June 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm #88419
AnonymousInactiveJune 11, 2010 at 5:31 pmPost count: 14413
My husband was diagnosed with ADD as a child. He was medicated for a while as a child but has not taken medication since he was about 11 years old. The reason I am posting this is because I need help. We have been married 6 years and I am beside myself trying to get him to engage in particiapting in homelife. My main concerns are:
a) Helping with chores around the house
b) Engaging with his two young boys
I work full time, take care of most, if not all, daily tasks related to raising two boys (1 years old and 4 years old), manage the finances and take care of most all household chores (he takes out the trash (most of the time) and walks the dog). I am completely and utterly exhausted. I am angry a lot of the time. We have had many many arguments about household chores and at this point I don’t even ask him to help out anymore because he immediately gets defensive and it ends in an argument so I suck it upo and try to get through my day.
He is obsessed with college football and chat boards related to college football. I dread football season as his disengagement in household life gets much worse during this time.
I need help trying to resolve this. Will it always be like this? How do I get him to see that I am headed for a nervous breakdown? As it is my father is terminally ill which has added even more stress to what I am dealing with being married to someone with ADD. I need help! I love him dearly. He is a caring father, provides for his family but is switched off when it comes to running a home and parenting.REPORT ABUSEJune 20, 2010 at 1:16 am #94350
AnonymousInactiveJune 20, 2010 at 1:16 amPost count: 14413
I have ADD inattentive and am both a father and a husband. My identification is the result of my youngest son being diagnosed as having it. My father most likely passed it on to me. While I’m not a doctor, I would like to give you a view from this side of the table so to speak.
Amazingly having ADD caught me totally by surprise, and I really didn’t take it well. Adding to this there was quite a bit of upheaval in our lives at the time. Funny how life never waits for everything to be calm before it drops a bomb on you. One of the first things I learned about adults and ADD is that they can suffer from depression. This is what happened with me, and while I still have bad days, for the most part things are better. It may sound strange but I look these last few months as a gift. For the first time I was able to see myself as other people see me.
But how does this relate to you?
My mind is like an older model computer, limited RAM. Give me too many tasks and I start to overload and slow down. When this happens my brain takes the path of least resistance, which is simply do nothing or stop. I have been known to stand in the middle of a room holding a laundry basket for 20 min or more staring at the TV, not really watching it but not doing anything else either. Lists also scare the hell out of me, because I can see everything that needs to be done and that overwhelms me. One of the things that we do with my youngest son is chunk or break up his tasks. So instead of a big list of things to do, there is only 1 or 2 things to do at one time. I’ve been trying to do that with myself as well with some success, I don’t stress so much about lists now.
I also hyperfocus on things to the point of obsession. When I’m in the “zone” the world disappears to me. You can’t ever seem to get enough of it, and it feels good. Think like a 14 yr old Trek fan who just found out that the Trekkie convention he’s attending is going to settle the question of which is the best series buy having Kirk and Spock vs Picard and Worf tag team westle (sorry about the geek moment). And if you have knowledge of the topic on these chat boards then you have huge “street cred”. Toss in the fact that life is overloading your CPU, and you find that the online world is a great place to hide. I know it sounds a bit far fetched, but from this past October to March I hid in an online game and ignored my life so yes, it can happen. I still really don’t know how I stopped this hiding out but at least I know what to look for now so I’m hopeful I won’t repeat it.
In my case knowing was half the battle. I now have some idea of how I appear to others. Also I’ve been lucky to have people stand by me while I’ve unknowingly complicated their lives. It might be possible that your husband is similar, but he is going to have to be open to working with you. He sounds like a caring person that works hard and would never knowingly cause you pain. He will need to learn that you aren’t nagging him about things, but trying to keep him focused. If possible both of you should be speaking with a doctor about options as well. Also there are a lot of good people on this site you can use as resources. Sadly, there is no quick fix, and most likely it is going to be a long and winding road.
Hang in there, ok?REPORT ABUSEJune 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm #94351
ADDledMemberJune 20, 2010 at 12:47 pmPost count: 121
It came as a tremendous relief to my wife why I behaved the way I did. It wasn’t “me”, it was my brain. (Ricky from “Trailer Park Boys” said that “My brain is way smarter than me. It’s always making me do things and getting me into trouble and stuff.” I like that show – please don’t judge me….).
