Hope just getting lost

I feel like this is almost over. Joining the throngs of many.. He is just not changing, his meds are not working, his symptoms (ie his distractibility, memory "fill ins", ANGER) have all been inchanged. His refusal to accept responsibility for any of our problems, refusal to consider changing his meds, and his unending barrage of hate and blame- has gotten concrete not better despkte all my efforts to give him space, be understanding, , work on my low self esteem, etc. I have tried drawing boundaries but he can not or will not respect them. He asks me to "stop being me", that I am "annoying", or to get my fat ass (maybe I could lose weight/firm up but I am a size 4/6). I am an educated professional woman- but he makes me feel stupid, tells me that i have no sense of hor, and that I dont even have a clue when I say inappropriate things. He is not in love with me anymore, apparently- as he says. He acts like I am chaining him home and wants to be released. My kids will suffer (he says he hates that most of all- but wont work to make our relationship better) But I have to focus on them more- too much is around trying to be around for "daddy". Yesterday, I asked him to be home so we could qll go out as a family- but its friday- his partying night (as well as 2-3 other nights of the week). I know i probably sound like a train wreck. I feel I need to give up- last night was anither night of tears as he apparently felt he told me he was gping out to dinner with his drinking buddy- he did not. I had said- Please dont just disappear ler me know whatever your plans. He decided he was "done talking to me" he said this am so he turned off his phone Nd nust didnt respond to my texts. He has said it is "up to me" to want make him want to be here. I am working two jobs, taking care of the greater bulk of house, and kids- and stressing over our current relarionship. I am getting OLD. I will be 50 next year and this sucks. I dont know if the best thing he can muster is civility, no warmth, and a sporadic and inconsistent presence...with an agry and uneven temperament... What is the answer?! If i say he needs to leave if he hates me, hates being here- he sighs and says yes please, now will you go away. I guess my hope is truly dying that it will change. What else to do.

Just a thought

You mention My kids will suffer.  How are they doing right now?    You are already taking a lot more than I would... "Fat Ass?"  from someone who loves you?  What I do when things get absolutely awful is "pretend" I've made the decision and live with it and see how it feels.  Best wishes.

Thanks gardener, thats a

Thanks gardener, thats a great suggestion. Yes, Im not proud of all the verbal abuse I have sustained. I feel, on my bad days, embarrassed, demeaned, pathetic. The good days pull me through- and I am trying hard to stay alive on them. For now.
DF's picture

Now on to you Lu....

 Do you recall what I had said about HOPE several weeks back?  Look, HOPE is great.  I still have hopes.  I just temper them.  I know it's up to me to make things happen.  You've been hoping a long time now, time for you to drop that warm HOPE blanket and turn up the thermostat your damn self.

Action item for you.  I want details.  List out everything here that you have done and feel free to add where I have forgotten to include:

What books have you read and what were you looking for?

What different communication techniques have you tried and what were the results ( within 24 hours of the attempts )?

What has counseling done for you lately?  ( Not implying bad things, but how do you feel when you leave a session )?

What are your hobbies?  ( something you do once a month or more )

Do you still wait up for him?

Do you ask him where/what he was doing?

What is one thing you wish you could do ( be realistic ) that you haven't ( bungee jumped lately?) ?

I want it all Lu.  You're always speaking with your heart so dig deep and give me a list.  I want brutal honesty from you as you see it from within your heart.  You're doing something that isn't working so lets see if we can find it together with your friends here.  50 is an iconic year.  It isn't an age marker of how hold you are, but how much more wiser you have become.  Lets see if we can't give you some direction Young Lady! 

#1 Listen to DF. #2 Go read

#1 Listen to DF.

#2 Go read the thread posted just for me..if it doesn't make you cry and want to kick yourself for all of this wasted time..well, it will cause you're so much like me.

#3 (something I plan on doing myself) What are you focusing on in our counseling sessions? I plan on going Wednesday and making it clear that I am there to fix ME. I am not discussing ADHD, I am not discussing bringing in my DH, I am discussing WTF is wrong with me and how do I stop being this doormat/anxiety ridden shell of what I used to be?

I just know this...until I am where I need to be, emotionally and spiritually (as best as possible at this point in my journey), then I cannot make any decisions about anything and know for sure they are the right ones. You remind me so much of myself...but I feel you have been better at not trying to fix everything, all of the time, like me. You're codependent and you have zero self worth. Otherwise you wouldn't tolerate what you do. Also, until you stand on your own, proud and strong, you will not know where your husband stands in the marriage and how he feels about you. You cannot ask him 'what are your feelings for me?' when you're not sure yourself.

"Just stop." That's what I plan on doing. I'm not putting a time line on things. I'm not thinking of my education as my Plan B anymore. I'm not going to talk bad about him or think bad about him anymore. I will focus on having compassion and empathy for him. No one should walk away from a marriage until you can do so without any doubts or turning over every stone. I realized that my every breath was being taken for his benefit. If he stopped breathing...so did I. I hate this 'me'. I am so angry because I hate ME. I may not like his actions, but I love him very much. I'm angry at him because it's easier to be angry at him and blame him than it is to see that I'm just as big of a mess as he is. I keep thinking of an old friend. I don't see her a lot these days, but she had been with her S/O for 20+ years. He had emotional breakdowns, seasonal depression, and times of 'shut down' where he wanted to be left alone. It NEVER affected her. She gave him what he needed, tried to schedule trips to 'sunny' places during spring and fall when he would tend to get depressed (they had no children and both had good paying jobs), and just WENT ON WITH HER LIFE when he needed space to unravel/regroup. I was always so shocked at how calmly and matter of factly she did this. I have thought so often of her and wondered what her secret was. It wasn't that she didn't love him. It wasn't that she didn't try and help as best as she could...without crossing boundaries. I have concluded that it was simply because she had enough of a sense of self worth that she could cope with whatever his disorders threw her way. Granted they didn't have kids, kept separate finances, etc. but still I think there is a lot to learn from people who manage to remain calm and collected in the face of a storm.

Lu, one thing I wish for both of us is to be more like this. Stop taking it all personally. LET GO and let God. Just stop. Breathe. and when we get to the point that we are able to do this the hope is that our DHs will follow us. If not then we can know for sure that we've done all we can and we will be in a much better place to decide, without all of the emotional baggage and with more compassion to make whatever decisions need to be made. I had decided yesterday that I was done planning the end of my marriage until I was done working on myself. I deserve better...but so does he.


AMEN!Sherri, wow, you just

AMEN!Sherri, wow, you just inspired me to focus more on ME. I too hate the person i have become, i have totally forgotten about my self in every ares of my life. I dont even know who i am anymore but something tells me that god created me to be more than this. More than a cook, cleaner, bill payer, mom, ect..ect..more than my husbands life line......I  eat sleep and breath him, what he's doing, what he not doing, whats going to happen to us, the kids, ......I need to find myself again..thanks fr helping me see that.

Df, Sherri, and all..

Yes, I am codependent, and perhaps that can be the gift I can say my DH has given me- the realization of how strong that streak is in me. You all have given me food for thought, and I agree with all of you- I need to work on myself. At this point, my relatonship is no longer there- and I need to stop expecting and focusing on that. Dh is a good person though lately he has said some terrible things to me. I guess that has been hard to reconcile the two things for me- and it has made me hate and doubt myself. (hello codependency, lol). Well, DH has removed himself from me completely, I guess because thats where he needs to be. This is probably a good thing because he needs to handle his many issues himself and I need to get out from under his blame and suspicion for my sanity. Do I love him still?! Yes, and that is not codependency. however: I need to find my own value, self esteem. It has been something I struggled with all my life, so yes- the whole codependency thing of trying to find value by aiming to please others as a way to get approval and validation has been my modus operandi. DF, I have been doing the many things you suggest- and will continue. No, I dont wait up for him anymore.. though I do wake up when he comes in (or when he doesnt). Cant help that. Yes, I have friends,work, hobbies. But that has/had not felt enough: partly I am sure from my codependent nature and partly because I genuinely love and miss my guy. But that seems no longer an option- he finds me completely unwantable. And I'd like to say,"screw him", but I cant. So for now, I am going to step back, as Sherris poster said- I am removing myself from this web site for at least a month :( because it makes it all about his add and that is NOT true or fair. But Ill be lurking when I get lonely or bored once in awhile ;). dont know sherri if there is a more private way to converse, I would be happy to if you want. Yes, we are in a similar place- but what we have going for us is this: We are good people. And feeling lovable, beautiful, and of value above and beyond what we can "do" for someone else is what we both need to realize. Scary thought. So here I go.... ! Hugs to you all, be back soon!
DF's picture

Ignore me if you can Lu......

 First off, I'm sorry I've not been so active.  School has been demanding much more attention.  I have some interesting thoughts on that in a bit, but I would like to welcome Janet to our group of misfits. 

Hello Janet.  I like what you said above.  Please be careful though.  I've seen those very words and it can be dangerous to you as a person by only adding more confusion to this mess.  It's very important to find yourself once you realize you lost who you are, but know that you are not who you once were.  You've traveled a lifetime to get to us here in these forums and you will never be the same.  Take your own advice about finding you again, but don't look backwards at what was, look forward towards infinite possibilities......

Sherri - Do you ever see irony in the classes you're taking?  For instance, you may not recall, but a few months back I was taking a literature course that I had to write an 11 pg paper on.  Of all the novels I had to choose from, the library only had 1 and it was about a woman who had a midlife crisis and in the end chose to drown vs surrender herself to marriage again.  My how that has become worrisome in my own life.  But I'm in a new semester now and I have art, which has inspired me to fall in love with art again.  I've bought some supplies and I'm working on painting again, something I haven't done in 13 years.  I'm also taking ethics -

Ethics, the study of various philosophies as they relate to morals is where I'm at.  My how ironic that I should be in my personal happy place and I'm reading about philosophies.  We've only covered two types so far, but they both deal with 1 major theme and that is Man (woman) lives to achieve happiness.  You hearing me Lu?  The meaning of life is finding personal happiness and self satisfaction.  At least that's what Dudes from a long time back have been debating for centuries.  But don't get crazy on us trying to find happiness just yet......

Lu -  Just yesterday my wife looked me in the eyes and told me she would never fall in love with me again. 

Among a few other things, these are extremely hurtful words.  Yet I am not hurting.  Lu, you know I love my wife, my heart is in these forums and you've read them over the past several months.  My wife has quit on our marriage.  The nights out, taking the kids out to spend time with them but not inviting me nor wanting too.  The lack of intimacy from the person you have surrendered your heart to and the hurt from seeing them cringe when you tell them you care and that you love them.  It's not the end of the world Lu.  If your spouse doesn't have the strength to face his own daemon, you can't do it for him.

Look I left here some months back for a while because I was at rock bottom.  I had the white towel in both hands ready to throw and being here reading words of frustration and hurt were more than I could take.  Being where I am now isn't something I got from being away from you all.  I'm not trying to tell you what you should do, i want to make sure you use your time wisely.

FOCUS ON YOU!!!!!  Enough already!!!!!!

Understand something - Being happy is very hard to do under the best conditions, but truly being happy is something that is contagious.  It's tough to get there and I don't believe I'm fully there, but you need to work on getting there.  You spend too dang much time worrying about your spouse.  You love him and I get that.  But hear me clearly -


Lu, your time is now.  Accept where you are in life.  You've got lemons like the rest of us and it's hard work to make lemonade.  If you put as much effort into yourself as you have your spouse, you'll find some sweetener for that lemonade.  I will not suggest an end to your marriage as we are not here for that and I don't want that on myself either. 

When was the last time you caught yourself smiling because you were admiring how beautiful the sound of the wind through the trees is?  Kind of hard to notice small, but special things when you're so hell bent on the feeling of low self worth because your spouse becomes more resentful of you each passing day.  Lu, when you come here and pop off in these forums I see you, but when you come in here with your head down and your shoulders hunched it pisses me off!  I've been praying for your happiness for months now just about every day.  I call out your name Lu. 

Look at yourself Lu.  Would you want to marry you?  Stop thinking like I was months back for a few minutes.  Stop thinking that because you care and work so hard for 'someone else' that you're special and that anyone would want you.  What about you?  Do you feel fun, enthusiastic, dare I say sexy?  What have you done for Lu lately?  it's okay to be selfish to some extent.  You're kids just might approve and I know I would. 

Lu - get away from your house and go to a state park or local park.  Be alone if need be, but listen to the trees.  Smell the air.  If your kids are with you, say nothing and just LISTEN.  The world is huge and it works day in and day out.  Life is more than just people relationships.  Maybe that's one of those things that got me to stop worrying so much.  I finally realized that in the grand scheme of life, my problems will never be big enough to be a zit on the Mother Natures a$$........


I was just thinking about you

I was just thinking about you and wanted to take a minute to let you know. I was on the edge of a very dramatic change and breakthrough when you wrote this and am so very glad, happy, ECSTATIC to say I am on the 'other side' of the anger now and feeling so liberated and hopeful that I can barely contain my gratitude (to God) so forgive me for not responding sooner. I do remember reading, my current state of mind must have kept me from responding.

