January 9, 2020 at 7:02 am #137959
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 in 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?
January 9, 2020 at 9:43 am #137966
No. This is not “normal ADHD behavior.” This is behavior of someone who is struggling and not mentally well. He sounds both verbally and emotionally abusive right now. No one can really decide this for you, but from an outsiders perspective it sounds like an unhealthy place to be right now in terms of your own safety and well being, as well as that of the children. It may come to a decision point where you have to decide if you want to continue with him. Maybe he can change, but right now it sounds like a situation of concern.
If he is threatening suicide, or using it to threaten you and control your behavior, that’s a big sign that things aren’t well. Also, if he threatens suicide, there’s nothing wrong with calling 911 and asking them to check on him or take him to the hospital for evaluation. If he truly is not doing well emotionally, it may be time for more aggressive mental health care.
Take care of you. Get support where you can. And consider your options and what your bottom line limits are.
January 10, 2020 at 10:13 am #138038
If this started or escalated with medication, then he’s not on the right ADHD medication. There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both.
Intense emotions are common with ADHD, although I agree that this is likely much more than that. Understanding where the anger is coming from or why it’s happening will be helpful.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
January 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm #138342
Even if you can bear the verbal abuse from your ADHD husband, I promise you, your little ones can’t. I know from personal experience. My father was an untreated, undiagnosed bipolar and his rages were terrifying. I now have ADHD, OCD, BIPOLAR, and I suffer from what is called Complex PTSD. The way one gets Complex PTSD is by growing up in a “war zone” from a very early age. Parents screaming and out of control is terrifying to little kids. The longer they are exposed to this, the more damage is done. If the abuse and fear continue for years, the brain actually short circuits and it is not wired like a normal brain. With regular PTSD,a person knows there is a baseline normal to return to. With Complex PTSD, there IS no normal baseline to return to because they only know chaos. Complex PTSD means you can be triggered by a smell, a sound, seeing someone who looks like your abuser (and yes, a man raging, screaming, and out of control is abusive to a child).
With regular PTSD, there is a hope for recovery, with Complex PTSD there is not.
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