how do i get over the anger?

Now knowing that my husband's "neglect" is a by product of adhd, I get its not on purpose but it doesn't matter. When his therapist first mentioned he suspected my hubby had it I thought "ok then we will fix that and it'll get better." I didn't understand what all adhd had impacted so I read about it and heard my own story being told over and over again. I thought "this really isn't his fault or intentional!" I just keep waiting for this anger and resentment to go away and it doesn't. Does anyone have any advice on how to overcome my anger towards him? He said he resents me for my anger towards him and its noticeable because he finds ways to avoid me.

you can,

You can control it but it never really goes away.I have a hidden anger towards my DH and there is nothing really you could do to overcome that anger.The problem with ADHD is that they really don't mean to do the things they do,I have heard my husband told me sorry over and over again,and I have seen his depressions taking him over with this underlying problem.The thing I have been trying to do is to forgive him and sometimes it will help and then sometimes again the pain and the hurt is too much,with build up of anger and resentment I would vent at home and leave him to himself at his home, so we can somewhat be mad at the walls and then come back together again when that anger calms down, but the truth is I love him,, hate him,, and the only way that it may go away for me is if he starts to NEVER cause any more pain between us and then for a length of time I must see some results but that's impossible with this problem that he treats un medicated and with substance abuse for soooo long.

I did give up hope but he refuses to let me go just yet,I am ready to move on but not him!! I really don't know how to STOP resenting him.


That's discouraging. He

That's discouraging. He always says he understands why I'm angry, promises to start showing he cares then nothing ever comes of it. Yet when it comes to helping others he sure does seem to get it. Whether its fixing someones car (but won't even change the oil in my car) or running to rescue a stranded friend or doing something thoughtful to "get on their good side" he is able to on his own help them. It seems pretty specific to me. I've told him so many times its great he does that stuff for others but I'd like to be included in that category. I feel so friggin low about it. I'm always on the back burner and if I say something its an argument. If I stay quiet it stays the same. I'm starting to think its never going to get better. He doesn't even seem to get it. I feel like I'm speaking another language. When I say what I need or how I feel I might as well be saying its Monday.

Does care doesn't show it


It is very possible, despite claiming otherwise, he truly may not understand what you are saying.  

I definitely see the same thing and love that my BF is so willing to extend himself for other people regardless of the motivation.    Not to take away from his efforts but I think part of the dynamic is that he gets a positive emotional hit from their gratitude.  It's not so much understanding other people's need as revelling in an opportunity for them to think he's wonderful.   As nons I think we under-estimate that need by far.  

If the language you are speaking isn't getting through try another one.  Give him what he needs; a positive emotional hit for even the simplest thing, and see if it gets a better response.  

amonty1026,was he always,

OMG!!! now I am starting to worry about my DH.This is for real,my DH could only show his true love to me by fixing my car,in a matter of fact my DH rebuilt my transmission and brought back my dead car to life,,,, and now if I were to sell it I could get my retail value for it b/c he was soo kind on that end.But after reading your post I am beginning to wonder if that will end also??? this is (ALL) he really does for me to help me out, and he will take me out sometimes on weekends also but I have to go through a lot of torture and reproach after it all, that is the only thing I regret in the end is the reproach.

Was he always like that??? or did he only recently started to behave like that??


No he wasn't always like

No he wasn't always like this. He used to be quite sweet to me. But its called hyperfocusing. What the previous poster (got it) pointed out is that him being helpful to others but not me might be more of the positive feedback he gets from others. Who wouldn't want to be treated like a the guy that saved the day? If he's still doing that I'd say keep appreciating it. We have 4 years under our belt, 2 of which are full of anger and resentment. He was undiagnosed for all but this past month and has only been on meds for a week (really low dose). I think we are trapped in a vicious cycle. I'm really angry for all that's happened and broken promises and I feel really rejected by him. He resents my anger and avoids me which fuels my resentment of him. I am going to try what the other poster suggested and try to give him some positive feedback, something build on and see what happens. And I feel your pain about the whole going out thing. We used to go on dates all the time now I mention it to the point of nagging and by the time he does it, I feel totally rejected and unloved.

its not that,

it's not that he does not love you.It's the distractions that makes it look like they don't love us,I have been through that with my husband,but I understand how you feel,when I confronted him about it he never wanted to listen, and then suddenly he would understand,it's like two different man I am married to.This could be nerve recking for me and send me straight in to a mental pain where I can't focus and then suddenly I feel like i have ADHD too,which I clearly don't have,but I could advice that maybe he really is not doing it on purpose, and he is just looking for the feed back from the attention of others wanting to be like a (maverick), I have read this and trust me when I say my husband does the same exact thing.

I have been married to My DH for over a year now and the "hyper focused courtship" for us is not fully gone yet,but I still feel neglected and it's only a matter of time before that might come fully to an end,and if it does I am prepared already,I don't mean to discourage you rather than facing with you what is the reality of things.

I wish you the best of luck and hope things improve for you.


I disagree with the poster

I disagree with the poster that said you cannot ever get over the anger...that isn't true for me. You can. Anger is YOUR choice. We would like to blame the ADHD for our anger, but until we OWN it as our OWN choice and something we CAN control, it will continue to control us. Your anger comes from being codependent on him. Your anger comes from frustration at trying to fix something that you didn't cause and cannot fix. Our anger is as toxic to our relationships as their ADHD is. Focus on your anger and let him focus on his ADHD. The world won't end if you take a few months to work on YOU. Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie was a huge catalyst for me in recognizing my anger, realizing it was a choice, and doing the seemingly impossible...just letting go of it. 

Could you make plans for date night and just tell him "I made plans for us would mean a lot to me if you could clear your schedule for us to spend some time together"? Why do you wait on him? 

Sherri I agree with what you

Sherri I agree with what you say about the anger belonging to me. It may be a reaction to his actions, however, it is MY emotion. I did ask the question hoping for some guidance on how to get myself out of this emotional hell. As for the codependent statement I disagree. I have my own life separate from his. I enjoy going out with my friends and doing my own thing but I do expect the person I'm with to put forth an effort. We used to go on dates frequently but it shifted to we only went if I asked or made the plans. I feel like to assign the task of me planning all our dates is unfair because I already handle much of our day to day grind. Taking me on a date shows me he wants to spend time with me and appreciates me. I don't expect everyone to have that same standard or preference, its neither right nor wrong. Just as I need time separate from him, time to myself, I also need time carved out for us as a couple. Most psychologists agree time as a couple is extremely important because it gives you time to enjoy each other as partners and feel close. I don't see this as co dependent.

..Re: codependency..I think

..Re: codependency..I think your anger tells a different story...but I will leave that for you to decide.

I know it seems 'unfair' for you to always plan date nights, but if he is willing to go along when you make the plans then I simply don't see the issue. He has ADHD...that makes him much less of a planner and scheduler than most people. If you're having a horrible time together when you do go out, that's one thing...but if your only hang up is that he never does the actual planning himself then I think you really might want to rethink your stand on this. His lack of ability to plan ahead, schedule things, and think ahead enough to put together a meaningful date night is most likely NO reflection of how he feels about you or to what degree he enjoys your time together. So you're the 'planner' in the could be worse...he could refuse to go altogether.

