Reply To: Married to ADD

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” I can only imagine what his life would be like without me in it. I do so many things for him behind the scenes that he isn’t even aware of. I thought about going on strike this week and not doing these behind the scenes things for this family just to prove my point. ”

I have felt, thought, said this so many times myself.

I’m new here also and I don’t have any advice. My husband of 12 years is not diagnosed with ADD or ADHD but for many years I have suspected he is undiagnosed with “something” and a lot of what you shared is so familiar to me.

In some ways this is a benefit to our marriage because I have strengths where he lacks and vice versa. But, even though I’m really great with time management, organization, decision making… it gets overwhelming being in it alone. Essentially he goes to work and comes home… and he plays with the kids (so I can get things done). It’s like being a mother of 3 instead of 2 and it’s wearing me down.

Over the years I’ve determined that there can only be 1 of 2 explanations for the way things are managed here:

1. He’s just a lazy a-hole who has no desire to participate in any responsibility
2. He’s undiagnosed with “something”

I don’t believe it’s the former… because he’s NOT a big jerk. He’s loving and thoughtful. He’s intelligent and I truly do not believe he “expects” me to carry the full load alone. It just seems like he doesn’t understand what needs to be done or even how to do it. I don’t think he has any understanding whatsoever about all the things that I do. He seems to sincerely believe that what little he does is very helpful. Essentially he will take the initiative to either load or unload the dishwasher and if the place is starting to look cluttered he’ll throw everything into a bin and call it “done”. It’s really no help to me at all and a lot of times what he does just causes me extra work anyway. He puts dishes away in the wrong places and I can’t find what I’m looking for (we have lived here for 9 years and just about everything has always gone into the same place — he can find what he wants to use but can’t seem to put it back there later, he just shoves it anywhere).

When he cleans up the kid’s toys or clothes, it’s just in a pile, in a bin somewhere leaving me to dump it all out again and actually put things away where they actually go — it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it saves so much hassle and headache when I can quickly locate the things I’m looking for and not having to search the house.

He’ll throw the hose into the pool to fill up the water level but I don’t think he’s ever actually put it away. If he has to take the nozzle off the hose to use it, he just throws it in the yard where it gets lost, rusted, rolled over by the mower, etc and we have to buy new ones all the time. All these little things sound trivial, but it adds up when pretty much everything he touches either gets lost or broken or ruined… and he doesn’t “get it” when I bring it up — so I just don’t bring things up anymore. I just do it, re-do it, clean it, put it away, fix it, or buy a new one — whatever the case may be.

If he fixes a snack for the kids, he leaves crumbs all over the counter or floor, doesn’t put the dishes away or clean up after it, many times forgets to turn off the oven, etc etc — it’s like I have to follow behind him “finishing” every single thing he does. It can not go on this way forever.