My wife and I have been married for 15 years and they have been extremely rocky. I was diagnosed with ADHD about 8 years ago and take medication daily. My wife is at the raging point of our marriage. We have been living in separate parts of the house for just over a year now. I'm the GM of a restaurant and work on average 60 hours a week. It is not very conducive to a marriage and or personal life. The reason I am posting this is because I need help. She has been the one over the years moving her schedule around my ever changing work schedule; putting all the effort in to keep the marriage together; supporting me through my career and job changes; etc. But now she is done and over it. She will not spend another day off with me unless I have a plan to fix the marriage. What does that mean? She wants me to make up for the last 15 years and all the crap I have put her through. I have researched the internet and looked at books but everything is so basic. She doesn't want basic. She can get anyone to cook her dinner, go on a bike ride or get her Starbucks. She is a very intuitive empath, to which I am not. The level of hurt she has inside is immeasurable. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Can someone point me in the direction on how to get a plan together for us to reconnect? Any help would be appreciated.
Wife wants me to make a plan to fix the marriage
Submitted by chefvangarde on 03/06/2021.
Marriage seminar, Mark Gungor
Submitted by farmgirl on
First, besides joining this forum and actively looking for help, that's a GREAT START. Most men would not think of doing this. Facing your frailties is the first step. Looking back, I realize that some of the books I have read for self improvement spoke to the ADHD man without being blatant in the labeling. My first recommendation is to look up the Mark Gungor Marriage Seminar on Youtube, 4 hours, (you can watch it in smaller bits. ) He uses biblical concepts, but also Men Are From Mars and Women are From Venus by John Gray which I also read years before aI met my hubby and it was immensely helpful. But his explanations of the way a man's brain works (Everything is connected, that's why we remember EVERYTHING), compared to a man's brain (everything is separated into little boxes and men's favorite box is the NOTHING box). I think is an amazingly astute observation about the ADHD man. Taken from the Mars/Venus book, this is where the "man cave" came from. Men need time to zone out after work and think of nothing. For my husband, that is 5 hours of cartoons on the computer. So I leave him alone.
So Mark Gungor's Marriage seminar would be an amusing and good start, yes he makes it fun.
Women also overthink things. And refuse to admit that men are fairly simple. A good book for women besides the MG Marriage seminar and the Mars/Venus book is Dr Laura Schlessinger's Woman Power. Women don't realize how their reactions to things have amazing power. And they don't know how to use it. That is likely because the feminist movement has brainwashed the west into thinking wife skills and housewifery skills are inferior and of no good use so the fair deal is to make the husband take on half. But as we can see, it is common for men to not be competent or capable at those menial tasks. And that may not be strictly an ADHD thing. My husband clearly informed me that he was ADD when we met but I don't think he even understood what that meant, because he has never educated me on it. it's just that he always made the house look like a cyclone hit it. And he said his mother couldn't fix him and the Navy couldn't fix him so what made me think I was going to fix him. So after 17 years of this, he still is unfixable. I have been able for the most part to take care of that work, until 2018, when I was in the hospital 5 months and still, was recovering and the Covid got me 2 months sick and 9 months more still down with fatigue (it takes your iron out of your hemoglobin and makes a mess of your energy), so I have been virtually helpless, watching the trash build up around me and not been able to do a thing. So the forums and extra reading have helped me greatly, Lucky my hubby is a sweet man and not tending toward any narcissism, or most problems. He just has no conscientiousness which is a part of the personality Jordan Peterson talks about. In addition, in my nurse tendency to prevent unnecessary death, I have him on the 90 essential nutrients (spelled out by Dr Joel Wallach) and extra No flush niacin (look up Abram Hoffer) and Vitamin D and Krill oil, and magnesium. These all are nerve and brain support.
Submitted by chefvangarde on
Appreciate you sharing your story and giving me some direction. I understand the come home from work and need to zone out thing. I'll check out the you tube video and the books you mentioned. I know there is a Men are from Mars and Woman are from Venus book in my wife's library. Thank you again. Warm Regards!
I feel for you; I also feel for your wife....
Submitted by c ur self on
This is what she wants....She want's you to be a responsible adult who considers every word and action and weighs it for selfishness...If you choose YOU (selfishness and self absorbed mind, personal hobbies, and personal entertainment)...over the responsibility that your marriage vows call for....(You know what that is, she has shown you for years) she just wants you to be honest...Look her in the eye's and tell her..."My priorities as long as I live will continue to be me above all else....I will continue to say and do what I desire, with no thought, concern, remorse or repentance, for how hurtful it is to you or anyone else...Then she wants you to pack and go live this life that is all about you....
