is it always the worst sin to get angry?

Just the worst day, ever. I am so despondent and tired and alone that I think I may be becoming clinically depressed. If anyone out there has some words for me, I would appreciate it so much.

I got mad at my husband this afternoon. And in this situation, he always, always, is able to be so self-righteous and incensed, and play the victim and make it all about me getting angry, that the reason that I did just does not matter and I am not allowed to talk about it, ever. He turns it on me and the entire discussion is about how horrible I am for getting angry and how he doesn't deserve it. We never, ever, can talk about him or his behavior or response to me or anything that he may do that is inappropriate, or negative, or affecting me in a difficult way. We have been following this pattern for so long, and I am so frustrated and sad, I just can't stand it anymore. 

Let me say that I agree, of course. No one should get angry. No one deserves to have someone mad at them. I have been working very, very hard to be in control of the reactions I have to things. I am so much less angry than I used to be. Long story short, this afternoon, my husband decided he had to pick up my car, that was finished being repaired, five minutes before he was supposed to pick up me and my children, in his car, at work. He is always, always, always late. For everything. I got a little mad when he got there, because he frequently runs up to the very last minute and tries to fit in one more thing, when he should be leaving or moving. And he doesn't have a cell phone because his old one expired and he can't deal with getting a new one. So I stood there not knowing what was going on, or if he would be four hours late, and my building was locked and I was just stuck. And all I said was, "We have been standing out here for forty minutes!" And then it started. The excuses, the "I didn't KNOW it was going to take so long" (I didn't KNOW is a frequent phrase he uses), "I was doing you a FAVOR," "I do not DESERVE for you to be mad at me.." On and on. I wasn't THAT mad, just annoyed, but when he didn't even acknowledge me or the fact that the kids had been out there in the RAIN for forty minutes, it escalated, and he ended up getting out of the car on the side of the highway and trying to walk. Can I mention that our kids were in the car? I had to drive after him on a busy road and coax him back into the car. And even though he always gives me the "I don't deserve your anger" speech, he gets SO much more mad than I ever do. But this, according to him, is just him defending himself and the only way he can get me to stop (which is absolutely not true). 

It is just so awful. I found myself, driving along the side of the road, the kids yelling, "Dad, get in the car," and I just wished a hole would swallow me up right there. I know it is not great to get mad, but I was just so hurt that he would let us stand out there for that long and not even apologize or anything. It is hard to explain, but it was just so hurtful, and then when he made it all about me being this horrible person because I was mad, it just killed me. 

Same fight, over and over again, for years. I can't make him be on time. I can't make him think about the consequences when making a decision to try to do one more thing even though he is already almost late. I can't talk to him about all this--it is like pouring gasoline on a fire and I never, ever get the validation or response I am looking for. He never, ever sees things like this through my eyes. And what really kills me is that he would act that way in front of our children and then blame his behavior on me getting mad, and not even care how it must affect them for their father to get out of the car and make this big scene by walking home. Thanks for listening. 

This EXACT same scenario

This EXACT same scenario happened to me. About 20 years ago. That scene kept me in check for years. This little drama is like the person who cares the least about a relationship wins. I was always working around his possibility of making a scene.  DH also uses the term "deserve" a lot. It is not a team word.

Now, if that same scene were to happen today, I would get out of the car and speak clearly to him. "Our children need to see an adult be able to talk and work together as a family.  They need a role model. They don't need to see you throw a child's tantrum."  I compromised myself so many times to avoid a "scene".  I am angry just thinking about it again.  You have a right to be steaming right now.  So do I.

I realize my DH has difficulty with reality, organization, time and with being overwhelmed.  If he would admit that to himself, he would be able to talk to me about it and we could work out a system.  But what has happened is that over the years he acquired his own ways of coping with his ADD.  He takes care of his ego and being mean, obstinate, mocking, joking, distracting, withdrawing seem to work for him (in his world).  These are not activities you want your children to copy. They need to be called out and worked on so they do not get the idea that this is acceptable to you.

thanks so much

Thanks, guys. Jennalemon, you are right with your words. I don't think I am dealing with an adult most days. And my husband is stubborn to a fault--he would walk home 25 miles rather than get back in the car to "show" me what a horrible person I am. I would never, ever, behave that way in front of my children, but he does not seem to edit himself or adjust his behavior much when they are around. It has been a problem for a while. I spend a lot of my time trying not to set him off, which feels very wrong to me. 

