Selcuded behavior on holiday

Can't understand why dh is remaining off by himself today. Yesterday was a touch and go day - he spent a large part of the day outside (removing snow) and when he was around - it was touchy as to how he would react to things - but overall he was okay. He enjoyed himself with his family - he said so. So why now today is he choosing to be unplugged from our family?  He hasn't done anything with us today. The kids and I played games together and invited him to join us - no. He decided to get a movie instead and watch that in the same room as we were playing our games. He went out for a 2 hour snowmobile ride. Our son asked him directly for help setting up his new Xbox - he sat there, son asked again - No, you can do it. So son asked me to help him. I waited to see if my dh would at this point say he'd help, but no. So I helped son put it together and watched him figure out the controller and games and just enjoyed his happiness with the new toy.  As we are finished setting up dh decides to see what we are doing - but doesn't stop to see just keeps walking on. He isn't interested in playing with any of the kids toys with them. So after his snowmobile ride he decides to watch a movie and eat. After that, he falls asleep in the recliner for an hour.  He wakes up walks to the back bedroom and crawls into the bed, I ask him what's wrong - I'm tired. Oh, well why don't you got upstairs to bed. Why, what are you going to do? My reply - not much, just hang out with the kids. I'm not sure that he realizes that his has missed out on the joys of the holidays - seeing the kids delight in spending time together. We had a blast playing games-laughing and teasing each other and of course seeing who won.  He is snoring in the back room right now.  So why all of this avoidance today? I feel bad that the kids notice that dad's not around/asleep/distracted with his newspaper/magazine,ect. I think I feel even worse that they are beginning to get used to this.  Is there something about the holidays that affect ADDers?

I'm really not sure why

I'm really not sure why isolation is common sometimes, holidays have been notoriously a bad time for us during our entire marriage, it seems. He is more moody, more distant, and easily aggrivated. It is almost as if anything that involves a lot of 'feeling' is just too much sometimes, but it has always been extremely hurtful to me. My Daddy was like that during the holidays, and I always felt it was just due to him having such a horrible childhood that it was just uncomfortable for him to relate to people with the 'holiday spirit'. He would be angry and moody and put off getting our tree to the very last minute, but once he got into the holiday 'mode' it was the best time of the year. This made it especially hard when I married someone who withdrew and didn't ever seem to have any holiday cheer. I do know that this year we've started counseling and he's now on medication. I was expecting the worst...again. We both lost our last living parent last fall (his mom in Oct, my Daddy in Nov) and it was just a very hard holiday season, but it was the first one in 13+ years of marriage that I can honestly say he pulled through and made it a very special Christmas for all of us. I pray this is a pattern that continues. 

I'm not sure why...but it does happen. It is very hurtful to have that 'void' in the family...and what worries me most is how the kids are affected by it. I always felt it was a choice he made..and I would say "just don't do it" "why can't you just enjoy your family and be happy?" ... but now I don't know...I think it was more untreated ADHD than anything else. Unable to process and deal with such powerfully emotional moments? I know I'm not being much help, but I did want to offer you a ((HUG)) and let you know that I spent many holidays watching him isolate himself from everyone else...typically the entire month of Dec..if not Nov too. All I knew to do was grieve the marriage I wanted and do the best I could to put on a happy face for the kids. It sucked.

Sherri question

Hi - What do I tell my parents about his behavior. At Thanksgiving my dad confided in me that  he almost yelled at my DH to get up off the computer and help me out. And we had to leave my mom's house early and she obviously was saddened about how DH was in a bad mood. 

Well, not sure why you had to

Well, not sure why you had to leave your mom's house early, but in the future I would suggest that you let HIM leave early if he wants, but you stay and enjoy your family. I don't really know what to tell you...about how to explain things to them. My Daddy saw behaviors in my husband that I am sure made him upset with him, and caused him to worry about me in a way that I still feel a LOT of regret about, but he never said anything to me about it aside from one comment he made a week before he had his accident. We were separated, my husband seemingly going off the deep end about his mom's illness and subsequent passing (now I know it was that he had started an affair), and my Daddy called to get directions to his mom's graveside for services. I wanted to explain to him that we were separated and that I felt it was just my husband having a hard time with his mom's illness/passing..and all he said, the ONLY comment he ever made to me about my husband's behavior, was "he needs to grow up." (we didn't know about his ADHD at the time).

My family (my brother and sister) has stayed out of things when it mattered most and supported me when I needed them most. They are amazing in that aspect. They also love my husband and care about his well being and would do anything for him. They have graciously ignored his isolating himself from everyone and welcomed him into their homes when he was ready to socialize. I have, in the past, found myself making excuses for his behavior...and then again I've had times when I've just been flat out fed up with it and let them know so.

There isn't anything you can tell anyone who isn't living the life you live that will help them understand. Where I would start making changes is I would set boundaries for myself and if he wants to go off and brood and be on his own, then so be it...but if it KILLED me, I would not let him 'cut short' my festivities with my family.

My husband decided before Thanksgiving, because we were having it at my sister's...and my brother-in-law's family was coming..that he wasn't going. He flat out told our counselor that he was ready to start our own traditions and stop spending the holidays with my family. I have my theories about why he was in this 'mode' that I won't go into, but it was devastating to me, to say the least. I was stuck (such as you describe) either spending the holidays as I had my entire life with my family OR here with family would understand if I chose him, he would have NEVER forgiven me had I chose to spend it with my family..had I been forced to make that decision. Our counselor told me that I needed to spend the holidays with my family and asked him if he couldn't put aside his feelings about BIL's family for the sake of mine and my families. In the end, he did go...and wasn't anti-social...and even said he enjoyed himself. I would NEVER EVER ask him to give up the time we always spend with his family on the holidays....and I can only pray that his thinking at Thanksgiving was only temporary and that eventually he'll see just how important ALL of my family is to me.

