Don't feel taken care of

I've been married for almost 14 yrs & I am EXHAUSTED! From the very beginning, I have had to take care of my husband. His mom constantly nagged me to make sure he got up for work, ate, slept, whatever! She said if he lost his job, then we would be left on the streets, yada, yada. My MIL made it my responsibility to make sure he didn't screw up. Anyway, I did what she told me to do & endured the worst loneliness while he focused on himself. Early in our marriage, he was going through schooling & I went through 2 pregnancies by myself. The first one was complicated, yet he did not come to the appointments. The 2nd one I went into premature labor but he stayed home to play video games. He was terribly addicted to internet video games while I took care of the 2 kids less than 2 yrs. apart in age. I went through the worst 7 years of my life going to school with 1 infant & 1 toddler, taking care of my husband's needs, & everything else in the marriage. One of our children has life-threatening allergies & I have to make sure she makes her appointments & doesn't eat anything that may kill her. My husband never seems to get how serious it all is.

I've had to do it all. I mow the entire lawn. One time I couldn't get the mower started & woke him up to start it. He started it & left to go back to bed while I mowed the entire lawn which is a third of an acre. I also do all the grocery shopping even though his work is only minutes from the store. I take the kids to all their appointments and activities. In the meantime, I was working full-time as well.

I have tried to sit down with my husband to get him to help out at home. I told him to pick 4 things he could help me out with & had him write them down. He picked: 1. Take the trash out 2. Clean one bathroom every other week 3. Do one load of laundry 4. Vacuum every other week

Well, he could only do one task and it was only if I reminded him with notes. This was to take out the trash. Sometimes he'd take out the trash, but not put it on the curb. Other times, he would not take out the trash & I'd have to rush out in my pjs to take the trash out before the garbage truck came to our house. My husband insists that he can remember to take out the trash on his own, but as soon as I stopped putting up notes, we had overflowing trash!

I know this sounds terrible, but I really want someone I can call my EQUAL. I feel like I am neglected & just an after-thought. I have told my husband that I don't feel loved, or that my feelings are safe, or that I feel like he cares. We've been to counseling which was short-lived. I've even been by myself & the counselor was almost in tears hearing my story. She summed it up right by saying he is so consumed with his life and hobbies and that I wish I and the kids were one of those hobbies. We just aren't.

It breaks my heart to think that this is how my life will be until I die! I can't live like this! My husband even wants a dog and another child. What?! I have THREE children and no husband. Well, that's how I feel.

I am sick of constantly reminding him of things that need to be done. We moved recently & our yard is the size of a little patio. We live in base housing now. Yet, he could never mow that little patch of grass. I had to do it most of the time. He will use the oversized grill, but never clean it. I have to do that. He won't wash his truck, so I finally did. He doesn't get any oil changes done, doesn't get the vehicle inspections or registration. I am doing it all. He is bringing home a paycheck & that is basically it.

I can do this on my own. When he deploys I can breathe easier, well not really, because he is in a war zone & that is another story :(  but as far as taking care of the household & not having to do his laundry, wake him up every morning, or make him meals, I feel like a weight is lifted. I have been taking care of all the bills, do the taxes, & make sure that everything that needs to be taken care of is. Whenever we go to pre-deployment briefs, that is such a joke. They talk about what the wife will now have to do while her husband is gone. Umm, well, I've already been doing that for as long as we've been married! There is absolutely no break for me!

For my 34th birthday a couple of weeks ago, I asked my husband for a nice meal out & a movie. It didn't happen. He took a nap & by the time he woke up, it was past our reservation. I am tired of all the disappointments. Even when I ask for things I'd like for special occasions--it rarely happens.

Today, was the last straw. He just left for deployment & asked me to get the oil changed in his truck. So I am driving it to the auto place when I notice it has no gas. The gauge was below the 'E' & when I looked at the sensor, I see that the miles before empty is already at ZERO! I quickly repark his truck, get into my car, go to the gas station to get one gal of gas, but by the time I leave to go get the oil changed, the place can no longer do the service without me waiting the entire day at the station. So I have to reschedule to have it done.

