A Year of Good Progress

It's been just over a year since everything came to a head with my ADHD-husband, and we started actively working on our many issues. I'm happy to report that significant progress has been made in that time. We still have a long way to go, but both my husband's words and actions are making me feel hopeful for the first time in a long time. The basics of our story... we have been married over a decade and have a child we both adore. My husband has trouble managing alcohol, and it's had negative consequences for us over the years. He still has a beer or two occasionally, but no longer spends all his time at the bars instead of home with his family, and he no longer gets drunk and mean. As many of you have also experienced, his ADHD symptoms led us to the parent-child dynamic, which resulted in a lot of resentment and bad communication. I grew cold to him, and devastatingly he turned to someone else for affection and attention. We are in counseling, and he is no longer in contact with this girl. It will take years for the trust to return, and sometimes I don't know if I'll ever trust him again after all the lies and betrayal, but when I step back and look objectively, I see his more recent actions speaking loudly. He has changed his life around significantly, home every night for dinner, more engaged with our child, more interested in activities together, and planning for our future. Cutting out drinking has been a huge part of getting healthy and out of the fog he was living in, and we would not be here today if that was not the case. One of the most significant things is that this man who previously held everything inside, building toxic resentment, is now actively communicating with me, bringing up specific issues that cause him to be upset so we can address them together.

Things will never be perfect. He still struggles with procrastination of important things, and can still be irritable and distracted during conversation, however I can see that he is trying. I have not forgiven him, and still feel a lot of pain and anger, but I'm working on letting it go (while keeping my eyes open of course). Can people change? I hope so, but they have to want to, and they have to be willing to do the difficult work.

This time a year ago I thought I would have to leave our marriage. It's scary, but I'm grateful to have learned about ADHD and how it led to many of our issues that spiraled, so I can keep things in context and we can work to address them in a more productive way.

Please wish us luck for continued improvement, and I wish for the same for all of you.