Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ADHD and Mood Disorders: Fun With Relationships

Last week, I thought my relationship was doing OK.

That was before Sunday happened.

On Sunday, what I had hoped would be a simple conversation about budgeting turned into a complete fiasco.  First, it turns out that Dear Husband is frustrated that I need so much scaffolding to deal with our budget (never mind that he keeps changing the scaffolding on me).  Then, it turned out that what's "really" frustrating him is that living where we are just isn't working for him, and he doesn't know how much longer he can "keep doing this".  We need to move closer to his workplace.

I've been aware that living where we are is not workable in the long run.  I also thought we were in a workable holding pattern, one that would allow me to get my head together, and maybe even start bringing in some income.  I thought this because my husband told me it was workable.

But it turns out that it's not.  His reason for hiding this from me?  That I get upset whenever he brings it up, and that he didn't think I was "strong enough" to deal with it.

My reasons for getting upset about the thought of moving are varied and complicated -- too complicated to get into here.  But by Sunday evening we'd gotten to a point where we'd agreed to seek counseling, and I was feeling optimistic about working things out.  I told my husband this.  His response?  He's extremely tired, he says.  He's not getting enough sleep.  But the "real problem" (another "real problem"!) is that I sleep much later than he does (in part because I'm on a med that's trying to give me delayed a sleep phase), and he resents this.

In fairness, my husband knows that the sleep problems aren't my fault (and for that matter, that I'm not always sleeping terrifically either).  But he's still resentful.  I have no idea what to do.  I totally get that he has a right to have feelings about things, including frustration and anger about my various disabilities, but is it really OK to expect me to hold that space for him?  Can I do that without finding myself in a place where I feel  blamed for having disabilities?

Four days ago, I thought I had a pretty good relationship, and now I feel like my husband is angry with me before I even wake up in the morning.  I just feel so hurt right now.  I understand that he was hiding his unhappiness out of a desire not to make things worse, but I still feel completely betrayed, and utterly confused.  What else has he decided I'm not "strong enough" to hear?  Do I have bad breath?  Is he leaving me for an Elvis impersonator?

I hope to gods that couples counselor knows what he's doing.

On a funnier note, if you missed John McManamy's blog entry today on internet dating, it's pretty damned funny.

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