I salute all the spouses that stayed with their ADHD partners, YOU ARE GODS. YOU ARE SAINTS. YOU ARE ANGELS. 

I decided to leave. I cannot take care of myself anymore, let alone a man-child. I feel like when my ADHD partner is around, I worry incessantly, "is he paying the bills?" "Is he looking for a job?", "how many hours of video games has he played?", "we talked about wiping toothpaste off the sink today, did he remember to do it?". 

When my ADHD partner is around, I am always on alert, "is he going to tell me I'm a thunder cunt for nagging?", I only asked him 4 times in four days whether he signed up for a job fair, that's why I'm a thundercunt. Thanks, partner, you're so supportive. 

When I'm working on graduate school work and assignments, paper-writing, student essay-grading, I am always anxious, "is he going to walk in and start forcing me to have sex?", "if I say no is he going to take it as a yes?", he only told me "You're no fun." when I refuse to have sex, and we ALWAYS have sex 3 times a week, is that not enough? 

When the ADHD partner is here, I don't relax, I can't relax, I do not know how to relax. Do you experience this?

I'm so done with dating someone with ADHD. NEVER AGAIN. When somebody has ADHD, and when you learn that person is living in the basement of his ex-girlfriend's, and that the ex-girlfriend basically kept him as a pet in the basement and provided all the groceries, gave him a credit card to swipe, gave him dinner on the table, and paid for his phone-bill, car insurance bill, internet bill, and a place for him to bring his new girlfriend to bang rent-free, RUN, RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

If you are reading this and you're thinking that you've met your Peter Pan, stop right there. Read more about what an ADHD partner can do. They will make you miserable. And I stand by that, because I experienced the lies, the deceit, the anger, the impulsivity, the inability to control their emotions, the inability to comprehend their partner's needs and functioning only on their time (which is NOW and NOW ONLY). You want to STOP pretending you can be that person to change them, or make them be a better version of themselves or that they will be gainfully employed after you've tried to schedule a routine to help him get a job, learn interview skills, do drills for interviewing for jobs.  

Never trust an ADHD'er when they tell you they're sorry, they are not sorry, they are only saying sorry so you would stop being mad at the time. Never let an ADHD'er have a second chance when they smashed your computer, threw coffee on your face, and yelled in your ear that 'you're a fucking bitch and a brat, leave me alone.' when I ask him 'why can't you get your shit together.' Yes, I want him to be employed, to set goals for himself, to be socially proper, to stop playing video games ,to stop being lazy, to live fully and not in a fantasy land of simply NOW in a no-ness.

I'm sorry all ADHD'ers, I have failed you. I don't understand you. I guess an analogy is that instead of being physically handicapped, you are mentally handicapped, but instead of getting help like getting a wheel-chair and doing physiotherapy and using the ramp like a physically handicapped would, you decided that mental handicappedness is not a source of inconvenience to yourself and others. You continue to make your non-ADHD partners worried sick, to the point that they CANNOT think and literally want to pull all their hairs and scream on the top of their lungs "FUCKING HEAR ME OUT! STOP BEING SO DIFFICULT!!!!!" 

And with that, I salute all the spouses that stayed with their ADHD partners, YOU ARE GODS. YOU ARE SAINTS. YOU ARE ANGELS. 

I'm Done

After 20 years of marriage I'm done.  I can no longer worry about everything you mentioned above.

After he started beating me thats it.  I'm 63, he is 60.


I wish you well, and I do understand.


7 years and I am worn out and done too. Cheers to those who have survived, adapted and overcame. I am not made for this "Non-ADHD" spouse job. Thank you for posting that you made me feel better for being truthful to myself.

I hear you

i hear you, and I think you did the right thing. Why waste your life enabling his bad behavior when he won't help himself? You have chosen to be a survivor, not a victim, which is the only viable healthy alternative available to you. I got out of my chaotic relationship too, and it took a while to totally be free of the anxiety over his unpredictable anger, but I know I did the right thing.  Now I have a peaceful, predictable life.  Nobody should be a martyr for their partner's bad behavior, even if they decide to stay with them. 

