Marriage in Shambles

I posted this on one of the blogs on this site but then realized that nobody had commented there for more than a year, so I guess this is a better place for this.  Sorry for he duplication.

I am not sure where to even start this, so it may come out a little bit unorganized, but I beg you to stay with me.  I was diagnosed with ADHD about 10 years ago and have been on and off of many medications over the years.  I have been on and off Adderal for the past 2 years sometimes with great results and at other times not so great. 

The main theme for me in this post is that I have been horribly irresponsible with our finances and created a house of cards of lies to "protect" my wife and kids.  Now that the whole thing had caved in and I am in big trouble, my wife is furious and of course her family is involved as well.  She says she wants to stay with me but her brother is trying to convince her to leave me for a few months in order for me to "get help."  I know she in conflicted as I do believe she loves me but is sick and tired of my being so damn irresponsible with our finances.  It has put us and our 3 kids in a bad situation over and over again for the past 10 years.  I have always been a great earner but I do tend to fight against budgeting and do tend to spend on stupid things for my kids.  This of course causes us to come up short many months and has put us in massive debt which I know would cause stress in any marriage.  Recently i did something remarkably stupid financially and it seems like it may be the last straw.  While I don't think this one thing is the reason she is so upset, as it has been going on for years, the size of it is huge.  It is in the mid 5 figures and caused us major embararsment and hardship with some of our friends. There potentially could even be legal ramifications to all of this.  Like, I said, I do not think this single event is what she is potentially leaving over, but rather a culmination of many smaller events leading up to today.

As a result of everything that is going on, I have been doing some serious soul searching and realized many things.  One of the things I realized is that I have not been a very good partner to her.  I blamed her for being cold or detached at times, but I have been horrible too.  I have called her names, gotten angry for no reason, and done just about everything else I have read about on this site.  Said I want a divorce, said I should not have married her, told her she is stupid, called her worse names... you get the idea.  I know I am a kind, gentle caring man, but for some reason I have not shown it to her in the past 5 year or more.  The only exception was when she was very sick a few years ago and I spent 8 months going to the hospital with her almost every day for treatment.  Maybe I thought I was going to lose her and I realized that for that period it had to be all about her.  It was weirdly a bad time for us obviously for her health reasons, but a great time because we did not fight or argue.  We just focused on spending time together.  She is now 100% recovered and stronger than ever.

Like I said, I have been on and off medication and do not know if maybe the ones I am taking are not strong enough, the wrong ones, or there is something else wrong with me.  I am going to a new doctor tomorrow to help me answer some of those questions, but I fear it may be too late.  I have apologized, started to get more help, and told her and her brother that I realize I have been horrible but I know I love her with all of my being.  She is the only woman I would want to be with and in 20 years not only have I never strayed, but never even thought about it.  When I said those mean things to her I didn't really mean them, they just came out as a defense mechanism.

So the point I am trying to make is that sometimes those of us that suffer with this do not mean to do what we do.   I am a big strong guy, but this thing throws me around like a paper doll.  I am trying to get help and I am working as hard as I can to let my wife know how much I love her.  I have had a total awakening, but fear it may be too late.  I also fear that maybe there is even more wrong with me than just ADHD.  Please folks know that we struggle with this thing and even when we think we have it under control it is not.  It takes work and commitment from both sides, which I am hoping I get from her.  The thought of losing her is too painful for me to bear, but I know it would be a direct result of my actions and like anything else in life it will be what it is meant to be.  Please, if your spouse is fighting this affliction, work as hard as you can to let them know you support them.  Get them help and know it is a long process.  I don't know how this will turn our for me and the love of my life, but if I can help you save your relationship before it is too late than maybe some good can come of all of this.

Thanks for listening and do you best to support your loved one.  It means more than they are likely to be able to tell you.


