Nice one God, you really got me.

So imagine God says to you...here's this man.  And he's wonderful, enthusiastic, bright, charming...he'll find new ways to make you laugh every day.  And no matter what life throws at you, no matter what you go through, you will love him more every day, and it will never stop.  And it isn't until after you say YES sign me up, and you fall too deeply in love to turn back that God says, "but wait, there's more."  For the rest of your life, you will live for this man.  All of your hopes and dreams, your goals and plans...all that now takes a backseat to just keeping him together.  It will never be about you, you will never be more important, and he will never be able to do for you what you do for him.  Yes, you will rejoice in his accomplishments and successes...after all, behind every good man is a better woman.  And without you carrying him, he never would have achieved these things.  But I hope that's enough for you, because you won't have the time or energy to spare to go out and get any of those successes for yourself.  

He'll love you so much that he'll try.  There will be small gradual improvements, and for a long time the effort alone will be enough for you.  It will convince you that eventually he'll get it and learn what you need, or that he'll see how much you do for him, or how much you've given up for him.  You'll think he's ready to be the partner you've been longing for and that he can at least share some of the burden.  So together you'll sit and talk, and you'll discuss your goals and what needs to be done, and you'll take all that and load it into the back of a wagon.  And then you'll each strap yourself to that wagon and you'll pull together.  And at first the wagon moves forward so quickly that you believe your troubles are finally over, and your hard work was not in vain.  Then the wagon will slow down, and you'll wonder if you're running out of energy.  But when you turn to see how he's doing, not only has he stopped pulling...he's pulling in the opposite direction cause there was a shiny bike a few miles back.  This will happen over and over again, and your hopes never weaken.  After a while, you begin to wonder if you still do it cause there really is hope, or if you've just tricked yourself into believing there is because you can't stand the thought that you've sacrificed so much for a lost cause.

You know it's not his fault.  He's trying.  He's doing the best he can.  He just doesn't know any better.  He tries to do nice things for you and to be the man you need, but you may as well expect a monkey to write poetry.  You feel so alone.  Not just in carrying the load of the responsibilities, but emotionally.  He doesn't know you.  He doesn't understand you.  You could write out an instruction manual on what you need, and he still wouldn't get it.  But you're so strong that you can live without it.  You can carry yourself.  You can find a way to make this work.  

But should you have to?  Is that really what you want?  To MAKE it work?  There has to be something better out there.  Somewhere out there is someone who will give you back the person you gave up so long ago.  Someone who can be a REAL partner.  Someone who can carry you when YOU'RE weak.  But are you brave enough to go find them?  Or even harder...can you stand to look this man who you love so much in the eye and tell him that no matter how hard he's trying, you just don't want to wait anymore?  Aren't all relationships supposed to go through good times and bad?  Maybe these are just the bad times.  Maybe you're about to quit when the light is just around the next bend.  You've never been a quitter.  Are you really gonna start now?  After all, you love him.  And he'll fall apart without you.  All of your hard work getting him where he is will be undone if you leave.  He'll go back to the sad, helpless, lost person he was when you met.  Can you stand to destroy him just so you can go find what you need?  Cause seeing him fall will ruin you too.  So it's shut up and take it, and then only you suffer...or destroy him and both of you suffer.  And now you're trapped.  And you realize there's nothing you can do.

I hope you find some peace.

I feel the pain and sadness behind your words.  I wish I had the answers to your questions, but I don't even have the answers to many of my own.  I would suggest reading as many posts as you can on this forum, no matter how old they are (if you haven't already).  There's a lot to be learned from them.  Even though I'm still struggling, they've helped me understand so much more about ADHD.  Unfortunately, understanding something doesn't always make it easier to live with.  I hope you find some peace.

Are you in my head? I feel

Are you in my head? I feel like you took my exact feelings and wrote them.. i have goose bumps reading your post... im shaking.. seriously!!!!!!

Its a horrible place to be.. i too question god all the time..this cant possibly be what he has for me...there has got to be a better way......why must it hurt so bad..ive been really mad a god lately i have to admit....i just cant see how my misery is part of his divine "plan" for my life..

 

please feel free to email me anytime..i feel like we are twins...

 

take care ill be praying for you..

 

 

Not quite twins, but...

We may not be twins, but I think you're my future if I don't leave.  I read your forum post "is it worth it?".  I see myself going all those same places EXACTLY.  Heck, I've already been to some of them.  It's chilling how many posts I read on this site that make me feel like someone is following me around and writing my life down.  I'm so sorry honey.  So sorry for all you've been through.  I know you don't hear that often enough.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't say it to you.  And if he does, he probably says it because he knows he's supposed to and not because he really means it.  Cause we all know, as much as they may want to understand how you feel, they can't.  So again, and from someone who understands your pain and means it from the bottom of my heart...I'm SORRY!   It scares me to think of having children with this man.  On one hand I know he'd be the kind of father every child brags about...the kind who starts most activities with "don't tell mom we did this".  The kind who will probably be responsible for a few ER visits.  The kind who plays with them... because he is a child too, and who better to understand and play with a child than another child.  They would love him so much.  But on the other hand, a father is supposed to be an example.  And do I really want my sons to think it's okay to yell at women or to lose their tempers every time life gets remotely frustrating?  Do I really want my daughters to think that a woman is supposed to just stay quiet and take it?  Or that her husband is more important than she is?  Or that she should forgive everything her husband does to make her cry?  Don't get me wrong, I'm all about forgiveness...but not when the person being forgiven makes the same mistakes over and over without even trying to fix it.  At that point I'd like my children to know to forgive, and then walk away and realize that they deserve better than to keep people like that in their lives.  Only you can know if it's worth it.  But don't trick yourself into believing it is when it isn't.  We can make our minds do amazing things to cope with pain.  We can convince ourselves that we're happy when we're not.  We can find the silver lining on the darkest clouds.  My dear it is YOUR cloud.  You can see it however you choose to see it.  But you can do the same thing with your life.  Make it what you want.  If you have been strong enough to withstand all that you've been through, then you are strong enough for ANYTHING.  Leaving will hurt.  So will staying.  So no matter what, there will be pain.  So don't think about the pain, cause there's nothing you can do to prevent it.  Make your decision on something other than pain.  Time to do what makes YOU happy, whatever that may be.  But do it and stop agonizing over the decision.  Make a choice one way or the other and be happy with it.  Don't waste one more moment being miserable.  It's been 17 years...haven't you earned some joy?  Do you even remember what it feels like to be truly happy?  Nobody is going to judge you either way.  Only love and support here.  I'll keep you updated on how my story goes.  Through it all I still have hope...for you and for me.  We are strong women.  We will never quit.

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your words....you are right we will never quite we are strong. I do deserve to be happy and i will be spending more time on me..please stay in touch!

You pull your own wagon and

You pull your own wagon and let him pull his. If his doesn't keep up, gets lost, goes into a ditch, then let him struggle and get it out. The problem is that many of us spend our entire lives feeling we MUST, I mean there is NO ALTERNATIVE, but to do *insert your entire second paragraph*...but we're wrong...and we make everything worse by carrying their load in life for them. If and until we see this, nothing will ever change. 

No one can convince me I am wrong about this...my husband lost everything...including his job and almost his life...but for the first time in his ENTIRE life he is being responsible for himself. It wouldn't have happened had I continued to 'carry' him and 'pull the wagon' by myself. No matter what "let go, let God" means to you...you have to do it.

We cannot be mad at God for not having faith in him...you either have Faith that God can AND WILL see you through all of it or you don't. If you're trying to control things down here, then you're proving you don't have Faith in God and fully submit to the fact that reality is it is all in God's hands. Once you surrender your situation to God and BELIEVE that no matter what happens, He will protect you..and BELIEVE that better things are coming your way...then better things will come your way. I've been through hell and back more times than I care to mention, but never once did I blame God, or get angry at him...quite the opposite, I turned to him and found incredible amounts of courage and strength (to finally surrender to Him and LET GO) and I also found peace about everything. 

Just what got me through...((HUGS))

About that wagon pulling...

I'm having a lot of trouble letting go of his "wagon."  But, I definitely have made some changes in that regard.  

How do you do it? There is one loan of his that I'm attached to.  Otherwise, everything is in my name...that's good and bad.  I have a mountain of debt exacerbated by him.

I've been researching lawyers, but I'm too scared to talk to him about making things final (divorce; we are separated, living apart).  I'm also too scared to actually talk to a lawyer.  I know he misses me, but that's not enough.  

He's in denial regarding his ADHD...one area that is a "deal-breaker" if it doesn't get addressed.  There are others too, but I think this is the root of all of them.

How do you broach the subject of finality?  I'm lonely and sad, for sure, but I'm definitely better off since I've finally decided to draw a line and stick to it.  If he does address these issues, I know it will be more than 6 months before I'll consider getting back together...because I know he'll think he's cured or be tired of treatment and quit after 1-2 months...same story, different day.

Help!  :-/

Counseling/therapy/whatever

Oh, I have been in therapy for a year, seeing a psychiatrist for 4 years (for various things, including this).  But I don't have any desire to go to couple's therapy; never have.  Plus, we've read a number of books, research, etc.  But things have not gotten better.  He has not learned new habits as far as we are concerned.  He's not taking meds, or in therapy of any kind.  He exercises regularly, but that's it.  

My feelings are that when the

My feelings are that when the time is right, to speak to a lawyer, you won't have fears or second thoughts. Not sure if prayer is your 'thing', but I often prayed for guidance and waited. Waited for answers in God's time, feeling 100% sure that they would come and I would have NO question remaining about what I needed to do. They came, but only after many, many months of dark times and feeling so alone and scared...but they did come.

My opinion about the 'deal breakers' is that I would never, ever consider reconciling if he isn't getting serious help. Period. It would be sheer insanity to think that anything would change if he doesn't get help. Deep down you know this. They should get an honorable master's degree in the art of convincing us that things are going to be different, that they're sorry for everything, etc..when they're about to lose us. Him missing you isn't even in the ballpark of things to consider or reasons to reconcile.

I let go of the wagon, so to speak, because it was KILLING ME not to. I guess, using the analogy, I looked backwards one day and saw that I had been walking in place for about 2 years. I was exhausted, physically suffering (blood pressure, fatigue, depression) and wasn't willing to give him anymore of myself in that way...ever again. I told him "this marriage will no longer be all about you...from this day forward...no matter how pissed off it makes you...the days of everything being about you are gone. the rest of us matter too" and I meant it. I didn't get angry with him, quite the opposite. I can't say I ever really stopped 'trying', but I did stop (maybe more accurately decreased by about 85%) trying to control his life (telling him to get up and go to work, stop drinking, come out of the den, engage with his family, etc) and started focusing on making myself a better wife, mother, and person...regardless of how things went, I had to know I had done all I could...and letting go of my anger and treating him with kindness, as a God created human being was a must for me. 

He crashed, he burned, he wound up in ER and had to go into a treatment facility. It was 'rock bottom' for him, it seems. Time will tell. Four months out and he's clean, sober, and treating his ADHD with proper medications. He sees his psychiatrist once a month and has a counselor that he sees weekly. I've never met her, don't schedule his appts, and have nothing to do with it. I have told him, with no room for error, what my 'deal breakers' are and what I expect from him...and so far he accepts responsibility for what he's done and what he has to do in order to be married to me for the rest of his life. Prior to me letting go of his wagon, he depended 100% on me to make counseling appts, to go with him, to go as a couple, and insisted we focus on 'us'. Again, he is 100% responsible for his treatment (he even gets his own meds filled) and has taken the bull by the horns completely. This is huge.

I have always heard that 6 months is a good time frame to see if something is going to be habit or just 'for show'....so if you push that to 12 months then you should be pretty safe to assume that what you see at 12 months is what you're going to be dealing with 'forever'. But I would urge you to not set a time line for yourself as far as when to make a decision...just enjoy your life, do things that make you happy, focus on YOU and TRULY let him focus on him. You have the luxury of saying "I really am sorry you're having a bad day" and then hanging up the phone and indulging in a bubble bath and glass of wine without anymore concern or worry about him and his problems. Let them be his for a while. Love him, from afar...and love yourself up close and personal. ((HUGS))

Thanks

I appreciate the advice and affirmation.  I've been somewhat pushed by family members to decide.

As far as working on myself goes, I'm trying to recover/mend myself from co-dependency.  It's been difficult to say the least.  I've crashed and burned a lot during this.  However, I think I'm doing much better.

Looking at your "letting go" process, I have already done some of these... Financially cutting the purse strings has been the most difficult for me.

hagn in there

Masmam, just want to say hang in there. I hear you--I am separated and recently my mom told me she wanted me to be able to move on with a divorce "so that I would have some closure." LOL. Try not to let your family affect you too much. They don't live your life, or get up in your shoes every morning, right? You'll decide when and if you are ready. 

