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Who’s life is this anyway?

Mom and kids on rollercoaster

Months ago, my therapist advised me to reach radical acceptance regarding my husband’s ADHD and the impact on our relationship. Honestly, I dismissed it because how the hell was I supposed to do that? I’m angry, resentful, and just trying to get through each day best I can.

More recently, I’ve come to the realization I am living my husband’s life, not mine. I deal with a lot of the problems that he had before meeting me. I didn’t have those specific problems. (Yes, I have my own.) I do my best to deal with the dirty kitchen and clutter all over the house. I try to ignore the piles of stuff in our yard and garage. I help write his emails and text messages when they are emotionally challenging for him. Sure I have to watch the boundaries, but this is not what I signed up for. I encounter long, difficult discussions with his distorted facts, time, and perception.

I came across the concept of radical acceptance again in the podcast Running Lean – Eliminating Expectations. Maybe the relationship we have is supposed to be what it is. What if I do accept we will always have these issues? I’m the one who is angry about it all. What if I decide to stop being angry? I could focus on my goals and dreams. It will take some discipline, but I can do hard things, damn it.

If I let myself, I could focus on what pisses me off every day, all day long, but nobody wants to be that miserable. I could pick up and clean up after my ADHD partner all day long. I would get nowhere with my life and my happiness. So, I’m going to try to shift my focus even more. What would I do if it were just me? Be the best me that I can be. What would I do if it were just my kids and me? Be the best parent I can be.

In our marriage, I try to be the best spouse I can be, but the non-ADHD partners know the exhaustion. And it’s a rollercoaster. Maybe my partner will ride my rollercoaster if I get off his—time to work harder on my life.

What would you focus on?

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