December 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm #71261
I’ve now been married to my husband almost 7 years. Just wanting thoughts on my husband have been taking medication for ADHD since childhood and nothing really got mentioned to me about before married or now. We are over the “honeymoon” stage as you can imagine and I know it was up to me but if my son has it I’m going to talk to him about talking to his future wife and help out that way. Just feeling hurt.
December 20, 2017 at 12:32 am #71266
I sympathise with you ! I have been married 37 years and have 8 children who all display ADHD!!!!Some days I just want to pull the covers over my head or walk out the door!!Can be VERY overwhelming. Have only recently realised that the children have ADHD. My husband , a son who is hyperactive and a daughter where very obvious!My elderest son is having marriage problems and that is when I realised the underlying problem is ADD.Have being talking to his wife and trying to pass on some information etc. The hardest area I find is getting them to discuss ADHD because they don’t want to be labeled ! My thoughts are,that we all need to talk about it so we can all find strategies to deal with it !!!I totally get where you are coming from . Regards Catherine
December 20, 2017 at 10:27 am #71290
That’s very nice of you to talk to your son’s wife and pass along what you can. I’ve tried talking about work/marriage issues that have happened in the past with my mother-in-law and I don’t think she ever talked to her son about it and she has never checked back in asked to see how I was doing. I have no family close to me which can make things very difficult. So I applaud you for trying to help out!
December 20, 2017 at 9:56 am #71288
I’m sorry your husband’s ADHD has been kept from you. My guess is he was ashamed and afraid of rejection, but still.
I don’t have anything helpful to add, but wanted to say that I’ve had the thought recently that I hope my son doesn’t have kids someday (he’s only 8). My son and I are a lot alike, so I probably have ADHD too, but he’s much more difficult than I ever was as a child. He’s like me but on steroids. So I hate to think what future generations might be like, and what he might put his wife through. I gather it hasn’t been easy for my husband to be married to me.
January 19, 2018 at 11:20 am #74040
I am just starting to listen to an “attitude” promoted webinar on what you can do to survive and thrive in a relationship with (including married to or parent, sibling, offspspring,or employee or er of someone with ADHD. It includes one of our foremost expert lecturers and writers Dr Russell Barkley.
The web link is
And the webinar took place today at noon. I am listening after it was over.
January 11, 2018 at 8:08 pm #73335
As someone who has ADHD… I spent my whole life not knowing – I didn’t know what was “wrong” with me, Parents, Teachers… everyone always told me “you need to focus” “you need time management skills” “you need… fill in the blank” … I had NO CLUE what they meant!! It SOARED over my head… never to return for a chance to be understood. If he kept it from you on purpose, he probably has felt shamed in the past for “not connecting the dots” “not getting it” “being dumb or whatever” — so fear of feeling yet another rejection is painful… VERY painful. You can hear the rejection before the rejection actually happens, you do what you have to avoid the rejection.
Another senerio – he may have assumed you knew. It seems EVERYONE knows the ADHD person has ADHD except the person who actually has it… Or it seems so to those of us who have adhd. Some think that the medication “takes the adhd away” – for me, it just helps with the focus… it doesn’t tell me WHERE to focus. So I often forget to tell things — very important things! I assume I have had a conversation… only to not actually have the conversation. I even can tell them what they “said”.
Basically, don’t feel slighted by not being told, or that he wanted to keep it from you to harm you, to harm the relationship. Discuss it, calmly hopefully… but discussing things with someone with ADHD can sometimes get very heated VERY fast and without any source of fuel.
January 12, 2018 at 12:33 pm #73459
Thanks for your comments, it’s nice to get different views. It’s hard I grew up with being taught patience and respect and think before you speak and so certain things that someone with ADHD/add I feel don’t get or have to work really hard to get. I apologize if this is wrong or sounds bad I’m trying to understand. I’m an outsider and this is why I’m trying to figure things out.
