My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years now. It started slow and then we quickly realized we were meant to be and were engaged after 3 months, and married 3 months after that. At the time he was working hard, was super gentlemanly, wanted to step in on my ambitions (I've always been a world traveler- don't expect to stop), and was everything I could have asked for. Regardless of the first few hurdles (his dog who was destroying my life, my travel souvies, my furniture, house, and trying to eat my cat), we went through with the marriage, getting 'stuck' in this town for a total of 1.5 yrs because my traveling reality was his fairytale. After I demanded we leave immediately, or ELSE, it finally happened.
He had ADD/ADHD- I knew it. He knew it. It was clear. But there were a lot of things about him that got worse, and over time, a LOT worse. Most of these things, I hadn't realized were part of the ADD/ADHD, even though I was diagnosed myself in my childhood, but later shook it off. The online tests I take now all say I have a few 'ADD Symptoms', but seem to show it's out of my system, and I feel it is too. But at least I can sort of remember what it was like when I did have it, and I remember the way my brain felt, and sometimes when I'm having an 'ADD moment' now (It's only when the TV or radio is on and someone is yapping and I'm trying to read all at the same time, or when I really need to eat- I have adrenal/thyroid issues), I can understand how he can sometimes be feeling and operating. But! I feel he is fully in control of a lot of his actions, and he needs to actively recognize that he needs to TRY and come up with a solid plan, or this marriage will end. So far, he hasn't shown any interest in fixing these problems, therefore, I have no idea how to move forward.
He refuses counseling, he refuses doctors, and refuses medication.
According to him, it's all me. We go back and forth- I try to talk to him, he thinks I'm trying to argue (and I'm not) and we escalate into a huge argument that he clearly started, that he tells me I started (meanwhile I'm remembering and filing ever piece of ammo he's fired at me into my mental database), and when I give him very clear reason, facts, and statements that came out of his mouth to back up my side, he just tells me he didn't say those things, and that's it's pretty much all me. He then proceeds to hatefully tell me how I missed my calling and should have been a lawyer (but hey- lawyers usually have an obligation to keep their facts straight, so how is that an insult?). Anything that comes out of his mouth is defensive, negative and with a rude tone, but he has NO idea what "tone" is, no matter how hard I try to get him to understand it. It doesn't exist to him.
I'm now at a point where I'm miserable, I've threatened divorce more than once, he's brought me down so far in spirit that I'm so stressed and it shows in my body, mind and health, and I can not sacrifice the beautiful life I was living before him, just because he has ADD/ADHD. He is not the person I married, and this is not how I'm going to live the rest of my life. I would rather troubleshoot and make this work, but I'm lost at how!
Now, watch out. This is a post for the either seriously bored, or the person who is dealing with the same crap and is also hoping we can find a solution to this non-sence together. Lots of venting here.
Here's what we're dealing with...
Defensiveness- He is the most defensive and negative person I've ever known, and he knows it. He says it's caused problems in other relationships (I don't know HOW I pulled that information out of him- must have been a damned good day!), and he says "My Dad has always been that way too, and I don't want to be like him...", so he knows it exists, although I feel lately he's starting to forget. It seems like ANYTHING I say, I don't care if it's, "What do you want to do for dinner tonight?", there is usually a defensively toned answer. I react by slightly raising my voice, he raises his, I raise mine, he raises his, BOOM- argument. There have been many times when I've kept my cool, and I say something like, "Hey, Love? Can you please not talk to me with that tone?" as sweetly and as politely as I can, and that usually triggers a rising tone in his voice and more defensiveness. No winning. This is really bad in "conversations/arguments" because I say something and he's immediately defensive without even THINKing about what I said, and then I can literally say the opposite, and he'll be defensive about that too (clearly contradicting himself), and I sometimes (rarely!!!) do this on purpose just to show and prove to him that he actually is SO defensive that it doesn't matter what I say, he's so defensive about it that he'll literally change his mind without realizing it, just to "defend" himself... And then of course denies any of it, forgets everything, and the argument escalates (and I'm laughing a little bit). In the middle of an argument, I could literally tell him he has a penis and he'd probably say, "NO I DONT!!!". Yeah, bro. You do.
Tone- Everything is sarcastic and defensive. He always has the moody, P*$$y, tone of voice, like he's whining and complaining. I see it in his dad too, and he's quite a bit older and hasn't lost it yet, which makes me wonder how many more years we have of this. He has no idea what tone is. It doesn't exist in his mind.