The winding road to freedom

I talked to my therapist the other day of my ambivalence to leave my H with 2 small children who love their playful affectionate Dad, not that they can ever depend on him but at 2 & 4 they don't really understand that yet. She explained my situation as a winding road with blind corners. That for a while I will only be able to see just in front of me and not know what will be around the corner until I reach my destination. But if I take small steps (pit stops) towards freedom I will end up making it around each corner safely and end up somewhere wonderful. I think this is a good analogy. With kids, I cannot make drastic changes and can only manage taking "pit stops" towards a change that is good for me and kids. Our lives are not in danger, otherwise, I would make a drastic change immediately. It is more that this spouse of an ADHD person is something I cannot deal with. It is me who cannot roll with the ADD lifestyle (not saying he is not at any fault). He is not a bad person he is just a very difficult person for my type of personality to understand and work with and that is ok. Pit stop on the road #1 Separating finances #2 accepting its ok this is not working for me! Not sure what # 3 is yet but most likely finding a job that makes enough money in case child support is an issue. She recommended a book to me "Crazy Time" by Abigail Trafford. Plan on reading it.

Wow.  What a post.  Here's

Wow.  What a post.  Here's the thing: we are not saints, many of us are just too beaten down to leave OR in too much financial mess from our ADHD partner's irresponsibility to be able to leave.  I am 46, DH is 48.  We have been married for 22 years and can I tell you--IT SUCKS.  Nothing happy or calm here.  It's funny, I was coming here to write about how nothing ever changes and then I read yours.  There is nothing to be proud of for those of us who have stayed.  I am terribly disappointed in myself for staying this long and not being strong enough to put a stop to the crazy ridiculous behaviors all these years.  Conversations that are forgotten or remembered wrong, little petulant pouting when things don't go their way or you call attention to something dumb that they did, the insistence on whatever they think at the moment is the gods honest truth when you know damn well it's not, and the messes.  OMG the messes.  The desk, the closet, the garage--embarrassing.  The money either misused or used to clean up a mess.  And the thing that is really bothering me--my 17 YO son who thinks his father is a hero (no really--he wrote an essay for his junior year english class on a hero and he chose his father) because in an effort to keep our family at least a little bit normal, I didn't let the kids know what really goes on and look what that got me.  My 17 year old son laughs at me, is patronizing and dismissive in front of his father and his father says nothing.  The child does not know all the wasted money, the other three women, how when his dad moved out for 6 months "because we were too much for him" he wouldn't take my calls or even tell me where he was living for that whole time.  And just when I have a glimmer of hope...BAM...something happens again.  Tuesday I had words with the 17 YO who was being a total jerk and his dad sits there and says nothing.  And as a result, DH has been super quiet all week, the child is being all nice and solicitous with his dad and barely a word to me.  That is my punishment for bringing up something uncomfortable.  And here we are going into a weekend.  Which promises to be a very quiet one.  

Being married to an ADHD person is hell.  Not one easy or calm thing about it.  I hate every minute of it.


Lies or out of touch with reality or compaigning

I, too am ashamed of myself for staying and for trying to be a good wife and for not sharing with my sons the diffictulties of 40 years.  And my sons, too, think H is a great guy.  H told my son this morning that the dog kept him up the entire night.  How could that be? when H was sleeping on a different FLOOR than I and the dog was right next to me the entire night?  Last week H told my son that he spent "half the morning" working with our granddaughter's temper tantrum...when in fact I was the one who was up with the granddaughters at 5:30 and was with them the entire morning.  H spent 5 minutes that morning with the granddaughter. I was with her during that tantrum for 30 minutes. H only came into the room with them right before my son came in at about 11am.

I don't know if he believes his lies or if it is campaigning lies to SEEM as if he is a good guy.  It is only when we have visitors that he pays attention to the dog...never takes the dog out or feeds the dog or pets the dog....unless someone is visiting to SEE him do those things....THEN he holds the dog on his lap and talks about ALL the things they do together....(which in reality -  nothing).  Made up stories or exaturated.  ACTUALLY, when H comes into the room the dog is in, the dog comes running for cover to sit on my lap. H is a tease and he slams things.

Is H out of step with reality OR he is not much more than a politician who is putting on a show to be something he is not. A "Let's not ans SAY we did;" kind of guy.  Does he not realize that I am standing right there while he says these things?  obviously he does not care or really does not realize that what he says is just not true.... Memory or just pulling the wool over people's eyes?  

Then, what is the best response?  To challenge him?  No, that does not do any good.  Just to learn and observe and keep myself out of it. You would think that after all these years I would know him.  But I really don't know him and was giving him WAY too many benefits of the doubt for WAY too long.

No kudos to me for staying.  I am ashamed of myself.