This is not the first time he has left me with a vehicle with no gas. You would think he would refill it before deploying, but of course, he knows, I'll do that! I feel like I am taken for granted & when I tell him how angry I am to be put in that kind of situation, he laughs! He says, "I love you!" and then laughs again like this is some kind of sick joke. What if I had the kids in the truck with me & we got stuck on the busy road? What then??

What it boils down to is that I can't leave notes or tell him to do things because he gets mad if I do. Yet if I don't, it won't get done. He will make up every excuse not to do something. He's either tired or will do it later. Never happens. I am left doing it all. I want a break. I want to feel like he cares & will actually do something to help me out!! He gets mad when the kids leave their things out, yet it's acceptable for him to leave his things out!! Double standard.

Oh, & he can't take medication. He hasn't been officially diagnosed with ADD, but his family & I are convinced that he has it. When you talk to him he zones out! He is in the military & would be kicked out if he took medication, especially in his line of work. So, here's my choice: stay & put up with it while I SUFFER or make him get out, get help, & we'll start over new. I have already talked to him about getting out because I don't know how much longer I can hang on.

Well, guess what? He decided to put in for 9 more years. What now? I want it to work & have bought TONS of books for us to read. I just don't know what more can I do? No medication, no behavior modification, nothing...



I would leave

Sorry, This sounds like my husband, except I am convinced mine wants to be a better husband and a better father, he is doing counselling and is looking for a psychiatrist who will believe he can have add, so he can start taking medication. Your husband, on the other hand, could´t care less. I would not spend my life like that. Me, myself will not spend my life as it is now (which sounds not as bad as yours). In a year if things are not better I wil leave the marriage. And I think you should see a therapist, and think only about what is best for you. We are not nannies, we are people.


What more you can do? Honey your doing too much! It sounds as if you took over your mother in laws job taking care of your husband. I think he is taking advantage of you, I can understand why you are really tired. Sounds like there is a pattern here that he expects you to do everything and you do it. How about his job is he responsible in that? If so then he can learn to be more responsible for himself at home. Whether he has add or not it really sounds like he has a big case of laziness. I don't mean to sound brash just feel bad for you. I think you really need some pampering . books are great but when your partner doesn't read them (my husband never did) then its hard to work on the issues. My husband has adhd/depression and is an alcoholic but to his credit he does help me around the house and asks if I need help. You have to ask yourself how much are you willing to be Cinderella (before she was a princess). I hope that your situation changes for you , what a devoted wife you are.

To reallytired

I feel your pain and anguish.  Are you still in counseling for yourself?  I hope you are as that will help you to express your feelings in a nurturing and safe environment without being judged.  You must take care of yourself for your own well being  and for your children as well. 

What a "gift" that your husband is deployed! (I know that you are worried about his safety however, and rightfully so.  I'm not discounting that fear) Now while he is gone you get a little break from looking after another child (that is exactly how I see my husband-as a child) and you also get a taste of how life can be without him.  How long will he be deployed for?  I do think it is a great opportunity for you to see if you are happier without him.  You may find the opposite is true.  Just take advantage of this time, take care of yourself and just see how you feel.  Listen to your heart.   Feelings don't lie.  Things happen in life for a reason-seize this opportunity to see what your heart tells you, then go from there.

Best wishes, stay strong, pray and keep writing to us!


Husband Won't Do Anything

You are doing WAY TOO MUCH around your household.  Can't change that now that your husband is deployed, but when he gets back your job should be to NOT do his job.  Next time he asks you to take his truck in for an oil change you say "I'm sorry, I can't take care of your truck and the kids and everything else I have to do.  Why don't you schedule it for a weekend when you are around?"  Next time you are tempted to wash his truck because it's too dirty, DON'T!  When you take on the responsibility for writing a note for him you let him off the hook...he will never learn to do it himself if you do it for him.

