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?
Umm, sorry no ..
Submitted by sunlight on
.. am not in the area. But...
I am not one to cut and run (married to ADHD) but the dating profile would be it for me. I do completely understand "I'm not always pleasant or happy go lucky" more than words can convey but he is not demonstrating commitment to you, your kids, or the business. Protect yourself. Your kids come first, followed by what you need to do to support them.
Your a perfect case for counseling.....
Submitted by c ur self on
You both really need counseling...You have no boundaries in your marriage, there is no acceptance by him of you. You are really enabling him and you do not even know who you are, because of the manipulation....He is so self-absorbed by his thoughts of life (your example of him texting friends to try and influence you about the jet ski shows, manipulation, lack of acceptance and respect for you as an person.
I suggest you do some research and find a well thought, successful (preferably Christian in my opinion) counselor in your area. You both are young enough to to reverse these unhealthy traits...Do not be afraid to go by yourself, if he refuses....
My advise for you right now today is stop enabling in anyway, stop Mothering, that very well could be your sex problem, what you are describing isn't normal male behavior for a faithful husband. Let him crash and burn a few times, I promise, it will make him step up...
You have to take charge of your own life!
Thank you for your responses
Submitted by mandisue99 on
Thank you everyone for weighing in.
There is definitely a lack of respect on his end but I give into it too. I guess I've heard from him so many times about how bitchy, naggy, etc. I am I'm scared to ever say anything. He definitely uses it to his advantage and it's something we've struggled with for a while. He always apologizes when I bring that up and says he doesn't mean to.
I think we definitely need a third party to at least give it a try. It's really awkward right now because I asked him for a few days last week but knowing he was starting his new job, (and frankly because we can't afford it right now), I didn't send him packing to a hotel or anything. I knew all his clothes, etc. are here and it'd be much easier for him to start his job and have it go well. My parents took the kids this last weekend so we could go out to dinner and talk and spend time together.
It was like nothing happened for him. I keep on trucking and going about my normal day and then it hits me in the gut again. My friend keeps urging me to move on that I'd find someone new I just can't picture that. So he comes home each night for dinner. We watch TV, go to bed. Function but there's definitely a lot of hurt on my end and I think he's just relieved no one kicked him out and in his mind, we talked about it--he didn't actually "do" anything so we should move on.
I welcome any advice and anyone who's been through something similar and worked through it?
One of my employees has ADHD and recommended her counselor who not only helped her but worked with her and her husband as well. If he takes our insurance I'm goign to try it out and hope for the best.
In the meantime I ordered all the books by Melissa Orlov and Ned Hallowell so I can start working on something to get us through the next few weeks.
he didn't actually "do" anything
Submitted by Standing on
I just wanted to say to you: Yes, actually he Did Do something and that something is a breach of trust.
I'm not suggesting that he's a horrible person or that your relationship cannot be mended, but in order to work on something, everyone involved has to first face what's broken.
In my opinion: He has issues he must address and into which he must invite accountability. Please do not allow him to minimize the effects on you of his behavior. I minimized for years and, in retrospect, wish I had had the strength and faith to face stuff as it arose.
You're not being a nag to insist that this is not okay. He can't tell you it will never happen again "and nothing happened anyway" and then pretend like that makes it okay.
Well, he could, but only if you are willing to accept that, which your gut is clearly advising you not to do. Trust your gut. God gave us feelings for good reason, I believe, and when we stuff them and try to go on without addressing them, they do come back to bite us. Personally, I would tell him he needs treatment for his sexual addiction. His eyes will get really really big. Good.
God bless you!
