ADHD leading to divorce

Recently in a "moment of clarity" my husband of 6 years (who was diagnosed with ADHD about 3 years ago) has decided that our marriage is too difficult and that despite the fact that we got along before- we just don't "click". We've known each other since childhood, so this is difficult to accept. Throughout the marriage there have been struggles with his impulsivity disorder- especially when it comes to private relationships with other women (which have been limited to communication and nothing further, but hidden and lied about nonetheless); then the subsequent issues with accountability/ remembering/ explaining his motivations.

In the middle of last month, we got into an argument (about him not realizing the effects of his actions) and he moved back into his mother's house (and has not come back). The downside of this is that we also found around the same time that I am pregnant; he was very excited about that fact until we started discussing how it would change our day to day routine (work/school/attention paradigm).

Medication wise- my husband has been on and off of medication the entire time, never really sticking to one more than a few months. Recently switching to adderall and taking it roughly every other day, until he stopped completely about a week ago. He refuses therapy (although I'm not sure the advice we've received from our therapist has been "ADHD marriage" realistic; mostly reinforces how "wrong" his behavior is)... he refuses to even find another therapist.

At this point, I've just started reading the book about how ADHD effects your marriage- I see that he and I have had a significant parent-child dynamic in our relationship. I can see how this has deteriorated our marriage.

No matter what discussions I try to have with him- I'm getting the stonewall response. "I can't be with you- I'm ready to start a new chapter. We argue too much" is the most I really can get. Despite my best efforts to discuss this, showing examples to the contrary, I think it's just further polarizing him. Right now, he says that he feels calmer and happier (which is probably true, as the only responsibility he has to anyone right now is to himself to go to work- no one is placing any demands on his reliability or attention otherwise). I realize that pushing him to acknowledge what is happening and the reality of how his symptoms have shaped our interaction is just stressing him out.

I know that his ADHD symptoms have caused a lot of the issues that we have- but instead of him realizing that- the target is instead on my back. He just wants to no longer be my husband and to deal with me as little as possible. He wants to get a divorce as quickly as possible; after only two weeks of separation decided he wanted separate bank accounts. Rather than having a conversation he says "when can I expect your lawyer to serve me". Most conversations are extremely adversarial, or he is defensive before it even begins- shutting the whole communication down from the start.

Any thoughts or experiences that any of you have would be extremely helpful. I am beside myself at this point.


I know it isn't what you want

I know it isn't what you want to hear, but the more you try to 'fix' things, at this point, the farther away he will run. I was just 11 weeks pregnant (Feb 1998) with our daughter when my husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore, didn't know if he wanted the baby even, etc. When I finally asked him to leave (after a couple of weeks of strong suspicions he was cheating...and him treating me like crap)  and told him to never contact me again (and I meant it!) did he finally start to come around. Sadly, we did not have the ADHD diagnosis until YEARS later (June 2010...) If he is willing to walk away, there is nothing you can do to stop him. Your best chance will be to simply let him go and avoid any and all attempts to 'fix' him. You're right..he's running...running from the parent/child dynamic...the responsibility...the chaos...the turmoil...the fighting. The more you try to 'work on things' , all he'll see is 'hard work' and keep running. If I could go back 12 years to when this first happened to me, I would have set some very strong boundaries for myself and maybe saved myself all of the years of pain and confusion...but, again, I didn't know it was ADHD. I let him come home thinking things would just work out, he'd never do that again, etc. Little did I know the ADHD would continue to rage out of control, off and on. At this point, I would let him go. Leave him alone. Give him space to 'miss you' and if the time comes that he wants to come home, then would be a good time to suggest he needs to take his meds more regularly and get some professional help to treat his ADHD. For many years I thought my husband was just the 'kind' to run from always seemed that everytime he 'went to the dark side' it was to avoid dealing with life changing events...I just thought he wanted to "run" ... always 'running'. What actually happens is that so much builds up that it gets to a point that they just shut down...and the only way for them to get out of the 'shut down' is to give them space to come to terms with it.

Take it from someone who has lived through it for 13 long years. Do not try and fix him. Do not suggest counseling or medications or anything else to 'fix' him at this point. Focus on how the dynamics of your marriage have made you the 'parent' and work on you. Put the burden of his problems on HIS shoulders. His ADHD isn't yours to fix. The most you can do at this point is to focus on how your reactions to his behaviors caused the parent/child dynamic and work on understanding his ADHD. Let him know you love him and are there if he wants to talk things through and offer some solutions to the marital issues...otherwise, go on with your life as best you can. I won't say I can't imagine what you're going through, because I can. (((HUGS)))

Thanks for that

I appreciate your feedback, and you're right. I know that his ADHD is his to shoulder and I know that pushing him to take responsibility for it is just a further continuation of this parent-child dynamic. Knowing what his issues are does not mean that he will accept them or want to become a reliable husband. But at the same time- I feel this immense panic.

The idea of going through this divorce, being pregnant, making decisions about selling/keeping home- I wake up with the weight of my world on my mind (at 4AM!) every day. I know that the only person I can really create change in is myself; I struggle with that when I see him refuse to make changes necessary to avoid this heartache. He says that he "will be a father to the child"- but at this point I question whether or not that commitment is realistic.

My  heart truly goes out to

My  heart truly goes out to you. I have had many 'panic' and '4 a.m.' moments in my marriage as well. I truly do wish I knew then what I know now...because leaving him to suffer the consequences of his actions (versus me controlling everything I could..which was usually just enough for us to survive each crisis..until the next one) would have probably made such a huge difference in our marriage. I can't say whether it would have lasted or not, but I think I certainly would have done things so differently.

Just try and focus on what the BEST thing for your marriage is as this point...just let him be responsible for his choices, let him make his own choices and do your best to handle your panic on your own. Do you have a support system in place for yourself? Please lean on friends and family right now. We just made it through 'episode #4' (him shutting down and pushing me out of his life) in 13 years and are at least opening up the lines of communication again. Melissa told me something that was hard to hear, but that really hit home for me when things first started going downhill...she said "he cannot be there for you" and basically pointed out to me that me telling him how his actions were hurting me would only serve to make him feel worse and make things worse. It was hard to hear, but I KNEW it was true and once I started living by that advice I started to have some peace with the situation. I started listening to my audio book CoDependent No More...I highly recommend it.

It is terrifying to just let them carry the full burden of their own decisions and accept whatever it is they say they want...but it is vital. Hopefully in the end he'll regain some footing and get his head back together, in the meantime just try and find some peace with the situation somehow and let those who love you help you through.

Dear ended wit, In every

Dear ended wit, In every way, please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The things that you are going through fall under the "should never happen" heading, yet so many women I know have experienced this (not necessarily with the adhd aspect either). No one, not even your husband is irreplaceable and you are definitely worth feeling valued and respected. Having said that, take care of yourself. Whether your husband comes to his senses (ok, sorry for the skewed sentiment but Im pissed!), you will come out of this. My DH told me at one point that he loved me (kind of) because I gave birth to his kids but he was not in love with me. He called me a B$tch, cursed at me, did and said terrible things and I made him leave finally because i could not take the abuse any more. Yet (and some will call me crazy), I knew that this person was going through a huge life change and the kind, generous person I knew for almost 30 yrs was still around somewhere..lost in a miserable mess. After a lot of back and forth, he is back with a new understanding of WTH had happened. I'm no longer the demonseed he thought I was..., and we are finding our way again. I have found my strength through this as well, and am determined that it will never be stripped away again- just as I hope the strength that my spouse has found does not leave him. Even if this does not last, I am stronger and kinder to myself. If I cry, then so be it- but I know I have people and God there to help back me up if I need it. So it is true for you. Believe in yourself. You can do this (and forgive yourself whatever sadness or weakness you might feel, it is all okay)...


I'm glad that you have been willing to share your experiences. It is helpful to know that (despite my 4am suspicion) I am not the only person in the world who has gone through this (with and without ADHD). Hormones changing during pregnancy do not make the grief of an impending marriage any easier to cope with!

I've tried to solicit understanding from his family- talk to them about his disorder/medication/therapy. They've told me that they know what's going on is odd (even that they know that something is not right)- but no one seems to take any real issue with him leaving his pregnant wife. I keep hearing "well if ya'll argued- if it wasn't happy or easy..." I know that they are know him more as his unmedicated self than his mediated self because that is who they raised- but I swear there was once a person in there (as recently as the day before he left!) that wanted to be with me. Now I hear "everytime I said I was happy- it was a lie".

What they fail to understand is that there is rarely anything easy with an ADHD spouse (marital problems seem to be inherent when the ADHD spouse is in "false control")- that includes communication or simply taking out the trash. Sometimes I feel like he puts on a facade for everyone else and saves the emotionally over-reactive side of himself especially for me!

Common behavior?

He's left- but comes back to see me (sometimes late at night). Talks about how his feelings for me haven't gone anywhere,  but he still doesn't think that a marriage between us is a good thing.

Common behavior?

I dont like to generalize or

I dont like to generalize or even throw out guesses but, i would say that now that the immediate pressure cooker stress of your house was released by him going home to momma, I dare say he might be able to see things clearer. Now is the time, EW, ti think about what it is you want and need. It is not the solution yo just say, "COME BACK" without any thoughts of what you need from a relationship or what your baby will need. Figure this out now and stand firm because you dont want him home only just to re-live the h#ll that this could blossom into (but with a newborn in the fray now). Seek counseling, please, to help gain an unbiased yet supportive view! You deserve a kind and loving partner.

Thank you


Absolutely. I am  now (and have been off and on since his diagnosis) in counseling. These days I've completely voided my routine of television or radio and have honestly been spending a lot of time with myself trying to determine what it means and how to achieve being healthier person so that I can like me no matter what may come.

Good, it gets easier but is

Good, it gets easier but is never easy. Wish it did. The thing is, Ive yet to find the magic answer and its been over two years since the ;%# hit the fan... Its gotten better, yes, but he will still slip into the same old verbal abuse pattern when he's tired, stressed or frustrated. Am wondering: is this it?! Do i face a lifetime of being cursed at, verbally abused when thing get rough, etc? Im tired, and am not sure, even with the assurances of great supporters like Melissa that it IS possible to have a positive and non abusive relationship on a regular trying.. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and make sure to spend some time rejoicing in the fact that you are going to be a momma!! It is a blessing, a wonder, and a joy to have a baby- enjoy it and dont let yourself be cheated out of that aspect of this joyous event (even when everything else seems so hard! Big hugs your way!!).

Ended Wit, My husband says

Ended Wit,

My husband says our marriage is over. Divorce. Done. It all started when I asked to put his granddaughter's stuffed bear off the middle of the couch (put it away) until she comes to visit. (We live in a very small town house and our granddaughter is here about once every 2 to 3 months.) He spiraled................ I was terrible. He associated so many negative things to such a small request (baggage) It happened to be on Mother's Day and boy did my Mother's Day suck. By the next day I was really angry and said some pretty ugly things to him. (I keep my mouth shut and walk carefully and need to as you can see with the Teddy Bear). Anyway, now he is divorcing me. Has this happened before? Yes. Did he follow through? No.  People fight, make mistakes, hurt one another's feelings, etc. Usually it is not accompanied by huge levels of drama. It doesn't last for weeks or never go away. There is only one  person  in this relationship that says, "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I'll try to do better. Can we kiss and make up?" it's me. And usually I get a lecture yelled at me about how awful I am. Never once a gracious response. NEVER. He stays angry for days, weeks, months and hyper-focuses on what I've done wrong. He is never wrong, never apologizes and all the problems in our marriage are my fault.  I take 50% of the responsibility for the problems in our marriage and 100% responsibility for my behavior. Did I scream and yell periodically in other relationships? No. It's his AAD behavior I'm angry with, not him. He has absolutely no insight into his role.

The advice you've received is sound and I've taken it myself (Non ADHD Spouse at Wit's End). I told him I don't want a divorce and will keep my marriage vows. I also said I would not contest the divorce and will be cooperative. I will not do a thing to help him in this. I live my life, try to stay away form him in our small home (his anger fills a room without or without him making a sound. He's not speaking to me until he's yelling at me). If he follows through he follows through. If he doesn't, he doesn't. I just can't be a part of the drama. It exhausts me. When I finally end up yelling and being a part of the drama, it get's 1000 times worse and we have been dancing this dance for 3 years.

Focus on life one day at a time.  I can laugh it off when once in a while one of my college students blames me for their failure, but when my husband does it I get defensive and caught up in the dance.  I fuel the fire so to speak.  If one of my college students wants to pass, they ask for help and work hard..... no matter what there professor does or doesn't do. If my husband values the marriage, he'll do what he has to do and stop blaming me. I'm wife #4, so I wasn't so smart in the first place to think I'd be any different.

Good luck and (((((hugs)))))


This is my life too

Hi there. I am just joining this discussion now but I thought I'd chime in since I am in the same boat.

We do not have children, but we were right at the point where we would start trying and he had a major crisis.  He filed for divorce but never left the home, the bed, my life.  I convinced him to see a therapist and psychiatrist. He was diagnosed with ADHD and depression. When he was on his meds, he changed for the better. Then he went off them and the nightmare continued.  He found a place to stay and goes back and forth between home and there.  He comes home every night for dinner and sometimes sleeps in our bed.  I can almost predict his pattern. He came home for a week last week. Once things started to get comfortable, he left again.  It is like he catches himself being content, then rebounds and runs the other way.  It took me a while to realize that fixing him is impossible.  All I can do is react to his behavior. So when I know he is coming over, I busy myself.  I don't give him all of the comforts of having a wife. The more I do this, the more he comes closer.  It is scary because you think that by loosening the grip he will slip away.  But the exact opposite happens.  He begins to miss you and he begins to wonder why you seem distant. 

I see a therapist on my own, but I also found a great couples therapist who specializes in ADHD. The appointment is in a week but I have not yet asked him to come.  I am waiting for the right moment.  He accepts his ADHD but he does not realize how much it impacts relationships.  He "gets" that it impacts his work and organizational abilities. But he needs to see that it has changed our dynamic from that of a loving couple to that of a mother/child one.  I need a safe environment with a neutral party to share with him these thoughts. I think if he starts to see how much the ADHD has contributed to the dysfunction, then perhaps he will start to realize that this is fixable. We have been best friends for 11 years. He has run every time a major transition in our lives occurs.  I know this is the biggest of them all- children. 

So the best advice I can give you is to remain cool and calm.  Try your hardest to appear "over it" when he comes around.  The look on my husband's face when he comes over and I am busy doing something, or when he learns I did not wait for him to eat priceless.  He can't handle it!  And it takes minimal effort. Granted, it is tough to continue it and not to grab him and hug him when he goes to leave. But trust me, it works.  Trust your gut, no matter what he says.  Actions speak louder than words.

I can relate

I have been best friends and living  with a thirty year old man who has ADHD/depression/OCD. Weve known eachother for 11 years, lived with eachother for a total of four. I have two children from a previous marriage, and things were going very well for a long time. I seemed to always be the girl that I was sure that he loved, and was treated with respect, caring and dignity. Everything started to change this last six months or so. Verbal abuse began, calling me terrible names, arguing constantly, he began to break dishes, household things, telling people that I was crazy. I really couldnt understand what was going on, he had always been so kind. But the OCD began to take hold in the form of repetitive speaking and words, and the ADHD with forgetting things, poor communication, not being able to tidy up after himself (not that he ever did) and pushing me away with the verbal abuse. I told him that if it continued, I would ask him to leave. He would always say he wants to make things better. We did try, but after one blow up and another and another and another, I finally had him take all of his things and move out. He has since been very clear that he wants no contact from me whatsoever. Which, I know is in the best interest of everyone, my eight year old son and him had a very solid bond, though he began to be irritable with him the last few weeks. I do believe that it is over, because I cannot take care of him anymore. Financially he never paid a dime in rent, never helped with bills, which seemed very selfish. I think that no matter how much you love someone, and I really did love him, the love and care you have for yourself should far surpass that if someone is treating you poorly. He told me to not speak to his family, etc though through them I know that he seems to be doing really well moving on. I guess the time just came. Also, something that was very hard on me is that one day we would be close, and affectionate, the next he would tell me not to be so in love with him. His actions rarely matched his words. Is there any insight in to this?

insight from ADD mom

Hi Ended Wit,

Sherri and Lulu are right.  And hopefully, he will turn around when given enough space to realize what he's done.

Pregnancy scares a LOT of husbands, so right off the bat it is a common thing, then you throw in ADHD and you have an even more intense situation.  All my life I thought I would NOT have children.  I never babysat when I was a teenager - the responsibility terrified me and there was no money in the world that would have made it worth it to me.  My husband and I were together for 7 years before we got married.  he told me that his life would not be complete without children.  I told him I did NOT want children and could not promise that I would EVER change my mind.  He married me anyway, and I still didn't have any intention of having any children.  I could SEE how much work it was.  I would see moms struggling on public transportation with the stroller, the diaper bag, the screaming baby, the messes...  I found babies neither cute nor interesting in any way. They kind of creeped me out, actually!  I knew that being a mother would mean cooking, cleaning, watching the kids & keeping them safe, and disciplining them ALL AT THE SAME TIME WITHOUT SCREWING ANYTHING UP.  I knew that my independence would be gone forever.  I knew it was something I just could.not.handle.   But suddenly at 35, I wanted a family.  Biological clock???  who knows...

Fast forward to my first pregnancy:  I was terrified.  So terrified that at one point while 8 months pregnant I had a panic attack.  What if I couldn't handle it?  What if I didn't love the baby?  I didn't 'feel' a connection to this little person that was about to take over my life.  I was not 'glowing'.  I'm sure if I were a man, I would have run away.  But I could not run away from my own body.  My husband tried to calm me down as I sat crying, shaking and throwing up on the couch.  Needless to say, once my daughter arrived I loved her instantly and the fear was gone.  But motherhood has not been easy for me.  I had doubts about having a second child, because I worried again if I could handle it.  A week after my second daughter was born I was back in the hospital.  I had a headache and my blood pressure had soared to 181/103.  I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, (Pregnancy induced Hypertension) I was flabbergasted that it was possible to have this AFTER the baby was born.  The OB said it was pretty uncommon, but it was the only explanation since it had been too long after surgery for it to have been caused by the epidural.  I was given magnesium overnight in the hospital (awful, awful stuff!) and sent home.  But my blood pressure remained super high for days.  It was then that I realized that I was panicking at the responsibility of TWO children.  I felt helpless because I had a two year old to try to keep up with, but could not lift more than 8 lbs because i'd just had a C-section.  My new BABY was almost 9 lbs, how was I going to avoid lifting her????.  My mother was in town to help me, but had to leave after a few days and I worried I couldn't cope while my husband was at work.  About a week before DH2 was born i'd stumbled across a book in the library called "Depression is a choice" by A.B. Curtiss.  While my mother was still in town, I was able to read it and it helped immensely.  Curtiss is a cognitive therapist, and has struggled all her life with manic depression.  She is anti-medication - I believe however that medication is a powerful tool for both depression and ADHD - and offers a lot of insight and inspiration on how to manage depression yourself.  Finally, I was able to calm down and get my blood pressure down just by 'choosing' to embrace my new situation instead of freaking out about it.  I had been hiding in my room in bed while my mom watched my 2 year old and she'd bring the baby to me for feedings.  Friends were bringing dinner for us.  Finally I got out of bed, joined my mom in the living room with my daughters, got out the guitar and sang some songs for them, cooked a simple dinner..... As soon as I stopped BEHAVING like a hospital patient my blood pressure stabilized.  I was overjoyed that I was able to 'treat myself'....  After a while I started to think maybe it was not just depression, but ADHD that I'd been struggling with all my life.  It's been a slow process, but I finally got medication for it and so far it's really helping.  Although, medication alone won't do it.  You have to actively CHOOSE to change.  If you are sitting on the couch playing computer games all day and don't want to change, the Adderall will simply give you higher scores.  It will not get you off the couch.

Many times in my life I've pushed opportunities and people away from me only to realize later that i completely misunderstood the whole situation or even my own feelings.  Then I would grieve for YEARS sometimes over my stupid behavior.  I had no idea I was ADHD until a year or so ago.  I had always suspected I had it, based on my inability to do well in school or get organized, but I had no idea there are so many behavioral/emotional repercussions as well.  I bet your husband is going through a lot of this himself and the baby coming is making things worse.  I'm thinking there's a good chance if he divorces you and leaves he will regret it intensely when he realizes his mistake.  You need to let him make that mistake if it comes down to it.  If you push to 'fix' him, Lulu and Sherri are right:  he will BELIEVE it's all your fault.

Please take care of yourself, keep your friends and family close and check in here with us!

lots of hugs to you!!!

You're correct

You are absolutely correct in what you're saying. He does think that his ADHD symptoms are me- or at least that I don't "like him for him" and someone else will. He thinks that me having urged him to read about ADHD and accept his disorder is me telling him that he's broken.

I tried to explain to him that like an alcoholic unwilling to admit they have a disease and treat it- he could divorce me and find someone else who would support his "alcoholism"- but that isn't finding someone who loves him and wants him to be healthy- it's finding someone who will enable him not to be.

I'm exhausted of trying to have a reasonable conversation- even about the pregnancy- everything that we discuss just turns into him telling me "just serve me already!".

A few nights ago he came over late at night and was telling me about how he can't turn his feelings for me off (and being affectionate)- but then refuses two days later to talk to me in a reasonable way without shutting down and reverting to telling me how much he's ready to be rid of me and get a divorce. How I make him feel horrible.

I feel like he's just using me for attention and affection- or testing the waters to see exactly how hooked I am to him and how much he can cast me out and reel me back in. He says that he's not sleeping well since he's been gone and that he's been extremely stressed out- the only night he says he slept well was when he came to see me (but insists that he's happier now that he's gone). It's an emotional rollercoaster. He's angry- but says that he's forgiven me; he just wants to be done. I don't think he even can identify his anger- much like the rest of his adhd symptoms- it doesn't exist; it's all me.

And throughout all of this- he's not even stopping to consider the stress that he's putting on me (and this pregnancy). How can I expect him to in any way be there for his child when he can't see two inches in front of his face about his own disorder? I feel hopeless; discarded. He's not broken- he's right about that, but I just might be- at least my faith that he will ever understand what he's doing or stop being so hurtful is broken.

Wow..had to go back and make

Wow..had to go back and make sure I didn't post that and forget I had...

"I don't like him for him" "someone else will" "I am accusing him of being broken"....all classic lines. He's very unhappy with himself and he's deflecting the blame on you. Stop being his target. *DISCLAIMER* this is all my opinion based on my own personal experience dealing with this exact kind of 'hot and cold' stuff. If you get angry that you feel I am generalizing...don't bother cussing me about it..I won't read or respond....

When I told you that everything you read sounded just like my life, at certain points in time, I am not kidding. He is doing the 'hot and cold' act with you because he is feeding his own need to feel you still want him...and then when he sees that you're still 'needy', he doesn't want you. It is a sick, vicious cycle that leaves you feeling like crap about yourself and even more confused. IF YOU LET HIM, he will continue to mess with your mind like this...and let me venture a guess..he seems the most 'normal' when he's wanting your 'affections'...and almost immediately it is back to the "just serve me already".

When my husband is going through these dark times, he HAS TO HAVE AN EMOTIONAL PUNCHING BAG to be able to stand himself for what he knows he is doing to his family, and most likely (or so it seems after he comes out of the 'darkness') HATES HIMSELF for doing. EVERY.SINGLE.BAD.THING he says to you is just his trying to deflect blame so that he can somehow try and live with himself.

PLEASE stop making yourself available to him for this kind of crazy $h!t! It will NOT stop until you remove yourself from it, tell him to leave you alone, and let him deal with his own 'stuff' without having you to blame and jerk around emotionally. I have lived this life. I have been through it FOUR times now. I learn to be a little stronger each time, but this time I was absolutely ready to just walk away. I shut down. I shut him out. I was ready to walk away because he was back to blaming he for EVERYTHING again (I didn't respect his feelings, I didn't accept him for who he is, I just wanted to control him). A) No, I didn't respect his feelings...I respected nothing about him...because I was angry that he was checking out of our family. B) I do not have to accept things about him that are hurtful...just because it is easier for me to accept it than for him to change it. C) I was trying, once again, to control him through manipulation and threats and hurtful words. So I simply just let him be. I admit this was the mildest of the 4 times as far as how ugly he tried to be to me, but the episode back in fall of 09 he literally tried to bury me with his "you don't deserve me, just move on without me" and "please don't divorce me, I just need some time to sort through all of this."..calling me horrible names one minute, begging me just to talk to him the next...wanting sex...but had moved out. It is all so painfully familiar.

He is messing with your mind ("I can't sleep since I left, but I did sleep when I came to see you"..."I am so happy now that I'm gone").

I will say this...he probably does not know what he is feeling from one minute to the next. He is dragging you into his 'out of control ADHD hell' and he will continue to do so until you put a stop to it. This 'spiral' went on for MONTHS the last time my husband went through it...and for about 8 weeks this past time...because I finally removed myself from his crosshairs and told him I was going on with my life, refused to listen to his rambling and incoherent crap that appeared merely to be just to hurt me, and that I hoped he decided he needed help before it was too late.

You are letting him cross boundaries that are causing you to be confused, hurt, and feeling worse about things than you already do. It isn't fair. If he wants to 'talk' then tell him to e-mail you. If he wants to 'meet' then meet at Starbucks for coffee. His late night visits are feeding his only needs (to know that you're still there for him) and then he's giving NOTHING in return. Again, you can be supportive "I Love you, but I really am not up to listening to you blame me for everything. I am going to have to get off of the phone with you"...without being his punching bag. He is confused. He is scared. He is unraveling. Until you jump off of the merry-go-round, he'll continue to drag you right along with him. The best chance your marriage has is to give him a chance to "miss you".

Sherri, I'm definitely not


I'm definitely not thinking that you are generalizing. I honestly want to know and understand the most that I possibly can about this situation that I am going through. My husband has left before during fights- for a day, sometimes three- or walk out on a discussion for 8 hours and then pretend nothing has ever happened.

