First of all this is going to be long and difficult. Kudos to any of you who are willing to read it and respond. I really NEED your responses and insights.
I am 38 and have been married for 15 years. We were young Christians, he was just coming out of a rehab program and we were both going to go into the "ministry". We only dated a very short time before getting engaged and then were only engaged for 6 months. We were literally stupid, inexperienced, idealistic (well I was), and knew nothing about ourselves (we did a little I suppose, we just didn't know how serious it was). Long story short, he cheated on my very soon! One night stands and casual sex encounters (NOT intimate relationships at all). He looked at porn occasionally, and he relapsed. This is all within the first 6 years of us being married. We went to marriage conferences. I screamed and cried. I bought workbooks. I prayed and begged. I tried to lose weight, go to counseling, have sex more, etc. etc. I also was diagnosed with 2 pretty serious autoimmune disorders shortly after all of this. We had a 3rd "accident" child.
His parents told me he was diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability during school years. They told me he was non-compliant on his medication. I didn't understand what that meant at 23 years old to 28 years old.
Fast forward 10 years. He swears over and over he will be faithful to only me and he will not use drugs or alcohol. These are the absolute MINIMAL boundaries that I have. We have separated twice over these issues. He has been "mostly" good about them for about 2-3 years I would say. He says he loves me and wants to stay with me. He says he is committed to making changes.
Other MAJOR developments in the last 6 years. Our child was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (our first child diagnosed with ADHD and LD too). I now realize that I am a woman with high functioning autism! I have been operating out of this and dealing with his ADHD. I am SICK, as in physically sick, and very tired most of the time. I am serious, deeply thinking, literal, do things slowly, I have CNS and sensory issues that are very very very very strong. I am hyper-emotional, hyper-sensitive, and hyper-aware of details. I am seriously idealistic. But I am also a TERRIBLE spouse. I can barely keep things clean, laundered, organized, and keep everyone fed. I am often tired. Often want to check out and rest myself. Often on my iphone at night just trying to chill.
He on the other hand is funny, goofy, immature, impatient, obsesses about buying things (I hate to shop), cannot have a conversation for very long, is not deep thinking per se (not academically so, he's just not interested).
I am unmedicated, he is on 2 medications (neither of which help his adhd in my opinion). We do not share hobbies, interests, likes or dislikes. We do not even share the same religion anymore because he has become 100% uninterested in the Bible or Church at all (he says it is just one more thing for him to fail at).
So far these are all just "how I see it" kind of things. But since I have autism it is sort of black and white. As in, it would be very difficult for anyone else to convince me that these "facts" are not so. As a woman, I still have the same needs for romance, love, attention, respect, intimacy, and friendship that most other people do. I just need accommodations for dealing with life, stress, raising children. He needs accommodations too! I know that.
I am realizing there is about 15 more pages that I need to write, but I won't. He says he is "just the way he is" and he probably won't change. He wants someone to accept him. I say I do accept him but his adhd behaviors still make me feel unloved, un-paid-attention to, ignored, not romanced, disrespected, and made fun of. He works too much, does his hobbies too much, does technology and TV too much, and I'm literally last on his list.
I have come to a point where I am literally too miserable to ignore everything. I feel like I am a person who has been shot in the gut and is yelling desperately for someone to stop the bleeding (where our marriage relationship and family life together is concerned). Reading everyone's posts here has almost made me want to jump out a window, because I hear people putting up with this for 20, 30, 40 years and I'm at 15 and feel this way. (No offense to anyone!).
Is it actually too late, when you feel this desperate, to do anything about it? Have any of you even started unpacking your problems when you were at this point? I feel like RUSHING him to the nearest counseling office and forcing him to start changing just so I can get some relief. BUT I know this isn't the best option, considering he is a free human being and I can't force him to love me or fix this or change. I really seriously am thinking my only option is to leave. I'm autistic, sick, miserable, heart-broken, and tired. He's adhd, medicated (he's not changing his meds), happy to not change, very very busy, stressed with his business, looking forward to hunting season, and unavailable.
Please HELP. I have to do something soon. I want to make the right decision.
Why I have stayed
Submitted by bowlofpetunias on
"We do not share hobbies, interests, likes or dislikes."
I have stayed in the marriage and put up with a lot of things because we do share things in common (interests, hobbies, likes, values, etc.) I would not have stayed if we did not have this foundation. Without having some of these things in common, I can't understand what would be the point of a marriage. I understand that the ADHD issues are a problem for you, but you also need to ask yourself, "Would I really want to be in this marriage even if he didn't have the ADHD problems?" In other words, would you want to be married to someone with whom you had nothing in common even if they came without the ADHD baggage? I would not.
Submitted by corwinej3 on
Ohmygoodness, that quote is amazing. I read all of Douglas Adams books years ago. I feel like the bowl of petunias and some days the whale (foggy existentially ha ha). I also feel like an idiot because the law of probability says that eventually if you put the laundry in the dryer it will fold itself. But this is entirely not true and will NEVER happen. I feel like I keep putting the laundry in the dryer and expect it to be folded...nope, nope, nope.
