My Forum Comments
Right? He’s doing well – too well! He’s started trying to escape and tore his scab off today, but the vet says it’s looking really good. I can’t wait for him to get healed enough that he can live outside again!
If I had these red flags before my husband and I were married I wouldn’t have kept seeing him and I actually WISH the red flags had been there, rather than none of this showing up until after the wedding. I don’t see any way around these problems getting worse. But maybe your man is more self-aware and dedicated to getting the help he needs to do the hard work he needs to do in order to treat you like you deserve. 😕
💜💜💜 for all of you and your perspectives!
“…see another therapist…” ✔ and “…read more…” ✔
https://www.additudemag.com/treating-depression-and-adhd/ – “Which should be addressed first? The decision is usually made by the patient based on what he thinks is the most urgent or impairing condition. Given the choice, I treat ADHD first with a stimulant. This is based on my experience that a high percentage of patients (about 50 percent) report that their mood lifts when they have achieved optimal doses of stimulant-class medication.”
Oh, how familiar this all sounds and how exhausting it feels to read about the exhaustion I feel being a spouse of someone suffering from untreated/under-treated ADHD! I have to work SO hard not to slip into “I must do everyting or else nothing will get done!” The truth is that even when I was doing everything there was STILL chaos – there are things ONLY my husband can do.
He was only diagnosed 6 months ago and we are doing better, though I’m unsure how much is permanent. But he’s started taking medication and I’m hopeful.
But talking to him about his difficulties was the hardest part! He’s completely unaware of what they are! If I brought up anything specific (“please take out the trash when it starts over-flowing,” “please be more affectionate,” or even “please do this thing you said you’d do”) he’d react with frustration and anger. Then he’d make a real effort with that one thing, but a million other things were still neglected and he’d always fall back into neglecting the one thing I’d requested.
The only thing that’s made me feel any better is a good counselor – ours actually has ADHD so he understands our struggles well.
My best advice is this: focus on the trouble your wife can perceive. When I tried to talk to my husband about him being “distant,” “disorganized,” or “overwhelmed” we got nowhere because he doesn’t realize he’s any of those things (I think decreased self-awareness is the WORST part of ADHD), but once I started talking about him feeling “un-energetic” he started listening because he DOES feel like he has less energy. Maybe the feeling is the same for your wife, but what helped me identify it was asking him how he feels different than he did before we got married (which was shortly before his symptoms started getting worse).
Secondly, once you’re able to get through to her find a couple’s counselor/therapist who’s familiar with ADHD. Your wife needs to set up her own reminder system. You can’t remind her of everything when you have your own things to remember! You both need support on navigating ADHD: your wife on her symptoms and you on figuring out where each of your “lanes” begin and end, then sticking to your lane, and letting her suffer when things I her lane fall apart.
I think ADHD marriage is a lot like addiction marriage: both partners need support and the sufferer will never seek treatment as long as we (their non-ADHD spouse) is preventing the natural consequences of their actions. Your kids’ health always comes first and i have no doubt it will be hard to figure out where your lane ends because you care so much about the kids, but if I was in your position I’d start setting some boundaries like, “when I come home after a long day of work I don’t have any energy to help with dinner or the kids hungry behavior so ig the kids aren’t fed when I get home I’ll need to take space to myself.” Then the hardest part is sticking to it and NOT helping!
I hope something in here helps. Best of luck!!!
P.S. my husband CONSTANTLY forgets to eat! Then he feels terrible because he’s been so hungry for so long! You’d think he’d have figured out how that works after 37 years of life, but here we are!
April 7, 2019 at 10:57 am in reply to: Balance between NOT patenting spouse, NOR neglecting others? #113395
How right you are, Leftie! I wish you all the best on your journey and I hope I see you around these forums again!
April 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm in reply to: Balance between NOT patenting spouse, NOR neglecting others? #113339
Leftie, when you said, “He can handle going to work, and that’s about it.” That really summed it up! Same goes for my husband. I think one of the hardest parts of ADD is its interference with awareness, especially self-awareness. I don’t know about your husband, but while mine is aware that he does less now than he did, he’s totally unaware of the fact that doing so little is not only “not okay,” but actually UNHEALTHY.
