View Full Version : Yelling / Name Calling / Screaming - how to deal?


Mittens
12-06-13, 04:34 PM
My boyfriend currently has really gotten into just flying off the handle. I'm not sure if it's a case of just emotional or psychological overload that just boils over?
He'll literally go from 0 to Ballistic in. 2 seconds.
When something happens that fast and that extreme, is there any hope of diffusing it?
I don't yell or name call.. the more volatile a situation gets the calmer I tend to get and more logical, and the more irrational and over the top he gets.
Can anyone offer any kind of advice on some constructive ways to get out of that spin or diffuse the situation? It's not a fear thing - I want to make it *very* clear that I am in no way afraid or think for one minute it would get physical - he's not that kind of guy. However, i'm also a grown woman don't deserve to be screamed at, sworn at, called names....
Anyways. Slightly defeated feeling but looking for any advice on how best or any advice on 'cutting the blue wire'..
Thanks for the time to read this.
Mittens

dvdnvwls
12-06-13, 05:35 PM
You can't defuse this by anything you do.

When you say you get "calmer and more logical", he views this as proof that you don't care, that what he's saying doesn't even matter to you.

Calmly (but definitely out loud in words) say that you refuse to accept yelling, AND LEAVE. If you stick around and stay calm, it's no good. Leaving, every time, is your best option. If you stick around then you are actually agreeing to accept yelling, whatever you may say.

Daydreamin22
12-06-13, 05:42 PM
Go to a bullying website (I went to workplacebullying.org.) Although this doesn’t sound like he’s only “bullying”. but, at least you can know how to deal.

I think one way is to confidently, calmly, assertively (not mad or angry) say, we can talk when you can use a better tone / or not lie/or cool off or whatever you say.

Then walk away from him. If he follows you put headphones in or something. Don’t let him feel like it effected you. But wait to talk about it wen he is rational. Do not give in and talk back to his tone.

Just refuse the behavior all together. Try to find away when levvel headed what the prob is, consder it 50/50 yours and his problem. See what you both can do to fix it. Same with the yelling behavior. Consier it 50% your prob because you’re letting him do it. That way rather than a “victim” you are someone who can stop him from yelling at you/ “victimizing you.

It gives you your power back, and you need that for a healthy relationship. You chose your actions. If you cry, you’re responsible. If you yell back you’re responsible, If you np it in the bud you’re responsible. You are always responsible for your behavior. (i was ****** off when someone first told me that, but now I completely get it four years later.)

dvdnvwls
12-06-13, 06:07 PM
Since this behaviour stems from ADHD, some of the advice given on bullying sites may be less appropriate. I'm not saying don't visit the sites, I'm saying remember while reading that they're probably making some false assumptions.

kilted_scotsman
12-06-13, 06:22 PM
The objective is to get the guy to be able to feel anger and recognise it as part of himself and be able to handle it appropriately.

The problem is that he probably "externalises" the issue.... as in "I got angry because....."
and it's easy to think the anger can be alleviated by altering the environment... ie removing the object of the anger.....

however this is only viable if the person who beomes angry understand that this is done to allow them space to understand their own anger and where it comes from...

so that they can learn how to operate in a world full of anger inducing situations and use their anger energy wisely and appropriately.

This means the person has to remove the "because" in the sentence "I got angry because..." this step disconnects the anger from the trigger.

Anger is a secondary emotion.... it is usually triggered by a deeper primary emotion such as lack of self worth or self loathing, or a primal fear of some sort.

Understanding the primary cause is the work.....

Disconnecting the anger from the trigger means that the person experiencing anger can learn to become more aware of the deeper primal reasons for their anger..... and work on them...

However none of this is short term.....

and if a person is getting very angry very quickly.... and is not willing to work on themselves there has to be a VERY major reason to stick around.

kilted

Mittens
12-06-13, 07:58 PM
You can't defuse this by anything you do.

When you say you get "calmer and more logical", he views this as proof that you don't care, that what he's saying doesn't even matter to you.

Calmly (but definitely out loud in words) say that you refuse to accept yelling, AND LEAVE. If you stick around and stay calm, it's no good. Leaving, every time, is your best option. If you stick around then you are actually agreeing to accept yelling, whatever you may say.

This is been what I've been trying. Earlier today I had told him that I don't deserve to be yelled at, sworn at, or called names, it wasn't fair, and I won't continue the conversation if he continued to do. He took that as screaming I was a b...h, that I was the one that made him angry, his yelling was my fault, and I had a superiority complex.
At that point I walked into another room - so he continued to yell at me from there.
I went downstairs to my basement, he huffed and slammed the door (I'm assuming to express to me his displeasure and that he was leaving) only to start texting me as soon as he left.

He's not an angry person, normally...
Also, when I say that I tend to get very calm - it's not meant in a 'tooting my own horn' sort of way or mean to insinuate in any way that I am not at fault. It's just a habit from a previous relationship that stuck, and unfortunately the more I don't get angry, the more it upsets him . I brought it up because it seems to be a very major trigger point to him.. (And reading that if he does see it as 'if you cared you'd be yelling too' that makes sense). Not saying that it's an excuse to talk down to your spouse, but it's nice to know that it isn't purely because he wants to make me feel like dirt, or wasn't being malicious, and that there were other reasons behind it.

Kilted - you had mentioned about dissecting it down to the cause.
Any ideas on how to approach a subject like that without causing another blow up?

Thanks for reading and responding.
Mittens

Mittens
12-06-13, 08:18 PM
Go to a bullying website (I went to workplacebullying.org.) Although this doesn’t sound like he’s only “bullying”. but, at least you can know how to deal.

I think one way is to confidently, calmly, assertively (not mad or angry) say, we can talk when you can use a better tone / or not lie/or cool off or whatever you say.

