I would love to know what you think of this. I've been with my Husband for 10 years now. I came to realise ADHD could be an issue after some training from work (i'm a teacher). And from then on it became so obvious that I literally must have had my eyes shut the whole time. It also became apparent in his immediate family too. And I can vouch that this isn't something people 'grow out of'. He finally got a diagnosis a few years ago, but no more support/suggestions offered. He did some CBT which wasnt too helpful. He enquired into an ADHD specific therapist but then forgot all about it.
I have read ADHD is often co-morbid, so I dont know if there's other things going on for him, but basically, my husband feels like two people.
I have a funny, entertaining, authentic, kind, loyal and sweet husband... he is around for a third of the time.
The other two thirds is made up of someone that can be controlling, selfish, unwilling, throws temper tantrums, moody, cannot negotiate/compromise, thinks everything in his head is accurate/ right (and so on). In fact, at times, i think he is so nasty, that if he didnt have ADHD, i'd think he was a horrible, toxic ****!
During what could be a minor disagreement, he will not hesitate to 'go for the jugular' right away... through his shouting, insults and general verbal attack. I can literally see in real time his inability to not think things through and impulsively react/over-react. But it is very hard to just sit there and take it.
I used to be a VERY passive and patient person.... but i dont know if life experience or age, or just having to deal with him has made me change, but I struggle to remain patient and calm these days. I suppose I am very tired of being pulled into these situations/ arguments, of nothing improving and of him taking NO responsibility whatsoever.
It's got to a point where he thinks I cry on purpose, and treats me accordingly. Its really horrible.
I would say that most days we will bicker. And most weeks we will have a blazing row. Often over something stupid, like what i may or may not have said. Sometimes, i think i'm losing my mind or sense of self. I dont understand how i'm not recalling things that i apparently JUST said. I also find him to be VERY literal. If there were two ways of understanding something, he would definitely take the 'path least followed'.
I'm not really sure what to do about things. I really love and enjoy the one side of him and I try to encourage this. I also appreciate that I have a part to play in things... i'm not looking to create 'perfect'.... but i'm exhausted and often dream of a life filled with peace and calm... and knowing what to expect.... some kind of consistency.
I've tried to explain all this over the years, and tried every technique i can think of- supportive, lets do it together, angry, upset, begging, given up, encouraging/praising! My husband truly thinks i'm at fault (until he doesnt and then he'll apologise). I've even offered to agree with him in the hope this will enact change. I've modelled seeing a therapist, reading self-help books/ articles, etc. Tbh, i'm all for positive change, no one is perfect, there is always stuff to learn/ grow from.
Basically, he comes across like he's two different people. And worse, he comes across like a toxic abuser.... sometimes he recogises he is at fault. He clearly gets upset about it and he says he is sorry, plans something (like therapy), and then forgets it all.... and REPEAT.
Also, if he does something wrong or against his own rules (yes he has a long list of things that need to be followed), he will 'tell himself off' so I dont have to!!! Yet if i didnt follow a 'rule', he will not stop going on about it.
Does this sound familiar? Or could it be something else along with ADHD?
I have a similar experience
Submitted by Bklyn lmr on
My spouse is so intelligent and capable. But the other side reveals a short temper, high levels of procrastination which mimics the behaviour of a teenager. I too am exhausted and struggle to find the compassion needed to provide support. At this point, I am on fumes and extremely stressed out. I have no reserves left. So you're not alone in this.
I have the exact same story
Submitted by M. on
Wow reading your post is like reading about my life. The toxicity, the tantrums, the horrific behavior, yet also wonderful at times. We have very, very similar experiences. I, too, dream of a life of peace and calm and consistency. I am utterly exhausted. I truly know how you feel.
It's not so easy to just walk away when we know there is an underlying brain condition. And most people don't understand what living with this is like. Is your husband seeking help? Mine has made appointments with a psychiatrist and an ADHD therapist, and we have a couples counselor but he already can't remember what the dr said to do and we are fighting again just coming out of the appt. So, I feel hopeful that mine is seeking help, and hopeless that it won't make any difference.
I know how you feel. We just want some damn joy again.
Not always easy not to respond to their symptoms.
It is like living with a third entity in the relationship. You, him, and ADHD.
