I am writing to this forum because I feel very isolated in dealing with my ADHD husband. We have been married for 23 years and have a 24 year old daughter. My husband was diagnosed in 2020. He takes medication which he says helps his concentration but the issue we are having is that he also drinks heavily in periods and then his behaviour becomes out of control. Our daughter has always needed extra support in that she has dyslexia, adjustment disorder and an eating disorder. She has not been diagnosed with ADHD. I have read many of the posts here and so much of it rang true, even things that I had not previously connected to ADHD.
When the lockdown started, my husband, daughter and I were all living in our family home in isolation. My husband stopped drinking when Covid struck because he was worried about his business going under. He kept sober for 4-5 months and it was during this period that I could tell that he was not able to connect with everyday things that would normally take place at the house. He can't for example sit down and eat with us without getting up from his chair and walking around, he would constantly talk to us and not with us and he became very hyper focussed on things that were 'wrong' in our house or on things that needed to be fixed. He seemed in his own world most of the day, just obsessing over things such as investing in shares, saving money, and was becoming very resentful with the lack of support from his staff who were working remotely. I made him see an ADHD specialist and he was finally diagnosed and he is on meds now but he is not supposed to drink with it because it is affecting how affective the meds are. He started off well but things have recently become a lot worse.
My husband has had his own business for 20 years. It is his baby. I have been happy to let him get stuck into work and keep us financially secure. I have had part time work but not a proper career so I have been managing the house with all the chores that comes with it. Many years later we have a very comfortable life, our own business, several properties and we have built up a large pension portfolio. But all this have come at a prize. My husband has always been a workaholic and he has put his charisma and intellect to very good use. So, the business is thriving and he enjoys the status and wealth that come with that. In the meantime, I have focussed my attention on our daughter who has needed a lot of support with school and later studies. For this reason I have had to make many sacrifices over the years to enable the family unit to function. I have almost single handedly brought up our daughter in every aspect. My husband has never showed much interest in her, other than making sure she always has the latest gadget and paid for her private education. He would never come to school functions, hardly engaged with other parents, help her with school work etc. To this day they never spend any time together just the two of them. So there is little togetherness.
Over the years I have become used to walking on eggshells because you never knew when my husband would loose his cool. Both my daughter and I have been regularly subjected to horrific tantrums and erratic behaviour that we both have found difficult to cope with. But, to the outside world he is Mr Charming. Nobody knows. It is my own fault because I have never confided in anyone. We have no family still alive in the UK so our support network is almost non-existing. We are therefore the only two people that knows the situation apart from perhaps some of his staff who undoubtedly also have been experiencing is aggression.
7 years ago our daughter became severely ill with an eating disorder after battling too many balls in the air (college/new home/first boyfriend that was a narcissist) and I had to dedicate my entire time to nurture her back to a healthy life again. My husband became very jealous of all the time I spent with her and was often hot tempered whenever he witnessed her panic attacks and would shout and scream at her instead of trying to calm the situation. I told him I would deal with her and that he needed to walk away from such situations. As a result, my husband now spends most of his day either at work, in the gym or in the pub hanging out with friends, where as I am left with all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, dog walking, gardening and supporting my daughter in her new little flat. On top of that I am managing several investment properties that we have bought because "he wants another income stream'. I obviously feel guilty that he is the only person with a proper income and I therefore feel that I have no other option than to do it all. We are also not physically as close as we were due to an episode 4 years ago when I discovered that he had had some holiday fling whilst on a business trip. I wanted him move out but he begged to be forgiven and I surrendered. My daughter was suicidal at the time and I just could not face dealing with it all on my own. We have a fragile situation with him and her and I try my best to smooth things over.
But sometimes, I just want to speak up for myself and put my foot down. Like one evening this week in the local pub. I had joined him in the pub on a rare occasion and my husband had already had a few drinks when I arrived. At the end of the night he turn to the barmaid and tells her that her hair is really lovely, that she must have lost weight and that it was great that her boobs had not reduced. I could not believe what I was hearing and the barmaid laughed embarrassingly and commented that it was an odd thing to say in front of your wife! The following morning I pointed out that it had been very embarrassing for me to sit through his comments but he told me to get a grip and stop being a drama queen. I pointed out that I was simply not going to be belittled like that in front of our friends. He then started verbally abusing me. Called me every name under the sun and ended with the usual "I'm leaving you', "I'm divorcing you" in addition to very nasty personal comments about my looks. He also said that I had ruined his life and that he wants revenge. I am not scared of him and that he will attack me but I am very alarmed about being in this situation with someone that does not think rationally and who clearly is unstable.
Today I have done a lot of thinking. I am coming to the point in my life where I don't want to waste any more time not living my life fully. I feel like I have been an extra in my own life and that all I am doing is supporting both my daughter and my husband so that they can go out and live their life to their best ability. I am desperate for some time for myself so that I can decide what I am going to do moving forward. This afternoon he still maintains that we are over and I accept that he feels the way he does. He resents me because everything in his life is not working out the way he wanted. And he says that he is in a loveless relationship even though we have just arrived from a trip away when we both had a lovely time.
This is not the first time he has threatened to leave when I hold him to account but I have a gut feeling that he will go through with it this time. What I am mostly worried about is that when he takes control of THAT situation I will find myself yet again unable to feel safe from his temperament. In my experience he is always more aggressive under pressure and does not listen to sense. He just escapes to the pub where he can spend hours talking to his 'friends' and returns drunken at the end of the night. I just know that he would want to punish me if we do go through with a divorce, even if it is him who is leaving.
