October 22, 2018 at 4:54 pm #102209emwinshiParticipant
Does do any other adult ADHD’rs feel this way? I feel like my life is a long checklist of tasks. Whether its a weekend and we have all our responsibilities around the house and family or its the weekdays and I balance work with home life.
This came to me during the most recent argument with my wife. She is always saying that I don’t do anything and that I’m inconsistent. Well duh…I have ADHD, but all kidding aside, I get frustrated when she makes those statements because I do a lot around the house and in the yard. How can she say I don’t do anything? Obviously she’s going blind or something because come Sunday evening I was totally exhausted because of all the yard work I did that afternoon. My argument fell on deaf ears. After a couple hours of fighting and talking and fighting and talking I finally realized what she meant. She isn’t looking at all the tasks I’m doing around the house as things needing to be done. She’s talking about me taking care of her as my wife. I had forgot it was Sunday and on Sunday mornings we are supposed to cuddle and just spend some time together. I got up early, as I always do, took care of the dogs and turned on the tv with my warm cup of brew. Why look what’s on, the football game in London. Next thing I know, she’s upstairs glaring down at me and I smile ‘mornin hun’ which was followed by a slam of the door. I honestly didn’t think anything of it. Cuddling was completely out of my head at that point. An hour later I went up to see how she was doing and she forced a smile. I offered to make her some coffee and bring her a muffin because I’m an awesome husband, woot woot awesome husband alert <dab>. She reluctantly agreed even though she really just wanted to me to lay down on the floor so that she could climb out of bed and relieve her morning duties all over her ‘awesome husband’ who just forgot one of the single most important times of the week for her..cuddle time. Thankfully for me, she didn’t do that and allowed me to make her coffee. Later that day she confronted me about it and the argument ensued. Now I know I screwed up and I’m not afraid to admit that I screwed up. Its a feeling I’m so very used to and almost laugh at each incident now. She doesnt share the same feeling of dismissal. I’m a 45 year expert at laughing at my mistakes, oversights, and forgetfulness so you would think she would want to listen to her awesome experienced husband but I was wrong. Once the discussion, I use the word ‘discussion’ lightly, ended, I realized, like I almost always do, that I forgot my wife. My wife deserves my attention. She deserves to be dated. She deserves to be fought for and not dismissed by nasty comments said in the heat of the moment because, me, the awesome experienced husband, wants to get a last word or be slightly snarkier than her. My wife deserves a small hint of normal ever Sunday morning after dealing with a chaotic world filled with teenage boys, a full time job, and an awesome experienced ADHD husband. She deserves to be reminded that she’s important. Yet I didn’t make her my priority that Sunday. She wasn’t on my checklist.
I digress, I was talking about checklists and tasks. I thought about this fight…errr I mean discussion I had with her that Sunday evening and asked why cant I put her as a priority in my life? When we were dating, I did it all the time but why has it changed? I know, ADHD, but that doesn’t really explain why and what my brain is doing different. Here’s what I came up with:
I’ve always ordered my priorities as tasks such as: I need to mow the lawn (A), water the plants (B), clean up recycled dog food (C), etc. I would do this every morning whether its a weekend or weekday and no I was not mowing the lawn seven days a week. These ABC’s have helped me, along with a consistent dose of medication, get through most of my life. But I don’t place my wife as an ABC because she’s not a task. People aren’t tasks. Emotional connections aren’t chores. Just because I may do a whole bunch of tasks for her, which is one of the ways i tell her I love her, she doesn’t speak that language of mine. All she sees is me putting everything else in the universe as being more important that her. Even the recycled dog food.
Since don’t associate people as tasks it’s probably the reason I’m somewhat of an introvert. I don’t make friends very easily and when I do i’m horrible at keeping them. I’m not a bad, mean, narcissistic, or unfriendly person, I just don’t do the extra work required to maintain friendships. Logically, it’s dumb. But this behavior carries into my marriage. My brain priorities tasks and, if there is anything left and nothing new and shiney in front of me, I may think about looking at my wife and doing something nice for her outside of the normal last minute holidays. Those times are far and few and I need to change.
Does anyone else find that they have a lot of difficulty prioritizing people and their emotional needs because it’s not a task? Have you found a solution? Please share? If you happen to have the technology used in the movie The Matrix, I’ll be right over for an upload. Thank you and sorry this is longer than I originally intended.
Awesome Experience Dumbass Husband.
October 23, 2018 at 12:31 am #102231SuzzalynParticipant
You’re not the only one.
I find myself every week, stopping myself in the model middle of a random task, wondering if I’ve paid attention attention to my husband.
For me, The biggest problem is that when I’m unmedicated, my husband is the center of my attention… To an extreme. When I am medicated I don’t give my husband any attention.
October 24, 2018 at 8:27 am #102286Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Try setting an alert on your phone for Sunday mornings, to remind you of your commitment to your wife. It’s ok that you don’t remember it as part of your to-do list, it’s just the way your brain works.
Here are a couple stories/articles that may offer some new tips and strategies to try:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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