Help :(

I am absolutely devastate and I don't know what to do or who to talk to. My husband has just been diagnosed with ADD (although I have wondered if he had it for a long time now). We have been married 3 years, together 5 and have a 2 year old daughter. I have never ever even considered divorce but I had never ever experienced the anxiety and stress of living with someone with ADD.

I work 2 jobs, almost solely run our own business, study part time, look after our 2 dogs, look after our 2 year old, clean the house, remember appointments, mow the laws, pick up the dog poos, scrub the decks when needed, research and purchase EVERYTHING we need/want, etc etc. Yes I think of EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING! And I am about to burst! I am so scared that if this continues I will no longer have any 'me' left. Yes he works full time (and continually reminds me 'I have no troubles and work - so it must be YOU with the problem'), and he looks after our daughter when I work and is a great father.  He also does comply and do things when I ask. But I have to ask. Every time. For everything. Is there oil in the car? (he has blown up two of our cars engines by forgetting to out oil in'), have you filled the dogs water? have you set your alarm for work?, the list could go on and on. And if he does, by some miracle, actually remember to do something, he will call me (yes literally call me if I am not home) to see whether or not he should do it? This is just his way of trying to get out of it. I think the best way to describe him would be *a person who does the very most minimal in life so he can focus on himself and his own interests* (whatever that might be this week). We have tried counseling and the counselor actually said that she has never seen someone who talks so much about changing yet doesn't ever change.

He travel 1.5 hours on the train to and from work and not once does he look up anything we need to purchase for our business, our house, our car, anything. All of that is left for me to do when I stay up until midnight each night trying to get everything we need. Then he turns around and has the nerve to say to me, 'why dont you just chill out'?? 

And his anger is explosive. If I say one word that he deems wrong - he looses the plot and takes off in the car, buys some cigarettes (he doesn't smoke usually) and sits at the beach smoking all night then messages me the next day saying 'lets start fresh - I still love you'. He did this the other night and missed his 2 year olds birthday dinner. He does time everytime. It is so draining, and so predictable.

But you know why I cant leave? How the HELL can I leave my daughter with this man without me there to protect her??? He literally 'forgets' to put a blanket on her. Falls asleep every night on the lounge with no consideration of if she is warm enough, if the doors are locked, windows shut etc etc. There was a time where him 'foggy brain' scared me so much I was terrified leaving her with him. He takes her to his mates house where they do drugs, oh but he assured me they weren't going to do them in front of her!!!!! WTF?? But the worst? His father is a sexual freak. He grabs my bottom all the time and suggest what sort of underwear he would like to see me in etc. Of course my husband thinks that it is absurd when I suggest that this sort of man should NEVER be left by himself with him. He seems to have NO concept of wrong and right? Is this as ADD symptom?? How can I let him have her and not be there to protect her? I have to stay for this reason.. :(

I am so sorry to have blurted all this out. I just feel so alone and afraid and well stuck is the best word. 

Also, please keep in mind that what I have told you here doesn't even scratch the surface. Our life is a walking accident with him.

Help :(

Welcome to the forum, halm,

Welcome to the forum, halm, but sorry you have to be here.  What you describe is very familiar to me.  

I'm especially sorry to hear about your partner's father's behavior.  Fortunately for me, my father-in-law doesn't engage in sexually harassing behavior.  But he has been emotionally abusive toward me in the past, and my husband was oblivious to the behavior and, even after I pointed it out and talked about how much it upset me, he showed no willingness to intervene on my behalf.  My daughters are much older than yours (they're now young adults), but I felt sufficiently bothered by my father-in-law's behavior that I told my husband that I did not think it was appropriate for my daughters to visit my husband's parents unless my husband was willing to challenge his father if his father was rude to my daughters.  

My husband, like yours, can have fun with his children but he is terrible at anything that requires him taking initiative.  It's very frustrating.



It sounds like you have some serious issues to work out. It's good that you got it out there!:-)

Can you see a counselor or therapist to start? I am sorry you are going through this. No wonder you are tired. 

And the next time your father in law does that? Spin around, look him right in the eye, and yell "Keep your hands off me! Or "Don't ever say anything like that to me again!" in front of everyone. No way you should put up with that. I understand completely why you don't want your child around him, he sounds like a creep. I wouldn't let him near my daughter either. 

