Wayne

Please forgive me for pointing you out directly, I hope you do not mind. You said something in response to someone else that I felt really compelled to ask you about. You said that the first 10 years of your marriage were great and then something just changed...and admitted that the change came from within you. I first have to say that I have a lot of respect for you to be able to admit that. I am praying for you that your wife will someday see these 'small' admissions as the HUGE milestones that they are. PLEASE let me make myself clear...I know from my own experiences that marriages take two...and I accept full responsibility for my contributions to the near death of my marriage. However, I would be lying if I didn't say that a huge part of me feels that the real 'left turn' for us can be pinpointed almost to a specific month or two..May-June of 2004. I know what I feel changed...what amped up the ADD behaviors (for lack of a better way of putting it) 1000%...but can't honestly say that my husband would agree with me. We got custody of my step-daughter in May and a single, party-guy friend of his moved back into town in June. We now see clearly that the 'friend' has ZERO respect for the sanctity of marriage and in fact seems to have some sort of condition himself where he gets some sort of kick from manipulating and messing with people's lives. He was constantly calling my husband wanting him to go with him anywhere and everywhere to drink. He is an alcoholic too.

We were not at all prepared to raise a troubled teen with tons of issues of her own (I believe she has borderline personality disorder...look it up, it isn't pretty) and we went from rarely ever fighting to fighting occasionally to fighting weekly..to fighting almost daily. The scenario was always the same...I was the only discipline she got, he felt I was too hard on her, so he took her side even when he would admit later he knew she was wrong/lying/etc. He often told me that I reminded him of his dad coming down on him (yes, I quickly turned resentful and angry because I felt like I was sacrificing my marriage and my children's happy lives for a kid who hated my guts and wished me dead more than once). Our marriage just went into the ditch...and the 'friend' gave him the perfect 'escape'.

However, the reason I found your comment/confession..if you will..so interesting was that you don't seem to be able to recall what 'triggered' this event. THIS scares the hell out of me in my own personal situation because last fall, when life's stresses became too much and my husband 'went over the edge' (had an affair), wasn't the first time it has happened. First time was when I found out I was pregnant with our daughter. He was fine for about a month and then he changed into a completely different person overnight. THAT was when the hyperfocus beginning part ended for us. Things were never the same, never 'innocent' again. He was all over the board...asking for a divorce...saying he didn't want me to have the baby (and I told him to F*UCK off)...avoided spending time with me at all costs...and when I asked him to leave he ended up in the bed of his ex-wife for an evening romp...and I don't think she was the only woman he was 'seeing' at the time. I know it was nothing more than a one night stand (no talk of reconciliation or anything) because his ex-wife couldn't wait to tell me all about it..but there was also another woman calling my house for him too..under the pretense he was to fix her computer for her. I have never shared this here (other than saying he had cheated twice) but cannot help but make comparisons to the situations...and wonder what 'triggered' each...and WORRY that it will happen again. This was 13 years ago...6 months into our marriage.

I cannot control what happens in life...stress will happen. I thought he was happy we were having a baby, but it turns out that he freaked him out to the point that he was a different person for almost 2 months before finally getting his sh!t together and manning up. I am not saying things were perfect from there on out, but they were just 'normal' marital stuff for years..after we got past that...until May-June 2004.

I'm not sure what I'm asking...maybe asking why you feel confident that you won't do this to her again 10 years down the road from now. You describe something along the lines of 'checking out' of the marriage...and do you not worry that if you don't figure out why, you might repeat this behavior again? What makes you feel like you're more in control of things now? My husband describes to me the picture that he now has God in his life, and we have God in our marriage, and that coming so close to losing everything changed him forever. Plus, I was the one to change first in our situation, and once he trusted me (doesn't take so long for you ADDers to forgive and forget...which is a very good thing) then he joined me. I always blew his first infidelity off as him just needing to grow up (he was 24, I was 29) and once I healed from it (again, him jumping through flaming hoops for many, many months) I TRULY felt he would never do that again. I was beyond devastated to hear him tell me he had cheated again...and that it was because of the attention she gave him...that I didn't. I felt him pulling away before the affair started and I tried to reach out to him, started making changes within myself even then...but it was too late, I suppose. Our counselor just feels that the marriage was so bad that he just simply gave up. Keep the marriage good and peaceful, it won't happen again. I can't help but feel that his losing his job and having to go back to work locally taking a 50% paycut coupled with his mom's rapidly declining health (impending death) was a 'trigger' and that he would maybe not have cheated otherwise. I know HE is convinced that he lives in a completely different world now and will never hurt me that way again...but is this something he can realistically promise if, like you describe it, something just 'changes' without you really knowing what? This scares the hell out of me. :(

