ADHD, Addiction and getting the right counseling can save my marriage or time to quit?

I have been married to my husband for 13 years we have been together for 19. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was a child and took Riatalin which helped him, but he stopped his meds at 14 and began drinking and doing drugs. Both of us come from severely abusive childhoods and the more I research on adult ADHD  the more I suspect I have a milder form of it than my husband but the same symptoms I have struggled with all my life. What an eye opener!

Most of the posts are about the spouse treating the ADHD spouse meanly, name calling, and nagging etc. I have not had that approach with my husband because of my own abusive childhood of hearing I was lazy, disorganized, scatter brained, clumsy, stupid, so the verbal  abusiveness is not there in our relationship. I do understand their anger and frustration. Its been a hard marriage since I am shouldered with all responsibilities which is difficult for me anyway. I raise our kids, I am mom and dad, run a full time business and I am expected to do all the house work too, but  I do what I can. Since I have trouble with doing those tasks and organizing anyway, the house is messy and not very clean, my home office is a disaster zone, I can let it go a little, I can only change myself and I am working on the clutter. I never have expected my husband to help he is pretty much not able to do it, and yes  there were times I made a list and had him pick what he wanted to do because I am really overwhelmed, but it never worked out. If I ever did mention it he would drag my self esteem in the mud about the house  so all these years we have had a quiet stand off.

My husband goes to work and that is it. After years of alcohol abuse I was ready to leave him especially he was very verbally abusive to me when he was using, he actually stopped the alcohol 7 years ago and started smoking pot, with a prescription, he was a serious dry alcoholic so he went to AA a year and a half ago (under I was leaving again) which has helped him and he stopped the medical pot.

 I just found out he has been lying about a pornography addiction ( been 10 years of lying about stopping he was caught two times before) it is just like the alcohol addiction but worse because it really affects our intimacy when he is using he has no interest sexually in me we have no life. I can never compare to a fantasy woman, so now we are in marriage counceling ( he went because I was going to leave again) but the ADHD and his addictions are not being addressed.

He is not able to access the internet at home anymore, so now instead of the 6-7 hours a night of internet porn he has replaced it with 6-7 hours of video game playing.  He does have full pornography access at his work and even though he says he has stopped he has the same behavior as when he was using that before.  The marriage councelor sees nothing wrong with the video game playing ( self medicating is OK?) , and I need to let him do this it helps him relax. I was so distraught I sought out a therapist who deals with sexual addictions and ADHD and she was great, gave me all the books to read, and a name of a male counceler who also deals with adult ADHD he has the number it will take threatening to leave him again to get him to go to the new councelor he loves the one we have now! I did learn allot about accountability which he is avoiding any kind of direct help for the porn addiction. Yes I need to stop worrying about his behavior.

I am tired, struggling with the ADHD is hard but with the addictions on top of that it is too much, he will not go see a doctor for the ADHD  and the counselor said ADHD drugs are not the answer he has bonding issues ( that is NOT helpful). I am supposed to just work on myself and not let his behavior affect me, easier said than done. I am trying to work through the grief of finding out about the lying and betrayal, it feels the same as an affair betrayal ( I know from my first marriage).

I will be going back to the second councelor again she was a life savor! Because I am asking is it time to pack it in it is? I can read as many books as I can find get personal counceling meanwhile life is going on my daughter, the  oldest is pregnant and life is wonderful except for my marriage is not. I guess I am looking for some kind of hope I feel hopeless life is too short. As my husband says he should be able to do what ever he wants. Yes but regardless of having ADHD there are consequences I understand the ADHD behaviors and it has been helpful to think of them that way. Doesn't make the addictions ok. Even if it is self medicating for the ADHD what kind of life does my 11 year old and I have? What do I do now, do I threaten again to get help with the ADHD I am tired of threatening it is like abusing him. I will leave he knows this that's why he goes to the councelor or AA because he knows I will leave.