Who's fault?- He usually blames me for his problems, not accepting fault. If I try to sit and talk to him calmly about something that's causing problems, or if I try to analyze our 'arguments' to see where they actually start so that we can work together to fix them, he's instantly defensive and angry. He will then tell me all of the problems he has with me (ok- that's fine, I'm always open to hear, and I accept responsibility for my lashing back at him), but what's funny is that usually every detail of what he says I'm doing, is word-for-word what HE is doing to me... so there's hypocracy that he doesn't see at all. When I mention that "That's exactly how I feel", or that "Those are the same exact things you're doing to me", the now-argument escalates and he says, "You always throw it back on me!!!". Well, I'm not trying to, but I couldn't have explained it any better myself, so why not just take the opportunity to "ditto it". I feel he usually throws it back on me, yet I'm being blamed or throwing it back on him, when in reality, I'm accepting of my faults and I'm only trying to calmly talk to him about our problems because I would like to try to avoid a divorce. This happens all of the time. Now, when I tell him that I'm researching his ADD/ADHD (I even purchased him a book, and I want to read it too), his response is, "Good! You need to read it too!"
Moodiness- Never happy. Never satisfied. Nothing is ever enough.
Lack of Responsibility- It's not that he can't handle responsibility, it's that he usually doesn't put forth the effort. After a while, I assumed responsibility for most things. (I'll admit, he will jump in sometimes and wash the dishes or take out the trash.) Packing for a trip? He's never done that. I do that for him, and to be honest, I'd be afraid for him to pack his own suitcase. When he can't 'find' anymore clothes to put on (like do you seriously think you only own 3 shirts?) he insists he needs to buy more, as I walk over to a stack of clean laundry and hand him an entire wardrobe he's forgotten exists. I let him pack his fishing stuff and things like that, and I usually find he packs loads of what I think is senseless crap because it never gets used. Like how we needed 6 fishing rods for just him to fish when we went somewhere for him to WORK for a week. He fished one time, and the car was loaded with gear. After a while, he started saying the relationship wasn't 50/50 and that I took control of everything (mostly because I felt if I didn't, nothing would ever get done!), so eventually, I gave him one of my debit cards (I'm the one with banks and I'm the one who pays bills) and his wallet, and the keys, and told him he'd better keep up with it. He misplaces the keys constantly and is forever leaving his wallet in the car now, but he's working on his man card. I also told him that if he wanted to 'do more', he needed to step up and act like it. We've seen a little improvement there, I guess.
He had a job when we were dating, and so did I. He thought perhaps we could live if I quit my job, so I did, and started pursuing my music career and released (later took down) an album. But then he quit HIS job too. Then he thought we could survive off playing gigs at $100/pop, selling artwork and jewelry, and judging contests. It wasn't working, and he was seriously over-spending on things like beer and marijuana. I started teaching surf lessons again, which was our main source of reliable and steady income. But it wasn't enough, so I started back at the cafe I was previously working at for about a month, just while they had some shifts needing to be covered. I was the one who made sure I did what needed to be done to make ends meet, and when they still didn't (after all- we definitely weren't making a living off his paintings or my jewelry- and even my music career had been more successful than those things!), my Grandma was there to help. She's always there, and I often feel that he knows that, so it's good reason to slack and not worry about it, because we'll always have her to fall back on, even though I beg her to stop throwing money at us! He says he refuses to get a full-time job, because he doesn't want to do anything that he doesn't want to do. I can actually relate, since I'm such a free spirit myself, BUT there is a time and place, and sometimes if there's something you want to do (like EAT!), you have to do something you don't want to do- even if it's just temporary. I said to him, "Oh so you thought I WANTED to teach those lessons and go back to the cafe?!" Seriously???? I have been writing this off as a severe lazy bone, but I now see that this is falling under the ADHD category.
Always Bored- I'm ambitious, and I'm usually working on something productive, even if it's some sort of self-knowledge crap I happen to be into at the moment (maybe that's my own little bits of ADD coming out!) Right as I'm planning a productive day... "I'm so boooooored!!!!!!" I seriously need to find this 33 year old man a baby sitter if I'm going to work from home! I can not and will not entertain him. But we're taking a quick break from travels to spend time with family and for me to release my next album, and when we're staying with my family in the town he's relatively unfamiliar with, he's bored to tears, even though he's got plenty to do. My grandma has recently purchased him a new IPad AND a new Samsung Galaxy s4 phone, because while we traveled, he was bored and whiney every time I was on the computer, but when I'd let him use it, I'd be sitting around not being productive and that drove me nuts. He just scrolls through Facebook for HOURS. To me, that's worthless when I'm on the computer networking and building things up for my music career (being productive as far as I can see), and now he's got the computer to play on Facebook. So we got the IPad to 1) keep him entertained and 2) allow him to potentially do some artwork or animation with it, and potentially, HOPEFULLY pursue some sort of career path. This isn't enough, going outside and doing something isn't enough. Someone has to keep him active at all times.
