Anger over never being understood.

I have been married for 10 years and I am 33.  I have 2 daughters, and I am also 3 months pregnant.  He is in nursing school, and also we manage apts together for free rent.  My husband says he does not have ADHD, even though he was medicated since in grade school until moving out. (it is insulting to him if I bring it up) My husband and I got into a huge fight a couple of days ago, so he is not in the home because I am considering ending the marriage.  This is not the first time we have considered this.  He has cheated and lied a lot in the past so I have that baggage as well.   But he does have a normal caring side which when I am reminded, has brought me back to him.  Because yes, all the crap that drives me away, has never gone away and at this point I feel like I am losing myself.  

The fight started when he felt I was 'yelling at my daughter'  He was sleeping in while I was up w/ the kids.  They were in the kitchen eating while I was in the living room.  I heard my older daughter say her little sister was climbing on the counter (where I had some water boiling for tea)  I called from the other room, in a loud, firm.... but not what I would consider 'yelling at her'  to get down the burner was on up there.  He got up from bed and jumped down my throat that I cant yell at the kids whats wrong with me. Im abusive.  I said easy to say for someone who gets to sleep in hours after I get up w/ the kids.... and leaves dicipline to me (cant say no unless it starts w mom said)  to say Im abusive straight away without even knowing the situation?  And that I didnt want her up on the counter (she is six and can follow requests like this)  He said if I really cared about her I wouldnt have left the room.  I really didnt want to fight with him, as I know I am the one who takes care of them the most, and I have always been there when they wake up, not him.  who has even neglected to call his daughter to say happy birthday  (yes I have some resentment).  I didnt want to fight, I just said, well why dont you take it from here then, and I will just spend time in my room today. (since most days it is all me.... he is a nursing student, and seems hyperfocused when it comes to that, and never notices anything else.. kids, chores, routines)  I thought it would be a good time for a break, plus being prego, I feel like barfing a lot.  I didnt talk to him most of the day, just avoiding contact.  When he finally did say something, it was okay, well now I get to go out tonight since I had the kids today, it's your turn... Im going out for St.Patricks day... News to me!  He had no plans prior, or asked me how I felt about him going out on a school night for the kids, leaving me again to be the only one doing the morning stuffs... the first day back from spring break, and the time change.  I said you cant do that, thats not fair to me, and Sunday night is not a going out drinking day...  He said I am controlling his time with his friends, and again that not only was I abusive to the kids, that I am abusive to him as well... bossing him around. Controlling where he goes.  

I felt myself boil over... This is not the first time he has tried this.  Our councilor also even at one point said that she would not continue marriage counseling if he was going to say that, because there is not, and it is actually a block to work through things. (he commonly feels sorry for himself, if anyone else vocalizes their feelings, he says he has the same feeling but more so w/ out acknowledging the other one in the conversation, or digesting what they are saying)  He said he was going out anyways...  I said oh yeah, so Im abousive, and you are just going to leave the kids with me?  He said Im not going to talk to you anymore you are crazy, and I dont have to put up with it.  I said oh am I ok then, I hit him across the face.... and he started pushing me.  He said I am calling the cops on you, Im taking the house, the kids, everything from you.  I have proof now we are all abused!  Because I slapped him?

 I dont abuse him or my kids. He is the one who has slapped my daughter so hard she had a hand print on her face the rest of the day.   I have hit him one other time when I found out he was cheating... it ended in him grabbing around my neck and holding my head under in the bath.  (I gave him the benefit since he was drunk at the time- he doesnt get drunk anymore)  But he started saying he is battered.  I tried grabbing the phone and he grabbed me around the neck in a headlock when I bit him to get him to let go.. he ended up w him just on top of me trying to hit my head on the ground it seemed.  I do not want the police involved, but I should have just let him call.   he cannot be an RN if something like this is on his record, but since he was threatening me with it, I said I was going to document my side as well, let the chips fall where they may.... that I was done always putting his needs first... the making him study time, doubling up on everything he cant remember to do, making sure he gets to go out at least once a week (never seems to be w me//?)  I needed to defend myself, even if it throws away the last 4 years of his schooling.  He ripped the phone from the wall and hid it, and went to the garage to call all his family.  He calls everyone and twists stories to his side.  Calls his lawyer uncle and then uses threats on me, since at that point he belives his stories.

