Confusion...total confusion!

I feel like I have been tossed out of a boat into the ocean, I don't know what way is up and I cant get air!  

Two days ago the dh (diagnosed with ADHD about a month or so ago) gave me blank divorce papers to fill out so I could have my "option to get out".  We talked and I told him I didn't want out...I wanted to fix what was wrong and be happy again.  Fast forward to yesterday...he had an interview with the army recruiter (he knows that I don't want him to go in the army), that he didn't tell me about until I saw the number on the caller ID and asked him about it.  He claimed he had told me (we did discuss the army thing in the context of he wanted to divorce me and join the army to start over, but nothing about an interview)about it the day before and I was trying to start a argument.  I just walked away because I didn't want to argue AGAIN!  So last night we are sitting on the deck, talking about friends of ours that have come and gone, and he is telling me all the stuff his one friend is pulling on his girlfriend and how he (my dh) doesn't get why.  We end up on the subject of my dh leaving and he tells me that he has tried to leave 1000 times, he has lied about me to others, turned molehills into mountains and tried to "sell himself as the good guy" to get rid of me and that the divorce papers are actually the third set he has gotten but the only set hes ever given me.  He goes on to tell me he loves me to death and that every time he tries to go he gets pulled back, he described it like being pulled by a magnet or a drug.  He actually told me that it would be easier to quit smoking than leave me and that if he ever really did he would need a "twelve step plan and a 28 day program".  So we start talking about all the shit he has pulled and he tells me that its my fault that he did that stuff, cause if I hadn't been so hard to live with he wouldn't have had to try and get out!!!  And that I needed to stop trying to fix our relationship because it wasn't broken even if I thought it was.  To which I responded that my reactions were 95% because of what he was doing...so that ended the conversation because he got mad and told me we were done talking.

Add that to the fact that he got his laptop yesterday and I'm not allowed to even touch it.  He got angry with me when I sat on the couch next to him, because I "was trying to see what he was doing".  In all reality there is only two places to sit in our living room (its only 10x12), the couch or the computer chair and I cant see the TV from the computer chair.  Do I think the laptop is a bad idea? YES  Have I told him that? NO

I'm soooo confused!!  I just want to be happy...is that too much to ask for??????  I know counseling would help but he is totally against us going together, so I continue to see my counselor.  Haven't made to much progress with that, I don't think its the right fit...we have very different ideas about where the issues are and what I should be working on.  I apologize for my excessive amount of posts lately (I just realized how many there have been)...I know it probably makes me sound like a whiny child, and I'm really not trying to be.  Feel free to tell me to shut up if I'm getting to be to much.

Everyone have a great day :)  ~~HUGS~~

 

I'll take a stab at this based on my experience...

Maybe your spouse knows that his life was pretty chaotic and out of control before his relationship with you. This was my like before my DW. I knew we had an opposites attract thing, not to mention she is beautiful too, and I have had to throttle back some of my toy purchases (I used to really get pushed out of shape by this), but know I know it was a Huge reason why my life stayed screwed up. My wife's boundaries really, for the most part, kept me heading in the right direction. I resented them at times, but I understand (Now) how important they were to controlling Unknown ADD behaviors. Maybe your spouse knows this somewhere in his brain and does not know what it really is that keeps him coming back?

I could be totally wrong, but I KNEW my wife made me better before the ADD diagnosis and she still makes me better after the ADD diagnosis. I hope things settle down for you soon, but it is also a really new diagnosis and a lot of patience will be needed during the healing process. 


 

YYZ

I think you hit on something

I think you hit on something very important...and I might just add that I think your wife is VERY VERY lucky (without maybe even knowing it) that you are aware of how your spending was negatively affecting the marriage, and although you admit to resenting HER for something that I feel should have just come naturally (not overspending...on ANYTHING), you now see that it wasn't something SHE deserved your resentment for but something that you needed to learn to control anyway as it was a result of your impulse control because of your ADHD. Do you know how huge that is? Do you know how HUGE the battle is each time you run across something you want and you DON'T buy it simply because you want it? I TRULY hope your wife has acknowledged this progress...and that you are truly able to recognize this as ADHD and not any fault of hers. She does not deserve to have you resent her for something that you really should not do in the first place and only do as a result of your ADHD. I'm not saying you should never buy yourself anything or not have anything extra or a 'toy' every now and then...but those of us who live those lives, know that it goes far beyond that and the worst part is that the 'new' only lasts for a little while and then you want more and NOTHING ever seems to be 'enough'. Yay for you!

