Separation

I'm relatively new here, hope I'm positing this in the right place. 

A little background: For the last 6 months or so I've had my finger hovering over the big flashing "give up and get out" button. Then about a week ago, my husband finally went to an appointment with a Psychiatrst, was diagnosed with ADHD, and put on Ritalin. When he got back from the appointment, we had a long talk about everything, and I brought up some of the feelings I've been having that I was afraid to share, because I was pretty sure he'd use them as an excuse to not try to save the marriage at all. As I put it to him at the time: I haven't given up on us, but I've pretty much given up on him.

Anyway, now that we have a diagnosis, and treatment, I feel like there is some hope. But after the big talk, he suggested that he move to the "guest room" so we both had space to heal. Since our marriage bed hasn't seen much action for almost a year now, I really didn't see how this would help in any way, but I agreed. Less than a week later, I asked him to find someplace to go, even just temporarily, because having him here but not here was just throwing the whole marriage in crisis thing in my ace every minute of the day. I am self-employed and work from home, and it is affecting my productivity dramatically.

So now he's "planning to move out". Since the prescription, he's actually been accomplishing things, but there is still no sign of emotional attachment to me, or interest in me as a partner, so I need him to not be here. I told him asking me to still have him in the house right now is like filling the fridge of a person on a diet with chocolate ice cream. I want the man I love back, and his body is here, but the person is somewhere else. It's too hard to have him around.

I'm so in limbo and I'm scared. I keep hoping that something will shift, and I *know* I need to be patient if I want to let the meds do their work. I'm wondering if I did the right thing, but I can't stand the constant feeling of walking on eggshells that I have with him here right now.

therapy

Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you're in a really difficult place. My fiance started meds about 4 months ago, and it's been a positive but slow improvement process. Was your husband prescribed any other treatment besides meds? Will he be in therapy? Would you be open to considering couples therapy? It sounds like you could benefit from having a third party help you work through the pain of the last years. A therapist might also be able to help you two see whether you want to work towards repairing the marriage and if so, how.

Therapy is the next step I'm working on for our relationship. We haven't gone yet, because of the cost, but I'm not giving up at finding an affordable solution.

Therapy

Yes, he is getting individual therapy. I've started individual therapy on my own, because I know we didn't come to this place 100% because of ADHD.

About a year into our relationship, he abruptly ended with me after a series of events with his family that really had nothing to do with me whatsoever. I was so headspun that I went to a couples counselor alone just to get my head around what had happened. Two weeks later he wanted me back (now I recognize this as part of his ADHD pattern). I refused for a good month until friends intervened and tricked me into being in the same place/time with him so he could talk to me. Then I agreed to consider trying again on the condition he go to couples therapy with me. It was very helpful.

I REALLY want to do couples counseling again. He absolutely refuses. He says that he needs to "fix himself" first, then "we'll see". However, every conversation we have about this just makes me angrier and angrier. He still hasn't moved out, and if he is looking for places, I can't tell. I feel manipulated and used. The longer he stays, the less I want to give our marriage a chance.

I just read the article on "Now and Not Now". It was very informative, and I think this might be part of why he doesn't appear to be moving out. He's relegated looking for apartments/crash pads/ etc to something he can do "later". 

There is an upside

SherriW,

I kind of updated above. What I didn't cover is the upside. I've pretty much decided that if he is going to be nothing more than my "roommate", I am going to get on with living my life. I've spent more time with friends, doing things I enjoy, and generally trying to find "me" again over the last two weeks than I have in years. I am going to start working out of a co-working office in September instead of from home, which may help me break the cycle of disappearing into my work when Bad Things start to happen. 

Right now, I am admittedly hiding in my office because he's still here, and I am too angry to talk to/be around him without sounding like a maniac.

That is my means of survival

That is my means of survival right now too...just not putting myself in the same room with him. He's making it very easy by avoiding being at home every chance he gets and us doing something together is non-existent. When he is here, I find it hard to be in the same room with him. Walls are up and communication has come to a screetching halt. I'm not angry with him so much...really just feel like the only way to avoid fighting is to avoid him. His never being home is extremely disappointing. I know it will do no good to say anything about it. The more he does it, the more I just have no interest in being here. I lived that life for MANY years...I won't do it anymore.

Better yet Sherri. Have fun.

Better yet Sherri. Have fun. Have friends over (easier with kids), a card game, a book club.. Socialize and dont hide out. I have been rejoining the living and it is good. I am also refusing to "hide" from Dh. I feel if he is here then he is choosing to be in the relationship on some level and as such, I told him I will continue to expect a level of respect and commitment from him reflecting that OR LEAVE. Does it work? Obviously not, lol (yes i laugh, even as I cry). But this makes me feel stronger- I will NoT hide when someone continues to choose to act like a "*rick" . I will tell him, calmly now as much as I can muster, how I feel. I want to disarm the power of the "crazymaking", eggshell walking, rollercoaster riding we all know so well. Trying hard to say: NO MORE. Hugs to you too. <3 PS he thinks im nuts...

I have all day during the

I have all day during the week to spend time with my friends. I am free from 7:30 until about 3 Mon-Fri so I will take advantage of that time to re-connect with my friends and I have told them to CALL ME when they go out for drinks. They stopped doing this for a long time now because I could never/would never go. No more.

