Can't take it anymore

I found this site when I googled "irresponsible husband." I'm so angry and full of frustration over my husband's behavior. I've long suspected he has ADHD, but he will not see any type of doctor, so there is no way to know. It has been so helpful for me to read many of your posts and to feel I am not alone.

I don't know how to live anymore with a person who sleeps until noon, complains incessantly about his work-from-home job, refuses to do anything but the bare minimum for his job, and is constantly on the verge of being fired as a result. This has been going on for at least five years (we've only been married for seven). For the past five years, he has continued to go through these "cycles" where he is increasingly irresponsible at his job; reaches a low point of nearly being fired; then increases his effort slightly. He talks endlessly about how much he hates this job and wants to start his own business. However, he can't seem to focus long enough on anything to generate ideas for a business. Any ideas he comes up with, he wants me to complete crucial steps to explore them. For example, he wants to start a website to make money but he insists I research how to do this because he just can't. Meanwhile, his spending on unnecessary and expensive items is completely out of control. His irresponsibility puts us in financial danger. We are living in a very expensive home that he basically bullied me into purchasing, telling me I was being ridiculous for being apprehensive about the price. He has also taken money that I inherited and insisted we use it for things he wanted to purchase.

I have urged him recently to make a plan for a new job or a business so that when this current job ends, he will have something to do. He becomes angry and accuses me of "riding" him or "nagging" him, when I am only trying to help. He is going to let things come to a crisis, lose his job, and will have no backup. He talks vaguely of how we could live on my salary. I work extremely hard at my job, have a long commute, and resent coming home to him telling me he didn't do anything all day and the house is a mess. Recently he told me he hates his career, but he also doesn't feel he has the discipline to run a business. I don't know what the alternative would be for him.

I feel I am living with a child, constantly picking up after his mess. You can't even walk in our garage-- it looks like a bomb went off-- because he just throws things everywhere. 

He is quick to anger and it is difficult for me to have any kind of sensitive conversation with him, no matter how carefully I word whatever I need to say, because he takes everything as criticism. He frequently gets into road rage, blames many other people for his problems, and has no true friendships or family relationships. He has alienated countless people over the years with his anger.

I don't know if this is ADHD. He seems unfocused and full of anger all the time. The worst is his refusal to admit or accept that any changes in his behavior might be necessary. He refuses to see a doctor or dentist for anything, so seeing a mental health professional is out of the question. The only good news is that I have not had children with him, because I've been afraid of what kind of dad he would be.

Wow-- I sound like a resentful, angry person myself in this post. I'm scared of what this relationship is doing to my own mental health. I don't know how to deal with this or what to do. Thanks for listening.



DF's picture

Just breath for a moment

It's okay.

Your husband has qualities that remind me of myself, the anger stuff.  I'm not outward with my anger, 80% in channeled inward at me and unfortunatly 20% at my ADHD son.  I'm working on that second part more than the first.  Seeing as how he and I both suffer we often butt heads, but I can control me.  He's still too young to figure it out so I try to lead by example.

My wife has always been there for me during the hazy years.  I'm newly diagnosed with ADD and maybe I can shed some light on this, but giving hope may be harder. 

It looks as though your husband, like me, sees failure all around him.  It's a big problem with anxiety as I'm learning.  This is why I don't like complaining about much and it drives me "CooCoo for CoCo Puffs" when my son goes on and on, whining and complaining.  It's counter productive to everyone and nobody likes it. 

What you see as being helpful and supportive are in fact you being helpful and supportive.  But let me translate that for you from an ADD perspective -

"I have urged him recently to make a plan for a new job or a business so that when this current job ends, he will have something to do."  Seems logical and is considering you care and:

"......complains incessantly about his work-from-home job, refuses to do anything but the bare minimum for his job, and is constantly on the verge of being fired as a result."

But the end result is:
"He becomes angry and accuses me of "riding" him or "nagging" him, when I am only trying to help."

I do not have the issue ( I don't think ) where ADD(HD) people are more thin skinned.  Some of us tend to view this as the person closest to us is being critical of us and challenging our "control".  Control being the key word, because since I've realized my problem I've seen how easy it is for me to spark up when I feel I've lost "control" of a situation.  When you spend your life trying to get a grip on everyday tasks due to racing thoughts, it's not too hard to feel like you have no control and it's frustrating.

