You are here

I am getting frustrated again

Cover1W's picture

Last night at dinner YSD asked if her food was cooked and picking at it.  We were ALL eating the same thing.  I said,"Yes, it's cooked. We're all eating the same thing, it's actually hot."  DH then says, "Oh, you can put it in the microwave if you want to just for a minute or two."  Totally undermining me AGAIN.  Jeezus - I cannot say ANYTHING remotely adult to YSD or DH practically throws himself in front of her to dismantle my authority as an adult in the house. 

I looked at him and said, "You know, nevermind.  What I said doesn't matter."  Then he gaslights me by asking what the big deal was if she put it in the microwave and how ridiculous it was to suggest she didn't need to.  She's there the whole time listening to this.  I just said, "I take it back.  Never mind.  Just pretend I didn't say anything because it really doesn't matter what I think does it?"

Did I mention I'm back to spending my evenings in our bedroom just to get away from them? 

I've got an appointment with a counselor this week.  I know part of this is his ADD - something else happened the other day that likely triggered the above situation becuase now he's hypersensitive to anything I ask - but the ADD reactions are NOT on me.  I've done some reading and a lot of it states that I have to disengage more with him.  Don't help him don't ask him to do anything - but regular stuff is ok, and I've got some tips about that.  But I'm so mad I still don't want to talk with him.  So the separate lives in the same house this week is going pretty good.


Gimlet's picture

I'm curious - how does ADD figure into this?  My DH has it too and it means that when he doesn't take his Vyvance he can switch subjects on me in a flash, but how would it make him hypersensitive? 

Cover1W's picture

Yeah, it was my mistake, but I had JUST taken a bite of food - I mean my god, I'm disengaged, but this is above and beyond.  It was simple conversation apparently I now have to withdraw from.

somethingwicked's picture

Put a jar of cheap peanut butter and a loaf of crummy white bread on the table with a sign :

"Alternate meal if anyone has questions about their dinner"

And your DH is a douche ADD or not.



Kes's picture

^^^Yes^^^  Short of putting it on the table, this was always my approach with my own bios, ie if they didn't like the dinner they were welcome to make themselves a sandwich, but no way was I going to do it. 

missginger's picture

I swear it is af if 100's if not 1000's of women are living my life every day! Everything you wrote I could have written! My DH always has to interject or say the opposite of me EVERY SINGLE TIME!!I But God forbid I ignore SD and dont talk to her or respond. Then I get the "You don't like my daughter speech". I swear I should record him sometime and when he starts say "Wait a sec" and hit play. The fact that it is about dismantling my authority in the house is what bugs me the most too!!!

I forget - how old is your SD? Mine is 16 and I stil have to deal with this shit! On Sunday she was asking if I had work calls the next day (her mom was pickig her up on Monday.) After how pissy DH got when I dared suggest she leave the other Monday before my calls began I said to her (in front of him) "I do, but obviously they dont matter so you can leave whenever you want". Who knows if both of them were too dumb to get my saracasm. 

Hmm damn now that I think about it - She came home Sunday after bike riding with a friend and asked if they could take the golf cart out becuase DH was taking a nap. I should have said "You'll have to ask your father" and have her wake him up! I hate when I think of these things after the fact. Smile

And not to be too nosey - But what was the other incident that you said happened  before this one?

Cover1W's picture

Oh yes, I get the dammed if I say something dammed if I don't lately.  If I hadn't said anything, and remain quiet at dinner then I'm not participating appropriately.  If I say anything, it's taken badly and that's that.  My head is spinning lately.  I know part of it is DH doesn't want to "lose" YSD14.  OSD16 PASed out at age 13.  YSD is now on the edge of having to choose a high school, either near BM or near us.  Either choice means much less time at the other household and I think DH is going beyond wanting to create, and I quote, "A safe, nice place for her to be."  Apparently this means I cannot correct ANYTHING and lord help me if I mention that she can load/unload the dishwasher.  Because now CHORES are not to be ever mentioned again (yes, I leave it ALL to DH). 

Oh, the incident before this was me commenting (yes, probably rudely but I was fed up that day) that he hadn't put something away like I had asked not 5 min before.  I found it laying in the kitchen instead of put away and somehow me expecting it to be put away was a character assisination (THAT is ADD reasoning right there - not the simple fact that the 100th thing wasn't put away and that I was irritated at that but that somehow it's twisted around so that he's a horrible person and never does anything at all ever). 

