Rough times, but a ray of light....

Things have been rough here recently, but I'm seeing a small ray of light.

My husband has not been officially diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, but was on Ritalin as a child. He does not deny that he has it, but refuses medication as he fears it will make him a zombie (he was on Zoloft years ago...before I met him...after the dissolution of his previous marriage).

My husband is a wonderful, kind-hearted man in many ways. Other than his extreme impatience/intolerance/temper, I don't have any any other major issues with him. He is very giving, charming, outgoing, creative, helpful, loving, responsible, good provider, etc.....that is, until something upsets his world and he becomes a condescending ass. I've been belittled for such things as  the way I: load the dishwasher, make the bed, mess up the bed when I sleep, leaving my cell on in a restaurant, or forgetting something at the grocery...just to name a few. He can always justify why he's right and there is no apology. His world is black and shades of gray; there is only one way to do things. His way. The RIGHT way. We went through marriage counseling over a year a go and things were great for 5-6  months after. Then things went down hill after we moved into our new home and started working on house projects. He was hypercritical of everything I did. If something went wrong, he found a way to point a finger at me. All that counseling was down the drain.

Now I feel we are back to Square One. However, this time, I'm standing my ground that he gets help or I'm out. I'm tired of racking my brain to figure out what I'm doing wrong or what I need to change. I'm certainly not perfect, but 90% of our fights are due to his condescending approach and his temper. I'm tired of walking on eggshells. It's verbal abuse and it's not acceptable. Ever.

He rationalizes that we've had a few hiccups recently, but things aren't THAT bad. He's better than he used to be. When he says that I think - Wow...I think he's actually admitting that has been a condescending temperamental ass. All while I've been walking around for months/years trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong and apologizing for MY temper when I defend myself (this man could push Mother Teresa into a tizzy). I rarely get a apology from him for anything. I just have to get over the hurt of being talked down to like a two-year-old and move on.

He'll also remind me that, in counseling, I was told that I need to speak up when I feel like he's talking down to me. Well...

a) When I do, he gets angry and defensive....and things generally blow up - or he invalidates my feelings.

b) He doesn't talk to his mom, aunt, sister, or his female friends that way....and he can go weeks/months without speaking that way to me. Therefore, I know that he knows the appropriate way to talk to people.

The man has had a temper problem all his life. His close friends know it and his family knows it - his brother is even the same way, and my husband complains about about HIS temper ('re looking into a mirror!). He went through anger management years before he met me, as well as counseling to save his first marriage (which failed). So, now he feels he's "changed". Therefore, the issues in our marriage can't all be his fault.....marriage is a two-way street.

I think he's manipulating to avoid admitting the truth.

Sometimes I feel a little crazy....he's so good at twisting things around to not being his fault and making me the bad guy. I feel guilty that I am largely blaming him for our marital problems. I feel like I'll come across as acting all high and mighty to a counselor.

So, I guess we'll see what counseling brings. He says he's determined to make our marriage work. He says he'll go to counseling first by himself (although he resents me for that) and then we'll go together. Despite his bitterness, I'm hopeful that his one-on-one counseling will help him work through his anger. I'm hopeful for myself because I'm finally standing my ground and not just letting things "smoothe" over, only to keeping repeating the pattern over and over.