Okay, this is on my mind a lot lately--what is the difference between accepting who DH is and just giving in/up?? I suspect it's more in the spirit of the thing than the actual way it plays out, but please offer some thoughts. Here is what I think about: if DH rarely pays attention or remembers things I tell him, why bother to tell him? I set up a Google family calendar--DH and I are on it plus both boys. I put EVERYTHING on it--I mean EVERYTHING. He does not check it regularly and has never put anything on it. A few times I have scheduled something and put it on the calendar and he tells me some conflict that he "forgot" to put on there. Well, okay--I cannot make him use it and just because it is useful for me does not mean it is useful for him (acceptance) BUT then how are we supposed to keep 4 schedules straight?? Another example--one of our family's favorite restaurants, literally around the corner from our apartment, closed abruptly and unexpectedly. I told him about it last week--like came home and announced this to everyone in a shocked voice. He answered me--concurred with my shock and bummed-ness. This morning he says to me--HEY--did you know Dave's closed?!?!?! I did NOT point out that he heard that from me, instead I said I heard--so bummed!!! And left it at that. So I accept that he either did not really pay attention when I told him last week, accept that really who cares--it was a nothing bit of trivia, and I have nothing to gain by making him feel small that I told him last week and move on OR resign myself to the fact that he doesn't listen or retain, so why tell him stuff? Another example--we are having a pretty hard time in our marriage right now (really for the past 4 years) and Thursday night I was stuck at work way longer than I hoped to be. I texted him that I missed him and the way we used to be. Got no response, either by text or any time since. When I walked in the door about an hour after I sent that text, he said nothing. Still hasn't. I asked him tonight if he received it and he said yes, I answered you. I said no you didn't. He said Oh, I thought I did. And walked away. So again--why bother sending texts? That is what usually happens--texts are answered sporadically if at all. At what point does acceptance tip over into giving up? If you reach out so many times in so many different ways and get inconsistent or unsatisfying responses, how long until you stop trying? And is that accepting that DH just cannot respond to things in any meaningful way so why set him up and then be disappointed myself OR is that giving up? I have been told by him for the past 4 years that he is a grown up and he can do whatever he wants. So I have finally gotten that fact through my head and I don't ask what he is doing or feeling or pretty much anything--when I ask questions he says I am interrogating him. So accept that he cannot handle questions, no matter how neutral or give up and just not know stuff?? We had a 30 minute phone conference with our 17 year old son's counselor (he is in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction) and it was a good conversation but pretty loaded too and when we hung up the phone, he just went back to work. Literally NOTHING about the content of the call. Well, okay--I happened to be off and he worked from home today, so he did have things to get back to so I asked after dinner what he thought of the call. He thought the counselor made some good points. That's it. I just cannot win--if I talk/ask questions, he feels flooded/interrogated, if I keep very quiet he says I am being withdrawn. Um, you can't have it both ways. How am I supposed to guess when you can handle what? and for how long? and under what circumstances? I no longer ask DH for his opinion on anything--he overreacts terribly and it's not helpful. He and DS ordered something on Amazon for DS's girlfriend's birthday which is Sunday. It arrived broken, but it was possible to glue--it's a picture frame with a little heart on the corner--easy enough to glue back on OR return it and go buy something at a store. DH came up from getting the mail and threw the box on the ground just LIVID that it was broken and they would not have time to have another one sent by Sunday. Um, buy something at a store and don't sweat it. He tells me just forget it--you always have a better plan than I do. I almost laughed--NO, that would be you. I offer virtually NOTHING because I know you don't listen anyway.
Sorry--I am all over the place lately. It's been a tough few weeks. I am so lonely and unhappy and worried about my oldest son and his recovery. I am just wrung out. Today I had off school and I literally slept all day. Got up at 10am, ate breakfast, had this 11am conference call and went back to bed. Literally until 5:30 tonight. And I could have kept sleeping. Am I avoiding my life?? Darn right I am!!!! The only item on my bucket list is to live alone in a studio apartment decorated in all white. Alone. By myself. Alone. I could come home after work on Friday and not speak to another living soul until Monday if I wanted to. I could live on oatmeal and peanut butter toast. Alone.
any thoughts about the acceptance v giving up??
