ready to leave


I am at my breaking point. I've come the closest to moving out yet and researched places to live. I've already figured out a plan to make it happen. The problem is that I really don't want to leave; I want my husband to take responsibility for his behaviors and work to change them. He doesn't seem to care about how much he hurts me or our marriage. I told him yesterday after his continued excuses about why he won't get help, that he will succeed in pushing me out of this marriage. He doesn't realize just how close he is. This is very difficult for me for one, because I love him very much and usually it seems that we are functioning 'ok'. Secondly, I don't believe in divorce. I believe that through hell or high water you make it work.....I guess I've gotten to the point where I don't think anything is going to change unless I do something drastic enough to get his attention, but now I'm worried about what if me moving out doesn't actually help anything or won't be a catalyst for him to change. My goal is not divorce, my goal is for him to get the help he needs. I've been in counseling for over a year working on me. He and I went a couple of times with much difficulty getting him to attend, and things seemed to start to change, but he refuses to get treatment for his ADHD and he either can't see or refuses to believe it is destroying our marriage. I hate who I've become. I have always been a very optimistic person, always focusing on the positive, but now I just feel bitter, drained and resentful. I told him on Sunday that I hated our marriage and that I hate him. I apologized and I try to hold this type of reaction back, but I was seething at that point. While I'm venting I'll list the top complaints I have about our marriage:

  1. His irrational explosive humiliating and degrading temper tantrums or anger outbursts, often in public.
  2. His lack of presence or concern over household upkeep. I have more than often been left with all the chores. I will make him a list of what he needs to help me with so he can check it off. Sometimes that helps, but what could be done in an hour or two often takes him a week to finish....if he even does finish it. A lot of times he'll say, "ok" to whatever request I've made which are next to never since I can't rely on him, and then a day goes by, then several more, then a couple. I don't like to nag, no, I HATE to nag so I won't remind him or bug him. After a couple of weeks, I'll mention it again and then he might follow through.
  3. He's never here and when he is here, he is constantly undoing what I've worked so hard to finish or is the equivalent of the tazmanian devil in a whirlwind of chaos.  This is so conflicting for me and makes me crazy! I miss him and want him around, but when he's around it is so frustrating and crazy that I can't wait for him to leave again! I hate this so much!!!!!!!!
  4. On top of the ADHD he is a recovering alcoholic. Someone had the audacity to make the comment that at least his new addiction to fishing is not to alcohol. Does it really matter if there are the same effects of putting that before everything else in your life such as your marriage and family? In May he left our family vacation early so he could fish in a small local tournament back home. He does not help me with anything household due to his rigorous fishing schedule. Not to mention his compulsive spending habits which totals several hundreds of dollars a month on fishing!!!!!!!
  5. He refuses to get treatment or try medication. His latest reason was he doesn't have time and that we don't have the money. LIE! He would have time if he priortized it over fishing or his thousands of over commitments he's made to church, and if he didn't spend so much money on fishing we have plenty of money for him to seek treatment. The bottom line is that he just doesn't think it's important.
  6. He has no interest in me or anything I have to say UNLESS he wants sex, and he thinks he can just rush right through that too so he can get on to the next thing in his overly crammed schedule. He thinks a "date night" is squeezing time for me between when he finishes working and before leaving for a fishing tournament. He thinks this is perfectly fine. He never seems to realize how extremely self centered his behavior is a majority of the time.
  7. I love to travel, but I HATE to travel with him. He is absolutely miserable when we travel even though he always wants to travel to new places. He cannot handle change or the slightest feeling of being out of control (even though he always seems out of control to me) so when we go anywhere it is like clockwork that he is going to have a tantrum every single day. So instead of a vacation being relaxing, it is more stressful than had I stayed at home. I hate feeling like I'm on eggshells all the time.
  8. He utterly disrespects me and then tries to justify it and then when I become depressed over this, he avoids acknowledging anything. His motto is always "ignore it and it will go away".....well, I guess he's right, because I'm about to go away.


There are some positives I could say about him, but the truth is I'm too angry to think about that right now. And this complete breakdown in my life could not have come at a worse time. I guess I just gotta keep dealing with it for now. God help me. Thanks for letting me vent.

