Am I Too Hard On Him?

The past few weeks have been hard. My ADHD hubby has been distracted beyond belief. The progress we had been making on our marriage just seems like it's come to a screeching halt. Some days I'm fine, and then other days, like today, I want to scream and tear my hair out.

He's been distracted because he's looking for better work. He's been working in a bar as a DJ/cook/bouncer for over two years now. He's finally had enough because he's nearly 32 years old and he's sick of dealing with stupid kids and washed up losers. I know he feels his situation keenly. Had he not been fired as a police officer, he would be a sergeant right now. But he's not. He says he feels like a failure and knows that he has disappointed me, his dad, etc.

I know there are many of you on here that would give your eye teeth to have a husband hyper-focusing on finding a job, but it's so hard for me to deal with his inability to give time to multiple things in his life. In pursuit of a new job, he's had to drop two of the four classes he was taking at school. He told me Saturday that he failed one of his tests and he didn't know why. I know why. He's stopped studying. I don't know if he even attends class regularly. I'm fully expecting him to be put on academic probation after this semester. Perhaps I pushed him too hard. He's brilliant in my eyes, so why shouldn't he be able to take 12 hours of classes and work? I took 15 to 18 hours of classes in college and worked 20 hours a week. I didn't have any problems and he is way smarter than me.

Maybe seeing the results of not attending class or not studying will shake him up. He needs to get his associates degree at least. He hasn't been able to another police job on the three years experience he had. Having the degree could make the difference. Not to mention that he has a standing interview with the state police force should he get a Bachelors degree. But will he ever?

And what of us? Should I just sit back and not worry that I never see him? That "spending time with me" constitutes very little conversation for about an hour before he goes out? Last night it was he needed the money so he was going to download music at a fellow DJ's house, re-mix it, and re-sell it to another DJ. He left at 8pm and I woke up at 6am and he wasn't home. I called him in a fury--"How in the h*ll do you stay up all night?" I ask. "I lost track of time, I was mixing music. I've got to make money. The truck's guzzling gas because the transmission is slipping. I can't ride the motorcycle...the front tire is flat, it's too cold..." He got home at 6:30 and fell asleep on the couch. I tried to wake him a couple of times, "Go upstairs to bed," I said before his eyes rolled back into his head again. It finally took me yelling at him and even then he just stared at me with that look. The "I've done something wrong and I don't know what" look before he gets up and go upstairs. I'm so mad that I leave my lunch behind. When I realize it, I'm a mile from home, running late for work again, and I'm so angry that I floor the car. But the think is so old and so heavy it barely makes a difference (besides drain my gas, I'm sure). I start crying on the way to work. "Why do I live my life this way? I shouldn't constantly have to monitor my thoughts to keep the bad ones from taking over and convincing me that my time into all of this is a waste...that it doesn't matter that I love him and he loves me...nothing will ever really change." Or  "Why do I have to defend him to my family, to his family, I shouldn't have to convince them all that he's a good person, just misunderstood." And even better I just wanted to turn around the car and go back to the house, pick up my lunch box and launch at his head. "You want crazy? If you can hit walls and threaten to break things, then I can too!" The only times that I've ever made an impression on him was when I truly lost it. Once while we were dating and he told he wanted to marry me, but then couldn't get around to asking me, we had a crazy argument wherein I tore up all of my bridal magazines and threatened to take myself "out". I'm not proud of it by any stretch of the imagination, but even five years later, he brought it up in counseling. And the time after we were married where I allegedly swung the toilet paper holder at his head. I swear to this day that I didn't even know that he was standing there. But he remembers it all right.

He'll call later when he wakes up (probably on his own because he'll cut off the alarm and miss class) and will be completely unaware of the fact that his behavior had ruined my day. I know, I know... I shouldn't let it. I have the choice to not let it. But how do you stop it when you are constantly barraged by people who seemingly have peaceful, happy marriages? We had an intense talk on Saturday. For whatever reason, it finally clicked with him that I don't like him staying out all night. Where has he been during all of the counseling sessions where I've said that I want him home. I don't care if he stays up all night, but he needs to be home. It took me saying that I have to turn the alarm clock around so I don't see it when I get up to use the bathroom (like clockwork every night between 3am and 5am) and get angry because he's not home. So I won't cry myself asleep, if I can go back to sleep at all. "I didn't realize you felt that way. I'll try to be home sooner." He gets home at a decent hour Sunday morning (from work). He slipped and fell in the kitchen Sunday night and hurt his back. His head hurt so bad that he didn't want to drive home right away, so it was 7am before he was home Monday morning. I could understand that better. But the staying out because he lost track of time?

Am I too hard on him? Should I just sit back and do nothing...and hope for the best? He told me Saturday that his worst fear is that he'll come home and the apartment will empty with a note from me saying the rent is paid until the end of the month. I told him that was a valid concern and he got mad even though what I meant was that I had given him plenty of reason to think that in the past. But maybe he's given me reason enough for it to be valid concern. And if it is, does the ADHD so paralyze him that he can't do something, anything to change this course that we're on?

It might well be that your

It might well be that your husband feels paralyzed by his ADHD.  But he is not literally paralyzed.  There are things he can do.  And if he chooses not to do them (get better treatment), he must deal with the consequences. You don't have to stay in the situation if it's causing you too much pain.  

As to being too hard on your husband?  Well, I've been there, and here's what I've found.  My husband complains about me being harsh sometimes but guess what, he only responds to my grievances when I'm harsh.  What am I supposed to make of that?  Related to this is the following:  I've tried doing everything, I've tried doing nothing, and I've tried doing things in between.  None of them has mattered much as far as my husband's functioning is concerned.  Focusing on myself, though, has helped me a lot.

Thanks RoseRed.I definitely

Thanks RoseRed.

I definitely need to focus on myself. I've started to, but I often get sidetracked by what is going on with my husband. I think it's the concept that if I let things go then he will not know my pain or have a concept of my grievances. I fear that if I stop trying then he will never really know that it's not working without me putting the effort in.

But what else can I do? Lose my mind? Not an option.

Our counselor has asked us to put down our "non-negotiables" for the next meeting. I guess I need to think harder and maybe in that atmosphere, lovingly let him go. I can stand for the both of us anymore.

Oh, I wasn't meaning to give

Oh, I wasn't meaning to give the impression that I have everything figured out!  I go through periods of communicating with my husband and periods of not communicating.  Last week, he didn't acknowledge my birthday (he was out of town at his parents, where he spends four days a week, helping them out).  When I sent him a message the next day asking why he hadn't acknowledged my birthday, he didn't respond, for two days.  Yesterday, I told him that his behavior made me feel like I didn't exist.  I said that every hour that passed after I sent him my message and he didn't respond made me feel worse and worse.  I said that if a person not involved in our situation were to look at it and examine my husband's behavior, the person would conclude, based on the evidence, that my husband doesn't value me.  It is true that sometimes people just don't understand how their behavior looks and feels to others.

We all have our trials. And

We all have our trials. And our coping mechanisms. Thank goodness for this board!

At least my hubby did call me a while ago and say that he was sorry that he had stayed out so late, and that in future, he would set an alarm to remind him to start home. He said he didn't know why he hadn't thought about it before since he uses alarms for everything else! I'm pretty sure I've told him to do that before, but it's a classic case of him having to figure it out on his own.

At least he said he was on the way to make an appointment to see his academic advisor. It's taken him a whole week after registration started, but at least it's something.