I am dreading our 19th wedding anniversary this summer...just like I dread Valentine's Day, his birthday, and Christmas around him. I just want it ALL to go away...as it relates to him. I have been married to a man who points fingers at everyone else. It's ALWAYS someone else's fault. Honestly, I can't make up my mind if it's ADHD, Narcisstic Personality Disorder, Depression…or a combination of all three. What I DO know is our relationship (if you can call it that) is toxic. We have three boys (ages 9, 12, and 13), all of whom want their Dad to “go away”. My oldest son feels this very strongly. He hates him…and with good reason. The man is heartless around him.
My husband has very strong mood swings. He may be fine one minute and then he “switches”. You honestly have no idea what’s going to come in the door in the evenings. You could get a fun guy that just casually walks in or (more often) you can get, “What the hell is this mess for? Why are these shoes here? Who’s paper is that? Why aren’t the trash cans brought in?” In his mind, the place must always be spic and span (I work full time also, the kids are all in activities—we’re busy like everyone else). The mood in the room darkens when he enters. Everyone is always ready for an insult or directive. Yet, if HE leaves something out, well by golly it’s your fault for not walking around it…and the fact that it’s even being brought up opens the floor for him to slam you with everything YOU do wrong. If the kids point it out, they’re reminded of their place in the hierarchy of the family…and then they’re assigned a job of cleaning the bathroom or their room. We’ve gotten to the point where we all avoid him if we can. And really, he doesn’t make it that hard at times. When he gets home, after spouting off at everyone, he’ll go upstairs and lay down or watch tv or whatever. As soon as I hit the door I have to fix dinner, I’m arranging drop-offs/pick-ups for activities, going over to-do lists of who needs to do what before they go, etc.
To summarize where I’m at, we’ve tried counseling. It didn’t take long for the counselor to see that when I say I’ve tried everything, I wasn’t kidding. I’ve tried guiding, backing off, being there, being in the background, read books on relationships, researching things online, given him information…I’ve seriously tried it all. The counselor suggested my husband see him 1:1 for awhile—he obviously saw some red flags. That lasted two sessions and my husband walked out. No argument EVER gets resolved. Everything is my doing. If our kids are in trouble, it’s because I’m not hard enough of them. If they’re failing in school, it’s because I don’t work with them enough. Now…let me also add that two out of three of my kids have ADHD and one of those two also has depression. IIIIIIII am the one that sought help for them and manage their meds. Their drs have hardly met my husband. Their psych has never met him. The school wouldn’t recognize him if he walked in. That is how disconnected he is. Now…if I’m torn between activities and tell him he HAS to take so-and-so to this one, he will. But that falls under the heading of parent-child relationship between he and I and often ends with him either rolling his eyes…or the kids will be late to the activity he takes them to.
Now, as cut and dry as this sounds…he also has a very soft side. He’ll cry at commercials (WTH??). He gets teary at the kids’ plays and stuff. When I TRIED kicking him out 2 years ago he refused saying that one, we can’t work on anything if we’re separated. And two, he doesn’t want to be that Dad that isn’t involved. What? So damn conflicting! I no longer feel “love”. I don’t want to be touched by him. I don’t want to be alone with him. When I know he’s trying to coordinate an evening or something, I’ll purposely sabotage it, because I want nothing to do with it. It sounds harsh, but there have been so many times where I think, “Ok, this time he gets it. He’s really on the upswing.” Then BAM! One of the kids will say how much he’s badmouthing me or how many names he’s calling them behind my back ("He says we're f-----g morons"). Or that he slammed one of them up against the car to “make a point”. Or he stops wearing his wedding ring. Again. He’s cheated on me once (that I know of) and tried to just say it was an online “friendship”. She meant nothing. How do you get across to someone that THEY are the ones that have to change before our family dynamic can ever be somewhat normal??? Oh, when he gets scared that I’m finally done, he’ll turn on the charm and be the model Dad and husband. It lasted as long as 3 months before…but then slowly but surely, my moody husband returned. How does one stand by their man when their man refuses help and refuses to even think they have a problem? I’m a child of divorce and cannot stand the very thought of my kids having to go back and forth…but the environment they’re in can’t be healthy either. I have two stepfamilies. I don’t want my kids to know what that’s like. But I’m miserable. I'm so conflicted with the amount of "relationship" stories that are out there and how long I should stick around. Or am I supposed to be in this for a reason?