I feel I am out of options

I have just found this blog today and have been reading it off and on all day.  I can relate to most of what everyone says but I think my situation might be slightly different.  I am hoping someone out there can help me understand if our problems are a result of my husband's untreated ADHD or is it just me?  Am I that terrible of a wife?  My husband and I have only been married for just over a year and a half.  We have literally had problems since the day we got married.  For the year and a half we dated, everything (most everything) was wonderful.    I have been married once before and my husband has been married twice before.  It feels like we were destined to doom before we started.

I think my husband's symptoms of ADHD are slightly different than some of the posts I've read so I'm not sure if the ADHD is causing the issues in our marriage or if it just me. In talking to my husband's mom, she confirmed that he had been diagnosed with ADHD as a child and that his adolescence was a very trying time for her.  He is also OCD.  So, everything has to be just perfect. Spices have to be arranged a certain way.  Things can only be stacked in even numbers, laundry folded a certain way, etc.  My husband joined the military at age 27 and excelled at the active duty military life.  He won multiple awards, was promoted quickly, etc. He doesn't forget to pay bills or pick things up.  However, he forgets conversations we have, he follows me around the house asking me the same questions over and over as if the answer I am giving him isn't the answer he wants so he keeps asking until I am worn down and change my answer to satisfy him.   When we talk on the phone he answers everything I say with "ok, that's good".  Even when I test him and tell him the cat has died - I know he's not paying any attention to what I am saying. If he calls me and I don't pick up, he will call back 5 to 12 times in a row.  He will yell at me and say "my wife" should talk to me when I call.  He'll say, "you're the only person I know that won't tell the person you're talking to on the phone to hold on so I can click over and talk to him".  When he goes to play tennis at night and comes home, if I'm on the phone with my mom or friend, he'll tell me I should talk on the phone when he's not there so when he gets home we can spend time together. But then he'll say he will never want to spend time with me in the house just hanging out or watching a movie because he is a social person and people like him.  He prefers to stay up all night drinking and sleep for only 3 to 4 hours maximum. He just got out of the military in December of 2011.  He got a job in sales January/Feb of 2012 and was fired in July for failing an alcohol breathalyzer test at 8 am in the morning.  He has outbursts of rage telling me I have no friends and am not social enough.  It's not enough that I go to parties with him or go to watch him play tennis or play volleyball  but he blows up at me when I'm ready to leave since we are the last ones left at the party or event.  He hounds me over the smallest things.    I run a tight budget in our household because money doesn't grow on trees.  We each get $200 a month to spend on ourselves on whatever we want.  I usually get my nails done, or buy my makeup, hair colored, etc.  It varies from month to month and when my $200 is gone, I don't buy myself anything else until the next month.  however, he always goes over by several hundred dollars and says he deserves more money and that it's not fair that he doesn't get more. He'll go to the bar with his tennis buddies after tennis practice for a few beers and then come home at 4 AM.  He plays the "what if" game and then relentlessly rides my ass when i don't play along.  For example he'll say, what if in 5 years, I get a good job in South Carolina, and you have a good job here where we live now, can we move?  Even though I told him when we were dating that I wouldn't move away from where I was now because my children's father lived here, and I wouldn't move and rip my children out of their dad's life.  I told him, if he wanted to be with me he needed to consider what that meant - being a step dad, living where we were, my extremely busy schedule being a parent and full time job, etc.  I cautioned him again when he proposed.  he said he understood.   Ever since we got married, he hounds me ever day about moving. He is constantly wanting me to look at condos at the beach to buy even though we don't have ANY money to do this and then gets in a rage when I'm not super excited to look at houses we aren't going to buy at the beach.

He just got a new job in South Carolina two weeks ago and calls me today to say he isn't ever coming back and doesn't want to be married to me anymore.  I called his mom and brother and they both basically said, "we really hoped it would work this time".  His mom says every failed relationship he has ever had as been because of his ADHD and his issues.  Now, I'm not saying I don't get angry and lash back out with all of the non-stop calls when i don't answer the firs time. I have been very retaliatory and i take ownership for that.  Is it just me?

