I spent Sunday night in jail for not taking care of a returned check that my ADD husband said he would handle/help me with. I've been through garnishment, sued, evicted, several bank accounts closed, cars reposed and the shear turmoil and embarrassment of it all. I've covered up so much from my friends and family that I don't even remember the truth.
After 20 years of this destructive behavior I finally got the courage to separate from my husband, that was in October 2013. I found a nice affordable place for me and my kids and really felt like i could breath again. But, a month later I let him move in. He was struggling so bad and I wanted to help. I set boundaries and I was actually optimistic bc he was finally doing something about the ADD. Seeing a counselor and reading books.
So back to the jail thing... By Monday morning i had self talked myself into taking all of the blame and responsibility for the returned check and for the dreaded outcome of it, i.e. court, mug shout, a criminal record. I got on to myself for not reminding him and for not asking for updates. I even went as far as to question my own sanity for even thinking he would follow through on his promise. I realized that it may not have been the wisest thing by demanding that he help me bc he was the reason why the check was returned in the first place. I told myself that this may be just some of the residue from previous ADD behavior.
I was almost convinced until the opportunity came and went for him to reach out to me and ask how I was handling everything that had happened. He never said a word. Instead he asked me if I had gotten around to paying his car note. It brought me to that all to familiar place that I have been so many times before. Alone, angry, so very hurt and thinking about what I could have/should have done to prevent this.
Since the events of Sunday and reeling from his lack of emotion/concern I have had waves of emotion. While I understand the effects of ADD I still struggle with acknowledging that I don't want to live like this anymore. I am emotionally gutted and I don't even recognize what my life has become. So disappointed, but I think this is that straw and its over.
Submitted by jennalemon on
This is not just ADD. Don't blame yourself anymore. How much disappointment and pain can one person bear? This is unacceptable for you. Keeping on like this will make you sick. I have said before, there should be a school for some of us on "How to kick him to the curb". I think the best focus for you (and me) is to stalwart ourselves with others who we CAN rely on. Make it a number one focus to get in touch with as many good and dependable people as possible...family, friends, neighbors, al-anon, church, support groups, etc. Filling our lives with affirming people and situations. We know that young people growing up in good, supportive families are better off and strong than dysfunctional families. We get to choose the families (support system) we spend our time with.
If not me than Who/What/When/Where
Submitted by greatgrace42 on
I wish it were that easy, not blaming myself. I talked about the situation with my sister and a friend yesterday and they both kept asking me if this situation that hadn't happened would I be still be considering a separation. They express their concern that maybe I am just responding in anger when I tell him that I want out of the relationship. I've been told that I react to quickly and that I've grown cold and hard. I am reminded that my husband hasn't cheated on me and that he is a good dad. I am reminded of his best attributes. Yeah he is a very nice guy and it sucks that we have ADD to deal with.
When I hear things like this I become confused and frozen and afraid to do anything. I start asking myself all of these questions, are you being reasonable, what if this was the last time that something major like this ever happens, am I giving up to soon.... It goes on and on. The only time I feel validated is when I read the posts/blogs on this website. Its the only time I don't feel crazy. And it really frustrates me that I need validation - its like I don't even believe myself or trust my own feelings.
I do feel that living a life of regret, disappointment and sometimes great anxiety will lead to sickness - my family and friends would say, well at least you stayed married. I struggle all of the time with the perception that I'm leaving someone who is laying in the bed sick with some horrible disease and I'm some unreasonable caregiver.
Nothing makes since to me! Totally Overwhelmed
Have I got this right?
Submitted by sunlight on
Do I have this right? You were arrested and spent a night in jail, mug shot taken, somehow bailed out and are being charged with passing a bad check? And your friends and sister are reminding you that he's a nice guy, and suggesting you're over-reacting? They don't live with him. If this is what happened, then unless that arrest is expunged then your life is changed forever. If you travel abroad, you will have to disclose the arrest and the circumstances. If you are job hunting you will have to disclose it. Heck, if you were an immigrant he could have gotten you deported. What if sometime he pulled some kind of stunt on one of his teenage kids and landed them with an arrest record??? And people are questioning if you're being unreasonable because he's a great dad? Whereas in truth, it seems he's actually unfit to be a parent. Unbelievable, ADHD or not.
