I think I finally realized that I need a support group. I have been reading all the blogs on this website and I can't help but feel happy that I am not alone with my anger/frustration/weakness from being in a relationship with someone who has ADHD and abusive tendencies, but at the same time I feel more depressed because it validates a lot of how I feel about my current relationship with my BF. Yes, I am just a GF, sadly because he was married for the five years that we have been together, and he also has two daughters (one has ADD, the other ADHD). Please let me give a background of my BF history, as well as our relationship, and why I stuck around and why I need help.
His Upbringing (I believe everyone's past is important in understanding how people are motivated, and how each is taught how to problem solve, especially in the family life).
1. My BF's Mexican father has ADHD, and he grew up with an old Mexican mentality where women stay at home to cook, clean, and raise the babies, while the husband works, comes home, eats dinner, goes upstairs and then hides in his room to drink whiskey and watch TV until it's time to go to bed. A woman's existence is to support the man. I know this because I have spoken to his mother (a German woman) in depth about how she felt about taking care of a man, being a stay at home mom, and talking to me about her son's, my BF's, ADHD condition when he was just a middle school student. The father is also demeaning to his wife, which I have seen myself because I lived with my BF's parents for 3 months, and it seems if the mother will gripe to the father about something (and it is legitimate, like asking for the 5th time to do something) the father will call her annoying and tells her you get on my nerves and that she is such a problem/pain in the ass, then runs upstairs and slams the door shut so he can spend time by himself...yet the mother makes home cooked meals for him every night, puts the grandkids to bed, maintains the bills, the house, the paperwork, etc. His father, is not a bad man, he just has really bad impulses and seems to think higher of himself than what he really is. He exaggerates a lot of his stories, has FAILED over 9 different businesses, oh and cheated on my BF's mother twice (that he got caught with, once when my BF was just a little boy, and the second time when my BF was in high school). My BF's mother told me she stayed for the sake of the kids, and I believe at that point (this is my guess), she was already financially stuck and didn't want to break up the family (even though it was the dad who was irresponsible). His parents were 20 and 21 years old when they had him, and 22 and 24 when they had their daughter. My boyfriend grew up to this mentality, and it doesn't help that he was spoiled by his grandmother, and mother, which is why I blame a lot of his ADHD on how his mother and grandmother enabled his ADHD at such a young age, rather than help to fix it (example, they did everything for him and cleaned up for him because it was easier than getting him to listen and pick up his toys, never let him do the dishes, never cleaned his room, never held him responsible for getting in trouble in school). His father by they way during the most important years of his life, would be gone in spouts of 5 years and visit for two weeks each year. His father was only around for 10 years of his life by the time my BF was 22, when my BF had his first daughter.
2. My BF ADHD Younger Years
He was diagnosed with ADHD (and ODD) when he was in middle school, which worsened when he got to high school. He was constantly disruptive during class, defiant, and going to the guidance counselor's and principal's office. He would have fights in school, and would get detention. He was suspended in high school for drinking at a pre-soccer game, and he was the captain! Two problems: 1. Just like his father, my BF has the "car salesman" mentality. Let me change that, it's the "used care salesman" mentality, and I mean he is a slick smooth talker, he can convince anyone he is the best thing since sliced bread, while selling you a car without an engine! It's a trait he learned from his father. Making friends is easy, but the type of friends was not quality. He is also attractive which added to his charm, and having a smooth tongue to make him more believable. 2. He was really smart. He would get in trouble all the time, but he had a 3.2 GPA, was in the chess club, Captain of the wrestling and soccer team, played basketball, he wouldn't pay attention in class but he would do well in the tests. During class, some stupid high school boy kicks his chair accidentally, he felt the need to kick back and the other boy kicked backed which progressed to "I didn't want to back down" so they had a kicking match that ended up in a brawl during class, but he gets away with a lot more because his GPA was high. He was sent to see a Psychiatrist, and they gave him Ritalin. Mind you the father denied that there's anything wrong with his precious son, and that he was just a typical teenager, while his mother was telling her husband that their son needed help! Well they Psychiatrist gave him too high of a dose, and he ended up not continuing his medication due to his cloud-like state, and lack of emotion. I also read his medical file from his Psychiatrist. I quote "He is aware that he is doing things that are unacceptable and causes disruption during class, but he still continues the bad behaviors despite knowing what the consequences are. He shows true emotions of regret or sincerity and feels bad for his actions, but his continuous visits to the guidance counselor has not stopped."