It's unfortunate that your mother-in-law viewed it as her job to meet his every whim...but just because she did doesn't mean you need to do so.  You are right, you can't take this any more - and shouldn't have to.  Figure out where your boundaries are and stick to them, else you will most certainly be divorced and STILL responsible for all of this stuff (but with less money to support you).  Don't stay in this marriage just to stay married - your mental health and sanity are too important for that but DO try a different tack first.  Give him back responsibility for himself in a firm, but loving manner.  Stop babying him.  Either he'll adjust and start to take responsibility or you'll end up breaking up...but you already know that continuing in the pattern you are currently in is a dead end.  You can't control him and his actions at all, but you can control your own.  TIme to take charge of your life by NOT taking charge of his.

In the meantime, take advantage of any services that the camp may have to support women who have to do it all while their husbands are out.  Just because you've already been doing it all doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of support that might exist if there is any.  And, also, I would recommend you consider getting some professional therapy to help you figure out how you're going to stand your ground in the future and why it's important that you do so.

Good luck with it, and keep us posted (so to speak)!

Laziness vs. ADD

I feel for you. You are in an impossible situation. I'd leave if I were you. It doesn't sound as if he gets the concept of an EQUAL. His mother sent him the message that women are on earth to take care of his needs. You really need to get counseling (together and for you) if you are going to learn to break this pattern. If he wont change, and decide to leave,  I'm sure the military would garnish his check so you'd get child support

You need to distinguish ADD from laziness. Your husband sounds more like a lazy male chauvinist pig than a person with ADD, although he's probably both. Hyperfocusing on videogames can be ADD, but starting the lawnmower and then going back to bed sounds like pure laziness and selfishness. What would his commanding officer do if he pulled that kind of stunt while he was at work? God help us, if that's the way the military works. (or doesn't)

You've trained him that whatever he doesn't do, you'll do. If you want to stay with him, make him be responsible. Don't mow the lawn (while he's stateside) and let the base-housing people come down on him. You're a civilian, they can't do anything to you. Maybe cook for you and the kids, and tell him if he wants any dinner, he'll have to cook it. Don't do his laundry. He's shown he's capable of working, try to find ways to make him. Don't have another baby or get a dog unless you want one. (Sounds like you'd get more out of the dog than out of him.)

I wish you all the best. It sounds like you need it.


To "Don't Feel Taken Care Of"

Your stress level sounds so high that going on like this cannot possibly be good for your health or for the quality of your life and your children's life. You have done everything humanly possible to keep your family together, but you are doing it alone. If you continue like this you will experience a much more intense exhaustion that is more like a medical burn-out, which -- believe me -- is serious. I know that kind of exhaustion and that kind of loneliness. I think that you really need a radical new approach that works for you and your children. Try to see if there is a CHADD group near you and try to attend the meetings. Take notes on the things that strike you as possibly helping, and start a list of them. Keep the list posted on your fridge and look at it often. Try to incorporate one new idea at a time, and think of it as an experiment. It takes a lot of practice to learn a new behavior. Please don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you are enabling the situation. You absolutely MUST learn to say "No." If it takes practicing saying this in the mirror, then do that. You may be afraid of what will happen, but you will be surprised at what can happen, also. It will take some getting used to for your husband as well (and apparently his mother, as well!). About all his napping, it sounds to me like your husband may possibly have some kind of sleep disorder. When he comes home, insist that he have a sleep study done. Rule out sleep apnea or anything else that may be interrupting his nightly sleep or circadian rhythm. Please take care of yourself. I am rooting for you!!!

Thanks for your replies

Thanks to all of you whom have taken the time to write back to me. I felt really guilty even writing all that & I don't know why. It's like if I write it down then it's true. I know that sounds weird, but I guess I have been in survivor mode & did not want to think about how bad it has become. I do find that a weight has been lifted since he left & I feel at peace. I am almost dreading when he gets back because all of our problems will come back with a vengeance. I always end up feeling resentful because I have given up so much and it doesn't seem like a big deal to him.

