Empath wife ADHD husband

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    • #135279
      hopelessme
      Participant

      Title pretty much sums it up.  
      Typical adhd marriage dynamics except I stopped nagging and criticizing years ago and pretty much dropped most expectations. 
      the issue here is me feeling his aggravation, anger, annoyance, irritability FULLY with my whole body and being sick for weeks after argument( scared of his explosive angry rage. He actually blames me for it and denies its existence at the same time). And then he claims I’m the “sole problem, and he was just present ” – his words, since I’m sad and asking him to talk about ” painful dynamics between us “- my words . So basically I’m blamed for being hurt. Which makes me more hurt
      All those year together he was claiming I was actually mentally unwell and  didn’t perceive things accurately. Until I found out how typical my struggles are for being married to adhd partner. I’m relieved to know I’m not insane as he thought. But somehow my hope for saving marriage dissipates since his in complete and utter denial:(
      if anyone knows / has idea/ experience how to survive being HSP here, please share.
      What inconveniences him by requiring his understanding,attention, possibly emotional support in his opinion should ” go away” or ” shouldn’t be” . He does not get it. Actually, worse, annoys – irritates – angers- sends him in a rage in a matter of minutes. And that rage kills me. Last time it was a few days ago and minutes after it I got intense throat pain that is slowly dissipating by still here. I just cant afford it
      normally, psychologists advise to approach the partner and calmly gently let him/ her know how “I FEEL ” about something that you’d like adjusted. Well, that is a recipe for huge pain for me, because 1. I shouldn’t feel that way and 2. The cycle leading to rage often starts.
      so I’m ( are you also?) facing the dilemma: to save relationship I have to find way to fix communication, but every attempt costs me MUCH, and – he’s totally ignoring the issues, silent me ( problem – in his eyes) makes him happy ( problem resolved itself I guess it is what he thinks) 🙁
      BUT. His feelings , attitudes and ideas have to be understood, accepted, validated, shared . Here’s an example. He wanted to purchase a small aircraft. And renew his pilots license. ( that’s a ton of time and money) . I dared to ask how will it fit into our budget and schedule. And the hell broke loose. Because I asked that he drew the conclusion I don’t care about his happiness and should have shared his joy. That was catastrophic screaming roaring on his part.

      • This topic was modified 1 year ago by hopelessme. Reason: Added more detail
    • #135441
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      Many people with ADHD are rigid thinkers (especially those who are also on the autism spectrum). That means he can so only one way for something. He literally cannot imagine that someone could be so deeply hurt by words, to use an example in your situation. Then he reacts from that assumption. It can be very challenging to live with someone who has this sort of tunnel vision. It’s not narcissism, it’s simply only seeing one way.

      Working on your communication with one another can help a great deal. There are some helpful insights and strategies in these articles:

      Married with ADHD: How Real Couples Make It Work

      “I Don’t Feel Loved Anymore”

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #136088
      leanz
      Participant

      Hi There!

      Sorry that you are going through this.

      Get that you can only work on yourself. The other person may have any problems one can possibly have. But we can only work on and improve ourselves.

      There are certain things I vouch for-
      1. Meditation. Every day. This will be your daily sanity tablet!

      2. Self care. Works wonders for empaths. Do search on it. You will get many links and videos. However, using that, you will have to find out what works for you. Slowly, have a list of things that feels good to for you. Do them often. Self care is how we take our power back!

      3. Try and not take his talk seriously. I know it’s difficult. I have stopped talking. It didn’t ever help!
      You need to process how you feel. You need to shoulder your own health – mental and physical. I wonder if you will find a therapist who deeply understands and appreciates both Adhd and HSP at the same time. Empaths have a need to understand, process and sort things out. ADHD personalities may not understand this. Not that they don’t want to. But then that might just to a scary zone for them. Plus they are quick to move on. It’s their good quality for negative/adverse experiences.

      He is tied by his own issues as much as you are by your sensitivity. Try to see it as a mistmatch, rather than a failure.

      Remember to take care of yourself!
      All the best!

      Leanz

    • #136089
      leanz
      Participant

      And thank you for the title!
      Summed up my life too! You are not alone. And it’s okay to live a life no one else understands…

      I do so many things differently now, my own people don’t approve of it all. But it works for me and keeps problems at a bay. I do what keeps peace in my life!

      Leanz

    • #136093
      AJ
      Participant

      My apologies for the typos. Usimg my cellular handset. Thumb typing and not proofing as life never slows down!
      Peace

    • #136396
      amymoscati
      Participant

      Hello

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s not fair, nor healthy for you. As empathy, we tend to feel like we can “love someone” out of almost anything and the burden we experience by taking on the feelings of others is often very painful but out of our control as I well know. I think you should take some time to research narcissistic personality disorder. I’m not a doctor but, based on what you’re describing, this goes beyond ADHD. As you read about narcissism, you’ll know if this is something that applies or not. I truly hope it doesn’t but if it does, there’s help out there although societies awareness & acknowledgement of the disorder is almost non-existent. Good luck to you. Just my .02

      • #136404
        hopelessme
        Participant

        Just last night I was reading about narcissistic personality disorder vs adhd. Basically, according to my research, both can go same things, but for different reasons and one does it intentionally and the other one – unintentionally. Bad thing is, it impacts their partner in the same painful way , but The advice online is polar: “ run from narcissist “ and “ understand, love your adhd partner”. They say “ adhd’ era can change” , but “ I should not try to change him” , just “accept snd cherish”, even though those dysfunctional behaviors ruin me. So , “ cherish “ or “ run” ?…. honestly I’m very much trying to “ find a way” here.
        Thank you very much for your comment. That was just like a sign from universe that tapped into my thoughts

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by hopelessme.
    • #136397
      Hannahpilar
      Participant

      I so get you! I’ve been for years at this point I hate telling him things because I know he’ll get pissed of he’s never violent toward me or the kids it just his mood is like this miasma that just sits in the air affecting me and when ever he’s in a mood as hard as I try I’m affected by too. He is a narcissist, everything is always about him and never his fault. He does believe in ADHD he understand that not only do I have but our son and possible our daughter too but he does not understand what having it means especially since our son was also just recently diagnosed with autism. He doesn’t get his way of discipline does not work, or why or son is so sensitive why we have repeat ourselves constantly. It’s aggravating and so much more is wrong with or relationship but it’s gotten to the point we are divorcing. I know my ranting doesn’t really help but you as NOT alone in this. Self care and meditation really do help you from completely losing yourself.

    • #136407
      EmpathSpouse
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing your situation. You are certainly an empath.

    • #136409
      EmpathSpouse
      Participant

      I have the same situation … spouse in denial about likely undiagnosed adhd and frequent irritability and explosive rage. Never aims rage at me but extremely unsettling nonetheless. If gently confront he becomes volatile again and explains why justified in his frustration and outbursts. Ractively verbally attacks me as sensitive or I am the problem. Then he is completely calm minutes later while I am shaken for hours to days.
      Couple of strategies I try:
      Minimize contact (sounds sad but I’d rather have less time that is hopefully conflict free)
      Try to remain calm and disassociate during flare up – breathe, and try to keep your heart rate down. Separate yourself objectively and recognize this is his problem. It’s a bummer but he can’t help it.
      Leave the area when your patience
      becomes exhausted.
      Read about RSD – reactive sensitivity dysphoria. It explains how many adhd suffer from a disproportionate sensitivity to frustration which they perceive as real at 10x greater than reality. Some describe as “like a
      punch in the gut”. That’s why they don’t get it when you try to talk it through and explain what happened and how it makes you feel. They persist that they are justified in their
      reaction bc that is how intensely they felt by the frustration.
      Very tough to for an empath to co-exist with. I truly sympathize with your suffering. However, exiting the relationship would also bring a great deal of suffering in other ways so hopefully applying some coping strategies will work. Good luck. You are not alone.