May I ask you.... exactly how

May I ask you.... exactly how and in what ways is the ADHDer needing support from the non? I wonder because in my situation, I feel that I have been very supportive. I've scoured the web educating myself about ADHD; learning all I can about medications and treatments, learning techniques and little methods to help him be more organized or less forgetful. I've spent money getting him 'tools' for organization and exercise, I've been his cheerleader when he's having a rough time at work, I keep taking on more and more responsibilities because he either doesn't have time or it's something he isn't doing well. But he doesn't see or doesn't think this is enough. I don't think he sees me as supportive at all. I'll tell you that even though we both consider the family dog 'his'. I can also tell you that I've taught the dog to sit, roll over, assisted greatly in house training and medications and feeding. The dog has bitten me, snapped at the children numerous times, and shown various other forms of aggression. But what he tells other people is that I use the dog against him because I don't know how to effectively manage him. I'll tell you that I'm a stay-as-home-mother. I do 99% of the cooking, cleaning, child rearing. I also have a semi-part time job during the school year. Currently, I'm taking over the management of our finances. There are many many things in my house that simply don't get done unless I do them and if I fall behind, they stay right where they are until I can get to them. He will tell his family that I don't help him at all, he tells them that all the responsibilities fall on his shoulders and I'm unwilling to do anything to help him. He tells people I'm a failure. I'll tell you that over 2 years of being told that I'm a stupid b!tch, that I'm selfish and ungrateful for what he does for me, that I'm childish and immature and I'm taking advantage of him and that being with me makes him feel "jipped"...... all of these things have taken their toll on me and the verbal abuse is getting to be more than I can bear and remain somewhat mentally healthy. But he says I'm making problems that don't exist, that because he's never actually hit me, he's not abusing me. He'll say he was just mad or that he was "joking". There are days, sometimes weeks, where the only other adult I come in contact with, other than him, is my mother. I don't have friends close by, I very very rarely ever go out. But he's told at least my mother (and I suspect also his brother) that I might be having an affair. So, exactly how am I supposed to be more "supportive" of this man? Should I do this without any sort of expectations of him reciprocating? How do I know if my support is worth anything to him when it's easier for him to spew toxic bile at me than to tell me anything good? How long am I supposed to strive while he does the bare minimum to manage his disorder? How much more blame should I take for our problems so that he can continue to put forth no more effort than it takes to open a pill bottle and swallow? Tell me, how is it possible that I'm not doing my part, or that I'm somehow failing him. Cause he can see it, he can see it all over the place..... so much so that it's all he can see.

Exactly how...

First let me say that I feel for you.  Now in hindsight I can see what an ogre I have been to my wife and how hurtful some of the things I said and did were.  I felt the same way your husband sounds like he feels, but I was dead wrong.  The fact that I was unwilling to talk about it only made it worse.  I knew everything and had it all under control.  Obviously not the case, but I thought so.  We don't see the world the same way and have just as hard of a time processing the way you see things as you do processing the way we see things.  Neither are right...just different.  I felt like I was being attacked because she did not see things my way...just like you feel you are being attacked - and you are.

I will be the first to tell you that I am not an expert on this, but your husband sounds like he is doing exactly what I was doing.  I said some of those horrible things to my wife (and even worse) which I now regret deeply.  I said that she was not supporting me, lazy, did nothing, and the list goes on and on.  That was my defense mechanism to keep her from making me deal with my own issues.  You see when someone tries to tell me about specific tasks that I am not doing, it makes me crazier and I get defensive.  I want to do them all and more, but for whatever reason I get off target and go down another path.  I know it is the ADHD and I am on medication, but it is not a perfect fix and it only lasts for so long.

I do not have the answers for everyone, but I do know that my behavior helped to shape who my wife became and hers helped to shape who I have become.  One thing I can say is that although I am willing to take all the blame right now, I know that is not the case.  Whether I caused her to act the way she did because of what I was doing is completely irrelevant at this point.  It still takes two to tango.  One of you has to give in and try something different.  I noticed you said something about "managing him."  If you said that to me I would go off the deep end.  Nobody wants to be managed by their partner.  Even if you are managing him, there are better choices of words.  The truth is you both have to take a deep breath and figure out if you want to save your marriage.  If he does...and don't listen to what he says... then you have to work together to try to define what you want and expect.  I am not saying that will be easy, but if you keep doing what you are doing now, one of you will find yourself where I am now.  That is wishing with every ounce of my being that I had tried to do something different before it was too late.  I am committed to changing because I do not want to lose my soul mate who I basically hurt (never physically, although emotionally might be worse) every step of the way.  I am working on my end and she is making decisions on hers.  I hope that she gives me the chance to show her that I can change.  I ask her every day if there is something I should be doing better or differently.  Now don't get me wrong, I am 6'4" tall and 275 ex-college football player so I have never been accused of being anything other than a man.  I know I have to walk that fine line between doing everything I can to be a better husband and turning into someone she no longer respects.  It is a scary place for me to be right now.