I disarm the crazymaking by avoiding arguments. A while back he decided he was going to start making his own cigarettes because it would save us about $200/mo. (he smokes about 2 packs a day). All of the sudden he has decided he doesn't want to anymore. He has spent appx $300 on the stuff to make them (has purchased 4 machines). I got so desperate for him not to spend what little bit of money we could afford for him to have for work/lunch on cigarettes that I started making them for him myself. I decided that was a huge mistake, I already do enough, I don't need to add something else...so I quit making them and he went back to buying them. Today he asked me to buy him a name brand pack which are $5+/pack. I asked "can't I just get you some tubes, you have tobacco...so you can make some?" I got a smart ass answer of "sure". I asked him why this keeps being an issue, that he said he wanted to do this for his family, to save us money, and now all of the sudden when I need him to continue doing this (we BARELY make it!!), he acts like I am selfish or something. He responded with "you and I will just never understand each other" (translation "you just don't love me enough") I told him "every time I ask you about something you act like I am just not good enough for you. This is about cigarettes, not about how well we do or don't understand each other. make it something else if you want, but you making it out like I'm selfish to ask you to continue to do this is bullshit" and told him to continue if he wanted, I wasn't listening to it. It was about me asking him to continue to make his own so we can save a LOT of money each month..nothing more. It used to drive me insane...now I just see it for the manipulation that it is. (i.e. if he makes Sherri feel bad, he gets his way) 

Just to clarify...the reason

Just to clarify...the reason it is an issue that he spends his $60 he gets a week on cigarettes is because then he'll expect more and we don't have it...it is tough enough to afford that much..but it's more than $10/day. There is no 'you spend it, you just do without'...he has never followed that rule. He'll just sneak to the bank and take out $20 $30, $40 more without even discussing it with me.

Unfortunately, DH has decided

Unfortunately, DH has decided that he has separate finances now, and "lets me" take care of the rest of the money after he takes his hefty share. does not acknowledge it is to pay OUR bills, he just wants his $1000 a month (yes, really)... Plus his credit card (still secret) and drive his fancy leased car. I pay our bills, but it was not enough and my going back to work has been in part to make up for that- as well as to have my own security. At this point, if he decides to "show" me and take away the funds as he threatens - he will be very surprised to find out that we (kids and i) will make it (with the help of court ordered child support). Again, that is not what I want- I think he talks out of his rearend more often than not to make me feel badly, as well as to feel "empowered" by this type of intimidation.. So sad that that is how he will act when feeling provoked. It is like 2 parts trying on his part to 8 parts not... But it still is better than last year!

The money stuff

The money stuff has always been a struggle for me. I'm a typical Taurus....if I don't have $10K in the bank, I think I'm "broke". If he still has $2 left on credit, he's a rich man! For better or worse, he's gotten himself so far in the hole that he has NO credit any more. I will purchase food, etc. and pay our bills, but I do not give him money to spend, so if he wants to spend stupidly, first he has to earn!

Lulu, can you put one or two bills in his name? Make him act responsibly with them? Or is that just asking for trubble?

 

Just want to point out a book

Just want to point out a book again that has been helpful: Paula Evans: the verbally abusive relationship. Yes, depressing sound to it- but offers helpful tips on how to deal. You go girl!

Better

Shortly after I emerged from hiding we had a big long talk.

We dissected a few things on my end, and I followed up with my therapist and my Dr. My anxiety is causing me to handle the whole thing very poorly, and now I have something to work on, so that feels better. Also, I discussed the "not/not now" revelations with him and we started talking about some strategies to accommodate them. He is still trying to get a place, but the focus has changed: he is looking for a new, better warehouse with a small "loft" that has a space for an office/kitchen and a sofa bed. This way, if he needs "space" for a night or two, he has somewhere to retreat, but it's not a permanent separation type arrangement. (He needed a better warehouse anyway. He can barely work in the one he has its so grimy and moldy.)

Now I am being treated for anxiety and (what!?) OCD (Honestly, I had no idea, and when I told my father he said I "come by it naturally". Why we don't talk about these things?) so it's DH's turn to be patient with me.

We are trying to focus on short-term strategies, and regroup every few days. He won't go to a therapist with me, but he has been open discussions that examine our status very clinically. Right now, the deal is If you can't talk about big stuff, say "stop". (The safe word is bananna.) If one of us needs the other to go out, say so (in a text message if you have to). And for now, if I need something from him, try to ask when I need it, or set some kind of reminder.

I was given the OCD diagnosis

I was given the OCD diagnosis too..but it turned out to just be co-dependency. Why were you given that specific diagnosis?

I'm not 100% sure

I wasn't really give an "you have X" diagnosis. I have been experiencing what are apparently text-book panic attacks, so my therapist and I covered a number of things related to Anxiety Disorders.

When I spoke to my doctor (at the therapists suggestion) about medication for the panic attacks, we discussed a number of things, and I mentioned what my dad had said about OCD. I've had this doctor as my GP for 20 years, so he was able to look over my full medical/psychological history since I was a teen and kind of go "Hrm, ok, I can see where treatment for OCD might be useful as well." Jsut so happens Zoloft is supposed to be effective for both.

Also, co-dependancy doesn't keep me up until 5 am debugging code. ;D

positive steps

These seem like positive and healthy steps. I imagine it's still hard, but I hope you can celebrate this success of having a plan involving short-term strategies and some short-term "exit routes." Hang in there.