    • #136410
      hopelessme
      Participant

      Yes, surprisingly I’m not alone and this forum actually keeps me afloat. Thank you for your support.
      My husband’s adhd IS DIAGNOSED. He is on medication, highest possible dose. He says it helps him at work. He takes a pill, goes to work . In the evening the pill effect wears off and he “ crashes “. He eats dinner an dissapears into his “ man cave “ until bedtime, since he can’t tolerate dealing with his family any more after meds wear off.In reality, I can’t talk to him during the day when meads are effective because they create intense focus on something else he’s doing. In evenings he “ loses it” so I can’t talk either.
      I’m feeling very much “ silenced” by this, I literally lost my voice, people around me now complain they can barely hear me when I’m speaking…

      • #136421
        Penny Williams
        Keymaster

        If his medication is causing extreme anger and agitation when it wears off, he needs to visit his prescribing doctor for an adjustment or a new medication. This is a side effect that should not be tolerated.

        ADHD Medication Side Effects That No One Should Tolerate

        Penny
        ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #136456
        hopelessme
        Participant

        Yes, meds have to be adjusted/changed. But they won’t. Because he does not believe me when I point out the side effects. Basically, he does not believe me at all when I say anything about him unless it’s a clear compliment. He said I’m having “ perception issues” , “ don’t see things clearly “ etc. He claims I’m crazy in other words and therefore my words are not to be trusted. So, any issue I want to discuss with him is not valid and “ only exists in my head”:(
        Adhd gaslighting it is as I recently found out.
        He also said he won’t read about his condition and how it affects marriage/ family at my request.
        So, no way to get though to him. He’s in dead set denial.

    • #136416
      ricorori
      Participant

      Please understand what you are describing in his behaviors are abusive. ADHD, or any other mental disorder, does not excuse anyone from abusive behavior. Just from what you’ve described he’s gaslighting you (making you feel crazy, accusing you of being crazy, denying things that are true, etc) and using what’s called ‘DARVO’ (Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Oppressor – blaming you when he’s the one acting out, making you feel like you’re in the wrong). His rages are a way to control you, to make you shut down so he gets what he wants. He knows you will back down if he loses his temper, so he uses it to his advantage.

      You do not deserve this treatment, and he does not deserve to get away with it. You are not the one that needs to adjust or cope, he is the one that needs to change.

      If you’re not sure you believe what I’m saying, read the book “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. You can find copies of it online if you’re worried about him finding it. I spent six years in an abusive relationship, and I spent a long time downplaying what was happening to me, or thinking that because he never hit me, it wasn’t abuse. No one deserves to be abused. Getting out was hard, but it is worth it. You do not deserve to be treated the way you’re being treated.

      This has nothing to do with ADHD. ADHD does not make a person an abuser, nor does it eliminate consequences for someone’s actions. This is not something you can talk your way through. You cannot change his behaviors, and he will not change them on his own. All the self-care and meditation in the world will not make this better. Take care of yourself, yes, but get help, and if he’s not receptive to therapy, get out. It’s not worth it. I promise you. Losing a marriage is a lot to go through, but it is better than a lifetime of abuse.

      • #136444
        eemartin23
        Participant

        I cannot agree with ricorori strongly enough. I’ll say it again because it cannot be said enough times. His behavior is abusive. ADHD offers an explanation NOT an excuse. The extent of the explanation it offers here is that individuals with ADHD often struggle with poor emotional regulation. Anger that comes on quickly and disappears quickly can be a recognizable pattern of behavior in many people with ADHD. That doesn’t excuse that behavior. It offers an explanation so others can give them a little extra grace while those individuals USE that information in figuring out the best strategies and treatment plans to build skills, avoid triggers, etc so that they can CHANGE or REDUCE the behavior. He knows that his anger and rage is hurting you and not only is her not trying to fix his behavior he is blaming you for his behavior. Re-read ricorori’s post a couple times over, read Bancroft’s book! You do not deserve a lifetime of abuse.

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by eemartin23.
    • #136426
      scrispin99
      Participant

      I am 6 years married to ADHD husband. My tools:
      1) I focus on myself, I get focus off him. Each morning, what will I do today to bring myself joy.
      2) What are MY hopes and dreams? The ones that I lost track of when I became over-focused for years on fixing him and our relationship.
      3) Repeat as needed to myself: QTIP. Quit taking it personally. He has a mental condition that elevates irritability and overwhelm and he lacks tools to control it BUT I can gain tools to improve my own mental emotional state.
      4) This one is huge – I hired a handyman and he knocks out the honey do items that hubbie postponed in classic adhd fashion. I now have the well kept house of my dreams. Hubbie didn’t like it when I hired him but I remained calm and positive and did not make it about him I made it about me, this is something I’m doing for me that feels nice.
      5) I no longer tell him I’m lonely. Thus just happened yesterday after a lonely Saturday the day before. Instead I ask him hey would you like to (insert a few ideas such as) go for a walk together, go grab some coffee at the new place, play a game of Yahtzee. Instead of telling him how I feel, I figure out what would fix it then I invite him. He told me he wasn’t feeling well enough to do anything and wanted to read his book. So I took my dog for a walk on the beach and the sunset over the ocean as dramatic and gorgeous. Did I feel a bit sad and did I miss my husband? Yes. Did I miss fighting about me being lonely? NO!
      6) I got some women friends. Their husbands also drive them batty. However we don’t get together and talk about the husbands. The fact that marriage is frustrating and challenging for most everyone has already been established. We go to movies, dinner, coffee, plays, lunch, etc etc etc.
      7) Alanon meetings and the serenity prayer. I grew up with an inattentive distracted adhd father so of course I married same – this marriage is my opportunity to HEAL myself. My dad was a frequent drinker which qualifies me for alanon. Most people have at least one loony drinker in the family and therefore can benefit from the alanon practice of getting the focus OFF the other person and put the focus constructively back on living our own lives.
      Good luck!

      • #136450
        stacadhd
        Participant

        Great advice! Most of these posts are so relatable it’s crazy. When my husband gets heated, I remind myself that it’s just noise and an hour later, he acts like nothing happened. I guess that’s working for now but when do you say enough is enough?? I have women friends and family that I can count on, but shouldn’t I be able to rely on my husband? Is this really a marriage if I need to go outside the relationship for comfort and love? For example, I had cancer two years ago and my husband could not sympathize with me at all – not even during chemo! He made it all about himself. I swore to myself during that time that I would leave him when I was better. But I didn’t. We have 3 kids, 1 with special needs. So I just can’t up and leave. For now, I’m going to practice self-care and focus on my kids…and reevaluate in a few more years. Sucks but it is what it is.

    • #136463
      june1234
      Participant

      Relationships develop habits, routines, and patterns that are often hard to recognize or break through. When two people are both deeply reactive to each other, it’s hard to get a clear picture of what’s going on. Maybe it’s time to break through the patterns that aren’t working for your relationship.

      This type of behavior can be bullying. It can be related to ADHD. But it is also unacceptable. It’s unhealthy and damaging to the whole family.

      1. Step back, catch your breath and clear your head. You might be stuck in an old beahvior pattern that needs readjusting. Try not to respond or react to your husband’s comments for a short time. Also, don’t make any demands on him- just for a little bit. Give yourself time to step back from the situation so you can have a clearer picture of what’s really going on. After that, you can take action to create a change.

