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  #1  
Old 09-12-08, 12:38 PM
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Anger and resentment from lack of attention

I have to vent. Sorry for the tirade but I need to get this off my chest.

Anyone else (dumb question) have a build up of anger and resentment from the lack of attention from the ADD spouse? I seem to be going through these cycles of being able to successfully cope (when she is sensitized to the issue by us talking about it) then slowly getting more p*ssed off and upset as she drifts back to the usual "ignore the planet" behavior. I eventually start going to bed without talking to her since it's pointless anyway, she won't be listening. Then this kicks her into the "what's the matter" mode and we start the same old tired discussion about how I feel she's disconnecting. We never get very far before it turns to how she is just overwhelmed by all the things she has to do and how I don't understand. Which is not true, I do understand but this pattern is just driving me nuts.

Earlier in the week I wanted to give her a hug before we went to bed and said "not tonight I'm in self preservation mode". So, I just went to bed but it put me in a mood of not wanting to even bother dealing with her any longer. She does this all the time, always too tired or stressed out or can't come to bed at a decent time (computer is far too interesting). Last night she wanted to do something (not sure what) and I said I was too tired. That got a reaction, I guess it isn't too pleasant getting shot down (what a surprise).

She's been diagnosed and sees an ADD specialist psych weekly, I went with her several times. She won't take ADs, but is taking Adderol which actually makes this problem far worse, she's cranky as hell in the PM which is the only time we have to connect.

I am just getting tired of this. If we didn't have kids I would be seriously considering leaving. I don't think this will ever improve, even when the kids leave home there will probably always be some distraction that prevents her from focusing on anyone else. She doesn't seem as if she can understand how I feel about this, it's come up in therapy but no comprende. It's the only real issue I have but man it's a big one. I keep questioning why I can't just deal with this but if I wanted to be single, I'd be single.

OK I'm done for now.
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Old 09-12-08, 06:20 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

So sorry, man.
Are you seeing a relationship therapist? Might help.
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Old 09-12-08, 07:23 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

Wow man, I'm so sorry for you. I'm the ADDer of my house, but I'm quite attentive to my wife. However, we have been through some issues with attention, as my wife resents the computer. I've told her though, if she would want to do something I'm glad to get off of it. A lot of days, I'm just tired of fighting what goes on in my own head, and trying to motivate myself once I get home to interact isn't easy. However, she knows that if she would just ask me to do anything, I'm there for her. I also have days where I feel really good and want to get up and go somewhere, or do something. So, I can identify to some extent, from the other side I guess.

I'm not sure what "self-preservation mode" is, but it sounds really crappy to refuse a hug because of it. What kind of bull is that? Who can't give a hug to someone they love? I can't identify with that at all.

I know it felt good to shoot her down in retaliation for what your life is normally, but that really doesn't do any good. Unless you just couldn't bring yourself to do something because your feelings were really hurt, you might have missed out on a good time and connecting just to get back at her. That usually only serves to escalate things, in my view, even though it may momentarily feel good.

I wonder if she really doesn't understand your legitimate point of view, or if she is just too addicted to things like the internet to connect with you. We ADDers need a lot of stimulation, and sometimes the computer is more stimulating than whatever alternatives there are. We don't tend to do things that don't interest us, unless it is our idea, in which case it obviously does interest us. Try doing something, unless you already have and have been shut down, outside of the house with her. Have someone take the kids, and go, just you and her, out to eat. Put forth your best possible effort to wine and dine her and see what happens. If she connects with you, then you know that she isn't just disconnected entirely.

Maybe you can think of some mutual interests that you have to pursue. I can't speak for her, and the comment above about self-preservation really boggles the mind and sounds extremely cold, but maybe she just has an addiction to other stimuli and can't pull away from it. I have a difficulty doing so as well at times. The computer is much more interesting than sleeping, so until being tired overrules my being able to stay awake, I can stay up for hours, which isn't good. I'm just trying to give you some perspective from the ADD side, which you may or may not have heard already. It is a reason for some things, but not an excuse for disconnecting from one's spouse.

