My anger and my ADD/Narcoleptic husband. Help please!

This may be long, but I'm reaching out in desperation so please, bear with me.

To put it lightly, I'm angry.  Mostly, I feel about an inch tall and worthless being married to my husband.   I'm 24 years old, my husband is 25.  We have 3 kids under 5, and I'm a SAHM, but I used to be a hairdresser until he was no longer able to care for the children safely. 

There are so many details about why I'm angry and so much information I'm afraid to start typing, so I will really try to condense.  I met my husband when we were in high school.  I was attracted to his bright personality, his outgoing nature and his kindness.  He was easy to get along with and to be around, and about 9 months into our relationship (the summer after I graduated) I was pregnant.  Now, I'm not laying the blame on my family- but I was really pushed into getting married because of their conservative values, and my desire to do things the "right way".  Immediately after being married and trying to run a household, my husband's ADD really reared its head.  He was unable to keep a job, constantly being hurt at work, never lifting a finger at home unless I was to nag until my throat bled.  Then along came my oldest.  I *had* to immediately return to work, and all my husband did was play video games with my son in his arms and never even thought to put a diaper in the trash or even do much more than give him a bottle.  It broke my heart.  At this point he was unemployed, so I was the primary breadwinner (if you can consider making $7/hr plus tips being a breadwinner). 

Finally he got a job, he was convinced to get back in to see a doctor for his ADD.  Great.  We were cruising along, with him seeming to make strides.  I was pregnant again.  He stopped trying.  Again, he was spending all of our money, repeatedly doing things that I begged him not to do because they were hurting my feelings and irresponsible (like smoking marijuana), and not coming home at night.  I would never ask for a specific time if he was with friends, but to please come home before xxxx time.  Fine, he agreed.  But he would *always* lose track of time, and if I became upset in the slightest, then I was a naggy whiny bitch and I never let him have any freedom.  Freedom?  At the time, I'm the one with the constant full time job, two kids 17 months apart and the only one who can keep any handle on the housework.  

During this time, he had on and off work, finally landing a semi-decent job.  I was still working my hell hours and never seeing my children, and a new symptom emerged.  Excessive daytime sleepiness.  He began not only ignoring my kids, and playing hours of video games and letting them roam the house... he was sleeping and unable to wake up.  Now faced with the endangerment of my kids, I gave him an ultimatum.  Figure out what is wrong with you and make an effort to get help for your ADD (not just half assedly taking medication when you feel like it) or we leave.  He was also working a night job on the weekends at a local bar.  I begged and pleaded him to quit this job, because it never added more than $20 a night to out pockets, and at times he would never come home, walk in drunk, and never spent any time with us.   He never quit.  I made him leave.  I filed for divorce. 

Then, we had a brief reconciliation, and ever with two methods of birth control- I conceived my daughter, who is now 20 months.  At about 5 months pregnant, he came back home.  We had a great month of him trying more, listening, but the sleepiness really took over.  Finally he was diagnosed with narcolepsy after many sleep tests.  His doctor seems to suggest that his narcolepsy makes his ADD worse, which I tend to believe.  He now refuses that he even has ADD, that it's something that he mom made them diagnose him with as a child, medication will not work and he will not take it, and he doesn't want to go to any kind of counseling.  Personally, I have made an appointment to see a personal counselor, because I suffer from PTSD (physical and emotional abuse as a child) and general anxiety disorders, and the lack of control I feel in my relationship is literally killing me.

I love my husband, I really do.  But I'm SO angry with him because he claims that I "do nothing around the house".  I'm sorry my house isn't a sparkling, glittering place at all times.  We rent, we have three little kids and they are home all day every day.  He thinks that folding a bin of laundry (after I ask for a month) or taking out the trash (after I take it out of the can and fill up a whole other bag that he walks over) is reason for me to kiss his feet.  He refuses to realize that I am used to being a career mom, and I always dreamed of being a SAHM.  Now that I am here, knee deep in the pee/poo/barf/laundry/cooking/cleaning of 5 people, he thinks that I am lazy!!  He can't even boil water, and (not to toot my own horn) am a skilled cook.  There is a hot meal on the table every night, baked goods HE LOVES to eat, etc.  But he can't be bothered to help!  Example:  I ask him to clear the table after dinner while I wash up kids.  When I emerge 10-15 minutes later, 2 plates will be off the table, and he will be on the couch with his feet up watching TV.  I will yell his name, and he will jump out of his skin, say an expletive and then MAYBE finish.  I have to ask him repeatedly to help in any aspect, even writing notes, being very nice and nonconfrontational, doing EVERYTHING I can to stay calm, but I can't be his mommy anymore.  I just can't.  I can't DO EVERYTHING. 

