Rich1, being a woman, I probably have a bit insight into your wife’s feelings. Being an ADDer, I probably have some insight into you and your actions because I’m probably ‘guilty’ of the same behaviours!
Yes, it probably seems like your wife isn’t doing her part right now but she is probably at the point where she is long past being understanding. Not that she won’t come around. She is probably just hurt to the core having dealt/put up with you for 43 years. Sometimes, a person’s anger builds slowly. Little itty bitty things that happen day after day, month after month…. you get what I mean. She’s probably given lots of warnings about the things that have been driving her crazy over the years but she hasn’t seen any changes in behaviours from you. The motorcycle probably was the tipping point for her.
I’ve had a similar experience to you but the tables were turned. My husband has been wonderfully tolerant of my ADD, probably because he grew up with a mom who was a fabulous school teacher- one who understood kids ‘inside out’ and loved each and everyone of them despite some of their more unloveable characteristics. Some of her students that she loved the most were obviously ADD by the stories she would share with me (another teacher).
My DH, lied to me about some financial matters for years…and years…and years. I was SO angry when I found out that I was ready to walk out on him after 33 ‘wonderful’ years. What was the biggest problem to me? I had given up an awful lot to allow him to build his career (I really don’t want to list all the laundry here) and repeatedly was promised some help with the kids, house maintenance… maybe even some tiem and attention for me. Basically, I did almost everything on my own since we had no family living nearer than several thousands of miles.
When my last straw was finally broken I wasn’t sure what I would do. No, I didn’t leave but I still think about it some days. This is truly not the life I had envisioned for myself. On the other hand, I certainly know it isn’t what my DH had planned either. I didn’t leave since I knew that truly, my DH is a good and wonderful man. He made a BIG mistake that was the icing on the cake after decades of me having to deal with lots of broken promises.
I didn’t leave since he really is very sorry and he is who he is because of how HIS father raised him. He really did the best he could.
He never intentionally did any of it to hurt me. But, hurt I was.
I’m still working through the hurt. When this first happened, he was suddenly helping around the house doing the things he had never had the time to do before. It’s almost difficult to watch since everytime I see him helping it makes me think “so this had to happen to get him to do what he should have been helping me with years and years before. Our kids are grown and NOW he finally gets it.”
The motorcycle may have been that proverbial ‘straw’. She’s just got a lot to work through right now. She probably is feeling really really hurt and that kind of pain doesn’t go away overnight. Like my situation, her hurts and frustrations probably were happening for the last 43 years. It’s going to take a while for the scab to heal.
I’m at the point I’m feeling badly that it’s taking me so long to move past my ‘hurt’. My fear is that if I return to my old me, he’ll assume everything is fine and he’ll go right back to his old ways. I’m sure my inability to move on is hurtful to him but I’m feeling ‘stuck’. What’s next? Probably counselling but I don’t want to go ‘there’ quite yet since I know that can open up some of the sores that have started to scab over and that huuuurts!
Sorry that this is so long but I sensed your pain and frustration and wanted you to know that your wife may just need a lot more time and lots more proof that you can make some of the changes she needs to be made. At this point, she’s just not sure that she wants to ‘invest’ any more of her energies because she’s not sure you’re going to be able to make the changes to provide for her needs. She may feel you’re not ever going to consider her wishes and wants in the marriage since you’ve ignored big ones before.
Isn’t it fun having to deal with this stuff? I remind myself that if we didn’t have feelings life would not be as good as it is. Keep your chin up and keep telling her you want to work on this and move forward and learn from this situation. You don’t want to go backwards. Ask her to help you understand what you must do to change things and to assist you with making a plan so that you can do it.
Good luck!REPORT ABUSE