Letter to my husband: I have reached the end.

Dear ADD Husband:

I don't want you to leave.

But I think it would probably be the best thing for both of us.

I have a tremendous amount of anger and hurt and resentment and I know it has negatively impacted almost every interaction that we have/had.  I truly believe that a lot of those feelings have been generated by something that is beyond your control (adhd).  But I don't know how not to take it personally, nor do I know that I'd ever be able to learn how to.  Maybe I'm just not a big enough person.

I do know that I want to feel like a person again.  Not a nothing.  Not like your mother.  Not like an object of ridicule.

I want to feel like I will have some sort of a future.
Something more than just continued struggling.
I want to feel like someday, I/we might be able to live someplace of my/our own choosing.
I want to not have to worry about our utilities being shut off every month and about the IRS seizing what little we do have.
I want to be able to avail ourselves of services for which we easily qualify, without the stress level being suicidally high every time.
I want our kids to grow up with more stability and security than they have now.  More than anything, I want this.

I don't know if you leaving is going to lend itself to any of that, but I am pretty sure that "being pleasant" is never, ever going to provide or contribute to any of those things.

I guess I don't believe that you "hate" me.  I guess I think what you "feel" toward me is just plain old apathy.  Which might be even worse. Nothing. I know that all of my anger and hurt and resentment have contributed to that, but by your own admission, I am not in your thoughts when you call me names and mimic me.  I am not in your thoughts when you consistently decline to meet any number of the needs I've very clearly expressed to you.  I am not in your thoughts when you post hurtful things on Facebook and then by way of "apology", block me from seeing your account at all.  I am nowhere.  I have a very hard time believing I ever have been.

Maybe all of the negative feelings and emotions I've been carrying around and contending with really have made me into the terrible person you'd have me believe I am.  But even if that's true, I think - think - that I should have at least a little bit more than this.

And though I don't FEEL like I am, according to you, "the meanest person you've ever met", obviously, I must be.  To you.  And you deserve more than this too.


My heart is broken.


This letter is so right on target.  It is a letter spelling it out just as it is.  I am sorry you have been led to this difficult decision and actions.  But a person can't live a life of feeling hated and ignored.  Well, you can but not with good emotional and physical health. I have often thought that being alone would be better than feeling alone in a relationship.  You have said it well. Your children deserve to have a home of peace and hope. Best wishes.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

2nd time: Wow!!


I have the greatest empathy for you.

 I fully understand.  

Seems many of our ADHD spouses are spit out of the exact same mold.  Heart wrenching.  This is not where any of us want to be.


So on target. Unfortunately.

So on target. Unfortunately. I'm sorry your heart is broken. Truly.  

I don't think my untreated ADD spouse could hear/feel this. And that's the loneliness that has driven me away. 


Thank you

To those of you who wrote with support.  My eyes were on fire from all the crying yesterday and last night - it really helped a lot to know that there are other people out there who understand.  And who who give so freely of their empathy (sigh..).

My husband's response was exactly what I expected.  Nothing.  No acknowledgement that he'd read it, just nothing. 



Crying for nothing

I am sure that "nothing" would be my dh response too.  The only time I ever did a physical attack on my husband to try to get his attention to get him to understand that I was upset, I threw a BBQ sandwich at him in the kitchen. It landed on his shoulder and he sat for 10 minuets letting the juice soak into his shirt and the bun falling off into his lap and didn't make a move.....kept right on eating as though I was not even there.  I think there is something in them that they must "win" and they must remain cool.  My dh seems to need me to get upset so that he can blame me for the whole upset....as though there was no issue to begin with...just me being upset all the time.  In his mind then, he is free and clear of any wrong doing.  So much rationalizing they must do in their heads so that they don't have to feel bad or have any guilt or shame. Or put any thought or action into the team effort.  It becomes not their problem.

Comminicating by letter

I have written 4 desperate letters to my husband during the last decade - all before I heard about ADHD. The first one seemed to hit its mark. I was able to present some specific points about his behaviour using examples, and my associated reactions/emotions without being distracted, argued with, deflected etc and I think it was a powerful message. This different method of communication grabbed his attention. Sadly, with the other three, he simply said things like "oh no, another letter, what have I done wrong now" etc and I think he was switched off before he even read them. He certainly didn't respond to me. Even so, it did make me feel better to have written them. The act of simplifying all the stuff going around in my head in order to put it on paper make me really analyse my feelings. It also meant I could succinctly explain my situation to the few friends I could confide in, without sounding like I was just whinging. I recently found these letters on my computer and re-read them. With my newfound knowledge about ADHD, I was able to attach an ADHD trait to every single problem I raised (hyperfocus, mood swings, forgetfulness, trail of unfinished projects, impulsiveness).  It is a great validation for me, as he is still in denial that he has any named mental health problem, although he is gradually accepting some responsibility towards the ebbs and flows of our relationship.  Reading between the lines, although you say that you expected no response from him, I suspect that a little part of you was still desperately hoping for a reaction of some kind. But although your letter failed in that objective, it has achieved other things - a powerful posting which has generated some great support for you. Don't stop writing.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

The benefit of journaling

I have a collection of letters I wrote to my ADHD spouse over all the years I knew him - since 1982.  When I re-read them a few years ago - and realized I had been dealing with the same heartache - over and over and over.  It was then that I realized it was I who had the biggest problem:  Staying in the same situation, wondering what I was doing wrong and why I just couldn't get this marriage thing right.  

