Divorce - HELP!

I was diagnosed with ADHD a little over 3 months ago. I am 47 and I am on medication.  Once I took the medication it was like I had the blindfold taken off I had unknowingly worn for 40 years.

My wife and I were on the verge of divorce after 20 years of marriage at the beginning of the 3 months since I was diagnosed.  We agreed to see how things would go.  The first 2 1/2 months went absolutely fantastic.  I mean fantastic as the both of us said to each other that we were falling in love all over again.  She told her father it was miraculous and our 2 daughters had said it was like I was a totally different person.

I know that my wife had built up mechanisms and tactics to deal with my ADHD over the 20 years and I knew that I had to be patient and understand that these would still show up occasionally.  The main problem she had with me was my anger.  Let me explain - She would bring things up to me and if she did not like the answer then she would start in on me by degrading me, humiliating me, etc.  Each time in the beginning I was calm and tried to talk with her but she had eventually pushed enough buttons so that I would explode and start yelling.  I have NEVER physically abused my wife nor had I ever started just yelling at her out of the blue.  The passive aggressive pattern described above is what had occurred each time.

About 2 weeks ago my wife accused me of doing something and was upset.  I knew she had every right to be given our past.  I calmly showed her factual proof that I had not done what she accused me of.  In fact I had showed her 3 instances of factual proof that I did not do what she accused me of.  I was calm in explaining this to her.  The same pattern that I described above then happened.  I had not yelled once since I've taken the medication.  She told me that it was over and for the past two weeks she has made my life a living hell.  She gave me 1 month to move out of our house.

I told her that I don't have any money saved as I spent it on supporting the kids.  I said I understand that you want to get a divorce and I all that I am asking is to give me 4 months until the end of April so that I can save money to move out.  She has rejected that.

Today, I found out that she had closed our joint checking account and transferred the money out of it into a sole account that she set-up.

I've realized that no matter how good things were going since I've been on medication, my wife cannot let go of the past.  Like I said, I understand that it will take time and I've been patient with her but that just doesn't matter anymore.

I can tell you that I have wholly embraced taking my medication, setting up behavioral and organizational tools, and have taken a positive outlook on moving forward.  I want to tackle this and have taken it head on. 

I am stressed out tremendously and am looking for advice/feedback.

Thank you in advance!

I'm confused...is she wanting

I'm confused...is she wanting a divorce because she thinks you actually did what she is accusing you of or is she wanting a divorce because you went back to the old pattern of exploding?

If asked, would she agree that things went well the first 2 1/2 months you were on medication? Maybe she is just upset to see the old behavior and will be more willing to reconsider when she isn't still hurt from it all. I feel that anyone willing to commit 100% to treatment deserves not only time, but patience....but progress must be made, even if it is slow. Also, slip ups will happen and as hard as it is to not push the panic button when this does happen, it is a vital part of rebuilding a marriage. The more she is patient with you and your slip ups the more you will want to control yourself to earn her approval and appreciation.

Lastly, you do need to get control of your anger....no matter what she does, or what 'buttons' you feel she pushes, ultimately there is NO ONE responsible for your outbursts but you. Period.

Please keep us posted.

She's wanting...

Sorry.  She is wanting a divorce because I exploded.  I believe she cannot let go of the past even a little to keep going forward and rebuild our marriage.  I have been diligently working at controlling my anger and you're right - I am 100% responsible.  In fact I did not get angry once during the 3 months I've been diagnosed and on meds until this incident.  All it takes is one time though, I guess.  I've come to the conclusion that she just is not going to go forward with working on the marriage.

I love her dearly and was just giving it 100% and things were going very well.  I'm heartbroken and sad that it has come to this.

Thank you so much Sherri for your response and I will keep you posted.

I can guess at what she's

I can guess at what she's feeling...that your changes aren't/weren't real and that nothing has changed. It took me a very, very long time to get to where I didn't think that every.single.slip-up meant that nothing was going to change and trust that it wasn't proof that he was going to return to his old, hurtful ways. You said it has been 2 weeks...so that's quite a long time to still be upset...but I don't know anything about the incident all I can do is speculate that she's convinced your changes aren't real and she's probably doubly devastated because she had hope during the 2 1/2 months things went so well. The best you can do is try and make her understand that your outbursts are something YOU want to stop as much as she does, that you truly care about getting control of your ADHD, and that although you admit your explosion was a horrible slip-up, you are dedicated to making them as much of a thing of the past as humanly possible. She needs to understand that treatment doesn't solve your problems overnight, neither does medication. Treatment involves medication, counseling, and team work. Would she be willing to come here and get some support from us non-ADDers who have been through the 'healing' process or are going through the healing process and what she can expect?