Oh jennalemone, I am right

Oh jennalemone, I am right there with you doll.  Most of the time my strategy is to not care enough that anything bothers me.  We rarely go out in public together so who would witness that bizarreness?  My DH rarely remembers conversations we have about pretty much anything.  Kinda demoralizing to live with that for all these years.  So I have stopped telling him stuff.  It's not like he notices, so who cares?  The thing I don't like is my thought process and actions--for example, we have a ton of medical debt from a surgery I had last summer and from the 17 YO being in rehab and yet I spent $150 on two necklaces that I wanted.  Now, understand that I manage our money and I have paid back 3 big debts in the past several months but still.  What am I trying to prove?  I don't like that side of me.  Just this morning, I had a haircut that was supposed to be at 9am and got pushed to 10am.  I didn't tell him of the time change, left the house as if I was going to the 9am appointment and went out to breakfast by myself instead.  Now, that $18 is not going to break us, but I don't like myself very much when I act like that.  I want to take the high road but then it seems like there is not even A road, never mind a high road so who cares?  Not an attitude I am proud of.  Once I am able to split from DH, I am not sure I could be with anyone else.  I really want to live alone for a nice long while and get my feet under me again.  I feel like the  non-ADHD folks here get sucked into the bizarre-ness that is an ADHD person and almost forget how to act like a normal human, with no secrecy, no covering up bad behavior because there is no bad behavior, no messes because the person keeps their shit together, no unfinished projects because the person actually completes tasks like an adult, no pouting or tantrums when things don't go their way because the other person actually behaves like an adult.  What would that be like?

Same here

Paton, same here. We've been married 33 years and I left last year because I couldn't handle any more. After so many years I DESPISED myself for staying for so long. Ashamed of this, and couldn't even look in a mirror. I found out he told both our daughters "Don't let true love get away, because I let MY true love get away".  His true love obviously was not ME, so why did he even ask me to marry him? He's been in touch with his " true love" all through our marriage.(come to find out) And, that's on top of the affair he had with a much younger woman.(younger than our daughters)

       I too don't think I could ever have another relationship because of having so LITTLE love in this marriage, and having so MUCH difficulty. We couldn't talk through anything, because he would say, "I don't say things right", and just leave it at that. It took every bit of everything out of me, and I became a non person. I certainly didn't feel like a WOMAN any longer.

I'm embarrassed to admit this

I'm embarrassed to admit this to anyone I know personally, but I too feel like a non-person and asexual.  I've been reducing my already nearly nonexistent social interactions.  I no longer go on Facebook.  I don't initiate many conversations at my job.  When I go out in public, I prefer to not be seen by anyone I know.  This is what can happen after a 30-plus-years' marriage to a person with ADHD, who did things like say, "Oh, would you like it if I called you on the phone?" and I would say yes, and then he wouldn't call, and then he'd ask again, and I'd say yes again, and the same thing would happen.  The person who knows me best decided being with me and talking to me was less appealing than living with his parents, which includes changing his mom's diapers and being harassed by his dad.  I can say, it's not me, it's him, but it still hurts like hell.

Poison Ivy, How U Doing?

I appreciate your input coming here to share your continuing story.  And that it is difficult after it is over too because of lost years, loss of identity and lost dreams.  I think this is the reason so many of us cling to the difficult situation of sharing a life with a partner who is uncooperative.  We can't envision a life of positive relationships in the future....like we are damaged goods, our faith and outlook has been conditioned out of us after a LONG life of compromising and enabling and unanswered prayers.  

After the chair has been pulled out from under us for the hundredth time, we EXPECT that chairs will be pulled out again and again and no longer are able to trust that someone can be depended on and we become loners for the sake of our safety.  I never wanted to be an independent wife.  I wanted a MARRIAGE and FAMILY. H acted like an independent boy for 40 years while we were married and I acted like a member of the A team but the other members weren't showing up but the team got the kudos for the things I did in their name anyhow.  What a blind fool I have been.

AND I foresee that if I walked out the door, H would get half of all I worked for and I would get the whole of the messes he has made because he does not SEE or is able to manage things.

I have seen you write with self awareness and strength.  And remember you have daughters who are smart and know how things are and were. Can I ask you some questions?  Now that you can talk about the relationship more clearly and open, how do your daughters and friends respond and support you?  Does your ex bash you?  This is something I am afraid of....for some reason I can't seem to find the strength to walk through the retaliation and name-calling I know H is capable of.  I think of myself as strong and self aware, but I can't put my finger on EXACTLY what it is that I am afraid of.  I know that what I am afraid of is only in my mind....but can't seem to slay this invisible dragon.  You seem to be in the place where I am afraid to be.  Can you update me on your journey?  

I am afraid of my own anger and hurt.  I am afraid of poverty and loneliness.  But these still are not the CORE of what is keeping me in this unsatisfying relationship.  Is it just that at a certain age, we must give up on our youthful visions and accept, accept accept?  OR can we keep our heads up and love with passion and teach those to come how to BE in this life with our self confidence in tact?

