Progress After Taking Couples Course

I am happy with a bit of improvement I have seen thus far.

I just completed the couples course by myself as my husband would not join me in the live course but we have listened to 3 sessions together afterwards but he will not do any more sessions.

SO I have been working on myself and have come to several aha moments. I have changed at least 10 things about myself and have been sticking to it. I have been evaluating everything that I say and do now since about a month or so ago when the aha moments sunk in and I was ready to implement them.

So this “rant” is the result of trying to have a “learning conversation” (part of the course). At least this is how I interpreted that to mean and tried to have one with my spouse.

Husband agreed to take the kitchen trash (one 13 gallon bag) out on Thursdays- after a very rough learning conversation. I expressed my utter distaste for that task. I mentioned calmly that I take out the compost, the other household trash-2 offices, 2 bathrooms,2 in bedroom, and 3 misc trash in other rooms weekly. He was very agreeable and said he would do it happily. Then he immediately turned to an angry stance about why should he and how unfair it was as he is the one supporting us and he shouldn't have to do any chores. He said I was beating the subject to death especially when I asked that he not put the trash in the open bed of the truck where the crows, raccoons etc decimate it or leave it exposed in the trash area when several empty bins were available. I guess I should have not said that part as he retorted that I was busting his bX*&s. I am being honest when I say I did not provoke this response.  I calmy explained the reasons why  this incomplete method of trash removal caused more mess, smell and complaints from neighbors and how it made me feel. The result was he begrudgingly put a reminder in his phone to do it at noon on Thursdays something he  came up with. He suggested the day and time. I agreed calmly.

So he has done that chore for about 3 weeks ( I responded with thanks and praise) with one of the weeks -he used his judgment as trash barrel was not full yet so he did it on Saturday when it was full. He mentioned that and I responded that I did notice it, praised him and thanked him  a day or so later again for doing that. I also said I was so very appreciate and that it had made me very happy.I  said you are correct why take the trash if it isn't full yet.

Yesterday he took the one bag out and left it in the hall at about 10 am.

I came down from my home office and saw it there after he had left for work.

I did something “different” as was stressed in the course.

  • I did not complete the task of taking it out to the trash outside.(I usually do out of frustration)
  • And I did not go “ballistic” about why a single bag of trash couldn't get taken out.

The bag stayed there for several hours.The down side would have been it starting to smell.The dog could have ripped it and eaten chicken bones etc. but luckily the dog was with him all day so she did not get to it.

When I came down from my home office at 6pm for dinner the bag was gone.

So I had to adjust my expectations about how and when it was done- that is not according to my standards but it was taken out. I realize he could be testing me. I also realize that because of the ADHD he got distracted and “forgot” that it was there. I had heard him go in and out several times before he finally left for work- which is usual as he gets out to the truck and realizes he has forgot something- each time he walked by the bag he had left there. Our trash bin is in an area outside is near the driveway and although he doesn't walk by it it is not a large detour to put the trash in the bin and then get in the truck. But this did not happen this am

Also I should note that I had put a new lace curtain in a large window above the sink in the kitchen 2 days ago. I know he had not noticed it yet even though he had been at the sink several times. He still had not noticed it last night when we were in the kitchen together. I was desperate for a compliment as I had sewed it. I asked him if he liked the new curtain I sewed and installed. He then said that he had not even noticed. Then he said yes he liked it.

So him not noticing the trash bag after he had put it there himself in the hall really is typical behavior for him.

I struggled to understand that but after the couples course I now understand that the ADHD brain is wired very differently than mine.

Also he still is very rebellious and defiant (at 65!) than the most rebellious teenager you know.

All in all, I believe that this is a sign of improvement and am encouraged.

I neglected to compliment him about it last night at dinner (my bad) but I did compliment him this am. And I am not sure if I praise him another time say on Saturday about it again if that will be overboard in the praise department?

Does anyone have any comment or similar thoughts about suddenly noticing a change in their spouse and how to be genuine about praise?

Or how to cope with realizing that my way is not the end all of how to do stuff correctly?

Or about an ADHD spouse not noticing “stuff”.? In the past literally I have re-arranged the entire living room and he has not noticed for 2 weeks. So I think I have a “tough nut to crack”.

I also appreciate any validation as I am very needy in that department as I have been dismissed and invalidated for most of the marriage .Thanks in advance.