When my husband and I talk about things concerning ADHD he is usually pretty quick with it – he needs medication and has to work at it. I would love to try to help with what foods to eat, is there a routine that would help, whatever there could be – did his mom elimate certain foods growing up, did he have certain traits of someone with ADHD growing up – what were they? It seems like there should be more but I don’t know much. Other than his mom always said how naughty he was as a child – which that makes me feel bad for him cause if I was told that as a child I wouldn’t know any better than to be naughty.
January 13, 2018 at 8:15 pm #73629
” It’s hard I grew up with being taught patience and respect and think before you speak and so certain things that someone with ADHD/add I feel don’t get or have to work really hard to get. I apologize if this is wrong or sounds bad I’m trying to understand. ”
Yeah, had to jump in. That does sound pretty harsh & very generalized. I know a lot of people who don’t have ADHD who simply do not have a filter. Acting & speaking on impulse is not a trait that ALL people with ADD/ADHD share & is definitely not exclusive to our demographic. Like you, I was also taught the same things as you regarding patience, respect, and being careful about what you say. I think your experience with your husband has unfortunately colored your overall impression of the condition. I do appreciate your coming here, though, to learn more about it.
January 11, 2018 at 11:13 pm #73358
Just curious – have you shared everything in your medical history with him?
I agree with some others. A lot of us with ADHD are made to feel ashamed of our differences – made to feel less than. Plus, there’s the whole rejection sensitivity dysphoria. I would not take it personally, rather realize it is due to his own emotional turmoil that is linked to his diagnosis. We are not our diagnosis. He is a human being with feelings, insecurities, needs, desires, goals, dreams, just like everyone else. Rather than take it personally, perhaps this is a good opportunity to show how much you care, to show that no matter what you love him, that you want to understand, even though it may be difficult. An open mind will lead a long way in helping him to feel he can open up about that part of himself. Who knows what he has endured that has conditioned him to feel he can’t open up about it in the first place. Please don’t prove that conditioning to be right.
I hope you find a harmonious way of working through this. I feel it can help both of you grow immensely stronger in your love and bonds with each other. AND, it’s good for your children to be around 2 adults who can work through differences, even when one feels as slighted as you do.
Best wishes!!! <3
January 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm #73456
I have shared my medical past with him and feel I did before marriage. I knew he had ADHD but it was just brushed off like he takes medication and nothing more. I would ask questions but not much info other than his mom told him to take medication when young in school and then his grades got better. I have been trying to under ADHD more and it’s hard for me to wrap my head around. I read what it can be like when young and growing up but wish I understood how my husband was. Wishing my in-laws would talk to me about it and let me know if anyone else in their family has it. I try to be very patient with my husband and understanding when he zones into his work.
January 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm #73503
I guess I’d like to understand what your motivation is behind “knowing more” or “feeling hurt” about your husband having ADHD.
Where is this hurt coming from? Why?
Why do you want to know more?
What’s the big deal? (meant w no offence or judgement, just questioning if it is a big deal to you and why?)
He’s been living with ADHD for all his life and if he’s seemingly unconcerned, why are you? 🙂
January 12, 2018 at 5:29 pm #73592
I’ve been hurt by cycles that seem to happen. I question is this because of ADHD? Why is this happening? I am hurt because of words said and buttons being pushed to their furthest. I am hurt because of not the whole truth being told. There are other reasons but do not want to go anymore in depth. So I try to figure things out and know he says he has this so maybe it has something to do with that. This is why I question. Maybe I shouldn’t .
January 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm #73631
“I knew he had ADHD but it was just brushed off like he takes medication and nothing more.”
Just to clarify. Ok, so, you KNEW he had ADHD. When did you find out? In your initial post it sounds like you had intentionally been kept in the dark about his condition & now that he’s “got you,” he’s releasing his “true” ADHD self & his parents are playing along. Lol
Anyway, I’ve chimed in a couple of times. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s input so far. I wrote a longer post (scroll down a bit) addressing some of your other points.
