Starting over again

Well, after 4 weeks off from counseling, we head back tomorrow. Over this time we have had a downward spiral from the progress that we had made and now (I feel that we are starting again from square one). So after weeks of poor behavior (isolation, explosive outbursts, intimidation, sleeping on the couch, quiting /starting med's w/o drs knowledge, lies, ect from him. And my reacting negatively to all of that behavior) I broke down and reached out to my DH 2 nights ago.  I explained that I was offering help from a sincere and loving place and I hoped that he was receiving it in that manner.  My concern was he is deeply depressed and doesn't seem to be "bouncing" back but rather sinking farther in. I am concerned that he is losing himself in depression.  I offered my help in whatever manner he may need - that I love him and I am here for him. That I am reaching out to him in a loving, caring way.  His response was "Thank you". Thats it. He went to bed.  Not another word is mentioned - its been 2 days. 

I truly felt that I needed and wanted to reach out to him - that whatever he is dealing with right now is more than just the ADD. He has built those walls deep and high and is so distrusting of me that I can read it on his face.  I understand this feeling - I know I don't fully trust him either - I want to but.... So he hasn't asked for help (which is okay) but he now wants to pretend that everything is good/normal. The problem is that I don't feel like its good and normal.  I know that he avoids any conflict or deep discussion like a plague (its his MO for ADD) and will not initate any conversation to deal with issues and if I do - he becomes defensive and acusses me of being negative, controlling, ect.  Maybe its my approach? I can say with certainity that my intentions are in the right place going in but its must not be being received with that message.  I really need to be able to discuss issues with him (I would like to be able make GOOD decision TOGETHER again). I want to be able to work together as a couple again - on some level where we are both happy. 

Hoping that conseling can get us back on track.

Save it for counseling!!!

Did I yell that loud enough???? PLEASE save it for counseling. You can't reach them in this least in my very honest opinion. Have you read Drive from Distraction? I just finished with a chapter in there about "the dark side" of ADHD...or basically talked about a 'dark place' they go from time to time. For years I mistook my husband going there as depression. He withdrew, pushed me away, wanting nothing to do with me, had nothing kind/nice/positive to say to anyone...and it seemed like he lost all interest in anything and everything that had been 'his life'. We had no ADHD diagnosis at that time. I made him get on anti-depressants because it is during this time that his impulse control issues are in high gear and his sense goes out the window...and he cheats. As with the current medication issues, this ended up backfiring and they made him worse.

The medications, I feel, have taken my husband to this dark place...and I fear I won't be able to reach him before it is too late. We are going to counseling Friday and I'm planning on amping up our sessions (maybe even twice a week...or 2 individual sessions a week) while we have a little extra money (school loans).

My advice would be to not try and reach out to him or 'talk' him out of it...this reaction, or NON-reaction is very familiar to me. I don't know why, but making ourselves vulnerable (while the walls are still up) just make them go up higher. This is my own experience. We keep hoping that somehow, someway we'll appeal to a side of them that hasn't been appealed to in the last 1000 times we tried..similiar to going to the fridge 10 times hoping something new will be there. The walls are impenetrable. Even talking about them makes them go higher. Pointing them out causes defensiveness. I really truly wish you all great success with counseling. I think they are equally as miserable in this state of mind, but for some reason they seem most comfortable there.

Please let us know how it goes. You're in my thoughts and prayers.


Can't Do It Anymore

Hi Lonely wife and Sherri.  This post really resonated with me because I feel like I've tried to approach him from the loving, vulnerable place SO many times in the last three years.  Sherri, I never thought of it in the way you said -- that that just makes their walls go up higher.  It's true -- ever since I had my most vulnerable -- as in sobbing from the pain and apologizing and forgiving from the bottom of my heart -- conversation with him on New Year's Day, it has been met with "I need time," which translates into, I will sleep on the couch, not call you AT ALL during the day, make about as much small talk as I would with a perfect stranger...and, P.S. spend a LOT of time chatting it up with our AU PAIR (yes, I feel like this is about to turn into a Lifetime movie, I think there is one out there already about this), last night invited her to play Scrabble and they played till midnight, etc.  FOR REAL?

I have concluded that I am either dealing with someone who has the emotional development of a 15 year-old boy, or someone who is so deeply emotionally disturbed that there is NOTHING I am going to be able to do to reach him.  Like Sherri, I have been down the road of just loving him no matter what.  Things improved, but to be honest they were still at a fairly superficial level -- I have not felt the trust and emotional closeness I am seeking in a life partner for many many years.  And actually I wonder if it was ever there, or if what I mistook with intimacy was just infatuation on his part, or some weird part of "hyperfocus" that tricks us all into believing this is "the one."  I have made so few bad decisions in my life, and it really makes me question my judgment to think that I just made a REALLY bad call on this one.