      2. Stop avoiding the real problem. It’s easy to blame ADHD. But just because someone has ADHD doesn’t mean they don’t have to work to improve their harmful behaviors. ADHD isn’t an excuse for abusive behavior. Isn’t it time to have a conversation about the real problem? If ADHD is causing these behaviors, don’t you think it’s time your husband start taking action to heal the environment in your home? When stuck in patterns, it’s hard to have a rational conversation. The tension both poeple feel is too intense. But, you can’t avoid a conversation forever. Seek professional help.

      3. Get help. Since the tension is too high, have you considered going to a therapist or ADHD Coach to help you figure out how to have a conversation with your husband- about how you both feel- and what you can both do to repair the situation? Ignoring it won’t make it go away. One partner has to take the initative towards change. When children are involved, they are affected too. This is not only about your marriage, it’s your family.

      4. Medication doesn’t solve every problem. Medication is helpful, but it doesn’t correct every behavior. The ADHDer needs to take responsibility for correcting himself. When you have ADHD, it’s often hard to see the effect you are having on others, the people you love the those who love you. These issues can be worked on with a qualified therapist or ADHD Coach. Help is available.

      • #136477
        hopelessme
        Participant

        I’m being trying to solve issues between us for almost 10 years, before I even found out about his adhd. Never worked as he thinks I’m crazy and making up problems. Found out about adhd and how it affects marriage a few months ago. Asked him to read on it. Got rage in response. Dropped all attempts. Meds are actually hurtful in his case.

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by hopelessme.
      • #136537
        wagnerm
        Participant

        Hi hopelessme. This is my very first reply on this site, and I’ve been an ADDitude subscriber for almost 10 years. Your story resonated with me as I’m mentally recovering from a conflict my husband and I had last night. Our stories are so much the same.

        Just wanted you to know you’re not alone. Keep yourself emotionally stable and hold on to the truth. It’s a struggle to not get manipulated by his behavior, but don’t let him take your joy. You sound like you’re an optimist- you look at a problem as an opportunity rather than a failure. I feel so sorry that our husbands live their lives with closed hearts.

        I also want to say “I’m sorry”. For all the times he should have said it but didn’t, or he said it only because you reminded him, and then he said it with anger rather than compassion: I want you to hear the phrase “I’m sorry” from someone who truly understands. These are the conversations we’re starving for… I’m praying for you- for comfort and peace and the support you need. God will provide.

      • #136544
        hopelessme
        Participant

        Wagner,
        Thank you for writing and being here for me now. I am not alone because of that. You are not alone too. Anytime you need, please write and Ill be here for you . Recovering after night arguments are hardest. The last one I had with my husband was barely an argument. Usually when I put my head on the pillow my tears start rolling ( yes, I know , I’m broken quite a bit) .so he asked “ what’s up”and I ( yes, hope dies last) said “ Im grieving about how our relationship went and having hard time accepting it” . And? He said “ makes no sense to me “ and turned away. Done. I’m not allowed to disturb him at night or he goes raging. That left me torn apart and for a while howling almost like an animal and not a person anymore. Next morning he acted Like nothing happened. And I tried to act calm because showing any pain or sadness costs me a lot with him.
        I’m glad you sam me as optimist. Maybe I do indeed have it in me 🙂 hopefully.

    • #136470
      amymoscati
      Participant

      I have to jump in here again. I’m an empath with severe ADHD, dovorced from a person with NPD and consider myself a student of all three since I’ve been studying empathy, ADHD and narcissism for nearly 6 years. Despite one of the “words cases of ADHD” my doctor has ever seen, I have no traits of someone with narcissistic personality disorder nor would I ever consider any of the behavior some of you are describing above as ok. What many of you are describing and blaming on ADHD are in fact traits of someone with NPD. They are NOT THE SAME. I cannot stress that enough. While some symptoms may seem similar, they are NOT THE SAME. It is dangerous to dismiss or mislabel the blatant abuse many of you are describing as ADHD. It’s not your fault. NPD is widely undiagnosed (mostly because someone with NPD wouldn’t ever allow that to happen) and there is so little awareness. I certainly had no idea about it before someone told me I was living with one and I started researching. I urge you to please research narcissistic personality disorder as much as you can. NO amount of abuse should be tolerated – for ANY REASON. And just because you’re an empath, that doesn’t mean you have to endure and somehow tolerate any abuse under the guise of being supportive. That’s enabling and nobody benefits in that situation. NPD is a horrific thing to deal with and getting away is the only option to save yourself. It’s a long road but the more you learn, the more powerful you become against it. I’m not saying that every scenario described here is NPD but I am confident that some are. I’m sorry to say this. It SUCKS. If someone is abusing you (which so many of the behaviors above are and I know enough about it to know some of you are telling only half of the story – I’ve been there) do NOT dismiss it. Do NOT assume it’s something you need to change yourself to accommodate. Do NOT think you’re wrong for leaving someone who doesn’t treat you right – for ANY reason. I know this sounds a bit extra but please, if you are with someone who isn’t treating you right, know that just because it may not be their fault – that does not mean it’s yours and that you should have to put up with it for any reason. Be strong friends.

    • #136519
      blueocean
      Participant

      I’ve been living with your situation for over 10 years. My boyfriend (we never got married because of his rages) has a violent temper that includes punching walls and throwing things. I walk on eggshells around him to avoid triggering it. He has ADD and intense moods. I’m sure there is some other mental illness in there as well. I consider myself an empath too and the rages hurt me for months and I’m still processing things that happened years ago. I’ve also essentially checked out. I no longer want to fix it. I’m just trying to survive it through the next life stage and move on. It’s sad because at one point I loved him deeply but I’ve decided for myself that the rages are just too destructive to continue to put my energy into this relationship. There was a long time I tried to understand him and I tried to make it better. But then I realized putting the correct label on his condition doesn’t really change anything or make it better although that journey did help me learn it was not my fault. It also helped me learn that I can’t fix it. It’s really his own journey to understand himself and want change and I have to accept he doesn’t want to do that. I spent time in therapists offices working on myself to cope better and trying to be better in the relationship to calm the rages. I did learn some helpful hints and they did at times make it better but the rages have always been there. In the end what worked best is setting boundaries. If my boyfriend starts raging or screaming, I leave the area immediately. I have extra car keys in my bag which I keep ready to go. The rages still do damage to our relationship but it doesn’t damage me because I don’t stand around to hear his cruel words. You don’t have to stand there and listen to him rage. You can tell yourself and him that you will listen when he can talk in a calm tone and be respectful. I’m pretty sure once I leave, he calms down pretty quickly. It hurts that his rage is so centered on me but again I have to let that go because it’s his journey not mine.

      I’m going to ask you the difficult questions. Do you realize you can’t change him? That means you have to make the decision for yourself whether you want to stay or go knowing he may never stop no matter what you do. It’s likely no matter what you do, the rages will continue. In some cases, the rages escalate in which case you should be in touch with a women’s shelter. Are there children in the situation? If so, are they safe? Only you can decide what is best for you. Are the pros in the relationship outweighing the cons? Hugs to you. You are in a difficult situation. Just keep telling yourself you can’t control other people’s behavior and choices and that their behavior is not your fault.

