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  #1  
Old 08-08-17, 04:16 AM
Charliebrown Charliebrown is offline
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Tables Turned

Iím an older male just diagnosed with ADHD. Itís been a real eye opener, mostly in how Iíve treated my spouse of many years. I devasted her life. Sheís completely numb. She got to the point of hating me and resenting everything about me. This was a real kick in the gut to learn.

But now we have the diagnosis and we have just started counseling. She says she wants to fix things and understands ADHD. She clearly wants to try and thatís great.

ButÖ She is so broken. We have talked a great deal and she says she needs space and time, and sheís going to need lots of it. I donít blame her and I understand.

But now the tables have ironically turned. My eyes are open to what Iíve done over the past years and now I yearn for my wife back. But now she is cold and distant. Weíve talked about this and she doesnít like that she feels that way, but healing the deep scars is a long process.

Now I feel alone and unloved, with a wife who shows no affection and seems distant, and I donít feel like part her life. I have ADHD so my mind spins and spins and spins about this and I end up with great anxiety. I am trying so hard to make corrections in my behaviors and manage my ADHD as best I can. I am hiding all my anxiety and stress from her because she needs to see Iím working things out, which I am. But it is absolutely killing me not to see any kind of progress from her.

We just started therapy. Time between weekly visits is an eternity. We are still so early in the process I feel like they have done nothing for us yet.

I donít know how to manage this. A week feels like a year, progress seems so slow. I need to know sheís healing. I need to know sheís moving back to me, even if itís slowly. I desperately need signs that I can see even with my ADHD deficiencies. Iím going crazy with stress and anxiety over this. My brain keeps running and coming up with all kinds of unpleasant scenarios and I canít beat them down. Iím not eating or sleeping. I just want my spouse backÖ which is all she wanted for years, adding to my guilt.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-17, 05:15 AM
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Re: Tables Turned

very honest and albeit painful insight on your part.

we often feel things in such an intense immediate way, take solace in the fact that where you are is exactly where you need to be.

fwiw... consistent, resilient effort from both of you over the medium and long term are really what are going to make the difference here...... so when you feel this energy, it's best to apply it in systems that will keep those checks and balances based on this deep and core feeling.... even when it's not so prevalent.
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Old 08-08-17, 03:58 PM
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Re: Tables Turned

You want/need support as you begin dealing with this new knowledge.

Is there a local support group you can attend?
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Old 08-08-17, 05:32 PM
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Re: Tables Turned

Yes. I will likely start it at some point soon. Our second couples therapy is tomorrow and that same therapist runs the ADHD group. We'll talk then or the week after about it.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:19 AM
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Re: Tables Turned

Quote:
But now we have the diagnosis and we have just started counseling. She says she wants to fix things and understands ADHD. She clearly wants to try and that’s great.
She said that she wants to try so believe her. She said that she needs space and time so give that to her. She told you what she needs from you and it might not be how you wanted it right now but it has to be this way for a time after years of

I think that you both should ask your marriage counselor for referrals to individual counselors and you both are dealing with a lot but from different places. Both of you need individual healing in addition to the marriage needing to be healed.

Good luck!!!
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Old 08-14-17, 01:54 AM
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Re: Tables Turned

As someone who has a painful history of rescuing, which involves over-worrying about another person and over-caretaking (while neglecting myself), I have learned that the "victim" in a relationship often needs to learn to stand up for themselves.

Part of your spouse's journey isn't just processing her anger at you ... Part of her journey is processing her anger at herself--and grappling with why she put up with your behavior all these years. You're feeling all kinds of guilt and shame right now ... and I don't know the details ... But ... she stayed with you ... presumably without a gun at her head.

If you hadn't existed, there's a good chance she would have found someone just like you and put up with his bad behavior for years and years So this isn't all on you. Now, don't use that as a defense with her! That ain't gonna work right now.

You really can't "do anything" to speed up her process or to make her suddenly feel affectionate again. Give her room. By all means, don't guilt her ... don't try to get her to feel sorry for you.

I gotta tell you: your situation reminds me of a painful experience I had in college. My college girlfriend caught me in a lie, a lie that was revealed by an std. The woman I had the fling with was exactly the person my ex was most insecure about. Literally the worst person for me to lie about.

My gf fell into a deep depression. Awful. She alternately raged and cried and lashed out at me. I was terrified that she was gonna kill herself--and so I just hung in there, tried to nurture her and comfort her. I would literally go to her room each night and "put her to bed" almost like a parent. I mean this would be a two-hour ritual. Of course, I burned with shame and self-loathing.

