What if.....

I am also new here, I have been reading for a couple of months now but just never wrote anything yet. From all the stories I have read, I can say that any of the husbands described here by other wives could be mine. The stories are all so similar, the anger, frustration, etc. But there is always a new twist, so maybe I can use some input here.

My husband was diagnosed ADHD during his childhood. He was medicated until he was old enough to say he wasn't going to take it anymore. When we were first married during the honeymoon phase things were ok. It wasn't until about a year later that I became more and more aware of how the symptoms really affected me/us. I became very depressed and went to counseling and also started taking depression meds. It helped quite a bit, but it didn't last long. We then went to marital counseling, which did help, for a while. The counselor suggested that my husband go back to take meds, and since I also insisted he went back to ritalin. He didn't really give any other medication any chance, but the ritalin seemed to be working ok. So with the counseling, ritalin and my meds things were manageable. Not great, but ok.

So about 8 years ago he lost his job he had since out of high school with his father. His dad had hired him on his business, paid him a great salary, gave him lots of perks, but never expected much of him. His dad is definitely an enabler. Does not know how to say no to his son. So my husband "took advantage" of the situation and that's how he lead his life. Showed up to work around 10, left for lunch at noon, back at 1:30, then home by 4. Took as many vacations as he wanted, worked hard some days, took it easy most of the time. I saw this as a problem from day one, but my husband's answer was always, don't worry, everything will be fine, when I asked what would happen to him if his dad was no longer around.

But nothing happen to his dad per say, he just got tired of it and decide to tell my husband: either you take over the business and I retire or I am closing down the company. My husband did not feel he could run the business. He got paralyzed. He sat at home for months, not knowing what to do.

Long story short, this was 8 years ago. Since then he has had at least about 12 full time jobs, and some other part time in between. He can find jobs and get himself hired, but he can't keep a job. He either gets fired (not sure the reason) or quits because he can't stand people telling him what to do; or because he didn't' like the job that much, or because it was too stressful. Who knows? It is just insane, it has been an emotional roller coaster ever since. We have two kids ages 10 and 8. I went back to work after my second was born and I can say I have been the only constant source of income for us, and lately I have been the sole provider. Besides all the household chores (no need to mention that even though he is home I still have the majority of the responsibility at home and with the kids).

Back 3 years ago I asked for a separation. He agreed at first, but changed his mind and wouldn't leave the house. I had a lease so couldn't leave until the lease was up. They were really hard times for us.  He would say horrible things to me and put the kids against me. He said he would not leave as his name was on the lease also. I had no way around this, so I filed for divorce, even though we still lived together (hadn't slept together in more than a year). I tried to serve him with the papers and he refused to sign, I had to hire someone professional to serve him. Once he got served, the process started and he got really weird. He was trying to save the marriage but going all wrong about it. I needed some space, all I had asked was for a separation but he wouldn't go for it. He wasn't listening. One day on a Sunday morning he woke up very agitated and I felt something was wrong. He started asking me why I didn't love him anymore, etc. We started arguing and he got violent and broke a lot of our picture frames, punched a whole through the door, broke glass, etc. He did not hit me or the kids thank God. I called 911 and they came and took him. It was in jail for 4 days for domestic violence and property damage. I moved out when he was gone.

During the next several weeks, after he was out of jail, he kept calling me, texting me, probably even following me. He would leave around 50 messages on my work phone everyday. It was crazy. He called me so many names I can even repeat them. It was crazy, emotional, scary. He tried to commit suicide (at least said he was) so his dad and I had to call 911 and have him committed. They let him go after only 1 day and they had told us he would stay at least 72 hours. My husband is a good talker, he can convince anyone of anything really.

