It doesn’t matter why you’re a jerk when you’re a jerk. Maybe your mommy didn’t love you. Maybe you have ADHD. Maybe you were dropped on your head and have a brain injury. In the end, it DOESN’T MATTER. You have to learn to be a decent, responsible person–and a father/husband or wife/mother. I have ADHD and am married to someone with ADHD.
It is inherently more difficult for men to be stay at home parents. We can argue biology, but sociologically, there’s no question. The sense of isolation is much greater, and so can the feelings of inadequacy be.
Your girls are school age now. He needs to have a regular job. He needs to be a financial caregiver versus a scraped-knee caregiver now. This will give him a chance to get friends again and balance his life.
One of the most powerful motivators for many fathers is facing the fact that THEY are the image of masculinity their daughters will carry in their minds. What would he want to do to a man who treated his daughter the way he is treating you?
He needs to use his knowledge of his condition to improve his functioning day over day. It may be a reason, but there’s no excuse.
The lack of scheduling follow ups is typical and doesn’t reflect a lack of desire for change in the abstract. He needs to go somewhere that he can schedule regular sessions or at least follow ups on the same day. I can’t stand it when I can’t schedule checkups for my kids at their previous checkup. I have honestly forgotten an entire yearly checkup because of that. And I’d crawl over glass for my kids. If there is a structural way to keep him making appointments, get him to use that! If he must call a service, he should do it while still in the lobby of the therapist’s office. Once he leaves, it will be fifty times harder for him to do it.
He obviously isn’t dealing with his ADHD right now and is nonfunctional. He may need you to schedule the first meeting with a therapist to get the ball rolling to make changes that he can manage.
He needs to decide what kind of commitment he’s willing to make to his family. What kind of behavior that he agrees is unacceptable. If he doesn’t commit to limits, he’s not interested in doing right by you. You need to decide together what YOU should do if he’s exceeding the behavioral limits set. Fighting because he’s mad is not constructive.
Even if it’s mostly him, you’re a factor there, too, as the other adult in the house. Cooperation is key. He’s lost a lot over the years, and even if it’s his doing from where you sit, he has a hole to dig out of, for sure!
It’s not your job to fix him. It’s his job. It’s your job to help. He was someone you once loved–and he once loved you. You’re not going to be those people again, but you can both become loving and lovable, if you’re both invested.
The lack of respect you have for him is very understandable because of what he’s done. He needs to see that he can get that back. That will be what he needs from you the most. And it’s hard for a woman to love as a husband a man she doesn’t respect. It just is.