Submitted by c ur self on
Try to be patient, my best friend wanted the same thing for me your's wants for you...But, in my heart, I new I was also to blame in many ways...Just try to focus on yourself over the next few weeks....Be kind and honest when you speak with him...The thing that made it so difficult for my wife and I is we're both type A's, and I'm a terrible listener, and because of her add she can't follow well in conversation, but was to proud to tell me...I always attributed her frustration in following me in my soliloquy's directed at her, as disrespect and rudeness...But, when the consoler made me talk to her in front of him for 60 seconds or so....He stopped me and asked her to repeat what she had heard me say. She couldn't remember hardly anything...I almost broke down:(....Only you know if you have done all you can, and only you know if its in your heart to love him and continue trying to work at the marriage....In my case, regardless of my friends...I new deep in my heart my vows were forever...I new I could do better...I just had to deal with myself, and accept her as she is...My counselor told me..."c ur self you are not responsible for your wife's behavior's, you are only responsible to her as a husband and your own behaviors"...I can't tell you what a weight that took off of me...It was the start of me learning to live and let live. It was also the start of boundaries and the end of enablement...I do not have a problem handing out or receiving a loving NO anymore:)
Thank you for your
Submitted by mandisue99 on
Thank you for your encouraging words. I think we have a long road ahead of us and I definitely need to create boundaries but I think trying to understand where the other is coming from is going to be huge. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the ADHD and what that means but I don't think either of us has really thought about how it affects US. For a while it was me mad that it was 'his' problem and he was mad that I wasn't trying to make room for his issues by smoothing the way and making his life easier.
I'm definitely not free from blame--there are times when frustration DOES turn to nagging and my desire to stay organized and get things done means I have little patience for side traction. It also means that I am a stick in the mud. I'd rather just get the dishes done after dinner for example rather than leave a big mess in the kitchen and go out for ice cream with the kids and take care of it later. So he gets to do the "fun" stuff while I stay home. This is my preference but I do let it lead to resentment.
Sorry to hear about your situation...
Submitted by NotAnIdiot on
...I am an ADHD husband - I can relate to not only his behaviors but your reactions. Your road ahead will not be easy. The good news is that the valley is one of the best places to be to get help for this. Go to the C.H.A.D.D. website and follow the "resource directory" link and click on "Arizona." There will be lots of ADHD experts - just a matter of finding one that you are comfortable with. In the meantime, if you want to know why your husband does what he does, just ask me :)
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
You are in a tough position - I know this from personal experience in a similar vein. From your description it seems as if your husband checked out of the relationship a while back, and is thinking about himself (and his options) more than you. To heal, you will need proof from him that he has full intentions to check back in and really work on making things better. A good book you might want to look into for some ideas about this is Mira Kirshenbaum's I Love You but I Don't Trust You.
My advice to you would be to not make any sudden changes, but to work through the issues you yourself have, and try to figure out for yourself what it is that you want, and what it is that MUST change, plus what it is that SHOULD change. (These are different.) A counselor can often help this process, though not always. I like to write when working through emotional issues - if you do this, password protect it on your computer so that it stays private and don't tell others you are doing it.
I will say that there are a few things in your note that disturb me, and I would urge you to explore them. One is your assumption that it is his responsibility to make you happy. You are the first person who must love yourself and be happy with yourself. The joy you find with your husband should be (in my opinion) joy that is incremental to your own sense of self.
The second thing that disturbs me is that your husband does not seem (from this description) to feel as if it is his responsibility to respect your wishes. The jetski story is disturbing in his unwavering actions that suggest he knows best and your opinions don't matter. Further, he didn't sit down and talk with you about why you are scared, nor why it was so important to him that you do this. Both were fantastic opportunities to connect that he avoided big time. If the two of you are going to be able to create a loving relationship out of this mess he MUST be able to communicate better, and MUST be able to respect your feelings. These were very basic needs you displayed (fully, it seems) and he ran right over you as if you hadn't even spoken. Very disturbing.
His comments that he doesn't like how you treat him should be taken very seriously. Get him to open up about this in counseling and see what is going on. Are there changes you can make to respond to him? Are you simply incompatible? These are the types of questions to explore before you decide what your next steps should be. You want to make a choice that you will not regret.
I have come to feel that there are many opportunities to genuinely accept and respect our partners in all of their messy 'glory' (if you want to call it that). None of us are perfect. It's possible that your partner's behavior was a relationship 'call for help' and that you may be able to work things out Or, it may be possible that he is attached to the house and kids, but not very interested in you any more. You simply don't know at the moment. What is clear, however, is that your situation MUST change in order to move forward. Looking at the possibility of divorce is like looking into a big void - hugely scary at first. But with a little bit of time, reflection, and interactions with your spouse you should get your feet back on the ground a bit and develop some more realistic perspective. It is NOT an abyss -many people have done it before and survived just fine. On the other hand, it is not something that you want to take on unless you are absolutely, positively sure that it is the right thing to do. It strikes me that you have not had enough opportunity to figure that out yet.
