My husband and I have been married for going on 6 years next month and have been together just over 7 years all together. I was diagnosed as ADHD as a young child, as were my 3 siblings, but at the time because my mother and the doctor went about dealing with it with a non-medicated behavioral route we were just diagnosed as hyperactive so that the schools at least had warning in our school records. I have done well with all of this my whole life, my father who is also hyperactive was an office manager for the government and made sure to teach us all organization and list making from the time we were very young and it lead to three college educated, self motivated, fast thinking adults who have done well in our lives, with the fourth child "falling through the cracks" of being a follower and more worried about looking cool to others and what they personally think about her, but that is another story. My husband, on the other hand, was diagnosed with inattentive ADD in February of this year after years of me begging him to see what might be behind some of his erratic actions so we could treat the root of the problems he was having both in school (now in his 7th year of undergraduate study and still having problems with his gen ed classes) and in our personal life. He has a twin sister who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child so he thought he new all about it and because he wasn't hyper active and it didn't really affect his learning ability when he was interested in things that it must just be that he was lazy his whole life because his father left when he was a baby and he didn't have the structure a house with a father must have. Things have never been rainbows and unicorns (or whatever wonderful fantasy people think love is) in our relationship mostly because we are both pretty pig headed but were able to work things out because we were also both willing to communicate thoroughly what the problem was. Things got really bad three years ago when I had our second child, 8 days later graduated with my bachelors degree, then six weeks after that had a series of medical problems, including a broken foot and an abscessed tooth within one week, that I couldn't control or take care of by myself right as we were moving into a bigger home. He turned mean, telling me when I sat down to nurse our new baby after hobbling through the house on a broken foot just to get her then asking him for a cup of water, he told me I was lazy and needed to just get it my own darned self, and that was the tip of the iceberg that never lead to physical violence but more and more emotional distance and less and less communication. I didn't want to leave him because I truly love him and know what he is capable of but it was getting to a point that because of his actions we were growing apart and neither of us were able to fully care for our children how we wanted to. It was to a point that he was just a fourth child and I was a single mother with no help, only judgment every time I expressed any anger or frustration, and that was from my own parents who still seem to support him more than me. To me it was not only like being a single mother to four children on part time minimum wage salary, it was like that plus one of the kids had unlimited legal access to funds to get whatever they wanted, in this case video games. What finally got him to seek out what was going on was when I found a list of common symptoms of Adult ADD that fit him to a T and pointed out that there are a lot of things that could help in a kind and non-judgemental way, along with him talking to his college advisor about it and her agreeing that it could be that or depression or anxiety or some combination that he finally went to figure it all out. I find myself sometimes wanting to grab him by the shoulders and shake him and yell that he could do better than he is, especially if he does it my way because it works so well for me, but I know he needs to find his own way to deal with it all and the anger just makes him freeze up and stop doing anything at all, except escaping into his video games and showing his own frustration through anger to our kids and myself.
Now that the back story is out of the way, here is my issue. After years of poor performance at school and the fact that he still doesn't want to research what methods have worked for others because "I can fix it myself, I know I can, just let me do it my way." is his latest mantra he is in danger of not only failing most of his classes this semester but losing the ability to gain financial aid which is what pays the rent and we can not afford to live without if he is continuing to go to school and he does not want to stop until he is done otherwise he will feel he failed yet again in his life. There is another option that I believe will help him both with his behavioral issues with ADD and give him a way to support our family doing what he loves and has always been a major focus of his life, but he has to act within the next month otherwise he will have to wait another year and by then I don't know how viable we will be. He is going to school to be a high school band teacher and I fully believe he can do it and do it well and want nothing more than for him to do this but I don't think he will be able to finish the gen ed and education parts of his degree until he gets his ADD under control. The other option I see that is totally viable is for him to at least audition for military bands as many of them are looking for his instrument and auditioning in the next months for those positions. I have told him that nothing rides on these auditions if he chooses to take them because he is doing better in his classes in the last few weeks so if he keeps up the good work he will pass well enough to continue, but I want him to take the auditions to give him another option for the future. I feel so held back from where I could be, where we wanted to be, where I and we should be by now because we are all stuck in this life until he graduates and we can move forward again, and this is a way we can move forward leaving the now as an option for later. He knows as well as I do that for some reason the opinions of those who he barely knows and their expectations of him have always been better motivators than the opinions and expectations of those closest to him and that playing music is the one thing he could not live without in his life, even above me but that doesn't bother me because if he told me it was my passion and comfort or him forever I would pick my passion too (I'm being a realist here after years of depression keeping me in an idealist frame of mind.) To me this all points to the military being a good place with strong firm rules he never got growing up as well as him having to please others over and over doing the one thing he loves more than himself, his music. He has been talking for the last two years about it being a possibility to take care of the now while still holding hope to be a teacher in the future when I have my advanced degree and can get a job that doesn't keep him in the main breadwinner role (I don't mind being the main breadwinner and love that I have a husband who doesn't either) while we can still afford a decent life. How can I encourage him to take the steps necessary to get into the auditions before it is too late without him feeling like I am pushing him into it or adding stress onto the situation causing him to freeze up? Is it all in my mind that this may be a more positive step than the trial and error that seems to end more in error and cause more problems overall for our family? If he doesn't make it I am fine, our future is not dependent on him getting into a band and there are always other options, but I don't want him to miss out then regret it in just a few months with no way to get it back for another year.