3. Adult Life: 21-30
He married a girl who he got pregnant. He was 22. That relationship of his with the ex-wife was one of the most dysfunctional relationships I have ever seen. Lying, cheating, manipulation, greed, and a lot of that was more on the ex-wife's side. I have spoken to the ex's mother (she said verbatim "my daughter will step over your own dead body just to get what she wants"), the brother, and to my BF's family. Their relationship was too immature, they were too young, and it was completely damaging. My BF met her at a bar, and they were working together as bartenders. They started dating, and three months into the relationship, he found out she was engaged to another man. So, she was sleeping with him and the fiancee (gross). That's how their relationship started. A Lie. At that point they were in love, how can you stop that? Plus being pregnant will help fulfill that marriage contract. The point is, there was so much distrust in that relationship, so much cheating on BOTH sides, so many power struggles, so much name calling, so much of her stealing and hiding money from him, oh and then they had another daughter a year later. I don't doubt that my BF ADHD didn't help, but I have heard her speak to him, and she spoke to him like a stupid child, and manipulated him by using the children against him. They were together for 10 years!!!! 10 years of your heart and soul being constantly ripped apart and being told you were a lousy father only to find out that she was cheating on him with my BF's friend. So, he has such trust issues, they both hurt and lied to each other, and then he met me...
4. My Story: My BF, meet ADHD, Power, Control, and Ego
- met when he was still married and yes I was still married, but I was in the brink of the divorce. Yes, if I am going to be honest I cheated on my husband at the time to be with my current BF. I told myself that this was the guy I wanted to be with and I will not cheat or do anything to spoil the relationship because he seemed like such a catch and everything I wanted in a man. I was living and working in Europe and that's where I met my BF. At the time, he was my boss. We fell in love. Without getting into the obvious problems with relationship and work, I will skip to the relationship part when I started seeing things spiraling out of control.
He had me. I was charmed. He kept pursuing me and gave me all this attention. I kept denying him and telling him no, no, no. But looking back now, I believe it was a challenge for him. He told me about his history and said he was depressed because of his situation at the time with the wife and kids, and that he was cheated on, giving me this sap story of feeling bad for him. I totally fell for it, but it was all true. The first six months were obviously great. As he explained it "it was a high, a rush." I got divorced, and I came into that relationship with no baggage, no kids, no ex-husband, just plain old me. I was single and he was still married, and he said that he was going to get divorced soon because his wife cheated, yada yada yada, and that he should have seen the signs. SHAME on me for not seeing myself as a rebound, SHAME on me for blindly following a man and accepting everything that he says as truth. SHAME on me for being so naive. I saw him as someone I eventually loved and wanted to help him, so that he knows what a real relationship should be like which is based on honesty, respect, peace, communication, etc. On the eighth month, he starated calling me by his then wife's name. He accused me of sleeping with other guys, and flirting. We were at a dance party once, and he deliberately ignored me, acted like we weren't together, so when other people wanted to dance with me, he would pull me aside and whisper in my ear so only I would hear "I guess this is how it's going to be right, I guess we are over" while he went and deliberately tried to make me jealous and flirted with other girls, in front of me. I was so confused. I was so loyal to him, he knew my intentions, I was ALWAYS honest with what I was doing, because I didn't want him to worry. It got to a point where he took me to his house while his wife was gone, and had sex with me on his and his wife's bed. I told him I was uncomfortable doing that, but he said "it was fine." It continued on like this for the first year, to the point where I would give in to sex because I didn't want him to get angry. Finally I spoke up and said "I want my body to myself. I don't want to have sex everyday twice a day, it's not fun for me!" I was in tears. He used sex to ease his anxiousness from his ADHD at night so he can go to bed, and when I would tell him no, he would get so angry. Tell me that this relationship was "shitty" and that it wouldn't amount to anything. He made me feel guilty for not having sex with him, when I was already giving too much. I spoiled him because I wanted to make him happy. He made me cry so much, I didn't understand what I was doing wrong, and why I deserved to be treated like shit because I don't want to have sex and it was causing me stress. So, I decided to break up with him. We got into a huge fight and I told him how much he doesn't care about my needs, he is disrespectful, he always thought I was lying and not being honest, and that I do everything to make him happy, so I kicked him out of my apartment. An hour later, he was knocking on my door, being loud and making a scene, telling him to please leave. I didn't want to see him, so he stayed at my door for another hour. So what did my dumb ass do? I felt bad for him. I opened the door. The first thing he says is that he is sorry, and that he will respect what I feel from then on. I took him back. That night we had some drinks, and I looked at my glass and I saw some floating things inside it, like balled up flour that didn't get mixed properly or something, plus I could taste it. He put something in my drink so I can feel "hornier" that night! I caught him. He has tried to slip something in my drink two more times after that. It got better, until it got worse. He told me so many times "I should just cheat on you so that you would leave me alone," or " I only love you half of the time." That last one, funny enough, he said that after he called me "trashy" in front of his kids because I was upset with him for publicly yelling at his daughter and making her cry at a Pizza Hut.
