HELP! Stuck in the Passive Aggressive, Spiteful and Vendictive Cycle

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    • #55078

      I am new here. I have read everything i can get my hands on about ADHD. I have tried every suggestion, recommendation and even ignoring my ADHD husbands behavior, yet i can no longer cope with his need to constantly live in a constant grudge match. Thia has gone on daily for years as if a switch is broken. Every little thing no matter what is perceived as a slight. It has gotten to the point where the thought of having a civil discussion is non existent. It has become a psychosis at this point to the point i can no longer relate to him on any level what so ever. His constant anger, need to get one up, and ambush style tactics in order to ensure i am blamed has taken its toll and and all civility is lost at this point. The more i try to avoid the negativity and covert hate he has for the world makes things worse im accused of some of the craziest and unbelievable things imaginable. What can i do to get him to stop this cycle? It has reached the point the house does not function when he is around due to this chronic need to bully, control, and sabotage until he gets his way, whether it be to lose it on him, then oddly enough he backs off and sulks in bed for days.

    • #55110

      I’m pretty sure that this behaviour that your husband is displaying is not adhd. It sounds more like simply low emotional awareness and maturity causing hom to deal with problems in either an aggressive manner (bullying and controlling) or a passive aggressive manner (sulking). In addition, attempting to control others around you is often a sign of anxiety and low self esteem. Is this something you can talk to him about? Yes absolutely. Is it something you can change? No. But he can change it. What needs to happen though is for you to exert stronger boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not. Walk away from the bullying, and do not give attention to the sulking. If asked why, give an emotionally neutral response that his behaviour is not the right way to deal with these issues and that he needs to just talk to you about whatever is bothering him on an adult mature level. I highly recommend councelling, for both of you if possible but the raise just you, to develop some strengths and strategies to deal with these issues. Good luck.

      • #57505

        I just left a 14 year marriage for the same thing. Get out! You cannot change or help this person.

    • #55118

      Those behaviors have nothing to do with ADHD and, if I’m right, everything to do with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. My mother and grandmother have this, so I recognize the symptoms from having lived with it.

      If I’m wrong, I think if you research Narcissistic Personality Disorder you’ll still end up on the path to the real answer. Then you can decide what to do.

      Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave and remove yourself and your children (if you have any) from such a toxic environment. Due to the disorder’s very nature (the reasons it developed, etc., because narcissists are made, not born), most narcissists never go to therapy or get any treatment because in order to protect their psyche they’re usually not able to admit to themselves they could have it.

      I know that I wished my Dad would divorce my mother all throughout my childhood and beyond, because what he didn’t realize was that when he wasn’t around, her compulsive emotional abuse (like the things you described your husband does, like gaslighting, blaming, bullying, controlling, magical thinking in order to shame and blame others) didn’t just magically disappear because I was a child. It actually got worse because I was young and powerless, and she verbally abused me in ways she couldn’t in front of another adult without getting into a confrontation about how she was able to treat a five year old that way. Also, no adult wanted to believe a mother could say these things to their child and so tried to minimize reported fights as regular mother-daughter spats. It makes you feel… terrible. My dad was an adult who could stand up for himself, but I was a child who could fight back in only some ways and was trapped with no choices in so many other ways. He was a kind man, who simply could not believe his wife could behave like this to their child.

      She ran unchecked for years until she got so bad that she was no longer hiding her malice but treating everyone she had even a little power over similarly, even at work. Then everyone realized I was right about her, because they got emotionally abused too. For my part, I minimized contact as soon as I could. Even now, no one in my close or extended family knows my address or even city because I know that if I disclosed it, my mother would crack that poor person open like an egg. I’m trying to protect them too. We (the children of Narcissists) sometimes have to go to such extreme lengths to enforce our personal boundaries, for the sake of our mental health. (I developed Major Depressive Disorder before high school, to no one’s shock, but couldn’t get treatment until I was out of her house, because any perceived weakness and a narcissist will tear you apart.)

