Reply To: I hate my husband's hyperfocus!!!

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PLEASE make sure you know if you are dealing with some kind of personality disorder. If this is what you’re dealing with, you will need support in breaking free as these relationships are extremely emotionally abusive. You mentioned your husband left the house at 2:00 am to meet a female colleague, and I cannot imagine how this could be appropriate in any way- huge red flag. If he’s not intentionally torturing you, and is indeed experiencing his own emotional pain and confusion, he still needs very serious help, considering many of his choices you’ve mentioned. Is he willing to get help? You love him, but do you need to hang on to such an unhealthy situation? Might you be happier to separate and see how things work out? Maybe that would let him know he’s gone too far and motivate a change in behavior, or alternatively, this may reveal he is not capable (or willing) of pulling his weight in the relationship.

I can feel this pain you are expressing, because in a different way I’ve certainly been there. I have been in 2 major relationships with narcissists (fathers of my children, in fact)- one, with milder narcissism, also had ADHD- I was ignored and emotionally abused here but his intent was not premeditated, more innocent. Divorce was painful at first, but an enormous relief in the long run, and now we are on quite friendly terms. In the other relationship (much more brief), I was with an extreme narcissist who was very likely psychopathic- there was gaslighting, a complicated web of lies, attempts to isolate me from family and friends, intentional emotional torture, and MANY more classic signs… I will never put myself in a relationship like that again.

I agree there’s much to consider, such as depression, as you’ve mentioned how he’s distancing himself from family, as well as your marriage, and acting “out-of-character.” I have also read “Non-Violent Communication” by Rosenburg, but it is hard to communicate with someone who is becoming more and more distant, if that’s the case. If he has one of several personality disorders, such as narcissism, then he just won’t care to participate in trying to empathize or communicate compassionately. But if he just has ADHD, depression, anger or self-esteem issues, or just lacks effective social/communication skills, then the book could be enlightening.

I also have ADHD. I can be affectionate and attentive in relationships, but can also fall into being a workaholic due to perfectionism and difficulty in transitioning attention from one thing to another. This caused issues with my younger daughter (my oldest is grown)- because I’ve made her wait on me way too many times when I couldn’t pull myself away from my work. Well, one of my biggest fears has been that she might take after he father, so I have bent over backwards to teach her to be empathetic towards others. When I learned that “parents who work too much and don’t show their children that they enjoy spending time with them” could be a contributing factor to narcissistic personality development, YOU BET I made up my mind to make every effort to prioritize spending quality time with my daughter!

That’s my story- a bit rambling, perhaps not exactly helpful, but I can relate to what you’re dealing with on various levels. I really do wish you luck!!