So, some background. DH and I have been together for 20 years. Married for almost 14 of that. For all of our relationship we have worked opposite shifts because, well that's just how the jobs go. Which was fine. After we got married we tried for almost 5 years to have children. Nothing worked except IVF. 5 children later (4 living as we had a daughter who passed) we are done with kids and love watching them grow. We still work opposite shifts however. That's the way seniority goes. I work days M-F and he works overnights Friday through Tuesday. Wed and Thursdays are his days off and it sucks for getting together with friends and family. It is what it is. The pay is good, health and retirement benefits are top notch! DH is home to get the older 2 off the bus every day which helps with daycare/babysitter costs! Not to mention they get some time with DH before I and the younger 2 come home for the day. Which is a positive and anyone who has multiple kids can agree I'm sure!
All of that being said, DH was diagnosed with ADHD around 20 years old. Instead of medication, he would "self medicate" to sleep at night by drinking. A lot. When we started dating that really changed because I'm not a drinker and well, it sucks to drink alone. Couple years into dating and a case of beer would last 3 months. If not longer.
3 years ago he took a new job (Yup, still overnight but this gives him the stability, better pay etc which I mentioned above). It's management and it's railroad. Anyone who knows anything about the railroad knows the mentality is worse than truckers. Between language to "You need to do" mentality. I have a friend who's husband is a police officer and (same hours) many a times she has to tell him he's not "Cop John" when he comes home. It's the "rough around the edges" or "foot in mouth disease". issues LOL.
With the ADHD and now having children that can be impacted by his "Foot in Mouth" or "Lack of having ANY tact" when he speaks it's harder for me to deal with. When it was just the 2 of us, that was one thing. There are many times I have to remind him that they are children, not adults and I'm his wife not a railroader. He understands and feels bad, but man oh man! Let me be clear, he simply speaks before thinking (tact) he's not a jerk although others who do not understand him think he is. He is a great dad, and the kids (8,7 and 4) give him hugs and kisses at night, before they leave for school (yes, even the 8 year old!) we say I Love you to the kids all the time. He will read them bedtime stories, and is happy that even though he works overnights he can be there every night for kids' functions.
What's really hard about the foot in mouth (not sure what else to call it) is no one seems to understand him like I do. I feel like I'm constantly defending him to others. My mother can't stand talking to him because she says he's rude, and she doesn't like "how" he speaks to me and the kids. Again, if I explain the ADHD and lack of being able to formulate a decent thought prior to speaking it at times I get the "don't make excuses for him" comment. I will admit, he is strict with the kids. Sometimes more strict that I would like. He has, what I call, the dad tone. "You need to sit on your butt at the table" "You want something, you ask you don't just go grabbing for it" He will be playing with the kids on the floor and sometimes it gets to be enough where the kids will cry but he keeps on. I have to tell him enough, let up. He's not hurting them by any means, but you can only be tickled so much. A month ago he spanked one of our kids once for acting up. I let him know I was not happy with that and it was completely uncalled for. He has never done that to our kids before. Then yesterday he was very frustrated. None of the kids were listening, and running around like kids in a candy store on a sugar rush. I could hear him on the phone telling them to calm down, they need to sit and wait for me (I was coming to pick everyone up for swimming lessons). Several times he asked them to calm down. One of the kids even said "I can run around the outside of the house to burn off some energy". When I got there, they were all getting in and one went to budge infront of his siblings. Like kids do. He told that child not to do that. 3 different times. Still, no listening so he grabbed the ear and said "these things are for listening". Our son said it hurt and cried. DH was like "I didn't grab it that hard". The look I gave him he knew....I told him he doesn't need to go to that extreme and he was like "If you only knew how these kids have been the last 2 hours". Um, yeah. I know. While you are sleeping on the weekends I'm alone with them all day. I know how they are. There are times he will make comments and think he's funny too. He told my mom a couple of months ago "I know what it's like to be old like you now". It's like Ummmm What? I even had to look at him and be like "hu?!?" He explained how he has started playing racquetball again and found he's not in as good of shape as he had hoped. Hence feeling like he's in his 60's. My mom told him that she could run circles around him and he said "Oh I don't doubt that one bit, I just feel like I'm in my 60's after I play not my 40's". Which is much better than saying "I know what it's like to be old like you now". Stupid. Several weeks ago I set something down on our antique kitchen table and our dog (whom we had to put down for cancer) had a massive bloody nose. I forgot the item I set down and it took a tiny part of the finish off. He flipped (loves his antiques). Later in the day I told him that you know what...it's a table. Yes, I get that you love the table and it's been in your family for 100 years, but it's a table nonetheless. It wasn't on purpose and you had no right to speak to me the way you did. He started to comment and then said "I'm not getting into this now" and we haven't spoken about it since.
Yet, one more example of his tact. He sent, on social media, a cartoon of neighbors being nosey to our one neighbor. A retired, but very spunky couple. They didn't understand the meaning of the cartoon and asked him to explain. He said "not you, the other woman". To which he meant me, and said I hope that's not us. She wouldn't answer or return any of his calls after that to attempt to explain. He meant we are over at their house a lot during the summer and he hopes that we are not being nosey. She took it as they are nosey and she said to me that she cannot believe I am married to someone who is so demoralizing like that. He did apologize in person to her and said that it was not meant in a negative way at all. That I do bring the kids over a lot during the summer and hang out with them quite a bit (they have a pool too) and he hopes that we aren't overstaying our welcome. She said it will be a cold day in hell before she invites us back over. Gee, thanks for that DH.
I do think some of tact is the job (he has to be a straight shooter. Ever talked to a cop, railroader, or trucker). The overnight hours, and his personality. I have brought this up to him before and he feels some of the strict kid part is because I'm not so he has to make up for both (TBH, the kids don't really listen to me lol. I have to ask several times for something to get done). Our ex sister in law (divorced from his brother and we still hang out with her) said of all her friends she feels we have one of the best relationships she's ever seen. I mean, is some of this just typical parenting that happens (I've been reading on that too and a lot of it points to yes) or is his ADHD causing some of this? I'm curious to your thoughts. Thanks.