Advice On What to Say

So, tonight's the night we discuss if we will stay married or divorce. I have been telling him for a long time I am unhappy and exactly what I need from him. I am non-ADHD and my husband has ADHD. I have begged, pleaded, ignored, left him alone, acted normal, acted mad, acted sad...I have tried everything and nothing changes. He has been mad at me for 3 weeks and there is not a reason for it. I told him last night I am going to leave if he is not willing to participate in our marriage. He basically said ok. Then I said, if I leave, it will be for good. I am done with going back and forth. After I said that he said we needed to talk about it. That gives me some hope, but what do I say to him tonight to actually get him to listen? He is not a great communicator so I'm not sure what to say to have an effective conversation. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Hello.  I can sympathize with

Hello.  I can sympathize with you.  My husband seems to not get my concerns despite years of me talking to him about them.  Here are a few suggestions:

1) Don't assume that your husband has no reason to be mad.  I'm not saying that you've done anything wrong, just that if he has a feeling, he has it.

2) Stay calm.  I've discovered that me getting mad doesn't help.

3) Say something like the following:  "If we can't communicate about our marriage, I will get a divorce.  We can work out a way to communicate that both of us can live with, but not communicating is not acceptable.  We need to talk X times a week about our marriage.  We can talk or we can email.  But not communicating is not acceptable."  Then let him talk. 

4) Don't go on for too long.

5) Make an appointment to communicate again tomorrow.

I agree with you

I agree with you totally. Have things gotten better for you? I am just now learning about ADHD and how to deal with it. 

If things are bad enough, you

If things are bad enough, you may need some professional intervention to open the lines of communication. There is usually an abundance of communication, but nothing productive. If you're not 'hearing' each other (or so that is how you both feel) then I would suggest marriage counselor with a counselor who is very familiar with ADHD and how it affects marriages. Melissa's book (owner of this site) is an amazing resource and could be very helpful if you think your DH would be willing to read it and work with you.

Often, when my DH seems mad at me over 'nothing' it usually ends up being more about him deflecting fault on me somehow to make himself feel better for something he feels guilty about. If he can make me out to be a monster and fully to blame for our problems in his own mind, then he can rationalize what he has done. OR he has been known to get mad at me over some small, insignificant (to me) comment I have made or something I have done...and he will go for days being mad and never tell me what exactly I have done. I have to read  between the lines when he FINALLY starts to communicate with me. In either case, he just all of the sudden starts treating me HORRIBLY and I am left reeling trying to figure out why. These things can range anywhere from his spending too much money, him being mad at me for saying I want to go back to work, all the way up to when he was having an affair. 

My advice would be to listen to what he has to say, ask if he'd be willing to go to counseling "to help with our miscommunication", but I wouldn't try to have a conversation with him if he's in a frame of mind to 'give up' on the marriage. He will only say things that you will never be able to forget (such as "OK" when you said you were leaving). If you haven't been able to change anything up to this point, you're most likely not going to start now...not without help. 

Please keep us posted. I said a prayer for you that your meeting is a positive one. 

I really appreciate the

I really appreciate the prayer. Our meeting didn't really get us anywhere. I still don't know what we are going to do.

He absolutely refuses to believe his ADHD is causing problems in our marriage. When he first read the symptoms of ADHD he was open about it and acknowledged this was something he had. He actually made the appointment for the psychiatrist and went. He was prescribed Adderoll and has been taking it for almost a month. At first it seemed to help with his concentration and motivation but not with help around the house or marriage issues. But now it is like he isn't even taking it, even though he is. He spends all his time on the computer or just doing other random things. Our Christmas tree is still up if that tells you anything. He told me if I take all the ornaments down, he will take down the tree. The ornaments have been off for a little over two weeks and he has yet to attempt taking down the tree. I have not mentioned it at all because I don't want him to think I am nagging.

I am not saying I don't have faults or he is always the one causing problems. I just feel like we can't communicate the issues effectively. 

