Things have taken a turn for the worse here...

Background: I came to this site appx 9 months into our reconciliation after an extremely painful few months the last of 2009. I told him before we reconciled that I just wanted peace in my life. In our home. He was on board. I let go of the anger, gave a clean slate, and all I asked was that we seek professional help since we obviously couldn't keep the marriage on track by ourselves. Some huge causes of stress were gone, and I felt with counseling we could really make it. We had a decent, happy marriage before it took a nose dive, I felt surely we could have that again if the main source of our problem was gone. Took about 6 months, but we were THERE. It was amazing. We reconnected and were happier than we had ever been. The diagnosis came at about the exact same time we started to get on track. Three months into the diagnosis, he wanted to try meds. They made him irritable and hostile and prone to outbursts...and none of these were 'him'. After 5 months a two medications he stopped taking them. (mid-February of this year).

Since then nothing has been the same and everything feels very wrong. Some things have come to light that I cannot share, but I always told God I would see him through anything, stand by him through thick and thin, as long as he didn't cheat on me again. I had no idea God would test me on that. I am not sure if the abrupt stop of the medications sent him to the 'dark place' he is at, but he has completely withdrawn..spends all of his time in the den, has now graduated to sleeping in the den, we do NOTHING together as a family, and any conversations we have are about him and only him. I can't start a conversation about anything else without getting cut off and made feel like I am overwhelming him (not relationship stuff either...stuff about the kids, stuff about my school, etc). He used to send text messages throughout the day telling me "I love you very much!" and now all I get is "I'm having a horrible day" "I hate my job" "no one appreciates me", etc. I keep a knot in my stomach constantly worrying that he's going to quit his job or get fired. He will send text messages that any normal person would interpret as either/or is about to happen...and then call 30 minutes later saying "I don't want you to worry, everything is fine". This proves A) he knows I worry B) he knows that it is things he says that make me worry C) it is so bad he has to call to reassure me after a barrage of gut wrenching texts. His explanation is "I can go from 0-60 in 2 seconds, but I can go from 60-0 just as fast" I tried to explain to him "but I can't!" but he apparently didn't get that message. He is going to counseling (alone) but other than that, not treating his ADHD. He thinks he can beat it on his own.

Anyway..I have cried, I have prayed, I have stomached his "I'm trying" excuse day-in and day-out for weeks now. I asked him "how" he was trying only to get 'don't do this to me right now, I can't deal with it'. There is never a good time to force the issue. He is in his dark place and that is what he chooses to do with his life at this time. I asked him today to please not text me unless it was something positive. I explained that I could not be his emotional dumping ground anymore.  I told him that I could no longer obsess over this situation,  our marriage, and when he might decide to be a husband and father again...that I was taking my own path and I hoped he would decide to join me soon. I just simply said "I want to be happy...it is obvious you can't help me with that right now...so I have to figure out how to bring about that on my own. I'm always here for you, but I can't let you take me down with you". This made him angry, I got accused of never being there for him and got the line about how he had no one to depend on, he was all alone. How does ADHD make this a rational arguement..when you PUSH AWAY the very people who love you the most then complain that you're all alone?

Prayers would be greatly appreciated. I need the strength to keep moving forward and to have the Faith that he will soon follow...and the courage to face the tough decision if he doesn't. When my Daddy was dying I promised him my life would change..I would make better choices and be happy...so he could go in peace. I he ate my husband's ADHD for making me choose between keeping that promise and him.

Sorry to hear about your turn

Sorry to hear about your turn for the worse.  You are in my prayers along with everyone else.  Just try to remember that things can get worse many times during this journey before hopefully we agree to follow the same path and make things better. 

"I was taking my own path and I hoped he would decide to join me soon.  I just simply said, I want to be happy...it is obvious you can't help me with that right now...so I have to figure out how to bring about that on my own.  I'm always here for you, but I can't let you take me down with you." 

I do truly feel for you.  I've been dealing with alot of the same stuff as you, since my husband's diagnosis in January 2007.  Your quote above was almost exactly what I told my husband, also.  It has been hard, especially when he has tried to make me feel bad for him, but I just remind myself of what I said and get back on track. 

Only you can make yourself happy.  Be there for him as best you can but he is the only one that can dig himself out of his "dark place". 

