Wife moving out for now...

It has been a while since I posted. I've gotten so much help from this forum. I have been in counseling both with and without my non-add partner (DW) since January of this year. We had 3 sessions together and each one was bad for her, her words. She always came back to the massive hurt and stuff that years of my ADD behavior caused; I've always acknowledged this to her.

I've been reluctant to mention this in the forum; for many reasons -- but maybe someone can read it and it may help them. I was diagnosed 2 months ago with extremely low levels of testosterone. The symptoms of this are very similar and compounded by the symptoms that ADHD can cause. Low libido, concentration, depression, confidence, yada yada yada -- see the mix? OMG. I've been treated now since the diagnoses and that combined with the ADHD meds and some real life changes have brought me to the point that I feel NORMAL again. Consistently. That is my mantra for our marriage and relationship --- new attitude, new behaviors, consistently. I've had slips but they are farther and fewer exponentially.

So... today I found out via an apartment broker who dialed my cell phone instead of hers (one number different), that she is looking for an apartment. What confused me terribly, was that we have had some talks in the last week and I said that I thought we were making some good progress to which she replied "we ...were...". She continued to explain to me that she feels "stuck", and disconnected from me, not emotionally close. That she wanted to continue the marriage counseling and learn some bonding activities, etc...  WE have had some GOOD almost normal times in these last couple of weeks, so that talk was extremely difficult for me. And she is still in so much pain, and that hurts her .. and... me.

So - discovering this desire of hers to be out on her own is a huge blow to me. To me it means I'll have less of a chance to bond to regain the affection and love that we used to have. I am trying so hard and have so much to offer now ... seems to ME like a big downturn to the past. I've asked in other blogs how can a woman forgive an ADHD man for behavior related to the illness. Some people have said "is her forgiveness important to you"? I've always believed that forgiveness IS important. I've forgiven myself for the past wrongs because to not do so would be darkness to me. I now thing SHE needs to find a way to get "unstuck", and we have to get to counseling again. I'll do anything that counselor says to -- anything. I am completely there.

My drive is to regain her trust and love, and to show her that I want to be with her emotionally and otherwise. Being motivated to change going forward, I can not dwell on the past, past hurts which even I have. I can't talk to her about those, because by my own tongue I do not want to dwell on past issues. I only want to remember them as a compass of which way NOT TO GO. This is easy for me, very easy now.  So, her plans for moving out temporarily as she says; are very discouraging. This is VERY VERY hard for me. To be separated at this point... I don't know how to process it. She says she wants it to be temporary, and that divorce or formal separation is not the plan... but followed that with the word YET.

I've type this post about 4 times, changing small things, et al. But I am very confused, and feel like the rug has been flung out from under my feet, rolled up and round housed me in the head. The radio stations are back, all of it. Thanks.

I am a believer that

I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. This situation will test your true re-commitment to the marriage, even if to 'pass' you have to let her go for a while. You ae e doing so well, I pray this won't be such a punch in the gut to you that you completely lose your footing. Tell her how hard this is for you to accept, that it hurts, that you're scared, that you feel like it is a direct result of her not being able to forgive you and ask her to maybe take some time and explain to you how she feels this will help. LISTEN..don't be defensive...give her what she needs...and ask her if you can 're-evaluate' the marriage at some given point in the future...so that you're not left hanging for months on end not knowing where her heart and mind is. I think that you have a right to say "It would really help me cope with this and accept this if you would agree to go to counseling with me" If you are to accept what she needs, then it is only fair for her to be willing to give a little in return. Ask for her patience and understanding if you have 'set backs' because of the fear you're facing over her leaving. Give her a heads up "Hey, I'm really freaked out over here...I truly am committed to making this marriage something that we can both be happy with and I am worried that you moving out means you're done". Just be honest, no matter how hard it is for you...and whatever you do, do NOT get angry.

Her forgiveness is vital to your moving forward...she has to forgive you and you have to forgive you. Someone needs to help her be able to identify (if she can't on her own) what it is that she needs from you in order to feel she can start to forgive you. Seeing real, tangible changes in you will be a starting place for her. Giving her the space she needs could also help. It is OK to say "I want to give you what you need from me to prove to you that I am a different person...but it really hurts and I'm scared. Bear with me".

I am glad you're getting to the bottom of your problems and feeling normal again. Honestly, if there is one thing I would express to your wife, as a non-ADHDer, it would be that she hopefully comes to a place where she realizes that the behaviors were not about who you are as a person, but how your brain works differently, and that a lot of it truly was beyond your understanding and ability to change...until now. Keep moving forward....for you. ((HUGS))

A couple of weeks of 'normal'

A couple of weeks of 'normal' doesn't make up for years of living with an ADDer's chaos. I know; I was your wife about 6 years ago, although my husband had not started getting better at that point; he was on a downward spiral. I was concerned about him, but had to save myself and the children.

After we divorced, he turned his life around, much as you are doing now. Gradually, I've started to accept that he has changed. Now we are dating again (the love was always there; I just couldn't live with him). Even after 6 years apart, the pain is still there, too. Even the tiniest slip on his part gets my defenses up, ready for a full-scale ADD attack (it doesn't come). I try not to react to these feelings, since he IS doing so well. I now see it as MY job to forgive and accept that he HAS changed. But the scars are still there. We never discussed the past very much (too painful to him) so I never got closure. I don't know if he really understands what he did or why it hurt me so much, so I don't know if he will do those things again. Hearing that he GETS IT, and understands why I was so hurt, is what I need to completely forgive him, and I haven't gotten it yet. I still fear that the 'old' him could come back.

