View Full Version : Mean comments from my spouse


Sunflower009
05-07-17, 05:17 AM
I think my husband has given up on me due to my ADHD. He picks on me now all the time for every tiny thing. Yesterday I forgot to pack one of the kid's toys and he muttered under his breath (in a very mean way) "*sigh* I KNEW I should have just done EVERYTHING."

I could feel myself about to cry, but I choked out "I'm sorry" (in a very sincere way, not sarcastic!!) he didn't answer me, and wouldn't even look at me after that. I held back my tears the rest of the car ride.

I don't know what to do anymore. I can't do anything "all the way" right, there is always SOMETHING I forget or do wrong. And it's gotten worse and worse in the past few months as he has been making lots of mean comments on it.

I used to not mind so much, I could pretty much tolerate some mean comments, and honestly, I didn't care so much that I was "doing lots of stuff wrong". I mean, of course I try not to, but if I messed up, it was no big deal. But now, it is really starting to wear me down. I feel like he hates me. I am starting to feel worthless. I generally keep a positive outlook and can bounce back pretty quickly, but every comment from him like that sends me all the way down, and it's getting harder and harder to rise back up again. And the worst part of it is, they are not just "impulsive" comments from him; he really means them, and never apologizes. We are in marriage counseling but it is FOREVER between appointments (3-4 weeks) and we can hardly talk about anything in between without him just attacking me the whole time about all my sins (due to having ADHD)

Can anyone just give me a big hug??? I'm feeling so alone :-(

l_ruth_
05-07-17, 07:25 AM
hey @Sunflower009 I'm really sorry to hear about this *hugs*

sarahsweets
05-07-17, 09:45 AM
I think my husband has given up on me due to my ADHD. He picks on me now all the time for every tiny thing. Yesterday I forgot to pack one of the kid's toys and he muttered under his breath (in a very mean way) "*sigh* I KNEW I should have just done EVERYTHING."
Does he even understand adhd? Did he read about it so he can participate in your progress? Even though its your disorder, when you have a partner it goes from me to we because your lives are so woven together.

I could feel myself about to cry, but I choked out "I'm sorry" (in a very sincere way, not sarcastic!!) he didn't answer me, and wouldn't even look at me after that. I held back my tears the rest of the car ride.

I would have cried too. How awful and mean. What kind of progress are you supposed to make with that kind of non-support? Why would he be so mean and expect that to help? Whats his end goal? To make you feel bad or help you? or make you feel like sh*t?

I don't know what to do anymore. I can't do anything "all the way" right, there is always SOMETHING I forget or do wrong. And it's gotten worse and worse in the past few months as he has been making lots of mean comments on it.

Are you on medication? Whats your treatment like?

I used to not mind so much, I could pretty much tolerate some mean comments, and honestly, I didn't care so much that I was "doing lots of stuff wrong". I mean, of course I try not to, but if I messed up, it was no big deal. But now, it is really starting to wear me down. I feel like he hates me. I am starting to feel worthless. I generally keep a positive outlook and can bounce back pretty quickly, but every comment from him like that sends me all the way down, and it's getting harder and harder to rise back up again. And the worst part of it is, they are not just "impulsive" comments from him; he really means them, and never apologizes. We are in marriage counseling but it is FOREVER between appointments (3-4 weeks) and we can hardly talk about anything in between without him just attacking me the whole time about all my sins (due to having ADHD)

Maybe you used to not mind so much because its a slow pattern of abuse that got you used to taking it? Why so long between counseling sessions? What does the counselor say? This is verbal abuse. Whether you feel like you deserve it or not, its abuse. Its not acceptable.

Can anyone just give me a big hug??? I'm feeling so alone :-(
I would give you a big hug and slap the sh*t out of your husband.

dvdnvwls
05-07-17, 10:55 AM
:grouphug:

I've been in a situation similar to yours. I'm sad to say that when the real hate begins then the marriage becomes more difficult to fix.

He might be too bitter or too angry about the past - he might not even be willing to think about the future anymore.

The problems of ADHD can sometimes make the non-ADHD person so confused and discouraged that they feel forced to give up.

ToneTone
05-07-17, 11:34 AM
Here's a huge hug!

You don't deserve this meanness.

Tone

icantbelive93
05-08-17, 03:46 AM
He sounds like a total a**hole. I like what Sarahsweets said above. Have you tried sitting down with him when you are both calm, and calmly explaining to him that you try your hardest, but you will always have trouble with certain things? Does he even know what ADHD is? If he can't understand that then I would think really long and hard if your marriage is worth staying in.

Sunflower009
05-08-17, 05:21 AM
Thanks for your comments. He has read a lot about ADHD in the past year or so, and is finally now reading a book about women with ADHD. He thinks he understands it, but he still doesn't TOTALLY believe that it is not a moral problem. Despite reading the books he still thinks I do certain thiings out of selfishness and am only blaming the ADHD.

I have had treatment in the past but it has been more than 10 years since then. I really thought I had it under control but obviously not. Or at least, not according to him. I am trying to get into treatment again, but my appointment isn't until August. It's becuase where I live there is a shortage of doctors in general, and for psychaitrists and psychologists the waiting times are generally 3-6 months (even for serious depression!!)
In an emergency I can go to the hospital, but they don't really know about ADHD there.

It's similar with the marriage counselor. They are just totally overbooked, that's why it takes so long between appointments. it is WAYYYY too long in my opinion.

We had a long disucssion last night. He says he doesn't hate me, but some of the things I do are extrememly aggrivating to him, and make him feel scared. (He is afraid I will forget to pick up the kids from day care, for example, and I too often push the limits which he can't stand) There are a few other things like that. He is over-exaggerating things into potential catastrophes, and driving himself nuts, and of course I add to that with the way I am ADHD. He is also getting help for his axiety and depression, but again, the waiting times are just soooooo long, that a relatively minor crisis is quickly turning major.