Lady, I feel for you (and me) the CoDependency thing is HUGE. IT IS the answer to our problems. It truly is. DF probably doesn't recognize it, but he was CD as well. He has found peace and joy again ONLY because he realized that he cannot control anyone but himself and he stopped trying to model his every thought and decision around his wife and obtaining some sort of 'gain' from her. I finally brought the book, although I have the audiobook on my computer, iPod, and my daughter's iPad. I listen to it when I walk. I walk at least 3 days a week, if not more. If I can walk, I do. It helps clear my mind and helps me focus on where I need to be, who I want to be, and how I want to behave. Today I was listening to chapter 6 & 7..and she is talking about reaction. We, as CDs are reacters. We spend our entire waking lives reacting to everything in our worlds. The don't call, we react with disappointment. They say something ugly, we react with anger and hurt. They don't come home until late, or at all, and we react with hurt, anger, disappointment, frustration, and hopelessness. We take it ALL personally. I pictured myself with an umbilical cord that attached to my husband. ANYTHING he did, said, didn't do, didn't say...I had a reaction ready and waiting...as his behaviors pulsed through the umbilical cord my brain, heart, and body started reacting according to how I have learned to react...in every wrong way humanly possible. I think I invented some 'wrong' ways of reacting. LOL I had to detach before he ripped the cord lose from my body and I hemorrhaged to death. I FINALLY got it. I had to do it..for me. Not hoping it would fix anything but ME. Looking at myself in the mirror I didn't even know who I was anymore, but I knew that this person staring back at me was needing some of the attention, time, and love I was showing everyone else. I finally saw what everyone had been saying (including myself) all along...get off of the f*cking roller coaster and just sit quitely for a while and HEAL!! My body was going through the motions, doing things with friends, forcing mysellf to not bombard him with questions, texts, phone calls, etc...but my heart was still lonely, scared, and broken...and giving up. What made me realize that I was in no place to give up on my marriage was that I finally realized that I was very unhappy with ME. I also realized that there is not a single person on this Earth that will give me what I cannot give myself...joy, happiness, and peace. I had to find something to give me the strength and courage to LET GO...and that is where God came in. I prayed specifically for His strength. I prayed specifically and I prayed often. I prayed that he would break the stronghold the devil had on my heart and help me find my own way again. It is, I feel, a miracle. Whatever your spiritual beliefs are, lean on them to find yourself again. Forget about ADHD, forget about your husband, expect nothing. Love him, but put your marriage to him on the back burner and focus solely on YOU and being strong enough to stand against anything life throws your way. You are not in a healthy place (or weren't when you wrote this above), and I know because I have been there for 14 years. Probably longer. I was CD with my first husband too, who was an alcoholic. I wasted many years of my life, no more. I will always consider that Sunday a rebirth. Years of crap flowed down my cheeks in the form of tears and right then and there I decided that I liked independent me a whole lot more than CD me. CD me is OUTTA HERE!

Initially, I saw no change in my my husband. It didn't affect me or deter me in the least. I am grateful for that because I KNOW that my changes are real and I will never be the same again. The last time I let go of my anger, I truly think it was more that I 'gave up' than anything else. I had just lost my daddy and I could not lose anything else. (DH). I just didn't have any fight left in me and I wanted desperately to be happy. This is different...I didn't do it to avoid losing him...I did it to avoid losing ME forever. I did it because I got sick of trying to carry everyone through life and forgetting that I needed me too. I did it because I felt pathetic and sad to be so physically and emotionally upset over another person's behaviors that I nearly gave up on myself. As time has gone on, for whatever reason, my husband's attitude has started to slowly meet my own. I have done nothing to 'fix' him, I haven't asked him for his time or attention or anything or that matter. In the last 17 days only one issue came up that I was worried about...thinking maybe he had been dishonest. I asked him about it, he responded, and although his answer was very "unclear" (ADHD) I did decide I think there was no malice involved on his part and I let it go. Just like the CD book says, issues will arise, but how we REACT to them makes the difference between being CD and not. Think about it before reacting. Don't immediately go where we know it will only make things worse...anger. Ask yourself "is this really the end of the world or do I feel so bad about it because I cannot stop the behavior and that scares me?". Fear kept me CD for far too long. Anyway, my point is that I feel things are slowly improving between my husband and myself. Not a word has been mentioned about anything relating to our marriage, and it won't be until I feel we are ready. At this point, it isn't necessary. I am happy and at peace and it feels awesome. He calls a little more, texts a little more, hugs me a lot more, and gets home a little earlier now. He still spends 95% of his time at home in the den, but for now it is OK. I have a lot of work to do on me before I try and set boundaries and ask anything of him. The best part is that he is still on the ADHD meds and I see NONE of the anger and hostility I was seeing initially. Miracle? I think so. :)

Hang in there lady. Whether your husband shuts you out or falls to your feet begging for forgiveness, it doesn't change the fact that you are CD and you need to fix that before you even consider him, your marriage, his ADHD, his drinking, etc. None of that should matter until you are standing firmly on the ground with your head held high. (((HUGS))) Sherri.

p.s. I can give you my e-mail address if you'd like..just let me know.

DF's picture


I will wait a bit before I mark you off my list and proclaim 1 down, Lu/ Pj/ Yyz to go.  I'm on the lookout for others to cross my path and I may add them to that list.  With that Sherri -> ease up there Tiger......

You've had a short time at self discovery.  I gave it almost 2 months of scenario testing to validate what I was feeling was real and here I am almost 5 months later unchanged.  Play with scenarios and continue to test yourself until you're confident.  Things will come up and you will experience hurt, but you will need to know if you're destroying the hurt or just sweeping it under the rug.  You feel great and your writing is very convincing, but don't stop testing yourself until you're sure.  My tests have come and there will be more:

She says resents me.

She says she can't stand being in the same room as me.

She said she leaves just to get away from me.

She says she hates my carefree attitude.

She believes I'm saying bad things about her to the kids.

She says she'll never love me.

She says she feels trapped by me

She says she feels beneath me and she resents that (me).

She says goodbye to the kids when she leaves and ignores me 75% of the time.

She says she doesn't want to be married to me anymore.......... And yet I feel no pain.  I smile because I love her and knowing what love means (to me) feels greater than any hurt.

I'm very analytical in my thought process so that made it so very hard for me to realize I have ADD.  I assure you I know all about CD and was very insistent on not using those words on my return to these forums.  I knew for a long time I had been CD on my lovely wife and I'm just as guilty as the rest of you.  Someone tried to tell you something and they throw in Co-Dependant into the sentence and you don't even realize you didn't read the whole paragraph.  Because you know you're CD you instinctively agree with the person talking to you and you don't even realize you've written off the rest of what they are telling you because "you already know" what they are saying. 

We're all intelligent people here and we're all looking for something that can't be given to us -> ourselves.  We learn a lot from each other here and it gets us through patches and answers some questions, but it's on each of us to wake up on our own.  Sherri, you seem to be able to answer my questions for Lu with confidence now and the biggest one is -> Do you feel sexy?

That question seems perverse until you can answer it honestly.  It's not about attracting a new mate, it's about being comfortable in your own skin.  Many months ago my wife told me I looked sickly from the weight I'd lost and I believed her because I saw it too.  Not any more.  I'm damn sexy and I have no issues walking around the house without my shirt on after working out when she's around.  I know it bothers her that I do that but I'm in love with me again and it feels awesome.  I smile the the person in the mirror and I see no flaw in what I see.

Another question for you Sherri - What does "hope" mean to you now?

Lu - Actions speak louder than words.  Hear me clearly -> Sherri's actions, not her spouses, are proving to her that she matters and that she's in control of herself.  It is YOUR actions and how they speak to you! 

Some of your guilt comes from the idea that you played a role in the downfall of your relationship.  NEWS FLASH - You did.  You forgot you.  Find you and whether or not your husband ( or my wife ) ever see's you (me) again is irrelelevent.  You live with you 24/7, not them.

I'd already posted this elsewhere in the forums right after I saw it, but it applies here too.  Lu, take some advice from my 11 year old son:

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have"

I love it! LOLSexy? I am

I love it! LOL

Sexy? I am getting there. I am happy with how I look even though I could stand to drop a pound or 50. I feel confident in my own skin. I won't lie and say I wouldn't like to drop a few pounds, have a nip and tuck here, but from the INSIDE, where I feel sexy resides, I am not struggling. This is one area I conquered about 7 years ago and decided I was happy just as I am. I do not feel that my husband 'enjoys' or likes when I walk around in a tank top and panties, but I don't do it for him...I do it because it is what I like sleeping in and I feel pretty in it. :) *edited to rephrase: It isn't that I don't think he finds me attractive, I do. He tells me so and shows me so. I just mean he doesn't NOTICE me in that 'way' unless he is primed for sex...about twice a month. :-/ )

Hope? To me, hope looks like a future filled with fun, blessings, family, and love. I have hope because I am not depending on anyone but ME for my future happiness and I TRUST me to do the right thing for me...now. I am living life looking only at TODAY. I'm no longer living it with a timeline in mind or a plan B or fairy tales. I am hopeful for the future because of what is in MY HEART today. I know my suffering isn't over. I know I will face hardships in life just as everyone else does. It is all about perspective for me. First, things could be SO much worse. Second, if it TRULY isn't the end of the world, then it isn't the end of the world. (Thank you CD No More audio book!!) It isn't about denial or brushing it under the rug it is truly about just not caring.

*I too was told that my husband didn't come home from work, even staying overnight several times, because of me.

*I too was told he was sick of me.

*I too get the feeling that he is avoiding spending time with me because the only time we spend together is when we have sex. He did ask me to lunch a couple of times in the last week or so, and that has been nice.

I know it seems like too much...I appreciate your hesitation to let me join your club. Just hang in there, time will prove me right. I started this when I was at my lowest, when I felt my marriage was truly over and there was nothing left to fight for BUT me. That hasn't changed. We would be liars if we said that our spouses responding in a positive way to our changes wouldn't be ideal, but where I was when I LET GO and what motivated me to pick myself up, put on my big girl panties, and start wading through the muck to find ME again had nothing...absolutely nothing to do with my DH. Sherri was the only thing in my field of vision and she needed me BADLY.

I know it won't always be as easy and carefree as the last 17 days have been...but I will take and savor every single frickin minute of it and know that even if there are speedbumps, I will ultimately end up right back here because this is where I am at my best and I am happiest! Go me! :)

Anymore questions? I didn't know I was going to have homework today.


DF's picture

I am truly happy for you

Your answer to the "sexy" question has more thought than I was intending, but you get what I mean.  We all have our personal flaws that we'd like to overcome, but "sexy" in this context is a frame of mind.  Feeling great about life and who you are is desirable to you.  You also got the part about "hope" correct.  It's a wonderful thing to have "hope", but in the end hope doesn't pay the mortgage, your hard work does.  Before you realize it, you'll have accomplished something you hoped for and when you see that, that's when you start to believe in miracles. 

I don't know that my wife and I will regain a relationship.  I do love her very much, but she is so far from where I am.  You don't get new boobs because your happy with who you are.  And here we are a year later and I just don't see her getting the results she was hoping for.  She's still angry and depressed and it's because she can't stop seeing life as passing her by.  She can't stop living in the past.  She can't stop for a moment and see that life is much more worthy of living in the now and not what was and will never be again.  I don't envy where she is and I know that once she finds the strength to challenge her emotions, she will see me for what I'm actually worth and not what she currently "thinks" I'm worth.  Which brings me to a bit of a concerning point.....

Sherri, you offered me something to think about.  You once told me some time ago that you hit rock bottom.  I've seen you repeat that in other threads.  I think you see now that you were wrong.  You've seen rock bottom now, just recently.  It's the fear of knowing the world as you know it really is going to end and all the people that are going to be affected by it.  It's knowing that the person you love and have sworn your life too is about to hate you.  It's about seeing for the first time that you really are a quitter.  It's seeing that it's you that's holding the gun ( metaphor ) and that it's pointed at yourself.  It's the worst F%*&ing place to find yourself, but it's the person you are, deep inside that can turn on that switch I was talking about a few weeks back.  I'm still not convinced everyone needs to hit rock bottom to find their strength, because I find that each individual is different.  Unfortunately I'm two for two on the idea that true rock bottom is the easiest route to take - you and me. 

I'm so very happy for you Sherri, but I find sadness that we may all need to hit rock bottom before we can experience this euphoria.  Sadness, because if that's what it would take for my wife to open her eyes then there really is nothing I can do for her.  My wife is having a mid life crisis, I've been reading enough about it for months now to be able to add 1+1.  Me being energized isn't enough to bring us back together.  I see much of what she's doing and I see that it's not working for her so she's convinced the only thing left is to end 'us'.  If it comes to that, I hate to think that she may one day find rock bottom because that's not where I want her to ever have to see. 

You've placed a lot of faith in God.  I do as well in my way.  I tend to treat him like a celebrity at a restaurant - I respect him by not interrupting his dinner for an autograph.  I never gave him much credit over the years, but then again, how else can I explain the way things just turn out okay in the end?  Now that you've found your happy place Sherri, ever think back to how you felt those few days leading up to your fathers passing?  Look at who you are right this minute vs. who you were then.  Could be divine intervention, but who am I to say?  Things just seem to turn out okay in the end.........

Have you ever known me not to

Have you ever known me not to over think anything? *blushes*

I have given that a lot of thought...and I think that you are correct..I hit a 'bottom' but it wasn't a personal rock bottom. I had just lost my father, my husband and I were separated during his hospitalization and he was cheating. After my father died, I found out about the affair a mere 3 weeks later. When he seemed extremely remorseful (even before I found out), I felt I could not lose anything else. I wanted him to come home, I love him, and I do still to this day feel he has a lot of remorse for what he did. Otherwise, I honestly would never be able to convince myself to stay married to him. I just couldn't give him up at that time. I wasn't strong enough. I think God planned it that way...because he knew we had a future together and I quite possibly wouldn't have been in a forgiving frame of mind had I not been at such a low point. That was what felt like bottom for me. I just had NOTHING left in me to fight with. I was drained and crushed. I think I have spent the last 2 years grieving everything. I think the days leading up to my father's death (he died suddenly, although he had an ATV accident and lived for 4 weeks after that...he was recovering, got an infection, and died within about 36 hours. We went from HOPEFUL to devastation) were quite different than what I felt in the 9 months leading up to my recent rock bottom. I think the entire process started when my father passed away. I never said I was a quick learner when it comes to life lessons. I do think, however, we can most definitely hit rock bottom more than once in life. So, whatever it was in 2009 and whatever it was 2+ weeks ago it had purpose for that time in my life. No, I didn't end up with the feelings of joy and personal happiness then that I have now, but it served a purpose then...whatever it was. Survival?

