Marriage has a deadline

I am sad to say that I am approaching 50 and have spent most of my life with people who dissappointment me. My parents, my husband. I do not have that high of standards that they are impossible to meet but I seem to be a magnet for people with ADD, why is that I can't figure out. being the daughter of an ADD person you would have thought I would not have married a man with it also, Ahh but it was hidden so well...and oh the romance was intoxicating.   I read Melissa's book maybe 2/3 years ago, H read maybe a few chapters just the amount he could in one night and never picked it up again...said yep thats us. end of story, I need to read it again as I need help.  I am so miserable, hate the person I have become,  I have decided I am going to give it one last effort on my part, as I know some of our issues are my fault, and if within a year (if we last that long) I am still just as unhappy I am moving on.. instead of a Birthday cake I'll have a Freedom cake. After spending my 30's and 40's in this crazy relationship I refuse to spend my 50's doing the same old song and dance.  I am not afraid of being alone, I am only afraid of what would this do to my children, i know they do not want us to split, but living with parents that can barely stand each other isn't good either.  I moved out of my parents house at 18 as I could not take it anymore, I lived independantly until 30 never needing a dime or help from them, and somehow went from the object of a mans affection to an indentured servant.   I do have to say though, growing up with an ADDer who couldn't handle much of anything it did teach me to be strong and I learned early how to take care of myself.

I have work to do on my part, when he does little things for me I don't appreciate them, it is hard to appreciate a little thing when there are so many big things wrong.  When the boys do something that irritates him and I think he overreacts i sometimes say things that don't back him up...I know that is a big issue, but I hate to see him treat the kids the way he does and I have a hard time not saying something.  He does so many thing that drive me insane, but I cannot make him change...I know I can only change how I behave and react to them.   Whats that old saying ' give me strength to change the things I can....and accept the things I can't, or something like that....I don't know if I can accept the things I can't change, but I certainly do need the strength to change the things I can...and maybe there will be a trickle down effect.  I need help..I can't live like this anymore. Any suggestions on self improvement.  

(Not ADHD suggestions, he was diagnosed many years ago, we have been to several different counselors, he has meds but takes them erratically....he needs to want to change, I can't do that for him.) 

Good luck.  I'm in the same

Good luck.  I'm in the same boat, except that my children are older (adults, in college).  It's hard to become the best person you can be when someone is constantly, consciously or not, pushing your buttons.  

I Totally Understand

Talk about coinkydink...

I've recently decided I will give it a year too.

I'm not into erratic choices either.

There does come the point of do or die though n , like you, I've dedicated too much of my life to a sinking ship imo.

 

ADHD magnet

I think I know why we become ADHD magnets -- at least in my own case.  My father and sister were ADHD, and now at least 2 husbands and 2 children are. I believe if you grew up with an ADHD parent, then ADHD behavior looks and feels perfectly normal. And why wouldn't it? You're not going to see it as a red flag if your parent(s) acted that way. Same reason why ADHDers don't see their own behavior as abnormal. Chances are, at least one parent had it, so the behavior WAS normal in their household!

I don't think that my

I don't think that my husband's parents have ADHD. But I do think that he picked up from his dad the inability to know how to take care of one's spouse.  One of my big problems with my relationship is that my husband doesn't seem to know how to be a good helpmate and caregiver within a relationship.  His dad is also like this.  

Well I finished re-reading

Well I finished re-reading the Effect on Marriage again...I can definately see my response to his symptoms as an issue, however as the book says the underlying ADHD symptoms are the root of the problem. ADHD SUCKS. My husband is actually a very decent man, he has always held a job, makes a very good salary, thank goodness or we Would be broke due to impulse spending, he buys things for me if he thinks i would like them..thats a plus and a minus, sometimes i think its nice and sometimes the impulse buying gets me mad and i don't appreciate it, he doesn't view porn, hasn't cheated on me as far as I know, he works very hard...on things he wants to, or I should say 'the manly stuff', he is intelligent, he used to be the most amazing lover. OK so whats the problem.....he seems so self-centered, doesn't do anything he doesn't want to do, leaves a mess everywhere he goes, breaks promises when he says he will do something, intentional or not the result is he doesn't follow thru, he is extremely easily frustrated, explodes in anger a the drop of a dime, he forgets to take his meds about 3/4 times a week, doesn't seem to even try and change his behavior, drinks too much, leaves me with ALL the household chores, organizing, planning, spends hours and hours in front of the computer playing games or surfing ebay, doesn't help with our two ADHD children, he is a pack-rat or a mild hoarder, when he is doing something he wants nothing else exists, doesn't think to see if maybe I need a break from the kids, he always comes first, etc.    This is so hard, I can just barely remember the man I was in love with more than life itself, if the ADHD crap weren't in the way he would have made a wonderful husband.  It breaks my heart to think of 'what could have been' brings tears to my eyes now just typing those words. I almost wish we could just live in separate houses and just date, maybe i wouldn't be so resentful and we could only see each other for fun. I am tempted to ask for a separation but I know how he would react, he is very black/white, all or nothing kind of guy...i also fear if i ask him to leave he would cut the boys out of his lives completely.  So I am going to try and change my reaction and mind about things as best I can, but if he doesn't do his part I am probably just prolonging the inevitable.

