What being a Non has taught me

There are some things that, being in a marriage, are important.  But when you’re the Non in a dysfunctional adhd marriage, they suddenly become more important. 

By nature, I’m a pretty accommodating person.  That’s a good trait... as long as you are accommodating because you have a good balance. (“These are my boundaries.  If what is requested doesn’t cross my boundaries, then I don’t mind doing things they way they wish.”)

But I mostly didn’t have good boundaries. I didn’t realize some issues should have been a place where boundaries were necessary. And I didn’t hold some of my boundaries very long because I could be made to feel like the bad guy rather easily.  All he had to do was react poorly to my boundary and accuse me of whatever he wanted (being the actual problem, not trusting him, not being nice, etc), and I would back off. 

So lesson one: approach any and all relationships with attention to boundaries that keep the relationships in a healthy place.  

Lesson two: have the strength to stand on your own and not be cowed when your boundaries are being challenged.

Another thing I wasn’t able to do well (but am practicing to be better) is have a radar for tactics of avoidance. People who don’t want to change will try all kinds of things to get you to leave the issue alone.  And I mostly fell for it. Which made me feel crazy!  

Lesson three: feeling crazy and confused is a sign that they are manipulating you and/or the situation. 

And all three of those lessons are part of a bigger lesson - you have to be mentally strong to be when dealing with the effects of an adhd’er who does not want to have to work on their part of a relationship. 

I think these lessons are true of anyone with any kind of dysfunction.  But when you’re dealing with brain-driven dysfunction (adhd symptoms that aren’t being treated) plus chosen dysfunction  (denial and avoidance of responsibility), there is suddenly so much more at stake for your mental health.