beyond frustrated

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Just found out this morning that husband is still  $10,000 in debt even tho he told me last year that he had paid it all off. I want to leave him now more than ever. 

We've been married for almost ten years and I am exhausted and exasperated by his constant claims of "helplessness" and "incompetence" which until very recently were very successful in getting me to be responsible for everything.

He can't find anything, he can't remember anything, he can't get anywhere on time, everything is "too hard" for him. 

We have zero assets...we did have some savings but that is long gone. He finally got a full time job this year after 5 years of either not working or doing odd jobs that paid very little. 

We have been to counseling but only twice and both times it totally sucked. He refuses to go back. I don't want to go back either but we need help. I think it's too late to repair the marriage but we need someone to guide us through separating.

I don't want to split up b/c we have a young daughter but after 10 years of no follow through on things we have agreed to, I am so frustrated and so angry and so exhausted. We have the exact same conversations over and over again and nothing ever changes. I can't deal with his refusal to be a grown up anymore.  It's exhausting. I want more out of life. 

 

I'm sorry about your

I'm sorry about your situation.  I don't have any advice (right now, at least) but I wanted you to know that I can relate to much of what you describe.  My ex-husband was unemployed for about six years (late1990s to early 2000s) while our children were young and has been underemployed since getting fired in 2009.  He was 54 at the time.  It was and is devastating to me that he elevated his self-interest (protecting himself from the discomfort of applying for jobs) over taking care of me and our daughters.  He eventually left our home for a "temporary" arrangement, taking care of his elderly parents.  That was almost six years ago.  Meanwhile, he told me more than once that he could "barely take care of" himself, so how could he be a husband and father?  We divorced last year.  I initiated it.  He claimed to want to stay married.  I believe that was true.  He could think of himself as a husband while not actually contributing anything to the relationship.  Being divorced hasn't been easy but it's no worse than the last several years of our marriage.  

Thank you

I hate hearing about your pain but it helps me feel less alone. What is the deal with not applying for jobs because it's uncomfortable??  My husband refused to do that too. He had someone who was a potential employer who asked him to email her his resume and he wouldn't do it. Despite the fact that I had been begging him to find a job because we couldn't pay our bills on just my income. I just don't understand. If you need a job and someone asks for your resume you send it as soon as humanly possible and then you follow up!! Wtf??

I understand how you feel....

I really do....But, try to not over react....When a person (label them what you will) refuses to get help, or feels they don't need help at others expense, (no job, no effort, plus all the intrusive actions, as you've so well listed) then it maybe time for a separation....

If you were my wife and you took my child and left me, because of the reason's you have listed....I think I would change....

Think about a time apart...Being alone will force him to take a job to survive for starters, it will also give him time to hopefully see himself and come to grips with what he is about to lose...He will probably be angry because he has had it so easy with you doing all the work, (plus all the other benefits you offer)...Best medicine for him!...

But before I jumped into a divorce, I would give him some time to see if he is willing to step up and be a responsible Husband and Father (Man)....Misplacing things, memory, timeliness some of that stuff may just be his brain wiring...So you may always deal with that...But, the denial and refusal to work and help himself...That's not adhd.....That's something else....

Wishing you much peace!

C

Thank you, c

I can deal with the forgetfulness and so on...it's the financial problems that really make me feel hopeless.  But the forgetfulness and losing things lead to the financial problems. For example he can never find his passwords even tho they are all written down on one piece of paper and kept in a file folder labeled "passwords." He had paid $200 to take an exam that would get him qualified for a job. He had to have a ticket to be admitted to the exam. He waited until the day of the exam to print the ticket. He couldn't find his passwords folder so he couldn't get access to the website to print out the ticket.

 

 

Thankfully he does have a job now but 5 years of unemployment and underemployment drained our savings and forced us to sell his house. 