Since I've come here and have come to grips with my new diagnosis, I'm working hard to repair my relationship with my wife and kids.  I'll defend to the death anyone in these forums that is really trying.  But I'm not to kind to those who don't and I usually keep my mouth shut - but I think I'm finally getting through my grieving stage and into my determination stage.

So kudo's to you for trying and welcome aboard.  Your spouse, in my humble opinion, I have nothing to offer.  If he's not trying or even inclined to budge one inch, then he is his own worst enemy.  There's probably nothing you can do until he embraces the idea that maybe he should get checked out.  I know my major fear behind denying my son's issue was that I'm ( even now ) very scared of any medication that affects your brain.  It's a scary thing not knowing if you'll be you.  And fear is a lack of control - hence anger.  I'm not afraid of spiders - I get flippin' crazy angry at the little 8 legged, blood sucking nightmares.

But with that said.  You married the man for a reason.  He's still there somewhere.  If it's possible, the trick may be to find a way to have him get the diagnosis.  It doesn't hurt ( aside from emotionally for me ), there's no shots involved and they don't strap you down and force feed you pills.  They don't label you crazy and take your job away from you.  What it does, is give us the answers to the things that have gone unexplained in our lives for as long as we can remember.  Maybe then, armed with answers, he can take a step back and look at himself because nobody can be content living with that kind of frustration.

For you - just think "spiders"


Some of this sounds like it COULD be ADHD.  I recommend exercising caution in making that final conclusion in your mind.  Sometimes my "girl cave" looks like a bomb went off. I sometimes forget why I went to the store and come back with everything but the one thing I went for.  It doesn't mean I have ADHD. :)

My DH is undiagnosed, but what tipped me off that something was different about him was his bizarre (to me) logic about what results from our dysfunctional communication. What came out of my mouth so carefully worded filtered through his ears as criticism and blame from me to him.  He often quoted me "verbatim" (to his own ears) that I had specifically said something to him that was completely derogatory, that I wouldn't say to anyone, let alone someone whom I wanted to be my partner.  Another big clue was his seemingly blatant disregard for following plans that we made together, things we talked about and dreamed about and agreed to move forward with.  I knew he loved me (at least then he did, now--who knows) but he would act like I was "calling him out" and get offended when I gently and carefully reminded him of what steps we were supposed to be taking to carry out our dreams and met our goals.  Things like these and more were more or less a distorted view of reality.  I pride myself for being pretty objective, so for me, these were red flags that something wasn't jibing.  So I read everything I could find on the subject, and also found this forum. A good part of my life, things I thought were just male-female differences, were in those pages and on this website.  Not just little things (like an obliterated garage--who doesn't have one of those?!) but the dynamics of our life together were almost verbatim. 

Not having an official diagnosis (and therefore he is in denial) I have found it helpful for myself to learn about ADHD, especially from ADHDers who post here.  I encourage you to learn whatever you can so you know how YOU play a role in potentially exacerbating the symptoms, and also to help you to remember it is a condition that can sometimes (often) have a personal sting for us on the receiving end of those kind of symptoms.  Learning about it helped me to know that he doesn't WANT to hurt me and burden me beyond reason, his reality of what's going on in our world is not the same as mine.  I get where you are at--frustrated, darned tired, and hurting like hell that this is what your marriage has become.  In the thick of everyday life it's hard to handle these things when to our eyes and ears it mostly looks like rudeness, laziness and so forth.  This is a safe place to vent, to be encouraged through the day-to-day chaos, and to help you weigh in your own mind what you are willing to do about it all.  Welcome and good luck.

DF's picture

What she said -

And one more thing.  I'm 38 and recently diagnosed.  So for 37 1/2 years I thought I was normal, but that some people were better at the things I wasn't good at. 

Until just this past month I always thought ADD(HD) was a learning disorder and kids took the meds to keep from having to take remedial classes.  So I wouldn't say that everyone is in denial, so much as many of us don't understand it to know the difference.  Had my wife told me to get checked ( maybe she did? ), I would have taken it as a bit insulting.  I had to open my own damn eyes in order to see what really needed to be done.  It's unworldly to come this far in life and realize that things could have been so different and that life was never what it really appeared to be.  It's what they make movies out of. 

