I am planning to divorce my ADHD husband. It's been a long time coming. One of the reasons I did not do this sooner is that I fear that he won't do what he's supposed to do when it comes to gathering paperwork, responding to summons, getting his stuff out, etc. I don't want this to drag on and on and on. I also fear going completely broke but my parents are offering to help me which makes me feel a bit better.
Question - for those who have been through it or who are going through it, are you ADHD spouses keeping up with their end of the divorce proceedings? If not, what can be done?
divorcing your add spouse
Submitted by emmers_22 on
I am the spouse of an ADDer. We started the divorce process at the end of April. The first suggestion I have for you is to see if you can do the whole thing through mediation. This is what we are doing and it is much cheaper. It will depend on what state you live in I think. You would have to do all of the court paper work yourself with the assistance of the mediator. It is also less formal. The decisions are made between the two of you with the mediator guiding when things get stuck.
To answer your question: No my husband does not hold up his end of the bargain. But it does work in my favor. He has always left decisions up to me so that is what he is doing now. He never has his paperwork together.
A tip for this...If you are really thinking of divorcing your spouse think of it this way- It will be one of the last times that you have to help them through a major crisis. I know my husband cant do much for himself. I have enabled him for 10 years. Unfortunately I have to hold his hand through the divorce that I did not want. I have to do all of the work.
The plus about mediation is that you can take your time. We dont actually file until a second draft of our divorce agreement is completed. Then we wait and the wait is much shorter than the normal 6 months the courts in Michigan make you wait when you have a minor child.
It is a lot of work and a lot of stress but you have to do what you have to do.
I highly recommend a mediator, attorneys need not be involved if you dont want. They help with everything from child support to dividing up the furniture. I have the option of having an attorney review our agreement as a consultation. This means that I wont retain them but use them kind of as a one time deal. Im not sure if I am going to do this because my husband has pretty much given me what I want.
Good luck I know it sucks.
Submitted by emmers_22 on
Its great that your parents are supporting you through this too.
stop blaming the ADD/ADHD
Submitted by Disgusted on
While reading what most of the people write here I realize how disgusting and wrong the complaining and whining forum that this and other sites can be. I blame the moderators, Melissa and Ned for not directing the discussion. Due to my ongoing divorce I have had to keep my thoughts to myself and it just added to the anger, confusion, hurt and depression.
I am an adult with ADHD that was not diagnosed until mid 20's and was unable/unwilling/unsuccessful in realizing and adjusting to my condition. My ex-wife, who knew I what I had before our marriage and what the condition was before I did. The biggest problem that I have is that there were other issues with our marriage and they couldn't be summarized into something as simple as it's all his fault. We went to a marriage therapist and because it wasn't all my fault he was an idiot and did help us. A friend of mine once told me "every one has different sex drives" and I told her that it was that, it was the way we communicate our feelings. Her belief that sex was just a way to produce children bothered me but I loved her so much that did not matter. We only made love 5-6 times per year. What truly upset me was that we would never hold hands, hug, kiss (even during sex), or do anything and nothing together. She was always more worried about texting, tweeting, posting of facebook and going to bed to read. She would always ask me what was wrong or why was I depressed and I was unable to tell her because I loved her and did not want to complain. What ever the reason she felt no attraction to me, we never communicated or worked on our relationship
Then came the our first child. I was and am still grateful for our blessing but it drove us apart even more. I was confused by the chasm between us but loved her even more for our family. Nearly 2 years after having our first child our was the first time we made love, I begged her to work on our relationship, go on dates or even just a movie. It never happened, and we grew apart more. The in-laws, who always hated that she married me and reminded me often behind her back, wouldn't ever babysit. Her mother would say yes but then call back within an hour or so and say she couldn't because they had plans. I happened to be laid off from a temporary hire and was unable to find anything closely related to what I did or went to school for. Although I did a lot of job searching and had a few interviews, I did over 90% of everything in the household. Nearly three years after our first child we were expecting another, we were blessed with another beautiful child. The first months were difficult due to some undiagnosed problems but was remedied, they were then healthy and happy. A family member confronted me one day and began to fight me when I told him he needed to be more mature than they were being. All this while I was still up all night listening to our newborn's every breath because I was so worried and concerned. Of course everyone else in the house slept most or all the night. A family tree also passes along the effects of abuse from previous generations. This confrontation was the spark for the fire that was our divorce but not the reason. The entire process took nearly a year. It was a long, painful, cruel and unnecessary. Her lawyer, the in-laws, friends, co-workers and relatives kept her on track ay all times. They all told her I would just go away so everything would be better for her and the children. They hoped I would leave everything if they tortured me and financially stretched me. Luckily, due to family money, this did not happen and I got what was more fair for a loving father who treats them well. Although I cry every night I do not have my children because I miss then and sometimes when they are here. I just finished a session when I paused writing this because my daughter called to say good night. She started to cry because she misses me. My biggest regret is how it is and will always effect them because of OUR lack of effort and selfishness.
