Re: still confused

Hi group, Maybe someone can give me insight into my adhd husband's type of adhd, because it is still confusing to me, and at times I am just STUMPED. He was never lazy, in fact he was always "doing something" (I guess hyperactivity?)He didn't do things in ways that most kids would do, but I guess some of his actions could have seemed as "lazy". He WAS messy, and never put anything back, and his father was always angry at him for something.

     He always did very well in school and got straight A's, which is not usual for the "typical" adhd person. In fact school was "easy" for him, meaning, he rarely had to study and STILL got good grades with honors. (considered a nerd) His social life was more difficult for him though. He was scared to death of girls (his words) most of his growing up, and only had one real "friend". I've asked some of his old friends (aquaintinces) what he was like when he was young, and found out that HIS view of his childhood friendships were different than how his "friends" saw things. He was very impatient with people, and the other kids saw him as "somewhat mean" or "disconnected". He couldn't talk with people easily, or make friends easily, (which he's had trouble with most of his adult life) I know his social awkwardness has hurt him in his adult professional career, and he's been very angry with me if I tried to suggest ways to "mingle" or "network" with other co-workers. (which I don't do anymore)

   My husband's lack of talking and communicating has been the most difficult thing. He can talk for hours if it is about his interests, job, or himself, but when it comes to our relationship, he stops. I know our lack of communication due to all the years of undiagnosed adhd has played a huge part in this, but, he STILL thinks that I'm the one "who can't say things right". In the past, we've had hundreds of disagreements of "You said this", "No you didn't", "Yes you did", "You didn't say that", "I didn't say that". I would be AMAZED at things he "thought" I said/or didn't say, would be exactly the OPPOSITE of what was said. (and vise versa) I thought I was going crazy. Here is someone who is SO smart and educated, and yet "simple communication" about our every day life, is akin to torture.

   My main point is this: I am still having difficulty dealing with my husbands lack of relationship skills/communication. I don't know whether to just stop fretting over this, or whether to keep trying to communicate. I haven't been successful in my past attempts at communication, so should I leave it up to him? There ARE things that are bothering him but he keeps telling me, "I just keep it to myself". I tell him, but that hasn't been helping, so lets try to find another way to say or do things so that we CAN know what each other is saying. I often wonder if there is something more than adhd going on with him. (one counselor suggested the possibility of Asperger's) But, there is NO way my husband will look at anything else other than adhd. He is ok with having adhd, and taking Concerta for it, but DON'T suggest there is anything else.

   I just can't reach him when it comes to US. So, I don't know what he thinks a "good marriage" or a "good relationship" should consist of. It's frustrating, it's confusing, it hurts and years just keep going by without any resolution or breakthrough with this. I know I'm rambling, but we have this WALL between us that just never comes down and nothing can go through. So, I just don't know what is left. Thanks for listening

dede

I think there are maybe two

I think there are maybe two separate issues here...but it's all leading to the same issue.

 

First, the classic "he said, she said" that plagues many of these marriages. Second, your need to know what he is thinking and feeling and his unwillingness (or inability) to convey this to you.

Counseling helped TREMENDOUSLY with the first for me and my husband. What I learned is that everything that comes out of my mouth (well, mostly everyone's mouth) he takes with a negative connotation and immediately turns it into a personal attack on him. Always. Sometimes aren't so bad, others I literally find myself refusing to even speak unless I absolutely have to. This, to me, is proof positive of untreated ADHD (or something?). Over the years, my anger and resentment mounting, I have 'learned' to speak to him in all the wrong ways. This contributes to the miscommunication as well. One time in counseling I was asked a question and I rambled on for a good 2-3 minutes about how he was doing this and doing that and so on and so forth and when I stopped the counselor asked him "what do you hear her saying?" he responded with "I hear her saying that everything is my fault" and the counselor said "really??!" even she was shocked. She continued.."all I hear her saying is that she misses you". I need to learn to shut up and just simply say "I miss you and would like to spend more time with you" and he needs to learn to trust that my motives aren't to destroy him at every turn. I love him madly. I hope he gets that soon.

As for him expressing his feelings...there are many times over the years that I have felt an urgent sense of desperation to just know what he was thinking and how he felt about the state of our marriage...so I can relate to you wanting to discuss 'feelings' and 'thoughts' with him. However, if you aren't careful, your relationship will evolve to the point where this is ALL you find yourself wanting to discuss is the issues, problems, and such. My husband told me during counseling once..just out of the blue.."why don't you just stop trying to fix everything all the time and just relax?!" Easy for him to say, right??!! But he's right. Hours of talking, nagging, bitching, fighting, controlling, and complaining hadn't changed a flippin thing in 6 long years...and Lord knows my entire life revolved around spending every waking minute micro managing him and developing mad skills used to manipulate and control him. I have to trust in the Lord (and in what I know logically to be true) that if we spend a day or two just enjoying each other's company and discussing mindless, mundane things that it does more to renew our spirits and love for each other than any fight, talk, or discussion we've ever had. There is a time and place for working on the relationship...but it needs to be specific, short, concise, controlled, and at a time agreed upon by both parties. (counseling sessions are the ideal place to iron out the hard stuff). I am more relaxed and at peace with my marriage and life now than I have ever been. I've just given up trying to make things happen...focused on making a path for myself (which involves intentionally making plans that don't include him, not letting it ruin my year when he refuses to do things with me, etc) and have ever faith that no matter what happens, even if it all ends tomorrow,  that I will be OK. I listen when he wants to talk, pick and choose when I discuss issues with him carefully, and am just taking things day-to-day. If he wants to share his feelings, I am here....otherwise, I have no choice but to let him work it out on his own...but the key thing is DO NOT TAKE IT personally.