My Forum Comments
GroundHogDayEveryDay69: Could you elaborate a bit on 1st and 2nd testing process? My husband’s assessment was brief, and very superficial. 3 x 1 hr sessions. #1 was introductions, then half me speaking to doctor, other half my husband speaking to doctor. #2 my husband went alone, half of time was spent on computer test. #3 was not assessment, just debriefing. I think this doctor rests his laurels on being an author of a book, and catchy ADHD acronym, rather than on strength of his practice.
No educational history was provided (report cards, etc.). He didn’t even fill out the paper questionnaire he was given. Dr. Bilkey requested no info or testimony from his birth family. I had a chance to speak to how his condition manifests itself in our family. But the assessment relied mostly on my husband’s personal testimony (which is very egosyntonic – i.e., he sees all of his unusual behaviours as consistent with his carefree, fun-loving personality), and weighed heavily on a computer “boredom” test.
For diagnosis, an adult must experience impairment in two areas of life (family/home, education, social relationships, work), but since mine was the only testimony provided other than his own, the only impairment was in his home life – thus, insufficient for a diagnosis. My husband provided no educational information (other than personal testimony).
He has found himself the PERFECT job: he absolutely LOVES what he does, it provides variety and excitement (variable hours, works with different people every day, travels to different places every day, and gets to socialize in different cities, restaurants, bars almost every day), but the job itself is very structured, with routines, and repetition which he has mastered. He has no immediate supervisor to see that he is late EVERY DAY – so, subjectively he suffers no impairment at work. And he has developed the most charming personality to help him get out of almost any situation, so when the occasional hiccup occurs (missing a deadline or some other minor mishap) he is able to charm his was out of it.
Because his father suffered severe mental health issues (various diagnoses including bipolar disorder, and from what I know of him and his work history, may possibly have had ADHD as well) – by comparison, his birth family sees my husband’s behaviour as “normal”.
Socially, no issues. My husband is gregarious, fun, charming and kind. People are more than willing to laugh off and forgive his constant tardiness, and any “unusual” behaviours.
ctyo: Wow. Thanks for that very honest, very true rant. That’s how I feel. All. The. Time.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by keepingitalltogether.
Normal? Yes. Acceptable? No.
Get him to a doctor to try some medication, if he is willing – and go with him if you have to. I agree with the previous comment that it does help to educate yourself about ADHD, so that you’re better able to see that his behaviours may not be intentionally neglectful, and you may gain a better understanding of why he does the things he does.
I feel like this too. Unfortunately my husband received a negative diagnosis for ADHD when he was “tested” a few years ago – infuriating to me, because I am sure he has ADHD. Testing can be very subjective, and I believe his test was completely flawed and inadequate (Dr. James G. Bilkey) having spoken to many people about the long, detailed process of their ADHD diagnosis. The product of this, is that he feels no need to try medication (nor could he get a prescription without the diagnosis), and he seesaws over having/not having ADHD depending on what suits his needs (turns out, it makes a great excuse for all sorts of negative behaviours, when it suits him).
I have been living with his impulsive behaviour and spending, unreliability, lack of or selective attention, constant lateness, pathological lying, never keeping his word, and consistent inconsistency for 16 years now. A couple of months ago, he took out $140,000 in loans and bought an RV without my knowledge (not the first time he’s done something this substantial, or gotten us into such substantial debt). He’s currently angry at me because I invaded his privacy by looking through his phone – but it’s the only way I ever know if he’s being honest with me (he wasn’t – I found some truths behind false stories he’d given me). It’s a constant Catch-22 for me: I’m damned if I do, I’m damned if I don’t.
I know that I should divorce him, but our lives are intertwined now with children, families, friends, property, debt. He makes a good living (as do I), so despite the debt I am constantly digging us out of, I know that I will dig us out each time (although, we are now at an age where I’m beginning to worry about what our retirement will look like). He comes and goes as he pleases, like he is a bachelor, but likes to reap the benefits of having a family and a wife to manage a home life (for when he feels like participating in it).
Hindsight is 20:20, but if I knew 16 years ago what my life would become, I would have walked away.
Give your husband a chance. Have him try medication, and some coaching to manage his behaviours. Try some ADHD couples counselling, and for yourself, as the spouse of someone with ADHD. Read “The ADHD Effect on Marriage” – together ideally. Mostly, see if he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is. As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Words mean nothing if they are not followed up with corresponding actions.
See how this goes. If he’s willing and able to meet you halfway, and make the changes that you need to be able to live your life in a fulfilling way, then you could have a happy future together. But if it looks like he’s not going to make the effort, then he’s telling you that you are not worth making the effort for. If that is the case, cut your losses before they get any greater, and get out of that marriage.
Good luck to you. xo I feel for you.