What role does Christian Faith have in your marriage to an ADHD partner? (For those who are Christians)

What role does Christian Faith have in your marriage to an ADHD partner? (For those who are Christians)

I recently found the strength

I recently found the strength to break free from the 'victim' role in my marriage and start loving myself (and my husband) in much healthier ways again, but I couldn't have done it if I didn't have the strength of the Lord to help me. I started turning to him after my father died (although I have always been a believer), and my relationship with Him has grown leaps and bounds.

God wants me to love my husband and be by his side, lifting him up and building up his spirit and loving him unconditionally...even when he doesn't "deserve it". While I lived in the "victim" role, this was nearly impossible to do. I got very serious about my prayers and very specific about them as well. I believe that the devil is waging war on my marriage. My husband was in church with me (started going August 2010) until he came unraveled (ADHD medication..and some self medication related) and he stopped going immediately after he was baptized on Easter Sunday of this year. I know that the devil has ahold of him and is using shame and guilt (he let some people in our church down when he stopped going...but they know he was going through hard times and have asked about him and have been praying for him) to keep him from getting back into church. He LOVED it. Now he won't go. Not only that, but my anger returned 1000 fold and I know that it was the devil working inside of my head to destroy my love for my husband because the anger not only made me hate him, it made me hate myself and it made him hate me. It was the best tool the devil had and with God's help, I took that tool away from him. God had a hand in the process, that involved a lot of 'angels on Earth' (friends, members here, family) as well, but ultimately I hit rock bottom and came up fighting. I prayed for God to help me break the stronghold the devil had on my marriage, my mind, and my heart and although nothing has really changed with my husband, the changes within my heart and mind are even shocking to me. I feel so liberated and STRONG because I know I have the weapons (see Ephesians) to fight this battle and win. I haven't posted about this aspect of my new found peace and joy here because I know that it does not apply to everyone but if it helps just one person, it is worth it. Thank you for asking.

I tried for years to have faith in my husband that he would stop hurting me, start controlling his impulses, and start making me feel loved again. My faith was in the wrong person. I now realize this and all of my faith is now in the Lord. In reading the book, Co Dependent No More, she speaks of "letting go and Letting God" and she also speaks of closing your eyes and picturing yourself handing this person over to God and saying "here, take them, I can't do this anymore" and that was a pivotal moment for me as well. I don't have to keep killing myself trying to 'fix' him, but I can fix me with God's help, and I can/do have faith that God will heal my marriage as well.

I wish you all of God's blessings. Try not to make your guy the 'enemy', as the enemy does not come in the form of flesh. Try instead to pray for him that God will put it upon his heart to be a good and faithful partner to you and strive to be the same to him. Recognize spiritual warfare if you start to experience it in your relationship and use God's strength and promise of victory against it to fight it. With you both being in church and on the same page religiously I honestly don't feel there is anything you could endure that you cannot overcome, with God's help.

 

Soooo true!

Sherri, you have the uncanny ability to say exactly what I am thinking, I have seen the same thing in my relationship with my DH.  A little over a year ago he was all for going to church (he had never went before in his life) and really wanted to be there, then out of the blue he just quit.  I grew up in a religious family (yep I'm a preachers kid), but had let it all kinda slip, so I was just where the devil wanted me...like a tiny boat in the ocean just getting tossed around.  Funny how things work out, I started praying for things to get better and started doing what I knew was right.  Two missionaries showed up on our doorstep and for some reason my DH let them in.  They have been coming once a week since and things are starting to go in a much better direction.  Keep your chin up!  And remember your awesome! :)

AMEN!!!!! While my husband

AMEN!!!!!

While my husband and I remain on different pages on our journey including religion, this is what I did many years ago, even before we hit rock bottom.  God stepped in and saved "me" from the train wreck that he knew was going to happen.  He gave me the strength to carry on through our dark period and come out on the other side, a much better person.  I, too, have handed my husband over to God.  It is in his hands. 

Wow! Please answer this...