This current situation (him being gone a month) is completely new to me and I have to admit the entire thing has thrown me off considerably. Right now- I'm trying to wrap my head around the gravity of the situation and really trying to understand his ADHD in general. I've done lots of scholarly research (medical studies, etc) but until reading Melissa's book- I never realized how integrated his ADHD is/was in our daily life!

I GREATLY appreciate everything that you are saying and all of your feedback. I know that I am making some mistakes in my communications with him at this point and I am trying to listen and learn the best ways of navigating his ADHD and my current emotional state.


All great advice...key words

All great advice...key words are "maintaining boundaries" no matter how hard it is to follow through. I know it feels good to have him come over at night- you miss him, and are hoping some sense of normalcy/connection comes back. But the main thing is through all this process, you maintain your emotional safety (whether or whatever time YOU choose to see him). It took me a long time to get that in my head, because there is that hope that maybe this partner whom you love and care about would not WANT to mess with you, be unkind, etc all on their own accord. But I have come to realize that when the adhd comes full swing (and this is relatively new, he was not this severe through most of our relationship), he just does not seem to be able to get it...just reacting and unyielding in the blame and rude comments. I have been walking away with a "I am not going to engage with you when you are in reacting mode", and trying to stand my ground, even as he stamps his feet, curses at me, and yells "controlling". At the same time I am trying HARD not to be controlling...the fine line between stating what YOU NEED versus taking over can, i have to admit, be strained sometimes for me...but Im doing it. And it helps to let him know that- that he still has a say in things but can not at the same time intimidate me to keep me from saying mine... Its a work in progress- especially when you want this "dance" to be done with an overall good, positive feeling on both sides. There is NO right or wrong thing in this, as long as you strive to keep yourself emotionally intact and safe. In the meantime, you should be planning, moving on - thinking plan B even as you know it may or may not be needed. Economic back up? Family support? Government help? Get informed, there us a ton if info out there and if you do, you will feel a little more in control of your life--and that will feel great. Try to let life be good for YOU whether or not your husband is in angry reacting mode or Im desperate and falling apart mode. You dont have to agree ti be on the rollercoaster even as you choose or not to continue this relationship. YOU do have a say in things, even if things seem like it spirals out of control sometimes... Yes, i saw and still do sometimes get the 4 am stress and panic feelins that would pull me into depression if I let it. I try hard not to by texting, writing, planning...whatevee- in other words, I try to give myself a break. Dont,EW, second guess yourself- if it feels right, then you are doing all the right things for you for whatever the moment seems to bring.

Oh boy.... the hot and cold....

This is excruciating to read because I did the same $h!t myself.  Granted, I was in my 20s and it was a much smaller scale (not married, not pregnant) but I recognize that pattern.  Of course, i didn't know I was ADHD nor did I know WHY i was doing it.  I was not consciously manipulating anyone, I just had these intense feelings and impulsively would act on them and then feel terrible, and then it would start over.  I was MISERABLE at work and in every aspect of my life and had NO IDEA what was wrong with me I just knew SOMETHING was wrong with me all my life because i just couldn't get my $h!t together.  I have an aunt who was a school teacher who told me she thought i was ADD. I agreed i probably was, but because she described it as a learning disability, I thought I could overcome it with will power.... someday.

My husband didn't tell me he thought I was ADHD - I came to it on my own and did some research then finally, at my wits end this winter I went to a doctor about it and got diagnosed.  If my husband HAD been pushing me to get tested/go to a doctor about it there is NO doubt in my mind I would have felt broken.  And honestly... well... I DO feel broken.  My brain doesn't work the way it should.  Isn't that broken by definition?  If you buy a toy and press the blue button and it says, "RED!" you're gonna take it back to the store.  Yes, I know we say, "our brains just work differently" but when society is built around the brains that are NOT like yours... well... it's gotta get fixed.  So I take enough Adderall to send an elephant into cardiac arrest.  And it helps a little.  i need to learn more ways to organize/manage time, and have books... but reading is difficult for me so it's slow going.  The most important thing though is realizing that all the crazy emotional/relationship stuff was due to ADHD.  I am textbook ADHD.

The only thing that ever snapped me out of that behavior was him basically saying "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Take care of YOU and the baby.  Try not to get into a fight.  Keep your voice neutral and matter of fact when explain your boundaries (don't bother me late at night/whatever).  If he comes looking for affection the day after telling you he's happier without you, show genuine confusion.  "Huh?  what're you doing?"  if he says he misses you/can't sleep without you etc. etc. just say, 'well that's swell, but I don't think this is a good idea if you want that divorce.  Goodnight."

Just my 2 cents.  It worked on this ADHDer.


First I want to say WOW! Just WOW. Thank you for being so honest about your ADHD and the things it has made you do and ways it has made you behave. Please believe me when I say that I (non-ADHD) have many regrets about things I have said and done throughout my life as please don't feel like you're 'broken'..we ALL have our own demons. My sympathy lies with you, my husband, and anyone else suffering from ADHD who is TRYING to learn to do things 'differently' after the ADHD diagnosis and self-awareness. I know it does not come easy. Most of my frustration comes because my husband does not seem to be willing to admit that he CANNOT 'beat' his ADHD or 'control' his ADHD on his own. He is convinced having the diagnosis gives him the power to 'handle' it 'on his own'...and this comes on the heels of a complete shut down and after 3 months of him checking out of his marriage and family. You gave me a lot of 'validation' (whether your intent or not) with your response. I did not mean to cause anyone pain, and I know my frustration for EndsWit's situation is obvious, because I lived it and I KNOW what is happening and, as someone said, this falls under the "should never happen" category

You are so right in that the only way I can ever seem to maintain any type of sanity and get my husband to stop using me as an emotional punching bag is to just say "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn". It is VERY hard for me to get to that point...first I have to process the pain of 'once again losing him to ADHD'...then I have to do everything within my power to 'fix' the situation, making things 1000 times worse. Somewhere in the middle of it all he takes everything I have to give emotionally and stomps on it..only pretending to be 'normal' or to need me when he wants sex...and then leaves me to pick up the emotional pieces when he immediately emotionally walks away again. Literally remember a conversation we had right after my Daddy died. He and I were separated, but he came to stay at the house with me for a night. Much to my surprise (is he really THAT selfish?) he wanted sex. I didn't have the energy to fight him on it. Within just minutes he was talking about how he just could not come home, that he needed to learn to stand on his own two feet, that he wanted to keep his apartment for a while, etc. The next day, after he left, he called and asked if I wanted him to stay again the next night. I told him "no, my Daddy just died and you didn't help me last night, you made me feel worse!"

I am sorry if I made you feel bad, I honestly don't want anyone to feel bad, just know that how the non-ADHD spouse reacts in these situations makes SOOOO much difference in the intensity and duration of these 'visits to the dark side'. This has been my experience anyway. Your honesty really helps me accept that this is ADHD and not my husband...not personal...and not a reflection of his true feelings for me or desire to be with me.

shut-down etc.

Oh yes... the shut-down mode.  *sigh* boy....  

I know what the dark side is.  sorry about that.  that usually comes once I've caught a glimpse of how far I am from being 'normal.'  At least now I know what it is, but I still find myself there even though I should know better.  I guess it's the grieving phase still?

For me it is a kind of paralysis.  I freeze up and can't seem to do anything I need to do to move forward.  I may know what I've got to do... but just. can't. do. it.  Or I'll do it, but resist every step of the way.  like there's some invisible strings holding me back.   Or, sometimes I've done some great 'outside of the box' thinking but then forgot some major, major component that just shoots the whole thing down.  I can't remember who said this quote (it may have been Mae West?) but it seems to be perfect for ADHDers who are frustrated because they missed out on their potential:  "It doesn't matter if you have the biggest pr!ck in the world if you don't have the @$$ to push it with!"  Seeing other people achieve things logically by being able to focus and work hard day by day and promising yourself that you can do the same only to fail again... and again...  that will lead you to the Dark Side.  And the bumper sticker lied: there are no dang cookies there!

The desire to beat this on your own is a strong one.  I feel sheepish about needing 'brain candy.'  My husband asked the other day how i plan to explain it to our kids, because y'know, you don't want them talking about it at school....  I am just hoping by the time they need to know about it I will be able to establish good enough routines/behaviors that I won't need it.  wishful thinking?  Probably.  It's ironic:  I had friends in College who took lots of speed.  I never did because honestly, I looked at them and thought, "why would ANYONE want to be that hyper?  That looks exhausting!"  Little did I know if I HAD taken it back then, it would have CALMED ME DOWN and I'd have gotten MUCH better grades and would probably be well into a successful career by now.  It's funny too that since i've been 'getting better' it's almost like a game:  whenever I have an interaction with someone. as soon as I leave the room I feel like saying to myself, "Tee-hee-hee!  they TOTALLY thought I was normal!!!"

After I went to the ADHD & Marriage presentation I had a long talk with my husband I've realized that i've scared the crap out of him because he just feels I 'can't handle' stuff that needs to get done.  He is scared that he'll die, and I won't be able to deal with the kids on my own.   (he has this fear because his mom died at 48).  I also learned that i've misinterpreted pretty much every conversation we've ever had.  I know there is a huge difference with men and women and how ADHD affects us...  Your husband wanted sex - I really just can't imagine it at this point.  I just don't feel like I can have sex with someone who I know feels he can't trust me and doesn't really respect me... (and I know I've got a lot of work to do to earn that respect) or someone who's just scolded me for the 3,450th time for forgetting something or leaving something open.  I just feel awkward and yucky.  I've told him this and also said that at the same time, I don't want him to think i'm withholding sex to be spiteful or something... it's such a stupid quandry. 

Ellamenno, your post was so

Ellamenno, your post was so articulate and informative..I cant even tell you. I have seen and heard so much the same exact sentiments from my husband.. It hit me to the core. Many people with adhd have been successful- so the ability to pull it together on some level must be possible..As the nonadhd spouse it is so frustrating seeing and hearing this dynamic and not being allowed "in". Hell, I cant even find the entrance door. My husband tunes in lately and we do talk more, but throw in a busy or stressful day (that happens like everyday), and the connection gets ignored and I am shut out again. While I understand that sometimes shut down happens because he HAS to focus elsewhere to pull it together, it is disheartening to always be taken for granted- at least that what it feels like. So that dang balance thing, it gets us everytime..

shut-down, assumptions etc.

A huge mistake a lot of us ADDers make is the assumption that because our non-ADD spouse is able to function in the day-to-day stuff requiring concentration and organization without screwing it up that it's easy for them, and therefore they must not mind it so much.  I had an uncle who actually said, out loud, "I thought women LIKED to do that stuff."  When my aunt complained that she did all the cooking/housework/evening and weekend childcare even though BOTH of them had full-time jobs.  my uncle was genuinely perplexed when she left.

<<Many people with adhd have been successful- so the ability to pull it together on some level must be possible..>>

Yes, that is true.  But sometimes instead of 'the ability to pull it together' the successful ADDer simply has a very good support staff.  My father for example, is a retired attorney.  He was very, very successful and is incredibly smart.  But he cannot spell to save his life, cannot type, cannot balance a checkbook etc. etc.  When he was a kid his mother did everything for him.  When he went to college, ditto:  he went to a university in town.  He married my mom and SHE did everything for him (she is also, i suspect ADD, but has excellent coping mechanisms in place and always got the bills paid).  Once he was out of law school (during which my mother worked and also took care of all household stuff) he got a job and had a secretary.  The further along he got in his career he had more and more staff to deal with the boring details he can't handle.  Now he is retired and driving my mother nuts.  He has taken over 3 rooms in their house with all of his 'projects.'  they are so cluttered the doors barely open. 

Your perspective is

Your perspective is invaluable!

I have a lot of trouble with "letting go" and not trying to "fix" - I know that these are my own personal demons. I've dealt with an extreme fear of abandonment my entire life (which has exhibited itself more in a defense mechanism of "I need no one")... primarily due to the benefit of growing up with a single alcoholic parent (who yes- left me places- with friends I didn't know- with family- whatever was easiest when she needed to "check out"). She did not/ does not remember doing any of this- so accountability was an expectation that I lost with her and therefore fought the hardest for when it came to my personal relationships- although to be honest I never enforced it because I felt that my "standards" were too high because of my own emotional baggage. That I was being unfair.

In fact- my fear of abandonment has probably been a huge enabler for my husband to not deal with his ADHD- when he's left for a day- or a few hours after a fight- I cannot keep myself from falling apart and begging him to love me again (to not discard me). I hate myself for that- I blame him for exploiting it, but mostly I just feel like I am nothing (because at that point, I've lost my dignity and I've lost any hope of his respect).

As an individual- I've polarized my husband to a large extent because I am so very hard on MYSELF. I'm 27 and went to college late in life- but hold a full time job (that I've been in for 7 years) and go to school (where I panic if there is a possibility that I might achieve anything below a 4.0). In short- letting go and failing is unforgivable of myself- and despite the fact that I do not push that onto my husband (intentionally)- I still think that he sees my inability to accept failures in myself and assumes that I feel the same way towards him.

Despite having a stand-in parent who struggled to do as much as she could do for me- I have always been extremely headstrong, independent, opinionated, and even considered "commanding". Although- this situation has cracked that facade that I built for myself and I now realize that despite telling myself my whole life that I don't need anyone, that I would never get attached to someone enough to be hurt, that I would never put myself in a position to be let down (abandoned)- I am nowhere near as strong as I'd pretended myself to be. And quite frankly- that intense need to "have it together" is a self-hinderance.

I explain this because I want to impart something that I feel is very important- we're all scared of failure- we all feel like we don't fit- and there is no perfect.

People with amazing intellectual talents for memory, or cognitive abilities that change the face of advanced physics- despite all of their accolades- the "general" society still perceives them as being socially awkward and some even considered autistic because their focus is not the same as "everyone else". Different is not bad- different accountable for many discoveries that advance the world. Thinking differently is a gift. I say this as a non-adhd spouse- despite the frustrations of ADHD- my husband being able to think outside of the box I live in has at times been the ONLY thing that has kept me from cracking under the pressure of being "normal".

envy/assumptions/inner strength

Hm... well, along with the assumption we sometimes have that non-ADDers can manage more easily than we can and therefore don't mind doing tasks we can't do well is a certain level of envy of that ability.  With envy often comes resentment.....  "...grrrr.... he's got a great job, he is doing really well at it, he can function on 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night for months on end AND he knows where his keys and phone are at all times.... man, what a JERK!!!!!"

Being socially awkward - or socially annoying - sucks too.  (not all of us have the flipside of changing the face of advanced physics etc!) I do get a certain amount of pride, (I guess that's the right word?) for passing for normal these days.  The other day I went to a reception at my husband's work.  I shook people's hands, remembered to ask questions that would get them to talk about themselves, did a pretty good job at remembering names and ages of their children.  There was a jazz trio playing in the corner for 'atmosphere' and I was dying to ask the percussionist about an instrument he was playing that i'd never seen before, but I didn't.  In the past, I probably would have wandered over there, struck up a conversation with the guy, learned way more than anyone needs to know about the instrument he was playing, would have probably asked to play it myself, then would have probably sung a number with the band (I did some jazz gigs in my 20s), insisted on staying way longer than my husband wanted to & would have had a glass of wine too many.  By the end of the evening he would have been totally embarrassed and convinced that I was flirting with the percussion guy. ( Why else would I have been talking to him for so long?  Nobody needs to know that much about a freakin' drum, right?)  But.... I avoided disaster and his colleagues don't think I'm annoying.

I'm not sure EW, but it seems like you two have a lot of different dynamics working here if you've got strength within you for the success at your job & your grades, but also that fear of abandonment.  I think the fear will abate if you take the strength you have to succeed and believe you are strong enough to stand on your own and make it clear to your husband that you ARE strong enough to stand on your own if he chooses to leave.

"My brain doesn't work the

"My brain doesn't work the way it should.  Isn't that broken by definition? ". No, I don't agree with that at all. Different is just different, the thing is your challenges present in a way that you have had to adapt by taking meds that affect your thinking-- it makes it feel so much more personal than if you had to take insulin for diabetes or hormone replacement for thyroid dysfunction. Are those people broken or defective? No, of course not! They are people with those particular physiological anomalies... I have a bum back, flat feet, and a lousy memory at times. You are not the adhd and the adhd is not you, though it has certainly given you a unique perspective to life-- and though it may not feel like it, like EW said, it seems to give you (and my DH plus others) a "superpower"- ability to think out of the box, to see and be aware of so many things at once (whereas I have been clueless to my environment in a less effective nonadhd way, lol!! Big QUESTION: I have to ask because it sounds like you have come so far: are things better now than when you were in your 20s? Is your anger and impulsivity under some control (as per your husbands point of view?)? One of my bestfriends also has adhd and she has also reached a place of some stability but, i would guess she would say, she still has her ups and downs. The "issue" is that the meds are not enough when the coping skills that developed over time were not conducive to being in a family/couple relationship (but maybe worked great when people are single.) Organizational skills are definitely an imporrant skillset- so is reading, but you know what--I think it is the whole package, not one or two aspects of your management of the adhd symptoms that get you to where you want to go (in other words HAPPY)... But i am just guessing. I just wish that that terrible miserable feeling of hate/discontent of life and so many aspects of it would go away for my husband..not just for his sake but for ours, his family. Ellamenno what worked for you?

no superpowers here...

I don't ever feel like the 'outside the box' thinking is a superpower.  Sure, I've had some great ideas and even implemented some of them and it turns out great but I would trade it any day to be able to function like a normal human being.  All my life, at work, school, even in my own kitchen while throwing my own dinner party, i've gotten overwhelmed by stuff that seems obvious to normal people and have had reports, papers, books or a spatula yanked from my hands with an exasperated sigh from a normal person saying, "Just let ME do it!"  It's humiliating, and exhausting. 

Yes, I would say that things are better now than when I was in my 20s.  I was a MESS in my 20s.

Dunno if it's growing up, or the meds. 

More later - My 10 minute time limit is up!


I'm lucky I survived my 20's... The as you put it "Exasperated sigh" and "The Look" are all too familiar as well... What's worse is now I notice them more often.

Ouch! Guilty as charged...

As the undoubted giver of that sigh, I am wincing as I acknowledge that sound. But then, we didn't know about the adhd then, and yeah, it CAN be irritating some of these adhd behaviors. But that is not to be confused with who you are intrinsically- as long as you do the same for me! I admit it, while I can have my own "superpower of organization" about some things (verging on anality or if I was adhd- call it hyperfocused) ... But then other things like cleaning, well not so much (not a pig, just not Mrs. Clean!)... The point is there needs to be a complement of duties, and when that is not possible a compromise... But all that takes cooperation,communication, motivation...and that can be tough on both sides. Sort of makes me think of the men are from Mars Women are from Venus.. But with an Adhd spin... Have to run, more thoughts later...

Good point...

About not knowing of the ADD when "Sighs" were given. They are also a coping mechanism or Auto-Reaction based on experience. These are the hardest things to fix. Like at the first sign of a familiar situation you can follow it to the predetermined conclusion. Write the script, so to speak... On my side it is the same... I avoid mentioning Anything that fires-off this Auto-Reaction, because I know it's coming no matter what.

Example: I had a gift card to an online store. I used to purchase very impulsively for electronics and car mods. I am "Better" than I used to be, but because of the past, when I ordered two performance mufflers I did not mention it, because she does not like me spending money on my car (Auto-Mad so to speak :-), but the mufflers were covered by the gift card, plus $12. Sure enough, I was Pre-Mad because I knew she would be mad when she saw the box. As predicted, she was mad when she saw the box. She asked if I would kindly tell her what it was and I said mufflers and she grumbled something back and walked off without letting me say a word. The next day she asked how much were these mufflers and I said they were covered by the gift card, then she said "NO how much?" I told her they here $53 each and she said nothing else... Sigh...

I understand that it takes a long time to over-come these learned behaviors because I have to show more examples of these type of Net Zero transactions and not the Gift Card + $100 for the chrome mufflers like deals in the past.


Very fine line there

Very fine line there though...if the GC was yours (gift I assume?) then why would she care what you got with it? Isn't that the point of a gift?

Now, I have had boxes (and even bills for $700) come to my house for things that I never knew were coming or knew anything about. The bill for $700...I have never been told what he got with it (used Bill Me Later through Paypal) and am still trying to pay it off over a year later. (I admit to paying NOTHING on it for months because I was so furious). One of his main issues is spending I can relate to your wife's frustration on some level. However, I disagree with the "parent/child" way she handled it...and I really disagree IF the GC was for you and was a gift. It isn't like you took $100 from the bank that was meant for in this situation, I would feel she needs to pick her battles.

My Gift Card...

The gift card was given to me for helping a family member with their taxes. I know... Believe it or not I am pretty good with data :)

The surprising thing is that I've had the card for a month and not ordered anything. Two years ago this never would have happened... I have two hobbies really, cars and electronics. These are selfish things for me I've been told over and over. When she spends her money it's on things for the house... So for my birthday and Christmas I usually focus on a toy, the rest of the year I'm pretty restrained (If it's over $100 we talk about it) I don't do other things that many guys do. I NEVER go out with friends for a drink, no golf, not a hunter, NEVER gamble, so everyone needs a little fun money if it's in the budget, right? I've never said a word about anything she spends money on. I wish we could change the React before you hear the details, then talk about it way of dealing with things. Thanks for your wisdom Sherri :-)


What if you went and said

What if you went and said "Uncle Ralph gave me a GC to ??? for helping him with his taxes...would you mind if I get mufflers for my car?" 

You need to sit down, at a time of 'peace' and discuss this and say "it really makes me feel like I have no say so in my life". Our counselor said to my husband once "have you ever just told her that you feel like she's crossing a line by telling you that you can't do that?" and it was pertaining to him spending money on his daughter (my SD). I realized she was right...and although we didn't really discuss it, I started trying to come up with a compromise that would allow him to feel like he's helping her when he wants, but that doesn't put us in a bind with our own finances. Your wife's reaction was wrong. I recognize this in myself and have been working on this same thing for a very long time myself.

I recently saw where my husband spent $60 at the tobacco store...where he typically spends $30 for 2 weeks supplies. Immediately I wanted to send a text and 'ask'. I KNOW it makes him feel 'mothered' or 'fussed at' even when he does not appear to be 'mad' about it, but he does end up explaining himself a lot, and I don't want that dynamic in our marriage. So I said nothing, assumed it was just that he either got a little bit of cash back or he brought some flavorings or something and decided to let it go. This is very hard for me, but I care about not making him feel like a child...and I also don't want to assume the parent role.

DF's picture

Man Oh Man

YYZ we keep trading pages from our life story here:

"....I don't do other things that many guys do. I NEVER go out with friends for a drink, no golf, not a hunter, NEVER gamble, so everyone needs a little fun money if it's in the budget, right?......"

Ditto, but there's more going on here that I relate too:  "if it's in the budget".  I see where you also say:

"...When she spends her money it's on things for the house...." ->  My wife too.  Question for you is, Does she have something she'd rather spend her money on for herself?  I've taken my wife for granted for years in that regard.  I feel horrible about it.  I never saw the writing on the wall, I really didn't.  I did the things I liked doing when we met, but I didn't grow and adapt to a married life.  I'm not saying you're the same, I'm just pointing out my interpretation of why my wife is not so happy with me. 

A big problem for me that I always blamed things on, pre-diagnosis, is that I grew up without a father.  So when my oldest son got old enough to follow in my footsteps with his interests, I kind of further ignored my wife's needs and attended to his.  Man this week I've been really feeling like a poophead!  I'm seeing more things as they come up.....

My Dear Sherri - What you suggest about including our wives in our decision making process in regards to something so simple as a gift card...... it's a wonderful idea.  I really would like to do that and I'm working on it, but it's my impulsive side that sees something like a giftcard to "Men Only Store" that was given to 'me' and I don't see further than that.  I don't mean too.  Especially since we don't have the budget for much I know it would seem off-putting to make a purchase without her knowledge in advance.  I just don't always see my actions until I see her reaction - does that make sense?

I know my wife stresses over money, but I can't help right now.  Things that are emergencies for her, I've been trying to pay them and in doing so, I get behind.  I don't want her to stress anymore so I don't like to talk about money, but then neither does she.  I do wonder at the time of this writing if that's because she's tired of not knowing where I'm coming from financially.  I can't wait for my new job/paycheck to kick in next month so I can start to really budget our bills and take more of a lead.  I don't think she believes me and I've given her years of reasons not to.  But I'm determined to make it work and I will show her.  I have too.


I have asked her over and over about what would she like to get for herself. She has told me for years that she wishes she had a hobby, like my electronics and car. She has one now, and once or twice a month she goes to a painting class. She really enjoys the all day Saturday class and is quite good. But the old reactions to my things are pretty much the same. And when I work on my car or toy, I do it late at night or if she goes out of town I might do a project. I do not do my selfish items when I need to do something else...

YYZ, Does your wife have


Does your wife have any interest in learning how to do car projects?

I know this might seem ridiculous- but being the kind of girl who is just as likely to replace a thermostat as I am to sit down and enjoy a good book- might be worth asking. Any way it can be turned into an "us" activity and have the alienation removed?

Then again- everyone has to have a "me" moment.

Unfortunately not...

She does not want anything other than the car to work and likes it clean when possible... That's cool that you like car projects  :-)


My first car was cheap-

My first car was cheap- because it didn't run at all. It needed an entire replacement of the timing system because the original owner didn't realize the timing chain had become loose and then snapped and it hit the front timing cover enough that it eventually wore a hole in it (which of course did a lot more damage to the rest of the engine- but I was able to coax it to run a few more years). By nature I'm a problem solver- so I researched- bought a chilton's and a hanes manual and figured out exactly what makes a '90 sentra tick (well, more like what to do to keep it from ticking!).

After that- I just became interested in anything mechanical (to a fault)- I worked endlessly on a dryer until I finally called a repairman to come fix it- as it turns out, I bought a part that came with another part in a set- so I replaced them both. Unfortunately- the extra new piece was defective. He charged me 200$ and put a part I still had BACK on the machine.

Necessity is the best instructor. Humility comes in second.  

Very impressive!

