Married wants Divorce undiagnosed ADHD together for 17 years

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    • #52307

      So where do I start with this… 3 kids who I never been closer with and a wife that wants to leave me. I just found out that I have been diagnosed with ADHD and have put my wife though hell and back. But my original diagnosis was OCD which I do have as well. I was told they missed the ADHD diagnosis because it has similar symptoms to OCD which was very obvious that I had so I got Meds to take care of the OCD… I admit I had gone on and off the OCD Meds because I thought I was better and didn’t need them only to find out that’s a common misconception I have been dealing with the OCD for about 10 years. Now older I have realized I have to take the Meds everyday period end of story. Along the line my wife and I were arguing a lot so I asked her to go to marriage consulting. She said no not till you fix yourself. Because my OCD symptoms were getting bad again. So I went to the Dr and they gave me something new. Few weeks later I felt the best I had in years but like the old Meds I was still tired all the time I could barely sit down without falling asleep. So now that I’m mostly better my wife and I went to a session of consulting… wow did that shock me. I didn’t realize half of the thing I was doing that stress my wife out she had been holding in things for about 3.5 years. After the first session I went back to the other DR and said I’m just as tired on these Meds as the old ones but my OCD symptoms are the best they had ever been. So she ponders a little bit and says let’s go back to the questions I asked you years ago when she gave me the original Meds for the OCD. After going through all of them she told me I have ADHD as well. So not really knowing much about it she gave me an addition pill to take to help the ADHD. Within a few days I had drive, motivation, energy. I was ecstatic. We went back to consoling the following week and once again things were pointed out that I did wrong or I should say did help the situation. It was harsh but I dealt with it I am willing to take everything after realizing what my wife had been dealing with me. Same thing happens the 3rd session but then came the 4th the bottom dropped out and my wife told me she was done with the marriage. There I sat think how will I live without her how can I not see my kids every day, how many people I hurt. I had only been on the ADHD Meds 3 weeks and I was all in to whatever it took to keep my marriage together. One thing I have learned in the last 6-8 months is nothing in the world means more to me then my family NOTHING. I would do anything, give everything to keep us whole. We left that session and was in shock didn’t know what to say do feel I was a train rec. A little later I go in to I have to fix this mode. What can I do practically begging her to stay and keep this family whole. I came from a divorced house hold she did not. So I know what these kids will go through even if we get along great. But I know staying together just for the kids is not right. But making every attempt to keep the marriage together should be made in my opinion to see if it can be saved. After all my wife and I don’t hate each other we still get along and together 17 years Married 10. But I had become her 4 child. The romance was gone, therapy made me realize thing I had done and things I didn’t even relies I was doing. In addition to that she has a ton of resentment she says she has forgiven me for it she can’t forget it. Which I understand threes thing I wish I don’t remember from over the years. So now what do I do. I start researching ADHD all I have to say it holy ____. It was my symptoms almost all of them. Now I understand what I put my wife though the last 3 years. This put all kinds of though my head. How could they miss that, every time I went for a checkup I said I was tired. I never lied or miss lead any of my symptoms to the Dr and them not giving me the meds for the ADHD because they missed it has cost me my marriage my kids my everything. So I sent this website to my wife so she can better understand ADHD because up in till I read about it I did really know anything about. She read it and agree that’s what lead her to wanting a divorce. I have been a different person for a long time. But the last 4-6 weeks I feel like the old me renewed excited energetic playing with my kids doing things around the house. But while doing this I still have this Black Cloud over my head. She still wants a divorce. She started reading blog posts about wife’s that have dealt with this for 20 years 30 years. She says she doesn’t have it in her any more she is not in love with me anymore. Which I completely understand but I can’t accept. The worst of things were the 3 last years. I am now properly medicated for both OCD and ADHD. She here self can see the person I am becoming. I am becoming a better version of myself than I was before the OCD and now ADHD. But she says it’s too late (I don’t think its ever to late for anything). Here I sit pissed hurt confused every emotion possible going through me. I got help (yes she had to push me) I was told I had OCD here are you meds. Then 8 years later I find I have ADHD that of which ruined my marriage. I don’t know what to do. My wife has become a strong person from dealing with me the last 3 years the ADHD was undiagnosed and is ready to move on with her life with our kids. There is no question we get along and time with the kids will be equal and such but I’m still crushed I love her more than life itself. How could you divorce me for something I didn’t know I had? I am not a hard ass that won’t go to a DR if I’m broke fix me. So on top of the divorce I have so much guilt and pain because of the stress I put on her while I was undiagnosed, but I was also thinking this is great I’m getting better. We found the problem I am me again… Still she says it’s too late. I am now broken crushed you name it. But the worst part of this all I understand her point of view I see now what she went thought. But I just can’t accept the fact she wants a divorce. She everything to me Brains, Beautiful, Fun to be with a smile that melts my heart.
      I don’t know what to do I can’t stop thing about it I tell myself it’s not fair I didn’t know I had it every though possible is going through my head. But the one sticking out the most is she said she is not in love with me anymore. It a knife to my heart every time I think it. But then I though well I would not be in love with that person ether. But I’m changing I not the person I have been for the last 3 years. Is it reasonable to say she could still be in love with the person I was? But because of the last 3 years she can’t look past it. There a wall blocking me from her letting me in. She herself told me she never thought I would get better. Then reading all the blogs has now convinced her I will relapse at some point. I am %100000 dedicated to never relapsing. Here comes the selfish question I asked can I have another shot…… No you cannot.,,