Dedelight4 How U doing?

I will ask you the same questions as I did PoisonIvy. And also, what have you learned about the situation WE still are in?  Now that you are not in the situation anymore, can you look at where you are and how you were able to get there and what it is that you did not SEE while in the situation.  I am so stuck.  It seems that our spouses truely do not love us.  The more we do for them, the less we are respected.  But to do nothing and wait for them to care ....  I can tell you the results of THAT.   Nothing gets said. Nothing gets done.  There is nothing coming from them.  So.  Is it possible to find your bearings again at a late age?  I live in an unpopulated place with little social organization available except churches and bars.  So going it alone would be totally going it alone.  

Also, there is a piece of my heart that remembers how I felt when I was 15 and loved my H with a pure, naive love and passion.  I guess I knew H was a "project" even then.  But he was so adamant about his "love and need" for me, I didn't know how young men's hearts and talk and desires worked.....I thought we were soul mates and "meant" to be....I was sexually naive and believed his words of persuasion and promises.  But I thought a person would be grateful for the support and help and encouragement that my strong self could give him. He ended up resenting my attempts to "change" him.  

That is the lesson I would give to young people here on this board.  "Don't expect to assist and change someone else.  Let people BE who they are and let them be who they want to be.  Just watch and learn and decide if who they are is someone you can be your best self with."  This means that you can't believe everything someone says when they are sexually trying to have their way with you.  It means giving up the romantic notions of "young love" and becoming an attentive entity looking for a mutually strong merger.   So, I guess this is another way of saying, "Sensitive empaths, BEWARE and think a little more like a business person.  Don't give your heart and soul to someone who does not follow through on promises." They will not change because you want them to or because you support their change to what YOU envision.  People are who they are. Period.  This is freeing...but only if you deep down accept that.  I have stopped trying to nurture and enable others.  I am letting them BE.  

My heart breaks reading all

My heart breaks reading all of our stories of dashed hopes and dreams given up.  Do you know I used to tell my husband he was the man of my dreams.  How sad is it that now I want out so bad I can taste it.  Up until 5 years ago we did okay, not great, but okay and five years ago he had his breakdown and everything changed.  And now I am looking at a 17 year old going to college...with zero college dollars saved and his 15 year old brother behind him.  And mountains of debt.  Those things I could manage IF I felt loved, cherished, listened to, SEEN, but geez-how much can one person give and get so little back??  All of us here have different lines, different amounts of crap we are able to swallow.

I feet so bad for poisonivy at not feeling like an actual person.  I am so sorry that one person has so much power-that's not right.  I understand that feeling of not being seen.  That is a common theme here unfortunately.  I wonder if you tried the opposite if that would make you feel a teeny bit better, like an actual person.  Since there is so little interest or support in my house, I make it a point to go out with friends a lot.  I have a standing dinner with one friend--every two weeks we get together.  I go out alone quite often--this weekend I took myself out to brunch both Saturday and Sunday--I finished a whole book between those two times and a little more at home.  I make it a point to talk to servers and checkers, anyone I might encounter, just to get that human contact.  At my job I could go either way--I am the Assistant Principal of a small private school with a faculty of about 30.  I could very well hide in my office most of the time--god knows there is enough work for me there, but I make a point of circulating in the building at least once every day.  I offer these things not a some cliched quick fix and in no way patronizing or over simplifying what you feel.  It bugs me that our ADHD people living in their little cloud of selfishness have no idea what they cost us and it's not fair.  They should not have that much power.

sending hugs

Human contact

I have been married for about 2 years now and things are getting worse. As far as I am concerned it's not the ADHD that gets to me but the often accompanied co-morbid condition: ODD (the anger). I am not an angel nor always right and, living with someone that has ADHD and lots of aggression has thought me a few things. It gave me a lot of appreciation for people who are patient and non-confrontational. I have improved but still struggling to understand and get better at dealing with the bluntness, the passive aggressive and full blown abuses of all types. In my case, it's my wife that has ADHD. This seems to be less common from what I get from other users on this website. I don't mind the forgetfulness, the anxiety over her inability to manage finances, the complete mess she leaves everywhere she goes. I can live with bottles left opened with just the cap on, the dirty bathroom. What I can't accept is her controlling behavior and the aggressive behavior (the demeaning comments). She has said to me the worse things one person can say to another individual, let alone a husband. She accuses me doing and saying so many things to her, most of which I AM a victim of. She just doesn't remember doing it. I walk on eggshells most of the time.

