There is so much good information and discussion on this forum. However, I can't seem to find a situation like mine, which on face value seems like it out to be simple but is not. I am 44 year old male. I have had all the classic symptoms my whole life, so has my brother and father. I was always told that I probably had it but I never knew that there was anything you could do about the way you have always been. Also, while a pain to me and all around me, ADD had never reared its ugly head and actually caused major damage to my life. I have always been very adventurous and fearless in business (thrill seeking symptom I never knew existed) and that has led to some exciting times in our lives and some huge crashes as well. After a long sales career working from straight commission jobs, to Dell, to Internet & Technology startups in Austin, I was always looking for the next step up and usually had to as many of these positions were high risk and would cause me to lose my job and have to start over again. Anyway, my wife and I had just had our first child and had always wanted to move back to our hometown from Austin. We both have a lot of family their but the job market is very limited. So, as a result, I had to struggle through numerous years of unsatisfying and dead end positions to stay in our home town. Ultimately, I got this major opportunity to go into Real Estate Development and start my own subdivision on an old golf course and build these beautiful cottage style houses(major stimulus & creative outlet, dream career). This actually happened in 2005 and it was amazing until 2008 when the mortgage crash killed the economy. I spent the next 3-4 years suffering through a failing business that should be thriving and going through and almost unbearable roller coaster of utter failure, embarrassment, shame, denial and ultimately complete depression(which I didn't know I had) and serious thoughts of suicide. You couple the business issues which wouldn't and couldn't end and which kept blowing things up at home, my denial of an un-repairable business situation and refusal to quit desperately trying to save it, with what ended up being ADD symptoms coming to an enormous head and literally turning me into a terrible, sick mentally & physically person. I was so out of control, raging anger, all the worst symptoms of depression, and then falling right behind that, ever worsening ADD that I truly didn't know was there and was it's own thing that would only progress, even as we put the business issues behind us.
Fast forward to about 1.5-2 years ago. We had to file bankruptcy and that almost ended our marriage, we made it through that and we kept getting into these huge, very aggressive and long lasting fight to the death arguments. My wife was at her wits end again as was I, frustrated at her rage against me and her unwillingness to understand me. We agreed to counseling. It took 6 months and a lot of heart ache and hard work for me to earn her back. Somewhere in the counseling when relapse after relapse kept happening, we finally figured out it was my ADD. This was a revelation, however, so much damage had been done again, there was a long period of purgatory. During this time, I threw myself into research, read every book out there on ADD. Made voracious notes and finally got to the point that I could teach the stuff. Now the situation gets worse. My frustration and anger is building with each page that I read and learn that I am not just an A-hole who is truly the worst person in the world, I have this very legitimate condition and all the books have all these wonderful techniques for what each part of the couple should be doing and it all makes sense and seems like Nirvana. If I could only get my wife to subscribe to some of it and let go of some of her anger and rage towards me for just about anything ADD that I did. So, I am now becoming increasingly angry that this problem can be managed and contained if we are both working at it and learning all this wonderful information and techniques to avoid the escalations. We can manage a few months of peace at the most and something I do always hits an emotional trigger for her. I have a hard time containing myself or giving in when she reverts back to her original anger when a trigger hits as if we don't have any of the knowledge on this blog or the many books and therapy sessions we have absorbed.
I am not the person that seems to be described throughout this blog, who cheats on his wife over and over, who won't go to therapy, who really doesn't want to work on it or doesn't even think that he has a problem. I was so overjoyed when I found out what this was and read Melissa Orlovs book and thought all the answers are right here. Thank god. However, that is not how things have gone. I can't seem to maintain an equilibrium of control with my ADD and my wife seems to be going backwards with every outburst of mine. I recently got in a stressful situation and when that happens my ADD is at its worst and can take over. My wife asked me a very abrupt question about something that I was supposed to have completed, and in the heat of the moment, I got nervous and lied to cover myself from further pain. Once she discovered that I want so badly for this not to ruin my marriage. I have a beautiful wife and a family that I am so blessed to have. What in the hell do I do?