Is there really hope to save our marriage

I jokingly like refer to myself as a wife who was in a previous life a man who did not appreciate his wife. I feel that this relationship is the purgatory I have to go thru to redeem myself. My question is that after 22 years, I am exhausted, depressed, angry.... and some, and really really doubtful this could ever work. Especially considering his constant unkept promises. Yes there has been progress very recently, but I feel at the end of my rope and that its just too little, too late. I started reading Melissa's book on the ADHD effect on marriage, it is SO painful, I usually cannot read more than a couple of paragraph without melting into tears and then having to put down the book. And when I look at the advice, honestly, I think: "Who we're kidding here, how am I ever going to stop the nagging and the abuse (mine to him) that's the only thing that ever works!"

Enough rambling, but if anyone out there has been in a long term relationship, and is able to respond, I'd love to hear from you. Anyway its good to just post my frustration here, nobody else would understand (at some point in my life, even I did not understand, I thought I was just plain crazy)

Tired and really sad.

I've been married 19 years,

I've been married 19 years, during most of which I did not realize my husband likely has ADHD. I can relate to "tired and really sad." Having spent the better part of this last year understanding the condition, I think a lot of success in an ADHD affected marriage depends on both party's willingness to tackle it head on. Is your husband diagnosed? Is he fully participating in all aspects of treatment (meds, counseling, coaching)? I would have been ecstatic if my husband had been willing to pursue diagnosis and treatment and I would have tried to be alongside him every step of the way. There are people who have chimed in these forums occasionally to say that an ADHD marriage can be great. I don't know whether its the majority or minority in which that occurs, but I believe it is possible. As I said, both have to be willing to deal with it openly, honestly, and persistently. From all I've read, and experienced myself, it gets awfully hard to turn the corner after so many habits have been established and deep wounding happened, though some still manage to turn it around. I would suggest reading Ms Orlov's book to learn of some of the successes and how to get started on your own turn-around. You have found a good place to "ramble;" me and many other DO understand. You aren't crazy, we are all living a piece of your life.


I totally hear what you are saying. I am actually posting on this site because we have started working on Ms Orlov's book. It is sooooooooo painful to read, as it describe so accurately the dynamics of the pain of all these years. Honestly as I read the advice for the non-ADHD spouse (and like you say its awfully hard to turn the corner at this point) my reaction has been often either disbelief or anger! And yet I know I am 'lucky' in that my husband does recognize his condition, is finally willing to take his meds, and is finally agreeing to counseling and even seeing a coach specializing in ADHD. I just find it so hard to have the willingness to do my part, it seems so hopeless and facing the pain takes more courage than I feel right now. As I write I am struggling with my tears (maybe I should not ;-) and I just asked my spouse about this pain I feel: "who gains by it?", maybe a rhetorical question, but in practice I am not able to justify the pain and fight it so hard, that I am just hurting more. I feel caught in this web, and the more I struggle the worse it gets. What I really need would be to step out of my skin for a little and gain some perspective on the situation, but life does go on, and the option of just stepping out is just not available here and now.

Again thanks for your encouraging post, like the saying goes 'pain shared is pain halved'

You may also find it helpful

You may also find it helpful to find a counselor for YOU, seperate from whatever your husband or you together are doing. As you know, just because your husband is seeking help doesn't make all the cruddiness go away. While trying to salvage my marriage, I was all out of ideas, but knowing if I didn't find some new ones, I'd give up trying altogether, so I found a great counselor. Originally my goal was to discover whether it was salvagable and perhaps get some fresh perspectives. I did indeed gain new insights, but an unexpected benefit (to me) is that someone is now watching out for me and MY well being and asking me to stop long enough to consider what MY feelings and needs are. Prior to this, I had been trying to get back to doing the things I enjoy and feel well for a change. I had some success, but having someone who validates your perspective, helps you find new ones, holds you accountable for taking care of yourself, and helping you puzzle through tough decisions is priceless. Good grief, I think I've just described what I'd like in a spouse! Craziness, huh? Well, it makes sense I guess. I've read somewhere that counselors would be out of business if we could all do relationships well. :)

Makes a lot of sense

Thanks Hermie40!

I do have a counselor, but I have not been working regularly with her. She is very good, we just both had a session with her recently and we were both impressed how skillfully she handled the very specific crisis we were in at that point. She did mention then that she sees that I am in lot of pain, and that I do have to deal with it regardless of where my relationship is headed. Honest, I am scared like anything, just thinking of the pain and I feel like dissolving in tears. Well I guess that may be just what I need! Hopefully with her help I'll get there (tears or safer place or both), I do have to work with her more regularly. The only drawback is that she has limited experience with ADHD, I am trying to ask her to at least go thru Melissa O's book, b/c it represents such a true picture of our relationship, and I feel it would be helpful if she could also guide me in the specific behaviors recommended by Melissa.  Tough, tough work though and I am hanging on by the skin of my teeth, please G-d let me hold on long enough to save at least myself (would be nice if the relationship could be salvaged too!!!)