Well up until a month ago my marriage was over. My husband had moved out, we were both blaming each other after many years of trying, failing, trying again, making agreements that would last for a month or so and then things would go back to how they were before. The ending of the marriage (we have been together 12 years and married for 10) was so fast and so brutal I barely had time to think. I started counseling almost immediately as I was REALLY struggling to deal with the fact that my husband had moved out, was already on dating websites and seemingly fine without me! He had cut himself off from his friends, was going out clubbing and drinking. All the signs pointed to a mid life crisis. Even my counselor thought so, and thought he would be back, tail between his legs when he had time to think things through.
I got to thinking about his behaviour and the many many MANY times I had yelled at him that he was weird, not wired up right, had the emotional range of a teaspoon, was more interested in anything but me, how he never listened, how he was lazy, how I was sick of being his mother, how he spent more time with his friends than with me, or when he was here that he was on his phone, how he would never engage in social situations and would want to leave after an hour if it was with my friends, how the lack of intimacy in our sex life had made it feel like just another chore and how it was like being married to Peter bloody Pan - the boy who never grew up!! (seeing any common themes here!!!) However it was ONE comment that he had been making for YEARS that I had never really paid attention to before - about how he could never "switch his brain off" that I actually listened to for the first time. I texted him out of the blue after we had not spoken for a long while in anything other but anger and asked him if he had always always been like that and how it felt. He seemed surprised that I was asking and obviously was more than a little wary of where my line of thinking was going.... I brought up the subject of ADHD and asked if it had ever been mentioned anywhere in his life. He said no (however given his narcissistic parents this isn't a major shock - he was pretty much left to his own devices as a child) The things he had told me over the years started to click into place - how he always felt different, Didn't have many friends at school, was bullied for being different, how amazingly creative he is, how warm and forgiving he can be... (again anything familiar?!?) Anyway.... Here I am on this forum - having just finished reading the book.
WOW is all I can say - I feel like Melissa has been watching my life and taking notes and has now written about us. I have cried, I have had many light bulb moments, I have laughed and most of all I honestly feel that the demise of my marriage was not only necessary to give us the space to try and sort our heads out, but also without the knowledge of maybe we had been dealing with ADHD of the high possibility (Husband is undiagnosed as yet, but has taken the first step in getting diagnosed - SO proud of him for that) that the end of our marriage was probably pretty much inevitable. This book really is like a text book of our marriage! It is heartening to see so many of you also felt the same, I no longer feel depressed and full of rage, but I feel very hopeful that my husband and I (who says he is feeling lighter and lighter every chapter he is reading) can begin to try DIFFERENTLY. We have begun dating and spending time together and talking on a level we NEVER have before. We both never stopped loving each other which is a GREAT start, but we have played the blame game for what feels like forever and having that explained in great detail is a huge weight off my shoulders and I no longer feel angry with him - (which is a first for many years!) He is a ways behind in the book but keeps calling me to REALLY Validate my feelings and apologise for how he never really understood how his actions must have made me feel. I am SO incredibly proud of him for not telling me to f*** off when I suggested he may have ADHD and his willingness to try and figure our marriage out together that I am hopeful (if not quite scared lol) of a possible future together again.
I do have a few questions though that maybe some of you would be able to help with.
1. We are in the UK and after 1st trip to the doctors (Booked himself by my hubby - the FIRST doctors appointment he has made for himself in 12 years!!) it seems that getting an actual diagnosis is going to be VERY long winded and that we are going to have one hell of a fight on our hands, the doctor did not even seem to take hubby seriously and did not even in fact ask him any questions that I would have thought a doctor should have asked him (nothing about why he feels he has ADHD, symptoms etc) and actually asked him if this "wasn't an excuse to just get his wife back" I was FURIOUS!!! However disheartening as it seems, hubby still seems focused on trying to get a diagnosis so we are looking into the possibility of private treatment. My question is this... Is it worth still going down the self treatment options even though he is undiagnosed? I am being very careful not to diagnose him myself even though the book as I said is textbook of our whole marriage. He has been all over this forum and had ordered himself omega 3 and 2 other natural alternatives (names I cannot pronounce!) that were suggested by Nancie - does a formal diagnosis (other than access to prescription medication) even matter if he is able to garner the tools and support from this very forum and the books and the couples seminar? Do any of you have any knowledge in this that would be helpful either on the diaganosis side or of the alternative medicines that he wants to try?
2. I have read the feedback on the couples seminar and wondered if this really would be a good route to go down? (trying to find ADHD specific counseling here is proving as easy as finding hens teeth) given the fact as I said he is undiagnosed. My feelings at this point is "what have we got to lose?" we are living separately and I am unwilling to move back in together until we have better coping strategies and desperately do not want things to go back to "how they were before" Is the seminar something that we would be able to do while living apart? Again and thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.