Regarding the anger-having an

Regarding the anger-having an emotion such as anger does not indicate someone's dependence or not. That's like saying because I love him I am co dependent. My anger stems from being lied to and other issues. I believe that's natural. Pretending that I don't have needs within a relationship won't benefit anyone and pretending that I don't have emotions when those needs aren't met also benefits no one. It could be worse, but it could be better. I get him not planning it. Its the asking I'm referring to. If he could before why not now? I don't mind picking what we do. And while having adhd may present him with problems, as our therapist pointed out its not to be used as a crutch and as he is able to not only hold down a job in a field where he has to plan and organize to a degree then he can do so in his personal life. I hope my next statement is not offensive, as I do not mean it that way, but it sounds a bit like you are saying he has adhd so he can't make an effort and that its unreasonable to expect him to and that I should be the one making the effort for him.

He probably could/did make

He probably could/did make plans before because he had the 'hyperfocus' brain chemicals going on in his brain. ADHDers are notorious for seemingly 'losing interest' and many won't even go on date night, much less have an enjoyable time when they do...I'm not saying you should feel 'lucky' and suck it up, if it is important to you that he make plans, then you can choose to continue to wait for him to change...and expect him to change. No one can determine what your needs are but you. I am just saying that I think you're wanting him to make plans to 'prove' something to you and maybe it is something that isn't, in his world, connected  AT ALL. (i.e. him making plans = him enjoying your company/loving you/caring about you) I would bet my life he never would make that connection. You can insist that he do it...but maybe it would, to him, be like you insisting that he paint your toenails to prove that he enjoys spending time with you. It is just all about you view this issue, your feelings and beliefs about it, are probably very unlike his...and you have to ask yourself how far up on the list of priorities it is to you and proceed accordingly. 

It is perfectly acceptable and natural to be upset because you have been lied to or because of other persistent issues that never resolve. I am certainly not in any way suggesting you should have no 'needs' from him in the marriage. Being upset/mad over an issue and harboring anger and resentment towards someone are two completely different things. When you harbor anger and resentment it means you see yourself as a victim. Fine, we're all victims of ADHD...especially when we had no idea what the issue was (ADHD) for many years...but staying stuck in the victim role means the anger will never go away. We choose each day to stay...or go. I cannot speak for you, or how deep your anger is or how much it has affected your life...but it is yours to own and your job to have boundaries that you enforce...even if enforcement means you walk away from the marriage. If  you think that if he would just change A, B, and C and then you wouldn't be so angry anymore then you are not owning your anger. You can not be angry without him having to change his behaviors. I'm not saying you won't get upset or hurt by his behaviors...I'm talking about the life consuming anger that many of us are all too familiar with. 

MagicSandwich's picture

Anger is protective

Some anger is controllable and some isn't. The point however is that anger manifests for a reason. It's there to protect you from further abuse and harm. Pay attention to it when it bubbles up. It's trying to warn you.

I agree with MagicSandwich,

I agree with you,I was trying to say it like that but my words got tangled up.


Anger does not protect us

Anger does not protect us from anything. Look at all of the spouses here with ADHD spouses who are extremely angry...all of the time. Using that logic, their anger is protecting them from something. It isn't. It is a sign of someone who is out of control of their emotions. Getting angry and reacting in an angry way that goes against who we know we are as human beings are completely different things. We all have things that anger us. But when I looked around, I was the only REALLY ANGRY, BITTER person I knew. It was a choice. At first it was about frustration...and me trying to fix things that I didn't own. In the end it nearly consumed me. It is a choice. I can promise you, THAT kind of anger IS a choice. It not only didn't protect me from pain, it caused me a TON more than I had to endure. I wasn't strong enough to stand I fought to change things in all of the wrong anger leading the way. 

point taken,

I understand you but,how can you control that emotion when they are messing with them?? I know that it would make you miserable in the end and things could be really seemingly bitter and you become this angry/bitter person,but how do you control your own emotions and keep them stable when time and time again he keeps up with (his) anger?

I don't know but he really does a lot to keep pissing me off, and like MagicSanwich says, it's protective to warn you that something is clearly UP.

(1) Either he gets help.

(2) I move on.

Thanks for sharing,I would ponder on it.


I get both sides here. Anger

I get both sides here. Anger gives the illusion of protection. Its easier to be angry then it is to be sad. However, when I let my anger get out of line I upset myself and my husband doesn't hear me. Now even if isn't hearing me I refuse to let my anger get the best of me. I don't have to stew about it or regret my words. Its not always easy. Not being in a constant state of anger is good for me. I get out of this negative mindframe and can appreciate what he is doing and even enjoy things for myself. Truthfully, anger serves a purpose but it should not be a constant state. Besides my husband didn't regret his actions more cuz I was angry. Actually it was easier for him to blame me then see how his actions were disrespectful or thoughtless.
MagicSandwich's picture

Anger disappears with backbone

It's good to be angry at a person who has delivered into your life an abundance of conflict, double-talk, irritability, financial insecurity, lack of compassion and sexual infidelity. When you have rid yourself of any/all desire to get reinvolved with that destructive person or involved with somebody similar, your anger at what they have done to your life will go away. 

Why is it good? What does it

Why is it good? What does it help? You're still getting conflict, double-talk, irritability, financial insecurity, lack of compassion and sexual infidelity...and to top it all off, you're angry. Read the physiological effects of anger on your body...then you'll understand why it isn't good. I truly feel if you cannot let go of your anger, for your own health and sanity, then you need to let go of the person you're so angry with. 

...this is about how WE react...not about how THEY act. Initially, when you're standing in your first ADHD field where the twister just hit and asking yourself what the hell just happened, sure...but as time goes on we decide whether to stay or go, tolerate or expect more, accept and settle or demand more for ourselves...and deep down the anger isn't about them. You don't have to agree...if you like your anger, feel it protects you, then keep it. 

You are talking to someone who was the most angry, bitter person in the world for MANY MANY years. You act as if I have no clue what you speak of when you list your complaints about your marriage...and I have suffered EVERY SINGE ONE OF THEM. I have just decided to save myself...and see where that might lead us. 

MagicSandwich's picture

Anger tornado

Yes exactly. The untreated ADHD man often feels entitled to a fantasy woman, who will gratefully smooth the way for him, providing him with a financial support, a clean, comfortable house, good food, unconditional emotional support, and a perfect, attractive, sex partner. The anger that bubbles up in women from treated like this is a red flag. It's there  to say that letting somebody else define reality and debase you for their own purposes is NOT OK. The anger is a signal to take action - yes just as if a real tornado is headed your way - good analogy. 

It's interesting to note the Bible's many instances of God's righteous anger. We are made in God's image. We have the right, the obligation, to feel anger when faced with abuse and to thereby deal with that abuse accordingly. And dealing with abuse should not include trying to change or nurture the unremorseful person dishing it out. 