      You sound like you have the patience of a saint. Good luck with everything, and I sincerely hope my answer helps you even the littlest bit because dealing with someone who exhibits those behaviors can be monumentally, soul-crushingly difficult.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Jae.
    • #55128

      Thank you for your kind responses. I tried counseling it blew up in my face big time. He has this unique way of keeping his behavior behind closed doors and when i attempt to get relief he is able to shift and manipulate and make me look crazy. I have never really believed the ADHD diagnosis anyway, I honestly believe its a personality disorder or adderall psychosis due to high doses he’s been taking for years. He gets in these cycles that resemble that of schizophrenia. The outrageous and outlandish thought processes that no matter what someone does or says to try to bring him back to reality just causes him to entrench himself further into his delusions or react violently to any suggestion his brain is not being honest with him. At any rate it is self destructive and he actually thrives off of dysfunction. Its as if he needs it. The longest the household has gone without the crazy behavior is the 8 hours hes at work before and after it is full on nom stop harassment, bullying, looking over your shoulder, he actually sets his alarm so he can get up and bully and harass. The simple act of being able to get up everyday and do what normal households do like make coffee breakfast cleaning and even sitting down to watch tv is a struggle. I have been down that road with leaving and found out the family court system in my state was a joke. No matter what evidence i had to prove his behaviors were dangerous to my youngest, at the time she was three, they still insisted on his rights, his this his that Even during the separation i would find out incidences of neglect, had proof, yet they were convinced i was crazy and i realized he was able to manipulate a whole entire system in believing i was crazy. Once his attorney started trying to collect his fees all of a sudden the whole court thing stopped. I know being a martyr for my children is a stupid reason to stay but i feel it is the only way to protect them from not only him but the system. I have already decided i am leaving, but will wait toll my youngest is old enough to decide for herself her own life instead of being told where to live when and if she wants to visit with him. To Jae, im sure your father was doing the best he could in terms of his situation and i hope you have forgiven him for staying, as he figured the system would make things worse. I know they did for me.

    • #55248
      Penny Williams

      Take a look at Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD). It’s common with ADHD and can explain how he’s gotten into this cycle. There is a particular medication that can help with RSD, as well as therapy/counseling.

      How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

      The Fear of Failure Is Real — and Profound

      Of course, if he isn’t open to accepting his behavior and wanting to change, nothing you do or say will make a difference.

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

      • #57506

        Yup, and playing the victim…been there-

    • #56915

      Disagree about narcissistic personality disorder.
      I find that Dx useless bc many people don’t meet the criteria and are narcissistic and abusive. Many narcissistic people are not abusive and many abusive people aren’t narcissistic even if controlling and selfish.
      Please understand there is a subset of ADHD sufferers who are
      1) impulsive and compulsive. They cannot wndcdint want to control impulses. They think impulses must be scratched
      2) aren’t autistic but are extremely low in empathy And can’t read people
      3) have fragile egos and are easily offended. Likely they had an ADHD parent model with these symptoms.
      4) poor at taking responsibility. Will employ radical and obnoxious defense mechanisms
      That said, most of this lot DO love their wives.

      I suggest making an agreement you both agree on. That way your partner can’t say he didn’t break it. Start with LOVE. even if he doesn’t deserve it. It will help a lot. Tell him how hurt you feel. Tell him you want to work together to make it better. Do this even if it’s mostly on him. Start as equals. Don’t issue ultimatums. Instead if he hurts you badly do what you need to do even if it’s leaving. Do not do anything that will lead you to resent him. Don’t fix things got him. Let repercussions happen and be tactful explaining why they did. If you maintain composure he will be more likely to face himself. Find a friend to confide in.

    • #56916

      It definitely does not sound like my kind of ADHD. There is no way i could keep it behind doors although that got worse with age. Saying the first thing on your mind when it involves anger seldom is kept until a delayed occasion. I agree with most of the suggestions here but most importantly take any action necessary to protect your self and your children.s

    • #56988

      OK,this is almost exactly what I am currently going through with my husband. He has only recently been diagnosed with ADHD and deppression but the behavior has been going on longer. He was self medicating before. Now that he has officially been diagnosed and the meds are prescribed to him he feels like he is “fixed”. So any problems that we are still having mmust be because of some issue/problem that I have. He’s constantly accusing me or making comments that would suggest that I’m being sneaky or hiding things from him, but is never able to give any detail about what that might be. He says that I don’t talk to him about my feelings/what’s really going on inside me but If I raise any concerns or frustration then he says I am always blaming him for everything because I think I’m perfect and then starts telling me that I nees help because whatever I say isn’t the real problem and I’m in denial. He picks fights out of nowhere and then gets upset that I don’t want to participate in the fight. I really would like to have a honest coversation about everything that’s going on, how we both really feel, it just doesn’t seem possible right now. I admit that as time goes on I have become more shut down because I feel any type of interaction when he is like that is pointless. Anyways, I’m sorry that you are going through this but thank you for sharing. It’s always nice to know your not the only one going through stuff.

