Reply To: ADD and denial?

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I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. My dad had ADHD, and in hindsight, it was pretty bad. It wasn’t diagnosed, but it obviously runs in our family because my brother and I have been diagnosed. My dad didn’t have very good filters or boundaries, and he could unintentionally hurt my feelings (my mom said the same thing). However, we never felt unloved or that he didn’t care or couldn’t understand why things bothered us when we pointed them out. He tended to get to places early, while my mom was the one who ran late. I still remember him sitting in the car, reading a book, waiting for my mom! He was responsible and affectionate, reliable, hard working and kind.

He was also distracted and had trouble completing things, especially when it got to the part that wasn’t interesting for him. For instance, he liked building things from wood, but he didn’t like painting or varnishing. Sometimes his work could get a little sloppy (although he was talented) because I’m pretty sure he was getting bored and wanting to move on. He wasn’t good with a budget, but my mom was, so she took care of that part. They did a great job of saving money, paying their bills, and leaving their children a pretty nice inheritance.

They didn’t have a lot in common. My dad was very outgoing and loved being around people. He liked working in his shop, building things, going out with friends. Unless he was exhausted, he needed to be busy. My mom enjoyed time alone, she was interested in her church, and she loved being an RN. But, they did things together, too. I remember when my brothers and I were young and my dad was always traveling for his job. He’d be gone all week, get home on Friday and almost always took my mom out for dinner that evening. They were respectful towards one another and even as they aged, they would talk about their love for each other.

I don’t know what’s going on with your husband, but his issues are more than ADD/ADHD. I appreciate how hard you are trying, and I’m sorry if I sounded harsh. BUT, the fact is, he’s not trying at all. Okay, he’s “begging for help.” However, that means he needs to take some responsibility and make some effort. You listed all the things he doesn’t do, along with the fact that he completely dismisses your feelings. He might have some depression, but that still doesn’t allow him to treat you so poorly.

The problem you face (I think) is enabling him. As long as you are the only one working on the relationship, he doesn’t have to change anything. You’re right, the “symptoms” can be managed up to a point. I’ve certainly tried a lot of things, and some work better than others. Some things seem to work for awhile and then I need to try something different. Sometimes I feel discouraged and depressed, but I don’t take that out on my friends and family. It’s MY job to figure out what I need to do next.

I feel as though I’m always in a state of keeping myself balanced. It’s not horrible, but I can lose perspective at times, and feel frustrated with myself. It’s hard for me to remember that it’s temporary, and I need to pull back a little. That might mean going for walks, reading, relaxing and just giving myself time. Everything interests me, so staying focused is difficult, and I tend to be spontaneous and sometimes I forget things or even my next thought. But, I’ve learned to write things down, check my calendar, watch where the money is going, pay the bills on time. My husband does a lot of other things, and there’s no reason he should do it all. Also, he’s much more affectionate than I am. But over time, I’ve learned to give him a hug and tell him how much I love him, because I do and it’s important for him to hear it.

I’m trying hard to “hear” what you’re saying and understand your pain. I can only go by what you’ve written. Look at your last paragraph and think about what you’d tell someone else. Suppose your very best friend came to you and told you the same things your writing about here. What would you tell her? If you were my best friend, I’d be telling you to think about leaving. You aren’t just walking away! You’re here and you’ve been all over the place trying to find ways to get through to this man and help him, but he refuses to do anything. What’s keeping you there?