My personal experience would be like waking up out of a coma.  I'm eager to get out of bed and start enjoying life with my family.

Hmmmm..  I think I am getting past the massive grief that's been all consuming for the past 3 weeks.  Sweet.

Well put, DF...

I went 43 years before I found out about my ADD. I looked at the Psychiatrist like he was crazy. ADD is just an excuse condition for poorly behaving kids, right??? My point is ADD is not taken seriously by A LOT of people. People with ADD, like DF and myself Can take ownership of this thing and deal with it. ADD is just another program to write, model to build puzzle to figure out. Waking up is an understatement... Two years later I still feel like things are improving, slowly but surely, My meds work, I keep reading and trying to puts my thoughts down and hopefully help someone else while making sense of my own experience. The grief comes and goes, steps forward and backwards at home, but keep moving because what else can you do?

DF's picture

Interesting thought just poped out

Just putting this out there. 

I tend to proclaim a mild case of ADD since i guess mine is more in line with anxiety, but who am I to say.  I'm just going off of all the different posts out there of experiences by non-add(hd) spouses.  They appear to be, in my meager thoughts, married to some really severe cases.  But are there severe cases?

YYZ and I have much in common and it dawned on me there are others in the forum that seem to easily be in control to a higher degree than so many others.  I'm not saying we're all in IT career's, but I don't think it should be discredited that for most of us our lives revolve around "root cause analysis".  We see a problem and seek it out at the source to make things work. 

I don't know if this is part of our genetic make-up or conditioning of our brains from years of doing that.

Indulge me for a moment since this most likely was covered by a professional somewhere and I've not read about it.  When I see something coming - a communication problem between point A to B, I take corrective action.  In life, my ADHD son will start grinding on my nerves, but I can see my buttons getting pushed and the wave of frustration coming.  I can stop me before I get out of hand because I am in tune with what the cause is.  Perhaps it's conditioning for me to take corrective action?

Before I realized I had a problem with ADD, I could always 'see' the problem, but I didn't know the root cause in order to stop it - very frustrating.  To explain, it's kind of like surfing the internet - hmmm, my internet is slooooow.  I know there's something wrong because it shouldn't be like that, but it is.  After my ADD diagnosis - hmmm there's 20 people leaching off of my wiFi connection and and slowing me down.  I lock down my internet router from the leaches and I'm back up to speed.

What I'm getting at is that our ( ADD'ers ) interpretation of things is not like everyone else's and we can get easily overwhelmed.  Not sure if it's my genetics or conditioning from my career choice, but I have the ever present need to maintain smooth operation.  I always thought this was why I would spark off so easily and it's part of the reason.  With a lot of the spouses I'm reading about, I'm curious if they are more extreme cases than me, in my cluttered opinion, because they have a harder time trying to find the "root cause analysis".  Perhaps it's the struggle with trying to find the source that becomes over whelming and they aren't able to cope as well?

Sorry - it's 5AM and I've been on a conference call for work for the past 3 hours - "root cause analysis" nonsense.  I want to be clear that I don't believe I cope with ADD better than most everyone else, I'm just curious and had a thought.  After all I did just find out about my diagnosis and I'm here because I screwed up my marriage for a long time. 


4am here and my excuse is insomnia. ;) Besides, I enjoy a good ideating dialog, whatever the time. From my perspective, I think what you are observing are simple personality differences, probably not a symptom of ADHD, but certainly affecting the expression of it. I do not have ADHD but I am a natural root cause analysis person as well. My husband who very likely has ADHD, is a feeler personality type so it takes him a long time if ever to get to a root cause analysis state of mind. His is more the impulsive kind, so not reacting according to how he feels is not even a consideration. I believe it simply never occurs to him to analyze the prelude to a feeling or reaction to a feeling after it happens. Finding the cause of a complicated problem many times overwhelms him. As for me, my employment involves continual problem solving as you've described which I enjoy. Im seeing personality differences, not ADHD in this. Maybe we need a larger control group!
DF's picture

maybe not that different

Hermie - I was just trying to break it down into layman terms.  Not everyone understands computers and I would know since I've been pretending for 12 years.

