My Forum Comments
I believe you can have SOME neurotypical expectations of an ADHD relationship. They just have to be obtained via different methods than normal. I am also a husband with ADHD who was diagnosed at age 37. Hyper-focus for me, and most likely your husband, is not about people, places or things. It is entirely about brain stimulation. Newness, as in a new relationship or a new electronic device or conversation with new people, causes changes in our brains that keep us focused on whatever it is that caused that brain stimulation.
One of the tricks my wife and I use to keep our relationship causing that brain stimulation is to share the things that cause brain stimulation for me. That way it allows us to keep our relationship somewhat “new”. You might try a date night once a week, going out to do something that both of you love to do. That would give him brain stimulation while simultaneously removing him from all the things at home that might be pulling him in another direction.
I am glad you are both seeing a counselor as some men with this issue won’t seek help for it. It may take some time but I believe if you are both committed to making things work it will happen. Seeing a therapist and reading both of the books that were recommended above were invaluable to my wife and I during the process.
I was diagnosed at age 37 when I went to see a therapist for another reason. After speaking to her for a while and going through my childhood experiences she through out ADD as something we should talk about. She recommended “Driven to Distraction” by Edward Hallowell, M.D. I will tell you there were a lot of emotions and quite a few tears during that read.
Ironically, it was one of the few books in my life that I have been able to get through without stopping.
What to expect really depends on what course of treatment you choose to follow. I chose medication and therapy, but there are all kinds of options. The biggest part for me though, was getting the diagnosis to begin with. To find out that I really wasn’t just inconsiderate of others, or didn’t care about other people’s time. Being able to identify reasons for most of those things I routinely got in trouble for as a child was really eye opening and liberating.
What ever treatment route you choose, I would recommend some type of therapy to go along with it. At least for awhile until you get your bearings with what behaviors are being influenced by the ADHD and what you can do to mediate the negative ones.
Good luck, and keep pushing ahead.
Being unsure of other people’s reactions to your diagnosis is perfectly normal. Your diagnosis it isn’t anyone’s business but yours. You shouldn’t feel bad for keeping it to yourself any more than you would a diagnosis of flat feet, or tennis elbow. You are doing your job, and it sounds like, pretty well. So there really isn’t any reason you’d need to say anything.
I wouldn’t keep it from people because your embarrassed though, it isn’t something you had any control over and nothing to be ashamed of. By the way, before being diagnosed most of us just think that “this is just the way we are.” Most people don’t get diagnosed until something is going wrong that sends them to a professional. Since you’ve been handling life so well, it sounds like you’ve never gotten that far. You should feel really good about that!
Unfortunately there will always be people who don’t believe that what someone else experiences can be legitimate medical conditions. ADHD, in all its forms have been proven time and time again. Any medical professional who doesn’t believe it exists, either hasn’t seen the research or is choosing not to believe the abundance of evidence. Even in the medical profession there are those practitioners who make errors in judgement. It doesn’t make them bad people just incorrect in their analysis.
As for your mother, ask her to read “Driven to Distraction” by Edward Hallowell, M.D. In it he addresses those very issues and gives numerous examples of why those assumptions are incorrect. In fact, it would be a good book for both of you to read. There are many reasons that some parents refuse to (or take a long time to) accept an ADHD diagnosis. It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe you, or are not taking the issue seriously. For a parent there are a who lot of “Did I do something wrong?” type of emotions that they need to address as well as dealing with your actual diagnosis. She will most likely come around once she understands that it isn’t something she did wrong, or something she didn’t do.
In the mean time, keep talking about it and do as much research on the subject as you can. This is a perfect place to do some of that research.
Good luck, and keep your chin up.