I wanted to tell you that your faith and endurance is touching. As a Christian myself struggling with an ADHD spouse, I find myself in a very dark place and wonder if you have been through what I have...do you think you could read my recent forum post "When You Have Been Hurt So Many Times" and tell me your thoughts? I just really need some Godly perspective on this, as most of my Christian friends tell me to stick it out, though I feel no one should continue tolerating emotional abuse, and the less spiritual friends say I should leave. I know what God says on marriage, but I feel I am at a breaking point, and of course, I will do what I get from God, not friends.   :0)

 

I look forward to your reply...

God Bless,

Carmen

I literally spent many, many

I literally spent many, many months on my knees begging God to help me save my marriage, to help my husband get his life together, to help my family be happy again. You cannot imagine how dark and depressing things were. I wrote my original post in Sept of 2011. I did step back, stop trying to control my husband, work on myself, and LET GO and LET GOD's plan unfold. In February 2012 my husband hit rock bottom, I found out he was self medicating in a very serious way (with alcohol and other things) and he wound up in the ER and then was committed to a facility for several days. He lost his job, I had to go back to work (while trying to finish college), and it seemed for a while that any and all news we got was nothing but BAD BAD BAD.

I saw it as a chance to change many things...including my level of 'fixing' him and helping him. I have put that 100% on his shoulders and demanded that it be done or else. Eight months later he has found another job, LOVES his job, is in college (he works at a college in the IT dept and they are putting him through school to get his B.S. in IT for free), and goes to his counselor every other week and his shrink now sees him every 3 months. He is in bed by 10 p.m. every night (he slept about 2 hours a night for TWO YEARS before he finally crashed), he is rational and reasonable most of the time...and most importantly he is CLEAN and SOBER since February. I say all of this only to give all of the credit to God. I cannot stress to you enough how much I feel that the MONTHS of prayers paid off. I did not see a way out for us...many, many times I just did not see any way that things could ever be OK again. I BEGGED God to please help me. I was on my knees knowing that if God didn't help turn things around, things would NOT ever be OK again. I am sure you've heard it before, but have faith IN GOD that He will answer your prayers. I knew that my prayers might not be answered in the way I wanted, that the time might come when God said to me loud and clear "it is ok to let go and move on" but I knew in the end there would be no doubt either way how things were going to go and I still believe that...without fail. Don't look at your husband and think "how could he ever be someone I can love and respect again.." but rather look to God to help change your heart...and his. Believe that He will, and He will. (((HUGS)))

i replied below.

Can you read my post please and maybe offer some wisdom? Thanks.

Saw this on a FB page I

Saw this on a FB page I 'like' today...LOVE it. It talks about how problems will always exist, but it is how we handle them that matters...

1) Acknowledge A Problem Exists:

2) Acknowledge You Might Contribute to the Problem:

3) Be Willing to Consider Behavioral Change:

4) Monitor Your Expectations:

5) Be Patient:

Matthew 7:3
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? "

 

 

huge

my husband and I both see a counselor but oddly enough we chose not to see a christian counselor. I think it helped. we were used to the christian way and answers but it didnt seem to help us understand the reality around us. we knew to pray, to work hard, to never give up and all things can be done with christ jesus in charge. what we didnt understand is how that helped with adhd or anything else we were struggling with. we endured, but we didnt understand. and that left us feeling like we were doing the right thing being together and not giving up but depressed at nothing changing for years just by persevering, attending church, praying for things to get better, or praying that satan would give up for a while and pick on someone else.

we felt guilty for seeing a non christian counselor and chosing to see the human side of things but a funny thing happened. we prayed God would use those circumstances and help us see the connection between christianity and the things our counselor said or recomended. he did. it was like everytime we listened to something our counselor said we could see how it was a healthy thing to do and it was exactly what God asked us to do in the bible we just didnt know what we were supposed to be trying to do. kind of like a translator of how some things in the bible would look like now days.

