Decoding the ADHD Spouse

My ADHD DH and I are currently separated.  A little background on us - we've been married for 12 years this year but we've been friends for over 19 years.  When our eldest son was diagnosed with ADHD I started doing research on it.  My DH and I were already having marital problems and were in counseling.  At the time the counselor thought he was Bi-polar and referred us to a therapist.  The therapist diagnosed him with ADHD, depression and anxiety.  We were thrilled!  An ADHD diagnosis was way better then a Bi-polar one right?

DH got a script and started taking the "magical" pills.  A year later we are still having issues only this time it is bad enough to separate.  Emotionally I wasn't ready for a separation and I allowed him back in our home a short time later with the understanding that we would go back to counseling.  We did go to counseling however the counselor was not very knowledgeable when it came to ADHD and I felt she was setting my DH up for failure asking him to do complex task so we searched out a new counselor.  DH found one and decided to go by himself at first.  The new counselor also had ADHD and I felt he was making huge strides with her.  That was until he started to forget his appointments and got charged $50 for each missed appointment.  Once that started to happen he quit going but didn't tell me.

Things went back to "normal" and I decided I could no longer allow myself nor my children to be treated the way we were being treated because he refuses seek help for himself so I asked him to leave our home.  He's currently living with his parents.  He works a 24/48 shift so he calls the boys on his work days.  Since he's been gone he's only seen the boys for a total of 2.5 hrs. (2 hrs. one day when he forgot to feed them lunch and .5 hrs. the other day).

This is where I have questions -

How can he say he wants to have a family yet not make an effort to be with his children for more then 2.5 hrs. a week?  I can't imagine this will look very good if/when we go to court and he claims he wants joint custody.

He says he wants to work things out yet he has yet to call and talk to me.  Confused?  How can you work something out if you can't even talk to the person you want to work things out with?

Monday morning he stopped by the house to pick up some of his clothes.  As I was leaving for work he stopped me and opened up his arms for a hug.  Confused again?  I didn't want to hug him because I didn't want to give him false hope but at the same time I didn't want him to think "well I'm trying to show her some emotion and she won't even try so why bother" so I gave him a half assed hug.

The other day he called about something he already knew the answer to.  I was working outside and didn't really have the time/desire to talk.  Later I wondered if it was his way of trying to start a discussion so I texted him and asked him.  His reply was "maybe".  Is it really that difficult to give me a straight answer?

If someone with ADHD can shed some light I would appreciate it.

I moved this to the

I moved this to the communication section hoping I'd get reply since I didn't before in the other section I was in.

I HONESTLY want to understand him.  Even if we don't stay married - we still have to communicate.  Right now I know I'm taking things personal and I know I shouldn't.  I don't think I'd be taking them so personal if I thought I knew why he's doing the things he is right now.

We tried to talk once earlier this week.  It didn't go over very well so we ended the conversation.  He's fixated on the fact that I asked him to leave.  I feel as though he wants me to ask him to come back (which I won't) vs. him working towards me wanting him to coming back. 

Wednesday he called to say he'd be over Thursday night so I could show him how to do something on the computer.  I told him there was no need - he could do what he needed to do over the phone.  Thursday I decided to rent a movie and have a "fun night" with the boys.  I invited him as a way to "open the door" and he declined to come.  His excuse was he had to work early the next morning and didn't want to drive home late.  Ok?  Why was it ok to drive home late when I talked to him on Wednesday but it wasn't ok on Thursday?  I just don't understand.

Many of these questions are

Many of these questions are ones that no one can answer for you and you just have to let his actions speak for themselves.

His wanting to 'work things out' probably translates, as you already suspect, into "I am waiting on you to stop this nonsense and invite me to come back home". Then you'd be back to square one. Why are you waiting for him to change NOW when he hasn't for the past 12 years? I'm not saying you can't hope for change, expect maybe he'll hit a brick wall and see what he's about to lose, but in the meantime you're sitting around with all of these questions going through your head worrying about what he's thinking, why he's doing such and such, and you're defeating the entire purpose of asking him to leave..which I assume was to free yourself from the 'ties that bind' from his ADD, and finding some peace in your life. You're still obsessing over him and his ADD even after you made the huge, and hard, decision to ask him to leave. What are you really hoping to accomplish? Did you simply ask him to leave as a means to 'scare' him into changing?

You have asked him to leave, it had to be so bad that you felt it was your only option. Start focusing on moving forward with your life as if he won't be a permanent part of it. I don't agree that you have to communicate, even if you don't stay together. Sure, you'll have to make arrangements for the kids and such, but for now you really don't have to communicate about anything other than that.

Sherri - let me see if I can

Sherri - let me see if I can answer some of your questions.

I'm not "waiting" on him to change - I'm done waiting.  Am I hopeful he'll change?  Yes, aren't we all?  I still hope I'll find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow some day but I know the likely hood of it actually happening is pretty slim.  We've been married for 12 years but his symptoms of ADHD haven't been there there entire 12 years.  His diagnosis is fairly new (a little over a year maybe).  He did start the meds which helped and he started counseling (then stopped) but I don't think he took his ADHD seriously.  I'm still not sure he does even though he says he's back in counseling.

I asked him to leave because I no longer wish to live the life I lived.  I asked for a separation (not a divorce) as I am hopeful he we can work things out because I do still care for/love him, but I am prepared if they don't.  Asking him to leave doesn't mean I don't care for him nor that I don't want to understand him - it just means the way I was living was no longer acceptable to me.  I guess I don't see how trying to understand him and his ADHD is obsessing.  I've read a lot on here and like other spouses I know how my reactions can add fuel to the fire.  Being separated and on the verge of a divorce is emotional no matter how bad the marriage was.  I know we are both emotional right now (he's very angry) and I want to make sure I'm not taking what he says/does and adding more fuel to the fire with my reactions because of my emotions.  Hence why I came here, to get advice and help from others.  So to answer your question, no, I didn't ask him to leave just to scare him. 

I am focusing on moving forward with my life.  I started focusing on moving forward before I asked him to leave.  That doesn't mean that I don't want to understand him and that I don't want him to be a part of my life even if it isn't in the role of a husband.