It took almost thirty years to figure this out. I’m now on Concerta and my wife is of the opinion it’s the best thing that ever happened to us. It was a diagnosis that came entirely out of nowhere after 20 years of treating the wrong symptom.
I think every ADDer out there is, in their essence, a caring, loving and responsible person. We’ve just fallen of the rails. And much like so_calvin, I deal with the same issues. The same RAM computer thing….When I’m overloaded mentally, I do exactly the same thing. I shut down as if a circuit breaker has cut out.
But, as I have found out, there is a lot of support out there. Your husband has the awareness thing about ADD, so he is, at least, some idea as to what may need to be addressed. I try to avoid the work “fixed” as there is nothing to fix – <humour>it’s not like taking your dog to the Vet to get neutered. </humour>
Doing a lot of therapy has taught me that the goal of therapy is to guide the patient so that the patient makes the discovery themselves. The “breakthrough”, as it is sometimes called. Therapists never really come out and say you’re depressed or have have anxiety issues. They may use that as suggestions or starting points during therapy as ideas to help you along the path to lead to the breakthrough. And I suppose, much like I have discovered, that’s when you become self-aware of the core issue, then recovery can take place because you own the issue.
The problem is how do you motivate someone to get to that place. My wife always tells me you can’t get people to do anything they don’t want to do. Took me awhile to figure that on out.
I don’t want to add another stressor in your life right now, but it may be conceivable (from a statistical point of view) that one of your boys may have ADD also. Since ADD can be a genetic thing, maybe that can be the starting point to open discussion as to “nudging” your husband into dealing with the issue that vexing your lives right now. I am not a health care professional or therapist or counsellor…just someone who has ADD and has been down that road. And I don’t want to advise you how to run your lives. I just want to offer some support, much as I would to a friend.
Has he seen the documentary on this website?
Don’t forget also, that as more and more women become the major, and in some cases, the only, source of income that men are having a great deal of trouble dealing with that fact. Many males, including me, are trying to understand our roles in the “new world order”. Everything we know, or understand, or believed about our place in the scheme of things has been turned upside down. For generations, men have been hard wired to play a specific role in society and now that has been tossed side like an empty Tim Horton’s coffee cup.
Again, I am not judging, it’s just my opinion. Hopefully, I haven’t overwhelmed you. There are a lot of good people on these forums, with a lot of real world experience trying to make the world bend to our ADD.
Hope this helps….and good luckREPORT ABUSEJune 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm #94352
AnonymousInactiveJune 20, 2010 at 5:37 pmPost count: 14413
One thing to look at is why your husband stopped medications? Given he was 11 at the time, did his parents make that decision? Were they of the opinion that he was better? Was there a medical reason? Was he scared?
Sadly there is the opinion that “they will grow out of it” out there, but if you ask around here you get a different answer. Like it or not this is part of me (us), there is no magic pill or person to talk to. Yes there are meds and strategies that will help keep me (us) on the rails but this will always be there. I’ve known parents that are embarassed by their ADD kids, or don’t know how to cope, or figure its just a phase. Not because they don’t love them, but because they don’t understand ADD. As I said knowing is half the battle. You have taken a big step, you are looking for answers and asking for help.
Perhaps your husband associates ADD = dumb. Get him to look at this site, have him read our life stories found here. This place is one of the biggest collections of smart people that I’ve ever seen. We may be quirky, run off the rails every once in a while, some other point I can’t remember right now (oh, we are funny), and definitely NOT DUMB (sorry for the caps). This is not a pride thing. As ADDled says there is a “new world order”, and I truly hope your husband finds his place in it.
Finally, look after yourself, too. There are both sides of the ADD family present on this site. There are many people out there that have gone, or are going through what you are. They can offer suggestions as to how they have learned to cope, and these may help you find some solutions both for you and for your family. This is a road both of you are going to have to walk . So keep your chin up, and try to remember to laugh once in a while.REPORT ABUSEJune 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm #94353
AnonymousInactiveJune 20, 2010 at 7:45 pmPost count: 14413
No doubt that you are in a tough spot, and feeling the stress of being pulled in several directions as a mom, as a wife, and as a daughter. I am sending my most positive thoughts to you and to your family in what I’m sure is a very difficult time for you all.