Finally, if the computer or something else is really ruining your relationship, maybe it is time to mutually decide to get rid of it for the sake of the marriage. If my wife told me she wanted it gone because she felt neglected, then I'd get rid of it, even though it would hurt to do so a bit. If nothing else, maybe you can agree to limit the amount of time, whereby maybe she could get her computer or whatever she does time out of the way by a certain time, and then you guys could be together the rest of the night.

That was kind of rambling, because there were a lot of things I wanted to say and had a hard time getting them organized, as I'm very tired from a long work week. Sorry about that, but I'm trying to help.
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Old 09-13-08, 12:16 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

I deal with some of this with my husband. He gets so involved with his computer/games/TV (we recently got cable and I've lost him to multiple military history channels ) that he doesn't realize how late it is. It doesn't help that he works long hours, gets home late, and really does need those activities to de-stress.

With his permission, I recently set up reminder alarms in his iCal for him to get ready for bed. He gets pinged every 15 minutes for an hour, and he usually makes it upstairs after three of them. Which is far better than before, when he didn't come up until about 7 hours before we had to wake up...

Yes, it hurts to want to spend time with someone who is too involved in other things to give that time. It helps me to realize that he does want to spend time with me -- he just has problems planning it out. He appreciates the alarms to keep him on track.
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Old 09-13-08, 08:20 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

I ask my husband when is a good time to talk. That way he knows it's coming, I'm not interrupting whatever he's doing, and he knows it's important. Then I try to keep the talk down in time (depending on the issue). We've had some luck in writing notes, but that's time consuming to write what could be a five min conversation in 10 different notes back and forth.

I'd suggest telling her you need to talk, it's important, and telling her exactly how bad you feel about this. No one is a mind reader, and she'll never know if you don't say it.
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Old 09-15-08, 10:55 AM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

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Then this kicks her into the "what's the matter" mode and we start the same old tired discussion about how I feel she's disconnecting. We never get very far before it turns to how she is just overwhelmed by all the things she has to do and how I don't understand. Which is not true, I do understand but this pattern is just driving me nuts.
Wow, if I had a nickle for every time I had to go through this with my mom, my ex and my 3 on the spectrum kids, I would be a billionaire.

It never mattered how many conversations we had..they always ended the same..change never lasted for long. The conversation cycle repeated itself for years..counseling, books, ...nothing worked..and he is still in the same place now in his life as he was over 20 years ago..

Bottom line, that is a VERY unhealthy environment for your kids. I hope that you aren't fooling yourself by thinking they don't notice..if they are too young now, they most likely will later..and remember..ADD is very genetic...keep your eyes out on your kids..but honestly, unless she wants and CAN change, she won't.

I was married ten years to man like this and it about killed me..3 suicide attempts and 4 kids later..I knew it was my life or ruin my children for life...I certainly hope the best for you..this is not a fun place to be.
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Old 09-15-08, 12:29 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

It's the real (insert really bad expletive ending with -ing here) tragedy of ADD life. We don't understand the others and they don't understand us. Try what you may, there is always that barrier remaining. It just can't be bridged.

Having said that, ADD should never be an excuse for lack of common human courtesy. I can't, I've got ADD, is IMHO heard way too often.
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Old 09-18-08, 03:12 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

I am new to this forum, and have just spent the past 40 minutes hopping from post to post and connecting with almost everyone.

From the start of my relationship (which started romantically) about a year and a half ago, I denied that ADD was even real. No one I knew had it...I just considered it an excuse for anything that didn't go right for the person.

I am now realizing that there are certain traits and behaviors that people who have ADD are prone to. I am so happy to see that I'm not alone. I'm not the only person who feels like my partner doesn't always give me the attention I deserve. I'm not the only person who has asked my significant other to do something, and 10 minutes later, the task was completely forgotten about by the person. I am not the only one with these frustrations!

