Thanks, all. This has given me a lot to think about, particularly in terms of our daughter. It’s true that she is very smart – part of the reason that she is able to stay on top of her homework is that she is able to finish much of it in class. I suppose that as she moves into high school and has a heavier homework load, that may change.
I am reluctant (at this point) to involve a medical professional because I don’t want her to put a label on herself. We do have really good communication and I will work hard to keep those channels open so if she starts encountering more problems I will know. But I think keeping in mind that she may have ADD/anxiety will help me to work with her better, and also hopefully help my husband do the same.
Regarding the abuse issue, I don’t feel like I am walking on eggshells. I did, at one point in our marriage a long time ago, but he has worked to improve himself and things have gotten much better. Our daughter does not remember the bad ol’ days (I haven’t asked her directly, but she describes her young childhood as being pretty idyllic, which tells me I was able to shield her pretty well). She also says that she doesn’t feel like she has to walk on eggshells around daddy, except for about 1/2 hour after he’s lost his temper.
So here’s another concern of mine: let’s assume that my husband’s behavior does not cross that invisible border into abusive, but is certainly difficult. He feels that he has worked really hard to get to where he is and doesn’t believe he can control his temper any better than he is now, so refuses to try further methods to improve. As a result I divorce him, and daughter understands that the divorce is a result of his having ADD and being unable to control his anger. Several years later, daughter starts having problems in high school, which include anger issues. Won’t daughter feel panicky that she too will be abandoned, since I set the example by divorcing her dad?
I know that this is not an excuse to stay in an abusive relationship – I do have some experience (earlier in our marriage) of how bad things can be and if things were still that bad I would have left already. But at this point it is simply a difficult relationship, and I fear that if I leave because it is difficult I will be setting an example for our daughter that difficult people (which may well be her someday) get left. Am I wrong?REPORT ABUSE