Hang in there!

Sherri

"She" is ME, and I can't even

"She" is ME, and I can't even begin to describe what my ADHD husband has put me through over the years.  I am DRAINED.  He has taken my joy out of life.  I am empty inside and never have felt so all alone.  After giving him MY ALL for 20 years, he has the BALLS to ask me to stick around while he goes through the healing process.  All the while, IT IS ME (and the KIDS) who will have to endure more suffering as he "slips up" every now and then.  Well let me tell you something --- MY CHILDREN NOR I DESERVE TO ENDURE NOT ONE MORE MINUTE OF HIS ABUSIVE OUTBREAKS AND CONTROL FREAK BEHAVIOR --- AND NO ONE SHOULD ASK US TO --- NOT HIM, NOT YOU.  I was not put on this earth to see him through HIS life AND now through this healing process.  There are no guarantees that he will get well.  AND I AM NOT GONNA STICK AROUND TO FIND OUT. 

I finally had the courage to leave him.  I have had to leave my kids with him (15 & 19) because that's the only way he'd have it, because he refuses to leave the house.  What a man!  What a good father!  Now the kids want me, naturally, and he will ONLY move out (of my mother's house, mind you!) when HE's ready.  My mom wants him out, but he won't go.  OH, I've barely skimmed the surface about him, but I am so sick of explaining what he has done to me.  HE'S ON HIS OWN.  He needs treatment, counseling, etc. NOT ME.  I AM HEALED NOW THAT I AM FREE.

First let me say I am sorry

First let me say I am sorry for you and your children. I was once in your shoes. I understand your anger and all of the things you're feeling VERY well. I am the non-ADHD spouse married 13+ years to my ADHD husband. We got the diagnosis in June of 2010. This came on the heels of many, many years of some of the worst behavior and treatment of me and my children imaginable. I'm sure you can imagine. We'd spent many years in counseling, accomplishing nothing. He blamed me for everything wrong. All we found out after 3+ years and 2 different counselors was that I was angry. Yes, the focus was on ME and my anger...and why I was so angry. "you have a right to be upset about things, but you don't have the right to react with your anger the way you do". I wondered how anyone could say that to me..did he not hear me and hear the things I was enduring from my husband and my step-daughter (who we had custody of). The drinking, the lies, the rumors that I could never get any peace of mind about, the hanging out with friends like he was 21, the spending money left and right and never discussing it with me causing me TONS of stress, taking my SDs side when he KNEW she was lying, letting her talk to me and about me like a dog and never saying a word, and let's not forget the 'episodes' where he would completely push me away and shut me out...three times in 13 years...and each time somehow involved another woman.

Please believe me when I say that I do not, nor would I EVER make light of your pain. In fact, when I spoke of the healing process, I didn't mean for him..I meant for you both. You are in need of healing, you are human and have been through a lot. Sometimes it does take physically removing yourself before you are able to heal..and I understand that as well. My husband and I separated for a few months last fall.

Through everything, there was a side of my husband, a part of him, that I knew wanted to be better than what he was being. I felt he always made the same mistakes over and over again, regretting it more and more each time, but felt there was just something WRONG. No human being does this. There had to be answers. He was ready to find the answers himself...and I could tell he was as sick and tired of being sick and tired as I was. Through it all, we somehow managed to remain best friends...through the hurt and pain I still loved him and felt his struggles were something beyond him. ADHD is not an excuse for ANYTHING he has done to me, but it is an explanation of all of the 'unanswered' questions I had for so many years.

I chose to give him a clean slate, he was at his rock bottom as well...he was either going to change and get the help he needed or I was gone. I knew I had work to do on myself as well, and agreed that I would do this as well. I had to let go of my anger, regardless of how the marriage turned out.