I am not much of an auto mechanic, my dad is a mechanic who had his own shop for 32 years. I did oil changes, brake pads, but nothing too technical. I am more electrical and have been taking things apart and reassembling since I was 5. I like to figure out how things work and ended up as a programmer/SQL hack. I had a gun go out in my early HD model Big Screen and could not afford a new one, so I figured how hard could it be to replace a light gun. Sony did not make parts for the 4 year old tv (BS in my book) I found a company who made a replacement and put it all back together. A big Nuttin' happened when I turned it on. So I had to call a repair guy who came out a got it working. It turned out that the replacement gun shipped with a cracked circuit board. The tech said if the board was not cracked it would have fired right up! Success and failure at the same time. A $600 repair and the other guns were failing, so I had to get a new one anyway. I tried to save money, instead of rushing out to get a new one (Typical Upgrade Excuse), and ended up throwing $600 out the window. "E" for effort, right? I love your quote "Necessity is the best instructor. Humility comes in second." I'll leave you with one... "Anything worth doing is worth Over-Doing" :-)

I hope things improve for you.



If my husband got a GC to a

If my husband got a GC to a 'men only' store, I would look at him like he was speaking Greek if he asked me before using it. I was really only suggesting to YYZ that he mention the purchase BEFORE hand so maybe she feels a little more 'included' and a little less surprised to see the box arrive at the house. Maybe it is the element of 'not knowing' that irritates her. Either way, a GC is a gift..just as if Uncle Ralph brought him the mufflers straight out..and she shouldn't have been mad.

Tobacco Shop reaction...

My car is one of her triggers for sure. Sunday I went to go get an oil change. My car uses synthetic oil so it is a $90 job. That night I got the text you did not send asking "Why did it cost $90 for an oil change?" I was in the living room, not away from home. I responded explaining the synthetic oil is $90 for the change, but I can drive 3 times as many miles on this oil compared to the regular oil in most cars. No response... I did not act "Ticked-Off" because of spending more back in the day, but again, why not ask me in person? Text messages can be misinterpreted so easily.

Regarding the "Uncle Ralph" suggestion... We agreed a long time ago that when we received gift cards they were just that, gifts, just like Uncle Ralph had brought me the mufflers for a job well done. I don't talk about the things I do to my car because she thinks it's stupid because a car is just a car to her. I wish she would agree to go to a counselor together because we have not made much progress in a few key areas, like these examples and the whole weight thing... I know she needs to see a larger quantity of things from me that are not like the old days, so I will keep trying to show her.


me again

actually, come to think of it I was kind of still a mess in my early 30s....

As for the terrible miserable feeling of hate/discontentment with life....  I've noticed that even though the general cloud of that is still hanging around most of the time, what keeps it at bay is doing any small step that might lead to something that resembles a 'goal' or any action or accomplishment that might be considered a 'normal' thing to do.  for example finding an interesting job listing online, figuring out how to apply and then actually applying to work for said program.   Socializing with people I don't need to impress....

I'll let you know if i think of more!

Two more things...

I agree with the poster that said pregnancy does really scare some men, no matter how 'aware' they are that what they're doing could result in a pregnancy. I have a friend whose husband checked out on her during her pregnancy and he isn't ADHD. Add untreated ADHD to the mix ... well, you see what can result.

Also, during this last episode, there were some really big things going on with our son..some very hard decisions had to be made. I couldn't even have a simple conversation about ANY of it with him. He would shut me down, change the subject, say he had to get off of the phone, ignore texts, etc. I was more hurt by that than just about anything else. I DO believe what Melissa said, that they just CANNOT be there for us when they are unraveling, but his 'unraveling' has now resulted in him not being there for me when I was pregnant (for a good 2-3 months of it anyway), when my father died, and now when I really needed him to help me make some big decisions...and just be there for me emotionally for our son, he wasn't. These kinds of things are really hard to 'forgive' but I am trying. So, it doesn't surprise me that you cannot have a conversation with him about the is a huge reminder to him what he is doing. It makes him feel worse about himself, that's why he won't discuss it. It terrifies him. That's why he won't discuss it. He simply cannot deal with ANYTHING right now. Adding even a little crumb to the scales tips them in a way that sends them spiraling out of control. I agree...he isn't considering the stress he's putting you under...he can't. He just simply can't. That's why it is vital that YOU take care of you and put some space between the two of you so that he has to deal with his own stuff on his own. He is getting what he needs from you...just enough to keep this going indefinitely.

I feel like an idiot. Most

I feel like an idiot.

Most of my family has no real understanding of ADHD (not that he does either)- so I feel like I'm caught in a cycle of being so hurt by his actions and explaining his actions at the same time. They think I'm refusing to acknowledge what is going on. But trust me- I acknowledge it fully- the thought suffocates me.

Yesterday was extremely emotional day- its been a month since he left now and that's weighing heavily on my soul. I locked myself in a bathroom stall at work and cried for about 15 minutes, when I got home- same routine curled in a ball on the sofa crying for an hour.

Depression? Hormones? Just missing my spouse? Maybe all of it.

(Yes, still keeping up with therapy appointments, Doc says it's like grieving a death- but I'm the only one grieving.) When I go I'm told my husband didn't seem to really ever "invest" in the relationship... is that adhd or was it just never a priority?

He called several times yesterday and I couldn't bring myself to talk to him because I was so frayed. I didn't want to hear once again how much "happier" he is without me or why I haven't yet served him with divorce papers. Most phone calls or visits are interrupted anyway with "hey- I've got to let you go- that's my mom calling." Replaced by his mother? I remember when I was that important. He asked why yesterday had been such a bad day when I talked to him... I said "oh- you know, divorce, pregnancy- I think that's enough explanation".

I am not angry at any of this, I can't even bring myself to be angry... I just feel left behind. When he called again (call number 5 or 6) around bedtime last night I finally answered and was so absolutely exhausted that I know I was polite- but flat nonetheless.  

Amended: The calls were all because he was "worried" about me.

Sweetie, you are so far from

Sweetie, you are so far from being an idiot its not funny. If it makes you feel any better, I had all the same emotions- having just had a several months separation. Feelng stupid, not angry just dejected, sad sad crying hard all the time. 4am wake up. FeelIng alone, flat, no motivation. Depressed. The things that helped was reaching out to friends, going to my counselor, and coming to this web site. Trying to find my own strength, something hard to do because of my own baggage. But in a weird way, this misery has felt more "honest" than the repressed anger and resentment we had for so many years. That in itself has been a relief. Use this time to find yourself. With the rollercoaster craziness out of your house, and despite the sadness- use the time to find out who you are. What you want in life. Try to find the beautiful value of the person you are and the baby you are going to have. Find the truth: YOU WILL BE OK, NO MATTER WHAT YOU DECIDE TO DO as long as you honor yourself. Meditate (no really, it helps). Read codependent no more (gee with all of us who need this book at this web site maybe we can get a group deal!!). Be present (Jon Kabat-Zinn). Btw, your husbands comments are more than a little manipulative (where are the divorce papers, lets sleep together, heres my mom, etc..)- stay in your own protective place with your friends. Hugs Lady!!



Thanks for that.

Today I got: "I can't be with you because nothing I ever do is good enough" ...

I tried to explain "If nothing you do is good enough- Why am I fighting for our marriage? The only thing that isn't good enough is that you refuse to accept your ADHD's influence over your perceptions. You paint everything with "She hates me" and I'm sure that everything I've said or done will support that belief if you squint hard enough"

Then it became "I need to be alone and fix myself so I can't hurt anyone"....

All the while ignoring all of the supportive things I was trying to tell him about his character. It's like talking to a wall. A self-effacing deaf edifice.

I said "if you can accept that I do like you- if you're hearing this at ALL- stop and think about it. If I say I like you- but you think I don't- and you know that you have ADHD wherein you are getting this complex that nothing you do is good enough- Wouldn't freedom be found in quieting that voice that's telling you all of those negative things?"... to which he's responded "It's how I FEEL so it's true"

I said nasty angry things. Horrible angry things. I feel terrible for saying them- I know they don't help- that it doesn't "shock" his perspective as much as I hope it would. But I'm completely unraveling.

Someone at work told me today "I can see that you're in a lot of pain on the inside- I want to hug you". My response? Immediately back to the bathroom stall to hyperventilate and cry. I'm exhausted, I feel pathetic, and right now- I just want to hide. I know that none of those feelings should be acknowledged- that I should just brush them away and breathe through it- but I feel like folding this hand and stepping away from the gametable.

Again...translating his

Again...translating his comments..he's making himself out to be the victim. You're not going to 'convince' him of anything right matter how you word it, say it, or even if you scream and yell and say hurtful things. Just isn't happening. He is coming completely unraveled. Our counselor told me once...and it was a simple statement that grew to have such HUGE meaning..."if he's unraveling, and you start to unravel with him, he'll just unravel more". Believe it like your life depends on it. Imagine him right now with one big mouth and no ears or eyes. He sees nothing...he hears nothing...but he survives his misery by pointing out how he's such a victim in this situation.

This is so very classic. He's the victim. I do think he believes that nothing he ever does is good enough. He probably does also believe that if he's around you he will just hurt you. At the same time he's probably wanting to be with you, but feeling overwhelmed and wanting to run. He's working through it...let him..but don't be his sounding board or punching bag in the process.

You're right. It's

You're right.

It's difficult to really tell sometimes whether or not he's unraveling. Other than all of the conflicting behavior- he's maintained his need for autonomy from me.

I keep hitting this wall where I feel like if I don't say something I'm just letting my life fall apart- but then I realize that the conversations spiral far out of control (and into the boundaries of ADHD defensiveness, short temper, hurtful comments- then a few days later a cheerful "hey- I wanted to hear your voice"). 

He maintains this whole time "Sure- I love you. Yes I care about you. Sure I cared about our marriage- I just can't/won't go back"...although he "wouldn't take back" that he married me...

It becomes so clouded and I start wondering if I'm just unwilling to accept that he doesn't want to be with me or if this really is just a "dark side". I'm SPUN- and I know that disengaging is the best thing to do- step away, fortify myself for myself. Then I wake up at 4AM thinking "oh my god- how can I just let this happen? I'm pregnant- I need to find a way to fix this!"

Sometimes you get so spun around that you don't know where "0" is anymore.

And my family says "you just need to stop thinking about it"........

It also doesn't help that I miss him terribly!

You will not stop thinking

You will not stop thinking about love him and miss him. I've been through it 4 times now...and I hit the same wall even this last go around...where I would become overwhelmed with the urge to DO something or SAY something. I realized about 4 weeks into it that I was 'threatening' him with leaving just to 'shock' him out of it. I got angry. I said hurtful things I felt he "needed to hear". Then I woke up and realized that it was the same thing, over and over again...and it NEVER worked before, and I knew it wouldn't work this time either. I accepted it for what it was...and decided to work on ME and my reactions. If I felt that overwhelming urge coming to "just do something!" I would literally start talking to myself and going over in my head how I KNEW it wouldn't work, how I was only reacting out of fear, and finally got to where I could pretty much talk myself down from making a huge mistake each time. The more I told him how badly he was hurting me, the more distant he grew. The more I cussed and yelled and bitched, the more he withdrew. eyes. It is the only way you'll stop beating this dead horse..or trying to 'fix' it and making it worse. I finally said "life is too short, I love you, I am here if you want to try and work things out, but I cannot promise you I will be here tomorrow, and I cannot be responsible for your decisions or the consequences of those decisions. I am moving on with my life."

Let me try and clarify something..HE IS unraveling. Right now. This 'shut down' IS unraveling. It can go on for weeks (in my experience it lasts for at least 2 months if not 3 or more) Maybe, coincidently, that's about how long it takes me to gather my bearings, accept it, and say "F**K this!!" and start moving on with my ellamenno said, when he finally told her "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" all of the sudden she realized she DID give a damn. (I assumed that was what she was saying, anyway). There are not days of 'not unraveling' and then days of 'unraveling' is ALL unraveling..24/7. You'll know the difference if/when he isn't unraveling. Can you not see a huge difference in what he says, how he behaves, what his interests and priorities are vs. 2 months ago? 6 months ago? Not saying there weren't issues in the marriage, just saying he was at least PART of the marriage and wasn't dragging you by the hair through ADHD hell. I could be way off base, please correct me if I'm wrong.

-You cannot fix this. You cannot fix this. You cannot fix him. You cannot change his way of thinking. It is like trying to convince an elephant he's a mouse.

-The answers to your questions cannot be given right now. He cannot give them. Trust what you knew about your marriage before this happened and hold onto that when you wake up at 4 a.m. and panic. Chances are good that he does love you and does want to be with you. Chance are also very good that he does not love himself AT ALL right now.

-The person you're dealing with isn't your is a man who is overwhelmed and looking for an easy way out...he's scared and he's running. His brain is so overloaded right now that there is no room for anything else. You're dealing with ADHD..not your husband.

I hope and pray some of this helps...I feel your pain so much it's heartbreaking. I really feel that if you are able to pull some strength from your inner most being and just keep your chin up (and stop trying to fix him) that you're going to see a big change in him. (((HUGS)))



When I look back on the way

When I look back on the way he behaved before this (which coincidentally seems to be the same span of a medication change) - he did act differently. He's never treated me like this before (which is both scary and sobering).

Other things that have changed- prior to this he did not drink (maybe a beer once a month- he would lecture me if I went out and had two drinks and drove home). He does now. I don't know if this is "reinvention" or unraveling. He previously thought that drinking was pretty ridiculous and hated bars.

He's also become social media obsessed. He use to rarely post things- maybe once or twice a week- not so much anymore. Before he completely disconnected me (deleted any connections on social media that we had)- it was like a stream of consciousness- 2-3 posts an hour (about nothing- randomness).

He still does the work/gym thing- but beyond that I feel like everything has changed. His friends have tried to discuss this with him and he tells them to "mind their own business". It's not up for discussion with anyone. From what his family has indicated- that's the same response he's given them. I'm completely disconnected from his family now because they don't want to be involved (this is not to say I was ever close with them- in general they think I'm "too smart for my own good" and a "snob". is like they wake up is like they wake up one day and everything that seemed important to them is no longer important to them. My husband, too, drank 'excessively' (compared to times when he wasn't 'unraveling') during at least 2 of his 4 episodes. Turned his back on friends...wouldn't listen to their advice...and just lived a 'different' life for 6-8 weeks. ALL familiar to me too.

It happens in such a way

It happens in such a way that feel like you woke up abruptly one day and found that a comet has landed in your living room. You don't know how, and you don't know why- but you are immediately aware that:

A. Damage control is unavoidably necessary; somehow also completely useless. There's no way to keep the world from noticing that something is "off".

B. Despite every pretty lie you told yourself - the only thing that you know will be there tomorrow is you (albeit three shades paler and pink under the eyes).

YOU WILL BE OKAY. Right now,

YOU WILL BE OKAY. Right now, it is imperative to take care of yourself, your health, and your baby. Pink eyes or not, outside world perceptions or not. Ended wit, life does not hang on the fact of him coming back or not (though my gut feeling is this guy is not going anywhere). I sobered up too, to alot of realizations... And am walking a lot stronger now. You can too..

I know that the world will

I know that the world will still revolve no matter where he hangs his hat.

We were pregnant once before ( early in our marriage)- much like this situation- "it was a bad time" and I conceded- once all was said and done- he realized that was a mistake and was upset that I followed through. It took me about four years to get past that (we were both terribly broken- I was miserable with myself from a moral perspective)- only recently have I even been willing to discuss the idea of children... now he wants a divorce. Do I think it's all about the pregnancy? Not at all. Am I scared out of my mind about being a single mother (in a house I can barely afford without his income when I am the only one I'm responsible for- but cannot afford to do anything else with because I will ruin my credit taking any of the available options to get out of the house payment) - absolutely.

I miss him- but I am also completely overwhelmed by the things I am now having to deal with. It's not just that he's gone- though the grief of that fact is something you can only really understand if you've been there (and I know a few of you have). It's also that my entire life is now in question- Can I be a good mother- Can I afford taking care of a child, Can I afford the house- Can I afford to continue my education- can I raise a baby and still take classes. I'm having a hard time knowing which of the items I'm juggling can be dropped (at least for a few days) so that I can start to even chip away at a solution for the others. I know I am not the first woman in the world to go through this- but I also feel completely out of my depth.

Thats why God had women have

Thats why God had women have the babies- we are so often the can do people- the action planners...and that goes so often for women with adhd ( if my girlfriends w adhd are any indication). EW you bring up exceplent questions, and it all amounts to the aame thing: get your action plan together. its tough being a single mom, no question. But if it goes there, you will find a way, Im sure. Seek out other single moms, get their perspective.. It really helps.

doing it/having it all

Oh, EW....  I'm so sorry.  I recognize all the BS your husband is pulling and have had those feelings done those stupid things myself....  No one can accurately predict if he'll figure it out and get the symptoms under control.  My husband calls this phase 'flailing' and I went through a lot of 'flailing' periods in our relationship - but luckily I wasn't pregnant during those times.  I hated myself during those times and was angry at everyone and didn't know why.  I knew I had responsibilities, but somehow was ANGRY that i had those responsibilities and just froze up/checked out wanted escape so badly my skin was crawling.  It had nothing to do with my husband really, in fact, I could see him as this pillar of strength and was so jealous of him that - yes - I was resentful.  I clung to him while at the same time I was pushing him away.  I hope, hope, hope your husband can get it together. 

But the world will still turn if he doesn't come around and you will be fine.  You will not just be fine, you will thrive.  You are so smart & strong and skilled. Yes, you can take care of a child, you can afford a house and you can go to school - but not necessarily all at once and not necessarily right now.  Your life will need serious adjustments perhaps, but you can manage.  SO MUCH is expected of women these days:  the career and the kids and while you're at it perhaps you could write a best-selling novel or screenplay, eh???  YES you can have it all..... just not all at once.  A baby, while being wonderful, is also a HUGE exhausting life change.  You need to give yourself what you need and TAKE what you need.  Find out about programs for single moms in your area.  Talk to other moms - regardless of whether your husband turns around, mom networks are AWESOME support for new moms. 

lots of hugs to you EW!!!

Ella, I can't tell you how


I can't tell you how much I appreciate your perspective (since you understand the other side of this so very well). I know that I need to learn to take things in stride, but I also feel as if his hurried need to push things along makes every decision so immediately necessary to make. I'm not sure if I so much have morning sickness from pregnancy- or the stress!

I want to be a supportive wife- but I cannot. I cannot help him. Things started to get more complicated it seems when he started mistaking AdderallXr. He'd take it every other day- sometimes miss three days- and his level of agitation was basically set on "ready to engage".

Can you explain a little more what goes through your mind when you're in this flailing/dark time? I've read that there is a potential for manic episodes with ADHD... Is that what it is? What typically triggers it? Could arguing with him about whether or not we should continue this pregnancy (and him going out drinking with friends the night before) have pushed him into the spiral? I'm not looking for a way to blame myself- I just feel like I'm totally in the dark.

I'm lucky if he engages in a conversation beyond "It is what it is/ there's nothing to discuss/ I've already explained this to you!" which are all laced with anger. Although- he seems completely oblivious to his anger. He says "I've removed my emotions from this decision- my emotions have led me the wrong way with you before". When he does talk to me/ see me and he seems more rational- it's like he hates me that much more the next day.

I asked him at one point if he realized what he was giving up. He said "yes- I do, but I can't be with you"'s like a mantra- "can't be with you". Earlier on in this he told me that being around him shook "what little resolve" he had about making this decision. He told me "you can think something was important, and love someone, and decide that being with them isn't worth it". It all SOUNDS logical- but at the same time it does not. We'll talk- and then all of the sudden as if he noticed someone looking he spirals back into "no-can't be with you" with an almost vindictive determination. Like: You caught me thinking the other way- must prove anyway possible that you didn't see that by being as mean as possible to you now.

I'm focusing on disengaging- contact about bills only- but I'm still very confused and would appreciate your insight on how this actually feels/ thoughts that go through your mind in that state.


Possible light to shed...

Hi EW... I am two years post diagnosis and never miss a dose Adderall. I have seen what happens to an ADDer when his Adderall supply is gone. Dark Place is very accurate to what I've seen. Adderall, not XR, effects start declining in four hours and are out of your system in about a day. This is Not Good...

You go into survival mode which is something I understand as it was key to me for many years before I knew what was wrong with me. As a kid I was pretty emotional, go figure, and had a Very Verbally abusive step-dad from age 4 - 13, kind of key years I think. He would say mean things, call me a "big fat sissy" was his fav... He was a Big Man because he could make a kid cry, right? Well at age 13, I remember the day clearly, I vowed to NEVER show emotional "Weakness" again to anyone. I would go blank and stare or worse get my "Grin" on and watch the offender get madder and madder while I just grinned at them for their assault on me. I figured out a way to win without saying a word. This Strategy worked/works very well for some situations, but in a marriage it is disastrous as I am sure you know. I know how cold I sounded before my communications began to work after Adderall. I have explained to my wife since my discovery that during the Shut-Down mode conflicts where she would attack and get mean to try and get a response from me that I had a thousand things to say spinning in my head, but could not slow my brain to grab the right one. This is exhausting and the shut-down gets worse the longer it go on. My behaviors must look extremely cold and mean, but the repeat failures and anger faced after these make you want to go away, because you know it is on an endless loop cycle.

The problem now is after so many cycles of this conflict, adjusting to me coming right back with comments, and I easily and calmly respond to the questions is taking some getting used too. My wife's coping strategy has not adjusted, so she does not say anything until she is mad, then attacks, and nothing I say at going to mater anyway because she is in Full Shields Mode, not to mention that starting angry ends angry and I end up So frustrated because I am doing what she always wanted, which is responding to the issue. Right now it's like she has scripted the breakup and is just waiting for me to pull the trigger. She is in survival mode, but does not want to go to marriage or personal counceling...

I hope this view from an ADDer helps a little. I'm sure he does not intend to be purely cruel.


Thank You


It helps to hear from you since it is so hard to imagine what is going on in my ADD husband's head.  He has always resisted medication for depression and ADD. He does not like the crash that occurs when the meds wear off. I have no idea how many pills he takes now but I do know that he likes to play with his dosage. He has discovered yoga, which is great. But I worry he thinks he can manage this the "natural way."  So anger and blame are common with the ADD male?  He had a pretty typical childhood, but his role (even now) in his family is that he is disorganized, forgetful, etc. So a lot of his self esteem issues and coping mechanisms have sprung from his childhood.  Even though now, he sees everything as my fault, since I am the closest to him. It is so hard.

You are welcome

Anger is an easy way to deflect the guilt and shame of yet another screw-up. Also when things come back to you later in the form of a conflict or serious discussion, often some time has passed which adds to the problem. My ADD brain keeps things in the short-term memory banks for a moment, before being tossed to long-term storage. And long term storage is basically "Cliff's Notes" right. So my abbreviated summary of an event has bullet points that seem to be absolutes to me, but with no detail to fill in the gaps I try to fill in the gaps, then the story distorts and things tend to go wrong...

Medication works well for me, but I know it has about a 70% success rate. I play with the doses, within the limit of the script, based on when the day starts and how long it will go, and/or how much time I need to be focused. I go each day between 40mg to 60mg of Adderall. Usually 50mg... I project High Self-Esteem, but totally have Low Self-Esteem. It is steadily improving as I learn more about how to deal with this thing. Exercise with the meds REALLY help my days. I can tell a huge difference when I get my 5am walk in, combined with an evening walk. BIG difference.

This is totally NOT your fault, as with just about anything, it is easy to pick a fault and move on, but in the real world fault is all kinds of grey, that's why I like programming. 1/0, right/wrong, works/or not, all day long everyday until I go home then the pure logic goes out the window :-)


Sounds famiiar

Yes, my husband appears over confident and narcissistic at times.  But I know deep down there are serious insecurities.  He is looking for something outside of himself (me, the marriage, sex) to make him happy, when he himself is the one he should be looking to for that.  He is so empty and he expects a relationship to fulfill that.  In the 11 years we have known each other, he has left me many times, in search of "the one" but he always returns, telling me he was wrong.  Now we are on the verge of another breakup (divorce) and he is going after younger coworkers, surfing internet dating sites- anything to focus on what will supply him with the "feel good" chemicals that he needs due to the ADHD.  He doesn't see it this way, however.  I so desperately want him to go to the therapist with me, just so that I have a safe place to tell him what I need to. At home, he leaves when the going gets tough.  He stays at friends' houses, etc.  But he comes home every night to visit, he is affectionate, and he needs me- he just can't admit it.  It is so sad.

Sounds very familiar, indeed...

The obsessing on the next "Thing" that will make me happy... That was me, "The one who dies with the most toys Wins" and after every new toy dulled, I had to find the next fix. I was like a junkie regarding electronics, cars and food. I have made improvements, but I still like the toys. I can pause and evaluate and actually make a choice as to this choice being really worth it or hold off until later or not at all. I can actually slow down and make better choices. I still make mistakes, for sure... I have asked my wife 4 or 5 times in the last month to go to couples therapy, but she does not want to go. I never leave and have never left and wish we could move forward. I know we need outside help, but until she wants to go we are stuck in the rut. My wife has her personal demons with trust and self-esteem and my condition helped make the trust issue valid and know emerging from ADD I feel different and have lost weight and this new factor causes her low self-image to think that now I cannot be attracted to her anymore, no matter how many times I compliment her.

Sad at my house too.


Good to know

Yeah, my husband has never been into too many toys, though at the beginning of his crisis, he bought a new guitar and took a trip to California.  At the time, it looked more like a midlife crisis, but now I see it as kind of a combination.  He's 38, we are at the point where we would be starting a family, so now he questions every choice he has made. And the impulsive side of him is telling him he can "do better" or the next one will fulfill him.  If only I did more of this, and not as much as that- I hear it all the time.  The interesting part, is we have been her before.  Before we were married, he played the "grass will be greener" card and of course it was not.  And I took him back.  He seems to have forgotten all of that searching and how he ended up back with me.  It is so hard.  The calendar is ticking away toward the divorce hearing so I am trying my best to be patient and to get him to that therapist appointment at least once.  Not that I expect it to work miracles, but you never know how it could open his mind a little to see that there is another person in the marriage who has needs. And that the marriage did not become flawed just because of me. He takes no responsibility and I am the one who ruined everything, in his mind anyway.