I think we agree on most

I think we agree on most points, except for the value of the anger. You are 100% correct, God got angry many times in the Bible...but then he realized that man would always fall short of His glory so He took another approach, sending His son to die on the cross to die for our sins. It ended the days of him smiting people to death for sin. So, maybe on some level he realized that his approach needed tweaking. In the New Testament things changed, Jesus changed everything and it was much more focused on Love and Forgiveness. 

The book I love so much, that helped me tremendously in recognizing and getting control of my anger (CoDependent No More) even says that the anger in our lives is a red flag that things are completely out of balance. BUT, where you and I differ, I think, is that I feel once we recognize what is happening it is OUR responsibility to restore the balance in our lives because if we wait on others to do it, it will most likely never happen...and if we cannot restore our own balance, then we are just as 'off' in life as the worst ADHD person. 

My husband does fit a little of the description...he does want someone to be his 'rock'...smoothing the way, so to speak...but I have never financially supported him, our home used to be a mess 24/7 and he never complained, I don't cook all that often but when I do he is extremely grateful, and even when I was 100 lbs heavier than I am now he never once made me feel like I wasn't the most beautiful person he'd ever seen. He has never expected perfection from me. 

Just like with any abusive situation, not that I would compare what I have been through with someone who is physically beaten, I cannot be angry with someone else for my decision to stay. 

My husband has done some horrible things...things that changed all of our (myself, my children, and himself) lives forever. I've felt desperation in depths that I never knew were possible. But, the only reason I came through to the other side is because I held myself accountable...and God has a way of stripping us down to nothing so that we might see where we need to take a look in the mirror and stop blaming others. 

You will get no argument from me at all that living with an untreated ADHD person is a horrible way to live. It can be all consuming and devastating...but it is still a choice we make/made. 

catch22adhd's picture

What if...

What if he actually did get help.  Would that take away the anger?  Would it really make years of pain go away?  What if he changed,  is there  a reset button for hurt?  I am a recently confessed Adhd'r. I have my first appointment with a psych today.  I clearly see now the pain that has been inflicted on my wife but now she lives behind a wall.  So I wonder, is change really enough?  I try to stay hopeful, but sometimes I wonder can we recover.  From the outside things seem to be going ok, but the reality is she still has pain and so do I. I hurt because I grief the pain she has endured and I hurt because I am so lonely.  I can imagine she hurts because of the same old same old.  I believe she is scared to believe again so she stays angry.  So my question is if your husband did come to the light would it ever be enough or would you be forever stuck in hurt mode?  Can he recover in your eyes?


In short, for me, yes. I have

In short, for me, yes. I have always met any attempt he made to get help, seek treatment, take meds, get counseling, hold himself accountable with as much love and support as I could muster at the time. I've never seen him trying and not tried to meet him half way. My anger probably got in the way more often than I care to admit, though. It is extremely difficult to trust're right, she probably is TERRIFIED to believe again. Don't underestimate that fear. NEVER take it for granted. Don't put a timeline on her...she will trust you again when she is ready...and when you have given her enough reason to do so. I really think that professional intervention is best in these situations because often men in your position feel they are doing everything right, but the truth is they are doing a lot of 'right' things, but they aren't the things she might be needing. It is just best that all progress be focused and what you're both needing...not just what you think she might be needing. I think you need to ask her to make you a very short list of things she needs from you...don't discuss it, just ask her to please write down for you 3 things she would like you to focus on...and start there. You have to, somehow, get her input. 

catch22adhd's picture


" in your position feel they are doing everything right, but the truth is they are doing a lot of 'right' things, but they aren't the things she might be needing".  I feel that at some point their is a mutual obligation.  She should clearly communicate what she wants. I in turn should listen and comply and  vice versa.  While I do acknowledge that there is a lot of hurt, one must allow healing to begin.  That is something that the individual has the power to control.  I am trying to hang in there but I do resent still being a husband to her ( or at least attempting to be) while she has totally disconnected from the relationship.  Even the deepest wound eventually scabs over and the healing process begins.  I guess I am just trying to talk it all out.  

On a positive note I had my second appointment and my self diagnosis was confirmed. I will be starting a low dosage in the morning.  I am trying to do this for me but I can not escape the fact that I want things to work out in my marriage.  So let the journey begin.

Catch22, I find your resentment to be a huge concern

I KNOW for a fact that it is possible to have a happy marriage between a person with ADD and a person without it, but I know that resentment stands in the way of that.  I agree with you that there is a mutual obligation to share needs and meet them.....from both sides, but you have been diagnosed for mere hours at this point.  You haven't even started meds, so your impatience with your wife to 'get over' her hurt already is unfair, and if it were me would likely cause me to be angrier with you!  

You don't get to hurt someone and then be angry/resentful/hurt that they are too slow to forgive you and get over it.  It will take some time for you to actualy make changes, and if you are following the pattern of my husband at all, you probably haven't started making many of those changes.  You are AWARE now for the first time and as such you assume she realizes the huge difference there is in you.  I suspect most of the change is internal at this point.  She liekly doesn't even see it.

Many wives don't see it until their husbands have been making the changes consistently for months and months.  Why?  Because you likely have made short term changes before when she was hurt, or complaining about something, or when you 2 made an agreement.  She hears you that it is different this time, but she has heard that before.  She is waiting to see if it IS different before she starts letting down the walls.

It is like you have been bumping into your wife with the car for days while leaving for work.  You didn't realize it.  She told you, but you were sure she was out of the way, so you didn't pay much attention to what she said.  She would learn to be very cautious about you and especially around you and the car because you have proven to her for YEARS that you didn't have her interests foremost in your mind.  NOW you realize that you'd been incorrect all the time because you have a problem with depth perception. You thought she was out of the way, but now you know she absolutely wasn't BUT your glasses took a while to make, so they have just come in.  You may have even still hit her a few times while you were waiting on them to come in even though you tried hard not to--till the glasses actually helped you see better, you still are somewhat unaware of where she is exactly in relation to you and to the car.


She is still bumped and bruised.  She needs to heal up, and she still isn't going to trust you in that situation too quickly because it didn't go well for her for too long.  Do you think the person who bumped into her over and over and then ignored her concerns has a right to be angry with her for still having bruises that haven't faded, for being angry over how she was treated and even ignored when she tried to get you to see what you were doing? 

Flat out you are too impatient.  If you are getting resentful now 1 DAY after diagnoses, I really fear for the chances that your marriage will make it :(  You did a lot of damage and it is time for love and patience and consistency, and those things will give you a fighting chance!

Best wishes to you and your wife!!!


catch22adhd's picture

Point taken

You are right.  Today is officially day 1

First, let me start by saying

First, let me start by saying I agree 100% with Aspen.

Second, getting an 'explanation' (diagnosis) for what has been going on all of these years isn't an automatic eraser of everything that has been going on all of these years. Many people take the diagnosis and do nothing with it. Many people take a year or more to absorb their new reality and then do something with the diagnosis. Many others want to change everything the second they get the diagnosis and expect everything and everyone around them to react likewise and do the same. 