Getting the ADHD diagnosis was bittersweet...it meant that some of the behaviors might actually be treatable and it also meant that we had a lot of hard work ahead of us. I have a friend who cheered me on, knew my husband and his good qualities, and she never let me be defeated by each 'slip up' we had along the way. I wanted to consider it the end of the line...a sign that things would never change...and she refused to let me have that mindset. She was a huge asset to my marriage. His behaviors didn't stop when we hit rock bottom..even though he seemed as sick of the 'old' way of living as I was. My anger didn't instantly go away. But with each new situation we were presented, we learned a little more. Things got worse, I will say, before they got better. It took 6 months for us to readjust and start to really let go of the past. We finally got into counseling and got the diagnosis after all of that progress, and things went fantastically well for about 4 months. Right now we are going through 'trial and error' with medications and it has stalled our progress to some degree, but I am hopeful that it hasn't stopped it. My husband just does not have the 'wonderful' benefits from meds that many ADHDers do...they have made him defensive and angry. He is on his second one.

It isn't easy...I fear what the future holds...but for me, having the diagnosis gave me something tangible to focus on and a reason to keep hoping that we'll get things right for the long term someday. I do love and respect him now more than I have in a very, very long time. I shut him out and hated so many things about him for so very long. I never dreamed I could open up to him and have him reciprocate the same to me. Him seeking treatment was all I asked...but it has to be something he shows he is 100% committed to otherwise I am not willing to remain in the marriage. For me, I just didn't know what more I could ask for...than for him to get help...and I do still love him and feel very hopeful for our marriage.

I completely understand and respect whatever decision you make..it is yours to make. There does come a time when it IS too late, I have been there myself. Please take no offense to what I said. You have my sympathy and you and your children are in my prayers. Healing for them is just as hard, if not harder.

My advice to your husband would be to show his respect for your marriage and to let you return home to the children and him find somewhere else to stay. If this is what you need, he needs to give that to you. Part of owning up to his behavior in the past is to accept whatever consequences of those behaviors he faces. I would be a chance for him to prove that he is able to put your feelings and those of his children above his own...no matter how painful it is for him. Time to put on the big boy pants and face the consequences of 20 years of pain. No matter how in his control or out of his control his behaviors were...and get help for himself and for the kids. Sometimes this is the ONLY way to save the marriage..is to walk away and work on yourself.

My best to you! Sherri

 

Sherri, The only comment I

Sherri,

The only comment I will make to your reply to my wife is this -

I did not force her out of the house.  She chose to.  What I did do was to work out a compromise.  The reason for this is I have no money to move into my own place.  I've spent it on supporting my wife and children.  I suggested that I have 3 months to save up money so that I can leave.  I told her that I would continue to contribute monetarily to support her and the children.  I told her that I would not communicate with her in any way and that I would keep the peace in the house.  That was rejected by my wife.  I then suggested that I would only take till the end of January.  She rejected that as well.

In other words, I tried repeatedly to ensure things would go as smoothly as possible so that it would benefit all of us.  If that's not putting the big boy pants on (which I've never taken off) and being a grown-up then I don't know what is.

Frankly, I've been the one who has been committed 100% to working things out whether it be divorce or putting our marriage back together. I understand completely the hurt & pain that I've inflicted over the years.  Being undiagnosed for 40 years hasn't helped but I've realized that is not an excuse and thats why I'm 100% committed to getting better - divorce or not.

Thank you for reaching out to me and my wife.  I greatly appreciate it.

I do not feel your request

I do not feel your request for a little time to save up some money was unreasonable, but I can also tell you that there have been times when I would have rather seen my husband sleep in his truck on the side of a hill than to spend another night in the house with him too...so take it for what it is worth. I am a mother, nothing against you as a father, but it makes me sad that a mother would feel so unhappy that she'd be forced to leave her children behind...just to escape the marriage.

MANY times he refused to leave..said he would leave in 2 weeks..2 months...and it was always a ploy to buy himself enough time to work his way back into my good graces. I don't mean to imply these were your motives, but maybe it can give you some insight to what your wife might be feeling/thinking. (Not that she isn't capable of doing this on her own, I just know that sometimes coming from a neutral party, things make more sense in these situations) Your motives will always be in question..at least for a very, very long time to come, even if you do manage to salvage the marriage. It isn't her 'fault' or your 'fault', it just is.

