Reply To: HELP! Stuck in the Passive Aggressive, Spiteful and Vendictive Cycle

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in Hug I was just reminiscing about how hard it must have been for my first wifeof 30 years to leave a home and a job and our home city to marry a very young 19 year old armed forces youngster who had left the city three years before. Not only was he young but also a raging ADDer diagnosed 50 years later. One who refused to ask the army as required for permission to marry before age 21 therefore depriving us of housing assistance and generous allowances. To add trauma she became an expectant mother almost immediately. The apartment that i had picked out was excellent for our needs but i couldnt afford it on one salary a particularly small amount.
What a start to a marriage that went from badto embarassingly a disaster very quickly. I had great job offers but in typical adder style i had suggested to the commander that learning how to pack a parachute was not going to equip me for life as well as continuing in my accounting trade. I even went so far as to solicit multiple good job offers in the private sector if they would allow me to honorably discharge as they were cutting our service by 20%.
Her world had been turned upside down in a matter of weeks and she reacted by continuing to love me but became very reticent to openly share dialog with me. Instead we entered her passive aggressive phase at what i would call survival mode. It took a year but i was eventually discharged and a very successful career started immediately. Promotions and doubling of my salary occurred close to every 4 years. Until I was the VP of the worlds largest Commercial Insurance Brokerage Firm. And a few years later starting my own Successful Consulting Operation.
The more i seemed to suceed the more I blamed her for every imaginable slight and our almost non existentent sex life. During those years my tendency to argue by shouting gradually improved but never quite went away. Although the frequency diminished to less than one per year, the eruptions vied with pinatubo for their noise and nastiness. I was counting how many meals she prepared versus how many i did. How many loads of laundry, vacuuming i did etc etc We went for the third time to a marriage counsellor who recognizing a potential eruption that would contain more than just shouted insults arranged for us to separate and eventually get a divorce. My only concern at the time was that my youngest son ( also ADD finish High School a few months to go.
For most of the last twenty years i felt totally justified we both remarried, but in retrospect she had to have survived in a living hell and her coping mechanism while not the best was probably the best for her at that time. It has taken me 25 years to recognise what terror she must have lived in during that time.
Reality is ussually different for those of us who are given this “gift” but it bears little resemblance to what we imagine is going on.
I am starting to lose some of my hearing now and i have to equate it with the missing so many social clues throughout our life that this gift bestows on us. We or at least I was unfortunately not able to interpret the clues that fall naturally to those normals. It is extremely unfair and it prevents any kind of trust from re establishing itself. It has taken two more marriages and most importantly effective solutions to my ADD to even make a dent in all my misconceptions of what those marriages must have been like for my partners.
I wish you well on your journey of enlightenment.