I am not ella, but I will

I am not ella, but I will reply since once again the deja vu feeling reading your posts hit me like a ton of bricks...

The night before his first 'episode' started we had one of our first fights. It wasn't huge, just a fight. I was about 11 weeks pregnant and his ex-wife had just found out. She called our house and SOBBED on the phone with him for 30 minutes. He not only LET HER, he consoled her, and he took the phone in the other room. I was so hurt and furious I didn't know what to think or how to feel. We had been married 6 months. We had it out after he got off of the phone with my attitude being "I am your wife, you do NOT talk to your ex-wife on the phone for 30 minutes consoling her because she's upset that I am pregnant!!" (History: they were divorced for 18 months, but still dating/seeing each other when we met. Apparently there was an agreement to 'reconcile' in 6 months when he met me. He had dated another girl that became pregnant and the girl had an abortion. I won't go into detail, but have been told stories that lead me to believe the ex-wife was somehow behind ...or at the very least VERY supportive of..the idea for the girl to have an abortion..she didn't want him, but didn't want anyone else to have claims to his money via child support. Before we got married he told me he didn't want anymore kids..he had a daughter from his previous marriage...but when i told him I absolutely wanted one more..I had one from my first marriage too, he somehow ended up agreeing to that).

We fought, I went to bed, and the next morning he disappeared. Didn't call me all day, didn't show up at work, wouldn't answer his pager, nothing. He shows up at 5 that evening and tells me he doesn't want to be married anymore, doesn't know if he wants the baby, etc. Needless to say I was stunned and devastated. Is this what they had discussed on the phone? (that question still burns in my mind!!). After a while of his shutting me out, reminding me he didn't want to be married anymore, I asked him to leave. During our separation he slept with his ex-wife. He asked me to meet him for dinner one night and asked me to have an abortion. I went off...calling him a coward and telling him to NEVER call me again, I never wanted to see him or talk to him ever again!! That is when things started to slowly turn around.

For a long time I blamed myself...thinking that fight was what 'pushed him' over the edge. Truth of the matter is, the responsibility of having another child, I feel, triggered the episode and the fight was his 'excuse' to 'go there' and walk away from me. The ex-wife's phone call was the catalyst.

The 2nd episode was triggerd by 9/11..he got trapped in CA (flew out on 9/9) and panicked, I guess. The 3rd episode started when he lost his job and found out his mother was dying all within just 2-3 weeks of each other. The 4th was when he stopped taking ADHD meds cold turkey.

The manic episodes associated with bipolar CAN mimic the 'dark spells' of ADHD, as best as I can much as I have read, they are very similiar.   In fact the two are often misdiagnosed for each other. There are differences though.

Please don't try and understand the extent that you think you can come up with a solution or a way to prevent it from happening. Where I am, having survived it 4 times, I will just say that accepting that it happens is where you need to start. Letting him wallow and deal with it in his own way, protecting yourself from his anger and blame, is next. Detach from the person you're dealing with right now and recognize him as someone who really isn't in control of his emotions or thinking right now..not to the extent that he can do anything about anything.

Just be patient with yourself and kind to yourself. What you're going through is hell. There will be days when it will consume you, then there will be days when you say "ENOUGH!!" and gather the strength to face the day without letting it control you. This really is about not letting his untreated, unraveling ADHD control you. It isn't about 'will he come home?' or 'will I have to raise the baby by myself?' it is about survival. My gut tells me, as Lulu's, that he'll come around and want to kick himself in the ass for what he's done. I know you're hoping for that, but not living as if your life depends on it, and that's good. If you can manage to learn ways to cope with your sense of urgency that overwhelms you (Lord knows I could write a book about it) then you'll be so much better off...and he'll be left to deal with ONLY his unraveling and not yours too..which just makes his impossible to deal with for him.


Have you (or anyone else)

Have you (or anyone else) noticed that certain meds seem to make things so much more likely to go off rails? I know that medication isn't "symptom eradicating" so much as a "symptom alleviation"... but as I've read throughout this forum- I've get the impression that there are some medications that can exacerbate some symptoms- like hyperfocusing on negative aspects of things. Is that the medication- or is it the presence of an intermittent co-morbid condition (such as anxiety or depression).

I've said before- I've already read about the neurological side of ADHD- and only recently (since he bailed) have I begun to understand how integrated into my life it is- and how completely unaware of that he is.

My only experience with meds

My only experience with meds was that they made him extremely hostile and quick to snap at and go off on me and/or my daughter. He would sit and visibly 'control' himself (not trying to hide it really) to keep from just losing it, over very minor and insignificant stuff that would have never mattered to him before meds. He tried Concerta, stopped it for 4 days, then started Vyvanse. Both made him this way (vyvanse took a little longer) and made him convinced that NOTHING WAS WRONG with how he was acting. He was in complete denial on the Concerta..but when he stopped it , admitted he was irritable. When I asked him afterwards why he fought me tooth and nail denying it was making him angry and hostile he said "because when I was on the medication i didn't think the same way I do now"

When he stopped them, because our counseling reached a stand still (him refusing to admit he was hostile and angry ALL THE TIME, and was blaming it all on me saying I wasn't even trying) I was ready to walk away, he crashed BAD. (withdrew, went to live in the den, stopped going to church, barely went to work, did nothing with his family, quit eating, etc).

My husband did say a time or two that the meds made him think in a whole different way and it almost seemed as though it was overwhelming to him to the point that he couldn't even understand reality. It was scary.

He took anti-depressants in the past...they made him the same..hostile and irritable..BAD.

I'm having the same issue

I'm having the same issue with him saying he's not angry. I'm getting blamed for everything.. I make him feel horrible about himself, he's happier without my "drama"...but all the while INSISTING that he is not angry or agitated. He swears up and down that he's completely calm and level headed. The two sentiments (you make me feel horrible, I'm never good enough and I am NOT angry) do not seem to match up at all. Even his past agitation with things I've done (helping friends- he had a big thing about me "Wasting my time" helping other people- which in short was "infringing" on him getting what he wanted when he wanted it)... since he's left "I'm a lot less bitter than I was before- it's cause I'm happier without you...although helping someone for one night and helping them for a full week are two completely different things"


I feel the anger- I feel the blame and the aggression. He can be yelling at me face to face- obviously agitated and angry (because I wanted him to understand the bills since we're getting a divorce and he's never paid them one time in our marriage...he had no idea about what our debt was)- and still yell at me that he's not upset- he says he is perfectly calm.

EW, have you talked to a lawyer?

May be premature, but it would help to know your rights. In most states, you can't get divorced for a year, even if you both want it. In my state, you have to have separate residences for a year before you can file. A divorce attorney in your state can help you with what your rights are, and that may make you feel more in control. You could learn more about what your mutual responsibilities as far as the mortgage and other debts are.

I agree with all the advice you've gotten. I was married to a man who does not have ADD, although one of our children does. I was frequently frantic to just.get.away because I was so miserable. It seemed like my marriage was the one thing I could change. The problems of dealing with a very difficult ADHD child and my own physical problems I could not change, but I could change being married to him. I frequently left in just the clothes I stood up in, simply fleeing with no rational plan. He may be just fleeing the responsibilities of fatherhood, or having to grow up, or whatever.  When he calms down, he may see more clearly.

Sueann, Unfortunately my


Unfortunately my state is not one of those states. I have talked to/ contracted a lawyer already. I feel a great deal of sadness about being the person to contact the lawyer- because this divorce is not what I want.

Ton of Bricks... Sherri

When I read "(History: they were divorced for 18 months, but still dating/seeing each other when we met." Wow... My first marriage was  brief not even two years and I was 22 when I was divorced. We had no kids to add to the number of oranges being juggled when I was about to date my wife, but I was seeing my X and had talked about reconciling but I could not face telling my dad and mom about the possible round 2 marriage, so I backed out of any serious talks. She was engaged the whole time we had relations and we continued these until the week my future wife agreed to go out with me. I KNEW there was NO WAY my future wife would tolerate me seeing my X, so I called my X and told her who I was about to go out with and that ended that... Since I went to high school with my X we have had to deal with seeing her from time to time at reunions, which rarely went well and the 2 reunions after my ADD was discovered were disastrous. My story is nothing compared to what you just described, but the similarities were too many to not say anything. My unraveling lead to my ADD discovery after a series of events close together and was too many oranges to juggle, so I began to drop them all...

I can say that there are a lot of awareness' after I started on the Adderall, in a way like seeing things for the first time and I have to work on scaling the values of these new observations. I think there were a bunch of reasons why I was so laid back, like trying to avoid conflict, but also I did not SEE the body language, Stares/Looks, or HEAR the little comments in noisy places. No I do and I react to these new observations. Sometimes too much and sometimes not enough. I am having to process even more than before, AND there is a learning curve. These things are new to me. Over the past two years I have thought it might be easier to just go back to what was comfortable, but I don't want too. I like the clarity, so I will keep working on my reaction skills.


flailing/dark side

For me 'flailing' and the 'Dark side' have been different over the years.  When I was younger, (20s & early 30s) I was always convinced I was right.  I would feel an intense emotion, act on it and assume that my action was correct based on the intense emotion I had.  I had no perception of the bigger picture and pretty much would follow the strongest emotion or the influence of the most pushy person around me.  I could be spiteful and mean - all the while thinking I was doing the right thing.   I don't think I was really manic, but 'Flailing" was staying out all night with friends who weren't really friends, putting my husband (then fiance) through hell wondering where I was, then I get all pissed off at him for 'smothering' me, blah blah....  I became infatuated with a teacher/mentor because i'd come to depend on his approval for my self-esteem.  That resulted in a one-time fling and then suddenly realized he'd just used me.   I kept it from my husband for 2 years until I cracked under the misery of the guilt about what I'd done.  I was very weak willed and believed everyone knew better than I did and let people use me and walk all over me.  Now that i'm older, the 'flailing' is more just low self- esteem, low confidence, confusion and indecision about what to do/decisions to make etc.  the dark side is the depression that follows that feeling of helplessness.

When I first started Adderall, I thought it would be 'good for me' to take some days off from it because my doctor said some students just take it during the week for classes... well... the problem is the fog rolls in and I forget stuff, I get tired... My husband asks, 'Um..... did you forget your pill today?"  So I've been taking it everyday now and it's really helping.  I admit, it's a bit of a struggle for my brain - someone described it here (Was it DF?  YYZ?) like a hand grabbing your head and pointing it in the direction of the stuff you've got to do.  It's not always like that - but... some days I can feel the ADD saying, "oh... we've got to do that task.  We HATE that task!  waaaaaah!"  and the adderall just grabs my brain and makes me do whatever it is anyway.  It can be exhausting.  But most of the time I feel calm and in control.  Something I have never known before.

I don't know if arguing about the pregnancy could have triggered the spiral - but you can't blame yourself for that spiral.  My two cents is to be sure about what YOU want before starting a discussion with him.

gotta run! hope this helps....

Okay (adhd) all, please

Okay (adhd) all, please explain. If some of the the way you act is from the stuff you grew up having to deal with, or the low self esteem, or whatever else that seems separate (or is it?) from the adhd , (ie angry, defensive-mechanism from being madw to feel stupid) ..then to what extent do the meds help THOSE actions? Are they (anger for example from feeling low worth) at all helped with the meds? I feel unable to comment about how meds can cause anger/negative emotions-- the hurt/anxiety that it will come back is still there for me. Suffice to say, at its worse, the wrong meds OR wrong dosage can make behavior turn irrationally mean or provide a scary flat affect/hyperfocus... Completely triggered by the med and reduced by stopping that drug/med..

Less angry for me...

I think a lot of my problem was just being exhausted by the time I got home at night. I needed a little break from chaos and as we all know with kids in school evenings are far from serene. I was more grumpy than angry... After Adderall, I really felt Good. I was not exhausted at the end of the workday and was far less grumpy and part of feeling better was an ability to better express myself in real time. Exercise combined with the adderall and I feel even better, it is amazing. I know there are many who don't respond well to the stimulant medication, but I woke up and felt much better. It did not take too long to figure out the dosage for me, I guess I was lucky.


Thanks YYZ, that makes sense.

Thanks YYZ, that makes sense. Ive seen that as well, and heck we all experience that grumpiness- good point. In my house, it does trigger "untouchable, leave me alone" moments though the "grumpiness" more often seems directed at me - I guess he'll pick up my stress from the day. He doesnt seem to empathize with me that my day could have been equally as tough as his. So I leave him alone and deal with it on my own, or try to say what i need from him in short four to five word sentences (can you do kid's bath)- while I clean up after dinner,etc. And that is actually ok. What I find not ok, is how easy it is for him to revert to name calling and cursing at me when he feels challenged. Most recent episode was when we were out together and he was getting annoyed by everything around him Yes it was late, meds wearing off and he was tired but we were already committed to going out. What to do? I asked him to stop and he tried but then he started driving really erratically- not cool. So I told him strongly STOP. He did, but then ended night saying F you and other "nice"" things. Since then he feels clearly that is over, but for me...not so much! Trying to get over a verbal barrage of insults is difficult especially when the other person doesnt appreciate how mean their behavior a calmer moment, I am going to address this AGAIN because I feel my old anger and resentment creeping back- and that is not cool either. Ugh, NOT EASY!!!

Very difficult...

I don't EVER do the cursing at my wife when we get into something, it's actually the other way around when it happens, which is not very often to set the record straight. Getting over the verbal assault is very difficult for me too. She will almost always say she is sorry after it occurs which helps me tolerate it. Now days things are really cold and after asking several time recently for us to get counseling and getting no for an answer, I not sure what I'm supposed to do. I feel the old paranoid feelings coming back, because I know I am supposed to say the "Right" thing to a question that has no manual to reference. 

Driving dangerously when mad (Road Rage) used to be a big problem before kids, and I restrain myself most of the time. I finally decided getting mad wasted Too Much Energy that I did not have to waste.

I guess we hang in there and keep trying to solve the puzzle...


YYZ, From the things that


From the things that you've said- this is the impression that I get: Your wife may not so much be in "waylay mode" but- possibly she's in "can't stop juggling- if I change one thing something will go awry mode".

Therapy: This was a big problem for me- I was desperate so I talked my husband into going to marriage counseling. Here's the deal though- the therapy didn't help him- he was polarized by the therapist. Also- Not every doctor has a cure- sometimes you have to look around. If you pull your wife into therapy with someone neither of you end up liking- you could end up where I find myself- with a spouse who's bad experience keeps them from seeking another therapist.

My suggestion is that you start going to counseling on your own (although i get the impression that you already have/are doing this). Sometimes when it comes to therapy- an already anxious spouse will feel that if they are going to YOUR therapist- they are basically being led to the slaughter. I'm sure your wife has a shame complex of her own- and is concerned that she has exacerbated/created some of the problems in your relationship (even just tolerating things you don't like is reason enough to be shameful of yourself) and she's not yet ready to own that because it will mean she has to let go of the shield she has of being angry with you for your behavior. When she has to start taking ownership- she has to let go of some of the blame (which she feels pretty entitled to and is HER coping mechanism).


Yep... You are right about the juggling. She has been very busy at work, we both have stressful jobs, end of the school year has been very crazy, too... I have not had therapy since my sessions after the ADD was discovered. Around the same time my wife asked if I would go with her to her therapist, who she had been seeing off and on for years. I first I felt as you say "Being led to the slaughter", then I realized the therapist would be very familiar with her, which means she knows something about me already too. I figured these professionals were non-biased anyway. We had a real good session set a goal, which was met ahead of schedule, and went home feeling pretty good about things.

So suggesting more therapy with her, I thought would be good... There is one issues in repeat mode that we cannot get through and we agreed to disagree, which means it is still an issue to me. So that was the first time I suggested we go back, so we could get help working the issue out. She said a while back that she needs to go back on her own, but never set the appointment and now says she does not want to go see anyone about her issues. I guess I should take my doctor's advice and go back to my therapist. Which will signal an immediate Red Flag to my wife and risk pushing her harder. It is like she has a pre-determined idea, that I cannot change, that I want to be free, easy and single again of course with someone young and not over weight. :( What feeds some of her thoughts are how divorce or wanting one seems to be epidemic to our friends and 3 neighbors we were close to... I really appreciate your thoughts towards my situation. I hope that sometimes I help 1/2 as much as people like you and Sherri, DF, Ellemeno and several others do. This website has allowed me to really put my thoughts together.


A word of advice (again)? ;).

A word of advice (again)? ;). Dont use so many words. So much feeling, so much frustration on both sides but when I get so "articulate", the meaning gets lost to my spouse with adhd. I am learning to speak a new language almost, and I dont mean that to sound as obnoxious as it might to my friends here with adhd. I am learning that there is a time and a way to stress what needs to be said (or else he gets overwhelmed), while trying to maintain an acceptable (to me) boundary. Not totally there, not consistent, not perfect. Hardly. But better than before. And I am still trying to assert myself as someone worthy of being placed in the attention zone without actually having crosshairs laid on top of my back at the same time. Pleasant interactions, not stress. Wondering what Melissa thinks? **in any case, ellamenna- dont beat yourself about losing your temper..but know that doing so only plays into his adrenaline rush...and is detrimental to improving the overall relationship. I, too, have learned from addwife, df, yyz, wayne (hope you are well buddy!), and my own dear (yet frustrating) husband- the experience is not rosy on their side of the matter the comments, or actions no one is having a picnic here. Even if they think they are "winning" by going home to momma... ***ooh, extra brain blast- write him a note that he can and should read ar his leisure ALONE if what you need to say can not be done in short sentences. This gives him a chance to digest this compliacted information at a rate that is comfortable for him without feeling like an idiot himself. Do not necessarily expect a response (or a long one at least) but he might, at least, get a partial view of your perspective.

I've started texting and

I've started texting and writing e-mails only. Calling him- the tension in his voice sets me on edge and I begin bracing for the yelling match; my own agitation bleeds through to him.

It doesn't, however, help that I typically employ metaphors for most of my communications! I actually said to myself/and him "It's a damn shame you don't have the patience for metaphors!" . I blame Thoreau and Walden :)

Translation to the "worried

Translation to the "worried about me" thing: He needs something from you that he isn't getting and he is wondering why. He needs your reassurances that you still love him (that come in the form of you letting him come over for visits,  or you listening to him ramble about how 'happy' he is now and he gets to watch for your reaction so he knows you still care, or you answering the phone each and every single time he calls) It isn't about you and your needs right now. He left. He tells you he's happier now. He keeps insisting you serve him with divorce papers. What about any of this says he's concerned with what he's doing to you? He isn't at a place where he can think about anything but himself and what he's feeling.

I am very glad you're not angry because it solves NOTHING. All is not lost. Him being gone a month has ZERO significance in the grand scheme of things. I know it feels significant to you, but it seems like a flash for him. The best thing you can do is try and not 'hold it against him', be patient while he works through his shut down, and avoid 'enabling' him at all costs. Did you read the post by ellamenno talking about how she's done this kind of thing in the past? It was a HUGE ah-ha and validating moment for me. I've been through what you're going through four times now. I made it worse almost every single time by reacting with anger (masking a horribly broken heart). Again, if I knew then what I know now. Anyway, be strong. If you are having a bad day, tell us..tell someone else...but as far as he needs to know, you're hanging in there. It is so very sad...this should not be happening to you...but the very sad truth of the matter is, the more you tell him you're upset, the further away he'll run. Please believe me when I say this. We keep hoping for that bone of compassion to show through and for them to throw themselves on the ground and beg at our feet for forgiveness...thinking if we point out how horribly they are hurting us, SURELY they'll stop. It cannot happen right now..not in the frame of mind he's in..but it can happen. I won't tell you to 'give him some space' mother in law told me that once and I wanted to scream!! What I will tell you is to hold your head up as best you can, take care of yourself as best you can, don't beat yourself up for having days like you did yesterday, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have been in your matter what happens, you're going to be OK. You just have to start believing it. Right now, cry if you need to...but never let him see it. (((HUGS)))


Loving detachment is a way you could go- it is recommended by al anon and clarified in the "Codependent No More". It is a way to cope with someone who is spiraling into self abusive behavior and pulling you into the rollercoaster whirlpool. Do you love him still? Are you still interested in continuing this relationship? I am not talkng about your husband, I am talking about you. If so, then when he asks you about the divorce papers, tell him you are not prepared to do that. But dont offer him to come home either (dont be his doormat). Say you love him if you want, but dont offer to help him if he doesnt ask. Be there but dont be desperate. In the meantime continue your life. I know, I know- it really sucks loving someone who treats you in a way that is so so mean and then to be told it is your fault. His view is not rational right now, nor is it "fair"- and his adhd is only a part of it- the "coping" of the adhd is another (in my opinion). Thats why meds alone is never enough... Regardless you MUST focus on your needs. Doing so will not break ties with him if that is what you want...and lets face it, your baby is a real connection that will never go away

Please don't bank your entire

Please don't bank your entire marriage on what the counselor says either. I had one tell me that there was no way my husband loved could he and behave the way he did? That was his question. I left believing him...and did for a very long time.

Let your counseling sessions focus on you and how you're going to become less dependent on him for your happiness...and just don't discuss the marriage right now. There is nothing good that can be said about it, but your husband may very well just be going through a meltdown and if the day comes that he pulls through it and sees what a huge mistake he's made, THEN you can focus on helping heal the marriage. For now, nothing helpful can come from it...and you cannot control his focus on YOU and finding your own strength. Just a suggestion.

That's a great suggestion. I

That's a great suggestion. I have gotten perspectives in therapy that I have heavily questioned in the past when it comes to my relationship.

Did you move on to another therapist?

Yes, because once I told my

Yes, because once I told my husband that he made every excuse not to 'make it' to our sessions. I realized it wasn't conducive to the survival of our marriage for him to be so angry at my husband. He really did not like him or the things he'd done. Not very professional. If you don't leave feeling better about yourself, stronger, then you're probably with the wrong counselor.

Any fortification I had this

Any fortification I had this morning to not engage my husband went out the window when I got into a wreck(I am fine and the car damage isn't too bad). The first instinct I had was to contact him ( it was the wrong instinct). I know better by now that needing anything emotional support from him is fruitless. Resulted in another series of arguments- more blame shifting. I finally got to the point that I was so completely fed up with the text equivalent of YYZ's aforementioned "Grin". I am exhausted of the spiteful "I'm so much better off/happier without you because all you do is make me feel bad about myself" comments. Our mutual meltdowns finally resulted in me taking everything that he threw at me and outlining which defense mechanism it corresponded to; examples of other times he'd used them- and the negative result of each one.

But today- I didn't ask him to come home. I didn't try to convince him that he was making a mistake- Instead I was just brutally honest (although this is probably just as bad as begging him to come home).

I hope I'm not judged for having these set-backs every few days. I do know better than to engage him; I immediately knew that it was a mistake as soon as I had. Every day I promise myself that I will not contact him- some days it works- some days my resolve deteriorates under the pressure of my day, my fears, and everything else that life is throwing at me.

I caught myself trying to explain this situation to someone the other day- I said "rather than being to determine a specific thing that he is upset about or wants to discuss, he has so much going on in his head that it's like a plate of spaghetti and instead of picking up one noodle to focus on- he just throws the entire plate."

Love your spaghetti

Love your spaghetti analogy...and it is about right...his brain has so much in it, he doesn't know where to start. It is probably like that a lot, but imagine it like that..on crack right now.

Girlfriend, I'm 42 and just went through round 4 of 'the dark side'...and KNEW everything I'm telling you and all of the advice I'm giving you...and STILL engaged, still tried to fix him, still tried to manipulate him to get my way, still .. still ...still. You cannot just wake up one day and say "oh, that's how I need to do this" and do it. It isn't like you're baking cookies, it is your marriage and your heart.

I tell you what I tell you in the hopes that some of it will help and some of it will make sense and some of it might give you the courage to try something different. I want to 'fix' you (damn, that human nature) so that you don't get hurt more. No one will judge you for anything you do...I promise we've all done the same thing at one time or another. If you get it right for 3 days this week...and 3 1/2 next...and maybe 3 3/4 the next..then you're doing GREAT.

I am sorry he wasn't there for you today...I'm glad you're OK. ((HUGS))

:) picturing in my head a

:) picturing in my head a line up of non-adhd and adhd partners with score cards- "3!", "3 1/2 ", "4!".. If only life WAS filled with subtitles. But not metaphors- someone said they tend to use these often and I must confess-- I never understand them! (my attempts at humor on this off and on kind of day)..Ended Wit, glad you are ok too. That feeling of vulnerability can be scary and upsetting. And you needed comfort. Your husband lacks empathy at this present moment/ dont let it get to you. If nothing else, the anger and resentment we all experience are there for a reason- we need to hear it and examine why its there (thanks harriet lerner (?) author of Dance of Anger).


The "I'm so much happier without you" comments really hurt. Part of it is fear that he is- part of it is feeling like if he'd just "wake up" he could see that happy with me isn't impossible- but has a lot to do with his conflict management (which is conflict escalation). Right now- "work" is the last thing he's willing to do.

A lot of the arguments we end up in- he resorts to escalation (this isn't new- this is why most of our arguments spiral out of control. This intense need to back the other person down for having the audacity to be upset with you. "Ok fine- You've proven your point. I'm horrible. So what? What now? We're still getting a divorce." the past it was much the same "Ok- I'm an ass- so what- what are you going to do about it?"

Lulu- You're right- but I get the feeling that the he has scorecards for winning the argument. I have always been frustrated by this. Who wants to WIN an argument? Shouldn't both people look at each other's side- and decide what the best compromise is to make both people happy? Why does it have to be zero sum?

He admitted at one point that his communications skills have caused a lot of the problems- he said "I don't care though- I don't want to be with you anymore. I want to start a new chapter without the drama. I'm tired of our cycle"...

