No Way Out

Hi folks. I found this website a few months back, and I've been reading Melissa's book, but I just need to vent for a moment before the world falls in around my ears.

My husband was diagnosed with severe ADHD as a child. He hated his meds, and managed not to take them more often than not. He was up front about this when we started dating, and I didn't have a problem with it. I expected there would be more slack in our relationship that I needed to pick up, and I was okay with that. I'm a hard worker, and I can rationalize my way into accepting my role as sole bread winner, household manager, and doer of 95% of the chores.  I've faltered on this on occasion for emotional reasons, but I married my husband because he made me feel like I mattered, not the lighten my workload.

What I didn't know at the start was that this feeling like I mattered was only a result of his hyperfocusing, and that this focus would not only fade, but completely reverse into treating me like I am the cause of his every negative emotion.  I want to be a supportive wife. I understand that his brain is wired a certain way, and I want to be accomodating of that. I want him to be happy, but I need to be happy too, and for the past two years or so his ADHD symptoms have been manifesting emotionally abusive behavior and I don't know how much more I can take.

I'm not a saint, I'm not faultless, and with the help of Melissa's book I've been trying to be a better non-ADHD partner, but you all know it's not one-sided, and my husband refuses to get treatment. It took me a year after I concluded a lot of our marital problems were ADHD related for him to accept it might even be a small factor. I want him to be on medication, which he has violently refused. And it's his body. I asked him to at least get counseling, his answer was to watch a series of YouTube videos. At least it was something, but I foolishly kept hoping that something might get better, and it just doesn't.

Tonight it was ordering take out. I asked if he wanted to, out of a selfish desire to do something sort of together. He usually eats in front of the computer, but we'd order together, and I thought then maybe I could talk him into sitting with me. Well, my mistake was apparently not having a restaurant in mind. When I told him so, he suggested a burrito place I've told him repeatedly I don't like.  I told him again that I don't like it accepting he probably forgot, and it was all down hill from there. According to him: I was trying to trap him, I was bound to hate anything he suggested, picking a restaurant should have been my responsibility because take out was my idea, he's always the bad guy, I think I'm perfect, and so on and so on for half an hour of telling me all the ways I treat him unfairly. Nevermind we've had the same discussion where I've picked a place and been accused of not consulting him. Nevermind I insisted we could go to the burrito place, or even go multiple places so everyone was happy. I didn't have an opinion, I didn't think a single bad thing about him, and then all of a sudden I'm staring down this shame barrel, unable to breath while grasping for some inkling of what I did wrong or what I could have done differently.

This is the same fight we have over and over, where I think I'm making a completely innocent comment or suggestion and yet I've apparently done something horribly wrong. I've been in therapy for it for a few months, trying to find *something* I can do different and praying that the fact I'm in therapy might nudge him into trying himself. He's angry if I ask him to do the dishes, he's angry if I do the dishes, he's angry if the dishes get left in the sink too long. I feel like I can't do or say anything without triggering his anger and blame and accusations. RSD or not I'm at my wit's end, and I would leave. I'm at that point. I've all but lost hope. But then there's the rest of the dilemma.

A. We have a one year old daughter who is the light of both our lives and whom I'm terrified we're scarring with his regular vitriol. B. My sole breadwinner job, the only thing I'm qualified for that pays well enough to support our family of three, requires that I move internationally every few years. If I couldn't get sole custody in a divorce, there's a very real chance I would either have to quit my job or else not see my daughter for months at a time. On top of that, I'm not sure my husband is capable of caring for her on his own. He's her primary caregiver while I'm at work, which is a lifesaver and something I'm so grateful for, but as she gets older he's rapidly losing his patience with her. While I've been working from home recently, I hear him getting angry with her for fussing or throwing her food or doing various other normal baby things. I get that these things can be frustrating, babies are hard work, and I try to take over most of the caregiving duties on evenings and weekends. I put her to bed every night and wake up with her in the mornings so he can sleep in.  But I'm worried with as much as he loses his temper with me that it could happen with her too. On more practical matters, his earning potential isn't much above minimum wage, and before me he always had roommates, so I'm imagining him trying to hold down a low paying job to support himself (which he's had consistent trouble with) while providing any semblance of stability for our daughter during custody sharing. (The children of divorced parents in my situation usually spend long school holidays with the stateside parent.) I feel like granting me sole custody would honestly be the best thing for her, but who knows what a court would say. I also don't want my husband to never see his daughter. He's not always the most attentive, but I can see how much he loves her when they play. Hell, I can see how much he loves *me* sometimes, but I've been screaming into a void for years begging him to treat me like a rational human being and I'm just..  tired.

Anyway, there's a lot more where this came from, but I needed to get some of it off my chest. Thank you internet strangers for listening. I've turned everything over in my head a million different ways, but if anyone has any ideas I haven't thought of, I'm always open to suggestions.