Newly engaged to ADD partner

Yes, I am a newbie...and for spending just 15 minutes on the site, I suddenly felt heard and comforted. I am 31 years old, female and newly engaged to a wonderful artist 29 yr old, diagnosed with ADD since childhood.

In the 4 years of being together, I've experienced being his center of focus to a mere partner that will always be around. This is something new that I just read up on: The meaning of hyper focused and distraction. He's a musician and all of his attention is directed towards that. And sometimes I feel unsupportive to someone who I know cares about me and does put his share financially (chores is another issue, however). I live and breathe his work because that's the only thing discussed -- and I've even attempted to schedule date nights/intimacy for the past 2 years, which gets rescheduled or forgotten. (Sex drive is a whoooooole other story)!

We got engaged a month ago because I can't see sharing my life with anyone else. Our good days are so blissful ... I just want to move past feelings of resentment because I've become a spiteful person. Much of my story will unfold as I become accustomed to this forum.

He used to take adderall and another med I forgot the name of... However it made him sick and we can't afford therapy. I'm hoping joining this community will help. I fear that part of the problem we have blown out fights is because all this is new to me. As an over-achiever that always managed to spring to the top in accomplishments, I have a lot to learn about ADD in a marriage.


Bliss and resentment

Understand what you said in your post.  "You LOVE him."  You also say you have feelings of RESENTMENT --- nearly the opposite of love.  You are already feeling excluded from his personal life.  It will not get better for any reason.  You cannot see sharing your life with anyone else.  Neither could I at the early days even though I felt something was not quite right.  Don't get pregnant while you are feeling resentment for the person who could be the father of your children.  Understand that you will not feel different in the future.  When I would tell DH in the early days that sometimes I resented him, he would have a glib comeback like, "There's a thin line between love and hate."  WRONG.... There is passion and then there is something more enduring and endearing....appreciation, communication, partnership, trust, integrity and comittment.  Passion is the thing romance novels are made up about and is for fun.  THAT is not what to get married about.  Take your time and be sure he is putting in just as much energy and time for you as you are putting in for him.....that is called mutual love.  Co-dependency is when one person does most of the loving and the other one seems to not care.  You can make clear choices.  You are young.  The possibilities are ahead of you.  Don't give your self away to someone who does not love you..  (no matter what he says. actions speak louder than words. He forgets your rare date nights already.)

Well it's never a question

Well it's never a question whether or not he loves me. I am engaged and he is the man I want to marry. I just want to cope on harboring feelings of resentment and to not let it fester. I bring up my gripes, and we both have a very open communication. Mostly, I feel slighted when it comes to what has his attention...whether his art, the TV! etc. He is not a cheater, liar and says and does things that make me feel loved, it's just taking some time and understanding with the why's and how's of his hyper focus and distractions.

Welcome to the are

Welcome to the are among friends, but as with most public forums, you're going to get a vast array of experiences. It is up to you to decide whether to take hope from the good ones or be put off by the bad ones.

I understand where you coming from and I've been there. I've gone from blissfully happy to confused to angry and resentful and finally to maybe not blissfully happy but contented (with a few odd angry days here and there).

I've been married for five years come this May and my husband and I are just starting to have a "normal" marriage. Well as "normal" as can be given that he is ADHD. Our marriage is never going to look like our friends' and I've finally accepted that. There are things in our relationship that I'm sure our friends would kill for in their own marriages.

I would say that you are ahead of the curve in that your fiance has already been diagnosed and had been on meds in the past. An ADHDer's ability to accept their diagnosis and acknowledge that it can cause friction in relationships is half the battle, IMO. My husband wasn't diagnosed until we were almost two years into our marriage and by then, a lot of damage had been done. Now we had outside circumstances compounding our struggles; a lot of emotional baggage (namely abandonment issues), job loss (he was let go two days before we married), finances, etc. All these things would have made a marriage with two non-ADHDers difficult, but throw in the ADHD, and it made it a veritable hell on earth. Even though we were 27 and 26 when we were married, we both had a lot of growing up to do. My husband in particular came from a very enabling family who never sought out psychiatric help for me when he needed it most.

I could go on for hours about all the rough times, but I'll stick to the recent past. After spending two years living separately off and on, my husband and I finally reunited under the same roof last March. There have been some crazy times, but we have continued to improve upon our relationship and I no longer resent him. How did we get there? Bi-weekly counseling and his willingness to admit to his failings and a willingness to at least try to correct them. It can come and go; one week he doesn't do anything to find a job, and then next week he's out every day following up on job leads. My biggest struggle is not convince myself that everything has gone to pot on the weeks that he does nothing. Like you, I'm an overachiever. When I look for jobs, I spend day of every week looking for leads, sending out resumes, changing resumes, etc. When I look over and see him just doing the minimal, I have a hard time not getting angry.

I would definitely encourage you to seek out some sort of couples counseling. If you go through your local health department, they will determine fees based on your income. Perhaps a session or two on your own would help you sort out your resentment. If that's a no-go, sit down and examine why you feel so resentful and identify what can be done to remedy. For me, a lot of resentment melted away when I realized that he was really trying, even though it wasn't the same type of "trying" I would have done. If you're angry because he doesn't help around the house...try assigning him small, short tasks. My hubby didn't do anything when we first moved in until I burst into tears during counseling about how I was constantly picking up his dirty dishes. He most always puts his dirty dishes in the sink now. He would probably put them in the dish washer too, if we had one. :-)

He doesn't help with much else, but it doesn't really bother me. I'm germaphobe but not a clean freak. We both can reside in clutter for several days, and then I'll pick up after us both. I'd rather do it and know where I put things than have him do it and then I not know where everything is. Honestly, I'll know we've hit the big time when we can afford to have a housekeeper. Yeah right!

Hang in there and know that you can have a productive marriage. You've just got to learn to work around the ADHD and build a marriage that reflects you and him as a couple, and not what society dictates as "normal" or "happy."