Topaz update

It's been a long time since I've been here, just wanted to share and give hope to those who can find it in what I write. I'm writing under my DH's account, can't get into mine. Long story, but he registered and will be sharing soon. When I was here last I was at the end of my rope and had given DH an ultimatum. Two years to show some progress and address his ADHD or I go. Things got progressively worse on my end. I lost all interest in everything,no makeup, no manicures, no hobbies. I spent most of my time playing Farmville,sitting outside smoking and crying and dinners were hit or miss. Desperately lonely and depressed, I just gave up on keeping the apartment in order, lost weight which I can't afford to and got a severe case of IBS which made it even harder to focus on anything.  Our son become rude, mouthy and belligerent, refusing to do chores. Totally opposite of how he'd been.

DH was doing fantastic at his new job, got promoted and two raises. Was I proud of him?, Yes. However, at home he was practically comatose, playing video games and watching movies the entire time he was home. No chores  were done unless I went ballistic. Urgent paperwork got behind and piled up. He started getting into the finances and messing it up again. I'd try to talk to him, I read things off this site, which he told me ,only discouraged him more. It became same s**t different day and it seemed like I was doomed to live this way, dreams gone, health gone, always angry and exhausted. So I called a friend and planned an exit strategy.  I felt trapped because he had moved us out into a tiny town and with only one car that is difficult for me to drive I couldn't go anywhere. I desperately need dental work, it had eroded my self esteem and even if I COULD go places, I'm too embarrassed to. I was resentful because he'd  thrown away tons of money on cr**p, mostly energy drinks, movies, entertainment etc etc. instead of helping me save to get the work done.  He works overnights now, four on four off which is tough on us, because our son works too, so he doesn't always get the sleep he needs because he takes our son to work. Fast forward to a couple days ago. 

DH was playing his video games, as usual.  An old trust issue had reared it's ugly head and we had been fighting bitterly. I was ready to call my DF and tell her I was ready to go, I could not take anymore. I sat reading some of the posts here when I decide to bring up the ADHD "elephant" again, hoping something anything would strike a cord. I turned to DH and asked if he would mind if I registered under his name so he could possibly read and post when he was ready. He didn't even glance over and said "fine whatever you want" So I did, then downloaded the Two chapters from Melissa's book, which he wouldn't consider buying. I tentatively asked if he would mind if I read them  aloud, to him while he played.  I'll pause here: He is not taking meds, or doing anything to treat his ADHD, and I had pretty much given up on pushing him, it has been fruitless, since he believes that without insurance, what's the point. Now back to my story. I started reading out loud, then asked him to turn the sound down on his game. He complied. I didn't hold out much hope since his focus was on his game.

I read, and read and read, figuring his attention span WHEN he's focused on what I'm saying is about 7 minutes, so I'd read for me, since I was sure I'd lost him by now. I stopped about halfway and asked him if he'd like to go smoke outside with me. I looked over at him and to my shock, the t.v. was OFF! Not only was it off, he was facing me, leaning forward and listening. Was he done playing  or could it possibly be he was engaged? He said, would you mind reading a little more before we go outside? You could have knocked me over with a feather. I KNOW my jaw was scraping the floor. He asked, "How much is that book, I want you to get it ASAP! HOLY COW, totally not what I anticipated. I'll be back with the conclusion. I have a routine I created I'm sticking too. :)

Conclusion to story.

We went out to smoke and DH told me, as he listened, he found Melissa's positive, simple to the point writing and "points" engaged him. He liked the way she addressed both partners impact on the issues surrounding ADHD.  He was feeling a glimmer of hope that he had found something that could help us change the dynamics and help him address his issues. He's read many books on ADHD before but none had really "clicked" before other than making him understand he had a "real" condition. Those two chapters opened a lot of doors for us to communicate better. We resolved the long standing trust issue subject that had plagued us for years in one day. He opened up and helped me see more clearly what it was like to be in his shoes, the emotions, the struggles, what he tries to hide or escape from and so much more. It was like the floodgates opened. I was so thrilled that he had listened and become engaged, I did a lot of soul searching and self examination for the last couple of days. I thought about the things he had shared and wrote notes in a journal. We ended up catching up on a lot of paperwork, then devised a reminder system and schedule for him and the family.  Today we went grocery shopping, picked up our son from work and had a seriously intimate encounter. When he had left for work yesterday I was sitting outside with my neighbor and he gave me a peck on the mouth. I asked him for a longer kiss, which he gave me. Today he told me that little effort on my part to engage him physically made him feel like a million bucks. Who Knew? There is so much I'll be sharing, more details and the specifics later. I am astounded how different the atmosphere at home is now and in such a short time. There have been times in the past where he has tried to improve only to fall out over and over. This time there is something different, we both know it. Payday I am ordering the book. We are monitoring the progress in my journal.  Yesterday when I started cleaning off my desk I found a letter he was supposed to sign and mail still on the desk. AT first I just sighed thinking geez this sort of thing will never change. I was steamed because there is a deadline.