The lightbulb is not on until a jolt turns it on
Submitted by jennalemone on
W: The stovetop is hot, don't touch it.
H: You are such a nag. What do you think I am, stupid?
W: I'm just saying that because if you touch it you will get burnt..
H: Stop telling me what to do.....See, you don't have to keep nagging me. I touched it and it didn't hurt me at all. Get off my back.
W: You didn't get hurt because I turned off the burner.
H: I didn't get burnt because YOU DON'T HAVE TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO, NAG!
Moral of my fable: Let him alone. Let him feel the heat of his own indulgences and rebellion. Don't make life so easy for him that he doesn't learn the lessons. Don't take the heat from all sides and then expect him to give you kudos for helping out and making life easy for him....IF HE DOESN'T APPRECIATE IT OR IS IN DENIAL. Do not take his words seriously or to heart. Yes, that means that your heart cannot be invested in the relationship like you would like your romantic heart to be..... totally committed to HIM. In some cases it can't. Put away the emotions, the heart and soul and look at the situation like an analyst. If it is not working, let people feel the heat of their own mistakes or irresponsibility. It took me 40 years to learn this....I wanted romance and love so much I WAS IN DENIAL that my goofball H really had to feel the pain before he would learn anything. Willingness and desire to grow and learn are not innate in some people. "Positive reinforcement" did not work. His physical pain "negative reinforcement" is the only thing that seems to have effect.
After 40 years my H said, "What did you EVER do FOR ME?" I was turning down the heat to make things easy for him....and he did not notice but blamed me for NOT DOING ANYTHING. That is, until I made him responsible for paying the electricity bill....which he did not pay until they turned off the electricity in the house for 3 days. I left and went to a hotel until it was turned on...I swam and dined while he sat in a freezing house. THEN, he learned to pay the electricity bill.
The sad part of this attitude is that marriage becomes more like a game of strategy rather than a team pulling for the same goals. But, again, I must remove my heart and soul and be the unemotional manager - the only adult on the team.
The song keeps playing in my head, "Say Something, I'm Giving Up on You." Living in an apartment alone has its allure to me also, dvance. It is sad to live and give and be diminished by the person you have loved and cared for.
Turn off the heat for yourself. Take care of your own issues. Tell youself to stop putting your own hand on the hot stove and stop fretting about adjusting the heat of the stove for everyone else. What is keeping me reenacting this frustrating exchange anyhow?
I need a jolt to turn on my own lightbulbs.
"your heart cannot be
Submitted by Ella G on
Stay friends with him - he
Submitted by Kat'sKoaster on
Stay friends with him - he will make a fun friend. But an awful partner in a marriage.....sorry.
"The only item on my bucket
Submitted by Hopeful Heart on
"The only item on my bucket list is to live alone in a studio apartment decorated in all white. Alone. By myself. Alone."
This part of your post really jumped out at me. I feel the exact same way. I crave more than anything to be alone. How does ADHD do this to us? It seems to suck the life out of us and leave a shell of the person we used to be. It's all consuming.
I'm sorry I don't have any advice for the giving up/acceptance struggle. I'm still fighting and refusing to give up or accept ADHD. I hope someday I'll find peace with it. But, today isn't the day.
Oh My Gosh! dvance
Submitted by Zapp10 on
I just read your post from yesterday.....and after what I experienced this morning I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. I am already in a tiny aprtmnt (upstairs from him). I am faced with deciding to cut all communication with H. My willingness to continue working on this, I think, has led him to a comfort zone that enables him to believe I will not leave permanently. I am thinking he is really testing me on that fact. So here we are, I am looking for forward movement in him taking the ADD seriously and actually SEEING changes in attitude and behavior....and he is looking at where I am at and will I go one step further? In all honesty I think H finds the idea of addressing the ADD a HUGE CHORE and he just doesn't want to do it......I know, I know..it's the very nature of ADD. I cannot help him and I am beginning to really believe I am done. I am beginning to believe that I was never THAT important to begin with....how stupid am I after 43 years of marriage?.......apparently I am a very very slooooow learner. I am feeling more embarrassed about me than him. A fool is a fool.
