Baby step backwards...or huge leap?

One thing I hate about ADHD is that it seems to make those who have it quite talented at using the Jedi mind tricks. Am I over reacting? My mind races....recalling all of the things that seemed so 'little' at the time, not even worth mentioning...and then the red flags start going up all around me, in my mine field of a mind.

At one point we came into some money. My husband had sold everything to his name to survive during our separation last fall and it made me feel good that he was able to replace some of the stuff that he'd been forced to sell. (mostly guitars and amps and such). It did end up snowballing, like a kid in a candy store, and got completely out of hand..."just one more" and then 1 more later "just one more..this will completely replace everything I had to sell" I had no idea what he had and what he'd sold.

Then comes the $1000 autographed George Lynch (maybe??). He had to have it. Always dreamed of it. It was autographed! And when he found it for $700 instead of $1200..."Please can I get it..I promise I'm done after that." I conceded...and have regretted it since. Everytime we'd fight and swear we were going our separate ways, I told him I wanted it sold..I wanted the money so that I could take care of the kids. Yes, I threw it in his face. Many times he would swear he was selling it, tired of hearing about it, etc. If I went to him re: our money problems, it was the first thing he immediately jumped to "I'll just sell everything I have!!" (not in a "I love my family and want to sacrifice for them" way either) I finally swore to myself I would never mention this huge thorn in my side again...and was finally able to let it go. Again, we're discussing money issues..he's immediately defensive..and insists he is going to sell his guitars, he doesn't need them all, he needs to do this for himself, he wants to just get us out of debt and eventually he'll be able to replace everything when we are at a better place financially. Had it not been riddled with the attitude "I'm the only one who ever sacrifices around here" AND zero follow through..it might have actually been a very noble gesture. I didn't believe it when I heard it...and turns out, rightfully so.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago...me telling him I was putting what I had left from my student loans on savings...and using it to pay the mortgage from Oct-Dec...and him saying he was selling the guitar again (NO I didn't mention anything about it!!!)..he would get it on Craig's List immediately. So, I took some of the student loan money and paid up bills and used it otherwise. And..you guessed it, no more mention of the guitar being sold. I tell him a few weeks later how upsetting that was because I took his word (and yes, I TRULY did believe him that time) that he was selling it and depended on that money to put in savings in place to complete my plan of having 3 months worth of mortgage payments in the bank. Oh gosh, you'd have thought I called him a murderer! He was furious. I'm asking myself "how can he be furious for me reminding him that he simply did not follow through on what he promised and that it had put us in a bind". His reasoning was always that the guitar meant a lot to him, something he'd always wanted, and made me feel like I was ripping a puppy from the arms of a 5 year old at Christmas-time!! Thus, the reason I swore to never mention it again. I am NOT the kind to expect him to sell his belongings just to have extra cash to blow. I believe you dont' solve money problems with money...but it was the endless cycle of "I'm selling it, I'm not.." and his admitting on several occasions that he would never get any enjoyment out of it because he doesn't want to play it since it is worth so much, saying it was purely an impulse (hyperfocus!) buy and he needed to just sell it to clear his own conscience about it.

Add to this the sneaking that has started again...hiding money from me. I don't WANT his extra money he makes working on computers, but I also would like for him to say "hey, I made $40 today..so I don't need you to give me money for lunch for a few days" instead of taking it and blowing it on pedals and strings and other stuff when we are seriously struggling as a family financially! Am I NUTS for asking this?? I also suspect he is borrowing money from co-workers and friends and this humiliates me. There would be no need for it if he kept himself on a budget.

The cherry on top of the banana split was when I see him e-mailing the place he got the guitar from...saying he didn't know it was autographed when he got it (a hotly debated subject last night...him making me think I'm insane for remembering that this was the MAIN f'in reason he wanted the guitar in the first place!!!..but I am willing to over look that subject and look at the bigger picture) and asking if he could exchange it for something else! Are you kidding me!!???? The same guitar he refused to sell time and time again because he was so emotionally attached to it and now he's wanting to trade it in...swap it for something else that is new and shiny. Not sure if I was able to make him understand why this is so hurtful to me...not sure if I'm making you all understand why it is so hurtful to me. The guitar has come to represent something much larger in my marriage. I'm literally emotionally and physically drained from worrying over bills, Christmas, etc..and there is the guitar in my face again...the guitar that he has made me feel like scum about...and he's willing to trade 'er in on a new model!! Before you ask, it is no secret to him that we need the money...

