I'm new here and going through the same issues many of you are currently or have previously.
My husband and I have been married 5 years. The relationship was rocky and drama-filled from day 1. He was verbally abusive and at times physically threatening (he never hit me, but broke things). He cheated on me repeatedly. He used drugs and drank too much. He was addicted to pornography. He has been marginally employed or unemployed for the entire time we've been together, despite us being in dire financial straits at times.
Many things have improved; The abuse has essentially ended. He has a tendency to say incredibly insensitive and hurtful things, but he's not generally abusive anymore. He has been faithful and stayed away from porn for a few years now. He no longer uses drugs and I am comfortable with the amount of alcohol he consumes. I know he has put in a lot of work and effort to make these changes.
Our two main issues are all the lasting effects of his previous abusive and otherwise bad behaviour and the unemployment.
His status diagnostically is a little up in the air. He was put on Cylert as a teenager but it does not appear he was ever officially given the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. He went off the Cylert very quickly as he lost a significant amount of weight on it and wasn't really committed to treatment at that time. I only found out about this possible ADHD diagnosis recently; he never mentioned it before. It was a relief as prior to that information I thought he was a seriously personality-disordered, morally bereft jerk!
Here are my current frustrations: With my encouragement, my husband went to our family doctor to begin the process of formal diagnosis and treatment. The family doctor agreed he certainly met diagnostic criteria for ADD/ADHD but stopped short of giving him a diagnosis. She gave him 3 options: 1) She could start him on a stimulant and see if it had effect; 2) She could refer him to the Adult ADHD clinic, bearing in mind that the waiting list is currently more than 1 year; or, 3) she could refer him to the clinic's social worker who could, in turn, refer to the practice's psychiatrist, who doesn't specialize in ADHD. My husband chose option 3, which I was originally fine with. Unfortunately, I don't know whether my husband didn't present the issues accurately to the social worker or if they wrote him off as behavioural, but after the social worker presented the case to the psychiatrist, the recommendation was that my husband didn't need to see the psychiatrist and should continue with psychotherapy with the social worker. I'm absolutely livid! My husband, as usual, doesn't see what the issue is. I'm glad that he feels the psychotherapy has been beneficial, but it's not a stimulant. I work in psychiatry; I know how difficult it can be to navigate the system. I'd love to go in there and tell them what my expectations are and get a real plan in place, but my husband doesn't seem to want me getting involved.
On top of this, we have a 4-year-old daughter with major behavioural problems. We have a few diagnoses, specifically dyspraxia and sensory integration disorder. I suspect she also has ADHD. Her constant defiance and aggression is wearing me down. I love her with all of my being but, to be completely honest, most days I don't like her and that breaks my heart. What is particularly frustrating is how unpredictable she is; One minute she's being an absolute joy, the next she's escaping from the house and running onto the street or kicking her baby brother in the head without provocation.
As well, last week I got a phone call from my sister (who is aware of the issues with my daughter but doesn't know anything that's been going on between me and my husband). She just got a diagnosis of adult ADD. She's been struggling for years and has had a variety of diagnoses. She is starting on a stiumlant but as she does have a history of psychosis (which she refuses to treat), I'm anxious about this. When she is not doing well, she tends to be very intrusive and demanding, and I just don't have anything to give right now.
I have recently been working hard at creating more joy in my life. I had been miserable for years, feeling like I'm just dragging myself through life. The weight of responsibility has been huge. For the most part this has been successful; I've lost 25 pounds and I'm looking for a new job (I figure if I have to single-handedly support the family, it might as well be in a job I enjoy). But other days, like today, it feels like nothing is changing and I'm stuck.