I'm the non-ADD spouse who's been married for almost 7 years. We have 2 beautiful children and in the midst of another 'crisis' I decided to explore another avenue than I had previously. Among other things, my husband has the tendency to 'email' and/or converse with women from his past purely to get the attention that I am obviously not giving him. This has been an issue since the 1st year of our marriage. I've been on this 'changing what I can control' kick since February of this year. Realizing that I can only control me. I can not control my husbands behaviors, actions, inability to react a certain way, attention.... NOTHING, I can not control anything outside of me. I have also realized that my home (our children) feed off of my disposition. Although our children are 4 and 7 months, the oldest is especially sensitive to how his Mommie feels.
I've been in therapy 'just for me' and we've begun couples counseling (again) having just had 2 sessions so far. Since being a member on this site, I've noticed my patterns... only posting the negatives and seeking advice on how to deal with them/it. In order for me to thrive (with or without my husband), my therapist and I realized that I needed to change my approach and/or reactions to certain issues that arise within my marriage. Changing the approach, while still not letting go of who I am. Essentially, no longer being co-dependant upon my husbands ADD issues and issues that are just simply him and not even ADD related.
Okay, so last week Friday, I found out that my husband was conversing electronically with the same woman from his past again (after we had agreed in our therapy session to give this recovery our all). The very same woman whom I've indicated would be deal breakers for me to dissolve this union. Within the emails (this time) were not sexual content, but rather talking about me and our relationship and how she/he would be different if it were them in a relationship and not my husband and I. In the past? I would have exploded, yelled, cried, not slept, not eaten... you name it...it hurt like hell and I wanted him to know it. This time? Don't get me wrong, the pain is very much still there....but my reaction changed.
I woke him up, told him what I read, and told him that I was no longer going to allow myself to feel like the 'other woman' in our marriage. Since the conversations with this individual are apparently more important to retain than the marriage and our son's comfort of having their parents reside in the same home...then i am no longer wanting to be in this marriage. I meant every word. I went into the spare bedroom, and attempted to go to sleep. Sleep of course did not happen because my husband of course changed the hurt from being mine to his. As in the past, he began stating that had I been there for him emotionally and especially physically, then he would not want to converse with other women. In the same breath, he states that he loves me and would like for our marriage to work. I listened, and I politely, and unaggressive-ly as I could, emphatically state how I feel, what I wanted and what i would no longer tolerate. I told him that I need to be me, a happier me, the me that I once was before we got married, before all of this drama and issues came up. The me that would not have allowed to be walked all over by anyone. I ended that conversation with...I love you, I also want our marriage to work...the ball is in your court. You need to figure out what makes you happy...
The very next morning, he asked if I could call into work because he was feeling 'depressed' (in the past that was code word for ....I may do something that you won't like...i.e. suicide, emails to ex....etc). Prior to today, i would have taken off, placed my hurt on the back burner to deal with his pain. That day? I did not repeat past 'bad' habits....I went to work. He called me sooo many times that morning, until I said....if you really want to spend time with me, let's go to see a movie and have lunch? I'll use a vacation day just to do something positive because your bad actions can no longer control my reactions.
We did just that! We went to see a movie, had lunch.... but more importantly? - - - - - we talked. I even held his hand, something I hadn't done in a long time. I even snuggled against him while watching the movie. Of course, I was still in pain from what he had done, but my pain was short lived compared to past occurrences.
Soooo, I've said all of the above to suggest that maybe making me the focus kept me closer to being 'the me' that I am instead of 'the me' that had been created because of reacting to bad experiences.
I'm looking forward to the next little step.....any step forward is progress!