I cannot tell you how long your wife will wallow. Sorry, but it does seem to me like wallowing...pity party. I've just left one of those that I threw for myself for many, many years. I know what they look like. Her entire attitude towards you in general screams to me that she is miserable within her own skin. She could not be happy or she would not be slinging so much ugliness your way. I suggest you stop worrying about her hitting her own personal rock bottom because it isn't your job. She is an adult who is making the decision everyday to disconnect, shut you out, and seek out something that has apparently eluded her thus far. She will have to come to the conclusion that her answers are in the mirror on her own. I couldn't do that for you. You couldn't do that for me. I can't do it for my husband. You cannot do it for your wife. I admit to having a certain amount of sympathy for my husband when I worry that eventually he's just going to go so far away from what I need as a husband that I won't want to be with him anymore. However, I TRULY have Faith that he won't because I DO believe him when he says he loves me and I think eventually, as I am starting to slowly see now, he will realize that I'm not leading him in his life anymore, that he is leading himself, and he'll adjust his behaviors accordingly and give me what I need...basically because I stopped asking. Your wife may have originally had a lot of good reasons to feel disappointed, lonely, frustrated, sad, and so on. I don't begrudge her the suffering I am sure she endured. I pray for her sake that she realizes that it does not have to be this way anymore, that she can trust you that you GET IT now and don't want to ever go back to that life again, because now that you're in a better place, she's only hurting herself. What is the old saying....resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. She's swimming in a sea of poison and mad because you're not dying. She will hit bottom eventually...but I honestly could not tell you how I think it'll play out when she does. To keep her walls up this long is beyond anything I've ever been able to do.

I place all of my faith in God. This would not have happened were it not for Him. I would have spent the rest of my life failing in everything I tried because I never felt I deserved anything better until I 'met' Him. He LONGS for you to 'interrupt' his dinner and his blessings are yours for the taking if you just ask. Divine intervention...yes. I can give a detailed, connecting the dots kind of description of how things played out from Oct 30th (day my daddy had his accident) until 9/11/2011...and God was there at every turn. Placing people in my path, leading me to make phone calls reaching out to friends that turned out to be such pivotal conversations (I HATE talking on the phone...why did I call?? Hrmmm), posts here kicking my hypothetical butt, etc. I am truly blessed. I just couldn't see it before with my angry glasses on.

DF's picture

And I agree to the fullest

As much as I keep my feelings about devine intervention to myself, I have to agree on much of what you are saying.  I myself was in an anger spot because of some head butting with my youngest son.  I did not get mad at him, but I had problems releasing my frustration and jogging didn't help.  I saw my wife for all of 20 seconds and she's out the door off to wherever and I was thinking how sometimes I'm just not in the mood for her resentment of me.  And here I am, right this moment, replying to your post that I just read.  I received the email notifying me of a reply to my comment this afternoon, but I chose not to come to this site until the end of the day.  Can't say it's irony that I should read your post now and my frustration is gone.  The situation and the timing are all too coincidental.

For me personally, I will continue to guard my beliefs on "higher" power(s).  As a child I was forced to go to church and Sunday school and grew resentful of it.  I always saw it as something people did because they were "asking" for something, but not doing anything about it.  Since I started going back to church ( when I can ) and started praying, I found that I kind of liked it now that I was able to define it for myself.  I'm no longer put off by people referencing church and God, because as much as I try, I can't prove that He doesn't apply in some way.  Reading the adventures of other spouses who are on the receiving end of a mid life spouse such as I am, there's a whole lot of people finding faith.  The neat thing is, it's not about what He can do for me/them, but more like thanks for being there for me.    It's kind of cool.

As for your rock bottom explanation.  In reading your posting I see a distinct difference and that's what I was getting at when I inquired about it.  When you describe your first RB a long while back, I see that you chose to reach out as if taking comfort in others was going to be your own personal salvation.  That's different and because you reached out and got "indifference" in return, you've suffered for a long time.  You followed a path as we all do, but it wasn't until you hit a real RB that you got slapped.  For me it's like getting a second chance in life.  This is my purpose and my purpose, as you seem to agree from your own situation, that we're matched up with our spouses for a reason and it's not by chance.  My spouse gave and gave and I learned to stop saying thank you, as I used too, and I "learned" to take and expect.  This is not who I was or wanted to be - ever.  My wife is perfect for me because it takes the kind of person that she is to have the experience that she's having for someone like me to finally get it.  I get that I'm the best person my wife could have ever hoped to be married too.  She doesn't see that right now, but perhaps she will see over time that I'm not taking anymore and I'm not expecting anything from her.  Perhaps she can one day see that I do love her and that it's the highest honor I could ever hope to give.  She needs me right now to be the person I'm growing into so that she can continue on her path.  I know with every fiber of my being that we will meet again.

I'd like to add a disclaimer for Lu in the event that she's following along, but keeping quiet.  Lu, there's a common theme between Sherri and I here with hitting rock bottom and that's that we both seem to have "known" the end of our marriages/families.  When I say that, it's similar to love in that if you're looking for it you will never find it.  You may ask yourself how much more frustration you can take or even visualize signing divorce papers, but I promise you it's not the same.  You will know it when it happens, but looking for it to come will only delay it.  I say this because my theory is that the difference between you and yyz is that RB is going to find you.  YYZ has a situation that to me seems more dependent upon his spouse's personal growth.  Yours as I see it is in you.  I still pray that you'll find happiness in your marriage Lu, the same as I have been doing for Sherri.  We're here for you Lu, but we smile now more than frowning.  Good luck!

Yes, I did rely heavily on DH

Yes, I did rely heavily on DH and family to get me through and now I am getting through by myself...well, with God's help. Another huge difference now. It is just me. It is me alone with my thoughts, alone when I'm walking, alone when I'm in the car...just me and God and it is SOOOO nice to not have my thoughts be all about obsessing over my marriage, my future, money, etc.

I want to clarify something...I know better than to try and respond to something in phases...and my train of thought goes into the ditch. About my husband "not being someone I want to be married to" after he learns to stand on his own...I don't mean that to sound like he's under some kind of testing period right now or anything. I don't mean that to sound like he needs a major overhaul before I could ever consider living with him for the rest of my life. He is, in all honesty, a very generous and giving man. He IS my best friend. I love him truly, madly, deeply just as he is. I am not expecting, or asking for, miracles. We are getting along splendidly right now. I KNOW that I was at least 50% of the problem. For all of the 'work' I was doing, I was doing an equal amount of dumping on the marriage. I was, very much so, my own worst enemy. I am frightfully aware of just how influential (negatively) my behaviors, over reacting, under reacting, and needing things that aren't his to give were. I am also aware of how I used emotions and words to control and manipulate him even when I was convinced I wasn't. I was in the process of getting 'here', but I still was making a lot of mistakes along the way...I knew it...but I didn't. I know I will still struggle and have things to deal with that I might not handle brilliantly, but I have more confidence in my ability to love him and NOT control him now than I ever have.

I am trying to express to him what I feel about him and what I want from him..and that is for him to just be himself and be HAPPY. He doesn't have to jump through hoops for me, I just need a little of his time, some of his attention, and for us to all be a family again. I didn't mean to imply by my earlier statements that he's wander off in left field somewhere and incapable of making me happy. I am happy. For the first time in a very, very long time I am happy. Do I want things to be like they are now for the rest of my life with him? No. We don't spend enough time together and his job is overwhelming him. I've said it before and I will say it again..and I mean it. I will be patient. I'm not living with a projected timeline in mind. I am here, I am where I want and need to be, and I am at peace with everything right now. I do believe in time he will get stronger and he will take control of all of the things that I've been trying to control FOR him for years. He has never had the need to try to control himself...I've always tried to do it for him. He has never been let free to be his own person and learn to love that person for the awesome guy he is. Reality is, he might not want to be with me, in the end. I certainly hope that isn't the case, but I do love him enough to let him go.

People on here ask..."how can I just stop being angry and start loving again" and my question is...how can you NOT? Since I owned up to my weaknesses/fault, started working on myself, and broke the stronghold the anger had over me I want to kick myself for not being able to get here sooner. I cry almost everyday still...but it is tears that come from a heart that is overflowing with joy and love. I am so blessed.

DF's picture

You are removed from my list

I'm so happy for you Sherri!  You now see what I see and how great it is!  You know how I feel!

"...Since I owned up to my weaknesses/fault, started working on myself, and broke the stronghold the anger had over me I want to kick myself for not being able to get here sooner. I cry almost everyday still...but it is tears that come from a heart that is overflowing with joy and love......"


I actually have to stop myself from crying at times because it comes from my heart and it feels great because it's filled with joy!  Sherri, with the administrators permission, you are welcome to reach me anytime via email.  It may be possible through my profile settings here.

You really do get it Sherri.  Yes, your spouse may not want to be with you in the future, but it's not the end of the word.  You have you now and your kids can and will feed off of your new found love because that's exactly what it is - love.  So many of us treated it like it was devotion to someone and we should expect the same in return, but all we were doing was forgetting who we are and how to really love.  It's knowing that everything is going to be alright regardless of the outcome.

Sherri I know your husband through your posts.  I do not live in his extremes, but I do understand him.  Part of the struggle is that he doesn't know/forgot how to make you happy and now that you are happy you've relieved a huge burden off his shoulders.  In your current frame of mind you are letting him live his life to find himself.  Only time will tell.

I actually braved touching my wife today.  Kind of an arm over the shoulder, buddy hug kind of thing on my way out the door, but I felt as though it was okay to do at the time.

YES! YES! YES! From me,


From me, too.   We all are gradually "GETTING IT".  What a relief, isn't it.  To finally realize that we are only responsible for our own happiness.  I learned this from Melissa many years ago when my husband (ADHD) and myself (NON-ADHD) hit rock bottom.  It lifted a huge burden off of both of our shoulders.  We are still together but continue to live seperate lives for the most part.  Did I ever imagine it would turn out this way?  NO!  But, with my faith in GOD, also, I know this is all happening for a reason and I am finally enjoying my life no matter what.  I do pray for my husband daily that he will be able to find himself someday and dig himself out of the pit that he continues to want to live in. 

Although I am hopeful that my

Although I am hopeful that my DH, too, will eventually join me (spending time together, going to church, being a family) it is very liberating to not bank your entire existence on what they might or might not do. I, too, feel like I am right where God wants me to be and that in the end everything will be just fine...no matter what. I do feel that my DH has been somewhat liberated (at least I hope he is able to feel the positives of my 'rebirth') himself and I hope he 'gets back into' (for lack of a better way to put it) life too. It is hard for me to not say to him "come over 'here' with me, the water is GREAT" but I know I can't...he has to find 'here' himself. I pray for him every day.

Lightbulb moment! Thank you!

DF you just turned on a giant light bulb in my head and I have no idea why I didn't think of it before.  I am so freakin afraid that my DH wont want to be with me anymore and leave that I have been afraid to be myself and then I get mad at myself and him for me having to change.  All the while it was ME making the changes to try and be something I thought he wanted...and I wonder why I feel crazy at times!!  I feel like I have had 2 tons lifted off my shoulders and I want to cry (cant though I'm at work).  Not sure what to do with my new found enlightenment, but while I was sure I "got it" a week ago, now I know I hadn't.

All I can say is Thank You!

Don't feel bad. For many

Don't feel bad. For many years I operated under this same 'fear' too. I think (please forgive me if I am remembering incorrectly) that it has to do with being cheated on...partly. No matter what anyone says, there is always a tendency to think "what if I would have just done X with him" or "what if I would have just been different during that time period" and you DO adjust yourself, hold things in, hold back feelings, do things you don't want to, don't do things you want to just in the hopes that it will somehow control THEIR choices in the future. It is exhausting to feel responsible for being something/someone who has to behave a certain way, do a certain thing, say this, not say that in order to avoid being cheated on again. And, the worst part of all is that IT DOESN'T WORK.

Part of why I got it was I realized...and when I say 'realized' I mean "A TON OF BRICKS HIT ME ON THE HEAD"... is:

#1) my choices, behaviors, and attitudes DO affect him but not at all in the way that I mistakenly operated under for YEARS. The old saying "you get more bees with honey" is so true for my DH. He simply wants to feel loved and accepted the same as I do. If, when I'm looking in the mirror, I don't like what I see...how will he? It IS important to me to be true to what I WANT to be as a wife REGARDLESS of anything he does or says. If the time comes that I can no longer be true to me and be the wife I want to be with him, I will leave. I won't stay and be resentful and angry again. My anger isn't HIS FAULT. It is (was) MY CHOICE. I don't want to be enemies with him.

#2) I realized that I had bent over backwards so much for him that I didn't even TRULY know who I was anymore. I'm not saying he asked me to, it was my choice. I compromised my own boundaries and beliefs just to be pleasing to him. I know he would laugh if he read that, but it is true. It finally dawned on me that for all of the controlling I was accused of, I was equally controlled by my fears of his reactions if I did X, Y, or Z. I spent most of my time...and I mean MOST of my time worrying that everything I did or said was going to make him mad. I lost myself obsessing over him, his thoughts, his decisions, his feelings about me, etc. It finally dawned on me that the only way I will EVER A) be TRULY happy and at peace and B) know where we stand in each other's lives is to JUST BE ME and let everything else fall where it will. Do you have any idea...I could never EVER express it in words...how good it feels to just be me? This comes as you accept that you are COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY POWERLESS TO CHANGE HIM and WITHOUT GOD (or the help of some other higher power) I AM COMPLETELY HELPLESS TO EVEN HELP MYSELF. What I did (control, manipulate, micro-manage..AND be controlled, be manipulated, be made to feel bad about who I am) for years not only didn't work, it left us both miserable. MISERABLE.

I don't know where you are today, if you still feel you 'got it', but I can tell you that it was a life changing, mood altering, attitude destroying moment for me that had been building for a few weeks. I couldn't have held back the tears if my life depended on it. (I tend to cry no matter where I am at anyway though) LOL My entire world shifted that day. Although I have been upset by a few things (not just DH related) I have been doing 1000 times better at my REACTIONS. The things I feel getting the best of me, I pray about...and instantly I feel the obsession over it leaving my body. When everything you think, do, and say stops having something to do with your DH then you'll know you're getting there. It is really odd to have my mind free to think about other things...and it is also very, very nice that when I do think about DH it is almost always in a happy way now. :)

DF's picture

Just rolled back into town

Been out of town all weekend.  Kept my distance from the wife once I got home tonight.  In the 2 weekends we've been apart due to kids activities, I find it harder to not tell her I love her and I find that I'm being distant come Sunday evenings when she gets home or I do.  I'm seeing that our time apart is making it more difficult for me to want to tolerate her resentment of me when we see each other again.  Regardless of how your spouses feel about you, please take stock in the fact that at least you can say that you love them to their faces.  I will never take that for granted again.

