Hello, this is the first time I posted on here and I think my marriage is at the most critical point right now, the tipping point, and I am unsure of which way it will fall.
I met Alan over 15 years ago and instantly fancied him, he was married at that time and we became good friends. 8 years ago we started dating (his first marriage lasted 10 months). It was a period of intense passion and excitement, we were both so happy and believed we were meant to be together as everything was so perfect! We moved in together 8/9 months later (earlier then planned as Al left his job of 10 years and could not pay rent on his flat). It was the first, and only, partner I had lived with and I struggled to adjust. Alan was also very messy and I expressed how I was concerned it may come between us, but he promised to improve. As time passed, issued started to arise for both of us. Alan could not understand why I was so unhappy and irritated with feeling unloved, unwanted and living among what I though was chaos! My anxieties, frustration and desperation led to us having heated arguments. Al said it was all me; I needed to change how I thought about things and that something was seriously wrong with me. I had always struggled with depression and my emotions, but often put this down to circumstances and/or my disruptive and unsettled childhood. Al had a few different jobs but ill physical health led him to be off work sick for over 2 years. My emotions and behaviors worsened, worrying about money (I ended up bankrupt) and our relationship - Al was so angry at me all the time, and I sought help with my mental health. I ended up diagnosed with BPD, at that time my therapist told me that I only just met the diagnostic criteria and with DBT/STEPPS program I should be able to manage and control my thoughts and behaviors.
During the time Alan was off work and having quite a few interactions with health professionals, he was labeled as being aggressive and angry by some of them and I encouraged him to seek help. This led to his diagnosis of ADHD & ASD traits, approximately 12/14 months ago. He started Matoride XL and saw the psychiatrist every 2-5 months. We were both hopeful that this would help him. ADHD started to make a lot of sense as part of Al was "different", which we saw as a positive. However our relationship did not improve. We have been married now for 3.5 years and still love each other deeply. 6 months ago I started reading more about adult ADHD as I truly believed our problems; a messy chaotic house/poor split of chores, intense anger outbursts and me feeling like his lowest priority and his Mother - were not just related to my emotional issues but his too. I disputed what Al kept telling me - that I needed to control my BPD, I was angry and "emotionally unavailable" to him and he was thinking our marriage was close to ending due to this and the lack of intimacy and sex - I believed I had undertaken so much therapy, had good awareness of myself and truly had my BPD under control most of the time, I needed to find out why nothing was changing (my CPN agreed and said I no longer come close to diagnostic criteria of BPD). I found the ADDitude website an started reading..... and reading more. I finished 'the ADHD Effect on Marriage' and 'Couples Guide to thriving with ADHD' - light bulbs lit up and everything fit; this was us, our marriage, just how I was feeling. More importantly it gave me hope, understanding for my husband and reignited faith that we could grow old together, happy, as we planned. I also bought and read 'Focusing Forward; navigating the storms of adult ADHD' and thought this maybe a good way for Al to learn and understand his ADHD more. Things were improving, although after reading a few chapters of 'couples guide to thriving....' he stopped reading anything and this was month ago now.
Alan was still in denial about how his ADHD behaviors were impacting so much on us and continued to tell me how I needed to change, including loosing weight, being more sexual, showing more love for him etc. Our arguments got worse and I felt he became more personal, telling me he hated me and that I was a retard for not understanding. Friends were starting to tell me his behaviors and words were emotionally abusive, but I know that is not Al and was not intended. Neither of us could handle the intensity of our arguments anymore, hurting each other so much. I left the home over 3 weeks ago. Using my newly found understanding and patience, I tried to talk to Alan about what I had been reading about ADHD impacted marriages and that my health was more stable and managed. At this point (a week after I left) and for the first time, Al agreed with much of what I said and acknowledged how his current job (full time, night shift work) was impacting on us, as well as his relationship with his daughter (my step daughter,13yrs old,she stays every other weekend). The time he recently has spent with us he is exhausted, if not asleep, and appears disinterested - often playing computer games alone. However he continues to 'through himself into work', hyperfocused on this priority.
Since I left 3 weeks ago, we have had one date night and met twice for a few hours of talking. Al acknowledged the basis of our issues "come from him" and he "wants us to be fixed" but he doesn't know how. I am concerned he is so depressed and sleep deprived right now, that he is unable to focus on making the changes and efforts we both need to do. He said I can come to his next psychiatrist appointment in a few weeks which I think is positive, but I'm aware it is his consultation and I don't want to 'interfere' too much, but want Al to be more honest with his health professional (he agrees he needs to be now). I feel I am armed with all this new information and knowledge empowering me, but can't move forward as Al will still not read this information. Al takes his meds when on night shift, but rarely or randomly on his days off. I'm scared to move home as I believe if we are not working together then we will fail, I have finally accepted I cannot do this alone. But I cannot afford to pay towards our home and/or stay away and the additional costs this is occurring for me. In the weeks we've been apart, he has rarely initiated contact and cut our date night out short, to get some weed. I'm stuck between wanting to let him know that I love him, want him, accept and support him, but that he needs to engage with treatment. I can no longer be his PA and Mother and know this isn't helping him in the long run either. I don't want to stay away from our home, or my husband, for too long and recognize this maybe triggering some of my filters too.
I do not know what else to do. We are both so fragile and one more angry argument may be the end of our marriage. Previously we have seen a marriage counselor twice, both for only one session as Alan didn't want to go back. He has recently said he will try gain but I am hesitant as there aren't any specialist ADHD marriage counselors around and there is lack of understanding of adult ADHD in the UK. There is no other therapy or treatment support for him either. I worry that all the time he continues work at the level he is, he is fatigued chronically and not giving himself time to process his thoughts and feelings, probably avoidance, but I do realize that I cannot control the decisions and choices he makes.
I don't want to end without acknowledging how my emotions and reactions impact us too, I won't deny Alan how this must have made him feel. With all the reading and talking to my CPN I have been doing, I am starting to think that my BPD diagnosis is wrong and maybe I have ADHD too instead!?! I don't want my husband and/or myself to look back on a broken marriage and think "if only i'd tried this, or that". I want us to learn how to be all we can be again, together. I am 38 and Al is 39 years old. Alan is without doubt the most loving, caring, imaginative, creative and amazing person I have ever known. An ultimate jekyl & hyde tho.
Any advice or suggestions are most welcome. Thank you for reading.