I'm glad you're committed...100%. Remain committed 100% and this might give your marriage a chance. HEAR what she needs, focus on YOU and YOUR changes you want to make and give her what she needs..whether that is space, separation, counseling, etc. The respect and trust that is destroyed in these situations does not come back overnight...it takes MONTHS of doing what you say and saying what you mean for this to return. As long as you focus on you, not letting your anger and frustration steer you down the 'old' path, then there will always be hope for you to turn these damaged relationships around. Right now what you need to do most is to listen to those you've hurt and acknowledge their pain and do what needs to be done to heal that pain.

 I do still stand by my feeling that you getting treatment warrants a lot of resepct...and that even if you slip up 10 times on the road to 'change', you still deserve credit for every bit of progress you make. I give this to my husband because without it, he would be lost and incapable of change. He would have no reason (in his mind) to change. All he has ever wanted was my understanding and acceptance of him...but until the diagnosis, there was no understanding. I couldn't wrap my mind around his hurtful, seemingly selfish behaviors. The more I grow to accept that these weren't necessarily within his control, since untreated ADHDers do not know what they're dealing with themselves (and let's face it, we all struggle with wanting to be different in ways, but not always managing to live up to our own expectations..so we can all somehow relate on a smaller, less neurologically challenged scale), there is never any change until the disorder is identified and treated. The more I accept him, the more motivated he is to become a better husband and father. The more I learn about ADHD, the more I am able to sympathize with his 'world' and the better equipped I am to help him make the changes that will make us both happy. That is just what I chose to do, but not everyone is able to. Being undiagnosed for 40 years IS a big deal...for that, you have my sympathy.

I have sympathy for you both...you're all in my prayers.

Sherri

 

Divorce

If i can add my two cents: I too can greatly appreciate the anger and overwhelming resentment that grows with each passing year of marriage when it seems like your spouse is intentionally acting like a callous and nasty person-leaving you lonely and drowning. This is prior to the adhd diagnosis. Lotsa times, I sat there wondering how can I get rid of this angry festering resentment inside me that almost matched his apparently limitless irritability/anger. I was not raised to have this kind of rage and it hurt and confused me almost as much as his did. When the diagnosis was made, I made a point to read as much as I could on the topic. How could I not when it had unknowingly consumed decades of not only HIS life but MINE as well. The tragedy is that it was a secret puzzle piece- not the completely stupid actions of my husband but from a quirk of biology. My anger and resentment has slowly dissolved and in its place the love that I have had all along surfaced up -even to my surprise. Has all gotten better? Not even close. In fact, I'd love to know how Sheri reconnected and ended her separation. I need to figure out the boundaries that need tobe before he comes home if he is even willing to. But I'll say our love IS there. Along with a whole bunch of fear (both of us) of reliving our former Hell, denial of the adhd (him), sadness (both), confusion (both),new understanding and attempt to become indepemdent in my own skin (me). I know we may not make it. I grieve the lost years and the loss of my husband. I'm angry that this thing has crapped on our lives and continues to. It is still abusive sometimes (tho not like before). I am in a lot of pain, and I am trying to pull my butt up and face my life without the fear, lobeliness and sAdness of years past. Enough time wsted if I can help it. But I DO Pray for the second chance that we both deserve. The happiness and joy that we two have EARNED together. But even I know it wont happen without both of our efforts- it takes a lot of work to move it forward one way or the other and i guess, it has to be everyones personal decision. I would say just dont do it until you have gotten more facts about this stupid disorder that has messed w the lives of eveeyone at this site. If nothing else, ler it liberate YOU from the anger.

Thank you...I wanted to let

Thank you...I wanted to let you know that you're in my prayers. There is so much love in my marriage as well, but it seems we go 2 steps forward and 1 step back so often...but we're still hanging in there. I had the same kind of 'decision' to make when I found out about his affair last fall...to either give a clean slate and move forward or end the marriage. I decided to give a clean slate for 2 reasons..one because we agreed to find the help that we both needed (got the ADHD diagnosis 6 months later) and second because I lived exactly the life you describe..confusion, frustration, devastation, hurt, anger, etc...and I had..HAD to get rid of it before it killed me. I let go of it for myself and my children.