Give your wife space, but don't disappear from her life. Start over; court her. Don't rush her. Let her get to know the 'new' you without too much commitment. It takes a LONG time to win back someone's trust. I only see my ex on weekends, and it's working out well. We both decompress during the week, so we are eager to see each other by Friday. I don't think I'm ready yet for 24/7 of him!

sullygrl's picture

Why did she say it was "bad for her"

To go to your counseling sessions? Is she having a hard time facing what the two of you are going through? Does she not want to admit her part of the relationship issues? If there are problems in a marriage it's not usually all one-sided. I know when my DH tries to talk seriously about something I have a tendency to retreat, especially if he has overwhelmed me with his ADD recently. I'm like an ostrich sticking my head in the sand until it feels "safe" to come out. Maybe your wife needs a "safe" place to be able to think about things - like what she truly wants from the relationship and maybe some of the counselor's comments hit pretty close to home for her too.

You don't want to dwell on the past, but now that you know what you might have put her through before your diagnosis, have you truly apologized and told her you would work on things to the best of your ability? I myself have one foot out the door, haven't left because my husband finally agreed to go get tested for ADD/ADHD. I also picked up Melissa's book, I had a good idea about what ADD was doing to our relationship but it's well written, well-thought out and good for BOTH of you to read. Because it's not just about "you have a problem, you have ADD" It's about a partnership where you work on both your issues, actions and reactions. Keep working on you as well, you've been diagnosed, you've found medication that works, understand it took a while in your marriage for your wife to get this frustrated, it will take time for her to be ready to trust your hard work.

Best of luck!

MTC's picture

Both of us should read the book for sure...

@sullygrl -- you ask lots of very sincere questions, and I can answer them all in the affirmative. The problem may be that years of bad behavior and many recursions to OK again and NOT OK again have definitely left her shell shocked. She even says I have shown remorse, apologized sincerely, and am changing. The counseling sessions were bad for her because (and I agreed) we just dredged up the hurts. We start seeing another counselor next week. We've both agreed that this one must give us work to do... not just listen to the stories... ugh.

The hurt for me was finding out thru the grapevine that she was planning to do this. I told her that finding out accidentilly as I did, really really hurt (still does), and that I wish she had been able to talk to me about it. Since December -- I'd have been receptive to it. But she is still in that place that she is afraid of my reaction and chose to hide it. I really wanted to ask her just exactly when I would have found out but I only wanted to express that it hurt (it hurts) and that I want to be the kind of husband that will once again prove to her I can be trusted.

OMG -- it just hurts and I don't like it... but I pray good things will come because of it. I hope she can find that place where she will trust me again, and that I can earn that trust by being consistent and just calming down. I miss her terribly and just don't like it now. Did I mention I didn't like it... ;-)

OH -- yeah, the book. I PRAY and HOPE that our new counselor will place before us some kind of work, tasks, and a book that somehow incorporates just a wee bit of the ADD life and partnerships.

MTC's picture

2 Weeks + now

Can 2 weeks go any slower? God. I am not doing well, just after 2 weeks. I don't want to whine a lot, just a little. This is so far very very hard and I need some distractions (sounds like humor - but is not). I seem to be sort of OK if I keep very busy, but a heavy heart descends in any quiet moment. So -- it just seems like so much time has passed and the house if very, very hard to be in. Work day drags on and even little things upset me so much.

Anyway -- I think too much.

It would be nice to have some more dialog concerning the early stages of a seperation. I am drained, but could use some perspective.

-- mtc

MTC's picture

Yup -- she's moved out two weeks ago...

In my main topic I explain it. There was no direct discussion of "I will be moving out on Tuesday", just an errant call from the apartment leasor to my phone instead of hers. Between then and now, we've had one new marriage session with a counselor we've both seen over the years -- so there is some background. In any case - the first session was tense, started out with DW saying "we" had decided to seperate, when I hadn't decided it at all, my DW did that on her own. I expressed twice so far, the first time in tears (but not anger); just asking why she felt that we couldn't have discussed this, and that it hurt me deeply to find out third hand. I am still hurt over that... I am not saying I won't support it, but I am having a very very hard time with it. I just have to move on from it and stick with the program.

When I am alone at our house -- I will just go into a bad place and it takes a while to get back to 'here'. So... we are "dating" regular - we are both committed to the counseling. The counselor has pointed out some things about my ADHD to her, things I already tried to point out but I don't think they sunk in. I.E., are you prepared to deal with your DH mood disorder and ADD? ... and ... He won't heal any quicker than you will from the hurt (or the ADD/HD), and He (me) has been there in this process all along but in his own "world"... yeah... and for me this has psychologically "just" happened. Kind of like the "here" and NOT "here".

She asked me If I have expressed remorse and asked for her forgiveness, we both shook our heads yes. I have, almost ad infinitum. I have tried to work to better myself and I have. Over the time from when I joined this blog, and two weeks ago I only had to "excursions" ad I'd call them. Or falling back into my anger or Hyperness. Short lived both but I know both times brought back fear and other bad things for her.

But crap --- mentally I am on board with this seperation, I'm just not with it in my heart and it hurts. I have to finish with that as this is intense and I'll babble (more). Thanks

MTC's picture

OMG - random thoughts...

I just had to say, my previous post was one random boggle of stuff --- have to laugh a little... thanks again...

Well, surprise, your

Well, surprise, your 'rambling' made perfect sense to me.

I could give you a list of mindless things to fill your time while you wait for 'contentment' to set in, but you know you better than I know you so just go with whatever it takes to just survive it. Come here and scream and cry and get it all out, if it helps. You can do this. It won't be easy, obviously, but you've made it two weeks...before you know it, you'll have made it two months, and before long you will feel more peace about the situation.

I realized in your original post that she was looking for an apartment, but didn't realize she had actually found one. I'm sorry.