    • #136527
      hopelessme
      Participant

      What you described sounds just like me. Exept we are married with 2 kids. Kids are safe. But getting increasingly aware of me breaking down and crying too much lately. I do realize I canNot change him now. Because de does not see any need for change. For him, everything is fine if I do not cry. If ( when) I do cry he sees it as nothing to do with him and a sign of me being crazy. So yes, I realize change is not possible. Can I go? No, because if I do, I will not see kids again ( I’m not American ). So in reality I face another question: how to stay for kids but not loose my mind from pain at the same time?

      • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by hopelessme.
      • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by hopelessme.
      • #136763
        ThereIsNoTry
        Participant

        Regardless of your nationality or status, if you can prove abuse, your status to stay in the US will be protected. https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by ThereIsNoTry.
      • #136765
        hopelessme
        Participant

        I would never go against my husband

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by hopelessme.
      • #136769
        ThereIsNoTry
        Participant

        If you can’t/won’t set legal consequences for him, which are really only safety protections for you and your kids, then you could find healthy places to create boundaries on Melody Beattie’s website about co-dependence. I don’t think the moderator allows web addresses to be posted, but it will come up if you Google: Melody Beattie codependence

      • #136771
        ThereIsNoTry
        Participant

        For additional valuable info, Google: is this abuse

      • #136773
        Dr Sarah
        Participant

        Hopeless Me, what do you think would hurt your kids about you taking his money? Are you worried about what he’d do?

    • #136530
      fricative
      Participant

      You are in an abusive relationship.

      So are half the people in this thread, it would seem.

      And you can’t meditate your way out of that one.

      • #136534
        hopelessme
        Participant

        I now know I am. Found out gradually over last few months. I know I have to go. And I would be able to let go of that love dream. I just can’t leave kids. So I stay.

      • #136535
        blueocean
        Participant

        I think you are taking some good steps for yourself. Don’t let your partner define your reality. I went through that fog too. Just because someone is screaming at you that you are crazy does not mean you are. If you can’t leave at least for now, I think you have to do a few things. Realize it could get worse and have a plan for you and the kids. Leave a set of car keys hidden where you can get to them easily and make sure you have cash and a phone. Just in case things explode and you do need to get away. Be realistic that it can happen. Next practice self-care. Take breaks. Get therapy. Make sure the therapy is focused on you and your needs rather than trying to understand or change your partner. Spend time with friends. Accept that your partner will not meet your needs and find others who can. Also, set boundaries. What worked for me is simply leaving every time my partner screamed. It was the best decision for me since I don’t need to listen to his words. In some ways, it made him behave better because it made him realize he needed to calm down to be heard. And practice radical acceptance. Accept he won’t change. Accept you need to make changes to get your needs met outside the relationship and that’s where your power is. Find groups where you can get out and meet other people and friendships will form. Find happiness elsewhere. It takes a mental shift to focus on yourself and your own needs but it’s really necessary especially for someone who is an empath and is so used to being outwardly focused on other people.

    • #136550
      NearlyFree
      Participant

      Dear Hopelessme,
      Your husband might have ADHD, but he DEFINITELY has narcissistic personality disorder! I was married to a very verbally and emotionally abusive man with npd who claimed he also had ADHD. He did the EXACT same things you described yours doing to you and refused help from any source. He even exploded in a therapist’s office that out church sent us to….

      These things your husband does to you are called domestic abuse. You should not and do not need to take that. It is not only emotionally unhealthy, but as you described, it is physically unhealthy and will not improve by staying with him. NPD people will not change no matter what you do to try to get them to… They feed off you being upset, taking the blame, getting defensive, etc etc etc. It is literally like food or a drug for them.

      And it will kill you physically and emotionally if you stay and keep taking it.
      And you have to take it if you stay. There’s no other option when you choose to stay.

      My daughter and I are finally free of it on a daily basis. And whenever we are away from him for any period of time we are so much more physically and mentally healthy!!

      YouTube has some great educational videos from experts on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and marriage. Please check them out!

      Praying,
      Nearlyfree

      • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by NearlyFree.
    • #136552
      ADDjustingToLife
      Participant

      Hopeless, please hear me when I say DO NOT stay because of the kids. I did and it did more harm. They all struggle with their sense of self, healthy relationships, parenting, faith you name it. It is not helping like you think it might be. I stayed for 25 years and I can see how it has severely impacted my children’s lives. I agree with the possibility of hubby being a narcissist with ADD. Do some research on narcissism and how the behaviors mirror what you are describing. Mine didn’t want a plane but numerous failed businesses. Of course all my fault because I didn’t in support of his dream to be a contractor, truck driver, landscaper, real estate agent, commercial cleaning company, electrician, DJ, sing/song writer, hotel management, D and A counselor, producer, house flipper, etc. it may hurt, be scary, lonely on mental, physical, emotional and financial level but you are paying all of that now anyway. You WILL be happy on the other side. That’s me peeking over the top of the fence telling you to climb up!! You Got This.

      • #136714
        Dr Sarah
        Participant

        While I agree that staying for the sake of the children is not a good idea, the OP has said above that, if she goes, she won’t get to see her children again, as she isn’t American. I’m not sure whether this means that she lives in a country where the father gets custody and all the rights, or whether she lives in the US but will be deported if divorced, but either way it suggests the situation is more complicated than making a happy life away from him; it would mean leaving her children with this man.

    • #136553
      KrisB
      Participant

      Hi hopeless me,
      I think you should also read about the cycle of domestic violence and gaslighting. He will not get better from his NPD, his behaviour is never your fault. I think you and your kids need to leave, I think some women stay because they are worried about shared care and their kids staying with him for periods of time. There might be a women’s centre near you that can help you legally and help you find somewhere to stay. You don’t deserve to be treated like this, no medication will stop it. I wish you well.

      • #136599
        hopelessme
        Participant

        I’m in constant pain ( full body pain) , 80 % of the time I’m having severe headaches, according to physician I’m healthy but I cannot function now. I’m spent and would be on the street if I left since I cannot work. Of course I would not drag kids with me. I would not ever do anything to hurt their wellbeing, for me to leave would mean “ disappear into the night and never see them again”.
        I’m trying to avoid that scenario.
        I made a terrible mistake once and it will cost me my life

    • #136593
      dede1226
      Participant

      Hi,
      Your marriage sounds like mine. I walked on egg shells for 24 years. As a medical person myself I didn’t know I was dealing with adhd husband. I had reached a breaking point realizing I was suffering from trauma. I got myself help told him if he didn’t get and a therapist I would file for divorce. He knew I meant it this time. I then get diagnosed with adhd. I set struck boundaries I stood up to him and no longer feared his rage. When he finally knew I meant business he started taking responsibility for his actions. We have come a long way in 5 years but I still feel like my marriage will never be the same as that first 3 months when I saw his adhd in full force not knowing what it was.
      It took me losing control in a therapy session venting 34 years of rage I held in side.
      He knew I was one step from divorce that’s when it changed. His anger are far and In between now. It’s a long healing

    • #136601
      ThereIsNoTry
      Participant

      Speaking as an adult with ADHD married to an empath…what ultimately saved me from wrecking a marriage with a wonderful person was adderall, which I call ‘patience in a pill’. Road rage is how I first noticed a change – before adderall I’d fight anyone and my notions of entitlement were unchartable – with it, I’m forgiving and invite people to go ahead of me. In our relationship, I was quick to point out every inconvenient mistake she made – with meds, I stop and think about the many ways I am how grateful for her if I find a mess she left.

      If he won’t submit himself to diagnosis and medication, the only thing I can suggest to help is what we called ‘deal breakers’, which are boundaries with strict consequences. If he won’t accept boundaries, you have set your own limits and decide if you can accept the sacrifice that you’ll have to make to continue with him in this singular life that you’ve been blessed with.

