I want to be happy again

I have been married to my husband for 4 years now. My husband has been diagnosed with ADHD and has recently filed for disability, due to doctor's advice. He is THAT bad.

I always knew there was something wrong with our relationship. In the beginning I looked for the problem within myself, searched psychiatric help. Went through hell, and, in the middle of all that, my husband decided to leave me, blaming me for all that went wrong in our relationship. Within 3 weeks of him leaving me, my life had turned. I was able to laugh again, I went back to work and enjoyed it, I finished projects that we had started together and projects that he had started and never finished. I kept seeing my therapist to help me understand what had been going on. I felt good. He, on the other side was collapsing. He contacted me and we talked. He confessed that he realized that it was not my problem, it was his, that he could not cope with his life, that he was unable to take care of himself, of the finances, he was living with his sister, could not find a job and so on. He was having suicidal thoughts. So I did it. I took him back. I took him and mothered him again. Took care of everything, just like before: bills, chores, finances, helped him with his debt from his previous marriage, etc.

This is me today, after 4 years, still helping him, still mothering him, still reminding him to take his medication, still reminding him to turn the oven off and not burn up my house (yes, it is my house exclusively, it is my car, it is my money - he had nothing when he came to me but debt and in the 4 years of marriage he has not earned a cent). 

I do not hold it against him that he is the way he is. I don't expect him to pay bills, to do anything in the house, to cook. I have learned to not expect those things from him and it does not bother me. Our house is clean, we have no financial problems, I can manage. I can manage having a child on my side instead of a man. 

What I cannot cope with is the blame. I am blamed that I am controlling, that I won't allow him to do things, I am being yelled at and called names. I will give you some examples, as it is very difficult to explain:

1. We receive paperwork that he needs to fill out and sign. I put the paper in my office, on the desk, and I let him know that I put the papers there, in case he was looking for them. This morning, he comes into the bedroom, wakes me up screaming and yelling where I put the papers. I go in the office and search for them. It turns out he had used my desk and since he needed more space, he simply put those papers on the floor and forgot about it. He takes the papers without saying a word. So i say: "you're welcome". And that was it! He starts yelling at me that i always put him down, that he always feels that I feel superior to him, what am I thinking, that I am better than everyone else? And again, yelling, screaming, he calls me paranoid, crazy.... I am very proud to say that I did not scream once. All i said was that I find his behavior towards me inappropriate and hurtful.

2. Last fight we had before this he was screaming and yelling at me as well, so I went into my room after asking him several times to stop screaming and put my head phones on, just to not have to listen to him anymore. What does he do? he comes into the bedroom with a glass full of water and throws the water at me. Than runs away, leaves the house. I was shocked! 

3. He has no contact with his mother, sisters, anyone in his family - he has told me storied about them that i am not sure are true or not. Anyway, one time in a fight he told me that I do not allow him contact with his mother. The thing is, I don't even know where that one came from - but in the middle of it, he seems to actually believe what he says. he did apologize afterwards, he always apologizes. He also "remembers" things that never happened, not only with me, but with other people. he will come and tell me that that person said that or did that - but I was there as well, and those things never happened, that person never said the things he believes he heard. But because of what he thinks he hears, he builds up this frustration towards a person. it happens with me, it happens with people we try to befriend and it probably happened with his family as well, that is why he has all those negative feelings towards them.

I guess what I can't or won't put up with is his anger and his blaming me for his failure and for the way he feels about himself. 

but than, after all the fights, and the arguments he comes to me and apologizes. And tells me that it is all his fault, and tells me "I understand if you want to leave me, I am worthless, you should leave me". Sometimes i comfort him and tell him I won't leave, sometimes I don't have the strength and say nothing.

The truth is, I want to leave him. I am not sure why I do not. I am not afraid of being alone, not afraid of financial problems, i can take care of myself. And yet, I find it very difficult to stop this nightmare and put an end to this marriage that is making me miserable. I want to be happy again. 

Are you willing to do this for the next 5 or ten years?

Adhd and self esteem are brutal.  How do you envision him in 5 years?  10 years?  Now, how do you see yourself?  He is NOT your child...  you did not give birth to him, therefor he is NOT your responsibility.  I saw that you said you were fine taking care of him as a child.  Your not doing him ANY favors and you are not helping him by enabling him.  He is NOT growing, or learning.  He is avoiding and so are you.  Our purpose in life is to grow into the best we can be... in order to do that, we need to learn from mistakes and learn by doing things and we need to learn by getting out there in the world and struggling... that is the only way to move forward.  Sounds like he is not growing or moving forward... He needs help, but the kind of help only he can get and give to himself... No one can help him feel better about himself and no one can do this for him.  Married or not, this is HIS problem... you can't fix him.  You can love him, but you can't fix him or shield him from himself.  probably time for him to find a place to go until he gets a better handle on himself.  Only then will he start to figure out his place in the world and stop blaming you... or not... he may not see it right away either. 

I find you to be,

I find you to be very kind and I like that!,but, he needs to get up and work,do things to help you with the "bills" what! is this! you are not his "MOTHER" he is taking you for granted and he would continue unless you put your foot down! My husband when I met him had no job, no money, no car, "NOTHING" and I supported him for 4 months in to our marriage with "him " not working and that 4 months was hard for me because I have two kids I raise on my own with little to no help from my kids dad.and then he got off his feet with flying colors and began to work, and I still continued to help him so he could save a little money to buy his own truck, or car, and now he has a little car, and his own apartment, and now he takes me out sometimes..Your husband is over doing the whole situation and taking advantage of you..don't treat him like a baby and if he really can't work you should let him become the woman in the house and wash,clean and cook..since you are like both man and woman in one! let him earn his keep!

WHY is your relationship this way?

You have a very unbalanced relationship, and this is not healthy for either of you.  I suggest you read "Codependent No More" by Melodie Beatty.

You say you don't mind taking care of him as a child, but not only is this hard on you (WHY would you wish to do this?) but it's also hard on him.  Imagine being a man and being treated like a child...not fun...very belittling.  No matter whether you think he has "earned" this or not, it is still belittling.  There have to be some things that he can/does call his own...

From the way that you are describing this, neither one of you is getting very much out of this relationship.  I would take a long hard look at why you are still with him and see what you can learn from it.  This does not mean that I am suggesting you leave him - this is your own decision.  Only that you try to understand what has been holding you together.  Is it positives somewhere that you haven't mentioned here that might be the basis of a good relationship if you could find more balance?  Is it fear of being alone?  Is it habit?  You need to understand this in order to move ahead.

taking care of yourself

Julie, I am sorry to hear that you are having such an unhappy time of it. I think your statement "I am not sure why I do not," (leave him) is a very important one. Are you still seeing your therapist? Perhaps addressing this directly will help you figure out what you need and how to work to get it. You deserve it! 

And please take care of yourself and be careful. No one deserves to have a glass of water thrown on them, or to be treated disrespectfully or as the brunt of anger. The water thing is a physical attack and it is abusive, plain and simple. It is unacceptable, and these things have a way of escalating. 

Again, you deserve to be happy.