The Sisyphus of ADHD Quarantined with... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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The Sisyphus of ADHD Quarantined with Depression


I posted about this similarly recently, so forgive me if a some of it sounds familiar.

The last 24 hours have not been great.

Last night my wife got mad at my inability to utilize the shortcuts on our smart TV. She is right, I should know the Spotify shortcuts, but that quickly devolved into hurtful daggers she threw at me like, "you don't contribute in adult ways," "I'm over here wasting my life with you," "I've posted on reddit and people are asking me why you are not kissing the ground I walk on and buying me jewelry?"

And she has a go-to that kills me:

"I have guys in my phone all the time asking to do stuff with me."

She constantly says she can do so much better than me. That guys tell her she's the one that got away.

And that I'm a retarded, disabled child/dog.

We've been together for two and a half years and married for eight months.

You may asked what caused this.

I brushed my teeth at noon yesterday morning and not immediately when I woke up. I forgot. I know. But she says I constantly lie to her because I say I'm going to do something and I don't. She's told me to get a hotel before because I forgot to brush my teeth.

She struggles with depression, but it's gotten worse since she stopped taking her medication in December. Our old therapist mentioned that talking with her doctor about getting back on anti-depressants could be a good thing, and now he's our old therapist.

I've read about a how to help a partner focusing with depression and the importance of being there, but it's difficult when she continues to say sure hurtful things.

She has asthma, so I run around and do all the errands. I get all her meals, all the groceries, make her food when she wants it, clean the yard and the house, change the sheets (which is difficult to do as she rarely gets out of bed), make sure the dogs have food and water and get their medicine.

During quarantine, I made a fort in living room, left notes all over the house, made a scavenger hunt for her, surprised her with candlelit baths (she never uses) and I started writing her letters daily about things I love and appreciate about her.

I've tried to make up for my mistakes, but I can't in her eyes. She seems to enjoy calling me an alcoholic. I was, and I haven't had a drink in 10 months. But she doesn't miss an opportunity to call me an alcoholic when listing the ways I've fallen short.

I use lists and alarms and that has helped, but it hasn't eliminated all mistakes. And those mistakes are lies in her eyes, I've not done something I said I was going to. I know some times she's unreasonable and hurtful, but I believe it is because she's depressed. On thing a lot of articles says about helping someone with depression is to not take it personally. I try not to, but it's so so difficult.

"You cannot function on any type of level."

"There's obviously something deeply wrong with you that you can do things on a list."

"You're disabled"

"You have no strengths"

"You need inpatient help"

"Don't you get tired of being dumb and doing dumb shit?"

"It's like talking to a dog"

"You're borderline retarded?"

This is but a tiny fraction of what I try not to take personally. I need to stop my mistakes so she stops saying these things.

How do I eliminate my ADHD mistakes to help improve our relationship, because no matter everything I do for her, one mistake will make that all forgotten and she'll revert to her depressive state that hurts me so deeply.


8 Replies

Hi, I’m not an expert but have suffered from depression and have been diagnosed with ADHD in the last six months.

However, none of the things your wife is saying to you are acceptable on any level. They aren’t right whatever someone’s intellect or because she is so deeply depressed.

You appear to be doing some really positive things during this time to help her and your marriage. Can you both get back to therapy? It sounds like you could do with help sorting things out. I wonder if it would be worth asking her what’s wrong and why she is treating you like this? She seems very troubled.

Remember to make sure you self care - sounds like you might need to.

I am sorry you are having such a hard time. As I was reading your post I was reminded of all the things we do to overcompensate for our ADHD issues. Many of us constantly try to please others, at our own expense, in order to feel loved and accepted. The problem with this behavior is that we are not respected for what feels like, at times, great sacrifices for which we receive little in return.

Some of the things your wife says about you are projections. She is dealing with depression and who knows what else. It is much easier, and feels better, to project her feelings about herself onto you as criticisms. None of these behaviors you have mentioned do anything to enhance a positive relationship.

I was in a similar relationship up until two years ago. Finally, I reached my limit and left. It is two years later and I still receive calls from this person begging me to return. He states that he will do anything to make up for his insensitive behavior and that he would do anything to turn back the hands of time so he could get it right. It is too late for that. I now know what it is like to live without that type of relationship.

It is not that I do not understand that my multiple ADHD symptoms are not a challenge for others. I am always aware of the many ways I am deficient. However, if someone knows me for several years before moving in with me it should not be a shock to him that I am the way I am despite my ongoing struggles not to be.

Maybe your wife has so many issues of her own going and does not have the resources within her be a better partner. If counseling does not improve the situation there may come a time when you will want to reevaluate your decision to continue through life with a person that gives ten percent while you are giving ninety percent. My response is based on the information you have provided and nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Life is so complicated.