All of these sad holiday stories are so upsetting to me. You never forget that pain. You never EVER forget the utter despair you feel when the "Most wonderful time of the year" turns into such a heartbreaking nightmare. Reading the stories just brought so many of those feelings back to the surface and my heart just breaks for everyone here who had such a horrible holiday experience. It would, for me, be motivation to ensure that it was the last holiday ever ruined for me and my kids. We had some close calls and some tense moments...considering everything we're both dealing with and have gone through even our counselor told us it would be a miracle if we got through the holidays in one piece...but we did. I do not think it is all counseling or even all medication, I just think he is finally controlling his ADHD enough that he can put himself in other people's shoes and I must admit it feels very different to finally not experience the disappointment. It wasn't that his moods always ruined the holidays...but he definitely becomes a lot more irritable and unpredictable during them. I have often wondered if he doesn't suffer from seasonal depression. His father was a very depressive person around the holidays always using the excuse that he had loved ones that died during Nov & Dec...and just conditioned himself to hate those months...and I think my husband has the same tendency...maybe because of the ADHD, to always see only the negative side of many things. I remember telling him MANY times "don't pull away from everyone who is here and ALIVE and who loves you just because someone you loved passed away...those of us who are here and alive still need you too!" I miss my Daddy more than I could ever explain, but it doesn't affect me in a way that makes me want to push people away...quite the I guess it is just hard for me to understand.


Hypr1's picture


@sherriw13... -- I can tell you what the holidays are like for me. I go blank. It seems like when Xmas eve/day is here and I am in that event I am fine. Engaging and happy, especially to watch the kids and grand kids. But the anticipation of preparing for the holidays, and think about what to get my wife can just shut me down. I think its my ADD taking control and my inability to focus on the process. It is very frustrating and my tendency is to blame myself for things that haven't happened yet. Stupid - but as real as a heart attack in my own mind.

One simple thing is shopping malls. The chaos in the mall destroys my ability to think. I've lost my car in the parking lot. The worst mistake for me is to even go to the mall for gift shopping. Everything is so shiny (grin), but really -- if I'd only remember to make a list (and check it twice - grin again), then I'd get the job done. But no, I head off with ideas a plenty to please everyone and end up buying a hot rod calender for my shop... ugh.

So - I'm not really sure why I sink low up and until the day - but I always have. That's why I am on these forums looking for posts like yours asking the questions. I know my ADD is real and looking for help is a positive step. Just no light at the end of this tunnel for me yet. Yet... but I want it.


We had a very stressful

We had a very stressful Christmas too. Dumb me remembered that this happened two years ago. He blew up at on Eve and Christmas day about how I am ruinuing his day by wanting to go to our parents and going on and on about things that don't make sense to me. He thinks that I should grovel to him. He said that I totally excluded him since we went to my mom's house. He CHOSE to exclude himself while there. I logged on here to see if other people had sad holidays as well.

southcoast re: sad holidays as well...

Well... Christmas went OK- DH did the usual impatient, irritable things he always does at X-mas (always has to yell at one of the kids for their "impatience", being controlling, etc.) BUT- I have the double whammy that my wedding anniversary is on X-mas Eve.  He never misses the opportunity to give me an anniversary gift that makes me cry (not tears of happiness, mind you).  I don't expect a big deal gift for anniversaries; just a token to express that you care.  I put fresh cut flowers, and card and a box of his favorite chocolates by his bedside so that he would see if first thing in the morning.  This year- our twelfth anniversary- he just handed me a plastic pocket knife sharpener (unwrapped) in the middle of the day while I was in the kitchen cooking;  no card, no flowers, no candy.  Nothing that said, "I love you" (I already have a sharpening steel, by the way).  It could have been a gift to the mailman.  12 years... and this is what he thinks is good enough for me.  I put on the happy face for X-mas Eve for the kids and parents.  Then I cried for two days (still crying).

There is such a fine line

There is such a fine line between needing to point out to them "you could have put more effort into my gift" and making them feel like a loser for everything they do that isn't what WE expect. I mean it is perfectly logical in my book to expect more than a plastic knife sharpener to be handed to you while you're in the middle of cooking as a show of his appreciation and love for you after 12 years of marriage...but why do you think he does this? Is it at all possible that he is just flat out incapable of getting a meaningful gift for some reason? Overwhelmed by the shopping process? TRULY feels that what he got you WAS meaningful? I'm sure in the back of your mind you wonder why. I mean who wouldn't? One thing that comes to mind is a dynamic that my husband and I had in our marriage for quite some time...I guess it went along with the parent/child thing...but I remember asking him all the time "do you think I just have no feelings or no needs?" He would complain all the time about me withholding affection and sex from him...and said that all I wanted to do was control him. No amount of anything could make him understand that, God as my witness, the last thing I wanted was to be married to someone who had no self control (empty promises to change, but repeating the same hurtful behaviors over and over again) I tried to control what seemed to me to be completely out of control..HIM. I hated that role. I hated him thinking I was some cold hearted b!tch who simply wanted a puppet for a husband...when deep down I longed desperately for so much more. Someone I could count on to keep his word. Someone I could believe when he told me something. Someone who showed, through his actions, that he could indeed control himself. I longed for his touch and to connect to him physically and emotionally as well...but the ADHD and my anger were always standing in the way. THIS made him feel that I didn't need him..or anything from him. Maybe your husband is SOOOO out of touch with your feelings (because of ADHD or some other hopefully soon to be diagnosed and treated disorder) that he just cannot see that these types of 'shows of affection' are SO very hurtful to you. I'm not making excuses for him, I am just trying to understand why he would put forth ANY effort at all...if he really didn't care.