In a marriage, there is a mutual obligation...I agree 100%...but where was your obligation to her these past X number of years? So very easy for you to demand more from her now that you have your 'explanation'. As for her clearly communicating what she wants...she might not even know at this careful what you 'demand' from her right now, it might not work out the way you expected. This is why I suggested professional help, because she's very unlikely to be able to express to you what she needs/wants from you...but someone unbiased might be able to help you both. Yes, you ideally should listen and comply with each other...but there again, you admittedly haven't done this for YEARS. As Aspen said, insist upon this before she is ready (this will require her trusting you...and it won't happen on YOUR timeline) and you're just digging a deeper hole for your marriage. 

You need to be a husband to her because it is what you should have done all along...not because you're expecting reciprocation from her. Not for any other reason other than because it is the right thing to do and because you love her and want your marriage to work. You do not know how deep her wounds cannot harbor resentment and anger towards her because they aren't healing quickly enough for you. Well, you can...but you might as well go ahead and file for divorce while you're at it. 

I am telling you this as a woman who has been in your wife's position...although I was mostly always willing to work on my marriage, no matter what my husband had done, my wounds did NOT heal quickly. Each time he said something that led me to believe he was growing impatient, they started bleeding again. It didn't feel real. It didn't feel like his attempts were selfless and genuine. I have started repeating some very simple, but important, things to keep my anger in line and to avoid stupid fights...and I think you need to do the same. Say to yourself, when you feel resentful because you reach out to her and she shuts you down "God, I cannot imagine the pain I must have caused her all of those years to make her want to protect herself this must have felt exactly like what I am feeling now...rejected and I will be patient and wait". patient and wait. Maybe a month...maybe 6 months...nobody knows. But you owe it to your marriage to keep working on YOU and stop resenting her for being human. 

catch22adhd's picture

The painful truth

The truth sometimes hurts.  This one of those times.    I read and re-read these pointers to keep myself going.  Recovery day 3.  Thanks for your input Sherri.  I really need to keep things in perspective 

You are 1000 steps ahead of

You are 1000 steps ahead of just WANTING to make changes and acknowledging the pain you've caused. Don't beat yourself up for being impatient, instant gratification is a huge part of ADHD for my husband. I get that. If he tried 95% of the time, and got impatient 5% of the time, it was extremely difficult not to give up hope that he would ever 'get it'...but DO NOT GIVE UP. You have no idea how fantastic it is that you've realized what you have so far. Do you have Melissa's book? Maybe get it and read it a chapter at a time with your wife and discuss it with her. If I could give one huge piece of advice for you over the course of the next few weeks/months it would be to not to get defensive. Even if what she says hurts, even if what she says seems ugly and hurtful...or like she's blaming you...just listen. "yes, I know you're right when you say I hurt you when I did ___..and I'm sorry. I am trying to do things differently from here on out". 

I truly do wish you the best of luck. I don't want to beat you up when you're trying...but I do feel being honest with yourself about everything is your best chance with your marriage.

Nice advice, Sherri. If my DP

Nice advice, Sherri. If my DP were to say that to me, that would certainly stop me (and the aggression, pursuing, etc) dead in their tracks. I might even pipe down long enough to hear what's after that or just enjoy the silence. :)  (as sarcastic as this might read, I'm not intending it to! I'm actually welling up a bit at the idea!)

MagicSandwich's picture


Based on some of your prior commentary that's what I thought you would say.

Unsure of what you mean

Unsure of what you mean there. If my dh wasn't on meds and in therapy then my anger would still be as strong as it was when I posted this. He was and still can be, very disrespectful. Name calling and quick tempered. After reading the advice on here I decided what's it going to hurt if I don't let my anger take over? Instead I did whatever I could to avoid getting sucked into a toxic-go-nowhere argument. It worked too. Instead of chalking me up to being a nag he was able to hear me. I still have my moments. And so does he. We are still making an effort to patch up the holes we punched in our marriage. It really comes down to two things: 1-stay angry and get the same results you've been getting or 2-try a different way and see what happens. Its not about changing your partner. Its about being emotionally healthy for YOU. Oops I thought that was directed to me. I'm reading these posts on a blackberry and it shows lines connecting the replies. It can be a bit confusing. Sorry! Haha
arwen's picture

anger often hides fear

Although I agree that in ADHD marriages or partnerships, anger generally does not protect us from anything (and can actually put us in some danger if the anger on both sides escalates out of control), I disagree that it's always a sign of someone who isn't in control of their emotions.  I've used carefully controlled anger to very useful effect in improving my relationship with my spouse.  

In my experience (not just personally, but also my observations of those friends and family struggling with ADHD partners), most of the time the tremendous anger we can experience with our ADHD spouses is a disguise for our fears.  Fear that we will be left alone, fear that we will find ourselves in overwhelming financial loss, fear that we may actually be in some kind of physical danger, fear that the innocent bystanders we love will be hurt, fear that we will be overwhelmed by the cumulative burdens -- because of all the things we don't know and don't understand about our partners seemingly bizarre mental processes and behaviors.

Interestingly, fear typical involves a feeling of powerlessness, whereas anger tends to make us feel more powerful.  When we turn our fear to anger, I believe we are trying overcome our feeling of powerlessness and turn it into something that feels better to us, powerfulness.  In my personal opinion, this is not entirely a bad thing -- IF it is controlled and channeled into some kind of useful action.  One of the things I use anger for is to sharpen my wits, which has often helped me to see a situation more clearly.  I've also sometimes used my anger to provide the energy to figure out a solution to a problem.  But lots of times anger just gets in the way of progress.  I've found that anger that is just used to try to push away the scary things is fairly futile, and ultimately exhausting.

When I was going through these trials with my ADHD husband, it helped me to remember the "Litany Against Fear" from Frank Herbert's novel Dune.  Even though the story is fictional, the philosophy is very very real:

Fear is the mind-killer.  I must not fear.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain

My sense is that in effect this is what you have done, Sherri, in your own way.  Good for you!  Whether one uses meditation, or a support group, religion, or whatever else helps  us feel enabled  --  it's an important step in dealing with our ADHD spouses.

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore

I once read, and believe it

I once read, and believe it to be true, that anger stems from guilt or fear. In my case it was fear. I was angry, as I said, because when I looked at my life (husband) he seemed so very out of control of himself...and I knew if he didn't get himself under control we would all lose. We did. Big time. When I finally let go and just let him flop about, we almost lost everything. I was terrified that would happen for YEARS. I was terrified of losing him. Of being alone. Of SOOOO many things. It wasn't that I was angry at his choices as much as I was just pissed off that I could not change him/stop him/control his actions. I agree, in the aspect of my anger was trying to tell me something...but hell, who doesn't know that? I was acutely aware 24/7/365 that my life was a ticking time bomb...and that my heart was going to be children's lives...and HIS any given moment. Maybe I was angry with myself for not having the guts to leave. All I know is that my anger was my own...and it was always inside of me as a part of who I am. When I think of a friend of mine who was married to someone similar to my husband who GRACEFULLY and WITHOUT ANGER survived 25+ years with her husband (she recently passed away..he was never diagnosed), I GET IT that it was an inherent part of who I am and how I was raised to 'react' to fear. She was TRULY HAPPY, lived life to the fullest, and loved him at his worst and best...and she NEVER took it personally and she was financially independent. Maybe that helped. 