 

Thanks everyone.  I'm

Thanks everyone.  I'm definitely not mad at God.  Quite the opposite.  Occasionally when I'm broken down and crying, I begin to pray for help.  Instead I catch myself and decide instead not to ask for anything, but to thank Him for everything I do have.  This usually makes me feel better.  It's hard to see God's plan.  But I know everything happens for a reason.  And I also know that every fight, every struggle, every lonely feeling makes me stronger.  I know happiness is possible for me...but right now it's at the other side of a canyon that just gets wider every day.  But soon I feel like all that extra strength is gonna give me the power I need to jump that canyon.  I may fall in, it may kill me.  But if I don't jump, I'm pretty much dead anyway (don't panic, I don't mean literally). 

 I read so many stories on here of people who have tried and struggled for so many years, certain that if they just worked harder things would change.  But you're all right, I have to let go.  This has nothing to do with how hard I work.  If I keep working harder to make up for him not working at all, I'm just going to burn myself out (pretty much there already) and be left with exactly what I had when I started.  It's a vicious cycle, and after a point I've spent so much time and effort on this person that I can't stand to think of throwing it all away...or even worse, that I failed.  Or that I stood up to everyone who told me I was crazy and told them that they were wrong.  He wasn't worthless, he just needed someone to love him.  I alienated so many people who cared about me.  But I have to realize that I didn't fail.  I did everything I could.  Yes, I could stay and make him be responsible for himself, but I want more than that.  I want someone who can be responsible for me sometimes.  Not all the time...I don't need someone to take care of me.  I'm a strong, capable, intelligent, beautiful, compassionate woman.  I need nobody.  But I want someone who can pick ME up when I fall.  I want someone who can care about me more than himself.  Because when I love someone, that's how I feel.  And if I put the other person first, I need someone who will put me first.  Otherwise I'll always come 2nd.  

Yes, I can find ways to make myself happy...like that bubble bath or that glass of wine.  But if I'm the only one making myself happy, then what's the point of being with someone?  In a relationship, you're supposed to be there for eachother.  My partner is supposed to be my rock and my comfort.  He's supposed to know how to make me happy.  We're supposed to take care of eachother in ways that we can't take care of ourselves.  I can hire a maid to do my cleaning (well, in theory...I'd have not be bankrupt first), I can hire a nanny to help with children, heck I can even hire someone to pamper me.  But a partner should provide something that can't be bought.  Something irreplaceable.  I love this man.  I love him so much it fills me up and makes me cry happy tears just to think about it.  I have never loved anybody like I love him.  And I know he feels the same way about me.  I know his life may never be the same without me.  He may never find anyone else who will put up with his crap.  He'll probably never find anyone as caring as me ever again.  But I need more.  I know that now.  And the thought of leaving makes me cry again.  As I'm sure many of you can understand, he has been my "child" for 3 years.  How do you tell a child that you don't want to be with them anymore?  Especially when he tries so hard.  He knows he has problems.  We've had very constructive discussions about them before.  We've made plans on how we can both change our behavior to help.  But it never sticks.  He just can't figure out what I want from him...no matter how many times I spell it out.  

He knows we're almost at the end.  I've sat him down and told him that if he really loves me, he'll realize that he can't give me the things I need.  And if he can't give them to me, he has to let go of me so that I can go get them somewhere else.  Otherwise I'll just stay with him and be sad, tired, and lonely my whole life.  It frustrates him.  He knows I'm right.  But he says it will never get to that point because he WILL be what I need.  Then every time he realizes that he's falling short, he just gets more angry than he normally does.  It's a desperate anger...like he's mad at himself.  Anger is his "go to" emotion when things don't go right.  And even thought he's not mad at me, he still takes it out on me.  The result...the harder he tries, the angrier he gets, and the more I suffer.  I just want to hug him and tell him it's okay, but it's not.  He asks me to tell him what to do or what he's supposed to say.  But that's the problem...I shouldn't have to tell him.  He's had 3 years to figure out how to make me happy.  If he doesn't have it by now, he's not gonna.  If we were meant to be together, he should know what to do or say.  And if I tell him what to do or say, it's just like me doing the work and handling his responsibilities AGAIN.  The intuition I need from him isn't something you can learn...it's something you just have.  You can learn to fake it given enough time.  You can recognize patterns and start to realize, "hey she's been mad about this before, here's what worked last time".  But that's not the same.  It's not real.  It's not what I'm looking for.  

Wow, this ended up much longer than I thought it would.  Hugs for all of you who have the strength to keep going...or who are stuck because they have children or nowhere else to go.  For those of you who say it's too late to turn back, I completely understand.  Everybody else may tell you that you can always leave.  They don't know you.  They don't know what you've been through.  They think you're too weak.  They have no idea how strong you are.  I know.  And so do many people who read these forums.  Even though you feel more alone than you've ever been in your life, you're not.  We're here.  Only you can know what you need to do from here.  And you will have our support no matter what you decide.  

Pbartender's picture

I see a lot of my own

I see a lot of my own situation reflected in you and your husband.  I'll elaborate, when I have more time, but...

First let me ask, because I didn't notice you mention it...  Is he diagnosed?  Is he taking medication?  Is he consulting with a ADHD-specialized counselor or coach?

 

Pb.

gray area

Yes he is diagnosed.  I showed him one of the blogs on this site and he felt the same way I did...this was us.  However, he is not on medication.  He can't be because of his job.  While I think medication might help with the anger, the outbursts, the distraction, and the reliability, they will never make him grow the empathy I need.  We do not have the money for counseling (I'm bankrupt...surprise!).  And I also don't think I have it in me to wait anymore.  I want to start a family.  I'm in my 30's.  And I don't trust him to be the father I'm looking for for my children.  Maybe with time, but I don't have that time to waste.

9 years in....

Hey Lostandtired! I am 9 years in to marriage with my ADD husband, WITH 3 little kids and I will be praying praying praying PRAYING for you! I have been through EVERY single emotion and thought that you have had and THEN SOME. I want to share, you MUST MUST MUST stop trying to get him to make you happy, fill in and complete you, and be for you what no one else can. That will NEVER happen. My husband is a wonderful person, a good man, a so-so father, a good provider, he has good intentions...but HE will never ever ever ever meet my deepest heart needs. Never. I know that now. Not with any amount of meds or therapy. He does NOT have the brain, personality, empathy, skills, or wiring to be what I need. He will never be my 1 true love. He will never be the soul mate or heart friend that I so desired growing up and reading all the Jane Austin and Little Women books. NEVER.

So if you think you can love him forever without these things, STAY and make it work and work for him by being his partner in life in a wonderful compromise. But your needs will have to fade and be a distant memory. I know what you are wanting. I wanted it sooooo desperately. I cried for it, cried at night on my pillow. My husband still after 9 years DOES NOT KNOW ME, is not able to look me in the eye with emotion, and have extended talks with me. He can't focus enough. He doesn't have the thoughts that pierce into my heart and join together with it. He is so distracted from me, that he can't love me deeply in action form. He loves me in his own heart, but it doesn't get out and reach me the way I want it to. So I accept it and accept love in other ways. WHICH are very sincere and very heart felt on HIS PART. And since I know this, I continue to stay and love him any way.

But if you were to ask me, "Are your deepest heart's desires being met by this man? Do you feel the deep connection and love that you've always wanted? The answer would be NO.

Instead I get love in other ways from him. Like for instance: "Can I get you something from the fridge?" "I got you a new plant today!" (I kill plants and don't like them as gifts LOL) "Will you watch TV with me?" It's kind of like a little kid who gives his mom a big chocolaty kiss after he stole the cookies. Not to say my husband is a child, he's NOT!!! But the type of love is not deep, personal, or profound. It's goofy, distracted, inconsistent, spacey, aloof, inappropriate, comedic, and shallow at times.

Is he worth me giving my dreams of romance up and throwing them out the window? I don't know, but I know that my love and his love will NEVER be enough. Only God's love is. And He is worth it to me.....

BINGO! You said it. This is

BINGO! You said it. This is how my DH has been. Thank you for sharing and articulating this and bringing this up.

It's kind of like a little kid who gives his mom a big chocolaty kiss after he stole the cookies. Not to say my husband is a child, he's NOT!!! But the type of love is not deep, personal, or profound. It's goofy, distracted, inconsistent, spacey, aloof, inappropriate, comedic, and shallow at times.

So True

Perfect analogy…there is love and good intentions but sometimes you just hunger for a deep romantic love.

I just read your comments -

I just read your comments - you said, "but the type of love is not deep, personal or profound.  It's goofy, distracted, inconsistent, spacey, aloof, inappropriate, comedic and shallow at times".  My goodness you were reading my mind.  

My first time on this  site and I don't feel alone.  I had no idea I married a man with ADHD and other issues.  We are older and he had me fooled.  Currently separated and was hoping he would acknowledge these issues and get some help, but that's not been the case.  He is blaming me for leaving the marriage and is in denial.

Thought I was going crazy in the marriage.  Alone all the time, no physical relationship - not even on the honeymoon....no eye contact, compulsive spending, eating, never heard a word I said. I stayed until my health started to suffer and my doc recommended I get some distance or I was going to get very sick. Chest pains, stomach pains, anxiety, etc.  

I did not see these signs till after I Do.....

I appreciate your comments. ... Looks like I am not alone 

MagicSandwich's picture

meds/job

He can't be on medication because of his job? I'm curious as to what kind of job would be prohibitive to med therapy?

I don't want him to read this

I don't want him to read this and figure out who I am so I can't say.  But google it.  It's on there.

The Bubble Bath and Wine

The Bubble Bath and Wine thing...it is only part of doing what it takes to get you through this rough patch in your life. You have to envision a life that is filled with happiness and joy...and then do what is necessary to make it happen for yourself. Speaking for myself, there is no place in my 'happy, joyous life' I envision for someone with ADHD who isn't being treated and who isn't fully acknowledging what it brings to the table. I knew since early 2010, even before diagnosis, that my husband not getting professional help (didn't know for what at the time, but knew something had to be handled/fixed/changed/worked through) would mean we would not be married for much longer. 

When 'things being different' feels like such an unattainable thing to us, imagine how it seems to them. Honestly, I was on my face before God asking him to please save my husband from himself, to turn things around, to get him out of the hell he was in and to bring our marriage to a happier place. I fought (what I truly believe was) spiritual warfare against the devil by myself...for months. When I say that it seemed as though there was NO SOLUTION to our problems, I truly mean that. I just didn't see how things would ever even start to turn around...but I had faith in God that somehow, someway things would work out and that no matter what, I would be OK. I KNEW it in my gut...and I prayed for mercy daily. It took months, but it did happen...the impossible was possible. Just hang in there, don't be afraid to ask God for what you need...and know that He is listening even when you don't have the energy to ask, he knows your heart. When you start to believe that He will restore your happiness, then it is amazing what happens. The Bible says that we have to believe that God will hear us and not leave us and we have to have Faith in His plans for us. His plans aren't for long suffering. Ultimately, what your husband does is all in God's hands...all part of His plan. Surrender it to God and let Him handle it for you. (((HUGS)))

Pbartender's picture

"Speaking for myself, there

"Speaking for myself, there is no place in my 'happy, joyous life' I envision for someone with ADHD who isn't being treated and who isn't fully acknowledging what it brings to the table."

Speaking for myself and someone with ADHD, I can't understand how someone with ADHD who is involved in a loving relationship, and especially when it comes to marriage, cannot get treatment (to the extent that their finances allow) and cannot fully acknowledge what it brings to the table.  More than any symptom caused by ADHD, that is the sort of willful, selfish, disrespect that will end a marriage.

And perhaps that why I'm having a hard time with some of the posts in this particular forum...  I see all these stories of non-ADHD spouses who are feeling absolutely wretched and miserable in their marriages, and who are ready to completely give up.  And it's all because the ADHD spouse won't meet them halfway with treatment and understanding of the difficulties involved.

For years and years, my ADHD wasn't being treated and neither my wife nor I were fully acknowledging what it brought to the table...  only because it hadn't yet been diagnosed.  And that's exactly what brought us to this point.  Now that I know what's the cause, I have no excuse.

It burns me up, because it doesn't have to be that way.  Because I can still see my own wife thinking that way.  I am an ADHDer who is working hard to make things right again, so that both my wife and can rebuild a 'happy, joyous life' together.  I realize that, for her, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.  That it will take time to believe what she sees.  I am willing to put in that time...  but I am impatient.  I want things better now.

It's a terrible frustration and very discouraging to hear about other ADHDers who won't put in that work, and to see non-AHDH spouses who don't think it can be done.

It's a good thing I'm an inherently stubborn person, otherwise it'd be too easy to give up and quit.

 

Pb.

