My husband and I have finally hit a breaking point in our 12 year marriage.
5 years ago he was officially diagnosed with ADHD. It's been tough. I'm a very organized, in control person--he's definitely not. We've struggled with him losing focus and losing jobs, lying, smoking pot and of course I feel more like his mother most days than his wife. He feels this too. I spend most of my time "covering" for him with friends and family. Telling little fibs to my parents about how far along he is on home improvement projects. We work together on my business and, since adding employees into the mix it's gotten even harder. The girls don't like the way they see him treating me--my assistant's husband and my husband worked together until recently. Her husband calls frequently to check in, compliments her, etc. My husband went to Austin for work for a week and didn't text or call once. She'd come into work and ask "did Nate tell you about the concert they saw last night?" and I had no idea because it didn't occur to him to tell me about his day. I'm not saying he had to call me every minute but I grew up in a house with a dad who travels at least three weeks out of each month and calls my mom EVERY night to tell her about his day, tell her he loves her and tell her goodnight. I gues I was spoiled by this example.
Because our work projects often depend on pieces he has to complete (and doesn't) the team feels stressed and frazzled and gets frustrated. I'm caught in the middle and left to defend him and his behavior.
I'm always the initiator of sex. He tells me it's because he can't be attracted to me when I'm stressed which of course leads to more stress! I feel like I can't share a bad day with him or get frustrated over anything because he won't want to touch me for weeks. He often witholds affection and openly uses it to punish me if I "bug" him to finish chores around the house.
A few weeks ago he told me I'm never affectionate toward him I'm only ever bitchy or naggy. It hurt and I made a consciuos effort to put my frustration in check (I bought the ADHD and Marriage books before the summer and have been trying really hard to understand where he's coming from) I started leaving him little notes, buying him his favorties for dinner, leaving him little treats. I thought we were doing better.
He started a new job last week and took a few days before starting the job. He wanted to plan a day at the lake jet skiing. I'm not a big fan. I'm not very adventurous and it scares me. I told him to absolutely go, to take a friend, to take our daughter who loves it. We didn't fight about it, but I told him calmly several times that I didn't want to go but was happy to spend time with him at the lake--just not on a jetski. I said I'd pack a picnic lunch and wait on shore. He seemed ok with this but behind the scenes was texting our friends telling them to 'work on me" to get me to go on the jetski that "she needs to loosen up, she's too uptight." That day we started out ok, his inability to get organized caused our typical running late scrambling but I wasn't going to let us have a bad day. When we got to the jetski rental place I was surprised when they rolled out two jetskis. I told him "hey, I'm not going remember? We shouldn't waste the money renting a second one." He just looked at me blankly. Didn't acknoweldge me with a response and paid $600.00 to rent two jetskis.
Then he added life jackets--enough for me too. Cleary he had plans for me to be on a jetski no matter once. In the car I said "I'm going to stay on the shore though right?" I probably sound like an un-fun stick in the mud, but they scare me. Most people aren't forced to do something they really don't enjoy but he was determined. Our son (who is four) chimed in that he didn't want to go either --my husband said "you don't know what you want." and I lost it. I got really mad and I yelled in frustration. I yelled that he wasn't listening to me--that i couldn't have been more clear--that I didn't want to go.
The explosion wasn't about the stupid jetski it was about the ADHD and the last five years. When he got his diagnosis he bought a book about ADHD and handed out copies to my family at Christmas basically saying "guess what, I have ADHD here's how you deal with me." My family was put off and I was embarrassed. With every project he approaches it's always his way or the highway--it drives my dad nuts. He tries to help and my husband gets mad and "rebels" and does it his way and it often takes three times as long or goes poorly and they end up doing it the other way anyway. With my work that he helps with my team frequently gets frustrated when we're working on a wedding set up (I'm an event florist, my husband builds backdrops, arches, and large scale props for us) and he takes charge and tells the team to do something differently, a more complicated and often time consuming way. It puts us behind and causes stress and frustration. I'm always the wrong one. I'm always the bitch. I'm always the un-fun one.
The truth of it is I'm the one who HAS to be responsible, who HAS to plan or we'd never get anywhere. It's exhausting.
So I exploded. It was bad and it was in front of the kids and wrong.
Later I apologized and told him I was wrong that I shouldn't have blown up. The rest of the weekend was really tense and clear that he was still upset.
I apologized again and basically took all the blame for the situation--this is typical too. He does something in his ADHD way, I get frustrated and he points out that I'm being a bitch so I own that and apologize.
He said he felt the marriage wasn't working that I can't make him happy. He demanded a list of reasons I even loved him. I gave him one. A long one. He didn't have one for me.
The next day was a family party. I told him he didn't have to go but he wanted to. As we were leaving he suddenly changed his mind and needed to stay home and finish a project. I went with my parents instead. When I got home things seemed better. Not as tense. We held hands and I felt relief. I thought "things will get better, we'll need to talk to someone, find a therapist when the benefits at his new job kick in but we're going to be ok."
That night I got on MY laptop which he'd been working on his project and saw a tab open for Match.com.
He'd completed a profile listing himself as separated. We just bought a home over the summer wtih money loaned to me from my mom from my late grandfather's estate. In the profile he said he lived in his dream home with his two kids and was looking forward to never moving again. he said he was a single dad. He listed all his attributes and every single one was one of the reasons he'd demanded from me for why I loved him.
I was devastated. I couldn't breathe. My heart was beating out of my chest. I've been with my husband since we were 17. We're 33 and 34. I literally have spent half my life with him and this was devastating.
I didn't even confront him. He found me and I immediately began to apologize, to babble, to cry--and practically beg him not to leave me. He was calm. He said he still loved me. He didn't mean to hurt me. He told me he created the profile to "see if there was even a futurue where someone could like someone like him." He already had four responses to his profile.
I was sick to my stomach, I threw up. I couldn't think so I left. I called a friend. She told me to hire a lawyer. She told me she couldn't stand him but hid it from me because she knew I loved him. She told me to go to my parents' so I could rally my support. I didn't want to go to my family. I didn't want them to not like him. I wanted to protect him. I did go to them eventually because the reality of him wanting a divorce (if that's what he wanted) meant we'd have to sell this house we JUST bought with my mom's money. My parents were angry. My dad told me he thought I could do better, that he can't stand the way he treats me. My mom told me she's thought I've been unhappy for years and she feels he bullies me and uses ADHD as an excuse.
But they also told me I needed to talk to him and see where we stood. I went home. We talked. He said he didn't want a divorce but he didn' tlike the way I treated him and felt we needed counseling. I'm NOT perfect. I have my own insecurities and definitely don't handle stress very well. Owning my own business IS stressful and the business has EXPLODED in the last two years. This year we got a new studio space that's twice the size, more expensive and added 15 employees who depend on me. We got the keys to the new space three days after getting keys to our new house. Back to back moves. It's been nothing BUT stress.
Add to the mix trying to be a good mom, a good wife, a wife who has to cover for/pick up all the slack...it's not easy and I admit I'm not always pleasant or happy go lucky.
It's been a weird week since the incident. We are polite to each other and more or less act like nothing happened. I am still devastated about the profile. He deleted it and claims he had no intention of following through.
reading these forums though, and the book I can't help but feel he's lost interest.
He says he wants counseling and his benefits kick in December 1st.
Sorry for the long message I've been confused and trying to figure everything out.
Does anyone know a therapist in Phoenix with experience with ADHD partnerships?