Life with My Husband Before ADHD Knowledge
We had been married almost 12 years and to be honest I was considering ending it. I was tired and exhausted from feeling as though I was holding the family up. Sure he pitched in. Sure he said he cared. But as the saying goes with ADHD he was reliably unreliable. With two kids, one with special needs and a very fractured job history to date- it was as if our whole world sat on my shoulders.
And I had allowed it to be put there. Little by little. With every job loss I worked to bring in extra money. With every oversight I worked to strengthen my watch that it would not happen again. And every time it fell apart I was crushed because I could not do it on my own. I was so self critical because this marriage, this partnership I had envisioned was all but non existent. I just didn’t know the cause.
I was really starting to wonder why I got married. While the romance had seemed to vanished I still wanted the romance I married. The man I married. The one who heard every little thing I said. The one who came up with some insanely creative date ideas. He was so much fun to be around. I thought I had married my adventure buddy. My partner in crime. Now I frequented a man that seemed to forget my existence and whenever I tried to assist was treated like the enemy. What I didn’t know that years of doing ‘it’ wrong had all but plummeted his self esteem. All that was left was a strong defense.
We had known my husband had ADHD for four years now. But in truth I hadn’t paid attention. I was busy taking my son to at least weekly doctor appointments, multiple daily supplements, a very restricted diet and other various therapies. Oh and on top of that I worked full time (plus the part time jobs) and had a daughter. So I looked at my husband and hoped he would take care of his own health as my plate was just a little full.
It had been a particularly rocky year. I had my worst mono relapse ever. I had been sick with congestion or other issues for over a year. My body had hit the limit. And my mind and heart were not far behind. I had started to forget things that once were easy to me. I felt scattered and dried up- almost as I were the one with the issue. It was quickly becoming difficult for me to function, and especially manage at the level I had for the past decade.
Then in one night of desperation, or perhaps inspiration, I had the thought to look up on Facebook to see if there was a support group for wives of husbands with ADHD.
Yes. Yes there was. And boy was it eye opening.
Story after story echoed so many similarities to what I had been going through. The forgetfulness. The impulsivity. The unreliability. And that cliff the non ADHD partner essentially appears to fall off of after marriage when the chemical drive of the ADHD partner for them ends. While non intentional that explained it. The huge gaping holes when I was finally not the enemy and we actually had a moment. His lack of ambition and preparation for time with me when before I felt so honored to feel like I mattered to him. And then there were some other stories from other spouses of ADHD individuals. Stories I was glad we had not had the experience of.
My whole 12 years of marriage flashed by on the screen as I read the stories. I was excited that I found something. Scared because you mean this really is the way he is? Can I continue with this?
In short this moment of inspiration was the pivot point for our marriage. Finally all the things that didn’t make sense- made sense. Finally a situation that I was giving serious thought to ending had some answers. And my favorite answer most of all? There was something we could do about it.
Side Note: I would like to give thanks to my husband to allow me to share with you the depths our marriage had reached. While I knew it was never his intention but it was still touch to deal with. And until I learned more about ADHD I had no explanation or way forward. My husband is a kind and generous man and has always done his best to support me. One of my favorite things is to watch him play with our kids. You won’t find anyone better. I am also forever grateful to my husband for being willing to look at what he can also do to shift our marriage, and adventure, back on track.