Wow. For 17 years, I have felt completely alone in dealing with my severely ADHD husband. I hate that so many of us go through this, but it feels like such a relief to know that I am not the only one on my team.
As I said, my husband is severe ADHD. His doctor says that it is the most intense case she has ever treated. for years, I've described it the best way I can, which is, "it's like being married to Jekyll and Hyde". On one hand, when things are going his way, he is the most magnetic person on earth. Nobody can get enough of him. He's that way, consistently, at work, at the church where he is a youth pastor, and out in public. At home, we (me and our 3 kids) never know if we are going to encounter that guy, or the raging psycho who uses every single one of our insecurities to just callously lay us open to bleed to death. Every single attack leaves me reeling, and I can never quite tell where it's going to come from. He screams, he curses, he twists our words, and deflects blame of everything, he hits below the belt, and goes out of his way to not fight fair. It is slowly eroding the very being of who I, and our oldest daughter, are. she has (super) high functioning autism, and he has absolutely no patience or tolerance for her quirks. and me, I'm starting to feel like he just genuinely doesn't like me. Our youngest daughter, and our son, also have a severe ADHD diagnosis, and the three of them are all on meds. He has infinite patience for our son, and near infinite patience with our youngest daughter. Every bad decision they make, every choice, he attributes to their diagnosis, and does not hold them accountable for. which, he also does with himself, after he has come down from the height of a rage.
I see so much of what he does to our family, in all these posts I'm reading on here. But our main difference, is that he is only this way at home. Only this way, with us. He is the Golden Boy of his company- incredibly successful, and known and adored company-wide for his easy going, kind, magnetic personality. He is ridiculously beloved at church. every single one of our friends think that I am the luckiest woman in the world. He never loses control unless he is in the four walls of our home. He has lost control on my mother, and my grandmother. But nobody else in this world, except for me and my children, know what he's capable of. last night, after a particularly hurtful, degrading, heart-wrenching rage against me the night before, I asked him what would happen if he acted that way at work. And he told me that they would call the cops on him. So, it's mistreatment and abuse severe enough that someone would call the cops, but it's good enough for your wife and your children? If, on the way to church, one of us sets him off, he can rage at us in the car the entire way there, and then calmly get out of the car, and put his arm around our children, and kiss me on the forehead, and literally not show an ounce of indication of how maniacal he was 5 minutes prior. the therapist that I talked him into going to for a little while, before he raged at her and told her that she was twisting things to my side, called it "apparent competence". is this really a thing? Or does he just respect his job enough to try harder?
Is this common? Can anybody else's spouse hold it together when they want? Because that truly makes it feel like he does have control over it, and I'm/we're just not worth the effort. I don't know what to do, or how to help him. Reading all these accounts, I see that it's a real thing. So, am I just destined for a life like I've been living? Walking on eggshells and pacifying him? Catering to his irrational behavior? I'm completely torn, because I am blindly, hopelessly in love with the man that he shows the rest of the world. The man that he showed me, when we were dating, and engaged. Though all the damage he has done to me over the years, has made me a little less enamored with his charm.
Regardless, 18 years together and 3 beautiful children, is enough to make me want to make this work, if it can.
Do I have any reason to hope that he can change the way he makes us feel in those moments, or do I just need to get out, finally?