Absolutely no sympathy from husband when I'm sick! In fact, it seems to be my fault!

I just got back from a trip and most likely caught a cold from someone on the plane ride home. Friday afternoon he gets home from work and goes to give me a kiss and I tell him that he shouldn't kiss me because I'm getting a scratchy throat and most likely a cold and his response isn't one of sympathy, instead it's "Greeeeeeat! That's just great! Now I'm going to get sick! Thanks a lot!" And that was just with a scratchy throat. The next morning I woke up with chills and a fever of over 100°. I sit on the couch and tell him I've got a fever. Once again I get "That's great! Stay away from me!" Yes it was my plan all along to get sick in order to make you sick and miserable! Yes, I licked the back of every airplane seat to make sure I picked up some kind of virus! I see we are out of aspirin and ask him if he knows of any in the house. He says he used up the last of it while I was gone and that we can go out later and grab some when we are running errands! Okay, WE?? I feel like crap so I have no plans of running errands. Of course, he doesn't understand why I can't go run errands with him because it's not a big deal that I've got a slight fever. I really would like some aspirin now and not in 5 hours! If the tables were turned, I know he'd be acting like he was at death's door if he simply had the sniffles. Whenever he's sick I ask if I can go get anything from the store for him or do anything for him. But god forbid he do anything out of his way for me. It always boils down to me getting sick on purpose! I bet if I got cancer he'd go "Great! That's great! It was your plan all along to leave me on my own, wasn't it?!"

Gosh, feel better! The

Gosh, feel better! The weirdest thing is that the emotion of concern is the most intuitive thing of all in any living person. But the AD/HD is so strong, it overrides that. Don't let the ADHD make you feel any worse... you need the peace and quiet to recover gently.

With my dh, he doesn't react well to any kind of situation when his filters are down (and always always at home)  -- there was that time when I fell against a window in a freak accident -- breaking my humeris and dislocating my shoulder on the radiator at the same time. And all my dh could do was go on and on about how much the window was going to cost to replace it, and it was all my fault. He refused to tend to me as I was going into shock. Then he kept telling me I was going to be alright. I didn't get medical help until nearly 12 hours later. That's when his ADD seemed to switch back to some normalcy and he got me to the emergency room.

Do you notice periods of lucidity between the bouts of rage?

I was able to forgive him but the severity of the ADHD "overrides" still boggles my mind...

What you described is NOT

What you described is NOT ADHD.  


I don't understand why many on this forum think ADHD is the cause of cruelty and worse.  This is a personality disorder. How do I know, I'm married to someone with a PD and this is how he behaved when I was injured when I was 8 months pregnant...not helping me when I was completely incapacitated.  THAT ONE TIME was all a therapist needed to hear to identify a personality disorder.  Of course, the more the therapist learned, the more  it just reinforced what he already knew.


Don't get me wrong.  Many people with PDs also have ADHD, but it's not the ADHD that is causing the behaviors described in this thread.


Being unhelpful when someone is sick or injured strongly suggests either Borderline PD or Narcissistic PD.  Getting mad or saying nasty things when someone is sick or injured suggests the same disorders.  


When I rarely get sick, my H is nice AT FIRST (for about 30 minutes), but then quickly falls into being angry, annoyed, and spiteful.  Why?  Because in his mind, I'm supposed to be taking care of him....not the other way around.  And, when I'm not 100%, then he's not being cared for.  


Yes my H also has ADHD, but it's not ADHD that causes his horrible behaviors, particularly when I'm sick/injured.


God forbid that I ever get anything serious. I've told our kids that THEY will be in charge of me if I ever get cancer or something like that.  Not my H.  He'd blow a gasket and likely also yell at me for ruining his life.

Unfornately.....You Are Right OW

That is not an ADHD trait as far as it is with me?  And....as I have confirmed my father ( the Narc ) did this as well?  Recalling...the time I told him I was really sick in the morning before swim workout and he told me I had to go anyway?  I cam home ( after working out for an hour feeling worse ) and told my mom and she took my temperature and it was like 104 degrees!! yikes!!  Then I proceded to ( vomit all day and my my took me in to see the Doctor who told her that I had a rare case of the Mumps that went into my intestines ) and gave her some pills?  I couldn't even keep them down or even water it was so bad and my mom called the Doc back and he said if I couldn't keep the water or pills down to take me into the emergency room?  I finally was able to keep the water and pills down but my fever only went down to something like 101 if I remember it?  So I had been barfing all day long....almost going to the hostpital and was sicker than I had ever been before or after except with Appendicitis as an adult.  Anyway.....it was really serious and I can't ever remember being that sick before in my life and it was horrible right?

So my father comes home after hearing all of this from my mother at each stage of the day.....and I'm laying there sicker than a dog after vomiting all day long...and he comes to the door way and just looks at me...and me at him......thinking he was going to say he was sorry for not believing me and making go to swim workout with 104 degree temperature and just stares at me with this blank look...and then turns around and walks away and never mentions it again or ever says one word to me about that day ever?  Just comes to the door and looks at me like a piece of meat and then walks away and leaves after all of that?  And that look on his face is what I will always remember.  Blank.  Emotionless.  Devoid of anything?  Like I was some animal in the Zoo...and he was just coming to see the specimen out of curiosity.  No words.  No expression.  Nothing. Blank and emotionless with no expression at all?

All I have to say about that is.....THAT..is some Fucked Up Shit....right there!!

And I can tell you one thing without a doubt or question in my mind?  If that had been me standing there ...coming to see me after all of that?  I would have been down on my knees...begging for forgiveness....for making me go swimming with 104 degree temperature...and not believing me or showing the concern when I was told that I was sick and didn't feel well?

And my mother  ( the other one with ADHD who I got it from? )....the instant I said I didn't feel well...she put her hand on my forehead....went..OMG...got a thermometer and took my temperature....as one might think one should do in a situation like that?

That behavior...doesn't not belong to ADHD I can guarantee...and since I had some confirmation as to my fathers problem.....I can say that in his case...that was NPD!  Confirmed.

When someone is sick or injured....I'm first respondent...just so you know?  And I also have to include....I have a very low tolerance...to this kind of behavior!!  Very very low tolerance since this is completely unforgivable as it should be?  I have no compassion in my heart for this and I have no means to find it or excuse this as anything more than totally Fucked Up Shit!!!

