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|Thread : Should I Stay or Should I Go Now|
|12 Mar 2009 @ 4:20 PM|
Mon 15th Dec 2008
Threads: 2 Posts: 4
Should I Stay or Should I Go Now
It's a fine line. One I haven't learned to walk. How do I get my ADHD spouse to recognize the destructive behaviors and coping mechanisms he has developed over the years? Because as they say, the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one.
I've tried everything. I've tried every method of communication with him. When I met him, I believed I could communicate effectively without cursing and yelling. But that didn't seem to work, so I tried to curse and yell with him since that is what his family does and I thought he might listen. I tried showing how upset I was. I tried being unemotional. I tried writing it instead of saying it, mainly so I could finish a sentence without being interrupted. I tried writing it in short bullet points instead of one long paragraph. I tried 'walking on eggshells' and wording it in least affronting way possible. I tried counseling which he initially refused to go to, and now, only to 'make me happy' b/c according to him everything in our relationship is fine if I would just stop complaining. I tried going to the doctor's office with him and saying that I needed to be evaluated for AD/HD as well.
And now. Now I feel done. Just done with it. I'm tired of his immediate response to everything being "Oh, here we go again." or "You know, I have a lot I could say about you, too, but I don't."
ANd never, never does he stop for a moment to consider what I am saying. It is always me being overly emotional and why do I get so upset over these things.
B/c of the egocentrism. B/c if he doesn't feel that way about it, then he can't understand how anyone else feels that way about it. If it doesn't bother him, then it shouldn't bother anyone.
I told him that I can't do it anymore. And he still has no idea what 'it' is that I'm talking about.
I can read my letters to him from months ago and at every single point in time I am saying the exact same thing
"I need you to acknowledge that my feelings are valid that they were caused by your actions and words, even when/if that was not the intended outcome. What I think and feel is valid, and that it doesn't matter how good your intentions are, sometimes you hurt me. And an apology every now and then would help me to feel comfortable overlooking those unintentional slights more often."
You wouldn't think that it would be such a big issue, but it is. When the other person constantly dismisses your thoughts and feelings as irrelevant, then you begin to feel that they do not respect you or value you. I do anyway.
I begin by feeling like I'm talking to a brick wall, and when he responds dismissively, then I start beating my head against the brick wall trying to get my message through, and he responds with accusations in return, and then I'm hurling myself mind body an soul against this brick wall trying to get my message through to him. In the end, that brick wall is still standing, maybe with a few scratches and few chunks missing, but me, I'm in shreds.
Now, now that I've asked him to leave the house for a few days. Now all of the sudden he's willing to listen and willing to do anything, but that is what he has been saying all along and I know he believes that he really is willing to do anything, but I fear that he is incapable of it. I fear that he is truly incapable of hearing me and being honestly self-reflective.
I have told him that if I stay with him it will be contingent on him engaging in ongoing individual counseling with someone who is at least familiar with and has experience with AD/HD if not specializes in it. As well as him at least trying medication. The therapy is more important to me b/c I need him to be educated about this disorder, and I need him to realize how much of what he does is not 'normal'. I'm not the kind of person who thinks that there is only one right way to do it, but I do expect you to be responsible for the outcome of your 'methods' and apologize when necessary. And if there are some better methods we can use, then I'm all for it
I don't know how to convey this to him without him thinking that I think the problem is all him. I have asked him and he will say repeatedly that there really isn't anything he would like me to change, he would just like me to stop 'this' and by this he means complaining about him dismissing me.
I need to be respected and valued, and he doesn't do that to me. Or at least, he says he does, but when it comes down to it, what he says and does doesn't show that he respects and values me.
We have been in couples therapy for about 6 months now, and I was finally able to show the counselor last session that just because I don't back down when he says the things that he says, doesn't mean that he does do verbally abusive things. Saying things like "you better F-in apologize for this attitude" or "if you keep this up, you're not going to like the results of it."
Maybe that worked in his previous relationships, but it doens't work for me. my responses to those comments are. "My attitude is the result of your comments." and the slightly provocative "Right, b/c you're not responsible for your actions. I am."
