ADD is ripping our blended family apart

We're a blended family. My partner with ADD and his two girls (12 and 17) and me and my son (14) and daughter (16) moved in together about 6 months ago. The children get on really well, we all do. Lately though my partner has been very strict on my son - and is driving my son crazy - he has very high expectations of my son and my son can't do eneough to please him. My son up until now has done everything he has been able to to be understanding about my partner's ADD, but he has had enough and wants to move out. They had a big argument the other night over some ridiculous thing that my partner misunderstood and he said very mean and nasty things to my son. I wasn't there at the time. So, my son wants to leave, I can't let him go on his own, if he goes I go....a deal breakerl...the family is over. My ADD-partner won't budge, he says it's going to be his way, one way or the other (whatever the hell that means). Have tried talking to my partner but i just get the silent treatment when it comes to my son. He's backing me into a corner - of which there is only one way out.

Can anyone offer assistance, maybe in a similar situation?

Reply to Sophie

I had to register and add a comment for Sophie. I'm there with you. My husband and myself married 5 years ago. He as a son (13) with ADHD and a daughter (15). I have a daughter (19). My husband has never been diagnosed but the more we watch his son the more we feel he has some aspects of it if not quite a lot. My husband and daughter have never really got on but tolerate each other, just don't talk to each other unless really necessary. She find's it difficult to get motivated and does miss time at college (she missed quite a lot of time at school as well). When there's something she's interested in she'll work really hard, just doesn't see the point if she doesn't enjoy it. My parents haven't helped the situation by giving her more than they should have over the years. She likes being at home and doesn't like going out much. My husband feels she's around too much.

My husband NEEDS his space. He tells me it's as important to him as food and air and I believe him. If he doesn't get time by himself to 'process' then he's a real bear. I do my best to see he has this though it's difficult as his son lives with us so he's full on most of the time he's with us and we get very little time to ourselves.

My husband is now at breaking point. So stressed. I feel i'm walking on eggshells being careful what I do, I say, infact he's virtually shut himslef in one of our lounges and only comes out when he needs to. He's had two evenings over the last 10 days where he's played very loud music until the early hours, shouting and screaming in frustration at life, situations, too much alcohol then smashing glasses etc around the kitchen. Punched dents in walls and self harmed.

The first of these times was during school holidays so I got up early (after no sleep), cleared the glass so the children wouldn't see then took them out whilea looking for somewhere to live, because along with the shouting and music I got sent the most abusive texts by my husband. Aimed and myself and my daughter. The second time my step-son was at his mothers so I left the broken glass, took my daughter out of the house and left the mess for him to clear. I left him printouts showing I was looking for accommodation and saying I would not put up with this. I love him and will support him but not this behaviour.

Since then he's taken books from the library about 'ADHD' and 'mid-life crisis in males' as he's definitely getting worse. He said himself he feels he's depressed but as yet hasn't been to the Dr's. I reply to him when he talks to me or ask him essential questions. He is in his cave at the moment and I am sure he will come out. At the moment he's not in a good enough place for me to communicate with. I need to wait for him to come out of it.

Do i go or stay? I did feel a victim, abused, an awful person for a while, now as the day's go on I see that although I have my faults, I did not ask for this abuse and will not tolerate it.

Val

You shouldn't tolerate it! You should go and find a safe place for you and your daughter. Let him clean up his own mess, both literally and figuratively. Then after a period of counseling on his part and only then should you consider talking about continuing on with him. Think about the message this sends to your 19 year old daughter. Best of luck

Thank you. I have made a

Thank you. I have made a start looking for accommodation and he's aware of this. I told him that i wouldn't tolerate this behaviour. He said (before the second outburst) that he knew his behaviour was unacceptable and he should be the one to move out. I do belive he will if this continues.

Life is calmer at the moment although not much communication between us. He doesn't have the difficulties that I've seen many people write about, for example, he can communicate and listen without interupting, though when he gets stressed can rant/monologue for a long time. He is very focused on what he does, doesn't like distrations when busy but does take part in family life and I certainly don't 'mother' him. It's when he gets overloaded like he has the last few weeks. He's not always been like this, that's why I am loathe to move out because I feel there are things he needs to work out and although says he doesn't need me and want me here (only when there's alcohol involved) shows that he does when he's sober (not in a needy way, if you understand). He says he's never felt more loved and supported than he does by me and I do think this is part of the problem. Feeling close, deep affection is difficult for him to deal with and at the moment he's doing his best to push me away even though deep down it's the opposite he wants.

