Not just ADD/ADHD

"....an ability to rationalize their behavior so that it appears warranted, reasonable, and justified...... a stunning lack of concern for the devastating effects their actions have on others.....they are completely forthright about the matter, calmly stating that they have no sense of guilt, [and] are not sorry for the pain and destruction they have caused which is associated with a remarkable ability to rationalize their behavior."    This, I am guessing, is what many of us are coping with in our partnerships/marriages.  How ADHD figures into this, I don't know, but it seems to be a part of many of our discussions.  I know there are ADHD/ADD people who this does not describe.  I know of at least one in my life.  This DOES describe my DH and it helps me to know and accept this to know how to respond in my mind to his lack of responsibility and care for his family.  This is a real condition outside of ADD as someone else pointed out a few months ago and I have been studying it.  

What a cycle I am on!!!

"What Happens When A Codependent Cares Too Much?  A Dependent doesn't naturally take responsibility for the consequences of their own behaviour. A Codependent who takes on another persons responsibility doesn't assist that person to get better by rescuing them, if anything they become more Dependent. This leads to them taking advantage of the Codependent who becomes overburdened, resentful and ultimately angry/vengeful as they find themselves doing things they don't want to do for someone who just won't change their behaviour (in a manner the Codependent expects). So what does a Codependent do now? Sometimes the Codependent will say or do noting and wonder why nobody understands what they're going through. Most Codependents don't feel they have a right to be angry. They bottle it up until it gets too much for them that they explode and do things they regret. They see this explosion as a sign that something is very wrong with them. In their rage they tell the Dependent what a crap job they're doing of managing their life and catering to their needs. As the Dependent is now subjected to criticism and rage, they rage back, they feel resentful to the Codependent for their help. They ridicule, become abusive, feel guilty and try to please. They may abandon the Codependent. The Codependent then feels unappreciated, unloved, abused and like a victim."  Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself.    Author: Melody Beattie

That book saved my life...I

That book saved my life...I recommend EVERYONE here read it...even ADHDers often become codependents in these marriages.

Holy crap! The quotes on your

Holy crap! The quotes on your first post describe my husband to a "t". IS that from the same book in the second post?

I am such a sap

It seems I learned how to be a sap in my upbringing.  Give of your self to others, sacrifice, love, forgive, help, honor, work hard - The Virtuous Woman, try to understand. I thought all people deep inside wanted to do the best they could do and to love others and try hard to make life better for those around them and for those they promised to love and cherish. I call this having heart and soul. I have been naive.  I am mourning the fact and accepting that some people's makeup is that they really DON'T want to try or give or be vulnerable enough to love and they see others only as a source of what can be given to THEM.

"Likeable," "Charming," "Intelligent," "Alert," "Impressive," "Confidence-inspiring," and "A great success with the ladies": These are the sorts of descriptions repeatedly used by Cleckley in his famous case-studies of psychopaths. They are also, of course, "irresponsible," "self-destructive," and the like. These descriptions highlight the great frustrations and puzzles that surround the study of psychopathy.

Psychopaths seem to have in abundance the very traits most desired by normal persons. The untroubled self-confidence of the psychopath seems almost like an impossible dream and is generally what "normal" people seek to acquire when they attend assertiveness training classes. In many instances, the magnetic attraction of the psychopath for members of the opposite sex seems almost supernatural.

Sadly, as we see, psychopaths have no lack of victims because so many people are ready and willing to play the role. And in many, many cases, the victim simply refuses to believe the evidence that they are being victimized. Psychological denial screens out knowledge that is painful, and persons with large investments in their fantasies are often unable to acknowledge that they are being deceived because it it too painful. Most often, these are women who rigidly adhere to the traditional role of the female with a strong sense of duty to be a "good wife." She will believe that if she tries harder or simply waits it out, her husband will reform. When he ignores her, abuses her, cheats on her, or uses her, she can simply just decide to "try harder, put more energy into the relationship, and take better care of him." She believes that if she does this, eventually he will notice and will see how valuable she is, and then he will fall on his knees in gratitude and treat her like a queen. Dream on.

