Married 10 years, need advice

I just found this forum and I'm reading things for the first time that sound exactly like my marriage. My husband is ADHD, very intelligent, highly successful businessman. We have one adopted daughter age 10 with some emotional issues and my husbands daughter is a jr in high school and with us half the time. We have been married 10 years. Husband is cold, distant, constantly telling to "get out of his f-ing business", defensive, etc etc etc. He can't put his cell phone down even on our "date nights" and pays all his attention to his bio daughter and neglects me and our younger daughter. On the plus side, he never asks me what I'm up to, does not put limits on my spending (I'm a pretty conservative type financially so I don't spend needlessly just for the sake of spending), and never tries to control what I'm doing or where I'm going. He wants the same for himself, hence the "get out of my business" comment. The problem is that he frequently leaves for hours playing golf or going to stepdaughter's basketball games etc and leaves me at home with the younger child. Sometimes he goes to dinner after his daughter's sporting events and doesn't even bother to tell me where he is or call/text to ask if I would like some dinner myself. He refuses to listen to any  discussions about emotions or feelings, tells me I'm not being "reasonable" or that I'm creating "drama". He only wants happy and cheerful superficial discussions, and if I don't adhere to that I'm being negative. He takes no responsibility for his hurtful actions (ex: he throws out my mail or my things, I ask him to not touch any of my stuff and he says I have an anger problem. Huh? Wouldn't an appropriate response be "whoops, I goofed, I'm sorry?"). I could go on and on, but I feel verbally abused, neglected and very lonely in my own (beautiful) house with him. Trying to decide if I should stay since I'm financially very secure with him and don't feel like splitting would be best for our younger daugther with her issues. Oh, he has solicited other women in the past when things between us have been rough, not sure if anything has ever happened although he denies any physical affairs. I've also found out he has a pretty good porn habit and when I confronted him with my concerns about it he said I was being "unreasonable" and that there was nothing wrong with it. Any advice from anyone who has had kids and split? Any advice/observations from anyone would actually be appreciated.


Kalimando, I am sorry that you are in this situation. It is truly a tough one that does not have any simple or quick solutions. I left my spouse a year ago with my children after a little over a decade of marriage. He had untreated ADHD and we had some of the same issues you describe. He would not get treatment even if it meant me leaving. I was not perfect, nor am I now, but the verbal abuse was a dealbreaker for me, and I had been asking him to see a doctor and a counselor with me for years.

If you read this board, you may find that a lot of your husband's behavior is common with unmanaged ADHD. Of everything, I think the defensiveness and coping mechanism of turning it back around on the partner (you have an anger problem, you are unreasonable) are the most painful. And I am sorry about your younger daughter. Do you think he avoids her for the same reasons he avoids talking to you--because her emotional issues make her more "difficult" for him deal with? Please tell yourself that you are not crazy or unreasonable, that you have every right to ask him to talk to you about his porn use, and to ask that he not swear at you or "solicit" other women. Of course you want him to include you and your daughter in at least some of his plans. 

I was definitely worried about my children and divorce, but I found that it was much better for my them that my spouse and I split. It is not the easiest thing to have less money, but would you trade a house and more money for a man who treats his wife and the mother of his children pretty badly? I have not regretted it for one second since. I think kids are pretty astute and tension and strife between their parents has to be pretty toxic for them. If your husband is neglecting your daughter, why do you think it would be worse for her if you split? I am sure that his neglect of her is not lost on her and is it possible that it makes it worse for her to be so close to it?

I can't tell you what to do, of course. I would recommend a good counselor if you do not have one. Only you can figure out what your breaking point would be or if the idea of losing you would spur your spouse into dealing with his issues. There are some good scripts and courses of action in Melissa's book. My best to you. 

Thank you that

Thank you that you are divorced, how is your husband dealing/treating the kids during his time with them? My biggest worry if we split is that my husband will not adhere to my daughter's schedule for sleep, meds, etc (all very important for her behavior issues) and then she'll come back to my house and I'll have a mess to clean up so to speak. He can't seem to remember to give her meds, get her to sleep on time, etc etc, or he just doesn't care to do it. But I have heard that often it is better to split than to have kids see their mom verbally abused etc.  Also, how did you approach the split conversation? It gets me quaking my boots to even think about bringing this up and telling him that either he gets treatment/changes his ways or he has to leave. Thanks again for the comments.