For many years we had enough money that my husband could buy me very nice, expensive gifts....and don't get me wrong, I loved them cameras, diamond earrings, diamond engagement ring, jewelry, etc....but I could flat out tell him what I really wanted and he ignored my 'suggestions' and got what he wanted to get me instead. I really never could understand why I would ask for one thing (typically much less expensive than what I got) and he just never listened to what I wanted. So although he was an excellent gift giver, often putting a LOT of thought into my gifts, I did feel like it was more for 'him' (made him feel good about himself?) than it was for me. I accepted this as just merely a difference between us in how we view/feel about material things. I'm not into material possessions at all...and he is. So, even to the other extreme, they can really be out of touch with our wants and feelings. This year I told my daughter I wanted a Snuggie...but we were at the Mall and I saw a robe I really wanted. I told her that was what I wanted..if he asked. I got the robe. He also got me a Willow Tree figurine "Together". He got me the "Promise" one last year...they mean more to me than anything he's ever gotten me.

I am sorry lady....please, again, try and just hang in there...keep a journal of these kinds of hurtful things if you have to, so that you can remember to bring it up in counseling eventually. These are all issues that can work themselves out with enough time and patience. It hurts in the meantime though, and I fully get that. ((HUGS))

re: the fine line...

Ya know,  I am pretty tired of expending valuable mental energy trying to figure out what HE MEANS , what HIS NEEDS are,  HIS FEELINGS, what's HARD FOR HIM.  These things are not fun, engaging or even interesting to me to think about.  And further, these things are becoming increasingly less important to me as time goes on.  There is something sad, ridiculous and pointless about trying to "work with" and understand someone who is either too mentally incapacitated to make appropriate decisions, or who's "feelings" are so out of touch that they are physically unable to pick up a card.  

Really- I am beginning to fall firmly on the side of hole in the bucket- what is supposed to be in this for me?  Why should I WANT to be married to someone like this?  Honestly, any half aware toddler can (with a ride to the store) pick out a reasonably appropriate card.  It is not about my gift expectations- I have plenty of money.  I have need of nothing material.  Token gifts are the order of the day;  if that @%$!  knife sharpener had been wrapped, or in a gift bag with a card or a flower, my reaction would have been more like, "Thanks, hon."  It is the utter lack of regard, the absence of ANY feeling or effort behind it that burns me up.  I don't have time to worry about HIS feelings.  Who is worried about MY feelings?  I think I better tend to my own feelings- cause he sure as hell isn't going to.   Why are you so sure he has these alleged "feelings"?  What kind of person with FEELINGS gives their wife an anniversary gift in this fashion?  I have to cook for him, clean for him, make his appointments, now I am supposed to FEEL for him, too?  Uh, no.  F*** THAT.

By the way, I heard him on the phone.  Talking to his dad, making a g*ddamn effort to get them something "special" for X-mas- so no; I'm afraid he is NOT incapable of it.  Just lazy and disregarding.

Believe it or not lady, I

Believe it or not lady, I think you're isn't that he's incapable...I just always try and think of all possible ways to give you hope and keep you sane until he can get some help. I can tell you that there were many years that I spent thinking my husband was the most selfish bastard ever....and I know I told him that far too many times...but it is EXACTLY what it felt like to me. I would always be left out in the cold, his promises to me left empty and meaningless, but his friends could always count on him. He took the side of a teenager (my step-daughter) against me, humiliating me and disrespecting me MANY times, sometimes later admitting he knew SHE was wrong, but he felt like I was being too hard on her. (this just made me more resentful and made things even worse as time went on). I understand what it is like to feel what you're feeling about your husband...and no one was telling me all of those years that I needed to just 'understand' or 'consider his feelings'... other than his mom telling me once "just give him his space and let him get it out of his system" when he freaked out on me when I was PG with our daughter. I don't think I ever forgave her, although I know she meant well. I only hope you're more forgiving of me trying to help you out. :) I know it doesn't seem like it to you, but I hope someday you will see that this is the best advice I can give...if my goal is to help you save your marriage.

I don't care who is offends, ADHD is a neurological disorder that, left untreated, is very f**king hurtful and leaves scars the size of the Grand Canyon on the hearts of those who love people who have it. BUT..we all have to decide if we are willing to FULLY accept the diagnosis...recognize the manifestations when we are seeing them...have the courage to set boundaries for ourselves to keep it from destroying us...and decide that the marriage is worth it....OR we don't and we leave. I strongly value the sanctity of marriage...but I also believe that BOTH people need to be happy and each partner needs to devote themselves to seeing that their partner is happy...and each and every decision made (what to get for a 12th anniversary) is made with the happiness of the other in mind. I know you are emotionally exhausted and don't have the ability or desire to consider what went into his decision...I fully understand and respect that. There is nothing wrong with that. It will take a LOT from him to help change that....and without some serious intervention, I don't have a lot of hope for him. I am praying that his appointment comes sooner rather than later and that somehow you find the strength to do what you have to do to survive. I have been in your shoes...things can be better.(((HUGS)))

Sherri, thanks for your kind words...