I found the love by setting boundaries and being ready to either have those boundaries or leave the marriage. Luckily, eventually, he got on board. My boundaries are simply that we:

1-take full responsibility for our own actions..no "I did x, because you did y" bull$hit anymore. If he hurts me or if I hurt him then you HEAR the hurt, you acknowledge the hurt, and you quit worrying about being 'right', even if you don't understand the hurt, and you make it better...you do what it takes to make it NOT hurt anymore. Still working on this...and with the medication altering his moods this has actually gotten worse.

2-no more fighting. No more chaotic homelife for our children. Peace. Again, a work in progress for the internal peace..but outwardly the peace in our home is much improved. Even when we fight, it is over before it escalates into something worse. Again, give up the need to be right, state your feelings, and more forward.

3-comittment to make every decision with what is best for the marriage and family in mind. Loving each other through God's eyes.

4-counseling until we are both at peace and feel secure in our ability to not drive this thing off into a ditch again.

waynebloss's picture

Re: Ditch

I want to get to a ditch, they are easier to get out then the where I am at which is a cliff! 

 

Wayne

LOL I need to clarify..it was

LOL I need to clarify..it was more like a ravine that had a 50 foot drop off and we were the train wreck that went off of the tracks 1000 ft above....

Better?

I really appreciate your

I really appreciate your feedback.  It gives me perspective from the non-adhd side as well which can only help.  I'd like to give you some perspective from the other side as well (I'm sure you've had some from your husband.)

My wife doesn't care where I sleep or where I go.  She doesn't care that I have no money to move into my own place.  She doesn't care that I've been contributing the overwhelming majority of my pay to the family.  In fact she denies that I have and tells me so to my face.  I've offered to show her my bank account activity (since she made me get a separate account) numerous times and she has rejected it every single time.  In fact, every time I've offered to show her activity or proof of what she's accused me of many times but didn't do, she has flatly refused.

My motives are pure in what I offered to her in my above reply "Sherri the only comment...".  To be not only civil but nice to her until I get money saved up to move out.  Because I could see that she needed the space to heal whether we got divorced or not.  I could see that me moving out needed to happen to give her and the children space.  I could see all of this.  Yes, I did not know for 40 years what was wrong with me but I don't use that as an excuse.  Even though as you say, "these behaviors weren't necessarily within my control, since untreated ADHDers do not know what they're dealing with themselves" I take full and complete responsibility for what I did.  To not do so would negate the hurt and pain of those around me, especially my wife. That's wrong.

Believe me, I have been listening to those I've hurt, I have been acknowledging their pain, and doing whatever needs to be done to heal that pain.  I don't think you can imagine the utter remorse, regret, and shame I have in looking back at the hurt that I had caused over the years.  I had it all the time during those years as well.

During the 2 1/2 months that everything was going fantastic she was doing some of the same things to me that she had done in the past.  I was ok with that as, like you, I already knew this would take months for the both of us to heal.  I also saw that my wife was making an attempt to work together as well.

It was the time I had talked about - When she accused me of doing something I did not do and then showed her factual proof that I did not do it and she rejected it, did I explode.  Now, I am not excusing what I had done.  What I should have done at that moment was recognize I was beginning to S.L.I.D.E as talked about in Dr. Hallowell's book "Delivered from Distraction" and stop myself just like I had been doing over those 2 1/2 months of things going fantastic.

You should understand how each argument over the years has occurred: She would either accuse me of something, tell me I wasn't good enough, or criticize me in some form or fashion, I would then calmly several times try to discuss this with her.  She didn't care, she continued on the path of degrading/humiliating me to the point that I would explode.  I'm not excusing my behavior at all.  Rather I'm pointing out that even without being diagnosed for 40 years I was originally trying to be calm and control myself.  I'm asking how much degrading and humiliation does one, with or without ADHD have to endure before he/she is "allowed" to get upset?

Like your husband, and I'm sure many if not all other spouses affected with ADHD, all I have ever wanted was her understanding and acceptance of me.  For 40 years during which I was undiagnosed I was constantly thinking to myself "What is wrong with me?!!  I'm not this person! Why can't I remember this or why did I do or say that."  Every day.

