Still trying

New here, found this site after yet another crisis that sent me looking for some hope and answers. After reading many of the posts, I just sat numb, it was like reading about my marriage over and over. what struck me the most was the question, "Why do you stay?" I could give so many answers to that because I hear that question all the time. He read  books on ADD and tried things for a while, but nothing stuck.

When he came home from work today I asked him to watch the video on this site. He said he wanted to go watch t.v. In the past I would get upset and we'd fight bitterly. I said simply. "It hurts me to think you'd rather watch t.v. than watch something that might help our marriage." (He knows I am at the end of my rope with our current crisis) so he reluctantly stood next to the computer.

He said disparagingly, "Oh it's on the news, must be stupid," but he watched. He didn't move, at all. no fidgeting, no sighing. He was very quiet and absorbed. I held my breath. When it was over, he said. "I'm ordering those books." long pause. "Bookmark that site so I can read the topics."

I was so surprised. "He said I am so over living like this." "I get so sad when I see how unhappy you are." "I want things to be better for you, and for our son. "

I have been with my husband for 20 years.  I had 3 daughters and we had a son together. He was diagnosed with severe ADHD about 3 years after we were married. By then the havoc he had wrought already seemed insurmountable. Financial and legal mostly. Then I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatique syndrome. I had thought of leaving, but my disabilities made it extremely difficult to work. At times I was totally dependant on him for even the simplest things like getting out of bed. I did work off and on, but every time I worked, things at home became so chaotic, I had to stop working to get our life back on track.

He has been on different meds, but the dosage he requires is so high and the cost is prohibitive right now. We don't have insurance again, waiting until we can afford the insurance at his new job. Meds didn't "fix" things, but it helped some.

I understand the frustration and anger many spouses of ADDers feel. For me, the internal conflict is hard because my hubby is so good hearted, funny, sweet and I know there is nothing in the world he wouldn't do for me, except he forgets when I ask.

I used to think, it would balance out because ironically, I am a professional organizer. It didn't of course. It didn't seem to matter, I took control of the finances, but he would always find a way to wreck them.

The worst part for me I'm so exhausted from dealing with the fallout of his behaviors. I spend so much time being his"mother" and trying to keep us from losing everything again. I felt guilty because even though I understood the why of his behaviors, I still got angry, it seemed I had to be the one to monitor my feelings, my responses, my behavior all the time. I feel resentful because  all my  time and abilities are focused on him, instead of using them more productively . I know I'm a little bitter since I never have time for art, or playing my guitar, or any recreation for that matter.

I had surgery this year on my spine which relieved most of the fibromyalgia, and I was feeling hopeful, thinking since I was no longer disabled, it would make a difference. It hasn't.

Now that our son is a teenager, he is acutely aware of his father's ADHD and the fallout is affecting him more. He is starting to get angry and resentful of his father. In the past, they were very close and he thought his dad was loads of fun. He wasn't aware of all the damage his dad had done to us financially or the legal issues we had been dealing with.

The cumulative damage over the years financially and legally seems insurmountable. At times I feel so helpless and hopeless. I desperately need dental work before I can go back to work which would help our situation. Every time I would save almost  enough, he would have created a crisis and we would have to use it. Just like now.

I will help him follow up on getting the books, and we plan on setting aside one day a week to work to discuss what we read here. Thanks to everyone for being so open and helpful.

I'd like to share some things I've learned. One of the things I've seen since I have friends with children who have ADHD is that each ADHDer is an individual first, with personalities that are very different and  ADHD symptoms can vary. As I read some of the posts, I find I can relate to some and not others. My hubby is a very mellow, sweet guy, who never calls me names, rarely yells. I've realize when we "fight" it was usually me yelling, and over the years I became angry and sometimes cruel with the things I said, which was not like me at all. I had been married to an abusive husband and I was never that way with him.

Over time I became the "bad guy" and he was the mellow, "nice" guy and I can now see the dynamics at work, and it's really sad when you don't understand ADHD and the behaviors and even when you know the whys, it's still extremely frustrating.

It hurt when people thought of me as controlling, paranoid, and the one who had "issues". People would give me advice and tell me I needed to take charge and then condemn me for doing so. How many times I heard "Why do you let him do those things?" "Why don't you stop him? I thought I was going crazy. It was hard to trust him in anything and I haven't read much in the forums about the LYING. That drove me crazy. He often told me he did it to "protect" me and at times so I wouldn't get angry. So once again I was the bad guy.

I was sick and tired of the arguing and me yelling and crying all the time, but it seemed it was the ONLY time he heard me. It wasn't until our son ran out of the house in tears, called his sister to come get him that I knew it had to stop.  Just like that, I stopped the arguing, fighting, yelling, door slamming.

It's so sad to me that we didn't see the negative impact it was having on our son. As it is one of my daughters refuses to speak to us or have anything to do with us because of my husband. It breaks my heart. Yes it's hard to see these things when life is so unpredictable and you are exhausted, anxious all the time waiting for the other shoe to drop.

If we didn't have the financial cloud over us, it would be so much easier to implement more changes. I'm just so tired.


 I apoglize for how lengthy my posts are, but it seems it takes a lot of words to explain things. After reading many of the posts I noticed how at the end of many of them, including mine, there is almost a feeling of "It's hopeless" Being generally  an optimist, I reviewed the 20 years of my life with my ADHDer and noticed that I often focused on the negative, since they were often so huge it overshadowed the positives. Yet the positives were compelling.

I have been married twice before and my late husbands were abusive. I realized one of the reasons I stay in this relationship is the fact I felt "safe" in it. He doesn't cheat, doesn't physically abuse me and he has over the years tried very hard to express his love for me.

In a way his forgetfulness can be a blessing in disguise. He didn't carry grudges, so in his mind I was always the the wife he loved, not the shrew I thought I was. We may have an argument and I may be critical, but the next day he comes home, cheerfully announcing his presence and giving me a kiss and hug. The 'fight" we had was forgotten. It can be frustrating, yet at the same time, it gave me time to think about our argument, look for a solution to the issue while things were calm.

It also made me see how in the grand scheme of things the issue may not have been as huge as it seemed.  It taught me to pick my battles, and to see life in a more positive way and some things just weren't worth ruminating over, the past is the past, let's move on, thinking. Fighting never solved things, but thinking things through while he cheerfully went about his business, often helped us hit on some solutions some temporary, some long term.

I have found many traditional organizing methods simply did not work, they are geared to liner thinkers. I have OCD tendencies and having things "out" drove me crazy. I realized that to have some peace  in our home I had to accept that he is and OOSOOM person (out of sight out of mind) so I accommodated that with lidless hampers, and tons of containers and baskets that contained but not necessarily concealed. I found a specific for for every single thing we owned and labeled like crazy. Yes, even our refrigerator shelves.

The one thing that helped immensely to keep our home neat and clean for the majority of time was very difficult for me to implement at first, but it has made a HUGE difference. You see, I like stuff, I love to decorate and I took great pride in my home. People often asked if I was an interior decorator. What I didn't see was the visual and physical impact and the time it took to maintain it all was not a positive thing for him or our life.

So I undertook the task of uncluttering our home,one room at a time. It wasn't too hard since we had recently moved and it was mostly a matter of peeking into boxes and making decisons of what I would place in our new home, choosing a more Zen style decor. It took a few months, I grieved a bit, and I donated a moving van full of stuff. It took a while to get used to. I think we have all of 3 pieces of framed artwork on the walls and our decor and knicknacks would fit into a small box.

We minimized our wardrobes, linens, everything.

He even agreed to minimize his collections and once we got started we were both astonished how much he was willing to part with to make our lives easier. We both find it is easier for him to help with chores and keeping things neat. He knows it was a sacrifice on my part, so he tries a little harder.

We chose our relationship over stuff. What it has done, is helped both of us and for me, I can now focus on dealing with the financial and other issues that have built up over the years and work with him on repairing the damage.

The more I learn on this site and seeing things from his perspective is helping me see him in a different light. To see the positives and help bring them out.  Like many other spouses of ADHDers, I've had to deal with financial crisis, him going to jail, the loneliness,  trust issues, exhaustion, messes job changes and more moves than I can count.

Normal marriages have these issues, it just seems with an ADHDer it is multplied to the nth degree and cumulative and very often multiple issues at the same time. It can be very discouraging. Yet I choose to stay and work at this marriage because at the end of the day, he is a good guy and he loves me and he stuck with me through my disability, I can do the same for him.

I had read some posts on how the ADHD expects thanks yous for achievements even if they seem minor. I also read how rarely they seem to thank the non ADHDer for taking on the lions share of responsibility.

Yesterday my son had to be take to the ER and I wasn't sure if we had insurance. The state provides insurance for children and my hubby was supposed to have applied for it when our son was registered for school. I asked him if he had since I hadn't seen the paperwork around. He said he hadn't since he knew he would be employed shortly after school started. We couldn't afford the insurance the job provided so I was upset, that he had not followed through.  Turns out he HAD, he had forgotten. He was so pleased with himself. He insisted I give him kudos even though I had constantly reminded him to do it.

So I did, this is where I choose my battles. I don't need the strokes, he does. The positive reinforcement contributes to his sense of well being and I know as he counts up his successes his motivation in other areas increases.


I like that you changed your home decor to accommodate husband

Years ago- when I first noticed that organizing wasn't my husband's strong point- I also went out of my way to decorate "minimally".  It was easy for me, because I am not into bold patterns, layered looks or knick-knacks anyway.  But I have found over the years that the "ZEN" feel of my home is more calming for him and the kids.  It makes it easier to find misplaced items, also.  

We used to argue a lot about mail piling up.  He was insistent that he deal with/read every piece of mail, but of course would never get around to it. He would just stack it somewhere.  This brought me a lot of stress as it was messy, and important notices got lost (I once found a letter to him from a bank that stated due to inactivity, the account would be closed; he was supposed to notify them of his existence, or the $2000.00 in the account would be forfeited.  I found this notice 6 DAYS before the due date; it was a month old). I noticed in his male family member's homes, all surfaces had mail piled up.  I guess their wives just figured it was easier than fighting about it.  I had to make a very firm boundary about this.  

Now, his job is to bring in the mail.  I am the only one allowed to sort it.  This allows me immediately throw away the 90% of the mail that is garbage.  Which allows him to better deal with the 1 or 2 letters that actually ARE important, (though if they're very important, I still supervise) : ).


Thank you for that and for sharing ewhat you do. This is why I think we are here. To bounce these things off each other and to find the positives in the marriages. Some people think I am way too accommodating. They don't understand. I had to learn the difference between enabling and compromise.

The mail, I so relate. We have the same deal here. I placed a divided basket on an entry bench and he tosses his "stuff" keys, nametag, chapstick moleskin in ones side(and gumwrappers and who knows what else was in his pockets) and mail  and receipts in the other. Like you I am the only one who sorts the mail. We've had the important mail issue with dire consequences incidents too, so I understand.

We have set aside one day a week to deal with mail and finances. The sessions are very short, no longer than 10 minutes. I prepare the paperwork and we fly through it and discuss the items, putting some things on the wall calendar, in his moleskin or in my GTD notebook. Usually in those sessions, I supervise while he does his paperwork or signs or fills in forms. I deal with the rest on my time.

Any pending paperwork of his goes into a folder into the sorter file and we address those as needed.

I'll share at some point what finally worked for us as far as paperwork ,files etc. It's rather revolutionary to us. I will say this about that, In the years I was study organizing I felt compelled to believe that we HAD to be able to find a piece of paper in 5 seconds or less, and fell into a vicious trap.

When I realized I "live" on a another planet so to speak, I challenged that idea. I asked is life so urgent I had to find EVERY piece of paper in five seconds or less? So now I challenge everything and discovered omg, not everything is carved in stone and the "experts" may be too rigid.

So like me

Wow Topaz, this in many ways reads so much like my life, except it's only been 3 years for us.  I've had fibromyalgia for over a year now (one book suggests that people who live with ADD spouses are more likely to develop these kinds of diseases).  My guy is also very calm, easygoing and very rarely loses his temper.  I tend to come off as the controlling b*tch (and sure, I'm a bit of a control freak to begin with).  