It's simple! We choose to humble ourselves, see ourselves, so we can place others needs above our own....Or, we keep excusing our sin and irresponsibility at the cost of others...It's not rocket science....I find, if I pray about things, it becomes much more clear....
Thought for you
Submitted by disabled person on
Here is the challenge that you face. You both need to be willing to come to the table and without blame or shame create a path forward.
Our family has been working on some things and came across a view of using "the greater good".
So what might this look like - say the goal for the house is "keeping the dishes washed". Then you or your spouse would look at how your contribute to that goal.
Leaving the dishes in the sink - would not support that mutual goal - so when you think of taking an action - you would consider the "house goal", which you both agreed to vs your personal goal.
Then when it doesn't work - you have a non-emotional conversation that talks about the situation and how you both would like to change it moving forward.
This is based upon a practice called Prosocial
best of luck
On the other side ...
Submitted by kib on
I'm brand new here and probably shouldn't be giving advice, but I'm on the opposite side of this - dealing with a husband with ADHD and after fifteen years being pretty tired of having "no plan". In my case, what I mean is that I don't want to be the only adult trying to create a vision for "us" in this relationship. I don't want to feel like the parent who has to first imagine a goal or a life together, plan out the glidepath of here to there, and then be responsible for both the motivation and reward to my husband for any participation, as if I were a mom struggling to get peas into a toddler. That infuriates me and infantalizes him.
I understand that some of what I'm struggling with here are exactly the symptoms of ADHD; being unable to focus long enough to really get things going, focusing on things that catch interest rather than need doing. Is there a way you can hone in on some idea or vision that hopefully excites both of you, and suggest you work on it together, suggesting some ways that seem doable for you? Maybe you don't have to start with Life, as long as the idea considerate - not a plan for life, a plan to spend the day hiking if she likes that too? - Again, this is just me and I don't know if this is what your wife means by "a plan", but I'd be delighted to hear about an idea for which Hubs and I would be equally responsible, even if we have different ways to make it happen.
I couldn't sleep.
Submitted by kib on
Sorry if I seem to be stalking you, it's just that you caught my imagination, I wish my husband were at this place of actually communicating and being open to the idea of "a plan" in a practical sense. If he were, this is what I'd say.
Many years ago I read Your Money Or Your Life and it actually helped me create a plan. I wouldn't recommend it here, it's very fiddly with loads of charts and inventories, but here's the gist: Most people have between 100 and 120 waking hours a week. This is really the only resource any of us has in life, our "life energy", and what a waste it is not to value and use it as best we can.
[If either of you is clinically depressed, Get Help! It's nearly impossible to feel inspired and keep going when you're living in a sad gray fog.]
1. What are you doing with this time. Don't worry if it doesn't add up perfectly, things like conversations and getting gas and choosing a pair of pants can eat up a lot more time than we realize. Especially with ADHD, time can seem to magically slip away. Just try to get a general idea of how you're spending your 100-120 hours.
2. What do you envision doing with this time in a better (but still realistic) life. What activities would you like to do more, or less, or add in or take away? Would you change where you lived? Fix your house? Get more sleep? Have kids or spend more time with them? Be active in your church or learn to hang glide? Have a different job, work fewer hours? (Given your situation, try to envision these things to include your wife. Would you like to spend more time together learning to cook, or working out, or riding motorcycles, or having cuddle time??)
3. What would you need to make those changes. More money / less debt? Spending the money you have in a different way? Letting go of some activities that aren't fulfilling or useful or that cost too much?
[at this point the book has you taking some really detailed inventories of what you do, how much each thing costs in terms of time and money and where you can tweak all of it. This is time consuming and fiddly and exhausting, not ideal for ADHD. Maybe you and your wife could do that together, or you could present a somewhat less detailed vision.]
4. Ask your wife these same questions, try to agree on what's important. She might add in some things, like do less housework or spend some time by herself in a pottery class while you steer the ship, that seem boring or difficult for you. Be realistic, but try to think of ways you could help her reach her vision as well as yours. A reminder list? Some specific tasks you can get better at and take responsibility for?
5. Brainstorm some ideas together. For example, if you want to pay down debt, put a chart on the wall that reminds you of the goal. Maybe ask for professional help or check out some pre-made plan. Ask your wife to be part of this and reel you in a little if you lose focus. Maybe try to create a vision board with pictures that inspire you - someone fishing, or a couple laughing together, whatever you hope to see in your future.
This isn't easy, but having shared goals that excite and inspire you can go a long way toward being ok with what it takes to get there. I wish the best for you.