Reply To: My Husband Can't Keep a Job

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Your post could’ve been written by me. I’ve been very frustrated with my partner’s seeming incapability to keep (or find) a job. We met in college and he was brilliant there and aced every task. He told me he had been treated for ADHD throughout his childhood and teenage years and got a “proper” ADHD diagnosis (too long a story to tell) when he was around 18. I didn’t know anything about ADHD and he seemed quirky and a overly psyched at times but otherwise “functioning” and to me he was just a fun, creative, intelligent guy. So, I was not prepared for what happened after our transition into occupational life. Next to losing jobs because he doesn’t do what he’s told and doesn’t listen, and offending his co-workers and bosses by acting superior to them, he also feels most open job positions are beneath him. Even though he recognizes the gaps and appearent job hopping displayed on his resume are problematic, he feels like it has nothing to do with him (except maybe that people do not recognize his superior expertise in basically everything). He claims his bosses and co-workers are the ones to blame. I believe he doesn’t really know what he wants to do for a living because he presents me with new (partly nonsensical) ideas/goals every other day. He doesn’t seem to be able to reflect his own behavior. For some reason I cannot really understand, his confidence grows with every lay-off. He also has taken a stand against ADHD and has been untreated since his early twenties. He says it’s just a different way of being and not a pathology (sometimes he also believes it’s the next evolutionary step). While I agree that it’s mostly a different way of functioning and doesn’t mean he’s faulty, these differences cause major problems for him and for us and should receive attention. I am wondering more and more, if this sense of grandiosity and superiority is related to his ADHD at all or if something else is going on…he has also recently started to have extrem anger outbrusts that have not happened in our prior 6 years together.
But I’m drifting off topic here. What I actually wanted to do, is tell you how I deal with the situation: I plan for myself and our 2-year-old and only for us. My partner is invited along but I cannot let him make momentous decisions (not that he is aware of this…unfortunatelly, it’s not possible to have fruitful conversation about it). I let him do his thing and hope that he will somehow find his place but I don’t bank on it. I have learned that even though he has a lot of capabilities, we can not build a life on them. I am the one who has to sustain stability for our family. I decide if we move, where we move, when we move because I will be the one keeping her job. I have also separated our finances. I know this may sound harsh to some of you and I get it but trust me, this is my last resort to make sure I can meet the responsibilities I have towards my daughter and also towards myself. And I don’t want to let ADHD run our lives. That being said, I hope your husband is not as ignorant towards his share in his current situation, so you can work together on the issue. If not, I can tell you that taking back the wheel regarding my own life has relieved me from a lot of ADHD-induced stress.