Yes, I know what you're trying to do (save my marriage and all that rot); fact is, its not really worth saving.  Not to me.  I don't think I have the ability to subsist on the tiny bits of niceties he feels like tossing my way (when he feels like it).  Really- I deserve better.  ADD or no, he's  just an a**hole.  I don't care WHAT makes him an a**hole.  Enough already.  He can go find some other gullible woman with poor self-esteem to dump this crap on.  Or he can go off and live and die alone.  That will give him plenty of time to navel gaze about "why he can't do anything right" and feel sorry for himself, instead of actually addressing his issues and ACTUALLY TRYING to do things right and trying to live peacefully and cooperatively with other human beings.  

You know, I see people like this in my practice all the time.  People who can't live with others, who alienate the ones closest to them, who ALLOW themselves to become disconnected from family and friends, who don't want to listen to their loved ones, respect them, show them any regard or caring or cooperation.  Who think that they can sh*t on everybody and everyone else will just be an endless receptacle for their sh*t and an endless fountain gushing forgiveness.  People like this think that other people are EXPENDABLE- that they can always get somebody else.  They think there's always another wife, or kid or job. They think time stands still and that no one changes but them, so for them they can always do it tomorrow.  And they look around, irresponsibly waiting for that mythical OTHER PERSON who is supposed to do everything (read- all the crap they don't want to be bothered with).  The truth is, these kinds of people wear other people out.   ADD, Personality Disorders, Bi-polars, Borderlines- I see them when they are sick or dying- alone.  Wondering why no one calls them, or where are the kids who don't seem to care if they have something to eat.  Living in garbage strewn houses because they years ago alienated the ONE person who cared about keeping them in a clean environment.  Dumped in nursing homes because- that's right- the whore they ran off with didn't give a fig about them like their wife did.  Yes, they're only human and they have problems- just like the rest of us who are only human and who have problems.  I used to feel sorry for those people.  But over the years I realized that my patients who were alone?  They're alone for a reason.  

You know what the reward is for this kind of marriage?  I have seen it.  I had an old aunt married for 50+ years; when she was actively dying of cancer (could barely get out of bed) her sisters went to be with her.  The sisters made dinner for the family, and when they got up to do the dishes her husband said, "Oh, just leave it.  She'll get up and get to the dishes later."  She was on her deathbed.    I have a friend who told me her father was a dependent burden her parent's entire married life.  When her mother was on her deathbed, my friend's father told her mother, "Please get better; you have to get better so you can get up and make me those sandwiches I like."   Hounded and burdened even on your deathbed.  Sounds great, but no thanks.

Your situation feels very

Your situation feels very justifiable to me. You're getting nothing positive from the marriage. Nothing that I can see anyway. Maybe I am just hopeful that he'd see what he's about to lose and want to make some changes. Truth is, even in the worst times, my husband was never so 'absent' from our marriage as he seems...and a big part of me feels like he deserves to lose it all for not WANTING something more than to just co-exsist...but then again, sounds like he's got it pretty good compared to you who has 100% of the burden on your shoulders and not so much as even the emotional support from him. You need to do what you feel is right for you. Right now, I do feel you need PEACE in your life more than anything else. I don't think you'll have that, at this point, with him being a part of the household.

You're right..we are all adults...ADHD or not...and we all have to live with the consequences of our actions (or inaction in your husband's case) and maybe it is time he learned this lesson. I do wish you peace, lady...above all else.

waynebloss's picture

Re: I am with Sherri

I do wish you peace and soon!  I am sorry that this is going on, especially during these times, but hang in there, peace is coming! 

the bottom line is self worth

Revelation:  I agree with your assessment completely. There comes a point where saving the marriage is not worth the sacrifice of a person's life and this is where I sometimes disagree with the experts. They tend to fall too much on the side of relationship preservation as opposed to advocating for the survival of the self and the soul instead. Too many people remain mired in destructive relationships because of over-dependency, tunnel-vision, poor self-esteem, lack of resources, and the idea you must be with someone in order to be someone. The examples you cited regarding pitiful endings to people's lives should stand as a warning to those who stay in spite of the damage it causes, not only to themselves but also to children who see this modeled for them. I faced a crossroads not long ago and was prepared to strike out on my own. My partner thankfully came to his senses and is fully engaged in coming to account for all the years he abdicated responsibility. He saw what he was about to lose. Without this I would have been long gone by now. I would have left the relationship knowing I still loved him but was unwilling to let him steal any more of my life; my well-being, my health and my optimism. In the end, a person must think enough of themselves to save themselves. I don't have much patience anymore for whiners, excuse-makers and flip-floppers.  They make excellent martyrs. Time will not wait for them to make up their minds and a life only has so much time.

gm1148 re: the bottom line

AMEN!  My husband has an appointment to be evaluated on February 24th.  I am trying (Jesus help me)  to hold out until then.  If his a** isn't online by mid-March- then it'll be on a bus line to I don't care where.   I'm tired of this garbage, and I have no intention of sitting across from him 20 years from now getting a plastic (unwrapped) whatzithoozit for my 31st anniversary. Dang!

