I truly have come to the end of my rope.
I have tried for seven years to get my husband to seek help for his ADD. Despite a psychiatrit's diagnosis, he believes he is "managing " just fine. I have tried the soft sell. I have tried the hard sell. I have tried the ultimatum. I was diagnosed with ADD 5 years ago and have done pretty well on medication along with therapy. My husband says, "Just because you have ADD, doesn't mean that I do."
Except, he does! He procrastinates, fidgets, zones out, forgets things, can't wait in line, has become addicted to pornography, takes risky short cuts, has has lost a job, never acknowledges milestones, lacks empathy and perception and compassion. We live from crisis to crisis. If he didn't have a secretary, he would never be employed.) He does not see his part in these crises or rationalizes or justifies his behavior.
He does not believe his addiction is linked to untreated ADD. He tried a 12 step program but has decided that is not for him and has his "demons" under control. This is very scary to me.
I'm sitting here in tears now because he has once again promised me that NOW he will focus on our marriage - the issues at the office have been cleared up. He has his addiction "under control." He wants us to have intimacy and promises to work on empathy.
I read an earlier post by Melissa that stated, "if nothing changes, nothing changes" and it reminded me of the definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results!
I feel like I live on a roller coaster. Someone correct me if I am wrong.... you can't just try harder and then be empathetic! In addition, we can't have intimacy if there is no empathy or compassion.
My husband gets angry at me because I react when he forgets something important to me. He says, "shame isn't healthy for me" and uses it as an excuse to move to the couch. He then says my anger is holding us back from intimacy. But let's go back to the beginning..... as my spouse, he is responsible for remembering an anniversary date (just a small example). My angry or frustrated response is natural. His neglect or irresponsibility is holding us back from intimacy.
I'm so confused. He has me believing that my hurtful reactions to his lack of accountability or irresponsibility have caused the deterioration of our marriage. He does not see how negatively his ADD is affecting us. In the first place, he neglects or forgets something, but then later his defensiveness causes a "double-whammy."
I am so tired. I am so demoralized. I am feeling very trapped. Another question I have is what is the connection between an over-inflated ego or lack of humility and ADD? His unwillingness to even explore if his ADD is causing major problems for our marriage seems so arrogant. It is as if he is above reproach.
Finally, my husband just is unwilling to understand how his ADD and struggle with addiction have really made me feel so unsafe - so insecure in our life together. I worry what shoe is going to drop next? I do this from experience! In another post by Melissa I was reading about basic needs and it was very insightful because when a person's basic needs go unmet, it is impossible to live without tension and anxiety.
I recognize his behavior is our of my control. I can only change myself. But how can one come to accept this way of life?
I have given up a career to stay at home with our sons. I can't just jump into the workforce and make what my husband is making to support myself. However, staying here is killing me. It really is. I'm so frustrated. He claims I have drawn a line in the sand with threats of divorce, but really, he is the one that has drawn the line in the sand because he is not willing to explore his part in all this.
Any words of wisdom?