Reply To: Balance between NOT patenting spouse, NOR neglecting others?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Spouses & Loved Ones Balance between NOT patenting spouse, NOR neglecting others? Reply To: Balance between NOT patenting spouse, NOR neglecting others?


anznwmn – I’ll assume you had good intent, and your suggestions sound great and they were my approach to marriage in the beginning. I could handle things and help my husband, because I had the emotional energy and time. However, life happens to both partners, and one can’t always be the helper. We had two kids, one of whom has autism and ADHD, and the other had colic as a baby and was miserable for her first 18 months of life. I just no longer had the time, energy or mental health to help my husband on top of all that. My kids are truly dependant, and I have to take care of their needs and help them first. I often have nothing left to give after taking care of them and all the other life stuff.

Your suggestion to just take care of all the gifts sounds reasonable, unless you know the sheer multitude of things I’ve taken on because my husband can’t do them. Child care, all disciplining of kids, staying on top of school stuff, extra curricular activities, getting autism services for our son, camps, meal planning, shopping and making all food, finances, future planning, all event and gift planning for our two kids and everyone in my family, vacations, yard work, house work, coordinating home repairs and managing contractors, etc., etc., etc. He can handle going to work, and that’s about it. So yes, adding “Remember all birthday for both sides and buy and send gifts” to my list is just not possible.

Also, sometimes I need help!! When is it my turn to have someone do something for me, because I just can’t and I’m completely overwhelmed?

Your reasoning that we knew these people before marrying them is kind of simplistic, because no one goes into marriage knowing all the challenges that are in store. I married my husband when life was a lot simpler. There was no way to know what kind of father he would be in advance. We talked about how we WANTED everything to be, and it sounded great, but the reality was quite different. We also faced life challenges we never thought we’d have. I also married him assuming that he would also care for and help ME – because that’s part of what he promised. So you could also argue that people with ADHD should know themselves better and not make commitments that they can’t actually keep. But life isn’t that simple. If I had known what my marriage would be like after kids, I wouldn’t have married him. But that was impossible for me to predict.