I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

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.

any advice?

wow this sounds like my partner! he was only diagnosed lastweek after telling every single health professional in the uk that he had adhd for the past two years. seems they just dont have the knowledge. we had do find out ourselves who could help and then insist on being referred. he was just passed from one person to the next. anyway this has hugely impacted on him in every way in his whole life. he has low self esteem and believes that nobody loves him. his relationship with his mother is terrible to this day. they argue over the past.. she let him down and he has lived with every aunt, uncle, grandparent etc. he then moved in with his grandmother who spoiled him wrotten (and still does to this day) she gives him money daily and he can do no wrong in her eyes, its all his mopthers fault she says. she will not allow him to have responsibility for himself and rings twenty times a day to see his every move.

 i just bursted out laughing when i read about your husbands new best friends. this is my partner all over. he can go to the pub or corner shop and be gone for hours after making a new best friend who is brilliant because they are completey bonkers!. people do instantly like him which frustrates me at the minute because its like hes nice to everyone other than me and people think he is fantastic. and the money situation... if he was a millionaire it would be gone within a week. he has no money in his bank accout, constantly borrows from friends anf famfly and his wage when he can go to work is spent by the time he arrives home. he doesnt handle authority well which is why he cant hold a job down. i am paying most bills and doing everything around the house because i cannot stand mess and he is like a big explosion. when he wakes in the morning i am awake because he yawns extremely loud, begins to cough.. peers out of the blinds, slams his sock drawer followed by the wardrobe door. as the day goes on he will spill atleast one drink, leave the milk out of the fridge without replacing its lid. i normally cant even locate the lid! he leaves the fridge and cupboard doors open  and the sugar pot lid off. he spills tea everywhere when stiring his drink and doesnt even think to wipe  it up. when i follow him into the kitchen to ensure he wipes his spillage he says i am nagging . and the next thing he does is lose absolutely everything you can imagine: keys, jumper, dvd, phone, money, his shoes that he has just taken off(which i sometime get shouted at for throwing them into his wardrobe so i wont trip over them). he will walk muddy footprints on my still wet mopped floor without even noticing that the floor is wet. he totally blanks most things i say unless i shout at him to get his attention. he spends hours on end on computer games or on apps on the phone and doesnt realise how long hes been sat there. i cannot leave the children with him because he will forget that its dinner time or let my two year old daughter empty every cupboard and drawer in the house.. i cant have a night out but its fine when he does. i have to pay for holidays or we woldnt go. i pay and shop and wrap for christmas and birthdays. i take my son to and from school because he doesnt want to stand around with other parents. hes fine going to his friends for a few hours at tea time or to the gym so that he looks good but anything that doesnt immediately benefit him he will not do. he will starve if i dont cook. its only now after three years of our relationship that he has started making drinks, toast and cereal. i know my partner is capable of certain chores because he was in the army for 4 years until he lost his son. he was in the infantry which he loved but he says he was always introuble for disobeying rules . i can believe this, he is unbelievably stubborn and will purposely refuse to do something that he wants to do if he knows you want him to do it. his mind works in a strange way.

he also has a temper which he takes out on the doors. my mother avoids coming down and wants me to leave him. that wont happen until i give up which i dont want to do. it does affect the children as they are only young and see they way he speaks to me but it doesnt seem to faze them as much now which im not sure is good or bad. my son has recently been quite anxious about everything and i think this is because of the way our family is at the moment. if the children are playing in the livingroom my partner most often walks out of the room because every little thing frustrates him. the neighbours must thing he hits me with the abusive words that come from his mouth. he doesnt care if doors or window are open and the whole street can hear but he says some horrendous things which are quite hurtful. he then gets angry or upset that i am upset at the things he has said n he says he has told me time and time again not to take them personally because he doesnt mean them. he will get angry over not being able to find the remote, being bored, shouting.. unless its him. the children arguing, me nagging (normally about the mess hes made or the reluctance to move his belongings) 

if he lived alone he would have no gas, electric, tv license, food in the cupboards, his gran has always provided these things for him even when he lived alone. and she would go daily to tidy and wash his things. he will not come shopping with me without demanding to gome home as soon as we have got there. he will not celebrate by going out for a meal because he ends up arguing with my 7 year old son for not behaving. i do everything on my own with the children asthough i was a single mother. i go to college and will be doing the access to health and social care course in  september over one year. i hope i do not fail because i dont have the time to finish assignments as its my dream of becoming a social worker.

