Am I sane?

I am the wife of an ADHD spouse.  He was diagnosed about 3 years ago and started taking Adderall at that time.  About 4 months ago I told him I wanted a separation after 10 years of being together, 7 married and 3 before that.  The thing is, he is taking medication and now he wants to get counseling, yet I wanted to get marriage counseling 3 years ago.  He turned me down and got angry because nothing was wrong with him.  We have a small child, 4 years old.  I guess I'm just to the point that I don't want to try anymore.  The only reason I think I would stay with him is because I know that he truly loves me and our son.  Yet, if he has been ADHD the entire time we have been together, did I ever really fall in love with him?  From day one since we have been together, he has had trouble holding down a position, I was always the one taking care of the bills, the checking account and having the steady income.  Also, he has always played upon my desire to make people happy to get things, by pouting or getting angry.  He exaggerates his stories to make himself look important but usually people pick up on the fact that he is 'bs' ing them.  I think I just stayed with him because of his promises that things would get better.  I know I was naive and passive, but that is my personality. 

He says that he has changed, yet he picked a terrible time to start job searching in this economy. Plus, he hasn't done anything for a resume or applications that I've seen.  The other thing is, that I've been seeing someone else for about 2 months now.  I never, never, never, ever thought in a million years that I would be the type of person to 'cheat' or have an affair, yet, here I am.  I don't like myself for doing this, yet I feel that 10 years is enough time for him to 'change' and become the husband and father that he can be.  If he has, I'm glad for him and that will make him a better father and a future husband for someone else.  I'm just at the point that I feel, if I can have an affair, it is already to late.  I think that he suspects something, yet, I've never come right out and said that I'm seeing someone.  I just don't want to hurt him that way.  Plus, I feel that he would just say that the only reason I'm want a divorce is because of this other person.  I asked for this before I started seeing him, not that that makes it ok, I know it is wrong.  Yet, I've been telling him for years that I wasn't happy.  He really wants to try again, yet what about the other hundreds of 'second chances' I gave him?  Why should I put more time into this just to make him happy?  But again, why wouldn't I want to try if I really loved him?  I truly don't think I want to be dealing with his ADHD for the rest of our marriage.  I look at it as a disease, like being a drug addict or alcoholic, this is always a chance for relapse.  If he has to retrain his mind to think differently, couldn't it revert back?  Why should I be the one who has to remind him, redirect him and be the 'bitch'?  He has mentioned that life without me and our son is not an option, so then I feel that he is trying to guilt me into staying with him...more head games.  I really just don't know if I'm crazy or sane!!  I'm so resentful towards him, I'm just hopeless, and I don't believe his promises any more.  I know people will rip on me for cheating on him but I'll ask anyway, any words of advice?   

Should I Go Back?

We're not going to criticize you for having an affair.  At least I'm not.  I had an affair.  For that matter, so did my husband.  We're still happily married, in fact very much in love now that we've gotten that all out of our systems.  Lots of folks who have had affairs stay in their marriages and many actually say that it improves their marriage because it forces a show down that they weren't strong enough to have before.

Before you use the affair as a reason to leave, though understand two things:  about 85% of affairs that lead to divorce don't last after the divorce is final and affairs are all about fantasy - what you want but aren't getting now (which is why they don't last after the divorce...once they might actually mean something they don't actually hold up).

Don't stay with your husband out of guilt.  But do look carefully to see if there might be love there inside you for him yet.  If you weren't holding all that anger inside you about his past behavior, if he really DID change, would you be able to love him?  If he changed most of the time, but not all of the time, would you be able to be the person you want to be (i.e. not a bitch?)  Could he "revert back"?  Yes, if he doesn't manage to get his act together.  But if he does, then there is a chance that he will see how much better his life is now that his life is more in order and never want to go back there again.  (Like my husband...you couldn't pay him enough to go back to the way we used to be...though if I become really bitchy about something then he retreats immediately...so really I am in control of whether or not he goes back in our situation...meaning he has his act together until such time as I do not have MY act together...so it's really up to BOTH of us to make sure he doesn't "relapse".)

My advice (though you may not follow it, I'm guessing) would be to put the affair aside for a while, and figure out what you want to do with your marriage without that complication.  Certainly if he finds out about the other person it WILL complicate your divorce (and hurt your divorce terms, possibly, if he really wants to stick it to you for hurting him that way) but the reason to put aside the affair is really that it just doesn't allow you to think straight.  Then, I recommend searching inside yourself for what you need and want.  Some good books on that might help are "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" and "Too Good to Go, Too Bad to Stay".  Both are very helpful at clarifying your position.

With a counselor, if you get to that, try to focus on the present and the future, and forgive and forget the past.  This gives him the greatest opportunity of success, and will make measuring his success (and yours, by the way) much easier.

Not a good time.

I get the feeling that you know that the affair is the wrong way to cope.  I think you should get out of that and start to go to couseling with your husband.  I know he refused to go when you wanted to but now he's ready.  Could you help with a resume so he could be more productive in looking for work?  I think your marriage is worth fighting for.  My suggestion is to find a good church and find some friendship and support there.  I don't know how I would survive without my church.  And yes, I go alone.  But I don't go for "us";  I go for me.  If later you decide to leave, please do so without having an affair.  You want to leave for the right reasons - not because someone else gives you a little attention.