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Discussion Starter #1
Please excuse if you have seen this already; I thought I posted it but never saw it again. I hope I don't lose this one!

I've been married 23 years now, and I can't tell if I'm overreacting to issues in the past or actually looking at an accumulation of evidence. My questions are 1) what do you think? And 2) how can I figure this out? Is documenting each incident childish?

The latest problem is the dishwasher. One day before Christmas, the dishwasher broke. My husband said he liked to wash dishes but I still wanted it fixed. We have three kids and lots of dishes. Mr.whiner said he didn't think it was under warranty but he would check. He didn't but he always said he would when I brought it up.
He washed nearly all the dishes himself and whenever I tried to teach the kids to help, he would send them away because, he said, he liked doing it and they didn't to it well. They are ages 8, 11, and 14. When he was not home and I would tell the kids to wash they argued that "dad likes to do it". Then. The sink began to leak and we had to wash in a Tupperware tub set in the sink. Still, he didn't call. I gave up trying to get the kids to help or doing much myself, thinking he would get sick of it and call. Nope.

Even with the plastic tub, the sink leaks and gross water is gathered under the sink in a bucket. It smells horrible. It also gathers in the bottom of the dishwasher, or did, when we used the dishwasher to drain the dishes. I announced yesterday that we would no longer use it that way. He thought I was overreacting.

In march, I called Sears. The machine was fixed but broke again. And again. Each time, my husband said he would call--I teach and do not have cell coverage or a phone in my room--and had to be reminded again and again. I knew he would be mad if I called.

Last time the repair guy came, we bought an extended warranty with the understanding that if it broke again, it would be replaced in full. It broke. Then mr. W said we couldn't call sears bc we had bought the warranty in a shady way. I do not understand. Finally, he made an appt. just yesterday for June 10. I was so mad about this late date that I wrote angry e-mail to sears. Mr. w got mad about that, too.

Is he a nice guy who likes to wash dishes or some sort of passive-aggressive hyper-procrastinator?

We have plenty of issues and I am by no means perfect. But I think this behavior is a pattern and I resent that he is the nice one (washing the dishes) while I am the nag (always bugging him to make calls) when it is perfectly reasonable to want a dishwasher.

Other "evidence":

The tree down in the backyard for 2 years bc it is stupid to pay someone to cut it up. He plans to do it himself.

His statement on Mother's Day:" wow, I was going to get you flowers but I just fell sound asleep!" Last year, I insisted I just wanted one-day maid service for Mother's Day. He thought this was a poor use of money. 2 days later, he offered to buy me a couch. I restated I wanted the house cleaned. I got nothing at all but when I mentioned this he said, "well, I thought you were going to hire a maid."

He refuses to go to bed when I do because it limits his freedom and if he does, he says he will wake in middle of the night. He finally agreed to sleep study but then only tried sleeping with the c-pap mask for a few minutes. It smothered him, he said.

I let him take control of the bills bc he said I should trust him. 6 months later, calls from collection agencies started. He put me off again and again but I finally went through his "filing" system-- his back pack. Many bills were in the bottom, not even opened. He was furious that I went through his stuff and talked a lot of nonsense, as in " I would rather you just cut off my head than pay that c-pap bill! It is totally unfair. You might as well just stab me in the heart!"

He often says he doesn't remember making statements like this.

He hasn't finished fixing up the basement, drywalling my office, or framing the door. This is over about 4 years.

He agreed we could get 2 puppies but won't let them in the house when he is

Okay, on the positive side.

Says he would do anything for our family.
Very reliable in picking up kids, going on field trips, etc.
Works best in "emergency" situations, like running out to get poster paper for a school project.
Does not demand any particular chores from me--housekeeping, grocery shopping, etc.
Usually cooks supper on the weekends.
Never forgets birthdays, etc.

Am I just fussing about typical stuff, or does this sound like a real issue? He often "remembers" things differently than I do, so should I document statements or choices he makes that seem likely to cause trouble later? That seems so mean and childish but he honestly makes me feel like I'm going crazy!

All advice--even if it is to stop whining--is welcome!
 

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My 2 cents is that he sounds like he wants to control things involved with repair or maintenance, however, he may not enjoy taking care of those things and so he turns into a super-procrastinator. I don't really pick up his being passive aggressive, but it's possible! Maybe he has a bit of selective memory as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for reading my long post, mixed bag. Compared to the issues I've been reading about this is pretty minor. Guess I just needed to vent!
 

