2 1/2 years w/ NO KITCHEN! + endless, unfinished projects @ home...Help Me Understand!!!

I'm at a complete loss on what to do w/my husband and marriage.  After 10 years of marriage, 2 beautiful girls, & so many endless unfinished projects, I just don't know how much more I can take.  I need some real, genuine advice, and I need it now.  

*bought a house 8 years ago...lived w/my Mom for 8 1/2 months while bedrooms/living room/dining room walls were ripped apart to the studs/floors ripped out/replaced. Mom hired contractor to finish drywall for us so we could move in.  The trim around entire inside of home is still in the box in the garage from 7+ years ago.

*ADHD husband bought wood for me to paint so he could build a fence to keep our then 10 month old baby in the yard...he built about 2/3 of the fence, the rest of the pickets are in the garage on a shelf.  She is now 5 1/2 years old.

*Sept. 2009 we ripped the roof off our kitchen/main bath/laundry areas thanks to a roof that had been leaking for 3+ years (he should have done it sooner).  He insisted on ripping our kitchen/main bathroom apart (I didn't agree to it cause I thought it would be too much to take on because of his history w/projects)...he did it anyway.  Here I am in June of 2012 STILL w/out a kitchen!  My 5 1/2 year old doesn't remember having a kitchen EVER and can't wait to bake cookies w/me when "we have a kitchen someday".  In the dining room we have a fridge on a piece of OSB board on the carpeting, a microwave, desk, computer, printer stand, 2 cheap storage cabinets for food & a few kitchen supplies (the rest of the dishes/kitchen gadgets are stored away in the attic), and have a constant supply of disposable silverware, paper plates/bowls, & cups so I don't have to wash dishes as often.  Sold the stove a few years ago since there was no place to store it.  Have to take a laundry basket w/dirty dishes to a family member's house or just use large bowls of water from the master bath tub and carry through the house to the dining room to wash dishes.  Had to wash laundry at the laundry mat for almost 2 years until he decided to hook up temporary plumbing so I could do laundry here (have to walk outside & around the house to access the laundry area).  December of 2010...his brother (who was helping him on the kitchen at the time), said they would probably be ready for hanging  drywall by mid January....here we are in June of 2012..still nothing.

*Our daughters' bedroom has a play loft that he built for toys that went 6 years w/out access...needed a ladder/railing.  I finally decided to learn how to use a saw myself and built my girls a ladder to get to their stuff and play.  I also built my 5 year old her own bed that attaches to her sister's loft bed since she was too small for her toddler bed.

***He comes home from work 99% of the time and spends hours on the computer, watching tv, reading, or talking on the phone outside while pacing back and forth on the sidewalk while smoking cigarettes.  Rarely will you see him work on anything at home consistently.

***If I ask him to ride our bikes or take walks w/the girls, his answer is almost always "no, I don't feel like it right now".  

***The girls feel like they can't rely/count on him to follow through on his promises or if they simply need help w/something basic.

***On occasion (1-2) times/month, I'll get together w/friends from church, come home at 9:30 or 10:00, and most of the time, the girls still haven't had dinner because he says "they didn't ask for dinner".  (They usually will grab a snack on their own until I get home.)

***The list could go on and on...but I'm so fed up w/the nonsense and unfairness of chores around the house and his insensitivity to our needs/feelings....but yet why am I still here w/him?  I keep thinking there's gotta be a way for us to get each other figured out.  It always ends up being "my fault" on why things aren't done.  If I make an honest/calm attempt at talking to him when there's a problem, he gets offended and lashes out at me w/rude & unfair criticisms and then I'm the bad guy for even saying anything.

***He wants to take on the responsibility of paying bills...for 4 months, almost everything including the house payment have been late.



To deal with the immediate

To deal with the immediate (to me) problem of getting a kitchen, can you afford to hire someone to do it?  I agree with you that this state of affairs is ridiculous.  Your husband probably feels overwhelmed, and that is understandable, but that does not excuse not having a kitchen.

sonford24's picture

I empathise

I hear you, I feel your pain and frustration. I am non ADD spouse, my husband has untreated ADHD and we've been together 11years. I HEAR you. 

Lately I've been getting my support and recovery at Codependents Anonymous. No advice, no crosstalk, but lots of empathy and total acceptance of the craziness I feel inside and it is so much more helpful to me than advice and "you should do this" etc. Is there a resource like this in your area? Check out coda.org 

I hear that you want advice, but you've been doing this for 10 years and you know it best. Look after yourself, listen to yourself, take care of your needs. I love that you built a ladder and a bed!

I would like to give you one piece of advice though. Do NOT let him handle the finances. You do not want your financial situation to end uP looking like your kitchen. 

You are not alone. He can't help the way he manages things. But your pain is real and it is SO difficult loving someone with ADD. 

Hugs to you and gallons of empathy. 








Pbartender's picture

Now, your husband may be

Now, your husband may be different, and I've only been diagnosed very recently, but...

I have no problems completing any task that is regularly scheduled, or has a deadline, or a high priority, or is an emergency.  If a task or project doesn't have any of those aspects, however, I also often have trouble completing them.  More often than not, what happens is that I'll be working on a project -- painting the kitchen, for example -- and get most of the way through it, when something else with a higher priority crops up (The clothes washer is leaking and flooding the basement bedrooms!).  By the time that gets fixed, something else happens, and then something else...  Pretty soon the original project is out of sight and out of mind, and two years later, the trim in the kitchen still isn't painted.

So, for me at least, urgency gets the job done. On the practical solution side of things...

I try to give myself reminders where I'm most likely to see them...  I habitually check my email at least once or twice a day.  So, I have all my bills set to paperless notification.  All the "bills" go straight into my inbox, and I have them all automatically marked "important" and tagged "BILLS" so they stay very obviously at the top of my inbox.  I archive the messages as I pay the related bill.   That, combined with an Excel spreadsheet budget that I plan ahead a year at a time, has allowed me to keep the bills paid and on time for the last ten years, before I even knew I was ADHD.

For the less routine stuff, I thinking about coming up with a "work order" spreadsheet.  There I (or my wife) can keep a list of jobs and projects to do...  the job, a short description of it, the date the job was requested, the relative priority level of the job, etc.

What I did

Show him all the bills. I opened 2 laptops and showed him it all. He was so overwhelmed he said no thanks. It was reality. 


I hire out. Then when it's done I phrase it that I want to give him space for his stuff. It gives us more freedom. He isn't overwhelmed I don't have to nag. 


I can't do this with everything g, but it has helped. 


Also, I enlist friends, family. 


He does work all day as do I. But, I look at it this way, someday he may HAVE to take care of me. It has made thivs better for us to focus on the other stuff of ADHD. It's too much for one person, even two.