Thank you to everyone for sharing their personal stories. I believe I am exactly where many of you have been, but I have mentally and emotionally reached the end of my journey with my adhd husband.
I have for way too long made excuses for my partner and his behavior. I recently came to the realization that life is so short and passing me by.
My story began about 4 1/2 years ago, when at the age of 40 I made the decision to continue in my current relationship, despite the constant roller coaster of up and downs.
I grew up in an abusive home, with an unstable father that might himself have had adhd had he been diagnosed by today's standards. My entire childhood and teenage years were spent trying to regulate his moods and emotions along with my mother and siblings. It seemed normal that we had to behave and do everything in our power to not set him off; except most of the time it didn't always work.
We also never really understood what exactly it was that sent him into a toddler meltdown or an uncontrollable rage. When he was finished acting like a lunatic, we would hesitantly pick up where we left off, grateful that things were back to 'normal'.
Up until I met my husband, my partners were usually independent and emotionally disconnected. It worked because their lack of emotionality gave me the illusion of stability and I never had to worry about maintaining anyone else’s equilibrium. I could focus on keeping my overdeveloped and over active central nervous system dormant.
That changed when I met my husband, suddenly everything became complicated, offensive and stress inducing. He was charming, great looking and he needed me in a way non of my other partners thus far ever had.
His life was so disorganized and chaotic I instantly took on the role of personal assistant, cleaning lady, gourmet chef, psychologist etc and got to work. It felt so gratifying to serve him; little did I know that it would never end, it would never be enough or to ever to his liking.
We had constant misunderstandings about trivial things that were always made into a huge deal and were also my fault. Every social outing was like a battlefield my stance was always "hold your fire" while he was always ready for battle. I never understood why everyone and everything bothered him, why he had such a difficult time getting along with others and how he never lasted at any of his previous jobs. He was fiscally irresponsible and bought things impulsively. There was no intimacy. Our sex life was what I could do for him to get him off and then the act was complete.
Doing for him and regulating his moods was so familiarly ingrained in me, that it felt normal.
Suddenly I had turned into my mother and every minute of my waking day, and plenty of my nights (that he woke me up looking for something without any regard) were all about him.
About three years in I completely shut down, I was depressed, exhausted and had completely forgotten what it was like to live my life for me and not constantly taking care of someone else's.
I'm in individual therapy and we also went to couples counseling where after hearing about ADHD, it all made sense. He never committed to taking any responsibility for himself or his treatment plan. His goal was for me to go back to how I was before I stopped managing every aspect of his life and focused on mine.
In February he took a two week business trip and in those two weeks the constant chaos that made up my days and nights was gone. Suddenly life was easier, quieter and I had nobody yelling at me. I felt relieved, at peace and not on constant guard. I was officially done.
I'm in the process of looking for an apartment. I worry about him alone but I also know that I don't want to waste my life fixing someone else's. I will continue my therapy and work on some of the underlying issues that led me on this journey.
I feel scared but hopeful.