Please, for the sake of your Daddy, keep your promise of making better choices and being happy.  I believe it will give you inner peace.  I know I gained this peace when I finally realized that it was my husband's responsibility to make himself happy, even though he thought I was supposed to make him happy and that he was responsible for making his own choices.  Boy, it sure did help with my stress level because in the past, he always had a way of making me feel guilty if he wasn't in a happy place. 

Personally, I believe you have made a promise to your husband also.  You've told him you are always there for him but that you have set a boundary to not be taken down again!  He must realize that you are doing this for your own protection. 


Hi Sherri, I am catching up on a few months posts.  I'm so sorry you who are usually so strong sounding like you are in a down swing right now.  As I read the snapshots of your life in a short time, it seemed to me that you transitioned from "this is doable, dammit!" to "I'm losing hope over here..." 

It sounds like I've been through much less than you, but especially after reading everyone's posts, I think I'm entering the latter realm as well.  It seems that there are a lot of people in here right now who are self aware and making improvements and getting treatment...to no avail.  The relationships still don't seem to work--whether we want them to or not.  There are some basic needs in a relationship  for women and different ones for men.  For me these needs are affirmation, intimacy, and support.  But when I spend my time protecting my heart from being broken (again), deflecting unwarranted criticism and being the strong one all the time, there is no chance that any of those things are going to be met, even a little.  And I know he has unmet needs too, but the effort of keeping him afloat in that way is a full time job.  I read most stories in here and the length of time it takes to get the right meds and treatment makes me just want to cry and quit right now.  I think to myself "I can't DO this that long!"  My DH has not even acknowledged the possibility that he has ADHD.  And yes, he is hurting too; he doesn't know how to win back the love of his wife.  I have come to learn more compassion of late, though it feels horrible to admit, I don't want this to be the way the rest of my life goes. Until recently, I have been an advocate of treating it like the illness it is.   If he was permanently injured in a car crash would I leave him?  I find it so very hard to consistently treat ADHD as an illness when he's still walking around and more or less functioning in the world like there's almost nothing wrong, especially while he's in denial.  But there is something horribly wrong; it's just not as evident as a wheelchair or a missing limb or a tumor or something. It's hard to manifest compassion when I see "normal-looking" behaviors. This bizarre emotional ride, the incredible tension in the house, the financial damage, the damage to my emotional well being (I could cry at almost any moment these days) and his too for that matter.  I'm also trying to think if it were me, what I would want him to do:  Suffer with me for the rest of his life with me beating him up emotionally, leaning on him so hard he might actually fall, or let him go and work on my own stuff so I'm healthy enough for a relationship?  Very hard to picture indeed. 

I'm sorry--I know this isn't very uplifting for you; I guess it's sometimes good to know that someone else is wrestling with the same decisions.  I pray it is just a rough spot for you, and that you will find whatever strength you need for whatever you decide to do.   

I had an epiphany of sorts

I had an epiphany of sorts last week...I posted some about it in lululove's post about 'intense sadness'. Sometimes I have to really be pushed to the brink of giving up before God says "ok, how about looking at this from this perspective" and He shows me a new way of doing things that, in the end, will most likely make me stronger and happier.

I love my husband...ADHD and all. I am proud of the struggles he's faced and the things he's overcome in the past few years...especially in the past 3-4 months. He is getting stronger everyday and so am I. In the end this will benefit our marriage in ways that we aren't even able to see right now. I decided to let him stand on his own two feet and reassured him that I loved him and was here for him. I wanted him to start growing healthier emotionally and physically. The ADHD meds took their toll on him...along with other things...but he has come back from the brink and is fighting.

He has good days with a few bad moments here and there..but he's battling it on his own. He came back to our bed and for that I am very thankful. It is amazing what we as human beings can accomplish when people step out of our way and let us. (speaking for both of us).

Continuing to pray for us all.

DF's picture

my humble reply

Sherri that is great news.  I've been saddened by your hardship expressed in other posts.  You are courageous for taking the journey.  My recent diagnosis is not nearly as severe as in your case.  There's never been a time I had desire for another woman in my life and I've always felt my wife is the woman of my dreams.  But what good is that if I never tell her?  How can I expect her to believe me now?  She's a stubborn woman and I love her for it.  I wouldn't want her any other way.  It's her personal strength that has driven me to find the source of me and I've found this great site.  I'm normally a very private individual in that I don't share my business with anyone.  Posting to this site just feels so natural.  I'm still careful in the sense that I don't want anyone to think I'm some angel since I am the problem in the relationship to begin with.  But I will do whatever it takes to get back in her life.  I hope she can find it in her heart to learn about Adult ADD and to give me a chance to continue proving that I am for real. 

