emwinshi

My Forum Comments

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  • in reply to: My non-ADHD spouse in denial #137425
    emwinshi
    Participant

    I agree with the comments above. Also, make sure you aren’t using it as an excuse. Even if you are explaining why you forgot something or lost something, the explanation is an excuse. Seeing if she’ll go to counseling with you will probably be the best help. Make sure the counselor knows how to treat and counsel ADHD. Don’t get stuck in the counselor that wants to see you every three months to write a prescription.

    in reply to: I suspect my husband might have ADHD #106755
    emwinshi
    Participant

    I just finished with a therapy session and the next thing I’m going to be working on is improving my executive functions. If you aren’t familiar with these, look them up and you’ll quickly see where he fits in and what functions are his biggest challenges. He is more than welcome to reach out and chat if needed. I’m not a professional therapist but I’m 45yrs old with a positive attitude and good heart.

    in reply to: I suspect my husband might have ADHD #106702
    emwinshi
    Participant

    First off, I’m not a doctor or professional but I do have ADHD and struggling in my marriage. Second off, this post is kind of all over the place so I’m sorry. I find that as I share things with others, it helps me become a better me. If my wife were to type up a post, her’s would be exactly the same story. I have, in the past couple years, realized how much of a burden I am on her in regards to determining what is a priority and leading the family in the right direction. She is the one that manages most of the same things. I would say, yes he probably does have ADHD and you should see if he’ll go get evaluated. Before any behavior changes can be made, medication is needed. He’ll have more energy and think a lot more clearly once the right medication and dosage is determined. I have a horrible memory and rely heavily on post it notes and a notepad to remind myself to do things. My phone has around two dozen alarms to remind myself daily on tasks and important things that need done for my family. It sucks typing it out because it does make me sound like a child.

    I’ve often thought about whether there was a relationship between autism and ADHD. I find that I’m emotional disconnected from some things that I know, logically, I should have a deeper emotional attachment and drive towards. I’m by no means any level of expert on autism so I can’t speak intelligently to it.

    My wife has said that she is a married woman that has a husband that loves her deeply but she’s also the loneliest person on the planet because I’m not present when she needs. It is true and you are correct when you said that he doesn’t realize things need done. It’s hard to explain but its not that we forget, we just don’t prioritize it. Its not intentional, our brains just dont have it in any of our decision making processes.

    You asked how to approach him about it. I don’t know if this is the right way because everyone is different and at a different spot emotionally and mentally. The brick that hit me was when she told me that if I don’t change, she’ll leave. We’ve only been married for four years and I’ve been taking medication for ADHD for over 20yrs so initially I was like ‘ok then leave’. But I’ve always said that if a person is married a few times, it generally is not the spouses that are the problem. If she left, that would be my second failed marriage so I had to figure out if her concerns were justified. Afterall I had been on Ritalin for 20yrs so I should be fine. So I started researching and learned that maybe the Ritalin wasnt helping me as much as I thought. When I was younger (in my 20’s) it worked fine but now that I’m older, my body has changed and my medication probably should as well. So I searched for a doctor that specializes in ADHD. After a couple sessions, she put me on a new medication and a lot stronger and its helped a lot. I still have a ton of work to do but at least now I recognize my short comings and can hopefully create action plans to help me and my family.

    If you aren’t sure if you can talk to him about it, then my guess is that communication between you to isn’t as open as you would like it. When you two do argue, does he like to try and distract or reflect things back towards you? Its common. Either way, it sounds like you are hurting and it sounds like you are feeling alone. I promise, he is as well but we dont show it the same way. He’s complacent so it can make it easier for him to deal with things. My recommendation would be to find a couples therapy that specializes in ADHD. A Professional that really understands the condition and can help with a diagnosis and help the marriage. What I felt after getting on medication for the first time:
    – A lot more energy. Prior to medication I was always tired. I sometimes would almost fall asleep on my drive home from work. It was scary. Completely stopped once I got on meds.
    – I can focus on work a lot better. This moved me up in my organization where I’m now in a senior level management role.
    – I am a lot more patient.
    – I am a lot less lazy
    – I can reflect on my mistakes a lot better now
    – I was able to go back to school and finish my bachelors and masters degree. I barely graduated high school…I mean barely.

    Once on medication:
    For me, I live my life as a checklist. The problem I had in the past was I never added my wife, or ex-wife (i’m in my second marriage), into my checklist. I got all my things done, all my work items done, and then I was done and contributed to the family (at least that’s what I thought). But not once did I ever ask myself, “what can I do for my wife today?” or “…my family today?” I would also procrastinate on non-routine items because I didn’t know where to add them to my checklist. If I added them to the wrong place, they wouldn’t get done and then I would deem myself as a failure. Because we forget so often, fail to uphold our word, and unable to make a decision/choice, we fail a lot. This fear of failure is a driver in our lives. So not starting something means not failing at something. We go off on tangents a lot so I digress and back to checklists. For me, I have a routine, a checklist. My meds are in the same place, out in the open (not in a drawer or cupboard), every morning. My wallet, keys, and everything I need in the morning is set out. I put all my cloths out in the morning so that I have less to think about when I wake up. At work I have a post it of everything I need to do that day which I create the afternoon before. If anything falls out of routine, that’s when things are forgotten or done half ass. My wife created a google calendar where we put all of our appointments and tasks and anything involving me, us, or them. That way, if i schedule something for myself and forget to tell her, at least its routine enough for me now that I most likely put it on the calendar. I was reminded A LOT to add things to the calendar before it became routine for me.

