My husband and I have been separated, amicably, for more than a year after having been together for 16 years. We're both working on ourselves, supportive of each other, and trying to find our own paths without expectation. During our time apart, we've both read about ADD and independently have come to believe that we both have it. Ironically, I think this realization is strengthening our connection and gives me some hope for our future together … we have an tween daughter and co-own a business together.
On the plus side, I've estimated that we've avoided at least 17,000 - 28,000 fights because we both have ADDish tendencies and are patient and understanding of these life/culture implications (that's 3-5 fights per day we avoided because both "we get it" and don't get mad at each other). For example, I forget to pay health insurance and we lost coverage and instead of yelling he shrugged/smiled: "I know you'll fix it when you can," or we are both late meeting each other because we both can't find our car keys and both can't text because we both forgot to charge our cell phones, or I'd burn another pot because I heat up my tea in it and forget it is on the stove and he'd open windows to get out the burnt smell and ask calmly if it is worth the effort to try to salvage the pot again or just throw it out, and all family members got used to living out of clean bins of laundry near the dryer because he'd never fold clothes or transport them to dressers/closets when he was the stay-home-dad (now separated and in charge of my own laundry, I do the same thing!).
So why did we separate? Things started great when we lived in the city together and had exciting, fast-paced, deadline-driven jobs. We got a country house five years later when our daughter was born and he did the back and forth for a while and I was able to transition to self-employment. Things went down hill fast when we decided to live in the country full time. He gave up his job, we lost the excitement of the city, he got fired from his new job in the country, developed somatic back pain and depression when he became the stay at home dad, and numbed out. I saw him become unmotivated, irritable, isolated, a chronic *** smoker, cocky/unlikable to others, his sex-drive decreased. I became over-worked, resentful, exhausted, the sole bread-earner, barely able to keep up executive functioning household tasks, turned to food, filled my life with a busy work/social/volunteer schedule to be away from him (he complained about his back and never wanted to go out as a family, just smoked and watched tv), he says I became too controlling with money. Sometimes I'd developed "drug crushes" with men I now realize were ADHD because our brains/energy synched up when we'd become hyper focused together and obsessed with interests/projects/creativity together (I mean the connections were like a drug, no actual drugs for me). They were platonic connections but stirred up a deep longing and loneliness inside along with the highs of that intense connection and the lows when they ended. These connections understandably hurt him, most of all because he felt I wasn't interested in him anymore. I felt trapped in my life, fell out of love with my H, wanted a separation. He said a separation wasn't what he wanted but if I needed that to be happy, he would.
In separation, his sense of self is improving through his depression meds and his work efforts at the business we started (not making much of a profit yet but he has stepped up to work hard for the first time in many years). He has always been a good communicator, he is loving and kind, has never cheated on me, is not physically or verbally abusive, but still smokes *** a lot, still hangs out with very troubled souls, isn't really facing his childhood abuse, is oddly unlikable in the company of my friends but he's generally a sweet, good guy when we're alone. I feel like I'm making progress with rewiring my brain/autonomic nervous system through somatic therapy. I've been focusing on our daughter, being present for/attuned to her, and creating more stability/predictability in our home environment (arriving at airports really early so she doesn't experience life running down the gangplank every time we fly anymore). I'm in debt and financially carrying all of us, but I still have a specialized skill that pays well and believe I can undig if I procrastinate less and take on more jobs. It is a transition to get off the adrenaline roller coaster and just live life in a more simple, let-the-emotions-come-up-and-feel-them way.
It is hard to be in limbo with my husband. I'm feeling more grounded/together and am ready for a relationship again. I can't tell if we've got a deep connection or if my self-esteem is low and I'm putting up with something that is objectively pretty bad, or maybe his self-esteem is low and he's putting up with a woman who has a hard time letting his love in. I'm wondering if we should both get proper evaluation for ADD and possibly try meds. I think we're realizing we were both putting up walls that prevented us from experiencing a deeper connection/more intimacy in our marriage.
Any advice for getting out of limbo or how to evaluate my situation?