Recent Topics

  • by: WifeOfThor - 1 month 3 weeks ago

    I'm not really sure where to start here; and I'll keep it as short as I can. My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years now. He had ADHD when I met him and was largely under medicated and completely under treated. A few years ago he made the independent choice to work with his doctor to get medicated in a way that worked for him. Since then we've made great strides together. ADHD has never exactly been the focal point of arguments and tension but it does tend to be lurking in most arguments we have. I bought The Couples Guide to Thriving With ADHD a few months ago. Once I finished it I asked if my husband would like to look at it. He said he would and is slowly working through it now as well as far as I know. Every now and then he'll excitedly tell me about something he's read and how he things we can apply it. It's wonderful. This has been helping to eliminate many of the issues we didn't realize were connected to ADHD in our relationship.

    Recently household chores are becoming huge problems though. House cleaning has always been a hard one for us in general. I think it's lucky I'm not much of a clean freak. So the messy nature of our home isn't world ending for me. In fact, if the mess is "clean" (as in no health concerns, minimal dust bunnies, no mold on anything) I don't mind at all. What does bother me is the extent it gets to and why. I'd like to explain; my husband is a kind and wonderful person. He doesn't like seeing me flit around the house and take on the chores alone. But his ADHD is severe and he finds himself playing video games while I clean instead. This doesn't often bother me; though sometimes it does and will lead to tension - but not often. His current inability to focus and help me clean the house does bother him though; and that leads to self inflicted guilt and then outbursts at times. Sometimes those outbursts catch me off guard and I react unfairly and the argument is off the races. Though we're lucky here too - they rarely get intentionally hurtful.

    The most recent solution he's asserted to this problem is asking me to please leave him a task or two when I decide to clean. Because his ADHD makes looking at a messy room and finding the correct place for the items strewn about it a frustrating process; we agreed that I would leave him things in the kitchen. This way he can do the dishes or clear the counters, all items are either garbage or belong in the kitchen itself (or can be put on a table for me to go through later) and everyone would seem to win. This brings us to my issues; what is wearing me out.

    Right now, as I type this, almost all of our commonly used dishes are dirty in my kitchen sink. We have a dishwasher - it's full of clean dishes. The last three times I've cleaned I've let him know I'm going to clean the house. Ask if he'd like to join me. He's said no, which is acceptable based the new system we are trying. So I let him know I would be leaving the dishes for him to do when he could. And for the third time I find myself faced with the choices of A). asking him to please hold up his end of the deal for a third time and potentially lead us into more tension around cleaning. B). take care of the dishes myself because they are bothering me (and I believe I'm responsible for my own happiness and comfort - not him). This I could do; but past experience raises some caution - this has caused arguments or hurt feelings in the past as well). Or C). I can sit him down, remind him of the agreement we have, and ask him if a new plan should be made. This has also caused hurt feelings and tension in the past.

    Truthfully, I don't like to clean either. I understand I'm able to push through that more easily than he can for very valid reasons. While I don't mind the house messy things like dishes and taking out the garbage go beyond messes in my mind. These are dirt problems and I do like to live in a clean environment.

    I'm feeling very stuck right now. I'm proud of both of us for working as hard as we have to improve our disagreements. We take a break and revisit the discussion when things are getting too heated, recently put a trigger word in place to tell each other we need to step back, we both make an effort to maintain respect through disagreement at all times, all that jazz. But  I'm finding I'm feeling almost helpless within this discussion structure. My focused intent not to cause, prolong, or exasperate an argument will often leave me silently shouldering a lot of our responsibilities. Which is not say my husband doesn't contribute. He does.

    I'd like to be clear here; I think this is my issue not his. The dishes in my sink are his issue; we've made a plan, we both agreed to it, it hasn't worked, he's resisted changing the plan and resists following it. In my eyes this is something for him to work on. My hesitance and anxiety about approaching him and telling him this is how I feel is my issue. And I'm unsure how I can get past it.

    I guess I'm posting for two reasons: I'd love to see any thoughts/ideas/proven methods others may have for this kind of struggle over household chores. I'm sure there are many approaches I'm simply not seeing and one of them will work; eventually. I'm also wondering if anyone might have tips as far as communicating my frustrations to my husband in a way that may avoid him feeling overly guilty? Many times (not every time) we'll sit down and try to make plans or set up systems that might help us and he feels guilt over us having to do this. That guilt leads to a defensive attitude and I react very unfairly and things spiral. I feel like there must be a way to communicate with him when I'm feeling overwhelmed without us both reacting unfairly to the other.

