Kids before Marriage and Life

My partner was diagnosed with ADD and began medication a little over a year ago.  Since then he has gone through some remarkable changes and shown a real dedication to growing with this deeper awareness of who he is and how it has impacted his life up to this point.  Needless to say, our marriage has also improved with this new direction.

I have often turned to this forum as a reader (and related published material) for guidance and am finding myself at a loss with my current situation.  Any thoughts or help would be much appreciated.  While I may sound calm in writing; I am hurt and feel despair over the future of our marriage.

My partner shows affection to and will drop anything to spend time with our children.  I have asked him many many times over the past few months to see if he can make some time in his busy schedule to spend some time with me, our marriage is struggling and any time would really help.  I have also let him know I am feeling irrelevant and ignored.

It hurts that he makes so much of an effort to see and spend time with the kids, and yet, does not ask me about my day, spend time with me. For example; he will take them out for 'dates' and is disappointed when I ask to come because I miss spending time as a family.  Or just go into another room to do something on his own as soon as they are asleep, not even saying goodnight or talking to me. The things that make him too busy to spend time with me are quickly dropped to spend time with the kids.  Has anyone else struggled with this and their kids/spouse?  I love that he loves the kids (even if sometimes it seems like a selfish love), but am at a loss as to why he can't invest some time in me.  I have spoken with him so many times about this and just don't understand.  It is turning into an unhealthy obsession of his and isn't making any sense to me.  Any advice?

For the first time in a long time, this is feeling like 'old' behavior and I am experiencing that same old feeling of resentment and anger that just builds and builds.


Thanks for writing this.  This exact thing is happening at our house. Exactly.  I have not seen this issue written about before.  It takes 2 people to have a relationship.  Your dh and mine seem to be like babies who only want to do something if it is fun and if there is something in it for them.  Dh has often said when I asked him to do something, "What's in it for me? haha" It is like my dh is a hound dog and the only thing that pricks up his ears is sex and flirty attention (or boyish attention).  The only other thing that seems to get them to pay attention to  their wife is a legal paper from a lawyer saying "Your free lunch wants to be free of you."

Yesterday, my 63 year old dh went to orientation for a 3-day-a-week job.  He asked if we had apples so he could bring an apple for the teacher, haha.  Can you imagine an adult man even thinking of this in his mind? He is a child.  That is why they like to spend time with the kids...they are children in their own minds.  We, as spouses, represent and threaten them with the responsibility of being an adult.  That is not fun for them so they stay away so they don't have to do the hard work of compromising, planning, decision making, working for a paycheck, assuring the family that all is taken care of.  They want to be taken care of themselves - and have fun and laugh.  If they act like babies maybe someone will treat them like a baby. .....  Which is what I did for decades...thinking he would love me for my support..   Wrong.  He forgot and thinks he did it himself.  He really does think he is quite a great guy....and lots of fun and play like a kid!  

Mine was so jealous of our

Mine was so jealous of our newborn. It was a huge turn-off. Two years later, he doesn't spend time with him. He was a so-so husband when I was pregnant too:/ All mine does is provide a paycheck. He complains about his job, but the only thing hard about it is that he has to be there early, like 5 or 6, to do mandatory exercise. He gets 4 day weekends once a month, but all he does is complain. Thank gods he can't just quit. 

Jenna, the apple comment sounds like my husband. It really does feel like I'm married to a child sometimes. I wish I had dated him longer and not let him rush me into marriage. Mine IS young, but he seems to be getting less mature, not more. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Husbands and Daddies

Hi fusion.

This whole thread sort of sums up the basic things I wanted to post today.  Sorta freaky!

I feel so drained. Last night my ADHD spouse and I had a long and arduous conversation.  It started with him  he telling me had a few things that were discussed with his ADHD coach that he wanted to share with me.

 It took all I had to listen to what he had to say and remain calm.  I literally had to keep reminding him I was listening to what he was feeling, however, I was not agreeing with everything.  I also chose to not respond in anger, or by raising my voice, or by having an argument.  Did I mention I was drained?  Yes I did - I am so physically and mentally depleted.  

He is furious that "I" lent my niece and nephew our RV. He cannot believe I would override his wishes.  I asked him why then it would be OK for him to override my wishes of wanting to share it?   

I love my nephew.  I WANT to share it with him.  If the young man was know to drink and drive, or was careless, or ungrateful - it would not been a consideration.  But that is not the case.