That's my two bits ...and I'm sticking too it.



intolerance to sick or injured

Can totally relate to your post.  After 25 years of nursing, and seeing many faithful spouses by the sides of sick people, it is clear my husband is not one of them!  We have elementary aged children and he works at a demanding job. However, I work and take care of the house and the kids.  Any time I am not at 100% to run the household, restock the coffee, cook meals, put the kids to bed, do the laundry, etc. etc. he gets very angry.  Many years ago I had appendicitis. He came home from work at 9 pm and I said I was throwing up and had terrible stomach cramps etc. He told I just had the flu and went to bed. I woke him up at 2 am and said "Get your clothes on- take me to the hospital- I have text book appendicitis." He did - but was very angry and mean about it.  Angry loud voice- "Where do you want to go!?" Etc. When I got to the ER and they did a CAT scan, they said it was about to burst.  Anyway. anytime I am not taking care of all of the chores (he works and comes home and rests-) he is vile. He shows no concern for me - and this has to be narcissistic personality disorder.  If I ever get any big illness, he will not take care of me...he doesn't rise to the occasion for the short lived acute ones.  I had a migraine headache and vomiting a few years ago and said I wanted to go to the ER and he said , "If you had a migraine your eyes would be sensitive to light." I had to call my mother to take me.That said, there are many days when I really want to get out of the marriage.  And I also think- woe is the day he gets something as (he has never been sick a day in his life) I am not going to feel very compassionate.  I really do want out of the marriage but don't have the guts at my age.  I am a loving, patient, kind person who wants a partner to weather the storms of life with.  BTW, when our kids are sick he is mean and heartless.  He will do things like say "You are not sick!!" and my child will throw up or have a fever.  He despises sickness- like it is a form of weakness or something. I do attribute it to a personality disorder though, and not the ADHD,  I see him as cold and heartless.  

Tell me about it..My husband lacks sympathy for me and the kids

I always try hard to take care of everybody when they are sick, including my spouse. When he had resistant sinus infections that were painful I let him sleep and rest, I forced him to take his antibiotics that were still in the cupboard when they came back and he seemed to be dying on the couch, I forced him to go back to the ENT and demanded he book surgery to get his nose cleaned out, as he had resistant sinus infections that were really dangerous- Klebsiella and Serratia marceneses. Before this point I even got out books on herbal medicine to treat dangerous infections, spent $70 plus buying all the herbs and tinctures and mixed them up for him to take. (Sadly, he was not compliant enough with the whole thing and it didn't work). I had started a new job so I could not take him to get his surgery, but I did leave work early, come home and take care of him, make chicken soup, the whole deal. 

When I had the flu really bad my kids did too and I still had to take care of everybody. I even passed out in front of my kids on the floor, and they had to yell at him to help me. He didn't take me to the hospital, just put me back to bed. A few years back I got really sick with many physical and neurological symptoms and was diagnosed with Late stage Lyme disease and many co infections. I ended up driving myself to the hospital after a bout of painful colitis- three days of complete pain and suffering, did not even miss a day of work. I started treatment and with the antibiotics and things you get sicker before you start healing. It was miserable. Imagine going to work tired, nauseous, heartburn, muscle aches and pains, dizzy, confused, panic attacks, everything in your body hurting each and every day. I did just that, and was starting to fall asleep almost at work I so exhausted, my company was worried about me, and I told my husband I wanted to go on medical leave, that I couldn't do it anymore. It was a high pressure job in sales and recruiting, with a manager who later got in trouble for harrassing staff and being absolutely unprofessional. At one point my manager demanded I go see a medical doctor, which I already had, and because I was past two weeks of antibiotics and still sick, I was refused treatment. I had to pay out of pocket to see a naturopathic doctor trained by ILADS (it is the best training for Lyme disease and tick borne infections treatment.) Talk about unprofessional. My husband continued to be gone 4-5 nights a week with activities and my kids were completely out of control during this time, so I was exhausted and dealing with severe behavior issues each evening. My husband responded to me that if I went on medical leave I would have to stop seeing my doctor because he wouldn't pay for it anymore. I felt like I was dying, inside and out. Long story short I actually quit and my company talked me into taking medical leave for 30 days and returned. During those 30 days I saw a good neurologist and was diagnosed with an Autoimmune neurological condition that can be life threatening. Imagine that. I get dizziness, irritability, mood swings, left sided weakness, severe nerve pain, and killer headaches with my autoimmune attacks. I never get any sympathy from him, but my children hug me, draw me upside down rainbows because I am in pain and can't smile, and try to help me. Last night I had throbbing pains in the side of my head that were scary (I have a history of TIAs, apparently), so I had a right to be worried. He got mad at me because I went to grab the phone charger in the wall and didn't see it was connected to his phone (I needed to have a phone with me if I had to drive myself to the hospital in the middle of the night), he snapped at me that I am always in pain and should rent a hotel room in the hospital, etc, etc, and threw a different charger at me. I actually yelled at him, told him how selfish he is. We had an argument this morning where he says I am always in pain, etc. Well, yes, I have an Autoimmune condition that causes it. I would like to see him live with this and all the pain and cognitive dysfunction it causes.

 It is not only me he has no sympathy for, it is his children as well. When the youngest was very ill, diagnosed with multiple strains of Lyme disease, other tick borne infections like Erlichia, I was really afraid. He threatened to sue me and the doctor because the kid had to go temporarily on multiple antibiotics to help knock down the infections. Erlichia can kill people, it is in the same class as Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. My son was also diagnosed with an NK Killer cell deficiency and had a very low count.  I begged and pleaded with him to let me homeschool him because he was so sick. His answer was absolutely not. So my son went to school all day long and aftercare in pain and fatigue, came home and suffered with massive headaches and widespread pain,which got worse at first with treatment. He was so sick he couldn't even think well enough to do his homework. He would scream at me if I touched him that I was killing him. Eventually, he got through it and started healing. I had to research natural things that brought up the NK Killer cell count (there is no medical treatment for it unlike other immune deficiencies), and now it is almost gone thanks to the protocol the doctor let me put him on. But it was terrible to watch my child suffer like that. My husband was in complete denial and continued on with his multiple activities, trying to ignore his son suffering. And that doctor he threatened to sue likely saved his son's life.

I broke my neck in a car accident

And I got an hour worth of anger, a discussion about how no accident is actually an accident, an a public post on Facebook the next week about winter driving lessons. 

It was my truck. I paid for every cent at that point and insurance for me/him. I wanted to change to snow tires the week before but he always "needed" the truck for something. And my lack of ability to insist on my needs put me in a ditch with a broken neck on my moms 60 birthday. 

So I have to work on forgiving us both. 

His entertainment comes before anything else

When I was 3 months pregnant, we took a trip to Mexico. I got very sick from what I ate. I told him I am sick but he tells me to get rest and took off to entertain himself. Later I let him know I am very sick and need some help. He still ignored and hung by the pool by himself. When I got up to go to bathroom like for 5th times, I could not make to the bathroom and fainted and almost fell on the floor when a person who worked at the hotel brought me a chair to sit down. That is when he finally paid attention to me and accepted that I was sick. I was hospitalized for 3 days after that since I was infected by the local food and I was pregnant. I don't think there is a way to forgive things like this.

I agree with Overwhelmedwife

Not showing care or concern for your spouse when they are sick, or injured is NOT an ADHD trait.

