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  • Additude article: Don’t Just Talk, Communicate by: bowlofpetunias 2 days 14 hours ago

    Don’t Just Talk, Communicate

    Good communication is the key to strong relationships. This is true for adults with and without attention deficit. The problem is, adults with ADHD often think that they’re communicating when really they’re just talking. How to get your feelings across effectively with friends and partners.

    BY KATHLEEN NADEAU, PH.D.

     

    Adults with ADHD know that communication can break down when they are preoccupied with a particular problem, and don’t — or can’t — get their feelings across to their partners.

    When you find yourself anxious and obsessing about a worry, ask yourself: What’s really on my mind? Have I conveyed this to my partner? Other habits can cause ADHD communication problems in relationships. Here are seven hot spots, with solutions for each.

    Talking Too Much

    Problem: Open-mouth-insert-foot syndrome.

    Good communication doesn’t mean immediately expressing every thought, feeling, or reaction that pops up.

    Solution: Stopping to ask ourselves whether to say it — and how to say it — is critical to sustaining relationships. We have been on the receiving end of critical comments throughout our lives, so we should be aware of the effects our impulsive remarks might have on our partners.

    Problem: Spilling everything.

    Some people with ADHD are compelled to say what’s on their mind before they forget it, leaving their partners frustrated by a flurry of words.

    [Get This Free Resource: Manage ADHD’s Impact on Your Relationship]

    Solution:
    After you’ve had your say, turn to your partner and say, “OK, I’ve said it. Now let’s talk about it.” Or tell your spouse about your compulsion to vent, ask her to be patient, and then restart the conversation.

    Losing Focus

    Problem: Switching subjects.

    Conversations that suddenly change direction frustrate our non-ADHD partners. They dismiss what we’re saying if our talk is flighty, and it’s impossible to resolve an important issue if you introduce new issues before the original one has been resolved.

    Solution: Be aware of this tendency and try to catch yourself as you change topics — and enlist your partner’s help in staying on track. If a truly important issue occurs to you as you’re discussing something else, admit that you’re changing the topic, make your comment, then return to the topic at hand.

    Problem: Tuning out his words.

    Our busy brains are abuzz, especially when we’re feeling pressured or anxious, so we are scarcely able to listen to our partner — never mind respond to him. It is impossible to maintain intimacy or resolve problems when you catch only a handful of words that your partner is saying.

    [Get This Free Download: 6 Ways to Retain Focus (When Your Brain Says ‘No!’)]

    Solution: When your partner is speaking to you, ask yourself: “Am I listening to her?” Remind yourself that your partner’s thoughts and words are important and that you need to attend to what he is saying.

    Becoming Confrontational

    Problem: Blaming your partner.

    People with ADHD tend to defend themselves against real or imagined criticisms rather than responding to a complaint. We’re so busy defending ourselves that we can’t hear someone else’s point.

    Solution: If you hear yourself saying, “It wasn’t my fault” or “You do it, too,” more than once, take a break. Go to the bathroom and splash cold water on your face, or take a walk around the block to calm down and reset your attitude.

    Problem: Sounding antagonistic.

    Some people with ADHD and high stimulation needs consciously — or unconsciously — stir up trouble when boredom strikes. Drama becomes a way of life, shutting down real communication and conflict resolution.

    Solution: If you find yourself in this position, talk to your doctor about tweaking your treatment plan, or ask your therapist about the reasons for your antagonistic posturing.

    Feeling Like You Can’t Speak Up

    Problem: Clamming up.

    Sometimes, when emotions are running high, a person’s ADHD brain locks up, and it feels like all you can do is scream and cry. Thinking about and explaining how you feel is simply out of the question.

    Solution: Write down your thoughts and feelings in advance, so you have a script to read from. Or, instead of talking one-on-one, write a letter or note to your partner.

    Tips for Every Conversation

    You don’t need a Ph.D. in communications to have a productive chat. Four points to keep in mind during every conversation:

    Remember to breathe.

    Slow down. If you’re talking too fast, slow down what you’re saying. If the conversation is going too fast for you to keep up, tell your spouse that you need him to slow the pace so you can both be heard and understood.

    Make your points clearly and concisely, then be quiet and listen. Ask your partner to paraphrase what you have just said, to make certain that you have communicated clearly.