He know's that I won't stand for this and I do believe that while he's quiet, he's processing what's going on for him. When he's ready he'll come out of his cave and talk through with me what's going on for him.

His 1st wife asked me yesterday if I'd talked to him as I needed to get answers. She couldn't seem to comprehend his need for space to help him understand what's going on for him. She want's to start bombarding him with questions, something i did advise her against as I don't believe he's got the answers yet.

It has unsettled my daughter quite a lot and I am doing my best to talk through with her what's going on. She understands there's been quite a change in him over the last few weeks and although it's not ideal at the moment I do feel it would be more stressful moving us both into rented accommodation for a short while.I certainly don't feel endangered, if I did I would be out of the door yesterday.

If he is feeling that he needs to push me away because he can't deal with feeling loved then if I go, what will that do to our relationship?

It will force him to get help

It will force him to get help for his alcohol problem and his anger issues and his ADD AND you won't have to suffer in the meantime.

Anger issues

I'm sorry to say that I agree with whomever anonymous is.  There ought to be a way for you to move out and communicate to your husband that you aren't rejecting him, just his behavior and that you look forward to being together again when he takes care of his anger and behavior issues.  On the one hand, staying around might teach your daughter that people should work things out.  On the other hand, there are more ways to work things out than to stay in the house and wait for the other shoe to drop.  You can potentially support him from afar while giving him the space he so craves and demonstrating to your daughter that it's okay to put your foot down.

Val, how are things going?

Val, how are things going? How are you and your daughter? After the incident i described at the beginning of the post it got to the point where i told him it was over - that i didn't deserve to be treated like the enemy.  I was all set to go and had started to look for accommodation for my 2 children and I. Subsequently he has had the most amazing change. It's like her all of a sudden was shocked into actually taking responsibility for his actions. Just becasue he feels bad it doesn't mean he has to make everyone else feel bad. However, it the last 2 days, his behaviour has somewhat deteriorated. He is back to not calling me during the day and barely speaking to me at home. I'm certain he doesn't even know his doing it becasue if i ask him what's wrong he says nothing that it's great all of us living together - well, guess what, i don't feel it's great and i am slowly coming to the thinking that he is getting a lot more out of this relatioship than i am. This time he is not as bad as previously, however, i do wonder how many times we have to go round this spiral until it implodes or quite frankly i explode. When he is standoffish (like your husband in his cave!) I don't dare initiate contact not even conversation - becasue then he gets annoyed at that. I know i deserve better - but i also understand that he has improved greatly and that clearly he doesn't get some of what he does. God help me, but i don't know if i have the strength or stamina to see this through.

I hope things have clarified in your mind - it's hard when there are kids involved.

I wish you well.

Hi Sophi It's good to hear

Hi Sophi

It's good to hear from you though I am sorry to hear that things have really not improved.

I decided not to move out at present though I did give my husband print outs of accommodation I'd found, and emails concerning benefits i'd more than likely be entitled to. He knows I'm serious and will not tolerate any more. He has kept the print outs and has not touched a drop of alcohol now for about a week and a half (since his final outburst). He hasn't been to the Dr's as was afraid all the Dr would do would be put him on tablets which would not get the the root of the problem. Instead of which he's been reading a great deal, about ADHD, addictive personalities, 'Irritable Male Syndrome' (the male menopause) and also discovered that years of drinking too much over meany years can cause damage to the liver which in turn causes great pain in muscles and joints (something else that's been concerning him).

He has been very quiet and I've left him to his own devises. He's been eating on his own, sleeping on the sofa in our other lounge and spenidng his time reading when not working.

He's now becoming more communicative and says he's having times when he feels 'normal'. The last couple of nights he's actually slept with me in our bed though he's been fully clothed and there's no physical contact. He is very slowley coming out of it. He's eating more healthily. I'm feeling much better and getting on with my life. If he wants to talk then he comes to me, I'm not chasing asking how he is every day, i just respond when he talks to me. Time will tell and I'm hopeful. That doesn't mean to say I haven't still got those accommodation and benefit details in a safe place. He jknows I have and i'm not afraid to use them. As these 2 episodes were out of character I wanted to give him a chance and it seems he's taking it.

Keep in touch.

Val