My husband has ADHD. For most of our marriage I've been the breadwinner in our family - bringing almost 80% of our income. I am ambitious - I work hard and I love doing well financially. When I am doing well, I love to share the fruits of my labor. I love being generous and having nice things. My husband, not so much. He's had a few jobs since we've been together, but they are usually low-wage jobs - and none have lasted. The last job he had - he was demoted from a supervisor to a delivery driver. I can tell it really hurt his ego and he ended up quitting without a back up plan. Now he makes $10 an hour - working only a few hours a week.
Sadly, we have this cycle:
1. I am generous. I have extra income. I end up paying our bills and expenses - mortgage, food, car, household repairs - an occasional night out.
2. I am reminded through some action (He forgot his wallet, the internet is turned off because he doesn't have enough money to cover it, a call from a creditor, etc) that he is not bringing in enough income.
3. I get angry at this. I realize I never feel taken care of or appreciated. I start to fuss about how much I do for him. I fuss about him getting a better job - bringing in more money. I tell him he is a man - an adult - that he should be doing better. When things get really heated - I suggest that he should move out if he's not willing to make a change.
4. He gets very upset, pale, makes promises to do better - pleads, cries - says he sees how much he is hurting me. Says he will get a better job - says he will pick up more hours...
5. He never does better!! When I bring up his promises and how they've not been met - he says I am mean for bringing them up. He says I've never given him a chance to do better. (um, 14 years of marriage?)
6. Then, I find myself paying for things again.
My contract is coming to an end at the company I am working for - so I am in the position of needing to find more work. I feel such anxiety about continuing a relationship with him given his track record. I know his low-wage paychecks won't cover our bills and expenses. I am tired of giving him more chances to disappoint me. I love him - but I feel like well - does he love me? Why would a man allow his wife to make such sacrifices? Isn't he supposed to be stepping up - taking charge? What about the statistics that say men earn more than women? I confronted him with these questions and he told me I had married a complacent man. Is he proud of this?