When I have left things for him to do, they do not get done. When I ask if he will do it, he will guilt-trip me about how long his week has been & how his weekends should be for relaxing--not cleaning or doing things around the house. He will get very angry that I even ask about things that need to be done.

There have actually been times when I did not do his laundry due to his attitude towards me & the kids and let me tell you, that stack took up half the laundry room! He went through his entire wardrobe before he actually did his own laundry. I refused to do it. I even stopped getting up in the mornings to make him breakfast before work. I still think that I still do way too much, as many of you have mentioned, but I have been putting the brakes on certain things. I do find myself starting to do his laundry when he is nicer to me & lo and behold, I start feeling taken for granted where he starts expecting his laundry to be done again. I think I will now (when he gets back) make it his responsibility from now on. I will not touch another piece of his clothing from this point on.

I did make a long list of things I wanted to be different as far as his attitude & helping around the house goes. I am going to make it very clear that I am at a crossroads & if he is unwilling to meet me halfway, then I will go with the kids on my own. I mean, really, I am doing it alone now. What would be different?

Btw, I have almost filed for divorce more times than I can count. I have even left for several days just to see if he cared--he didn't. :(  He was too busy playing video games to even notice. Actually, I think he even enjoyed the fact that I was gone because I wasn't there to ask him when he was coming to bed or do things around the house. To his credit, he recently gave up video games & admitted that they were controlling his life BUT he has now replaced that hobby with many more. So even though, it's not video games now, it's other hobbies that are taking precedence.

I am not currently in counseling but I am considering going while he is gone just to get my head straight. I am thinking about going to a type of therapy called IMAGO. I just want to stop all this now & make sure I am thinking clearly if and when the time actually comes that I will start a brand new life. I am just tired of feeling like an after-thought.

Right before he deployed he spent hours finding things to buy & sell. All those hours that he 'claimed' he didn't have after work to help around the house or just spend time with the family in general. I was so sad to see that he really can make time for things he thinks are important, but it is so heartbreaking when I see over & over that his family just happen to be not so important. :(

Thanks again for all your thoughts. I really do appreciate it!

Oh Boy....

I haven't ever posted on this forum before, but this thread got my attention for a couple of reasons. First of all, he IS acting like a spoiled brat. I bet that he has never been in a situation where he's had to make his own structure and live with it. I came to the realization these past few weeks that I hadn't. I moved from my mom's house at 18 to a dorm. At 20 I moved in with my fiance (1st husband). He didn't exactly take over the household, but he fixed it when I forgot to pay bills, cooked, and did most of the laundry. After 6 yrs he met someone online and left me. They way he went about ending it was totally innapropriate but I cannot blame him for ending the marriage in general. I had a temper and expected im to be my personal slave. I moved into a house with roommates. We cooked our own food and did our own thing, but, there were no utility bills to consider, and I lived in a tiny room with my cat. It was a mess but I managed to keep up the facade outside. I met a guy and we ended up in a very committed relationship. He had an apt with 2 other roommates, and one had OCD (did laundry, cleaned, did dishes). He did the rest. I did my laundry. Sometimes. I didn't have to do anything but never considered that there was actually more to running a house than what I'd experienced. We had a catastrophic pregnancy/miscarriage and the relationship just didn't make it, although we are still close friends. I went to stay with my dad, and had my own SMALL space. Then my buddy from high school located me and what had been a crush on his part turned into love on both ends. The punchline? He has ADD too. I have had to gradually take over most responsibilities like keeping schedules, sending out bills on time, and buying food that be OK for his diabetes. No more ordering out. I had an OK system, and always thought if I cared and put the time in I'd be like everyone else. Not so. I am in the process of hiring a coach right now because once I was faced with the reality of life with ALL its responsibilities I got overwhelmed and had a meltdown. Point is..... I'm NOT defending him, but maybe your husband has been living in the same dream world. Over the years, what you helped him with (his deficits) has become expected. He has learned that if he doesn't do, who will? So why should he bother- his good ole wife will take care of it. BTW, he'd be a mess w/o you, he just doesn't know. I don't consider active duty being on his own. No matter how far up the ranks he climbs, he will have structure from above and support from below. I work at VA that is responsible for much of the psych care at a fairly large AFB. I see it all the time. That's what caught my eye first actually, the comment about how he couldn't be diagnosed and treated while still active. I see so many guys and gals who find out they have ADD because their superior or someone tells them to get evaluated. The even send them to the front lines with their Concerta. They value the positives of the ADD personality, and, because of the times, need the people. Please, for yourself, ask around. Maybe you'll find out that he can be tested. Worst case scenario would only be that he couldn't take the meds overseas. If your husband had a clue what he was doing by hurting you, his caregiver, he'd ask for help. He just doesn't recognize what you do.... he used to it.