Let me give you some personal perspective:

  • On almost a daily basis I was told I was not good enough or I didn't do this according to how my wife wanted it.  She would come after me even if I inadvertently put something in the recyclable bin that didn't belong telling me that I didn't care about helping her. 
  • I was badmouthed in front of our kids repeatedly even though I asked her to stop.  Even though she told me not in front of the kids.
  • Every time we got in an argument my wife would immediately take the kids and leave in her car.  Involving the kids and creating  some fear in them bit by bit and turning them against me.  This would be even when the kids did not hear us arguing.
  • I was not allowed to have anything in the house the way that I wanted it.  Everything was done according to how she wanted it.
  • Quite along time ago I suggested we get counseling and she refused.  I brought home books on how to improve our marriage and she would laugh telling me "I'm not going to read that."  After many years she agreed to go to counseling together.  She went twice and that was the end.
  • We would go on all the vacations she wanted to but not once did we go on a beach vacation that I wanted to.  When this past summer, she decided to go on a beach vacation (with our kids and her entire family) she told me no one wanted me there.
  • Imagine going on all these vacations but every time I suggested that we go see my parents the answer was "No. We don't have the money." This has been occurring for our entire marriage.
  • Imagine being told by your spouse what my wife told me: "I'm not changing for no one, ever.", but constantly wanting me to change.
  • Imagine your spouse never, and yes I mean, never accepting responsibility or accountability for her words or actions but she holding you accountable for everyone of your actions or words.
  • Imagine losing 34 pounds and improving your health and everyone says how great you look except for your spouse.
  • Imagine your spouse tells you she's taking you off the gym membership because you haven't been there for a month; you tell her, and she already knows, you have a back injury; and she then tells you "Don't you care about our money?". Yeah, it was $15 dollars.

I could go on.  But I won't.  I won't because it serves no purpose.  I've accepted responsibility for my actions and words.  I've constantly worked on improving myself when I didn't know what was going on and now since I've been diagnosed.  I know the damage that ADHD has inflicted on my wife, myself, my children and as a family.

I love my wife too much to put her through this.  I think, consciously or unconsciously, she is denial of her pain and the easiest way to relieve it is to get me out.  I don't blame her one bit.  I just wished she would've listened and seen the progress and effort I've been putting into this since I've been diagnosed.

I'm doing the best that I or anyone else can do given the set of circumstances and I know that our marriage is over. Right now, I can only hope that going forward we can have a loving friendship. It will take time and healing to do that.

I love my wife more than anything to this day. She is drop dead gorgeous, she has a heart of gold, she is kind and caring. I am honored that she is the mother of our children. I wish that we could put our marriage back together. Those 1st 2 1/2 months were amazing. It showed me that I could finally be the person I've always known I am. It showed that we could not only grow old together but have an amazing time doing it.

Thank you again Sherri.

I would say no matter how you

I would say no matter how you feel or how much you want things to work out it sounds like she has given up.  You cannot change that.  You can only take care of you and if she wants to work things out they will.  It is beyond your control at this point.  The ball is in her court.  All you can do is focus on being the person YOU want to be and be happy with yourself and your decisions.  If you are making progress and she does not see it that is not your fault.  Also, she is hurt and from the sounds of it has been for a long time.  I can relate.  My husband and I have been married for 14 years and he was recently diagnosed with ADD.  We still have a lot to work out and a lot of the time I feel helpless, hurt, frustrated you name it.  I do not plan to give up on him, I made a commitment.  We have two children 11 and 8 and they know he has been told he has ADD so they are more understanding and a  lot less intimidated when things aren't going well.  My husband gets angry and yells or won't talk at all but they don't take it personally and know he trying to feel better.  So with that said I do understand but if she is a negative in YOUR life right now and it's hurting your progress maybe a step back is in order.  I wouldn't go so far as divorce until the emotions are not so raw and you BOTH can be a little more rational but it sounds like you both need some breathing room.  I would also say stop complaining about the past and what each of you have done and just let things be for a bit until you can focus on the real issue, your marriage from this point on. 

YOUR KIDS ARE TAKING IT VERY PERSONALLY!!!

