View Full Version : Husband Completely Shut Down Emotionally


ARCHIETILLY
03-16-07, 08:43 AM
Hello I am a new member and this is my first thread. My husband and I recently moved to Asia. He moved a month before me. I arrived there last week to suddenly find my husband completely emotionally shut down from me? No affection whatso ever and he said he wasn't sure he wanted to be with me anymore. We had counselling and the counsellor diagnosed him with ADD. Now that he knows the reason for his feelings he feels a bit better but I am wondering has this happened to any other partner of someone with ADD? He is in a new country, new job, new apartment and everything is new and she said this could explain his behaviour. Any advice or thoughts would be great thanks. Prior to this we have been together for 10 years and very happily married for 5 years. He used to work away a month, home a month so I guess he's used to having more space than what he's getting. We hardly ever argue and things were great prior to me arriving. I know we'll get through this with counselling it's just hard at the moment.:)

pedalpounder
03-16-07, 11:52 AM
I'm going to say something that not everyone may agree to; it's from my own personal experiences. I've been with my ex-wife for 10 years and married for 5, much like you. I didn't realize this until very recently, but I am constantly looking for stimulation. Be it intellectual, physical, visual, auditory... I can sit still, I can be very calm, but something has to stimulate me. A sudoku puzzle. Having a lot of stuff to do at work. Having housework at home. Going places, listening to music, just getting stimulated. If something gets boring, I have to find something else stimulating and I have to find it NOW. I have to go buy something at the store, I have to go for a run. I have to eat. I have to start a new hobby. I have to rearrange stuff. I NEED STIMULATION.

I didn't realize this and I ended up divorcing because I thought she was making me unhappy. Over time, I did not feel stimulated. Things became routine and boring. That happens in every marriage I'm sure, but when your tolerance for the unstimulating is really low, you get pulled towards the greener grass on the other side (even when yours is greener). You start to correlate your unhappiness (boredness) with your relationship, and look to get stimulated elsewhere. And I'm not talking sexually, though it does play a role too, but more as a global stimulation thing in every aspect.

Let me say something important here. Many biased people question "duh, you don't prescribe stimulants to someone hyperactive!!" People who are a little more open might wonder "Hmm, how come stimulants calm someone hyperactive down?" The answer is that we are hyperactive because we are in a rush to find something stimulating, and it isn't until we find that stimulation that we can calm down and be in our 'happy' mode. So, if you can get stimmed with a pill, you get calm. Make sense? Note that hyperactivity does not manifest itself by jumping around, being all 100 miles an hour on everything. It can, but it can also manifest itself completely internally as well with little to no exterior factors.

The thing that you could do is find out what it is that stimulates him. But that's really hard cause that changes ALL the freakin' time. Getting him to take stimulants (e.g Ritalin) is probably the next best thing you can do.

Hopefully you can relate some of what I said to your relationship. I told my ex I never loved her, I said horrible things, I totally shut down and gave up long before I got divorced. It's likely he's already made up his mind. To get him out of it you have to offer him hope for change. You can nurse him back to health by doing something he'll be thrilled about for a while, then coax him into getting meds. It might take some convincing, but do it gently. Good luck!

FrazzleDazzle
03-16-07, 02:36 PM
To quickly answer your question, DS is that way, as well as his dad. When there is alot on their plates, they don't even realize it, but they do just shut down, in every imagineable way. There may be a hint of depression mixed in with it too, and perhaps in your husband's case too. He jsut had his world pulled out from under him, and many ADDHers survive on structure and continuity, and sameness in most areas of their lives, while still needing some stimulation or drama there as well. It makes sense to me that he shut down. I'm happy you are going together for counseling. I wish you the very best of luck!

