Has marriage counseling helped?

I feel I am at a turning point. We have been married 12 years and have two children. DH started on adderall last year. I don't know if it is helping or not. It is hard to tell when he as taken it and I hate being a nag and asking about it. Anyway, at Christmas he left my families' celebration right before Santa was coming for the kids in a big huff over something ridiculous. He now is telling me how staying at my parents' house (3 hours away) is miserable and that they are welcome here (ha! I'm sure they feel that way now), and I can go up with the kids, but he won't be going anymore. He understands that I am upset, but thinks that this can just be something separate from us. No there have been lots of issues that I have been able to get past, but I can't do it with this one. I have no desire to be intimate or even do anything with him at all. I have seriously been thinking about divorce, but then think of my 7 and 5 year old. Would that change his temper? No. Would he suddenly be on time for the kids' events? No. I just wouldn't be there to try to smooth things out with the kids. 

He is willing to go to counseling, which I am not sure how we will afford, but I can't see this marriage getting any better without trying something. My concern is that the therapist will make him out to be the "bad guy" (in his eyes), and he will refuse to continue. Granted, most of our issues honestly can be traced to him. Of course, I have things I can work on, but truly I am not sure what I could do to make the marriage better. There are moments when I have a glimpse of hope and think, "Yes, we can get through this." and other times where I think, "Things will never change."

So, for those of you in or who have done couples therapy, did it help? Any tips? I haven't even begun a therapist search yet and am not sure who I can get to watch the kids while we do this, but I have to make an effort. 

Absolutely. Counseling was

Absolutely. Counseling was the turning point for us. However, I must stress that finding the right one is important. If money is an issue, try calling your local health department to see if they offer counseling services. Most do and it's on a sliding scale according to your income. If you attend church, they may be able to help as well. That's how my hubby and I found our counselor. I had been to two counselors (with and without the hubby) in the past and everyone started out with the caveat of "you can work on yourself but you may still end up divorced." Even the Christian ones said that. But our current counselor never said anything to that effect. I brought it up once and she said, "It's not my business to tell you to get divorced. I'm not in your day-to-day lives so how could I possibly advise that." It really gave me hope and gave me leave to actually trust her.

My hubby and I have now been in counseling for a year and two months. We've gone to two sessions a month to one session a month, so there has been progress. Like any marriage, we still have bad days. But the counseling has diffused the situation. My husband is sporadic in taking his meds so his ability to manage his ADHD is pretty much up to him. He's actually getting better. His time management is better, his anger management is better. We actually argued for twenty minutes last night before he lost his temper and started yelling. That's pretty huge for someone who would hit the roof after two minutes of arguing.

As for me, time has progressed and my resentment has faded. I still get angry from time to time, but I've learned to accept his deficiencies and not try to mold him into the kind of husband society says he should be. Our marriage is our marriage, and we'll make it work anyway we can. If that means he doesn't help around the house, and I'm OK with that, then who's to judge us? I don't like housework either so why should I fuss at him? He'll help if I ask, he just doesn't have initiative.

As for him being involved with the kids, we don't have any yet. The jury's still out on whether or not we will. I have concerns about bringing children into a marriage that can be as keyed up as ours. He will be a great father emotionally speaking, but I also worry that I will be end up being a single mom because he won't be aware enough to help with the day to day tasks associated with a kid. One of my big concerns is that he'll be late for plays, practices, etc. so I know where you are coming from on that one.

My husband is not comfortable at my parents either; fortunately we live close by so we don't have to stay. We used to live about an hour and a half away so we stayed with my dad and stepmom. He was very restless and couldn't be in the house for very long. But a lot has changed since then. I would urge you to try to be patient even though that's the last thing you want to do. If he's only been DXed for a year, it's going to take awhile for him to adjust. My hubby has been DXed for almost three years and he's just now getting to the point where he's living a more normal life. It's going to take some time, but if he's willing and you are willing, then you guys can make it.

Best of luck.

It's good to hear there is hope....or is there?

It's good to hear that here is hope! My husband has not been officially diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, but was on Ritalin as a child. He does not deny that he has it, but refuses medication as he fears it will make him a zombie (he was on Zoloft years ago...before I met him...after the dissolution of his previous marriage).

My husband is a wonderful, kind-hearted man in many ways. Other than his extreme impatience/intolerance/temper, I don't have any any other major issues with him. He is very giving, charming, outgoing, creative, helpful, loving, responsible, good provider, etc.....that is, until something upsets his world and he becomes a condescending ass. I've been belittled for such things as  the way I: load the dishwasher, make the bed, mess up the bed when I sleep, leaving my cell on in a restaurant, or forgetting something at the grocery...just to name a few. He can always justify why he's right and there is no apology. His world is black and white...no shades of gray; there is only one way to do things. His way. The RIGHT way. We went through marriage counseling over a year a go and things were great for 5-6  months after. Then things went down hill after we moved into our new home and started working on house projects. He was hypercritical of everything I did. If something went wrong, he found a way to point a finger at me. All that counseling was down the drain.

