Please forgive my grammar and other writing shortcomings. This is my first post and I'm typing from a place of stream consciousness.
At 58.5 years old I married for the first time. My spouse has ADHD and OCD. She has three children two boys and a girl. The girl is the middle child. In addition she has a god-daughter who has a child. We've let a foreign exchange student move in with us and now an additional young adult is moving in, her niece. My wife's children are 22, 20, and 18. The god-daughter is 20. The niece is 20. The foreign exchange student is 21. Our home is filled with 2 dogs and a cat. I am 13 years older than my wife. I have depression and have experienced PTSD as a result of hearing my mother shoot herself. I'm trying to understand ADHD, my wife's values, the behavior of the kids and their lifestyles. But I must admit I'm frustrated. I don't understand what I'm seeing or the values of my family. I'm African American and my wife, her kids and her niece are white. The god-children are black and the foreign exchange student is black but from a country in the Caribbean. Admittedly some of my frustration may be due to cultural and age differences. My wife's mother is four years older than me. My mother-in-law's parents had a drinking problem. I'm sure that influenced how she raised my wife. She abused my wife and because she conceived my wife when she was 16 she blamed my wife for her being dismissed from Catholic all girls school because of the unplanned teen pregnancy. My wife is one of three kids. At 16 she left home and moved in with another family. In the new household she was one of 5 to 10 kids. The person that took her in has claimed her mother didn't want her and because of that experience that made her sympathetic and concerned for my wife when she was a teen. None of my stepchildren help with cleaning up and even my wife has a hard time cleaning up. For example, the stepchildren pull dishes out of the cabinets, eat food, and simply leave the dishes for someone to clean up. They don't make up their beds, pick their clothes off floor, constantly invite friends over to eat and leave a mess behind, can't seem to help with yard work until the yard has gotten out of control, always invite their friend who are in distress over to live with us, will bring home a new pet simply because its cute or they want one, and the oldest is dependent on natural and synthetic marijuana and alcohol. Regarding the oldest behavior, he's been in and out of rehab and fell off the band wagon because he won't give up his friends who are likewise addicted to marijuana and alcohol. When my wife kicked him out he chose marijuana over buying food. He's smart and should be in college but he's not motivated for college. My stepson's father has ADHD, an addictive personality and abused he abused my wife when they were dating. The other two children were fathered by a man with untreated bipolar disorder. The youngest child, a boy, has ADHD. The daughter made a profound announcement during a dinner a few years back. She talked about how they ran off one of their babysitters and at the end of her monologue she said, "The thing the babysitter didn't understand is that we (meaning she and her siblings) do what we want when we want to do it." That comment sums up how my family lives. My wife has been in one abusive relationship after another. I tend to attract fragile women. So we make for a dynamic duo with lots of codependency in our behavior but she doesn't see our behavior as codependent. We are in debt. My retirement pay isn't enough to help cover our living expenses. We have more money going out in charity, helping other needy people that don't really appreciate the help and take us for granted, and credit card bills. She doesn't want me to take a job because it might mean I have to move to another city. Where we live is in the town where my mother died. My late parents' home and the town itself is a constant reminder of my mother's suicide but wife isn't going to move until our kids and now the additional kids living with us finish college. I fear and forecast that we will be broke and risk loosing our home or my parents' home because of the mounting outpouring of money to bills and other people. A part of me regrets getting married, especially at such a late age. I'm an introvert and while some in our household are introverted my wife and most of the inhabitants are extroverted. My extroverted wife knows I need my space but it appears that until the kids move out of the house, which won't happen until they decide to leave, living with a crowd and no privacy or quite space is the trajectory of my life for the next 5 to 10 years, possibly for the remainder of my life.
If you are introverted and the non-ADHD spouse what are your coping skills for your marriage or dating relationship.