*huge sigh*

"Speaking for myself and someone with ADHD, I can't understand how someone with ADHD who is involved in a loving relationship, and especially when it comes to marriage, cannot get treatment (to the extent that their finances allow) and cannot fully acknowledge what it brings to the table.  More than any symptom caused by ADHD, that is the sort of willful, selfish, disrespect that will end a marriage."

...

"It's a terrible frustration and very discouraging to hear about other ADHDers who won't put in that work, and to see non-AHDH spouses who don't think it can be done."

Thank you for saying this, especially, "...that is the sort of willful, selfish, disrespect that will end a marriage."  I know my DH is a good person, but he has repeatedly refused (for all intents and purposes) to really do much more than exercise and eat better.  And I totally agree with you.  And I have finally set boundaries and stuck with them.  I am, by far, less than perfect. But, I've had enough.

Feel free to read my posts (click on my screen name) to see my perspective on my situation.

Again, thank you.

Non ADHD girlfriend needs advice Pbartender

Good morning Pbartender,

Thank you for your honesty.  The acknowledgment of some ADHD'rs not getting help.

I'm in a 4 year relationship with a man with ADHD.  I am ready to throw in the towel.  He was diagnosed as a child, he does not have steady work and his finances are a disaster.  I work full time, pay for most everything, mortgage, utilities, vacations, etc.  His frustration is at the surface most of the time.  He does not think his ADHD is affecting us.  He says that it's me who needs to lighten up.  He has an appointment for his ADHD, after my begging, on July 2nd.  He says that he is only doing it so I will shut up about it.  In addition to all of this, I do the majority of the household tasks.  I came home from work yesterday to find him sleeping on the couch... nothing done in the house.  We have been struggling in the relationship to the point we have discussed breaking up and going our separate ways.   After those discussions over the last few weeks, I come home from work and he got my name tattooed on his arm...what the heck???  He told me, now you can't leave me or I will shoot you.  He chuckled when he said it, but it was still uncomfortable.  I have turned into this nag of a woman.  I hate it.  I think I would have a lot more money and peace if we split.

Any advice?

sherry

Pbartender's picture

Okay, ADHD or not... 

Okay, ADHD or not...  Disrespectful, irresponsible, impulsive, and a joking(?) death threat after discussions about breaking up?  I'm not you, but if I were, I'd ditch him.  Hard.

I only really ever had one other girlfriend before I started dating my wife.  When she told me that she would kill herself if I ever left her, I broke up with her the very next day. 

Based on how you've described him, this does not appear to be a man who will ever treat you the way you should be treated.  I don't believe he will ever act as a partner in a relationship.  His goal appears to be to get the most benefit out of a relationship with the least effort.  Thus far, you have indulged him and he's knows he's getting away with it with you.  You effectively gave him an ultimatum with the break up talk, and now he's upping the ante with the tattoo stunt...  With a combined display of "devotion" and a semi-serious threat of violence, he's trying to manipulate you in maintaining the status quo.  Right now, you risk falling into a co-dependent relationship with him, which would be nothing but bad, bad, bad.

Don't let him get away with it.  And if he escalates the threats, call the cops.

 

Pb.

I'm scared.. there is more too it.

Hi Pb,

Thank you for your response.  His anger has gotten worse and the shooting comment was not the first.  He "playfully" slaps me, pulls my hair and sometimes in his fits of anger he throws things at me.  Sometimes his anger is terrifying.  I back down because I think he will come after me.  I am not the wonderful caring non-ADHD'r I see people talk about, I have gotten very very angry with his behaviors and actions.  I have been very good to this man, I have let him have his fits and I have paid his bills.  Now I'm exhausted.  How can I be heard?  Do I care anymore if I'm heard?  Is that what the tattoo thing is about?  Manipulation? Really?  I think you are spot on.  I felt kinda obligated not to break things off because he got the tattoo.  I'm scared I am already in a co-dependent relationship with him.  Please help.

Pbartender's picture

Manipulation. Really.

Growing up, one of our family hobbies was manipulation...  I try to use it only for the Powers of Good, now, but I got pretty good at it (I learned it from my mother, and she's one of the best...  almost Machiavellian) and I can spot it a mile away.

But yes, the only reason for him to get a tattoo devoted to you when you are mulling over breaking up is to head you off, to disarm you, to bind you closer to him.  It's manipulation to keep you from leaving, pure and simple.  And when you wright something like this...

"I felt kinda obligated not to break things off because he got the tattoo."

...it proves that he knew exactly what he was doing when he got that tattoo, and that it's working exactly the way he hoped it would.

But now you know.  And, as we learned from G.I. Joe, knowing's half the battle.  Now that you can see it happening, you don't have to let him manipulate you any more.  You can start making your own choices about your own life, and at the same time perhaps convince him to take control of his life and live it himself instead of living off someone else.  You can start telling him no, with confidence.

 

Pb.

Potential abuse/Verbal Abuse

All of you have been wonderful with your responses!  It's funny, manipulation, I have been so focused on the ADHD issues that I have lost sight of some of the fundamentals.  I have been attributing the shooting comments, the tattoo, etc. all to ADHD.  I see that there may be more going on, duh... 

I hate the thought of him manipulating me to keep a roof over his head and food on his table.  I am a bright capable woman with am rather successful in my career.  How could I let this happen?  I lost my husband to cancer 5 years ago and then met my boyfriend.  My relationship with my dear deceased was rather amazing.  He would be appauled if he knew the situation I find myself in.  How did I get here?  Am I concerned about the anger and abusive comments escalating?, YES.. have they escalated?, YES, am I co-dependent?, YES.  I have been concerned about being alone, no partner to help me.  But I am in that situation now.  The only difference is that I am getting verbally abused and am spending more money than I should.  I always thought how unusual it is how he allows me to pay for everything.  How he knows I work so hard, pay all the bills and he can't see that the cat threw up on the floor and clean it up before I get home?  Instead, he comes home from whatever job he is doing and plays video games and falls asleep on the couch, dishes in the sink, laundry to be done etc.  

He will tell me to ask him to help, I have done that in nice ways.  He still gets upset.  I have had temper tantrums of my own to try to get him to help, that obviously doesn't work either.  He started a remodel on my home last August.  I told him that I would cover him financially while he was doing it because I knew he wouldn't be able to do other jobs while he was doing my remodel.  I stopped paying his bills.  My house is still not complete.  He has been doing odd jobs here and there and he stopped working on the house.  I still don't have outlet covers in my family room.   He has nothing stable at all.  He does buy groceries on occasion.  He has given me cash on occasion, I always have to ask though.  When he knows I want him to give me money, luckily I'm not dependent on him, he tells me I only have X amount of dollars and I need to keep some of it for my next job.... geez, what if he actually had to pay rent?

I hate it that I have so little respect for him anymore.  I was holding on until his ADHD appointment next week.  I don't know if that is gonna help.  I don't know if I care if it does.

I was in the exact same situation...

I was in the exact same situation... but now, married for 5 years (together for 11, now separated and living apart).  Get out now!  Don't fall prey to the manipulation like Pb said... it'll be disastrous, I know having been there myself.  It is emotional abuse.  Further, he can always cover up the tattoo with some other tattoo, people do it all the time.  He's an idiot for doing it in the first place, just ask any tattoo artist.

Reading your posts, I see a lot of red flags that scream "run" to me.  I am as well the non-ADHD spouse in a co-dependent relationship with my DH.  Read through some of my posts and you'll see how bad it got.

how did you get out

How did you break it off?  Did he threaten you when you did it?  Has he tried to get back together with you?

Sorry for the delay...

Sorry, I don't think I got notified for this... :/  It was very hard, but I knew I couldn't go on one minute more.  I just told him flat out that I couldn't do it anymore, that I needed to work on me (b/c I didn't want an argument to start...I just wanted out).  He didn't argue much, surprisingly enough.

7 months later, we have yet to really address anything.  Ugh, if I weren't feeling like I was getting sick, I was planning to bring it up tonight.  We'll see.  We just have been standing still all this time, save for maybe growing further apart, not addressing anything.

I'll get back to this shortly, I'm sorry I didn't respond timely.

GET OUT NOW !  He is NOT

GET OUT NOW !  He is NOT worth it and to be threatening, slapping you even 'playfully' is NOT right that is abuse, and it will only get worse the longer you stay. Why are you even questioning staying with him, run the other direction as fast as you can.

Oh no! Leave --- soon

My ex threatened to shoot me once. After the umpteenth millionth time he had done something in bed that I had asked him not to do, the next morning i tried to bring it up by saying, "I'm going to have to get me a little squirt gun and squirt you every time you do "X" since you say you can't remember and we've talked about it so many times." He replied by looking at me coldly and saying, "If you do, I'll shoot you." He was not smiling and was not joking. However, several days later, after I told him how much it bothered me that he could even say something like that (we had guns under the bed), he tried to laugh it of by telling me he hoped I wasn't mad at his sister -- that they always had said they would shoot you when they were teasing each other.

It was a matter of weeks after that when he cold-cocked me in the face and side of the head with his fist, and I had him arrested and left.

My opinion is that it takes a lot of thought for a person to be able to tell someone else that they could consider shooting and killing them. Would YOU ever say that to someone? Under ANY circumstances? Not me. Time to get out while you are still OK.

 

As the wife with the ADHD i

As the wife with the ADHD i was able to read what you wrote and without getting defensive, understand how my poor husband feels. He is always taking care of me, fixing my mistakes, and loving me no matter how often I forget the one thing he asked of me. Thank you for that, I will now go show him some of that random affection that he always asks for, yet never receives. I wish you nothing but luck in whichever path you choose. 

Apparently God likes to play jokes...

I'm the ADHD husband in my household, and I too can read your comments without being defensive. But I read this thread because of the title: Nice One, God. Most of the ADHD people I know say (or think) things like that all the time. We didn't ask to be ADHD. Heaven knows I didn't! People tell me, "Well, ADHD's your cross to bear." We just get treated so differently. Nobody gets angry at a person who has a genetic issue that manifests in a physical condition. (Granted, I think ADHD is more of a genetic mutation...) Just like nobody gets angry with a person who gets the flu or MRSA. But we get BLAMED for being the way we are. Please remember, when dealing with one of us, that we didn't have a choice in the matter (unlike the Christ, who had a choice; who knew what He was getting into...). Like I said, a lot of us can chime-in with the "Nice One, God..." sentiment. I have the added bonus of also inheriting Recurrent MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), so not only is my dopamine out of whack, but so are my serotonin levels (yes, really diagnosed). Neither one was a choice I made; more of a curse placed upon my head. It's almost schizophrenic sometimes - my hyperactive "thing" mixed with dark periods so black they'd scare cave fish. The marketing people who have chosen to draw depression as a dark blue bathrobe or umbrella have NO concept-it should be pitch black. (I feel like I'm preaching to the choir, right?) Almost like being bi-polar, except the "hyper" piece isn't as severe as bi-polar mania. So I'm told. It only took until I was 42 to get a correct diagnosis; meds help...some.  

I have been without a job for almost a year now. I'm a teacher by trade; returning to the classroom in the fall (yay!). While ungainfully unemployed, I have done all of the dishes, all of the laundry, all of the yard work, the majority of working on homework with our kiddo, all of the vacuuming, all of the cooking of dinner (other than one night), and so on. I was already doing most of those things before I took my year off (and yes, it was connected). But since I'm not bringing in any money, my wife is resentful (with all of the complications that brings). I read a lot of posts here where the non-ADHD half of the relationship/marriage does EVERYTHING. It's not the same for everyone though. Personally, it sounds like he's dealing with more than ADHD (is he depressed? is he just lazy? did his mom or someone do everything for him as a child?). Make a contract. Write down what is supposed to be done with your hubby; checklists. And if something isn't done, move it to the next day's list. Lose cable/satellite. You can't afford it. Or you can cut the strings and run screaming. I'd understand if you did. If you're Catholic, I think your odds of getting an annulment go up because many of us aren't mature enough to make a sacramental, life-long binding covenant.

Doing nothing all day sounds like me when I'm in a state of major depression. Oh, many ADHD people seem to get addicted to video games; they're self-medicating. Same with the porn thing. Self-medicating. Dopamine surges feel good; video games and um...stimulation are great at providing dopamine, and can easily become habits.

I'm sorry you're in the situation. As an ADHD person, I have told more than one friend (two girls and one guy) NOT to marry their ADD/ADHD significant other unless they are ready for all of the baggage it comes with. In fact, the last one was recent enough that I showed them this website. She postponed her wedding (smart girl). One of the other ones is already in the midst of a divorce. Thankfully they don't have any children; they didn't pass on the curse. So that's another suggestion: don't make children with ADD/ADHD people. The odds are higher that they will be ADD/ADHD, and there is no reason to curse them to the hell we are already living. I did. Anyone else feel guilty about that too?