He even resorted yesterday to "I'm sorry I'm not what you want or need...for that I'm truly sorry for wasting your time" I told him to stop playing the victim card- that he was responsible for his decisions and as far as he was behaving- he'd done exactly what he wanted... basically I felt like he was "placating" me- which I didn't respond well to at all. I told him that I didn't need him to BS me- and if he were truly sorry or thought that he was wrong- he would be trying to fix things rather than saying "screw it I'm done."

Does he know that he's making a mistake? Is he angry with himself for running away? Does he feel like he's coping out- but keep resorting to blame shifting because he's scared to come back? Or- is he just all-to-content with the idea of replacing me with someone else?

I'm so stuck inside my own head trying to decide what I feel about what he's saying and doing- trying to decide what MY thoughts are on the matter- that I am quite literally feeling dizzy.

EW, the only way to stay sane

EW, the only way to stay sane is to unhook yourself from the rollercoaster whenever you can. Yes, in times of trouble it is reasonable to expect your loved one to back you up and be supportive. But these are troubled times and that rulebook has to be set aside for now (but not thrown out just yet!). Your husband is intentionally saying hurtful things to hurt you, Im sorry to say. It sounds like he is on full defense and is acting so aggressively, in a below the belt kind of way. Yet my question is this, why does he insist that you get the lawyer/divorce papers? If he is that miserable and if you were that much of a you-know-what, he could file himself. And though he may, he seems to prefer just taunting you in a hurtful way with those comments. Detach, detach. Tell him those comments are hurtful, but then try to think of something else (i know that that is simplistic, but try!)... Find your value and self esteem EW, it is imperative as someone you love is in teardown mode for you. Detach detach because I truly dont think he gets what he is doing to you. His ability to empathize is just not there right now. Im so sorry, because it does stink. It should not, we all could shout, be this way. But it is. And trying to find a different way is what is needed. No more rollercoaster, no more eggshells. XOXO.

Does he know that he's making

Does he know that he's making a mistake? To him, right now, it does not feel like a mistake...or even if it does, he does not have the ability to stop it...but leaving him to cope with his own decisions and deal with the fall out of what he's done is the only way he'll ever see what he's doing. He is not capable of 'rational' thinking, in the sense that you are, right now...

Is he angry with himself for running away? He is likely very upset with himself for many reasons, thus the reason for the attacks against you. It is deflection...he needs to convince himself that this is all your fault because he probably hates himself right now and it is the only way he can survive.

Does he feel like he's coping out- but keep resorting to blame shifting because he's scared to come back? Scared to come back? Not so much scared, as just needing to deal with the spaghetti brain situation and sorting through everything. His hard drive has crashed...and it is going to take some time for it to reboot and defrag and get up and going. There really are no straight forward answers.

Or- is he just all-to-content with the idea of replacing me with someone else? I don't think this is at all about replacing you...this is about him needing to believe what he's saying in order to be able to cope with the decisions he's making. His comments about not wanting to be with you are probably not literal in the sense that he REALLY doesn't want to be with you, they are just his reality right now...and what he has to say in order to keep doing what he's doing.

Be patient and just let each minute creep through his mind and let him continue to flail and deal with this as best he can. There is never a more appropriate use of the saying "If you love something, let it go". It's torture to do so, I know...but there is no other way.


I'm glad you were not hurt, at least in the wreck...

I'm sorry for your bad day yesterday. I know I have not always said the right thing when my wife needs me to, but I would never use a vulnerable moment to take shot at someone. The Grin is used by me only after an attack and I don't use it to go after someone, especially my wife after a terrifying moment. Like Sherri say, your plate O spaghetti is accurate and it's more like Chef Boy r Dee... I hope you have a much better day today!



Thanks for that YYZ... the

Thanks for that YYZ... the GRIN thing wasn't him attacking me- but it was his response to me being upset and hurt that he threw the "I am concerned about you- We're friends right?" which to me- is a tiny stiletto knife straight into my heart. I am angry that he's trying to shift me into a "friend" position.

I'm hurt that he says over and over "I can't be with you"... can't? What's standing in his way, except himself?

I know what you mean, but

I know what you mean, but take heart. You DO need to be friends, even as you are husband and wife. It IS a start. Try to move towards the clean slate idea that Melissa speaks about somewhere on this site...

Thin line of friendship:

Thin line of friendship: Friendship is extremely important- I agree. Even as spouses you should have a friendship. However, a friendship based on "I get what I need from you emotionally- but when you need something from me it's needy" is not acceptable. I love my husband, but I am not willing to subject myself to being fed off of and avoided. If the friendship he were offering were a stepping stone to bettering our relationship- I would be completely for that. However, this friendship that he's offering is "I'm going to do what I want and not be accountable, I'm going to be hurtful and you can't get hurt because we're not together, and you're going to be there when I call for attention".

So glad you're able to

So glad you're able to recognize what he's doing...that's a huge bonus for you.

The continuous hurtful words are ON PURPOSE. Exactly why I would avoid talking to him at all costs. I would tell him, when he mentions the divorce, that you will do that when you are emotionally ready...if he wants it done faster, do it himself, and tell him to never mention it again. When you're ready to talk about it, tell him you will let him know.

As for the "I can't be with you" or "I'm happier without you" comments...I would just quit talking to him altogether, to avoid giving him the chance to make these jabs, or I would set some very clear boundaries and let him know that you are very clear on how he CLAIMS to feel, so you would appreciate it if he would kindly keep the comments to himself. I am willing to bet that your reaction to these comments are why he keeps making them..he knows he's dragging you down to the pits of hell with him, it's hurting you, so he's 'winning'. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU OR ANYTHING YOU ARE OR AREN'T AS A WIFE. This is about his brain being completely overwhelmed and he's 'flailing' and reacting desperately to gain any kind of control he can. He is trying to EMPOWER himself and make himself feel better for what he's has absolutely nothing to do with you.

He just doesn't want to work

He just doesn't want to work on his ADHD anymore. At least this is what he's said (off meds- 3 weeks- left home 5 weeks ago).

I am definitely the representation of "institution" at this point. He wants travel/fun/excitement (funny though, I'd love to do the same- but bogged down between finances/work/school (pregnancy?) it seems like it was always just out of our reach. It didn't help that every time he wanted to escape to some romantic weekend- it was always right before a project/exam was due. A time when I would have had to be working on it all weekend to turn it in.

Not wanting to work on his ADHD- I think that he'll go back on his meds (what he has is a low dose and is probably not sufficient for his energy level.) Should I be hopeful for any change when he goes back on them? He has a new prescription waiting for him to pick up- I hope he will at least take these every day instead of once every 2/3 days.

I've always been supportive of him doing exciting things- finding himself. Granted- that support has been tempered with concern over all the lies I've been told. I never wanted to "punish" him or have him on a tight reign- but I think that when you feel your world shaking sometimes the first reaction is to hold on as tightly as you can. It's not a sustainable behavior- and if it persists it's detrimental to both individuals- but it's completely based in fear/confusion/uncertainty. You want the other person to give you a clear cut motivation so that whatever caused them to lie can be resolved- but as many of you know "I don't know" is the most honest answer you can get.

I am inevitably the gate keeper that locked him out of all of his flights of fancy- most of which I knew nothing about- was never consulted or asked. Yet- I am still persecuted for all the things he never said he wanted to do.

I realize that he will eventually have to own that- but I feel an immense guilt over the way things have gone. Just as much as he may have a shame complex- I have a guilt complex.

I'm an ownership person (I've been in an severely abusive relationship before this)- I know that I am the person that let that persist- and that I was the person who gained my "lions voice" and stopped it. I know that the only way to "outlive bad circumstance" is to accept the control you had and the complicity you had to being in those circumstances in the first place. I don't HATE that abusive person- I'm not angry for the things he did. He was a victim of his own circumstances and I stepped into the line of fire of his already well ingrained manic self-destruct pattern.

Even six years after I stopped THAT relationship- I still had to deal with occasional 2AM visits from a bi-polar chemically dependent person- ranting that he only wanted my friendship. My husband knew about that past- and when he would do something that hurt me- he'd say "At least I don't hit you or sleep with your friends." Despite his actions- he was always "better than that other guy"- which is an odd excuse. Jealous that I put up with so much from the previous relationship- but put up strong boundaries (ok- walls) about certain things now? Did he convince himself that he was being persecuted for my past as a way to deal with his own shame?...

I want good things for my husband, I want him to be happy and energetic and excited about life. I want him to get to explore every avenue of adventure that he can grasp. I'm just very sad that I am not invited. I'm sad that his preference is to conquer/discover the world without me. I feel like he's viewed me as a stone (despite that he had many conversations about how arduous college was going to be- how much time I'd have to devote- he was very much for the idea). I feel like he blames me for driving us apart- when in fact I know that his lack of consideration or rebellion for "responsibilities" has been the wedge.

I hear you

I am in a similar bind.  He blames me for everything and he refuses to explore how his ADHD had impacted us.  It is so hard and it makes me feel powerless.  Despite how crazy things seem now, just realize that if he really loves you, he will find his way back.  The best you can do is let him know where you stand and that you want to help, and then back off and let him figure it out.  Stay strong.  I know exactly how you feel.

For EW

If you have my book, this is the time to look at the chapter about setting boundaries and re-finding yourself.  See if you can start to live your days in a way that pleases you, without too much concern about what pleases him.  Not because you're trying to hurt him or manipulate him, but because he has pulled himself away from you.  You may or not continue to be with him, but you will always be with you, so make sure you act and move forward in a way that makes you proud.

As for the question of "when are you serving me papers?" the answer to that is "only when and if I feel like it."  You are not obliged to move forward with serving divorce papers (and absorbing that expense) because he's mad.

EW, I agree with Melissa

EW, I agree with Melissa. You are not obligated to move forward with serving divorce papers. If he wants a divorce, he can file the papers. Leave it on his shoulders. You can move on mentally and emotionally without playing into his game.

Don't fall into the trap that I fell into: My husband told me that he couldn't stand living with me anymore (his exact words were "it's a prison"), wasn't attracted to me, couldn't handle how my ADD affects him (yes, I'm the one with the diagnosis. He isn't, but I swear his symptoms are worse than mine in many areas). He said he wanted a divorce. So, at the advice of our then marriage therapist, I filed for divorce. My husband then became the rejected party. The divorce was my idea, I was the one who wanted it, he did nothing wrong. He was the one who said he wanted out, I was the one hurting. But because I was the one who filed, I became the bad guy. Yet another thing that wasn't his fault.

He finally asked me to stop the divorce, saying he wanted to make the marriage work.

So, what happened? Everything went back to the way it was -- not attracted to me, can't stand the mess in the house because of my ADD (meanwhile, he leaves his sh** all over the place and just wants someone to clean it up for him, like his mother did), etc, etc.

Don't let yourself get pulled onto the rollercoaster! It hurts right now, but it hurts a whole lot more the longer it goes on, and especially once you have children. Be firm, set your boundaries -- do what I didn't know how to do until after my health was already affected by all of the stress and my self-esteem was totally trashed. 15 years and 2 children later, I'm just starting to figure this out now, and I am terrified about how to move forward. I'm 50 years old and I'm a bright woman, but I'm having trouble figuring this one out. I'm sensitive to the fact that I do have ADD, that I'm not great at keeping track of money or keeping the house clean. In other words, I've bought into the concept that things are my fault. Don't go there with your husband like I have! Work with a good therapist and be firm in your grasp of all of your positive attributes, and make sure to keep your life moving forward -- you must do this for the benefit of your child. You must remember that your happiness is important in the life of your child -- we must mother ourselves first to truly be the kind of mothers our children need. Make sure you keep your oxygen mask on!! Good luck! I'm crossing my fingers for you.


This entire thread intrigues me.  I've read and reread it because so much of it applies to my situation.  I cannot believe how similar some of our situations are.  This thread, in particular, has provided me with a lot of insight.  We've been separated nearly 4 months, and we are not on speaking terms at present.  We communicate only via text and email regarding custody of our kids.  When we started the separation, I think we both thought we could work through it.  However, there were so many mixed messages, blame, and distorting of realities we are moving closer to divorce.  He is trying new medications and frankly, his lack of medication is what led to the explosion that prompted our separation.  

I know he expects me to file for divorce.  He has created the notion in his mind that I want it, and I left him, and it's all my fault.  When in reality, we actually created a separation agreement together and even a budget for a trial 6 month separation.  I did get him to a marriage counselor for 4 sessions recently.  However, after our last one he says he sees no way to resolve our issues.  The normal me would be sucked in and try convince, beg, plead, engage in this circular conversation.  This "feeding" of his prove that I want to be with him but all the while him rejecting ME.  But, having been out of it for several months, I did not engage.  That does not mean I accepted his notion that it's over.

So I am trying to patiently sit and wait it all out.  However, this is terribly trying because I see that if we continue in counseling we could at least come to a resolution of some sort.  Yet, if I make an appt., then I'm controlling.  If I make any decisions/suggestions, the blame and responsibility can easily fall on me if something does not work out.  I do not want to engage in all of this for my own mental health.  I intend to let him file for divorce so that it is clearly HIS decision, not something that "happened" to him, or something for which I can be blamed.  So I sit here still wondering how to get him to a counseling session when even our marriage therapist said to me privately, one person cannot save a marriage.

All too familiar

Yes, I can certainly relate. It's terrible to feel powerless but stepping back is really the best way. Similar to an alcoholic needing to "hit bottom," he needs to figure it out. He needs to discover that his life without you is just not working. But it has to come from him. It's not fun but you deserve to have 100% of him. And he needs to realize all that you are to him. Keep coming back here- it really helps!

You're right...

It is very much like an alcoholic hitting rock bottom.  I've even spoken with several friends whose spouses were alcoholics, and their experiences are so similar.  They gave me good advice--mostly change has to come from within him.  I've spent the past 4 months working on myself, and it has been great.  I am focusing on the things that I have control over, and I've taken time to spend with friends and new hobbies.  I am in a really good place now, personally.  This also worries me in some ways--I see now I cannot go back to our old relationship.  



Yes, that is one problem with

Yes, that is one problem with doing hard work on yourself and setting boundaries and really wanting better for yourself. You finally wake up and realize that things just simply can't go back to the way they were. It brings on a whole other level of stress...and depression...because now the reality is that you KNOW things have to improve, there is no going back, and you have no idea if they'll come along with you. My experience is that he does come along....thus far.

Faith, I think what Sherri


I think what Sherri means (and I don't mean to speak for her- so Sherri correct me if I'm wrong) is this:

When you start making changes to better yourself, when you start doing things that are more psychologically healthy for you- there's a chance that your spouse might not jump on board with those changes- or will drag you back to old patterns because they are intimidated/put out by the changes that you've made to focus on your own well-being.

Example: I started back to school about 2.5 years ago. This was outside of my comfort zone- but my spouse was very supportive of the positive change. However- my bettering myself caused problems because despite the fact that he was supportive- he was a little jealous of the time I was spending doing that as well as the fact that I was moving forward with my life in a way that he wasn't. We had several discussions about how it made him feel bad about himself because he didn't have the same opportunity. He was in conflict- he liked that I had something to do with my time (which freed up some of his) but it bothered him that I was changing my priorities.

It is hard to explain, but I

It is hard to explain, but I will try. Please remember, all I know is what I read and what I've lived. This is based on what I feel about my husband/marriage.

We fall into patterns...mother/child...controller/rebeller. They do various things (ADHD fueled), we become angry and resentful. They start to believe our anger is the problem. We feel their ADHD behaviors are the problem. It's gridlock.

Gridlock remains until someone says "enough" and starts to act differently. For the non-ADHDer this typically involves a few things, but most importantly is letting go of the anger and focusing on the ADHD and not the person who has it. Reactions. We have to really, really focus on changing our reactions.

Many of the ADHD behaviors are exacerbated by the our reactions (anger). When you accept that many of the behaviors aren't intentional, it makes it easier to take a whole different approach to things. It makes it easier to let go of the anger and to start reacting in healthier ways. The point is, we are part of the problem...and we have to accept that in order to change things. Our reactions, anger, resentment, etc..are just as lethal to the marriage as the ADHD behaviors are.

In my situation, my husband avoided being home...because all we did was fight. I never cut him any slack, nit picked and stayed on him for every.single.mistake he ever made and always made a huge deal out of everything. I was just not much fun anymore and no matter the 'why', I had to do something about it. I wasn't happy with myself either. Not at all.

When you start loving the person, hating the ADHD, and making positive changes in yourself then the ADHDer notices and typically likes what they see. Being treated with respect and acceptance motivates them to want to do things differently as well. That's what mean by 'coming along'. They'll either really appreciate your efforts and make effort themselves or you'll know you've done all you can and you'll do what you have to.

Sooooo appropriate for this

Sooooo appropriate for this thread...saw this and had to share...even if you're not Christian, you can get the point...

On this day, God wants you to know that YOU are the gardener of your soul. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of expecting someone else to leave you wilted flowers.

Thoughtful morning

I will start out by saying that this is a reflection over the past couple of weeks. The only conversation I've really had with him was that he wanted to come by to pick up some electronics yesterday and I told him it was a bad time. I'd tried to call him Friday- but he ignored my call and text- he didn't even acknowledge that I'd called him when he called me to pick things up. Originally when I said no he waited a while before trying another tactic "what if it were a different time". I finally told him-I'm sick, I don't feel like fussing with anything today- so it will just have to be some other day.

Frankly I just didn't want to deal with it and get pulled into a negative conversation or feel rejected while I'm already physically injured. I told him I was glad he'd had a good time on his road trip, hoped he had a good night full of enough fun for himself and me (since I was laid up), and ended the conversation there. Polite and cheery, but in no rush to see him anytime soon. His lack of sincere concern about car accidents and sprained ankles just makes me feel like I'm having a conversation with a stranger at a grocery store "sorry to hear that"...I can't tell if it's passive aggressive- I think he's endeavoring to impress upon me how "detached" he is.

I wonder what the elasticity is at this point. I know I've hurled so many hurtful comments in his direction over the past few weeks about how he hasn't seen symptoms and about the things his family has said (they say he's a very good liar and things like that. They "accept" him, but they talk poorly of his character). I feel badly about that- I know that it is in opposition to what I want to do, I don't want to hurt him. I feel like I start out with the best of intentions in a conversation- but his dismissive attitude and comments about being friends feels like an emotional dig. My feelings get hurt and I'd tried to get him to understand that- but it seems like all of those conversations spiraled into something damaging. It's my cycle, I grasp and grasp for an example or explanation that will turn on the bulb- but in doing so I've just pushed him further away. His family has told me "no- you're right to be concerned- he's your husband", meanwhile they do everything in their power to coddle him and make this easy for him. I am something that is never discussed apparently, like I've disappeared. Although, I'm willing to see that as a positive- he isn't committing to saying anything one way or another about how he feels about me- it's a transitional stance to take- there's nothing to eat crow over later (whichever way things go).

I feel like I'm in a deluded state of hopefulness- I'm holding out in my heart and my life this space for him and it makes me feel like I'm not accepting the truth. I go back and forth between feeling hopeful and feeling like I'm denying the inevitable truth that this person is never coming back. I'm concerned that I'm lying to myself either way. I feel crazy.

Also- I'm frustrated that the therapist who diagnosed him never explained all of this "extra" stuff that comes along when someone isn't diagnosed until adulthood to us (possible he didn't know?)... in fact most sessions he's pretty much just told me that my husband isn't mature enough to realistically invest in a marriage, or maybe even to take on the responsibility of being a father.
The last positive conversation I've had with him was Monday- when he called me over and over because he was worried until I answered late that night. I haven't had a nice or affirming conversation with him since then. The last time I saw him was over a week ago- when he showed up to be affectionate- but reminding me that he couldn't be with me. Other than yesterday's call- the last conversation before that consisted of him telling me that my reactions to him the day of my car accident "concreted" for him that he was done. I said "well, you've been telling me the whole time your decision is already made- so I find it hard to believe that my conversation with you had any bearing on that". That is what initiated me being ignored until he called because he wanted something.

I want my husband to come home- I really do miss him a great deal. I don't want to count him out yet. I feel foolish for not "moving on" emotionally. Is that what I should be doing? Go ahead and start making plans for a life without him? If he comes around- great but otherwise don't count on it? It's exhausting; especially so because it is my nature to revolve a topic in my head until I have a solution. I am keenly aware that this is a debilitating habit- because there are never optimal solutions- sometimes you just have to step outside of the analysis and just live.

I know that it's not helpful to the situation or my state of mind to constantly be thinking of "we should have done this/that differently"- but I cannot help but have an immense sense of regret about all of the wasted time that could have been spent enjoying life with each other.

Polite and cheery...

I think the "Polite and cheery" ending is a positive result. I know it must seem like a generic conversation with a stranger, but, before I knew what I was dealing with myself (ADHD), having a conversation with a non-explosive outcome made the next conversation easier, then easier, so on. It is a start for an ADDer, as sequential arguments or a talk that suddenly turns that way bolsters the "avoid at all cost, hide mode". I find that for an extremely tense subject, starting a dialog about it through text or email, has been a marriage saving strategy for me and my wife. I am doing well on my meds and my continued study of what makes me tick helps a bunch in face to face discussions, but this communication improvement falls-off fast when my wife gets angry. So... The electronic ice breaker really takes the anger/argument triggers out of the equation, then when we see each other next, the topic does not catch anyone off guard (Especially Me), we know our basic positions and a productive discussion can proceed. It does not always happen that way, but it sure helps when it does.

The ADHD diagnosis is a huge deal when it is not discovered until adulthood, for both in a couple. Most people (IMO) think ADD is an excuse for misbehaved kids :-? Hell... I did too... but after some research it gave me hope to improve myself and the way I interact with others. I think my wife thought it was something to side-step our issues until recently. I think she may be looking into ADD and seeing that it has affected us. I am becoming hopeful myself about our future. It really takes both to get things going again.

I might suggest, if I may :-), hold what you got, and stay "Polite and cheery" for a while and see if he begins to open up a little more each time. I wish you the best and hope your ankle feels better soon.




YYZ, Thanks for the


Thanks for the encouragement.

I'm trying to maintain the polite/cheery attitude with him the best that I can (although in most cases- he strikes it down.. "why are you talking to me? We aren't friends"... vindictively).

I still feel like he's my husband- I feel like we're having a huge fight and I hope that it will blow over- but the attachment/connection is still there for me. It just seems like he keeps trying to hit me over the head with how much he doesn't want to be anything more than my friend. The disconnect is abrupt and very upsetting. I want to be his friend- but I want to be his wife while I'm being his friend. I don't know if this can/will blow over... he seems adament in his disconnection from me- mixed with a few sparse conversations/interactions where his connection with me seems to peek through (which is inevitably met the next day with even more anger from him and a seemingly more intense need to remind me that he doesn't like me in that way anymore).

This is why I start feeling like I'm being ridiculous- I honestly have issues understanding how within the past couple of months he can go from telling me how much he loves me, how he cannot live without me in his life- to me meaning nothing at all to him. He said that before our argument the day he moved out he thought things were getting better- but that argument showed him that things were not getting better and he was "done". He still even says that me telling him he could leave was irrational- keeps insisting that this is my fault because I kicked him out. If he doesn't want to be married- is just "done" and isn't acting out of anger- why even blame shift?

Again, reading it all it like

Again, reading it all it like deja vu. All I keep saying to myself is "bullshit!" Heard it all before..."I can't live without you" and then five minutes later I am the reason for all of the wrongs in the world. Cut him off completely. Don't call, don't answer his calls, and just give him what he says he wants...a life without you. I personally don't believe that he even believes what he's saying, but he has a reason for saying them...and you are 100% right, trying to find the reason..the ideal solution..won't happen. Yes. Just live. Don't live as if he'll come home..or as if he won't..just live. Do what you have to do to survive each day...avoiding being his outlet for his anger...and just make it through each day. It will just get easier and easier and your mind will be clearer in time. For now, just live. (((HUGS)))

Same conversations between

Same conversations between you and your husband when he was "flailing" ? I know you've said there are a lot of similarities. I'm so afraid of all the things that can happen during this time. How badly will he screw up before he snaps out of it? It's not easy to "just live" - I know you know that- it's no surprise. I just want my life back- I want to be able to be near him without feeling like an intruder in my own marriage!

Yes, these same kinds of

Yes, these same kinds of conversations happened while my husband visited the "dark side". It is all very familiar to me. Normally, he's very sweet and attentive...very concerned with my happiness. (although his actions don't always say so...thanks to ADHD) But during his "dark side" episodes he says the most hurtful, horrible things..and makes me feel like he would be so much better off without me. I is almost completely impossible to 'just live' but you are already doing it...I'm just saying, don't set up expectations for yourself...or feel like you should be doing tihs or that. I know I tell you to cut him off and stop letting him have the chance to emotionally abuse you...but that's just my wish for you. You do what is best for you and don't beat yourself up if you do something you wish you hadn't. It is all just part of it. (((HUGS)))


I agree with Sherri, as usual... Don't put yourself through the continual verbal beating. If he wants to be alone he will be alone. There is not something you can really say to make it/him right. If you take care of yourself and he starts to see you getting along without him, while He sees what it is like to be alone without the woman he married and discover just how green the grass really is over in singleville. I will say you guys refering to the recurring dark periods kind of freak me out. I know that I spiraled into a Real Dark place when my ADHD was about to be discovered, but I don't think the ADD has taken me back again in two years. I have been depressed at times wondering if/when my marriage will get to a "Normal" place agian. It is like the is more roller coaster after I have taken my life back from the ADD than before I knew I had it... Try and hang in there... YYZ


My husband's episodes happen when life changing events happen...but some have happened and he didn't visit the dark side. They have apparently happened since he was 17. (according to his mom). Since we've been married they happened in: 1998 - when I got pregnant, 2001 - during 9/11, 2009 - when he lost his job and found out his mother was dying, 2011 - when he stopped ADHD meds abruptly. Maybe it is something unique to him and not something you'll ever experience. You would know..he literally wakes up one day and wants nothing to do with the life he had the day before.

Darth Vader was my favorite character...