That said, I have been exactly where you are now, so perhaps can offer some ideas. You say that you have had many arguments about chores; instead of an argument, maybe you could agree to have a discussion (even if it’s only in small bites) so that you can each offer input as to your expectations. It could be simply that your concept of “clean the kitchen” (or bathroom or whatever) is different from his, and a conversation may be the first step in a new direction.
Once upon a hundred years ago when we did our marriage prep course, one of the exercises was to discuss who would be responsible for the household stuff – chores, finances, children, etc. – seems that very few people actually talk about this before they get married. (This being the reason that marriage prep courses exist.) We agreed that we would split it equally, and given that my beloved’s growing-up responsiblilities were mostly taking out the trash, mowing the lawn and shoveling the driveway, the new world of marriage that included laundry and cooking was a big step for him. Also, since his dad wasn’t around, the thought of fatherhood was just as scary as it was exciting, because in his mind, he had no frame of reference and he was afraid of “getting it wrong”.
As he was learning to cook, he would often apologize that the meal hadn’t turned out the same as mine; if we were missing an ingredient and I suggested an alternative, he would ask, “Can you do that?” Though very willing to learn, his self-confidence in his kitchen skills was lacking, and he was trying to “measure up” to me, which wasn’t a fair comparison, given that I had learned in exactly the same way, but several years before him.
Like your husband, he was (and is) a caring father, but it would drive me crazy that he didn’t see what I was going through. Would it have killed him to throw in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher when he got home from work? One thing that used to drive me insane was that his alarm would go off; he would hit the snooze button a couple of times, then roll out of bed with just enough time to get dressed and dash out the door to work. His morning routine took about 10 minutes. Meantime, I would be awake from the time the alarm first went off, and since I don’t do snooze buttons, I would be up making the coffee, letting the dog out, putting his lunch together (because I knew he wouldn’t have enough time), letting the dog in, getting showered and dressed. After he left for work, get my kids up, get their breakfast, get them dressed and ready for school, make their lunches … my morning routine was a lot longer than 10 minutes!
I knew that he was a loving, capable and creative person, but this kind of routine wasn’t good for either of us. I would sit and simmer until I couldn’t hold it in any longer, and while I was exploding he would be wondering where it came from “out of the blue”. Things started to change once my kids got old enough to be responsible for household chores; because as we were trying to making our expectations clear for them, we had to agree between ourselves as to what those expectations were. Maybe it meant that a task didn’t get done in exactly the same way that I did, but the bottom line was that it did get done – eventually. It was years before the word ADD came up, but when it did, we had a sort of “aha!” moment. Suddenly there was an answer, an explanation, so we started looking into how we would deal with it as a family. We began researching strategies we could adopt that would benefit all of us, and have had some success in implementing them.
Also, I know that your sons are still small, so they are probably not quite at the point of helping you out, but they will be soon, and they will be learning by example. While there is often an impulse to just do things yourself, you need to fight it off and let them do it in their own way. If that means you need to leave the three of them alone while you go for a walk, or meet a friend for a coffee, then do it.
Understand, too, that there is a good possibility that one or both of your sons could inherit the ADD from their father, so you may need to start looking into this now, and advocating on their behalf, especially once they start school. Since your husband was diagnosed earlier, he could be a great resource in this area, as his experience can come into play. If it your son(s) have it as well, you will need to develop some “survival” tactics to help keep you all sane.
Let us know how things are working out.REPORT ABUSEAugust 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm #94354
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantAugust 19, 2010 at 3:16 pmPost count: 473
I don’t know if these will help, but a couple of simple strategies for getting someone with ADHD onboard include…
Putting a time limit on it. And adding emotion. “This mess under the stairs really bothers me and looks awful. Can you spend ten minutes giving me a hand to tidy it up a bit. It would make me so happy.” Time limits help. We know it’s not forever. Start with small times. Even just two minutes.
Another thing that works is to make a game or challenge out of it. “I’m going to see if I can clean the car out and make it look fabulous in under half an hour. Want to see if we can do it together?”
