I’m really sorry for all you’re going through. I’m the ADD husband here – married 28 yrs to an amazing partner (who’s also an LicSW). I was diagnosed 18 yrs ag at age 35. For quite a while, I thought that meds would ‘fix this ADD thing’. Little did I realize there was a lifetime of other things built up that exacerbated the ADD – bad coping skills, anxiety (what I call ‘the evil cousin’ of ADD), shame, guilt, you name it. I was completely unaware of the impact these had on my relationships until my wife said she couldn’t take this any more. It was only then that I really saw the necessity of also having a strong therapeutic system in place (funny, being married to a therapist and not seeing it!). I’ve got a great one – someone who pushes me to take ownership of my place in this relationship. That’s the context I want to write from.
Have any of these been obstacles for your husband, or continue to be? I know they can be debilitating and manifest themselves in other ways they were for me. That being said, your husband HAS TO take ownership of his place in the relationship in order for this to work! Also, he needs to be able to see that he has an amazing partner – someone who’s willing to walk WITH him on this journey. I know how hard it is for partners of us ADD’ers to be with us – even as they continue to love us! But he has to meet you half way (actually more, as he needs to put more back in the plus column over these years) so you can begin repairing your connection – you deserve that!
Also, you need to do what’s necessary to take care of yourself here – whatever that looks like. If it’s a weekend to yourself or with friends, pursuing a hobby/interest that’s just yours, or counselling for yourself – you deserve to do the things that bring you positive energy/joy on a personal level. My wife has those things – and our life is getting better. It’s been a long road; but I’m lucky that I came around and saw that my wife loved me and was willing to work with me – but I had to work on ME so I could be more present for us.
I’ve become a big fan of leftie22’s insights and suggestions on these threads (I check and read often). Her (yes?) perspective is always so insightful for both spouses (at least this ADD spouse thinks so). You may need to do what’s best for you for a change – you’ve given so much already. I hope this perspective from an ADD spouse helps. I support you here – he needs to make you and your marriage as much of a priority as you have. I wish you well on which ever direction this journey takes you – and send all positive energy your way…