I too was ready to strike out

I too was ready to strike out on my own this time last year...and was ready, willing, and fully prepared to face the pain of divorce GLADLY as opposed to staying in the toxic situation I had been in for 6+ years at that point. I too told my husband he was either going to change with me or he would lose me. I couldn't take it any longer...I was slowly dying inside and something inside of me just changed. I couldn't do 'that life' not for one more second.

It wasn't easy, it still isn't always easy, as a matter of fact it got a LOT worse before it got better...change does not come easy to someone with ADHD (undiagnosed at the time) but I am happy that he decided our marriage and family were worth it to him.

Somedays it is glaringly obvious that we've still got a long way to go...and I tend to lose focus on how far we've come. Somedays I feel like he is giving up, so I give up and lose all hope.  We reconciled a year ago and my soul is still broken and weak...I realize this more and more each day. Somedays are wonderful, some are more of a struggle, and some are downright disheartening...but over all our marriage is MUCH MUCH healthier and happier.

I get where you're coming from...there is a time to say "sink or swim" and you better mean it...otherwise, there is no motivation for the ADHDer to change and when nothing changes...well, nothing changes. That is all I'm trying to do...see Rev through to the evaluation and praying that it'll be the miracle her marriage needs. I have been in her shoes...I have felt all she is feeling...I KNOW what a toxic marriage is all about...but I also know that change can happen and miracles do happen and I just hold out hope that his getting the eval and at least getting some help might be a new beginning for her.

living with the aftermath

Everyone has their own time line, as to when to stay and when to go, and one person's limit can be different from another's. However I think everyone has a primal instinct that tells them when the self they know is dying in order to accommodate for someone else's needs. The tragedy is that a person doesn't actually die. They keep on living but are altered forever from who they once were. Traits they liked about themselves are no longer there. That's when resentment and bitterness and hopelessness move in along with a lot of self-loathing. No relationship is worth that trade-off.

In my particular scenario, the decades of living with a spouse with severe ADHD (undiagnosed until 4 years ago at age 58) HAS permanently altered me. While he is showing signs of becoming the partner I always wanted, I have become a different version of who I was in the beginning. His behavior taught me to be who I am now. So, we have two people who are completely changed, dramatically so, from when we met and we are still not always compatible. We face the daunting challenge of re-evaluating the relationship based on what we have to work with now. We have to discard past ideals and look at things very pragmatically, through a different lens. We sometimes collide because certain aspects of his ADHD will never change no matter how much treatment he gets and I have become ultra sensitive to those things that are the most difficult for me to cope with. This at a time when I most desire some peace and serenity in my life. However, he always steps up in words and deeds to show how much he wants us to keep on trying and the potentials seem to outweigh the negatives. His efforts have been massive. We have a long history together and much invested so there is reason to stay and work at this. Part of the agreement to stay is understanding that the discord is going to happen because ADHD is an anti-partnership condition and it is the responsibility of the ADHD spouse to protect the other as much as possible.  With that happening, there can be hope.

Part of the agreement to stay

Part of the agreement to stay is understanding that the discord is going to happen because ADHD is an anti-partnership condition and it is the responsibility of the ADHD spouse to protect the other as much as possible. With that happening, there can be hope.

I love really is anti-MANY things...but this really does define many of the aspects of ADHD. Even when their will and their words are one thing, their actions can often be the complete opposite and we all know how frustrating and devastating it can be. This is my greatest fear, that my husband's 'coping mechanisms' he has developed due to years of untreated ADHD are so ingrained that he'll never truly be 'happy' being what I need him to be. I have a LOT of reason to have hope that this isn't true...but in the back of my mind, the more I learn, the more fearful of this I become.

We are making progress...I love him very much and I know he loves me. He's really doing remarkably well, looking at the big picture (not always easy for me to do) so I feel very lucky and blessed to have him getting the help he needs and he's already made HUGE changes in his life that I will be eternally grateful for. There is always the lingering fear...but I'm hopeful in time, that too shall fade.

You're one knows when enough is enough for anyone else...that is such a personal decision. I worry about how many years were taken off of my life...and possibly his too...I'm not willing to go back 'there' ever again...I hope this knowledge is enough to keep us both on the right with my boundaries and us with our treatment.

I wish you the best of luck.


waynebloss's picture

Bad one for Us

This is the 1st year for my wife and I to be like this during the holidays.  For Thanksgiving, she did not invite me to her family's which put a bigger wedge between us.  Then for Christmas, we were together her family came to our house and then she went with me to mine.  It is hard to have a wife (the non-adhder) and you have to treat her like a roommate during this time and especially with family. The week before Christmas was going good until Friday, my paycheck was lost which did not start the day off on the right foot, then we went to church on Christmas eve.  My wife's best friend was there and my chose to sit with her and her family not with me and her family!  Yes we were 1 row down from them, but my wife has spent Mon, Wed pm, Thursday pm and went to the gym with her best friend Fri am, then a few hours later sat with them at church!  Mind you, not happy about the paycheck and when I saw where she was sitting, I gave her a look like (WTF!) then sat down.  5 min later, she was switching seats, I asked why and she said she could tell I was not happy with her sitting where she was at so she moved.  Told her to go back up there, I was fine with it just would have liked to sit with her during the service.  She then told me that was not the only reason then stop talking.  The rest of the night went ok, she was not feeling well so she went to bed around 9, there were "santa" gifts to be wrapped and sat out and other presents to be wrapped so I stayed up and finished them.  I could tell that she was not happy about me staying up or something but I did not inquire, I really did not mind, I am excited about this time of year and my kids, but could tell she was not happy about something and we have never discussed what it was.  She has not responded and she probably will not, oh well, I should be happy that we were with family, Santa was able to come and see the kids and we are still married. 