My A-Hole ex Husband was a jerk to me when I broke my foot the year before we divorced.  After I broke my foot, the Orthopedist put me in a non weight bearing cast.  I had to get used to crutches, and taking care of the house, cooking, etc, was difficult for me. My husband didn't help me with anything around the house.  Thankfully, our two children were happy to help me.  I signed up for a local meal prep service, where they prepped a few dinners.  All I had to do was pay for the meal prep, and pick up the meals.  I only wanted to make things easier on myself, for three nights a week.  When my husband found out he was angry and said " I can't justify spending that kind of money.  If you need help, I will cook dinner".  Of course, I got no help from him with ANYTHING for the 6 weeks my foot was in the cast.

We also had an outdoor wedding to attend two weeks after I broke my foot .  I was trying to do something simple.  The reception was held at a house, in he back yard.  I had to step down onto the patio from the back door.  Only a 4 inch drop, but tricky in a cast.  My In-laws and husband were there, along with our daughter.  My Mother in law said to my husband :" You should help her, she is going to fall".  I told her  that as long as I took it slow, I would be OK.  My husband didn't offer to help, he just stood there, and I could hear the wheels turning in his head. I mis calculated the drop, my crutches went out from under me, and I fell, landing flat on my back on the cement patio, hard.

My husband's reaction?  He stormed up to me, angrily, shouting WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? He then proceeded to rip me a new one, in front of his parents. I was an embarrassment to him... Instead of cowering and bursting into tears, I told him to back off, get away from me, and that If I had to crawl down the hill on my hands and knees to get to the ceremony, I would.  I was shaking so badly, but I did make it down the hill, and didn't speak to him the rest of that day. 

Bottom line?  My ex didn't have ADHD.  He was an abusive, narcissistic Asshole.


I want to say Thank you for sharing your story. I can not tell you how much I can relate to you and everyone else that has posted. I feel like with every post, I am reading about myself. My "H" is 100% total Narcissistic! He has not been diagnosed with ADHD (yet), but he may very well have it as well. 2 yrs ago I was in a serious car accident. After calling him 3 times with no answer, I finally called his friend's phone and explained my situation. Of course my H called right back saying he could not hear his phone(yet his friend heard his on the 2nd ring). He reluctantly came up to the accident sight. When he arrived, he did not hug me, ask how I was, or show ANY CARE. Instead he walked around the car, got in the back seat and proceeded to yell at me for the next 15 min about how "he does not have time for this" & "why did I call him(my husband) and not my sister or my niece". Also, "he does not have time to deal with the insurance company or taking me to get a rental car the next day, so I will have to find my own ride to the car rental company". If I ever mention his behavior of that day, he gets mad at me and tells me that "I Never let things go and that I am to blame because I can't "forgive" him". He always says "you don't know me and to give him a chance to prove himself". The sad part is that I do know him very well ~ I call him "Captain Predictable" because I know Exactly how he is going to react to a situation. 2 months ago I had a Hysterectomy. A perfect opportunity to "prove" himself right ~ WRONG! I was "out of commission" for 6 weeks. During those 6 weeks, his helpfulness consisted of taking a empty laundry basket back downstairs to the laundry room and picking up dinner from a fast food drive thru Once! Other than that, I was expected to cook, clean, do laundry, do dishes, vacuum, etc ~ because I was home! I was recovering from major surgery ~ he saw it that I had 6 weeks off from work! Keep in mind that on his days off (F,ST,SN), he Does NOTHING! "He worked all week ~ he's Tired and Deserves to Rest"!!! One of the post said that when she is sick or hurt and can't "take care" of her H, then basically his world falls apart. That is my H 100%! When he is at home, he behavior is that of a spoiled 3yr old who has tantrums. He is Extremely self centered, has No Empathy or Sympathy for anyone except himself. He is Always the "Victim" and Everything is Always My Fault! He has No responsibility for any of his behavior or actions. Like so many of the other posts, writing this post and sharing my feelings is very therapeutic. I haven't been yelled at once while expressing myself. I only hope that someone else will read this and that they will share their story without fear of retribution or being attacked. Please share ~ the relief is amazing! Best of Luck to you all and I look forward to reading your story.

After 2 years of therapy for

After 2 years of therapy for myself, I am in a better place. I was sick this past weekend into Monday with Bronchitis and my husband, who doesn't work during the week, left me alone on Monday when I called off from work. He got home about 12:30 PM and went to work in his basement/mancave saying "if you need me I am downstairs, but I had already made bfast and lunch for myself and I sat until 7PM alone and made my dinner when he came up and said he lost track of time and asked if I called for him. I said no. I will not call for a man when I am sick. I shouldn't have to and I take very good care of myself after 27 years and a complete role reversal. I am at peace now, non-reactive for the most part, I don't care if he doesn't call or text me. I am ok. Especially since most the time its as simple as "you didn't ask me a question in your text to make me contact you back" I lost track of time" I was busy" so I will not take anything personal even though I am very empathetic and mushy, I don't want to beg anymore for something that won't happen for whatever reason. I am better than begging and I am tired of it. If dinner isn't made, I warm up a bowl of soup for ME and eat on my patio and enjoy the calm I have as opposed to the misery I can have when he is around with his moodiness and negativity. So yes, I was sick and I gave myself the day and decided to go to work where I am around normal people that dote on me. :) Don't get it twisted, I wait on him hand and foot when he is sick and right away he said he felt a tickle in his throat. The saying goes, "Don't be mad when I pull a you, on you." I have learned from him that I have always mothered him and even though I am awesome, I have given so much with little effort in return because he is hyperfocused on his priorities. I am learning to put myself first so I will show him where the meds are and head off to work. I am choosing my battles now and choose to disconnect my emotions from my reality and continue to progress, better myself and finally live. He doesn't seem to catch up or even see it. Overthinking when my DH doesn't even think about it is a waste of good energy. I pretend I am single and take care of me and my home for me.

two sides - subtract and add

You are doing a good job of differentiating yourself from your partner and I applaud that - best to be able to stand on your own two feet whether or not your partner is paying attention to you.  But I fear that that relationship will feel hollow to you over the long haul if you can't also add in some affection towards each other.  Your partner sounds as if he's not good at transitions (i.e. out of the basement and towards you) and that ADHD symptoms are poorly managed.  Perhaps he would consider reading the free treatment e-book (look in the treatment guide for it) and also consider adding some 'attend time' to his schedule.  It seems likely he would like the opportunity to feel affection from you, as well...so perhaps would be motivated.

Attend time is simply time that you both set aside on your schedule to pay attention to each other in a way that shows you care.  Sometimes that takes the form of cuddling or doing something together like a walk/talk.  Sometimes it's commitment to dinner hour where you discuss things together (rather than eating alone).  In the age of cell phones and alarms, there really is little excuse for an ADHD partner to lose track of time - one can always set an alarm that is either consistent (i.e. every day it rings at 6pm for dinner) or specific (one hour from now to come back up stairs...)

Anyway, I digress.  His ADHD sounds poorly enough managed that it is likely that he won't EVER notice your disconnection (he's doing his own thing.)  So if you want to connect, you will likely be the one to have to bring it up.  But the way to stay unique and independent is to define when you will connect, rather than wait for him to notice at any time.  The former provides you both with a structure that can work (does for many couples.)  The latter makes you miserable (as you know) and relies upon him to 'think of you' at a time when he's otherwise distracted...if that makes sense.

