My husband of 15 years has undiagnosed ADHD, our last marriage counselor suggested he be tested and treated a few years ago but hasn't done it. He'll bring it up every now and then but never follows through.
We have been living in a cycle of chaos that goes something like this:
Phase I – X gets depressed by something (me, work, kids) and starts drinking more, smoking pot more, griping more, generally making everyone miserable so he doesn't have to suffer alone. Can’t talk to me about it. I try to cheer him up and be supportive but it sometimes doesn’t work.. which leads to Phase II.
Phase II – I get upset that X is self-medicating by drinking more, smoking pot more, griping more, falling backwards instead of making progress. Anxiety and frustration at not being able to help him and just dealing with being miserable all the time lead me to a bad mood. I can’t talk to X about it, that would be nagging and is unacceptable.. would result in a skip to Phase V immediately.. I distance myself, less touching, less intimacy.
Phase III – Tension builds until X picks a fight with me over one or more of the following things (money, sex, raising kids, don’t respect him or his things, I like for things to get broken). I give in because there is no communication going on. X just wants to get his feelings out but doesn’t want to hear my feelings so he bullies me with screaming and yelling. I just want it to be over since it is pointless to argue when he throws a temper tantrum like this.
Phase IV – X feels better for venting and getting me to apologize about whatever the argument above was about. Now I am left with frustration at being yelled at and bullied and not allowed to have my feelings validated. So I distance myself from X even more, less eye contact, more coldness, because I am frustrated and angry at having no voice and being disrespected so terribly in the argument.
Phase V – Tension builds again because of my distance until X picks another, bigger fight over all of the topics above. I am the root of all X’s problems and frustrations.. Nasty intimidating looks, nasty comments in front of the kids about me, possibly suggesting divorce again. I usually cave at some point, just begging for the chaos to end.
I honestly don’t know how much longer I can stay in this cycle. I'm so dang tired... We just completed Phase III again and I'm thinking that this Phase V will be our last because I won't cave, he won't get help, he'll ask for a divorce again, and I'll be too tired to fight it anymore. Our poor children :( Shoot, I know I’m not perfect and need to improve my communication skills, but what’s the point if we are stuck in this chaotic cycle of non-communication.
I just needed to vent with people who will understand. Thanks for listening.