It's not ADHD, you're just an A**hole,

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    • #138759

      I hear this a lot in my relationship, I have ADHD, I fortunately was diagnosed early in my life during highschool. I was medicated a short time then before discussing it with my mom and stopping, after that I pretty much forgot all about the fact that I had ADHD, went along struggling without thinking about it, going through short stints of work before leaving or getting fired, short relations. I finally got married and had kids my wife and I have had plenty of ups and downs after a extremely terrible night of drinking where one of us ended up being arrested we both decided to quit drinking. This seemed to help a lot, but only do much. Our relationship is still stained, I realized that much of it might be my ADHD and started getting counseling to help address that and improve my emotional self, finding out that I have also likely been depressed for a long time as well. I go to see a psychiatrist, who suspects that I may be bipolar 2. I don’t think this is the case because I don’t really fit tha. Anyhow, I get put on a variety of different medications and am now on Adderall XR and lamictal. I feel like I’m doing better, but every couple of weeks my wife gets furious with me about everything, berating me for being lazy and not caring, and how the things I do/don’t do aren’t symptoms of ADHD but just me being an awful person. Telling me that it’s been so long and she hasn’t seen any improvements, I feel like I have been feeling better and have been trying very hard to work on myself just to be told I am not making any progress, I have been trying to keep lists, apps, and alarms. I try to talk with her and she says I’m just justifying or making excuses.
      I am sorry for the long rant and ramble, but I don’t know how I can keep everything together and stop forgetting about what I need to get done and keep up, as well as my kids and my wife and school. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I don’t know what to do.

    • #138997


      First of all, none of this is your fault and you certainly aren’t alone. When you said she does this every few weeks, is it maybe that time of the month? Women can get extremely weird during that time since so many hormones are all out of balance. If I’m wrong, did you ever consider that she may be having a mental health issue of her own?

      The best thing to do is to have a serious conversation about where your marriage is going. It’s not a healthy environment for anyone to live in if you’re arguing all the time. This isn’t to say “it’s over”, but rather a reflection of the problems you’re both experiencing. You said you’re doing much better, and that’s really good news. However, even though your brain is beginning to balance, your wife is still stuck in that state she was before you got better. She needs help to alleviate this anger. Go out and do something nice, like dinner, a movie, or a massage for you both to unwind and just relax for one day. Then when you’re both relaxed, you can sit down and have a conversation and work it out.

      There will always be ups and downs, and you’re going through a rough patch. Relationships are never perfect, and anyone who tells you they are, are simply lying. One of the things I noticed when I had undiagnosed ADHD, was the oblivious nature of reality to me. I would maybe do things and not even realize the impact it would have on others due to my impulsive nature. I wouldn’t listen, so the chances of me resolving problems were difficult. You aren’t alone in this, and I can assure you, things will get better. You need time to adjust to your meds and this new way of thinking and behaving. Your wife needs time to adjust too. Give it some time, and things will start picking up, I promise.

      Kind Regards

    • #139281

      It will take time for your wife to see that you have changed. It takes a long time for change to happen whether you have ADHD or or not.
      If you have been married awhile, Maybe the reason why she is saying you are just excusing your behavior is because she is frustrated with the way things have been. Another thing is she will actually have to see change to believe it. Actions not words. Have you seen a cognitive-behavioral therapist?

    • #139335
      Penny Williams

      Is your wife willing to read a book or two on ADHD? I’d suggest “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Crazy or Stupid” and “The ADHD Effect on Marriage.” She needs to see and accept what is outside your control and the fact that you are really trying and that your intentions are good. If she can’t/won’t things will not get better.

      Free Webinar Replay: You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?! New Empowering Lessons for Adults with ADHD

      The ADHD Effect on Marriage

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

    • #139355

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. It sounds like you’re really trying hard to improve things.

      For me, I am sure there are some things I do that irritate people that have nothing to do with my ADD, so I guess anything is possible. HOWEVER, it’s next to impossible to have a good relationship with a person that keeps throwing up the ADD in someone’s face like that, and it’s no one’s business to try to say “that’s not from ADD”. It would be very hard to heal and move forward with that being thrown around on a regular basis. I think if you could get both of you to counseling together, it’d be the best thing.

      Good luck,


    • #140685

      Just my two cents, but I perfectly understand someone losing it over ADD. I suspect that I am inattentive, not diagnosed, and I drive myself nuts and I am sure my partner feels the same. I don’t really understand how I can sit and stare at walls or screens while hours go by and then get annoyed that the house is a mess!
      I suspect that my mother and possibly one brother have ADD. They drive me insane, even with the understanding that I have. My mum has a problem; she asks for a solution. I think about it and suggest something; she agrees and is happy to have a solution, and then she won’t activate the change. I know that I do the same thing, but seeing it happen in front of me is agonising because it is so illogical and I can see the benefits that would result if she ‘tried’.
      I would ask if your wife could perhaps visit your therapist. Having a professional tell her what you’re trying to tell her might be more reassuring and help her to better understand. She might be able to find her own therapist, who has an understanding of the condition, that she can vent to, but who also can help remind her of your reality.

    • #140860

      So sorry you’re going thru this. I want to say also, CONGRATULATIONS AND AWESOME JOB to you and your wife for making the choice to quit drinking.

      I’m in a similar situation lik you but little different. I’m struggling like you. But my husband says NOTHING! He doesn’t share what he feels about things. I’ve been basically a overwhelmed, confused, can’t focused, meltdown turd, couch potato for many years. Fighting thru it the whole time. Failing most of the time. We worked on our struggles and it’s tuff for people to understand what this feels like and it’s definitely hard to explain to someone too. It’s hell! And I’m new to ADD and now just learning that symptoms I’ve been feeling are linked to the ADD which I had no idea emotions are part of ADD! So with that allll being sad, I asked my husband to come to therapy with me a couple times. Been trying to get him to go on his own too. Told him it that I’m saying he has things to work on, but more for him to get a better understanding of what I am dealing with and how it all works. Also to be able to discuss how he is dealing with his own struggles pertaining to me. So hopefully you both can sit down and realize there are some major changes going on for both of you. And need to be as understanding as possible with each other. I would also share info with her so she has a better understanding of the symptoms. Like I was saying there are things I’m learning that I had NO IDEA were actually from ADD! Emotions, never knew that! If you’re not going to therapy I would recommend it. And have your wife attend occasionally. Or even go on her own.
      Best of luck.

    • #172159

      It sounds like you’re trying to take responsibility for your condition. If your wife won’t accept that, then you should probably move on. Typically, ADHD people avoid responsibility, and certain members of this forum perpetuate that tendency, but you’re taking the right steps. That’s great!

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