I Love Him But I Have To Leave Him

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I found this site because I was creeping on my ADHD husband.  More specifically, I was searching (and frantically I might add) variations on a screen name that I found earlier that day connected to email accounts, connected to dating/porn/sex sites.  This is one of the sites that popped up, and by the way, as if I needed to feel anymore like Alice going down the rabbit hole, I saw that his ex-wife had posted and directed my husband to this site while they were married!  

Before I get to 'the good stuff' as it were, I want to thank all who post here, it has been a huge help over the last 2 years.  If nothing else I am reminded that I'm not the only one going through this.

Here we go....I met my husband on a dating site (go figure) while I was in law school in his home state.  We started dating and fell in love pretty quickly. He told me he had ADHD, he said he was medicated, and despite the huge red flags, e.g. his children did not like him, his exes wanted to kill him, and he had some real 'mommy' issues, I believed all in all he was a pretty good man.  Now, 4 years later I realize I never really knew him at all.

I realize that we moved very quickly, and I take full responsibility for this.  However, I do not take responsibility for an almost 50 year old man's inability to be accountable.  At this point I would love to say something like, "he has really great qualities," but as I said I don't even really know this man.  

When I met him he was unemployed and living in a house that was being foreclosed on, he had been married 3 times, had four kids, and had no immediate plans for where he was going to go or what he was going to do.  Still, I loved him and so I chose to ignore the fact that he cheated on wife #1 (good girl) with wife #2, and then married wife #2, only to go on to #3, who by the way had had a threesome with hubby and #2.  I should have run, I know, but the truth is I'm no angel and financial difficulties are nothing new to me.  Now though, even reading this, I can't imagine that I was so blind to how utterly (fill in the blank) stupid/blind/in love/naive I was!

After we had been together 8 months we moved in together and hubby was looking for a job...and this is where everything started falling apart!  He had interviewed with a company and we both felt good at his chances, however, he was extremely anxious waiting to see if he would get an offer or not.  One morning I woke up and he was not in bed.  I saw that he had put a sticky note on my laptop next to the bed saying something to the effect of 'went for a walk.'  Was that unusual? Yes. Was I suspicious? Nope.  I was probably in the best place of my life in terms of who I am and what I wanted to create in my life.  I didn't have any reason to worry, and so I didn't. 

I got up, started coffee, and I could see him pacing up and down the sidewalk in front of our place, and he was on the phone.  Still not worried though, despite the fact that it was November in Michigan...I remember looking at him walking and thinking how sexy he was and how much I loved him.  Shortly thereafter, he came into the house and he had the strangest look on his face, I would come to know that look well...panic, chagrin, shame...just basically the little boy lost look.  I'm going to pause the story of us here and take you back to his life prior to meeting me.

When he and # 3 were splitting up he would meet this woman that he worked with after/during work and she would give him...well, it involved her haded and a body part of his.  When he told me about this (and I realized much later that he told me a lot, if only I had paid attention) I immediately started referring to her as hand*** girl.  Honestly, she was then and always will be hand*** girl to me.  In any case, when he told me this story I immediately asked if #3 knew about this while they were splitting up.  He told me "no," I said, "that's cheating," he said, "not really because we were over."  Now...I really really really should have run, but nope, I thought I was special and he would never ever do anything like this to me.

Ok, I told you all of that to tell you this, he came into the house, I was sitting on the edge of the bed, and he proceeded to tell me that he had called hand*** girl because she still worked at the place where they met, as an aside he was fired from that job, and he wanted to check with her and see if anyone from the new job had called the old job.  Here's the thing, had he asked me if he could have called her I wouldn't have had any issue with it.  In fact, he could have just called her without asking permission.  The jig is up, we are in our 40's, both have had sex with other people, and sometimes those people remain on the fringes of our lives.  No, I didn't have an issue with him calling and asking what he did (and I believe that is why he called), what I had the issue with is the complete lack of character this man displayed.  The 'its easier to ask forgiveness than permission' attitude.'  It just smacks of selfish, immature, unaccountable behavior.  

Needless to say I was extremely upset.  Hysterical even.  I had pinned so much on this person (my fault), that for him to display this behavior was just beyond my comprehension.  The worst part was, as I was crying and trying to explain why I was upset, he just kept repeating that he didn't do anything wrong.  He didn't have sex with her, nor was he trying to thus, he did nothing wrong.  Now I understand that for hubby, if he doesn't have sex, its not wrong.  The problem is, he so easily justifies any his bad behavior that I really believe that he could have been intimate with others and just chalk it up to "we were having a bad time," doesn't count, "I needed, no I DESERVE it," doesn't count...you get the picture.  Anyway, I stayed.

Over the next few years there were incidents, e.g. saw him perusing craigslist on his phone (casual encounters), he was just looking at porn he said, he had access to all of my passwords, etc., his stuff was locked down (he's an IT guy), "lost" his phone for 4 hours while I was out of town taking exams...you know...nothing definitive, but enough to give me pause.

Here's what I have learned, my hubby is a master at creating plausible deniability.  The beginning of the end for us was me finding the secret email accounts and dating sites.  Even now, even while he's asking me not to leave him, he insists that the accounts were not secret because they were in our computer in a security file that I had access to.  In a way this is true, they were there, but I would have no occasion to go into this file, and even if I did I would not have known they were attached to email accounts.  Essentially, it is my fault for not looking harder.

There is more, but it would be too difficult to go into it since most of it involves intuition and well, sketchy behavior on his part.  Like I said, plausible deniability.

To this day I don't know if he actually had any physical or even cyber contact with anyone else, a fact that he points out routinely as a reason for not leaving him.  Here's the thing, when he says that to me he reminds me of some of my criminal clients who, after arrest and while in jail and after admitting to me what they did, will say to me "but where's the video though?"  Meaning, if the State can't prove it then it never happened.  They don't get the distinction between not doing the bad act and the State not being able to prove they did the bad act, for them, and for hubby, it is one in the same.  

I have left out a lot, both good and bad, in the interest of saving your time, but I am certain some of you can relate to what I have written.

The main thing I want to say to all of you lovely people out there, especially the ones trying to make a marriage with someone who has ADD or ADHD and can't/won't get help...leave.  I know it sounds callous, but we only have one life, and I honestly believe that when we stay we enable this behavior.  Hubby asked me what I would do if in 20 years I figured out I was completely wrong about him cheating on me.  I told him and now I'm telling ya'll, if I die and go to heaven and St. Peter is waiting at the Pearly Gates, and he tells me that I was wrong, Hubby never cheated, well, I'm okay with that.  I love the man I thought I was with, and to some degree I love the man I was actually with, but I do not like the man I was actually with.  He made me feel small, unimportant, ugly, and stupid.  In addition, his actions had me so crazy that I was actually joining these cheating/dating sites to see if I could find him! What a waste of precious time.  

Finally, leave leave leave...you cannot control anyone except yourself, and if there is someone in your life making you hurt, separate yourself from this.  This is not the same thing as your partner dying from cancer.  ADHD requires the person who suffers with it to make a decision to get help.  I know its difficult, and I know part of the illness is denial and non compliance with meds...but we do not excuse a drunk driver when they get on the road and kill someone.  Why should you excuse a person's socially unacceptable behavior, particularly where it is abusive.  Trust me, it hurts, but just leave!