I would try counseling but to be honest I went back and looked and to date we have spent $11,000 on various kinds of counseling over the past three years.  We have NOTHING to show for it.  Here is the deal, and what I have some to realize (and which is an obvious fact, but sometimes you get an a-ha moment about obvious things).  YOU CANNOT CHANGE ANYONE.  And the more you beg, plead, cry, etc. the LESS likely they are to want to change.  People change when they think it is THEIR idea.  And I am at a point where I really don't feel like letting more years of my life slip though my fingers until it occurs to my husband that he needs to change.  And I'm not saying that I do't need to change, either.  Of course there are changes I need to make, in how I speak tohim, how I react to his triggers, etc.  But I thin his ?change" is so much deeper -- it is about opening himself up to love and be loved, I think he needs some major therapy for that because there are major self-loathing issues, etc. that I cannot even begin to help him with.

So sorry for you both.  I cannot wait to be out of this hell.

Wow I just found this site,


I just found this site, my husband of 29 yrs (ex? He left us in Oct last year saying he just wants to make himself happy and that maybe I make him sick) was finally diagnosed 2 yrs ago. Although when we were in counseling for our daughter the counselor then told him she suspected ADD and depression in him (that was over 10 yrs ago!) he refused to go any further at that time.

Anyway we had been in counseling for 2 yrs before he left, he always talked about hitting a wall when it came to making changes for me and the family!  I thought it was something he made up but maybe not?

Reading Ren's reply here makes me wonder if the hyper-focused is why we got married in the first place! He was so attentive and helpful the first few years.............. until kids started arriving and there was more that needed his attention at home........... then there was dealing with health issues Hodgekins disease (cancer) 2x's (before 25 yr old), shingles (due to chemo havoc on immune system), cut off the end of a finger at job, the latest was last year with open heart surgery to replace aortic valve, double by-pass (ended up with a pacemaker also). He was also diagnosed with COPD a year ago. I also agree with Ren in that we can't change people it has to be their idea, since he has left he has changed his diet (so he says and when youngest son goes for weekends he eats healthy then) and he has supposedly stopped smoking which is good since he had a COPD flare up in November and was unresponsive when he got to hospital!

We have 2 boys @ home still one gradates this spring and the other is in 5th grade (also have a daughter 27 and a son 26) the atmosphere and attitudes are so much different without him there.  I have followed thru with a suggestion the counselor gave husband and created nightly schedule for youngest and me so he knows what happens when. I still have the calendar that I had started to help husband keep track of what was happening with family members schedules. It is like I have to untrain the boys from thinking  that Mom will get everything done and keep them on track.


Also major illnesses here

Hi Melly.  Welcome to the site.  I was really struck by all of the medical issues you listed.  I, too, have dealt with the weirdest health issues that seem improbable to happen to an otherwise-healthy 37 year-old man.  Random vertigo, supposed blind-spot in his eye that the doctors can't figure out, intestinal issues, atrial fibrillation, hyperthyroidism, etc. etc.  Seem not as serious as yours but it does seem like he is ALWAYS going to the doctor for something and there is always something I am holding his hand thru -- meanwhile when I was pregnant twice he did not take care of me AT ALL for which I have major, major resentment.

We also hit a brick wall when it comes to making changes.  I simply don't understand how a person can say "I don't want a divorce, I want this marriage to work," then when it comes to putting something in practice -- date night, some chat time before bed, etc. (things people in most normal, healthy marriages just do) -- he will RESIST like I am asking him to have a sex change operation or something.  It is the weirdest thing and I cannot figure it out.  Then we get in fights about it.  Then he blames the fights as the reason that he doesn't want to spend time with me and has trouble connecting with me.

If I may ask, why are you keeping a calendar for your husband and helping him keep track of things if he has left?  I personally feel like part of the reason my husband hits a wall is because he has NO IDEA how much I do for him and what his life would be like without me.  If we split up, he would need to manage on his own because I think that might be the only thing that would force him to grow up. 

Thanks for the welcome

Thanks for the welcome Ren,

I forgot about the thyroid problem! His was found to be low when we started counseling, we contributed that to the radiation he had the first round of cancer. He never went to the Dr until I had 'nagged so much"  he did it to shut me up or made the appt and took him to it. And like you when I was pregnant he wasn't there, I was 2 weeks overdue with first baby and he took me to his sisters so I could go to my Drs appt that day. Told me to "Call him if something was going to happen". I went to all his appts because he never asked the questions he would ask of me when he got home nor did he remember much of what he Dr said. Since his family wanted the details I held his hand thru the appts and wrote the information down.

Date night he was willing to try but didn't put any planning into it,cost, time, day, what would be done with boys while we were gone. He wanted it to be spur of the moment etc. Chat before bed, hard to do when he would fall asleep in front of the TV right after supper leaving me to get homework done, boys to do chores, etc. He also "blames the fights as the reason that he doesn't want to spend time with me and has trouble connecting with me." . He was able to talk on the phone though, I think it was because he didn't have to try to get the "physical emotional cues" of the face to face conversations. Talking face to face usually involved "how was your day", "Some weather we are having" conversations you would have with a stranger.