Like a sucker that I am and because I always believed him, I took him back. Every. Time. Promises would be upheld for maybe three weeks, and we would be happy then it would be back to hell again. He promised he would change and things will get better. His life was complete chaos. My apartment was clean and orderly while his car alone would be filled with literally bags of trash that's supposed to go in the big blue/black garbage bins, pizza boxes, BK bags, clothes, shoes, paper liter, empty red bull cans, plastic bags, I mean it was filthy. I didn't even get to his apartment, or the house he was living in with his now ex. He has his job, his kids, his ex, me, divorce, and he would just cook. That's what he would hyper focus on...f*cking cooking. Who do you think cleaned in the end? I did. Eventually I stopped doing that, I stopped cleaning his apartment and the place was a disaster. Yes, I contributed to the mess, but I cleaned my stuff afterwards. I mean he had laundry stacked up so high and so long that there would be a mountain of dirty clothes, it was impossible to open the washer and dryer. His solution? Buy new clothes. We got into so many fights because we both worked full time, and I would be the only one cleaning. And when he had his kids during the weekends, it was ME taking care of them majority of the time, entertaining them, cooking, painting, playing video games, talking to them about school, but when I would ask him to help out with his own children, or respect that maybe I also have a say in terms of planning things (because he is an awful planner and everything falls apart when he plans, and we just end up wasting valuable family time) he gets a power trip!
BF, "they are my kids!" My reply "okay, I don't deny that, I am only saying maybe we should go somewhere else because where you want to go is a 2 hour drive, and they have to be home to their mother in 4 hours."
He just thinks everything is going to work out because the universe "wills" it and he believes in the "power of positive thinking." He takes no responsibility for his actions, unless it's something good that happens to him, like a promotion. But when things are wrong, its everyone else's fault. More particularly it's my fault. He is late constantly, I never make him late but when I needed a ride to work, he'll yell at me and say "don't make me late again." I get so annoyed! I just want to yell at him ‘ I'm not the one who makes you late moron!!! You make yourself late!!!’ Or I love it when I clean the house, and we have to go get the kids, but I just cleaned EVERYTHING so when I hop in the shower, he yells at me and says "there is no time for that, you're going to make us late to pick up the kids." Then, come to find out he deliberately will give me a wrong time, for instance, it's 3:00, he says "we have to pick up the kids 3:30, you can't shower...but it turns out we had to pick them up at 4:00" which would have been ample time for me to get ready and take care of myself after preparing for his children to stay the night.