You don't have to be 'supportive' of the separation, but you have to respectful of her wishes. You didn't make it clear, do she and the counselor both know that separating was not your idea? That you're not exactly "ok" with it? I wouldn't let it be something you mention on a regular basis, but it is OK to let her know that you miss her.

Separation is very hard...just take it one day..one MINUTE at a time. I literally used to think to myself "if I can just make it to the end of this day, then I will be just a tiny bit stronger and more capable of dealing with this tomorrow" and most of the time it was true. Please keep us posted and ramble on and on if it helps!! ((HUGS))

MTC's picture

Making sense of it, just a small peice at a time...

Just got home from a  small "date". Just a little time together. We are spending time together - some better than other but quality time, a little bit here and there. I think I made it clear with the counselor that this was not my idea, and I made it clear the first time it was mentioned as I said, that "we" hadn't decided to separate but she decided. That got an eyebrow rise from the counselor, and an affirmative from DW. That was actually nice because it was a validation of my confusion.

I talked with my DW tonight about how I was supportive, but did not want it or like it. In my own way I was being respectful, and she thanked me for my support. Hard won, if nothing else ;-\? I let her know I miss her deeply. We talked about some past hurts and the fact that there are things she talked to me about in the past, very difficult talks; that I really do not remember, and I have remorse for that. But maybe, just maybe the impact to me of this recent psychological event is sinking in for her -- and that helps her make a little sense out of my behavior. Her acknowledging that this is the way it is for me, however unbeleivable, is the way it is for me. Sigh.

Right now (this is the now), I'm even more not ok with this, but I am very respectful and will strive to be. I keep telling her that I see a real division between my behavior then (past) and what I am doing now. I would hope that my current insight will prevail and I can be consistent in growing and showing. But -- right now it's a goal, because it feels like another failure (WHOA - switcheroo). Aaaagh. Stop that me.

Ha -- I need to get up in 6 hours and go back to work. Crap -- I hate that part. Goodnight and thanks SherriW13. Your support has really been, well -- supportive! er, and respectful and I thank you for that (and ya'all)...

confused60's picture

Hang in there Underdog...

I'm 5 weeks past relocating my DW to an apartment in the deep south from our New England home.  I'm staying in our home (where my job is) and she is not working, but intends to look for a job.  The new furniture we ordered has not yet arrived so the 2 BR apartment is pretty bleak and not comfortable yet.

We've been able to replace our non-existent small talk, which is an important component of a relationship (I'm told and learning), with a combo of text messaging and IM.  This has opened a door for deeper conversations via the phone.  I'm encouraged by this and it seems to improve a little each week.

I am infinitely more appreciative of the contributions she made to our home when she lived here with me.  Now, food doesn't magically appear in the refrig and if there's a wad of cat fur on the floor it stays there until I pick it up.  I have let her know about this realization, because her non-working had been an issue for me, and she felt she was making significant non-financial contributions.  So, this split has been good for us so far.

We had agreed to the split months before the actual date, and each felt we needed a break from each other.  I leased the apartment for a year, hoping that we would not need that much time.  Like you, I fought the split at first (how can we work on our relationship if we're hundreds of miles apart?) but came around eventually.  A big concern of mine was/is the freedom she has to work on relationships with other men.  Since I am ADHD and we've been together 25 years, a fresh new intimate relationship is probably much more attractive than repairing all the damage I've done over the years.  Also like you, we've had difficult talks in the past that I don't remember until she reminds me about them.  She told me last summer she had consulted an attorney to understand her legal rights and it just got lost in my mind -- I didn't do anything with that information.

Anyhow, I wanted to encourage you to hang in there.  You may see a real improvement in your behavior but it will take others much longer to observe that and draw the same conclusion.  Don't let the empty abode get you down.  I obsess at night over "perceived problems" that I can't do anything about even though I realize it's beyond my control.  So I'm trying to dump those thoughts by simply not thinking about it.  Not so easy since mind is constantly jumping around.  Time for work also... good luck!  Get a dog, they're soooo happy to see you when you arrive home from work! (Oh boy, he's home... dog fud!!)


MTC's picture

Hey Matt! Thanks for sending

Hey Matt! Thanks for sending me your support. I can relate to a lot of what you are telling me, and it helps me feel less "unique" (a good thing for me). My wife is staying in a long-term hotel like efficiency. She picked it out (as I said prior!). It is not really bleak, but so tiny and just not homey. But she has to like it not me. I am thankful that it is only 30 minutes from our house - as having her that far away would really freak me out - I don't know that I could do that or live with that. Don't need to worry about that now, though do i?

I sincerely wish that my dear wife and I had talked and agreed to this move. It is going to take me some time to rebound from that, I just hope that I can get over it. As Sherriw13 said -- be respectful but let her know your feelings (but don't make it a tirade)! I do that (the former, and not the latter)!  I've been doing the house work for several months now and have also come to appreciate how much work it is. My emotional state for the last couple weeks is so fragile that I'll screw up something like dinner, or some minor cleaning task and just break down. Very "un-manly"... ;-) So I am REALLY appreciating how much work it has been for her. That is one thing she said she needed was for me to take that burden for a while. Now that she isn't there, I've been slacking and that makes me miserable. Ack!

Her "mom at home" status we agreed to in 1995. It was for us the right thing to do. The kids needed someone there all the time and I've never dinged her for that nor complained about it. It gave me peace of mind and it was awesome for the kids. I do now believe that she was stuffing her wants and needs concerning this. My behavior sent that into panic mode and I believe that her moving out was just a logical conclusion of that. But - she wasn't completely honest with me about it. She keeps telling me that she talked about it. Well - she talked about being tortured by feeling like she wanted to move out - and that was a result of my behavior and inconsistent moods, etc. At the point where I thought we had dealt with it BOOM -- I'm moving out. So -- as they say, turn about is fair play? Not really. It never is. But at this point it's just the way it is.