You're take on my summary gives me pause.  As an administrator I'm called upon to "fix it now".  I don't do that well and in many situations I'm impulsive in an attempt to just do something even if it isn't right and breaks something for a bit.  Life example, I want so very very very very very very very very much to tell my wife how I feel.  I'd love to write it down for her as easily as I do here in these forums, but the truth of the matter is, when it comes to making the right call on the first time I don't have control of myself.  I really do think I'm saying the right thing, I mean she has been with me for 12 years.  But within the last month of my life I've just come to realize why she kept (keeps?) getting frustrated with me.

If I say something that I think is objectionable to my wife - the key term "think", I'll obsess about what I should have said for hours, but not say anything for fear of opening a sore wound.  Man have I handled things wrong!

I dislike complicated problems as they frustrate me and my biggest problem has been me.  Until I realized I have ADD I was constantly infuriating myself.  I don't know your situation or your husband, but " it takes him a long time if ever to get to a root cause analysis state of mind." - It took me almost 12 full years to find my root cause.

Personality and Coping Mechanisms

Some of us figure out way to deal with what we never knew was wrong is different ways. As early as I can remember I was taking things apart and putting them back together. I hate unknowns because I cannot predict what can happen next. I would take things apart, some could call it "Breaking Things", but if I reassembled the item then I understood it better and has a feeling of accomplishment. These feelings help the damaged self esteem, give a sense of accomplishment and I began to realize that what I could fix or assemble (What doesn't need assembly these days) I developed a coping mechanism to help me feel that I was a "Smart Guy", with plenty of flaws that I could hide from most, but if it needed assembly or was electronic I was "Your Guy" :-)

Chaos makes me "CrAzY", and if surrounded by it I will fail. I could never remember to do things asked of me or important dates, until I discovered MS Outlook Tools and when my first PDA Phone arrived, the Nokia 7200 (Internet, Outlook Sync in 2000!!!) I knew I had tools to assist my many flaws. What's funny is I failed my first class in college (To stupid to drop because I thought I could make a come back) 170+ hours of college and I did not get my Associates Degree (In like my 7th Major) until just my 31st Birthday. I got fired from a job (The first time in my life, AND it was NOT my fault!) sound familiar??? That event slapped my face and I went back to school, it suddenly occurred to me that I was good with electronics so maybe I should try a class. I made all A's only one B and graduated in 4 years going to school at night, working full time. I was driven to NEVER work a Sucky Job and get fired from a stupid job that I hated because my boss was a moron and feared for his job because of my ideas. My degree was in Electrical Engineering Technologies and included a class in C Programming (I made an A) I discovered a process that I have always used to resolve un-do-able projects. The first Phase is the "Oh my god there is no way I can do this" Over-whelmed, I'm an idiot for trying to do this..., Then after I calm down, because the thought of failing could get people to figure out that I am Not That Smart, I see one little thing that I CAN do, then I see another little thing, and before you know it this new project starts coming together. The WHOLE of the project/program/task Freaks me out, but I start each piece thinking it is an Easy Piece and I'll worry about the rest later. Then I finish and get the "WooHOO!" moment which us ADDer's crave for self esteem and staying awake.

So... I don't think it is a big surprise that many of us are in IT because of how I came to be in IT. I was just driven to do well because I always think this is my last chance to succeed and fear being discovered to not be deserving of the role. I don't think this anymore, because I can react on the fly and write code in a more organized manner after knowing how my ADD has playing in this role. It has given me creativity and taken through distraction.

I rambled about my experience because it's what I know, but other personalities develop different stratagies of varying nature, ranging form Highly Performing to Not So Much...

DF... (I believe we may have been separated at birth) Does any of this sound familiar? HaHa :-)

deny what

DF, I never thought of that way. My DH is maybe not in denial at all; what's to deny if this is what "normal" is? All is right with the world except his demanding wife who doesn't relate to him well anymore. This explains why he thinks something must be wrong with me. Once again, your willingness to engage this forum has taught me something about what may be going on in his mind. That is more than a simple "thank you" can cover.

Wow..good point

This is a really good point.  I'm the demanding wife (possibly soon to be ex) who iddn't relate to HIS normal.  You're right, it may not be denial and my husband's "reality"...might actually BE his reality (even though it's not mine).