Pbartender's picture

The Person He Should Be vs. The Person He Is...

"My husband is actually a very decent man, he has always held a job, makes a very good salary...  ...he buys things for me if he thinks i would like them..thats a plus and a minus, sometimes i think its nice and sometimes the impulse buying gets me mad and i don't appreciate it...  ...he doesn't view porn, hasn't cheated on me as far as I know...  ...he works very hard...on things he wants to...  ...he is intelligent, he used to be the most amazing lover...  ...he seems so self-centered, doesn't do anything he doesn't want to do...  ...leaves a mess everywhere he goes...  ...breaks promises when he says he will do something, intentional or not the result is he doesn't follow thru...  ...he is extremely easily frustrated...  ...explodes in anger a the drop of a dime...  ...doesn't seem to even try and change his behavior...  ...drinks too much...  ...spends hours and hours in front of the computer playing games...  ...when he is doing something he wants nothing else exists...  ...doesn't think to see if maybe I need a break from the kids...  ...he always comes first, etc."

This was tough for me to read.  So much of it echoes my own experience...  Things I've recently realized about myself.  Things my wife has said in the past, that I couldn't seem to understand at the time, before I was diagnosed.  A lot of it sounds like me the times when I was at my worst.

So much of the frustration and anger came from knowing something wasn't right, but not knowing what...  from always trying to be the best father and husband I could, but always ending up getting it wrong somehow...  from knowing what my wife wanted, but never being quite able to deliver it in the way she wanted. 

It was so easy to give up.  To give in to the little voice that kept saying I'll never get it right, and I'll never be good enough, that I was a fool to marry her to begin with because she deserves so much better than I can ever give her.

Even now, when I'm taking my medication and working hard to improve myself, a lot of that still lingers in the back of my head...  It's hard to ignore.  Especially while she's at the point where it's obvious that she still believes that she can't trust me and that she still believes that I won't really change.

"This is so hard, I can just barely remember the man I was in love with more than life itself, if the ADHD crap weren't in the way he would have made a wonderful husband."

This was something I had to realize for myself, in order to want to make changes...  that way back in the day when I first met my wife, I was a different person.  Later, when the ADHD symptoms because to show up, I began to change.  Because of the ADHD, and the way we both reacted to it, I lost some personality traits that both she and I prized, and developed others that we both hated...  And the same thing happened to her.  We both became we neither of us liked...  We became people we shouldn't be.

I want to get back to being the person I should be.  I also want her to get back to being the person she should be, but she needs to do it herself and I'm not certain if she's ready for it yet.

 

Pb.

Thanks PB.   This is all so

Thanks PB.   This is all so F'n frustrating and heartbreaking for all of us on this forum.  One person wants the other to change the other wont/can't/is past caring.  I don't like the person I have become, empty, bitter...mostly when I am around my H...   I miss the man he was and what we shared, who we used to be...and like you i miss the mind blowing sex we used to have, but right now i could have sex with a stranger easier than i could with my H.  I think he is where you said you were, he has just given up because he feels he will never please me, but I don't know how to get him to realize if he took care of his ADHD he could please me. he is so defensive all the time...its amazes me how I can say something completely neutral and he takes it as if i have critizied him. he did say in one of his Dr appts, that he wished he never married me because he has made my life miserable. OUCH. Sometimes i wish i never married him too for the same reasons, but I have never said it out loud. I HATE THIS !!!!!!!

Pbartender's picture

A kick in the pants...

I wish I could tell you what kind of a kick in the pants he needs to get him in gear.

"he has just given up because he feels he will never please me, but I don't know how to get him to realize if he took care of his ADHD he could please me."

That was one of the toughest realizations...  The idea that it not up to me to make my wife happy.  I was, in effect, trying way too hard to please her.  Instead, I need to make myself better, to make myself happy, to be the person I'm meant to be.  If I can do that, then perhaps the rest will take care of itself, and she will in turn learn to be happy with me again.

"he is so defensive all the time...its amazes me how I can say something completely neutral and he takes it as if i have critizied him."

The funny thing is, I get the same sort of behavior from my non-ADHD wife...  She'll roll her eyes and huff and snap at me using the same sort of disrespectfully exasperated tone usually reserved for our almost-12-year-old daughter, and then walk away without actually talking about anything.

It's tough to demonstrate that I'm paying attention to her, if she never gives me the chance to pay attention to her.

"he did say in one of his Dr appts, that he wished he never married me because he has made my life miserable. OUCH. Sometimes i wish i never married him too for the same reasons, but I have never said it out loud."

Look at it from this point of view...  He loves you enough, that'd he'd rather take it all back and live his life alone so that you could have been happy all those years, than selfishly keep them all as-is and be with you, but with you miserable for half your life.  It may not have been the best way to express it, but it means that deep down he is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of yours... 

Like me, he needs motivation to improve, hope that his improvements will mean something, and enough self-confidence and support to survive any setbacks or failures that might crop up.

 

Pb.