Tired and Feeling Hopeless

 This is not what I signed up for when I married this man.  I do not know how we got to this place.  Our problems have increased gradually as our children (boys 11 and 15) have grown.  My husband is not only ADD but had a very dysfunctional home life as a child, especially with his mother.  I feel doomed.  He seems to not be able to separate his history from our home life.  I came from a very loving and supportive family.  Yet, we are repeating many of the patterns in his home.  I pay for his mother's sins every day of my life.  He pays little to no attention to me.  There is a double standard in what he expects from me and what I should be allowed to expect from him.  It should be good enough that he is passive, rarely has an opinion and lets me "do whatever I want".  While I appreciate that he does not put pressure on me like other husbands I know of, i.e...wanting a spotless house, expecting meals at a certain time, etc, etc...the passiveness makes me crazy sometimes.  I feel invisible most days.  Parenting our ADD 15 yr old is slowly destroying our marriage.  He thinks I'm neurotic and controlling (his mother was) b/c I worry about the normal things that most mothers worry about.  I never hear anything I do right, only advice on what I should do different.  I lecture too much.  I'm over protective, etc.  I think my husband basically raised himself from 14 on and had few, if any, boundaries to adhere to.  I was not raised this way.  The lack of support I feel is very painful.  If I try to address any of it with him, the defenses are up and it's turned right back around to me.  He is a master at that.  I'm tired of apologizing for how I feel, having needs, etc.  He takes everything as a personal attack on him.  It can never, ever be about me and the fact that I need to feel loved, protected, appreciated, etc.  I cannot remember the last time I really felt any of those things.  Our sex life is non-existent.  Another huge blow to my self-esteem.  He shows no interest.  None.  For the past few years he has had physical problems in that area but has shown no attempt to figure out the problem or talk to a doctor.  So, yet another thing I'm just supposed to deal with and accept.  How do you not take it personally?  I feel completely rejected.  He never tells me I'm beautiful or that he has any attraction to me.  Another area I guess I'm supposed to read his mind.  I have been in counseling for several years b/c of all of this.  He has gone several times.  It has helped at times.  But he doesn't go consistently enough for any it to take hold.  We are at a point now that we are both highly defensive.  We can't talk about anything out without getting into argument.  It is breaking my heart.  I am committed to this man, believe God put us together, but yet I am miserable.  I know he is miserable too.  We just keep hurting each other.  We aren't even speaking at the moment.   I am weary of it all and it breaks my heart for my children.  I did not grow up this way and never imagined this is how we would end up.

I feel 'ya on the

I feel 'ya on the dysfunctional home thing! My hubby had a strange relationship with his mother. She's the sweetest person on earth...and consequently, she allowed her own mother to bully and control her even though she was married with children. My hubby grew up around the "manipulative monster" as he calls his grandmother; he both learned how to manipulate and yet thinks every woman out there is out to do no good. It's frustrating! Like you, my hubby thinks I'm neurotic and controlling like my mother.

He feels like he gave up his life because his mother was too fragile. He didn't go into the military...he didn't even leave home until he was 25! To add to all of this, he was adopted and when he met his birth mother for the first time, it all became worse. His birth mother is fabulous and they have so much in common. He's become very resentful, wishing he had grown up with his birth mom and not his adoptive one. His home life was very controlled; his parents have a decade on my own and so they were from another generation. They were very strict to some extent. They refused to acknowledge his ADHD and because he was homeschooled, there were no outside influences to encourage them to do so. To this day, they still can't understand why he won't get out of bed even if he wants to do something fun! 

On the opposite side of your situation, I was raised in a fairly non-restrictive household. Because I acted older than my age and gained my parents' trust, they didn't need a lot rules to govern me. They encouraged me to be independent and free-thinking. My mom encouraged me to ask questions because she was punished growing up whenever she did. 

So coming into marriage...it's been difficult and only exacerbated by the ADHD. Hubby accuses me of "interrogating" him when I only want to know where he's going or what he's doing. It really makes me mad. He also takes any criticism as a personal attack. We're in counseling and things are gradually improving, but it's hilarious to watch us on that couch. I'll make a comment about something that I don't like and he'll turn it inside out and find someone to take it as a personal affront. In fact, our counselor has suggested that we repeat to each other what the other said as a way to deescalate our confrontations. It hasn't worked so well because we get so amped up. I've found it easier to just not react in an attempt to keep things peaceful. Sometimes it's good because it gives me time to sort through how I really feel and then I realize that getting angry wouldn't have been worth it. But sometimes, I just feel I'm not getting a proper say in things. 

I don't have any advice to give you...but I understand. Having the ADHD is only compounded by a dysfunctional childhood. My only suggestion would be to get back into counseling together, if possible. Is your hubby on meds or seeking any other treatment?

My husband has an

My husband has an inability to show any empathy towards me.  It is slowly killing me emotionally.  He can empathize with our children, especially our ADD teenager.  In fact, he usually defends him in every situation and makes me feel crazy for being concerned about where is, who he's with, etc.  He shows no appreciation for the fact that that's actually my job as a parent.  It makes me very sad and depressed.