January 9, 2020 at 6:53 am #137957
I feel like my ADHD-husband is emotionally blackmailing me and he yells at me every night, and I do not know what to do any more…
After a decade of on and off depressions, my husband got diagnosed with ADHD in March 2019. A year prior I got pregnant with our second child, and my husband then got increasingly more frustrated and depressed, saying he could not handle two kinds. (I was the one who most wanted another child, but we were, both knowingly, having sex without birth control two years prior to the pregnancy).
After the birth of our second lovely girl, things got tougher, I got him into therapy, and he got is diagnoses. He is on medication and some therapy, but we live in the country and can’t find any good ADHD-therapists.
The problem now is that he, after a boost when he started medication, has become increasingly harder to live with. He blames me for not taking his ADHD and his physical health seriously and he needs me to participate to get better and he blames me for not coping. He says he need me to take a larger part of his life, take interest in his projects and at home he needs more structure, less mess and less noise. I try, but to do this he needs us to be together alone to plan. Sounds OK, but I say I will not be apart from our toddler. We have tried a couple of weekends when my mother in-law had the kids, but these weekends apparently did not count as time alone, as the first weekend I needed to collect the girls at 4pm instead of 6 pm Sunday, one weekend I mentioned that I missed the girls, and also weekends do not count if the do not last until Monday morning..
Almost every night he yells at me, saying things as; I do not prioritize him, I do not care about him, I’m evil, I hate him, etc. He also threatens to kill himself or saying I’m killing him, that if I leave him, he can’t go on etc. He wants and needs us to have time together, but I can’t give him a week or more away from our girls. Its not possible to find anyone to have them so long and I do not think the 1-year old (maybe the 5-year old), should be so long apart from me.
I say that I need to get some rest and time without yelling to get energy to try to do things around the house that he needs, as making new structures, planning to get him a “get-away”-room etc. But he starts the fighting in the evening, continuing to 1am-2am, the toddler does not sleep through the nights (my husband sleeps in another bed room), I am the one getting up every morning with the girls, getting the oldest to kindergarten, taking care of both of them, doing necessary tidying, washing, cooking etc, putting the kids to bed (70 % of the time both girls, 100 % of the time the youngest), changing diapers, making play-dates, etc etc.. So, there is no energy left to do anything other than provide for my girls, when he keeps my sleep below a minimum.
I hate being in this position and do not know what to do. I feel I can’t give him what he wants, and I can’t leave. Meanwhile the yelling continues, and I feel like he is emotionally blackmailing me… Is this “normal” ADHD behavior? He can not handle life with two kids
January 15, 2020 at 10:04 am #138276Dr. EricParticipant
There is just a lot to unpack with this one, and there are a ton of “what if.s”
I think that there are three things that need to happen, but I don’t know how reasonable or realistic for you to be able to implement.
#1 – He needs a professional to deal with his ADHD and the apparant additional social-emotional-behavioral stuff that is coming with it.
#2 – Consider a couple’s counselor.
#3 – You need something for yourself. This could be your own therapist, but it could also just be some respite and “me” time… like a pre-set time for you to take a Yoga class and get a pedicure where the phone is off and you have no responsibilities.
January 16, 2020 at 8:23 am #138601
Thanks for taking your time to answer me 😊
It is a lot and very complicated. He does clearly need an ADHD professional, but I’m not shore I’m able to find him one.
Regarding couple therapy – I’ve begged him to go with me, but he will not go because “I’m the one asking and everything we do is on my terms”, and because “I need to apologies for my behavior and all the pain I’ve put him through, before he will go.”
Me time is also needed, but so far I feel like I’m living as a single mom, and can’t see were to find the time and possibility.
January 15, 2020 at 10:04 am #138339briansantacruzParticipant
I’m not a psychiatrist, but this is not normal ADD behavior. From your account, your husband sounds like he has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This article gives a pretty good description:
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to change these people. They are classic manipulators and don’t really care about you or your feelings. The fact that you do all the childcare sounds like he doesn’t care about his own children as well (another sign of NPD).
The article I linked above has some good suggestions about how to deal with a narcissist, but you will have to do all the work. He’s not likely to change, so you will have to find a way to co-exist with him – if you choose to stay. Like I said, I’m not a psychiatrist, and I hope for your sake that I’m wrong about my assessment.
People with ADD have some negative traits (losing stuff, disorganization, procrastination, etc.), but the behavior you’ve described (emotional cruelty, neediness, selfishness) is not caused by ADD and will not be fixed with medication.
January 16, 2020 at 8:44 am #138602
Thanks for taking your time to answer me and for the NPD article. I feel that some of the signs/symptoms fits, but far from all.
This extreme behavior started after I got pregnant and all I hear is that our whole world and life is consequently postponed 5 years, that I never prioritize him or give him of “my time”. This is perhaps what the article mentions as a sense of entitlement to me and my time? He does see everything very “black-white”, ether his way or the wrong way, but I can’t see that he prior has exploited others. Perhaps he is exploiting me now, but I’m not able to see it clearly? All I see is a broken man, desperate to get what he thinks he needs to go on, and doing so with crying/pleading or yelling/name-calling.
January 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm #140166AdeleS546Participant
I think some of your husband’s behavior is abusive. He’s thinking about himself and using phrases like what about me and his needs. What about your needs? You have two children that’s a lot of responsibility and having two children myself I understand. I remember when my children were younger. I remember working full-time from the time my son was born until he was about four and a half. My now ex-husband did nothing to help me around the house and did nothing but complain when the house wasn’t in order. I reluctantly agreed to have another child mostly because I didn’t want our son to be an only child. By that time I knew full well what I was getting into. My ex husband does not have ADHD, but I do believe he is a narcissist. Always putting himself first.
I believe you should put some time aside for just you and I think that should include you seeing a counselor to help you talk out what is going on in your marriage to someone who will not judge you and will listen without interrupting. I cannot stress how important this is for you given what you have said in your post. It was not until I went to counseling myself that my counselor put a name to what I was going through with my husband at the time. She helped me to see that his behavior was abusive and that I didn’t deserve to be treated the way I was treated.
When you mentioned that he sees himself as a Broken Man I have one thing to say to that. It is not your job to fix him. He is the one who has ADHD, he needs to deal with that you cannot help him. He needs to figure out what that entails all you can do is be there and support him. However, if he continues to lash out, guilt-trip you, etc., you will have to seriously consider do you want to spend the next 10, 20 or 30 years of your life dealing with this shit and what it will do to your children to live in a house where they are exposed to that sort of behavior and what that will do to them.
January 28, 2020 at 6:50 am #140332
Thanks for taking your time to answer me! I’ve been seeing a therapist and it is really helping me. I actually did tell him two nights ago that I and the kids need to move out, so this have been two really hard days, with crying and “why are you doing this to me”, telling me I haven’t done anything to help him, name calling, then begging and crying. It is so hard to see him break down and hear him begging. But it took him to days to mention me, that I was the most important person in his adult life. He has barely mentioned the kids at all, the first time indirectly with “how will you explain to my mother that you have broken her son and taken away her grandchildren’s father?”.
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