New Member Non-ADD Partner with Depression
I wonder if I could get a show of virtual hands here on how many of us NON-ADD partners have depression and/or codependency issues.
If so, how many of us knew we were depressed and/or codependent BEFORE getting together with our ADD partners?
My partner has never denied his ADD, but has just recently started medication for it. Things improved dramatically for us at first, but now his irritability and blaming behavior are starting to come back again. Some of this has to do with pressure from his job and extra work depriving him of sleep and interfering with his dosing schedule. I am doing what I can for myself, but could really use feedback from some other people who believe me when I say that I have taken more than my share of responsibility for relationship problems that are hardly all or even mostly me.
I have an unshakeable faith in our love for each other, but we each face significant challenges in our brain chemistry and physiology and early conditioned behavior. We're both highly educated and aware of our own and each other's issues - the difference I see between us that is causing me pain at the moment is that, while he does not use his ADD to excuse his own behavior, he has (and continues to) use my depression as an excuse for it instead.
Neither of us is to blame for the conflict our disorders are having with each other. The best I can do is to realize that even when it looks to my depression like my partner is blaming me for EVERYTHING, HE isn't "doing" anything "to me" anymore than I am accusing him or making assumptions about him when I am feeling bad about myself because of his observations and interpretations of my depressive behavior. I don't want to "catch" him making mistakes, I want to stop the flow of information to my brain that has been configured to have receptors for more negative than positive feelings. And I would like for him to meet me at whatever percentage of the way feels comfortable to him. Right now, because of specific programs I am working on, I could arguably be said to be meeting him more than 80 percent of the way. (I just condensed 45 pages of four self-help book chapters on improving our communication process down to 9 pages, emailed to him in about seven "installments"...and that's only scratching the surface on the inner work I've been doing with myself...)
He has been to individual therapy, as have I, but he refuses to see a couples therapist. This disturbs me because he claims that our major problem has to do with our communication process and is due to MY negative bias that causes ME to become defensive, to interrupt him, to hold grudges against him, and to make negative assumptions about HIS behavior. One of the things I want to AVOID at all costs on this Non-ADD Partner Support Forum is reinforcing ANY tendency or temptation to *****ing and recrimination directed at him. I am not bitter and I am not the enemy; I am willing to extend my good will and to focus my work on healing myself. The trouble is, finding or developing a way of communicating with my ADD partner that will not set off his negative programming - so that he feels as understood and supported with me as I want to feel with him.
Thanks for listening,