So my instinct at first was sort of to take over everything and "happily" run both of our lives.  Then I figured out I didn't have the energy for that (especially after getting ill) and dumped more of the stuff on him.  Which of course is sometimes successful and sometimes not.

I also have become a bit obsessed with decluttering, but my problem is that he is Very resistant.  I kid you not , he had 10 year old newspapers when we moved in together (single issues, not years and years worth, but still).  He also has issues when I'm getting rid of my stuff.  If I throw away months old magazines (say Glamour or Cosmo) he wants to read them.  Seriously!  Was your husband just fine about throwing stuff away?

I was a little surprised to

I was a little surprised to read that her husband happily threw things out...because I have a garage FULL of boxes of JUNK that will NEVER be used but God forbid I throw it away because at some point, down the road, he just knows he'll need it for something. 95% of it is computer related...and since it hasn't been used in 2, 3, 5 years..I'm sure it is all obsolete. My daughter and I boxed it all up and got it out of my den, that he had completely taken over and destroyed, while we were separated last year.  Looking back, I wish I had just taken it all to the dump then. I tried and tried to get him to help me clean out the garage once before and he kept saying he would but never got around to it. I tossed a ton of his old stuff...and he about had a cow. He went on and on about it for weeks. I didn't feel bad AT ALL. :-)

He places unhealthy (I feel) sentimental value on 'stuff'...but then again he feels I'm strange because I don't place much value at all on 'stuff'. 

When he first moved in with

When he first moved in with me, I wasn't even allowed to throw out expired food.  "it could still be good" - never mind that it was a 3 year old item and he hadn't eaten it already...  He finally agreed that I could throw out expired food, as long as I did it when he wasn't home, cause he just can't stand to see it go to waste.  A lot of this was weird stuff he bought on impulse in the first place and then didn't know how to prepare.

Every time I want to clean house, get rid of some junk and so on it ends up with us fighting for days.  I won't throw out his stuff without his approval (my mom sometimes did that when I was a kid and it drove me crazy) but I have the hardest time convincing him on almost every single count.  The result is often that I don't throw things out to keep the peace, but then stuff piles up and drives me crazy so I end up snapping and telling him we Have to get rid of stuff and so on.

Oh, I think he has almost every single computer and peripheral that he's ever owned.  It's "sentimental".  I get holding on to a teddy bear or two from childhood, but computers? Seriously? Why?????

my husband hates to throw things out, too

But I work only 3 days a week to his 5.  I arrange for some charity to pick up his things when he is gone.  He has never missed them.  He did comment recently that  his pile of boxes seemed smaller.  I guess I better start moving them around (like food you don't want to eat on a dinner plate) to make the remaining boxes look like "more".  He is so much like his father- who is 83+ y/o.  His dad told me he still has his old college textbooks because he might want to refer to them.  I was all, "Can you still read hieroglyphics?"

My husband too...I'm trying

My husband too...I'm trying to clean out some cupboards at the moment...and he couldn't understand why I wanted to throw out some of his 15 year old minutes of meetings from a  club he is involved with..... I dont have too much of his stuff in the house now....He has has a massive shed about  30metres x 15metres and about 6metres high also has a mezzanine floor in it...but you cant actually see the floor or any walls and all the rubbish has begun to accumulate all around the shed. ...flowing outside because he has no space left inside.  The trouble is that he loses things in there as well, which turns out expensive, as he is always buying more tools and not cheap ones, then they always turn up somewhere.  His current hyperfocus is buying lathes and mills,  we now actually have 4 and he just came in the other day saying he wanted another one which was better than the last ones...I told him he had to sell the others before we could even look being able to afford one...another argument. he cannot see my logic..he wants it now..what my problem..he then gets really sulky and argumentative and will keep on it (hyperfocus plus) until he knows I just cannot handle it anymore...promising as usual to sell once he has the new one...but I know that they will never be sold...he's never sold anything before...he says they are not worth selling no one would buy them. too much hassle....but he will pay a fortune for anything he wants and often gets ripped off ...but as for selling things ..he just cant do it....why of why...I just cannot understand him at all...

And I know they say one man's rubbish is another's treasure...but hey...are empty softdrink..milk cans someone's treasure...he just cannot put things in the rubbish, just throws them on the floor...the backyard looks like a garbage dump with all his old car wrecks, rusted car projects and spare parts and machinery all just laying out rusting away.   His mother is the same ..  The home is really dirty...but she cannot seem to see it.....I have read some people on this forum who have ADHD saying that same thing.  That they can just not see the rubbish and just step over it , or work around it  without any bother at all.

  He is now saying that he has no more room down the shed and that I am going to have to store it in the house....Arghhh...  more arguments

I just throw all his rubbish  out now as he usually comes homes and just lands it where ever there is a horizontal surface... and he doesnt even miss it...but I cannot make myself walk down to back yard..Im so embarrassed by the mess..even his friends have negative comments about it...but its like water off a ducks back.  I leave him his space...but I will not put up with it in our home.  I have offered many times to do a clean up together..but he refuses..doesn't want to or has better things to do are the usual responses.

I know these things seem quite trivial,  but add  everything else that he does with his ADHD and all becomes just too much to cope with.

Debbie- re: throwing out rubbish

Yes, this has been the source of MANY a battle.  I was fortunate in that I saw his pack rat tendencies early on.  He gets very angry with me throwing out his things, but I decided a long time ago I can deal with his anger.  What I can't deal with is visual pollution.  I make an effort to get rid of his junk when he isn't around. Because if he SEES a bunch of boxes and bags that I have set aside for donation, he tries to go through them and take things out;  I then have to start screaming like he's beating me, which usually scares him off (be sure to do this outside, where the neighbors can hear!),  but is very tiring for me.  

About once a year or so, he will decide he wants some item that he THINKS is still stored in the basement. When he says, "I wonder where my ____ is?" my contingency plan is as follows:

(1) Immediately distract him with a tasty foodstuff; this circumvents at least 40 % of inquiries all by itself. 

(2) After he has eaten and is full, I keep him in the kitchen, ostensibly chatting; but I am really waiting for inertia to set in.  He may still mention the missing item at this point, but his drive to look for it has been greatly decreased due to the activity in his satiation center.

(3) Hand him the remote to the TV. Game over.  The item will now be forgotten about for at least another year, maybe forever. 

This "system" has kept my basement from becoming a complete and total wreck.  "But that's not respectful!" you say?  Probably not (read definitely).  But if his choice of weapon for solving the "trash" problem is defiance rather than compromise and cooperation, he's gonna get what he gets. 

WOW long time since I've posted

We've been having a great run lately (and I tend to come here more when frustrated than happy--not proud of that but true).  We've had several vacations and several family and friends have come visiting, so I've been MIA from most of my favorite online spots.

I had to respond to this Sherry, which btw I've been following your story and love your positive attitude, because I live with a computer hoarder too :)  He cleaned out his office closet last weekend, his own idea, and threw away 5 BAGS of computer cords.  How do you GET 5 bags??  This info I do not have.  I know he cleans out his computer supplies about once every 3-4 years (We've been married 9 so I just experienced my second purge :) ) and last time he threw away a 5.25 inch floppy drive........a 5.25!!!!  Has anyone used one of those in the last 10 years.....15??  He laughed about having it and still had a bit of a hard time throwing it away since "It still works".  I asked what computer he could plug that into so as to demonstrate it's functioning, or for that matter what disk he was gonna pop in and read?  He threw it away :)


I'm a bit jealous...I think we've had 2 purges here since we moved here in 1999...and one was all me. (see above post). :-P

Cords...oh my Lord the cords. I have no info to offer either, as to how this happens, but my Lord the cords! Remember the OLD CD burners..that used to come as a plug in instead of having a place in the actual computer? 1998? 1999? 2000? Something like that...that is what I heard about for weeks when I threw it away. LOL

SO happy to hear things are going well. I understand...I think we all do. You want to relish all of the good times and not spend them on the computer. I tend to come here, good or bad, because I do have a lot of 'free' time while my kids are in school and it is helpful not only to help others but to just read and know that I'm not alone...the support is wonderful. I hope the good times are far more abundant than the more hectic times! Keep us posted!


So like.

I think I have found a "home" here, because like you said, many of the posts read like it's yourself speaking. To find people who "get" it.  Even the "bashing" or negative tones in  some of the posts don't bother me so much as makes me feel more empathetic.

It's very difficult without writing a "novel" to explain all the details of each relationship and the issues so sometimes things let lost in the telling. Yet a the same time, we don't need to get into all of it since the threads are so common and most of us understand what is behind what is being said.

Being an "A" type personality it was not hard at first to "take" charge, but it gets tiresome fast. During the years with fibro, it was a nightmare and I became the "hoarder, finding comfort in shopping and hiding behind all the stuff. I think it was a way for me to avoid him and find solace and happiness in all the nice stuff. I wasn't a typical hoarder, my home was clean and organized, but it was a LOT of stuff that took a lot of time to sort, organize, clean and maintain.

The question you posed. "Was he resistant?" oh yeah, at first. Each move we made, was horrible, the packing, the loading, and then the reverse.  Most of the time, selling a lot of stuff made it more bearable for him because he knew ultimately the money would go to buy him cool stuff. Since he likes technology and we would upgrade each time, he became more willing over time. Then the shear stress of packing moving, packing moving, made him decide he didn't want to keep ALL the stuff.

Finally, It took a horrible experience to finally let go. Partly he was forced to, partly he just had had enough. We were evicted (the events leading to that would make your brain explode) I had NO idea it was about to happen. I had 24 hours to pack EVERYTHING we owned. With the help of my son's friends I was able to manage that. We could not load the truck fast enough and our boxes and furnishings were tossed onto the curb. People drove by asking if they could have it. It was a demoralizing, painful, shaming experience for him.

A couple of ladies walking by saw our plight and kindly helped us load the truck and we gave them many things to thank them. I just didn't care about the stuff at that point. When we got to our new place we were totally broke. To survive, we had to sell stuff and I had already sold all my jewelry and valuables. so all that was left were his collections, and DVD's and the like. It was sell or starve and go without utilities etc. Understand that in the weeks before it all happened, we were starving, and food stamps take time to obtain.

The funny thing is once he gets on a roll with something he goes with it. We did it fast, so he wouldn't have to think about the loss aspect. We didn't have water and had to buy gallons to get through that time.

So no easy answer there, in the past he simply trusted me when I tossed things. He knew I usually had sound reasons for getting rid of things and he would get replacements. What also helped is I had some experience with hoarding issues and  knew experts who could advice and he had counseling off and on to help him deal with all of that.

Empathy for ADHD spouse.

As I work through my feelings, I realize how much it is like the stages of grief. And like those stages it is not linear. As acceptance sets in, for now, I find myself feeling empathy for him.

Recently on FB I shared a funny thing I had found in an old cookbook. My friends and I had fun with it, going back and forth with commentary. Here it is: I read that in an old version of Betty Crocker Cookbook, there is a tips section, and one of the tips is "If you feel tired while cooking, lie down on the floor in the kitchen and rest for a few minutes. hmm. I can see it now. DH" Did you lose something?" Me "yea, my mind and  It's not down here."

I commented on what I thought my hubby would really say later on. I shared the whole post with him. Later that day, he came to me and said,"Regarding that funny post, want to know what I would really say if I came into the kitchen and saw you lying there? I said Yes!

He said "As soon as I turned the corner and saw you laying on the floor, my FIRST thought would be, C***, now what did I do! or didn't do.)

It sobered me. I hugged him really hard.  For all my lack of self worth, it is NOTHING like that. How horrible it must be going through life feeling like everything you do is wrong or messed up.

We immediately had a talk about his value and contributions in our life together. He left smiling, but I was heartbroken for him.