Best to you.


I am so very sorry. You are in a rough spot. You've run yourself ragged making up for his unreliability. Unfortunately this enabling just feeds the monster. We are supposed to let them fail so that they learn new ways to succeed without us doing it for them. Hard to sit back and watch when it involves your child, business, and livelihood though. 

It is great that he finally got a diagnosis. Treatment, however, is about more than meds. In addition, he should find a counselor who can help him find new ways to do things so that he contributes more. Please remember though, that you will have to change behavior too. He will not recognize your needs without you communicating them. You will have to let him fail safely, as long as commits to trying something else.  If you do prefer divorce, you can request supervised visits, and no grandpa babysitting. Grandpa is probably ADHD too and his behavior toward you is reflective of impulse control problems, with really inappropriate impulses. I can understand why you don't want the child subjected to that risk. 

Please try to find a way to take care of yourself. The stress that is evident in your post is not healthy. I wish you the best of luck. 

Thank you everyone for your

Thank you everyone for your responses. The support is a real comfort to me at the moment. I have actually just asked him to find somewhere else to love. I can't handle anymore of his behaviors at this time in my life. I need him gone so I can start to take control of the things that he has just watch spiral out of control. I am not saying that it is forever but unless he seeks help and medication then I dare say I won't come back from this. I don't want this for my daughter, but I think what she needs more than mummy and daddy together, is stability - and we have none of that whilst he continues to go untreated. Tonight when I commented on how much I have had to do in the last 4 days because I had decided to not ask him to do things anymore, he just simply commented that he has decided that he doesn't have ADD and that he is just a 'lazy person' and doesn't care about doing stuff. Thats the final straw for me. He can go and be a lazy person on his time and recourses. He is not ruining my household, my business, my life. I don't want my daughter growing up in a family and watching mummy doing everything and thinking that is normal. God knows I dont want her choosing a man who will walk around doing the same things as her father. I will certainly be letting him see our baby during the day (no overnight visits) and certainly no grandpa babysitting. EVER. 



The dreaded mother in law

Just thought I should update guys that the dreaded MIL came along just a few days and convinced my husband that he certainly does not suffer from ADD but that he is suffering from the stress of living with me for the last 5 years. So now he believes this to be true and has been telling me that I have made him like this by ripping everyone away that he loves (these people that he loves are drug-takers and people who think it is fine to verbally abuse their children, he has other 'decent friends' but he does not want to hang around those ones). So now a whole new game is being played. His recent thoughts are that he should be 'allowed' to do drugs if he wants to and that I as his wife should not care. When I try to reason with him and say that he would not like me to go out and do drugs, he says, very genuinely which is the frightening part, that he could not careless if I went out and did drugs, that its my life and I can do what I want. How do you argue with that? How do you reason with a man that signs your freedom just to gain his own? It hurts to know that he really could not careless. He also agrus that if our daughter just doesn't find out about it then it is fine for him to do.  I am new to this ADD thing - is this sort of unreasonable thinking common? His unreasonable reasoning makes me feels very anxious. 



stay strong

Halm, stay strong here. I know this sucks. Went through it myself--I found that my almost ex spouse, and some with ADHD and similar issues, would go to the moon and back with denial and defensiveness to avoid being "wrong" or dealing with anything. Seriously. I think that if you read these boards here, you will find that this level of unreasonableness is common in those who won't face their issues or treat them. How do you argue with that? I don't think you CAN argue with him when he is like that. 

I wouldn't conclude that he does not care about you or that it is easy for him to let you go. When substances and denial enter the picture, there is a pretty powerful force that you are fighting against. There are folks out there who have lost jobs, homes, health, family, everything, rather than stop drinking or doing drugs. So yours is insisting that it should be ok and went running to his mom to affirm him and agree that you are the one who is in the wrong. You have to be the grown up here. I am so sorry. 

