Going to Court or Going Insane...pick, which will come first?

I am completely exasperated. My ADD husband and I go to court in a few days. He is in contempt of our custody agreement. His ADD is all over the missteps. Failed to communicate, missed objectives, lies, and hostility. You ADD it, he did it. I know I need counseling, I am so, so, so, hurt by all of this. I hurt because not one person who communicates with him, believes there is an issue. He has completely alienated me from friends and family I have shared 12 years of my life with. All who believe I was “too controlling” and fail now to see, the reality of our relationship and this mess that we are now in. The mortgage is unpaid by 3 months, my son is doing poorly in school, the car is going to get repossessed, no income, and we have no health insurance. BUT NO, there is “nothing to talk about…God is on his side.” So, they support and pay the legal fees…to lose. But, who loses…I do, I see money go out the window to my attorney, I see health insurance go unpaid, I see the telephone getting turned off and in the end… I see I win, YET ANOTHER court order, for him not to comply with. Greatly, because HE CAN’T. I want someone to sit him down, HELP HIM. Help him like I did for 13 years. Help him do the math, help him make the plan and help him discern what is in his best interest. But, they all just sit there and look at him smile. What a great and fun loving guy. It is as if the front we put up for 12 years has come back to haunt me. They think he had it all under control. I presented it that way, out of respect! I wanted my children to respect my husband. I wanted to “surrender” to him being the leader in the house. Now that I am gone, everything is falling apart and 700 miles away; I am STILL cleaning it up. I feel like its’ more than ADD, I think it is a mental illness. I wish it was, at least then I could find someone to intervene legally. Someone, who would look at this mess and put a stop to the legal dibockle. We are poor people getting poorer by a rich system and WE will not win. I am the saddest person alive at this moment. I’ve wanted nothing but the best for my husband and my family. I left because I could not take it anymore. I just wish he would fight with ration, I don’t even get that. I get partial documents, conjured up allegations and non-responsiveness all wrapped up neatly in a legal letter at the cost to him of $200.00 for the lawyer to write it and $300.00 for my lawyer to read it and respond to it. All of which he could have written to me in an e-mail, sent a voice mail or had a friend tell me for nothing. Because IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE enough to pay $500.00 for! When I WE (not just me) need $500.00 toward the mortgage! I feel guilty fighting him in court. It is like fighting an opponent with two amputated arms and swollen eyes, with a trainer in his corner telling him…you can win champ, you’re the greatest, we’re praying for ya! God’s on your side! What can I say to make ANYONE in his camp listen, this is wrong!? My husband needs help! L

You are fighting for you

Maybe it would help if you could change your perspective.  You are not fighting against him in court, you are fighting for you.  The letters need to be overseen by lawyers because that is the way that the court system works.  He isn't interested in conversation, he's interested in winning.  I can't tell you whether or not to try to communicate outside of the lawyers, but I can say that if you do it should be businesslike only.  Unfortunately, his mental health isn't a topic that fits neatly into "businesslike" so that's one I would stay away from.  Also anything that might put you into a weaker negotiation position (and these are sometimes hard to identify when it's you involved) or that is harsh or inflamatory...or...

It is no longer your job to let others know about his problems, or to try to encourage him to get help, even if you still care for him.  Others may learn of his issues some day, when his NEXT marriage also falls apart in a similar way...or maybe not...but even if you still care for him, yours is now a "business" relationship only.  Look at it from his perspective.  He probably sees your comments about his ADHD and his need for help as a threat - something that could jeapardize his settlement at the very least, and upset his life later if people believe you.  It sounds as if he's done with worrying about your concerns.  Entreaties to do so are going to get you very far, but will likely raise the resentment quotient a good deal.

While I think you will feel sad and disappointed about the failure of your marriage for a long time, I think it may be time to stop feeling guilty about the divorce - you couldn't save him from himself while you were married, so you sure won't be able to now.  Guilt puts you in a weaker position when it comes to making decisions that affect your future and your daughter's.  Make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect your interests and that of your daughter (and this does not include, in my opinion, being as contentious as possible in the courts).  In my mind, helping your daughter includes helping her understand and accept her dad (see other post), insisting that he do right by his daughter by not badmouthing you to her and by providing financial support, and make sure that your documents etc are all in order and that the divorce proceed as quickly as possible (length = expense).  In other words, taking as much emotion out of the equation (except for continuing love and support for your daughter) as you can.

Also, you seem quite distressed that his family and friends are siding with him.  I would let it go.  You aren't going to win that one or somehow make them see the light.  You've probably heard the old saying "perception is reality".  Definitely so in this case, it sounds.  It's a bitter reality that you may not get credit for all your effort in your marriage.

Divorce is miserably expensive, and truly awful as it reshapes your life.  You might want to read a chapter in "Should I Stay or Go?" entitled "The Good Divorce" that can help you with some guidelines for making your obviously contentious divorce a little easier.  She provides concrete ideas about how to keep the divorce proceedings from becoming a legal battlefield.  It's not a long chapter, but could give some good ideas.


Melissa Orlov

Hello, first post here, I'm

Hello, first post here, I'm very new :). I'm in a very similar situation, only I’m the husband, the one with ADD. If it is really important for you to make him “understand”, you need to figure out a way to get him to read Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction. He will most likely refuse, especially if it is suggested by you, so if you both have a mutual friend, or possibly one of his family to “work” on him that would be beneficial to the both of you. You might want to read it also. Read the whole book, not just the sections pertaining to spouse’s and mates, even though it will seem like “they” are writing about “you”. I was diagnosed by a friend that has ADHD 5 years ago. A doctor 2 ½ years ago. My ex-wife bought us these books 7 months ago. Even though I didn’t read them till 5 days ago, after all the chaos, court, and loss, it might have the biggest impact regarding my “understanding”. You can only hope it will impact him enough, to promote the desire to “understand” more. Even if you’re never on good terms with each other, ever, it can be beneficial, for both of you. Melissa Orlov’s assessment is dead on and provides very good suggestions. If you really read these books you might “understand” why he acts the way he does, and why you feel the way you do. You might not.