Really just venting as I near the end of my marriage...

I have been reading everyone's posts here like they were water in the desert. I am not happy to see so many going through struggles similar to mine, but happy not to feel alone in the issues I have. My husband has ADD/ADHD, always has. It used to be more manageable but he was injured and now has a brain injury on top of it, and so his short term memory, some common sense and emotional filters and ability to empathize are pretty much gone. He won't remember putting laundry in the wash 2 minutes before. He won't remember the answer to a question asked 2 minutes before. He has bulldozed over my feelings and needs so many times now I am loathe to have any interaction with him at all.

He hyperfocuses on saving money, car engines and other mechanics, and whatever other "flavor of the week" he gets into. Politics, the environment are biggies. He was a Republican when we met, I a Democrat, and now he has swung so far left of me I can barely see him from here and he lectures me on organics and recycling, things I have done for years, like I am Enron or something. He talks AT me, never to me. He asks how my day was, only so he can launch into a full tirade of his day. He will not remember my two-word answer but will expect me to remember something on quantum physics (ok, I exaggerate) that he spoke about a year ago.

My biggest issue is the fact that I have my own issues. I have had chronic depression for years, seen therapists and psychiatrists, switched and manipulated medications, done yoga, improved my diet, started journaling, ANYTHING I could to continue moving forward through what some days feels like swimming in rapidly hardening concrete. My therapist stopped taking my insurance (we are NOT poor by any means) and when I was actually suicidal, my husband spoke soothingly of "whatever you need, of course we can just afford to pay him" and then proceeded to bully me about trying to get reimbursement somehow, and kept "forgetting" I already looked into it and unfortunately, no I could not. So now I have stopped seeing THAT therapist (after 10 years, on and off) who actually has done me a world of good and must begin a search for a new one. I also started getting regular massages, found a new place that would give a steep discount for a monthly membership. Explained to husband all the studies on massage being good for people with depression yadda yadda. He again, makes soothing noises about "of course you should, it is good for you" and now that I am no longer threatening to jump off a bridge he implies that I am spoiled having these things and why do I get them? If I have a physical ailment I should see a doctor that is covered by insurance. What do I have to be stressed about? And then two days after implying I am a spoiled princess suggests we should get his and hers massages for Valentine's Day. And we NEVER exchange gifts for ANYTHING because he gets too freaked out about trying to get presents. So now I don't know where the heck he is coming from. We don't exchange presents unless YOU want something? Is that how it works?

I have tried to help him. I work in a social services field, not as a social worker myself but I am fortunate to have access to a wealth of information. I have worked with a brain injury expert and been given referrals for terrific neuropsychiatrists who could diagnose and assist my husband, called them myself to be sure they would take our insurance, etc. and he won't go. Won't admit he has an issue. He complains about his ADHD alcoholic sibling all the time, and I have tried to let him know I have the same issues dealing with him as he does his brother, but he won't grasp the concept or won't admit to it. So yes, from someone who has been medicated and in therapy for ten years maybe it is funny that I harp on my husband's issues, but I think that as someone who has severe issues herself, who manages to hold a decent full-time job, raise a child, and run a non-profit for kids with disabilities I am doing well because I CONSTANTLY WORK AT IT. I ADMIT I have HUGE issues. If I didn't, I would never get out of bed, shower, feed my kid, hold a job, ever ever again. So yes I am BEYOND pissed that he won't even deal with anything for himself.  

I am sorry for the long post, but even if no one reads it, it feels good to get it off my chest. At this point, the only thing left for me is divorce. I can't take care of his stuff anymore. I can't be his calendar and reminder and sounding board and cook and clean when he is not putting any effort into being a partner to me. So he will have more money and I will have some peace and quiet and not have to up my meds from dealing with him.

I am so sorry. I hate that he

I am so sorry. I hate that he won't take full advantage of the potentially life changing resources he has available to him, instead denies there is any problem he needs to fix. That, to me, is where the line should be drawn. If they won't get help, nothing will change. Then what does the non-ADHD spouse do? Learn to live with it or leave. Such wonderful options. Not.