I started thinking if this sort of thing doesn't change what's the point? It's so frustrating to pick up after him all the time on everything. Then a moment of clarity. I heard myself say to myself. "For crying out loud, really? it's only been a couple of days, give the man a break. (  I am an overachiever and a professional organizer so I set the bar pretty high) Instead of doing what I had in the past. I simply tacked the papers to his whiteboard and let it go. I also discovered that he had taken money from my reserve stash which he found out about only the day before(Yes, I have to hide cash). He came to me and said, geez I forgot about the letter, I'll send it out first thing, thanks for putting it on the board.  Amazing.

So I brought up the money issue. He started telling me why he did it etc. I stopped him calm. I said, I'm not mad, it's just that we have a strict rule and I'm disappointed that you didn't follow it. At that, he said, you're right, I must stop doing it, the stakes are too high. I'm sorry. Please believe me when I say I really GET IT now why we have the rule. (I had shown him what the reserve was for, A fine he had to pay or go to jail THIS month. So later he told me he needed some gas money and I told him he would have to give plasma tomorrow if I did, since he had not planned his trips and thus gone over the gas budget. He agreed. These sorts of things rarely were resolved this easily and quickly before.

I made his lunch to take to work which he agreed to do to save money. More cooperation. WOW. He had reviewed some information on tools and ways to use his strengths to his advantage and minimize his weaknesses. I will give him this, He does well at his job and at at other jobs he's had because he is very good at conflict resolution and communication. He is amazing at leadership and right now is on the fast track to upward management. They love him. I always wondered why he couldn't apply these skills at home. I'll explain more on this later.

So as a family we came up with a schedule, a simple task/chore list  and some fun things to do together and I took steps to take care of myself. We had a discussion with our son to help him understand the dynamics of what was going on in our family and asked him to join the process to healing and peace. I'll be back with details. Peace All!

Clarifying

I'll be sharing this in little posts since there is so much to cover, so as not to overwhelm with long posts. I'm going to clarify  a few things I've previously written a  bout and give a little detail. Intimacy and sex were contentious issues because several incidents in the past had created trust issues between us. I give him credit for understanding that certain inappropriate behaviors were just that, inappropriate and hurtful. He never repeated those behaviors, but the trust issues and suspicions on my part never went away. We discussed this at length. His extremely low sex drive, in part acerbated by his low testosterone and partly his ADHD symptoms. I felt neglected and often attributed his lack of interest to him possibly cheating. Simply because many of his behaviors "mimicked those of a cheating spouse!"

Once I understand some of the behaviors and what is really going on in his mind and actions, the veil lifted. I'm learning that I as a NON often try to reference his actions based on my non/norm frame of reference. I was resentful that I had to be the one to almost always initiate any intimacy or encounter and we got into a battle. When he would finally try to engage me I'd refuse(self defeating of course) I'd try to tell myself it was because I didn't trust that he was being faithful and was only protecting myself. Sounds crazy I know, but my coping behavior. In the end we'd both lose. I had become very controlling, to the point if he was even 5 minutes late coming home from anything he'd catch hell. It made him a nervous wreck. I had to understand that his distractibility and other symptoms would cause him to be late sometimes. I had to be a little more understanding. Considering he had totally and unequivocally forgiven my indiscretion and NEVER brought it up. How fair was I being?

I had to accept that it was very difficult for him to realize the length of time between encounters and also hard for him to even ask because more often than not I'd reject his advances because he had waited so long. sigh. writing this I really feel dumb. It had been better when he had been using testosterone prescribed by his doctor, but without insurance, he can't. I understand how many non's feel unloved, undesirable because I've been there. I've come to realize how much he loves me, how committed he is to me and the marriage and I was undermining him by not letting go of past hurts. So I finally just... let it go.

