Sooooo....finally gathered the guts to write about this. I'm fairly new here and discovered the site after our marriage counselor advised me (and hopefully later on my wife) to read The ADHD Effect on Marriage about 2 weeks ago. I've been reading like crazy and gotta say it's quite a slap in the face. No wait, more like a brick. But in a good way I guess. I'm a Dutch 43 year old married father of two boys (5 and 2). I was diagnosed about 10 years ago and got treatment for a short while right after that and started using medication. Due to circumstances I had to stop treatment and never sought out help again afterwards. I kept using my meds on and off though.
About 4 months ago my wife and I found out she was 6 weeks pregnant and were forced to make a difficult decision whether we'd welcome a third child into our family or terminate the pregnancy. Let me explain a bit why. My wife has developed an eye condition (central serous chorioretinopathy) over the last two years which has resulted in her losing 30% of her sight in her left eye. It is highly influenced by hormonal changes and she has even been warned to not use or to get in contact with medication containing hormonal preparations like corticosteroids, because this might trigger it. Apart from that both previous pregnancies were insanely rough on her because she got naussea so bad after only 2 months that she had to stop working for the remainder (I couldn't even cook using herbs and so on and had to eat my meals in anothe room or even in teh garden, because she'd throw up insanely bad if she got a whiff of something).
We discussed what to do only shortly about 3 times within a two week period in which we had to make our decision. Right off the bat my stupid ADHD ass started fussing over the costs, not having enough space in our house, the stress and the effect it would have on our two boys and so on. I was obviously stressed out by the idea, since I'm already struggling with parenthood (I love it, don't get me wrong). Of course I also worried about her, her health and the idea that a pregnancy might result in more damage to her eyes. What if she went blind?! Though those things I never really spoke of as much. Eventually we decided to abort the pregnancy.
At the day of the procedure we discussed what to do with the boys. We hadn't told anybody what was going on and didn't know if we should bring them to my inlaws for a few hours. I panicked and overcomplicated things by worrying about what to tell them. Why were we suddenly bringing the kids over and so. My wife (who obviously didnt need this crap on top of everything else) decided I'd drop her off, take the kids to the park and pick her up afterwards. Which we did.
Now 4 months have passed and they have not been good. My marriage is in shambles. My wife hates my guts and I don't blame her. I have failed her.
I consciously and unconsciously avoided the conversation in those two weeks. On the inside I was completely freaking out, but wasn't showing it. Apart from the fact that we're both grown ups and should have used protection and so on the thought of another child scared the hell out of me. Like I said I'm struggling with parenthood. I guess I'm doing okay, but it doesn't feel that way. I feel incompetent 24/7. I'm a disaster when it comes to bringing structure in our house, upbringing and whatever. She does most of that. If she makes the plans I'll gladly carry them out. As long as she's the brains I can be the brawn. I can do that I guess. She would have gotten sick again, I'd have to manage the whole household, take care of both boys (school, daycare, swimming lessons and everything), work and provide. I would have messed up and turn to her again to make things right. I would have made things worse. Again.
Now if I would have told her this back then things might have been somewhat different now. But I didn't and I hate myself for it.
She's in therapy for the loss she experiences and I've gone with her to appointments on two occasions. The first time I went along her therapist advised me to ask her what she needed from me to support her and my wife asked me to give her time and space and maybe talk with her and look at the ultrasound (had to make one to determine how far along she was at the time) that she kept. The second time, which was a couple of weeks later, we were asked how things were going. Not good. She had been mad at me the whole period and I couldn't completely wrap my finger around it apart from obvious reasons. And then she said "He never approached me to sit down and look at the ultrasound". It hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd completely forgotten the most important thing she requested from me and had focussed on giving her time and space. I'd been walking on egg shells all those weeks doing my best and lost sight of the most essential thing I could have done. I've messed things up in our relationship in the past and she bore with it. But this was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Her therapist advised us to get marriage counseling, which we now have. I've also sought help and had my intake this morning. I'm struggling. I've written her a letter (with a little help from our marriage counselor) earlier this week explaining everything from my perspective. I've come clean about all my fears, insecurities, feelings of incompetence and so on. I've told her I take full responsibility for what I have and haven't done. I've tried to explain that I also grieve for our child and what could have been. I truly do. I'm convinced it would've been a girl. I always wanted a daughter and hate myself for the way I am ruining all of that. I want to be a better husband and father and will do anything I can and beyond that to accomplish that.
So yesterday I had new medication for my allergies delivered to our house. It was a nasal spray and I sprayed it n the air once to see if it works before I sprayed both nostrils. My wife asked me what it was in a slightly agitated tone. I look down, read it out loud and stop halfway... Avamys...fluticason....corticosteroids.... I just sprayed the stuff she needs to stay away from in the air in my house and she took off upstairs pissed. I failed her. Again.