Beyond angry & frustrated...simply over it

Today is my wedding anniversary and I'm frankly tired of my husband giving me an attitude.  He simply can't help himself.  I take his abuse whenever he wants to dish it and I'm tired of saying "its ok" or "I understand". He really has ruined me, my life and doesn't give an f**k about me.  I don't mean to curse but to put my anger in perspective I will make this brief.  My husband moved out 2 years ago because he couldn't deal with our existing living situation which was being a husband and going to work! He basically abandoned me, all responsibilities and left me with a mountain of credit card debt.  His excuse for leaving was for him to "work on himself" and "get better for himself, his future and us".  I felt at the time it was all hot air but gave him the benefit of the doubt because I truly did love him unconditionally.  Today, he is still the same exact narcissistic adhd unstable person with the same emotional, mental and financial problems.  

After 2 years of not living with him (and dealing with everything myself!), I don't understand AT ALL why he still thinks its okay to verbally or emotionally abuse me over the phone!  I understand that when you are living with someone it happens from time to time BUT he doesn't ever see me! He's sarcastic and says, "its always me" (that he's the cause of our problems) but you know what, it is him!  I can confidently say he is the problem.  I can't communicate with an abusive, irrational or deceitful person.  I'm very loving, caring and forgiving person and have been hanging onto a dream of what I wanted life to be with him.  So today, on my anniversary I told him I'm tired of his attitude and treatment towards me and he says that I'm "an alpha, dominating female who probably has a million guys I'm sleeping with".  In all honesty I don't want anyone and he has crushed any trust and faith I have in another man.  There is NO talking to him, none, zero!!!!  He thinks there is nothing wrong and its normal for him to pick up and go for 2 years and treat me like sh*t.  

His disease is no excuse for his actions and behavior.  He's ripped out my heart and I hurt...I hurt very bad.  I beyond angry and frustrated at this point.  I don't understand how one does not get help to improve their life with or without a partner!  How does he think the problems are stemming from me when his life has been a mess since birth?  At least my life has peace since he's left (that's when we aren't on the phone).  

How do I get thru to him?  I can't play the compassionate supportive card nor can I stand up for myself nor can I sit there and not say anything (because he will yell at me no matter what I do!).  I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't and I realize I'm at a complete loss and he wasted years of my life.  When I divorce him (because I will, I just can't go on any longer) I want him to truly understand that its because of him, his treatment of me, his outlook and perception on everything and overall his ADHD.  I wanted to spend my life with him and grow old together...have our souls drift off and be one when we are gone.  For me to say I want this to be over is more then I can express in words BUT I can't deal with him thinking I left because of someone else.  I feel like he owes me to take the responsibility of the failure of our marriage.  I at least deserve that.  If I don't leave I will be abused for the rest of my life and I don't want to live the rest of my life blaming myself for us not being together.  I just want him to take ownership of himself, his life and where we are.  I don't want to be called anymore names because I want to move on.  I don't want to hurt anymore.



To Hope09

Hello Hope09,  I just had to respond to your post and tell you I feel the pain and frustration you are dealing with.  I am especially sorry that you are so upset today since it is your wedding anniversary (that is a whole other story I can relate to!).  When I first read your post, I had to think twice if I had written your words because they were so eerily similar to a post I had written a while back.  My husband also left me two years ago and as you and I both have worded it, our husbands "abandoned" us.  There is no other way to put it.  I am so sorry he continues to abuse you over the phone.  The way you expressed your thoughts today and he turned it around as an attack on you is so unacceptable.  That is something I have not missed in the two years.  In my situation, I found out 2 weeks after my husband left town that he had been having an affair.  That was all it took for me to cut off all contact over the phone and most email communication.  You asked "how do I get through to him?"  I believe the answer is you never will.  I know it is the saddest situation to be in.  After two years, I am finally able to accept, due to his ADD, that he never was nor would he ever be capable of providing me (or our children) with the love I (or any other "normal" human being) would need.  I, too, long for some ownership of the mess he created or at least an apology for how it all ended but that is something I think will never come.  I believe at this point all we can do is move on and hopefully the pain will ease someday.  The trauma in the past 2 years, especially now coming into my 50's in a few years, has made me realize how many years I have spent battling this situation and I don't want to waste anymore time talking about him, losing sleep over him or having him consume me.  Easier said than done, I know, but I am really trying to make an effort.  We know we did all we could do to save the marriage but in the end it was going to take the other person to put in a lot of effort also.  We cared deeply for them, even though they maybe never believed us, and now it is time to let it go as life takes us down another road.  It has not been easy and it will not be easy, but I feel it is so important for many of us to do on this forum who have given their all and received almost nothing.  Anyway, hope09, again I just wanted to say hi and tell you tonight that you are not alone.       

