I have been married for nearly 13 years. Things were fine the first year, though my husband would say things like "if I decide we are going to move, we are going to move," and things that showed he felt he was in charge. He has always been the breadwinner (and a good one), but is extremely tight and controlling with money. He would frequently tell me what to do or reprimand me for being forgetful. He often "parented" me-- I remember one time I had set my keys on the bench at church and he hid them in order to teach me a lesson. He stood there talking to someone while I looked frantically for 15 minutes (I knew I had put them on the bench) all around the bench. Then he finally pulled them out of his pocket and told me never to let that happen again.
Things became difficult after we had our first child and were living abroad. I tried really hard to be a good mom, so I'd spend a couple of hours each day with our son and try to work in my chores around this time. But I frequently came down with many bugs as well as generally being run down from nursing. He would come home and confront me each day about all the little things he thought were wrong-- a lid off a jar, a cupboard open. They were little nit-picky things and we would fight because I was so frustrated that he didn't see how hard I was working (I literally had no personal time in this period) at putting the most important things first.
I developed some pretty deep resentment for the way he never accepted responsibility for his actions (always turned it on me) and the ways he raged at me and disrespected me and parented me. I tried to tell him the ways he hurt me but it never sunk in and it was always "my" fault. Even though I have recently been diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD, as you will see, I have always been an even-keeled, patient person (though defensive, for sure). But for years I pretty much hated him and wished I had never married him, it's just that at this point we had several children and I wanted to do what was right for them. During our marriage I had done all of the childcare (I am the only person who does homework, reads to the kids, or puts them to bed, for years now), housework, cooking (he will cook on rare occasions), and those types of things. He works very hard, but on his own projects and at his job. If I ask for help he acts really resentful and I have learned it isn't worth it.
It got to the point after 9 years that I sought out a therapist. On my initial visit I was told he probably had narcissistic personality disorder and that he is verbally and emotionally abusive.
As it stands now, we have five children. He has become emotionally abusive toward my oldest son now, too, bullying him and belittling him at every turn. This is what is pushing me over the brink. It is causing me major panic attacks and if I try to stand up to him he blows up. He has constant anger under the surface and our home is a very awful place to be. After searching more in depth about NPD and OCPD I was convinced my husband has one or both.
I finally saw a new counsellor who is an expert on ADHD (I saw him about the marriage, this was a lucky coincidence). This led to me going down the path to research my own suspicions that I may have had ADHD my whole life. He diagnosed me with the "inattentive" type, though I realize now I have built some great coping mechanisms over the years and have accomplished a lot. There is a strong possibility my son has it too. So I have sought help for both of us (Neurofeedback), but there has been major push-back from my husband. He threatened not to come home the day he found out I had seen a therapist. Even though he is constantly critical of me and my son, he sees no need to work on our relationship. I am the one who is totally dying.
Reading Melissa's book was very interesting, and I have been wondering something. My husband has suggested in passing in the past that he felt he could have ADHD. If he does (and now I see a strong link in the pattern between myself and Melissa's relationship, even though I feel I definitely pull my share of the load and don't have anger issues), could I be confusing the symptoms of ADHD and Narcissistic Personality Disorder or OCPD?
I can't do it anymore. I've strongly considered leaving. Help?