- it or not though, he slowly got better, but not always until after a major fight. Just like his Psychiatrist said, he knows he has issues and ADHD, and that he doesn't know how to listen and his anger gets the best of him, he is completely sincere when he apologizes, and he even cries knowing that he has these issues! But the denial and abuse of it during the fight, and fighting me just because he doesn't want to hear the pain he causes me, turns him into an angry gorilla. Like I stole a piece of bush meat from him, that he will get violent, jump up and down, break things, or push me on the ground. Then he wonders why I get so angry now? Why I don't have the patience as I do before. It is SO HARD to forgive him, as easily as I did before, because it's constant disappointment. He avoids any problems and turns it around on me and pin point what he doesn't like about me, but yet his complaints are minor and really deals with him accusing me of being dishonest or lying, which is NEVER true. I can not take it. when I have something to say because he did something to upset me or to hurt me, he would cut me off, telling me I'm a piece of shit, I over exaggerated, calling me stupid, all because I needed to express how I felt and how bad I felt. He doesn't want to hear it. And then he calls me "Debbie Downer," or "You're a nag, I'm never going to marry you, this is why I haven't proposed." So abusive.
But I admit at that point, that's when I get nasty. When he goes below the belt, that's when I lose it. I become a screaming, cursing, emotional mess, because it seems he knows how to push my buttons and make me feel bad, when I only want to tell him that I'm not happy and I want to be happy and be treated the way I treat him...because I give him everything! So, I am no longer innocent of how I treat this relationship. My anger got the best of me, and he doesn't seem to stop disrespecting me. Every time I had something important to say or if he did something that really hurt me, and he would either 1. Turn up the radio so he doesn't have to hear me talk, or 2. shut the door on my face while I'm talking to him, 3. Walks away and leaves.... that makes me so angry. So, I tell him things like "what you did was an asshole move." I have been so patient for so long, that I can't hold back anymore for every time he does something so disrespectful. There has been so many times where I would try to talk to him, and he would just leave and walk away, no acknowledgement, and I feel so abandoned. I have to stand up for myself. I know how good I have been to him, but he is so inaccurate with how he depicts me, or how he uses our friends to pick sides. I caught him several times talking badly about me to other friends. He accused me of sleeping with one of our mutual co-workers and picked a fight and tried to convince me that I cheated on him.
He is not a bad person. He is loving, when he wants to be, he is kind when he is calm, he is thoughtful when he finally finds the time to focus on me, he takes me on vacation when he finds time and spoils me.... but there has to be a reason why this is all worth it right? Does love have to be this difficult? This hard? This painful? (My background: My father was an abusive cheating asshole to my mother. She had 5 kids. My dad was manipulative and would leave my mom for years at a time, then come back in our lives unannounced, rape my mother, hit her, try to kill her, and then leave us again for another two years. This cycle happened for 20 years. When my mother tried to find a way out for herself and her children, she found another man who loved her and would protect her from my father, and that's when my dad decided to paint her as a cheater and a whore. I was told this when I was 8 years old by my father).
I can continue on and on and on about the abuse, and I continued on for so long because we do have good moments, and some things have gotten better. He doesn't pressure me with sex, he does his best to clean, and he does make me happy here and there. This last year in particular has been the best of the 6, and we were in a honey moon phase again, but this time we moved out of Europe and moved to Korea for his job. That improved our relationship, at least I thought I did. It's been 6 years. I have tried to leave, we broke up for a little bit, and he trashed me to his parents, our friends, his cousins, and I felt so trapped. All my family were in the States, and I was too much of a coward to let everyone know what was going on. I was too ashamed. Eventually I told my family because I had no one to turn to. I ended up having a positive relationship with his daughters, but he would insult me in front of them all the time. After some time, our good was great, and our bads were so damaging that I would be crippled from emotional pain.
A recent event happened that really brought back all the pain that I endured and I thought I had forgotten about. This past Saturday, I told him if I pleasure him, I would get everything I want that day (granted we made love also the night before), and he said yes. What did I do? I took him out fishing, his favorite pass time. I even bought him a sweater because he forgot to bring one, and we were too far away to ride my bike back to the house to get a sweater, so I bought him one. It was a good day, and we even went out to dinner that night, even though I was so tired, and it was supposed to be my day. The next day, on Sunday, I woke him up at around 9 am. He snapped back and said "it's my day now." In my head I'm thinking 'what are you talking about your day? If I let him sleep, he would waste the day and wake up at noon, like a freaking 17 year old boy in high school.’ I was still happy about the day before, and he said he had homework he needed to do so, I was waiting on him. I started hanging his clothes up. All of a sudden, he had a plan mapped out for the entire day and didn't even talk to me. It’s 12:30pm at that point and the conversation follows:
"Hey are you coming with me? I'm heading to the garden store so I can finish the garden."