 

won't give

Meneka,

I am sorry you are having such a hard time. It is tough to be with someone who insists he doesn't have a problem and won't seek help. I agree with Lauren, wow, you sound like you are in a tough place. 

I would have a very hard time with a spouse who would endanger our child (fall asleep with 2 year old outside and door open) or battle me like a teenager for his paycheck rather than immediately using it to support the family. Can you find someone from his culture to try to help get through to him? Maybe the counselor from the obscure country? Or ask yourself if you really even want to get through to him any more? 

It is a hard place to be when staying and leaving are neither great options. You have to look out for yourself and your children first. It is challenging to bring a child into this much stress. It sounds like you have tried to reach him and let him know how his behavior is affecting you. And that the two of you are on completely different pages. 

We all deserve to have a happy life and to provide one for our children. It always helps me to make a "what's the worst thing that can happen?" list. What are you prepared to do if he does not seek help? If nothing changes? What would the worst thing be about taking that job in another town? Being a single mom is tough (I am one now, lol) but living in abject misery is much tougher. Best to you. 

Thank you lynninny

Hi lynninny,

Thank you for taking the time to write. Yeah, it's a mess. I have consulted with people from his native village who he maintains contact with, respects and speaks with regularly. After years of seeking counsel from these family friends, he and his wife finally said: "Madame, you married someone with psychological limitations. Surely you knew that when you married him?" Boy, that hit me like a ton of bricks. Mind you, this is not a culture that speaks frankly. Cultural norms dictate that one saves face at all cost. They will tell you everything else before the truth and would just habitually pacify me with: "Please be patient with your husband. It will get better one day." Finally, this is what they said once he left outdoors to smoke a cigarette. Even when I later related this to him, he refused to accept it.

Well, I did not know. However, I do remember my in-laws commenting that they were so worried about him and that they were happy he met me. I assumed that it was because he was because he was in his late 30s and unmarried. I am definitely working towards where I need to be. Thank you again for your comments.  

-Meneka

I'm So Exhausted's picture

A lot to commiserate with you

My spouse could be labeled as an all-around good-guy.  No drug or drinking issues.  Faithful to our marriage vows.  No porn addictions.  Doesn't EVER call me names.  (My family rule - no character assassination - 100% none.) His anger issues are starting to spill out into the public eye.  In previous years only myself, my children, and his siblings ever saw it.  

Friends who are not walking in our shoes have no clue about

lost keys - again.

 Lost wallet - again.

 Lost coat - again.  

Lost cell phone - again.  

Late - again.  

Forgot an appointment - again.  

Didn't remember to take his meds - again.

 Yet another phone message about the careless driver in one of our company trucks.  We have 2 trucks.  It is always my spouse who the complaint is about.  He denies it is his fault.  

Weird way he views household responsibilities:  he thought that since I had a day off from school, I could just do the dishes for him - because after all, he is WORKING and I am not.

I think what I most have been desiring is for someone in my family - anyone in my family - to get a window's view into what my daily life is like.  I do not need their permission - but empathy would be nice.  I guess now that I think about it, I have probably become somewhat of a whiner.  They have no clue.  None.  Think I am married to a gem.   

I really am struggling with how to divide our lives.  I yielded every-time on his poor financial decision - so now we are in debt.  1/2 is mine. How do we afford 2 households?

