I couldnt take it anymore

I am in the process of leaving a 20 year marriage to a man with substance abuse and ADHD.   He only decided to seek help after I left.. despite years of me knowing something was terribly wrong.  While he is improving I no longer want to stay in the marriage.  This has been more of a parent child relationship and I believe he needs to learn how to be on his own and take care himself through the help of his therapist.  Im finding a common thread from reading through this forum that ADHD'ers tend to be self centered and narcisstic.  Living with him made me physically ill because of the stress level of having to keep up with his lifestyle and needs.  He was a compulsive shopper and always had to have the biggest and best of everything.   So that lead to longer than normal work days for me so we would be financially secure enough to continue to support these shopping binges.  I paid for improvements to the house and for helpers to keep it up.  Its frustrating when I read how the non ADHD spouse should handle the ADHD spouse by hiring out help for things around the house.   Shouldnt part of their treatment be to take responsibility for their actions?  Why should the non ADHD spouse continue to suffer the wrath of mood swings, selective memory and when intoxicated.. abusive behaviour?  Sorry if I sound selfish.. but Im turning 45 tomorrow and have a chance at a normal life and hopefully a normal relationship someday.   I hope my spouse can make those changes so that someday he can be a partner that can contribute instead of sucking the life out of you.  Dont get me wrong.. there are times when he's been a great guy and stepped up to the plate.. but usually when it benefitted him the most for doing it.. always strings attached.. I wish him well and I wish him the best but I dont think that non ADHD spouses should have to continue to compromise their well being (physically and mentally) and cowtow to the ADHD spouse..  they should be made to step up to the plate and be accountable for their actions. 

Happy Birthday misclaims

I read it once, then twice.  I feel your pain.  I understand everything you are saying.  I am married 25 years and I am 49.  I have been to hell and back and back and back and I am there now.  I wish I had a more positive swing on things, but all I want to say to you is "good for YOU".  NO...you don't have to suffer anymore.  There is only so much a human being can take.

I wish you all the best in getting out of this marriage with as little problem as possible and I hope the rest of your life is joyous and happy and free from the PRISON  that being married to an ADHD partner who cannot/will not improve, is.


P.S.  There is nothing selfish in your post, that I could see....NOTHING.  We cannot allow ourselves to be mistreated forever.  There is something definitely wrong with that....moving on makes sense....perfect sense


me too


In the process myself--just left a 12 year marriage to a man with ADHD and other issues, last week, and I am also in my forties. Much of this website, and the advice of Melissa in her book, and any successful couple you see navigating marriage when one or both partners has ADHD, requires that both partners participate. If you put up with 20 years of abusive behavior with someone who has substance abuse problems and compulsive spending problems, and lived with that much stress, and he did not acknowledge, address, or work on his issues--then I congratulate you for putting yourself first, and taking care of yourself. As you said: I have said it to myself many times over the past week--"I get to have a life now." 

You may want to consider therapy for yourself. I lived through quite a bit of abusive behavior and am just now discovering how traumatic it really was for me. It has helped me immensely as I start this new chapter. Best of luck to you. It is a great to stop worrying about navigating around someone else, and to simply navigate yourself. 

Thank you .. I do believe Im

Thank you .. I do believe Im going to seek treatment for myself... I find myself struggling with things and have started a new relationship.. but the baggage of my old one is causing issues.. and I need to work on these things.

I had my own issues of medicating myself with alcohol because sometime the pain of dealing with everything was too much.. in addition to this, I have two elderly parents with multiple health issues and sometimes it all just became too much for me..

So i need to break my own patterns too.. and learn how to move forward and be in a normal healthy relationship.

thanks all for your input!