February 15, 2020 at 8:06 am #142113
This is my first time posting and I really need some help here.
I have been married for eight years and we are currently struggling in our marriage big time with my husbands untreated ADHD. My main issues with it are the explosive rages, build up of irritability, lack of empathy, hyper focus on everything except the family, weed addiction and inability to drive the speed limit. We have a family and I am at my limit. I will not bring up our child being exposed to that kind of anger anymore. I have put my foot down and need to see some change as he seems to have escalated in his symptoms in the last six months (I think this is as his work has taken over and become 24/7 in the last year).
For the last four months I have been trying to get an official diagnosis and insist he pursues treatment. After three appointments the psych is confident he at least has ADHD and ODD though wants to see him stop weed before confirming and of course treatment. I feel like we’re going through the washer with his denial. Any tips?
> my husband flip flops between acknowledging there is a problem and then denying it – why does this happen?
> he continues to blame me and our relationship for his problems and can’t see that what he is doing is hurting others. He hasn’t really ever taken responsibility for his anger and can’t see there’s a problem properly.
> he needs to stop smoking weed in order to get a full diagnosis and try medication- again he flip flops between saying he wants to stop and then saying he doesn’t want to stop smoking weed.
> he makes out like he’s doing me a favour attending the appointments to see the psychologist and keeps cancelling or pushing out the times
> he rallies against any boundary I put in place eg I won’t let him drive us, my car or our daughter anywhere as he lost his liscence – he says I’m controlling and keeps bringing it up in a victim way how I won’t let him drive her etc
Help! What can be done here? I feel so sad as I love my husband and I know he’s not well.
February 15, 2020 at 12:05 pm #142117AdeleS546Participant
Have you visited Melissa Orlov’s site or read her book “The ADHD Affect on Marriage”?
I’ve been a member of the site since 2016. The common thread that comes out from all the posts I’ve read is:
Your husband won’t change unless he wants to, or HAS to.
Setting boundaries and not backing down from them is a must. If he doesn’t have a license, refuse to get into a car when he is the driver. If he chooses to drive without a license and something happens, that’s on him.
There are a number of people on Melissa’s site who are the “Nons” in a marriage/relationship with someone who is either in denial that they have ADD/HD, or are denying that it affects their relationship and family life. Deflecting and blaming are par for the course with many of these partners.
There is one man on the site whose wife has ADHD. He has taken to living his life in his words : “like she doesn’t exist”. Because he is deeply committed to her and a Christian, he is choosing to stay with her and distance himself from her as much as possible, because he feels that divorce is not an option. His posts are heartbreaking.
I wish I had some good advice to give you.
February 15, 2020 at 4:28 pm #142126
Thank you x yes I’m constantly setting boundaries it’s getting pretty wearing. I keep getting told I’m controlling or boring or suddenly apparently we’re into different things or I’m not meeting his needs enough (if I say no to the driving, or helping him with his work, or not getting high him or taking care of his kids when he needs). It’s suddenly made me think that maybe I’ve been in a kind of fake relationship where it’s actually very one sided. It’s so confusing! This guy is actually quite smart and seems quite street smart — I wonder if he has ever actually loved me really. All a bit heartbreaking.
February 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm #142147
Adele, I read that you said you divorced your husband – how did you tell enough was enough? I’m conscious that I don’t want to drag things out with false hope that he will take the steps to get well and manage things. How long should you give someone to work it out?
February 15, 2020 at 2:57 pm #142122
If he doesn’t want to change, nothing will happen. That’s the truth. You can’t do anything to fix someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.
February 15, 2020 at 4:22 pm #142125
Totally. Im very much into personal development etc and guess I find it so hard to understand why someone would bury their head that much in the sand. It seems pretty common – do you know why? Is it because people with untreated ADHD genuinely can’t see how their behaviour affects others? Or is it a lack of empathy? Or do you think sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they can feel it? Or being scared of change? I think I’m personalising it and making it because ‘he doesn’t love me enough’ or appreciate our relationship at all.
February 20, 2020 at 6:58 pm #142913
Sun, I kind of do the head stuck in the sand thing. Conflict on a personal level with the people closest can be overwhelming. It’s not that I didn’t want to work on it, but it can be overwhelming. Unless you have been shown or learn how to cope and move forward, you cannot do so well. Until I started taking DLPA, I actually couldn’t see a lot of things. I definitely recommend it because it has made a huge difference in my life.
