I'm the wife with ADD--coming out of the ADD fog (newbie here--go easy on me)

I was diagnosed in June 2009.  I will tell anyone that Adderall saved my life.   For 30+ years I felt like I was living in a fog, and now, I feel more normal and more myself than I ever have.  The medication has brought so much clarity.

So what happens when you come out of the fog, and realized that a lot of decisions that you made in the fog (ie, marriage partner) were the wrong ones?

I knew that when me and my spouse were dating, that he was not the right one for me. But I did not want to break up with him because I didn't want to hurt feelings or cause conflict.  When he told me he loved me, I didn't respond, because I knew I didn't, but I didn't want to hurt feelings or cause conflict.  So I said I love you back.  Then came the engagement.  Red flags everywhere.  But I continued on...because he was a good guy.  He is 10 years older.  He had a stable job.  We didn't have anything in common, but the sex was good.

Why did I continue??  I was worried about what other people would think of me--his family, my family, my church family--if I canceled the wedding.   I was living for other people and their expectations (real or perceived).  When the marriage counselor asked me what I loved about him--I really didn't have an answer.  I think I made something up.  To say that I was a people pleaser is an understatement.  And I'm sure like a lot of young girls, I was in love with the idea of getting married.

Two years into the marriage I went to the pastor for counseling because I wanted out.  I was still in the fog, but I couldn't put what I was feeling into words.  Maybe I was crazy. 

(We went through counseling back in '09 with the ADD diagnosis for me---because I had to fess up to some major debt.  I am a recovering compulsive shopper.  (classic ADD symptom)--another post in itself)

Fast forward to now--8 years of marriage plus 2 kids.

I have thought about divorce from day 1.  There has never been a day where I haven't thought about divorce.  I'm not sure that is normal.  Like I said, he's a good guy, but I feel no emotional attachment.  I say the right words, and do the right things to go along with life.  I put up a good front.  My MIL thinks I freakin superwoman and a perfect mom. 

But I'm miserable.  I'm on medication for depression now--which is soooo NOT me.  I am the cheerleader--positive--optimistic--glass is half full...Hubby doesn't know I'm on depression meds. 

I hate the cliche' statement--I love him, but not in love with him.  But that is how I feel.  He loves me, but I feel nothing. 

I know love is a choice, happiness is a choice...yada yada yada.

But I really don't think I loved in the first place.  So again, I feel crazy.  It's like I woke up and realized the reality- and ask myself-What the hell happened?  How did I get here? 

So my question again is, what happens when you come out of the fog, and realized that a lot of decisions that you made in the fog (ie, marriage partner) were the wrong ones? 

I'm going back to our marriage counselor on Friday to talk through this, but thought I might just put it out there for you, too.

What do you do when you come out of the fog?

Welcome - I'm so glad you got a diagnosis, and feel more like yourself on your medication. 

Even though you complain about your husband in this post, what I'm sensing is a lot of self blame.  You ask "what happens when you come out of the fog, and realized that a lot of decisions that you made in the fog (ie, marriage partner) were the wrong ones?"

I think the first thing to do is forgive yourself for making those wrong decisions and resolve to life the best life you can given the circumstances.  Even if you divorce your husband, you can't 'ungivebirth' to your children.  And they will be a link to your current husband for ever. 

You get to be mad that you didn't experience the thrill of romantic love when other people in your culture generally get to (of course there are lots of folks all over the world who don't choose their partners and do grow to love them - I hope that gives you hope.) Perhaps devote 15 minutes a day to being really mad about the consequences of the bad past decisions, and another 15 minutes a day to learning to be grateful for the good things in life?

After you are able to forgive yourself (you did the best you could possibly have done given the circumstances) my guess is that you will be able to look at your DH and see if being married to him is 'good for you, good for your kids.'  Does your relationship help you grow as a person?  Do you think you could be happier with someone who you fell in love with -even after the infatuation has passed? 

Since your MIL thinks you are superwoman, then I would guess that you don't even tell other people (DH) what your needs are.  You probably don't even know yourself yet - which is ok.  I think it's important to establish yourself as a person of integrity - by which I mean to let your husband know that you are 'going through big changes and trying to grow as a person, which means that you are re-evaluating what is and isn't working for YOU in the marriage. And you will keep him posted.'  But I wouldn't get into the whole 'I didn't really love you from the beginning' story because....well....because it's so not his fault, and the only reason you could have for telling him that is to cause him great pain.  So integrity calls you to be honest about the present situation, but silent about your perception of the past.   Remember that the actual past is lived and gone, and that what you are talking about now is your perception of the past, which may, no, will, change again many many times as you grow.  Be gentle with yourself...you are only '2 years old,' right?

Peace,

ADDMomma