With my ADHD husband, there is a reason for everything. Every inaction or thoughtless action is well defended or responsibility deftly deflected with a series of reasons, explanations, or "facts", presenting him in the most favorable and well meaning way possible. He is very intelligent, and I think he is subconsciously extraordinarily manipulative in avoiding unpleasant or unrewarding tasks and would rather argue with me for hours making both of us miserable than face those tasks.
My husband stays home, and I work. There are certain chores that are hard for me to do because of my own condition, and he has agreed to do those chores and take more responsibility around the house to make it easier on me. He doesn't. I do more than my share around the house. He sometimes cleans up, but most of the time, the house stays messy and I go without clean dishes or clean laundry until I get overwhelmed or desperate and do it myself (resenting him for having to do it while he plays computer games).
He feels bad about it. He doesn't want to see me on my feet washing dishes after a long day at work, in pain, missing even more precious time with my son. Yet, doing it then rarely seems to be an acceptable option for him.
Instead he will put an enormous amount of effort into defending why he cant do the dishes right now, why he hasn't done them the past few days (or week), and why I should stop doing the dishes and let him do them later. He will also spend a lot of effort trying to justify doing only some of a task, reasoning that finishing the task (at least to my standards) is unnecessary and inconsequential. I wish he would put half as much effort into gathering himself up to do what needs to be done as he spends trying to convince me that he is justified in not doing it or not having done it already.
What really sucks, is that I am stuck between a rock and a hard place in that I cant do it myself without significant pain or discomfort, and if I do I am enabling him; I cant count on him to do it, and if I value my sanity, I cant leave it undone. Is there another option? My husband doesn't seem to mind living in a dirty house, he doesn't notice the mess, he just operates around it. I do notice, and it causes me considerable anxiety. So, I am the one suffering the consequences. The only consequence to him is that I get upset.
There is always something. Something completely out of his control has hindered him from doing the chores. If it is not something else he had to do that interfered, then he wasn't feeling well or forgot to take his medication, which contributes to him not feeling well. My husband has admitted that he has a deep-seeded belief that he should not have to do chores when he doesn't feel well. He claims to not feel well often, and I mean a few days a week, if not every day. He has admitted on numerous occasions to having trumped up and exaggerated illnesses or discomfort or fatigue in order to create a justifiable excuse for not doing chores. He plays it up big time. He will carry on a ruse for days in hopes of convincing me that his pain is greater than or comparable to mine. He admits this. He will promise that he will do the housework as soon as he is feeling better, but then there is another reason that comes up. It makes it very difficult for me to feel sorry for him or express appropriate sympathy when he is behaving ill and almost impossible to distinguish when he is really ill. I know what it means to not feel well, I am no stranger to pain and fatigue, but I cant just blow off work and watch tv all day a few days a week. Again, I seem to be the only one with any real consequences here.
I don't agree that he "cant" keep up with the house, because I believe that he can. I believe that he just doesn't know how, or he thinks that there must be an easier way that he hasn't figured out yet, so he is going to wait until he figures out how to make it easier before he puts a lot of effort into doing it now when it is so hard. How he is going to figure out how to make it easier is also a very abstract concept that I think he is waiting around for an epiphany on. I think he is deluding himself, that it will always be hard and he needs to start sucking it up and making the effort now instead of putting it off and perpetuating the conflict. He thinks that I don't care about how hard it is for him. That isn't true. I do care. I understand that ADHD is a mitigating factor in how difficult it is for him to do household tasks. Where we seem to differ is that I do not think it is a reason or explanation for not doing them, just that he has to work that much harder to get it done.
He has an answer for everything. How do I address it without it turning into a 2 hour argument every time? If I refuse to talk to him when I am obviously upset or disappointed, he pushes me for a response or reaction to the point of insanity. He has some impressive manipulative defense mechanisms that I feel powerless against.