GUESS How much he spent??

Hey everyone... I had to post this here because I think this may be the only place anyone understands what I'm going thru. My ADHD husband is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E with money, like many ADDers, but has resisted most attempts on my part to "help" him. He's curbed his huge spending sprees, but still spends about 2x the amount budgeted for him.

In July a freak vandalism by a drug addict caused a total loss to my husband's work pickup (a little 1992 Toyota) and we got $3800 from the insurance company to replace it. I was VERY happy with the amount we got, thinking we wouldn't get enough to replace the vehicle, but it turns out it was worth a lot more than we thought.

Right away he had a "grand" idea to get the other his other truck out of repair, where it has been sitting for 2 years, because we've been unable to pay off the bill on it. It is a 1977 Ford Pickup, he's had it since Highschool. I did NOT want to get the stupid truck, as it's a money pit and we've already put in way too much money into it. He ranted and raved and hollered and complained about it until he had me convinced that it would be cheaper to get it out of repair than to find another vehicle. After all, it was only $1400 to finish the repair on the truck, then we could "save" that money for other things! Against my better judgement I agreed.

He was happy as a kid in a candy store picking up his truck. Guess how long it ran?? THREE days before there was an issue. And thus began the biggest clusterf*ck of wasted time/effort/money I've ever seen. Now here we are, 2 months later, he has been out there night and day (literally) trying to fix the damn thing, and it STILL DOES NOT RUN. I just totalled the money we've spent up to now.. are you ready for it?????


I am sick to my stomach at what we could have done with that money, and to STILL not have a working vehicle?! He assures me that he will be able to return a ton of stuff and get money back, but that's always the story, and it never happens.

We recently separated, he still does not have a vehicle and is having to bum rides to work. I think I could be forgiving if this was not one of numerous times he's blown large amounts of money on things that he assured me was going to work out or argued me into submission.

I don't even know how to fix the situation, I just want to separate myself financially from him ASAP. It makes me want to puke thinking about it.

separate your money

irrelephant, can you see an attorney and legally separate your money as soon as possible? At least you would not be responsible for any debts or spending on his part after a certain date. Even if you were to reconcile, I bet separating your money and having your own accounts would give you a sense of much-needed control over everything. 

And let him bum rides to work. Maybe when it starts to snow or his friends get tired of picking him up he'll figure out a way to fix that truck or get a better vehicle:-) My best to you. 

For now he has agreed to

For now he has agreed to separate the money at least for this time of separation. I get his paycheck into an account, pay the bills, and then put a specific amount into his account. The rest will be for the kids and I to live off of. I'm 99% sure that he's going to overspend and need $$, so I'm preparing myself to deal with that. I do think you're right, that even when/if we reconcile we need to keep accounts separate. I just wish I hadn't wasted so much time/money hoping he'd change his habits.

  Oh boy... I've been here! I


Oh boy... I've been here!

I could bore you to tears with the many car related dramas we've had. Fortunately my hubby doesn't consider himself any kind of mechanic. Unfortunately - his attitude to maintenance of vehicles is poor... When everything is 'not now' - why would getting the car serviced be any different?

Hubby's current car - that I researched, made the phone calls, organized and paid for - has been let run down horribly over the last 5 years. I've been saying for at least a year - 'start saving - you need a new car'. I can't sort it for him this time-  my reserves are dry as I don't work at the moment (keeping the house, 3 kids and him all going takes all my time, basically.) Of course, he hasn't saved a cent. And he's got all these crazy ideas about buying a 'cheap little 4x4' to replace his old Camry... If you know anything about 4x4s... This is where your blood starts to run cold...

And - we already have a big 4x4! Which purchase price - $7,000... But when we bought it, it's head gasket was blown - and the head was warped. $4,500 later... Oh - and the tyres were perished.. I thought hubby and I had agreed on some mid price all terrains.. But no - massive mud tyres! On what is basically a people mover... $1500... It just goes on and on. And when he decided he had to have a 4x4, and I said - but I want to spend the money on the house... He said 'Don't worry, we'll do both!' And I believed him.  Nothing has been spent on the house.  And the big fourby is never quite right, it always needs 'just one more thing' fixed. So despite being the biggest money sinkhole that we have, it doesn't even fullfill the purpose it was bought for - taking the family on holidays! In a fortnight we are booked to go away for the first time in nearly 5 years... And there are question marks over the radiator. Hubby says 'don't worry - it's fine!' I'm thinking... We'll cook the engine somewhere on the sparsely populated highway... And that's $14,000 completely wasted... So.. I'm really looking forward to this holiday, laden with stress I can tell you.

