I've Left, I am Healthier than Ever, then Why am I Miserable.

It will soon be a year since I first came to this site with many months in between my last post.  My problems came to a peek when my ADD husband after I left the home began to fight me for the custody of our 2 children.  It truly got as bad as bad could get my “boy next door, good Christian man and best friend” became the most deceptive, malicious and irresponsible man I have ever met.  Despite my fears and pleas for assistance for intervention from “our mutual friends and family” for over 11 years, because I left my husband; I received no assistance. 


Nearly 7 moths of hell, $7,000.00, our business in shambles, and our home 10 days from  foreclosure, a light came on in my husbands mind and he just simply STOPPED fighting!  He asked me to consider reconcile, to which I said no.  And despite saying no, just like that he started to collaborate!  Within a week he signed over primary custody of our children to me!   He signed over primary custody, gave back to me the primary responsibility of managing the business and gave me access to move into our marital home or back to the state of my choosing.    


My ADD Husband spent more energy fighting me in 7 months then he did in the 11 years of our marriage trying to work on our problems.  In 7 months he spent more energy focusing on his hatred for me and how to destroy me, than addressing his ADD diagnosis.  My ADD husband filed for divorce faster and than he filed for his income tax return!  He paid his attorney before he paid for the mortgage.   He called his cronies to devise tactics before he would pick up the phone to call his children.


Only to in the end for $300.00 draft and file a custody agreement with the children living with me during the week and visiting him all the weekends but the last. 


So, here we are! Here I am on this site as if I am going through ADD Spouse withdrawals.  I’ve been gone for nearly 15 months and have entered into a new relationship.  My new relationship has its own problems, but NOTHING like those I had with my spouse, for the most part it is most everything I didn't have with my husband.  I've moved back to our joint state for the benefit of our children.  My ADD husband now lives 3 miles from my current home and for the past 4 months since I moved here.  It now begins to seem as if he is getting more and more comfortable with the arrangement., me living here alone and him living there alone.  Since we are not legally divorced, I still maintain access to our marital home.  I go and come as I please, to impose some discomfort that will help him get off the stick and get it ready for sale.  But, he is not phased by my ability to imposition him. 

Despite the fact that I am in another relationship, it is as if my ADD Husband is attempting to build a friendship with me again.  It is as if he has grown comfortable with himself beng alone and the kids sometimes. It is as if he is waiting on me, without my concent.  Praying for me, for us...scriptures, bibles everywhere.  Yet, when I go to the house I see he has let it go down hill, the piles of paper are everywhere and the bills are months behind.  His ADD is all over the house.  It is almost as if, I can now see how much I was doing.  THE MAN IS A MESS!  But, HE thinks he is ok and HE thinks he is making strides to gain my affection.  I don’t think there has been a weekend YET, where he can REMEMBER IF HE HAS THE KIDS!  Did you read, he has them “every weekend but the last.”


My problem:  I was once a committed Christian and I so desire the be whole spiritually again.  But, look at me now.  Look at my “walk.”  I am gone and in another relationship and here is my husband.  I loved the commitment of being married, I just hated my marriage.  But I miss what marriage meant to me and my children.  I can not go back to what was, but I want to go back for what MAY be.  I come to this site to remind myself of the dysfunction that I left; but now with the reality of diagnosis of ADD (one received a month before I left and refuted 2 months after I left).  Its not his fault.  But, its not mine either!  Yet, I feel like the guilty one. 


I haven’t said a word of reconciliation to my husband.  I haven’t even hinted to a plan of any kind.  But, I want to try… I want him to try.  I want us to go to counseling, I want him to be the man I have now but with OUR 11 year commitment, I want him to take his medication and I want to rebuild...I want him to have leaned SOMETHING and invest the same energy as he did to destroy everything to building everything aknew.  But, I am TERRIFIED to go back, leave what I have and end up with less than what I had before I left.  I am afraid I am being idealistic... again, setting unrealistic expectations...again and having hope...again.


Yes, I can forgive my husband.  Yes, I can work hard and commit to my marriage.  U understand now that my husband "needs glasses," he can not "focus" on his own.  I can not be his eyes and I can not blame him for his vision.  But, can he wee his life ... OUR LIFE with the ADD…truly.  I don’t want to live like this and I don’t want to live like that.  I feel as if I am being punished, challenged and about to fail a trial as a Christian and as a mother or win personal victory.for my own survival.  I feel this is greatest challenge of my life and I simply don’t know what the challenge is? 


You're healthier than ever

I think its wonderful that you can forgive your husband. Its also good for your children that the two of you can get along. But why are you torturing yourself hoping for an ideal relationship that didn't exist for the 11 years you were married to him? There is no magic pill - we all know that. Why risk your financial well-being....and have you forgotten the 7 months of hell? Did you have any time by yourself, after separating from your husband and before the new relationship? I think you should focus on YOU instead of putting so much energy in thinking about him. What are YOUR goals? What are YOUR hopes and dreams (not including the hopes for your husband). What have YOU always wanted to do but haven't taken the time to do? If you really take time to sit quietly by yourself and contemplate these questions, it may bring clarity to your life and allow you to move in a positive direction. Remember, we get one shot at this life, how do you want to live it?

