Finally throwing in the towel

Those of you who have read my posts before will remember, my posts were full of things other spouses of ADDers face-no job, no help around the house, etc. I finally got a legitimate "work from home" job and found myself, within a few weeks, working 60 or more hours a week. I spent hours working away on my computer listening to him watch whatever TV shows caught his fancy-mostly off-network reruns like Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, etc. And he did nothing to clean the house or make my life function better (except he did cook). This went on over a year. He never even looked for work. His excuse was that my work monopolized the computer, so he couldn't do a job search.

Our dishwasher finally broke and I paid someone $200 to clean my kitchen because he wouldn't; it was "too overwhelming". That just got it to the point where I could let the appliance guy come in. That was a couple of months ago.

Finally, I went to stay with my daughter 90 miles away. She needed help at her office temporarily. But I went home on the weekends. When I left one Sunday, we had run out of toilet paper, and when I can back the next Saturday, there was still no toilet paper. He had a car (paid for my me) and a debit card with enough money to buy a whole warehouse full of toilet paper. For one thing, that's disgusting. For another, I have had 3 surgeries for incontinence, so it seemed to show a remarkable lack of interest in my needs.

Today, I moved my personal possessions to a storage unit and I'm going to move in with my daughter until I can find a job. I will have better luck in her city, I think. I will let him stay here as long as he can pay the rent, but without a job and with his unemployment running out, how is he supposed to do that?

I just can't do it any more. His ADD is stronger than his love for me, and stronger than me. I just can't fight it any more.

Tired old man's picture

You're a strong woman.

     Hello Sueann. 

   I'm sorry you've had to muster the deepest courage within yourself to do what you feel is right and I hope and pray for your peace of mind.  Defining and adhering to one's declared needs, boundaries and expectations with our inattentive mate is a struggle most of us deal with.  Maybe your relocation will catch his attention.....which brings me to a question you may have already explained elsewhere on the site.  Is your husband aware of his symptoms and on medication or is he in denial?  Does he have any idea of what he potentially has to lose?  It seems like the breaking of the parent-child cycle should shock him out of his comfort zone.  I'm glad you are searching for yours, too.  All the best.



Husband diagnosed years ago

My husband lost his first job 6 weeks after we were married, leading to a downward spiral of depression. I made him go to therapy and he eventually got on medication for depression and later, for ADD. He takes it regularly, but I swear, the more meds they give him the worse he gets.

I love him so much, but I can't be a party to this life any more. I don't even want him to come back at this point. I just want to be done.


Sueann I so feel that pain

Sueann I so feel that pain ahev now for 8 years and I finally threw in the towel last night...I kicked out my husband I cannot do it anymore, I know it sounds bad that I had to kick him out but I am just so tired of feeling empty inside and crying all the time. He lost his 2nd job in june of this year...this makes 6 total. I have to work 2 jobs now just to support myself and my 2 kids. I work from home and to be home all day along with him is like living in hell. I also have sent him to a Dr. for his meds and yes when he was working he was fine but after they wore off well I guess I do not need to tell you what that is like. After I read your post the tears just could not stop coming, I felt like I was reading my life. It has gotten to the point that even if I think about speaking to him about a job he gets all bent out of shape. I am not sure which way I am going to go but for now all I can do is keep going forward, not only for me but also for the kids. Thanks Sueann for posting I don;t feel so alone anymore.

I just can't do it any more.

I just can't do it any more. His ADD is stronger than his love for me, and stronger than me. I just can't fight it any more.

His ADD is stronger than you, but most likely, not stronger than his love for you. He obviously loves you if he takes his meds. There are many accounts on this forum of ADHD partners who refuse treatment; had that been the case with my ADHD husband, I would have left. I would have felt that God had released me from my vows. But my husband sought treatment and even without his meds, he has found ways to cope and mitigate the damage caused by unfiltered ADD. Yes, he doesn't help me around the house (beyond picking up his dirty dishes) but I love him anyway. He works in a bar and seems at times, totally disinterested in obtaining a different job though he swears he hates the place. I work full-time, take in consulting work, and pick up a Saturday or two in my mom's shop. Many say that's unfair and sure I feel sorry for myself, but in the end it doesn't matter. He's pulling himself together. He started school today with an ambition of becoming a lawyer or perhaps working for the FBI eventually. I may be the major bread winner but we're working together towards our future.

In the end, every marriage is different and I choose not compare mine the world's brilliant shining image of the perfect married couple with the perfect husband who helps the wife around the house, brings home the bacon, and watching the kids. It's just not reality. I haven't read your other posts, so I hope that there is more going on here than just no help around the house or the issues regarding work. But tolerance levels are different, and you may have just reached the end of your rope. But your comments about him being worse on the meds is an indication that there's not a lot of talking going on about his ADHD. He needs to be re-evaluated by a professional if you haven't noticed any difference. I hope I haven't come across as harsh. At the core of me, I don't really believe in divorce except in cases of physical abuse, uncontrolled addictions, or repeated infidelities. But nevertheless, best of luck to you no matter what happens.


