ADHD, The Husband, The Children, The World, and Me

 

-The kids with ADHD and Autism: If you have any doubt that imbalances in the brain, are real... Please visit her home before the boys get their medication. Please visit and educate yourselves on why treatment is necessary. View how a child cannot complete a simple task such as picking up a piece of paper, after an HOUR. Becomes angry and can't control his temper, because his brain does not function normally. He's frustrated and confused. He is embarrassed. He feels bad about himself. Doubts himself. He's suffering. He isn't making sense, makes up stories, almost a compulsion to get into things...make a mess, break things, takes things that don't belong to him. He blurts things out, without thinking, often hurtful.
Then please watch, as the "lightbulb" goes on, when the medication kicks in. See the peace wash over him. See how he now has the ability to multi-task. How kind and sweet and loving, he is. Meet a boy so proud of his accomplishments. Confident. This boy would never take anything that doesn't belong to him or hurt anyone's feelings.

-Now meet the husband/father. Who was told as a child he was bad, damaged goods and useless. He was beaten when he couldn't sit still or didn't listen. Never treated and told that only weak people get mental help. Watch as he cant remember anything as it actually happened or was said. Every day he wakes up, it's as if the day before never happened. He doesn't understand what he's doing wrong. He can only focus on the same three things and they are all negative. He now has no self esteem, he's done so much wrong that he could never live it down. Watch as he talks nonsense and starts arguments to deflect attention away from his own issue. His parents abandoned him and his children. He has no male influence or guidance. He loses everything, his keys, his drink, his clothes, his wallet, bills, etc. He doesn't have hobbies, he can't concentrate long enough on anything, even watching sports. He doesn't have any friends. He talks in circles, making conversations with other guys impossible. He's funny if he can joke around constantly, he's comfortable. He can't relate to other husbands. He's made so many mistakes, he feels inferior to everyone. Anyone that seems like a good husband or father or is successful financially, is "gay"or "hiding something", in his opinion. He checks to make sure the doors are locked at night, forty times, washes his hands constantly, and if his routine gets thrown off or someone moves something of his, he panics. When he tries to get help or tells people about his issue, people judge him and assume he is going to murder them in their sleep. He's alienated further. Alone.

-Talk with the wife's parents, the grandparents. They've lent him money, never to be paid back. They're in their 70's. They worry every day about their daughter. She's stressed and exhausted, sad. They have no idea how to help her. They try to keep the grandchildren busy and make sure they don't go without. They know he has a problem, but sometimes are just so frustrated they don't care or forget. They just want him to stop. Their visits are filled with conversations centered around whatever he has done now. Since his parents don't help or have ever even met the children, they do everything. They feel responsible for babysitting to give her a break and often when they had previous plans. Grandma has given him her car for the past few months so he can work and save to get another car.

-The other children. They're just tired of it. They seem to understand that he isn't normal, more than the adults in his life do. They don't have much respect for him and don't go to him  for anything. They know they're taken care of and safe, but they hate the drama. They want to enjoy one family night without a mood swing or an argument. They know it's his problem, not theirs. They have told him that he's in the wrong, but know it doesn't seem to matter. The oldest gave his Dad his paychecks for an entire year (without telling mom), because his Dad told him that he could pay payments to a guy at work, who was selling a car. Only to find out his Dad was never buying him a car for him with the money, his Dad blew all the money. The oldest chalks it up to a lesson learned and vows to never trust his Dad with money again, continues to work, and never says a word about it. Gets paid back a little every month. The older kids have to adjust their lives around three family members with problems. They pick up the slack on chores their brothers don't do correctly, or wipe off crayon on the walls, or watch their sister while their mom tries to deal with their Dad or brothers. They're sympathetic to their brothers, because they see the difference with and without medication. But they get frustrated with their Dad, because they know if he just got good treatment, life could be wonderful.

-The wife's friends: They don't want to tell her the things they've heard. They know she is overwhelmed as it is. They care about her, they know she needs to talk, but they are tired of hearing her sad stories. Tired of her canceling on them, because he has the car or is angry. They can't relate to her life. They don't have any advice to help her. They picture her life over there as complete chaos. They don't want their kid's involved in that. They like her, she is just more of a mess than they can handle. Their husband's can't relate to her husband. 

-The Strangers, neighbors, co-workers- they wonder why she had so many kids with him. They don't know that he goes thru cycles where he's wonderful. They don't know that his heart and diabetic medications have affected his mental problems. They hear these stories and don't know that this family has good and bad days, like everyone else. They think she deserves to suffer because she chose to be with him and keep having children. They picture screaming and sadness. They assume she just sits around all day and whines about her problems, they don't know she works hard to pay back and fix his mistakes. They don't understand how he bullies her and makes life miserable if she forces him to give her his paychecks. They think she should just give him an ultimatum. They say she should just leave him and get an apartment. They don't understand that he destroyed her credit without her knowing. They don't understand how much her two special boys need her undivided attention, to keep them on track. They don't see how she's suffered and is determined to raise her children to NEVER cause destruction like this, but to add to the world. She isn't lazy, she would love to work outside the home.

