Hard to decide what to do with kids involved

I've been doing a lot of reading on here, and sometimes I see similarities with my marriage, but in a lot of ways, my ADD husband seems "not so bad" compared to some.  So then I wonder if I'm making big deals out of nothing, or if I'm the one that is the problem.

We've been married 17 years, and have come close to divorce twice.  The first time was after a pregnancy loss, husband was undiagnosed, I needed support and he played video games all day.  We got him medicated and both of us into therapy.

The second time was about 3 years ago - he was off meds, we were fighting constantly, and he ended up in a relationship with someone else that was not physical, but way too emotional.  He got back on meds, we went into counseling again, and struggled through.

But now, we are back into patterns.  He freaking refuses to take his meds on the weekends.  If he forgets during the week, he will come home at lunch and take them b/c  he knows he needs it to function at work.  But on the weekends, even if I remind him once nicely, or hound him, he will not take it.  I know he hates to take meds in general, even for a headache.  But I feel like we are just not important enough to him to swallow a couple of dang pills.  And he is a jackass off his meds.  I don't know if it's the impulsiveness or what, but he's very sarcastic, CONSTANTLY messing with the kids, and that's when he manages to stay awake.  He has managed to find a new doctor on his own, which I admit was a major pain b/c of the lack of providers around here, but he did it and has kept his appointments.  He gives me the Rx to drop off, which is fine, but I've asked him to call in the refills on his non-stimulants so that I don't have to make several trips to the pharmacy, and he can't even do that!!

We cannot communicate at all anymore - it always becomes a war of words and semantics.  It's up to me to find a time to talk to him when he's not distracted - so I turn off the TV, wait until the kids are in bed, etc., but I cannot pry the darn cell phone out of his hand, so he's still only half listening.  And then when it gets screwed up, it was a "miscommunication" to him - he takes no responsibility.

I'm trying to accept that there are some things he just cannot do, even with meds - executive function and all that.  But I'm also tired.  I want a partner, not another child.  I need to be able to rely on him for more than just killing bugs and cleaning up doggy doo.  I want someone who is present enough to see when I'm struggling and not wait for me to explode and then tell me he won't do anything until I "stop yelling at him".

It's hard to condense all of our issues into one post.  I just don't know how much is ADHD and how much is that my husband is just a jerk, and I didn't see it when we were younger.  Or did my screeching and nagging turn him into a jerk?

If we didn't have kids, I would be done, no question.  But we have 3 that are pre-teens, and 2 of them are also ADHD.  I don't worry for their safety with him - he's generally a good dad, but I foresee their weekends with him when no one would be medicated, and it would just be torture for them all.

I'm just not sure what to do.

No wisdom to share -- just prayers

I wish I had some advice or guidance to give you. I don't. It seems you're much further along in your relationship in general than I am. So you're probably in better position to give me advice. But I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you and praying that you will have the strength to do whatever you decide is right for you and the family. And don't feel like just because you make one decision today that you can't change your mind later. Loving a spouse with ADHD often means that we question our own sanity and judgment. I hope you can trust your intuition, whatever it says. It all just hurts to much. Staying hurts. Coping hurts. Trying to improve the relationship hurts. And I'm sure that leaving hurts, too. I wish I could give you a virtual hug and tell you what I'm sure must be true -- that you are a strong, resourceful, patient, and humble woman. Otherwise you would have left years ago. It isn't a pretty life (being the spouse of someone with under-treated ADHD), but it is character development bootcamp. Nobody would sign up for it if they knew what they were getting into, but just like parenthood, it forces on us lessons of amazing resilience, self-sacrifice, and humor (sometimes!).

Would he?

Would he take the medication if you told him straight up that he is so intolerable without his meds that you are thinking of divorce?  That all it takes for you to stay and work on the marriage is knowing that he is TRYING, and that you are more important to him than his own unwillingness to pop some pills and TRY?