I think if nothing else I

I think if nothing else I have come away from counseling..and these forums..with the understanding that our 'reality' and their 'reality' are very, very different. A perfect example is my husband spending 2+ months isolating himself from his family and marriage. I've told him how hurtful it is. I've been all over the board with my emotions...angry...supportive...angry again....supportive...and now just numb. Been numb about it...or maybe just massively confused and not sure what to think would be a better way to put it...for about 3-4 weeks. Deep down I feel our marriage is about to end..even if not physically (divorce)..I am afraid emotionally it is just not going to survive.

His version? As long as I am nice to him, not mad, everything is fine. Everything is working out just great. No worries at all.

They really just do not see the destruction all around them sometimes until it is literally blowing up in their faces (heard YYZ say that several times) and sadly, enough "blow ups" and there is really not a marriage left once the dust settles.


"His version? As long as I am nice to him, not mad, everything is fine. Everything is working out just great. No worries at all.". I hate to say it but I know this really well. I suspect though that it is not truly "no worries" for your DH necessarily, it is just easier to cope with it this way for him. At my house, I have been trying to think in a new way lately...especially as we are ending our physical separation at this time (gulp). And hopefully that fits in w the "codependent no more" ideology. That is to say that I am not automatically jumping into the thought pattern, that all my DH says is "wrong, wrong" no matter how nuts it seems to me. Yes, reality can be very different from my perspective to his, yet I have to allow him the right to carry his own thought without having to providing my agreement to it. He can have his view but i can have MINE. And he has to deal with the consequences of those thought patterns or change them on his own accord. My right is to have my own perspective and to deal with my life the way I see fit. In other words, reality is reality- there are no separate worlds, just different perspectives. Both are equally valid to the people that own it. If DH really has criticism of my point of view, my face, my tone, whatever sets him off then he is welcome to have that view and then LEAVE if he needs to. I can leave too. And if it is not prudent to leave (for the sake of us or the kids) then we will have to figure out a compromise. Needless to say I am scared because these are high stakes- its our lives and our kids welfare we are trying to reconcile. I just dont want "crazy" or "angry resentment" or "overwhelming" OR bloody eggshells back into this house. But I have come to realize that a lot of this was from not understanding how his adhd affected how he acted or (and this is important) appeared to act. On my side, I need to be more patient in letting him articulate his needs/feelings, work out his own issues, and let him lay claim to how he sometimes feels even if i dont necessarily agree (again within boundaries). I will work to maintain those boundaries and keep reminding him about them if need be. All is not perfect, but there are definite "no pass" lines in place. He has to evolve too, and he appears willing to earnestly try. And we will continue to work on the couple counseling, as he also agrees. The alternative is divorce and, oddly, although that is not as scary a prospect as it used to be, I obviously hope it does not come to that. He is a good person with big issues yet I love him. I sure have changed these past few months (as he has too), so this will be interesting. Wish me luck.
DF's picture

My Dear Kind Ladies:

I don't know the specifics of your situations and I'm basing all of my 'opinion' off of my own experience with my curse, your generalized summations and how i'm feeling at the time of reading your posts.  Right now, not feeling good so I hope to not be offensive in any way. 

What I'm seeing a lot of in your posts here is what it is you're doing.  Question - What's he doing for you?  I'm seeing a lot of you "understanding" and coming to terms with your spouse and how you're trying to learn our ADD(HD) language.  Question - What's he doing for you?  You're trying to cope with the difficulty of lack of support on many fronts and yet YOU are the one who's here in these forums searching, learning, hopeing, supporting, and copeing.  Question - What's he doing for you?

I read about how some of you just want emotional support from your ADD(HD) spouse.  This hits home for me personally because my wife has been saying it for years and I thought I was giving her support because I thought I was normal.  I learned of my diagnosis too damn late and I'm here screaming at the insides for 1 ounce of the emotional support you all are giving.  Question - What have they done for you?

I'm angry ladies and I'm sorry to rant.  I'm literally freaking out over these meds.  I really do feel like I'm a doper and reading about ADHD medication and side effects is not helping.  I'm past the euphoria of not having racing thoughts, the calm focus, and the missing anxiety.  Isn't that similar to what people feel that compels them to do illigal drugs? But I will continue this.  I will not stop doing what ever I can to make sure I never flip up ever again.  I'm giving every ounce of every thing i have and all that I am for my wife and my kids, because guess what kids - I didn't only realize I have ADD, I also saw just how selfish this made/makes me.

