Update by lululove

Ive been coming here for a long time and it has been incredible to not feel alone like I was before. It was very difficult especially last year, when he hit 50, found out he had adhd late the year before, and started drinking and hanging out with a group of men with similar issues. He thinks that my "turn around" towards working on this relationship has nothing to do with the realization of what the ADHD diagnosis means to me/our relationship (he hasn't read much on the topic because..) but because of his mean behavior (drinking, becoming verbally abusive - what he seems to think of as making a stand). Yet now, with meds he seems more functional on one level but separate on another. In one year, he opened his own checking account, credit cards, leased a very expensive luxury car (after arranging to trade in a paid for car that was in both our names), so much more. He gives himself a very healthy allowance but leaves the rest for me to pay the bills. I have started to work more now to not only make up the difference but to feel some security should things go even more south. He scared both of us by being physically aggressive not once but three times (when no one else was around). Now months later, he is not volatile physically but still has a bitter and mean tongue at the end of day that I try to avoid. He goes drinking almost every night although not necessarily to get drunk. He is home if I say I need kid coverage (doesnt drink those nights) to go out. He works very hard at his job, too much, because he is never home anymore and stresses constantly due to work (yet makes fairly decent money). So he works 13 hour days and then goes to bar to hang out 5 days a week. We have some communication that has improved dramatically from what it was. Our intimacy is intermittent. Kids appear happy, we dont always argue anymore (making efforts not to, not always successful. My old friends have pretty much dropped us (too uncomfortable for them I think). He hates being near my family. He makes nasty comments s about my friends (who give me emotional support)- but I think he is threatened by them. So WHY, do you ask, do I stay? For hope that his mid life adhd induced crisis stabizes, for the happiness of my kids, for my hopes in happiness... I am trying to grow and become independent (and not CO-depwndent). To feel worthy again. But I still dont have a clue if I am doing the right thing.

Sorry to hear of your struggles...

After a 13 hour day, the LAST thing I want to do is go out and drink. Maybe after an 8 hour day a happy hour with my DW and/or friends would be nice. This NEVER happens... I don't hardly drink anyway because it makes my Adderall lose effectiveness, especially late in the day when the meds are almost gone. I'm not nearly the "Laid-Back" guy I was before diagnosis, but being more aware of things and reacting to them is part of the post diagnosis process.

Mean is just mean and you don't deserve that treatment. Maybe he needs to read more about what ADD behaviors do to our loved ones. I think my worst behavior was to be cold when confronted with anger from my DW, but I'm still learning too. I can engage in communications over touchy subjects like never before and my DW is still not used to this. My side of the issue can make her mad, but she was always mad when I used to shut-down and pleaded with me just to talk to her. We both work real hard at jobs that pay well, so there is a lot of balance in this regard, but we still struggle with money (The constant is our relationship) A applaud your patience with him, but sounds like he benefits from the meds and does not work on the other half of the equation. IMO, He needs to come home. 13 hours, plus hours at a bar means he is never home??? Maybe when he is out the alcohol brings on guilt and he assumes you are mad. I know if I ever do go out drinking (1 or 2 times a year) I am anxiety ridden over the time I'm gone, how much I drink and who may show up, but I don't go home angry... Hang in ther Lulu :)



Yes yyz he should be home.

Yes yyz he should be home. And when he is, he shoukd be connecting instead of being outside or anywhere besides with me. The odd thing is, I dont know how much is blatantly intentional- he will txt, "okay be home soon!" and then not show up til hours later, drunk (phone will be dead or something). I'll say "why even tell me that if you dont plan to come home, and he'll say "good question".". Frankly, I know this looks hopeless. He doesnt want to change because he likes having money, feeling "in control" by not doing the thing I am asking "being home, connect w me and the kids, participate"... And still allow himself the luxury of feeling dejected, lonely, and victimized by my past controlling ways. I say this not with sarcasm, but great sadness and dejection. I just dont know how to fix this. I love him but moving forward, trying to be strong on my own and helping the kids get through this (mainly by myself) while he is in the house but not connected... Seems what the reality is for now. I hate it.