No Direction- He is 33 and has no idea what he wants to do with his life. The career 'path' he's always been on is actually quite toxic and while it does pay the bills, it is mostly seasonal, and he'd have to work in a factory as 'surfboard production'. Having this business on his own costs a lot of money with very little reward. Simply put, it's not going to pay the bills! This is what he has always done, it's the ONLY thing he has experience in (besides judging surf contests and painting) and it's clear it's going to be difficult to make a real living at those things unless he's back in the factory, which he refuses. He needs to be versatile while we're traveling, like how I am usually willing to pick up any work I can because it's worth it just to BE in that country. Remember, he doesn't want to do anything that he doesn't WANT to do, so this is a tough one. Not traveling is not an option. That's what I do, that's what I'm passionate about, and I made that VERY clear before we tied the knot. But he whines and says, "But my only work opportunity is in x(town)." Which is bull. If I try to talk to him about what he wants to do, he gets super defensive and says, 'I don't know and I'm NOT going to figure it out right NOW!!", and I kindly ask him to please think about it and I'll help him do whatever it is he wants to do, and when I wait a few weeks or month and ask again, it's the same story. He doesn't know, and he's nothing thinking, and right now he's got a free pass on my Grandma's dime (I give him credit, he made about $1200 in the last few months) so he seems to not care, as I dilligently work at recording an album, trying to get financial aid and register for online classes, plan for a book I'm writing, and make loads of jewelry to sell at an upcoming festival. Do I WANT to? No... I'd rather be out surfing or doing something fun, but I know I have to plan a future for myself. How do I figure out what this guy wants to DO with his life?!
I Think He Might be 12 Years Old- No really... I think he might be. I feel like I'm raising a kid. And I DON'T want kids... at least not for another 5 years (ok, I'm really thinking like 10)...(minimum). So this is an issue.
Memory- I tell him something, and in a few days when I remind him, it's new information all over again. I'll admit, I forget stuff like that too, but seriously, he's worse. In conversations (which are first accused of being arguments before they actually are, and then of course they become arguments), this is a huge issue because he'll say something and then forget it, and when I tell him what he said, "I did NOT say that!!" OMG. When we lived in Central America, we had to share a shower with several other people, and EVERY SINGLE TIME he went in to take a shower, he'd say, "Now which soap and stuff is ours?" WE LIVED THERE. I will give him a break and say that for a period of about 3 months, he probably totaled 4 showers with soap, maximum, which the most disgusting thing I've ever encountered. The ocean actually isn't a shower. In the apartment we lived in for over a year, he still couldn't remember where things went in the cabinets. An hour ago he handed me the keys, we got in the car and I said, "Did you remember your wallet? and he said, " I gave YOU the wallet AND the keys!!!!" and I reacted saying, "No you didn't!" "Yes I DID!" "No you..." "Oh, here it is... in my pocket." He starts these rants over things so simple as that, because he forgets what he did and didn't do, and I'm being spoken to in a harsh way, getting worked up... Come on! This is wearing on me!
Zero Communication- Literally every time I try to talk to him, it doesn't matter how nice or loving I am, If it's a 'conversation', it's an argument in his mind. We don't have normal people conversations. We don't chat back and forth and share opinions, views, or ideas. As soon I respond to something he's said (you know, that's how conversations work. You speak, I speak, you speak, I speak), he's defensive about it and he thinks I'm trying to argue! And I'm just having a normal conversation! This communication thing is a HUGE problem. I've gotten SO frustrated that I'VE acted like a complete psycho idiot at times (ok, I'm not that bad), but he brings out the worst in me, at least once a day. What is a relationship with no communication?
Addictive personality- His remedy is beer and weed. He drank and smoke a LOT when I met him, and he was living with his brother. He moved in with me shortly after, and I began to notice how much he was consuming and smoking. He slacked off a bit, and eventually, with our budget, I began to nag that if he only MADE enough money to buy his beer each month, then he definitely doesn't need to be buying beer AND $300 in weed each month, when we were already struggling and borrowing money for the rent. But he says weed is his "medicine", therefore it is a necessity, and he is REALLY difficult to be around when he doesn't have it. When I mention that I really don't want to be with someone who is dependent on things, he swears he's NOT dependent on weed (it was my pact to myself before we met that I'd never date/marry a guy who was dependent on meds because they cant travel as easy. That's baggage. Call it selfish, but everyone has their thing.). However, when he doesn't have it, the story changes, and he DOES need it because it's his 'medicine'. Weird, eh? He also doesn't realize that when we drinks, he gets a really mean and hateful, snappy mood.
I think I'll stop here. If anyone has any advice on how I can troubleshoot these issues, I'd really like to save my marriage, or just be happy again. How long should I give him to want to figure this out? How can I help him if I can't even talk to him??