I came to learn that he is very much aware of my presence, often giving me a kiss or a tap somewhere, usually when I was busy or had my hands full so I'd be irritated and push him off. To me, a quick peck on the cheek or an occasional tap on my behind weren't signs of affection, just something he did for himself. I was very wrong. He's never been demonstrative and when he does those things, coming out of his racing mind long enough to acknowledge me and his love for me that way, I didn't understand how significant it was to him. He said he liked having me puttering around doing what I do around the house. It was comforting and for him a form of intimacy.

In reference to why he couldn't perform the amazing skills he had a work at home...He's been in management for most of his jobs and over the years he had read up on and studied those skills(so yes, he can read volumes, process and remember info, if he chooses to) He's does very well in jobs that require crisis management, high paced multiple tasking, customer service.

It turns out since he is the "LEADER" he is skilled at delegating. This is key. He is skilled at taking in a lot of info and activity at once and moving from one quick task to another, such as in restaurants. When everyone else is freaking out and overwhelmed, he is at his calmest. He handles customer complaints and never takes their rantings etc personally, he can disengage and pinpoint the issues the customer is having and find a resolution. He is a very laid back, sweet diplomatic person. So since he is best at delegating, guess what happens at home? LOL There is only ONE person to delegate tasks to, me. When we have conflicts, he shifts into customer service mode with me..effectively disengaging and try to accommodate me and move on.

At home I am the "Leader" since I've handled home stuff since the beginning and he basically has expected me to delegate like he does. Since most of is delegation comes in the form of verbal requests, charts and lists didn't engage him. Looking back if I ask him to do something he almost always complies and if I tell him right now, he does. It's a pain to have to tell him to do things which seem obvious, but using his frame of reference I see why it's been that way. I use sticky notes instead of lists and stick only ONE on his whiteboard at a time. This is a compromise for some things otherwise I just accept that I have to ask him. It really isn't a big deal on most days.

 

Significant steps

I read "Co-depedant No More" by Melody Beatty. It really opened my eyes to how I impacted this relationship. IN every relationship I've had I chose partners who were "unavailable" in some way. As I read I began to understand  how my behaviors were undermining any effort he's made before and how much I needed to resolve my own personal issues and history which I had transferred onto my DH.  I also came to understand that my DH , a funny, sweet, laid back kind of guy was also a very submissive person within a personal relationship. It helped him balance his power at work.

He preferred that I be "in control" and being a dominant ,organized person he believed he had found the perfect partner in me. Instead of capitalizing on these traits we took it to extremes. So we are working on finding each other's strengths, finding our roles within the marriage and a balance. We are looking into ways to distribute the responsibilities at home, finding areas he can take responsibility for with my having to oversee them. I also had to ask myself a lot of questions. What am I comfortable handling, what areas do I truly need help, which tasks can I just take and accept that he would have difficulty with ever managing on his own,. I had to come to terms with who he is ADHD and all. He also had to do the same. I have OCD traits and as he learns how my head works, he's coming to grips why certain things throw me over the edge.

One of the things that helped me tremendously in the last few months was taking a risk and reaching out for friendship. As it developed with a neighbor, I was called into helping her do a makeover, and some household repairs. As we grew closer and we shared our stories, she often came to me for advice and encouragement. She blossomed after the makeover and tips and she brought her friend to me for advice. It helped my self esteem a great deal. I realized I had a knack for that, that over the years hundreds of people had come to me for advice and help and I was perceived as wise and strong. How did I ever forget that? It helped my loneliness and inspired me to pursue a dream I had.

Because of her, DH and I went on a real honest to goodness date and I summoned the courage to go out and have a drink with him in public. It was grand. It will take a lot of work and I had to chart the progress on paper this time. I had to ask myself if I was willing to go the long haul. It took a long time for us to get into this mess together.  I've invested 20 years in this relationship,and it will take time to unravel all the financial, emotional challenges. I am fortunate that he is willing to face his challenges and doesn't have some of the issues other couple have to face, like addiction, gambling, porn,etc. Although I can't say I have the same feelings of love for him that I once did. I know I value the amazing parts of him, his generosity, gentle manner, humor and work ethic and creativity. He is also a great father. So I'm giving this the thousandth chance.

