Lost it!

Holy cow, what a night I've had!  I have been dealing with a husband who has all the classic signs of ADHD (coupled with co-dependency issues - great combination!) and we've had a rocky relationship for most of the 4 years that we've been together.  At first I thought it was mainly due to our disagreements about how he treated me when it came to situations with his kids from his first marriage, but I'm seeing now that a lot of his behavior is consistent with someone with ADHD.  Anyway...we've had a really rough road of it since we got married 2 years ago and he has done some truly unforgivable things, so much so that I've wanted to leave on several occasions.  We now have an 8 month old son, which complicates matters even further.  After the last heinous offense on his part (I think it was heinous, but of course he see's nothing wrong with it and shows no remorse for hurting me, yet again), I told him I'd give him one more chance if he agreed to get tested for ADHD.  In the meantime, I've been reading the book Is It You, Me or Adult A.D.D.?  It took him over two months to finally schedule the test and go take it, and we're supposed to go on 10/27 to get the results.

Well, I've been feeling hurt, lonely, isolated and disappointed for a long time now, because he acts like the ice man and seems incapable of showing any warmth or tenderness to me, and tonight when I told him I just couldn't take it any more he started in with his usual litany of denial.  He began with his normal "well, we need to TRY to work on things, blah blah blah..."  Same BS I've heard for our entire relationship with hardly any changes on his part no matter how much I try to communicate my needs to him.  I can't tell you the number of things I've tried to get through to him, but he is as dense as a 2 x 4.  The next thing I knew, he actually had the nerve to say "You haven't tried AT ALL in the past 4 months!"  Haven't tried????????  Are you kidding me??????  That's ALL that I've done...every day that I wake up and have to face him is trying!  And I'm the only one who has made the effort to find the counselors we've been to, to find a church group for blended families for us to attend, to read about ADHD and try to gain some understanding of why my husband is such a royal ass (and, in my eyes, total loser) at times.  That comment sent me over the edge, and the next thing I know, I'm tackling him, screaming at him, and smacking the crap out of him.  It's like the all the rage I've been feeling for so long just took over and I completely blew a gasket.  And all of this happened right in front of our son.  I am embarrassed and in shock over the whole situation, but I don't feel like I've ever been driven to the brink of insanity like this before.

He left the house for a while, then when he returned I tried to communicate how I was feeling to him (lonely, hurt, disappointed) and of course there was absolutely no empathy.  The guy cannot relate on any sort of meaningful level - it's like he's a robot running around with that damned motor driving him to go and go and go.  I told him that I was worried that if the ADHD test results came back that he doesn't have it, then I'd know that he just really doesn't give a crap about me.  There is no other way I can rationalize his treatment of me.  Then, just before retiring to bed, he starts demeaning the fact that I've been reading the ADD book and calling it my "bible", basically trivializing everything as if nothing in the book could possibly be valid.  I've grown used to this behavior now, as he trivializes so much of what I have to say as if it couldn't possibly be valid.  I'm utterly exhasperated at how "out of touch" this man is with me and my needs. 

The worst part about it -= if they do confirm that he has ADHD -- is that he's absolutely, outright made it clear that HE WILL NOT GET MEDICATED.  So, I'm not sure what knowing he's got ADHD is going to do for us, as it's not going to change any of his behaviors and I can't keep living like this, for my sanity's sake and for the well-being of my son.  I know that I need to leave, but it's all just so overwhelming to me right now that I'm too exhausted to figure out how (and I'm a strong person, own my own business, and have lived successfully on my own for a long time before getting involved with him!)

I swear I'm not a crazy person, but my husband's absolute disregard for me and my needs is making me that way...can anyone else relate? 

ebb and flow's picture

Absolutely yes, I can

Absolutely yes, I can relate!

Though I do not think losing it is appropriate or the right way to go about dealing with the situation--at all-- I have been there before. A couple of times, shamefully. :(

If you're going to stay, your partner definitely needs to get a full evaluation done whether he's agreeing at this point to meds or not. One thing I've been told by my counselor is that you cannot force him... You have to let him discover ADD on his own. He must take responsibility of it by himself. You can only be there to support.

