I have been with my husband for 11 years, married 6. We finally figured out what was wrong last summer. He is struggling with his medication and feelings that he can overcome this on his own, his lack of self-esteem from being forced to be a stay at home dad since I earn a large income, and overall issues with feeling controlled by me having the only full access to the checking account. Of course I do so out of necessity since it's been emptied on more occasions than I care to admit, but all of it has lead to a major meltdown in our marriage. He is convinced he's better, but I feel like it's getting worse. I've been through the most unforgivable and heartbreaking situations and ordeals. The last few months, have been pure hell as even the sight of me sends me into a rage. Yesterday he calmed down and promised me he'd change. I was on my way home when I found out he found a new place to play poker and he'd be there til 11. He came in at 4:30 this morning. Here's the letter I wrote him today:
"If you talk to my husband....
I don't know where along the line I became so insignificant to my husband. He refuses to put my needs either emotional or material before his wants and even when we seem to be in the most dire of circumstances emotionally, he refuse to put me or our marriage before anything fun. Somewhere along the way I became expected to deal with it as its just the way it is. I kept screaming "no more" but neither he nor I took me serious. Now...last night I collapsed, cried for hours on my knees in our room trying to find some shed of proof that I'm still important to him. I waited up for him though I was exhausted. I did as much as I could around the house, cleaning up after a bad housekeeper/nanny we currently are paying, and no word. I knew by 11:15 he wasn't coming home, though deep down I had been hopeful he was out to prove me wrong. Midnight neared and I called...somewhat expecting him to again prove me wrong....I got his voicemail and I knew. I crawled into bed with our oldest baby, snuggled up and went to sleep.
I woke up a few times, but not every 20 mins like before. Every time looking at the clock getting more and more hurt and frustrated because now I know for sure the evening involved drinking and cash and he would not be home until either or both were gone. It definitely isn't me that's pushing him home. That is too if poker is truly where he is. While in my heart I believe the days of infidelity are over, I never really know do I? All I know is my husband is refusing to answer, refusing to come home, he's drinking, and it's close to daylight when he wanders in. All I do is pray sometimes that he doesn't have a drunken "oops" night that happened more times than I can count in the past.
What truly tears at my heart the most is that he has no idea how sad I feel inside for how much he is hurting. I know he's miserable, I know he doesn't mean to be a thoughtless husband, or that he doesn't ever mean to lose all his cash when he plays. I know that in fact he's desperate to show me he can do it, and to make me proud. It breaks my heart to know how good a player he is, but no matter what, he insists on drinking when he plays, and it has been his biggest enemy in the game. I am heart broken for my dear husband. I keep telling him how neglected I feel, how unloved I feel, how much it hurts me that he continues to disappear in the night to do as he pleases no matter how anyone feels or what they need. I needed his love yesterday. His arms. I needed him to hold me, to promise me it was changing, that he was so sorry and had been so wrong, but he was committed to fixing our marriage and our family.
I AM the same woman he married...I am. The situation has changed and I'm focused on protecting our boys and getting them settled, but I'm the same woman. I've just been beat down. The effects of his disorder and choices has taken its toll on me, and despite all my struggles to forgive, forget and start over, I'm still trying to make this work and keep us all together. But I afraid that I'm running out of hope.
I see and feel my hope and sparkle dwindle more with every disappointment and broken promise. It is heartbreaking to feel like I've given him so much support, so much love and forgiveness, and at the times emotionally I need his undivided attention and concern, he finds somewhere else he'd rather be. I don't even ask for much, and even times I've asked just for BBQ night or Taco night for us to spend time together, he seem to forget or get sidetracked in something more fun...sometimes a drink or two with his friend, or a long turn of events that makes our plans then impossible. And his response when I show my disappointment is, "you make everything such an event. Such a big deal! It was just dinner. We have our whole lives". and if I wasn't starving so much for that time and love from him, it wouldn't have been a big deal. But even his remembering a dinner at home would have meant so much. I gave up on the hopes of him bringing me flowers or a massage. I gave up on him doing those "I'm sorry" things that most husbands do. Heck I even gave up on hearing "I'm sorry. " at all. He says that it means nothing unless he's ready to say it. I feel really lost in all this. He doesn't even see how much I'm starving for even the slightest hint that he loves me.
