me to continue to work on myself. We just want advice from people LIKE me and from people who live with partners like me, that KNOW our daily struggles? She is done with the lip service and the longevity of my actions will be the factor. Are there signs or factors for me to be on the lookout for? I want to be the one who puts in ALL of the work.....It is time for ME to feel it and let her heal.
I cannot lose my wife and family now....I see it! I get it. I hope it isn't too late.
Thank you ahead of time for any feedback....
PS- I am only 11% of the way through your book Melissa, and I can just see my wife and I in all of this.....