She did say that she is feeling guilty about leaving and going to her friends on Friday for New Years and leaving me with the kids and yes you guess it, taking her best friend with her. All I said was if you feel guilty about something then why are you doing it and left it alone. So Friday, I am getting some sparkling grape juice and the kids and I are going to stay up late and watch movies, play games and we will celebrate the New Year together! My wife will be where she wants to and so will I.

It is different for me, the show being on the other foot. I am the one with ADD, I am the one who supposed to be the "mean, the a$$&%*&, the ungrateful one", but now she is the one who needs to decide on what she wants.  I have continued with my recent changes, concentrating on those that I need to make and she now has to either dig in and make this work or quit and leave.  Right now, she is not doing anything and we will see what happens when we start our "healthy separation" on Jan 1st! 

I hate not being able to hug or even tell my wife that I care, that I love her!  Even of the coldness, the mean and cruel way of not talking to me for months, and she even eliminated all the physical touch and all mental connection from me for the past year, I still want to hug her to let her know that I care and love her.  Am I whipped, stupid or need new medication?   


I do hope everyone has a safe and a Happy New Year! 



Wayne- bad one for us...

Man, your day would look like kisses from a girl compared to the war that started in this house over that plastic knife sharpener.  Just when I emotionally recovered- I could sit up and take a bit of tea and dry toast- my husband decided to "apologize" to me by way of flowers.  Have you ever seen flowers make a woman cry?  How about when they're pink ( I hate pink flowers), carnations (I despise stinky carnations) that are half wilted and have a $4.00 price tag still on them?  I went from sad to murderous in 0 to 60. I cannot bear the thought that after 13 years together, this man does not even know what my favorite flowers are, or even more importantly, which ones I loathe.  I told him, "Tell the truth; you let our 12 year old daughter pick these out, didn't you?"  He didn't want to say, but only a 12 year old girl thinks pink carnations are cool and appropriate for a 44 year old woman as a gesture of apology.  It was wrong, Lord- I know it was wrong.  But I cut the heads off those flowers and left them in the bed where he was sleeping in a crazy Godfather-horses-head- type scene.  Pray for me, Wayne.  LOL

waynebloss's picture


Yeah, guess it is  not that bad here yet!  My wife suggested that we go out to dinner last week, this week since we have no kids, then changed her mind this morning with a solid NO!  I said ok, then I told her that I took her off my insurance completely, see about 3-4 months ago she elected to have her own medical insurance taken out at her work then after she did that she asked me to see if it would be cheaper for her to be off of mine.  I checked and it would not, so she asked me to leave her on mine so she would not have to pay the deductible on hers and I agreed.  Guess she will have to start paying her deductible. 

During our healthy separation talk my wife stated that it would be the best scenario if we could have a apt or another place to stay but we could not afford it.  I started to look soon after and might have found a very cheap place, so I told her this morning and she went from smiling and kind of chipper to straight faced and not talking. Not trying to be mean, but I really want this separation for us to be the most it can be so that we really have a chance to make the best decision for our marriage.  She would not look at me or talk to me so I did not have the chance to tell her this, so I guess I might get the chance sometime this week after she stops being mad and actually talks with me.  She is also starting to very more guilty about leaving me with the kids on Friday night while she goes out to a party with her best friends, but I am leaving it alone, no need to make it worse here!! 

Rev, I am truly sorry that you are dealing with this, I cold be like your husband and get my wife a heart shaped necklace, which she dislikes very much, but I do not WWIII start so I will not!  I might get her tulips on Sat to start the New Year off right, or at least start it off with me trying.

Hang in there.....there is light at the end of the tunnel and with it comes peace!! 


Are you prepared to move out

Are you prepared to move out of the house and into the apartment alone if she decides, after being mad, that it IS for the best? To me, that would feel like a step in the wrong direction...but that's just me. Although our separation was the worst thing that ever happened for us..and ironically the best thing that ever happened for was very very hard and A LOT of damage was done to our marriage...and a lot of healing. It's just hard, that's all I'm saying.

PLEASE forgive me ahead of time, but I hope this isn't your ADD getting the best of you...and you trying to 'scare' her back into your arms. I mean no disrespect, I have no real reason to doubt that you're being anything but completely sincere in your attempts to rebuild your marriage and make up for the pain you've if you truly feel getting a separate place would help somehow, then that's what you should do. I just wonder...because it feels like maybe she's starting to warm up a bit...starting to let her guard down...starting to let go of the anger..and you did say she was the one who suggested it...but I just was wanting to make sure you are REALLY prepared for that step and what it might really mean. Just some food for thought.

waynebloss's picture

Re; Not the ADD

We discussed this aspect but did not dwell too much on it. 

She did start to unfreeze  for about 2 weeks until Friday she has reverted back to being silent, talking only small BS things to me. 