  • by: AlphabetSoup - 1 month 3 weeks ago

    I don't know if "conflict seeking" is the right way to describe this  or not.

    I don't even know if it's his problem, my problem, or a mutual problem.

    Basically, every discussion, every disagreement, and every expression of negative emotion on my part--  it all turns into a fight.  Zero to yelling in 10 setconds flat. 

    In 16 years, I haven't been able to find a way out. 

    If I state my opinion, it's an argument.

    If I advocate for my point of view, I'm being controlling and aggressive and it's an argument. 

    If I try to guess his opinion, I'm being a people-pleaser, and it's an argument.

    If I try to extract his opinion so I can agree with it, I'm being passive-aggressive and it's an argument.

    If I talk about negative emotions (anger, fear, sadness, grief, hopelessness), I shouldn't feel that way, and it's an argument.

    If I talk to someone else about negative emotions instead, that's emotional adultery, and it's an argument.

    If I just don't talk, that's withholding, and passive-aggression, and it's an argument. 

    If I just don't react, that's withholding, and passive-aggression, and it's an argument. 

    Short of smiling all the time and making lots of smalltalk, there is NOTHING I CAN DO that isn't going to turn into an argument (and smalltalk isn't safe either; sooner or later I will make a mistake that can be turned into an argument). 

    This has always been taxing.  Several years ago, I got so tired of it that I decided to just do the submissive wife thing.  Smile all the time, always be available for sex, make no demands of him, keep all my feelings to myself, jump to meet every request, not pursue any interest that wasn't in his immediate service, say "YES" to everything.  I enjoyed the NOT ARGUING.  After about 5 years of that, I had a complete nervous breakdown.  Which was, of course, my fault.  And AN ARGUMENT that has been ongoing since 2011 (when I finally ended up in the hospital wanting to kill myself). 

    I'm a nervous wreck.  I can't go back to being a submissive wife again (he won't allow it--  now it has to turn into an argument even if I say "YES" to everything).  I can't handle everything being an argument any more.  The mere thought of having to speak unless I'm saying something like, "I love you honey" or "What do you want for breakfast honey?" makes me shaky and sick to my stomach. 

    Either the arguments have to stop, or we have to separate. 

    And separating isn't an option.  Our kids are too little, and it's common knowledge that either I would relinquish all parental rights and walk away or it would be the custody battle from Hell. 

    ETA--  Self-awareness on his part isn't going to happen.  I KNOW how painful self-awareness can be for the variously disordered (I'm an Aspie--  I would love to stop being obsessively self-aware every waking moment, but I understand that that is something I must never, ever allow myself to do b/c The Beast Autism will slip it's leash if I relax my guard).  I would NEVER wish that pain on him.  Plus, as painful as constant obsessive self-awareness is for me, at least I had the blessing of a loving, supportive, basically emotionally healthy family growing up.  He didn't.  He was subjected to an almost total lack of support and constant and unending low-to-moderate level verbal and emotional abuse.  His self-esteem, while it looks great on the outside, is a fragile and hollow shell.  He could never sustain self-awareness without completely and totally crashing.

    If there's going to be a change that stops the arguments, I'm going to have to be the one to make it. 

  • by: Suda - 1 month 3 weeks ago

    Hi there, I haven't posted in a while, but I have something I am struggling with on how best to approach my ADHD husband. After years of fighting over impulse purchases, my husband opened a credit card with separate checking account. It is funded with a percentage of any bonus checks he receives from work. It is not the ideal solution for me, but he really likes it and I have to say that we haven't fought since it has been in place for a year. In the past, we fought a lot over his purchases because I thought many of them were unnecessary. I couldn't believe that our hard-earned money was being spent on hobbies that we only do once a year or a fish tank. The deal is that he will give me a print out each month of the credit card paid receipt (not statement) that the card was paid in full. He usually also prints out what his checking account balance is as well.  He was late this month so when I approached him with an email. We do better in writing than trying to discuss heavy topics like this verballly. He replied that same day that the automatic minimum pay kicked in. I am thinking in my head "great no late fees, but picking up interest charges on a credit card balance." He once told me that if he didn't pay the balance and wished to use his money on interest charges then that is his prerogative. Anyways, I politely replied with I would like a printout of his current the credit card and checking account balances. He has yet to respond or acknowledge my request so now I am not sure what I should do next. Part of me is scared to talk to him in person - there is never a good time to approach on such a delicate subject. Anyone have advice for me? I have no access to either account online. 