    If you use ADHD medication, always take your dose before starting an important conversation.

  • How to be supportive by: kamakanti 5 days 23 hours ago

    I joined this forum today because I finally got to a point where I couldn't wait for my weekly therapist appointment, and my ADHD husband has asked me not to share that he has it to my friends and family. I'm at a loss now and hoping to turn to this group for shared experience. I apologize that this is a novel -- I don't know how to be succinct in painting the full picture.

    My husband was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago, as a result of my going to therapy for more than a year to sort out my anxiety and marital stress around housework (driven by undiagnosed ADHD and all the associated ways of thinking in him, and the dynamic created between us). Finally one day my therapist asked if I thought he had ADHD. I went home and googled it, and immediately told my husband. He felt horrible, accused, dejected, but also seen and heard for the first time ever. He now understood so much about his childhood, his frustration with his parents, how hard college felt when he is actually gifted. He got a diagnosis and got on Adderall within a couple of months.

    But that's where the progress stopped. I immediately began reading books, doing research. I'm sure he did too. I learned all about the three-legged stool -- medication not enough, need exercise, sleep, good diet, behavioral coaching, and therapy in his case -- years of feeling incapable, ineffective, unlike everyone else created depression patterns he will freely admit to in the right conditions. Last summer, we did begin reading the ADHD Effect on Marriage together, section by section. We got to step 2 or so, but at least had some very productive conversations when we prioritized it weekly. But the entire time, he maintained that if he took time and energy to focus on on home life, it'd be at the direct expense of his career. And he was clear that he was, for the first time, in a high-growth role with a very short window to accelerate and get promoted, or be boxed out. The implication (and overt assertion) is that my expectations of our home life -- high standards for time with the kids, home maintenance, cleaning, family meals, and our social life -- were the great detractors that made him feel like his work wasn't a priority and he had to shortchange it. Working through the book fell off when work stuff hit and then a big family trip. I also found him a phone-based ADHD coach, and he only made it to two calls and didn't implement the action plans, so no progress there. He continues to be sensitive that everything comes back to his ADHD and he feels that undermines his valid feelings and experiences.

    The truth is, over the course of years, I've walked back nearly all expectations of him to "clear the road" for him to finally feel a clear path to advance in his career. Years ago, before kids, I began going to social events alone, and later organizing weekend play dates without him. I rarely make social plans for weekends that require him. I do meal prep for the week with the kids on Saturdays so he can get ahead on work. Well, some weeks he sleeps in or doesn't get out the door and I'm not allowed to ask for an accounting of that time because it puts pressure on him. But at the very least, I have made the time available for him, or he knows that if he gets up and leaves I'm on it with the kids, yet he'll say he didn't feel like he had the support to actually leave to work because when he gets back I have expectations of things he needs to do. I've dropped all expectations on dishes too, though he will sometimes insist on doing them. I've stopped falling on my sword to get him to commit to taking out the trash, or bringing in the mail which would pile up til it wouldn't close and collect rain. One fine day I started silently taking it out myself, not resentfully but rationally, and also usurped the mail key. He genuinely enjoys our kids and races home to see them, but I only ask him to do bedtime on the weekends or if I really, really need a break. He'll still say his home life is demanding because the kids take a long time to fall asleep. They do, but I'm the one in with them -- he's usually on the couch on his phone (he tells me, evaluating his company website -- but it's nearly always reddit when I walk by).

    The "household" expectations are an illusion now, and any pressure is self-inflicted. For example, last week he hadn't handled shoveling the snow and we had people coming to stay in another unit in our building. He woke up already late for work and asked if I could call our handyman to do it as I'm pregnant and was off with the kids that day. I said it's no big deal, I'll do it, it just takes 20 minutes. To which he said he'd take the morning off work to do it instead -- really not a good use of his time, and a totally unnecessary grand gesture, which I wonder if he thinks will compensate for other things? He similarly rushed home early from work when the visitors got locked out, when I was already on my way home and would reach at the same time. Those are not practical choices and are not imposed by me, but do have real consequences at work.

