Projects

My bf gets excited about various projects and doesn't see them through; I understand this and it doesn't bother me too much. Something I am having difficulty understanding is how sometimes he becomes interested in a strange project and suddenly it's a priority. For example, lately he has decided that building a wine rack for his car (you read that correctly) is a priority. He has a large subwoofer and tinted windows in this '97 wagon, and I know part of the appeal of such a ridiculous project is simply that--it's ridiculous. (It would be in the floor compartment of the trunk, which he can lock.) My bf is newly an attorney, I think this is one of his less than wise ideas. Never mind the fact that he is living in three different places right now to get to his job (his cousins', which is closest to work, my place, and his parents' place where all of his stuff is) and is overwhelmed with things like commuting, making sure he has clothes, and planning meals. I asked him why he wants a wine rack in his car, and he said because it would make him happy. When I asked why, he told me that he "is crazy and does crazy things sometimes." He also said that "it's never a bad time to have a trunk full of booze." Oh really? I can think of a few scenarios. He was not a drinker at all until law school, when he started hanging out with some people (non-law school) who party too hard and are a bad influence. Also, alcoholism and a penchant for Manhattans runs in his family. He has pulled back on the partying and I'm not too worried, but I wonder if he wants to make his car so outrageous so he can be thought of as cool (he has always struggled with fitting in). If not, it makes even less sense to me.

I am stumped... he has had some irrational ideas before, but I don't get this one at all. I know he likes to be "obnoxious" for its own sake because it amuses him, and usually me, but this idea is confusing to me. Oh and he wants a train horn for the car, which I'm pretty sure is illegal. Does anyone else's spouse or significant other come up with similar wild projects?

A Really Bad Idea

Does he know nothing about wine? Wine must be kept at a consistent temperature. Cars can get extremely hot, and heat will just murder the wine.  So will fluctuations in temperature. Once he does a little research, I'm sure this particular project will lose its luster. I'm a person with ADHD, I have harebrained ideas and sometimes like to be silly for the sake of being silly. So I get that. Although I am far from an attorney, so my lack of funds usually keeps me from doing anything too insane. His drinking sounds a little worrisome, especially if alcoholism runs in his family. People with ADHD are at a higher risk for addictions. And it sounds like he's putting a lot of thought into alcohol, which is something alcoholics do. A person who is not alcoholic isn't going to care if there's booze on hand at all times or not. 

 

I hadn't thought of it

I'm not sure if he is planning to keep wine in it or liquor, but either way that's a good point about temperature. We also have a major lack of funds (especially him, tons of loans and an hourly wage income), and he tends to be an irresponsible spender. He gets himself whatever he wants even if it means going deeper into debt, and for some reason he always has to have the nicest things (example: he just bought himself an expensive watch). He was the opposite when we were in college, wore t-shirts and didn't care (and didn't drink). He also buys instruments and gear and re-sells them all the time, and he was offended when I brought up how troubling it is becoming.

I hadn't thought of how alcoholics put a lot of thought into alcohol... I neglected to mention that he wants us to start brewing beer (and spent over $100 on a pot to make it in, even though we have no place to make it!). This is something I would enjoy too, so I thought nothing of it. When he gets drunk it's when I'm not around (I never put two and two together until now) and he goes overboard. He knows I don't like binge drinking, and he blamed me for why he wouldn't bring me around these friends, but maybe he is trying to hide this behavior from me. For a while he kept a bottle of scotch in his car, which I thought was odd, but I wrote it off as him being silly. I trace his drinking back to this irresponsible group of friends he has, but maybe I haven't been noticing how unusual some of his recent behaviors are. At the same time, I never see him drunk.

It's almost comical how much of his family is involved in alcohol: His sister is a bartender and his cousin works at a whiskey distillery. He is staying at his cousins' (different cousins) house, and he told me his cousins were all drunk the other night and he didn't like it. Not surprisingly, one of those cousins is an architect and my bf asked him to help build the wine rack. His uncle is a non-functioning alcoholic, and his mother has multiple Manhattans every evening. It never occurred to me that even though he blamed me for not getting along well enough with these troublesome friends, maybe he doesn't bring me around often because of how much they all drink. The last time we went to a party a few weeks ago, he emphasized that he wasn't planning to have much. I've known him for a long time and just never saw him as a drinker. I can't tell if I'm reading into things or should be more aware. The worst part is this feeling of underlying dishonesty from him. Thanks so much for replying.

 

Red Flags

I hate to "diagnose" people I don't even know, but as a person with ADHD who is also a recovering alcoholic, there are SOOOO many red flags here. He sounds a lot like me. I'm doing well now with a year and a half of sobriety under my belt and a lot of hard work, but I wouldn't wish what I put my husband through on anyone. Tread carefully. Take care of yourself. 

What to do?

You don't think I'm reading too much into things? How can I bring this up to him without him flipping out? Congrats on being sober, that's wonderful. Thank you for your honesty. This is so hard for me because we have had so many other issues related to communication, and now to think that maybe he has been doing this behind my back is scary. Even scarier is to think he is in denial, not just about the ADHD (which also runs in the family) but his "interest" in alcohol. He is the type of person who convinces himself that he is always on top of things, even when deep down he knows he isn't. This makes a lot of sense as to why he stopped trying so much in our relationship for a good part of the last year, and then went on a trip with his sister and came back deciding he wants things to work. When I asked why he would do things without me, he told me he would party without bringing me because it was "easier." And the whole time I thought it was about his feelings about me.

I don't think you're reading

I don't think you're reading too much in to things, but like I said, I'm an outside observer. Unfortunately if you're indeed dealing with an alcoholic, there's really nothing you can say or do. I think there's even a chapter in the "ADHD Effect on Marriage" about ADHD being one of those things you can't really convince someone to get help for unless they really want help. Alcoholism is the same thing. When I went to treatment because other people wanted me to (husband, my doctor, my therapist) I drank again once I was done. I had to want to get sober. No one else could want that for me. The best thing you can do is to take care of yourself, do what's best for you and don't let yourself get dragged down into co-dependency or a parent/child dynamic. I'm really sorry! I wish there was a more pleasant answer.

So I brought it up

I really appreciate your advice to take care of myself and not let myself get wrapped up in it, that is so important for me to remember. So I brought it up to him last night, and I'm actually less concerned with the alcohol at this point than I am with the lying. He basically explained to me that he was going through the drinking phase that he didn't go through in college, and that he doesn't drink much anymore. Fine, I believe him. He said the wine rack is about being obnoxious, which I understand. When I told him I didn't know why he was keeping the partying and binge drinking from me, he said it was because he knew it would make me uncomfortable, and he was being selfish and just wanted to do what he wanted. He put the focus on me and said he was less comfortable when I was around this group, and and also said it wasn't about me, that it was about what he wanted to do. The underlying issue here is that he lies or leaves things out when he doesn't want to deal with how his actions affect other people. He always has a way of rationalizing things, even though he says he knows it wasn't okay. Apparently it was okay enough for him to do at the time, so I don't understand what would prevent him from rationalizing dishonesty in the future. He doesn't understand why I don't trust him, and sometimes resents me for it. He also is indignant and not apologetic about it. I don't know how to tell if this coping mechanism is changing because I never know what he is keeping from me.