 

I am very angry and resentful about 5 years of being the only one paying the bills. I paid his child support to his ex wife to avoid having him land in court and our daughter went without things because of that. I would mind less if I made enough money to pay all the bills without any contribution from him, but I don't.

 

I'm also very worried that he will end up losing his new job that he's had for less than a year because of his tendency to forget things and lose things and not get things done on time.

I love him very much but the stress is killing me.

Learning how to avoid the Stress and Anxiety....

Your doing the same things many of us did and do....Your being his Mother instead of his Wife and Lover....(Wanting to Monitor and Control his actions, which produces Worry because you can't make him do what you think he should)....Most of us here can truly sympathize with you, because this is the Dysfunctional GO TO for the human mind...The FIX IT SYNDROME....It takes much wisdom, Love and Patients to SEE IT, ACCEPT IT, and walk away knowing you can never depend on this person, and then set boundaries, and live your life from a responsibility perspective with full dependence on yourself....

Not many ever reach this level of Acceptance.....We usually turn angry, bitter and become Victims....So this must be reversed, when we get on this road, Not many can, I couldn't without a power much greater than my thinking....But, by Grace I'm learning that I am loved...

YOU should never carry around any guilt for doing the right and wise things to see after your and your child's care!...NEVER!....Doing things for your own survival because you have a spouse who's living of life shows there is no concern or ability to see past their own personal chaotic existence....Then to make these choices for yourself is never disrespectful to your mate...

When our spouse's exercise their human rights to chase dreams, frivolity, and ignore the God placed expectations to be responsible to do the work and provide in every part of the marriage, (financial needs, child care, their bodies, daily chores..to name a few)  then we must accept this...Is it wrong? Of course its wrong, but, we have no power to change them...If being an example of this responsibility and loving and praying for them doesn't help...(In my opinion, tried it all :)...Nothing else will, and every thing else we can try is only destructive to our own sanity...It's the Illusion of Control....

When their is little to no honor for their vows, and little to no effort given to the mundane things each day holds, then we must Accept this, and exercise our human rights to  deal with the reality of being One w/ someone who will be of little to no help (in most cases just a hindrance) in the responsibilities that must be dealt with on a daily bases....And manage our lives accordingly based this reality....

The other option is turning into an Angry Victim and Pointing out things that will only produce Hells in the relationship and subject your children to unfair stress also. (They didn't ask to be brought into the world, and deserve a Loving Daddy and Mommy!)....Because they for the most part aren't capable of doing any different....Love never bullies!

Some people can function (find a way to get by) based on their thinking, and their abilities, ALONE. They will do enough to survive...But they have almost zero ability to function in a relationship because their survival technics are very intrusive, and they love to be carried...There is obvious reasons for this....One being their life consumes them....So many people like you are talking about have many insecurities and are easily addicted to falling prey to dependency..

(They have little to no ability to adapt, they can't SEE their thinking is so contrary to others, so all they have left is the blame and denial card to play. They love themselves, as we all do...Self love is many many times stronger than the ability for Self-awareness)

So if you are able to function efficiently and see the big picture of life....Then it can be very easy to allow yourself to fall prey to being Co-dependent....And we always do it in the name of LOVE of course....Love is never carrying another adult in life...It will KILL you, I know all this stuff first hand, because it has taken me several years to work away from what happened in my heart over the first 5 years of this 9 year old marriage....I could have written your posts....

I suggest to you these few things....You really need boundaries,,,.like separate finances etc....The most important thing right now for you is to deal with your own emotions and thinking...You must STOP, and say enough...You must disengage from his living of life that you are so focused on....You wanting him (your thinking) to be different, to do differently is where much of your anxiety is coming from...This will ruin your ability to be a Mother, Friend, employee etc....In effect we loose ourselves, allowing our thoughts to so dominated by what they are doing or not doing!....I did it, and must be aware of the tendencies to fall prey to this kind of thinking every day....

This kind of fear, and emotional stress, destroys everything good and right about our relationships....