January 12, 2018 at 7:31 am #73381
I have a similar situation. I’ve been in psychiatric care for almost 40 years. I’ve always had trouble in school, troubles concentrating, and just a lack of accurate observation skills. I knew I was born with something, but my parents were never open about it, or they just didn’t want to bring it to my attention. In the job I retired from because of these issues partly, the subject came up in discussion and was dismissed by the person I was discussing it with. My family doesn’t want to discuss it and both of my parents are gone. I’ve been receiving information about ADD and ADHD in my emails and realize that’s what the problem is. It’s never been actually diagnosed. But reading about it, I’m convinced that’s what I’ve been dealing with. I’ve gone through all kinds of emotions since I had this realization, but as of right now, I realize, the situation is what it is and makes no sense to dwell on what could have been. I need to discuss this with my professionals with the intention of just moving forward.
January 12, 2018 at 12:08 pm #73453
I’ve always known my husband was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. However, as an adult he is unwilling to acknowledge ADHD affects him because in his words “that would mean something is wrong with me.” While I am very sympathetic to the wounds one can suffer growing up with ADHD, I feel it is necessary to acknowledge the symptoms in order to be able to work it out in our marriage. I once got him to read a few chapters of “More Attention Less Deficit” (a book I found very helpful), but what he did with that was to point out all the things that do NOT fit for him. This did not give us much to work with. I’m hoping now that you know your husband will be open to working with what symptoms he does have and how they affect your relationship. ADHD is very challenging to relationships but definitely workable if everyone is open and engaged. Another helpful book that was recommended to me by a woman with ADHD is “Is It You, Me or Adult ADD?” She told me she has asked everyone whom she has a close relationship with to read it; not so they will excuse her symptoms, but so they can talk about how to have a meaningful successful relationship given that she has symptoms. In my opinion becoming educated and working together is the best solution.
January 13, 2018 at 7:54 pm #73627
I sincerely hope this doesn’t come off as rude but it feels like your post starts in the middle of a conversation. You say your husband has been taking meds for ADHD since childhood but then you feel that he was not being truthful. Did he lie about having ADHD? How was he untruthful?
Then you say, “I’ve been hurt by cycles that seem to happen. I question is this because of ADHD? Why is this happening? I am hurt because of words said and buttons being pushed to their furthest.” Have you tried to figure out these cycles? Is it when he’s annoyed? Overwhelmed? Sleep-deprived? Depressed? Is there a trigger? Without knowing more, it’s impossible to know if this is ADHD &/or something more like bipolar or some other mood or mental disorder. As a person with ADD myself, I’m pretty even-tempered. I personally don’t go through “cycles” of irritability, being mean, etc… but I don’t know if that is common for other people with ADHD. The fact that you mention these cycles makes me think there could be something else going on (along with the ADHD) that maybe HE doesn’t even know about. (If he doesn’t know, then you can’t blame him or his family for being untruthful.) Maybe he needs to be re-evaluated. More importantly, is he abusing you? Do you want to stay with someone who hurts you regardless of his condition(s)? You might need to start asking yourself a new set of questions.
“I am hurt because of not the whole truth being told.” How do you know the whole truth isn’t being told? Because you’re not getting satisfactory answers? Do you think his parents are lying? It’s quite possible that they never saw the side of him that you have seen. Maybe they’re tired of the questions & tired of talking about it…
“I have been trying to under ADHD more and it’s hard for me to wrap my head around.” Join the club! I think even those of us with ADD/ADHD are still trying to wrap our heads around it. 🙂
“but wish I understood how my husband was. Wishing my in-laws would talk to me about it and let me know if anyone else in their family has it.” What would this solve? There are probably others who have it since it tends to run in families, but are you going to start interrogating them, too? That’s going to get old fast. I think you’re asking questions that you’re not going to get nice tidy answers to that will tie up all your loose ends. The last thing he’ll want to hear is suggestions from a 3rd party on how to “fix” what’s wrong with him. He probably won’t appreciate your talking to others about him.
