This is the second marriage for both of us. He is 51, with 3 grown kids, I am 31 with 3 school age children that spend every- other week with me.
The dynamic that has been developing over this first year of our marriage varies; we seem to trade off in the typical non-ADHD/ ADHD roles. He was diagnosed when he was 44, and single. He is medicated, completed almost 2 years of therapy, is high functioning, and has had the same job for 8 years.
I received my diagnosis a little over 6 months ago, and have been seeing my area's leading ADHD specialist every week since then, in addition to medication that I feel works very well for me. I spent most of my life really believing everyone else was crazy, and after a week into meds/ therapy I realized that my actions, thoughts, words, etc. just weren't something that everyone else interpreted the way I did. So I always felt like there was something wrong or different about me... now I get why, and I'm proud of the differences, but they are much more manageable and less awkward in social situations.
Hubby and I met online, courted online, met in real life, and it was a fairy tale... typical from what I've read here. But its gone really downhill, and it never occurred to me that ADHD could be a factor until my therapist gave me the book- and it was the biggest AHA moment of my life... seriously, they could do an entire episode of Oprah about it. I could literally see how every argument we'd ever had had been influenced by our ADHD symptoms. I had always thought that his ADHD was his problem, and my ADHD was my problem.
So I read the book, spoke to my therapist, and devised with his help a non-confrontational way to approach the subject with my husband... and things have only gotten worse from there. He insists that ADHD is not a factor, that his in particular is well managed. He blames, accuses me of lying, says really mean things, says very inappropriate or offensive things, literally thinks its ALL my fault, says I don't take care of our house (though he doesn't realize he's the single biggest contributor to to the mess) and I really do a very good job, but have a tendency to hyper-focus on some tasks borderline obsessively for days at a time (like I might decide that ALL the ceiling fans need to be disassembled and cleaned so I do it, or I speen a whole day clearing our many many bookshelves and dust).... I feel like this is something he should be able to empathize with, but he insists the problem is all mine. He says I am detached from reality, and while I realize that its not all him, I also know that its not all me... There is something wrong with everything I do- I consciously and actively avoid the ADHD impulse to treat him this way because now that I know that's a symptom, I recognize the triggers and redirect my thinking. Its not you, its your symptoms is my mantra- and I cry myself to sleep repeating it in my head every night. It hurts that he can't look at me and make the same concessions- but I know its his ADHD that prevents him from doing it so I do the best I can to start from there and move forward without holding it against him. I've never been the type to hold a grudge, be he can hold one like its a winning lottery ticket. And every time we argue, he brings up everything I've ever done to upset him- I don't believe in bringing up old business... I just listen and cry.
If I say anything about feelings more complicated than what color to paint the bathroom, its a week long fight. I don't engage in arguing anymore, I remain calm, don't yell... I check and confirm to make sure I am hearing what I think I'm hearing- because I know people like me have a tendency not to... at the same time, I try to state how I feel about any given thing (and at this point there is NOTHING we don't argue about, even toilet paper) as simply and clearly and concisely as I can so as not to be misunderstood, only to be accused of wanting to "parce words" Everything I say is somehow perceived as an attempt to insult, offend, or undermine him. He is not capable of seeing any point of view but his own. He does not hear me- and I know its not him, but his symptoms... but what do I do when he refuses to admit that his symptoms are as much a part of the problem as mine are? He is rude, interrupts, walks out- like packs a bag and leaves for a day or two. I have suggested counseling- he won't go. I've tried writing things down- he tears up my letters. I've tried begging, reasoning, nagging, yelling, patience... there is nothing I have not tried.
He sees himself as 100% awesome, 100% of the time- and thinks he is kind, patient, understanding, generous and hard-working... he IS all of those things, the problem is that he is NOT all of those things all of the time but he believes he is... whats worse is that he believes that he is the only one of us who is those things.
Sex is always an argument, for any number of reasons...
But when things are good, they are FANTASTIC- until they're not. And that's about every third day- its pretty predictable... We're good, we fight for 2 days, we make up, then 2 days later we're fighting even worse.... lather, rinse, and repeat... you know the cycle. And during the day, I manage to keep a pretty good sense of humor about it all... but at night I'm so lonely in this grief...
I'm trying really hard to manage my symptoms the best I can. My family agrees that I've never been better. I'm not placing blame, and I know we can fix this, but not until he can see that its a problem. What do I do?