Retrospection

One of the insights I had after reading "Co-dependant No More' was this: I had a child (from a former marriage) with ADHD ,emphasis on the H. She is in her thirties now, a highly successful businesswoman and philanthropist. Growing up she put me through hell. She never was diagnosed but she has all the traits, which became more clear while I was married to my ADHD husband. I watched as she turned her life around, making the most of her traits. Our dynamic was also co-dependant and I adopted coping behaviors for her ADHD traits which were, risk-taking, impulsivity,addiction, along with oppositional defiant behavior. It followed I used those same coping behaviors in my marriage. I have to unlearn those coping behaviors.

Knowing how she was able to turn her traits into positives and being successful is inspiring to me. It is one of the reasons I still have hope things can turn around for my DH. I've been pushing DH to quit smoking with me, and he's resisted. Last night he decided to take advantage of a program at work and actually do it. AS I focus on myself, and only on those critical issues we face and ease off on him in less critical areas,he doesn't have to deal with my constant nagging and criticism. It's hard some days not to fall back into taking over everything or taking up his slack. I do a LOT of self talk and work on patience.

I changed my diet, reduced the time I spend on the computer to only minutes a day (with the exception of these posts) I've slowly cleaned up the apartment and am taking things one day at a time according to a plan I wrote out.  I asked my friends and family to give me a few months to work on all these issues and that I'd be unavailable for most requests. It's true that once you remove the focus off the ADHD spouse, compromise on those areas that are critical, meaning I am in charge of those things that could prove potentially disasterous in his hands, like finances and focus on your own healing, growth and life, it can get better fast. It's not easy for me at times, but ultimately I could choose to allow his ADHD and my issues to destroy us or I could get off the roller coaster, not by leaving him, but leaving the battles and engage in the fight for our lives and marriage with the right tools.

What we've done

Here are some things we've done to help us on this journey.  We watched ADD and Loving it. He loved DR Hallowell especially. Set goals in my journal and on the wallboard.   Budget to buy Melissa's book. Start walking together. I bought him flaxseed oil and fish oil. Adjusted the grocery budget to accommodate his desire for energy drinks. They help him so until he can get meds. I'm fine with this as long as I purchase it at a discount instead of him spending so much at convenience stores. Put up a small whiteboard ON the front door for his notes. A larger wallboard above the entry bench. Two baskets on the bench, one for mail and one for his "stuff" keys, wallet  notepad(moleskin). work ID etc. He uses the moleskin as a wallet.

He is religious about those baskets. We downsized our belongings, donating or selling things we've not used or are not using in our present home. This was a TOUGH one for me, I had hoarding issues, disguised by extremely clever organizing. Our home has little in the way of decor. It helps him to be in a calm, organized environment, without a lot of distracting decor and stuff in general. A routine and schedule for everything that we've synced on the whiteboard. A list of phone calls to make for resources for him to get help.

For large tasks like laundry and grocery shopping we do them together. I've been patiently teaching him how I do these tasks. He refused to fold t-shirts for a while frustrated at first. So I spent a little extra time going over how to fold them until he "got" it. I got a little annoyed today while we were grocery shopping because he and my son took forever to choose their lunch items. I didn't realize at the time, he was trying to make frugal choices. Again annoyed because I assumed it was ADHD behavior, a habit of mine to break. We came up with a routine for shopping.

First, we shop at Aldi's the small size of the store, the limited choices make it easier for us to get in and out without him getting overwhelmed. I carry the list and he helps by getting things off shelves. Then he loads the conveyor and pays for the groceries. He was shocked at how much we spent of the budget today. Him paying somehow makes him more aware of budgeting issues and choices. He gives me the receipt, we bag the groceries together. We load the car. When we get home, He unloads the car and I put the stuff away. This works well for us. 

When I give him a list of things to pick up at the store I try to write it out according to the store layout because he follows the list in order, which means if I have bread on top and hamburger buns on the bottom, yep, he gets the bread then goes on to the next item and so on and goes back to the bread section again to get the buns. I realize there are many ways I can accommodate him without feeling put out. In the grand scheme of things it's no skin off my back to take a few seconds to write it out like this.

I am a huge proponent of healthy eating and our son is big on it too. I compromised by buying a few things he can cook with little fuss or help. Are they healthy choices, not always, but in the long run, it's not a big deal, I don''t have to cook all the time, he gets to eat a few "forbidden things" and he feels good about helping and not having to push me to cook.