I hope you can turn your attention inward.....It's the starting point to free yourself from the internal hells you are experiencing...

I will Pray for you daizzebelle...

C

Thank you c

I appreciate your kind words. I have disengaged a lot...our finances are separate and I no longer bail him out when his choices land him in difficulty...but unfortunately he does not learn from these experiences...he moans and groans when his poor choices lead to problems for him but for reasons that I can't comprehend nothing motivates him to change. 

Emotionally I am not as disengaged as I would like to be... for example, the anxiety I feel that he will get fired due to his poor time management/procrastination etc......but then again I don't know who wouldn't feel anxious if they were in my shoes...we are dependent on his income to pay 1/2 the bills... 

It will get better!

 (I can't comprehend nothing motivates him to change.).... I've found this to be my problem! My wanting to comprehend the workings of another's mind...Instead of accepting it....

Based on your posts, I think you are doing great...You are aware!...

But, you are in a hard place!! You have put your trust for survival in a place that isn't trust worthy (a very personal place; the worst kind for our emotions)...And to fix it will take time & work, plus, it pisses you off because just like any of us that finds ourselves in this same spot, we say;...IT IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE THIS WAY!!!...And we would be right! BUT, the reality of the situation is...It is this way! So when we can step back and take a breathe (very difficult to do, but, the only way) we can learn that no matter how much we hate to be in this situation...If we don't accept it, we will never see clearly enough to move out of it...

Think about Acceptance this way...Your statement about his actions never teach him or produce any positive change in him....We must place your statement about him, on ourselves...."I've trusted this person with every part of my livelihood, and this is the fruit that is being produced by them"....If I don't do this ( use this statement on myself) I will always be the person....Who moans and groans but never changes...Only it want be me never learning about my dysfunctional living of life....It will be me never learning about my dysfunctional view of another person....

Blessings!

C

Hi C, yes, It is this way,

and I agree that acceptance is the way to go. I don't want to be that person who complains endlessly about her life instead of either accepting it or changing it. I've been reading Melissa ' s books and I think her advice for the non ADHD spouse is very good: focus on making *your* life the best it can be. Don't rescue ADHD spouse from natural consequences of his poor decisions. I agree with this and yet I often find myself between a rock and a hard place, bc when he makes a poor decision, there are often negative consequences for both of us , not just him.

Daizzebelle, your comment

Daizzebelle, your comment reminded me of the following: spouses often share legal liability or financial responsibility for their marital partner's actions.  My now ex-husband suggested doing things (e.g., breaking the law) that could have led to me losing my professional license.  The legal system and creditors don't care that a person has ADHD and has decided it's too hard to comply with the "rules," and the legal system and creditors don't care that the spouse of a person with ADHD has decided to accept the ADHD person's behavior and let him or her live with the consequences.  So sometimes a spouse has to rescue the other spouse or end the marriage.    

