How to acknowledge your pre diagnosis past

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    • #116557

      Hello i need some help and advice. I am in my 50’s and for most of my life I had undiagnosed ADHD. I have a long suffering wife who has years and years of neglect to deal with. I recently got a diagnosis and for the first year tried to pretend that with medication I could be a normal person. Not surprisingly I failed. I have finally conceded that I am someone who to be in a relationship with you have to massively compromise on things like your needs being met etc.. Part of the healing process I believe is for me to acknowledge my past all the things I have done and accept who I am and the problems I am going to cause in the future. However when I try and be honest about how utterly cruel and selfish I have been, my wife reacts by telling be to stop being so self-pitying. I am confused, on one hand I am trying to acknowledge the hurt I have caused and admit to my faults which despite medication are not going anywhere, but when I do say it I get told I am self indulgent?

      Anyone know of a good way to acknowledge your past, your challenges (polite word) and the impact it has had on your partner, without it sounding self destructive and self pitying?


    • #116597

      I was diagnosed at 53 years old – my hubby could probably share a lot of “good” stories with your wife. If you’re not seeing a therapist, you may wish to consider doing so. My hubby and I went to sessions together, and she taught us a lot: I learned ways to be a little less chaotic and annoying and he learned how to work around my deficiencies. One thing that is working out really well is that he agreed to be my “ADD Coach.” Basically he calls me out on my dumb moves, and then helps me figure out ways to avoid the issues in the future. It was REALLY hard on both of us at first – he’d do the coach thing and I’d reply by bursting into tears and proclaiming, “You don’t love me!” We’ve been working on my ADD together for about six years now, and it’s better – not 100% “normal,” but we are pretty happy together. 🙂 If you think your wife would have trouble “bossing” you around, or if you think you might have trouble accepting constructive criticism from your wife, you could hire a professional ADD Coach… good luck to both of you – it IS possible to live – happily! – with ADD!

    • #116703
      Penny Williams

      Read Melissa Orlov’s book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage. It offers many strategies for better communication.

      The ADHD Effect on Marriage

      Or her newer title, The Couples Guide to Thriving with ADHD.

      Book Review: The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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