I react to being hurt the same way...with anger. Always have. I cannot blame that on my ADHD husband...been that way since long before I met him. So, somewhere down the road of life I was taught to react to fear, hurt, pain, guilt, etc...with anger. Meeting him was just the perfect storm...and a test of character in which I failed miserably for years. 

I am NEVER able to think clearly when I am angry. I used to think I did, I used to think my anger was guiding me to make decisions that I didn't have the courage to make when I wasn't angry, but in the end I just made a bigger mess and hurt myself more. I am glad you can channel your anger, but I would venture a guess that we're talking two very different things anger was 24/7/365 and all consuming. I was never able to let anything go. Even when I would tell myself I had, I hadn't. 

arwen's picture

you're right about different kinds of anger

Sherri, I think you're right that you and I are talking about different kinds of anger.  I used to experience both controlled and uncontrolled anger.  I couldn't channel the uncontrolled anger ('cause it was uncontrolled!) -- but it was never all-consuming for me either (although in other circumstances I think it could have been).  This is not because I was able to bring it eventually under control or anything else even semi-virtuous.  I just had so many other responsibilities on my plate (including raising an ADHD son), every day was so insanely busy (I was also working a full-time engineering job, plus our kids were incredibly active both in and out of school), that I was constantly being distracted from my anger at my spouse.  So instead of being angry at him 24/7, I got angry afresh a dozen times a day.  I used to think that wasn't really any improvement, but your comments have made me rethink that -- maybe the breaks helped after all, maybe letting go, even temporarily, is better, maybe it helps you learn eventually to let go more more often, more easily, if you need to.

I do think the financial independence helps, too, as you suggest.  I had made sure (just on general principle, not because of anything about my spouse) that before I had kids, I had a college degree and several years of work experience under my belt.  So I knew that if I had to split up at some future time from my spouse, I'd be able to go back to work and bring up our kids on my own, albeit at a subsistence level.   Not what I would want for very bright, active kids, but at least they wouldn't starve or be homeless.

What *I* was afraid of, what kept me feeling trapped, was that my son's counselor warned me that he was headed for trouble without a father around to keep him in check (which I could see developing), and after carefully weighing the various options, I felt that I could find ways to teach our son to avoid modeling the most egregious of my husband's behaviors, and that my son was better off with his dad as part of the family than without (a decision which, in hindsight, I'm completely convinced was correct, in our specific circumstances).   I think maybe it helped that my fears were for my son, but not for myself.  I don't mean to say that my fears for my son were less important than fears for myself -- actually, it was just the other way around, but I think maybe it helped me be stronger  that most of the time, my own personal fears weren't "under attack".

I do enjoy reading your posts, Sherri -- while we don't always agree (because we have had some different experiences and have sometimes drawn different conclusions), you always have worthwhile and insightful things to say.  Even though my husband and I have "won through" our problems, our lives are a long way from perfect, and your viewpoints help me look at things from a different perspective that can help me improve on the good foundation we've established.  Thanks for being here!

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore

Anger & Co-Dependency

I agree.  Anger is a normal and healthy emotion, sometimes one you can't control.  HOWEVER, your behavior is 100% your control.  This includes how you respond to him.  

Anger is the by-product of fear and/or hurt.  Resentment is the by-product of anger left un-addressed (and the hurt and fear, accordingly), and a very bad and destructive place to be for the both of you and your relationship.  I moved out in February, and I have not regretted it.  Albeit there are times I do miss him and I am sad.  But this is so much better for me.  It was my decision, on my terms.  Don't misunderstand, I included him in all of my decisions and paid attention to his interests even though they were sometimes different.

I am at times, still resentful, but I deal with my DH (together for 11, married for 5) with his behavior as it comes.  I don't tolerate the bullying, tantrums, ignoring, grandstanding, and putting others before me (being everyone else's hero, not mine - the hyper focus ended years ago).  I do my best to be constructive and not call him the P.O.S. that I sometimes think he is.  I don't deal with particular past incidents, it's pointless.  I would say address the behavior, don't assassinate the person...but in my situation, it doesn't matter what/how I do because he perceives it as personal attacks and goes ape s***.  I eventually gave up (bad move).

Now, as for co-dependency....  I lost myself in the attempt to keep up with his whimsy, moods, or whatever it was that minute.  I don't have any hobbies of my own, I don't know what really interests me, and I no longer have dreams of my own.  It all revolved around him and keeping the peace - and yet I let it happen, I didn't say anything.  THAT is co-dependency.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the simple fact of loving him.  I've tried the acknowledgement, pats-on-the-back, "dangling carrots," whatever.  It was never enough.

Through therapy and ACOA meetings (adult child of alcoholic), I'm learning about myself and my behaviors, and why I react the way I do.  I'm working on me - I'm claiming ownership on my behavior, not his.  Unfortunately, he is in denial regarding his ADHD, but he has acknowledged it (somewhat) along with possible PTSD and/or anti-social personality disorder.  This leaves at an impasse...

I'm hoping that someday we'll love each other like we used to and treat each other as we should.  I don't know if that will ever happen.

yeah, what she said...

I just read Arwen's response above... haha... and Sherri's (sorry if I misspelled).  Ditto!

arwen's picture

one size doesn't fit all

I don't presume to suggest that the methods that my spouse and I have used to successfully overcome our ADHD-related problems are "one size fits all" solutions.  Every relationship is different, a point I've made many many times in my posts.  The strategy I've outlined worked for us, and may be useful for others whose circumstances resemble ours perhaps more closely than yours does.  I should say that I had many doubts about the value of my approach at the time I was trying it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it ultimately worked.

I'm truly sorry that you've already tried my approach to overcoming anger and found it unsuccessful for you, and I hope you have better luck in your future endeavors.

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore



The only real success story I can foresee at this point is me carrying on, with my dignity rebuilt, intact.  That's not such a bad thing, right? 

We can't work on us when one is in denial.

arwen's picture

only you can determine

Only you can determine what success means to you, and what's bad or good for you and your relationship.  *I* certainly can't see anything *wrong* with the idea of rebuilding your dignity!  But I don't know the specifics of your situation, either.  For me, at the worst of my marriage problems, keeping or rebuilding my dignity would have almost certainly come at the sacrifice of my son's emotional health and unhappy consequences for his future, and in my eyes that would have been wrong.  So I endured and saved the rebuilding for some years down the road where my son was old enough to not be seriously affected.

My husband was also in denial for some time when his ADHD came back into the picture in midlife.  In our case, he began having automobile accidents because of his inattention.  Finally the situation became so dangerous and serious that I hid his car keys and refused to give them back until he saw a counselor with me. (Please note: this is *not* a kind of action I would generally recommend, it's extremely confrontational.  But I was afraid he would kill somebody the next time, and I couldn't have that on my conscience -- so I was prepared for anger and violence from him, which fortunately did not exceed what I could handle.)  *He* chose the counselor, and he was quite convinced this counselor would tell us that *I* was being irrational.  He was stunned when the counselor told him that *his* behavior was not normal and that he needed a neuropsychiatric evaluation.  (And then stunned again when the neuropsychiatrist told him he was a "classic" case of non-hyperactive ADHD.)  This was enough to cause him to at least consider trying both meds and counseling.  And since both helped, he was willing to go on working at it.

