Reply To: Roles Reversed

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First, may I say that I’m impressed by your level of commitment to helping your wife and saving your marriage. Owning one’s diagnosis and managing it to the best of your ability is a huge first step. I admire your courage for taking responsibility for your ADHD. Keep up the good work and stay committed to it. You owe that to yourself and those you love. Taking a pill is only part of the picture. It’s not a one stop solution.

I am the wife of an ADHDer, so I understand how your wife feels. It can be a very dark place. You cannot change the past, so holding on to old guilt solves nothing and keeps you stuck. Let it go. Focusing on it will only send you further into a tailspin. Right now in your relationship, it’s about her, not you. Put your fears aside and be there for her in whatever way she needs you to be. She needs to know that you are capable of being the man that she married, and I’m sure you can do it. She needs to feel your strength, see it, and start to trust you and herself again. We get lost in a world of anger and resentment and it is difficult to let go of, because it has become a way of life, of survival. I pulled myself out, and she can too. We all need to know that our feelings are valid, that we are loved and appreciated. Self care is huge for her right now. Just keep loving her, the way that SHE needs to be loved. Listen, and ask for nothing in return as she heals. She will open up when she’s ready.

Instead of focusing on all of the things that you “think” are going wrong, focus on all of the things that are going right. Focus on the solutions and not the problem. IT might just open your eyes to some creative alternatives for building that bond again. Build on the positives and keep moving forward.

If you find yourself trapped in negative thoughts, come up with a tool to change them. Get up and walk around your desk. Stand up straight and tall and breathe deeply for 10 seconds. You have the power to change your thoughts in a split second, it just takes committed and sustained effort. Don’t give up. You can do it!

Best of luck!