It isn't even about him selling or not selling it...it is about feeling like my sanity and happiness aren't important enough for him to sell it. Why can't he feel the sacrifice is worth it..to just sell it? Because he gets nothing material from this...and the satisfaction of selling it and getting us through the holidays with a little less stress and worry isn't motivation enough for him to make the sacrifice and get rid of the damned guitar once and for all. I feel less important than 'stuff' to him. Period.

Doing Dave Ramsey's program once the holidays are over and I have time between semesters to sit down and plot out the plan...so there is a light at the end of the tunnel...I just wish I had some support in this area from him.

Let me clarify

I don't expect him to do with ZERO 'blow' money...I don't even have a huge problem with him keeping the computer money and getting himself strings and whatever else he might need. My issue with this is that I worry HOW he's getting the money. Yes, he does computer work on the side...but nothing consistent. Like I said, I do worry that he's borrowing from people. Also, I knew of a time recently when he did computer work..told me "It will be some extra money for us" then the time comes to return the fixed computers and he says 'oh, he paid me for this a while back'...I have to assume he just wanted the money for something and didn't remember telling me he was going to get paid for doing the work. (some of the 'red flags' I was referring to earlier)

Just don't f'in lie and admit you want it for other things. I don't get angry and pissed and cuss him over money anymore..so why does this continue to be an issue for him??? To me, if he'll lie about one thing, he'll lie about anything. (is he really working late??)

I know that he'll possibly always have a fixation on something...whatever catches his fancy at the moment...I accept this about him. What I don't know how to deal with is the feeling that he's selfish. In this situation..by taking something of great value, that he has no real use for, and instead of liquidating it for the betterment of his family, he's trying to convince the store to take it back, 6 months later, and this way he gets something 'fun' out of the deal. It hurts.

I feel like the guitar is 'the other woman' sometimes...were it not worth more than our mortgage payment, I would smash it...seriously. Damned the consequences.

Totally understand

Sherry, I totally get your frustration/anger about this. Like someone said, change it to some other item and it's just like my house. You are not crazy at all, you are trying to do the best for the family financial situation and he is just not getting it.

Several years back my husband was the same way, that was back when he worked and made good money and I didn't stop him from using credit cards (yes, I was dumb!). He was "obsessed" with his fish tank. It was a huge salt water tank (needless to say everything that went in it was expensive). When he lost his job I went ahead and sold the f***ing thing! Yes, it was the best thing I ever did. He got home and the thing was gone. He was pissed, but I said to him: this is a huge expense that we can't afford to have it. It's gone and it's never coming back, get over it! Not saying you have to sell his things, just giving an example.

Last month it was my birthday. Since he doesn't have a job he has no money to buy me anything, really. I knew that, but just the week before he had a couple of day jobs and made some cash. He blew all of it within a couple of days (probably with beer). Then he sold a TV that we had extra and weren't using it. He gave me the money for the TV, but nothing from his day job. On my birthday he has the guts to tell me that he didn't get me anything because he gave me "all the money" he had. Are you friking kidding me? He actually wasn't, he didn't make the connection that he spent all the money the week before. I felt like saying something such as: this is really hurtful to me that you didn't even get me a card. But I would say that to an adult who is mentally stable, not to him. I just didn't say anything.

So I don't have any suggestion Sherrie, I am sorry you are going through this. I think that you have to stand your grounds when it comes to money. Since you are the one who takes care of the bills you should not give him when he says: this is the last one, I promise. It's not, don't believe it. I understand you want to belive him but he has given you more than enough reasons not to.

Praying for you.

Your birthday story reminds

Your birthday story reminds me of a recent anniversary story I have.

October was our 2 year anniversary.  We've been trying to stick to those "traditional gifts" and this year was cotton.  In fact, in September, he asked if we were doing gifts, I said yes and he said "it's cotton, right?"  So, maybe foolishly, this gave me hope that he was actually thinking about a gift for our anniversary.

Flash forward to the anniversary and he hands me a piece of construction paper with cotton balls glued on in the shape of a rabbit (we own two rabbits).  I look at him incredulously, and am like, really?  He had put it together that day at work.  I'm not a gift snob by any means but it was so obviously a rush job that really didn't have any thought in it at all.  I mean, it would've been cute if it went with something else, but that was it!