Everything my wife discussed with me, what she feels will either allow her to see that our marriage is worth fighting for, that she still has feelings for me, or needs to cut ties and move on involves her being away from me/us.  She wants to feel what it is like to be divorced/separated from me/us, wants to go out without letting me know any information about where, when, how long or with who, and with the possibility of being able to seriously flirt if she wants.  All of that is from her, (I wrote it down so I would not forget).  If all of this is truly what she wants and feels it will help her, then to do this, without me going out of my mind and having the safety of our house, she is the one who needs to move out. I told her this and she did not like this part of our discussion, but I told her there is no reason for me to leave, I do not want to see what life will be like without her.

I am not doing this to scare her or be an a'hole but doing this to help my wife who seems very lost right now.  I would love to direct her back to me/us but right now I can tell that is what she does not want.  I am hoping that she will start to talk to a professional soon, but even though this is killing me inside, I will help her with whatever I can. I know that sound pathetic but it is the nurse inside of me who wants to help the hurting, it is my dad's DNA of always helping some one even though they might "bite the hand the feed them", it is God's way of "doing unto others as you would want them to do unto you".   If that means that I am helping her move to the point where she says goodbye, then it is, at least I know that I did everything possible on my end to ensure that I will not look back and say "what if?" 

I am prepared for the worst, I have always done this thanks to ADD but I am also ready if the BEST happens because I am changing for the best, it would just mean the best soooo much better if she was to join me. 


I guess that makes sense. It

I guess that makes sense. It takes a very brave and loving soul to give her the 'space' she is asking for...because to me, what she is asking for is BS. You don't find answers about what you want from your marriage/if you want your marriage by looking outside of the marriage. Separations can be healthy...and a necessary evil sometimes...but when it is done with her intentions (what you listed above...come and go without having to answer to you, freedom to explore flirtations, etc) then SHE is writing a recipe for disaster.

Maybe it is for the best that you 'help' her by giving her what she's asking for, although what she is asking for is trouble. I admire your respect for her wishes. Please keep us posted!


waynebloss's picture

Re; Sense

If I had to answer you right now, I say that she is saying this all from her head and that she cannot or will not go through with half of it.  Her memories of her father is him leaving with other women while their mother cried and went through hell.  She does not talk to him to this day nor does she want him to have anything to do with our kids. Which is why I feel that she will not go that far as to have an affair with anyone. 

My wife was in hell for 2-3 years while ADD ran at will. She was left alone dealing with money issues that are still happening, raising a newborn and a 19 month old all along she had a husband who thought he was helping, but really was making it worse! She had 3 children, one who was a lot older than the other 2.  One who has done some of the things that most of the non-add spouses post in here.  I was addicted to porn, did not spend money but did not help bringing money in, always leaving to go to school, go to work or go to my part time job or to a friends house or just to leave.  When I was home, I was looking at porn, causing fights, text'ing or emailing other women, doing homework or all of the above at once and sometimes I would leave without saying anyting.  Then I started to abuse alcohol, which I did not know I was until this year, but it would cause me to let it all out,  drunk and looking for a fight...with her.  Never physical but I can remember sometimes when I wanted it to.  I was a demon, I was what Rev and all the other are dealing with right now. At that time she did not have many friends, she did not have anyone to turn to but family, so her life became non-existant in hell. 

This is why I am not balking too much at her leaving, going out with her friends or making new ones and not involving me. I do not think she is actually finding answers outside the marriage, I honestly feel that she is ensuring that she is never in that same situation again, she is establishing her boundaries and making sure that I do not go back to what I was.  I do understand of finally reaching a breaking point and turning away from your spouse completely to rebuild yourself, rebuild the walls around you so that what just happen does not happen again.  It will take time, it will take me being me and her being her for this to work.  We fell in love once, it can happen again, just a TAD bit harder this time! She has lost over 60lbs and 41 inches and I have lost over 90lbs and went from a 46 to a 34-32 waist. New bodies, new way of life and a new way the outside world looks at you.  All of this combined with what we both went through, I can see where a break is needed. 

 Her wanting to go out and flirt, I do not see it happening to start a fling or to get serious with anyone, I see it as a woman who needs to spread her wings, get the dust, mold and other crap out of them. To have men flirt with her, let her know that she is a very beautiful and attractive woman from someone other than the a'hole who made her feel small, ugly, and made her feel like she was not a woman at all.  I could be wrong, but I honestly do not think there is intent to start an affair with her, just time to be her and no one else.  I am having a hard time with it, but I need to let her go, need to let her be who she wants for now. 

She has told me that she and her friends have flirted to get guys to buy them drinks, but that anything more was not in the equation.  I have told her my boundaries, told her with how I honestly feel what she asked, I did not hold anything back so it is all out there on the table with no cards up my sleeves. 

Now just like Sherri told me on FB, I just need have patience and let God handle the rest.  Now if anyone can direct me to the isle where they sell patience, then I can buy me some! 


ADHD is NOT an EXCUSE so own it...

