I have been reading a lot on this forum lately, finished Melissa's book and have been to two therapists for myself. I posted the issue about my husband's difficulty with parenting tasks and his possible ADHD. I've tried to get him to his doctor to get evaluated (won't go) and tried to get us into marital counselling (he keeps telling me"Let's just try this and if it doesn't work we'll go", but I know he is very resistant to going). The problems are definitely starting to affect our 3 year old.
I know my next/last move is to give him the ultimatum that he/we get some help or the kids and I leave. But I am so scared to do that because I'm worried that leaving might be worse for the kids than staying. I can't imagine how he'll parent on his own and I know he will fight for some sort of custody as a pride thing. The two big realizations I've had from the reading I've done are that I can only help me, I can't change him and that denial is the big relationship destroyer - not the ADHD itself. But to help me, I need help communicating with him and he won't agree to get help - this is so tough.
I'm so impressed by the ADHD posters on this forum - ADHDmomof2 and JJamieson in particular I've been reading your posts and am so impressed at how much effort and self-reflection you have to go through to make things easier for you and those around you with the ADHD. I just don't see my husband ever being able to put in that amount of effort. I've also read the posts of some of those who have lived with ADHD spouses for years and have made sacrifices above and beyond what I'm willing to do and I just don't know how you do it.
So for all of you, I'm wondering - is there any advice you would give someone whose partner is clearly in denial but who has very young children (3 years old, 8 months old)? Is separation better? Is waiting better. Any help is appreciated!
I sympathize with you. I
Submitted by MFrances on
I sympathize with you. I have two kids, my husband has ADHD, he is in treatment (meds and therapy) but honestly I don't know how much it is helping. One reason for therapy is for him to be a better parent. It's so hard when there is denial or personality traits, that just can't or won't be changed. Some is ADHD symptoms that can be managed, some are not. What to do? I have no answer, I can't tell you whether to stay or leave. I can say that divorce doesn't always solve the problem only creates more. He would still be the dad, would still want to see the kids, this time without you there to buffer the bad parenting. You would still have to communicate and interact with him on some level because of the kids. You would have to work out who sees the kids on birthdays and holidays. And they are so young, that it's hard to see what the future holds. In a few years whatever custody you work out might have to change. I have a friend that when she first divorced her husband he got the kids every other weekend, but years later, he got a new job that took him to another country every 6 weeks. So he is out of the country for 6 weeks, and home for 6 weeks. When he is home he has the 3 kids every weekend for 6 weeks. The kids are teenagers now and don't always want to spend every weekend for 6 weeks "away" from home (the dad lives about an hour away form mom). It's hard. It's a very tough decision, one not to be taken lightly. I'm glad have been in therapy for yourself. Maybe one day your husband would be willing. I know others have posted that once given that ultimatum of therapy or divorce the spouse stepped up and got some help. That's a big gamble though.