I very much look forward to continuing reading through the posts and learning how to deal with my ADD boyfriend. I love him very, very much, but more and more often, his ADD behaviors seem to be pulling us apart.

Thank you everyone for posting on here. It is greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 09-18-08, 06:46 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

Detached I know exactly how you feel I am treated the same. Add I am the one who has to ensure the bills get paid, the one to carry the steady job with insurance, the main caregiver of our daughter, and oh work on top of it. My day never ends and I get no time for myself for I have no help around the house nor with childcare. My day begins with getting myself and my child going while starting laundry and loading the dishwasher, work, homework, dinner etc. His day is come home from work and sit on butt while I run around doing it all. Weekends he really does not spend time with our daughter either, no motivation for anything.
Like you I am staying for now for my daughter and what is sad is I dream about a better life and meeting someone new. I hate hearing others talk about their spouses and the wonderful things they do and I feel so alone. I understand you completely.
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Old 09-18-08, 08:37 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

Uhmmm...I think the "self preservation" thing may have been a feeble way to avoid sex.

I may be completely wrong, but I know I had especially one bf in the past where I felt like doing that, because I knew that if I hugged back, he'd want to have sex and I just couldn't take it anymore because I had so much anxiety (he was very emotionally abusive, and it ran me down emotionally).
Now, you're probably not emotionally abusive, but still, sometimes so little has to be wrong before a woman can feel unsafe or insecure. And when we feel that way, the vast majority of us can't have sex. Things dry up (literally!) and willing things to function because you know that a little intimacy would probably help you get close to your man again and make him feel secure and loved just makes things worse.
The partner's self esteem go down the drain, and they start resenting you and that makes it even harder the next time around.

To me it seems like she is actively withdrawing - which doesn't have to be an ADHD thing, but the emotional soreness she is obviously experiencing may be.

I'm thinking she didn't know all you wanted to do was hug her and maybe hold her, and so she felt she had to fend you off without telling you that she didn't want sex because she didn't want to hurt you. I know she did anyway, and that sucks.
It was not a healthy way to deal with you wanting to hug her.

(lol Your little revenge thing was, on the other hand, at the very least AS immature, if not worse, hehe )

Anyways, you really have to stop hurting eachother on purpose.

That hug may have been a very obviously (to you) a genuine, innocent "I feel you, sweety, I know things are hard, but I still love you, and I'm here" kind of hug.
But maybe it wasn't so obvious to her, and she sounds like she's overly sensitive for some reason. I don't have a clue why, but obviously you guys have to figure it out or else...

But only about the hug incident:
Maybe you need to think about when your hugs started to become threats to her.
Something to be cautious about receiving.

Because I know I'm virtually impossible to be with (Because of that fact and a few others, I'm single by choice now) I can't really give advise as to how to handle her in other ways.
I just wanted to propose a cautious theory about that very hurtful non-hug you gave eachother that still seems to be hanging in the air.

I'm sorry things are so rough for you.
I hope you guys find out why she is withdrawing, because to me it sounds like way more than just inattentiveness, what she has going on. The problem the way I see it is, that is she's anything like me when I withdraw, her head is a huge mess now and her thoughts and feelings are racing out of control. And I have no idea to fix this permanently save living alone. I really hope she's not like me, because if she is, no matter how much she adores you and admires you and you love her and try to help her, she'll not be able to live and breathe in the environment she's in now.

I really hope my hunch here is all wrong.
I may very well just be projecting my own issues on your wife, but I thought I'd throw the possibility out there.