      In other posts I saw mention of kids and recommend for you both John Bradshaw’s book “The Family”. Bad dynamics will be passed on to your kids and will torment them and their future families if you don’t tackle this one way or another. Good luck!

      • #136609
        ThereIsNoTry
        Participant

        I’m replying to myself to say that I saw in your follow up posts that he has been diagnosed and is taking some type of med, and I agree with another member that the meds could need adjustment. I was taking 20mg adderall and lost 20-pounds which made my dosage become too high and turned up the dial on my impulsiveness. I dropped to 15mg maximum and feel more in alignment again. Also, a connection that I doubt there is research on, is between deep sleep and medication. Per my Fitbit (which may not be perfect but helps as a guide) I’ve noticed a correlation between my amount of deep sleep and medication needs (less deep sleep requires more meds). I’ve also spotted a correlation between eating sugar or drinking beer close to bed time and my deep sleep. Net-net, I believe that eating and drinking late and interrupted sleep makes the following days medication level more unreliable. There are a lot of reasons to get a good night’s sleep and to have good eating habits, but helping your partner in these areas could also help you manage the impact of his ADHD on your life.

      • #136618
        hopelessme
        Participant

        He went to psy evaluation to get diagnosed in order to get this medication. I’m now wondering how true is his diagnosis. He could have easily lied given the end goal in his mind. The fact that he got highest dosage and refuses to switch/ adjust it even though I pointed out the crash/ withdrawal symptoms makes me wonder even more….:(

      • #136657
        ThereIsNoTry
        Participant

        Does he take adderall? If so, long or short acting? I crash if I use the short acting, but the long acting (XR = extended release) seems to taper off. For me, too high a dose causes unneeded extra confidence and my opinion can come across as if it is a commandment. If that sounds familiar, he could be taking too much. It’s weight related – I weigh 180 and take 15mg.

        Regarding your query: “would you mind sharing how you realized ADHD symptoms had an effect on your marriage/ spouse? And if you ever was in denial about it, what helped to realize the reality?” Yes, I am happy to openly share whatever I can if it might help. If you or others have follow up questions – I’ll do my best to answer them.

        I have always been fairly successful in life and definitely had many years of denial that I had anything other than a lot of stress that I was dealing with. I also had a cycle of ‘self-medication’ that started the day with a 20-oz coffee and finished fairly often with alcohol, gambling (adrenaline rushes) and occasionally with recreational drugs. I have always been self aware, but these cycles are self-perpetuating, including their impact on diet, exercise and sleep. They are hard as hell to break free of and unsurprisingly coincided with professional issues.

        My wife became a psychologist during our 16-year marriage, and as an intern she was speaking to a psychiatrist about ADD and it became clear to her that I had many of the same symptoms/behaviors. She had reached a point where she said to me, “I love you, and if you want to keep acting the way you do, I’m not going to stop you – but I won’t be a part of it anymore.” The Psychiatrist is a $500/hr doctor that offered me a free consult, which I was open to because I was tired of my own self-medicating patterns and roller coaster success; I also loved my wife. He suggested I try adderall and after a while I was able to dial in the right amount and feel ‘normal’, maybe for the first time. Again – the biggest impact was the ‘patience in a pill’ aspect, but I also found that my top priority items were no longer inconsistent and my impulsive stops at casinos or bars were not important to me. Going home and being a decent husband became the choice I made more often and it saved our marriage. My professional success also increased, so now I’m a big advocate of getting appropriate treatment.

      • #136610
        hopelessme
        Participant

        If it’s ok with you, would you mind sharing how you realized ADHD symptoms had an effect on your marriage/ spouse? And if you ever was in denial about it, what helped to realize the reality?

    • #136644
      newbie@35
      Participant

      Hopelessme, Your post struck me, hard! Im a newly diagnosed psychologist (yes, you read that correctly) of 35, ADHD…I also am a HSP. I’m so glad that someone brought up NPD. Very under diagnosed, I think mostly b/c those with NPD don’t see themselves as having any issue. They project their shortcomings onto others. My partner also has multiple diagnoses including ASD and BPD..can be pretty selfish and impulsive….and has Never, not once, Ever treated me as if my opinions, feeling, needs, thoughts, don’t matter. I also have family members who are undiagnosed NPD. Does he treat your children this way also? Are you all walking on eggshells? I have to remind myself, and I encourage you to remember that you are valuable and worth far more than how you obviously see yourself. I would also like to remind you, that your children will emulate what they see/hear. They will look to you AND YOUR SPOUSE for guidance, support, how to think, look, and act. Be the person you want them to be, and best of luck. P.S. if you can, seek counseling if you haven’t already!

      • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by newbie@35.
    • #136656
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      I agree with fricative. This sounds more like something abusive. I am a mother of an 8 year old child with ADHD (who is one of the kindest people I’ve ever known). I am also a wife to a man with ADHD (also very kind) and I have ADHD myself . I don’t think ADHD should be used as a reason or an exception for being mistreated or for someone to be cruel and not take responsibility for their behavior (or to excuse them from a bad personality in general). Some people are just toxic and allow themselves to be that way without a desire to change. This also sounds a lot like narcissism…? I feel like there is a lot of stigma about people with ADHD being mean and always short tempered. This doesn’t apply to I know, if they are short tempered they have the ability to know when they were in the wrong or did something inappropriate. However, maybe there are ways you can try to reapproach your husband differently about certain things you want to discuss with him? Be sure you are not approaching a conversation in a condescending way or speaking to him as if he is an irresponsible child that needs to be “parented”. My husband struggles with budgeting and certain responsibilities also and while he really doesn’t like dicussing it, I remind him that I love him, and appreciate him and trust his decisions (even if he, like most of us, make bad choices sometimes). And we talk about why (because we love eachother) and how we can make sure that we are all trying our best to be a happy healthy family. It is important to be the same page and to show love and respect and trust for eachother. Maybe if it is possible, see if he is willing to make plans to save towards his goals and dreams? Or share your idea’s.

    • #136659
      rickg019
      Participant

      Hello Hopelessme,

      After reading your post I had to chime in even though this is hard for me to do. I’m a guy that has been suffering from ADD for years along with anger management issues. I have learned just as others have stated it is not ok to be abusive and blame anything else other than my own stupidity.

      Having ADD and being picked on as a child has made me self conscious and insecure, so sometimes when my wife is talking to me I automatically get defensive and spiral into an uncontrollable rage even when she’s being as loving and understanding as anyone can possibly be. She was just about to give up on me.

      I must admit it’s very hard for me to keep going (ADD kicking in), so let me know if you want me to keep going and I’ll do my best to stay focused. If not you’ll still remain in my prayers.

    • #136662
      Mouse
      Participant

      I have lived the life you are living now. The denial, the explosive rage, etc. He blamed his outbursts on me. He could not apologize or take responsibility for his actions. I was afraid that if I left, he’d get half custody and I’d have to leave the kids with him. That scared me into sacrificing myself – my health, my peace and my life, to keep from leaving our kids with him. Long story short, he began making choices that forced me to leave him. I became very ill with autoimmune symptoms during this emotional transition. That was six years ago. I am now healthier than I have been in a very long time. My life is simple and low stress. I live at the poverty level but finally have PEACE. He continues to hyper-focus on work and dopamine inducing activities and forgets we exist. I’m not trying to tell you what to do, only you can figure that out but, I don’t think you can get physically or emotionally well while living in the same house with your partner. I didn’t want to think that I was being abused but once I got away, I was able to see that I truly lived in fear of his rage, always walking on eggshells. . Oh also, we tried counseling but he would reject their evaluations of him so it did no good. I wish you the best and hope you have supportive people in your life.

