Who cares if the ADHD is what makes them act like jerks???

I keep reading posts where the both non-ADD and ADD spouses alike say "it's not the person, it's the ADD".  Who cares?  Why is ADD an excuse for my husband to fight with me over everything, make the most ordinary everyday things a battle that turns into a major altercation?  I'm sick and tired of everything being my fault!  I'm tired of the person who is supposed to love me talking to me like I'm a piece of crap and treating any random person way better than me.  I'm sick of him blurting out rude and inappropriate things in social settings.  I'm tired of him telling everyone things I asked him not to tell, but God help me if I tell anybody our "business", because he will freak out and let me know what a horrible wife I am.  I am done. 

like living with a ticking time bomb and you never know when it's going to explode.  I deserve better.  NO ONE deserves to live like this.  I can't trust my own husband.  I can't trust him with my feelings and I sure as heck can't trust him to do anything he ever says he will.  I don't care if he has ADD.  That's not an excuse.  I hate the "poor me" attitude.  He always blames everything on someone else.  It's because his parents weren't there for him, it's because he was always in trouble as a kid, it's because his home life was unstable.   Boo hoo.  My mom has been sick and going downhill since I was 9 years old.  She could no longer walk by the time I was 14, when I was 19 she went into a nursing home, and now I'm 32 and she's on hospice.  You don't hear me crying that I get to be a complete jerk and bury my head in the sand because I had it rough growing up.  ADD is NOT an excuse to be mean.  It's not an excuse to treat your loved ones like crap.  It's not an excuse to scream at your 2 year old and her to run to me crying "daddy's mean".  

If you had cancer, you'd get chemo or whatever else to treat it.  But because you have ADD, you refuse to admit you are ever the problem, it's everyone and everything else causing your bad attitude.  I am sick of it.  I want to know what life is like with someone who values me, puts me first, treats me the way I deserve to be treated.  For years I have worked to be the perfect spouse and the better I get, nicer I am, the meaner he seems to be.

I'm sorry, but I am so incredibly angry and fed up.  I refuse to live the rest of my life like this.  And from everything I've read, even if he gets treatment, he'll still have a lot of these traits.

I hear your anger and frustration

As a man who was diagnosed with ADHD as a young child and suffered with it his whole life, only really dealing with it the past few years I can see both sides of this. I do agree with you its not an excuse to act in a negative way. But it is a label just like cancer or alcoholism and describes a certain condition. The alchohlic should get treatment, the cancer paitent should get chemo or something, and the person with ADD\ADHD needs to want to get help and be willing to make changes to improve both your lives. If your partner has no interest in acting different and is okay then you are right, its almost pointless to expect anything to be different or change and staying might make you unhappy resentfull etc for the rest of your life. However if your partner is in therapy and really trying to get better and agrees there is a problem maybe you can both work it out and try some kind of counseling together even where you can both understand eachother more. 

Thank you for this response

What you said is true, if he had some great desire to change, get help, even acknowledge that not everything is my fault, that's it's not even possible for everything to always be one person's fault, there might be some hope.  The problem is that he knows he has ADHD, I've told him repeatedly how much it is hurting our relationship and our family, but he either agrees with me and does nothing about it, or he gets angry and says "you're mean too".  Real mature.  Or he just uses the ADHD as an excuse for all of his bad behavior.  He did start counseling and is about to get on meds, but the counselor does not specialize in ADHD and so far all they've talked about is his relationship with his parents.  He is convinced that all his issues are the fault of his upbringing, not so much the ADHD. It seems even more frustrating that he's finally initiated help, but I don't know how helpful it's really going to be.  There is no light at the end of the tunnel as far as I can see.  I don't want my children to be a product of divorce, but I also don't want them to think that this is what an adult relationship should look like.

wow were you at my place last night?

