Extended family and other relationships

As if it isn't hard enough just to deal with our marriage and my own self, bring in the extended family, friends(yours and his), and it's a time bomb. I wish I had two brains, one I could put on a charger and one I could use in the meantime.

The fallout of the ADHD spouse's behavior and issues created can extend to friends and extended family. Over the years I've retreated into a shell, almost a hermit. We have little contact with extended family. We can't handle their dramas and ours and vice versa. It can be such a lonely existence.

Often, it strains the relationships to a breaking point, ending with hurt, resentment and anger on their part as well. When it comes to my friends, it's tough, they want me to leave the marriage, I think if it weren't for my positive attitude and whacked sense of humor and other things I can give in the relationships, I'd not have any friends at all. As it is , most are in other states and we keep in touch via email and facebook. Even then I have to refrain from complaining all the time,  when I do it's with humour.  It's difficult for me to "be" there for them since  I am usually too exhausted mentally to help or cope.

I have three adult daughters and  several grandchildren and one of my daughters has cut us off from contact, she allows us to see my granddaughter and makes arrangements via my son.

She said she can't handle the "toxic" relationship. I know it's not me, really. We were very close until an incident he caused was the "last straw". So as long as I remain with him, she want's no part of  me.

ADHD not only can destroy marriages, it can extend to other relationships, thus making it more difficult to cope without the support from extended family and friends.

It took a long time to get others to accept his diagnosis, but most of them won't even try to get informed. Others till refuse to acknowledge his disorder at all, choosing instead to see him as lazy crazy stupid and me as the long suffering b**** control freak.

How do some of you handle this, have you experienced this?

Topaz- re: extended family

My parents think my husband is kind of cold and mean.  They don't like his parenting style, which tends to be stern, repressive and controlling.  They are right, of course.  

It is my husband's chore to pick the kids up from my parent's house on his way home from work (they live less than 1/4 mile away).   My mom's routine is to give the kids a snack right after school; but she gives them dinner too, if hubby is late and kids are hungry.  My husband would show up to get the kids and start saying sternly, "Time to go, NOW."  He would literally take the kids full dinner plates from in front of them, pick them up and put their coats on.  The kids would be so upset (they were hungry!) and my parent's would be distressed watching this.  

Hubby would get everyone home, then go sit in front of the TV.  Oh, and then he would say, "What's for dinner, cause the kids are hungry." (?!?).  I told him that he was upsetting my mom (and the kids) with this behavior.  He lied and said that it wasn't happening.  I flipped the script.  I was all, "Are you saying my mother is lying? Because I am NOT going to have her lying on you.  Let's call her right now and straighten this out."  I "let" him talk me out of calling my mother, LOL.

This "mom upset/kids crying" issue kept recurring, until I exploded in anger at him.  I stopped arguing the particulars (he always wants to argue the "particulars" to prove I am wrong- if I am not EXACTLY right).  I just told him I better not hear one more report of this happening ever again.  My husband is very strange; you can't reason with him generally.  He claims to hear you, but nothing.  When I give him full-force anger, though?  Suddenly, compliance.  Its like I have to scream his limbic system into activation.  

Sorry, I am digressing: its been cool since.  But my mom still gives him the stink eye (which he richly deserves; I don't defend him to her in anyway).

My husband said it, and it

My husband said it, and it turned out to be the truth, that once his mother passed away he would have nothing to do with his siblings and their children..HIS extended family. He pretty much has shut them out. They are the type of people that require SUPER SMALL DOSES. I follow his lead..whatever he wants..but there has always been discord and chaos where they are concerned. Pick any two family members (siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, etc) and at any given time someone isn't speaking to someone else over something stupid. In other words, there really isn't any love lost for me in this situation...but I do feel bad for him. None of them ever called unless they needed something anyway...and he got sick of it.

My family loves me tremendously. As long as I am happy, they are happy. They actually go out of their way to accomodate him, forgive his moods (he'll go to their houses for special occasions and sit and not speak to anyone..this is getting better) and accept him as long as I am with him and I love him.

