Clarity and excuses

I purposely stayed away from this message board for about a week. My husband left, and I read through and contributed to several posts in here trying to understand what's going on.

I've been telling my friends about the situation, what led to all of this, and why I felt ADHD was contributing to my husband's unhappiness in our marriage.  I also explained how there were so many unfair things in our marriage, such as him not looking for a job, me having to be the mommy and keeping him on track, and so on, and how I blamed ADHD.

What each and every friend has said is, ADHD is not an excuse!  And it is not a reason for me to compromise and have to work harder than my husband at the marriage.

And that's what it's come down to.  Being on this message board has been very informative, and I love the support on here.  But at the same time, I feel a lot of us here are making excuses for our spouse's behavior, and somehow we're accepting this behavior and letting it go because of ADHD.  When I was reading through the messages and posts, I felt like this was all my fault, that I wasn't working hard enough to put up with his ADHD behavior.  I wasn't holding him responsible for his own actions.  Once I stepped away, I gained clarity about what I really wanted in a marriage, and realized this marriage is not what I wanted.

We need to understand that the ADHD is causing certain behaviors, but this doesn't mean he doesn't have to work on it.  And if he refuses to work on it, then it's time for us to evaluate the marriage and figure out whether it's worth it for us to put up with this.

Just remember: ADHD is a condition, not an excuse!

I totally agree with you.

I totally agree with you.  I'm still in my marriage, but I'm working hard now on drawing boundaries.  In my case, this means not doing for my husband things that I think he should be able to do for himself, ADHD or not:  feed himself (i.e., buy groceries), take care of his health (make appointments, renew prescriptions, get glasses), keep track of his finances (e.g., keep his bank account above zero and respond if it goes below), do his job well (he is paid to provide caregiving services to his parents, but he's verging on neglectful with their needs).  I know that my husband operates under some burdens, but so do we all; they're just different burdens.

I totally agree that our ADHD

I totally agree that our ADHD spouses should have to work on it, but that doesn't always mean that they will be successful. And when they are not successful, we can't run away at the first glimpse of weakness.

There are many on here that do make excuses for their spouses. There are many ADHD spouses on here that refuse to seek treatment or even acknowledge that there is a problem. I've always maintained that had my husband not decided to work on his problems, I probably wouldn't have stayed. But he chose to do so and while he doesn't get it right all of the time, he tries. There was a time that I didn't acknowledge his efforts, and it only served to make our relationship worse. But now I give him a little more leeway to not get it right 100% of the time.

These types of marriages will never be like other relationships. I find it dangerous to confide to one, compare our relationships to those of friends and family who function "normally" and two, in people with no knowledge of ADHD or how it can affect a person's life. I'm lucky to have a friend who has another friend who is married to an ADHD spouse, so she is familiar with trials of being married to an ADHDer. I love the fact that I can vent to her when I'm having a "bad husband" day and she will listen, she will console, but she never says, "You should leave him." I find that being told that I should divorce my husband only serves to worsen how I feel about a situation. Not only do I have to cope with the stress of a particular situation but then I have bear the guilt of staying when no one supports me in that action. That's why I am very careful about doling out that advice on this board.

To the OP: your situation is different in that your husband left of his own accord and seems to blame everyone but himself. While my hubby did that as a deflection method for many years, he is now aware of when he is being his own worst enemy. I certainly wouldn't be chasing after a man who believes that he's simply bored with life and needs to make constant, drastic changes. You've made the right decision for yourself.

I have tried to commend my

I have tried to commend my husband for stepping up to get treatment and I stopped catering to every need.  

Yes, things still fall through the cracks, but the excuse that I'm supposed to believe for why things weren't done and handled are insulting to my intelligence.  I don't know what I'm more insulted by the fact that he actually thinks I believe it or that he thinks I really am that stupid.  

I have tried my hardest to praise the positives, but again I do it with a "you got to be kidding me" in the back of my mind.  I don't get a pat on the back because I took care of the bills, the house, the kids, etc... But if he remembers to make his own doctor's appointment the "atta boy" better be there.  If he finally tackles a project at home, i.e. whole in the wall, broken tile, etc.. (usually most things what until they are beyond repair and have to be replaced), "oh you are the man, thank you, thank you, thank".  

