I am brand new to all of this and I feel most days like I am losing my mind. I'll tell you about how I met my husband and where we are now. After reading these blogs for a couple of weeks, I am not sure how you all will respond, but I need help.
I am a highly organized professional woman who leads a team of highly efficient and competent people at work. I always thought my job would be enough. Six years ago I met a brilliant, kind, funny man who loved his job and acted like he loved me. We agreed on financial responsibility, companionship, work coming first for both of us, and no children. We married and moved in together after two years. I thought he was a momma's boy who never learned how to cook, clean, pay bills. I made a schedule and showed him how to do all of this. He is a highly successful engineer so this should be simple. I have never been so wrong in all of my life.
Four years later, all I do is dream about either running away or beating him to a pulp. I worked so hard for my job and it is so specialized that I can't just leave it. So the anger builds. It took me four years to get him to a counselor, who recognized immediately that he had ADHD. However, she wouldn't tell him for at least two months because she didn't think he was ready. He is getting a formal diagnosis with as soon as he can see a psychiatrist. I have read Melissa's book, Pera's book, and all the internet sites I can find. He is a wreck but seems willing to try meds. So far so good, right? He meets with an ADHD life coach and we can easily afford whatever medication he might need.
Not so fast. A little bit more about me. I am not a great catch but I told my husband that up front. I run a medical service where my orders are instantly understood and implemented. Other people's lives depend upon it. I keep my home neat and tidy because that allows for efficiency and cleanliness. I knew I never, ever wanted children because they would not fit in my orderly, precise life. My husband is now the 30 year old child I never wanted. He can't follow simple instructions to clean the house. We can't have a simple conversation because he looses focus in the middle of it. I have become his mother, organizing his appointments, his work schedule, and our house schedule. Yet he still can't follow it. I see every small item out of place and feel anger. White hot anger. For the last year, I dream at least weekly about making him bleed. I have to walk away from him on an hourly basis when we are home together because I am afraid I will physically attack him. I have not ever touched him in that way but I think that I could, very easily. I hate losing control, but at least when I yell at him, the items he needs to do get done AND they get done correctly AND they get done in a timely fashion. Nothing else gets him to do what needs to be done quickly and well. But the anger is so strong I am afraid of it.
I have been in therapy for the last three months and it is not making anything better. If anything, it is making it worse. My therapist says that my anger is justified due to his immature and inconsistent behavior. I just need to leave him and start over. Most days, I feel like that, too. But I am ashamed of leaving my marriage; I took my vows very seriously ( and still do). I also know that if I knew what this would be like, or if my husband had acted in our courtship like he does now, I would have never, ever married him. I feel ashamed of wanting to leave my husband but all I see when I look at him is a disgusting, repulsive pile of childish, crying, clingy weakness and need. He was completely competent during our courtship and changed once we moved in together. I feel like he lied to me with his actions but now I am stuck with this albatross around my neck, strangling me to death. I wanted a simple, child free life with a man who loved his work and me. I honestly feel this is his disease, which he hid from me. My standards and expectations and behaviors have not changed. His abilities changed once he left hyper focus. He needs to do the work. NOW. I am in therapy to work on me but all I hear is that I would not be angry if I was in a relationship with someone who was more compatible with my expectations. It hurts so much because before we married, he WAS compatible with my expectations. He lived alone, kept his house clean, and was kind and attentive. It all went away and I feel so stupid for not seeing it before. Now I am stuck with a person I dream about hurting. I am such a failure but I feel so powerless. I can get divorced or I can be something I am not.
I feel no hope for the future because every single "success" story I've found has the non-ADHD spouse making back-breaking, soul crushing, accommodations for the ADHD spouse. I have to help him organize, lower my standards significantly, and not show my displeasure in having things at significantly lower standards just to make him able to SOMETIMES function at the level of the average 8 year old. AND I am supposed to encourage him for small things around the house. AND I must make sure there is nothing else around when I wish to try to speak to my husband to distract him, I must make a 5 minute conversation take 20 minutes so that he can write everything down and have me review it before he does something like the laundry. I would fire any person in my office who behaved in such a way. I have not become a woman at that top of her field by making these levels of accommodations for anyone, most especially myself. I think I am as angry at myself for not seeing through his charade as I am at him for not being who he pretended to be every day. I read these posts about how if my husband were in an accident, would I feel differently? Yes, I would. That would have been an accident and there were have been four years of love and support and organization to hold on to for all of the difficulties ahead. My husband wouldn't have withheld parts of his personality until we were married. I have a right to choose a spouse who is capable and compatible, don't I?
Has anyone had a spouse that accomplished significant improvement decently quickly? Daily success, minimal back sliding? Something where he has his lists/schedules/coping mechanisms so that he can function with his ADHD tools like a non-ADHD person? Or very close to one? He is destroying the safe, organized, efficient home I worked so hard to build. My anger isn't going away unless he gets significantly better quickly. These last four years have eroded any love or kindness or empathy I used to have for this man. Or do I have to end this marriage and feel like a failure for not seeing what he was before we got married?