Basically, I guess I am saying try a different tact with him.  Tell him how much you love him and that you recognize that you see things differently and you want  nothing more than to be happy together.  Tell him you are willing to work on it with him.  Tell him you accept him for what he is and he must accept you for what you are.  Neither is right and neither is wrong.  No specifics right now.  Take a small step and break the ice.  There must have been something you loved about each other when you met and got married.  I know both of us teared up when we talked about when we met and our wedding, etc.    Talk about that with him and tell him you know it can't be like that again because life adds stuff to the mix (kids, house, education, etc) but there is a way to get back to those feelings and make something even better together.

This little saying has given me a lot of perspective. - Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.   When I read that I realized that it makes a heck of a lot of sense to look at options and not problems.  When we focus on problems the situation gets magnified and blown our of proportion.  When we focus on options we can figure out what is possible. 

Again, these are only my thoughts from having been there and wishing that I had done some of this.  It wouldn't have been easy for me and it won't be easy for you, but if your marriage is worth it, then you have to try.

If there were a universal and

If there were a universal and fool proof way to help those with ADHD to have the 'light bulb' moment you've had, the "awakening" you mentioned earlier (I think it was you), how wonderful that would be. Sadly, it takes getting the kick in the gut, the real possibility of losing everything, for many (both non's and ADHDers, but mostly ADHDers) to get it. My husband knows he has ADHD. He claims the 'sparkly' parts of it, but denies and gets defensive when the other parts of it are pointed out. I just recently asked him "so you think you're THE one, the one out of 4 million adults who have ADHD, that can control it yourself?" I do not want to continue the 'game' of "I am leaving because things are just too miserable here" and him shaping up, holding himself accountable, and then doing a bait and switch. Incidently, since getting the diagnosis, his denial has become far worse than it was before (was diagnosed June 2010).

I was in the process for MONTHS of 'letting go' and finally managed to permanently lay down my anger, even in the face of his chaos, about 2 months ago. I know how hard it is to admit fault in any marriage, much less one that is a disaster. It truly does take two to tango, you are right, but there is no 'supporting' someone who isn't willing to hold themselves accountable. At best you detach and stop letting the ADHD drag you around by the hair and beat you up on a daily basis. That is what I have done. I cannot support what has chosen to do since I shoved him off of the cliff (drinking/self-medicating, stopped ADHD meds, missing work 1-3 days a week, etc) but I am not 'managing' him, nor am I angry with him. I am just praying for him and hopeful that he doesn't hit rock bottom and stay there. I know if things stay the way they are and I decide 6 months from now that I'm ready to move on (IF he is still stuck where he is right now) then it will come as a complete shock to him. Since we aren't fighting, I am certain he feels everything is fine. I did remind him the other day, first time I really mentioned anything to him about me 'detaching', that I didn't have my head in the sand and that just because I wasn't fighting with him didn't mean I didn't see exactly what was going on. He has lied to me several times over the course of the last 2 months...and I said nothing about it...until then. I am trying to give him some kind of clue...I DO want him to meet me half way...eventually.

I think it is important to pick issues you know you and your wife have, make a list..keep a journal...something, and focus on eliminating or minimizing them one by one. Seeing TRUE and lasting changes in you will start to warm her heart back up to you and help her trust you again.