I put a divided basket on the coffee table for him to toss his gaming stuff and remote. It's not the most attractive thing, but it's neat and contained and he uses it. Got to pick my battles. I'll add more as I think of them. I hope that he will soon share his side. Thanks to all the posters, yes I've been lurking for a long time, you all have helped more than you know. A huge Thanks to Melissa for sharing those two chapters so generously, it is changing our lives and marriage.

Finally

One of the issue that I see often on this forum is Anger. For me it was Rage, pure and simple. I'm talking screaming, throwing, spitting out the mouth rage over the things DH did or didn't do. I would get uncontrollable. It came to a head one night when our son ran out of the house in tears. He called his sister and asked if he could stay with her for a couple of days. It was a huge wake up call for me. It had to stop. Stop it did. What had happened to me I wondered? I had to learn how to control it it diffuse it and release it. It was simply unacceptable to me for it to affect my son like that. I learned to be aware of myself and when I felt it rising, I'd leave the room or house, or channel it into something constructive. Strangely what happened in our subsequent arguments was that DH who normally was the calm one in arguments started raising his voice, stomping around and slamming doors. When you change the steps to a dance your partner will too. Eventually he realized how counterproductive it was and also stopped.

It's important to praise and acknowledge each other's efforts. No matter how small.  DH gets a magazine subscription, and one day our son asked where DH wanted last months issue. DH asked, are you done with it? Son says, "Yes". "Then throw it away>" he  replies. DH, "Your mom doesn't like to accumulate clutter. " I thanked him for working with me on keeping the house clutter free, since I know he likes to save things like that. He also thanks me for doing things or being more understanding and forgiving. He left for work today after I flirted with him, with a huge grin on his face. It's been far too long, since I've seen that.

I can't stress how important it is to write stuff, anything and everything. writing down the issues, the feelings, the areas of conflict, then finding the source and then finding ways to resolve them. Gather a support group of people who are non-judgmental to vent to and TAKE advice from. Isolation is another issue and I had online friends but no "real life" close by  friends. I reached out and made one. I withdrew from my old familiar friends online for a while because I knew they were tired of hearing the same old song and dance. I want to be able to go back and share positive happy stories in the future.

We are so broke, it ain't funny, so we never went out and did things together. So one night I pulled out the Monopoly game which he moaned and groaned was boring and coaxed DH to play. He won, and gloated, so I challenged him to Poker. It was a great night and fun was had by all. LOL I watch movies with him, not a big fan of t.v. but he gets movies at the library and I make popcorn and we do this. You can find things to do together. He took me for a ride into the countryside and got cattails. Sweet of him. He knows I like them and we just don't have the cash to spend on flowers.

A body in motion stays in motion, and picking yourself up off the chair is the hardest first step, but once you do it, and keep doing it, the momentum carries you.

Hope

Sorry about writing a book practically, I just wanted to get it out before I lost it it all. I believe the catalyst for the changes was in how Melissa presented the subject. I was no longer the person trying to force him to "fix" the PROBLEM, namely in his eyes..HIM. He felt broken, damaged, unable to fit into traditional roles and expectations. Instead we realized we were wounded, both of us, carrying years of baggage, habits, coping mechanisms into our relationship.

We both had to step back and realize we ultimately wanted  many of the same things, a healthy happy marriage, financial security, and a partner willing to meet needs, some unspoken. Now that we were partners in individual journeys to healing, and  now creating an arena where we could feel safe in expressing our feelings, our wants and desires. It was no longer me against him or him against me. I was no longer the "adult" and He the "child". We were two adults who each had worth and gifts to give each other. Now we are learning to take responsibilities for what we each bring into the marriage, choosing to encourage and help each other in healthy ways, setting bounderies.

Empathy, and tolerance are important. He admitted his actions and reactions were from low self esteem, fear, shame and all that. WE had to forgive each other for the past mistakes. Mine were the same, shame, fear, anger, low self esteem. Now we were on the same page.  He has ADHD, I have OCD and a physical disability. We were both fighting a war, with a common enemy... lack of knowledge, understanding and tools with which to fight with. We have many of the same issues and we can help each other deal with them.  Somehow it changed everything and the way we deal with the issues.  We've both had therapy in the past, and we hope to be able to find the resources to get more. In the meantime, we have become friends once again, sharing insights with each other.

Please continue...

..it's very uplifting and helpful to have your "book" here.  Keep posting on your progress. 

Thank you.

