If we're so far gone, how can there be hope?

My husband asked me a few days ago if we were done.  I truly don't believe we are, yet I fear I'm in denial.  We both want things from our marriage, but neither one of us are able to deliver.  My husband's ADD is worse than ever.  He's committed to getting treatment, but has missed a few appointments because he was too late to bother showing up at all.  He also confessed that he isn't getting anywhere with his therapist because she listens and offers no real advice.  My husband got in to see the psychiatrist, was given Adderall, and weeks later, got it filled yesterday.   

I keep running into walls emotionally and psychologically.  I can't move forward with my husband, even when I think I can do it.  After years of failed treatment of his ADD and it coming to a scary place now, I DON'T TRUST him.  My husband is far worse than I ever thought.  For years he honestly hasn't seen he has done much wrong.  HOW CAN  PROGRESS BE MADE if one can't rely on his own memory or focus enough to piece together what is truth?  His memory lapses, glitches, and shuffling are mind boggling.  My husband had a fit of memory glitches regarding a commitment he had made with our son and when trying to make sense of it, he started blaming me for confusing him.  When I insisted and stood my ground, explaining the series of events where he had communicated one thing consistently with both my son and myself, then how he suddenly changed his perspective, and that what he was remembering was false, he FREAKED out - shaking, feeling crazy.  I felt awful for him and deeply sickened by having to grab him by the horns and help him realize where he was.  Emotionally, this is tragic for us both.  

If I still love him, but cannot be more than a room-mate to him right now, what good is our marriage?  Something inside of me feels that this love is enough to stay together for the sake of our 4 children at the very least.   However, he wants, needs, demands more.  His physical advances are typical ADD; compulsive, demanding, unthoughtful.  His emotional advances are welcome, but awkard at times.  Our marriage almost ended years ago, but I stayed because he sought treatment and things were really good for about a year.  Then he stopped his meds.  Thus followed years of apologies turned to confessions of not thinking he was wrong and not understanding why I was upset all of the time.  

Hypothetically, even if I left my husband, I feel like I'm too ruined for anyone else.  Even if my husband shaped up, how on earth to I become the wife I was so long ago?  I imagine reinventing myself would be in order, but for now - it's pointless.  I must continually defend my borders yet remember to find joy living within them.  I must remain realistically untrusting yet open to change in my husband.  I need to be hardened to withstand the conflicts as they arise yet soft in spirit to keep myself from being lost.  Balance.  Not a small task indeed.    

Anti-depressants helped me before, so I'm off to be numbed soon.  It's depressing now to think how they numb me from positive things in my life, but I'll have to forgo those things for the sake of self preservation right now.  After the meds, I won't care so much.  I'll see improvements with my mood around my kids, I'll be more patient with my husband.  One draw-back with that patience is my husband has a false sense of how he affects me.  For instance, if he starts fighting and blaming me for his problems, I react with a sigh and move on.  He interprets this as not a harsh consequence and starts to keep himself in check much less.   This prolongs the problem and makes it so I need anti-depressants to withstand our interactions indefinately.  I feel so dysfunctional for staying with him.  I wish someone would tell me the perfect thing to do.  LOL! (that's a kookie laugh, btw.  ;-p)

How Long will this last's picture

I hear ya sister!

I totally understand from which you speak. (Read my "you have got to be kidding me" from yesterday.) I think my biggest frustration is that he DOES NOT understand the affect his quirkiness has on me. I feel aged beyond my years. We are 13 years apart in age, and many people think we are around the same age. That is sad. I wish I had an answer for all of us Non ADHD spouses, Thank God for this forum, at  least we have a safe place to vent and know someone else out there understands.

Thank you JZ.  I'm so sorry

Thank you JZ.  I'm so sorry we're all in the same camp, too.  We have technology to bring us together and can be grateful for that.  I totally relate to feeling aged.  I'm 33 years old and look and feel years older.  I used to look 10 years younger than my age.  I used to wish I looked a bit more my age.  Silly.  I'd like to go back.  It's hard to believe what stress can do to you physically.   My husband recently came to a realization of what he is doing to me.  He feels incredibly guilty, but frustrated because he can't seem to bring about change.  I used to be the one prodding, coaching, pulling.  I don't do that anymore, so he's on his own.  It's no wonder why he's stuck.  If he could just bring about change for himself...I keep dreaming, but the wake-up calls are rough. 

To some degree, we are in the

To some degree, we are in the same boat. My husband is worse now than ever, treatment is not even on his list of top 100 priorities, and real change is probably never coming.

So, you start to finally figure out that you have two choices...leave OR work with what you have RIGHT NOW. Since I assume you're not ready to leave, then you have to start accepting that where you are today is where you start and DO SOMETHING. For so long I just stayed...stuck. Realizing the past (when we were happier and didn't fight...and his ADHD was much less prominent) was never returning was my first step. Mourn. Move on. Take a long hard look at today. That is what you have. Not only take a long hard look at HIM but take a long hard look at YOU. Now...since you cannot change, fix, prod, goad, or otherwise cure him or make him get help...your second step is to start figuring out ways to start living your life in a meaningful and fulfilling way IN SPITE OF your circumstances. For me this has involved 3 simple, but VERY vital things...God, CoDependent No More by Melodie Beattie, and walking. I, too, was on the verge of having to take anti-depressants...which would results in a 30-40 lb weight gain as always. So I started walking...1, 2, 3 times a week...just when I can...30 minutes, power walking. HAS MADE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE in my moods, emotional stability, ability to deal with crap and chaos, and my overall physical health. I cannot stress it enough...if you can find the time to just walk twice a week, it might make a world of difference. I know it works because when I don't walk, I return to the same emotionally unstable, anxiety ridden, ANGRY person I was before.