I don't know if I can even believe him if he starts therapy and medication. I don't know if I can trust him to really try to understand what it is that he does that hurts me. I am too quick to forgive and forget. I dont like holding onto frustration and anger and hurt. It feels much better and is much easier for me to just let it go, and he senses that. He is very sensitive to changes in my mood, and he takes advantage of that, consciously or unconsciously.
|15 Mar 2009 @ 12:33 AM Reply # 1|
Sat 14th Mar 2009
Stay or Go?
I read your post and am amazed at how I could have written every word and have felt everything you described. It's painful to feel alone in a marriage! My husband has been diagnosed with ADD but refuses to seek treatment because "he's fine." OMG, everything is not fine. My husband is an attorney. We have no will or estate plans. He's been working on getting those done for 13 years. When he was responsible for paying the bills, the water, electricity and cable were cut off. He tells me he has cancelled appointments or RSVPed to things only to be incredibly embarrassed to find out that he didn't. All of these things are annoying -- however, I think I could live with them if I felt we had an intimate connection. However, his lack of empathy has drained me. He is unable to express any emotions. He completely stuffs his anger and becomes passive/aggressive. He throws out things like, "I don't hurt your feelings by telling you....." I say, "It's healthy to get things out on the table. I can't stand you sticking your head in the sand anymore." I'm venting a little because I finally had an appt. with a divorce attorney this week. I don't want to get divorced. However, I can't make him change. I can only change myself. The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result." Well, I was going insane! I am tired of waiting for the next shoe to drop. What shortcut in life will he take next? What impulsive risk will be "no big deal?" What utility will be cut off, which car will die, etc... and for those of you who simply say, "Just take over the finances....take over maintenance of the cars....." What is the point of being married if there is no one to rely on? No one who even shows compassion? Sure, I could do it all and I have. Where did it get me? It got me steaming full of resentment. I am not crazy. I am not asking for too much. Neither are you.
|15 Mar 2009 @ 9:14 AM Reply # 2|
Sun 15th Mar 2009
Careful of assumptions.
Hi there, I understand exactly what you ladies are going through, but unwillingness to change for the better, and lack of cooperation is the real issue here. I had some of the same problems in my last LTR, but I was always willing to try to make things right. Of course, I didn't know what was wrong with me at that time. She was always upset that I would never pay attention to her, or remember little things she said, or procrastinated things indefinitely and deleteriously. I didn't fail to do these things because I didn't love her, rather, it really is the case that the little things she wanted never got through to me, or I would put them off indefinitely, for example cleaning our room. She was upset that I was too impulsive. I did things that annoyed her, people in every couple do things that annoy eachother, but she'd asked annoying behaviors to stop, and I wasn't capable of keeping it in my head long enough to oblige! Perhaps, whatever you do, you might tell your respective husbands, or ex-husbands as the case may be, that ADD will always lead to relationship problems if not treated! Looking back on all my breakups, it was usually cited that I was self-centered, narcissistic, or only in the relationship for sex, (again, narcissistic.) ADD meds really do help though! I've only been on them for a few days and am already noticing dramatic changes in myself! I can't say for certainty that they will help me in my relationships, as all my bad experiences with relationships have left me kind of scarred, but in all likelihood they will help me be the sweet, caring, assertive, loving guy that I have always wanted to be! This couldn't have been further from the truth, but I can understand how it came across. My exes never felt loved the way they should have, because I never was able to pay them the attention I wanted to. I wasn't able to show them that I was thinking of them all the time, and thinking of them endearingly,. because I didn't get diagnosed with ADD. Believe me, I tried. I knew I had ADD for years, My stepsister is a psychologist, and out of curiosity I looked up ADD in her DSM IV, as I had been diagnosed as a child. All of the symptoms for ADD and a few symptoms for ADHD matched! I don't know why it took all the shrinks I saw until now to figure out my problem! I have a feeling that it has to do with over reactive underdiagnosis, to compensate for the overdiagnosis in earlier years. While I presume most people with ADD have similar problems in giving attention to their significant other, or anyone for that matter, I do not suppose that we are all obstinate and refuse to look for proper treatment. Just like anything else, ADD does not define a person's personality. I think we all have different strategies. Best of luck, and, please do show this to your husbands, especially if they are ex-husbands, as if I'm right, they will never have a fulfilling relationship without attacking their AD(h)D.
