hang in there

I am sorry Lauren--it can be so lonely to be in the place you are in right now. I would be chagrined about this as well. I hope your son feels better soon. 

I am struggling with letting go-- my STBX's decisions and actions can give me pause, to say the least. My children go to spend the night at their dad's once a week at this point. Twice they have gone over in the daytime on Saturday, and they are in the same clothes the next afternoon on Sunday (they slept in them and continued to wear them the next day after they got up). Sigh. I know it won't kill them, but he didn't have them put on pajamas or clean underwear (which I pack in a backpack) and then get dressed in new clothes the next morning, and they play outside and run around a lot and get dirty and sweaty. Forget taking a bath. Yuck. Is it so hard for him to deal with that he can't do it or does he honestly not notice or think about it? Sigh. 



I have to remind mine every

I have to remind mine every week or two that I expect baths nightly. Often, when I've been at work, I come home and see no evidence of a bath. It frustrated the life right out of me. Mine has done some very dangerous (thoughtless) things pertaining to our son. I wish I'd never have to leave them alone together:/ 


I've more reliably adopted a, "what would my wife's reaction to this be?" filter to in the moment decision points. I'm certain that this action would not pass muster, and I want to be charitable to myself and say it wouldn't take considering her reaction. There are definitely moments when I am much more fast-and-loose as a parent though, and when she goes out of state to train for this new job, we will see just how deep that rabbit hole can get over three days time. This was definitely a bonehead move on his part, but as the one screwing up in my relationship I feel things from that perspective. Since I've been coming here and educating myself about all these symptoms, hearing over and over very similar stories, this kind of thing feels like a slow motion train wreck that you can see coming a mile away. I don't mean this particular incident, but you can see this series of blunders that just culminate in absolute disaster. He probably can't or won't see how these things just ratchet up the certainty of doom for your relationship. Maybe the same thing is happening in my relationship, and we are just unable to see our own situation as clearly as we see that of others. Even though I know you have largely checked out of the emotional bond, and even though I generally agree with that decision, it is nevertheless cringeworthy to see it unfold. Get your kid out of there when you can, but like almost every life story I read about here, I just have to think, "damn, what a wasteful shame of a once-good thing." The loss of time and emotional capital is just horrific.

You are absolutely right. My

You are absolutely right. My husband knew better. It should be ingrained in his head that we don't wake the baby for any reason. This wasn't even a good friend. It was a work mate he barely knows. I can't get over the anger. I just keep waiting on the next ball to drop:/ At least he doesn't lie to me.....yet. 

You're right again. He can't or won't see how all these things have killed us and our pushing me to leave early. He sees himself as a good guy that doesn't get enough credit for the good things he does. He gives himself ridiculous amounts of credit for petty things he should be doing anyway. I'm so over this. 

barneyarff's picture

Jack Your post really woke me


Your post really woke me up this morning.  I thank you.

Four year ago, I realized that I'm exhausted from dealing day in and day out with an ADHD son and an untreated (at that time) ADD spouse.

Three years ago I decided I would leave the day after my youngest went to college.  That I would just grit my teeth because it was better for the kids for us to stay together.  By that time the spouse was occasionally fiddling with meds for his ADD

Two years ago I almost died from cancer.

Today, I am well but still get tired easily because, let's face it, life has beat me up a bit. 

However, your post put in place the piece I've been missing.  I've just been too damn tired or sick to get out of here.  No wonder I've felt trapped,  Now that I'm recovering I'm saving money as hard and fast as I can to get the three of us out of here.  I mean the man gets on this ADD "train" and yells and just ..... ugh.... I don't know.

He is in therapy now.  So now he thinks I should wait because he's trying.  Well 3 therapy sessions after 38 years of marriage and 10 years of begging him to get some help really don't balance out in any equation.  Now his therapist wants to see the kids because DH is complaining about how he doesn't have any respect from them.  I am a little worried because it would be just like him to paint himself as a perfect father and that we have rotten kids so the therapist needs to straighten them out.   So once again I'll have to listen to my children be emotionally beat up and I'll have to scrape away the toxic shame that will be pored on them.... or at least that is my fear.

Your post makes me think of

Your post makes me think of the moment that I dread to ever experience. It is the too late moment where the ADHD spouse wakes up and seriously begins treatment. They finally see the reality of their condition and start a process to get to a healthy place. This is genuine and given time they would actually get to be the best version of themselves, a someone who would be respected and adored by their spouse. But it has come after too many years of neglect and too many incidences of hurt. It recalls the tragedy of that Shakespearean moment when a lover has already taken the poison just before the other wakes from a death-like sleep. I feel the sense of loss and catastrophe we are meant to feel at that moment of the drama whenever I consider one of these relationships beyond the point on no return. I sincerely hope that mine is no where close to that point, and that I can keep mitigating my symptoms on the forefront of my mind.