  • by: AlphabetSoup - 1 month 3 weeks ago

    Hi.  I'm new.

    My husband is the ADHD spouse, but I don't get to call myself the "NT spouse."

    Nope--  I'm the spouse with Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

    We've been together since 98, married since 01.  Fourteen years next month. 

    Four kids.  Daughter 13, thriving and presumed to be NT (suspected "Broader Autism Phenotype," but I'm not pursuing anything if it's not causing her problems).  Son 7, diagnosed ADHD, currently not struggling enough to warrant medication.  Daughter 5, suspected ADHD, but not going to pursue a diagnosis unless it causes problems at school.  Daughter 2 years 8 months, too young to suspect anything but I'm starting to wonder.  She moves and climbs and fidgets constantly.  She CAN speak but strongly prefers not to. 

    Fourteen years of assuming it was all my problem, that all the problems were my fault, that every issue was because of my disorder and therefore my responsibility to fix. 

    He's a good man; he does a good job.  He's been consistently employed ever since he got out of college.  Bills get paid and groceries get bought before he spends any money impulsively.  He is not an alcoholic, or a compulsive gambler.  He does love his "retail therapy," but like I said, bills get paid and groceries get bought first, and we don't keep credit cards, so it's done on a cash basis.  I got no complaints. 

    He even contributes to housework if it's necessary.  Not that it's strictly necessary--  I get to be a SAH.  If I have to do 99.7% of the housework, that's called carrying my weight. 

    Still, I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted and FED UP. 

    Mostly I'm tired of every disagreement, every conflict, and every expression of negative emotion (whether it relates to and/or involves him or not) erupting into an argument. 

    I've tried everything.  For the first five years, we fought it out.  That got old.  For the next three years, I tried talking to other people about any negative feelings or "off" opinions I might have.  That was emotional adultery.  For the next five years, I tried doing the submissive wife thing.  That blew up in a huge way--  I resented the submission, he resented the responsibility, checks and balances disappeared, and communication died.  Since then, we're back to fighting it out.  It wore on me in our early 20s--  now approaching 40 and a complete nervous breakdown later, I CAN'T HANDLE FIGHTING IT OUT ANY MORE. 

    It saps my energy, makes me hate myself, and stresses me out so badly that I shake constantly and can't think straight. 

    I'm not asking him to change.  He's not even aware of what he's doing.  He suffered constant low-level emotional abuse from both parents all through childhood and his self-image is too fragile to sustain self-awareness. 

    Short of finding a cure for the condition formerly known as Asperger's (outside my control--  I can try to control it, but I can't make it go away any more than he can make ADHD disappear or any more than either of us can magically become left-handed), what do *I* need to change to bring peace back to our domicile????

    What forum does this belong in??

  • by: Mapper - 1 month 3 weeks ago

    H is working 2nd shift. He usually gets home at 11PM but last night worked OT and didn't come home until 1AM. He comes home and takes a shower in our master bath, you know at 1AM while I'm trying to sleep right outside that door! He does it because I wake up every time he comes home so he assumes it's ok to shower there rather than in the other bathroom! Then he goes into the computer room. I acn hear him playing his damn video game anytime I wake up! I get up at 5:30 and he still has not come to bed. I get up and he's all chipper and says "Oh I'll make us some breakfast. He does that and tells me "I've been tired since midnight". I said "Then why didn't you come to bed right when you came home?" He goes "Cause I'm a dork." I don't understand that! He's tired but yet stays up until 6AM playing his video game and then goes to bed as I'm about to leave for work! He doesn't have to be to work until 2PM, but I highly doubt he'll go in. His sleep will be interrupted by outside activity. He did this a year or so ago too. Just stayed up all night for no reason but still went to work at 5AM. 

    What is it that makes them make these poor decisions for no reason?

