Does your ADD spouse full acknowledge the ADD?

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    • #126840

      I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
      If you’ve read any of my earlier posts you will know that we are a fairly classic ADD affected couple (H has ADD and suffers from anxiety and depression, he is on meds for the depression but not for ADD, I’m the non-ADD spouse and probably at the high opposite end – very high functioning etc especially when it comes to running a business which we try and do together)
      Anyway – we limp along from one crisis to the next and although I know I won’t leave him, the fantasies about doing so are quite strong.
      I guess one of the hardest things to deal with is his unwillingness to really own his problems.
      When something mega happens I can really lose my temper (not smart, I know) and then within seconds he turns on me and says the problem is all about me and my criticism of him.
      It’s like he forgets, or wants to forget, the triggering event, and focuses only on my reaction.
      Then when things calm down and we try and talk about it all, he is quite capable of saying something like “What do you mean, I am really reliable, cheerful, easy to get on with…. etc. WTF???
      I think it would help if he would truly acknowledge the issues and their impact on me.
      Despite the formal diagnosis, therapy, meds etc. he seems to be living in a world of wishful thinking, not realizing at all what his behavior and moods do to me and to us as a couple.
      I really feel the need to get away for short periods of time, just to re-set.
      He seems quite happy to sit alone at home ALL DAY LONG either in front of the computer or the TV.
      Right now we had planned to lie on the bed together and watch a TV show we both enjoy. I asked him if he is coming up. He said, “yes, 2 mins” and 20 minutes later I hear him sitting downstairs with the TV there on full blast.
      A typical event in our lives.
      I am so fed up!!!
      Thanks for reading

    • #126845

      Sorry, typo in title line, that should be “fully” not “full” acknowledge the ADD….

    • #126891


      I’m with you here – except I’m the ADD husband! He really needs to own his behaviors when it comes to distraction etc. Some context – I was diagnosed 17 yrs ago @ age 35; married 27 yrs with 2 kids (21 & 18). We’ve been through a lot together. For a long time I just thought that my meds would ‘fix this ADD thing’ – when in reality it was the evil cousins of anxiety and shame that caused me to shut down (that was my usual response). It wasn’t til I found a solid therapeutic relationship that things started to get back to the relationship we had earlier (though there’s still work to do!).

      We constantly live in fear of always letting down the ones we care about most. The problem is we never know when that will strike! Imagine living with that every day – the stress and shame get to be unbearable. And when you admittedly get short with him, it becomes another daily reminder of the myriad ways he/we let you down. Could your husband’s avoidance be connected to that, and then turns it on you? He really needs to find ways to recognize those and deal with them; it’s really hard – I can attest to that!

      Sorry – the TV thing made me laugh! I’ve done that a million times over the years. I’m just grateful that we’re at a place where we can both laugh at it – even when calling out the behavior. We don’t intend to lose focus that quickly – it just happens! It’s important to find ways to remind us (we need to find ways, too!) when those things happen, as well as strategies for what to do when they happen. That’s what therapy does for me, anyway.

      I wanted to give some insight ‘from the inside’, so to speak. I think your efforts at self-care are crucial – you need to take care of yourself! I’m grateful my wife has those outlets; being with us ADDers can be challenging. However, I like to think we are worth it. But we have to work just as hard those in our lives to manage that. I hope your husband can get to that point, and recognize that he has an amazing and willing partner! I’m lucky I came to recognize that before it was too late (and it almost was on 2 occasions). I wish you all the positive energy as you continue to walk this journey. I check these boards regularly, so I’ll check back…


    • #126898

      Thanks so much for your lovely response, Chris, it really helps to get input from others in similar situations!
      I think the loneliness is one of the hardest things for me.
      I feel like I invest so much in energy in trying to cover for him and it leaves me so drained.
      Thanks again!

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