For Sherri

Sherri, I hope I don’t step on your toes here but I’ve been reading quite a number of your posts and have a few thoughts.  They’re a jumble in there so I’m just going to ramble.

I haven’t been dealing with the ADHD thing as long or maybe in as difficult a scenario has many of the others here.  I have dealt with the blame game, the checking out, the inappropriate behaviours with other women, the lack of meaningful communication, not returning calls, the frustration etc., etc.,  and can honestly say we’re  in a really good spot right now. 

A couple of things keep popping out at me from your posts and these are not necessarily ADHD specific. 

If I focussed on our “relationship” as much as you do my BF simply couldn’t take it.  He would either shut down or crawl out of his own skin.   A very close male friend who is non-add once said to me he, “would rather drive spikes in his eyes than talk about this stuff”.  I asked him why and he said he didn’t know, he just hated it. 

It feels to me like you are living and breathing adhd and though I understand how you came to be there…just stop.  In it’s own way its controlling, critical and, at this point, self propagating leaving no room just to enjoy life.  It is exhausting to both of you.  Just stop.  It doesn’t have to be fixed today. 

You are biting your nose to spite your face.  You’ve been doing the same thing for so long and it’s not working.   Just stop.   Try something else…like silence.

Get off this site for a little while.  Go about your day as if you were single.  Do exactly what you want to do.  Do what makes you feel happy inside.  Exercise, go for walks, decompress and let your own brain chemicals level out again.  You’ve been stressed for so long they have to be out of wack.   MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY.  But, do not say one word to your husband about your relationship, your needs your disappointments or a single thing you want him to do, discuss or be.  In fact, unless it’s for a compliment don’t say one thing to him.  I don’t mean be unfriendly or nasty…just quiet.  Don’t answer to him, don’t wait around for his attention and don’t acknowledge any unpleasant behaviour on his part.   Be your own woman.  Decorate your own garden.   It sounds to me like he’s running but it may just be because you’re chasing him so damn hard.  If he tanks again so be it.  Don’t try to fix it.  It doesn’t work when you do anyway.  The line I use in my head when I know I’m going to start fixing something is, “he got to 49 years old without my help”.

I’m not religious but it sounds like you are.  Start going...alone.  Stop trying to make him go with you!  It only creates more angst and diminishes your own experience.  Whether he chooses to embrace it should be exactly that …his choice.

Start learning to enjoy your own company more.  
Our ADHD partners are not the only ones who might describe a bait ‘n switch.

It’s seems to me you know how you want to feel but don’t know how to get it.  Much like your husband.  The more you push the farther you are from getting it.   He may trust you as little as you trust him albeit for different reasons.  I’d imagine he perceives you as a bit of a “hot stove” right now.  Whether you are justified or not doesn’t change the fact.

If I were a betting person I would wager the more you address the betrayal issue the greater the odds it will happen again.  I know you want it acknowledged in a way that makes you feel like he understands how much it scarred you individually and as a couple.   You want reassurance it will never happen again.   I suspect that everything that can be said has been said.  Neither of you is deaf.  All the words were heard but for right now, it’s not going to happen.  Accept that one day it might and maybe not in a way you expected, but today is not that day.

I don’t normally condone or encourage manipulative behaviour but I do think I’ve gotten more out of understanding how my bf’s mind works as an end to meeting my needs than by demanding it.   I keep biting my tongue because I feel in your posts that as much as you are trying to address control issues they are still very much there.  You want him to fix himself and you want him to do it the way you think will work.  Quite obviously he does not agree.  I don’t intend that you should clam up and accept bad behaviour but I do believe there is more than one way to skin a cat.  When you ask him what would bring out the best in him what does he say?  When you ask him what can you do to make his life happier what does he say?  Someone has to lead the train and I have found the happier my guy is the more he knocks himself out to make sure I am.

I did go silent for three months.  I did learn to feel truly happy in my own company again.  I did decide to never bring up a betrayal again.  The funny thing is that the more I kept quiet about the past the more he turned himself inside out to be transparent and make me feel secure and loved.  The whole dynamic has taken on a life of it’s own.  One of the most important things I think I did was ask him what he needed and really listened to his answer.  He said over and over, patience, be nicer and less controlling.  He openly admitted some of the things he did were based around digging his heels in and taking jabs at me. 

This is going to sound gross to a lot of people but I equated re-training our relationship to training a dog.  Positive re-enforcement makes them WANT to please you.  Yelling, nattering or hitting gets them to suffer you in the moment but does little for the next time; just makes them sneaky. 

I know you extended yourself way and beyond trying to understand and fix your relationship.  I’m just saying maybe it’s time to stop trying so hard and just be for a while; for your sake and his.  You might be surprised at what a little rest can do for you.

The only way I can think of doing it when you’re in the same household is to detach inside your own head and keep saying to yourself it doesn’t need to be fixed today.  Try living in an adhd mindset… more in the moment, more procrastination and way more fun.

I really don’t know how to say this gently, but have you considered that maybe your husband, adhd or not, really doesn’t want the marriage to survive and no amount of work you do will change that?

He who cares the least controls the most”

I’m sure I’ve probably pissed a few people off  but jmo and I don’t see the point of talking if not honestly.   This is not an attack Sherri, I get how much you’ve given of yourself… just a different perspective.

P.S. to Lululove  - treat em mean, keep em keen.  Sounds to me like your guy is baiting/messing with you…just because he can…brat. 

Two days ago out of the blue my bf said to me, “I love that you get my my quirks but don’t take shit off me”.