Then walk away from him. If he follows you put headphones in or something. Don’t let him feel like it effected you. But wait to talk about it wen he is rational. Do not give in and talk back to his tone.

Just refuse the behavior all together. Try to find away when levvel headed what the prob is, consder it 50/50 yours and his problem. See what you both can do to fix it. Same with the yelling behavior. Consier it 50% your prob because you’re letting him do it. That way rather than a “victim” you are someone who can stop him from yelling at you/ “victimizing you.

It gives you your power back, and you need that for a healthy relationship. You chose your actions. If you cry, you’re responsible. If you yell back you’re responsible, If you np it in the bud you’re responsible. You are always responsible for your behavior. (i was ****** off when someone first told me that, but now I completely get it four years later.)

This reminds me of the 'once a victim, after a volunteer'.
I think I got caught up in the 'controlling myself is my part' and forgot about not just 'right now' actions but what I can do going forward. Thank you for bringing that up - I believe I needed to hear it.

People can only treat you how YOU allow them too....

This may seem minor, but a big reason for my wanting to prevent the yelling / nasty behavior.

It does extremely bother me that his 15 year old son was in the house, and it really strikes a chord - that's not an example he needs on how to treat women.
We were talking a bit ago because he's starting to get into girls, and there's a girl he thinks is cute. I told him if he wanted to get her attention, don't kick her chair in class or those type, comment on something 'different' that will stick with her. Ie. Tell her that her hair looks cure that day - god knows teenage girls spend hours trying to look amazing and that once acknowledgment of her efforts will go a long way. He asked me after if that's what his dad did to get me, and I told him genuinely he was very sweet, very caring, and very thoughtful....
And then he hears his dad screaming that i'm a b...ch and the reason for everything wrong in our relationship and his life.
I know how easily influenced kids are, especially teenage boys.. not to mention it does bother me even arguing when he's in earshot. When we want to have a discussion - he doesn't need to hear and it can be done in a bedroom or elsewhere. That's just not something a kid should have to deal with, especially because it *is* preventable.

Anyways.

Next time, after the first time he screams, i'm going to walk away. That *is* within my power, and more importantly that *is* my responsibility.

Thank you for the reminder, and thank you for taking the time to respond.

Mittens

ginniebean
12-06-13, 11:04 PM
I think for this to be effective (removing yourself from the situation) you need to fully remove yourself, meaning, walk out the door, get in car and drive away.

When you walk into another room he knows you can still here him and so he continues. Once you're removed he has nowhere to project that energy and he'll have to try something different.

When he's calm then talk. Sometimes communication goes better when it's in e-mail. He then has time to read and process the information before responding. It can also interrupt bad communication patterns on both sides.

RedHairedWitch
12-06-13, 11:08 PM
When he is calm, talk to him about this. Ask him what he thinks you should do when he starts yelling and name calling. Explain tot him that you will not tolerate being treated that way, so a plan must be made.

Ultimately, the best thing to do it to say "I will not be treated this way. Come to me when you can treat me with respect" and leave, even if you have to leave the house. Do not respond to texts.

dvdnvwls
12-07-13, 01:39 AM
When I referred to leaving, I definitely meant out the door and driving (or walking) away. Staying in the house or accessible or text-able or within hearing is not helpful IMO. The yell-er/name-caller needs to see that communication is cut off, and that you're "out of there" for real, not that you're in some kind of temporary cooling-off zone.

Mittens
12-07-13, 04:54 AM
Well - here's to small victories.
That probably sounds silly or minor, but I am so elated and relieved.

Other Half texted me this evening and said he was sorry for yelling at me... I 100% admit that I was still pretty upset and kind of a jerk. I mentioned it wasn't just the yelling, it was the entire confrontation that just wasn't okay. I caught myself pretty quick when he started to get upset again ( he has a very consistent cycle when he gets upset. It goes from extreme melodramatics, to self pity, to demonizing me, threatening to leave, and repeats). When he started I told him that I won't be apart of any negative behaviors and will not respond to them - if he wanted to talk constructively or with me (not at me) then i'm absolutely more than willing.
Didn't you know - the conversation ended differently!
He'd say he gives up and he's done, so I told him his choice was his own, I can't make him want anything, but I here if he wants to talk. He'd say I don't want to put in effort or try, and I don't want the relationship, and i'd tell him i'm not responding to that. Etc etc. It took a while, but eventually he actually started talking...
Like.. *actually* talking, and listening, and everything!
Does this fix the world? No. But in my eyes it is a big step forward, and I feel really good at trying something and having constructive results.
He actually listened when I said how his earlier actions felt to me, and said that we needed to figure out a better way to deal with escalating situations.
WHAT!?
Hooray!!
He talked to me about HIS feelings! Very honestly and not in a 'you're a b..ch and destroy my every moment of life' way, but in a 'this is how I feel. These are the emotions going through my head' way.
So that's cool.
Anyways. I know that it's 1 step forward, 2 steps back.. but it's been a long time since it's felt like there's been anything but regression, and that's a pretty awesome feeling :) :)

I can't say thank you enough for the support, advice, listening and effort from the people on this forum.
Thank you, thank you, thank you :)

-Freezing in -40, but feeling a not-so-defeated Mittens :)

VeryTired
12-07-13, 09:21 AM
I'm glad to hear you had some positive progress on this! I just want to weigh in and agree with those who say you have to go further away than the next room. We used to have this issue all the time, and at first I didn't understand that point. Maybe if we had lived in a big house that would have worked, but in a small apartment, it wasn't sufficient. So I would go into another room and shut the door--and then be driven mad by shouting from the other side of the door, pounding on the door, etc. In a way, my not going far enough away even escalated matters. And it made me panic to believe I was doing the right thing, but getting a bad response.

