Thanks for reading!
I will be the first to say that I can be a bit "dramatic" or harp over issues that in hindsight may not be as important as they were in the moment. With that said I (the non-ADHD spouse) am looking for ways to deal. Since the start of our 3 years of marriage I have always felt that I was ignored and didn't matter much in comparison to others with regard to my husband. An example of this would be our first wedding anniversary. My mother-in-law decided she would move states last minute and called my husband to catch a plane and help her move. He agreed without even realizing that this should (and would) be a serious blow to me. Every year since I have hopelessly dreamed (even voiced my intent) that we would plan (TOGETHER) an anniversary trip but it always resulted in me planning and him doing his usual Facebook obsession.
Fast forward three years and nothing has changed (not even the hours on Facebook). He will go to the moon and back for anyone but ignore even the most simple request from me. I think a lot of arguments stem from my jealousy and feeling that I'm in competition with everyone due to always being put on the back burner. I desperately wanted a wedding but we didn't have one, although I know I played a part in choosing to marry him anyway, it hurts that we don't even have a picture of the day. As such, I have asked a few times for us to renew our vows to help fill that empty hole. I don't think this is a major request.
Alas, the real reason I am writing this! My husband agreed to be a groomsmen in a wedding, this probably shouldn't bother me but it does for several reasons. 1) It is the immediate weekend following my defense of my dissertation for my PhD!!!!! so I would like at least a mild celebration 2) We volunteered for our daughters school event a few hours the same day as the wedding 3) I planned a surgery a few weeks before and don't know how well I will feel (we have no family here) 4) Most importantly, I have resentment that he would want to partake in someone else's wedding when he refuses to care about us renewing our vows (our pseudo-wedding). Even more, when I brought it up a while ago, I found a beautiful dress for a really good price and he felt like it was a waste of money.
We are taking a vacation with both our families a few days after graduation (4 weeks after his friends wedding) and this cruise would be a great time to renew. The constant being ignored and feeling of little to no importance seems to manifest in many scenarios and I am unsure how to deal with it.
I do so much for our family, I am not asking for a reward or a cookie but just to be appreciated. He literally has to just go to work each day, everything else it taken care of by me while working full time doing scientific research (draining and takes 40-60 hours a week of my time) in addition to raising 3 children (8,3 &1). I feel he should want to make me happy because of all I do and I ask for little in return. His only drive to live seems to be for himself.
Submitted by Zapp10 on
I am so very sorry for the pain your situation is causing. It is well understood here by MANY of us.
The "empty hole" you have is real....and will not be fixed by renewing your vows.
You have so much going for you from what I see......do not let your spouses inability or denial of his adhd DEFINE you. You said something here that speaks very much to me....as I have long realized about my own marriage(43 yrs)......" He literally has to just go to work each day, everything else it taken care of by me " When I look back I realize that nothing changed for my H when we married and so much did for me. Hindsight only helps to see "what and why(maybe)" something happened. For me....hindsight has become foresight and I WILL NOT have the marriage of my past determining my marriage in the future. Adhd is nothing to treat lightly IN A MARRIAGE or it will not last. That being said....adhd is not the ONLY thing that is responsible for peoples behavior in a relationship....and THAT being said.....WHATEVER the cause.....if the 2 people involved in the relationship do not put the relationship as a PRIORITY......it will not be much of a life. People who "love" each other.....DO NOT treat one insignificantly.
You have a lot on your plate....please focus on you and your kids.....stop thinking about him. You existed BEFORE him.....do not change WHO YOU ARE......please love yourself too...you are worthy.
Submitted by HopelessMomWife on
Thank you so much for your reply. It brought tears to my eyes and definitely helps to have a sounding board here on the forum. A part of me feels guilty for wanting to walk way but the other part knows that I have worked so hard and accomplished too much to allow one persons neglect (for lack of better words) to hold me back.
Deep inside I long for his love and attention but I am finding that it might be inaccessible. Thank you for replying and I wish you the best.
I have to be honest here.
Submitted by jennalemone on
I have to be honest here. The instances of him not making you happy by the examble actions you describe....does not seem to be reasonable for you to be so upset. YOU would like the renewal of vows and celebrations to happen on the exact date YOU want them. Celebrations can happen a weekend other than the exact date we would "like" to have. I am reading between the lines here, but if money is tight because of your schooling expenses, (you don't say if your 40-60 hours are PAID hours or if he is financially supporting your time in school) he may have some resentment of your time and money going into that. If money is not tight and the college education is not a factor in your discord, then you could be contracting out most of the housekeeping and childcare.
