My husband had a junior-high diagnosis of ADD that he blew off at the time--hey, every restless boy had ADD in the '90s, right?
But in 5 years of marriage, it's become clear that he isn't able to function independently as an adult, and he's reconsidering his diagnosis. He hasn't seen a doctor or therapist for it (we have seen marriage counselors who didn't pick up on the issues--he is embarrassed to have problems so he avoided actually discussing our marital issues with the counselors, and diverted the conversations to other topics). He would never consider taking medication, which is just as well because we're on the verge of being broke right now.
I'm climbing the walls. Looking for something to DO instead of becoming a raging lunatic or the Ice Queen. Are there specific coping mechanisms that have helped any of you with these issues?
- Hygiene. He didn't start applying antiperspirant until we were dating in college. He picks at his face in church, then smells what he's pulled from his skin, then flicks it into the pew in front of himself. He doesn't brush his teeth and, as I learned last week, has never flossed in his life and doesn't know how to do it. He hasn't been to a dentist in the last five years. And over the last few weeks I've seen him frequently picking his nose and then eating what he finds inside.
- Gaming. He usually isn't playing open-ended games; he plays short games but won't stop clicking the button and starting a new game. He can't complete any task around the house; he wanders away after a few minutes and gets into the games. He sometimes gets up in the middle of a meal to start playing. If there's a crisis and I need his help, or if he's been gaming for days at a stretch and I'm so mad I can't see straight--I have tried to flat-out tell him "Turn it off! I need you!" That's when he tunes me out entirely, stops speaking or responding, and just keeps clicking the buttons. I've broken down literally in tears, on my knees at the computer, saying "Please stop! Turn it off!" Now I know that this only makes him retreat further--but it stings to know that expressing my need and my pain is a guarantee I'll be ignored.
- Compulsive eating. He can't seem to avoid going out of his way to buy expensive convenience store junk food throughout the day. We've tried buying snacks in bulk at the grocery store--he just binges on them at home and still goes out while he's at work. Sometimes he won't eat dinner because he stopped for a hamburger on his way home for dinner. At one point he was paying for gym membership, telling me that he was going to work out, and going to eat at the MacDonald's around the corner instead. (He won't cook and usually just picks at the food I make, or refuses it outright and makes himself some chicken nuggets, hot dogs, or cold cereal--that's about the entirety of his diet at home.) His father died of complications from compulsive eating.
- Compulsive spending. He had a secret credit card the first year we were married, which he used to support his fast food habit. Now he just lies about the reasons he takes 10-20 dollars out of the bank account several times a week and always has pockets full of change but no cash. If we had more money coming in we might be able to separate our finances and give him more mad money; as it is, he gets $30 a month to spend on anything he wants, but he just uses our household spending account to buy what he wants, regardless of whether he's spent his mad money yet.
I understand that he's never going to be the attentive, emotionally-open guy I thought I was marrying. But some of his behaviors are so far beyond the pale that any one of them would be a marriage-breaker, and I want to know if anybody has had success at supporting a spouse who's modifying these behaviors.