I have read him passages from Melissa's book and he said he doesn't believe it. He thinks she took general problems from relationships and made a book out of it. I told him that it is common relationship issues to HIM because HE is the one with ADHD. He refuses to hear anything about ADHD and has not mentioned any marital problems to his psychiatrist. He said he thinks I am talking down to him and acting like he's crazy when I mention anything to do with ADHD. (I don't by the way) I feel like I can't bring up any issues because he is sooooo defensive.

Last night he listed off things that were wrong with our marriage. For Example: The dog. seriously? Our dog we've raised from a puppy is causing marital problems? He says that I want more kids and he doesn't. (we have one 7 month old boy) I told him I absolutely would love to have more children, but I would choose not to if it meant tearing our family apart and my son not having his parents together. He also said we have no common interests. This is crazy to me. We have been together for 6 years and he is all of a sudden telling me we have no common interests? I really really don't know what to do anymore. I told him I needed him to help me around the house, wear his wedding band, say I love you, say goodbye when he leaves and greet me when he comes home and be nice to me. He never said he would or wouldn't do those things. I actually got so fed up with going round in circles that I just said that's it, I can't do it anymore. I'm done. He said, is that what you want? and I said no it's not what I want, but I am tired of being miserable. He said that we need to think about things and not just decide in one day this is what we are doing. But I know that he won't bring up the conversation again and will still keep treating me like crap. I am so sad and lonely.

I'm sorry (but not exactly

I'm sorry (but not exactly surprised) to hear that the conversation did not go well.  One thing that I need to remind myself of is that the diagnosis of ADHD might not be welcome to the person who has it.  Sometimes people go, "Ah, that's the ticket!  That's why I've been struggling.  Now I can respond.  It's not just me being a bad person."  But others think that having a disorder means that they're flawed.  I really don't know how when breaks through that denial and defensiveness.  It's probably not something that you can do, at least on your own.  

At this point, I would suggest that you seek counseling, preferably for both of you.  It should be obvious to your husband that things aren't going well even if he won't acknowledge that ADHD is a contributing factor. 

My husband had those exact

My husband had those exact thoughts, in order. Excited and ready to get help, then defensive and in denial about the whole thing. I just wish there were something I could say or do to make him see the light. Like if he could have a second aha! moment... He does acknowledge things are bad, he just doesn't think he needs to change. At all. I am willing to admit my flaws and change my ways, but he is not willing to do the same.

A couple of things that I

A couple of things that I hope might help...

First, if he was recently diagnosed, you may be looking at a period of time where he will simply not want to talk about it. Some people, as the above poster said, are so happy to finally know what has been 'off' all of their lives and are very eager to start a new path in life...others, well not so much. My husband liked all of the 'shiny' parts of being ADHD, but said over and over and over again that I needed to accept him just as he was...and would deny to the ends of the earth that our communication issues were due to his ADHD, that our differences (as NIGHT and DAY) in perception were likely due to his ADHD (usually his perceptions of what I was thinking, feeling, or what my motives were on any given day with any given situation...I was constantly answering to him for any opinion or thought I had that he didn't agree with and trying to explain to him that I wasn't 'that' horrible person he was so sure I was), that his overspending and impulse control issues WERE, in fact, very damaging to our marriage and caused me a great deal of stress, and most importantly that the lack of consistency in all aspects of his life (and thus OUR lives) was indeed due to ADHD. He also wanted to throw a huge pity party for himself...because he felt he shouldn't have to change, he claimed to like who he was, and felt like I was somehow short-changing him as a wife for not being able to. I sounded like a broken record for a while..."I should not have to accept something that makes  me unhappy or causes me stress and pain just because it would be easier for you if I did, and save you the trouble of having to do a little work"

Please proceed with caution...I have to ask...not wearing the wedding band and not telling you he loves you...did this just start all of the sudden? I know this behavior...and I know what it meant in my situation. (he was cheating). I do not mean to alarm you, there really is no way to know for sure...and just because my husband did, doesn't mean yours is, of course. I asked MANY times if he was cheating and he denied it every.single.time, but wouldn't wear his wedding band, had left and was living with a friend, and told me all of the same shit your husband said to you...'we don't have anything in common' was one of them. The grasping for straws thing really concerns would the speed at which this all came about. If he's been this way for a long time then I would be less concerned, but if everything is happening all at once, I would be more concerned. It could be that he's going into a depression about his diagnosis too...depressed people try to push away everything that they once held dear...this could be what he is doing. 

