ADHD and Marriage

So I’ve been doing a lot of reading about ADHD lately, what with CBG’s diagnosis and all.

I’ll admit that I didn’t really know that much about it to begin with, other than what popular culture has taught us. To be honest, I had a pretty unflattering view of the whole thing, as I’m sure a lot of people do. I remember thinking that ADHD was an “excuse” that people used for laziness and bad behavior, particularly those people who didn’t seem “hyperactive”. It was never anything I’d ever really bothered to learn about, since it didn’t have a direct impact on me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

For years, CBG and I have faced our fair share of issues. Sure, we’re a pretty low-conflict couple for the most part, but particularly in the last three years (since moving in together), I’ve noticed more and more that things had changed between us.

Now I know. They haven’t “changed”, it’s just that since living together, CBG’s ADHD symptoms have become more and more apparent. When we were living three hours apart and not seeing one another on a daily basis, I didn’t get to see all of his quirks and habits and regular ways of doing things.

Since moving into together nearly three years ago, it’s like a curtain has slowly been lifted back. Things at first were chalked up to him being an inattentive, sometimes “lazy” spouse. Of course this caused a great deal of frustration. We argued. We worked things out. He promised to try harder. Later, it seemed like depression was to blame. But then, as he received treatment for his depression, it became apparent that there was much more going on here.

Enter ADHD.

The more reading I do about it, the more I see how much this has been affecting not only his life, but our life together. So many arguments. So many little (and big) resentments. So many incorrect assumptions. So many disappointments. So many broken promises.

Now, to be clear: this doesn’t mean that we haven’t had a wonderful relationship. Anyone who has been reading this blog for any period of time knows how much we love one another and how much we’re committed to making our marriage work. As with most things, things isn’t a black and white issue here; love and resentment can exist within the same marriage.

The good news is that now that we have a diagnosis and are pursuing treatment, I feel that this is only going to lead to good things for us. Of course, this will require time and patience, since we all know that there’s no magic pill that is going to suddenly make life perfect. My hope, though, is that we can work on separating the ADHD from the person, to help me see my husband more clearly. With treatment, hopefully the symptoms will improve so that they’re not actively getting in the way of us continuing to have a happy, loving and fulfilling marriage.

We still have a long road ahead of us, I know. But we have each other, and we have love. I’m confident that we can do this.

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