Topaz- re: empathy for spouse

Yes, my husband will voice  feelings like that (feeling like many things he does is wrong or messed up).  It is sad, and I empathize with his feelings.  But I still expect ATONEMENT.  He and I have had many talks about this sort of thing.  I have told him that I don't want to hear how sorry he is unless in the next breath he is telling me how he intends to, or has already to rectified the breach/problem/issue.  I am very hard on him about this.  Because I love him and I want him to be happy. And I don't think he can be happy in the absence of feeling competent in managing his life.  I am happy to problem-solve with him on how to manage certain things/issues, but I won't take full responsibility for them.  I think that would be undermining him.  He used to pay the bills late all the time.  Didn't kill us, but was damaging our credit rating.  At first he acted like he didn't care.  I stopped crabbing; just started (calmly and blandly) informing him of the total $$ wasted on late fees and penalties each month.  He wanted me to take it over (I would have, if it had the potential to kill us financially!).  Uh, no.  That's YOUR job- figure it out, though I am happy to act as a "consultant" for you.  He figured it out.  Took him a year, but he feels pretty clever about it now.


Atonement. amazing. I applied that thinking. can I say thank you revelation? I see so much how our behaviors are like dancing. In my post about him being childlike, I see how we fell into our "roles". I even notice it is often like a submissive/dominant relationship. The submissive  partner(my hubby) actually having all the power and control really.

Being a very laid back man, and his nature is submissive, he easily accepted the submissive role. I being a take charge type person,I fell into the dominant role.

Reading about the "dance of anger" in many of the topics, really made me step back and look at how I fall into step. By focusing on me, and changing how I dance, it forces him to change or falter or fall.

In the last few days, I have kept him updated on what I was sharing on this forum, some of what I would be doing and the changes I would be making. I told him it may be uncomfortable for him, just be aware I have to do this. He would often come into my office and notice I was posting, and I would share tidbits. Not a lot, it would overwhelm him.

I started noticing a change in him, subtle at first. I wasn't sure at first what it was. He was taking INITIATIVE at home. He was calmer. One of the things I pointed out to him was his den was next to the laundry, since he spent a lot of time down there, it would help me tremendously if he would start the laundry and reboot it during commercials and such.

Today he did, I was awakened by the machine being unbalanced, but I refrained form running downstairs to fix it. I waited. It stopped and resumed quietly. I couldn't help but happy dance inside.

When I woke up, I found him MAKING DINNER. ok slap my grandma, who are you and what have you done with my husband(to myself) I watched as I made coffee, certain he would destroy something. He simply asked me to check the penne to see if it was ready. Ok so he made enough to feed an army, but hey he was COOKING!

I do OAMC and he knew pretty much what was in the freezer, so it isn't hard to throw some precooked ground beef into some sauce and boil pasta. He figured that much out.

No criticism from me, no you are doing it wrong. The towel folding story I read on another post was a EUREKA moment for me. He is feeling more capable.

He worked actively at using the new to do list system and participating in the meetings at night. He opened up more in conversations.

Then it hit me, after I thanked him profusely for taking initiative. He KNEW I was actively and with a positive attitude trying to make a go of our marriage, by my participation in the forum and implementing some changes. By stepping out of my caretaker role, he had to step up to the plate or suffer the consequences.

I refused to fall prey to the manipulation, I didn't go "fix" the problems, like no clean clothes, no dinner etc. In the past, those things could go for weeks until we had to take it all to the laundromat to get caught up, and he would order pizza or something. I have ALL our money, so that was not an option.

He wears a uniform to work, our car is being repaired so he called a cab and he procrastinated, only to hear the cab honk and he wasn't dressed. He frantically searched for his pants and begged me to help. I stood arms akimbo and shook my head. He managed to find one and bolted out the door. It cost him his lunch and cigarette money for the extra time.

He did not get mad at me. He normally lays out his clothes at night and he hadn't because there was none to be had. He knows I had two feet out the door in our marriage and all I had to do was close it. He wants me to stay.

He also noticed how exhausted I was for a change. I had told him, if you want any kind of a Christmas I need a few days to clean this place up and have some down time. Ok I must have found something there because Christmas is a huge deal for him and I had said, I was seriously considering NOT putting up any decor or the trees(yes, trees).

He told me that he had noticed, I speak differently, I'm different somehow, kinder. He really likes that, and he made the connection between my spilling my guts out here on the forum with the changes in me. He wants me to have the time to do so. It's way different this time than the other times we've tried. Something about the whole "THRIVING" aspect, that it is possible ,gave us both hope. We are BOTH tired of it all. He has dreams and realized time is running out.

Payday he wants to order the books. He started taking fish oil and put on his list other things suggested to use. I am really hopeful this time.


Dirty Laundry

After the last post. I went downstairs to finish the laundry he had started. Flip on the light. I had to lean against the doorjamb. The visual made my head spin. I glanced over at his den, a tray with his dirty dishes glared back at me. Laundry piled in front of the ottoman. Looking back at the laundryroom. It made no sense. There were clothes tossed on the floor of the guestroom, piles of clothes everywhere. No laundry basket to be seen. I peek in the dryer. clothes in there, the washer empty. The rod had no hangers or clothes hung on it.

My first reaction was despair. Will he never learn how to do ANYTHING? He is 41 years old, this is not funny. I pushed it all down and reminded myself he did do some laundry. So I started folding the clothes in the dryer. Looked around for the baskets. I found one under one of the piles with hangers in it. I went in the guest room and started folding those. I did not recognize the clothes, then realized they were his friends. I set them aside not sure why he he had washed them.

I started another load and sorted the rest. Once the room was semi orderly. I picked up his tray to take it up. At least he had put it all on a tray. I sat in the kitchen feeling queasy. I knew it would take time, but really? As I thought about what I had just seen, I allowed myself to step out of myself and examine what I was feeling. Why has it been so hard to get going these last few days. Normally even when I'm tired I roll up my sleeves and plow through things.

This next is not a pretty visual, be warned. I recognized the feeling. If you've ever been sick and thrown up, remember how it felt? Remember when it is done and you put your head against the cold porcelain or floor to stop the reeling? That empty feeling, yet feeling like you still want to heave.

The trembling, the weakness. So much of  our "dirty laundry" had been spewed forth here. I am feeling the physical effect of the emotional dump. Having to face the reality of it all. My husband goes to great lengths to keep our personal life secret. He keeps things very close to his chest, not even sharing with his closest friends or mother or father the truth behind our lives. He lives in shame embarrassed by it all. Trying with humor and denial to get through each day.

He is okay with me sharing because of the anonymity and that we are not alone in this. Our life together came to me wave after wave after wave. All that wasted time,money, emotions. I felt like an avalanche had fallen on me. The crushing weight of all of it has flattened me.I had been so hopeful this last week, I had kept some feelings at bay, not crying, just numb as I read many of the posts.

I was sick to my stomach. Thinking about all the work in front of us. I see our past littered with so much debris and as I think about all the damage we have to undo, it is simply overwhelming. That laundry room symbolized our life, scattered, some clean, some dirty, some so mixed up I didn't know which, so much still to do, and knowing it would NEVER end, no rhyme nor reason in the process. I'm grieving.

It's this constant up/down hope/ despair cycle that is so wearing. I am shocked that I haven't been found in a corner banging my head into the wall, mumbling incoherently sometimes.

 Once I  had a pretty rich vocabulary. Now some weeks, all you hear is REALLY!? What are you thinking? Are you kidding me, and I have had enough! (echos) I cannot bulieve what you  did., I rarely smile, I just walk around looking at him in disbelief..the whole "What planet are you from.".... and the sighing, the constant sighing.....

My hope is for you that the

My hope is for you that the emotional purging will somehow bring you to a stronger place. You cannot go on this way. You cannot go on walking around your home seeing it as a war zone. It sucks. It is hard. It is devastating. It is a dream lost that will never, no matter how good it gets, be what we dreamed of, but it is what it is. If there is progress, even if it is 2 steps forward, 1 step back, that is progress. Embrace it and keep focusing on the future. I spent 6 long, miserable years without even so much as a baby-step of now I try like hell to focus on each and every morsel of progress I get from my marriage because after having none for so many years, I want to soak up and relish everything I get. The setbacks devastate me right now because I thought they were behind least the "stop controlling me" BS anyway. I get what you're feeling...but we have to pick ourselves up and move the hell on! ARGH. So sick of letting this disorder control my f'in life. So sick of seeing so many people hurt (on both sides of the ADD/ADHD relationship). It is insane. Really.

Try and focus on the the laundry and take a deep breath. Scream at the top of your lungs and punch the couch if you have to. Drink a glass of wine or have a nice bubble bath...even things out a bit. Progress is very slow...but it is progress none the less. Hang in there!! ((HUGS))


I've read a lot of your posts, and it means a great deal to me, to have you respond to my posts. I realize in the beginning it must be like this for a lot of us. The purging, often seen as bashing I guess. there is SO much, the posts seem to ramble, tumble go in all different directions.  I admit I'm embarrassed at my grammar, punctuation,run on's, but it's so so much spilling out so fast.

I get that, all those feelings held down like a bunch of dynamite. When it blows..hoooboy. Having shared them from time to time with those who don't understand, having them misunderstood, dismissed and the whole nine. It is like a poison, festering inside.

You are right, I cannot go on this way, my home, my life, my relationships are war zones. Ironically, my husband was telling me how horrible that in this country kids have to live in war zone like neighborhoods and homes. I recall thinking, yes like our son. I did not voice that out loud.

We live in a very nice home, in a very nice neighborhood. We never know what goes on behind closed doors do we? The majority of the time, our house is immaculate, but I could not keep it up and it was like pushing back the tide.

I was a gnats hair away from calling my brother and asking him if I could stay with him and get my life back. I noticed on my FB posts,I had been, tongue in cheek mind you, bashing my husband ruthlessly and relentlessly. I was ashamed and disheartened. An old boyfriend of mine commented: "sounds like he needs a wife, not a mother." He asked What happened to you, you don't sound like you at all! You are so miserable,so dark, not the sparkly, amusing slightly sarcastic, fun person I knew.

At first I was ticked off.. Then it dawned on me. That man KNEW me, we had dated for 5 years, years before I had met my husband.  He doesn't have an agenda btw. We are strictly friends.

I was sinking and knew it. I found this site. The rest is history.

Insanity comes the closest to describing it.

There is a story about how an elephant was chained to a post. He could only go so far. He lived that way for years. One day the chain was removed, but the elephant did not leave his confined area. I think that is what has happened to me. Living this way day in and day out. I am free yet chained to this behavior and life because that is all I have known.

I will venture out today.

Topaz- re: submission= power

Yes, I agree with that statement.  I have never mentioned it, but I was married before; first husband was a peach, we just had different goals and pulled the plug (no children).  He was not ADD, and he was a very insightful individual.  He once told me in reference to our relationship, "The more power I relinquish, the more I have over you."  He was right!  

Topaz, I have been "working on" my husband for a long time.  At one point in our marriage, his attitude was terrible!  I had made the mistake (well, what was a mistake for our marriage- your mileage may vary...) of sending him to counseling.  It only provided him with a forum for navel gazing, a new set of excuses and "weapons" to use against me.  

ME:  I don't care how you FEEL about taking out the garbage; just take out the @%#! garbage!

I pulled the plug on counseling.  With my husband, I had to really key into what his core values were and what motivated him.  I realized that he has a lot invested in the image he presents to his family and mine of being a "nice" person.  In reality, he was often an a**hole.  He is also very secretive.   The maintenance of his secrecy allowed him to act in ways that were harmful to our relationship because nobody knew.  I began to see these harmful actions like little vampires that I had to drag into the light, so they would die.  Does that sound crazy?  So when he would do these awful little things, I began to put the spotlight on them.  One example:

At a holiday dinner, his sister complimented me on a pie I had brought (I had made it hurriedly and USED A STORE BOUGHT CRUST- yikes!).  But the filling was apples that I had picked and prepared myself.  When I thanked his sister for the compliment, my husband smirked and said, "It's good, but she didn't really make it- she bought the crust."  Can you believe that passive-aggressive crap?!  I calmly smiled at his sister (who was looking uncomfortable) and said, "He doesn't want me to feel good about myself and my pie."  He was embarrassed and shocked into silence.   In the past, that situation would've led to he and I arguing the finer points of "under what circumstances can you truly say you have MADE a pie".  Instead, I just cut right to the heart of the matter.