I don't keep the calendar for him now, the two boys at home are used to having that to reference to and see when appts are etc. I don't always get things written on it now and they will get upset about it.

He has been on his own for 2 months, the checking account is now overdrawn because he overspent for the Xmas's he did. Funny how I was always asked what I did with all the money and he is already overdrawn. In an effort to move on before Xmas I texted him that I hoped his Christmas turned out to be everything he wanted it to be. His response was "Did I wish we were still togather and it was the same old same old with no changes"! He has also texted me that he thinks we should start dating to talk about things because it is to much for him to text............. 

Again Ren, all of these items

Again Ren, all of these items that you mention are so typical of ADDer's - those ADD'ers that are "avoiders". Which means that usually the other spouse is the "chaser" (like me :))  The chaser wants/needs the time with spouse to discuss issues, make decisions, just talk - while the avoider would cut off their arm just so they would not have to "talk" (my DH).  Through our counselor my DH was given the full responsibilty of setting our daily meetings (and showing up on time) and setting up date nights (while I had to be available and open - but not planning or reminding him of these things) - if these things didn't happen then DH was the one that held the responsibility for it - not me.  It makes the avoider accountable for their actions - if they set up and attend meetings/date nights - then they are accepting the responsiblity with a positive outcome - if they don't do those things, then they own the responsibility and negative outcome of those items - not you.  The same idea applys to the calendar idea - I have my own calendar (have for years and always will) he has never been interested in the calendar and often would make light jokes about it. But when it came to him needing to set up his own calendar it would be sucessful for one maybe two weeks and then fall apart.  He would ask me to add items to his calendar - the answer is always "no, thank you".  Again, the avoider, needs the responsibility and accountablity of their actions/non action.  To this day, my DH is still struggling with keeping his calendar - its still on Dec 2010.

My heart aches for you,

My heart aches for you, Ren...for both of you. Why does this have to be so hard. How does this disorder wrap so tightly around the minds of these men that they cannot see what is right in front of them. Ren, I loved the way you said in another post about how if they'd just open up and see what is right in front of them..and just GIVE a little of themselves, the rewards would be amazing. They were amazing for me and my husband. I've seen it first hand...and trust me I've considered the possibility that his recent 'shut down' is not intentional..not conciously but subconciously..his way of protecting himself. Last Fall, before he spiraled completely out of control, we had a few good months and then WHAM it was like a ton of bricks. I wonder if they aren't truly sabotaging these relationships. One could speculate for days as to why...but does it really matter? it still hurts the same. This is where I think getting a good counselor, the RIGHT counselor, is crucial. My husband is willing to go, and our counselor is he is going alone tomorrow and I am going alone next Tuesday. I can only pray that he'll try and work through what is going on in his mind.

In all fairness...he has told me that it is just that his mind is working in a different way and it is all over whelming to him. He is TRYING to offer explainations. Ok..I can handle that, support that, love him through it...AS LONG AS HE STOPS BEING SO MEAN AND CRITICAL.  I tried to cuddle with him this morning, something he absolutely CRAVED before...he didn't move a muscle. Didn't offer to hold me..didn't offer to show any sign that he wanted me laying on his chest. It is CRUSHING. Why does his 'new way of thinking' cause THAT? Anyway...he did not completely reject my e-mail asking him to stop meds. The e-mail included an IM from our 12 y/o daughter...that was heart breaking. She wants a different life...she wants us to do things as a family...her friends dads aren't always mad and grumpy..and she doesn't understand why hers is. It broke my heart. For some reason he has targeted her lately...easier to pick on her than me? (although he is picking on me too...I don't think he sees it) I can't stand to see her so hurt by her father whom she loves more than anything...and lately it has been for no good reason. Anyway, he wanted time to get things in perspective, so I'm not sure if he'll talk to me about it, talk to the counselor, or if he'll even acknowledge any of it at all. One of the main reasons I'm not going to counseling with him tomorrow is because I'm terrified it'll become a 'he said, she said' and with his frame of mind, feeling like I am the reason for everything, it would be too much for me to handle right now..setting through a counseling session having him blame me and take no responsibility for the hurt he is causing. All I have asked is that he either stop the meds or get help in dealing with what it is about the meds that makes him be so distant and cold. I'm so sick of feeling punished and blamed for being so hurt by what he has done.

In 13 years of marriage to him, through the majority of the fighting and chaos, he was NOT a distant and cold, critical and angry man....I pray he sees what is happening. I am also going alone to start working on my own issues...insecurity, co dependency, etc. I have the courage and strength to walk away from him, even though I love him with all of my heart, if he won't be accountable for his actions....but if we are going to stay together, and I pray we do, I have to find myself again and stop being so dependent on him for my emotional state of mind. This past year was all about survival for me...I see that now. I started to flourish and smile and be silly again...but it all ended when he started medication and started retreating into his old "it's all your fault" way of thinking...and I need to know why and stop letting it happen.