I'm kind of feeling like a jerk tonight, but I'm also feeling it doesn't matter cuz I'm a jerk in her eyes anyway.  As I figured, while I was out of town she slept in our bed.  Gives me warm fuzzy's knowing it takes me being outside 300 miles of her for her to do that ( sarcasm ).  Well, now I'm retiring for the evening after a loooooong drive home and noted she left her pillow on our bed.  I have moved it into the living room where she sleeps when I'm home.  I feel like a jerk about it, but she did say she doesn't want me to be confused about how she feels about me.  I figured the least I could do is get her clean pajamas and fold then nicely on top of her pillow.  This didn't make me feel better about moving her back out there so I cleaned the bathroom before coming to bed.  I still feel crummy knowing that after a long weekend I'm stuck with crap for options.  If I move her stuff into the living room she's probably thinking I'm a jerk for moving her out of our room ( where I want her to feel comfortable being ), but if I leave things untouched she'll wake me when she gets home tonight when she gets her stuff to take with her into the living room.  I went with option 1 seeing as how I'm not in the mood to be woken up to her rejection of me at Lord knows what hour.  Eh..... Darned if I do, Darned if I don't.

NewDog and Needs.  Nice to see some input from other readers.

NewDog - Please indulge me for a moment.  I've read a bunch of your posts, but I don't recall your back story completely.  You live together but seperate lives?  What's that mean?  Are you room mates or are you together and rediscovering each other while living your lives independent?  Or something else?  I'm thinking by your last line or two that your spouse doesn't know how to get out.  It's easy to see there's a problem, but it's tough to address it successfully when you don't know how exactly to ask for help.  I'm reminded of the difference between "settling" and "acceptance".  For troubled spouses, such as my lovely wife, "acceptance" is viewed as something they are being forced to do against their will because they believe that life is not what they believe it should be.  Basicly they are "settling" for less that what they feel they deserve and they either contain their unhappiness or impose it on the people closest to them.  The issue is that "acceptance" is about knowing who you are and being confident about it so that you are capable LIVING life happy.  Material wealth is nice, but if it was the answer then people with such wealth would be incapable of unhappiness and we know that's not realistic.  To "accept" is to live within the domain of free will and to "settle" is to live as a slave to someone else's will.  At least that's my take on this particular day that I have no idea where I'm leading this paragraph.......

Needs - To truly "get it" as you say is an awesome power.  If you really understand it you will control it as you see fit, but if you don't you'll have it only until your next frustrating experience.  Many people, my wife included, are frustrated by what they think their loved ones expect them to behave.  Both ADD(HD) and those without will struggle as long as they have no real concept of how to communicate to each other and some people end up "settling" and become unhappy, but tolerant.  Needs, if you find what it is you want from you, it could possibly lead you to better explain in layman terms to your spouse what it is you want from them.  This could open up some huge doors for you both.  My wife and I used to never argue ( we don't now cuz we don't really talk to each other ) because we had nothing and we lived on similar hopes and dreams.  As we moved through life we gradually aquired things that we each perceived would be recognized by the other as what we thought they wanted/needed.  Arguments ( non-yelling ) would arise because we would get frustrated that each of us wasn't getting the desired response or reciprocation from our efforts.  This hasn't caused all our issues, but it paved the way for my wife to "settle" until mid life gave her the power to say enough is enough.  I continue to pray that she will try to reconcile within herself in hopes that she can see me as who I am today, but there's no timeline on her emotions and living life day to day makes it easier for me to maintain my happiness.

I'm no expert and I have ADD so take what I say as speculation.


So, you guys play tag team with the kids?...you leave and kids are with her, then you get home, and she leaves until you are asleep? You won't piss her off by putting her stuff out there, she will have to take a huge reality pill. You gave her what she wanted and it won't feel good, but she can't blame you. Where does she go? Out drinking? Out night clubbing? To the all night library? You know, all the women that have left during mlc sit at home and cry... The grass isn't greener. Does she know she may be experiencing this? i read some of your earlier posts. I was under the impression that you had known about ADD for the past year, (when your trouble began), and experiencing all "this" because of it. But, i see during your low point you found ADD diagnosis. I have a cousin that left during his DW mlc and he has whole new life... I read some mlc sites and all the men move on, get angry, and have new women in their lives. There has to be a way to "reach" her. Too bad she doen't read here because I think reading gardner's posts could help her. Which, in turn, would help you too.
DF's picture


Our kids both have their own team sporting events.  My oldest plays competitive sports and has to travel during the winter months.  My wife and I split trips since my youngest has his own stuff going on here at home.

Where does my wife go?  You're missing the point of what planet Sherri and I are talking from.  I don't know and I don't care.  I really, really, really don't care.  I'm with the kids when she's 'out' wherever, doing whatever and they know who's there in the mornings for them.  I continue to make certain they know she loves them because that's the truth and that's part of understanding.  When I first came to these forums after finding out I have ADD and anxiety, I worried and fretted over where/who when my wife would leave.  I lost so much sleep for 8+ months.  So much heartache and stress.  I believed, for a time, that my ADD/anxiety is what was causing all of our problems.  It played its role for sure, but as I research both ADD(HD) and MLC I've learned that this is my path and either I run from it and always look over my shoulder or I stand and fight.  I have obviously chosen to fight and I haven't been happier that I did.

My wife has on seldom occasions spoken of just leaving to get away from me, whether sitting in a park or walking the isles of a 24hr walmart.  I learned I lost trust in my wife when I realized I had to confront her about whether there was someone else in her life.  I've hated myself for having done that and I can't take it back.  My wife really is a great woman.  She's smart enough to know that I've done nothing to deserve infidelity and she may rightfully or wrongfully assume I'd rake her through the coals for doing that to me.  I don't know what I would do, but I assure you I would know if I really knew what pure love is and whether or not I was living a pipe dream.  The bottom line is what I've been saying and Sherri is repeating - She chooses of her own free will to act towards me the way she does.  I am not responsible for her and when the time comes, and it will, she will have to confront the person she has been and the person she is.  I have confronted who I was and accept who I am and I'm moving forward.  She dresses young and thinks the same way as she did before we first met.  Like a woman posessed, she's unable to see that you can't turn back the clock on life and we have to live for who we are now vs who we thought we were 20 years ago.

I too have read much about spouses moving past towards someone else.  I'm a firm believer that if they don't fix themselves, they will end up in the same situation as before their spouse entered MLC.  I'm no different than anyone else, but at the same time I'm choosing another path.  I honestly do not have any interest in any other woman.  I have no attraction to any other woman, nor do I mentally undress a woman walking in front of me or past me.  I also am not interested in my wife that much either.  Lets face it, doesn't matter how good she looks to me physicaly, all I see is how she acts and it's not attractive at all to me.  Because of how I see myself and how I feel about myself I have no outward desire for anyone.  I am truly happy.  I make myself happy and it's legit.  I don't feel any need to be validated by anyone.  Am I past last nights episode?  Yep.  I know what she's missing in me and that's where my frustration comes from at times. 

Today is my b-day and I got what I wanted without even knowing it.  My wife was having trouble getting up for work this morning.  Acting as her personal snooze alarm I knew she was awake, but just not opening her eyes and getting up each time I made an attempt to wake her.  Without knowing what I was doing or why, I kissed her on the forehead.  It's the first time my lips have graced her physical being in so long I can't remember when the last time happened.  She didn't wake, but I'm not stupid either.  She was awake.  I realized I felt better about the decision I made last night because it gave me a chance to show her I was not mad at her even if I "may" have seemed distant.

Would you like to know what I had planned today?  After my wife got home from work I was going to go into the office and do school work since I have finals this week.  I'm not sad or pathetic, I just know that my wife isn't excited about me, nor is she very happy with life these days.  She was under a lot of stress over our anniversary back in August so I figured it would be best if I just removed myself from the equasion and do something productive for myself.  She is not in a place in her life where she is interested in reciprocating any feelings towards me and I have no interest in pushing her.

Well, we are excited about

Well, we are excited about you! Happy Birthday! I hope you find a way to make it special, just for you!!


I swear D, you speak from where I think my DH is headed, and the tiny bits you share about your DW, remind me of me. I guess that is why I am very curious. However, I have chosen to isolate and talk to no one. In my current state i wouldn't go out with other people, i wouldn't want to crab about home. (they don't get it anyway) I would never leave my children like you had posted a while back to worry where or when I was coming home. Being with them helps to change the direction of my thoughts. I finally got to the point where I went to the movies with kids and dh a week ago, but I couldn't bring myself to go to the funeral (earlier posting this weekend) - however, we did go to the viewing together, but it was awkward. I was very, very, selfish, and in a very self serving place that I didn't grasp what was screaming in my face - some one died, 3 children lost their father, and i am in such a hole, nothing penetrated my walls of steel. I KNOW something is very wrong with me. Sherri replied earlier and I want to reply back to her when my thoughts unscramble. But, i think she is saying I'm in the victim role. I don't know. All of the tools I need to pick myself back up are not available to me. i need to be by the ocean, i didn't realize how much I desperately need my family, or to atleast have them be within a car driving vicinity. i need to be with "like-minded" people. Not with "hard, cold" clicky personalities. It took me 6 years to "like" where (state) I am today, but the last 8 years have taken it's toll. The first ten years of my marriage were spent in 2nd place to my DH's female bff. It was hard, it finally was resolved, which is why I don't dwell on it. She is still in our life because she is married to DH's brother, but it did quite a number on me and our marriage. It is weird sometimes because I am constantly told that she and I look like sisters and it just makes me wonder if he picked me for that very reason. Not so much anymore, because I have lost who I am trying to be NOTHING like her. I think this is why I am in this terrible spot too. I am not anything like I was before I allowed my self to be where I am today. Not necessarily a victim, because, I'm not blaming anyone for where I am, I am whole heartedly regretting how I got here. The only thing that is better in my life since I met him is the fact that I have children. There is Nothing that I feel he has helped me to be a better person. There is no feeling of equal partners, there was NEVER, without a knock down drag out fight, support in me, or faith, that I could make my own decisions on my career. His level of entitlement was astounding and I got here by kicking and not tolerating this "old thinking" ways. I could care less what he does or how he does it. It does not affect me or my self worth. I just want to feel I have the freedom to do as I feel is right for me. I don't want to feel i need his permission to do anything. I think his ADHD hyper focus was on me - too much so - that I have fought everything he had me "pegged" for. So, if I always liked a certain food, if he said it, I would change it, if he said I felt a certain way (usually wrong), i would correct it and I would ask him to not label me. I guess I do sound like a victim, but I don't accept that because I feel victims DON'T fight for themselves and I have been fighting for so long to be able to make my own decisions, to not be lableled, and for the ability to just be however I want to be at that very moment. Most of our fights were about "how I made HIM feel". I didn't give HIM enough attention. All his co-dependent feelings were my fault - which in itself is MORE suffocating to someone who already feels clausterphobic. The low self esteem he has, really, really affected everything..... I am rambling. I wish you a very happy birthday. I hope your boys will do something nice for you. You can't let the day go by without you and the boys having a treat! It's important to the kids that they do something with you on your special day. Scorpio? My gpa was scorpio.
DF's picture

PJ I'm PO'ed for 15 more minutes

 And I know why now.  I didn't get to leave the house this evening due to work obligations and my wife is in the next room presumably retiring for the evening instead of going somewhere.  As I had mentioned to you before, you do remind me of my wife in many ways, but the key difference is that regardless of how strong your steel walls are - you're here.  Your presence here is a sign that you are interested in mending the break.  No matter how tough your armor may be, you are here looking for something.  Personally I see it as you are the one looking for the door handle on those steel walls of yours and because you don't see it, you're still content to sit down and wait for it.  Small tid-bit of info for ya, doors don't just appear in a steel wall.  You have to pound out your own door starting with a small hole first.

With that said, you are similar in that much of what you say you feel is what I can relate to how I see my wife day to day.  I know her better than she thinks I do and I see much of why she's angry in the few conversations we have.  Problem is, she was angry before, but now you have MLC and she's down right category 6 hurricane of unhappiness, much of which is pointed at me.

So after much thought about why I'm so upset today, I believe I'm onto something.  Last year at this time I knew my wife was angry with me.  She hadn't spoke to me and wouldn't even look at me for two months at that point.  She told me she was broke and stressed out so she didn't do anything for me ( not even a sorry ).  I was okay with it.  I knew we were having issues and I didn't expect anything from her.  Flash forward a year later and she's pleasant towards me, considering the past year.  She angered me earlier with a text saying that she would inform the kids that I would be celebrating my b-day without them after telling her I'd be out tonight.  What an absolutely crap thing to say!  I texted her back and told her that it bothered me that she would say something that would make me feel guilty about something the kids know nothing about.  I'm over it for the most part.  I have to remind myself that texting is impersonal and even when someone means no harm, it can be implied accidently.  Oh - And it's always possible that she did have plans for us and she was upset that I went against those plans.  So don't get upset with her like I did.  This is meerly "my" feelings at the time.

The reason I see this upset me so much is because I can't see what she's done over the past year to give me the impression she's upset that I may have forced her to change her plans for me.  We are two different people, but I put so much effort into a flippin gift for her that it takes me 2-3 months of reconfiguring blue prints until I'm proud of my efforts to show my love without forcing the issue.  Just three weeks ago she told me she would never fall in love with me again.  [break]  I know, actions speak louder than words and for at least 11 days now I've not been sneered at, snipped at or ignored completely.  But it seems I've become what so many of you here have become - untrusting. 

I'm upset because I shouldn't feel this way about the person I care so much for.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still in my happy place and once I click the save button on this post I'll be just fine.  The problem is it's a holiday of sorts that garners a somewhat reasonable acknowledgement from people you care about - dare I say love.  It is the source of my distance this past week.  I want nothing from my wife if she's not giving because she wants too.  The kids are an excuse to get me a card and that's all I expected.  Anything more than that makes me feel like I'm being lied too and it's unfair to me.  I do not believe she's "making" a small hole in her steel walls at all.  I feel like she's setting me up and I feel like she's being dishonest with me.  I'm not confused about where I stand in her life and that's why I'm so aggrivated.  It frustrates me that I can't be happy right now because for once she's showing me she's happy and it's forcing me to put my defenses up.  This stinks.

