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  #46  
Old 10-31-11, 01:36 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Massari View Post
Most people here will ask you to read about ADHD, learn to accept your husband and eventually do all the work at his place. While that might be ideal for the ADHDer, it's far from ideal for you. Doing your husband's work on top of your work will result in you being overstressed, crowded with problems, frustrated, worn out and for longer term marriages, it will likely cause you to pass out at an earlier age.

Yes, laziness is an ADHD symptom when ADHD is not treated chemically but while under an efficient chemical treatment, those symptoms should greatly decrease. While reading about your husband's ADHD symptoms may be an act of faith and love from your part, in theory you don't have to. It is the responsibility of the ADHDer to learn about his disability and treat himself the best he can in order to find the best working treatment. There's two cases here:

1) If laziness symptoms do not disappear while on a stimulant treatment, and your husband doesn't care, it's personal laziness, irresponsibility and has nothing to do with ADHD.

2) If laziness symptoms do not disappear while on a stimulant treatment and your husband:

- constantly expresses his concerns regarding the problem
- constantly works with his doctor to try new treatments and doses
- participates in behavioral groups and therapy

In this case, even if the laziness symptoms are not gone, they are a symptom of ADHD and you should probably help the poor man in his struggle.

ADHDers are fighters. We fight to overcome our problem. We are not parasites. We do not leach on other people. We do not beg for acceptance and help but kindly request it when needed.
While most of us here encourage spouses or family members to learn as much
as possible about ADHD and be accepting of the fact that their loved one
has a mental disorder - I haven't seen anyone here saying that they should
be doing the work FOR a person with ADHD.

BOTH the person with ADHD and the spouse or partner or family member
need to learn about ADHD. A team effort us usually much more successful.

ADHD is a spectrum disorder. Some of us are very much fighters, others
may have given up the struggle as hopeless, especially those who have
cormorbid disorders such as depression.

I don't "BEG" for acceptance, and if someone makes judgments about me
and my actions without having any understanding of my disorder and it's
affects on my life, I don't "kindly ask for acceptance", I have every right
to let them know that they're out of line and should learn about ADHD
before they open their mouths.
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  #47  
Old 10-31-11, 01:52 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slybfoxx View Post
Great post. I guess my feelings are part guilt at not being able to be a better spouse, the negaitives and the moodiness/rudeness that can sometimes rear its ugly head for me a a way to try to stop all the anxiety and fear that the wheels are coming off. We have been married over 10 years and it has not been easy. I tend to idolate myself at night, blame my spouse, or don't simply want to do much talking after being in a profession where I am the care provider all day and simply don't have much left in the tank to being downright frazzled by the enormity of responsibilities and tasks. Being the prefect spouse? I'm so far away, yet we are still intact, she has been rewarded with a ton of patience, although that patience has come way down since our 4 year old boy was born.

The frustration of not getting things ahead and organized in our family have me especially feeling guilty as we go in to the cold months here in the midwest. I am sure there are those who handle pressure and indecision better then I do, which leads to frustration and depression (not getting it done, feeling hopeless, etc. Is there a daily routine that gets and KEEPS you positive and focuse? Is there someway to keep projects that are started with such excitement and promise to actual fulfillment? The sense of being an underachiever and not being able to get my life where I want it have been gnawing at me again, and it hurts my self confidence.

Thanks for listening and any ideas you may offer would be most appreciated!

My two cents...

Today is one of those days so I apologize if this is a bit random. I feel your pain, and want to at least attempt here...first of all it is frustrating and difficult for both sides as I'm sure your aware. Your question about keeping things going...I know what helps me so this is what I can offer.

I have ADD, Fibromyalgia, and Arthritis..so a bit on my plate. When my alarm goes off not only does getting up, brushing teeth, washing face, turning on coffee ..did I prepare coffee? Wake up kids, crap did I iron their clothes? Backpack ready..yes, I think, ok, get them up, into bathroom, grab lunches Damn did I pack those? I have to pay the light bill I think its late or wait, is that the phone bill? Meds! I was supposed to turn in refills...crap I have to make a dentist appointment and I promised we would go on the dinosaurland tour thing I need tickets, today is supposed to be nice I am going to finish up that work outside, oh yeah and I promised to make a grocery list ..I can go to the store after I pick up kids, and then drop meds off. I will make that list of supplies we need to fix up spare room while i figure out dinner ......ALARM goes off again....not only does getting up and ...wait i said that :-)

