Learning how to Cope...Reminding myself to breathe

First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to learn and share with others in my position (non ADD wife). The support and understanding feels extremely comforting.

My husband and I have been married for 14.5 years. I gave up many, many years ago ever expecting my husband to do chores. I may be the laughing stock of my girlfriends, but I got so sick of fighting. The constant arguement. Even if I was nice as sugar, me asking him to do anything was a problem. So, after about three years of constant fighting and many tears, I quit asking or expecting. If he lifts a finger, I figure it's gravy for me. The rest of the time, I do everything around the house (and now that two of our three kids are old enough, they help out.) The only thing my husband is responsibile for is the lawn and anything huge outside that I can't do myself or afford to hire done. I am blessed to be able to stay home, he has a good job, so I figure this is the trade off. I found out by moving the chore expectation out of the way, we fight A LOT less. (I don't necessarily think this set up is right or fair, but I find that even with me doing everything--bills, chores, kids, school stuff, etc -- it's more important to me that we don't fight than for me to be less tired!!)

My biggest issue, is the inconsistency of his attention on us as a couple. As previously mentioned in other posts, dating and the newlywed stage was unbelievably enjoyable. Back then we didn't know it was ADD but now I realize, that I was on the receiving end of the "hyper focus." And because it was a gradual decline, it didn't really effect me greatly, as we were having babies and redoing houses, etc, our "normalized" relationship didn't seem all that different from anyone else's (minus the lack of sharing household chores.) I just kind of accepted that our relationship was what it was, and occasionally we'd go out or have a really good connection, and I would greatly enjoy it. I have a tendancy to be an overemotional, extremely affectionate hopeless romantic type person, and I knew that there was a slim chance that I'd end up with a husband who would remain a lifelong "Romeo" anyway.

Well, recently, my husband met a guy at work who was going through some issues with his wife, and somehow their story of almost-divorce-turned-into-2nd-honeymoon-raging-romance inspired my husband to reconnect with me. Came out of no where. And I was THRILLED. We went from hum-drum to fiery passion like overnight. This is when I realized just how love-starved I'd been all these 14 years. I had self-soothed this void with shopping, writing, music, and kids. I didn't face it and try to fix it for fear of another arguement. This whole "reconnection" was almost an out-of-body experience for me. We were finally happy, finally completely connected, he convinced me I could talk to him about anything without him on the defense (and he proved it)...we went from once a month sex to at least once a day if not more. We dated, we doted on eachother, love letters, the WORKS. And then, almost as fast as it started, it left. And it left me EXTREMELY depressed and confused. I guess, all those 14 years, I had built up some kind of guard, a wall, callous. I found ways to cope (albeit, not always healthy ways--my "retail therapy" got a bit out of control.)Well, this "reconnection" tore down the walls, and I was open and naked and my heart was back on my sleeve. And now I feel like I got duped or something. I have one girlfriend who says, "Well be happy you had such a great time while it lasted (three or four months)!" Instead, I feel more sad than I ever have before, and I can't ever get through a whole night of sleep. I worry constantly, my mind never shuts off, trying to always figure out what the heck just happened.

I have attempted to talk to him about it, he apologizes, swears it's not me, just that work is crazy, he's tired (he's on 12 hour swing swift which I KNOW is horrible for an ADDer.) But honestly, I can't see anything going on any different now with work or life than when this wonderful romance was happening. Which leaves me feeling confused. As hard as I try, I continue to ask myself, what have I done wrong? Is he not attracted to me anymore? What did I say wrong? What am I missing? (and I'll admit, I question, Is there someone else?? and I hate hate hate to go there with my thoughts.) I almost wish this reconnection thing never happened, even though going through it at the time made me the happiest I've been in forever. I feel like, now I know what he is capable of. Don't get me wrong, our relationship is still way better than it's ever been, and he still does pretty good about not being defensive if we get a chance to talk about serious topics. I just feel so lonely and sad that whatever it was we discovered, is missing again. And I don't know how to handle it.

Finding this website was really helpful, I spent the first hour reading and crying my eyes out. Even though I knew much of what we've been going through has to do with some issue or another of ADD, reading and connecting with people that actually are LIVING through it like me is just...I don't even have words for it.

I just hope to be able to find the way to be able to let go of the pain and find a way to cope with the inconsistant attention from my husband. I love him like crazy, and I just need to be close to him. I get so tired of analyzing every moment of every day. Did he have his meds, has he eaten. Has he slept, has he smoked. What is his mood, is he in a good mood, yes/ good I can talk to him and be myself. Is he in a bad mood? then I have to keep my distance. I just wish I could relax and be myself all the time, and not have to dance to the beat of HIS drum all the time! Even though we hardly ever fight anymore, all those years of him on the defense and us fighting has left me gun-shy. I'm always seemingly afraid of setting him off, and now he even will say to me, "Relax! I'm just busy, I'm not mad." etc.


Thank you so much for letting me vent. It's been a long time coming! Thanks in advance for any ideas, advice, etc.