I pray and hope that now she says she is feeling calmer (hey - being away from me can have that effect bro), that there will be open honesty between us. Even if she has to tell the counselor what is going on so there is that support there for her, from me. I GET THAT. I dont' like that and I am trying to change it. But -- for me at this point I am fragile and my trust in our relationship is at a low. Since all this is new to me, I really feel like it is the first time my trust in us has been shaken. Even with all the stuff I know I manifested - I never felt unsafe in this relationship.

I hope I am making sense. It just helps to get it out and write it down to see if that is what I am thinking. We are going to a session in a couple of hours. I have every emotion percolating in my chest and brain. I can barely function (but I am at work - so what else is new). Our first task from the marriage counselor was to jot down on paper 4 times a day the emotion we individually are feeling (1-10), and why we think we are feeling that. Holeeee library shelf batman -- I've written a book... just me. She confessed Wednesday night that she hasn't made many entries. She claims she has a handle on "her" emotions. I complained that this is something that we were instructed to DO to improve US. I was very upset to hear that, and tried to just shut the H3!! up about it. At this point if the counselor said, "every morning at 3AM stand naked on the highway and hold hands for 5 minutes"... I'd be there naked waiting. I expect the same and hope I get support from the marriage counselor. I JUST WANT some positive forward movement. And... so far this week sucks.

GEEEZ -- I am such a downer sometimes. I depress myself. Thanks for listening and I think I'll get an ISBN number issued for this post ;-)

MTC's picture


I am replying at this point in my posts because of my wife's reaction to our date of 3/30. How can I so badly misinterpret what is going on? Why do I feel like it is ALL my fault? HOW can I avoid shutting down completely and dropping out of my LIFE?

Our first task for the 2nd session was to chart our moods and reasons for them. I did it 4+ times a day and then reduced that to a simple list which I discussed. My DW said she hadn't done it really well -- but talked about ONE emotion. She was sad when I had to take her pet rat home because the apartment was too small and she is allergic to the rat. One thing -- one thing that had nothing to do with our relationship or marriage.

In my previous post - I say how we talked about the seperation. We talked about a serious event from last May that blew out most of what was left for her concerning her trust of me and the hurt the event caused. I said I was having an AHA moment because of our last counseling session. She started crying about it but seemed sad, not angry. I held her and tried to console, saying what I thought were nurturing and caring remarks. Stating that my intention was to NEVER do that again and telling her how sorry I was.

Well -- queues I missed. OMG. After that I was hugging her and she said "I'm not a teddy bear"! So I backed off. A few days before this we hugged and held each other for a very long time -- and that was OK. I was trying to continue what I thought was a nurture/comfort hug and wham/bam. The 2nd session with the counselor she recalled this event and the counselor said to her that that was a reason we need a word/phrase when things are uncomfortable like, "this is nice - but I just need my own space right now"; instead of a wise crack. We agreed.

Then -- she said in addition to her short and terse mood log, she wrote me a letter - so she could say every thing she wanted to say. She read it aloud in between much crying. I can't even write about this here too much. In short (ha) what she read sounded to me exactly like where we were in our first session with the first counselor she didin't like, saying the same things she said she wanted to get past. The event in May. She hammered me. I guess she doesn't believe that I do have remorse for these events. She said I hurt her so deeply that she is (still) destroyed, fragile and broken by this (by me). I mentioned (in a talk last week) that the move out hurt me and for the first time for me I lost a little trust in her. She in her letter said, "you distrust me, give me a BREAK". To me the letter went from informative and cathartic for her, to attacking me.

I couldn't maintain composure. I lost it (just cried and couldn't talk at all). Why couldn't I talk. Because -- from her perspective the talk that I THOUGHT was a good talk -- to her was just rehashing all of what is bad. She said she can't help me at all, nada, period. The space she wants is suddenly very very wide. I couldn't talk further because I am totally freaked out that what ever I say, how ever I say it, or what it is about -- will be an attack to her. How can I know that? I am completely conflicted and confused. Lost again.

God -- sherri said come on in and rant, scream, let it out here on this forum. There ya go. At the end of this session I told her that we needed to talk about the next months rent. We are a very long way from her moving back in anytime soon and if we are still going to have joint bank accounts, we need to talk about expenses so neither of us feels attacked. We agreed to my paycheck taking care of living expenses, and hers isn't sufficient to do that. OK with that, same old same old - no problemo.

So -- I feel I am shutting down. Turning off. Giving up. Failing failing failing and I can't take it. What I thought as a hard try and good work (for us) turned out to be crap, dirt and rhetoric that just damaged the entire situation again. I have to turn this futility into my final bid for helping myself, outside of the relationship. I don't know how to do it. But I have to. This is my only positive thought. If I can't turn this around for myself then it won't get better.

MTC's picture

Retrospect -- pretty far off the topic, wasn't it?

My ADHD enables me to talk away, continuously, ferventley... even when I stray off the topic! So -- reading my previous two posts brought me to tears. As it should. Big 6' 2" man cries like a baby -- dang it.

But -- 99.9% of what I wrote about in the last two posts really don't have anything to do directly, with my ADHD. I apologize for that sincerely.

Yes, I am dredging the bottom of my life right now -- to be expected. But, I want to get back on track. Not so much to talk about the after effects of ADHD, but the working through and out of the past disasters. I hope I can still add positive insight to and glean from the discussion about ADHD and (my) marriage. Because my experiences are in a downward spiral at this point just means I need to concentrate on the present one day at a time.

... echo ... echo .... shhhhhhoosh!!!


