Reply To: On the verge of divorce

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I’m sorry for your recent loss, that’s a difficult thing to go through even with a supportive spouse.

I don’t have any great advice, but I’ve experienced everything you mentioned. I started going to a counsellor for myself, because I realized I was spending way too much time waiting for my husband to participate and take care of me, and I realized I had to commit to taking care of myself. It’s hard to accept that we have no control over our spouses, but since that’s the case, we have to take control of what we can.

I think at some point the kindest thing we can do is to accept that our spouses are not going to change, and make decisions from there. I’ve spent so much time (as I’m sure you have, too), trying to change my husband into a supportive partner, and it’s all wasted energy. I’m trying to find ways to support myself now. Covid makes that much harder, but are there ways you could give yourself more support and make your life easier? Hire out some tasks, reach out for emotional support, involve others in decision making? I think that would be a good step to see if you can create a better life for yourself. Then the next step is deciding if that life also includes your husband, once you’ve build more of a support network outside of him.

I think deciding if that level of emotional neglect is tolerable or not is very personal and painful. It’s hard to want someone to give more of themselves and be disappointed over and over. I realize now that my husband probably truly isn’t capable of giving more. I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I’m okay with that, too. Living in limbo like that is really hard, and you have my solidarity and empathy.

I think all we can do while we’re on the fence is build a good support network for ourselves and see if taking some of the pressure off ourselves makes the marriage more sustainable. The forums at ADHD Marriage are full of non-ADHD partners like us, trying to make similar decisions. You might find it helpful to read over there, too. Hugs.