I am really not sure what to do. Our relationship has devolved into just awful. My wife has thrown things at me, pushed me, criticizes me constantly. From her perspective, I’m withdrawn. She’s lonely. I haven’t planned things for her or for our family (kids 11 and 13). She believe I don’t co-parent with her and that she’s carrying the emotional burden of the home. And she is. In part because I’ve abdicated and in part because she’s simply elbowed me out. I do things with my kids, I spend time with them, I believe I’m a good father. All this context to write this:
We are both adhd but in this she presents like a the non-adhd spouse.
Friday we went to an outdoor on the lawn movie. I packed everything. I didn’t bring plate. I thought we’d all eat out of restaurant containers. She excoriated me and talked to me like I was an idiot. For her it’s about the bigger picture – what other details are you not managing? I can’t rely on you and I’m stressed.
Saturday and Sunday I got my daughter ready for her first overnight backpacking trip. We went through the checklist – but didn’t finish it completely. We packed up the pack and hiked four miles. We went to target for missing items.
At this point, with the checklist unfinished and the bag still packed, I make a bunch of assumptions. 1) we’ll finish it later, 2) her mother will want to go through it since she doesn’t trust me, 3) we’ve got two more days 4) her mother is taking her to the orientation on Monday (they leave Tuesday) so the two of the will figure the rest out. And then the day gets busy. I communicate NONE of this to my wife, who is out and about.
Fast forward to the end of a very busy Sunday. I made a big list of things to do for the backpacking trip, for the house, for our upcoming late August vacation. I’m crossing things off. But there was an email I didn’t read about everything needing to be ready Monday morning for the orientation and my daughter needing to bring a lunch. Well now it’s late and my wife just goes off on me for how she needs to do everything. She’s sarcastic, snotty and mean. But I have to admit that I validate the underlying anger. She’s frustrated and she feels alone and put upon. I wish we could handle these things differently, that she wouldn’t humiliate me in front of the kids. Or that she’d let me fix it and let it go. Or realize everything doesn’t have to be perfect. But it does stress her and I can see that.
SO here’s where I am. The whole family’s been diagnosed ADHD for about 2.5 years. I am on meds. I’ve got a therapist. I worked with a coach. I’ve listened to so many podcasts and read books and articles. But I can’t remember the plates and I cant remember to read the email. And I am so tired and angry. I am so sick of being yelled at when I am trying my best. I understand men stick women with the emotional labor. I’ve made suggestions about how to split things up and track them and she just says I won’t be able to trust you’ll do it.
I am at the end of my rope. I can’t take it anymore. I read the Orlov book and it’s us. But she won’t engage with me on it. I don’t have a choice but to divorce her because my self esteem has been worn to nothing. Yes, I forgot the plates and 100s of other things over the years. And no, I didn’t read that email and I made unstated assumptions. But I don’t know how to remember the plates and to read the emails. We can split, and I’ll continue to work on me and at least I’ll be yelled at less simply because we don’t be living together.
I am writing in the hope that someone gives some great advice that can save this marriage or help me remember the plates, though I am not hopeful.
I am at a point where I plan to say I can't figure out how to remember the plates or to read the emails and I can't figure out how to tolerate you treating me in toxic and emotionally abusive ways I respond to your real and often understandable frustrations.
(and yes I know it's not about the plates or the email)