We have been married for 14 years. I came into the marriage with a history of depression. There is no question that the holidays have been a trigger of sorts bringing me into low moods. However, my wife comes from a family significantly affected by ADHD. She has all of the hallmarks of it - hyperfocus, distractibility, forgetfulness etc...
We have gone through some really bad years where divorce was seriously considered. We always seemed to be angry at each other. One of our issues is that I would complain about lack of sex/intimacy and she blames all of our woes on my depression. I have always had problems with the fact that pretty much everything in her life takes priority over me. On her side, division of chores was a big issue for her. Other issues have been over her refusal to go back to work after all of the kids were in school. There was never any resolution and the same issues kept popping up over and over. To address my contributions to the problems, I engaged in therapy and obtained medication. I am happy to say that my depression has been largely alleviated. l also made concerted efforts at holding up my end of things around the house. But even after alleviating the depression from our relationship and , she still seemed constantly angry at me.
After addressing every issue that she had communicated to me and her still being angry at me, I began to mention divorce (prior to that, it had been her that brought it up). I told her that I had done everything humanly possible to address her issues that made her angry and she was STILL angry with me. I told her I can do better than living life with some one who cannot be happy with me.
Pretty quickly after that, she went on medication for ADHD and it was as if a miracle had occurred. All of the sudden, she was able to pay attention to me and communicate on a deeper level that we had previously. Things were much better.
She has stayed on the medication and does not seem to have the constant anger towards me, but some of the ADHD patterns continue to haunt our marriage. Last weekend, I had a minor emergency and needed her help. She was at the hospital as her sister was being discharged (literally leaving the hospital - boyfriend and father were both there to help and no major medical issues for the sister). When I called her for help, she simply refused to help and told me to ask someone else. I was very angry, as me being any kind of priority in her life has always been an open question. She can hyperfocus on a million different issues, but can find little energy to pay attention to me.
This weekend, it was a crafts project. While I cleaned the house and did the laundry and drove the kids around, she put in around 20 hours on her crafts project. It's gotten so normal for her to "check out" on weekends that I pretty much just accept it. This coming weekend, she's going skiing.
After the hospital incident, I told her that I was angry that I could not rely on her for help and she informed me that"a hundred times out of a hundred - she would choose to stay with her sister. Ouch. When we tried to talk about it, she simply shouted over anything i had to say about how her ADHD affects our marriage and insisted that all of our issues are my problem, that this is just my holiday blues cropping up again and that I have to figure out how to handle it. If nothing else, I find it hugely disrespectful that she won't even consider my viewpoint on the issue. This is not the first time she has told me when I brought up ADHD that - this is how she is and I better figure out how to deal with it.
These issue is long standing but relatively newly discovered (last two year). ADHD is rampant in her family, so she probably has no idea regarding what non-ADHD relationships look like. I love her and don't want to break up, so I am just in a holding pattern right now. Keeping my distance and trying to figure things out. I becoming a bit hopeless. If she keeps blaming me and won't even acknowledge the role ADHD plays in our marriage - what hope is there?
So that's where I am - any advice on how to deal with this situation would be greatly appreciated.