Now my 5 year old is showing symptoms of ADD, and I'm working really hard with him.  My husband will NOT accept the fact that he is really setting a poor example for his children by not even TRYING to get help and better himself.  He just keeps telling me "I've changed so much for you, I don't know what else you want from me".  If I ask him what he means by that, basically he says that he says he "doesn't party anymore and is more hands on with the kids".  Well, when you have kids, don't you kind of have to grow up and assume responsibility?  I didn't make these kids alone, and I'm sick of parenting them alone.  The pain in my heart is so great when I see my kids say "Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy! Daddy!" and have him not even acknowledge them, leaving them sad and disheartened.   I'm really not able to leave the house and do anything.  Even simple tasks like grocery shopping, I have to worry about him watching the kids, them staying safe, being fed, diapered, etc.  He will literally space on the video games or computer when I'm doing something like making dinner and I will have all the kids underfoot in the kitchen or getting into the bathroom, making messes and he will be in La-La land.  Or, he will forget to take his narcolepsy medication (frequently) and be sleeping the instant his butt hits the couch.   So really, it's unsafe to leave him with them.  Sometimes I can score a babysitter, but that's few and far between because my family just plain sucks, and his mom is just as spacey (I'm pretty sure she has undiagnosed ADD as well, but I'm not a doctor).   I can't even leave after the kids are in bed, because if one of them wakes up, he is dead to the world.  He didn't believe this until I took video of my messing with him while he was sleeping and he didn't even FLINCH!  I have shopping at night, but I came home to my one of my kids awake crying and him just snoring.  I will NOT put my kids in a dangerous situation.  I can't do that and risk anything happening to them.

This may be TMI, but I know it's not uncommon to have a problem with our sex life because we have a whole gaggle of little kids, but he's completely unemotional, never tells me he loves me or kisses me.  I haven't been kissed by him in probably a year, we rarely have sex and it's not for lack of him trying.  I'm so run ragged at the end of the day with getting kids up, dressed, fed, cleaned, cooked, everything, and I'm still nursing my toddler (and negative comments about me having an older nursling will be promptly ignored).   I just can't look at him and feel any desire for him.  And that makes me sad.  I want to go to bed with my husband and have feelings of love for him, but all I want to do is scream at him. 

I just reread this whole post and I sound so ANGRY.  I'm really a happy person with a love for life and a great sense of humor, so it's hard for me to open up and just be plain pissed off.  I hope I can get some insight and support from people who can look past the anger in my post.  I'm not going to change it or tone it down, because its all the truth.  I know for a fact, I am not perfect, I yell/cry/cuss as well, but it's mostly of plain frustration. 

Please help me!

Wow. Just wow. Bless your

Wow. Just wow. Bless your heart.

My best and only advice is for you both to get into a program, with a counselor that specializes in ADD. You're both SOOO young and have 3 precious reasons to stay together. There is always hope when the ADDer is willing to get the help they need. I don't know how you convince him of this, but that is your only hope that you'll ever see any changes in the marriage.

You are probably angry...frustrated...resentful, and more. You are doing an amazing job to be so young and have so much on your plate. Demand he get the help he needs, for both your sakes.

Thank you

Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement.  I wish that he could see that it isn't okay, that this isn't "normal".  I'm not expecting perfection by any means, but he really just will not see the bigger picture.  Any suggestions?

Same boat

I completely understand what you are saying. It sounds as if I could have written that myself. We have been together for 17 years and have 4 children 5 years apart. I have stuck it out just hoping that someday he will see what it's doing to me and the kids but that hasn't happened and I am just about at the end of my rope. I just can't take much more. I deserve a better life and for my children to have a positive role model. You are welcome to contact me if you ever want to discuss it because I have lived this same life for years.<email deleted by admin - see forum usage instructions>