As I said, I don't know the specifics of your situation, I don't know what you've already tried, I don't know how you've handled your situations.  But just because someone is in denial doesn't automatically have to mean that there is no future for your relationship to improve and become something that you both enjoy again.  I agree you can't work on "us" until he comes to some acceptance of his problems.  But it may be that there are still things that you can do to bring him to that acceptance.  Of course, whether that is what is best for you can only be determined by you!

Good luck!

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore


You are right about getting over the anger,but right now for me it keeps going and coming back,but,I guess everyone is different.I am in a very difficult relationship but I guess that's a choice too..Like the anger.


I think we have the same

I think we have the same husband here. Just reading what you said here, my husband is the exact same way!  I see him bending over backwards practically to help everyone out.  He will go and help people on his only day off even if it takes all day and night.  He will make sure everyone else is satisfied and helped out.  Then when it comes to me, I constantly feel in his last priority.  I've told him this many times and he just denies it time and time again.  Its so frustrating. I keep telling him why would I make this up!? This is how I FEEL. But nothing ever changes.  And I feel your pain, its like, a losing battle. Either you mention how you feel, to only be denied, or bottle it up inside to try to forget about it and just live with how it is. 

catch22adhd's picture

How exactly do...

How exactly do you communicate your needs to him?  Specifically what do you want from your husband?  I am amazed at how many women are communicating with their ADHD spouse but we just are not hearing you.  I personally feel that my wife indirectly communicates her needs but does not just come out and say what she wants.  To say try something different is not to say what you want.  I am learning to pay attention and try to hear what she is not saying.....  Some how I do not feel that that is good communication.

According to my dh he says I

According to my dh he says I lecture. There is some truth to that. I use my "mom" voice then he tunes me out and I get mad and then its a full blown argument. All my resentment built up over the course of 4 years not even knowing he had adhd so just him being diagnosed and getting meds has helped. I was also guilty of not hearing him. So now when I'm upset by something I tell him directly. I state it as a fact and remove the emotional tones. I've also started listening to him when he speaks and realize sometimes he really doesn't understand what I mean when I said xyz or he has a different perspective. I've found just making a brief statement like "ok that came off thoughtless" and leave it until I have time to think about why whatever it was upset me, what I do want and then talk to him about it. I've noticed when I speak when my emotions are high he chalks it up to "a bad day" or "being angry" so most of what I say goes out the window. Its an effort on both parts and it takes each of us focusing on how we, ourselves, could have acted differently, more loving, to our partner. Before we focused on oh well YOU did this and that's why we are fighting. A lot of the resentment I had when I posted this has diminished but it took me realizing what I need to improve and then making that happen. He has also started to understand me better which in turns makes me feel like I'm being heard which makes me less angry. It just kinda feeds off of one positive change.

If your wife isn't giving you

If your wife isn't giving you specifics about what she does want she may not know entirely. Or maybe she does but doesn't know how to say it. For example, I used to tell my husband "I want romance. I want to feel important." He had his own definition of what that meant so naturally when he tried to make me feel loved (like installing a touch pad thermostat in the house) it wasn't what I meant. Eventually he quit trying because he got sick of feeling like a failure every time he tried. For a long time I didn't really know what I meant either. I just knew how things were and that it wasn't what I wanted. I basically wanted to be happy but couldn't say much beyond that. Now he knows romance can be buying flowers or cleaning the house before I even get home. It really was that simple. Forget love movies, they aren't real. Maybe holding her hand while you watch tv or taking walks together or make a surprise dinner. When you aren't fighting, tell your wife "what's something I can do that would make you feel loved? I'd like to know because I love you and I want to show you that." See what she says.

Redirecting it might help...

I have found that understanding helps aid forgiveness and acceptance, which lessens the anger.  I try to direct most of my anger at the ADHD now that I understand (as well as I can) what is going on, just like it would be if his “ailment” was cancer or diabetes.  Like you said, it’s not his fault.  For so long, it's been a blame game between me and him.  I'm trying to move past that by redirecting the anger away from him and toward the ADHD.  It seems to help keep the anger at bay to some degree. 

However, there is a point where he either chooses to own it or not.  When he owns his ADHD, he makes efforts to improve, to be a good husband, to be a better person. I can live with that.  But, when he falls into the pit and chooses to let the ADHD take over and he stops trying, then that’s when I feel the anger rise up.  I think “I’ve not given up yet, and this is your stuff!  How dare you give up and leave me here!!” I've had to learn that it is okay to be angry. It is okay for us to express it as long as we express it in a loving way (yeah, I know that’s not as easy as it sounds).  So much of my relationship has been hiding feelings and emotions because he can’t handle them.  Now I am working on not holding it in (holding it in always makes it worse when it does come out) and expressing myself when the feeling is frustration, before it turns to full-blown anger.  For me in this case, it is the unacknowledged frustration that turns into anger when it is suppressed over time.    I don't know if this made any sense.  I hope it helps someone. :)

Owning up

My DH ultimately won't own up to the ADHD and it's impact on us/me.  That leaves me with either to accept it or don't.  I chose don't.  I feel that I've been verbally and emotionally abused, regardless of MY attempts to address the behavior.  I don't see any of this changing until he is willing to work too.

arwen's picture

it takes two . . . at least

I couldn't agree with you more, it takes two to make your relationship work (and sometimes an army of doctors, counselors and friends/family as well).  I was fortunate that my ADHD husband "owned up" (albeit unwillingly).  If my spouse had taken the same stance as yours, I also would have responded my partner as you have.  Changing your relationship for the better when ADHD is involved can be a very long row to hoe, and I've never yet in all my experience encountered anyone who was able to make any significant change in these relationships, alone.

Every individual has a right to self-preservation.  Kudos for standing up for yourself!

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore

We had a talk last night. I

We had a talk last night. I asked him "why do you disagree with me when I tell you I feel ignored?" He answered "cuz I don't see it that way. From my view I AM paying attention to you." I told him "okay and that's your view but if I feel ignored enough that it becomes an ongoing argument then obviously I see it differently." Idk if anything will change or it'll get better but its the first time I feel he's even heard me.

I don't really believe he

I don't really believe he never hears you, I just believe they have a tendency to feel that their perspective is 'right'. A LOT of progress was made for my husband and I when we finally realized that neither of us is right and neither of us is wrong...we just have our own perspectives and we have to respect that the other's perspective is just as real to them as ours is to us.

Instead of saying "I feel ignored" do something to alleviate your feelings a little, like planning a weekly date night or weekend get away. Say "I would really like to spend a little more time with you" and see how you can compromise so that you feel better about the amount of attention you get from him.