I can relate to much of what you are saying...

as my situation with my wife is similar in many ways.

Specifically what you refer to as the "what if" game and being labeled as the "Debby Downer" for not playing along.  In my experience, the "what if " game is simply part of my ADD wife's constant quest for excitement and stimulation from the new, the novel, the bigger-better-more, the "things-she-has-to-look-forward-to-so-she-won't-be-depressed", etc.  As I've mentioned in my own posts, such things take the form of wanting to look for "new" houses in "better" neighborhoods, a nicer car, embarking upon new careers, planinng exciting vacations, scheduling a jam-packed social calendar, etc.  In playing the "what if" game, my wife's "wishes and wants" transform into ideas which in turn transform into possibilities which THEN transform into plans (thought attainable by sheer force of will) which then turn into anger and resentment when they can't be practically fulfilled.

Of course, we can't get that "new" house in that "better" neighborhood because we are TOTALLY upside down on our current, perfectly fine house in our perfectly FINE neighborhood, we can't AFFORD a newer or nicer car for her, or a big beach vacation, and we have OTHER mundane but very necessary responsibilities outside of exciting social outings!  But for me to remind my spouse of this is to be "unsupportive", or Dad-like, or "boring".  This, in turn, leads to resentment of ME on her part,  Which I in turn resent and there we have the vicious cycle.

In a nutshell, I would describe my own experience as an inability on my wife's part to find a happy medium between the life she HAS (which has lots of positives in it but never seems "good enough" or "exciting enough") and the life she WANTS to have - which is at best a highly idealized version of life completely detached from many real-world realities and practicalities).  Right now her "HAS" life and her "WANT" life are miles apart - that chasm has been filled by disappointment and resentment and has pretty much killed our marriage.

It looks like you have not been married very long.  Have you tried marriage counseling?  I hope for you that you and your husband can find peace and compromise - and therein also find happiness and contentment.  Life's too short.

Thank you for your response. 

Thank you for your response.  It certainly helps me to know that there are others in a similar situation.  You are exactly right, I'm the Debbie Downer for not getting excited about beach houses or mountain homes when we are just breaking even today.  My resentment to his anger and then his resentment towards my resentment is such a destructive cycle.  We did try counseling but at the time I am the one who stopped it because I was at my wits ends and felt like I didn't want to be married to him any longer.  He would literally tell me how bad of a person I was while we were in the car on the way to therapy and then we would get into therapy and he would tell the therapist how much he loved me and how if we just communicated better everything would be ok.  He never mentioned the fact that he had been dog cussing me just a few minutes before we arrived.

I read in someone else's post that their ADHD spouse could have an outburst of rage, apologize for it, and then within minutes act as if it never happened.  My husband does this as well.  He will be mean, say he's sorry and then 10 minutes later wonder why I'm upset.  he blames me and says if I could just forgive him everything would be fine.  My point is that I don't want to live every day having to forgive someone for the terrible things they say on an hourly/daily basis.

I am so sad because the love we had before we got married was magical.  I know realize that because we did not live in the same town while we were dating that every time we saw each other, it was new, exciting, etc. which feeds the ADHD person's need for this very type of thing.  Then, when we got married and he moved into my home, I imagine for him it was like he was trapped in a prison.  My daily routine never changes, get up, get kids on bus, go to work, get kids home, do homework, get kids to practice, cook dinner, get kids to bed, collapse on sofa to watch an hour of mindless tv until I go to bed. After reading these blogs I can see where in his mind, I was the most mundane, boring, person on the face of the earth.  He has three children of his own, but they live with their mom so he has never lived the life of a full time parent.  I suspect my ordinary life was too overwhelming for him.  I feel like a failure and my heart is broken because I am just now realizing what has been a large cause of our issues, and I'm afraid it is too late to change it.



