We've always known that my husband had ADHD, however neither of us knew much about what that meant beyond trouble concentrating. During a period of depression I started seeing a therapist, and she quickly realized that his ADHD was a significant factor in our lives, causing many of the issues we had with each other. I started reading books on ADHD and marriage, I listened to the podcasts on this website, I read your stories and comments. I saw and heard so much of our relationship and it became clear. I wish we had known years ago what I know now. My husband was driving me crazy, and in my response to his symptoms, I was making him miserable. It was helpful to know that there was a reason we were each like this, though it was too far into years of dysfunction for an easy fix.
We've struggled over our many years together, and while there have been wonderful times, resentments on both sides grew. He resented me for what he saw as selfishness and a need to always get my way, to nag him and make him feel bad about himself. I grew bitter at having to be the stable force, to take care of everything because he would procrastinate and forget. Family dinners would be spent with our child and me looking out the window the whole time, waiting for him to come home. There was no predictability, which made me anxious and so lonely. His hyper focus on work left no room for attention to me. No effort to make plans, give gifts, spend time unless it was forced upon him. We grew disconnected, and he turned to another woman for emotional support and closeness. It wasn't until I confronted him about the affair (which he still doesn't take full responsibility for), that he agreed to come to counseling.
It's been difficult, but there has been progress. For every two steps forward, a step back. The other woman is still not completely gone from the picture. He's struggling to let go of the resentments that built over the years. I feel that if I can forgive and move on from the significant mistakes and hurts on his part, he should be able to forgive and move on from all of his many petty grievances that built up into a monster against me (to be clear, I'm not dismissing them.). We are both committed to the marriage and keeping our family in tact, but we are having a tough time. I am jealous of other couples with a more 'normal' relationship. I can't help but compare our lives to theirs. I feel self-pity and mourn the loss of a life I wish I could have had, with a husband who adores me and shows me with actions and words, who can just remember to do what he says and follow through on promises made. I know his resentment must be related to that as well, why can't he have a wife who just understands him and accepts him exactly the way he is. Why can't things be easier for him.
We are only a couple months in, and still at the beginning stages of confronting our issues and working to move past them. I know it will take many more months and probably years, but I am committed. I hope he will remain committed as well and not give up.
I guess I'm just looking for a little bit of encouragement. Please tell me if you have overcome similar circumstance and come through stronger on the other side. I need some hope.