    • #136663
      Rehab F
      Participant

      You have no idea how enlightening this post is to me.. First i am really sorry to hear what you are going through 🙁 Honestly I haven’t come across the word empath before, but when you posted this and i read about it.. i realized i am an empath too and I’ve been married to an Adhd husband for 11 years.. he’s the love of my life but these years have been really difficult especially the first 4 years I didn’t know that he had adhd even he didn’t. Until our daughter was diagnosed I started reading a lot about it and discovered that he too has it but he refused to believe so until last year I practically dragged him to psychologist who diagnosed him with adhd but didn’t prescribe any medication nor did he come up with a plan! It was v frustrating for both of us.. he’s been angry and in rage for almost his entire life, bored, easily frustrated and put down.. it breaks my heart seeing him like this..As an empath i completely ignored myself and my feelings and focused solely on him, how to make him feel better, how to encourage him, walking on egg shells the whole time of course.. i did everything perfectly but the thing is it is never enough (he knows everything i do n he appreciates it all) but he keeps getting in and out of relationships every couple of months.. I cannot understand why? And he says he doesn’t know why.. he has no feelings towards them and he finds no pleasure but he cannot say no ehen someone approaches him.. i am so confused.. is it because of Adhd or is it just him? I don’t understand and unfortunately doctors here in my country do not give Adhd much care because i tried seeing another doctor alone this time but it was the same he took things lightly 🙁 we had a huge fight when i knew he started taking to his colleague at work and seeing her outside work.. i am tired, hirt and worn out i am considering leaving but we have two kids who adore him and the idea would devastate them.. I don’t know what to do

      • #136664
        amymoscati
        Participant

        @Rehab F: I’m sorry if this is hard to hear but it must be said. This post is about adhd and your cheating, manipulating, abusive spouse sounds like a narcissist. No need to continue reading about ADHD. Read about narcissism and if there’s any way possible, get out of that abusive marriage. Your children see this behavior and are learning it. It’s MOT ok for your husband to cheat on you when you have a fight or EVER. There’s NO excuse. NONE. And it sure isn’t because he has a learning disorder. Can you get away to save yourself & your children?

    • #136665
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      Amymoscati: I completely agree with both of your posts. There’s a lot more to what these women are describing than ADHD. Continuous poor behavior, cheating, abuse, failure to try to understand your partner… this stuff can not be explained or excused because your partner has ADHD. It is almost insulting to say that their husband’s have ADHD so that is why they are abusive. Although I know that isn’t the intention. People with ADHD might be impulsive and short tempered sometimes, and they might be disorganized and unfocused and constantly misplacing things, they might also have other conditions; But people with ADHD are also capable of uderstanding right from wrong. And they know if they are hurting someone or doing something morally wrong. They have to be responsible for their actions rather if it is ADHD related or not.

    • #136667
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      It is like saying “my husband is forgetful, hyper, always misplacing the car keys, forgot to pay his bills, likes to play video games a lot, gets distracted and is disorganized…. so that must be why he doesn’t care about me and my feelings. That’s why if I try to talk to him, he only yells at me, that’s why he is selfish and always mean to me and blames me” It doesn’t really add up to a very good explanation. Consider NPD.

    • #136686
      Yoyo
      Participant

      Hi Love,

      You really need to put yourself first and leave that relationship. This is not just ADHD you are describing, it is a mean person. No one has the right to shout at you, whatever their diagnosis.

      It isn’t easy, I know as I’ve done it, but I can only say that the divorce day was the happiest of my life and I’ve found a new spouse who treats me respectfully and lovingly every day. I hope the same for you!

    • #136713
      hopelessme
      Participant

      😔 is he adhd,narcissist, both? Is he doing what he’s doing on purpose? Is he even aware of what he’s doing and how it affects me? I did tell him ( politely , calmly, gently) . But that does not mean he even remembers. Or he might just not care?
      The truth is , I do not know, and I will not know. My dream ( DREAM, big one) is to be able to talk to him without risking ( 99% likely) his outburst. I want to not fear talking to him, but now I get panic attack even from thinking about addressing anything with him. Or sending him s letter. Or an article. Last time I sent him an article ( m.Orlov’s one) I was so terrified of his reaction that it took me all my willpower to not run away.( I know it sounds insane and overreacting.) He didn’t even read it. And blamed me for that.
      I’m just so lost. I have no idea who he is anymore. For about a month he stopped blaming me . I have no idea what it means. Is it a trap? I just can’t trust him anymore. I want to find out the truth but can’t risk talking, because if he blows up one more time on me – I will be GONE

    • #136716
      Dr Sarah
      Participant

      Hopeless Me:

      1. Don’t make any further attempts to discuss this with him. You’ve tried everything you can, and learned it only makes things worse. From now on, your goal has to be simply to survive this situation in as good a shape as possible plus supporting your children as much as you can.

      2. You say that, legally, you won’t be able to see your children again if you leave. You’ve probably done this already, but, if not… do do whatever you can to get legal and practical advice to confirm this is the case and to check whether there is any support available, wherever you live or can move to, that would let you take the children and support them without being on the streets. (Although, obviously, you’ll have to get this advice in a way your husband doesn’t find out about.) Is there any support available – emotional and/or practical – for abuse victims where you live?

      3. If the above does confirm that leaving with the children really isn’t an option at all, think ahead to their adulthood. If you leave once they’re legally of age, will he have any way of stopping them from staying in contact with you? At least, if you plan for that, you’ll have some hope and some light at the end of the tunnel.

      4. Read everything you can about patterns of abuse and also about how to deal with a parent who tries to turn the children against you in a divorce or abusive relationship (as there is a high risk he’ll do that and you need to be forearmed). Even if you can’t leave at this point, reading more and confirming for yourself that it isn’t your fault will be helpful.

      5. You mentioned you don’t work. Is this due to his wishes, your health problems, or both? If the former, what would happen if you simply went and got a job anyway? (Obviously the first answer to that would be that he’d be furious, but this is one situation where it would probably be worth dealing with more rages for the sake of the money and independence it would bring you.)

    • #136732
      Fragged
      Participant

      I cannot agree more with Dr. Sarah above. Please save yourself and get out of this situation with him if you possibly can. Meditation and self-care will not help. My father was like your husband and it never gets better. The toll on my mother was immeasurable.

    • #136789
      Exadhdwife
      Participant

      Hi

      As someone that lasted 22 years of being married
      To a husband that was in complete denial and two lots lots of failed marriage therapy I decided to lealeave as I was so unhappy and stressed. The feelings of anger, constant stress by the impact of his behaviours was just too much in the end. In had
      Panic attacks , severe eczema and my immune system was shot to pieces That was five years ago .The strestress of the divorce caused me to lose my hair and and I officially have autoimmune disease and defideficiencies. I can honestly say though I really tried and my two children now young adults ( son with diagnosed add) had a happy childhood as I protected them from my feelings. I know much of the advice is about staying and working it out but ultimately it comes down to you or them and your healhealth and mental well being. I have a great relationship with him now I am not married to him andso does my children. It took awhile and it was.traumatic for the first year or two but now he has a relationship with someone who is not an empath and that seems be working well for them both. I have married another empath and my life has been transformed . It is not failure to give up a marriage, it takes huge strength and resilience.

    • #136790
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      It usually takes two people to destroy a marriage. So, in reality it probably isn’t going to be entirely your fault or his. It is also hard for anyone to actually tell what is truly going on in someone’s home based on a bit of information from one person in a forum like this.

