Reply To: Feeling overwhelmed by my spouse's ADHD

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This thread makes me feel very sad. I’ve read about the pain of non-ADHD spouses and the guilt accepted by woke ADHD spouses.

I want to be woke. But as an ADHD spouse, my life experiences have lead me to some conclusions of my own.

I was OK when I was in my own. I could accomplish things, make decisions and nourish relationships. Marriage added an extra level of complexity along with a healthy serve of guilt over sharing the work.

Being highly creative and analytical I encouraged my wife to estimate the time it took for our respective tasks. I pressed her to add time when she underestimated her contributions. I was sure to estimate very conservatively for my tasks. I really wanted to find out what was going to fix this problem.

It turned out to my surprise that I actually contributed more hours than she did. My contributions, though essential, were overlooked and undervalued until we put a number to them. And evaluates if they were necessary or not.

Then kids came along and there was an extra level of complexity. Along with problems at work. These problems were not ADHD related but ADHD behaviour even when it successful makes a convenient target.

Guilt compounds, anxiety becomes a pattern and eventually a psychological injury caused things to spiral out of control.

My wife is incredibly supportive, even if she doesn’t quite understand. She’s threatened by hyper-focus. Calls it being absent. When it’s actually my ability to solve complex problems that require more than a little commitment.

She also just doesn’t get my (non)relationship with time. I’m telling her now that she has to give il the schedule for the schedule to work. It’s the panic from the neurotypical that creates time paralysis in my case. (And my kid’s case actually)

I’m feeling stronger now but I’ve decided that the 90% of neurotypicals need to back off and let me succeed in my own way. My illustration for this is that I’m ignoring all “white” people telling me I have to be more “white”. They’re trying to kill the ADHD in the man or the child in the case of my kid.

As a matter of fact. I’m cooperating with the school now so that my ADHD kid can receive the education he deserves without a healthy serve of guilt. I tell the that they likely have 10% of their kids with ADHD and that if they made the classroom fit the ADHD kids it would benefit the neurotypicals as well. (Open plan classrooms are horrible)

There is some ideology to overcome on the part of the neurotypicals but I am going to complete this project, of being authentically successful with ADHD. I’m going to shut the mouths of the nay sayers. I’m going to prove that I doing have to be metaphorically “white” the be successful I just need to make sure my environment is right for me. And the people around me don’t unwittingly sabotage me with their intense faith in the neurotypical way.

Every person’s relationship has a history and complexities. ADHD people can do bad things just as well as neurotypicals. But the neurotypical has a huge culture behind him/her offering reassurance that their way is the one-true-way, the master-way or the metaphorically “white” way. It is worth examining all the times that ADHD is marked in small things that don’t really matter as something to be fixed, a problem to be overcome, a character fault. Or that ADHD virtues are demonised because they’re unfamiliar.

The insistance on compliance to the neurotypical way is blocks ADHD virtues so you can’t get anything done.

I would love some data on all the times that ADHD virtues win over neurtyoical virtues. My theory is that sometimes, (not always) neurotypical spouses are complaining about things that are untrue statistically. Even if they love us their urging to be more “white” like the is based on a systematic brainwashing of a dominant society. It seems so obvious you’re right if the people around you all nod along.

A paper like that would change the world. I would then like to reclaim my pride, my metaphorical land, my creative, non-linear, world changing heritage. And I would like to see all the ADHD spouses in this thread succeed using their talents and and adaptations too.

I’m going to choose not to be sad about this post. I’m going to act by trying to change the world around me and my kid to suit us. That will have to include some pretty fancy talking to the neurotypicals around us.