Reply To: I feel like calling it quits

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Penny Williams, you give the most useless, insensitive replies here. You are the worst sort of enabler. Yes, people who have ADHD incur a tremendous amount of undeserved shame and difficulties, and that warrants sensitivity. I would love it if everyone understood the in’s and out’s of ADHD and what it is, how it works, how it affects people.

But for you NOT to acknowledge this woman’s pain and difficulty here, to say that she should effectively just “deal with it” because it’s all part of the ADHD brain perpetuates the stigma of ADHD. It makes people with ADHD feel like there’s really no hope for improvement, that some things just are. And what, you figure that everyone else just has to deal with it? No.

To the original poster: you’re right to be frustrated, and you have a right to your feelings and to consider ending this relationship. Your husband is an adult, and despite what certain others here might say, he can play an active role in managing his condition and overcoming it. You don’t want to be aggressive or give ultimatums–ADHD is a really tough thing for someone to suffer from, and you’ll benefit from coming to understand the details of it. But that doesn’t obligate you to stay in a relationship that is negatively affecting you. Anyone who suggests otherwise is manipulating you.

So, when you talk to your husband about what’s going on, strictly speak in “I” statements. Express how this affects you, and what doesn’t work for you. Be wary of accusing him of doing things–“you” statements rarely help things. You can talk about his options for handling his circumstances in light of how it will strengthen the relationship you have. If he doesn’t make serious changes, consistently, walk away. As difficult as that might be. Give some sort of timeline for yourself here, too, because change won’t happen immediately, and if he makes concerted efforts, your ongoing support will be massively helpful.