Ok many of you here know we are almost 5 years post-diagnosis with a very happy solid marriage. We definitely have ADD impacts, but patience on both our parts as well as regular work, meds for my ADD-I husband, and coaching have made our challenges no worse than any other couple trying to navigate life when one is from Mars and one is from Venus....at least my assumption is that our issues are roughly the same based on what my friends complain about in their husbands :)
Trying to figure out if something is ADD related or not. My husband and I discuss how something needs to be done.....for example (definitely not the most important example of this but it works for demonstration purposes) we have 2 small decorative shelves in our bathroom for all the detrius needed to get ready in the bathroom in the morning. His shaving cream, deoderant, hair gel, etc all go in one section and mine in another. We have a large double sink and if things aren't put back, things start to look messy in a HURRY. My husband usually fails to notice mess, so the goal is just to have the habit of putting stuff back on his shelf after using it.
He'll do well for a while, then he'll do crappy for a while and he doesn't seem to get himself back on track once things start to slide. Please understand I KNOW that things slide for everyone and that we'll all have mornings when things don't go back. My things never are off their shelf for more than a couple hours because we are in that bathroom many times through the day and if things get left down, I see them and put them up......not so much him. So eventually when I get tired of dealing with the mess, or I get tired of putting his stuff back, I mention that the counter has been getting a little messy, and I will almost ALWAYS get a response similar to.....
"Hey I put my stuff back sometimes!" Umm firstly, WTH??! since no one said you didn't, and secondly (and really my biggest issue) when did sometimes become the standard that we were going for?
Maybe it is "Hon, I have done the dishes every day for weeks, I think you need to refocus on helping in that area" Response "I am pretty sure I did them a week ago Sunday" Again firstly, whether you did or not, 'weeks' is still a correct term and what you did is no where near our deal as far as dishes and stuff. And secondly, once in 2 weeks is NOT our agreement, so why are you acting like it is?!?!
Do I ever slip up and say, "you never do the dishes lately" Sure I do, but honestly a good response to that is not "I did them 2 weeks ago" I mean that is kinda proving my point, right?
If I say, he has been a really poor communicator and I'd like to work on our communication skills, I will often get a response like "I am better than most of our friends' husbands" UMMM?!??! #1--How would you know that since you are not there communicating with them. And #2--based on my knowledge of what my friends say, he is probably right, BUT that is not the standard of our communication goals. Sometimes it sounds to me like he is saying "I am not the worst communicator on earth.....or among our circle of friends.....so why would you complain about me?" If I am angry at him, I will get the "I am a much better husband than a lot of husbands"--this is the one that sent me over the edge the other day. You live in no one else's house, so how can you judge what kinda husband they are? Again I think he is probably right........based on my reading he is better than many, many ADD-I husbands and I give him props for that,
But again it is sounding like he feels as long as he isn't the WORST husband, there should be no complaints.
So here is my question, when you are comparing your standard of doing things with what you imagine to be acceptable amounts, what is the standard in your head?
I get so frustrated with this logic that I sat him down and had a convo about it.......I am not sure he understood me. I was VERY choosey about what man I picked to marry because I LOVED my life as a single person. When he was trying to get me to go out with him (and risk our friendship) I actually told him flat out that he'd have to be pretty great to compete with how much I loved being single. My standard was high. Of course he is better than many husbands, if I wanted a lousy husband, that option is out there for people, you know?
I told him the standard for comparision should only be, is our life together better than the sum of its parts........if it isn't better than the lives we had single, then we need to fix things in my mind, but when I said this to him, he was like "I guess" but he couldn't/wouldn't clarify the confusion......and believe me we know when "i guess" really means "I do not agree but do not want to talk about this any more."
I am an admitted perfectionist and I am working on it. But to me the obvious goal as far as putting your things back where they go would be 100% of the time, so if it was pointed out to me or I noticed on my own that my stuff was in the way, it is a quick "OOPS" and put it back. I would never defend that "sometimes" I do it right..........like DUH don't we all?
My communication goal is to understand my husband and be understood by him, whenever that isn't happening, I would like to fix it and I couldn't care less if someone else is worse than we are....I ONLY CARE ABOUT US. My goal as a wife is to be the best wife to ERIC that I can be. I want feedback from him so that I am not directing my efforts in ways he doesn't care about while ignoring what he does care about. I give him that same feedback and I couldn't care less what kind of husband anyone else's husband is when it comes to our convos about it.
Does this make any sense? Any insight into his thought process?