We got into an argument that night with excuses like, "I didn't know it was cotton until two days ago!" and "But you like rabbits!"  I reminded him that he told me it was cotton over a month ago and I was hurt by the lack of effort.  The next day he rushed out and ordered me stuff online (after I had told him not to) to try to make up for it.  And I was even angrier because I was like, "why couldn't you do this two weeks ago?"  I just got a shrug.  *sigh*

Sherri re: "guitar has come to represent ...

...something larger than our marriage."  I'm feeling ya on this one.  Change the "spending money" detail to "not spending money".  That's what happens at my house.

FOR YEARS my husband and I fought about my desire to decorate the house (read: paint and hang a   %[email protected]&  picture).  He would not "allow" anything but white walls, and no pictures.  Then his parents (you know how I feel about those people) gave us the biggest, ugliest framed picture for Christmas one year.  He hung that picture in the ENTRYWAY of our home! I had to look at that ugly picture every time I entered/exited my home.  

A couple years ago, we were fighting about something (I was in the doorway about to go to the gym) and I got all Bride of Crazystein on him about the picture and was all, "when I get home, that picture better be off my wall, or I'm going to set it on fire."  I was yelling at him, "Can you possibly imagine how infuriating it is for you to not "allow" me to pick out and hang a picture in my own home, but YOUR PARENTS can decorate our home?"  He was all, "OK.  I get it.  Calm down.  I'll take it down."

I got home, opened the door- picture gone.  I was shocked and pleased.  Went into the bedroom to thank him for being so considerate- he had rehung that f*cker IN OUR BEDROOM!  ARGH!!!

Anyway, I get it.  I get it about the money lies, too.  I HATE money lies.

I get it

I don't have a solution or anything, but I get you being hurt over the guitar (sheesh!) - and the lying, I can't stand lying and feel exactly the same way: if you'd lie about this, what else would you lie about...

Just wanted you to know you're not crazy.

clarify

Change the guitar to flat screen, gaming systems, and any other fricking toy of the moment and it's the same story here. He pawned my engagement ring, my guitar, ALL my jewelry,his son's stuff, but you can bet your sweet biddy he still has his stuff.  He did sell some things recently when things were so bad that HE was going hungry. The borrowing, I so get that. it has caused horrible rifts in our life.I'm wondering even with changes how much change can I expect, how much more of this kind of thing can I deal with.

He has all of that too...two

He has all of that too...two 50+ inch screen TVs and every gaming system imaginable. The TV, with surround sound and all of the bells and whistles, sits in our den unused...and the payment for it is late every month.

I don't begrude him his stuff, it's just a fact that he has more (and MORE EXPENSIVE) stuff than anyone here...I honestly don't. I would only change one thing if I could...his apparent lack of ability to say 'enough is enough', stop having to have something new and expensive every few months, and weed through what he has that really isn't used/needed/justified and get rid of it. I have no way to explain his attachment to stuff. Why does he seem to get the same kind of 'high' from buying stuff as most people get from having a nice cushion in savings? He acts like I am the one who has a problem because I place very little emphasis on stuff. I would sell all of the expensive gifts he's ever given me to give my family financial peace. He sees that as something horribly wrong with me. I accept his need for stuff...I don't accept his obsession with getting it to the point that he is dishonest and sneaky about it..or that nothing is ever good enough...for long.

All that too.

Okay we have the similar things going on, I don't have any answers. We got into a huge argument about a trip to New York...5000.00 are you KIDDING me! We were flippin HOMELESS a couple months ago.

Here too

My hubby has to have the newest, biggest, best of the best computer gadgets and games.  And it drives me nuts!  We can't make ends meet, but we can splurge on that?  And the excuses he tells himself (because I don't buy them) make it all okay for him.  Two ginormous computer screens that he barely uses (for the ONE computer -- there are more, too . . .).  So I ask if we can put one where the kids can use it and he freaks.  He doesn't want to give it up.  Even though he might be on it for a total of 4 hours a week (he uses a lap top more).  Can't get used to not having them.  I don't get it.  I just can't figure out that understanding.  And the entire conversation made my head hurt.  I started to think I was completely nuts (but do realize I'm not - and it was more of his twisted talking that caused that).  

Is it worth it?

So, I've read the stories and a lot of them seem horrifying and I hear the pain and the heartache.  And I need to ask a question, is it worth it?