I think it is common for things to get worse before they get better, post diagnosis. Maybe, for a month or two you could just take the entire issue off of the table...and go to counseling for yourself and work on you for a bit? Don't ask him for anything. Don't fight with him. Let him choose his own path 100%. I started counseling for ME a few months ago, just to simply figure out why I had allowed myself to be treated so poorly for so long...and how I might be able to improve my situation by improving myself. THEN, when I feel I am where I want to be, I will re-evaluate the marriage. He knows what I need from him, he knows the deal breakers, and he knows that this is his time to work on himself. 

(((HUGS))) I really think counseling is in order...but with his frame of mind, I am not sure he would be a very willing and productive participant. You might have to just work on you for now and let it go. Nothing has to be resolved today. If he wants to leave, I would let that be his choice 100%. "I do not want you to go, but if you want to go then I will not stop you. It is your choice" because he might push you to make that decision...and then turn around and blame you. 

It is amazing how similar

It is amazing how similar ADHD marriages are. He was very accepting and open to the idea of getting diagnosed with ADHD but now he is just pissed off. Everything in your first paragraph explains our relationship exactly. He even told me last night I sounded like a broken record.

I have wondered if he is cheating, but I check his phone and emails regularly. I know this is not a good habit and I should not have to do this, but right now I'm in survival mode. I want to make sure I am pushing through the hard times for a reason. If he is cheating, I would leave the minute I found out, no explanation required. How did you find out your husband was cheating? 

He refuses to go to counseling because he doesn't think it will help. If I ask him what he wants, he just says what he wants and what is realty is two different things. He basically says he wants it to work out, he just doesn't think it can and he hasn't made steps to improve our relationship. So it's a dead end. I think I will start counseling. At least it will help me with coping skills and how to deal with an ADHD spouse. Should I go to his psychiatrist so that maybe eventually we can go together?

One thing that is very useful

One thing that is very useful is to stop having loooong, drawn out 'specific' conversations...for now. Make a point and move on. If he wants to 'talk' then ask him to be specific, make his point and then step away from the conversation. I promise you, things are going to be said that are just salt in the wound...and you are probably both sounding like a broken record. I would really try to limit the amount of time spent discussing 'deep' issues right now. If he is reeling from the diagnosis, hearing how horrible the marriage is AND giving him a target (i.e. sitting and listening to him go on and on about how horrible things are from his point of view, how you have nothing in common, etc) is just going to make things worse. It might be one of the hardest things you've ever had to do, but just step back and breathe for a bit. (there is a wonderful post directed to me...I think in the forum 'other' or maybe the one above it about "support for ADHD'...sorry I cannot remember right off hand...titled "for Sherri" go read it. It was posted around 9-10, or 9-11 of last year..take the advice given. I did)

My story is here somewhere...about his affair and our separation. We were separated (I had asked him to leave) and the entire time he SWORE he wasn't cheating. He just needed time to 'work through some issues' he said...and needed to learn to 'stand on his own two feet'. He used MANY excuses, but in the end the truth was he WAS cheating, had started seeing this woman in August of 09 (he moved out Oct 13th), and SHE got him the apartment..right across from hers. She left her husband to be with him. My father passed away at the end of November (a month after his mother passed away) and I started feeling a very urgent need to put my life (and marriage) back together, or move on. He told me was coming home one weekend in Dec, flaked out and didn't...then told me he was coming home the weekend before Christmas. The Thursday before that weekend I started putting names that had kept coming up (he was taking OUR daughter to games, chorus concerts...and meeting the woman there) together and finally just asked him "are you cheating with ______" and he admitted it. He did so because he wanted to tell me BEFORE he came home...I guess so he wouldn't be homeless if I decided to kick him out. He was going to keep the apartment if I wasn't willing to try and work things out. I also confirmed he had ended the affair at that point...but the specifics on 'how long ago' were iffy...her version vs. his. Looking back, it all made PERFECT sense, but going through it all I honest to God had NO IDEA he was cheating. I could not imagine he would EVER have done something like that to me. I am still shocked that he would be so careless with so many lives...2+ years later.

