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.