I was convinced a month ago he was intentionally being emotionally abusive until accidentally coming across the effect of add in relationships very similar traits hard to deal yet a little hopeful it's not intentional. I went through this last night after 3 days of him saying he would do the household chores that were discussed a day prior to start-up as suggested in many articles on topic yet not one task completed out of the several attempts. I would be the happiest wife if it were true its the thought that counts with all the thoughtfull offers of things he would take care of that wasn't expected such as telling me to hang out & relax with our 2 year old on the couch while he took care of every thing which didn't happen. He ended up on the computer with our son at 1 point every hour was a different focus the compulsive errands more then once cause he forgot something the 1st two timesthen when i tried to share my opinions or feelings he would get defensive interupt blurting negative comments leading to hours of non constructive words watching me do the tasks while he sits blurting nonsense wanting sympathy and credit for attempting to improve our problems. The most challenging part of controlling my sanity is when he offers to do something or says what he believes I want to hear to change topic and equally upsetting using my son as an excuse for things that he does such as computer games or running away for our sons sake instead of resolution of the problems induced by add moments since we can't ever come to a resolution or agreement with the off topic negative comments poor me or blaming my thyroid disease amongst others admitting his struggles with add diagnosed as a child and never treated. I have over the years tried to accommodate him but now feel I was enabling him by just accepting all the adult responsibilities filling out his job applications managed all finances put my wants 2nd biggest 1 was my desire to be a flight attendant I turned down because of his guilt trip. The belief that guys grow up later then girls and carried all the weight believed definitely when our son was born he would be the responsible partner I had waited 8 years for unfortunately it was a year after his birth that the adhd had a devistating impact unknowingly at the time. Even having my friends and family dragged in to blame me for the problems yeah he went to my friends & family & convinced them I was depressed because I had a non existing drug problem not because i was put on disability losing 1/2 my income that supports the mortgage for him my son plus twin teen cousins that I'm guardian of with my husband working 1/2 as many hours as I did & half the hourly wage losing all my independence and behind on bills for the 1st time only adult in a house full of immature boys. Yet no one could understand how I could be depressed with so many depending on me not able to live the outgoing adventurous life that everyone was used to.

Find strength

To momof2toddlers, I am feeling the same things you are right now.  My mom died in November after 5 years of degrading dementia.  I do not get to be able to rely on/depend/trust DH even now that I am dealing with loss. Maybe some of my heightened anger concerning my ADD DH has to do with my grief and that I don't feel like being the strong one right now. My stomach is twirling with the anxiety anyone would feel after the chairs have been pulled out from under you a thousand times by the person you WANT to love but it makes you too crazy and stupid to trust anymore. I am writing these things for myself as much as for you.

I know many people are in the world alone and in the end you have to face some of your own realities by yourself.  Where to find the strength?  How to nurture a wholeness within yourself to trust life and yourself?  Here is what I know:  Everything is very OK.  All people have difficult times in their lives.  If we are full of anxiety right now it is because it is our turn to go through a difficult time. Don't give up on life - especially if you have children. Situations get better and situations may get worse - that's life.  Have faith. Meditate, reach out for community, find laughter and the assurance that you are NOT alone.  Get moving, exercise.  Be good to yourself and eat a divine meal in a divine place when things are the worst just to change the scenery. Make your body look good.  Run. Make time to do some things you LOVE. Give yourself the freedom to live your life passionately.  Don't live your life for others all the time - even for your spouse or children.  They need you to be a model for how to get through difficulties and how to make tough decisions and keep on track with what is important. We need to hear the words over and over.  You are very OK.  You are going through a difficult time.  Respect yourself and love your loved ones enough to listen to your heart.  Take the risks you know you need to take. Hold your head up and walk with confidence.  Do yourself proud no matter what others are doing around you. 

jennalemon, thanks

Thank you for your kind words and good advice.  I do try to take some time for me, it is hard with a husband who acts put upon when I leave the kids with him for any period of time, but I do try.  I lost 80 pounds since the birth of my son 15 months ago and am smaller than I was when I met my husband.  But he still suggested that I should get a tummy tuck, he's really great at building my self-esteem ;-).  

I'm so sorry about your mom.  Mine has a progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis and has been close to death a couple of times, but she hangs on.  My DH won't even go to visit her at the nursing home with us unless I guilt him into it.  It's too boring for him.  I just feel alone and I'm also sick of walking on eggshells all the time.  I'm always supposed to be sunshine and roses and I'm supposed to "get over it" whenever he's mean or miserable.  When I don't immediately "get over it", he's right back to being angry with me.  I can never win.  I'm just starting to feel like my life would be so much easier and more peaceful without him in it.  I am afraid of what weekend visitation with the kids would be like with him.  I selfishly don't want to spend weekends without my kids.  I don't want to not spend holidays with them.  But then I think I shouldn't stay with him just because of the kids because I don't want them to have us as their example of an adult relationship.  We are so dysfunctional.  I know he loves me, but his mood swings are unbearable. 