|15 Mar 2009 @ 8:46 PM Reply # 3|
Fri 12th Dec 2008
Threads: 39 Posts: 23
your right you can't change what you do not ackowlage
I do understand where you are comming from . Even tho you are not ADD or ADHD you have done all you can to make the communication in your marriage better , you've tried every trick imagineible . but its very obvious that all the techniques you've tried aren't working , so there for you feel that there's no point in staying in this marriage . You are right in how you feel and your right in the fact that you can't make your partner change . You have come to accept that your partner is ADD & has issues with communication as well as socializing and having relationships with people ingeneral , your correct in the fact that your partner can't change himself until he himself acknowlages the problems with him self and acknowlages the issues that he as as far his communication and socializing along with the issues he has with his relationships . I'll be honest it take a mighty strong , loving and accepting woman to stay with some one who is ADD or ADHD , it doesn't matter if your partner is ADD or ADHD or if you are ADD / ADHD - it's hard enough these days to have a relationship in general but it's even ten times harder to have a relationship , let alone a marriage when you are ADD/ ADHD - Take it from me , I have deal with being ADD all my life , I've deal with all kinds of struggles of being ADD in a non ADD world , the fact that I have been with my mate who is ADHD too & we've lasted for 8 yrs is a miricle in it's self .
|15 Mar 2009 @ 8:58 PM Reply # 4|
Sat 14th Mar 2009
stay or go?
I forgot to mention...I am ADD. I was diagnosed 4 years ago. The combination of Adderall and therapy have worked wonders to help me strategize/prioritize/manage my life. I am living proof of what works. As a result, I have become even more frustrated with my husband's accountability. It is not enough to be diagnosed. One has the responsibility to seek treatment.
|16 Mar 2009 @ 12:44 AM Reply # 5|
Wed 4th Jun 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 3
Maybe this helps, maybe not.
Unfortunately, this is why so many of us with ADHD tend to prefer a life alone to a life with someone else. Not that marriage is horrible or there "isn't that someone out there"; it just seems so exhausting to keep up. To keep up with the social cues/nuances or expectations. To keep up with that understanding that there is someone else I am accountable for or responsible for. I don't agree with your husband at all but I can see how his nonchalant attitude can appear insensitive or turn him callous. It is not your fault, it is his for not taking responsibility for himself. His constant interruptions or excuses are just the beginnings of the denial we (people that have ADHD) have as a defense mechanism to what the real problem is - us or the world's expectations/norm. The only way he is going to understand or make a change is if he is the one who deems it necessary - like it is his idea. Sounds crappy, I know. But it is blunt and to the point. He must begin this journey on his own. That way He is the only one responsible for his actions - good or bad/ wrong or right. When he has found the strategies to make himself confident and happy he can then look to you for the companionship you so want - if it is still there. I hope that made sense. I wish you luck and know that any choice you make is a good one.
|16 Mar 2009 @ 8:27 AM Reply # 6|
Mon 15th Dec 2008
Threads: 2 Posts: 4
He had an appointment with a psych on Friday. I was skeptical that he would actually go to it, but he did. I had to meet him there b/c he left his referral at home and there was no way for him to drive the 20miles past the dr's office from his work to the house and then get back up to the doctor's office in time for his appointment. He came out with a prescription for Vyvanse and he was excited. Excited to try it! The insurance complany needs a prior approval to fill the prescription, though, so we weren't able to fill it over the weekend.
Personally, I would have rather that the dr had started off with something like Concerta XR. Going straight to the narcotics isn't something I am comfortable with. Ritalin takes effect quickly and leaves the system quickly. It might not have been the most effective, but something about the word 'narcotic' gives me pause. Plus, Ritalin has been around for decades and has been proven as a pretty darn safe drug. Vyvanse is the newest thing and it hasn't yet been shown exactly what side effects there are. I have no faith in the drug companies test trials or FDA approval. I am doing a search in the forums here for any comments about Vyvanse. I also think the docs might get a kickback for prescribing newer drugs.
But it is good that he is excited about it. And we had a long talk. His attitude is greatly humbled. I guess the thought of losing me was a lot to handle. He said he has been wracking his brain thinking of what he can change and how he can be a better husband. He's said this before, but it was always followed by some sort of jab at me. Now he is practically tripping over himself to make sure he doesn't sound like he is blaming me for anything.