    • #57082

      While your husband my have ADHD, the episodes you are describing seem more indicative of a personality disorder. As an adult with ADHD, he should at least have the realization of his condition and then acknowledge when he has issues with it.

      The issues you have mentioned are more in line with a personality disorder (the most common being narcissistic, borderline, and histrionic). They are rarely mutually exclusive and can be underlying the ADHD. Your husband’s behavior seems to be causing you a lot of stress and confusion and you seem to be doing all the work trying to “fix” him. You are likely very intelligent and can solve most problems, so your inability to help your husband is very baffling to you. Especially if your husband is only acting this way toward you but able to act normal to others– there is most likely an underlying personality disorder.

      My suggestion is to read what you can about personality disorders instead. Focus on the concepts of “gaslighting” and “hoovering”. Don’t worry about what type of personality disorder he could have; just start looking up “signs of narcissistic abuse” and the like and see if it describes how you feel. If so, you have to change your approach.

      Realize that the approach to dealing with personality disordered individuals does involve love; however it is love for yourself. This really is true for any condition actually. You need to have a strong love for yourself and good self-esteem and boundaries. It isn’t your responsibility, married or not, to fix anyone else’s problems.

    • #57092

      If you no longer want to be with him and feel that there is nothing to save you should begin documenting this abuse in a journal and take pictures of any physical evidence ( a thrown vase, holes punched in the walls, a red slap mark, verbally abusive text messages or phone calls). Then go to a lawyer who specializes in assault and abuse. Make a plan for leaving, have your things packed and at least $500 cash on hand. Make sure you have a motel or place you can stay that is safe. If you have to leave quickly without your clothes make sure the cash is hidden very well in your car. If things escalate quickly, apologize, say your going to go to the grocery store with the kids and ask him if he needs anything. Send someone else the next day for your things. You should probably have your own secret bank account and make sure the mailing address isn’t your own. Make sure someone you trust that would never talk to him knows what is going on and has some of the evidence. If he is physically or emotionally abusive towards your kids please try to leave him now. Its better for the kids. I promise you.
      I love my dad, but sometimes he would get out of control and healing from the things he said to me took me 5 years to get over. I had a very strong will and his physical attempts to control me didn’t work too well… in my opinion words do the most damage. Bruises heal quickly.
      If its not that bad and you want to help him it needs to be more than you. You’ll need a team. Anyone he holds in high regaurd would be good to recruit. Have the kids talk to this person about what is happening behind closed doors. Show them any evidence you may have. Then get them on board for an intervention with a counselor that can moderate. Be strong. Don’t ignore the problem. Your kids deserve better.

    • #57104

      Agree with @katie719 about putting a contingency plan together. It may take time, but you need resources and a team to help you. As @katie719 pointed out, it needs to be people who you can trust with your children, who he considers respected (or neutral), and who can get on board. They do not need to be on your team, they need to be on your kids team.

      But you do need to do your record keeping – consider keeping it in a cloud account. That way you can access from any device, and share it with your lawyer without leaving breadcrumbs that might draw attention.

      If this is something you need to manage, one way to set boundaries might be develop a schedule that compresses the morning and evening schedule. Playgroups for the children, sports, church activities.. thing gather people together, and give you an excuse for setting boundaries. It restricts the time he has for the current pattern, and puts it out in public.

    • #57105

      Thank you everyone for your time in responding with your opinions as to what I should do. I have been dealing with his behaviors for some time now long enough that I have done everything you have mentioned including boundaries where I purposely got a job full time days so he does not have access to me. This worked out great until the summer so its been a struggle to line up play dates and transportation. To the individual who described my state of mind as far as being baffled as to how,to help him, I am a psychologist and I actually have a harder time understanding the extreme sense of entitlement he seems to have. Its no longer about helping him but me learning skills necessary to cope in less self destructive ways. I understand the term personality disorder has been thrown around A lot even by me, I actually truly think he has Aspergers. Bi know that there is a slippery slope in terms of a psychologist counseling their own family members due to a lack of objectivity, but based on what I know as far as family history and his childhood, as well as his quirky behavior and that his inattentiveness is more like completely disapears for days emotionally. He’s there physically, but thats it its almost like living with a phantom. This is usually preceded by NY refusal to allow him to control me. He can be so controlling, I often feel if he could physically manipulate my body to do what he wanted he would. As far as taking notes, I have more than a decade of texts and notes, I plan on writing a book one day to help others so I have kept it all.

