Why do men (or any person with ADHD) always seem to be seeking the next opportunity for engagement outside the confines of any current relationship? Not even sexually, but sometimes sexually. Is it their primordial hunter mentality, domesticated as the modern male might seem, rearing its neanderthal-like urge? Or is it something deeper, more complicated, more tragic resulting from our never-ending confusion of possibilities afforded by luxury and convenience in this fast-paced, non-stop world? Our experiences have been summed up as a commercial for a whole brand of products. Have we developed into seekers? Never being satisfied by anything for very long, deeply unfulfilled and hopelessly incapable of focusing our attention for more than 30 seconds. Attention span in 5 year olds is about 2-3 minutes. I would assume it’s even less for the adult male, maybe 1 mintue. Attention span for emotional intimacy would be even less. Sorry, men. If it hurts, it might be true. And I get it. You can carry on a conversation for longer than 1 minute. But when does it start to hurt your brain??? That’s the answer.
Ladies? Does your husband get it wrong? Like, all the time?? Does he always seem distracted? What about your children? Do they seem engaged in your family dynamic? Or is family time like pulling teeth, hair and eyeballs?
I watched a program recently about multi-tasking. We don’t really multi-task. We switch. We switch back and forth from one activity to the next very quickly. We do tasks simultaneously. And probably not very well. Not as well as if we focused on one task at a time and did it to perfection. But who’s got time for that? So instead of multi-tasking, we switch. And I think I do that pretty well. But thankfully, I have alot of time where I’m able to rest and retract from the world. I feel sorry for my husband who has to commune with the world on a daily basis. Because most of the time, he’s getting dumped on. By bosses, co-workers, customers and his family. He stays in the kitchen after dinner and fills the dishwasher, wipes the counter and is the last to turn out the light. He takes out the trash, locks the door at night and sometimes brings me my medicine when I’ve forgotten to take it. He is as loyal as a dog and works like one too. I am very lucky to have him.
But he does not switch very well. But his urge is to switch. Switch me on and off like a device. Swipe the phone, scan the radio, surf the TV. Swiping, scanning, surfing, switching. If his mind is still for more than a minute, his brain starts to twitch. He loves music. That’s what soothes his savage beast. He requires almost-constant stimulation. And I’m trying to understand that. I am the opposite. I need large amounts of quiet time and peace to feel normal. His baseline is white noise. He has to sleep with a fan. Again, I know this sounds like complaining. I am very lucky to have him. I know.
But. His desire for deep, deep connection is somehow switched off. I know that my husband is deeply connected to me. I am his well-worn rug that he circles and circles until he finds the sweet spot to lie down. I am his favorite squeaky toy. His favorite bowl. His favorite spot in the window. But. If I was gone, I don’t think he’d be waiting at the door for me to come home. And that’s ok. But. I would like my husband to seek me out. To find me for conversation. To want to hear my voice, to want to know my thoughts, to cherish my presence. Hey, I know it’s not all Cleavers (Leave It to Beaver) and Seavers (Growing Pains) over here. I know that he needs his own time and his own thoughts and his own stuff. But when we are riding in the car together and there is a moment of silence, I wish that he would seek out my heart instead of the radio. Because if he only knew, my heart is for him.
He’s not perfect. And I give him grace for that. I just wish my husband’s heart was in tune with mine. And that we weren’t so far apart in our thinking. But I know that my husband thinks that too. It’s just our thinking goals are different. I think. LOL My goals do not involve football, news, weather and/or other thought goals of the modern American male.
And I’m NOT a constant nag machine that has no other button than nag, like not even an off button. I mean, sometimes I go on and on, but only because I get stuck on something he did. And I’m trying to fix that. But. You know, I’m pretty nice most of the time with a pleasant, smiling face with kindness in my heart and eyes. Most of the time. Well. That morning in the car I was.
And I tell him this need for emotional intimacy, but it usually comes out as hurt and anger. Uh-oh, here comes the nag machine. And I don’t want to tell him to come find me. I want that to be his desire. And this is the curse of men and women since the beginning of time. God told Eve that her desire would be for her husband. So, the requirement of change for me is to remember that my husband doesn’t fill me up. I fill myself up with promises of God. My value comes from God, not my husband. The precious time I have on this planet is not a fulfillment of my desire, but of God’s. My goals are to love my husband unconditionally because I honor God by doing so. And my reward is a heavenly one. But. I would like my husband to want to be close sometimes. I don’t think that’s alot to ask. One day a week in the car without the radio. Tuning our hearts to God’s will on the way to work. Call me crazy, but that sounds like a great way to commute.