I appreciate your comments, (and Sherri's too.) I've been staying out of my husband's drama on this site to avoid the "he said, she said" --- only subjecting myself to his NON-STOP ranting and obsessiveness.  All I can say is don't believe everything he says, and be warned that he will continue to speak as the VICTIM and I will be made out to be the wife who is completely insensitive and gave up on her marriage during her poor husband's, only recently diagnosed, healing process.  Wives in my shoes understand there's much more to it than that, especially when it got to the point where I had to move out to spare my kids and save my sanity, literally.

With that said, the main reason I am chiming in is because you talked about your kids having a better understanding and being a lot less intimidated by their father's actions "when things aren't going well."  THIS MADE ME CRINGE!!!  If your husband yells (presumably in my husband's fashion, e.g sergeant-like) or even when he chooses not to talk to anyone ... YOUR KIDS HAVE BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE EMOTIONALLY (AND MAYBE EVEN VERBALLY) ABUSED BY HIM!  My girls are now older than yours (15&19) and they tell me that THEY WISH WE WOULD SPLIT UP to SAVE THEM from the arguing, yelling, pettiness, BS, that their father starts up.  He's always in their faces, micro-managing every move.  DON'T BE BLIND TO WHAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE EXPERIENCING!  What YOU FEEL, THEY FEEL!  DO NOT TOLERATE your husband's abusive behavior just so that HE CAN GET WELL... because in the process, (HIS healing process!!!) YOUR CHILDREN WILL NOT BE WELL!!!  

Even though my husband was recently diagnosed, I just didn't have it in me to see him through his healing process, knowing that naturally there would be many more "slip ups" ahead, and no guarantees. I had nothing left to give. Nothing. He sucked the life out of me. No more "chances", no more "buying time", no more broken "promises", no more "threats", no more insanity.  I could no longer survive living under the same roof with him, and I knew the home would be more peaceful for the kids if I was gone (he wouldn't leave.)  

DON'T DO WHAT I DID!!!  I will FOREVER REGRET to my dying day that I did not leave him sooner PRIMARILY DUE TO THE DAMAGE HE'S CAUSED MY KIDS.  I will NEVER FORGIVE HIM OR MYSELF for hurting the kids this way.  I SHOULD'VE LEFT YEARS AGO.  When my daughters recently expressed to me how their father made them feel "when things aren't going well," THEY SOUNDED LIKE ME!!!  I was torn inside to hear how they felt!  They too were living the same pain and torment that I had been living!  Of course they were!  How stupid  or in denial was I?!  My daughter said that her dad literally makes her feel like she is CRAZY.  Her thoughts and feelings were those that (I thought) only I had!  On one hand, I was glad to know that finally someone really understood what I was going through, BUT NOT COMING FROM THE MOUTHS OF MY OWN CHILDREN!!!  They should NEVER have felt the pain.  As mother, I completely failed them.  Over the most recent years, I would stand between him and the kids when he was going off on them, and say NO MORE.  That caused the tables to turn on me and he would start in on me, but at least the focus was off the kids. I didn't protect the kids like I thought I had. I didn't even realize they were being affected to the same degree as I was. 

Women are caretakers (and survivors,) but NO MAN and NO MARRIAGE IS WORTH KEEPING IF YOUR CHILDREN WILL SUFFER AS MINE HAVE (and from what little you've said, I know yours are being hurt by this too.)  ADHD husbands do not behave or react as "normal" husbands and fathers do, and the kids are being subjected to a completely dysfunctional and unhealthy household, and YOU CAN CHANGE THAT, but you can't change HIM.)  Do what you feel is best, but you may come to the point when you have to STOP THINKING ABOUT HIM (and I know first-hand that your not thinking about yourself) AND START THINKING ONLY ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF YOUR KIDS.  I wish you all well.

Your post is confirmation of

Your post is confirmation of why I know you and I cannot be married.  You're filled with anger and resentment so much that you fabricate things.  You accept no responsibility for your actions or what you say. You've done this for 20 years.  You mention that I'm playing the victim.  Anyone can see from what I've posted that I've not played the victim.  So, you've either ignored what I've written here or you haven't read my posts at all.

It's interesting to note that when ever you've been away on trips the children and I have always gotten along fine.  When you've been home the children and I have gotten along great for the overwhelming majority of the past 19 years.