And I feel the same--if it were me, the minute I pulled up in the car and he told me how long the kids and he had been waiting, I would fall all over myself accepting responsibility and being genuinely remorseful that I had left them out there. Except that I would not leave my kids on a sidewalk for forty minutes. So it is hard for me to understand how he immediately switches into defense mode when he does something that affects another person in a negative way. I really wasn't that mad, just pretty annoyed. 

And seriously, the defensiveness is almost funny. I was mad at about a 3 or 4 on a scale of 10. Late last night, he was still hanging onto it (even though I sincerely apologized, which I always do, and he never does), and he railed and lashed out at me, at about an 8 on a scale of 10. He said awful things. And this morning, when I asked about it, he blamed it on not feeling well from walking so far yesterday, lol. And ACTUALLY said to me, "You get mad because you are an awful, angry person--I was mad because you yelled at me and were mean to me." Seriously. I repeated it back to him, "OK, if I have this right, I get mad because I am an awful, angry person, and you get mad because you are defending yourself against me." Yep. 

And now I have to get the kids ready and go to work like this (I didn't sleep all night). How can I work with this? 

Showing anger is NOT the

Showing anger is NOT the worst sin.  It might not be a good thing, but it is not necessarily bad.  I think it gets a bad rap because it's sometimes associated with violence and aggression, but sometimes anger is just anger.  I also think that some folks with ADHD (and other people, too) are so AFRAID of anger that they strive to convince people around them that showing anger is really, really bad.  My husband is one such person.  I'm willing to cooperate to a certain extent with sparing my husband from things that scare him.  But here is something that happens in our household sometimes:  Husband says that my displays of anger make him shut down and cause him to be unable to respond.  I say, OK, I'll try to not show anger.  But I still have things I want to talk about.  Husband then says that just talking about those things makes him shut down and causes him to be unable to respond.  I realize that I can either be a "good" person by sparing my husband's sensitive brain; or I can be a "bad" person by bringing up important topics.  I feel boxed in.  Eventually, I get mad about the fact that we can't talk about things.  Then husband goes, see, you got angry, and now my poor sensitive brain has shut down and I can't communicate with you.  And I'm thinking, but you can't communicate about ANYTHING important.  Sheesh.


been there

Hi Rosered,

It is a hard cycle, isn't it? My DH has such a thing about being told he did something wrong, or addressing difficult issues, or someone being mad at him--he would do just about anything to be right, or make his behavior ok, or to "beat" the person who has the other point of view (it is not just me--people at work, etc., but he does not treat them the way he treats me. Sounds like yours has a different coping mechanism. Either way, it results in not being heard or respected, which feels pretty rotten. After this has gone on for a while, it is hard not to get frustrated, isn't it? 

Hang in there, and thanks so much for answering. 

You had a valid reason to get

You had a valid reason to get angry, lynninny. It's my first time to post a comment but I've been lurking here since February. My boyfriend was diagnosed with ADD when he was a kid. And according to him, his symptoms aren't full blown :D. Whatever!

The relationship was really good for about a year. I thought I got so lucky because he was so focused on me and my needs. 3 years later, I feel so lonely, angry and depressed.

You are not alone. I too have my share of anger and frustrations. The other night I came home from work and heard the dryer was still running. I asked why the laundry isn't done and he answered, well I put them 3 times already but they're still wet (only 2 towels by the way). I said I was gone for 10 hours and I washed them before I left it is impossible that they aren't dry already. I got so mad because come on are you really gonna give me BS answer when I'm gone for 10 hours? Why can't you just tell me the truth that you are just playing xbox this whole time I was at work and forgot to put them in the dryer? Again, this fight has escalated to blaming him for every stupid decisions he's made that got us into financial troubles, recently. I could go on and on forever with my venting. Two weeks ago, he promised to pick me up from work because he has to use the car (my shift work ends at midnight). Guess, what he did? Forgot to pick me up and I ended up getting a ride from complete strangers. I was so thankful my last customers at the restaurant was heading to my town that night. When I got home he was just sleeping on the couch with the TV on. 