-Then you can sit with the wife. The mother. Her husband is furious that she is paying bills. "Just don't pay those bills", he barks at her. He doesn't think he should have to work this much, this is too much pressure for him.
At 8:09: He tells her, he knows it's his fault the bills are so high, the car was repossessed, his fault that we're under so much stress. He has a problem and doesn't know why he does these things.
At 8:13, he tells her it's all her fault. She's a terrible wife. She doesn't run and hug him every day when he comes home.
8:24, it's his fault again. She's a good wife and mother. He needs help, he says.
She listens as her ADHD son tells his father, "Dad, just go get treatment. I take medication and it helps so much, you need it."
Everyone has gone to bed. She sits and stares at the Christmas tree with a cup of coffee. She wonders why she even tried to reason with him. At the time, she forgets that he doesn't make sense nor will he remember any of this tomorrow. That's her husband of 15 years, was her best friend, how can he be "out of it"? He must do this on purpose. How can he have no control over himself? If he loved her, he wouldn't do this. Part of her has learned to live without that connection. She feels like he is her child, not her man. She doesn't know how to have an intimate relationship with someone who lies to her, treats her so badly, and doesn't make sense, even though she knows he is ill. She wonders how he can do such horrible things, but still demand what he wants. Otherwise she would be happy to just ignore him. She wonders why he cant understand that you cant hurt someone daily and expect them to want to be near you. She signs into her iPad to start some freelance work, for the night. She can't help but look for some advice online. Every story from spouses just like her, she could have written them all. She feels hopeless. Without having been treated since children, these adults are so damaged that medication seldom helps.
She wonders what tomorrow will bring. She's afraid of the mailbox. If he's unhappy, he won't give her his paycheck to pay the bills. He'll ruin the holidays for everyone by throwing a temper tantrum. She worries the pressure will get to him and he'll just take off. She falls asleep worried every night about what she doesn't know.
She remembers when the worst things he would do, was to forget plans, appointments, and to pick kids up from school. When she thought it was bad that she couldn't rely in him for anything. When she had to fix everything that broke in the house, because he couldn't concentrate. The days long before she had to hide her purse or worry that they were going to lose their house. A time either before his symptoms worsened or when ignorance was bliss. Before she had to leave the home that she brought her children home from the hospital to, the home her father built, the place she thought she would live forever. A time when she didn't have to question his every move.

She worries about when the kids grow up, worries they will never come around or bring the grandchildren around. She prays she stays healthy and alive long enough to get these kids raised, she cannot imagine how they would survive with just their dad. She hopes she has told the kids enough, that this is not normal. That her daughters know that this is not what all men are like. That her sons see the consequences of his actions. That he truly loves them, he is just ill. She racks her brain for a lasting solution. She gets involved in working and projects to keep her mind focused on positive things. She is adjusting to life without a car during the day to save money and pay off his debt and build a savings for any future emergencies.
She still feels luckier than most. She has the most wonderfully amazing children. And every day she wakes up, is a new day. She's happy, but could be happier.  Just like everybody else. "Life would be perfect if it wasn't for that one thing". We've all said that, fix that one thing, then something else pops up. She just puts her life on display. Good and bad.

She dreams about a day when her parents can rest knowing she's happy and her kids see that it's never too late to change and make the best out of your life. When her grown children are able to look past his mistakes, because he made them right. We live happily ever after, all together, in peace.
Or she could become an old woman. Divorced and alone. Regretful and sad that she was robbed of all those years. Bitter that she wasn't able to be the wife she had dreamed of. Her children are grown and don't come around much. They feel responsible for their Dad since we divorced.
In the morning, she makes an appointment with a new doctor after begging this poor doctor to help them. He sends her texts throughout the day, "I want u to go with me so i can get the help I need so I can be good to my family". She starts dinner and takes the baby for a walk. And so goes this thing of ours...

We are here for you.  I know

We are here for you.  I know how rough it is to be married to a dysfunctional person, especially one whose disorder is not visible on the outside.  I know that you're stuck in your marriage for now, but please keep coming here and vent and get whatever small comfort you can from knowing that at least some other people get it.

It's wonderful not to feel

It's wonderful not to feel like you're alone. And to know this is real and i'm not going crazy! Ty

I have a couple of friends

I have a couple of friends with whom I share the details of my life.  It is very helpful to be able to bounce things off them, e.g., "This happened.  Is this normal?  Did I respond appropriately?  What should I do?"  One of the friends in particular is extremely sympathetic.  I'm sure part of it is that her husband has severe psychological issues, too, which have also resulted in dysfunctional behavior.  On some days, it seems, our husbands, who barely know each other, are doing the same things at the same times, and my friend and I send emails almost simultaneously in which we talk about the same problems!

This is a brilliant piece of writing

I made the mistake of reading it at work. Only a mistake because it made me cry. Please keep writing. You make me feel what it's like to be married to an ADDer in ways I've never seen on this board. Thanks so much!

excellent post / similar life

      You described perfectly what it's like to be married to an adhd husband. My husband is very much like this also and I've struggled with 30 years of always feeling second place and like I'm picking up after a child. Martin didn't get diagnosed or on medication until 8 years ago, and there has been a big difference in his focus, moods, hyperactive swings, etc. and it's been better, but the first 20 some years were very much what you described.

     Lately, it's been hard to face just how much I've given up and lost personally. I have no friends, lost most of my outside distractions and also because of a back pain issue have been much more house bound. My husband does not tell me he loves me or give me verbal support, let alone do anything physical with me. (he's been very sexually awkward, and never would face it or talk about it) His world is SO LARGE and SO ENCOMPASSING it is overwhelming for others if they come to our house and visit. I've lived with it so long I guess I've become more numb to it, but that numbness has also put my emotions and very being in a "numb" like state.

     He won't let me talk about how I feel, or voice my concerns, in fact getting him to listen to me period (unless it's about him) is very difficult. I loose his concentration after about 30 seconds to a minute, and the conversation ALWAYS switches over to HIM.

     He also ended up having a 3 year affair with a much younger woman a few years ago, which is still fresh in my emotions. I feel like I've lost a good deal of myself and am not sure how to get it back.

      But thank you for writing what you did. You said everything SO WELL. Thanks

dede4007