And last of all, be thankful that you aren't ADHD! I wouldn't wish my ADHD or my MDD on my worst enemy.

Limetrees

Very...

I feel terrible about passing ADD to my girls. I was diagnosed at age 43 and both of my girls were already here. I vowed to learn everything I could about ADD, so I can help keep them from some of the darkness you can feel after decades of not knowing what is wrong. My understanding of ADD is helping me give them strategies to deal with the condition.

Good for you, regarding being an ADDer who does his fair share of the household workload. I have always does my share of the work, even before my diagnosis, but I think there is a short list of us guys with ADD who do. I think most of the women with ADD handle the household work on top of their ADD.

Sorry you have the MDD on top of ADD. I've definitely had some dark periods, but they seem to pass pretty quickly. Hang in there... 

Wow Lostandtired!!!!

Your post is amazing.  So eloquent, so spot on.  I am in the same spot, however, my guy thinks our problems are my fault.  We don't have children and I'm at the age, 45, that I want a true partner, not another child.  I lost my husband of 10 years to cancer 5 years ago and after that, met my current boyfriend, 54 years old, who has ADHD.  We are both miserable.  You nailed it.  

 

ahh the blame game

I've played that game too.  Where everything is my fault.  Sometimes I even believe him.  Damn, they're good aren't they.  I've started looking up information on verbal abuse.  I'm a little uncertain cause some of it sounds like him, but not all of it.  But even if it's not all of it, it's still bad enough.  You know what?!  I'm fu#!%@g tired of everything being my fault.  I'm DONE with it.  Sorry, I'm a little angry today.  Think I've finally had enough.  Littlesherry, it is NOT your fault!  It is not your fault!  It is not your fault!  It is not your fault!  If you've shown him this site and he hasn't seen the parallels to your relationship...or if he did see the parallels and hasn't spent every waking minute researching what he can do to fix them...or even discussing how you can BOTH change your behavior to help...then it is NOT YOUR FAULT!  You've done everything you could.  The problems exist.  They are not in your head.  You did NOTHING to deserve this.  He is not this way because you provoke him.  You are not the only one in the world who has a problem with him.  You are NOT the first person to see this in him.  It is NOT YOUR FAULT!  He is NOT going to change.  Quit chasing the happy feeling you had in the beginning.  I'm sure it was wonderful.  Mine certainly was.  He was exactly what I needed when I met him.  Like you I was in a weak place.  I had just gotten divorced, I had no money, I was staying with family that made me feel unwelcome, and everyone I knew was mad at me.  He came along and was so fun and care free.  He made me feel good again.  He made me feel like I had a place and a purpose.  I saw how messed up he was, but so was I.  I needed a direction.  I made it him.  Like many others on here I've spent years chasing that "first high".  But it's gone.  And I won't get it back, no matter how hard I try.  The only way I'll ever have it again is if I find it with someone else.  Someone who can be the partner I deserve.  Cause I sure as hell don't deserve this.  It sucks because we get to the point that I'm ready to leave and then he finds a way to melt my heart or convince me it's gonna get better.  Those promises never last.  Definition of crazy...doing the same thing and expecting different results.  We had a blow up a few days ago.  I've decided that was it.  That was all I could take.  Today happens to be a beautifully good day.  It sucks.  It only makes it harder.  Too bad.  I'm not staying in the crazy loop anymore.  I deserve better...especially from him.  Find one good friend.  Or if you're like me and you've chased away all of your friends, find one person who seems strong and smart.  I told mine to remind me that it's not my fault and he'll never change.  If I get weak, that's all I'll need to hear.  Please, do it before it's too late.  Don't waste one more second of your life not getting what you deserve.  God help me.  This is gonna hurt.  But it has to.  Pray for me folks.

OH, Lostandtired....

OMG, you are so right.  I am so terribly sorry you are going through this.  It's NOT my fault, It's not YOUR fault!!!  I am sick of it too!!!  I have a huge heart and would give someone the shirt off my back.  WE DESERVE BETTER.  Even if we are alone, it's still better.  Is it going to be hard? YES, Will you survive? YES YES YES!!!  Remember the pit you feel in your stomach when he calls you names, when his anger scares you, when you know you are going against your inner values.  Your inner self is telling you to make changes.  I think our anger in part comes from going against what our heart knows is best for us.  My friends are chased away too.  I didn't have many, but I don't have contact with anyone really anymore.  Not even my kids...who are grown now.

Why do we hold on and continue in the loop?  Where is the learning?  Praying for you!

I'll be your rock

We hold on because we hate to abandon someone who needs us.  It makes us feel cold, irresponsible, uncaring, and lazy...and that's just not who we are.  Leaving goes against every instinct we have.  Especially because we love these people so much.  We love them more than we love ourselves.  And that is exactly the problem.  Cause they also love themselves more than they love us.  Which leaves both people in the relationship putting the same person first, and leaves us forgotten.  Which means we don't even notice that someone is mistreating us until we're too far in to turn back.  I didn't even realize I was in an abusive relationship until a few weeks ago.  Don't know what woke me up, but I just opened my eyes and realized that all the signs were not only there, but blatantly obvious and I didn't even notice them.  I'm a very smart woman.  If I can miss the signs, anyone can.  I never in a million years would have guessed that I'd end up in a situation like this.  I always thought that if anyone put me through even 5% of what this man has put me through that I would have run and never looked back.  Maybe it's because I grew up without a father to show me how men are supposed to treat women.  Don't get me wrong...it was better than growing up with the father I would have had...who was a perfect example of how men are NOT supposed to treat women.  My mother left him so I wouldn't have a man like that as a role model and so I wouldn't find a man like that to love.  Somehow it still happened.  Guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  My mother was the picture of determination and strength.  She showed me that no matter what life hands you, you can still find a way to make it work and be happy.  Oops.  Guess I interpreted that lesson the wrong way.

Littlesherry, I will be your friend when you need someone.  I keep seeing on here that we can email eachother?  Not sure how that works, but if you know feel free to email me.  I KNOW you.  I know what you've been through.  Don't even have to have met you.  I used to think I was all alone until I found this site.  Reading stories of other people that were so similar to mine that I could have written them myself showed me that someone (many someones) out there understands.  Leaving should seem like the easiest thing in the world.  That's what anyone else would think.  But the people on here know better.  We know why you stay.  We know there is still love and hope.  We know that the success stories on here give you more hope.  And they should!  It CAN work.  It CAN get better.  And for people who decide that is the path they want to chose, there is no better place to go for inspiration, ideas, healing,and guidance.  But we also know that sometimes it doesn't work.  Not every relationship was meant to last.  Not every partner is willing to put in the work.  And for us, there is no better place to go for strength, courage, understanding, and comfort.  Time to get smart.  Time to learn.  Time to break the cycle.  If they won't, then we will.

Your first sentence is very

Your first sentence is very very telling. Stop. Read it...and read it again. Honest to God I know what it feels like not only to live with the codependent mindset that they arent capable of surviving without us but also the guilt that comes with letting go of that (Very very very wrong) way of thinking. Part of being codependent is being afraid of them NOT needing us...and we caretake and act like martyrs for doing so when the very real truth is that they are completely capable of all that we have convinced ourselves they arent. They dont do ______ because we do it for them...why would they? If you could focus all of your energy on letting go of YOUR belief that to start living life for yourself is abandoning some infant like being then your world will change dramatically. I urge you not to leave him but to just stop seeing him in this way. It will free you both to reach potentials you never knew possible. It is scary to think we are responsible for them being the way they are, to some degree...but we are. 

Yes, you are correct.  I

Yes, you are correct.  I realize he doesn't actually NEED me.  He was alive before me, he'd be alive without me.  He knows how to feed himself, earn money, wash his clothes,etc.  And yes, by picking up all of the work of course I make it easier for him to not do shit.  You're exactly right...why would he take care of himself if I'm willing to do it for him.  He's seen that I can, he's seen that I will.  However I am not even remotely afraid of him not needing me.  Part of what angers me so much is that I KNOW he doesn't!  I KNOW he is capable of more than he is putting in.  I KNOW he can try harder.  I KNOW I shouldn't be stuck with all of the work.  But what makes it hard is that I also see how much better his life has gotten with me in it.  I saw him come alive from the person he was when I met him.  He has goals and dreams.  He has a life envisioned with us together.  Any work he is doing now is being done with us in mind.  Yes, he could still do all of those things without me.  His dreams don't have to disappear just because I do.  But I also know him.  I know there is a good chance he'll give up on them.  There is a good chance he won't believe he can do them without me.  There is a good chance he won't even want to do them without me.  Yup, I have probably contributed to that mindset by handling all of his maintenance for him.  It's a daunting task to think of still pursuing your goals AND picking up all the work I was doing for him.  But a lot of what I handled was stuff that would have impacted me too if it was left undone.  I can't leave him in charge of our shared money or he'll spend it all...not just guessing on that one, speaking from experience, cause I've tried to give him that responsibility.  I can't leave him in charge of any house work, cause it either won't get done, or my white clothes will come out pink and he'll use bleach to clean the carpet.  If I leave him in charge of paying the red light tickets he got in MY car, they'll go unpaid, my registration will be cancelled, and then I'LL get a ticket (also spoken from experience).  It got to a point that I told him that if he wasn't going to help, at least don't make it worse.  It's a vicious cycle.  We both contribute to the problems.  But I'm not in this situation because I WANT to be.  I'm in this situation because every time I tried to give him some responsibility, it only put ME further behind.  May be a smart trick on his part...if I just mess everything up I don't have to be in charge of anything...but I doubt it.  He says I like being the boss...I like flexing my muscles.  Good God no, I HATE being the boss.  I hate that either one of us should have to be the boss.  It should be a shared duty.  We should be a team.  Yes, of course we should each handle our own business.  But in a marriage there is also shared business that you should both contribute to.  And, in a true partnership, you should also know how to handle the other person's business for times they can't.  Times like when they fall ill, or break their leg, or just need a day off.  I know there are marriages out there where each person is only in charge of themselves.  That probably prevents a lot of fights.  But I feel like it also keeps people very separated.  I want to share my life and everything I have with my husband.  I want to trust him.  I want to know that if I stumble, he can pick me back up.  I'm not saying he can never get anything wrong or that I don't expect mistakes.  But they should be occasional, he should be sorry for them, and he should do his best not to repeat them.  Some people say it's just a fairy tale, but I've seen plenty of relationships where it exists.  I know my ADHDer is capable of more than he's giving me.  It hurts that he's okay watching me suffer for him.

Pbartender's picture

Well done.

Well done.  That's the perfect way to assertively stand up for yourself, to make him aware of the mistake, to set the boundary, and to then give him a better way to express himself.

 

Pb.

Thanks PB

Dang it, I love the guy.  Sometimes I see him as he was as a child.  Scorned and yelled at, told there was something wrong with him because of his ADD.  Breaks my heart.  I'm not going to put up with the abuse anymore, however, I will be very proactive in helping him understand how to be with me.  He is not a mind reader and I have not been very fair to him in that respect.  He is pretty insecure too.  He worries I will find someone else.  Sounds like I have some work to do as well.

One day at a time.

Hi PB, you will be proud of me!

Hi PB,

Well, the verbal abuse happened again yesterday.  He was upset with me again over something rather uncomfortable.  He was telling me how he used to take Ecstasy years ago and how much he liked it.  The then said "if I find some" I will let you know.  That really disturbed me.  #1. I don't want to hear about that, drugs he has taken. #2. I would never take that crap. #3. I don't want him taking anything either. 

I basically shut down and was hurt and disappointed.  I then told him that I didn't want to hear about his escapades.  It was hurtful and made me wonder who I am really with.  I don't know if I truly know this man.

When I told him how I felt, he got angry again.  He told me to shut the [email protected]!* up.  I then told him the same.  That really ticked him off.  He marched downstairs and yelled up to me that I am a f*@&ing [email protected]*hole

When he came back upstairs, I held my ground and told him I will not put up with being talked to like that.  I deserve to be treated better and I will not put up with it anymore.  I said the words "verbal abuse" and it really seemed to sink in.  He said he was sorry and that he should not talk to me like that.  Mind you, I had just given him $500 because he is having some financial troubles.  Am I a fool to stay in this thing?

Little Sherry I fear for

Little Sherry I fear for you.  You really need to get out of this relationship it sounds toxic, you deserve better. This is not ADHD, stop making excuses for him.  Get a restraining order if you must, I had to from a previous relationship when he began threatening me. It made him realize I was serious and not playing some stupid game.  Leave before his threats of violence become actions.

Well we had a huge blowout..think it's finally over

Hi funny farm,

It's not ADHD?  I truly believed his words and actions was ADHD.  that was my hope anyway.

