Recently diagnosed, and recognizing the serious impact of ADHD on my marriage and family has been enlightening ... for me. My estranged husband (we are separated, but living in the same house with me sleeping in the RV) has not been educating himself on the disorder, even though I made it extremely easy for him by printing up articles and highlighting text. He has so much anger and resentment built up against me. I consider myself very caring and compassionate. I don't believe that I act out with malice or to be rebellious. He is convinced that I undermined him and didn't back him up when it came to parenting our children. I accept accountability for mistakes that I know I made, but I don't accept all the blame. In a monumental effort to save my marriage, I am trying to open his mind to consider the possibility that I never intentionally undermined him or rebelled against his parenting decisions. There were things that I didn't agree with, but for the most part, he had my support. I just couldn't cope with the battles, most of which occurred over several years when I was perpetually exhausted and stressed, which I now know amplified my ADHD symptoms. He always believed that my effort to minimize arguments and punishment was an un-supportive act of defiance, but I just wanted the turmoil to stop. So now, more than 20 years into our marriage, we are still fighting over my lack of support and my mistakes with our children; they are now adults that do not live at home. I now know symptoms of ADHD has eroded his love and respect for me over the years, and now he is bitter and resentful towards me. I do believe there is still some love there, so I am not ready to give up on us. I believe that we can find our way back to each other. I believe that he has spent the last several years brainwashing himself that he never really loved me and that we are no good together. I also believe he is depressed and going through a mid-life crisis. I want to stand beside him, and help him get through his issues while I work at fixing me. Since being diagnosed, I have made incredible improvements to my emotional and physical well-being, and I will continue to improve. It is an extremely difficult, lonely and slow process to patiently and quietly wait for him to figure things out on his own, but in my heart, I believe it to be the right thing to do. Is there anything that I can say or do that will help him come to his own understanding and acceptance of how my ADHD effected our lives all of these years, and that certain symptomatic behaviors of ADHD do not define my personality or morals? I believe with all of my heart that if he could peel away the layers of ADHD symptoms that he thinks defines who I am, he would find the "me" that he fell in love with, still there, waiting to be loved back. I have been doing all that I can to show him how much I have improved since my diagnosis; the changes that I see in myself are profound. Does anyone have any comments, advice or specific resources for me to share with him? I know he needs to accept/not accept and forgive/not forgive in his own time, but some words of wisdom and experience may go a long way in his consideration. I have a lot to consider in the big picture regarding our marriage, but I am hoping to find some support in this forum regarding the issue of raising children, anger and resentment and dealing with the past in our ADHD marriage.
Submitted by Pepper on 07/26/2012.