I've been married for 2 years, I have no children, I'm the breadwinner so I would be fine financially.  I'm still in my late 20s and have the rest of my life to look forward to.  I love my husband, but I feel like I love him because he's my husband and I care for him, but at the same time, I haven't been IN love with him in over a year.  It sounds like the rest of my marriage will be an uphill battle.  Is it better to cut my losses and try to start over or do I stick with him and hope for the best and that he doesn't drive me crazy?  Tell me, if you were in my situation, what would you do?  If you knew what I do at my age, or at this early on, would you stick it out, or would you move on?  He tells me that he knows that if I left him, he probably wouldn't be able to keep a relationship.  I'm just confused and scared.  Was it like this when you all figured out ADHD was the problem?

Christina,

It is so hard for anyone to answer this for you...

First, you wouldn't have the financial issues we have (him being the only breadwinner, yet him being the one who spends impulsively) which has caused a lot of conflict in our marriage.

 Each situation is so unique...and the pinpointable ADHD issues are completely different for some of us. What are your main complaints about the relationship?

I believe all marriages are worth saving...and worth fighting for...but I also realize that when you go so far there just is no turning back. I also don't believe there is a distinction between loving and being in love when it comes to marriages. The 'difference' is the desire, passion, etc. The love is the same, just the respect is gone and without respect the passion dies and then it is just the basic love. I say this because I went through a period of time where I questioned my feelings for him. I thought maybe I had, at some point, fallen out of love with him. I always felt I loved him, but questioned this because I would ask myself 'how in the hell can you still love him after all he's done to you? Are you nuts???' but I did. I would have laughed in the face of anyone who told me last year that this time this year I would love him AND desire him again.

Ok..so you're reading the original post thinking "is this the same person??" Yes, it is. I hate the sneaking. I hate his obsession with stuff. I hate his hyperfocusing on stuff that is in no way 'helpful' to the family. I hate being lied to. (this is something that he SWORE would stop when we reconciled and agreed counseling was the only way we could save our marriage) I pray that someday he sees that just being honest is much better than trying to avoid conflict with lies. We're working on it. This is actually the first time I feel he has lied to me in a very long time...the issue at hand being 'did he or did he not know the guitar was autographed when he ordered it'. I say yes, he says no...and I have no way to prove he lied.

I spent a lot of time yesterday rationalizing with myself that he isn't perfect, he will stumble and I cannot expect everything to just go away *poof* overnight. I didn't decide to wipe the slate clean and start a new, different life with him expecting him to never mess up again...and not all mistakes are deal-breakers. Moving along...adding another issue to the list of issues we discuss in counseling...and cutting him some slack. We have only been in counseling for 2 months or so. It will probably take a year or more.

Would I do it all over again? Yes. Would we still be married if he hadn't agreed to get help a year ago? No. He's getting help and doing everything I've asked him to do, that I NEED him to do, in order to make our marriage something we are both happy with. I laid down the anger and walked away from it. I accept him (although I may not like some of his behaviors..obviously) and love him for who he is. I treat him with kindness, love, and respect (wasn't always the case) and that is all I ask from him in return....well, that and honesty. sigh.

It is not easy...we didn't know he had ADHD until June 2010. I hope you can figure out whether your heart is strong enough. ((HuGS)) 

Sherri

worth it?

You have to ask yourself a LOT of questions. No crystal ball to foretell what will happen if you stay. Here are the red flags I see in your post. YOU are the breadwinner. What happens if you cannot for some unforeseen reason? I was the breadwinner when we married. I fell ill, and everything blew up in my face.

He says he wouldn't be able to keep a relationship. That's a lot to put on you. Guilt etc.

Is he willing to get treatment and stickwwith it. and so on. Go through all the posts again and see if anything strikes you as familiar enough in him that could eventually become a problem.

To me love is not a feeling, it is a verb. Action.  Limerace" is that "In Love" feeling. Can you sustain a relationship without love? I know I sound pessimistic. It's your life we are talking about. Think it through.. hard.

That's part of the

That's part of the scariness.  What if something happens and I can't work.  Luckily, right now he works for his parents...and they won't fire him.  Trust me, if he worked anywhere else, he would've been fired multiple times over.  But they won't be around forever, and then what happens?  And what about children?  How can I trust him with children or even more, how can I raise children when I feel like he would be another child instead of a partner.