For years she used to tell me she was lucky to have married me.  I haven't heard that in a long time and on some nights I think about it and it makes me sick knowing how much I've failed.  Other nights I'm able to use it as strength, that once again I will earn those sweet musical words...........

Good luck Sherri.  I do pray.  I will pray for you too as I do for my wife and children.

Moving on..for now...

It seems as though we have hit a brick wall. I haven't been able to separate this issue as "out of control ADHD" and "not really how he feels or reality" and sadly the damage is done, I am afraid. In the past 2-3 weeks he has single handedly broken every promise he made me in Dec 09 (when begging me to give him another chance after cheating on me) AND broken through every boundary I had finally put in place for myself and my children.

He swore he would get help...so, at the very least, we would know what 'this' is and I could better understand...and most of all, hopefully he could avoid 'this' happening. I thought all along he was taking responsibility for his behaviors and how they effect his marriage, and that his changes were due to that accountability, but now I feel it was either 'hyperfocus' or it was simply him responding to my changes...or both. I heard several times "all I ever wanted was for you to treat me this way" which should have been a huge red flag that he was saying "see, it was your fault all along..." when I would remind him "and I only wanted you to treat me this way too" he would either drop the subject or get defensive. (I just assumed that it was a common ADHD reaction..not wanting to hear about the pain they've caused).

He promised me that our marriage would be his priority, and that he would never let his daughter cause us problems again, but just a couple of weeks ago I was told that he would do what he wanted for her and he didn't care how it made me feel. I'm not an unreasonable person...I know she is his daughter...but she has ZERO boundaries (nothing she won't ask for or expect) and ZERO respect for our marriage, our financial struggles, our personal struggles, etc. She used  me and betrayed me horribly right before she left..it was so bad that he finally, after 6 years of doing nothing, stood up to her. SIX years of nothing...and then he stood up to her..it was THAT bad. So, he's crossed another boundary that I had in place...that I would no longer have expectations set FOR ME in that relationship and I would no longer let her problems affect my family. Apparently, he's prepared to do just that...and I want no part of it.

I have had some very difficult, sleepless nights because of a very stressful situation going on with my son and some health problems he has. Since he 'checked out' back in mid-Feb I have tried many time to talk to him about it all. I've tried to start conversations only to be shut down and have him convert it to something to do with him OR have him start criticizing my decisions..which he REFUSES to have anything to do with. No support, no shoulder to cry on, no advice, nothing. My son is 18 and 5'5". He has drop seizures where he just falls..no warning. He has busted his face open, his head open, his chin open, hurt his shoulder, etc. When he busted his chin open about 2 weeks ago, I was unable to call him at work because he hadn't worked AT ALL (well, worked 'from home' but was on thin ice for it) the week before and had a meeting with his boss at exactly the same time the seizure happened. I was shocked when I asked for him to help me hold him down and get some liquid bandage on it...1 1/2 hours later when he finally got home...and he made every excuse NOT TO HELP. "we need to wait until later" "we need to just see what it looks like later" "we got enough on it the first time" when it was still BLEEDING after the first application. "let me smoke a cigarette and I'll be up" and so on. That was so hurtful to me..we needed to help our son and he is so caught up in his own misery that he couldn't muster the energy to deal with a child in desperate need. He is autistic and has Tuberous Sclerosis...he won't just sit still and let me bandage him up. I have also started a new medication...in addition to his other...for seizures, suffered through many battles with him to try and get him to take his meds...calling for his help (thinking our son would listen if he told him to take it) only to have him barely make an appearance and give up after 5 minutes and leave me to deal with it myself. Before I started the meds, I asked for his input, and after I started it, without any input from him, he decides it is too dangerous and tells me he wants him off of it! I broke down, cried, and asked him what other options he had to offer, reminding him that K (son) could fall and die...which was worse..side effects or a broken neck? After a while K decided he wasn't taking it at all and after an hour long battle, him pinching a huge knot on my arm, asking for my husband's help and getting criticism for what I was putting the meds in, being blamed for him not wanting to take it, and him walking out and leaving me to deal with it myself after 5 minutes, I broke down and cried for 20 minutes and decided not to give the meds anymore. I've researched and started him on an even stricter diet (modified Atkins for seizures) than he was on (gluten free/casein free) and have done ALL OF THIS BY MYSELF.  I would bet my life he is completely oblivious to 99% of all of this.