I'm real sorry to hear this... The meds help, but if you don't accept your past you will get nowhere. I felt SO guilty and sad after I moved past feeling good about discovering there was a reason for how I behaved. I've been trying to be a better me ever since then. It has been hard when we have been out of sync in this process. My DW has here own demons of insecurity and my ADD blew what trust she did have out of the water. I had a hard time dealing with the anger and mistrust, but I tried to be patient and see if things would ease up. It seems to continue to ease, but every now and again I'll hear a comment out of the blue, like "Who is X on your FB page?" Sigh...

I really hope your husband get's it one day, but he has to forgive himself first and stop blaming you...


DF's picture

Lu -

 I'm not pleased to see you down after being away.  Last I was on here you seemed upbeat and supportive.  I wish to offer you something if I can......

From what I recall from your posts and this one I'm replying too, it seems your husband tends to be out late and you tend to worry more than you'd like too.  Might I ask you this -

Who's chasing you?

You tend to post about your concern for your husband and several weeks ago I related to you deeply in that way, but the bottom line is, he's a big boy and is responsible for himself.  Find your place in life and you will sleep much better and feel much better during waking hours - I am a new believer in this.  Stop questioning him.  I'm no shrink, but lets look at "some" of the evidence.  ADD(HD) 'generally' means we can have addictive behaviors, but there may be something more to the drinking.  What's he running from?

Lu - you have a lot to offer, but do you know this?  The power to forgive and "want" to be a part of a loving family is an amazing gift that you have.  Stop worrying about him.  Make him earn you and not the other way around. 

Df, Im smiling as I write

Df, Im smiling as I write this, I can not help it. Yes, your answer is smart and I understand what you mean (i think). I feel telling him in a Nonconfrontational moment a healthier alternative to the bickering (us), crying (me), shouting/aggressiveness (him) that went on before. I dont say to him "dont go out drinking every night" - that is his issue and I understand that I can not change an alcoholic from drinking if he is not ready. But by not speakng at all, I end up feeling constipated and ashamed... I must be allowed to say what i feel and not be afraid of a "repercussion". That is my right. I also need to know when he can commit to being home so that ONE of us can be there for kids- a cheaper alternative to sitters plus kids simply do not see their dad enough (they love him and dont understand why he is only there once during the week and weekends on average. BUT. I am taking care of me more: I make myself go out once a week for myself (dinner w friends, bookstore to read, starbucks to decompress). I work five days a week now at two different jobs pursuing what I love and went to school for so many years ago. It seems I am pretty good at it too and that is an ego boost (hurray to being oveereducated! Lol). I am making it a point for kids and I to enjoy the summer without their absentee dad (should he choose not to be around- evening pizza parties w friends, movie night.. Hanging and snuggling on the couch. I AM THERE for them and they will not have to worry I will disappear like their dad has (though he doesnt understand that that is what he is doing- he thinks it is perfectly fine). But i guess your right, now that I think about it because I still in my moments of weakness find myself being sad by his lack of participation in our LIVES. Crying over the verbal abuse du jour or past insults he has flung at me- but I think now that this is no longer JUST ADD but a combination of the meds/alcohol/overworking and possibly ODD that has made him occasionally unstable. I cant take responsibility for his erratic behavior or allow his verbal abuse get to me (if I can) but recognize it as his illness-at least thats what I believe. So thanks again df, i needed that reminder and,as ever, I appreciate your words of support.
DF's picture

There is irony in here somewhere

I'm a mild case ADD /  major case of anxiety attempting to advise a non-ADD(HD) spouse.......

Going off of what I recall of our past conversations and what you've said above: 

"...But by not speakng at all, I end up feeling constipated and ashamed...." ->  Feeling like a doormat?

