New to this site and need advice

It has taken me 25 years of marriage to realize the impact my husband's ADHD is having on our marriage.  He is aware that he has ADHD but thinks most of our issues are my fault.  Went to counseling last summer: didn't help at all.  I am overwhelmed, angry, sad, and actually mourning what I thought my marriage should be.  I have no feelings left for him.  I am choosing to stay because of my kids.  I have decided what is best for them is more important than what my needs might be.  I need advice on how to let go of the anger.  I feel that his ADHD is an excuse sometimes for behavior that I see as selfish and irresponsible.  I have managed our finances all these years including trying to figure out how to get through the rough patches.....all by myself.  I make 3x as much as he does and took on another job to help us get out of credit card debt.  He took no responsibility for his half of our debt and is quite content to have me pay it all off myself.  I separated our finances six months ago because he would just spend money and keep asking me constantly for more money.  He has no concept of the difference between a NEED and a WANT.  Today I found out he has messed up all his bills (the few that I gave him) and has got himself $1000 behind in bills.  To top it off, he is mad at me about it.  Gives me the cold shoulder and is bitter and angry towards me.  His mood swings about due me in.  He is so careful in public to be this great guy but saves all the negative stuff for me.  He has been on multiple meds in the past and Adderall just makes him angry and mean.  I feel like some of his irritability is a choice because how can he be so nice in public and then snarl at me two minutes later.  I need advice on how to handle these mood changes and how to let him fall on his face with his finances and not feel guilty. 

catscats

Put the rock down

I'm sorry no-one replied so far. 

Your anger, frustration and sadness are rocks you are carrying with you along the path of your life, and they are exhausting you. You don't have to carry the darned rocks. Stop, put them down. Feel lighter. Now go on.

Learn to recognize the rocks as they appear in front of you. Don't pick them up. If one somehow sneaked on to your back, stop. Put it down. Leave it behind.

His behavior over the bills may get worse before it gets better. This too shall pass.  Focus on your children, they are watching - every today we are creating their yesterdays and their past,  That helps me keep focussed.

Have you seen the Games ADD People Play post?
http://www.adhdmarriage.com/content/games-add-people-play

He could well be using anger towards you to deflect from his own guilt of how he got himself where he is. So what. Don't pick the rock up.

(I know, it sounds nuts... rocks... It works surprisingly well for me !)

sunlight

Thank you for this visual analogy; I needed that.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

The Tight Knit Group No One Really Wants

It has taken me 25 years of marriage to realize the impact my husband's ADHD is having on our marriage. 

I fully understand this.  It was while planning how to spend our 25th anniversary that the proverbial light bulb came on in my own brain.

He is aware that he has ADHD but thinks most of our issues are my fault. 

All of the couples counseling we attended, my spouse entered with the ideal that maybe this one will fix 'my wife.'  Maybe this one will see how wonderful I am, and how 'my spouse' needs to wise up.  For a very long time, I volunteered to take responsibility for ALL our marital strife.  After all, it was I who grew up in an alcoholic home, and I who had a family history of depression, and I who had bulimia and anorexia.

Went to counseling last summer: didn't help at all. 

We have done more than 10 different couples type counseling over the past 20 years.   The most recent 2 were January of 2012 - The ADHD and Marriage Couples Sessions right on this website with Melissa Orlov, and then in the fall of 2012 working with a national ADHD marriage specialist.   

I am overwhelmed, angry, sad, and actually mourning what I thought my marriage should be. 

I found this forum well over 2 years ago.  I am still in the mourning process.  This is not the marriage I want/wanted/planned-on.  I do not want to be divorced.  I also do not want to live in this miserable situation anymore. 

I have no feelings left for him.

I have no romantic feeling left for my spouse.  I honor and respect him as a child of The King, a human being, and the father of our 2 adult children.  

I am choosing to stay because of my kids.  I have decided what is best for them is more important than what my needs might be. 

How old are your children?  For the most part, until the last 5 years, I worked hard to protect my children's image of their father - and protect his image in the eyes of everyone we know. I worked hard on my marriage, and wanted to project the image of a wonderful life as a result of all my efforts.  I have spent the past 2 years trying to undue some of my mistakes.  I keep explaining to my children that they have a wonderful Dad.  What I need as a marriage partner, is not being fulfilled.  I have apologized to them for portraying "peace at all costs" and how to be controlled by someone's anger.  "WHO" their Dad is - is a Child of The King.  HOW HE IS BEHAVING is the problem.  I have a VERY hard time being civil. . . I make sure to keep our children out of our arguments.  He consistently throws at me how this one or that one are ON HIS SIDE.  

I need advice on how to let go of the anger.  I feel that his ADHD is an excuse sometimes for behavior that I see as selfish and irresponsible. 

I am still working on this, too.  I have also struggle with disappointment, dismay, embarrassment, fear, panic, and shame. 

I have managed our finances all these years including trying to figure out how to get through the rough patches.....all by myself.  I make 3x as much as he does and took on another job to help us get out of credit card debt.  He took no responsibility for his half of our debt and is quite content to have me pay it all off myself. 

I spent 30 years of financial planning, budgets, refinancing and borrowing to support his plumbing business.  I had a full time job in accounting, until I got married and chose to be a stay at home Mom.  We could have managed just fine living within our means. He always wanted bigger and better.  Thus we lived over budget.  I continued to support him, encourage him, and build him up.  He started to decide our financial problem was me not having a job.  His condescending  remarks and comments started to peck away at my feelings of support and love for him.  He wanted to run his business HIS way.  He could not take any input or suggestions from me or anyone else - he saw it as being told what to do.  He will literally try to reinvent the wheel rather than let someone help him.  