Psychiatrists typically do not 'counsel' people, they just diagnose and prescribe meds. I am personally torn on the idea of making someone go to counseling (they WILL go, but don't WANT to go for the right reasons...and they feel there is nothing they need to change) because it really didn't work out well for me. That is why I am a fan of going for YOU and letting him wallow in his own crap for a while. Things might get worse before they get better...and they might get worse and never get better...but I was determined to get myself to a more emotionally healthy state before I ever started thinking of coming up with ways to try and fix our marriage and his issues that contribute to our problems. I was very angry and bitter...and my attitude about my marriage was just as poisonous as his untreated ADHD. I was asking for things from him that I couldn't give myself. Go to counseling for yourself...if for no other reason, than to help you detach and stop letting your life revolve around him. It will help him too, for you to do this. I love the book by Melodie Beattie..CoDependent No has been a life saver to me. Honestly, it has. 

Yeah I get what you are

Yeah I get what you are saying about not having long drawn out conversations. I tend to want to talk about it all night and get it resolved, but he doesn't like to do that. I feel like if we stop the conversation it will not come up again. But you are right, I need to let that go... What should I say if he says, "we have nothing in common" or "I want it to work but I doubt it will"? I don't know what to say back to get him to continue talking or that would be effective. 

I will look for your is nice to know I am not alone and can share with people who have experienced similar situations...

I did not know that about psychiatrists... I definitely can't make him do anything he doesn't want to. 

I also don't know how to act when we are home together. He acts mad and distant. If I ask what's wrong, he says nothing. I hate coming home to a stressful environment especially with a baby. I'm sure he (the baby) can feel the tension. I have told him before, either tell me what's wrong and let's resolve it, or stop acting mad. Of course, that does not work. He is so resistant to resolving our issues but he won't leave. Like I said before, we are stuck. He doesn't care if I am gone all day or find other things to do. So...I don't know how to act to make any progress and ease the tension.

But think about

But think about it...really. Do you really think that the answer is in the quantity of conversation? Do you think that, at this point, if you talked all night long, it would really resolve anything? Not to mention, a 2 minute conversation is about the max for most ADHDers, so that isn't even close to possible. What are you afraid will not come up again? The issue of the marriage? Chores? Simplify the situation as best you can by voicing your concerns AS THE SITUATION happens and then let it go. For example: if he promised to unload the dishwasher, but didn't do might simply say "I know you're busy, but if you get a chance, it would really help me out if you could unload the dishwasher". If he says something ugly or disrespectful then you might say "It is really hurtful to me when you say things like that...I know you don't want to hurt me...please don't do that" and walk away. If he says "we have nothing in common/I want it to work but I doubt it will" then you can simply say "I am sorry you feel that way, I don't feel that way." and walk away.  Just stop engaging in these conversations with him. If he wants to be distant and mad then that does NOT mean that you have to react in the my typical ways .. by getting angry yourself or by nagging him to talk to you about what is wrong. Just leave him alone. He's a grown man. If he is upset, and wants you to know why, then he will tell you. If not, assume it is NOT about you and LET IT GO. I was EXACTLY like that myself...I took every.single.mood he had personally..good, bad, ugly. It was somehow my fault if he was upset...when 99% of the time it was some internal conflict he had going on, but could very easily find a way to blame me if I bugged him long enough to tell me what was wrong. It is VERY VERY VERY unproductive to insist an ADHDer talk about their feelings when they are obviously upset. The fact that he 'won't leave' alone says that he's where he wants to just let the rest go and focus on enjoying your life and son and hope he decides to join you. Be kind to him "hello honey, how was your day?" and if he growls at you, then just let it go. Take up a hobby, play with the baby, find a way to bring JOY to your life and just leave him alone to deal with his diagnosis and the guilt and shame he probably is feeling. If I had to guess his "it will probably never work" attitude comes from the mountain of hard work he's facing due to his new diagnosis. It will be much easier for him to pick fights and give up right now as opposed to admit all of the work that needs to be done. Don't add to his mindset by pushing him to resolve things NOW and to share his feelings with you. Back off and let him come to you. As hard as it is to be 'happy' under the same roof with someone who is so seemingly miserable, I PROMISE you it can be done. Detach. The needier you are right now, the further away he's probably going to go. It sucks, but it is a reality. The 'toughest' advice I got was from Melissa who said "he simply cannot give you what you're asking for right now"...and I was almost a little defensive about it at first, but it is the truth girlfriend. He's got a LOT on his plate...don't add to it...but don't let it take you down too. (((HUGS)))