It is great that you know what you want and are protecting your daughter. I am in the camp that firmly believes that children are better off in a stable environment with separated parents that in an unstable one with them together (as one who removed my own children from an unstable one last year). I would hope that your spouse comes around, but if he doesn't, you are doing the right thing, hard as it is. Stick to your guns. Understand that you are not talking to a man, you are talking to his denial. Don't worry about MIL ever seeing the clear picture...she is going to take his side as many parents would. One of my friends tells me, "It is not your business what other people think." 

Hang in there. Surround yourself with healthy, strong people who lift you up. See a counselor if you can, eat, sleep, exercise. Try to make new friends. Accept the fact that this is in his court and if he is not going to face reality or give up the drugs then you will have to be the strong one and go it without him. You are doing the right thing for your daughter and yourself. Best to you. 

Thank you

Thank you Lynninny. Your words really encouraged me and I know that I need to start looking after myself. To be honest with you sometimes I look at the stuff in our lives that have piled up around us (because I can't manage to do everything) and it panics me. Just the little things you know? Like putting up some storage in the garage (like he said he would for over a year), or rearranging the backyard so out daughter can play in it (wont happen unless I do it), or walking our old dog 3 times a week (wont happen unless I nag him everytime to do it), or fixing a couple of thing on our horse float (wont happen unless I research the part we need, order it, place it in front of him and nag him to do it). The list could go on and on :( and just thinking of it all makes me very anxious. It is a full blown effort for him to just get an 'average' amount done in the day (on a good day) and he cannot do this consistently for more then a few days. You know what scares me and upsets me the most? Knowing that I am already 30 and only have one child and knowing that I can NEVER have another child with this man unless he truely recognizes him issue and deals with it properly (which is not looking promising). So in the meantime do I cut my losses in life, stay and deal with the fact that my daughter will be an only child, which is never what I wanted (I love kids). :(

I just want a husband I can rely on, a stronghold, someone who gives ME some guidance, encouragement, advice and leadership. Not someone who battles to be allowed to do drugs (I dont know if he is actually doing them or just fighting of 'the right', wants to be allowed to take our daughter to houses where there are drugs (because he deems that the these houses are 'safe' to take her too), wants to go out and get blind drunk, lies to me and smokes behind my back, wants to hang out with drug addicts and do the 'bare minimum in life' giving zero consideration to how whatever he does our daughter will watch. And more then that his inconsistency about who is and what he wants is frightening. 


Sad sad sad :(

so much time

Halm, you know what is great? That you are so young. Only 30 years old. I know it is hard to see your way out of this situation, but you have so much life ahead for you and your daughter. You deserve a husband and partner who makes you happy, who doesn't abuse substances, who would never expose your daughter to a bad element, who can function and help the family. I know it may not seem like it, but you have a great chance here to start over and find the life you deserve. Hang in there. Stay strong. Best to you. 



Thanks for being around for all to see your strength and courage.  You have the voice of one who has traveled and found clarity.

Drugs = Danger

Halm, my heart breaks for you. I want to give you some advice without stepping over the parameters of the forum, but it will be strongly worded -- I hope you will know that it comes from a deeply caring place: the situation you describe with your husband sounds very, very dangerous. Your child SHOULD NOT EVER be left with him, EVER. I understand that this will be a hardship, but I beg you to take my advice. Your child is in imminent danger if she is in a house with drugged people. The odds of her getting seriously hurt, abused, neglected, or outright forgotten are so high that I would say it is only a matter of time. And your child should NEVER EVER be left around your father-in-law AT ALL and certainly NEVER if you are not there. I'm sorry, but the people you are describing are not good people. This is a child endangerment situation -- please, take it very seriously. Take immediate action to protect your child from these people -- call the social services department in your area and ask them for help -- then please take their help. I know it seems scary -- but get away from these people. Please let us know how you are doing -- we are here to support you. Again, I'm sorry if I have stepped over the line, but this comes from my heart and from my own unfortunate life experiences.