Yes, Yes Yes, all of those

Yes, Yes Yes, all of those things are my husband as well. We have had lights on in our suburban for years, he assures me that it's nothing "major". I am the one that remembers to get the oil changed/etc, or it would never get done.

I am beginning to realize that I cannot afford to "trust" him. If it's something that's critical and could have bad consequences for me or the kids, I think I need to not allow him to be in charge. How else do you mitigate the damages? But how do you do that without enabling them to not have any responsibilities?? Therein is the catch.

The cars that I and my

The cars that I and my daughters drive?  My responsibility to make sure they're fixed.  The car my husband drives?  His responsibility.  My husband's drivers license?  His responsibility.  The house that we co-own and that I'm living in while I've asked him to move elsewhere?  My responsibility, even for the things he's messed up in the house.  Where he lives when he's out of the house?  His responsibility.  Health insurance?  My responsibility, because I'm now getting family coverage through my employer.  My husband's health?  His responsibility.  

It is helpful although painful to approach things such as this by thinking about what you would do if your husband were dead.  You might be mad at him for abandoning you, but you'd still do the things. 

My spouse managed to spend

My spouse managed to spend several thousand dollars on a junk heap of a station wagon. I kept telling him to get a new car when the timing was right and we could afford to, but he wouldn't hear of it.

The mechanic he kept taking it to didn't even specialize in that particular car. But boy oh boy, they were great people for my dh to shoot the breeze with. He will literally have these "great impressions" of people. People he'd meet only briefly and he'd come home and tell me they would make a great house guest. What is a little bit scary is that he cannot read subtle behavioral cues. As long as there is a smile, they're his friends for life.... and to think I smiled at him when we first met... but when I make suggestions or try to make a joint decision with him, somehow I'm the enemy.

That mechanic always presented him with a bill of a few hundred dollars every other month. It even got to the point where the mechanic must have felt he had taken him for all he had, and told my dh to "give it up". It seriously might have gone on for years. So guess when he decided to get a loan for the car?  Not long after the $10K loan for the roof.  So we are in very frugal mode for the next couple of years or so.




  And after no action on the


And after no action on the car at all, my hubby will suddenly go into 'spend mode'! Suddenly all the things I wanted done - for safety! - he'll want to do at once... But by that point, the car is too run down to be worth saving and I have to try to convince him that it's too late - we need to replace it...

That's where we are now - finally he agrees that the car will cost way more to repair than it's worth. He will now suddenly see a car in a yard that he wants and will probably decide to buy it on impulse..  Ringing me up to 'ok' his snap decision. After all - I wanted him to have a new car.  *Deep sigh*


YES! Seriously, do they

YES! Seriously, do they compare notes or work off a script? My husband does the SAME THING!

When he finally gets wild hare and decides to "accomplish" something, LOOK OUT, because no amount of money is too much to spend on a project or repair he is "doing". He has spent so much money on tools and various things at Home Depot to "fix" the house it's obscene. And STILL we sit here with holes in the wall and peeling linoleum. If I complain about the $$ or time he's spending, he'll throw it back at me that I wanted him to fix it in the first place, etc etc. These last few weeks he's been wanting to spend his weekends (when he's supposed to take the kids) working on his truck, but I've refused to accomodate him and take them, so he's blaming me that it's still not fixed. Never mind the fact that he could get up BEFORE work (he works swing from 2pm to 10pm) and work on/tow the truck.

Today I let him take my car because he couldn't find a ride to work, so now I'm stuck at the house with no transportation. I think I have to get over the fact that he's going to think I'm a b*tch when I refuse to let him take the car. I always give in, not wanting to be "mean", but the only way I have ever been able to get him to step up and take responsibility for things is by adopting a tough love, too bad, so sad, attitude.

Did Melissa's book ever say how to deal with the spending stuff? It's been a few years since I read it so I can't remember.