After a while, I realized that I had to leave the apartment. So I would take long bus rides around the city, because usually I didn't have anywhere to go and these events would happen at very inopportune times. Occasionally, I'd go to the movies. I have to say, I hate this solution. It always feels as though I am being forced out of my own home by someone else's inability to control himself. But after a while, I realized that of course it feels that way, because that is exactly what is happening, and my not wanting it to be true didn't make it not true. But leaving the house does reliably defuse things, and that is far better than staying home and letting things escalate.

Over time, after my partner was diagnosed and treated, this situation began to occur less and less often. Now, it is very rare. Shouting (without full-blown rage, just noise), however, is something that happens almost every day and I have come to believe that my partner literally cannot tell whether he is speaking loudly or quietly, so of course that makes it hard for him to modulate his voice. I ask him at least once every day and often much more often than that, to lower his voice. He hates it that I do this, but I can't stand to be yelled at.

One more thing--dvdnvwls really called it right about how becoming more calm when your partner gets out of control can weirdly make everything worse. I usually get calmer in a crisis, and on many occasions this is itself has made my partner explode into a terrifying frenzy. We are badly matched in this regard, but it is what it is. People instinctively respond in certain ways to stress, and this isn't something that anyone can really change.

ginniebean
12-07-13, 10:18 AM
-Freezing in -40, but feeling a not-so-defeated Mittens :)

You must be in cowtown. I'm freezing my butt off and I'm pretty sure getting out that door is a tall order in this weather.

I'm glad things got a bit better. Pattens take awhile to change but sounds like you're on the right track. Good for you!

Amtram
12-07-13, 10:31 AM
Lots and lots of good advice here. What dvdnvwls said is a trick that works well with children, "I'll come back when you've calmed down and then you can talk to me." With adults, you often DO have to make yourself completely physically unavailable so you can't be followed and the yelling can't continue.

It sounds like you made some good progress, but I would still suggest that you see a counselor - or that he see a counselor. He's externalizing his problems, and as long as he does that, he's going to continue to have them. He may know what's really setting him off and be denying it, or he may really not know what's setting him off and grabbing onto the first likely thing that pops into his head. An objective third party could be very helpful in breaking things down to their basic elements so he can control the cause rather than the effect.

Daydreamin22
12-07-13, 03:33 PM
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JosieLee
12-07-13, 03:34 PM
Hi Mittens.
I don't know if you can, but if you have the time try & read my original posts when I joined this wonderful forum.
In summary, my hubby was diagnosed incorrectly for depression about 13 years ago & was prescribed too many medications to count.
It wasn't until last December that things became more serious when he took a bunch of pills. Since then, our saviour, a psychiatrist diagnosed him with ADHD/OCD & a mood disorder.
I have just recently learn't that our twins being born in 2009 triggered his condition into catastrophic proportions. He started having what they call rage episodes. His temper would go from zero to a hundred in seconds. Nothing I did or said would calm him down. If I walked away, he would follow me. He would rage about things that happened last week or last year.
His psych told me it was similar to an epileptic having a fit & that I would simply have to ride it out or as every one else has said, leave the house. This was hard with little twins.

I did not give up on him as I began to read more & more on this forum, the internet & read what I could about this.
He then began the medication roller coaster & finally he has the right combination of meds, partly due to a poster on this forum. I asked for months for him to be prescribed the same as a member on this forum as he had exactly the same episodes of rage.

I am thrilled to say he has not had a rage episode in about 11 months. We still have a long way to go but I no longer hold my breath in anticipation of the next episode. He can now also talk to me about his feelings rather than blaming me for them.

I truly wish you well Mittens.

sarahsweets
12-07-13, 04:20 PM
Tell him to go f**k himself and get in the car and head to a day spa.

Rebelyell
12-07-13, 04:56 PM
I wouldnt deal w it, id calmly tell him dont talk to me until you can speak to me in a decent and respectful tone and not act like a maniac, and walk out and away.this will make him think your not only not gonna deal w his manchild ways , it will give him time to hopefully calm down n cool off n deal w you in a better manner or let it go when you get back.

ana futura
12-07-13, 06:26 PM
Mittens, is he on ADHD medication? What type?

I struggle a lot with the behaviors your husband has. My partner instinctively deals with it in just the right way, which is to not engage and not take it personally. Still, while that helps, that's not enough to stop my behavior entirely, which is emotionally very damaging to both of us.

I find that the right medication helps with my anger and name calling issues a lot. However when my meds wear off, it can often make things worse. Some medications are less likely to cause this rebound anger than others.

Also, I recently have come to terms with the fact that I show PTSD symptoms - snapping, name calling, sudden outbursts, etc. I'm not diagnosed with PTSD, nor have I ever experienced what would commonly be considered "trauma". However, the ADHD brain has a tendency to blow issues out of proportion, and it seems minor unpleasant experiences can get catalogued as "trauma" regardless. There are a few ADHD researchers looking into this idea- that people with ADHD might have a tendency to develop PTSD in the absence of "true" trauma.

I have recently put a large amount of effort into working through the unresolved memories of my past by talking with a psychologist who specializes in trauma and taking a meditation course designed to treat depression and anxiety. Between the two, the outbursts and name-calling have decreased dramatically. To get to this point though, I really had to embrace the idea that I actually had "trauma" to recover from, and that was a very hard thing to accept.

dvdnvwls
12-07-13, 06:54 PM
Lots and lots of good advice here. What dvdnvwls said is a trick that works well with children, "I'll come back when you've calmed down and then you can talk to me." With adults, you often DO have to make yourself completely physically unavailable so you can't be followed and the yelling can't continue.
I suggested it because it sometimes works well on 40-ish men. DAMHIKT. :o

Mittens
12-07-13, 07:19 PM
I suggested it because it sometimes works well on 40-ish men. DAMHIKT. :o

LOL!
He's 42 so that's the exact advice I need!

