Over it!

I'm sure I'm not the only one on this forum who feels ignored and invisible.  I'm so sick of pulling the weight in this marriage.  My husband would be just fine if we never had a serious talk about anything.  It seems to also be just fine with him to sit for hours on end not uttering a word to each other.  He stays in his own world with his laptop and the remote control.  Heaven forbid that I get aggravated with this scenario or the fact that he pays me little to no attention.  He is 50 years old and his ADD seems to be getting worse the older he gets.  Of course, he won't take medication for it.  Yet he expects our 15 yr old son to take his ADD medication and gets frustrated with the very symptoms that I am supposed to accept and accommodate in my husband.  It is maddening.  I am the @(#$ if I point any of this out or want "more" out of our marriage.  "He's doing the best he can". I say BS.  He uses ADD as a crutch and a reason not be held accountable for the reasonable things that any woman expects.  I am sick to death of all of it!  Overall, he is a good person and I do love him.  He has many good qualities.  But the ADD symptoms are slowly driving me out of my mind.  

Can relate to this

I am sorry that you are going through this.  I can relate…many similarities with my ADD spouse. Not uttering a word to each other…that really struck a chord with me.  At least when we are silent with each other we are not having illogical arguments.  But it is devastating to be shut out.  I find this forum a source of support…just knowing that you are not the only one dealing with these kinds of things is validating…it helped me realize that maybe it really isn’t all ME as the source of all that is wrong in my spouse’s world, as I have been told many, many times.   I’m learning to do what is best for me…if my spouse does not want to get help and uses ADD as his excuse – yet he doesn’t want it (ADD) to define him – that is his choice.  My choice is to continue to work on me and to think about hard decisions that need to be made.  Don’t let him drive you out of your mind.

Me three....

All I can add, is that my story is also the same.  He NEVER wants to talk, unless it's chit chat...or the "illogical arguments" you mention.  it has been like this for 25 years.  He is medicated..started Adderall January 6th.  Some things ARE much better, but it's at a standstill, as he is ONLY taking the medication,  AND he still won't communicate :(

We are NOT alone.  This is how they are.  We either deal with it, or we don't.  So sad.

Me Four?

Old habits Die Hard, sometimes with a vengeance... (Sorry for the bad movie reference) I can tell you from experience that the first year on Adderall is really an adjustment period. Literally in the first 30 minutes your brain works differently, but everything Learned is still very well entrenched, especially those damn coping skills. The magic used for self-protection... I had taken my Adderall and was lucky to get the right med and dosage pretty quick, but also was ready to use the new found alertness. I felt good or at least had a brand new definition of "Good". I went to about 5 or 6 therapy sessions and a couple of family therapy sessions at my DW's request and read "You mean I'm not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy" and most of "Is it You, Me or Adult ADD", then life got busy and around the 1 year post diagnosis point I really felt lost and wondered what was supposed to be next? I worried about the ADD just getting brushed under the rug because my DW never really bought too much into it and I did not want to forget what I've learned. I stumbled across this site when I wanted some answers about the continual argument over my weight loss. Post #1 (Rant) The information I have learned year 2+, from this site, has helped me a bunch. It is like getting the perspective on my situation from people who if I knew them would be breaking the "Talking about our marriage outside the Marriage" rule that caused my initial anxiety ridden state which lead to my diagnosis and almost my divorce.

Communication got better for me, but it still was not easy. I was learning how to read things I used to never notice, like body language and facial expressions. Over/Under-React to these as they were very new to me. What I did like was instead of shutting down in an argument/discussion with 500 things racing through my brain and no way to hit the brakes and say the right one, I could Say something in real time, which really became more of an adjustment on my DW's part. She used to have complete control of the conversations, although she was usually frustrated beyond belief that I could not talk to her.

Regarding the "Chit-Chat" talk... After a bad, unresolved argument, the next conversation can be REAL Hard to start. I Know we need to resolve the argument, but breaking the conversation Ice leading to a discussion instead of fight is tough. I believe my DW is done with any Ease into conversation tactic, but expects me to start to topic back without pi$$ing her off. I'm not That Good at communicating yet, which leads to some rounds of uncomfortable silence. 

In the old days after an argument I would start Chit Chat because we were in the Now and if she had anything else to say about the Not Now she would tell me, right?!? Boy... Being THAT oblivious is No Fun... Post diagnosis I KNOW the argument is not over until it has a resolution, but please Help a guy out with Act II of the discussion. It is still hard to start a conversation when someone has their shields on Max. 

Repair attempts

I try to think of the space between an argument or unpleasant conversation and normal life as needing a bridge.  What one partner does to try to bridge the gap is called a repair attempt by some authors... My ADD guy's repair attempts used to leave me feeling very frustrated and feeling like he was just trying to sweep things under the rug or make me "get over it" before I was ready.  And even now, if he forgets the apology part (if one is owed) and goes right to the joke or the comment on a road-side scene, or a question about dinner without wrapping up the "issue" I tend to shut down.  I feel like he has "changed the subject" just to escape it.  BUT if we have a difficult conversation, and somehow put a finish to it, whether through mutual apologies, mutual agreement about what to do next, or mutual "agree to disagree", then the repair attempts, the joke, the kiss, the weather comment, can be very healing.  I think repair attempts can be used even for "unresolved" arguments so long as that fact (that it IS unresolved) is acknowledged.  For me, lack of acknowledgment of where we are now, whether resolved or not resolved, is what makes me resist the repair attempt.  It's like that acknowledgment is the anchor at one end of the bridge, the repair is the bridge, and the better feeling going forward is the other end.  I'm not going to go out on that bridge without some sort of anchor.  Wow, what a crappy analogy.  My guy would prefer that "hard" conversations just kind of peter out... we wait a minute.... then we start a new conversation..... I want/need a specific end of that conversation, even if it is only a statement like "This is going to be a tough thing to figure out."  Or, "We don't really feel the same about this, do we?"  Since he is almost always the one ready to leave the "hard" conversation first --within a few sentences :)-- he is usually the one to make that repair attempt or what I used to think of as the escape attempt.  I have been experimenting with going back one step and saying something like those two examples, and he will nod eagerly, ready to move on.  I'm hoping this can somehow teach him to do the same, BEFORE he offers the lame joke, reads me a billboard, or asks how are the kids?  (Yes, most of our conversations are in the car, where he can't run off.  LOL)

Repair Attempt...