Good luck.
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Old 09-29-08, 02:48 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

Just read your post and could have written it myself. I'm so sorry. It just helps to vent so vent away. Don't forget who you are, or maybe who you used to be. I find myself just trying to remember who I was and it comforts me. Listening to music from your time, being with friends who knew you when, anything you can do to stay connected to who you really are inside, before you got absorbed by your spouse, helps. It helps me anyway. Try to remember the good things about her. They are still there, you might have to dig a little deeper to remember them. Don't let her pull you under. I'm off to follow my own advice. There's something about listening to Doobie Bros music that always make me feel better. You are not alone, not in the big picture anyway.
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Old 09-29-08, 04:58 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

This may be completely off the mark, but isn't staying together for the kids a really bad reason to stay together? You see...I'm the NTer...he's the ADDer and I think we can safely say we are not staying together because of the kids. For starters, they're his. We are dealing with our fair share of dilemmas---both ADD and non-ADD related---but not for the kids' sake. No...we really want to work this out between the two of us. Or, at least, I really want to work this out for the both of us.

I think you're teaching your kids that the other spouse's behavior is okay--even if you don't specify it to them. They're sponges--they suck up everything you do and say. You don't want them to grow up, marry a person who is emotionally unavailable or unhelpful to them.

JMHO.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:43 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

Damn!! Thanks everyone for the responses, hard to keep everything straight to reply to the questions but here's a stab at it:

1. Are we seeing a marital therapist? No, we've seen her therapist together twice but she's an individual not a couples doc. We could do this, but unless the person was an ADD specialist I doubt it would work.

2. Do we go out on dates, wine/dine? Tried this recently, but guess what she is scheduling too many kids/personal activities and this is cutting into that.

3. Disconnect the PC? I could, but then it would be something else. It's not the PC, it's the fact she gets so involved with whatever activity is at hand she loses all perspective. The PC is just handy.

4. Set alarms. Hmm, I could but I suspect they will get disabled/ignored.

5. Time for talk? Tried this, sets off a defensive posture then when/if it does happen the subject will get deflected to her own issues. So there is no real discussion. Oh yeah, I have told her point blank about this many times.

6. Notes? Hah. Nothing ****es her off more than this. No idea why, anyone care to speculate? ADD thing perhaps? So writing is out.

7. Hugs = sex. Yeah this is probably partially true, although she has no trouble saying straight out she's not in the mood. This behaviour has got me tiptoing around, trying to give her a hug from 3 feet away so as not to insinuate any covert sexuality....now you see how ridiculous this is. I feel like a male camp counsellor comforting a 15 year old female, there's this mental checklist of what not to do to avoid any incorrect feelings. Was it immature for me to deny her? Maybe, but I wanted to see what the reaction would be. Ironic that suddenly it was a major sh*tstorm if I said no once in 15 years. I was too ****ed off anyway.

8. Living my own life and having my own fun? Yes, I am. And I feel like the 20-something Detached, living by myself and taking care of business. Not a bad gig, but not really what I expect in my 40's.

9. Staying because of the kids? Not the only reason, but it does weigh on my thoughts. My parents both had flaws, but I turned out OK. I just did my own thing, didn't try to follow their path at all. So I dont worry that my kids will be contaminated by our lack of Ward and June role modelling.

10. And finally, Early Doobies or Late Doobies? I like the pre-Michael McDonald era myself.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:18 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

10. And finally, Early Doobies or Late Doobies? I like the pre-Michael McDonald era myself.



ANY Doobies!...but I do especially like the Michael McDonald era

I was browsing the forums last night and found a posting under Relationships & Social Issues entitled Detaching with Love, posted by Ian. It's a sticky-thingy. A really encouraging, common sense piece. I'm a big fan of common sense. You might consider checking it out when you have time.
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Old 09-30-08, 03:25 PM
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Re: Anger and resentment from lack of attention

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4. Set alarms. Hmm, I could but I suspect they will get disabled/ignored.
The alarms were set with his permission. The partner has to have some willingness to find a way to spend time with you for this to work. And, yes, the first three are usually ignored -- but he'll usually come upstairs by the fourth one. I try to find amusing sound clips that catch his interest, and vary them, so it is more of a game than a demand.
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