Manage him? Yeah, there's

Manage him? Yeah, there's none of that going on. Well, nothing other than what he's willingly handed me. (to manage finances, I'm also in a sense managing him in regards to money he earns. Is it possible to do the first without the latter? If there is, I want to know the secret too! LOL) My DH and I were really good friends for almost a decade before we became romantically involved, so I knew coming into this that there wasn't going to be any "managing him". He's THE most stubborn and resistant thing I've ever loved. I want to congratulate you for your accomplishments. I see the struggle day in and day out, over and over; and it takes a lot to face it head on. I wish you lots and lots of success!! Sadly, right now I'm in a place where I honestly don't want to try anything with him. I don't have thoughts of divorce or anything, but I've opened myself up so many times only to be stabbed that I'm not willing to give him that chance for a long while. I've taken the lovey and sappy approach, made the mistake of strong arming, I've applied logic, bribery, different angle and views and their benefits...... That man isn't budging with any tactic. It's just not going to happen, not for or because of me anyways. I can't fix the damage already done, but I can sure as hell minimize any future attempt to damage me. As I'm learning the art of detachment, I'm finding that some of these things I already had in motion. I've been slowly detaching for months and didn't even realize it. I can no longer go out of my way to support this man, I will no longer allow this chaos to destroy my inner self. The best thing I can do is leave him be and focus my efforts on myself. He'll come around when he's ready, and I'll probably be there waiting for him. But there is nothing I can do or say to him to make this go along any quicker. All I can do is be the best "me" possible. I've said before that my love for him transcends ADHD, and it truely and completely does. I'm wounded and calloused and I've been shattered and re-glued, only to be shattered again before the glue dried. But through everything...... I'm still here.

Manage Him

Sadly I can feel your pain, but not from the side of the receiver, but from that of the giver.  I know the pain and suffering I have caused and while I could not see it at the time, I sure as hell see it now.  I really don't know what to tell you as I am just a guy who came to my senses (with a kick in the butt from my wife) only when I was faced with losing everything.  I wrote my wife a love letter last night telling her how in spite of how horrible I have been over the years, I really loved her.  My actions were wrong and just a defense mechanism to conceal my real pain.  I have not admitted things like that to her in many years.  It felt great for me to say it and she told me how happy she was to get it. 

Tonight we had a typical conversation about money and she started to question me about a particular bill and I actually took the time to explain to her that we see things differently and that when she does that I either retreat or defend myself.  I took the time to tell her how that made me feel and and while she obviously did not know it before we spoke, she understood it afterwards.  It was some of the best communication we have had in years, and we both walked away happier and better equipped to deal with the next situation.  If you would have asked her a couple of months ago if she could stick this out she would have said no way.  there is no way to talk to him.  Tonight we talked to each other like we used to and took the time to listen.  It felt great and might be a step forward in rebuilding our relationship.

You never know when the breakthrough may come for your husband and you never know when you just might get through and reach him.  I know every situation is different but is sounds like you love get up, brish yourself off and get back in there and fight for him.  Nothing worth anything is not worth fighting for.    Stay strong.

I think it's beautiful that

I think it's beautiful that you are reaching out to your wife, rebuilding your relationship, taking the time to explain things to her. I very much look forward to the rebuilding process in my relationship. My DH is an incredibly beautiful man and I miss him so much. Can I ask...... if the way I approach a topic immediately sends him into defense mode, how could I be doing it differently? Is there a way to tell him his behavior is unacceptable or undesirable without him reacting with aggression? I can't seem to find that angle on my own and as a result, I've quit talking to him about anything. I have a good idea of the topics that make him defensive, but I've taken it a step further than that. I wont even discuss my hopes, opinions, views, dreams.... it seems like everything I say to him is saved up and turned into ammunition to fire back at me at the time of his choosing. It seems like, for him, there is no such thing as "different". There is only "he's right all the time, about everything", even in situations where there is not a clear "right or wrong". I feel like my very existence, presence, thought process is a threat to him. And then I'm left wondering why he even wants me in his life at all. My next question for you.... if I'm over-stepping boundaries, I apologize. If you feel uncomfortable answering me, I'll understand. From the place where you used to be standing, in those moments where you using your defense mechanism..... did it bother you, the things you were saying to her, the way she reacted when you said those things? Was it all "fair game" as long as she backed down? Maybe it's because I see the situation from the receiving end, maybe it's because I'm a girl and I'm sappier than most men.... but I don't understand. In that moment, was there any justification, in your mind, for the verbal abuse? As those words were coming out, did you truly believe what you were telling her was true; did you really want her to believe they were? Or was your only goal to make her stop "attacking" you? It is not my intention to make you feel bad, I truly don't understand why he does this. I don't understand why he thinks he has to take it so far? Why does it seem to give him pleasure to crush me? Does it make his behavior or what he's done more OK the worse he can make me feel? Most importantly..... what can I be doing to lessen the duration and severity of these sessions? I'm not an aggressive person, I don't know if standing up for myself and defending my character is going to antagonize him more? I feel like I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. It feels like he enjoys painting me as a sub-standard human to his family, his friends, my family, my children and myself. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I'm grateful to everyone on this forum, for the information and the insight they give me.

