Context: I am the non-ADD spouse. My husband has been diagnosed, after much resistance, with ADD and was on medication for approximately 2 years. He went off of his medication about 6 months ago because of increased anxiety. He didn't tell me. I thought he was moving into early Alzheimers, very worried and scared. Lots of increased anger in the relationship from both sides. His side: Increased forgetfulness, inability to stay on task, very long hours at work (1 job) to accomplish the job. Financial difficulties with creditors from medical bills - insurance foul-ups but little to no, now late, follow through. Explosive anger, slamming doors, cabinets, throwing things. Withdrawn into the TV. My side: I have tried to implement what I have learned from the counseling sessions through this site....months at a time but lately I have fallen back into increased frustration to not being heard, seen or acknowledged consistently. I work multiple full and part-time jobs and have the full responsibility of the business of the relationship. I have become, again, Irritable, bossy, demanding - almost doing anything to get any kind of attention. I am overwhelmed with my emotions often, turning sullen and withdrawn. Communication is only about surface things - movies, music, what's for dinner. Lots of walking on egg shells in this household. If the conversation becomes more real - business, relationship, expectations, frustrations it turns into a VERY LOUD argument and often things get broken.
Blended family with 4 adult children. 2 his, 2 mine. 3 live away, 1 lives locally. We have been married for 11 years. Been to 3 counselors for multiple years each.
Our blended families, the kids, don't get along with each other. The 3 daughters - my two and his oldest, who is older by 13 years and is a different life stage, married, Highschool children, can get along reasonably well most of the time. His son dislikes me - has since before we married and has been vocal and aggressive about it with me off and on throughout our marriage. There has been times he was not welcome in our home due to his disrespectful behavior. Those boundaries were mostly placed by me and not enforced by his father. His son, who was with us every other weekend in hs is now living about 14 hours away from us and usually is only home a couple of times a year. Thus, the holidays every year....usually not much fun. My mother lives close by and there were multiple issues with my husband's children during the 2 weeks my father was dying. My mom has MUCH difficulty forgiving and wants little to do with my husband's children. When my siblings and I and our spouses get together for events with my mom, none of our spouses children are invited or included. My husband's children take great offense at this and are very resentful. I have had this particular discussion with my husband's oldest daughter, explaining I cannot control my mom and I hope she would focus not on what my mom doesn't do but instead on what I do for her family....which is quite a bit for a person with my employment hours.....but this continues to be an issue and probably always will until my mother dies.
This year I recognized that for the first time in years we would have all the children and their girl/boyfriends (1 spouse) in town and initiated an evening for us all to get together and have a Christmas time together. I worked hard to find the time with everyone's other families schedules, flights, etc. Everyone agreed to come. His son's new live in girlfriend would be coming and since me and my girls hadn't met her, we could that evening. Just a couple of hours. My girls weren't real keen on it but told me they would do it, be courteous, etc. for me and because they have fond feelings for my husband. I was hopeful we could have a light time, have a bit of conversation and just all see one another for a little bit.
Issue: My husband's daughter and son are upset to not be invited to my mother's house for my family's Christmas gathering. His son wrote very hurtful, disrespectful texts to his dad about me and my family. I opened my husband's phone, saw my name on a text, opened it and read it. I then texted his son and shared how upsetting that was and told him he is not welcome to come to my house until he apologies. Huge fight between my husband and me for me looking at his phone. Name calling, household items broken, etc....not good. My husband: I was in the wrong to look at his phone and his son can say anything he wants to him about me and my family, not my business. I was in the wrong and the son was just fine. No apology needed and that's that. His son doesn't like me. I have treated him unfairly and his son's anger is a bit out of control but justified. Me: I would like my husband to demand that his son speak to him about me respectfully...sharing concerns is one thing but ugly, hateful statements about me and my family are not acceptable. When my girls were younger and talked to me about his children, I called them on it and have had said things like; if you have a problem with XXXX you need to talk to them. Or, that is my husband, or my husband's son, you are talking about and I don't want to hear it. (When his son became threatening of me and one of my daughters, I took appropriate action and blocked numbers, talked to police,etc....for protection. But, that hasn't happened in many years and I was hoping we had gotten past all of that.)
Two days later now. We haven't talked about it again. We are back to our shallow relationship..... Egg shells, etc. I have taken care of fixing the broken household items. We are spending Thanksgiving apart next week...he is going to his daughters with his ex wife and her husband....I am helping my 80 year old mom cook for my siblings and our children. Living our typical separate lives. But, I feel separate even when he is home so what's new.
I know his son will not be expected to apologize, and won't, and the Christmas gathering I have planned and bought for will not happen. At this moment, I am not willing to 'give in" on that boundary and will stand my ground. The divide continues to get bigger. I have grown to really dislike the holidays. Actually, I have grown to dislike this blended family and all the gunk it involves. I am feeling like it is a hopeless situation.
Would love to hear thoughts on this. Is my request for an apology unreasonable? I don't trust my husband stands up for me....really the trust factor here is the main issue. Thoughts?