It's tough leaving the house entirely - a) it's -40, b) like this time, I was in the middle of cooking with the oven going, etc etc, and I do like my house a little too much to burn it down haha. I guess even just going out to my car would work though. I guess it's more the principal of entirely removing yourself from the situation physically?

dvdnvwls
12-07-13, 07:26 PM
Yes, I think that's probably enough. For me, what counted was that communication was completely cut off - not only no responses, but no potential "audience" either.

I have to add that my ex only discovered that technique shortly before she left (I mean like left "for real"), and so we didn't actually get any positive results afterwards.

Mittens
12-08-13, 02:38 AM
I'm not sure if this should be a separate thread or not, but it's kind of like a precursor question.
One of the subjects that flies him off the handle is finances...
Finances are very strained because our household is covered by me, and part of my Mom's because she is on disability. The year since we've moved in together went like.. first 3 months he paid nothing. following 2 months was me literally crying and pleading for financial help - he agreed to try to pay for the heat and electric. Following 4 months, for 2 of the months he successfully paid them, but otherwise wouldn't have the money or would forget. Following 2 months and he told me the funds at his business (done on ebay, I don't entirely understand it) got frozen won't be released for 90 days, and our bills were behind.
Because of all this I got a second job in the evenings waitressing... that ended at the end of June because the town my second job was in flooded. anytime now I bring up finances or getting g another second job in January he either A) rages, or B) says he can't have that conversation, other than to tell me that bringing it up demoralizes him, I do nothing but beat him down, and to tell me that getting a second job emasculates him.
He doesn't have budgeting or money management skills - I understand that, and realize those skills take time to build... which is why I realize I need to work a second job again to make sure the mortgage gets paid and there's food on the table in the mean time...
How do you bring something up that no matter what upsets him? And how can you say "this is reality... it's not anything but subjective and impartial " and unless we talk about it - it won't change?
If I don't bring it up, I internalize it and he says i'm miserable and don't trust him or have faith in him.. when I try to trust him at his word things fall through and I have unrealistic expectations, when I bring up solutions (me working a second job) it's demoralizing and i'm a bad person that does nothing but beat him down and make him feel like garbage, or be just says he can't talk about it and shuts down.
Is there ANY way to talk about a sensitive subject and have it actually be constructive / not be a bad guy / not have it turn into world war 3??

Thanks for reading

dvdnvwls
12-08-13, 02:58 AM
I have some strong opinions (surprise surprise) :)

I agree that budgeting and money management skills take time to build - for "normal" people. I think it might be wiser in this situation to assume that they're not going to build no matter how long you wait, and to start looking for plan B regarding those skills.

Brutal frankness - the "frozen funds" thing sounds to me like a made-up excuse. I hesitate to accuse anyone else of dishonesty, but I've made similar excuses in the past, and mine were dishonest. I was trying to cover my shame at not being competent with budgeting and money, as mentioned above.

I think there's a common misconception among "normal" spouses that getting some of these issues talked about will lead to improvement - like the issues have been hidden, and getting them out in the open and objectively observed will lead to a change in behaviour. I don't think that's true at all. One of the reasons I was resistant to discussing such things was intense shame, but another reason was knowing that I was not capable and not going to become capable, regarding the topic at hand.

What if your husband truly isn't capable of learning to manage money? What if he has already been through this, and is ashamed and frustrated to have it brought up again, because he knows exactly how this story will end?

I think the way to talk about this is to take a long hard look at your needs vs. wants. In my opinion, and your opinion may be different: "Properly-managed money" is a need, in my opinion. In my opinion, "husband manages money properly" is a want, and in my opinion, starting to look for a plan B that takes his money-management skills out of the picture might be a prudent move.

dvdnvwls
12-08-13, 03:08 AM
Part of the shame, for me (a big part) comes from "I should be able to do this, and in fact I can't not be able to do this, because my future depends on it. But I really can't - so I'm basically screwed, and there's no hope."

Mittens
12-08-13, 03:42 AM
Part of the shame, for me (a big part) comes from "I should be able to do this, and in fact I can't not be able to do this, because my future depends on it. But I really can't - so I'm basically screwed, and there's no hope."

This hits the nail on the head I think with him.
I feel like a horrible partner because I feel like I 'nag' him to contribute, but getting a second job he flips over....
I'm not sure where to go from here.
At one point he brought up 'doing things 6 weeks his way' (he was expecting some big job to pull through and said if things didn't work out then after tha. We'd do 6 weeks 'my way' and see if either worked...
'my' way would be his paycheques ( which my phone corrected to "pay cheese" and I was tempted it to leave it - giggled my a.s *** lol) into a separate account, and he gets a predetermined spending amount deposited into his spending account... that never happened because I hadn't brought it up after for a while because I didn't want him to feel bad, and by the time I brought it up I found out he had no salary...
Is me asking to take over money management insensitive / selfish / a-hole-ish?
I mean, i'm totally willing to work a second job to make things float, but I would hope it would be as a 'in the mean time' and not a 'forever' :(

Mittens
12-08-13, 02:26 PM
Lots and lots of good advice here. What dvdnvwls said is a trick that works well with children, "I'll come back when you've calmed down and then you can talk to me." With adults, you often DO have to make yourself completely physically unavailable so you can't be followed and the yelling can't continue.

It sounds like you made some good progress, but I would still suggest that you see a counselor - or that he see a counselor. He's externalizing his problems, and as long as he does that, he's going to continue to have them. He may know what's really setting him off and be denying it, or he may really not know what's setting him off and grabbing onto the first likely thing that pops into his head. An objective third party could be very helpful in breaking things down to their basic elements so he can control the cause rather than the effect.