I separated our finances six months ago 

I am working on doing this now.  5 years ago we had a windfall of money from an inheritance from his parents estate.  We paid off all our debt and had a little left over.  We are now 56K in debt, yet again.   1/3 of that total is college loans for my son, daughter and myself - I am back in school while trying to find a job.

He has no concept of the difference between a NEED and a WANT. 

Yes, yes, yes.  

Today I found out he has messed up all his bills (the few that I gave him) and has got himself $1000 behind in bills.  To top it off, he is mad at me about it. 

I still handle our finances.  He refuses to look at them.  He is mad at me that we are in debt.

Gives me the cold shoulder and is bitter and angry towards me. 

Yes, yes, yes.

His mood swings about due me in. 

Yes, yes, yes.

He is so careful in public to be this great guy but saves all the negative stuff for me. 

Yes, yes, yes.  Recently his exterior facade has started to crack and his anger has oozed so others have had a taste of it.  

He has been on multiple meds in the past and Adderall just makes him angry and mean

My husband takes Adderall and he, too, gets angry and mean.  I personally feel there is an issue of "the afternoon nasties" with Adderall.  Same thing happened to my son when the effects of his ritalin wore off after school.  

I feel like some of his irritability is a choice because how can he be so nice in public and then snarl at me two minutes later. 

I believe that my husband has passive-aggressive tendencies.  He allows other to take advantage of him, he is supportive to some of the meanest business associates, and is not assertive in his business.  Then he comes home and takes out all that frustration on me.  People cannot believe the things I am struggling with - they think I live with Mr. Wonderful, Mr. Fun, Mr. Make-Everything-Wonderful-So-Everyone-Will-Like-Me."  

I need advice on how to handle these mood changes and how to let him fall on his face with his finances and not feel guilty. 

There are lots of helpful suggestions on this forum.  What I have found for myself is that I cannot avoid feeling guilty.  However, how long it lasts, and how soon I can get past it are what my main goals are.  I am still struggling with letting him fall on his own financial face.  Darn, I want to be nice about it LOL!!!!

I hope you find the encouragement and support you nedd here in this forum.  Sometimes I cannot even bear to read my own posts as they make me cringe inside.

Rebound

"My husband takes Adderall and he, too, gets angry and mean.  I personally feel there is an issue of "the afternoon nasties" with Adderall.  Same thing happened to my son when the effects of his ritalin wore off after school."

If he is angry and mean while on Adderall why is he taking it?  (This happened to my husband on Ritalin and I insisted that he stop taking it on Day 2, it took a while to get through to him but he did stop). 

Or maybe it is a rebound effect - some people do experience it as Adderall or Ritalin wear off. You/he need to address this with his dr (since it's Adderall he must be seeing him regularly).    Or just google "adderall rebound", ditto ritalin. He might be better with an adjustment to his dosage/schedule.  It is even possible that a stimulant is the wrong drug for him or that he might be better with a smaller dose of stimulant plus a mood 'leveller' or an anticonvulsant with a smaller does of stimulant. A psych familiar with adult ADHD should be willing to vary dosages and drugs to hopefully get better results.  Although my husband was resistant to taking drugs in the beginning he is a convert now because he sees that they really do change his behavior but they dont change his personality (ie he is still himself, which he worried about).

Also it's probably irrelevant but is he inadvertently eating/drinking something, or taking a supplement, that lessens the effect of the Adderall? Example, orange juice (and other citrus juices) lessen the effect of Adderall.  Just mentioning it as a possibility. Sorry if I'm offbase.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

I love input and possibilities

If he is angry and mean while on Adderall why is he taking it?  (This happened to my husband on Ritalin and I insisted that he stop taking it on Day 2, it took a while to get through to him but he did stop).  

When we discovered 'the afternoon nasties,' we changed my son's medication.  When it comes to my spouse, I can only share on the forum my experiences with him - he does what he wants, when he wants, and does not accept my input.  Which is why I mostly post in the Anger section :)

I do not mind observations or suggestions.  

 

Welcome

Hello. These are familiar complaints around here. I can say that for my Dh getting the right meds cocktail has taken a long time but his moos is much better now. He takes gabapentin for mood leveling, and to keep his stimulant goofing the whole day he takes vyvanse in the morning then a half dose about five hours later. Had to get special approval from insurance company but they did agree. Has made a huge difference.

Other things that help tremendously, for all of us but ESP those with brain conditions, is to get enough sleep, eat well and be active. I can not stress enough with this. Helps avoid all the petty arguments and he's better focused. 

The book ACT with LOVE helped me with letting go of anger and resentment. Not enabling is really hard. Especially if his failures neg impact you. But it is really impt. Perhaps reminding yourself of this when the guilt starts will help. You really are doing him a favor when you force him to act like an adult. And reinforce all good behavior. All of it. Success builds off of success. Best wishes.

Gabapentin

ShelleyNW, I'm glad that Gabapentin seems to help stabilize your husband's moods. However, Gabapentin has side effects that include memory problems, difficulty sustaining concentration, emotional lability (mood swings), and depression. And that's in neurotypicals. You can imagine the effect this drug might have in ADHD folks. These side effects are not real common, but they're not that rare, either.

His doctor might say that the prescribed dosage is low enough that your husband is safe, and that these side effects are more common in children. Be aware, however, that persuasion and custom often figure in doctors' decisions.

Before Neurontin (the commercial name) went generic (Gabapentin), the manufacturer vigorously promoted this anti-convulsant drug for a variety of off-label uses. Many doctors no doubt were swayed by this campaign and continued to prescribe after Gabapentin came into being.

Gabapentin is often favored for its anti-anxiety qualities. Tolerance to this drug builds relatively rapidly.

For many ADHD people, anti-depressants (Wellbutrin, etc.) remain excellent mood levelers. Patients and their doctors might have to try several anti-depressants in different dosages to get the right effect.