I'm hoping that someone else with my same issue can at least offer some support. My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years. I did not know that he had been diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but I did know that he had many behavior problems as a kid. His parents medicated him for a short time, but stopped when he said that he did not like it (around age 8 or so), and he never received other treatment for ADHD that I know of. They just decided to "trust God" that he would grow out of it. His family often discusses his rage issues, and his mom has recently admitted to me that she always felt verbally abused by him when he was living at home. He underwent a conversion experience around age 21, which did help some of his issues, and then met me a few years later. He definitely hyperfocused on me, which ended the day after we got engaged. Seriously, it was like night and day. I blamed it on wedding planning, school, work, whatever, but when I recently started learning about ADHD, I was able to identify it immediately.
Starting from our honeymoon, we would have major disagreements over minor issues, that he would just become so enraged about. Things that I don't think would make other people very angry, and usually involving what he felt was a personal attack on him, but which stemmed from me simply having a different opinion to him. Not always, but about 4-5 times per year, this would escalate into physical violence... with me being hit or kicked or put in a headlock or thrown to the floor. As soon as the physical altercation was over, he would seem to feel better, and not understand why I was so upset over what had happened. He definitely didn't want me to tell anyone, and this became a fairly normal part of our relationship for years. I went to our pastors for help a couple of times, and we did try counseling, but he was really unable to identify any root issues. He always just said that "I made him that angry." I tried for years to change the way I spoke to him- did not help. I tried to speak to him the way he spoke to me to "shock" him into getting it- did not help. I then just gave up, after two particularly difficult episodes of violence, and tried not speaking to him or engaging with him at all. As I've read in another post on here, things were bearable only when I offered no opinions and just let him do whatever he wanted to. In the last 6 months, after some personal tragedy in my own life, during which he was emotionally unavailable to me for support, and a few more incidents of violence, I confessed that I wanted to leave him. He became "crisis husband" again at that point (we had been separated before, and it was the same then), where he tried to fix everything all at once, and convince me to come back. He also became extremely paranoid, extremely controlling, and while acknowledging ADHD, has tried to definitely downplay its role in the breakdown of our marriage. He tells people that I'm playing "the abuse card" or "the ADHD card" but seems to have no idea, still, why I'm so affected by it.
We've been separated for almost 4 months now. We have a beautiful young daughter (having a child only escalated the stress in our home), and therefore the waiting period for divorce is a year. While he says that he wants counseling, he is personally unwilling to take responsibility for these issues we have, and wants me to share the blame- to say that I've also been abusive because of the ways I responded to his physical violence. His family want me to go to counseling with him and confront him on his issues and "sort him out" which they were never able to do. I feel sad that it's come to this. I feel sad that we never had a marriage without the element of violence. I feel angry that he won't take responsibility for the role that abuse and ADHD have played in our marriage. I think it's very sad that I don't miss being with him at all. That now, my life is much easier to manage, even as a single mom, than life with him was.
Much of the info I've read on ADHD stops at just anger issues, and doesn't go into actual violence. Is this considered abusive behavior, if he has ADHD, or just another symptom of it? Has anyone got any insight into this or had this same experience? Thanks!