A New Low

Well, our relationship just reached a new low this evening although I'm sure it won't be the last. 

I was trying to backup an old ipod that I found so I could still have all my old songs but wipe the slate clean and have a newly organized one with new songs on it.  I found free software that would take my old songs and store them on my computer so I could erase it.  My partner who touts himself as being a "computer genius" though on many occasions that has proved to not be the case just could not stay out of what I was doing and claimed he had a faster way of doing it.  Being a "computer expert" he feels he has to handle all these activities himself (and usually against my better judgment) so instead of just letting me do what I was doing, he took my ipod went in the other room and told me he was "making a copy of the drive". 

In MY general understanding a copy does not automatically erase the original. 

So this is what ended up happening:  He erased the contents of the ipod BY "copying the drive" BUT not having made clear to me that he HAD erased it (our usual communication issues rearing its ugly head) and seeing that the copy he made was not accessible off the ipod, I told him to delete THE COPY, which he did without SAYING ANYTHING. 

I feel like anybody else would have at least cautioned, "you know the original is erased so if I delete this, it's all gone" and I did repeat over and over that I wanted the old songs...so WHY DIDN'T HE SAY ANYTHING?!  He just deleted it.  But that's not the worst!  After realizing what happened, he starting shouting at me that I was stupid and can't understand simple things before I even said a word to him about it.  I was shocked to say the least.  But on top of that when he saw how upset I was (mostly from his calling me stupid and not because of the ipod) he brought up something I couldn't believe he would. 

When I was younger my dad used to call me "retarded" all the time even to family friends as a kind of joke but it always hurt my feelings.  In the past I've brought this up to my partner when talking about my dad and how it and some other behaviors led to me having self esteem problems and he of course empathized with me at the time.   Well, during the ipod debacle he shouted at me "you know, you ARE retarded just like your dad said".  I couldn't believe my ears.  Why would he say something like that to me?!  How could he "go there" so to speak?? 

On some level I get that he's actually just embarrassed that this happened with the ipod and feels it's his fault.  But why not just say, "oh sh*t, I'm so sorry"  "I think we had a breakdown in communication there". ???  The fault IS both of ours.  He didn't communicate NECESSARY information to me and I simply ASSUMED that if there was any potential of losing any of the data that he would have you know, mentioned,  that to me.   But to bring up something so painful from my past in such a silly situation as this?!  I just can't wrap my head around it and/or how to move and get past it.  Is he going to start bringing up all my painful insecurities and past issues every time he feels bad about something??  How do I stop this new development in its tracks before it takes hold as a habit?

I'm sorry to hear about this.

I'm sorry to hear about this.  My spouse has a hard time acknowledging he has made a mistake, too.  I've told him that I have a much harder time with his unwillingness to confess error than with the actual error but he still does this sometimes. And calling you a name, especially one that you've told him really bothers you, is very low.

The funny thing is...

When I think about what actually upsets me...It's not what he said to me that hurts so much, it doesn't really feel like it's bringing up that old wound (hey maybe I've since healed that part of me!), what really really bothers me is that he could stoop SO LOW.  That's what is really upsetting me.  I'm shocked by this.  I'd feel the same way if I suddenly found out he was a car thief or something.  This just doesn't seem to be the person I know, I never thought he was capable of being quite such an A**hole.  It's kind of scary and makes me more wary about future confrontations.

My husband lied to me

My husband lied to me repeatedly last year.  The thing he lied about was minor; the fact that he lied again and again about it was a low.  I felt as though I couldn't trust him to tell the truth about ANYTHING.  

Lying

It's not the inabiities or dificiencies that is disheartening, it is the in-your-face lying and manipulating that hurts the relationship.  It is the ways a person decides to cope/accommodate the ADHD rather than the fact of the ADHD itself that is a spouse's problem to trust and love.  I don't believe a word dh says.  Not where he is going, not where he has been, not his promises, not how he feels about something, nothing.  EVERYTHING about him is "crafted".  He laughs hilariously at things that are not funny. He never shares a low moment - he is always "up" and being funny or he is gone and uncommunicative.   He says he wants me to respect him and comfort him. After all these years, I don't even know him other than he is a person who hides behind being "jokey" and distractions.  He does not hesitate to take revenge for the tiniest of offenses.   A word of advice to ADDers.  SHARE you whole honest self.  Don't pretend you are thinking differently than you are.  Just be real without one-sided games and covers.   How can we partner with or trust you when you are not what you put out to be?

This is how our interactions

This is how our interactions go when my adhd dh is on a roll and nothing -- not even the thought of *needing* to stop long enough to plan things out -- will stop him from leaping before looking. DH works in computers for a living but for the life of me, every time he thinks he's doing me a favor by reformatting the drives and installing completely new programs I do not need, I fall more and more behind the computer. Mainly file folders are no longer organized, or moved. Programs are deleted or missing crucial file extensions to make it work properly. It's like he re-invents the wheel every single time, and it's never a round wheel. I have to learn the whole interface from scratch, and it's not as if I'm an office worker who gets the opportunity to go for training. I've got to wing it on my own. I'm also a frustrated artist, all the programs and files I have and need are usually moved or deleted.