  • by: lost77 - 1 month 4 weeks ago

    Hello Everyone,

    I have been reading up on ADHD alot in the past two weeks after my sister mentioned it to me because I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what happened to my husband after I married him. I would have never thought of ADHD pertaining to him but after reading about it some things really fit. Such as the Hyper focus when we were dating and than about two months after the wedding it seems like I ceased to exist and we have been married for three years and as time goes by it just continues to get worse. He is a workaholic by choice he works a full time job and than a full time job with his family so we almost never see each other. He used to make sure he had and made time for me but now it seems he doesn't care if he sees me or not. He even started a new job to were he would work less hours and he puts all of his time in at the family business. He makes plans with me and than just doesn't show up.

    I believe his whole family has ADHD. They are all workaholics and if you arent working every minute that your awake your just lazy. And at first they were all very nice and social people but after the wedding they don't have much to do with me either. Besides having nothing to do with me I notice how terrible my husbands attitude has gotten towards me. I fell in love with him because he treated me differently than people in past relationship, he was sensitive, caring, easy going and just a genuinely great person. He always said he couldn't be mean to people and I totally believed him. He just had a awesome personality and it was hard not to love him and like him , he was a wonderful person and a great friend.

    Well I don't believe that anymore because he treats all the rest of his family and friends and co workers great but yet he is mean to me. It's like he's somebody completely different to me than he is to everybody else. He is still the person to everybody else, the same person I met. He says horrible things to me, he's called me names, I can't just talk to him anymore, he has told me he no longer feels the need to conversate with me, (and he used to call me many times a day) and no I never hear from him, he returns texts and calls from everyone but he has told me himself on more than one occasion he seen it was me calling and he didn't answer but than he's mad that I don't call him anymore. He stays at work late many times a week and he has done this for years be it one hour or three hours and I have asked him nicely if he could just call or maybe text me and let me know and that it doesn't have to be every night but once in awhile would be nice, nope he can't do it, but he calls and lets the family business know he's going to be late.

    He's so different from when we were dating if he was going to be five minutes late he was calling me. He was never disrespectful. He cared if I was sick or having a bad day. We lived a distance a part and he would drive almost a hour just to give me a hug and spend a hour with me. He would drive down to spend a hour go back home to finish work and come back down to spend the night at my house. Now I can be sick and he jokes about me dying. I'm not even a mile from him alot of times or he passes right by the house and he can't stop just to see me. I catch rare glimpses of the man he was before the marriage but they are becoming so few and far between. I have become to feel as if he hates me and it hurts so bad because at one time in my life he made me feel like the most loved and important person he had.

    I am just so sad all the time and the marriage is no marriage. And everything is my fault always according to him if I would just be happy everything would be fine. He is great at playing the victim in every situation in his life. Another thing that makes this situation bad is he is a grown man ( that acts like a grown man child) that like I mentioned is a workaholic who works with his family and they have total control of his life and he allows it. Like the comment was made a few years back "What is he supposed to do go home and sit with her at night?'

    I live my life alone he works all weekend he is at the family business two times a day during the week besides his regular full time job and than he works at the family business all weekend long both days, so even when he is with me he is basically falling asleep after he eats so he isn't present anyway.

    I really could just go off the deep end when he claims he's doing this all for me. No he's doing this all mainly for himself and for the family business. Against my wishes he keeps paying for things for the business with our money when he is no longer receiving pay for his time. Yes one day it may be his and his brothers but the way he's going he will work himself to death long before that. And now he wants to buy equipment for the business. I don't want to be taking out loans when it's the businesses responsibility to buy equipment not ours why should it be on our dime? He would allow us to go broke when it comes to the family business it's just crazy.

    He is willing to throw away everything for his work I guess that means me it feels like he already has. I'm no longer a priority to him at all. He had lost some relationships before me due to his time but he promised me he had learnt his lesson and was older and wiser and would never ever do that to me because he could never deal with loosing me and now he talks about me leaving him like it's no big deal almost like he wants me to. He treats me like I'm a bother to him.

    Odd though when I explain to him how I fell about not being important and not a priority and that when he walk out the door in the morning he just forgets who I am. And why he belittles me and changed toward me so much. One minute he claims he had no choice but to change because of my actions and than the next minute he acts like I'm nuts and I'm not seeing what I'm seeing and I just don't realize and see how much he cares about me and loves me and he hasn't changed only I have and I don't love him anymore.

    Besides being sad some days I feel like I'm going crazy. I don't know what I want. I know I don't want to live like this. I haven't said anything to him about what I have been researching, he would never get an evaluation because he could never handle being less than perfect and have to acknowledge he can have a problem just like everyone else.

