July 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm #53324jomgParticipant
My 10YO was diagnosed ADHD in third grade. He’s gifted, and able to coast a bit on that, but it’s clear that something is up. Did the full suite. Super super bright, absolutely nada for executive function. With accommodation and exercise, he does ok; we haven’t tried medicating, I’m a little anxious about that in a young brain, though I am very very sure we can’t ignore it and hope for the best (and medication is on the table).
My 6YO is a bundle of something – we don’t know what yet, but he is a handful. Two handfuls. Three handfuls. TEN handfuls.
Since the older one’s diagnosis I’ve followed a reddit forum for ADHD (kind of a depressing place, mostly angry young men), and a relationship post there resonated strongly for me. A response suggested “Is it You, Me, or Adult ADD?” … Adult ADD? That’s a thing? I read the book.
Everything. Everything. EVERYTHING is there!!
The no-sex-no-explanations life. The eggshells. The attacks out of nowhere. The car rages. The entire book. Chapter after chapter.
The next book? Same thing. Yep. This is us. We’ve been married almost 13 years, and in that time I’ve read about asexuality, about depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, childhood sexual abuse, so much, because nothing made SENSE. He’s had brain scans, his testosterone tested, therapy. Marriage therapist actually advised us to split up — and on that day he did make a huge change and stopped being, well, a jerk – at least not all the time.
I’m very worried about bringing up something else after all this time. THIS time I figured out what’s “wrong with you”! Check it out, see, see! … Yeah. That’s not going to fly. I burned those chances on the wrong things, and anything I say is going to sound like criticism, an attempt to pin “our” problems on him. He doesn’t read books (too boring, too slow); I inhale them, but there’s no way I can objectively share condensed info from hundreds of pages without making him angry / feel judged.
We are so very stuck and unhappy. I never expected to stumble onto adult ADHD (though I see that it’s common to have a parent diagnosed after a child!). I feel like through a new lens – suddenly everything that made NO sense now makes SO MUCH SENSE.
I don’t know how to bring this up without triggering anger/shame/blame/deflect/refuse response. I hate confrontations, and I can’t see this playing out any other way. I’d like to just get him to read the book, but it won’t happen. I haven’t found anything shorter that hits the high notes he might actually recognize us in.
How in the world can you peacefully suggest “I think you might also have ADHD” to a spouse that is incredibly sensitive, quick to anger, does not want to talk about things, does not tolerate real or perceived criticism…? Is there ANY way??
July 6, 2017 at 8:44 pm #53329anomalocarisParticipant
What about “I just found out that ADD has a genetic component. Since both kids have been diagnosed, I wonder if we should be tested?”
July 7, 2017 at 3:34 am #53338LysParticipant
You can talk to the children’s pediatrician to present the genetic link for ADHD and suggest for both of you to get tested. I don’t know if that would be a magic bullet though, since constant jerkiness and no sex are not exactly ADHD as I know it. Another thing to check would be sleep apnea — the eggshells plus some other symptoms correspond a bit better (and ADHD and sleep apnea together are a super bad combo).
That being said, if your husband would not listen to suggestions that would improve his quality of life and save his marriage, maybe there is nothing to be saved? (Sorry for being so brutal, but I know plenty of ADHD people in happy long term relationships. It is possible to do that if you own your weaknesses and accept help.)
July 7, 2017 at 11:35 am #53364SquirrelyParticipant
I think the anger/shame/blame/deflect/refuse may be inevitable. He’s also feeling the affects of your guys marriage, and his ADHD has almost certainly strained other relationships. One of the nasty things about ADHD – we can sense it, but we’re not equipped to figure it out.
Suggesting getting tested is a good idea because of the genetic component. If you can get the information in front of him, there’s some chance he’ll have the same “AHA” moment. It may be ugly. But it’s his ADHD – he can’t do something if he doesn’t know, and you can’t do it for him!
All my love!
July 11, 2017 at 4:15 pm #53951ehyehParticipant
jomg… I could have written your post. I’m also trying to figure out how to bring this up with my spouse and get him tested. Let us know how things go.
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