“did his mom elimate certain foods growing up?” “did he have certain traits of someone with ADHD growing up?” Since he was put on meds, he must have had traits but why does it matter what he was like when he was a kid? Focus on who & how he is NOW as an adult. You need to talk to him, not his mom & not to other family members that he may not even have a close relationship with. HE knows or has to figure out what works for him as a GROWN man. As you can tell, this is a touchy topic for him. I think you need to find the right time & the right way to talk to him about this & back off once he starts getting irritated. Don’t force the conversation & force him to continue when he gets frustrated otherwise it will blow up in your face. I know women (myself included) have a knack for wanting to have a deep conversation with our men at rather inopportune times. Mars vs Venus stuff.
How have things been in general for the last 7 years? Are you saying that he just NOW started behaving this way? And, the Honeymoon Stage is typically over after about 2 years so it seems like you made it well past that point. Congrats!
Lastly, you haven’t specifically stated whether his meds are working to help him function as a “normal” adult which is usually the issue that most of us deal with. If they don’t work, then maybe he needs new meds or an adjustment. If this is a problem with his overall personality or some other disorder, ADHD may be being blamed unfairly.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by MadBadADD.
January 13, 2018 at 9:44 pm #73632
Your summary of the questions sounds very much as if the simple understandings attached to those letters ADHD that are primarily associated with school age children and learning disablities does not clarify anything.
It is extremely complicated symptomatically and despite the advertising it is not food related.
I have had the luxury of having had a son with it and then finding out after retirement that I also am a raging Adhder. Priviledged because of hours and hours of time to read and research this. After all that there is no one book or website I can send you to.
What i can say is that everything I knew i have thrown out and perhaps your husband does as well. Just a few years ago it was not considered an adult disease.
Secondly most of the medications are designed to improve focus and concentration. We can focus but only on the interesting (to us) activities that fire up our brain.
This doesnt necessarily improve our notoriously inconsistent working memory eg Pick up the kids at daycare, carry out the garbage when You next go out. The losing the keys gisease its often called. It doesnt explain the nasty reaction to certain materials in clothing and our shear exasperation at labels on shirts that aggravate us no end. It doesnt explain the dark side of RSD Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria where we believe that all criticism is personal rejection and we fly into a rage. As a child this shows up as a temper tantrum. It doesnt explain why we fail to filter a response, verbal or action before thinking it through because our brain is not equipped to.
It doesnt explain that when it comes to social clues we are clueless. We will not pick up,on hintseasily. That we seldom start something complicated and actually finish it. That because something is complicated we may put off starting it for an eternity. That we keep talking long after everyone else has heard the Quiet order and ceased. This is a particularly risky action when police or others are involved such as customs agents. Of course this does explain our extremely high rAte of incarceration but not our very high rate of addictive behaviors.
There is another reaction to RSD that cripples marriages and that is when we turn inward and shut down because of our anger and disappointment with ourselves and give up trying and communicating. Perhaps why, as undiagnosed adults we are most often treated for Depression first which leads to a later or concurrent ADHD Diaqgnosis.
All of these results trace back to the inability of parts of our brain to develop normally because the neurotransmitters Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and Dopamine are in short supply aNd messages are not getting through as well or as often as they do in a normaal brain. In many of us different parts of our brain are activated to work on problems than are used by normals.And the usual parts atrophy or grow far less robust. Pre frontal Cortex to name one.
This is not a complete list of unusual behaviors but is a good start. Treatment options exist for all of these but if afflicted with all of these and you still havent left him perhaps the place to start is for both of you to seek education on it. There are a number of excellent authors but you might just start with the list from “Totally ADD” That is by no means complete.
January 14, 2018 at 12:24 am #73633
What i am trying to say is that virtually everyone of the authors of these books will tell you that surprisingly enough normal reactions to some of these issues will make things much worse.