      How can I not get another shot when I didn’t even know what I had?
      Why did it take them so long to realize I had this as well as OCD?
      Here I sit devastated my whole life is going to change. I’m closer with my kids than ever. She has been so strong for me for and dealt with this so long and also the most compassionate person towards me. As I have learned all of this over the past few months. Is there any way for a good ending. Are there any blogs out there they don’t just don’t dwell on the bad side of ADHD a story that says he overcame it and has become better than ever. I CAN NOT LOSE MY FAMLY IT IS EVERTHING TO ME. I would give each and every one of them my last breath if they needed it.

      What do I do? They say if you lover her let her go I say BS… If you love her fight for what you want and prove yourself. She fell in love with me once and that guy is back why she cant fall in love with me again?

    • #52309

      I dont know what to say to a friend of mine who feels as you do. He was married for thirty years and looked after his wife through three kidney transplants. Now that the third one is a success she has left to join their adult daughter . They live separately a thousand miles away. He was diagnosed at the same time his daughter, two decades ago but did not seek out any treatment. He is devastated. He has said he will move there to find work but they are discouraging him. I have attempted to get him to do more than just join a support group but it is like talking to a wall. He loves to talk and during his life has had many jobs, overcame drug problems, still battles with alchohol and is slowly winning the cigarette battle.
      I believe if he wins that battle and the alchohol he might want to move there and give it a try. Absence they say makes the heart etc..
      As I am also ADHD divorced 3 times and actually liking this time to myself, what can i say or do, if anything, that will encourage him to seek treatment. He came with me to the support group but has not sought any additional help since then. Closing in on his mid 60s he has a beautiful basso profundo or deep bass voice, unfortunately cant read music. ( which is how we met). He loves singing in a choir or even just with a group. His friends are all musicians. I sing in 3 chorus/choirs and his wifes brother who is close to him is a prolific modern opera composer, choral director, and university music professor as well as a regular jazz and local club performer.

      I look forward to seeing the answers to your dilemma as i am sure they will help him as well.

    • #52320

      I feel for your friend. I am so broken over this I don’t know what to do. She says she will never have those feelings for me again. But we have shared so much in the last 17 years. Honestly I cant believe she will NEVER have those feelings again nobody can predict the future and if i become the person i used to be or better how could she not fall back in love with me. I think she is worried I will revert back or the meds will stop working. I can’t blame her for that. She has become so strong I don’t know how to get though to her that I am OK now and want to stay OK the rest of my life. I need my family intact they keep me whole and humble and a reason to strive for bigger and better things. I need her there by my side. She is the only one in the world that knows me good enough that she could notice if the meds stop working or not working as well. And the second she would say that i would be at the DR office so fast to find a new med or solution or reason why its changed. I am on a emotional roll a coaster. I fear that ever time she leave the house she is not coming back. But i know she would not do that. It feels like a lose lose she lost her feelings for me over something i didn’t know i had. I truly believe there is a spot left in her heart for me and i am not going to give up till i break though that wall. I Broke her which caused her breaking me. I think if we officially split will both be miserable. We need to fix each other. I will to do what ever it takes how ever long it takes. She is worth it. She is special. She is everything. Time will tell were we will end up. I just have to keep the hope that will be together.