And finally, heap huge amounts of praise on him when he does something. We need to hear the difference we are making. If he helps on something, don’t immediately jump to, “Great. Now the attic is driving me crazy…” or whatever. Celebrate, acknowledge, praise, show gratitude. Hugely motivating.
I know you’re feeling overwhelmed and getting into a positive state and giving him praise may be a challenge, but these three strategies work on me.REPORT ABUSEAugust 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm #94355
MonikaMemberAugust 23, 2010 at 6:18 pmPost count: 82
I’ve marked this as a favorite because Jeaninet I can so relate. I could have written your post and substituted computers for football, except there is no computer season, its year’round.
One thing I hope you do is make time for yourself. If that means a load of clothes doesn’t get washed or the floor misses a mopping, that’s ok. “Housework even done incorrectly still blesses the family.” And if he comments that the house is missing its manic sparkle, then you say, it’s on my list or perhaps you could help me with that.
I know others here have found help from http://www.flylady.net like me, it shows you how to manage life like a single parent (which during football season for you is completely applicable) and still take care of you.
One last note, your husband is who your husband is. You cannot save him from having regrets later in life over the lack of relationships with his children. But perhaps you can remind him that is what he is earning by not engaging now when they are young. And even a meal together, talking about the day can build a relationship. http://www.behaviordoctor.org said that the 100 free rewards for children on her website can be used just for that.
I’ll be sending you positive thoughts and well wishes.
Contact me anytime if you need an ear or support.
MREPORT ABUSEAugust 24, 2010 at 9:57 pm #94356
AnonymousInactiveAugust 24, 2010 at 9:57 pmPost count: 14413
There’s a great saying that my friend keeps telling me. She claims it’s Buddhist. I believe her.
It’s that ” All of our upsets and anger and suffering is due to unfulfilled expectations.”
It took me a while to get it. But it’s proven true for me. The question I have to ask her is, “Great, how do you let go of expectations?” Maybe that’s what MMarcel means about the house not being spotless.REPORT ABUSESeptember 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm #94357
AnonymousInactiveSeptember 5, 2010 at 7:37 pmPost count: 14413
I can relate to some degree, with what’s on your plate. How is it that I can work, take care of our daughter, be on time, do all the chores, plan ahead, pay the bills, etc….in short, do everything to keep our life going, and he can’t function?! He can’t see himself realistically, doesn’t know how disruptive to my life he is on a moment by moment basis. He looks busy, is exhausted all the time and produces very little income. Every little discussion with some helpful suggestions, no matter the tone I deliver them in, produces a huge fight. At least in this department – ticking me off, and seemingly on purpose – he is very proficient!
You as a mother of small children however, seem to have some expectations that are not realistic. I was a single mom to (now ‘our’) daughter for almost 7 years, and without child support I might add. During the first year and a half of her life, I was with her father. Though not ADD, he was useless at helping out with everything. I mean everything! And as awful as he was, this is a story I have seen with literally dozens of women. Perhaps not the to horrible degree of this man, but not great. Those first 7 years or so of your child’s life are lost on the father. I think it is unrealistic of any woman, married to an ADDer or not, to expect a man to be completely hands on with children and family life. Men are good at many, many things, but running the daily life of a family, complete with negotiating time management, emotions, meals, clean ups, let alone our own careers, extended families, health, etc, – this is not where men excel.
Women all too often get burnt out…adrenals overloaded, the guilt sets in about being bitchy, the love life tanks from resentment, sicknesses happen more and more, and I think a lot of it is because we keep thinking men are like us and need the same things or have the same priorities!
I now put myself first. Obviously, my child is in there too, but at age almost 10, i can afford daily yoga and workouts on my map, meditation and primping myself and I ditched the guilt. I think the biggest piece of the peaceful puzzle I’ve found for me is that I also don’t bail out my husband anymore….I don’t pay his late bills, I don’t step in to ‘explain’ him to someone he might have offended and I call him on his ‘stuff’ calmly and then leave it at that (that’s on good days…but I still blow up sometimes) But for the most part, I have to let him dangle and stop ‘rescuing’ him ….from himself and the consequences of having ADD. He is what he is and a great man for the most part. I enjoy what I can from him. There are many days when I wonder why I settle for this though. I think that’s normal with any man frankly. But his connection with my daughter is so huge for her, and he has such a kind heart, I am in this for life…..i just often fantasize about kicking him out of my moving car! Then I get over it and move on to taking care of me and my kid and ignore him enough for him to twig at some point, that he has dropped the ball on us again and he must make amends.