I too have had to clean up DH

I too have had to clean up DH's mess because the consequence would have been too large for both of us.  I was not willing to let him suffer the natural consequences when there were lawyers involved.  On two separate occasions he purchased cars without my knowledge.  The first time was from a co-worker and he made no payments until I got papers in the mail from their attorney.  The second time we were going from a one car family to a two car one.  At the time we lived in a high rise in downtown Chicago and had a one year old and a three year old.  He went out by himself and purchased a jacked up pick up truck that I wouldn't drive and that had no place for car seats and was not practical for city driving.  That time the dealership called me to confirm something (my SS number or some such) and I said no.  DH was furious.  Another time he gave our only credit card, the only one we had and kept for emergencies, to a friend who was in financial trouble.  Never mind that I was a stay at home mom with our two boys at the time and we had literally just purchased a condo.  The friend ran up $400 on the card and even as I was on the phone with the credit card company claiming to not know what the charges were, DH stood there and said nothing.  I contacted the friend and demanded the money back.  Again, DH was furious.  At me.  Four years ago a woman he was involved with (don't know exactly how far it went, but it was definitely inappropriate), kept trying to friend our oldest son (then age 14) on Facebook.  My son asked me who that was and I kept cool to him, but DH didn't see it as a problem so I contacted her and asked to meet so she could ask me whatever it was she wanted to know from my son.  The entire time DH denied even knowing her, despite my having copies of emails she sent him.  When she told him I had contacted her, he lost his mind.  At me.  Again.  I just don't get it.  In all of those cases it was HIS bad judgement, not mine and yet I was the bad guy.  We have been in so much therapy, together and apart.  In January this year I stopped it all.  I just cannot talk about it any longer.  Three different family therapists, his therapist, my therapist, two family therapists.  Enough.  DH tells me I should let all this stuff go, it's in the past, I am holding a grudge.  All true, but how nuts would I have to be to trust him after all that?  And there is plenty more--so many ATM withdrawals that overdraw the account, coming home hours after he says he will with no explanation, even when I ask--it's something like "I lost track of time".  I distinctly remember having a conversation with him after some lie--I asked him how many times do you think I will be lied to without hitting a wall?  I guess we found out how much I can take.  The irony is that past three years have been pretty calm, but last year I just had enough.  When oldest son OD'd and would up in rehab, we both reacted so differently and it's been down hill ever since.  

I agree 100% with letting our ADHD folks suffer the consequences of their own bad actions, but when would endanger us, cost us money, involve lawyers, how can we??  I have no answers, only confusion and loneliness and sadness.

dvance

I understand your confusion, loneliness and sadness...You have endured more than I could...I don't think your husband appreciates you enough...because if I was a women ( and most women I know) he had better hope the girl friend wanted a roommate once I knew about it...

I never have had the financial issues you have....We have separate finances...She works and spends her own money on the things she deems important...Most of that of course is stuff she has little to no ability to let go of...She know's I would refuse to finance it....Stuff like her old empty house unrented and wasting away or storage bills to house junk....So as long as she is willing to work, I stay out it...The only boundary we have there is...I want take any responsibility in the things that aren't a benefit to our marriage relationship and this house...She would work me to death if I allowed it...I would have no problem divorcing her if she want crazy and starting running up debt...She has more wisdom and self control than that I feel...

If you have a spouse that you are determined to stay with, and you have common cc and accounts..If they want respect you enough to share knowledge when they are considering major purchases, then that can be trouble if it ends up causing you negative consequences...That is why I recommend separate accounts when there is no trust and openness in spending...One less headache....

C

Negative Consequences...a few suggestions....

That is way we have to set boundaries...(live like they do not exist when it comes to placing trust in areas that their reality of living life tells us if we do, we're going down)...the only way I have found to not over focus (experience stress and frustration) on her living of life, is to set boundaries that protect me from her actions and her from my pointing it out in frustration...It doesn't mean I don't love her, on the contrary, it means I'm getting out of the way of her life style so I can look to make the parts of the marriage I can be involved in and communicate about, calm and positive...

We have to shake off this predetermined mindset that says marriage should be this way or that...LOL...We have to say; to live with any semblance of peace w/ this person, I have to do________fill in the blank...It may be many things...But it will usually start with setting boundaries and using wisdom...Wisdom enough to believe what we see, accept it, and do what we have to, to stay clear of the fallout....

I just can't allow another person to ruin my life, if I can help it...I've learned I can help it...If they are spoiled and dependent, they want like it...(I've been called a few ugly names over the past few years when I announce boundaries that force her to awareness of her actions)

In my experiences and observations Ive realized that there were patterns to our conflict...people who live intrusive lives have times and situations where the probability of it occurring is at a high percentage....Set boundaries there first, would be my suggestion...