I reached the point where my self-esteem is at an all-time low. I have given everything so she could reach her career goals and I am now broke, far from home, depending on her (for now) to help pay back OUR debts (on MY credit cards and line of credit) and wondering how I got there. A friend asked me why I was staying. I told him, things are not bad all the time, it's just that when they are, it is hell. She can be very loving, very funny, intelligent and vulnerable but her bad side is overwhelming. I can also see that she is trying to change her behavior a bit but she often finds another way to express her aggression.

I can totally relate to the need to reach out to other people. As pointless as it might seem, a smile and some chit-chat to a cashier actually feels good. It makes me feel normal. I am not interested in cheating and would like things to work but I do miss being loved and respected. I agree 100%, they should not have that much power. I am now debating whether I want this for the rest of my life, if she's going to change (a little bit, let's be realistic) or if I should pack up and leave.

I did learn that yes, my

I did learn that yes, my husband did not love me even CLOSE to how much I loved him. Plus, his view of love isn't the same as mine.  I fell "in love" with him, he did NOT with me, which still makes me question, WHY did he ask me to marry him?  I found out a few months ago, he never considered me his "true love". Again, the question, why? Was I convenient? Was I one of his impulsive decisions? Did he purposely USE me, knowing I was IN LOVE with him? Is THIS the reason why he won't answer any of my questions?  Was I the rebound love from his " true loive"? He KNOWS that if he answers YES to that, that this would make him look pretty bad. And, he HATES to admit he made mistakes.  He has rewritten parts of history to work in his favor. (The parts he won't be honest about)

      I have had SO MANY questions, but mostly the "just why"?  I am sorry I didn't go into this like more of a business situation, instead of love relationship. He always saw other women " outside" our marriage as somehow smarter, better, more qualified at thongs, etc. I just DIDNT get compliments or attention, let alone affection. When I started ASKING for some things I needed, he got resentful and angry, and defensive. 

     At this point, I don't think I could LOVE again, because of being so betrayed and pushed aside. Why didn't he just LEAVE if he wanted OUT so bad? Don't know. He seems to think there is some sort of HONOR in him having "stayed" with me all these years. I was REALLY angry at that one. There is NO HONOR in staying because you feel guilty about thongs. I told him I respected HONESTY above all things, not deception. No response.

     I still often feel foolish for staying myself, and won't do this again. Funny thing is, my husband doesn't want a divorce, and says he wants to go to couples counseling now. Again why? Why now? Is it because he doesn't want to lose the house and his paycheck? Probably so. It can't be for love,  because he doesn't DO that with anyone,  so why be manipulative right down to the end?  He says he now wants to be the husband he never was before. HOW? He's not getting ADHD behavior therapy,  but he IS back on Concerta. I know how he works. He wants something until he GETS it, but then its not worth his attention any more. That's with everything, sad to say. 

     We both are not that healthy now, isnt good. I think the stress of it all has seriously taken its toll.

   Another thing is, I don't trust myself any more. I've developed a certain hardness that I didn't have. I don't like that, but I don't want toq get "taken" again. Or blindsided from ignorance on this.

    I'm writing on a tablet and need to switch to a computer. Talk more in a little while 



What age was your husband when he had his breakdown?  There does seem to be a common thread of the symptoms worsening with age.  My children tell me that H got worse in the last 5 years and the last 2 have been especially bad.  They reasonably point out that my behavior also worsened as a result. The financial stress was a serious tipping point for me.  It sure does seem that age plays a role in untreated ADHD.  I can'f find any research or data on adult ADHD and age related concerns.  Is it hormonal?  Memory naturally decreases?  A lifetime of poor coping mechanisms and all the bad decisions and choices have come to fruition resulting in increased stress?  In my H's case, his decisions and actions have backed us into a corner with no easy way out and it's depressing and stressful.  I'm not covering for him anymore. Those things increase ADHD symptoms. All of the above?  IDK. 

I was away for 9 days.  It took me two days to decompress and lose the underlying irritation and anxiety that I seem to feel as my natural state.  For the remaining 7 days, my H was barely in my thoughts.  It was so refreshing.  I had room in my brain. I guess that's what "normal" feels like and it's pretty awesome.  It's something to strive for. 