    • #57631

      I think you should stop trying to figure out a diagnosis for him and get out as soon as you can. Whether you try to look objectively at it or not, he’s your husband and not a patient, so your feelings are bound to be mixed about it. But that isn’t even the problem.

      It sounds like it’s been going on for too long. Aren’t you tired? If you have children at home, it’s even a stronger reason to consider getting out of your marriage. Your husband is the one who’s supposed to protect and take care of you, make you feel special and loved. But it sounds like he does the opposite of that, it doesn’t even sound like he’s regretful. Mental abuse is not OK. It takes over your life until it’s the only thing you think about and you get used to it. Don’t let it be an every day thing. You will be so much happier living without that person and you have NO obligation staying with someone who makes you feel less of a person.
      You deserve to be independent and make your own choices, without someone looking down on you or your children.

      I’m sure if you try to get out, he’ll plead and say he’s going to change and things will be good for a short while. But then everything will get back to the same thing. Please STRONGLY consider leaving him.

      Edit: I saw your post about how you are just staying because of your children. But don’t you think that is just doing more damage to them? What are you teaching them, to stay in a miserable marriage and to just accept all the abuse? Don’t give up. I think it’s time for you to fight.

    • #61807

      I am so sorry to hear that you’ve been living in this toxic environment. I too have had to cope with these kinds of behaviors and emotional upheavals, and it is far from pleasant. That said, I wanted to share what happened to the individual who was remarkably similar to your husband, and how his relationships and family life improved.

      He had been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as a child, but stayed active enough in sports and academics throughout his schooling that medication was not required for affective management. It was not until he had graduated from college and entered his career field that his condition began causing real problems.

      Not used to the confines of 8-10 hrs. per day sitting still at an office, he would have to get up and go outside regularly throughout the day, and bothered coworkers by approaching their cubicles to try to engage them in discussions about whatever he had been daydreaming about most recently. Nearby employees complained of his pen-clicking and toe/foot tapping as a distraction, as well. He would be rewarded by his supervisors for creative problem solving and outside the box thinking, which only led to more resentment within his coworkers.

      Since he already had below average emotional awareness, it took awhile for the fact that he was not lined by his peers to sink in. When it did, he became depressed, and his work suffered. He found excuses to use up his leave and sick days, and was always the first to volunteer for individual assignments, or projects that required travel (solitude). When his supervisors became concerned enough, they recommended that he utilize the EAP, and see someone who could help him get out of the rut he was in.

      That visit would eventually lead him to a psychiatric evaluation. The provider prescribed Vyvanse for the ADHD, and Wellbutrin XR for depression. At first, the combination of meds and therapy seemed to be working wonders, but, over time, the behaviors you describe your husband as having began to creep in, until he was a person I could barely recognize.

      He became manipulative, paranoid, controlling, and agressive. He barely slept or ate. He used the “good feelings and adrenaline rush” brought on by the drug combo to fuel a workout routine, and when his confidence returned, it quickly manifested into an unhealthy obsession with himself and his image. He began sleeping around, and seemed to take some sort of perverse pleasure in lying to his multiple partners about his intent to settle down with them, when he was really only interested in the ego boost that the sexual conquests and manipulation of others brought him.

      With his newfound “swag,” improved physical appearance, and newfound desire to be part of the group, his coworkers seemed to change their opinions about him. The “rewards” he was reaping in the workplace reinforced and justified his poor treatment of everyone outside of work. He was unable to take responsibility for the emotional pain he was causing to his family and friends, so they began to withdraw.

      Unable to hold himself accountable, and rendered almost emotionless by the drugs, he became ever more promiscuous, and engaged in riskier and riskier behaviors. If his former friends and family would not recognize his greatness, he could find others who could. It wasn’t until his fiance found out about the cheating that she finally decided to leave; despite having endured escalating emotional and verbal abuse throughout their time together.

      I think it was her decision to leave that prompted him to return to a therapist. He had beem relying exclusively on the pharmaceuticals and workaholism to stave off the depressive/ADD symptoms, but his new therapist suggested that he consider titrating off of the Wellbutrin and, eventually, Vyvanse.