Thank you for responding

I really appreciate your insight. Your book sits on my husband's night stand. 

Thank you for the commendation. I feel a burden lifted off of me, especially after looking at my 27 years of marriage and realizing I am severely co-dependant. Here is my story:

Hollow is a perfect word for a marriage with neglect and little attention. It already feels very hollow after 27 years of being the mush in the marriage and being the romantic and making plans for us, movies (last week I made plans with him to see a movie and hours later he got sidetracked in his mancave and left me flat with tickets in hand at the theatre and said he lost track of time and felt a failure, I ceded and we got the next show after I cooled off in private), walks which he says he can't do because of his knee. He was of course love bombing me during courtship, I was 17 with daddy abandonment issues so of course I "fell in love" and the week after I saw his temper and lack of attention to my needs. but I am trying to get past the resentment so now it simply feels like a friendship and some days like room mates but my goal is to remain pleasant and loving, as I would treat a friend. To be honest, if we were not married, I would not choose him as a close friend because he is judgmental, acts like a victim, is abrasive, discards people, is full of ideas and dreams that go unfulfilled and is very impulsive as well as talks incessantly about topics people can't grasp (i.e quantum mechanics- high IQ, low common sense). Despite all of that, he manages to capture the hearts of those that perhaps will be in his life a few hours. He is generous to others but asks me when I can pay him back. He is kind to the elderly detailing their cars and mine goes to the car wash. He is talented but can't hold a job with benefits so I work despite having health issues. My job is a blessing to me though. To us I should say. 

This marriage has changed me, first for the worst and now finally for the better. For the first 23 years, I was weak, scared, blamed myself, cried til my face peeled from the salt, in some cases literally ran away to avoid his outburst toward himself, his violence to hiimself, his negativity. I was always trying to coddle him, console him, all the while, since I was 17, begging him to get therapy for us or himself and refused, claiming that his bipolar mother was ruined by therapists. Everyone, strangers and those that love and tolerate him see an issue. This has been validating. I always wished I had the guts to leave him but the codependency kept me there. How would he manage without me, his Bandaid? His mother died in a plane crash, this would finish him off if I left, etc. 

Then came 2013, January. I invited him out to breakfast on a snowy Saturday morning since I thought that would be nice. He hates the snow. He broke my scraper trying to scrape my windshield and then the demon came out...again. Well, this time, I was calm, I got out of the car and changed my mind but he told me to get back in. We went to the diner and my life changed. I was about to turn 40 and here I was watching a grown man turn red in the face, speak horribly to himself for a broken scraper. I scrolled through my phone contacts and one name popped out, an old mutual friend of ours. A male. We had been friends for years and talked here and there. But I text him and found out his wife was bipolar and in and out of hospitals. The texting got out of hand and the rest is history. I was out of character. He love bombed me too. Nothing sexual ever happened but after 2 years of him love bombing me, calling me hot, beautiful, his soul mate, his twin, etc, he would discard me when I got too needy and hoover me back in when he needed an emotional pick me up. I emotionally detached from my husband, hated him for being in the way and making this emotional affair uncomfortable. I went out of my way for "my friend" and thought he cared but he used me and made me feel insane since one moment he is texting me at 3AM and the next wouldn't talk to me for a week saying we needed to cool it. What? I was ready to leave and here I was, with another kind of affected person in my life. That lasted about 6 months for us and about 2 years for me to get over. I occasionally get teary about it, my feelings were so hurt. I felt so good in the beginning, the wanted to die from the guilt and then angry when I realized I was even more codependent with this guy. Once in a while he says hello but its almost like it never happened. My husband never realized what was happening right under his nose. 

2015 was the year that changed me some more. My husband had the worst tantrum in front of a third person. I couldn't handle it. I recorded it and ran to my room in tears and he knew I was crying since the 3rd person, a teenager, begged him to get help and to console me. He didn't. He said I always run to my room when this happens and it will happen again. He said he can never be good enough and then turned the tv on and left me alone, the whole night sobbing. I decided then to leave. Out of character. It was horrible since I did it secretly. I am very organized so I planned for the next 20 days. I got a friend to help, the truck, got a place to go, separated the bills (still paid his cell and medical in case he went to therapy), wrote a letter and tired to live with him without acknowledging his last tantrum, my pain and still having sex and accepting his hugs and sucking up to me and trying not to cave or vomit. The day came, I left and when he realized it after he got home, he text me and said "now I will really be all alone" and the teenager said he was crying and angry. He never asked where I lived, we had dinner and I was excited thinking he would accept therapy or say sorry. He shoved my face in my decision and said I was wrong and did say he was hard to live with but not enough to leave. He called me unsubmissive and unchristian. We parted ways. I was so ill from stress and he never checked on me. He was disgusted. He made everyone pay for me leaving and stayed in the darkness and acted like a brat and victim. Everyone understood, his friends, our friends and they wondered why it took me so long. In the letter I explained that he needed to get help and I was running to save myself. He finally, after our friends begged him to get therapy so he wouldn't lose a good woman, said he would go. Boy did we cry. After a month of separation, I was so happy that I started packing to go back. It was a costly move but I just was happy he was getting help. He went to the session and was diagnosed with PTSD and ADHD. The codependent wife moved back without his help and then he said he wasn't going back to therapy after one session. WHAT? He said it was too clinical and she was cold. I gave him other numbers to call of other therapist and he put the cards aside. Duped again. He made me pay that year for leaving. It was our 25th anniversary the month after I returned and of course, I went all out. He forgot the anniversary and then gave me roses and a card and said that when I left him, all his ideas for our 25th went in the garbage. Pain beyond belief. I was still in therapy and my therapist, who is a mutual friend and took me on pro-bono, helped me so much to rebuild my esteem, stop being co-dependent. to stand on my own and realize that until he gets help, this will not change and so it was time to live and grow and be "the mistress of my domain and my life". Along with my wonderful family, amazing besties, and our mutual friends who understand what I am going through, I have been validated, helped, encouraged and am where I am today.

All the mistakes I made after 2013 were not me but the broken woman I had become after all of this indirect abuse. Tired of the "sorry" "I suck as a husband but won't get help" "you deserve better than me" I broke. I learned about myself and learned some hard lessons. The grass wasn't greener on the other side but my grass would probably never be any better so there needed to be changes on my side. 

