My personal Groundhog Day

Two years and three months post diagnosis and I have been reading, learning, posting, taking my meds without fail and being patient with my expectations about recovery and closeness to my DW. My situation is different from many hear on this site and the same. Repairing lost trust, remembering important dates, attention to my DW when she has had a bad day. I'm in a good mood most of the time. I'm proactive with projects and keep my deadlines. I read people better, I control my under-whelming and and over-whelming social personalities. I am employed, spend a lot of time with the kids, do a lot of housework. try to keep my promises, communicate better and don't shut-down, I exercise and have held the weight off for over a year. Sounds pretty good to me.

The big issue remaining is part of my cure. My Adderall helps make all the focus on these improvements. More energy, better mood, more level, not obsessed with food, not impulsively buying things as much (we all have room for improvement) This circular argument over my medication. It makes me skinny (I'm 5'-11'' at 185-190 lbs) a healthy weight for a 46 year old I believe. Stimulants make people skinny and need less sleep. The Adderall brings my brain chemistry to a normal level and I function better. Her point is stimulants make all people lose weight and need less sleep. My one point to her is these stimulants bring my brain chemistry to a normal level, evens the playing field. She is still mad about the positive changes in me. She does not see ADD improvement, but only my cheap weight loss and better disposition. Are the improvements not what we are all trying to accomplish here. To her I'm taking speed, feeling better because of the weight loss and more energy and thats it. And I get defensive when we discuss the medication. I get that she is angry about me getting the easy way out. Having ADD is "Great" I'm lucky to have it so I can take Adderall... She watches how much I eat and tells me when I am not meeting the minimum standards and telling me in public settings. I would never humiliate her in public about something like this. I have told her that I felt this topic would never get better without counseling, yet she does not want to go. I just had my annual physical and had the best results ever. I asked the doc about my weight and he said it was good, not gaunt, skinny or frail. I get told when people we know tell her they did not recognize me and I look much older. Only negative comments... I don't ever tell her what people say to me, like you look good... What did you do to lose weight? I know it is painful for her to hear these things when she struggles with her concept of what she thinks she should look like. She is so hard on herself... I compliment her every chance I get, not like every time I see her, but when she looks beautiful I tell her so. I thought this topic was trailing off as it has been about 2 months since the last squabble about it. It just pushes me down to a sad place where there is no resolution and it boils down to a non-understanding of what ADD is and how to treat the disorder. My meds are failing and I'm rambling, so I will say good night. I know this must sound so petty compared to the problems I read about on a daily basis.

Thanks for listening.

YYZ

My opinion

Just my personal opinion, but if my DH put the effort into getting healthy that you have I would be the happiest person on the planet!  Honestly if he was doing it in a safe, healthy way I would be behind him 100%.  But I can see where anger could blind your wife to the positives, she seems to think you got the "easy way out".  I am finding that I have anger I never even knew existed and while I have forgiven my DH for alot of things, I never let it go (even though I thought I did).  We had a very sincere and honest talk last evening (amazed even me) and it really made me realize that its not "just him".  Again I thought I had it figured out, but found that I was still blaming him for a lot of stuff.  We have a long way to go and I wish he would reconsider the meds (he says he is tired of feeling like a guinea pig) but I have to respect his decision as his and not mine.  Honestly I wouldn't want him telling me what to do and how to do it, so how can I do that to him?  Just keep doing what your doing, cause you seem to be doing well.....hate to sound like a broken record but give her time.  Its hard to realize that everything you thought you knew about someone isn't fact and that you cant even be pissed at the other person because its an illness and not something they could chose.  Stay healthy and keep up the good work....you got this!

Thank you, Needsalifeline :-)

The surprise sincere honest talks are very nice, as you say...

She pulled one of my "Classics" after what was a nice supportive conversation about something going on with her side of the family, then it turned into my "GHD" argument... We did not hardly speak afterwards and when we woke up this morning she was acting like nothing happened. I rolled with it as I know she had a bad day yesterday and then it ran over on me. The weight loss thing is huge and she is so critical of herself, then she gets to hear people tell her how they can't believe how much I've lost. I think this is dying down because I have maintained my weight for the last year and most people have seen me. We struggled with weight as a couple throughout our entire marriage, so I understand the resentment / envy, but not the continued anger. It has seemed to slowly improve, so maybe it was just a slip... Of course this conversation happened after 9 O'clock and my meds were gone and of course I got a little defensive and was surprised by the sudden spin to the topic and as we all know this is not when an ADDer is at his/her best.