Hhmm quite helpful. I am

Hhmm quite helpful. I am saying that but in a different way then how you put it. Take the accusatory statement out of it. I will try what you suggested and I will be careful to make it a loving convo instead of a "we have a problem" cono. Thanks!
catch22adhd's picture

Amonty thanks for being open.

Amonty thanks for being open.  How do you show someone love who really is not sure what it takes to make them feel loved?  the strategy that I am going to use moving forward is to work on me,  be available and attentive to her and respond to what she has verbally expressed that she wants.  At the end of the day I can not read her mind but I can respond to her and be there emotionally and mentally. Other than that chasing a ghost can be exhausting and I think is unfair.

arwen's picture

what i did about anger

amonty, I don't know if this will help you or not, but here's how it worked for me.

My ADHD spouse was diagnosed about 15 years ago.  When we married, he didn't have many ADHD behaviors because his "flavor" of ADHD is hormone dependent, and the higher hormone levels masked the problems until middle age.  When they reappeared, our marriage slowly began falling apart.  Lots of anger, lots of tears.  He truly believed he wasn't behaving any differently than he ever had.  [He did take meds and counseling, but he also has seasonal affective disorder, which makes problems much worse at certain times of the year.]  We worked hard at addressing the problems -- we read books, we got joint counseling, and some things got better for a while, but then things started getting worse again.  Ten years through this process, I finally encountered the  straw that broke this camel's back (a complete disregard of very careful and explicit instructions which involved about $10K loss), and asked my husband to leave our home.  We were separated for a little less than a year, and we both wanted to save our marriage, but there was so much anger on both sides, we had doubts we would succeed.

We started having formal business-like meetings three times a week to discuss not only logistics but also ADHD issues.  By having them at a set time and place, where we took notes and followed a professional kind of manners (no interrupting, no shouting), it helped keep the lid on anger during these talks.  Also, I came to realize that my anger was actually getting in the way of my husband listening to me -- when *either* of us would get mad, his brain would kind of freeze up, his emotions would take over and he couldn't think, at all. [Anger tends to sharpen my wits, so it never occurred to me that he would experience a totally opposite reaction.]  If I wanted him to try to be rational, to try to think, to try to look at his behaviors, we had to keep anger out of our conversations.  This was very very hard for me to do, I'm an angry, critical person by nature.  But it seemed to me that if I was asking him to make big changes in the way he behaved, I ought to be able to change this one thing about me and work hard to reduce my anger level.

I've written about this elsewhere in more detail, so I won't go into the nitty-gritty again, but my efforts did help us a great deal, and I discovered that the more progress we made, the less angry I felt, and the whole things snowballed.  I don't mean to say that I never ever get angry anymore -- he still does some colossally unfathomable things that create headaches for me -- but I've learned to moderate my response so that it conveys my irritation without making his brain freeze, and he's learned to listen carefully in such situations.  It took us about 3 or 4 years to work this all out, but it was a very positive experience for the most part after the first six months.

If you want to read more, check out my other posts (and some guest blogging) on anger and meetings (a few listed below).  This approach really can help deal with the anger.


Good luck!  I hope something here helps you out or sparks an idea.

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore

wow..cant belive there are others just like me!!

In my heart i am so DONE!!! Been dealing with this with my husband for far too tired of the broken promises, the apologies that mean nothing, the change for a day and back to the same ways the next,,im so done! I trully hate him right now. Im tired of making excuses for him, im tired of not holding him accountable because of his ADHD...things have been really bad the last few weeks, and i see him getting depressed then im afraid he will have a breakdown and i will have t deal with as much as i dont want to deal with him i find myself having to put up with him for the sake of his sanity..BUT WHAT ABOUT MINE?? I feel like my husband is a liability..more trouble that anything else..I have 2 kids but i really have 3.  He doesn't follow through on anything, especially work..(he works from home and travels allot) so on top of all my other resposibilities..i also am constantly checingk his blackberry and laptop making sure he is responding to emails and submitting reports.returning calls..ect ect because he doesnt do it all the time and he is the sole provider  in our home, i feel like if i dont do this we will be homeless because it just a matter of time before he looses his job if they were to ever know how behind he is and how much he BS's his way out of trouble with work daily.  Im so worried about his job that i have had to find work now,i feel like i have to be able to at least cover my mortage if anything were to happen.. i will be working from 10pm-til 6am in a few weeks, so as if i dont have enough going on. I have a 6 year old, a severly ADHD 14 year old, bills coming out of everywhere, a husband with ADHD and now im going to work while everyone is alseep..dont know how i will do it, dont know when i will sleep especially being that school is almost over and the kids will be home..I resent him so much i cant stand it..i cant even hide it anymore, i talk to him only if i have tired of being his cheerleader for everything and get nothing in return.. im empty i have no more to give him..Every little things he does he wants to be praised not trying to be a B*tch but dam it! i dont have time to praise you ever single time you wash a dish cause im too busy being the MAN of the house. Its been 17 years of drama..from drug abuse, mental breakdowns, physical abuse, infidelity, its just way too much for one person to handle.. Im so sorry for ranting..but i just needed to vent.. i have no real friends no one know what i go through...thanks!

There are very few

There are very few differences in our situations, it seems...the main one is that I stepped back out of his life, shut my mouth, and let his chips fall where they may. He lost his job and nearly lost his sanity.

Drug/substance/alcohol abuse? check. Mental breakdowns? check. Infidelity? check. Drama? check. Always having to be a cheerleader, never getting anything in return? check. Going behind him to make sure he keeps his job? check. Resentment? check. Having to go back to work and feeling resentful for that? check. 

Just stop. It isn't working...and even if, in the end, he keeps his job because of're losing so much more. I can assure you, being on the other side of it all, my sanity was not worth him keeping his job. Losing his job was humiliating to him. I hope humiliating enough that he never forgets the feeling. I can assure you I lost YEARS of my life worrying about him losing his job. God help me, I cannot imagine the price it all cost me physically...the cost mentally was far too much, alone.

I will urge you, just like I do others, look at your is ALL ABOUT HIM. You have no room in your life because from dawn to dusk all you think about is him, his ADHD, picking up the slack, etc. STOP. This behavior, although it feels like it is vital to your survival, is just as horrible for the marriage and his ADHD as his ADHD is for the marriage and you. Read and re-read...and re-read...your life is consumed with his ADHD to the point that I doubt you look in the mirror and see someone you recognize and like. Just let it go for now. The person you are, every second of every day, is someone that makes his ADHD worse. You're enabling him. STOP. Before you've lost all ability to pull yourself out of this. You can. He does not have to change for you to find joy in life find time to laugh and love...and you can, believe it or not, love him again without him changing anything. Work on YOU and let him be free to sink or swim on his own. It is f*cking terrifying, I know....but you'll never save him...and you certainly are paying the price personally...and what is the point? Nothing is working.