I'm sorry, lynninny that I vented on your post. I just want you to know that I feel what you feel too. And that we have different but similar situation. Hugs!


no worries

Don't worry about venting. It does make me feel better to hear I am not alone. 

You know, if he would just look at me and say, "I have trouble with time, and I am sorry you had to wait and were worried about me," that would be it! But the immediate defensiveness underscores my feeling that he just can't see my point of view and doesn't care even that his kids were stuck out there for so long. 

LOL, that has happened SO many times, by the way--it is like he is a kid and I am the mom. The SECOND I pull into the driveway he jumps up and starts to do something he said he would do that day. Like he is going to be in "trouble" or something. 

I am thinking of you. Hang in there. 

A question for the people in this thread...

Are your DH's doing anything about their ADD? Meds, therapy, reading about ADD or exercising? I've been there with some of the behavior's you are describing. I was more of the Shut-Down type than a Get Angry Mean type before diagnosis. The classic event around here was due to my oblivious powers of observation, so if there was something I "Should" have been noticing was bothering my DW or something that she had told me at some point she would like to get done, she would not nag me about it and pretty much just wait for me do notice the issue or start the project she asked me to do. At some point during the wait she would eventually get pi$$ed off about it and blow up at me about the issue, catching me totally off-guard. Completely unprepared for the subject because I did not ever notice, or because she mentioned something a while back and I forgot or worked on other items in the to-do list. I know the "Feeling" like you are being attacked and understand that it was an over-reaction on my part because of being caught off-guard. Time Management was an issue I figured out a long time ago, before diagnosis, and was just SICK of being late and all the reactions from people when you are late. I think my anxieties drove me to better my time and organizational skills, but I did not have a skill for being oblivious to the world around me, unless something was blowing up in my face.

Since my diagnosis, time management, organization, communication, prioritization and general health is all better than before. Without treatment through treatment with Adderall (No med vacations), some therapy, lots of reading and posting/reading posts like this one, I don't think I could have moved out of neutral. I was diagnosed at 43 and three years later I'm still working on my reactions/communication skills. I believe ADDer's can improve, but how much is up to the ADDer and how much damage was done before any improvements. I wish there was a formula which calculated the point of when there was "Too much water under the bridge".

Thanks for listening...  

Fab question

YYZ this is a fabulous question, and a great topic deserving of it's own thread.  Before we derail another thread, suggestion....why don't YOU start a new thread with this question?  I will post there :)

BTW..wassup since the "purchasing a new car disaster"?

You're right... you can't.