Gimlet's picture

I meant my above question honestly and I know everyone is different, but my experience with my DH's ADD isn't like this.  He would asolutely forget something right after I told him.  100%.  I can't tell you how many hats he has lost or lunches he's left on the table.  But he has never played the victim because of it.  That whole "horrible person" thing sounds very much like a defensive and self-pitying person who isn't open to any feedback and not ADD.  

Has your husband considered medication?   Vyvance has been a real help for DH's concentration. 

Also, has he considered getting his head out of his ass and seeing if that helps? 

Ugh, this really isn't fair to put you in a no-win situation because he wants to create happy fairy land for a teenager.  I'm not trying to be abrasive, I just think you've been so supportive and really tried.

Edit:  Well shit, he's in denial that he has it so you're stuck trying to educate him and overfunction for him.  So he won't read up on HIS condition, just like he wouldn't read up on PAS.  Cover, I'm available to come over and knock some sense into him anytime.  

Cover1W's picture

Oh, he has both a psychiatrist (once a quarter visit) and a psychologist (2 x per month) and is on ADD medication.  But he doesn't have it you see.  I did some reading about it and some people with ADD do have this tendency to victimology and depression (which he also has had). 

Gimlet's picture

Well, lady, then I got nothing but ((hugs)) and an offer of a demonstration of my frying pan skills.  You're a gem and I'm sorry he doesn't appreciate the enormous amount of care and heavy lifting that you have done and continue to do. 

strugglingSM's picture

My DH does not see a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but he does take meds. He only has them because I remind him to fill his prescription. His doctor thought he was selling his pills because he was so erratic in when he'd fill his prescription, but no, he's just disorganized because he has ADHD. I keep on him because he needs his meds to function at work. Otherwise he drinks multiple Red Bulls each day to self-medicate.

Cover1W's picture

If DH misses doses I'll know within 3 days. I told him the last time he did that I'd be done and he got that issue solved. He also has a new doc and new medication, which helped his depression and moodiness hugely.  He used to drink lots of caffeine too, has your DH looked into a different med mix?

strugglingSM's picture

His current meds work well for him when he takes them, but he only takes them when he's working. He's not currently working and he now oscillates between the stereotypical bouncing off the walls or napping / hyperfocusing. When he's in the former state, I'll often say to him "are you having a moment?" especially if I'm working and he's bothering me. 

I think he's also addicted to the feeling of the hit of caffeine, though. He doesn't drink and has never been a drug user, so his two fixes are sugar and caffeine. He claims that it hits him as soon as he tastes the Red Bull, so I think it's also psychological because caffeine doesn't hit you that quick.

Cover1W's picture

It actually CAN!  That's the messed up thing about it.

1 - The person with it has to acknowledge they have it and that their brains don't work the same.  However, DH barely, barely admits this.  He thinks he's a-ok all the time.

2 - Mood swings.  Typical esp. when stressed or tired.  Which for a person with ADD is almost all the time.

3 -  Doing one thing that's out of order for the day, or the hour, or whatever they are working on "disappears" into the clutter of the tasks in their brain.  I get that.  But it's exhausting to have to be the rememberer, esp. when the ADD person gets irritated and thinks the thing is inconsequential in their head. 

4 - item 3 causes partner to go crazy because they become the 'parent figure' of the adult.  Household tasks, finances, upkeep, calendars etc. fall to the partner (i.e. me, this is true for the most part, but I've given up a shared calendar and am not responsible for this finances unless it effects me directly).

5 - kids can be an issue because person with ADD, for all the reasons above remain inconsistent and rules and tasks and schedules are all over the place. 

Thus, the non-ADD partner often has to find a way to work with all this; either disengagement and lead parallel lives (I'm about 40% this) or find a way to communicate; and therapy.  I also just bought a book for us to read TOGETHER.  And I'm going to insist on it.

strugglingSM's picture

I can relate to 3, 4, and 5. I would also add the shame cycle when their ADHD gets in the way of something. DH will deflect or lie when he feels as if he's being scrutinized or criticized because of his ADHD. This could depend on how the person's family of origin managed the ADHD. In my case, MIL has told DH that there is something wrong with him his entire life and also that he would never succeed because of his ADHD. Then BM did the same because she's a manipulative jerk.