 Hubby brought it up with me later in private.  He had actually examined my statement! He said, "I shouldn't have said that.  It was a good pie and you should feel good about it", and he apologized.  My irritation cooled.  Our relationship needs that ATONEMENT (in this case, an apology) to stay even marginally on track. 

I am very hard on him about

I am very hard on him about this. Because I love him and I want him to be happy. And I don't think he can be happy in the absence of feeling competent in managing his life.

I would encourage you to be very careful in this area. Assuming that he isn't happy with the way he manages (or doesn't, in your eyes) can be a very big mistake. What works for you may not work for him. Maybe finances isn't the best example to use...because many people live with spouses (myself included) who have zero sense of financial responsibility...but in general it is a bad idea to impose OUR way of thinking/feeling on them in any area. It leaves a very large possibility of them feeling 'mothered' instead of equal partner. I sometimes pay bills late..because I have no choice. If my husband 'was very hard on me' because of this, it would probably make me feel even worse about myself than I do for not managing to budget any better than I do some months. Maybe this wasn't the case for your husband, maybe he had the money and just didn't take the time to pay the bills, but either way I would just like to caution you against thinking that he has to manage things in his life the way you feel they need to be done in order for him to be happy. I would ask myself this...would he be happier paying his bills a little late each month versus having someone (especially his wife) insist that he'd be happier paying them the way she would pay them?

I lived by this way of thinking for a very, very long time..."surely he can't be happy/proud/feel successful doing XXX" "I know if he'd just do XXX then he'd be able to let go of some of the shame he feels" and the truth of the matter is that me LOVING and ACCEPTING him 100%, just as he is, even when he screws up, made this more possible than anything else he could have done for himself (especially if he only did it because I forced him into it). Our counselor brought this to my attention, actually...and it hit me like a ton of bricks. His little world might be chaotic...and it might seem like a complete tornado to me...but it is how he functions. If he isn't happy, and wants to change, I am here 100% to help..if he needs me. Otherwise, I'm done trying to 'tidy up' his chaos...I never really managed to help anyway, no matter how hard I tried.  

I only wanted to mention this because I truly feel it is as equally important for us to put ourselves in their shoes as it is for them to put themselves in ours. I can only speak to how I think this would make my husband feel...and how I've struggled to let go of trying to make him conform to my 'mold' of what I think he should be. I am very hard on him when it comes to going to counseling (so we can at least try and 'fix' whatever it is that made him cheat..and staying within the bounds of marriage the way God intended)..and other 'deal breaking' issues such as creating a peaceful home life for our children (i.e. STOP THE DAMNED FIGHTING!), treating everyone here with the same respect that he demands, etc...other than that, I'm here to support him, but I refuse to dictate ANY part of his life to him.

SherriW13- re: hard on him

I see what you are saying, but the fact is I don't dictate his life to him.  But I also do not allow him to "dictate" his life or values to me, especially if it is to my or the family's detriment.  Ultimately, I accept my husband's freedom to live his life as he sees fit.  If he wants to ride the "love and acceptance" train to financial ruin, he is free to do so.  Just not on my dollar.  I do not quibble with him about little things; I do not care how he folds sheets/towels; I do not care how crazy he drives when I or the children are not in the car (better have your life insurance premium current, though); I do not care if he chooses to go out with friends several nights a week (he doesn't, but he is certainly free to without any flack from me).  I do not yell at him for paying a few bills late at times- everybody makes mistakes (and yes, he has more than enough money to pay bills);  I do not care if he stays in the basement playing the guitar for several hours a day (preferably after the kids go to bed).  I am too busy with my own life to get caught up in these small details.

I do love and accept him as a flawed human being, as we all are.   HE needs to know, love and accept himself.  For example, I accept that my husband likes to do DIY projects around the house. I also accept that he has great difficulty finishing them, and almost never does.  HE needs to accept  that he doesn't finish projects.  The difference here is that I am perfectly willing to let him have at it (that is how I put myself in his shoes), and then at the point he runs out of steam we could call in a contractor to finish the job. I would not be upset/bothered by this at all.  However HE cannot accept this fact about himself, so these situations become occasions where he feels he has to prove himself, and cause a great deal of anger in our marriage because he wants to DICTATE his life and values  to me.  I do not value living in a torn up house.  I do not value having my children surrounded by environmental chaos.  I find such things untenable.  

I am not willing to crucify myself on the cross of my husband's need to feel 100 % accepted, no matter how crazy-making or objectionable his behavior.  Because I'm NOT his mother.  To me, for him to even expect another adult to feel that way about him (who isn't his mother) is kid stuff.  Now, maybe (hypothetically) he might decide to run off with some woman who accepts him 100%, who doesn't mind being broke, living in chaos, doesn't care if he has a good relationship with his kids, supports him in his decision to lay about and not work, thinks his crazy driving is fun, whatever.  But it is self-evident to me that if that's what HE respected, he would have married that kind of woman.   



Dang, SherriW13- re: hard on him response

I hope that post didn't sound too harsh.  I was trying to talk to you, but DH was standing around in the background saying something that was p*ssing me off, and I started channeling my anger... LOL. Sorry., not at all..I was, not at all..I was worried you would take my post as anything other than what it was intended..just a 'be careful' kind of thing. These things tend to blow up in my face...I'm sure you understand that concept. That's all. :)

Putting down the gauntlet

Sherri I read your posts trying to wrap my brain about how you do it. Separating it all. Trying to figure out how to live my life and allow him to live his. It is a work in progress. I get that the non needs to be understanding but doesn't it work in reverse too? He knows I lean to the OCD tendencies and I compromise, can he not? I've lowered my expectations and standards, but he doesn't raise his.

Regarding chore wars. It occurred to me it is more than dividing chores and responsibilites. I had to consider which ones he is capable of before I started the division. I read the post about "can't" so I tried that approach, why "can't" you? that took us down a convoluted path. I told him it sounded more like "I don't want to."

It went something like this. I get up and my son had not emptied the dishwasher.(his chore) So stuff was piling up in the sink.  I had informed my husband I would not be making dinner for a few days.

So I called them both up. I calmly asked my son to do his chore and asked him, When is this supposed to be done? He said" As soon as I come home from school. He went to do his chore, and I went to help put away the items that I am particular about where and how they are put away. Hubby sort of yells, I can do that I was going to do that! I just kept working. I watch my son and he puts the dirty stuff into the washer. My hubby would have emptied it and left the dirties.

I won't get into some of why I am so upset, had to do with some  legal papers I found while emptying his pockets while doing the laundry and money. How the heck did he get the card to get the cash, and the argument that ensued over that!

" I told them both, I said you know how I say stick a fork in me I'm done? Well, I'm ready to stick the fork in me myself I am soooo done! I said I am emotionally raw, I came so close to calling the helpline because I was somewhere between suicidal and homicidal, and You, dear hubby, are oblivious. I thought that you were on board with making things work and I was feeling hopeful because some things had started to change.

I thought you wanted things to be different! I could feel my heart sink, you are just trying to smooth things over for now again aren't you, trying to keep me "happy" until "THIS" blows over and I come to my senses, and we can go back to the way things were. I wanted to die right then.

I told him one of these days you will come home and find me in THAT corner banging my head and mumbling incoherently, at which I could see him trying not to smile and laugh. I lost it. THAT is not amusing. omg!

I started to try to discuss what I was feeling, and then what I would like him to do as far as chores tonight, and I could feel the conversation escalating into a fight, my voice was starting to rise, until I just said SHUT - UP.  Why is is so hard for you to get what I'm saying, why do you have to go down all those roads?

I could not a get a word in. His excuses, jusification for WHAT? All I was talking about was how I was feeling, and what needed to be done, not whether he had done a chore or not.

Hubby  then says Pizza is on it's way. and he quickly inserts, it's free, had a coupon!  I told him fine, however, what about the rest of the week? ( ok, had to make the mental leap there  from arguing to that) He said, I can do hot dogs and spaghetti, but anything else is beyond me. I reminded him we don't eat hot dogs or drink soda, etc. He said If i made a list, bought the food, I can put something together, but I can't cook from what we have.

So I said ok make that list, get the stuff.  His face clouded.  He didn't see that coming. I continued "You can learn how to cook, Him" No ,I CAN"T! I asked what if I DIED or left you? He said well, then I would eat hot dogs, and get stuff that's easy, I'd manage. Then he said, I hate when you do the What if's, starting to go down another road. The mere thought of me not being around or leaving him in any shape or form, makes him get hostile and shut down.

I redirected the conversation. You all can visualize his huffing, eye rolling , face tensing reactions. We were talking about what is going to be done about dinners this week. I said so you are saying I need to put together a menu, write down what can be made or something like that? No No, I don't need  you to do prep? You're not hearing me he says. I said I'm trying to tell you what I'm hearing. Well you aren't hearing me. I said ok then tell me again. He is getting upset. I am thinking this is nuts, it is so much work to have a conversation with him.  

Ok so you are saying you can get some stuff to make dinners. Him, NO! (What am I missing here????) I said then what I'm hearing is You don't want to.  no answer.

I knew there would be no resolution. My son rolls his eyes after his Dad left the room. Why doesn't he get anything you say Mom? Why does it all have to be such a big deal? Geez do the flipping chores , sorry about forgetting, but I just do them when you remind me, why does he have to go off like that, and make some tuna casserole for crying out loud. How hard can it be? I'm learning how to cook.  He says I know I know it's the ADHD, Man it's a pain, wish he would do something about it. Why can't he see what's it doing to all of us?

He says, I'm sorry you are hurting mom, is there anything I can do.  I just want to cry. Why can't my husband think and respond like that? I said, thanks hon, but I can't think of anything that you can do right now. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. He shakes his head and leaves.

Well my post got all convoluted, going back to putting the gauntlet down. Allowing him freedom to keep his cave a disaster, and drawing the line there, not allowing him to destroy the rest of the house is a start. So I fisish this post and he asks when I'm coming to bed. I just got up I tell him. He said what about some nooky nooky.(after waiting weeks for this possibility, he chooses now?) so I'm supposed to go from ready to put a fork in me to yes lets go fork?! I can't make that leap. He says sure why not. laughing. Not funny I say putting my head on my desk.  oh c'mon some angry make up sex.   oh   my   god...

Too much- too soon

Hubby, says. "Something is bothering me. "I say ok. He says ooh never mind. I said No, I want to know. He said I don't like that you Post on the forum.....Wait, he just told me the other day he did. I said, I understand, you are uncomfortable with airing our dirty laundry, I know how secretive you are, but I NEED this. I said, You are free to jump in and tell your side anytime. He blanched, "I don't post. I'll read though."  Okay so he's not ready. I get that. He then says never mind, I know it's helping you.

Frankly I believe it's not just the airing out of our life , but the change in me that's making him uncomfortable.  (I'm getting po'd at it all, instead of despairing all the time and feeling hopeless) He wavers between resistance and telling me how much he loves me, hugging me etc. I get nervous because whenever we try to do something about it, he starts feeling horrible about himself, and as it becomes clearer that the majority of it stems from ADHD, he gets depressed and says things like "Just kill me."

I can't even go there, one time he took a bunch of pills. The worst part of it all, is I was torn between OH MY GOD don't die, and I wish he would. There is that schizo feeling again.

He wants all of us to just forget all about ADHD, and let's go watch a movie okay, much more fun.

I've noticed the more I share, the more topics I post and it's getting a bit overwhelming following them all. It just shows me how many issues  are involved and how complex it all is. I haven't touched on the sex  and intimacy issues, now that would be a vortex, no  more like a black hole, not ready for that yet. Trying to focus on ONE issue is really tough. I don't want to go down rabbit holes which is what usually happens in the conversations between hubby and I. I'm going to note what, I've posted, response and try to slow down and stay focused.

I'm feeling a bit impatient waiting for him to take responsibility for helping himself. Especially after my son's plaintive response to how he wished his Dad would do "something" When I brought it up to hubby, he said BABY STEPS, I'm taking the fish oil ,geeze! He said I deserve kudos for everything I AM doing. I said I'm not taking any of that away. He said I'm waiting to see if I get that new job and get insurance. I said what can you do until then, that might be a couple of months. then  I said, mull it over we'll talk about it at our next meeting.