Now because I got stuck actually working and my wife thought I'd be 'out', she told me she moved her plans for us to this weekend.  I'm so angry that flashes of the woman I know are showing and I'm not able to enjoy it.  I know enough about MLC that it's not far off from ADD(HD) in that you can act/be one way today and different tomorrow.  I love her so much.  I need to click the save button so I can get to my happy place fast.  Regardless that she needs that from me, I owe it to myself.

PJ - what makes you feel good?  Anything?  My wife doesn't seem to even like doing the things she loved since long before I knew her.  PJ, I'm asking you because I want you to be happy.  Have you thought about what it would take for you to make an effort?  Are you convinced that you've already done enough?  Sherri's right, you're a victim, but you are a victim of your own demise.  What can you do to get yourself to pick up that hammer and start banging out a small hole in your steel walls? I can't ask my wife because she would see me as fixing her and it would drive her away further, but you're not my wife even if you are similar.  Give me a hint because from what you say above, it sounds like he's working hard and when he messes up he's owning up to it and expressing that to you.  You sound like you're not happy with what you see when you look in the mirror.  You need to stop thinking about the kids and spouse for a moment and find that sexy in you that makes you feel good about being you.  In the mean time, keep me on my toes so I don't keep drawing my wife's resentment.........

Still thinking...

You know, i'm going to tell you what our old counselor told us 7 years ago....i was furious, and angry, and spent. Just totally done, and I didn't know what I wanted anymore. This was an adhd counselor. He asked if I cared and I said no, he asked if I wanted the marriage to work and I said I didn't know, and then he asked what I was feeling, and I said I was MAD. He said, "mad is good, i can work with mad, if you didn't have any feelings then there would be nothing to work with." So, at least we all know that there is something to work with. The text you received from her wasn't meant to be nice, but did she know you had to work? She may have been disappointed (for the kids), then fired back at you. What prevented you from telling her from the beginning you had to work? when she found out you had to work, she may have felt duped from the omission of why you weren't going to be there for the celebration of you. The omission itself creates "insert feeling here". The one thing I am noticing(and I think appreciating) is, DH is trying to not leave me hanging, he is telling me everything, whether I want to hear it or not, but it does head off MORE disappointment and MORE anger. I may not give him the response he is looking for, but it is making it easier for me. The behavior that he keeps doing is alcohol...it is such a bad thing for me now because he really, really, turned into ugly with it. I can deal with bad attitude, the poor me - you don't love me- sloppy drunk crap, but last xmas he yelled at our 9 year old and told him he ruined his xmas party and that santa shouldn't give him any toys- even now that gets me wicked pissed. So, ANY form of drinking will send me over the top. You would think 15 years of being an ass and this LAST ultimate xmas failure because of alcohol would have been an incintive to stop....but, no, he thinks having 1 every now and then should be ok. I am of the mind "Don't f*#k with my kids!". Our son cried and cried on chrismas eve... I kicked him out of the room, i had to have a grown up discussion with a 9 year old about alcohol on flippin christmas EVE! When I see or hear about beer - boom - I am there! Who knows, it may be a deal breaker. His whole family (over 70 immediate family members) ALL drink! For everything! Total buzz kill. Uh, i need a breath.... Anyway, i have no idea what makes me happy anymore either. I was telling Sherri that I wake up everyday thinking, what can I do that would be fun for me. We are on a super tight budget. I am no where near my favorite "soul rejuvenating" sources. It is on my mind, all the time. I just can't remember. That is, and has been, for months now, on the list of things to do.... "Think about a hobby or something." Now, victim of my own demise... Could i be? My constant flinging anything remotely "confining or lableling" off me - makes me a vicitm? Could be. The constant change, the constant feelings of restraint, the constant "do the right thing" no matter how I hurt, the constant protective walls, the constant forgiveness, the constant projection of "great"... Could have destroyed what was...? i certainly sound like a victim. I look pitiful. I thought projecting greatness, meant greatness. I'm tired of having my big girl pants on all the time. I need to feel that I can relax and depend on someone else for a change, but I don't ever let down that guard. (i have seen too much "omg- did that just happen?!) It's hard to get "clear" too. Did I mention DH works out of the house? That he is here all the time? (minus a couple travel days per month). I go out and stuff, but it's mostly errands. The company I used to work for was sold. I don't see myself woking at a fast food joint right now. I am in admin, and can't commit to full time. Once I get my head clear I will be looking for something to do. Or, maybe it will come via word of mouth. I always ask what people do and check out the web sites to see if anything is available for what I am available to do right now. I will keep thinkin. As far as the bday plans, what ended up happening?
DF's picture

My reply

As far as the b-day went it was uneventful.  As I had mentioned, I opted to remove myself from a stressful situation for her by telling her I was going to go be with co-workers.  I wasn't lying since I was planning on going into the office and there would be co-workers there.  I would just be in my cube getting school work done before finals later this week.  The fact that I'm on call this week meant that I happened to get paged when I planned on not being home and was therefore stuck at home for a few hours.  Did she know I'd be working? No, but I don't bother to tell her anymore when I'm on call.  It used to be a sore spot for her because of my worry ( anxiety ) over losing my job.  I got crabby when she didn't understand why I couldn't just go to the store with her and the kids and I was incapable of telling her intelligently that I was scared of missing a call and getting fired.  What changed for me was two things.  1 - she went awol  on me and I knew that asking her to do anything was going to be too much so I had to just deal with everything.  2 - Last fall I put in 2 months of 70 hour weeks.  My paychecks were awesome, but I was so burned out and choking on my loneliness made for a bleak winter that money could not buy me out of.  So now nothing gets in the way of me doing what I want to do.  Over the summer I played various sports and brought my laptop with me.  Nothing stops me from making me happy so I don't bother to inform her of my schedule.  I make no plans that I can't change within minutes.  Living day to day can be awesome.

As far as your husband is concerned, I'm curious if he found something intellectually stimulating if that would help with the drinking.  Seems to me a habitual drinker can't just stop without replacing one habit with another.  It's up to them to find something productive as a replacement.  Drinking is a perceived problem solver.  If he's not happy with his job, the drinking lets him forget the stress, but when kids are being kids it can interfere with the stress reduction and cause him to lash out.  I was sober each time I lashed out at my ADD son at homework time.  I never cursed at him or called him names, but I was unrelenting about getting his work done and us ADD(HD) folk tend to shut down which makes a frustrating situation worse.

I understand your tight budget.  Been there, am there.  Took me 2 months to come up with $30.00 to play softball because it was such a low priority.  I make enough, but I have bills that come first before fun money and sometimes that gets in the way of putting gas in the car and that reduces my options further.  But with frugality I learned important life skills and had a great time.  I like going to parks and just sitting and reading/studying.  I know it's out of season now, but I event went and watched Shakespear in the park for free.

Look I can't justify, explain or excuse your spouses behavior, but it's you I'm concerned with.  I need you for your invaluable insight into anger.  I can't quite understand why you have so much resentment, but yet you are here looking for solutions like the rest of us.  You remind me of my wife in several ways and because of that I ask for you to find happiness within yourself and your marriage every night.  Kids pick up on our behaviors and my wife's anger towards me was scaring my oldest son until I changed my behavior.  I want very much to help you be happy with you.  For now it's okay to leave those steel walls in place, but maybe I can offer you some paint so you can at least decorate the interior of that shell for starters.  Time will tell.....


Nice post.  My motive for yesterday was, as I saw at the time, caring and loving from a distance.  My decision to remove myself was directly related to the situation I'm currently in and that's that my wife doesn't want to be around me, doesn't want me to believe there's a future for us and doesn't want to do anything together.  She constantly reminds me how insignificant I am - two weeks ago she neglected to provide continuous text updates of my son's game out of town.  This is something I made an effort to do for her last year that she picked up on.  I asked her if he was having a game and she told me she was tired and forgot.  How nice.  I know how important the kids are to her and I do what I can to keep her included in their lives.  Then when I was leaving with my son this past weekend she was almost attacking in her manor when she wanted to make sure I would text her game updates "like she did for me".  Again - how nice.

Did she take my text to go out as passive aggressive - you bet she did and I knew it came off like that, but it was lose lose either way.  It was my intention that she would take it as such.  What did I just say?!  It was my intention.  You see, my wife is a social butterfly and judges self worth by the people she surrounds herself with.  I don't surround myself with anyone because I don't need people to validate me as a person.  I don't run from people, but I don't go out of my way to make plans with them.  She doesn't understand this and is frustrated by it.  She sent me a text telling me she was glad to see me going out.  Does that mean I'm a loser if I don't?  No, but you can't tell my wife that.  If I had not made plans ( that were foiled by work ) yesterday and retired to my bedroom to study after the kids went to bed and she went out - I'd be bitter because I know that she would think less of me and that's plain horse poop.  So you see - lose, lose. 

Am I suspicious of her intentions?  Yes, because we don't communicate.  She didn't go through the trouble of making me feel like dog poop for 14 months and then one day "Hello how are you?".  Is it possible?  Yes, but something has to happen.  YOU KNOW THIS SHERRI.  Something has to happen for someone to "get it".  As far as I can see nothing has changed in the past few months other than me.  If she had a change of heart, why not talk to me about it?  That's why I'm suspicious.  Was I trying to avoid disappointment?  Yes in that I didn't want to bear witness to false feelings.  A card from the kids was what I was expecting and anything more than that I see as fueling her resentment of me more for feeling obligated to do more.  That's why I'm suspicious.  Why would anyone want to do something to themselves like that?  She didn't do it for me last year, or for Christmas, or our anniversary 2 months ago, so why now?  Her anniversary gift to me was to tell me that she resented me and in a round about way, believes divorce is the only solution.  That's why I'm suspicious.

Now seeing as I'm not bitter and hostile I will offer you my after thoughts....

Remember our discussion about divine intervention?  Funny how I got stuck working at home and was not able to leave.  Funny that my wife did not leave for the evening, but stayed home.  Yes I noticed ....... today.  I'm also aware that if I want our relationship to improve, I must continue on my path and take what positives I can and help her feel good about her efforts ( if that's what they are ).  Today she is home again and not out tonight and she was extremely plesant to be around.  She made some casual conversation with me of and on.  Asked me for help when she needed assistance.  Looked at me when talking to me or the kids.  Made dinner for all of us.  Sat at the table with us for dinner.  Did the prep work for dinner tomorrow for us.  This isn't just irregular behavior - this is downright driving in a nascar race in reverse.  Of course the reality of the situation is is that she still sleeps in the living room and shows no interest in telling me how she feels or that she "wants" to make us work.

I know enough about MLC and my own ADD in that we fall off the wagon from time to time.  I don't believe that this past week will prosper into something great before it goes back to bad.  That doesn't mean that I'm not trying too.  She was really nice to me today and I made sure not to make a big deal out of it so that I didn't scare her off, but was appreciative of her.  I smiled at her as warrented when we spoke to each other and I went out of my way to touch her with my hand to show her encouragement and support ( not lust ) when the opportunity arose.  I showed cautious enthusiasm when assisting her upon being asked.  I opted to study in the living room tonight on the sofa while she watched tv and did a crossword puzzle.  12 days now after 13+ months.  What changed?  Am I being played for a sucker, is she testing me ( wouldn't be the first time in our marriage ), or is this baby steps forward?  Time will tell I guess.

OMG! I had to go to computer to reply

D!  what the heck!  Dude, I couldn't reply on my Ipad, so I am on a dinosaur just so I can make sure it makes sense.  fyi, I hate this computer!!  Too slow... pentium 510!

Ok, when I was reading, I couldn't help but see what was screaming between the lines... you are over compensating for what you think she feels vs letting her be her own adult self and adjusting, or dealing accordingly to each situation she finds herself in.  If she was going to be uncomfortable with your bday, then that was for HER to deal with.  You taking that away, would have made ME angry.  I would have seen it so many different ways.. pity party, low self worth, sad little man (seinfeld), omg - really.  (I know, I come off as a "B").  BUT, I would have preferred conversation.  You could have said: "Hun, birthday is coming up, I don't want you to feel uncomfortable, I know things are really crazy right now.  I would love to hang with you and the kids, or just the kids if you don't want to be here, maybe have a sweet treat... no pressure." with the added: "I am NOT looking for anything."

Instead, you took that away, as gardener says, catastrophizing it to be "she didn't do anything before, so I will STOP it ALL before anything happens."  You took away all of these opportunities for something good to happen.  She is a BIG girl going through a rough time, but this "situation" isn't anything she hasn't encountered in the last year.  So, she is fully capable of handling it.  And, if she get's pissed, then that is her problem to deal with it and that could lead to either you doing something with the boys, or she goes out, as dictated by past behavior.  No one is walking on egg shells, no one is making anyone do anything they don't want to do. It is all out in the open.

Next, this "I'm going to do what I want to do and not tell her anything" is not really helping your cause.  Just reading that made me uncomfortable.  1) tells me you don't care. 2) Shows me you don't care. 3) Makes me NOT want to care anymore.  4) it screams "I don't need you. 5) It tells the kids there are still major problems (no one knows where or what anyone is doing). 6) Maybe your trying to hide something. 7) Tells me you want to be alone or divorced too!  (Boom! - there it is)  you are showing her, by your actions that you are fully capable of being "happy" without her and could be fully fine and well if you separated or divorced.

