Reply To: My husband has ADHD and I’m running on empty

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So this is my first post on the forums and this one hits so very close to home it saddens me.

I am the ADHD spouse in my current marriage of just over 10 years. I have a few questions; You say your husband is on medication. Do you recognize any change in his behavior? If not, perhaps he needs to experiment with a different form of medication or dosage. Alcohol and stimulants usually do not mix very well. Have you told him that you want or are interested in a divorce? That will usually drive a spouse to take action and attempt to get their shit together so to speak.

Beware, TLDR

If you are interested, this is about my current situation and why I can relate. My wife’s decision for divorce is what motivated me enough to get help. I received my diagnosis back on March 18th of this year. I said some very hurtful things to her without thinking before I spoke (very common for me, no filter) and she said it was at that point she made up her mind about divorce and her ring came off that night and has not been put back on since. She said to me that I have to have a mental problem to behave the way I do and needed to go get help. While for me that sounded harsh, I thought to my self, what if I do, I cant remember anything anyone says and tend to feel like I am staring straight through the other person during a conversation, forgetting what they had said within seconds.

Poor communication skills for me is what started this downward emotional spiral for her years ago and made her feel unloved and abandoned. Not good. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist and we discussed my issues for about an hour and a half and she diagnosed me with combined ADHD but mostly inattentive type. Finding out this diagnosis, beginning my research, medication, etc. has only pissed off my wife more as she believes this is now my excuse or crutch and am blaming most all of my issues over the years on my ADHD. While I try my hardest to not mention the impact ADHD has on our lives, I can say that if I was more attentive and communicated more I would have understood how unhappy she really was and would have taken action so many years ago by going to get help. Prior to my medication and learning about the condition, any argument we had led me to believe that she was just an angry, crazy, ungrateful person who didn’t care. All the while I’m the one who drove her to that point. She was fed up with me.

The difficult part for me is now realizing what I put her through for so very long, overlooking the signs that she was unhappy, disregarding her mention of marriage counseling, etc. Knowing I essentially put her through so much emotional abuse brings me to tears daily. I took responsibility for my past actions many times over and mean it from my heart but seeing that I proved her wrong so many times in the past, why should she believe I changed and am a new man? I wouldn’t believe me either!

At this point she only wants to be left alone and just about everything I do or say sets her off. On top of that she believes I am the same exact person I was before starting my meds and before I started my journey to work on resolving my issues and identifying new ways to cope with the problems I experience each day. I told her that the easiest way to describe the feeling I have now is that I feel born again, a new soul in the same body. I can now see clearly. The amount of focus, drive, compassion, empathy and my new found ability to actually communicate, stay calm, take responsibility when wrong and not take things personal all the time is honestly life changing.

I believe I can say I understand your pain and everyone deserves to be treated exactly how they would expect to be treated themselves but for someone with ADHD and who does not take the necessary steps to fix themselves first and foremost, take responsibility for their actions and past mistakes and try their hardest to do right by the ones they’ve hurt the most may be not truly understanding the negative impact they have on those lives closest to them. It took me way to long to understand this and when I did I broke down in tears. For me ADHD is a curse that went undiagnosed and unmanaged to the point it put a large strain on my marriage, children, family and friends.

I am pretty sure my wife is still planning to file for divorce as everything I do or say even though I truly understand what she has been through and love her more than words can describe will never be enough to convince her that I am not that same horrible person I once was. I still pray daily that she will give me another chance but the pain I have inflicted on her is enough reason for her to just move on. The sad thing for me is that I get it.

I am truly sorry for what you are going through. I hope all works out for you both! Much love.