waynebloss's picture

Point me out, I do not care

Point me out, I do not care and if it helps 1 person/couple then it is worth it. I cannot pinpoint it but thinking on this after reading your post I can say that the biggest change that happened along the same time frame was our role reversal. MY wife was the bread winner, she did all the grownup stuff and I had nothing, no responsibility about money, jobs or what I was going to do because my wife did everything! Now, looking back I can see that was just wrong of me, adding all of our life's crap onto her and not helping!! When we moved back to St. Louis, I became the bread winner and I was now in the lead role for our family, which is something I was not prepared for! The stress, the constant fighting between us the living paycheck to paycheck might have brought my ADD to the forefront in our lives? Before it did not matter, I could be a kid and not worry about anything, my wife was in charge, to give an example... If I wanted to buy a CD I called and asked her if we had the money! That is how dependant I was on her which did not change when we had kids ourselves. Now she was raising 3 kids instead of 2 very young ones!
 

Once these changes started I lost it! I could not deal with anything that was happening, I started to medicate with alcohol and behaviors that would be extreme for a married man, like having an affair and trying not to get caught! I would put myself in those situations to see if I was still attractive because my wife stopped making me feel I was. Sex was routine, we were both very large and our self esteem was at the bottom. When younger, better looking women would pay attention to me, smile or give me compliments it made me feel better than I was. The alcohol allowed me to do what I knew was wrong, but when I was drunk I did not care about anything but me! It took a bit after the affair was known for us to start being together again, but I honestly think that she did not get past it herself, she did not let the healing begin and I know this was because of my declining behaviors and the start of us seeing ADD at its best! It was 2 years after the affair when we were at our lowest and she made those demands of me. When she had enough of my crap and either I owned up and took responsibility or she was gone with the kids.


I wake up everyday promising God and myself that I will not travel back down the road that I left. I can finally see what it did to me, my wife and our kids, which really bothers me down to my core! During the time before and after the affair we were having routine sex, still saying I love you, still hugging and being a couple. Now, it has been since the 1st Sat of Jan 2010 since we had sex, July 2010 since the last "real" deep kiss, Feb-March since I have heard the words I LOVE YOU! I will tell you not ONCE have I thought about cheating on her, going after someone else or any other thought along those lines! I cannot lose my wife and kids, that is the bottom line, the one that will prevent me from doing anything that would make me lose them. Your husband talked about having God in his life, I turned to him more and more each day, understanding that it will require HARD work on MY end but as long as I continue to work then I feel very confident that I will not repeat history. Can I promise that it will never happen again, nope, but I can say that I wake up every morning, knowing that I will not today! I can only do one day at a time and I can only control myself, if I continue with that thought process then I will be fine.


He can promise day to day and that is it, no one can promise EVER, you cannot control EVER. I do not know him and I have heard "once a cheater, always a cheater" a lot as well and that is fine, everyone is entitled to their own views but as long as my God trusts me and my wife trusts me then I am good. The trigger is always there, but understanding, educating, taking medication and talking allows me to control the trigger! Before, I did not control the trigger, it controlled me and it made me "feel" good, which now looking back I know it was just a band-aid on a deep infected wound that did not properly heal (remember I am a nurse!). Today, I am healing from the inside out which is the correct way to go. I do hope that your husband continues the healing and wake up daily with the promise not to hurt you today like he has done in the past.


Last note - Friday night my wife and I sat down and talked for the 1st time in months. I was very nervous about it because she called the "meeting" so I had no idea what it was about. We talked about serious issues for the first time in 4-5 months and also talked about our "in-house" separation. She said for the first time in 11 months she feels peace and is not stressed out about us, or me or anything, just feeling peace within herself! That made me very happy!! I hate the separation but understand that this is what was needed and that it is starting us both on the path of healing ourselves as well as our marriage and I will continue! So I will hope for the best and continue to improve myself each day, which is all I can do!

Hope this helps


Wayne
 

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for responding! I can't tell you how much it helps to have this insight. If there is any issue that I worry about the most, it is 'once a cheater, always a cheater'. Just to be honest, I'm not 100% convinced he hasn't cheated (or at least acted inappropriately) more than the two times I know about.

