Burnt out

My husband has ADHD, something that was actually one of the things that made him unique, energetic and fun to be around with especially when you are 20 years old, have unrealistic dreams and love to be overwhelmed and swept of your feet. He was on Ritalin as a child for many years.

But even before marriage there was small warning signs. Irrational, emotional, sarcastic and unfair fights and blow outs that would irrupt out of nowhere and always when we were alone, leaving me numb with pain, just to hear the next moment I am the best person and that he loves me so much. The suttle manipulation was not obvious from the first moment but it became more clear as years past. Most times I was so shocked about, how is it possible that some one can get angry so fast and say such hurtful stuff just to adore you the next moment and tell you that you are the world to him. So much so that I considered the fact that I am perhaps making to much of the anger and arguments and so I ignored what was in front of me, because I really could see the amazing man he really is.

And so we got married, and we have fought ever since. He has been running his own business now for 12 years and we have been together since the first day and married for 10 years of them. We have two little girls, 5 and 2.

I feel terrible for looking backward and being consumed by the past but for the past 2 years I have become so drained that I just cannot stay positive anymore. I just have no proof that the next 10, 20 or 30 years will be any different. I have lost myself and all my energy in this marriage and have cannot be a good wife or mother to my children this way. We have been through emotional and financial roller coasters on a daily ride and somewhere along the line I climbed out.

I worked for him for several years, and then for myself the past 5, I have no steady income, I am 32 years old and totally dependant of him, something that he would also throw in my face when we should argue about money and him buying impulsively stuff we do not need, but I lately realized that his controlling behavior and jealousy has really channeled me in such a way that I am where he wants me to be, close enough to him not to loose me and in fact, he is loosing me. I have given up my own personality, my dreams and goals to understand him and make him feel safe and loved and adored. I always thought that this is the best way to treat him with his condition and that this would be the best thing for our marriage. But in fact I was doing the wrong thing.

Our house is a mess, our finances are a mess and we bankrupt, our emotions are a mess and everything seems uncontrollable. He acts on impulse, buying expensive stuff we cannot afford so much so that I do not even buy anything small for myself because I feel guilty to spend. It seems that he always has to bump his head before he learns, and it feels like he is a child in the house. He even bought a house without viewing the property from the inside. A house he now lost to the bank together with an expensive vechile. Stuff I pleaded with him to reconsider not to buy.

The past was filled with arguments and lies, below the belt fights and name calling and I am disgusted with myself that I even fought back the way I did, then I started to ignore him, which also did not work, and then I started writing down all the things he would say to me during fights so that he can read it the next day to remember, because of his ADHD he has a way of forget what he say during heat full arguments. He was of course shocked and as many times he would promise me the world, tell me how stunning person I am and how ambitions I am, just to say the next day I am useless. But the next day he would confront me for not making any money and contributing to the household when bills arrived – but he forgot the fact that I was working for him, with no salary. I never had a day maternity leave in my life, and would come out of hospital straight back to my home office table in front of the pc because I wanted to keep up with his rapid pace always thinking that was excepted of me because he lacked a empathy with me or with me taking care of two kids.

Before I fell pregnant with our first child, I wrote him a letter saying that I want to divorce him if he does not seek help. The psychiatrist called me in after 2 sessions, explaining to me how his head work, but that there is no excuse for the verbal abuse. She tried to help me cope in situations and I can say that things got slightly better. He was prescribed medication but he stopped using it because it made him feel without energy.

But the arguments came back, even the pinching under the table when no one can see, when he would shake me, or made me cry or break me emotionally before we would visit my family and friends. So much so that I did not want to visit them anymore because the way to there homes was just to draining. Almost like the way to church, or away weekend with the kids.

So I started to adapt to his behavior, and started surrounding me with people and things he felt safe and happy with. Surroundings that would cause less friction or outbursts. We had our first child and I remember many heated fights with the little baby in my arms and him shouting in my face, calling me names, calling my family names. The worse one was the evening before our first girl’s christening, I am clinching her body and he is swearing in my face, and the next day we stood in church and I felt so betrayed and fake when he Christened her. Useless hurtful stuff making me numb with pain and sadness. He would go out and drink with his friend, telling me he is working late, and I would drive around searching for him at night, worried sick, just to be so mad at him when he eventually comes home drunk and fighting with me for being upset. He would change around the whole situation that at the end I don’t know what we are fighting about.

He cannot be at home for a long while then he needs to leave again, always driving somewhere or wanting people around him, but he needs me to give him constant attention, but when I need it sometimes he would easily brush me away, saying not now, or he is not ready for me now. In many ways I feel used.

He is extremely jealous and always wants to know who I am phoning, who I email or sms and who I speak to on a daily basis. When I go out on a Saturday afternoon (which now happens once every 3 months) then he would phone me several times wanting to know when I come home, where I am and what I am doing. We both work from home, we see each other during the day more then any other couple, I never go out without him, and still he is keeping me so boxed in that I am going mad. The kids are my priority, according to him a woman’s job. There was nights that I would sit in the passage, with both kids crying and he upset because I am not in bed with him. When he goes to bed, then he would call me non stop or put of the tv off until I do so as well, I never read anything ever, and books were always my passion, but reading means that I am neglecting him.

I have no friends, because he was jealous when I go out on coffee breaks or anything. We know many people, and everybody loves him, because in fact he is an extremely great guy. He seems social but still when we visit people he would be nervous and fight before we go there. He sometimes make up things that certain people or friends do not like him when I know for a fact they adore him. Nobody know about what we go through or about the mess our lives are in.

I love my husband but not as in the beginning and I am emotionally detached from him. I need to help myself now so that I can be the best mom I can be for my children. I have been thinking of walking away. Many times I would get in my parents car and just want to drive away never to be found.

He knows how I feel these days because I have been talking about divorce. His words of course, if he can’t have me, no one will. I am not looking for another person in my life to be with! I am looking for myself, I need to get back in control of my own thoughts and emotions. I cannot carry him emotionally and encourage and motivate him to be the best he can be, he needs to do that for himself now.

This past few weeks he have been sending me constant text messages about how he loves me and will change etc and this is irritating me extremely. I don’t want any promises, I want out. I want a new beginning. I cannot see my childrens faces anymore when we fitght so bad, We are breaking our little girls hearts.

And so what he feared actually happened. I met a lady friend, and we had an affair. As he said we would. My whole family knows now, I am consumed with guilt and shame, and identity crisis and have to go with sleeping pills to get to the next day. He has been hurt terribly about my behavior and ironically enough he only remember the past year, nothing about the past 9 we have been emotionally struggling. Him almost losing me has opened his eyes and now he is smothering me to repair the damage AND interrogating me on a daily basis about the affair, just to say the next moment but he have forgiven me. He is back on medication, twice daily. Without this I cannot even communicate with him, because he seems anxious and irrational.

And the best of everything is that he is a very very good man and the girls love him so so much! He just has the terrible anger and ADHD disorder that is overshadowing all his good points. This a man that I would have defended with my life a few years back but now cannot anymore, because I am not whole anymore, I am broken, irrational, unsure, unhappy, unsuccessful, uninspired and living only for my 2 little girls.

The most positive thing out of this whole ordeal is that he now has a much better relationship with our daughters.

I have cracked, slowly but surely. I do not even want advice anymore, I just want somebody to say to me, it is okay if you leave him, things will get better, your children will one day understand and not blame me and that I should not feel so guilty for giving up.

It felt like we have fitted in 40 years of marriage in 10 years.