I'm pretty sure I want out of my marriage to my ADHD spouse, but....

1. I am a stay at home mom to our two kids and have no means of providing for ourselves at the moment.

2. It feels wrong to leave my DH who is "broken."

Does that make sense?

#1 scares the daylights out of me.  If I choose to leave, I do have a place to go (live with friends) but I can't be a freeloader forever.  I would have to get recertified in my field in order to go back to work and I don't know how much time or money that might take.  I've been a stay at home mom for 7 years and stupidly let my certification lapse.

#2 makes me feel bad.  My DH needs help.  He needs treatment.  He needs someone to support him in that.  But the thing is, I can't anymore.  I've been at this for a long time and I'm spent.  We will be married for 13 years this summer and I've been BEGGING him for at least half that time to be my partner, to take responsibility, to listen to me, to talk to me, to consider my feelings, etc.  At one point all I asked of him was simple to be NICE to me and he couldn't even do that.

He was initially diagnosed with ADD in 2007 or 2008 and took meds for a short time then, but quit.  He has been back on them now for a couple months (at my urging) but he has stopped going to therapy.  I cannot help someone who is not willing to help himself.  I told him loud and clear last weekend that he needed to get treatment or my path would become very clear.  So he did go to therapy this week (first time since 12/27/10) but said it wasn't because I asked him to; he was going to start going again anyway (yeah right).  I should note that we did have a lapse in insurance for once month because he started a new job, but he could have started right back up in therapy in February, not two months later.  In that same conversation I suggested marriage counseling and he flat out said no.  How long do I wait for him to show some improvement before I call it quits?

Plus, I've been doing things to get ME healthier over the past few months and it feels really good.  I am going to therapy and taking antidepressants (I have post partum depression).  I am trying to eat better and exercise (to lose the baby weight 18 months later LOL), I am making new friends, I am getting things done.  I leave the house every chance I get when he gets home in the evening.  In that, I feel like I am leaving him behind.  He has no desire to do those things or better himself.  He never takes me out.  If we go on a date, it's because I made all the arrangements (found a babysitter, planned where to go, etc).  If we have sex, it's usually because I initiated it.  His life seems to be all about his job.  That's all he talks about (hyperfocus??).  He offered to take over our family banking/budgeting as a way of taking some responsibility.  I sent him the information MONTHS ago, and he has done nothing with it.  He overspends constantly, even though we have agreed on our budget amounts.  I call that financial infidelity (but of course he disagrees).  I am thinking of taking it back and taking away his debit card, but not sure if that will even help.  There are little tasks that I've asked him to do around the house and he's never gotten around to them.  I finally threw up my hands and did them myself and now he feels that I am making a mockery of him for doing them.  But doing them really empowered me!

Our house is a miserable place to live.  We disagree about everything.  We are not partners, we seem to be two different managers of our household, shifting around responsibility and blame constantly. Roommates for sure!  I am sick of being unhappy.  I want to be happy and feel productive again.  I want my kids to have a happy mom.

Your thoughts?  Your experiences?

Get the book CoDependent No

Get the book CoDependent No More. Today. This will explain why #2 is so hard. Period.

Would he be willing to read Melissa's book with you?

Not sure...

When he first saw that I recorded "ADD and Loving It" on our DVR, he went bezerk.  Now he says he'll watch it with me.  He keeps flip-flopping.

I haven't even read Melissa's book yet.  I have it sitting here but haven't started it yet.  Guess I know what I'll be doing today.  LOL.  I just ordered the codependency book from the library.  Thanks!

Yes, catch him on a good day

Yes, catch him on a good day and see where you can get with him. One warning, although I haven't seen the show you mentioned recording, but there is a thread here where some of the members here (non-ADHD) felt it downplayed the very hurtful parts of ADHD and made it out to be less serious than it can be for some of us. Apparently the man in the show is wealthy and his wife very 'accepting' (perhaps because of his wealth?)..just what I got from the discussion. I would watch it first if I were you, I'm not sure it would be helpful...especially if you could get him to do something more helpful like read Melissa's book. It relates to both partners in a very balanced and realistic way.

I promise you won't regret the CoDependent book. Get a notebook and write down the "ah ha" moment comments as you read. Good Luck!


I have not been cruising this forum for a few months now, mainly because at some point it became DIScouraging instead of supportive. For a few reasons I ventured back here maybe to remind myself that I was dealing with someone who is not completely well. (add-ers please don't gig me for my terminology; no offensive intended.) I've asked myself a million times that same question, "how long do I have to wait for improvment?" I believe that marriage can only be ended in a couple of circumstances, one of which is when one of is being harmed emotionally, physically, or mentally. My DH refuses diagnosis and treatment or even marital counseling that is not adhd specific. Meanwhile, though I am a very capable and independant woman, I am experiencing the pain of unmet needs as a human being--a sense of closeness, words of affirmation once in a while, support when I feel like life is a little too much at the moment. I ask myself if the marriage oaths have not already been broken. It is easy to emphasize that "you said you would support me for richer and POORER, in SICKNESS and in health." To this I want to say "YOU said YOU would support ME for RICHER and poorer, in sickness and in HEALTH. Where is THAT support?" Im not interested in whose fault, or playing the blame game when I say this. I only mean to contemplate that the so called victim of a failing marriage is not necessarily on the negative end of the vows. Still Im torn between my very real needs and the sense of leaving a baby out in the snow so to speak. I have some areas in which I can do better with boundaries, but Im not codependant for seeing it like that. I do find myself on perpetual damage control, not out of accepting unwarranted responsibility but out of self protection. I want to be able to be out of debt and retire someday, for example! I think the threshold of how much is enough is different for everybody. I have begun professional marriage counseling (alone). I don't know what the future holds, but I consider this my last attempt to sow a viable peer to peer marriage. I do know that my DH cannot give away what he does not have. Since he is not ready to help himself, Im starting to think my presence and tolerance only enables him to remain the way he is.