The general atmosphere of my marriage is often that he is being held back somehow...and if only he didn't have me and the kids to take care of, oh the things he could do and have. He doesn't always SAY it, but you and I both know you don't always have to say it for people to feel it. I think this is a HUGE part of why he lies and sneaks...because he sometimes is unable to fight his desire to go out and 'act single' (escape? run? avoid?). He told his shrink that he loves to go out, alone, and just ride and listen to music but that he holds back "a lot" because he doesn't want to upset me. If he's holding back, I would hate to see how infrequently he'd be home if he weren't. There was a time, too, that he included the rest of the family when we would 'go riding' but not anymore. Rarely. It gets depressing feeling like you're standing in the way of someone and their true happiness...but confusing at the same time because they insist they don't want to live without you. I have times when I simply don't think I can make this man happy...as long as he remains untreated and feels that he should be allowed to 'cope' in his own way, no matter how much it hurts the rest of us.

Sherri this sounds like more of a maturity prob?

I have read it over and over: Some adhder's live in here and now... Your guy sounds from the posts above that he thinks he's still 18. Perhaps a Lack of maturity? Who doest want to come and go as they please. It almost sounds that Adhd is the least of your troubles if the guy doesnt want to grow up. How can you make someone grow up? I always thought and felt maturity is taking resposibility for those around you, most especially your children and putting them in the front of your heart. If you hurt people all day long because you want what you want, then no amount of medicine will help them. Ouch! I didnt mean for this to sound mean... I'm sorry, i just want 1 minute with your guy to "wake" him up!!

I don't know..I try to avoid

I don't know..I try to avoid the 'lazy, stupid, immature, crazy, and selfish' labels because I know that ADHD manifests itself in ways that make its sufferers appear to be these things when in reality they aren't.

He told a couple of things years ago that have stuck in my mind for some reason...I think because I feel they are directly tied to his behaviors. He said that he had always 'felt' or 'known' he wouldn't live past 33 or 34...I forget which. He's almost 39. He was fairly certain he wouldn't 'grow old.' Also, although he hasn't said it for a while now, he used to tell me repeatedly that he did not want to grow/get old...I think it was more of a fear than a vanity thing. I think when his ADHD is most out of control, he tends to run..not walk..towards these behaviors. I think, to be honest, it is just another one of his 'poor' coping skills. (I hate to even call them that, because they are realistically a means to NOT cope instead of a negative way of coping..or so it seems to me).

I don't think that marriage should be a prison, but I do not think that coming and going as you please is something someone who is married should do. You get married, you make a commitment to be accountable to your mate for the rest of your life. If you don't want to, then don't get married...and especially don't have kids. This concept sometimes eludes him...and to make things 100 times worse...he really would never make it if I did the same. I'm consistent. I'm always here with my kids, doing what has to be done and he NEVER has to worry about them. I think I posted about when I went to dinner at my sister's the other night and got home at 11:30 and how furious he was when I got home. It was a VERY rare thing, she had old friends come into town and we all just had dinner and talked and talked. He was SO mad that when I got home he left (at 12:30) and did not come home until 5 or 6. (and he wonders why I don't trust him). He told me he was at the office. I have no idea if he was or not. The double standard is disgusting and suffocating...and about to change.

Sherri, My husband is the

Sherri,

My husband is the same way.  If I was out, whether it be running errands or for some fun, when I got home I was usually faced with a pouting child.  It's ridiculious!!!!   He would make me feel so guilty.    I did nip that in the bud during my mini meltdown several years ago and told him it was not fair that he could go out, whenever and where ever, without question but I could not.   Now, I can come and go (of course it is within reason, unlike him) as I want and feel total peace when I get home. 

maturity and the brain

"Maturity" as we think of it is actually executive function issues.  Ie. the ability to envision the future, make a decision today that may be painful today but is in our best interests in the long-run, the ability to tell ourselves various stories into which we fit.  All these things are part of what makes us seem "mature" to other things - and they are all part of the executive functions of the brain.  Russell Barkley posits that ADHD is actually an executive function disorder, and certainly there are EF issues embedded in ADHD.  See my post on EF for an overview and consider reading more about it on the internet, as well.  "Maturity" is about brain chemistry just as much as ADHD is, I'm sorry to say.

And, by the way, the "now and not now" thing is also executive function...

This doesn't mean your guy can't learn to be more measured, but it does mean it will be a challenge for him and he'll need both the right treatment and the right supports in place to do so.

That is what I was trying to

That is what I was trying to get at...that yes, it does look a whole lot like a maturity issue, but it isn't that simple and sadly so...I think immaturity could be overcome much easier. I am glad to have the knowledge that helps tie the behaviors to his ADHD, but it still scares the hell out of me to think that this will never improve. I think he is extremely affected in this area and often does stuff that leaves me asking the question "what was he thinking??!" and truth of the matter is, he wasn't. Not past 'now' anyway. If this is truly a brain/EF issue...how does one 'change' that?

Our preacher gave a sermon a while back about remember the pain of our past mistakes so that we might avoid making them in the future. I think this is vital to anyone's 'growing' and 'learning'. Please forgive my seemingly stupid question...but are ADHDers with this EF issue of not being able to see past their own noses, at least able to think back to the past and remember the pain from previous mistakes? It would not seem so in my husband's case. :-(

Sherri, Good questions!  This

Sherri,

Good questions! 