Do you all re-read what it is you post?  You're giving and he's taking.  I read what so many of you are writing and I'm seeing me - selfish.  It's not your spin on topics that makes it that way.  If you were spinning a tale in your favor the truth always finds a way to slip out.  I'm not seeing it. 

I can't recall the anytime since last summer that I popped off at my wife or showed any anger.  I've been focusing on my efforts with my oldest son as of late.

I'm darn mad ladies.  Question - What's he doing for you?  I bend over backwards every chance I get for my family to prove my determination.  Things that for years I would be defensive about, apprehensive, aggitated about - for almost a year it's always been "yes I can and Yes I will."  I can't recall the last time I even said 'no' to something.

I see myself in your spouses and I'm mad because you all have done so much for me and I want so bad for them to be better for each and every one of you.  I see how I've been wrong and what ADD has done to my life and it's so frustrating when it "feels" like others are not trying just as hard.

I'm sorry.  Lashing out was wrong of me.  You all are trying so hard and I love to read about your determination.  My heart really goes out to all of you and that's a first for me.  We can't all be perfect and we can't all be happy, but I can hope.

DF: heres the thing- be

DF: heres the thing- be angry. I have been angry too. But now direct it to where it needs to go for change. And to answer your question for starters (and maybe to be continued at another time)... "HE" has been here with me for many years. He is my partner, he is the father of my kids. He changed diapers, gave out hugs, acted like a big goofball with them and me for decades. He has dreams, and hopes like me. And yeah, he has acted like a poophead on purpose and, sometimes, only seemed to when I think he had no idea that he was doing so. The big anger should be this: so much time and misunderstanding was wasted for so long because we did not know about the adhd. Separate the man from the neurobiological "disorder" (though this disorder gave some gifts too, interdispersed with a lot of negatives). Now reread YOUR post. See the good man that you seem to be with a lot of self reported frustration over what adhd has complicated for you. But that is not necessarily YOU. To be blunt, you are not the adhd. So now you know this. And move forward as so many of us are trying. Trying to grab a handle of what this has meant all those years wasted and what it will mean for future years for us and the people we genuinely love (for good cause). What needs to be done to deal with these dang symptoms that can complicate so many interpersonal relationships, not just couples. You may be a poophead because you are a poophead- i dont know you. But I do know that the adhd symptoms you talk about must be separated from you the man. The way it must be done from all of our respective partners- to really get a clear picture of what is/has been going on.

Right now, he is doing

Right now, he is doing nothing...not for me, not with me, not to help our marriage..that I can SEE. He is a lot of 'words' and no follow through. "I would like to go riding tomorrow" only for the time to come and him to methodically worm his way out of it. (this has happened for several weekends in a row now). "wait on me so I can ride with you to your sister's for Easter" and I wait and he backs out of that too. I'm more frustrated that he keeps saying "I want to" or "wait for me" and when I think he's going to, he doesn't. WHY EVEN BOTHER TO KEEP SAYING IT?  I am to the point where I feel it is his way of 'trying' but then when the time comes, he isn't able to pull himself out of the F%^*&g den and just DO IT. He did to to my sister's for Easter, but drove his own truck and left before anyone else.

For 13 years, I've lived each day waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for him to get caught in the next lie, waiting to find out that he did what he swore he wouldn't do...or find out that he didn't do what he swore he would. Now, after promising me several things when I took him back after his affair in the fall of 09, he's decied to change all of that and take back every promise he made. No counseling. No getting help. No communication. No acceptance of my feelings about his daughter. All gone.

I have asked for an in-house separation...and plan on drawing up the contract. We're already 'there' essentially, it would just give me more boundaries (strange how 'normal' he can act and how much 'better' he can convince me he's getting when he wants sex) and right now I need those. I'm not even sure if he did come back to the marriage, or express his desire to, how I would feel about it. My trust in him is decimated. GONE. I don't believe a word that comes from his mouth, I believe he is doing things that would jeopardize our marriage, and I believe that is why he's avoiding me. Nothing he could say could convince me any different. I don't want this marriage anymore...and I certainly don't want to be married to someone who denies the past 13 years of pain and suffering have even been partially his fault and is unwilling to do a damn thing about it. I'm just done. Since I told him about the separation, he refuses to discuss it and is acting like NOTHING has happened.