You are very lucky that you have someone to confide in about your situation.  I only have my mother and that's because we believe my dad has ADD.  She just says well at least you understand me (my mother is another story).  She won't advise me to leave, it's more or less me sympathizing with her situation with tidbits of hang in there, it could be worse, etc...  So, I will say you are very lucky that you have someone outside of your family you can talk to.  Even though my family and his family knows he is ADD, I'm still making excuses for his behavior everyday it seems.  Cherish that friend.  :)

I agree with you and had my

I agree with you and had my husband continued treatment and actually did the things he said he was doing or would do I would not have been done.  But he is as happy as a lark now that he has his freedom.  And I am left to pick up the peices of my shattered life.  But it's ok because I am stronger than I ever thought it was, and I am convinced that the worst is behind me.  Fewer things in life are as soul killing as loving someone who doesn't love you back.    I have other options though and I am going to take them.  

AMEN!  I just posted earlier,

AMEN!  I just posted earlier, WTF???.  I was reading all these posts and it's like ADD is an excuse to be an A$$.  

I will say my husband doesn't say well I have ADD deal with it and he doesn't say it's the ADD, but it's implied.  I still love my husband and he's not so terrible that I NEED to leave, but there are so many times I just WANT to leave.  I actually did threaten to leave if he didn't get help (because I was pretty sure he was ADD) and that worked.  But how many times can you threaten someone to do something before you actually do leave.  They have ADD, it's not like they are brain damaged and really can't figure out how to treat another human being.  He talks to me worse than he would a perfect stranger or a co-worker.  Why am I not worthy of politeness?  

I want to wave the white flag and surrender, just tap out.  At times I just want to say I'm done, I can't deal.  I know I said for better or worse, but I didn't sign up for this being a mommy to my husband.  Getting told "I don't need mother, I have one" and of course, I'm thinking then don't act like you need one because I certainly don't need a 40+ year old child.  

Then he'll be so nice and be so sweet and a I fall for it every time.  I'll fall for the "I'm sorry.", "I'll do better.", "Please, forgive me.", "I love you!", and then before I know it the rug is getting pulled out from under me again.  Then I just feel stupid.  It's like watching Wile E Coyote, he keeps thinking one day he'll catch the Road Runner, but he's the one that ends up hurt each time and you laugh and think ain't he learned by now.  And that's how I feel.  I feel like a silly cartoon character that no matter how hard he tries he is never going to succeed.

Thank you for saying AD/HD is a condition, not an excuse!

Haha, I chuckled at the Wile

Haha, I chuckled at the Wile E Coyote comment.  It's true.  When the same thing keeps happening, but you keep expecting different results, I guess that's what Albert Einstein calls insanity.

When I posted my message, I didn't mean for us to stop trying to make our marriages work.  I just don't want it to be a free pass.  These ADHD behaviors are not ok.  We need to acknowledge that they're not ok, and the ADHD partner needs to address these behaviors, and work towards changing them.  Does it mean it'll go away 100%?  No.  But at long as the ADHD partner is working on it, I'd be willing to work with it.

But don't let ADHD be an excuse.  I learned that lesson.  Just because he has ADHD doesn't mean we have to somehow settle.  It doesn't automatically make our needs less important.  My friends still get annoyed when I defend my soon-to-be-ex husband and why I put up with him for so long.  When I listen to myself talk, it sounds crazy.  "No, I have to pay for more things in the marriage because his ADHD makes him not able to focus on finding a job."  Or... "No, he can't help making a huge deal out of nothing and wanting to leave because his ADHD makes him hyperfocus on the wrong things."  I find myself making up so many excuses for him because of the ADHD.  If he was a person without ADHD, I would have left him long ago.

But just because he has ADHD doesn't mean he should get a pass.  What it does mean is, we can be more understanding when these things happen, and we understand that he may not always succeed and overcome his ADHD issues.

Amen to this.  My soon to be

Amen to this.  My soon to be ex husband uses his adhd and csa issues as an excuse for everything, and then turns around and blames me.  I am done with it.  You are very right and I hope that everyone on this forum learns this lesson faster than I have.