Dark times here. My ADHD husband and I are currently dealing with a stressful situation with a neighbor. At the beginning of this situation, I had him deal with it because he is more of a people person. However, he screwed that up and put us in a situation where the neighbor is still wronging us and is now angry about the situation. So I stepped in. I'm the one dealing with the attorneys, I'm the one dealing with neighborhood groups, and I'm the one who is getting the brunt of this very serious problem.
Well, Monday I lost it. I totally snapped in a horrible, public way. I'm frightened and embarrassed at my behavior. I spent the evening sobbing on the couch and even called a warmline. It's bad.
I told ADHD husband that it was all too much, and I needed him to take over for me for two weeks. This should not have been a surprise. We have been dealing with this situation since 2017, and for the last few weeks I've been telling him frequently that I am not mentally okay. (Neighbor situation is almost identical to a huge trauma trigger for me, and we have discussed that at length.) I told him that I needed him to get up to speed on the situation by reading the email thread between me, another neighbor, and the community group and for him to take over talking to them about mediation. Now, I forwarded that email to husband last week, but he hadn't looked at it. Mind you, at the time I'm telling him this, I'm sobbing and also, I only asked him to take over for TWO WEEKS.
He pauses for a very long time, and starts sputtering out reasons why he can't help me with this situation which also involves him. I explain how badly I need his help and he explains that he has anxiety over sending emails, and is worried about messing up again. Have I mentioned that 50% of his job is sending emails? He realizes what an idiot he's being. Now, as I mentioned, Im in a severe mental-health crisis. I want to be curled up in a ball and wailing. I explain to him that I can't talk about it now, but that I don't expect him to do it all on his own, and I want him to give me updates and run things by me, I just need a break. Then he starts asking me questions about the email that he should already know. I repeat that I'm not okay and can't talk about it now. He asks more questions. I tell him I can't talk about it (I'm literally unable to stop crying and it's been HOURS since I started). I explain that I need him to be here for me and that I don't want to be telling him what exactly I need in this situation, but since I'm telling him, I need him to listen to me. Yadda yadda yadda, I eventually cry myself to sleep.
Yesterday, dude bops home from work like nothing happened. I ask him to stop and get McDonald's for the kids because we have leftovers and they have activities. He acts like I'm putting too much on him. He gets home and I mention that it's Valentines day and I thought that since I really needed him yesterday and he couldn't be there for me that he would want to make it up in some way. He says "I don't have any money, sorry." I counter with "well, I bought the kids candy they like and that cost me 60 cents. I'm sure you can come up with something" He says "Sorry." I say "the gas station is right up the street." He looks sad and says "sorry."
So in the course of two days, I have laid out that I am having a mental health crisis and need his help and he responds that he's afraid of emails. Then I tell him that I'm feeling really hurt by his actions and that valentine's day is an easy way to make me feel loved, and he refuses to do anything at all.
It turns into an argument and he is completely blown away. In his mind, I was having a hard time and he agreed to help me with something and now I wasn't letting it go. In my mind, all the pressure of this thing that he has not been helping with became too much and I had to add fighting with him just to get a two-week mental break. He's saying things like "you'll never let me live this down and all I did was pause after you asked me" I'm like "when I'm in a situation this serious, I need you to enthusiastically agree with me and not fight" He's like "You only had to ask me twice before I agreed." I'm like "I'm losing my mind. You should have noticed and stepped in. Me getting my shit together enough to tell you exactly what you need to do instead of making you guess should be a relief for you, not a burden." He says "Well, I guess we should get divorced then" I say "I do not want to get divorced, but if we stay married, I need to come to terms with the fact that no one will be there for me when I need it." He tried to argue that he is always there for me, so I told him that he could continue his argument when he could mention just ONE time that he was there for me when I needed him. That made him stop. He ran to the gas station and bought me ice cream.
I know what's coming next. He's going to be angry that I'm angry with him, but he's not going to tell me, he's just going to do shitty things for a while. I can't have that. We fought all night with me trying to get him to see that I was in a bad place and didn't ask that much of him. He thinks he's a hero who agreed to help his suffering wife. I think he made a situation 100x worse and left me to clean it up and when I couldn't take it anymore I still had to fight him for a break. As of this writing he still has not responded to the community organizer who asked him specific questions in the email (I had emailed saying I was losing it and needed my husband to take over for a bit and introduced him to the group.)
But from past experience, he isn't going to remember this. And some day he is actually going to forget how much he hurt me and will joke about "that time I got mad at him because he was afraid to send an email." How do I make this stick?