Perhaps without pointing to the ADD too much, you can suggest councelling together? Perhaps if you sneak in a councellor who has experience with this stuff and not tell your husband, they can be the ones to point him to the right place for help with ADD stuff and go from there.REPORT ABUSESeptember 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm #94358
AnonymousInactiveSeptember 5, 2010 at 10:28 pmPost count: 14413
First let me just say hi to everyone and I am new to this site. For a little background, I was diagnosed with ADHD at 7 and Tourette’s Syndrome at 8. I was medicated till I was 23 and stopped taking the meds. I was on Ritalin for the ADHD and then on Clonadine for the Tourette’s Syndrome. For Tourette’s I do facial, verbal and motor “ticks” and my ticks are increased as a result to taking Ritalin. I have never really seen myself as an outcast kinda thing or really admitted to having it limit me. I have Tourettes and ADHD but they don’t have me. It’s been really hard living my life with both. But I have been able to get by and make the best of my days.
Now on to the topic at hand. Jeaninet, I know what you are going through. I was in a relationship with a woman that I was absolutely in love with and all the time she would ask me to help out around the house. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but I know that I didn’t lots cause I would be doing something and be so focused on it that everything else would literally just disappear. So a lot of the time we would fight over me not helping out around the house. I don’t know about your situation but for me, I found that doing the chores with her I would do it no problems. But she was so tired and mentally exhausted from her day in her profession and I totally understand it too. I know that it’s hard that once my mind is focused on something I seem to just leave everything else behind. I would find myself focusing so hard on doing these things ie; house chores, that when it’s time to stop or everything is done I am still going and doing way more then needs to be done. I mean, I don’t know how to say that bt ever do something so much and it’s all done but you still feel like it’s not even close to being done? That is how I feel.
I myself never knew until last night when I saw the documentary “ADD & Loving It” and realized a lot of things in my life that have happened ie; lost jobs, tanked relationships, focusing on something that I shouldn’t be so focused on like this note right now. Now that I know what to look for and why these things have happened. I can now try to make a difference on myself in the future. I just hope that this same woman will give me another chance. The hardest thing is that I couldn’t even come up with any reason why I was so focused on doing something when I should have been more of a Husband. Try sitting down with him and talking about whats going on. Say to him that you love him, and maybe try to come up with something to say hey hun, what say we do this?
I wish you the best of luck and I hope yo are strong enough to keep pushing through. There are not a lot of people in this world who can keep up or handle ADD/ADHD. I do know how you feel, for I was on his side of the coin and saw the worst that could happen. I hope it does not happen for you.REPORT ABUSESeptember 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm #94359
MikeMemberSeptember 17, 2010 at 6:08 pmPost count: 27
The hard thing is to know you’ve had relationships go south, jobs fall apart, opportunities vanish… and not get disheartened. It seems so monumental. What I have found is that I have bursts of energy, so I can move things forward, and when I run out of steam, I’ve learned to just admit, “I’ve run out of steam.” Are we all this hard on ourselves? Maybe not. Maybe the ones who aren’t this hard on themselves settle, or find a different way.REPORT ABUSEDecember 6, 2010 at 4:58 am #94360
AnonymousInactiveDecember 6, 2010 at 4:58 amPost count: 14413
I could’ve written your note. My husband has been dianosed with ADD by the professional he was seeing for anger management and depression. However, he won’t go look into ADD meds. He is almost completely irresponsible for the household stuff. What’s the difference between changing expectations and giving up hope? My best tactic to deal with my overwhelming anger is to pretend that I’m not married. I hadn’t been for a long time. The problem is that, of course, I am. I can’t count on him for ANYTHING except things related to our young children. I get to work very early; he gets them dressed, fed, and to school. Beyond that, I can’t count on him. His routine tasks: taking out the trash (almost always – I have a physical limit but can do it with difficulty) and walking the dogs (so long as he doesn’t stall long enough that I take pity