The Importance of Listening

I write this to anyone that may be starting out in their marriage. I am 40 yrs old and have been married for almost 22 yrs. If it wasn't for our 16 yr old daughter, I am sure my wife would be gone by now. I have known that I was ADD since we were married, but only really acknowledged it about 10 yrs ago after seeing the challenges my oldest daughter was facing. I started taking medication and it makes a world of difference with the anger and frustration. However, I have taken a toll on my wife. I moved us around 14 times in the first 11 yrs of marriage. I started a career that kept me away from home 3-4 nights/wk for the past 12 yrs. But most importantly, i had a vasectomy when I was 24 because we had 2 children and I knew that we could give them things I never had. All of these decisions I made with good intentions. When I made them, I was not aware of my wife's disagreement. But if I had really listened, thought about what she needed, then she would be a lot happier with me today. So, if you are ADD, STOP! Listen to what you spouse is telling you, before you act. If you are the Non-ADD spouse, you may have to hit the other over the head with your wants and needs. Otherwise, you could end up resenting the person you love in the future. 

The breakdown in

The breakdown in communication is devastating...such as your example. Most of the time we do feel like our 'needs', even when spoken clearly and standards lowered to below what we ever imagined we could 'settle' for, fall on deaf ears. So we wait, and we grow resentful.

It is very important that you now realize that you've made so many HUGE decisions without considering your wife's feelings...but what is most important is that you make the most concerted effort ever to never let it happen again. Give her a 'code word' and allow her freedom (free from fear of your anger or your invalidating her feelings) to use it when she feels you are doing this again. When you hear it, STOP and LISTEN, and proceed in a way that makes everyone happy. You've won half the battle already...I wish you much success!