Ok lots here for woman with partners and ADD, some on wives, I'm at my wits end yet again with wife and ADD apparantly!!

Hi,

New here but have been reading lots over a period of time, and elsewhere as well. Seems a lot of good info here so lets see what I get.

I'm not sure how to go about this in a short post, so bear with me and i will do the best I can.

The history - I met my wife at 16 we were great friends (down here we often say mates, not just for men friends :-)) I'm an Aussie by the way) anyway, we ended up together and married at 30. Long time I know but she did some strange stuff back then bounced all over the place, got married to a man she didn't want to in the end, wanted to leave the wedding on the day and not do it, but did!!?? Anyway, we ended up got together intimately (had not ever been intimate as friends - well no more than a bit of Kiss and cuddle) at about 28 married her at 30. All was well for a while till she decided her family (read dad) needed saving again, as he does often. He is not very successful, still around at 74 trying to make it has development properties and such but in a huge financial situation (what's new story of his life) this has created a lot of friction between us over the years as everything gets dropped by her to get in and help in someway. he is emotionally manipulating and blackmails often, well with his family only, certainly not with me as I saw right through that within about 6 months of being married, we have never truely got on, I beared him as my wifes father that was about it anyway to cut long story short - we had a son in 1997 and in less than a year she left me (with her families help I will add) no real contact for 9 years till 2007, my son then 9.5yrs was wanting to see me (had not seen him since he was 1yr old, that is  story of it's own and was also some of my doing) anyway from there we saw each other several times and one day I was asked if I would give her a second shot as she messed it up. Cut this short too - I said I would but with conditions as it was obvious way back then that there was some thinking issues ( we called it twisted thinking - we as in my friends, family etc) Turns out after she left me I figured there was perhaps a Bipolar issue, turns out this was the case mildly but since then she has also been officially diagnosed with ADD (my son also to some extent) so anyway, we are together again ( am I nuts well that is a good question isn't it?? She says she is the luckiest woman in the world that I have let her back in - I never divorced her, just property settlements and the like, couldn't be bothered spending more money to divorce unless I was ever going to marry again) she has moved in with me since March 2008 and my nightmare started. So I guess technically you could say we are 18 years married, 19 this October.

She has so much material stuff!! The issue I'm having is she will not sort through it and decide what to keep what not, most of it is really not worth keeping but all I keep getting is I need it for my creativity blah, blah, blah and I need this to be done and that to be done and more storage, more shelving and the list goes on. I get you don't do enough for me to sort it out, you don't want to help (which is true to an extent, helped her clean up her life twice so far, not doing it a 3th to get kicked for it) Anyway, will try cut this short too, she has enough for 3 full families in my opinion and the bottomline is I am so tired, wornout and so forth, just like many others I have read about here of non-ADD spouses, partners etc. I'm at my wits end. This timke she needs to actually do it for herself or she will never learn in my opinion.

As to getting on with my own life I can do that to an extent but my home looks like a rubbish tip. So other than tossing her out I'm not sure how to go about it yet, By the way it is what we call a highset home (like a 2 story but no internal stairs) with 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms etc, etc so it is not exactly tiny, not huge either but more that enough for 2 adult, 1 child. Mind you she has taken one bedroom alone and filled it with clothes, shoes and so forth. The latest scheme from her is I rent this one out and we go rent somewhere else with an option to buy and the reason is this house just does not work for her.

Now you perhaps need to understand that I am very emotionally strong, grounded, get things done man. I have often been referred to by friends and partners including my wife as 'The Rock' as I'm always there and don't move because of my grounding (their words,not mine)

Anyway, there are a number of issues surfacing and the main one for me is I can not live in a dump, I'm not a clean freak, don't mind a house that looks lived in but this is way past that. I have room downstairs that was my games room etc, with a pool table, darts, bar and so forth for entertaining. I have not had any socialising at my home since New Years Eve 2007/08 because it is all too hard and to be honest I find it embarrasing to have my friends come into this, they sort of know about it and are supportive, I go to others for get togethers at times, not as much as I would like, but I can live with it for now.

I have just seen my pool table and bar for the first time in over 6 months. Now I have said seen it, not played on it or mixed a drink at my bar, that is way too hard.  Now before you think well she is doing something about it, let me say she just moves it around and does not actually get rid of it. I have asked do you have stuff you do not need and do not want - answer is yes, I say so why is it still here and not with a charity as you want or to the rubbish if not. Answer I have to unpack it all first to find it and I can not do that here as I don't have the space!! Let me also add here she has 2 storage units near by big enough to store a vehicle in, about the size of a small garage each, she has stuff at her fathers place over the otherside of town, and some more stuff stored at another of his properties. Hope you are getting the picture here? No I did not know about all this prior to getting back together or her moving in, it may have very well been different if I did know, thought she would be over the hording/mess stuff by now, been there done that before with her. I have done heaps on promises and it has cost me a packet to go with it. I have always been reasonably finacially secure since a late teenager and since she left me I have just moved on and up in life and my position has usually improved with each career change etc. Lucky perhaps but I like to think more good management and life education. So to move on. She has never been good with money and had none when she moved in, I financed everything. I really thought after a decade away she may have actually learned some of lifes bigger lessons - O did I mention she ended up living with her parents with my son - she is 47 to by the way we are 2 weeks apart same age.