The good news: it took my girlfriend about five months to fully forgive me and look past this-- five months is a lot in the life of 21 and 22-year-olds.

So if you're married and this issue has gone on for years or decades, it will take several years for you and your wife to rethink things and heal. That sounds like a lot, I know, but you can compare your situation to an affair. Married couples take a couple of years to work through an affair if they are gonna stay together. Doesn't mean that all that time is misery. But it takes several years for couples recovering from an affair to create a new relationship.

I would say get to your own therapist and bring up your pain and shame there ... but share some in couple's therapy as well. Just know: your wife can't be your confidant right now on this issue. Ironically she has to be angry with you right now and get some distance if she is to ultimately release her anger and unhappiness.

Bottom line, you can get through this and rebuilt your relationship, but it’s gonna require serious work on both of your parts … and some luck. But all the work each of you does will prove valuable whether you stay together or not. Assuming you want to stay together, I’m rooting for you!

Tone
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Old 08-14-17, 05:03 AM
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Re: Tables Turned

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliebrown View Post
Iím an older male just diagnosed with ADHD. Itís been a real eye opener, mostly in how Iíve treated my spouse of many years. I devasted her life. Sheís completely numb. She got to the point of hating me and resenting everything about me. This was a real kick in the gut to learn.
Is it just the adhd that caused this or are there other issues as well?
Quote:
But now we have the diagnosis and we have just started counseling. She says she wants to fix things and understands ADHD. She clearly wants to try and thatís great.
Being ready to fix things and healing is good, but it still doesnt quell the anger and hurt, at least not right away.

Quote:
But now the tables have ironically turned. My eyes are open to what Iíve done over the past years and now I yearn for my wife back. But now she is cold and distant. Weíve talked about this and she doesnít like that she feels that way, but healing the deep scars is a long process.
She loves you so of course she doesnt like feeling that way but you have to realize that its still her choice or rather, her "stuff" thats causing her to feel this way. Of course whatever happened with you over the years lead to it but you cant literally make someone be cold and distant, Its almost like self protection mode and she needs to feel secure again to let that go.

Quote:
Now I feel alone and unloved, with a wife who shows no affection and seems distant, and I donít feel like part her life. I have ADHD so my mind spins and spins and spins about this and I end up with great anxiety. I am trying so hard to make corrections in my behaviors and manage my ADHD as best I can. I am hiding all my anxiety and stress from her because she needs to see Iím working things out, which I am. But it is absolutely killing me not to see any kind of progress from her.
I can see why you feel this way. And I hope for her sake she is able to show love and affection for you soon. Regardless of whats happened, it takes a lot of work to deliberately not show affection and love for someone. It takes a lot of work to maintain a grudge or anger. Ruminating is very real for people with adhd, and its also a symptom of other mental health issues. I dont think its healthy to hide your fear and anxiety although I get why you feel you need to do this.

Quote:
We just started therapy. Time between weekly visits is an eternity. We are still so early in the process I feel like they have done nothing for us yet.
Why so much time between visits? And I think you need your own therapist, I know its tempting to try and work on everything as a couple but you need your own private objective person to work with, and you need to be able to say real, honest things without worrying it will upset your wife.

Quote:
I donít know how to manage this. A week feels like a year, progress seems so slow. I need to know sheís healing. I need to know sheís moving back to me, even if itís slowly. I desperately need signs that I can see even with my ADHD deficiencies. Iím going crazy with stress and anxiety over this. My brain keeps running and coming up with all kinds of unpleasant scenarios and I canít beat them down. Iím not eating or sleeping. I just want my spouse backÖ which is all she wanted for years, adding to my guilt.
None of this is healthy-for either of you. I think you should really see someone on your own, and she should too.
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Old 02-05-18, 09:20 PM
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Re: Tables Turned

Give her space. You see her at the weekly counseling. Seriously, give her space. It’s not her job to reassure you about how she feels and what the future holds, etc. Respect the boundaries.

The fact she’s willing to participate is a good sign. Both parties need to own up to how their issues and behavior impacted the marriage. It’s not all your fault.

If one of you feels contempt...the relationship usually cannot be repaired.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-18, 04:30 AM
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Re: Tables Turned

The whole situation is like flipping the script. She spent years trying to look after or take care of you and now all of a sudden she has a reason for all the hard times. Thats alot to swallow. The good thing is that she is willing to try but you have to be patient and cant expect her to be all ready to jump back in until she is ready. You have to be prepared that she may never be ready-a lifetime of dealing with someone that you dont understand can take its toll.
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