Q&A Do You Have Advice for Dealing with Mental Health Issues as Well as the Affair?

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Question: 

What advice and support can you offer to those of us who have spouse with Mental Health and Cognitive Function Issues? I cannot be the only betrayed spouse here who is suffering through an infidelity which just comes ON TOP of the suffering I have been going through after years of trying to have a healthy relationship with someone who is ADHD / Asperger / Executive Function Disorders / Cognitive Impairment / Depression. Especially as the masking and tool-kits they have developed from childhood have deceived us and sucked us into these marriages; we married these people under, what we now know to be false pretenses. This has only left us abandoned inside their four walls (like a jail cell) due to their dysfunction and atypical behaviors. The infidelity is just the icing on the cake of the dysfunction in our marriage and household! Would you please speak to this?

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ADHD added to Infidelity

The whole concept of "letting them take care of their own issues" is exponentially more difficult with a spouse with ADHD, who, inherently forgets, doesn't feel their own feelings, cannot focus, is impulsive and doesn't follow through...especially when it is something that needs to be taken care of inside of them. In fact, many programs and books on dealing with ADHD in marriage promote the idea of working on the ADHD as a team, employing the non-ADHD spouse as a resource for the spouse with ADHD--that walks a fine line when being told to "let them take responsibility for their own recovery". It is extremely hard to find good information about Adult ADHD in marriage and extremely hard to find good information on dealing with infidelity (and staying after)….so imagine how hard it is to find any information at all that specifically targets "Wanting to stay and make a marriage work after infidelity with an unfaithful spouse who also struggles with ADHD!" I would love to hear more about how to deal with this. Adding ADD in the mix makes a lot of the recovery suggestions seem much more difficult-its not as easy as it seems to sit back and "let them take care of their own issues".

you are not alone

My wife has suffered from depression since early childhood. I knew about this very early in our relationship. There were no false pretenses - at least with respect to mental health between us.

My wife has never blamed depression for her affair. I don't either. However, I do think her depression had a significant impact on her ability to recover from the affects of the affair: her shame, her anger at me, and the agony I was in. She couldn't take it. The layering on of all of this on top of her depression may have been what led her to give up.

So I don't think of the affair as icing on the cake. Instead, I see no cake and no icing. The affair took them all of it away