I’m the ADD husband here, married 28 yrs and diagnosed 17 yrs ago at age 35. We have 2 awesome kids (21 & 18); I’m a HS teacher and my amazing wife a therapist. I try to remain positive in this space; but it’s hard here. For the good of your wife, you should go. She’s not a science project! I was really upset to see the language you used when referring to her: disordered, abnormal. Then you go on to say things like‘I have diagnosed’, ‘I am researching’, ‘I am tracking’. Do you have any sense of how that might make her feel? If you did in fact research, you should know that overpowering shame is one of the things that we suffer from most. Imagine the constant awareness that you will let down someone you care about every day – but never knowing how until it happens; or knowing you should be able to accomplish ordinary tasks, yet are overwhelmed by them. At the time, I would rather face my wife’s searing disappointment for not doing something than acknowledge the reality that I CANNOT do it. So imagine how judged she feels now? Sadly, it’s not nearly as hard as we judge ourselves; the anger (or compete withdrawal, in my case) is the way to mask how we truly feel about ourselves.
I agree with Penny here (I usually do); your wife needs to do this for herself first, then for you and your relationship. However, she needs a partner and champion to stand WITH her through this; not someone trying to ‘help fix’ her. It took me a good while to recognize that – and my wife, too. I had to do the hard work for myself before we could begin to get back to where we hoped to be. But, I always knew my wife was standing with me – and I am so grateful that she did (even when I tried to push away).
I know being in relationship with us is hard. With the right structures in place, I think we are worth it. I’m sorry for my emotions getting the best of me earlier (regulating emotions is another one of those frameworks we lack). I really do hope things work out for you both – whatever that might be. I just needed you to know what this is like from the Attentional Deficit (I refuse to use the third descriptor) side. Take of yourself, and each other…