ARCHIETILLY
03-16-07, 06:06 PM
I'm going to say something that not everyone may agree to; it's from my own personal experiences. I've been with my ex-wife for 10 years and married for 5, much like you. I didn't realize this until very recently, but I am constantly looking for stimulation. Be it intellectual, physical, visual, auditory... I can sit still, I can be very calm, but something has to stimulate me. A sudoku puzzle. Having a lot of stuff to do at work. Having housework at home. Going places, listening to music, just getting stimulated. If something gets boring, I have to find something else stimulating and I have to find it NOW. I have to go buy something at the store, I have to go for a run. I have to eat. I have to start a new hobby. I have to rearrange stuff. I NEED STIMULATION.

I didn't realize this and I ended up divorcing because I thought she was making me unhappy. Over time, I did not feel stimulated. Things became routine and boring. That happens in every marriage I'm sure, but when your tolerance for the unstimulating is really low, you get pulled towards the greener grass on the other side (even when yours is greener). You start to correlate your unhappiness (boredness) with your relationship, and look to get stimulated elsewhere. And I'm not talking sexually, though it does play a role too, but more as a global stimulation thing in every aspect.

Let me say something important here. Many biased people question "duh, you don't prescribe stimulants to someone hyperactive!!" People who are a little more open might wonder "Hmm, how come stimulants calm someone hyperactive down?" The answer is that we are hyperactive because we are in a rush to find something stimulating, and it isn't until we find that stimulation that we can calm down and be in our 'happy' mode. So, if you can get stimmed with a pill, you get calm. Make sense? Note that hyperactivity does not manifest itself by jumping around, being all 100 miles an hour on everything. It can, but it can also manifest itself completely internally as well with little to no exterior factors.

The thing that you could do is find out what it is that stimulates him. But that's really hard cause that changes ALL the freakin' time. Getting him to take stimulants (e.g Ritalin) is probably the next best thing you can do.

Hopefully you can relate some of what I said to your relationship. I told my ex I never loved her, I said horrible things, I totally shut down and gave up long before I got divorced. It's likely he's already made up his mind. To get him out of it you have to offer him hope for change. You can nurse him back to health by doing something he'll be thrilled about for a while, then coax him into getting meds. It might take some convincing, but do it gently. Good luck!
Hello pedal pounder, thank you for your reply which I found fascinating. My husband has been to counselling and felt much better although shocked to be diagnosed with ADD. He is now trying to work through his feelings but does realize the way he is feeling towards me is all to do with ADD. We're just not sure how to get through this but we are going to try. Like you said I am going to give him hope to change. I am due to go back in 2 weeks so fingers crossed, together with our great counsellor we will get through this.

ARCHIETILLY
03-16-07, 06:14 PM
To quickly answer your question, DS is that way, as well as his dad. When there is alot on their plates, they don't even realize it, but they do just shut down, in every imagineable way. There may be a hint of depression mixed in with it too, and perhaps in your husband's case too. He jsut had his world pulled out from under him, and many ADDHers survive on structure and continuity, and sameness in most areas of their lives, while still needing some stimulation or drama there as well. It makes sense to me that he shut down. I'm happy you are going together for counseling. I wish you the very best of luck!
Thanks 1kid2dogs for your thoughts and advice. This is all very new to us. My husband was only diagnosed yesterday. He said before he went to the counsellor yesterday he had thought we would split up and he was trying to think of the best way of telling me this. Then he had the counselling session and realized he has a medical condition which is causing these negative feelings towards me and he rang last night to say he's very confused but he is just going to have to try and work it out. I am much more relieved but still desperately hoping things turn out positively as we do love each other very much and have been together 10 years. 10 very happy years whereby none of this has manifested before. One thing he knows is that he loves me. The counsellor advised us it's all come out recently because he is in a new country, new job, new apartment and the structure and normality we normally have together isn't there but hopefully when I go back in a couple of weeks things will sort themselves out. Thank you for your help.

pedalpounder
03-17-07, 05:52 PM
We moved to the US from Canada as well when things started to go bad. She never knew I was feeling this way though, for her everything was great. I went to counselling but went with a closed mind, I'd already made up my mind. Had I known I had ADD (I didn't), things would have been different.