He's getting help, but I am beat down.

So I have had many of the same experiences riding the rollercoaster of ADHD as many of you.  I am the spouse of someone with ADHD.  I am not going to get into specifics because I am simply tired of thinking about the specifics.  My spouse has put me though financial disaster, emotional exhaustion, even physical abuse (that is one of the toughest to swallow).  I am beat down and physically exhausted...even developed psoriasis and a very low immune system due to all the stress.  It has affected my job and overall self worth.  I am exercising now and trying to find myself and my joyful self again.  I was honest with my boss about the stressful situation at home and she has been very supportive in allowing me to go to counseling appointments.  My husband has been "getting help" for his ADHD over the period of the last 8 months, so I held on hoping that he would get the help he needs and be the great person I have seen glimpses of in the past.  He is finally on medication, though it is not the right kind for him (I am not a psychiatrist, but am living with the guy), and he is seeing a ADHD counselor (I have met with the psychologist once and he seems like a good fit for my husband).  The progress has been non-existent at this point because my husband thinks that being on medication and seeing a counselor once every two weeks means he is getting  better (while at the same time avoiding doing any actual work in his daily life regarding the ADHD management).  He thinks the medication helps him focus more, so he is doing great.  He is so far off in left field, I don't how to get through to him that he is actually worse than before.  "Clueless with ADHD" is far less dangerous to me than "confidently in denial with ADHD".   Both suck. 

Basically I hope that he gets help and can live a productive and happy life.  We have a wonderful son whom we both treasure.  I just can't see spending my life with this guy, even if he gets help.  I have already been through so much and don't think I can ever love him again.  We could co-parent successfully, but I know that life is way to precious to spend it being a support pole.  I don't want to sound selfish, I am filled with guilt, but I have this overwhelming sense of "no way" when I think of spending my life with him.  My gut says to leave, but I don't want to mess up his therapy. He barely works, so I feel terrible about making him leave with no place to go.  He lives a life with many expenses and little means.  We moved for my job, so I feel bad about that too.  He had to leave his business, but it was probably on the verge of crumbling anyhow (he had to pay $6000 to a customer in a lawsuit, was dismissed from some of his contracting services, and was starting to really make his current customers mad).   Any thoughts?

Don't Get Beat Down

Please take care of you and your son first. It sounds like you have given and given and there is nothing left to give. It’s up to him now to turn things around. Your experience is similar to mine, and I am finally ready to get off the roller coaster, and I admit that I have some regret for not having done this sooner; but I always held on to hope, even when there was two baby steps forward followed by ten giant steps backwards. I too felt guilty about asking him to leave/or me leaving, but it gets to a point of self-preservation. You support, and give, and bend and forgive and try and then the defining moment comes when it is crystal clear that things will not change. Then you can say that you tried it all and gave it your best and move on without feeling guilty. Does not mean you do not wish him well, just means you have to do what is best for you.


Thanks for your comments.  I don't know what it is about the cycle of ADHD that seems to tap into someone's (the non-ADHD partner) willingness to help and make things work.  Probably because we are all used to working hard and progressing in life...to just keep moving forward (especially if children are involved).  In the case of living with an ADHD partner, life just simply doesn't work that way.  I do have this tremendous guilt for breaking up the family, but I am coming to realize that really it has not been me that has torn it to pieces...I've just been spinning my wheels trying to put it back together for so long.  I do end up hating the days when my husband is nice or normal.  I don't want that tiny breadcrumb of hope to pull me back. 

No Guilt Necessary

It’s a willingness to believe you can get back to that point and the feeling when you first met your partner…It’s a willingness to want to help and fix your partner, and to make things work because you can still see some kernels of goodness through all the junk. But as you say, the breadcrumbs can trip you up into thinking real change is possible when the person is resistant to change. I was torn up about breaking up the family (one child) but when I think of all the chaos my child has experienced because of my STBX’s untreated/undertreated ADHD and me not doing something sooner, I feel tremendous guilt. And as you probably are painfully aware, the ADHD person will spin it as the break up was your fault, refusing to acknowledge or admit any part in it. I wish you the best in this agonizing situation.