This is my first time posting here though I have been reading every word for the last several weeks since finding this site. I am an American who has been living and working in England for 10+ years. I have been married for 17 years with a woman who had undiagnosed ADD (until diagnosed 2+ yrs. ago) and we have a 15 yo daughter....... Just turned 60 this last weekend and sadly, did not feel like celebrating the milestone at all. You see, along with the usual ADD traits (forgetfulness, disorganized, easily bored, easily frustrated, inability to maintain attention etc.) ; she has a major anger management problem. When my 50th birthday rolled around, I was asked what I wanted for my birthday.....I asked only that my wife attending an anger management course. In the 10 years since....it has only gotten much worse. I can honestly say that I am an abuse victim as I have been repeatedly physically, verbally and emotionally abused for nearly all of our marriage (excepting the first year). I grew up in a warm, loving family of professionals and high achievers....I was so incredibly naive and ignorant about how some people can behave. It wasn't until 2 years ago that I put the pieces together about the impact of ADD in our marriage and paid for her to be analyzed by a specialist. To this day, the abuse continues in various forms is not only directed at me but also our teenage daughter. Personally, I have been slapped many times, punched, shoved, kicked, had important property destroyed, constantly verbally abused etc. but she started directing it also at our daughter a couple of years ago. She was finally reported to the UK Social Services who recognized/acknowledged the problem but, after warning her of the consequences; have technicallly closed the file for now. My wife is smart now to make sure not to physically hit our daughter though she still verbally and emotionally abuses her. At the end of the day though, my wife is in denial and refuses to seek help for her ADD.She has never had counseling for it and refuses to even consider taking any medicine.....I have been committed to making this marriage work doing many things in the past but had several years where I was financially dependent (leukemia plus complications etc.). For my right to remain in England (ie. have time with our daughter etc.), I was required to 'remain' in the marriage. I have now found out differently.
I am scared to make the leap and push the Divorce button. All of the posts here have helped me though to understand, that I really have 3 alternatives....1)continue to get my soul sucked out of me 2) get my wife to also work on her ADD/marriage and try to put all the pieces together....or 3) escape and try to create a life with happiness, love and kindness in it. I have been stuck on Option 1 & 2 for nearly 15 years but realize (after something DVANCE said...."the very nature of ADHD means they are unlikely to the self reflection to admit they need to make changes, or the insight about how their behaviour affects others, or the honesty to admit it, or the stamina to make any lasting changes") I NEED TO GET AWAY....and hopefully I can help my daughter too. My wife has an incredible capacity to fight though and fight dirty. There are no rules in her playbook and she doesn't care how much she hurts anyone. I can only hope that I/we can get out without losing our arms and legs.....Thanks for giving me the opportunity to open up a bit. I appreciate any of your helpful comments and thoughts.