My DH had his breakdown 5

My DH had his breakdown 5 years ago, so he was 43.  It turns out he was physically and sexually abused as a child and had kept that stuff bottled up for all those years.  He had a suicide plan that he shared with a counselor who drove him directly to the emergency room.  From there he went to an in patient psych ward for a week, then came home for I think two weeks.  Then one afternoon I came home from work and his keys were on the table.  He had moved out and not told me or the boys.  To this day I don't know where he lived.  He was gone for 6 months.  It was hell at first but the me and the boys started to get our feet under us.  Looking back, I should have divorced him then.  I never should have let him come back.  So much more has come out since then and the bizarre behavior has not stopped.  I have been told many times that he has to take care of himself and if that hurts me, then that is my problem.  He told our sons at that time that "we were all too much for him".  Isn't that a nice thing to saddle your kids with?

Here's the thing though--it was five years ago and he is looooong past it, in fact he is a little baffled as to why I am so gun shy to have everything be fine and normal.  So any more recovery or processing or trying to make sense of it is all on me--he is over it.  And really, in five years, I should be over it too.  I cannot trust a word that comes out of his mouth.  He wonders why.  I don't know what to say back that won't sound snarky--like how can you seriously expect me to trust you after the things you have done and the things you said to my sons?  It's such an empty relationship right now, it's quite sad.  I am very lonely and do everything I can to stay out of my house as much as possible.  Which is no good for my two sons.  There is no good answer.  I am so sorry I married this man and now I am stuck.  Twenty two wasted years.

Hi Dvance

I so feel for you and the boys...I have slipped in and out the same reality you are describing for yourself....It's so sad to be in a marriage that because of past experiences, and the inability to trust, we just basically quit giving effort in the marriage....

I don't think my wife loves me...I don't think she ever truly has (she may not be capable of real love)...There is just no desire coming from her...In 9 years I can't remember once where she got in my face (an intentional act) and looked deep into my eyes, and told me, that she loved me...(Of course that goes right along w/ her showing very little effort showing it) She will say it going out the door, and she will text it...I asked her just a few days ago to stop telling me she loves me....And i will do the same....I told her that we would know if we are loved based on our actions toward one another....

I'm still hopeful, and giving effort, and trying to be thankful for my blessings each day...But I finally came to the conclusion about 6 months ago that before I will live in a dysfunctional marriage (conflict, selfishness, no intimacy, no effort) I am fine with moving on...I don't want that, but, I'm not going to stay with a wife who doesn't feel or show any love for me....

I don't need her (I can get company, and I've got plenty of family and friends that I love, and that loves me)...I'm here because I vowed to Love her for as long as we live...The same thing she vowed to me...When a couple is not the happiest, most loving people in the world...It's because one or both don't want to be..(in my opinion) The reason many couples never find this kind of happiness is because their focus is on WANTING, Instead of GIVING...(again, in my opinion).....Two people w/ giving hearts will always be crazy about each other.....

 When it stays one sided long enough (especially when all you get for your efforts in negativity) then we have to ask ourselves is what we have honoring anyone? Or is it just doing more damage than good?

My only true concern over the past 4 years (since we got back together after a 11 month separation) is am I truly giving 100% effort to be a loving thoughtful husband, no matter what I get in return...I can say for the most part I have....But, I'm human and I can be effected by the coldness and the lack of love and effort....I can be a victim from time to time ...So that's where I'm at....

I truly hope things can get better for you and your family....I hate that you are so miserable.....We must count our blessings!



" The reason many couples

" The reason many couples never find this kind of happiness is because their focus is on WANTING, Instead of GIVING"

     C, I think this is a pretty insightful statement. My husband seemed to always focus on what he was "getting", instead of what he was giving. I can't ever remember a time, after being married that he purposely looked me in the eyes either,  (just like you said in your post) and told me how much he loved me, and cared about me. EVER. There was never any purposeful hugging, or touching, or asking me questions ABOUT myself, as if he were interested in my day, or just wanting to learn more about ME. But, we spent endless years, talking about him, and what he wanted, and what he was thinking, etc. I became a professional "listener', and knew none of my opinions, or thoughts were valued or wanted. And, what I DID say, he would always say, "Well, I'd have to get PROOF of that", like I was lying to him. (when sometimes it was just my opinion on something)

     What he doesn't realize, is by NOT connecting with me in those ways, he was purposely disconnecting himself FROM me, and destroying our marriage by all the things he WASN'T doing. People can destroy a marriage by doing certain things, but can also destroy a marriage by NOT doing things. When I think back, I don't remember any times, where I could feel it from his heart, that he was trying to "touch my heart" in a special way. Maybe he can't, I don't know. But, something tells me that if he had been TRULY "in love" with me when he married me, he might have treated me differently. (but will never know now)

