New here, wish I had found this years ago

Hi,

I just found this site and forum and have been reading posts all day instead of working.  I've been with my husband for 24 years, married for 18 and we have two kids. It wasn't until our oldest was diagnosed with ADHD that my husband realized that it is something that he's had for his entire life.  He was always my best friend.  We were considered by everyone to be the perfect couple.  He was fun and smart and spontaneous.  When we first started dating I wasn't the most responsible 20-something either and we just had fun together.  But after we got married and had our first child, I grew up where he seemed to become even more irresponsible. He got laid off when our first was only three months old.  This was after years of hopping from one job to the next.  I had already set up a job share situation at my office, so  we decided that he would get another job at night to stay home with our baby and we would see if we could swing it.  Well, after a month or two of this, he just stopped going all together.  Made no plans to find another job, just sat home  playing with our son.  We had money saved for a house at that time, but we just blew through it.  He finally got another full time job and I went back full time after our 2nd was born.  It took another 2 years to re-save for a house.  He got fired from that job after a couple of years and really went off the rails.  He's always been a party guy and a pot smoker (self medicating I guess), but when he got laid off this time it got really bad. He got a job at a restaurant late at night and he'd drive home completely wasted.  He finally got a DUI and had to take the train to work, but one night I got a call from the ER that the police had picked him up at the train station and brought in.  I was so upset his brother had to go pick him up the next day.

After that he promised he would change. Went to a couple of AA meetings, saw a therapist and started medication. That lasted for about 2-3 months.  And then the new job was gone after only 4 months.  Since then (the past 6 years) he's been working part time while trying to get his "fantastic" real estate business going.  It's going to make us rich, I swear, if those other real estate agents and his pesky customers would stop pestering him.

I guess I've been his enabler all this time.  I was very supportive of his trying out the real estate thing because people do love him. He is very charming and people immediately like him, but I should have known he doesn't have the self discipline needed for that sort of career.  Luckily, I've been very fortunate at my job and I've been able to support us for the most part.  But we had a time where we almost lost our home, our credit was destroyed, etc.  He does almost nothing around the house.  Comes home from his four hours of work, smokes pot, watches TV, then starts drinking wine around dinner time.  But God forbid if the kids or I don't take out the garbage when it's full (his one chore). 

Now I'm here, found this place, because of my children.  My oldest has ADHD and now that he is a teen, we've been having a hard time with him.  He's a good kid, but he has a mouth on him and struggles in school.  You would think my husband would be understanding.  Grateful, that with all his issues, our kid doesn't drink or do drugs, has nice friends.  But he is so nasty to him.  I mean down right mean.  And he's always threatening him with physical violence when he mouths off.  This past weekend our son was in our basement horsing around with his friends and he fell over and his foot put a hole in the wall.  I wasn't thrilled either, and I told him that I was going to show him how to fix it and that he'd have to pay for the supplies, but when I left to get them pizza, my husband flipped out.  Threw my son against the wall and hit him.  Screamed at all of the kids to get out of the house.  It was awful.  My husband and I always joke with our siblings and parents how we were hit on a regular basis as kids, but I don't hit my children.  Some friends and family members wouldn't even think of this as abuse, just a kid getting what was coming to him, but I don't feel that way.  And for what had actually happened, it was complete over-reaction!  Part of me thinks that some of my son's issues are BECAUSE of the way his dad treats him.  But then I feel like if I say he is abusive, I'm exaggerating, but if I say he's not, then I'm hurting my child.  Our son had been on medication when he was younger, but we had a lot of problems from it, so we stopped, but i feel he might need it now to get him through HS.  My husband is completely against it.

I feel like I've been in denial for so long.  I don't even know if it's denial or just such a strong desire for us to be a normal family that I've made excuses for him, ignored the behavior, made up for it, blah, blah, blah.  I'm thinking of divorce now, seriously, not just the day dreaming about it that I've done over the years, but my head is so screwed up I'm not sure if the way I perceive things is the way they actually are or am I just exhausted.   Does that make sense?  My kids love their dad but his behavior hurts them and now that they are getting older they notice how much he is around the house, and I'm sure they can tell when he's been drinking or smoking. 

Thanks so much for letting me vent, this is a little rambly, but I'm so burnt out.  Any advice would be appreciated.  Because if I try to get it from friends and family I know it won't be unbaised.  My heart goes out to all of you going through this too.  It's so f'ing hard.

 

TO NJkirs

I hear you.  I could have written this.  Anyhow, similar things. Although H never hit us. The hitting can't be tolerated.  For you this is all very crazymaking, I know.  I am older.  I can look back and see clearly now that the ONLY solution is to leave as soon as you can while you still have the energy.  I have removed myself from intimate interaction with finally.  H never interacted with intimacy.....sex and games, yes.  Intimate, loving partnering? No, it seems he valued his macho independence more than marriage and love.  So removing myself emotionally from him, now I realize, does him no harm at all.  He does not even realize that I have done it.  He doesn't want or need significant communication with me. He is passive aggressive and can sit on a chair doing nothing but smoking and drinking and playing crossword puzzles all day long.  I am keeping my sanity by making myself accept this about him and day by day I am letting in some of the reality about how I have spent my life supporting, enabling, loving, and frustrated by him, He does not seem to care or make any effort at all...just to feel good about himself and is fueled when he has manipulated me again.  All these years I would not (could not?) accept that that is just who he is.  But, I am realizing all people are different.  There is probably someone else who he would be just right for.  But we are so different on a level that I can't even explain, that he seems like he is from a different planet than me. I have been trying to "make do". But the fact is that I have not been supported throughout my life and it has negative effects on me.  He makes the "show" of supporting me but it is all show and no go.

Just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

Hi NJkris...unbiased advice, that may be hard to find here!

I would love to give you some unbiased advice to help you in this situation....But based on this post you already know most any thing I could say to you here on this forum....Your husband is the one who needs the advice....

His Son don't respect him (thus the mouth, his defiance of his Dad's life style) because of the way he is living and acting...I'm fine w/ discipline, w/o it you will raise unthankful spoiled brats... But it takes Love to go along w/ the correction and discipline...And when you are angry it is never a good time to put your hands on your children...But see you already knew that....

Here is my unbiased thought....Give him an ultimatum....He works full time, helps in the house, and goes to AA plus marriage counseling or your leaving....(No exceptions) I would say that is fair....Also, to you I would say if you have this conversation only have it, in private when he is sober and not high...And look him strait in the eyes...And say it kind, but firm Once!....Then walk away from any excuses he could make....I would also wish you much courage...And remind you that the God of all creation Loves You!

Blessings...

C