View Full Version : I am on the way of braking my 2nd marriage, with the same guy

confused Buda
08-10-11, 07:10 PM
I know that there are a lot of bright brains out there so I am putting forward my dilemma:

- I am 44, recently diagnosed with ADD combined.
- Living abroad (3 countries so far) in 19 years.
- in a relationship for 18 years.
- He is a `foreigner`, I speak his language (english), he does not speak mine.
- We had several break ups before our 1st marriage due to him not completely finished with his ex, and me being stupidly insecure yet obsessed with him.
- We married after 5 years of relationship, divorced in 2 years after our 1st child, but never really been apart (he bought a flat in my block so that he could see the baby - and me i guess).
- Remarried and had our 2nd child (or vice versa) some years later.
- Although not diagnosed with anything, my husband is a very very particular person: very intelligent and scientific, knows so much about everything and applies them in everyday life that means lots of rules to follow and lots and lots of criticism if you fail to obey. He is not very interactive-communicative, unless it`s about music, newest technology, world politics, environmental issues or guitars... and some wine helps him in his communication too! His lack of communication, in conjunction with his seriousness (in what is right and what is wrong - particularly what is wrong) makes him look like a very negative, angry, grumpy and pain-to-live-with person.
- additionally, language had always been an issue as my brain shows signs of fatigue after long and intense exposure to foreign language(s) which you cant avoid if your partner cant speak your language.
- When kids were younger, i spoke my (and therefore their) mother tongue with them but recently the younger one speaks only English and refuses anything else (he also has ADD - inattentive).
- my environment (home and office) is so predominantly English that there is no escape.
-also i can`t accept the fact that my 10 year old child can`t speak my language.
- since i cant live any longer in this multi lingual-multi cultural mess, I decided to move out and have my own place (for the second time)... details are still to be worked out..

Now looking back, I see that I tried very hard, therefore I`m very very tired. I love him deeply, hence the pain, but as well as love, heart needs piece and quite as well. And I am wondering if ADD played any role on this story... for instance, does ADD impact peoples` foreign language skills?

08-11-11, 09:50 AM
There are a few holes in the narrative that make it difficult to give solid guidance...

so I'll make a few assumptions....

If his mother tongue is English I'm assuming he grew up in the UK.. UK foreign language education has been (and maybe still is) pretty dire. It comes of having an empire and expecting everybody who is anybody to speak English.

We're also (excepting N wales and a tiny tiny part of the western Isles) a monoglot country. Second language skill are only found in immigrant communities. Consequently the brain isn't pushed to develop language learning/pattern matching skills.

There's no reason to suppose that ADD would make it less likely to be bi-lingual however the method of teaching foreign languages in the UK might well make it more of an unpleasant experience for ADDers than NT pupils... unless the ADDer had for some reason an hyperfocal interest in it.

I can remember hating foreign languages with a passion.... strangely I can understand French when in France and can talk it in my head... but not out of my mouth. The same is true to a much lesser extent in Gealic.

My French teacher wrote me off as a no-hoper and was REALLY ****ed off when I got an A at O grade (age 15).

I'm a bit confused when you say you've lived in 3 different countries. I assume that your partner would have been living and working in other languages during this time. would he have just got overwhelmed with the idea of learning your language as well as another work/community language simultaneously.... and just decided to do "one at a time"?

I don't think it's unusual for kids to decide to focus on one language if it's the one that works in the community. The way round that is to take holidays in the "other" language so that the kid sees other situations where the other language is essential for communication.

You also don't mention your own mother tongue... if it's not latin based or has a different alphabet it would be even more difficult for an English speaker to learn.

It sounds like he thinks "why bother" learning your language would be trying to to something you do well... and that might put him in an inferior position.... something you can do effortlessly that he struggles and stumbles with.... which hits his sense of self esteem and masculinity.

Lots of stuff swirling around when you lift the lid.... not much of it ADD related... but some of it might be affected by ADD.


08-11-11, 10:03 AM
Some happy marriages exist where the two have their own places near each other.

Also, be honest with yourself. Make sure that it's really you that can't accept that your child won't speak your language. Don't confuse what you can't accept from what your own parents can't accept of your child. I know how it is, my mom piles on the pressure for me to speak french to my son. Of course when she visits she doesn't speak french to him, even when he was too young to speak back... but I digress.

08-11-11, 10:38 AM
As far as language difficulties go
I went through all of nursing school with honors. (I think this was because I was
so very interested in learning about the human body and the material in general was interesting to me) However, I also Always wanted to learn
how to speak Spanish, thought it would be no big deal...took a Beginner
Spanish course, had to drop out (or risk flunking the course) was
extremely difficult for me to learn even the simplest sentences. I've attempted
to try again, and failed the second time as well. I have also attempted the CD course, and also could not grasp it at all. Despite my interest in wanting to learn the material, i just did not "get it" although I also didn't have anyone that spoke the language around to help me get through it either. Though I am not sure that would have made any difference for me.

A bigger question for me would be has he made ANY attempt to learn your language at all?? If not, than as above poster stated by kilted may indeed be the problem.
However, if he has attempted numerous times to learn it, it also may be that he just
can not grasp the new language, as was in my case. Either way I sense this is a very Big issue for you at this point in your life. Good luck with the heavy decisions you are needing to make, wishing you the best.

confused Buda
08-12-11, 05:23 AM
Thank you for your reply Pedalpounder. Yes it is me who can't accept that my son can't speak my language, because its my brain that can't cope with switching from one language to the other. In fact, the kids have 3 languages (French at school), so my (ADD) son is probably having the same difficulty as myself for language switching (non-ADDer daughter has no problem). Therefore I came to the conclusion that creating a single language environment will help: if the environemtn is fully English (like me at work), or French (like my son at school), it is OK. Problem is at home where we have to switch all the time.

confused Buda
08-12-11, 05:47 AM
Thank you for your reply Kilted Scotsman.

Most of your assumptions are correct: yes, UK. yes, Brits aren't necesserily (not only Brits but most of English speaking world) very good when it comes to learning foreign languages, yes he has been with me in 3 countries and was probably overwhelmed with my latin alphabet based but non-indo-european langauge... however it is not my husband who has the ADD, it is me. As such, the real issue is me suffering from multi language (home) environement.

I didn't have a problem with learning and speaking English. It is the constant language switching where my brain struggles, and my ADD son as well, hence the question about ADD.

confused Buda
08-12-11, 05:56 AM
Thank you ADDisme2010. Yes he did tried a few times, can produce good assays, able to understand a bit but not able to speak.

08-12-11, 05:59 AM
wow that's a lot!

I don't know how much ADD has to do with all of this - it may just be for whatever reason your son has rejected the language.

my son really rejected english, unfortunately I spoke both French & English to him which i guess you're not supposed to do. I think it started when he would stay with my mother in law, since she doesn't speak english she didn't understand everything he said; then I guess he was like, wait no one else speaks this!

This lasted for about 6 years I think! then one year it all clicked in his mind and he was coming out with pretty fluent sentences on vacation in the States.

Now he also speaks german and is going to get a degree in translation :)

Don't worry too much about it, although I know how frustrating it can be...