So one reason for this is, I need my clothes dried (I need a marriage, house, income, co-parent, someone to call when my car breaks down). So it's utilitarian. I am AFRAID to leave and anxious and insecure about it. Better to have any old kind of husband than no husband at all? And then there's the kids. They love their dad and they hate change and insecurity too. I am thinking just some kind of internal separation, but that wouldn't work because him seeking sex and sexual relationships elsewhere with me there to WITNESS it, would literally push me over the edge. I need to be GONE.....because I don't want to go through the falling, horrid, pit of my stomach terror, of "oh no not again."
Yes you need to be gone
Submitted by sickandtired on
Yes honey, you need to leave him before you lose your health due to stress. I stayed for almost 12 years and I regret it. I have chronic health problems related to the unbearable stress of living like you have. I left when I was 60 in 2015. Now I am married to a normal, happy wonderful man who lets me know every day that he adores me, cares about my feelings, and will be there for me when I need him. If it’s not too late for me, it’s not too late for you. HUGS.
Submitted by c ur self on
Read your post....Then tell yourself what you would tell your best friend....I'm a Christian also....So, I will tell you what I see in your posts...I see a man who ran out and committed adultery right off...(which happens to be a biblical reason to free you)....Forgiveness? Yes, Forgiveness and Grace is what I think is good for us all to practice...(Like Jesus does for us)...(But was he repentant?) (Real change?)...If he say's he's not even a believer any more, then that's all you need to know....Now you didn't say a lot about why he cheated....Were you open to conjugal rights? Or was you pushing him away?....It's no excuse for sin, but it's wrong non the less...And maybe you were always available, and he done it any way....Adhd isn't responsible for sexual immorality by the way....Don't confuse willful sin, w/ a fast mind....
Any time we end up w/ an immature partner, for any reason, it makes life very difficult (double duty) for the one who is trying to live responsibly....Your post say's you are tired, and have feelings of hopelessness....I can understand that...I think it's time you went to counseling (mature Christian ladies, to talk to, and pray with) The body of Christ needs the encouragement from one another
There is nothing wrong w/ fun things, activities, hunting etc....What is wrong is having screwed up priorities....I would suggest you not over react...But, I suggest you definitely act....Your husband seems to be like a lot of men (some women also) loving the pleasurable parts of marriage, but, balking when it comes to faithfulness, and the daily work of being a Father and Husband....
I think I would talk to him, about his role, and what has got to happen for you to be willing to stay in the relationship....If he keeps refusing to (by his actions) be accountable to his responsibilities you really have nothing to hold onto anyway.....
Marriage isn't something we have...It's something we do.....Marriage vows are active and living....
Your husband needs to have a broken heart...He needs to hear Jesus...We all do! (IMO)....
"Marriage isn't something we
Submitted by PoisonIvy on
"Marriage isn't something we have...It's something we do.....Marriage vows are active and living...." Thank you, c ur self. I think this is spot on.
ADHDers aren't bound by 'agreements' made in the past
Submitted by Will It Get Better on
I agree the quote is 'spot on' but ADHDers aren't bound by 'agreements' made in the past. Today is a new reality to do what the ADHDer wants without consideration of agreements ('what agreement?') earnestly 'agreed to'.
Oh, I agree that "my" person
Submitted by PoisonIvy on
Oh, I agree that "my" person with ADHD doesn't feel bound to agreements. But I think it helps to recognize that for a marriage to survive and thrive, it must be tended to, not just treated like a piece of paper that, once signed, is a lifetime guarantee to the person with ADHD that he or she can do anything he or she wants and the marriage will stay intact.
I really honestly wonder why?
Submitted by corwinej3 on
I really honestly wonder why?! I’ve always been a rules based person, my husband says rules are to be broken (in not so direct a way). Why is that? What is the fundamental difference in us?
Submitted by c ur self on
I've wondered the same thing corwine...(my wife has the same attitude)...It's defiance for sure...But what else? It's also extreme selfishness... Is there no conscience to regulate them?
My wife made a statement recently as we were driving home...She said something like,,,"I had rather be dead, than not be able to run after adventure and thrills"...One of her names for me is the "The rule keeper"....When I point out that she needs to care to do the right thing....But if it means she must discipline herself, to abide by a law or rule, then she will always choose herself, especially if she thinks she will miss some excitement or a thrill....Adrenaline junkies will always excuse themselves to get a fix...
This is just another reason we have so many boundaries.....
Submitted by c ur self on
If you can leave, you should leave
Submitted by overwhelmed wif... on
The situation you describe is not one you want to stay in, and it is not likely to change. If you can leave, you should. You will make a better life. Your children will continue to have a relationship with their father, so you don't need to stay in a bad relationship for their sake. Fifteen years of misery is long enough. Be true to yourself. Be true to what is best in you and best in the world. Divorce and make a better life for yourself and for your children.