Now, all these thoughts flooded my mind at the very same time it hit me just how much pain I'm in. So for me, my meds are on my nightstand. First alarm goes off, I take meds ...second alarm I get up. Even taking out the pain part this ritual helped with my ADD meds. I do NOT like to take my meds and go, I need time for it to kick in and not focus on something too much. Anyway.. I do have a point ...all those things that flooded my mind. In reality I will get the kids to school with backpack and lunches, i might get the meds dropped off to be filled, I may or may not get the grocery thing done. I DO TRY ...first I want to say something that weighs deep and heavy on me is if I don't get this list of things done and done right I will disappoint my Sig/other. That breaks my heart. I want to be able so badly to do all the things "normal wives" do. (Guys I love myself I'm not downing myself, you know what I mean)

I've noticed some non add spouses not realizing (because nobody is a mind reader) that the adder does care. It does hurt when we know we have let you down. When we feel we let ourselves down. Myself down...I will speak for me..

Now, things I've done to help my life...

Post it notes, it works for me. Post it note on the steering wheel that says "meds" reminded me to go get the scripts out of my drawer.

Dry erase board/huge family calendar .....so simple so effective for me. It is in a place I can't miss. Erase board is for this that "come up" or important "don't forgets" the calender has deadlines circled in big red marker with count down days Xd out. My phone has alarms set for dr appts the day of and day before.


I'm extremely visual. This helps me get the things done I need to. Now I woke up, my toothbrush is in a nifty hanging thing by the mirror so I see it and dont forget to brush my teeth. Backpacks are hanging by the front door, grocery list was on the fridge which i grabbed when I pulled the lunches out. My erase board said "Roast" which was my que to turn on the crock pot and throw a roast in. So when i got home with the kids who helped out away the food and my alarm went off that said "spare room" I sat and made my supply list while I smelled my roast cooking.

In my day, yes I forgot something. No, it wasn't perfect in the end. But the smile on husbands face for what I did get done, for trying the best I could to keep this running smooth and actually using his idea for calendar and bright markers made it ok that I forgot the laundry and he cant wear his favorite shirt....

That is me...visual ques and yes, help from someone at times ....a post it here and there. Big circle on a calendar....how easy to do that rather than be depressed something is overlooked completely.

On my end, I appreciate everyone that is around me. I know I seem goofy sometimes, I know sometimes it seems I don't care, and I definitely need to work on just asking for help when I'm overwhelmed...working on that one. Right now i make sure those around me know I appreciate them, I try the best I can (using my nifty visual aides), keeping my meds right, and dr appts all kept.

There ARE ways to make life more functional. My way is obvious I think I typed it ten times, your family maybe different. Invest the time to see what works...once something does the reward is well worth the effort. After ten years and still standing i have ultimate faith you guys can figure it out. If not alone, with help.


Oh and I recommend searching and reading all of RHW posts ...she unknowingly has guided me through many dark days and nights ...(BTW thank you RHW:-)


OK done rambling, if that made sense at all I'm proud.
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uhmm..err...I keep wondering what to put here but I forgot who I was replying to ..???
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  #48  
Old 11-14-11, 01:42 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

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  #49  
Old 11-14-11, 01:44 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

^^ I tried to rep you for this, wouldn't let me..
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Old 11-14-11, 01:50 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Just steal it and share it
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  #51  
Old 11-14-11, 01:58 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Red Haired Witch you almost always are so insightful and express yourself so well. I so often agree with your posts and love reading them. Thank you.
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  #52  
Old 11-14-11, 02:17 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

I don't know how much "commication" I can handle in one sitting ...
because I don't know what "commication" is.

But it's funny, my daughter and I were just talking about this concept
on the drive to the ENT doc this morning. My Atypical Autistic grand-
daughter is showing more and more ADHD traits all the time. *sigh*
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Old 11-14-11, 04:49 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

If the wasn't a typo, it wouldn't be by me!
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Old 11-17-11, 01:17 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Here's how empathy works with ADHD

Empathy is:
1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.
2. the attribution to an object, such as a work of art, of one's own emotional or intellectual feelings about it.

Sympathy:
  • Feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.
  • Formal expression of such feelings; condolences.