I told him I realize I always agreed with him, and always let him control me with his anger, but as I have frequently stated in the past 2 years, I won't let it happen again. He does not have the right to say NO, period, NO.  I am his life partner, not his child.  I wanted to share the RV, I was not asking permission, I was just letting him know I was sharing it.  

He cried.  He yelled.  He did the "poor me" routine.  

He slept on the recliner downstairs.  All night.  He is stewing.  I am so not willing to do this much work over standing up for what I desire.

Conflict resolution.  Impossible.  






Mountains and Molehills

It really bites that he's choosing to stew over the RV issue.  Did he ever have a rational argument for denial? It seems to me that with a shared asset one would have to have a rational argument in order quash a strong desire.  Like he was going to use it that wknd, or the nephew has wrecked 6 cars while ogling girls in convertibles. Having to keep talking about it, after RV is returned unharmed, is just ludicrous. And yet such a familiar story. Maybe you need a solo, or friend, road trip in that RV. Go see some natural beauty far far away.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

A bone of contention since 2007


We bought the RV in 2007.  We decided since it would cost $6,000 to rent one, we bought a used one, put an additional $5,000 into upgrades and repairs, with the intention of selling it after our family cross country trip.  I am not a fan of camping, but traveling in an RV was nice.  I wanted a 2 week vacation.  I was out voted, so the vacation was 3 weeks.  Too long for me.

When it came time to sell it, in 2008 - the economy took a nose dive and no one would buy it for the price we wanted.  I did not want to lose a huge amount of money, and since it was paid for, we kept it - on the agreement we would use it AT LEAST once a month in May - October.

Didn't happen.

5 years later, 5 additional years of depreciation.  We don't use it.  When I tried to plan weekends, it made my husband angry - wrong timing - he had a big job - etc, etc, etc.

It is used in the summer  for a guest room.

My husband's time blindness is a major factor here.

If we used it - if we were not $56K in debt - I wouldn't care if we kept it.  

Like I said, a huge, 37 foot bone of contention.

A vacation to me would be a nice hotel, food cooked for me, shopping - even it was only window shopping - air conditioning.  Camping is not my cup-o-tea. If we had a balance of a little bit of my ideas, and a little bit of RVing, it could work.  

Oh, enough of that rant . . . . . . . .

barneyarff's picture

Hi Exhausted I may be wrong

Hi Exhausted

I may be wrong here but I'm wondering if the issues are really these:

Your DH has dreams of using the Rv and you "took away" his dream, if just for a little while so he now has woken up to the fact that he wants to camp.

You stood up to your DH and upset the normal way of being in your family and that upsets him and like a child, he will do whatever it takes to have his way.  Remember, as with your kids, the bigger fit they are throwing, the closer you are to doing what really needs to be done.

Of course I could be wrong, but it seems as though the Rv isn't really the issue, it's just the symbol.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Thanks for the wisdom


<<Remember, as with your kids, the bigger fit they are throwing, the closer you are to doing what really needs to be done.>>

I think you have hit the nail on the head.  Thanks for the exact wording I needed!!!

I do not want to emasculate him, nor shame him, nor "WIN." 

Yet, he feels as he has lost.


barneyarff's picture

Having a hissy fit because he

Having a hissy fit because he lost is a guy thing.  I have no patience for that macho stuff.

Hold your ground.  He is doing all of his tricks to take the balance of power back to how it was..... just like a kid.

nomorebadhead's picture


hang in there. I am a non-adhd man with an autistic 9 year old with an adhd 7 year old. on top of an adhd wife. so my life is pretty much hectic. you have to ask yourself the basic question, would you be better off alone? if the answer is I don't know, then you are in the club!!! good luck


Hi, I'm so,

I remember my STBX literally made me feel like the skin was being ripped from my bones in conversations like this, like we were on such different planets that it was unreal. He was a master of making himself into a victim and me the bad guy, no matter what happened, ever. I know it can drive you crazy and you sit there thinking, if someone were watching this from the outside, would they think it was as bizarre as I do?  

I found that mine would get obsessed with owning or having something like this. Often something expensive. Then would stop using it after the newness wore off. Mine also had a strange, really tough time with leaving home or going on a trip or vacation. Seriously, it would upset him terribly and he would come up with a million reasons he could not go (which didn't make sense to me) even though he didn't have concrete plans. I think it made him overwhelmed. We didn't take trips as a family or vacations, and he wouldn't even go visit relatives after a while. I don't know what was up with that but it was heartbreaking. Until I felt relief in traveling away without him, lol. 

At any rate, I am sorry. BTW, aren't you a joint owner of the RV?