Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria? Newbie to ADHD Spouse support.

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Spouses & Loved Ones Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria? Newbie to ADHD Spouse support.

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    • #41209
      Hope @ ADDitude

      This discussion was originally started by user [Married2-ADHD-RSD-ODD] in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.

      Does anyone out here have experience with successfully getting treatment for ADHD RSD for their spouse?

      I feel at a wits end in my marriage, with untreated ADHD that has been diagnosed twice now and left pretty much untreated because lack of urgency and follow-through.

      To even bring this up triggers angry outbursts on his part that go from 0-10 in seconds (“Nothing is ever good enough” “You are always running me down” “What about YOUR issues?” “Oh, that’s rich of you to keep pointing out my ADHD” “I am trying a new diet for my ADHD, eating kale, what more can I do?!” “The only language you speak is criticism” etc.)

      I realise that dealing with ADHD takes both partners, but I feel my life has been hijacked by fear of his responses to any required changes I want to bring up. I don’t trust him to not get angry in discussions, so I deeply want to avoid any confrontation. I feel not worthy to expect better from life because he might find another area I need to focus on myself about and turn the finger back at me with anger.

      Hopeless… Can anyone help with experience in treating RSD and ADHD?

    • #41212
      Hope @ ADDitude

      This reply was originally posted by user Philippe in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I can relate to that: I cannot trust my partner not to get angry and I, too, tend to put on hold my criticisms whereas she’s very quick at pointing to my own defects.

      This said, it seems your partner is not fully aware of what is ADHD and what it implies. As long as he does take into account, to the fullest account, the implications of this neurological disorder, there is little you can do. He should find a professional who can raise his awareness about ADHD and its implications in everyday life. You cannot do it alone, I think.

    • #41214
      Hope @ ADDitude

      This reply was originally posted by user ADHDmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Change cannot happen until he accepts his ADHD and follows through with treatment. As long as he’s avoiding his ADHD and turning everything back on you, the real issues won’t change.

      Would he be willing to go to couples counseling with you? Maybe that would be a willing first step to open the dialog about managing his ADHD better.

      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #47744

      OMG – this is how I feel. If I ever bring up that I feel “ignored,” “unloved,” “neglected,” anything that seems like it would be criticizing him, even though it’s just me trying to express my feelings and needs and in no way am I trying to attack – he just flies off the handle. He tells me “Nothing is ever enough for you!” “Of course I love you, I married you!” “Nothing is wrong!” “You just want drama!” It honestly makes me feel crazy, and I start to believe the things he says, and yet I can’t shake the feeling of being ignored or neglected. Especially when he had been very capable of showing me nurture and affection in the past, and still capable of showing our dogs and toddler nurture and affection.
      He is undiagnosed, my husband. He briefly mentioned some years back thinking he had it – and I brushed it off, wanting him to feel assured that everyone gets distracted. But I wish I had not done that – and now he turns to various substances to manage. I don’t know how to talk to him about “why” he’s using substances – to get him to face the truth..
      At least your partner knows he has ADHD .. is he on medication?

    • #48991

      Hi all, it has taken me 13 very long and frustrating years to get my husband to admit that he’s undiagnosed and untreated ADHD has pushed our marriage to and over the bridge…..
      We have now thrown up a rope to attempt to climb back up (watch this space)….
      I have finally given him an ultimatum he accepts and seeks diagnosis and help (with me fully behind him) or he has to leave as I can’t take anymore… it has been made even harder as there is also extreme RSD…
      I don’t know what our future holds as yet but I have come to the conclusion that the only way to get the message through is to give them direct choices but only 2 and whatever you do stick by what you say no negotiation no going back as I believe it’s the only thing that gets through.
      The thing is I need support now as our eldest daughter is extremely demand avoidant and our youngest is ADHD not the best combination!
      So it’s accept and ship up or ship out….

      Good luck to all. X

    • #75344

      I was the Spouse.

      We weren’t married but I am exactly what you are talking about. I only heard of RSD in mid-December 2017 and it has been quite the eye opener. My past girlfriend of 4 years was a the reason (not cause) I went to see a therapist. Which lead to being diagnosed with ADD late 2015. I started taking Adderal understanding that it was only part of the solution. I needed to unlearn old habits and learn new ones. I did stop taking the last half of 2016 because money was tight and well ADD. I had no idea what RSD was. Our relationship had been going south for a long time and in March 2017 when I couldn’t take being ignored any more she said that she wanted to move out. She had been unhappy but was afraid to talk to me about what was going on because I was very difficult to talk to.

      I thought I was a good listener. I thought I was calm and understanding. Sometimes, though, she would just get me so frustrated that I would loose it! What I now understand as dysphoria was an overwhelming sense of frustration that hit me like a bomb had gone off. My chest would get tight, my neck would feel constricted and my ears would hiss- Fight or Flight! If I tried to leave I’d get ridiculed. “Oh! So you’re just going to leave?” So I’d stay and that usually led to more shouting and hurtful words. Eventually, I would snap. Cussing and stomping around our tiny apartment she would just look away and let me leave. I’d storm about my neighborhood until I cooled off. Returning home to a woman who’s heart I’d broken once again.

      I didn’t know how to use this website and by the time ADD was discovered the woman with whom I feel in love with instantly as I watched her chase her escaped parakeet while singing along to Adele, then accepted her flaws and making the decision to devote myself to her…she was done. She had enough long before I went to therapy. She was just too afraid to tell me.

      It’s been 10 months since she said she wanted to move out. She did. We tried again. We failed. It has been the hardest thing I have endured my entire live. I’ve cried more over losing her than the death of any of my relatives. I’d do anything to have her back in my life but I know she wants and needs to be on her own and I have to get myself and my ADD/RSD sorted out and tame what I now call My Monster in the Shadows and stop it from ruining anymore of my life.

      Those of you who have worked with and supported your partners… you are Saints. If they are anything like me they just couldn’t see it. Like I said earlier I call my ADD my Monster in the Shadows- Always out of my sight but ruining any chance at success in my life. Now that I do I have so much to learn. I’m not saying I am solely to blame for our failure but I have come to realize I have a lot apologize about and forgive her for.

Viewing 5 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.