Remember when you found that place for your kids (Oct 2013)? Remember how great that felt? How about trying to rent a nice place with a criminal record? You might get on with that sooner rather than later.
You know the right thing to do, you really do. You're not crazy, trust your instincts. Is it right to show your children that this behavior is acceptable? That there are no boundaries to how he treats you (and by proxy to how he treats them)? He's not a baby seal, he's an avoidant and irresponsible adult.
"I do feel that living a life of regret, disappointment and sometimes great anxiety will lead to sickness - my family and friends would say, well at least you stayed married."
You are right and if they would say that then they don't have your best interests at heart. Think about that.
Right as Rain
Submitted by greatgrace42 on
Yes, unfortunately you've got it right and all of the points you made about how this effects my life just blew my head off my shoulders.
Thanks for the dose of reality. I have an unhealthy concern about what others would do and I use that to validate my feelings, thus crippling me when its time to make a decision.
I really do know what I want... I've been hurting for so long... I pray and ask God to take away the anger, hurt, pain and isolation and then I wonder... God if you help me is there a prerequisite? Do I then have to stay in the marriage? After all you (God) can change any/everybody right! Then I start to minimize all of the things I've been through with my husband and I try to focus on the really good things in our relationship. Then something happens - the bottom falls out and I'm right back at square one.
You seem like you are a
Submitted by MFrances on
You seem like you are a faithful Christian, and you're right God can change anybody. I'm a Christian too and I struggle with this because my husband has not changed. But, I think the person needs to want to change, he needs to be able to accept God's will for his life and change. I think your first post said he doesn't share your faith? This is more than you are in a bad marriage and you have to stay because of the vows. He is harming you. You spent the night in jail because of something he did. You can't go through that again and your kids can't see that happen again. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I know you are hurting and it's not an easy decision. I know your friends and family don't understand, mine don't either, it's very lonely. Pray about what you should do, not about your husband. Seek the advice of a pastor or counselor. In the meantime, take care of yourself and your kids.
Hi Pickles, my husband is
Submitted by greatgrace42 on
Hi Pickles, my husband is actually a Christian and he would easily stand up and say that he has caused me a great deal of pain and anguish. The problem is that he says it after I've said I'm hurt and your the cause. At that point it becomes a lot like i guess i had to package up my own way of how he should react/respond and deliver it to myself.
I'm sorry that your husband hasn't/won't acknowledge that he needs to change. I went through that for nineteen years. I've only been married for 20 yrs this past November so his willingness to accept the diagnoses of ADD is still very new. He is hyper focused right now on learning all that he can, but as you can see from my original post he is not there yet...
I wish I could grab a shovel and bury all of this hurt and anger in a deep grave once and for all. I wish I could feel ambitious again about our marriage and love for each other. I wish that I could have confidence in his words - rest in them with certainty. I wish I could say that we just went through a rough patch and we are on our way to better days now, but I've been wishing those things for a long long time now and not much has changed. This rough patch has become a very large prairie.
I'm hoping to get with a counselor in the coming week and trying to not over commit my commitment to the marriage until I can at least get a session in.
We who have been there , and are there, understand
Submitted by I'm So Exhausted on
I am witnessing my spouse of 29 years refuse to do anything to change himself. He will not follow any suggestions by ADHD professionals.
I am witnessing him let our marriage die. He is sad, depressed, gloomy, and spinning into the depths of despair.
I so badly do not want our marriage to end. I have nothing left to give.
I know he needs to hit some sort of bottom, yet it is incredibly hard to have to witness it.
His mantra is that the problem is me.
I did change things. I did wake up to the fact that I was enabling him, and allowing myself to be suffocated by his controlling anger. I had hoped that taking a stand would produce different results.
I am so disappointed it has not turned out in a positive way - at least as far as our marriage in concerned.. While my logical brain knows better, I just want to fix it. I haven't been able to do that as of yet - and I know I can only fix my side. I feel mean. And yet, I know I am not.