The next day was all nicey nice.  I felt sick and like crying and he was just like "Whats wrong"  Oh I love you!  You want me to make you food?  Took care of a bunch of stuff that had been put off..  even went to the bank so I didnt have to go out in the freezing, picked the kids up, which I usually do.  But the next day he was all angry again, and kept telling me to get away from him I dont have to talk to you leave me alone.  (I was trying to talk about him backing me up on the fact my daughter wanted to skip gymnastics to play w the neighbor)  At that point I told him I just couldnt take it anymore.  The swings, constantly being told I am crazy, overbearing ect. non parenting (also, apparently if you watch 48 hours you are psycho)  I cant see myself having to remind him of chores constantly and never making plans for anyday beyond today...  He has this way of blaming things on others, making them look bad, to cover anything.  All topics become a debate.  I feel like I have a teenager as the person who is supposed to build me up... and it really drags me down.  Although I do not think divorce is good for the kids neither is this situation.  Plus he has never lived on his own.  he went from mom to one roommate who kicked him out, to grandma, to the military, to me.  It might be time for him to find out.  Or he might just find someone else to take care of him.   I don't know life is going to get extremly hard for us, and we might get stuck living in a state neither of us wanted to stay in.... just because we cannot get along.  I don't know what to do.  I know I am not perfect, but I don't think I can just accept the disarray of the life I am in, added with being put down, while being told I am putting him down.  (example: can you clean the bathroom? the toliet is looking nasty.  thats a put down, because it is his job to do the bathroom and it is dirty... 

And now today he is being nice... called to ask me out to lunch.  So confusing!

Anyways thanks for reading and any thoughts on how to cope or respond to him.   sorry if too much info.


Hello.  This is not an acceptable situation to be living in.  He is emotionally abusing you, and the physical altercations on both sides are not appropriate ways to deal with anger.  Given that he is unwilling to get treatment for the ADHD and that counseling hasn't worked, I personally see limited room for hope.  I'm sure there is room for improvement on both sides, but he has to be willing to work on his part, and acknowledge the role of ADHD.  The behavior you outlined is all consistent with negative ADHD symptoms and is not likely to improve on its own. 

As for how to cope?  If you choose to stay, get a therapist for yourself.  Take care of yourself.  Exercise to the extent you can, sleep.  Try to keep in mind that the behavior isn't personal even though it really sounds like it.  And he probably believes it at the time.  But don't let it hit your ego.  Mitigate the damage he can do.  Keep you own personal account he is not a signer on.  Keep a record of his poor behavior in case you end up in court.

Also keep in mind, that this is an unhealthy situation for your kids as well.  They are learning relationship skills from the two of you.  They will internalize all the negativity and likely have real esteem issues.  And since ADHD is highly heritable, it's important to watch out for signs in them, and try to instill good coping strategies from the beginning.

I am so very sorry for your predicament.  Please be safe.

He is doing the exact same

He is doing the exact same thing he is accusing you of doing to your daughter. He is yelling in your face either in front of or within earshot of the children. Your daughter is only learning from your strict voice that it is not safe to climb on a counter. Your husband is showing the children it is alright to yell at one another. What makes his kind of yelling immune to any wrong doing? The pot can't be calling the kettle black...

I think the only way around for your child's safety is to go up to her and firmly set her back down on the floor and warn her it's dangerous. Enough times and she won't do it anymore, plus you don't have to deal with a dh who thinks he can run a household from the sidelines.



Thanks for both of your comments.  I know this situation sounds terrible.  I agree it is the pot calling the kettle black. I know it's hard to wake up to a busy house... I do not want to be right, or make him wrong.   It is so hard to be w someone is not supportive.  Makes things into confrontations. I do not have anyone to help me with things, so often times I am trying to do multiple things at once....  

I have gone to see someone familiar with this situation, as has he.  (not together) She says he needs to be medicated and that ADHD diagnosis are now made w something else as well, and that he also has a mood disorder.  He says that he is going to see a doc on Tuesday to get medicated possibly (again).  The councilor told me that we have to deal w these things ASAP or my daughters are going to end up choosing bad males later on.  It is very hard to hear as it seems like I am also reliving my mother and fathers relationship.  The councilor says give it another 1.5 years or 2, for him to finish school and for our life to get easier financially, and time for him to stabilize on meds if he chooses.   (something my mom said when she was pregnant w me, and then she left the exact time later... when he was arrested breaking into a mechanics, and me and my bro were in the car, ended up w CPS, when she was at work)

