Melissa's last newsletter was about "bad behavior." https://www.adhdmarriage.com/newsletter/news-1-5
I found this came at the perfect time as I'm trying to forgive my husband (ADHD spouse) for some awful things he had said and done to me.
(Very) Long story short, my business is closing at the end of September and we have to personally file for bankruptcy. After working with a business advisor, it came to my attention that I was taken advantage of by the bank and my ex-business partner whom I purchased the business from. I take full accountability for my own mistakes in not doing more research beforehand and trusting too easily. Now this business partner gets to walk away with a million dollars and we're losing our home. The universe is unfair. When I first shared this news with my husband, he was very supportive and understanding. However, since then, we've been getting hit with more bad news after the other. Most recently, we found out that my father-in-law has cancer and has a 50/50 chance of surviving after surgery. The responsibility to take care of him and his end of life planning will most likely fall on us.
Understandably, my husband is feeling overwhelmed by emotions, mostly a loss of control over his life. For the most part, we are able to talk openly about our feelings and try to support each other. However, the other night he lost control over his emotions. He expressed his anger at me by calling me stupid and careless; blamed me for ruining our lives and the life of our unborn daughter (yes, to make matters more complicated we're expecting our first child in a few months). He told me he wanted to punch me in the face and choke me. This is the first time he has ever expressed wanting to hurt me physically. I was scared, but another part of me tuned him out because I had become so numb to all the drama. A little part of me thought that if he did hurt me, I maybe deserve it for fucking up our lives so badly. He did not hurt me. After he left the room, I went for a drive to clear my head. I decided to drive to my parent's cabin to spend the night away from him. During my drive there, he called and demanded I come home or else I would regret what was going to happen next. He made these vague threats and I didn't really know what he meant, but I definitely knew I didn't want to go back home. Then he texted me and told me I had to be home by midnight, no exceptions. He said that that was his only warning and I had to make my choice, and that he hopes I'm happy with what I get. I eventually went home, spent the night in a different room, locked the door and avoided him until he went to work the next morning.
The next morning he texted me that he regret feeling the ways he did. That he wants to be a more tolerant person, but is wounded. He loves me and hoped that I would have a better day.
So... what do I make of this? To me, this isn't a real apology. He harps on me for saying "I'm sorry, but...(explanation of my behavior)." Lately, I've come to accept the fact that I will not always get an apology from my ADHD spouse and must choose to forgive anyway. Forgiveness is a decision, not a process that begins with the other person accepting responsibility for their wrongdoings. I appreciated this quote that Melissa included in her newsletter:
“Bad behavior is the language of the wounded. You can hate the behavior and still love the person. That leaves room for forgiveness.” -Jane Fonda
I love my husband. I see that he is wounded, but I hate his behavior (threats of violence, manipulation, etc.).
Where do you draw the line between excusable behavior and abuse? Where do you draw the line between forgiving and reinforcing negative behavior?
Thanks for reading. Please send positive vibes my way. Sometimes the universe is fucked out of balance, but I'm hopeful for equilibrium soon.
Submitted by AdeleS6845 on
Might not be entirely positive. I'm speaking from experience here, and I pray for the best for you, and your unborn daughter in this situation.
I was in an abusive marriage for over a decade and finally left my spouse after 20 years together. I'm not saying that's what's going on in your marriage, but reading your post certainly triggered me.
My ex-husband was definitely angry enough to almost choke me. He approached me one time with his hands raised and shaking like he was going for my throat.
I understand how frustrated and angry he must be, filing for bankruptcy has to be stressful, and knowing that his father could die is unbelievably stressful I'm sure.That said, there is no excuse to be violent like that towards another person. Unless of course you're defending yourself if that person were physically attacking you. I would be afraid of more of the same behavior moving forward. In my marriage, everything was basically good for the first 4 years and the three years prior when we were dating. After having our first child 3 years into the marriage he showed his true colors.
I would have been frightened if my husband had made threats. I would not have gone home, or stayed in the same house. I would fear for my safety in that situation.
How many years have you been married? Has he ever acted this way before? I think you definitely need to talk to someone...an impartial third party.
In my case my husband was abusive and there was no excusing his behavior. He is now my ex.
Submitted by Sollertiae on
Melissa also talks about boundaries and lines that need to be drawn.
For me, threats and demands that put me at risk (let alone an unborn child) are deal breakers. I completely understand that bad behaviour is lashing out to try and help pain, and impulse control is always an issue when it comes to insults ... it is one thing to vent his frustration about the errors made and perhaps even to lash out, but made the cryptic demands to return or else combined with threats of violence (to himself or you) cross the line into abuse. If there is one thing I will not tolerate from anyone, that is it.
And personally I would not accept his apology or reasons until you get an explanation of how precisely he is going to never do that again, and what your response will be if he does. Then, forgiveness can come.
I think your husband's
Submitted by PoisonIvy on
I think your husband's behavior is not excusable. The situation sounds frightening and dangerous to me. Please protect yourself and your child.
Sounds like he is dealing w/ overwhelming feelings.....
Submitted by c ur self on
There is things you aren't clear on....It sounds like your husband is dealing w/ feelings he hasn't made clear to you....Why would a man feel he needs to threaten his wife? Why would your business closing cause the loss of the home? Can't your husband's salary, keep up the bills/ house payment?
Have there been over spending habits, debt, and poor financial decision's over a long period? Your husband needs counseling, (someone he feels at peace with, he can open up to) he is dealing w/ some deep seeded thoughts and feelings, that you may not know the whole truth of....(It could be fear of the future)....It happens....
No matter what it is, or how you feel about it....He needs to get it out...We all do.....It' only eats us up when kept in....And it can definitely cause up and down emotions, like he was in your example....People tend to keep stuff in (esp. men) if they feel it may cause conflict, embarrassment, or pain for others, or them selves.....
Internal Pressure...Not good....