I hope counseling goes well...and Ren, I hope that you can find the courage to make changes for yourself that lead to peace and happiness for you. You seem to be an intelligent, successful, beautiful (I do believe you when you said it!) woman who should not settle for a life of loneliness. Ask yourself this...why is he willing to sit up with the Au Pair until midnight playing scrabble, but won't spend an hour with his wife for brunch? He can 'blame you' by saying "oh we'll just fight" but he is giving NOTHING and expecting you to just like it that deserve better. I know you know this. Making the decision to walk away is tough but sometimes it is the only way to blast those walls. I truly feel separations in these marriages are sometimes the only way to save them. I hope he opens his eyes soon.


It's not just the ADD

Hi Sherri.  Thanks so much for your kind words. 

So I had a physical a couple of months ago, and in the course of it I told my doctor I was having sleep issues.  She asked me why, so I explained some of the marriage stuff and told her about my husband's ADD.  She asked, "Is he getting treatment?"  And I said, yes, he's taking medication.  And he says he's going to get a coach.  And her response was, "But that's not the only treatment."

She went on to tell me that it is VERY rare that ADD is unaccompanied by some other problem, like depression, bipolar, anxiety, PTSD, addictions, etc.  Of course we know this and it is detailed in Dr. Hallowell's book also.  But it just got me thinking, especially in reading posts on this site, a lot of the crazy behavior, I am beginning to believe is NOT just the ADD.

I think my husband has major issues that he needs to work out, with anger, childhood trauma, past mistakes and the devastation he caused (to another marriage and child) which are all OUTSIDE of me and our marriage.  I think we are hitting walls because the problem is not just us, and no amount of love is going to "break through" until they are willing to address it.  Incidentally, my husband refuses to get EITHER an ADD coach or a psychologist because it is "too inconvenient" with his work schedule.  So much for someone who claims they are willing to do "anything" to save the marriage!  Wouldn't want to be inconvenienced or anything.

FWIW, I have been seeing my personal therapist for over a year, so I am not sitting on a high-horse saying that he's the crazy one.  I've had to confront a lot of tough issues from my old childhood, what has led me to pick the partners I have, why I resist the efforts that my husband has made, etc.  But at this point I am seeing my therapy as a way to heal myself so that I am ready for a new relationship in the future because I just don't see myself waiting around for this one.

I can't believe I made such a poor choice for the biggest decision of my life.

Ren, I wasn't aware that

I wasn't aware that ADD/ADHD would be accompanied by other problems, smoking would be addiction but the others I had no idea.

I always thought he sees things in Black or White there is no middle ground or gray in his reaction or thought process. Wonder what that would be sign of?

He isn't see a coach or counselor (the counselor we were seeing has ADD herself as well as other problems but she has dealt with them). Our last visit to her as a couple was right after he found out he had heart issue, she gave him some tough love at that point and gave him a sheet to write goals on and said come back when you have achieved them because it does no good to  keep coming in with the same issues you have to take the tools and make the effort. He was so angry that night! He went home and wrote 2 out of three goals the first was divorce and the second was separation. Guess he has achieved one of those goals by walking away.

 He isn't on meds because the medication they had started him on he can't take with the heart issues he has. He seemed to feel that the med made all the difference in the world when he was on it for 3 days (at least that is what he told the counselor). I have seen the counselor a few times since then and she tells me that I have tried to work with the ADD before I knew what it was. I used to put kids clothes away in outfits or hung on hangers together, I did the bills all the time, got the calendar do organize live in one spot to be seen,  took care of the kids with school etc. I am not perfect though he would like to say that I think I am, I have lost my patience with the lack of involvement in the family we created ...... And I am just plain mad that I spent 29 years dealing with this to be tossed to the side at this point. I am working on getting over that but in a way it is just as hard as dealing with the ADD marriage. Think I need to see the counselor on a reg schedule for a time!

Wish I had found this site before we reached the stage we are at.


OMG, Melly.  I'm so sorry.  It must be so hard to have invested so much time into a relationship and to have someone walk away from it without the least bit of gratitude.

Yes, there are usually other issues involved, Dr. Hallowell (whom we saw) said that a lot of times addressing the ADD first can kind of "clear the way" for what is/isn't ADD and then make any deeper issues easier to address.  He said sometimes addressing the ADD can ASLO address the other issue --like if the person is depressed because they feel like a failure and don't know why, then realize it's because ADD keeps them from following through, then they are able to get a handle on that, then they begin to gain self-esteem and feel less depressed.  I'm sure this happens in some cases.  But I think my husband has major attachment issues that are NOT related directly to ADD symptoms/issues, and he needs to go to therapy and address them.

I have had the black/white issue as well.  It's like EVERYTHING is reduced to right/wrong and who is at fault/who is not.  I cannot tell you how many times I've tried to suggest that we have different perceptions, there is nor right or wrong, but we each have to be mindful and forgiving of how we each experience the same reality.  Totally over his head.  ALWAYS I am asking him to "change" or to "fix" something, etc.  Like you, I have "changed" and "fixed" my share of things, not least by taking over every g--dd--m executive function in the house, but that means zero.