What struck me about your post were your comments "I can't make him be on time.  I can't make him think.... I can't talk to him about this...."  And this one I didn't KNOW is a frequent phrase he uses),  This last statement, I think you should take him at his word.  Truly, at the time he didn't know.  I've been married more than 35 years to my ADD guy... I discovered adult ADD less than a year ago (A book at the library leapt into my hands, and bewildered as to why, I started reading it in the parking lot, and wept, and wept and wept...)  The thing that has been the most helpful and the hardest is separating the ADD symptoms from my guy's coping mechanisms, which I suppose he has been developing and using since childhood.  I always try to remember, when I am hurt, disappointed, angry, resentful, exhausted... whatever, I always try to remember how he thinks and how he feels about himself, and how crappy it must be to always be wondering when you'll screw up again, then forgetting in the next instant what to do to prevent screwing up.  Over and over and over again.  My guys coping mechanisms are deflect, distort and deny.  I call them the Three Stooges.  And almost always, it is his use of one or more of those coping strategies that causes the hurt, disappointment, anger, resentment, exhaustion, etc. much more than the ADD symptom.  You said in another comment that if he would just apologize you would be done with it.  I try to remember that my guy has been feeling the need to apologize for "failure" multiple times a day for years and years and years, and to avoid feeling that lousy about failing, he developed other skills that would excuse, explain or deny the need for apology.  Being late is not one of his "failings".  But walking away, turning out, changing the subject or just ignoring me is (according to me).  And when he suddenly realizes he has done this, he tries to make amends, not by stating what he did and apologizing, but by making a joke, asking me a weird question about of the blue, or giving me a hug while I'm washing the dishes he promised to wash.  For YEARS these attempts PISSED ME OFF.  I don't yell when I'm angry.  I get very small and very quiet and very remote.  Not cold.  Not bitchy.  Not snide.  Just gone.  And I can see on his face, damn I've screwed up again, but there's nothing I can do about it, so he walks away and we have both lost another opportunity for ... repair.  
I started out by pointing out all the things you already know you can't do.  The key to some sort of peace is to figure out what you can do.  Emphasis on you and can.  Like Dr. Phil asks how's it working for ya?  Stop doing what isn't working.  For example you could try this:  the next 3 times he is late, do nothing.  If you have to "act" then do it, but it's possible if you detach from (or let go of what you are clinging to) your expectation, you can do nothing.  By this I mean, proceed when he arrives as though he arrived on time.  Don't praise him, don't criticize him, don't note the "time" in any way.  Just get started on whatever you were waiting to do at this "time".  This might make him confused.  It might make him grateful.  He might be relieved, or feel gleeful that he got away with something.  Or, this being ADD, he might not notice.  But if it happens 3 times, he probably will.  And here's the key, by changing just one thing in the normal scenario, you will inevitably change something else.  And the odds are 50-50 that the change will be positive.  I guarantee it won't be permanent.  Sorry.  But the best part is, the change might be that you get through 3 of these "late" scenarios without getting angry.  And that would be fabulous.  Even if y'all go back to the same old same old, at least you had those 3 times without anger.  

This is the kind of thing I try to do day to day, minute to minute:  take charge of my own feelings, my own actions and my own reactions.  This is the only way for me.  I can't change him, I can't "fix" him, I still love him, and I still enjoy the guy he is underneath the ADD symptoms and The Three Stooges.  So it's what I try to choose as a path. Best wishes. 

thanks so much

Thanks, so much. Interestingly, a small thing happened at work today. I took over a small responsibility at work that I didn't normally do, and I didn't really receive any instructions, and I didn't do something small that I was supposed to, and someone got bothered about it, and I found myself thinking, "I didn't know, ok?" Like, no one told me the rule and I was doing a favor, filling in at the last minute. Wow. I didn't know. 

I do think you make sense. It is hard, after having a pattern reinforced for years and when the person you are married to behaves in a way that automatically strikes everything you know as inconsiderate and uncaring. I would never, ever, leave my loved ones waiting for me on a rainy sidewalk for 40 minutes. But, I don't see time the way he does, and he wouldn't be bothered by waiting like I am. I think that you make a good point, and I am sure it would make our marriage much better for me to change this one thing next time, and even if our relationship ultimately does not make it, I will feel better if I am not quite so co-dependent and don't feel so helpless and angry. If I didn't make him being late be about not loving me, I wouldn't get so mad. And that is what has to be meant by taking charge of your own reactions.  

The getting out of the car and walking thing is a little harder to deal with. He insisted that it was because he couldn't stand me being mad and wanted to be away from me. I think it reeks of punishment and drama and is a bad thing to do in front of kids, of course. Harder to get past him not seeming to care how he affects them when he is emotional and angry. 

The most important thing I think is highlighting Melissa's discovery, as explained in her book. I am really thinking about just trying to be the person I wish I could be, and want to be, for myself and my life and my children. The relationship, which I continue to be on and off the fence about, is secondary to me being happy when I look in the mirror. 