jenna, same place too
Submitted by dedelight4 on
You really spoke to me as well. I've been asking myself these questions for weeks now, but especially this weekend. My DH went to visit our daughter and granddaughter than now live in NC, and I came back to feed the cats and stay in the house. Wow, the house is a mess, because his sprawl is getting worse, and I'm not "picking up" all the messes any more.
I go back and forth with being so ANGRY at myself for staying SO LONG with this man. He hasn't done anything to learn more about his ADHD, and he's totally stopped taking his Concerta. He is now back to his hyper-run here and there like a kook self, not knowing what direction to go in first, so he goes in every direction until drops dead in bed at night. He told me he doesn't want to be on any meds any more, because he "feels better" not taking them. If he could ONLY SEE what the REST of us see. He is so much better ON the Concerta, (when he takes it regularly). He also now has an appointment with an ADHD specialist/psychiatrist that our doctor suggested. He didn't WANT to go to a psychiatrist, but the doctor told him "YES, because if meds need to be dispensed, he can do it". DH, was NOT HAPPY about that at all, since he doesn't want to take any more meds. I know he's used to being chaotic, and that's "normal" for him, but it's NOT normal for anyone else AROUND HIM.
Anyway, I too am so broken down, so TIRED of just "dealing" with all the chaos and messes, and him staying exactly the same. I had to get away.....for MYSELF. I don't care what anyone says, no one can take just giving and dealing with, and putting up with, and all the learning, and all the EVERYTHING, and the other person do NOTHING except what they are always doing. It just can't be done, at least not here anyway. Someone is going to break, and it usually isn't the ADHD person. (sorry, for anyone ADHD reading this.....no harm intended)
It has been over 3 decades of me doing too much, trying too much, and getting BLAMED too much, with NEVER getting my feelings, or hopes, dreams, validated. I'm sorry, but my spirit, soul, heart, DIED from lack of FOOD, and especially LOVE. DH, wanted to control everything around him so much so that he could keep his denial and deflection going and wouldn't have to look at himself to account for anything that has happened in our family. And, I'm sorry people, I don't have the BODILY STRENGTH, I live in severe chronic PAIN every single day, to deal with this anymore. I've already, "disengaged emotionally, and been patient beyond patient, and don't REACT to him any more..........but to such a point, that I have no needs, no desires, no hopes, no dreams, wants or ANYTHING. It's like I've become a NON-PERSON.
It's going to take me a long time to even BEGIN to feel like a person again, because I can't TELL you how much this has negatively affected me. I often feel ashamed on THIS SITE, for not "getting control of things" when so many others are many such "positive" statements about their lives, and saying how "We have to take control of ourselves and our own lives, and just DO IT".......'AND yeah...life is so much better now". It's NOT for me yet, and it doesn't FEEL like it's going to get better any time soon. Heck, it's been 33 years, WITH an undiagnosed/undertreated ADHD person who's been in denial, and blamed me and our family for ALL HIS WOES. It HAS terribly affected us/ME. And, I had to get OUT, or I knew I was going to die here, and it wouldn't even have MATTERED all that much to DH. He's so into his own brain/mind, that none of us truly matter, except for a way of deflection and people to blame things on.
I know I sound really awful today, and I'm sorry, but it's been VERY HARD getting a grip on this whole thing. I wish I would have left YEARS ago, but I was stupid and I "loved him". I couldn't accept the fact that I was WRONG about this whole thing, and I didn't want our marriage and lives to FAIL. But, here we are. I didn't want to be 59 years old, and living in a 1 bedroom apt, with my daughter and son-in-law, where I have a day bed in their living room. I'm thankful to be "wanted" there, but at this point in my life, I wanted to be settled, and established, and grounded instead up UPROOTED AGAIN, like DH has done to us numerous times before. Only difference here is, this time I chose it MYSELF, instead of HIM choosing where we are going, or going to be living.
