Couples With One ADHD Partner
A Bad Day...
I know there is a strong, and important, message out there for spouses to “focus on the positive” and “let things go” and in general, I think these are great messages for living, for everyone. The problem arises, however, when you, the one who is supposed to be this paragon of strength and virtue, are struggling with your own problems. I have never been diagnosed with depression but over the last 2-3 years I’ve been struggling – for reasons related and unrelated to my relationship. Regardless, today was a bad day. They’re not all bad days, but today (for reasons I’ll explain later) I just can’t shake the feeling that my life, the one that I wanted and imagined for myself and have always been working toward, is over, or worse, never really started.
My ADD partner and I have been together for about 8 years and were recently married. Over the course of our relationship, I almost left 3 times, for very specific, mostly ADD related reasons. But I always stayed, “it’s not his fault”, “he said he’d work on things”, “he said it doesn’t have to all fall on my shoulders all of the time”. And of course, I wanted to believe him. But this last year, as I single-handedly planned, managed, carried out our wedding, I realized exactly what I had always known deep down; that nothing will ever change, nor will my willing it to change, through suggestions, using different phrasing to explain things, asking in different ways, telling, nagging, bitching, yelling (basically becoming a person I never thought I’d become), make a difference.
How it started this time: we were visiting a friend last night who, when we walked into place, apologized for needing to catch the last 5 minutes of a webinar he was watching. The webinar was on Aspbergers in relationships. So here was a person in a relationship trying to learn more, actually taking time to find and listen to a webinar on how to manage himself and his relationship. For the rest of the night, all I could think was “why doesn’t my partner ever do this?” Of course, the answer is because it is not interesting to him, mentally. But in all the years we’ve been together, and after all the ways I have tried to talk about how ADD affects our relationship, not once has he done anything to educate himself, or me. Anyway, the experience really shook me, so here we are.
“Let it go” .... I can’t let it go. How do I let it go? How do I get passed this feeling of hopelessness? How do I get over feeling like I’m going out of my mind trying to communicate with him? How do I not feel so resentful and angry and just let it go? What’s more, how do I not fear for the life of my future children; that their father will leave a burner on close to a dish-towel, or will be looking at his phone as our child walks into traffic? How do I let go that I wanted a career, or at least a job other than being the household manager, and didn’t have to feel the “double burden”? I had things I wanted to achieve and now, I have to be the banker, the mother, the father, the housekeeper, the dog keeper, the car keeper, everything. There’s normal distraction and then there’s ADD…and I just can’t compete. I feel so defeated and angry at myself for getting into this situation. The worst part is, I can’t even tell my best friend because he wouldn’t understand. He would question me about the source and context of my feelings, and then judge them, but ultimately assume that by being attentive for, say, the next 24 hours, that it will somehow magically make it all better….
Well, I’m sorry for being today’s black cloud. I just recently found this site and know there is a lot of great material and stories on here so that’s where I’m starting, but any other ideas are welcome.
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