Update

Many of you know that my husband and I (well, probably more me than him) were having some recent issues I felt were related to medication. We hit 'rock bottom' last winter, reconciled in Dec 09, decided things were changing or we were going our separate ways, and committed to getting in counseling, back in church, and getting things right in our lives and our marriage. I know things tend to 'cycle' with ADHD, and I often question my own feelings and my own beliefs when things head south for us. I do not think we are better than any other marriage...his ADHD is just as damaging as some, not as damaging as others...but with a little perspective, a very helpful individual counseling session, and a little bit of a 'wake up call' for us both, I do feel like we ARE on the right path to having a successful marriage and successfully treating his ADHD...once again.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but for us it seems that our progress is just doomed to be met with some speed bumps along the way that remind us of the goal we're working towards, the behaviors that must be changed, and how important communication is.

I do think initially the Concerta threw him for a loop. He openly admitted (once) he felt horrible on it and it made him irritable all the time. I saw him return to the man I have grown to love and respect during the 4 days he was off of the medication.

Some issues came up (the guitar, disagreeing on how to handle things with our daughter) over the course of the last couple of months (plus the stress of the holidays, the sadness we both felt from the loss of our parents late last year, etc) and it seems as though he was holding in some resentments instead of discussing them with me. Although he had some good points, he was going about 'dealing with it' the wrong way. He was keeping it all bottled up and holding a grudge against me..thus the 'regression' he accused me of. He was blaming me instead of seeing that he wasn't communicating well and giving me us a chance to resolve the issues..and then FORGIVING me, like I do him. In a nutshell, he shut down...just like I knew he was doing. The blame game was creeping back in, I literally had no explaination for what was happening other than the meds...and things finally came to a head last week. It dawned on me that this was 'common' during our first 6 months after we reconciled, the periods of peace then all of the sudden we were (seemingly) back to square one...but eventually the peaceful times are more prevalent and when we hit another speed bump, I panicked. Best I can figure, his ADHD kicked in and he just either could not express what he was feeling or the medications were confusing him...I don't know, but piecing together what I have..and what we've discussed..he just simply saw some things he didn't like and ran like crazy with them. I can only hope he gets that he cannot do that anymore, and that since I am dealing with issues as they arise, bringing them to his attention, discussing as much as we can without fighting, making our points and then letting it go...and NOT letting it become an issue in the marriage, that he will return the favor. I told him that his shutting me out is not something I am OK with...either be honest about what you're feeling, open up even if you don't feel I will understand, or seek the help of our counselor to help you through whatever it is...but checking out of the marriage because you get some 'bad feelings' isn't OK. I know he realizes that he isn't perfect and makes some 'old' mistakes still to this day, and all I asked was that he realize I am human too and will make some 'old' mistakes too..and I deserve the same patience and unconditional love from him that I show him. We have to love each other....even when we don't deserve it.

We're both having individual counseling sessions for a few weeks..just to sort out our own issues and become healthier individuals...and eventually, or as needed, we'll go back as a couple. I told him last week that if he wasn't happy, I was willing to let him go and find happiness elsewhere. I won't stand in the way of his happiness, but I also won't let him shut me out of his life again either.

He knows what he wants and needs from the marriage...I do believe the meds are helping him define who he wants to be, what he wants and needs, and giving him the clarity to put together a plan. He has made a lot of suggestions and starting Feb 1st there are a lot of changes happening with us and our family.

So, for now we're back on track, he's torn down his walls again and is fully engaged in the marriage and family and hopefully the next speed bump will be much further down the road.

Changes

Sherri,

after reading your newest post I am left feeling uncertain of where you are at.  I don't understand if you are happy with this situation or not. I sense some bit of frustration and maybe that this is approaching the "last stop effort" but yet, also some hope? Are the suggestions for the coming changes what you want also? Has the counselor weighed in on those changes? 

Is the Concertta working better now? How long has he been on the med now?

Its great to see that he has re-joined the effort to be part of the family. 

I wish much peace and happiness for you and your family. ((HUGS))

 

Sorry...I can ramble for an

Sorry...I can ramble for an hour and never end up making much sense...