The thing that spoke loudest to me - my own words:  "Can't you hear my heart crying?"  No, he didn't and doesn't - and sadly wont. 

I too have looked over and

I too have looked over and re-read my journal entries. It can sometimes be the only validation I receive, otherwise I feel like I'm going crazy and maybe just imagining things. I recently separated from my ADHD husband and its very sad. Over the last few weeks I have had to come out of the closet, not gay, I mean come out to my friends that my marriage has been a disaster of unmet expectations, hurt, denial, abandonment, let down, etc.

I am taking some time out for me and my kids right now, I don't have any plans laid out on how/if I will return to the marriage. I owe myself the time and space to not think ahead and have everything buttoned up and organized. I usually am hyper organized b/c my husband isn't. Anyway I am encouraged when I read all of the posts on this website - not b/c I'm not the only one hurting but b/c I can for once be validated and not made to believe that I am being unreasonable or demanding that things be my way... Stay Encouraged!

I recently "came out of the

I recently "came out of the closet" to a good friend about all the issues in my marriage, and it's been kind of liberating. I think I felt compelled to explain to at least one person what's going on, so the entire world wouldn't be shocked if we ended up eventually separating. It can be really lonely feeling like you have to keep up appearances and act like your marriage isn't an emotional roller coaster, because really how can you easily explain it to someone on the outside? It's easier to just pretend everything's fine, which is what I do with most people, including family members. 


This letter resonates with my core. I have been married for the last six and a half years. It was about two years into the marriage when I realized something was wrong. As a single mom with an AdHd child you think I would have had a clue, but sadly I didn't. I thought all of his struggles were about his age (he was 26 when we met and I was 33). It was he who diagnosed himself after watching the documentary called; "ADD and Loving It!?". It was a great way for us to bond and begin to understand the nature of his issues which made me feel hopeful for our ability to work on this together. Four years later and I am at my wits end. The forgetfulness, the chronic lateness, the inability to take accountability for his actions, his frustration with me when I become angry, it has reached critical mass and I have found myself dreaming of a life without him. How much easier it would be to not need to literally walk behind him picking up whatever falls off of him, dealing with his mood swings and medication troubles (he can't make it to the Dr. Appointments on time, then when he does he loses his prescriptions).  His stubborn insistence that he can do fifty projects in one day and his utter dismay and anger at me because he couldn't even start one. Him leaving the house at 2pm to go out for some errands only to show up at 11pm with a list of excuses of his tardiness a mile long. The embarrassment and frustration I feel just trying to get to a family meal on time, and then only to have him often drop me off, or come in the house for ten minutes before he slips out a back door and drives off texting me that he needs cigars but I might not see him for hours or suffer further humiliation when he doesn't even pick me up until the guests are ready for bed, garnering me slide long glances and looks of pity from my friends. His impulsiveness has made me question his fidelity on more than one occasion I have found emails to other women on his computer, but his inability to empathize or take accountability keeps him from telling me the truth about it.  I am so done with always being the one to save the day; financially, emotionally, physically. I am not afraid to admit that I deserve a partner who has these abilities. I understand he does not do it on purpose, this only makes the experience more excruciating. Because I LOVE this man with all my heart and soul, but having a life 'together' has become impossible. My heart breaks wide open too...


I have just found this website, luckily through the therapist I'm now seeing. I cannot tell you how I felt when I read the letter. So many issues that ring true with me, my husband, and my marriage. After 38 years, I separated from my spouse 6 weeks ago. This, after 3 attempts at marital therapy, 3 attempts at my individual therapy and other attempts to 'work through things'. Nothing would change. In my husband's eyes these poor choices, and intentionally punishing "pouts" (as I would call them) were nothing more than my attempt to keep a 'laundry list' of his bad mistakes. I got tired of hearing "just move on, this is over, it's in the past".  The final straw came when in the last months, as I tried to keep my distance, and just ignore him, I endured a 3 hour car ride, with his refusal to talk to me. I decided right then and there that I must get out of this relationship and see if my life would improve. I have recently been diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder, and this also changed my way of considering my life. I think when it came to my health over his health, mine won. I don't feel alone anymore. I don't have the daily stress of trying to manage my life within my marriage. I have great friends, and wonderful siblings that have supported me, as they know how this has been for me. I sometimes think that I covered the pathology of our marriage too well, as some are shocked that we are not together. But even on the worst days alone, I find comfort that I found the strength to try an avenue that I never thought I could.  Our children are adjusting to the separation, as they are all adults now, and have their own lives. I want to try to learn more about my husband's adhd, and I hope that someday he will want to learn about it as well.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Tenacity eventually comes to an end

Hello DawnSW,

I have been married 29 years.  Your last sentence is haunting me as I have hoped beyond hope that my ADHD spouse will want to learn as well.  

