Spousal Issues… Moving too Fast?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Relationships Spousal Issues… Moving too Fast?

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    • #119787

      Hello All,

      First time posting, so I appreciate any feedback.

      Long story short. I have really never spoken about my issues with a doctor or psychiatrist. Because I have always been taught that you can work through your issues.

      However, I just can’t control it.

      Recently as today, my wife was angry with me for forgetting to lock the car, and I thought I did, but with the two kids and trying to get them inside and getting dinner ready it slipped my mind. I would say it is one of those little mistakes, but it does happen. For example, she mentions forgetting the keys in the door the previous day. I try not to be irresponsible, I work hard everyday and I have a side business that I work with a business partner outside of that. However, I feel like I am failing.

      I do not blame her, because it has happened previously on cars being left unlocked or a door left unlocked and just little things. But as she says, which I fully understand, its not just little things and I am just going to fast.

      I wanted to get some feedback, on how others have handled trying to slow down. I know I move quickly which is positive in some aspects but can be detrimental in others.


    • #119963

      Hey possiblyadd, you’ve come to the right place. Relationships are tough and being in a relationship with someone who is ADD can be really frustrating for people without it. If you do not want to be medicated (Wellbutrin and Vyvanse are good options if you don’t want to feel whacked out), then I suggest starting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You may require a therapist to get you started but it’s pretty simple. Look it up online, it’s basically a practice in being present and aware without any vague spiritual requirements and dogmas.

      Remember too that your wife should easily forgive such benign shortcomings in the grand scheme of things. I mean, at least you aren’t an alcoholic like me. There are far worse problems to be having than unlocked doors. If your wife continues to harang you, consider there might be an underlying issue (not necessarily with you). This is important. From my experience, neuro-normative people often find it easy to blame people with ADD for their own problems and anxieties. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but it happens wherever someone with a disability or behavioral difference exists. This scapegoating is a major defect of neuro-normative people. They don’t self-doubt and self criticize as much as ADD’s and depressives. And when they do, they have the nasty habit of projecting those negative feelings onto someone who is more susceptible to criticism and who makes careless mistakes (i.e. us). This is why untreated ADD can be harmful: you will begin to believe that your inability to complete simple tasks is a result of deeply rooted moral/behavioral/character flaws. This is dangerous because instead of giving you the tools to overcome these challenges, you are made to believe that you are inherently and indelibly broken.

      Give yourself a break. You don’t sound even remotely like a failure and if leaving the car unlocked is how you fall short of perfect, then you have it better than most. Again, I think it’s more an issue with your wife or that you haven’t adequately explained your feelings about the situation to her (i.e. that her criticism cuts deep and that you are really struggling to be better and that you understand that it seems like you aren’t making the effort to change).

      Best of Luck bud, Let me know what you decide to do.

    • #119968

      Hi there possiblyadd. I am currently trying to slow down too. I’m going with the mantra ‘Do little but do it well’. Like you I have had issues where I am just not getting to grips with things that are very important to my wife. She likes quiet in the early hours and I didn’t think I was being that noisy but I surely was. I am now approaching it with a holistic strategy of slowing everything I do right down. I’m not there yet but getting there. When I notice I am going 100 miles an hour I reprimand myself and purposefully slow down. I am practicing being more deliberate and methodical with every single thing I do.
      Haven’t had the chance to practice these techniques out in the mornings yet but for me it’s shutting doors quietly and remembering to whisper and engage in quiet activities all the time whilst others are in bed upstairs.
      I found it really hard to climb down from the defensive position I got myself in citing that I didn’t think I was that noisy. Overcoming my want not to be in the wrong was the most difficult obstacle. But I really don’t think I will achieve this task without looking at the whole and starting to do all things with methodical purposeful and deliberate care. This is going to make me slow right down for sure but I think I will get more out of everything I do by doing it this way. Thanks for sharing your post.

    • #122236

      Hi, possiblyadd,

      I totally disagree with the response above that your wife is projecting her own anxieties onto you. That’s simply not the case. However, it *is* difficult for neurotypical people to understand some ADHD behaviors like the forgetfulness, or inability to establish and follow routines. These executive function disorders usually involve things that neurotypical people don’t have to dedicate conscious thought to, because they are habit or routine. For people with ADHD, that conversion to routine doesn’t happen as easily, if at all.

      My husband and I have these same kinds of issues, because things that are very routine to me simply are not routine to him. So we find strategies to remind him of those things. We’re also aware that our daughter deals with the same issues that he does, so we need to find strategies that will help both of them commit somethings to routine. Maybe it’s a note on the inside of the door that you see when you close the front door of your house that says “LOCK THE CAR. PUT YOUR KEYS ON THE HOOK”. (Keys on the hook next to the door is super important for us, otherwise, keys can literally be put down anywhere, and we spend a looooong time hunting for them when it’s time to leave). Your wife might not understand now why you need a note to tell you do these things, but, if the note does the trick and you start locking the car, and locking the house, she’ll see the utility of it.

      Like I said, it’s hard for the NT person to understand why these things are necessary when they’re just second nature to us. It can help to do a few sessions with an counselor experienced in ADHD, who can maybe help your wife to step back from the “should” mindframe, as in “I shouldn’t have to remind you”, “you should be able to remember to do this”. This will help her be less frustrated because it helps manage expectations, and it will help you, because it will unlock the ability to find strategies that work for you.

      Good luck!!

Viewing 3 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.