He, like you, REALLY likes attention...likes being the center of attention...especially from women. We have talked extensively about this since our reconciliation as several incidences have arose that gave me the opportunity to point out to him how inappropriate his behavior is for a married man. At a New Year's party he told the hostess, who was crying and upset about finding out her husband had cheated, how beautiful she was...trying to encourage her not to worry, she'd find someone else, I suppose. I flat out said "enough" right then and there...later explaining to him that it was disrespectful to me and unnecessary and NOT HIS PLACE. Another incident was a woman he worked with (in a separate dept and he'd only been there 6 months) was leaving and he wanted to buy her something. Asked me to go pick it out. I asked him to reconsider, get a card (if anything) and not buy her something that would remind her of him for years to come. I had never heard him mention her name...they couldn't have been close. I think these things are done to make himself feel good...so that people will think highly of him. He made a new friend at church...this friend's wife isn't extremely outgoing. She has recently started speaking to him a bit more when he's talking to the friend...and he said "I feel so much better." I told him I didn't understand why her speaking to him made him feel better. He also was going to lunch with a female co-worker occasionally and I flat out asked him to stop. Not only is it asking a LOT considering everything for me to accept this, it is something he would NEVER EVER be OK with me doing (having lunch with a male). I feel he is an attention whore. Period. I tell him this. I have told him this several times...and asked him to please stop seeking attention from females...and to really explore why he does this and what he can do to stop doing this. As I said, counseling was our last chance...and the MAIN reason I wanted to go was because I cannot just believe that he won't do it again...I need to have some concrete answers...and some concrete solutions to, at the very least, let me know what led to it so that I can  prevent it as much as humanly possible from happening again.

Life was very hard for us when he started his affair last Fall. I don't say this to 'excuse' his behavior...it was hard for US...but I would have never (and would never) cheat. It is still hard for me to wrap my mind around this. Anyway, I do think 'stress' or big life changes are what 'trigger' him...and since these things cannot be avoided I just wonder how he'll ever manage not to let the ADD get the best of him. He was no diagnosed until June of this year...we were in counseling for above reasons and she wanted to test him and sure enough he was off the charts...ADHD. (impulse control) He is on medication...which I think is making him quicker to 'snap' at me...get angry and say something really shitty before stopping himself (hadn't seen that behavior for MONTHS before he started meds)...I'm not exactly excited about this, but am trying to give him time to adjust and praying it is something he can get under control. He said I was calling him stupid because I asked him where he'd seen something online about our cell phones...because I didn't see it when I logged in. If he feels I'm questioning his ability to read/see something online then that's one thing, but to snap and say "go ahead, call me stupid...call me stupid one more time" is a different ballgame. Again...not like him...and I'm pretty sad about it. I told him he needed to reconsider his reactions ... and he apologized (24 hours later) and said he was going to work on it. I believe he wants to...and will try...but...

Anyway...thanks again for your insight. I might talk to him about it again...our counselor does not really feel that it is something we need to focus on, it is the past. I don't think she knows the "pattern" though...so I might try and pull her aside and see if it might change her approach to 'treating' this impulse issue.

Were you insecure? Jealous if your wife had male friends? My husband has always been the provider..and when I went back to work in Dec 08 (for about a year) just to spite him (he kept throwing money up in my face) he has admitted that was a big blow to his ego and part of the reason he felt distance from me...although it was ALL in his mind. If I even mentioned a male co-workers name he would treat me with the cold shoulder.

On the side note..I think you're definitely on the right path with your wife. Take everything she'll give you, express how grateful you are for her working with you, and then return to giving her the space she needs. She is getting there..and you are doing great!! I'm so happy to hear that you've not considered cheating...that would make me feel really good to know that my husband felt that. He says it...he is very, very reassuring. I KNOW he was miserable during his affair...I had so many red flags but just thought he was mourning his mother's passing...but now I know the guilt was eating him alive. Saw the same guilt the time he had the one night stand with his ex...uncontrollable crying. I am hoping he felt so bad that he will NEVER EVER forget it!

Keeping you guys in my prayers!! Sherri

waynebloss's picture

If the meds are influencing

If the meds are influencing him in acting one way then it is time for a change to a different medication.  My wife and I over the last 2 years have lost weight and have new and improved bodies.  She has lost close to 50lbs and I think almost 40+ inches from her entire body and I have lost close to 90lbs and went from a size 46 to a 34 in my waist.  I have had relationships in the past before my wife where the woman would lose weight or change in some way and then she would be gone in a heartbeat.  When my wife lost the weight and was just as beautiful on the outside as she was on the inside, I noticed other guys looking at her, and she changed as well.  Do I believe that she has cheated on me, no I do not, but I know that she "flirts" with other guys when she and her girlfriends are out.  I know in the beginning I was jealous of this and the way she looked as well as she wanted to be with her girlfriends instead of me, which I did not handle well. Now I am not concerned with that anymore, she has male friends, some of them work with her, some are friends of friends and some I do not know.  I trust her not to do something with them, I cannot explain it I just trust her. 