You Can Do It

I do appreciate your kind words and I sincerely hope that you get the opportunity to rebuild your relationship.  It is extremely hard work and it does require work on both sides.  I am only beginning to rebuild and I do find myself getting angry when my wife talks to me the way that I used to talk to her.  I guess in some twisted way, i taught her to be like that to defend against what I was doing to her.  It hurts me to my soul when she treats me like that, but I try to understand.  I try to focus on what I really want to accomplish which is to get back to a loving relationship.  While I know it takes time and work, I still want her to love me back the way I love her.  Oftentimes it is hard for her to do that.  We are talking about years of hurt I put her through.  Another interesting insight I have picked up is that no matter how she treats me these days, she has a "reason" why she is like that.  I am not a religious guy, but I am guessing it is part of some devine plan to make me realize how much I hurt her and to be sure I don't do it again.  I could choose to get angry and snap or choose to know exactly where she is coming from and have some compassion and understanding.  I choose compassion right now, as I know it is the right tact.

As for when I said and did those horrible things, did I mean them?  Absolutely and absolutely not.  I thought that I meant them when I said them and I was trying to strike back as hard as possible.  One of the bad things I have learned about ADHD in men is that we use domination as a coping technique.  The harder we hit, the more dominant we feel.  The nastier I was, the better I felt... until I calmed down and thought about it.  Then I knew I was wrong and occasionally (very occasionally) I would apologize.  More often, I would manipulate the situation and figure out how to get her to see my point and apologize.  More domination....even better!  The truth is I always knew right from wrong but I was always able to rationalize my actions by saying she does not love me anyway.  She could rationalize her actions by thinking I was the biggest asshole to walk the planet so I was getting what I deserved.  Both of us were thinking why the hell are we in this marriage anyway.  My answer was "for the kids."  Turns out that was hers too.  What neither of us though about was that the fighting and fake hate (and that is what it is) was truly not what either of us really wanted!  That is the craziest part... that both of us lost in those situations, but we each took them as our own little victories.  It is a viscous cycle to say the least.  I was lucky enough to have hit bottom and decide I needed to change.  I honestly believe that the guy who was living in my body with my wife and kids is dead now and I am back in the picture.  That guy spewing all that venom was not me at all, but I just could not control him.  He had ultimate power over me and even when i would pop my head up and say hello, hew would push me back down.  Just to be clear, I don't mean that literally, so don't think I am schizophrenic.  It is just a metaphor that I am using.

Believe me when I tell you that your husband knows what he is doing is wrong.  He feels bad for a few minutes and then rationalizes it.  If he tries to make you apologize, it is only because he feels guilty and can's admit it.  This is something that really has helped me understand the anger.  I read somewhere that anger is only a secondary emotion...a reaction to the real emotion which is hurt.  If you break it down to the most primal reactions, we have fight or flight.  When I felt like i was going to be hurt my body took over and said FIGHT.  Once I realized that I was only fighting because I was afraid of getting hurt, I realized my wife really did not want to hurt me.  I was not telling her she was hurting me, so how could she know?   I just went right to anger or fight and what was she supposed to think?  Her primal response took over too and she did not want to get hurt so she went to fight as well.  Like I said, a viscous cycle.  Understanding it is a big part of the solution.  One side has to get it and try to explain it to the other side carefully.  Here is the caveat though - if you explain it with anger or respond with anger you will stir the beast and get anger right back.  In order to reach him you are going to have to take a few shots on the chin (not literally) until he sees you do not want to fight him....that you love him...and want to understand him.  I am not saying it is easy, but if you get get him to see that there might....just a possibility that you are both reacting to something that is not there...then you have your gap to start the rebuilding process.  Now, you can't create that gap and start pointing out all of the things he is doing wrong or the door will slam shut.  If you are strong enough or care enough, you have to take the blame at first.  It will be very disarming and he will have to listen.  I know you are thinking you have already done that, but be honest with yourself and see if you did it with no judgments and no expectations that he will apologize too.  You have to be ready for him to not to see your side and to respond to you with anger.  When you can do that I guarantee you that he will surprise you and at least begin to hear what you are saying.  The minute you react to him with anger the opportunity is lost.  It sucks that you have to be the one again to initiate and start the process and even be willing to be subject to more verbal abuse.  I get that, but I keep coming back to the same old thing.  If you truly love him then you can do whatever you must to help both of you.  I didn't realize it intellectually at the time, but I now know that I would truly give my life for my wife.  If I can feel like that about her, I sure can take a little verbal crap from her to rebuild a relationship I am willing to die for.