      He was initially vehemently opposed, and stormed out of the therapists office after an angry tirade where he essentially accused the doctor of trying to steal his thunder out of jealousy or some desire to otherwise harm him. He had already been expressing paranoid ideations to the few of us who would still socialize or recreate with him, but had kept that information from his psychologist. Witnessing this demonstration solidified the therapists position that the 1st order of business was decreasing the amount and frequency of the prescriptions. After months of resistance to that suggestion, when his fiance finally left him, he agreed to give it a try.

      The therapist suggested that he look into Neurofeedback and Interactive Metronome as adjuncts to his talk therapy as he was weaning off of the Wellbutrin. His psychiatrist was consulted, and the process of rediscovering his true-self and inner-happiness began.

      The first few months were grueling. Who knew that Wellbutrin could cause such radical, sometimes violent emotional swings when it was removed from the system- even in small increments?!

      I’ll cut to the chase: the Wellbutrin/Vyvanse combination had warped my adult friend into an insatiable, hormone/sex/attention fueled prepubescent monster, and it wasn’t until these artificial inputs were removed that he was able to honestly evaluate himself, accept responsibility for mistakes made, and learn to manage his conditions without the crutches of powerful psychoactive pharmaceuticals.

      With the help of Neurofeedback, Interactive Metronome, and CBT/Psychodynamic talk therapy, the man who was once much like your husband is now has returned to the funny, caring, honest, and empathetic soul he has always been, but which the drugs had (for a time) stolen.

      Talk to him about any medication that he’s on, or any self-medicating he may be engaging in covertly or overtly, then see if you can remember if the change in personality and behavior coincided with his beginning the drugs. It may be that alternative therapies are your only chance at saving the man whom you once loved from his hideous, drug-induced “shadow” self.

      I sincerely hope that no matter what course of actions are taken or not-taken…that your family, especially the children, are again able to live in a stable, loving environment, and one in which they are not forced to model these alarming behaviors and additudes into their own psyches. Best of luck, and may the answers you seek soon reveal themselves to you!

    • #61809

      A follow up to my last post’s reference of the “shadow” self for your reading/information:

    • #68286

      I feel for you though my situation is not as extreme…AND I AM TJE OME WITH ADD. I am not hyperactive, seek out acquire, analyze and integrate information most common to academia and scientific inquirey extremely easily and well. But I can do magic tricks like vaporize something I swear I put “there” two minutes ago. And then make it reappear a few feet away after searching for a half hour! It is the quintessence of Inattentive type ADD. I am also an alcohol addict who allowed others to help me and did what others told me to do because I knew that if I did not stop the disease of Addiction would kill me. That has been nearly twelve years ago now. My add dx came After my sobriety when I sought help for debilitating panic attacks in the absence of any rational cause. So I am trr-diagnosed per se alcoholic, ADD and GAD. I have tapped into most every resource available to help me with staying sober, managing my add and anxiety, medication included. So I have admitted submitted and committed to change my thoughts, feelings and actions in the interest of self and family preservation. And I am not void of behaviors that are symptomatic of these conditions but have managed to manage most quite well. And it has taken a great amount of time effort and energy to get to this point.

      But the above seems to count for zip, zero, nada, absolutely taken for granted by my wife who refused to recognize her anger management issues and the emotionally abusive treatment I have endured for years. When I was active in my alcoholism, I believed I deserved such treatment and believed I CAUSED HER to act in such a manner. The absolute truth that I am not and SHE ALONE is responsible for her thoughts, feelings and actions is absolutely clear to me. But she uses resentment, hyowrcriticism and unreasonably high, absolilutely uncompromising and shifting her focus on standards of household organization, maintainence, upkeep and architectural digest ideals on how our house should look, what I should do to ensure such and attends to what has NOT been done as well as my inherent challenges that lead to my perpetual failure to meet her perfectionistic threshold. Then uses such shortcomings as opportunity to engage in verbal attacks on my worth, effort, accomplishments, motivations, character and strengths. They are directed at me personally, and involve demeaning statements as well as character assassination and being the sole cause of her lack of her personal accomplishments and lack of soxlcioeconomic ascent. And does so in front of our nine year old son obtw.