Whether he can help it or not, his refusal to do anything for 2 months now is just not acceptable. He is mad at our counselor because apparently she told him she thought he might be bipolar and because he was paranoid that she was lying to him about some other stuff. He thought she knew, but she probably didn't know...and his paranoia got the best of him. Apparently wasn't too pretty. He won't go back to his PCP. (who he got the ADHD meds from). I spent a while searching for a psychiatrist on our plan that could treat him, diagnose him (2nd opinion) and prescribe meds based on what he/she feels he needs. Our counselor is not up on meds enough for my liking (she tried to argue with me that vyvanse isn't a stimulant) and his PCP seems to be pissing in the wind (or he's only getting my husband's 'tip of the iceberg' version of what the meds were doing to him). Anyway, this idea was barely presented to him before he completely refused it and told me to get out of his face if all I was going to do was tell him how "f'd up" he is. I was trying to explain that what he's going through...it has to have a name..it has to have a treatment...it is the same thing he did when i was PG with our daughter, etc...and got shot down and called crazy...and told I make him sick..and he's tired of me "treating him this way". He breaks every.single.promise.he.made, checked out and spent the last 2 months in the den completely ignoring and neglecting his family, REFUSES to admit he needs help, and I am the one who needs to learn how to treat him better. Wow. I came here with so much hope and promise for our future...now I have given up all hopes that my life will be anything but this crazy,  hurtful roller coaster. I can't fix him. I don't want him to get help for me..I want him to acknowledge he needs help and have the courage to go get that help.

I have done all I can do. I don't want a divorce, but I don't want to live with him right now. I'm pooling all of my resources...but until I figure out how to survive on my own, I guess we will live separately, in the same house. What breaks my heart the most, what I feared and cried and worried about for so long now...I am letting him go...emotionally I am finally letting him go...finally realizing my reality (that things are not going to change because he doesn't want them to) and my main worry is how I will take care of my kids and not how I will live without him. I was desperate to give him another chance, to be with him again and give our marriage all I thought it was missing, when we reconciled in Dec 09...now I just want this cruel, hurtful person out of my life. I NEVER thought I would see this day...but I am finally breaking free of the bonds of ADHD and starting to love myself and realize that being alone is better than being lonely ..and hurt over and over and over and over again.

Sorry..feeling very dramatic and rambly tonight...although I cannot think of what miracle could happen to turn this sinking ship around, I'm still praying for one. With God, all things are possible.

Sherri, for what its worth, I

Sherri, for what its worth, I am here to support you (along w an entourage of others). You are on the huge horrible downswing part of that [email protected] rollercoaster we know so well. The stress of what your poor son has been going through may be the thing that is exacerbating your husbands shutdown- that happened a lot when my parent was dying of this terrible disease and I needed help and support but received neither. Yet today things feel more uplifting and my spouse seems more motivated to connect. But for how long?.... Its not easy. There is that whole, unfair component where you are expected to take the onus of responsibility for all the tough stuff in your lives. And surely, that is the reason God gave you such strength of character. You told me something that last Saturday that really resonated with me-- to KNOW that for whatever reason, this is where God felt I needed to be right now, to be strong (or something like this?).. Your strength comes not from your husband, no matter how important it feels to get his help and support. It comes from you and from your faith, and from that warm pool of support you can glean from the other people who love you, friends, family...For now, the step back sounds like a good idea... Play it by ear, continue yo trust in yourself, and just worry bout the things you need yo for now... Esp your son. Things have a way of working out, just dont beat yourself up along the way. Cheers!

Take time for yourself

Although it seems crazy to think you would have time for yourself with all you have going on--you need it.  Let go of his issues, problems, anger, etc.  He needs to be the master of his own destiny for now, and you need to do some soul searching for you.  Separate as best you can---do not take on too much.  Focus on you and your kids, that's it.  Thinking of you.

you said it yourself

You said it yourself, "you did everything you could do." It truly is out of your hands; I hope you can find some peace in that. Im sorry you are hurting. Im praying for that miracle with you.

