My husband has ADD

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My husband has ADD 2010-06-11T17:31:10+00:00

The Forums Forums For The Non-ADD I Married An ADDer My husband has ADD

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  • #94364

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    Hi folks…looks like trouble in paradise eh!! I feel compelled to respond!!! I am an ADD husband. Have been married to the same linear brain partner for over 35 years., two grown (ADD)children. It has not always been a cake-walk. Funny thing is I have no friends that are married (still married) ) that find their relationships are a cake-walk either. Linear brain functioning or random brain functioning….regardless… everybody has problems….of all sorts.

    My friends seek me out for one reason or another to talk to about their relationships. I don’t mind it, I like that friends feel they can confide in me. I do not give advice I can only share my experience and what those experiences have taught me…..some have been very difficult lessons…hahahahaha. This my experience…..

    As I understand it I acquired my relationship tools, as I did all the rest of my tools… from my parents…. and they from their parents…..and so on and so forth. Yikes eh!!! These tools are hand me downs….and quite often are very flawed, but they are what I had to go forward in my most important relationship in life . Most people spend more time studying for a drivers exam than they do preparing for the most important relationship in their life. Sad but true…..

    Soooo….I learned very early that my relationship tools were flawed!! I thought I was ok but….hmmmmm. Why the relationship issues??? So I went to a counselor……I went because my partner was driving me crazy. It’s her…. she’s the problem!!! I stayed for a whole other set of reasons hahahahaha. I spent at least three years in counseling…not couples…counseling for me. It was the best thing I ever did. I came away from my sessions completely ME. I was going to say “I came away completely changed” but NO that’s not right . I was able (with my counselors guidance) to discover who I was and…. just as important who I wasn’t, and I was also able to become completely ok with me!!! That is the most satisfying this I have ever done.

    There are many counselors out there….not all are the same. The trick was finding the one that is right for me. Mine was tough…golly was he tough!! Great person, serious insite, I could not get away with anything….it was hard hard hard….but worth it all. As long as I was true and working he would allow me sessions…if not he would tell me not to waste his time!!! He didn’t do it for the money!! He worked with my heart …not my head. He did not want what was in my head…he wanted to expose my heart… to me. I had always lived in my head.

    I discovered what I really thought…not what I was told I should think. I discovered what I really cared about (deep caring) and ….what I actually didn’t care about.. that I thought I SHOULD!! There is that awful word should!!! I learned when to do battle and when to say….shit do I even care about this….how important is to me really….and just let it go!!!! I also learned to fight nice/fair, protect myself…nothing wrong with argument or debate but there are rules so as not to be hurtful, otherwise what is the point….HURT!!!! I learned I have boundaries and boundaries are ok…in fact they are important for a good solid relationship. Boundaries are not be toyed with or stepped on or ridiculed, they are important…so it is important that they be mine, solid and real…not what someone told me they should be. BIG DIIFFERENCE!!!

    Anyway……I am getting long winded here and I cold go on forever…… but I’ll stop. I encourage anybody everybody who is having issues with life or partners or whatever….. to find a great counselor or guide you can work with. I have never regretted a moment of the time spent. Once you know your heart,….your true heart, the rest will unfold appropriately. Friends are nice for support but they come with the same old…hmmmmm set of tools their parents had and their parents..and their parents…you get it. …so….hmmmmm ….I’Il leave that conclusion up to you.

    By the way… three years my counselor and I never spoke of ADD… It was a search for happiness, contentment and higher functioning….not a diagnosis. The point is I guess, how can I be a good and loving partner, friend, or father, if I don’t intimately know and love myself first!!!

    ….this is my story and my story only…..if there is something you can use…please feel free..



    Post count: 14

    Thanks, “HisWife”, for letting me know that I’m not the only one who finds that the best option in dealing with my ADD partner is to pretend that he doesn’t exist. We don’t have any children, thank goodness, but my boyfriend (of 8 years) is irresponsible in any and every way you could possibly imagine a human could be. And, further, it’s all my fault. He’s addicted to porn? All my fault. He lashes out at me with instantaneous *self-righteous* anger over the most trivial of things? All my fault. He can’t find the motivation to read a book on ADD? All my fault. He only feels motivated to work a few hours a week (he owns his own very small, one man business)? All my fault. *If only*, he tells me, I would praise him constantly [for what??] and talk to him without ever letting him know that I am upset or hurt by something he has done, then *maybe* he would be more willing to look at his behavior. (I kid you not, that’s what he tells me).

    I don’t know *how* to engage with another human being without any trace of negative emotion on my part when they willfully – and sometimes maliciously – do things that hurt me. And I stand firmly on the “willfully” part. I don’t mean that for decades he has been running amok, wreaking havoc and damage willy-nilly on purpose. The “willful” part comes in after recognizing he has a porn addiction – and even being treated for it for 90 days in a rehab center. . . after being diagnosed with ADD *years* ago. . . after me placing a dozen books on the coffee table in front of him and *begging* him to read them. . . after years of me saying, “I get that you aren’t doing this on purpose, but you aren’t taking any steps to change to your thought, emotional, and behavioral processes, either.” . . . and he *still* tells me there’s nothing he can do about it. THAT’S the “willful” part: Refusing treatment. Refusing analysis. Refusing to understand how destructrive he is to every life he touches. He is much happier being a victim and making everyone else responsible for his happiness.