You're going through a very

You're going through a very hard time. Your courage inspires me. Believe that. I don't think anyone faults you for not focusing 100% only on healthy, straight forward ADHD help. You have ADHD, you're learning to deal with it and at the same time facing the heart wrenching separation from your wife. We all get that. I don't have much to offer as far as advice on how to survive it other than just thank God for every minute that you make it through and brace yourself for the next one. I remember during my separation I would just be so relieved to have lived through another day of the horrible situation. (we fought BAD while we were separated).

Nothing wrong with crying...we all do it, it is somewhat therapeutic for some of us. You'd think I would be the most emotionally healthy person here considering the tears I shed almost daily at this point...it happens, go with it. Then pick up and move forward and face the rest of the day minute-by-minute if that's what it takes. Hang in there...it will get easier.

Anything new with your wife? Progress? Regression?

MTC's picture

Emotional roller coaster fer sur!

I wish crying for me was something that made me feel better -- maybe a man thing -- just doesn't work that way for me. And, feeling like that during the work day is, well -- hard to fight off. Luckily, there are plenty of places for me to hide during those times :-0 I get the statement that you (or I) should be, by the weight of our tears; very very well!!! ;-)

After last Friday I was very "blank" emotionally. I didn't know if the session had brought me more clarity, thus releasing me from my pre-conceptions of the seperation; or if I was just withdrawing into a safe place. I just don't know yet. But -- maybe -- maybe I see now that I have to get better just for ME. I can't say I believe that now, but I'm working on it.

As with my DW, this last session did reveal that she needs to be less stoic, and more open about how she is feeling to me. There is evidence that at times I haven't reacted the way she desired me to react because I can't read minds. Validation - maybe for us both?

I wish I could say where she is at right now. When we parted on 4/1 Friday -- I said that considering where we are at, she should be the one to call me and or request my presence. She said "OK". I didn't say that out of spite or anger, but respect for her repeated requests to have her own space, and have her own time. She gained a state certification on Saturday for her nursing assistant job -- and called Monday AM to wish me a good week. I calm down and feel great after talking with her, especially when it is unsolicted. So that is good progress I think. I still fear that she didn't hear or misunderstood what I said on Friday and thinks I'm just withdrawing from her and snubbing our growth... ACK -- I future-disaster stuff all the time. I guess I'll have to break the silence and make sure that is what she heard and what is working for her? Ack.

Thanks and I'm sure I'll pipe in later!!!

MTC's picture

DW reaching out for my company -- very nice!

SherriW13 -- Last night my DW called and asked me to come see her. It was wonderful to hear, and I drove (in a freak blizzard) the 15 miles to see her. We talked some small talk and had a nice time. We hugged long, which struck me a little --- no, not actually -- I love it. We simply missed each other and sat and watched TV for several hours. Just small talk and no pressure. Today, I still found panic and depression, but not in huge quantities. Driving home is lonely, and I hate coming home to this big old empty house...

I find also that when my Adderall is wearing off, the panic and anger seem to intensify. So the short acting afternoon dose to the rescue. That and an hour of vigorous excersize seemed to calm me down. I have to let her be the one to contact me for as long as it takes, and not hover, badger or try to direct what she does (in regards to contacting me). I hate no control -- but it's par for the course now.

So -- long tunnel, I believe there is light at the end of it, just to far away to see it at this point...

Please, just call me

Please, just call me Sherri.

YAY!!!!! I can tell you this is definitely something to hang your hopes on, I would see it that was a non-ADHD wife, anyway.

Ironic I would be giving you this advice...because as I sit here I struggle in the same exact way...but letting go of the control and just taking a leap of faith can be so liberating. I, too, get smothered by the fear and anxiety of what the future might hold, but what I have found that helps is:

-accepting, understanding..REALLY GETTING..that NOTHING I do will change him. I can try and manipulate or provoke emotions in him that I think would give me what I want, get the reaction I want, but the truth of the matter is that it ALWAYS backfires on me and furthermore I DONT' WANT TO BE THAT PERSON. I also don't want to be with someone who was manipulated into giving me what I need. GIVE HER THE CONTROL and have enough faith in yourself that YOUR changes will evoke a spark in her to change as well. What you are doing, letting her be in control, not saying and doing things to push or speed up the situation, is the ABSOLUTE BEST THING YOU CAN DO. I can't say it will guaruntee you anything, but it sure as heck is your best chance.

-treating him as I want him to treat me, even if it isn't reciprocated. THAT is the worst sting ever..and can leave me in a state of panic in about 2 mintues, but I'm getting better and learning to work through it mostly with positive statements I say over and over to myself and with prayer.

-finding outlets for your fear..redirecting the brain into doing something else. For you it has been a little boost in the meds and exercise. For me it has been cleaning..and more cleaning...and listening to my CoDependent No More audiobook. I am keeping my mind full of only positive things right now, as best I can. There is not much of a marriage to 'work on' at this point, so for now, I have to work on me until he is ready to address his ADHD again.

Don't focus on "I had to drive home alone", "the big empty house"...focus on "she called and wanted to spend time with me" Period. Think about what this means. From my perspective, being in the same shoes as your wife essentially (same position in the marriage, anyway), she misses you, still longs to be with you, but is TERRIFIED of being hurt again. Two things for you to focus on (missing you, wants to be with you) and one thing for you to keep working your butt off to ensure that does not happen again. I think her railing you in the counseling sessions is just simply that she's still suffering. THAT will heal in time, and with your patience and you doing exactly what you're doing. Respecting her wishes and letting her take control. Your ADHD  has controlled her life for a very long time...she needs to feel in control. Give her that and you're giving her the best gift ever.