Structure in relationship

Thanks for your response js. It encourages me to continue sharing because as you all know, it is difificult to share our struggles and even our progress. On structure and routines in relationships. You would think as an organizer I would utterly love all those thousands of examples online of written routines people share. I've even helped create forms for another organizers book. Yet I cannot totally agree that they are that useful or even desirable. I believe that  the right kind of structure is very helpful for anyone and especially for my ADHD husband. It's hard for me to imagine anyone(even though I know there are some) who can stick to a written rigid routine, especially one pegged hour by hour. Day in and day out 7 days a week , month after month. For the majority of us, life is too fluid for that. Humans are too fluid for that. Yet we need structure or it would be chaotic for anyone.

I believe we often chose a partner because of the way we feel when we are with them. Then life happens. Now here we are basing an entire lifetime and putting expectations on another human being based on how they make us FEEL. Not so much on the practical aspects of life.  Not so much on how WE make THEM feel. We've assumed they must feel good to choose to be with us. I guess we call this love. You all with me here? DH told me he thought my ability to structure life, be organized, my standards of cleanliness and so on were one of the main reasons he felt drawn to me. He believed I could provide the structure he craved.

At the same time, my warped sense of humor, my willingness and ability to like him in spite of where he was and his apparent weaknesses which I knew about, also drew him. How I would go along with him on his adventures and be spontaneous with him.  Going out of my way to surprise him with gifts that he knew took a lot of thought on my part, in that it spoke to him that I cared enough to know HIM, what moved him. He told me that I was the first person to ever just love him for him, the good the bad the ugly. I tried to draw out his strengths. Others had told him he was not living up to his potential, but my words. "You are so amazing, wow the potential you must have to be and give to this world."  So years later we are both disappointed that we don't feel so good around this partner of choice. So we become distant angry, unhappy. I believe when we commit to a relationship, in part we  think we are saying to each other, I will continue to be the person that you are happy with, but we fail to talk about accepting the inevitable changes as we grow or don't grow.

I know for me I placed a huge burden on him by expecting him to provide my emotional happiness, meet all or at least most of my emotional needs and vice versa. I know because we didn't really understand the impact his ADHD would have on us, we allowed the unhealthy dynamics to emerge and we didn't deal with our own issues individually, trying instead to force ourselves into models modeled by "normal" couple or marriages. Once we stopped pointing fingers, playing the blame game accepting the part we both played in the chaos and hurt were we able to start rebuilding on a new framework and find role models better suited to our needs. It is hard to find them, this forum is a Godsend in that regards. We've been reading the articles, one at a time, applying some tips for a while before trying new ones. Trying to do it all at once is counterproductive. As much as we want to "fix" it all right away. I don't like using the term fix, the connotations aren't good. Instead I like restructuring, rebuilding, healing. Those are comforting and positive to us.

I had left a controlling cheating spouse, and I was drawn to his laid back, do whatever you want attitude. He was gentle and made me laugh. For a long time I was able to provide that structure and each time we would rebuild our lives after things went to heck. To this day what still works is a framework for our days and weeks and months. It is not rigid, we change the routines as needed. It takes a bit more work than sticking to a written in stone one, but it's the flexibility with an anchor that makes it work. We basically block out hours or sections of a day or week or month within which we have smaller, firmer routines. Some blocks are free for alls, others more time structured. Melissa has an article which I encourage you to read about routines, which I heartily agree with.

My Daughter when she decided to recreate her life had 4 whiteboards near her front door All calendar ones. She broke the you have to have one calendar rule with that. LOL Yet it worked for her. One was for school, one for her child, one for her hubby and one for home. Her DH had something like 11 smoke alarms in their apartment. She was notorious for forgetting stuff on the stove or burning things when she cooked. She did whatever she had to, set up and tried everything until she found something that worked for her. She had multiples of things, a place to toss her often lost keys, sunglasses, phones. It was her PURSE. She forced herself to always put that stuff in her purse.

MY DH when he finds something that works, like the entry baskets will stick to it with a passion, and heaven forbid anyone try to change or move those things. So I work with him.

I know for some it requires superhuman effort to get past the hurt, the anger to let go of a lot of these. It is not easy to change ourselves. That has it's basis in the our brains are designed. We've carved roads, paths in our brain and it takes work to carve new ones and the less we travel on the old paths the less it will come back to haunt us.

A little story that helped us both see this.