I like having a name for this situation, other than something to say to prevent "Round Two" ding, ding... I know my DW thought I was just trying to brush the issue under the rug when I tried the Repair Attempt. I'm sure in the past I Did want to escape the subject, but I don't now. I want to End the subject one way or the other in the ways you describe, I'm Sorry, She's Sorry, We disagree on this subject and are sorry about the way the argument ended badly. I get more anxiety ridden the longer the Cold/Silent encounters go on, but looking for an opportunity for the RA is also difficult. 

Morning Rush: X

Meet for Lunch: Possible, if we exchange hopeful emails (too hard to talk at my open office environment) but not much time at lunch because we are working.

After Work: Difficult, what time do we get home? do all the kid stuff, then it's pretty late (Meds about gone) and lots of pressure to begin RA

No matter what, it's tough, because I remember all the lame RA's I've attempted in the pre-diagnosis past, she expects another lame one, so I have to Jump Off the Bridge at the right time with the Right Materials.

Car Conversations: Are just awful (LOL)

Restaurant Conversations: Work a little better, because the kids and other home interruptions are not there and it is a public place and we both would die if one of us made a "Scene" Great explanation of a very difficult to diagram type of conversation. Thanks Gardener!


I'm not buying it

Morning Rush:  X 

You can totally stop short in the middle of the kitchen, put your hands on your wife's shoulders, look into her eyes, and say "I'm sorry we argued." * Quick kiss, on to the sandwich making or whatever.  I just acted this out in the privacy of my own home, and it took me 12.6 seconds.  Course the kiss was a little longer than it needed to be.  

Am I crazy?  Could this go wrong somehow?  Even if it did go wrong, would it be worse somehow?   

*This is not an apology in true sense of admitting wrongdoing and asking forgiveness.  It is an expression of regret.  It doesn't need an answer, it doesn't need reciprocation, it doesn't need explanation.**

**Good grief.  I'm starting to use footnotes.  

What you describe...

In theory sounds good, but she usually sees my approach and and stares down this approach. I am not very "Smooth" in these moments...

Don't worry about the footnotes ;)

something will work or it won't

It is so challenging when one spouse seems "stuck" and the other is ready to make a change.  The change-agent keeps trying to work that old change magic on the stuck person, because it seems like that is the obstacle.  But sometimes (okay, usually, but I hate to over-state the case) when the change-agent makes a change, the stuck person has to develop a new response.  And there is no magic A, B, C list of changes to make, because your relationship is as unique as each of you is.  One thing that helped me "move on" when my guy's stuckness had me trapped was this exercise ( I don't do it daily, but will do it daily for a week whenever I am sinking into despair again).  I resolve that, once a day, I will respond with love to my mate when I don't feel like it.  It has to be a moment when I would respond with "the usual" (hurt, anger, sarcasm, martyrdom, whatever your bag is) and I stop, acknowledge it to myself, and offer love instead.  This is not swallowing your feelings, being a doormat, accepting bad behavior... this is choosing to offer love (to someone you love, by the way) instead of offering crap when that is your first instinct.  If you have religious or spiritual beliefs, there's probably precedent for this there.  Or if you just want to stop doing the same and getting the same, this is a good exercise.  It's "exercise" because it works new muscles.  You can't make him do differently.  But if you do differently, he may choose to do differently as well.  And even if he doesn't, you have stretched a little.  

Hm... this is familiar

My DH will do anything to avoid a 'talk' with me.  I try and try... and sometimes I can get him to agree to sit down with me after the kids go to sleep just to touch base and try to figure out what we need to coordinate for the week.  I USED to try to talk about our relationship - but no longer.  It's too exhausting because it's like pulling teeth to get him to say anything.  He won't put his iPad/phone away.  when i sit down and ask if he's busy or if we can have a 15 minute chat there is always a huge sigh and "...If we have to..."  

Just tonight I tried, because we're leaving the country for a week on monday and I thought it would be good to make a list of stuff that needs to happen.  He said he had 'lots of work and stuff to get done."  which I can understand, but then he has spent the last 2 hours on the iPad reading articles, watching videos, and on Facebook, while I've been cleaning up the kitchen and putting things away and tidying up the daily mess everyone makes.

Oh... Yeah... Just a reminder folks:  I AM THE ADHD SPOUSE!


I don't really have anything to add, but I imagine the behaviors you just described and Know the responses I would get from my DW... This sounds more like the Typical Guy thing and certainly an ADD thing. You are trying to Not let your ADD get you off course and not getting the help to do so. Geeeeeez...

Did you talk to the doc yet? I'm sure they will take care of you. 

Take care...

Just shows...

Ellenmenno, to me, this just shows that some behavior is just plain rude, inconsiderate, and selfish -- ADHD or not! That's why I suspect not all ADHDers are "doing the best they can" either -- rude behavior should not be tolerated from anyone in a relationship. If ANYONE acts rudely in a relationship, it is up to them to make amends for the behavior -- not up to the other spouse to just be understanding because they can't help it.... I'll believe that some can't help blurting things out or doing something impulsively. But ANYONE can apologize and admit they were wrong. Just my opinion.