Hey all... first time poster, long time wife of ADHDer.
I am already at the end of my rope as non-adhd spouse. My husband is in denial. We have not been intimate in 8 years. He can't/won't hold traditional employment. My house is in chaos. I am responsible for 90% of the load. Etc., etc. You all know the story too well.
My concern has turned from myself to my husband's relationship with our daughter. She is a tween and very emotional/sensitive. I see her walking the same path I have over the past 20 years and my heart is breaking:
She approaches my husband for love and understanding - she is hurt and confused when none/little is there
She hopes he will have interest in her and what she cares about - he is able to show little interest
She hopes he will spend time with her and asks him often - he is too distracted/disinterested/lives on his laptop
She does nothing wrong or the slightest thing (spills a drink) - she gets yelled at only to be apologized to later (apology is nice, but the hurt from these impulsive, sometimes cruel, blurts is accumulating all the time for her)
She will go into his room (yes, we've had separate bedrooms for 10 years) and try to clean his mess because his belongings are in permanent disarray (read: there is not a fiber of carpet showing in that room) - She can't clean or fix her way into his heart; she is often yelled at for trying
He says the words, "I love you" and he does love her but is unable/unwilling to show it in meaningful ways so that she will feel loved.
She has confided in me she thinks her dad doesn't love her. Boy do I know how it feels to seek his love, sometimes work waaay too hard for it and not get it. She has clearly and emotionally told him how she feels several times. It sometimes resonates in the moment, but his awareness of her feelings and needs disappears by the next day. Sadly he is unwilling to address his ADHD symptoms and truly does not see them clearly or how they impact his relationships. He sees us as adversaries who do not accept him for "who he is."
It was one thing for me to walk this path and stay because a divorce would mean I have to trust my DD to his inept custody part of the time, likely pay him support, and be separated from my beautiful daughter on the days I don't have her. At the same time, staying and watching her hurt like I know I hurt and become as heartbroken as I have become is killing me.
Can anyone relate? Can anyone with children (grown or growing) offer advice that has worked for you or eased this pain? I am open not only to advice about helping my daughter through in the current reality, but hearing from those who faced similar issues and decided to leave vs. stay. Sometimes I wonder if they would have a better relationship if he only saw her two days a week. However, that is a big risk for me to take and a lot of time to give up with my kind, sweet girl (not to mention he could easily get 50/50 custody, which would just destroy me and I believe, her). I find there is little information out there on ADHDers as parents. Please help and thank you all for investing your time in my story. Much love to all those struggling. ❤