Also, if you are doing this because she did it to you, then you are stooping to her level.  Whether she is in a MLC or not, there are better ways to handle Your Self.  To rise above the crazy would endear her to you and make her proud to be with you because you "saw" the irrational behavior and you did something to try try to keep "fair, respectful, considerate, cohesiveness" to the situation.  You can't fix this by doing what she is doing.  I know you need to save yourself, and protect your self, but RISE above it and show your kids how you would want them to handle a tough time in their marriages, show then by example to always be open and respectful with their spouse.  (I am not saying you are openly disrespectful - you are NOT - but some of your actions could be perceived that way simply by the "omission")

You are Pre-empting everything.  Stop!!  You must stop!  This would infuriate me.  "As I am trying, as hard as I can to get through this awful place, you are adding and taking away my ability to cope and learn and grow - hopefully together - but your actions are literally pushing me further away."  You want to make her life easier, but it is backfiring - you are showing her "how she will survive" without you! It's almost a "slap in the face - naner, naner, naner" - so this would add to my anger.  Because... it would make me have to deal with ONE more feeling, one more rejection, one more letting go, one more push back. " I am already trying to figure out this mess and you are now showing me that maybe I don't need to fight for us anymore...." Maybe the battle has been because she feels she is supposed to find a way to make the marriage work, that for the kids - she feels a tremendous responsibility to keep the family together, and the pressure of trying to figure out to HOW to get back to where she once was is soo Heavy... all this other stuff just pushes her further back and will make her wonder why she is fighting to get back to a neutral place when there won't be one anymore.   

Dude, I took notes!!

the game scores.... I was in a terrible place and it took every ounce of strength in my body to send scores via text... and, it was because he kept asking me via text!!  Otherwise, I would NOT have sent them either!  You needed to send a text for an update every 1/2 hour or so, if you wanted to know.  Just a "what is the score?".  No more blaming her for what you could have changed/fixed yourself.  Again, she is an adult and she must deal with her feelings ON HER OWN, respectfully, but you can not tip toe around pissing her off all the time.  then, that would make her mad again.  (one more thing)

I also think the "happy you made plans" thing was just that.  If she is a social bunny, then she knows how she feels when she is out with her friends and she may simply want that feeling to "overcome" you.  12 days is 12 days!  That is wonderful.  But, I wonder if she is coming back, or if she has come to a resolution that has calmed her spirit.  Please try to be open, talk to her like you do us.  Calm and considerate.  Stop all the tip toeing around.  Stop re-acting to things that haven't happened yet.  Leave a note where you are going and who you will be with.  Let her know it matters to you that she knows what is happening in your world.  Not too much, though, so she feels like a mom, but as friend - "if you need anything, I will be here".    If she asks why the change - then tell her, "if something were to happen to you or one of the boys, I want you guys to be able to reach me."  Become the "Partner" you want her be.  Not " SPOUSE"  - that seems to apply so many expectations now-a-days and you just want to "cheer" the other person on, to be there best self.

Hope I didn't come across too strong - this is from MY perspective.  My "push-back, but Not all the way" - thinking.  I still want to be included, I still want to feel that there may be a chance, I want to know that I will find myself without having to deal with other awful feelings I hadn't accounted for.  I can't handle anymore that what is currently to my plate.  Or, behind my "door of steel".  I am way to overwhelmed now trying to find my way back.  Just help by not adding any more, please...

DF's picture

Smile PJ, I'm two steps ahead already

My Dear PJ, relax.  There's no need to be so angry ;) .  There's always more to the story and this original post is getting lllooooonnnngggg.  I'm guilty of omitting material in order to keep focus on my immediate task.  Please be assured that I'm a very calculating individual and I'm always looking for 3 choices instead of just mine in everything I do.

[Speaking softly]

I started the game updates last year because it was the only communication I could find that my wife seemed to accept from me.  It kind of caught on and it was nice to be able to be positive with her whether my son did or didn't do well.  I'm very competitive and it took me a few years to not live 'through' my son, and I feel that I've finally arrived about 2 years ago.  The updates can also show her that I'm a father first instead of a fan.  Oh - And I did ask about the updates 20 minutes into the game.  He had 4 games and all was fine with updates until the third game when it stopped.  I waited 20 minutes in the event it was 0-0 and there was nothing to report. ;)


My lovely wife is very stubborn -> like you ;), but different in her own way.  My wife made no indication to me that she had made plans the other day.  There was nothing to 'spoil' by making plans of my own.  Please understand, I've been down a bunch of different roads over the past year and expressing myself to her or including her always just pushed her away.  I could physically see when she was annoyed with me when I expressed options to her.  Why?  Because all I was doing was reminding her that she was having issues.  During moments of clarity she occasionally would say things that I could tell she didn't fully understand and niether did I.  Having researched as much as I have, having grown as a person as I have, I get it now and I'm doing it.  An example would be many months ago when she told me she didn't know what was wrong with her and that I should leave her alone and just work on myself - here's where you interject:

4) it screams "I don't need you."  -> EXACTLY :)  The difference is that I'm not frowning when I say it because I don't say it out of spite, I say it with compassion.  My wife ( same as you ) has gone on for years of mothering.  She/you needs a break.  She/you needs a partner who isn't just there for you, but you can just be yourself with and not have to worry about changing our adult diapers.  I'm not angry because I understand that's what my wife ( you too? ) needs.  My indifference to her, my isolation of communication with her, is me providing her confidence in me to take care of what needs to be done while she works on herself.  I want her to know that I don't need her because I don't.  I'm just fine without her and it's the truth, but I love the poop out of her and if she wants to be with me that would be just dandy.  She has to know that she can confide in me as a partner and not someone that 'expects' her to make me happy.

I'm not being as secretive as you may be reading.  I live very simply.  I have no demands and I make myself available.  I'm sort of on the sideline waiting to be called in, but until then I'm occupying my time with me.   Did I stoop to her level the other day?  Perhaps, but it was a calculated risk I was willing to take - Divine intervention may have thought otherwise seeing as how those plans of mine fell through.


Please be calm PJ.  Since I've woken up a few months back I've gone dark on my wife.  I do not text or call unless it is needed and that is rare ( VERY RARE ).  I ask nothing of her.  She has enough that she working on already and she doesn't need me to be so needy.  How can she deal with her emotions if I'm always there?  Kind of like "What does he want now?!".  I took that away from her.  I've cleaned up my act physically, emotionally and intellectually.    My wife has spoken more to me in the past few months than she had in almost a year.  Granted, much of that is some very seriously hurtful stuff, but PJ [insert smile] it's working.  I listen to her without trying to fix her because I don't need her to make me happy.  I 'm doing what I can to allow her a platform to open up to me in ways she's never been able to do before because she was so concerned about how "I" would feel.  I'm letting her spill her poison, throw it at me or stab me with it, but I will not drink it.  I don't need her.  I want her, but I don't need her.  It's a big difference. [Smile]

SHERRI - You're 2 for 2 in replying before I'm done talking to PJ. 


Sherri/ PJ - Such anger is unbecoming of you two lovely ladies.  At least towards me.  I'm very aware that what I wrote earlier sounds contrary to me being in my happy place.  I assure you it's fine.  As I have said, I look at every situation and think about what I would do, then the opposite of that and then I look for 2 alternate paths to take.  When I first came to this website I had no idea what I was doing or how to do anything at all.  Today is different because today I make conscious decisions for myself as though everything is a science experiment.  It sounds like I'm reacting to my wife because I'm constantly reading the both of us and learning/adjusting on the fly.  I'm working with different emotions in both of us.  Every smile, every verbal interaction, almost every subject matter I present to my wife is pre-meditated with at least 3 options for me to move forward or back away.  I'm putting my hyper focus into hyper gear.

My reactions to my wife's plesantness comes from her throwing me a curve ball I was not ready to take a swing at.  I adjusted accordingly - I promise.  Regardless of my mistrust, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt.  We all find clarity at a different pace, but knowing what I do of my wife, I expected something different than what I'm getting.

[Smiling broadly]

My Dear Ladies, I'm working on it.  I love my wife greatly.  I will not make the correct decisions everyday, but I make decisions based on what seems right to do at the time.  These decisions do change frequently in that if something doesn't smell right I always back out before following through.  Look at what I did my fine friends.  I made plans for myself the other day and even though I did not appreciate her initial response, it reflected a conflict within herself.  If she truly resents me, why should she care that I do anything at all?

Are you guys seeing now why it was so hard for me to believe I have ADD?  If it wasn't for the fact that I get distracted or forget all the time I'd be damn dangerous.  Enjoy your day ladies - your replies are making me enjoy mine even more.

I wasn't mad or hostile, in

I wasn't mad or hostile, in fact, quite the opposite...hmmm, I was actually excited that I could perhaps help to see a different side. Most excellent for you if none of that applied. I will try to watch my perceived tone in the future. Weird how it was taken as yelling. I didn't take Sherri as yelling either?

A couple of things... I

A couple of things...

I wasn't feeling the 'nice, lady like' approach was where I was at this morning...so you'll just have to love me anyway. You mistake my "cheerleading" for anger. Isn't the first time I've come across as angry when I was just feeling 'passionate' from my end. I have never been angry with you.

As long as you're finding a balance between 'giving her space' and 'being passive aggressive because she doesn't seem to like me right now' then you pretty much have things under control.

Ok..one more..if you've been at this for 18 months and you're still putting THAT much thought into everything you do and say I am not sure whether to give you a kudos or cry. I know you want to be 'different' but that really comes from the heart. I realize you have ADD and maybe this is what works for you, but are you at least feeling as time goes on that a lot of this is just becoming second nature to you and that maybe eventually you will be able to just react without having to go through such a huge decision making process? (have learned about this in 3 of my classes so far...I dare say that you've mastered it!)

Keep smiling!! :-)


DF, I am 3 for 3 in believing you misread the responses

And based on my relationship with an ADDer, I dare say you do a fair bit of misreading when it comes to your wife also.   You take on tone and/or body language is just that....your take....that doesn't make it right and it really doesn't make it gospel.  I am sure that she is full of resentment and sounds like she has made some really cruel statements to you--uncool in every way.  No idea about whether she is having MLC or not, but I am not convinced that can be diagnosed by a person who isn't in her head, emotions, nor having much communication with her. 


I was so excited when you came back with the news that your emotions aren't all reliant on her anymore.  Your story is a really sad one and I was seriously rooting for you to get it together and work it out with her.  There is something so smug in your tone now and your way of describing your interactions with your wife is so offputting to me, that I just don't really even know how to react...which is why I haven't really commented till now.  You needed to stand up and take control of your own emotions.  I have an Aunt who was being run all over by her husband in the past that was in the same situation, however once she finally did stand up she went so far the other way that it was some serious overkill.  I mention it now because it really damaged her relationship with her kids--the same kids that wanted to her stand up for herself, but her way of doing it was a problem.  I fear you are there a bit, DF.  I apologize if I am off base.

I had a very negative reaction to your posts about your actions/inactions/attitude about the birthday.  That calculating attitude that you say you are using with your wife would NOT in any way fly with me.  The grinning that you are not only saying you do no matter how upset she is, and now that I hear it is a calculated grin.......yikes that makes me mad for her just reading about it.  You may not mean anything rude, smug, or *hit eating about what you are doing, but man the way you type it comes across that way regularly.  You really need to think about how you are coming across.  We are privy to your thought process about why you are acting this way (and it is still off putting to me at least), so I can't imagine what she must be thinking about it having no idea what your thought process is.  As Sherri said, perhaps this is just the way you are coping due to your ADD, but I can't shake the feeling that it is a poor coping mechanism rather than the breakthrough you believe it to be.

Are you guys seeing now why it was so hard for me to believe I have ADD?

I can't speak for anyone else here, but I don't see what you are seeing at all.  Your reactions scream ADD at the top of their lungs to me. 


Still wishing the very best for you and your wife though I have to say at this point that I am not seeing what postive things either of you are taking from the marriage :(

Aspen, thank you, thank you,

Aspen, thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been thinking the EXACT things you have, but if I responded I was afraid it would come off as ANGRY again. The smirking (oops) smiling... Made me very uncomfortable. The sentence about ADD threw me off too. The miscue of information about his bday and his wife, the defensiveness after we replied, the deflecting to his "intended text msg" as now "her problem", and the smiling, ending with a sarcastic "have a nice day ladies, I know i will" or somehing like that has MAJOR ADD all over it. Sorry D. We really spent time thinking about you and the way you dismissed it, and deflected it, is saddening. I'm not mad, nor was I ever mad when I wrote the above stuff.
DF's picture

Perception noted

PJ & Sherri - I know you're not mad at me.  I can read your passion and therefore my [smiling] comes from the fact that I'm smiling while I reply because of your concern for my situation and it makes me want to hug everyone here.  Because I can't physically hug anyone here, my joy comes in the form of a smile.

As for my writing, upon further reflection I must stand as corrected.  It would seem that in an effort to not sound like a victim anymore, I come across as Wily Coyote trying to trick the Roadrunner.  Hmmmm.  I'll work on that.

Sometimes I feel like I come across as self righteous.  I do not like that, but feeling the way I do makes me believe anything is possible and at times that self righteousness sounds to me like Tony Robins.  The countless hours of reading books and various online resources, the countless efforts to connect the dots.  When I first came here, people have been telling me to do what it is I'm finally doing.  It's the easiest darn thing to do once you see it, but the journey here is painful and the results are not so easy to see in advance.

There's a reason I still linger in the Anger forums.  I used to find something in my current situation that I could express a shared heart felt pain.  I read things here that I used to bond too, but I have a harder time finding those things now.  The way I figure it is that I'm here so that at times I too can rant a bit such as I did on Monday. 

Another reason I think I may come off as haughty is that my perspective, however distorted or realistic, is that I need to take action.  For many months I was desperate and wanting, but any more it's about just doing it and getting it done.  I've been all over the emotional spectrum as all of us here have.  For me I'm more like a child in that much of what I'm experiencing now are emotions I've locked away behind mistrust for 20+ years and so they are new in the eyes of an adult.

I speak here in ways that are difficult for me to express without movement or passion.  For as introverted as I can be/am, I'm a regular Chatty Kathy that uses hand motions and body language when talking about the smallest of things.  My 'calculating' is the only way I can think of to describe in detail the effort I put into my relationship, yet detail is what gets left out.  It leaves out the fact that I'm very cautious with my wife.  There are eggshells, but not nearly the amount there used to be. 

