You are here

So everyone should I act like how H thinks I act?

halo1998's picture

Sigh..just when I though things were going better.

H...has ADHD..I try my very best to give him passes on things due to the ADHD.  

People of Steptalk I have tried and tried and tried over the last 3 years to change myself, to do better, to manage the triggers after H's cheating.  It ain't easy let me tell you...part of me always thinks the cheating was my fault. H thought I didn't pay enough attention to him.  

In reality, I was dealing with our lives, the kids, work etc. I had to make some things a higher priority other than H. Like..the kids they were little...they need to be taken care of.  H wasn't about to do I did.  My work had to be a kept us in a house and fed.

I've been working on paying attention to H..but honestly it feels like it will NEVER be enough for him.

Recently, we went on a great trip, etc.  both of us had a good time...other than we both got sick (head colds) after we got home.  I'm better but H is still sick.  I'm trying to pay attention, but sheesh after the 100th sigh in a hour..well my patients wears thin.  I mean its cold..not freaking ebola.  I have done med runs...bought comfort food, tissues, etc.

So the other day H wanted to sleep so I said I would go run errands so the house would be quiet.  H was pouty when I got he was ticked because I left.  I called him out on it..and nope he doubled down that he is "fine" when I leave him alone.  Yea..I'm not buying that.  I honestly think he can't be alone...for any length of time.

Then the next day...I had to work but he and SD had off.  H gets off all federal holidays..I do not.  I was working when he came in with SD in the afternoon.  I was actively working on a work know since it was still my work hours.  H apparently told me while walking into the kitchen that he was putting pizza in the oven since it was too big for the fridge.  I probably heard him but it didn't register, since I was concentrating on working.

Later I asked about where he had stored the pizza..and he stood there and just stared at me.  I asked again...and the same response.  Finally, the third time he spouts off...I put it in the oven, like I told you when I walked in.  I answered back I'm sorry I don't remember that....and H spouted off with "well that is because you are always on your phone or working these days."


ENTER TRIGGER PEOPLE...he essentially told me in a a passive agressive way..I'm not paying attention to him.  That and my job is hobby since him telling me where the pizza was being placed was WAY MORE important than what I was working on.  (my job is very technical and sometimes requires a lot of concentration and know JUST LIKE H'S).  H has always treated my job, the one that keeps housed and fed, to be of lesser importance and less stress that his.  (I will only say this here..MY JOB IS WAY MORE STRESSFULLL...I work for a micromanager on very time sensitive if I don't do my job 100's of people in warehouses will not be working...its stress and I spend a lot of time in chaos mode.

I'm hurt and triggered and feel like nothing I do will ever give H enough attention/validation etc.  I have worked so hard to not do things when H is there.  I don't go anywhere, I don't talk to anyone, either by text or by phone, I don't do any hobbies, etc.  I sit there and watch TV with H (this is all H does)...listen to his rants about politics (for the record I HATE POLITICS I MEAN I LOATHE IT), listen to him talk about basketball, football, etc.  (for the record..I mildly like football..I don't like basketball and what I really like is freaking BASEBALL).  H never tries to talk to me about anything I might be interested in.  I try to be considerate and NOT just talk about stuff I like or soley do things I like.  Like our trip...we went to a museum...I love them.  I can spend all day looking at things and reading the information. H does not like that...his ADHD just won't let him be there forever and read stuff.  Knowing that..I made sure to speed up my trip through the museum and NOT read everything since it would be boring to H, we spent 2 hours thers.  I try to accomodate his needs..but honestly...I don't think that is reciprocated nor are my efforts appreciated.

So...long story short..H thinks I spend too much time on my phone and working. solve was..I just won't have my phone on other than my oncall weeks when I have to be available.  I can't ALWAYS be on something when I don't have it ....however, H will not like this since he won't have instant access to me via text messaging.

My other thought is F8CK THIS SH8T ..I'm going to do whatever the eff I want to from now on....and screw H. He can see what it really is like to have to a wife who doesn't give a sh*t about him and doesn't pay attention to him.

