Reply To: Metaphor: Wanting a Garden Without Nurturing It

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Hi folks – I’m the ADD husband, and I’ve been doing the bulk of the yard and house work for us for some time now. Yes, it took some really difficult times to get to that point, but this works for us. I’m an experienced gardener (I love to eat vegetables, I guess), and being out in the yard both energizes and relaxes me.

To WarmMuddle – meds alone won’t ‘snap him out of’ this way of thinking. I thought that was true for me; it also brought our marriage (now 26 yrs) to the brink. For his behavior to change, he has to be in some form of therapeutic schedule, as well. It sounds like there’s a lot of learned behaviors going on here. They are both protective and destructive at the same time – we want to protect ourselves from the shame/guilt of letting the ones we live down; at the same time, they become self-fulfilling. At least that what happened with me. But in order for it to change, he has to be in therapy – things didn’t change for me (and with my wife) until that happened.

To Leftie – I’m sorry things have gotten to this point. One thing – it’s really hard for us to figure out a plan in the moment. Is there a calendar or schedule that you both could fill in together? I know I get overwhelmed when I have to prioritize things on my own – it took a lot of therapy to be able to let go of that and its resultant shame. Now we negotiate what needs to be done together – I love house and yard work; my wife does finances and other things (can’t let my ADD near the checkbook 🙂 ). Hold him to task for the things he says he’ll do – it’s hard but necessary (as I know). I’ll ask if your SO is in therapy/taking medication, also. It’s a huge help – the hardest part is that first step to going. It can help us notice the ‘weeds’, both in the garden and in life!

I hope this helps you both from this side of ADD. I hope you both can do the things to take care of yourselves, as well. Yes, the energy needed to be in relationship with us is a lot. But if the right structures are in p,ace, I like to think we’re worth it. I wish you both well on your journeys, and hope this helped…