Reply To: Feeling Defeated

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I can’t speak to the ADHD part of your question, since I’m the non-ADHD partner, but I’ve been through many of the things you’re describing and I understand how frustrating it can be.

I think this can all work, you just have to throw some pre-conceived notions of how life “should” be out the window. If my husband had been diagnosed with ADHD before we got married, we could have made some very different decisions before we got into the rat race of home ownership and parenting, and had to make decisions to support that life.

What I mean is, you need to look at what really IS, not what you think you and your wife SHOULD have/do/be. Does she have a good job? Is she okay with being the bread winner, if your employment is unstable or hard to keep? Are you okay with that? What role could you take on, if she is/wants to be the one with the more stable job? Would you consider working part time and doing more of the parenting time if you had kids? Etc. Also, buying a house creates a lot more financial pressure in most cases, so I would look at all the options and see if that’s really the most feasible if employment is something that’s been an ongoing struggle, or if you think money will fluctuate a lot.

All of these options are completely valid and none of them mean that you’re failing – you both just need to talk a lot about what you want your lives to look like, based on the reality of who you both are, what your means are and what’s important to both of you.

I wanted to stay home with my kids and I made a lot of bad decisions because I didn’t really understand the impact ADHD would have on our lives and how I could mitigate that. The more you can let your preconceived ideas of “success” and “failure” go, the more you can plan even when things are chaotic. If I had been able to factor that chaos in sooner, I think my husband and I would have had a lot less stress and made decisions that were more appropriate for our reality! It took me 7 years, but I finally realized that I can’t stay home and make life work financially. To make life less stressful, I had to go back to work. I found something part time that still lets me do the bulk of the childcare. I wish I had been open to that (and known ADHD was a part of our lives) 7 years sooner.

I hope you also find a good health plan that makes life less chaotic for you, but it might take some of the pressure off to change your expectations and allow for some uncertainty and flux. Good luck!