We are in a much better place now than we have been in a very long time...and I am far more hopeful that he will finally get his ADHD in check (he sees a counselor and his psychiatrist regularly) because there are things that I now just refuse to carry for him...such as his issues with me having to go back to work. He's insecure, in a nutshell, and was giving me the old familiar guilt trip and cold shoulder over my job. I insisted he talk to his counselor about it and am trying very hard to make him see that it is HIS issue, and not something I did wrong or something I deserve to be treated poorly over. He looked to me for a solution (which basically would mean me quitting...and I HAVE TO WORK!!) and I refused to offer him a solution, stressing again that it was HIS issue, not mine. I think he listened. So far, it certainly feels like he did. He went to see his counselor that day and I see much less of the attitude and guilt trip. I just keep hoping that if I quit trying to fix his every problem, he'll be forced to fix them himself. I know, though, he couldn't do this without his counselor...whom he LOVES. 

((((HUGS)))) There is a light at the end of the just have to change your perspective on life and figure out a way to co-exist with him without existing FOR HIM. You can learn to love him again...once you stop living your life to make his better...and that is a choice YOU make that you cannot blame him for, sadly. 

..also, I have a 19 year old

..also, I have a 19 year old who is severely autistic...and a 13 year old daughter. I am having to work nights as well (8p-8a) so I can relate to all of your concerns there too. However, my job has ended up giving me a sense of purpose and independence. I nearly cried more than once when I first started...I did cry on my way home the first night...and found myself looking for reasons to be unhappy with it. But, 6 weeks later, I find satisfaction and security in having something that is MINE. It took me a while to get over feeling resentful of him because I have to work for the first time in our 15 year marriage...but I did. It took me a while to stop feeling guilty for being away from the family. It took a while for everyone to start helping at home so I didn't come home to a disaster (I had to mention this more than once...), but they have. It has all fallen into place and my feelings towards working have changed for the better. Please just hang in there and also try and see the job as a positive in your life...mine is an outlet for me...a much needed outlet. Not only have I made friends who I can have adult conversations with, but I am working with people who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and/or depressed...some with adult ADHD. Very cathartic. Even days when it helps me get perspective on just how well my husband is doing. God has a purpose in just have to hang in there and wait for it. (((HUGS)))

have you been living in my house for 17 years?

Sherri..thanks so much for that reply.. you are ME..Catch22 i applaud your efforts and take it from me..a wife who has been dealing with someone just like you (maybe worse) for years..its going to take allot of work!!! It you mean it, if you want it, DONT GIVE UP.. and if you do nothing else in this process is DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL..and you were cause more damage if you ever say something and not do it! Im sure all the wives will agree that is the absolute worse!


Thank you so much for responding.. it means so much to just have some support..its a nightmare and i have no friends or family i can share my life with.. and quite honesty i dont think anyone will ever understand. You are so right! So funny you said you cried when you went back to work..I cried coming home from my interview, i knew i would get the job, it went really well but i really did not want it (still dont) but i know its some thing i HAVE  to do. I also realized that the reason why i have kept my sanity this long is because i did work before ( i have been home for 3 years, lost me job in 2009). even tho i never shared what was happening in my home with anyone at work, i know that just being out of my house and around other people is what saved me all those years.. i know this working experience is what i need for ME. I just feel horrible about my kids.. i feel like im abandoning them..(even tho they will be sleeping when im gone) Im sure this will pass and this job will be good for me.

I want to just let my husbands actions just take their course but i feel like if i dont do what i do my kids will suffer.. if he were to loose his job, we would be homeless we would loose it all.. this new job of mine doesnt even cover my husband makes a very good living but we dont have a dime and live check to check..its so much to handle but im sure you know what i mean. I am little by little just trying to step back and im hoping he will see that im done with being his babysitter. I have a 14 year old ADHD son who has the maturity of a 9 year old and everyday i see my son turning into my husband, and im going to have to deal with this from both ends for the rest of my life..but i cant.. im physically and mentaly drained, i need to focus on me.. because i dont even know who ME is anymore.. im angry, bitter and dont wantt o be bothered with anything or anybody. My kids need me and i cant give them what they need because i have spent every minute worrying about Dad.

I wish nothing more than to be able to love him again, to be able to respect him,to be able to just help each other like a real marriage and family but i finally realized i cant do it alone.  I have to belive that God doesn't want me to be so miserable, and that he has a better plan for me..just getting inpatient waiting on it.. Thanks again so much.. you were exactly what i needed.


Waited to let GOD's plan play out here too.  Only until I took the "bull by the horns" and got him on the medication, did any change come about.  GOD took both parents away from me at a young age.  I had so hoped this man, this husband, this supposed partner GOD gave me, would cherish me, as much as I cherished him (old

It might not work for

It might not work for everyone, I realize that...but I truly feel that when I started focusing on God and stopped focusing on my DH, things really started to turn around for me. I realize, regardless of ADHD (or any other 'issue' either of us has) that my DH is NOT the enemy...the devil was waging spiritual warfare against us and when I finally started fighting back (had many, many dark depressing days where I almost gave up) things really started to turn around. I believe God does have a plan for all of us and he WILL and CAN turn things around for us and work in ways that we never dreamed possible if we just believe...and be patient. I knew that eventually my DH would get it together or God would show me, somehow, that it was time to move on. I knew there would be no doubt either way. 

Three short months ago our lives were hell. He had been living in the den 24/7, barely working 1-2 days a week, was in COMPLETE denial and blamed me for everything...called me HORRIBLE names and constantly told me how miserable he was...and was drinking himself to death. This had started about 2 years prior....and there truly was no end in sight. Miserable barely describes what our home life was. My 13 year old daughter BEGGED me to divorce him..all.the.time. Now they are as thick as thieves. Him regaining her trust is a huge testament to how well he is doing...she is always the last one to let her guard down with him, understandably. 

But life has turned around for us...he did hit bottom, he lost his job, and if it weren't for my sister we might be homeless indeed. But we are on the other side, he has finally come out of his depression (it started in 2009 when he found out his mom was dying), and he is doing well and taking control of his own treatment. I never gave up hope that God would bless our marriage and help me fight the devil...and I do believe that my faith in Him is what led us to where we are now. But, along with everything God did expect me to focus on myself too...and the biggest thing I had to do was to let go and let Him handle the situation. HARD to do...but I wouldn't change a thing even though my DH lost his job and everything else that happened as a result of me letting go.

Just the fact that you want to love him and respect him again means, in my mind, that you've still go hope. Keep praying...keep trying to focus on you and find the courage to keep going. You are NEVER alone...God is with you, always. 


I guess im in a place where im having a hard time excepting what god has laid out for me thus far..You hear so much about how the Man should be the leader of the household (especially spiritually) how the man should treat his wife, ect ect.. I have read countless books, we have gone to marriage weekends, ect..and its like .."if thats the way its suppose to be then why not for me? Why am i not blessed with a leader, with a protector, with a man who would do anything for me? I get very mad at god sometimes.. if our husbands were picked out for us by the lord then why did i get stuck with this one? I just keep asking god to guide me, show me what he wants me to do.I will definitely start focusing  more on guys are trully a God send!

NOVA1986's picture

Good decision..

focusing about yourself is a great idea. Nevertheless, be patience, one of the things I found out about myself is to be a liitle difficult to let it go. I am doing better than 4 year sago, but I still a lot to improve. You are not alone. Long live women with good hearts and decision makers!