February 21, 2020 at 5:30 am #142987
Thanks so much for your insight – what is DLPA?
February 24, 2020 at 9:37 am #142996
It is an amino acid. Dr Amen recommends it and I tried it and omg night and day. My emotions started working more normally (I was under-emotionally challenged) and my brain was able to see things in myself better.
February 16, 2020 at 12:33 am #142132
Hi again Sun20
You answered my post struggling marriage and I’ve just found yours. Wow we do have similar experiences! I read somewhere that ADHD patients find weed quite stabilising to their mood so maybe that’s why he’s attracted to it (similar situation here but not excessive, well hidden from family and no pressure on me, sometimes I think it does actually help calm him down)
The rages are out of control explosive and totally unreasonable aren’t they!really scary and feel so unfair and unjust! My kids are older we only have one left at school but they all still live at home. Does your husband have a kind side, obviously he must have for you to have married him? That’s the only thing that has kept me going all these years but recently reaching the tipping point! Mine is much worse when he has work stress. Every place he’s worked at he has someone who’s “out to get him” or “undermining him” or something!! Then when he very agitatedly debriefs with me after work (never mind about my busy day🙄) unless I fully agree with his paranoid version of events and fan the flames, I’m “not supportive” or “negating everything he says”….I’m a positive glass half full, always trying to find a solution kind of person
Anyway finally he seems to now be taking a bit of responsibility, hope he doesn’t flip flop!! It might be because his father died last year, they were close and he was loyal but my father in law was a very authoritative man. Maybe that’s freed him a bit but who knows
I don’t really have any advice other than to say you are not alone!! Hang in there and keep talking x
February 16, 2020 at 1:00 am #142135
Hope, it sounds like your husband may be having a psychotic break or psychosis.
February 16, 2020 at 2:50 am #142139
Oh yes so similar! I think weed helps to some extent however as a ‘med’ for ADHD it’s ineffective and can actually make ADHD worse (as well as cause new problems in mood and behaviour). My husband sounds so similar to yours – yes he is kind and well intentioned and all of those things – however the build up in tension, irritability, OCD tendencies and then rage explosions with little accountability afterwards I’m just not prepared to tolerate in someone that’s done nothing to fix it.
I tried to talk to him again last night (after not discussing it much for a couple of weeks) I get “work on your own problems, stop being bored, if you don’t like me don’t be with me.”
February 16, 2020 at 1:21 am #142136
Nah I don’t think so…he doesn’t lose touch with reality just super sensitive to perceived slights. No bizarre delusions or hallucinations There is truth in what he gets upset about but just overreacts so much. I call him paranoid when he says I’m having a go at him too and want him to just feel strong about our relationship. It all fits with RSD. He’s not paranoid in the true sense of the word
February 16, 2020 at 1:23 am #142137
Just something to watch for. I have seen similar behavior which is why I mention it.
February 16, 2020 at 1:28 am #142138
Thanks, I will keep it in mind
February 16, 2020 at 3:16 am #142140
Yes I have often got “you think your so perfect” when trying to discuss in the past and “you’re the one that needs counselling, so controlling”
It particularly irks me when he’s calmed down and trying to resolve things but insisting I take half the blame because it “takes two to argue”.Ahh so frustrating and off the mark. I have been close to leaving but it seems such a waste because we are so good together in many ways, same future goals and thoughts about kids politics etc, still physical attraction…his actions have been pushing me away. I’ve told him he is abusing me and the children emotionally. It’s just we have good times between and can be a year or more between the bad rages but then can have a few in a roW. Volatile and unpredictable. If he can just control the rages I could cope with the rest 🤞
February 16, 2020 at 2:25 pm #142148
Ah it’s so annoying when you get told you’re the one that needs counselling! I asked him two years ago to go to anger management before I worked out what was happening – he said he wouldn’t go and he wouldn’t go to couples counselling either back then. So I got myself a psychologist of my own who’ve I’ve seen regularly since then mostly to deal with the pit of line things he says and does 🙁
February 20, 2020 at 12:58 pm #142768It’s A New DayParticipant
Sun20 & Hope,
I am brought to tears reading both of your posts knowing that your pain is the torture I have put my wife through for YEARS. How I wish I could get through to your husbands. I am in my 50s, and cannot express the regret I have for not recognizing my ADHD sooner. I commend you both for your courage and strength. What your husbands don’t realize, is that you have a breaking point. And once there, it may be too late. I played the “appease the wife” game and even went to a neurologist. He sided with me and said i had marital issues. He was wrong! I have ADHD! They are doing everything I did, and it almost cost me my wife and family. You do not deserve this. I did not know what I was doing either until I was honest with myself and sought help. Once hit in the face with this,there should be no more denying! Life is too short. I feel truly blessed that I am finally seeing myself for who I am and what I have. I am also saddened to see men denying it. I was that guy too. Please, if there is ANYthing I can do or say to them, do not hesitate to ask. Or perhaps, maybe help explain why they do or say what they do. Stay strong and take care of yourselves.