There was once an old monk walking through a meadow with a young new monk. They came to a river. There was a little old woman crying beside it. The old monk asked,"Why are you crying, woman?" She said "I can't get across this river!" So the old Monk picked up the frail woman and carried her across, placed her gently on the other side and continued on his way. The young monk followed. After a while the old monk asked the young monk. "I sense that you are distressed, speak to me."  The young monk said."Teacher, we are not allowed to speak to or touch women!" The old monk replied" Student, I left the old woman by the river, why are you still carrying her?"

 

 

Hey stranger! What can I say?

Hey stranger! What can I say? Awesome news...and I'm amazed by how much you've grown in the last few days. It is amazing how much easier it is to just 'let it go' when they are fully willing to try as well. I'm so pleased for you and for the way things are going. Great to hear from you! Keep up the good work...and great to have you posting again. I read every word!

Sherri

Sherri.

Sherry, um yikes, typo. LOL It's been more than a couple days.. I went back to my original post where I had written days, it's weeks. oops. It is still amazing to me. I've followed your posts and several others over this time, drawing strength, hope, and lessons from them. I know for many, one spouse or the other isn't willing, and I've been there. I know the feelings of hopelessness, the prayers for something to give. It was in these posts that I found reasons to try and stick it out. It is a very personal decision for everyone. WE cannot know the future or always the consequences of our choices. I know what the deal-breakers are in my marriage. I know sometimes it's not just the ADHD. Separating the ADHD traits from who he is isn't always easy, but once I started to grasp which was which, I started feeling better. KNowing his true feelings even though he had a hard time displaying them, understanding his language.

Will he ever be the person I long for as far as intimacy, and other issues. Probably not. This is where the rubber meets the road.. Knowing this, is there enough in this relationship we can still build from, change expectations, and be content, be different in how we respond, ask for and engage with each other? I think yes. I came to understand that his obsession with video games t.v. and movies is in a way a plus. HOW? I am in the time of my life, I'm ready to explore new things, find an outlet to express my talents. He does not require a lot of attention from me, thus freeing me to pursue those things. Once we get a handle on lightening some of the load of the household responsibilities, keep his impulsively in check so as to prevent more damage to our security..wow the possibilities are endless.

Stress and Stress reduction

I know about the toll dealing with all the stress can take on a person. It comes in many forms.  What I did was do some research into stress and stress reduction, not your run of the mill stress studies or stress reduction techniques. I looked deeper to studies on the cellular level and cutting edge research. What I found was amazing. We know stress, especially the unremitting long term kind can lower our life expectancy, create health problems and hinder our ability to recoup.

The way I understand it is that finding an outlet by forming relationships with those dealing with similar stresses( like we do here) giving, laughing, crying, sharing, helping each other, developing compassion for ourselves, others and our significant other, actually creates enzymes that repair damage done on a genetic level(our dna strands) which in turn lengthens our lives and helps us heal and cope better.

The more compassion I developed, when I lowered the bar on many expectations, walked, and starting caring about myself, and took the focus but not the kindness or love off my spouse, the better I felt, the better I could handle the day to day stuff and then the issues we faced. Compassion and giving apparently creates enzymes which heal us.

I know for me I felt like I already gave so much, I had nothing more to give. What I finally realized was I was giving in the wrong way, it wasn't giving so much as enabling. I had to learn what to give, when  and then take personal time and reduce my load at times. A more serene approach to life. It wasn't easy at first considering the chaos in my life, but bit by bit I chipped at way at each stressor, each task.

Being an A type personality, I'd get so impatient with DH who is a live in the moment kind of guy. So here again, learning to slow down for me and prioritizing what is urgent and what can be put off. For DH he also had to understand and work with me on priorities. Our priorities are more on creating serenity,  enjoying what we do have, even if it isn't much, in our lives and not so much on acquiring things or keeping up with other peoples standards.

 

Manny here , w question

 Hi, this is Manny,Topaz has been sharing posts from this forum for months with me and set up this account for me. I couldn't find a topic relating to my question so I'll ask here. I have trouble sleeping because I work overnights and I sleep during the day. I hear everything. So I'm really exhausted. When I'm this tired, it affects our relationship. So I tried using earplugs. BIG mistake. I can't fall asleep once I have the earplugs in because it's like spelunking into my brain. My thoughts are amplified. It's noisier in my head than in the world. Any suggestions? Anyone else deal with this?