This is where my husband uses his ADHD as an excuse.  He can bury the past and all of the pain caused by previous mistakes.  Only problem, what is going to happen when the past and previous mistakes comes back to haunt him? 

Pjloops, I have to agree with

Pjloops,

I have to agree with you.  I think this is a major problem, with many of the ADHDers.  I know it was and still sometimes is, with my ADHD husband.  I had to literally treat him like a child, after many, many frustrating years, by taking control (I know we are not suppose too) and insisting that he stop all fun activities which were financially spinning us out of control.  It was time to grow up and take some responsibility.  Of course, he resents me for that and still continues to fight against this every step of the way.  He references PETER PAN all of the time.  Oh Brother!!!!

Clarify my resent comment...

I did resent some of the boundaries, in the past, not since I figured out it was me and my lack of impulse control. I'm a lot better these days about the spending issue. And you are right... The New Never lasted.

My resentment was one of the many things I have told her I'm sorry about. Maybe your DH will have a light bulb moment soon about the sneaking and resenting you for you trying to prevent these "Escapes". You have not been standing in the way of his happiness, you've been trying to prevent him from blowing up your family.


 

YYZ

**crying** That is the nicest

**crying** That is the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a very long time...and coming from someone who has ADHD it means so much. It feels so validating and comforting to know that SOMEONE gets that it IS simply me not wanting him to throw everything away...versus trying to keep him from happiness. He does not say I am standing in his way..EVER..it is just his actions that I feel SCREAM it. I am sure he would vehemently disagree...but...

Don't cry Sherri...

Why else would you be doing all of this work. You could have deservedly run from this life of hurt and uncertainly. I really hope your DH Get's It before you reach the point of no return. He has to put this together, you have done all the ground work. Hang in there Sherri :)

 

YYZ

Have a conversation about it

Sherri - remember just how often ADHD spouse actions and symptoms are misinterpreted?  Why not ask him how he feels about this issue?  You say that his actions scream that you are standing in his way, but if he doesn't feel that way, then perhaps there is a cue that you can use to calmly discuss things when YOU feel as if he's sending those vibes your way?  If it causes you misery and he knows it, he might be willing to have you say "I'm really feeling resentment coming from you right now...am I right?"  This could be a cue for him to express what his issue is at the moment or, if he doesn't have an issue, let you know you're misinterpreting his actions or words.

George and I didn't use this exact cue, but we did have times when something I was doing irritated him and so he would call me on it one way or another (one clue to me is when he says sarcastically, 'well, I'm happy to do X for you' which really means 'you're being a pain in the ass right now and I can't believe you want me to do this thing which I detest...'  This still happens sometimes and I always backtrack when I hear those words and search for a different solution...)

So if you're hearing he wants to escape or that you're holding him back, it's worth discussing with him.  You don't want to be in that position...it would be better if he agreed that what you were suggesting was rationale and you had a way to say "hey, put the brakes on for a couple of minutes so we can consider this less impulsively" with the idea that after you discuss it he may still decide to do whatever it is but at least you've had the chance to air your opinion.  If he does still decide to do something, then that's that...George used to call me "the voice of reason" (NOT necessarily a compliment - usually this had to do with the kids' safety, so I didn't much care as I felt strongly that they needed to be safe...) but I learned that it wasn't for me to be the voice of reason for him personally, only for us as a family...and in my case that changed as the kids got older - also to give George credit where it is due, he is more respectful now of my need to be more naturally cautious than he is than he used to be.

Not sure if this is making sense (I'm on vacation right now, so not fully in work mode if that's any excuse!)  I guess what I want to say is see if you can set something up where he understands that you aren't trying to control him, but rather that you would just like a moment for your thoughts to be considered...and then he may still make up his own mind to do what he wishes to do once you've said your peace.  And, also, that you may be misinterpreting his actions and it's worth having a discussion about it.

And one more thing - I think that all the effort you make and thought you give to your relationship is wonderful.

