Home › Welcome to the ADDitude Forums › For Spouses & Loved Ones › If you could go back in time and do it all over again, would you? › Reply To: If you could go back in time and do it all over again, would you?
These have been very interesting to read. I am answering as someone with ADHD (combined), married to someone who most likely has ADHD inattentive type but is coping with CBT alone, and an 11-year old who isn’t officially diagnosed but will get evaluated soon. She is a lot like me, and therefore seems to be ADHD combined as well.
Must admit, reading some of these things kind of stings, because I was that child no one understood or wanted to understand. I was that person who wondered for 30 years why I felt like the most unlovable person in the world. But after reading up a lot on this condition and recently changing my psychiatric health providers to those who are experts in the field, I understood what was going on, the dynamics behind all my relationships in the past. Learning about my condition and finally understanding what has been the root of my lifelong problems have helped me put things in different perspectives.
For the past few years, I’ve been telling my husband that I really appreciate his staying with me even though I was really difficult during much of our 7 years together. He is the epitome of patience, compassion, understanding, and, he claims, he has unconditional love for me and my daughter, his stepdaughter. I thought to myself, “How the hell can this guy say that after the crap I put him through over the years?”
I’d like to add, although I am most definitely the more “difficult” one in this relationship, he too has given me a lot of issues in the past. He has all the signs of the inattentive ADHD person, although he probably won’t go to get evaluated for that. His inattentiveness was really, really hurtful to me. He is definitely the more emotionally balanced one with better impulse control. He can manage with CBT alone. I am the much bigger “hot mess” and need meds, probably will need them for the rest of my life. Without them, my ADHD is pretty severe and debilitating. In addition I definitely need years of CBT.
But anyway… I would marry him all over again because even though there were so many times in the past his inattentiveness made me feel like he didn’t care about me, made him seem selfish, uncaring, his forgetfulness and his needing for things to be repeated to him over and over and over again driving me insane, his hyperfocus on his hobbies, needing constant reminders, etc, his wonderful qualities redeem him. It definitely helps that he is the one who is much more calm, emotionally sound and less impulsive.
He claims that he is happy with me and I believe him, because any show of emotion to me, anything he ever said or says about our relationship has never been a lie. He works hard to be more attentive to us. It is hard, but I understand what he needs and try to be patient. He has also been more effective in telling me what he needs so that I don’t fly off the handle when he forgets something for the umpteenth time.
I suffer pretty much all the symptoms of ADHD, but I’m slightly more attentive than he is (this is my second marriage and as someone who had always felt forced to run the household,I absolutely HAD to try to stay on top of things, as much as I could anyway..), but definitely more hyper, aggressive, impulsive and emotionally unbalanced. Over the years, I’ve learned to turn myself into an apathetic, unfeeling zombie when I feel like my emotions are about to get out of control. Sometimes I still have the outbursts, but then within minutes, I’m fine again. I hate that roller coaster of emotions, it makes me feel like I’m going crazy, so I have learned to just detach myself from everyone and everything for a while until I feel like I can cope without yelling at/insulting/criticizing/nagging others. It’s really weird actually. When I feel like I’m about to lose control, I just stare off into space and not respond, or barely respond, to anyone or anything until I ride it out lol Definitely not saying this is great either, because then I have to make myself unavailable to my family and others for like 30 minutes while I ride out the emotions but… I think it’s helped, I don’t know. Better than me yelling I guess *shrug*
Oh and then throw my 11-year old into the mix. She was like me as a child. Very hyper, impatient, fidgety, won’t sit still, won’t shut up, interrupts people, moody, sassy, very loud, has trouble respecting boundaries, etc etc
My husband is probably the most patient and understanding person I have ever met in my life. He is the only person in my life who made me feel really loved and wanted, which is why early on in our relationship it was so hard for me to trust him. No one ever made me feel like I was worthy of love. I am fortunate to have him and am so grateful, that I work really hard to keep this family together. And by work hard, I mean, I work hard on myself and make sure my ADHD doesn’t ruin everyone’s days. I am also working to get my daughter to see therapists ASAP, and being patient with her and keeping in mind that I, too, was just like her.
We definitely have a very interesting household lol and I definitely keep people at a distance because I know that it takes a special kind of person to like and accept me for me, and there are so few out there. I concede that I have never been an easy person to be with. I also don’t want people to see how bizarre my home life can get lol and we all have to work so hard to keep everything from falling apart so we are very private people. But, it is working for us, by some miracle. After 7 years of this, I can say that, because my husband and I work hard every day on ourselves and the family, that we are stronger together now than we have ever been.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by jlb83.