Need Some Advice on What to Do?

After finding out about ADD and understanding it, I am able to start resolve my issues and understand some of the issues I have with my wife, but I did take a toll on my wife and right now we are "in house" separated.  I live/sleep downstairs after our kids are put to bed. We no longer talk, have not had any physical contact to include kissing and hugging since Jan of 2010. I have not heard the words "I Love You" since July of this year as well. Our finances have hit rock bottom and we are headed for a divorce.

Even though I had found a resolution to my issues and was able to start down the path to resolving them, she is not! She still has some deep anger, hurt and resentment towards me, along with losing herself along the way. She has asked me for space and time but up until about 3 weeks ago I would not give it to her, maybe it is the man in me and/or the ADD but I could not give it to her. She along with God finally made me see that it was what she needed so 3 weeks ago I moved downstairs. It has been one of the hardest things for me to do! I hate it, I hate not watching TV or playing games with her or play with her hair or have her hand rest on my chest when we are in bed.  I hate it that when the kids get up in the middle of the night she is the one who is dealing with them, I cannot hear them when they get up. I have offered to sleep on the couch but she has not answered me about that.  We will not talk about any important issue at this time, just kids and jobs and other people.  Right now we are roommates who just like each other and share a house.  Together as parents we rock, we are on the same page and are very much together on that front but anything else we are just passing by each other.  I was demanded by her to either take these steps which was to start seeing a counselor, the possibility of taking medication and to find some resolution with my issues or risk watching her leave. I know that life in the last 3 years has not been kind to her, dealing with me, our finances and her own struggles with life. I am not a patient person at all and seeing her and I drift further apart is tearing me up inside! I finally decided to "disconnect" from her; I am nurse by trade so I used this when I became too close to long term patients that either passed away or would leave.  I would disconnect from them, make myself not feel anything towards them so the pain would not be there.  I have done this to the one person who I do not want to and I am scared that we will drift further away and that I will lose her!  Do I just address my issues, concentrate in making myself better and hope that it will enough for her to come around?  Do I not worry about her?  Do I do anything?  I am lost, she will not talk to me, I do not know what to do or do nothing.  Any advice would be appreciated, I do mean any!  Just need some advice from people who have actually experienced life/marriage with ADD.  I do like reading now and have ordered the following books, " The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate" and "The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Assertiveness Motivation Selfe)" for some insight, at the same time I would like to have some advice from anyone willing to give it.




i know EXACTLY what you are going through...

...because I am actually, believe it or not, going through almost the same thing. For example, my S.O has always blamed me for most of our problems and would keep giving me ultimatums about seeking a therapist, taking meds if necessary, doing this and doing that, and after many distracted thoughts, I finally decided to take all the steps necessary to save my family. HOWEVER, I feel as though I have met every request he has asked and I STILL feel this disconnect or its just not good enough. He actually told me that I did not respect myself and that through me off guard and I got extremly hurt which made me then extremely angry, because why would he say such a thing when I have been trying and doing my best for not just me but for our 3 year old and him, our family!

You know with my ADHD, I immediately think the worst, get paranoid and want to act out but am trying, like you said "I was demanded by her to either take these steps which was to start seeing a counselor, the possibility of taking medication and to find some resolution with my issues or risk watching her leave. I know that life in the last 3 years has not been kind to her, dealing with me, our finances and her own struggles with life." You honestly took the words right out of my mouth. And I am where you are, in regards to " Do I just address my issues, concentrate in making myself better and hope that it will enough for her to come around? Do I not worry about her? Do I do anything? I am lost, she will not talk to me, I do not know what to do or do nothing"
In my case, it is HE, my signficant other (S.O.) that has disconnected from me, for 5 weeks he did not want to talk to me but I still called, texted, emailed, whatever I could to not create more distance or disconnect but that did NOT work. He hasn't told me he loves me in 6 weeks and counting and that is the worst part because I tell him but have started to not want to because after hoping he will say it, he doesn't and that is just heart wrenching. To top it off, he sometimes gives me mixed signals, for instance, he won't or hasn't told me he loves me but asked me to plan something with him ONE YEAR from now, so am I supposed to just let time take its course and see what happens? There really is not that much more time I am willing to give considering our unique situation which we can discuss later if you would like.
This may not have helped you but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. And even though reading those books your mentioned are helpful, sometimes it just doesn't do it, there is no quick fix and this whole non communicating thing is not working for me and I have tried to give him his space and at this point i feel like he is just stringing me along for the holidays so he can be with our daughter but then after that, bombs will drop? who knows but in the meantime, this SUX and thank the lord I see my shrink weekly because any longer without speaking to her, i would flip out and who knows...