 

Hmmm looking at this it will not be short so I will go with this. She is on Meds has a therapist who i have been to, but she does not even do what is suggested there to do. It has escalated in the home to the point that I have no fuse left, my patiance is at an end and I am known to have the patiance of JOB as they say. I'll also add here she has 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 mini horses, 2 goats, now they are not all at the home, but the 2 dogs and cats are, She spends very little time with them as too much other stuff to do, I don't feel it's fair on the animals, but she insists it is for our son. Took me a while to figure it is not about our son or the animals, it is about her. My sons spends next to no time with them. So you can probably guess my thoughts on this part, once again you have to be kidding give them away - not a chance. I have bent almost to breaking point, the resentment and disrespect is creeping in as I don't believe she has respect for our marriage. I'm so over hearing it's ADD and I don't believe in it and so forth and such as, I am aware she has but as far as I am concerned it is a reason, NOT an excuse and her behaviour and the like is still held accountable. Her other traits well there ios a few there like no time management, no organisational skills, no money skills and the like, I can live with most as they can be managed with my help, but the mess, well what do I do!! I'll just add here, the last time I moved on with life hoping she would take the hint, I was being told I did not care or love her blah, blah, blah and does this situation sound like someone who didn't love her, I have loved her since the day we first met and that has never changed. I have told her though that LOVE is just not enough these days, it is not a fairy tale and there needs to be more than just love in a marriage, that in my view is what partners are about, they help each other in life but my emotional bank is empty, in fact I would say over drawn, I have no more to give and nothing really coming back and I'm not interested in enabling, I know and understand this situation and not just with ADD.

I have spent lots of time in my life teaching and empowering people, I have many that I have helped, I have no qualifications other than the University of Life, but my wife - well that is whole different ball game! She has books and info coming out of her ears about coping, ADD, getting organised and so forth, all the knowledge in the world is usless without action and she is also very inteligent with a good IQ but EQ is a different story, it's like in many way she has not grown up.

I have even threatened to get a rubbish skip out the front and start tossing, this enviroment is not healthy for me or my son and she keeps agreeing with me, but nothing happens. How do I teach a 12 yr old that he needs to pick up after himself, he needs to understand time management and time frames when his mother who he has been with does not do it - monkey see, monkey do and he is pretty soft for a 12 yr old boy so his mothers influence is stronger at the moment than mine, it is all hard work with 2 of them as he is also very stubborn, hard headed, argumentative etc, etc, the usual ODD traits added to his ADD and yes he is on Meds we are still experimenting with them to get the balance.

Oops like I said long post, and believe me I could make it longer but that will do for now, sure I have probably left something important out ;-o) Thanks for listening as they say, but I have found it really hard to get good information downunder in OZ, it seems really hard to find good info or good help especially for partners of ADD - ODD people or if available costs the earth for good help and that is a bit hard at the moment till I re-group financially which I will, so no issue there for Me.

Thanks for letting me unload a bit :-o))

Getting the Trash Out of Your Life

Time to find out if your wife really means it when she says she agrees that your home full of stuff isn't healthy.  Ask her again, then propose she work with a professional organizer.  As a threesome, set specific goals and timetables that the organizer will be responsible for helping your wife keep.  I would suggest, from what you describe, 50% of her stuff be thrown out (includes what's in storage); some portion of her stuff be considered "vital" and kept at home; the remainder be stored at a nearby and easily accessible location.  A dumpster will help facilitate this, and is a good idea.  Have her pretend she's about to put the house on the market to sell if that helps her visualize what she's aiming for.  If the things that are in the way are large enough to require big guys to help move them, then hire some movers for half a day.  If she doesn't like the "waste" of throwing things out, consider giving it to a charity who might use it or sell it for dollars to support a good cause.  (We have a number of these here...not sure about down under...)

Then, if you find that she has a specific hobby that requires space and supplies (you mention that she is creative but don't say whether or not that means she is an artist or something) consider finding her a space that is only hers and no one else's.  That might be a room in your home (just as you have the basement), or perhaps a different building (a second garage, but with skylights??).  If she has a separate space that is hers and stuff starts piling up you have the option of moving the piles into her space.

Also, consider hiring the organizer (if you like him/her) on an ongoing basis to help keep it under control.  You can work with this person to see what sort of timetable might work - perhaps once a week or every other week???

Finally, I know one couple that has solved this issue by having one member of the couple move out to a nearby but separate space.  This can, of course, make a "statement" to friends and relatives that will need managing - I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one with this type of problem and there are a number of ways to manage it.