What do you all think I should do...and yes divorce is on the table. I'm tired of being a bangmaid as someone else so nicely coined it...I used wife appliance but I like bangmaid better..cause that is what I feel like.


la_dulce_vida's picture

I think it's time for some snooping. He's likely ramping up conflict between the two of you to justify him potentially wanting to chat with someone new. Or maybe he's just REALLY tempted right now, but resisting, so he's being extra needy and bitchy.

Are you being extra accommodating about watching what he wants to watch and listening to his stories in an attempt to meet his needs for attention so he won't cheat again? Can't be done. And it's NOT your fault.

A healthy person who wants a closer relationship and MORE attention will usually try to make plans with their partner or do things their partner likes to do.

If he's sitting on his behind wanting you to do everything he wants to do, then he's manipulating you like a helpless little baby.

Is he still seeing a therapist?

halo1998's picture

So there is that..and yes for the most part he sits on his butt watching TV. I've done the snooping but at this point I really just feel amount of snooping is going to help.

Yes I am being extra accomodating in an attemp to meet his needs.....but I really feel like I can't ever give him enough attention. Its never enough...

I have expressed this concern before, that I feel, he will never get enough attention or validation.  I'm just one person...and afterwhile I grow weary of having to praise H for every little thing that he does.....

Kara55's picture

This is a soul crushing way to live. You are in no way responsible for your husband's crappy behaviour. He is acting like a baby. It doesn't sound like you are getting anything other than stress and anxiety from this relationship. I know it's easy for me to say, but I would walk. If that's not possible, I would do whatever the hell I wanted. He's already an AH and will complain no matter what you do.

AgedOut's picture

Halo, I'm going to be blunt. ADHD is not his problem, he is his problem. And not only are you good enough, you're so much more than that. You deserve to be treated better. 

What exactly is he changing? My guess is not a damn thing. 



YOU. ARE. STRONG SMART KIND and worthy of so much more than he is giving you. 

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

She wrote that book "Leave a Cheater, Gain A life".  She has a blog and an online community.  She's a fabulous.  I think you should spend some time on her page and read some of her articles about why people cheat.  It's not because you didn't pay him enough attention.  

Rumplestiltskin's picture

It's not you, it's him. He's an addict. An attention addict. Some attention addicts are narcissists. He sounds like he may be one. 

advice.only2's picture

One sided relationships never work, and he's making it clear nothing you do to accommodate will ever be enough. 

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Has he been diagnosed with Dependent Personality Disorder??? Sheesh.

He wants your life to revolve around him and his need for 110% of your attention. This is unrealistic and unhealthy. Your H is the only one who can work on resolving HIS issues. And they are most definitely his issues; not yours. You are destroying your mental health being sucked into his swirling black hole of excessive neediness. How he manages to defecate without an audience is beyond me.

Your health is everything, be it physical or mental. Please put yourself first, halo. {{{HUGS}}}

grannyd's picture

(grannyd waves hands frantically.) Me too! Me too! Just got a dandy cheque from the Canadian Government so the drinks are on me....

Halo, the three of us will get you slobbering drunk and plant some wisdom into your ears. You just need a kick-start, yeah?

thinkthrice's picture

Will ever be enough.  I've been married to those types before.   Chef is often like that as well.

"H has always treated my job, the one that keeps housed and fed, to be of lesser importance and less stress that his. "

OMG does that ever sound familiar!   Chef always implies that i am either too slow, lazy, time waster.   We've been on vacation for the last 1.5 weeks and he's actually been around to watch me keep up with my database.   Takes ages to enter all that info.  

I can relate to your job stress.  When I had my job supporting the county's 911 systems, EMS, sheriff dept  that was 24/7--no pressure there LOL.

I think he is gaslighting you to "equalize" the blame for his continued poor behavior.  Time to think seriously of jettisoning him.

halo1998's picture

entering info is always time consuming.  My entire job is to maintain 1000 or so databases.  :)  

OOfff...the pressure of a 911 system....mine is only a few thousand warehouses across North America.. not quite the same.  

