Shut Down

First, let me say, I am committed to my marriage and do not want to break up my family.  But ADD is making my life hell.  I have almost completely shut down towards my husband and just can't seem to help it.  He is trying and honestly has no idea how negatively his ADD affects me.  Or maybe he has head knowledge but it doesn't register enough for him to make any changes.  I know that my reactions to his ADD are just as bad as his inability to pay attention to me.  I am just at my wits end and so tired of being unhappy.  I have talked, cried, explained till I have nothing left.  He hears me in the moment, says I am the most important thing, wants our marriage to improve...blah, blah, blah...then goes right back to spending the majority of his time with his face buried in his laptop for hours at a time.  I am lucky that he is very capable of holding a job and owns his own business. He has always been a good provider and I have been able to stay at home since we had children.  But the economy has severely impacted our income and he is home more often than not now.  It is slowly driving me crazy!!!  Today, I did 5 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, 2 bathrooms and swept and vacuumed the floors.  He sat on the couch playing on his laptop all day...as he does most days.  He says he is "working".  In reality, 80% of the time he is arguing with people on political blogs or posting stupid stuff on Facebook.  Did I mention I am going crazy?!!  I guess I am just venting.  I just have really hit my limit.  We have been to counseling in the past and it helped somewhat.  I no longer hold everything in and am more verbal about my needs, etc.  He is more willing to listen and talk things through.  There have just still been no significant changes... from either of os.  We are stuck in this crazt dysfunctional cycle.  I want off this train!

Ditto

Yup, all too familiar.  I'm at wits end.

arguing politics

He says he is "working".  In reality, 80% of the time he is arguing with people on political blogs.

Is this an ADD thing?  Arguing politics?  DH is so SURE of himself and is COMMITTED to arguing politics - If you are not on his side he will have nothing to do with you and you are just stupid.  AND EVERY discussion, no matter how or about what it starts, ends with him railing about stupid people and politics.

Debate is engaging. An ADHD

Debate is engaging. An ADHD brain in the middle of fierce ideological battle is like a kid in a candy store. I'm much more political than the average person, and it does bother my wife at times. She is not interested at all in these types of discussions. I used to post and engage in debate much more frequently, but have largely disengaged in the past year or so. Part of that I hope is a recognition that it was an escape, but the nature of my world-view also had something to do with it. Without actually getting into this kind of discussion, suffice it to say that I now see all politics as inherently immoral. In arguments with my wife she will sometimes rail about how I can find the time to spend arguing online, but can't seem to remember to do X that actually matters. I have a minor disagreement in that I don't think political discussion is meaningless, but she is absolutely correct that priorities are out of wack. Like I said I have toned it down significantly. During the recent presidential primaries it was watching political videos every night and spontaneously writing 5000-word treatises on governance. Hyperfocus, I guess. I never dismissed opposing viewpoints brought forward in good faith, but I am indeed sure of my position as coming from more unniversal first premises rather than any kind of political playbook. When I was really going overboard I did bend conversations that way, but not so much these days. I'd be interested if there is a more prevalent political leaning among ADHDers. I bet it probably doesn't matter as long as we get to be passionate about it. The more radical the better, I expect. For instance, I identify as a market anarchist, anarcho-capitalist, or voluntaryist.

What are we governing? edited

I re-read your entry and see that I went off on my own tangent.  Jack, I see you are changing your priorities.  

It's easier for us all to talk about things "out there".  I am doing it too.  I am writing here because I don't know what to do or am afraid of the home wars or am not able to get my party to partner with me or afraid of popular opinion. How would I dare to criticize people in public office when I am not able to garner a following within my own union?  It is a pill for us all to swallow. It is easier to think and talk and blame than it is to make plans and decisions and commit to a goal and govern ourselves.  I live in a country (our home) where the president (dh) is off playing on vacation figuratively but talking like he is quite the intelligent leader and strategist of world power.  What shall I do? Inept tyranny or revolution?

The question is still out there.  Do ADDers as a group spend more time than the general population discussing politics?

Well like I said I have

Well like I said I have largely disengaged from that activity as an escape. We are too busy in our family life running to the gym or various kids therapies or practices. My ethical principles that determine my stance towards human interaction aren't really an activity though. The only time I ever went to a political event was with the wife and kids, and she both enjoyed and approved of the experience. She is not alltogether without an interest in the public forum. She is, after all, an ex public school teacher and card carrying member of the NEA who now proposes to her friends that state-run schools should be dismantled. But the point here is that it is no longer a time-sink.