I never used ADD to explain or place the blame on my ADD for the things that I did, but I did own up to them which I think goes along way with her and that I was serious when I admitted my mistakes and that I will never ever try to make them again. 

Something did happen that I need your or others advice on.  Next week I was supposed to work on the Friday after T-Day but my company is making me take it off.  We are supposed to go to my family on Thursday and then I was going to come home to work and she was going to her mother's with the kids.  Now that I am not working, instead of the response I was looking for which is "cool, now you can come to my mothers with us." I was text this message.  "Since you are not working why don't you work extra as a nurse either Thursday night and/or Friday?"  I do not get paid for T-day and the day after, I am a contractor and another facet is that she has had nothing to do with money since I took it over in Sept. She stopped paying on everything for 8-10 months before I took over in Sept. and I am slowly working us out of repossessions, foreclosures and being sued by credit card company's. I have tried to asked and even begged her to help or teach me but she refuses and does not want me to let her know what is going on.  Which is fine but why now is she concerned with me working and money?  I know my ADD is in overdrive but why all of a sudden is she taking a interest now? If I ask her then she will become defensive and we will take 2-3 steps back.  So do I leave it alone, ask why, and should I ask her not to come to my family's?  Thoughts would be appreciated!!

Your family is in my prayers as well Sherri!!

Wayne  

First let me say CONGRATS on

First let me say CONGRATS on the weight loss. That's fantastic! I understand how this can change people...but it is such a great change. :)

You don't have to explain why you trust her, you just do. Trust is either something that has been earned or not. That is one less worry you have. Jealousy doesn't seem to be an extremely common symptom of ADD/ADHD so I suspect it is just a product of a very unhealthy past for my husband.

When my husband was taking full responsibility for his actions (and believe me, he did take full responsibility) he didn't even know he had ADHD so he has never used it as an excuse. He has only said that he is happy to have me care enough to research ADHD and says that I am the only person in his life who has ever cared enough about him to try and understand him and love him inspite of himself. He is very thankful and never lets me forget it. I don't mean to paint a picture of him that is negative, I really don't have negative feelings towards him anymore. I am still hurt and still healing but for the most part my 'anger' that might come across when I discuss his cheating is mostly just fear. I can forgive and move forward...but the fear is still looming and I am working on that. Mostly, I know I just need to pray about it and leave it at God's feet...but I fail miserably at this. Most of the time I know that what is most important is today...and how we are SOOOO different today. Both of us. He showed so many signs of misery and remorse (even before I found out he had the affair)..he ended it before I found out (it lasted about 2 months)...and I know he was at a very low place in his life during that time. He was drinking until he passed out cold every night. If he woke up he would drink more until he would pass out again. He said it was the only way he could numb the pain and the guilt. He said he just knew that before he could come home (which I was begging him to do) that he had to tell me about the affair and he was 100% convinced that when he did, that he would lose me forever. I know he felt horrible...and I cling to that when I have fears.  When I asked him once where he thought he'd be if I had decided not to give our marriage one last chance he said "Dead". :(

Anyway, need to quit focusing on this subject...it really is causing me to feel negative and I do NOT want to feel that way. I can obsess over it to the point that it changes my entire demeanor. Even when I'm not actively thinking about it, I still notice my mood is sour. I have prayed about it a lot and I know that no matter what happens, I will be OK. I TRULY believe he is a remorseful, changed man. Bottom line, I would not be with him if I didn't believe that..even if my thoughts lead me astray from that temporarily sometimes.

About your wife...my best advice to you is to have no reaction. I am not sure that I would take her 'suggestion' as being completely about money. The first thing that came to my mind was that she was 'planning' on your working (her being free to spend the day without you) and maybe she either wanted to encourage you to obligate yourself OR she said it to maybe 'punish' you a little...not wanting you to ask her to spend the day with her...and her still somewhat keeping you at arms length. DO NOT take it personally...DO NOT let it set you back. DON'T do it. You're doing great. No matter what her motives, it really doesn't matter....I would just maybe not really respond and do what you want...work or don't...but don't ask her to do anything with you. Keep your original plans for Thanksgiving and let her keep hers for the day after and you find something to keep yourself busy that you enjoy. I think it would be a mistake to make a huge deal of it. It could be a 'test'. I mean who knows, really? I don't know her...maybe it is 100% about money...but that could be for MANY reasons. Don't let your imagination get the best of you...and don't make an issue of it. Just tell her "No. I don't really want to work...but you can go about your day as you had planned, not an issue". I KNOW it is so much easier said than done, but this is a change you have to make for life....and you and I have this in common..over analyzing things that are probably not anything. Just relax and keep up the good work. Remind yourself that this 'space' is what she needs to learn to trust and respect you again...and to heal. It is very hard...but it is necessary. The more successful you are at doing this, the better the chance your marriage probably has.