The equalizing blame is something I hadn't thought of.  That is a nice way ot put it....but yes I could be that.

la_dulce_vida's picture

You wanna hear some sick sh*t? My first husband, father of my 3 children is somewhat like your husband. He was NEEDY, lacked social skills and friends, and looked to me and our kids as his main social entertainment. He was so damned helpless and would say, "But you're so much better at planning things." Funny how he never failed to b*tch and complain about every damn thing. So the sick part is this. As we were going through our separation and before I filed for divorce, he said to me that he was always so jealous of me the times I needed medical care (3 c-sections and a handful of surgeries). He always wanted me to have to take care of him (tend to him like a nurse) and found himself hoping he'd get really sick or get cancer so I would fuss over him. WTF? How disturbed is that?

halo1998's picture

I can and can't believe that one.  I have heard the "your so much better" line so many times.  YEA I'M BETTER CAUSE I DO IT ALL THE TIME.  ITS CALLED PRACTICE. I get the bitching and thought if you didn't plan it or have any input..THEN YOU DO NOT GET AN OPINION AND IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION ....KEEP IT TO YOUR SELF.

The whole sick thing is disturbed..but I do understand that one.  H also wants everyone to cater to him when he is sick..doesn't matter if everyone else is sick...he is the sickest and we should all take care of himj.

Come to think of it..that is probably why he is in a snit right now...we both had head colds and at some point I flat out told him..ITS A COLD...YOUR NOT DYING...STOP MOANING EVERY 30 SECONDS.  I too had a cold and managed to still work and go about my H can just suck it up.  What H wants is for me to be his nursemaid and hover over him and attend every need.  Naa...I already did that for 4 kids over the Florence Nightengale powers have been depleted.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

I think it is time for another "come to Jesus" talk with him. It sounds like some of his worse behavior is happening because he is no longer in therapy. I think you need to lay it all out for him, exactly how you are feeling and insist he get back in therapy and make some changes. If he doesn't, it is time for you to start planning your exit.

I have followed your story from the beginning and you have gone over an beyond to make this marriage work. It is time for him to start putting in the same effort.

ndc's picture

I'd go with Door #2 - F8CK THIS SH8T. You have bent over backwards for this man, forgiven his affair,  tolerated his kids and his Beaver . . . and he has no appreciation. I would be done with him.  This isn't ADHD - it's selfishness.

Aniki-Moderator's picture


TheAccidentalSM's picture

Halo, your DuH should be crawling over broken glass (metephorically) to keep you happy.  You are twisting yourself into a pretzel to try to make him happy.  The fact that he couldn't make the sacrifice for you to really enjoy the trip to the musuem is awful.  He could have sat and played with his phone in the gift store and let you really enjoy the visit.

I'd be tempted to speak to a therapist myself if I was you to help to figure out if you would be happier on your own.  

Cover1W's picture

Yes!  my DH has ADD and it's a challenge.  But he also puts in lots of effort and tries to be aware AND knows and acknowledges that it's hard for ME sometimes. He gets antsy when shopping or museums or doing what he thinks are mundane and repetitive things, but he does exactly what you say...lets me know he's done and will wait for me in x location when I'm done. Self awareness is huge.

halo1998's picture

For the most part, I just want to see if I am seeing things right or through a rose colored lens.  I don't really trust myself anymore so that is why I ask all of you to help guide me.

I have a therapist and while she won't outright tell me H is perhaphs too much of a draw on me...she is helping to guide me to what my conclusion is on this.

The neediness is killing me...I see that.  It drives my anxiety.  I constantly check myself to see of I am working too much and if I have to work outside hours then I get anxious.  

I would really like my hobbies back...I like being creative, etc.  I love to renovate houses and build things.  I 've notice when H isn't here (when he travels) I don't really watch TV or anything. I'm doing things....making things...reading, etc.  I miss those things...

thinkthrice's picture

To please a spouse isn't really worth it.

  Ask me how I know.


halo1998's picture

I know that I have lost myself....I can see that.  I miss me...I really do. While I can be emotional and pita..I'm also funny and have a sick sense of humor.  I love to read and I love to think about my own head. 