The only thing keeping me in my marriage at this point is the fact that he knows he doesn’t do as much as he used to and is motivated to feel as “energetic” as he used to so he’s just agreed to try some prescription-strength medicines. Here’s hoping it goes well for both our sakes!
April 4, 2019 at 1:39 am in reply to: Balance between NOT patenting spouse, NOR neglecting others? #113227
I’m sorry for your struggles and hope you’ve found optimal treatment.
April 3, 2019 at 11:33 pm in reply to: Balance between NOT patenting spouse, NOR neglecting others? #113218
Leftie – it’s nice to know someone gets the struggle!
amznwmn – I’m wondering what experience you’ve had with ADD. Since one of the main difficulties those with ADD experience is difficulty getting started on tasks (no matter how good they are at them) assigning tasks that a spouse with ADD is good at doesn’t change whether they finish tasks. If we assign tasks by who will get them done then us non-ADD spouses end up doing everything.
What you say is exactly the problem – a spouse with under-treated ADD doesn’t do any giving.
Also, you’re discounting factors that change a person’s ADD over the course of a marriage, including dating hyperfocus (which often ends with marriage), worsening of symptoms with aging, and secondary depression.
But you seem to know your response would be controversial – maybe you know these things, but are just looking for an argument? It’s very curious.
ADHDmomma – I can’t thank you enough for your reply! It came at a perfect time!
I casually talked to my husband about the medical power of attorney idea and I’m shocked to say he was ANGRY! He says I implied he’s incompetent. I can’t help thinking, “maybe I inadvertently implied that he’s incompetent, but…isn’t he kinda acting like he is?” It took him 4 months of “meaning to” look at my car tires (just “put his eyes on” them – before he got the chance I took it to the shop, despite his reservations about them ripping me off, because I got sick of filling up empty tires on my way to/from work every week) and 6 YEARS to unpack his office: it seems to me that based my experiences it’s not a stretch for me to be concerned about him caring for my medical needs! (Nevermind my neglected relationship needs)
He recently said that his problem with being married is that he’s accustomed to his chaos and is annoying that I won’t learn to tolerate it. I sent him an article on “different tolerances for chaos” in ADHD marriage, but I don’t know whether he glanced at it.
He’s taking ginseng while he’s at work and I notice a huge difference when he’s on it, but I know he didn’t take it this morning (I’m not sure if he’s been neglecting to take it regularly – I wasn’t paying attention before this morning). He’s very wary of prescription medications, which is baffling to me since he’s tried illicit substances. Our ADHD coach/counselor is giving him behavioral techniques when he shows openness to them. Our niece has been trying medications for her ADHD for a year now and is yet to find one that fits so I’m not really hopeful that we’ll be able to find one.
Which is another thing – my sister-in-law and I both think my mother-in-law has ADHD. Her household is chaos (she’s a bit of a hoarder). I’m sure growing up in that gave him a different idea of what’s “normal”/healthy/sanitary.
I keep thinking of the quote that goes something like, “anyone who is angered by your boundaries was benefiting from you having none,” and the idea of a medical power of attorney is a relief to me. I’m looking forward to hearing what our counselor thinks about the whole thing when we see him this evening.
But I keep having nightmares about our dogs being hurt/sick and my husband being completely unaware of it and unconcerned about it. In my real, waking life I watch them try to get his attention multiple times every day while he’s hyperfocused on his computer games or his phone and it breaks my heart when they give-up and walk away. I hate to think they might feel as neglected as I do! But I can’t stand the thought of them being medically neglected if something happens to me! How can I even logistically address that concern?! Could I put something in my will?
trbell – I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story! I’ve recently come to realize my grandmother, sister, and ex-boyfriend (who was accused of rape by 6 women I know of) all have Antisocial Personality Disorder (AKA “sociopath”) and many people in my family (including my mother) are codependents/enablers.
I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am that you’ve also endured the hell of being emotionally abused. Having spent so many years enduring the hell of my sister and a mere 1 year of dating (then 4 years being stalked by) my ex I can only imagine how difficult divorce from a narcissist may be! Have you looked at the Out of the FOG website and forum? I’ve find it immensely helpful.
The thing is that I’ve struggled with the worry that I married someone like my sister. It’s only recently, though therapy, that I became assured that I didn’t. The fact that you jumped to the same concern actually brings me so much solace! I’m relieved to know others would have equally as much difficulty feeling assured their spouse doesnt have a personality disorder. It makes me even more resolved in setting the boundaries I need to set to feel assured this is the case.
