Thought we just discussed/agreed on that,,,,but here its happening again- why?

Every day my ADD husband and I have a set meeting time 6:30am to address any issues or topics before they turn into a larger issue - this has been very beneficial in helping our communication and my husband feels that this is a "safe/comfortable" forum to talk to me. We have been holding these meetings everyday for the past 9-10 weeks. So this morning my issues/concern was that he is sleeping ALOT. He has gone from not sleeping to sleeping 10-12hrs a day! Last week he had a cold so I chalked it up to that- which is understandable. But this past week he would get home around 7pm and go to bed around 7:30 and maybe watch tv for 30 mins. Then up for work the next day by 6am. So I asked him if is over the worst part of his cold - yes. Are you feeling okay otherwise? No chest pains or anything that may be a sign of something more serious to check into - No, Im fine.  Ok, well, my concern is that you have been sleeping so much the last 2 weeks that I wasn't sure if it was due to some serious health issue or what - no, Im just catching up on my sleep. Ok, but when you are going to sleep at 7:30 at night I am then left with all of the responsibilities (kids, homework, getting the kids to/from activities, getting lunches ready, making/cleaning up from dinner,laundry, ect) and I need help. He is silent; then answers, well, I am tired so I go to sleep. It seems to make more sense to go to sleep if your tired then to stay up until 11pm doesn't it? I answered: Well, yes it would make sense to go to sleep at an earlier time than normal if your tired. However, you do not have a set schedule and now that you are caught up on your sleep - will this be a boomerang effect and you will not be able to sleep again for weeks? And what if I am tired during that time? Im not able to just go off to bed because Im tired - your already asleep and the kids need an adult around.  He thought about that and agreed - saying that he feel a sleep before our son came home last night - I assumed that you brought him home???? Yes, I picked him up and brought him home at 10pm, got both of the kids off to bed (meds given, teeth brushed and some quick bed time conversation)all while you were sound asleep on the couch. He says - oh.  Well I guess it would help if I had a schedule. Okay I realize that you need help with the kids and that its fair that Im not helping out.  My reply - Thank you. 

We had a very long and trying day spent at the mall with him and the kids we went to IKEA to get a nightstand - that was it on the list that's all we were looking/getting. We revisited our goal (the nightstand) before entering the store, while navigating our way through IKEA (its like a mouse maze - trying to find the cheese). Well - his idea was perfect for the nightstand! I said great - your idea was spot on perfect I have the code numbers so lets go and pick up the pieces from the warehouse and pay. Twice we had to redirect him to getting to the warehouse. Twice he chose to duck out (and not carry his cell phone so that we could contact him) on us and wander off to see whatelse was there (in IKEA). By this time, the kids and I were hot, tired, thirsty and ready to go home. The 2 hour trip to the mall and IKEA had been closer to 5 hours and had taken up our entire afternoon.  So when my 8 year old asked me, Mom where is Dad now? I said - I don't know. She replied: So what do we do now? I thought for a moment then I realized what we needed to do - physically move forward.  He knew what the rest of us where doing (me, son and daughter) we moving ahead and getting to the warehouse to pick up the nightstands and check out. I said: Come on guys, lets go get our things. But what about dad? Dad knows what the plan was - he will need to catch up to us.  So we did move forward got our items, paid and got something for each of us to drink. Here comes my husband through the check out lines with some item that he just had to have and then asks me where his pop is and can he have mine?  I give him a drink and his comment is - good thing I found you guys in time huh? Like I would drive off and leave him there?????  Anyway, I was not mad/angry I truely realized how mesmerized he was by everything and was unable to stay on task - I tried to relate it to how overwhelming IKEA is to me if I try to go without a specific item to shop for - the place is huge and just to big to wander around and look at things (for me). Anyway, we finally made it home 5:30pm I bring in the items from IKEA and pick up the coupons for the grocery store and head out - an hour later I am home carrying in groceries - he is sitting in the recliner reading the Sunday paper and talking on the phone - he just looks at me struggling with 3 bags full of groceries and sits there.  He hands me the phone and I ask him to get the rest of the groceries from the car - Me? he asks? Yes - you? He does carry them in and leaves them in the hallway. Okay, I get them put them away and notice that he is on the computer- not putting together the new nightstand or helping with groceries or helping get dinner put together for everyone.  So I get the kids dinner done - he cooks us eggs (which were good) and after we are done eating I asked if he was planning on putting together the nightstands - No. No? No - I thought that would be a good thing for the kids to do on their own. Really? Now granted it is easy put together but still....I mentioned that the kids will need help. No, they will be fine. After all I put together my CD shelf together in no time. And then he says - well, Im tired Im going to bed - its 7:15pm.  At this point I couldn't believe it - I really was dumbfounded. Didn't we just this morning cover this topic? Instead of arguing I say "Good Night". So he went to bed - the kids and I did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and put together the 2 nightstands and hauled them upstairs to their rooms. 