I'm sorry, I realized I never addresses this.
For counseling - I have brought it up.. he wants nothing to do with it.
I don't force the issue - I honestly don't believe anything positive will come from that. I can only hope that one day he'll want to go, otherwise if I 'make' him it will probably just make things worse. Not to mention that's just not something you should force someone else into - that's not fair to them.
Fingers crossed maybe one day he'll consider it..

kilted_scotsman
12-08-13, 03:52 PM
I would both agree and disagree on the idea that you can't "force" someone into therapy..

but my personal view is that soeone who is behaving like your partner needs to show CONCRETE desire to look at their behaviour......

It is also my personal view that no partner should ever be their partners therapist/counsellor..... that role has to be filled by either a professional or a grounded close friend.... the trouble is that ost guys don't have those kind of friends.

Therefore I feel strongly that the best way a guy (and it usually is guys) can show commitment to changing their behaviour by entering therapy or counselling. If the guy refuses to countenance therapy I generally feel that it is unlikely that he will change significantly on his own... OK so there is a chance, but it is miniscule... because to avoid therapy is a sign of deep avoidance of the problem in general..

Likewise with the finances..... if he cannot handle money... then you have to do it.... if that impunes his manhood then tough ... once again he's avoiding the problem.

I would advise that you seriously consider your position... and put big red markers down...

1) If he does not address his behaviour issues either through massive self control.... or through entering therapy.... within 4 weeks.... you walk.

2) If he does not hand over control of the finances.... and accept a reasonable amount of spending money into his own account immediately..... you walk.

It's all very well for a guy to have ADHD.....and have issues..... but the crunch is whether he is attempting to DEAL with them in a constructive way....

If he is not... then it is likely no change will occur.... and ore than likely things will get worse.

Sometimes a guy needs a right tough time on his own to get to grips with himself.... and as part of that it is essential he understands you may be there at the end of it.... or you may not....

kilted

RedHairedWitch
12-09-13, 12:17 AM
Paying his and his son's way through life in not okay. Stop worrying so much about his feelings and get something set up so that a (large) portion of his pay goes straight into your account, before he can blow it on crap.

Next time he complains about his feelings when you demand that he contribute fairly ask him this: will it hurt more in the long run to fix the problem, or to keep having the problem? Meaning it's better to hurt now and than keep hurting a year from now. "Fix the problem, or still have the problem? What do you want?"

Considering everything you've written about his guy in your threads:
Seriously think about what his son is learning from all this. That a women is an emotional punching bag and also someone that you can use to pay your bills and support you. Meanwhile, you can expect her to take care of your kids, her sick mother, the household, etc for you and still get whiny when she isn't providing enough sex.

If he wants to have a tantrum, let him have one, so long as it gets done. What's the worst that could happen? He leaves you with a broken heart and two less dependents? He looses all control and become physical, forcing you to kick him out and thus have a broken heart and two less dependents? He actually starts paying some of his share but is a sullen and mopey about it?

Either things start getting better, or they get worse until you call it quits. Or they get worse for a while and then get better. So it gets worse for a while because he hates talking about money but the problem gets fixed.

No more trying to talk him into things. It's time to tell him. This is happening now, or else you can leave and I'll have two less people I have to support. Your choice. Man up, or go.

ginniebean
12-09-13, 01:01 AM
Yeah, you feeling guilty and thinking we'll, I'll just get a second job because his delicate male ego needs to be tip toed around is so not healthy for you.

Not contributing financially for such a long time is one thing, refusing to discuss options, to get a job that pays money or hand over any and all money he makes so that you can manage his finances (which may simply be next to nothing) is the least he can do.

Expecting less than the least, and feeling guilty about it.. Don't go there.

Time to re-think this.

You deserve better. This is not only about adhd, this is also about a sense of entitlement when you financially support someone who screams at you and calls you names.

Time to stop worrying about his ego and make some solid demands. If he refuses, then it's time for him to consider supporting himself and his son.

Sorry if that sounds harsh.

janiew
12-09-13, 01:06 AM
Yeah, yelling, name calling, screaming... let that **** go. You deserve better.

If you don't feel you deserve better, work on making yourself feel you deserve better.

Raise the bar!

janiew
12-09-13, 01:14 AM
Or figure out how to take it and let is roll off.

Key Thought #1 - you deserve better even if you are not sure all the time. This is a major lesson to learn. YOU ARE BETTER and YOU DESERVE MORE. Figure out how to help yourself to it.

Key Thought #2 - others' negativity toward you reflects their negativity, not yours. This is a major and freeing lesson to learn.

Young ADHD people: hear me.

Later -

Old ADHD person, a successful person, not an idiot

dvdnvwls
12-09-13, 02:31 AM
This hits the nail on the head I think with him.
I feel like a horrible partner because I feel like I 'nag' him to contribute, but getting a second job he flips over....
I'm not sure where to go from here.Stop nagging, and also stop getting taken advantage of. Nagging doesn't help, so just quit it. I know that you know that something must be done, but nagging isn't it. I know you might say it isn't so simple as "just quit nagging", but honestly it is. Not because your feelings aren't valid (they are), and not because something doesn't need to be done (of course it's obvious something must be done) - but because nagging is 100% toxic and 100% ineffective.

Because he's doing so many things in wrong and unreasonable ways, you're getting distracted by trying to fix him.

I had a math teacher in high school who was absolutely brilliant. Best mathematician I ever met. But when I didn't understand something and I asked him a question, he simply repeated the same explanation he had already given, word for word. That is exactly the same problem as nagging - you're not seeing that the other person just doesn't get it. When someone really doesn't get something, simply telling it to them again is insane.

Because of ADHD, there are things he doesn't get that are probably very surprising and weird. You might sincerely not believe it would even be possible for an adult human being to not understand some of those things - but that's exactly why ADHD is a problem and not just a "difference".

Right - enough about nagging, that wasn't the important part. The important parts are (a) that you need something and it isn't happening, and (b) that you're being taken advantage of.