What I've found is that my partner will say one thing and as time passes and as we discover new information with regards to ADD (and new arguments) he seems to eventually adapt and flow with the situation. (Even though on the outside he acts stubborn and negative about it). Of course he's going to dig his heels in... it's a big diagnosis to accept! Life changing!

Just remember... You are not crazy! You are just reacting to his symptoms (ADD or otherwise). Try to keep your cool as much as possible, though. I know it's hard, but remember, you have a whole site of people who are experiencing something very similar to you and are here to support you!

Leave the "crazy" up to him!

The best thing you can do is try to take the focus off of him and back onto you. Try to work on getting your calm self back and leave him responsible for his own actions (or lack of). This is what I'm working on. The reason being, if one day I decide to leave, I will be closer to that whole, calm, stable person I was before I met him. And, if I decide to leave I can leave knowing that in the end I had my head about me and was trying to make the relationship better... It was he who couldn't meet me half way. My conscience will be clear and I will be strong enough to leave in a healthy way--not out of anger. Then, if he does get help and I decide to stay... this positive work will be good for the relationship anyhow!

I hope that helps a little...

"take my advice I don't use it anyway" 

;) **hugs**

Boy, can I relate

This does make you wonder to yourself if you are crazy.  That's why I started writing down everything he did that was strange or extremely forgetful, like whole conversations that we have had, locking himself in the car and not being able to get out, etc.  He denies there is anything wrong with him and he also says that I shouldn't be reading these books that I have or get on this website.  He says I am just a nag and that nothing he does is ever right (wonder why?).  So yeah, I have lost it before in front of my daughter but night before last was the last time.  I asked him to please stop shouting and he wouldn't so I had to ask him to leave and he finally knocks me down with the door and hurts both my elbows right in front of my daughter, so that was the last straw.  Trust me, you aren't crazy even though you feel like you might be going crazy.  I had to stop this because I do not want to be driven crazy.  My daughter needs a sane mother.  So I definitely know exactly how you are feeling and I am sorry that anyone has to go through this.  Good luck!

Thank you, ladies!

It is helpful to hear that I am not alone in my feelings, even if my husband tries to make me feel like I'm buying into a bunch of "hype" surrounding ADHD's destructive nature.  For a long time I felt totally lost, and coming here and hearing other's stories helps me to at least feel better about myself.  So, thank you for sharing your thoughts & experiences!

ADHD is destructive, but

Untreated ADHD such as what your husband has is destructive (and you describe it as such) but you will not get him to address it if he feels you are attacking him with that information.  Trying a softer approach will likely help you move forward.  (Note - if someone had told me this when I was in the stage you are at I would have told her to go f+++ herself, so you may feel like saying that.  However, take a careful look at your own contributions, too.  It can really help.)

it's true, that works

From my experience, anger or even a hint of irritation only puts him on the defensive. It was very challenging for me to "act" differently around him. I have to make this seriously conscious mental effort to behave a certain way and reign in my mood and attitude as well. I don't feel like myself and it seems I'm manipulating him, but it's a better way to communicate peacefully at least. I can keep this act up for fairly long periods. After a while, I get fed up and back to myself but sure enough, his behavior worsens. Then I have to get into actress mode again... It's worth trying!


I'm not much of an actress and have a hard time concealing my true feelings.  (I've been accused of wearing my emotions on my sleeve before and certainly would not do well at poker!)  I like the jedi-mind-trick of it though.  I have learned a few ways to be manipulative, but I just can't see myself constantly playing "nice" just to appease the monster...that's not being true to myself!  Possibly worth trying, but there's so much anger there that it wouldn't work well for me at the moment.  Thanks for the idea though!

I've snapped myself

out of sheer frustration, hoping that he would see how important something is to me. He only told me it proved that I was the crazy one! Why should my needs be met? What kind of desires could I possibly have? I can't get through to him, it's maddening! I've given up trying to communicate with him, I'm some sort of Stepford wife now...  bleh

Maddening is right!

