2 Spouse ADHD Marriage

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    • #76218
      Far from Elysium

      Hello, I’m new here and I need some outside perspective. I am a mother of 2 (8 months and 5 years) in my mid-thirties, recently back to work full-time after the birth of my son, and I’ve suffered with inattentive type ADHD all my life. I recently went through the process of getting re-diagnosed in order to receive treatment for the first time as an adult. By choice, medications are currently off the table for me because I’m still nursing my 8 month old son, although I’m seriously considering stopping nursing earlier than I wanted to in order to see if the meds will help; I’ve never taken ADHD meds before. I have systems in place to try to get a hold of my runaway train of a life: Fly Lady to help develop routines for daily household life and de-cluttering, using a daily planner and home calendar to keep track of appointments and events, and a bullet journal just begun this month for to-do’s, thoughts, notes to remember, and just plain old journaling. I’m far from where I want to be but I’m really trying hard.

      The problem is my husband. He was also diagnosed as a child with ADHD, hyperactive type, but he tells me ADHD is not a real condition and that the symptoms
      I suffer from – inattentiveness, disorganization, poor time management and follow through, terrible short-term memory, procrastination, etc. – can be overcome with the “right mindset”. Yet he does all the things he accuses me of doing, or not doing as the case may be. He does very little indoors unless I ask him specifically to do something, then it only gets done halfway. He forgets things we discussed, like where and when to meet up with the kids, then says we never talked about it. He berates me on the state of the house (currently a certifiable disaster zone) but never helps me keep it neat when I do get it tidy – it’s a mess again in a day. His standard response when I ask him to do anything chore-wise in the kitchen is “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Tomorrow never comes.

      I don’t know what to do. We’ve been together for just shy of 20 years total and we have the two absolute best kids together. I love my husband very much but sometimes I feel like I should’ve left years ago and learned how to be on my own first instead of going straight from my folks’ house to living in. No use crying over spilled milk though, right? That’s water under the bridge now but I don’t know how to proceed from where I am. He’s already told me that he wouldn’t ever consider couple’s counseling and he thinks my doctor is a quack. Admittedly I’m not thrilled with my doctor either but that doesn’t make my (or his) conditions any less real.

      Everything I read concerning ADHD in marriage seems to only talk about when one of the pair has it, does anyone else share my experience where you both do? Is it ultimately a cooperative success for you? How do you cope?

    • #76300
      Penny Williams

      The first hurdle is the fact that your husband doesn’t believe in ADHD (which blows my mind if he actually has ADHD). Until he opens his mind and wants to change his opinion on the subject, you can’t change all the other things in your relationship you want to change. You can only work on yourself – you cannot change anyone else. They have to change themselves.

      If he would agree to couples counseling, and you can find one well versed in adult ADHD, I think that might be a good next step.

      And, help yourself as much as possible. Get any tasks that you can off your plate — hire someone to clean your house every couple weeks, use a laundry services, take your taxes to a tax service, get the meal boxes (like Blue Apron…), etc.

      41 Time Hacks Used by ADHD Ninjas (aka Our Favorite Experts)

      Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Most people are a lot discombobulated when they add a second child to the family, and when there’s an infant in the house.

      You do need to change your mindset in one regard — from the fact that you’re somehow deficient and should be ashamed, to accepting that ADHD is a difference in your brain, and you can have a great life despite it. 🙂

      Silence Your Harshest Critic — Yourself

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #76316

      Hi Elysium. I am also in a marriage with an Adhd man. We both have it and so does our son. So be prepared. 🙂 I cope by attending Alanon meetings. I haven’t found an adhd support group in my area and I feel that the principals of the program apply. It won’t help to push him, focus on what you can do to make yourself happy. Learn the facts about ADHD. There is so much to learn, I just learned about RDS on this site which explains why I take rejection so badly. Also, when he criticizes you, do your best to ignore it. Alanon says “don’t let your feelings get hurt” this has helped me and now I know why! The RDS. Who knows? Maybe he is frustrated because it reminds him of his own limitations (he may not be aware of this Though) I hate messes because it makes me feel out of control but I don’t always have
      The energy or focus to get it all done Without letting everything else go. My husband and I used to fight a lot until be both lowered our expectations of how we kept the house clean and of how much we could get done. The fact that your husband doesn’t accept he has ADHD makes thing difficult but maybe don’t fault him, I went to a psychologist for help several years back and he told me people outgrow it. He may need to hold on to that in order to feel there isn’t anything “wrong with him”. It took a long time for my husband to accept all of the factors that indicated he was suffering from ADHD but he will never get treatment, luckily he works at a job where he is outside.( hard worker) But I manage the finances (my strength). Maybe make a list of each of your personal strengths and base duties on that. I’m not sure being on your own would help. I was single for a long time and yes it was easier to structure and manage my time but I didn’t have kids. Now that you have them being on your own will only create more issue of time management with two households, so if there is still love there don’t give up quite yet. Like the previous writer said, raising kiddos is tough and even more so for adhders. I hear you feeling that you are not getting the support and that is hard, if he won’t go with you, go on your own, the right therapist making you feel heard can help you to feel that support. I realized that the way I approached subjects with my husband played a role in how well my husband accepted a discussion. John Gottmans book- the seven principals of marriage- talks about this. Best of luck and I hope you found something useful even though it’s a little all over the place 😊

    • #76346

      I’d recommend in conjunction with couples counseling with a trusted counselor participating in a temperament therapy tool

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