Hello everyone, I have been living apart from my long term partner for a year. Although he says he has explored the idea that ADD is behind his increasingly difficult behaviour, I am not sure if he has actually gone all the way down the path to diagnosis and treatment - he appears to keep this secret from me. We parted because I was so stressed I was unable to control my panic attacks and anxiety, as every time I came home from work it was to find something wrong, nothing done, and everyone angry and upset. I would have accepted him being at home if he had run the household effectively, but he didn't run it at all whatever he said. This became incredibly clear after he left, and it was an easier, much cheaper, better organised, quieter, more peaceful, happier and more reasonable place within a couple of days - and that included the children's behavior.
However, having read so much on here, I don't want to give up - although plenty of professional people have suggested this as the only option. I still think he can be helped, because we had one perfect afternoon in the whole year - a fellow 'adder' had given him a Ritalin and he had taken it just before we met up for a walk.
These are his main symptoms, and any advice would be gratefully accepted.
- He appears to have no concept of the connection between work and money. I was paying interest on debts he had built up in his business that then went bust, and nothing I could do or say would persuade him that he needed to pay this money himself and contribute financially to the household.
- He has not worked or earned for ten years, except very small amounts, casual and for friends and family, and seemed to stay at home doing and achieving little or nothing while I went out to work. He picked our son up from school, but I was also paying for a lot of childcare - in the first years full time. and after school care, holiday care etc. When what I wanted was a balanced life where we both got to be with our kid.
- His judgment is very poor, trust had completely disappeared as I could not trust him to do anything consistently that was based on reasoned judgment from replacing batteries in smoke alarms, to paying bills etc. If he did anything, it was completely inconsistent - done one day but then not again. He thought if he did the kitchen once, it should stay clean in some magic way for instance.
- He got parking tickets so often, but did not seem to see that me having to waste my earnings on paying them off was very upsetting. When challenged he became very angry and appeared not to see why I should be angry when my car was clamped and I could not take children on an outing because he had failed to deal with one.
- He lost things all the time such as car keys and even a treasured necklace of mine, broke things and left things behind that were vitally needed. Such as his wallet and some of my valued possessions. There was often a crisis as a result that I had to solve.
- He agreed to do things, but then didn't do them, leaving me with yet more responsibility which I was finding increasingly exhausting, as if I was carrying him on my back.
- He spent my earnings freely, on expensive things, without reference to me and without earning the money to do so
- He had horrendous mood swings, seemed angry increasingly as he got older. He fought with his own family and his children as well as me.
- When he appeared to agree to a course of action, he completely failed to complete what he had agreed to do, and then became very angry when challenged
- The children were beside themselves, I think they found his inconsistency maddening. Particularly his attempts at 'discipline' which must have appeared as the purest hypocrisy
- He does adolescent things like refuse to wear a seat belt, stay up til 3am watching rubbish on television, is often in bed when I deliver the child to him, goes off at very short notice when I thought we had an agreement about who has the child.
- In the year he has been away from us, he looks much better and calmer, but then he is living a stress free life in his mother's house at her expense, and taking no responsibility for anything. He has not paid a penny towards his children's keep.
We were together for a long time. I have no interest in being with anyone else, and I would very much like to be with him again as he was at his best, when his business was going well and I got to be with my children more and lead a life where I could make choices and was not always panicking about paying for things all by myself. At the moment though, what is getting in our way is that he blames me for the breakdown of our marriage (except in occasional lucid moment) as I did ask him to leave our home. I was very angry, so stressed and upset, my skin crawled, my heart thumped, my hands shook, I was probably horrible to live with towards the end as his behaviour became more and more bizarre.
So many deal breakers, but if the reason is that he has undiagnosed ADHD that has ruined his life, then I am still here for him. He just has to grasp that that is what the problem is, and own it and seek help.
What does everyone think? Is there any hope? I know Melissa's story, but her husband acknowledged there was a problem.
What do I say and do to help us be our best selves for each other and our families?
Thank you for anything you can say.