Survivingstephell's picture

After all of these years , he STILL can't put you first.  After everything you have done for his family, he STILL can't put you first.  He's like those lamprey eels that invaded the Great Lakes, they sucked the life out of their victims. He is sucking the life out of you.  Twisting things to make himself the victim.  Projecting his so called inability to be alone as a problem for you to solve.   Manipulation. Gaslighting .  That's all he's got now.  

Merry's picture

That level of neediness sounds exhausting.

There is not a magic formula to "make" your spouse happy. No amount of time or attention will be enough. You can't fix whatever is broken in him, but it sounds like maybe you both think it's your responsibility, at least on some level.

His need for attention and validation is a huge part of his cheating. He's got to address that within himself. But it's hard and it means he will have to change. 

halo1998's picture

validation and attention.  Its a hard thing..I get it.  And yep...he thinks I should or should have fixed his need for attention...but honestly I can't do that.  The only person I can address is myself..and I am doing that.  

My issue is that I do feel responsible since I do know that H was a bit on the back burner so to speak but I realized in talking with my therapist..there really wasn't anythigng else I could do.  When you are the only person handling the lives of 5 people, some who were young children..things have to be prioritized.

So for a long time....

1.  small kids come first. They can't fully take care of themselves and well need supervision. That has to be a priority.

2.  My job.  While H made really good money..all his money went to cs, alimony, marital debt and attorney costs.  My job kept our house, lights and kept us fed.  It had to be a priority..even is H didn't believe it was as important as his job.  *insert rolling eyes*

3.  All of the other things that kept us fed, gotta eat...and H wasn't about to start to learn to cook.

4.  H...he was never ignored.  He just didn't get the attention "he" thought he deserved.

5.  The pets, cause you know they can't feed themselves

6.  Maybe me....mostly however the rest of the crap I hadn't gotten to.


The therapist and I also figured out....all of that juggling and feelling like I could never catch up..along with H's constant need for attention....caused my massive anxiety.  I simply could not keep up with everything....and I was trying so hard to do so.  Now that I refuse to be responsible for everything and I'm learning..I can't fix H's need for anxiety has almost gone away.  I have a few small bouts..but for the most I can relax again.  As my therapist pointed out...You've been in fight mode for the last 8 or 9 years...its no wonder you filled with anxiety, anger and resentment.

So..while I understand that H had less was of his own doing.  When you through all responsibility onto one person...including small children...well you run the risk that you won't get attention BECAUSE PERSON YOU HAVE BURDENED WITH EVERTYING LITERALLY DOESN'T HAVE ANY TIME OR ENERGY LEFT.  I used to tell H ....that I was overwhelmed and that I need some help.  Not just "give me a list" or "tell me what do help"  Help that didn't require me coordinate it or flat out tell someone what to do.  H didn't get it and then thought he was the victim in all of this.  So..while I know its his doing..part of me feels responsible since I know I wasn't able to handle everything all the time.  I did my best and prioritized as best as I could with what I had.

H has finally come forward and admitted many times he is just not happy with himself.  He has low self esteem.  He also is a bit taken a back that I am no longer confident in myself.  He keeps were so confident when we met, etc.  Well, that happens when your working a job that doesn't appreciate anything you do...and your manager is micro manager.  Also, whether H likes it or not...he destroyed my confidence with his cheating and opting out of our life.  All of things that I felt less the confident about really cause me issues.  Plus if H calls me beautiful one more time I swear I'm going to hit upside the head with my shoe ...IT MEANS NOTHING TO ME H...YOU'VE SAID THAT EVERY SINGLE WOMEN YOU CHEATED ON ME WITH.   Its just words now....its doesn't make me feel good..quite the opposite really.  I usually feel really really bad...cause I'm like NO I'm not beautiful..I used to think that and enjoyed when you said it. just makes me want to throw up.  H thinks he is "helping" me with my confidence.  **insert more rolling eyes**

la_dulce_vida's picture

Strike the word "help" from your vocabulary. You're married. You work. He works (I assume). All tasks related to the home and children belong to BOTH of you. You didn't need his HELP. You needed him to do HIS SHARE.