These phases must be incredibly difficult. I have a strange personality I think. I have always been the glass 1/2 full guy to people. Very consistent disposition. If I'm having a crappy day I don't take it out on the ones around me. I have a dark sense of humor, most of my favorite music is sad, dark or kind of angry sounding, my favorite movies rarely end well. I have experienced depression, but only of and on for the last 3 or so years. I think that positive guy in me has always believed if something bad happens or a scary new experience is coming or has arrived, I take it on with all I've got. Nobody is going to help me if I cannot help myself. I got laid off last July (Zero Warning) it felt like taking a baseball bat to the face. I called my wife, met her at our favorite mexican food place, drank 2 margaritas (Over 2 hours) went home and found myself spamming every contact I had, letting them know what happened and asking them to keep their eyes peeled. I have always felt that if I allow myself to sit and sulk, then I'll be sunk. It is my confidence in myself that has always gotten me what I need from someone, or the job I was really not qualified for, my belief that if I don't know how to do it now, I'll find out and get it done. Maybe my fear of the dark has helped keep me just out of the dark. I think the crack in me has startled my wife most of all. I was constant, not perfect, but always there to be counted on. She did not have to worry about me, ever... Now we find out I have a disability and I was not not perfect and along with everything and everyone else she has to worry about me. She saw the dark side, although I was in a dark place trying to find my way out. I could never be mean to her, intentionally at least. I could never say the things I have read being said to people like you. I am up and down, but try to stay positive and out of the dark. YYZ

EW, it seems that there is no

EW, it seems that there is no rhyme or reason to why things happen sometimes except perhaps to say that your husband is taking on a skewed perception that hurts..a lot. It is self defense, it is fear, it could be an unconscious fear that to admit the issues would be to accept the sense that he is "damaged", though Im sure youve never said that. In the end, it does not matter except to say, it hurts you, his partner. I know this: We feel the need to feel the love that we have shared with our spouses, and yet rationale seems out the window to have that happen sometimes. For me, things are getting better, (the bar having been set to low low levels since last year). Suffice to say, things are still tough and stinky- but we are working on reconciling our feelings (but only when he is actually around to do it, 50-50). It IS improving between us. At the lowest times, he used to say, I love you but Im not in love with you (yes, like Melissa's story). He called me a demon at one point, and awful things like that. He maligned my looks, my interests, my friends... A lot of verbal and physical abuse that came on in a deluge that I had no understanding of where it came from. For this reason we separated (I told him to leave)... But yes, it is not that simple. The man I know that has a good heart, caring parent, a loving partner, a person who has a need to be admired and feel good about who he is and cares about his family- he is still there. But it is taking a lot of transition to try to bring it together- the rush of feelings that must be gnashing inside him, as it is inside myself is sometimes overwhelming. I have cried, and so has he. Its a horrible feeling not to know whats what, and neither side can lay claim to having all the answers (even when they say they do, or us for that matter). I have done something Ive never done before to survive. I looked deep inside and began trusting myself. Then I looked towards God in a spiritual way I had not done before ( though always considered myself spiritual). I have looked towards friends who would be my supporters, and these girls have saved me during horrible times. Dont be embarrassed to talk. Let yourself heal and be stronger. Find faith that things will be ok. Honestly, to this point in my life, I was always the serious analytical geek that needed to see things logically. This is not about logic anymore (necessarily) but about developing the faith in yourself that YOU CAN DO THIS. Make it with him or without him. I am a little different in my opinion from others here in that I do think that in the proper time and place, you have to say how you feel. You have to say what you need. And you need to listen and be willing to try to not offer up a solution right away but to try to hear what his needs are, just as you explain yours. But dont be ashamed, dont be coerced, just take stock in what you need and survive.

I am making the best effort

I am making the best effort to stay positive. I hate being hit with errant thoughts that interrupt everything with the stark realization that despite feeling like my husband is still there- he may very well not be. Depending on the time of day I am either convinced that he will stop sliding and realize that he wants to be with me- or that I am completely misinterpreting his symptoms and he actually does want as far away from me as possible. The shift is delirious. I cannot talk to him at this point (partially because I'm making an effort to give him all the space I can manage- and partly because he's certainly not reaching out to me today. So I am taking all of my confusion and bringing it here. I know that I have no real idea about what's going on with him- but the perspectives that you have all provided have helped me sleep at night (well, some of the night- still up before roosters these days). The disussions I've had with all of you (and the books you've suggested) have helped me get to a point where I can firmly tell my family (who are ever questioning of my forgiveness and tolerance) that I am doing just what I want to do by hoping that he will come home. That is what I have chosen. I am not making excuses for him- because I don't owe them excuses for his behavior in the first place. I want to be with my husband- regardless of how ridiculous it may seem to everyone else at this point. I can stand firm on that without feeling the brunt of judgement. Piano is helping- I don't play very well, but I am improving my dexterity with the ivory. I enjoy the noise- it drowns out the deafening silence. I feel despair- I am extremely sad- my coworkers say that my bright demeanor has diminished and I seem like a ghost of myself (although- frankly I never much enjoyed the idle chat about their cousin's neighbor's husband's affinity for rose bushes) this point I smile politely and walk away before being drawn into the conversations. My head is so loud- begging the universe for things to get better, whispering that things won't, and screaming at the stress of it all- I don't have the ability to focus on anything. I wonder if this is what he feels like all of the time- but the lack of communication overall with him over his ADHD leaves me at a loss. I don't KNOW how it effects him- but I can read Melissa's book and it's like there was a camera in my house recording fights- all of the puzzle parts just came together and spelled out a similarity that I couldn't ignore. The information I'd sent him two weeks ago (adultadhdbook podcast, some pages from other books) seems to have influenced some of the digs he's taken at me since- it's like he read it and modified his perspective- but not enough to see his bad habits but instead an easy way to hit a hurtful target that would quickly resonate with me. Without having this forum to express my thoughts and my concerns- I think I would have exploded by now for the general lack of understanding most people have about add/hd.

Two points you make...

I am up and stressed for many of the same reasons, and two of your points really resonate with me tonight. A. Friends/Family: I am tired of defending my husbands actions and inactions to people. No one understands ADHD in adults, no one. I am tired of explaining and excusing what he does even to MYSELF. I hear it in my head--reminding myself not to expect anything from him. No expectations, no expectations, but what about my needs? B. Sharing information/books: I have the same experience in that my husband has turned the information around to attack me. After reading Melissa's book, for example, his attacks would place all of the blame on me for my anger. I'm exhausted and done with trying to interpret the mixed signals. I, too, am trying to be patient and allow my husband to work through his issues with our separation. However, there comes a point when providing time and space without action on their part acts as a method of paralyzing and controlling you. I'm in a different spot than you--having been separated for 4 months. I still feel controlled by the ADHD.

JS, I understand how you

JS, I understand how you feel- but I think about accepting his ADHD as a gift to myself. I don't have to analyze the conversations that start fights- I can see the blueprint of each one easily. I no longer have to agonize over what caused conversations to spiral out of control- I accept my reactions and his as behaviors that were coping mechanisms for a factor of his life that was beyond either of our control at the time. I still question sometimes- out of habit- if I am the cause of all of his frustration- but I'm learning to stop being the place he lays all of his blame. He can continue to blame me (because despite me stepping out of that cycle- he is still in it). He tells me that him leaving was him breaking the negative cycle in our relationship- but he's oblivious to the difference between breaking a cycle (and changing the direction of your marriage in a healthy way) and just leaving it because you have to get away from the chaos you refuse to control. The advice these ladies have given- it's good. Disengage, stop trying to balance things out- because you cannot acheive balance with someone who refuses to see their contribution to imbalance. If only one person in the marriage can let go of the anger and resentment things cannot get better. I have admitted my flaws and accepted them- but he is still resentful and believes that we cannot have a happy marriage. He thinks we were forcing something that was wrong- that we never meshed. Background: My husband was my first boyfriend when I was 13. I've known him my entire life. He spent years chasing me trying to get me back- all the way up to when I agreed to date him again when I was 20- we married that same year. Meshing wasn't the problem- but denial did have a huge impact.

"I've changed the cycle that

"I've changed the cycle that we were in", this is what I've heard from him. He's broken the negative cycle (by leaving and not coming back). He thinks he's making the healthy adult decision. I asked "what's the point of breaking a bad cycle in your relationship if you don't want it to be better- you've not broken a cycle- you've just walked away". Also- I'm very irritated that his parents are being cheerleaders. I'm irritated that he is acting like our marriage was always bad (he even has gone so far as to say he was saying anything it took to make the marriage work when he told me he wanted a family- he didn't mean it, he was just trying to make me feel better and be happy)... He seriously only sees the negative in our relationship. He blames me for not letting him have his dog (which I wont because there are two dogs and one gets anxious without the other)...He says I won't let him have his xbox (he ignored my call friday and didn't call me until saturday when he wanted to come by and pick it up- I told him no because I wasn't feeling well and I'd sprained my ankle). He wants me to be his friend- but he tells me the only stress in his life is when he has to talk to me (but he still cares about me so he wants to be friends... how nice of him to sacrifice his comfort). I am the only source of stress in his life (despite the fact that he had to deal with the police the other night because of a domestic dispute between his friends at a party)... I'm the only stress- he's calm so long as he doesn't have to deal with ME.... I needed to vent. Thanks.

Setting boundaries is hard to

Setting boundaries is hard to do, it's a slow process of personal behavioral conditioning and conditioning of your spouse by the way you respond. Repetition and reward for appropriate responses. This is not just unto ADHD marriages- this is the reality of setting boundaries with any person at any time.  

Monday I decided that bad attitudes would not be tolerated. My husband (soon to be ex I guess), argued with me for several hours over whether or not he could take one of the dogs. Our dogs are very close- the one he did not want to take is prone to separation anxiety when the other is not here. I have explained this once a week since my husband left (and generally on the heels of some other argument). I'm not even sure that he realizes that he really only brings up wanting the dog when he doesn't get his way with something else. The dog was brought up 1. when I changed the locks. 2. When I didn't let him come over this weekend to get electronics because I was not feeling well.

I have become exhausted of discussing and arguing about the dog. I told him "if you want the dog even though you know that it will make the other dog upset (she's walking around the house now whining)- fine. You can have the dog." Despite getting what he wants- he launches into other questions- about the divorce. In fact- he seemingly is flailing to find some button to push to make me angry enough to engage with him. I told him several times to stop texting me.  I finally became so frustrated with him trying to pick fights that I told him "Despite having said that you can come pick up the dog tonight- because you cannot stop trying to argue with me, I do not want to see you and this will have to happen some other time."

Then began the game of "well what if so-and-so came over to pick up the dog- you told me I could have the dog! I have an e-mail saying I can have my dog" over and over in different variations of the same question. My responses became "I have no intention of arguing with you- I have made myself clear about "xyz"- stop trying to bully me by asking "zyx". Trying a different strategy to get the same thing is bullying." He says he's not arguing- and bullies don't say please and sorry. Again- an argument. I finally told him I wasn't going to discuss it anymore- I had bigger things to be concerned with than him complaining over the dog (pregnancy for one). He contacted one of my family members (since I wouldn't engage) to ask "Why is she so offended? I can't talk to her- I can't get a word in edge wise! I just want my dog!"... As a side note- I've only been communicating via text- so I'm not sure why he cannot get a word in edgewise. After calling my family member- I did not hear anything else about the dog the rest of the night.

Tuesday: All is well- until- one of my husband's family members informed me that my husband's father is telling people that this might not be my husband's child- that I was in class at school late- that I got pregnant to keep him from leaving (note- husband left after pregnancy; he was the one talking about wanting children in the month before we got pregnant).

I confronted my husband- his father denied having said it (surprise?)- my husband believed his father over me because I would not tell him who told me (no need to create more family unrest). Despite the fact that his father has slandered me since even before we got married- if it wasn't that I was keeping their son from them (the wedge that drove their family apart), I was keeping him from wanting to see his nieces and nephews because I couldn't have children- etc. IF anything didn't go the way his father wanted- if his son did anything he didn't like- somehow I caused it.

Essentially my husband decided that I was causing drama over nonsense. He told me he was going to block my number. I said "ok. fine"

Later that evening we spoke. He said "You're right- it doesn't matter who said it. It doesn't change the way I feel about you- I would never say something like that about you, and I know that is absolutely not the case". I acknowledged he was being civil and left it at that.

I decided over the course of the next hour that because he was being civil (and not yelling at me as he had earlier in the day because I wouldn't tell him who told me)- I would let him come get the dog. I was a wreck by the time he got here- a tearful mess over breaking up the dogs, especially when I felt it was the wrong thing for the dogs themselves. He kept trying to make me feel better- wanting to hold my hand and asking if I was ok- was there anything he could do- why was I upset. He says "I'm not trying to hurt you"- he seems oblivious to why I would be so upset about my husband leaving while I'm pregnant. In his mind- I shouldn't be upset at all.

I told him I didn't want to discuss how I was feeling with him, or why I was upset (I know that he cannot give me what I need right now). I asked him to make sure to get the dog treatments that she needs (she has heartworms and I was in the process of setting up her treatment). He assured me he would do all of those things. He initiated conversations about other things much as if he'd just come home from work on a normal day- even though he's been gone for weeks. He asked why I had two copies of Melissa's book (one I'd purchased in hopes he would read it- but he did not offer any interest in taking it, nor did I ask). I told him the therapist had read the book and was enlightened as to the differences between his original assumptions on my husband with the new perspective he'd gained. I stopped engaging in conversation and he left- seemingly a little lower in spirits than when he came in.

Hugs to you

Ended Wit, you are going through a tough time right now. I think you handled everything perfectly. Please follow up and make sure the dog is getting the heartworm treatments she needs. It's expensive and requires follow-through on the dog owner's part and he might not be able to do it, while he's flailing like this.

Hugs to you. I wish there was some magic pill or word that would make you feel better.

Sueann, Thank you for the


Thank you for the positive reinforcement. I wish there was a magic 8-ball specifically for how to handle situations such as this.

It has been a tough week! I

It has been a tough week! I am glad you are taking measures to try and set boundaries. Getting some control on your feelings and actions is the best thing for us. I'd like to throw out a couple of thoughts too. I am guessing, though it seems remarkably "convenient", that there is a large measure of what your spouse is saying and doing that suggests he doesnt completely understand your actions- nor appreciates how his actions can easily be interpreted as being (putting off, mean, hurtful). I do think that some part truly believes he is being "kind and caring" and that he has no idea why you are acting the way you are. That can be a part of the way adhd works: poor self observant behavior. His family's action clearly don't help. I would suggest you try to start to move away from a text only communication if you can. It is too easy too misinterpret what is being said when you ONLY talk in this mode. Plus it is extremely hard to connect as well with each other- you need to talk. When he is acting more receptive, tell him one thing you need in as concrete away as possible- for example, I need us to spend some time together not fighting or saying hurtful things, lets meet for lunch. Then try to be positive...for yourself if nothing else. It sounds like it is getting very "heavy" at your house, I woukd try to put a little levity if possible in there somewhere, but only if you feel you can. Hugs from me too. Have a great day, okay?!!

PS since he asked, why dont

PS since he asked, why dont you give him a copy of the book you bought- that may have been his indirect way (w all the apparent wrong messages attached) asking...just another thought.. :)

Today I feel like anxiety is

Today I feel like anxiety is taking over. I'm trying my best to push forward and let go and do things for me, but I feel overwhelmed.

From a dear friend..a quote

From a dear friend..a quote she sent me today from Codependent No More:

"Today I will go on living my life and tending my routine. I will decide, as often as I need to, to stop obsessing about whatever is bothering me. If I don't feel like letting go of a particular thing, I will "act as if" I have let go of it until my feelings match my behavior"

(((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))) One day at a minute at a can do it.

EW, I dont know what your

EW, I dont know what your friendship base is like at home, or how much you have felt comfortable sharing..but you do have friends here. Living, breathing people who care if you live or die, many of us who have been through the same Hell (and still, in some cases, experiencing). I know your anxiety but know that it is not there forever. It is like so much like everything in life- ups and downs, back and forth. Know that for wherever you are, it does and will get better.

Sometimes you need your

Sometimes you need your spouses help- yesterday I did.

It's apparently "unfortunate" for me to tell my spouse I miss him. He says it makes things more difficult. We got into a relationship discussion when he was at the house (I started the conversation). This went very badly. I was pretty much crying the whole time.

He said that we don't get along. Call it whatever medical term I want, ADHD, him having too many defense mechanisms, a chemical imbalance- the words don't matter when the end result is me trying to change him.

His memory of the problems in our relationship is-skewed. He now believes that the reason that he contacted other girls was because he couldn't talk to me because there was too much resentment and anger between us. His having relationships with women that were secret started before our marriage. He ran into his ex when he was picking up his tux- told her that he was going to a wedding instead of going to his OWN wedding. After we were married- several months- she would call him and she still had no idea that he was married. Somehow- communication problems that we had in our marriage caused him to do this before we were even married? He honestly believes it. When it's challenged- he just becomes angry. He said that he could find someone that didn't make him feel like he had to lie to them- and someone who accepted him for who he was.

He admits that he's an extremely defensive person who made it impossible for me to talk to. Anything I brought to him he immediately became defensive- he refuses to see that as a symptom and instead wants to believe that his defensiveness is because of how horrible our relationship was and how resentful we were of each other.

I asked him if he'd read the things I'd sent him- if he'd read Melissa's book- and he said "no- I'm done. there's no need for me to continue to relive something painful."

He says he's not blaming me- it's not my fault- but he is blaming me. The change that he needs to make in order for him to be happy is to remove me and dissolve our marriage. This way- he gets rid of the broken things in his life.

He's not angry he says- but he is still very resentful (he admits) because of how I made him feel about himself by not connecting with him. It doesn't matter if he caused it- he's not going to fix it now- and it just "is what it is".

He asked me about the pregnancy- if I'd made a decision. I don't know how I am supposed to make a decision when he keeps putting mountains in front of me and expecting me to move them if I really want to have this baby. (basically throwing my world into complete upheaval and then expecting me to feel that I can handle a child on my own *if I want it bad enough*) He said he would be there for me if I decided to terminate. I said "how do you expect to be there for me? you can't emotionally be here for me now. I've been alone this entire pregnancy. So what? You'll physically be there (does this make him feel like he's doing his job as a man?)."

He got very upset- put a hand on either side of my face and pulled it an inch in front of his and basically told me I'm hurting because i 'can't accept that it was horrible because I only see the good things and that I don't even believe what I'm saying about his ADHD/ our ability to move past it'. (The situation isn't hurtful- but I'm not accepting this and therefore hurting myself?)

I jerked his hands off of my head and told him "the reason that I'm hurting is because you won't deal with your own problems - you won't even read a book". He was walking out and slamming the door at this point.


I feel really bad for you...

I just read your post and need to get going, but I'm so sorry that he is treating you like this, especially during your pregnancy.

Take care of yourself...



yyz, Thank you. I


Thank you.

I appreciate you going out of your way to take a moment to be supportive.

Oh gosh, EW. You know what I

Oh gosh, EW. You know what I am feeling too. Im sorry, and -- be careful. Anger and resentment has a way of changing a person. Sending prayers while I say a few of my own for me...

Anytime :)

That what we are here for... Try and figure all this stuff out.

Take care...


So Sorry, EW


You are doing a great job with all of this!  You are standing your ground and insisting that he treat you appropriately.  I cannot even imagine being so strong in the midst of a pregnancy, with hormones raging and not to mention not knowing whether the father will stick around!  But that baby deserves for someone to be on his or her side!  So I hope you will continue to stay strong for your child, no matter what the future holds.  That precious life is worth it!

Your husband thinks he can "escape" his troubles if he leaves you.  And he only wants you to end the pregnancy to further escape his troubles!  If you have that baby, he knows he is forever bound to you and to the baby--but that may be the BEST THING for him in the long run!  Because you know that the truth is that even if he "escapes" from you, he has not solved the problem, which means he will repeat the pattern in his next relationship and be right back where he is now.  But he only sees the "greener grass" because he has not faced his own issues yet; he is still in denial.  Escaping is much more attractive, but it is false and hollow.  He cannot escape HIMSELF.  But for those of us with ADD, escape is SO MUCH easier than HARD WORK.  If we were good at hard work, we would not be in the predicaments we tend to find ourselves in!

But you also need to listen when he says he was paralyzed by all the anger and resentment.  This may very well be true.  For things to get better, it is going to take a LOT of work from both of you.  And so every time he sees a glimpse of that anger and resentment, it may make him feel that the situation is hopeless and that he can never make things better with you (hallmark fear of failure with ADD).  The fear of his marriage ending has an "end" but he feels much less in control of the fear of failing at staying married!  If he gives up without really trying 100%, then he can justify in his own mind that it was at least partially your fault.  But if he gives 100% and still fails, he will KNOW it is his own fault.  I know this seems backwards, but to an ADD spouse, we are sometimes afraid to really commit to making changes because we are so afraid that we can't, and then we will just prove to ourselves and everyone else that we really ARE a failure.  If we don't fully "try" then we can convince ourselves that we COULD have done it or COULD have made it work if we wanted to.  It is possible of course that he in fact CANNOT make things better with you, but from your posts I think you do want him to be there with you and your baby.  If you do, you will have to be willing to let go of some of those emotions, or at least the expression of them (even though he DESERVES your anger and resentment!), in order to allow the relationship to move forward.  But that does NOT mean you should trust him yet or allow him to walk all over you!!!  Like I said initially, you must insist that he treat you appropriately and continue to stay strong.  Your child needs a family that is healthy and stable, even if that is just you by yourself.  But how much better, if it could include him also?  He needs to truly believe that there is hope; that it is POSSIBLE to have a different relationship with you and that he is CAPABLE of pleasing you and of succeeding.  

These are really tough issues and I am so sorry for what you are going through.  You are one tough lady!  Take it one day at a time.  I can't remember if it is Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura who always says that we teach other people how to treat us.  You are in a period of "re-training" him and he will not learn it overnight.  Whether you stay together or not, he has to learn the new boundaries you are setting.  I hear so much kindness in your words about him, even though I know you are also so very hurt and angry.  But I believe that you truly want the best for him, your baby and yourself.  Hang onto that and don't become bitter or cynical.  On the other side of this crisis, no matter where your relationship ends up, you will be much happier with yourself and respect yourself so much more if you can maintain this attitude and not dissolve into selfishness.  It's amazing that you haven't already fallen into that trap...good for you!!  

If you and he are NOT together, he will always be the father of your child and you will want to have a civil relationship with him.  If you ARE together, you will not want have so many bad feelings and words to "un-do" and repair--you will have enough wounds to heal already.  Keep this in mind as you walk through each day.  Picture a great relationship that you think can be realistic for the two personalities you both have, and work towards that, but also remembering that you can only control or change YOU.  My prayers are with you, your baby and your husband.

(((MORE HUGS!!!)))

Ok- so apparently even having

Ok- so apparently even having conversations about bills is not going to work. He's completely blown up at me for telling him when the mortgage is due because he can't pay it right now. He borrowed money from other people (to go on road trips et al) and now he's angry with me because I've asked him to pay his bills.

He screamed at me about how he hated me so much and the longer this goes on the more he hates me.  He will be so much happier when he can be single and be with someone else. He wants me out of his life as soon as possible so that he can be happy. He's said that he will not take his medication until I give him a divorce.

.... I'm floored. He's being completely abusive. Then he sends me a text and says "sorry I snapped- its a lot of money in a short amount of time"... meaning he's upset that he had to give part of his previous check to pay for bills such as car insurance and his car note and gym memberships etc.

I told him- he's being very aggressive and abusive. No matter what conversation we have- or what I indicate he keeps saying "you said you weren't going to have the baby"- even when the conversation is "this situation makes it impossible to have this pregnancy"...he construes that as "I'm off the hook!!!".

I asked him today if he was intentionally being abusive in the hope that he could stress me out enough that I would have a miscarriage.

Can you get some help?

Oh, EW - I am SO SORRY!  As your situation deteriorates, I am wondering if you have access to any kind of help or counseling?  Maybe a pastor or some other professional who can help guide you through this?  PLEASE do not terminate this pregnancy just because HE wants you to!  It has to be YOUR decision.  Personally, I am pro-life so I would never want you to terminate, no matter the situation.  But that is obviously my own personal opinion and you have to make and live with your own decision.  But I feel that if you end the pregnancy under these conditions and this kind of pressure, later you will NOT feel right about it (and maybe neither will he?), and you don't need that hanging over you along with all of this other mess.  How many weeks along are you now?

As awful as he is acting right now, I actually feel just a twinge of sympathy for your husband also.  I know that he is being a TOTAL JERK and you are right--borderline abusive!  And you should NOT put up with that.  But his apology text still puts a lump in my throat, maybe because I am ADD myself and I know that he is under a lot of stress and pressure in this situation too (albeit self-induced!).  When I am overwhelmed (and never have been to the extent that he must be feeling), I become much more impulsive, defensive and I will overreact to everything.  Then later, I will realize I was a jerk and try to apologize.  His willingness to even TRY to apologize (however hollow it may be) means that he still cares about what you think at least.  Remember that "hate" is so close to "love" - we don't hate people we don't love (if that makes sense).  If you truly don't care about someone, hate is too strong an emotion--it is usually indifference that we feel, not hate.  

It is RIDICULOUS that he is giving you an ultimatum that he will not take his medicine until you give him a divorce.  That is completely manipulative and you do NOT have to do that.  If he wants a divorce, then he should go get one!  He just wants to be able to blame you after the fact and say that YOU asked for the divorce.  It's his own choice whether he takes medication or not and should NOT be connected to any action or non-action on your part.  This is an insincere attempt to manipulate you to get his own way.  Just like he is doing with the pregnancy--trying to manipulate you to get his own way.  BE STRONG!  The medicine treats HIS condition, not yours, and has nothing to do with you.  Do not take on that responsibility.  It is completely wrong of him to put that pressure onto you.  HE alone is responsible for taking control of his own health.  Especially when you have done nothing but support him in that in the first place.   Grrrr!!!

I hope that you can get some help because you should NOT be going through this alone.  He is treating you horribly!  And you have so much pressure on you...and a baby too!  Please reach out to someone in your community--do you have any family support?  I think you've said that his family is not nice to you, so obviously you should not turn to them for help.  If nothing else, call a pregnancy hotline in your area--they might have a counselor who can help you for free, or can refer you for some services at least.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE!  We are here for you too, but we are fellow-strugglers also and may not always give the best advice?!

