First of all, I'm new here. Just registered tonight so bear with me if the topic was addressed earlier and I missed it.
My husband has had years of drug abuse. He came clean about it all and got clean a year ago. I was unaware that he was using but miserable in our marriage. When he got clean things started to change and he has gotten MUCH better for the most part. There are still some issues that drive me crazy (and from the forum topics I read I am not alone). I have a degree in psychology so I've always suspected that he had ADHD but I also know that former drug use can give you similar symptoms as well. I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one who is going through these issues either way. I have a feeling I will be on here a lot!!!
My question I guess is this, do any of you have an ADHD spouse who ALSO has a history of drug abuse?
Thank you all and...Hello new friends!
Btw, as I write this he has
Submitted by harleyquinnmistahj on
Btw, as I write this he has currently got our bedroom completely torn apart trying to rearrange some stuff and it's 11pm! I just want to go to sleep!
Yes--undiagnosed ADHD can lead to self-medication
Submitted by CosmicJoke on
A chicken/egg question for some of us. Husband and I have hit our latest rock bottom, and as I contemplate whether he needs AA or NA or new meds and better Dr. or...it is really all moot, since I'm the one debating this, not him. Once a person wants to change, as you know, there are so many paths toward help; even combinations of therapies and supports. But no one can force another to that point.
An aside: ADHD medication has helped my husband and oldest to a slight degree; my youngest has seen a lot of improvement. But now that husband is drinking and keeping that from his doctor, a big issue is how certain stimulants affect how much alcohol he can consume and how quickly and hard it hits him. Very scary. Is this relevant to you?
Since you asked: My husband also "came clean" about his past when we dated. But he came of age in the weed and coke era, so this didn't alarm me as much as it should have. And it seemed (at the time) so brave and honest. His social drinking, in hindsight, was still sometimes excessive, but he mostly cleaned up his act when presented with the hyperfocus distraction of courtship and children.
In the intensity of those early years of moving (his idea), starting a family, moving (his idea), trying to hold on to my own career, moving again (his idea), and dealing with the ADHD that went undiagnosed for the first decade of our marriage, he had little time to drink and get high. When he did, he wasn't fun to be around--not abusive, just incoherent--the least of my worries then. In hindsight, I see those years as a long "dry drunk", because nothing replaced going to the bar for him. I see now, he went along with whatever event or experience I'd drag the family to...but as for a true, sustainable interest or passion which he could share with me, something to grow a relationship with--nada. His ADHD behaviors didn't help--the kind of people I would have loved to build a social life with, were the kind who found him eccentric and filter-less. And his enthusiasms, when he had them, lacked follow through (easier to go to your favorite stool at the bar, like back in the day, than regularly use those expensive kayaks you have to have, for example...),
Then the marriage got cumulatively worse, and I researched like many a spouse here, and got him diagnosed. This process was exhaustive, but now I'm not so sure it helped much. He says, eloquently, that ADHD meds calmed him, but he never got serious about talk therapy and the self-created disasters have just kept up at the same unrelenting pace. What changed is that my two kids started showing their own ADHD symptoms, and a massive amount of my time and energy shifted to helping them. And I got worn out. And the toll of all this chaos led us to unofficially separate. (Not because of drinking/smoking, but only because he did so many ADDITIONAL things worse than the night I left him drunkenly splayed on his back in what, up to then, had been my favorite restaurant).
BUT NOW THAT WE ARE SEPARATED, THE WEED AND BOOZE KEEP GETTING WORSE. I have his recent drunken "rock bottom sobbing" on my cell phone, but within a day of that, the ADHD denial and evasion behaviors kicked in totally. It's like the behaviors since Christmas--fighting with my son who refused to get into a car my husband was too drunk and high to drive; loosing his key and banging on the door in the middle of the night, with no idea where he got his black eye, and, and...it's like none of that ever happened.
AND HERE'S THE OMG REALIZATION THAT IS NEARLY KILLING ME...After 20 years of marriage, and two kids, and so many sacrifices...I am watching him REVERT TO THE SAME BEHAVIOR AS BEFORE WE MET. One again, he is driving and drinking and filling his house in the country with "hangers-on" who will use him and his hospitality. In return, they will kiss his behind and never question anything he says or does. One again, there is a woman who is a "monster" who has done him wrong, despite what a great guy he is. Only now, the "monster" isn't that first wife. It is me.
He lives by a script--part ADHD denial, part addictive enabling. Now I see that he is wedded to this script, and that the elements of the script are inter-changeable. That includes me; not sure how he'll justify his selfish treatment of his children.
**I no longer think he "came clean" about his "past" struggles. Instead, it seems like hyperfocus in the early stages of our relationship merely kept those demons temporarily at bay. I feel so used, because I now understand that he had scared himself (a little) with his drinking and smoking and chased me as the DISTRACTION from his demons, the novelty, the new project of finally starting a family, that would keep him too busy (for a while) to give in to his behaviors. Maybe the addiction was an attempt to self-medicate the panic and confusion of the ADHD. Whatever the reason, when he should have gotten help he instead...got married.**
Now that we are separated, I have the distance to truly see this man. Without my excuses and denial and optimism. I watch him get cornered and choose to lie to me. These lies are not about misunderstanding or ADHD processing issues, or...NOW I can SEE the wheels turning as he makes up a lie and sticks to it. I know enough about his life, now, and his M.O., to admit to myself that his "coming clean" about his drinking and smoking--back when we were dating--was really a series of HALF-TRUTHS.. That may be his survival mechanism; but I cannot find a way to call it love. We had know each other casually at work; suddenly he came back to town from a job and was in a cast with a broken leg. The broken leg kept many of his ADHD behaviors in check as we dated--no crazy driving; long conversation-rich dinners he could manage to hobble to; no excessive drinking since he had to move slowly and carefully on crutches. Ask me how old my second child was, when I finally learned that he didn't brake his leg on the job, but rather in the middle of a drunken rant that turned into some kind of wrestling match with his "friend" on the way back from his local bar?
ADHD...AA...NA...Gordian knot...Listen to your gut, Harleyetc. Did you post your question because you know the answer? You have all my best wishes for you.