Hanging by a thread

  I feel so alone, misunderstood, crazy, exhausted. My husband has ADD, he is on Vyvanse, we are on our third counselor in 4 years, we have been married 5 years.

  He lies to avoid taking responsibility for his actions/inactions, he lies to try and support his argument in a fight even when it doesn't make sense, he is verbally abusive, extremely disrespectful in his choice of words/tone and either not reading my social cues of offense or overreading/exaggerating the social cues, he continues with his verbal assault adding insult to injury and now he is projecting my issues of mistrust with him onto me, even while admitting that I have never lied to him and not being able to give me a reason why he feels he cannot trust me. I do not know how much more I can take of this.

  In the last three years I have had three anxiety attacks. I never had these problems before I was married. So now my doctor has me on Zoloft and Xanax, which I have been on now for almost two weeks and I do not feel any better. I HATE that I have to take these drugs so that I can deal with all of this, and worse yet is that instead of my husband realizing that he has contributed greatly to this, he views it as support for his argument that the problem lies with me.

  My husband seems to have no empathy, but has great sympathy for himself. He is extremely judgemental. he has unpredictable anger outbursts over things that you wouldn't think would warrant such an extreme response, ex. like crumbs left on the countertop. How could I possibly predict something like that would make him so angry? Of course I realize, and so does he, that he is angry about something else and the crumbs just set him off, but it doesn't stop his berating and critisism.

  When I think about our courtship, fraud is the word that comes to mind. I know now that he was hyperfocusing, but how could he be so different? Like a completely different person? I was 30 years old and I had been in enough relationships to know what I wanted in a husband, kind, loving, supportive, someone who understood me and appreciated me, someone who found happiness in taking care of me and in seeing me happy. A partner in creating a life of mutual respect and real love for one another. I really thought I had found all of this in Rick, I am still mourning the loss of the husband I really believed I married...

  So when I try to tell Rick how hopeless and alone I feel, that I need him to be the man I married, that I am desprate, he tells me it is my fault because I am closed off and cold to him, that I wont let him.... Again, it is my fault.... I have had to detach from him for my emotional well being but I would happily welcome some real efforts from him. He says he is doing everything he can, but I do not see it, I do not feel it and believe me, I am searching for it.

  I am trying to be hopeful that this new counselor will be able to help us, but I feel like she is minimizing our issues into "normal marriage problems" which contributes to me still feeling misunderstood and completely alone. I wonder, if I had physical evidence of his verbal abuse, like a black eye or a bruise, would she still minimize our problems to "normal?"













to jgsmom

I understand your post so much that its almost like I wrote it!

This anger is abuse, not ADD.  He needs help but more importantly you need help in dealing with this.  Go to a therapist on your own.  If that person doesn't see this as abuse, find someone who does.  You don't deserve to live like this and neither do your children.  Think of the message this is sending them!  Crumbs on the table is not a good reason to blow up...nothing is.  You don't need meds, he does.  Can you spend time away from him?  Sounds like you would benefit from some peace and time to take care of yourself.

Please keep in contact...I am worried about you.


Thank you Steph

 Thank you Steph for your kind words and support.... It is so hard to try and explain my situation to people that have never lived it. The counselor we see supposedly specializes in ADD and marriage but I feel like she does not understand my point of view, which makes me feel like I am crazy and reinforces my husband's stance that I have contributed as much to our problems as he has which is just not true. I know I am not perfect and that I own some of the responsibility of where we are, but I do not lie, do not verbally abuse, and try to fight fair. The worst thing I have done to him is use a little sarcasm toward him, which I know just fuels the flames but I feel that under the circumstances is a very minor offense. Overall, I know that I have been a very good wife to him, even under these circumstances and when he is calm he would agree. We have only seen this counselor 3/4 times so far so hopefully she just needs to get to know us better, I am so desperate for something to give me some hope.


I totally relate.  Our counselor was so busy making excuses for my hubby's bad behavior that I won't go anymore.  He was on my side until my husband was diagnosed, now its "well, that's the ADD"  and "that's the impulsive part of ADD"   ARGH!  The counselor also said that if this marriage was going to work, I would just have to realize that I would have to do the majority of the work for the rest of my life...are you kidding me?  All the "abuse" and jerky behavior is now excused because of ADD. 

So frustrating!



  Oh my God, I am so sorry for you, if our counselor said that I think it would send ME into a tirade! I have done so much reading about ADD, including Dr. Hallowell's books, and my understanding is that ADD is not an excuse for bad behavior, though it may be harder for those with ADD in these areas, they CAN learn to better handle these deficits with the proper teacher/counselor/coach and if they want to. In my opinion that comment, "The counselor also said that if this marriage was going to work, I would just have to realize that I would have to do the majority of the work for the rest of my life.." is incredibly insensitive and irresponsible!!!! Especially if he said it in front of your husband!!!! I would start to wonder though, is he just incredibly stupid, uneducated in this area and talking out of his rear end or is he right and are we (non ADD spouses) being duped into believing things can get better???

Wow, I just read this and I

Wow, I just read this and I can relate to a lot of it.  My ADHD huband also has a problem with lying.  While he isn't really abusive, he does fight with me a lot about things, but then he usually comes to me later and tells me how sorry he is and he will try to change.  He is not a good liar, so I can tell when he is being honest and sincere and I know that he really does want to change, but doesn't really know how.  We also went to a counsellor and while the counsellor kind of said the same thing, it was not in that way.  What he told me was that he can understand that I need to handle most of the things in my relationship because my husband may not be capable of handling them (ex: finances, scheduling his dr. appointments, and so on).  However, it is still a CHOICE that I do these things, and I should try to work on changing my attitude about it.  It sounds kind of harsh, but I was open enough to take what he said and it made sense in a way.  It's not a choice I would have made in other circumstances maybe, but I don't think my ADHD husband will ever be able to pay our bills, handle our budget, etc because he has problems with impulsively spending money and is not at all organized of course.  I have had to come to terms with that fact and the good thing is, my husbad agrees with me that I am the best person for the job.  While it is a heavy burden to be the "head of the household", I have had to realize that it's a necessary thing in my relationship if it is going to work.  I have to be the organized, responsible one most of the time.  Do I still get frustrated about it?  Oh my gosh, yes!  But my attitude about it is getting better.  I like to remember the serenity prayer "

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Now my biggest issue is his inability to keep a job.  Not for lack of trying, but he is looking for his 12th job in 4 years!  In the first year, he didn't have meds and so was impulsively quitting his jobs.  Then once we got on meds, other problems surfaced.  He keeps getting let go because "they don't feel he is the right person for the job".  Can they be any more vague?  It is just an uphill battle right now and he has to find a good fit in a career I guess before he can really succeed in it.  It sure makes things hard on us though.  I make ok money, but not really enough because our credit debt is so high from me having to charge things when he was out of jobs and I have already had to file bankruptcy once because of this.  It's hard for me because I have always been very good about paying bills and now I have that on my credit because of his job losses.