We have been in counseling for 2 1/2 years.  Even with all the counseling, our problems wouldn't get better, now we know because of the ADHD.  He wouldn't even remember what we talked about in counseling!  He lies...I believe it's impulsive, because he lies about big things and little things alike.  I can actively catch him in the lie and he'll still lie about it.    We had a big fight over the summer about his lying and how if he couldn't stop I'd leave and how he needed to be a "responsible adult" and start following through.  He agreed to give it 110%.  A couple of months later, I asked what happened to that 110%, he replied "it was hard so I gave up."  He also says terrible horrible mean things impulsively, then tell me he didn't mean and didn't know why he said it.

He's on medication now but we're not regularly going to counseling, our counselor took another job and she didn't have an appointment available until next month.  We tried to take a "break" to see if we could function on our own as a couple.  We saw her recently and will be seeing her in January.  He will see the psychiatrist for the medication next month.  I don't think he really like counseling, so even if we do go, he doesn't really remember what we talked about or the things we're supposed to do.

I believe marriage is a lifelong commitment but people have pointed out to me that I'm not in a marriage, I'm carrying most of the weight and I'm like his mother.  My mother in law is pretty intrusive and I used to think that she coddled my husband and did everything for him and spoiled him.  I recently realized that she didn't hold him back, she held him up.  She's the only reason he has gotten as far as he did.  He had moved out of his parents house after college and moved in with his older brother as a roommate.  I came along, we got married and so he's never even learned how to live on his own.

Sherri - you're right, I lost respect for him a while ago and that's probably why I'm not in love with him in any romantic way.  I'm scared.  I feel like we've been in counseling forever.  I feel like we don't have a good foundation for our relationship and I'm not sure how to weather this storm (and it sounds on-going, for the rest of my life type of storm). 

change is hard

I'm carrying most of the weight and I'm like his mother

Christina,

People write things that really jump out at me and this one you wrote says it all.  he lies, you scold him, maybe he cowers like a child or gets belligerent.  You make threats and argue with him and he tunes you out.  oh, this is so much like a bad relationship between parent/child.   If I were you, I sit down and take a lot of time writing down the pros and cons of staying with him.  Then I'd take each item on the con list (an unmet perceived need) and write down your reflections about each one.  Take your time and really think through it, get some good counsel for YOU to help you understand the impact of each one.  Everyone has different needs and prioritizes them differently.

1. If this need is never met, am I willing to accept that in my life forever?

2. Is there anyway this need can be met through some creative means?

3. Is this need so crucial I honestly cannot stay unless I have it?

4. Is there some way that I can look at this need in a way that makes it less important without being untrue to myself?

I like to think in terms of "D" days.  these are actual days on the calendar that are "decision days".  It just gives me a target date to reevaluate my problem, to see if there is improvement, to change direction, or to end something.  I would really encourage you to set a decision day for the lying.  My exhusband was told by a counselor that he was a chronic liar and that it must stop immediately.  that he must NEVER lie to me again. They lie to avoid any conflict or consequence.  My ex even told me that he'd lie assuming I'd never find out and if I did he'd take the consequence then.  It seemed perfectly reasonable to him to take a chance that the lie would go undetected.  He'd lie about anything so I know what you are going through. Here is what I'd do:

  • before your next counseling meeting I'd call the counselor and tell them you want to address only one issue the next time--chronic lying. You must be ready to steer the conversation back to lying if things get off track.
  • ask the counselor to emphasize how your reactions might be making it difficult for him to be truthful. ask for new skills for yourself
  • ask the counselor to get a commitment from him that he will not lie to you for any reason and he will be confronted if he does at the next meeting. ask the counselor for some process to help him NOT lie.
  • ask the counselor for a reasonable deadline to stop this behavior
  • have zero tolerance for lies
  • commit yourself to be completely rational when you discover a lie--no emotional outbursts of any kind. Just acknowledge that you know it is a lie and he is causing the relationship to self destruct
  • make no threats, only promises of what you will do if the behavior doesn't stop and you must follow through. make sure that what you say you will do, you act on it. 

I picked the lying because I assume that you do not want to live with that for the rest of your life.  How can you ever feel safe if you never know the truth? 

brendab

Paid dearly for this today...

This situation hasn't been mentioned since that night. He got upset, asked if he could go riding with his best friend, and just acted as if nothing happened.

...but the attack was lurking under the bridge as I skipped merrily, blissfully ignorant across it...