We;ve had a couple of good talks, but I am astounded AGAIN, at how he COMPLETELY changes history. He told me something that just floored me, about when I was in the hospital very sick, and it was a total Lie. He reversed the story, about who did WHAT, and it was totally WRONG................but he believed it. I had to tell him what REALLY happened, and he looked astounded like "that didn't happen like that". WHEN IT DID. I feel I have to have a video camera and microphone going 24/7, so that he remembers WHAT happened, what he said, or DIDN'T say, and who did WHAT. He changes history, says things he later DENIES, and says he DIDN'T say something that he DID SAY. I can't HANDLE this any more, and can't TAKE IT ANYMORE.
The hyperactivity is now off the charts again, and I want to grab him and say (just like someone else posted here recently)..........STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP., .....just stop and LOOK AT ME.............TALK TO ME.............LOOK ME IN THE FACE AND MY EYES, AND JUST STOP...PLEASE...............please...................PLEASE. But, it's not going to happen until he gets help, so I'm done with this. I can't handle any more.
Hand in Hand
Submitted by I'm So Exhausted on
I think it is both. Accepting your spouse for who he is and giving up on the expectation that he is going to respond and become who you expect him to be.
I can accept my spouse is not good at keeping track of time. I can give up on expecting him to be on time,. With that acceptance comes Liz's side of the equation, too. No, I do not have to base my arrival time on the actions of my spouse. If I want to make sure I am on time, I will leave at a set time. Not as a consequence to him for poor behavior. If he wants to ride together, he can. If he gets upset I left without him, that is the result of his own actions. I will not choose to get angry. He can head to the event when he is ready. Of course, if we are talking about dinner out with each other, I will have to place myself in the frame of mind that punctuality is not as important and spending time together. It is currently not an easy feat, but by repetition, it can get easier.
We have a civil living situation. Not ideal, and also not warring factions. I am not going to insist he pay bills. I am the one who finds finances and administration enjoyable. I would not be willing - at all - to allow our power to be cut if the bill was not paid. Just not willing. That is not a good choice for Liz. We would both suffer.
I can accept with absolute joy that my spouse is working on making our relationship better. With that acceptance comes Liz's side of the equation - I can choose to refrain from being a harsh task master, and I can also benefit from what I have already learned in a story from Al-Anon:
I was walking along the road and fell into a deep hole I did not see.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me a really long time to find my way out.
I was walking along the road and fell into a deep hole I pretended not to see. .
I convince myself it isn't my fault.
I've done this before, but it still takes a really long time to find my way out.
I was walking along the road and fell into a deep hole I could clearly see. .
It has become a habit. My eyes were wide open. It is my fault.
I did this before and have a clear knowledge of how to get out.
I was walking along the road and saw a deep hole. .
My eyes were wide open.
I walked around it.
I was walking along the road and knew that up ahead there is a deep hole.
I cut down a side street to altogether avoid the hole.
I accept that my spouse has chosen to do the dishes. I love that my spouse has chosen to do the dishes. He is consistent, and lets me know if he needs to postpone and do them at a later time. Now, what at one time was an annoyance to me (He said he would do the dishes, and there sits the sink of dirty dishes. Grrr.) has simply become nothing more than a sink full of dirty dishes. With that acceptance comes Liz's side of the equation: I would love to get to the place where we can negotiate domestic chores. This difference being I have some voice in the decisions rather than feeling like I have to take what I can get. It is a tricky place to navigate. Actually, in my opinion, attaching one to the other is trying to mix apples and oranges. I am surely not so good at sorting out the progression, so I can only state my thoughts on my side of the fence. These areas of growth will need to be some of the things he has to rely on getting kudos from a coach or counselor or mentor. My place to be able to do that is not yet existent.
Submitted by Zapp10 on
Because of the recent "incident" of being "caught off guard" by an issue of H's that I had let go of for years....I had to stop and ask myself "why did I think THIS time it was REALLY going to happen? And why was I so floored? in my reaction?