Selfish Lout

He seems to be a selfish lout.  He chooses to use denial, distraction and "taking care of himself" as tools to make himself feel better.  He could choose to learn more about everything, schedule some time for family, converse with you, and work with you but it sounds like he does not have you on his radar other than for you to take care of his needs. He is covertly having power over you by ignoring you. Don't expect to change him. This is who he is.  I understand.  Don't give your SELF away to someone who ignores you.

I completely understand. I

I completely understand. I could have written this about year ago, and could still write some of it now. I too don't believe in divorce. I too wanted to get his attention though I was afraid it would blow back on me. It took nearly four years to get to the point where I told him I wanted formal separation and meant it. I didn't have any intention of following through with divorce proceedings (OK, maybe I did...), but I wanted to draw my line in the sand. We weren't living together so that's why I said I wanted a formal separation. It got his attention because it was a week before Thanksgiving and we were supposed to host his family, or rather I was supposed to host his family since they were coming to my apartment. He flipped out and basically said he wasn't going to give me a separation until we saw a counselor. It's been a rough road, but after nine months of twice a month counselor visits, we've made progress. But there's still so much more improvements to be made.

He accepts the ADHD, but getting him medicated is difficult. At one time he was on meds and then he didn't have the money to keep buying them, so he stopped. When we got back together and I encouraged him to get medicated again, he fought back (the old ODD) and said I just wanted him to be a zombie. Now he's back to wanting to be on meds, but he can't get out of bed to make his Dr's appts. He's missed three so far.

I could write a book about his ability to spend time with me. He's obsessed with amateur pool. He plays on two teams, so two nights a week. I've tried to be supportive, but it's hard. We had Mon and Wed nights together with nothing on our schedules--our "date" nights--but that's dissolved now. He's been trying to get out of the bar he works for (Thurs - Sunday) so he started working at a motorcycle shop (the new obsession) on Wed nights. This past Monday he went to get paid at the shop and ended up working. If I voice my concern over our time being abbreviated, I get the "I'm trying to find work elsewhere, lay off."

Oh and's nonexistent. It came up in our last session and he was all upset and blamed me because I had accused him (in the past) of treating me like a whore (we basically do our thing and he leaves the house) and that he didn't want to risk that again. The counselor told us no sex, but to work on "making out" or similar activities. It's been three weeks and nothing because we've been going in opposite directions.

In the words of Tony Soprano, "Whaddaya do?"

As for you, if you can afford to move out, you may want to try it. I don't know your husband or how he reacts to ultimatums though. You have to get to the point where you will be OK if he decides to follow through on your threat.

Good luck and {{hugs}}. I know where you are at.




Moral diagnosis

"Selfish lout" is what Ned Hallowell terms the "moral diagnosis" of ADHD.  Others include calling a kid with ADHD who forgets the homework he did, or who takes a long time to get organized "lazy" etc.  His behavior comes across as selfish, but what is REALLY going on here is that this man has severe ADHD - he is unable to prioritize, he is unable to disengage, his attention is "dysregulated" (which is really what ADHD is, not attention deficit, but attention dysregulation).  I also suspect that he is in retreat from a homelife that he doesn't know what to do with, and that he has impulsivity issues (who wouldn't want to extend sex???!)

To call him a selfish lout is to classify or label him as a person (suggesting his behavior is permanent), rather than noting the extremity of his symptoms (which most likely can be managed, thus changing the behavior.)  It's an important distinction to make.

The person who made the original post cannot force her husband to address his ADHD, but starting treatment is the way out of this...

Not just an ADHD kid

irrational explosive humiliating and degrading temper tantrums or anger outbursts
he is constantly undoing what I've worked so hard to finish
He does not help me with anything household
He has no interest in me or anything I have to say UNLESS he wants sex
when we go anywhere it is like clockwork that he is going to have a tantrum every single day
He utterly disrespects me 

refuses to get treatment or try medication

Your spouse is not just "a kid with ADHD who forgets the homework he did, or who takes a long time to get organized".  

Please do not feel responsible for your difficult home life.  He is not treating you like a gentleman and lover deserving of your loving attention.  He is forgetting his manners. He is thinking of his own feelings.  Please do not think you must talk sweetly to this man. Do not give your SELF away to someone who does not respect you and is manipulating you with aggression and neglect.  Have strength.  Find happiness.   Don't be a victim.