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He sounds ADHD to me (like me..)
To answer your main question first - passive aggressive? I.e. is he doing all just this to p-ss you off? NO - I don't believe so.

AD folks tend to be really bad at open-ended organizational tasks that are trivial to others. Paying bills is a good example, my W took this over because I kept messing it up - for some reason it was really hard to get my head around. I have a well-paying job in IT, yet some simple tasks like this are a huge pain - I can focus intensely on some tasks, others I will never do well. My W constantly interprets this as meaning I don’t give a sh-- about her or the family, we fight over it all the time.
Procrastination is a huge problem for AD, getting started on certain seemingly trivial tasks is like running a marathon.. maybe from a lifetime of failure at certain tasks others thought would be easy.
Advice: STOP TAKING IT PERSONALLY - it isn’t. Focus on what he does well. You said he’s good about some stuff - build on that. Don’t give him open-ended tasks. Don’t set him up by asking him to do something he’s failed at before thinking it’ll be different if he tries harder, even if he tells you it will - and he may, knowing it’s what you want to hear.
Give constant reminders of the things you want done - NICELY, but frequently. Write things on whiteboards. Make him write things down. Don’t tell him six things and expect he’ll remember them all if he loves you, he’s still focussed on the first one.
If he doesn’t do something you asked him to in a reasonable time, do it for him WITHOUT GETTING MAD or making snide comments - he’ll want to do better. Fix the dishwasher - ya it may p-ss him off but he had plenty of chance. He likes doing the dishes cause it’s a safe simple task he can’t screw up.
Selective memory - remember his brain works very differently from yours, in a given situation he’ll often concentrate on totally different things and of course have a different memory.
Calling him Mr. Whiner seems like a bad sign - wouldn’t that make you Mrs. Whiner...? : /
 

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He sounds ADHD to me (like me..)
To answer your main question first - passive aggressive? I.e. is he doing all just this to p-ss you off? NO - I don't believe so.

AD folks tend to be really bad at open-ended organizational tasks that are trivial to others. Paying bills is a good example, my W took this over because I kept messing it up - for some reason it was really hard to get my head around. I have a well-paying job in IT, yet some simple tasks like this are a huge pain - I can focus intensely on some tasks, others I will never do well. My W constantly interprets this as meaning I don’t give a sh-- about her or the family, we fight over it all the time.
Procrastination is a huge problem for AD, getting started on certain seemingly trivial tasks is like running a marathon.. maybe from a lifetime of failure at certain tasks others thought would be easy.
Advice: STOP TAKING IT PERSONALLY - it isn’t. Focus on what he does well. You said he’s good about some stuff - build on that. Don’t give him open-ended tasks. Don’t set him up by asking him to do something he’s failed at before thinking it’ll be different if he tries harder, even if he tells you it will - and he may, knowing it’s what you want to hear.
Give constant reminders of the things you want done - NICELY, but frequently. Write things on whiteboards. Make him write things down. Don’t tell him six things and expect he’ll remember them all if he loves you, he’s still focussed on the first one.
If he doesn’t do something you asked him to in a reasonable time, do it for him WITHOUT GETTING MAD or making snide comments - he’ll want to do better. Fix the dishwasher - ya it may p-ss him off but he had plenty of chance. He likes doing the dishes cause it’s a safe simple task he can’t screw up.
Selective memory - remember his brain works very differently from yours, in a given situation he’ll often concentrate on totally different things and of course have a different memory.
Calling him Mr. Whiner seems like a bad sign - wouldn’t that make you Mrs. Whiner...? : /
Could not agree more.

Google Adult ADHD and learn how to coach the ADHD adult. You've gotten stuck in nag mode. Change your message to one that he "hears" as constructive and challenging rather than whining, complaining and counter productive. If he does have ADHD, this is something he has grown up with, in all likelihood, so the tendency to procrastinate, over schedule, manage time poorly, consistently take on more than they can handle( thus creating a self sabotage situation) is something that brings him a lot of personal shame.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input. I will check out the ADD information. It's important to trust that he is not doing it on purpose! Just reading through TAM posts and getting feedback makes a world of difference!
 
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