    Rather than taking the steps we've discussed (15 mins on our treadmill is better than waiting for a perfect opportunity to go to the gym, a small investment of time in therapy or coaching or sleep will pay dividends immediately in productivity), he takes more Adderall and runs himself into the ground. He stays up til 2am trying to get ahead at work, is exhausted the next day, and the cycle repeats. He's hardly able to work effectively, let alone prioritize what needs to get done, etc. I just got done today with my therapist laying this out and the implications on me -- his poor health, the trail of housework he leaves behind, his general grumpiness and down attitude which impacts the kids, and then overspending... not egregiously but irresponsibly, and then I do it too -- I try to purchase some convenience to mitigate the rest. And I shared the arguments he makes about our home life being too constraining. We agreed that for a couple weeks I'd literally ask nothing of him, say nothing regarding any type of housework or help with anything, and track it. Then ask in a couple weeks how he is feeling about work, if things are getting easier, if he's got more bandwidth, and help him see that perhaps home life isn't the constraint and if he would like to realize his career/financial goals it might be wise to really invest in himself in ways that can make him better AT work. The reason for this plan is that he has a stated goal of advancing his career but seems to make choices that make that impossible -- I was hoping to help him take a real step to working on the actual issue (his productivity at work) rather than a concocted set of constraints (home life).

    Well, not 2 hours later he tells me that the promotion window he was racing against has closed -- two others got them, he didn't, and he's being moved to a much less impactful area with less scope. More "do what they say" vs. "set the vision." He is crushed, mad at himself for wasting the opportunity, still citing the lack of support at home for him and his career, and said multiple times how he hates himself (he says this often). I tried hard to say nothing, to listen, to lend support. He said the colleague who got promoted works longer hours. I said I don't know how you could possibly work more, you work late nights too. He said he is always working late to catch up, whereas the other guy works late to get ahead. I said, why do you think you are playing catch-up? And he saw where I was going --- the fact of the matter is he has ADHD at work too, not just at home. And there's no way it directly, as well as all the things it's done to his personality, assertiveness, confidence, etc., hasn't directly led to the other guy getting a promotion.

    I feel for him, but my heart is screaming "I told you so." He said at that point he didn't feel it was a safe space to talk anymore because he knew I was thinking about his ADHD, and I said that's ok. You don't have to talk to me. But I'd like you to find a safe space, because you deserve that. What I really mean is I hope he gets a freaking therapist/counselor/coach already.

    All this to ask: How do you provide normal spousal support in a situation like this, when it so obviously taps into the root causes you know are there and the actions that, for you, seem straightforward to take? I'm just at such a loss on how or who to be for him anymore, while also being someone for myself. Thanks for any thoughts anyone can share. Please be kind -- it took a lot for me to put this out to the universe.

  • How to let him experience the consequence of his actions? by: Team 1 week 4 days ago

    My husband has ADHD and I would love to embrace the idea of letting him experience the consequences of his actions. My main thought that I am struggling with is around sleep, because I, and our family, continue to be impacted by his irregularly irregular sleep schedule. He, similar to many others with ADHD, struggles to get to bed at the time that he intends to go to bed. He then wakes up late and/or is very tired the following day. Without adequate sleep his ability to execute his executive functioning skills decreases (work productivity is significantly decreased), he keeps track of "his time" vs. "our time/family time" more tightly - becoming more defensive when asked to do tasks that are unrelated to his (unstructured) work, becomes easily more sick (viral illnesses from our toddler...), and most unfortunately beats himself up more/becomes more frustrated and inpatient with himself which is so hard for me to watch. What is the best way to approach this? Should I expect him to be chronically sleep deprived until he chooses to make a change (although he has the intention to change every night before he becomes distracted) - is this what would be considered experiencing the consequences of his actions? Should I encourage him to go to bed? Should I wake him up in the morning? Should I approach him as if he is fully rested?

  • Confused by: VSH 2 weeks 2 days ago

    Hi everyone,

    Im wondering if anyone has the same experiences with their ADHD partner as I do.

    I met my husband in 2016. We met on a dating site and our first meeting was at a cafe in the town where I lived. 

    We are both in our late 50'ties and I lived 2 hours drive from him. He dropped everything to meet me and drove the 2 hours. I was amazed.

    The first time we met he had forgotten his wallet, so I told myself, that if he forgot it a second time then that was a bad sign. 

    The second time we met was at the beach and he bought me a present of gourmet coffee beans.

