I was so grateful to find this site over a year a half ago that I felt compelled to come back and continue where my saga left off. At the time I posted my first entry, I was contemplating leaving my husband. I am now 17 months into what I call an “ADHD Divorce” and I am hoping to shed light to those in my situation. I wanted to come back here because when you’re in the ‘thick of it’, living with an ADHD spouse, it’s almost impossible to see how bad it is. You become so accustomed to it—the frustration, the stress, the denial (his AND yours) that you have no idea of the magnitude of the situation. I knew it was bad when I first wrote that post, but I really didn’t understand the craziness I’d been living in until I was finally away from him.
My first post was lengthy, but here’s the gist…He:
- Had 5 jobs in 5 years. The only reason he stopped there was b/c NO ONE ELSE would hire him. Passed up for promotions 3x’s despite testing the highest. It was always someone else's fault.
- Finally got a job he liked and within two months was applying for a different one while at the same time contemplating a career change
- Decided he wanted to become a real estate mogul in addition to the 70+ hours a week he already worked in law enforcement; bought 4 properties in a matter of a few months; all are in the process of/ or have already foreclosed
- 20 different cars in 13 years; he once borrowed my car for a day and came home with a new one
- And all the little stuff:
- Couldn’t ‘man’ the grill because he’d forget the food was out there. I had to take over the job of mowing the lawn because I'd rather just have it done than fight about it. I’d find the milk in the cupboard, important mail filed before it'd even been opened, we’d pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars in fees to the bank because he couldn’t balance his many accounts. I never bothered to ask him if he knew where something was that I set down; he could have put it away two minutes before and would have no clue.
- Our sex life was non-existent. Who wants to have sex with someone they totally resent and view as their 3rd child? And even if I COULD get him to stop playing Legos with the kids long enough, STRESS does not do much for the libido.
- And I could go on…..and on.
Oh, and I also found out he had been cheating on me again. After finding the cell phone bill with thousands of texts to women he claimed he only spoke to a few times (sometimes 90+ texts a day) I realized he could not stop lying to me. I had put up with so much; this was the final straw. (Side note: he does not believe he has ADHD. I begged him to see a doctor; he talked with our GP for 15 minutes who blew the whole thing off and said there was nothing wrong with him. I felt really alone at that point.)
And now that we’ve been separated for over a year? One word: PEACE. The fog has lifted. The utilities are now paid on time. I’m not accumulating any more debt. I’m not stressing over listening to him want to change jobs….AGAIN. He’s not here telling me about more remodeling projects he’s planning for our house that is $350,000 under water. I am in control and I have hope for my future.
But it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies….In fact, it’s been, and continues to be an ADHD divorce nightmare.
-We are 2 million dollars in debt—largely from the rental properties he bought, but also for 2nds and 3rds he took out on those properties
-My credit is ruined - my credit rating is now in the bottom 5% of the US population. I cannot get approved for even a pre-paid credit card.
-My home is in foreclosure - it was only through my divorce did I find out he hadn’t been making regular payments since the beginning of our mortgage.
-He’s taken me back to court FOUR times in the past year attempting to get more custody of our kids and pay less support. Each time he is denied his motion he ignores the court orders and files a new motion as soon as he is allowed. It costs me $3,000 every time my attorney has to show up (all of which my mother is paying, but the divorce fund is all but dry now).
-He has taken our kids on multiple weekend trips to Disneyland, Legoland, river rafting, Joshua Tree, Las Vegas for a car show….bought them motorcycles, a piano…bought himself new cars, toys….and yet he can’t pay his child support. I had to get a court order to have his wages garnished. I only get half of what I’m supposed to per month and he owes me $25,000 in back support pay.
-I’m going back to court next week because he filed another motion to move back into our residence so he can ‘save’ the house.
-He’s told me he won’t stop taking me back to court until he gets what he wants: 50% custody of our kids, despite the fact that he’s never done a page of homework with them, keeps them up til all hours of the night, and oftentimes ‘forgets’ to FEED them. When the kids are with him, he no longer has me around to pull him back from the island of ‘Neverland’….. so the kids are running a mile a minute trying to keep up with Dad’s next big adventure.
Sounds bleak, I know. But I have to say, I have NO REGRETS. I’m very sad my kids will grow up in a ‘broken’ home—but I’ve come to realize it’s better to be ‘broken’ and to start over than to be warped and just keep spinning in circles. I am SO HAPPY to be free of his constant Tasmanian-Devil presence. I don’t miss it one bit. Being removed from the constant stress made me realize just how crazy my life was. A few months after my husband moved out, my six-year old said to me, “Mom, your face looks like it’s glowing!” It brought tears to my eyes—I am happy for the first time in a very long time. Even though he has financially ruined me, anything I make and save in the future can actually be SAVED. I know I’ll never be sitting in the dark because he forgot to pay the bill again. I’m no longer running in circles trying to catch all the balls he’s sent flying in the air. I now have a chance at having a relationship with an actual ‘adult’-- someone who will make me feel like a woman and not their mother. Life is good.