Perhaps I should have said I identify politically as one of those generalized labels? Maybe be a bit more direct and just call it a respect for self ownership and rejection of legitimized violence?

It is interesting you mentioning hiding here. I feel like I have to be on my guard against that as well. To some extent the drive to debate and discuss is satisfied by coming here, and it can be a way of insulating oneself. For me I think the benefits outweigh the risks, because the primary result of posting is to keep our relationship on the forefront of my mind. It is painted as a target to work on and has done a pretty good job of preventing me from settling completely down into comfortable alternate realities.

I should make a thread about this instead of just mentioning it in passing, but I think I am falling in love with my wife. Thinking so often about "us" and not being totally elsewhere all the time has made me see and appreciate her in a more intense light. Did I ever fall out of love with her? No, I just never gave our union enough consistent, regular thought. Now has this made me more engaged and more of a partner? I hope so but I doubt the practical impact holds a candle to my emotional impact. I need to keep working on it, and insurance kicks in next week.

I like your familial nation-state theme. Let's see, my household is a constitutional monarchy, where I am the silly and irrelevant royal, and my wife is a Churchillian Prime Minister.

Finding strength

Your wife has the secret to keeping herself in tact in the midst of your "doing your own thing".  She has found it possible to be a leader herself in the absence of a leader. (sorry if that hurts to hear or of this is incorrect but I am re-stating what you said when you described your nation-state marriage styles.)    I understand that you "came on board", joining in active duty for the state of the union only when it was determined that you may soon be disenfranchised from it.  Can you tell us how your wife is able to hold your interest and make you WANT to put some energy and focus on the marriage?  Does she have money of her own so that her intention to leave has legs?  Sorry to be so crass....but I am at a loss in my own marriage.... when I talk about separating or act independently, dh ignores me.   Obviously you love your wife more than my dh loves me (if he does at all) because you are here, trying and changing. My dh spends money on beer and tobacco and crossword puzzles to numb himself from his responsibilities.   What is it about your wife that enables her to stand strong in your mind and heart?  Or is it more something in you that wants to have a family unit and you are willing to try no matter what she does or says?

What gives your wife her strength?

 

I don't know if my wife has

I don't know if my wife has any secret. She's just.. strong. She has a strength of will that is pretty awe-inspiring. Like I've said I have no excuse for being broken, my childhood was filled with every opportunity, priviledge, and as supportive a family as is possible. Hers is basically the opposite. I haven't been posting because we were visiting her family since last weekend, and after interacting with her dad I am certain he would be very familiar to the nons here. He is basically a replica of the worst husbands documented. Argumentative, bitter, manipulative, loves causing pain in others, delusional, never held a job, lords over the family, verbally abusive, belittling to children, drug addiction, it just goes on and on. When my wife was 18 she moved out of the house into an apartment with her boyfriend, just to get out of that toxic environment. She has seen abuse, though not at the father's hands, and just fought through it. She just does things like that, wills herself to go where her goals take her, with no care for any excuse or crutch in the path of what she wants. I really am in awe of her resolve. This attribute of hers is why I took her seriously when she started talking about leaving. She would just fight through all the hardship, and get whatever needed to be done done to make that reality happen. Three kids in an apartment and two jobs? So be it, nothing stops her once she decides to make it happen.

I also got from this visit a good sense about our fighting. I get the feeling that her worst hurt is when my actions remind her of her father. Granted, even without my rosy-colored glasses my issues are insanely mild echos of his, but things like the ability to live in delusion are uncomfortably similar. So this is a feature of our relationship I hadn't thought very much about. Her total horror of a father, for whom she has no love, and has long cut out of her life. From about age 10 she had him pegged, and on the drive home she was bemoaning the fact that he hasn't died (For her mother's sake), despite decades of smoking, alcoholism, and drug use. Her mother is still enabling and fighting to kindle some spark of humanity in him, but my wife saw the writing on the wall and evacuated. When we buy this house it will probably have a "mother-in-law suite," and we will both lobby for her mother to break ties and come to live with us. I actually really like my mother-in-law (Of course she thinks I'm the best husband on the planet, because her basis for comparison is so pathetic) so I'm on board.