No wonder you are at your wit's end!  Hang in there and don't get on that emotional roller coaster with him.  Try to keep your feet on the ground in a stable position, and just watch him flip the loops from afar.  (Easier said than done, I know!!)  If you know ahead of time that you are going to talk to him or see him, spend some time getting yourself grounded first and REFUSE to let him pull you into the emotional turmoil if you possibly can.  He is like a 2-yr-old who is not getting their way...they will escalate the "tantrum" to fever pitch to evoke a reaction or response from the parent.  But the most effective way to respond to a tantrum is to NOT respond--to ignore it.  But it is almost guaranteed that they will escalate their bad behavior trying even harder to get you to respond until they are convinced that you won't.  Once they are convinced, then they will start to settle down.  If possible, a parent will also isolate the child so they don't even have an "audience" at all, but you may not be able to accomplish that with an adult.  Except maybe to calmly tell him you will not talk to him when he is talking to you this way and hang up, walk away, or ask him to leave, etc.  But I realize that is not always possible, so work HARD at keeping your voice CALM and QUIET, even if he is ranting and screaming.  Just calmly repeat (under his screaming) that you will not let him talk to you this way and that when he can be reasonable, you will be glad to discuss this again.  RESIST the urge to raise your voice or respond to anything he is saying (the content of his words) in any way.  If he won't listen, just be completely silent and let him "thrash around" until he wears himself out.  When you are silent, he has nothing to further "react" to, so he will eventually have to stop.  If you (or a parent of a child throwing a tantrum) DOES finally respond or react, then you have taught them that they only have to escalate things and throw a really BIG tantrum to get your attention.  So if you HAVE reacted to him in the past, he will possibly even get worse, thinking he must need a bigger tantrum or "shocker" to evoke a response from you...until he realizes it's not going to work.  Hence, the "I HATE YOU's" and the ultimatums.  But don't let it get to you!  Put up a wall of protection around yourself in your mind and don't even LISTEN to what he is saying because he doesn't really even KNOW what he is saying.  He is just trying to get you to react so he can further react (and blame YOU!).

And since he seems to think about what he's done after the fact and then feel badly about it, chances are that once he settles down (which may not happen until after he is alone), he will do this and come back to you more calmly later on.  THEN you can respond to him positively and try to have a calm conversation--but DON'T bring up anything he said before (you weren't even listening, anyway, right?).  Pretend like it never happened, and try to talk about the original issue as it SHOULD have been talked about in the first place--with respect toward him, and hopefully with him showing respect for you.  If he apologizes, just say thank you but don't "go there" with him and dissect his rantings.  And, if he starts up his tantrum again as the calm conversation continues, repeat the same thing--tell him calmly a few times that you will not have a conversation with him this way, and then stop talking at all.  By doing this, you are teaching him a new AND APPROPRIATE way to communicate with you and you are insisting that this is the ONLY WAY you will communicate with him.  Period.  You have complete control over that part--how you will communicate with him.  But you will have to really "get yourself ready" ahead of time to be able to do any of this.  He is TRYING to get a reaction from you--don't give him that satisfaction!  REQUIRE him to be an adult by not letting him pull you down to his level.  No matter where your marriage ends up, the two of you HAVE to be able to communicate effectively, especially if you share a child, so you may as well start now to teach him what you expect that communication to look like.

Continued prayers and (((HUGS))) for you, EW!!  I know you are going to be okay.  I am just so sorry you are going through such a terrible time.  You CAN do this! <3


Is it possible that the "dark side" of ADHD (which seems a lot like mania to an extent)... this flailing... could it actually be a manifestation of hyper focus (but instead of on a project or videogame etc- it becomes hyper focus on negativity/pessimism)?

Not Sure

Not sure, but I think the negativity/pessimism just comes from the low self-esteem and the sense of impending doom.  Could be hyper-focus, I guess, but I think it is probably more from the low sense of self-worth.

I personally think it is more

I personally think it is more of a sense of 'overwhelm' than anything else. Things add up and reach a point where there seems no end in they run. Drop everything that is a part of their 'normal' lives, and RUN. In my case, he eventually seems to sort it out and get past it, but the damage done during these episodes (cheating, name calling, saying HORRIBLE things that cannot be taken back) has mounted so much over the years that it has become impossible to just blow it off as ADHD.

I would bet my life that he is 'upping the ante' because he's angry that you're not getting an abortion. He's trying to manipulate and control you with his hurtful words and get his way. My husband asked me to have an abortion too...I've told you the whole ugly story. I was a single mom with a child who has special needs. I worked only part time and got no support from my son's dad. Raising a second child on my own would have made my life much more complicated. But I told him to "FU*K himself" and walked out of the restaurant when he asked me. He pushed the issue until I finally told him I would do it (have an abortion) ..LYING THROUGH MY TEETH..just to get him to leave me alone and stop calling me. I didn't say I would just told him "I will take care of it, you will never have to worry about anything again, never call me or contact me again" and MEANT IT. He had taken away everything else from me, NFW he was taking my baby too.

He ADORES her and is so proud of her and loves her SOOO much. I didn't give a damn what he said he wanted then, I knew he wasn't in his right mind and whether he and I made it or not, he was going to be a father.

He isn't getting his he's going to go out of his way to make you miserable...including cutting you off financially and cutting you down to the CORE emotionally. I am waiting for you to post and say that he told you that if you'd have an abortion, he'll come home to you. That'll be next. This is cold and cruel and you do NOT deserve this. (((HUGS)))


Sherri, Thank you for


Thank you for sharing.

He has not yet gone that far- he has on occasion (to me and other people) said "It's one thing for her and me to be self destructive- but bringing a baby into that hostility is not right"...

You have empathy out here <virtual hug>

Dear Ended Wit, I am another one out here who has heard a lot of those same phrases before; the victim mentality, the cruel comments, the phrase "I was worried about you" (this translates to " I need to control you"), etc. The fact you are going through this pregnant makes this horrific emotional roller coaster that much more to deal with. It is critically important that you keep in mind what these other dear supporters have been saying: Take care of yourself first. Like they tell you on the airplane, put on your oxygen mask then your child's. You have an obligation to look after yourself and your child(ren) but that's where it ends. Your husband is an adult, albeit with valid troubles and issues, but you cannot nurture him better. You are wise to keep communications to texts & e-mails; this way ""TONE"" cannot enter in and we all know how that can suddenly jacknife the direction of a discussion and add many more layers that weren't there before. It is hard, hard, hard to resist but you must. We rationalize a verbal connection or face-to-face meeting but if we're brutally honest, it's because deep down we still want to connect -- not because it's truly needed. Alternate arrangements can almost always be made. I know; I have been there--the temptation to do a quick litmus test (Does he miss me yet? Has he seen the light yet?) If the talk didn't go as I had hoped, I became a fresh puddle of tears again. Put it this way: No harm can come of unemotional, brief written communications to deal with necessary basics. You won't let him slip away. Quite the opposite; the longer you go without any emotionally exhausting drama, the better perspective BOTH of you will get. Sherri W is right--Codependent No More is a great read. Those of us who are pleasers and fixers are not used to doing something which at first glance feels "selfish" because we are so used to putting others first. But you have to nurture you. Another thing I have become convinced of is this: What is best for me is best for my child. I can be the best Mother by being the healthiest "me". In my situation, it turned out that meant accepting my husband's insistence that our marriage was over. (I posted my full story as "In Hindsight, I Think My Ex Has ADHD") I do not know you or your husband so I am not saying this should be your path too. The future of your marriage has yet to be written. A stronger you will make things better no matter what. Hold on to your inner core of strength--it is more powerful than you realize. Listen to your intuition. If it feels right, it is. If it feels wrong, it is. Tune out all else and trust yourself. We are all rooting for you. Good Luck xo

Just focus on what you need

EW, you do need to seek out professional help and support -- the issues you're dealing with and the emotionality your husband is bringing to the situation would make it hard for anyone to think clearly. In my opinion, what you need to be focused on right now is what YOU want and need. First, do YOU want the baby? I do hope you and your husband can work all of this out, but just go on the assumption for now that it's just you -- you don't want to lose options simply because too much time passes, nor do you want to be pressed into making a snap decision because you're running out of time.

Also, if you have financial issues, you probably want to consult with an attorney. Your husband left, so you have rights. I'm no expert, but I would think you could get some kind of separation agreement that would protect you somewhat financially while you two sort out the marriage. You might be able to do this without having to file for divorce. Just formalize the separation.

Don't let him push you to file for divorce! Don't play into his game. He's being a child, don't go there with him. Stay focused on moving forward with your life. Remember, we ADDers need stimulus -- right now, it wouldn't surprise me if getting a reaction out of you is primarily fuel for his ADD brain. As best you can, don't engage with him unless he's behaving completely reasonably. If he sees that he's not getting to you, it'll become much less interesting for him and he might start behaving like a human being again.

Good luck!!!

Please tell me he didn't ask

Please tell me he didn't ask you to have an abortion in order for him to come back home. :( What a low, LOW thing to do. He should be ashamed of himself as a human being. If this is what he's done, I can honestly say that my true feeling is that you will never have peace with the decision if you do it and he comes home. You'll deal with his ADHD in this capacity for the rest of your life with him (if it is left untreated)...but the baby you're carrying will bring you more joy and love than you've ever known. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I am so very sorry...this is so unfair to you. I would have let my husband drive off of a cliff before I would have agreed to what he asked me to do...but I know that was just me. I don't want to make you feel bad for whatever decision you make, but you really need to ask yourself if the way he's treated you makes him worth giving up something so precious?

I know there is no way to predict the future...but as I said, my husband was like this too...and now he absolutely adores our daughter and would kill anyone who harmed her. He's not a perfect father, but he loves his baby girl tremendously.



No, he did not in fact ask me

No, he did not in fact ask me to do so for him to come home. He just told me that five years of grieving over the last time was nothing and that I shouldn't have this baby because it was not what was best for me despite how hard it would be. He said it would keep me from finishing my degree and starting to date.

He has no intention of coming home what-so-ever. Despite comments about how he loves me- he says he cannot be happy with me.

I made it clear that his opinion on what was or was not best for me did not and would not have any impact on the decision that I make and that he should understand that gesture. I told him that I wasn't sure how he became such a hollow person and that the only thing that makes having the baby a bad idea are the decisions that he's made- but that those decisions were not my fault or the child's fault.

So sorry!!!

Oh, EW - what a mess....  I am just cringing reading all this.  I have been there:  convincing myself that my husband said and did things he didn't actually do or say, and then getting furious about it.  my husband wanting children and me just knowing I couldn't handle it... I would actually TELL people point blank when they asked me when i was going to have a baby, "I am NOT having any kids.  I'm way too selfish and  immature..."  I didn't know WHY i was selfish and immature, I just knew that a baby would be incredibly difficult and the day to day stuff I knew I'd have to do was way out of my realm of comprehension.  The responsibility terrified me and I told my husband there was NO WAY we'd ever have any.  I WAS young and immature at the time, but also undiagnosed ADHD and was indignant and angry a lot of the time and doing and saying all kinds of horrible things to my husband when I'd get into these 'dark places' and flailing.  Usually it would be triggered by (yet another) failure of my own.  (not getting a job I wanted etc.)  Now I've got 2 daughters and although it IS very difficult, I know it's not the end of the world and I am not 'trapped.' 

There is no reasoning with a person (ADHD or not!) if he is not able to listen or even understand what you're saying.  Whether or not he wants to save the marriage, you need to go on as though he won't come back and be strong for yourself. 

There is NO convenient time to have a baby, really.... if you do it when you are young, you can't do certain things you may have wanted to do, you may be less mature, have less experience/money.... if you wait til you have the maturity, patience and money, you are older, more tired and your parents are older and more tired too and may not live to see their grandchildren graduate high school or get married.  So there really is no way to know if it's the right TIME, but you know in your heart if it is RIGHT for YOU.

Don't let him talk you into anything you don't want to do.  He is DEFINITELY trying to 'get off the hook' as you said.  He is running away, and trying to escape thinking someone else may make life easier for him.  I tried escaping many times and never could.  In the end, you CANNOT escape your own brain chemistry.  there's no way to fix him.  He has to do it on his own.  you need to protect yourself, and find support.

I wish I could help you!!!!!  find info about moms groups in your area.   There may be free services/help for single moms if it comes down to that.

(((HUGS, HUGS, HUGS!!)))



Things are still on a path for divorce.

When I do talk to my husband- he makes comments about the weather- giving forecasts. He keeps asking me why I'm being negative, or seem to be upset with him... "what have I done?"...

Three days ago we had an argument about custody of an unborn child- I think this was solely for the process of overwhelming me because he doesn't really want me to go through with the pregnancy. He indicated in the conversation that he had no problem revisiting court (over and over) to get the custody he deserved (which he believes is weekly rotation).

He also said that he thinks his ADHD diagnosis was wrong- that he only accepted the diagnosis because he was deeply unhappy with me and was trying to do anything to make it work. (My husband was the one who first suggested that he might have ADD/ADHD). He only took the medication because it helped with some impulsivity- but that he doesn't believe he needs the medication- essentially all the frustration in his life was me. He feels very happy now with his new life. (Honestly- I can't help but say this sounds almost manic). He's taking out a loan from a bank because he wants my name off of his vehicle RIGHT NOW.

He indicated he's been off medication since the third day after he left.

I told him that if he didn't think the medication helped/hurt him- that he might as well try it again to see if it makes a difference is how smoothly this divorce will go. He agreed to take his medication (AdXr) for 7 consecutive days to prove that even after those 7 days- he will still "despise" me. I told him that I wanted him to start his medication as soon as possible because he has insisted that he go to the ultrasound (12th week) that I have on Monday and I don't want there to be any mood swings/upset while we are there.

Talking out of both sides of his mouth

So he doesn't want you to have the child but he wants to have custody half the time? I am sure, since you don't have ADD, you realize how strange that sounds. Probably a way to avoid paying child support. In a lot of situations where the parents split the child's time 50/50 and both earn roughly equal amounts of money, no child support will be ordered. Both parents have to maintain a room for the child, buy clothes, diapers and toys, etc.

I wish I could give you a hug. Please take care of yourself.

WOW EW....

You're right... that DOES sound manic!!  Maybe it IS mania/bipolar and not just ADHD??

As for the custody thing - I bet Sueann is right:  he's got someone giving him legal advice.  I don't know what it means if he's still living with his parents - can he qualify for 1/2 time custody?  If so, he may just try to get his mother to take over childcare when it's his week.  In a way, that would be good:  you wouldn't have to worry about your child being in danger because of his symptoms if there is someone else actually taking care of him/her. 

*sigh*  I'm so sorry!

Good thing we've got someone on the forum with family law knowledge!

I Hope He Will Do The Medication Experiment!

That is great that you got him to agree to the 7-day medication challenge.  I hope he will actually follow-through with it.  Do you think you will be able to tell for sure if he is really taking it?  I can't believe he is telling you one day to end the pregnancy and the next day that he wants half custody!  He is really dialing up the manipulation (escalating the tantrum trying to evoke the response that he wants)!  Oh, honey.  Hang in there and stay strong!  You are dong so great.  Do you have any professional help (pastor, counselor or even a lawyer)?  I hope you are not having to deal with all of this alone.  ((HUGS!!))

I was 11 weeks when I went to

I was 11 weeks when I went to see my OB and told her everything that was going on. She took me to the U/S room, and took a picture of my daughter for me. I am not sure if she was afraid I would terminate (never would!) or what, but once she showed me the picture of her with her little arms and legs it put to rest all of my worries about how I would survive on my own, as a single mother, already having a son who was special needs. I didn't care, just knew I would do it and would be OK. I still have that picture.

I am extremely confused about why he's wanting to go to the doctor with you, see an US of the baby, if he's so convinced the world would be better off without the baby in it. I admit, I'm stumped on this one....unless maybe he's wanting to verify you're not lying about being pregnant? what are your thoughts?

One of the comments I'd made

One of the comments I'd made to him about the unlikelihood of him getting the type of custody that he wanted was his extreme lack of interest in the pregnancy whatsoever. After the custody conversation is when he decided that he wanted to go to the ultrasound- as I stated his previous reaction to me letting him know about the ultrasound at all was that he was trying not to get attached- and that the idea of spending the next 18 years dealing with me making him feel badly about himself made him want to vomit.

He's been making comments about several different things that seem opposed to what he actually wants. We were discussing the house- and I said the best way to keep our credit intact was to jointly maintain the property until the market was more right-sized. Otherwise we would both end up in shambles over selling the house and at this point I wasn't sure that I would be willing to take the risk solely upon myself to try to keep it since I was going to have the baby and would need more support than living alone and fighting to keep my head above water by taking on this mortgage payment. He said "if we're going to keep the property jointly- then I can move back in"...we vaguely discussed groundrules of an arrangement like that- and just as quickly as he suggested it he redirected the conversation to a room he was looking at near work.

I'm not entirely sure why he'd want to go to the ultrasound. I told him I wasn't sure it was a good idea because of his attitude- and he -insisted- that he'd already taken the time off and WANTED to be there (in a later conversation said he wanted to be there for me....???).

I'm just as baffled about this as you can imagine- but at the same time I don't want to deny him the opportunity to see the first ultrasound of his child. He'll never get that moment back.

I am almost certain that

I am almost certain that infants are not put into weekly rotating custody situations...but don't quote me on that. I agree with the others, he's worried about the almighty child support/dollar and is just amping up the manipulation and mental abuse to give you all the more reason to terminate the pregnancy. They aren't going to take an infant away from its mother for a week at a time and, like it or not, he'll probably have to pay child support for a year or two and you will have full custody. He's a fool (and so are his 'cracker jack attorneys') to think he's going to worm his way out of that. Really..he needs help. He's obviously changing up his game a bit...but still the goal is the same...he's just playing dirtier now. (((HUGS)))

Thanks everyone! I told him

Thanks everyone!

I told him that it was unlikely for him to get a weekly custody like that when he does not/will not manage a chemical imbalance. It will be difficult for a court to assume he's able to make sure a baby is healthy and balanced if he cannot do the same thing for himself.

Having said that- I am sure that this is a maligned attempt at manipulation. I'm surprised though- If he's "flailing" or manic even- wouldn't that impair his ability to be so manipulative- or is their ability to manipulate enhanced by short-sighted "fight or flight" aggression responses?

Unfortunately in the middle of all of this his father is in the hospital. He called me today very upset because they believe his father might have cancer. My instincts tell me to go and be there fore him- but my instincts also tell me to be compassionate from a far and if there is anything that is needed they will let me know.



Dear Ended Wit, It sounds

Dear Ended Wit, It sounds like your husband is now in panic mode. I think the manipulation is instinctual rather than calculated. You have said more than once how he insists he’s “happy” now that you’re apart. (Happy people don’t behave that way.)You say he “despises you”. These are knives in your heart (I know—I’ve heard them too) but you have to remind yourself that these statements are completely untrue. He pushes you away (above statements) then pulls you in (Needs you because his father is ill). Know that he is in pain but you are not the cause of his pain. He wants you to help then you try to and he blames you. You can absolutely be compassionate from afar—trust that instinct. Better for both of you to give him some emotional space right now. Give him a chance to realize you aren't the cause of all his problems; that's the only way he will A) get help from other sources and B) appreciate you. You can still communicate about necessaries, but when the drama begins ( and you will know because your antennae will start to tingle), say "I have to go now" and calmly leave/hang up. If you're upset, call a friend or get on this website & vent vent vent but try to keep the emotions out of your conversations with your husband. It's hard but gets better with practice. Just a suggestion (if you haven’t already thought of this) but you may want to meet your husband at the ultrasound appointment as opposed to driving together. You sound concerned that it may not go well and having your own means of arriving and leaving would minimize that stress for you. Regardless of the dynamic in your marriage, the ultrasound will amaze you. Bask in the joy of your pregnancy; it truly is a miracle. Good luck; <<>>

Sherri is right, of course

Babies aren't usually separated from the mother absent some serious unfitness on her part. Then there's the breast-feeding thing.... (I highly recommend it). And he's probably not capable of thinking about that. Does he want to get up at 2 am, or is he going to expect his mother to do it?

He is really playing with your emotions. He does sound bi-polar or even borderline personality disorder (with the manipulation). I think for some people being that manipulative is natural.

Hugs. Take care of that precious life in you.

To the best of my

To the best of my knowledge...

So far he has only been diagnosed with ADHD- the further testing to determine any comorbid conditions was not done. The therapist that he did go to believed that he might also be bi-polar (I think they did 5 tests to determine the ADHD)... but my husband (though he has occasionally admitted that he thinks he might be bi-polar and there's a huge incidence of it in his family) has declined therapy/testing/ and of course has decided he does not even have ADHD at this point (just the victim of an extremely unhappy marriage).

I've read that Ad-Xr can cause manic episodes- he's really only had a script for Ad-Xr since February of this year (things were good Feb- Some locking himself in the guest room screaming in March- and then alright in April up until the week we found out I was pregnant). I'm concerned this is the wrong medication for him- but if he won't go to a therapist it's the only one he currently has a prescription to take (which will be what he takes if he actually holds to the 7-day trial I suggested).

I've read that the difference between Bi-polar manic episodes and the mania that can accompany ADHD is that in ADHD it lasts 3-4 months- where in with BP it can last 8 months (sometimes longer?).



ADHD meds can make bipolar

ADHD meds can make bipolar if he's got a huge family history, then there is a very good likelihood that he has it too and should treat the bipolar primarily. With improvement in the bipolar symptoms (with medication), the ADHD improves as well. I know you've got enough crap on your plate right now and if you told him "maybe you should get tested for bipolar" it would undoubtedly end up blowing up in your face. He's convinced it is all you and for now, he's just going to have to see that being away from you doesn't end his MISERY. His misery is in his own mind and his own choices. He cannot escape it, he'll eventually figure that out. The ADHD meds made my husband into someone I didn't even recognize, and he's STILL not the same person 3 1/2 months after stopping them. I am fearful he may have some comorbidity like bipolar as well.

As for the manipulation you mentioned is an absolute SKILL my husband has crafted all of his life. He uses guilt (so did his mother) to get what he wants. Pity...OMG the pity he tries to envoke by claiming the 'victim' role in everything. As a matter of fact, his first 'episode' appeared to me to be nothing more than a huge pity party. "poor me, I have to face the responsibility of being a father" "poor me, my wife fusses at me and I don't deserve that" (although I had every right to be upset that he consoled his ex-wife, out of earshot, for 30 mintues when she found out I was pregnant). There is no easy way to put it..he has jerked me around with his emotional abuse (during ADHD 'episodes') and manipulated my thoughts and messed with my head and has many times convinced me that I didn't deserve to breathe air. They substitute manipulation and guilt for real, meaningful mature conflict resolution. You need to filter every word that comes from his mouth and I bet good money you could figure out an angle for everything he says...and it isn't what he's saying so much as how he's expecting you to react. (cave to his passive/agressive demands)

I would not make myself available to him right now..other than to offer support from afar. Most likely, once the dust settles, he'll accuse you of using the situation to try and get back into his good graces. I was in a similar situation with my husband and instead of him seeing my support and true and compassionate he accused me of trying to manipulate and control him. It was probably one of the most hurtful and horrible things he's ever said to me...and to think he would honestly think I would be that low.  

Sherri That is my exact


That is my exact concern- that he will use my compassion against me and say that I am trying to gain something from the situation. That's why despite wanting to "rescue" him- I feel like being compassionate from a far is the best thing for both of us.


Just before my ADD diagnosis, I was having anxiety attacks and pretty sure I was depressed. I felt like I was watching my life unravel before me. I KNEW something was really wrong. I went to my PCP and took the quick mental health quizzes and scored fairly high on the Bi-Polar quiz. When I first met with my new Psychiatrist, he told me within minutes he did not think I was Bi-Polar, but totally ADD. I did not think I was Bi-Polar and was stunned by the suggestion of ADD. He did not push me, but simply asked me to read a book about ADD and come back and tell him what I thought.

This was a Very effective strategy to take. I had the mindset that I would just read the book to Dis-Prove the ADD theory, but as I read the book "I" came to the conclusion that "I" had ADD. Wow... I think most of us ADDer's need to discover ADD themselves to really believe it. I am quite skeptical, shocking I know, and need cold hard provable facts to believe something new.



And then there's that...

At this point, I think that he's not "flailing" so much as he has made a decision and is using every aspect of his imagination to cement that it was the right decision to make. I know that this description seems to fit what Dr. Hallowell described in his book "Delivered From Distraction" as "slide". He got frustrated with being the cause of strife and hating himself for it- and now instead he has chosen to hate me. He couldn't possibly have ADHD- he was just in a bad marriage. He lied about phone conversations, email addresses, and friendships with other women- because I never gave him enough attention. He tried his hardest to please a woman who could not be pleased and in the process he even got tested for ADHD and accepted a wrong diagnosis, took medication, all in an attempt to make me happy- which he couldn't do because I am too "complicated".

Any discussion wherein I have admitted I could have reacted differently has been twisted and inflated to be some horrible crime against humanity and further promulgation of all of the reasons he can't possibly be in this marriage.

His family refuses to think anything is wrong with him. His mother says "if he has so many problems- why would you want to be with him? I think he's fine. He goes to work everyday and seems to be in an ok mood. He says he loves you- he's just not in love with you." (I didn't realize that they had timeshares in Denial). I told her "it's not an emotional thing- his diagnosis- it's like saying he has asthma- there are certain things that are a problem because of asthma- and you have to take medication to alleviate the symptoms enough to have a normal life".

He's on a kick now- I am to not be negative with him at all (meaning sharing any feelings that I have), or he won't talk to me. Basically- if I don't behave the way that he wants and pretend that everything is ok- he will ignore me. He's even said "we can have the relationship your parents had- we just won't speak to eachother." (just before he got out of the car and decided to walk home...well, walk across the street and call his enabling mom to pick him up).

