Marriage, ADHD, and Sadness

I was married several weeks ago and my husband's ADHD is sending me into a terribly sad space.  I feel over burdened... like the parent in the relationship, and since I left my life behind bc we had to move to his community for work and family, I feel isolated.  He has gone to start treatment, but I can't stop being sad.  Honeymoon was awful... I might as well not have been there since he just wanted to play computer games.  He is a lovely, fun and generous man.  But financially he had kept so much quiet out of embarrassment (he kept forgetting to pay bills) that I got slammed after marriage with having to fix so much that my savings were depleted.   I know he loves me and I feel sad and guilty that I am sinking.  Bc he has a hard time with impulses (resisting them) I feel I have to always be pulling on some invisible leash or we will not be able to pay bills, or he will get lost in computer games again and not attend to his responsibilities.  I am so tired I could cry.  Yesterday I read a book about marriage to try to learn (5 love languages).  Today I threw it in the trash feeling totally hopeless after twice he shut me up bc he did not want to hear me remind him of things he needed to attend to.  He asks me to be his "secretary" and then rejects me.  Today we were supposed to have a date, but he hardly ever remembers to follow through and nothing happened.  This feels all like a huge chore and I feel alone.  I have degenerated into sitting in bed most of today just unable to get from under water.  I know he can't help it and Strattera is helping him focus at work.  I just feel exhausted.   My savings are gone and with them my sense of security.  He keeps saying everything is going to be fine.  He might as well be asking me to believe in fairies.  It looks like if I don't tackle it, it does not get taken cared off.  I have always been independent and work hard, so I am not looking to be babied.  But I feel like I got hired to a bad job, not married.  I feel totally powerless and yet I have no choice but to carry the load.  I entered a Him centered universe where ... besides my labor to keep things a float ... I might as well fade as a woman... There is nothing about me that is/feels like a newlywed.

How Long will this last's picture

Newly wed

I wish I could say some encouraging words to you, but all I can say is get help now or it will get worse.  Non ADHD spouses wait too long to get professional help, and sometimes it's too late. Does he acknowledge that he has ADHD.  Will he agree to counseling?

He does..and I know he feels

He does..and I know he feels awful.  He started on Strattera a week ago and we went to talk to our cleric.  But ADHD seems to be the center of the universe and I have to take the initiative and nurse him, deal and learn ADHD, and try to shore him up when his guilt hits, and recover when that same guilt makes him lie to me and hide finance troubles.  Last weekend I told him I felt exhausted and so stressed and needed a few days to find my ground.  Each day came and something came up, and each day went with me being unable to care for myself.  I had a thought today and asked him to join me in it.  I asked that we both would write very specific 5 things we would love the other to do to help nourish the love part of our relationship.  We are supposed to compare notes tonight (my feeling is that he will forget).  I kept it simple... some of them we used to do or do and I want to show him my heart is soothed by them and we should keep them before they stop completely.  This is my list: 1- Holding hands outside 2- When he opens the car door for me 3- Our chats in bed before we go to sleep 4- Fix my car so I am not stuck 5- One meal a week together alone no tv, or distractions.  I tried to think of things he has tended to do and can do and also likes.  I think they all sum up to "Please don't forget I am standing here."   Is hard to talk things out without thinking about every word to say bc I don't want to make him feel guilty, that would serve no good purpose.    I do feel I expected a husband and got a really big dependent.  Just like with any other dependent, they can't help it, you have to rise up to the obligations.  I find myself mourning somehow.  I am an orphanage child.  It seems now to me I'll never be part of something.  Everything is a battle, and the gear on my shoulders is taking me to my knees.

But you cannot look at it as

But you cannot look at it as though you should never have expectations of him because he "can't help it". Not being able to help having some natural behaviors that are part of a disorder is one thing, being unwilling to TRY to meet someone in the middle is another. Your list sounds PERFECTLY reasonable, and even if you have to compromise with him in some ways, both people need to have their feelings respected and needs met to a degree that at least makes them feel as though they have a worthwhile place in the lives of their spouse/significant other. Just as they learned shitty coping skills, they can learn not-so-shitty ones. It just kills me to see anyone (ADHD or not) act as though they simply.cannot.do ________ (insert anything here). There are ways, if the person is willing to try. This, to me, is ESPECIALLY important when the behavior (or lack of behavior) is hurtful to those who love the person. (again ADHD or not)

Indeed, there is a certain time when we all start to mourn what we thought we were 'getting into' because it seems like such a fairy tale at first. I know for me personally I don't think I would recognize a relationship that was healthy because I have always become too addicted to the attention...only falling in love after the fact. This is something I recently realized.

"I have to take the initiative and nurse him, deal and learn ADHD, and try to shore him up when his guilt hits, and recover when that same guilt makes him lie to me and hide finance troubles" ... I would suggest you start letting him nurse himself (or not) , continue to learn about ADHD and how you can manage it's affects on you without letting it destroy you, always let him know you love him and are willing to work with him, praise any progress you see, and hold him accountable for his own stuff. You licking his wounds, helping him not feel guilty (when he rightfully should), will only make things worse for you both. You have to start looking at him as a spouse who has a disorder and not a dependent. He isn't brain dead, deaf, or blind...he's probably acutely aware of what he's doing and if he's willing to work WITH YOU to do things differently, then that is your only role in treating or 'working on' his ADHD.

(((HUGS)))

Sherri