Engaged and on the verge of a breakdown

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    • #51511

      I have been with my now fiance for 9 years. Our wedding is in November and i am falling apart. He was diagnosed ADHD as a child and he displays every symptom of an adult suffering with ADHD. I am a special ed teacher and I try to help him but nothing works. He is moody ALL of the time! As soon as he walks in the door from work I can greet him with a smile and dinner, and he will yell and complain about the smell of the food. I recently lost weight and thought maybe all the extra pounds I put on was having a negative effect on our sex life, and now he still doesn’t touch me. I feel very lonely in this relationship. I waited so long to be engaged. If I try to tell him he needs to see someone and he feels this way because of his ADHD he goes bananas on me. He will yell and call me crazy. I don’t even have the energy to fight anymore. No matter what I do it isn’t enough. Anyone else feel this way? I found this group because I need help in handeling how lonely this relationship is for me. He does anything and everything to help his family but could give a shit about me. I love how he cares for his family, and i’ve explained that I am now his family as well. I want this to work but I have a gut feeling it isnt going to work, and after 9 years I will have a broken engagement and be 30 and single. Ive waited my entire 20s to call this man my husband. It’s exhausting loving someone more than they love you. Thanks for listening.

    • #51525
      Penny Williams

      Unfortunately, people don’t change unless THEY want to. You can try to help, and talk until you’re blue in the face, but if he doesn’t see a problem and make an effort to address it, nothing will change.

      Is he getting treatment for his ADHD? That could help both of you individually and as a couple.

      The book The ADHD Effect on Marriage could help:

      “I Don’t Feel Loved Anymore”

      9 Ways ADHD Ruins Marriages

      If you’re having these thoughts now, I’d strongly think about you’re upcoming wedding plans. It’s better to be alone than with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself and miserable.

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

      • #68381

        From the bottom of my heart I feel for you.
        I really hope you come to the conclusion to
        choose a better life for yourself. You have a chance to take a different path. Take that chance while the window is open. You deserve so much more. I have a friend who went through something similar and chose to break off the engagement and go on a vacation alone to take care of herself. Trust your logic and your gut.
        Stay strong and know there are people out there pulling for you.

    • #51548

      So this is the first time I am on these forums…your particular post just seems all to familiar. I am married 9 years, dated for 2 years before that, my husband was diagnosed as an adult 2 years ago (2015) – your story sounds like my life story for the past 6-7 years of our marriage. It all started to become apparent after our kids were born, the drastic change in our life made it his symptoms worse. It was therapy or divorce, he chose therapy. It took 3 therapist and 1 year later for him to actually be diagnosed and medicated, 2 more therapist and one short separation, now we have been with our current couples therapist for a little over a year. We are STILL working and its hard to forgive and forget (my biggest issue). So Penny is right, he has to take responsibility for his own actions – you can no longer “help” him. Start helping yourself and you will be much happier.. If he is not willing to get the help he needs then I am sorry you will never succeed or you will end up like me a year ago questioning my sanity, depressed, angry and falling apart. What changed it is seeing my poor girls shudder in fear for their fathers outburst (never physical), thinking this was normal life, I will NOT let my girls grow up thinking any person should be treated this way! So my husband is now in the process of finding a ADHD Coach (it has been 2 months since he said he will find one), so I am hopeful and unfortunately cautious..

      I am not one to judge at all and my life is STILL not great – work in progress, I think. I am still searching for much needed answers and constantly ask myself why am I doing this.. I do suggest is see the warning signs before you take that big step, don’t marry just because society conforms us to believe we should be by this age.

      Hopefully yet unfortunately you can find comfort in knowing you aren’t alone, I know I just did…

    • #51658

      Thank you ladies for your quick responses. My problem is my fiance does not blame any of his symptoms on his ADHD. He sadly thinks he outgrew ADHD, but I am a special ed teacher and have told him numerous times that he can’t outgrow it and that he displays the symptoms. I truly think that this is why we have lasted so long because I have patience with him like I do my students. I am well aware it is a disbility, but he refuses to get help. He does not think he needs therapy at all. All he does is call me “dramatic” and a “drama queen.” I left him a note the other night that I wouldn’t be home. I checked myself into a hotel and truely enjoyed the alone time and peace and quiet. He did’t appreciate me ignoring his calls, so he called my parents and they called me frantic. All I told them was I am overwhelmed wedding planning and I just needed a break because we’re on each others nerves. I never bad mouth him to my family because they’ll never forget. And now tonight he wont come to my sisters birthday dinner because he doesn’t want to see my parents. His family has terrible communication skills, and when they’re angry they just decide to not speak to each other. My family is the opposite. I let him know last night that I am beyond miserable! That I don’t feel loved and that I would rather be 30 and alone and have to start over, then get married and have a miserable life. I don’t know what else I can do. I feel so embarassed. 9.5 years of dating, and we have to possibly call it quits 4 months before our wedding? HOW PATHETIC AM I?!

    • #67935

      My live-in boyfriend of 3 years was recently diagnosed with ADHD. So much of the other comments are exactly our life- right down to how it impacts the relationships with our extended families, it brings some sort of peace knowing it’s not just us, but how do I know when enough is enough? I wonder if starting over at 31 is healthier than staying in this. I love him and we’re both seeking help independently; but nothing seems to improve our relationship. Where is the line in something being a symptom of ADHD and ADHD just being an excuse for bad behavior?