"Did you finish your homework?"
"How long are you going to be at the garden store."
"Really long, it takes 45 minutes to get there one way, I'm also going to clean my car, and finish my homework tonight"
"How are you going to go the garden store and take a long time there, when you need to prioritize your homework, because you're complaining you're failing?!"
over his head, then he tells me
"Oh, I'm going to be cooking tonight too, so I'm going to have to go to the specialty shop and pick up some cheese" (mind you we are in Korea, so normal cheese you have to drive an extra 30 minutes, farther from teh garden store!)
So, I started getting frustrated. As usual, he didn't plan very well. what normally happens is he won't clean his car even though he promised he would, he will start gardening and take an extra two hours doing that, after coming back 3 hours from the garden store, then he will leave a huge mess, then he will start cooking, make a mess in the kitchen, then realizes he needs to do his homework, and all the dishes and mess from him making dinner, I end up having to clean up also, while I still have 5 loads of laundry to fold and hang, and he promised to help me with that too, but let’s not mention that because that will aggravate him.
I continue "Why do you need to go the garden store and cook dinner? Is there any time for me there at all? because it seems you already made up your mind in what you are going to do..."
"of course, you can come to the garden store, we can eat a hot dog there."
"I don't want to eat hot dog, and I have a lot of things to do here, I don't want to spend 4 hours driving and waiting on you, why don't we just get take out or something, you said we could go to dinner…."
Door slammed on my face…
I am so upset and angry, I open the door and run after him and say “why can’t you just talk things out? Why do you always shut me out? I’m trying to figure out plans so I know what to expect because your plans are stressful…”
"You are such a nag! You are so short and frustrated with me, I want to do what I want to do, I'm leaving." And leaves. I ran after him, I don’t want it to end like that.
I lost it. That was so rude, I have had it. So, I told him that he was disrespectful and that he can't have a normal conversation about planning without him storming out and leaving because I don't agree with his plan. Then he tells me I remind him of his ex-wife and that I constantly insult him and talk down at him! I did not talk down at him at all. I have the right to be upset and question his plans, there was nothing there but a tone of frustration, if he hadn't shut the door on me, I would have told him my reasons, but he doesn't want to hear it. Screaming match. Insult on both sides, but I was so frustrated because he just got in his car and drove off, but not until I hopped in the passenger seat. And I was emotional at that point, wondering why he would shut the door on my face.
It was a shitty day, but what took the cake was that night. I was not over our small fight, and he wanted to have sex. I said "no, I''m not over today, no absolutely not. Will you please hold me and fall asleep with me like this." and he tells me "not until I jerk off. I'm too anxious, will you help me?" once again, I got mad. I said "no, i don't want to, I told you what I wanted but in order to get what I want I have to give you something first?! How much more do I need to give???" Then he tells me "we never have sex” I said "Idiot, we just had sex yesterday and Friday!"
So he went to the bathroom to jerk off, while I had horrible thoughts from the past flooding through my head. I started crying, I started bawling. He said he cared, but he can't do anything about it and said "I'm going upstairs so I can sleep, I have work in the morning." But yet he would have been willing to spend the time to have wild sex?! And he was only wanting to have sex so he can fall asleep. He has done this to me so many times and has made me feel bad and I have told him before I am not his personal whore or rag doll, and how he makes me feel used unappreciated, and how it's always about his needs and not not mine. At that point, it's already world war III for the 50th time.
I'm with a man who has ADHD, has power, ego, and control issues. Lying, cheating has been in his family while growing up, all his relationships/girlfriends and marriage has had cheating involved. I am the only one who has been honest, true, helpful, blindly loyal, put up with all his insecurities, all his abuse, all his pain... I have given him everything, and I don't know what else to do, because he will not stop hurting me. I’m so angry, and he doesn’t understand why. ADHD I'm okay with, the double standard, the disrespect, the below the belt, the denial of even having a problem even though he knows it is a problem. and turning it around on me the problem...is killing me. I'm bleeding out and he is holding the knife, but somehow, I know I have a hand in my own murder.
I need to talk to someone.