Thank you

Hi st, thanks so much for your response.  Sometimes being so alone you start to believe in the "craze" and blame yourself.  The best thing we can do is move on because we are fighting a losing battle.  Thanks for taking the time to show your support.  I hope that the both of us can peacefully move's just very difficult but we are left with no choice.

I hear you hope09

I have been married 26 years and when my husband left the first time, I too, blamed myself.  I know this is so common do to because absolutely no one is perfect in a marriage.  This self reflection is a natural and (necessary) thing to do.  The area I thought I needed to work on was being less angry (well, years later I now know what I was dealing with and where the anger was coming from AND that I had an absolute RIGHT to be angry and frustrated).  Well, my husband left three more times since and he never made ANY changes.  I just kept taking him back but saw no progress.  As you perfectly put it, we were very loving, caring and forgiving and had been hanging onto a dream of what we wanted life to be with them.  The fourth time he left and I found out about the affair weeks later, I can honestly tell you I did NOT have one bit of blame.  I am finally at peace with that part and it feels good.  I was/am in the most pain of my life but I knew I wasn't going to beat myself up about anything I had done to cause this situation.  I had given my all and it made no difference.  Someone else I know who has an ADD spouse said to me the other day that he keeps apologizing for things he didn't do.  That statement just really hit home with me because it is so true for the spouse who has tried for so many years to make the marriage work.  We would love to see everyone's marriages work out, especially our own, but I know there are times when each of us must face our own reality and make a decision.  For me I had the decision forced on me since he left (although I believe he still thought he would be able to come home after leaving the 5th time), so I know to end it for good will have to be the hardest thing for you.  One other thing I know is that we are very strong to have dealt with so much and this strength just has to support us as we move on.  It will take a lot of time but we will make it to the other side eventually.  I wish you, and all the others who are on this very difficult journey, lots of peace and happiness, too.            

This is the same for me. I

This is the same for me. I realized after so many years that it will never change. Loving him unconditionally only got me further away from my strength and my goals only to be squashed by his narcisstic ways. It was always about him! Finally after 20 + years and medications, counseling for years with experts that have written books, group counseling,reading,loving more unconditionally, he ended it with having an affair. How unfair. I should of had the affair as I was the one not being supported ! Oh yah I was taking care of our kid day and night because he just couldn't do it. 

I realize that this will never change ....I truly believe this. Like you he has left now and has left me to deal with all the pains and heartaches and responsibilities.  The biggest problem is  I still love him but I am aware I cant and wont ever take him back . Im damned if I do and Im damned if I dont ......If I take him back and we work on it Im sure in 7- 10 years It will all happen again like it did 10 years before . He'll get bored, or change his meds or use some other excuse ....

Im trying to get over my anger also and I am lucky enough to have friends that have seen that I have done everything I could to save our marriage. Its still hard not to blame myself ..I know its CRAZY ! All I can guess is that we have been working so hard on it for so many years, we need to step back and realize that normal relationships are not like this.I truly believe that we deserve better!

Yep, Never Will Be An "Us"

Cuz I get what you mean.

It will never be about me, doesn't mean something selfish...

It is the realization that there will never be room for two here.

The wants will always be his, no matter what.