On this last comment

Dazed and confused: You're wrong on so many levels. Here's why:

There are a variety of reasons a person can take their ADD meds, but love for one's spouse is only one of them. There's no indication that he "most likely" loves her. You're assuming too much. This is too great an assumption to make, and, even if it is true, it's no reason to stay in a marriage if he can't get his behavior under control.

It's also wrong to think that ADD meds cure everything and are real effort. Popping a pill is not the hard work that people with ADD should grapple with. Therapy helps, too, and therapy is harder. If effort is love, then popping a pill isn't much love at all.

Oh, how nice it is that YOU are able to still love your husband even though he doesn't help out around the house. Good for you. Aren't you strong? I don't think for a minute that Sueann is asking for too much, but apparently you do, since you can tolerate some things that Sue can't (or won't).

Also, aren't you morally superior for "choosing" not to compare your marriage to society's image of a perfect one. As if Sue is consciously choosing that. Simply put, we all have different needs, and Sue's aren't being met. The fact that you have different needs doesn't make you superior. It just means that you're lucky that YOURS are met. And shame on you for putting someone else down. You may not think you were, but you were.




Dazed, I have followed you for a long time here. I am happy that you are in a good place and I respect you and the process you went through to get where you are. But I agree with losingpatience, you sound pretty judgmental here, even if you don't think you do. This lady just left her husband and she is emotionally devastated. I lived with someone who went through periods like the DH of the original poster--someone who could not function at all--someone who would go without rather than going to the closet to get another roll of toilet paper. Who when all the dishes were dirty, would reach for a tupperware lid or mixing bowl to eat from rather than washing anything. Who did not shovel the walk, or cut the grass, or shop or make a meal or drop off our children...who started sleeping in until 2 in the afternoon. Who dropped his clothes all over the floor and left me to manage our money and pay bills while I worked twice as many hours. After years of it, I was emotionally exhausted and a physical wreck. Mine slammed a ton of ADHD medication, but didn't do anything else to treat it. The medication helped him focus and wake up to work for a few hours a week, but it made him full of rage and he would collapse like a dish rag when coming off of it. I begged him to get counseling or see a psychiatrist for years, and he would not. Said the problem was mine and that he just marched to the beat of a different drummer and I didn't love him for who he was. Fortunately, mine was abusive as well, so according to your list, I was ok in leaving him and taking my children from such an environment, lol. 

It does sound like the original poster's spouse has something else going on--badly treated ADHD, depression--who knows? The point is, he isn't improving or making the right kind of effort to have a better marriage with his wife. She has had all she could take. She cannot carry him on her back any more. I disagree with you--she should not be sentenced to a life of misery just because her spouse hasn't hit her or cheated on her multiple times. 


Now what??? Need input, please

My husband called; he's cleaning an area of the house we used for storage and found some things he thought (correctly) that I'd like back. So I drove the 90 miles to our old house. I can't process what I found.

1. Someone approached him about buying a junk car I left behind. I could really use the money. He lost their number.

2. He took in a stray dog. (Understandable-he loves animals and we've done that before as a couple) But he/she wasn't house trained. The dog has been gone for 2 weeks and there is still dog poop on the hardwood floors in one of the rooms. 2 WEEKS!!!

3. He claims to be looking for a job but he lost the password to his cell phone, which is an add-on to his brother's account so he has no way to get it. He won't ask his brother to tell it to him again. So what happens if a potential employer calls? He'll never know.

Ellamenno says ADDers don't deliberately sit back and say, OK, I've got ADD so you've got to take care of me. But isn't that what he's doing by not looking for a job? He's getting food stamps and the landlord has agreed to take half the rent, which his mother pays, along with his electricity and water. So the taxpayers, his mother and his landlord have to keep his life going while he does nothing. Eventually, the landlord is going to get feed up with it and evict him. There must be thousands of dollars of expenses needed to make the house livable again and, since I'm on the  original lease and I paid the security deposit, I'll be on the hook too.

He's not taking any meds for ADD, depression or his blood pressure, high cholesterol and low testosterone. He can't blame me for any of this, except that I'm no longer there fixing his life for him. But yet I could end up in court and never be able to rent a house again.

So what should or should I not do to prevent his ADD from ruining my life?


doing it too

Hi Suann,

I just left my spouse with ADHD after over 15 years together. Mine is having many of the same issues paying bills and managing his life. We are trying to co-parent together and be civil and friendly, so I am working on helping him to the point that it makes life better for me and our children, but not swooping in and taking on the role of "fixer" any more. It is scary that my name is on our joint accounts (for example, we have car insurance together and I can't get my own separate policy until we legally divorce. What!?!) 