It sounds a little like you are overwhelmed but also that you are looking for an exit excuse in your mind now that your PHD is nearly in your hands.
HOWEVER.....Yes, yes yes....If you are working 40-60 paid hours a week and doing EVERYTHING else involving your (his, I presume) children and house, then yes, you are probably overwhelmed and worn out and resentful...rightfully so. JUST THAT ALONE IS REASON TO MAKE A SCENE, GET SOME HELP, CAUSE A RUKUS!
My generation lived like that and also with the fact that women were/are paid less than men. ie: A man was hired under me to be my assistant in a corporation. I had been there for a few years.... HE WAS HIRED AT A HIGHER WAGE THAN ME BECAUSE HE HAD A FAMILY TO SUPPORT! I was supporting my family too but women were not "seen" as financially supporting the family and so the men made more money than the women and excused themselves from indoor housework and child care. THIS KIND OF THINKING SHOULD NOT HAPPEN ANYMORE. But it does.
My point is, there still is the notion of generations of women staying at home to take care of the home and children and men making a living and not doing household chores.... But in those days the women did not work full time. THIS IS SO WRONG. It is something that still needs work. I lived the life you are talking about and am married, I was financially responsible with a husband who only did yard work and a job that did not support us all.
Yes, we all have a reason to be very very upset by this thinking. And yet, we are supposed to LOVE those men who really don't consider what we do for them and KEEP this unequal thinking alive because it works for them. UNLESS us women have some sort of leverage. The leverage the men have is that they have the good jobs to make their lives no different if we are there or not. The men of our age, get twice the social security that the women do in retirement. UNLESS a woman has family money of her own through inheritance or parental help, she is at a disadvantage to take options.
Sounds like now that you have the ability to make money, your options have just opened up for you. Congratulations on your degree and your freedom. If I were you, I would not use the examples of him letting you down (celebrations and vow renewing making you unhappy, etc) as reasons for your exit from the marriage. Your resentment is in the unequal pay and work load expected of women.
Submitted by HopelessMomWife on
Hi, thank you for taking the time to respond. I am actually a paid graduate student and this salary of 30K (chemistry) also separately pays for my education so the research we perform is a part of the degree but we are paid for this work and I do not take courses, just perform research. As such, this is part of my frustration, I too work a full time job that I am paid for but still bare the brunt of the child rearing and household duties.
I have a lot of flexibility with the hours I can work (day/night) since the lab is always accessible and some of the work I can dial into my office computer for but this still means that the work has to be done regardless of my location and is imperative for me to obtain my degree.
I have no issue with us having the renewal on any date, the issue is that he won't stop to help me choose an appropriate date for us. It would be reasonable to have it on the boat but that is NOT a requirement, just an easier option. My issue is that the feels a small ceremony on the beach is a waste of money (only a couple hundred dollars + something to wear which could be a beautiful white sundress, not a full on wedding dress, I saw one recently). It's a waste of money for this but NOT for him to participate in a friends wedding which cost a few hundred dollars to rent the tux and then there are other related expenses with being in the wedding party that typically come up. How can you spend the time and money for someone else's day but have no desire for ours, this is the issue I have.
I have nothing against stay at home moms, but I am not one. I pay half of the bills just as he does although he actually makes more than me, I care for kids and the last two months their daycare closed unexpectedly so I have been combining my duties with full time care for the kids and working at night when they sleep meaning I may get 5 hours of sleep a night.
Thank goodness my schooling is over in November but this is a time I feel he should be there more than ever as his wife takes the next step in completing her doctoral degree.
Again, thank you for taking time to respond. It really means a lot and sometimes it is nice to just vent.