That you are feeling hurt is a normal reaction to living with an ADHDer
We smother a new relationship with attention as you say it until the Honeymoon Stage is over but then its as if someone threw a switch and you might feel as if you dont exist. Our focus can not handle multiple relationships well and we might now be focussed on work and appear to totally ignore the needs of someone close to us. These issues need lots of work and it is not very easy if one or both of you feel hurt*. I wiil add one more comment, the name of a book that deals primarily with relationship mending. (After i glance through the many that i can no longer remember the name of)
I have to in honesty admit I didnt know about my ADHD until after my third wife of 8 years left.But i recognized many of the issues reported in these books.
*At the same time we are often hurt because anything you say that is critical may be felt as rejection. walking on eggshells may be a feeling you are probably very familiar with.
January 14, 2018 at 12:41 am #73634
Two books “Is it you me or ADD” by Gina Pera available in Amazon, Google Books, and probably your local lending Library.
“The ADHD effect on marriageUnderstand and rebuild your marriage in Six Steps. by Melissa Orlov also available in Amazon as a Kindle Book or Hardcover.
January 14, 2018 at 2:41 am #73637
Before my husband and I got married we asked each other if there was any health issues (physical mental etc) that we had or our families had. We both fully disclosed everything we knew. If your husband didn’t I’d say there are two reasons, either you never asked or he was ashamed. I personally wouldn’t be angry with him if it was something that neither of you thought to bring up. He may have not thought it was relevant or a big deal. If you did ask and he lied (didn’t give relevant information) I think I would also be very hurt, because he should have trusted you. However, you need to understand that for some people, especially men, feeling imperfect, is a really hard thing for them to come to terms with. He may have been teased as a child or made to feel embarrassed by family. I think you should discuss it with him and try to find the route of why he didn’t tell you and explain to him that your love is unconditional but that you do need him to be unfront and honest with you so that you can fully trust him.
January 14, 2018 at 11:19 am #73643
Ok so I have been reading this and I may be wrong but why does it sound like your husband has a rare disease. I know the challenges of ADD but can we look at this a different way. Maybe you can research about ADD and learn how your husbands brain works. One of the things I want most is to understood. ADD doesn’t have to be a curse. People with ADD have a unique way of looking at the world instead of condemning us for not being like everyone else maybe look at the world in a new way. Maybe your husband needs to know ADD is not all bad and sometime it is his super power. I am only recently been able to put the puzzle together in my life and it is a challenge I feel very lost at time and so misunderstood but I also know this is me and I refuse to think it is all bad. The more I learn the more my life makes sense lol, Maybe learning the plus side instead of the negative side would help the conversations.
January 15, 2018 at 11:03 am #73494
Yes, I can relate when I was a child it was very hard for my folks to decipher whether I was just being plain bratty or ADHD or a combination of both. It doesn’t bother me too much about talking with people about ADHD. I like to have people know where I stand and if I am not doing something right, they know. Also, if someone has it or a child or individual they know has it, talking with someone who knows first hand having it, those people are grateful that there others out there that they can reach out too. But what is really hurtful is one, knowing it’s affects on others and two that it is thrown back in one’s face. The ADHD is a personal thing that I at least struggle with everyday. So for someone close to you who doesn’t give you points for effort or is very critical of something you are not doing right, etc., basically throwing it in your face. They knew, because the individuals talked about it, so for them to do that to someone who has the ADHD I feel is pretty mean and really does not love someone to do that. I am sure anyone of us who has ADHD, would rather not have ADHD. If we could put a band aid or rip it out, but unfortunately this a part of the body that controls the rest of the body and in a not so easy part of the body to get to. As far as the in-laws sharing anything, it might be hard for them, because there is a lot of research and exposure about ADHD certainly since I was a kid in the 70’s so it might be too that they are not super educated on the subject. But it would be interesting to see how someone was as a child struggling with the ADHD.
Sounds you are on the right path. Work together, be patient and even a little empathetic, learn what works for each of you individually and as a couple. I wish I could have had another chance with my now ex-husband. You will be fine. Best of luck.
January 15, 2018 at 11:06 am #73362
When my son was first diagnosed at 6 we were deathly coNcerned that if we told the school he would get labeled and categorized as unteachablre.40 years ago We fought tooth and nail to keep that info out of his school file. The school a year or two later refused to let him attend unless we medicated him (ritalin) and we made sure he took regular breaks from it.