There are books about how to work on your marriage to someone with ADHD but I also read the book, The Five Languages of Love. It was then I realized a major source of our problems. Although there were things that we both did not know how or want to work on, the lack of understanding how the other person shows or accepts love was the problem. The controlling and dominating nature of her personality as well the "example of normal" of her parents relationship was a factor too. Due to the coaching from everyone around her, I knew it was a lost cause. I guess my point to this rant is that there are many reasons for a divorce and the people here seem to only want to blame the condition and not other things or even maybe themselves a little bit. There is never just one reason for a divorce but the easy way out is blame something easy to point at. When I made the commitment, it was for life and I would have done anything including give mine. Yet I have not found a single person say I did/regret/could've/should've or we/our/us. Only blaming the other person because of ADD/ADHD. One last thought, it's not about you, it's about the children. Please work on it if there is a chance and no danger to you or them. There is no need for selfishness and blame, it's about them. It effects them at every age and will for their entire life. Don't listen to the lies and possibilities put forth by others such as family or lawyers who have other motives. When the choice to have a child is made, your boredom with your everyday life or your choices do not matter, it's about the children. God bless(or whom ever you believe in).
I am so sorry for your
Submitted by SherriW13 on
I am so sorry for your situation. I am a little surprised that you admitted "unwillingness" to adjust to your condition...was this before or after the diagnosis?
I am sure if you look you can find posts here where it seems I blame everything on my husband and his ADHD. IT (ADHD) has caused him to do some really stressful, hurtful and devastating things and has left long term scars on the daughter that was share. My reactions to his behaviors only added to it. Made it worse. I admit fully. However, if you look deeper, there are many people here in many stages of the 'acceptance' and process of these marriages and although there are many who cannot let go of the victim role (myself included for a long time), there are just as many who aren't. Who do try and accept. Who do love their ADHD spouses. Who do not want to give up.
For all of the 'bad' things we all feel when coming here, which is the reality of any disorder site, if you stick around long enough you will see the good and it will far outweigh the bad. I saw in others what I could not see in myself...that I was playing the victim...and it was a huge catalyst for me to step out of that dynamic and be able to see my husband as a human being and not a huge walking, ADHD mess.
ADHD hurts. It is reality. Non-ADHD spouses react with anger, resentment, emotional shut downs, and other such horrible ways. It is reality. Once you've gotten so far, it is very hard to turn back the hands of time, forget all of the pain, and move forward together. The willingness of both partners has to be there. It doesn't make anyone person 'worse' than the other, it just means that you both coped as best as you could at the time, with the knowledge you had at the time, and in the end it wasn't enough. However, you do not know what the future might hold. Are you getting help now? Are you able to identify the behaviors that drove your wife to lose hope?
Submitted by Disgusted on
I never really understood what I had and even now do not quite understand it. Even after I was diagnosed, I did not understand the tangled mess that existed. It took a long time for me to realize that the common medical solution is a prescription, that doesn't solve the problem. Medication only added more hours to each day through lack of sleep and added to the stress of everyday life.
For me there were so many more issues with our marriage beyond the ADHD but seeing you write what you did explained a bit more. The situation is not amusing but I chuckled at teh fact that I had to reread what you wrote because it might as well been her who wrote it. I have been trying for many years and have made some progress but the 20+ years of bad habits is not easy to break while dealing with so many other issues. The hatred towards me has always been upsetting and I'd see it subtle ways beginning with our honeymoon. To see you write about the anger, resentment, emotional shut downs and other horrible things reminds me so much of our marriage. It just confused me and drove me away. Although for years I begged her to come with me to therapy to understand what and how I can change, she never would until right at the end while she where it was just a piling on session. I feel the willingness of both of us to work together was not always there, only part-time. The excitement over the anticipation of removing me, being single and discussing with family about dating again before the papers were filed was hurtful and in my mind unforgivable.
I do not have medical insurance now but hope to be able to get some soon for medication and to learn the more important life habits to help me grow. As far as the behaviors, I do understand it a little bit now but that doesn't eliminate them. I know now that I need to find someone that is willing accept me for my positives while I work on the negatives. I realized during the divorce process that hope was lost a long time ago and I didn't even know. Although I should have seen it in the behaviors and acts for many years, I was so wrapped up in the hectic day to day things of life with work, children and home that I did not even notice.