Because I'm in a similar boat I'm inclined to say it is most definitely not you!  My husband does a lot of the same things you mentioned... mostly the forgetting conversations and the constant rages and the apology marathon afterwards that lasts only until the next rage.  and then he wonders why I never respond to his million n one "I love you's"  I don't think I do love him, and that scares the mess outta me that Im kinda stuck with a nut coz I don't believe in divorce without seriously good cause. 

And like you I sometimes rage back until I realize what the real issue is, then I check out of the conversation with either headphones or silence.  I REALLY hate the conversations we have during the apology period because he'll sit there and be so contrite and reasonable and open and ready for change. And be repeating the same epiphanies from previous conversations about the same exact topic. "I need to be a better husband"  "I know I was wrong"  "yes, you're right"  "I need to change that"  "I know you're tired of hearing me say sorry"  "I'll show you I'm serious".  I mean on and on he goes and I just have zero patience for it now. 

I truly hope you find peace, I'm still searching...

YOur husband must be my

YOur husband must be my husbands twin! Same exact thing... i truly don't think i love him either...i know i care and i dont want anything bad to happen to him but i have given up on having a real marriage and having a real relationship...i get caught up in those "Im sorry" conversations that promise the world, and then it hurts so much more when hedoes the same crap over and over again.

It's not you!

Consider yourself blessed if he has left! If you have only been married a year or so, you can count on most of what has been said in these posts as being prophecies of your YOUR coming life. The fact that you could look at how he has acted and still wonder if it is you, shows you are already loosing it because of his craziness --  marriage with a person like this sucks the self confidence right out of you.

Sixty percent of ADHDers have other coexisting mental problems. Look up Aspergers and see if any of that pertains. The preoccupation with numbers and stacking and perfection would seem to point strongly in that direction.

Get out while you can unless you have a deep seated need to be abused your entire life. This guy doesn't sound like a person you will want to hang onto in the years to come. Listen to his mom and brother and realize you want to be part of the PAST WIVES club, not the current infatuation object.

Sorry to be so blunt, but your life is ahead -- and this is the point where you decide if it will be good or miserable. Listen to these people!!!!

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your post.  Deep down I know it's not me.  I just feel like a failure because this is my second failed marriage.  It rips me up inside.  I want so very badly to show someone all of the love I have to give.  I feel so bad for my children.  I thank God that their father is a constant in their life.  He lives just down the road.  I have not told them yet that their step dad isn't coming back.  We tried very hard not to argue in front of them, but they know we did.  Children are so smart.  Funny thing is, he's been gone for two weeks and they haven't really asked about him too much.  I just pray every day, that I haven't ruined their chances for a good relationship when they grow up. 

They may be glad...

You are right -- children are so perceptive. And they are also pleasers -- and may have been trying to accept daddy's behavior for your sake. They may also be breathing a sign of relief in their silence.

My last husband of 4 years was the worst of my 4 ADHD partners. I finally realized there was a lot of ADHD in my family growing up (and probably some other mental issues), and I was picking these guys because they felt "normal" to me. I was a magnet for people in pain because I had grown up with a lot of pain and learned to overcome it. I thought everyone was looking for the help I was looking for as a child and young adult. I saw each of them as sad and misunderstood. But I understood!!!!! Lucky them and lucky me because I had found a diamond in the rough!!!

Read all you can about abusive relationships, ADHD, Aspergers, borderline personality disorder, etc., and approach the next relationship fully armed. Don't get sucked into this pattern like I did. I never realized that not everyone wanted to be a better person and have a better life. But now I know there are MANY MANY (possibly unintentional) con artists and mentally abusive people out there that will not want to be better and will NOT want to be the kind of person you would like to be. They are drawn to your strength so you will take care of them -- not so they can learn from you. And they can turn downright nasty if you don't take care of them the way they want to be taken care of!