I don't know enough about your situation to say if your husband is in this miserable place. It seems like maybe he is falling into the trap of using therapy as a hyperfocus. You can go and feel like you are "doing something about it" while not actually engaging in productive therapy. I have done this.

I suppose true change even when it is too late is still better than no change at all. At least for the future someone can go forward in the world after the relationship with more control over their symptoms. Perhaps their subsequent relationships will enjoy the benefit of these hard-learned lessons. Still, "seeing the light" too late seems infinitely more devastating than staying untreated through the end. The spouse has the pain of seeing the person they fell in love with after they have switched off the emotional connection, and the ADHD'er has the pain of knowing that if they had just started the process earlier such a good thing could have been saved. I have nightmares about this stuff.

Thanks for this thoughtful

Thanks for this thoughtful post, jackrungh.  I think I have reached this point in my relationship; my husband is still at the stage of engaging in therapy but not being productive about making changes otherwise.  It is sad.  

I'm So Exhausted's picture

One step closer to that "too late moment."

Last day of college classes for this semester.

Rough start to the day.  As we are planning on marketing - (who knows if it will actually sell) - that RV, I suggested we take the $$ and use it as a down-payment to buy a tiny little rental in our town.  We can try to make money off the money.

Spouse started angrily saying that $$ has to get put into his business to try to get it to grow.  I asked why he was yelling at me.  He yelled an answer, which I didn't hear, because I had to just walk away.

So much money has been pumped into that business for the past 32 years.  We go about $1,000 per month deeper in debt as we never have lived inside the means that business makes.  I have set up lots of budgets, financial plans, etc., etc., etc.  If I am the only one trying to make it work - - that dont work.  I think we need to sell everything we have and start anew - because we are perpetuating a lie.  The truth is we are broke.  We are in debt.  I can't handle it anymore.  

This morning I was really feeling that I have had enough of this pain.  I am just too tired of living this way.  

I think he will feel rejected.  I think he will pull out the never-good-enough card.  I think he will pull out the you-didn't-give-me-a-chance card.  

I think I will show him that I have no cards left in my deck.

I am not angry.  I am disappointed . . . and sad.



I'm So Exhausted's picture


What I have came to se clearly see these past few days is that I really need to find some sort of designated spot where 'this is where it ends.'

January of 2011 was the beginning of my life of refusing to not be controlled by his anger.  It took a good year to learn not to participate in angry discussions.  What I realized was, he would rant and yell and cry and dump all his crap on me - then he would be free of it and I carried it around.  Now I do not give him that opportunity. I refuse to be the dumping ground. 

 I am so shocked - I guess that is the best word - than one year went by, then 2 years, and now we are 5 months into the third year.  

For my own self-esteem and self-preservation, I need to determine a deadline.  I really cannot live in this angry situation any longer.  It is very hard to be upbeat and happy and cheerful while living beside a man who is angry as a hornet - except of course when someone else stops by - then you would think he was just Mr. Carefree and Happy.

I no longer want to live under that pretense.  It is not a happy place - AS A COUPLE.  When I am alone, or at school, I can pretend. . . but then I see what a untidy mess the house is in - and get angry that besides going to school, if I want the house tidy, I do all the 'housewife' duties, and do all the bookwork for his business.  

So I need to set up some sort of schedule to get out from under working for his business, getting myself a job, and setting that deadline as to when I want to go our separate ways.

It is time. 


only at me

Hi, I'm so,

My spouse had horrible anger management problems. I read a few things about anger and abusive behavior. The thing I found and realized is that, like yours, mine was charming and fine with almost everyone but me. He never freaked out or went off or swore or screamed at people at work. Never smashed coffee cups next to them because he was angry. Nope. Only did it with me. Which means he was not mentally ill--he could control himself. Mine insisted that I provoked him (which is what a lot of abusive people say). 

It is great that you have separated yourself from this and are trying not to let his anger control you. I am sorry he is still doing it, though. It is not ok. It is a terrible environment to be in. My therapist thought I may have PTSD from all of the rages and anger I experienced over the years. Of course it is hard to be upbeat and carefree with this going on. I still remember how stressful it was.

I finally told mine to see a counselor or doctor and tell him the truth, or I was leaving. I didn't threaten him, just explained that I couldn't take it any more. He wouldn't. Now, with some space of a six month separation, mine has gotten angry at me a few times. I see how ridiculous it is. It doesn't affect me. I just leave or walk away or hang up, saying, "I'll talk to you when you are not angry." 

Best to you. 


It really is the little

It really is the little things that kill. Sigh...........

I watch our son all day, then work from 5p til 2a EVERY NIGHT. I made dinner at 11a. I asked my husband to finish the fence...1.5 ft is all that's left. It is to protect our son from our small pool and our pool from our dog. I also asked him to fix the dog ramp. It needs two flat, metal connectors. He promises he would. 

