Looking for hope

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for my post but I'm new here and a little overwhelmed by the huge landscape of content here.

I have been married to my ADHD husband for 11 years.  When we were dating once I got to know him I knew he was undiagnosed ADHD from the difficulties he described in school and just from being with him.  He was evaluated and sure enough he was diagnosed.  He started Ritalin and said it helped him with the focus/organization issues. 

My husband was also sexually abused as a child.  There have always been communication and intimacy issues in our relationship.  He's been treated for depression and we've been to marriage counseling which was a dismal failure.  The focus has always been on the effects of the abuse he suffered as a child, never the effects that ADHD might have on our relationship.

I watched the ADHD and Loving It show on pbs one night and just saw him in every scene.  A huge issue in our marriage has always been his lack of understanding of what I mean by intimacy in our marriage.  To him intimacy means sex, I say fine then why don't we have any?  He's always shown what I consider an inappropriate interest in other women, making comments about their bodies, etc.  Along our marital journey I've discovered him surfing porn on the internet, signing up for multiple dating services and chatting with men and women, receiving emails from them with pictures and requests to meet.  Last year I found out that he had slept with another woman.  Each time something happens he promises that it will not happen again and I try to believe in him but I can never fully trust him and eventually I'm not disappointed as something pops up. 

Last week I picked up his phone to call my son to come home and found a text conversation between him and the woman he slept with last year.  At first he denied it, said it was some guy that he works with and I should call him and ask.  So when i pushed that and said go ahead he started to back pedal.  Anyway, it ended in a big blowout which ended with me demanding that he get help and that I could not stay married to him if this behavior continued.  He eventually broke down crying and said he admits he has a problem and he needs help.  We had talked about the ADHD angle and how it was destroying our marriage because he wasn't really addressing it or admitting that it could be an issue after watching the show.  I told him after our argument that he needed to get help immediately or I was taking the kids and leaving.

The kicker here is that we just moved our family from Massachusetts to Missouri this summer.  He wanted a clean start, I believed him.  Now I am aware that our clean start was all a lie, he's been with a man (that's not cheating according to him) and another woman.  I'm here alone, no support system except for friends and family at home who want nothing but for me and the kids to come home.  They never wanted me to leave because of my husband's past transgressions.

I'm waiting for him to get help.  In my mind I've given him a week to do this and if nothing happens then I'm all done. 

I guess my quest for hope here is my wondering if any of you out there have been this low and with treatment have been able to climb back out of the hole.  I can't help wondering how much of my husband's behavior is ADHD and how much might be the effects of abuse.  I'm wondering if there are people out there who have risen from the depths I feel we're at right now and if so how did you do it.  I am truly lost at this point, hurt, angry, embarased, not sure if I should throw in the towel and go home.  To top it off I've given up my teaching career back in MA and haven't a penny to my name.  I know my family would help me get home but then I'm looking at bankruptcy and rebuilding my life.  I really feel it's time for him to step up to the plate, he knows what he has to do.  If doesn't do it this time I feel that I've paid my dues and deserve another shot at happiness. 

I would think there is

I would think there is probably a lot more going on here than just ADHD...he needs to seek professional help..from a psychiatrist. There is no way I would stay in the marriage without some serious professional intervention..sooner rather than later.

I know

I know Sherri.  He needs help and I keep telling him that.  I really thought that he had finally admitted that the other night but here we are 4 days later and nothing.  He's made an appointment for the end of February but that doesn't seem to me like he's treating this like the crisis it is for us.  I'll wait until the end of this week to see if he gets some crisis help and if not I'll start the getting home process.

Honestly, I am the last

Honestly, I am the last person to ever say "leave" but in your situation, he needs to get very serious about where he is going and what he is doing..and the risk he is taking with you and your children. If he goes for help, by the end of the week...manages to find someone who will see him that quickly, what will this 'solve' for you? How would this make you feel better about all of the things he's done? I guess if you're real about the boundaries you're setting...that he gets help by weeks end..then that is a start, but most likely he'll want to argue that he's got an appt at the end of February and then you'll somehow feel like you're asking too much, feel bad, believe that getting caught, once again, was 'the end' of this pattern for him, and this time really will be different...and you'll stay.

You have no boundaries. You've endured many affairs...emotionally and physically. You've been convinced by him, God knows how, that moving your family half way across the country was the best thing for the marriage. He's put your life at risk by being with not only other women, but men as well....and I'm really struggling to see where the dilema is. Why would you NOT go home?