    Sorry if I rambled and jumped around, I just have no one to really talk to and I don't even know if this could be ADHD but I thought it sounded as if. I just could really use some support. Thank you so much for listening to me!!!

  • by: redhead1017 - 1 month 4 weeks ago

    I just don't know anymore. In some ways I wish he did have ADHD as that would explain the behavior. He told me he was diagnosed with this when he was a kid, but then he also thinks that the government did secret experiments on him when he was in elementary school as well.

    • He's been unemployed for most of the 23 years that we've been together. He has a job interview for a dream job next month; who knows what will happen. Usually he quits or gets fired within a few months. 
    • Used to have rage fits for about the first 15 years we were married and broke most everything in our house. 
    • Has said unforgiveable things to our oldest child. 
    • Constantly fixated on government conspiracies, other people out to get  him, and his own health. Right now he thinks he has MS. Unfortunately he has been off and on insurances for so many years due to his career history that he doesn't have a steady medical history. He has diabetes and  high blood pressure and does the bare minimum to take care of himself. He blames his entire lack of success in life on other people and how we're not clued into his genius. 
    • Makes big plans weekly and never follows up. 
    • No clue about money. He's 45. Gets angry at me if I ask him to stop spending money on his hobbies. 
    • Starts projects and never finishes them. He told me four years ago when he lost his last job that he would be cleaning out the storage full of his junk. There has been zero progress. 

    There's more, much more. He's got good stuff too:

    • Loves his kids. 
    • Does household chores - dishes, laundry, litter box. 
    • Takes the kids to their stuff (we trade off on this). 
    • Funny, fun personality. 
    • Treats me nicely most of the time. 

    I'm just kind of writing things down to write them. I don't know what I can do anymore to help him. Every job he's gotten, I've found for him. He can't do anything on his own - constantly comes up with business ideas but as far as executing them forget about it. He has grandiose plans CONSTANTLY that are just ridiculous but he gets angry if I don't 100% support him. 

    I guess the point of all this is that I'm feeling really hopeless in the face of all his "Stuff". I feel like he will always be a burden for me to bear. I was able to get him on health insurance finally, so I'm hoping that maybe he can start getting some help in the form of meds. 

    Divorce is something I think about constantly, but I don't feel like that's an option. I guess I'm just tired of being the caregiver to three kids and an adult. 

  • by: JoBe44 - 1 month 4 weeks ago

    Seeking thoughts and opinions relating to cause and effect of potential ADD? or just two people with personality conflict?

    Married to 2nd wife for 5 years. Since the beginning, she has shown anger problems and low self esteem. She is a smart, beautiful woman (age 50, me 49) and is now seeking help for low self esteem that was evident long before our marriage. We have had good times, but mostly struggled to get along from the start. Her "explosive" anger and lack of esteem have been damaging. I have made mistakes along the way due to the question if this marriage is the right thing for either of us. I have not been "officially" diagnosed with ADD. I've been a writer, a musician and demonstrated traits of a melancholy  person since youth. I do tend to be scattered at times, but I have been always made to feel as if MY issues have caused the problems in our relationship. My wife is very high strung and very intelligent. I am laid back and try to take things one day at a time. I have two daughters from previous marriage, ages 15 and 17. They lived with me half time up until we got married. Since then, I have been the 'weekend" dad. This was a mutual agreement between myself and their mother, as their school and friends are located about 30 minutes away. But since this 2nd marriage, they rarely see me for a lengthy time, mostly due to the fact that my 2nd wife just doesn't want them around and resents them. Bottom line, my wife blames our problems on the fact that I am ADD, based on what she has read, and not on an official diagnosis. I went to a regular MD who sent me to an "evaluation", but I thought it was rather lame. Hence, I was prescribed medication, of which my wife now says is bad for me, although I do notice a difference in the way I feel and focus. She says that diet and exercise (I have always eaten well, been active and am in good physical shape), along with vitamins and counseling are what should be the norm for me to "function" on normal basis. Because I have yet to follow her guideline of "treatment" she says that I don't care about myself and she has lost respect for me. Really? In my mind, the first step is to go to a qualified doctor, seek evaluation, then go from there. 

