In answer to the fellow who is going to law school, his wife instructs him that he is lazy and must spend more time/effort studying the correct things. He calls himself ‘lazy sometimes’ even though he works 7 days a week. Hmmmm.
I have been there, and it comes about as the result of an effort made by the ADHD person to find someone who can ‘fix’ him, so he can live like everyone else. Many of us (ADHD) marry someone we think can do that.
I watched a documentary in which the actor who played a character on the show “Red Green”, who has ADHD, says people look for a bad version of their fifth grade teacher who is punitive, controlling, and who never really liked you in the first place. I had such a spouse. He was really good at school, and he was willing to fix me.
In fact, to find someone who wants to ‘fix’ you is really easy. Just walk out the front door. Such people will tumble over each other to get to you, because they feel they are superior, found the ‘correct’ way to live, and would like to assume power over someone. Anyone. They are everywhere.
They will tell you to get up in the morning and make a list of projects, do this one first, that one second, etc etc. It works. You are able to accomplish stuff every day. It just doesn’t give you any joy, ever. Then you are stuck living joylessly, and filling in blanks on other people’s priority lists. You will not feel good when you accomplish something. That will make your advisor feel good, not you, because it is his/her list, not yours.
In the long run you can’t live like that because it will drown you. You can spend your working years doing this for your boss, but don’t anticipate it will make him like you. It won’t. In his mind, you are an ordinary worker and need to be told what to do. If you stray, you will be criticized, and you will feel like a worthless fool. That world is comfortable for the neuro-typical, but it will not be for you, ever.
You have to do something you are actually passionate about. Otherwise, trudging through each project will be like swimming through jello. Find a career you can tolerate, or accept a ‘dead from the neck up’’ job, and just do your 8 hours every day and go home. Or go out on your own and make your own career, according to what pleases you.
At home, you need what some writers call a ‘cheerleader’. Someone who actually loves and admires and respects you, and when you mess up, says “I know how wonderful/capable/smart/inventive/passionate/hard working you are, and I know you can do this. You are not flawed. Something else must be holding you back. I’ll help you. Help me know what you need.”
No-Matter-What you failed to do, your spouse needs to be able to see past the politically correct guide to normal behavior. My ex spouse ended up so frustrated with my inability to be normal at the end he called me a Worthless F*ckup. That’s the label I started out my working life trying to overcome. Externally, I obtained success- worked 40 years as a nurse, raised children as a single parent, was never fired. Since nursing is a big diverse field, I was able to go from job to job looking for approval from bosses who were looking for approval from their bosses, who really didn’t care about patients, but only cutting costs for the bottom line. When I could work with people one to one, I enjoyed my job. Doing things the way my boss wanted was never a simple path for me, and I found ways around it. It is a matter of ‘surfing the wave’ and following your dreams somehow in a world that wants to use you as an assembly line worker. Lots of ADHD become entrepreneurs. Then they are working for themselves.
Some neurotypical spouses do love and admire the uniqueness of their ADHD partner. That would be nice. Someone who could take care of balancing the checkbook, and organize the kids to help with the housework. It could be an unstoppable team if the partners back each other up. My ex never could see me as an asset. He thought I could only be an asset if I made money. I suspected the money I made was never going to be mine. He felt many of our problems were due to me being wrong. But I could never be right. Eventually I felt so lonesome and unvalued I knew it could not be worse going it alone as a single parent. I didn’t want to cry every day. I didn’t think anyone could ever love me for myself.
I found another ADHD, although we didn’t know it at first. He is my cheerleader. Neither of us is good at finances. Neither of us can send thank-you notes, or keep the house neat and clean. But he had our kids outdoors every day for nature hikes and scavenger hunts- they never sat in front of the tv. He built our home for the cost of $19,000, all by himself, and we’ve lived here happily for 30 years. He built me a sailboat, and I sewed the sail. He built me a camper-trailer that looks like a tiny house. Every single time I was in tears for any reason, ranging from a small slight I perceived at work, to being laid off a job that only really wanted me for a few weeks, he was there. He held me and told me that it would all be OK. That maybe others saw me as deficient, but he saw me as wonderful.
He was and is my sparkling, gifted carpenter and woodsman, life partner, and absolute, never failing hero.
When I think of living with my ex, vs living with my present, I can only thank God, or the Great Spirit, or whatever is out there, for bringing him to my life, and giving me the wisdom to see what had been given to me.
Explain to your wife what your condition means. Explain that calling you lazy does nothing but estrange and disempower you. Or find a spouse that can figure that out without explanation. You are unique and wonderful. Find or create a mate that understands that. You may never be good at getting to work on time. You might never succeed on an assembly line. But life will offer you wonderful joy, and glad times.
An ADD woman who never had medication, and still likes life.