We had a huge blowout last night, I think it finally is broken.  I have had some trust issues with him.  Early on in our relationship, he would not be working, I was working a lot of hours and paying all the bills, which I still am.  I came home one day to find a porn video in the dvd.  At that point I told him that it hurt me deeply that he would do that while I was at work supporting him and asked that he not do it anymore.  He told me some excuse, something stupid and the relationship continued.  Over the past 3 years, there have been 2 other incidences of the same thing, that I am aware of anyway.  Each time a huge fight ensued.  Last night I come home from work and looked at the history on the computer... what did I find?  A porn youtube video.  I blew up.  He said that he didn't watch it.  I told him to get out of my house, I told him I was sick of supporting him, I told him he was a loser which I deeply regret.  He also played a video game for 3 hours yesterday while I was at work.  I mean for god sake get a job.  He told me that even if he did not watch the porn video, if he wanted to he would have regardless of what I say.  All I wanted him to say is: "I wasn't watching it, I know it bothers you and I would not do that to you."  Instead, I get, "I wasn't watching it, even if I was I don't give a s*#%."  He says I need to seek help for my trust issues and angry outbursts surrounding situations like that.  Really?? I feel I have enough background to not give him 100% trust.  I have never been in a relationship where my trust level is so low.  It's a horrible place to be.  He told me last night that he is a very trustworthy guy and that any of my future relationships, there will be infidelity.  I don't believe that is true.  Should I try to repair this thing, or just let it go?

Blowout

Little Sherry, whether his actions are due to ADHD or not, threatening violence is NEVER ok.  Threats of violence often turn to acts of violence...  Not going and getting a job could be laziness and taking advantage of you or it could be the ADHD getting in the way. Are you going to support him forever ? My H plays video games for 6 hours at a time sometimes, i don't like it either as there are other things he could be doing...like helping me. BUT he has also always had a job, isn't living off me, swearing at me or threatening to shoot me.  I don't like porn either and my H doesn't watch it, but if it bothers you and you have calmly expressed that it offends you, upsets you, or however it makes you feel yet it continues and he doesn't want to stop...you either have to accept it or not.

 Does he have a magic crystal ball to know your what future relationships will be like ? If so I'd like to borrow it. He is just manipulating you, that is also not right.  I think you said you were in this relationship for 4 years, and this is how he treats you ???  Why do you want to stay with him ? Does he have some amazing redeeming qualities ? Can you see yourself in this type of relationship for 10, 15, 20 years...get married, have children,  if not why waste your time now. There are plenty of men out there that will treat you with the love, care and respect everyone deserves.

will do

I will pray for you if you do the same for me.

I am in the exact same situation, and have been for waaay tooooo long :(

S.S.D.D...

HaHa...  "SSDD"  that was my frustrated response to some bit of irritating repetition my husband was saying the other day... might have even been an "Im sorry" they all start to blur for me.  Anyway he's like what does that mean SSDD, and I didn't want to tell him at first, finally I said "Same Shit Different Day"  he was pretty silent after that.  Anyway, your last statement made me think of that. 

Couples counseling

My ex (married 4 years) and I went to lots of couples counseling. A pastor and one counselor quit because they couldn't take his raging. He learned to present himself to the counselor much better each time. One later counselor sided with him, coming down on me for being parental. That became his mantra. You're parental, you're controlling. Duh! What else can you do with a giant 50-yr-old irresponsible child? His personal counselor decided I had attacked his integrity -- never mind that he continually lied and couldn't be trusted. He hardly let me get a word in with another counselor, who said she thought he had Aspergers as well as ADHD. Marriage counselors are trained to believe that both people are contributing to the problem, and frequently they will come down on the non-ADHDer to "do their part." Talk about a kick in the seat of the pants... This gave my ex the perfect ammo: If I didn't do "my part," he had no obligation to do his (and he would pick fights to try to provoke utter frustration in me). And not ONE picked up on the ADHD without being told, and he had personally known he had it since he was a child. 4 years of classes, books, and counseling. No help at all.

I see a lot of similarities

I see a lot of similarities between us, LostandTired. Like you, I haven't been married very long (4 years). My hubby was diagnosed about a year and half into our marriage. At first I was relieved, thought he was going to get some help from the meds, things would turn around, and I would suddenly have the "old" him back. 

Well, it hasn't worked out that way...well it's starting to, but we're over two years down the road. It's been a struggle. I've been depressed the whole time, have been in counseling, have had my family suggest at every corner that I should divorce him (that's the worst). I could never pull the trigger but then one night I finally had enough. We'd been living apart for close to two years. We split up because he couldn't find work after we moved for me to take a new job. So he went back to our hometown. He flat out refused to return even though he went through two jobs (fired from one for the angry outbursts and "laid off" from the other...whatever that means.) He's been working as a cook and a DJ in a shoddy bar ever since. Yes, at least he tries to work, but he also has very little motivation in finding a better paying job. He's had interviews but nothing ever happens. Apparently employers would rather hire ex-convicts and druggies than someone who has time management issues. When I moved back to our hometown after looking for work for over a year, I automatically expected him to come "home." But he didn't. After living alone with him being not 20 miles away in an apt shared by some of his friends, I finally got the courage to ask for a divorce. I was dead serious this (I'd threatened in the past) time and interestingly enough, he begged me to go to counseling before I chose to "pull the trigger."

There is hope though. Hubby's getting better. He wants to; he may not always do the right thing, but he's tries. He takes his meds periodically, complaining that after so many years of functioning one way, it's weird to function under the meds. He thinks the strength might be too much; so he's going to see about getting a lighter dose. He continues to work on his coping skills and that helps a lot since he's not interested in the meds as a long term, permanent solution.

We're better now than at any point in our marriage. After five months of counseling, he finally moved back in March and helped me through a difficult time that saw me helping with the nursing of my terminally ill grandfather. I honestly think that was the turning point. Had he not been there for me, I would have given up. Maybe it was my vulnerability...being dependent upon him for emotional and physical support that suddenly made it clear to him that I needed him. We're still in counseling and we still have a long way to go. A lot of our issues are simply the type that every young couple encounters. We're both very independent. Money is a perennial problem. His anger is a big problem though he has vowed to keep a handle on it and so far, so good. I'm lucky in that the hubby doesn't seem to exhibit some of the behaviors that other ADDers do. He doesn't chase after other women. He doesn't hit me. While he overspends (mostly out of the inability to plan) he's not an impulse buyer. If we had kids, I could leave them alone with him and not worry. He will be a great dad, but I often wonder if I will get saddled with the brunt of the housework and child-rearing. I brought that up last night and he came back with the fact that he thought he would be the one to do it because I have a love-hate relationship with the idea of having kids. I don't know if he was telling the truth or just trying to hurt me.

The only advice I can give to you is to let yourself heal, but don't shut him out. If he's realized that the ADD has damaged and will continue to damage your relationship, then that's progress. It will take time for him to work on that. There will be missteps and false starts long the way, but you will rebuild your trust. Mine has slowly starting come back; I still worry about money A LOT and it's still a problem, but I'm hanging in there. I will warn you--your marriage will never look like other people's. It's hard not to compare it to others. I've struggled long and hard with the fact that hubby's sister and her husband seem to have it all: perfect marriage, plenty of money, and now a baby on the way. It hurts. A LOT. I wonder if I will ever know that stability. But recently, hubby and I did make a plan. He will continue to work part-time and go back to school to finish his degree. Afterwards, we may be taking a trip to law school. Since we've gotten a plan, we both feel better--he's happy that I support his ambitions and I'm happy because there might a light at the end of the tunnel...or at the very least, some forward motion. :-)

Pbartender's picture

Reassuring...

"The only advice I can give to you is to let yourself heal, but don't shut him out. If he's realized that the ADD has damaged and will continue to damage your relationship, then that's progress. It will take time for him to work on that. There will be missteps and false starts long the way, but you will rebuild your trust. Mine has slowly starting come back;"

From where I stand right now, this is a very reassuring thing to hear.  Thanks.

 

Pb.

How to leave an abusive relationship

Here's some suggestions for escaping from an abusive situation. Not all may apply, but please take it seriously, even if you think "my husband would never do that."

Stay around people. Start talking about your fears and what is going on with some other people. Let him know you have confided in people who are concerned.

Don't be alone with him after you tell him. Call or email him from a safe place to tell him.

Let him know that if he goes to counseling you will consider getting back together. Or that you are willing to talk to him about it in a counselor's office. This may take off the edge, whether it is true or not.

If he hits or scares you, call the police so he realizes they are involved and have his information. If he hits you, they can lock him up for a couple of days and you can get away.

Ask a friend or relative to come stay with you for a few days after you tell him you are leaving. He might be distracted by showing them how nice he can be. But leave as soon as you can.

Tell lots of people -- neighbors, friends, relatives, and let him know you have told people you are moving. Ask someone to help! He is probably counting on secrecy, and he might be embarrassed enough not to act out if he thinks people know and are watching.

Take advantage of a shelter. You can safely stay there temporarily to "hide out" and you will get some good advice on how to proceed. 

Don't be lured back!!! Have the police come watch over you while you get your things out. After you leave can be the most dangerous time. Your belongings can be replaced if something happens to them. 

Pray. Remember, you may have got yourself into this by ignoring red flags that God may have tried to show you. But now you will know better, and you will need God's help for sure.

I know this is hard, but there may be more at stake than you realize. I've been away for about 8 months now, and my ex quickly lost interest in bothering me when his reputation was at stake. I live in peace and have new friends that are compassionate about my situation. I just got a new job. There really is a rainbow after the storm (but don't underestimate the storm!).

 

other side....

Hello ladies,

Just wanted to put in my 2 cents here... I think way too often I hear how we want our husbands to make us happy.  If there is ONE thing Ive ever learned from any relationship is that nobody can make you happy.  "He's had 3 years to figure out how to make me happy."  well... even those Jane Austin novel guys won't do it, because they do not exist.

No relationship stays romantic in the way it was in the beginning.  NOT ONE.  Love evolves into something else.  ADHD affected or not.

If your husband is abusive - ADHD or not - GET OUT.  If you want children and you don't think your husband can be a good father.... well if it were me, i'd get out.

I AM the ADHD spouse and I have known something was 'wrong' with me all my life.  Why can't I get it together?  I have been told over and over about how much potential I've got, but I'm so lazy and selfish and stupid I just never succeed... etc. etc....

I married my husband after we LIVED together for 5 years.  he KNEW who I was, but chose to marry me and when I told him I really really didn't want children because the responsibility terrified me, he told me his life would not be complete without children.  So I had children.  I've come to learn that I've made him miserable because we can't afford the luxuries he always dreamed he'd have and the vacations he always wanted to go on because my lack of ambition/drive/tenacity resulted in average to low paying jobs (I'm a musician) with no future. I asked him why he married me, (after being with me 5 years) why he wanted me to have his children (after being together nearly 10 years) because surely he had enough time to know who I was, my earning potential and what I could handle.  He said, "I dunno - I guess I thought you'd grow up or something."  

So then I began living the life that terrified me years ago just thinking about it. I became overwhelmed and was shutting down.  Finally I came across a book accidentally, "You mean i'm NOT Lazy Stupid or Crazy?" and it all came crashing down. My mom sent me an envelope of old report cards she'd found.  She thought they were hilarious.  They made me cry.  Full of angry comments from teachers about how I could be so successful if I would just stop daydreaming and take responsibility for my school work.  I was too messy.  I "expected" everyone else to pick up the slack for me etc. etc.

Post diagnosis I see how I've f*cked up my husband's life and how I'm not the woman of his dreams.  I am constantly being compared to his female colleagues who are intelligent, successful and have husbands with high-powered well paid jobs.  I've been taking meds and working my ass off to improve and to make more money all the while I do ALL of the house work, plus take care of the kids full time and I now have 3 part time jobs.  But it's not enough because I'm not organized enough, not tenacious enough not motivated enough to maximize my skills because well, i'm just not even sure what skills I have anymore and i'm just so exhausted.

I guess i'm having a bad time right now - or I'm just hitting a wall.   Everything is going according to schedule - as it goes - but I feel like a robot.  I've learned to speak NSL (Normal as a Second Language) and can socialize with normal people and my husband's colleagues that I interact with day-to-day.  I actually employ memorized phrases that I've figured out will allow me pass as 'normal.' but it feels so empty and i'm so lonely. I can only handle the charade for so long, and get anxious when I have to spend a weekend with Normal People.  My husband loves to do things with our Normal Friends and I want to be a good sport, but I'm constantly living in fear that i'll be discovered.  Moreover, I cannot have any kind of conversation with my husband.  I AM THE ONE who is desperately trying for romance - there is none and when I try to start a conversation it always turns into a fight.  so i gave up and now just go through the motions of the day and survive.