Best to you. 

the drama

As an ADHD spouse I have often pulled the 'punishment and drama' scenes and done plenty of storming off etc.  I also felt like i just needed to get away from DH (or whomever it was i was fighting with!!) BUT....  getting out of the car and walking along the road is just dangerous.  Honestly, when we (ADHDers) pull this kind of shit the only thing to do is calmly call our bluff.  DO NOT put yourself and your kids in danger.  If he wants to stomp off, let him stomp off and you get yourself and your kids home safely and get on with your routine.  He'll give up and take a bus or walk all the home eventually.  By that time he'll realize that 1) he's being a nitwit and 2) YOU WILL NOT TAKE THAT KIND OF SHIT FROM HIM.  Your kids will learn too, that THEY do not need to take crap from people who treat them without respect.  Your kids will see your strength, and internalize it.  Sure, you may worry that DH will look bad to them if you don't try to smooth things over and do damage control, but... you know what?  it's too late.  He already looks silly when he does stuff like that and he needs to learn to stop.

Sorry if this sounds harsh... There's nothing like a convert!!

MagicSandwich's picture


Amen to that!

thanks convert

Thanks! It doesn't sound harsh. It does feel like a temper tantrum, and if my child did something like this, I would treat it as such--I don't tolerate or encourage that kind of stuff from them, it's true. And I hear you--it wouldn't kill him to walk, although something tells me that he wouldn't feel like a nitwit, he would feel like a martyr who got driven out of the car by his shrew of a wife and the only thing he could do, because she is so crazy, is get out and walk (too bad his kids had to see it). He has a thing about making scenes in public, and woe is me if I ever get mad or anxious at him while we are at a mall, or amusement park, or rest stop. We have some pretty serious issues here, LOL. 

But you are right about the strength and my children. If I were calm, and explained to them that he decided to walk and that it was his choice and that we were heading home, I do think they would internalize the positive rather than needing the damage control. I am going to do it, although I really wish there weren't going to be a next time. I am pretty tired of this life. 

I so appreciate your advice. 

I was going to say the same

I was going to say the same thing.  The reason I did not drive on and let him walk alone on the country road when it happened to me is that I knew that the "story" would forever be one that would be brought up in every argument, "Remember the time you drove off in an argument and left me and took the kids with you? She took off with the car and left me stranded! (before cell phones)"  Heaven knows what the story would have been if I had driven off and something bad happened right after that.  I see as I write this how my inability to fight back and my desire to show him I loved him unconditionally has gotten me to play the victim.  I had been afraid of his stories and let myself become confused about who I am.  He controlled me because it was easy. I wanted happy family.  He .... I don't know.... I will stop trying to guess...he doesn't talk about how he feels.  If my child had done that, I would have seen it as either a mental problem or a bratty control event.  I think I wanted to give the father of my children more credit and honor than that at the time. Now I would know better.

Same here

The story WOULD HAVE been twisted around to make you the bad guy.  I know.... live this life as well.  So sorry to hear this happened to you.

Kill the Twisting of the tale...

You know that an ADDer can use the story against you by experiencing the Tale Twisting first hand. His screenplay begins with being abandoned by his family on the side of a country road, in the middle of nowhere, on the night of a Full Moon... Okay, enough drama. Sorry ;) 

You can stick to the facts, the kids witnessed the event, so begin with the undisputable fact of "Who's Choice" was it to get out of the car in the middle of nowhere in the first place??? He was not in danger and forced out of the car to save himself. He Chose to get out of the car to Manipulate this event from the Get Go. (Just my opinion, of course)

Don't fall for the "Banana in the Tailpipe" trick ;)

I'm an ADDer who can't stand over the top theatrics...


get out of the spiral!

you can't control the future:

"Heaven knows what the story would have been if I had driven off and something bad happened right after that...."

Yes, perhaps something bad might happen.  But chances of something bad happening to you AND the kids increases as you give in to the irrational behavior.

The key is to remain calm and instead of getting angry or scared.  for example just say, "This isn't safe.  I'm taking the kids home now." instead of "You wanna walk away?  You're gonna get yourself killed!!" or, "Oh my god!  pleaseplease get in the car!!!"

You can't control the fish stories he tells friends, unfortunately.  But walking away from the irrational behavior/calling a bluff will head to a realization faster than an emotional reaction that will crank up the stimulation.