I truly feel what you are saying....this ADHD is not an excuse to be a A$$ HO!D. I was married to an alcoholic for many years and I always said : yes you are sick , but you are still responsible for your behaviors, actions etc.. I understand some and work daily at learning more about ADHD, but the bottom line is treatment. ADHD is not a EXCUSE to treat us bad, it's there sickness and it's their responsibly to fix it. I love him and would to be there for him, but I can not nor want to fix him. For the most part I feel like I'm on a roller coaster that never (partner) stop this crazy ride before I lose my mind.

waynebloss's picture

Re:ADHD is not an excuse

I am the one with ADD and I do agree with you, ADD, ADHD is not an excuse for behavior to treat others bad, but it is used as an excuse and that drives me insane!  I do understand that ADD/ADHD assist us with making bad decisions but it does not MAKE us choose that decision, we make that choice on our own.  It is our sickness and it is our responsibility but at the same time, if we are forced into a world where we feel unsafe, a world where we never have been and are making changes that are extremely hard for us to make into habits and the one constant that has been in our lives leaves then I will say that 80-90% of us will revert back to what we know, the world of ours no matter how messed up it is, at least we feel safe there.  Without support we will fall hard and tumble back instead of going forward.  Please do not see this as me hinting that you shouldn't have left or anything like that.  I have followed your posts and know that you have tried and he was not stepping up to the plate.  Everyone has their "line in the sand" and if we with ADD are not willing to meet you there, then anyone has the right to walk away knowing they did everything they could. 

For me it was the fall from being left alone, the fall of my wife not being my wife and just a "roommate" that made me really start to change, so maybe the harshness of reality is what is needed, but I will say for me, I never wanted my wife to "fix" me, but her support and her not leaving actually did help me more than she knows.  Not everyone can stay and I am sorry that you found your breaking point and had to leave, I do wish you happiness and peace, as well as your husband! 


I truly am on the fence about

I truly am on the fence about this one...just when I think that ADHD isn't an excuse for anything, I keep reading Dr. Hallowell's books and life story after life story reads like it IS, at the very least, as he puts it "a very good explaination" for some of the horrible behaviors. Men confess to loving their wives beyond words, yet their daily actions are to shut them out, be inattentive, say mean and cruel things, etc.

Where I draw the line is getting help and changing the bad behaviors...yes, I do feel ADHD is responsible for my husband's HUGE weakness when it comes to controlling his spending. Yes, I do feel that ADHD is responsible for him hearing "you're nothing but a loser" when I say "I love that house over there" (that is larger and fancier than ours). Yes, I do feel ADHD is responsible when he takes much of what I say and twists it into something completely unlike the point I was trying to make. It is responsible for a LOT of communication issues we have. It is responsible for the many unfinished 'projects' around the house. It was responsible for his choice to 'self medicate' with alcohol for many years. It is why he is so defensive. It is why he is so insecure. It is the reason for so many things that make up who he is. BUT....where I draw the line in the sand is when they refuse to admit that the 'symptoms' of ADHD can and often are very toxic to relationships/jobs/the ADDer themselves...and refuse to get help to change the toxic ways they've grown so accustomed to all of their lives. My husband said the other day that the reason he feels no one ever thought he had ADHD was because of the ways he has learned to cope...and what I tried to explain to him was that the ways he learned to cope were sometimes harmful to those who love him...and to himself. It isn't just about finding out you have ADHD, it is about accepting the damage it can do and being accountable for those things and CHANGING THEM. There is a difference between saying "this behavior is ADHD related" and being OK with it. I'm not OK with the behaviors that spiraled out of control for many years....but it is somehow, oddly comforting to know that it is something tangible and treatable instead of just "he's a lazy, selfish a$$hole".  We know why it SEEMED he was a lazy, selfish a$$hole for so many it is up to him to work on himself so that he doesn't let the ADHD control him anymore.

Just letting you know how this reads to me


You decided to keep her on your insurance and then when you were irritated with her over cancelling dinner, you took it upon yourself to go against what she asked you to do and what you had decided to do.  Your statement "Guess she'll have to start paying her deductible" sounds very much like payback.  In my opinion it is always a bad idea for any partner in a marriage to change something that had been jointly decided.  Joint decisions should be changed jointly.


During a time when you have been happier, you tell her that you found an apt for one of you to possibly move into.  Now your intentions may have been excellent and you were just trying to do what she asked, but when she immediately went cold, that seems to be a clear indication that something you just said (or how you said it) went very wrong.  Did you try to address what had upset her in the moment?


I appreciate what you are doing through, Wayne.  But this woman who you've hurt terribly for years has been slowly warming back up to you, and it sounds like you are slapping her back.  At least like you are doing things that she could take as slapping her back.


If you don't want to live separately, then don't go looking for apts.  If she wants to live separately, let her find the apt, and then you can decide if you want to allow that type of separation in your marriage.  I personally think that is a TERRIBLE idea.  I think it is a terrible idea that she could learn a think about your marriage when she's trying to have options outside it.  But I also think it is a terrible idea to push her away when things are going well.


I'd be very hurt by both of the things that you posted about doing.  I'm sure you're very hurt about how she's treated you, but your hard work was paying looks like you have set your progress back :(


Wishing you the very best!


This is some of what I was trying to say maybe I do (being the non-ADHD spouse) feel a tad bit of that passive-aggressive ADHD crap seeping through. Wayne, one of the WORST things to learn to trust again is when someone gives their word and then goes back on it...empty promises. You promised to leave her on your insurance then took her off. You agreed you couldn't afford an apartment, yet you tell her you might have found one.

I agree...she is hurting...again...her reaction to the apartment thing proves that...and I think you immediately caught onto it, but did the ultimate 'no-no' and that was to just 'ignore it'. Maybe you know her better than we do, maybe you are right when you say she doesn't want you to ask, but I would bet my left arm that she is hurt by something you've done and even though you may think you are, I bet you're not asking her in a way that is really saying to her 'I really care and want to know what I've done'.

Ask yourself need to respond unless you want...why did you take her off of your insurance? Was it a decision you made with her best interest at heart?