    Due to the resentment, I am treated as a someone who is "mentally ill" and not treated with respect and love. She says she loves me, but cannot show it due to the problems and hurt I have caused her (not mentioning the hurt she has caused me) 

    Question is: How do you know if you have ADD without an official diagnosis? How do you know if the problems are from a combination of simple personality conflict combined with  past resentment and pain and not just ADD? How do you heal in the meantime when your partner just shows anger and resentment and no love at all?

    Ready to just quit and find someone that works for me. Life is short, should it really be this difficult?? Is it really worth the effort to try anymore?

  • by: GailT - 1 month 4 weeks ago

    Hi guys, I found this site after Googling for ADD/ADHD info. I could really use someone to talk to about this. I'd be glad of some input from other people in similar situations or from anyone who could just offer their thoughts. I feel as if I'm kinda just drowning right now. Sorry it's so long. I'm in a bad place.

    Our daughter was diagnosed with ADD when she was 7. After her diagnosis, it became apparent that her Dad had ADD too. The Consultant that made our daughter's diagnosis suggested my husband get officially tested/diagnosed as she felt certain he had ADD too but she couldn't diagnose officially as he hadn't gone through the process himself and her observations were only as a sideline to our daughter's case.

    Nothing was ever done though and my husband preferred to dismiss any thoughts of him perhaps having ADD, despite lots of things now falling into place and experiencing the gradual realisation as to why we had so many problems in our relationship. Life has been difficult, we often walk on eggshells round him to keep the peace and I can relate to a lot of what others have written here about their partners who have ADHD. To be completely fair though, we have had far more stresses in our life than most people have and the result of that has meant life has sucked for years. It's been round after round of 'nose to the grindstone' with no let up or very few nice times in between to offset the stress. I've been partly to blame for that and I've now owned my mistakes and apologised for not valuing my husband more. He has never really participated in normal life though, he's always just been happy to do the easy or good stuff and he's left the house/money/parenting/decision making/yadda yadda yadda to me so although I'm guilty of making bad decisions, I never had any help or input from him and it seemed as if I was making ok choices at the time. It's only with hindsight now I realise I should have been less focused on our house and more focused on the people within it. We've also never had much money and that has meant we never really had much of a life or very many fun times. I can now really understand why this has affected us as much as it has and why the stresses and pressures he has felt have been so hard for him to deal with.

    Fast forward 8 years and our daughter is going through some very tough times and has been for a few months now. She's also been diagnosed with Dyscalculia and then later, Anxiety & Depression. She is failing at school and is an emotional wreck, she has never been medicated or had counselling before but we are about to attend our first appointment very shortly to get help for her with regards to her difficulties.

    Her Dad walked out on us recently. It was completely unexpected. He announced he hasn't loved me for a long time and that he'd been thinking about leaving for months. I was floored. I find it difficult to understand why, if someone is unhappy, they don't talk about what the problems are to see if they can be fixed. He did this once before too but came back that time after I pleaded with him and he admitted months and months later that he did still love me. He says it's different this time and that nothing will ever change and that he just can't be bothered trying. He says he should have stayed away after the last time and that we've not had many good times. That's not true, just because he can't remember them doesn't mean they didn't happen. We haven't had any closeness in ages, there is also a bedroom issue which hasn't helped and again he denied there was a problem for a long time until it had got to the stage where he couldn't deny it any longer. Again it was easier for him to just stop having sex than to try to make things better. I expect he blames me for not doing something to deal with it but it's one of those 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situations and he's so sensitive about it that I'm scared I say or do the wrong thing so I've taken my lead from him, which has meant we haven't had sex in a long time.

