Over It But Hopeful

Thank you so much for this site! I had no idea that so much of what has been going on in my marriage is tangled up with ADHD.  I read the posts here from all of you willing to share your experiences, and I could have written them all myself.  I’m so tired of the pain.  I have been married to a man with ADHD for 23 years and little by little, day by day, all order and sanity has seemed to slip away, and now at 46 years old, I find myself at lonely, angry, frustrated, hopeless, and ready to just walk away.  He always blamed me for everything, and for a long time, I believed him.  He was diagnosed about 5 years ago and started taking meds.  It helps, but it doesn’t really solve any of the underlying issues or behaviors.  The really crazy thing is that after everything, I still love him.  I want to help him, but I also know that I can’t fix it.

I’m having a hard time finding the words to express myself here (and I’m a writer..HA!) because everything has become so absolutely out of control.  My mind has become so overwhelmed by everything that I can no longer sort it all out and see a clear path.  It’s like I’ve caught the ADHD and am now suffering from it as well.  I’ve given up trying to keep the house clean, having family dinners, having friends over, and a lot of other things I enjoy simply because I’m constantly exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically from the constant struggle.  I just want to breathe, and sometimes that is all I can do.

Over the years, I’ve learned to stuff my emotions because he could never deal with them.  When I would express emotions, which I will admit were pretty intense by the time they finally spilled out after being denied for so long, he would always shut me down, usually by getting angry and running away to his man-cave.   If I pursued him, he would usually respond by saying something hurtful, or by calling me names, which just shut me down further.  I used to be a very emotional person; now, I just feel numb most of the time because the pain is just too much when I let it through.  I don’t like who I’ve become.  Sometimes I hate that I love him because if I didn’t, it would be easy to just walk away. 

I realize now that we didn’t have the tools to communicate effectively…or even at all.  He sees that too, at least he says he does.  No matter how hard I try, I just can’t get into that brain of his.  Yet, this site has really helped me see that this whole thing is not about me and that I’m not crazy. I’m a victim of this disorder just like he is.  Perhaps there is hope for us.  We have decided to seek couples therapy (again), but this time, we are going in with a better knowledge of the role ADHD plays in our relationship.  He has also agreed to see a counselor who specializes in ADHD himself because for the first time, ever, he realizes he needs more tools to function.  So maybe we are going to be alright.  Time will tell.  I’ve put 23 years into this marriage, so I owe it to myself and to him to not give up just yet.  I just want the pain to stop because I don’t know how much more I have left to give.  Thanks for listening--it is good to know someone is.