What to do

Thank you for your response. My fear is that if I leave him he WILL be able to take her around those people he deems to be 'safe' and certainly around his father without me being there! What his father is like and the things he said to me and just 'hearsay' and wont stand up in court. His father used to be a Primary School teacher, with no complaints (that I know of) so there would really be no grounds for the courts to order him not to be around her. Its just my own fears because I dont come from a world where its ok to speak pervertely to your daughter in law and her friends. My husband is now even claiming (since is horrible mother was here) that he is not even sure if I am telling the truth about what his father said/suggested to me! He tells me that even if he did say it that I would have exaggerated it and that it is just how is father is and that his circle of friends and in his world that it is ok. Do you see my issue? I feel the only way that i can TRULY protect her is to not leave him so that he does not get to make these decisions about where she goes and who with. Right now I make all those decisions and that suits him fine, because he can't be bothered arguing with me about it. And I will argue don't you worry, if it means the safety of my daughter! Even his mother sees no problem with her going to houses where drugs are or with people under the influence! She would rather just agree with everything her son does!


So this is where we are right now. After weeks of him saying he is going to move out, it comes to crunch time and guess what? He doesn't move out. I can only presume that it has much more to do with him not having the effort to move out rather than a hope that he can help restore out marriage. He tells me that he definitely does not have ADD and that every time I bring it up from now on he is going to respond by telling me that I am 'crazy'. 


So thats where we are.


* I cant leave because I need to protect my daughter

* He wont leave because it requires effort

* He has NOTHING wrong with him and if I suggest it he will call me crazy. Yes like a child just yelling 'you're crazy, you're crazy' when I try to talk about it. Thats what he plans to do.

* He has NOTHING wrong with him and if I bring up anything that he has forgotten or not done, he will tell me 'Yes and you control me and have taken everyone off me that I love, but I am not bringing up the past so nor should you'

* So we live, but we dont speak about anything. And this is just the way he would like it because THIS IS WHAT HE THINKS A MARRIAGE SHOULD BE! He thinks that even though he is married he should be able to do whatever he wants (even drugs yes), hang out with anyone he wants (even drug addicts yes) and I have ZERO right to question ANYTHING! If I do, I am controlling him and ripping the people he loves (the drug addicts) away from him and that then makes him stressed and therefore have the symptoms of ADD (which he doesn't have in his mind). But if I let him do whatever he wants, hold him accountable for nothing, have zero expectations of him, and accept him completely for 'who he is' then our marriage will be just fine! Oh and yes, we don't try to discuss things anymore because I (me) should have been a lawyer (he says this) and am too good at arguing so it makes him unable to think so he just yells at me and tells me to get f*$ked. So even that is my fault.


Suggestions? I am at a loss :(

carathrace's picture

you still have choices

Halm, I am so sorry things are like this for you.  It sounds like for now, you might be endangering your daughter if you leave.  But I think you can take care of yourself.  If you don't already have a counselor, GET ONE right away.  Talk about the father-in-law, talk about the drugs, talk about your options.  I don't remember how old your daughter is, but assume she's very young.  It may be that you can begin to plan now for your escape in a few years when she's older.  Document EVERYTHING -- keep a journal of the drug use, of things the father-in-law says and does that you find offensive, with dates and times.  Start now to put some money aside, do the research of what it would take to leave him.  This will give you hope, and the feeling that you still have choices, you're not trapped.  Go on walks with your daughter, take her places with you, get out, find some things you enjoy.  For now, you are stuck with this selfish man, but be smart and plan and you may not be stuck forever.

Not actually doing drugs - just fights for the 'right' to it!

Well the subject sums it up - this is how screwed up his brain is and how stressful it is to try and make sense if him. He is claiming that he is not going to actually go out and do drugs but that he wants the 'right' to do drugs if he wants to because it is 'his' life and he has no make his own decisions. 

My husband is so consistently inconsistent that I never really know what his argument is or what he really wants, what mood he will be in etc. Basically what I get from him is that this is HIS life and he doesn't need to answer to me at all.  So as long as I expect nothing from him, ask nothing of him and have ZERO limitations in the behavior I expect from him then our marriage will be just fine and dandy! So that is what has been happening for the past to weeks. I have not expected a thing from him, not asked a thing of him, not 'cared' about what he has done, plans he has made with whoever and he is as happy as Larry! It shocks me! Yes I can admit he is definitely working harder on things within the business etc since but he so obviously driven by the fact that he can do whatever the hell he wants, whenever the hell he wants, with whoever the hell he wants! Like he is single. It is just like this whole marriage and life is just a complete inconvenience to what he would rather be doing. I am starting to think more and more that he does not have ADD but is just utter selfish and has no depth whatsoever. :(

OH MY GOSH. verbatim

"Oh and yes, we don't try to discuss things anymore because I (me) should have been a lawyer (he says this) and am too good at arguing so it makes him unable to think so he just yells at me and tells me to get f*$ked. So even that is my fault."