I hate that discussions are so difficult, like someone else said on the forum, if I don't say EXACTLY the right thing, or paraphrase something,  or say he said, I said just the tiniest bit different,he goes down down a rabbit hole with it... So by the time he is done correcting me or we go yes you did, no I didn't the original topic has fled.

One of the reasons I wish it would move faster is my son has hypochondriac tendencies. He often wakes up after these arguments or stressful situations and complains about one thing or another fearful that he is going to die from some horrible condition or illness.

It's especially stressful for him now because of the school shooting threat going on. I want him to feel safe at home, but I can't just push it all under the rug. I give him a tums, and talk to him about why he is feeling the way he is, stress, and fear etc. He gets counseling when things get to be too much.

I ask him if he feels it is bad enough to see a doctor, but he says he is okay, tummy upset.

He went for a while because he said he was feeling suicidal from the insanity at home. Hubby just could not see the connection between the chaos he was causing,fighting, no heat, no money, no food, him up and quitting his job to start a business. No the problem was with the state, the world, other people, the economy.

I was going to leave at that point, but my son insisted we keep the family unit intact. So I made sure he got help and continued the counseling. Counselor said he wasn't suicidal, just overwhelmed from the fighting, the stress, the chaos and issues with his gf and crying out for help and relief from it all. I GET that.

Thanks for listening guys.

A journey of a thousand steps

that isn't a typo. It is what I believe is what it will take to get through this. A thousand steps, not 12, not 100 things you can do to:....

I've noticed after all this purging,I'm seeing signs of depression in me. Lack of appetite, apathy, withdrawal, restlessness,irritability, difficulty concentrating etc. Been there Done that. As much as I'd like to hibernate until he gets help, I have to pull myself up.

I have a household routine, I've ignored, simply just dealing with critical things like dishes and laundry. Even those are done halfheartedly. I've use the HALT acronym in the past to take the first steps up. Hungry Angry Lonely Tired.

I address those. I gather things that will help, oj and bananas for potassium(my levels go way down because I tend to drink too much coffee when stressed and tired) pb and j , whole grain crackers and cheese, yogurt,for energy. Herbal tea.

Posting here seems to diffuse my anger. Laughing, finding funny utube videos.

Contact a friend to just talk, about anything except ADHD and hubby.

Work on getting 7/8 hours and naps when needed.

Then I use my crisis get back on track list. Basically doing  certain household tasks to get the home functioning at a normal level. This is a whole day project.

I choose one major issue (my dental work) Make a list of steps to address it. Step one has been done.

Then I see where I'm at. I've been doing things in fits and starts, and it is not working at all.

So I'm off to do some extreme self care.



In your first post you said something like "shouldn't he do more accpeting" or something like that...basically asking "shouldn't I get something in return for all of the work I am willing to do?" and the answer is HELL YES. Period. This hits on why I struggled so badly the last few weeks with my husband 'reverting' back to his old "stop controlling me" and "I don't want to talk, just want to be left alone" BS. I told him in counseling during our 'emergency' session that I did not treat him that way anymore and I was only asking the same of him. We're beyond that..we're past that..silent treatments and refusing to discuss an issue, stewing on it instead..NOT happening! I do cut him some slack because it started with the meds and ended when he stopped the meds (Monday) Thank the Lord!!

So, yes, in the midst of it all...he needs to also listen to what you need and he needs to meet you half way. He isn't brain dead, he just has ADD. He isn't incapable of understanding your needs and fulfilling those. Our counselor told my husband, during one of his "I'm glad Sherri cares enough to learn about me and how my brain is different" speeches, "but this isn't just about her learning your way of thinking, you have to learn hers too". He agreed...and he has. I'm OCD to some degree as well...I just tend to obsess over things and spend far too much time analyzing things that are best just left alone.

On a positive note, it does sound like he is willing to get help. I am not sure how you expedite that..or if he has the help available now and isn't taking it ? but if he's willing, you both need to get in with someone who can help him understand that A) his ADD need to be managed..B) it DOES affect the marriage in negative ways C) it isn't all about HIM. First and foremost, I am begging you, please make him see the importance of NEVER EVER EVER EVER having a fight in front of your son again. My daughter ended up on prescription acid reducing stomach medication because of our fighting...and I had to put her in counseling. She too had "headaches" "stomach aches" (she got sour stomach everyday - too much acid in her stomach), etc. We were literally KILLING the kid. I am happy to report that she hasn't needed the meds in about 6 months and even when things got tense recently, she had no clue...I made sure of it. I told my husband repeatedly "look at what we are doing to her!!" and it definitely helped both of us see how toxic our behaviors were. 

Also, I know it is infuriating, but their ability to 'get over it' a lot quicker than we do, does end up being a God send in the long run. It is that 'long fuse' , that 'I will avoid fighting at all costs' that used to drive me nuts too, and it did feel like he was just wanting to always sweep everything under the rug...but now I am SOOO thankful for that. He is very forgiving..and issues get resolved at the right time, in the right frame of mind. Again, me refusing to have those melodramatic conversations with him where we start out arguing about A and end up at Z has helped tremendously as well. When you're 20 seconds into the conversation you KNOW where it is drop it, walk away, and save it for your 'meetings'. Or maybe just simply say "just write down for me what you're saying and I'll read it later" . Avoid these type of confrontations...they only make you frustrated and feel 'unheard' and ..well, him too.

One thing I would suggest is that you DO pick one issue at a time to resolve. Also, be understanding as humanly possible about how long it takes for that issue to resolve. Like the situation "revelation" took a lot of creativity on her part and SIX MONTHS to see any lasting habits formed. I have a son who is autistic...I understand sometimes how it takes a very long time for him to learn anything..due to his brain wiring. I'm not saying ADDers are autistic, but messed up brain wiring is messed up brain wiring..and change does NOT come easy. I can honestly say things got worse before they got better, but my boundaries were firmly in place (as you're starting to do and he's not liking it), and eventually...probably 6 months later our marriage morphed into something far better than I ever imagined. Stand your ground, but don't become angry and combative. Get into counseling so that you can have someone help you both understand each other...and until then just keep things together at home..and peaceful for your son's sake.

MANY times I had to stop, take a deep breath, cry my eyes out, pray and just remind myself that it was a one day at a time thing..mistakes would be made, it wasn't the end of the world, and just focus on getting us the help we needed. I still sometimes save 'big' issues for counseling...and this was hard for me being obsessive and needing to FIX everything RIGHT NOW..but I learned to look at the big picture and stop focusing on having perfection today.

I am getting the impression that he's doing some things that are very risky to the family with money...if that is the case, you need to get counseling sooner rather than later. That is not something you can just 'wait a couple of months' on or that fish oil will resolve.

I said a prayer for you...I hope somehow your husband's eyes and heart are opened up to what he's doing...soon.


Sherri/thx for the hugs

I went on my fb account and informed my friends I would not be around much. I have been escaping into the games and fb chats way too much. This is serious, my son and I are drained.

Hubby is punishing me. We both smoke. I tried to quit a few weeks ago, but that bombed. This week, he has "forgotten to buy my smokes." Forgot? ARE you kidding me? He goes bonkers if he doesn't have any. He will buy one pack then scoot with what's left in it.  Or he will buy two, one for me and one for him, and two days later he forgot I only had one?I KNOW this is on purpose, he has the money and the time to get them and he only started doing this this week.

I'm looking into counseling for me only right now, he refuses to go for us or him. Also looking  into to find a way to expedite him getting treatment. I can't wait for him to get the ball rolling. You are right, I told him before never to fight in front of our son.

It occurred to me how odd it was that he suddenly HAD to make room in the garage to put the car in. I could not get him to clean out the garage previously. He said it was so he could get the car started and not have problems when it snowed. HUH? He said the mechanic was coming here to work on it. So WHY did it have to go in the garage when it is not drive able and there is no room for the mechanic to work on it?

The paper I found was a form from legal aid. He said it was to resolve the eviction issue.  Sorry don't buy that, the case was dropped. Yeah he said I talked to legal aid before I talked to the court to find out my rights. Still don't buy that.

So I'm thinking he got a ticket for not having tags yet and is lying to me. The car in the garage though is baffling.

I'm talking to him tonight about it. thank you for your continued support. You give me strength and lots of info I can use. I am hilighting the tips you've given me and copying into my journal. I cannot go another day like this. There are other things going on, it's just all too much to share.

In House Separation

My first post was pretty positive and hopeful, as the week went on I saw the posts become more negative. The situation is now untenable.

A little background. Last night he came over to the sink to kiss me goodnight. As he drew closer I stopped him. I said, Have you been drinking? He said uh no. I said What is that smell? He sniffed around the sink and said It smells like liqour? I insisted it was him. I just shrugged it off. I said okay I've reconsidered, I'll go to bed with you. He said, not a good idea, I have sour stomach and maybe worse. Okay I backed off that.

I've summarized it all. This is the "short" version.

Fast forward to morning. I pull clothes out of the bedroom hamper determined to get it all done today. That same smell, very strong. It was his boxers. I look and could feel that familer hot feeling of rage crawling up my body. ok no jumping to conclusions, been down that road before. It definitely smelled like cheap perfume though.

I'm shaking so I decide to look in the car to see if there was a cigarette he left in there. The doors are locked, but the window is down, I unlock it and open and the alarm goes off. I run back in to get the keys or remote. Nowhere to be found. I call him at work asking where they were. He had them of course ALL of them. I'm cursing his ADHD now.

He tells me he'll come home. The alarm stopped on it's own. He calls(when did he get minutes for the phone and how?) I tell him it's off, but he says something is wrong isn't it?

He comes home and I'm curled up in a ball against a wall.  I confront him with his boxers and he says" That wasn't there when I took them off." If he had said ANYTHING but that. My voice is rising. So I'm just imagining that, and the smell? I  said, do not try to make me think I'm crazy. I'll spare you the details of the fight that ensued. Basically denial of any cheating and implying I'm crazy.

Everything went white in my mind. All I know is that by the time I got a grip, the pizza  and box was scattered on the floor, my coffee cup was intact but I must have thrown it into the sink. I ran into the bedroom to calm down. I knew where these type of fights went.

When I felt I had it together i went into the kitchen, and spoke to him while he ate. I told him I'm planning on leaving, but I don't have the resources to do so. I've tried for twenty years and I just can't wait another 5 or ten for things to get better.  I said I'm not discussing the cheating aspect. The truth will come out either way. If you are innocent, fine. If not that's a deal breaker and you know it. If you lie so I won't go, I'll find out.

As far as I'm concerned it is what it is. I'm done, I cannot do this anymore, none of it. I continued, These last few days, I've been in a downward spiral, and in the recesses of my mind I'm thinking of how I can check out or check you out. I'm totally losing it and you are oblivious. You know the signs of depression and it was full blown in me.

I went into more detail of what had crossed my mind and he starts smiling and then laughing. I look at him in utter disbelief and start crying. Keep in mind I haven't cried in forever. Then I'm sobbing. He puts his hand over his mouth and tries to keep a straight face.

"I cannot believe you, this is NOT a laughing matter.I sob." He says "I'm really trying not to laugh." What the hell is so funny I ask." He just chuckles.  I..willl..never..understand... his.. mind. I don't think I want to. I wipe my tears and said.

That's it. I want an IN house separation. I must get help and I cannot do ANYTHING for you, nothing, nada, zip. I will take care of me and my son. DO NOT ASK ME FOR ANYTHING. No meals, no laundry, no where is this or that.

I asked him for the car keys. It's in my name. We already sleep in separate bedrooms. He is now angry and tells me I've gone too far.  I let him rant. I feel hollow. I tell him, get help for yourself, stop procrastinating. Prove there can be change, then we will see. No more empty threats. I WILL LEAVE once I have the resources unless something changes and fast. I said, I'm making some calls today to start the process of finding a place to go etc.

