My own denial and coping I have done too long

Imagine being made to feel crazy for over 30 years.  Imagine being angry and resentful and blaming yourself and being ashamed and guilty because you are angry and confused.  Imagine you are a person who MUST feel love inside yourself or go nuts!  Imagine you spread your love around your kids, your home, your neighborhood, your work and your husband.  Imagine doing it over and over and over.  Imagine your husband of over 30 years says to you, "What did you EVER do for me? and looks at you like he could kill you when you point out to him that he needs to step up his contribution to home life?  Imagine being promised, then dismissed over and over. Imagine that one day you wake up and don't know if ANYTHING you know or believe or perceive is right or wrong because the way you have approached your marriage has so totally NOT worked out and you have been living on hope and faith and trust in yourself to MAKE things work out?  Imagine that you realize you have been a fool and have been sold a bill of goods that was never there.  My DH is a SALESMAN to the core.  I realize now that every word he has said to me has been to manipulate and tiptoe his way around doing the least he can get away with...that it has been more important to him to WIN at the private games he is playing in his head than to be a respectful part of a family team.  I realize that it is his way of feeling in control of himself because he is not able to plan, prioritize, organize, share, play on a team or commit.  He can only WIN the moment's argument.  He is proud of his "imp-hood" as though it makes him feel young and zippy.  I had been bestowing on him the attributes of someone I wanted him to be in hopes that my positive thinking, work and support would make him be the person I wanted him to be.  I look at him and think, "Why do you NOT want love in your life?  What is filling your insides up that you are willing to be so empty of emotion and feeling?"  How can you smile impishly while we are doing so poorly? Why does it feel like you are "acting" rather than being here in the present?  What am I dealing with?    I can only guess that he had ADD all his life and he MUST put coping methods of distraction, machismo, over-rationalization to the point of being unrealistic, "I don't care" attitude, and all the coping skills people use to cope.  Our lives are out of control financially and emotionally. I have also been coping immaturely - hoping against hope that things are different than they really are.  But, is that what life is....finding ways to cope in the struggle of life?  I would just like to be coping WITH someone rather than feeling like he is coping AGAINST me. It is the loneliness that is the most painful.  so why am I driving him further away with my demands, my "lines drawn in the sand - boundaries"?  I agree with another poster on this site.  I would like to have a chance to see how I operate with a different person...would I be the same resentful, angry jumble of nerves? Is it my fault I am not coping better?  I feel like I am going crazy and I remember that I once was the most sane, comfortable with myself, likable, fun person I knew.  He is probably wondering where I went too.  He does not maintain his possessions.  I have become someone he does not love because he neglects his things (and me) and lets them (and me) rust (just like all his hoarded, rusty junk) and then moves on to garnering OTHER new things for himself.  I am just an old used up work horse to him. When things got difficult, instead of working together with me, he turned his back on me over and over and denied, distracted and did NOTHING! Thanks, I am just journaling to get this out of me and help to accept how much denial I was doing for so long.

I hear you, Jennalemon.  Much

I hear you, Jennalemon.  Much of what you express is how I feel about myself, especially concerning the self-doubt you feel.  It's hard, but you and I will survive!


I have been reading these posting and it seems like it has been over 20 years that non-adhd spouses have put up with a lot. One thing we all have in common is, resentment. That doesnt seem fair and unfortunately they cannot help it. I am seeking some kind of way to deal with these issues I have in my marriage because it has been the most sad and miserable six months I have ever endured. And I do not mean that in a careless and apathetic way, I really am heartbroken. :-*(

Although I have been married

Although I have been married for almost 28 years, my husband did not receive a diagnosis of ADHD until approximately 3 or 4 years ago. I don't know if he understands even now how much the disorder has probably affected his life and my life and our relationship.  There are many things that I look back on now and think, oh, yep, that probably was caused by the ADHD.  That's water over the dam; nothing I or my husband can fix now.  What causes me continuing frustration is that my husband does not seem able to use even the limited amount that he knows about the disorder to make changes for today and tomorrow and the rest of the future.  I can understand what you mean about the past six months of your life being sad and miserable.  I had awful problems when I was a teenager, but the problems I've encountered in my marriage have been much worse.  

Lemonade my mother said

When I told my mother I was having problems with DH she shied away and told me to "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade".  Young women many times have no full time job experience and have to pay for a babysitter and her young man has the beginnings of career and networking.  So the question of WHY? is this:  There were not a lot of options for some of us.  I hope things are much better for young women today as far as opportunities, attitudes and resources. The answer of HOW? is this: hard work, forgiveness, friends to commiserate with - a lot of stuff is just marriage stuff that happens to all marriages, forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness..... It is all that forgiveness that makes me come on this site (and the resulting resentment after taking too much and receiving too little and feeling so out there alone with my own self doubts).... I let TOO MUCH go and forgave too much.  I didn't think I had a choice.  Now I do.  Now I am finding my own self back again.  It is taking a long time but I know I can do it. Sometimes I want to say to some of you, "Tell him off like you mean business.  Don't just sit and take it and feel bad!"  Yet, I know I have been in the same places of paralyzing powerlessness.   To the younger ones, "Don't give your life away to someone who acts like they don't want you.  Be with people who celebrate and love you."

Pbartender's picture

Lemonade? NO SUGAR!

My Dad always said, "When life gives you lemons...  Shut up and eat your goddam lemons."