I needed to start a new thread, when I still need to answer a couple things from other threads, but I felt this was important. It's why we (often) long term spouses of ADHD hang in there so long, and try so hard. First I will answer that, then tell you why and how I came to my finding. I don't know if anyone else thinks this or not, but it's a possibility I've come up with for my own situation. I believe I've stayed so long, because first, I truly have been "in love" with my husband and not ONLY "loving him". We both have believed we were brought together and it was the right thing. Of course for over 23 years, we didn't know about the ADHD, which was good to find out about, yet crushing at the same time. I also have come to believe instead of ADHD, I believe he has more of Asperger's and high functioning Autism rather than the ADHD diagnosis. He's never had behavioral therapy with his medication treatments, so not much has been accomplished with the "connection" between us.
Anyway, I wanted to stop crying and stop FEELING so much, because I wasn't getting any questions answered from him about where WE stand as a couple. It seems like he doesn't FEEL emotions in the way most of the rest of us do. He says, "I just don't say things very well", but yet he talks to "other people" and says things to them that he will NEVER say to me. THAT....has always hurt my feelings, and after so many years I only wanted to stop CRYING for what we "didn't have", and what I knew we "could have" and 'should have".
In order to stop crying, I started berating myself and yelling at myself to get myself to just STOP CRYING. It felt like my husband hated me, and I hated MYSELF so much, because of feeling so rejected first from my marriage, and then the affair on top of it. I was SO ANGRY at myself for believing in something I was never going to get, words I WANTED TO HEAR, and knew I would NEVER HEAR, and wanting to feel love from someone that COULDN'T LOVE ME the way I loved him. I didn't "feel" loved, even though he said he loved me at times (only if i said it first). It's been SO CONFUSING and so HEARTBREAKING I can't even put into words the extent. I wish I was an eloquent writer and could write out all this in some way that would make some kind of sense. So, after his "affair" ended and he said it was a mistake, ect. He wouldn't TALK about it, or STILL tell me where I STOOD with him. He, like many others, said, "It's over now, it's done, it's gone, just let it go". But, ANY COUNSELOR will tell you the WORST way for a marriage to try to get over an affair, is to "ignore it", and act like it didn't happen. It WILL destroy the marriage eventually. I felt like the A, and how he ignored it afterwards, destroyed me in so many ways, I couldn't even count them.
Now being married 32 years, and facing another yet ADHD crisis moment where my husband is in panic mode and disappointed in yet another job, which means another move, fixing up another house and selling it, and uprooting once again, just when my daughters and us FINALLY got to be in one place at one time. Fighting him 10 years ago, when he wanted to move to THIS job, but he demanded his way, and got it, and it turned out to be a nothing job yet again. It's hard to watch him do this over and over and over again, with it always being "the job's fault", not HIM choosing the wrong jobs, or him admitting that he is scared to take chances (in better jobs) that I KNOW he is capable of. He finds jobs where he basically works "alone", or with limited people above him, so that he can feel safe and have a sense of superiority due to the jobs being undeveloped or underdeveloped. He can then work it the way he WANTS it, instead of going into an already established position and then him having to "fit in" with their already working system. I think that scares him A LOT. But, he won't take encouragement from me on things like this, he will only take "outside" advise. (which has happened numerous times as well
I'm not the "shiny and new" anymore, which I've accepted now. Shiny and new will ALWAYS be more of a draw and fufilling to him than any "relationship". THAT has been a REALLY HARD lesson to learn. These brain disorders can feel like abuse and neglect just as much as being abused by an "abuser". (I've known both, which is also typical of spouses with disorders) His "need' for people is in short little amounts of time, and only on HIS time and when he thinks about it. Not, so much when the other person, or me NEEDS it. Again, that can "feel" like abuse instead of a disorder. It is SO HARD to wrap your head around the concept of someone NOT doing these behaviors on purpose, and autism, ADHD, Asperger's makes people act so cold around the ones they "say" they love. It makes no sense. It does feel like neglect instead of a disorder. But, I was SO ANGRY at myself for staying, and not letting him go, so that he could live his life the way he just DOES.
It's also been a fear of mine that if I leave, he will THEN find someone else, REALLY FALL IN LOVE, and then treat her the way I always WANTED to be treated. Interesting, isn't it? At least, I've admitted it, and owned up to this now. It's been calming for me actually. Admitting the anger, the hurt, where it's coming from and now where to PUT the darn things. It's a process....I know.
I need peace about this, and it's something that I need to pray about (in my belief in God) so that I can truly find happiness now. Thanks for listening, guys.