Since about June of this year, our marriage was right on track where we swore it would be when we reconciled last Dec. We worked towards that from Dec til June, but progress was gruelingly slow and sometimes painful. Old habits don't die hard. It literally was the marriage I had always dreamed of having with him again...and I felt like we were FINALLY seeing the light at the end of the dark tunnel of hell we'd been living in. Then he started medication. I cannot stress enough that he has a 'history' with medications (Concerta, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, and Effexor) and ALL of them either making him just 'out there irrational and depressed' or irritable and moody. He agreed to try Concerta again...and it was a nightmare. His walls went back up and he was, once again, doing the same old song and dance..."It's not my fault, you're regressing, you're trying to control me, you're treating me like a child, you don't give me any respect" etc. I stood my ground, felt like my marriage was worth the struggle, and insisted it WAS the meds...and although he fought me tooth and nail, he quit taking them and went on another...Vyvanse. For four days he wasn't on any kind of medication and WA-LA, there was my sweet, gentle husband again. He did OK at first, on the Vyvanse...but that didn't last long...and soon he was irritable again and snapping at everyone. He was also starting to withdraw and avoid spending time with the family...all signs of what I call 'episodes' in where he shuts down and just completely checks out of the marriage. I tried to stress to him that he HAD to go see the counselor, if something was on his mind or bothering him, and work through it, but we PROMISED to never do that to each other again...shut each other out, put up walls, shut down communication, etc. The entire time I am convinced it is the medication and he is convinced it is me. During this time period, we had the argument about the guitar and we had a disagreement about something that happened between him and our daughter one night. I posted about the guitar situation..he and I saw it in 2 completely different ways. Apparently, as I finally learned, he didn't 'let it go' like we agreed to do...he felt like I was trying to control him and his walls started going back up.  I do feel he was wrong in the way he handled the situation with our daughter, left her crying for 45 minutes, and he felt that because I said something to him, again blaming the meds, he felt disrespected. He was mad at the time, but we decided it wasn't worth arguing over and I just asked him to please consider that it might not have been the way he perceived it to be and that it might be the meds. Again, he didn't just 'let it go' once it was over, he stewed on it and held it in and then when things came to a head last week when he refused to do Family Day with us..a HUGE deal in our family...I just decided that something had to give. He refused to accept any fault, said that it wasn't the meds...all they were doing was giving him the courage to stand up for himself...and acted like I was just making a huge deal of nothing. I felt like I had been going towards him, arms wide open, trying to reach out and get him to open up for WEEKS and he was just throwing stones at me and acting like it was all my fault. Now, the reality and the truth lies somewhere in between our two versions, I am sure, but bottom line he was shutting me out again and I am not OK with that...and I told him that. I basically just told him that if we he really felt like it was all me, then I just needed to accept that I was not the right person for him and let him go. I told him that I did feel like I had been doing everything I promised to do, I wasn't angry and bitter, I was open and affectionate and didn't hold grudges...and truly did accept him, faults and all...and it was obvious that it was not enough and I loved him enough to let him go. Long story short, he came around...after I extended the olive branch...swore he would open up to me, share with me what he was feeling, go to our counselor by himself for a while to work on his issues..I would do the same...and that is when his issues with me (the guitar and the daughter situation) finally came out. He didn't feel he was getting the respect he deserved in the marriage/family. I do not blow off his feelings, I respect them completely, and listened to his complaints. I tried to stress that we don't have to agree, but that he does have to accept, like I said in my first post, that sometimes I might do things that upset him...even things that were 'old' mistakes...but that him bottling it up and not opening up to me, shutting me out, was a deal breaker for me and had to stop.

So, I suppose only time will tell whether we're truly back on track and it was just a speed bump on the road to happiness (like we've had before) or if it is something more. Since we finally got the lines of communication open again things are as wonderful and peaceful as they were before he started meds. Four wonderful, peaceful months was the most we've gone in a very long time without having something cause us an issue...so hopefully it was just a minor set back, a lesson learned, and we'll have a much longer peaceful time now.

The changes are basically just a bunch of changes to how we do things together...we are starting Dave Ramsey's program Feb 1st to get our finances back on track. We are sitting down to make weekly menus and sharing the grocery shopping responsibility. We are sitting down to dinner as a family as often as humanly possible. We are going to do the bills together because he says he wants to be involved. We will all spend an hour cleaning on Saturdays in order to cut back on the work I have to do during the week. We are doing a lot of long overdue repairs on our house as I type. Everything mentioned above, except the Dave Ramsey program, are his ideas. I admit, he has sprung a lot of ideas on me lately, I'm reeling just trying to keep up with everything. Although they are all excellent ideas, I am hopeful I am not left holding the bag when it comes to being responsible for implementing everything. Or worse yet, it being an issue for him if I don't.

I am working with the counselor by myself to get a better grip on my emotions and to work on my co-dependency. She had mentioned she thought I might have OCD in our sessions, because of the way I 'panic' when my husband is having a bad hair day...but after giving her a full history, she better understands my fears and is going to help me work on my co-dependency and does not feel that I am OCD. She said my nervous system has been trained to react to his behaviors a certain way because they signal trouble to me. I have been conditioned to be fearful of certain behaviors I see...because they trigger something from the past. In a sense, I am still living in fear that everything will come crashing down again and he'll check out on me again..and cheat again. She says it is not anything wrong with me, we are just all different and that eventually, with enough time and progress, I will be re-conditioned to not be so reactive.