I come home to a sink full of dirty dishes and the ramp further half-assed. The same old piece of shirt, taut with screws and no grips for the dog. I did one side of the grips and left it on the table:/  This morning I find my son's face is dirty and there is old powder balls in his diaper. That shows he didn't change him promptly and tried to soothe the rash. Outside, the fence hasn't been touched. I confront him on our son's dirty face.....excuses like "quick bath, he was tired, better than nothing". If he was tired, it's because he didn't bathe him til past his bedtime. I didn't even reply back. I'm too angry. Oh, funny, he just replied "I know you are red hot pissed". You think? I guess he doesn't believe me when I say I'm leaving. 

I'm going to hang on til his parents fly out end of June, then I'll probably leave. They are coming to see our son for the first time in 1.5 years. I'll have to take all the furniture because he has threatened to pawn it for money. Maybe by June I'll have money saved. 

I told him to be on his best behavior or I'm leaving, but still he slacks tremendously:( I have started paying half the bills, but I think I'll keep some as a charge for housework, secretary work, chef duties, and childcare. The anger will kill me otherwise. 


Lauren, I am sorry. I still remember the time I was eight months pregnant in winter (high risk pregnancy, almost full bed rest) and he could not or would not shovel the steps and walk for me to go out to the car to visit the doctor. I mentioned it and he finally poured half a bag of rock salt on the steps and said, "there!" Voila!

Or the hundreds of piles of dog poop in our back yard that appeared in the spring when the snow melted--he didn't pick it up, just let the dog out when I was gone, let it poop in the yard, and left it to get covered with more snow. It went on for months without me seeing it (sleep deprived, new babies). Hundreds. Months' worth. I looked out the window in April and was so disgusted. Just in disbelief. I turned into a scolding mother, "If you don't get out there right NOW and pick up every bit of that poop...!" And I actually got a defensive explanation about why it was ok to leave organic matter in the yard...gross! Our children played there! 

I was often annoyed, I admit, that I lived with someone who couldn't seem to be able to make himself do anything, not even bare minimum stuff. I later understood ADHD and appreciated the way that it may affect him, including the inclination toward "half assing" things. My problem was that he didn't do anything about it. Anyway, days like this, I admit it: I am delighted to live alone with my children. The house is clean, the car is maintained, the bills get paid, and I don't get my heart broken over and over and over again. 


I CANNOT WAIT to get out of

I CANNOT WAIT to get out of here. I had to cut my hours at work since I can't trust my husband at night with our son. I'd rather pay the babysitter and KNOW he's fed, changed, bathed completely, and put to bed on time. I am so sick of this!

I woke up to tiny poos all over the floor because the dog ramp wasn't made the way I begged him to do it. Two days ago I asked him to fix it the right way and he just tightened that stupid old shirt. I'm back in my room waiting on him to get up and hopefully see the turned over ramp. Then after he leaves, I'm going to Lowe's to fix it my darn self. Awesome.....he cussed at both dogs on the way out and slammed the door. I guess it is the dogs' fault. I get really anxious and tense anytime I have to be around him. 

When I was pregnant, I barely needed the car. But when I did, he would moan about it and I'd end up just walking. It was okay for me to walk  a few miles in the snow and ice, but not him. 

And nope, mine doesn't pick up the dog poo either OR spend time with the dogs. 

I'm so tempted to leave RIGHT NOW. Just take my 24% interest credit card and hit the road. What a relief that would be!!!

I'm So Exhausted's picture

My heart is postponing . . . .


I do not want to get to the day I have to go.  I do not want to have to admit I was powerless to make my marriage work.  I do not want to fail.  I do not want my relationship to be as it is.  

I do not know what else to do.

I really had  believed the ADHD and Marriage couples course would be the new beginning.  Just as I had hoped the very same thing for each previous 'solution' I entered into with my spouse.  Counselors.  Self-Help books.  

I tried to go the route of telling myself we had just not found the correct answer yet.  We had found 20 + things that didn't work, but just had to keep striving to find the thing that 'did' work.  I am fooling myself.  

I do not want to have to look reality in the face and see I have been foolishly living a lie for the past years of my life.  I do not want to have to look into the face of my own denial - that marriage is forever and I can make this work.  

I recently asked a pastoral friend for suggestions about how I deal with my own vows, when my spouse is not living up to his.  What if my spouse decided to go?  What then.

His response?  He could not help me as he does not have information from my spouse's side of things.  He said he will pray for us.

Very disappointing. I wasn't asking him how to fix "my spouse."  And I will not stick to someone twisting  Biblical wisdom into "You must stay married, even it it is a miserable situation.  The only reason you can divorce is for adultery. "  I know the end result of staying together because it is the 'right thing to do.'  Misery.


I am sitting here debating on

I am sitting here debating on calling a moving service and U-haul. It would be a huge relief, but I'd feel terrible for sneaking off. He's got a 24 hr shift today. Being around him or thinking about being here fills me with high anxiety. I've always been calm & easy-going, so it's a scary feeling.