The loyal dog

dog  verb  1.  follow (someone or their movements) closely and persistently.

I am going to stop being a loyal dog.  I have not been loved but rather I have been ignored and taken for granted. I treated our dog better than dh treats me.

I am going to stop being afraid of being selfish. How can I expect anyone to love or respect me if I don't love and respect myself?

Loving and supporting and caring for someone else's wellbeing has not been working for me in this relationship.  I must find the strength of character to get a life away from the frustrations and chaos of his twisted reality.

Different dynamics with different people.

I think it's important to realize that just because you may choose to now behave selfishly in one relationship with one person, it doesn't mean you are a selfish person or that you are selfish in other relationships either real or hypothetical.  Relationships with different people require different dynamics and when dealing with someone who will walk all over you if you let them, you may need to behave quite selfishly in your interactions with them so that a) you can get some of your needs met and b) you will show them that they can't walk all over you.  But this does not now redefine you as a selfish person.  It simply defines you as someone who behaves selfishly when interacting with person 'A' because of 'a way they are.'  It also shows that you are a dynamic person who realizes that each of your relationships is unique and requires different types of interactions, but that these interactions don't define who you are as a whole.  Good luck!

Same Boat

I feel like I am in the same boat you are.  I feel like we have to choose between selfishness and selflessness. Even before I met my significant other I had a problem with guilt, but since being in a relationship with him my feelings of guilt have skyrocketed.  I feel like leaving him would be like abandoning a baby seal. It weighs on my conscious. I feel it is my responsibility to help, but at the same time it seems the ship is sinking and I am going down with it. And guess what? Capitan Ahab is at the wheel and he is mad. I want to help. I want him to be happy. But not at the expense of myself.  Sometimes I just get tired of helping.  Actually, I am tired of helping.  I don't want to help anymore.  It is difficult to justify supporting someone when they behave so irresponsibly.   

Revenge

Capitan Ahab is at the wheel and he is mad.

Yes, that is what it feels like.  He is shouting orders as though he must tell the staff how to do things.  But he has no compass, map, goals or compassion for the crew.  Just a blow-hard determined attitude of entitlement and a loud demanding voice.  Everything is unmanageable while the boat is asea and someone with their own personal agenda is in charge and bamboozeling everyone around them with determination to have things their way.

Captain Ahab: I'd strike the sun if it insulted me!

It seems I am the whale that must be damaged by his need for revenge against the world.

Puppies are more fun

What I mean about being a loyal dog is this:  It seems the best wisdom we can glean from what I have read and researched is to get the ADDer diagnosed and on medication.  Then try to understand, have compassion and empathy and help by watching and listening to them, making them feel valuable and saying thank you to them constantly, appreciating their contributions.  Then let the small stuff go.  Then aide them in their organization, telling them exactly what it is you need.  Then, if those things don't happen, let it go.  Don't expect too much.  

Dh is too old (with high-deductible-health-insurance) and in denial to get diagnosed.  He does not make enough money to support the family.  He has not saved for retirement and has bills he doesn't pay for a business he started. 

My only options have been to follow him around, being watchful of where he drops the balls, makes the messes, lets things go.  This means things like, the bank calls to tell me yet again there is not enough money to pay for the automatic withdrawals, the electricity gets turned off, his car breaks and he has no money to buy another, people come to the door to say he owes them money...yet he assures me he has paid them. He lies.  I can let him be and lower my expectations but by being his wife, I get to have the distinction in the community and in my own mind that I (we) do not pay our bills.  And I have no way of knowing how he spends his day, spends his money or how much money he earns until it is tax time and he doesn't have enough money to pay the income tax.

Now, it is the ADD/ADHD wisdom for me to remember to speak to him in positive, nurturing, supportive tones and take care of myself.  And not judge him.  I was his buddy and licked his face and his wounds.  But I am not a dog without feelings myself.  I am a woman with needs and feelings and I am scared to be wife of someone who just doesn't take care of his responsibilities and seems to not be able to care for me. We are parents and grandparents. He is a playful pup wagging his tail at anyone who will give him attention and pat him on the head.   I am a mess because I don't know what he is up to.  He is so secretive he sleeps in his clothes with his cell phone in his pocket.

I am here on the other side of using the tools of empathy, compassion, understanding, gentle reminders.  I have not been loved.  For all the sacrifices and compromises I have made to a life with a person with ADD, I am not loved. I have been a loyal dog.  And new young puppies are so much more fun.