So, long story short:  if you are unhappy in your relationship with an ADHDer, you really are not doing him/her any favors by staying.  Yes, s/he may fall apart if you leave.  On the other hand s/he may find the strength/get the slap in the face s/he needed to pick up the pieces/seek help whatever, but you know what?  It's not your problem.  If you're miserable, they are too most likely.  If you want kids and the clock is ticking... please think carefully.  You will then have to pay for daycare on top of all the bills etc. if your husband continues to fail to find work. 

sorry to be a downer.  Just really really tired & frustrated.

Insightful

Thanks for this post. I can tell it comes from your heart, and it makes me feel more compassionate toward the ADHD sister, ex, etc.

 

ADHD sister...

Yeah, it's different when the ADDer is female...  a LOT different.

so many assumptions, so many stereotypical expectations that don't get met.  Household organization, budget, 'supermom' etc. etc....  I am not that woman.  I am doing ok with a lot of work (and drugs) but boy do i wish I had a time machine.  Y'know what i'd do?

I'd beam myself back to 2nd grade and start imitating the behavior of the boys who were labelled 'hyper' so I could be put on ritalin.  I'd learn how the successful kids STUDIED and not just get by on what i know or intuit (that doesn't work beyond high school - i found out the hard way).  I'd soak up all the information I could about how to be normal and learn all the survival skills I could.

I'd skip every relationship i ever had & spend that wasted time acquiring marketable skills.  Then just 'start over' with my husband.  And have kids a decade earlier.

But.... I still wonder, even if I did all that - would I still just be me?  Should I instead stay away and let DH find someone else?  Someone who would be the successful, superwoman he wants?  If I could go back, would it be better just to be alone so there's no risk of destroying the lives of other people?

tough to say, as I have no time machine.  (YET.)

Time Machine...

Time Machine movies have always fascinated me. After my diagnosis I wish I could have gone back and had a Re-Do of a few things and said a few things to a few people who affected my life. Ellamenno... You are in a tough position, being the full time childcare giver and you are supposed to work too??? My Non-ADD wife would have a hard time being an organized stay at home mom, much less trying to work on top of this job. I've done my fair share of days as a Stay at Home Dad and I know it would be damn near impossible for me. I NEED the structure of the Work Day and cannot be constantly interrupted  and expect to get things done, even after Adderall. I'm more productive than I used to be, for sure, but the Fog just gets pushed out for a while, then slowly rolls back in... I was, like you, Terrified about having kids, but I knew my DW was not and could teach me what I needed to know. You were burdened with being the Wife and having ADD. I KNEW after DD#2 was born that I was Tapped Out, my abilities spread too close to the edge and when my DW asked about trying for #3, I knew it was not an idea I would entertain. It is hard to accept that there is only so much you can do, but it is true for everyone. The LIST will never be done, only In-Progress. 

Your husband married you for who you were, just like my DW did, so now we know TONS more about what makes us tick and have worked to improve the poor ADD coping skills. You can't change the past anymore than I can, but you sure seem to be working hard to improve the future. That's about all anyone can hope for (IMO ;) 

I have often thought of it

I have often thought of it from your side and felt the same way.  We are always told not to change who we are for a person.  You have to be yourself.  And if you love someone, you have to accept them for who they are.  Now there are things that fall into that category and things that are in their own category (I'll get to those momentarily).  Things that do fall into that category are things like you described above...things like not wanting children.  That's a big thing to change for someone else and can lead to intense resentment.  There are things that you can't help...like forgetfullness.  If married to an ADHDer, you should accept that if you want them to stop and pick up milk on their way home, you have to tell them the night before, the morning of, at lunch time, you have to write it on the white board, send them a text on the way home, and then still only expect a 50% success rate.  That's just the way it is.  Learn to love 'em for it.  But there are also things that shouldn't be accepted from anyone...ADHD or not.  Things that ANY person would be expected to change in any relationship.  Things like verbal abuse, infidelity, and not being financially responsible with shared money.  These things are a little more serious than not having milk for cereal in the morning.  These are things that hurt the people we love.  I don't think these qualify as changes to a personality, I think these are changes that show that you love someone enough not to hurt them.  But going back to what you said ellamenno...when you change for a person so much that you're really just spending all of your time "faking it" and worried that someone will figure you out, or worried that you're gonna look in the mirror one day and realize that you've lost yourself...well that's not fair to either person.  As I was saying above, I know he could learn to fake what I need.  But he could never grow the actual empathy or understanding of who I am that I'm looking for.  What a life it would be...him pretending to understand me and me knowing he was pretending and in turn pretending it was enough for me.  Doesn't sound like there's anything real there.

faking it...

Well, yeah - I agree 100%  

I dunno if I've lost myself or what or even if whoever I was is someone I'd want to be.  I doubt it, since I wasn't very happy before either.  At the very least I need to function in society.  I don't have to LIKE it, I just have to do it.

And don't get me wrong:  I LOVE my kids more than anything in the world.  I knew I would and growing up I was in awe of my mom and could SEE how hard it is to raise kids.  That is why I was terrified to have any myself.  It's the responsibility, the fear of them getting sick, hurt etc.  and the knowledge that if anything bad did happen it would almost definitely be because of something I did wrong.

actually, when I analyze the various ADD symptoms in my life (being late, quitting projects before finishing them, never following through...) it all boils down to fear.  I can literally FEEL the fear when I'm trying to go somewhere and I don't want to be late, but am petrified that i'm forgetting an essential thing and it's like there is a giant U-shaped magnet like in the cartoons keeping me from getting out the door.

I can feel the confusion when the meds wear off and I've got a whole bunch of things to do and can't figure out what to do first.  I get paralyzed, and I KNOW WHY, but can't STOP it.  It is times like these when I wish I had a coach to call or 'buddy' like in AA.  The fog is always, always there.  I can keep it at bay for a while, but it's ALWAYS the default setting.

 

There are reasons, far beyond

There are reasons, far beyond just "I thought you'd grow up" that this man married you and wanted your children. What I am most sorry for is that he is apparently too self righteous to admit it to you...but it seems would rather have you feeling all of the horrible things you feel instead (i.e. that you messed up his life, stole his dreams,etc). I will be perfectly honest with you...and you know I am the non-ADHD wife, DH is ADHD and only recently started taking control of his treatment and got the help he's needed all of his life (he'll be 40 this year)...it really REALLY bothers me to see people here (most of the time it is the non-ADD spouses) claim that their marriages have stolen their dreams, caused them not to be able to have all they wanted in life, etc. I just simply don't believe that...I believe lost dreams come from within THEM...not because someone 'took it' from them. They gave it up...or it wouldn't have been taken. We become co-dependent and GIVE UP these things...we ALL have choices in life...and if our choices led us to where we are (didn't get to pursue our 'dream', etc) then that is OUR OWN FAULT. I hate that way of thinking. I know I'm going to get flack for it, but I also know that until this kind of thinking stops things will never change for the 'victim'...but I wanted to make this point because this applies to your husband as well. For whatever reason, he's made his choices in life just like everyone else. You didn't take anything from him. You haven't destroyed his life. You haven't ruined his dreams. He's a big boy and has the freedom of choice just like everyone else in this world. He married you because, I suspect, there are many things about you that he loves and does not want to live without. These things will never shine through the way they should as long as you keep living under this dark cloud of 'I'm only making him miserable.' 

My husband has a very good point when he says that I need to accept him just the way he is...but I always point out to him that I can accept his ADHD fully...except for the parts that HURT me. (cheating, substance/alcohol abuse) Looking in on your situation from my perspective, you gave your husband what he said would complete him, precious children. He WANTS you to spend time with him...and your "normal friends"...so he's obviously not ashamed of you or avoiding spending time with you as one would suspect he would do if he was THAT "miserable". So many positives I see about your post, that maybe you don't even see yourself. It KILLS me to see you falling all over yourself, seemingly, just to live up to some standard that has been put in place for you...BY YOU. Who gives a f*ck if your "normal friends" get a glimpse of scatterbrains or motor mouth or whatever 'flaw' you feel you are trying to conceal from the world? Until you love YOURSELF enough to stop the charade and just be YOU then how could anyone else possibly love you as you deserve? Confidence in the fact that who we are IS ENOUGH is one of the most sexy qualities in this world. I can honestly say one thing I love about my DH's ADHD is that he is VERY VERY accepting of me and my flaws. Weight gain? He couldn't care less. House messy? So what. So what that it takes me 5 days after payday to finally make it to the grocery store? So what if I forget to pick up whatever random item he's asked me to get for him while I'm out? "no big deal, honey". Maybe the difference is that, although I care about all of these things, I don't base my value as a wife and person on them. I'm a good wife, I take good care of the kids, I am faithful and supportive of him...and that is much more valuable than being able to hold conversations with his friends or being able to earn a livable wage. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH and you are worthy of his love. You have his love, but I suspect that deep down he senses your lack of confidence in yourself and he (BECAUSE OF HIS OWN DAMNED FLAWS) preys on you for this. Otherwise, where have you gotten the feeling that you have ruined his life? From him, I assume? Bullshit. I call utter and complete bullshit. He's there because it is where he wants to be. Hold your head high, if you don't, no one else will. Just as those of us who stay and 'put up with' the stuff we do in our marriages CHOOSE to do so (and CANNOT BLAME OUR ADHD SPOUSES...not fairly anyway), so does your DH. He loves you...and I suspect if YOU start loving you it will change things for you both. ((HUGS))

HERE HERE!

Amen, sister! Agreed! 100%.

Ellamenno- You are doing great! There is no such thing as the perfect mum. Not even among non-ADHD women... You just love your kids and do your best. That love and support is a hell of a lot more important than perfect organization. 'Good enough', is definitely good enough!!!

And as for your husband being disappointed that you aren't earning more- what more could you do, subject to inventing a time machine???? You are working 3 darned jobs! :)

Another ADHD wife....

Awww... (((HUGS))) honey!

I know exactly what you are talking about. All of it. My husband married me after living together for a few years. I was an actress (NO INCOME) and only 1 year sober after being an alcoholic (high-functioning) for 7 years... Since then, I went back to school, graduated law school, and now work as a lawyer. We have one child and another on the way. I have been sober for over 10 years!

My husband I think was attracted to my chaos in some weird way. He liked being the breadwinner, the stable one... I used to just defer to him and let him kind of run the show. and when it was just the two of us, it worked okay.

Strangely enough, we have a lot more conflict now that I am healthier- sober, working, medicated... And I don't let him get his way all the time... But we had the absolute most conflict during my maternity leave...  I think being a stay-at-home mum is the hardest job in the world and the most important. I almost went mad during my maternity leave- with my husband nit-picking on me-  the house wasn't clean, I didn't do the baby book right, I wasn't sleep-training the way he thought I should, I wasn't cooking for us enough...  Basically, my husband was mystified as to why I couldn't keep everything in the home running like his mum had when he was a kid. I just had one little baby to attend to, afterall... I never knew I had ADHD until recently and motherhood is what caused me to discover it...

Like you, I always knew something was 'wrong' and when I was diagnosed in the fall, my report cards told the tale... My comments were more along the lines of, "finishes quickly but makes careless mistakes", "disrupts the class", "not living up to her full potential", "inconsistent", "makes sloppy, careless mistakes"... I have survived by pulling all-nighters with adrenaline... but have had some spectacular failures.

Anyway- I feel for you- 3 jobs and full-time mother? You ARE wonderwoman and shame on your husband for mot realizing it. As an aside, my husband and I function much more healthily when I work full-time like him. Because- even though I still do the lions share of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, playing, etc...,  at least my husband realizes that I have an actual job (meaning- it's 9-5 and out of the home) and that this is 'extra'. What your husband fails to realize perhaps is that there is no break for a stay-at-home mum. If the kid naps, there's laundry and dishes and vaccuuming. It's not like you have all this time on your hands like everyone thinks. At my job as a lawyer, I can close my door and have a coffee... That doesn't happen at home. you hang in there and give your own self a pat on the back.

Finally- I get what you mean about struggling to appear normal. I have always been really strange and funny and loud and I have a HARD time fitting it. Dinner parties are the worst where you have to sit at the table for like 2-3 hours. I prefer to eat fast and get up. I don't mind talking, but I want to MOVE. It's hard to explain to people that you literally cannot sit still and cannot listen... I do better if the group moves to the living room so I can at least have a change of scenery... I have a bunch of stock phrases I have learned to use to fit in- and moreover- I have learned to fake listening and asking follow-up questions really well. I try so hard to listen- but when someone bores me, it's almost impossible not to blurt out a complete change of topic or just abruptly leave the conversation. I hate being rude- so I have learned to fake-listen very effectively. From the sounds of it- you are more inattentive... whereas I am combined.

anyway- sorry- that was a tangent... I am pregnant (hence-unmedicated AND hormonal) right now...  but I wanted to let you know I understand you and I feel for you. HUGS. Hang in there! Being a mother is WAY harder than being anything else, in my experience. And I bet if you traded spots with your husband he would flounder more than he or you would think.

