Reply To: Don't know if I can do this anymore

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Spouses & Loved Ones Don't know if I can do this anymore Reply To: Don't know if I can do this anymore


Hey @cursedquitena, I’m Kendall. I don’t mind attempting to help you out a bit.
I am very sorry that you’re dealing with so much in your life right now. Although I can’t begin to relate to most of it (as I am only 19 years old with no relationship or children), I CAN empathize with all of you as far as ADHD. I’ve been dealing with it since I was 11, and it is far from easy. My family has a hard time dealing with the mistakes & screw-ups I have sometimes, & it kills me that this is a reality.

We can’t control our ADHD in the sense of just getting rid of it completely to make ourselves & our loved ones happy (WE WISH WE COULD). I understand that we can be MASSIVE HEADACHES to deal with sometimes and I’m sorry for that, I truly am. But all that we can do is work to try to minimize the negatives & maximize the positives of our ADHD every single day. As long as he’s working on managing his ADHD & committed to working on it every single day, no matter the issues, I believe that’s all you can ask for.
**One thing I did catch in your post was when you stated that you both would occasionally fight about certain mishaps he would have due to his ADHD. This isn’t good, because it plants the seeds for resentment & a parent-child dynamic to develop within the relationship (which is where you are now, literally & figuratively). While arguing is fine, it’s counterproductive when it gets personal.**
Arguing with someone who has ADHD is VERY TRICKY & FRUSTRATING. We’re so sensitive about ourselves & our ADHD that we take most things personally & end up lashing out with emotion or getting defensive. I’ve been here plenty of times.
In your husband’s mind, every time you point something out that he messed up, it’s as if you’re criticizing him for having ADHD. It’s equivalent to someone teasing a paraplegic for not being able to walk & being in a wheelchair.
“I can’t control my ADHD, yet you’re still criticizing me for it? Doesn’t make sense. But okay, I’ll just defend my self-esteem & let it go in one ear & out the other and I’ll either tune you out completely or defend myself because you’re ‘attacking me'”

Obviously, this is INCREDIBLY unfair to you because I’m sure you wouldn’t criticize your husband or do anything to hurt or bother him. You love him & you have built a life together. You only want to come together to deal with a few issues you have with his behavior, no problem with that. But in order to do that, you have to communicate to him that you have a problem with his behavior. And it wouldn’t hurt if he’d take on more of the responsibilities that you have. Only you can’t get this through to him because he immediately gets defensive. ***Because he sees you as his enemy (who’s there to put him down) & not his partner (who’s there to help him). All because he feels you took issue with his ADHD from the start (which is unfair), as opposed to his behavior (which is fair).***

And from these seeds grows a parent-child-like relationship that is dictated by the child’s ADHD, which sets the parent up for resentment & burnout. Then both individuals will lose who they are because ADHD is controlling the relationship, AND the individuals IN the relationship.

My suggestion would be,
If you all can figure out a way to take a break from your daily lives & maybe get away for a while, you both could take some time to talk through the negative feelings & emotions that you both have developed, along with discussing his ADHD (from a more understanding perspective), come to a better place emotionally, & find yourselves again so you’ll be better equipped to take on the life that you’ve built together.

I really hope that this helps,
-Kendall Boults Jr.