I may be side-tracking a bit,

I may be side-tracking a bit, but part of what you wrote I had a question about: 

"It seems the best wisdom we can glean from what I have read and researched is to get the ADDer diagnosed and on medication.  Then try to understand, have compassion and empathy and help by watching and listening to them, making them feel valuable and saying thank you to them constantly, appreciating their contributions.  Then let the small stuff go.  Then aide them in their organization, telling them exactly what it is you need.  Then, if those things don't happen, let it go.  Don't expect too much."

Are regular, happy, non-ADHD marriages like this, too, do you think?  How much is ADHD and how much is just "being a guy"?  Are my expectations too high thanks to TV/books?  I find myself tired and mad about having to do all of the above, just to get him to load the freaking dishwasher without sighing, but then I wonder am *I* just being selfish?  All of the therapists/books have told me I need to do these things, (only they label it sometimes as "communicating better" - "he can't read your mind," etc.) and I know relationships take work and compromise.  *Especially* when he is trying and making some improvements then I really feel like that's right, that must be what marriage is.  But then my friends will say something about their husbands supporting them, or just giving them a hug when they need it, and I think, now did they specifically *ask* for a hug? LOL  

I'm starting to wonder if I've been swayed too far toward I guess enabling, and if so, then there IS something better out there, something not so darn hard, and I want it.

Sorry I'm rambling, but this is my thought process all the time - back and forth.

Being Nice

There should be a diva school to re-train us "nice girls" into grown women with courage and confidence. We need to have a voice and make rules of our own and not be so sensitive to others' well being that we forget our own.  Would we like ourselves better? I don't know.  I only know that being nice to my dh has not worked but has backfired big time.  I was taught to be nice.  Now being nice is looked down on and we are blamed for "enabling" then and causing them to be how they are to us.

"Being bad is the new good and being nice is the new stupid."  What a world we live in today!

You see, AmyT, I process back and forth too.

 

Being nice in oppressive circumstances is to be mistreated all the more.

ADHD vs. everyday life with a Dude

A Dude forgets to empty the dishwasher.  My ADHD hubby asked his pal to yank the appliances out of the kitchen, haul them away and knock down a wall so he could "surprise" me when I got home from a trip since he knew I had talked about someday remodeling the kitchen.

A Dude goes to a dinner party and tells a joke that isn't funny because he messed up the punchline.  You roll your eyes affectionately at your friends.  My husband started telling a rambling tale to the very very nice elderly man trapped seated next to us in which he attempted to pay tribute to the man's roots by speaking in his wasp approximation of an old Brooklyn Jew, a voice I'd never heard before and cannot fathom where he channelled it from.  Husband ignored both my attempts to kick him under the table and the aghast looks of all within earshot.  Silence finally.  The dinner guest answered quietly, "I could respond but I'd have to insult you."  My husband nodded without processing this, smiled and resumed chewing his dinner.  PS: this man was the father of our host.  PPS: I had a great affection for him and this turned out to be the last time I saw him alive.

A  Dude, feeling hospitable,  invites his brah over to watch the game without asking and then expects you to cook dinner for everybody.  My ADHD husband invited his depressed cousin home to live with us without asking me.  Then expected me to take care of my toddler, my 2 month old, my spouse and the crying mess in the spare room who treated me like the maid, hit on the babysitter and then tried to kill himself.

A Dude buys you a gift out of love but gets the size wrong.  My husband walked past a shop near work that sells high-end lingerie to call girls and had an impulse to buy a present for his tall wife who had just had a baby and was nowhere near a lingerie body yet.  He purchased an expensive silk teddy.  It was so short, I couldn't figure out what this was or where I should wear it...he told me I could wear it when we "go dancing".  We never went dancing, ever.  Only when I tried to return this thing did I realize it was not a dress but lingerie from a sketchy store, half of a set that came with a long silk robe which DH of course did not buy. 

A Dude forgets to tell you your sister called and she wants the crockpot back.  My dear husband forgot to tell me I got a business call, which cost me about $15,000.00

Sometimes a Dude puts the phone bill in his pocket and forgets to mail it, this might result in a $25.00 late fee.  My husband opened a tax bill, got scared, put it in his sock drawer without telling me about it, and finally showed it to me after we had past the deadline to reply and had to fight a $70,000 judgement.

A Dude has a hard day at the office and comes home to vent.  My husband got fired, ranted.  And got fired again and ranted.  And...

Sometimes a Dude says "I'm sorry" so he can start to make it up to you because he sees how bad you feel.  Sometimes, rarely, my husband says "I'm sorry" so I can start to cheer him up about how bad he feels. 

If you are on this site it is unlikely you have Dude problems.  Those people don't end up here.  They find therapy by having a girls night out and laughing about their spouses together--something I deeply wish for all of us someday.