More than ADHD

Hello. I'm very sorry you are going through all of this. It must be horrible. If you were my best friend I would tell you to run far and fast.  To me he sounds manic. If he is bipolar then it is possible the antidepressant exacerbated the mania.  I hesitate to call ADHD a mental illness because people with ADHD can thrive but if its not managed it certainly can devolve into illness. Your dh is ill. All you can do is control what you can control. It sounds like you have encouraged treatment, if he refuses, you must decide whether to cut your losses, because he will not change. No one changes unless they want to do it for themselves. You are in an untenable spot. I really feel for you and hope you find peace.

Um, wow. The one thing that

Um, wow. The one thing that sticks out to me that there is more at play here than just ADHD. But I imagine that you would know better given your background in psychology. Of course they say that ADHD usually works in tandem with another psychological disorder. My husband tends towards depression in addition to his ADHD, for example. He's the more inattentive part of ADHD as opposed to the hyperactive. He too makes friends easily (he has over 350 contacts in his phone). His phone is always ringing, but fortunately, he's not much of a talker. But Lord can that boy text! He used to have his phone permanently in hand but he's learned to put it down when spending time with me.

I think my first advice would be to not terminate your pregnancy. That is your child in there; he deserves a chance even if his father is wacky. Once you have the baby, make sure you don't get pregnant again because he is a.) not able to help you with parenting or b.) you may be on your own. Heck you are on your own, so don't introduce any more children into a situation that is already fraught with stress. That's something I've struggled with myself. We don't have children now, but I think I might want one. I trust my husband to be a good father, but will he remember to? I don't think I have to worry about him endangering them, so that's a relief. I just don't want to be a single mom. I don't want kids enough to be a single parent. My independence is paramount to me.

Secondly, I know how you feel about the fact that he's not a cheater, or drinker or a criminal. No one prepares us for being married to someone who just sucks at life. That's what it boils down to and you don't know what to do. My husband lost three jobs in succession, the first being his dream job. He was a cop and a d*mn good one at that but they don't take kindly to being late all of the time. He found out recently from another cop that his reputation around town was that he was a good cop while he was busy but if he wasn't, he was lazy. That's the stimulation for you. He works in a bar now as a DJ and barely makes enough money to cover his own bills (after he buys two energy drinks a day) much less contribute to the household. He used to be like your husband in that he wanted to part with as little money as possible to the household. Fortunately he has changed a bit and is now ashamed that he doesn't make more money/can't manage what he has.

My hubby is not on meds but he does try to control the ADHD symptoms. As long as he is trying, I'm OK with that. Our marriage problems used to be about the ADHD. It still is a bit, but for the most part, it's about communication now. We have to work hard to make the progress that we do. Over a year in counseling and we'll probably be in some form of that for the rest of our marriage. We're both hard headed and want our own way and these things a happy marriage do not make.

I think you definitely need to do some research and decide what other psychological limitations he may have. It's scary I know. My hubby's sister has a masters in psychology (or counseling, not sure) and she once said that she thought he had a personality disorder. I was scared straight that's for sure. Our counselor says no and I trust her more than his sister right now, but I know where you're coming from. I think Shelley may be right in that he may be Bi-Polar, though I understand that affects more woman than men. There's just something else at play besides the ADHD, that's for sure.

Good luck to you. Try to rest if you can.

I agree-Mental Illness

Hi,

My heart breaks for you to read about your problems with your DH.  He sounds mentally ill and needs treatment.  I think you should seriously think about that.  You are in the psych field, so is there any way you figure out how to get him in for observation?  

To me it sounds  like Bi-polar but it doesn't all fit.  My brother was Bi-Polar and thankfully he was never mean, but when he was manic he could charm the pants of anybody and con them out of their money.  And in my experience, my brother knew all about social situations.  That is how is was really good at conning people.  Yours sounds like he might have autism spectrum on top of it and ADHD.

You may need to bring out an ultimatum. Say, "Either you get treatment or you need to leave."  Build up your resource network before you do this though and make sure you have a safe place for you and your children to go if things get out of hand.

You are in my prayers!