The first and last time I posted here was four years ago. My ADHD-husband wasn't on medication at the time, but had finally agreed to go on Adderall. That seems like an entire lifetime ago.
We've now been together for 16 years, and when I read my original post, I can't believe how little has changed in our relationship dynamic. He wasn't diagnosed until about five years ago, refused to go on medication for a while, and once he did get on it, he then quit after about a year and a half. During the time he was on it, he refused to get counseling, so while his behavior in every day life improved (as far as work and managing home tasks was concerned), his anger, frustration and lashing out in our arguments didn't. We became better friends, but we never truly re-established a loving and mutually supportive relationship.
Then, he stopped taking Adderall for almost a year, and that was a very destructive time in our marriage. I was anxious all the time, I couldn't talk to him at all, and I pulled away even more and became closed off in an effort to protect myself from his rollercoaster moods. I begged him the entire year to get back on medication, but he refused and it would cause nasty fights. He would take my requests as a "sign" that I don't like him and want him to change himself as a person. To top it off, against my gut instinct, I got pregnant. I wanted a baby though, so it was my choice, even though I had a feeling what would happen. My pregnancy was utter chaos, as he was not equipped to handle preparing for a baby while not being on meds, and he definitely wasn't prepared to handle my needs. I ended up taking off and spending a few days at my mom's when I was six months pregnant. Not an easy or fun thing to do.
I returned home, but things still didn't improve, and our fights got more intense as I was pushed more and more. He got back on medication finally, Vyvanse, and again, his daily life improved, but our relationship didn't. As it got closer to my due date, I actually had to ask him not to start conflict with me so that I could be emotionally prepared for the labor. And then my labor ended up being over 60 hours, and ended with a traumatic C-section.
Once our son was born, things improved a little. He was still impatient and got easily flustered during the long nights with a newborn, but he was loving and attentive. That didn't last long. He went on a business trip when the baby was 5 weeks old, and while I know that he missed us greatly, I was hurt that as the week went on, he didn't call or check in as much. He was out at party events drinking and seemed to forget about me. I was still recovering from surgery, and was emotional and sleep-deprived, and when he got home I told him my feelings were hurt. I wasn't angry and I didn't want anything other than a hug and some understanding. He lost his cool immediately (my guess is because he felt guilty) and got angry with me, and it started a days-long fight. Ever since then, things have been steadily down-hill.
We realized after some hideous outbursts that Vyvanse was causing him to go into fits of rage, so he switched back to Adderall about two months ago, but the damage is done. He crossed lines he'd never crossed before with name-calling and blaming and storming around the house. He doesn't understand that my trust has been broken and that it would take time to heal, and that our intimacy goes hand-in-hand with that. Instead, he is bitter and resentful that I don't trust him or feel closer to him, and lashes out instead of trying to understand my feelings. During the time he was on Vyvanse, he also saw a therapist a couple of times, but the problem was that she didn't specialize in ADHD. So enabled him to feel entitled to his emotions, and supported his statements that it was because of our relationship that he never "felt like a real person" (as opposed to the fact that he had a late ADHD diagnosis). Having that kind of reinforcement made the anger 10x worse, and helped him push all personal responsibility on to me and our marriage. Anytime he feels lonely or hurt or angry, or upset for any reason really, he finds a way to lash out at me. And it doesn't matter what I say or how I say it, or if I try not to say anything at all. I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't.
Basically for the past three months, any time we talk about our relationship, it ends in destruction. He loses his temper almost immediately, and starts throwing me and our marriage under the bus. Last week I had to leave for 5 days with my son because the tensions were too high. I decided at that time that if my husband didn't want to seek help to better express his anger and frustration, that I was going to leave. I don't want my son growing up with that as an example of a marital relationship, and I just don't have the emotional capacity anymore to untangle this mess. And of course, my husband doesn't want to seek help because he claims it's compromising himself, and he just wants to be who he is. He doesn't see that this pattern will repeat itself whether he's with me or not, because it's not about our relationship...it's about the host of things going on in his head and his inability to articulate what he wants and needs in a productive way.
This week, we've been in a holding pattern. I've essentially made up my mind and there's little that can be done to change it. We have a counseling appointment on Thursday where we're going to talk about some of these things, and I'm nervous about how it will go. The last couple's appt I went to was with his therapist 3 months ago. And we spent almost the whole time talking about how I need to respect the fact that my driving makes him anxious, and basically no time talking about how his anger and rage are deal-breakers for me. He keeps oscillating between loving me and not wanting to lose me, and hating me and wanting this relationship to be over. He's so confused, and I don't think the reality of the situation has hit him at all. I'm just trying my best to keep the peace until Thursday when we can talk more freely in the presence of a third party.
I have a few ideas for what I will do after separation. It's just so frustrating and such a shame. But in the end, I realized that you can't help someone know themselves better. He has to see it, and want it. I know how he feels about me on the inside, and I know how he feels about our son. I have a feeling it will hit him like a ton of bricks when we're not there anymore.
If you made it this far, sorry this turned out so long. I'm just looking for support and needed a place to tell my story to people who might understand it. Thanks for reading.