We established some ground rules regarding how much responsibility I will take on, How I can communicate with him when he is doing soemthing that is beginning to cause frustration(like last night when I was making dinner, baking cookies for the 8 yo's class party, mixing up hummus for snacks, and cleaning up the mess from the doing all of this at the same time, and he was sitting him the middle of the kitchen floor while I was tripping over him and he decided then would be the perfect time to take apart the one burner on the stove that wasn't lighting. He enjoyed the 'tripping effect' and I had to communicate with him that maybe it was b/c he was only doing one thing and so he liked being that close to me, but I was trying to do 5 different things and he was just getting in my way and I didn't want to feel so annoyed with him. Normally, he would react defensively to this, but this time, he listened and took a seat in the corner of the kitchen so he could still be 'close' but not tripping me.)
Also, I am going to be taking 'me' time. Once a month he will take the kids, all 6 of them, out of the house for the day, or I will go out for the day, and I will have the entire blissful day completely to myself to refuel.
This weekend he did that for the Saturday and I was able to finally finish the remodelling and painting in my kitchen. There are some things that just never get accomplished with all of the interruptions.
So, we'll see. If I end up here again in 4 months, then it will be the last time. I'm somewhat distant from him emotionally now. I don't need him to be happy or in a good mood. If he is in a bad mood, then it doesn't effect me as profoundly.
I have also decided that I am not goin to get upset about things anymore. Not that I won't raise the issue, but emotionally, I will not let him get me worked up with his digs and comments. If he starts his retaliatory methods, then I will just end the conversation and say we'll continue it when we have both had time to think about it some more.
His favorite thing to say is that I am imbalanced, and overly emotional, because when he dismisses or deflects my complaints, then I keep trying to get the message through to him in hopes that he'll actually listen to me for once, and I get more and more worked up the more he deflects, so I end up proving his point that I'm too emotional.
|16 Mar 2009 @ 1:57 PM Reply # 7|
Sun 15th Mar 2009
Threads: 1 Posts: 13
I hear you girl.
What you wrote to being this thread sounds just like me. I wish there were more support for the non-ADD spouse. More methods of coping on our own. Even though we know it the ADD working it still hurts! We hurt so much. I hurt. I can't offer any advise. I am in the thick of it too. I fear for my kids. I don't want them to think it is ok to take this verbal and emotional abuse. He criticizes and blames me for my "perception" of his communication. I am always the one that is wrong. Yet what he admits that what he says is not what he means. How is anyone supposed to know!!! It is hard enough on me but when he does this to the kids it really hurts. Sorry to vent on your thread. I'm just beat.
|16 Mar 2009 @ 10:37 PM Reply # 8|
Wed 21st Nov 2007
Threads: 11 Posts: 358
i am the ADD spouse
It is right it is difficult for those of us who are ADD/ADHD to be in long term relationships. It very hard because we have no sense of how when we turn away from ourselves and spouses that it is damaging it. It takes all of myself to be present in the moments and to be responsible for myself. Remember it is hard to hear how we promise to make ourselves present; but frankly it takes everything we have to do so. It really takes a special kind of person to understand the ADD/ADHD spouse; but it not easy to listen when all we hear is how we mess up. Medications does help so does see a counselor ;but remember meds wear off after a few hours and the ADD returns full fury. It takes patience and also the willingness for you to listen as well. Good Luck.
|17 Mar 2009 @ 11:37 PM Reply # 9|
Tue 17th Mar 2009
Threads: 0 Posts: 1
Here I went and was reading through the ADD/ADHD Site, and happen onto this thread. I was quite intrigued by it as I've heard "SEVERAL" of the things you have said come from my wife. So much so I decided to post a comment, only to have my wife come out to the garage, (that's where the computers are,) and ask what I'm doing, to which sparked off a somewhat lengthily conversation on how "This" happens to be affecting OUR relationship. (BTW, she did laugh at several comments "I know exactly what she means"... "I know how she feels” and more along those lines.)
The slight angst I felt at the conversation would probably come out of your Husbands mouths, (if you have them read this post,) saying "Oh I know that feeling..." The reasons for the angst are deep and long.