    • #67939

      I understand the ticking time clock, I do. Here’s hope though: I was 35 when I got married. 36 when I had my first child, 39 (one month shy of 40) with my second child. Marriage doesn’t fix issues, it just exacerbate any pre-existing issues. Having ADHD is one thing and there’s nothing wrong it. If you were marrying a person who accepted his issues whether they be ADHD or something else and was willing to work on those issues would be one thing. But you’re not. You’re looking at marrying a person who is in denial about his ADHD or any other issues he may be facing. You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, you can’t control it.

      Getting married to a person because he may be the only option based on where you’re at in age is not an option. Marriage takes a lot of work and compromise. It takes the ability for a person to honestly assess themselves, look at the needs of their spouse and recognize if their behavior is helping or hurting. It takes two whole people, not one person working for two.

      Looking at an impending marriage should not give you feelings of exhaustion. This should be the period where you’re excited and looking forward to the future. Take his ADHD out of this and take the possible guilt out of leaving a person because their ADHD has been allowed to take it over. If you’re truly honest with yourself, is this something you’re ready to take on? Is this a person you could truly build a life with?

      Keep in mind that life can be hard. In the years I’ve been married to my husband, we’ve faced children that were sick beyond your normal colds and such, hospitalizations, job loss, finding out we have a child who has ADHD along with Tourette Syndrome, lifelong illnesses that I have to manage and many other things. We are not perfect, far from it but the two of us are whole individuals who are willing to work on things together and for the common goal of our marriage and our children. Is this gentleman you are engaged to someone that you can truly take on all of lifes ups and downs with? Anyone who is yelling at you and not treating you as you deserve is not someone who will be able to give you the support you need for a combined life.

      Personally, if we were friends I would strongly advise you to not go through with the wedding. You already have a feeling this is not going to work. Trust your instincts. The BIGGEST mistake we make in life is not listening to our gut feelings. Your gut is talking. Trust it.

    • #67995

      Oh girl! I am so sorry but I think the advice you are receiving from these ladies is spot on. I am 49 years old and on my third marriage which I will have to say is finally wonderful. However, I had two marriages before and didnt take head of the warning signs. One ended with my husband being unfaithful and the other had a unhinged temper. I am here to tell you that you are better off to walk away from this one or at least for now. You are worth more than what He is giving to you. He will treat you no different with a wedding band on your finger. YOU are valuable just like the finest silks or a rare gem. A man needs to treat you as such. Never allow less!

      I will also say, your finance’ may be lashing out to you because of your concern about his ADHD. It might be making him feel inferior or less than a man. Not that you are approaching him this way. BUT men like to feel like they are leading, respected and appreciated. Again, he may feel like this is an attack on those things. Men are funny creatures. Just food for thought.

      Best wishes

    • #68355

      I would definitely reconsider the wedding. When anyone says, “I’m about to be married and I’m miserable in the relationship,” it seems clear to me that the two concepts are (or ought to be) mutually exclusive. Making a contract to spend the rest of your life with a man who makes you miserable is not fair to either of you. Once you’re legally married it’s harder — and often quite expensive — to walk away. And, if he loved you enough to make a marriage work, he wouldn’t be treating you the way he is. I have ADD, and no access to treatment, but I don’t go around treating people the way he treats you, because ADD doesn’t mean you’re of less than normal intelligence. He’s an adult, presumably of normal intelligence, which means he’s fully capable of understanding that it’s wrong to treat you that way, but he’s choosing not to be bothered worrying about your feelings. That’s on him… ADD is no excuse, and if he were interested in changing, he’d have taken steps before now.

    • #68371

      Allygee – I’m the ADD (inattentive) husband; teacher married to a clinical social worker. Even with a diagnosis and medication (15yrs ago), I felt I could ‘handle’ this ADD thing without therapy. I’m sure you can guess where this is goes from here. Well, the last 2-4 years almost cost me my marriage (now approaching 25 years; 2 kids – 19 yo son & 16 yo daughter). It wasn’t easy to acknowledge – lots of shame and guilt on my part. I’ve got a great therapist now, and things are moving slowly in the right direction. Like you seem to be, I’m lucky for a loving and resilient wife – though I certainly pushed even her limits. I’m just grateful I came to this realization and took ownership of it when I did.

      I want to root for your fiancé, but you have to do what you must to take care of yourself. He has to take ownership of himself and the ADD if he wants this to work; I hope he does as you seem remarkable! We were talking separation, but I’ve put some tough work in. I’m just grateful I wasn’t too late (a possible first for my ADD life!) and that my wife loves me enough to stay. I’m really wishing the best for both of you here. Be good to yourself – I’ll check back on the forum…

    • #68414

      Hi everyone!

      I really appreciate everyone’s responses and advice. So we did just get married, and I thought I was going to be a mess on the altar but I was actually calm and only cried while dancing with my Dad. My now husband has been making an effort to keep his temper calmer and control his outbursts. I teach special ed and I am around children with ADHD all day, every day. And it just hit me. We are together because God knows his disability and his issues and I am always extremely patient and understanding, and my now husband knows that. Our wedding day was legit the best day we have ever had together. It was the moment of clarification that I think we both needed. He was stressed at one point over taking pictures and I just took his hand and said, “Ok lets stay calm we got this and we want to remember everything from this day.” And he just looked at me and was like thank you for calming me down. He told me I am his rock. I’m always the calm one and the voice of reason. Do I feel that all of my needs are being met emotionally? No I don’t but thats what therapy is for, for me! Our entire relationship has been so much work and I know marriage will be even more work. As a special ed teacher I will keep working with him to work through his issues, and thankfully he takes me seriously when I give him advice. This forum has made me feel so much better!

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