Same issue here with date night, it always fell on me to plan, negotiate, remind, get him out the door, etc.  After the ADD diagnosis I was even willing to accept that I will always be the "planner," all I was asking for at that point was some emotional enthuasiasm -- like just to show me he was looking forward to it.  But it always felt to me like I was dragging him along.

Your story makes me so sad because it is also my greatest fear.  I am afraid that I am going to stay in this for a long time, and once he feels comfortable discarding me, say when the kids are out of the house or whatever, he is just going to walk out.  In my heart of hearts I KNOW this is what will happen.  We have only been married 6 years and I am 36 years old.  We have two kids which I actually see as a blessing because if I left now my "clock" is not ticking and I'm not in any hurry to have to find someone else so I can have kids, etc. (which is the situation some of my single girlfriends are in).  I am fortunately financially stable and can support myself if I need to.  My parents are still alive and would help me financially and with child care help if I needed it, and can also be an emotional support.  I think I could move on at this point and be happy because I am OK with being alone (not too different than what I have now) plus I desperately WANT to be a good wife and friend to someone.  I love to do nice things, buy gifts, plan surprises, be a cheerleader and shoulder to cry on...but I really want and crave appreciation, and love, and attention in return.  When I don't get those things I feel really rejected and abandoned and unloved.  I am tired of feeling sad and alone.

Do you wish you had left HIM a long time ago?

29 yrs,I don't know if I do

29 yrs,I don't know if I do wish I had left him a long time ago. I wouldn't have my boys if I had and I can't imagine life without them. I am not financially stable (we let home of 20 plus yrs go 1 1/2 yrs ago because it needed major repair that the county would fine us greatly each month until it was done). I don't make near what my degree should enable me to make but it is in town and 8-5. My mother can't help me financially nor any of my family. At my age I don't know if I would want to start again in a relationship, would I make the same mistake again?

The last 11-12 have been the hardest because I was a stay at home Mom until that point.  I just accepted that I was expected to do all the house things, yard work etc. He worked 8-12 hours @ day for most of the year so he was gone before we got up and came home after kids were in bed and house was straightened up.  It got really bad when I joined the workforce again, it was supposed to be for "Fun" money but he got some credit cards I knew nothing about until the bills started coming in for them and before you knew it my income was a need. :-(

I think he was threatened when I started working because I took classes so I could teach pre-school. When I quit that for personal reasons he said he was supportive of whatever I did then would tell me it was the stupidest thing I had done.  I had to get a job opposite his hours because of lack of daycare and funds for daycare (by this time he had a day job 8-9 hours with commute). I would come home and find him sleeping on couch the boys laying all over the floor with supper uncleared from table. I went to part time and started online college courses. I would have to call on my lunch break and make sure the boys had gotten to bed etc.  The oldest son at home was diagnosed with a learning disability in the written language and "Possible" ADD. Rather then use medications for borderline diagnoses we (I) decided to try adjusting where he studied and how. That seemed to work for him. In order of the new studying to happen I had to change jobs again so that I would be home at night, which worked out ok because "HE" had gotten a job working nights and was again gone before we got home and would come home when I had to leave for work. After the boys missed the bus I found myself again having to call home to make sure they were up and ready for the bus. He didn't get why he should have to be responsible for getting them to clean up (his idea of that was to tell them to clean up or he was throwing toys away. More then once I came home to bag of toys taken away) guiding them in homework or getting ready for bed etc. Nor did he think he should have to help with what I had done on my own for years around house, he told me I had to "Lower my standards" which I did but he wanted them lower.

He has always been able to keep a job but they are usually jobs where he uses knowledge he has and doesn't have to learn new things. Usually he would be by himself with brief interactions with others, so he didn't have to focus which was good for him. He is never late for work because he gets up and leave for work early. If we were late for things together it was because of me "I had a time management issue. 

LOL Maybe I should stop rambling eh?

Ren,  Im so sorry to hear


 Im so sorry to hear all of the hurt and pain in your post.  I can sympathize with where you are at right now.  I can remember not to long ago beginning to question my decisions (exactly like your post I have made so few bad decisions in my life, and it really makes me question my judgment to think that I just made a REALLY bad call on this one.) what I came to realize was that when looking over my life of decisions (including to marry DH) the majority of decisions were right/positive ones (just like you), and that what my spouse is dealing does not reflect on me and my decisions.  See I believe that my DH is making really poor choices (in my opinon), not the same choice that I would make and the end result is that DH decision had a poor or negative outcome (which of course, then leads him to make yet another poor choice and the circle continues on). Since we have not been making decisions as a team for quite sometime, I was able to see how different the outcomes of the situation were. So rather than second guessing my decision process, I began to believe in myself.  The proof I needed I found in the daily choices we each made (I also realized that I was at peace with the majority decisions I had made - while DH would make his decision and then stew over the outcome and then to try and make it better - he'd make a snap decision and then stew over that decision.  Please understand this isn't a matter of being "RIGHT" but really about believing in and knowing yourself.  