I agree....that was my

I agree....that was my initial call his bluff. But, she mentioned the kids asking him to get back in the car and I envisioned them being scared. I know my daughter would have probably been very afraid to see me drive off, leaving her daddy there. Otherwise, if the children could be calmed and weren't afraid, I would leave his ass there. "I'm going to take the kids and go home..this situation isn't safe. If you choose to walk home, there is nothing I can do to stop you" would be about where I would leave it. It is manipulation...PURE AND SIMPLE. PUNISHMENT for you being upset with him. 

We were on our way to Charlotte once...about 2 hours into the trip...and we got into a fight and DH told me to let him off at the next rest stop. He even claimed (pretended??) to call a friend to see if the friend could come get him. I was FULLY prepared to drop his ass off and carry on with the trip without him. He changed his mind when he realized I was prepared to do so. 

His being late has nothing do

His being late has nothing do to do with his love, or lack thereof, for you. Stop equating his horrible behaviors with his level of love for you. One has absolutely NOTHING to do with the other. The first thing CoDependent No More tells you...STOP TAKING IT PERSONALLY.

I agree that getting out of the car is so bad to do in front of the kids...and will ultimately be something they don't soon forget...but preventing things from getting this far should be the focus in the future. I would bet that his mind is so wound up and overwhelmed at that point, that he truly doesn't care what it takes to 'escape' and is probably completely incapable of seeing things from a rational point of view while he is 'in the moment'. Sometimes taking the anger out of the relationship is enough to make MANY other things improve. the person that YOU can be happy with...stop reacting to his ADHD with anger. In the end, you have to be happy with who you are or no one can be happy with you. Until you let go of trying to manage your life AROUND his ADHD and learn to manage your life in spite of it, you're always going to dislike what you see in the mirror...and resent him for it. ((HUGS))

First the good're

First the good're not alone. Now the bad news...this is as much something you are causing as it is him. I know this because I have been there and done that, sister.

The facts are *he is never on time for anything...*he reacts to your anger with 3x the amount of anger and it makes everything worse AND CHANGES NOTHING, not your anger nor his.

So you have to ask YOURSELF...what can you do to minimize these kinds of issues? In my mind, this isn't an issue of 'never making him mad' this is an issue of never putting yourself in a position to be left out in the rain for 40 minutes with your children or be put in any situation where you're depending on him to be 'on time' when you know HE IS NEVER ON TIME FOR ANYTHING. Do you see the "wanting a leopard to change his spots" pattern YOU are stuck in? You're doing something I did for years...setting yourself up for disappointment and him up for failure. It isn't fair, it sucks to the core, but if you cannot depend on him to be on time...then stop expecting him to be on time. My sister, whom I love DEARLY used to never be on time for the point that we would say something started an hour earlier than it did just so she would be on time...but I never dreamed of being angry or even acting 'frustrated' to her because of it...we adjusted...or went on with our plans without her until she arrived. I didn't depend on her to be on time...knowing she probably never would.

I know I will get railed on for this, but it is just the damned reality that we live in and I assure you that no matter how many people will cry "we should be able to depend on them!!", it isn't going to HELP YOU. 

My first suggestion would be to help get him a cell matter how much it might feel like 'picking up his slack', in this situation alone it would have made a huge difference. Communication...or having NO communication as in this situation...makes things 100 times worse. Second I would suggest that you avoid having to ever rely on him to pick you and/or the children up from anywhere...ever again. If you have to, expect that he won't be exactly on time...and greet him with a smile...and let it go. Did you getting angry this time...or any other time in the past X amount of years make him 'on time' the next time? No. There is no guarantee that he'll improve and be on time in the future either...even if he's greeted with a smile vs. your frustration...but maybe if the dynamics of things were to change, he might make more of an effort in his own mind to make sure he's on time for you and the kids. What do you have to lose?

I have been told by my DH 1000 times that I was just an angry person and the scenario you described was TO A TEE exactly like what we used to engage being mad, him seeing nothing but my anger, my point (which felt completely valid to me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME) got lost in his tirade, and round and round we went. The comment he made to you in the morning...I know how hard these things hit and hurt...but the reality probably is that is EXACTLY HOW HE FEELS. That IS HIS reality. That IS HIS perspective. It is every bit as real to him as yours is to you. Once you accept that, without anger or resentment, you can start to figure out ways around this issue that will change both of your realities to meet more in the middle. 