I just want to say that I am

I just want to say that I am so glad I found this site and I am so glad you are here. I feel like even though we have never met, you understand what I'm going through and know just what to say to make me feel better. 

Last night was a little better....Not because we talked or made progress but because I made the commitment to myself to be happy no matter what his attitude is. Our conversation was minimal but I made a point to act happy, be productive around the house and play with the baby. I was in as good of a mood as I could. He of course was pissy and spent ALL night on the computer. Til 12:30. I didn't say anything about it though. The first thing he said this morning was, why did you get in the shower before me? and, there were no clean bottles so I had to wash them at 3am! I responded with, I am not going to argue with you this morning. He then kept on, so I said, "look I told you I am done being miserable and I don't want to start my day off with an argument. Also, instead of blaming me for doing this or not doing that, maybe you should look within and see what you could have done differently." I'm not sure if this was the most productive comment, but I sure felt better and it was a lot different than what I usually would have said. I normally would have said- "Well if you wouldn't have been on the computer til 12:30, maybe you would have been up on time to get your shower and you should have checked to see if there were clean bottles before you went to bed since it was your night to get up with the baby!!"

I guess you are right though about the quantity of conversation. All along I thought that he was just refusing to talk, now I get that he CAN'T.  I am afraid that we won't ever talk about solutions or if we are going to work it out. I am an all or nothing person. I either want you to leave or work it out. I am scared we will live like this for a long time and I just hate living in turmoil. He tends to dwell in his problems instead of being able to get sick of feeling bad and pulling himself back up with solutions. I am going to try out your responses this weekend and see how it goes. I wasn't able to read this last night because of him hogging the computer all night...

I know...Lord knows I wish I

I know...Lord knows I wish I had had this site 10 years ago...but we didn't get a diagnosis until June of 2010 and I joined in Oct, I think. It really does help tremendously to know you're not alone, and most importantly not crazy. I know that it isn't possible to lump everyone with ADHD into the exact same set of issues, but what IS most helpful is the commonalities among so many of us and what we are dealing with because so many of us are in different phases and have either just started or been there and done we can help in various ways. 

Do not beat yourself up...EVER...for any reaction you might have, each situation is a chance to learn something (what works, what doesn't) and everything happens for a reason. The response you gave was far better than the one you said you'd give in the past, but I am going to take it one step further...don't mention "unhappy" "miserable" "fighting" "arguing" etc. It shows him that you're making an EFFORT to not fight with him and, if he's a in the mood (needing stimulation?) to fight, it will give him a clue that you're possibly weak in that area. Instead just say "I'm sorry you had to make bottles in the middle of the night" and don't even respond to the shower thing. That was 100% to draw you into a confrontation...and make you feel somehow 'bad' for taking a shower before him. Good for you that you didn't get drawn in, but I would keep it even shorter and neutral than what you said next time. There is no 'right or wrong' answer to the shower's a set up. Recognize it and ignore it. A HUGE HUGE learning curve ball for me was recognizing what is "ADHD" and what is my husband? If he's trying to pick a fight, being passive aggressive, etc...that's ADHD. I don't respond to it. Last night I made supper. He walks over with his plate and says "can I sit here or are you going to take up the whole table?" I have NO IDEA why he said that...other than there was a backpack sitting in his spot on the bench (which he could very easily move) and I was sitting a LITTLE bit towards his side of the table instead of the middle. It was completely senseless and he was just trying to push my buttons. I said "no one is trying to keep you from sitting at the table, I am not sure why you would even say that" and he ranted on for 2 more minutes, sorta mumbling...and I just ignored him. He was over it as quickly as his ass hit the bench. It is his ADHD...getting the best of him. Six months ago he would vent senseless crap like that, I would react with anger, he would react by being even louder...and we would fight for 2 days over something stupid. Ignore it. Now, since I have just stopped participating, he still blows off hot air at me often (probably happens 2-3 times a week)...but he almost immediately apologizes...something I thought he had forgotten how to do. This much progress, however small it might seem to be, took FOUR MONTHS of me backing off and leaving him alone...and working on me. I don't mention our marriage, our future, his ADHD, counseling, treatment...nothing. I see him trying more now than he has in 2 years...since he spiraled completely out of control and went off the deep end.

