I have been married for over 6 years to a non-ADHD spouse and my relationship has become unrecognizable and full of resentment and hatred.
Over the last year, I discovered that I have been living with undiagnosed ADHD with my primary symptoms including inattention, forgetfulness, impulsiveness, easily distracted, difficulty with organization and prioritization, and difficulty with maintaining sustained effort. These led to my habits of frequently changing my mind, constant daydreaming and lack of focus on the present moment, flittering from one interest to another interest, rounds of obsession and hyperfocus on a show or story, and difficulty with forming healthy habits.
My question is, does my mental disorder make me deserving of the verbal abuse from him? He gets mad frequently when I don't put things back where they should be, cannot follow through with my commitments (such as waking up at X time, or helping out with the home renovations X number of hours each week, or eating healthy X times a week), argues back with him or gets defensive when he becomes accusatory, and behaves in a way that he believes is inconsiderate to him (because I inconvenienced him and waste his time).
When we we in a fight or I messed up somehow, he tells me that I'm useless, that I'm not capable, that I'm stupid, that I'm sub-human, that it's a wonder I'm still alive. He tells me that I'm a f**king piece of s**t and many things along those lines. Even when he's not outright being nasty, he would make negative condescending comments and criticizing everything I do. He would make snide remarks like "you enjoy doing stupid things, huh", "of course you weren't thinking", "you're beyond help", "what makes you think you can manage a household on your own when you can't even control your weight or wake up on time." The triggers could be as minor as my tripping over something, bumping into the wall, losing my phone somewhere, snoozing a bit longer than I was supposed to, idling on the phone, eating another ice cream that week, etc. He makes it so that I feel worthless and unloved most of the time. He even tells me that I'm not worthy of his respect because I can't keep my words and have no value.
I know that I am a disappointment to him and that he resents me and I disgust him with my habits. I know that I wasn't the capable and competent person he thought he married. Most recently, I behaved deplorably by hyperfocusing on a PC game, playing for 16-20 hours a day, ignoring my responsibilities, and even going days without showering on and off for a few weeks. Once I realized how bad it got, I quit the game and made sure to shower and go to bed every night. But the damage has been done and he thinks of me as a disgusting human being.
When I tell him that he's being hurtful, he tells me that he does it intentionally to make me feel bad and that he doesn't care that it's verbal abuse because I deserve it for arguing back, for not admitting that I'm wrong, or for a number of reasons. Apparently, if I didn't mess up or if I immediately apologize for all perceived wrongs, then he wouldn't be annoyed and wouldn't be verbally abusive. Is he right? Does he have the right to say those things? I walk on eggshells everyday and try so hard to meet his standards because every time he gets mean, it takes me hours or even a full day to pick myself up and continue where I left off.
I have started medication and I have been trying to go to therapy. I have learned so much about the illness and about my symptoms and I thought I was making progress. But instead of being supportive or being helpful with tracking my symptoms and tolerating my coping mechanisms, he keeps telling me that I'm on my own and it's my issues to deal with. If I didn't have these issues, then we wouldn't be having problems, so I need to prove that I can fix them because he's given up on me. He keeps telling me that I'd never change and never get better and he makes it hard to keep motivating myself to try every day.
We originally dated for 1.5 years before marriage and he was so sweet and caring and seemed completely agreeable with all of our future goals of owning a home in the suburbs, traveling the world, then settling down and raising a family together in a good school district.
We moved in together to his house after we got married, then bought our fixer-upper home shortly after I got my graduate degree and began working full-time. He has always been the go-getter and the do-er in our relationship while I was the planner and ideas outside the box person. He is also the logical and pragmatic one while I am the compassionate and emotional one.
We spent 2 years fixing the house together and renovating our home ourselves as a side hobby after work and on the weekends. During this time, I found myself constantly declining plans with family and friends and prioritizing working on the house with my husband. However, I noticed a trend in which he started saying mean things, making demeaning and degrading remarks, and being very critical. These originally were about the home renovations and his constant jabs were along the lines of questioning my competency, my intellect, my common sense, my ability to listen, and follow directions. He essentially called me out for being slow, being stupid, being unable to anticipate the next steps. He would also get mean about my asking questions when I didn't understand something and took it to mean that I was questioning "someone who knows better."
I think that's the first sign that something was wrong, in addition to the controlling behavior which was always present and the constant withholding of affection and silent treatment when he gets upset or annoyed. He also does not respect my family because they do not meet his criteria of success, despite being small business owners. He would also tell me that my friends are bad because they do not meet his criteria of being ambitious and career-oriented and still enjoy going out and having fun despite being in their late 20s and 30s. He would also call me out and tried to "discipline" me in front of friends and family whenever he thinks my behavior wasn't appropriate such as being a sore loser in a family game or that I messed up somewhere such as not noticing a spill and wiping immediately or not realizing that one of the dogs used the bathroom.
Now, another two years have passed, and the only positive things in our lives now are our two young dogs. He no longer wants kids and he apparently never liked traveling or going out or spending money to begin with. All of our dreams and plans are ashes at my feet. And it's not as if I am utterly incompetent or useless. I have a successful, high-paying career, I can cook, I can clean, I can help around the house, and I am not that messy or cluttered. I am very compromising and very quick to forgive and forget and would usually go along with his preferred activity or hobby for leisure time. And I have been helping with manual labor on the home renovations for the last 4 years. I have also cut down drastically on my work responsibilities and hours since he accused me of prioritizing work over home. So how does he perceive me to be such a terrible wife and someone who's not worthy of love, respect, or even kindness?
Where do I even go from here? Is it possible to restore our relationship to one of equal partnership where he can see me as a fellow human being? According to him, all that would take for him to treat me neutrally is if I don't question him at all, immediately assume that I'm wrong no matter what, and continue to hold myself to my tasks and to-do list without changing my mind or putting things off. Then he'd stop treating me like I'm sub-human, maybe start caring about my opinions, and maybe a long time down the road start showing me some compassion. But he said that it's too much to ask for to ever expect him to be a supportive partner and a cheerleader for my endeavors. He also said that this is a "me" problem and it's not on him to try to make sure our interactions with each other are positive. Am I being delusional to believe that we can be happy together, especially if I shape up in those areas?