Over the course of our first year, here are the beginnings of what I observed and learned as a spouse with an amazing husband who has ADHD:
- Dating someone whose attention was unwavering during the dating process
- Knowing that the person I was dating had ADHD tendencies, but nothing that sent up red flags that would prevent us from being married for all eternity
- Marrying my (at the time) attentive sweetheart and underestimating how ADHD would impact my marriage, in both negative and positive ways
- Struggling to understand how to have a lasting relationship, with someone whose tendencies changed - meaning the dynamic of the relationship changed
- Trying to figure out how to be a wife and have a lasting relationship at the same time, only having had other relationships that ended less than 7 months
- Separating the idea that he is not his ADHD, and that my reactions to consequences of his ADHD contribute just as much to the inconsistencies and hard times in our marriage
- Learning that ADHD is more than just a hyperactivity - the message we are given, which becomes our perception when children are diagnosed with ADHD at a young age
Everyone told me the first year of marriage would be hard. BUT, I didn't realize the emotional roller coaster we were in for. My sweetheart and I talk to people about our journey frequently because we know there may be others out there struggling with the same thing.
Before I go on, it is important to understand that everyone experiences and deals with these issues a lot differently. That is the beauty of being an individual person with individual emotions and needs.
Over the course of the next several weeks, I am finally comfortable sharing my journey, because I am finally at an emotionally healthy place to speak about these things more objectively and with hope, than if I would have one year ago.
One year ago, I was ready to give up. Some may consider this last statement as a sign of weakness, or that I am dramatizing my experience, and you know what - it was and is still a struggle I deal with all the time. My parents always said I was an over sensitive person, and I own that. What I share is real to me and my individuality.
I do not mind that you may consider me to be a weak person. I know myself well enough to understand that it is through my weaknesses that I can also find strength. I know that my weaknesses contribute to these trials I have, but I also know they give me the fortitude to turn to a loving Heavenly Father who has helped me (and us) immensely during this time.
My hope is that I will be able to continue to heal and learn as I share my experiences. I also hope that if you find yourself in similar situations that you figure out what works for you by doing research, observing, keeping the faith, and turning to a God who loves you.