April 12, 2017 at 5:08 pm #41205
This discussion was originally started by user Linbeau86 in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.
I am the non-ADHD spouse, married ten years and two kids. I have dealt with job losses, every type of impulse control, anger issues, money issues to the point of bankruptcy, denial, treatment but forgetting to fill the prescription even with alarms on the phones, every kind of being late, forgetting, tuning out, etc that everyone describes that lives in my situation. Its so incredibly hard. As I drag the trash can out to the road for the millionth time because he’s forgotten again, I ask myself why do we continue to do this? We know its never going to change much unless it gets worse. I am so over making excuses to my kids about why daddy forgot the promises he made, I am sick of my kids saying daddy said he would but I know he won’t. Just sick to death of the whole thing. Carrying the load for a family of four and using the ADHD excuse. Yes, it explains why he does certain things but doesn’t excuse it. Sometimes love just isn’t enough and I feel so defeated. Yes, I list his good qualities but the list of bad ones (meaning the ADHD symptoms) far exceeds the good.
April 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm #41220
This reply was originally posted by user ADHDmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
The key is to create balance. You take on the tasks he isn’t good at, and he is responsible for his areas of strength (for example, I handle all the finances in our family—my husband doesn’t even have a debit card for our checking account. He runs kids back and forth to activities, because he doesn’t mind doing that).
Systems, processes, and routines for the family can help a great deal. As well as using technology for things like reminders, and scheduling.
Here’s more on when the parent has ADHD:
And on relationships with ADHD:
ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism
April 12, 2017 at 5:18 pm #41227
This reply was originally posted by user Philippe in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
The balance is not between the bad in ADHD and the good, but between contrasting feelings towards a person. My ADHD partner loves her 3 children and suffers very much for all her shortcomings towards them. I hear every word said about false promises and the like, but I know for sure that ADHD is not an excuse for her, but a source of suffering.
I love her, and our children feel that love I have for her and the love she has for me, and this is something positive. My partner also brought very concrete positive things into our couple and our family, sometimes thanks to the creative touch of ADHD, sometimes in spite of it.
To put it in a nutshell, the partner of an ADHD person should think whether or not she/he accepts ADHD and all its symptoms – hopefully trying to do something about it—or whether this is too much. I love my partner as a whole woman and AHDH is not part of her character as a person, but a dysfunctioning, a handicap. It is to me to decide whether I’m ready to accept this handicap for the love of the person.
ADHD is not an excuse, this is my conclusion.
April 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm #41231
This reply was originally posted by user Abner in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
I hear your frustration. My hubby doesn’t “get it” when I speak to him in everyday passing. He is more likely to “get it” when I speak to him in time that we have set aside to really talk. It seems to sink in better then. He almost always gets it if I can figure out a way to put him in my shoes, usually by figuring out how to do the same thing to him and then kindly pointing out the situation. This can take a while for me to figure out and implement. If these fail, I try to make it his problem by not going behind him and fixing “it.”
With the kids, I am honest and explain what is going on. I try to give them the ability to speak up for themselves and deal directly with their father and not use me as the middleman and I remind them of his positive qualities and remind myself why I fell in love with him.
April 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm #41240
This reply was originally posted by user Marr in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
I also recommend you get some physical help. Pay someone or barter for helping with projects like laundry, etc., in exchange for you doing some of his executive functioning tasks that are more challenging for his brain wiring. Hire a younger neighbor kid to take the trash to the curb. Yes, taking the trash out is an executive functioning issue, and so is dealing with errands. You can have accommodation for your roles too to take some of the pressure off of you. It may be that you’ll need to have that prescription filled or picked up as long has he will take it. Maybe he needs to be playing with the kids while you deal with the trash, or some other role renegotiation. What can he contribute were he can do in his areas of strengths?
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hope @ ADDitude.
April 26, 2017 at 6:10 pm #46932ADHDWifeParticipant
I”m not even a year in and it makes me nervous to read these things. I feel like the only time I can get my ADHD-husband to get it that things are bothering me is when I get upset and cry. That’s the only time he takes notice and his response is sometimes to tell me that I’m just finding something to be mad about. I’ve tried to convince him that we should see an ADHD coach together, but money is tight for us right now and his response is that we can’t afford it. I’ve tried to educate myself, so that I know what is his ADHD and what isn’t and so that I can learn strategies that will make it better for me, but it already feels like such a struggle sometimes.
April 27, 2017 at 8:54 am #46944
I could have written that exact original post. My husband was just recently diagnosed but I’ve been dealing with this for about a decade. I love him and I see his positive qualities…at the same time I am not willing to let him bankrupt our family. Are there any resources for how to deal with money issues? I handle all of our finances but can’t figure out if I should take his debit card away or what. This seems to be the hardest part for me to deal with. His spending never stops, even now as he has lost another job. He’s about to go on meds but, like the original post, I know he will have trouble taking them regularly and getting the prescription filled.
April 28, 2017 at 9:54 am #47037Penny WilliamsKeymaster
April 28, 2017 at 10:02 am #47038
Thanks but I meant way to manage our finances when he can’t/won’t. Ways to minimize the damage he does.
May 1, 2017 at 8:14 pm #47159ssk_nyParticipant
You can take charge of the money situation by giving him an allowance. Yes, take away his debit card. The traditional way would be for you to go to the ATM each week, withdraw a predetermined amount of cash for him spend, and when it is spent, that’s it.
There is also a way to automate this. Open a new checking account just for him (if your current bank won’t do this or wants to charge a fee, online banks may offer free checking with a debit card, depending on what country you are in). Set up an automatic transfer from your main account to his account every week or every two weeks. He can spend that and no more. Make sure he and you both understand that he cannot access the main account for any reason, but he can spend the money in his account however he wishes.
May 2, 2017 at 8:53 am #47163
Thanks! We tried the separate checking account but he kept overdrafting and the fees racked up. So actually just yesterday we started on a cash model. Maybe I can find an different bank arrangement that simply declines a card rather than charging an overdraft fee.
May 2, 2017 at 9:20 am #47167Penny WilliamsKeymaster
I was thinking that my husband would just overdraft the account too. What about a prepaid credit card? You could load it each week or two and it would get declines when there wasn’t enough money for a purchase.
May 2, 2017 at 9:44 am #47168
Yes, great idea. That way he can make online purchases if necessary. And less trips to the ATM. thanks!
April 29, 2017 at 10:07 am #47061Angie_HParticipant
I also often feel defeated by my husband. We are currently trying to have a daily planning session, and it is mostly pro forma. He gives a quick reading of his ‘to do’ list, then it’s like pushing string to get him to commit to any specific plan for the next day, let alone longer term things. Since we have been doing this (past few months) I only once got him to lay out how long the planned activities would take, and it came to at least 10-12 hours. He saw the plan was not feasible.
Today I have a couple of teenagers coming to do some yard work. My husband has known this for a couple of weeks. Last night he announced he is planning to use the garden cart for something unrelated. He was disappointed but agreed to use something in its place.
And the things he promised to do by no later than yesterday? No plan in sight, and they are holding up other things.
I don’t lose sight of his charm. He was adorable playing with the cat this morning, but getting things done is such a challenge. I know why I continue to do this. I enjoy his good qualities and try to overlook the challenges in our relationship. But I would dearly love to have fewer challenges.
All the best,
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