You'll need a new kind of action instead of nagging, to solve those two things.
At one point he brought up 'doing things 6 weeks his way' (he was expecting some big job to pull through and said if things didn't work out then after tha. We'd do 6 weeks 'my way' and see if either worked...
'my' way would be his paycheques ( which my phone corrected to "pay cheese" and I was tempted it to leave it - giggled my a.s *** lol) into a separate account, and he gets a predetermined spending amount deposited into his spending account... that never happened because I hadn't brought it up after for a while because I didn't want him to feel bad, and by the time I brought it up I found out he had no salary...
Is me asking to take over money management insensitive / selfish / a-hole-ish?It's easy to make accusations of whatever. But the truth is you're not any of those things.

In my opinion, framing your request as "you're no good" would be a-hole-ish and counterproductive; but how about framing it as "I need complete certainty for myself about our budget, because I have to make work decisions based on it. The problem is, I need the full information by Friday, and I also need to be able to get this kind of information at any given time in the future. It seems like asking you to lay out budgets any time I ask would be unfair, because I know how stressful that can be for you, and it would probably cause us to fight all the time too - so I'm hoping there's a better way to do this."
I mean, i'm totally willing to work a second job to make things float, but I would hope it would be as a 'in the mean time' and not a 'forever' :(Solving a permanent problem with a temporary solution is probably a bad idea. If the problem really is temporary and not permanent, then I'd say the best way to MAKE the problem permanent would be for you to pre-emptively half-solve it by taking an extra job. Once you've proven yourself capable and willing, I guarantee that he will totally count on that extra work from you, regardless of what kind of fancy words like "temporary" or "just helping out" get thrown around.

Mittens
12-09-13, 01:16 PM
I really appreciate everyone taking the time to read and respond - thank you :)

Honestly - he's not a lazy or dead beat, or the type of person to not 'make his own way... quite the opposite.
It bothers him a LOT about me getting a second job - which is why he opposes it so, so, so bad. I just can't see an alternative to start getting us ahead and out of the financial mess we've gotten into the past year.

The hesitancy I have with the 'tough love' / ultimatum angle is that isn't it kind of equivilent to asking a fish to climb a tree, and then telling them that you will leave them because they can't?
Don't get me wrong - I *know* there is a better solution then me working 2 jobs. With the amount of money the 2 of us theoretically make (I only say that because when his business is 'normal' his regular salary) there is absolutely no reason why we should be struggling, let alone not be able to put money away each month for savings after we take care of the things we need too to get caught back up.

I gently brought up the idea of when his company is back to okay and he gets regular salary again to just start thinking of the idea that we set up a 'bill' account for him, that he can access online, I can see, and he gets an automatic transfer of 'spending' money every two weeks like I had mentioned before.

I told him that he didn't have to say anything or whatever right now - that his priority right now is (as it should be) getting his business back on track so he actually has money to be able to budget with.

On the bright side he seemed to mull it around and after a bit did say that is something that he wouldn't be opposed to trying, and if it works then it works.

It's honestly not for lack of effort that these things are happening - and I truly, completely believe that.

When we first moved in together he had a salary of $3000/month... I asked him last night if he actually knew with the first 4 months we lived together, where his money went... that's 12,000 he had made with 0 household expenses. He has smaller things, like blue cross, car insurance, etc, but nothing major.

He had the most genuinely confused and bewildered look on his face, and he said he honestly had no idea... that he just spends what is in his account.. pizza here, gas there, lunch or dinner there, etc etc etc. Of course the trap of little things adding up to HUGE things.

Also, last night when we were talking I tried to explain to him how much pressure is on me... when my Mom runs into a crisis, she panics, throws up her hands, calls me and I take over.
When he has a crisis - he panics, shuts down, and I take over.
I have *no one* to throw my hands up too. I have *no one* to lean on, I have *no one* to bail me out. I only have myself. I can't even fall apart because I have too many people leaning on me. I tried to stress the point that he tells me he has no salary for 2 months - and we still have a roof over our head, his son still has a lunch and dinner made every night, etc etc....
If I lost my job tomorrow - I would lose my house because there is no one to pay the mortgage. I'd lose my vehicle, my Mom would lose her apartment, grocery money, utilities, etc etc....

I'm not sure if I got through to him, but I hope so.....

On the flip side - Here's an example of one of the reasons that I am with him and want to do my damnedest to make it work..

My Birthday is in the summer - for my birthday he built me a wishing well on the corner of my yard... it sat half-finished for months and months and still isn't 100% complete, however a big part of that was due because I spent my birthday afternoon and the week afterwards in emergency rooms / the hospital with appendicitis that turned into septicemia (blood poisoning). The entire time, he didn't leave my side. If I went for a CT scan, he was right outside the doors waiting. He went probably 3 days without sleeping with everything going on, and especially once the septicemia started...After I was discharged the last time we had gone to my Mom's and somehow the topic came up that my boyfriend had never actually taken me on a 'real' date... my Mom asked him what his ideal date would be, and he said that even the last week just spending time together was (other than the being very seriously ill and having some very scary moments) one of his 'ideal' dates because it was literally hours on end that was just us talking, laughing, and spending real quality time together... because hey, what else do you do in a hospital waiting room for hours? :)

Anyways - I know that people don't come onto partner or relationship forums to talk about the good times, and I know that sometimes that can come across like everything is all bad as a result. Just an example from the other side.

I think a very toxic start to our cohabitating (before him or I knew he had ADD) between me taking care of everything and then pushing, but not pushing hard for the first couple months set a VERY bad precedent... I assumed since he moved in with me that the first bit he would be strapped from moving costs, etc etc, and that was 100% my part and fault for starting to enable. I honestly believe it became a case of him even consciously realizing that I was there so he didn't *have* to struggle. He is an 11th hour kind of person - I am the exact opposite.