The one relationship that did suffer for a while...and still has some lingering issues..is my relationship with my daughter. She's 12. She was witness to the years of fighting, the escalation of the hell, him leaving, and the horrible countless nights I cried myself into oblivion over him. God forgive me, my Daddy had an accident, and ended up dying a month later...I literally could not help myself. She was told about his affair, by me, because my step-daughter convinced me that his mistresses daughter (my SD lived with my husband when he left and she would babysit for her daughter..they became close) knew and since she and my daughter were friends I was TERRIFIED she would tell her at school and i couldn't bare the thoughts of it. She was furious with me when I took him back and forgave him. She felt betrayed too. She felt like she had stood by me, took my side, defended me (not to his face, just to me) and here I was choosing him over her..or so she saw it. I put her in counseling and it helped a lot. She still struggles to trust his motives, still worries that when he's in a bad mood that he's going to hurt us again, and she still has some anger issues that I feel are directly related to her being jealous that I've let him back in my life. She loves her Daddy, don't getme wrong, but she is just  a child who dealt with a TON of emotional bull$hit that she should have never had to deal with..and needs to blame someone. She refuses to accept that I had fault in things too, but is still angry with me about it all. Add into it the fact that she just hit puberty and it is something that can leave me in tears almost everyday. My husband has bent over backwards to try and rectify what he did and make amends with her..but it takes a lot longer for kids to forget. I have decided that I won't put her through anything like that ever again...and he knows this. He admitted to one of his friends that he quit drinking because our daughter equated the horrible violent fight we had with his drinking. She would worry herself SICK if she thought he was going to drink..and it made him feel horrible. (he was drunk the night it happend)

The damage is far reaching, and some people have a harder time trusting and forgiving than others. Do you think your daughter would be willing to meet you for lunch once a month or something neutral like that just so you can have a relationship? Keeping the conversation completely neutral and not mentioning him?

We have problems too with his

We have problems too with his extended family. In my opinion they are all crazy! Not jokingly, they really are! His parents have been divorced since he was 3 or 4 years old. He is 43 now and they still talk crap about each other behind their backs and to him! Wasn't it enough that they damaged him during childhood, no, they still have to blame each other for everything, it drives me crazy. His mom left him with his father, she says she couldn't afford to raise him and thought that my husband would have a better life with him dad. So clearly she abandoned him. That's just my opinion. I would never give custody of my kids to anyone, maybe share custody, but never give it up completely! His mom is definitely ADHD, undiagnosed. His sister is too but she is the only one somewhat normal, she is a high functioning ADHD. She manages her life well and is very happy, but lives far from all of us, of course, even she can't handle the chaotic family.

His dad is a codependent/enabler just like me. Raised my husband giving him everything he wanted, no boundaries, no limits, no personal responsibility. You can just imagine what a mess my husband is. His wife is another mess. She is controlling and very scattered brain. I have a hard time getting along with her.

We rarely see them even though we live relatively close. I avoid them at all cost. My husband too, he is usually mad at one of them and goes for months without talking to them. Now is his mom, he hasn't talked to his mom in 3 years.! I couldn't imagine no talking to my mom for a week! It would kill me. In my family we just don't do that.

My family lives far, I am originally from another country and the only one here in the US. I miss them a lot and very often think about just going back, and leave my husband here, with the kids. I haven't done it yet, don't know if I will because it would be an added stress to my kids to have to get used to another culture, language, etc. I really struggle with this. I love my family and get along great but I also haven't lived close to them for more than 15 years. So that's a though one.

My family thinks that my husband is just crazy. They do see that he has a problem and acknowledge his ADHD but at the same time they think that this shouldn't't be an excuse. My parents are ok with him, because of our kids, they tell me if you have to put up with him until the kids are older so be it. But as soon as your kids are out, you need to be out too. They have no hope for him, they think he will never change.

My sister doesn't like him at all. She used to but during our divorce she came here to spend some time with me and saw all the craziness. He also called her a liar and when he had a rage episode where he broke all kind of things in our house she was there and didn't like it at all. She doesn't say I should leave him, she thinks that the kids really need to have their father around. But she refuses to talk to him. She hasn't been back here in years and said if she comes she will stay in a hotel and I came visit her, she doesn't want to see him at all.

So you can see that is not all normal and there is a lot of chaos here too.

I don't know, but I think that if my kids or one of them, did not talk to me because of my husband I would leave him. That's just me, I am not happy and want to leave anyway, but this would be the end of it for me. This would be the "reason" I need to get the hell out.

Hole in the bucket's picture

"I don't know, but I think

"I don't know, but I think that if my kids or one of them, did not talk to me because of my husband I would leave him."

--Don't Ever let your kids hear that... at least not during their teenage years lol

Hole in the bucket's picture

"Dad?  Can I have a drum

"Dad?  Can I have a drum set?" 
"No." 
"Moooommmmm! I'm never gonna talk to you again!  And it's ALL Dad's FAULT!" 
"Alright alright!  I'll getcha a damn drum set!" 
"And a tuba." 
"Absolutely no-"
"Mmmmoooommmmmmm!"

 

going crazy- re: we have problems too...

Gosh, I feel sad for you that you live so far from your family.  That must make everything that much harder for you.  I know that having my parents around the corner provides a great deal of stress relief for my marriage, because my parents pitch in and make up for my husband's shortfalls.  We probably would have divorced years ago otherwise. But you're lucky you don't have to see your husband's trippy family too much.  My in-laws have the potential to be very intrusive- I have always kept them at arms length.  After 12 years, I still call them "Mr.__ and Mrs.___ because I don't want them to feel too comfortable with me. LOL