I guess my main sadness is that this conversation seems to discount ADD as a legit illness, only focusing on the "Perks" I get from it... I will keep working on this.

YYZ

Weight loss and anger

YYZ,

I think I might be able to give you a clearer picture of what your wife might be thinking.  I can totally relate to weight loss struggles and the shame, anger and hostility that goes along with it.  In my opinion your wife sees herself as a failure, not because of anything you have done on purpose, but because everyone notices you.  Let me give you an example:  6 years ago I had NEVER had a weight problem in my life, I was always thin, even after two kids.  I worked out, ate fairly well and lived my life, enter appendicitis and a resulting secondary infection.  Due to the massive drugs they had to give me to kill the infection and the 3 months I spent on IV's because I couldn't keep solid food down and my metabolism was shot completely.  I gained 50 pounds in 6 months  and I am STILL working on losing it, to date I have lost 40 but that still makes me heavier than I was 9 months pregnant with my youngest son.  I work my a$$ off daily to keep my weight under control, because my metabolism will never come back.  I can totally appreciate her anger and hostility.....it sucks to work your a$$ off and have no one notice your effort.  I'm not in any way saying your not noticing her efforts, but if other people are noticing your weight loss and not hers or not even acknowledging her efforts, its gotta be rough on her.  Just my two cents worth...hope it helps :)

I think you're assuming too

I think you're assuming too much. She does know that your ADD exists, but she's focused on the weight loss right now. I would venture a guess that it adds to her insecurities 10 fold. So you screwed up and got defensive...move forward. Once she has had enough time to digest the fact that your weight loss does not = you leaving her/being better than her/taking the easy way out then she will come around. No one can say how long this will take. I would give the same advice I give non's "honey, I know that it may seem to you that the ADD meds gave me an 'easy out', but the truth of the matter is they have made me feel like a better person in my own mind in a way that has nothing to do with my weight loss. It was a side effect of the meds, but it isn't what I was going for. The way my mind feels, the way I am able to function in the world with the meds, it means the world to me. I hope someday you believe me that they make me feel like a better person and all of the physical stuff was just an added bonus." When this comes up, reassure her, explain to her the benefits you gain from your mental clarity and then walk away. "I love you, I do not want to fight about this...we don't agree, and that's OK." and walk away. Defensivness usually always = guilt for me. You know in your heart and soul that the meds have made you the better person...and the weight loss couldn't have hurt anything, but you could have lost all the weight in the world and would still be in the 'fog' if you weren't on the meds. This is not about her not believing you suffer from ADD..it is about her feeling threatened by, jealous of, and resentful of your weight loss. Just like she ignores/accepts/lets slide some of your ADD 'things'...you are just going to have to let this one go until it becomes a non-issue. Each time you get riled up about it, it keeps it alive and kicking. Do not blow it off, acknowledge her concerns, reassure her, and then walk away if you have to. In time, she'll grow to accept the new you and understand that the new you loves her as much as the old...and is better able to show it now too! :)

DF's picture

Now listen up Kids!

YYZ - Do you recall it was you who mentioned to me that perhaps there was something more going on with my wife than her issues with my ADD?  I took stock in that and I've read a lot about MLC.  If you haven't, you might yet find some things in there or you may not, but that's your journey to venture on if you so choose.  I go away from this site for two months and you go from "things are looking up" to "back in the cycle".  Sounds to me like your wife needs something that you "think" she does.  She probably respects your efforts, but it's not quite right yet so it only takes a small spark to light the fuse.  I think it's more than just not being happy with herself.  Women are complex to us for a reason and if counseling isn't the ticket then I would recommend you drop it from conversation.  You may think you're showing her you want to help, but she may see it as you not being happy with her and trying to make her into something she thinks she can't be. 

Dude for real!  If food is such an issue, stop going places to eat!  There will be occasions, yes, but if you're going on date nights and stuff, drop it from your event planner.  You have kids and I get that you all like to go to a restaurant for entertainment at times, but take it from a guy that has no money for such things - there's a poop pot full of things to do that don't involve going out to eat and setting the mood for failure.  Cars are not the only thing you're into so find something else.  I joined a book club for the first time in my life and I'm suprised as heck that I really love that $hit.  Maybe I really am a Dork  ;) .  I don't know, but I don't really give a flip.

Now with that out of the way.....