Yes, I 'discuss' it with

Yes, I 'discuss' it with him...but usually only when I'm so overwhelmed and hopeless that I'm telling him I want out. His response is always "I am where I want to be. If I didn't want to be here I would leave. I love my family and don't want to lose you all"

I am struggling very hard to pinpoint what brings up these feelings in me. Honestly, I spend a lot of the time lately being confused about what I am feeling. When he stays out all night...when he calls wanting to go out for drinks with his co-workers but waits until the last minute and I have no way of arranging a baby sitter. We have a son who is 19 and special needs. He often says we don't spend enough time together, but places 100% of the responsibility of finding someone to watch our son ON ME. I feel guilty about that too...and he says it is just excuses..but there really is no one to watch him. When we were separated he spent a LOT of time going out, seeing bands, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. He would, if he weren't afraid of where it would leave his marriage, go out every Friday with his co-workers. He stopped doing all of this for a while...and now it is becoming more and more frequent again and I think that is why I feel it is just something he'll always 'long' for and not only will I just simply not be able to go very often, I don't want 'that' marriage where I sit at home alone while he goes out frequently. It is very clear...although it is another thing he would deny...that I do not have the same freedom. I cannot say, at 7 p.m. that I'm going to a friend's house to hang out for a bit. He wouldn't even know how to take care of our son at this point as he knows nothing about his diet and medications anymore. He used to. When I went out last week and TOOK THE KIDS WITH ME he still got furious and left when I got home and stayed out most of the night. (to hurt me because apparently it hurt him for me to go to my sister's for dinner??).

I have told him many times that I feel like I just need to let him go, that I feel like I am holding him back, that I feel like he would be happier being single he just doesn't have the nerve to walk away...and he denies it to the ends of the Earth. I've tried to reconcile how his actions are telling me something different...but maybe his actions are not really intended to do any harm to me, just simply are what they are. When we are fighting and get to the point that we are ready to walk away he will always say "I will give you most of my paycheck...I will take care of you and the kids" so another fear is that he's only here for financial obligations. This isn't something his actions say...nor do his words often...but once, during his affair (which I was unaware of at the time) he told my sister that he wanted a divorce, but he couldn't divorce me because I could not make it on my own. That seed was planted and can never be unplanted. If I hadn't already been planning on going back to school, I would have definitely decided to then.

I don't know...maybe another part of all of this is my own insecurities. It cannot be ruled out. I often resent his 'freedom'...which he takes without asking...and the reason is two-fold...one because I want to be a bigger part of his life most of the time and two because me walking out saying "I'll be home later" would never fly. Ever. I know he needs more than just his family and work...he needs his own time too...and at this point I cannot push the panic button and say he's done anything horribly wrong or pushing boundaries of the marriage that I won't tolerate...yet. However, past behaviors dictate that it starts small and escalates. I'm hoping that won't be the case. Time will tell.

I, too, apologize if much of this doesn't make sense...I'm about 2 cups short on coffee this a.m. Thank you very much for your kind words and for taking the time while on vacation to respond. I truly hope you have a wonderful time!

Sherri

Friday nights

Yes, we're having a lovely time.

If he would prefer to go out with his co-workers every Friday night, does that naturally exclude you?  Why not PLAN on going out every Friday night and being part of the fun?  That would allow you to get a sitter in advance (perhaps the same person, even).  If he didn't need to go out with coworkers that night you could still go out together and have a good time.

As for being the only one who understands your son's needs - BAD idea!  He used to know how to do it - make sure he knows again.  What happens if you get ill?  Need to go visit a dying relative?  Actually want to go out with your girlfriends?

It may be that your hubby stays with you for WHATEVER reasons - it's his choice to do so and I think you should take him at his word.  In other words - it's not for you to tell him what he ought to do or try to second guess him.  Rather than worry about his motives, spend your time thinking instead about how the two of you can enjoy each other more (I know you likely do this already...)  I used to not want to do things with my husband simply BECAUSE things were uneasy with us.  Somehow I felt as if I was giving something up if we went out and had fun or that it was too awkward.  Somehow going out felt like a chore because (perhaps like you?) I always was responsible for the back room stuff - arranging babysitters, making plans...I resented that.  BUT, if I had it to do over again I would just say "fine - I'll get the sitter, let's be more a part of each other's lives and go out"  Would have made things easier sooner.

My hubby would have told you I was simply a drag to be with, also...Now, before you start saying "hey, you're being pretty hard on me here!" I will tell you that I'm NOT saying that about you.  But it did play into the dynamics in our own situation.  Since I wasn't that fun to go out with, other activities looked relatively more appealing to George.  (Mostly the computer, in his case, or riding bikes etc.)

I applaud your going back to school - every person should be able to fully support him or herself because that provides you with the freedom to make the best choices for yourself (no saying "I can't do X because I can't afford to")  Do it for YOU because you deserve the skills and respect that come along with them.

Back to the "out all the time" partying routine.  I suspect you've tried this, but if not, try setting some specific nights when he or both of you plan to go out together - for example, most couples find that Friday and/or Saturday evenings are great for going out since they aren't work nights.  Or some have a standing weekend night they go out (often with friends or co-workers) and one night during the week for something a bit quieter.  Ask your husband what he gets out of all of this going out.  My guess would be the following:

  • a sense of acceptance from his friends (who ask nothing of him) - as opposed to being home
  • fun without much effort on his part (others create the fun or he is more at ease with them)
  • stimulation - more stimulating than being at home, which is too much the same or has too many tasks hanging over his head
  • release from having to "control" himself, particularly if there is alcohol involved

See what he says and ask yourself if there are ways to make home (and being with you) more appealing based on what it is that he gets out of it.  That could include things you could do, or things that he himself could change.