February 21, 2020 at 5:35 am #142988
RT it’s so kind of you to take the time to give such a generous heartfelt reply. Thanks so much for the offer to help though I don’t think it would work for an external person to talk to him at this stage as he is very defensive about things. If there ever comes a window I will let let you know!
My husband will say things like ‘that’s how I am if you don’t like it then leave’ and has recently started with ‘maybe sometimes things just don’t work out in relationships’ it’s like part of him would rather break up than deal with it. He’s committed to going to see the psychologist another two times next month however I feel like there is no insight at all and It’s like he’s going through the motions. Can I ask what made you actually ‘get it’? What was the moment that you were like ‘this is it I must get help for myself’? Thanks
February 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm #143120It’s A New DayParticipant
I would have to say that being served with divorce papers was my first wake up call. For about a week after, I was very quiet. We didn’t talk much. I couldn’t, or, wouldn’t. I was playing the roll of the victim, again. The weapy eyes, the apologies, the promises, again. At some point,we began to talk about finances and insurance. If we divorced, she would lose her health insurance. It’s through my job. I didn’t want that to happen, truly. I agreed to move out regardless. She dropped the divorce, and I never moved out. She felt duped, again. I promised to see a therapist,again. That finally happened. However, the first one just kept saying, “uh huh, uh huh”. The second, took my side and made me feel vindicated. Not what I needed. The third was too young and single and could not relate to my issues at all. At that point, almost a year had past, and we were no better off. We were very close to purchasing a second home for me. This was now becoming too real. Knowing I finally had to do something, I did extensive research for a therapist. One who specialized in the areas my wife had always insisted I explore. My first visit I was given three pages of questions to answer. Second visit, I have a diagnosis of ADHD. I was devistated,scared, and amazingly overwhelmed with relief. Almost to the point of joy. Finally answers! My therapist suggested ADDitudemag.com. It was this website that “woke me up”! Reading posts from you,Hope,and so many others. You were all talking about ME. Now knowing all the pain and damage I have inflicted over 32 years of marriage, was more than I could handle. It was not about me anymore. No more blaming. No more being defensive all the time. No more hurtful words. No more yelling and screaming. I HAD to change. I so look forward to my therapy sessions. Finding the right therapist is key. Don’t give up until you find, the one. It really helps me to talk about it. Can’t you tell? Lol
My wife has been cautiously understanding at this point, of my new found self discovery and awareness. I can’t say I blame her. All I can do is ask for her patience, again. There are no guarantees I won’t slip up from time to time. I try to be aware of signs of trouble ahead and then remind myself I have ADHD. This helps me to stop and think first. I do not want to be the man using it as an excuse, but the one who owns it, understands it, and can learn from it. I want to be able to show my wife I really do love her and care about her. Not just words. I don’t know why this does not come easy for me. Hopefully therapy will help with that.
I cannot thank you enough for your posts. They have opened my eyes and heart.
When talking to your husband about all this, make sure it is when you are both calm and communicating well. I was always most receptive in my apologetic, remorseful, promising the world stage. Softness and kindness helped me. It’s so easy for “US” to feel attacked. I know it’s not easy and can turn on a dime.
Now what? How do I begin to rebuild the relationship I have destoyed? I cannot expect her to be there with open arms saying “it’s okay, I still love you”,….again.
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