All done. How to explain?

I have just found this site and other information on marriage and adult ADHD and I can't believe how much rings true to my own experience over the last 9 years.  I've been married for almost 8 years, and have two fantastic daughters, ages 2 and 4.  After (what seems like a fairly typical!) whirlwind romance and honeymoon phase of the first couple years of marriage I've been struggling since the birth of our first daughter with how much I feel like my husband has put the bulk of his time and energy (and money and space) into all kids of external projects, and not nearly enough into our family.  It has been frustrating, disheartening and disappointing to feel like I need to drag him away from other things to give me and the kids the time and attention we want and deserve.  After discovering that for the last 3 years he has been seeking women on dating, affair and hook-up sights (even though he swears nothing in person has ever happened and he's never cheated, he just called it "flirting") I am all done, we are living separately and moving forward with divorce.  I know it's the right decision emotionally and financially for me and I already feel relief even though I only made the decision 6 weeks ago.

My hope is that my husband can be a good co-parent and find his happiness eventually, but I know it couldn't be with me.  My own personality has changed with parenthood, and I think has been much more severe as a reaction to my struggles with him: I want to be able to live planfully, focusing on my kids, in a house and yard that is clean and not overloaded with stuff, spending responsibly, and not being the only one who manages all the "stuff" that has to get done and just comes with adulthood.

My challenge is my husband- he is so bewildered and blindsided and confused.  I care about him and want him to be able to get through this and find happiness on the other side, and I NEED him to be able to work with me on helping our kids make this transition, and to be a co-parent, even if it's not in the way we both expected but he just cannot understand why in the world I would do this.  He wants to know if someone is telling me what to do and say.  He wants to know if the reason I don't love him anymore and haven't been attracted to him (both not true, I just gave up trying to make him show like HE was interested) is because I don't like men in general.

He does not understand the huge inequity in time - both the fun bonding times and the hard work of parenting times!- spent with the kids, he does not understand that I detached myself emotionally to protect myself, he doesn't see that I didn't get any of the partnership in being a family that I wanted/needed and didn't feel like a partner as he let time and money spent on other things always go way beyond what we agreed upon.  And yes!  I've tried over the years to explain many times how I felt.

So . .  I would love advice on HOW I can explain this to him in a way that he may understand, while minimizing hurt.  I feel I've BEEN trying to explain all those frustrations, and it just doesn't sink in (see "maybe she's a lesbian theory).  ADHD is not on his radar, my therapist actually brought up the possibility. I don't think he'd react well to me suggesting it, but can I help him understand that he had a hand in what went wrong and maybe be able to understand so he can start to move on?

Thanks so much, I've found the people on this forum to be very kind and helpful and I now know I'm not alone!!!

I think the spouse who

I think the spouse who doesn't initiate the divorce or separation often takes a while to accept the idea.  Add in ADHD or ADHD-like behavior and it becomes even harder.  I would look up resources about divorce for suggestions about how to discuss the topic and then expect that it might take more time and more effort with your husband.  And he still might not get it.  but that doesn't mean you should stop your plan to get a divorce.  

wow

Anabel, your post hit me right between the eyes today.  I have been separated (pending divorce) from my untreated ADHD spouse for 7 months now. The co-parenting has been an uphill, downhill, two steps forward-one step back thing from the start. I feel some days like I am not only taking care of myself and my children, but also making sure he is ok. It is tough to balance all of it. He is definitely more fragile than I am and has not been as involved in some co-parenting situations as I would like. The really tough thing is balancing what feels like a "friendly" parental relationship with that detachment that is so needed at a time like this. 

I am not sure how much a role you may be able to take in explaining to your spouse "what happened," but perhaps he isn't going to be able to accept it unless he hears it. What about a third party like a counselor? A family therapist (for my child) recently suggested visiting him with my spouse to set up a "parenting plan" and I am thinking of taking him up on it. I am wondering if a third party at times like this can be useful in diffusing some of the emotion and in keeping the conversation moving along?

I hear you--I wanted mine to be able to present a united front to our children, that even though we were separating, we loved them and would always be their family. Didn't work so well:-) I had to do it all by myself, which I did, and had to accept that I couldn't control what he was doing. I think it is valuable for children to have one parent who is calm and stable if the other one isn't capable of being that way all the time. At any rate, if you have any successes or advice, I would love to hear from you again:-)