    At the time I ADHD never crossed my mind. The second date at the beach he told me of all the problems he had had with his daughter getting her diagnosed with ADHD when she was a teenager. Weird that I never thought ADHD with regards to my husband at that time. I was overwhelmed by his attention, his willingness to put me first, to help me with stuff. He told me I was fantastic, beautiful and so on. 

    We got married after a year and moved in together in the area he lived in. I gave up my job, got another close to our home. 

    Little by little I realized I was walking on eggshells most of the time. I thought that it was maybe me having problems with adjusting to life with another man. I was married to my first husband for over 20 years and we rarely fought over anything. 

    I began to have suspicions that my husband also has ADHD. When I asked his daughter, who I have a good relationship with she told med that he and his ex-wife fought and his ex ended up having a depression after 30 years of marriage. My husband of course blames his ex-wife. He also blames me for our problems. I am, according to him, always picking on him and being negative. Often I cant do anything that pleases him. When he does something, for example, cleans the floors, he gets angry if I don't notice it straight away and praise him for it. I may have come home after 10 hours at work, but that doesn't make any difference. 

    Another challenge is that he complains all the time that he hasn't any money. He earns the same as I do, but he has always enough to buy stuff on the spur of the moment. He drinks a bottle of wine nearly every night and according to him that's normal. 

    There are so many things that scream ADHD but he refuses to go to the doctor with me and he refuses to go to counseling. In fact yesterday he told me the problem is my relationship with my ex-husband. My ex-husband and I can contact each other and talk regarding our daughter. My husband and his ex-wife don't talk. She refuses to be in the same room as him. 

    Last year on the Christmas vacation I was feeling very ill. My husband had no understanding at all. I was negative and complaining according to him. As it turned out I had a good dose of the flu plus an infection which I had to have 2 different types of antibiotic for. Still I was the one feeling guilty. He never said sorry for his behavior towards me. He never says sorry if he shouts at me in front of other people which he had done a few times. 

    He leaves things lying around the house, when there is something to be done it can take up to a year. 

    I don't know. Im not perfect and I always seem to blame myself for situations I end up in. 

    I am so grateful for at we don't have children together. All of our children are grown up. 

    My only wish is that he would acknowledge that he has ADHD and work on it with me. When he is in a good mood hes a fantastic man. We like most of the same things, he can be sweet and loving, but one "wrong" word or lack of a word is enough to set him off. He can go for days not really acknowledging that I exist and when I ask him whats wrong, Im told that nothing is wrong, that its me thats in a bad mood. 

    Im at the stage where I don't know whats right and whats wrong in my life. I don't seem to be able to fix it anyway. He says that the problem is that we disagree and Im the one who insists on being right. 

    As a teacher of 27 years I consider myself good at handling conflicts and good at working together with other people. Why doesn't it work in my private life?

    Sorry that this message is so long. At the moment Im at my wits end regarding what to do. 

    Any advice?

     

     

     

  • Trying to Prevent Divorce by: Bruce Windsor 2 weeks 6 days ago

    I, the husband, is the one with the ADHD. My wife and I separated, and my wife has not been willing to even text me for over a year.  I have been out of her house for two years ago, and she has filed for divorce.  As part of the divorce proceedings, I said that I would agree to the divorce, if she would go to a marriage weekend workshop.  She agreed. Now, I'm feeling highly conflicted.  Who said, "Before the gods destroy, first they answer our prayers?" My feelings fluctuate between elation that she is coming, and dread that the workshop will not convince her to end the marriage or at least get her to re-open channels of communication. Her responses are beyond my control.  All I can do is work on my, my self control.  

    As a prelude to the workshop, I am working on myself, my sense of self worth, to reduce my reactivity, and to improve my communication skills.  I have reviewed resources from this website, as well as from the Gottman Institute and the Marriage Helper website.  How can I prepare myself to be able to manage my emotions (especially anger, rage) better when I get down there for the workshop?  In particular, I am looking for exercises where I am given a scenario, a conflict situation, and I then write appropriate responses?     

    Thanks for your moral support. 