Afraid I am in the same boat

I am afraid that my wife will come home from work today and leave me. I love her more than anything and can't stand the thought of her not being here. We have been married for 18 yrs and she has put up with a lot from me, but I am afraid I have pushed her over the edge. I know I need help, I want help. I lost my job about a year ago so we are barely making ends meet now. I have called an ADD treatment center but had to cancel my appointment because we can't afford it. I know I can be a better man and a better husband I just don't know how and since I cannot afford treatment it seems like I am stuck in a downward cycle to being alone with nowhere to go. I hope she will forgive met yet AGAIN although I would not blame her if she chooses not to. I can't believe how many people are dealing with the same issues. I just hope there can be an end to it. Not only can I not see a light at the end of the tunnel, I can't even find the tunnel to start looking for the light.

I hope things work out for you and she comes back. Thanks for posting

Do not let lack of money keep

Do not let lack of money keep you from doing the things you CAN do. Eveyone says meds are not enough - Melissa talks about the three legged stool w meds only being one leg. So: 1) get informed as much as you can about this- oj the internet, books (library, or hang out at barnes and noble), 2) learn how nutrition is huge for maintaining symptoms- fish oil (things w omega 3), good protein in morning breakfast, avoid processed junk, some suggest checking for gluten sensitivity 3) exercise (regular exercise increases focus, decreases symptoms for some), 4) try to get regular sleep, 5) try organizational tools (read delivered To distraction and melissa orlovs book to get ideas..6) JOURNAL to get a grip of your feelings and sequence of events 5) talk to your wife and try to include her in this process... So much to say and do beyond just the drugs (though they are important when given /used appropriately.
MTC's picture

Hang in there sickofbeansick!

Last Friday my wife and I had a horrible marriage counseling session. Horrible for her because once again she relived, re-conveyed, and believed that I didn't hear the problem, again. Horrible for me because I have heard, and worked at, and apologized, and asked for forgiveness. All the stuff I am supposed to do, but did not because I was supposed to by someone elses judgement, but because I felt it.

My problem is that I can't tell the difference from our seperation "event", and the feeling that I am alone and losing her. She doesn't fell that way. For her it is an attempt to step back and get focused on her. I am trying to take the same stance, but it isn't easy for me. We with ADHD have a failure complex, from years of failing... makes sense, eh? But -- that doesn't mean it has to be inevitable. Try all those things lululove suggests, she knows what she is talking about from experience.

For me right now - one thing that really helps is excersize. I'm 53, and excersize ain't easy. It does however really calm me down, and I can use that all day long. Please hit the library and or hang out (good suggestion, and a nice quiet place that Barnes & Nobel!) at the book store. You'll find nice chairs and all these books she speaks of.

I have kept a journal since before my wife moved out and it has helped, and pissed me off, and been very difficult to do. Me - ADD/HD and all -- most the time I don't really know or acknowledge my feelings. Usually results in the wrong expression of that feeling. So -- my wife and I are seperated and it's hard every day. We see each other once or twice a week. I'm happy when we are together, but then sad or even angry when we are not. Again, the excersize brings me around.

Give the suggestions a try and get back to us. We care about this ADHD thing!

Thanks mtc for your comments

Thanks mtc for your comments and for sharing. Ive been on the other side of that couch and it is grueling whichever side you sit. Please listen to your wife when she says this is her attempt to get refocused whether on her or your relationship. Please let her vent a bit- the nasties have to come out so they dont fester inside but also so you guys get past this part eventually (still working on that). Please just acknowledge her feelings but dont let YOuRS crash and burn. The point is to remember that we all need to figure out how to get past the Adhd symptoms and reconnect. (would it be weird to say trying to learn how to not take things so personally- for both sides of the couch?!) I like hearing what you say, it always helps hearing the other side of things right? :) **BTW one thing through all my personal "rants" that were so similar Im sure to your wifes re: past hurts, is not what happened in past but the unexpressed fear of what this means for our future (ie will tyere be more of the same). Deep soul searching and communication to your wife that things WILL change (and mean it) may help but it must also be shown in action... Just a thought.... :)

MTC, have you ever asked her

MTC, have you ever asked her what you could do to help her understand that you do know what you've done to her, you do fully get how badly it has hurt her, and that you wish to do what you can to make her know that you 'get it' and that you're sorry? Putting it in writing? I think this issue may keep coming up because of a general breakdown in communication. Even if you THINK you've acknowledged it, maybe you haven't in a way that is meaningful to her. As hard as it is for you, it has to be done in a way that she HEARS and FEELS your remorse.

I could be wrong..she could just be beating a dead horse, but it was just a suggestion. I would not bring it up until your next session, and if she starts bringing it all up again you can either tell her or the counselor "I really want my wife to know that I accept 100% responsibility for all of the pain I've caused her..I know I hurt her when I XXX, and when I XXX...and I want her to believe that I am so very sorry for all I have done to her and the best thing I can offer is to spend the rest of my life working towards being different so that I won't hurt her that way anymore." or something to that effect.

MTC's picture

You are Sherri ;-)

Thanks for the naming convention ;-) I'll work on remembering that for you!  <seriously - but with some ADHD humor>

And thanks for the words from both you and lululove. I am hearing the same things consistently from you two and, yes from my DW! This does help an ADHD brain re-train and hear. Feels like hope, hard hope.

I think I hear you saying that if this issue keeps coming up, and she does not believe in beating a dead horse -- that it must mean she doesn't believe I understand what I've done to her, that I get it, or believes that I am sorry and remorseful. I have told her these things both in conversations between us, and with two counselors. In all due respect, if she is listening, how could she not hear this from me. I am afraid I am beating the demised horse myself? I'm afraid if I say it again, verbally or in writing -- that she'll just see it as another dependent plea from me for her to "get over it". And I don't want to convey that at all because that would show her I don't get it, eh?  I want to give her the time and space to heal, which is specifically what she has requested that I do to help her. In her words during last session and before, "He needs to *need* me less". So, those two items, for me are singularly the most difficult things for me to do! Give the space, and bear the time. How ironic.