You are doing the right thing. Be strong. A word to the wise.



stay away

your husband has more than adhd going on. he is a narrcicist and has addictive tendancies, which is often a seld medication for impulsive behaviors in bi polars and add'ers.  for a narrcicist, the marriage was the final elemant that saw him seeing you as seperate from him [as he did in the dating stage] to merging with him in his mental eye. he now cannot see you seperate from him, with the right to your own feelings, thoughts, actions. you will now, like every partner before you, need to be exactly like him, go the same way, be a match to his thoughts, feelings, actions, wants, desires, needs, etc. he no longer sees you or can allow you to be a complement to his life but rather you are a implement to his. it is not a two way relationship but rather his grooming of you to be a one way relationship--his way.  military life suits a person like this because of the rigidity and hierachy in the structure, but relationships cannot have that kind of heirachy or control because they must allow for feelings and space and holding resepct for each other. his is not with even the basic ability to do the simplist base requirements for a realtionship to last and grow. i feel for your loss but i am happy that one] his narricism didnt erode your need to keep your kids close to their dad. 2] isnt going to marr your children. no child should grow up in such a household with this guy, he is controlling, unempathetic, and narrcistic. whats worse, with his unwillingness to alter or even consider the extrmeity of his behavior, it will be normalized in the housegold [as it has been with you, your an adult and your questioning yourself on if you messed up] so if your confuded, inagine what this guy has done to your childrens sense of what id normal. you cannot let a guy this controling be around your children as if you do have a daughter, she will internalize his behavior as normal and--becasue she could never get his love or genunie attention--she may find hersefl again and again with a controling unable to please guy such as he is when she grows up. imagine how you;ll feel watching her helplessly try to please a controlling bf in highschool that is abusive to her. you'll feel tremendous guilt. dont let this man be a template for normal behavior in a relaitonship, he isnt normal. unless he wants to stay in one place and acknowledge the cause and effect of his actions on relatiomnship, he is hell on wheels until then. read the verbally abusive relaitonship by patrica evans, it has brilliamt insight into the minds of controlling men, add or not. read how to be an adult in a relaitonship by david ricchi and learn first hand how your guy did aboout every possible thing to destroy the union between you. and how your pateince and willingness to take responsibity for the issue or the loss are exactly why he was with you in the first place. give yourself time to heal from this person, he acted with complete non integrity toward you and your children.  

and i have just read your replys above to posts and must agree with lynnie, if this is your first add'er slash add-addict-bipolar, etc, you need to take this time to greive the loss--of everythign, the relationship, the trust you placed into this man to hold your desires for a lasting union and stabilty for your kids, etc. and you need to prob know as many healthy red flags that will help you strengthen your borders so another one like this doesnt must thru. a man has children and does not see them? massive gigantic red flag. if this man can let his children--who must need him and miss him like any child would--go without him, if he can willingly abandon these children there is no way in hell he is going to have any allience or obligation to you or your children. if a man isnt a good father to the most innocent beings that he is responsible for he isnt going to be a good partner for you and he certainly isnt going to care for your children. a man who abandons his own children is an abandoner in general and a heart ache waiting to happen. guys like this always blame the x for why they arent in their childrens lives but i guarantee you, no woman carries a child or three into the world to then want to be without a partner or a father for those children. no woman gets pregnant with a man and says, you know what? i think id actually like to raise children 24/7 all by myself, take care of a house, pay bills etc. it sounds fun! no woman does that, if he has some reason in his head he isnt in his kids lives, its an excuse he tells himself to evade responsibility. im sorry your kids got hurt, but think about it from their perspective, they didnt get the good stuff [the love and bond thru dating] that you got with him. becaseu you bonded to him thru romatic love, you have been way over willing to accomodate behavior that to your kids must seem like a freak! they are better off without them, explain that you made a mistake and promise them you wont make it again,. then set about educating yourself on how not to enable an addict or mentally ill person. al anon meetings are great to help see the signs and it connects you face to face with other women who have had similar partners.