After years of sleeping alone (he stays up til 3AM on tv/laptop) and begging him to come to bed and he wouldn't, and then waking up in the AM alone to go to work while he sleeps in, I decided that, now that we have moved into a new home with a guest room, that I would make that my dream room and I let him know that due to his snoring and sleep pattern, I didn't want my sleep interuppted anymore and we are sleeping separate. Do I wish that were not the case? Of course. I am a romantic to this day. But he is not a cuddler anymore, the disconnect began with him coming to bed when HE wanted, snoring me out onto the couch and I was the one suffering with stress induced body pain and lethargy. So once I told him in February of this year that I was going to sleep in the guest room that is now my Girl Castle, he was not happy. I explained that there was no difference really with him coming to bed at 3AM and I was already sleeping alone for YEARS. Now he is fine with it, he got used to it and I feel its because I did not cave in to the codependency. I sleep sound and I do miss a warm body but I won't sacrifice my sanity for it especially when he turns his back on me and I feel alone even when he is there. 

I start my day with positive thoughts of not retaliating, not overthinking, and not trying to change what I can't control. This has been a transformation in more ways than one. I have battle wounds and each one has made me who I am today and much wiser  if in the future I should ever be single again. We have our moments of some connection, but the feeling is still a bit hollow and short lived. I thrive from who I am independently although I still try to be a good wife and hold down most of the responsibilities that keep our family looking good for the most part. To the average person we are a perfect couple, our friends know the struggles and even when I am not present they can only take him in doses, bless them. I will always do my best but not at the price of my sanity. I come first now. 

That is my story for anyone that can benefit from it. 


engaging in doses

"our friends know the struggles and even when I am not present they can only take him in doses, bless them. I will always do my best but not at the price of my sanity."

    There are times I still wonder how our husbands can continue to deny who they are, and why so MANY people, have difficulty with them. Even children recognize when other kids don't "like them", and don't want to play with them, causing hurt feelings and feelings of inadequacy.  Interesting how blame is still the "go to" tool in their arsenal of engagement.

In all these posts and

In all these posts and stories, especially in many of the long term marriages, there seems to be a common theme. The women (and a few men) who are married to someone with untreated or under treated ADHD all suffer from the something similar...........A lack of love. The tender, close, intimate kind of love that touches your heart and soul, and makes you feel genuinely connected in a deeper emotionally inter-connected way. You know, a  "special" love. I know this may sound "corny", lol, but I don't think I'm too off base with this. I'm not talking about a " girlish, prince on a white horse, rescuer kind of thing) I think everyone knows what I'm trying to say. 

   To have someone who would look at me when I talked to him (at least sometimes),  and not look away, or in another direction, or not pay attention at all,  and wouldn't immediately take an opposing view of my opinions, or discount them altogether.  Someone who at times would look at me and just smile, (as if we shared a special secret),  with eyes that showed  gentleness, patience and strength, but with a reverent humility. Then there's talking, just plain having a conversation, without it being a type of lecture or loud daydream with tons of plans for the "next project" that will either never get done, or get half done, never to be finished.  Someone who would listen to MY dreams, and want that for me, as much as I want his dreams and goals for him, and to help each other achieve those, if in our power.

       Hearing him speak kindly of other folks,  being gentler in his speech, since he KNOWS how unkind the world can be. But, with him, its more fun to ridicule and get angry at others because he's been inconvenienced in some way, and then he can get out his disapproval of having to be made to wait, instead of doing what HE wanted to do, right THEN. Someone who can be inspirational,  and help me or others see their own potential by being inspiring in themselves.

    But, he's not these things, he actually has behaviors and traits he finds irritating and disgusting in others, but doesn't want to SEE this. Impatient to a fault, hates to wait,  hates to wait his turn. Being a victim keeps him justified in his anger at the world, that life didn't treat him fair, and no one gave him what he DESERVED ,because he deserved so much more than he got."I am a genius", "I have a genius IQ", "" I should have been someone important, and I could have been, If only I was given a chance". (Statements I've heard dozens of times, and heard again this week)

      Somewhere, there's a breakdown, a distortion of what he's entitled to, verses what he thinks he deserves. A true and internal lack of gratitude for his own life that God has granted him, and gratitude for the lives that have been entrusted TO him, which is an honor and which is humbling for the soul who can SEE this fact. But, he can't get past the victim hood yet.

There is something good though.   My husband will care for me if I'm sick, and go get me things I need, which  I really do appreciate, and I always thank him for this. (Different situation for the writer of this post.) But, He won't spend any TIME with me, or sit and talk to me, like when I've been sick or in the hospital. He just gets on his computer.  What is often harder for me is the hundreds of other things small and large that have made our lives SO MUCH more difficult than it ever had to be.  Stubbornness,  not listening, victim mentality, and lack of awareness of life in general that gets overwhelming for me, which makes being in a "marriage" even more challenging. Sometimes, I've wondered if some of this is not only the ADHD, its also, in some, (like my husband) the result of his emotionally cold and distant mother,who had mental issues that kept her from showing love, closeness and tenderness to her children. All 3 of her children had severe issues, which she blamed on them.  She used to tell me, (when speaking of my husband), "I liked him, he never BOTHERED ME", and would praise him for leaving her alone, unlike her other children who " needed" her, as children DO. No hugs, kisses, attention, praise, cuddling just for cuddlings sake.  This detachment causes children to grow up detached from making intimate friendships and relationships as an adult, to closely love others. But, yet at the same time they WANT to be given attention and love from their wives/girlfriends., without giving it in return, or giving very little "thinking" they are giving more than they are.

  Yes, I chose someone who couldn't love,or who chose NOT to love. Whichever it is, I wasted most of my life trying to make something work that couldn't. It CHANGED ME, and I'm not who I used to be. Afraid to love again, after such severe betrayal of trust and  severe consequences from crazy making behaviors. Right now I'm back at the house trying to get some stuff in order. OMG

       I am flaberggasted. The house is in shambles, and is a complete mess everywhere you look.It looks like I stepped into a scene from "Hoarders", the television show. Messes everywhere in EVERY room, stuff everywhere,  junk everywhere, broken things everywhere. He even broke the kitchen sink to where it only puts out hot water. How does someone even DO that? Its an open concept house and he's painted the walls all different colors, but again, half done. Hed get one color half done, then start on a new color somewhere else. In the main area of the house there should be 2 colors, and now there are at least 5. (And he sees this as a good thing)half done, with walls half painted. He sees the painted parts and not the unpainted parts, because to him this is a lot of work. BUT,  we need to sell the house and the realtor is going to tell him to paint it back the way it was, because it won't sell being all jacked up. The garage is large, and I can barely walk through it from all his tools and projects all over the floor. (Dirt, dust, cob webs, grease, filth, trash, broken stuff, computer junk, all over) Then there is the paperwork all over the place and our finances to get through. OMG. This is daunting to say the least. 

     Sorry guys, I just had to vent and get it out of my system. I'm tired .


Words out of my mouth

Yes, the victim mentality and what you said is so true. The unfinished projects and dreams. Unreal. The entitlements and abrasive treatment of others. This goes so deep. I wish you the best. 



I've been reading the posts for the last few weeks with great interest.  I could have written pages and pages in response.  So many of the situations seem so crazily familiar.

I do agree with you.  If I could boil down the difficulties, it really does come down to lack of love as you described.  I understand what you mean.  I have that kind of love with my children - simple, all encompassing, comfortable, aware, connected, attentive and involved... it is possible to have it and I think it is a normal and natural human endeavor.  