     He says he doesn't want a divorce, and doesn't want me to divorce him. But, I can't imagine the rest of my life with him, KNOWING that our lives will ALWAYS be the same. He didn't find out why he had the affair, or what happens when infidelity occurs in a marriage, or how to change ADHD behavior, or even learn ANYTHING about marriage in general, and I'm supposed to go back to THAT? I can't. He still wants things to "go back to the way they were". IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

     I do have to go back to the house and get a lot of stuff in order, legal papers and stuff, but I will not STAY in the house long term, just long enough to get all the things I need. I know he doesn't want to lose the house, or his paycheck, but THAT is the price of him never investing himself in our marriage at all. I don't feel towards him like I used to, now that I understand much more of what he said to our daughters, and his "lost true love", etc. THAT, was the absolute last straw. I will be second best no longer, and treated as second best NO LONGER. This seems harsh, maybe, but a lost lifetime is one of the harshest things to be endured. Some days, I wish I had never married him, because he was NEVER happy, or satisfied with me or with what he had, and I kept trying to make a life out of so little. 

     Infidelity alone, can destroy a person's identity, and self esteem, because THAT type of betrayal is the worst hurt you can inflict on someone. But, infidelity on TOP of ADHD dysfunction, and non communication worstens this, and I lost myself, self esteem, and everything I had. It's a long, long road back to becoming the person I can recognize as me. 

Hi Dede...

In my opinion; he would have been this same person, no matter who he married...It's not about you...Why do you think they keep dragging back up? Why do you think when the counselor ask me and my wife if we've thought about counting our losses and just ending it...She immediately said NO!...Why do you think your husband doesn't want a divorce.??

When a person is living in a unstable self absorbed mind it's never about the spouse or the circumstances...It's always about them...I know it's hard to not allow his actions to reflect on you...Same here...We have so much of ourselves invested, (emotional attachment) and we love them....But, if you are like myself, I've known all along the relationship hasn't been healthy...**A husband or wife doesn't have to ask their spouse to be a husband or wife in healthy marriages**

So Dede at what point do we stop and say Hey!...No more emotional attachment for me!...I may not jump off this One-way street at the next turn...But, I hope I can move on down the road with a reality view of it...No more Illusion's for me....

Peace be with you Dede...


C, thank you for your post

"So Dede at what point do we stop and say Hey!...No more emotional attachment for me!...I may not jump off this One-way street at the next turn...But, I hope I can move on down the road with a reality view of it...No more Illusion's for me."

    Thank you C, this is a good statement. It's true. And, yes, I do believe my husband would have been the same no matter WHO he had married. He can think about himself non stop, which leaves little to no room for anyone else. He is scared now, that he's going to lose the one stable thing in his life, that was always "there", and the thing he knew he could always "count on". 

    I've been the angriest at myself, and like I said in another post, the self loathing got to a very bad level. I hated myself for 'allowing" myself to be in this mess, but I didn't make HIS decisions for him. He took the same wedding vows that I did, but didn't live them. Sad.  I'm currently visiting my youngest daughter right now, and the change has been great for me. 

    C, I find that people around me want me to "decide this and get it over with", but I just haven't had the STAMINA to DO that this past year. When, I tell you, I LOST MYSELF, I really, really did. I started counseling, but have to change to a different person, so when I get back, that's the FIRST thing I have to do. I READ a lot, and have read tons of things both Christian, and secular, on marriage, healing, healing from infidelity, ADHD, relationships and so forth, which have helped a LOT, but the person to person therapy is still in need. It just costs so much, and I don't have much money in my current situation. Will have to see what I can work out. Therapists around here average about 60 to 150. an hour. 

     Anyway, you are right about the "No more emotional attachment for me". It's throwing pearls before swine I think. As Christians, we always want to believe that if we act in a Godly fashion, that the other person will SEE that, and respond. But, in these cases, not so much. But, our spiritual selves are SO VITAL in who we are, and in a marriage. 

     I wish  you well today,......Blessings to you, friend.


Baby steps to the elevator Bob

I've been married for 25  years to a man who has never been able to hold a job, who is a perpetual child, who has never once taken responsibility for himself, etc. The standard ADHD crapfest that for some reason we're supposed to celebrate. I've thought about divorce every day for years, but because of low self-esteem and the fact I also have a special needs disabled son I've not done anything to get myself out of this mess. 

I am not proud of the fact that I've stayed this long, I don't see anything brave about it, actually I am able to look back and be disgusted at how much I've put up with. 

Here's the deal: I deserve more than this. I'm still young and have a LOT of life left to live. So right now I'm taking concrete steps to get my life back! First thing I did was hire a nutrition coach to help me lose weight because I need to feel good and look good. Second thing I did was to start the process to get him on disability, both VA and SSDI, so he can support himself (he will never follow through on this himself so I have to do it). Once that's in place, I am going to start the process of divorce and never have to deal with his crap on a daily basis again. I REFUSE to pay alimony so that's why I have to do it this way; I've been paying alimony for 25 fricking years, it's time for him to start paying for himself for once!