I personally think he needs to let go of trying to control my behavior. He thinks that I just don't care, and that I'm not trying to get better, and if he lets go, I will get worse. (I am getting worse, but it's because he is being too controlling!!)

We both want to stay in the marriage and I am trying to be patient until he can get the help he needs. But in the meantime it is seriously difficult....!!!

ToneTone
05-08-17, 02:07 PM
Sounds like you're in a tough situation.

It's really hard to be married to someone who is holding us to a standard that fundamentally is hard for us to meet. The relationship can quickly become unequal and unfair ... as the more organized partner thinks they are better than we are. They are not, of course. The pressure ADHD people can feel from a more high-functioning partner can weigh people down ... You can make improvements and still feel you're not meeting the other partner's standards.

But know that your partner has a role in this dynamic and you are not totally to blame. This person denied or ignored or missed your "deficits," though they were most likely in plain sight. They missed or ignored how you really function and often they go years holding in their feelings and then they explode with criticism and anger and frustration.

It is very important to set your own standards about what you reasonably can and cannot do ... and that includes the amount of cleaning, straightening, bill-paying and all the rest. These are not simple tasks to folks with ADHD.

It is also important to figure out your strengths and figure out as well what work in the marriage and in the family is reasonably easy for you to do ... Maximize your strengths ... Look for where you can use your strengths in the marriage. You won't be able to do everything. No one can ...

And stand up for yourself. Partners lose respect for us when we don't stand up for ourselves. I know: it's a cruel paradox. We feel guilty not meeting certain expectations and we lose confidence ... and loss of confidence lowers our functioning level (even as we try harder) and makes us less attractive to our partners, not more so. A cruel dynamic for sure.

Don't be afraid to see a counselor on your own ... to help you sort through and build your own confidence and set reasonable expectations for yourself. Yes maximize treatment, but even good treatment may not change the dynamic unless you stand up for yourself.

Tone

dvdnvwls
05-08-17, 03:37 PM
Once someone truly gives up on you, there's nothing that can be done to save the relationship until they change their attitude.

If that's really what has happened, then either he changes his attitude, or saving the relationship has to stop being the goal. :(

Johnny Slick
05-08-17, 05:25 PM
Yeah, your husband may or may not be at his wit's end or otherwise have semi-legitimate reasons for behaving the way that he is, but whether he does or not he's acting like a gigantic jerk to you. When you're in a relationship with another person you need to accept the other person for who they are, I feel, and when you're in one as committed as a marriage that goes many, many times over. And this isn't even a "hey, this person is grumpy today; I should be nice to them" situation, this is an actual mental condition that you have. Presumably you're trying to correct it but part of those attempts needs to be an acceptance of what you are and what you're prone to do sometimes.

On that note, I realize that you can't see a therapist for couples' counseling more often than once a month or so, but are you seeing a therapist for *yourself*? I don't know how long you've been diagnosed (it *sounds* like not long but maybe I'm wrong) but as great a job as medication does with some people with ADHD, if you had to live with it into your adolescent or adult years like at all then chances are you've built up some defense mechanisms and coping strategies that *you* need to learn to abandon or modify now that your brain doesn't act like an ADHD brain anymore (or, if you can't medicate and it still does, I'd say you're gonna want to see a therapist even *more* because they can also give you new strategies that don't necessarily do stuff like ruin your self-esteem).

To take the biggest example from your post, and I hope that this doesn't come across as mean... you did let your husband walk all over you in that exchange. He was straight up being passive aggressive at you and mean and a jerk and you responded by crying and saying that you're sorry. Now, I'm not saying that you were *wrong* - I firmly believe that just about all of us try to do the best that we can with the tools and the data that we have available - but consider that now that you know you have a condition that you are getting treated, this might no longer be the best option for you anymore. I think it would behoove you to sit down with a therapist on your own, without your husband anywhere around you, and figure this stuff out. Because (and again, sorry if this sounds harsh) your husband may have been a complete jerk, but he was doing it by (I'm pretty sure of this from the tone of the post) sliding into a role that both of you are very familiar with.

I guess it's like this (and here, too, I know I'm making big assumptions, so tell me if I'm way off): for much of your life you thought you were driving a beater car everywhere you went, but you now understand that you're actually driving a Corvette that requires special gas in order to work right. This is like 99% a good thing! Don't get me wrong! But you also have to kind of re-learn how to drive this newly awesome car that you get to be behind the wheel of, right? Part of that means you probably don't have to apologize for driving a beater car anymore (this metaphor is DYING but I will continue!), another part means that understanding that when you put the pedal down all the way it really goes down all the way, so you should be mindful of how far you put it down, and still another part is figuring out exactly the various things you had to do to account for that jalopy that you don't have to account for anymore. I *hope* this makes sense through all of this? Anyway, you're not driving your car wrong now, exactly. You're driving it 100% right according to how you've learned to drive all these years. But you should *still* get out there and find a new instructor, one who just knows about Corvettes, because as well as you can drive now, you can drive *even better* with help.

Kunga Dorji
05-09-17, 10:26 PM
Thanks for your comments. He has read a lot about ADHD in the past year or so, and is finally now reading a book about women with ADHD. He thinks he understands it, but he still doesn't TOTALLY believe that it is not a moral problem. Despite reading the books he still thinks I do certain things out of selfishness and am only blaming the ADHD.


Understanding ADHD and living with it are two different things.
The hardest thing to understand (for all of us) is that the aggravating behaviours are not voluntary behaviours.