PLEASE believe me...I DO understand your fear of 'not talking about it NOW, so it might not ever come up again'. What is it that you're looking for? A promise to you that he's not going to leave? He probably won't be able to give that right now. A promise that he will start doing all you need him to do in order for you to be happy and feel secure? He probably won't be able to give that to you right now. A promise to help more around the house? He probably won't be able to give you that right now. I know you are scared, I was scared too...I felt the longer we went without having some kind of earth shattering progress, the more likely it was to never come. BUT, the way this thing will 'work itself out' in YOUR world is completely different (most likely) than the way it will work itself out in HIS. My husband is tortured by the words "miserable" and "unhappy" because it just adds to their feelings of inadequacy and failure. Give your DH time to digest the diagnosis. Short from life threatening issues or issues that are a threat to the well-being of your family, just take a break from trying to fix things, for now...and start living again. GREAT GREAT GREAT about you being 'happy' in spite of the fact that he ignored you and stayed on the computer. KEEP THAT UP. Did I mention it took FOUR months to see ANY progress at all from my DH once I started backing off? Oh sure, we quit fighting immediately...have only had one fight since 9/10/11...but as far as him checking back into the family/marriage, quitting drinking, etc...I saw no desire to do so until recently. He hasn't stopped drinking, he still isn't back in church, he still spends a lot of his time in the den, he refuses to go anywhere with me (aside from the occasional family event...and he takes his own truck)...but he is talking about it...and expressing desire to change his path. That's a start. Be patient. The best thing your husband could get from you right now is just kindness and patience. Don't fight with him, be kind to him, ignore the obvious ADHD monster when it comes to the surface, and resolve to let him do what he needs to do to work through what he is feeling. Imagine how overwhelming it must be. NOTHING has to be resolved today. Hopefully if your attitude changes, his will too. As I said, as soon as I decided I was done fighting, fussing about him spending 24/7 in the den, etc...his whole attitude changed too. His ADHD didn't get better, but his anger went away as quickly as mine did. Just because you're not having a productive conversation about the marriage does not mean the only other option is to live in turmoil. Not even close. 



I have been following your

I have been following your advice for the past few days and things are starting to get LITTLE better. I have not used the words; done, finished, marriage, divorce, unhappy, miserable, let's talk etc. and I think it has made a difference... He has been opening up more to me and we have been laughing a little. Something that hasn't happened in a while. He still does not acknowledge any of the ADD stuff, but I also haven't asked him to. OH and my Christmas tree finally came down!! woohoo!! I did not even ask him to. While things are not ok or normal it certainly isn't like it was when I first posted here. I have noticed him trying to draw me into an argument and I did what you said as far as walking away or just simply saying I'm sorry. That seems to work but what I've also noticed is that the very things he does not want me to say to him, he says me to allll the time! Why is that? For example, he doesn't want me to "talk down to him" but he is quick to ask me, "WHY DID YOU DO IT THAT WAY???"  Or he doesn't ever pick up after himself but if I leave something out, it's the end of the world... I would love for him to realize he criticizes me for things he would never want me to criticize him for.  