!!! First let me state VERY clearly that ADHD does not impair the part(s) of the brain that deals with empathy. Some disorders do directly impair that part of the brain, such as Autism. Many people with ADHD are also on the Autism spectrum, so make sure your ADHDer has had a thorough assessment.

So why does my ADHDer seem to lack empathy?

There are a few possible reasons. It is likely that your ADHDer is dealing with more than one reason.

1) Distraction and lack of focus and awareness.
I have to KNOW, or be aware of the fact, that empathy and/or sympathy is called for in the situation. Because my ability to feel empathy is not impaired, I will feel sad for my friend when I see that she is feeling sad.
But I have to see that she is sad in the first place.
Because of my ADHD, I might be too distracted or unaware to see all the necessary social cues to know that my friend is having a bad day. I might not notice her downcats eyes, the slump of her shoulders or the tone of her voice. Or I might miss one or two but not all of these social cues.
Basically I miss the cue that empathy is required here. I miss the opportunity to ask "Hunny, what's wrong?"
If I catch the cues, I will ask and I will feel bad for her and I will want to help make things better or cheer her up.
But I have to know it's needed in the first place.
From the outside: my NT (neurologically typical) friend looking at me, might assume that I know and choose not to address the issue or her feelings. Because SHE would not have missed the cue she was giving off. But I did miss those cues and she doesn't know that.


2) Lack of social skills
Many NT people beat around the bush and drop hints. If asked "how are you?" They say "I am fine", even when they are NOT fine. Because they assume that you should pick up on the social cues that say "I am saying I am fine but I am not".
These mixed messages are confusing to someone with ADHD.
Children learn social skills by observing the adults and people around them. Our observation skills are impaired. Meaning that we don't learn these skills as well as other children.
We don't learn as well how to tell how you are feeling by looking at you or listening to your tone of voice.
We don't learn how to express ourselves in the "correct, expected NT manner" either.
We are clumsy at human interaction.
Even if we clue into the fact that an empathetic response is required, we might bungle the job.
We have permanent foot-in-mouth syndrome. Our attempts to show we care might be clumsy, awkward or weird. Too little or too much.
From the outside: It might seem that we are being overbearing, under-caring or just plain weird.
An attempt to cheer you up with a joke might seem like we are making light of the situation.
An attempt to tell you how we know how you feel, by telling a story of something simular that happened to us once, might seem like we are making the situation all about ourselves.



3) Emotional de-regulation


Simply put. We feel as we ought to feel given the situation. But we might feel WAY TOO MUCH or NOT ENOUGH of said emotion.
This can mean that while we feel bad that you feel bad, we might not feel as bad as you think we should.
Also because our emotional response to things tend to be over the top, we become "once bitten twice shy".
We develop a reaction to strong emotional situations like it is a hot, hot fire that will burn us and HURT. It's hard to deal, to cope. It's overwhelming and just too much.
Many ADHDers learn to avoid, avoid, avoid, to protect ourselves from the emotional onslaught.
Many ADHDers, especially men raised by fathers who fear they will grow up to be sissy-boys, are abused as children for our over the top emotional reactions.
"You're gonna cry for nothing? I'll give you a reason to cry!"

From the outside: Our emotional response to a situation is off. This MUST be because we are bad people who don't care. Or because we over react to every little thing and make it all about ourselves.


4) Time is short, why are you still upset?
We live in the NOW. Right now. Our brains zoom along without a thought for the past or the future. The ADHD brain moves on very quickly.
If you said or did something that hurt me, I will forget about it very quickly. I get over things very quickly. I can't hold a grudge because my brain will move on.
Since this is my reality, I assume this is your reality as well. If you are still feel down about a bad day at work three days later I cannot understand why. I forgot all about it by the time we went to bed in the first day.
It's not that I don't care, it's just that I can only care for a short period of time.
If you remind me, I might be able to feel sorry for you again. Or I might be lost and confused as to why you are still upset over this.
I will honestly forget that you phoned me at lunch to say you are having a bad day. Thus will act like everything is fine when you get home from work. Because your bad day was hours ago.
From the outside: It seems like I forget that you have a problem. Like I don't care. Like I don't take it seriously.
I do care, I do take it seriously. I just can't sustain it for a period of time.


5) We want to help but can't get it off the ground.