 

wow!

Ok, you're my hero now!  Boy, what a change!

It's funny:  my dad is a retired lawyer.  He was a very good one, i must say.  My mother points out that the reason why he was so successful is because he had secretaries/staff to keep up with the details/paperwork and some of them would even call my mom and gently suggest he get new clothes because his suit pants had worn through in the seat!  He is super ADHD, undiagnosed 75, retired, but now busier than ever of course.

At one point I told my husband I thought I could be a good lawyer and was thinking about taking the LSATs.  He laughed at me, told me there was no way I could get through law school, etc. etc....  So I never tried.  "he's probably right' I told myself.  and, of course, he'd seen so many of my 'brilliant ideas' fall short of their goals that he wasn't about to entertain another one.

There is some Motivation!!!

"At one point I told my husband I thought I could be a good lawyer and was thinking about taking the LSATs.  He laughed at me, told me there was no way I could get through law school, etc. etc...." I cannot think of anything that motivates me more than being told what I CAN'T do. ;) I bet your dad would love to help you through the LSATs ;)

You can DOOOOO IT!

You should write the LSAT!

I now want you to sign up and kill it. No one does hyper focus like an ADHD-er! 5 hours of pure genius! Ha ha.

I am like YYZ...

Don't tell me I can't, because I'll destroy you.

But it sounds like you've been beaten down and could use some confidence! You CAN do it!!

You could buy a Kaplan book of practice tests and take one to get a sense of your aptitude... But as you pointed out, law involves secretaries, assistants and paralegals... Without whom, I would not be able to perform!

The key to success for ADHD people is to get into something they are interested in with some flexibility... I have found law to be a pretty good fit!

Anyway- it's not too late- we work until 70 nowadays...

:)

 

 

Dear old Dad still working...

My dad keeps up his license & I think took a bar exam in another state just to do some pro bono work... 

Wish I had your tenacity, YYZ & Smilingagain.  I get up in arms when someone tells me I can't do something, and like you guys, I get all fired up.  But when my husband is the nay-sayer, it's more complicated.  If I get a bee in my bonnet and want to show the world I can do it, he will be there to see the struggle, and will be rolling his eyes at every step.  If I buy a Kaplan book, it's money we don't have that I've spent on something unnecessary, if i'm studying instead of doing something useful, that's a waste of time (and money because I'd have to hire a sitter or something....)  My attempts in the past to reach lofty goals have always failed.  I am not blaming him - because ultimately I am the one failing.  I just get intimidated/embarrassed easily.

funny.  now that I think of it:  His French relatives were all impressed with my French when they came to see me while I was on tour with a group American musicians in Paris in '97.  Months later when they came to our wedding, one of them told me that my French is terrible whenever DH is standing within earshot.  Why?  well... perhaps it's because the first time I went over there with him, he made fun of my accent, and the fact that I didn't know some words.  So now my French sucks whenever he's in the room.  I know he's not TRYING to undermine me.  I just feel so self conscious around him any time I'm trying to prove to the world (and myself) that i'm not a total moron.  A couple months ago I was asked to do a simple music video of a song for kids.  I worked on it most of the day, and was watching the final version, which I thought was pretty good.  He was watching over my shoulder, made a comment about my interpretation being silly & exaggerated and I was suddenly so embarrassed that I deleted it.  Now I've got to redo it and don't have any time.

And Yes, I know this is MY issue.  But have nothing in my 'tool box' to fix it right now.

ideas?

How about some support...

Isn't one of the guidelines of a successful marriage showing support and encouraging your spouse? Dang Ellamenno... I sorry to hear this. 

I cannot speak French or any other language. You want a bad music video, I'm your man. Don't beat yourself up. You are doing the job I cannot even imagine doing well. Taking care of your children and the household all day, everyday, is one of the most undervalued tasks in the world. You have plenty of tools in the toolbox, but a little support for your extra jobs/tasks from your DH should be expected, not snipes at you you the additional efforts. 

Hang in there Ellamenno ;)

Maybe this is a personality

Maybe this is a personality issue.  I'm the nonADHD spouse, and I think that I show more enthusiasm about almost everything than does my spouse.  (OK, obviously there are exceptions, like today, when he tried to explain to me that I could learn to flush the toilet by listening carefully to the water in the tank.  I told him that I appreciated his home plumbing efforts, but that I don't consider the job done until the toilet flushes in the normal way.)  Anyway, yeah, spouses should support and encourage each other.  I wish that your spouse was nicer to you, Ellemeno.

This sounds familiar...

Ellameno,

I am very zany and goofy and uninhibited. Meanwhile my husband is pretty conservative or straitlaced. I think it's one of the reasons that we actually picked each other (and it can drive both of us crazy about each other).

When I get down on myself I act exactly like this and have this same dynamic with my husband. I do something creative, or silly and if he reacts with even a glimmer of disapproval (rolled eyes, heavy sigh, shake of the head, dismissive comment), I will immediately feel like this massive loser and it makes me feel unsafe- like I can't be myself around him and like he doesn't appreciate  or understand me or that he just doesn't like me very much. It also makes me angry- because I would never squash him like that. Anyway- if I have ever broached this subject with him though, he says I'm crazy and that he thinks I'm great... he's just not as exhuberant as me... blah blah blah... I'm not sure whether I believe him. I'm sure the truth is somewhere in the middle.

There's definitely something in him that finds my creative side irritating, although I know he's secretly in awe of me too. I recently entered a stand-up comedy routine and I ran the material by him in advance (mistake). He told me it wasn't funny and he didn't want me to bomb or embarrass myself. This really hurt me- because I KNOW I am funny as hell and I thought the stuff was going to get huge laughs... Anyway- I almost took it out, going so far as to write a new whitewashed draft... but it just didn't feel as funny or authentic to me- so in the end, I did my original material and it killed. I actually came in first and advanced to the semi-final (it's on July 25).  I have concluded from this that my radar about performance stuff and comedy is sharper than his and I ultimately have to trust myself.

After my set- he kind of patted me on the shoulder and then he whispered to me "You were amazing, honey. Awesome." That is HIGH praise from him and it made me feel better about the whole lead up... That's often how it goes for us... He is pessimistic and risk averse and I am optimistic and bold/impulsive.... And he can't help that he vets my stuff with his set of eyes. I should try not to take it personally! Easier said than done... it;s still a lesson I am learning. I don't know why he can't just be optimistic with me! "You're going to be awesome!" That will never come out of his mouth... but later he will begrudging admit that I was...

I realized that we just see things really differently. He would NEVER do stand-up comedy and can't understand why I would want to. To him he thinks it's kind of attention -seeking... which I guess it is- but I'm good at it apparently, like I am good in the courtroom. I like to make people laugh, I always have and I know intuitively much better than him how the crowd will react. I've survived by making people laugh and I'm really bizarre and out-there and I love sharing that with people. And that's who I am. When his opinion conflicts with WHO I AM, I have to go with who I am and politely disregard his opinion. 

You sound like me in one of my depressed phases. You are a musician and you are good at that. Don't let his comments deter you. Would he ever do a zany music video for kids? No? Then what does he know about it? When my husband gets disapproving or judgy about my energy level, I just ignore him and stop sharing things with him. I don't need his approval. I don't need his validation. I ROCK. And so do you!!! I find I am the most miserable and depressed when I listen too much to my critics or put too much stock in a negative comments. Your friends asked you to do a music video for a reason and NEWS FLASH TO YOUR HUSBAND- children's theater and music is meant to be heightened and exxagerated... This isn't the Grammys!

Your whole description reminds me of what my therapist describes as 'the birthday card' scenario. We talk about this a lot in therapy. My life has been characterized by these kind of interactions- being misunderstood or not appreciated... When I have a reaction like this as an adult (trying to share something with my husband or someone I love, only to get criticism I wasn't seeking), it's like I'm back to being a little kid going to a birthday card where I've spent all this energy making a birthday card and then the recipient just kind of tosses it aside and rips open the present... it's sad to want to be appreciated and to want to share and having no reception...  and sadly- it's a feeling I know well.

Okay- sorry for the novel I have written- you have really triggered one of my own issues... 

Your husband may be a fine person- but maybe he has forgotten all your lovely qualities in the face of daily drudgery and financial responsibility. You need to remind him that he's lucky to have you- and don't drop your creativity just because he isn't appreciating it right now- it's what keeps you ALIVE. And nothing could be more important to your children than your creativity and you feeling alive.  

Finally- on the LSAT thing- if you are actually interested- maybe consider a library book or see if there is anything free online... Maybe don't tell him about it until you've written a killer practice test. Maybe ask your father for a kaplan book for a birthday gift... There are options if you are interested... My motto is JUST DO IT. Oh wait- that's Nike.  But isn't it an ADHD mantra too? Oops... should have thought that one through- Instead I just did it. :)

It sounds like your true passion is music. What about recording a few kids songs? Those wiggles are freaking millionaires. 

Anyway- it's late- I should be in bed... I've just treated you all to some of my inner stylings/ramblings. But I want to come to your home and life coach you! Not that I am an expert- but I've always been a fabulous motivator.

HUGS.

 

 

Amazing

I read what you wrote at least 3 times and find myself feeling so much better about who I am.  I was diagnoised with ADHD a few years ago, and have a son with it also.  My partner of 12 yrs seems like he may be related to your husband.... And the way you have accepted that and wrote your experience has helped me tremendously.  We have very little support in our small community for people with ADHD and at times I seem to be a bit eccentric to our community.  I have so many great ideas and thoughts going through my head and the knowledge to be able to achieve them.   I just never seemed to get the encouragement to do so. After reading your story, I find that I can pursue these without the sole approval of those who I value their opinions most.  It takes an individual such as yourself to do what their instinct tells them, something I should have known, but due to my ADHD have learned to doubt myself when others disagree. THANK YOU so much for sharing.

~SASSY~

You are most certainly welcome!

This MADE MY DAY. I love making someone feel a little bit better. I am smiling ear to ear now.

Hang in there and tell your son to hang in there. It's a big world out there and there is a place for everyone. Hugs. :)

You're HIRED!!

Oh I so wish you could come be my life coach!!!

I think you've hit the nail on the head... I often have to ignore my husband's opinion in order to do things right in my field.

It's been nearly 2 years since we moved to Insanly Expensive City, and I am really struggling to survive and get back to who I am and what I do best.  

We lived here from 93-2003, when we first arrived we were in grad school, then I got a 9-5 'real' job, while also building a music career and he got his PhD.  When I got back here, every time I ran into old colleagues they'd excitedly say, "Oh wow!  You're back in town!  when are you doing another Band Name Here show????"  

When I first arrived, I tried very hard to get back into it.  Auditions etc.  but the gigs that I got were low paying and wouldn't even cover babysitting so I had to negotiate with DH in order to go to rehearsals.  It just didn't seem worth it.  The band I had years ago was problematic - that's a whole other post! - so that wasn't going to start up again.  I reached out to a lot of old friends but a lot of them have sky-rocketed way past where I am in my 'career' and are too busy/touring to do anything with me.

So the easiest thing seemed to be to try to get a 'real' job & put the younger daughter in daycare but my efforts have resulted in failure because I do not have any real skills in the business world.  I DID manage to get an interview for a marketing position, even though I was the only applicant out of 430+ that did NOT have an MBA.  (They told me this in the interview) but, the experience I had was peanuts compared to what they were looking for because my marketing experience was for a tiny organization in a city of 250,000. 

I stopped listening to music of any kind and even got rid of all my CDs, believing that music was just a distraction anyway and what i really need to do is transform myself into a useful person with normal skills who could bring in real money.  This didn't work.  I started doing music at the library mostly because the 2 Story hours they had were overcrowded and one must go early and get a ticket to get in.  If I did my own class, I'd be guaranteed a spot, right??  So now I do 2 volunteer classes and they are PACKED.  Kids in the neighborhood recognize me on the street, when I take my own kids to a bookstore on the weekends and try to read to them in the kids playroom, OTHER kids from my library group will come climb into my lap expecting a story/song and their parents stand there baffled til I explain, "I'm the guitar lady from the library."  

So now I have a little business doing birthday parties (songs, games, face-painting) and music classes for kids, plus I teach voice lessons at an after-school program 40 minutes away in an 'at risk' neighborhood.  

It's funny:  I've had a LOT of friends tell me I should go into stand-up comedy.  The reason I don't is I know DH would be mortified!  One of my buddies from when I lived here long ago has hit it big.  It makes me smile to see his face on billboards here, and hear him complain about having to wax his back for Hollywood movies.  ("If it weren't California, nobody would care!!!")

