New here and unsure............

I am new here and stumbled across this site while searching for answers or help for my failing marriage, it seems that my story is quite similar to some here so I figured reaching out is worth a shot, I have nothing to lose! I am sorry in advance if this is long but being new here, I have a story to tell.

I am 37 and have been with my husband for 16 years, married now for 1 and we have 4 kids that range in age from 5 to 15. I love my husband and love our family but I am hanging by a thread. Smiling to the outside world but dying inside myself. My husband was diagnosed with ADD and took medication for a few months and decided it wasn't "working" for him. I had no idea that his ADD could have this effect on our relationship...I thought maybe he had a personality disorder or something else and the ADD was the least of our worries as a couple....after reading here I may have been very wrong. So I will try to list/explain some things that go on in my home. Horrible mood swings, one minute to the next I don't know what or who I will get. And when I ask him why he is so cranky he gets extremely defensive, raises his voice and sternly says he is NOT cranky. Sometimes if I am foolish enough to engage...this whole yes you are, no I'm not thing can go on for an eternity which will usually end up with maybe he is cranky because I am bothering him about being cranky so now were left with a which came first...the chicken or the egg situation. I could and have argued that he exhibited signs of crankiness first, hence my asking/bothering, but all this becomes very juvenile and distracting as now we are no longer even arguing about what transpired originally. This scene is very common in my home. Also very common in my home is the inability to be wrong or sorry. Like a few I read here I have told my husband a million times, when you do/say something wrong, you simply correct yourself and say sorry and we will move on. The few times he actually tried that I made sure to react accordingly to encourage such behavior but it never lasts long, he will always revert to his real self. And now quite frankly I am resentful because I feel like his mother, I have little ones who I am still teaching things like saying sorry when you're wrong, do I really have or want to spend my life teaching such simple things to my husband? In any event it usually goes like this....I make the mistake of asking a seemingly simple and harmless question like...honey why did you turn off the coffee, I am still drinking it? Now I assume in a normal marriage/household the spouse will answer with something like...oh I didn't know you were still drinking it, I'm sorry....I get a sharp I didn't turn off your coffee....I reply with um yea you did....NO I didn't he says sternly....we now go a few rounds of yes you did, no I didn't....leading to him saying things like everytime something is wrong around here its always me, never you but always me, everything I do is wrong...etc. I have tried to stay calm and explain that it's not life or death, it's coffee....I can turn it back on. He still persists, I didn't do it, I didn't do it much like a child. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few DAYS for him to say something know what now I remember turning off the coffee, I'm sorry. But after hours or days of his rage over being falsely accused of something he knew he did I'm usually not much in the mood for sorry's and make-up kisses. I usually just say fine, that's fine. He mumbles things under his breath and when I ask...did you just say this is bullshit? Again with the rage of NOOO I DIDN'T....sometimes he will make up something random like I said this just don't fit, I was talking about my sweater! I am lying on him, accusing him, blaming him and he is sick of my shit.....and as usual 45 mins. to 3 days later it is...yea I said this is bullshit, I'm sorry...I don't know why I do this. He says this often, he doesn't know why he does these things or acts this way. He doesn't pay much attention to me, does not like talking or listening, loves watching t.v, it's a chore to get him to take me out because he forgets or something and when he finally says fine honey lets go out then I usually say no thank you. He apologizes regularly for being "lazy" as a husband and not showing me love, attention and affection, talks about how foolish he is and tells me how he will stop that....well we have this conversation once a month or so....I assume that would suggest that he has not changed anything. We have the EXACT same arguments regularly almost like clockwork and every time he manages to act like it's the first time this issue is being discussed.....I am completely baffled and do not know what to do anymore! I am alone, lonely, depressed and now have anxiety to add to the list of things wrong with me there hope/help out there? Is this a result of his ADD? I know he sounds like a monster here and at times he really is....but I swear his core is good, he is a good person....he really is.....but at times he is typical of what I have read here, forgetful, unattentive, moody and sometimes mean.


Welcome to the forum.  I hope

Welcome to the forum.  I hope you find some assistance and emotional support here.  Yes, it sounds to me as though your husband's negative behaviors could be caused by ADHD.  My husband also has a hard time saying that he's sorry.  In addition, he has a hard time admitting that he ever is not a nice person.  So, admitting he's in a pissy mood or that maybe he actually did something on purpose because he's annoyed with me (and I'll admit, I can be an annoying person sometimes!) is something he'll never do.  "I am X.  I am perfect.  I don't need to say I'm sorry because I never do wrong.  I'm always nice."  On the rare occasions that he admits to having made a mistake, he then says that he is so filled with guilt about messing up that he can't function, and then the implication is that I made him dysfunctional by bringing up the topic of the thing that he messed up.  

It is hard to endure this.  Has your husband ever been tested for ADHD?  Would he be receptive to reading about it?  Melissa Orlov has some very good posts on her blog about how to bring up the topic of ADHD when the person who might have it doesn't seem aware of its existence.  Good luck.

justme2013's picture

Thank you! I relate to

Thank you! I relate to everything you are saying so much and yes he has been diagnosed, he is just off his medication. He is willing to get back on but I need him to get help as well and I would prefer that he get help because he needs it and wants it and not because he is "willing". I will definitely read through the blog, I am new and have a lot to learn! Thanks for the welcome.