      Some questions you might want to consider asking yourself : Is it possible that at some point in your marriage that you may have done anything to betray his trust in you or your judgement?

      What are your reasons for wanting to stay with him besides children?

      If you are only with him because of children, does he know this? And consider how that may make him feel.

      If he knows you are unhappy with your relationship, and knows that you have felt that way all those years… maybe he doesn’t feel like he is good enough or satisfying enough for you and may have given up on the relationship and making you happy a long time ago. He may not see that as something he can fix.

      If when he tells you how he’d like to get something or buy something, do you usually return with “how would that even be possible” or “I don’t think we have the time or money for that”….These responeses are actually shooting down his dreams and desires immediately, no matter how nicely or gently you try to put it. It is possibly also making him feel like you don’t think he is responsible.

      If you know he is struggling with something like ADHD make sure “you” are not trying to monitor and control his medicine intake unless he is not capable of taking care of himself. That is not your responsibility. And if you you try to say something about how he NEEDS to take his medicine more often to control his behavior… this can actually be insulting and damaging.

      • #136794
        hopelessme
        Participant

        I know it takes two to destroy marriage. The problem is he thinks all blame for that is on me. Entirely. That breaks my back:( I thought hard and can’t see myself betraying him in any way possible. I’ve always being faithful, I supported his dreams to the max. Some of them I personally wasn’t comfortable with but still agreed to him proceeding to keep him happy and inspired. He sees my sadness ( despair by now) as sign of depression. Since I’m depressed in his eyes my perception is not accurate and I can’t have good judgment. He knows I’m unhappy. He also knows I’ve being approaching and re approaching the painful dynamics between us for years. He also knows I’ ve being showing that I care enough to not give up on us for years. Was I unhappy? yes! But alone with that not a single thing he did for me or family went unnoticed. I was openly grateful and celebrated every single win he had. Many times I asked how I can be better for him and what he wants adjusted in our life. If he indeed gave up on me at least I know I’ve done everything I could. His forgetfulness, lack of focus, disorganization, many started and never furnished projects I learned to live with very early on. Not even bringing it up anymore. It’s the fact that he does not trust my judgment, blames me for everything wrong in the marriage and explodes when I try to talk to him that is killing me. I choose my words super carefully when addressing him, thinking about all possibilities of how he could interpret them . I’m trying to avoid triggering his defensiveness, because that escalated fast into explosion. But so far I could not find a way to address any issues between us. He never tries to fix anything or express what would make life better for him.
        I’m not monitoring his meds, I’m not saying anything that is even remotely critical. In fact I’m not saying much apart from expressing my agreement when appropriate. Inside my head though I’m almost screaming “ I want to talk to you. For real. Deeply. About things that are on my mind. I do not grow apart and become strangers. Because that is who we are becoming with this broken communication:(“ I want real conversation in which he would open up , I would open up and become closer( that only happened in courtship period) .

    • #136797
      Kendrastar102
      Participant

      1. Your feelings are very valid.
      2. He’s a narcassists through and through.Thats what they do. Place blame and make you feel as if you don’t perceive things correctly. I know I’ve lived it.
      I’m also an empath so i understand on that aspect too. I’m honestly not sure what would help. Most narcassists will never see or admit their problem. Just know that you’re not always wrong. You’re not overreacting. And your feelings are valid and you are a strong empath woman badass!!

    • #136832
      sassycatmama
      Participant

      I’m not going to say much–just that this is so familiar. It’s sad, but a sigh of relief to hear I’m not “crazy”. The gas-lighting, blaming things on my mental illness, his volatile anger.

      I distance myself when possible, take care of myself physically, walk away when the abusive language and behavior starts, and am making myself financially independent. I am used to going to my kids’ and family events on my own and having my own hobbies and interests.

      I have an emergency “word” with my family, getting together a plan for “just in case”.

    • #136898

      I say this as a man of 53 who has been married for 21 years and has severe ADHD. The bottom line is, despite his own struggles, is he on your team? Having ADHD is not a reason to not think you’re brilliant. And you should be with someone who thinks you’re brilliant.

    • #136900
      hopelessme
      Participant

      It looks more like I’m on his team trying to take care about “ insignificant “ day to day things so he can chase his brilliant dreams. He is indeed smart but has started many many projects and finished very few.
      In many articles I read there’s a line like “ cherish your adhd partner, support him, understand his struggles “ . A agree. But same should apply to a “ non” partner – I also deserve to be cherished, supported, understood. Marriage is very much a two way street. No, I do not think he think I’m brilliant. But that does not matter. Because I know I am. I look like a model, I’m very well educated, I’m 100% faithful, very respectful and – I’m still supportive, still trying to make things work between us. In the end , everyone will get what they deserve and I’m very much striving to do my best

    • #136948
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      Sometimes people just aren’t right for eachother. People may need and desire differents things from a relationship. If you supported his “insignificant” day to day goals and interests for 10 or 11 years and he hasn’t returned any support back to you, I highly doubt he will change now. I think you might need to decide if you want to continue with your relationship with him, or if you want to end the relationship. He is not very likely to change the way you want him to. And with each new struggle it will put more and more strain and resentment on your relationship.

      • #136972
        hopelessme
        Participant

        I know he won’t change. I do not even need him to change now. The times when I NEEDED his support ( like pregnancy and kids baby/ toddler years) are passed. I can manage that on my own now. But throwing years of effort and ending up on the street and never seeing my kids again? NO. That would be the END for me. A bit early at 30 something:( so I guess I’ll keep believing in miracles, all of them excluding him changing.

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by hopelessme.
    • #137023
      AdeleS546
      Participant

      My ex husband did not have ADHD. He was, and still is a narcissist…truly. I put up with his criticism with everything about me, from the way I dressed to the way I handled our children. His gaslighting of me was so bad, I thought I was the problem, that everything was my fault, even if what he was angry about had nothing to do with me…like the time his business partner siphoned $25,000 out of the business account. He came home in a rage and took it out on me. It took me 10 years to leave him, and I’m glad I did. I pissed away my youth on a man that was incapable of treating me with respect. When I left, I was an unemployed stay at home mom with children ages 14 and 8. I had no money, and no place to live until the spousal/child support checks came in. I had to take money out of my retirement account to set us up in a rental. I struggled for years, but not having to walk on eggshells, in fear of his anger everyday was worth it.

    • #137307
      Mnemoscat
      Participant

      For the record, it in no way takes two to destroy a marriage. One person consistently acting without good faith, being emotionally (or otherwise) abusive can do that fairly easily. It takes two people to make a marriage work, and if one of the people involved isn’t trying or is more interested in blame than in making things good for both of them, then no amount of work by the other person will help.
      I think it’s actively toxic to assume it takes two to destroy a marriage, because that relies on the idea that marriages are easy and work on their own if even one person is trying, when actually à good marriage is like singing a good duet: beautiful, satisfying, and impossible if one of the singers refuses to learn the song or is constantly off key.
      This is not your fault OP. You’re doing your best, but one person acting alone in good faith can’t save a relationship. I know; I spent 12 years trying myself.

      • This reply was modified 11 months ago by Mnemoscat.
      • #139568
        Celeste65
        Participant

        For the record, it in no way takes two to destroy a marriage

        AMEN!

        When one person is abusive, they destroy the marriage. In no way is the person on the receiving end of the abuse to blame.

