Looking for advice, preferably from someone who has happily gotten through...


Hello everyone-

I've been following this forum off and on for a few months, and it's been very helpful--at least to know I'm not alone and that so many others have had such remarkably similar experiences.
It's a bit daunting to try to summarize your relationship in a few paragraphs--I don't know how you all do it! Will try to keep as brief as possible. I'm the non-ADD spouse, my husband has ADD. We've been together about 7 years, married just over 4. No kids, 2 dogs :) He has the best heart of anyone I've ever met; I do love him, and I have no doubts about how much he loves me (he tells me all the time…but doesn’t exactly show me). But love has never been the problem.

He was diagnosed with ADD when he was a child (but stopped taking meds before high school, for some reason), and I knew this about him before we got married. I also found out early in our dating that he had some drug addiction issues in his past, but it seemed like he had them under control. About 2 years ago, we started seeing a marriage counselor--I suggested it b/c I was frustrated over our communication (lack of, but also his defensiveness and tit-for-tat approach), his financial irresponsibility, and what I considered to be an unequal division of household duties. We saw the first counselor regularly for a few months (during this time DH did go on meds, but did not try any behavioral strategies), but DH decided he didn't want to go anymore b/c we were "teaming up on him" during sessions b/c she was female (I still see her to work on my own issues). So I found a male counselor, who we went to for couples therapy and DH went to for individual sessions (but we’re no longer going b/c it was too much to fit into DH’s schedule). It seemed like we made some progress, but only temporarily--to his credit, DH does TRY to do things I've asked of him, but the trouble is that he's inconsistent about his effort. For example, if I say that I'm feeling overwhelmed b/c I take care of the dogs by myself and ask him to feed them at night, he'll feed them...for 3 days, then forget. But when I say "I need your help in feeding the dogs," he says "I do feed them" and will point to the 3 days he did, even if this a month later and he hasn't helped at all in that month. This is the tit-for-tat stuff that drives me crazy. It carries into every facet--I say I need something, and he only remembers the few times he's done that thing, not the hundreds of times he hasn't. Or I say “I just need more help around the house” and he lists everything he does. But I could go on, and that would not be keeping it brief...

He says he’s ready for kids. I say not until I feel confident that he has addressed his drinking and spending. Drinking: we had an incident last summer that made it clear his drinking was a problem, he went to AA, said he would keep going, 2 meetings later decided he didn’t need it b/c he “wasn’t as bad as those people at the meeting.” Instead, he tries to limit himself when he drinks, but it doesn’t always work—he’s gotten drunk a few times in the past couple months, all when I haven’t been around, which makes me feel like he’s not serious about it. He says “what’s the big deal? Nothing bad happened.” Spending: has gotten us into debt a few times over the years; we’re trying to pay down our last card now, but he’ll spend his bonus check on an atv or a new gun (this kills me b/c I’m naturally a saver).

All of this (and plenty of other stuff, like not finishing projects, not following up, forgetting promises...) has caused me to feel a lot of resentment, which I’m trying to move past. But I can’t move on if we’re still dealing with the same things that brought on the resentment in the first place. I am hopeful, though, that we can make it through this and come out on the other side much happier and stronger. When it comes down to it, I think that if I met him now, I would still fall in love with him. 

I would love to hear from someone who has been here and thinks it’s possible to make it work. But I am also a realist, so all advice and opinions are welcome. Thanks for reading, and let me know if any other details/specifics would help paint a clear picture.