I wish the best for you. Do you think some of your issues might be related to living with his untreated ADHD? I know many times I took anti-depressants and they helped me cope better with everything...but the side effects were something I couldn't live with. Nor could I accept that I had a marriage that forced me to take anti-depressants just to be able to cope with it.


sullygrl's picture

Sherri...I KNOW

I know for a fact that my issues are harder to manage because of him. When he has gone away on fishing trips with the guys I find myself much better able to deal with NORMAL amounts of stress from everyday life because he is not there adding to or interfering with them. But when on vacation with him and away from work I find I am so keyed up I can't wait to be done and back at work. 

Yes, I actually added a second anti-depressant and had upped the dose a couple of times since we have been married (seven years) Mostly after his brain injury because he is such a rat on crack since then I would feel almost suffocated by him just dumping everything on me, then going away and feeling all better himself, while I am in the corner trying to wring myself out of this tsunami. I have scaled back again with help from my therapist and the one thing that I cannot deal with in a healthy way (meditation, yoga, massage, counting to ten...)is my husband. I don't like the side effects of medication. I am a zombie, it dulls my thinking, it effects my work, it effects my ability to enjoy my daughter and have her enjoy her mom (and we have a really good relationship, amazingly). My daughter actually understands the depression better than my husband is she is only 14.

And as you say, I do not want to accept a marriage that I can only "cope with" because I have medicated myself into zombieland.


I can't imagine a brain injury on top of ADD!!!

sullygrl's picture


It does add an element, let me tell ya! He can now forget twice as much, twice as fast...

sullygrl's picture

an update, maybe

well I had a huge conversation with my husband this weekend. I tried to be very calm and explain things as well as I could. He actually started it, probably because I have completely given up at this point and we are living like roommates more than anything else, so he finally had to admit something was wrong. He asked if I still love him and I told him honestly, I don't even know at this point. That I am just done and can't do any more. he has been trying very awkwardly lately, to do things for me, but it doesn't solve the underlying problems. Putting the dishes away is nice, letting me have coffee before you launch into a 20 minute convoluted story at high volume is nicer.

That it was getting to the point where I felt almost under physical attack from the deluge of stuff that comes from him. And how tiring it is to have to keep justifying what I do for my mental health,and have him ignore his own issues and the effect they have on me. He did finally admit to being frustrated himself, not remembering things. But I had to squeeze it out of him. I asked him point blank - doesn't it bother you that you can't remember something from 2 minutes ago? That you put laundry in the wash and think it's me? That you know you've asked me something but can't remember my answer? So he says yes, he left this morning and drove a block before he realized he forgot something he would need where he as going. And it happens all the time. Lunch on the counter, orange juice in the microwave. I never know what I will find when I come home, or where. It's like my own game of "where's Waldo" but Waldo is a different person each time.

So he finally admits it. And I told him I have tried to help him but he wouldn't do anything about it, and that is when I gave up. Why should I try if he isn't going to? And he tried to flip stuff back at me, well, I never know what your moods are going to be recently. Yes, that is because I will no longer take so much antidepressant medication that I am a zombie. I want a life. I want energy for my daughter and for work and maybe some fun. I reminded him I had tried to give him the name and number of a great nueropsychologist in the area, and he wouldn't take it. NOW he says he will take it. It's so sad that he had to wait til I had one foot out the door. He also said he would go to couples counseling. We need to learn to communicate better. he accuses me of not communicating well because I don't understand him (he's right, most of the time I have no idea where he is coming from) and that I just jump down his throat. Lately, yes, I do, I have lost all patience. I don't know if I can find it again. But I will get the name of that neuropsychologist again. I will do the research and try and find a counselor for us. At this point, I am not holding much hope. I think he is too set in his ways and he will say he will try and he will do better for a week and then we will probably go right back to where we started. We will see....