There is a second layer to this though, the mind wandering in ADHD can promote anxiety and depression as we drift back to negative thoughts, so often we ( myself and other individuals I have asked) will develop hobbies or interests that seem selfish. In my case I found playing guitar very helpful- but it didnt get much housework done. Longer term meditation proved better and has left a lasting effect.

Can you give examples of what he thinks you do out of selfishness and your reasons for doing them.


I have had treatment in the past but it has been more than 10 years since then. I really thought I had it under control but obviously not. Or at least, not according to him. I am trying to get into treatment again, but my appointment isn't until August. It's because where I live there is a shortage of doctors in general, and for psychiatrists and psychologists the waiting times are generally 3-6 months (even for serious depression!!)
In an emergency I can go to the hospital, but they don't really know about ADHD there.


I find the majority of my ADHD attention symptoms persist with or without medication. Impulsivity is better and hyperactivity has largely improved with some work on a painful spine.
However my attention is relatively easily pulled away from its target and I usually have to manage that by developing a kind of tunnel vision. That tunnel vision can cause problems as I miss things.

The point I am getting at is that there is much that will not respond to standard treatment- and looking at an ADHD coaching approach can be far more helpful- and can be something you can start on straight away.

Nancy Ratey's book "The Disorganised Mind" is great as it has a self coaching approach and she has ADHD, and her former husband John Ratey is a well recognised expert on the area.
The book is simple and well organised- where many are not!


It's similar with the marriage counselor. They are just totally overbooked, that's why it takes so long between appointments. it is WAYYYY too long in my opinion.

Have you had a look at the "Non violent communication" approach?
The main centre for it is at https://www.cnvc.org/
but if you do an internet search, there are plenty of free resources and exercises.
It is all about allowing both parties to be heard without descending in to anger.



We had a long discussion last night. He says he doesn't hate me, but some of the things I do are extremely aggravating to him, and make him feel scared. (He is afraid I will forget to pick up the kids from day care, for example, and I too often push the limits which he can't stand) There are a few other things like that. He is over-exaggerating things into potential catastrophes, and driving himself nuts, and of course I add to that with the way I am ADHD. He is also getting help for his axiety and depression, but again, the waiting times are just soooooo long, that a relatively minor crisis is quickly turning major.

I personally think he needs to let go of trying to control my behavior. He thinks that I just don't care, and that I'm not trying to get better, and if he lets go, I will get worse. (I am getting worse, but it's because he is being too controlling!!)

We both want to stay in the marriage and I am trying to be patient until he can get the help he needs. But in the meantime it is seriously difficult....!!!

Firstly I would say that the dynamic of the non ADHD partner or parent responding to the disorganisation by trying to control it harder is really common in ADHD- and it does not help anyone.

My 'significant other" would like me to drive faster than I do and is worried that I might miss something and have an accident (At 55 years old my worst has been minor scrapes caused by misjudgig when reversing).

So I tell her "I am having enough problems with my attention already, and your attempt to resolve the situation by issueing more instructions only adds to the number of things I have to attend to! Maybe your husband needs to hear that.

Secondly he is telling you about things that are troubling him-- that is good. My ex wife did not- but sat on it all getting angrier and angrier for about 15 years. The end was not pretty.

The trouble is that if you talk about all these things at once you will end up with a muddle.

An alternative would be for him to write a list of things that really worry him (like leaving the kids behind), and a list of the things that he finds aggravating.

If he can accept that your attention works differently and it always well then you should be able to take the lead in working out strategies to minimise the trouble that the ADHD causes.

The things that worry him should be easily manageable (ie set a phone alarm at school pick up time--- maybe not necessary for you but reassuring for him).

As for the things that aggravate him-- you need to look for a common pattern that you can work on.

As I said, my common pattern is to overcompensate for the unstable attention by developing tunnel vision- both metaphorically and literally. So most of the strategies that I use aim to cover for that. That way I am really only using one common strategy to deal with the problem. That is so much more simple!

The ending of a marriage is usually a disaster financially and emotionally for both partners and the children, and it is one of the most stress provoking events known in ordinary life.

Sunflower009
05-10-17, 12:10 PM
Thanks all of you for your insights! I am taking a lot away from this...

First off I do agree that I have been apologizing way too much for things. I think you are completely right that he has lost respect for me becuase I have been trying to apologize, and accepting the blame for so many things. The problem is I don't really know how to get out of it at this point. He has been blaming me for so many things for so long... and I was always defensive, always giving reasons why he was overdoing it, or why what he was blaming for was actually not that bad.

An example is once when i was late to pick up the kids, I was in another city about an hour away, and realized I was going to be late after having lost track of time. So I started panicking and thinking about what to do. I was thinking about which of my friends I could call to pick up the kids for me, when suddenly one of my friends called and I explained everything, and she agreed to pick them up for me, and hang out at the playground until I was there. Everything worked out fine. But he was super mad at me and still is, because "what would have happend *IF*..."? I told him I didn't see any reason for him to be mad because even though I shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place, I had a lot of options for how to take care of it, and was using my network to help me out. I had a plan and several backup plans within a matter of 15 minutes. And the kids didn't care at all, they were more than happy to go to the playground.

The thing is, he simply will not let these kinds of things go. He sees it as a huge deal. Especially becuase they happen more often to me than most people. The situation I just described is the WORST one I have ever had happen, but all of the smaller things have just been adding up and he is taking it all super hard, to the point where he has developed a lot of anxiety over my inconsistent behaviors.