In the meantime when you come home from work today, We will draw up a contract. I'm not going to deal with you said -you didn't say c*** I gave him some money and said, write this down. A list of some things we need at home.  I will walk to the store if you feel it is unfair of me to ask. He said, not a problem. We need to insulate the house.

You took money again this morning after I just got through reminding you, you cannot touch it. You swore on your mother's grave it wouldn't happen again. What part of NO do you not get??? How can you expect me to trust you or believe you when you blow it off the next day? He said I get it I get it. won't happen again.  I said"You're right because I am locking it up from now on." I asked for the debit card and it took him ten minutes to find it in his moleskin.

He goes out on the porch to smoke, then calls me to come see how cute our kitty is, she's doing something cute. Really? Just like that. He's laughing and and all is well with the world.

He said as he was leaving to go back to work, not right not kissing goodbye. I LOVE YOU. I wept.

Any advice anyone has in how to do an IN HOUSE separation would be most welcome.

First, I am so sorry. Am I

First, I am so sorry. Am I wrong to get the feeling that you're feeling something is really wrong with him..or something is up with him, and that's why you're experiencing the downward spiral? Drinking? Cheating? It is funny how we can relate our own lives to so many of these situations and many times my gut would be telling me something was wrong...but deep down I didn't want to admit it. I am not sure if I'm making sense.

I am not defending his laughing at you...but I am very familiar with it. It is a defense mechanism for my husband. When he is at maximum capacity...that is how he acts. He'll also act that way when he is guilty of something that I am accusing him of. He'll either get really defensive or he will deflect by calling me crazy and laughing it off, trying to throw me off of his trail. He is a HORRIBLE liar.

I don't know how you work out the details...for your own sanity, I would leave him there and just find somewhere else to stay. Somewhere stable for you and your little guy and just leave him there to figure things out for himself. You need a break. You need some peace and some time for some clear thinking and clarity.


waynebloss's picture

This might be more than you wanted......but I have ADD

We are there now, going on 5 weeks!  I am the one with ADD and moved downstairs because we decided that time/space is needed to heal and see if she wants this to continue or not.  We have 2 kids, 6 and 5 who go to bed around 7ish then I go downstairs and she does whatever upstairs.  We have separate accounts that is strictly for us and neither one of us can ask about what we spend or what we do with that money.  There is no asking about where we go or what we do or with whom we do it with during "our" individual time, no matter if that is with friends, going out of town or staying the night away from the house.  That is how we are doing it. 

Background---I am the one with ADD, found out earlier this year and also found out how much damage was done to the family.  This of course had to do with my ADD but also how my reacted to my actions not knowing anything about ADD.  Since we found out, she has reverted into herself has not come out, started concentrating on finding herself again.  I understand this, I know that I was an A$$hole BIG kid who left all the adult stuff up to her, I understand that my actions, thoughts and words hurt her.  Our marriage has been going down faster than Jenna in a movie, and now it has finished, the movie is over!  She is still behind her wall, does not talk about any of the important stuff, all we talk about is kids, schedule, and friends. There has been no kissing, no hugs, no "I Love You" for months and right now if she told me, I would not believe it.  I talked with my counselor on Wednesday and she wanted to know how lone I thought I would accept this in-house separation, I could not give her answer, but the more I thought about it the more I have decided on my answer. 

More background---We started marriage counseling in July and stopped in Sept because it was a Wayne bashing time, time to go over EVERY thing I did that was wrong and how she has had enough.  It was not marriage counseling, it was my wife letting me and my counselor know what I needed to work on.  I had enough and told her I would continue with my counseling but no more marriage counseling for me.  During a session, the counselor asked my wife if she was seeing anyone, because of her anger issues,  her resentment, not being able to  The counselor told her that she should start seeing someone to help her as well and she did agree but my wife is the one who thinks she can resolve this herself, she can fix her without help.  She started, went 2 sessions and said that she was not going no more because of money and that the counselor did not push her, she just did not like her.  I do the money, we are fine there she likes to make excuses for what she does not want to do.  She does not like facing the hard stuff, making decisions on us, or even talking about the hard issues.  I did not say anything when she stopped, just sighed to myself an wondered if this was the 1st step of watching my marriage end? 

Back to my answer----I thought about this and felt that I have been working my ASS off changing the very person I have been for 41 years.  I entered a world where "normal" people lived and I was SCARED to DEATH!  I am a nurse and a IT geek, I would never see myself taking brain medication (Vyvanse, which has been a miracle for me!), see a counselor because I always thought it was just the person being weak not the wiring in the brain, and have to re-learn how I thought, how I talk, my actions and habits! I did this for me but I have also done this for my marriage!  Since Sept, my wife has not done anything to help herself with her anger or anything else, she just continues going out with friends and doing her own thing.  We had a talk about money and how we are slowly sinking and that I needed to work more as a nurse or she needed to work more or we need to live by a strict budget that we both agree to.  Which meant no more "extra" spending by either one of us!  She took that as me attacking her and let loose with defending her spending.  I told her I did not want to go down this "old" road of conversation, lets backup and regroup because I was not attacking her, I was stating that either I have to work more, she has to work more or live by a strict budget that WE both had to decide on.  She just sat there, breathing heavy, eyes turning black and I could tell that the conversation was over.  So I left and went "home", since then she has not spoken to me accept in front of the kids and it was 1 word conversations.  SOOOOOOO my answer is, I will wait and see how this month goes and talk with her after New Years.  See if she is open about starting to see someone about her issues, where she stands on the marriage front and where she stands on the me front.  If there is no progress, if she does not want to answer then I am going to tell her that I am moving back upstairs in a week and that she has 2 options...1 - move out or 2 - move downstairs...I would offer her a 3rd which is stay and we once again share a bed (for sleeping only!!) but right now I do not want that.  

In house separation does work, gives you and him the space needed to re-group ONLY if both of you GIVE it to each other.  You cannot have this work if you move downstairs and he follows and does not give you the space you asked for.  We have, it is killing us but maybe it is the thing that will save us as well?  Sorry for the long note....hard to stop ADD when she gets going, even with medication, I can still hyper-hyperfocus...just control when it happens and stop it when I want. 

Hope this had some help, if not let me know I can go into more detail. 



Wayne-re in house.

Wayne my heart goes out to you. Being on the flip side of the coin. I don't even know how to respond to your posts. It all seems so unfair to you. It does help me try to see things from my husbands point of view. Your tips were very helpful also. I know I will have more questions but even reading is hard. I feel like I'm the one with ADHD now. My life is one" but first" after another accomplishing nothing in the end.

Right now, I all I want is enough space and time to BREATHE . Waking up day after day to the same  chaos and more. I just couldn't take it anymore. I felt like a hamster on a wheel and feared for my sanity.

I cannot be his caretaker, but the logistics baffled me. It seemed it was playing 52 pickup EVERY DAY. How can I step away and yet prevent him from destroying everything?

My son and I had a long talk and it just broke my heart. Before I spoke to him about the in house idea, I asked him to share with me his feelings on his Dad, the chaos ,all of it. He knew something was up so he said. " If you and Dad divorce I want to stay with him so he doesn't end up a homeless hobo."

He told me the worst part of it was the continued disappointment. He called it the "next day syndrome" I'll get you, buy that, do that tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. He said that was frustrating as heck.

The fighting which has stopped for the most part. He just doesn't see it anymore, but he senses the tension when he gets home. The wreckage in our home, he is a very mellow neat child and likes order and consistency.

Fear that he might inherit ADHD. Sad to see me so unhappy all the time. He is a comedian and often tries to make me laugh just to see a smile for a change. Fear that he won't be able to go to college because of the financial disasters. and more.We also talked about his personal issues with his gf, school etc.

We addressed each one. I told him staying with him would make him the enabler and the burden I now carried would fall on his shoulders. (his eyes grew wide when he thought of the enormity of that task. )I said it would not be helping him.

I said I am not in a place to make any major decisions so I chose the in house solution. Our house is large enough for that. The logistics of moving out so soon after moving in and financial considerations was just too much.

I reassured him he would indeed go to college, his Grandmother has been putting away a college fund since he was born. She knows her son all too well.

I realized I had symptoms  recently very close to  post traumatic stress. 5 moves in 3 years, him going to jail, the legal wrangling with that, court, attorneys, COST of all that. In the end he was found not guilty, but he still had legal fees to pay. Then starting a new business and that falling apart. 

Eviction, moving again, going without water and heat ( imagine having to heat water in canning pots to wash dishes, bathe and all the other things we use it for for months, and going hungry,my surgery.  Having to detox from pain medication, I was becoming addicted. That is just the tip of the iceberg and all back to back and some at the same time.

I tried to shield my son from the worst of it making sure he had food no matter what and the like. Jumping every time the phone rang or someone knocked at the door certain it was the police coming for him or sheriff with an eviction notice. It wears on you.

I was still trying to recover from the events from  the prior years, one of my daughters getting raped, the same one in a coma after a car accident. Losing our former business to a flood, and on and on.

It just seems like even if I worked on the finances, we are so deep, that I'll have to live to 110 before I see any relief. I can't imagine what it will be like if I stay when I am old. I'm 51 now.

I've had to crawl to the bathroom to get a drink of water because it never occurred to him that I was unable to get out of bed and walk at times and I needed food and drink and help to go to the bathroom.

At any rate. When he came home yesterday, I told him I was going to bed and we would discuss the terms when I got up. He sat on the bed and I told him how I felt, what I wanted to do. Then I said, understand this, There is help for you, if it helps at all, do not look at it as Attention Deficit disorder. Look at it as Distractibility traits and not a disability per se. You can make changes, you can do better. You are NOT a bad person. Don't have to try harder, try smarter.(read Dr. Hallowells articles.)

I said stop dwelling on the past, the critcism the failures. The people who said all that, are no longer here to do so, you are allowing them to rent space in your mind. Evict them. Let it go. Be at peace with you you are. You have had success in your life reflect on that. You are NOT your diagnosis. It is a part of you, but not all of you.. Behind it is a wonderful loving, lovable, intelligent, amazing person. Go draw him out. Do not give up, you must accept it is a forever thing and it will be hard work, but you of all people can do it.

His face was a wonder to see. He whispered Distractibility Trait, not attention deficit. A concept that was too wondrous to imagine. It was like giving water to a man in a desert. His smile could have lit a Christmas tree. He started to fuss around asking if I need a hot water bottle, etc etc. I waved him out.

I said do not try to be overkind and helpful. You do not have to pay for anything.  You are not a criminal,I know you feel remourse. That is enough for this moment. I shared the yoga pose an ADHDer mentioned on the forum. please if it was you, take credit, I couldn't refind the post. Hubby said I've seen you do it. i said it does help. He looked like a child awestruck by the possibilities. I told him about affordable coaching and more.

I ended with I cannot promise I will stay, we have to take this one day, one hour at a time. No-one knows what tomorrow will bring so let us stay focused ok?

So he left the room and I slept soundly for the first time in ages. I will be back to update. Thank you all for you support and wisdom. I am so grateful.



waynebloss's picture


It was a weight being lifted off once I found out what ADD is and that it was controllable!  I have a bad habit of dwelling on the negatives because that is what I have always heard by others when something does not go right for me.  She did say 2 weeks after we separated that she selpt for the first time, she did not have any worries or anxiousness and stress for the first time in 19 months!  So a positive which is good but they are drowned by the negatives, for now.

My wife and I for the first 7-8 years were very happy, she was the bread winner moving us from St. Louis to Seattle back to St. Louis then to Boston.  Once there, after 5 years of marriage she told me she wants to have kids and move back to St. Louis to be closer to family.  I said ok lets go but what I did not know is that I was not ready to be the other adult in the family, that this change was going to be the downfall of our marriage to where we are now.  I could not handle the stress, I was working full time, working part time and going to school full time meanwhile back at HQ we had a 19 month and a newborn!  I was either at work, at school or downstairs doing homework.  She became overloaded, finances started to tank and her husband was not there for support.  That is when I started drinking more, started to not pay attention to her and the rest is history! 