The thing with my husband is that he’s been VERY receptive to the boundaries I’ve set in the past. The instances I’ve described have spanned the past 4 years and outside of them he’s never been anything like a narcissist/sociopath. On top of that, when he’s confronted with my emotional reaction to those actions (which has only happened in therapy because I otherwise hide my crying from anyone and everyone) he’s been quite contrite.
Despite all that, I’m not sure if I’m willing to commit myself to reliving the pain of his odd/inappropriate/confusing behaviors. Understanding the reason he does these things might help me forgive him, but it won’t make them hurt any less. I feel like in order to stay in those marriage I have to choose between requesting he temporarily cut contact with everyone from the sociopath business or accept that I can’t let myself trust him to make my well-being a higher priority than theirs.
Thank you all, again, for sharing! This forum has been so helpful to me this week! 💜
I was very scared that my husband might have a personality disorder because they run in my family. After a lot of thought and talks with my therapist I came to realize my husband doesn’t use fear, obligation, or guilt (the cornerstones of emotional abuse and personality disorders), but, rather, he’s controlled by them, himself. A couple of his former co-workers thought his boss was a sociopath and I don’t doubt the boss has a personality disorder, but it’s more like my husband’s a codependent/enabler. Everyone who knows my husband agrees it’s very unlike him to be so inappropriate and calloused. But, regardless, it’s really hard to trust that he won’t continue to place the requests of those who use fear, obligation, and guilt over mine (which he admitted he does because he trusts I won’t react as irrationally as those people will).
I’d love for us to read a book together, especially about mindfulness and meditation since its helped me immensely with my anxiety. I’ll keep that in mind!
Right now I’m going by our therapist’s recommendations and hoping it gets through to him!
“It really is hard living inside my own head, but there’s no excuse for spreading the pain around to my loved ones.”
From my own work with PTSD I’m betting you’ve done hard work – awesome job!!!
How do I get my husband to realize the pain the rest of us are feeling is a healthy reaction to his unhealthy behavior?
The fact that you appreciate your spouse’s help is also key! Mine is annoyed when anyone gives him any kind of reminders or help. I stopped doing it, But the rest of our family started and he’s annoyed with them, too. If he thanked me for any of the ways I try to help or even just acknowledged the ways his ADD affects me this would be a completely different story.
Thank you for your perspective!
“Before my son was born, I could spend weekends not having my spouse talk to me at all. I sometimes purposely would not say anything to see how long it would take foe him to naturally talk to me on his own but it wouldn’t happen.”
This is exactly what my home life is like! And, again, in his mind he likes spending all our time together doing our own things and not talking to each other or ever making eye contact so the fact that I don’t like it means that I’m the one with the problem.
I’m trying to give him credit because we spent maybe an hour talking this weekend and that IS an improvement, but it seems to me that as long as he thinks I’m the one with the problem he’ll continue feeling resentful towards me for any effort he makes. 😕
“My ex thought he was “normal” and I was making things up.”
THIS is the problem! In my husband’s mind he wouldn’t be bothered if his long-distance mom didn’t call him on a holiday, so the fact that she’s hurt that he didn’t call her on Mother’s Day means that SHE’S the one with the problem. And he’s not the slightest bit worried that we’ll over-draw our banking account in a couple days (while he’s had a $1K check on the fridge for 2 months) so the fact that I’m losing sleep over it means I’M the one with the problem.
I’m a pediatric healthcare provider so I’ve done a lot of studying about “denial,” which is so often used as a blanket term, while some people DON’T WANT the diagnosis to be true, others CAN’T ACCEPT that the diagnosis is true, yet others DON’T UNDERSTAND what the diagnosis means. This seems totally different than any of those – it’s more like the condition PREVENTS my husband from being AWARE of his symptoms and their consequences!
I’m trying the “tough love” approach used with addicts while still keeping his chaos from affecting me. So far that means separate bathrooms, separate closets, and now separate bank accounts. But I’m wondering if he’ll even be able to see how “rock bottom” is a consequence of his symptoms since his symptoms limit his executive functioning (which is how we see cause-and-effect). 😕