I hope that helps a bit. My heart goes out to you - this is an incredibly stressful situation, and your view of your life (and possibly your husband) will be altered forever. But you CAN do this.
I realize this is an older
Submitted by Hairdresser1821 on
I realize this is an older post but I am literally crying my eyes out with how much your situation is like my most recent marriage problems. I just found out for the past three years (since 2013) my husband who is on adderall for his adhd has created not one but at least 5 different dating profiles. Even signing up for one on our wedding anniversary! I found emails he was writing to these women about how he knows what it's like to try and date while raising a kid (we have a three year old together) and find that someone worth everything. On top of this I found out he was hiding money from me. I kicked him out but am so confused as to actually file for divorce or not. He has lied to me so much in the past and now this I am not sure I will ever be able to trust him again. He is constantly turning the blame on me and I feel like a piece of garbage. I mean I packed up his stuff (and even washed his dirty clothes before packing them) and he complained because he didn't know which bag his stuff was in and I had to help him find his stuff. I mean I can't even be cheated on correctly and it seems like I can't do anything right. Ever since he got on his meds he sleeps all the time but stays up all night so while I sleep he talks to these women via text message and email. He is begging me to give him another chance but I really am not sure if he really will change or if he is just blowing smoke to get me back and then after awhile the behavior will return. I was just wondering how it turned out for you? I am so hurt, lost, and confused that any help/advice is appreciated!
Thanks and Solidarity
Submitted by BritIsh Bird on
I can't be of use to anyone because my experience is still so new and raw but I wanted to thank you for the courage and eloquence of your post. My partner doesn't have an ADHD diagnosis but is in the process of tapering off twelve years on Lyrica. When the dosage was increased five years ago it decimated his personality and he became hate-filled, lazy, dishonest, and utterly self-interested.
He is down below the danger dose now and regaining memories, clarity and empathy every month but each reduction produces a different domino effect of drama. We've had road rage, suicide threats, destructive anger and pity parties. But I have (tried SO hard and mostly succeeded) kept standing tall in the knowledge that it is Lyrica not him. But this week - in the midst of a "she'll never let me home, she hates me" episode - new friends encouraged him to create a Match.com profile.
And I am devastated.
Devastated. This has hit me like nothing before it. I can't rationalise the response when him threatening to kill us all didn't break me but it's true. It was up for less than a day before I busted him and was a free trial so he claims he couldn't and wouldn't have pursued anything. But. I'd call BS if I was reading that and the sucker punch I feel can't be denied. He says he is ugly and hates himself and wanted to see what he looked like to people who didn't know him. But the act. The calculation. Of taking a picture, several trials too, typing lies about his life and fathering skills. I can't bear it.
I guess I just wanted to add my me too. In case it helps someone like seeing this has helped me. I'd love to hear a what happened next from anyone else in my boat too. It would certainly be more constructive than sobbing until my cheeks sting and ordering cigarettes with my shopping delivery (despite quitting eight years ago)...
Love and good wishes to all x
I can relate!
Submitted by overwhelmedwife on
When H and I were separated, his brother encouraged him to make a Match.com profile. I suspected that H would do this so I scouted Match and quickly found his profile. He used a picture that was over 13 years old, and he subtracted several years off of his age.
He was nearly 60 at the time, but used a pic when he was in his mid 40s, and claimed that he was 52. His goal obviously was to look like a youthful early-50-something in order to attract women in their early 40s or even late 30s. He desperately wanted to hook-up with some younger eye-candy to "shove in my face" and make himself "feel good."
He put all kinds of lies in it, including that he was already divorced, but also that he is a "social drinker" (he's a raging alcoholic and not supposed to drink at all) and he exaggerated his income.
He never ended up going out with any of the women who "contacted him" because at some point he realized that once they met him, they'd see that he was much older than his pic, and that he probably couldn't keep his alcoholism a secret for long.
His brother, who thought H was "so honest," saw it and became angry that H would not only lie about age, etc, but that he would put "social drinker" instead of "non-drinker" since H had been telling his brother that he was "on the wagon" (a lie). H later told me that his brother "read him the riot act" about being dishonest. In hindsight, I think the real issue is that his older brother was jealous that H might end up dating some cute young thing. lol
H quickly came crawling back and deleted his account. But, I can remember being absolutely gob-smacked that he had made that profile.