My husband is ADHD, diagnosed in June 2010. From 2004 until 2009 we had a horrible marriage. His ADHD was out of control. He had a 2 month affair last Fall and I had a very difficult decision to make. It wasn't his first..he had a one night stand with his ex-wife shortly after we were first married. The decision to remain married was not something I decided lightly...and came with some clear cut, non-negotiable boundaries. No more second changes. Changes were going to be made and he was either on board or I was gone. We immediately started counseling...I was NOT staying married to him without answers and solutions. It took 2 counselors and several months, but we finally got going, got the diagnosis, and are dealing with it. You need a similar plan. If you're willing to stay in the marriage then you might want to take charge of the counseling/professional help part of the process...because left up to him, it may never happen and you'll be right back to where you are now in 6 months.

You have a lot to forgive...you need to decide what your boundaries are and stick to them. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

thank you

Thank you for your frankness Sherri.  I have my own set of issues with setting boundaries, obviously!  I guess I know what I have to do and now I will do it.  I think that since I've backed off and given him so many second chances he has difficulty believing that I will actually leave.  I have asked a friend from home to call me on Friday to help me stick to my deadline, I know that I need help getting started on this road.  I think that's why I've reached out here as well, just to confirm that I've put up with enough and it's time to move in a positive direction for myself and the children. 

You're right, there is no real dilemma here.  I am the only one standing in the way of a new beginning for my family.  I appreciate your thoughts and prayers, I'll need them.

Boundaries are truly one of

Boundaries are truly one of the toughest things to set for yourself, especially when you're so far into the situation emotionally that you don't really know where "you" even begins. I guess in a way, I had divine intervention...some really heartbreaking circumstances...that gave me the courage to decide that life was going to change...with or without my husband. Up until the time I 'hit rock bottom' I had suffered about 6 years of lies, horrible behavior, neglect, and disrespect from my husband. I had also become an angry, bitter shell of the person I used to be. Personal crisis and tragedy (job losses for my husband, my father having an ATV accident and dying after a month in the hospital) had taken their toll and I either laid down and died or I got up and came out fighting. I am my Daddy's daughter, so I decided to come out fighting. I guess what I felt the most was just relief. I knew that my life was going to go one of two ways...my husband and I would get the professional help we needed to manage his issues (didn't know it was ADHD at the time) and we would emerge as a happy, healthy couple or I was FULLY ready to face the pain of divorce because there was NO WAY it could have been worse than the pain of the marriage we had. It has not been easy, we are still (a year later) working towards emotional health...but getting there.

I relate to your story in a few ways...but I struggle with being able to forgive the 2nd infidelity...I will not forgive another. He is a very lucky man to have you be willing to forgive what you have. I really do worry that you're not so much forgiving as you are just struggling to find the courage to walk away. There are many reasons people (like you and I) stay in these marriage for so long, many of them are not healthy reasons. Demand better for yourself and be willing to walk away if he doesn't give you and your marriage the respect and dignity you deserve.

Your husband needs to hit rock bottom...and you need to get some peace for yourself. If you have other options, make the best of them..for the sake of your children..until your husband is in a healthier place.


*** correction...I have forgiven the 2nd affair. My point was that it was very hard to forgive a second, so I am wondering how you've managed to forgive so much. Two was two too many, for me. I won't forgive another, but I have completely forgiven him for both and have high expectations from here on out for him. Just wanted to clarify..

Very well spoken Sherri! 

Very well spoken Sherri!  This poor woman has been given sage advice by your experiences.

One point that I would like to add: if you are not ready for a divorce yet, then move back home - separate.  You and your kids deserve some breathing room.  A chance to clear your head, explore the opportunities of what life without him (and all the baggage) would be like. 

Sometimes, it seems so difficult to think of life on our own, but maybe we need to think of all of the negative/hurtful things that we leave behind.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.  I wish you all the courage, happiness,love and support for you and your children as you find answers. 

rock bottom and looking up

Thank you again Sherri and lonelywife also for you supportive and wise advice.  Your words sort of make me realize why I let myself be convinced to come here to Missouri.  I needed to hit rock bottom.  I came here hoping things would change but knowing in my heart that they probably wouldn't because my husband's problems are so deep.  I guess I  needed to make that last try so that I could realize there really isn't any hope for our marriage.  I believe that what my husband needs is a few days on a psych floor to work with professionals that can help him with both his ADHD and his abuse issues.  I hope that someday he will do that for himself and then maybe he can move on and have the life that we all deserve filled with love and support on both ends of a relationship.  I don't know if it will be with me and the boys but stranger things have occurred.

Your words have helped give me the strength I need to get out of this situation.  Whether we end in divorce or as you said LW40 we both have time to clear our heads and evaluate life.  The thought of going home and being supported brings me a sense of relief.  Maybe it will be easier for me to set boundaries for our recovery if there is to be one from a distance instead of while I'm living in my situation.  I've let this go on too long and I need to make my move. 

Thank you again.