I can understand both of your

I can understand both of your situations. I am puzzled about his military background and how he has gone on this long without some one catching on or disciplinary action. The military does provide him with the structure he needs and depending on his rank ( I am assuming with his age that he is a senior NCO or senior company grade/ junior field grade officer) the oversight he needs. The military doesn't really understand how to deal with ADHD and in fact it is an automatic disqualifier especially if you are medicated after age 12 (hence the reason I never joined yet have always wanted to). I suffer from ADHD and my job has me embedded with the military and it is difficult because I can tell that there is a lack of understanding by my peers and in fact I don't admit to any of them that I am medicated. I would advice possibly sitting down with his Supervisor and talking to them but be very careful not to bring up the ADHD. You might approach them by saying to them that he doesn't seem to be able to get things done around the house and find out how he is able to get them done at work. They may have ways of dealing with him that you might be able to use at home. I know this may sound extreme but it may be worth implementing a military like environment for him at home which will force him to have to get things done. I would talk to him about this before doing so. Try to approach him in a very loving and concerned way and that you are not mad at him you just would like to help him in his personnel life.


I definitely would not recommend going to your husband's job about your problems with him at home. Go to a counselor and keep it out of his workplace. Not a good idea at all

Work issues - don't go to military

It isn't the job of any partner to go into a spouse's workplace and talk about personal ssues at home.  That is crossing the lines between "professional life" and "home life" and is big-time interference.  Please don't interfere with your husband's career.  If he feels that he needs to talk with someone then he should make those decisions and do it himself.  In the meantime, if you need help you should seek it in a way that steers clear of his job.

Hi, I have tried talking to him

There is a lot more to my story, but basically, superiors have noticed that it is hard for him to follow-through on things because he will come home & complain about it. I always bite my tongue & don't respond because the few times that I made it known to my husband that I could see his superiors' point of view, he lashed out at me & could not believe I was taking 'their' side. All I really wanted him to realize was that he has a pattern of doing the same things at home. Anyway, he loves what he does in the military, but does not like taking directions. He will follow them, though, just because of the consequences if he did not follow them. My husband is quite surprised that he has lasted this long in the military. I think it's because of the specialty that he is in. He has an intense interest in what he does, but not necessarily the military lifestyle in general.

When he is at home, he is the same way. He can focus on his interests, but not necessarily anything else. He will research & find the best guitar, bike, computer, etc. He is also the type that is never happy with whatever he buys & will feel the need to get something better or return what he bought to get something else. He is constantly engrossed in his hobbies & will stay up late at night researching the latest & greatest 'must have' item, meanwhile neglecting his family. To give you an example, right before he deployed (a month before), he decided to start a side business of selling things. So when he came home, he would spend the entire time he was awake ordering things, advertising them on Craigslist, & then talking to people on the phone & meeting with them to sell. It didn't matter that he was leaving in 4 weeks & that his family wanted to spend time with him. All he was concerned about was selling things he had bought at a profit. I was so sad because this was how he decided to spend his last days with us. Then when it was time to say bye, he wondered why we were cold & distant (me & the children). I had been begging him to stop this side business & spend time with us. I felt so rejected & had tried telling him my feelings several times. His family had even come over to visit & I told him this 'side-business' had to stop, especially since his family was here visiting. So he stopped briefly & as soon as they left, he was back to his business. I asked him why he was still doing this business when he was leaving & told him how sad I felt that he chose to do this vs. spending quality time with the family. His response was, you said not to do the business while my family was in town. I told him that me & the girls were his family too, & that we wanted to spend time with him. His response was, "I thought you'd be proud that I made money". So, I'm not sure what is going on in his head. His priorities are not family which is what bothers me the most. We're just there while he does whatever makes HIM happy.