  • Breaking Parent Child...Learning how to win! by: c ur self 2 weeks 6 days ago

    In my efforts to change the dynamic in my relationship, some things are becoming very clear....1) The parent (the responsible party/enabler, is always at fault, and is always the loser (Me)...If that statement makes me or you angry, then my point is proved! 2) Also the things that keep us locked into this dynamic are an illusions and excuses, in most cases...(If I don't do it, it want get done, I'm scared of him or her etc,,etc..)....3) Gaslighting is mostly self inflicted, simply because sound thinking, and behaving people want walk away from a dysfunctional living excuse making concession seeker...This happen's for most of us because we refuse to not stop pointing out the dysfunctional living to someone who in many cases, don't give a shit what you think and is going to die someday blaming and making excuses for their intrusive and irresponsible life styles...And sadly they are taking us with them?? I don't want this any longer, how about you?

    If you have been strong enough and wise enough to not get caught up in parent/child, or if you have been able to break it, you are my hero....Boundaries related to parent child are difficult for me because of my own selfish reasons.....Why, well my own fears are....# 1 intimacy, I don't want to live w/o physical touching/intercourse.... #2 I'm fearful of ending up being separated or divorced at age 63...#3 I hate messes, so I make the self excuse that I shouldn't have to wait for her to finally clean up messes that effect me...#4 The disappointment our children and grand children might feel if we split up....

    In reality my reason's are excuses and illusions....I'm 63 for heaven's sake,  Doing w/o sex for a while (long as it takes) isn't going to kill me.......What's worse, what's happening in this relationship or separation or divorce... Da!...... Messes want kill me, and all I'm doing by picking up behind a person who's mind is such, that she can't even remember 8 hours later that she left the mess, so an invalid is continuing to be born, made by me!...It also makes her think she's keeping the house available for guests, or she can use me to do all the heavy lifting, while she plays....Neither are good for me any longer...There is not a greater gift I can give our adult children and grand babies than to end the dysfunction they have been subjected to by our dysfunctional attempt to live together as it has been.....

    I had a friend who has passed away now, he was highly successful....He use to say the problem with most people and business's was...They don't how to win....

    So the question for me (us) is, do I want want to stay stuck in our fears....OR do we want to be winners....I've been a loser long enough.....

    c

  • No future plans/dreams by: SeekingBalance 3 weeks 5 days ago

    I'm a planner. I used to thrive in having dreams and making them happen. It was exciting, meaningful, energising. It felt like living. 

    My partner has ADHD and is not a planner. I am beginning to accept how this impacts on our daily lives but I'm finding it really difficult to accept the total absence of future dreams, goals or plans. He has almost no thoughts on what he wants to do, or what he'd like to achieve for us as a family or what might make him happy for the future. 

    I find this incredibly depressing. I feel very stuck. I can't move on or do anything (move house, create a life properly, set goals and achieve them) if I don't know what he wants. I fantasize about the things I would do if it were only me and my son, because I am good at making things happen. But I'm married and my plans can't be solely mine. He often isn't on board but offers no alternative, so if any decisions are made, I feel they are made alone and I am responsible for their success or failure. I feel very trapped, lonely, uninspired.

    Strangely for a person with ADHD, he is very risk averse (v interested to hear if anyone else feels this). So he seems terrified at committing to any sort of dream. Even if I'm just asking him to 'dream'  not commit, he does everything he can to avoid it.  It's impossible. I think the ADHD can have a huge impact on imagination (which incidentally I believe can negatively impact motivation, empathy and sex in a marriage). 

    My question... How can we approach this lack of future/shared goals?I feel like I'm not living at the moment and this is going to make us regress even further. I'm desperate to stop myself withdrawing even further from hopelessness and a feeling that I must sacrifice another need of mine.

     

     

     

  • The unattainable truth..... by: c ur self 4 weeks 1 hour ago

    In my marriage, (and most of what I read on this site) the way to a workable marriage is so clouded over by human weakness, that healing truth has no chance to surface....In almost 6 years I would guess I've read posts from maybe 50 to 60 people who admit's to having add/adhd...(Maybe more)....And if I categorized them, it would be something like this....20% angry, defensive, and only stopped in to take a shot over the bow of hurting non's..50%...desperate men and women (mostly men) seeking advice on how to keep their abused spouse from leaving (usually after it's too late)....20% who stopped in to discuss their plights in life, and was either victim minded, or concession seekers....10% who seemed to be able to talk openly and honestly about how their minds work, and what their daily life is like...Two of these 10% percent posted here over the past couple of weeks....I (most non's do) remember this 10%, they have a huge impact on my life...Why? Because if an add/adhd spouse can speak truth, and hear truth, about themselves, and work with in the parameters of their true reality, (like we all must do) then calm constructive communication becomes possible, and workable marriage solutions become doable....

