My Forum Comments
For additional valuable info, Google: is this abuse
If you can’t/won’t set legal consequences for him, which are really only safety protections for you and your kids, then you could find healthy places to create boundaries on Melody Beattie’s website about co-dependence. I don’t think the moderator allows web addresses to be posted, but it will come up if you Google: Melody Beattie codependence
Does he take adderall? If so, long or short acting? I crash if I use the short acting, but the long acting (XR = extended release) seems to taper off. For me, too high a dose causes unneeded extra confidence and my opinion can come across as if it is a commandment. If that sounds familiar, he could be taking too much. It’s weight related – I weigh 180 and take 15mg.
Regarding your query: “would you mind sharing how you realized ADHD symptoms had an effect on your marriage/ spouse? And if you ever was in denial about it, what helped to realize the reality?” Yes, I am happy to openly share whatever I can if it might help. If you or others have follow up questions – I’ll do my best to answer them.
I have always been fairly successful in life and definitely had many years of denial that I had anything other than a lot of stress that I was dealing with. I also had a cycle of ‘self-medication’ that started the day with a 20-oz coffee and finished fairly often with alcohol, gambling (adrenaline rushes) and occasionally with recreational drugs. I have always been self aware, but these cycles are self-perpetuating, including their impact on diet, exercise and sleep. They are hard as hell to break free of and unsurprisingly coincided with professional issues.
My wife became a psychologist during our 16-year marriage, and as an intern she was speaking to a psychiatrist about ADD and it became clear to her that I had many of the same symptoms/behaviors. She had reached a point where she said to me, “I love you, and if you want to keep acting the way you do, I’m not going to stop you – but I won’t be a part of it anymore.” The Psychiatrist is a $500/hr doctor that offered me a free consult, which I was open to because I was tired of my own self-medicating patterns and roller coaster success; I also loved my wife. He suggested I try adderall and after a while I was able to dial in the right amount and feel ‘normal’, maybe for the first time. Again – the biggest impact was the ‘patience in a pill’ aspect, but I also found that my top priority items were no longer inconsistent and my impulsive stops at casinos or bars were not important to me. Going home and being a decent husband became the choice I made more often and it saved our marriage. My professional success also increased, so now I’m a big advocate of getting appropriate treatment.
I’m replying to myself to say that I saw in your follow up posts that he has been diagnosed and is taking some type of med, and I agree with another member that the meds could need adjustment. I was taking 20mg adderall and lost 20-pounds which made my dosage become too high and turned up the dial on my impulsiveness. I dropped to 15mg maximum and feel more in alignment again. Also, a connection that I doubt there is research on, is between deep sleep and medication. Per my Fitbit (which may not be perfect but helps as a guide) I’ve noticed a correlation between my amount of deep sleep and medication needs (less deep sleep requires more meds). I’ve also spotted a correlation between eating sugar or drinking beer close to bed time and my deep sleep. Net-net, I believe that eating and drinking late and interrupted sleep makes the following days medication level more unreliable. There are a lot of reasons to get a good night’s sleep and to have good eating habits, but helping your partner in these areas could also help you manage the impact of his ADHD on your life.
Speaking as an adult with ADHD married to an empath…what ultimately saved me from wrecking a marriage with a wonderful person was adderall, which I call ‘patience in a pill’. Road rage is how I first noticed a change – before adderall I’d fight anyone and my notions of entitlement were unchartable – with it, I’m forgiving and invite people to go ahead of me. In our relationship, I was quick to point out every inconvenient mistake she made – with meds, I stop and think about the many ways I am how grateful for her if I find a mess she left.
If he won’t submit himself to diagnosis and medication, the only thing I can suggest to help is what we called ‘deal breakers’, which are boundaries with strict consequences. If he won’t accept boundaries, you have set your own limits and decide if you can accept the sacrifice that you’ll have to make to continue with him in this singular life that you’ve been blessed with.
In other posts I saw mention of kids and recommend for you both John Bradshaw’s book “The Family”. Bad dynamics will be passed on to your kids and will torment them and their future families if you don’t tackle this one way or another. Good luck!