    My checklist, is about me and my things that need done. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to do other things, but if they aren’t on my checklist, I don’t even think about them. Something you can try is creating a checklist. This is going to sound childish and he may think so as well. Maybe initially, you own it as something you need. But have him lead the charge in creating the checklist (one separate checklist for both of you). It will consist of seven sheets of paper, Mon-Sun. This wont solve all your problems but it will start to paint a picture for him. In order for this to work, you have to stay consistent with it and with him. I know I’m asking you to do more, but this could payoff to a point where you are doing less. My goal, was to get those things I needed in our marriage to be added to my checklist. In order to do that, I had to make it part of my routine to create a physical checklist of things that needed done around the house and with the family. Something that has to be included on this list is date night with you, start with once a month or twice a month. You mentioned that your sexual relationship is non-existent. This is because he’s more of a roommate to you than a husband. I don’t believe you want to identify him as such so you need to get back that romance you once had. A simple date night where you are just a girl and he is just a boy may help you get there.

    We got into a ‘discussion’ that I never do anything for her and then I listed off all these things I did for her daily. Her response, “how do you know what I need when you’ve never asked?”. She was right. I was filling up her bucket, but it was the wrong bucket. I filled up the ‘I can do these for myself but thank you’ bucket when I should be focusing on filling up the ‘this is what I need from my husband’ bucket. Once he realizes this, your marriage will be a little better every day.

    You are an amazing strong woman. To be in a relationship with someone with ADHD is not easy, I see that now. I would have left a long time ago. Continue to have hope and faith and keep encouraging him to talk to someone. Once he does, his life will open up like he’s never experienced. I always tell people that living with unmedicated ADHD is like living life through a steamed up window. Every once and awhile you’ll have a water droplet run down the window and it will keep your full attention but you really cant see too much past the glass. You life is the steam and the drops with an occasional glimpse of reality. Once medicated, the steam is wiped away and the world opens up. It sounds like he is a high level ADHD person which is why you are still with him. He’s intelligent, probably does well at work, and he’s got a good heart. He’ll be an amazing different person once medicated, if indeed he does have ADHD.

    Good luck to both of you and God Bless!

    in reply to: I need help supporting a partner with ADHD!! #106420
    emwinshi
    Participant

    As the other responses have stated, this is a common problem with ADHD marriages. My wife and I are going through it now and it is a lot of work on her part just as it is on my part. Unfortunately the first step is for him to realize the reality of the situation. This took me a long time to understand. It’s so easy to make excuses for not getting something done. I became an excuse expert which didn’t help the situation. One reason I used excuses a lot is because my memory is really bad. This is a characteristic of ADHD. I know the backyard needs cleaned up from the dog but I forget to do it over the weekend and when my wife calls me out on it, I make up an excuse. Then an argument would ensue due to my ego being hurt. That would then escalate into me call her out on things that had nothing to do with me not doing the chore I needed to get done.

    Here are our solutions that has worked so far:
    1) We make a list for every day of the week. We do it for both of us, not just for me. We started out as it being just for me and it made me feel too much like a child. Logically I understood it but the process wasnt very satisfying as an adult. Then she created one for herself and for some dumb reason, it helped and gives us both goals and expectations. When I complete a chore, I go to the list and cross it off. Make sure he’s an active part. My recommendation would be have him lead the creation of the chore list every week. Make sure that each day is on its own sheet of paper. If all of the days are on one sheet it can be overwhelming. Don’t fill up the day with lots of chores and be cognizant of the weather. Combine chores that you can do together like folding laundry or cleaning the kitchen. Most important YOU need to be consistent with everything. He will not be consistent until he sees you. After enough time, things will become more habitual for him and be easier. Also, if something is going to change in an evening (date night or a football game) where he usually has a chore he does, be sure to address it as soon as this event is scheduled. “On Saturday we are going to the lake, since its monday now we’ll need to be sure to have all our saturday chores done prior. Do you have any suggestions on how we should do that?”

    2) Don’t allow excuses to be acceptable (unless they are truly valid). This is just reinforcing a bad habit that he’s survived on is whole life. “I have ADHD” is NOT an excuse. Not saying that its not a valid condition but its no excuse for not taking the trash out. We are intelligent human beings with or without ADHD and because of that we are capable of looking back at a situation and saying ‘dang it, I did forget to do that and there is no excuse’. Let him know that when he thinks you are ‘nagging’ that you are ‘nagging’. He promised that he would do something for you and he didn’t fulfill his promise. You are disappointed and hurt. Right now, it may not seem like that big of a deal but over the next few years all those times will add up and you may build up a level of regret and anger towards him. Let him know now that when he does forget or fail to complete something that he is hurting you and letting you down. Let him know you understand the ADHD but there are plenty of tools out there to help him remember.

    3) Create a shared google calendar and schedule everything on it. Use it consistently and refer him to it every day for everything. My wife did this for us and its amazing. When I want to work on the yard, I add it to my saturday slot so she knows not to schedule anything or expect anything else. If you want a date night with him, schedule it and remind him (probably several times) that he needs to plan a date night with you on that night. If he’s like me, I was always afraid of disappointing her with date nights which is me failing. ADHD individuals fail a lot in their lives and, for most of us, it sits with us forever. My wife started giving me suggestions where she stored them on a google sheet. When she listed a date night, I would go to that sheet and pick something that she wanted to do.

    4) Set alarms on his phone. Phones now a days can have an infinite number of alarms. Have him set an alarm each week to remind him to do things (call doctors, go to the grocery store, etc).

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