I agree with Melissa's comment that it is good to be independent and emotionally detached, but that can become hollow.  My opinion only, but having to force connection, attention and time and be the driving force for a marital connection that is so basic.... well, that seems hollow to me also.  Everyone desires someone to pay attention to them from time to time, without having to demand it or schedule it .... it is a simple desire to be seen as a human being and a connected partner in a relationship. 

I like the don't be upset if I pull a you on you comment.  My H, and many others, expect love, support, attention and all the good stuff without being self aware enough to understand that they are not giving it in return and become very angry when it's not provided.  Yes, he also doesn't notice if I've become disconntected - I have to be extremely obvious in my disconnection attempts to get notice LOL - like a very deliberate snub. That's not even in my nature. 

And, yes, I am 100% sure it's not all ADHD. Personality disorder, character defects, I don't know... not my job to figure out or fix. 

Our daughter just had surgery overseas.  She was in the hospital two days and has a 3 week recovery time frame.  In preparation, he never did set up a way to communicate with her (In the entire last year), did not reach out to her before or after the surgery.  I guess he didn't want to try facebook or instagram messaging because then she'd see what he's up to.  Uggh.  Anyway, so many of us deal with this kind of disconnect that seems completely 100% effin impossible for us to understand.  And yes, I did remind remind remind suggest suggest suggest... in the nicest possible way until I gave up.  I offered to set it up on his phone but of course he won't relinquish his phone, which is another story, and the primary basis of my divorce request. 

I agree

Basic human feelings that have to be forced, coerced or always one-sided is deflating and fatiguing. I agree 100%. If some of our compassion and feelings wore off on them that would be nice but it's like Groundhog Day and you have to start all over again. Nothing builds or sticks over the years. Very hard to comprehend and maybe that means we are ok.It is illogical and very sad to live with like that from both sides. I often try to put myself in his shoes and think "God I am so happy I am not like that". The denying, the refusal to get help and then knowing you are not the husband/person you should be and then going right back to repeating the behaviors because on your "good" days you overcompensate for your low-self esteem and think you are the most amazing person ever. An the cycle continues. But one person doing all the nice things, loving things is very hard and eventually we all get tired of begging. I often hear that if a person wants to be with you, they will. And of course, my fave from Walter Mitty movie "Beautiful things don't ask for attention."

Much love and peace. 

the problem with 'in your face'

Disconnection issues for those with ADHD come from a multitude of places.  Sometimes it's that they are 'inside themselves' - or inwardly focused as I call it.  There is a lot going on in that active brain and it takes a lot of inward attention to keep going.  Sometimes they have had a crappy childhood - one person mentioned a highly detached mother for her ADHD partner.  If you read anything about attachment theory, the bottom line is that if you had a parent who didn't attach to you, or rejected you, then you mostly likely develop an unhealthy attachment style you use with others.  You also don't have a role model to teach or even show you HOW to connect.  (We do imitate our parents...)

ADHD adults also can have trouble reading the emotional cues of others, according to research.  This means you may think it's obvious when you need a hug or some connection, but they may not 'see' it.

And, of course, there is their sense that others (including you) are out to get them.  Being in a constantly defensive state (as are the chronic blamers of the world) means ADHD adults can become really good at detaching...and awful at attaching.

Yeah...and just imagine trying to trust people when you grow up with everyone telling you you don't fit in...and if you let that pain in all the time, instead of shut it out, you would be a puddle on the floor.  No wonder folks with ADHD have built up some walls.  Some of the scorn heaped upon ADHDers by their non-ADHD partners must CERTAINLY be readable in their partner's body language...even if their partner is trying to be nice.

Which is what gets me to why I'm posting this response:

"I have to be extremely obvious in my disconnection attempts to get notice LOL - like a very deliberate snub. That's not even in my nature."

I'm glad that's 'not in your nature'...except that it is.  Because you are doing it and should own your behavior.  Don't misunderstand me - I get it.  I used to do the same thing.  Being intrusive and obnoxious so my partner would pay attention to me.  But we are talking about a lack of engagement here, right?  Do you think being obnoxious made him FOND of me?  Wanting to CONNECT?  No, not really. That's why the 'pursuit' or 'in your face' strategy that you are using fails.  It makes your partner retreat - the opposite of wanting to connect.

If you want to connect with your partner the 'trick' is two fold.  First, BE a person with whom he would be dying to connect.  That might be funny, happy, outgoing, witty...whomever you are that he fell in love with and that you yourself love (don't ever be someone else for your partner!).  But don't be the version of you that is currently in his face.  Second, gently encourage him to connect.  Reach out in an inviting way.  Make sure he understands how much you like the connection...but also how hurtful it can be when it's inconsistent. Set up a way for it to not be inconsistent. People with ADHD don't have to miss movies because they lose track of time...they just have to learn to set alarms.  That takes some effort, but is doable by almost all.

Here is another way to think about it.  If you are telling him how much you LIKE connecting, and are fun to connect with then his issue becomes how to more consistently connect with you.  If you talk about how he's not connecting with you and that's disappointing to you, the issue is HIM.  In the first instance, you get his buy in.  In the second, you instell a desire to avoid you, not connect.


Melissa, I really appreciate

Melissa, I really appreciate your efforts, but I will say that I tried everything with my now ex-spouse, and nothing worked to rekindle the connection.  A few weeks ago, he reiterated (I think he's said this once before) why nothing worked:  while he professed to wanting a relationship with me, he actually is unable to form personal connections. (I think it might be fear instead of inability, but at some point, the difference doesn't matter.)  I don't think this is necessarily an ADHD thing.  But in the end, that doesn't matter either. The behavior, not the label, is what matters.  

They take as much as they can for as long as we allow it

Ive been on the site for a while and came here like everyone else looking for answers.  I have been enlightened and no longer feel alone.  I do not think I will see a  lasting change because my spouse with ADD is always out for himself. I, ME, MINE!!  The world should recognize his presence and he should be treated with utmost respect while giving none in return...to ANYONE!   Although Melissa's suggestions have some merit for a couple where there is active treatment adherence, I don't have much hope of change in my relationship with someone who never gives a thought to anyone else but himself.  I think many spouses with ADD are extremely selfish and will never realize that a healthy relationship requires compromise, compassion, and patience.  Qualities many w ADD do not possess.  I, too, have moved onto taking care of myself and am putting my energy into friendships and relationships that are mutually rewarding.  Expecting H to become someone he cannot/will not be is futile.  Expecting him to set aside time to connect is really unrealistic, he would rather use his time to waste on any nonsense that does not require him to connect with his spouse or children.  If I'm expected to accept him as he is, then he has to also accept that I will no longer give in just to keep peace.    

