Survival in an ADD relationship…

Login Register
Survival in an ADD relationship… 2010-05-07T04:01:20+00:00

The Forums Forums For The Non-ADD I Married An ADDer Survival in an ADD relationship…

Viewing 0 posts
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #88390

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I was wondering if anyone knows a good therapist/counselor in the Calgary area that specializes in counseling couples where ADHD is involved??? My husband is going to a very good psychiatrist who is helping him with his ADHD but his ADHD has really put a lot of strain on our relationship. I read a book called ‘Is It You, Me or Adult ADD’ and it was such a great resource. We have been seeing a marriage counselor but I don’t think she understands the dynamics that ADHD brings into a relationship. I feel like she does put a lot of emphasis on my husband’s behavior but I know that a lot of what is going on in our relationship has to do with his ADHD. I know that we both need a little more information on how to survive in this relationship. I would appreciate any information or survival tips from those who are in a relationship with someone who has ADHD and if anyone knows of a good ADHD marriage counselor.

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94034

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Well, which ADHD issues are affecting your relationship? If we knew more about the specifics we could offer better advice, I think. As for marriage counselors, sorry I can’t help there. Good luck though!

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94035

    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    Sounds as if you’re going to have to educate your marriage counsellor on ADHD and its impact on relationships. Until she fully understands that, her advice is going to lean rather heavily in the direction of “Your husband is deliberately doing these things, because he lacks the restraint to control himself.” She needs to fully understand that it’s not a case of moral weakness, but a genuine medical condition. Maybe a letter from your husband’s psychiatrist would help, because it carries the weight of coming from a medical specialist, and because the specialist will know how to explain the situation and answer any questions that your counsellor may have.

    It would also be very helpful if your counsellor viewed the film “ADD and Loving It”, at http://news.globaltv.com/Loving/2009300/story.html The film deals with the effect of ADHD on various aspects of daily life, including relationships.

    And if your counsellor doesn’t have an hour to watch the film, this little video sums up the life of an ADHD person in just over 3 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tQDfQKU2UY

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94036

    JimC.
    Participant
    Post count: 165

    Survival tips: have a strategy in place ahead of time for areas where he struggles: if he can’t stand socializing for long, then set a time frame he is comfortable with when he can either escape for a break or both of you leave.

    Counselors: Google away, call the head of Calgary’s Therapist association and ask, ask your current therapist (you’re the paying cu$tomer, remember?) and keep looking, don’t stop. As you’re probably learning, he’s not doing anything on purpose to upset the relationship, so seek tools that will make it work for both of you.

    Good luck! Jim

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94037

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    _wife? hope so.Oh, please tell me that it is not true that no one has posted on this for a year? This is such a reality in marriage with an AdHD er. Can we revisit? I have a lot to offer. Are you still out there..A_wife? Hope so….

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94038

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Hi…..lskelly…from what perspective…….or are you looking for assistance or support????

    toofat

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94039

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    my husband can be so loving but on the downward cycle he is hurtful and selfish. How can I deal with this without taking it personally?

    A friend told me he is insacure and that is why ADDers become sarcastic,anyone have any insite to this? i tend to take it to heart but since we’ve been married,2 years, I haven’t changed he has. Am i the one that needs to be the steady “rock” in this relationship?

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94040

    kc5jck
    Participant
    Post count: 846

    It would seem to me that you “friend” is more of an acquaintance than a friend and doesn’t know of what they speak. I began reading about ADD about a year ago after my 20 year old son was diagnosed with ADD. Reading “Driven to Distraction”, I could see him, and myself in almost every page.

    I don’t believe people are sarcastic or insecure because they have ADD. I believe that, for a variety of reasons, they are often misunderstood. First, give him the benefit of the doubt. Not that he deserves it but because you’ll be happier and hopefully, so will he, for doing so.

    I can’t speak for him, but I find that in my case, my thoughts are like the bingo balls rolling around in a cage, with a different and often completely random thought popping up at frequent intervals. (And I’m talking everything from quantum mechanics to “will Triple Sec work as well as Gran Marnier in chocolate mousse?” random.) When my wife asks me to do something, I try to get it done right then. Even if it was something she intended to be done later. Otherwise, its a ball that goes in the cage and may or may not pop up again for months and get done. Depending on the request, it may not matter or it may be a “you don’t listen to me, don’t care, don’t love me, etc., etc.” kind of deal. Often I find her reactions or interpretations totally unexpected and baffelling. Every day, as I go through the world, more balls get added to the cage.