It is, to me, horrible that he left you and your kids standing in the rain when he had a specified time he was supposed to pick you up..and I assume he was aware it was raining. I am sure at some level he KNEW it was horrible to do so as well. I am sure that he had no idea things would take him as long as they did. I am sure he felt he was doing you a favor. I am sure that he felt he was in deep crap for being so late so he was loaded and cocked just waiting for you to say the first thing to him about it. This goes back to what I said isn't that he doesn't know it is wrong/hurtful/irresponsible...but more that he just simply isn't motivated (and 'aware') enough to change this about himself right now. My husband has often said something would take him "20 minutes" and it ends up taking 2,3, 4 hours. Their sense of time is broken. Work around it as best you can.

As for him getting out of the initial reaction would be to let him walk home...waving as I drove on by. But, with the kids in the car I am sure they would be traumatized by seeing you pull off and leave him. This part of ADHD really does piss me off...the inability to see how these SENSELESS acts of rebellion hurt the children. At some point, when things settle, I might say to him "I know you and I were upset with each other, but the children really are frightened and scared when you act this way...and I hope you might choose to behave differently in their presence in the future." THAT he cannot blame on was a choice he made. Don't argue with him about it, even if he tries to blame you somehow..just simply say "it was a choice you matter how I was feeling or how angry either of us were...that was YOUR choice and I won't own responsibility for it" and WALK AWAY. 

There are things that my husband does that really frustrate me...I find myself getting worked up about them and wanting to text him or confront him about them...but I eventually talk myself out of it because I know it won't help anything and there are always better ways to handle things than with anger and frustration. I know this didn't work for me in the past, so I am not going to go there anymore. I asked him to throw some chicken in the oven as I left for work the other night..."no problem" he said. It would be prepared and ready for my son the next day when I went to feed that I wouldn't have to spend the time cooking it and could sleep. He obviously forgot...and I had to cook it myself. I never said a word. Just a few short months ago, he wouldn't have even been willing to throw it in the oven, now that he does make the effort more often than not, I don't say a word about it when it just slips his mind. I can see him trying harder and harder to step up to the plate...because I don't beat him with the baseball bat when he doesn't. I can assure you, I took his accusation of being 'angry and ugly' as a challenge. Fine, if that is what he truly feels is the root of all of HIS own anger and behaviors...then I will take that out of the equation and see where we are then...and it seems to be working better than I ever imagined. 

PLEASE don't feel frustrated to the point of being emotionally exhausted about things like really is something you can learn to manage. 

strength and fear

My Dad has ADHD and probably ODD as well, and many times growing up would pull dramatic scenes in front of my brother and I.  My childhood though, was NOT filled with fear and dread because my mother ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS reacted with calm, rational solutions and kept us from ever feeling unsafe or afraid.  If he was angry and lashed out at her or us, and say something mean she would just look at him as if he had just announced there are ant farms on the moon and say, "Huh?"  

This is why I believe that staying calm is the best diffuser of the ADHDer's tantrum.  Anytime my dad did something crazy we'd look at mom and see how she'd react.  She never lost her temper, and because of that we always felt safe and we could see that even though we loved our dad that he could do things that made no sense to anyone.  Now that said, I have to admit that if he'd been physically abusive or alcoholic it would be a different story - but... he would get on hyper focused tears that would sometimes inconvenience the family considerably and the fact that my mom stayed on an even keel about it helped tremendously.  Eventually, she would just refuse to go on his adventures.  And, eventually he came to expect that she would.  Although, he'd always invite us along.  To this day, when he announces he's going to go somewhere (a riot, protest, camping trip with Star Trek fans, the grand opening of a gun shop, WHATEVER) he'll invite her, she'll say 'no thanks' and he'll say, "But.... your name was favorably mentioned!"  They'll both laugh, he'll go off and do his thing and she'll put her feet up and read the paper.


Yep, just came back after taking a break for a while.