Let me know if this starts any ideas for you or if I'm totally off base, which is possible.

No, not hard on me at all. I

No, not hard on me at all. I am fully aware that our home needs to be a place he feels safe, loved, and wanted or he will do everything to avoid being here. Probably explains his 'working late' so much lately because for a while now I have avoided him like the plague when he is here. He even said the other day he doesn't feel comfortable or wanted here. I do NOT want to be included in the 'list' of spouses who deny their part in the marriage that is going off track. Being aware of it and having the energy to give a shit enough to change it are two different things. :-/

The last 2 times we went out together went something like this...time #1 we were having a good time (Or I was, anyway) and he just disappeared from the table. Gone. (we were with his boss and his wife and some of their friends). His boss had just purchased me a drink. I had to apologize, thank him for the drinks, and run out of the restaurant to find my husband walking back to the car. He said he had some work to do (it was about 7 p.m. on a Friday) and needed to go. Time #2 was my class reunion and he made it a point to ruin my evening by pretending I wasn't even there...and by paying an uncomfortable amount of attention to my friend. If I am honest, I am a little afraid to go out with him...but I will give it a try. Third times a charm, right?

We do need to go out alone more. I know we do. Our daughter can take care of her brother and she loves to get paid for watching him/helping me. Only problem is that she does not like to be here alone after dark. My husband doesn't like this, but I guess he'll have to compromise. He prefers to go out later and stay out late. Maybe Fridays after work will do for now.

Each of your ideas as to why he wants to 'go out' are dead on..I think.

On good days, I believe he is here because he loves me as much as I love him. I want our home to be a place where we are both happy and comfortable. I want it to feel like a HOME again. I know that my part is making sure this is reality is equal to his. I'm digesting it and trying to adjust my attitude accordingly. He mentioned wanting some fried chicken this past weekend and I set out some chicken Monday and made it for him last night. He didn't get home until 9, but I tried to keep it warm for him. It was disappointing to have it ready at 6 and him not be here, but I have to just assume it was out of his control and nothing malicious or intentional.

Thanks Melissa...lots of food for thought!! Hope you continue to enjoy your vacation!

Can I ride on the coattails

Can I ride on the coattails of this response? Melissa, all you say IS dead-on (as Sherri says). I am trying to convince my husband to agree to go out (just us two) to spend time as a couple but he is reluctant. I said fine, I want him to WANT to, not to force him agst his will by any means nor to do anything he does not want to do. I have asked though to consider what it IS that he wants. And to decide to move towards a better place that would make him happy- not just for him but for us too. Is that hard to say? Definitely- I know that he may well be inclined to cut and run but our current limbo is no place to live for another decade. I keep reminding myself- adhd may make things harder to do than other things but it does NOT make him so incapacitated he can not do anything. It must be his decision though. I dont know what else to do. I have been working and increasing my ability to be self sufficient in case this relationship becomes terminal (though that is not what I want). I have started to go out, and have friends (ironically, most are new friends reflective of these changes in our lives. I have stopped hiding and being open about what our reality has been, come what may. His frustrations not only with us but with all other aspects of his life still overwhelms him- tho he is not "physical" (pushy, threatening) as he was last year. Any other suggestions on how to deal with this is always appreciated. Thanks for all you do.

For Lulu and Sherri

I've been thinking a bit about this issue - George and I certainly went through this period, too!  I guess that I would give you both two ideas to think about:

First, as much as you wish to help or change things, your husband is the one whose actions are in question / under discussion.  That means that what your husband is thinking and feeling about the situation is what really matters if things are going to change.  If he's itchy or walks out of a restaurant, why?  is it just ADHD impulsivity or is he mad someone else is buying the drink?  (Yes, I read the reunion nightmare story, Sherri.  Is he clueless or just getting back at you - maybe for the attention the boss was paying you - or just so miserable that anyone who wants to pay attention to him - other than you - is okay???  UGH!)  Anyway - you need to really understand what is underneath the wariness (if it's wariness, and not just an ADHD symptom).  Have a learning conversation around it.  Or just ask him to be honest with you about it.  Then, once you have the problem properly defined, ask yourself what you can do to make it better.  Not fun enough at home?  Ask him what he thinks would be fun to do next weekend (make SURE not to sound defensive when you ask this or it will backfire!!)  Then DO IT.  If he says you nag him too much, vow to stop nagging and ask for his help.  If he says he's just distracted, then chalk it up to an ADHD symptom (not anything you can do about that one) and talk with him about how much you love him and want to be with him - but think the distraction is getting in the way.  So that's suggestion #1 - find out what's on his mind even if it hurts.

