Sorry this is such a long post. I’m the mother of 3 teenagers and a 47 year old man. My husband always said he had adhd and I could see it reflected in lack of follow through with projects, etc. But never considered how it shaped his personality. I always figured he picked up the worse combo of his parents' personality traits. But I am realizing that his dad was probably adhd too.
I am currently questioning whether I can handle forever, after 18 years of marriage. Things that are driving me crazy about him:
Unable to “read a room”
either being the focus of a conversation or not participating at all
talking endlessly about a subject that nobody cares about (and can’t/doesn’t read others’ bored body language)
exaggerating stories (lying!) to get a reaction
making unfiltered comments sometimes for attention, sometimes just plain oblivious that they are inappropriate- telling our sons middle school soccer team they are playing like garbage- yelling at kids on the soccer field- in conversation describing a kid to another parent by saying “you know, that fat kid”- bringing up the subject of suicide at a family dinner (it fit in the conversation but was unnecessary to include) when my cousin and sister both experience that kind of loss to someone very close(he knew this but prob forgot)
zero initiation for any chore around the house- but always saying he was going to do it as he sees me doing it
i handle any money, planning, issues revolving our house/home life. Spending generally isn't a source of contention but he has no idea about our finances and doesn't care to.
the emotional maturity of a 16 year old.
Temper tantrums when encountering difficulties- whether it’s with a printer problem or finding his lost wallet or whatever
hurt feelings if the kids don’t really acknowledge him, but the times that they do he barely acknowledges them back.
Taking things the kids do or say personally, currently he can’t grasp that they are teens and moody and sometimes they say not nice things to parents, but they don’t really mean it. (And I’m not saying they shouldn’t be corrected)
Constantly having to diffuse situations between him and kids so they don’t escalate into full blown fights. He will say things just to get a reaction from them and then they react and he gets mad.
Loves to counter the kids. One says she doesn’t want to go to college so he starts with, “well you won’t be able to get a job, I know, that was me, blah blah blah.” The other kid says well I want to get a PhD in engineering and so husband says, “well you have to know a lot of math and be really good at math (in a discouraging tone as if it’s a bad idea).” Like ugh!!!! Kids can’t win with him!
Riding in a car with him is miserable- always mad and yelling at other drivers and can’t understand why it upsets me that he is upset with others.
The latest straw - I agreed to go back to work full time after 10 years as sahm so that my husband could get out of a stressful job situation and use his GI bill and go back to college full time. That was supposed to take 3 years. After taking a couple semesters off to take some optional additional army training(he is in the reserves) and also failing (and retaking) a couple classes- 5.5 years later he graduated. Now the job search...I’m job searching for him because he puts next to zero effort in. He got a job offer, but turned it down because he thought it didn’t pay enough! What an ego! Or lazy? Or both. I am livid! 2 months after he graduated and still no job! Take the low paying job and keep looking! Idk, am I crazy to think that? Maybe i would feel differently if he were useful around the house.
I feel like our marriage has been a roller coaster of good and bad with these defining let downs where I realize he will always be most concerned with himself. If it’s not one of the above behaviors it’s another that eventually drives me to where I am at now. Miserable! The social aspect has been hard on me lately. I now try to keep him away from other parents and people who I would have engaged with in the past, because his comments and behaviors are so embarrassing to me and people don’t like him. Only my closest friends (one or two) and some family can tolerate him. It makes me sad and lonely.
And now that I’ve made him out to be a horrible person- I know he loves me. And God love him- the man has tried and does try. It’s just never enough for me. And old habits die hard , so a lot of times him trying is just temporary fixes to get us through the current argument and then he reverts to old behaviors as time goes on. I don’t think he has ever been unfaithful. He compliments my looks constantly. He does sweet things like makes me breakfast occasionally and can buy super thoughtful Christmas/ birthday gifts some years. (And as I write, I just noticed he surprised us with donuts this morning!) And I think it would kill my kids if we divorced, even as dysfunctional as he is. It’s such a struggle. I hate the example he sets for them but yet he is there and involved just enough that I’m not sure leaving is best for them.
Well if you are still reading, thank you. My questions are: he has never been medicated. does medication help these personality type issues? I mean at this point I feel like he is who he is. Is it possible for a marriage like this to make it? I am miserable but honestly want it to work. Do I have to turn a blind eye and suck it up? Can I bring this stuff up to him? I feel like if I lay it all out it’s like a total attack on his personality and who he is as a person. In the past it’s always been one issue at a time, basically whatever happened to make me mad is what is brought up and addressed.
Thanks for reading!