Oh, & I would never go to his superiors. To me, it would be betraying my husband, but it also would be career-suicide for him. We did try to see a counselor before which was short-lived. He will try to do what the counselor says, but then is back to his old ways. So...we'll see what happens when he gets back from deployment. Hopefully, it will be better, although I say that every single time.  For some reason, he only seems to change when I am packing my suitcase & ready to get a divorce.

Hi, I have never posted on a

Hi, I have never posted on a site before, but your story really struck a cord. I have been with my husband for 24 years and relate to a lot of what you are going through. I understand that "just saying no" can negatively affect you as well. For years my driven type A personality allowed me to have a life with my husband; I just took care of whatever needed taking care of and blamed myself if things didn't get done. I was successfull professionally and eager for the future. For the past 10 years I have been disabled and those years have been a nightmare. I have a condition similar to MS and can no longer take care of things. My life is a disaster financially, emotionally and my home is a mess. I have no choice but to say no and things have just degraded. His answer is that I should see his ADD as an illness, just like mine and that he can't help himself. He has refused to get councelling for his ADD or to take medication for it. He refuses to end the marriage, unless I leave. I have a teenage daughter and many pets. My daughter wants to stay with me, but does not want to move. I can't find a place to take the pets and I know he can't care for them. I feel paralyzed and extremely angry. The more volatile I am, the more he refuses to care for our home. I am often too ill to make meals and clean and am forced to live in filth and go without proper meals. I have come to hate him, much of the time and sometimes dream of just ending it all. Having my daughter is all that keeps me going. I do not know how to communicate with him anymore. i know he has mental illness issues and would be more supportive if he sought help. How can I do that? Desperate

Dear Desperate I'am sorry for

Dear Desperate

I'am sorry for what you are going through. I hope that you keep coming to this site and write to us it will help to let it out.  Please know that you are not alone with what you are dealing with. May I please comment on some things you wrote? 

"For the past 10 years I have been disabled and those years have been a nightmare. I have a condition similar to MS and can no longer take care of things"

I also have a condition  from a car accident 23 yrs ago. I was thrown out of my car because a lady  pulled out in front of me. I had body lash so bad that I developed fibromyalsia. So when you have a condition like what you have I can understand and  that it is a hard thing  and it can  make you angry all itself . Now add on all the other stuff you are dealing with its enormouse. When you write "  I feel paralyzed and extremely angry. " Anger can make you paralyzed it is not good and I would really encourage you to get some help to talk to someone. I have a adhd/depression and alcoholic husband and I developed so much anger that this past summer I ended up in the hospital for 4 days. I had a breakdown but staying at the hospital was very helpful for me. The doctor told me with all that I had on my plate that it he could understand why I had a emotional breakdown. I also learned alot about boundaries which was so helpful and I would recommend you read melissas article on it. If you get angry about the house being filthy that doesn't do any good except make you more ill. Boundaries help you to let go and understand that at times there really is nothing you can do about it.Once you get there then its helpful to maybe think that now you can try to find a solution instead of getting angry about it. Does that make sense? Sometimes we get in a rut and its hard to see past the mess. Anyway maybe you can find a support group if you don't have one because it will help you to talk to others with the same issues.  You also wrote that you have come to hate him and just dream of ending it all. Forgiveness is very crucial and I know its hard to do at times but it so HEALTHY to do. All hate does is make you bitter its  like a poison. to end it all" is that about your marriage or your own life? I'am glad you have your daughter. I have 4 children and they are such a blessing to me. I'am currently seperated from my husband and can see so much clearer now. I have  people I know tell me I look different They say I have a glow to my cheeks. I do feel so much happier. Adhd can be difficult on both sides. But for me my boundary right now is to be away from my husband. I'am not telling you to do that but its what happened. well I just wrote these things to encourage you.(at least I hope it did) Please deal with yourself first instead of with everyone else. I will be praying for you God bless!!!!

