makes me feel crazy

Thanks for everyone's help-a year later realizing this is searchable via google and able to be read without logging in, I have deleted the orginal text.


I totally get where you are

I totally get where you are coming from.  My divorce will be final next week.. I spent the better part of 20 years feeling like it was me.. I was the crazy one.. and now.. after having been seperated from him and functioning better than ever.. it wasnt.  He still tries to make my life hell.  But if you can get out.. get out now.. because we have a son.. and its not easy when kids are involved.  We were in business together too and he's not making that situation any easier as well.  Good luck to you!


Soooooo similar.

Are you married to my dh's twin? EVERYTHING...the finances, the bravado, the self-centeredness, two businesses (his not profitable), his criticalness toward me doing something good but his not seeing his own failures.  

"But really I know he is just trying to get under people's skin to get a reaction and make them feel bad to get off on it.  I know it is part of ADHD...."   

Anyone else out there find that their spouse tries to "get under your skin", "get your goat"," jerk your chain", (all dh's terms for something that I would not have thought people EVER did ON PURPOSE especially to a beloved spouse) for their own enjoyment?  Is this ADHD/ADD?  He even did it today to our 2-year old granddaughter.  It just seems mean. 


Don't you feel sometimes that this whole ADHD is really just being immature?  I will say that the blow ups are further and further apart over the years, but some of it, like trying to get people's goat is just immature.

Yep, I feel crazy too, but I

Yep, I feel crazy too, but I know I'm not. I fly this adhd coop on the 3rd and drive ALL THE WAY back to Florida. Thank god!


Yep, also used to feel crazy, and I know I am not. No disrespect to anyone, but: I know not picking up on social cues and emotions can be part of ADHD, as can lacking a filter. But being a jerk, an a$$, or just rude or mean? I have known some other people in life with ADHD and they are not like this. But my STBX? He is also one of those get people's goat, make weird and cruel jokes, and say terrible things when mad kind of people (who happens to have ADHD). I think mine is just plain one of the angriest people I have ever seen. I woke up and thought, why in the he!? would I choose to be married to someone who would do/say things like this to me? I don't give a crap if he has ADHD. I have been telling him for years how hurtful it is and since he has done nothing to address it, I don't care why he is doing it any more. And I left and have not regretted it for one. tiny. second. 

P.S. mine used to "reject" apologies, too, or tell me that I wasn't allowed to try to explain my side because that was "qualifying" the apology. What an a$$. Who does that? Sorry for the rant. A long period of relative zen was disrupted by an argument today over child care arrangements. He can't plan anything ahead and I am expected to just respond at the last minute according to how he is feeling. 

Lauren, btw, drive, girl, drive:-)



not accepting apologies

Yeah, what is it with not accepting apologies?  DH and I have a similar educational background, we both went to private religious school.  We both were taught from an early age that forgiveness is just as important and confessing your sins.  Did he miss that part?  It was hammered into our heads.  Or because of ADHD that was not treated _they used to tie him into his chair_ he didn't hear that part?

It is truly outrageous that a full grown adult says "I don't accept your apology,"  like a spoiled 4 year old.


holding on

Esmerelda, my take on it is that this is just someone who wants to hold onto being angry and focus on how affronted he feels, rather than reaching a goal of working something out. Sure, I need a while to get over things when I am mad, but always needing to be the wronged party? I think it must come from a childhood or life of being hurt and never being able to stand up for oneself or feel ok about it (I am sure those with ADHD could have faced a childhood of persecution and criticism, which sucks). My STBX can hold onto slights or feelings of being slighted for so long it is unreal. He would throw things at me in arguments that happened 10 years ago. And then tell me he didn't accept my apology, or that I wasn't entitled to say anything, when most of the time he was in the wrong, anyway, lol. 

But, to be mired there as an adult...I can't fathom a relationship where my partner does not want to hear both sides of an issue and work it out. Even if we don't agree, there should be respect for the other's humanity and point of view. Which is why mine failed, unfortunately. Best to you. I hope that everything works out for you. 