I am speaking strictly from my thoughts on this.........I want a marriage where someone is interested in me.....outside of if/when they" feel like it" .I am not a "convenience".
I am beginning to suspect that while ADD plays a part, his mindset is what it is.
I want to know what it's like to just have simple no point to it conversation. To have someone ask me what I think about nothing in particular/important.
I have said before..my H does not see me as an individual apart from him....and that has nothing to do with ADD.
Maybe I just wanted to blame the ADD for something it isn't responsible for?
Even after all our years I still ask him about things he did as a kid or his teenage years or this or that( all BEFORE me)......and you know what I realized?......the man doesn't ask me anything about me BEFORE him. That speaks volumes to me......
A couple of things...
Submitted by overwhelmedwife on
You put EVERYTHING on the calendar....well, for your H, it may be too much. Can you put the stuff that's really relevant to him at the top, and the lower stuff be for the rest of you?
As for the fave restaurant closing and his acknowledging it. Did he really acknowledge it? or were you expressing that you were bummed, and he may have just added, "me too", but not really know what you were talking about?
If he truly heard that the restaurant was closing, then is there any alcohol or meds abuse going on?
Lastly....do you talk a lot? My two best friends talk a LOT...a LOT. Their husbands really tune them out. If you fear that you might be talking a lot, be aware that many men really only listen to about the first 10 words and if you haven't captured their attention by that point, forget it.
Good feedback. Thanks for
Submitted by dvance on
Submitted by Zapp10 on
I recently thought back to the 7 years ago when I began to see a shift in H's behavior. What struck me the most was the communication between us. The discord that would evolve from the simplest of conversation. The misunderstandings that were happening far too often. The circular dynamic of them was mind numbing. Fast forward 3 years later when ADD came into the picture. The day I discovered this and spent hours researching in order to confirm(for me) that THIS was what appeared to be going on was such a RELIEF to me! I didn't doubt for a minute that WE could learn about this and what we each needed to do...separately and together. And there was the rub.....because I knew H would not take this well. I KNEW because I had been married to him for a lifetime and I KNEW him......and the fact I was "on edge" about approaching this with him tells me my relationship with my spouse was "off" all along.......
I also am saddened to see the spouses struggling with this when there are children(at home) in the mix. To me, that adds another entire concern.( perhaps it should be the bigger concern?) It is one thing for 2 adult individuals to navigate their way through this but to do this with innocent children( who cannot possibly understand) in the mix...oh my. How can they possibly process this when grown adults can't? I am referring to situations where the ADD is denied or not addressed. The difference in attitude when it is embraced and becomes an opportunity for learning is so much more uplifting and empowering. Again, my opinion.The stress level affects EVERYONE in SOME way. What kind of example is it for children to live in such a "conflict ridden" atmosphere? The term "walking on eggshells" is used a lot in relationships. If there are children involved THEY are doing the same thing. My heart goes out to all those dealing with this within a family where children are involved.
Yes , none of us are perfect(I am so sick of that having to be said). The question "Do the RIGHT thing" has a different answer for everyone. This is my go to question anymore(guided by my faith in Jesus). I have come a long way with a long way to go. What has been most freeing to me is losing the anger. Letting go WHILE angry is very different than letting go IN love, kindness, understanding and forgiveness.( whether or not the recipient agrees)
I do not believe that letting go can't be a goal. It's how I do it that matters. If, in the meantime of the process, something should change my mind from my goal...YAY! If not.....YAY!
Submitted by NowOrNever (not verified) on
Zapp = smart cookie
I was told that I am an
Submitted by Kat'sKoaster on
I was told that I am an enabler. After YEARS of having (as in having NO choice) to clean up messes I got tired & just do it all myself. There is NO other solution believe me I have tried. So I believe it is a little of both...you have accepted the situation and have given up expecting it to be different. You have learn that this is NOT a partnership......as a marriage should be. You basically have another child. It is a lonely existence especially in a marriage......I mean really - what is the point?