Why is "trying differently" so hard to grasp?

Why is the idea of "trying differently" so hard for ADHDers to grasp and agree to?  I'm just having a bad day of frustration over my relationship that ended.  We spent a great year and 1/w and then we spent a year at each other's throats - but always coming back to each other - and that didn't work.  I suggested that the way we were working on things wasn't working, so how about trying differently -  that was not welcomed. We talked of ADHD and he finally got a diagnosis after he told me he could no longer try anymore.  I told him i could forget the past and rebuild with what we've learned- he said no - too much hurt from the past.   I used to reach out to him and he to I as we both have family members that are ill, but as I realized i needed to take my own medicine (and advice from here) and try differently.  Differently with him and with me (yes confession, i still hold out hope he comes to his senses).  Haven't communicated (any form) in 12 days (longest for us) and i don't plan to.  Working on myself and regaining self esteem currently, but have my days where it seems like such a waste - so as my topic says - why is it so hard to agree to try a differently way?  And why does it seem that it's the male ADHDers that i read on this board and others who, on the majority (exceptions to this duly noted!), refuse to move past the past and rebuild?  Is it the grief of admitting it was part of the problem?  Just such a waste!  Thanks for comments - everyone hang in there!

Kit Kat

I don't know the answer to

I don't know the answer to this one, but I agree that it can be a problem.  My husband is a "scientist":  he majored in chemistry and worked as a computer scientist.  He likes to fix things that break.  So, it seems that his brain has the capacity to use trial and error and to experiment and to poke around.  But he is almost totally resistant to trying new things in treating or dealing with his ADHD.  I don't know if this is part of the ADHD or a separate personality issue.  His father is the same.  He's in a nearly untenable situation with an ill wife and won't try anything new nor different for making the situation easier to live with.  It's very frustrating to me.  I'm the "emotional" one in the family but I'm also extremely rational and logical.  I examine problems from all sides and then say, well, this might work, this probably won't but we should try it anyway, this definitely won't work.  And my husband just gives up before starting.

"The Great Escape"

This is what I call it when I think back to my pre-diagnosis ADD days. When something was failing, like relationships, there always seemed to be so much damage that it "Seemed" much easier to move on. And getting to a break-up was so stressful that once it was done, going back to it would be real hard and if there was some other lie to be discovered and break you up again it was too over-whelming. The though of generic restarting and "Not screwing up the Next relationship" seems like a better plan. I have thought this in past relationships.

I had no idea what was affecting me until I was diagnosed at age 43. So many things make sense now and I know saving my marriage must be better than the old Epic Fail Great Escape Plan.

YYZ, that's quit true,

That's quit true,my husband admits that to me a few days ago when we were having an interesting conversation concerning his past relationships that failed,but only he put it across somewhat different,he said to me that he knew something was wrong with him before, but could not quit figure it out,so when he was dating way before he met me, he knew and I quote:"I am very "handsome" if she does not like me this way that I am, I could get a next woman next day,or ANY TIME",,I was shock when he said that,so now that you have mentioned that,it helps me see it the way he was trying to explain it but could "not" do so like you.So, the big thing here is to just move on to the "next relationship" rather than fix the broken one, trying to escape the"bad" past, and too overwhelmed to fix it,I now get it.

thank you for sharing that.


The Re-Invention

Similar to "The Great Escape", but with more success is the Re-Invention. As a kid my family moved quite often and like most ADDer's I was pretty inconsistent in school. This did provide me a tactic that actually helped. There were times when I could be in a down cycle in school and I would get furious with myself for being lazy, not finishing, procrastinating, but my anger would fuel a rise from the ashes and moving allowed me to go to a new school, where nobody knew me and I would know the new people would only know what they see. I could decide to be an "A" student and make the grades, until the next unraveling... It was SO hard to stay consistent, it is much easier now ;)

Ah...the reinvention...

Patterns are so unmistakable if you only take the time to really examine them!  I've seen both the Great Escape and the Re-Invention.   The relationship my ex had before me was an 8 yr relationship where he wouldn't "commit" and marry, although they lived together for 7+ years.  He said he was not happy but just believed that was how it was supposed to be (bad role models growing up and surrounding him).  His "escape plan" was a little different - but essentially the same.  You see, he could travel for work 360 days of the year if he wanted, so that's what he did...constantly went out on a business intended trip as an escape.  These trips could be a couple weeks or more at a time.  When he came back he could try to "reinvent" until that didn't work, and then off to another trip!  Perfect recipe!  Only with me that didn't work, I knew his MO too well and I wasn't willing to have a partner who traveled so much needlessly (when the going got rough).   So, he was forced to stick around and figure it out, albeit doing things the old way - and that didn't work out (original post, not willing to try "differently").  After the break up, he "escaped" to the town where he used to live where they know the lively, fun, life of the party guy side only.  I know he's been spending time with this one woman who he disliked for many years...really had a lot of problem with some very bad character traits....but now they are thick as thieves (and both recently single so makes sense).  So the reinvention begins and soon his symptoms will come out, he will "not pass go and not collect $200", and will start over again... Damn!  Life doesn't have to be so hard.   I just don't get how he can admit he has a problem that's untreated, admit that it will always cause problems, admit that i'm probably the only he will find willing to deal with the ADHD head on...denial to this deep level must be painful.  I really do feel bad for him.  He has no role models and no true support system (not anymore).  He told me as he left that he hopes he figures out his ADHD stuff and other personal stuff he is grappling with but it may be too late - he might just be right. 

As always, thanks for the insight YYZ.  The Great Escape and Re Invention so makes sense - maybe Melissa could use this for another chapter or blog post.  Im sure that many people identify with this pattern.

I'm on the final version YYZ 2.0

The post diagnosis me is going to be about it, other than continuing to tweak the basic format, of course :) I decided a long time ago, way before diagnosis, that if marriage 2.0 doesn't work, then that is it for me. This would be a signal that marriage adds too much to my juggling act. Hopefully your X figures this out, because trying, failing, escaping, reinventing gets REAL Old. The "Endless Loop"

Have I coined Three Terms now?!? :) 

Reinvention by kit_kat_lover

"Patterns are so unmistakable if you only take the time to really examine them!"    Boy, you can say that again!!!!    Since my husband's diagnosis and the many years of research about this disorder, the Great Escape and the Re-Invention has been my husband's life.  It's no wonder he is so exhausted!  New people, places and things, until the "real" him comes out and he must find a new set of people, places and things and so on and so on!!!!!  I can tell you that this pattern has affected our relationship in a bad way because now I see that that was the main reason, each time, for his Great Escape.  Each time he might have to step up to the plate and be a responsible person, he would run in the other direction.  Our relationship is somewhat better now.  He does realize that he must grow-up and begin to be a responsible individual but he continues to struggle with this on a daily basis.  It is a sad situation and I cannot help but remain guarded that a Great Escape might just happen again.