    • #137325
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      mnemoscat: I both agree and disagree. I think it “usually ” takes two to also destroy a marriage and I don’t think it is toxic to think that both people could be at fault for a marriage going downhill. I have been with my husband for 15 years so I also have an idea what I am talking about too. Saying that your partner is solely the one to blame for destroying a marriage over 11 or 12 years is failing to realize there are two people’s feelings, thoughts, views and experiences involved. It also keeps the ‘blaming’ going in an endless cycle. We are all flawed and make mistakes, and that is ok. But we also need to realize if a relationship is doing more harm than good, and when it needs to be ended. At least, that’s how I see it.

      • This reply was modified 11 months ago by IrenaRR.
      • This reply was modified 11 months ago by IrenaRR.
      • #137333
        Mnemoscat
        Participant

        Irena RR: He was beating me and gaslighting me while I wss trying to understand his feelings and adapt, but please tell me how it’s partially my fault, cause obviously you know my situation so well.
        I’m pretty damn sure the fault for abusive behavior falls on the abuser, and abuse can and will ruin any marriage, whether it ends it or not.

    • #137329
      Mnemoscat
      Participant

      Irena RR: He was beating me and gaslighting me while I wss trying to understand his feelings and adapt, but please tell me how it’s partially my fault, cause obviously you know my situation so well.
      I’m pretty damn sure the fault for abusive behavior falls on the abuser, and abuse can and will ruin any marriage, whether it ends it or not.

      • This reply was modified 11 months ago by Mnemoscat.
    • #137335
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      That’s why I said “usually”, that what I said doesn’t apply to all situations… that also doesn’t justify someone being abusive towards their partner.

    • #137337
      Mnemoscat
      Participant

      Okay, but you strongly implied that it applied to my situation, which upset me quite a bit.
      Also, the OPs partner sounds emotionally abusive, not just poorly matched (and I’ve spent a good part of my past 11+ years reading up on abuse to help process what I experienced).
      I understand you intended no harm, but please be careful about what you assume about others.

    • #137338
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      I don’t claim to know anyone’s situation. But I only hear one side here. However, someone intentionally hurting and abusing their partner is never ok.

    • #137339
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      No I didn’t mean it like that. Hopeless responded about knowing it takes two after “I” said it usually does take two. But I don’t mean that always applies. I am sorry to hear that your husband mistreated you. And I commend you for trying to help others it those situations. I too thought that man sounded narcissistic and abusive at first, but I am not entirely sure either because it is difficultto see the entire picture..

    • #137340
      IrenaRR
      Participant

      Sorry 🙁

    • #137431

      Hopelessme
      There’s hope for you 🙂 You have put up with all this abuse for so long…and survived. That makes you Superwoman!

      Take lots of baby steps and one day at a time.

      Research narcissistic behaviour and you will probably be surprised how much of it resonates with your own life.
      Then research how abuse can damage your children (whether they see it or not) and compare it to the alternative of loving, peaceful parents who live apart.

      Understand that it is not your job to change your partner, It really isn’t. You shouldn’t even try. Leave that to the professionals.

      Ask yourself, how much abuse is enough? When you’re hospitalised because of it? When you can no longer look after yourself or your children? How bad does it have to get and how much more suffering needs to happen before enough is enough? Find your boundaries. Boundaries are healthy things to have.

      Get mad…really mad, that someone has treated you so badly for so long. How dare they.
      Take all that hurt and anger and turn it into something constructive. Leave!

      Then work on yourself and your children, find your strength and live the life you deserve.

      I also have ADHD and empathic qualities and I also lived for too many years with a Narcissist, which made me ill.
      I’m further down the line than you are now, but please believe me when I say that now I wish that I had left him sooner and that my life now has completely transformed for the better. If I can do it so can you. Good luck!

    • #137603
      liz77777
      Participant

      Sending positive thoughts for a happy new year!! 🙂 No one knows your story better then you so I just comment to give an internet hug and any support I can offer based on my experience. A lot of people like me send love and friendship to you I bet!
      Imo from personal experience it was easier to use ADHD or any substance use disorder as a reason for some of my ex fiance’s erratic, threatening, and controlling behavior to maintain hope in the relationship. this was better for me, bc I didn’t want this relationship to not work out and he had a lot of hooks in me emotionally.
      He did love me, in his own way, but had huge dramatic anger issues. Being with someone, who is potentially unchangeable and fundamentally has perhaps power and control issues, is just in my experience, exceptionally challenging and does have sometimes overlapping issues with narcissism and substance abuse and or ADHD. However some of the time this might be an excuse for people who drink too much to use ADHD medication to go to work. I have real ADHD and do not like that idea of using things people actually need and yelling at people etc and excuses. I just personally saw my ex fiances primary issue was temper eventually. Leaving was so hard but just for me that was the best thing I could do. The mindset of entitlement can sometimes be “my way or the highway”. Yet it is different for everyone, depending on your situation, so difficult bc sometimes it is so hard to tell whether it is the chicken or egg or a mixed bag but there are resources whatever road you choose to explore. if the right medications work for him that could be life changing and could help him a lot perhaps. imo try to discover the source of the problem and trust your heart and know you’re beautiful and will get through this with him and things will only get better if it is right or even not!

    • #139554
      Celeste65
      Participant

      Take it from someone who divorced an angry and abusive man after 17 years of marriage.
      Angry, rageful outbursts, and controlling behavior don’t get better, it only gets worse.
      Also, it is no example to set for your children if you have them. Ultimately, that is what got me to leave him after 10 years of abuse. I didn’t want our son thinking it was OK to treat women like shit, and I didn’t want my daughter to think that all men were like him, and that she should settle for what she can get.
      My ex husband raved that a divorce would “F**k Up” the children, because all children with divorced parents are…

      I’d had enough. I sank into an abyss of depression because of the abuse.

    • #136099
      hopelessme
      Participant

      I’m sorry but I am in fact an empath. The therapist I worked with for quite a while agrees. “ Nagging “ and “ criticizing “ is what my husband calls my very careful and gently put attempts at communicating unfortunately. I simply described what was happening from his perspective in the post.
      The way you wife talks to you , like “ loser” if worlds far from what was happening here. “ I’m lonely “ he saw as criticism, and “ hopefully we’ll fix the door before winter “ as nagging ( I mentioned the door was broken before. That’s just to give you perspective.
      You simply managed to project your own situation here and even made a judgment . Which hurts but I’ll get over it

      • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by hopelessme.
    • #136461
      stacadhd
      Participant

      Don’t listen to this person. He/she doesn’t know what’s really going on and, like you said, is projecting. Remember that there’s always going to be someone in these forums that opposes your statements – ignore and keep on moving.

      I have no advice (lots of great advice below though) but just know there are so many of us out there going through exactly what you are. One poster below mentioned she had an alcoholic father. I had a similar situation and when you grow up like that, you often marry a person you want to fix. It sucks. But for now, I’m just doing the best I can. Once my children are older, we’ll see… Also, my husband doesn’t do well with 1:1 counseling. He’s better when we do couples counseling (when he wants to go which is almost never) because he can’t lie or hide the truth. It’s helpful when we actually go.

    • #136487
      unstableAngel
      Participant

      Agreed! Also Aj, you state (I think) that empaths feel others pain therefore they do everything to avoid causing negative emotions in others. Yet your reply was combative, condescending & rude, I believe that qualifies as causing negative emotions. You then later state that you no longer allow your wife to behave badly. Hypocrisy comes to mind for some reason 🤔…I’m sorry to tell you this but you’re not an empath yourself!

    • #136490
      hopelessme
      Participant

      Yes… when I read his post what you wrote crossed my mind too. It felt like lashing out right off the bat:(

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