Anyway - i'm feeling torn between trying to change completely and be a normal person with a normal stable decent paying job, or if I should 'go with what I know' and live paycheck to paycheck always in fear.

well, gotta go.  WHile I was typing this I'm realizing that the reason the kids have been quietly playing together (not fighting, as usual) is because they have crushed up their cheerios into dust and it's all over the floor.  Awesome.

 

 

 

 

Normal Sucks!

I'm reading "Delivered from Distraction" right now (At the tail end of it) and one of the Big rules is to "Not" force yourself to do something you are not meant to do. LGL (Library Guitar Lady) sounds like a Great Band Name! Don't give up your music, I still regret when I stopped playing... I did find a career when my creative nerd-E-ness benefits me and the company I work for, so I just shifted my musical creativity into a different direction. Now! Go Practice LGL, right after you take care of the CD issue your kids created ;)  

totally agree!

I totally agree!

Funny how we all have these artistic skills. Before I was a lawyer, I was an actress... I went to theatre school and everything (and a few of my colleagues are 'making it' out in LA as well- good for them, but they are all just as insecure because in those industries that can call disappear in a poof of smoke at any time). But then along the way, like you, I thought I should have a proper job.. And to be honest- the constant rejection and auditioning and rollercoaster nature of the job was hard on me... and the lack of respect from mainstream society was irritating. I think I wanted to prove- 'just because I am extremely goofy and funny, doesn't mean I am not freaking smart. Don't get it wrong.' and as it turns out- I totally love my job... but I do miss the opportunity to use my sense of humour and my creative writing. those are my best attributes... so that's why I got into the stand-up. My job isn't quite creative enough, enough of the time, to keep me fully impassioned. In order to not embarrass my husband, I stuck to really safe topics- like pets and facebook... 

I think you should keep pursuing the music... I've always wanted to play the guitar well. I play about 10 chords and have written a bunch of simple songs. There are more elaborate songs in my head, but I am not skilled enough with the guitar to figure out how to accompany myself... I once played an open mic and it was the scariest thing I've ever done... felt really vulnerable... more so than the comedy, acting, law, anything... Good for you!

Some ideas: 

1. you could write a kids musical- like a 45 minute show with singing and stuff to take around to different schools- they pay for that- I know because I did that in the spring of 1998 (I didn't write it- I was one of the paid actors). 

2. you could think about opening a music studio for kids. sounds like you are already doing that pro bono at the library... People pay for the craziest stuff for their kids nowadays... I have a friend who opened a very successful kids arts studio... bonus- you could bring your daughter to work.

3. talk to some day cares in the area about taking your daughter a few days a week in exchange for you bringing Library Guitar Lady to the daycare once a week (or once every 2 weeks) for a show. Get the library people to write a reference. Aside from the free show- you have extra time for a paying job or to work on the music.

4. talk to some neighborhood mom/s about a tradeoff- leaving your kid/s at their house once a week for a playdate and keeping her kids one day a week... frees you up to work on some of this other stuff.

Before you know it, your kids will be in school and you will have more time and flexibility to look more fully at some of these ideas... but step one is- stop letting your husband's opinions pull you down- he probably doesn't even realize how much it hurts you or how much you take it to heart. You need to just not really involve him in some of those creative things, until there is something concrete to tell him. No reason to give him something to pick at. Just quietly work on a few things and then surprise him when there is a success... 

You can do this! 

 

 

hmmmm... a musical....

Perhaps!

I am already doing #2 - with varied success....  Bringing my daughter to work is for the most part ok, but sometimes she acts up, gets bored and bullies the other kids - not good!

I've offered #3, but childcare/preschools/kindergartens here are competitive (and expensive) that not even kids of faculty are guaranteed admission, let alone any kind of financial break.  To give you an example, the school where my daughter just completed Kindergarten has a lottery system.... You apply for a lottery number and IF you get lucky and your number is chosen, you get an APPLICATION.  Then there are numerous tests/hoops to jump through (and another lottery) and if you make the final round, there's an audition-like 'play-date' for kids and parents.

I've been trying to establish #4 somehow but keep running into problems.  Most stay-at-home moms I know already have 2 or 3 kids, and really can't handle another one or two.  Also, i'm a bit uncomfortable being responsible for someone else's kids just because of the ADHD - God forbid I space out and leave the oven on & burn down the building because i'm caught up in a game of Candyland!!  

I HAVE been able to drop off my DD2 next door for an hour or so sometimes and I've watched my neighbor's kids (3 boys!  aaaack!) every so often.  But I dont' like to overload her.  She's also ADD it turns out. 

ok... here comes a tangent:  Sunday I wanted to make pancakes because i'd promised the kids, but didn't have an egg.  I thought "It's ok - i'll just go ask for one next door!"  My neighbor said "sure! here's an egg..." I thought 'Whew! nice save!" and when I cracked it open I discovered....... it was hard boiled!!!!!  I laughed out loud!  My husband said, "Two ADDers put their heads together to make pancakes!!!"  *sigh!*  oh well.... still making me laugh....**CRUNCH!!** "Uh-Oh!" heehee!

Blowout ~ funnyfarm

No, I don't want to accept it.  No, I can't see myself living like this for the rest of my life.  I'm so scared to be alone.

What are u afraid of?

I hate the fear of being alone.  Not saying I don't understand it, I just hate it.  It makes is do stupid things...like think that ANYTHING is worse than being alone...which couldn't be farther from the truth.  Yes, being alone may suck, and it isn't easy for everyone to just go out and get a new boyfriend.  But you were not meant for this pain!  Nobody is!  And unless you free yourself from it, you'll never find the happiness you were meant for.  It's a leap of faith.  But even if you don't have faith that there is someone else out there for you, have faith that you were not meant to be in pain your whole life.  You do not deserve this!  Scrape together whatever money he hasn't robbed you of and go find a therapist!  You'll feel so much better.  It's worth every penny.

being alone...

Littlesherry, please don't underestimate yourself.  Being single doesn't mean being 'alone.'

Find a therapist who can work with you to build your self image, and help you learn to change the way you talk to YOURSELF.  When you say, "I'm so scared to be alone." your brain hears it, and reinforces that feeling.  Yes, that feeling stems from outside forces (abuse) but you can CHANGE your environment/relationships to serve you well.

Are you afraid of being

Are you afraid of being Alone, or being lonely ? They aren't the same, if you are content with yourself / your life you wont be lonely, find things that make you happy.  Being alone is better than being with someone that treats you without respect and threatens you. I DO understand, I was engaged to a man (many many years ago) who was not good for me to say the least, sounds similar to your guy, i was afraid to break it off...I already had my wedding dress too, UNTIL he tried to strangle me with the phone cord. Don't wait for threats to become real. Get Help and Get out.

I wanted to seek some advice

I wanted to seek some advice here. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is compassionate, speaks to me with kindess and affection in his voice, is a really engaging person, handsome and best of all, Catholic like me. We have the same opinion on 8 out of every 10 things. We are eye to eye on politics, faith and money. He is constantly encouraging of me to pursue my hopes and dreams, and constantly builds up my confidence and ambition. He is an amazing person and I love him very much. We have known eachother 2 years and have been dating 1.5 years. We both maintain Catholic morals in our courtship. So everything seems great. My concerns have grown as we discuss marriage . We are not trying to rsh in to it., weve both been in long term relationships before of 4 yrs or so, but given we do courtship we both went in to this with marriage potential in mind. It seems he's very forgetful, always running late, rarely plans our dates, is always worried about money, and worst of all I feel exactly what seeejay said about the depth of our growing feelings. His love being thst of a child who ate the cookies etc. All the way through to it being comedic, inappropriate, shalllw, aloof, and inconsistant. He can comfort me in hard times, but it just never quite clicks in to place. I hesitate and second guess myself because i wonder if im not guilty of over expecting and over glamorizing what things should be. Ive invested time in to Catholic marriage books from the time i was a teen to present day about the reality of marriage/ relationships beyond the warm fuzzy feelings. I do tend to be very critical of others and myself. I am the kind of person that needs to feel understood and heard. Im not sure how much of my bfs distraction is just him being an every day guy, and where it slips in to adhd. I found out by accident that he had it, but he came forward as soon as I asked. He did take medication for years but tried to ween himself off given that he hates the side effets of the medication. Hes offered to go back on it, for me and for himsef. I just dont know that I want that. I do feel that I sometimes take a parent role with him even though he is a few yrs older than me. Im getting ready to go for my Masters degree and pick a Grad program, meaning life will be on hold for a while. For some reason it makes me uneasy to be distracted by these feelings concerning our relationship at this important time in life. Having said all that, prior to my present bf, I was in an unhealthy relationship with an extremely overlyemotional, complex, manipulative, condescending, critical guy. I stayed because of that feeling of emotional connectedness in the good times, but I finally cut him out of my life. I'm seeking alot of Godly guidance in my present relationship. Basically, Id like input on our adhd circumstaces. Most of what ive read here so far is about spouses in denial of their adhd, showing aggression, and blowing up. Did your relationships start off as mine, and do you see my positive thinking to keep at it to be a mistake? Thanks, all!

Advice

Naomi,

I'm not a Catholic, but I'm a Christian and probably share a lot of the same viewpoints as you do on morals and marriage, so I hope you won't mind me giving you advice. I've been married for more than 20 years now to a man with ADHD; we were well into our marriage before he was diagnosed.

Here are the pluses: He is not at all violent tempered like a lot of the other spouses described in these forums. He does relatively well at work, in part because he is quite bright and very ethical, which have helped make up for his ADHD, though he was fired once from a job due to forgetfulness, and he once quit a job more or less spontaneously after he got a somewhat negative review regarding his forgetfulness and how it was affecting the job. He is really pretty good with money. Meds have made a HUGE difference for him; he works harder around the house on meds, so I strongly recommend that your boyfriend go back on the meds. I think you will see it make a difference in your relationship. He is playful and laid back (more about the laid back part later).

The negatives: It's really, really hard not to be his mother, since he needs constant reminding about things even on meds, and yet being his mother hurts our relationship. It is exhausting to have him go from job to job and to be the steady source of income for our family. I never had the option to be an at-home mom -- something I don't think women HAVE to do, but something I badly wanted to do. He is pretty bad at relationships -- he is not invested at all in his relationship with our daughter, not really invested in his relationship with God, nor with me. Basically, if a relationship is easy (fairly shallow), he has no problem, but for relationships that take work, he has a really hard time. He doesn't want to have to work at things. He just wants everything to go smoothly and happily with no trouble to him. How much of that is ADHD and how much is everything (like how is parents modeled relationships), I don't know. I do most of the housework and the vast, vast majority of the parenting. If you don't believe in birth control, you need to keep this sort of thing in mind. I'm not saying every man with ADHD will be the same, but it is possible.

Every marriage goes through challenges, but I suspect I have been tempted to throw mine out more than many women have. I believe in working things out except in extreme circumstances, like abuse or unrepentant adultery, and we aren't in that situation. It is very, very hard, though. I have to lean on God, but I often get impatient at the lack of change in my husband's life. I tend to be disciplined and focused on self-improvement, so I have a hard time with his easy-going attitude, although that was part of what attracted me to him in the first place.

His use of alcohol is beginning a problem in our relationship. He binges drinks a couple of times a month. This was not the case for more than a decade of our relationship.

To be fair, I can be a critical crank, and I frequently battle depression. In other words: I am no picnic in the park to be married to either.

A lot of people, when asked about an ADHD bf or gf, tell people to run the other way. I'm not going to say that. I will say that you should prayerfully and thoughtfully evaluate the relationship. On the minus side, things that seem fun now may not be so fun in the midst of the pressures a lot of people face with marriage (kids, mortgages, aging parents, etc.). And things that bug you now will bug you even more when you are married. But balance that out with the fact that NO ONE is perfect. My husband thinks women are raised to be too picky about spouses, and I think he may be right. If you are waiting for the perfect man, you will wait all your life. The question is: Can you live with this man's flaws? Don't tell yourself you'll change him, because you can't count on that. Can you deal with this man as he is right now, and if a few more unexpected flaws pop up (again, not huge things like abuse, but if he starts binge drinking like my husband... could you deal with something like that? I don't just mean the drinking but the possible side effects like, to be frank, how it may have a damper on your sexual relationship, because it can affect a man's libido and performance)? Do you think you will be sorry if you say good-bye to him?

I wish I had an easier answer. "Run away" is an easier answer, but I don't think you always need to run away. You do need to pray a lot. Ask him to go back on meds -- maybe a doctor can help with the side-effects? If he is willing to go in for counseling, I understand that is a good thing for folks with ADHD as they learn how to manage their symptoms and relationships. My husband won't do that, much to my regret. Talk to other long-married couples. I'm sorry I can't give you anything more cut-and-dried than that.

God bless you!