 but all in all after hearing us both out our counselors (two different ones) both said the same thing... I just dont know if I believe you two would be together through all of that had you not kept going back to your faith and just holding on until things became clear. the way we trusted God that though we seemed to not be able to stand each other (me and my husband) that God had everything in his hands and we were most likely seeking too many answers too fast. his work in us unfolds a little at a time because thats all were supposed to be working on. we need to pick one little thing and put our focus and energy into that instead of spreading it so thin nothing gets done. we need to give each thing the respect of our time and energy and trust God is giving us the answers when we need them so we dont get overwhelmed with how much sorrow is around us in the world.

christianity had a huge part in adhd for us. being married tends to be like we are supposed to lean on each other and if you dont have the other person to lean on you have no one. with God in charge we always have someone to talk to, someone to say they are proud of the little things we did today to tell satan "no way" and say yes to the blessing of marriage. because we didnt lean on each other, we lean on God and when we both lean on God, were always going to grow closer to each other. if were only working towards each other were leaving God out and we will always have times where we cant lean on the other person. it's not humanly possible to be that strong. when that happens we loose the bond between us.

it made the rules clear to us.

we were both in this together. no one was working on this alone to fix past mistakes but to build a new future

we werent being lazy by working on one thing at a time, that was showing respect and making sure we got that one thing down before moving on.

we were right in holding on because somewhere in there we knew we loved each other and that hope we'd one day be together the way we were supposed to would show up in the right time....not our time.

ect... all things God tells us in the bible, things we knew, just didnt know if we were doing the right thing because so much in the world tells us to cut ties and run because we dont deserve to be treated this way. so much tells us that whoever has the problem should be the one fixing it. so much tells us that if your not fixing things fast enough or I dont see enough results, your gone or your going to get into trouble.  but most of all to us is by having God we both realised God knew our hearts and when we aknoweldge wrong behavior when he shows it to us and switch gears to try to get back the way were supposed to he's going to bless us. there are consequences to the actions of my past behavior but my husband no longer felt it would take years to get out of the mess financially or mentally because God said he would take care of us. he doesnt want us to be misserable. so he will allow things to help us learn better ways, but that doesnt mean he wont bless us in many ways to help us through and bring us together in the midst of our work. 

I cant count how many times I prayed and worked hard asking him "please dont let me mess this up" his answer always seemed to be "stop working so hard to do it on your on and sit still and listen to my words" I would realise how I'd drifted from reading the bible and I'd sit down and just read the stories. a big book full of huge concepts and thousands of facts, yet when you read it just as a story, you get what you need for each day whatever it might be. I realised I was always trying to fix things without the tools and I needed to go back to the basics and get what I needed, a story of hope, faith, love, understanding, sorrow and the truimphs of God over satan and the ugliness in the world every... single...time.  it's encouraging, uplifting and gives you the strength you need to jump up and say I'm going to love today!

sorry that was probably longer than It should have been but I get a little excited about God :) say what you want about a christian lifestyle.... but it works.

marriage failing

I saw the reply on how prayer helped coping with an adhd spouse. At this time my adhd spouse is preparing to move out. Things are just terrible in our marriage after only six months. We have taken a spiral downward. It breaks my heart because I do feel like a victim because it is like everything has changed since our wedding and I cannot figure out why it's so hard for him to see that he is hurting me. I feel so lonely and easily frustrated. I can go on and on in detail, but adhd is the main issue that causes the inconsistency of love from him. I don't want him to go, but I had no choice because I was beginning to lose who I am. Right now it is a nightmare and I don't know what to do. I am praying.

Dear Heart...

I want to tell you that you are not alone. My heart broke as I read your post, and I don't even know you. My empathy comes from the fact that I have personally lived that very scene.

I would like to know a bit more about what actually happened: Did you tell him to go? What does "Losing who I am" mean?

