I need some advice. I am feeling so conflicted. Let me give you a little history. I have been married to an ADHD spouse for 13 years. He takes his medicine when he wants to trying to ration it out knowing that I have said it is a non-negotiable for him to take it. He spends a lot of time, I feel like, self medicating with alcohol. Alcohol is a big issue in our relationship. It always has been. I don't like how much he drinks, and he refuses to quit. On top of that, he has an incontinence issue when he drinks so he wets the bed or on the couch and generally I am left with the mess to clean up. He has gotten better about cleaning it up, but still leaves it for me a lot of the time. I feel like that is totally unfair but he refuses to see or admit that there is a problem. We have been to counseling more than once, but he doesn't do the work that the therapists or counselor asks of us both. He knows he needs to take his medicine but says if he takes the afternoon pill it makes him unable to sleep. Unfortunately, in the afternoon is when I see him most, after I get off of work. I am in the middle of the book The ADHD Effect on Marriage, and just yesterday I ready about how it must feel to be the ADHD spouse...only wanting to please your spouse but constantly screwing up. I understand how that could be so frustrating and belittling, which leads to my confusion today. So here is the scenario:
Yesterday, I started a load of laundry before I left for work. Also, there were 2 birds that, for whatever reason, had fallen dead outside my back door. He was still in bed, but awake, and I asked him before I left if he would clean up the dead birds and, if he thought about it, switch the laundry to the dryer when it was done and off I went to work. He decided to come and have lunch with me since he was off of work. When he came, I asked him if he got the dead birds and he grinned, which I knew instantly meant no, but we just laughed it off and he said he would do it when he got home. I also asked him if he switched the laundry. He said yes. I said, "really? you did?" to which he replied "yes" again. Not once, but twice. We went to lunch, had a good time, and he dropped me back off at work. I got home from work last night and not only were the birds not picked up, the laundry had not been switched.
I have dealt with this kind of thing for 13 years. I honestly didn't expect the laundry to be done when I asked him that morning. I have come to expect that. What really makes me upset is that he lied to me...not once, but twice. I understand that he did it with the intention of coming home and getting it done without me ever knowing the difference, but he didn't and I did find out, and this is not the first time things like this have happened. About 2 years ago, he lied to me in front of a bunch of people and I made a complete fool out of myself because I got so excited, and it turned out to be a lie. We almost split up over that one. It was the straw that almost broke the camel's back because it had happened so many times. I told him then to not lie to me anymore. Just tell me the truth. I would have maybe shaken my head if he would've have said he didn't do the laundry earlier in the day, but instead I blew up because he lied about it. It ruined the whole night. If there is something I can't stand, it's a liar. I would rather someone tell me the truth and take the repercussions than lie and think in doing so, the outcome will be better. It never ends up that way. Then to top it off, he drank several beers and guess what happened? He had an accident all over the couch. He did get up and wash it before he left for work, but I have to put it together when I get home.
So, after reading up to that point in the book, I feel like I want him to know that I still love him, but he needs to realize how big of a deal this is. The alcohol, taking his meds correctly, etc. He thinks I blame everything on him not taking his meds, and honestly, a lot of the time I do. I think the reasoning behind that is that we were married for about 5 years before he was officially diagnosed and I saw what a difference the meds made in our relationship. Now I can tell instantly whether or not he has had his pill. I feel like I am trying to learn about ADHD and would jump in to try to help him with it but he just gets defensive. I hurry and put the book away when he walks in because he will get irritated if he finds me reading it. I find it's better just to avoid those kinds of battles. I am just at a loss today. I feel like I am made out to be this ogre of a person because he didn't intentionally forget to do it, or intentionally lie. I know that, but I feel like it is unfair for me to just pick up and be ok with never being able to rely on or trust what he says. I am really trying to put myself in his shoes and think about how he must feel today. I know he feels bad. I know he feels unloved and incompetent and worthless and that has got to be horrible. I hate it that I am the person that makes him feel that way, and I hate it that I have become this bitter, untrusting person. So, I want to tell him that I love him, but I also want him to understand that something has got to give. Meds have to be taken.....CORRECTLY. I am so frustrated. I have been telling him this our whole marriage. Things gets better for a while and then everything goes back to normal.
Another factor is that we have a daughter who is 9. She and I are very close. She sees how much he drinks, she sees me frustrated, and she sees how unreliable he is. I am concerned for her because I don't want her to think that this is how a man should treat a woman. I don't want her to see me unhappy. Fortunately, she missed the blow up last night because she is visiting her grandparents, however, she has seen it before. I really try not to fight around her because she gets very upset so I try to stay very calm, even when we are "discussing" an issue. He, however, does not. All of this has just come crashing down on me today and I am just very overwhelmed right now. I don't know what else to do.