My ADHD guy is in so-o much pain

My spouse is hurting.  He is the place I want to sweep in and fix - because I really do have that power.  Bent.  Yield.  Change my mind.  

He is crying over the money we have spent on counseling over the past 29 years.

He is crying and shaking over the physical connection he has put between his deceased parents and the RV we purchased with some of the $$ he inherited when they passed.  He doesn't want to sell it - he doesn't want to share it - but he will not take the time off from work to use it, so it is slowly depreciating . . . . .and that makes it a thorn in MY side.

He is mad I made an 'executive decision' without him.  I said I wanted to lend the RV to my niece for a weekend. That is all.  When he started to complain, I said I wasn't asking for permission, I just wanted to let him know I wanted to let her use it.  This was not a 'life' decision.  It was not moving to a new state, nor buying a new house, nor spending a great amount of money.

So, now I am stuck with feeling like I am being controlled with his anger.  I am trying to stay calm.  I am trying to understand his feelings, yet not let them control me.   

It is extremely scary.  He is in a rage.  He is crying and sobbing and saying how he has no friends and doesn't want to talk to clergy because they let him down and he has no friends and he has no family - he does, but they are all angry with each other.

I listened.  He cried , "Thanks for listening."  Then went outside.

He is emotionally connected to everything we own.  It is his way or the highway.  Do I just steer clear?  Do I call someone?  

Yes, I am tired of being controlled by his anger, yet this situation has me in a panic.

Maybe it is co-dependency.  

He listens to no one.  He makes statements, and pronounces judgments, and expects everyone to all just nod and agree.  If not, we are 'against' him.

It is so hard to watch someone self-implode. 

I have said it before, I spent 29 years catering to his anger, bending, and yielding, because I feared, well I feared what is happening right now.  I feel as I pulled the rug out from under him. The one person who catered to him.  And enabled.  Sigh.  

I am so lost today.

carathrace's picture

You don't sound lost to me,

You don't sound lost to me, ISE.  You sound very sane and healthy.  But it probably feels like rubbing a cat's fur backwards because it's so different from how you've always done it.  His overreaction (crying, shaking, raging) sounds like a 3 year old's temper tantrum when things don't go his way.  His overreaction, his implosion, belongs to him.  It has nothing to do with you.  It's natural to feel panicky and lost, but you did the right thing -- you listened calmly and respectfully.  Now I suggest you stop watching him.  Go do something you like to do.  Be compassionate with yourself.

Generosity is good

It was very nice of you to lend your niece the RV, especially since you knew it would trigger a negative response.  It sounds like your dh has significant anxiety issues in conjunction with the ADHD. Thats really hard since meds don't really help with that and it tends to get worse when stress is high. Counseling is really important.  Meditation. Of course that doesn't help you today. I like the go do something you enjoy idea. Remind yourself that you did a good thing, and were nice to your not nice husband. That is quite a win. Lets just hope the niece brings the RV back intact. They say exposure to the feared is one anxiety treatment.  The irrational rages are some of the hardest symptoms to deal with. Good luck.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Thanks for the support

I so much appreciate the replies!!!  I do feel more relaxed in my resolve.  He left for a job, so I was able to enjoy the afternoon by myself, watching TV!   

While the storm may have passed, later in the day he stood with his hands clenched, his jaw and lower lip jutted forward, and said he felt like he's always being chastised.

I replied that 3 year old get chastised.  We, as his family who love him, need to do a tough job and keep our boundaries firm.  While it may feel as he is being squished out, to us it feels as he has no respect for our designated space.

I can easily see how open floor space easily seems like an attractive space to station his current project.  However, it causes problems when he leaves the project there, for weeks on end.  It causes resentment because his spaces are full to overflowing with stuff; and rather than take care of cleaning up his own work-area, he takes over an open area that someone else has worked hard to keep clear and tidy.   

I also clarified that since our son is 24, and WE - my spouse and I - agreed he could have half of the barn to run an automotive repair business, my spouse was not allowed to try to use the "I am the King of this domain" card, and take over.

Sheesh.  This is some hard stuff.


a stance

"he stood with his hands clenched, his jaw and lower lip jutted forward,"   .....This exact stance is what dh has done all our lives when faced with the smallest of confrontations with me. ....I am not sure why I was so afraid of a stance other than it is not a stance that a loving partner and caring person shows to another person and a woman/spouse is taken aback by the creepiness of it.   I didn't want that "stance" to be a part of our life and relationship so I did just about anything so I would not have to see it given to me by the one who was SUPPOSED to love me and care for us.   That stance is one of FIGHTING/THREATENING/INTIMIDATION. (Like an animal showing its teeth and growling)  It is not the stance of a 3 year old. It is the stance of a bully who wants to get his way because he is using his larger body mass to threaten to fight you physically. Do not let this go by without comment.  Say to him, "Are you threatening me? Are you trying to make me afraid of you physically?"  See what his response is. Then just understand that his response is nothing more than INFORMATION for you and remember his response. Don't be intimidated or emotional.  It is just information for you to know what is going on and who he is. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Just to clarify

Thanks for your insight.  I am a bit intimidated by the body language of that stance.  Yes, bully would fit the situation.  It is not the stance of a man with whom I want to get close and intimate.

I wanted to let him know that - "I would give a three year old a chastisement, not a grown man. I am stating my position. You are a grown man.   What I am doing with you is clarifying a boundary."  

One of the oddest transformations that came about from his counseling - He was always The Gentle Giant.  A true kind gentle man.  It was his own description of himself, too.  Now, he gets some sort of glee out of the power a 6'4", 285# man can emote with his physical being.  He feels as people always took advantage of his Gentle Giant persona, but now he will take it no longer.  He has swung 180 degrees to the opposite side.  I see it as sad.

I will remember to ask what you suggested the next time it occurs.