My journey into Adhd land was only the beginning of what has been a 7 year journey into a dynamic that evolved over 44 years of marriage.
I am posting under this topic because I am FINALLY getting a glimpse of a better future for both my H(adhd/attachment disorder) and I.....together or apart.
I will say the very best advice I chose to follow was MY co dependency. No matter the reasons behind it.....once I accepted it ....whoa! What do they say about bad habits? Hard.....HARD to stop. Disengaging while still in the thick of it? Holy cow! It is a sneaky little sucker and it is not something you fix in yourself overnight. I thought I had a pretty good handle on it.......who was I kidding? Actually having a calm, peaceful mindset while disengaging was not easily achieved. For me....I had to create physical distance. Did H think that was necessary? Of course not......but at the time.....I was done with what H thought.....because he was concerned with himself( this is not a put down just an honest experience). I have made so much more progress at getting a healthier look at what had been transpiring in the marriage and where my contribution did not help.
Adhd was an added hindrance to a far more detrimental "trauma" that my H experienced. I cannot believe, even now, that I did not see I was trying to have a growing mature, sincere, loving relationship with someone who honestly, through no fault of his, DID NOT KNOW WHAT LOVE MEANS. By stepping back and observing and LISTENING I have learned so much more about him in the past several months. While I shared with him some of it......I have now refused to initiate any further discussion. It causes him to experience pain he cannot bear. He has stated this and says "I am not going there. It serves no purpose". I can see that it is awful for him. How very sad......that he refuses to see how it impacts US. However.....he has just as much "right" to his decisions as I do mine. Our "living of life" slid into HIS way of living life.....THAT is not his fault. I am accepting there is no blame on either of ourselves......but their is accountability and it is not a four letter word. My H can only be accountable at an 18 year old level. I have been trying to have a marriage with a HUGE mental age difference. This IS NOT ADHD.
There is so much more to "my" story that I won't bore anyone with. What I am saying.....from my POV....is ADHD in an emotionally mature person is NOT the end of the world. Any spouse with adhd that says " it's not that bad" or " I have a handle on it don't worry" or "i will deal with it my way" or "it's MY problem".......has another issue going on....that is going to interfere with any possible progress for the relationship. Trying to address ADHD when THAT is really not the problem is not going to work. DUH..
I still interact with my H. I keep the conversation on my half.....calm, upbeat, short sentences and no references to any issues. He does better when he sees less of me......though he won't say that.......ummm maybe it is ....I do better the less I see of him? It is not without effort to disengage from a partner in life after 44 years. I remind myself ....I am worth it.......because I would NEVER hear that from him.......and I am nearing that place.....that I don't need to. I am really starting to LIKE this "new" way of being/ finding ME again.
For anyone thinking I don't "value" marriage vows......think again. God has been with me every step of this journey. While we may all share the same problems/issues.....our spiritual journeys are individual.....between God and you. I do not put God in a box where "one size" fits all. What he "shows" me he may not "show" you. To all who feel the crushing weight of an ADHD/ whatever is going on relationship/marriage........we here do understand......because we have EXPERIENCED it ourselves.....and I will judge no one on their pain....or decisions. This is a "safe" place to express and ask questions. Too many names to mention have given me their patience and strength. A grateful thank you.
Submitted by Chevron on
Zapp, very best wishes.
I do believe, as you do, that God wants us all to thrive. There are many calls in scripture to tell the truth, have faith, not be haughty, turn to God! Treat each other kindly.... but I cant think of a single passage that requires spouses to share space in a particular way, or spend a certain amount of time together. There's much more latitude allowed people in creating their own best life within Scripture's calling, than non Bible readers often imagine. : ) I'm singing to the choir on that : )
I've had Psalm 23 in mind this morning, after reading smd's latest post, which is full of wisdom: to take rest from time to time, along the way, and to do what works.
Your post is full of wisdom, too.
Thank you for putting into words
Submitted by vabeachgal on
I could have written almost every word of this. Thank you for putting it into words. There is a huge mental age gap at work in my marriage, as you describe. I've heard all of those words "I'll handle it" "I'll deal with it", etc. I never considered that these words indicate the real problem, not ADHD. There are adhd and non adhd marriages where things work out and I think a lot of it has to do with the emotional maturity and personal accountability levels. I have a 19 year old son and, yes, my H is accountable at that level. My H's real problem is all the things and traumas he has chosen not to address.
Yesterday, he told me I am 100% correct and never deserved the lies and secrecy. This comment came after I flat out told him that I didn't deserve it. I didn't care. I didn't need to hear that from him anymore. It's enough for me to know in my own heart that I didn't deserve it. That is a long distance traveled.
Submitted by Zapp10 on
I have tried to answer the question....which came first....the Adhd or Attachment disorder? I have tried to "observe" "sort out" the times and moments, in order to respond in the best way. ...for TOO long with no progress from him. Good grief! How "thick" am I? I am not leaving a child to fend for themselves. I cannot "give" him what he did not get in childhood. I believe the saying......love conquers all.....even though my H did not recognize it.....anymore than he will understand that I love him still.....in a different way.