"...I must be allowed to say what i feel and not be afraid of a "repercussion". That is my right......"  ->  Let me switch some stuff around and show you what I see:

"I must be allowed to say what i feel and not be afraid of a "repercussion". That is my right..." - "..I'll say "why even tell me that if you dont plan to come home..." - "..I feel telling him in a Nonconfrontational moment a healthier alternative..."  -> [translation in my messed up head]  In the first quote you're exerting your power and establishing your ground.  The second and third quote I'm taking a bit out of context, but I'd like you to see that they apply to each other.  The second quote, although harmless, is judgemental and therefore eliminates the valid argument of the third quote - it is confrontational.

Your comments I've used are all valid points, but perhaps your ADD(HD) spouse is in a low point in his life.  How do you think he's translating what you say or do?  When I think about it, I'm pretty sure my wife sees desperation in my efforts and I don't like that one bit.  I don't like that my efforts to show my wife that I love her are being perceived as groveling.  I'm not hurt or angry any more, I'm indifferent.  One day my wife is tempered and some days she's hostile to me even if I'm doing nothing wrong.  It doesn't bother me anymore.  I let her vent and what's done is done.

Before I end with my punch line I'd like to comment on something you said.  You like to go to the bookstore and read.  Believe it or not I recently joined a book club and it's quite fun.  I take my 11 and 6 year old with me and they are good kids and respectful of the situation.  I find I enjoy them being at the bookstore with me and several others have complimented me on how well behaved they are.  You don't always have to be alone to decompress.

Now as for my finishing remark...... or two:

Is your ADD(HD) spouse really 35+ years old or is he 16 and which one do you want to be with you and your kids?

"...But by not speakng at all, I end up feeling constipated and ashamed...." & "I must be allowed to say what i feel and not be afraid of a "repercussion". That is my right..."  ->  True for many situations in life, but there is wisdom and truth in the old saying "Silence is Deafening".

A 35+ year old adult want's dialog.  A 16 yr old thinks they have all the answers already.  Silence allows them to see if they really do have all the answers.....


I think the 'not speaking at

I think the 'not speaking at all' and 'constipated' feeling is simply you feeling like nothing is getting resolved, no progress is being made, and you panic. I know this feeling/reaction ALL TOO WELL. I resolve myself to just focus on me, and within days I'm back to feeling like I have to fix everything...RIGHT NOW...and I would throw myself right back into the "I have a right to resolution. I have a right to be able to talk to him. I have a right to know what he's thinking" and all it ever did was hammer the wedge between us deeper. Something Melissa told me that was very hard for me to swallow...and took quite some time to digest...is that he was in a state of mind (as is your husband) where he simply cannot give you what you need. What??!! He's my husband..it is his JOB to give me what I need??!! He can't just check out and expect me to just be OK with that!! WTF!!???

Right? Sigh. Sadly, I agree with DF. He's running. Spent 6 long years of my marriage having my husband 'run' from me too. It culminated into an affair, separation, and more damage than I ever dreamed possible. If I could go back and do it all over again...I would have left him to dig his own grave and I would have simply gotten on with my life...without him. I see how where I went wrong..by stealing every second we had together trying to 'fix' everything, by being angry and bitter, and by simply sitting and rotting away my life waiting on him to start 'caring' about our marriage as much as I did. God, so many regrets there.

My husband wasn't spending his time out drinking...but he was in the den completely withdrawn and shutting me out. I am (and it IS a work in progress) getting on with my life. I started forcing myself to DROP THE ADHD/MARRIAGE/COUNSELING subject for a while and just focus on me and asking myself some very tough questions. I started forcing myself to go out without him, even if I cried my eyes out the entire time. I started forcing myself to GET IT THROUGH MY THICK SKULL that the man who was physically here in this house was NOT reachable...was NOT capable of meaningful communications...was NOT able to be engaged in anyway that would have any worthwhile impact on our lives. If it went beyond the weather, the subject was too much for him. I don't mean to sound bitter. I am still in the grieving process and although he has come back around and seems to be doing better, I am extremely untrusting of him right now. I don't discuss it with him, I don't tell him any of this because it would serve no purpose. I cannot say with certainty that my simply starting my own path without him had any direct impact on his crawling out of his hole and re-engaging in the marriage and family...but I can say with 100% certainty that if I hadn't, we would have stayed 'stuck' for a much longer period of time. I am at a place I have never been...and on one hand it feels really good. On another it is terrifying. On another it is lonely and sad. I am a mixed bag of emotions, but I am finally getting out from under the ADHD cloud and seeing life in a completely different way than I ever have. I will just leave it with this...I am very glad he's going to see a psychiatrist next week...otherwise, I'm not sure I would be feeling there was any chance for a future for us. I know, eventually, his being untreated would chip away at me and I would not be able to stay. It isn't the daily grind of things...it isn't that he spends a little too much money. It is the lies, the dishonesty, and the cheating that I KNOW will not resolve without treatment that I am NOT willing to subject myself to for the rest of my life. I am praying a lot...and I do love him very, very much.