Thanks again for your input. Keep us posted!

Sherri

OH..and on a very positive

OH..and on a very positive note...he went to the doctor today. He says he has no energy and feels like he's been 'catching something' for 2 weeks. (ironically he increased his meds 2 weeks ago). I tried to tell him what I was observing with the increase in medication, without pressuring him to make a decision based on my observation. I told him that from what I could tell he was doing fine on the 18mgs (Concerta) and that I was seeing a 'short fuse' and lethargy since the increased dosage. He talked to his doctor about it...and they decided to go back to the 18mgs. I know he did it because he does NOT want me to suffer 'ill effects' of the medications (irritability, primarily) that we've seen in the past...he has made this clear from the get go..he won't take them if they make him that way. It made me realize how much he truly does care and I am feeling very grateful for that. I barely mentioned it, but I did want to say "hey, this is what I'm seeing." Our counselor told us both that I NEEDED to observe and report changes...that it was as important as what he was feeling on the meds. So, I mentioned it, and he went back to the lesser dosage. Not sure why it was increased in the first place. I hope the lesser dosage will take him back to being on track and less lethargic again. He was given an anti-biotic for some congestion in his chest...so hopefully he'll be 100% again soon. :)

Thanksgiving?

I disagree with Sherri on how to handle your feelings about Thanksgiving.  I am never a big believer in trying to second guess someone's intentions - particularly in ADHD relationships when each partner is so different this can often lead to misunderstandings.  So my advice would be to be very straightforward and non-blaming and just say something like "I was hoping that I might be able to join you all for Thanksgiving now that I don't have to work.  Out of respect I will let you make the final decision, but I wanted to let you know that I would enjoy going."

How dare you! LOL

How dare you! LOL Kidding...

Seriously..I just kept going back to my biggest weakness..and that is reading too much into things. Yes, I'm often told too "just flat out ask upfront so that you don't have any room for doubt" so I see what you're saying and agree it might be the best way to handle it. Do you think it would risk her feeling like he's 'pushing' her when she has insisted he give her space? Just trying to think from the non-ADD standpoint.

Holidays are always the hardest things to deal with when marriages are facing difficulties.

waynebloss's picture

Hmmmm

I do not know if I want to talk with her about this.  Knowing my wife, she will not want to discuss this or avoid answering all together.  Then again I could be looking way into this I do not know.  My wife at this time is not handling straight forward discussions with me, I can start and she will either say "I do not know" or never really answer the question.  When we were at our worst, conversations were one of the 2 issues that we could not complete without yelling, accusing and down right being mean.  I am ready, I have been practicing in the mirror and how to take breaths and think before I react but she is not ready to try right now.  We shall see, we had a small important conversation last night that had to deal with money.  She would not tell me things to budget for that she needed or going to buy and when she did it made other things bounce or we had to take away from our very tiny savings. So last night I asked her if she would start to tell me things she KNEW she was going to need within the next week like buying makeup or anything else she knew about so I could put it into the budget and be prepared.  She took a moment, I saw her thinking and did not like the look so I continued to tell her it is not her checking or asking my permission to buy but letting me know what was needed to I can prepare the budget and not have it as a surprise. I think that settled whatever she had going on because the look on her face changed for the better!!  So I can say that we are tiptoeing toward the right direction,  I know it will take time for her to trust that I can have a serious conversation and I will not overreact, fly off the handle or anything else I used to do. I will play it by ear and see what happens...wish me luck!! 

From almost day one I have

From almost day one I have been responsible for our finances. He works, has his check deposited, and I am responsible for paying bills. He has no idea who we owe, what we owe, when they're due, etc. I literally don't know what he would do if something were to happen to me. He falls about 2 seconds short of refusing to discuss any of it with me...he does not want to know. I took his debit card from him after struggling for years trying to figure out how to get him to stop the exact behavior you describe above. He never did/would stop. He would swear he wouldn't do it again, apologize like he really meant it, and do it again the very next day.

He still gets obsessed with something...and will go to the ends of the Earth to figure out a way to get it...usually resulting in him going into the bank and directly withdrawing the money without telling me OR ordering something and then letting me know he needs the money to pick it up...knowing I won't say no. (like he did last week).

