Raised 5 kids with ADHD husband.

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    • #111924

      I don’t see very much written on the complexity,
      Work, emotional burnout and physical exhaustion that comes with parenting and running the household, while married to an ADHD husband.
      I don’t blame everything on him, but now that I’ve raised 5 kid”s, were both depressed and exhausted. I’m fearful for what’s ahead.
      He and I are both 50 something. We just found out about the ADHD living in our home, because our ADHD son hit adolescence, was diagnosed and all the pieces fell into place after 30 long years of a struggling marriage/family. My husband believes the truth about his diagnoses, partly, but makes no attempts to help himself. I would have to do it all for him. I”ve attempted this a few times. He goes to doctor, gets a med and says, “it doesn’t do much”. That’s it! No follow up, not even a conversation about another appointment or any other possible way, to remedy our situation.
      Nothing. I’ve just wanted to live alone for years. Just to get some peace.

    • #112331

      Fedup – I’m really sorry to hear this. I’m the ADD husband; married 25 yrs, diagnosed 17 yrs ago. If it’s similar to my story, he may be dealing with the debilitating shame of having let you and your family down for so long. Every day becomes a constant reminder of the varied ways we see that in ourselves.

      My question – is he seekinglutside treatment? I originally thought meds would ‘fix this ADD thing’. What I didn’t realize was that there were other symptoms exacerbated by the ADD that also needed to be addressed. Sadly (as it is for so many of us ADDer’s), it took my marriage almost falling apart for me to do something about it. I did it for us – but I had to do it for me, too.

      He has to want this for himself, as well. All you can do is support and encourage him – it means more to us than you know to have that behind us! Also, you need to do things to care for yourself in this. My wife and I are finally in a place where that works – I know how exhausting we can be in the best of times! I don’t take it personally when she needs to do those things any more; it’s helped a lot – so take care of yourself!

      It took a lot for me to cede some things in our relationship over to her (like finances ;-)) without my esteem taking the hit (a huge issue for me). I have a really awesome therapist now; along with meds (Concerta 54mg), I realize that both of these MUST be a part of my life for this to work. We ove each other, too; and I need to remind myself of that even when she gets frustrated with me (a huge issue for me before).

      I really hope things can better for you both; and I hope this perspective from ‘the other side’ has helped. I wish you well going forward in your journey, and I’ll check back here from time to time… CHRIS

      • #113391

        Thank You so very much for taking the time to respond. It has meant a lot. I have been pondering your words and appreciate your sincerity and candor. Reading your experience gives me hope that things can change. I want that for both my husband and myself. I honestly don’t know if my husband will put the effort in. Sadly, I’m not sure if either of us cares that much anymore. My husband just ignores and buries himself in his own world, and I have taken to doing the same after years of struggle. So we live in the same house, miles apart.

        Thanks again,
        I’m glad you and your wife were able to make it through.

    • #112332

      Sorry for the spelling and grammar issues! As a high school teacher, I should have proof-read before sending. I got so hyper-focused on what I wanted to say here that I lost track; it’s what I live with – oh well… 🙂

    • #112845

      Hi there,

      I am in a similar situation, perhaps, but my son is only 5. I have a husband and a (just 1!) son, both with ADHD and even I am exhausted most of the time, so I can only imagine how tired you must be and how much you’ve managed with running a much bigger family!

      I think the input of Chris (above) is very valuable. I find I constantly need to put myself in my husband and son’s shoes or otherwise I will say things that can be extremely hurtful, even when I think I am saying something very straightforward… I have to remind myself that they have gotten so much negative feedback from just about anyone (school, parents, friends, relatives: they’ve so often been “too much/ too loud/ too energetic/ too late/ too distracted/ too….!!) and therefore anything that sounds like criticism is very hurtful, much more so than it would be for me or you (and I am not a champion at ‘receiving feedback’ when it is negative myself!). And asking my husband to do anything to help/treat/fix his symptoms of ADHD are usually met with extreme defensiveness because I think it sounds to him like I am saying he is a bother for having ADHD, it is wrong, or the fact that I am tired and struggling is all his fault.
      Once I started realising that self-esteem is an issue for people with ADHD I started noticing how negative feedback really affects my son and husband.

      Like you, I am tired of feeling tired, I really am. However, I have noticed what NEVER works and always makes me and them feel bad: when I let my crankiness and exhaustion rule how I react or bring up an issue.
      What DOES work (and geez, I don’t always have the energy) is to give LOTS of positive reinforcement AND empathy and THEN put forward a request. And with my husband I will pick a good moment (not ever before bed or he won’t sleep a wink after) when we’re both relaxed and I will start with WHY I am bringing up this subject, i.e.: I want us to be closer/ I am struggling with…/ I would like your help with…/ I would like to understand you better… etc.

      In the end, if your husband is not ready to tackle things in your relationship head on at the moment, then you still have the power to change how you approach things. This could simply be that you need lots of time to yourself so you can take a step back and perhaps look at your situation with different eyes. At the moment I often go for walks with a friend after dinner, and I even spend a few hours each week at a friend’s place (when they’re out) so I have a getaway from my home, which is often not as quiet and peaceful as I need it to be. Like you say, you’d like to just live by yourself in peace and quiet, I hear you, but perhaps a similar arrangement where you can use a friend’s home a few hours each week could be an option?

      I am working on not feeling guilty for taking time out because it serves all 3 of us well when I do.

      In the Netherlands there is a specific book about ‘ADHD in relationships’, I am sure there must be one in English too. It is a real eye opener and probably would help to understand where your husband is coming from and why he is (at the moment) resistant to take any further action…

      I hope you find some space and time for yourself so you can recharge.

      P.S. here is a book I found in English: https://www.amazon.com/ADHD-Effect-Marriage-Understand-Relationship/dp/1886941971

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