On a practical level, get yourself a consultation with an attorney if you haven't and find out how to disentangle yourself legally from any new debts he may incur (legal separation--you can get a temporary order until you work out the permanent one). If not, you could still be responsible for anything he does, including sudden large medical debts (trust me!) or credit card debts. 

As for your spouse, I am sorry. He is not going to be suddenly different just because you left. He does not really want to look for a job right now, of course--the cell phone or the computer or any excuse is just a hair-thin reason so that he can avoid feeling completely terrible about himself. He sounds like he may have other things going on, like depression, but who knows, and until he decides to get treated for himself, you can't do anything about it. Harsh, but if you can let this go, you will feel better. 

Can you show up one day, businesslike, and deal with what you need to do? List the car somewhere (don't leave him to manage anything like this for you), clean up the house (get a cleaning service this once), and meet with your landlord? Tell him the situation and that you need to break your part of the lease. There has to be a rule against pets--tell your landlord that your spouse is living alone there now and breaking the rules. See if you can get out of it so you are not legally responsible and your credit is not ruined. Show him the place while it is clean? Your landlord may appreciate the heads up and come up with a suggestion? 

And then, once your are disentangled, stay that way. Let him know that you wish him the best and then let him live his life the way he wants. You have left. Start working on and focusing on yourself and let yourself have a life:-) It is a relief not to use your energy being hurt, outraged, angry, and empty any more, believe me. 

Best to you. 


I've done most of that

My husband apparently let our landlord know I left after I did. He is a nice man, not a company, and he agreed to let my H pay half rent. But I've no idea how long he'll let that go on. We have permission to have the dog, we moved in with him, and paid an extra pet deposit. Landlord never knew we have 2 cats. One has run away since I left. The stray dog who pooped all over is gone. I just want my H to clean up the poop.

My daughter is a divorce attorney. She felt like we didn't need a separation agreement since we really don't disagree about anything. There isn't a status in our state of "legally separated". You separate (and I can prove when I left) and a year later you can file for divorce. Other party can't contest it except to say you didn't separate, and I certainly can prove we did. We've no property to divide, and I plan on going back and "cat-napping" the cat once I am able to afford my own place.

I plan to list the car on craigslist or find one of those people who buy junk cars and sell it the next time I go to my old city.

My main problem is how to get him to clean up the place and get out when the landlord finally loses patience with him. I think paying someone to do it would be impossibly expensive. He has this attitude that cleaning is someone else's job, so he never does anything. Your description in your previous post is dead-on., about eating off the tupperware lids or mixing bowls if there aren't any clean dishes, rather than washing some. I can't clean it myself (I'm handicapped and I don't live there-and it's certainly more than a one-day job) and I'm trying tor rent my own place and I don't have the money to spare to pay someone to do it.

I just have this vision of my husband standing on the street corner with our dog on a leash, begging, and it really scares me.


so great

Sueann, it sounds great that you have someone like your daughter in your life to advise you. I am sorry for your situation but it sounds like you are taking care of yourself and doing the right things. I know, it is scary when you can't control what your spouse, whom you still obviously care about as a person, does or doesn't do, even when it can lead to some seriously consequences for both of you. I understand intellectually that there is something going on with my STBX spouse's brain that makes it so challenging for him to walk to the cabinet and get more toilet paper (I saw him many times knock something over, like an open soda in the fridge, make a noise, stand it back up, and then just walk away...leaving the pool of soda there for me to clean up. I really don't think in that moment that he thought, "She will clean this up for me so I don't have to." I think his brain thought, "Ugh, I can't deal with this.") But I can't imagine having to ask him to help clean up a big mess like the one you are facing. 

Best of luck to you. 

That's just it..

I think he does say, Well, I don't have to clean this up. [insert woman here] will do it," where the woman in question is either me or his mother. I think he thinks he can walk away and I won't get my security deposit back (I paid it originally; he wasn't working when we moved there), but there won't be any consequences for HIM, so he doesn't care.

This happened before. He did most of the cooking when we were together. Both his mother and I found that cooking was the only thing we could get him to do. So when I was working from 8 am until midnight and he was doing nothing, literally, except watching TV and cooking dinner, our dishwasher broke and there was no way the appliance guy could get in and fix it. I found it difficult to even walk in the kitchen because of all the trash on the floor. I had to pay someone $200 to clean the kitchen enough to let the repair guy get to the dishwasher. He just sat there watching TV while the two ladies did the work, and I was at work. I really felt like he was laughing at me, like he put one over on me. I felt like a fool.

The annoying thing is that I do still care about him. And I worry about the dog. I can't bring him here, and if he loses the place where he lives, I have no idea what happens to the dog.

Throwing in the towel

I would love to throw in the towel too.  My relationship has been dysfunctional, devoid of any warmth and even toxic for a period of over ten years now.  However I need a second pair of hands round the place.  I live on a small island (UK) and have my elderly mother living with us and a large number of dogs who I love dearly - although they came in to the household to stop me making demands on his time.  I envy you taking this step and hope it works out for you.