For most of our marriage, my husband and I have had the same issues; parent-child dynamic and me shouldering the burden of financial responsibility. His lack of keeping a decent job has plagued us. He has had over 15 jobs in our 14 years of marriage. His career has done the opposite of advance as he seems to make less money with each new job. He’s now making less than he did 15 years ago.
It’s embarrassing when I look back now. The signs were there. I kept having hopes that he would advance his career, to no avail. I feel like it took me way too long to see that this was a pattern that was not going to improve if he could just get a better job, better manager, better location, etc.
This puts an overwhelming amount of pressure on me to be the stable breadwinner. I make 4 times as much as my husband and fear that if I lose my job, we’ll be destroyed financially. Especially since I don’t always feel completely secure in my job. You never can. I felt a huge amount of resentment over the amount of responsibility on me to not only provide for us, but to run our household and make sure our kids were taken care of.
As frustrated and resentful as I was, I didn’t see a good solution. Because we have two young children, divorcing wouldn’t solve the problem. We’d still have to deal with each other, I’d likely get even less help, and maybe even have to pay alimony! I also still really love him. I would think to myself that it could be a lot worse. He’s not a bad guy. He could be a cheater, cruel, a bad father. I also felt major guilt for my children. Was it fair for me to turn their lives upside down because I wasn’t 100% happy. No one is 100% happy, right? Some peope have other issues with their spouses, mine just happens to be failing in the career area and completely lacking drive and initiative.
Nevertheless, I was extremely bitter and feeling so much despair. I just didn’t know how much more I could take. I didn’t want to divorce, but I also didn’t want to live the rest of my life not having the type of partnership that I needed. We started counseling for the 2nd or 3rd time 8 months ago. I thought the therapist was good but he completely missed the ADHD diagnoses. I stumbled upon it looking for yet another book or resource for help.
My husband was recently diagnosed with ADHD by a psychiatrist. I actually lost a lot of my resentment and felt a great sense of compassion for him and hope. The fact that there is a reason for this and that there may be effective therapy was a huge relief to me. I’m thankful that he’s assertive about treatment. He’s currently taking Concerta, but we haven’t noticed any changes (started at 18 mg, now doubling it). I’ve been trying to assure him that this is just the experimental phase and that we have to be patient to find the right therapy. To be honest though, I can’t help but have some thoughts of what would happen if nothing helps. My question is, can anyone relate to my situation and have any experience with significant changes in the career area after effective treatment?