I will say that I am done carrying this burden in our marriage...it is the one thing I have yet to be able to let go of and I feel it is keeping me from having the peace that I NEED..the cherry on top of the banana split, so to speak. I have approached him about doing Dave Ramsey's program (know 3 people who have done it and swear it is a God send for people in our situaiton...with more month than we have money) and I am praying he will agree to it.

It is not fair for one spouse to 'force' the other to carry the burden alone, yet not understand the simple idea that if you're not interested in being a part of it, then you DO have to 'ask' before you spend money. It is impossible to expect someone to manage an account and not know what is coming out of it and when. It is only fair.

waynebloss's picture

Yep

You are right, I was the one who dumped it on her for 12 years and have just recently taken it over.  She has stated that the relief that came from doing money has been WONDERFUL.  I am glad that I can now share or take some things from her so that she is able to rest and find that peace she needs to either leave or stay. 

It really is unfair...but in

It really is unfair...but in my situation there is no other option. Me handing it over to him would certainly lead to disaster.

That happened to me

After trying all kinds of budgets and conversations, classes etc. my blood pressure took off. The medication I was prescribed made me feel weak, exhausted and extremely forgetful. I decided to try something different (what's the definition of insanity...) and since our debt was almost paid off, I let him handle the bills while I worked on getting better. So, a few years later, our credit cards were maxed out. I found out when he told me I needed to quit using the credit cards I wasn't using. (I'm the cash queen around here.) He fessed up and actually said it was my fault because I didn't pack him lunch! I was furious! I cried whenever I was alone for months. He actually went to a Dave Ramsey seminar in town at the time with a friend. Apparently it's set up for couples but I refused to go with him because I knew all I would do is sob. It's been devastating. Especially since his hours were cut and I was only working part time because of school. We've never had any savings to fall back on because of his spending habits either. I told him he'd better not stick me with his bills. I've recently got a full time job (yay!) and he's already said I could help pay his bills. Guess what, I didn't say anything and just thought to myself I'm not paying your bills. He'll probably get himself in a jam and expect me to bail him out somehow. It will probably be his car, something he desperately needs to get to work. We'll see what an impact Dave made on him in the coming months I'm sure...

Weight loss

I find it really interesting when you mentioned your 90 lbs and 46 to 34 inch change in your waist size in 2 years.

Wow.

Since Thanksgiving 2008 I have lost 95 pounds and gone from 46" to 36" being loose. I'm curious about how tall you are, because of the parallel in weight loss. I'm 5'-11" and used to weigh 284, yikes...

Now my real issue. My wife and I had always struggled with our weight. She is beautiful and always has been, but now that I have lost all this weight, she is Sure that I CANNOT be attacted to her. It is like she has pre-written the script that I will find someone else now that I do not have a weight issue anymore, but it is only due to the Speed that I take for my ADD, not the exercise regiment that was added to my routine, sigh... No matter how many times I tell her I think she is beautiful, she tells me I Cannot think that is true, like a ploy to get sex...

My wife was comfortable when I was fat, because she did not have worry about me cheating. For the record, I have not cheated on her. I know we all say this, but I have not. Does your wife get extremely jeleous now that you have lost weight?

The anger that comes from her, out of the blue, still... I understand before Adderall it always seemed out of the blue, but now I know out of the blue when I see it. We could be having a great time having margaritas and Mexican food, then in the final minutes it can turn into a nightmare...

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

YYZ

Insecurities..

I'm wondering if your wife has developed insecurities over time due to being ignored.  I know that as a non-ADHD wife, I certainly have developed real insecurities and become jealous simply because my husband constantly ignores me.  To a non-ADHD person, it seems like you have to beg to get them to notice or spend time with you.  It may not just be the weight, she may have years of uncertainty of the relationship built up inside.  Now that  you look good and feel better about yourself, she may worry that her insecurities are more realistic. 

I would have a conversation with her about her feelings and WHY she feels this way.  So many times, my husband has been confused about my thoughts/actions/feelings, but he has never asked me WHY.  If I try to explain, then I'm just too caught up in the past.  But I would say, if my husband really asked me why and wanted to hear an explanation, I'd be hooked!

Good luck!

Insecurities...

My wife has always had trust/security/low self-esteem issues, even long before my ADD was diagnosed. We both come from families in which there are NO examples of a successful marriage in our parents generation.

The examples being:

1 - Started as an affair in the workplace (Key in our case)

2 - They may be married, but are miserable and if they could afford it Would be divorced

Our grandparents don't really count because divorce was not a viable option for them.