 I found this was a way to re-enforce my self confidence (knowing that my decisions were and still are in the best interest) and continue to build on that. I began to lose those feelings of helplessness, desperate to try and get him to see my way of thinking. Those negative feelings were replaced with self confidence and peace.  When you own them (decisions), accept them, learn from them then you will believe in yourself and begin to find that peace everyone needs.

Yes, I agree that you cannot change anyone-but yourself. I think that this is probably the most difficult thing I have (and still am learning) learned to accept.  My DH's issues/poor decisions/poor behavior/ ect. are his issues - he needs to own them.  I found that I let me feelings/anxieties be dictated by his actions or non-action. Once I realized how much power I had let him have over me I found that I was angry with me! How dare I let someone else decide what kind of day I would have? I believe it was in a post from Melissa O - her counselor had made the statement to her that she "had been working to save her marriage but she needed to work to save herself" - (something along those lines) anyway, I don't know who many times I had read and re-thought that same thing in my mind before it dawned on me what it meant (to me) and how to make that next step forward for me.

Ren, I wish for you peace and happiness.  My prayers are with you.



Message received loud and clear

Sherri, thank you for your reply.  Well here is the latest - DH during our daily conversation he backed out of our counseling session for this morning - just decided that he was not "prepared for this meeting and so he's not going". So I went on my own and am I GLAD I did. I was able to effectively communicate the issues that we have been having the last 3-4 weeks. I walked out feeling validated (so I'm not the crazy one after all) and that I was finally given some direction of how to proceed.  I laid out the isolating behaviors, the erratic sleep schedule, the mood swings, the explosive outbursts, the missed meetings, the I'm on med/I'm off meds, I'm going to counseling/I'm not going to counseling, and essentially yo-yo emotions of life with DH for the past 3-4 weeks. I also asked for help with setting boundaries and learned that I actually need to learn how to set consequences for the boundaries - now theres something to thing about.

 As far as the med's issue, as I pointed out to my DH, I never asked him to seek out meds for either depression or ADD - that was his journey.  He didn't care that I reminded him of this fact.  At any rate, he informed me that he has once again stopped all of his meds.  

So even though he has decided to quit counseling (he claims that he isn't getting anything from it (same song and dance) and its a waste). I did schedule an appt for next week - we will see what happens from here.  In my opinion he is "stuck" and has regressed back to where we started from - maybe further if you consider he now doesn't want the meds and/or counseling.

Now for the good news (yes, for once I have some good news to share) - I am feeling that I have direction in my life. I feel that I have a bit of control over my life and I feel that I have a sense of peace in this chaotic mess.  I now know that I can and will set consequences for those broken boundaries, I will move forward following my gut instinct, I will not be afraid of losing this marriage any longer.  I no longer feel that rescuing this marriage at all costs and at the expense of myself is worth the cost. I deserve to be happy.  So I have accepted a full time job that begins at the end of the month - one of the things that I was resisting afraid that if I began to earn my own money and supporting myself - that would be one less reason to stay in this marriage (sad, yes, I know that now).  I shouldn't need silly reasons to stay - I should want to be here. Having a full time job is one of my moving forward items. 

One of the other moving forward items (moving toward finding my happiness/self) was for me to spend time with my friends. So I spent today with 6 old friends - it was the best time!  On the drive home I realized that I hadn't stopped smiling the entire day.  Not only did I smile, but I was laughing too!  It felt so terrific! I realized that I actually had someone listening to me when I was speaking and wanted to hear what I had to say!  No only that, but they wanted to talk to me also!  DH is not happy about me re-connecting with friends.  He talks down about why would they want me around - you haven't even seen each other in how many years?! What could you and they possibly have to talk about?  Yes, he does not like this, not one little bit. For awhile I misunderstood and allowed his displeasure with me re-connecting with friends stand in the way.  I thought that if I did reconnect then I was egging on a topic that I knew was going to cause disharmony between us.  I didn't see it for what it really was - his insecurities and jealousy (he doesn't have any close friends - more causal friends that he meets at work.

So the next thing will be the healthier side to me - I want to begin sleeping again.  Not this waking up worried that DH isn't beside me, wondering what he is feeling that he can't sleep, ect.  Its such a simple item - I know.  Then I will be looking at the healthier lifestyle for me without putting myself last in line. 

Yes, there is much work to be done. But I feel so empowered by the turn of events today - its like I have had my eyes opened for the first time to see that my work has paid off.  To see the rest of my work to do and be excited to take it on!

Want to say more..just have a

Want to say more..just have a second..

Explain more about the 'consequences'..I figure I know what you mean, but could you be specific about this advice.

As for the rest..wonderful news!! I am so happy that you are finding your joy IN SPITE of the marriage...this is NOT easy to do...keep your mind focused on this!

Be back after counseling! I'm going alone today...he'll take my appt Tues..he couldn't make today's appt, work conflict.