LifeLine I read what you wrote over the past two days.  Proceed with caution as we will change at the drop of a hat.  A shouting match from a week ago doesn't just go away because today he "seems" put together.  I've read that book about the languages, but my wife is not in a place with us to want to work on my learned lessons.  Embrace the opportunity, but until he proves it's legitimate expect a relapse at some point.  Your spouse sounds like a child so stop treating him like one - that's what Ella was telling you.  Treat him like an adult and you will avoid replacing his mommy.  You do not want to get into that parent/child dynamic because you'll just find yourself back here in the forums 5+ years from now.  If your spouse throws a tantrum because he can't have a cookie 5 minutes before dinner is ready do you raise your voice over his in order to be heard or do you pursue logic and inform him that dinner will be ready in a few more minutes, why don't you go wash your hands before you eat.

There's a reason ADD(HD) is sometimes referred to as a roller coaster and your post "Go ahead...." should point that out.  One day it's all fun in the sun and the next it's not.  You're riding on his high and lows.  Stop looking for the stop button and look for the exit instead.  No, not divorce or seperation, I'm not telling you to leave the amusement park.  Marriage is an amusement park of sorts with highs and lows so find the ride you want to be on and enjoy it.  The boy on the roller coaster may become a man and start checking out the hottie (you) on the ride across the way. 

I feel silly saying this, but I feel like an outside observer here.  A common theme for many here seems that people can't let go because they are worried their spouse will be better off without them.  Well what about you LL, YYZ?  Is is so selfish of you to cherish yourself?  We want so much to spend time with our spouse in happiness and joy in what we see as self discovery of feelings we didn't think we had.  Wrong.  We lose sight of ourselves, the part of us that our spouse fell in love with in the first place.  That part of us that we loved about being who we are.

Both of you - you're still holding onto something and not letting go.  YYZ its been too long, LL good luck - your still early, but it doesn't mean it will be a long road.  Find you and you will find your answers.  Letting go doesn't mean you're telling your spouse "See ya! I'm out of here!" it just kinda means that you're only responsible for your own actions and not theirs.

Needs, Sherri and DF

You guys are awesome! I cannot respond to all of this right now, but I will... (Still at work) You all have great points! Look for more later after I have time to digest (Pun intended) your responses.

Thanks for the support!

YYZ

Moving Forward/Overwhelmed

Another consideration is that your wife sees that you have made tremendous strides in your overall life.  You not only have embraced your ADHD diagnosis, but you've accepted treatment, PLUS you've become healthy and lost weight.  She notices it all, for sure.  However, she may be still feel "stuck" in her life and be overwhelmed with how to move forward.  It can be very difficult to watch your spouse change and move in a positive direction if you are accustomed to the status quo and unable to figure out how to do the same.

Who is this new man she's living with?  How does the relationship change?  How should she change to meet the relationship needs?  

Surely, you want to help her with all of these struggles, but as many have told me---a person has to WANT to move forward and embrace change before they can do so.  Keep up with the positive reinforcement and encourage her to join you with healthy meal planning and walks--focus on it as "time spent together" instead of exercise or healthy eating.

 

 

You guys are right...

I believe my DW and I both slipped backwards at that moment. That's pretty much it, there has been no coldness or disconnect since then. My defensive reaction was probably more of a surprise/mad reaction to how our nice conversation suddenly turned to the sore subject in which we just agreed to disagree. MLC... I have not looked into it, but my DW mentions quite a bit about being 43 years old and so on... Probably a bit MLC. Great points about how there is a new "Me" and how she connects. We both have always struggled with our weight and I know it has to be hard to watch my changes, seemingly without much effort other than my walking. My DW has always made better choices about what she eats.

I probably over-reacted, I'm still learning when it comes to reactions to body language and tone. We are still on the up-swing and I intend to keep it that way. Thanks for all the help everyone!

YYZ

DF's picture

quick note this time

It's not just about age.  MLC and ADD(HD) share one thing in common and that is that there is an extreme side and a mild end.  You and I are on the mild end and others in these forums speak of extreme side.  I've seen that people can go through MLC at 30.  I'm not saying that's what's going on with your wife, I'm just telling you to look at what you just said and compare it to what you say about ADD(HD)  ->  You thought it was something that only affected kids = my DW mentions quite a bit about being 43 years old and so on... Probably a bit MLC.

You're doing it all over again.......  ;)

In others words you guys are

In others words you guys are human. Surprise! We all have moments of weakness, anger, and fear. If we did not then thats when yiu ahoukd really worry. The trick is to try to move on from there, shrug your shoulders, give a gentle pat on the back- and move on. I have struggled with weight self image issues all my life- Im not heavy, but now that my DH has lost his weight (and if he did not look So unhealthy for other reasons, would actually look awesome) i have really felt pressure to not "indulge" in overeating (the jack spratt lyric keeps playing in my head!).. In any case, look at what happen as a golden moment to retest the waters of conflict and use your new found powers of clarity and insight to work it through. You are still amazing in your compassion. :)

Human...