He finally gave up, moved away to another state and that was it. He simple cut off the kids from his life altogether. Did not call, did not write, missed their birthdays and Christmas. He said that if we couldn't be together than there was no reason for him to be their father. THe kids only existed because we were together , so without us, there was no kids....I was devasted and the kids were soooooo sad I can even tell you. They were both in counseling but still couldn't understand why their daddy that they loved so much wouldn't want to talk to them. I couldn't understand either. At firs I thought he was just playing games but as time went on, he was actually serious. So the divorce was final a few months later and he did not show up for the hearing. I was awarded sole custody of the children. He still wouldn't talk to the kids and a year went by. I became once again very depressed for my children, I was overwhelmed for having to raise them by myself.  THE kids were doing bad in school, I didn't have my family around as they live far away. I had to make a decision. I was either going to move with the kids close to my family (that had other implications, I can explain later) or I was going to go back with him. ANd I did the later. The unthinkable, the impossible....I sucked it up and called him back to return.

Well, at first I had made some requests, put them in writing and he thought they were really reasonable. It's been 2 years since we are back together, it has been THE WORSE as it had ever been before. Much longer periods of unemployment, he has been home for a year now. He doesn't' take any meds, doesn't go to counseling, doesn't' have insurance (we are not married so he cant' be on mine), walks around the house demanding things, I have to pay for his beer, to go out to eat, etc. Our finances are in terrible shape, I went from having to support 3 to have to support 4. He is a cry baby, doesn't talk to me for days when he doesnt' get his way on something. It's my worse nightmare.

My attitude ever since we got back together: I am going to do what I am suppose to do; when my kids are old enough to understand that daddy won't be around because he "chooses" not to be around, then I am OUT OF HERE. But I have a problem: that seems so far away....... 10 plus years...I don't think I can handle it. Help. I dream everyday of the day when I am going to be free. I feel trapped, I fell used and abuse, not once but twice. I tried everything. So I think. I think I know what I have to do: stop being an enabler just like his father. I did not enforce any of the agreements that we had when he came back - shame on me for that! I don't take care of myself. I spend most of the time trying to make him happy so he doesn't make my life more miserable in return.

I am so tired, so burned out, I need some feedback please.

Thanks for having this site for us.

As with all relationships, we

As with all relationships, we all can say we're staying for 'the kids' but the truth is, you took him back...after making so much progress (leaving, divorcing him, etc) because there is something you get out of the situation that you cannot live without. First thing you need to do is to admit this to yourself. A lot of us get caught up in the co-dependant aspect of these situations...you're not so much of an enabler as you seem to be co-dependant. I can promise you that your children were probably MUCH better off being without him than being in a chaotic, miserable homelife. One member here (Charlie) posted about how badly he and his sister (I think) used to wish their mother would divorce their father and how he still struggles with the damage done by her staying with him..and I suspect the same from my husband, although he would never admit it because he would feel bad for thinking it. (his mother stayed in a HORRIBLE situation with him, and he suffered tremendously!) My daughter (12 y/o) ended up in counseling for a while because of the chaos we had going on here and that was the final straw for me. She was miserable..and I could not live with myself if I brought her up in chaos. Please don't mistakenly think that your kids need this in their lives..or are better off the way things currently are versus when they were simply wondering where Daddy was.

I am not sure what answers you are looking for...all I really can offer is my sympathy and my prayers. I can't see that you're getting anything from this situation but a raw deal..ADD or not.

waynebloss's picture


Leave....once the kids are older they will understand they why's but at least they will not be subjected to the misery of your relationship with your spouse/S.O.  Not only are you damaging yourself, you are also hurting the kids in the process and to me that is unacceptable!  time to take care of yourself...it will be better for you and your kids. I am the one with ADD in the family, so to me, what he is doing is being selfish and behaving like a brat! 



Wayne, I agree with you that he is behaving like a brat. I want to say he even knows that he is behaving that way, but he is paralyzed (for almost 8 years now). I am not justifying his behavior, just giving the facts. I am definitely hurting myself but not sure yet on the kids part. Like Sherri said, I am totally co-dependent and an enabler, I know that and take responsibility for that. But I have seen how much the kids have improved when he is around. Believe it or not, he is a loving father, he has his priorities screwed up, but he loves them. And I was dying with guilt to see that I had the power to bring their dad back and didn't or wouldn't't.