Thanks Sherri! Yes, I feel so

Thanks Sherri! Yes, I feel so empowered - haven't felt this way in a very long time.  Even with DH turn in attitude I still feel strong and solid in my course of action - I believe that I am feeling and doing this truly for me - now that's a new thing for me!  And thank you for your support, I will stay focused. 

Well basically I need to have consequences for when he breaks the boundaries.  So if I decide that his explosive behavior is unacceptable then i need to be plain and firm about what behavior I am not willing to accept.  If he breaks the boundaries then the consequence will come into play - I decide what the consequence will be and give him that information at the same time as the boundary. So if he breaks the explosive behavior boundary then the consequence is that he will need to leave - immediately. Get some space and think about what is happening.  If he chooses not to leave, then I have the right to call the police. The police will take him without him having a choice of where he goes. The point is when you make the boundary and consequence you MUST be ready and able to follow through on the consequences.  So it will take time to make sure that what I put out for B&C, then I must be able to follow through.  Honestly the calling the police would be VERY difficult for me to do - so I need to make sure the I put that out to him when I KNOW I can actually call if needed.  The consequence is meant to show that their behavior has consequences - I was under the impression that they are trying to get the ADDer to think about what will happen BEFORE it occurs and that having the "road map" laid out for them is a way to know what will happen.  This is why it is so important that we only put forth consequences that we can make good on - otherwise,  the ADDer will call our bluff, get away with the bad behavior (again) and our (non-ADD) crediblity is completely lost.  Also the consequences give us a sense of direction or the proper way for us to re-act to the bad behavior when the situation heads "south".  So yes, the consequences are very important and if possible, to get a verbal agreement from the spouse (ADDer) during a time when there isn't conflict happening.  At this time our counselor is really concerned with safety-due to the him laying his hands on. 

Update: My DH is in a TERRIFIC mood! He is smiling, laid back and laughing.  I do not what brought this on - but I love having almost the old him back!  I know - don't bank on this as the end of bad times.  His attitude and personality has done a complete 180 since Tues/Wed - I don't know why (and he did refuse to go to counseling on Thursday which isn't like him) his attitude has changed and I don't know if it is for good or not. But I am beginning to wonder if he was right and that his med's were part of the issue.  He does still have a bit of anxiety that is certainly making issues for him (which he finally agreed was true). Oh one last thing, we did have a very long discussion last night about 2 important topics - he listened he agreed and disagreed (as did I) on certain things but we did end up setting a B&C which he accepted, even though he feels that I am expecting him to do things like I would in order for it to be done right.  So while we did have a much needed conversation, we found common ground, we explored ideas of anxiety issues, and B&C agreement - so I have to say that this overall is huge leap forward for us.  This weekend maybe the real test to see if his mood holds.   Please keep the prayers coming for us.

How did your meeting go with the counselor? (I don't mean to pry and I will understand if you are not comfortable sharing here) I hope it went well and that you have found some peace and understanding through your session - (HUGS)

I TRULY hope maybe it was the

I TRULY hope maybe it was the meds and he's returning to himself. I know that it was quick and obvious when my husband was off of the Concerta for 4 days. So hopefully this is what you are seeing!

Thanks for the information about the consequences. I suppose I've already got those in place...just wondered what specifically you were told were options for consequences, if anything. My consequences are fairly clear...we either get this right, even as we continue to stumble and have problems as we move long as we MOVE FORWARD...or we will just have to be adult enough to walk away. All I want is forward. Period. No blame game.

Sadly, I'm seeing some of this return...but I also see him fighting to control himself and realize that my feelings are valid, even if I've made a mistake or two along the way, it isn't a reason for him to act the way he has. I am going to try and talk to him about the communication break down I feel is happening. I discussed it in counseling today and hopefully she'll be able to help us figure out where we're going wrong. We had a horrible day yesterday and I basically told him I felt we just needed to accept that I was not the right person for him and pretty much had decided my exit plan. I CANNOT stomach not one more second of the 'he said, she said'. I cannot live my life in fear that every time I tell him he hurt me or did something hurtful that it'll end up being blamed on me, somehow, someway. If I do something wrong..TELL ME. I've busted my a$$ to make myself available to him...come to me if I have done something that makes you feel bad or that you feel is wrong. But, he isn't..he's letting things build up and then dumping them all on me at once..when I decide I cannot take his coldness and distance anymore. I PRAY he discusses this with the counselor and furthermore, I pray he learns to communicate with me "that was hurtful and I really don't like how it makes me feel as your husband" and even if I can do nothing more than apologize and promise to work on it at least he could do me the same kindness that I am doing him and letting it go...realizing we all make mistakes. Honestly, his points were valid point but it was the first time I'd heard anything about it...when we were on the brink of destruction.

We talked, we got the lines of communication open again (although once he was offended by something I said that was not meant to be offensive), and for now we're going to focus on counseling and getting the indivdual help we need.

