Reply To: Is this ADHD or did I marry a manipulative con artist?

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You all took so much time and thought to provide such helpful, insightful and heartfelt responses that I am overwhelmed with gratitude. This was a very long 4 day holiday weekend to spend with an angry spouse but as each of your posts came into my email, it provided me with strength, hope and many thoughts to consider. After reading each of your posts, my thinking felt clearer and I didn’t feel so confused. Things are making more sense when I consider all of your comments. I see now what you mean when I ask myself “ADHD or no ADHD, regardless of my spouses personal issues, why am I allowing myself to be treated poorly and used. And why do I think his needs are so much more important than my own, to the extent that I am being depleted”? Good questions that I have been thinking about now.

I have been helping him so much, and walking on eggshells so much, that you are all so right… this IS abuse. How did I not see it? He keeps portraying himself as helpless and stating that he needs me to help him with all this, while he sits in front of the tv and I am running ragged. I realized that I had even changed my career path in order to be constantly available for him. So, with this realization, I started looking at new jobs this weekend, that would pay more and get me out of this financial hole, and I got excited when I found one tailored to my resume. I told him about it and he told me 50 reasons why it was a dumb idea that wouldn’t work. All I heard when he did that, was the post comments that you all had typed. I SAW the abuse right then and there. All of his reasons, were things that pertained to how a new job would affect him. Not a word about how it would be better for me, or our finances. I don’t think I would have seen this as abusive last week, prior to all of your input.

You all also helped me to lessen the immense daily guilt that I felt. You are right, I am not the person responsible or qualified to fix him. I can help, but only to the extent that it doesn’t take over my own life and my own needs. Thank you, I feel like I got permission to take care of myself. And the fact that I needed to hear that, and get permission in order to not feel guilty,is something else I need to look further into. But in the short term, hearing all of you saying it, has given me immense peace and has alleviated so much pain that I felt daily. I feel excited to think about how I can protect myself from his issues and begin to set up my own life. He will either improve by getting his own help or not. But I realize that I have been practically a prisoner, and I need to stop that right now. I can’t thank you enough for all of your points of view, I don’t feel so constantly confused anymore. Thank you.