The Snowball Effect

I have been with my husband for 25 years.  In that time we have had a very volitile relationship.  I have spent some time reading other members frustrations and there is one pattern that I am seeing.  The partners of ADD feel extremely helpless and defeated.  I keep reading about out of control finances and households and I am also hearing replies that state "what are you doing to help this".  The fact of the matter is that many of us feel damned if we do and damned if we don't.  On one hand we are told to set boudaries and have expectations from our Spouses and on the other hand we are told to take responsibility for the mess our life is in.  An example is financial.  I used to handle the finances and was constantly frustrated because my husband always overspent and would not stay within the budget.  So I asked him to take reponsibility for some of the finances and that's when the snow ball starts.  $200 turns into $500 in late fees and interest.  Do you then take it away and say I can't count on you?  He says he is going to fix something and wants you to trust him...he doesn't do it and by now you are so in debt you can't pay anyone else, but the consequences of his inaction costs in other ways.  You pay insurance on a vehicle that is not running, rent a car when you need a vehicle, miss an appointment because of lack of transportation.  There are so many areas that start to slip, that you can't keep up.  I managed the first 15 years by succeeding on my own and trying to enjoy the fun, quirky and creative side of my husband.  I was driven and professionally successful and happy, though I was often exhasted and resentful of the extreme effort it took to keep our lives going forward.  Then I got sick.  For 10 years I have been battling a disease similar to MS.  It has stripped me of my career and my independance.  Even worse, is that it has made me dependant on my husband.  My life has eroded away and I feel helpless.  I often can't take care of the house or make meals and live in filth and don't eat regularly.  It is up to me to correct my life; but I don't know how.  He will only end the marriage if I leave.  We have multiple pets and a teenage daughter.  She doesn't want to move, but wants to stay with me.  I can't find a rental that will take the pets and I know he won't care for them (in fact he says he does not want them). 

If he would get help I would feel differently, but he refuses to get professional help or consider medication.  The more angry I become; the more he refuses to help.   If I express anger..then he will not do anything.  He says he is just as ill as I am with ADD, so his behavior should be excused.  If I am good and makeup with him, he will try for a couple of days and during that time he has all these "plans".  If I don't agree to the plans, then I am non-trusting.  If I let them happen (like deciding to rebuild something crucial in our lives), they will never be completed and we end up in more mess and I am more angry and resentful.  We cycle like this constantly.  I'm resentful, he withholds, we makeup, he is better and even starts something new, things start to slip, he starts to lie or hide (both from himself and me) how bad things are, I get angry, he withholds...  I can't seem to break this pattern and I have even contemplated suicide to escape the mess.  My daughter is all that keeps me sane.  He has a fit if I suggest that someone else help, but can't get things done himself.  I push to try and clean up the mess and end up in bed for days as a result.  I know that he is a good person.  He is the first to offer help if someone is stranded and is a loving father in many ways and very physically affectionate....but our life is falling apart and he refuses to acknowlege it.  I have been to councelling many, many times.  EVERY therapist has recommended that I leave.  We have gone to marriage councelling..but he is only physically involved.  He will not do the exercises recommended.  I am not looking for answers so much as responding to the answers that I am sometimes seeing in this forum.  That the partner is blaming the ADD partner too much and not taking enough responsibility.  Sometimes there is just nothing left to give.