That is an interesting comment... For most of my life I would not show any emotion when faced with conflict. This was how I protected myself. Come at me and you will Not get anything but a Stone Wall, or worse if I really did not like you, the "SEG" ($hit Eating Grin). My DW was always the reactive one to any situation and my seemingly calm reactions seemed to make us a good match. This dynamic has changed and I am still learning my proper responses to any situation. I used to say "My DW reacted quickly and did not mean things to get this way", now I need to Remember this and she has to realize the same thing, that I reacted quickly and did not mean things to get "That" way.

I am still ruled mostly by Logic, but I guess Robot-YYZ has upgraded to Hybrid-YYZ :)

YYZ

OMG I hate the SEG or the

OMG I hate the SEG or the smirk...or the very obvious, but.subtle.as.a.fart.in.church singing or whistling as if nothing is wrong. But my favorite would have to be the laughing at me like I am bat $hit crazy when I say something that offends his sensibilities or that he sees as criticism. (didn't understand why for a long time). Can you imagine how mind blowing it is to someone who grew up in an environment where conflict was resolved by ... well, by resolving it... "Hey, I didn't like that you did that" "Oh, sorry" "eh, it's OK" to suddenly fall into "LalaLand" and have a grown man laugh (or get pissed) when you express your feelings? I'm glad to know and understand now that it's a coping mechanism...but damn, for the longest time I just thought he was a real SOB. :o)

DF's picture

This may be old hat, but.....

Saw it written somewhere that makes much sense to me and thought of Lu, but it applies perhaps to you too in its own way.

"what men want most in a relationship is to not only make their partners happy, but know that they are responsible for that happiness."

This was a killer for me for quite some time.  Part of my dropping off the planet in my marriage was coming from the idea that what I 'thought' made my wife happy really didn't.  YYZ - I don't believe for a minute that your ADD is the reason you're in the situation you're in.  We are a bit too similar ( scary similar ) and our stories intersect in more ways than anyone else on here.  You've done the work, you're continuing the progress and you've proven yourself repeatedly.  Your wife sees it and notices.  She'd be a fool not too.  Hell even my oblivious kids notice my efforts.  Just the other day the oldest one complimented on how nice and clean the house looked.  If that blindspot noticed, then I know my wife did when she got home after work.

There are things we do for ourselves and there are things we do for our spouses.  Are you the same man you were when you both met?  Not externally, but internally?  Are you the Dude that caught her eye, the guy she wanted to know more about, or are you the guy that's trying to show her you're pleading and wanting.  I once told ADD Wife to do things that she wanted to do and not because her husband wanted her to do them - I was guilty of fraud.  Not so much these days.  I do things because I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.  Before i did them hoping my wife would notice.  I have taken steps to measure my activities so that she will not see them as a desperate move to gain her favor - that does aggrivate me, but I can't make her feel a certain way.

Where as I would argue that my relationship is in a tougher spot than you, I don't think our journey is too far off.  You and I are a bit of the same mold, but our wives seem quite opposite.  I'm looking into the possibility of shaking things up some on occasion.  I don't like being distant with my wife.  It doesn't hurt me, but there are times when I know there is something I should be doing - I just don't know what it is yet.  YYZ, my friend, you and I are missing something.  I've let go of the "need" to make my wife happy so that she can sort her own needs out, but there's something else I need to do that I can't quite get a finger on.........

The hard thing for me to figure out - if she desperatly wanted to feel over the years that she was important to me, how come my efforts push her away?  She sees that I'm different so the question really is how we re-establish trust.  That may just be the Golden Ticket.....

The hard thing for me to

The hard thing for me to figure out - if she desperatly wanted to feel over the years that she was important to me, how come my efforts push her away?  She sees that I'm different so the question really is how we re-establish trust.  That may just be the Golden Ticket.....

Because she doesn't want to let it go. She is staying stuck right where she is because it feels comfortable and safe. She likes it. She gets something out of it. Whether what she gets is unhealthy, but safe or whether she is perfectly content and happy to stay stuck right where she is, who knows? All I know is that no one stays stuck like your wife is accidently. I think the one thing you might be wrong about is that there is something YOU can do to change it. I don't believe there is anything more you can do...and whatever it is that she needs from you (assuming she does need something from you) to help her move forward..you cannot predict or assume to know what that is. If/when she's ready...she will let you know. Just my humble opinion. :)

DF's picture

That has been my thought

But it still remains the Golden Ticket.