I am new to this, but I saw your post and my heart sank. First, I want to say that I will be praying for you. Second, you need to know that you are not the person you are being told you are. You cannot change her. She needs to be willing to make her own changes. I agree with others, she needs the help of a professional. They are trained in this. She would not have to go anywhere. She would be able to talk with someone via the computer face to face. This is primarily about her, not you, and not your marriage. I am not married but I know what it is like to think that if someone would love me enough to take care of me I would be ok. That is not true. Depression and anxiety don’t work that way. For me personally, my first step was to accept and rely on the fact that only God could take care of me the way I longed for. I still take medication for adhd & depression. I even saw a counselor for a time. Ultimately that is what it comes down to. I use the tools I am given, and rest in the assurance of my God who is my ultimate Hero. Take care of you. Love your wife, but know you cannot fix her, and take time for yourself. Being outside helps me a lot. By the way as a teacher your username makes me sad and want to work harder for my kids.

I am sorry this is your e reality. Start developing an inner dialogue about your strengths. You will always make ADHD mistakes. It's just your wiring. You have to know you're ok, and enough as you are without all the people pleasing. Continue to deal with yourself compassionately and lovingly.

It's a complicated situation probably but regardless you need to set some boundaries about the verbal/emotional abuse. That's just not right.

Get help for yourself and do alot if self-care. Believe and understand yourself and that will give you the understanding of boundaries and knowing where you end and another person begins. You can't fix anybody but yourself. I think it's common for many of us to get into codependent relationships, when we feel that everything is our fault. But it's a dance and you have to stop being triggered by her negativity. I know one thing after struggling immensely with my self worth for a long time. My self worth came from pleasing others at the expense of my emotional well being. I felt so unworthy and like everything was my fault. I was at a real breaking point and having so much difficulty trying to please my significant other. I was praying for God's direction, clarity, and understanding, and just surviving for 3 yrs. At my very lowest, d made it clear to me that I am loved and worthy and completely received just as I am. And that's the basis now for my personal growth as a person. I'm trusting God to continue to show me what I need to know. It's a journey, a process. It's not easy. Nothing has magically turned around in my life, but I'm taking care of myself. Best

Supposed to say,,... At my very lowest God , made it clear to me. Maybe I had to be at that lowest in order to hear that. I'm not a religious person though I tried, ( there was so much judgement). But I do believe in God

Honestly this is kind of abusive. As someone with depression I would never say these things to someone trying so hard to be there more me. I have had someone in my life who would say these things to me and I have dealt with the trauma of that for years now. Words can hurt a lot and the things they are saying is not normal. I would honestly talk to someone about the things she says and try talking to her. But this is not healthy.

Hi there. I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through.

I don't know much about ADD as I was just diagnosed, but I know A LOT about mood disorders (I'm bipolar and it runs in my family), and your GF sounds like she is misdiagnosed. I have unbelievably intense bouts with depression and it saps all of your energy, and it takes a lot of energy to tear someone down.

But that doesn't matter. As a survivor of abuse, I'm letting you know that what you are currently experiencing is marital abuse and you should seek outside help. No one has the right to say what she is saying and make you feel inferior, no matter what your perceived issues are.

You deserve a supportive relationship. Reciprocation looks like mutual support and compassion.

You are not responsible for for your partner's problems or feelings. As an adult, she decides how to respond and interact with others. Refusing treatment is a way to justify her abuse.

What she is doing is called gaslighting and it is a very insidious form of abuse. Abusers use it to make the target question themselves... makes you question if your beliefs, experiences and feelings are valid, thus becoming reliant on the abuser to tell you what is real. This makes you more accepting of ever escalating forms of abuse. In my experience, this will escalate.

Gaslighting links

TED talk from a survivor of abuse:

Therapist talks about emotional abuse:

Don't wait for your wife to get help. You need to take care of yourself. Women CAN BE abusive partners.

Send me a private message if you want some personal support.

Stay safe

She must have her reasons to behave like that. It could be familially brought up or just she is exhausted. Perhaps for you, she has done, worked, and foregone a lot too.

She had some unrealistic expectations too perhaps and is being cranky.

We can never truly blame one person in the relationship. Both people require therapy in a positive way. Talking and venting out is very important. No one can pour from an empty jug. People recharge their batteries in different ways. Everyone has a catharsis system.

Some people go out to travel for escapism, some people resort to writing or playing music, some would go out to the gym. A healthy space between two people is very important.

It makes the other miss the person's presence. It is important for you to know that you are not what you are being hurled or labeled like.

So never feel a hit on the ego when she behaves as such. CBT is a good idea paired with mindful meditation.

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