I wouldn't have a problem if we sat down and talked it through instead of him forging ahead at breakneck speeds. What is it that he feels he's going to lose out on if he just takes his time? Obviously he's doing okay on the job as a professional but what is it about coming home and all hell breaking loose with something that should be discussed, just as it is discussed at the office?

ouch

Hi clf,

I am so sorry to hear about this. If it helps, I feel you--I saw my own (failed) marriage go through stages, and one of the worst with my ADHD spouse was his increasing inability to just own mistakes and bad behavior, and his increasingly defensive responses. I swear, toward the end, he would turn everything into a giant, awful screaming meltdown. I was stunned by it for a time there, and it sure did hurt. I don't know what it was about the ADHD, and his serious anger management problems (I still think he has something else going on as well), but even tonight, my STBX freaked out at me because I got annoyed with him. I am telling you, it was a 1 out of 10 in terms of annoyance...). He cannot make a schedule for visitation for our children. We are still hammering out our separation agreement. Last week, he took me to town for "keeping his kids from him," and I have tried so hard to set schedules where he has them 50% of the time. Crazy me, since I am in charge of the overall schedule, I just wanted to know his plans for the week and if we could set a 50/50 schedule. Well, he is busy, and let me know on a Sunday night that all this week he cannot take the kids because he has a huge work thing to prep for. So, finding this out at the last minue, I was slightly annoyed and pointed out that it would be best if we could work out a consistent schedule ... (not to mention it is best for our children!) So, one thing led to another, and suddenly he was telling me what a terrible mother I was and how the day we got married, he really didn't want to go through with it but he could only think of me standing there in my dress and crying and felt too bad to walk away. 

Wow, what a hurtful and mean thing to say! I am with you--how could he go there? He seems to flip over to things like this in the moment and then later, go whistling down his little path, out of the moment, not realizing that I will never forget it, that I will always from now on, have even that slightly positive memory taken from me, never to get it back. How could you mean something like that, and worse, how could you say it if it is not true? For some reason, he reaches into his bag of tricks and comes up with the most vile, hurtful, personal, specific thing he can say each time. Ugh. Like your DH and grabbing onto the memory of this painful thing you shared with him--what gyrations to just deflect that he screwed up a bit and erased your data! Why is it so hard to admit it and just say "I am sorry?" I tried to ask mine about it. I said: "I am not personally attacking you or saying mean things--I just am pointing out that it is inconveniencing me a bit to find out at the last minute that I need to plan to have the kids every day this week and they might be disappointed. But you are calling me a bad mother and telling me that on our wedding day you wanted to bail. What is that?" Just made it worse, BTW:-)

This is so personal and awful, but I wanted you to know it has happened to me, too. I don't know. I will never figure him out. I hope that you are ok and understand that there is something about their brains and this disorder and whatever is going on that is causing this defensiveness and that it is not personal. I am sure your DH was really upset and insecure that he messed up your data, and this was his way of defending himself. Still, it is so not ok and not fair and you don't deserve it. 

Therapy helped me a great deal. Have you tried it? Best to you. Hugs. 

I am so sorry to hear about

I am so sorry to hear about your iPod, but more sorry to hear about the brutal way he fought back to keep from admitting fault.  I've been on the site for a few hours today posting my experiences and thoughts and this is just one more where I can empathize.  

My husband has for years blamed me, insulted me, told me I'm trying to be mad or upset, insist that I'm imagining what's taking place, picked horrible fights, defended himself at my expense, all to keep from apologizing or God forbid actually admit fault.  

I know exactly what you mean when you say you were more upset at his cheap defense tactics than you were ever upset over the missing songs.  Why on earth wouldn't he explain that if he deleted it would be lost?  Probably because he didn't understand what you were asking or didn't realize what he was actually about to do, but instead of admitting that he screwed up and apologize he has to hit below the belt.

I've lived it and continue to live it.  Just this morning an unnecessary argument took place just because he couldn't say I am too tired to take care of that right now.  He ended up making me feel as if I'm a child that he has to double check whatever I've done before deciding if I really need him to make the phone call I asked him to make.  He kept the argument going just because he couldn't say I'm tired and don't feel like it, but I can tell you what I know so you can call or I can handle it after I've had some more rest.  Nope, can't do that.   Of course, I'm crazy and choose to take his actions as insulting, etc...  He's done me like this for years and I've sucked it up and tried to explain, discuss, etc...

I have noticed that he has gotten some better at it, but it still comes up more often than it ever should.  It's nothing that I can stop.  I can't make him see that he is actually doing these things.  I go with the good outweighs the bad to deal with it and tell myself I'm not perfect either.  I do know that those excuses and rationalizations will only get me so far.  That fine line between love and hate.