      Thank You for the reply. I wish him the best of luck.

    • #52328
      Miss. Conduct

      Dear ADHD527,
      How awful! Your pain is palpable through your writing. But I want to share with you the feelings a wife goes through when she feels like her spouse is just another child. She has lost not only that loving feeling, it’s far worse. She doesn’t respect you!!? I have this feeling im my bones she may have already picked a saddle out for another bronko? Wow.. I also notice you keep on about being misdiagnosed & how that is somehow all the blame? You and I both know it’s far deeper than that and there is far more complex. Are you aware that you are giving your keys to your own happiness a home in her pockets? Marriage is not 50/50. It’s 100/100, and more than not, it’s 120/120! I admire the love you have for your children and your wife. You said it yourself, “I know we’ll be able to coparent well.” Maybe it is time for you to learn to love yourself first. If she feels that you have just been another child – she also means, she doesn’t want to be intimate with you either. That her emotional needs haven’t been met for a very long time. I do not see her changing her mind. I’m so sorry to be blunt but I prefer the harsh truth over a comforting lie any day. You’re failing to realize your own worthtoo? The begging her to stay doesn’t “make her realize” you’ve changed. At this point, to her it’s more child-like behavior. (If you just keep on & keep on, Mom will eventually allow you to buy that toy). I think this is a fanyastic opportunity for you. Also for the kids, they need to see their Dad in a male role, not subversive to their Mom. No one gets married thinking they’d divorce. But there are times when enough is enough. I know with the OCD change is horrifying but I also know, you ARE WORTHY of love and mutual respect.
      All My Love,

    • #52442

      I am in a similar situation in that my marriage fell apart after being married 10 years with one child who was 6 years old when I moved out per my husband’s request. The first 6 years of our marriage was good, but then my symptoms got bad, my RA got worse, my depression kicked in and I found it easier to be in a different bed at night due to the amount of pain I was in with the RA and the Fibromyalgia. I never considered what moving to a different bedroom would do to my marriage. WE grew apart and he began to say he didn’t feel like I loved him anymore and that if I didn’t then I should not be living there. I tried to tell him I choose to love him, but in his eyes love shouldn’t be a choice or something I have to choose to do if I were in love with him. Over the length of time my health had worsened, he had lost his mother and after her death became a man I didn’t feel like I even knew anymore. He had changed completely from the man I fell in love with and I felt like I was living with a stranger. I couldn’t see how he could expect me to be “in love” with him when I didn’t even know who he was anymore. Long story short, we have lived in separate houses for 3.5 years now and unfortunately are not really any closer to reconciling than we were the day I moved out, though I have to think it is a positive thing and that there is still a chance since neither of us have filed for a divorce and we still spend one weekend a month together as family time for my daughter who is now 10.

      The quickest path to reconciliation, which he says he wants, would be for him to show me who he is, talk to me without being defensive, and to just spend time with me as my friend to give me the opportunity to fall in love again without feeling like he is forcing me to either lie to him and say yes I am in love with him so I can move back home or be honest and tell him while I may not be head over heels in love with him, I still choose to love him as my husband and respect him as the father of my child and feel that I belong at home with him but that is not what he wants to hear.