    So how did I solve the dilemma of never expressing a negative emotion around him even though he lies to me daily? I moved into the spare bedroom and I talk to him as little as I can. He went to porn rehab over 10 years ago, and was looking at porn the other day. Lovely. He’s been through several 12 Step Groups (which I think are cults, but at least he was pretending to seek help). He even went to a counselor last year. . . and LIED through his teeth to the poor man for a half dozen sessions before calling it quits and then telling me – yet again – it’s all my fault. The counselor said men like to look at naked women [but my boyfriend had failed to specify to the exorbitant number of hours he spends looking, and what is being done to the women he is enjoying looking at]; the counselor said that playing World of Warcraft could be a great way for him to relax [but my boyfriend failed to tell him that he was playing it for around 90 hours a week]; the counselor told him that he shouldn’t blame himself for taking risks that didn’t pan out [but my boyfriend failed to tell the counselor that he had taken the exact same costly risk – “I’ll make a million on the internet! – at least 5 times in the few years I have known him].

    Now he is using information from this site in the same way he used the information from the counselor. Again, it’s all my fault. I’m not as understanding as I ought be when he lies to me, yet again, about his porn habits. I should feel sorry for him and coddle his ego. . . while he’s ripping into me because I asked him why he was defrosting the turkey in the garbage disposer side of the sink and not the other side. [There were dishes in the other side. Dishes that weren’t his. And he SHOULDN’T HAVE TO take care of or, heaven forbid, even *move* dishes that weren’t his. When asked why he didn’t just holler for the owner to take care of them so he could put the turkey in the proper side, he said he SHOULDN’T HAVE TO. He then told me he gets blamed for everything and is expected to take care of everything, and I’m always on his back. I asked if he was sure about that, if he couldn’t think of one single incident where he had made a mistake in, say, the kitchen, that an otherwise grown adult shouldn’t have. Nope, he couldn’t think of one, and since *he* takes care of his stuff, everyone else should to. I asked if he wanted me to write down some of his mistakes over the next few days so he could keep a record and maybe be a little more grounded in reality. He said yes, because there won’t be any. It’s now two days later and I’m on mistake #24. And not all of them are as harmless as dishes left in a sink. Some are along the lines of deceit and depravatiy. But, in his mind, he’s still perfect and I’m out to get him.]

    What can you do with someone like that but just pray they disappear one day? I’m unemployed and can’t afford to kick him out. So I just eat the insults and the lies that he feeds me, and do my best to pretend they don’t bother me.


    Post count: 206

    Instead of asking your spouse to do some housework find a specific job and ask him to do it. Hunny can you wash the dishes for me while I get the kids to bed. Hunny can you load the dishwasher so we can get it on. Men, even men without ADD do not notice things. They rarely engage with children and never really want to get involved. And if he refuses to do the dishes then get paper plates. Bad for the environment but great for your workload since he is the one that has to take out the garbage.

    Employ a few strategies from one of the efficiency sites to simplify your workload. Instead of working like a slave do you put your 4 year old to work. Teach this one from day one that everyone has to pitch in. And when your 1 year old gets a few months older he can start to pitch in. I taught my girls to clean the bathrooms from a early age. They loved to swish the stuff in the toilet and made a game of sweeping. Ask hubby to supervise the kids while they clean and pretty soon he should start pitching in too. And won’t it be great when dad teaches the kids about football and helps them understand the stats for his pool. So while they are sitting on dads knee learning the finer points of the game go have a bath.

    Remember you are not a slave. This may mean that you have to lower your exacting standards of cleanliness for a while but you have to simplify.

    Melissa – Contact an attorney and find out your rights for spousal support. As a common law partner of 8 years you should have some. And the way you are living I would think that it would be better to go on Social Assistance for a few months while you find a job then to continue to live the life you are living. Thank goodness you have no kids. And from the sounds of it it is long past time to get out of this toxic relationship. This is not a partner this is someone that abuses you and then blames you for it. Don’t be a hostage for even one more day. Get out with your sanity intact. This is your life and you are wasting it on a person who has set you up in the role of ogre. Writing his mistakes down and confronting him with them is only going to trigger an argument not have him acknowledge an ahha moment. He will not suddenly after all these years decide that he is wrong and be better. Especially with you financially dependent on him and he can continue to use you as a whipping board and you have to take it. Or you can go to the local Employment office and start working on your resume and start looking for work. Even in these tough financial times there has to be some way that you can earn some money that you can put aside for when you can’t take one more minute. Or cut down on the usual expenses and hoard a little in a bank account. Whatever it is you need to start making a plan to get free. And make no mistake you are a hostage to this situation.

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