Like I said, I am just in the process of rebuilding and there are bumps.  She has a log of anger too.  Some I created and some she created.  Either way, I willing to take some crap to get back what I almost lost.  I keep looking at is and thinking how crazy is it that I tried to destroy the thing I loved the most?  Therein lies the weirdest part of ADHD.

I sincerely hope you can reach your husband and you can rebuild.  Now, i am going to overstep my bounds and tell you that if you want me to, I am willing to reach out to your husband and tell him my story.  I don't know if that is good or bad as I am not an expert, but I can tell you that I might have been more likely to listen to someone who has been there than someone who i feel does not get it or me.  If you want me to email him my story, which I guess I will have to write, I am willing to do that.  I am so much happier now then I have been for years.  If I can help you then I feel like maybe I can put a reason on all of this.   I guess I would just send an email without saying you asked me to.  You know the old saying, sometimes when the student is ready the teacher appears.  Please know that I have nothing to sell so I am doing this purely out of my desire to help others who are suffering with this thing that can so easily be avoided.  My email that I literally just set up to allow me to remain anonymous is [email protected]

Thanks for writing and thanks for listening.  It is kind of therapeutic for me to share this with everyone!


Your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs

Your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are golden. Awesome.

I would argue that your advice in the 3rd paragraph is very difficult when you're dealing with complete denial...but I do think the advice you give can be very useful. The problem is, for me, that my marriage isn't in that vicious cycle anymore because I walked away from the anger and just simply stopped fighting with him. I stopped focusing on his ADHD and started focusing on me. Where he stands is that he denies his ADHD is a problem...or feels he can control it himself...when he won't even discuss the issues and painful parts of it. He has cheated 14 years. Once 6 months into the marriage (one night stand) and the most recent time was in the fall of 2009 (a 2-3 month affair). He lies. The lies. OMG the lies. If he lies about insignificant stuff, what the hell else is he lying about? He drinks too much. He self-medicates in other ways, and I have PROOF, and he denies it till the death. You cannot make plans with him, he always flakes out and hasn't spent much quality time with me or me and the kids in about 9 months. He spends money like there is no end to it, and we are barely making ends meet...some months the ends don't meet at all. Lastly, he has a daughter from his first marriage that we raised from ages 12-18...and she recently moved in with the woman he had the affair with in 2009. I have been burned so many times by her that I don't want anything to do with her AT ALL. He tries to pretend that her decision to move in with the 'other woman' isn't that big of a deal (it is TO ME) and I don't really care in any aspect other than it was just the final straw, proved to me just exactly what she is made of, and confirmed my feelings that having her in my life is just asking for betrayal and drama. He told me, when I found out and got upset about it, that he felt like he was being forced to choose between she and I and he chose her. Honestly, something inside of me died that day. I wasn't asking him to choose anything, I just wanted to not feel like I was insane for being upset about it..when he seemed as though it didn't matter. I think it made me realize just how non-existent his respect for me is and how little he values my feelings.

I'm not sure we can get through any of these barriers. I'm not even trying right now, I am just working on getting stronger and trying to co-exist with him in peace. I am happy we can at least do that. Eventually the time will come when we have to deal with these things and I am not sure there is a right way at all. I'm not sure there is even a way period.

I do wish you the best of luck. Thank you for admitting these things and expressing your thoughts and actions in such an honest way. It really does help.