The rage attacks and goading

The rage attacks and goading me into having to explain myself, then not listening to anything I have to say drives me insane too. It is absolutely horrible once it seems like he's coming off the ADD medication (Adderall). He will literally turn his back and walk away from me while I'm in mid-sentence. At that point treating me as if I didn't exist, I am so unhinged that I have to give the message/instructions/directions/reminders to our son so he can tell his father when he's in a calmer mood.

This happened last night, he stormed off in the car before I could give him a reminder not to forget to buy his DVD when he goes to go to pick up the books our son had on hold at the bookstore. Because I wanted to give him this reminder, dh refused to listen to me. I was only helping him. I feel like I'm driven to the point where I have to enlist the help of my children to get us through this nightmare.


ADHD vs immaturity

Hello. I'm very sorry for the position you are in.  Have you updated your résumé yet? Sounds like you have valuable experience that could get you a good job, although perhaps not where you live. 

The angry outbursts, hyper-criticism and nit picking are the worst parts.  They seem to occur mostly when he is particularly poorly managed: meds wearing off, not taken, tired, stressed, all of the above. I really don't think it's done in order to denigrate of subvert, but rather as a way to stimulate. And unconsciously at that. Perhaps that's what he learned growing up or it's a function of stress load, or both. 

Whatever the reason I tend to believe that it is ADHD and learned coping skills that are to blame rather than assigning it as a character flaw. I believe the book Mistakes Were Made.... But Not By Me explains that when someone does something we think we would never do we blame it on character while if we empathize then we are more likely to say they are having a bad day, etc. 

That being said, ADHD is a manageable condition and it is the responsibility of the adult to manage it. If he is aware that behaviors upset you, then it is his responsibility to change or accept the consequences. Assuming that the change is reasonable.  He clearly needs treatment and to learn to manage his condition.  Best wishes.

I wish I could move on

Hi Shelley,

Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately in our industry, full time jobs don't exist.  Either you live off of gig to gig freelance work or you run your own business.  We are in the media business and at our age it is too late and too expensive to go back to school for something else.

The problem with empathizing on the job site when he acts out, the job is already stressful enough.  I have 10 people looking to me for direction constantly, clients who are demanding, talent who is terrified and nervous to be in front of a camera, locations ticking down the time that we have to leave.   He knows better than to derail situations like that, but whenever I am in charge on location?  He derails it. If this was say a Hollywood movie set and he interrupted the director over and over again?  He would be escorted off the set.  Look up the Christian Bale rant on youtube.  Bale went off on a lighting guy because during  a take just because he walked around in Christian's eyeline.

My DH knows this.  He has worked in our industry for many years, he would NEVER do this to anyone else, just me.  It is like he has got it in his head that he has to compete with me at every turn.  But we have NO choice but to solider on until I can find an alternative.   I hear you that he needs treatment but every time we go there, it is all about how I have a mental illness and need medication, there is nothing wrong with him.

He did admit to me yesterday that he did derail me and that he knew he was doing it but couldn't stop it and said I needed to help him reset.  It is ALWAYS on me.   So you treat me like crap and I need to help you reset?  Come on, I empathize with him, I get he has ADHD but that is no excuse to treat me badly. I empathize all day long.  Do you have your wallet?  Do you need me to find your phone?  Can help you locate whatever is missing.  Hey you have an appointment here or there.  Do you need help? Can I help you talk to your mother?  But seriously being mean to me alone or in front of people is not acceptable.  I have decided to give it until the new health care law takes hold and we can really afford treatment. If he refuses after that?  We are probably done.

Last night he came in with a check.  I was standing in poor lighting with my hands full.  He handed me the check, I put down so I could put the other stuff down, go into good lighting and find my glasses.  Within in a half of second he is yelling out me "Don't you want to read the check?"  He does this not understanding human timing all of the time.  I didn't even had a second to say, Hello.  What is this?  Oh thank you. Nothing.  If he does not get the reaction he wants in nanosecond, the screaming begins.  I can't live this way.  

