I have never posted in a Forum before. I am the ADHD spouse (diagnosed for 17 years/medicated for 4 months). The lifestyle that I had when I was first diagnosed was such that medication didn't seem crucial (the MD who diagnosed said it was mild and I might be fine with out medication). Fast forward 17 years and I am now married to a non-ADHD (maybe) man who I adore. When we met and fell in love I was in a terrible place in my life. My mother had passed away three years before, my father was dying, my then marriage was in a wreck, there were professional challenges (soon to be ex-husband and I taught together in the same vocational training and it seemed best that one of us leave the job so I did). Also, I am a massage therapist and was suffering from carpal tunnel so badly that I couldn't do that work either. Very shortly after my father finally passed (I had hospiced both parents at home) I left my husband and moved in with the man who is my current husband. We were very happy, very in love, it seemed like the most perfect and special relationship. One that we had dreamed of and never thought would happen. I am grateful for the happiness of that time, grateful for the love - it made the grief and loss of both my parents' death, the loss of a teaching position that I loved and the loss of my livelihood. At the same time my then partner (now husband) was dealing with the effects of his pending divorce and trying to manage the impact on various related relationships and shouldering the burden of some financial commitments related to his soon to be ex-wife. All of this is background to say that we were happy but also under pressure and I was a total mess really. Enter the ADHD. So many behaviors that had not surfaced in quite a while came raging to the forefront and I was snippy and denying it and being needy, selfish and disappointed by things that I shouldn't have. The worst part of all of it (and the most damaging piece according to my husband) was my denial when he called me on things. My ungracious acceptance or non-acceptance of his feedback. It set us into cycles of accusing and denial until I felt lost and hurt and he felt crazy. These were not infrequent occurrences but at the same time we were enjoying our relationship, our loving and our vision of a life together
Fast forward again: 3 years later, in spite of these issues, he proposed and we married last October. Still happy (but still in our cycles) we carried on. One day my husband became totally frustrated with me for something and I explained that it was an ADD moment. He said "show me in a book where it explains that that behavior is ADD". I handed him "Driven to Distraction, opened it to a particular spot and he sat down and read it. He was stunned. (Mind you, when we first met I told him that I was ADHD and was planning to go on medication. He asked me not to). I don't know what he already knew about ADD but he did not do any research or try to find anything more about it nor asked me any questions. Shortly after that spotlight on ADD event he purchased a book about loving an ADD person. Since then - life has been hell. I have gone on medication and get better every day. I am more focused, complete tasks,am managing my time well and have been getting better about sarcastic or curt responses etc. I can also see my life more clearly in retrospect and feel very motivated about really managing the ADD. He is angry that it seems that the behavioral changes seem to fall in his court (accepting the manifestation of my ADD etc). I do not believe he is the one who has to change completely to accommodate me. Now he is full of resentment for my (admittedly) annoying, pitiful, needy behavior of our first years together and he cannot even see me in a positive light at all. Life since medication and ADD awareness is far worse than it was without. As a person with ADD I am well aware that we have an impact on our loved ones. I own that I have impacted him (it's curt responses and some childish disappointed behaviors - not financial devastation, inattention to him, embarrassing social behavior). He is sensitive to tone of voice and has some intense childhood issues and the curt responses and my denial that I was intentionally rude really affected him. He says now that he knows I would never intentionally hurt him AND he says he doesn't hold me personally responsible but we are in a terrible standoff. I have moved to the guest room. everything I attempt to say is perceived as an attack and he says he can't think of any of the good things we have experienced. What should I do while he goes through this process of anger and (hopefully) releasing resentments? I guess I deserve this but the frustration and pain of it all falling apart NOW is making my inner chaos worse. Even on the medication I am having trouble not experiencing ADD tailspin.
I am so committed to this marriage, to him, to managing the ADD. And I feel bad about his resentments (both that I caused them and that I have to experience the resentment). How have those of you who have gone through hell with your ADD partners worked through resentments to find your love again? Do we really have to lose all of our credibility? Thanks. Sorry this was so long I am just so sad and distraught. I feel as though I have lost the man I adore and that none of the explanations or improvements even matter.
All I can say is
Submitted by Bamaguy on
It sounds like you guys could
Submitted by dazedandconfused on
It sounds like you guys could really use some marital counseling. He needs to work through the resentment although I'm a bit perplexed about his reaction to all of this. You were up front with him from the start. It sounds like he was a non-believer until you showed him the book and now he's forced to admit that there is a legitimate problem. Some people feel relief when they find a definition for a problem while others don't because having a definition means it's real.
It seems that you are very committed to the relationship and want to mitigate the effects of the ADHD. You may have to go at it alone for awhile until he sorts out his issues. Have you ever asked him his thoughts on the situation or why he is so angry? Is there a time when you can just sit down and have a non-confrontational conversation? It seems odd that he is so angry you can't even talk to him. I know it's hard, but it may take superhuman strength for you to withstand his angry comments and resentment long enough to have a fairly productive conversation.
Best of luck to you.