And just as I'm writing this, he's texting me about some new fantastic business idea he has.....I mean for pete's sake....I didn't even respond. 

I DESERVE to have someone in my life who is responsible and driven and acts like an adult. I DESERVE to not have to constantly cheerlead some cockeyed business idea that goes nowhere. I DESERVE to have love and passion and someone who shares my interests. And you do too! 

You inspire me.

Since coming on this forum I have started to feel enlightened, realizing that hey, I don't need to live in this dismal situation for the rest of my life. I need to make a plan to get out myself. I cannot stay with someone like this and his continual issues, along with the heavy load I bear. I have to believe in myself that I can let go and move on because I am strong.

He is the same way, always spending hours on various business ideas that he NEVER follows through on, or partners up with people who screw him over. He was doing real estate deals and referred someone to a broker friend and the deal went through. They owed him a $7 Grand finders fee, and used some obscure law to get out of paying it to him, sweet talked him like he was still their best buddy, and he let them get away with it! Then there was two other buddies he started a distributorship with selling medical software and he and another friend closed several deals. The two buddies stiffed everyone their commissions and turned a disaster into the whole thing! He is now gearing up to try to open a retail store and suposedly get onine crowdfunding for it. But he is so distracted with a book project with friends he cannot bring himself to complete the tasks needed to get the fundraising campaign going. He was even going to test out the concept working as a food vendor at local fairs and things but couldn't get the permits and such to do that taken care of. I have worked as a product demonstrator in the food industry and gave him all my leftover equipment, even offered to help, and he just left it all hanging. He did a local event with his fraternity and got several hundred dollars- folks liked the food. My father constantly asks me what he is doing to get this off the ground, and I have no answer for my father. Looks like it will be just another lost idea because he cannot focus enough to follow through. He is lucky he has my family and his family, and friends who believe in him. I've never had anything like that. I just pushed myself to achieve and overcome the disabilities I had. I guess I did it in spite of everyone else. 

I get what you are saying.

I will be honest, I see more of what you say in my husband with ADHD and not my kids. Maybe it is because of how I have been raising them, but my kids can be mean and nasty at times when their autoimmune condition flares, but when we get the autoimmunity under control they are sweet and loving AND they are empathetic. Even in the midst of Autoimmune attacks I am working hard to teach them "hey it is not okay to break things, hit people, call your mother or other names, it is absolutely not okay", and I think they are learning. For my husband it is too late for him to learn empathy, and this describes him more than my kids. I pray and hope to God and will do everything in my power to not ensure my children grow up to be like him and are raised to be kind human beings who genuinely care about themselves AND those around them.

I see the ADHD not only as a problem with key areas of the brain that would express sympathy and emotion and self regulation not working properly (likely not getting enough blood flow), but in my husband's case it is personality traits passed down from his parents. He has a narcissitic mother who likes to get attention by creating drama and making situations all about her, all the time. He has a father who lacks empathy for his family, is a workaholic like him, with a short temper, and often takes things out on his wife and his younger son who works with him in the business. Both parents enable their youngest child, who refuses to get a real career and take responsibility for his own life. He ruined not only his marriage, but then the 6 yr. relationship he had after that in which he had a son and was raising his girlfriend's other young child. When both kids were found to have disabilities he left within a month, cheating on the GF with a girl who worked at his parent's restaurant and is barely out of her teen years, immature and demands he hardly have any contact with his own kids anymore and cannot even be tagged on facebook photos of them his ex-girlfriend (who loves these kids dearly and raises them well) posts online. She doesn't even want him giving them child support. BTW, he shipped them all out of state so he could move in with this girl, who cannot even drive, is still in college and no career aspirations that I know of, just like him. They are constantly fighting and he has to watch over her like she is a teenager, constantly get her out of trouble like smoking pot with friends, etc. He  is constantly begging his ex-girlfriend and friends for advice on how to deal with her. They are getting married in the fall, and he was so embarrassed he got his own mother to ask my husband to be his best man.

In my husband's case, I don't think anything could fix his shortcomings when it comes to having genuine human empathy for his own wife and kids. His activities and himself always come first. Always. Because we don't meet his needs for constant stimulation or whatever, he will constantly have to look on the horizon for the next thing to distract himself with. I guess the drama at home is not enough for him, and we have plenty of drama, believe me.