She (his mother) actually told me the other day "after two failed marriages- I've learned there are things you don't talk about. If there's something your spouse does that you absolutely hate or that bothers you- you can't say anything about it. Talking about that stuff has no place in a happy marriage. She told me how many vacations for us he'd planned for months that we didn't go on because I didn't want to go (I'm glad he talked to her about them for months- he usually told me at the last minute. Had I any presence of mind during the conversation I would have asked her "Oh? Ask him how many hotel rooms he reserved during all of this planning"...the answer is 1- and that was the night of a trip he sprung on me; made the reservations right in front of me to immediately pack up our stuff and drive there that night to get there at 1AM- a trip that we didn't go on because the night he reserved the hotel room- two hours later we got a call that his mother was in the hospital possibly having a heart attack.

If I want any time of amiable resolution to divorce and child rearing- I have to keep my frustrations bottled and put on a smile- otherwise- he's not going to be nice. I feel like this pregnancy is another way for him to control me- because I will need something from him he feels he has the upper hand to dictate what my behavior needs to be in order to make his life easy and pleasant (and so he doesn't have to confront any issues that were/are between us because they are just "negativity".)

I think your first paragraph

I think your first paragraph says EVERYTHING...and his family is apparently 'with him' on this. Complete and utter BS.

It does appear as though he has the upper hand...and I'm not sure why. Sure, you'll 'need' things from him (i.e. child support) but you have a lovely legal system that can take care of that for you. I think the time has come for you to get a lawyer and at least get some very solid advice on where you stand and what you will be able to get from him. He left you...he's screwed. Is he threatening you with a nasty divorce if you're not 'nice' to him?

You say that you have to be 'positive' or he won't talk to you....and  my question to you is why do you WANT to talk to him? I mean look at it from his point of view..he is STILL getting what he wants. Freedom. Control. The only thing I agree on, at this point, is that I would not discuss my feelings with him AT ALL. You know it is the absolute WORST thing you can matter how 'good' it might feel to get it all out to him, it truly just puts them in 'turbo' and makes them run that much faster. You cannot depend on him emotionally AT ALL right now. I know that hurts and it is the most cruel and unfair thing ever and no one should ever have to endure that reality..especially while pregnant with the a$$hole's child...but you truly need to come to accept this and start looking for support in places where you WILL get it and it will bring you comfort during such a tough time. Are you going to counseling? It would help you so much right now to have someone to help you deal with and sort through all of this. It is hard and it hurts...and you'll find yourself in moments of weakness...but you also need to start digging deep down and realizing that you are LOVEABLE and you are deserving of so much more than his unbelievable deflection.

He is manipulating you in the worst kind of ways...I am praying for you to find the strength to put an end to it and take control back of your life. You have a child coming in a few short months...let that bring you the strength you need to start standing up for yourself and stop letting him drag you around emotionally. I know you've said you're not ready for a divorce...but do you think you could at least make an appt to get some advice on what your options are so that you aren't worrying unnecessarily?


Thanks for your response.

As far as an attorney- I have already retained an attorney for this situation- I have gotten some advice but to keep the situation an uncontested divorce (and therefore cheaper) means that we have to work out an agreeable solution to property disbursement/ parenting plan, etc. to submit for divorce. This has primarily fallen upon me- and discussing this stuff with him depends on the day/time of day/ etc. as to the type of response I will receive. He's unwilling to be flexible if I'm not "positive"- he will basically decide that he does not want to do/help/consider options or have the discussion at all. This makes things complicated (I've already paid several thousand dollars to the attorney for representation- the more back and forth that happens- the more it will cost.)

As far as "upper hand"... a great deal of his power in the situation comes from my sadness/ hurt/ fear over what is happening and how helpless I've felt over the fact that his family is not helping or even seeing what's going on. Not one of them has called to check on me the entire pregnancy- ultimately I'm just a host and when I have the baby is when they will have interest- because that's what they consider part of their family- not me. I've been trying to talk him out of this the whole way- which has ultimately resulting in him feeling like he has the emotional upper hand (and he has).

I understand the legal

I understand the legal aspects of it, but if your lawyer can't at least sit down with you and write up something (what you're asking you want things divided) to give him something to sign then what are you paying him for? At the very least write it down...mail it to him..and ask him to 'give feedback' and send it back to you. There has to be a way to stop the verbal exchanges...and the emotionally pulverizing number he is doing on you.

Is your family local? Please PLEASE consider what is going on here...look at it from a different light. These people are condoning a grown man walking out on his pregnant wife. I don't care who you are, that is WRONG. I would absolutely wring my son's neck if he ever did that. Are they really the kind of people that THEIR support matters? Apparently they are playing a huge role in how your husband is...and I wouldn't give them the time of day if they DID ask how I was doing. I know it feels desperate...and I know you probably cannot see it this way right now..but you really don't NEED people like that in your life...that is the last thing you need. They are what they cannot change that they are enabling, cold hearted cads...but you can change the thinking that you need them for some reason. You need love and support and you need someone to hold you and tell you everything will be OK..but it isn't them..or your husband. You truly, TRULY deserve better than this lady. They do not deserve to know you..or your baby.

separtion process

I’m a few months ahead of you in the separation process so hopefully some of what I’ve learned may be of use to you. Make sure you really click with your lawyer. Remember they work for you; you are paying them thousands of dollars. Do not let them fan the flames of mistrust/anger higher than they need to be. Do not let them steer you in a direction you are uncomfortable with. You are emotionally fragile and vulnerable right now. Keep in mind that you are merely a file to them and once you’ve paid your final bill, they are done with you. Conversely the separation/divorce agreement will affect you and your child for the rest of your lives. It will outline custody/parenting time, support payments (child &/or spousal), and division of matrimonial property. You say this task has fallen primarily on your shoulders. I hear the exhaustion in your words. Yet another gargantuan job for you to deal with. You are battleweary. But there is this—you have control. First decide what YOU want and get working on your plan to make it happen. What are you firm on? What are you willing to negotiate on? Once you have decided what your key priorities are, then present this to your lawyer and enlist his/her assistance. (REMEMBER: They are your hired help!! ) Then get ready for some (more) mental chess. Part of your husband’s power right now is getting an emotional reaction from you. If you accept that he is determined to leave and let him know that, you take back some of that power . Then appeal to your husband on your common ground—ie neither one of you wants to spend a fortune on lawyers. Try to resolve as much as possible between the two of you vs. the letters between attorneys ($$$$$ also cold + combative) I made a spreadsheet on the computer listing all the furniture, electronics etc. in our home & I approached my husband to go through it on a good day/good time as you say. We went through the whole list in about 30 minutes & divided it all up. If you are finding that face-to-face or telephone contact doesn’t go well these days, try e-mail. Begin with the non-emotional issues (eg do you want the brown couch or the black couch). Keep in mind that stuff is just stuff and it’s not worth fighting over. If you are easy going about this and let him feel like he’s getting some “wins” then you may deflate his anger balloon. Go as far as you can without it getting upsetting. Avoid any hot buttons. Then be done for the day. You can then present to your lawyer—“Okay this is as far as we managed to get; now I need your help.”Depending on where you live, some asset division/support payments might be formulatic, the rest negotiated on a case by case basis. Use your lawyer for legal advice when necessary, but listen to your intuition for all else. You WILL get through this. Don’t let it overwhelm you. See it as a series of smaller pieces rather than one large, intimidating heap. Shift your focus from bad energy (his loser family); instead keep your hands on your touchstone(s): your unborn baby, friends, faith; anything that makes you feel GOOD and CENTERED. Good Luck xo

was in your shoes....

I just came across your post and wanted to reach out to you...I was in a similar situation (on the verge of separating from my ADD husband) when I was pregnant with my now 4 yr old son. Our differences were tremendous, his lack of reliability, procrastination, mood swings, etc. was making me crazy and we argued all the time. Despite this, we stayed together and it was probably a bad decision. I stayed because I was pregnant, not working, and terrified about what such a radical change would mean. I was also under the false assumption that it would be better for our child to be together then separated. Essentially, my decision came from fear, insecurity, and deep sadness at the thought of losing the future that I signed up for. Since then, we've moved, bought a house and have tried to cooperate on child-rearing but it's been a total nightmare. Things are as contentious and bad as they ever were, if not worse, but now there's a child stuck in the middle of the madness. And, no matter how much we try to protect our children, they know when their parents are unhappy and this is not good for them.

All this to say, I know it's terrifying to be pregnant and for the ground to feel like it's caved in beneath you; and devastating to feel that the dream of a happy family with children has exploded; and anxiety-provoking to think of bringing a child into the world on your own. However, oddly enough, this could be a blessing in disguise. Your husband WILL NOT CHANGE. If anything, the addition of a baby will make things worse. When you separate, you will not have to deal with the daily madness and struggle that your husband creates while finding your feet as a new parent. Of course, your husband will be in the picture to some extent, but not in the minute-to-minute daily grind that requires discussion, compromise, and dedication to schedules, etc. that raising young children calls for. The issues that you and your husband have now will only be exacerbated once the baby comes. Parenting is a challenge and it can become nearly impossible and crazy-making when trying to cooperate with someone like the person you describe.

Do you have any family in the area, or others that you can rely on? Please don't look to his family for emotional support. They raised this person and they are condoning his horrible behavior. If I had it to do over again, I would spend the months of my pregnancy focused on strengthening my own support network, figuring out if there is work that I could do to support myself, and making a safe haven for myself & baby. On a practical note you could focus your energy on finding a new mothers support group (through your hospital or local childrens shop), getting the names of some good babysitters or mothers helpers (a high school girl who can come over to be with you on the cheap), and setting up some visits from close family and good girlfriends in the first months after your baby comes. This will help you build your new future.

In terms of working things out with your husband for a separation/divorce, maybe sit down and think of what you want/how you envision the scenario and just propose that through the lawyer. Don't try to convince him of anything. Just cold calculated assessment of time you'll need to work, weekends/evening visitations, etc. Child support is usually dictated by a formula used by the courts, which will look favorably on you because you are pregnant and he is leaving you. If at all possible, distance yourself from the need to convince your husband of anything at all, particularly of your suffering and misery. Instead, focus on your future which will be infinitely better without him dragging you (and your child) down. Best of luck!!!

How are you? I was just

How are you? I was just thinking about you and hoping that you're hanging in there and staying strong! ((HUGS)) Update us when you can.


Sherri- I am sitting back


I am sitting back and taking stock of things at this point. The emotional rollercoaster is overwhelming in general. Last weekend affection-then a blow-out fight, and then a he called to check in on Wed only to argue that day and Thursday..."I love you- but I am not in-love with you" has devolved to "I feel nothing for you".

Friday I stayed home sick- I've spent most of the weekend sick as well- grappling with the stress. I feel an overwhelming need to cut bait and get out of the situation the best way that I can- but the choices I have to make to do that are hard. His spiteful perspective is that we are having a child together and should be best friends- it's unrealistic and manipulative. He wants me to take a pleasant approach with him for "the better of the baby"- which really I feel is a way for him to not have to deal with the negative consequences of his decisions (i.e. my inherent displeasure that he left me pregnant).

At this point, I am not sure what to do- but I know I cannot live my life going through this with him and that leaves me few options other than total disconnection between the two of us.

I appreciate you checking in on me- it's been a very stressful few days.

Have you had your ultrasound yet?

I think you said you had an appointment for it last week.  If you've had it, did he show up?

I know you are in a hard place. I wish I could say/do something that made it easier for you.


Some day, and I believe with all my heart...

Some day, and I believe with all my heart that there will be a day, when all the unhappiness that you are being thrown will give way to the joy of becoming a mom. It is an amazing experience and I hope the meanness of your spouse doesnt completely take that away. We are here for you, and many of us are experienced parents with happy kids despite the "other stuff". Sit back, work on finding peace (meditate it really helps), get your little duckies in a row without the fear.. (Biggggg Hugs!!!!)

Right now

I am mortified of spending the rest of my life arguing with my DH about custody and dealing with his DF and all of the mud that they have/are/will sling. I'm exhausted from the emotional abuse (am I wrong in thinking that telling your wife who is pregnant that you feel nothing for her/don't love her/hate her/can't wait until she's out of your life/ do love her but are not in love with her/ etc. are all emotional abuses and manipulations?).

He told me the other day that he does not love me enough to come home and having me treat him like crap just to do the right thing... What is he talking about? I asked him to please outline five things that I had done that were hurtful/harmful/etc. that were not a response/ reproach to his lying... he deflected the entire conversation "Doesn't matter. I'm done with you".

Honestly at this point- the idea of being a mommy is deteriorating under the idea of having to be berated the rest of my life by a man who has unreasonable expectations and a lack of self-assessment.

But you said it all in your

But you said it all in your last do not HAVE to be berated by him the rest of your life.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Please get some professional help for yourself. It is so easy for all of us to see what you cannot see...because you are hurting, you are being emotionally brutalized by this man, and you are blinded by the fear.

On some level are you feeling that if you just have an abortion that he might come back home? If you give him what he wants, that it'll please him enough to come back to you? Can you imagine a marriage based on that?

I have never told anyone this before..but when my husband emotionally and physically walked out on me during my pregnancy I did things (lift heavy things, smoked cigarettes) that I secretly hoped would cause me to miscarry. I would never EVER have an abortion, but I already had a son with special needs and was only working part-time. My life would have been 1000 times more complicated if I were to have to add another child to the mix if he didn't come home. That lasted all of about 3 weeks and then I got mad. When I look at my daughter now (she's almost 13) I cannot even FATHOM what my life would be like without her. She has stood by my side and loved me with a love that has many, many times given me the courage and strength to keep fighting for my own happiness. Good, bad, and ugly...if I would have lost her (due to miscarriage) or done what he asked (aborted) I would have a void in my life that would be so enormous that I would forever be incomplete.

HE IS WINNIG THE WAR HE IS WAGING AGAINST YOU. He is emotionally destroying the hopes that he'll get his way..without a f**king ounce of regard for you OR HIS CHILD. How do you even muster the energy to give a rats ass what he would have to say about you? Look at what kind of a horrible human being he is and ask yourself why you would consider his feelings at all? I don't care what he has going on...ADHD or not...his behavior is despicable and the way you're letting it destroy you is breaking my heart. I want to hug you, support you, let you know that the baby will bring you more happiness than you could EVER imagine in life...and I want to kick him in the teeth!!

Where is your family in all of this? PLEASE find a support system to help you sort through what you're feeling...right now you're basing all of your thoughts and decisions on HIM and what he does or does not feel, does or does not think, does or does not do...and any decision you make will likely end up costing you personally more than anyone else.




Professional help: Continuing to go to a therapist when appointments are available.

Family: Feel that the best thing I could do is not have the child because the battle of limiting custody will be difficult. They feel that the best thing I can do for myself is to extricate myself from his life on every level.

I have let the things that he says make me feel terrible- It hurts when someone you care about looks at you with complete disregard (like their eyes are almost laughing at how upset you are). It's exhausting- I've been physically sick (throwing up- more so than just morning sickness) at least 4 days out of the week from stress, not to mention the "hijack emotional" moments when I become instantaneously overwhelmed by the whole situation and end up crying so hard that I cannot breathe.



Dear Lord I could just cry you have so much on your plate. No one can make the decision about the baby but you. Can you take some time to be with yourself, no phones, computers, distractions? Can you tell your mind to just stop when it runs all the bad scenarios in your head? Everyone is right, it is easier to Monday morning quarterback from the sidelines, bit you need to find some peace from the deadly emotions. Your husband cannot demand that you behave a certain way with him! God, we would not have so much emotional turmoil if that worked. How did he do when you asked him to be a certain way. You are paying a lawyer a lot of money to protect your interests. Why don't you give that challenge for he/she to handle. He can go as crazy as he wants with them -trust me they have heard it before. It would be nice if an agreement could be done between the two of you, bit is risking your mental and physical health worth stuff? I'm not suggesting that you give in! But tell the lawyer what you need and let them deal with the drama. I don't know how far along you are but battling custody now may just be premature. Who knows what he will be like in a few months. Listen to your lawyer for proper guidance Your husband gets power from your reaction, whether its positive or negative. Ignore him, don't talk to him for awhile, and see how much better you would feel. Change the locks if he has keys to your house, dont take his calls or email messages. Do not let him hijack your emotions anymore! You are valuable, you are awesome, can you stand in the mirror and say that to yourself without looking away? Keep doing it until you can. You have believed his lies! His denial and his families denial about him is just that! You don't think if he gets involved with someone else the same behavior won't just repeat itself! It is not you! God bless, and please try to relax, despite everything. You will make the right decision when you are ready,


No wonder you can't breathe! I wish there was something I could do to help. I'm praying for you! And I can listen! I can cheer you on whatever decision you make!

I would bet my life that

I would bet my life that custody will not be anywhere near as big of an issue as you're imagining it. What did your lawyer tell you? He will not even get overnight visits for at least a year...and by then, he will have had time to accept that he cannot run from this OR he will have extricated himself from the situation entirely. Either way, it would all work itself out. Would your family not support your decision if you decide to keep the baby and love it and help you raise it? (in the sense that they would provide it a family that loves it?)

I'm praying for you..and your baby. (((HUGS)))


Yes- my family will ultimately be supportive. The lawyer has not really given much advice as to the likelihood; has primarily given strictly protocol type information.

I'm not sure anymore if he's trying to run from it- he still feels it would be better not to have the child (because of the circumstances- HA!), but he says somewhat casually "I wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. A little you would be adorable." But he still thinks that he's entitled to a lot of child-access.

He and I had discussions last night and he basically seems to think that I am the one making things complicated because I cannot be "cordial" with him. He's trying to be nice (although I think responding to me being upset about something by giving me a weather report is less than cordial and heavily leans against condescention.)

He says he feels like he's ruined my life because he's put me in this position twice now. He says he wants to be with me but "cannot" do it. He has too much resentment for me for the fact that things never went quite as he'd planned them (anniversary's spent fighting inside a hotel room rather than going out and exploring where we were, trips he planned (two days notice to me and never reserving a hotel room "we'll stay at a motel 6..ugh) that we didn't go can see a trend among these things and easily extrapolate how much of that was ADHD symptom related. Impulsive trip, impulsive comments, et al.)

So as far as him "accepting"... he has accepted his own version of things (with the backup of his DM and DF which both believe that if something doesn't give you immediate gratification you should quit at all costs).

In my mind- I'm worried about being a single mother. I know that I would be a great mom, but I am extremely scared of the road that lies ahead; do not want him involved at all if he cannot be both husband and father. Right now in my emotional state- the idea of having to deal with his future girlfriends over my child makes extremely anxious. I want to be able to cut him out of my life completely.


Hey, i just came across your

Hey, i just came across your tread, and shocked at how similar what we're experiencing, only that i'm not pregnant.. my heart goes out to you my dear. i know that you will be strong and things will turn around for you..

4 months ago my husband of 8 years just suddenly decided that he wanted out of our marriage for no obvious reason. We didnt even had a fight! And for the whole period, it was exactly the same things that you have shared, he said he loves me but just cant be with me because he was not himself, he was worried for me when i pulled away, and blamed me for every single thing that he can think off, and go around telling people the twisted picture that he has painted for himself to justify his action. He was diagnosed with ADHD shortly after he moved out, and he is so hyperfocus on his ADHD condition that he even told me to sell our house for him to get his own house so that he can recover.. i heard that he has gotten himself into debt and drug, etc.. 

The whole world collapsed on me when it happened.. he was my whole world and has been a nice husband all these years.. and over night, he is a totally different person that i never known. And till today, while on some good days, i do know that i need to continue to learn to move on without him, but on other days i still find it hard to come to terms with the fact how ADHD can destroy a person and destroy marriage just like that..

Oh lilac, I'm sorry to hear

Oh lilac, I'm sorry to hear that.  My husband did the same thing twice.  He just wanted to move out because family, me are toooooo much stress for him.  He blamed me for every aspect of his life, behavior and decisions he made.  Each time he was gone for about 6 months. Next time he will not come back because I won't allow it.  I cannot let him do that to my kids and me.  We are working on our marriage again but I can't count it. I have no trust in him yet.  I will only be responsible for my behaviors and my life with kids now. 

Hang it there and lots and lots hugs.



Hi jcz, appreciate your

Hi jcz, appreciate your encouragement ;-) did you regret taking him back the first time? I'm struggling with moving on.. i know my life will be better off without him but i dunno why i'm still here waiting. I'm afraid that i'll regret giving up too easily and at the same time, i also know i will hate myself if he finally comes back and does the same thing again in future. So, trap at the same spot for months now, cant go on..

Lilac, like you I am still

Lilac, like you I am still hanging around here hoping I haven't given up too soon, but not wanting to spend my life in the misery I have known these past to years. I am the nonADHD spouse. My DH of almost 2 decades moved out recently; moved across country in fact. We are describing it as a seperation but I don't have much hope of getting back together.

My counselor has warned of unseperating too soon and without proper bundaries set in place. We have not much hope if my DH moves back in with me into our home and we try to repair our marriage from where we left off. It was awkward and resentful and a bit of a cold war instead of actual communication. To repair a good marriage the counselor says, it requires truly seperate living, a whole new beginning, repairing the damage and also wooing one another into a place of emotional intimacy again, like dating. You don't have to, even should not, live together right away.

I am feeling so good since he left. I am grieving for sure; I can't talk about it without crying. But the anxiety of possible confrontation, the pressure of acting/speaking just so, trying to forecast what my actions might cause in the way of reaction--it's all gone. And the crying is less frequent now. Less than when he was here. I am trying not to think about whether he will want to come back or whatever. I merely have a response ready for whatever he proposes and that is, "I need time to think about it."

Let your doubt and grief run its course. Then you can decide what to do if he wants to come back. Don't let it be an emotional decision; one of you has to be making decisions based on fact and long term realities. That's probably going to have to be you. I'm sorry you are experiencing this part of relationship.

get out while you can, save your child

As a mom, wife, and teacher, all I can say is get out now.  You need to make sure you are in a good space.  Do not allow him to tell you what or when to do anything.  Do not enable him.  and under no circumstances let your child stay with him alone.  ADHD parents are not parents that can consistantly care for another person or even themselves.  They live entirely in the moment.  They do not comprehend the passage of time, responsibilites for another, they are the ultimate narcissist.  They will forget anyone and anything that is not in their need bubble.  It is best to have him move out, liquidate the assessets, get your own place.  Do not depend on him for anything.  Get a child custody agreement that states that you have sole custody, you make all the decisions with the child.  You will need to write a will and get a guardian that will take care of your child if you are too sick/injured or die.  Do not depend on him to step up, he will not be consistant enough to care for your child's needs.  As an educator, I see students come to school that are products of ADHD parents.  It is never good.  Food is not healthy, clothes aren't clean, they do not have good reading skills comming in, they cannot function in a structured environment because they have never had one.   The parents never have papers signed, do not provide consistant followup on homework, parent conferences, even medication for their kids are iffy.  The failure rate for children of ADHD parents in the home is astronomical. 

Protect your sanity, protect your child. get a lawyer and get out while you are young enough to find someone that is good for you and your child.  Someone that will treat you with respect, dignity, and love.  Someone that will put you and your child first.  It took me 17 years to learn this.  I wish someone had told me this at the onset.  I would have not wasted my youth on this insanity.


Please don't lump us all together...

I am a good father and husband. People depend on me and I do make mistakes, but on the big things I am one to be counted on. I did pretty well with this for 43 years of undiagnosed ADD and afterwards I am responding well to the meds, and working hard to correct my ADD behaviors. Your advice may be exactly right for the situation you are talking about as I have read many posts about ADDer's who make us all look bad. My wife helps with my weaknesses as I help with hers. Our kids make straight A's and are dressed well. I have always been a glass half full guy and not a Narcissist. Maybe I am not the typical ADDer and as a teacher you probably have seen many examples of the disconnected ADD parent.

I only ask that you not generalize all of us with ADD. Some of us are working very hard for our families and we all have a condition we have had to deal with since birth. I wish I had know about ADD a long time ago, so I could have done some things differently, but I cannot so I will work on the future.



Yes, you, DF and a few others

Yes, you, DF and a few others are in the process of working very hard to kick this disorder in the butt.  We are proud of you all.  But there are still many of us who are fighting for our lives because of this disorder.  Mommawick's entry regarding this disorder continues to ring so true for many of us.

Thank you :)

I guess it kind of scares me to read about the ADDer's who don't seem to get it, because I don't want to even think about slipping back to where I used to be. I don't think my wife was ever That close to giving up, but it is also scary to think she could have gotten there too. I keep coming to this site in hopes of helping others and to keep me on my toes as well. Thanks for the encouragement Newdogswife :) YYZ

Yyz, you do help. So I thank

Yyz, you do help. So I thank you too. Like all of us here, I want to point out that you are more than just some guy with add (or we spouses who dont have it). Your successes do not come just because you proactively deal with the adhd symptoms (which is, of course, huge) but because of your strength of character, humility, and caring. Applause and continuing pats on the back to you. :)

Thanks very much...

Lululove... I really have gotten a lot of great info from you and several others too. So let me return the "Pat On Back" :) It is great to see people "Not giving up" on their version of "Me", which gives me positive reinforcement that I certainly need. I really get some great views through different windows that might not ever occur on my own.

I wish there were more posts about couples really departing "The Roller Coaster". The middle period of this process seems to be a real Slow Motion phase, where some things may be better, but no clear path to follow to move steadily forward.

Let's keep the support rolling :-)


I have been thinking about

I have been thinking about you and hoping that you are doing OK. I know your situation is extremely unfair and tragic...and I just wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you. I don't know what you decided to do, and I know that I never hid the fact that I hoped above all hope that you would keep the baby in spite of what seemed an insurmountable mountain, but just know that whatever you decided I am still praying for you and thinking of you. Life is very unfair sometimes, but everything happens for a reason. ((HUGS))

Ew, I'll jump in too, to

Ew, I'll jump in too, to agree. We are here for you... Your cyber sisters/brothers know what can be involved. Though our stories may differ, our feelings are true and real, and our perspectives jibe with yours. Stay strong, feel the support for you here... It's real. Let us know how you are, when you can. <3