I think that I do need some serious treatment, I am not sure what I get out of it but I definitely do get something....as sick as it may seem.

If I were to leave again now I wouldn't even know what to do or where to go. I am going to need a lot of support and counseling to get through this.

Thanks for the support.

I've been thinking about what you you said

Sherri, i've been thinking about what you said and it makes a lot of sense. I think that I do realize and they myself that I am not only an enabler but also co-dependent. The problem is I realize that in my mind, but don't feel it. Does that make sense? It's almost like I haven't myself hit bottom yet, don't know exactly what is going to take. Even though I feel tired, angry, stressed, I can still keep going thinking I am doing the right things for my kids.

I think the answers I am looking for are exactly what you have told me: get a life, think of yourself first, then everything else will fall into place.

I am hoping that this site will be a good support system for me since I don't have any. My family is far away and his family, well, they are HIS family, not mine.


Thanks for the honesty, from the bottom of my heart.

waynebloss's picture

Yep..Sherri gets it right again!

"get a life, think of yourself first, then everything else will fall into place."  This is what my wife is doing now after 12 years with the last 2-3 being the worse!  It is hard and I do not know if she will want to stay or go after she rebuilds herself but I do get it and I will not interfere with her during this process.  Sorry for my comments, I did not mean to be cruel, just would not put up with my spouse for another round! 

Hang in there, this site and the people on it are a VERY good support team!!



You were not cruel at all

You were not cruel Wayne with your comments. I appreciate any feedback I can get. I pray for you to have the strength to let your wife do her thing. You are very strong and brave to be able to do this for her which my husband was never able to do for me. If he had done it, it would probably have really saved our marriage.... Remember that if you truly love someone, you let him/her go. You can't force someone to stay in a relationship if that's not what that person wants.

Thanks again.

My daughter was 6 when we my

My daughter was 6 when we my marriage took a turn for the worst..and was 11 when it came to a head. She went from being an innocent child who loved Mommy and Daddy no matter what (although she's 125% a Momma's girl) to being a bitter, angry...and INSECURE 11 year old who needed counseling just to be able to move past all she'd been through. She saw my anger...she saw my pain...she saw her Daddy spiral out of control and leave...she knows he had an affair (she was/is friends with the woman's daughter..this I am still a little bitter towards my husband about...God help me)...and it got to the point she was ANGRY with me for NOT divorcing him. She still doesn't trust him, she still has a lot of anger than NO 12 year old should have. She was robbed of a childhood...from age 6-11...and there is NOTHING I can do to change this. I blame myself equally for this...it isn't all on my husband...but no matter who is to blame, I could have prevented her from what she endured, and I didn't. She still isn't over everything. She can still make me feel like scum on the bottom of a shoe (without meaning to) by 'remembering' things that I sooo wish she could forget. She can't. She might someday, but she hasn't...yet. I made it clear, under no uncertain terms, that when my husband came home the 'walking on eggshells' was OVER for me and our daughter. She couldn't even be a kid without it pissing him off...and nothing robbed me of my respect for him quicker than for him to rip into her for no good reason. If it hadn't stopped, I could not stay with him...no matter how good things were/are between he and I. She is so precious to me...no more damage will be done to her spirit.

This is why I am telling you, you are not being honest with yourself if you truly feel that your kids are better off having such an unstable, irresponsible 'role model' as a part of their everyday lives. I say this to save you the guilt and shame I see in your future. I have some co-dependancy myself...I understand...but mine has more to do with his moods and letting them dictate mine. He works and provides for his family...and his getting help for his ADHD...I'm hopeful to find the strength again to be more confident and secure and rid myself of my co-dependancy issues someday.

I truly do wish you the best...no matter what, I do not take lightly how difficult these situations are. Even when I hated my husband the most, and had every right and reason to, something about him made me always want to love and protect him at the same time. It isn't easy.