    I think my wife would agree that I am the one that is best able to function in a crisis and am able to manage bill paying, house maintenance, etc. the better of the two of us. I don’t believe I have the impulsivity aspect of ADD. So ADD doesn’t mean that you have to be the “rock” in this respect. It may mean that you have to get an understanding of how ADD is manifested in your husband in order to help him function better and to better understand him. Learn to separate him from his ADD and see him for what he is.

    Your husband may be a hurtful and selfish person. Or he could be a caring and giving person with ADD who is misunderstood because of being constantly distracted by random thoughts flying through his brain or some other manifestation of ADD.

    Long ago I learned not to be hurt by the words or actions of others. If unintentional, I let it drop and don’t worry about it. If intentional, I don’t give them the satisfaction of succeeding in their intent and forget about it. Try not to take words or actions of others personally. Its their problem not yours.

    I believe I have had undiagnosed ADD all my life and have had neither counselling or medication for the condition. Last year I had a checkup and was medicated for a procedure, and for the first time, for a brief period, the bingo balls were quiet.

    I hope this gives you some insight and something to think about.

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94041

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    thank you so much,kc5jck! I believe i am learning! I look back and see his behavior isn’t so much purposeful but random. I used to get upset when he’d take me shopping for a newer car and days later,it was as if we never looked. I felt hurt and wondered why he’d bother to “tease” me that way! now I understand its how his brain works and don’t take things so hard. He is the impulsive type of ADDer and so i have to be the one to deal with the bills and such. It makes me crazy that we cannot act as a team right now in our marriage,but i am hopeful that at some point,when the rollercoaster is back at the top of the climb,we will be able to talk things out.I guess at this point though it is all up to me to get advice here and read all i can to help MYSELF.I look forward to reading more in the future and am truely greatful to everyone for connecting on this forum.

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94042

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I am another ‘wife’. I am so worn out I have no idea what to do next. This latest episode has lasted since last November, with 4 or 5 ‘peaks’, every couple of months. I have no way of anticipating when the next ‘moment’ will strike, and how bad it will be, this time. We seem to get into the middle of a moment before I realize that we’re there; for example. Dinner; Husband: Why do we have to have 4 vegetables for dinner? We never have 4 vegetables. Me; Sure we do, remember the salads, we had tomatoes, mushrooms, lettuce, green peppers, olives and so forth. Husband; No I dont’t remember. and before you know it, I’m providing examples of meals with several vegetables. Then I realize where I am, and I say ‘if you don’t want the veggies, don’t eat them.”

    My husband has manipulated therapists for more than 20 years. We will be married 38 yrs this year, and his behaviour has always been complex, a little fact I hadn’t noticed til we married. He has anxiety attacks, panic attacks, moments of rage, and goodness knows what else. he has a physical disability, and so people tend to be lenient. He is supremely negative, and can remember nothing which gives him pleasure, so he can’t return to it, when he feels down.

    I know I am not crazy, and I have no idea what he is. I hope it is ADD, and there is some medication which can help him. There was a good book entitled, How to Survive when They’re Depressed. But there are times when I have such chest pains, that I wonder if I am having a heart attack, and if this will be the one that kills me.

    Help.

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94043

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I have terrible mood swings, hyperness and impulsiveness. Couldn’t get to sleep, too many random thoughts ..noisy, wake up

    early .. self medicated with alchol for years, finally stopped after drunken raging. Recently diagnosed with ADH.

    On Wellbutrin XL 300m per day for a month now …. neither of us see much improvement.

    Also on hydrochlorothiazide for blood pressure and Lorazapam .. 1m .. 2 a day but dose increases as my

    body adapts to the drug.

    Will check out the videos. I can’t tell if ADH makes my behavior or if I do … constantly had to be good.

    Sadly, Mental Health on Vancouver Island offers 2 part time psychiatrists for all of us … no others here it seems.

