shut down

I have been researching for over a year now the "  why " that is behind my shutting down towards my husband and marriage  .  Taking the shame and blame for over 35 years, of course , I still thought the problem was with me. Then a copy of Melissa's book came my way , and , BAM !  I'm sure you have all heard this thousands of times , but , it described my life and feelings to the letter . Imagine my relief ! I wanted to scream it from the roof tops ! I'm not crazy !! There is actually  a reason behind all of our heartache !!! It was as if this huge dark , abnormal , life-threatening , mind-grinding , bone -crushing , life - sucking mystery had been solved .

The first thing I did was to have my 17 year old son evaluated ( I had known he was struggling with something ...ADD never entered my mind ).  He is now on meds and they have made a difference in his academics and other areas in his life .

The next thing I did was to ask my 25 year old son to get evaluated . He did . He is in the process of going on meds. He has struggled with OCD for years and we are hopeful this may help him in that area.

I approached my husband carefully and asked him to read the book , which he did . He agreed to get evaluated , and he has . He was not happy with some comments that were made to him by the doctor and now he wants a second opinion . He is scheduled for more testing in the middle of December .  I've always known something was very off and very strange ...we've gone through counseling for devastating things that have happened in our marriage . I've been to Al-ANON meetings thinking that was the problem .  I've watched people adore this charming fun-loving  guy for years , all the while I was dying inside and shutting down emotionally .

My problem is that I am so shut down that I can't even talk to  him . I don't even want to be in the same room with him . I am so numbed to him that the idea of working together is incredibly overwhelming to me. He still thinks that I am trying to blame him for everything and find fault with him , so I don't even bring ADHD up anymore . Believe me when I say that I showed restraint when I did bring it up in the beginning . I am aware of all of his efforts to make our marriage better and that he has been trying so hard for so many years .  He is so discouraged .  We are both so sad and frustrated !

How do you talk to someone that you've been trying to protect yourself from for so many years ? How do you let yourself be vulnerable enough to risk ? How do open yourself up again ? I am so afraid that I'm way past being able to - even if I wanted to.  We are looking at a future that may include separating , which neither of us really want at this point in our lives . But the high cost of living with him -to myself - is more than I can bear .

Thank you for any insight and suggestions .

ADHD effect on marriage?

I'm not sure that I can suggest a lot as I'm only 2 years into my relationship with an ADD partner. However, ADD was a clear problem from the start (although I'm only now realising how big a problem!)

Like I said, don't know that I can offer a lot of help, other than to say that I completely sympathise with the fear of getting close again. It's not something I can pull myself together to do as it does feel like an impossibility! 

One thing that I'm considering is buying Melissa Orlov's book 'ADHD effect on marriage'. It seems to have very good reviews. Maybe it would give you some ideas on what to do... I do find that the simple realisation that there are a lot of people feeling the same way as me is a big help.

Good luck.

Thank you . I've read her

Thank you . I've read her book and a few others .

They do help very much ...shedding light into the darkness and confusion !

My struggle is having learned coping skills over the years to survive ,

having created such a separate life within our marriage ,

how do I begin to connect again when my heart feels so frozen towards him ?

Finding a community helps tremendously ! Thanks for your reply !


justme2013's picture

I am where you are and on

I am where you are and on most days I actually want to feel the way I used to when I look at my husband, but I don't. I am still in love with him....but I have shut down like you. Not knowing what else to do I guess I went numb and felt that if I don't let him in and if I don't open my heart when he says how sorry he is and tells me all the things he is going to do to "fix" this marriage I won't be hurt when the follow through fails as it always does. The whole scene has frazzled my nerves and has me anxious....I don't know how to open back up and what if its just like every other time and you are disappointed....then what? Where do I draw the line? 

I have told this several

I have told this several times on the board, I am surrounded by ADD.  I believe my father and brother are both undiagnosed ADD, my first husband went undiagnosed and died when my son was 17 months old.  My son who is almost 18 now was diagnosed with severe AD/HD at 4, my daughter who is almost 14 was diagnosed at 11, and my husband (we have been together almost 16 years) just was diagnosed ADD 2 years ago.

I have been surround by ADD and have known no serious adult relationship with a man that didn't have ADD.  I know love, history, and familiarity are some of the reasons I continue to try to work towards a healthier relationship.  However, thoughts of fighting for something that appears I only care about seems pointless.  He has tried and makes some efforts but it's almost too little too late.  It's hard to trust someone who has constantly disappointed you over and over.  It's like I've seen improvements when he has sensed I'm about ready to pack my bags, so I see hope and it'll get better, just to watch him slowly regress backwards.  I put in a post earlier that it's taking two steps forward then three steps back.

I can't tell you to keep fighting the good fight and that love conquers all.  I can only say I have tremendous empathy for your situation.  At least, my children were diagnosed early and my husband did agree to seek treatment and is taking medication (not that I am seeing a whole lot of benefit from it yet, but some).

I'm sure if you two really want to make it last you will feel it in your heart and learn to trust.  Otherwise, I say free yourself and live the next chapter of your life free of an ADD partner.