waynebloss's picture

Sorry that this is happening

Sorry that this is happening to others, it is not a very good feeling to be in.  I stopped seeing my counselor on a weekly basis but I still see her on a monthly basis and I have e-mail privileges and I do not abuse them.  Being a man and also having ADD I have been trying to resolve not only my issues but my wife's as well.  I see her hurting, lost and just plain miserable and while I have good intentions in trying to help I am actually doing the opposite in pushing her further away from me/us.  Just finally started to see this which is good now but would have been better SOONER!!  Anyway I know that I can only control myself and I can only make myself better which I am hoping that it has a trickle effect into our marriage and show that I have changed and will continue to do so.  Time will only tell and I am not a patient person, so the waiting is the hardest part for me. 

She still sees me as I was before I found changed and started to live like I should, and I see that as well.  Comments, reactions and other little things that she does in reaction to something.  It bothers me and we have talked about it in counseling, my wife asked me to be patient with her as she makes sure that the coast is clear and that I am not just putting on a show.  That I understand as well, she is scared that if she comes out from her walls that I will see here there and go back to the old me, which is something she does not want to deal with.  I do not blame her, I was a tad bit too much for her, but I can tell her with every ounce of my being that I will NEVER go back to the way I was!!  It was not healthy for me, my kids and my wife, so I making sure that I am taking the steps necessary so that I do not go back.  Now forming new habit's when you are 41 is kind of hard, and it is taking time but I can see some of the new things that have started, just wish she would see them or at least tell me she does.  Like you, I do not like the lack of communication between us and hoping that it will get better with time.  

My wife has asked me about future events and attending them together which sort of confuses me at times.  One day I do not like you, stay away and do not speak then 1 hour later, hey mark your calendar because there is a function I want to go to with you.  I try not to dwell on this too much, I see it as an opportunity to show her that my social skills have greatly improved and that what I tell her about me changing for the better is the truth.  But there are times when she asks me to go out with her then 2-3 days before I get a text message telling me that she does not intend to be mean but I need to find other plans because she wants to go out with just her friends on her birthday.  So I have 2 plans in place now, just in case she springs it on me that she wants to go alone or with others instead of me.  I do take that a bit personal but it is time for me to move on. 

Msunderstood, I cannot tell you how sad I am that there is another person going through what I am, and to let you know, I thought I was the only until I found this site!  When I started to disconnect from my wife I did not tell her but I did tell her that I was moving on, continuing down this new road that I have found.  I cannot dwell on the past nor can I address and resolve the issues I have with her, even told her that I might never address them, but they were not stopping me from moving forward along with fighting for our marriage.  I told my wife that I do love her, I do want to grow old with her and I was never going to give up but I was moving on.  I also told her that I want her with me, moving forward and that I will save her place by my side when she decides on what she wants.  So what I can tell you is that you have to take care of you and your child, do what is best for the both of you, if your S.O. sees the change and you moving on he might start to change himself.  Who knows, but to knock yourself out over something you cannot control is not worth your time!  Please take care of your self and your child first, you 2 are the most important!!   As for me, I am hoping that by me moving downstairs, not talking much and just leaving her alone will allow her to start the process she needs to that will allow her to make the changes she needs to. 

I do pray this everyday that God wraps his arms around us and gives us the strength, knowledge and the love to fight for our marriage. 

We shall see, but whatever the outcome, I can tell you that I am a better person for the changes I have made (thanks to my wife for the push!) and that this alone time gives me the chance to continue working on me for me.  I often have bad thoughts about her leaving, what is going to happen and other very bad situations, but I can stop them faster then I used to and I do understand that they are just thoughts and that they are not happening. It is hard to think of positives in this situation, but I have my kids, my K.C. Chiefs, friends and myself to start the positive thoughts rolling in, I am hoping that one day soon, my wife joins them.  It does take time, hang in there, it does get better!



I think you're doing exacly

I think you're doing exacly what you need to do. Relenting and giving her space was probably a very smart 'good faith' gesture on your part. Also, letting her know "Hey, I'm really evolving here...but I love you very much and want you by my side and I know that eventually you will see that I mean what I am saying, even if past events don't dictate such". Lastly, most importantly, is she needs to see LASTING changes. Tangible changes. Things she can see and wrap her mind around. If you weren't helping around the house, then start. If you were spending too much money, the stop. SHOW her...prove to her that you're really serious and going to change. I would be willing to bet that it might take months..3-6 months..for her to really believe in your changes. But, in reality that is just a blip on the radar...and considering you've been married for 12 yrs (I think?) and you said the last 3 yrs were really bad for just simply will not happen overnight. BE PATIENT. Coming from a non-ADD spouse, I truly think you're on the right path.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.