No matter how much I love you, no matter how much I want to help you. I can't force my disabled brain to give the gas to get it done.



The ADHD brain is like a gas-guzzling car with a tiny tank. Hence, my attempts to cheer you up, or give you an empathetic response might fall short. I run out of gas.
From the outside: If I cared I would do this and this for you. Well, maybe I just CAN'T.


What can you do?

You need to be clear when you require help, a hug, sympathy or an empathetic response. If at first you don't succeed, try again. Give your ADHDer the benefit of the doubt and just speak up. Remember, our observational skills are impaired.

Again be clear that you have a need. Also be clear about what you need.
"I am feeling down today because of this crappy job. Will you give me a hug and take me out for dinner please? I like to be given a hug and dinner out when I am feeling down"
Now we know something is required and what we are expected to do. Eventually we will figure out that when you have a bad day at work, you want a hug and dinner out and will learn to offer this to you.

Keep in mind that our emotional response to a situation will be different from yours. This is not something that we can control. Check your expectations at the door.

Don't take it personally when we forget that you hate that girl at work because she said something mean to you last year. Our brain just doesn't hold on to stuff like that.


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  #55  
Old 11-17-11, 02:06 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch View Post
Here's how empathy works with ADHD

Empathy is:
1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.
2. the attribution to an object, such as a work of art, of one's own emotional or intellectual feelings about it.

Sympathy:
  • Feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.
  • Formal expression of such feelings; condolences.

!!! First let me state VERY clearly that ADHD does not impair the part(s) of the brain that deals with empathy. Some disorders do directly impair that part of the brain, such as Autism. Many people with ADHD are also on the Autism spectrum, so make sure your ADHDer has had a thorough assessment.

>
Another excellent post, RHW - but I have to quibble with the idea that people with Autism are not empathic. I know, that's not exactly what you wrote, but it's what a lot of people have been told over the years and it's simply not true. What you say about an impairment is closer to the truth.

It's similar to how ADHDers have trouble with output - we may know the answer to a question but have trouble expressing it. Autists can and sometimes do recognise that others are hurting or are sad, they have trouble with expressing their empathy - their output isn't working right.

My granddaughter is Autistic and has trouble identifying her own moods, yet she can clearly recognize when others are sad or angry.
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As far as I know, there is nothing positive about ADHD that people can't have w out ADHD. ~ ADD me
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Old 11-17-11, 03:28 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Thanks Lunacie. I didn't want to get bogged down talking about AS (etc) in a post about ADHD. But it should be clarified.
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  #57  
Old 11-19-11, 05:25 PM
Niecy2 Niecy2 is offline
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch View Post
I see many people who love an ADHDer who are at a loss, they don’t know what to do, where to turn or what to think. They don’t know what ADHD is to blame for and what it is not.

There’s a lot of confusing information out there. There’ also a lot of people trying to sell you something, a book, medication, a treatment plan, who will fill your head with hope and promise just to make a buck.

On the many websites, blogs, forums, in books and at support groups I often see the same thing again and again. An angry, often bitter and frustrated spouse, who just wants things to get better. I see the same questions asked over and over again and the same misconceptions time and again.

The purpose of this post is to help cover some of those questions and misconceptions that are so common among the partners (and parents) of a person with ADHD.

I know you probably feel like you’re out of you mind and maybe that your life is out of control. In no way do I wish to belittle your feelings or your experiences. In no way is this tread is NOT meant to be an attack on you. However, it might say some things that are hard for you to hear (or read, rather) or to understand at first. Please, I ask you to try, and to bear with it.

(In no particular order)

* The best research shows that ADHDers have 5 areas of the brain than develop slightly smaller than the norm. This makes it as much a physical disability as being born with one leg shorter than the other. But it affects the brain, which in turn affects everything. For more information o n how the ADHD brain functions, I suggest you watch a wonderful talk given my Dr. Barkley on the subject: http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html watch the videos in the “Executive Function” folder. Its long, but well worth having this information, this information will help you!

* Then watch all the other videos.

* For something a little bit short and sweet. Go onto Youtube and search “ADHD Barkley” for a few highlights.

* ADHD is a real disability. It is not a moral issue. People do not CHOOSE to live like this.

