Helping spouse with ADHD stay on top of calendar

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    • #117290

      Hi there,

      I am hoping some of you may be able to help me help my husband. He has a really hard time understanding, well, time. He lives in the now. He takes on too much and then can’t get it all done in the time he has. He forgets appointments and oversleeps his alarm. He mixes up the days of the week or the dates we have to do something. Anything that involves remembering dates and times just seems to be such a struggle for him, and therefore a struggle for us! For example, I will get a call from him that I need to give him a ride to the airport or to the car mechanic — something he’s known about for weeks, but will only mention to me a few hours ahead of time. Or he’ll make plans on a night that I’ve made plans for us, and then one of us will have to cancel.

      As a coping mechanism, he has tried to use a shared online calendar to keep track of everything, but there are now so many events on it that it’s become cluttered, making it easy for him to miss things. He’s also rejected suggestions to cut back on events to simplify our schedules.

      He’s often grateful if I save him from a mistake at the last minute — like sleeping through his alarm, being stranded at the airport, etc — but very defensive and resistant when I try to suggest processes or ways of communicating that would prevent these crises from happening in the first place. He also tends to be somewhat resentful when I advise him to turn down new activities, opportunities or plans — he always wants to shoehorn in one more set of plans, or one more activity, even when he’s already too busy.

      Any advice? This has become such a strain on our marriage.

    • #117400
      Penny Williams

      Even though you haven’t found success with the shared calendar yet, I still think it’s your best bet, since making plans when you already have a commitment is a problem.

      So, what can you do to try to make this work for everyone? Have you tried color coding events. So his activities are one color and yours are another? Visually, he’d only have to worry about his color (maybe his is a vibrant color and yours is grey or white so it kind of fades into the background).

      My husband and I don’t share a calendar, but I do send him calendar invites for anything he will also be participating in or needs to fill in in my absence for (like being the only parent with kids if I’m out of town). That way, I’m only adding to his calendar my activities which are a necessity for him to know about. That means far less on his calendar to keep up with.

      With google calendar (I think it’s google calendar), if you set an address for a calendar item, you can set a notification for “time to leave.” This is so helpful in planning for those with time blindness.

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

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