 I just have a hard time dealing with the disrespect between now and then.  Like him just coming and going from the home without letting me know where he is going or when he plans on being back.  Yesterday he did this, and when I called to know where he was and asked why he didnt tell me, or ask when he was coming back... he said I was controlling, and that he is entitled to go out to lunch... and hang out at a coffee shop with his friends for hours (btw, we have 1 car right now.. in MN... freezing, so it leaves me stranded)  I told him yes you are, but I just didnt know where you were.  And that yes he is entitled to do as he choses, but if he would like to be part of the household he needs to show a little respect..If he wants to live single, be single.. and that I needed to go grocery shopping.  He says oh so you dont think I need to eat then?  I said no, but I also need to eat..... and if you asked me I probobly would have gone out to lunch too!  It is like having a teenager.   What should I do, just let him??  defend my side?? Not say anything??  My councilor said, oh when he is done w school, he won't have time for all these people anymore.  I cannot wait that long!!!  He left this morning with no word as well.  (he is on Spring break, so his usual schedule does not apply)

I just want someone to help when I am stressed from juggling.  I would love it if he said.... you do what your doing and I will handle the girls.... for whatever. Instead of criticizing me.  But at the same time he says I criticize him.  I could be naggy Im sure from time to time... when my 'to do list' is quite long... but I cannot just be perfect to deal with his issues all the time and make him do good.  I put the trash by the door so he takes it out.... then 2 days later (if the dog or cat hasnt already ripped into it), I right "Take me out" on the bag.... Or I have notes around for him to remember things, that he usually doesnt.  Or things that are just his duties... Like the bathroom.  He said it would be his thing, but he hasnt done it in months.  My counsilor says, never do it for him, but I am embarrassed to even have people over, and even though I made Sat morning chore day, he still doesnt do it.  I read an article on here about "Giving up Control'  but I just do not get it.  How am I supposed to 'insist' on ______  when every which way I try it just doesnt help?  It doesnt really specify on how to.  Star Chart? (haha)  Should I keep a log of when the last time he actually did what? (for when he says I just did ___)  I just still continue to be constantly disappointed in him since he always says 'yes, I'll do a.b.c.' and then doesn't.... and I cant bring it back up. Even saying 'hey remember ____" or 'Do you still have time for_____'   Is considered a nag to him.


OK so I'm not thrilled with the in two years it will be better answer from the counselor.  He is learning ways to do things now that are going to be hard to let go of later.  My DH was in school for a while, did not finish because of ADHD, but has not recovered from the learned bad habits during that time.  Meds are only part of the answer.  They will help him concentrate and a mood stabilizer will help  with being more rational, but he will still have to learn the habits appropriate for living with other people.

I would say create buy in from him on how often the bathroom should be cleaned and ask him to make sure he schedules that into his time.  Let him know in the morning that you are going to need the car that day.  Ask him how he would prefer you remind him of his commitments.  I tried the star chart idea, for both of us, big mistake because it was treating him like a child and I excelled where he failed (it was a basic life skills thing, sleeping, eating, exercise) and that just emphasized failures rather than successes.  Thank him when he does what he's supposed to or even just does any random nice thing (yes even if it's just what he's supposed to do, supposed to reinforce behavior).

Do not wait two years and expect magic to happen and for him to be functional.  Be firm and clear in your expectations.  Kind and friendly too.  Treat him how you would like to be treated. 

yes, she says wait 1-2 years

yes, she says wait 1-2 years because he is willing at times and wants to learn how to cope better, but that takes time. And that the meds will really help, but not just the meds, she didn't mean that.  He is 1.5 semesters from graduating with a Nursing Degree.  He is very good at school, honor roll, lots of praise..... obsessive over it.  But I know if I leave, this will be all for nothing.  He cannot finish without a stable environment.  I know this because a while back I found out he was cheating on me, and his grades dropped and he could not function.  Lots of hanging out and drinking.  It is like he was a college aged college student!  Even if he does run off with someone else after he is done with school, I want my kids to have a dad that can work for a decent living.  So I try to fight through it.  But I do have a hard time liking to be around him.  I try to be firm and clear.  I just hate feeling like a mom teenager relationship.  I dont know how to be a partner when I have to be more like a mom.  Sometimes I dream of being in a normal relationship with an equal, but probably not the best thing to help this one.


Ok, I understand your reasoning.  It will also be better child support wise if he has a job, if you do choose to leave then.  In the meantime you need to find a way to not be miserable.  Remind yourself that his behavior isn't personal.  Even though it really feels like it.  When he's being a jerk, walk away, there is no reasoning with a symptom.

I would suggest finding ways to try to reduce your own stress.  Exercise, sleep, eating well can all help. I also have tried adding in things I find fun.  Shopping (without buying much), accessories, looking pretty.  I often dream of what alternative relationships might be out there, I don't think it hurts much.  Although it's important to realize that no relationship would be perfect even without brain conditions.

When my DH went back to college at 36 he also took on the whole role; bleached his hair, obsessed about politics and took up playing bass, as well as staying up way too late, procrastinating on homework, and otherwise acting 18.  Some of it was adorable, some was unbearable.

Good luck!