      And I am the one who is the stay a home spouse, per mutual agreement. So am financially dependant on her due to a single even that occurred eight years ago, that she even admits ended in an entirely unjust criminal conviction at the hands of a DA looking for kills for his career as opposed to justice. Prior to said event I had not a single event on my legal record outside of three speeding tickets. And of uch nature that I would do the same thing again as it involved an that places the well being f my son ,and brought unintended harm to me only. That harm came in the form of the legal system itself. And zealous application of a law so broadly written that the scenario could literally happen in any average home devoid of weapons or the existence of anything illegal there in.

      So when it comes to the bahavior of whichever party, such is not a symptom of add/ADHD, but that of a mental condition more like Anti Social Personality or Borderline personality disorder.

    • #68289

      in Hug I was just reminiscing about how hard it must have been for my first wifeof 30 years to leave a home and a job and our home city to marry a very young 19 year old armed forces youngster who had left the city three years before. Not only was he young but also a raging ADDer diagnosed 50 years later. One who refused to ask the army as required for permission to marry before age 21 therefore depriving us of housing assistance and generous allowances. To add trauma she became an expectant mother almost immediately. The apartment that i had picked out was excellent for our needs but i couldnt afford it on one salary a particularly small amount.
      What a start to a marriage that went from badto embarassingly a disaster very quickly. I had great job offers but in typical adder style i had suggested to the commander that learning how to pack a parachute was not going to equip me for life as well as continuing in my accounting trade. I even went so far as to solicit multiple good job offers in the private sector if they would allow me to honorably discharge as they were cutting our service by 20%.
      Her world had been turned upside down in a matter of weeks and she reacted by continuing to love me but became very reticent to openly share dialog with me. Instead we entered her passive aggressive phase at what i would call survival mode. It took a year but i was eventually discharged and a very successful career started immediately. Promotions and doubling of my salary occurred close to every 4 years. Until I was the VP of the worlds largest Commercial Insurance Brokerage Firm. And a few years later starting my own Successful Consulting Operation.
      The more i seemed to suceed the more I blamed her for every imaginable slight and our almost non existentent sex life. During those years my tendency to argue by shouting gradually improved but never quite went away. Although the frequency diminished to less than one per year, the eruptions vied with pinatubo for their noise and nastiness. I was counting how many meals she prepared versus how many i did. How many loads of laundry, vacuuming i did etc etc We went for the third time to a marriage counsellor who recognizing a potential eruption that would contain more than just shouted insults arranged for us to separate and eventually get a divorce. My only concern at the time was that my youngest son ( also ADD finish High School a few months to go.
      For most of the last twenty years i felt totally justified we both remarried, but in retrospect she had to have survived in a living hell and her coping mechanism while not the best was probably the best for her at that time. It has taken me 25 years to recognise what terror she must have lived in during that time.
      Reality is ussually different for those of us who are given this “gift” but it bears little resemblance to what we imagine is going on.
      I am starting to lose some of my hearing now and i have to equate it with the missing so many social clues throughout our life that this gift bestows on us. We or at least I was unfortunately not able to interpret the clues that fall naturally to those normals. It is extremely unfair and it prevents any kind of trust from re establishing itself. It has taken two more marriages and most importantly effective solutions to my ADD to even make a dent in all my misconceptions of what those marriages must have been like for my partners.
      I wish you well on your journey of enlightenment.

    • #68304


    • #70459

      I have ADD-inattentive & my husband is ADHD-Hyperactive/impulsive. I’ve been/am in your shoes. Sounds like your boundaries are gone. After years of “trying harder” to show my husband I loved him, cared & could help him, I backed way off and just quit engaging. NPD or not, the conflict is the same. In fact, my mother & husband are essentially the same person- fragile, unapologetic, unempathetic, demanding and unrelenting.

      Most of this is HIS issue, not yours to solve. You’re on the right track by trying not to engage, but if he’s still getting his way by bullying, he has no reason to stop. I felt powerless to not oblige mine, until one day I just didn’t care anymore. I began to focus on me & my happiness, not anyone else’s. The worst thing someone with a fragile ego can see is life going on without them. That didn’t go over well. Initially, I felt guilty, then I didn’t. Then, he started whining that I wasn’t spending any time with him and I told him he wasn’t available, so I quit asking.

      I quit trying to convince people *I wasn’t* crazy, as he had them believe. By crazy, my pleas for help to his family, were met with taking ME to a psychiatrist of their choice. Then they got mad that there was nothing wrong with me!! I cut them ALL off. He ruined my relationships with his family, my family & was close to sabotaging the one with our kids, etc. I don’t let my husband into relationships I cherish & I’m making him accountable for all his actions. Yes, it’s lonely, but the peace is worth it. Believe that.