The good news is...he does not have to change for your life to improve. As soon as you figure this out, you'll feel like the sky opened up and the birds sang for the first time ever. Leave him to deal with his ADHD (or not) but stop making it your problem. For the first time in a very long time, stop letting your life be all about HIS ADHD. Nothing has to be resolved today. In the end, you'll either grow strong enough to accept him...wherever he meets you (hopefully half way) OR you'll realize there is nothing left and you'll leave. Either way, you really have no choice in the matter...if you want your life to improve, you have to start the process...with you. 


Linsy's picture

so right-

We all need to be a bit more selfish. I walk as well, and for 2012 I will be taking more exercise. Managed to lose 25lbs of stress weight in the last half of last year, using the Dukan diet, now need to get fit again. Being slim again makes a lot of difference to self esteem.

I have followed a similiar

I have followed a similiar path, like Sherri and Linsy.  I walk as often as I can, gave this mess to GOD and took Melissa's advice along time ago by starting to take care of myself and letting my husband deal with his ADHD.


Sherri and everyone,

I just want to thank you for writing this. I needed it like you can't believe today. Just had one more of those conversations with DH last night, begging him to go to counseling with me, and: it was awful. He debated me for an hour, I said, "you are not letting me finish," or, "you are not hearing me," and his standby reply, "your problem is that you are angry and not a happy person and you can't let go of the past." He specifically told me he doesn't have the energy or ability to actively work on our marriage with a counselor, and has been telling me the same thing for two years. Like having a door slammed in my face. I just withered inside. I slept maybe 2 hours. Woke up this morning with a migraine, exhausted, possible kidney stone, looking 10 years older than I am. And he woke up mad at me for upsetting him. "Stop yelling at me." (I didn't yell, I really didn't. I cried.) What the heck am I doing? 

You are so right. Wow, stress can really do a number on you. I am throwing myself into a pretty big brick wall and it is just beating me up, but the wall is not moving. I haven't been exercising or taking care of myself. If I had a friend like this, I would not spend all my time worrying about her and trying to make her problems my problems. I would distance myself from her and take care of myself and my chidlren. I am going to write that on a piece of paper and pull it out every hour on the hour. "He does not have to change for your life to improve." 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you out there in cyberspace. ((HUGS))


Except for him refusing

Except for him refusing counseling, I could have at many times in my marriage written your post. I even get the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach...I know your pain, desperation, and misery. 

I wish I had some advice other than to just pray a lot and take care of yourself. It stands true still, he does not have to change for you to find some peace and happiness again. 


Just wanted to weigh in....

I wish I had some advice but I just saw this thread after I posted my new one today. I just wanted to tel lyou that you're not alone. I'm in the boat with you....and we're paddeling in circles. ;-) I have allowed this situation to cosume the last 6 years of my life. Today it seems very, very overwhelming. The anger inside of me is so huge that it's just eating me alive. And this resentment will kill my spirit. Cuz I'm the only one who's effected...I'm the only one my anger and resentment is hurting. Something needs to change. I've worked so hard on myself in the past few years and it's amazing how one situation can bring allll that anger and resentment back in a tsunami like wave. Today I said that I wouldn't allow any of my friends to treat me this way. I've worked so hard to become my own best friend (I get no validation from spouse on any level) and when I see my best friend being treated like this I want to kick her and tell her STOP...You are worth so much more than this!! STOP!!!! For the love of GOD! We need to love ourselves enough to stop this insanity. And realize it all come from within us. Best of luck...please take care...GB

Just checking in...

Hey Spice- Not sure whether you still check the forums on not, but just curious how you've been doing lately. I'm feeling a lot of what you've described above, and I'd like to know what you decided and how your situation has been turning out.

Checking Back In

Hi, veg_girl - 

Yep - I lurk here and there.  Not as much lately, though.  I'm trying very hard to find some sort of balance in my life.  I read the co-dependency books that people suggest here.  It was a good education on "co-dependency", but seemed a bit off at times.   I'm sure it's one of those things where you take what you can to benefit your own life and leave the rest.  I've decided to draw boundaries...more than I had before.  ​Good news:  My hubby's getting treatment and lo and behold:  he's doing better and our relationship has been healing.   I've seen the upswing before.  I am treading cautiously.  His meds provide an "easy" fix, but don't deal with root issues.  It's going to be a long road.

As far as me getting the help I so need, I've started therapy as of last week.  It took forever to get hooked up with a therapist, but now I finally feel like I'm no longer swimming without arms.  The goals for the next couple weeks are for me to identify my thoughts - what thought processes I go through.  Especially what my mind is thinking when I'm in moments of stress.  So I'm trying to do that.  It was great to have my feelings of emptiness validated by my therapist.   My major goal is to prepare myself for if/when he stops his meds.  I have to maintain a healthy balance and not spiral down with him...which is hard because I love him and it is depressing to watch it happen.  But, I know it can be done.  

veg_girl and others whom have posted on my thread, how are you doing?  I'm so sorry you are feeling hopelessness veg_girl.  So much of the advice here is focused on seeing the bright side of life and reaching for that instead of hanging back in the negativity of the person you are struggling with.  The trapped feeling when your partner has entrenched themselves in dysfunction is an ugly place.  Ugly, confusing, and contagious.  Dysfunction can be so very contagious.  My best advice is to take care of yourself.  Identify your needs and rejoice in what is within your control (you).  Everyone's situations are so different, so I guess this general piece of advice is all I can offer. 

Hang in there.  ((hugs))