A cautionary tale

Our conversations end with him walking away saying.... "YOU think you are never wrong.  I am always the bad guy.  Why can't YOU just take the blame sometimes?"  I will say, "What is it exactly that I said that you took as me saying YOU were wrong?"  He will twist what I said and add words to make it sound like I said something was wrong with HIM, when what I really said was that I LIKED something totally not related to him or the topic that this"argument" is now becoming.  I have come to realize that this is not so much ADD as it is a method of him taking no responsibility for anything - even the effort it might take him to remain in a conversation, and contributing to it.  He used to change things around like that and I would be left in his dust trying to think how I disrespected him or made him feel bad..sometimes even apologizing to HIM for making him feel bad.  Now I realize, he does not really feel bad (he doesn't carry thoughts like that around with him for long anyway). He often likes to act like the "humble doofus - aw shucks" to turn the tables on me and change the I realize that is all FAKE.   He had for years found a way of "winning" and "getting out of" any conversation with me.  That way he did not have to compromise himself in any way and I would let him alone.  My feeling badly and his power over me was just an extra perk for him.  I realize that what he wants most is for everyone to let him do what he wants when he wants and the responsibility and commitmment of family is just not something that he is willing to put thought or effort into.  As long as I took care of the parenting, finances, running the house, social commitments, he was free to to nothing (or as close as possible or spend time on one of his bad habits)  I was of the impression that all people have shame and guilt and want to get along and play fair. I thought all people needed and wanted love.   Guess what?  That is just not true.  SOME PEOPLE HAVE NO SHAME OR GUILT or SELF MOTIVATION.  There are people who only think in terms of power and respect (as opposed to mutual loving) you must respect me because I am willing to fight harder, have thicker skin and am more powerful. I believe that is the definition of a bully.  There are people who believe that those of us who try to be fair and honest and equal partners are schmucks.  I spent years "loving" this man.  REALLY listen to what your "loved ones" are telling you.  FOLLOW their thought processes a little closer and know that if you feel neglected, lied to, probably ARE.  For over 30 years I tried to be calm, adult, kind, loving and patient ....believing that if I loved enough, supported enough and sacrificed enough, worked hard enough, things would be ok and I would be loved by this man I devoted my life to.  Now I realize, I have been unloved and stupid my entire adult life regarding him.  Now that I realize what he has been doing and I have him trace his words and thinking back to his logic and ask him for clarifications, he is showing his teeth.  He does not like it that I stopped cowering and relenting.  ...and I just wanted to be in a loving relationship.

justme2013's picture

I relate to this as well. My

I relate to this as well. My husband is always expressing his need for me to take the blame once in a while, but he knows he did the act we are looking to place blame for and honestly believes I should just accept my fault. He also is the "humble doofus" at times. I am at a point where I often wonder if it is strategic but all this struggle and constant conflict to avoid conflict is just insanity.....I bounce back and forth like a tennis ball. One day I am convinced that he is manipulating the situations as you have described, other times it seems his behavior is so insane and irrational that I have to think it is something bigger, like something "wrong" with him for lack of a better term right now. Thank you for sharing your story with me.....all I wanted was a loving relationship as well....

barneyarff's picture

Taking responsibility for actions


I jumped onto the website to type about something and viola'  others are expressing it.   My ADHD hubby and I have talked at length about buying a new house.  I have also just thought about buying a condo for me and moving out.  Anyway, for over a year I have looked at houses and he has said it's about time to move but I can't get him to clean out his room and the garage.  I mean, seriously, the neighborhood kids talk to me about my husband's hording problem.  I'm ashamed to let anyone in the house.    So, we agreed that he would have 6 weeks to complete this task and I would not bother him at all about it.  I wrote it on the calendar.  We agreed that at the end of 6 weeks the realtor would come and look at the house.  The realtor came, and of course his room and the garage were still filled with stuff.  A week later, I asked him why he didn't fulfilled his side of the bargain, he told me that it was because I had conspired to have the kids have extra events for him to drive them to and I asked him to go to the grocery store.  Now in the evenings I do still get tired after a certain time (Still recovering from cancer) but the frequency of DH taking kids wasn't any more often than usual.  And he would spend considerable time to go to the store even when I had asked for nothing.  I think it was his way of escaping.

So in utter frustration, I agreed that for 1 month he would not have to take the kids anywhere nor would he have to go to the store.  That way he has had twice the time to finish this project.  What angers me is that I think I've been had.  Instead of him just admitting that he has a problem with all the this stuff and attack the problem that way, he has gained 4 more weeks to fix it, blamed me for not being done, and avoided looking at his hoarding problem, and he still won't be done.  AND I LET HIM MAKE ME FEEL BAD ABOUT MYSELF AGAIN!!!!!!!!   When I figured this out I could not sleep that night.   Why can't they just say, I" can't figure out how to do this, I need to get some help with it"?  I've mentioned very carefully that there are coaches and organizers he could use but he doesn't.

For me right now, i am wondering why in the hell I'm considering moving into a new house with this person.  What is wrong with me that I would continue being in this relationship?  What am I thinking?  I feel bad when I imagine myself in the new house (BTW, we found one).  And I feel much better imagining myself in a small condo by myself.  The biggest problem is we have 2 teenage children.   ARGH!!!!!  I am a smart person.  Why did I allow myself to get into this mess??!!??  Why did I allow him to say things that make me feel like a worm?

OH!! Let me add that he says he never said anything like I conspired to have the kids have extra events, etc.  Then ends with the usual "I just don't have the words to explain it to you because you are so much better at arguing"  Well, how about, learning how to talk or, hear's a unique idea take responsibility for your actions.   ARGH!

justme2013's picture

Oh my, I honestly had no idea

Oh my, I honestly had no idea so many of us are suffering and struggling....I felt so isolated. I was sure that no one would understand why or how I could love such a person which is why I have not yet spoke to any friends or family members about this. I wish I had the answers for all of us but I don't think anyone does so for now I am taking comfort in the fact that I am not alone and someone out there DOES understand. I want to be happy that so many are experiencing this like a form of validation but the reality is that I am a little sad that we are all in this boat as well. I am definitely on the should I stay or go fence....and have children too so....yes....ARGH accurately sums it up!! :/