I know I have stated this before, but what sucks is that I cannot show her that I am changing, that I am a new me and will never go back to my old self.  When I try it gets shutdown with anger, disbelief, and/or ignoring by her.  I stopped trying to show her then I was accused of really not changing and reverting back, sort of a catch 22 if you will.  I know that I will continue on with my changes for me, but I hate not talking to her, I hate not being able to show her, I HATE that the requested changes and above have been accomplished and she is gone.  Patience, breathing, and my kids are keeping afloat right now, I am even to the point that I do not want to see her at the house anymore. I guess I needed the time/space as well. 


I'm just so sorry Topaz, I don't know what to say that's just not gonna get edited out for being too vulgar.  It seemed like things were positive a few days ago and then everything has gotten all effed up.  You are strong and smart and you will get through this, however it turns out.  Everyone here is pulling for you, I'm sure. I know I am.


Thank you. You are echoing my sentiments.

in house separation plan

 I've put a link to the -healing in house separation plan that I'm using- thank you for your input.  I will get back to all of you and reply  to your posts. He's not cooperating, so I needed something more structured than a contract designed by me. 

He overslept this morning and yelled at me to help him find his clothes. I said Are you KIDDING me? I HAD moved some things in the process of doing laundry last night, so I went to the laundry room and pulled them out of the laundry basket. I shook my head and said" You could have done that. That's the last time I'm doing that for you." He was all crabby with me and rolling his eyes saying ARE WE REALLY going to do THIS?

He came home for lunch all cheery and happy. Ready to dig into the food on the stove.(that I made for my son and I. There was plenty and I didn't want to fight over that, too petty.) He grins and says ya you love me. I said blandly, There was no bread for sandwiches, so I made that for us.. It wasn't especially for you. He rolled his eyes and smirked like oh SURE.

  We discussed some household matters and I went to do some work on the computer. He asked me how my online games are going. I turned and said. I don't wish to converse with you unless it's about house, finances or our son. I thought you understood, I need my space etc.

My husbands snide comment. "Oh I guess You decide if we converse or not. I'll just shut up. He so doesn't get it. This decision I made, in his mind is a personal affront and attack on him. He really believes that he can sweet talk or bully me out of it, Any advice?

He yelled at me when I said " I think this is what you think".... He yelled saying Don't you EVER for the rest of your life tell me what I'm thinking. How can you possibly know when I don't freaking know most of the time?

I responded by saying I thought in house would be a better idea than me just up and leaving with your son, but if this how it's going to be...

He got sullen and started stomping around, saying I get c*** at work and I come home to this c*** when I just wanted to relax for lunch. so I found this info. I'll present it to him tonight.

It occurred to me how often in our marriage, everything he did for me had a payoff for him, it was never really selfless, and heaven forbid I am not making him the be all and end all. I don't think I have the patience any more to deal with him.

waynebloss's picture

Topaz, SherriW, Rev and all the other "counselor's" Yes Hole u2!

Just thought I would let you know that I sent this link to my wife sometime EARLY on Sunday morning after I went out to Roller Derby and then to a bar which we closed down and then went to Denny's for breakfast.  I did not get drunk but had a few which actually felt DAMN good! Hanging with friends and just being me. As most of you know the past 2-3 weeks have not been too good between us, we have rarely talked or had anything to do with each other.  So I sent her this link to see what her reaction was to this, but first about today, it has been a good day, no fighting actually talked about some stuff and put up the Christmas tree and decorated with the kids..get a family! I am not complaining, I am taking it in and enjoy!  So, after the kids went to bed she asked if I had a minute and I thought uh oh what did I do now?  She said that she looked over the link I sent about healthy separation and thought it was a very good idea and for us to sit down this week and discuss what we think should be included in this.   

So Topaz....A BIG HUG from me to say thank you!!!!!   I am not getting my hopes too high but I am taking this as a step maybe small but at least a step in the right direction for me/us.  I might not like some of her decisions or "wants" from this but at least she is willing to talk which is a + and give me some information about what she is thinking about our situation.   

I will keep you guys updated with us and what happen after our talk about the healing separation. 



Great news! I'm keeping my

Great news! I'm keeping my fingers crossed...and saying some prayers that this is forward movement. It sure seems she's starting to open up a bit. Good luck! Please keep us posted!



Tears ran down my cheeks as I read your post. I do not cry easily, so know I was touched and so so happy for you. Praying for good resolution for you. My puter crashed so I've not been back to report the results of our discussion.  I have been using a book called Who are you Really and what do you want? By Shad Helmstetter as part of my healing and therapy. I was astonished at the revelations as I did the self talk.

I know more about who I am, why I react and respond to my  husband the way I do. I've unearthed a lot of what part I had in making our marriage so difficult and miserable. I am owning my part now.

I spent the weekend insulating the house, cleaning and FINISHED all the laundry. It has been peaceful, calm and I can feel the depression lifting. I have SADD and in all the chaos I forgot. I forgot! I've been sleeping days and up nights which contributed to it.

We took the discussion in steps, and I recommend you give your wife time to think about the terms. We didn't decide right away,we reviewed it first and talked about it. There were tense moments, we would stop for a while and go back to it when we were calm.

I was firm and made it clear I was dead serious about this. If a particular term was not comfortable for BOTH of us, I would think about it some more then discuss it again. I drew a line in the sand about some of them.

Having a definite time frame was very helpful. I told him that in two months if I did not see any effort on his part, I spelled out what "effort" was, that we would renegotiate the terms. We compromised in some areas as well.

We eat dinner together for our son's sake. He is responsible for his personal care, clothes, other meals etc. We agreed there would be no "outside" relationships, ie: dating or sex with other people. We are after all trying to repair our marriage.

I've always been puzzled by how he could remember certain things, like no-one has EVER been able to stump him in the game 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. One has to know just about every movie ever made and every actor in them to do this. Yet he cannot remember the most basic things at home. I told him perhaps he could look into this and find away to use that ability to improve things at home.

So I am hopeful, as is he. He has realized I am not pushing him away, just asking him for room to breathe and think and heal.

An aside,  I told hubby I'd like to read a few posts to him back to back, so please no commentary till I was done.. I read a post to him that hole in the bucket posted, a dialogue. When I got to the part about  where his wife said What's for dinner? He says."So what's for dinner? My son started cracking up and I just chuckled. He said, What?? WHAT'S SO FUNNY? My son, said Dad" you are totally an ADHDer, like the lady in the story. Hubby laughed as he caught what he had just done.



Today was a rough day could not get  much done with hubby  annoying me at every turn. I apologize for my rants, but it was that or lose it completely. I finally sat him down and we had a talk. I told him he was not taking any of this seriously. It was once again another  oh my gosh she's having a melt down, gotta be good. So he's in hyperfocus mode, only this time it's trying to prove what a great guy he is. gahhh. EXCEPT not one thing towards getting treatment.

I'm not repeating the conversation, you all have had it or something close to it I'm sure, with the interjections, denial  blah blah. I finally said DO it for YOU. his answer" If I do it for me, then I'll not do it and give up." me: eyes bugging out, choking on foam boiling up in mouth.. tearing hair out. Later he said I was trying to say I need to do it for US.

I came here hoping to save my marriage. The phone rang a few minutes after he bolted out of the house, he was late for work. One daughter contacted me and wanted to know if I wanted to come help her in January for three weeks and think about what I want to do. A friend asked if I wanted to open a shop with her in another state and other conversations with others wanting to let me know of options if I choose to leave the marriage. Everyone seems to want me to leave.

I realized after all the conversations, one friend said You are an Amazing woman, don't lose yourself to this." I cried. I realized I could maybe hope to reach a few goals and perhaps even one dream if I stayed. The most important ones to me would have to be shelved. I had to ask if I was willing to make that sacrifice. I  may love him, but like is long gone.

It hit me like a ton of bricks, that I have been on hold waiting for the time my last child was on his own, to fly myself. Biding my time. I wasn't even being honest with myself. As I work through the self talk and write it all in my journal, I had to take my own advice. Do the right thing and do it for me. So I need this separation to think clearly. It's to difficult with him acting up like he is.

I don't want to make a decision rashly, but in all fairness to him I have to be true to my heart and not stay out of pity, or guilt or any other reason other than committed unconditional love.

So here I sit twenty years later after rescuing him choosing to help him instead of marrying the man I loved...I sacrificed everything to help him try to achieve his dreams, his goals, trying to help him build his self esteem, build his ego. I've spent 20 years in the shadows caretaking ,protecting ,rescuing. I have pushed down my resentments. He stole money I had received from an injury settlement to go back to school, he has a degree in a field he never pursued. I was planning on using the money to go back to school.  Oh the fights we had over that. My talents and skills were brushed aside for whatever thrilled him at any given moment. 

He never encouraged or supported me, thwarting me at every turn. I took a job as a waitress, three weeks later I was the proprietress. I started courses to  earn a nursing degree, while working at a nursing home and he undermined that. I got a job as a property manager and he was maintenance except he sat in the office most of the time running up long distance bills while I did the maintenance until I collapsed from exhaustion two years later. As I look back over all this..I weep...there is so much more...noone unless they have been in a relationship like this would understand how it happens. You are so busy trying to survive you really can't see the forest for the trees.. you live on hope and broken promises...just one mmore chance one more one more until one day your eyes are opened and you see no more chances.. Now what?

I'm going soon to get dentures through a program.. and pull out the last of my broken teeth. Another reminder of the neglect. Instead of using some of the money to fix my teeth he quit his job and opened a business pouring all the money into it. It failed. He would have been better off fixing my teeth and letting ME go back to work. But he would not hear of that. I can't do this anymore.

If I can give you my 2 cents

If I can give you my 2 cents on this - I think it's time for you to take care of yourself. You owe this to yourself because unfortunately in life no one else will do a better job taking care of yourself than you! I understand the sadness, the wanting to be married to the man you love, but clearly if he is not changing for himself the changes won't stick! Melissa talks about this in one of her postings here (can't remember where, sorry). If the other person (ADHD or not) is not willing to make changes because he/she thinks changes are necessary, vital to their well being, then these changes won't mean anything and won't be life long.

I wish the best to you. Hope everything works out.

waynebloss's picture

Topaz-Take Care of Yourself

I am the one with ADD and I am telling EVERYONE that they should do this.  Cannot help anyone if you are not healthy!  I know that my wife quit taking care of me because she was failing herself, making herself sick, not sleeping, not enjoying life or our marriage!  She has been slowly rebuilding her OWN life and left me to build mine or sink.  I cannot speak for anyone else, but I know that ADD is a symptom but it is not the cause, we are adults who are responsible for our actions!  People with ADD can control it, they can make changes that not only benefit themselves but changes that will enhance the ones around them, but the real question is do they really want to.  I read many posts on here and it seems that people with ADD do not want to, but use excuses to shelter themselves from reality and I do not understand. I could NEVER do to my wife or another woman what he has done to you.  As a man I do not understand how other men can do this and not really understand what they are doing?   I really would like to smack the CRAP out of your husband and tell him to grow up or he will lose the one constant that I know HE WANTS in his life,  but the one that he actually does love but for some reason he does not want to trust love he wants to trust his ADD ways. 

I am sorry that your situation has decreased this far and we all know that you love him, but it is time for him to sink or swim and TIME FOR YOU TO MAKE TOPAZ HAPPY! 

We are here for you, take care, take a deep breath and say hello to God....he might actually understand and know how to make you shine!! 


waynebloss's picture

I am here for anyone

You guys are here for me and I am here for you!!  But please keep the "gentleman" comment on the wife might see this and wonder who you are talking about! 


Take care

I read your response earlier and you are so so right. I will be taking care. I am wounded more that I thought. thank you for all that you've shared and all the support. I don't know how I could do this without the wonderful people here. I pray for you.

Topaz re: Dawning

Yes, we weep for the waste.

Houses that never became homes, leaky roofs and rotten decks. Unfinished cradles, the babies grown and  gone.  Beauty spoiled by sacrifice. Harsh words and broken promises that nibbled at our children's joy. The sweet banality of our hopes versus the chaos of our lives.

The secrets that strand us on the other side of the glass.  The covenant we keep, even as our bodies, minds and hearts collapse from the weight of their need. We mourn the dream of the marriage that never was, but-

"...disappointment contains secret hints of mutuality.  It is not such a long stretch from disappointment to empathy." (Michael Vincent Miller)


Thinking of you now and praying for your peace.  It will come to pass.