    ADHDmomof2 was the first to impact me so positively....Why? Because she sounds just like my wife in so many ways...BUT....without the defensiveness, and without the denial....She could openly talk about her struggles, as well as her strengths...She talked about the work she's done, and is doing to better deal with her life tendencies....She took ownership, instead of excusing it, and blaming everyone else....There have been others, but very few....

    So many of our marriage relationships are so burdened down with baggage from all the fighting, and arguments, there just isn't enough trust between us to make ourselves vulnerable with each other....Of course, even though this can definitely be a reality, we must fight through this fear, and find the humility to lay it all out on the table... (from both sides of course)....I told my wife that I'm tired (it's been 12 years now, I told her that 2020 had to be the year for us, or it's probably my last one)...I just do not want to go on any longer in this marriage if we can't BOTH take ownership w/o excuse of our living of life...The difference's aren't killing us, it's the denial and inability to communicate that is destroying us....When someone say's they believe one thing, but turns right around and justifies behaviors that are counter to what they say they believe, then the only way around that is denial....

    Way to often a non will place expectations of their add/adhd spouse, that for the most part is unrealistic (something they can do based on their mind type)....So many of the posts I've read here, and wrote here:( is venting about a person who lives in a mind that can't perform on the same level when it comes to many daily life issues....Things as simple has picking up after yourself....She will never ever match me on this, not without a new mind, or a miracle....Physical infirmities are visible....If my wife had one leg, I would never question her limitations....But, because I couldn't see her infirmities, **visibly,** I placed expectations from the beginning of our marriage like her mind was normal, and she could function in life as easily as any other person should be able to....

    So how do we limit the chaos? We can do it to a degree w/ acceptance, boundaries, and walking way from unfruitful dialog and behaviors.... But to push past the separateness that causes, we must stop the bleeding that comes from defensiveness, defiance, denial and blame....We must be able to share the simple truths about our struggles....And if we are blessed enough to have that,  ( or get to that point in the future) we better be able to be quiet, listen, and show Grace in those moments.....Swallowing our Pride, and puking up our struggles is difficult, but, it's life giving, and marriage enhancing....My pray for those of us (add or not) in this situation, is that we never excuse words or behaviors that do not show love and respect to our spouses.....

    I'm just at the point that I'm truly wondering if staying in my marriage is a good thing?? I know her life works better single, because it's so intrusive (everyone who knows her well, knows it)....But, I thought one day she would swallow that pride, and decide to ask for help, and take ownership of her life, and it's effects on others.....I guess you have to see (realize it) the effects, to own it..??

    Blessings

    c

  • To separate or not separate. Help! :) by: Momma1234 1 month 2 days ago

    My Husband and I have been married for 15 years.  We have two young kids.  Within the last year or so he has finally agreed to medication and learning about his ADHD which he was diagnosed with as a child and never dealt with.  I have decided that if things don't change that I can no longer stay married to him. I have completely met my breaking point.  I now have depression, severe anxiety, stomach problems, withdrawing from friends and family and am constantly in fight or flight mode. I feel that I have given everything to my marriage and do truly love my husband but I can't deal with things anymore the way they are.  I was out of town all week and after a year of messing with his medicine he finally feels like he might have the right combination.  My husband has read Melissa's book, worked on his relationship with our kids and devoted time and energy to getting better.  Seems like we have had a great week as we talk on the phone and check in with each other.  At first I was really excited feeling ready to come home and work on things with him. However now I am terrified as I realize that I can't live the wat we have been and maybe I am setting us both up for failure by living together right now.  I know that I can't expect him to change overnight but I am also desperate to take care of my own mental and physical health.  I am wondering if it would be good to live separately for a little while until I have time to live in some peace, therapy and heal myself and he has some time to develop more skills to help himself. He is completely dependent on me for everything and we did try one week apart but that seemed to go well so I let him move back in. He was devastated about moving out for that one week. And his first night home we got in a big fight and then I left to go out of town.  I need help.  Separation while we work on ourselves or stick it out together hoping desperately things will get better soon.