You didn't have it in you to see me through the healing process?  I never asked you to see me through the healing process.  I asked you to give it one more try and you agreed.  The 2 1/2 months that were great, were great.  You even told your father it was miraculous.  Our youngest even said - Dad, you've become a totally different person.

What happened?  It's simple - you saw that I was not only making an effort but that I was actually doing the right things and progressing.  That's when you got scared because you realized that you would have to make some adjustments as well and you just couldn't do that.  So you decided, consciously or unconsciously, to start your same patterns of antagonizing, degrading, and humiliating me to push and push and push until I exploded.  I calmly told you over and over again to stop it.  I told you to stop treating me like a kid.  I was patient and understanding. I was controlling my anger.  However no one, with or without ADHD could continue to keep calm and not get upset by the things you were doing.  I should have realized a long time ago that things weren't right when you said: "I'm not gonna change for nobody, ever!"

That's why I said what I said in my last post.  That's why I know that you need your space and I need mine so that we may both heal correctly.  That's why I know that the kids need their space from US to heal correctly too.

The bottom line is that the both of us caused damage to each other, the kids, and our marriage.  When you finally accept that then you will be able to heal.  When you finally accept responsibility for your past and for moving forward then life for you will move forward.

I've said this before and I'll say it again - I love you and the children more than anything in the world.  I'm moving on so that you can too.

I read your husband's reply

I read your husband's reply below and I want to say I agree on two points...

1..I haven't taken notes, but I don't see him in the typical victim role as you can see in MANY of these situations. I FULLY understand, respect, and believe your pain...been there, done that...but either he's putting on a very good act (not for me to decide, that's between the two of you) or he really is acknowledging his disorder, seeking help, and trying to make amends. It won't go 'textbook' as we'd like, there are slip ups and mistakes made along the way, but he is a human being, above all else. One thing I will tell you that I regret, REGARDLESS OF THE PAIN MY HUSBAND CAUSED ME...AND GOD KNOWS HE CAUSED ME AND MY CHILDREN A LOT OF PAIN, is that I didn't treat him like a human being. I am ashamed of myself for the way I talked to him and acted. It has NOTHING to do with what he did to me, to my kids, to our marriage, to anything...and just simply that for so long I treated him (regardless of the reasons) in such a way that I wouldn't treat a dog.

2..you do need to let go of the anger...it is very evident...and until you do, you are never truly going to be healed. Until you stop seeing YOURSELF as a victim, you won't be healed. Your anger is just as damaging to your children and your marriage as ADHD is.

I say all of this with all due respect...again, I KNOW your pain and I don't dimish it or feel you are wrong to be hurt and disappointed...but for your own sanity I hope you can take my words as they are meant...to help you TRULY heal. I lost my father in the midst of our separation..and his affair..and I decided right then and there (motivated also by my daughter's obvious damaged soul) that my anger was GONE. Didn't care what my husband did, my anger was leaving...one way or the other. I stepped out of my comfort zone, made myself vulnerable to everyone...and just let it go...and it was the best thing I ever did for ME.

Sherri

I don't know the specifics of

I don't know the specifics of your husband's ADHD (what his hurtful behaviors are) but I agree with the above poster...and this is one of the key reasons that I continue to fight for peace in my marriage...and why my boudaries will never be taken from me.

My 11 year old (12 now) ended up in counseling because of the BS that our screwed up marriage subjected her to for MANY years. She had a GREAT childhood until she was 6 and it went south from there. (we got custody of my step-daughter and things went horribly, horribly bad..God if I could go back in time, I literally feel like we sacrificed one for the other and SD ended up still going down the wrong path and now our biological daughter is scarred for life. I put her in counseling for several months and she probably still needs it, but there is no way in hell children can 'understand' this disorder, WE don't even understand it as adults. I truly regret that I didn't put an end to it sooner, but it is my driving force to this day. This is part of the way I know that his meds are causing his recent anger, he has honed in on our daughter like NEVER before...almost as if he needs a target for his anger and she is 'safer' than me...because she cannot divorce him. It isn't about choosing the love for one over the other, you can love both  (children and husband) but it is about demanding the adult act like an adult and not trade the sanity of a child for the sake of a marriage. He is a grown man and has resources at his disposal to make the changes to stop the pain...the children literally have no choice in the matter...so it is imperative we be their voices.