The fact is, such a woman, with her fierce commitment to such a man, her dedication to being a proper wife, has allowed such fairy tales to distort her sense of reality. The reality is that she is doomed to a lifetime of abuse and disappointment until "death do us part."  One of the basic assumptions of psychotherapy is that the patient needs and wants help for distressing or painful psychological and emotional problems. The psychopath does not think that they have any psychological or emotional problems, and they see no reason to change their behavior to conform to standards with which they do not agree. They are well-satisfied with themselves and their inner landscape. They see nothing wrong with they way they think or act, and they never look back with regret or forward with concern. They perceive themselves as superior beings in a hostile world in which others are competitors for power and resources. They feel it is the optimum thing to do to manipulate and deceive others in order to obtain what they want. Most therapy programs only provide them with new excuses for their behavior as well as new insights into the vulnerabilities of others. Through psychotherapy, they learn new and better ways of manipulating. What they do NOT do is make any effort to change their own views and attitudes."    The Mask of Sanity.... Hervey Cleckley, M.D.

Mostly, I don't want to tell my children what a weak fool I have been all these years and how I have enabled dh to color the culture and tone of our family with his irresponsible, self centered ways (all the while, with his WORDS, making it look like he is the likable, friendly, giving self-effacing great guy).  How do I make the drastic change inside myself now and utterly crush everything I thought I was working so hard for?

Hi Jenna. Don't know if you

Hi Jenna. Don't know if you also read a book I believe was called "Women Who Love Psychopaths," but you are not a sap. It is because of all the wonderful traits you have, your commitment, dedication, willingness to help others, and on and on, that drew a person with none of these traits to you. You first have to accept that you married a man who is emotionally vacant, and become thoroughly convinced of the fact that there is no way for you to help him.

I kept a journal of sorts and recorded every bad thing I could remember about my X and refused to remember anything good. Sounds harsh, but you have to be able to make a break emotionally, and the time for "understanding him" is over.

As you rehash his abusive behaviors, think about how YOU or a normal person would have behaved instead. Dwell on this contrast. Take comfort in the fact that you would treat someone better than that -- and in fact, you did. Be gentle to the person (you) that was taken in through no fault of their own. Release the person who is no longer going to tie you in his convoluted web.

To begin with, you are going to need to switch from blaming and condemning yourself to putting the blame where it belongs -- with the disturbed person who took advantage of you.

Here's a  link to a fantastic article that will help you get started on the healing process:  (link edited out - against posting rules.)

Forward ho! The promised land lies ahead.

 

Helper/Victim mentality

I am learning that what I thought was a normal childhood, had a few little things going on that I only thought was normal ( or maybe WAS normal at the time and place... rural midwest in the 50's).  There was not connection or love or empowerment for girls in my primary family.  I am starting to accept that I was told, "You are provided with shelter, food and to know right from wrong, you should be grateful."  I am realizing that I was the girl in the family who made Mom OK in the house.  I "performed" for love....good grades, work around the house, honoring mother and father, speaking with respect.  I was the good girl so that Mom could be proud and not angry at all of us.  I was the good girl so teachers would give me a A or say "Good job."  I thought I was fine.  But I was always looking for "permission" before doing anything.  I was always looking for the rule book, the laws, anyone who would take ownership of any situation... I would perform whatever was on THEIR agenda so I could be the production artist, the man behind the scenes, the enabler of anyone's dreams or desires.  I was not given the gift of being loved just for being alive and a part of a family. Dad did not talk to us other than to tell us how to do a job outdoors with him.  NEVER a conversation about anything personal.  No wonder I was attracted to dh.  No wonder he was attracted to me.

Sounds like my childhood, in

Sounds like my childhood, in the 1960s.  I felt like a "producer":  of good grades; of good behavior; of inoffensive feelings.  My parents were compassionate, generous people, but they had a hard time showing their feelings and they conveyed that it wasn't appropriate to do so.

Wow, me too. I was so good I

Wow, me too. I was so good I squeaked. I'm also realizing how dysfunctional my family really was. I don't ever remember a parent putting a hand on my shoulder to encourage me, congratulate me, sympathize with me, or console me. No wonder I could survive on promises--that was more than I had as a child. In first grade we took some kind of standardized test, and I missed half a  point on the whole thing. My mother looked blankly at the teacher and asked what I missed. From what I hear, the teacher was a bit dumbfounded.