Second, think of this stage of your relationship as one in which you both need to create what I call "an intentional relationship.'  That is, you make a commitment to do things differently, even if they feel awkward to you for a while.  (It's bound to be awkward for a while when you are trying to patch things up and you're both concerned about what might happen next - you have to CREATE the positives, not just wait for them to happen.)  So intentionally decide "I'm going to go out and have as much fun as I can with my partner" or "I'm going to do something special for my partner because I know that would be good for the relationship (i.e. not necessarily because you are feeling warm and fuzzy at that particular moment.)  NOTE:  This approach - the intentional relationship - works when both partners have agreed it's worthwhile to do it.  Not so good when only one person is doing it.  You have to be able to be honest with each other about what might work, what doesn't work, etc.  It's like one joint experiment to move things in a positive direction.  Also, it takes time - you don't have one date or three and suddenly things are great.  You have 10 dates, plus 25 special dinners together, leave 32 notes on his mirror, tell him you love him every day...you get the idea.  AND, he has to do the same amount of work (and when he does - be READY to respond!).  This assumes a couple of things - one important one is that part of the intentional relationship is that each of you is willing to do what it takes to improve your own side of the equation.  That usually means really digging into the ADHD treatment for the ADD partner as well as focusing on "attending" to the spouse.  It also usually means trying (once again - even if you're exhausted) to be open and loving and patient and not angry - depersonalizing things like his walking out of the restaurant.  Yes, that made you mad, but better to seek understanding than anger.  ("Work" was not the issue, as you already know).

Anyway, hope these ideas help.  In order to do either of them you need to enlist your partner's cooperation.  Don't worry if it's a bit grudging - what you need is his agreement that having BOTH of you doing this is a worthy project (and measuring how successful you are every once in a while with "I really liked it when you did X - so I can learn, what have I done for you recently that you liked?")

1-Stopped yesterday to get

1-Stopped yesterday to get him some tobacco. I know he was out for a few days and needed it. The girl in the store is pushing this "new" stuff they have on me saying how a lot of customers have been really pleased with it. I got his usual, but got a small (99 cents) bag of the other stuff just to see if he'd like it/it as all she said it was. I even made him some cigarettes with it and with his usual stuff too because, of course, he worked late. This morning I show him the different cigarettes and explain how the lady said this other stuff was new and a lot of people liked it. When I showed him the 25 cigs I had made him with the 'new' tobacco, he asked if they were made with " that bag of (insert brand)" and I told him yes...to which he responded "that stuff is trash". No 'thank you for making me cigs' 'thank you for getting me tobacco' 'thank you for your efforts' and going on he criticized the tobacco and that was his only comment PERIOD.

2-I figured he was working late yesterday so I texted him right at 5 and asked if he'd like me and the kids to come by and get him to go get some supper. He said no, asking me to just bring him something. I told him the whole point was so that we could spend some time with him, and him with us. He reluctantly agreed to go out with us, but was back at the office within probably 45 minutes. He said he wasn't staying late. An hour later he calls..he's just getting back to the office, he had been hanging out at the tattoo place..but still had work to do, he said. He got home at 11. He can't go grab a bite to eat with me and the kids without making a big deal of it, but he can go hang out at the tattoo place?

3-I asked him if he'd like me to see if our daughter would watch our son for a couple of hours and us go get drinks and appetizers when he got off of work today (I asked Wednesday) and he said "we'll see". Never mentioned it again. It's 4 p.m...Friday.

4-I stopped by a local bakery this morning and got him 3 of his favorites (scone, donut holes, and key lime donut) and texted him and asked if he wanted me to bring them to him. He said he did and asked if I would go by the ATM and get him money for gas. Our ATM is all the way down the parkway from his work and I was headed in the opposite direction. I simply didn't want to so I told him he could have the debit card to fill up this weekend. He came out to get his stuff...obviously livid...cussing about how his tank is on empty and he guessed he would be hoofing it home when he ran out. I told him I would get his truck and run it and get gas in it. Gas stations within 1 block of his work. This infuriated him, he threw the box of bakery goods at me, told me to 'fu(king forget it!' and said he would get his own money...for me to "shove it up my ass" and added "I won't be home tonight!". I tried explaining to him that I simply didn't want to go back down the parkway to the ATM and needed my debit card. He called me a liar and accused me of treating him like a kid. Honestly I just simply didn't want to do it and figured if I told him just to go himself he would cuss me out and accuse me of not caring about how busy he is. Ironically, I guess I would have been better off just telling him to do it himself. Seemed like the perfect solution to him, but he insisted I just didn't want him to have any money. Yes, I want him to have NO GAS so he cannot go to work...because I'm just THAT much of a bitch. At that point he ended the conversation because I told him I was tired of him always assuming the worst of me. I just had other things to do and was afraid to tell him for fear he'd go off on me. The "medically induced jerk" is back.