Overcoming Guild and Shame

hope, st, too, and bilf --

I'm finding your exchange pretty timely. While I'm not claiming sainthood for my behavior in my relationship, I have been beating myself up a lot recently thinking/wondering what I could have done differently in my relationship to make it better. (me = non-ADHD)

What's your secret? How do you find yourself again? And, how do you find the strength to move on? While I have also been abandoned, it's hard not to feel like I'm abandoning someone who I know is not stupid, crazy or lazy. But, c'mon - how much BS should a spouse put up with? I know what hes capable of, but he seems to give less that two hoots to discover it for himself. 

I've spent way too much time and energy internalizing and owning his "deficiencies" that I've completely lost sight of my own strengths and what I originally brought to things.



(...Oh, that sound? That's me beating my head against the wall!)

I'm not sure how to stop

I'm not sure how to stop beating myself up or how to stop thinking about how I could have done things differently.  But I have been able to recognize my strengths.  Some of these are things that perhaps I would not have known about or developed if not for the problems my husband and I have had because of his ADHD.  Here are a few (not to brag, but to give you ideas about what strengths to look for in yourself):  I've dealt with the time and tedium of putting together family medical records so that we could obtain health insurance.  I've helped my children through emotional, legal, and medical problems.  I've made sure that all the bills are paid on time (OK, I've missed a few!).  I've gotten up every morning even when I felt almost too depressed or demoralized to keep going.  

Almost everyone in a relationship has relationship problems.  Just because we're with people with ADHD doesn't mean that we're better or worse than people in other flawed relationships.  And just as our ADHD spouses aren't totally responsible for our relationship problems, neither are we, the non-ADHD spouses, totally responsible.  

Go Easy on Yourself

There is a page in the the book Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? (a book that for me was the light bulb coming on moment and I would GREATLY recommend it to all and especially if you are trying to figure out if your spouse has ADD) where a wife of an ADD spouse says that as she is filling out divorce papers, her mother-in-law says to her, "if only you could talk things through, if only you could help him get control of his spending problems, his business management problems, his temper."  The wife responds, "frankly I am dead tired from trying to help my husband.  We've 'talked things through' for 15 years and it's never made a bit of difference.  "It seems like people in the support group have gone through the stage where we think that if we just explain one more time, in a different way, maybe this time our partner will understand and cooperate.  And it never happens, because the problem has nothing to do with how we explain it or approach it."  These sentences, to me, really say it all.  As you stated, Haps, absolutely no one is perfect in a marriage and we have to take responsibility for some of the things we did, however, if you can honestly know deep down inside that you did all you could do, including changing unhelpful behavior, and have hung in there for a long time (years and years for many of us) than you must not continue to beat yourself up and blame yourself over the breakdown of the ADD affected marriage, ESPECIALLY if the ADD spouse has refused to get help/continue with counseling and medication.  It was beyond our control (as the above sentences state so accurately)!.  When I saw my husband not have a close relationship with our children it was another HUGE sign to me that something deeper, something way beyond my doing, was wrong with HIM (again, don't torture yourself by over blaming YOU).  Marriages fail all the time but a parent/child relationship under normal circumstances should be strong, full of love and attention.  When this is missing between the ADD spouse and their children WE (the non ADD spouse) know there is are much deeper problem with the ADD spouse.  If they can't have a normal, functioning relationship with their children, how the heck will they have one with a spouse??  As I try to find my strength, I try to take one day at a time.  Yes, I still wake up to the thought of him but I know I have come a long way from two years ago when he left and I found out about the affair.  I was a stay at home mom for 22 yrs and now that I find myself in this situation I am kicking myself for ever making that decision because now it is really difficult to find a job even with a college education.  However, I know I cannot go back and redo my decision.  I can only move forward.  As I had mentioned in another post above and Rosered said, we have many strengths!!!  We have handled more things single handedly than we may even realize.  I just believe it will take time but we will eventually make it and once again find our light and our path in OUR life.  Like so many others, I have spent years with a pain in my chest analyzing him, why is he saying that?, why is he doing this? - I am so tired of it!!  Finally, I don't have someone trying to tell me that I don't have a right to express any emotions as I used to be told "calm down, stop arguing, stop yelling", etc, etc, etc".  With those things changed, how could life not get better eventually.  :)  So, please go easy on yourself.