Soooooo.... I wanted to show him that I really do care about him, and that I understand what kind of impact my ADHD is having on him. So I started apologizing for it. I did it several times in person and then I finally wrote a huge long letter explaining how I recognized that my behaviors were not good, and that it was hurting him, and I was so sorry for being a bad mother, bad wife, etc etc etc. Just writing the letter made me feel so awful that I ended up going to the psychiatric clinic that evening to talk to someone becuase I couldn't shake off the feelings of guilt.

Talking to someone helped a lot, and I came back that same night, but after that he sent me some articles about how our ego often prevents us from improving ourselves, or seeing our faults, I was so mad. I felt like he should tell me that I AM a good mother and wife. Because actually I do MOST things really well, I just have a few areas which i have trouble with. And it's not like I don't care about the kids, its just that I don't keep track of time well, or account for traffic or other things, and I often just don't see the consequences of my actions until they are right on top of me. (no I'm not on medication or in therapy yet, am still waiting for my first appointment, which is in three months... grrr)

I think what is happening is really that when I apologize I think that it will make him happy, but it just makes him feel justified in being angry at me, and then he keeps riding his high horse around, beating me more and more down. He has now decided that I am not capable of taking care of the kids, and has been doing it all himself for the past 10 days. His reasoning is that he never knows when I might "forget" a kid, or forget to pick one up (has not even come CLOSE to happening) and also that I often would forget to give them thier medicines when they were sick, and would cut short the time they did inhalations for bronchitis, or miss them all together becuase we were too busy. (The inhalations are pure torture by the way, 15 minutes of sitting there, holding the baby down while they scream thier lungs out, because they hate the machine. So I often used the quick version, which the doctor told me wasn't as good but was OK to use if the proper one got to be too much.) Anyways the fact that I "don't take thier health seriously" (according to him) is the reason i am not fit to be a parent. I find it completely, totally over the top, but I still went and apologized for missing/skipping/forgetting/cutting short a lot of treatments over the past years, even though it really was NOT a big deal, becuase the doctor said it was OK, and they always got better anyways, even if it probably took a little longer. (I didn't ALWAYS skip them, just sometimes)

So how do I back-pedal now? How do I re-gain his respect at this point? How do I make him see that actually how he is acting is way out of proportion, and that he needs to give me a break about it??

And what about that ego stuff...? I mean it's true, my ego DOES get in my way, so that I can't always see my own faults, and get defensive. But I feel like we still need our egos a little bit, because don#t we need some self esteem? I mean of course I want to improve myself, but I also need respect and self esteem, right? Also I feel like he is being extremely hypocritical because he is only focusing on MY ego and MY problems, and not on his own. I haven't pointed that out to him yet because I know the message will not go through, and only end up making us argue and he would probably just retreat about it, or say that me pointing it out to him is just another example of me not wanting to take care of my own problems (ego getting in my way, again.). I feel totally stuck...

Sunflower009
05-10-17, 12:14 PM
Oh, and as for which behaivors I meant when I said I sometimes act selfishly... what I meant wasn't hobbies (I have none anymore since having kids...) What I was talking about was for example staying too late at a playdate with friends because I'm having fun, instead of going home to eat dinner. So then we will be a half hour late to eat dinner, for example, and the kids are hungry, just because I was having fun talking to a friend.

Or, for example, that I would rather talk to my friends on the playground than really "play" with the kids. (I think it's actually better not to play with your kids so that they develop their own creativity, but my husband thinks I'm being selfish and don't care about them)

Sunflower009
05-10-17, 12:16 PM
AND you are totally right, that I'm GLAD he is telling me these things rather than bottling them up and letting them out way too late!!!! I DO think we can get over this rough patch but we need some patience and time, and he needs to recognize that I#m not at fault for everything, and that he needs to let up a bit. Just not too sure how to get him to that point... I mean basically he has to realize it himself...

dvdnvwls
05-10-17, 02:35 PM
IF he has really given up on you, ...

... and I don't know that, so it's a very big IF ...

IF he truly has given up on you, then this is not a rough patch, it's the end.

I really hope he hasn't.

Lunacie
05-10-17, 07:52 PM
Sooo ... hubby thinks you aren't trying hard enough to control your adhd traits
but meanwhile he's not doing very well at controlling his anxiety symptoms.

Only difference is you're not bashing him and he is bashing you.

I sometimes wonder if my marriage would've been better if I'd been diagnosed
sooner? Reading this, I suspect my husband would've blamed me too.

He totally accepted that I have migraine disorder, but he thought having sex
more often would relieve the migraines. He even knew that they were triggered
by weather changes, not by tension, which is what sex helps with.

Sorry you can't get better treatment or counseling often enough. :grouphug:

daveddd
05-10-17, 08:51 PM
It's really tough reading a situation from a couple paragraphs from one side. So if he really is just being a you know what, the advice has been great. It's what i thought at first, then i put myself in my wives shoes and thought about how I often get offended when she she says the same stuff.

It's really hard , but then I remember she is an adult trying her best to let us live a normal life, and though I contribute, I can also get in the way. So slowly I let her read a couple things about ADHD.. I did on my good days, when i can follow it with an accomplishment instead of an imperfect attempt on something. Had her read a few more things , called her over for videos. Tried to show her what I'm dealing with was real, but also trying to come up with minor solutions for things. Simply using normal communication instead of her passive aggressive sighs and and me inhibiting my true response can make the situation several times better, not saying it solved it. I asked to help "manage me" use her type A responsibility to make reasonable and nicely written reminders for tasks

uh sorry for ramblin

Luvmybully
05-10-17, 08:52 PM
Sooo ... hubby thinks you aren't trying hard enough to control your adhd traits
but meanwhile he's not doing very well at controlling his anxiety symptoms.

Only difference is you're not bashing him and he is bashing you.




:thankyou:

Oh SNAP! Yes!!