C

I too live with odd, bizarre

I too live with odd, bizarre behavior.  I have been disengaging from my DH for a while now and have an appointment with a divorce lawyer later this week.  I don't know if we can afford it, but at least I will have some information.  It is so very demoralizing.  I don't love him like a spouse any longer. I pity him, I feel bad for all the wasted time, I love him because he is the father of my two sons, but beyond that, nothing.  I am always curious when folks here say they still love their ADHD person even though that person has caused nothing but heartache, extra work,  and financial ruin.  I realized we don't love someone because of what they can DO for us or GIVE us exactly, but if we are getting no emotional support but we are doling it out to the point of feeling depleted ourselves, if we are always running around cleaning up their messes, literal and figurative--then what's to love?  I have to have some respect for the person to be able to love them.  For example, my girlfriends and I say I love you all the time.  I even have a few guy friends that we say I love you.  They are people I admire/respect for their values and how they live their lives.  Let me be clear-not all of them are like me, but they have a set of values that they live by, they have full, interesting lives that intersect with mine, they are supportive to me, they keep track of what is going on in my life like I do about their lives (like a text in the morning when you know the person has a big day at work).  Those things are what I love about them.  Not that I agree with them all the time about everything.  That all sounds terribly self centered on my part and that is not how I mean it.  I can love someone who does nothing for me, but I love them for many qualities they have.  My husband--I no longer have respect for him.  Our almost 18 year old son is terribly disrespectful to me, to the point of hanging up on me last week on his cell phone.  DH said nothing even though I asked him to sit there while I spoke to my son about his behavior and the consequence.  How can I respect that?  What DH should have said to the child was "don't EVER treat your mom like that again", but no--I was the one who gave out the consequence and so I am the bitch.  DH remains that pal, not the parent.   In the case of the hanging up on me, I took his cell phone away for 4 days.  And darned if the night before he was to get it back, DH didn't go get it from where I had stashed it and charge it so it was all ready for the child the next morning.  What a nice guy.  I would have handed it back to the child uncharged.  Too bad so sad.   If I call out the child on his sassy mouth in front of DH, DH will tell ME to back off, not the child.  What's to respect there?  DH has been doing everything in the house but it doesn't make me love/respect him any more because he walks around sighing and taking aspirin for headaches and staying up late--last week he made dinner at 9:30 one night for the next night and then was all draggy the next morning.  Why?  What are you trying to prove?  He has no friends, goes out with no one.  It's kind of pathetic.   DH has been at his current job for just over 2 years, which is typically his attention span for any job.  The last three jobs lasted about that long.  And sure enough--he is starting the same talk: he is the ONLY one in the WHOLE company who knows what's going on, NO ONE who works for him knows a damn thing, thank GOD he came along to straighten out the messes that he inherited.  It really is ridiculous talk.  I can assure you he is not indispensable, very few of us are.  Not much to respect there.

I understand dvance....

I have to ask myself; C, do you really understand?? The part I understand about your post is the feelings that you have....Feelings that are generated when there is little to no desire to communicate and work through differences....No desire or ability to have a loving healthy relationship, because we refuse to learn, grow, and communicate without selfish defiant attitudes....Or just one of unconcern, which I think is worse......

It's so easy to buy a teenager's approval with slackness....But, the end product in many cases will be something responsible adults will dodge in life....I just want to say I understand your feelings about these things...I also agree with you....With out disciplining our minor children, we are forsaking what real Love for them is....Someday when they become mature adults and they look back...They will remember the tough Love Mother had to dish out, even against heart breaking odds for her....

Some times we can feel guilty because of the shape our marriage gets into. And, of course we should stay focused on our own responsibilities...(our thinking, our attitudes, our behaviors) in the marriage....But since the beginning of time, any time we observe a "Good Marriage," or, find ourselves in a "Good Marriage," there is always one common theme...Willingness to do the work on ourselves.....This work covers many many things...Much of it, we definitely wouldn't choose:), and we will perform it when we are physically and emotionally tired much of the time...But that's the beauty of a "Good Marriage"....There is someone by your side (pulling in the same direction)....Just as tired..:)

I hope you have a blessed day!