I work for a law firm, have for 17 years, and if I have heard this once myself, I have heard it a million times, no lie.  Everything is ALWAYS my fault.  Also, you don't say in your posts, but his drug of choice is cannabis, isn't it?

  My situation is much milder


My situation is much milder than yours, but there are certain things I recognize - the refusal to discuss anything important because I'm 'too good at arguing'... And that my husband compares himself to his most dysfunctional friends 'See - I'm doing better than them!' but not the ones that do well...  My hubby agreed on my birthday this year (after a couple of planning disasters on his part that he couldn't shrug off) that he did have trouble concentrating, planning and following through and after I showed him some 'symptoms of adult ADHD' sites that he had '2/3rds of those symptoms' (yeah - and the rest, lol). So - I might be getting some progress on getting him to a point where he will DO something about his issues. He has agreed to get assessed - of course he's made zero progress on getting that to happen.

My hubby - in his 30s and father of three- a few years back went to a Bachelor party on a farm. The blokes there - all drunk - decided to drive recklessly around the paddock with several on the tray of the pickup. Now - my hubby (who was later to the party and sober)  proudly told me when he got home that he hadn't taken part! That he'd thought it through and realized it would be an irresponsible thing to do. I was non-plussed at the time - I mean it was completely obvious to anyone surely that a husband and father shouldn't do something so stupid? But I realize now that no - to him that thought was a revelation! I guess I should be thrilled that he had it before there was a total disaster.

Halm, I can only agree with the others here who have said to prioritize your daughter's safety and make plans to leave. From what you have said, it doesn't sound like your husband is going to realize that he needs to be protective and functional any time soon. Do you have family and friends who could offer you somewhere to stay if you had to leave in a hurry?

I wish you and your daughter the very best of luck. And yes - 30 isn't old - there really is hope for the future, beyond your current situation.


I have to agree with carathrace. I know you must feel like you are stuck--it is just you there, with your daughter, and a whole group that seems to be on your husband's "side." But you aren't stuck and you don't have to be a victim! Take some steps to protect yourself and your daughter, and if you don't mind me saying so, get the heck out of there as soon as you can. Find a counselor asap and tell him or her everything. Don't hold back. And find a sympathetic family law attorney for advice--you may get a free consultation to start. Get help! You can leave him and protect her--it just won't be easy. 

Think about it--we all here understand how ridiculous his "you are too good at arguing" response is. It is the answer of a person who does not want to have to talk to you about anything difficult. He does not want to hear you or change. He is doing some illegal things that may endanger your child, and is defending his creepy father rather than listen to your word. He is aligning himself with others against you and your child. He is scared and is trying to intimidate you with the "hearsay" thing. He is using defensiveness and deflection to avoid having to "deal" with anything. Your gut is telling you that you cannot trust this man. 

My two cents, for what they are worth: carathrace is right. Document everything. I am speaking from some experience because my ex started threatening me, too, with making up lies about me in court and denying my "word against his" regarding his violent behavior. He almost lost it when he found out that I had been taking photos of the many objects, doors, and walls in our house he had smashed over the years. And he backed off--I never had to use it, but it was good to have. Just be careful. 

Get a journal and hide it or type it up and store it on a flash drive and hide that in a safe place. Write down dates, times, specific instances as clearly as you can recall them. If you see anything and can get away with it, take a photo. Go back in time and write down the father's words. Write down the friends' suspected drug use and your daughter's exposure to it (this is illegal, of course). Drinking and driving. Verbal abuse. Anything you can think of. I hope you would never need it, but I bet that if it came to it, you would present a much more positive picture than he would in terms of custody and child welfare. 

I am hoping that this works out for you and that you and your child remain safe. Hang in there and find someone to trust, quickly. Listen to your instincts--they are telling you what to do. Best to you.