Our therapist doesn't get it!!!!!

My husband and I have a wonderful, caring therapist with a doctoral degree who doesn't think our marriage issues are CAUSED by my husband's ADHD. He thinks his ADHD exacerbates the problems. He actually said that my husbands ADHD would enable him to hyper focus on me when I try to talk to him about a problem. I was stunned! I told him that in all the reading and research and all the people I've met through this forum, not one ever said that their husband's ADHD made them more likely to pay attention to them. EVERYONE seems to feel that their husbands deny, deflect, and defend themselves, or just run like hell in the other direction. Our therapist thinks my husband's horrible, abusive father caused my husband so much anxiety and that is why he runs for the hills at the slightest hint of confrontation. I do see his point there. My husband's father is a sociopath. Who's right? When I read melissa's book, it was like she was spying on my marriage. The blog she wrote back in sept. 2010 (I think) about getting husbands to realize the impact their ADHD has on their marriages really hit home, especially the part about defensivenes. I tried to get him to read it,but he just gave it a cursory read and dismissed it. I feel utterly helpless!

I think that the therapist

I think that the therapist might be partly right and partly wrong.  The wrong?  That having ADHD aids in focusing on the spouse.  The right?  That anxiety caused by the father's behavior might have preceded and led to the ADHD.  My own therapist, who I have great faith in and who has rarely been wrong about anything, thinks that ADHD-like symptoms are often based on underlying anxiety.  (One thing that she was wrong about was her belief that recommending that my husband spend time thinking about what he wants to do with his life would seem like a good thing to him.  I knew the moment she said it that he'd run screaming for the hills at the thought of actually thinking about his future.)   

Step-Father (A-Hole)

I will confirm that having a verbally abusive step-dad for 10 years changed something in my ADD brain. This guy's favorite was calling me "A big fat sissy" and there were others. He would get mad over anything and I never knew what would be next. I cried easily as a young kid, which probably embarrassed him a lot so his Favorite names were meant to stifle my emotions. He would also wait until my mom was not around too. He hated the fact that I did not like sports or outdoor fun all of the time and that I liked to read and build models. 

My switch flipped when I was 13, after he belittled me and made me cry because I (His Son) was building models and my sister (His daughter) was outside playing with the boys. I was SO Mad that he "Got me" again that right then I vowed to Never show any "Weakness/Emotions" again. He would never have the satisfaction again of upsetting me, nor would anyone else. I remember this day like it was yesterday. I learned to turn emotions on everyone else who I perceived was attacking me. "The Grin" was born. Someone gets angry with me, the adrenaline kicks in, my mind wakes up and I get amused by the attacker losing control because I refuse to give an attack back. The Grin was just to drive the message home that They could not win on this day. My terrible low self-esteem now had a weapon which could deflect about any attack, except from people I truly loved, for them I would shut-down in shame. 

Horrible coping skills developed at age 13, because of an A-Hole Step-Dad...

Thanks rosered and yyz. So

Thanks rosered and yyz. So does anxiety early in life change their brain chemistry? It makes sense. I've read that extreme stress early in life can alter the brain. I don't know how certain the science is on this. Very interesting.

Chemistry, maybe...

Chemistry, maybe, but I'm REAL Sure it created my Mother of All Coping Mechanisms. I was so emotional as a child, now other than happiness, love, excitement and joy, most of the tough expressions of emotion are just not there. I don't know how to show them and feel like a Bad Actor if I try, so I try to Do the right things in a situation.