  It's a really entrenched


It's a really entrenched pattern around here... Paralysis - followed by flurries of activity... Then back to paralysis! And the effort or activity expended doesn't seem to ever amount to a corresponding amount of 'outcome'. We buy the same tools over and over because they always go missing before the job is over with. (I'd say 'completed'... but I don't mean that - just forgotten about is closer to the truth.) You'd laugh at the number of screwdrivers, putty knives, paintbrushes we own...

I'm perhaps fairly lucky that hubby doesn't just go off spending money without telling me, but I do start to feel tense when he gets enthused about a project and won't do a shopping list, or check what we already have/ he really needs before heading out to the shop.

Money stresses him, mortgages, insurances etc he knows are important but can't focus on long enough to make decisions so he leaves that to me- which isn't perhaps ideal, but I am competent and see that it all gets done. While feeling that this really is something we should be doing together as partners. We actually had a conversation last night about some of the things that need doing around the house and he agreed that we should employ someone to do them so they just get done. And that we should approach the bank for an extension to the mortgage to pay for these things and a new small car for him to commute in. Yay huh? Yes indeed... Until you realise that I've been saying exactly these things for about 2 years. But hey - maybe now he's finally come to the same realizations - things might start to happen?.... I can only hope.

Well, that sounds like a step

Well, that sounds like a step in the right direction at least! I totally get the same sense of dread in my stomach when he starts to talk about projects and get excited about them, I know what that usually leads to. The problem my dh has is that he can never connect the past episodes to his current project. He will argue till he's blue in the face that this time is "different" and I'm just bringin up his past to make him feel guilty and why can't I get over things?! We have scads of tools and multiples of each. Right now his truck is in the back of the house, in the alleyway (under the carport) surrounded by hundreds of dollars worth of tools/etc, that he has left lying out. If someone came by they could rob us blind and get off with quite a bit of stuff. I've tried to get him to clean it up, but he never gets around to it.  He does the same thing with clothes.. He has 3x the clothes that anyone else in the family does. He never puts his laundry away, it piles up, then he says he doesn't have X, so he needs a new one. I finally get him to bring me all his laundry, and we end up with 50+ pairs of socks (not even kidding, I counted once).

The one thing I've read in countless articles/books about ADHD is to hire out the jobs/tasks that you are not good at. Household chores/maintenance is a big one for those with ADHD, so hiring a cleaning service or handyman is the best option if you can afford it. I have already decided that we WILL hire a cleaning service at the new house, as there is no way I can keep up with it with 4 kids to raise and going to school full time. I would rather go without a few dinners out or cable tv than have to sit in a messy house or with undone household projects that he's going to "get to" eventually.

I get that everyone has their weaknesses and strengths, and part of loving someone is to accept that they may never be good at certain things, but what do you do when that person refuses to admit that they suck at something? If every time an issue comes up, the person deflects and denies and argues about it, and then refuses to allow you to help compensate for an area they are weak in, what are you left with to do? I think I could manage if dh would just admit that he sucks at keeping track of money and that he needs to let me help him go over a project and plan it out before jumping in, but every time he gets huffy about it and says I'm treating him like a little kid, then storms off and proceeds to doing the exact same thing again.


  My hubby has to say 'we'


My hubby has to say 'we' are no good at getting things done etc... He can't quite own that it's him rather than us who can't get tasks completed. But - I really couldn't care less about that in the end - I just want to see the repairs or whatever completed.  It's like waiting for him to get around to mowing the lawn... I couldn't care less if he paid someone else to do it - but it would probably take him just as long to make the call as it does to get him on the ride -on mower! And it would take him having a good hard look at himself and realising that he's crap at getting things done.... Not aided by his attitude of 'we' rather than 'I'. I really wish he'd own his own problems.

Actually - maybe that's the deep down issue. Knowing that he's not good at getting things done - but refusing to accept that knowledge? It's too much of an affront to his own self esteem so it's way easier to find reasons (excuses) usually somehow my fault in some way.

The latest 'Yes let's get stuff done!' flurry has me both a little bit hopeful, as I think deep down he does want to do these things and he does want to show me that he cares enough for me and the kids to do them... But also feeling a bit glum, because on the other hand - we've been here before and nothing actually eventuated. My heart says 'believe him!' my brains says 'oh no.. not again'.

I'd dearly love for him to want to seek proper diagnosis and treatment for his ADD. He agrees.. then doesn't 'get around to it'. It's not in my nature to give ultimatums. I think if I told him our marriage was in jeopardy over this he would be paralyzed by anxiety.