Our fears were confirmed in grade 8 when the teacher finally told us he was functioning at grade two levels in some subjects and they were going to put him in a dead end class when he entered high school Next year.
We immediately enrolked him in a private tutoring after school program and he worked very hard to Successfully graduate from a regular highschool. I mknow he has told no one since i am sure the results and our grave concerns about it at that time had some effect on it.
This recommendation was given today in answer to anothers concerns about when to tell
January 15, 2018 at 11:06 am #73325
Good Afternoon! I am very sorry that you are hurt, with the news of your husband. I am unfortunately divorced. But in the first year I was dating my husband, we sat down and shared. I did share about the ADHD and how I have had to struggle with it since 4 years of age. There was no hiding my ADHD idiosyncrasies while we were dating and when we were married. I even tried to break up with him later in our first year of dating, because I could see that he wasn’t going to be able to handle it. To my surprise he didn’t want to break up, because he didn’t want to be alone for rest of his life. But neither did I.
I explained to him that I was not looking for him to solve my problems, but needed support, compassion, understanding, empathy of some kind and most of all patience. I explained that we needed to work together on what I thought would be difficult for whoever ended up with me. No one in my family had ever really taken the time to read up on ADHD. But I guess if someone is important enough, you take the time. My now ex-husband took the time to read “Driven to Distraction”. I thought this was great, because it really showed me that he cared and was looking to see how I ticked. Mind you the book was completely highlighted for I think they wrote the book for me. When were married obviously my ADHD came out in my living and unfortunately, my ex-husband was not as caring as I thought he would be and basically through it in my face. I never got points for effort, never was complimented and there was no sacrificial love on his end. He would see me mornings (which is my worst time during the day), scattering around to get out the door for work, but for him, his 5 course breakfast and reading his paper (for he was self-employed), was more important. He was not connected on any of my needs with ADHD and I thought that after reading a book about ADHD, I don’t know what he was expecting after we were married. Maybe that I would outgrow it or something.
I wish I could, there are days that I am more frustrated on how my ADHD affects others then to struggle with it and make things come out OK on a daily basis. He never sat down with me to ask what he could do to make things a little easier for me with the ADHD or for us. Yes, meds. can help a bit, but the support of someone you love means everything. I was always worried if we had children if they would have ADHD for he was an Architect and his siblings were also very smart. I wondered, if he couldn’t put up with me, how could he put up with a child who has ADHD. I had asked him once if he was looking for someone who has a brain or a heart. At the time he stated a heart. I only have my Associates Degree, but he is now married to someone who has a Ph.D and makes a lot of money. I was an open book, but my ex was very critical.
I am sorry you are finding out about the ADHD now. It might explain on his living behavior that at times, you might have wondered about. I would talk with your son at length about the ADHD and how he struggles with it on a daily basis.
But also state to him that it is something that he needs to talk over with his future wife. I feel it would mean more to his future wife with the love and respect he has for her to be open and honest. Truthfulness is the answer. Being honest and open about the ADHD is wise so they as one and as a couple, can figure out ways that might work for each other.
Also, educating themselves enough so that if it arises that they have a child with ADHD, they can work together for the better of themselves, the child and the family as a whole. I usually tell people,”If you don’t want to be a part of the solution, then don’t say anything or bother with me.” There are so many horrible things that we could all have, but I have wondered, if I had cancer, would my ex still have divorced me. Who knows. But if you have pledged for better or worst and richer for poorer in front of the eyes of God, then it is something that should be committed to the end. By the way, if you asked my ex why he got married to me, he would say “I thought I would just try it out, but it just didn’t work out”. So knowing in his heart it wasn’t going to work out, because I didn’t turn out the way he expected me to be, out the door was I. Good Luck with everything, I know you will figure out what is the best for you and your husband as well as your son and future daughter-in-law in dealing with day to day life. All the Best!
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