C

 

dvance

I agree he should have your back...on everything! But as I am the parent of a teen also I really hear your frustration that your husband is choosing to play pal to your son instead of standing firm with you as parent. 

Hi, dbelle, much the same here

I understand also, where you are, and have lived through this also. I left my husband a year ago, after 3 decades of marriage, because I lost my identity, my sanity and self respect, after staying far too long with an undiagnosed ADHD'er, (he found out in 2008 that he had ADHD), and then he was an under-treated ADHD'er. He would take the pills, but didn't go through any behavior retraining, and we didn't get ADHD marriage counseling. We were also separated for 2 years, (a few years ago) while he persued another job, and was in the middle of a long term affair. I didn't know WHY I went back to him, but my OWN emotional junk wasn't dealt with yet, and I had NO ANSWERS to anything, about ANYTHING to do with us. He too, wouldn't talk about anything to do with us, or his own personal issues, or show any affection, etc, after we got married. It was like when he got a full time job (responsibility), he couldn't THINK about anything but THAT. His job became his ENTIRE FOCUS, then, year after year after year. Even after switching jobs to "better" ones, (one in particular that was JUST THE BEST) he still wouldn't stop the "job focus", and spend any time on US. There wasn't anything I could DO, (and trust me.............I DID IT ALL.......trying to help him,  then trying to ease things for him, SEXUALLY temping him, and trying all sorts of things, ........ETC, etc, etc.) AND NOTHING. It wasn't until I left,..........................that now, he wants to "work" on things and go to couples counseling and try to be a better husband.

      After 3 decades..............I have to ask....why now? why did he wait until I LEFT? A year has passed, and I've had to distance myself emotionally from him, which I've been doing, and feel pretty good about, but even that has taken it's toll. I had to find out WHY I CHOSE this person, which I keep learning about, and I know the WHY'S of it, and that even made me more depressed. I felt like I was the most broken person on earth. But, it's also helped me understand why I fell "in love" with him, and stayed blind in love, and didn't set NECESSARY boundaries for MYSELF in the relationship.  Still, sometimes, I don't think he would have stayed, even if I had been strict with boundaries, and told him NO, instead of trying to compromise with him all the time. The compromise kept allowing him to continue in his chaotic ways, because that's ALL his mind would allow, and that's all he allowed for himself. But, the boundaries would surely have helped ME, not loose myself so much, and would have help me focus on ME more, instead of all our focus being on him. His life was SO BIG, it seemed to take over the whole world. lol.

     The previous counseling we've had hasn't helped either. Finding a GOOD therapist who truly KNOWS about ADHD behavior, and how the responses from the non-ADHD person  even cause MORE problems,  are hard therapists to FIND.   I hope you have better fortune in finding a good person, and that your husband starts accepting his ADHD, and will work WITH you on this. My husband never thought it had any effect on our marriage, because he only saw it as "his" personal problem, with a lack of focus. DENIAL. (when it's a TON more than that) When they grow up with it, it's all they know, so it's no big deal to them, until...............marriage, jobs, and having children. (responsibility) Even if they can handle their own lives, adding others TO IT, seems to give them difficulty. There are those who do well, like some of the ones on THIS forum. When these folks accept it, and learn, and their spouses work with them also, GREAT THINGS can be achieved, and some even have pretty great marriages. There are some here, so it IS POSSIBLE.

   Anyway, hope you have a good day, and just saying HI.

    

Thank you dedelight

It sounds to me like you went way above and beyond to try to fix things...I am exasperated after only 10 years and can't imagine persevering for 30. Do you feel free? I sure hope so. When I think about leaving my husband I feel sad but I also feel a sense of relief ...his issues have really dragged me down and I think I would feel lighter and freer without him.