Submitted by felicity on
It all does sound very familiar. It is exhausting isn't it? I often wonder is it worse for us or 'them' though, I would hate to have that internal mental chaos all the time. On balance though I think it is worse for us coping with the fallout! It sounds like you are doing absolutely everything you can so a big well done for your patience and care. I am just trying to carve out more life for myself at the moment and stop living by the rules that I realise now I've allowed myself to go along with to try and keep things calm but are the result of my husbands adhd and learnt from HIS adhd father. I'm going to try and find some happiness on my own time and I hope that will give us (me) a bit more equality.
I can relate to lots of your
Submitted by needingstrength on
I can relate to lots of your post. It seems my husband also has two sides: Jekyll and Hyde, if you will. I can also see the transformation, in real time, to just act impulsively during arguments. He can never see the other point of view. To him, his interpretation of my behaviors is the only correct one. Often arguments will start because he perceives me acting/speaking in a certain way (my "tone") and assigns intention to it that was not there. He also thinks I cry to manipulate...no! I'm just incredibly frustrated, sad, and lonely after 10 years of this. Of course, he will also claim this is true on his side as well and that it's my fault for various reasons. I'll admit I have not been perfect but I have worked so very hard to improve over the years and I feel like he doesn't realize improvement on his end is necessary.
There is so much I love about him. And I still do love him despite all of this. I know he loves me. After years of begging, pleading, proposing compromise (which he doesn't feel is necessary), praising, etc, just as you have, I have realized that I do not have ownership for any of his issues and tantrums and that he is the unreasonable one, not me. I've started to disengage when I can see "the mood" coming from a mile away, no matter how tempting it is to "fight back." After 10 years of getting nowhere regardless of how I interact with him to what comes off as abuse I have come to realize that control of this is ON HIM and not on me. I have done nothing wrong. Instead of getting emotional I have experimented with responding reasonably. He still acts like a teenager but at least I know, that I am NOT in the wrong and that offers me comfort.
Submitted by Eighpryl_AB on
You just described my marriage. My husband was gobsmacked when I told him I have been lonely and miserable, have felt unheard and misunderstood for our entire marriage due to his HORRIFIC overreactions, verbal abuse, gouges, digs, etc. He couldn't imagine that I could feel this way with everything he does for me, and how he adores me and tells me all the time that I'm beautiful, etc, etc, etc. But it IS like being married to Jekyll and Hyde. One minute he's adoring, the next he's misinterpreting something I said or did or a look on my face and making nasty comments/pitching a fit/walking off in retaliation. And him thinking initially that he is always right or stating everything in undisputable absolutes is impossible!
Yes. It's exhausting.
Our spouses sound very
Submitted by needingstrength on
Our spouses sound very similar right down to him not understanding how I feel due to "everything he does for me." Which is true-he is flattering, adoring, playful, complimentary, a good provider...half of the time. The other half my husband can have horrible, incredibly mean outbursts, reactions, blamefulness, accusations of things I didn't do, wrong interpretations of "tone," etc. for a long time I wondered if he was a narcissist because of how he is always right, never apologizes even if he is very obviously wrong. It's like the thought doesn't even occur to him that he could be incorrect on something. Or, if he forgets something important, it's a guarantee that somehow I didn't remind him good enough and there's no way he will apologize. He will often throw a tantrum when he feels slighted against instead of trying to see the other point of view. Or if I snap on a singular matter in the morning, for example, by the time evening comes I've been "riding him all day" and I get the silent treatment or him storming off to have some space (which leaves me taking care of our kid and smoothing things over with them). It is exhausting.
I loosely researched
Submitted by Eighpryl_AB on
I loosely researched narcissism for a couple years because of my husband's behavior. While the verbal abuse part fit, there were too many other factors that didn't. My husband had what I called "lucid moments" when he'd realize how awful he'd been and apologize, but give it a little time and we were right back to where we started. I think the hardest part about realizing that he has ADHD was understanding all those times when he'd claimed that he didn't think he was THAT BAD, and I thought he was just covering for his bad behavior, that he actually in his mind, was convinced that he wasn't that bad. That on a scale of 1 to 10, when I rated his verbal attacks at an 11, he thought he was maybe a 7. What do you even do with that? He will never be able to wrap his head around the damage he's done.