My relationship is slowly killing me


Non-ADHD spouse dumping a wall of text here, but I really need to vent.

I've been together with my wife for 5 years now, we had a very passionate and short courting, we quickly moved in together and we were inseparable. Within about a year she became pregnant. It was unplanned but we were happy about it.

I had noticed some things about her, she wasn't very good with money. She made a lot of impulse purchases, she couldn't plan meals or cook. But I chalked that up to her having a kind of crappy upbringing and something we could work on.

Once she was pregnant I found out that she had brought a lot of debt into the relationship, me being blinded by the fact that we were going to start a family just paid it all off for her in one go, effectively almost eradicating my savings completely. I wanted us to start fresh, a blank slate.

While she was pregnant she quickly became very depressed and it turned out she spent most of those 9 months pregnant racking up more debt by buying a lot of stuff for the baby on credit. When I found out I was of course angry and felt betrayed, but I paid it off again. This time actually eradicating my savings. 

So fast forward to about the time of the birth of our child, I found out that she again had racked up a bunch of debt behind my back. Mind you, not spending the money on anything you could sell back or return, basically just makeup and stuff she could hide around the house and pretend she had gotten as presents from her (I would later learn) estranged family. This time, I told her, was the last time I would bail her out. I took a decently sized loan to cover all of the small, high interest loans she had accrued over time. 

That's when she started buying things on credit, in my name. I found out by accident by spotting my name on some luxury brand packaging in one of the recycling bins in the apartment building. 

Still I didn't leave and I asked her to go see a therapist about this, otherwise I would have to leave her to basically save myself.

The money turned out to be the smallest problem. She eventually went to therapy and stopped ruining my credit. But at this point, paying off the loans was really dragging us down, and she still wasn't working.

After the pregnancy she became very depressed and I tried to help her best I could, I worked from home a lot so I could take care of both her and the baby, I didn't have the opportunity to take any parental leave and with our savings completely gone and debt skyrocketing, I had to work as much as I humanly could. She went on anti-depressants and not soon after, I too became depressed. I used to love life, I worked out all the time, I took pride in my appearance and I loved any and all social interactions, I lost all that during the first year. I couldn't go to work out even for half an hour without her sending pictures of our crying baby to me saying how the sound was killing her. Wherever I went, to work or grocery shopping, I would always get streams of panicked text messages, "Please call me as soon as you see this!" "Please hurry home!". I had to do all the cooking, I paid all the bills, I took most of the nights with the baby and I worked more than 40 hours a week. I just resigned from all recreation, resigned from me being me.

Her take on it was that I wasn't doing enough. I didn't want it enough. Why was I so angry with her all the time? If only I weren't so angry we wouldn't have any problems. 

Once our child was old enough to start day care, I took out my last couple of vacation days to ease her into day care, even though my wife still wasn't working or studying. I was becoming resentful and angry. Disappointed in what had become of my life. I felt that all my control had been stripped from my hands and I was now just tumbling, spiraling into darkness. I hated her for it. The first year and a half I was optimistic and kept thinking that "Oh, once X happens Y will turn around, I'll just stick it out until then", but the goal posts just kept swooping farther away every time.

This was basically the status quo for three years. She started her studies again, but couldn't finish. There was always something distracting her, it was our child being to loud, or me not having done the dishes, or she just had to finish this very important discussion on Facebook. I was livid most of the time, but kept it bottled up. It took her almost 1,5 years to finish her last three or four very short courses for school, she wouldn't go to class and she'd get some written assignment which of course, just sat there, with me prodding and trying to get her to do her school work, desperate that she could start working and help me pay off all the debt she had brought on.

Fast-forward to her getting a temp job where she got in contact with some people with confirmed ADHD diagnosis. She immediately recognized a lot of the traits they described in herself and we started to try to get her diagnosed as well. She almost immediately, after a few sessions, got diagnosed with severe ADD and they started her on all the meds, she got their full attention and was offered therapy sessions for basically nothing. I was elated, now I was sure it would turn around. I made the mistake of thinking the ADD meds would be a silver bullet for all our problems. At this point I was driving her to work 3-4 times a week, a 24 mile detour on my already 35 mile long commute. After about a month after she had started her meds I decided to leave her, I couldn't do this anymore, I had to sever and try to regroup and recover away from her. She didn't understand why I was leaving her, I had come to terms with leaving this relationship and being the bad guy, it didn't matter, I wouldn't survive if I stayed.

I was couch surfing for about a month and we took turns living in our apartment while the other spouse stayed somewhere else so our child would still have some sense of a status quo. A few weeks passed and she called me and said she wanted to talk. I eventually said that I'd hear her out. She basically apologized for everything, that she could see what she had done in our relationship. She had never ever before expressed that she might have any part in the anger and resentment I felt. So I came back. I thought we could work it out from here.

Now some more months have passed and I'm still driving her to work, maybe just 3-4 times a month, and maybe she cooks a meal once every two weeks. Of course these are all improvements but I feel like I am fed up. I just want to take control over my life, set a budget, set goals, achieve goals, put my kid to bed at a decent hour and feed her a decent meal. Another aspect is that she is a "neat freak", our home has to be 100% organized at all times, and 100% spotless, or she'll get stuck in her ADD just moving things around, making it messier. It is a complete no-go to leave the dishes for tomorrow and just relax and have a glass of wine on a Friday night. The kitchen needs to be absolutely spotless. And then she'll notice a speck of something on a cupboard and she'll start on that and then she'll notice that there's some dust on the bathroom floor and so on and so forth and I'll be sitting there just trying to relax but completely unable to and you can basically forget about the movie we were supposed to watch at 9 pm. She'll remember that around midnight and be mad that I went to bed when we were supposed to hang out.

I think I am about to leave again, and I think I am leaving for good. The anger and resentment just won't leave me. I have been reading "The ADHD Effect On Marriage" and it's been a very hard read for me. I recognize all of the stories and reading about the work I am supposed to put into this marriage to get a life that I - in the end - am not sure I would be satisfied with, is making me very depressed. At this point I think I am too damaged and too resentful to be able to be in any kind of relationship. I just want to become myself again, my own person, the disciplined guy who works hard and gets stuff done.

The last time I felt that I was even close to the person I once was, was during that month and a half of separation. And I can't stop dreaming about it. When I talk to her about it, she thinks I want an affair or that I want to start dating someone. But that's not even on the map. I just want my life to be mine again, so I can be a happy and caring father for my child and give him/her the best possible life that I can.

I just don't know what to do at this point. We're going to couples therapy but, reading the book and from the progress we're not making, I think we need a therapist with experience in dealing with ADHD but I'm not sure I have the energy to deal with all of this stuff. I just need to live MY life. I still love her though, she's the smartest and funniest person I have ever met, and when things are good she is my very best friend and on the other hand I resent her so that I sometimes can't stand the sight of her. I wish I had found this book 3 years ago.