Five minutes left in counseling...much nicer session this time...up to this point... (last time was the he said/she said BS that PLAGUED our every session for YEARS...and I thought it was Concerta...) then comes the bombshell. "I feel like she is lashing out at me and treating me like a child again".

"please, be specific..I cannot fix what you won't talk about". I ordered his Christmas present yesterday. $20. To say money is tight..understatement. I told him "I got yours, it was $20...so we're just spending that much on each other this year" He seems mad, even said so, but it didn't turn into a huge deal. This is the situation he mentions. "I don't like being told what I can spend...it isn't about money, it is about her trying to control me" (to steal a phrase from Rev, my eyes were bugging out at this point) "CONTROL??" *heart slowly breaks into a million pieces* "It is about money, we don't f*cking have it to spend on each other" I said. "Ok..maybe that wasn't the best example..." and proceeds to bring up the guitar situation..me reading the e-mail, getting mad, but never specifies the reason behind anything. Just saw the chance to knock me down a peg or 20 because I went to the kitchen and texted him instead of confronting him in the bed...right across the hall from our daughter's bedroom. I had only good intentions/reasons...but got the "you're a poor communicator" label for that one. *heart still breaking into a million pieces*

A few other things he said were that I treat him like he's a child..tell him what to do. "like telling me at Thanksgiving 'you will go with us' knowing I didn't want to" Couldn't find enough words to emphasize how huge of a pile of BS that is...I NEVER, God as my witness, told him he had to go..or "you're going" I simply cried and told him how hurt I was that he didn't want to go and spend the holidays with me and my family. I had an emotion or feeling that evoked a sense of guilt in him...or didn't go along with what he wanted...so that was me TELLING him what to do. I never even said an ugly word to him about it...simply expressed how hurt I was. Same with the guitar. AT NO POINT did I say "you should sell it" "I want you to sell it" "we need the money, I want you to sell it" but see, this is where the ADHD comes in. I was deliberate and careful not to say that...because that wasn't what I was feeling or thinking. I was hurt. He made me feel like a gold digging piece of crap for telling him I wanted him to sell it MONTHS ago...so I vowed to never mention it again. Why? Because I thought 'wow, it must really mean a lot to him'. Here he is turning around to trade it in. Yes, I'm hurt. Sorry if that makes him feel guilty...sorry that he got the green light to return it for something else and now he's stuck feeling guilty about it because of me and MY feelings about it...yeah, boy am I sorry...because now I'm getting punished. I'm being accused of being something I AM NOT. He knows what he's doing. He is being malicious and hurtful on purpose. He KNOWS the one way to rattle my cage and make me sorry I ever made him feel bad is to start accusing me of my 'old behaviors'.  I saw the return of this behavior on Concerta....but was praying to God it was ONLY the concerta. I will stand strong...not going to jump off of the proverbial wagon just yet. I would never get him to see what he's doing. I would probably never get him to admit to any of this...but I know without a shadow of a doubt that all I did was tell him how hurt I was, explain why, and then refuse to argue about it. If he sees that as me treating him like a child, then I can't change that. Another boundary I set for myself...not letting him manipulate my feelings into something that I feel bad about. I have never had anyone make me feel worse about myself than he did for years. Not going there again.

When we left counseling...it was as if nothing ever happened. Three minutes prior he was saying "the way you're acting, I don't want to get you anything for Christmas" What is wrong with this picture? What is he doing? :(

Controlling

The part about him flinging at you that you were being controlling really spoke to me.  Now to be fair, I am a control freak but I try really hard not to be controlling with him.  Like you mention above, he guilts himself into doing certain things when I communicate hurt feelings about something.  Some would call that manipulating him, but I just try to be honest.  I usually say "you're a grown up, do what you want to do" (not in a snide voice or anything) while also telling him that I want him to do so-and-so, or that it will hurt my feelings if he does such-and-such.  What to do is still up to him.  

So I tend to get really upset when he accuses me of being controlling.  Like earlier today, we got to talking about how he has a hard time sticking to a subject and goes on huge tangents without getting to the point.  I often say something like "ok, but you were saying...?" or "but can we get back to your original point?" or something like that.  He said that it's not fair that I control the subject of our conversations.  I'm like WHAT??? It's a subject you started, then went off on several tangents, I just want to hear what the original question/point/whatever was, before you forget it.  How is that me controlling the subject of the conversation? It was his subject to begin with. Grrr. Totally get your frustration about this.