January 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm #126445
klmillscatsParticipantJanuary 17, 2015 at 1:49 pmPost count: 28
My husband of 33 years learned as an adult that he has ADD, and manages probably much better than many, but has difficulty managing his time. He is 62, works a full time job as a supervisor/manager, and his work day ends at 4:00. After that, his time is his own. We are empty nesters and have recently been more socially engaged than in the past. Then one evening we got a dinner invitation from friends and he went ballistic, complaining that he doesn’t have any time. To help him, I suggested he make a list of things he wanted to do, cleared our calendar, evenings and weekends, and set the alarm on weekends so we wouldn’t oversleep and he would have plenty of free time. Now he’s mad at me.
What did I do wrong? Thanks in advance for your advise!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 17, 2015 at 5:31 pm #126449
blackdogMemberJanuary 17, 2015 at 5:31 pmPost count: 906
Hi @klmillscats, good to see you again. 🙂
I just had to read this when I saw the title, since I am in a mini crisis right now largely brought on by my own massive procrastination issues.
I didn’t expect it to be a non-ADDer asking for advice. I don’t really know what the answer is but my first thought is you might not have actually done anything “wrong”. I tend to get angry and yell at people when they give me advice or remind of things that need to be done or try to help in some way when I didn’t ask for it, or even when I did.
But I am not really angry with them most of the time. I am frustrated, angry with myself, feeling overwhelmed, and usually just not seeing the big picture.
For example, I had a meltdown before Christmas over some projects I was trying to finish for a contest I wanted to enter. I kept getting interrupted and was running out of time and didn’t have enough space to work in and kept losing things because the house is so cluttered. And I needed to get the living room and kitchen cleaned up for Christmas too. And I started commplaining about how I never have enough time to do anything I want to do and I might as well just spend my whole life cleaning.
And my mother responded by saying “Well, that’s what life is”. And I flipped out. I feel horrible about it now and I actually think I may have caused her to become depressed because up until then she was in good spirits and enjoying watching Christmas specials and singing along with them, and then suddenly she was saying she hates Christmas ans couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Looking back on it now, I realize that I was totally wrong. I shouldn’t have even been trying to enter the stupid contests, they were not that important. And I wasted so much time on them that I didn’t get things cleaned up properly or finish decorating or baking or anything. And then to top it off I got the flu two days before Christmas and gave it to mom so we couldn’t even go to our family dinner.
Mom was, of course, absolutely right. Life mostly does consist of cleaning and doing stuff we really don’t want to do. But I have never got that through my thick skull and do stupid things like try to make arts and crafts to win a contest when the house is so cluttered I can’t even work on them properly. And I didn’t even really want or need the prizes. I was totally fixated on something that didn’t even matter and ignoring what needed to be done.
I think this time I may have actually learned my lesson. I think this tme it might actually stick. And I say this while sitting on the couch browsing through the forums an hour and half after my “short break” was supposed to be over and now I don’t have enough time left to finish the cleaning I was trying to get done. 🙁
Anyway, my point is, your husband might just be stressed and overwhelmed. Or it might be that he was really jsut venting and didn’t expect you to actually do something about it. (That happens to me all the time.) Or it might be just the fact that you tried to do what you thought he needed without consulting him first. That loss of control, feeling like someone is trying to take over and decide what you need for you, can be a huge trigger for me. (even though I am hopelessly lost and couldn’t make my own decisions to save my life)
I hope this helps at least a little. Just remember, it’s not you, it’s the ADD. And you are an awesome person for caring about your husband so much and trying so hard to help him. 🙂REPORT ABUSEJanuary 17, 2015 at 6:33 pm #126451
klmillscatsParticipantJanuary 17, 2015 at 6:33 pmPost count: 28
Hi @blackdog, good to hear from you again too! So sorry your Christmas was disappointing and spoiled by the flu. Our daughter was down with the flu too so our Christmas was also a little different than planned.
Thanks so much for your valuable insight and advise. It helps a lot! When he blew, saying he didn’t have time to get anything done, and I asked what he needed to do, he couldn’t/wouldn’t answer me. I got the impression from that, that he was feeling overwhelmed, so I suggested he make a list, and I would clear our calendar. That caused him to go into a sulk, yet he made a list, and today, he had time to get at least one of his projects done with time to spare. Yet he still seems a bit sullen. I don’t know if this makes sense, but he seems frustrated at what he doesn’t get done and yet not satisfied when he does get something done. At any rate, for my part I just create an environment where he can get to a project if he wants to. And I know that given time, he’ll settle back down again.
Thanks again for your insight and your kind words. It really does help! 🙂REPORT ABUSEJanuary 18, 2015 at 12:37 am #126453
blackdogMemberJanuary 18, 2015 at 12:37 amPost count: 906
Thank you. Sorry to hear about your daughter too.
I get the picture a little better now. And yes, it does make sense. I am also frustrated and never satisfied. Right now I sm doing a lot of thinking about all the stuff I just never got done and I am at a loss to explain why.
I also would just say I just don’t have enough time to do things without being able to really say what it is I want to do. And I actually have plenty of time to do things but I just somehow always seem to run out.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 18, 2015 at 10:17 am #126460
klmillscatsParticipantJanuary 18, 2015 at 10:17 amPost count: 28
Having had time to ponder this a bit, (while our calendar is clear and he was working on a project!), it has raised the question to me as to whether perhaps ADD/ADHD people have a different concept of time than non-ADD’s? Or perhaps we all have our gifts, and the gift of scheduling and time management is not a gift of the ADD brain.
Whatever it is, it seems to be a touchier issue than some others. For example, we attended a seminar years ago, and it was advised that if the ADD family member was aware of an area of concern, such as forgetting his keys, he or she could “give permission” to another family member to remind them to get their keys each day. This has worked very well with except in the management of time. For example, if he’s surfing the internet, and I remind him he had planned to mow the grass, apparently I don’t have permission to remind him of that! It’s as if time management is an entirely different and complex chapter in the ADD book. Maybe someday I’ll have time to make this an area of study!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm #126496
ramblinonMemberJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:30 pmPost count: 32
I was recently diagnosed and just last night began the conversation with my wife about how we can work together. I don’t take critisism very well but I know that if she approaches whatever the situation is with care, I’ll likely respond well. But I also know that I cannot just leave it to her to figure out how to walk softly, (nor do I think she should) so I have given her a few ideas of how she can remind me of something that I said I wanted to do, without me reacting badly.
Could you ask him for guidance in this regard?
and yes, time is not as apparent to us. I am going to try a new trick: set a timeframe for a task and set my phone to alarm at that time. But I’ll still need to yank myself out of the hyper focus state when the alarm goes.
Rambin OnREPORT ABUSEJanuary 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm #126498
klmillscatsParticipantJanuary 24, 2015 at 2:39 pmPost count: 28
@ramblinon, thanks so much for the insight. Fortunately, since my original post, things have settled down, and my husband is seeing some progress with his to-do list. I appreciate your insight though. I always value hearing from others in similar situations, and hearing how they work through each others strengths and weaknesses. I have found ADD to be a mixed blessing as are so many others! Your advise was also helpful suggesting I ask him for guidance in this regard. I often ask how I can help, and perhaps my question should be more specific and to the point. Thanks for that insight!REPORT ABUSE
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