Aspen, you are correct in your synopsis of my presence lately and that's something I need to correct.  It's not me.  I'm full of compassion and positives, but those rare moments that frustration pops up I look to identify it and kick its teeth in.  Holiday's that involve 'me' frustrate me and we're coming up on holiday season.  It started when my wife shut down.  I have to be careful and calculating in what I do for her so that she will see that I love her very much and that my gift, idea, or participation comes from my heart, but is not overtly grand in scale so that she feels obligated to reciprocate.  Example:  For Christmas I went all out on a gift that was very expensive and very thoughtful ( so I was told by everyone who saw it ).  My wife had no intention of getting me a gift that would compete with that and I saw that she was put off with the gift that she got me.  I felt horrible.  Since then I have learned to make things under a budget of $50.  I put everything I can into the gifts and she responds more positively because the gifts are not just deep, but express fun. 

I have to be calculating to some extent in that if I don't evaluate my actions I can't grow as a person.  It used to always be about me and how I felt or wanted.  I don't want that anymore.  You pointing out that I come across as cold or bitter or just plain off is what I have feared since I first joined this website.  It is the very reason that I defend my wife.  I know that at times I'm upset and that some of what I say here can be taken as though she's the bad guy.  I'm only offering one side of the story and I'm not always fair and that makes me human.

I do not like labeling my wife's experience as MLC as this is not the place.  It was first brought to my attention by someone else who care very much about her.  MLC is not a bad thing, it's a growth stage.  To me it's about needing to sort out unresolved pasts in order to accept who you are so that you can enjoy the next age in life.  It's a lonely journey that takes an individual great strength to get through, but it must be done alone.  It gave me a chance to reflect on me and my contribution to our relationship just as your posting here gives me a chance to reflect.  

I'm pent up and full of life and I can't share it just yet.  I'll get there.  I'm not that big a goof that I can't be the butt end of critisizm.  I have more work to do.  But do allow me some occasional sarcasm?[Smile] Please?

know what I like? I like that

know what I like? I like that we can all be where we are and people still care... No matter what. We are all learning. : )

Don't remove yourself from

Don't remove yourself from any situation FOR her anymore. I understand that 18 months of NOTHING would leave anyone feeling like they need to assume someone's every feeling and move but just stop, buddy. You're her husband FFS, if she cannot plan a nice birthday dinner for you without being uncomfortable, then she needs to walk away. (or at the very least do some deep soul searching). I'm not saying she's done anything wrong, you did by assuming (adding a little passive aggressive sprinkle) and making plans that intentionally "solved" what you felt would be an awkward situation, so this is about YOUR perception, your borrowing trouble, and your assuming things will go one way based on past situations.

Who knows why she didn't send you text updates...you should have asked when you weren't getting them AT THE TIME. Again, if she's "not in love with you" or "resents" you or whatever vile stuff she is spewing, that's ON HER. You're still her husband, father of her children, and if you enjoy being updated about the scores then ask if she isn't willing to do it voluntarily. If she refuses then so be it. That's on her. Nothing wrong with asking.

Going out on a limb and guessing that you're upset that your wife was "glad" you were going out because it makes you feel bad about yourself. Maybe it makes you worry that she's not UPSET that you're going out. Some people enjoy going out, some don't. You're probably up to your eyeballs with her going out all of the time and you simply resent it for that very reason. Just like if you live with someone who drinks all of the time, you get to where you don't want to touch the stuff just because it feels like you're 'condoning' their behaviors...that are hurtful to you and destructive to the marriage. Go out if you want to go out, stay in if you want to stay in. Stop putting so much thought into her feelings, thoughts, and what she 'might do' or feel.

I don't run from people, but I don't go out of my way to make plans with them.  She doesn't understand this and is frustrated by it.  She sent me a text telling me she was glad to see me going out.  Does that mean I'm a loser if I don't?  No, but you can't tell my wife that.  If I had not made plans ( that were foiled by work ) yesterday and retired to my bedroom to study after the kids went to bed and she went out - I'd be bitter because I know that she would think less of me and that's plain horse poop.  So you see - lose, lose. 

Really? Re-read that. Do I even need to point out where you are getting ready to fall out of the club house on this one? Is it really necessary to live your life the way you THINK your wife wants you to in order to prevent looking like a loser to her? WTF? I'm sorry, but her behaviors aren't exactly 'stand up' over the past 18 months..yes, there I said it. Yes, she's probably been through the exact same shit storm of lonely and depressed and hurt that we all have, but there comes a time when you put on your big girl panties or you walk away. I'm even taking into consideration the fact that you have ADHD and that your perceptions of what she's doing and saying might be a little 'dramatized' (Sorry, but when you're ADHD AND being rejected I know how these things go) but I believe you that she's flat out saying unnecessary and hurtful things. I believe that she's spending entirely too much time away from home/kids/marriage. My daughter would be VERY upset if I were to leave every evening. Just knowing I am HERE brings her a certain amount of security. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GO OUT, DON'T 'PRETEND' TO DO IT JUST TO SAVE FACE WITH ANYONE. You are fine...and lovely...just as you are. I cannot tell you how many times I've thought of going out just to spite my husband...because I know he doesn't like it. I DO enjoy it. But, in the end I realize that isn't the kind of mother I want to be and I don't want to be going out for ANY of the wrong reasons...it wouldn't feel right to me and to who I want to be. When I can go (probably now) and be going because 1. I enjoy it and 2. without malicious intent then I will go...if I want. Leaving my kids here to go out simply to hurt my husband wasn't something I was prepared to do.

Your lack of communication suffocates ME. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you. I fully believe this is why you are struggling a little right now and why you had such a hard time coming to your 'happy place'. It is insane, unfair, and just plain cruel. I know you've tried. I know you've gotten shot down more than once. More than twice. I know this is why you've decided "if you can't beat em, join em" but I urge you to get off of that ugly ride too. As PJ said, don't stoop to her level. I have NO CLUE why she is all of the sudden dipping her toe back into the waters. I will say this...

1. I think that with any changes, it takes a lot of time for them to 'feel' real. Sometimes it takes us non's a LONG time to trust. We don't have the 'gift' of ADHD where we can live in the 'now'. Could it have taken your wife 18 months to start to let down her walls again. Sure.

2. My 'something' that happened, that made me 'get it' is completely, 100% UNKNOWN to my husband. He has NO IDEA. We had a big fight, I found out he took off his wedding band, and after a few hours of total hell I just asked him "do you want a divorce" and he said "no". No "I'm sorry" from either of us, just had a passionate afternoon, he put back on his band, and the next day was when I went to church and heard the sermon and then came home to "got it's" post and the previous few months of hell came pouring out of me like Hoover Dam had burst. HE HAS NO CLUE about any of this. He has no clue about the torture and hell I went through in the several days leading up to my breakthrough. Yes, he knew how unhappy I was from the time he started ADHD meds until 9/11/11. He hasn't asked, I haven't said a word. I dare say he's noticed though. I admit I don't want him to think it was because of anything related to HIM, but for now I don't really feel any need to explain any of it to him. My marriage is a priority to me, but right now I have to work on keeping up my strength and working on ME. I will NEVER go back to that person again. But, as far as he knows, nothing happened. Get my drift?

3. If she's done being cold and wants to engage back into the marriage, how f'd up would it be for you to NOW start to reject her? Take a leap of faith and just go along for the ride. If my DH rejected me when I 'got it', it probably would have been the beginning of the end of our marriage. Me getting it had nothing to do with him, but he has two choices...come along with me and enjoy life for a fucking change or reject me and decide that is the path he wants. Don't let everything be for nothing. If ultimately you get screwed royally for 'going along with it' then so be it...but if you start pushing her away now, you're going to undo EVERYTHING you've worked so hard for and it could be ALL FOR NOTHING. Get your head in the game, you big oaf!

4. Who gives a shit what she didn't do two months ago...today is today and we all know how suddenly we can have a change of heart.

5. I beg to differ...the whole nascar race in reverse could VERY WELL be an indication that she wants things to work. What are you expecting? Her to just drop her walls and completely walk back into her prior life as if nothing ever happened? She gave you time to make baby steps, give her the same. If she's making dinner and conversation then I think you're missing the forest for the trees buddy. GO WITH IT. You have nothing to loose and if she's trying to reach out and you start being a passive aggressive shit head, you're toast.

6. It may very well go back to 'bad' again...but so what? You can do this. You don't judge the true character and heart of a man by how he behaves during good times, you judge them by how he reacts to the bad times. If you can endure what you have, you can endure more. HAVE FAITH, my friend. I spend a little of my 'me' time building up myself for the possibility that things will go back to 'bad' around here again too. Believe you me, I get this. But, when in doubt...I simply draw from my Faith. You, nor I, can do anything about what will happen 5 minutes from now, tomorrow, or next week. Why dwell on it? Insane.






Ok..let me get this straight.

Ok..let me get this straight. It as your birthday. Check. You made plans to go into the office and do school work. Check. You may need to dig deep and ask yourself why you did this.   Your motives might not have been those that are conducive to being a loving, caring husband...even in the face of Hurricane DW. Why did you not, instead, just go about your day as any other day? Making plans to go 'out' alone on your birthday could be construed as being a dookie head. Easily. Her text was, in my opinion, intentionally biting. She probably took your decision to go 'out' as passive aggressive. I don't know. Just guessing. You did way too much assuming (Assuming she wouldn't make plans? Assuming she wouldn't care if you did? Assuming she would care if you did so you did it to see if she would react?) and look where it got you. You do NOT have to wait around to see what she has planned (if anything) on days like yesterday. You do NOT have to avoid making plans for fear of interfering with something she might have planned. You're DEFINITELY needing more communication...and it might be upon your shoulders to see that situations like this are resolved. You have every right to make plans, but in the future I would suggest you tell her a few days before AND give her the option to plan something  ("If you don't have anything else planned, I was going to ____").

I may be way off...but it seems you were looking for something bad to happen and maybe you made plans to be 'out' because you were trying to avoid the disappointment when she didn't do anything for/with you. ??

Also, am I understanding correctly that you feel her reason for being so angry is that she HAD indeed made plans and you saying you wouldn't be home ruined those plans? Any chance she was just simply pissed because she wanted to go out herself and felt you kept her from doing so?

Are you saying that she's been behaving 'nicer' to you in the past 11 days and now that she's being nicer you're automatically starting to assume she's up to no good?

DF's picture

A pintch more detail

About you being a victim PJ -

"...I guess I do sound like a victim, but I don't accept that because I feel victims DON'T fight for themselves and I have been fighting for so long to be able to make my own decisions, to not be lableled, and for the ability to just be however I want to be at that very moment...."

You really are a victim, but you're pointing the finger at the wrong attacker.  Stop fighting YOURSELF.  Doing the opposite of what you perceive others as seeing you is not doing what you want in the moment.  When you stand naked ( realistically or metaphorically ) in that mirror and look at yourself, do you see someone that gets angry with their spouse because they know something about you and you're still trying to figure it out? 

You sound like you're running around in circles by making yourself believe you're not doing what everyone thinks you should be doing and every time someone says something different your head gets spun around in another direction.  This causes more confusion and frustration.  You need to stop, breath, and find the truth.  If you're having your own little MLC ( it's different for everyone ) then this is going to be a monumental task for you. 

Sherri is crossed off my list of unhappy customers.  You, Lulu and yyz are left.  So join me for this cup of coffee as I will not yell at you, but I will calmly remind you that what you're doing about you isn't working and you need to try a different approach.

I know you were having a bit

I know you were having a bit of a tough time last night, so I won't be too hard on you...but my advice would be NOT to put her pillow out of the bedroom anymore. Let that be her choice. Let her 'reject' you, even if it hurts, at least YOU aren't doing something she can use against you as "proof" that you're "a jerk". It won't count against you in my book, I know you've been extremely patient and one person can only take so much until they crack.

I slipped up this weekend and found myself feeling a little 'rejected', which in turn caused me to want to reject him, but I worked through it and prayed about it and recognized my part in it. Although he seemed angry at first, (I guess I didn't hide my feelings perfectly-hormones are very powerful sometimes!!) he did (without speaking about it or mentioning it) make amends. On one hand I feel bad for making an issue of it (without saying a word) but on the other hand I feel that marriage is about both of us and our needs and feelings and we 'survived' an issue without a fight or hard feelings.

We cannot avoid our feelings and emotions no matter how strong we get, I accept that. My only goal is to control my reactions. If I feel out of control, I will work through the 'whys' and 'what do I need to do for ME's and try my best not to involve him because realistically he has nothing to do with my reactions and cannot help. In the past I left it up to him to "solve" the problem so that I didn't have to concern myself with my reactions. That didn't work out well for me. Dig deep...find the strength to at least be 'nice' and engaging with her when you return. If she shoots you down immediately, then you'll walk away knowing you at least tried and that she cannot say "he was being a cold, distant jerk when he came home". I know you say she resents it when you're happy too...you may very well be damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Maybe you're about fed up with being rejected and no amount of inner happiness and self discovery can endure this rejection indefinitely. I haven't put a timeline on my marriage, I won't even consider leaving (short of him doing something to force my hand...like cheating) at this point. However, his response to my 'getting it' has been S...L...O...W but positive thus far. I don't know how you do it buddy, I love DH but a year (+) worth of rejection would be about enough for me. I hope you can find the strength to continue with your loving detachment...because I know you love her and I know you have a lot to offer her if she'd just let down the walls and stop fooling herself into thinking she's protecting herself.


I do think...

DF and Sherri...I really do think I finally "got it".  I feel more alive than I have in years (well except for today..Im getting sick LOL)!  I no longer sit at work wondering what hes doing or running to the computer, when I get home, to see where hes been.  I applied for 3 new jobs that I would love to have instead of worrying about whether he was gonna get upset that I wouldn't be working the hours he wanted me too.  I sit at night and read instead of worrying that the house isn't clean enough or about what I haven't gotten done, hell I even insisted on getting a movie I wanted the other night instead of just what he wanted to watch. 

Does that mean things don't bother me....umm no!  It still bothers me that he waits till I come home to go and lay down or walk down to the neighbors to visit by himself, it bothers me that he would rather watch porn than be with me, it bothers me that he talks to his ex's more than me, it bothers me that he will either go to bed way before me or way after me because he doesn't want to "talk"...but the difference is that I now know in the core of my being that its not my fault.  It is his choices and his untreated ADHD and there is nothing I can do about it!  We haven't argued about "stupid stuff" in almost two weeks.  I have my boundaries back...he knows that I will not put up with him watching porn with me home, he knows that if he cheats EVER again I will leave and he knows that I love him to death and want him to want to stop the destructive behaviors and that I will have his back as long as the changes are positive (if that makes sense). 

