I have changed a lot since 2013. 2013 was my breaking point after being married since 1990 (I was 17) to someone that clearly has lots of issues. One of the most powerful things I have read on this forum came from OverwhelmedWife on Tue, 06/23/2015:
As I've said many, many, many times. The most awful behaviors by people with ADHD are likely because they don't ONLY have ADHD. I think ADHD is really often just a symptom of something more serious. I guess that there are some people with "just ADHD," but those aren't the ones we typically hear about here on this forum. I think we often hear about those with the most severe ADHD symptoms....which have been exacerbated by a more serious mental issue..
I TRULY believe this since my husband displays a lot of other symptoms but whatever it is, it almost ruined me. He will never know the extent, I can never tell him, and he would blame himself and me anyway, so what is the point?
For many years I pitied my life and wondered what my life could have been. The road not taken. I think I was in love, but as time went on, I could see my life without him and I knew I would be at peace if he was gone. In 2015, after years of accumulating feelings of dread, despondency, pitying myself, wishing I could die, anxiety, I decided to leave. I was not doing it to hurt him, I always wanted to leave but never believed in that nor did I have the guts. I was doing it to escape after that one last explosive tantrum that sent me into a brick wall of realization that after 25 years, he would not change for me. I left thinking he would send me flowers the next day and beg for me to return. No, he didn't. Instead he got upset and said I abandoned him, like everyone else. I came back after 3 weeks and his one session at a therapist, which diagnosed him with ADHD. I thought for sure things would get better now that I made that big move. The only thing it proved was that I was strong enough to love me for once and save myself. However, he has told others that I acted out of ignorance and that I would never apologize to him. He is right, I won't apologize for doing something for me, since he wasn't going to get help after all my tears and pleas.
He says he is not rude, arrogant, unloving, it's just his ADHD. Well that is like saying that I am not overweight, it's just my Thyroid. He does come off with those qualities and he can blame whatever he wants, people still see him as rude, arrogant, grumpy, and unloving.
So here is where validation comes in. I went to see my doctor and the Nurse Assistant told me the husband was there last week seeing the doctor and he intimidated and scared the new girl who took his vitals. My husband walks around like the Terminator and looks very serious at times, but then at home he can be a teddy bear. Why? Ugh! Anyway, he then argued with the doctor which could be heard outside the office, since he feels he can diagnose himself and thinks doctors just want to rob people and not help them. The doctor finally said, "Either you do it or you don't" not sure if it was about ADHD or Diabetes. But when the nurse said that to me I felt relief. Yes, his behavior is NOT in my head and friends, family and strangers now see what I have dealt with all these years. He has left a bad taste in many people's mouths even though they still love him, they see.
I am starting to pull away emotionally, lower my expectations and observe. All those years I cried and told him I felt unloved because he didn't text me or call during the day and he didn't adjust his schedule for little old me. I could have saved myself energy, time, arguments and tears. I have stopped caring about that mushy stuff just to protect my romantic heart. It still hurts since I want that stuff but it won't happen. He came home the other day at 9PM and after 13 hrs of not hearing a word from him, he hugged me and said he missed me. That must be enough for him, I can't say he is a liar just because I demonstrate when I miss someone and he doesn't. It has left me with a void in my heart. I guess this is how he loves and its obvious that after 25 yrs of knowing me, he can't or won't love me the way I want to be loved.
It is time for me to break the chains even while staying married. For so long, I kept myself captive hoping I could love him to the point that he changed for me. Now I know that is not possible. If my pain can't make him see that I left because I broke, and he can accuse and ever be vindictive now to try to make me pay, why should I ever think he will see my journey in all of this?
I am grateful for all the years since it taught me so many lessons. I am even grateful for 2013, the hardest year of my life, when I became someone I never thought I could be due to pain. I feel validated, I feel supported but I know that I am only human and I will not apologize for doing the right thing. I wish so many things for him, he has so much potential. Intelligent, charming, etc. But his demons are not mine.
My journey begins..."people can be independent thinkers and team players at the same time.” - Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success