You know,Va one thing I did NOT do was MOTHER my H.....interesting that he was needing from me what she never gave and YET......he did not hear what I would say in kindness and LOVE. Praise was a huge issue and still is for him. He is a bottomless pit in his need for acknowledgement. I used to say....."did you not hear me?" OMG! What I didn't know I was up against....and sadly still....neither does he.
Please consider me a fellow sojourner!!! I don't have another 40 years to keep going around the same mountain.....I am setting my sights on a new view.....inside and out.
Yes, Zapp....my experience exactly..Don't know what to say
Submitted by jennalemone on
I happen to be in the same space as you. I am also "letting go" of my need to have a loving relationship with my husband. I at first felt guilty for giving up on "us". Then I realized I was hitting myself on the head with each "try" and turning myself into someone I don't like. I have been afraid of my adult children asking me if I love "Dad". I thought I would lie and say, "Of course". But I believe I have a more true response. I loved Dad when we were 15 and 17 and 20 and 23. I became concerned about Dad in our 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. Now I can say that I loved Dad, but presently I don't respect him or even trust him."
No. I guess I am not ready to say that to my children while I am living with their Dad. Because that saying out loud that my integrity is not strong. Am I living a lie because I stay in this marriage? I guess I am still wrestling with that. For now, I guess I will say, "Of course I love your Dad." Is that authentic? Is there another way of saying how we feel with more forthrightness?
Jenna....yes I love my H....
Submitted by Zapp10 on
in a VERY different way that does not a marriage make. You articulated well in your post....I SO admire that!
I moved out this last time to "stop/undo"(on my part) the dynamic that we both contribute to. I focused on ME.... it was hard to stop wanting things to be different with my H. I had to CHANGE my thinking. I had to FACE the reality he refused to see. I "mourned" my marriage ending. I mourned for him for a childhood that was so emotionally devoid from both parents. He has an awareness of it but simply cannot fathom how it relates to us. He sees it in his siblings but says he is not like them...(oh hell yes you are!) For me it came down to we are not making progress TOGETHER. WE are doing nothing to shift the dynamic. Because he was an innocent victim.....our marriage is now a victim and I told him that. He CANNOT discuss topics that are upsetting to him. His comfort zone is to ignore. In the end I am giving him everything he has wanted.....freedom to choose what, when, where and how he lives his life and no more serious/ sincere needs from a spouse.
Our daughter loves us BOTH and is old enough(35) and has observed for herself what has been happening for several years. She knows I will not continue the "marriage" facade any longer and has given me support and more importantly....her understanding. She KNOWS I loved her dad....and she knows why that has changed....to a different love.
Jenna.....I take comfort in the fact that I have tried for years (when I knew something was "off") to figure it out. I included H with those thoughts. I am the one who allowed him to dismiss me. I will not be "dismissed" one more day. Do you know?...........there is LIFE out there?......and it is a whole new ball game for this 62 year old.....and I have CHOSEN to seek JOY. I matter to God, my daughter, friends and people I haven't even met yet. You and I are a lot alike from what I have read......I am praying for you......your words carry "pain" and I don't dismiss that. Yes Jenna I love my H "where he is at".......FROM where I "am at"......a very safe distance.
Thanks for your post Zapp....
Submitted by c ur self on
Your post and this thread is so real, so honest...I understand your feelings (all of you)...Thanks for blessing us with your openness....I've come to realize the futility of engaging with a expectation for mature honest and open communication coming back....It is a healthy place you speak of Zapp...Christ alone must be my identity, he alone comforts me and gives me the power for love and acceptance....
I don't have to Sin against my wife, with what is left of my life on this earth, in order to be content....But like you said, if I must make space between us, in order to put to death an unhealthy dynamic, then so be it...
When we love our spouses this is never an easy choice...But as you stated in your original post...We usually are way down the road of dysfunction (co-dependence, enabling, angry etc..) by the time we are truly able to take a good look in the mirror at who we have become....
Yes...Accepting our spouses reality, and accepting what is happening to our minds and hearts living with that reality...(our own reality) Is the pathway to recovery....And to recover it takes recognition of what caused the problems, and changing it....
Comfort of denial and distraction - Not a Team Player
Submitted by jennalemone on
This is what it is like here too, Zapp: "He CANNOT discuss topics that are upsetting to him. His comfort zone is to ignore. In the end I am giving him everything he has wanted.....freedom to choose what, when, where and how he lives his life and no more serious/ sincere needs from a spouse."
Yes, Zapp, this is what I see happening to my marriage. I am in this alone.....I have been "taught" to not bother him with anything I or the marriage needs. Any needs of mine are too overwhelming for him to take in that OR he wants to do what he wants to do and he doesn't want a partner in life to have to work together with. He is like a teenager in this house. He will do a project begrudgingly as tho he is not really a part of this home, this family. Actually cussing and shuffling his feet on his way out the door like a child not wanting to do a chore before he can go out to play, then slamming doors. All because I asked him to pick up after himself.