I don't think that every ADHD person should have to fit into the whims of a truly tidy spouse, but you don't sound as if you are in this category, and her mess and hording issue (which she is presumably working on in therapy??) is bringing your marriage down...time to put some incremental dollars and people against solving it.  If she balks, make sure she understands that this is not an issue of "things" for you, but an issue of respect and being able to live your own life in an way that is acceptable.  You're tired of being embarrassed to live in her mess, tired of feeling overwhelmed by her stuff, and tired of the excuses that she has made to such a degree that if the two of you don't improve the situation dramatically then you'll no longer be able to live with her.

Make sure you don't point that out, though, if it isn't true, because it sounds as if she'll take your son also if you split?

Finally, I remember the words of one ADD spouse (woman) whose husband finally insisted that she hire a housekeeper.  She was embarrassed by his request but he told her it wasn't optional.  So she gulped and did it - and quickly found a friend who was willing to come in an hour or two on FOUR days a week.  Her house is now fine.  She is a bit embarassed, still, that she needs this help, but she also says that she is glad her husband insisted because it is easier for them to be together now.

As for the dad thing, he may well have ADD or bipolar or some such.  You can't control whether she decides to try to save him, only have an input about whether or not she is spending some/all of your joint money doing it.  I suggest you detach from it and don't let it get to you.  (I've done that here with one of my husband's familial relationships.  I used to worry about it a lot, and now I don't, and it feels great because the worrying wasn't changing anything for the better in the relative's life and it was making mine a lot worse.)

Best of luck with it all.

 

Thank you for confirmation

Thank you Melissa for your responce. You have pretty well summed up everything I have wanted to do, except the pro Organiser bit. Well sort of. My wife had a friend of ours offer her time to sort through it all, but when it actually came to the day to start my wife pulled out of it, her excuse I don't want some else telling me what I should do with 'My stuff', this was almost a year ago now, perhaps she may change her tune now it is very much escalating between us and our marriage/relationship.

Pretty well what I have been saying you have followed up on, my suggestion exactly has been "once I know what you have to keep, then I can deal with somewhere to put it" I have questioned myself several times if I was the one getting it wrong, that has just been the situation getting to me I think. I can be highly organized and motivate peolple all the time, so why can I not get it to happen here - well I know that answer.

As to creative, well that is exactly the issue, what is it she does? She wants to do all sorts of creative things,but personally I believe that until she actually focuses on one or 2 maybe it will probably go nowhere. I have tried to explain it to her like this - Yes we can have it all - just not all the time ;-o) in other words it was a gentle way of saying choose!! A list I can think of right now is; Photography, drawing, painting, sewing and designing clothes, making little ornemants out of quirky stuff, inventing new ways of storing things, writing her book, writing a childrens book (which she has done, but not illustrated yet, that was written about 6 or7 years ago. Think you will be getting the idea without me going on. Yes at nearly 48 personally I think good luck and needs a reality check.

You are correct, I am not a pedantic person for neatness, tidiness and so forth. A home is to live in and it will never be a sterile enviroment with me around :-o)

I would get a cleaner and the like in, but as with for example I have wanted to get carpets cleaned, no point as there has not been a lot of carpet to see and how to clean around everything is pretty well a waste of time.

As to her dad, yes I agree there are issues there, it was my pulling back over 10 years ago that in someways created situations back then. There is no joint money at this stage, not until I am very sure that she can be trusted would that ever happen again, I usually learn the first time around, it cost me plenty in the past - not again!! We do own a company together (another story there to:-o), she gets a small salary, at this stage she is pretty well a silent Director I get a fair salary as the MD, I have full absolute control of the business finances, plus I have other income streams and have the main sources of income. All she has to do with hers is the food shopping and she can do whatever with the rest. I support all the rest as I did before her return. I do feel there has been a break through over her dad and family situation so that is a bit of a win, she has finally come to the realisation that they are not good for her and her life. Like I have said to her, they are your family, you can love them for that, but you do not have to live in their pockets - this is our life to live, however we want to live it. They can not know what is good or bad for us in our lifes direction as they are not us.

She is away at the moment interstate for a week, as her mother is not well, I have to be honest it is bliss here at the moment, and my son has also gone down with her. Solitude can be fantastic at times.

As to the not live together and my son, that is not an issue really and I think she has got the message loud and clear that it could very well happen. I have to look after my health first before I can help anyone else. If you do not have your health you pretty well have nothing.

Anyway, once again Melissa thank you for your reply, it has helped me re-confirm in my own mind that I am heading down the right path, if it cannot or will not change there is no point living like this - you only get one shot at this life, it's not a dress rehersal as I put it, so may as well be happy. I love her yes, does not mean I have to live with her does it, more to it than just love, wish it was that easy :-o)

I'll advise down the track what transpires, it may help someone else one day in similar situation.