First, Sherrie- a cyber hug

First, Sherrie- a cyber hug your way..through all this it is very clear how much you love your husband, as I do mine- warts and halos together (and I know the feeling is mutual, for each of our individual DHs). Its not about panic, for me... I spent a long time on those eggshells and, what I meant to say is that I am not walking on them ANYMORE. That is not to say that I am not trying to be sensitive to my husbands current low point. I know he is there, and I dont want that for him anymore than I want that for me. I love him, I want joy and peace for him. For us, if i'm allowed to say, I want the relationship where we can share in the joy we both deserve in life, and that with our children. No, DF, I dont want him to feel critcized. And was that second quote confrontational? Yes, Im not perfect (Surprise!), but I was responding after a recent event where he had not come home at all one night (I'll be right home... Then no-show). Fell asleep after long day and lots of beer in the car, did not call- so I did not get a Hell of a lot of sleep that night- would you have? Ah well, I've moved on. I try to speak to him with less criticism overall but request information for what it is, information. I do feel more stability lately, and more control in my life. I am making efforts to try to be responsible only for myself and not for him. Note though: he is in a black place often.. So even if I dont say anything to him beyond the average civilities, he starts to perceive my "evil" ways as though we were having conversations... So it IS good to communicate whenever possible, if it can be done with as little "reproach" and as much as respectful communication as possible. I stand by that because that is the only way I see trust and communication to be reparable some day. Ok, I like you all so much but I am forcing myself to take a little siesta from this site. Vacation and summer awaits, at least for a week or two.... Be happy, my friends! PS Stellar idea about the bookstore, DF, that will be on my to do list too, tho I reserve the right to keep some of those alone times as a special "mom" breakaway moment! :)

If I had a nickel for every

If I had a nickel for every "I'll be home shortly" call I got...and then he was HOURS getting home..I literally could at least by a $5 happy meal. I am not kidding, I was never able to wrap my mind around how he could do that. How he could say "I'll be home by 11" or "I'm going to leave here in about an hour" and then just NOT do it. Yes, I now know it is ADHD, but since I KNOW he can be on time/aware of time if there is something waiting on him that he WANTS to do, then I know that it WAS personal on some level because what was waiting at home wasn't something 'interesting' to him at that time. Hell, I didn't want to be here either...I just wasn't able to 'escape' it like he was. Wouldn't have done that to my children, anyway.

A very, very ugly part/side of ADHD...and oh so painful. If it is any consolation, it isn't unfixable. I am not sure who said it...but someone said "this isn't a drinking problem, this is an ADHD problem." ((((HUGS))))

Enjoy your siesta and stay strong!!

Those calls & txts!

Sounds like we all get them. "I'm leaving now" NEVER means "I'm leaving now." It means I'm starting to think about maybe figuring out if I want to leave or not."

The big blowup a few weeks ago was when we went to visit his family (about 4 hr drive) and I ONLY went because I was assured that we would leave so that I would be back by the following afternoon. (This need was *never* communicated to his family. Perhaps I should have done that.) We got back the following night after 9pm (I missed two meetings because of it.) and now his family wants nothing to do with me whatsoever! I am the bad guy because I was stupid enough to think that "We'll leave right after breakfast" meant we'd be on the road by 10am!

Maybe we should start a thread of "Texts to laugh at!"