So, I AM hopeful...still a little gun shy about our recent set back. He is going to counseling alone, I do not know what his focus is, I am trying to trust him that it isn't all about ME and what I need to change since MY focus is about ME and what I need to change, his needs to be about him.

He is still irritable...and I can tell that he's struggling to keep from saying the first thing that comes to mind sometimes. I DO feel that is the medication, but he is aware of it, it is very obvious. Hopefully, in time, it will get better.

As for the 'last stop effort'...that was what we decided last Dec. It is our last chance to get this marriage right. To listen, to hear, to care, to show through actions that we care, and to love through good, bad, and ugly times. To talk, to open up, to communicate, to trust. We have to get it right. I am not prepared to settle for anything less. I won't kick him out the door every time he makes a mistake, but I cannot be shut out of his life again...I won't let that happen. I am glad he believes this and did something about it.

Here is what is so

Here is what is so disheartening- even w meds that improve the focus, it doesnt work to address the other symptoms- blame, lack of empathy, poor restraint in making mean coments, blame.. Should I go on? I, too, think the meds are not helping enough in this case but he wont consider changing because he likes they work on his focus (but not completely on that either). Counseling is an excruciatingly slow process buf I am hopeful. I just wish this is not always such an uphill battle to be heard and acknowledged! SO hard when you still have deal w everything else in life AND not be "allowed" to have your own frustrations or coping issues- to have to be told to stop or else the blame/anger of how wrong you are triples. I long for a partner who can be genuinely supportive. One thing i am trying though that seems to help is to TRY not to get reeled into the fights (dh things differently- he tells me I cause them and he simply wont stoop to my level). I mean, really? To have an empathetic ear is virtually impossible when it is something he wants but i dont. No way to work it out if both dont want to try or try enough?! Its still a process but so hard. Does anyone have more success w the meds to address the other symptoms i talk about? They still seem inherently ADHD symptoms but the meds seem ineffective? B

Sherri, thanks for

Sherri, thanks for explaining...I see where you are coming from now and where you have been!  I am so happy for you and your DH - this ADD thing sure has taken its toll on enough families - it is time for the families to win one or two!

I applaud your straightforwardness about what is a dealbreaker for you - way to go girl!  You are being fair to not just him, but also yourself. In addition, you never stopped showing your love and dedication to him - you are a special lady.

All of the plans that you all are working on are wonderful - it will really build the family strength and help in feeling that you both really are a team - love that!

DH sounds as though he is working hard to keep his temper in check - good work!

I am praying for you and your family - these prayers will not only be for healing but also for continued love and warmth.

 

Sherri, You are a great

Sherri,

You are a great woman. I wish I was married to you at times. 

I have done my best to read your post as my head is a little tired so I apologize if I misread something.

ADD medication makes you feel like absolute S. I feel that I can't really tell if it's THAT individual or if some people are just more sensitive over all than others. My ADD pills took me for a ride the first few weeks. Something very important to remember with ADD is that under the ADD is a person. If let's see you could "lift of" the ADD as a separate layer, what person is underneath? How mature is that person? Is he shy or outgoing? Is he angry or happy? What kind of life history does he have? How does he handle happiness, sadness, failure, disappointment, being excited etc? The ADD affects a person yes but it's not 100% of everything that is wrong. If your husband is a stubborn person under the ADD, one that is grumpy long after a fight. Then he would be that way even if he didn't have ADD. He'd still shut you out. Because that's his person.

This thread has a lot of replies but I just don't feel like the medication should get all the blame. Though I don't know what follow up comments you have made. ADD people tend to throw in the towel a lot. I notice myself doing it. That is bad. That is fleeing. But we get tired. Though it's easy to make it a habit, every time there is a hill, turn around. ADD medication takes some sucking up and then it gets good. But as I mentioned. I don't feel like I have enough to actual say that THAT'S HOW IT IS. That's what it's like to me and I can sometimes feel that a lot of people are a little too scared of what the medication is doing, too unfamiliar with the feelings it generates and panic, which makes it ten times worse and make them give up.

I am very driven by motivation. It is my one and only weapon against ADD (that isn't medication). There are different ways I can achieve this "motivation" or just "happiness" if you will. There is shopping, eating something I really like, sugar, alcohol, love to mention what comes directly to my mind. My mood comes and goes. I have no mood disorders such as depression. I regularly see professionals to have this confirmed, I simply am very sensitive to low energy. During my lows everything is no good, I give up. It's hard for me to find motivation. During these times I tend to eat a little bit more and spend a little more money. I don't gain a lot of weight or get us into dept but if someone spent five minutes investigating they'd notice this as a behavior.

From you I am getting the feeling that you are doing what you can. Truly. There is not much advice left to give you. You have to decide within yourself, do I have energy left? Your husband can still make a lot of improvements and try harder. But the fact is that he will always be diagnosed and you two will have to fight a little bit harder then some couples. Does your relationship give you enough energy during the good times so that you can pull through?