I'm supposed to read a book...going to see if I can find it as an ebook...Co-Dependent No More..I believe is the name of it. My goal is to be stronger so that I don't, indeed, make his ADHD worse...and just because I need to be happy with myself again and I'm not happy being so dependent on his mood for my own. It is OK for him to have a bad day, for goodness sake, without me having to have one right along with him. She confirmed my suspicion, that the more needy and weepy I am and the more I am affected by him the worse his ADHD will spiral out of control. I cannot remember exactly how she put it, but she said the high emotions (like Ren and I were discussing the other day here somewhere) freak them out. I can't explain why 3 months ago I had a mini meltdown one night and he hugged me, held me, reassured me, and helped me laugh at myself later...which is what I needed to do...and 2 nights ago he found me crying and walked away and left me there to cry alone. He swears it is not the medication that made him shut down, but that it is me and the way I am treating him. Again, I cannot say he didn't have a valid point or two....but where he and I are not having a meeting of the minds is that A) if I'm doing something wrong, sit down with me as an adult and discuss it and B) even if I make a mistake or two, that does NOT justify his own actions. Either love me and be kind to me, mistakes and all, or let me go..ya know?

We have a lot of hard work ahead of us...not just him, me too. I'm praying really hard for us. I am ready to take off the gloves and get down and dirty with the hard work...I pray he is too. I saw the amazingly sweet, kind side of him last night and today...after our fight...I hope now that we've cleared the air and agreed to throw ourselves into counseling that we've turned another corner.




Sherri, I have that book

I can send it to you if you want (bought at a book sale, didn't pay much for it) but I'll need to get your address and I'll need to find it. I think George has set up some functionality for us to share email addresses, etc. privately.

I really appreciate the offer

I really appreciate the offer but I got it on iTunes as an audiobook...I am not much of a reader and this will be a much more affective way for me to get the information. Thank you so much for your sweet offer! How are you doing?


Hi Sherri, Sorry to hear

Hi Sherri, Sorry to hear this is continuing, somehow with your wisdom and clarity, it feels like YOU are not supposed to have these issues still (even as I do). You can download this book for $7 on nook (you can have the nook app on your computer). It is over and over said, the way to healing is to consider yourself first. It is good advice. But it IS so hard especially with the ups that go with the downs...and the desire to be allowed to love this person whom you have shared a lifetime. I say to all of us, let us cherish the efforts, support us in our times of trouble, and pray for clarity and forgiveness AND keep praying!!! Sheri, Ren, Wayne, Topaz, Ebb, and all: thanks for being there at 1am, 2 am, 3 am etc and all those cold lonely hours in the mornIng. So many of these words are harsh, hard to deal with BUT it is helping me travel a journey that I never thought I would survive... (and I'm still trying).

Thank much. Prayer

Thank much. Prayer has gotten me through some of the worst times in my life...and it will get us through this too. He has plugged back in, thank the Lord...and for that, I'm grateful. I see now that some things I did, again admitting he has some valid points (and so do I), started to make him feel like things were regressing. However, I have dealt with the same thing..him doing things that would make me feel like tossing in the towel (almost daily in the beginning of our reconciliation) and I guess I just never gave enough credit to my support system of friends who encouraged me not to give up on him..not to see every 'old mistake' as the end of the world and keep giving things a chance to work out. I suppose he doesn't have that and a situation that happened about 6 weeks ago (the guitar situation I posted about here) I think started this entire back slide...the Concerta made it confronting him about the Concerta was seen as me trying to control him...and me saying something to him one night when I felt he was unfairly coming down too hard on our daughter all have apparently added up and instead of dealing with each situation, talking about it, letting me apologize or at least us agreeing to disagree and LET IT GO, he's been stewing on it all. I feel better having some answers...but this issue has to resolve just has to. I'm human, I'll screw up..we're going to disagree. I wish he had the 'cheerleader' type of support I had in those early months...

The reality is harsh...and another thing that is killing me is feeling like I'm afraid to 'talk' to him for fear that something I say will be taken wrong and cause a fight. Everytime he takes something wrong that I say or misreads a look on my face it is so disheartening...because it just seems to be getting worse. :-( We had a break down in communication just today...that wasn't a huge deal although he was mad at first...but it was a matter of us getting two totally separate things from a conversation we had last night. I talked to our counselor about it...I suggested to him we start taking notes and writing stuff down when we talk. Hopefully it'll help.

((HUGS)) Sherri



Thanks Sherri - I just have a

Thanks Sherri - I just have a moment but I wanted to let you know that I am thinking about this and will post more later.  The consequences were not specific - that was left up to me.  Not an easy task.  So concerned about the old way of nagging/mothering ect -but I was told that setting boundaries and consequences were acceptable as long as they are respectful to each party.  So the ex of explosive behavior - he needs to leave.  Him leaving is respectful because the situation is defused, we each get time to reflect on what happened and how we want to move forward.  I also am kept safe and he is able to leave knowing that he didn't lose control and feed into that cycle of self hate. 

Take care.

Thanks Newfdogswife!  Its

Thanks Newfdogswife!  Its such a long journey and I know I have so much more to learn.  One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.