    When he left, he was gone for 2 days then came back to move into the spare room when he realised there was no money for him to get a new place with. I'm absolutely positive that all his feelings are down to his undiagnosed (but very evident!)  ADHD and also mild depression but he denies there is anything wrong with him and he shows no interest in even considering it. I've tried to offer practical solutions to deal with some of his complaints but he's not interested and makes it clear every day that he doesn't love me. It's almost as if he is reinforcing this message to himself as well as me, he speaks normally to our daughter and even the dog, but he often uses a 'tone' when he speaks to me. He seems annoyed if I raise anything remotely personal but he's ok if I talk about the weather. It's obvious that he has focused all of his annoyances and upsets on me despite this being unfair and wrong. He has caused a lot of his own issues mainly through lack of communication (he has never talked about emotional stuff or normal relationship stuff unless it's to complain about what's wrong). He does have cause to feel aggrieved about some things, and I have told him this and also told him what we could do to fix these things but it's easier for him to just not bother and still want to leave. It's almost as if he has flicked a switch in his brain that has erased our last 17 years together, he treats me like I'm a stranger. I'm very frustrated because I know him and I know his feelings for me have always been linked to how happy or otherwise he's felt in life generally. It's what he's always done, if he's happy he loves me more, if he's bored/unhappy with life then that = he doesn't love me. He thinks all his problems and unhappiness are all down to simply not loving me anymore and he's not willing to even consider trying to sort things out. I swing between feeling really sad about it all and really angry at how he has treated me. It's as if I've put up with so much over the years but when things get tough for him, he's off. I am certain most women would be the ones telling their husband to go but I believe in family and quitting isn't an option I'd choose voluntarily. I was a strong person when we met, I was funny and sexy and that attracted him. Years of being the sole 'fixer' in our relationship has left me old, bored, boring and weak, to the point where I had a breakdown myself. I'm not the person I was and he clearly doesn't want the person I've become despite having played a huge part in how things have turned out. It's very hurtful.

    Him leaving seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back for our daughter. Her Anxiety and Depression have both escalated greatly, she cries constantly now and can't attend all her school lessons as she can't concentrate in class and has to leave because she bursts into tears for no apparent reason. Due to a complicated situation that I don't really want to go into here, her Dad told her when he left that she had to leave her home, school, friends, volunteering job, her whole life in fact, and go live somewhere we used to live a few years ago, which is hundreds of miles away. His reasoning for this was purely financial. He wanted out and he knew our financial situation meant it would be impossible for us to stay here without him so he was happy enough to want to dump us all back where we were before despite what it would do to our daughter, just so he could free up cash to enable him to move on. She's the type of kid who just doesn't cope well with change anyway, but this was a total body blow for her considering how bad her mental health is right now. She attends a very good school and was lucky to get a place there. It took her a long time to settle at school and she felt isolated for the first 18 months but she eventually got a close friend and she feels like this is where she fits now. The school he wanted her to go to is in a deprived area and isn't well regarded at all.The people she used to know there years ago have moved on and it's much rougher than it used to be. Academically it doesn't offer as much as her school here does and she'd have to change courses during an important time in her education which obviously isn't beneficial to her. I can understand why this has rocked her so badly, the very people she is supposed to be able to depend on no matter whatever else happens in life, are the very ones who are taking away her security and stability.

    After a few weeks of her breaking down several times a day, her Dad finally told her he would stay in the home long enough to see her through school here (she has 2 years left) but that he didn't love me and we'd be living separate lives. She has mixed feelings about this, part of her is so very relieved that she can stay in her life here and she'll still have her Dad but another part of her feels upset that her Dad was quick to try to dump on her and was unconcerned about trying to make her leave her life here and is only now staying around through obligation because of her unstable mental health and not because he's a caring Father who wants the best for his daughter and values her education. She also hates when he tells her he doesn't love me, she says it's hurts her too. I don't believe he's trying to be deliberately nasty, I expect he thinks he's just plain speaking but he has no clue just how horrible he's coming across.

    I saw a counsellor who pretty much told me that an ADHD person in denial is the same as an alcoholic in denial and that unless he chooses to wake up and smell the coffee himself, then I've got no hope of trying to save or repair our relationship. I thought I'd accepted that and I started to make plans to better myself, I joined a slimming club and started to lose weight and I started walking for exercise which got me out of the house etc and helped me try to feel more positive. However a few weeks on and I'm struggling to cope with it all. I'm finding I'm feeling nervous most days, my stomach is in knots and I'm beginning to feel a bit anxious myself. In order to placate him, I need to act like he's just someone I know who happens to live in the same house as me and ignore anything personal or the fact we've spent 17 years together.  In order to look after our daughter I need to be strong for her and support her emotionally as well as provide the practical help she needs right now. I need to still budget and sort out our finances and free up money for him to start to have a life, despite us not actually having spare cash for this. One of his complaints was about how he hated his job and how much overtime he had to do to support us so I have to take that into account. I've been a SAHM my whole life as I also have another (adult) child with learning disabilities from a previous relationship so I've not been able to work and earn money. He never had an issue with this until now, when he wants to leave.  I don't have any qualifications or experience and I'm the wrong side of 50 now so although I am looking into getting work, my daughter especially, needs me right now and I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. During her really bad moments, I worry that she is just a short hop away from doing something really silly and until she's more stable, I'm scared for her and she's scared I'm going to get a job and leave her to be on her own a lot.