So, DF, do you feel better now..cause your 'ranting' wasn't anywhere near as bad as mine. ;-)

Sometimes the appropriate

Sometimes the appropriate response is anger. Boundaries drawn and then broken are signs of lack of respect and making it sound any different would be wrong. Your husbands recent bouts of no follow through, sounds like he wants to do the right thing, but doesnt want to really do it. Or maybe it is the symptoms raging out of control. Either way, its irritating as all getout and disrespectful of your feelings- whether he is aware of it or not. And he might NOT. Truth is, only you can decide how far you want/can go in a relationship (him too). Adhd is not for sissies, and the non-adhd partners like us have had to deal with a lot more upset than our share. So be angry- it is appropriate, if that helps. You know I have dealt with a lot of heartache, and I know that chances are good it is not over for good. But I have hopes that we will find a new working basis- if what Melissa says is true, then it is possible. And I am going on that gut feeling for now, as we both seem presently motivated to try. Do what you need to do to be strong, loving of yourself, mindful of the big picture, and let things go on - but I know you knew that already, right? ;-). We are all still here for you Sherri, as you have been here for us!
DF's picture

Not really Sherri

I spoke my mind and it got me in a stink.  I do not feel better.  Reading what you have said above does not make me feel good.  As I've said in the past, I don't have some of the extreme, or what I consider extreme, issues tied to ADD(HD).  But I do share some things in common with your spouses.  It's hard to see you all so exhausted and I know in my own marriage, I just didn't "hear" her telling me.  I didn't give my family my best.

But what does make me feel better and made me laugh..."You may be a poophead because you are a poophead- i dont know you..."  Something about elementary school toilet humor always brings a smile to my face.  I assure you though, I am not a bad person.  People like me being around and I'm very non-judgmental.  I'm impulsive in conversation, but I do not assume my opinion in someone's personal affairs is welcome.

It's very hard to not be able to talk to your spouse about this and what its' been like before and after diagnosis.  I see no point in it right now.  If she is not ready to try to understand, then anything I could hope to tell her is nothing shy of a lame excuse for my behavior over the years.  She has to be ready and she is not.  It is a huge source of hurt for me because of everything she's done for me I want her to understand that I know what the problem with me is now and I can address it and be there for her more than I ever had.

So when the time comes and my wife asks herself - "What has he done for me?" - I want her to be able to answer " More than anyone could hope to ask."



I can appreciate your righteous anger.  I still get angry too sometimes.  The thing I have to constantly remind myself of is "what's HIS perspective?"  He thinks he already is bending over backwards for me and giving it everything he's got.  If I asked him "What have you done for me lately?" he would be confused and flabbergasted and probably scream "I've giving you EVERYTHING!"  And in his own little world, indeed he has.  For me, the trouble is he's doing nothing for what I NEED as a wife from a husband.  He might be keeping up with his chores and come home from his meager job when he says he will, but these by themselves don't fulfill what most people might expect from a marriage relationship.  I don't think it occurs to him there are needs beyond keeping a house together and splitting chores fairly.  Not to mention, he does not believe that I am giving him anything at all; he perceives me as the taker and demander. I don't even dare try to guess at why this is so in his ADHD mind.  You see, it is equally as hard for me to comprehend it, as it is for him to grasp higher needs. You could get mad that he doesn't think so far past himself I suppose, but there is a measure of pure ignorance that deserves some patience yet.  I think my DH at least needs a shot at comprehending these things.   My issue will be trying to remain patient and try to eat an elephant one bite at a time instead of blowing the thing up to get it over with and make "real" progress.   <sigh>  :\ 

DF's picture

Oh My!

Hermie I'm speachless.......

What an amazing perspective I've failed to see.  Thank you for that.

My husband is also great at

My husband is also great at problem solving, almost to the extent of hyper-focus sometimes.  This includes work problems and other people's problems.  I really admire this about him.  I just wish, for a change, he would work as hard on his own problems which would help out with our relationship problems.