I think my spouse is using the book as a blame game tool against me.

A quick background on my relationship, married last spring after roughly 2 years of dating, we were only together for about 3 months before we jumped the gun and moved in together, then we were engaged 2 months later, all very fast and not what I was used to, but thought I just finally met the one. For months before the wedding, I felt I was making a huge mistake, but I didn't know where to turn and went through with it anyway. Everything changed after the wedding, and I thought I was depressed. I was withdrawn from family and friends, and believe I started to withdraw because he always says very negative things about our friends. Friends that I have had for over 5 years, and that have accepted him as a friend. If he texts one of them and they don't answer right away or even that day, he pretty much thinks they are the biggest jerk of all time, and writes them off, until I can convince him that people are aren't perfect and that they try their best, and sometimes you just cant expect too much from people or anyone, really. I love my friends, they are a huge support system for me, and we fight like brothers and sisters, but we still love each other, and accept that sometimes we are gonna hurt each others feeling, but that we will get through it by open communication. None of us are perfect! I know now this from reading the book that it is why he has no friends other than mine, and that the adhd is why he "gets hurts so easily and impulsively writes people off." 

I started reading the book about 4 weeks ago. I feel very connected to the book, as if Miss Melissa was a fly on our walls in our home and told my husband about it. He seemed eager to try reading it to see my standpoint in all of this. I purchased a copy for him (mine was on my kindle and I also felt he could highlight and make notes on a hard copy.) He just recently got back on meds, so I understand he is not as focused as he will be and needs to be. Heres my thought tho......so far the notes he just keeps making are negative to the non-adhd spouse. He is still blaming me indirectly and pointing out that its "both of our problems" as the book has stated a few times. He can't focus on anything else but that. Um, hello......I need you to read the book, not read 15 pages in 2 weeks and point out the same sentence 3 times! Its hard for me to keep believing that we both need to work on it, when he keeps pointing out negative things about the non-adhd spouse. He repeats over and over, getting visibly emotionally upset "and states he wants to work on the problem," but isn't actually absorbing the book. I hate to say, it but I kind of believe him to be skimming the book, like in college where they teach you to read the first and last sentence of every paragraph to get the gist of it! I guess I'm just looking for some more suggestions for encouraging him to sit and read the book and not get ants in his pants every time he sees something he can toss my way to blame me. Thanks for the support in advance! 

P.S. he has alot of the other traits of an Adhd person, I just didn't want to get into all of them, just wanted to give a small idea of whats been going on in the past 8 months. 

PS he doe

How about validation? 

How about validation?  "Honey, you're right.  We BOTH NEED to work on things.  I'll do the things that I'm supposed to do, and you can do the things you're supposed to do.  Have you read about some of those things yet?"

summerwine's picture

I like that! Or how about

I like that! Or how about taking turns? Yes honey, I see that I do that and it's not right. Now, is there something that you do that could use a little work? Let's trade and if I work on that will you work on this? I wish I had someone to work with me and who would also make changes and not just demand that I do all the work and changing.

I have tried a few new

I have tried a few new things, and when I introduced the book, I said it was both of our problems, and that I was here to help. He actually told me that I have add or adhd the other day. He says that I go on and on, and that's why people interrupt me! But he fails to see that he's the only one that interrupts me! He told me that I go on and on, and everybody already knows what I'm going to say and that makes him think that I have a little adhd going on myself. I didn't know that "everybody knowing what I'm going to say before it comes out of my mouth," makes me have adhd too.  

MagicSandwich's picture

Stand your ground

Summerwine and Rose,

The only request here is that he read a book. That's it. Read a book.

But I guess even this small task isn't going to happen unless the person who bought this book and read it for herself and then bought a 2nd copy for him agrees to admit personal wrongness too.  Do you really believe an act of demeaning her own imperfections so he can lick his false wounds in comfort will incentivize him to behave kindly? In my experience, a single instance of subverting ones own integrity like this produces negative outcomes. Imagine if somebody were slapping you in the face and promising to stop on the condition that you falsely admit to slapping their face too. 

If he can't handle reading the book, that's fine. 


I guess that I don't see it

I guess that I don't see it as "subverting one's own integrity" to admit that one isn't 100% perfect.  It seems to me that the spouse is feeling scared and guilty and defensive (all the things that people with ADHD have a tendency to feel) and is lashing out a bit.  My suggestion was not to make something up but to admit the obvious:  we all play a role in our negative interactions.  Then, move on from there.

In my opinion the goal here

In my opinion the goal here needs to be that you both focus on what YOU can change...which makes perfect sense because neither of you can change the other. It is vital that BOTH parties in the marriage admit their fault. I remember a few times when I would have rather eaten dirt as to admit he was right, but after acknowledging his feelings (when he was right, of course...not just to appease him or keep the peace) it really made me more accountable for my actions to him, just as I wanted him to be accountable for his actions to me. 

You both need to know what issues the other feels need to be addressed. (what each other needs from one another) You both need to know and ADMIT your part in the breakdown of the marriage. What needs to stop is that either of you finger points and focuses only on what the other is/isn't doing and not on yourself. Give each other freedom to express what is missing for yourselves in the marriage...what you would like to see change (maybe focusing on the top 3 issues for now)...and once those 'goals' are clear, move past the blame and just start working on yourself.

If he feels, for example, that you're too angry...then acknowledge his feelings...and instead of saying "I wouldn't be so angry if you didn't _____" just say "I know I am angry and I know that has been my reaction and my choice for a while...and I am going to work really hard to stop behaving angrily".