Thanks, Colleen14

We wasted $1000's and 3 or 4

We wasted $1000's and 3 or 4 years of our lives in counseling where not only were we not given any diagnosis nothing was ever resolved. It is vital that you find someone who will concentrate on his ADHD and it's affect on everyone in his life. He probably 'likes' the counselor because (If I am understanding correctly) she is basically letting him off of the hook by not focusing on what one of the REAL issues is..which is his ADHD.

I did spend a lot of years 'motivating' my husband by threatening to leave...but last fall I hit rock bottom and it wasn't just a threat. I was making changes in my life and he was either going to join me or he was going to lose his family. You have to decide for yourself that you deserve an equal partner who you can trust. He needs to deal with his ADHD and deal with the addictive aspect of it and he needs to be held accountable for how destructive it is to your marriage.

I wish you all the best. I think you're on the right track with the counselor that knows about ADHD and I would insist he come along. As long as nothing changes, nothing will change. (I love that saying!)

Nothing changes, Nothing will change

I appreciate your comment. I love that saying too now: "nothing changes, nothing will." I can keep going round and round with my husbands bad behavior (addictions) nothing changes, I don't see spending anymore time with the councelor that is not addressing the ADHD at all, she is also ignoring the main problems we went to counceling for in the first place.  I can't change him but can change myself, and the way I have been letting his behavior consume my life. He knows he has ADHD I printed out the wonderful post we can give to the ADHD spouse, it is really clear on the damage it does when untreated, and  he has the number for the ADHD therapist. He wants me to call and go with him but I think he should go by himself at least for a while he has to take full responsibility for getting treatment, is that wrong? Or should I go with?

The goal is to save the

The goal is to save the marriage AND for him to get help. Go with him if it means the difference between him going and not going.

ADHD is not an excuse + consequences

ADHD likely has a good deal to do with the way your husband is behaving (and may also explain part of his abusive childhood) but that is a reason for his behavior, not an excuse to continue to keep doing it.  He is right when he says "I should be able to do anything I want" but the unspoken rest of that sentence is "and you shouldn't complain" which isn't correct.  Yes, he is in control of his own life, and that means that there will be consequences to every single choice he makes.  So in your case, he can continue to remain in denial about the effect ADHD is having on his life and do nothing about it - consequence would possibly be your leaving (with your child, I presume).  Or, he can address the ADHD - consequence would possibly be that his life becomes happier.  Or not - one can never predict the future.  But in any event, don't deny that he has the right to make his own decisions - he does.  Your leverage here is YOUR right to make YOUR decisions - those that lead to a healthy life for you and your daughter.

BTW - I may sound as if I'm advocating divorce or separation here.  I'm not taking a stand on that one way or the other - just trying to help you understand that you can't control him, only you.  And that there are consequences for every decision.  So far it sounds as if the consequences for his denial have been pretty limited on him, while your choices about what to do about it have had rather significant consequences for you.

Thank You! I forgot that I have the right to make decisions too

I know it sounds crazy but I DID forget that I have the right to make my own decisions too! Wow it is such a simple powerful human right and I have been denying myself of it for a few years now! Just realizing that makes such a difference in my perception of my situation and takes such a huge burden off of my shoulders! I am only responsible for myself ( and my daughter ) that opens up all the doors (opportunities)  to make a better life for myself and my daughter that we both deserve, with or without my husband. It is his responsibility, not mine, to get treatment for his ADHD!

I am continuing to read and do the work in "The ADHD Effect on marriage" it has been such a eye opener into my own problems with organization and completing tasks, and actually helping with my daughter she has an "undetermined" learning disability and an IEP at school and the recipe box I think will really work for both of us, she has the same problems with organization and completing tasks I do.  

As you pointed out that although ADHD more than likely is a reason for my husbands behavior, it is not an excuse to continue to keep doing it. I will never forget that!  Just like he has to own his own alcoholism he has to own all his other bad behavior! Thank you so much!