  • What is REALLY happening in our lives?? by: c ur self 1 month 2 weeks ago

    I think I have shared some "good" things, (as much as I am able, and been gifted to do) over the last several years on this site...Things that has helped me (and others) to accept the reality of what daily life is going to be like, with a high level add/adhd spouse...Who in my case, and many of yours, is in denial of her behaviors...Behaviors that have intrusive and abusive effects of their spouses....

    Today I want to discuss the long term effects on us, the spouse's....I"ve often said to myself, and to others on this site....We can't make our spouse's our projects....But, under the conditions (trying to love this person, trying to accept them, and being forced to set boundaries in order to curb the effects of their intrusive and abusive life styles) how do we not??....When a person (any of us) is so incapable of ownership of their words and actions, and is completely incapable or unwilling to calmly communicate about their realities, that person will always be a project of sorts, if you abide in the same space with them as one flesh...Most of us will make them somewhat of a project, simply because of our own unmet needs (The pain of isolation and abandonment, of being over worked, disrespected and used thoughtlessly)....So our minds live in this reality "They vowed to fill a role in our lives, and I need it, and desire it"....Expectations die hard, and we can feel like we are giving up, when we totally accept their living of life as the long term reality for our marriages....

    A person I admire on this site, wrote a post recently about where she has come to at this point in her life....And her first statement was...."I regret I didn't leave long ago." I truly understand this statement....I think many here does....To be able to avoid all the pain that we have, and will experience, as the lawful spouse to a person who's mind is lost in denial, is a daily emotional gut punch, that has no ending as long we are with them...

    I must say that I recognize the bravery, and commitment of the non-spouses who has and or making it work....I also applaud the ADD/ADHD minded spouses who refuse to live in denial, and expects themselves to do the marriage work, they vowed to do, without excuse....It's always possible with ownership....But sadly to many take the easy road of denial and blame...

    As for myself...I had very little patients being alone after my first wife passed away....I guess I was the perfect storm...(My children were Christians, they were healthy and happily married, I held my wife's hand in the hospice unit, until Jesus took her hand into his hand, and took her home.) I was a believer, and knew the work was complete for her and I in this life....I knew after 30 years, I was free to be single again in this physical world at age 50...( Yes, I was scared to death, haha! )....My oldest daughter who was age 28 at the time called me and wanted to go for a walk...So we did....Unbeknowing to me (but not surprising, knowing the love her Mother had for me) their mother meet w/ her and her sister...She told them, that I had taken very good care of her...But, I wasn't going to do well alone...She knew me;)...So for them to support me, when, and if I remarried; so they did....(It must of gotten pretty interesting, she told them a name or two to make sure I didn't get entangled with LOL) my oldest daughter only had one request that day...Dad will you make sure she is older than me? LOL....We laughed, but, I think she was serious....I was a very young 50, or though I was;)....

    So what is really happening in my life? I think by God's Grace I see things a lot clearer than I have in the past....I know it's not going to be easy if I continue to stay....I have no fear of leaving, (my life would be so much easier) but I do believe every word that Jesus said about divorce...(The gospel)...So I will just keep on keeping on....Thankfulness and counting my blessings is imperative for me to have quality of life....And just accept what is possible in fleshly form between us....(It could be worse) And don't forget to live, (don't dwell on her life, to the point it limit's my own!) But my Faith isn't in my or her efforts, or lack there of (Ive witnessed those first hand for 12 year now, WOW...LOL) But in the very present and abiding Spirit of my Heavenly Father...

    I understand leaving, and I would never judge someone who did...I don't think anyone should suffer abuse....Is it better to walk away from abuse? or to stay and live in fear, walking on eggshells, and having an angry and bitter spirit?

    It's amazing and sad, that many humans refuse to be responsible until they find themselves alone....They just aren't capable of not using others.....So we just need to make sure we aren't that person....And recognize if we are married to one....We should never put our trust in unstable places, it's guaranteed pain and suffering when we do.....

    I love people; and If I've ever offended anyone here attempting to work through very difficult and unhealthy relationships, I apologize, and ask for your forgiveness...It's never my intention to hurt anyone....Truth alone brings healing, many times facing those truths can be painful....I've only grown in my pain....

    Bless you...

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