I have been fairly vocal over the past 2-3 weeks as a new member with a lot to say. The postings have been interesting, informative, insightful, depressing, inspiring, and more--- all at once! I only wish there were more responses, more rapidly....
As a counselor, a professor, and (I hope) a thoughtful person, I would like to state some thoughts. For background, my husband was diagnosed with ADD about 4 years ago and is 43 years old. We've been married for 9 months.
Admittedly, I was hesistant to give much credence to his diagnosis early on as controversy abounds in some circles regarding whether or not ADD really exists or is simply a different "way of being". Still, I noticed early on how unique his responses were compared to others I had encountered.
After reading countless postings, articles, books, and well, frankly 3 years of getting to know my now husband, I feel more condident in acknowledging that ADD does indeed exist!!!!
All that said, I have noticed a common thread in many of the postings, and that is, that ADD is being attributed as the cause of a lot of marital discourse. I think there might be more than meets the eye here...
It is nearly impossible to tease apart what ADD, developmental lifespan issues, situational, and/or individual differences bring to the table in terms of helping or hindering a marriage. By lifespan developmental issues, I mean issues related to growing older and being in a long-term relationship (dare I say, mid-life transition?) People get bored. They grow apart. They come to terms with their own mortality at the most, and at the least, are formally introduced to it during middle-age. Secondarily, one needs to take into account situational factors: births, deaths, sudden losses, stressors of all kinds. Things that don't happen every day yet can effect one's mood state and behaviors. Moreover, one's unique, personality/temperment needs to be considered, not to mention one's cultural upbringing. These elements too, play a role in determining one's behavior. When was one born? Where? What was going on at the time? What were the influences of family? School? Life experiences? What about genetics? Add to all of that, the influence of drugs/alcohol, multiple diagnoses, etc.
ADD is but one factor and cannot explain all behaviors or all marital discord. There are a whole host of other factors as well.
At the end of the day, if our marriage is dissatisfying, it is interesting and possibly helpful to determine the reason, but the reason almost doesn't matter as much as the solution/problem-solving part of it. (This is the cognitive-behavioral theorist in me talking). Causes are somewhat important and interesting to discover yet do not solve the issue at hand without action. It is only when both parties acknowledge something is awry can change be implemented successfully.