I say I'm the silly royal, but I lead nothing. I don't attempt to lead anything. It would probably be healthier if I did act more assertively, and not being part of the planning or logistics of our day-to-day activities (even if I'm part of the execution quite frequently) is a major problem between us. So she is the leader, and we are all comfortable with that scenario. I was talking to the therapist we both were seeing, and she brought up the subject of leadership between us. She has a sense that my wife thinks to herself that she really wants me to step up and take more control. She also thought that my wife isn't thinking quite so much about the conflict that may arise when my engagement on something runs counter to her own. So the therapist's assertion was that it remains to be seen whether what my wife wants is something she REALLY wants to have happen. I think more engagement is good, but in our duo my wife should always be the primary. I don't think we are that traditional either. There was never an assumption that I would lead the household, or that she would ever have any kind of de-facto submission to me. Some of that is generational, I think. This is interesting because in business I am command-and-control. I will take up the banner and lead thirty people in the charge uphill into muzzle-blasts. Believe me, building a 12-server Veritas cluster and arming it with a loadout of enterprise application controls is a hell of a lot more logistically and coordinatively challenging than getting the kids out the door with the right uniforms, sippies, and shoes. Different spheres of reality.

I have to be the good guy. When I am in a bad place and I'm not the good guy, I alter reality to make myself the good guy. This is a behavior that I have been trying to combat as a first-priority. The degree to which her anger completely surprises me as something out of nowhere is the rate of my failure working on this behavior. Fortunately in the past months being blind-sided has gone down significantly. When you ask how she holds my interest she doesn't. We are not yet in therapy and she is not involved in any of this. I got scared enough to post on this forum at 3 AM, and I've been frequenting it ever since. Along with reading some books that is the only thing keeping my feet on the ground. She is not engaged except to be supportive of whatever I come up with. We have not talked at length about this initiative of mine, but I have mentioned interactions here in passing. No part of this is a secret.

So why do I WANT to be better? Because I want to live up to my spin. I love being the smartest guy in almost every room. I love doing tasks extremely well. I love being thought of as a great husband. I love praise, being desired, and now deserving it. This is pretty much all vanity, but it is the truth. I've been falling in love with her and seeing the full scope of how awesome she is, and at the same time seeing all the cracks in my armor. No one has ever accused me of being modest, so I want to go out and eliminate those cracks, filling them with something more than just delusion. Then my conception of myself won't be false. There is probably so much psychologically wrong with seeing it that way, and maybe I'm just pontificating off the cuff, but it sounds true at this moment.

She does not have money. She was a 1st grade teacher but has been a SAHM/homeschooler since our oldest was little. There is no wealth to draw on in her family. I make all the income. But as I said this means nothing if she decides to make it happen. She will not put our children and herself through appeasement and familiar purgatory for any kind of convenience. Her mother has been too strong an example of where that leads.

We have had fights where she accuses me of not caring about her and knowing that I have her trapped. When she gets really angry she does think that I act the way I do because I feel like she has no choice but just accept it. There is no way that I could possibly have that thought. Maybe it is just a reality that might reduce my sense of urgency, but to actually ignore her or actively think that I'm in the clear due to her dependence? Not even I can warp that into something pretty. As I said I want to be good. I want her to want to stay. I cannot play the outright villain and be ok with it. When I do, and the world crumbles, I descend into depression. In 2005 I was living in a ghetto apartment, with many amenities broken, never leaving despite having classes to attend, ordering pizza or takeout every night, playing online video games, participating in all manner of online piracy, doing some mild drugs, failing out of college, sleeping until 2PM, staying up till dawn, not bathing for days at a time, and returning no phone calls. When people on this forum talk about worrying that their spouse will spin off into total destruction, I know exactly what they are talking about. Fortunately I had support and put measures in place to cut off the potential for that kind of spiral. I met my wife after I had climbed out of that pit.

I see our family as how things are and how things can only be. The idea of us not being a family unit is really difficult to process. The only time I think I would initiate destruction of our family dynamic is in the case of infidelity. Recently someone posted about how she had (foolishly) thought that the idea of having an affair would make her husband physically ill. I feel that way, and couldn't handle it. Even promiscuity when it is ethically-timed unnerves me.