What planet are you on?

As I read more on this site, it is as if a lightbulb has gone off. I'm finding more hope. During Thanksgiving dinner my ADHD husband had us all hysterically laughing. His sense of humor  and timing is amazing and hilarious. I've learned over the years it is one of his coping mechanisms.

I'm willing to bet a lot of spouses of ADHDers have at least on one occasion asked "What planet are you on?" Or "It's not rocket science." referring to a task or concept. I realized as I was cleaning up after dinner and he was struggling to put stuff away in the fridge,some things feel like rocket science. Not because he's stupid, but because his mind doesn't work like mine.

I spoke to him about these two statements I had made over the years, and he said for him it sometimes feels like life on this planet is foreign to his way of thinking and some things are just very difficult to grasp or learn. I thought about that and recalled how it was when I had been oversees. Some of the rules, beliefs and habits were very hard to grasp and maintain. Sometimes it felt like we spoke different languages and I wanted him to learn mine, but very seldom did I try to learn HIS.

Trying to follow him or complete a thought, when in the middle of a conversation he would start singing a ditty from a commercial or start talking about a movie was aggravating. I think you know what I mean. I had to learn patience and redirect him.

I also learned through trial and error, his attention span was about 7 minutes and I had to keep things direct and to the point. It meant some conversations took days to complete, but that is just the way it was.

I  used to wish someone had written a book  Titled "ADHDers are from Jupiter ,Spouses are from Earth" or some such, (please no offense intended) and help us navigate the terrain that is their minds and help us learn their language. I think I've found it here.

It may not seem fair that the spouse seems to have to accommodate so much, but I look at it this way, if my ADHD spouse were deaf I would learn sign language.

I find as we talk more, in short conversations about this he is happy that I am trying to understand him and is willing to open up and share. I do not judge or criticize and try to avoid saying or even thinking," that just doesn't make sense." I often write what he tells me and review them and think about it.

As I learn more, I ask him what can I say or do that will help you understand what it is I need or want from you, or what can we implement to make this or that happen. I discovered it was the key to help us deal with our intimacy issues. I will go over that another time.

It is not an easy terrain for me to navigate, but I look at it as an interesting challenge and another aspect of my husband that  I can learn to appreciate given time.