EXTREMELY sensitive/personal material

Long story short - I'm non-ADD married to ADD for 3.5 yrs after a 3 yrs courtship.  Typical cycle - courtship hyperfocus, led us to move in after 6 weeks.  Abruptly fell away as usual w/ the occasional resurface of it here and there.  His finances were a mess despite a high income.  After huge battles, I got it under control and he now has A+ credit only b/c of me.  The sex I learned early on that he was a happy participant as long as I instigated, which got old real quick and of course killed my self esteem.  I tried to talk to him about it - the most I got from him is that when he has an orgasm during sex it's like waiting til Xmas morn to open presents and then be disappointed when all you get are socks.  He also suggested kissing was like kissing his arm.  Obviously painful things to hear.  We fell into the parent-child cycle fast.  I had the usual progression - surprise, confusion, despair, anger, anger, ANGER.  Got worse after a failed first pregnancy and now have a 17 mos old daughter.  Worst it's ever been since the beginning of this yr., I didn't let him in our bedroom for 3 mos straight b/c he'd hurt me and never try to make it better and I can't pretend I'm ok and lay next to him when I felt so hurt, isolated, ignored, abandoned, you name it.  I learned the typical cliched - the angrier I was, the more he'd respond (briefly) until he fell back into the old patterns (as soon as I wasn't angry) so I continued to elevate the fight higher and higher as he responded less and less at lower levels.  His ADD is def undertreated - he is on Adderall but our pediatrician tells me he's on a child's dose (he's 6'2).  I can tell when he hasn't had it, but it's nowhere near peaceful when he's on it either.  At the end of June this yr I got the "I love you but I'm not in love you" conversation.  He took his ring off, only wears it in public.  Ironically since that conversation we've slept in the same bed almost every night.  

We've been in marriage therapy since mid-July w/ an excellent therapist who has def done good.  DH claims his goal is to get things back in order w/ me, but so far his idea of "working at it" is not getting a lawyer or moving out.  To be honest, I think that's laziness and not a purposeful move on his part, but whatever.  Anyway, part of his lashing out at me has been to assure me he is not at all sexually attracted to me, doesn't even want to hug me or hold my hand.  He went so far as to say if he were single he'd have a one night stand w/ me in a heartbeat, but b/c it would mean more right now, he's not interested.  Then he wanted to be sure I know that often when he disappears into the bathroom for hours on end, it's b/c he's masturbating, sometimes for an hr or more.  He works from home and I stay at home w/ our daughter, so I know he spends a lot of time during the day in the bathroom but I know it's not always to masturbate.  I know it's not looks (in re: to me) b/c ... how do I say this w/o sounding cruddy?  Well....let's just say I know it's not my looks that is the issue.  I do catch him still check me out from time-to-time, but he often tries to go out of his way to not look at me when I'm naked...then again he has admitted he looks when I'm in the shower.

Some back story on me - I was sexually assaulted when I was 16 and it greatly affected me, obviously.  Other than that, if I'm w/ someone I love, I'm very eager in the bedroom.  If I feel like I'm not loved, then I'm not sexually involved.  I have no problem w/ masturbation, consider it healthy.  I have no problem w/ porn, watch it myself.  It's hurtful to learn he has spent so much time masturbating even prior to his ILYB bomb, only b/c he knew I was unhappy w/ our sex life so I wish he'd have come to me w/ his urges.  Of course now, it's particularly painful b/c of everything he has said/done to me in the last few months.  

Yesterday, in the middle of the work day, I went back to his office to grab something.  The door was locked (he does this so our daughter doesn't interrupt his work) but the door wasn't shut all the way so I knocked and opened it.  I found him w/ porn on the huge computer screen (his office is technically our guest bedroom, too).  He was sitting at his desk, in the middle of the work day, w/ his pants unzipped and porn on the screen.  Some more back story- I'm taking 9 credits of upper level biology course work to complete my degree and having an extremely difficult time w/ it b/c I have no time being a stay at home mom, DH doesn't help much b/c he's "working" and that's important and can't be interrupted.