Luvmybully
05-10-17, 09:05 PM
Gosh, I get very angry reading about how your husband is treating you.

Knowing you have ADHD does NOT mean you can make it go away. It does NOT GO AWAY.

Your children are not being harmed by you, at least not according to anything you've posted.

HOWEVER, they WILL pick up on his lousy treatment of their mother. THAT is not a healthy situation to put them in.

He got mad about a forgotten TOY!?! A toy? Like that makes you a danger to them? They had to go with a toy?

He needs to accept that LIFE is not perfect. You could have arthritis, or Lupus, or diabetes, or any number of physical ailments that prevent you from being the perfect little house wife and mother. He needs to ACCEPT your illness and stop expecting non-realistic miracles to happen.

Kids are not going to die if they have to sit at school a few moments longer. Heck I forgot my youngest daughter TWICE at school! The school was 30 minutes away! She survived just fine.

If your Dr has not raised any alarms or concerns about your children's health, then your husband needs to back off.

My advice is to make a list of priorities. What do you as a couple REALLY want to focus on. It must be realistic. This whole idea of getting EVERYTHING done, and in a pre-determined, rigid time frame is just not realistic.

Pick your battles wisely.

Kunga Dorji
05-11-17, 01:08 AM
Soooooo.... I wanted to show him that I really do care about him, and that I understand what kind of impact my ADHD is having on him. So I started apologizing for it. .... .... I ended up going to the psychiatric clinic that evening to talk to someone because I couldn't shake off the feelings of guilt.


Now this is the catch: your ADHD behaviours are NOT voluntary. They are the outcome of systems in the deep part of the brain that are having difficulty sorting out which stimuli are relevant and should be responded to and which ones do not need conscious attention. (IE Most of us could walk on a rough bush track and maintain a conversation while letting our brain sort out the foot placement issue unconsciously).

So- as they are not conscious behaviours they really are not your fault. You didnt ask to be born with an ADHD brain. So carrying guilt for them is inappropriate- it doesn't make sense. It is appropriate to say that you are sorry that something you have done has impacted badly on them- but feeling guilty is counterproductive.

What can you do about the ADHD behaviours?
Plan to anticipate them and how to manage their outcomes.
Structure your environment to minimise potential chaos - mostly putting things away in the same place as soon as they are done with and completing tasks.
Stay calm and level headed- fear, anxiety, guilt will all make your function worse-- and that is why I say move away from the guilt response to the "what do I do about it response"

If you can get someone good to teach you then meditation is a great help at establishing a calm and still mind. In time you do get much better at dropping anxiety and getting less entangled in endlessly recycled worries.

Maintaining alertness can be an issue for many ADHD people, and to be honest that is where I find the greatest benefit of stimulant medication.

However your function, just like mine, will be better if you are calm


Talking to someone helped a lot, and I came back that same night, but after that he sent me some articles about how our ego often prevents us from improving ourselves, or seeing our faults

How much reading has he done about ADHD? Everyone with any experience in this area understands that this is not an ego/conscious will issue.

This quote from Dr Gabor Mate's book Scattered sums it all up very well.
(His opinions about the causation of ADHD are sometimes controversial but he understands the condition and what to do about it very well. He should - he is one of us)
https://drgabormate.com/preview/scattered-minds-u-s-scattered-chapter-two/


The hallmark of ADD is an automatic, unwilled “tuning out,” a frustrating non-presence of mind. People suddenly find that they have heard nothing of what they have been listening to, saw nothing of what they were looking at, remember nothing of what they were trying to concentrate on. One misses information and directions, misplaces things, and struggles to stay abreast of conversations. Tuning out creates practical hardships, and it also interferes with one’s enjoyment of life.


Why is it so hard to get this across?



I think what is happening is really that when I apologize I think that it will make him happy, but it just makes him feel justified in being angry at me, and then he keeps riding his high horse around, beating me more and more down....

So how do I back-pedal now? How do I re-gain his respect at this point? How do I make him see that actually how he is acting is way out of proportion, and that he needs to give me a break about it??
[/quote]

You will see that what he is doing is eroding your peace of mind and self confidence and making you more dysfunctional if you compare that with what I said about needing a more still mind to work at your best.


And what about that ego stuff...? I mean it's true, my ego DOES get in my way, so that I can't always see my own faults, and get defensive.

That is the same for all of us unless we are saints. However it would be helpful if your husband explained what on earth he meant by that comment.


But I feel like we still need our egos a little bit,


Agreed- but what is an ego? I heard the neurologist Antonio Damasio say that our ego is a construct our brain uses to make sense of our world, and to develop a story about who we are and what we need to do next. It gives us a sense of self that helps us justify our place in the world.

In your case your ego structure would include being a mother and a wife, and if you lost your ego you would lose all relationship to those activities and your incentive to do them could disappear. (The ego can be transcended but that's uncommon, to say the least).

If the articles he gave you were online ones it would be interesting to read them- a lot of nonsense is spoken in the world of pop psychology. The idea of "ego" is a very nebulous one and it means many things to different people.


Also I feel like he is being extremely hypocritical because he is only focusing on MY ego and MY problems, and not on his own. I haven't pointed that out to him yet because I know the message will not go through, and only end up making us argue and he would probably just retreat about it, or say that me pointing it out to him is just another example of me not wanting to take care of my own problems (ego getting in my way, again.). I feel totally stuck...

I'd agree with you on the "hypocrisy" call.

Also the ADHD is not driven by your ego- it comes from a deeper place in the brain.

However- what I said above about the ADHD brain functioning better in a calm and ordered way does apply just as much to non ADHD people, and it may be useful to approach things saying that you are both feeling agitated and that is helping neither of you and that you both need to focus on stabilising and supporting each other.