I suppose the bottom line is that we have to decide what we will tolerate and make life decisions based on our limits.  It is obvious that ADD people rarely change for any measurable amount of time.  Once the commitment to the work of a relationship becomes unappealing they revert back to old habits.  People are either takers or givers.  My experience with ADD people is they are takers.  I think the non spouse has to be less of a giver and move to the attitude of- I'm in this life for myself just like you demonstrate daily that are in it for yourself.  It is a difficult way to have to be for someone whose nature is benevolent and caring but it seems these qualities are manipulated  by the ADD spouse making the non spouse feel worthless.

I agree

If the ADHD'er is unwilling to get help then really it's not fair for the other person to be the only one to want to actively work at it. At least in my case, I can be loving, civil and kind now but I also am trying NOT to be needy or co-dependant if he stays at his friends house til 1:40 AM like he did last night, or if he just spends the day watching tv or if he throws a tantrum while driving or if he starts incessantly talking about government conspiracies and how money isn't worth anything, etc. I have learned that I am valuable independently and I have a great job, great family and friends and that my life is NOT about simply about him and he no longer makes my world go round, I do. I have learned to compartmentalize my life and he is 20% of it now. God, family/friends, my job, my health and then him. So it's easier when you can say, "ok 20% sucks if I let it but 80% is fabulous". It took me 27 years to stop being jealous when he treated other women better than me and hyperfocused on gadgets and not me. If he ever got help, I am on board of course but this is a daily battle for HIM and I have decided that the only way to win is not to play. I will not beg for attention as I did in the past, crying because I was lonely. Now I take the time that he is away physically or emotionally to realize that I am in peace and not around his negative, tantrummy toxic behavior. After all, when he is around me he can make me miserable by extension of his bad mood. So pick your battles my friends and learn about yourself in the process. I invite him to things I know he will say no to just to be nice but then I go and enjoy myself. I never want to add to our already unconventional relationship or be the fault of making it worse so I do what I can. When he is having a great day, like this past Saturday, my efforts were worth it but I won't pretend that he is fixed. 

Love to all!

Yes Dear Dede sadly we do know of that you speak:)

( A true and internal lack of gratitude for his own life that God has granted him, and gratitude for the lives that have been entrusted TO him, which is an honor and which is humbling for the soul who can SEE this fact. But, he can't get past the victim hood yet.)

There seems to me to be a complete impasse for many people's mind to ever attain to the kind thankfulness you describe here...I don't think it's intentional...I think it's the blindness that occurs in self -absorbed victim minds.....For some reason they can't SEE themselves nor will they relinquish their death grip on their denial of it...

This is one of the main reason's I turned to acceptance of reality....I had to lose the expectations I was placing on her to show care...It was destroying my life...and hers...


Not intentional

I don't believe the behavior is intentional in my case. He is loved by many, not evil. Sometimes, he can be vindictive in a passive way, like after I left him for that one month. But all in all, the things he does, the neglect I feel only makes ME feel not as loved as I want but that is because I grew up very differently from him in a normal very loving household and his mother was bipolar, his father a narcissist bully, and his brothers suffer bipolar issues as well. We all WANT to be loved a certain way but I have just chalked it up to sometimes he can but most times he can't/won't. I do believe he loves me. I am the best thing he has ever had. I do believe he is plagued internally by his demons and if I can't show compassion and let go of resentment, I would surely hate him for marrying me. So I choose to let it go and know he is limited by the ADHD and other disorders that are undiagnosed until he can be humble and let go of his pride, and that right there is bigger than any disorder one can have. 


Love.  An epiphany.  H's definition of love is this...after I asked him "What does love mean to you?"  His answer, "Something you enjoy. a pleasure".

This is the response of a person who lives in the present.  Just the feeling at the moment.  Pleasure.  He loves, smoking, drinking, games, cars, machines, jokes and flirting. He loves family when they are joking with him, but not if they need him.

Love, to me, is caring about the welfare of something and wanting to put in the effort and time and attention for it to grow and survive. I love(d) H, and love (past, present and future) our children, our grandchildren, art, my business, my home.  

He love(s) the one he is with.....as in....."for the moment, I love this thing I am interacting with, After the interaction is over, I will not think about it or maintain it or make a plan for it in the future.  My memories hold no feelings of love because I am not experienceing them right now.  I daze into the sunset and really feel love......for that moment.   I drink a gulp of beer and a stoke of cigar and really feel love.....for that moment.   I love sex....while I am in the act of doing it.....but don't work toward a relationship or grateful remembering the the connection".

This is the extent of OUR now/not now difference when it comes to love.   And although I don't think I have verbalized it completely  just yet, I KNOW that THIS is the total crux of MY difficulty with H.  We LOVE differently.  If I could just stay on my toes and make the present (the now) happy and pleasurable FOR HIM, he would love me all the time.....other than the moments when he is not with me because he may feel love with whoever/whatever he finds pleasure in at the moment...... If I am not in his presence at the moment, I am not on his mind.  Commitment, sacrifice, partnering are too boring and difficult.....not a part of love to H. Love is only the moment's pleasure to him.

Jenna, explanation of love

All I can say is wow. This is what it's been like living with my ADHD husband as well. He thinks about "whatever", in the moment he's in. Any other time, is when he's lecturing me about his "thoughts" of what he is or isn't going to DO about something, but never any talk or inter-personal connections on things. If there IS, it's usually in a complaint or verbal assault on someone or something, that irritated him, again, "at the moment". 

     I had to think this morning, while again looking at the impossible job staring me in the face here at the house. H, has two basic emotions, FEAR and ANGER. Fear, is the one that gets the most use, and what he bases most of his interactions with. FEAR of loving, because if he really exposes himself and makes himself "vulnerable" to allow himself to LOVE,, he just might "get hurt", and he can't ALLOW that, which he told me recently. He wrote me a letter saying how he fell in love in college, and she left him, and he didn't want to feel "that hurt" again, so he basically shut "that part" of himself down, so that he wouldn't FEEL that. Well, then, I say. WHY DID YOU ASK ME TO MARRY YOU, and tell me you loved me and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together?  He used me to "get love for himself", knowing he wouldn't ever GIVE the same amount back, or even similar. (regardless of what his mother did to him when he was small) Somewhere inside himself, he knew he was holding back, and still did it, to his own detriment and the detriment of our marriage and love.

    So, I left him for the very same thing, he used to protect himself from having someone leave him. Isn't THAT ironic?  I guess it could be that old saying of, 'Whatever you fear you create". (maybe?)

    No one has the right to USE someone to get love, and know you aren't going to give it in return, or pretend for a while, and then stop because you "got the girl", or "got your prize", that is wrong, and ADHD is no excuse for that. THAT, was fear. What he really hates the most, is that sometimes actions have long term consequences, which he never wants to feel or have happen either, and actions have consequences, bad and good. 