The jealousy issue is as old as our 19 years together. She is jealous, not super-extreme, but definitely is so. I am not jealous because I trust her and I cannot worry about things not in my control. My wife does not believe my logic and says I must not think anyone would hit on her. I have told her a million times this is NOT the case, she is beautiful and I love and trust her. We were both in great shape when we first got together, but then work, kids, and so on things changed for us both. Her worst fear is for her to be with a "Little Guy"... I am hardly that, but 95 lbs less than two years ago.

My wife is a "Pleaser" and her own "Worst Critic", I tell her so every time I hear her negative about herself. Now she "Has" to worry about me, because I'm not over-weight, and she feels if she does not lose the proportionate equal amount she will lose me. Again, I tell her I love her and she is beautiful and I know how hard she tries to stay fit. My reassurances never help, because it goes back to the ADDer's Magic Pill that makes me lose weight. My Adderall is a real "Hot Button" because I truly believe she does not hold much stock in the ADD effects on me and what is needed to help the brain chemistry. We are saying the same thing basically... Adderall helps my ADD brain chemistry imbalance, which helps my ADD and to not self medicate with food to feel good. She says "Speed" is an appetite suppressant and this is the main reason for the weight loss. Like the weight loss is the Only benefit??? She has seen a psychologist for years, off and on, over her issues, but know that ADD is in the mix she will not go to therapy, or even couples therapy at my suggestion. I have told her of this website that I go to and how much can be learned from hearing both sides of the ADD thing. I try to stay patient, because she has been through a lot in her life, including me.

Unfortunately our closeness can be interrupted, at any time, by her low self-esteem and anger. She has turned down my suggestion that we go to couples therapy again, which was with her psychologist and went very well, or a new therapist, so I don't know what will help other than time.

Thanks for the reply...

YYZ

Insecurities and counseling...

Getting the courage to attend counseling sessions is difficult as many of us know...whether it's on your own or together.  One thing we have found to be helpful in the past few weeks is the online seminar run by Melissa.  It provides a few things that counseling does not:

1. impartial information regarding ADD/symptoms

2. ability to "hide" and just listen/learn if needed since it's online

3. comfort of a group setting--you know you're not the only ones facing many of the same issues

4. clear examples of relationship "blunders"

5. ability to ask questions and have them answered in a clear cut manner

We were in counseling last year, and honestly, I think we've found the few sessions of this seminar to be more helpful than our 7 months of counseling. (We are both in indiv. counseling, but not couple at the moment)  Granted, you have to be willing to learn and be engaged and move forward on your own, BUT it's far less intimidating to start.  You may want to consider it in the future.

Just the subject of ADD

Brings up her shields to max level...

I feel like I am in an inverse situation to most ADD/NonADDer relationships. It is usually the ADDer who does not see the damages/pain/hurt and does little or nothing about it. I think our couples therapist accepted my newfound ADD as a real issue and explanation of many of my behaviors. Now it is almost 2 years later and "Why are we talking about This again"?

I wish she had someone to talk to about this, but it seems most people think of ADD as a Kid's disease or excuse disease. I was one of them until two years ago... My wife is working on herself with regards to her perceived weight problem and hopefully her self image will improve. The anger is the big issue, because I cannot communicate well in Attack situations, not to mention most of these happen late in the evening when my meds are wearing off, or gone...

Thanks for your reply, as always...

Not to add to the already

Not to add to the already complex issue you have here, but I am beginning to wonder if her weight issue isn't hiding some bigger issue. Two years, you're still there, you're still with her, you're still sleeping with her and living with her and married to her. How long will she need to 'trust' that you're not going anywhere. I am wondering if there isn't a HUGE communication breakdown somewhere. Do you realize that half of the battle for ANYONE is to 'learn to communicate well in 'attack' situations?' Could you be doing damage that you're not admitting to or aware of? It takes a whole lot of "you're beautiful"s to undo just one comment made out of anger that could lead her to believe you're not sympathetic to her feelings? Yes, I truly feel that her being insecure about her weight could be a huge part of this issue, but if she's constantly coming at you with 'you can't possibly find me attractive' she's either not hearing what you're saying (how are you saying it? How are you SHOWING her that you think she's beautiful? How are you reacting when she struggles to take your compliments gracefully?) or her issues are apparently very deep...and probably not just about weight.

Complex...

I think one of the biggest problems, and she has told me this, is that me and my flaws were never that bad, but I was the "Rock" never changing, not to worry about, and now after having anxiety attacks leading to my ADD diagnosis she has to worry about Me too. My wife also has a Very stressful job and a family that drives her batty, no exaggeration...

