This is my first time posting and I'm thankful to have found this community. I need help!! My husband of almost 20 years was diagnosed last year with ADHD at age 41. While it has certainly shed some light on some of our marital issues over the years I am having a hard time "accepting and understanding him" for what he is. We were college sweethearts and married young at 22, had our first daughter at 24 and went on to have 2 more boys. Kids are now 18, 14, and 11 and both my 18 YO daughter and 11 YO son were diagnosed in the last couple of years with ADHD as well. It was their diagnoses that prompted my husband to get formally tested. He is a good man, and I know he loves me, but it is so hard functioning in a family with 3 ADHD'ers. My husband (as well as children) are on medication and involved in therapy but I don't see a big difference. I suppose it's worse when they forget to take their medication but our daily lives haven't improved much. If I'm honest with myself I know that I am very resentful of my husband, have lost a lot of love for him and am mourning the life and marriage I could have had.
I am very type A and a go-getter and have anxiety so my daily life is a struggle living with this chaos - and makes it extremely difficult for me to accept and give my husband the benefit of the doubt. My husband now owns a pretty successful business but relies a lot on us to help him with it. He has always struggled with holding down a regular job, he gets frustrated easily and has anger management issues, and is very disorganized - leaving a trail everywhere in our home (along with our children). Like many others have mentioned, 90% of the time travel and plans get messed up or aren't any fun because of his moods. He creates a lot of chaos around him and is also very accident prone. While he is a good father to our kids, I truly feel that being married to him is like having a 4th child, and I'm at my wits end.
I love him and don't want our family to break up. But I know in my heart if it weren't for my kids I would have been gone a long time ago. Somewhere along the way I have lost myself being married to him, and now I worry even more for my kids futures (and their future relationships) because of their own issues with ADHD. I am depressed, unhappy, and unfulfilled and while I want to be supportive, I don't know how I can ever be OK with living this life. It adds so much to my already anxious mental health and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest on a daily basis. The house is in constant chaos, and we fight on a daily basis. If we're not fighting I'm walking on eggshells and that's no way to live.
Nearly 4 years ago I had an affair and I struggle with this guilt as well - I wasn't raised to believe that was every OK and it's something I NEVER thought I would do. I was honest with my husband and he has been very forgiving and gracious and I am thankful for that. This was before his diagnoses and I know no matter what I have myself to blame for the indiscretion. I have just been so unhappy for so long. As you can imagine this just adds to our laundry list of other issues. My husband also had an absent father and he struggles with this childhood trauma as well - this has had it's own affect on our relationship.
There are days I fantasize about a life where we are divorced and I live on my own without the anger and chaos. But then I think about how it will affect my kids. And having 2 with ADHD also, I worry they will think I am rejecting them as well by rejecting their father. We are in therapy (we have done both individual and couples) but I still don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know in my heart the only way to be content in this marriage is to change myself and how I react to his condition. But I feel so resentful in having to do that. His burdens have become mine and in turn I'm so unhappy.I'm just lost as to what to do.
Thank you all for reading with an open mind. It helps just to be able to write this.
Submitted by c ur self on
I'm also the Type A go getter...After I lost (breast cancer) my first wife, I remarried an add girl....I brought her into a clean organized house 11 years ago....And it's been a night mare....We fought a lot....She is just incapable of organization, and she just refuses to give much effort....She is at her most comfortable in a house destroyed w/ clutter....
You are right...we have to change...Acceptance of his and your children's reality.... (I too had lost myself, running behind her, that had to stop, I was a basket case, and turned right into the typical enabler) I've gotten to the place where I live my life (not affairs or sinning against my wife)....I just refuse to carry or enable a grown women.....I set boundaries for myself to not do that...And boundaries for the area's she lives intrusive or abusive of me....We don't share finances at all...Unless we desire to do something for the other etc...I do my taxes married filing separate...Never going to be forced into her last minute chaotic life....I do remind her about some things...Sex for one....She is very frivolity minded, and consumed w/ her entertainment...LOL....Any thing related to "WORK" or marriage responsibilities isn't high on her priority list....
But, I had to stop (still do from time to time, but, I never justify it) getting emotional about her living of life and choices...(like a kid most of the time)....I wish I had the answer for you....I will pray for you, all of you! Stop the eggshell stuff!! Pull back, breathe and find yourself....Learn to accept they are going to force you into some situations you would not chose....Just because of the huge differences, and because of yall's very presents in the same space...But, set boundaries, take time for you....DO NOT BALE ANY OF THEM OUT, OR ENABLE THEM IN ANY WAY!!! LOL....If you let them learn all the hard lessons of life, they will be better adults for the pain they are going to self inflict on themselves....All kid go through it....Don't be afraid to discipline, and never be intimated for doing the RIGHT THINGS!
If you mess up, (no matter how much you do not respect his life style) humble yourself, admit it and apologize (we are all human!) ....But, never allow yourself to be bullied....Some times tuff love is all an add mind understands....You cannot argue w/ an add/adhd mind...Most have limited recall, (similar to dementia) so never get into conversations (he said, she said stuff) mine goes strait into a defiant mind...She is 100% of the time right...LOL....Got to learn to walk away! ....Just some hard learned suggestions...
bless you (((())))