With that said ... sigh -- how do I know that she understands I get it, acknowledge it, etc... and how do I understand if possibly she doesn't believe me in this issue. Our communication is so destroyed, that I just don't know how to tell anymore. I am ripe for learning and want to engage her feelings and mind so I can understand better. I think this is going to crap in both directions, and has been for years.

I'll definitely make a note of these suggestions for our next sessions. And, if they seem appropriate -- I would love to put it in writing for her, not beating a dead horse but providing clear concise terms what you describe in your post. Somehow before doing that, I need to know if that is what she needs from me. I need to know if she understands my feelings of remorse, my "get it" of the depth of her hurt, my sincere desire to improve. and desire to be consistent  in my behavior going forward. I know progress will be apparent only if I achieve this consistency both for ME and US. I can only do that one day at a time, one hour at a time even. My fear of the future is that I'll fail this task, and in the end lose her. ...

An old tool from a conselor past: Write that letter -- say what you think you need to say -- what you think she needs from you. You don't have to send it, read it to her, just write it. This has helped in the past and that is what I'm going to do. I read your post and that stands out. In fact, her task for our next session (I wasn't given any task - ?), was to do exactly that. Write up several examples of something I've done and explain how that made her feel. Or conversley, write up how she felt and what I did to display my understanding.

The next session won't be easy, but maybe I can prepare by remembering some of those things and putting down in writing what my action plan is... for US to be better I have to work on ME -- not my favorite thing ;-)

Just 2 paragraphs in

Just 2 paragraphs in reading...but had to comment on the poor overbeaten, dead horse....I am LOL!!! Ok..back to reading...

Ok..MAYBE, just maybe, she

Ok..MAYBE, just maybe, she brings it up because she isn't getting past it for some reason..and that reason isn't that she doesn't feel you're sorry. Maybe just ask her if you've successfully communicated to her how sorry you are for what has happened. Tell her it is important for you to know that she understands everything you just said (desire to be consistent, sorry for what you did, etc). Yes, when she comes in with her list and sits down just listen. Your reactions should be honest, of course. When I was trying to forgive my husband and needing to beat that poor dead horse what really helped me was to hear him say "I am sorry I hurt you, I regret it so much, and promise to do my best to never hurt you that way again. I will do whatever you need me to do". That is what got me through it...that AND his consistently following through with his promise. I think the best way to assure yourself that you're on the path to 'different' and not just riding the hyperfocus wave is just simply the test of time. Those journals will come in handy as a reminder of what THIS is like and, as our preacher said not too long ago, let the pain from the past be motivation to not 'go there' again.

As for her saying you need to 'need' her less...I can't articulate it at this very moment (husband in the basement playing music...loudly...and my music on my laptop to try and drown it out...and I typically prefer no noise when I am trying to 'think' /type) so my mind is MUD...but I know what she's saying...and hopefully she can articulate this to you in ways that aren't too hard for you to hear and that you can work on. Look at you already, surviving in that big old house all by yourself. ;-)

MTC's picture

I've decided to lay the horse

I've decided to lay the horse to rest - poor thing! (but I do go on and on below)...

You know - sometimes I think everything is all about ME. Me me me me me. This is a character defect to be sure. I also know (because people tell me) that I don't listen well. Sure - I know that these are traits of an ADHD mind, but I forget that (OH - another ADHD trait). If I knew I didn't know what I knew when I needed to know it I'd be better off, you know? ;-)

Right after she read her letter - our counselor simply said, "Well -- I guess we aren't past this yet". Of course I assumed that the we meant my DW and me. Maybe she meant my DW and her (counselor)? A releasing thought. I don't know which, because I didn't ask. So, if it meant my DW and ME, then it must be all my fault. Your clear statement, "Maybe just ask her if you've successfully communicated...", is a very good suggestion. At the time this occurred, I was a million miles away in "poor me" land, nursing my sorrow and futility. Makes me a little nauseous just thinking about it. In this case a positive effect I think. In between the lowest point and ignorance is a healthy spot where issues are dealt with.

Some of my confusion in this journey is that I can't find that middle ground when I need to. Not right away. When we started this recovery process she said that she needed me so much, and I abandoned her and ignored her. So -- with ADHD hyper-focus I began a quest. To be there so her need of me could be "fixed". I paid attention and hovered so she would see I was not ignoring her. I did many things to "fix" the situation. Except I forgot that for her this didn't just happen (for her), as in my mind it had - for me (me me me?). That my part (the me of it), or my HYPO focus during the past years brought her (and US) to this point. The lowest point. A starting point. A starting point. I need to realize this IS a starting point and NOT the lowest point anymore.

Whew. I think I'm getting overly positive ;-) Hey - how about this for your last paragraph. You need to rush right out and buy one of those Bose Quiet Comfort headsets. They drown out the noise outside of them and let you hear your noise (er - I mean music), even when there is deafening noise around you! (Is the name brand reference bad)? There are other cheaper ones out there... they work. In this big old house I can crank the music and no one cares, except the cats ;-). You are a saint for letting your DH have his quest for deafness and not yelling at him to stop. Well, not right away, right? ;-) As for her asking me to "need her less", I need to understand that the statement was for US. As in my needing her less she may feel safe to need me more.

Ending: Yesterday I took our big Newfoundland dog Macy to the vet. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and its back. She doesn't have long to live. My DW always took her to the vet. I took the day off, with much pleading to my boss; so I could do this, not her. Afterward, she came up to the big old house. Another great sign from her. For her to come here WITH ME HERE I know is a sign of improvement. She came up and groomed Macy and loved her up. We talked about our planned summer vacation -- WHICH WE WILL TAKE TOGETHER. I was unsure if this was still on, so I asked directly (you realize that your suggestions of DIRECTLY ASKING a QUESTION was topmost in my mind -- THANK YOU!). The answer was "of course". I was invited to "her place" Sunday, to plan this. Big sigh. Wait -- bigger sigh and what the ??? relaxation inside. :-) :-)

Now go buy those high tech headphones.