I know that you know it in your head, but let me tell you that your husband's cheating should not destroy your confidence because NOTHING you did caused it. How about if he was a grown ass man and said, "I'm feeling neglected. I need to be closer to you" instead of talking to other women? His inability to control himself AND express his feelings and needs is HIS problem. Not yours.

This is not a reflection of you and I can't believe your couple's therapist hasn't drilled that into his head. Not getting your needs met? Speak up! And, a romantic partner is not supposed to meet ALL of your needs. I've read that it's reasonable to expect a romantic partner to meet about 25% of your needs (if I remember correctly). Each person is chiefly responsible for meeting their own needs and your work, family and friends should make up for the difference.

You catering to him to keep him from feeling neglected is not going to keep him from cheating because the emptiness is inside of him.


halo1998's picture

he hears it there..but it goes in one ear and out the other.  I know I shouldn't be his emotional support animal, cruise director and all around entertainment and one women cheering section...I just can't quite seem to articulate that to H in a manner he can receive it.  Any discussion like that and H feels like he is being attacked and then you can queue up the defensiveness.


I have brought up in therapy before that I don't think I can ever give H the amount of attention that he requires (honestly no one can).   I think the next session is going to have ot address this....

advice.only2's picture

He gets defensive and shuts you down because he doesn’t want the status quo to change.  It’s easier to shut you down and keep you there than for him to take the time to work on himself and become better. 

AgedOut's picture

I've been thinking about you. My ex-husband belittled me, insulted me, accused me, guilted me, and made me doubt myself. One day I realized how badly his need for attention was suffocating me. 


Is your husband's need for attention suffocating you?

halo1998's picture

It is suffocating me....I can't be someones entertainment 24x7....and I shouldn't be.  I guess I never expected my spouse or partner to meet all  my needs...and my needs are not that many.  H also confuses meeting my needs with buying me shiznit.  Like gifts are nice but I would prefer the gift of time and experiences.  I mean don't get me wrong..I like my prada shoes but do I need I "need" to spend time doing things with H and by myself, yes that is a NEED.

Rags's picture

His playing hide the pecker with whatever random snatch queen he can get his hands on is not in any way your fault. 

You did not hunt down his lovers for him, you did not take him by the hand and lead him to them, put them in bed together and insert his happy parts into hers.  He did all of that. Not you.

So, get that "it is (your) fault" crap out of your head.

I am so thrilled that you are now entertaining ending this crap life with this crap non man.

If I were  you, I would list the house, take the cash, and get on with  your life.  All while not contributing in any way to anything that comforts or cares for him.

ADHD is not what causes him to be an adulterous asshole.

Though not ADHD and to my knowledge not even dyslexic, my XW was hard pressed to read any word longer than 3 letters.  Which was very interesting considering that for our entire marriage she was working on her BSN from a top tier nursing program.  I wrote every paper she was assigned the last 3 years of her Undergrad.   I got nothing less than a B on any of her papers that I wrote and only one B at that. Every other paper I wrote for her was an A.  And I have never been a BSN student. 

She walked out of marriage counseling 6wks after graduating with her BSN and 3 weeks after we closed on buying a house.  She walked out of our home 2mos after that.

In hindsight, I am grateful to her for ending that travesty of a marriage.  Like your DH, she had a dating problem and as she said just before walking out of therapy "I don't have a problem with sex.". That was no lie, she just had a problem with sex within a marriage. Outside of marriage she was vaulting onto every Johnson she could reach.   Apparently that did not end when we divorced and married geriatric Fortune 500 executive GrandPa Sugar/baby daddy.  They met while she was scrubbing his weenus during a sponge bath on her post op nursing school rotation.  He did marry her after their second son was born.  She was knocked up with their first when she left our marriage.  He divorced her a number of years later when she got knocked up by a boyfriend.

Anyway, take your leave of this gonad Ranger and end your bangmaid career.

He is not worthy of you. His infidelity is not your fault. 

Take care of you.

Give rose