When I mention Attack Situations, I am 1000% improved since Adderall. I used to shut down and you were lucky to get the "I don't know" Classic. I actually participate in the conversation pretty well and this is a new dynamic we are both adjusting to. I think my responses surprise her, some good, some bad, but if you don't want to hear my answer don't ask the question, right? When the conversation gets mean, then I start backing out of it. Actually I don't act angry or certainly talk angry, but she gets so mad that constructive conversation becomes difficult, at best. I know so many years of needing to do this to get my attention makes it hard to change her "Coping Mechanism".

I don't just give the the canned "Your beautiful" comments, like to earn points for later. Many times after she says something negative about herself, I ask her why she says these things, and all my friends or co-workers say how pretty she is... She seems to have as bad of a self esteem issue as any ADDer. We both have this in common, but we don't show the outside world this at all. Nobody would suspect my wife or I to feel this way. Honestly, and again she has told me this, but she knows she has issues, never thought I did, then come to find out I do have my own issues, and there is a pill that makes me feel better. And the only side effect is weight loss... I remind her that our relationship had begun cooling off into room mates in the same bedroom long ago, for a lot of reasons, some ADD related, some not. I have asked her, after the last debate over Adderall had cooled off, to go talk this issue through, but she thought we could just agree to disagree on this subject and that things were pretty good. 

There is also a religious difference between us, this was addressed when we were dating. I'm not an Atheist by any means, but I don't have much use for organized religion, either. I promised that our children would be raised with Christian beliefs, which I think is great, and they will Never her me say anything contrary to these teachings. My wife has gotten really involved with the church we attend, which is fine with me, as I will go every Sunday for her and the kids. I definitely am not interested in small bible studies or growing myself in this arena. I wish I were, but I am the same as I was 20 years ago. My wife has really gotten into this church, that I do not like. Remote video sermons from the main campus, live band and I'm just not comfortable there. I was more worried about this issue a year ago, because if she wants this to be a division there is nothing I can do about it. I think she appreciates that I go and support her in motivating the kids to go.

I don't know the answers, but there seems to be a slight upward tilt to this marriage, so I will keep trying to listen better an improve my habits.

YYZ

waynebloss's picture

Re: Weight Loss

For me it was reversed.  We were both very overweight and both of us have lost over 150 lbs together. For me, I was the one who started to be scared that she would lose interest, that now she has a new body that the outside world, other men would actually start to look at her in ways they did not before.  This issue increased by our situation that was worsening, she was mentally leaving our relationship due to all the stuff that marriages with ADD have.  This just made me worse, my jealous was getting our of hand, I was beginning not to trust her, that she is hiding things from me.  It was getting to the point that I could not stand it anymore and neither could she! 

In my past, before I knew about ADD/ADHD, I was always thin and my girlfriends were thin as well.  I was always scared that I would mess up somehow and they would leave, which never happen, they left because I was...I was me with ADD.  So when my wife's body changed for the better, all those horrible, empty, jealous thoughts would come back and start to control me.  Now that I have the ADD aspect under control it is MUCH better for me.  I am able to ignore those thoughts, able to laugh at them and just shrug them off. 

Now for a small hx, I found out I had ADD last year, about the time my marriage was close to being over.  I started medication, started seeing a counselor and started making the changes that I needed to make for me.  My wife had enough and checked out about the same time, she started concentrating on her, dealing with the anger, pain, resentment and all the other feelings that we produced within the last 3 years.  We are now roommates who wear wedding rings.  Sex, hugging, kissing, and "I love you" has not existed for more than 6 months now, with the physical actions being longer.  We are also "in-house" separated, when the kids go to bed I go downstairs and she stays upstairs.  Communication has been almost nonexistent along with our marriage. We talked in Dec and agreed to a "healing separation" the link is below if it is ok to post here?  (George, is this ok?)  http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Alberti1.html   

I think that we both needed some time and space away from each other, find out who we were as individuals and to rest and recharge and to honestly see if we wanted to fight this fight or not.  The separation has given some framework to what we both wanted, it is holding us accountable to what we agreed to.  It is hard, my wife is very beautiful and I miss her, but I do understand the what's and why's I just do not know when it is time for us to decide and make decisions about us. 

So I think a little jealously is good, but the extreme amount I was showing was not healthy for either one of us.  Your wife has to decide if she is going to trust you but more important she has to gain a different image of herself or this will only get worse.  The anger comes from being scared and thinking that she is losing control and you, when actually nothing is lost.  We are men, we are going to look, if any woman and or man thinks they are going to stop this from happening, go talk to God.  There are beautiful women out there along with good looking men, this is where trust comes into play, you have to trust each other or it will not work.


Wayne