I am new to this site and am wavering between relief (that I'm not the only one going through this and that I'm NOT crazy) and despair (that people with many more years of marriage under their belts are continuing to struggle).
Some background first: I have ADHD, never medicated and not actually diagnosed until I was 22, although it was suspected since I was very young. I have always been rather high functioning -- I did very well in school and figured out early on how to compensate for my tendency of being disorganized by becoming OVERLY-organized. My mother, also ADHD, is the same way; my sister, ADHD too, is also high functioning, but has always struggled a little more with inattention. We are a high-achieving family, very close and supportive, and open to talking about any issue. My mother, sister, and I also have depression -- diagnosed and treated since we were young and closely followed by psychiatrists. We are very open in my family in talking about mental health issues. I guess you could say I'm ambitious as well -- I have 2 master's degrees and a doctorate in psychology.
My husband and I have been married for 11 months, but have been together for 5 years. He comes from a blue-collar background - no higher education in his family. Also, his family is very closed off -- they interact, but superficially. There is NO discussion about anything of substance, such as mental health or emotions. For example, his father is seriously clinically depressed, but refuses to even acknowledge the possibility, let alone get treatment for it. My husband dropped out of school at 16 and got his GED because he "hated school." He is clearly very intelligent, given that he passed without studying at all. He didn't get any further education (which now limits him in job choices). He left his parents' home at 18 and went to live with his older brother where he worked an 8 hour job then came home and played computer games all night. He stopped taking care of himself, ate pizza and drank coke for all meals (because he knew the delivery guy), didn't socialize, spent money irresponsibly (put a fancy stereo system in his car, but didn't get dental care, resulting in a moutful of rotten teeth which we have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on fixing and his teeth still need more work; got his car reposessed at age 28, which is still affecting our credit). By the time we met, he had corrected a lot of that (paid off the car, moved out of his brother's house), but still didn't act how I would think an adult man should -- for example, he didn't even have a bank account.
I was ok with that at first because at my prompting, he changed some things -- he got a better job, opened a bank account, etc. However, I very quickly realized he had dyslexia - hence his dislike for school and his dropping out at 16 (I still cannot believe that it went undiagnosed until he was 30, but I guess with parents who aren't educated about it, they didn't notice) and Bipolar II. Since being together, he has gone through periods of hating his job, hating his coworkers; periods where he was always in a foul mood, snappish and argumentative, where he would lose his temper without provocation. There was even a period when he got laid off, then made very little to no effort to find another job, sank into pretty deep depression, and either sat on the couch watching TV or playing his computer game every day, not helping around the house. There were times where I tried to break off our relationship/engagement, giving him the ultimatum of getting treatment and getting back on track or me leaving. Thankfully, he got treatment and has been on mood stabilizers and anti-depressants under the care of his doctor. His mood has improved and there have been no more depressed periods. He is employed full time and even took one of our long discussions to heart and has improved in helping with chores and in taking care of some obligations.
However, I notice that he still lacks motivation and/or ambition. This is especially hard for me, given how driven I am. He SAYS he wants a house, a career (not just a job), a better education, and to be a good father when we have kids, but I don't see the follow-through. He doesn't save money. He doesn't look into things, like how to buy your first home. He doesn't even follow-through when I looked up how to buy your first home and asked him to read the information! So is this a lack of real motivation and he's just saying what he thinks I want to hear, or is it a true lack of follow-through? Or does he just lack the knowledge about HOW to follow-through? He can usually follow the steps if someone outlines them for him, but I'm tired of being the one to tell him what to do all the time. I'm not his mother! I can't understand that if he wants to go to college, why he can't contact the school for more information, look on the internet for information on degrees and classes, etc. on his own, without my prompting him or hounding him, or standing behind his shoulder!!! He is also completely unorganized and the most forgetful person I've ever met. I swear, he'd forget his own head if it wasn't connected to his body!!! For example, we just relocated to another state and he is applying for jobs. However, he lost his resume -- he had to have his mother (keep in mind that he is 35 years old) -- HIS MOTHER -- email his resume to him. He also forgot his cell phone (the only one he has as we don't have a land line) at a friend's house (out of state), so they will have to mail it to him. He can't keep track of important things, like car titles, insurance information, or his own birth certificate. He forgets to do things, even with a list or reminders or post-it notes. I'll send him to the grocery store and he'll come home with completely different things because he doesn't take the time to look at what he's buying (bought orange juice in a carton instead of milk, etc). Sometimes I'll come home in the evening when he's had the day off, and the dogs haven't been fed and have no water in their bowls. Maybe it's unreasonable, but I'm terrified that I'll come home one day in the future and our children will have been taken by Social Services because he forgot to feed them or forgot to pick them up or lost them somewhere!
I'm really becoming more and more resentful about having to be the responsible one. It's getting to the point that I can't keep rude or derogatory comments to myself anymore and I'm even saying them in front of others! I hate myself for being ugly and disrespectful! I feel like a b**** all the time, which makes me even more resentful. I'm so unhappy. I don't know what to do.