I get the "we" thing a lot

I get the "we" thing a lot too. For the last 3 years dh has insisted that I MUST admit that my problems are causing just as much turmoil/chaos as his. I know that I'm not perfect and I have a heck of a lot of things to work on, but I think, for him, it's a way to deflect the seriousness of his issues and keep himself in la la land where he thinks he's doing pretty good on things, at least as good as I am doing.

The never getting around to it thing is the killer. I've gotten to the point that words mean next to nothing, because I've heard all the right speeches and made multiple "agreements", and then watched as nothing gets done or followed thru with. I feel like a cold hearted b*tch because I haven't joined him on his latest "epiphany" and jumped on the crazy train again. Too many times I've let myself believe that THIS would be the time things change, then I go thru horrible ups and downs as I see things falling apart again, as he craps out on the process and I'm left holding the bag. The point that I'm at is that until I See him consistently doing the things he's promised to do, I don't believe it and am not falling for it.

I always compare the relationship dynamics to Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football. How many times he's convinced me that he's not going to pull the ball away THIS time, that THIS time it will be different. I resist, but eventually give in and give it one more try. Every.Single.Time I end up flat on my back, dazed and confused, while he's nowhere to be found.

Have you read "ADHD EFFECT" Yet?

Your story sounds like the carbon image of my own in so many ways...have you read my book yet?  If not, you may want to consider getting a copy (Amazon or your library are best bets).  You husband probably really does  have a point when he says that you are part of the problem, just as you have a point when you say he is.  But don't make the mistake of thinking it's just ADHD.  Sure, the reason this stuff is going on starts with the ADHD, but the reason it continues is BOTH his lack of having treated his ADHD AND your involvement with it.  If you think he would be willing, I would strongly recommend my seminar (next live class given by conference call starts Oct. 1)  Truly, I do not say this to earn money, I say it because it is one of the singly best resources out there for couples struggling with EXACTLY the kinds of problems you describe here - repetitive symptomatic behavior, both members of the couple angry at each other, your partner being "consistently inconsistent" and disengaging from you, each of you claiming the other is really to blame, your being "dazed and confused" by why he can't/won't engage, your losing trust in's ALL covered, as well as what to do to start to change things.  You need help - please take advantage of these resources!


I think you're totally right.

I think you're totally right. We just separated the beginning of this  month, so we're still ironing out the details of how it's going to look. I told him a MINIMUM of 6 months, but I'm thinking it may be longer, because I need the time to reestablish my boundaries and figure out how and IF I want to live a life with him without becoming sucked into his chaos and crazy making habits.

It's hard, because I grew up with a wonderful model of what a marriage can look like, my parents are still happily married, and my dad will bend over backwards to make my mom's life easier. He takes care of everything she needs him to do (and more), and hardly ever complains. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen them actually fight (only two come to mind right now), and they seem genuinly happy. I know that every marriage has its problems, and that they had their own share of hard times, but when I look at what exists in my marriage and try to be realistic about what is possible even IF he gives it 100% effort, it's hard to not be discouraged. I realize that a lot of it is just my stuff to get over and come to accept, but when you feel like you've compromised on so many things it's hard not to feel like you're selling yourself short.

We are in the process of closing on a new house (short sale that has taken 10 months to finish) and the place we're in now makes me feel suffocated. I'm surrounded by the messes he's made over the last 8 years, things he's started to "fix" that have been left undone, maintenance that should have been done a long time ago, a lawn that is dead and full of trash. I feel horrible because we "rent" this place from my parents and I am ashamed to let them see the shape it is in.

I think in order to never get in the situation I'm in now in the future I AM going to have to treat many things as if I am a single mom and figure it out myself. I only set myself up for disappointment and frustration and agonized waiting when/if I give him the responsibility for doing something. It seems like I'll be taking on more work, but in the end it will save me pain and stress because I will be in control of how/when things get done. My question is how do you have an intimate relationship with someone who you cannot trust? I hardly have any romantic feelings for him anymore because I am so resentful about the situation we are in and the fact that I have had to parent him along with my 4 kids. If I can't ever expect to be able to trust him to follow thru on things or be relied on, how do we have a partnership? Can you have a marriage relationship with someone who, most of the time, you have to treat like a child in order to function?