He says I’m the only one who can help him

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Beth 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #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

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Beth.
    • This topic was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  Penny Williams.
  • #138276

    Dr. Eric

    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.

    • #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.

  • #138339


    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:

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder

    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.

    • #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.

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