It just seems it falls on the

It just seems it falls on the non ADHD spouse to have to make sure all the bases are covered because the non ADHD spouse isnt as accountable.  My ex would only take care of things unless they affected him directly.. all the other things that went along with taking care of the home.. unless I made sure they were done.. they didnt get done.. I had to hire people to help despite the fact he was more than able bodied enough to help.. but instead would play video games for hours upon end or have 2 tvs going with sports on it.. and not move a muscle..  and when my life began to fall apart last year due to my Mom becoming critically ill.. he spun completely out of control.   Im sorry.. I need a partner thats there for me when times get tough.. its not the first time he's fallen apart on me..  but just got more and more difficult to deal with drinking, drugs etc..  I've been separated from him since September... Im focused. functioning better than ever but still kicking myself for killing myself all these years for taking care of everything thinking it would finally make him happy.  I told him for years he needed help.. and he never pursued it.. things would be better for awhile but each transgression got worse and worse... the last one being the last straw..

you deserve happiness.. and if your spouse isnt willing to do their share... then my advice is go now.. before you become invested further 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

The escape hatch

I have read and reread through this whole thread.  So many common issues - so many who also are just as frustrated as I am.

I have been looking at myself a lot in the past few weeks.  I know for certain I have been giving my ADHD spouse every benefit of the doubt I can.  I do not want to reject him.  I do not want to hurt him.  These crazy back-and-forth discussions (well actually I respond and he angrily defends) are my own attempt to get to the place of common ground.  I do not deserve to be treated in such a poor manner - and he deserves a spouse who will fill his need.

As a Christian, it came to mind this past weekend that most of our marriage I was thinking that by yielding I was allowing him to be the head of the house.   Now I see clearly that I let myself be bullied with his anger/dissatisfaction.  And I DO feel bad that his ability to control our lives with his anger has been removed - not by him, but by me.  I do feel bad that it worked well for him for 27 years.  Now I have upset the balance he had made with life.  I also had turned our marriage into a parent/child relationship by getting the 'taking care of my husband' way, way, way out of balance.  I slowly acquired/took-on responsibility for everything.  I did not ever find how to get the chores done on a balance between my husband, my son and my daughter.

I also modeled for my two children how to allow someone control you with their anger.  Not good.

This dealing with someone with untreated ADHD is so tricky.  It looks good for everyone looking at the exterior.  They do not see his anger.  They do not see my frustration.  They have no clue.  Well, in all honesty, I think some of the protective shield is cracking, as I can longer hold up the masquerade.  I think a bit of my life's ugly side is seeping out the cracks, and people see my life crumbling. . . . . .... 

Ah, to take care of myself, and cause no harm to my spouse is just not working.

I had been trying for years

I had been trying for years to keep this marriage together... for the sake of my son primarily... I almost walked so many times and got talked into staying.. and maybe if he had gotten help before I left, it might have worked..  but what was so troubling.. he didnt think he needed help after a few violent incidences.. cops being at house.. 12 year old son begging him to stop drinking my telling him that we need to interact better.. it wasnt until I left that he was diagnosed...

Im exhausted.. I want someone to take care of me.  Does that sound selfish?  Absolutely... but I'd been the one to take care of things for so long and still be treated poorly.. then to hear oh its a diagnosis... does that make it any better?  Im supposed to just go back?


Im almost afraid to watch Silver Livings Playbook.. I think I might find it upsetting that someone who seems like my husband is being played off as a tragic hero..

Someone to take care of you

This had not entered my mind.....Al-anon.  Didn't think alcohol was in the mix of our problems. A friend suggested it when I said I didn't want to pay $?/hr to talk to a counselor who has not been through what I am going through.  Dh does not get drunk, ever.  Yet, he isolates himself in the garage "smoking his cigars (with a beer tucked under the work bench)" because "I (me) don't want him to smoke in the house" (so it is my fault that he must retreat).  I don't SEE him drink although there are lots of cases of empty beer bottles. I never counted or kept tabs on his drinking. Yet, because he does not take care of his responsibilities financially, and he must drink when he comes home and must drink before he goes to bed and he retreats to the comfort of "the garage" with a few beers even when we have company, he falls into the category of problem drinker.  I just went to my first meeting this morning.  These people (all women) were where I am and they are now much better off by supporting each other and understanding....some come for the support 20 years after the crises are over just for the support. Check out their site any of you whose spouse drinks at all and you are confused about why he acts distant, irresponsibly, strange, hiding and lying. The group helps to figure out why you put up with/enable such an unequal relationship....the weekly meetings help YOU to turn on the light about your own situation. You are invited to attend if you have problems with ANY relative past or present who might be contributing to family problems by drinking any kind of alcohol.