      I write this from the rental property I fought to buy, so I’d have a place to retreat & clear my head. The physical separation simmers the anger gives me the strength to think ahead. I also created a contingency plan (rental was part of it) & a shared dropbox account with my brother to store evidence of abuse. I filed for divorce, but because he didn’t want to cooperate, I have to serve him separately.

      He’s changed a lot & is making lots of effort to stay married, but it’s not enough for me so far. He keeps slipping back into old patterns and bucking responsibility for old/new hurts. Hold your husband accountable for ALL his actions, IF you want change. If it’s as bad as you say, your daughter will suffer more watching you be abused- history repeats… I already see the damage we’re inflicting on our 3 kids. I’m up front with them (all 3 also diagnosed with ADHD) about how what they say and do has an impact on others. I tell them they alone are responsible for their actions and gently remind them of this again when they try to pass the blame my or anyone else’s way. Just because they’re diagnosed, doesn’t mean they can keep using it as an excuse. I also point out when they shift blame to each other to remind them how it makes them feel.

      This sounds like narcissism to me too. But, just because NPDs *say* “this is the way things are…” doesn’t mean EVERYONE believes them. Stay level- avoid the highs/lows and just refuse to take the bait, even if you’re dying inside and/or doubt yourself. STOP EXPLAINING YOURSELF. I tell myself “N.E.A.N”- never engage a narcissist. The more you react, the more power you concede. Eventually, if you stick with it, he’ll be reduced to your level- where I am now. Trust yourself- that you’re a good person and are doing OK. Remember & remind him, if you were so awful, why is he still around?? The answer is he needs you- probably more than you need him. Believe that, and you can control your own fate. Good luck!! <3

    • #109453

      This old thread came up in a Google search for me. I live with something similar and wanted to add to this. I thought it was just ADHD as well, but medication actually didn’t improve his symptoms At all. In some ways, it brought out an egotistical side to an extreme.
      Without his cooperation in therapy, I don’t think he’ll ever be diagnosed correctly, but 2 things have berm said about this by the therapist. One is narcissism and the other is called passive aggressive personality. Whatever the official name for it, it plays out as physiological abuse.
      He has gone to great lengths to convince his friends that I abuse him and even his psychiatrist of this. He avoids any questions I have for him about anything…literally anything…by picking a fight with me. As soon as I slip and raise my voice a little (often to speak over him to tell him he has me wrong, because he likes to tell at me quickly to not allow me to talk) he will tell me I’m abusing him and sometimes go into a fetal position on the floor. It scares the kids when he does this and really confuses them. I do everything I can to minimize them witnessing his almost daily episodes, but at some point We have to be at the house for something.
      It is truly a horrific, abusive situation that occasionally escalates to violence. However, he has spent years manufacturing a case of abuse against me so that he can take the kids from me, and he has full support of his equally sick mother (and their money).
      The point of sharing is, if you came across this thread because it resonates with you and you’re trying to tie it to ADHD, stop. This type of behavior is NOT ADHD. It is extremely rare for those with personality disorders to seek treatment and succeed at changing. Don’t hold your breath. I let my situation get too extreme. Don’t forgive this the way I did and get yourself to safety.

    • #126541

      Healing Developmental trauma – its what adhd might be. but perhaps not in all cases – but really – who the heck knows but its a useful lens to understand.

      i know that yes, a small percent of those that keep adhd into adult hood also have personality problems. some of it can come i think from the programing where like 40% of them are ODD as kids and likley in families with the same low emotional intelligence.

      I will admit i woke up to being somewhat narc myself. the reason they are connected is because they both involve the prefrontal cortex.

      I recomend reading “healing developmental trauma” but also checking out how i typed up some of the “Survival styles” that show up in “Today” into my sheet under the survival styles tab. its useful to be mindful because to seperate form the pride based identifications we also need to simaltaneously seperate from the shame based ones that fuel them.

      def look up the “autonomy” style and perhaps the trust one.

    • #126662

      One more thing you can do to help yourself: Take Mental health First aid —

      The classes are usually free or low cost. Not only does it give you ideas aobut how you can respond situations, but it will also orient you to mental health services that are available in your area. Understanding the roadmap of services will save you time and help you figure out what might be the best fit for your situation.

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