on the poor animals and do it first). I come home and face all the laundry, dishes, housework, billpaying… he can get his act together enough for the children’s minimal morning needs but not for anything else, and certainly not for me. Example: “I’ll do the dishes” turns into “sorry — I didn’t get anything done today.” Knowing I had a two-hour drive in an old car that needed an oil change, he said he’d get the oil changed. Of COURSE he didn’t! My best coping tactic: pretending he doesn’t exist as a husband. I feel as though there’s some wavy, gray line demarcating illness and irresponsibility. By the way, I have suffered from moderate depression throughout my life. My answer was to tackle it and be responsible: counseling, journaling, medication. His is to watch football and leave it all to me. I tried ignoring the dishes, by the way, on the grounds that he’d step up. The only things that stepped up were ants, and I doubled my workload. I’m tired of taking care of this overgrown, LAZY man. That’s how it seems to me. On the bright side, if he weren’t stuck in his chair watching football (or baseball or whatever), I wouldn’t have a chance at the computer right now. Why are we still married? Immediate answer: children, and he’s a fun, loving dad much of the time. By the way, when he DOES seem nice to me, I’m happy. What an idiot I am!REPORT ABUSEDecember 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm #94361
AnonymousInactiveDecember 7, 2010 at 3:49 pmPost count: 14413
Couples counseling!!!!!! Everything I have read about relationships/marriages with an ADHD person suggests heavily couples counseling, and I have to say, even after only 3 sessions so far, it is the best thing for my relationship with a 47 year old, never been diagnosed ADHD person. After a year of counseling for ‘depression’, and his manipulating and lying to the doctors and counselors, he is finally getting evaluated for ADHD because I threatened to leave. We needed couples counseling to start addressing all the problems he kept telling the doctors were my fault, my problem, me, me, me. He is finally seeing it is him, but more importantly for me, I am getting SUPPORT and help with the resentment I carry. I too, am the breadwinner, with him playing on facebook all day instead of looking for a job, I am working 40 hours a week, doing all the household chores, paying all the bills, etc, while he drives around hanging out with friends, designing racecars online, sitting on the computer and not bringing in a paycheck, but spending all my money for me with his impulsiveness issues. The counselor is helping me get my resentment and anger across to him and helping to educate us on how to work through these issues so we both are okay. I don’t want to write a list for him, like a mother to a 10 year old of his ‘chores’, but I understand he needs small reminders as remembering what needs done, following through on how to do it is incrediably hard for him right now. The counselor is assisting him to stop depending on me to do everything for himself, how to take care of himself, be a partner rather than the child ~ I really hope you are able to get him to counseling, but if not, you should go for yourself. If counseling is not viable option at this time, try Alanon meetings. The problems with ADHD partners and very simular to alcoholics and just having support from somewhere other than at home will help you cope. You can’t change your partner, you can only change yourself and how you deal with your partner. I wish you lots of love and hugs ~REPORT ABUSEDecember 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm #94362
AnonymousInactiveDecember 16, 2010 at 7:52 pmPost count: 14413
I was married to my husband for more than 10 years before he was identified as having ADHD – Inattentive subtype. He is a sweet, smart, wonderful man. Even so, our marriage was a mess. I was exhausted, he felt nagged and belittled, and I felt like I was losing my mind. Conversations went in bizarre directions or he’d forget them and I’d start doubting my own memory. Important things didn’t get done unless I reminded him a dozen times, and then I felt like a jerk. His employment record is uneven even though he is smart and seems motivated, which has put a lot of financial strain on our marriage. We got ourselves out of debt several times, debt he tried to hide until he could clear it himself. He would be sweet as anything, then suddenly become irritable or completely checked out. I wondered if he really cared about me or if I could trust him.
Three years after diagnosis, with medication and couples counseling, things are better. Not perfect, but a lot better. He got diagnosed because a friend told him that he probably had ADHD. He read about it and felt like the books were written for him. It went on from there.