I have considered e-mailing his psychiatrist that initially prescribed the meds because it is only going to get worse if he keeps drinking this heavily. In the past 6 months I have often woken up to him urinating in the bedroom because he does not know where he is when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Absolutely horrendous. He does not even care or clean up. I am the cleaner after all.
This does sound a lot like a huge whinge but I just have to tell someone what I am going through. I need to know what to expect in terms of abuse, when to seek solicitor support (he knows all the good ones) and at the same time take care of myself amidst it all. If anyone here is from the UK, do you know any good therapists with ADHD experience that I could potentially contact so that I can start to deal with the trauma I have been through all these years. I would be grateful for any advice that you may have.
Submitted by 1Melody1 on
I'm so sorry for all you're going through. Please protect yourself. I would recommend ensuring you have current copies of all finances in case this does get as messy as you anticipate. Also, the time to see a lawyer is probably now. You need help understanding your rights and the process and seeing a lawyer will help you feel supported and like you know what to expect if the divorce proceeds. You don't need to tell your husband you've seen a lawyer. Just get the lay of the land. Go a little out of town if he knows all the locals Therapy just for YOU would also be a good idea (imo)... I hope you get a good reco, but even if you can't find someone who understands ADHD, there are therapists who deal with women who've been manipulated and abused in many ways who can help you process what you've been through and how to move forward. Forget trying to control what he does via his therapist... it's just not going to work. He's doing what he wants regardless of how it impacts you and your daughter--throwing tantrums and drinking and flirting with other women (and then acting like that's no big deal... It IS).
I know what it's like to lose yourself in support of others. It's so lonely and painful. It made me feel like I was nothing... I was helping everyone else live a successful life while giving up my own. YOU matter. There can be happier days ahead for you if you focus on YOU. What do you want? What do you need?
I'm so glad you shared your story here. You have so much to give and your daughter is so lucky to have you. Please help yourself with as much passion as you have helped the others in your life. ♥️
Thank you so much for
Submitted by LILLEMY on
Thank you so much for replying to my post anf for your kid words and thoughtful advice. It means a lot that somebody took the time to listen. I have done a lot of thinking this week and I know that I need to make a change. So it will be small steps for now but with the aim of changing my life for the better long term. Reaching out on this forum was only the starting point. Onwards and upwards was the motto I used when my daughter was gripped by her Eating Disorder. Now it is time to make it work for me.
Submitted by c ur self on
Just reading you post...It sparked several thoughts and emotions in me....First I just want to say, I love Melody's thoughts and suggestions....The person who is in the unhealthy situation, because of time, and just becoming mentally and emotionally institutionalized so to speak, see's the damage the least...But, there is nothing normal, or good about your story as it relates to what you are, and have been subjected to from your spouse....
You speak of a trip where it was a lovely time, that is common also in your situation. Needs being fulfilled, a time of low or no pressure....When we think of sickness, we, for the most part, think physical sickness...But as you have found out, it's much deeper than that...A person will recognize that, usually, and seek help...But, when a person is spiritually, mentally and emotionally sick, they usually attempt to ignore it...So they suffer, and more than that, those in their life suffer's, spouse, children, close contacts....
Your spouse (like us all at times) needs to recogize his issues, sadly, you, like I've been for my spouse many times, help them to not see themselves....We cover for them, (eggshells)...And we enable them...All the work we do can't be seen by them...Many even attach their own self worth to it, like they are responsible for our efforts.....He needs to have to deal with everything going on with him, and be accountable for it....But, that usually don't happen, as long as they have a place to cast their blame....
Read your post...each day, while you are calm...I think the truth of it will cause you to want to do something to create peace for your daughter and yourself...And as for as your assets, they are just as much your's, as his...That's what marriage is, (two being one) you as the wife working in the home, is entitled to the same opportunities as he is....
A face to face w/ a good counselor would probably be beneficial for you at this time...We all need help at times in our lives, to help us just come to grips with our situations....Yes, life can be much better for you!
I will pray for you...
I agree totally in your
Submitted by LILLEMY on
I agree totally in your comment regarding enabling bad behaviour. It is probably the thing that I regret them most, that I have manoeuvred around his behaviour and allowed it to continue. It does not make me a good role model for my daughter and I worry that she will follow my path with her own relationships. Reading my post regularly so I don't forget will also be helpful, although I am sure my husband will continue to remind me of his ways...Thank you for your time and wisdom.
It sounds like you've had an
Submitted by mutedsonos on
It sounds like you've had an incredibly tough time, but your resistance shines through in dealing with all of the things with your daughter and your husband's behaviour, so hold your head high and be proud of yourself.
As someone married to an ADHD husband, I can completely empathise with so many of the things you've said and the points you've made. It's incredibly hard to remain strong when you're always wrong, get called horrible names/things, dealing with the outburst, tantrums etc... Unfortunately I have found that enabling their actions and behaviour is a necessary evil but it's a circle of pain ultimately as sometimes conceding to them is the only way to deal with the situation or have an easier time, but it basically gives them the free right to carry on doing it.
I have only been married 4 years and often seriously consider if this is doable for another 30 years+ as despite him being medicated, there is little change in his behaviour. He is still irrational, moody, controlling, tells me I've ruined his life, he is going to divorce me constantly etc....
Like others have said, get everything in order without telling him. Get the advice, and protect yourself from what the future might bring.
Go out and make a life, for you!
Submitted by Ap on
You deserve it!