P.s. I too have many animals and they are part of the family.

reply to optomistic

I love the contrast in our names.  I have spent some time reading this forum and I too am feeling more optomistic.  I am going to try to stop thinking how he is not helping and think of how I can help myself more.  I realize that that may sound kind of simplistic, but it is true that it is easier to blame than look for solutions.  I think just reaching out on this site has been a great start.  Thank you for all your helpful comments and I wish you well in your journey.  It sounds like you are finding your way!!

reply to reallytired-I have tried talking to him


Sorry for your situation.  Just wanted to let you know, you are not alone.  Many of your problems are very similiar to many of us.  Please do what is best for you and your children.  Throwing the responsibility of many things back to him, when he returns, will set you free.  Keep your faith and hope strong. 

For ReallyTired

What you are describing are classic ADD symptoms, and classic misinterpretations of those symptoms.  You've also got a bit of macho male tossed in for good measure.  Here's what I mean.  The getting an idea to sell stuff online all of a sudden, and the energy he put into it has ADD written all over it.  It's fast paced, exciting, is on the computer, etc.  He got completely hyperfocused on it (also ADD) and everything else didn't exist.  It's unfortunate that you were "everything else".  Hyperfocus, according to Dr. Hallowell, isn't something that can be turned on and off.  It just happens when it does.  Best way to deal with it is recognize it for what it is - a temporary (if irritating in this case) state.  What it isn't is a comment on his feelings about you or your family.  It's also not a comment on whether or not he would have valued being with you.  He just got distracted from being with you.  ADD again.

And the macho male thing - many (dare I say most?) men measure a good part of their self worth in terms of how they provide for their families.  He was about to leave you.  Somewhere inside him he's wondering how he's going to provide for you...his answer with the sale may have been misguided, but perhaps you can think more gently about it now that you see that side of it.  Your fears, on the other hand, were that you weren't going to see him again for a long while...this mismatch of fears and then mismatch of how you were dealing with them can be resolved with some careful conversations in your future after he's back again.  In the meantime, you would do well to forgive him.  He didn't make the choice that would have pleased you most, but he did make a choice with you in mind.  He does care about you, but the two of you need more help in learning how to talk to each other to really get across what you need and want and why.

I'm going to suggest that you read a book that will give you some specific ideas about how to share your needs and your issues.  One of the tricks it suggests is taking time to talk in a specific way (described in the book) without trying to solve any specific problems.  Taking this time to just discuss gives you much more opportunity to understand where the other is coming from, which I think might benefit you both.  It's not too onerous, and you've got some issues that are big enough that it will be worth taking the time to do it.  Should smooth things out considerably, I'm guessing.  The book is Fighting for Your Marriage by Markman, Stanley and Blumberg.

As for why he changes when you pack your bags - it's because you get his full attention.  But there are more constructive (and less destructive) ways to do so.  Turn the tables around.  If he packed his bags, would that make you feel more secure in your relationship?  Would it make you wish to take risks (in the way that an ADD person must to permanently improve his symptoms?)  And if he did it to you repeatedly, would you continue to believe that threat, or any others he made?  Please, for your own sake, develop more productive ways of communicating your unhappiness to him than that.  Otherwise you risk getting written off as "hysterical", etc.

I think I needed to hear that

Thanks for saying that he really does care about me. I often don't feel that he does, so it makes me feel better when you say that he does! I actually see a glimmer of hope that things can change. He definitely can be the ultimate 'macho male'--always wanting to show off his latest skill or hobby. I guess I just have to change the way I think & see that he really isn't try to shut me out. I think that he does love me in his own way or maybe I should say he says he loves me, but isn't good at showing it. I hope this book you have recommended can help me sort it all out. I have felt so down thinking about all of it & I want to have a real relationship that is both loving & functional.  I have until August before he comes back & I'd like to have a good understanding of how to make our relationship better before then! Thanks for your input.