I'm not an expert, but I can
Submitted by greatgrace42 on
I'm not an expert, but I can tell you from experience that I resonate with all of the feelings you expressed in your post. My husband was diagnosed over 10 years ago and for that period of time until now he would not accept the diagnoses. It was like I was screaming inside of a tornado and we know how affective that is right!
In October 2013 he finally started the evaluation process and is now accepting the fact that he has ADD. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion - his acceptance that is - but it wasn't for me b/c I have been screaming in that tornado for 20 years. To say I was/am exhausted is truly an understatement.
It wasn't until this last incident, Jail, that I was reminded that I am a person and I have legs and I can walk away. A wise woman, my mother, recently told me "Everyone gets to make choices and at the end of the day you get to decide what it is YOU want to do. It may not be the best choice for someone else, but its yours to make none the less and God is going to love you and see you through no matter what"
Make a choice and love yourself all the way through to the end.
To greatgrace42 about sisters and friends
Submitted by jennalemon on
I am learning about sisters. And how our growing up in a certain place in the family, you continue to play out those roles with new people in your life. I am learning about this because 2 of my sisters would say he's a great guy after I used to tell them about something he did to hurt me....then I would wonder about my sanity and my judgment and my own self awareness. Dh has me wondering about those things about myself. 2 of my sisters, I am learning, are very similar in personality to my dh. I fall gullible to them all the time. They do similar power over/jokey/manipulating things that dh does - all with a smile and a laugh. No wonder we feel crazy. We are getting gaslighted from both sides. Again, what I am doing is finding people who care about me and who I can trust to be FOR me rather than playing AGAINST me. Sounds like your sister and friend don't have YOUR back either. Sisters and friends can be competitive and vindictive. Women whose husbands earn a living and have ability to plan ahead cannot understand our impossible, precarious situations. To them, trivial things like forgetting, isolating, etc. are normal MAN behavior. They don't want to be part of, or acknowledge, our dysfunctional marriages but rather discount us and our complaints as whining so they can go about their smug merry way knowing THEIR backs are covered (at least financially) by their husbands.
in your corner
Submitted by OMT2013 on
I first read your post at lunch today at work and I was so mad at your family and friends. Grrrrrr. I was glad to log on right now and see sunlight had posted exactly what I wanted to say to you. They do not live with him. They do not see the day to day damage you're suffering. This is not their life.
I've posted this before on another thread - a friend of mine had a terrible marriage for 10 years. She didn't want to divorce because of her faith (we're both Christians with strong faith). She used to say things like, "well he's not hitting me or anything". But he was disappearing, open credit cards in her name, racking up debt, and causing her a world of emotional hurt. By the time she finally left she weighed under 100 pounds, her hair was falling out, she was shaking all the time, and she couldn't sleep. That is NEVER what God wants for his children. No where in the Bible does it say to put others first to the point where you can no longer function.
Guilt and self-doubt are not from God. Going to jail for something you didn't do is not what God wants for you. "At least you stayed married" is one of the least helpful things I've ever heard anyone have dumped on them. I am so sorry those things were said to you.
I don't know if any of this makes sense - I'm just kind of ranting on your behalf. I'm on your side. You are not crazy. You are not giving up too soon. You are not cold and hard. As sunlight said, you know what to do. I fully support you, and if I were there I'd help you get out on your own!!
to went to jail
Submitted by wishiknew on
you are not crazy! you cannot look to anyone but yourself to understand your feelings and experience. your feelings are all valid. whether you judge them to be "ugly" (" cold and hard") feelings or not. whether they are loaded with ambivalence or not. they are YOUR FEELINGS. and by the way ALL your feelings -- even those you judge as "ugly" are actually GOOD. they are your guide. accept them all. listen to yourself. trust only YOUR deepest feelings. the quiet place deep inside you is your truth. listen!