If it wasn't all so crazy, it would be laughable!  However, there is no humor in these bizarre situations...it's like trying to communicate with someone who speaks Russian or something...better yet, it's like talking to a brick wall.  Blank stare, no one home.  My husband's behavior is BEYOND exasperating to me, and that's why I lost it the other night.  And he had the nerve to tell me that he's worried about me and that I need help.  Yes, I need the help of a good attorney to guide me through the divorce!

Yes, the more 'inventive' we

Yes, the more 'inventive' we get (LOSING IT) to get their attention, the more fuel for their "you're crazy" fire. More battles are definitely won with calmness and without anger...even without words sometimes. Be silent..make them wonder and worry what you're thinking. :-/

Been there, done that...lost it more than once. I am ashamed of myself. I have never had someone bring out the 'ugly' in me the way he did. But, bottom line, I chose the ugly. Sadly, for far too long.

maddening is right!

I divorced my diagnosed but in denial ADD husband 4 months ago...hes been out of the house for 2 1/2 years though. The judge ordered him out of MY house within 48 hrs after our courtdate. He lefet the house with his lil dufflebag and didnt say anything to me or our children. I feel so much better without the daily confusion in inconsistencies. But on the other hand...my children are now suffering due to his anger towards me and him being irresponsible and having poor judgement. Hes 41 yrs. old and has never had a drivers license and now lives an hour away from us with his mother...who has ADD also. The court ordered that he get a drivers license to be able to transport his children for visitation...he never did. So now its my fault, according to him, that he cant see his children regularly. On a regular, i was getting irrate texts messages (since he has problems communicationg verbally) blaming me for all of our problems includin his lack of visitation due to HIM not EVER having a license. My kids are 9(daugh) and 13 (son). My son suffers a great deal saying that he just wants a normal relationship with his dad. I cant even talk to his dad about what hes feeling because he gets defensive and blames me. He says that, "i wanted it this way so quit complaining to him about what im going through. Makes me wanna crack his skull. At the end of the day, I am just thankful that I dont have to look at him all day everyday any longer and deal with his lack of empathy and consideration. I know its an illness, but dammit Im sick too obviously...I put up with it for nearly 16 yrs!

I can imagine the relief!

Just the thought of getting my husband out of the house so I can breath a bit sounds SOOOO appealing to me.  It is nice and calm and peaceful when it's just me and our son, and then when my husband returns it's back to chaos.  It's really hard to live that way, but the way I see it is that it's better for my son to grow up in a home that is calm and peaceful than in one where this is always some sort of disruption. 

I really feel for your children, and it's unfortunate that your ex has to act like such an ass.  I hate to be judgemental, but what 41-year old DOESN'T have a driver's license (unless it was revoked!)???  Pretty ridiculous!

Try my book...

You might try my book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage, which many people with ADHD say really reflects their lives very accurately, and which does not take a stance "against" ADHD people.  This can help the partner with ADHD put down his defenses a bit and consider some alternatives rather than dismiss your efforts out of hand.

Thank you, Melissa!

I will definitely check out your book!  My husband isn't much of a reader, but I'm sure I'll find valuable information in it.  And I'd like to try to be "softer" with him, but I'm so exasperated any more that I just feel total contempt for him.  It's actually quite sad...

Been there, too

I understand completely, as I was in exactly the same place.  I took it another step further, I'm afraid, and demonstrated my disdain with verbal abuse.  Not something I'm proud of, but something that I share because I like to let people know that you can be in this really bad place and still recover.  But you do need to come to this place where you hold yourself to a high standard, which is really hard, but also satisfying in its own way.

I found that the only time my husband was willing to listen to me about the experience I was having was when two conditions were met:  First, I was tending to myself and not him and second, I was earnestly working to manage my own issues in the relationship.  At that point he had less ability to say "you've got problems, not me" and write me off.  That said, it still took quite a while to get through to him, I'm sorry to say.  Hopefully, my book will help you short-circuit some of what we had to "invent".