Last night, my husband and I managed to have a deep discussion about the state of our relationship. Mostly it was me saying that he has to find a way to not be irritable and sometimes downright mean to me all the time. He also has to get back into therapy and find ways to control his temper and outbursts over even the smallest frustrations.
While I was talking, it occurred to me: my husband has NEVER had much respect for me. The more we talked and I started to think back over the years, the more I thought about all of the things he has done and said to me. A few examples:
He'll ask me if I'm okay with him going to a friend's house when one of the kids is sick and I'm exhausted and I say it's not the best night for it, but he goes anyway. He had a "friend" years ago who was mentally unstable and who had threatened me and he brought him to our home on several occasions when I wasn't there. This person had called me horrible names and ruined some of my property. He is still friends with another man who made sexual advances towards me and when I refused, he told everyone it was I who came onto him. He also has a "friend" who just got out of jail for drug related offenses and he went to visit this person's girlfriend when the friend wasn't home. I don't think this is something a married father should be doing. Our first Christmas together he got angry that I didn't get him a "good enough" gift. I had just lost my job at the time. When I got angry or upset after any of these incidents, I am over-reacting. I am judgemental. I am crazy and irrational. It's always me. He talks to his mom like crap too. I thought he was short with her because they had a strained relationship when he was growing up. But then one day she said to me, "He can't even talk to his own mother with any respect, how did you think he was going to treat you?" And I feel very stupid. She is right, of course. But everyone else, no matter how they treat him, is wonderful. He has no problem being helpful and nice to any other random person.
These are just a few example of his poor treatment and utter lack of respect. I am embarrassed to even write these things. There are so many other examples. I am a college educated woman from a good family, what the heck was/am I thinking being with someone like this? As you can tell from the examples the "friends" he chooses to hang around are questionable at best. I told him I think he likes to hang around people with a lot of life problems because then he is the one who has his act together, when normally it's the other way around. He actually agreed with this.
After our long talk he admits he has not had respect for me. He says he wants to fight for our relationship. I worry that now that I am seeing things clearly, it is too late.
I would like to know if anyone else has experienced such a total lack of respect from their ADHD partner. Is is possible to move forward? I want to stay together for the sake of our kids, but I am starting to feel dead inside. The only person I tell any of this to is my dad. He has tried to remain neutral, but even he is starting to say that it is emotional abuse and I deserve better. Thoughts, opinions, similar experiences are greatly appreciated.