"I think the one thing you might be wrong about is that there is something YOU can do to change it. I don't believe there is anything more you can do"

My gut is providing me with a direction, but timing will have to remain outside my hands.  I can't plan what feels right.  It just has to be, but unfortunatly it is only one event and not a complete restructure.  It's about trust, one step at a time.  I have to believe I will not return to what I was earlier this year and I have to make sure she knows I'm not trying to push her.  It doesn't help that my intentions are often misread and as much as that annoys me I know there's not much I can do about that.

Both = Right (Sherri and DF)

I only have a second to respond to you both, but my DW was where she wanted to be and felt safe there. I blew that "House of Cards" up when I unraveled. It was a facade of a happy marriage and it fell... Now I am different in many ways and see had no bearing on where I was going. Sure I said "I want to be a better husband/father" but I've said I was happy in the prior state of marriage too. Having her "Shields on Full" protects her from the next unknown (Assumed) melt-down from me. I stopped over-trying on showing how much better I am and just started "Doing what needed to be done".

Time has passed and I'm still with her, my new weight and appetite has been stable for a year, so Maybe the shield levels are dropping a little. In some ways I'm very different from 1992 Me, but in others I'm exactly the same. We all have our original DNA, but morph to our surroundings. My wife has said my ADD symptoms were never deal-breakers, maybe she feared some of the changes could be deal-breaker??? She was "Comfortable" the way things Were, before we knew about my ADD.

Marriage is REALLY hard on a perfect day even without the external forces piling onto it.

YYZ

DF's picture

And yet there's more....

True, it should be expected that with age and wisdom come differences of opinion so we are different from the person we were when we met our spouses.  My question really, I suppose, is have you found something in you of 1992 that you identify with today.  When my wife and I met I was living alone and confident.  I made my own decisions.  Somewhere along the way I bowed to her.  It's not all bad, but it developed a parent/child thing in my case, among other things.......  What I'm saying i guess is that I found my confidence again so I have something to back up my determination.  I detect sadness in you these past several days.

Your wife may say she was comfortable with the way things were with ADD, but that doesn't translate into happy.  You were not happy either - if you were you wouldn't be so dedicated to your fitness level.  Trust me, I'm lazy as hell - used to be at least.  It takes a different mentality to dig deep for the motivation to get your body and mind up for exercise and coffee doesn't do it day in and day out.  Maintaining my fitness level has reached a point in compromise.  I like how I look, for now, so I "maintain" it.  When I have more time I know I'm already interested in getting a bit more definition, but right now I have so much school work to do.

But that's just some of it.  I don't see the happiness in what was - for you and your spouse.  I was not happy with several things in my marriage and i saw them as things I didn't like about me.  I'll be the first to tell you I didn't communicate well and did a whole lot of assuming.  I'm not that guy anymore - I assure you of that.  Bottom line is that I had always been unhappy with the way I was handling things.  My wife's journey has given me an opportunity to look inside and address what it was I needed to reflect on.  I wanted to tell my wife how much I struggled and wanted to make her happy but felt like I was failing miserably.  Well now I am failing, but not as bad as I was for her to get to this point........

DF my ADD Brother from another Mother :)

1992 me is still the core of 2011 me. More gray hair, less hair, same general interests: American Muscle Cars, Audio/Video Equipment and a Brunette with Blue Eyes. I pulled out ALL the stops for my DW to be. I had never put so much effort into the pursuit of one woman before. When I was single I did what I pleased, of course, and since marriage I have had to learn patience and how to bargain shop for my hobbies. I gladly did this knowing it was part of the partnership. I messed up plenty on when to spend money on toys and of course I am A Lot better now.

I found my confidence in myself probably a year ago. I was working on improving my behaviors, losing weight, acting better, working better, less angry and hoped that time would be on my side with regards to my marriage. Time seems to be working as I see less and less ADD being the root of our past problems. As for sadness, I had a minor setback which started my Groundhog Day post. This passed quickly for both of us.

In many ways I am like a new person, like you, exercise was SO hard to get into a routine, now I know how much better it makes me feel, so it is more easily done. I think my DW thought all the change in me would lead for a change in who I wanted to be with. (Never True) And she felt pressure to try and match my change, but knew there was no easy way. I always get the "Easy Way" (Another perception I'd like to be rid of) Like you, my communication (In real time) was awful and Text Book ADD. Now this is improving, but yet another change to get accustomed to. Slowly moving to an improved version of the original core relationship? I hope so...

YYZ