For me, it's one thing to manage things for DH and I, but I feel resentful when I'm also expected to manage things for Skids because DH won't because it takes so much extra effort for him than for someone without ADHD. 

Another ADHD challenge that I've experienced is an inability to pick up on social cues. This often means that DH doesn't notice that I'm angry unless I shout. He also doesn't always pick up on situations when they escalate or know when he needs to jump in. 

He and I have gone to counseling, but he's not reflective and will just say "tell me what I need to do", rather than work with me to help me understand how ADHD impacts him and how we can work better together. The counselor we went to was the one who highlighted the social cues issue. I had noticed it before, but figured he was just nervous. 

Cover1W's picture

DH has a lot of self criticism too, and he likens my response to his stepdad. Likely who was also very frustrated. It's about me making him feel bad rather than me just wanting him to partner with me. I will make sure he sits down with me when this book comes as it should help us reframe things.

It's exhausting.

I'm going to hire our yard guys on a regular basis, like the house cleaner, because it needs to get done SOMEHOW.

strugglingSM's picture

I can relate, but with my DH it's usually about asking Skids to do the bare picking up their own trash. I'll ask them to go upstairs and bring down the trash. They'll say, "I didn't leave anything up there!" I'll say, "I was just up there and there is trash in the tv room." They still won't budge and continue to protest. Then DH will say, "it's not a big deal" and run up to get it himself. He told me this week that I was "mean" to his kids (one of whom is a complete PITA jerk right now), I reminded him of how they do nothing at our home and how he enables that by not requiring anything from them and then undermining me when I request something simple. Who would like hanging around those kids. 

missginger's picture

OMG I forgot to add this part to to my post because my DH  does this shit too!  I asked DH to ask SD ( because God forbid I ask her to do ANYTHING directly) when she started getting her period to put her trash from her bathroom into the garbage outside on the Monday's she's been here all weekend. Again  ONLY on those Mondays she's had her period that weekend. Well guess what he started doing? Yup taking it out himself and when I called him on it he said "she has other things to do in the morning and she doesn't need to remember to do this in addition to getting ready for school". But yet she can sit around for 1/2 an hour drinking coffee. Hmm So what's his excuse during the summer? 

Cover1W's picture

DH thinks the SDs dealing with any kind of trash is just too much for them and they shouldn't have to do it.  Even if it's taking in the empty trash bin they walk right past on their way home from school (or the mail - that's off limits too).

DH gets the trash for them.  Once when he took out the trash OSD threw some trash into the kitchen receptacle, without a bag in it.  I didn't say one word.  He eventually finds it, asks OSD why in the world didn't she put a bag in it? Lo and behold because she didn't know how, where the bags were, and couldn't be bothered to ask.  So yeah, my wanting to teach them life skills?  Ridiculous.

And he told YSD, about on the 2nd week of no school and when it was obvious they weren't going back - and they actually had "spring break" that he was happy she was on break, and that she should enjoy her time off an not worry about doing anything.  This is when all the not even helping with dishes or set the table for dinner started - and hasn't ended.  I was like, WTF?  Really?  She's got it so hard.

thinkthrice's picture

are giving me flashbacks to when I  was lectured by Chef about putting grill marks on the 3 feral's hot dogs.   Eventually I disengaged and let chef cook for them.

 I don't get the selective ADHD thing where he can undermine you selectively.    Bet he wouldn't say that to a friend who was cooking dinner for his brats but then again we know the skid wouldn't say anything to said friend who was cooking dinner As it was a plot by the skid to disenfranchise you.

Iamwoman's picture


It sounds to me like SD visitation nights should be DH's nights to cook. Not much of a cook? Welll... this is a good time for him to start practicing.

Cover1W's picture

Oh he DID cook that night. I just served people from the big pot because, well, it was HOT.

I cook about one night during the week she's with us. Usually because I want something specific. And I don't care who eats it or not. DH hayes it, but I let him know most other nights, with me and him alone, I do the cooking. And not mentioning alllll the other things in addition to it to help him.

DPW's picture

Cover, I've followed your story for a long time. You need a break from all this. You put up with so much! If DH is pushing your boundaries again, I'd do everything to make him uncomfortable. I would not give an inch to your DH.