Bear with me, there is a point to this.
There are so many things that I have done over the 25 years that I have been married to my H with ADHD that I pride myself in and I know that the normal man would love, even the ADHD man would love. The pain and disappointment enters when you realize that the things that YOU love and would like, even though expressed, don't get done to and for you. I have started to read the book by Chapman on The 5 Languages of Love and the idea is great. Love a person like THEY want to be loved. That is Bible principle, nothing new. However, this does not really work in a marriage where the person with ADHD does NOT seek help or meds or put an effort to make a change. I have talked a lot to my H about things that make me feel special and things he does that make me feel unseen. He knows it all.
It's funny how he always expresses thanks to me for things that I do that make HIM feel great, like saying goodbye to him before I leave for work everyday while he is asleep, since he doesn't work (yeah, look at my previous post). At times I get upset and leave without saying goodbye because he can get up to use the bathroom, see me, walk right by me and go back to bed without a word, but he feels awesome when I wake him for 2 seconds to say goodbye. Is it a nice thing to do? Yes! I know that would make anyone feel great. However, when only ONE person makes that effort, it is depleting of energy. One time he even called me to tell me that it could have been the last time we saw each other and I didn't say goodbye so I turned around, went back upstairs and went to the bed to hug him. But he does not make ANY effort to get up with me, maybe have coffee, etc. I know, this is what I would love but to constantly be let down UNLESS I am on his back, waking him up, making the coffee, he won't do it for more than a day or two. Yet if he tries waking up like early once, he says he loves getting up early since it makes him feel productive, then the next day, back to his ways since he is an insomniac that knows he needs meds and doesn't go to doc or even pop a Benadryl.
I am big on texting and communicating and he can go hours without a word. I have told him how this makes me feel and he always falls back on his ADHD and forgetfulness. I text him and there are times that he hasn't even opened my text. On Tuesday, he made plans to see his guy friend who has his own wood shop and have some beers and cut some wood. He never said a word to me the whole day, since I left for work at 7:30 AM. So I get home from work at 5PM, no dinner which is fine since I am grown, and I don't even know when he got home since I went to bed at 10:30 PM and he still wasn't home. I didn't make a fuss since it's time for me to be alone and at peace but it's not considerate.
SO....I said all that to say this: why should I feel guilty for not saying goodbye before I leave for work? Why should I feel guilty for going to the gym after work to lose these 100 pounds that have the word "depression and anxiety" on them for so many years? Why should I feel guilty pulling back on the gift giving when I get no gifts but he loves and takes all of mine? Why should I feel guilty for putting myself first for once? Why feel guilty for doing my best to reach MY goals since apparently reaching OUR goals together is something that I can't count on? Why should I feel guilty for going out with my girlfriends after work if I know he is alone at home when on other days he comes home late and thinks nothing of talking to me for 13 hrs? For years I have been loving, not that I will stop, for years I have put a halt to my life to coddle him so HE is not alone, abandoned, sad. I have stayed home so he wasn't alone at home. I have not gone to the gym since he promises he will go with me and doesn't. I have stopped walking on the track since he says his knees hurt when he walks. I have felt bad not making dinner. I have felt bad being less than perfect. Yet he knows his behavior hurts me, makes me feel like less than a wife but continues to do it, and refuses therapy, meds or just making schedule changes. A simple alarm to remind him to make time for his wife (never thought that would ever be needed while we were dating and he smothered me) would be awesome and I have suggested it.
But ONLY WHEN HE IS READY will he fix any of this. Now, what will I DO FOR ME? 2016 is 21 days old and I have thought about what I want. I will not feel guilty for making 80% of my life amazing when 20% that is my marriage is not what I thought it would be. This is not my fault, I shouldn't feel guilty. I need to remember that if he feels certain things are important to HIM then he will do them in his due time. If he doesn't do them then its his choice. He can certainly prioritize when it comes to what he likes, which includes anything that a teenage boy would like. He can certainly step up to the plate to impress other people, mostly women that are blown away by his charm and charisma. He has a high IQ and is very aware of his failings in our marriage. So why should I feel guilty...I shouldn't. He himself has called me a beautiful and kind person and said I deserve more than him. If he is not willing to be what I deserve well then, at 43, I have no more time to waste on waiting. He had me since I was 16 and still here we are. It's such a shame for him because of his pride, he has halted the amazing life and marriage HE can have. The clock doesn't stop for anyone. He will be 48 next month and will be in the same spot he was at long ago, since childhood. I can no longer try to fix anything but myself.
Guilt no more.