I now have two beautiful children and have been able to spend time and experience them in ways that I have never been able to previously. I am and will continue to try to for them, the most wonderful gifts of my life.
Submitted by amanwithit on
I am planning on divorcing my cancer stricken wife.
How is that not any more offensive then your first line. Why couldn't it be, I'm divorcing my husband who will not accept what he is doing and has done to our lives. He does xxx and will not take corrective steps, or he has taken steps but I just don't love him and am unwilling to be what he needs. It is a shame his ADHD is preventing us from trying to get to a better place..or something along those lines.
Really, you have feared leaving your husband because he couldn't get the paperwork together and do those things? So what, why do you even care if he shows up? Get the divorce and move on.
Honestly, I'm just offended. Don't use the disease as justification, like some of us with it have decided not to do.
My separated husband wants no promises in the divorce!
Submitted by newstart on
My separated husband of almost 2 years wants a divorce with his conditions:
1. No lawyers
2. No promises in the divorce - nothing taken or given
3. I have to figure out what to do with all the stuff from the house - I have to figure out where 4000+sf house will go into a 1 bedroom apt.
4. Kids are over 18, so he does not owe them anything, does not have to look after them.
5. He will send what he wants, when he wants - I have to trust him! You either trust a person or you don't, so IF I don't trust him and want clarity in the divorce papers then I don't trust him, and he will give nothing.
That is the only way the divorce will go - nothing promised after 24+ years of marriage. I trust him or I don't. I will have to wait and watch and see what he does - will he support in any way or not!
He walked out on me and the kids, debt, poorly maintained house that I had to fix to sell (with help of friends), no money, or anything. He did that for ME! He left because of his commitment to me! According to him, "I just don't see and appreciate it which is what my problem is."
I can see how you may be
Submitted by emmers_22 on
I can see how you may be offended by the line in that individual's post but it is important to remember that maybe that person is exhausted from dealing with her ADHD spouse and knowing that she will have to do the VERY time consuming paperwork seems like an impossible mountain to climb. I am in a similar situation. My husband wants the divorce but doesnt want to contribute any work towards it. This IS because of his poorly managed ADD. I know this because I know my husband it is not an excuse or using the disease to justify why I am sick and tired of doing all the work. I have had to cancel several divorce mediation sessions because I have to take care of myself psychologically, he barely participates leaving me with all the decisions to make. It is overwhelming and yes having to do all of the paperwork really pisses me off because there is a ton of it. I can totally see why this person feels the way she feels.
Working on the marriage is too overwhelming
Submitted by atmylimit on
I've been married for nearly 24 years. My husband was just diagnosed with ADHD...I've spent most of our marriage being the sole financial support while he stayed home with our kids. Even though I was providing financial support, I was also the sole 'homework' parent as well as responsible for all the doctors' appointments, parent/teacher conference, holiday/birthday planner/organizer etc. He cheated on my while I was pregnant--but continues to say his cheating was my fault. During the pregnancy he insisted I get a tubal ligation when delivering as he didn't want anymore children--despite the fact that I wanted a third. I asked him to consider waiting or him getting vasectomy--he refused to consider. I learned later it was his intent to leave me, marry the other woman and have children with her while leaving me with no ability to have anymore children. He constantly ignored my needs; what I wanted; how I felt. We built a huge home, that while we can 'afford' it, wasn't my dream. I agreed only because without a major project he was unstable and unpredictable--I was concerned he may cheat again or become erratic in someway. When he doesn't like what's happening around him he rages--quite frightening. I should have left him years ago--but always assumed it was best to have an intact family. I could minimize his unpredictability by constantly planning activities with others as guests in our home or going places--he's "good" around other people. The list of incidents coudl go on for a long time...but with his recent diagnosis he now wants me to work through this with him. I can hardly stomach the idea of somehow this will be 'fixed' and I could somehow feel good enough to want to continue to be his wife. Long ago he quit feeling like a husband to me and more like a child that I had to manage around, care for and pour tremendous energy into while at the same time suppressing my own needs/wants/goals/dreams. I'm at my limits--and don't really think I have anything more to give to this relationship. Our kids are both out of the house and are aware of the strain between he and I. They are developing their own lives and while I'm sure would prefer having us stay together, when I think of staying with him, I can barely breathe. There's so much written about saving a marriage when one spouse has ADHD--what about for those of us who can't do it any longer. How awful am I to want out?
you are not awful
Submitted by brendab on
at my limit,
I know exactly how you feel after staying in a marriage for 34 years. My ex still wants me to remarry him and I truly can't stomach the idea. He doesn't have ADD but did cheat several times. I also know that the grown kids would probably be happier for their parents to be together and that is why we still have "family holidays". We were civil throughout our divorce and still are, but remarriage is out of the question for me. After I understood his cheating I decided to love myself more than the appearances of an intact marriage.
