Reply To: Struggling to cope

Hope @ ADDitude

This reply was originally posted by user mamabean in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

First, I want to say I do understand completely. My spouse has ADHD…we’ve been married for over 20 years…and I can relate to all you’ve written.

He was on medication for over a decade. Over time though, stimulants are very hard on a person’s body and ultimately, he decided to go med-free.

While getting an evaluation is important (crucial) and you may end up going the route of medication…you should understand that it will not make all the hard stuff go away.

Our experience was that meds made my husband “feel” better (or more in control) but in reality, it did nothing to help his functionality. It only helped him feel more mentally calm…but he still did all the same maddening things as before…bad memory, lack of focus, losing things all the time, poor impulse control, angry outbursts, anxiety, etc.

Before you marry this person, you should decide if you can live as you are living now for the rest of your life. Circumstances are most likely not going to change much. Yes, he can take meds and get counseling and those things may help “some”…but, you will never have a 50/50 partner.

Friend, you will be “giving” in a sacrificial way for the entirety of your marriage. And it will be a DEEP form of sacrifice…since you will always have to give more than you will receive in return. Plus, if you decide to have children, you will often feel like a single parent. You WILL be managing everything for everyone.

I don’t say this to scare you, but I wish someone had told me what my life was going to look like before I married a partner with ADHD. You are right, it is also very hard on them because they know they are the source of all this frustration and burden (at times).

But, I guarantee you this will be the hardest thing you ever take on.

What I am saying may not be “politically correct” but it is the truth. I’ve noticed on this site that there isn’t always a lot of support for spouses of partners with ADHD to express how difficult life is…like somehow it is rude to be honest about it.

But, truly, with so much written with the focus on the person with ADHD…spouses can very easily feel invisible and forgotten. Don’t let that happen to you!