Reply To: Is this ADHD or did I marry a manipulative con artist?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Spouses & Loved Ones Is this ADHD or did I marry a manipulative con artist? Reply To: Is this ADHD or did I marry a manipulative con artist?


I’m currently married to a man with ADHD and working on my PTSD from dating a sociopath (who turned out to be a serial rapist). Some of what you describe are symptoms of ADHD, some are symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder (the technical term for sociopaths), and some are symptoms of both. I think the only way to tell which it is would be how the symptoms change with medication.

However, that question seems irrelevant to me. I know how hard it is to struggle with the question, “Is my partner struggling with a disorder I should be understanding of or is he actually a malicious a**hole who doesn’t give a d*mn about me?” But the more important question I try to focus on is this: “What is ‘the line’?” IOW, how long are you willing/able to tolerate the intolerable situation you described? When will you know you’ve had enough, done enough, or sacrificed enough?

The other two who responded also brought up an extremely important point about safety. Neither my husband nor my ex demonstrate the anger you describe (my ex was the kind of rapist who gets women drunk until they pass out, rather than attacking them). I think even if you aren’t feeling unsafe it’s best for you to make a plan: what is “too far” with his anger and what will you do if he crosses that line?

I also think it’s really important for you to talk to a lawyer about your finances. The consequences of your husband’s financial irresponsibility needs to land squarely on HIS shoulders and not effect you. I can’t imagine how hard it will become to separate his debt from yours, but it’s incredibly important that you make sure you’re able to support yourself while he’s being affected by the consequences of his irresponsibility. I highly recommend you look into this ASAP.

You’re working your a** off and its completely unsustainable. It’s not right for you to suffer because your husband is not getting treated for whatever he has. No one could keep doing what you’re doing. Please look out for yourself! You deserve the same kind of compassion you’re giving to your husband, yet he’s failing to give you!