For the first time in a LONG time (actually probably since he actually started medication) I'd say we are actually making progress. I have a feeling he probably knows that I am running out of options and finally getting close to 'that' point, and that's what innitiated the effort from him.
It is SLOW... but it is progress. He bought Melissa Orlov's ebook and has been reading it. Last it came up he was on page 50... innitially he used it as a "See? It's just like the book - you __ and ___ and ___ and ___" (which, was completely inaccurate and total just projection) but he has since brought it up in positive ways and talked to me about the things that he has learned.

So here's to small steps forward...

Anyways.

Thank you again for listening and responding.
Not sure what I would do sometimes without this forum since I have found it and the support I have recieved.

Is there anything anyone has found that has made 'this' part of the journey easier? Or anything they found their partner did that made things a bit more bearable?

Thanks

Mittens

dvdnvwls
12-09-13, 02:15 PM
Fear is a huge motivator. It doesn't last long - an un-treated ADHDer motivated by fear will do great for a while, but when the fear wears off, so does the progress.

I think you're often not giving yourself enough credit here for the good you are doing. Don't worry about the bad precedent, just set a new one.

I think there's no doubt that you're right about him realizing you were there and he stopped struggling. This is a tough one though - because in his struggling he probably wasn't getting much of anywhere. He needs better and different strategy, not just more effort. Most of us undiagnosed or late-diagnosed ADHDers have been putting in massive effort forever, in ways that aren't very useful. Giving up that useless struggle is GOOD - but only when directly followed by learning how to do things better.

Mittens
12-09-13, 02:42 PM
Fear is a huge motivator. It doesn't last long - an un-treated ADHDer motivated by fear will do great for a while, but when the fear wears off, so does the progress.

I think you're often not giving yourself enough credit here for the good you are doing. Don't worry about the bad precedent, just set a new one.

I think there's no doubt that you're right about him realizing you were there and he stopped struggling. This is a tough one though - because in his struggling he probably wasn't getting much of anywhere. He needs better and different strategy, not just more effort. Most of us undiagnosed or late-diagnosed ADHDers have been putting in massive effort forever, in ways that aren't very useful. Giving up that useless struggle is GOOD - but only when directly followed by learning how to do things better.

Is there anything that makes this stage easier?

He seems okay with the medication / dose (Ritalin, twice a day), and he is beginning to read Melissa Orlov's book...
I know these things don't happen over night *by any* means. I'm just not sure what reasonable timelines would look like?
What's the logical 'next step'?
What's 'my part' in the next little while?
I'm reading the book as well - seperately. It's helping me understand quite a bit, and open my eyes to different perspectives.. but as for specific direction - I am kind of at a loss?
I'm not sure where the line is between pushing too hard, and not pushing / enabling?

Anyways.
Thank you again

Mittens

Mittens
12-09-13, 03:17 PM
Stop nagging, and also stop getting taken advantage of. Nagging doesn't help, so just quit it. I know that you know that something must be done, but nagging isn't it. I know you might say it isn't so simple as "just quit nagging", but honestly it is. Not because your feelings aren't valid (they are), and not because something doesn't need to be done (of course it's obvious something must be done) - but because nagging is 100% toxic and 100% ineffective,.

This may sound like a very stupid question... but what is the difference between nagging and bringing something up?

I hadn't thought of the difference, and I'm not sure if I am nagging or not....?

Wow.
I definitely sound like I need a dunce cap after that statement, lol, but with everything going I'm not entirely sure what makes sense or doesn't at the moment.

kilted_scotsman
12-09-13, 04:34 PM
To a hypersensitive person.... there is no difference between nagging and "bringing something up"...

This is why he needs to get his emotions under control.....

Regarding the money and his inability to understand where a large monthly income went....

I can completely understand his pain, rage and frustration around this subject.... as I've been there myself.... this area is a devils brew for the ADDer.... impulsivity, inattention, inability to focus on admin, lack of self esteem, living in the present, cultural conditioning around manhood, inability to "provide", avoidance and addictive behaviours are all in the mix.....

My view is that the guy has to agree to hand over almost everything to a responsible person.....and then over time.... learn to build up coping strategies...so that eventually some budgeting skills can be learned.... and awareness gained about moderation and coping with addictive and impulsive urges.

My partner does the three breathes thing with me.... when she spots me getting stressy about something.... she will make me take 3 deep breaths. I have learned to trust her judgement on this... so when she says it I know that no matter how ****** off about her calling the 3 breath timeout.... I have to take 3 deep breaths..... and she is the judge of whether the breaths are deep enough and long enough!

The key to this is complete and implicit trust in her. however I met her after I had been diagnosed and had already realised I needed to change significantly.... which is why I was at the spiritual community where I met her.

You could also try the retreat angle too.... he heads off for a while to a meditative type retreat... buddist ones are often good, maybe a retreat based on a particular theme such as walking or photography...so it's not a dive into the complete unknown....

He goes on his own..... he does what he needs to do... he comes back.... repeat regularly for the rest of life.

This is part of the development of his "practise" his way of switching off from the stress of the world and providing "space" between the words of life. My practise is dance.... wild and emotionally releasing five rhythms, and Tango to develop "presence", body awareness and the ability to handle people at close range.

He is looking to find his way of being in this world.... for that he has to shed much of what he has been taught and subconsciously absorbed up till now.

Developing this way of being is what is at the core of the development of his "practise".... it will take a long time..... the rest of his life in fact.... the actuality of his practise will change over time.... as he explore different facets of himself.

but the first step is for him to understand he can either stay where he is.... enmeshed in suffering and causing suffering to those he loves.... or begin walking, and walking is a form of practise in itself..... because in this form of practise you don't walk to get from A to B you walk in order to find out where you are.

kilted

dvdnvwls
12-09-13, 05:27 PM
This may sound like a very stupid question... but what is the difference between nagging and bringing something up?