Don't get too hung up on a vow renewal
Submitted by vabeachgal on
Sadly, speaking from experience don't pin a lot of hopes on the vow renewal I don't mean to be a downer. Be clear what you want (feelings) to get out of it and make sure it is possible. My H and I had a simple ceremony and I always wanted a renewal. I understand the need, I really really do understand everything you've said about wanting a vow renewal. I obsessed over it. It didn't help that we attended more than one vow renewal for our couple friends over the years but I couldn't pin him down to help make plans for us, not even for a milestone anniversary. I think I got a mall gift card that year. At the end of the day, you know, our vow renewal was not all that and a bag of chips. H kept arguing about the cost. By the end, I had scaled down the event to the point where I shouldn't have bothered at all. He pushed for a date when neither child was available to attend. I had to do all the planning and considerable work and he just showed up but wasn't really into it. He enjoyed drinking with his friends afterwards. It hurt. I understand the need to commemorate the event and assuage the hurt feelings and to feel valued by your H. It would be nice to do it on the boat if it is the difference between having your family there or not. I would caution you about the high expectations for the event and make sure that your husband can be there emotionally to give you what you need. My H and I got married at a bed and breakfast. Right after the ceremony, other guests arrived and he immediately began a conversation about NASCAR.(The Inn was near a NASCAR town and it was race weekend) Quite the event :( He was in charge of dinner which he booked at the inn - with everyone else staying there - the devil is in the details. He didn't get that it was a community style meal. I shared our wedding cake with complete strangers wearing tacky tshirts. I just wanted a happy couple picture and did not end up with one from either the original ceremony or the vow renewal. Or more specifically, I wanted a picture of my H demonstrating joy and happiness. If I had been more aware of my expectations to begin with, what I really wanted out of it, I would have concluded that it was unreasonable. I wanted a happy memory and a picture to look back on with pleasure. A nice wedding picture.... my H looking happy about it. Pretty simple. Consider doing something to celebrate YOU while on vacation and don't look to H for validation. You're very accomplished. No one else needs to tell you that. Go ashore, climb to the stop of a cliff and declare your excellence to the world. If the kids aren't with you, go to the beach and take as long a nap as you want. Buy yourself a piece of jewelry to acknowledge the PhD work.
I'm sorry you're dealing with
Submitted by PoisonIvy on
I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I don't have time to go into greater detail now, but I will say that I have experienced not being a priority to my (now ex-) husband. I don't know if this behavior was a result of ADHD or something else, but whatever the cause, it contributed greatly to the destruction of our relationship.
I feel your pain
Submitted by DependentOrigination on
It hurts. A lot. It really does. There is no denying it. There is a lot of mourning. And I disagree with the first person who felt your expectations were too high. They would be too high, in a normal relationship, but not in an ADD relationship. When you are disappointed on a daily, weekly, monthly, hourly basis by someone's inconsistent inconsistency, it is common to want something for putting up with their bullshit. I played this game for three years. I waited for my husband to come home, thinking, now it's MY time, and he would get on his computer to type some email to someone he had just left and then go to bed and fall asleep. I moved an hour and away from my work to be with him so I had to get myself and my daughter up at 530. I wanted to go to bed early so I wouldn't be exhausted, but he could never get his shit together to go to bed with me and would play some movie at top volume directly under our bedroom. I could list a million ways my husband has hurt me, betrayed me, disappointed me and broken my heart. I only figured out two days ago that he had ADD and I have no advice to give yet. I would suggest you look under the forum category that talks about progress and hope. I found some useful and positive things there. I would suggest you set your boundaries, create an exit strategy, and focus on being happy. On your happiness. I don't suggest leaving, I just suggest thinking about the reasons why you would leave, what is too much for you to handle and how you would extricate yourself from the relationship. That way you always have an option.
Mine is to move back to my parents hometown and help my favourite cousin to raise her kids and to travel and learn to play the guitar and speak another language. And I have a very definite timeline that it will happen if things don't get better for us. Or if he cheats on me.
I have a lot to work on for myself. I want to be a better person and a better spouse. And this forum has helped me a lot and I will have a chance to put it into practice next week.
I stopped wearing my wedding ring in May. I have stopped doing the things for him that I want him to do for me because I think he is going to mirror my behaviour. My goals are to make my daughter's Grade 12 year the best ever (because the last three years have terrible for everyone) and do what I want to do.
I used to have a million friends that I slowly gave up because I was working so hard to make our relationship work and for us to spend time together. Now I am finding them all again. And I have this safe place. To empty out my soul of all the dark things that have accumulated from being mistreated.
I have hope for my marriage. I have hope for myself now that I can detach myself from his ADD. I hope he seeks treatment. I hope things get better. But if they don't, so be it. I am not going to kill myself over it anymore.
Have a great night. Remember, you are a beautiful person who has suffered many things. Forgive yourself, love yourself and be at peace. It is going to get better, with him or without him. There are many people who can identify with what your going through. Some will be bitter, some will be lost, but some will be surviving, some will be thriving and some will give you hope. I wish you the best of luck.