Very often, with a DH, as is pointed out in the book ADHD and Its Effect on Marriage, the "non" experiences a dramatic slow or complete stop in their partner's focus on them. Suddenly, it's as if we do not exist. You have probably read this, so I won't belabor it, but I say that to remind you that, though it may feel as if he is a different person, the hurtful behavior is not usually a reflection of how they feel about you, but a manifestation of the disorder.

My relationship changed almost the same day as my now-husband moved in with me, when we had been dating about six months. I did not feel right about cohabiting from the beginning, but, being a nurturer, I saw him sleeping on his best friend's floor, because he did not yet have the means to be on his own, and I wanted to help this man I loved.

Now, after only five months of marriage(and being together four years before that), I can honestly say that there are times he has been a complete monster to me. He has said some of the most hateful and horrible things imaginable, and later, when he is remorseful, I am supposed to just accept that he was upset at the time. He has been on the verge of leaving countless times, and I personally have told him to leave many times...but it never happened. This is because, ultimately, it is the disorder that has control of him in those moments, and his brain does not have the same filter that our does, to stop him from saying the first hateful thing to pop in his head. Then, later, when he is no longer triggered, he knows that is not how he really feels, and would like to take it back if he could. Yet often, his pride does not even let him say that to you. You do want him to go, but you don't...I know.

The great news is(yes, there is good news!) that, as all previous posts suggest, God, if allowed at the center of your struggle, can and will change hearts, lives, and relationships. He can repair marriages, affect reconciliation, and ultimately, both of you could be at your strongest after this storm. I want to encourage you to bring this all to God, tell Him everything, since He knows anyway, and then LISTEN. You will hear His voice, guiding you to the next step. It is not God's will that a marriage unravel, nor that we hurt each other. Until your spouse can walk alongside you in the struggle to save your marriage, let God sustain and guide you. You can have victory!!

Thanks for giving me hope!

Hi cbrooks123. This really helps and thanks for taking the time to respond. When I mean I am losing myself, it's like I reverted back to my old ways of yelling, cursing, shouting, and that is not who I have become after being saved. It takes a lot to maintain self-control, being gentle, kind, patient, and loving. I know that I should always allow the fruits of the spirit to manifest within me. With him, it is even harder!! I actually was able to have an "adult" conversation with him briefly on the issues I was having--mainly on the reason I asked him to leave. I couldn't the arguing and shouting. The cruel things would say was worst thing he could say to me and I hate it. I have not read that book yet, but I will give it a look. Thanks for that! I chose not to stay home last night just to clear my head. All I could do was cry, pray, and give it over to God.

My Pleasure

Dear Strengthnstrive, I am honored if I can help anyone who is going through what I have, and very glad you gained hope from it.

It is a huge struggle to maintain the fruits of the spirit while dealing with this disorder, and I am convinced that Satan is running around, having a great time over the fact that it causes us to "lose it" so often. I went to my church and had a group of elders pray over my trial-I was ready to file for divorce. Like you, I was so tired of hurting, and of the fighting. Somehow, that gave me strength to go on, and I stayed-though I wanted to leave. One bit of advice that has helped tremendously is to constantly be praying to God AS you are going through the issue, the argument, what have you, for guidance. Pray for the right words, actions, and attitude. There were so many times I held my tongue when all I wanted was to lash out, and later, I was so grateful I did-as that is what turned my husband around. He was shocked that I maintained my "walk" even in the midst of the heart-wrenching "discussion."

Congrats on the constructive talk with your husband. These can happen more and more, if both of you decide to work on this. Even if he has not accepted his part in this yet, starting on the book will be revolutionary to you-it is like a light is finally turned on and you want to cry with relief that "Oh! I get it now!" I can't recommend the book enough.