It sounds like you have got quite a wait before you can get any professional help so focussing on simple things will help.

finallyfound10
05-13-17, 12:44 PM
(((((Sunflower009)))))

BIG HUG!!!

Are there any therapists who do counseling over Skype or similar thing? I know it's better to do in person, IMHO, but you could both have your counseling sessions more frequently perhaps if that method is available and they practice that way.

Sunflower009
05-13-17, 04:35 PM
Here are the articles he sent me:

https://ryanholiday.net/meet-your-worst-enemy/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2017/04/fck-your-dreams-and-other-painful-things-you-have-to-hear-to-be-successful/


I think there are some interesting ideas in both articles, especially if you are trying to develop humility, and I understand that often our ego blocks us from making real improvements to ourselves. But honestly my self-esteem is already at an all-time low. I have been trying hard to get some self-respect back. Having him tell me that I have even more problems which I don't even see and am being too egoistic to accept is just horrible. I don't really agree with him on it. And yet then I start wondering, what if he's right? I mean, I am the kind of person who is always looking for the other perspective, and trying to see how I might be understanding things wrong. So naturally I am trying to see weather I am also wrong on this issue. Then I start looking at places where I DO have too much ego and of course I can always find some areas where I have some self-confidence, and then i start to take that apart.

It has been so destructive.

So.... based on the comments from you guys, (especially the VERY insightful comment about how people lose respect for you when you apologize too much and don't have respect for yourself) I decided to start drawing more boundaries, and standing up for myself more.

And it worked!!! He really backed off in a few areas, and even though we are still in a really bad place, at least I am not totally down in the toilet. I told him that some of the things I apologized for were wrong. That after some reflection, I really did think that I had done a decently good job, even though it wasn't perfect. And I told him that I thought I am a good mother.

He asked me: "who told you that you're a good mother...?!"
I said: "I did."

Boom.

Sunflower009
05-13-17, 04:46 PM
Of course this all happened a few days ago, and since then, things have been kind of up and down. Sometimes I can draw the line when i notice that he is treating me badly. Other times I don't notice it (or at least not until later), or I don't feel like I can draw the line because I am too confused about what is happening.

For example, i will tell him that I feel like what he's saying is wrong, or hypocritical, or hurtful, and then he will turn it all around, as if I were actually the one in charge, and remind me that I actually have totally free choice in the matter, or that I actually asked for it to be that way (and he is always somehow right, but I hadn't been thinking about it that way) and then suddenly I'm not so sure anymore who is right, and I start to doubt my own sanity. I start to wonder if maybe I actually am blowing everything out of proportion, and that actually I could have done anything I wanted to, and am being totally unreasonable to him.

The whole thing is so confusing for me. I don't really know how to sort it out. I wonder if my ADHD is clouding my perception of reality? But after stepping away from the situation for a while, i usually come back to the same idea, which is that somehow or another I am afraid.

Fuzzy12
05-13-17, 11:00 PM
Of course this all happened a few days ago, and since then, things have been kind of up and down. Sometimes I can draw the line when i notice that he is treating me badly. Other times I don't notice it (or at least not until later), or I don't feel like I can draw the line because I am too confused about what is happening.

For example, i will tell him that I feel like what he's saying is wrong, or hypocritical, or hurtful, and then he will turn it all around, as if I were actually the one in charge, and remind me that I actually have totally free choice in the matter, or that I actually asked for it to be that way (and he is always somehow right, but I hadn't been thinking about it that way) and then suddenly I'm not so sure anymore who is right, and I start to doubt my own sanity. I start to wonder if maybe I actually am blowing everything out of proportion, and that actually I could have done anything I wanted to, and am being totally unreasonable to him.

The whole thing is so confusing for me. I don't really know how to sort it out. I wonder if my ADHD is clouding my perception of reality? But after stepping away from the situation for a while, i usually come back to the same idea, which is that somehow or another I am afraid.

Wow, I can so relate to this. The confusion. Before an argument I am always pretty sure I'm right (eg I'm right to be upset about something hurtful he said) but during the argument he somehow turns it around and then I get, if not convinced that he's right, at least seriously confused.

But then to be honest I'm not still not sure if he isn't actually really right...rather than manipulative. And in not sure I don't do the same. I mean we both have our individual understanding and perception and we both believe we are right and are trying to convince the other person that we are in fact right

Based on your op I do think he blames you unfairly. The problem I think might be that either he doesn't understand adhd well or he doesn't want to understand it well because that would mean that he can't blame you for everything anymore.

Before I was diagnosed hubby used to get very upset about my inability to deal with anything domestic or the constant procrastination. For him thr main problem was that he took my shortcuts ad a sign of me not caring. He thought if I really cared I would be able to do certain thinGs. Post diagnosis he now knows that when I don't do something it is because I genuinely can't do it rather thst I didn't do it because I don't care. So.yes making him understand adhd might help.

Howeber even if he doesn't tully ünderstand that's not a reason to treat you badly.

Hope this makes sense.

jkimbo
05-14-17, 05:50 AM
I think my husband has given up on me due to my ADHD. He picks on me now all the time for every tiny thing. Yesterday I forgot to pack one of the kid's toys and he muttered under his breath (in a very mean way) "*sigh* I KNEW I should have just done EVERYTHING."

I could feel myself about to cry, but I choked out "I'm sorry" (in a very sincere way, not sarcastic!!) he didn't answer me, and wouldn't even look at me after that. I held back my tears the rest of the car ride.

I don't know what to do anymore. I can't do anything "all the way" right, there is always SOMETHING I forget or do wrong. And it's gotten worse and worse in the past few months as he has been making lots of mean comments on it.

