My Personality Is Too Much For Some People.

Unfortunately, the two people who have had the biggest problem with my personality are my ex-wife and my current wife.

To make things clear, I'm not Type A. I just have a lot of energy and I can go, go, go without stopping. I'm not hyper, per se, but I can keep up with most anyone physically or mentally.

My ex-wife said that when I entered a room, she felt smaller. We went to a therapist and she told my ex that it was HER problem that she felt like that since this is just who I am and I'm not purposely doing that to her (she said that as well).

My wife says that she feels that she can't keep up with me, as if she has to match me at every turn. I don't expect that from her...I truly don't.

My wife recently said that I'm "too romantic", "too loving", "too affectionate", and "too thoughtful". My response to that was, "Good luck finding a support group for that one."

We also saw a therapist who told my wife that she doesn't have to match me when it comes to thoughtfulness or romantic gestures. The therapist told my wife that no one could match me and that she couldn't even match me and admitted that she is pretty intense.

I'm not really sure what it is about me. Everyone has said that it's not a negative thing, meaning that I'm not an ******* and I don't come across as someone who thinks he's better than others.

When I sit and think about it, I suppose that I am hyper aware of everything around me and I try and relate to others and what their objectives/needs are. One of my favorite sayings is: "Perspective Is Everything"

I've learned over the years as a business owner that if you can understand the perspective of others, you can better help them and relate to them, which gives the other person the true perception that you care about what they want and where they are coming from and that you are listening.

As a young adult, I had a real problem with that whole listening thing. I was constantly being told that I talked over people and didn't let others finish their sentences because (as my therapist put it) I am already three or four steps/thoughts ahead of them.

It took me many years and much trial and error to get it under control. I made it a priority to calm down and really listen to people when they talked.

As I'm sure you have already figured out, I was diagnosed with ADD. The unfortunate thing is that Adult ADD is still fairly new to the general medical establishment (meaning your average family doctor), so when I went to mine and told him about my diagnosis, he pulled out a Palm Pilot to look up Adult ADD. Oy.

I did see a specialist, but my insurance doesn't cover it and he was (drum roll, please)...$200 per hour. So, needless to say, I couldn't see him forever.

After several different attemps at medication recommended by the specialist and prescribed by my family doctor, I gave up on meds. I would call my doctor and tell him that I was out and he'd simply say that he would call in a refill at the drug store and that I could pick it up later that day.

He didn't ask me how I was doing on it or if there were any side effects or if I felt better or worse. He didn't have the training to monitor the meds and my progress.

I am a voracious reader when there are things like this in my life, so I purchased ADD books and read tons of web site articles on the subject. What I noticed was that the more I read and understood the tendancies, the more aware I was of the behaviors that I wanted to change.

So, I decided to work on the negative behaviors that I and my wife had identified and came up with things to help curb my ADD tendencies.

One in particular was when we were leaving for something (dinner, appt., etc.) I would always feel that I could get one more thing done in my office (I had a home office at the time). No matter how ridiculous it seemed, I HAD to get one more thing done before we left. My ex-wife would come in and tell me it was time to go and I'd wave my arm and tell her I'd be there in a minute. This could go on for an hour and (naturally) her anger would increase and she'd end up yelling at me and I'd scream back at her.

I wanted to change that behavior, so I discussed it with my current wife and told her to walk up behind me, place her hand on my shoulder and gently say, "You're doing it again." I promised that I would snap out of it and stop what I was doing. Guess what? It worked.

There have been other behaviors like that with which I've been able to change simply by being aware and asking for help from my wife and friends. I am by no means perfect and I still do things that I don't like, but it's a lot better than it was years ago.

Anyway, I wish that I could get a better grip on what it is about me that makes my spouse feel bad so that I could change it. I really don't want to make her (or anyone) feel this way.
SpringForward2k8 SpringForward2k8
41-45, M
5 Responses Jun 11, 2007

Hi Babeifer,<br />
<br />
Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate it.<br />
<br />
Rick...

This is an interesting story. I like how you changed your perspective on the treatment and came up with something that works better for you. Education is key, I believe, and you educated yourself by reading up on ADD. They say you can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves. In this case, you cut out the middle man and became your own specialist. But I guess that's par for the course for your large personality! Good luck, I hope you find the right balance.

Thanks. Yes, I'm aware of it. Of course, as with most personality problems, it's got its advantages as well. I'm just trying to balance it out so that it doesn't hurt those closest to me. *sigh*

at least you know that there is an issue and are willing to work on it... good for u!

Hey James,<br />
<br />
Yeah, that hand on the shoulder thing really helped. Of course, it wouldn't have worked unless I was 1) Aware and 2) Willing to do what I said I would.<br />
<br />
I'm conflicted with the whole "too intense" personality thing. Most of me wants to just say, "Hey, if it's too intense for you, move along little doggy." And that's because I'm not a mean person and I don't come from a bad place.<br />
<br />
Then I hear what my wife says and it makes me feel bad because I don't want her to feel bad because of my personality. Our therapist told my wife that she was very aware of who she was marrying, so it isn't like it came up later. She knew that I'd be a challenge for her.<br />
<br />
*sigh*<br />
<br />
Rick...