God bless, and good luck. Keep us posted!

no better, and i tried

We were down to the settlement papers of buying a home. We had some difficulty and i told him several times that we were not ready because i felt uncomfortable. We have not been getting along. He was so determined to get this house that when it came to me asking questions about what certain things on the contract meant, he had no idea. He suggested that I called the realtor. Mind you he had already signed. I know God does not like divorce, but does He intend on us suffering? To feel like life is taking too long when we argue. To feel like I made a huge mistake. Trying hard to understand where I went wrong, I can only think to pray, but he is not in tune to do so on a regular basis and I know tht only prayer can save us. I am so frustrated and I have now had two doctors to twll me that my reasons for complaints about my health is due to stress. I cannot stand to be around him. I hate being married. I prayed about it, but it seems like nothing gets better. I am not looking for a validation to leave my marriage... I am asking for understanding, wisdom, and guidance on how to move on. There is no talking to him. Even when we sat down to have a decent convo that only lasted a week, but I knew we would have another challenge. I just needed to vent. I told him that marrying him was the biggest mistake I have ever made. That he put me through hell over this house only to get mad and have reservations because I told him a trashcan needed a bag and tk not leave it in the hallway for me to deal with. I just simply stated, i need help with chores, i dont mean to nag.... Im sorry if there are any typos in this. Im on my phone. My mind is a mile/min. Pray for me please. This is insane.

Holding onto yourself

I am not a Christian (Unitarian, actually...) but I think that prayer and self-reflection can really help you stay on track for who you wish to be and how you wish to behave.  When you get around to reading my book, take note of the chapter on setting boundaries.  While not put in terms of praying to God, the idea is that you ask yourself who you wish to be and how you wish to behave and then follow that course of action.  The Christian religion has much to say about how we should strive to be kind and patient, and so I think that thinking and praying about this will be a good thing for you.

The yelling that the two of you are experiencing is a form of power struggle.  You yell to get his attention and have him understand that what you are saying is important (and to express your frustration that he's not getting that) while he yells back and says nasty things because he doesn't wish to feel controlled by you (i.e. have you tell him what to do).  When you start to think about it as a power struggle it can be easier to understand why it is so important to approach each other calmly.  (Take note of "learning conversations" in my chapter on communication.)  Understanding that this is a power struggle can also help you deal with his hurtful words.  They come out when he is feeling at a disadvantage.  If he hurts you (his subconscious says) then he can "win" and get you to "go away" (at least for a while).  This isn't done thoughtfully - it's usually a reaction that "just comes out" when he's feeling like an underdog or feeling threatened by your comments or "demands."

My husband and I had a period in our marriage in which we literally didn't have a single conversation without yelling at each other (lasted about 3 months...ouch!)  You need a pressure relief valve of some sort, as well as more education about what this is all about.  You might wish to consider my upcoming course, particularly if your partner isn't completely tuned in to how much ADHD is impacting you.  By the end of the course it's likely he will be.

Best of luck to you!

Faith within the ADHD Marriage

Hi Bluedaisy,

I am sorry that this note is late in coming, as I see you posted your original question in September. Are you still dating this guy? If so, how is it going, and how has your faith played into it?

As for your question, my Christianity plays THE most important role in my marriage-it has been a saving grace. Even though my DH husband grew up Mormon, and yes, I know there are many big differences between that and Christianity, he had God and Jesus in his life, and told me he had been saved as well as baptized. (Thank God) However, like so many who grow up in the Mormon faith, he fell away, nearly as soon as he was old enough to be on his own-I believe it is because the religion is,  as he put it, akin to brainwashing. He wanted to make his own decisions, and as a result, he backslid on everything.

Now, he still believes in God, but says he is not ready to pursue organized religion. Regardless, I continue to have a daily devotion and strive to get closer to God every day. During the darkest hours of our marriage, my faith is all that kept me alive(I mean this literally-I considered suicide). As I listened to God and did what He asked, miracles began to happen in my marriage. Suddenly, my husband's eyes were opened to the truth, and he was remorseful. He apologized. He committed to counseling and treatment if necessary. He is, today, taking care when he talks to me, to do it in a respectful and loving manner.

As you said, Christianity is not a magic pill-this is still daily hard work for both of you. I am convinced, however, that there are no accidents. Perhaps you are/were in your boyfriend's life to give him the motivation to change, or the eyes to see his truth. I know that God has used my spouse to change me for the better, and vice-versa. (You can't be there for them, and help them/work through it without facing your own demons!) Either way, your desire to seek God in this and support your boyfriend through it is commendable. Please let us know how things are going now!