    I have no friends here and no family to speak of that I can call on for support. My husband is really my only other adult contact. It's destroying me that he can't even acknowledge that and be kind or friendly. If the tables were turned and I wanted to leave him, I would never be so unkind and I would want to make the situation as tolerable as possible for him, yet there are times when he seems able to dismiss me without another thought. I will do whatever it takes to try to settle things down for my daughter's sake but I'm really struggling. How on earth do I get him to see a clearer picture of all this? He is so fixated in his thinking (and his perception of things is OFTEN wrong) that I can't see how to get through to him that even if he doesn't want to be my husband, he can still be friendly and we can work together to support our daughter right when she needs us. There are many many other families who manage to put their own stuff aside and stay as a unit simply because the child's education or health issues come first so it's not like we're trying to do anything ground breaking here but why is he making it as tough as possible after he agreed to do it? He wont talk about anything, nor will he agree to outside help and I can't decide if he feels guilty for what he put her through or annoyed because he feels stuck. How do I get him to talk openly in order to get to a point where we can just be friends? It's difficult to live with uncertainty and not really knowing how someone feels. Or am I really just going to have to get strong enough to pretend we've had no history together? Is this an ADHD trait - the ability to mentally switch and move on almost instantly? He seems preoccupied with how other men leave their families yet he gets trapped (his words not mine).

    I wish I could hate him but I can still separate the man from the ADHD and he's not a bad man, he's just 'affected' for want of a better word. He's got a lot of good points too and I miss him. He could also be kind, romantic and caring when things were not getting on top of him and I'd dearly love for us to be properly together again but I have to accept that probably isn't on the cards. I know the ADHD is to blame for a lot of our issues, he's genuine in his feelings but he sees the situation through ADHD eyes and I don't know how to fight that flawed perception. I still believe that if things could settle to a stage where he wasn't trying to hard to keep his defensive wall up, and he relaxed more, then maybe there might be a (slim!) chance of us working this out but this wont happen whilst he's so determined to withdraw.

    Heck, I'm really sorry that was so long, I just needed to get it off my chest with people who might understand.

    Forums: 

    ·         Anger, Frustration & ADHD

     

  • by: kiwi1228 - 1 month 4 weeks ago

    My husband has been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder.  Two weeks ago he started an intensive outpatient rehab for benzo addiction.  I was the one who told him he needed to go talk to someone.  He kept telling me he didn't  have a problem.  At first he told me he had only been taking them for a two years (I KNEW that wasn't true because he's been taking them for as long as we've been together).  Now I found out it's more like ten years.  He told me he had only taken what his Dr. prescribed.  Then I found out he manipulated pills out of other people.  I found out he conned his sister (who is a nurse) to give him benzos on our wedding day by telling her he was sooooo nervous.  Then he went wine tasting because he was using alcohol to enhance the effects of the drugs.  He admitted that he was taking two or three kinds of benzo, layering them with booze and then smoking pot on top of it (all at the same time).  This has caused so many problems.  So much so that there is now legal ramifications.  I am really angry.

     We  have been married only a year and the whole year has been taken up in his "issues". He is now in group therapy nine hours a week and has to go to NA.  He is what I like to say "high on rehab" but I figure it's another type of hyper focusing.   I want him to stay clean but I absolutely won't take on the management of his recovery.  In fact, I just won't drink th kool-aid right now.  He is making all these grandiose proclamations of how he is a reformed man.  Except he isn't yet and I know it.  He is upset that I am not happier that he got into rehab.  I am not happy he is in rehab but perhaps I will become happy if he stays clean . 

    He has told all his family he is an addict.  They have all patted his head and made soothing noises at him.  Has anyone picked up the phone to ask how I'm doing?  Nope.  I'm angry about that too.

    I am angry because this is not what was supposed to happen.  How is it my life got screwed up because of his problem??

    But mostly I am angry at myself.  Angry because I didn't listen to that little voice in my head before I married him that told me walk away.

    We are sleeping in separate rooms right now because I just need some peace and quiet.  A place I can retreat into just to be able to think, look at puppies on the internet and remember what it was like when life felt normal. 

     

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