I've known since childhood that I was clinically "Hyperactive" (as the term use to be,) But my complete aversion to taking any type of medicine has been a major argument of mine to taking anything for it, and to be honest about it, the feeling that "I won't be me, I'll be someone else." is a major player as well. I've felt for mostly all my young life that I was alone in my thinking and feeling. To see that I was different from all the other kids was obvious even to me, with the exception of the "Learning Disability" kids, as I was put in the same classroom with them. To be honest, it messed with my mind greatly that I could be so smart, but considered to be a "Little Dummy" kid. (That term came from the "Regular" kids) You tell someone that they're "Damaged" long enough, they tend to believe it. My one saving grace, that pretty much set the stage for my line of thinking, was The Six Million Dollar Man. He was different that anyone else, he had abilities that no one else had. He was damaged... He was a freak like me... And if he was able to come to grips with being different, then so could I.
The one ability that was quite clear to me was my ability to learn. I loved to read, so I turned into a Power. I could read things and retain the information. I would read the encyclopedia books for fun. When my mother started college for nursing, I read her books as well. She would come up and point to something in the book and ask me what it was, and I would explain to her what I had figured it meant. It became a game. I also had a thing about taking things apart to see how they worked, so I turned that into a Power. Ever see a nine year old disassemble a lawn mower down to every single part? (My Parents still laugh over that one.) It was then I learned that I had to put them back together as well, it to became a game, (a Challenge is the current term I use.) I had one advantage to the other "Damaged" kids... I could fight. Many a bully found out the hard way you don't pick on anyone in my class. Fighting was a Power, and as a personal Hero of mine repeated the words of his Uncle, " With great power comes great responsibility...” I learned to defend those that couldn't defend themselves.
During my three years in elementary school (4,5, and 6) I had straight A's. I also had (in my eyes,) the greatest teacher known to man. Mrs. Alice Roth. She alone knew me better than any woman ever has with exception to my mother. Then my life went to hell in a hand basket, I went to Jr. High, and right into mainstream classes. My grades QUICKLY dropped to F's, with the exception of gym, my only A grade. Two years of 7th, was automatically bumped up to 8th, then two years of that grade. It was when the Principle saw me in the hallway and said, "Well Mr. Walker, it seems we're going to be together for another year." (I won't repeat the words I used to that comment) and I walked out. The next morning my mother had me enroll into the Alternate High School, (High school for the BAD kids.) I told the Principle that I wanted to take the finals to graduate, he told me he would find out if I could... I passed with a B average.
My life after that had been one "Adventure" after another, some good, some bad, but I've tried to keep one phrase in the front of my mind from Robert Frost, " I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Sometimes I still feel like a Freak when I look at other people and see how smoothly they run their lives, and other times I think to myself that since I'm not a "Normal" human, I must be something else, I must be a "MetaHuman” I have the three greatest traits known to man. I'm a Sagittarius. We are the Thinkers, the Knowledge Seekers... I am Left-handed, I have the ability to adapt to mostly any situation and be able to cope. I am "Hyperactive", I can think 10% faster than "Normal" humans, my reaction times are faster, and can concentrate harder than a Tibetan Monk. My metabalizism can devour almost anything and draw power from it. But I have my faults as well... I forget things. Well, things get miss-filed. They say Men compartmentalize things, it is true. I put things into a box to do/deal with later, only to forget to label the dang box. Or to wind the alarm clock I put in the box with the stuff, so the time for whatever it was comes and goes, only to hear my wife when she gets home "Did you put dinner in the oven like I asked?"
Ladies, if your husbands are anything like me, anything you can say them, they've already heard before. Either from other "normals" or from themselves. And believe me, we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else can be to us. We tend to come to accept a "Normal" routine to do things, but only normal to us. One phrase use in an earlier post I completely and whole heartedly agree with, it takes a special type of woman to be able to put up with us, to love us, to forgive us for not being a "mere mortal" (Sorry, had to slip that one in...) We do love you, probably more than we could ever hope to be able to put to words. Sometimes the things you say remind us of how different we really are, almost like we're Vulcan. We look almost like you, but if you look closely, you'll see the differences. We tend to settle into a routine that we look at as Normal, even if it makes no sense what so ever to the rest of the world.... To put to words that come so hard for me and my Brothers in Arms.... Thank you. Thank you for loving us Freaks.
Local Time : 21 May 2013 2:13 PM
(Tue, 21 May 2013 18:13:23 GMT)