      Marriage with either partner having health issues is complicated. I fully believe you can fix your marriage especially since you want to so badly and are willing to do the work to get back to a good place in your marriage. Understand it will take time and a huge amount of forgiveness on both parts, but love covers a multitude of sins. You seem to be able to express yourself passionately and emotionally through writing. If she won’t hear your words or can’t seem to get past her hurt to hear you out, write her a letter. Don’t write to her explaining the problems or even really apologizing, but write to her to remind her of how you first met, when you had your first kiss and how it made you feel, what it was like holding her for the first time, remind her of the things that brought you both joy in your marriage, remind her of your wedding day and the vows that were said whether it was the traditional vows or ones that you wrote yourself, tell her how passionately you still feel for her and then tell her you understand that you have become more a 4th child to her than her husband and as such, you understand how she fell out of love with you, let her know through that understanding, you want to take your rightful place by her side as her husband now that you are getting the help/medication you need and that as her husband you vow to take any criticism she offers to heart and to correct any behavior indicating a backslide immediately as she points it out and that as her husband you want her to feel secure in being able to talk openly to you and her not feel like she has to keep anything in and most of all, you want to feel all she feels and if she is hurting or disappointed, you want to know that as well so you can feel it with her. I don’t know if you are spiritual, a Christian or not, but if you are, let her know you are ready to be the husband God would have you be and that means being a spiritual leader and being a rock for her while she supports you and respects you and you will love her and live your life in knowledge of her and her feelings as God would have you too.

      After you give her the letter, give her space to process all that you have said to her and to process all the emotions it brings up, even if that means offering to let her take a trip to a cabin somewhere to have a few days alone or you taking the kids for a weekend trip to give her time and space. She has to have space to heal. As a woman, I can not tell you how important it is that she be able to process without constantly having you asking her to change her mind or offering to fix it. It may be something you can’t fix, but instead the two of you can rebuild together and start new. Offer her another “wedding” of sorts to renew your vows and your dedication to being the man she fell in love with rather than the broken man she has been living with the past few years. Just understand when a woman is hurt/disappointed/pushed to a point of disconnecting and just no longer caring and wanting out- it takes time to bring her back to a place where she will allow you to cause her to feel anything. I pray it is something that the two of you can fix together, because I can say from experience it is hard to fix a marriage from different homes. Before allowing her to move out if she continues to insist she wants a divorce, ask her if she would consider being in separate rooms with a time limit on it and dating each other again for like 8 weeks max where every weekend you take her out whether it is a walk in the park and a picnic, or a movie/dinner, or going to a free museum- something she loves and that makes you feel passionate about the woman she is today, not who she was 17 years ago when you got married. That would give her some space through the week without you in it, but would keep her at home to where you can work on the marriage and let her see the man you are today and let her love you for the man you are becoming, not the memory of the man you were. She can heal, and so can you. Hearing the words that your partner wants a divorce will linger in your head for years to come and it will hurt every time you replay the words in your mind and you will be fearful that divorce will be her solution every time you get in a fight, but unless you or she have been with or intends to be with someone else, tell her divorce is a word that you want taken out of the home entirely.

      You seem so passionate about your family. I truly hope it works out for you and you and your wife can live the rest of your lives, til death do you part, in sickness and in health, in good times, and in bad forever cleaving to one another and forsaken all others…..May God’s plan for marriage and your love for her win this battle. I wish you all the best.

      P.S. I am 40 and was just diagnosed ADHD/Hypersensitive Disorder about 4 months ago. Had I been diagnosed years ago instead of being diagnosed manic depressive, my marriage would not have failed and I would not be facing a second divorce if we can’t reconcile.It is amazing how much damage a missed diagnosis can do to our lives.

    • #52509
      Penny Williams

      Focusing on the fact that your ADHD was missed by doctors only makes you feel worse, and keeps you stuck. It’s time to move forward now that you know what you’re really dealing with, what it’s done to your relationship, and how to treat it. When you pull yourself together, it makes a world of difference for those around you. That’s not to say your marriage is or isn’t mendable at this point, but to say that life will be better for all involved when you take care of yourself and feel good about yourself. I know it will be hard to focus less on the marriage issues and more on yourself, but that will pay off so much more in the long run.

      Here are some helpful advice on ending the blame and turning things around:

      Late Diagnosis: Was ADHD to Blame All Along?

      Life Is Too Short for Shame

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

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