There I go venting again, I just found this forum and it's hard to stop typing this stuff out once I get started.  It feels so good to be able to vent to people who understand where I'm coming from.  

Thanks again, I do need to take some yoga or meditate.  Stress is wearing me down.

wow, you said it

"I just feel alone and I'm also sick of walking on eggshells all the time.  I'm always supposed to be sunshine and roses and I'm supposed to "get over it" whenever he's mean or miserable." Wow, momof2, this really hit home. I think that this has been the most painful part of my relationship with my DH. Even if he is rude, or mean, or in a terrible mood, or grouchy beyond belief in the morning, if I don't just sail through it, and "get over it," then that's when the trouble starts. Not only does he respond by being defensive, he actually turns it on me and makes me out to be the bad guy, as if the anger is all my problem or that I hold onto things. I have just now begun to see what it really going on--all those years I was so wounded that the person I loved would not show any empathy for my feelings, and only react to me with anger or defensiveness. I have also had the painful experience of having him treat a stranger or colleague nicely, calmly, and with respect, right in front of me, and I just can't believe he can't treat me like that. 

I also have a chronically ill person in my house. In my case, it is my DH, and it has thrown a wrench into this whole thing, but also gives me so much sympathy and admiration for you and jennalemon. It is a huge thing to be "on" 24-7 taking care of a family and someone who is sick. And to not feel the support from your spouse, really can leave you feeling very alone. I don't know what I am going to do at this point--I feel very obligated to help him, I don't think he has the strength or focus to work on things with me while this sick, but he never has before and it has been years and I am so burned out and fed up that I know I can't go on much longer like this. 

I don't know what the answer is or what the moment is that you realize you have done all you can, that your relationship is not good for you, and that you have tried hard enough. We're pretty dysfunctional, too. Divorce is obviously tough on kids but so must be watching an unhealthy relationship and experiencing a lot of strife and anger in the household. Stress can wear you down--I feel 100 years old and get migraines all the time. Which doesn't help me be a good mother:-) I do know I am at the point I saw in the forum post. I don't CARE anymore if it is the ADHD or something else, I really don't. It doesn't make it any better to have him yell or blurt out something hurtful or forget that he yelled at me that morning, to think that it could be attributed to his ADHD. It's just not ok and I don't deserve it.  

I know how you feel

Momof2toddlers, I know how you feel. It's a terribly lonely place, bring married to a partner who doesn't act like a partner, who can't remember to follow through on even the most basic responsibilities, who only defends, deflects, and denies...

ADD should not be used as an excuse--nothing should ever give someone permission to act unkind or disrespectful. There's a line in a Kimya Dawson song that I love: having been f*cked is no excuse for being f*cked up. And it just sums up so much so perfectly. I know people who have come through the worst of the worst, but you'd never know it. They don't use it as an excuse, they don't use it to get attention or pity, they use it only as a reminder of their strength. So I don't have much empathy for my DH when he complains about his upbringing and his parents (they were loving, did the best they knew how, but made some little mistakes along the way, as all new parents do--he was never beaten or abused or abandoned...)

I think for me it has been important to keep in mind that it's my DH's ADD traits/symptoms that I can't stand, or at least, I can't stand when he allows his ADD symptoms to control his life and therefore mine. I still have glimpses of the person I fell in love with, and that's who I consider to be the real person my DH is--he is not his ADD symptoms--I try to remember that when he's oblivious to everything going on around him, that he doesn't mean to act like a selfish jerk...And I have an ongoing debate with myself (and anyone else who cares to comment every now and then) about what really matters, action or intention. For what it's worth, I have basically decided that action is more important, but intention must be worth something to me or else I would have left long ago. It's tough, though, and most days I feel just like you do--that it does not matter why someone acts the way they do if the effects are hurtful. No one deserves this kind of a life. Everyone deserves the right to pursue his/her own happiness.

Take care and keep updating us.