No effort I make to be a part of his life or have him be a part of ours is working....

Sherri, time to take your own

Sherri, time to take your own advice :(. To allow him his own space because he will view your tries to connect in a real way, even in the interest of the kids could be viewed as manipulating and controlling. Sherrie, nurture yourself, let him make his own dang cigarettes. Curious, had you bought yourself any donuts too?! Hugs infinitum! Later, at a better time (and briefly) tell him how you felt.

Yes, I got me some

Yes, I got me some donuts...and kolaches too. :) I went for me a coffee...getting him something was my way of 'trying to do one nice thing a day even if I don't really feel he deserves it' (as gardender suggested...although I did it before reading her post). I am not sure where the balance is between allowing him space and giving up completely at this point. It is a very gray area right now. Does he want me to try? Does he want me to leave him alone? I'm not sure. I want to be someone I can be proud of...not doing a great job at this point. Oh well. I'm trying.

Sherri, i read something

Sherri, i read something today... "If you find your self in a hole, stop digging." I was looking back to see if your situation has changed for the better since you started posting. Time to stop doing for someone who obviously can do for himself. Let "him" take care of himself. It's not mean to make him be responsible for himself. You'd probably be doing him a favor. I wouldn't do anything unless he asks for it. He can yell at himself for doing it wrong. : )

Sherri, I read something today... by Pjloops

"If you find your self in a hole, stop digging."   Boy, isn't that the truth.  Stop doing.  That is what I, sort of, have done with my husband, unless he asks, and it is amazing that most of the yelling has stopped.  I think doing this did both of us a favor. 

LOL I think I posted that

LOL I think I posted that quote on her a while back..I saw it somewhere too.

I'm going to lay down the shovel for a bit. Be kind, but be kind from a distance.

I found out that my SD (we got custody of her when she was 12...in 2004 and our marriage - and his ADHD spiralled completely out of control) whom I do not get along with (I gave up on having a relationship with her after betrayal #10,475) has started speaking to the woman he cheated with again. This woman really worked over SD, knew that the way to her heart was to buy her things and tell her how horrible I am. Well, when I saw she was calling her again (checked cell phone records..we still pay for her cell phone) and told DH he defended her to the ends of the Earth and actually called me "ridiculous" and asked why I was checking cell phone records to begin with. If he saw anything wrong with SD resuming a relationship with the woman who nearly destroyed our marriage, I sure as fu(k didn't get that impression. I am not only disgusted with her behavior (although we do not get along, is there NO FU*KING line she won't cross??? I wouldn't befriend guys who cheated on her!!!) but I am disgusted with his as well...he actually told me "I have to pick between you and (her) and I pick her" She was on her way over to give my daughter her birthday gift when I found out about the calls...and I left. Not the most mature thing, but oh well...I couldn't bare seeing her...and for that reason, he feels I am a monster. So sick of trying to convince him otherwise. I have tons of family and friends who love me and enjoy being around me...she has alienated everyone in her mom's family and her dad's family...no one will even speak to her for all of the horrible things she's done...but yet I am the problem. I do endure a lot because I love him, but when will enough be enough? The last time we had a big fight like this over her was when he was on meds the last time. I am not sure what the hell I am going to do.

Wow...

"Let no good deed go un-punished" - You have just define a new standard. I agree with the comments below.

Stop Digging, I thing you are almost to China ;)

YYZ

Friday Nights

Yes, Melissa's possible reasons for going out, are dead-on in my relationship, too.  I would have loved to be able to do this on a regular basis but I was somewhat forced into being the more responsible one, through his manipulative ways.  I truly take full blame for letting it get this way but, at the time,  if he didn't get his way, he would act like a total jerk and I would give in to his angry outbursts just to keep the peace.  Biggest mistake I made but because of these outbursts the fear of him remained in me for a very long time. 

Sherri, I continue to be

Sherri,

I continue to be amazed that our lives are so similiar in each and every way.  You put everything into words much better than anyone I know.  Please know that I am right there with you, gal!!!!

Sherri, I still think we are

Sherri,

I still think we are married to the same man!  I feel the same way in my marriage, too.  Even though I can't get him to talk about it, I know deep down he is angry and resents me for holding him back.  Yes, I finally put my foot down and demanded that he stop spending excessive amounts of money, which of course led to him having to give up most of his fun but I had to do something to save us from financial distruction.  I think he knows I had too but he can't let go of the anger and resentment.  I am tired of living with this and have even gone so far as to tell him that I am OK with him leaving to hopefully find himself.....  He still remains here!!!!

Anger and Resentment

Aren't they really angry at themselves?  For knowing intellectually this is self-destructive, marriage-destructive and family-destructive behavior, yet feeling unable to control it?  I would feel so crappy if I continually did things I knew were not in the best interests of people I love and the life that I want and felt powerless to stop it.  I would be really really angry. 

