Just completely frustrated

Just got my husband diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago.  After several dosage changes on his medicine, I thought things were so great.  I thought we could finally have a "normal" relationship, but I was wrong.  Now he will threaten me that he won't take his pills if I do this or that.  He takes his pills at odd times when he is supposed to take them the same time each day.  This causes him to stay up all night doing whatever he is hyperfocused on at the time.  We have 2 teens and 2 toddler twins and of course this is all affecting them.  On top of it all, just found out I am pregnant - not happy at all.  Everything I have read in the forums sounds just like my husband but I am at a loss of what to do with him.  He thanked me for doing the research that lead him to find out he had ADHD and get him a doctor and the right meds.  Now he says I am the one who is crazy and I am the one who needs pills.  Do I continue to fight for him and my family and get him more help, or should I give up? 

I want a "normal" quiet, drama free life but feel I will never get that.  Our main problem with his ADHD is money.  He can't handle it, can't budget, can't pay a bill.  I have been "trying" to keep up with our bills all these years but he has made it so impossible.  If I don't give him the money he wants, he throws a tantrum, threatens me, throws things etc.  He always has something going on to make "extra money" but it always ends up costing us in the end and coming out of his paycheck.  I work part time so he is the sole provider.  He has lied to me about money, stolen from me, taken my debit/credit cards without telling me, even forged my name on a check.  He has completely ruined our credit, we have never been able to save a dime and even the kids are tired of it.  Oh yeah, I have to make sure the teens hide their money and debit cards from him too. 

His rage when he feels frustrated or when he doesn't get what he wants is completely out of control.  He yells at the top of his lungs so loud it hurts our ears.  He says the most hurtful things to us all, then the next day acts like nothing ever happened or expects us to apologize.  We have been together for 18 years (I don't know how I stayed so long) and I love him, I do feel sorry for him because of the ADHD and the horrible upbringing he had.  I want to fight this and get him the help that he needs but he is so stubborn he doesn't think he has a problem and that the pills work fine. 

I know from reading these forums that I am not alone and that is a great feeling but I just seriously don't know what to do!  Please give me some advice. 

  Medication is only one part

 

Medication is only one part of the treatment. It sounds as if you guys need a counselor to help you sort out the rest.

My marriage has been riddled with the same kind of financial issues as yours...I am expected to handle all of the finances 100%, but yet if he cannot have what he wants, when he wants, he will get mad, give me attitude, and sometimes even go borrow the money (which he knows is very embarassing to me) to get it. He has even recently made comments to our daughter basically saying we could move into a bigger, nicer house but me saying we don't have the money is "Bu!!sh!t" I cannot tell you how upsetting it is to me for him to act like I am lying about how broke we are when I am basically going out of my mind trying to keep us afloat AND afford him his every whim. I have recently started trying to sit down on payday and pay the bills...and then go to the bank and drain the account...taking out all of the rest in cash. I took his debit card away from him...tried giving it back a year later...still didn't work. I give him what I have to give him and he has to make do with that. I have even started giving it in small amounts instead of one lump sum because if I give it all at once, he spends it within days and then has no money for work/lunch for the next week and a half. I am working on letting go of the guilt and focusing on that fact that A) he isn't doing without ANYTHING and B) that I am doing what is best for my family. They throw their tantrums to get what they want...and to make us feel guilty and give them what they want. Guilt is my husband's favorite weapon. Reality is it only works because I let it.

Your husband has to want to get help. He has to admit there are issues that make you unhappy and need to be resolved. Would he be willing to go to couples counseling? You would need to find someone who knows ADHD and how it affects marriages. Someone who recognizes his spending as an impulse control issue. Someone who recognizes his rage as possibly related to other underlying issues of his ADHD (Low self esteem, defensivness, paranoia).

