I'm new to the forum, but I've been coming to this site for about a year now to read advice on dealing with my ADHD husband (I do not have ADD/ADHD). We've been together for over 12 years (since high school) and the past several years have been total rollercoaster rides. We have always had very rocky times, but when he was finally diagnosed with ADHD 2 years ago, things got a little better because we both knew what was causing these problems. His ADHD manifests itself in extreme forgetfulness, lack of ambition/motivation, disregard for other people's feelings (especially mine), hyperfocus, defensiveness, anger, and general scattered everything. To top things off, he's also OCD, and suffers from bouts of depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
He categorically refuses to take medicine, which I am fine with, and he hates counseling because "they don't do anything". But he also doesn't do anything to manage his ADHD on his own, and believe me, I have made EVERY EFFORT possible to set him up for success and gently give him suggestions for ADHD management. Just like I've read here so many times, his intentions are always the best in the world, especially after an argument, but the follow-thru is zero and he feels he deserves credit for basically, trying to try. The best he's done is to try something for two days, like a calendar or a diary, then give it up because he thinks he doesn't need it. And if I suggest he keep working at it, I'm a nag.
We've been to couple's counseling a couple of times, the last time was almost 2 years ago. Since then, we've had a couple of blowouts and came to an understanding that basically, he needs to improve his communication style (very demanding, judgmental, defensive) and "use his words" so that I can understand what he needs emotionally and mentally. And in turn, I would express myself calmly and logically so that he can understand what I need emotionally and mentally.
It sounds great, but it just never seems to take hold and we keep fighting all the time. I feel disrespected, taken for granted/taken advantage of, disregarded, unloved, lonely, and fully responsible for both of our lives. Luckily, there are no children in the picture. I feel like I'm his mother and I'm so tired of it. I'm a graduate student taking a full-time load and he is a full-time freelancer who works from home, so we're always in each other's faces too. I'm crazy-busy, and then he occupies so much of my free time emotionally that I'm just spent. I'm always having to talk him down from a fit of anxiety or paranoia (he's really angry and bitter sometimes - for no reason at all), or give him a pep talk, and I double-check all of his business affairs to make sure everything looks good. He loves what he does and he's good at it, but actually getting up each day and putting in a full-time effort is a struggle. It's a little frustrating to know that if he worked harder, we would be better off financially, but I'm not that concerned about money right now.
I'm just so, so exhausted from all of this. I love him and he really is a good man, but he is SO difficult to live with. He knows that, but does very little to make our relationship worth it for me. I see no effort on his part and our conversations go nowhere anymore. I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall and he immediately gets very angry and defensive if I don't "forgive" him right away. After 12 years, "I'm sorry" or "I'll try" don't cut it anymore. I can't help but feel that I could be really happy by myself or with someone who doesn't have ADHD. I sometimes wish we hadn't gotten married at all and that I'd broken it off one of the many times in high school when he was acting out. I feel really guilty too because I do love him so much and want things to work. I also feel selfish for thinking all of these negative things, but I've never been emotionally fulfilled or had a true equal partnership...and I don't think I ever will with him.
He knows all these things...we've been over them thousands of times. I don't mind paying all the bills, remembering everything household-wise, managing our schedules or any of that. But I can't do all of that for him and go on feeling so emotionally unfulfilled forever. I know divorce is the easy way out, but my life has been much harder than necessary for 12 years now. I don't know what to do anymore, so I thought I would post here. Sorry it's so jumbled...thank you for reading.