My Forum Comments
Thank you, Ellings4, for reading my post in its entirety, understanding what I was trying to say, and summarizing my point very well. That is exactly what I was trying to say!
I will say that I apologize for the statement that “I used to be a feminist, but then I grew up.” Please understand that I wrote that only 9 days after losing my husband of 33 years. the man who was my best friend, my confidante, my high school sweetheart, my favorite person to be with, and the person with whom I intended to grow old and to spend the rest of my life; I was not completely in my right mind at the time. I did not intend to be insulting, but I was talking mainly about myself. When I was young, I bought into the attitude that women needed to fight for equality (with an emphasis on fight), and I saw everything through that point of view. As I grew older, I realized that when people are “fighting” for their own cause, it automatically means they are “fighting” against the people on the other side of that point of view. As I looked at my dad, my husband, my brother-in-law and what we were teaching our son, I realized that each one of them loves(ed) the women in our family, respects(ed) us, is (was) concerned about our welfare and take (took) care of us. The women in my family are very lucky to have the men in our family, and we have, in return, taken care of them. No one kept score. No one was degraded or dumped on. I’ve seen my dad go from not knowing how to cook, but learning to make breakfast for us to give my mom a break. My dad goes to the grocery store for my mom all the time! He irons clothes, vacuums, keeps track of the car/house stuff, handles all the finances, and, because he was a building contractor, he fixed (or had people fix) everything! He also supported my mom in opening up a substantial import/retail business of her own. My husband could cook (and cooked more than I did), he was a great grocery shopper,a gift-giver, he cleaned, did laundry, and could fix almost everything. He understood my ADD, and never complained about picking up the slack. Yes, I handled a lot of the mental stress, but he was willing to help out wherever I needed. I also know that there were work things that contributed to his own mental load, which he usually did not share unless I pressed him to share. I know that he did not want to burden me with all that he was handling. What I was trying to say in my original post was that my relationship with my husband was far better than it would have been, if we had made it a contest and had kept track to make sure that it was exactly 50/50. In fact, he and I both believed that for a marriage to work, it should be more like 100% /100%. In fact, there were times each of us gave much more than 50% to the other because of circumstances, abilities and/or time. Although neither of us was perfect, we both were willing to do what it took to keep the marriage/family/household going. My comments were made only to help other people understand this, so that they, themselves, would not sacrifice a relationship for a cause. I realize that not all relationships are as strong, loving, respectful and fair as mine was, and what I am trying to share will not work in all situations. I do know what it is like to lose the love of my life at a relatively young age, though, and I am so thankful I gave up the score-keeping and focused on my relationship with my husband! Although he was very helpful and handled a lot of the responsibilities, what I miss the most now is not what he did for me, but the relationship, friendship and love that we shared. Please know that my comments were intended with the utmost of respect! Thank you.bec1124Participant
First of all, I am (was) a wife with ADD, and my husband probably had ADD. I used to be a feminist, then I grew up and realized that we are just different people with different gifts and talents. I just lost my husband last week, and in our 33 years of marriage I learned a lot. Nothing will ever be equal (life isn’t that simple). Don’t keep score: it’s not a game with rules, it’s a relationship. People are different, with different strengths and weaknesses. Life is too short to pick at each other about loading/unloading the dishwasher. Wives who get to stay home with their children need to remember that their husbands have demanding jobs at work, too, and that they are probably carrying a mental load that they have not wanted to bother their wives with.
Life with ADD is hard – reading this comic made me realize why it can be so difficult -I handled all this stuff without realizing what it all was, and I will say I did not do very well at it! But my husband loved me and we tried to work at it together – not in gender roles, necessarily, not with me as “manager”, and I had to remember that he had a job which paid a lot more than mine, so his job took priority.
My advice to couples: love each other unconditionally (ADD and all), appreciate each other, respect each other, work together – realizing each other’s strength and weaknesses and forgive each other! Your relationship is much more than societal norms, politics or someone getting his/her own way. If ADD is an issue, get help – this magazine gives a lot of information on ADD, related conditions, types of treatment and where to get treatment. Don’t let chores, mental fatigue or ADD get in the way of your relationship. It is not worth it!