God Bless,

Carmen

you are doing the right thing.

We cannot changes others, we can only work on ourselves. There are many out there who will be a better match. I wish you the best and continue to pray. Just dont subject yourself to something that you are not happy about. It will only lead to regrets in the future. There are two kinds of people in our life, ones that we are assigned to and those who we allow. God Bless and always be honest with yourself. When people show you who they are believe them the first time. -Maya Angelou
I'm So Exhausted's picture

Marriage Vows

I saw this post for the first time today:  "What role does Christian Faith have in your marriage to an ADHD partner? (For those who are Christians) " 

I have spent 99.9% of my time on this forum in the "Anger" section.  May be devine intervention brought me to this section.

Where I was:

1.  Low - possible zero - self-esteem.  I was a 'nobody' who was also fat, stupid and ugly.

2.   I was blessed to found by Prince Charming who rescued me.

My frustrations have not been something I can really talk to just anyone about because I want someone to help me sort things out and not heap fuel onto the fire!!!!.  I do not want my marriage to fail.  I believe Satan would dance on the steps of the church if he was able to tear us apart.  I made a vow to God, with all my friends and family as witnesses, till death do us part.

My husband rescued me when I was in the depths of eating disorders and so close to suicidal that it frightens me to think about it.  However, I don't need rescuing anymore - haven't in close to 20 years!  He just doesn't know how to get down off that white horse that he rode when he came galloping into my life  in 1982.

I have spent many years changing/giving-in-on my thoughts and ideas in order to keep the peace.  I have allowed myself to be controlled by his anger - and that has set a very bad pattern.    We teach people how to treat us - so I want to change things I taught him and do something different.  But I do not know how.

Some of my Christian friends told me the problem is I still am not at the "Me Obey Him" place.  It is not all his fault, as I have allowed myself to be manipulated.  But - I don't want it that way any more.  I want respect for my ideas, gifts, and traits. I want my opinions to have value in our decision making on major issues.  I don't want   "You can decide what laundry soap we buy -  and I will decide what house we buy."   I have felt myself rejected for so long - I feel like I am squished under a rock. 
 

My spouse has a character  trait I do not like - it is a defensive mechanism that is so strong - it blocks out everything and everyone.   All I need say is "That really hurt/disappointed/etc.. me"  . . . ." and - blammo - up goes that wall of defensive.  In his mind, if he didn't set out to hurt me on purpose, than that means I am not allowed to be hurt.  No apologies, no comfort - just his anger and "How dare you think of me like that."  It is getting old . . . . . .s-i-g-h. . . . . .


I feel my marriage falling apart faster than I can glue it back together.  I feel alone.  I feel afraid of failing at marriage.  All I can do:  Ephesians 6-18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests . . and always keep on praying for all the saints.

I  believe God is a God of miracles.   
 

My spouse and I took a marriage assessment through Focus on the Family.  We are so far off in the ditch . . . . .  Our marriage strength was only in one area - - Personal Faith and Marriage.  I thought this assessment would be  a constructive tool to see where we should start working - I was disheartened - and the idea backfired major big time.  We FLAT LINE on ALL the rest of the areas - Faith in Practice, Responsibilities, Family & Friends, Sexual Relationship, Leisure Activities, Financial Management, Conflict Resolution, and Communication.  We are a DEVITALIZED Couple - disconnected, struggle to communicate well with one another and have difficulty resolving issues.


I cannot explain how very much I have been very foolish, an enabler. I spend a lot of my time fighting that nagging little voice "Maybe it really is me."  My marriage has been literally killed, suffocated, dried up, destroyed.  I do not know how to muster up the desire to believe it will get better. My husband appears so perfect - I appear as the backsliding mean wife and mother.

My physical being wants out - but my heart does not.