I used to not mind so much, I could pretty much tolerate some mean comments, and honestly, I didn't care so much that I was "doing lots of stuff wrong". I mean, of course I try not to, but if I messed up, it was no big deal. But now, it is really starting to wear me down. I feel like he hates me. I am starting to feel worthless. I generally keep a positive outlook and can bounce back pretty quickly, but every comment from him like that sends me all the way down, and it's getting harder and harder to rise back up again. And the worst part of it is, they are not just "impulsive" comments from him; he really means them, and never apologizes. We are in marriage counseling but it is FOREVER between appointments (3-4 weeks) and we can hardly talk about anything in between without him just attacking me the whole time about all my sins (due to having ADHD)

Can anyone just give me a big hug??? I'm feeling so alone :-(

Nevermind him, you should cut yourself some slack and stop apologizing! Your only human and everyone forgets and makes mistakes sometimes, so what? My wife use to be like that towards me until I set her straight. You have to stand up for yourself! You do not need to make excuses or say your sorry all the time. If he gives you crap, just give it right back with a extra dose too. See how he likes it. Chances are pretty good they usually stop their crap when they realize they end up getting it back in their face. And stop blaming the ADD all the time too! I mean it's good to embrace your disorder and come to terms with it, but honestly I think some people embrace it too much and wear it like a badge almost proudly. Forget about your ADD too. Just be yourself, if anyone doesn't like it, you do NOT owe them any apologizes.

moth2flame
05-14-17, 04:54 PM
I'm really sorry you're being treated this way - I have been there before, and it's awful. :( ADHD or no, you do NOT deserve this kind of treatment! Sending more hugs if you want them.

It sounds as though your husband has some serious control issues going on, and that his main outlet for exerting control is in his attempting to control *you.* Of course, this is extra ironic if you have ADHD, because we are notoriously hard to control... even for ourselves!! But as someone mentioned above, that may be part of what's at work here. under the surface: without you having "serious problems" (in his mind) that "endanger others" that he feels he needs to "fix" or "help" (ie control), he will have no choice then but to face his OWN issues, and that prospect probably terrifies him to death! It's always so much easier to blame others than it is to look inward to how we may be creating these problems for ourselves.

Please know that you are not crazy to feel confused in this situation! This is extremely confusing behavior to experience, and in a sort of twisted way it's designed to be: he wants you (whether he realizes it consciously or not) to constantly feel off-balance and unsure of yourself, sinking further into self-doubt. This wears you down emotionally, to the point that you'll much more willingly take the blame for things going wrong, and this way he never has to look at himself and how his behavior contributes to things. (If you're not familiar with the term "gaslighting" in relationships, look it up and see if you can relate...)

He needs to realize most of all that DD is not willful misbehavior, you are NOT doing it on purpose out of malice/etc., and it's not something that will ever go away completely. If he can't grasp this, he's not going to respect you, and as someone else said without respect there really can't be love either. Yes, ADD can be managed to an extent with meds and therapy and environment/lifestyle changes, but you're never going to magically transform into the perfect wife/mother he has in his head. Honestly, if he is THAT worried about your mothering skills in the absense of any actual problems with your kids (for example, if he says something like "how could you make them feel so abandoned/scared/unloved/endangered???"... while the kids themselves apparently either didn't notice, or could not care less) that speaks more to him having unresolved issues with how HE was mothered... but that's a whole other can of Freudian worms... :rolleyes:

The way to combat this, simply, is to take back your power. Which is what you've already begun doing - GOOD! Stand up to him and do not take this sh*t anymore. You know instinctively in your gut when he is being controlling/abusive towards you; the best piece of advice I've ever gotten or could ever give when dealing with other people is LISTEN TO THAT INNER VOICE/GUT FEELING, AND ACT ON IT! If you feel like you're being mistreated, probably about 9 times out of 10 you actually are.

So keep making boundaries, express them clearly and often, and hold firm on them! This is how you defeat bullies: by showing them you're able and willing to fight back or walk away, permanently if necessary.

Also, realize he will almost certainly double down on his behavior before he lets up (IF he lets up - after all, it's always worked in the past!) so it's really important that you stand your ground, and continue calling him out on his hurtful judgements if/when he continues to make them. If he's not willing to work with you, be willing to leave - for your own sake, as well as role modeling for your kids (who will learn by example what is and is not acceptable behavior to tolerate from their future spouses, by watching you... imagine many years down the road, if your kids' future wife/husband were to be treating them in the way your husband's treating you now, would that be okay with you?? NO, and it's not okay that it's happening to you now, either!)

Just send the message however you can: you will not put up with his sh*t anymore. From there, he has two choices: he can either change in a positive direction and work WITH you, or go find someone else who will put up with his sh*t. Because you've realized how toxic this is, for both of you, and you're not going to allow him to place all of the blame on you any longer.

Stay strong, you can get through this!

Kunga Dorji
05-14-17, 10:07 PM
Here are the articles he sent me:

https://ryanholiday.net/meet-your-worst-enemy/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2017/04/fck-your-dreams-and-other-painful-things-you-have-to-hear-to-be-successful/


I think there are some interesting ideas in both articles, especially if you are trying to develop humility, and I understand that often our ego blocks us from making real improvements to ourselves. But honestly my self-esteem is already at an all-time low. I have been trying hard to get some self-respect back. Having him tell me that I have even more problems which I don't even see and am being too egoistic to accept is just horrible. I don't really agree with him on it. And yet then I start wondering, what if he's right? I mean, I am the kind of person who is always looking for the other perspective, and trying to see how I might be understanding things wrong. So naturally I am trying to see weather I am also wrong on this issue. Then I start looking at places where I DO have too much ego and of course I can always find some areas where I have some self-confidence, and then i start to take that apart.