So now besides the fact I'm enraged that he has time to masturbate in the middle of the day when he's supposed to be working while I'm busting my balls w/ barely enough time to eat or pee, let alone study...besides this, I'm having these very strange emotions since walking in on him.  I can't put my finger on it completely.  The only comparison I can come up w/ is I feel like I did when I was assaulted.  I feel sick to my stomach, on the verge of tears, betrayed, violated, the whole kit and caboodle.  I can't stand the look of him right now (he doesn't know this), and it makes me sick to enter the office/guest bedroom right now.  I know this wasn't sexual assault, so why does it feel like I've been assaulted?  I'm so confused and feel stunted.  I'm trying to follow the advice in Melissa's book, and I'm trying to do what I can to save our family/marriage.  I need to get passed this, I just don't understand why I feel so strongly.

I realize this is excessively long so I truly appreciate any who made it through.  Any input is welcome.


I have not had the same

I have not had the same experience, but if I did, I think I would feel the way you did.  The only thing close was last year, when my husband received a letter from his psychiatrist, stating that a member of the clinic's office staff had complained that my husband had sexually harassed her.  I felt like throwing up.

Take care of yourself and your baby...

How painful.  You don't deserve this.

As someone who told myself it could get better for 5 years, then had baby number 2, then spent 10 years thinking I had to hold the marriage together for the kids, and now face new challenges with my children's ADD, etc...Would you be surprised that this email voice is urging you to get the help you need, and consider getting out of that marriage?

It will never be easier (ha) to leave than when you are young.  And the upheaval will never get easier for your child...toddlers are resilient.

Do you have your own therapist?  (Not just a marriage counselor?)  Consider that.  When my ADHD husband wanted to "join" my therapy, the shrink was so emphatic that I have some boundaries, that I have something of mine, some safe place for comfort that--true story--his response was so strong he half fell out of his swivel chair.  It sounds like your husband has hurt you in perhaps your most vulnerable part of you.  Find a place to mend.  (My father was an alcoholic and I know that my childhood shaped the way I dealt with my husband...)

Do you have a place to stay?  (I feel for you bc I am a freelancer with a freelancer husband--it does make it that much harder when work/life/baby are all under one roof and it's up to you to navigate it all...)

Is there someone who can hug you and listen?  Is there somewhere you and the baby might go?  Or could you get your husband to leave until you've either worked things out or separated?  I know this is hard...read my own post and you'll see I'm no role model...but your situation sounds unhealthy, yes?

For what it's worth, the hyper-focus sex devolved after a few years of my marriage.  One day my husband forgot how to kiss and replaced that act with some kind of spitting in my mouth.  And when we watched a movie together on the couch, anything sexual turned him on, no matter what the context.  So for example, an ax murderer violating a corpse in some French art movie actual inspired him to put his hand down my pants, unaware of my disgust.  Personally, I found when the sex died, it never felt like a marriage again.

Porn?  That seems so ADHD.  Stimulation without having to communicate/connect/read the other person.  And ADHD is prone to addiction/self-medication.  (Apologies for the generalization, but it speaks to a truth...)

You gave this man your life.  You gave him a baby.  You did it with an open heart.  But perhaps, it is time to work out what is best for you... What do YOU NEED to finish that degree, love the baby, and make YOUR life, precious girl....?

take care of yourself

ss09, I echo this: take care of yourself. Right away. it is important. Can you see your own therapist (very different than seeing a marriage counselor)? 

I am sorry that this experience has been so painful for you. Also personal info, but I have found that as an assault survivor myself, in all of my relationships, if the sex is separated from feeling/caring/connection, then it freaks me out and I shut down immediately. It must be painful to have your spouse tell you that he is uninterested. While porn can have a place (we are all adults here, right?), when it crosses over into something hidden, and compulsive, or addictive, then it is another thing altogether. I can imagine you felt the whole world shift when you walked in on the scene you saw. Your husband sounds like he has some significant stuff going on that he needs to deal with, judging from the way he speaks to you. 

I agree--can you get some space for yourself? It does not sound like you are in a very healthy place right now (meaning your house with your H). I also know from experience--if issues this serious are unresolved, they only get harder and harder to bear as time passes. It will hurt you immeasurably to live with someone who continues to be unkind to you. It never gets easier to leave or take a break or get space. Just to take care of yourself and figure things out. You need to be a good mother to your child!

Best to you. ((Hugs))