Truly sorry...

I am so sorry for all you are going through... Your husband cannot improve until he wants to move forward. I wish I could say something you have not heard or read about already, but your son needs you and you need to save yourself. My orange juggling theory is what I go back to when things are out of control. Drop all but the important things... Take care of you and your son and let the rest fall in place. I KNOW you have a ton of friends on this site that can give support and maybe better words of wisdom than me. Some things are truely out of your control, so take charge of what is controllable.

Take care...


DF's picture

My Dear Sherri

I feel horrible for your situation.  I'm blessed with two healthy children, but I'm cursed with the potential to unknowingly destroy myself and those around me.  I can't imagine how hard things have been for you and I ask you to take solace that we are here for you as you've been for us.  I don't think you give yourself enough credit for your best qualities.  You make a lot of sense for a lot of us both with and without this life sentence. 

What you offer someone like me with ADD is hope that we will not be abandoned if we fight to keep our best foot forward.  You give a quality perspective on what it is like to be on the receiving end of our sometimes unknown behaviors.  You just give damn good advice when we need it most.  You handle children like me with respect and courtesy knowing you have enough on your plate as it is and you try very hard to see things from our side.

So where does that leave you?  I can imagine it leaves you asking "What about me?!".  What about you Sherri?  I've always believed and proven to myself over and over again - The worse something is, something twice as good always comes out of it in the end.  It's true.  I'm a firm believer in that, because I've seen it time and again.  I don't know that we give you in return.  You are Atlas with the world on your shoulders. 

Perhaps you can see your strength and take comfort in knowing that the world isn't heavy enough to bring you down.  Sometimes you'll shed a tear, but as those tears are leaving your resolve increases. 

Those of us with with ADD(HD) don't always see what we're doing or how we're affecting those we love.  I'm the last person who should be saying this Sherri, but take off the blinders.  You've effected many of our lives for the better and the only way you could have done that is by being the person you are. 

To all of you

I can say nothing more than I feel very blessed today...your responses moved me to tears. What does it say when strangers are kinder to you than your own husband? I thank you all for the kind words...they are priceless right now to me. One of the craziest things about ADHD is that somehow I always end up feeling like the "crazy" one (and get accused of it often) or like I am a bad person for not being able to give consistent support when I'm getting nothing in return. I know that is the true, Biblical, way a wife should be..and husband..supportive and loving even when they don't deserve it...but I think ADHD takes it to a whole other level and just wants to suck the life right out of the person you claim you need support from. What I always struggle with as well...this would never work out this way if it was ME that checked out of the marriage and had nothing to do with him for 8 weeks...I can't even fathom his reaction. This is why I don't beat myself up so bad when I have days where I am all over the place..like a feather blowing in the wind...cause on my worst days I am still more supportive than he is on his best days. But I love him anyway.

Having said that, I did a lot of soul searching...was very angry for a few days over this situation...and recognized that was not who I wanted to be almost immediately..so I prayed. Then I prayed some more. Last night I was on my knees until my feet went to sleep. Today I have let go of the anger, and am looking forward. My son needs me. My daughter needs me. I need me. I can't put into words what my husband needs from me right now...would seem to be nothing...so I will give him space and I will pray and wait patiently for God's next move. My faith has gotten me through this far...and it will see me through til the end. I will be kind to my husband because that is the kind of wife I want to be....

sullygrl's picture

Sherri, just sending good thoughts and prayers

I can't say anything to you that will make this easier. You are doing all you can, but remember you can't do it all. He has to admit there is a problem. He has to seek help for it. He has to continue treatment. If he won't do these things then you need to decide your next steps. It sounds like he is good at "checking out" as far as being part of the family and giving you the support you need with your son and you have given him time and chances and support because of his "illness"

Here's a question...if he was an alcoholic that wouldn't stop drinking, what would you do? Not that it is the same thing, but it's similar. Both require admitting to a problem. Both require seeking help, treatment. Both require vigilance not to slip backward. You are such a strong woman, you will be able to take care of your kids just fine. Remember to take care of you as well!