It has been so destructive.

So.... based on the comments from you guys, (especially the VERY insightful comment about how people lose respect for you when you apologize too much and don't have respect for yourself) I decided to start drawing more boundaries, and standing up for myself more.

And it worked!!! He really backed off in a few areas, and even though we are still in a really bad place, at least I am not totally down in the toilet. I told him that some of the things I apologized for were wrong. That after some reflection, I really did think that I had done a decently good job, even though it wasn't perfect. And I told him that I thought I am a good mother.

He asked me: "who told you that you're a good mother...?!"
I said: "I did."

Boom.

Nice comeback.
The problem is that the word ego has at least 3 accepted meanings:

1. The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.
2. In psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality.
3. a. An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.
b. Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem.

The articles describe the "pop" meaning of ego and they clearly do not get to the root of your problems-- or the problems of any of us here- as with ADHD we all do the same sort of things that we have.

First amongst those problems is the "neurotypical" :) They really don't get that we are not doing what we do from some conscious motive. Then they fill our heads with counterproductive and incorrect advice- like these articles. They have not lived it, and they are not neurologically literate enough to explain it so they struggle to give good advice.

We should focus on definition 2- which really is the correct one- as per the man who invented the word (Freud).

Psychoanalysts have been prone to attribute ADHD to Borderline Personality Disorder.
Borderline is a disorder in which there is an insufficient sense of self to allow healthy function. (I an think of a nurse friend who had borderline who was a wonderful caring nurse but felt she was too unworthy to live)


2. In psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality.

So effectively, in your case, you can regard your conscious awareness of yourself as a mother as the tag that allows you to remember to do your mothering behaviours.
Or in my case part of my ego is being partner of a very talented woman who keeps a beautiful house and likes things tidy because she has ADHD too, and who is often frustrated by my forgetfulness and clumsiness.

All of us with ADHD have rather unreliable attention which sticks and stutters and we forget to do things and miss things- because they are displaced from consciousness by something else.

So here is the catch- most of the errors we make can probably be described as micro-pauses in the function of our ego-- interrupted ego function- rather than being egotistical.[That's actually a very interesting idea]

However we are often misunderstood.

I think the main thing is to keep the emotional tone as positive as possible- that is more significant than any words.

sarahsweets
05-16-17, 03:21 AM
Its ironic that he sent you an article about ego when his is so clearly off the hook.

Here are the articles he sent me:

https://ryanholiday.net/meet-your-worst-enemy/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2017/04/fck-your-dreams-and-other-painful-things-you-have-to-hear-to-be-successful/


I think there are some interesting ideas in both articles, especially if you are trying to develop humility, and I understand that often our ego blocks us from making real improvements to ourselves. But honestly my self-esteem is already at an all-time low. I have been trying hard to get some self-respect back. Having him tell me that I have even more problems which I don't even see and am being too egoistic to accept is just horrible. I don't really agree with him on it. And yet then I start wondering, what if he's right? I mean, I am the kind of person who is always looking for the other perspective, and trying to see how I might be understanding things wrong. So naturally I am trying to see weather I am also wrong on this issue. Then I start looking at places where I DO have too much ego and of course I can always find some areas where I have some self-confidence, and then i start to take that apart.

It has been so destructive.

So.... based on the comments from you guys, (especially the VERY insightful comment about how people lose respect for you when you apologize too much and don't have respect for yourself) I decided to start drawing more boundaries, and standing up for myself more.

And it worked!!! He really backed off in a few areas, and even though we are still in a really bad place, at least I am not totally down in the toilet. I told him that some of the things I apologized for were wrong. That after some reflection, I really did think that I had done a decently good job, even though it wasn't perfect. And I told him that I thought I am a good mother.

He asked me: "who told you that you're a good mother...?!"
I said: "I did."

Boom.

Kunga Dorji
05-21-17, 09:13 PM
Sooo ... hubby thinks you aren't trying hard enough to control your adhd traits
but meanwhile he's not doing very well at controlling his anxiety symptoms.



You raise an interesting point here Lunacie-- by and large ADHD traits cant be CONTROLLED simply because the relevant behaviour has already been initiated several hundred milliseconds BEFORE you become consciously aware of the problem.

You can mitigate them by having good basic organisational structures (but if they are too complex they will overload the system) and by minimising stress and anxiety.

The anxiety component is much easier to manage through mindfulness strategies once you get in the habit of doing them.
ie for any negative thought- go back to the body, observe for signs of a stress state (sweaty palms, cold fingers, muscle tension) - do whatever you have been taught to do to release that then reassess the thought and see if it is still so compellingly catastrophic.

That is different though, because in anxiety one is acting on a thought and the process is already contained within conscious awareness.

anonymouslyadd
05-21-17, 09:24 PM
I think my husband has given up on me due to my ADHD. He picks on me now all the time for every tiny thing. Yesterday I forgot to pack one of the kid's toys and he muttered under his breath (in a very mean way) "*sigh* I KNEW I should have just done EVERYTHING."
I wish you weren't going through this. This is why ADDers should never share there ADD at work. We make easy targets.

You could have every strategy in the book, and you'll still make mistakes. Is it too much for us to be forgiven?

:grouphug:

anonymouslyadd
05-21-17, 09:28 PM
I could feel myself about to cry, but I choked out "I'm sorry" (in a very sincere way, not sarcastic!!) he didn't answer me, and wouldn't even look at me after that. I held back my tears the rest of the car ride.

Can anyone just give me a big hug??? I'm feeling so alone :-(
This made my heart sad reading about you feeling like you were about to cry. It made me want to cry.

You deserve a million hugs.

:grouphug: