Too Fast Too Soon?

Real quick, I am the one with ADD, was diagnosed in 2010 and started medication, seeing someone professionally and making the necessary changes for myself.  During this time, my wife the non-add spouse started to take care of herself, establish her support system and ensure that she/we do not go back to what we were.  Before ADD I could not understand or figure out why she was what I thought "running away" from me/us?  Why she was not talking to me, why she stopped all physical and emotional contact with me.  I was frustrated, confused, pissed and everything else you can think of.  Yes, I also did almost everything that a ADD person would do without knowing it like it has been posted on this website.  We both are responsible for this marriage falling apart.  So in Oct we started a "in-house" separation, where after the kids went to bed (around 7ish) I would go downstairs and she would stay upstairs and our evenings were our alone time.  It did bring us some peace and some understanding but she was still not communicating with me. I was at my wits end, ready to wave the white flag and start the divorce procedure.  Then I was introduced to a link about "healing separation" and how instead of couples shooting from the hip or going to a lawyer, this link gave structure on how to handle a separation.  I sent this to her and a few days later she said she liked this so we set a date and talked.  So Dec 12, 2010 we talked and agreed on the separation and what we both wanted, so I asked her to write everything down so we could sign it and be held accountable for what we agreed to.  She said she would, then a week went by and nothing but I did notice that my wife started to be the mean cold person she has been for the last 3-4 months.  Could not understand until yesterday when I finally asked her what was going on. 

She tried on a dress for her office party and asked me what I thought about the dress. I said she looked amazing and beautiful and that I liked the dress so she said she would wear it. I sent her the following e-mail the day after..."I need to tell you that last night was one of the 1st nights in a long time that you have taken my breath away! I have not "seen" you through my eyes for a long time like I did last night, when you had that dress on. It was a good feeling, it was good to say WOW and have my breath taken away by you. You looked very beautiful in that dress!"

The next night, one of her friends came over and talked her into another dress that she said she did not want to wear. So I was disappointed that she chose the other dress, but now I understand why she did. 

Yesterday, Sunday, was supposed to be family time and it turned out that it was not, she said that she/we did not have conceret plans to have Sunday, the whole day, as family day. Granted, I was supposed to work Sat nigh (11p - 7a) but I was cancelled so that threw a wrench into the day but was pissed that she chose to be away. We talked a bit more which is when I found out why she reverted back to her "old" self. She said the email I sent was too much too soon and that she went back into her walls because she could not handle what I sent. Told her that I was just happy that after 4-5 months of being treated like crap that she would actually ask me what I thought, what I would like for her to wear that I just excited and happy. I did apologize for being "happy and excited" and that I would not show her next time. We also talked about money, schedules and other stuff, She also said she is looking for a therapist but has had no luck in finding one and does not want to get out the phone book and call. I am going to suggest some sites for her, ADHD sites/resources so she can use them if she wants.

Guess we are back at square 1, which I thought we were at least on square 3, but 1 is better than -1.  I am also going to write down everything we talked about during our separation talk so that we know what to expect for the next 4 months. 

So my reactions, I did not think it was too much too soon, just wanted to show her that her decision to include me made me feel very happy and very excited, but looking back, was it too much too soon?  Need some advice on my reaction, do I need to hold it in, just smile and say she looks nice and be happy with that?  Did I hyperfocus on that she asked me what I thought and took it too far? 


Sad Happy Pill...

Hey Wayne...

It sounds like I am a few months ahead of your place on the roller-coaster. I know what it is like coming out of the ADD Fog, as discussed. Here is the kicker, as in the a$$... I felt elated by the explanations the ADD books were giving me. Of course I have always liked having something to put my bad behavior hat on (Never accepting blame, yada, yada), but a medical condition with a descent cure rate, how awesome it is to feel good for the first time too.

The problem is... This plays to our all about me tag that has been hung around our necks for a long time. We know our marriages did not get to where they were because of just one partner, in most cases. We have answers in a book and a "Magic Pill" that on the surface appears to give us an instant cure to our disease. The problem for our wives is that they are still stuck feeling essentially as bad as they always have. And in my case, my wife does not quite place ADD as nearly a concrete medical condition as almost anything else. I didn't really ever buy it myself, much, because I did not know anyone diagnosed with ADD. I wish she would have read up on this a little... Still has not... The family therapist said I had an empty "Trust Bucket" and it takes a long time to re-fill this bucket, so I try to keep my mouth shut about ADD and "Do" things that hopefully she will notice are becoming better, which will eventually become the "New Normal Me"... I guess we must show the patience during this process that they have shown us for years. We just did not know they were showing patience, because of the oblivious nature of our ADD.

