I've long struggled with the feeling that my ADD guy is "not interested" in me, and then struggled with the idea that I need "too much" attention. He tends to either not pay attention when I'm speaking, or cut me off to do something else (including leaving the room), or interrupt to talk himself. Not interrupt as in contribute to the "conversation" but to change the subject completely. About two years ago, I almost entirely stopped answering his question "How was your day?" because I realized he didn't really want an answer. He's very satisfied with "pretty good" or "busy" or "not bad", then he's off to the races to talk for 20 minutes without a breath about his day. I realized if I talked about a challenging issue at work, he would invariably respond with "that sucks" or "you'll figure it out" or "huh". When he says "how was your day" I think it is because he was raised to be a somewhat socially acceptable person, and that is a socially acceptable thing to ask. But he never really wants to know. So now I just imagine telling him about my day, imagine him saying "sucks", imagine feeling crappy about that, and skip directly to "pretty good" or "busy".
BUT I had a huge realization this weekend while reading "Gabby". Congresswoman Giffords's husband Mark Kelly was writing about the difficulties in communicating with her during her recovery, and her difficulty finding the words she needs to communicate. He wrote about her inability for many months to ask original questions. He would speak, and she would respond, by listening intently and when able, with single words or short phrases. But for a long while she was unable to ask questions, to draw him out, to express interest. I was really affected by this, and so related to the feeling of trying to communicate with someone who never asks any questions. I wept for a while. And was reminded of my guy once telling me, accusing me, really, that I only asked him questions because I wanted him to ask me back. Guilty, I guess. A satisfying conversation with my husband would not be an exchange of stories, i.e., you talk and I'll listen, then I'll talk and you listen. It would be participatory, back and forth, engaged, INTERESTED! That's what I'm struggling with today.