My children do understand why I refuse to even consider remarrying, but it can still be awkward for them sometimes. At first they blamed him for the divorce, but over time I have encouraged them to build a relationship because he is their father and anger is not healthy for them. From what I can determine they have forgiven him.
I would encourage you to take care of yourself and it is okay to start putting yourself first. Until you do this you will remain stuck, discouraged and feel trapped. I would also encourage you to tell him he needs someone else to "help" him. sounds like he is trying to keep status quo--you are his caretaker and he wants to keep it that way. He probably doesn't even realize how bad it is for you. he has leaned on you long enough, if he wants help he needs to lean on someone else. I've often heard that it is better for them to have someone who is not affected by the ADD to guide him. They will give him an unbiased opinion, and he will not assume they have an agenda against him.
From my experience I learned that I needed to heal myself and I certainly wasn't in any shape to help him. When anxiety makes it hard for you to breathe, you need to listen to your body. you are not awful to want out. Maybe you can separate in the house or even in separate houses until both of you get emotionally healthier, then reevaluate.
Get a good counselor and listen to their advice. Sometimes during my separation, I just did what my counselor told me even though I felt dead inside. Sometimes I did what he said even though I wanted revenge. I discovered that during the worse part I was in no shape to make good decisions. I trusted my counselor and I did what he told me to do. It made all the difference. I wish you the best.
Make it simple for your spouse
Submitted by Almost Over Now on
I went through this last spring. I just swallowed the fact that to get it all done as completely and quickly as possible, I was going to have to take care of almost all the details myself. It was a pain in the tush, but we got it done fast. I filled in and filed all the paperwork - the division of property and everything else, and tried to do it in a way I thought was fair and that would minimize his objections. I used a professional process server - it was worth the money for the legal peace of mind. And for every document I served him, I typed up a professional-looking set of instructions and spelled out what he needed to do in very simple, plain terms, complete with highlighting where needed, so he wouldn't get overly confused by the legal language and millions of sheets of paper.
It worked - he didn't make any mistakes and the documents were completed correctly.
Good luck through this difficult time. A new and better life is waiting for you on the other side.
what to do when he won't move out.
Submitted by Haptalf on
Although we have been at the point of divorce many times before, I believe I will go through with it this time. I am completely burned out and am tired of his ADHD and depression. I need to get on with my life! He is very angry and refuses to leave our home. I am willing to compensate him fairly for this, however, he is very angry (as usual)! I live in NJ. Anyone have any advice? Do I wait for his anger to subside? Do I see a lawyer and be aggressive? I was hoping to do this civilly thru a mediator. I want our divorce to be more dignified than our marriage.... We have one 16 yr old daughter.
Submitted by Disgusted on
Although I am in the in the position that your husband is in, I highly recommend using a mediator. The process I went through during the past year is a large part of why I will never forgive her for. It does not have to be the cruel, mean and ugly process that it urned out to be to just come out in the same place you would have been to begin with. If you can remain friends and work together in the future it will only be better.
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
Normally, I suggest that any question is a good question...this one I'm not so sure about. In fact, it makes me kind of mad. You're saying that what has been keeping you from divorce is the fear of paperwork being dragged out? And you fear this because your spouse has ADHD?
Divorce proceedings are held up by all sorts of things - ADHD is very far down on the list, as far as I can see, as a reason why...how about lawyers who wish to prolong things so make you back down on a specific negotiation issue? Who wish to get more money for themselves or for the client? How about family members who urge "you deserve more! Don't fall for that?" How about partners who are so hurt that they can't bring themselves to deal with the paperwork right away? Or those who are so angry from all that has happened that they wish to make a point and deliberately drag their feet? How about genuine disagreements over custody or financial distributions? ADHD isn't the issue here - DIVORCE is (and all the hard feelings and shenanigans that go with it).
Whomever is working with your husband can most likely keep him on deadline if that's what your husband wants him/her to do. And therein lies the issue - he has to want to get things in on time.
Once all of those non-ADHD things are taken into consideration then think about the execution of paperwork. Perhaps, as one responder says, you can use his lack of wanting to participate to your advantage. Stay on top of it and you may actually help create an ending that you want. It's a pain, for sure, but...and try to use a mediator. Less expensive, less hassle, fewer adversarial issues.