Reflecting on the day; I realize that even though I made the choice to move forward without him (even though he was well aware of the plan and that he was welcome to join us) in the store that that decision also enabled him: to carryon in the manner that was disruptive and non productive, get out of having to physically load the furniture and pay (very adult actions)  as well as not expecting him to help with house chores when everyone else was helping out - again I enabled him to carry on with his things and not have to help out or take any initiative in getting dinner ready or helping with groceries, dishes, ect and then his "escape" to bed.  I don't know how to be insistant that he help without an arguement or him feeling like I am nagging at him (which I have given up and will not go back to ever again)

So -did we or did we not agree that he would help more at night?  After putting the kids to bed, I just broke down crying. Im not sure if it was frustration, or just a feeling of complete defeat, or once again, being so alone. Maybe all 3. I am going to order Melissa's book tomorrow - I have already read the Delivered from Distraction, Driven to Distraction and Married to Distraction (all really great and informative books) I hope that between those books, counseling and now Melissa's book we can start to turn things around. 

I miss the man I married.  

Hey, lonelywife40

That whole shopping trip sounds exhausting!  I can so relate to your story. My husband was terrible about these sorts of things for the first couple years of marriage.   I think he would've driven me crazy given the chance.  This is not advice (because its probably not kosher)- I am just relating to you how I dealt with the smaller issues earlier in our marriage.  I really had no idea that my husband was ADD; just thought he was a thoughtless jerk.  But one thing I recognized was that in these sorts of encounters, he got to do what he wanted to do while I was left angry/upset/frantic, etc.  I began following a policy which is best summed up as "Don't make it easy for him to do/not do something I don't want him to do/not do" (remember, no knowledge of ADD so I wasn't cutting him any slack).  It required a lot of work on my part at first, and a willingness to allow consequences to fall squarely on him (which sometimes required that I "work" to get myself out of the way of the consequences).  

For example, he had a bad habit of not getting our son up, dressed and ready for the bus on time. Husband had to leave for work right after the school bus came, and he was always oversleeping.  I would get up earlier than him, wake up both kids and go make breakfast, thinking hubby was getting disabled son dressed.  He wasn't.  He was sleeping.  Every morning, hubby would suddenly come barreling thru the house yelling on his way out the door, "Crap, I overslept.  You're going to have to get him ready".  Then I would be rushed and frantic because I would literally have minutes before the bus was due and the kid wasn't even dressed yet!

I started "staying asleep" after husband got up (he had to be at work earlier than I did) so that I was "unavailable" to help him.   This worked for a while, until-

Husband started waking me up seconds before he left saying, "I didn't have time to get [him] up and dressed and the bus will be here in a minute".  Oh, that steamed me.  So I started getting up AN HOUR before him and going to the gym. I would purposely come home just in time to see him put kid on the bus.  OK.  Now I wasn't even IN THE HOUSE to fall back on.  That worked for a while, then-

Hubby changed it up, by getting kid dressed FIRST, then being "in the bathroom" when the bus came, making the kid miss the bus.  I would pull in from the gym, and he would say, "He missed the bus (like the kid can tell time).  You're going to have to drive him to school.  I gotta go..."  20 minute bus ride to school + loading a heavy wheelchair into the car.  ARGH!

I started staying at the gym an extra 30 minutes.  Now I am not home to pinch hit and he is frantic about leaving for work, but stuck with the kid.   He started calling my mother to come get the kid and drive him to school.  UH, NO.  

I called my mom and told her that if hubby calls her in the morning (use that caller ID) she is not to answer the phone.  

It took about 6 months of consistently removing support for this behavior, but we have not had this problem for years now.  In fact, now he even makes the kid breakfast sometimes, instead of waiting for me.  I am back to sleeping in.....








6 months of consistently removing support for this behavior


This is the key to making change happen for anyone.  Great Job and even though 6 months sounds like a long time to retrain, you've had the fruit of your effort for years.  I really like posts like this.



what I mean about being careful how we measure progress in our ADDer.  Our timelines for milestones have to be really, really flexible.   Depending on the season of sorrow/frustration, many might have given up after the second revision.  This kind of thing could work even if he/she won't seek diagnosis and treatment.  I think I would like to read this post whenever I start to think that change is never going to happen.  Thank you. 

I think equally as important

I think equally as important is not treating each screw up as 'the end of the world'. I cannot say why my husband finally cared enough (or found the courage/strength/self-control) to relinquish his debit card to me (after years of swearing he'd stop using it without care or concern about whether we had the money or not..sometimes up to 50 times a month!) but I don't think that it is a coincidence that it happened AFTER I stopped making a HUGE deal of it everytime he used it. Well, let me rephrase...instead of reacting with anger, I let him know how hurt I much stress it added to my already stressful life..and I chose to let it go instead of dwelling and making a huge deal of it, staying mad at him for days and going on a 30 minute rant about how inconsiderate and selfish he was. Did it motivate him to want to stop hurting me more than he wanted to use his debit card? I don't know, but it worked.

We ALL screw up...even I screw up our finances..quite often. I have never had to live with him throwing my screw ups in my face, belittling me for 30-60 minutes, not speaking to me for days and making me feel like a complete failure. I would always hate to hear him say "it's no big deal honey"..even when it was ME who screwed up..because I would think "why isn't he taking this seriously!" In the end, he was taking it seriously...but it never dawned on him to love me less, hate me, belittle me, berate me, and treat me like a child. Sadly, these exact things were my IMMEDIATE response when he screwed up.

screw ups

I agree.  I think though that it was easy for me to get into the "berating" mode because when I screwed up, I would acknowledge it immediately and honestly to him, apologize and rectify.  When HE screwed up, he would deny, rationalize, excuse his behavior.  That sort of response can bring out the "berater" (obviously not a real word, LOL) in you!