If you are in a loving and fun relationship for many years - at times strained by misunderstood ADD symptoms, and then finally ended because of responses to those symptoms, is there any way to get through to your ADD partner about the importance of this? To have a 'second chance at life' ?
Peaceful happiness has eluded us for many years, and can be summarized by typical scenarios where I (non-ADD female) would uncharitably attack/accuse my partner as a reaction to what I perceived as selfish/inexplicable/uncharitable neglect on my partner's part.
So this was the typical pattern. I would feel let down, and disrespected, and in turn would disrespect him. WE NEVER TALKED ABOUT ADD BEING BEHIND THIS. All I knew was that he took Adderall and I never considered it a serious condition...it was more a forgettable thought, like, "Oh he has allergies."
So I always interpreted his intentions in a very negative way. When he responded to me, I always felt that he was just acknowledging the hurt but not verbalizing anything caring. I always likened it to a kid being made to write "I will not be bad" on the chalkboard 100 times. It did not feel meaningful and I would get even more upset at the detached sounding acknowledgements that often sounded like excuses and lacked more passionate loving words.
In hindsight, I am cringing badly and my heart is disappointed in myself! He was doing the best he could, and was probably being made so discouraged by me. I was also discouraged because I could not understand why I was not worth more of an 'effort' on his part. Why I was always left in limbo.
ADD explains so much of this; I was sabotaging him and myself. He was sabotaging himself by not being more self-aware or communicative about what he was actually dealing with.
So after a downward spiral of this, he has finally given up and left me. We've been together for years. I love him and think he is the most special man I've ever been lucky to be with. But I have suffered a lot from his stonewalling and passive-seeming behavior. I believe he loves me, but has been worn down, and hasn't experienced being fully loved or accepted by me, because of these "attacks".
Please help me with some advice. How do I convey these tragic misunderstandings to him and inspire him to see the potential to get back to our loving selves?
I want to be a more serene and accepting person. I was not able to because I allowed his behavior to take me to a negative place. I can be in control of that. I can let go of that. I don't need to be constantly offended. It no longer seems as disrespectful or neglectful as it did.
The thought that it is "too late" is freaking me out. I am in agony over his absence and things being interrupted before we could ever actually scratch the surface of our challenges.
Most of these problems began in earnest when we began living together several years ago.
I really appreciate your advice...... !