Our son's ADHD was diagnosed when he was in 4th grade.  I got the common 2-for-1 diagnosis, as each prevalent symptom was, "Hey, that's just like his Dad." 

My son is now 24.  He grew up with the understanding of his ADHD wired brain.  My spouse is 54.  He is still fighting and struggling with his ADHD wired brain.  Even with his full clinical diagnosis from the Cleveland Clinic 3 years ago.

I am at the point of wanting to enjoy myself.  I spent the past 15 years learning and understanding ADHD.  I certainly lost myself somewhere along the way.  When my spouse chooses to want to learn, then I will be willing to listen.  I cannot direct, encourage, prompt, or cry my own tears to get him to doing anything. 

Welcome to this forum.  Here I have learned I am not alone, I am not crazy, and I cannot find the answer for someone who doesn't yet want it for themselves.  

I could have written this letter

I too, have come to the end and recently left my ADHD husband after many years. It came down to my survival, and this is something I never wanted to do, but knew I had to for self preservation.

     After all the years of undiagnosed ADHD and our poor interactions, along with him having a long tem affair, then this past Christmas him telling me he's been in love with anold girlfriend our entire marriage, he just now told me he made it all up, and it was a lie. He didnt want me to feel to blame for things going bad, so he made up the story about the girlfriend. WHO does this? now I cant trust anything he tells me. It was time to go, and I beat myself up for not leaving long ago. 

     I'm in no physical state to be doing this, but it would be worse to stay, and know I would die there. I had to give my daughters power over my medical care, because I can not trust him to make decisions in MY best interest. He is feeling very sorry for himself right now and is angry, telling people that we are all conspiring against him.  I feel sorry for him.....really, because I truly care about him and his well being. 

     He also told me again for the thousanth time, that He was meant to do something GREAT in life, but he hasnt been given the opportunity to do so. I hope now he can do his dream, since having a  family was certainly not his dream. It is heartbreaking, because I feel like I caused this, and/or let it go on too long.  

Dede, your post nearly

Dede, your post nearly brought tears.  And then I read the whole thread, and your post again.  What sorrow.  There's an issue running through the whole thing that refusal of the person with it to deal with ADHD creates terrific pain and trouble for family

I'm glad, for your health, that you are where you are now.  

Dede, you're not responsible for his not facing up to things in him, which he had to do before he would change anything he was doing between the two of you.  I know you know that with your head; that your heart believes it will maybe take some time.   I hope recent postings by Mihi Crede and J, two men with ADHD will help your heart.

I hope you're not alone with what you know, and are going through, offline, that there are friends, or maybe your daughters, who have an idea of what's been going on at home.   If you havent lived by yourself for quite awhile, or ever before, I gently suggest that you do find someone there to whom you can say, this is how I am, this is what I've been through, as you are in your big sadness and thinking things through.  You're going to need hugs, someone to see and care how you are.  someone to cry with, sometimes.

...about his lying that he had been in love with someone else for years, and then recently telling you, apparently after he saw you taking action to leave him, that it was a lie.  I dont think I could handle that, either.  He'd have entirely done in his believability

online hugs

You wrote exactly what is in

You wrote exactly what is in my heart.  Its time for me to write this out too. I hope you have peace.

I don't want to get to this point.

My heart breaks for you. This is so hard to deal with. I'm getting to the point where I don't know what to do. I myself have anxiety and being quiet helps a lot. But when my husband is home he just talks nonstop. I've told him in a very clear conversation that his constant talking makes me very anxious. I deal with my anxiety for the most part. He tells me he will be quiet but that lasts 5 minutes. I can't even have a conversation with him he just talks jibberish. I feel my nerves unravelling when I'm around him. I don't want to leave him but if he won't listen to me I don't know what I can do. I ask him nicely the first 3 times to be quiet after the 3 Rd time it just escalates into an argument. I tell him I can't handle it and he should stay at his moms. I used to love when he came home from work so I could spend time with him. Now I'm afraid his talking  going to ruin our evening. I know it's not all his fault but I feel he should take some responsibility. Any advice would help. I don't know where to go from here. 

Thank you