I have been married for 18 years. Most of our marriage we had no idea that I have ADD. I "self-diagnosed" about a year after our son was diagnosed in 4th grade (now in 7th). I have all the classic symptoms except thankfully I seem to have been spared the addictions (although I think I have addictive tendencies), my impulsivity is fairly low (I think!?), and I do not generally do the dangerous stuff like thrill-seeking or reckless driving, etc. But I am definitely easily distracted, impossible to motivate, unorganized, frequently hyper-focused without being able to stop, chronically late, etc. For some reason, another symptom (if it is a symptom?) is that I am SO easy-going and present-focused, that I have very few strong opinions about decisions like where to eat dinner, what color to paint the walls, where to go on vacation, what to wear to an event, which house to buy, or etc. I think this drives my husband crazy sometimes! You would think someone would like that trait, because I am almost always happy with whatever he decides. But I guess it gets old after awhile to make ALL the decisions or not to at least have someone to bounce ideas around with. So I am trying to get better about this, but I am not very good at it yet! And also...he is SO not accustomed to me having any opinions, he seems to resist them even though he would say that he is thrilled for me to push back sometimes.
So that is the background for this story...we bought a lake house about 9 months ago. We have been working on it and painting it, etc. Paint colors: he wanted me to pick them. I procrastinated because I knew what would happen. I would get overwhelmed with the endless number of choices and shades and not know what to choose. Then if/when I DID choose something, he would not like it. That is exactly what happened, except add to it that it made him angry that it took me so long to pick them and that I seemed to resist. But, he did let go of control enough to go with my colors in the end. I like them. He thinks they are "okay" but not what he would have chosen. When I told him that hurt my feelings, he was amazed, because to him it's such a small thing and he likes them "well enough." Okay, fine. Fast forward. Now we are done painting, and it is time to select furniture, mostly for the main room (sofas, chairs, end tables, rug, etc.) but we need a few other things also. He told me he wanted me to pick out everything or at least narrow it down and then show him a few options. I froze. What?! WHY would he want ME to do that? HE has an opinion about EVERYTHING and I am happy with ANYTHING! Not to mention that I know NOTHING about selecting furniture or even what stores to go to. And I HATE shopping! I get overwhelmed and can't focus on any one item. Even my 12 year old daughter has learned that when shopping for clothes, after awhile of me floating around picking up basically EVERYTHING I see in my size, she makes me close my eyes and leads me to the dressing room before I can grab the whole store of options in my arms! (And she doesn't even know that I have ADD!) I am NOT the best person in this relationship to pick out an entire room of furniture from scratch. So when I wasn't jumping up and down in excitement at the idea (more like paralyzed with fear), he got upset; did I not want to participate; does he have to do everything himself? I relented. I went shopping and bought a set of bunk beds. I was so excited that I had made a decision like that BY MYSELF! He was not so excited. Why did I buy bunk beds when we need sofas? We plan to add a bunk room downstairs, but it is not even built yet--I was proud that I was thinking ahead! He was not so proud. I had spent money that we needed for the SOFAS on beds we won't need for months! After an argument, I relented again. I went shopping again. I went to 3 stores. I spent 2 hours at one store taking pictures on my phone of every sofa I liked (lots since I have no strong feelings!), and looked through the price book making notes of all the prices for each one. This store was a little more expensive, but it has lots of fabric choices. I started to show him that night all the things I had done that day. He immediately informed me of the different criteria he likes and doesn't like (e.g., doesn't like a skirted style) in an attempt to NOT offend me if he said he did not like something that I showed him. SO WHY DIDN'T HE TELL ME THOSE THINGS BEFORE I WENT SHOPPING!?!?! Okay, fine. When I got to the research from the more expensive store, he basically said a blanket "no" when he saw the general range of prices. That's fine, but...I spent TWO HOURS trying to get all the information I thought he would want! So my feelings were hurt and I felt like I had wasted my time. He said that it takes time to learn about stuff and educate myself on prices and choices, etc. That's true, I guess. But I am so frustrated! I feel like he set me up for failure on this project. And he should already know! I've never picked out ANYTHING like that. I have a hard enough time with CLOTHES.
Sorry--I think I am just venting. I am trying so hard, but then he gives me an impossible task! Please give me a break. I tried to explain this, but he is trying really hard also NOT to have so many opinions and to give me back some control in the relationship. I think he sees it as a way for him to allow me some freedom to make decisions and he is trying to be committed to being content with my choices. But the problem is, I know he's really not. He would have picked different colors. He would not have bought the bunk beds. He would not have wasted his time on items above our budget. But, he's TRYING not to show it, which is why I went along with the idea in the first place. I appreciate that he's trying. But good grief! Can we start with where to eat dinner instead of furnishing and decorating a house...PLEASE?!