I am glad to have found this website. However, I do wonder if after 6 years things are too late for us. I am a new member, but in reading previous posts I am absolutely amazed by how similar the stories (pieces here and there) are to my own. One key difference though is that my husband is a non-American and for so long I thought was I was dealing with a cultural phenomenon. Although all his older brothers are government officials, responsible, and goal-oriented.
My husband and I have been married for 6 years. I am a new Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and while I cannot ethically evaluate and treat my husband, I am now convinced that he has undiagnosed ADHD. It’s like a light bulb went off in my head. Well, I have been secretly wondering about our 2-year-old son. Knowing how inheritable it is, that thought sparked the desire to turn on the light switch in the first place.
After a detailed Internet search, I am convinced this is what it is. To be honest, I thought I was crazy. I have searched in vain for an explanation for his odd behavior. It just never made sense to me. At first, I thought he was suffering from severe cultural shock. Then, his PCP and I thought it was his uncontrolled glucose levels from his diabetes—which he does not take seriously to this day. Then, we thought it was a mood disorder and started Lamictal. It was not effective but while he was taking it I had to plead with him daily to take it and then take the pills out of the bottle and literally place them in his mouth. After that, I just gave up on the “WHY?” and resigned myself that my husband is simply insane and that divorce would be inevitable. Because after all who:
Talks incessantly on the telephone and I mean incessantly. I was talking to a girlfriend and she said: “Meneka, stop playing. No one gets divorced over the telephone.” She clearly doesn’t know jack. It is at a critical level. He talks from sun up to sunset. You would think that he was moving stocks and managing a Fortune 500 company. He can barely say good morning to me and just starts on the telephone talking about absolutely nothing all the while ignoring me and the children. He marches back and forth and screams into the telephone while talking. All the neighbors know him. His phone rings at 11pm and midnight while the children and I are trying to sleep for school and work.
Poor boundaries. He will see a line of people waiting and go straight up to the front as if they don’t exist. I am left with angry looks being shot at me. “What’s wrong with his guy?” Socially, he freely tells his friends and whomever that will listen how much I earn and any other personal information. “My wife had 3 miscarriages last year.”
Bad driving skills. He runs red lights all the time, cannot stay in his lane on the expressway, and hits and runs stop signs. I do not trust him to transport the children back and forth to school and am afraid to get in the car with him. None of this is ever his fault though. It creates an unfair division of labor where I am working harder in my marriage to compensate for his weaknesses. I am my family’s chauffeur.
Everyone is his best friend. He could meet a bum off the street and this person becomes more important to him than me and our children. He has to then see this person daily and talk to them incessantly. They usually tire of him, drop or betray him. However, his feelings are never hurt. He just latches onto the next BFF.
Frequent firings. He eventually gets fired or quits (lately 3 consecutive firings) from every job he has had since we have been together. Once he quit when I was 7 months pregnant with complete disregard for me and our financial situation. When he does have a job, which he does at the moment—thank God, he will not take responsibility of setting his own alarm clock. He will stay up into the wee hours of the morning knowing good and well that he has to get up at 5am wholeheartedly believing that the heavens or his wife will wake him. Most of the time I do because I don’t want him to get fired again, but a couple of times I let him sleep to learn a lesson. He rushes out in the panic, but the lesson is NEVER learned. He stays up late the next night.
Poor financial management. If our household management was up to him, we would have been out on the streets with a cardboard sign soliciting help years ago. If you want him to run an errand, give him correct change because you will never see your change again. He earned his first $500 weekly paycheck a few weeks ago and was ready to divorce me over it. He did not feel as though he had to contribute any of it to the household when I have been carrying him and us all for the last 6 years sometimes juggling as many as 3 jobs even while pregnant—thus the miscarriages.
Poor memory/ Inattentiveness. He leaves his keys in the front door overnight. We live in an urban city. He cannot remember to properly dress the children for school even though I have laid out EVERYTHING and common sense would tell you that they need socks and undershirts on in the winter time. He will forget to give them their antibiotics/medications or leave the nebulizer machine at daycare on a Friday evening. Moreover, I could hide $100,000 in cash in our fridge and my husband would never see it.
Poor parenting. I came home and found the front door open and our 2-year-old outside with him inside sleep. My heart sank! He will walk our son down the street outside and has to be reminded to hold his hand while crossing a major road or intersection all while talks on his phone. I put my son in daycare because I felt as though he was safer there. I do not trust him with our children’s safety.
Emotional maturity/coping skills. Zero. My 15-year-old daughter, whom I unfortunately lean on as a safety net, to make sure things are in order is more emotionally mature than my husband. He once locked himself in the closet and cried for hours.
Mood swings, inappropriate outbursts. He will protest as if he is a 16-year-old son when I ask him to take out the trash because the house is stinking.
No executive planning skills. He cannot organize or prioritize two ideas to save his life.
How has all of this affected me? I know understand that our future (that of myself and my children) is completely in my hands. I cannot depend on my husband for anything, maybe to run simple errands. It feels like being married to a ticking time bomb. You know some drama is en route. I also see my marriage having a ball and chain locked to my ankle. I am not married to a romantic partner, but a 45-year-old who is really 16 and thinks that I am his mother. Every day is a party for him. He gets off work and is looking for his BFFs to hang out with. Remember, they are more important that anything in the world. However, if he fell on hard times—which he will eventually, it’s a cycle—they would no longer know his name. I, on the other hand, do not have the right to be anything other than a responsible mother/citizen ALL the time.
I am constantly hypervigilant and exhausted from trying to anticipate everything that could go wrong, call him with reminders, and guide him through some of the most simplest tasks. I just cannot do this anymore. I am going to develop serious health issues from the stress. It’s too much. What has kept me holding on is our son who adores his father to death and I am now pregnant again. However, lately, I spend all my waking hours thinking about my escape. Can I tell him that I have accepted a new job in a town far away and he stays here? How can I go through this pregnancy alone (that’s pretty much what I am doing anyway)? Should I simply end my pregnancy? Making it work never crosses my mind.
There is nothing to work out. He says that he does not have a problem and will not take any meds. We tried counseling, but he refused to return until I found a counselor from his obscure country that could understand him. Six years in America and he refuses to learn English. Has dropped out of every English class I signed him up for, even the private tutor. “There’s nothing wrong with me. You are the one that wants to make me your slave.” I have kicked him out a million times.
I thought that a man had to be a cheat, a drunk or a drug addict, lying about his sexuality, wife beater or commit some god awful criminal act before his wife just threw her hands up in utter disgust. Boy, was I wrong. I read “The Bridge” and I cannot hold on anymore. I just feel numb. I refuse to live the rest of my life like this.