The best advice my mother,

The best advice my mother, who is 80, ever gave me, "DON'T EXPECT HIM TO DO ANYTHING OR ASK HIM TO DO ANYTHING". This way you won't be disappointed. Tomorrow morning I will be on the roof fixing a leak, I am 59 and the one with ADD. I , now, go through life basically living by myself and doing for myself. It doesn't sound great, but at least I'm not disappointed day in and day out. I love him, very much, but I no longer cut his toe nails. I suggest no more children (you already have one too many), and build a base of friends (girlfriends) that you can talk to.

I am also at the end of my rope with my military husband

My husband was diagnosed as ADHD and does take meds while at work but he refuses to take them any other time. My 10 year old son was also diagnosed as ADHD at the age of 6, It is a long story but, like you, I have gone through 10 years of being a military spouse but also coping with the ADHD side as well. My husband always wants to do things the hard way but doesn't think of me and I am 10 years older than him (51 now). He also decided (while on sea duty) that we would get a push mower as he needed the exercise but I was landed with it for years. He absolutely would not let me buy a gas mower... He also refused to let me buy furniture as he wanted to live on a boat.. My son was 2 at the time and extremely hyperactive so I just got on with it and eventually got him out of that idea. Then when we moved to shore duty for 3 years, he stuck me in a poky little apartment with section 8 people for 4 months with only our express packout. i don't drive and the nearest store was an hours walk each way. I went totally nuts and straight into an early menopause. We eventually bought a house (the one that he wanted and I did not). The house had a large garden, mostly grass and lots of trees. No bus service and again I had a 45 minute walk to the nearest store. I ended up doing all of the yard work for the first year, Leaves, landscaping etc etc, I once asked him to help me when he was in the garage (which he converted into a wood working shop and worked in a store at weekends to buy all of his equipment) and he said he was too busy. I did eventually get a job in a local store but ended up with an inguinal hernia. I also started work on the house and tried to start decorating. He never did anything to the house and I gave up as I couldn't do it all by myself and he was not interested in helping me. My son went through his first year of kindergarten at a local school and at the end of it could only write his name backward. We had him tested and that took 2 days. He was started on concerta and it was like night and day. I was able to get him into an arts infused magnet school and he came out of that with a lot of confidence but for those 3 years I was not allowed to participate in my son's homework. My husband would pick him up from school and take him to work until he finished. It was worse when I was working and got home at 7pm. At times he would forget to pick me up and my bosses would drive me home (they picked me up in the morning also). I would get home at 7.30 and nothing had been done. My son would not have been fed, homework not done, no dishes done and I would have to make dinner.. I had been working since Inguinal hernia surgery is very painful and he did take a week off work to look after me but I was sleeping on the couch downstairs so he would go upstairs and leave me to crawl to the bathroom on my own, you can't even shout as it hurts so much. After 3 days, I wanted some soup so i went into the kitchen to find a sinkful of dishes and not one clean one in the house. My son found me trying to fill the dishwasher and called on his father to help me.. When we left there he wanted to rent the house but did not want to do any work to it. He went off abroad and left me with it. I was 4 months out of my inguinal hernia surgery and refused to do it so he eventually had to pay people to do everything. It is no better now as my husband does have meds but only takes them when he feels like it, His bedroom has to be freezing cold so I moved out years ago and have been sleeping on the floor for many years now. Mostly in the front room as we still don't have any furniture. I am at the end of my tether but what keeps me going is my wonderful son who has overcome his reading disability and started reading at the age of 9 he is now almost 11 (in grade 4) and was tested at reading at grade 8 level recently. I have had him on my own for the last 2 years and he has improved dramatically. He loves science and plays golf. I also got him into robotics and he competed with his school. Sadly, my husband I still do not talk and his family will always come first over me. I am still wondering if he will put them before his son??