My husband and I both have issues.  With his depression meds, he can't tell if they are working or not, but I assured him that HE NEEDS THEM in order for the rest of us not to be miserable, so he took my word and takes them every day.  And when I first got on ADHD meds, I expected to suddenly have glasses for my brain, where I could focus and see everything clearly for the first time instead of things being all wobbly and blurry.  But it didn't work like that.  Still, my husband says that it's a huge improvement, and so I take my meds for his sake even though I don't feel any differently.

Your "screeching and nagging" did NOT turn him into a jerk.  My guess from reading this tiny glimpse into your marriage (i.e. I don't know whether or not it is accurate) is that he thinks there's no pleasing you and therefore refuses to try.  Maybe if you get back in therapy and prove to each other that you care, you can take steps to reconnect.

Then again, I would not blame you for leaving.  All I want from my husband right now is the sense of togetherness and mutual support- but he, with his Aspergers, is unable to give that to me the majority of the time, so I know what it's like to feel lonely in your own home and just wishing that your partner wanted to connect and be a family.  The pre-teens are old enough that in court they will probably be able to decide where they want to live, so if he is making their lives miserable, they will probably choose you and he might get every other weekend.  Which is not as bad as living in a home where your mom and dad scream and fight and there is constant tension.  Not sure if that's how your home is, but a lot of people look at the impact divorce has on children without looking at the impact a strained marriage has on children.  And pre-teens are independent enough that they will go through some loss, but if you can keep a civil relationship without badmouthing each other to the kids and creating drama, then odds are they will be just fine.  Personally, in your situation, I would probably leave.

But, at least talk to him about it.  See how important your marriage is to him, and what he would be willing to do to save it.  If he won't lift a finger, it's time to move on. 

So far I haven't told him

So far I haven't told him straight up, but I did tell him I was done nagging him about it, and that "whatever happens, happens."  But you are right, I need to be more clear.  And to be fair, he has done a lot on working on the marriage - he has come a long way from what he used to be.  About 4 years ago, it got REALLY bad, and I was making plans to separate just to get some peace in my life.  At that point, I'm sure he felt like nothing was ever good enough, and I was so consumed with resentment and anger, that it probably wasn't...mainly because I couldn't trust that any improvement he made would last.  Things eventually evened out, but since that time, the loving, caring feelings I had for him have not ever come back.  I kept waiting, hoping.  I know some say love is a verb, etc., and I'm not mean to him or anything, I express concern when he's down or troubled or sick, but I do not love him like I did before. 

It's so hard to decide what to do because things are NOT as bad as they were - we will go through the week getting along ok, then the weekend hits.  Of course, by getting along ok, I mean that he tries a little, and I manage to not get angry at having to take up the slack, but there is still no bonding...the kids go to bed and he does his thing and I do mine.  If we were fighting all the time, then the decision would be easier.


I can relate

That's kind of where I'm in my marriage- I have ADHD but he has Autism... and I don't know if it's possible for him to interact with me or the kids any more than he already does, which is maybe 10 minutes a day for the kids and half an hour to an hour of watching a show together 4 days a week.  He keeps saying that he'll pay attention to his family on the weekends when he's not so stressed from his job, but then the weekend comes and he spends it all on his computer or doing projects, and god forbid we interrupt him.

Then for a day or two things will be wonderful.  And we tell each other "I love you so much" and I'm so happy... but he still never spends time with the kids, and then in a day or two it's like he's a completely different person.  :/  I'm not sure if I can take all the hurt anymore.

I think you could probably work on your issues through therapy if you were both willing to do that.  If that's what you both want.  I can understand where you're coming from, because after a certain point you're scared of really trying to work on the marriage because you're afraid that it'll just crash and burn again and you'll be even more devastated.  But that's probably what it'll take to save your marriage- from both of you, not just you.  If that's not something you're willing to do... I'm not sure there will be anything that will make it better.