You have to look at what he

You have to look at what he does, not what he says. If he does not think he has a problem then he can never fix it. if he shows signs of getting treatment and learning skills to cope with his symptoms and really commits to working on it, then maybe you can date him again. And nothing says that if you get a divorce you can't still work on reconciliation with him. You can protect yourself mentally and financially with a divorce or separation while seeing if he's truly serious. If he's committed to the marriage then he will be committed to doing whatever it takes to make it work. It doesn't sound to me like anyone can criticize your level of commitment, you have done all you can and you reached the end of your rope. Hopefully this will wake up your husband but sadly some people never get it and you can't change that. God knows your heart, He knows what you've been through and He knows your desire to try again...but he also sees the obstacles. Don't beat yourself up, don't let the bibles and scriptures cause you to cave because of guilt because in the end that will never work. If he's praying AND doing what he can to help his ADD that's one thing, but if he's praying and not doing anything about his ADD...well, that's denial and manipulation and he's still putting everything on you. You can't save the marriage by yourself. Don't let guilt and manipulation pull you back into an unhealthy situation. While his ADD is not his fault, he is responsible for recognizing any issues in his life and working on them, if he chooses not to then that IS his fault and by no means yours. I went through a divorce too and regardless of how congenial things are it does kind of mess with your head as a Christian. But be assured you are not a bad Christian or bad mother, you are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation. Try not to be too hard on yourself...easier said than done but remember that divorce is not the unforgivable sin.

Terrified to Return

Only you can make this decision, but my opinion, based upon what you have written, is that going back at this time would be a mistake.  The only way that ADHD marriages end up being really strong, good marriages is when BOTH spouses decide that things need to change for the better.  What changes, exactly, has your husband made (except to prove that he is capable of being a jerk during your separation?)  If you were writing that he had taken himself to treatment, and was in regular counselling, and had committed to help himself then that would be different...he would have shown, through action, that he wanted change.  Right now it sounds as if what he wants is a house cleaner and a pal.  Sorry!  You don't need to fall for that.

You mention your new relationship.  I suspect that while it's better , it's also not perfect, else you wouldn't be so tempted to go back to the old relationship.  Don't do this to yourself, though.  Easier to work on the current relationship, which has a stronger base, than to try to "move" your husband. You can't change him - you've got 11 years of proof to this.  Or, perhaps, you don't need either relationship....and something even better is out there for you.

I would further look at what your desires are here.  I'm not so sure that it's healthy that you have full access to your marital home.  He deserves to have his own life, and the thought that you want to go to his house to "impose some discomfort to get him off the stick" shows that even you haven't fully figured out this ADD thing yet.  Your going there isn't going to "discomfort" him into getting the house ready for sale!  You know what a huge project getting a house ready for sale is...and how bad most people with ADD are at organizing big projects!  What's your real goal here - selling the house?  Making him realize he still isn't up to snuff?  Make him miserable, since he made you miserable?  Please take a close look at your motives, then I think you may decide that to be really separated you need to be more "businesslike" in your approach.  Make some rules about how/when you can enter that house, what types of things are really your job, how important it is to sell the house (and a real, workable plan to do so if it needs to happen right now in this down market) etc.

In my opinion, you should seriously consider finalizing the divorce, get the financial freedom that you need, get your kids out of limboland, and really move on with your life.  If it turns out that your husband does, in fact, turn his life around, then he can be one of many men who might be able to vie for your attention.  If you choose, you could even get remarried (stranger things have happened) but I wouldn't plan on this.  You are actually in a very good position here - far better for both of you to have a friendly relationship going forward than not.  This will make it much easier for both of you, as well as for your children.  But friendly is not at all the same thing as being able to be in love with each other and be able to be happy with each other!

I think there are many ways to be a good Christian (though I will tell you that I am a member of a Unitarian Church, not a Christian church, so I'm not speaking with a thorough understanding of the bible here).  It seems to me that you have the opportunity to be forgiving and loving towards this man without sacrificing yourself to an ideal about marriage that the two of you together were unable to fulfill.  It may help you to start thinking of what the two of you have as a "relationship" rather than a marriage (this is a theme that I bring up time and time again).  Sometimes I think "marriage" brings some baggage that is hurtful rather than helpful.  In this case, it sounds as if you like the concept of being married, but doesn't that concept include "love"?  Sometimes we marry the wrong person for us...but the concept of marriage can be found elsewhere - and when we are in a good marriage we can truly fulfill all of what marriage is supposed to be about - love, forgiveness, full support for our children, a place to be safe with another person.  (Again, our churches have different points of view on this, so I accept you will possibly have other ideas about marriage here.)  In my own book, a good marriage includes being mentally healthy because you are a team - being in a relationship in which you can thrive.  No slave/master stuff for me!

Really, you provide your own answers to your questions about whether or not you should go back when you list the long list of things he would have to change in order for your marriage to succeed.  Until you can look at him and decide that he wouldn't need to change a thing, you shouldn't go back!  You either love him, and want to be with him, for who he is RIGHT NOW, or you shouldn't be there...no matter what religion.

If you continue to waver on this, perhaps a good counsellor can help you through this rough patch.