Trying to just get started

We’ve been together for over 20 years and it’s never been quite right. I should have known something was up when she was an hour late for our first date. She’s rarely been on time since. Her father should have been a clue - he lives alone surrounded by boxes of junk that he can’t part with, so I am told because no one except his ex-wife is allowed to enter his home. His ex-wife is an enabler of the first order ... and perhaps so am I. 

My wife and I have been in counseling for quite a long time with no progress. She never could complete any of the assigned readings, nor complete any homework between sessions. Most of these sessions just turned out to be traded recriminations.  I’ve known there was something amiss for a long time. ADHD had come up but I knew nothing about it and never investigated. 

Two so years ago I retired (Im 17 years older) and we moved to a new state to the much smaller house my wife always wanted. I love it here, including the much smaller house, but some problems followed, including my wife’s inability to organize anything, especially her things. They accumulate in boxes all around. 

I love to cook and do all of it. The deal is that she cleans up. This part just doesn’t happen. The odd thing is that I am forbidden from touching her stuff, nor may I do the dishes. I must wait until she goes to work before I do them. Sometimes she extracts a promise from me that I won’t touch them while she’s gone. She then gets home but won’t start the dishes till I start making dinner - so we bump around the kitchen. If I start accumulated dishes on a Sunday morning she hears me, jumps out of bed, races downstairs, angry, and insists she will do them. She starts in, in a snit, and doesn’t (I’m not making this up) get done til noon!  

Last year the garden was all mine.  I love doing the garden - I plant it in square foot fashion and it produces abundantly, last year too much so. We were also building a barn last year (that’s another story) and my part took a lot of time so I did not get to harvest everything the garden produced. This year she insisted on being part of the garden, which is fine, but the weeds are completely overgrown on her portion that I am forbidden to touch. 

We live in this beautiful house in a gorgeous countryside. Our beautiful perennial gardens are overgrown and full of weeds - I am forbidden to touch them, she will get to them.  The upstairs of our barn that is to be finished as an apartment for guests lies undone. I am forbidden to start. On Sunday night at 7pm as she started to can pickles (she intended to all day but lay in bed instead doing something on her iPad) she had a meltdown, which is very common. This one was different in that she confided in me that she had left unpaid bills from our last locale. I manage all finances of course but I knew nothing about these. She gave me some details and we can easily cover these bills. We talked about her newly diagnosed ADHD.  She is to get a heart study, meet with the doctor again in two weeks and finally start Meds, but these wheels turn with excruciating slowness. The conversation quickly turned, as it always does, to my issues.  I admitted, as I always do, to anger, frustration, and occasional yelling. No person with ADHD, I’m sure, has ever been married to a perfect human, and she is certainly not the first. 

I realize that I cannot help her from close up, so I have left. It’s excruciating not to live in my house but our proximity only makes things worse. Since the diagnosis a couple weeks ago I have read two books, including Melissa’s, and scoured the web. Lots of “AHA” moments when I recognize typical patterns and behavior. She has read nothing, she can’t. My daughter married a wonderful fellow three years ago who was diagnosed when young and has been on meds. We have had some in depth discussions as her husband has described some very successful coping strategies. 

There is hope but I really don’t know. I apologize for this long post and there’s much of importance that I haven’t told, but this is already too long.