i once got a "lecture" (a gentle one but still it was unasked for advice) from my sister about my adhd husband because it's obvious to see my disappointment in my marriage, life and him. she told me what a WONDERFUL guy he is and how i should be HAPPY with him -- no one is perfect, etc etc. Well, easy for her to say because like everyone else says, SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO LIVE WITH HIM! Nor do I have to live with her husband -- who I think is wonderful but am sure is not always easy either. However, it is amusing my sister says this to me as she stands in a place of having had 4 wonderful children with her husband who is a doctor, has been the sole provider for the family their entire lives (she works but it's an insignificant amount of money and she didn't go to work until her youngest was in grade school). Her husband gets stuff done, makes decisions, takes care of things etc. A far cry from my WONDERFUL (and she is right, my husband is warm and kind at his very best) inept, incapable and sometimes to me downright scary man child. My husband cannot make a living - I have been the sole provider for our entire marriage -- he scares the daylights out of me regularly with his irregular and seat of the pants way of getting things done -- if he gets anything done -- he says he is "great in an emergency" (hyper-focus) and I say to him I don't want to ever be in an emergency : ) I'm still here with him trying to figure it out. But I don't know where I will end up.
But I do know if my husband put me in a situation where I ended up in JAIL -- that would be the END. GOOD BYE. OVER AND OUT. Perhaps it is worth considering how you let yourself be in that situation? You deep down must have known he would screw this up? I recently went through a similar but not as dramatic kind of version of this over our taxes. I KNEW BETTER THAN TO PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING THAT IMPORTANT -- EVEN IF HE WAS BACKED UP BY A PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANT I HIRED -- AND I DID IT ANYWAY.
I think I did it because I am SO DESPERATE for him to help I keep hoping and wishing that he will come through for me at some point. Well, I've learned my lesson -- I cannot count on hopes and wishes. What I can do is take care of myself. And I will never again hope and wish he will do something I can do for myself that is important to me and has a serious impact on my life. Never, ever again. NOT WORTH IT. HOPES AND WISHES DON'T WORK and I will not set myself up to be impacted by his inability to behave responsibly. I know the ADHD makes things both different and difficult for him. But it is not an excuse -- it is his to manage. The world won't change for him so he's got to do he work to live in this world with the rest of us grown-ups.
And my own growing up requires that I leave him to that and acknowledge that I do not need anyone to take care of me......and while I'm taking care of me the constant resistance to managing him or his stuff along the way. Hard, since marriage is meant to be a partnership and we do impact each other and seems to me he's got a great deal going right now.
Thanks for your support and
Submitted by greatgrace42 on
Thanks for your support and for sharing your experience. I woke up this morning and made a decision that I am letting go of the hurt, pain, disappointment and anger to the best of my ability. I am believing that God can wash all of the away. And I will do my part to not dwell in it. On the way to work I prayed a very honest prayer and I know God heard my cries!
I told him that, like he didn't already know, that I have been in an abusive relationship for twenty years. Not physical abuse, but emotional, financial, and mental. That I have gotten into a position where I made big deals small and that my life was kinda like one of those Lifetime movies where the beaten wife convinces herself that she must stay. I have come to terms with the fact that at some point I stopped loving my husband in the way that a wife should love her man. At some point I started to just tolerate him, except him for what he could/couldn't bring to the relationship and convince myself that it was enough - I could/can do the rest no matter what/how I was feeling or dealing with. I stopped depending on him to be my partner and he became someone I had to take watch out for. I haven't rested easy in my love for him nor have I felt taken care of in the true fullness and levels of what that means in a marriage. I don't love my husband like a wife should anymore. Today I love him for being a great guy who makes me smile, who likes to do whatever I want to do and for his love for me and our family. BUT that doesn't dismiss the fact that for as much as he loves me he has hurt me if not more. I can't erase it and I can't belittle the damage that it has caused to our relationship and to me as a human being.
I have looked deep inside and I didn't want to face what I saw. I know this to be true today, because I was finally able to say it out loud and to the Lord who I hold in the highest regard. For me this was a major accomplishment and a level that I don't get to often - I tend to whisper my prayers and I avoid saying things that I think are "wrong" :)
I am meeting with a counselor with hopes to start a journey on how to live past the disappointments, how to forgive, but mostly how to move forward having made the decision to walk away. I wish all of you the very best blessing that one could have. I hope your journey through the life of ADD/ADHD is one that is done with integrity and devotion, to yourself, your spouse and to God. Don't hold on to something because you have to - you should do it because you love to.