Archie Bunker and change...

If this was easy none of us would be here at this site. Mtc, glad you are having some "up" moments with your wife and SO impressed with your journey so far. You are TRYING so hard and it shows. The funny thing (if you forgive me for noting) about the adhd thing is what Melissa had mentioned as the "now and not now" feeling that seems common. If it is not about "the now" then lets not address it (cause its not now!).. So rehashing all this past stuff in session has to be somewhat tortuous? I wonder if this is not true for my dh, but only if I bring it up. I keep thinking of an old "All in the Family" episode when Edith was going through menopause and an exasperated Archie finally blurted out: "Edith if you are going to change, change NOW!)... Ultimately going forward takes time and sometimes you go back and forth. I think the only way to put that poor old horse out to pasture would be really going for the divorce (and not even then)? Barring that, its just a lot of patience, tears (at least for me), and trying to stay sane (who me?)...

MTC, This post is not


This post is not related to any ADHD issues.  We have Newfoundlands, too.  Hence, my and my husband's names on this website.  I am sorry to hear about your dog.  We lost one of ours to cancer last year.  It's tough.  I will keep you all in my prayers.

MTC's picture

I feel like meathead sometimes (instead of Archie)

lululove -- LOL. My parents and I watched Archie and his family for a very long time. I remember that scene! But I often feel like meat-head. Which is funny in itself - since I was the liberal hippy type then. Now I am just trying to find out what type I am all over again.

I think the horse will have to be buried out back, but not forgotten. To quote a good piece of advice: "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it". I have to show that I have remorse over the past, that I am sorry and it is my sincere intent to naught repeat offending behaviors in the future (on now). But - I need to finish off the regret, forgive myself (and my ADHD); and work hard at the rest of it. We have both agreed that talking about divorce at this point is "off the table", at the suggestion of two counselors. If it becomes a topic of discussion it must be dealt with - but until that happens, it is NOT NOW, eh?

What you ask about rehashing the past is tortuous for me, as I imagine for your DH also. Believe me, yes it is. It is not cathartic, releasing, or in any way - for me - pleasant (duh). As Sherri said someone told her, it is definitley incentive to "not go there again"! So I strive to not go there again, both in memories or deeds. Not to shut the door, and not to regret.

My struggle now is keeping up with the house work, and putting one task before myself at a time. If that task  is simply getting to work on time, then that is it for the day. Somedays it works to do the dishes before I leave for work, be productive at work, come home and achieve one small peice of house maintenance. Those are great days. Other days I don't succeed at all, in my estimation. So I go on.... in this big old house  -- lol.

Newfdogswife -- I thought Newf-Dog was a rapper? ROFL. It is sad to loose a longtime pet. Today I decided my 15 year old cat is senile, crazy and just has to go (banished to the outside). She pee's on the same places on our carpet incessently. I have to go buy a rug cleaner just to suck up the pee. It is disgusting. Spring is hear, summer coming - and the old girl is now an outdoor kitty. Makes me sad as this is going to be hard on her -- but I can't deal with it. Ack -- thanks all!

Be careful for your cat

My daughter had had "Kitty" since she was born. Around the time she was 13 (cat, not daughter) she decided to protest the litterbox, and always used the same spot just near it (she was letting them know she knew where the litterbox was.) So they banished her to the outside.

Long story short, she was killed by a pack of dogs. They knew who the dogs were and they killed other cats as well, but the police declined to prosecute the owners. My daughter still regrets the decision to make her cat into an outside cat.

This is nothing to do with ADHD, just a word of caution from a cat lover.

MTC's picture

Thanks for the empathy...

But If I catch this kitty peeing on the floor again, I'll kill her ---- not really. Our yard is wholly fenced over an acre and we have two dogs, 114lbs, and 120lbs -- and they love the cat. They would kill an elk to keep it out of the yard...  ;-)

Nitey night!

MTC's picture

Time to end this thread - and start another!


This week has been pretty good, compared to the last few. Because thanks to lots of help from you all - we are moving the wife back in. At least that is the plan for May 1st. She seems to have gotten what she needed from the very short separation and I am grateful for that!

I know this is only a bread crumb along the path. We are both committed to continue working on everything and in no way do I see this as the end of the "problem". But we are both committed (or should be -- grin).

Your suggestions in the past few weeks to honestly tell my DW about my intent to provide a more stable me have made the difference. When we talked Sunday, she said that she wanted to move back home. I was somewhat tenative - and questioned it. I prefaced my tenativeness and questions with a lot of "don't get me wrong" and "buts"... but I sincerely explained that I never intend to hurt her the way I'd hurt her in the past, for the rest of my days. That I was deeply sorry for the hurtful things in the past. My suprise was compounded when she said her biggest fear of moving home is that she (read - she) hopes that she won't do anything to screw it up. Frankly - I thought that was my job ;-). So I asked her why she would say that and we talked more. Not everything that is happening is my fault, or even my problem as we are both working on issues individually that are deep, long and intense. Together -- we can more work on us and continue to improve. Rough spots will happen -- but I pray they are short and dealt with promptly.

Anyway -- I'm gonna sort of kind of abandon this thread and start another. Because it is a turning point.

My ADHD problems are still at the forefront. I've a terrible time focusing on single tasks, but it is getting better with continued medication and tools. I am using my journal, my wall calender and cell phone calendar to remember and schedule events. We have a counseling session every week for two months. I am eager and apprehensive to find out how they go.

In any case -- not leaving , just starting a new street. See ya there!

PS: The kitty is doing real well, and my carpet is much less stinky