    Was told that bio feed back works on some people .. trying to get a next appointment with psych, as need to

    have a doctor’s referral each time .. and only a walk in clinic …but I was in Toronto for decades and no one

    guessed ADH, had to come here to find out about it .. irony. Trying to quell the hysteria is the hard part,

    learning slow breathing…. suspect I am a pain in the ass to live with at times .. not sure if AHD covers it.

    I was given a printout on Irrational Thoughts .. the automatic things we think that are not rational and can

    cause problems: mine are ‘shoulds’ i drive myself nuts on should be s etc … helps to be aware of them.

    Baby steps .. i get 1 forward and slide back 2 … sick pet last week, i was near rigid with anxiety even after

    really good vet took care of things … hope i guess .

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94044

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    wife of… you are not alone!! my husband wasn’t like this when we married either,or mi should say he was taking meds at the time. He quit and thats when the trouble began….i knew he was adhd,but never seen him off medication. It is so sad to be in love with someone that won’t face the fact that he is a different person without his meds. I have tried to keep track of what causes him to be on the down side of the rollercoaster,always something tramatic of course. He is very sarcastic and hurtful,and I try not to take it personally but some days i want nothing more than to have the man i fell in love with hold me and tell me its all gonna be alright. He is very impulsive so he is no help with bills or household chores at all. He also has a need to have many many friends,even though most of these people are not very good friends. I have come to the realization that I must do what I can to make myself happy and try to be understanding of him….to a point.

    You must take care of yourself too, your chest pains may be a panic attack,i get those and the first time i too thought i was having a heart attack. They wake me up in the middle of the night,and after 45 minutes or so I can go back to sleep. You are NOT crazy!! but like me it sounds like you are frustrated, i hope that we can help each other out,and others,i find this web site a great comfort to me, good luck,hope to talk to you again!

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94045

    kc5jck
    Participant
    Post count: 846

    Assuming that those with ADD aren’t going to get diagnosed, take their medicine, change their behavior, etc. and it is up to others in the relationship to try to cope, I’ll offer insights I have had based on my reading and experience.

    About myself, I have not been diagnosed, but maxed out the self test contained elsewhere in this site. Since my son has been diagnosed and there seems to be a strong genetic component, I must have ADHD to a greater or lesser extent. The other element which I feel definitely comes into play is that I have an IQ that has been measured in excess of 150. Apparently, people of higher intellegence are often undiagnosed. For example, if in school, I could manage to pay attention for five or even ten minutes in algebra class, that was enough for me to learn the material and do average work. I perhaps didn’t do so well in English or history where the material wasn’t repetitive, requiring me to pay attention for the entire class. “So he does good in the classes he likes.”

    One thing that disturbs me is that “ADD is not considered a ‘disorder’ unless is has a negative impact on ones day to day functioning.” I feel that is like saying if your leg is broken and you can hop around ok on the other, then its not a problem. Prior to my son’s diagnosis and reading about ADD, I would have attributed my problems to IQ. For the most part, the combination has worked rather well for me. ADD has me jumping around to a huge variety of interests (into which I’ll not go) and the other allows me to gain an above average proficiency in each. I obtained a computer science degree and worked about ten years with computers. I quit the job and got married at around 33 years of age to someone just as independant, set in her ways, and stubborn as I. Then took some accounting courses and passed the CPA exam passing all parts the first time. I blew off being a CPA fairly soon after taking the test and later started a business. When I got tired of working, I hired others to do my job and distracted myself with other things.

    While I have been successful with respect to work, I have difficulty with people. Fortunately, I suppose, working with computer, numbers, or machines does not involve relationships. I’ve seen posts in this site and elsewhere that are uncanny in how well they describe my situation.

    In review, I find that the hyperactivity aspect has changed for me. Prior to the age of eleven or so, it was “classic.” Then, I suppose due to negative feedback, my mind began to channel that aspect into more productive outlets. Now my fidgeting is directed towards (at the risk of getting the guys in trouble) loading the dishwasher, washing clothes, or some other trivial but useful task. This kicks in pretty hard when my wife is pissed at me, the dog, or the cat. If I am otherwise unoccupied, and can avoid the computer, I’ll try to occupy myself with some such task. So now I’m thinking that all you non ADD people could make a “fidget list” for your ADD spouse containing short but useful tasks around the house. Anything taking over five minutes might be too long for the easily distracted. Tell them it would make you happy. It doesn’t need to be done now, just whenever. PS Don’t get your hopes up.