I was typing up this HUGE

I was typing up this HUGE response when I realized, I could sit here and type the whole forum. THAT is such a good post, I'm having all these mini lightbulb moments. :D Which in turn, raises a hundred new inquiries. As for your offer..... I can't tell you how much it means to me that you would be willing to do something like that. It's really incredible. Please know that if I thought for a single minute it would be received as you or I intend it, I'd tell you to get to typin'! But, you're thinkin' like a Non. Intentions will have nothing to do with anything if it's not received well. I can tell you from sitting in the middle of this....... there is far greater of a chance of it pissing him off. You have to remember... he sees me as the cause of our problems. If I would just be a good wife and keep house like he wants it to be done, then he wouldn't yell at me or tell people bad things about me. To do something like this, I'm opening myself up to more than I'm willing to endure. Because no matter what.... he will always find a way for me to be at fault. He knows I post here. He's even suggested this site to others. If he really wants to, he can come here and see our story over and over and over. And he has. But his denial is in the way. As long as he can find fault in me, it means he can excuse his own and ignore it while he demands I fix my problem first. (I am, by the way. He just chooses to find another fault instead of see it.) And trust me..... he'll never reach the end of his list of my faults.

I feel the same way....Happy Medium

The only difference in my situation with my husband is that I am the "breadwinner" and still have to come home, pay the bills, clean the home and take care of our family. However, according to my hubby he makes all the money and does everything while I play all day at work and I am spoiled(haha yeah spoiled)! 

I really am starting to begin that it is all subjective to his thinking. My husband really thinks that he makes all the money because all of the toys(electronics and stuff we really do not need) he buys and that's what is important to him. However, the car payment, house bills and anything for the home such as new washer and dryer I have purchased. He never really had to pay any of these on his own since his parents or previous relationships have taken care of those things. So essentially I think he doesn't realize that those expenditures and bills are part of life and the bills that I pay are so much more than the occassional dvd player or 60 inch flat screen...both of which we did not need.

My husband also thinks that he does more as far as chores around the house because he is home all day and he does pick up after himself and our son somewhat....and by somewhat I mean that the house is walkable but there are still dirty clothes, toys and dishes everywhere....oh yeah and poop in the toliet, sadly not from my 3 year old<---he has mastered flushing the toliet...not my 33 yearold husband though! Yet, the actual cleaning, dusting, mopping and organizing all falls on my back.

Currently, I am 7 months pregnant, work full time and attend school! I have always been super supportive of my husband in almost everything he does. I am learning to be a person that praises every little thing he does because he needs it so desperately. Yet, I do not feel that he is the slightest bit supportive of me and my goals. I am a strong woman and I always have been. Technically, I do not need a cheerleader...but it would be nice to feel that I had my spouse by my side.

The verbal abuse and the accusations of cheating have driven me nuts. Sometimes I am scared of the examples that we are providing my son. To me everything you have said is my situation with my husband. Sadly, the more I read these forums, I realize that I am not alone. My husband isn't truly a delusional jerk but he really has a mental condition, that if he addressed, could be the difference of a divorce or a happy marriage. To me it is so unbelievable that many of these husbands act in nearly the exact same way. It's as though they are carbon copies of each other.

I know how you feel.....alone! Please feel free to e-mail me anytime you need to vent!


I'm really sorry I missed responding to you until now...

Unfortunately, your spouse seems to have the perfect ADD-Land life. He gets what he wants, you do all the work and if he is used to this, he sees that he is not doing anything wrong. You cannot fix him... He has to see and understand how oblivious his perceptions are. You are in a truly bad spot. On the other hand, if he does discover his ADD and do something about it, your knowledge will help SO much. My DW never really saw ADD as a problem, just a convenient diagnosis for my past poor actions and a great weight loss drug as a bonus, not that correcting my brain chemistry killed my addiction to food and improved So many other things. Sigh...

There are many other great people on this site who will help too, so keep posting and reading!


The Start

You have taken the first and most important step. You are beginning to realize how ADD has affected everything around you. I was in your shoes 2.5 years ago when anxiety attacks sent me to the doctor and after 43 years I finally had an answer for many of my traits. Tell your spouse that you have realized how ADD has messed things up and that you will work to improve things. Don't expect anything from her as she has probably done a lot that you may have not noticed before helping your marriage to this point. You can only try to help yourself, this will take a lot of time and will not guarantee that your marriage will survive. It will be tough when you do things better, but only the slip-ups get noticed. This will be your part in helping by giving her time to notice that you can improve. You have set precedents that will take many observations of better actions/behavior before they can be replaced by the new ones.

One of the best things I've heard to illustrate the situation is that you have an "Empty Trust Bucket" to fill. This will take many deposits as you have emptied the bucket over time to get to where you are today. 

Good luck on the journey...