Incongruent goal

Hello.  I don't see how taking care of yourself and expecting your spouse to act like the adult he is, causes him harm.  He might feel pain along the way, but in my opinion it helps him.  All change can lead to anxiety and discomfort, but that does not mean it's harmful.  Perhaps it will spur him to get treatment.  Perhaps not, but all you can control is your own behavior.  And while it's important to be kind and understanding, it's critical that it not be at the expense of your own health and sanity, and the welfare of your kids. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Result versus Revenge

Having my spouse experience pain and hurt as a result of his own behavior is the natural course of events.  I do not what to purposely hurt him as in "Screw you.  I am outta here!"  

I have heard from professionals that he can indeed "get it" when it comes to how his negative ADHD behaviors affect our lives, causing chaos.  

The things that have been pushing me closer to the door are:  1. his refusal to compromise on sharing our RV.  He would rather it sit in the yard and rot that have anyone else get joy out of it.  Me. . . I like to let people enjoy our blessings.  He is "so wounded" that I lend it out knowing he said 'no.'  2.  he threw at me the trump card of all trump cards - the RV was bought with $$ that came from "HIS" dead parent's estate.  

Well, that did not work to incite any response from me - other than, "Um, that is so-o not going to work."  And I am not ashamed to say it - it hurt!!!! But. . . I am choosing to rise above it.

So I indeed know the RV struggle is a symptom of a deeper issue.  Since it is the current-in our face- issue, I keep pulling him back to it when he tries to deflect to another issue using all the smoke and mirrors he can muster.  I want there to be resolution.  I do understand his pain - however it is playing out as greed, selfishness, acting like a bully, and immaturity.   Phew.  Yep, I AM so exhausted.


It is his choices

This morning, a recovering alcoholic said "Everything is about self to an alcoholic.  He will not get help because he understands that it causes you pain.  He will get help when it causes HIM pain."  He will not change for you.  He will only change for HIMSELF.  When his own physical safty is jeopardized because of his lack, THEN he will be able to make the necessary changes.  You can't do anything about it.  You can only find peace and strength and joy for you and your children.  THEN sometimes, the spouse will see the change in you and want that for himself....or not.  We see that it is only when the spouse leaves or talks about leaving, that an ADDer will get on this board to change. (Including in Melissa's marriage). No words of support does that.

That last line isn't always

That last line isn't always true. Mine hasn't changed (although he admits adhd) and has requested that I leave because it's too hard on him. I work two jobs and do EVERYTHING, but it's too hard on him. Eh, I'm glad to go, but I was trying to at least live together in peace until next year. Instead, I get to spend my last dimes renting a truck and car dolly, alone save for baby & dog, and drive 1300 miles to home. I'm nervous, but do feel everything will be fine. Thank goodness for friends;) Soon I won't feel so crazy anymore!!

self preservation is key in

self preservation is key in this situation.. I moved out with just some clothes and valuables.. friends helped me get furniture...I hit bed bath and beyond for the basics.. but I had no choice...  it was only then he got help.. but it was too little too late... now he plays the victim... mind you... I have had to cut basically all ties including blocking him from my phone... and he calls friends and makes no bones about trying to find out information on me.. but yet Im the crazy one???   I left a big home with cars, a pool... all the beautiful things... Im living in a less extravagent home.. with hand me down furniture and mismatched dishes towels and sheets.. and I've never been happier.. I with someone who is even keeled... its amazing what being with someone who has a predictable mood can do for your psyche... I dont sit up and cry at night anymore.. I dont mourn not feeling that Ill never have that connection with someone and the relationship isnt more parent child... happiness can happen... their diagnosis doesnt give them cart blanche to ruin your life... he didnt love me enough to change... that hurts.. especially after all the years I tried to make him happy by fixing up the house.. getting myself in shape.. building a successful business so money wasnt a problem.. and it was never enough.. and its not me.. hes just not comfortable in his own skin... Im finally living the life I deserve.. sounds selfish I know.. but Im a better person..better Mom and a better business owner because now I have the energy to focus on those things instead of his next mood swing.. 

Good for you! I'm already

Good for you! I'm already more at peace knowing that Sun night is my last night in crazytown;p