Fear - I read some where that some people (many of them men) have difficulty feeling and expressing fear and it shows itself as anger.  I would also feel terrified that my own mind was working against me -- and my mind is ME!  Many of the ADD spouses I hear about on this forum KNOW they are in imminent danger of losing it all, and many of them have lost it "all" before... There's got to be a lot of fear going on. 

Resentment is just projection onto another person...another crappy coping mechanism.   ADDer:  I want what I want and I know I can't have it, and you're the only one big enough to say it out loud so it's your fault and and and.  I am very close friends with resentment.  Me:  You know what I want (less ADD behavior) but you refuse to give it to me, even though you know it makes me unhappy so you must be doing it on purpose and and and.

Look for the evidence:  If someone feels strongly enough that you're "holding them back" they will leave.  These guys might know deep down that you're holding them "together" .  I have just come to understand that what has kept me with my guy for more than 35 years is that he keeps asking for my help.  Even though knowledge of ADD has come very recently, I see now that at least on some level he understood he struggled with certain skills that I was able to provide.  And he has always expressed gratitude for them.  It's just in the last 10 years I've gotten so tired, and gratitude hasn't been enough, and I've wondered when my turn would come to have a supportive spouse like he has always had.  That's what we're working on in this period.  Because I've demanded that we do so.

Nail on Head...

Gardener... You hit the nail on the head. "I would also feel terrified that my own mind was working against me -- and my mind is ME!" I used to beat myself up after ever bad choice. I KNOW what the best choice is, but choose the wrong thing thinking I could somehow keep the bad from happening.

Before my diagnosis I was not sure why my life had come together, by I knew it was no coincidence that my life stabilized and became less chaotic and my job situation became Rock Solid. I KNOW it was my DW now. I've told her my life can be broken down, like time, in B.C. and A.C, my DW's name starts with C of course. I have tried to do my share of work and support to make an attempt at balancing my weaknesses. So far so good, especially since my my ADD behaviors are improving.

 

YYZ

Anger and Resentment

gardener447,

I'll agree, too.   About hitting the nail on the head.

not cool

I haven't read the responses to this post but thought I should get this out before I decide not to.  Your husband sucks for not getting treatment for something that is effecting his spouse and children.  There are parts of ADD that negatively impact our lives and the lives of those around us, these are the symptoms that need to be treated.  It's amazing to think someone who has had enough of the negative symptoms to seek some kind of medical opinion and subsequently been diagnosed refuses to get treatment.  I have tried many, many types of treatment and if I need to try more I will because I am happier when those around me are happy.  Just sayin' I am surprised when I see posts on here about ADDers who won't get treatment, I just can't imagine not wanting to make life easier for everybody.

Something feels very wrong to

Something feels very wrong to me here. He is all over the place and doesn't seem to hold a 'state of mind' for more than a day or two. Are you sure he isn't bipolar? This almost seems like cycling through 'mania' and 'depression' to me.

The conversation you had on the deck would have sent me into a complete state of panic. It is a huge fear of mine...that DH only remains here because he doesn't want me to be with someone else or because he simply does not have the courage to leave. (be alone). He left willingly when I asked him to in Oct of 2009...and come to find out he was having an affair. Is he only willing to walk away from me when he has someone else to go to? Is he only staying to avoid being alone? Where the hell does love fit into all of this? Does he love me or is he just 'attached' to me, like a drug?

Let's face it...I am sure we are hard to live with...and I, for one, am hopeful that someday I will know what it feels like to be 'happy' again. To wake up and feel TRUE peace and happiness and not wake up immediately going into prayer asking for God to help you get through another day. But, where is their part? What is he doing to bring you some peace? He's flung you back and forth like a ball in a rubber string consistently for weeks now (probably longer, but I've only known you that long). Who the hell would be pleasant and pleasing when you're simply trying to survive and get your head wrapped around the every changing moods and decisions? It isn't his job to make you happy...and you're in a very similar situation to me (I'm going to post about it shortly) but getting out is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Putting on a smile and greeting him with open arms is becoming increasingly harder. I want him to LOVE being here and being with me...but I want to love having him here and being with him too. I know it has to start somewhere...and I tried...and it blew up in my face. NOt saying I'm giving up, but I'm certainly having a very 'down' day because of it. I feel like the grim reaper is knocking on the door of our marriage and it makes me sick.

(((HUGS))) my best advice is to just remove yourself from his crosshairs, and let him make his own decisions....it is the best and only thing you can do at this point.

Letting go...

Sherri....you have hit the nail on the head once again!  Really, sometimes I do think we live in the same house!  I have decided to just let go (its killing me but I'm doing it) and see what happens (see my post from yesterday).I dont want being with me to be an "addiction", I want it to be a conscious choice  He has no clue what he wants or how to get it and until he gets his shit together, there is nothing more I can do. :(