I have finished reading Melissa's book and I am hoping that starting this week we can read it together...but I will ask and accept his choice instead of forcing the situation.  I want my husband and my marriage back, but I will be patient.  I hope and pray that when he realizes the changes in me are permanent, he will want that back too.

You all are awesome, I know I wouldn't have made it this far without you!!!!! ~~HUGS~~

Needsalifeline, I do believe


I do believe this is key to "getting it".  Finally realizing that even though alot of things bother us, we are gaining the strength to let it go and know that it isn't our fault.  It is the untreated ADHD and "his" choices.  My husband knows I am trying to be supportive.  I am still with him!  I am on this site every chance I get to gain knowledge and share advice.  Unfortunately, he continues to fight against himself.  I guess being truly free from all his demons scares him to death.  For this reason, I'm guessing, he still can not/will not put forth the effort needed to agressively treat the ADHD.  It all continues to be surface effort.

back story


See..........Long, Where do we go from here, by my ADHD husband, Newfdog.   Ironically, he is the one that posted first after our world fell apart.  I was hopeful that his interest in finding out why everything was happening, would last but it did not as you can see by the date of his last post.  We do still remain together but I would not go so far as to say we are rediscovering each other,  just yet.   

Yes, you are correct, my husband is having difficulty getting out.  I think that is why I remain so frustrated.  He is aware of all the help available but will not take advantage of it.  I do leave him alone to fight his own struggles as I finally have realized that you cannot help someone who does not want to help themselves.  He knows I am here if he needs help with anything but will not ask.  Perhaps this is where the independent lives comes in!  I don't know. 

I hope you are right, DF,

I hope you are right, DF, that I have relieved a huge burden from his shoulders. I think quite simply it is the burden of 'making me happy'. It isn't his job. It is his job to not do things that make me unhappy, or at least he should feel somewhat obligated to at least try not to, but in the end I finally get it that it isn't up to him to make me happy. I took that burden from him and now he can just enjoy ME and being a part of my life. I hope he wants to. So far I have reason to believe he does. As I said the other day, I want him to just feel peace and happiness...and not have to worry every waking moment that he's going to screw up and I'm going to turn on him. In time, God willing, this will come. I'm not giving him full permission to do whatever he wants without consideration for his marriage, my TRUEST hope is that in time, when we bring our marriage back to the forefront of our lives and make it a priority (with God's help) his decisions and choices will fall in line with what is best for our marriage. I will strive to do the same for him. We all make mistakes, he will always have ADHD, I am processing that and accepting that as a part of my re-awakening. It is, however, 100% his to manage. I won't hold it against him or use it as excuses. I have to have boundaries. I expect eventually to feel like our family is a priority in his life again. I expect him to work on his spending and meet me half way...our survival depends on it. I expect him to NEVER cheat again. I expect honesty. I expect his respect, acceptance, and understanding of ME too. I expect to GIVE him all of the above as well.  I do accept many things about him, that are just who he is, and I'm not angry or resentful. I know I'm not easy to live with myself. But, I do need these things from him in order to have a future with him. I am very hopeful. I don't feel it is asking much.

I am not sure if all of my tears come from joy, but most of them do. Some come from the overwhelming sorrow I feel for the girl I used to be...and the sadness I feel that I didn't love her more. I promise to spend the rest of my life loving her enough to make up for it. The knowledge that God loves me just as I am, muck and all, has been overwhelmingly the greatest motivation for me to love myself. I can't be all bad if He can love me THAT much. My tears also come from the joy I feel knowing that I CAN control myself most of the time, and when I can't, I have God to help me. I have the support I have been missing all of my life.

Just to be clear...these

Just to be clear...these "hopes" of mine, and the relieving his burdens...all are an AFTERTHOUGHT to me finally 'getting it'. NONE of this had anything to do with what has happened to me, or why I came to 'get it'. I didn't even think about these things until very recently, as a possible 'positive side effect' of my 'getting it'. I am not focused on the marriage, I am not expecting things from him right now, I'm not trying to fix, work on, or change him at all. I feel until I am 100% on my own two feet I cannot ask anything from him other than just to behave as my husband and to be kind...as I am to him. For now, I just want us to get to know each other again...and RELAX.

Sherri, As usual, you have


As usual, you have put into words, how many of us feel about our similiar situations.  Thanks.

Appreciate your consideration

of what we have to say.  We will always benefit most when we learn from each other.  I think that is particularly important for us nons to communicate with the  ADDers.  Sometimes we might have the privelege of sharing a perspective that can let someone know what their mate might be thinking and sometimes we are in the position of getting another viewpoint to consider our own situation from.   I appreciate the work you are doing on yourself very very much.

Sheesh why does this always happen

I think it is any time I click to respond to a post and need to login first.  It sticks my comment down in no man's land :rolleyes:

yes, if you don't log in

yes, if you don't log in before typing a response, it does end up at the end of the original thread...and not under the post you were responding to.

DF's picture

Actually it's for the better here

That previous string of posts seems to be getting lost in a long stream.  I did want to add.  Aspen you mentioned your Aunt.  Not sure what her approach was, but I do believe I'm different.  I've very careful with the kids.  I saw that they could see the depth of my sorrow and fear and they responded in kind as kids do when they don't know how to express themselves. 

Because I didn't talk about their mother other than to tell them that she loves them and just needs love and patience in return, they could not decipher what I meant.  I couldn't explain in "kid" terms that I thought it was over and we were looking at visitation rights.  I couldn't look at my son and tell him I stopped trying.  I couldn't look at myself in the mirror.

Today is different and new.  My kids are not visibly stressed and we're normal, or at least as normal as can be.  My mind is busy and as you mentioned, my thoughts can be off-putting, but I'm always on the look out for my kids.  I want to be a piller of strength for them and an example that no matter how tough things are never quit even if it means to die trying.  When they're old enough, they can make their own decisions about how far to take things, but for now I do what I can so they never quit at sports or school or dreams.

My wife was pleasent to me again today.  I hate to think that I'll screw up again and forget something important or appear angry when not in social situations.  I know this will happen, but these days I accept it and I'm fine with it.  I think it's best to just stop counting days as though I'm expecting things to go south.  That's probably the best advice I can give myself right this moment.  It's nice to just be included in her life.  I want to hug someone and the kids just think I'm play wrestling so it's not the same. 

Keep me on my toes kids.  I'm not an a-hole so if I sound like it, let me know.

Yoo hoo! Where are you?

Yoo hoo! Where are you? Noticed you dropped off of the radar and I am TRULY praying that no news is good news. (((HUGS)))


DF's picture


I'm just guessing you're referring to me and not Lu although we're both curious about Lu. Where/what have I been up to?

Well, Aspen and PJ have given me much food for thought and I have to agree with them on how I've been coming accross lately.  I'm not happy about that seeing as how it's not me.  I guess I still have some frustration towards my wife I'm trying to let go of and that's what I've been addressing the past few weeks.  I may have done so, I just can't say since I'm constantly tested and the next test may prove otherwise.

I guess you could say I've been letting go.  Seems there's been too much going on that's been giving me the impression I need to force my hand into situations and I didn't even know I was doing it.  Since my diagnosis I've been aggressivly working, learning and retraining everything I do and it seems it may have gotten in the way.  So I've just been letting go.  My wife and I are talking more often this month and its been hard been hard because I didn't realize how much I missed just talking to her about nothing.  So I'm letting go and letting life just happen and I'm enjoying dialog with my wife that I've not had in over a year.  I'm working on not focusing on one step at a time.  Sure I'm not making her smile, but I don't bother with that anymore.  We're talking like people talk and that's enough.

No news.  Just moving one day at a time.

Yes, you. :) That is news. I

Yes, you. :)

That is news. I relate to the 'being tested' thing and I relate to the 'letting go' thing...I relate to it all. Sometimes in our efforts to make things better, we TRULY forget how to just exist and relax. I hope this is what you're saying you've started trying to do. It seems so strange to say "I forgot how to relax" but it happens. I love when time passes, mindless time, and I realize I've gone for hours without DH or ADHD crossing my mind. Not saying I don't think of him, but only in positive ways the majority of the time. It is nice for a change to just 'let go'.

I know you said it has been hard because it makes you realize what you were missing...isn't there some way you can turn this around in your head and say "this makes me so happy because I really missed this and I am getting to experience it again"?



DF's picture

Hard for different reasons

Remaining indifferent is what's hard about it.  We're a great team, her and I and she's taught me a lot about myself over this past year.  I don't want to lose focus and believe I've risen on her totem pole of priorities.  As I've said, she's doing things again like she used too and its' been wonderful.  I do feel like I've made strides within myself in a way that she's been able to have more time to herself to heal her anger, but it's 'need' that has me concerned.  I don't want to become needy again or put my faith in 'hope' because I don't think that's the answer to my relationship issues.

I've been so tired with extra hours at work and school finals last week that I feel as though I'm coming across as un-fun.  This could be seen as moody, but I don't know.  I just take the positive change in our relationship and go with it as it comes, careful not to be smothering.  It's also hard for me because I'm finding her attractive again.  It sounds very male of me I suppose to say that - sorry.  She's been so distant for so long that even though I think she's very beautiful, her ire and dedication to not being happy with me kind of but the brakes on my libido I guess.  Lately I'm seeing the woman I fell in love with again and me being in the loving place that I am with everything else in my life, I'm starting to experience sexual frustration and I've not had that for a long time.  I started to notice this when I started to catch myself looking at her as a woman and important friend instead of a human ball of resentment.

I was hurt pretty bad for a while there and I just don't want to do that again.  I know I have to put myself out there if anything is going to change and that's part of what's hard - believing in what I see.

It is very human of you to

It is very human of you to worry about all of these things. Once you grow used to a certain dynamic in a marriage, when things change, even for the better, it is hard to just accept the new dynamic and go with it. It does create the perfect scenario for fears to creep in. I get that. When DH unraveled in Feb I tried for so long to 'fix' it and spent many months in shock that it was actually happening again. Once he started to come around, I sort of secretly breathed a sigh of relief...then got angry and started feeling hopeless. As my anger grew, so did his. I think he wanted me to just be able to ignore the past 9 months and pretend they never happened. Since I don't live in the land of 'not now' and 'now' I simply couldn't do it in the timely manner that he wanted...even though I wanted desperately not to be angry anymore. Not for him, for myself. Now that I have found my own happy place, the only thing that has improved is that we are speaking a lot more and not fighting. We really don't have a marriage to speak of otherwise. It isn't that I don't want one or that I am not ready and willing to give it 100%, it is just that it involves two people putting themselves into it (physically and emotionally) and he simply isn't physically 'here' for the marriage right now, even when he is physically present in the home. He lives in our den. Again.

So, as each partner changes, the other reacts, and it just takes time for things to level out, for trust to re-grow, and for things to start to feel natural again. As frustrating as it must be for you (I relate to that too, buddy), I see your new found desires and feelings for her as a very good thing. This is probably going to be one of the hardest times in your life, requiring patience and faith. I know that having faith and/or hope can leave us vulnerable to pain but if you consider the other options (shutting down, building walls, protecting ourselves by holding back) then those are possibly going to doom the relationship anyway. Stop assuming you know what your marriage "needs" right now and just start behaving like a human being again. I know you're afraid you're going to do something 'ADHD' and she'll crawl back away from you, but I really feel that you're self-aware enough to be a productive and healthy part of this marriage again. If you feel comfortable enough at some point, maybe say to her "I like being able to talk to you again, I have missed this. I, however, do not want to cross any lines, so if I do, please accept that this is a 'new' experience for me, know that my priority is being a good husband and father, and there are going to be times when I will need you to tell me, firmly but gently, if my ADHD is getting the best of me" or something along those lines...and LISTEN if she says something to you. For now, just enjoy the 'new' chapter in your marriage and combat that frustration the best way you can. I know it seeps from my pores (in the form of passive aggressive anger) when I am feeling that way...and you really don't want that right now.

I am excited to read this...just relax and enjoy it. You've told us for months now how good you feel about yourself, how confident you are that you've evolved and learned and that you've grown. Time to put your money where your mouth is and prove that it wasn't just words. You believed in yourself in the face of her storms...now believe in yourself in the face of peace.

Re: Hope just getting lost

Hi,  This is my first post to the group.  Reading other folks' stories is like reading my own :-)  Lululove, have you considered the fact that so much of what your partner is throwing at you is "mirroring"?!  With things like "he . . . tells me that i have no sense of hor [honor], and that I don't even have a clue when I say inappropriate things" have you considered that those are his own traits?  My partner is clueless about saying inappropriate things -- to me and others.  He has told me that I have no loyalty, have 'stabbed him in the back', that "you're a quitter", etc. etc. etc.  It used to tear me to bits, and there were so many nights I just cried myself to sleep.  FINALLY, I realized that when someone is pointing a finger at *you*, three fingers are pointing back at themselves!  Every angry, mad, sad, mean, cruel, disgusting character trait he has accused me of (usually in a very loud voice) is something that he does on a fairly regular basis.  He pitches a fit if anything gets moved, but cannot walk past a book on the table without picking it up and moving it a few inches.  His daughter pointed out that "Nothing is ever his fault."  He loves to play the 'blame game'.  And I used to be a convenient doormat.  Not anymore.  A few years ago, I stopped covering for him.  Several folks have written about how their S/O is the 'life of the party' and 'a great guy' when around other people.  But just get home and watch the facade disappear.  And TALK -- Whew!  Many people have mentioned this to me.  Very few people have ever had the nerve to say anything to him.  Recently, when someone said something to me about his non-stop verbal diarrhea, I just told them "Oh well, there isn't enough duct tape in the world for his mouth."  Gosh, I'd like to go on and on, because for quite a number of years there has been this sense of such isolation.  We live in a very rural community, and there's been no one with whom to discuss much of anything besides the weather and the crops.  It is such a relief to find other real live people who are dealing/struggling with the same issues!