My magic pill makes me lose weight, too, another sore spot. We have agreed to disagree on this point, which exploded as recently as last week. Up and downs, but all in all slowly up.

I find that my wife get's annoyed when I show too much "Excitement" because it reminds her that the "Magic Pill" is causing it, and brings up everything again. I try to throttle back my feeling to good moments a bit...

Good luck and hang in there, because there are no guarantees and so I work harder on understanding and improving the family unit.



waynebloss's picture

Re; Thanks

Thanks for responding, I am learning patience and understanding where she is coming from.  The biggest issue i have had is the communication aspect, where she never talks to me about anything until 3-4 weeks of gathering all the events and then "BAM!" she hits me with one shot!  I was told I had a bucket and that it was empty but this was when I was not taking meds and that statement was shuffled along with the other 1000 statements that day! 

I never have blamed ADD/ADHD for anything, is is not an excuse nor will it be.  I am a man and I have owned up to my past and the mistakes I made.  I never once blamed ADD for anything, just like I do not blame alcohol for anything because it did not make us do it, it just lowered our inhabit ions so we cold do.   

Most days are good but I might have a bad day or 2 which seems to be where she runs the fastest! I do not know if my wife thinks that the Magic pill is making do anything or if it is just the old Wayne who is hyper-focused on a subject. When we discussed I told her that I went back, looked over my journal, looked back at emial and texts to see if I did something I shouldn't have and I didn't see it.  I asked what was it that I did that made her revert back to that person and that is when she told me about the email.  I re-read it and did not think that it was too much but I do not think like my wife so I apologized and said that I would refrain from sending something like that again.  I also asked that she tell me it was too much, let me know the boundaries so I know what I can cross and what I cannot because I do not know what is acceptable and what is not now as we start our healing process. 

I am hanging in there, tied a knot at the end of my rope and hanging on!


This is where she needs to

This is where she needs to start being more honest and lose the 'withdrawl' reaction. She should have responded to the e-mail with "I don't mean to hurt you, but this is too much too soon" and then let it go. Maybe you would/could have apologized and realized that is a boundary you cannot cross right now. Better late than never, to find out, but hopefully these kinds of failures in communication will get better with time. Maybe she is afraid to be that honest, I don't know.

I'm sorry buddy...none of us can think for your wife or dictate to her what her boundaries are or need to be...but it doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Like you said, hold on to your rope!


waynebloss's picture

Still Holding on!

I am Sherri!!  I will not let go until it is cut!  It is better to know late than to not know, so we shall see how it goes!

Wayne, It's so good to see


It's so good to see you doing so well.  In fact, I have to admit, it makes me a little jealous that my husband is not.  But, I do have a question for you.  You say you're in counseling to help you with your ADHD in conjunction with medication.  How is counseling to help ADHD different than if you were going to couples counseling or any other kind of counseling?

Here is why I ask: my husband was diagnosed last month.  He started taking Concerta (which, a month later, I'm fairly certain is doing nothing for him - and he agrees), however, he doesn't go to counseling.  We were in couples counseling for years (we stopped because it really wasn't helping as he wouldn't remember anything we discussed and I wanted to see if we could function on our own - that's a tough one) and he was in individual counseling for about 6 months this year to deal with anger management issues (I forced him after I felt my safety was in danger during a bad fight).  He has done better with his anger but he doesn't feel the need to go to counseling now.  And I'm trying to think of how to convince him to go back for his ADHD.  I've tried telling him that medication isn't a "magic pill" and he needs to want to change but I don't think he gets it.  I think he thinks after all the counseling we've been through, it's not worth it since it didn't really work (we had a very bad year this year). 

Could you please help me come up with points on why to go and how it helps and the things that are discussed?  Maybe a little bit of personal experience, if I'm not completely being rude by asking.  I'm just seeing that nothing is changing and he thinks that by being on meds it's "doing enough."  Thanks.  :)