I am new to the site and its forums. I have been with my ADHD husband since 1995 -- we married in 2001. I can take his moods, his disorganization, forgetfulness -- I have learned to cope. He is a good man underneath it all. What I am exhausted with is his lack of self-worth due to the fact that he makes no money. I make enough money -- not a ton, mind you -- but enough for us to have what we need. I have told him repeatedly that I do not care if he is a stay-at-home dad to our 11 year old. However, he does not want that for himself. So, for years he has struggled as an "artist" who makes absolutely no money unless he is asked to teach a class somewhere. I have wasted countless dollars on art shows (they are very expensive to apply for, pay fees for, travel to and from, etc.), his website, rent on workspaces, materials, etc. About two years ago -- I cut him off. No more money for the art career -- not when it comes at the sacrifice of things my son needs or our ability to have a few extras in life (like going to visit my parents). It was hard -- he was at home all day, depressed, constantly bitter and angry, and spent countless hours playing Call of Duty and basically just messing up the house all day. We recently moved to a new city (so that I could take a new job), and he asked for another chance. So, I am paying 425.00 a month to rent an art studio, plus gas for him to drive back and forth to the arts district (it's about 20 minutes away), and art supplies and materials. Four months later -- zilch. He has not followed through on contacting local art associations, not tried to set up any classes at local venues (except one, which he poo-pooed because they wouldn't pay him what he thinks he is worth, and he only went to that one because I set up the appointment), has not updated his website, not even tried to get into any local arts or crafts markets -- nothing. Yet, he goes to his studio every day and "works so hard." And I know he does -- because he is hyper-focused on the art and that is what he wants to do. He doesn't want to deal with the other aspects of marketing himself.
I'm not looking for him to make a fortune. I have told him that all I want his for him to be able to cover his rent and expenses -- just to stop sucking money out of the household budget. But more than that -- I can't deal with the constant monologuing about how no one recognizes his talent, how he needs to find ways to get "cash flow," all his angst and poison regarding how he is unsuccessful and will die a failure (he is 55). It is exhausting -- I hear about it multiple times a day until I sometimes just have to walk away and tell him, "I love you, but I just can't talk about this right now" (not that I am doing any talking). He cries. He doesn't sleep. And worse -- refuses to get any help, even from me. He is untreated, by the way, and refuses any medication due to bad experiences in the past with it.
I wish he could (or would) get a regular job (part-time would be fine), but he always gets fired because he has trouble getting along with people and completing tasks. He hasn't had a "real job" for more than four or five months the entire time I have known him. I just think that doing work somewhere and doing it well and being around other people would make him feel better. He does very well when he teaches art classes.
I just don't know how much longer I can subject myself and my son to someone who is constantly bitter, angry, and upset over his "lack of recognition" (his words). The holidays are a nightmare, because he feels so bad about the fact that he can't buy gifts that he takes it out on us -- the very people he wants to buy gifts for. This has been going on for nearly twenty years. Has anyone ever seen an ADHD spouse pull themselves out of this kind of situation?