Where can I even start? I'm the one in a long-term marriage with ADD, diagnosed only a few years ago after trying to work with a coach and she recognized the symptoms. Thankfully our children are not ADD/ADHD, so it's just me. I have a job, we have a home, we live paycheck to paycheck, but after a lot of hard work we're carrying no debt beyond the house, so we're not in financial chaos. My non-ADD spouse also works and has a well-paying job, so all in all, we're not wealthy but we're relatively stable. Our marriage is just empty, and after discovering this forum, I'm now afraid it's all my fault. I'm pretty sure she wants a divorce as soon as the kids are out of the house, and I don't know how to even begin trying to repair our marriage. She's somewhat skeptical of the ADD diagnosis and what it means in marriage, and not interested in counseling at this point. We can go months living like roommates and things are relatively normal, until something upsets the apple cart, we fight, and then we try to get back to living like roommates. Needless to say there's no intimacy, and little real communication beyond the day-to-day needs of running a household.
Reading the forums here is really scary. I read things that make we want to point her here, things that she would immediately recognize and might help her understand that I don't intend to forget things, forget her, get lost in my work. But then I read the despair and I'm afraid she'll just conclude it's hopeless and better to stay in a shell until the kids are out of the house.
I want to say that much of what I read I recognize. I get lost in my computer for hours while she cooks and cleans. I leave my clothes on the floor. I get frustrated by little things that make me angry frequently, and sometimes, but rarely, furious. I spend a lot of time on a hobby that she doesn't enjoy.
But a lot things I read, especially about ADD spouses, to me just sounds like bad behavior. I don't scream at my spouse. I'm not financially irresponsible (I do bills and taxes). I don't get lost in video games. I don't deny my issues and behaviors. My hobby is fitness related, which helps me manage symptoms. My computer time (way too much) is related to running a business. Before ADD I just called it being a workaholic. Maybe I've just learned to direct my bad behavior into defensible activities.
The problem is, my wife says she's always "walking on eggshells". When I think back before the diagnosis, I can remember her saying she's afraid of my anger, and I couldn't understand why. I get mad at technology that doesn't work. I get mad at customer service. I blow up some times when I can't make things work. When we get into an argument, which is not frequent, I sometimes raise my voice. More frequently I think I look like bottled up anger. I've never, ever, gotten physical, other than once throwing something at the floor, and I don't make personal attacks. My anger is almost always directed at our inability to understand each other. I grew up in a house where everyone screamed and yelled at each other all the time, so to me I'm comparatively quiet, and arguments in our house are relatively rare. But I can't deny that my wife says she's afraid of my anger, she feels like she does all the work around the house, our relationship is essentially dead, and she seems like she wants to split when the children our gone.
I don't want to lose her. I'm afraid she's at the level of despair that I read on these forums, and that nothing I do on my own will make much of an impact if we're not in it together. But I don't know how to reach her now, and pointing her here may do more harm than good. Where can I even start?