Peter and Wendy

Thank you all for your replies and prayers. They help so much. After I calmed down some. I thought about the dynamics in our marriage. Unlike some of the spouses -angry, mean etc_ he is sweet, loving ,playful when he's "present"

I once picked up the Peter Pan Syndrome, thinking that it might help. He is a man child, dependant, childlike living in his own Neverland. As I stated in another post, he spent the last 16 years, more in a buddy relationship with his son than in the marriage relationship.

Now that our son is independent he is acting up. Caring for a 240 lb 5 year old for 20 years, it gets old. Is it any wonder we had to be in a D/s relationship? We had to have "roles" How could he desire a woman who was his mommy day to day? How could I not see how crazy it was that I was putting a grown man in time out, grounding him for poor behavior. Yes he would get grounded. He could never see how unhealthy our relationship was.

Whenever he would really eff up his life to the point I couldn't even fix things, he run to his Daddy and Daddy would fix things. I told him to stop doing that, but he played on his father's guilt.

I discovered he had used my name and ss and it ruined my credit. Now I find out even the lease and utilities aren't even in either one of our names. Daddy had come to the rescue again.

Here's the thing, Wayne you are right he needs to GROW up, this is not all about ADHD. He is Peter refusing to grow up. He refuses to see that. Because he believes he "wants" me and our son to be happy, that that is enough. Because he is usually the breadwinner, that is MAN enough.

Well this Wendy is leaving Neverland. Time for a reality check. I'd give him one but they don't cash those in Neverland.

Can I get hdhd too ?

I know I can't but........ The last 24 hrs have been ^&*(^%[email protected]!!!!!Here is a dialog of my day...

Him..I love you, I've been with you longer than anyone in my life, you spoil me and take care of me.

Me...I love you also , but don't feel loved and yes i understand how I made you happy, but I'm not happy. end of that

Him ...I'm going to start changing my oil, it's almost $40 to get it changed at Wal-Mart. How much will it cost me to buy the things I need to do it myself.

Me... I'm not sure , but I did have the stuff and gave it away.

Him...You should have gave it to me!

Me...My mind thinking what the heck, I reminded him that he told me that , that's why he worked and $40 was not worth his time.

Him...You know I how it takes time to come around to change.

Me...I say nothing

( True, but not FUNNY! It took me leaving him and him having 2 affairs while we were apart for him to move out of a 34ft. camper!)

He comes home with a $500 PLUS Flat Screen !

Him...I have been so upset with myself since I missed the $298 sale, so I bought it.

Me...I say nothing , but my heart sank.

Later on after he has installed his new toy ....

Me ...I'm upset you bought it.

Him....It's a reward for all the over time I WORKED!

Me...You said it was to get out of debt.

Him...There will be plenty of O.T next year, yr not my mama

Me.... No I'm not, and your not 10 yrs old either....Between what you paid for the T.V.and "IF" you'd sold he camper would about 30% of your credit cad debt...( He owes over $17,000 on credits)

Me ...I don't know you

Him ...Your not suppose to

Me ...nothing...but in my mind ..???

Him... I put the other TV in the back of my truck to take to the camper, will the weather hurt it tonight?

Me... not sure it will be there by morning, you know you live in a traveler park


He goes and backs his truck up and blocks me.

ME...You blocked me and I want to leave

Him...Well it's 6:30 and I'm not going anywhere tonight, thought you'd stay in with me

Me ...I have not been out all day

He ..Take my car

Me ..I don't have took them away from me.


I monoxide my truck until I got out.

Back home

Him...What does Charlie Sheen do on the show?

Me ...He writes music

Him..Why is it called 2 and half Charlie 2 and his brother half

Me...Thinking ( you have got to be kidding, but no he is serious) I Findlay say no, the half is Charlie's nephew.

Him... the remote for the Cable want work with the new you think I could call and a tech could talk me though programing it?

Me... Not sure, but most likely

Him...will you do that tomorrow?

Me.. You said you, not me

Him...That's you job

Me.. What

Him...Edith stop talking I need to go to sleep

Me ...Yes Archie

This morning...He's in the shower and I'm making coffee, he enters the kitchen

Me...will you give this Gumbo to Spencer this morning?( Spencer is a co-worker of his , that is 29 yrs old and I'm 45)

Him...I've told you that I'm not carry food to my co-workers and for you not to be giving them food....He says nothing about coming over, but beats here, I have nothing against him he's a good guy, but you are to close to my co-worker. (a little history) He says he has never had a woman in his life that made friends with his co-workers like me..that it's not normal..I'm very out going's just my nature. The fact is all his co-workers like me , but can't stand him. They hate the way he treats me, and have all by stopped coming over in fear that one day that they will go off on him. He is clueless.

Me ..I say nothing, just get my coffee and go outside.

Ready for my second cup, I see him putting my Fruit cake up.

Me ....are you eating my Fruit cake again? ( History on this...I have never liked Fruit Cake until I tried Costco's and is the only on I eat. Him on the other hand loves all Fruit, but says he likes another brand better, so I bought him that brand. He has eaten all of his and started on mine. Last week I noticed he had eaten half of mine and he said he would not eat anymore...I said ok.

Him...I left you a piece..ha ha

Me...You have no thoughts of no one , but you. I bought it just like I bought the stuff for the Gumbo  I can't give it away , but you help yourself to whatever you  want.

Him...comes over and try to kiss me and says thanks for the Fruit Cake

Me ...I refuse his kisses and say your not welcome.'s about me not taking Spencer food and you know how mad that makes me., its about me being who I am and I love to give, but you take...

Him you want me to pay you for the cake?

Me ...No, just take all of it and I will buy me another one and hide it from you ( not like me at all, and I hate acting like that)

He ... puts the cake he cut on the table upset, throws all of it in the trash and goes back outside

He leaves and says nothing, I return to the trash and you guessed it...He took out of the trash...all of it.

So here I am typing this craziness that I'm living...not so sure that having adhd is not better than without it. I mean he is happy with what he does and want give this mess another thought , but it effects me.

He told me last night to get the baby tonight, because he misses him...WHATEVER. He said I'm going to the gym after work and will be by about bedtime to get my lunch , I'm staying at the camper , because I can't sleep with the baby,and I want to sleep with you without him and I don't want to be around while you are trying to break him from sleeping with you , that would get on my you get him tomorrow(today now) and sleep with him.

I will get him, but will keep him at his daddy's house ( my nephew). I will also act like a jerk in his eyes and take all food that he could possible take for his lunch... For those that may not have read my other comments I'm moving out in 15 days. Bitter/Sweet

Thanks for letting me vent, feed back always welcomed


You hit the nail on the head: IT IS THE BEHAVIORS husband was pretty nice, funny, could be an excellent provider, it was his behaviors that drove us apart.  How can  you have a husband who is smart, college educated, good job, but almost in jail due to gambling which was little more than football pools?  Even tho I did remind him it was against the law, but he got caught, made the papers, and our son (14) had his same name.  I did ask that he keep it out of the house so we could eat Sunday brunch before the phone rang to discuss odds on the game.  I had to somewhat "fight" or insist on "family time" because he had a rather over inflated view of his importance......more for other people to admire than his family to deal with.


As I was cleaning I found something that just tore me up. Hubby , during a rough spot in our marriage( I had left him for a spell) purchased a ton of magazines Vogue, decorating magazines,Style, homemaking mags etc. He cut out pictures and words that he felt described me. There must have been a thousand or more. He put it all into a box planning on making it into a college for me.

So I recall looking through those and he had me pegged, nailed what have you. It took me back to the first few days of our relationship from whence he got this idea. I was making a collage as part of my healing process(I was in counseling during my divorce from hubby #2) He asked if he could do one.

We just did mine together. It was freaky how he cut out the same stuff from different magazines(we were cutting out pictures and words  across from each other. We created a collage of our dreams and it was odd how they blended so well.

At any rate. He never finished this one. How is it he could "know" me so well and yet It feels like he doesn't know me at all. Another paradox and good intentions that never got anywhere.


I suppose where I was going with this, this  is where my head is at. For those of you contemplating separation/divorce. How to disconnect heart/head . I know I stayed for a lot of the positives and they were compelling. To wit. I know it is an unhealthy bond we have. This is a man who would literally die for me and suffer if need be. (As long as he got something from it)

There are no lengths he wouldn't go to to keep me around. As long as it didn't involve him having to face the ADHD aspect and changing himself. What lengths you ask? He would drive me to a rendezvous with a lover. If it was something he couldn't give me, well he'd make sure I got it, period. Don't ask me how I know this. sigh. That alone tells me how nuts this all is. My brain is molasses. Where do I go from here how do I cut the wheat from the chaff? I want to make sound choices.

Mind up

Every marriage is different, the dynamics are different the people are different. No-one can tell me which direction to take. As agonizingly similar our stories are ultimately only I know if I can stay for the long haul. If I had known what I do now. Nope no way. My hubby was diagnosed very early on in our relationship, but he also has other psychological issues. I cannot stick around for him to deal with those too. Does he deserve to be loved, YES. Can I? not anymore.

I thought because he stuck around when I had fibro, he at least deserved for me to stick it out. The difference. I was still functional. I worked very hard to maintain and found a cure for mine.

As I reflected on some things he's done I realize his issues are dep and I cannot bear the brunt of thm anymore.

To wit. During a time when we were struggling, he refused to leave and I was ready to move on.  WE shared the house but lived apart while I drew up divorce papers. A little different than our in house seperation now. Soon after someone wanted to be a friend on my MySpace page. So I agreed after chatting with this guy. no pic though.

I was extremely lonely and this man brightened my days and nights. I wasn't looking to get into a relationship yet.  Nothing racy, just intellectual stuff, poetry etc. Hubby and I weren't speaking at that point. Long story short after weeks of chatting I felt myself falling for this guy, we clicked like nothing I imagined. He shared the story of his life, I finally asked him for a pic and omg. I was smitten.

He asked to meet me so I agreed.

I told hubby I was going to meet this guy. He begged to come with me, I said no, my Daughter is coming along for my safety etc. just in case. So I dress up, my daughter takes me. I enter the  classy restaurant, the girl seats me at a table. There is a bottle of MY favorite wine chilling. I'm nervous. My daughter is nearby. There is a flurry of actively at the door and I see HIM walking towards the table with the server. I ask hubby WHAT are YOU doing here! Go away!

HE sits.  He says, I'm him, and he starts sharing some of the conversations we'd had. I have no words. I start bawling, the server comes over concerned and I run to the bathroom. I wipe my face and go back. He explained that he wanted to prove how perfect we were for each other.  I'm incensed through this deception, you build up all these expectations and you lie to ME! You have made me a FOOL!! After that I polished off the wine and he takes me home. I was never the same since.

There is something very very wrong with this.

The Awakening

I have had this in my journal, have had it for years. It wasn't until today it hit me with the full force of what it was relaying.

You can google it. I've lived far too long like the living dead. I'm awake. The light hurts my eyes. It's painful, but healing.

From The Awakening

There comes a time in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out- ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new perspective. This is your awakening.

You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for something, or someone, to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after " must begin with you. Then a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

So you begin making your way through the "reality of today" rather than holding out for the "promise of tomorrow." You realize that much of who you are, and the way you navigate through life is, in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you’ve received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift through all the nonsense you were taught about:....



You are so graceful with your

You are so graceful with your words. I'm so sorry things aren't working out the way you'd hoped. I feel that you're doing what is right for you and in the end, you're going to not only survive..but thrive. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

waynebloss's picture

Time to take Care of You

Wow..I am sorry that it has turned out like this!  I am praying for your health and that you can start healing from the inside out!  Take Care of you and it will be fine. 

You know we are here if you need.


Topaz re: Awakening

Yes, it is like giving birth to yourself, is it not?  We will stand as midwives to your lengthy and arduous labor.   

Topaz re: mind up post

That is one of the most f*cked up stories I have ever heard.  I can't imagine that you were "ever the same".  What a mean thing to do!