The tough thing for me is that there was a lot of information for him about medication, therapy, coaching, etc., but very little for me. When I got online to look for information about ADHD and spouses/wives, I usually found stuff about how I needed to understand him or lists of things I could do to support him. Honestly, between working, having a kid, and digging us out of ADD messes, I found this sort of stuff to be really annoying. I was eager to support him, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted some support too. Who helps the helper? What responsibilities did he have to try to make *my* life easier? Where were his lists? He even asked for resources, because he began to realize the toll that this had taken on me and on our marriage, but there was almost nothing out there. Gina Pera’s book, “Is it You, Me, or Adult ADD” was very important to me, once I found it. I don’t think it’s the best book for a newly diagnosed ADD-er, at least one who isn’t pretty comfortable with the label and the reality of having it. It is definitely written for those of us who do our best to support our ADD’ers but who feel exhausted and borderline insane after years of confusion and other issues. After reading that book, it became okay to me that I had felt frustrated, tired and close to despair. Also I understood my deep confusion…I understand how I could adore someone and agonize over whether I could stay with him at the same time. The unsayable was there on the printed page. I wasn’t crazy or a nag or a bad person, even though the situation had triggered me to act in ways that didn’t feel like me at all.
Maybe your husband could watch the documentary or read an article about Adult ADD? My husband had a much easier time learning about it from someone besides me. He already felt that he’d let me down too many times to count so he was very defensive. I know that medication is not everyone’s choice, but I think it saved my marriage. Counseling is also a great idea, though untangling the dynamics you guys are probably in can take a long time. It is also easier to be in counseling if the ADD partner is medicated, in my experience. Look hard for a couples counselor who is experienced with ADD couples. Gina Pera goes into reasons why in her book. And, if things go well or if all else fails, take care of yourself and start thinking about what is good for *you*. It is easy for the ADD-er’s spouse to get very vigilant and focused on the spouse with ADHD. I don’t think that you should eliminate your belief that your husband should treat you well and do his share, these seem like reasonable expectations to me. But you can guarantee that someone will treat you well if you do it yourself. I agree with others that humor can help a ton, but it’s hard to find things funny if you and your spouse aren’t laughing together. Otherwise, he could feel like I was laughing at him (which I wasn’t) not because situations and conversations could get so tangled and bizarre.
Now, I am learning when to let something go and when I need to speak up. I am learning how to stop worrying about what he is going to do or not do. Honestly, though, this is because he is taking so much responsibility for his own life, though he still has plenty of ADD moments (or days/weeks). Mostly, I am able to connect with my husband again, which is wonderful. Three years ago, I was so withdrawn for survival’s sake that I may as well have been living on another planet. I hope things get better for you and that you and your husband are able to find your way through this. It can get better.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 2, 2011 at 4:36 am #94363
TLCisaQTMemberJanuary 2, 2011 at 4:36 amPost count: 6
I wish I had some good advice, but all I can offer is support and that I can relate to what you are going through. I have been married almost 10 years and we have two children, 4 and 5 1/2 years. I feel like I”m at the end of my rope and am always one day away from ending up in the “loonie bin.” My oldest daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and that is when I got (and him) the aha moment that he was ADHD as well. I didn’t get it earlier because I knew how to recognize it in kids, not adults. Some days I feel like my marriage is not going to work and I can’t handle it anymore. My husband, while he does help out more than some husbands around the house, I still feel like I”m stuck doing most of the parenting, because either it’s constant yelling, or he has to go and put the headphones one and “tune out” to keep from losing it himself. He does not have the ability to filter a lot of things. The saving grace for us (and what gives me hope) is that I happened to come across the “ADD and loving it” on pbs. I recorded it and watched it and my husband asked me to keep it recorded so he could watch it. It wasn’t until he watched that movie that he became more open to going on medications. He has started the med journey and there are moments of “good” but still those difficult moments. I am hopeful though that things will get better. Maybe you can suggest you watch the DVD together. I found it was better for my husband to hear it from someone else than just feel like I was nagging at him about something else again. I know the exhaustion you feel. I feel it every day. I hope things can look up for you. I would also suggest sitting down and just having a heart felt conversation, without accusations. (I know it’s hard when you feel a lot of anger, resentment and exhaustion). Good luck and keep us updated. As I have mentioned, I’m hopeful things can get better on our end as well….
PS- Another thing that helped my husband have more understanding about how it was for me, was the book “Is it you, ADD, or me? It is focused on how AD(h)D affects relationships and from the perspective of the partner without ADHD. You may want to purchase that for yourself and leave it out for him to see and maybe read? LIke by the remote? hehe sorry had to add a little humorREPORT ABUSE
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