It's only a problem when it's a problem

Once in a while, I check in here, seeing if there are any experiences that mirror mine. It took me a while to realize that no matter how close, everyone's experience is incredibly different. So, this is mine...

When I first met my now wife, she was funny, impulsive, opinionated (not as a pejorative), intelligent and used that intelligence well. She's still all of that, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Her habit of simply talking over the top of me, or other people, has always irritated me. Unfortunately, it doesn't sit well with my own issues of feeling overlooked (from childhood). I could probably deal with the frequent interruptions, otherwise. It's like she's often only half there, or when we are talking, she has an idea but can't hold it until I finish. She tries to finish what I'm saying, often getting it wrong, instead of just waiting until I've delivered the information which would allow for a response based on the correct information, not her own speculation. Othertimes, she just talks over the top of me with an entirely different topic, as though I wasn't even speaking.

She has only recently been diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD, which only came about after our daughter, at age 11, was diagnosed with it. I've read a lot on the condition, especially Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. My wife ticks so many boxes.

The same things that irritate me do the same to my daughter, who has picked up some of my wife's bad communication habits as a way of being heard. I sometimes have to talk over the top, as well. It can be the only way of being heard. I can see my wife's and daughter's relationship becoming more and more difficult, and I worry for the future. I've pointed out to my daughter that mum suffers from the same condition she does and that's why she does it. But, like me, you can understand a thing, but dealing with it day in, day out, puts an awful strain on yor relationship. There are days where I just want to walk out, but then, that's also one of my issues, a tendency to want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It's been going on so long now that I'm always primed for my response. It's like the water table is full and it doesn't take much for it to overflow. The neural pathways are well trodden.

I don't want to live out the rest of my days like this (I'm 60), but nor do I want to leave my wife. I try really hard to put a lid on it. I may get snippy, but I mostly keep my mouth shut. One of the problems is that she said that previous partners have pulled her up on some of those behaviors and she hates it and gets instantly defensive. I feel like that kind of closes the door on me raising it. She takes medication, but really only so she can work really efficiently. I've tried several times over the years to raise it, but it never ends well and I often feel like I'm always to blame (another one of my issues!). I'm really bad at dealing with conflict, as is she. I think we're both terrified of the can of worms we might open.

I love her, and she's my closest friend, but I really struggle at times, and I hate seeing her ADHD affect the kids.

I'm sure that the only way forward is to talk, is to see someone, but I just don't feel that brave.