* ADHD does not affect your ability to be moral and make ethical choices. It affects your ability to do things and perform tasks. But that doesn’t mean we have free reign to be bad people. ADHD does not excuse infidelity or abuse. Most ADHDers are GOOD PEOPLE, if someone with ADHD is abusive, they would probably be abusive if they did not have ADHD.

* Many people confuse typical marriage and gender issues with ADHD. Example: Many wives complain that their husbands never say “Thank you” but yet expect a parade to be thrown in their honour for taking out the trash. This has nothing to do with ADHD.

* If you have met one ADHDer, you have not met us all. We are still individuals. We still will have different personality traits. Upbringing and such has a lot to do with it. Just because your ADHDer does something, does not mean another will.

* ADHD is a spectrum disorder with different subtypes. Imagine a stereo system, the kind with many dials that affect the sound and volume. Some ADHDers have the volume cranked very high, others it’s down to almost normal. Some ADHDers have certain symptoms more than others. No two ADHDers have their dials set exactly the same.

* The troubles in your marriage are not totally your ADHDer’s fault. Own what you have done to contribute to the break down. You are responsible for your own anger, resentment and issues.

* There is no cure for ADHD. Even the best treatment can only help us cope better.

* Medication will not fix anything on its own. It is only a tool, a crutch, assistance.

* Counselling will help you too, not necessarily because you are broken, but because you need assistance and to learn how to cope.

* It is not fair to expect you to do all the work when it comes to treatment, your spouse is responsible for getting his or her butt to the doctor and following through with treatment. But please understand that it is often a two steps forward, one step, back kind of progress.

* It can be difficult to come to terms with being diagnosed with ADHD, expect it to take some time for them to wrap their head around it and be ready to face it.


(I have to go make lunch, does anyone have some thing HELPFUL to add?)
I just want to respond and say that those videos on Youtube really helped me understand some things about my husband. They also helped me see the unexcusable stuff, as well as the stuff that just can't be helped.

I am beginning to accept that we need some separate time once in a while (example, a vacation alone).
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Old 01-10-12, 11:36 AM
lizzyd lizzyd is offline
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Great info. My boyfriend of over 2yrs has adhd as well depression issues. I wasn't very aware of any effects of the adhd until recently. I blamed all of our troubles on both of our stubborn attitudes. I have 3 children with him being the father of only the youngest. His father passed away while I was pregnant and it seems that things have fallen apart since. Possibly a bit of bi-polar is working against him as well. We are waiting for medical appts to get things on track.

My problem is dealing with my emotions. I have mental disorders as well. I have been diagnosed with severe depression as well as a personality disorder. This as well as my lack of knowledge is really ruining our relationship. I am always frustrated with him and I have a hrad time not taking things personally. My compassion is really not there anymore either. I have become abusive with my words to him because I am so for everything he has done in the last year to hurt us. He was involed with a few girls online and via texts which were very inappropiate, drank heavily, cocaine, spending money, selling things to make up the money. All of the things were reactions to my anger over the effects of his adhd. I love him very much but I really don't know how to deal with the anger.

I am angry that he expects me to cater to his troubles when he won't. I am angry that I am not getting the love I need, that he is selfish with his feeling and appears to care less for anyone else. I am putting full effort into using kind words but it so hard to hold my anger. I am trying to educate myself so I understand but I can not get past my resentment to take steps moving forward. I see were I went wrong but the anger at him is holding me back from trying to fix it.

Question is how can the non-adhd partner feel satisfied? How am I able to get over the feeling that all of his actions are out to get me?

The reason we fight is because I feel as though his intentions to set out to hurt me when the reality is some of the things he really is oblivous to. I need help to not be angry anymore.

Last edited by Amtram; 01-10-12 at 03:49 PM.. Reason: Added paragraph breaks.
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Old 01-11-12, 12:12 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch View Post
* ADHD is a spectrum disorder with different subtypes. Imagine a stereo system, the kind with many dials that affect the sound and volume. Some ADHDers have the volume cranked very high, others it’s down to almost normal. Some ADHDers have certain symptoms more than others. No two ADHDers have their dials set exactly the same.
More like a 7.1 surround set
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Old 02-03-12, 11:03 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

I just joined this group. After 25 years of not understanding many of my wife's actions, reading has enlightened and helped me. My sons also exhibits many of my wife's traits. Your post and those the RedHairedWitch, above, have been very helpful and realistic. Thank you.
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