I sat on our living room floor the other night changing our babies when the texts demanding money came rolling in. He left that day to get tennis shoes, but i knew when he left...i saw it in his eyes and his mannerisms, that he was not coming back. In fact, i got this sinking feeling in my gut that he'd end up at the poker table, drinking and wanting more money. I tried all day to keep my cool, not explode when inside I just wanted to scream."here we go again. I hope this turns out ok.". I was putting the babies Jammies on as I was being called a selfish whore, told I made a huge mistake I will regret if I didn't get him at least $200 right then. I had warned him before that I suspended the account..I had hoped it would prevent this scene from playing out. Looks like I couldn't prevent it after all. I didn't cry as I read the words..instead was scared and terrified he was going to come home and hurt me. I was scared. He has been so angry with me for so long, I thought tonight he might actually lose it. I put the boys in bed and prepared for him to come home. Packed my bag in case I needed to leave, but not wanting to leave the boys behind. These things cross my mind...I worry about these things because he get so angry with me and feel in those moments so deprived and neglected. He no longer sees or thinks rationally when he's mad, and he is insistent that he gets nothing from our money and I keep it all for me. When he's angry, it makes no since at all.
I got out of the shower this morning and did what I often do after we fight. I find more ADHD materials to help me understand how the man I love so much could be making me feel so bad. I find more resources that reassure me of my beliefs and often to be honest, buy our marriage more time as I hang on to everything I learn as assurance that its not just me and there is hope. The problem is that there's only hope if he wants it. To actually do this it will be the hardest thing he has ever done, and he has to do it each and every day. The odds are for sure against me especially as he has decided again that drinking is something he will never give up...even if it means he loses me. But things are so bad...I think to myself, "maybe today he'll decide it has been enough.". The first texts I get are angry and I sigh. I realize that again today, I am to blame for his behavior. Maybe tomorrow he'll understand and want to see. Each day that passes, my hope fades more and more.
I wish my husband could truly see my heart and feel my pain. Maybe then he'd chose me over his night out, or realize how seriously close to the end it is for me. I love him with my whole heart, as he is the only man i ever loved and will ever love, but I've learned the hard way that only he can decide when he's ready to change. Or even if he will. If he's not committed to it himself...it will never happen. No matter how much he actually does love me.
I go in to work today. Another morning he walks in as I walk out. I start the same fight as always and then we stop. I'm just done trying to make him see me. It's too hard. And he reminds me our son is in bed with him. My frustration is past the boiling point and i can barely see straight, but suddenly I just feel like, "what's the point.?"
He wakes this morning and again sees not the bigger picture of why I'm upset. He wants to figure out a poker schedule again. Eventually I lose it and I know I'm hurting him. I don't mean to...I'm just so confused on how the world he sees, is so much different then the world I see. How come we cannot see each other?
Well I should probably go, but should you talk to my dear husband, see if maybe you can get through to him. Maybe you can help him find it in his heart to committ to change his life, so in turn it can change our lives. See if you can get him to love his wife and to show everyday, not just every so often when he feels bad. I know she's desperate for his love and attention. I tried reaching out. Maybe you can get through when I can't. "
Immediately following his reading of my letter, my husband texted me asking for the number to the Adult ADHD Clinic. He called me back with all the info telling me not to thank him yet. He had a lot of work to do, that it was expensive but worth it. He apologized for getting so wrapped up in himself and his needs that he completely neglected and lost sight of me and what he was doing to me. The man I have loved so unconditionally called me to tell me that he recognizes that he needs help and can't fix it himself. That while the letter hurt him, it was beautiful. It was honest and he had no idea how he didn't see it. He told me he has made a lot of mistakes in his life, but he's intelligent enough to realize when he's about to make the biggest mistake of his life, and that he could not lose me. Given all that I had forgiven, I promise you, this was a man who probably never really saw me ever leaving. He knew in his heart, that I was done. He made apts for us both to get the help we need individually and as a couple. I know it's not solved, but I feel like today I can take my bag back out of my car. I have a glimmer of new hope.