    I have also found that the distractability, forgetfulness, screw up easy tasks seems to have increased lately. I don’t know if I am more aware of it now than in the past, have more to juggle, or am truly getting worse. I have, due to my businesses, about forty different financial transactions to make throughout the month. When it was just a few bills, I could manage. Now, I have a spreadsheet with months across the top and transaction ordered by due date along the side. This has been a great help to me in determining if something has been paid and the amount of the payment. Its an item on my Windows desktop. I also have five or six alarms on my iPhone to cue me to take out the trash Thursday night, make daily bank transfers, etc. It doesn’t necessarily occur to me that the trash needs to go out just because I’m trying to cram a empty potato chip bag into an overflowing trashcan. Lists seem to help, but my wife will not make them and I forget to chech the ones I make for myself. Perhaps a “check my list” alarm on my iPhone sometime in the future would help.

    In view of the above, you can pehaps see why I’m posting on the Survival in an ADD relationship forum. While ADD and high IQ get me by and perhaps are even a good combination in some areas, its defintely a “double Trouble” type deal in relationships, the absentminded professor with ADD. Somewhere on this site I think I saw mom-of-six. If her husband has ADD then half her kids, or more, probably have it. Those that don’t, pick up the traits like a bad habit passed among dogs and the poor woman is then in the minority. ADHD is the norm and she is the freak/crazy one. I feel your pain mom-of-six. My wife gets onto me for things that my son or daughter have done and I was either “zoned out”, didn’t see, or like “what’s wrong with that?’ Hey ADD guys, how many times have you heard this, “Don’t play stupid with me.”? I don’t want to imply that we argue and fight all the time, we don’t. But sometimes instead of going to McDonald’s its like going to the “argument shop.” “Mmmm Today I’ll have argument #6 with a little sarcasm and lots of profanity. And throw one of those breakable things.” Can I get a Witness?

    Well, I’ve wasted enough time sitting here for today. If this helps anyone, let me know and maybe I’ll write more. I’ve got some books to read that may help coming from Amazon. As you can imagine, with ADD, reading can be hard for me and I don’t like to do it. The ironic thing is that I have about ten bookcases full of books.

    Good luck guys.

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94046

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    kc5jck, you haven’t wasted my time,but are helping me to cope so much better. A lot of what you are saying has relieved a lot of my stress,where as before i would take everything he said personally,even if he told me not to,now i know better. I just keep thinking,i am not alone i am not alone!! thank goodness! I am functioning so much better this past week from reading all i can find on this site. ieep writing more please, im at aol if you want to e mail directly.

    thanks soo much!

    REPORT ABUSE
    #94047

    powcat
    Member
    Post count: 61

    hi everyone,

    other men with ADD reading this, please post about your relationship struggles! it would be useful to me and to the other girlfriends/wives here.

    I’m heartbroken right now from a recent breakup. short relationship but we knew each other for a couple of years before. we were both in love but our fights got more and more frequent and just wore us out. I was diagnosed with ADD last winter and am being treated (meds + therapy). he was diagnosed as a child but did not get much treatment; did a lot better in university and afterwards and the diagnosis was chucked. I’m pretty sure he does have it though. I understand him a lot of the time, but we also have different symptoms.

    he was really hyper at times; especially after waking up in the morning or after sex. (I’m very sensitive and it was tough not to feel ignored.) I’m more impulsive, so I always speak up when something bothers me – i.e., I start the fight, you could say. but I make sure to speak without blaming and focus on how a behaviour makes me feel. when HE got mad, he would say really mean, petty things sometimes. I knew he didn’t actually think that, and he always apologized a few hours after; but it was like he was trying to hurt me. that was a big problem…. so now I guess I’m stuck figuring out whether he is truly selfish or if some therapy would help him be more available and secure….

    I want to mention, too, that his hyperactivity was really helpful sometimes; when doing chores or cooking. he never minded helping me out with that stuff, and loved cooking for me (which was great because I never get around to doing that myself). whereas my slower nature was really good in a stressful situation and I knew how to calm him down and not get carried away myself.

    good luck, ladies. relationships are tough, hey? :(

    REPORT ABUSE
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.