So sorry for what you're going through...you are not alone. (((HUGS)))

Nice to know I am not alone

Thank you SherriW13 for sharing your story.  It makes me feel better I am not alone - too bad we have to have this in common.  Anyway, we have gone to counseling but of course he says they don't know what they are talking about and that he is right.  We live in a small town in a rural area so finding a counselor who has experience with couples and ADHD has been difficult, but I think I may have found someone and I hope he is willing to go with me.  He thinks I hate him but I try to explain I don't hate "him" I hate the ADHD and what it has done to our family.  We used to be best friends and I would love to get that back again.  I really do want to save my marriage, but as I am sure you know it is sooooo frustrating!  I used to think all the financial problems were because of the way he was raised.  I never realized it was not just him until I read the forums.  You are right, guilt is their favorite weapon and I have felt so guilty for so many years.  He accuses me of treating him like a child, but it is like dealing with a child.  It's like dealing with a spoiled little brat who throws a tantrum when he doesn't get his way.  Mine not only uses guilt but intimidation too.  Hopefully I can get him to a counselor this week.  We will see. 

Frustration, anger follow ups

This is my first post and probably like many, found this site from a Google search.  I also started reading the ADHD Effect on Marriage and got to the Rebuilding Your Life in 6 steps and just had to stop reading.  I was mentally exhausted, I am mentally exhausted reading these posts.  It's like reading a script of a reality show that was shot in my own home.

My son which is 10 is severely ADHD along with ODD.  I am willingly and wanting to give every effort to help him find and use tools that will help him succeed in life.  That is an everyday, ongoing process.  The tools that work, I have to always be one step ahead of him to put them in place.  Whether its the way I approach or respond, provide rewards, break things up into small tasks...etc..  I call it preventive parenting.  That is exhausting enough to have to always prepare and TRY to prevent outbursts.  However, my husband that is ADHD...I just don't have any left over energy to invest.  I don't need to list all the frustrating ADHD "symptoms" that have ruined our marriage.  They are all out there in the posts and book.  He has been diagnosed, received medication,(chooses to take it on his terms), gone to counseling (not specifically to an ADHD specialist) all counseling has been in regards to the consequences of his own ADHD symptoms.  However, being honest I don't all the way buy into this "symptom" stuff.  There comes a point that the life they lead, the consequences of actions are all about choice.  They choose to live a life of chaos, they choose whether or not to take their medication, they choose to acknowledge or ignore.  They are adults after all.  

My son was suspected of ADHD at the age of 5 when he started school.  Which he ending up repeating his first year.  Our first step was behavioral therapy.  Medication was our last resort, however in the end we needed both.  Medication has helped the symptoms enough that we can put in place the tools and resources that help him succeed.  We also finally after 3 years of requested was able to have him evaluated for and IEP.  School is such a struggle for him, educationally and socially.  I have decided that I am going to give this year along with his IEP in place now, if this doesn't help,  I will home school him.  Along with working full time and being responsible for everything else in our household from A-Z.  At the end of the day, I have to invest in my son and am "over it" with my ADHD spouse.

You are not alone.

I often dream of how much better things would be if my husband put as much effort into understanding and managing his ADHD as I do. But, I don't want to get started on that negative path today...

I have a son who is special needs (autistic, seizures, very strict diet that requires a lot of cooking..no 'premade' meals or sandwiches). I have a 12 y/o daughter who is probably ADHD, although she gets along well for now. I am in college trying to get a degree I should have gotten 25 years ago. I understand what you mean when you say you have nothing left to give at the end of the day. There does come a time when they have to 'get it' or they lose everything. If it were as simple as understanding that the consequences of action A are B and not liking B and avoiding B by not doing A then our lives would so much easier. Before the diagnosis I used to ask him "you either don't get it or you don't care..which is it?" all the time because he repeated the exact same behaviors over and over again...always apologizing and behaving long enough for me to let my guard down and then WHAM.

At the end of the day, we give until we simply have nothing left to give. We can find amazing amounts of courage and strength when they are TRYING. When they aren't, there really does feel as if there is just simply no sense in fighting the battle anymore. I am very sorry that your husband isn't managing his ADHD effectively. I hope that you, and I, can find some peace about it in the meantime.