Ok, but put it in

Ok, but put it in perspective...what is more important...him admitting that his ADHD causes issues in your marriage or him taking down the Christmas tree? Maybe you changing your attitude will help him WANT to change himself. I don't mean that as in "your attitude was causing the problem" I mean that in he might look at you and say "hey, she's being really cool and I enjoy laughing with maybe I will take down that tree that I know she's been wanting me to take down for a while now" 

They can noticed 'bad' behavior in others far quicker than they can themselves. As I said here recently (not sure if it was in this thread or not) that he accused me once of just simply not wanting him to have an opinion that differed from mine and said that I just want him to conform completely to my way of life. (in a nutshell) The God's honest truth of the matter is, he wants me to sit like a knot on a log, let him do as he pleases, when he pleases, never EVER ask anything of him, give him anything he wants/needs, accept that he takes money that we don't have out of the bank consistently, and basically 'suck it up' and go along with anything and everything he wants or does. Because I don't, I am not 'accepting' or 'supportive' of him. I won't accept him drinking everyday. I won't accept him lying to me. I won't accept him spending money we do not have and his RECKLESS use of a debit card. I won't accept being married to someone who NEVER does anything with me...and only has time for me when he wants sex. You get the point...if only I would accept would be GREAT...for him.

My husband is exactly the same...he does things to me that he would NEVER accept in return. (and I would never do, for the record). Best advice I can give you is to set boundaries and pick your battles. "why did you do it that way?" would be met with "I am not sure what you mean when you ask that question...but I did it that way because that way was what seemed easiest and best for me, even if it doesn't seem that way to you." This points out that A) you did it 'your' way not to harm or spite him in any way (which is probably what he's thinking) but simply because that is how your mind told you 'this is best' B) that the issue isn't about 'right or wrong' but about 'this is my way, although it might not be the way you chose. C) that a difference in perspectives on how it should be done does not make either of you right or wrong, just means you each have your own unique way. Point out to him "we're just different people with different ways of accomplishing things...nothing to be upset over or fight about" and walk away with a smile. As for leaving stuff out and him being upset...I would maybe just say "I am unsure why that upsets you so badly (to me this draws attention to the over-reacting), but I think we need to criticize each other less for small things like this. I really feel you being angry over stuff like this is an issue you need to work on" and walk away. Always important not to provoke a fight, and not to stick around and let him either. It is him trying to pick a fight...unless of course you're leaving food out to spoil or something dangerous in the floor...otherwise, why fight about it?? Or simply just say "I really don't like it when you act that way over something like makes me feel like you put more value on _____ than you do our marriage/friendship" I don't know, that's a tough one...but calling him on his anger and letting him know how it makes you feel (somehow) is how I feel it would be best to handle the situation. I need to start doing this more. I pretty much keep everything inside now...and it almost blew sky high Sunday. I knew he lied to me weeks ago...and I didn't let him know when it happened that I knew he lied. Caught him lying again this past weekend. It is such a deal breaker for me. :(

You're doing great...and brace yourself for things to maybe get worse before they get better...but recognize it for what it is (him trying to keep the same cycle going) and do not get sucked in! 

I do agree that my change in

I do agree that my change in attitude is making a difference in his. By backing way off, it helps me to realize what is important, what is not important and what I would normally get upset over that is not that big of a deal. 

Absolutely, yes, your situation about how he wants things to be is how it is in our relationship. How do you deal with that? I am not sure how to handle it at this point. I've been not saying anything and letting him take control somewhat but it is definitely not working out for me. I feel like I can't express genuine emotions because he won't take it well. I am tired of not hugging, kissing or anything that a normal husband and wife would do. Why is he doing this?? Does he really not want to be with me, but it is just easier to stay together?

I am definitely going to try your responses out and see how he handles it. He does seem to handle comments better if I walk away instead of making him respond back that moment.

I am to the point where I

I am to the point where I just want to tell him, "you are not giving me what I need, not even the bare minimum, so I can't do this anymore".....