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Old 06-12-18, 05:18 PM
emmastar emmastar is offline

Join Date: Jun 2018
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emmastar is on a distinguished road
on the brink of divorce - husband was just diagnosed with ADHD - is there hope?

my husband and i have been married for 15 years, and we have 3 young children together. He is one of the smartest men i know and has been very successful professionally as an attorney. we had a fantastic courtship, a beautiful wedding, amazing honeymoon, and the first years of our marriage were great - we travelled, went out on dates, had tons of friends, focused on our growing careers, etc. i always knew he was easily distracted, but i interpreted that as him being a man with lots of interests and a lot of curiosity - he reads a ton, and is also a semi-professional musician who plays local gigs pretty regularly.

when we started a family things became more challenging. his distractibility made things harder and with me returning to work, we fought a lot. We did work through things and were able to still be 'happy,' but there was a lot of resentment. while we had help around the house and with the kid(s), i was still doing the majority of the work and emotional labor of 'running our family.' whenever i would ask for help or suggest that he do something differently, it would be met with defensiveness and anger and ultimately resulted in me just doing most things related to our family (pay bills, childcare, groceries, housework, home repairs, etc.) on my own.

As you can imagine, after almost 10 years of this, my level of resentment has built up significantly (we now have 3 kids 9,7 and 2 and i also work full time, and try to have a life outside of kids and work). we have seen FOUR different marriage therapists (spent thousands of dollars!) and are currently separated. our current therapist, diagnosed my husband with ADHD this morning and based on some initial reading i have done, i think she is spot on.

The good news is that he was open to the diagnosis, and to exploring medication. (this gave me some hope), but the skeptic in me is worried that this will now be his crutch and his excuse for any bad behavior moving forward. i also feel like the diagnosis is helpful, but it is also just a pivot in our story and a point when the work really starts - or at least changes direction....

he says that he is happier now that we are living separately because he doesn't constatnly feel judged and criticized (he says that living with me is like living in Stalinist Russia!). I am also calmer and less anxious withoug him too. i am used to having all the responsibility in the house with the kids, so in many ways the past couple months haven't been that different. i just dont have a fourth kid to manage and fight with.

we definitely love eachother. we both can easliy recall how and why we fell in love. but a lot of time has passed since our 'good years' and there has been a lot of hurt. Plus we have three young kids who mean the world to both of us. (he adores them, but he is anxious and agitated around them too which causes tension everywhere). I know our kids will be fine if we divorce because they are loved, but i know that they will do better if we can work out our differences.

also i know that ADHD medication isnt a cure-all and we will continue to work on our marriage - probably forever. i would love to hear perspectives from people who have been in marriages that have (or have not) been able to recover/significantly improve after a diagnosis. thank you in advance for your stories.
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