I hadn't thought of the difference, and I'm not sure if I am nagging or not....?

Wow.
I definitely sound like I need a dunce cap after that statement, lol, but with everything going I'm not entirely sure what makes sense or doesn't at the moment.kilted_scotsman already said it extremely well, with the important additional information. I just want to add that you don't sound at all like you need a dunce cap. Your topic in this thread, along with the reasons behind it, is (in my opinion anyway) the part of dealing with ADHD that's most likely to drive a non-ADHDer crazy, because of all the "mental land mines" that we late-diagnosis adult ADHDers tend to plant on the metaphorical "road" to getting to know and understand us.

Staying sane, for you, definitely involves reassuring yourself that the mistakes you'll make in learning to navigate life with an ADHD spouse are honest, reasonable, and not your fault for not knowing ahead of time. By this time in your husband's life, he's had all the classic mistakes made on him multiple times anyway - you're in new territory with ADHD, but he's not.

Sadly, his experiences and beliefs have taught him bad coping strategies, along with the important information he's learned about himself. He needs to learn to drop those bad strategies, and to replace them with ones that work. He knows a lot internally about himself, but he doesn't know nearly enough about how to put together "himself + world" in a way that is good for all concerned. I don't know enough of those things for myself either, and I really feel for your husband. He and I have both learned a lot of mistakes and half-truths, through judging ourselves by wrong standards, and through trying to use "normal" strategies that are un-suited to the way we really work, and when they don't work feeling ashamed and withdrawing - and often looking for something or someone to blame, because (a) "It's supposed to work but it doesn't", (b) "I know I'm not a bad person", and (c) "If it's supposed to work, and it doesn't work, and I'm not a bad person, then something outside me needs fixing". When I see that part (b) is not the point, that it's not "am I good or bad" but rather "I operate differently, and I need to adapt all instructions and knowledge I receive to my different way of operating, and more importantly adapt myself to a good-but-strange way of life", then I think I'm getting somewhere. In fact I'm not yet getting somewhere, but at least I'm looking in more or less the correct direction now.

Mittens
12-09-13, 05:51 PM
He goes on his own..... he does what he needs to do... he comes back.... repeat regularly for the rest of life.

This is part of the development of his "practise" his way of switching off from the stress of the world and providing "space" between the words of life. My practise is dance.... wild and emotionally releasing five rhythms, and Tango to develop "presence", body awareness and the ability to handle people at close range.

He is looking to find his way of being in this world.... for that he has to shed much of what he has been taught and subconsciously absorbed up till now.

Developing this way of being is what is at the core of the development of his "practise".... it will take a long time..... the rest of his life in fact.... the actuality of his practise will change over time.... as he explore different facets of himself.

but the first step is for him to understand he can either stay where he is.... enmeshed in suffering and causing suffering to those he loves.... or begin walking, and walking is a form of practise in itself..... because in this form of practise you don't walk to get from A to B you walk in order to find out where you are.

kilted

That's kind of funny you bring that up about 'finding his own way'... He participated in very high level martial arts for years before he met me, and even now is in absolutely incredible shape as a results. He's been to Korea numerous times competing and training. He always talks about how he wants to get into his daily stretching again, and I know that he has mentioned he learned different meditation techniques and what-not... I wonder if that might not be something to revisit? or something constructive he could draw up / make things a bit easier for him?
Or is trying to work that into his routine more stressful / just one more thing to remember?

I'm not sure if it's more of an individual thing, or an ADHD thing, but does having a very physical outlet help??

I mean, I live and breathe roller derby - my heart is on 8 wheels, but that's a 'me' thing as I have a ridiculous amount of energy and I really do *need* that outlet to externalize things as I just have no other way of externalizing constructively.. Logically speaking, I would think that having even more energy, a physical outlet would be even moreso important to someone with Add/adhd??

As always, thank you for everyone reading and taking the time to respond.
Can't say how much I appreciate it and how much this forums helps.

Thanks
Mittens

salleh
12-09-13, 09:04 PM
whew .....some amazing words of wisdom written in this threade ...and Hello Mittens, and welcome to the forums, .....ain't it grand how much support you find here ??? .....and Kilted Scotsman .....as always, I find myself delighted at your wise words ....you have more wisdom than you know ....

....So Mittens ......I think you're on the right track, the trick is to know when and if forward progress is being made enough for you to be able to keep your life together ....I have been in the situation where I supported the guy, (not to mention just friends too) way too many times ....I am a pushover for seeing the "potential" in people.....and it cost me pretty much everything, and I ended up being supported by other people .....and I don't like being in this position ...so be careful how deeply you get involved with this man ....

.....as long as he WANTS to learn how to work with the problems that he has, fine, .....but you should pay attention to his actions too......spinning his wheels in the wrong direction doesn't help either one of you .....

...and the one idea that I should have learned is writing stuff down and emailing someone with my concerns .....( of course, I haven't been involved with anyone since I have become internet savy, fooey) ....but I find I am not good at talking out sensitive subjects......if either one of you has this problem ....try emailing .....

....and good luck with this and give yourself a pat on the back for trying to understand him ....most of us with ADHD have most of our relationships fail because the other person doesn't even try to understand us ....and frankly most of us are very good people, with a serious moral standard that we adhere to ....even if we aren't so good at dealing with modern life ....

ana futura
12-09-13, 10:39 PM
Yes 100% he should get back into martial arts, and also pursue meditation on its own if he's interested.

Before I was diagnosed I "treated" my symptoms with martial arts for many years. It helped me a lot, although I didn't realize it at the time. Physical exercise is very good for us, but the meditative aspect of martial arts makes it even better.

There's also a fair amount of research that shows sitting meditation is extremely helpful to the ADHD'er.

The book "The Mindfulness Prescription for ADHD" is a great place to start.