Hello to all again - splitting off a sub-topic from my first attempt at posting here (which seems to have a ton of new replies since I last checked)...
I find myself stuck in a very deep rut for the last 2-3 years when it comes to saying things to my partner when she's upset, or to keep her from getting upset in the first place. "Second-guessing" was listed as a hurtful pattern in an ADHD marriage, but in my case it goes the other way. Her anger and her instantaneous blow-ups have things stuck in neutral.
If there's one loooong and comprehensive list I could spit out on demand, it's all the hurtful jabs or retorts my (non-ADHD) spouse has thrown my way over the years. Not that I didn't deserve them, and not that she wasn't trying to make herself feel a bit better, but I have unfortunately cataloged all of them to the point where I'm tied up in knots when it comes to saying anything at all.
Some of the things I've read in books which seem laughable now: using humor to defuse tension, asking for credit on a different issue, requesting to talk about it later, saying the word "sorry", the word "try", or the phrase "I know that you must be", pointing out why my actions just hurt her, saying that we can make it better next time, I really do care, asking for a hug, saying that we need a 20-minute cool-down.
The index of angry replies is long: you don't care and you haven't for years -- don't try to hug me and don't even get near me -- man up for once and just let me yell at you -- don't just walk away you sissy -- don't make jokes about my pain -- don't you dare change the subject -- don't say "sorry" if you do this again and again -- this is ruined forever so don't talk about tomorrow -- just make believe you fixed it so you can get out of bed tomorrow without feeling like shit -- don't say "try", you don't try, never have, never will ........ etc.
I would like to make it clear to her just how stuck I feel in these situations, and to ask for us to meet in the middle somehow. But I get accused of needing to be "spoon-fed" and having her do all the effort. (What can I do to make you feel better right now, or to help you understand I'm sorry? NO SPOON-FEEDING!) So I sit and think of all the possible directions which will get me screamed at, called names, or worse. I guess one (or two, or three) times is enough for me to strike a particular remark or word from the records.... but I must be too hyperfocused or logical... not seeing the emotions, or the bigger picture, ever.
Recently I was told something a bit new: my wussy parents clearly raised a wimpy child who can't "push his way through the tough stuff" to get to the heart of the conversation he thinks should happen. And yet, enduring the screaming in my face :L"you knew that would infuriate me"... "why do you always have to push me more"... "you just love to escalate these talks until I hurt myself"... "I shouldn't have to tell you how to show me you care"... further down the dead-end street... just seriously frustrated here and feel like I'm missing something painfully obvious...