Now we are back to Square One. This time, I'm standing my ground that he gets help or I'm out. I'm tired of racking my brain to figure out what I'm doing wrong or what I need to change. I'm certainly not perfect, but 90% of our fights are due to his condescending approach and his temper. I'm tired of walking on eggshells. It's verbal abuse and it's not acceptable. Ever.

He rationalizes that we've had a few hiccups recently, but things aren't THAT bad. He's better than he used to be. When he says that I think - Wow...I think he's actually admitting that has been a condescending temperamental ass. All while I've been walking around for months/years trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong and apologizing for MY temper when I defend myself (this man could push Mother Teresa into a tizzy). I rarely get a apology from him for anything. I just have to get over the hurt of being talked down to like a two-year-old and move on.

He'll also remind me that, in counseling, I was told that I need to speak up when I feel like he's talking down to me. Well...

a) When I do, he gets angry and defensive....and things generally blow up - or he invalidates my feelings.

b) He doesn't talk to his mom, aunt, sister, or his female friends that way....and he can go weeks/months without speaking that way to me. Therefore, I know that he knows the appropriate way to talk to people.

The man has had a temper problem all his life. His close friends know it and his family knows it - his brother is even the same way, and my husband complains about about HIS temper (hello....you're looking into a mirror!). He went through anger management years before he met me, as well as counseling to save his first marriage (which failed). So, now he feels he's "changed". Therefore, the issues in our marriage can't all be his fault.....marriage is a two-way street.

I think he's manipulating to avoid admitting the truth.

Sometimes I feel a little crazy....he's so good at twisting things around to not being his fault and making me the bad guy. I feel guilty that I am largely blaming him for our marital problems. I feel like I'll come across as acting all high and mighty to a counselor.

So, I guess we'll see what counseling brings. He says he's determined to make our marriage work. He says he'll go to counseling first by himself (although he resents me for that) and then we'll go together.







Definitely head back to

Definitely head back to counseling. It may take more than year or maybe you guys just need a refresher. Moving and working together on house projects can be stressful and can bring the worst out in people.

I think society tells us that if we can't handle our marital issues on our own, then we might as well throw in the towel. I also think there is an unspoken stigma for receiving ongoing marital counseling. Even I, at one time, felt like if we were still in counseling a year or more down the road, then we were just not "getting" it. But now I feel completely differently. If we have to see a counselor once a month or once every other month for the rest of our lives, I'm totally fine with that. It just means that we love each other enough to make it work and to be continually working on our marriage.

As for your hubby, I suggest that he see a counselor on his own. He needs to deal with the anger issues. My hubby is finally toning it down after years of acting out. Even as a child and adolescent he would do things to act out his feelings. His parents just placated him and yet somehow, he is now being blamed for their inability to deal with bad behavior and correct it. I think ADHDers get impatient and hit the roof easier than those of us without ADHD, but that doesn't mean he can't work on finding productive ways to deal. My husband has never talked down to me (sadly that is one of my problems, according to him) so I can't totally relate. Nonetheless, being hypercritical of you is something that needs to be addressed and not by you telling him how you feel in the moment. Yes, that's important but he needs to work on constructive ways to play nice. If it's any consolation, my hubby went through his phase where he had excuses for his behavior and he would never own it. He now understands that it means more to me that he is honest and accepts the responsibility. In return, I don't use it as a stick to beat him with.

Black and white might be a pain for you and your hubby, but believe me, I would kill for my hubby to see things in black and white. He sees things in 50 shades of gray. Lol.


I appreciate your words of encouragement. I'm hoping that the counselor will see his anger issues, as my husband will not admit that he has anger management problems (at least not to me). The dude is like a bull in a china shop.

I know that he will always have a temper to some degree. I've accepted that he is impatient and likes things to be timely, orderly, structured....maybe that's how he "controls" the ADHD and why he explodes when his world is "rocked" a bit.  I just wish he'd "lighten up"....and not just for a few weeks or months until he explodes again over "spilt milk". I want to feel like he has my back and not be the one to rub my face in my mistakes/faults. 


Me and my hubby are the exact

Me and my hubby are the exact opposite. He's a fly by the seat of the pants and I'm the structured one. I think the key is enjoying those traits in one another. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like your hubby appreciates your lighter attitude, which is a pity. But just as I'm sure you can find enjoyment in some of his traits, he needs to learn to appreciate yours. Life's too short to argue over how someone makes the bed. :-)

OMG...I couldn't agree more.

OMG...I couldn't agree more. Life IS too short....so why are we wasting our time fighting?? I think I've let so much of his "verbal abuse" go in the past because it's too exhausting to stay mad. We really can have a great time together and can make a great team. The good outweighs the bad, so focus on the positive, right? That's fine....until I've become so beaten down that I'm walking on eggshells.

The thing is...I'm a pretty structured person, as well. However, the difference is that I don't completely freak out when there is a kink in "the plan". He does...and will go on and on about how I (or whomever) shoulda, woulda, coulda, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes you have to lighten up, go with the flow, and stop being so negative.

Again, thanks. I hope all works out for you!