    Consequences. We all experience them. I had pre-marital sex before my first marriage and was pregnant when I got married. Even though we were engaged and had a date set, I still shouldn't have gotten pregnant, and THAT action left me with something that I would have to deal with the rest of my life. (pleasantly though, I LOVE MY DAUGHTER, and am glad she was born) My example is though, that people really DON'T want long term consequences for their actions, and in today's world, excuses and denials are what so many folks use to get "out of" having to live with the results of their own actions. They want something done and over with, right then. ADHD, doesn't give you the liberty of that most of the time. Those of us who marry into it, with the person NOT thinking their ADHD is that big of a deal, create a lot of consequences for themselves AND for us, since in marriage "two become one". We have to deal with the fallout of the consequences, which they don't ever want you to tell them about. This becomes a real problem for me in one area especially. My husband believes he's Mr. Fix-It, and can fix anything. (he can't) He pinches pennies, in trying to fix something that he's usually broken himself, but then it ends up costing us double or triple in do-overs. Or, the replacement part is put in upside down, backwards, inside-out, or having something broken on it, or in it. This is a never ending cycle that doesn't ever stop.

     We are at retirement age, but will never GET to retire. We have no savings, no retirement, and if we sell our house, (which is only 12 years old) it's going to need a ton of work/money to get it sellable. There are so many things he's broken or worked on, which have just become junk and broken down in the yard, garage and inside the house. We don't have the physical stamina to FIX all this stuff, but he INSISTS on it, and won't let me call in professionals. "We can't afford it", but we can't afford to NOT call in someone. We can't FIX some of this stuff on our own. I wish he'd just admit he''s not the handyman he thinks he IS. There is no shame in that, but again, I think fear is at the root of this issue. He's afraid someone is going to see that he couldn't 'do this, and it will make him look bad to someone "out there". (again, fear)

     I wanted to hope that with me gone, and only him in the house, he would get to live the way he "wanted". No one else using anything, no one using electricity, or water, or food......nothing. Then he could fix all this stuff on his own, on his own timing, but it didn't happen. He played video games....A LOT, and watched a lot of movies, and cook his food in deep fryers which has made the house smell like an old dirty grease pit, with the cupboards, shelves, and countertops, floors,  all caked with grease. yuck. I've had to take a de-greaser and scrub them all down to get the old slimy grease off of all of them. (and the smell, yuck) Even his clothes smell like old grease. 

    Anyway, I got way off track here. (sorry, another vent) .................

    So,when it comes to love, what to do, and where to go from here. 

Now not now and love.

Now not now and love.  Interesting.  So... I can see how the advocated plan/tricks might work to create connection.  If the feelings of active love are tied to the here and now/immediate pleasure points ... and long term thoughts of building and olanni g are not in the now...


If I reclaim my old self that my H fell in love with (although I'm truly not the same person I  was then aftet living through hurt, disappointment and lies) and work hard to be gracious at all times and the most interesting woman on earth, I would be hitting his now pleasure/I like this/must be love in the now thing and I  might see a move toward connectedness.

But if I  need or expect something maybe not so much because it wont register as now/love but as someone upset whether the upsetedness is valid or not.

vabeachgal, now and not now

Yes, I agree, and am in the same place. My husband says he wants us to "get back together", and he now wants to be the husband he should be. But, again, that is in the "now", but what about the "not-now"? I don't trust him now, and I have good reason not to.  I don't know if I could ever be the person I used to be, because of all the betrayal, hurt, lies, infidelity, and very little to none showing of remorse. He has the attitude of "Well, that's the past", "this is now". I truly don't think he SEES the damage that all of this caused me AND him, mainly because he still doesn't think his ADHD has that much affect on our daily lives. It's "his" problem, and it's mostly a "focus" problem he thinks. He doesn't want to connect it with his choices of not doing relationships very well, if at all.

    I like what Melissa said earlier, about becoming the person our husbands fell in love with. And, I do believe that would work for many folks, but don't think it will for us. Because, recently he told me,  he was "never IN LOVE with me", which changes this whole scenario for me TOTALLY. I asked him why he never, ever revealed that to me.....no answer. So, when he was telling me "he loved me", it wasn't an IN LOVE, it was just more of a friend love. Which to that, I feel he used me to have someone to marry and to love HIM, but he knew he wasn't going to return that. Not a very nice thing to do to someone you say you "love". And again, why ask me to come back to him if he still can't DO that? He still isn't getting behavior help for his ADHD, and when I bring it up, he gets frustrated with that, saying I'm focusing too much on the ADHD. (not a good sign)

     He is scared about his health lately. There's a few things that are scaring him, and he is right to be concerned. So, does he want me around because he's afraid he's dying? I think so. So, again, it's about him.

     I don't like this skeptical, harder person I've become, but I had to for self survival. I was too kind, wanting to help TOO much, and didn't set boundaries. not good. When my husband started his first affair, I WAS a good woman. I didn't nag on him, or hate him, or unkind. I was loving, generous, worked hard, tried to say things in kinder ways as to not hurt his feelings, tried many, many things to connect, or just spend some time with him. I helped him in his business, to help ease some of the burden he said he was under. NOTHING HELPED. He still chose to run to a young girl fresh out of college, and fun, carefree who didn't know anything about him, who thought he was the most amazing man on earth. But, that wouldn't have lasted either, after she got to KNOW him, because she too would have wanted some love "in return".

     I can't help but think there is SOMETHING ELSE WRONG WITH HIM. It's not just the ADHD, but he won't go get a full evaluation. His mother died from Alzhiemer's, but was bi-polar and whatever else. His brother was paranoid-schizophrenic, diagnosed at 18 and died a few years ago from drug addiction.  His sister died from alcoholism about 8 years ago, she was only 51. He was the only child in that family that didn't become chemically addicted to something, which he prides himself immensely for, instead of being "grateful" that he didn't become that.

    So, for me, this could be more mental illness that just hasn't been diagnosed yet, and he is too afraid to find out anything else other than the "acceptable" ADHD. The whole thing is just very, very HARD.

I was being somewhat

I was being somewhat sarcastic in my response.   Lol.   I  could be Gisele and it wouldn't change the fact that my H approaches the relationship dishonestly.  I was a great person, still am as are you.  

I  could reclaim myself so to speak and put myself out there in the relationship but unless my H admits to the effects of adhd in the marriage and takes concrere steps tofix it, I  don't expect another outcome.

I  do believe the process may work if it s just adhd or adhd lite and there aren't significant co morbidities or emotional, physical or substance abuse and life is stable otherwise, ie no major financial complications.

I  was a great person to be around but the lies hurt and changed me. I am not overwhelmingly rude or obnoxious or in his face.  I am, however, hesitant, super hesitant, to engage when 90 percent of what comes out of his mouth is a lie.  I guess what i m saying is although the strategy may have a great chance of success for some,  there isn't any upside in my case.  It wont solvefor the dishonesty (and just found a new credit card). Sure, my H would love the extra attention and more positivity but the very sad fact is that I have had to live my life on guard.  I m not saying it s right, but I am not putting in the effort for someone who lies to my face about everything.   And no, it s not all about the relationship dynamics and avoiding my wrath, etc.  The only thing he has genuinely shared from his therapy was the conclusion that he lies to everyone all the time.  It s supposed to make me feel better because it s not just me.