Tell Us - What Conversation Most Represents ADHD to You?

Film maker, Richard Rodriguez, and I ask for readers of this blog to submit conversations that you think represent ADHD in your household for the video trailer we are creating.

I'm just at the beginning of a really exciting project - creating a documentary about ADHD and adult relationships.  Part of that process is putting together a video short about the film.  Many more details about this project will follow - it's an important story that needs to be told - but right now we are looking for sample conversations that mean something to you because they epitomize what ADHD is in your relationship.  If we could be a "fly on the wall" at your home, what would that conversation be?  Please share the words you would have with each other here...and become part of something big.

Comments

Non-ADHD spouse: "How was

Non-ADHD spouse: "How was your day?"

ADHD spouse: "(speaking about something else he was looking at or working on) Wow. I can't believe that just happened! (answering the question) Good. Hung out with Brent today."

Just do it!

There always seemed to be a disconnection between what I did and what my spouse perceived I did or was doing. She could never understand why I had to do things a certain way or that I couldn't manage things the same way she would. Because she had such great analytical skills, she would assume that I could "Just try harder" and step up to the task at hand.

A converstaion might go like this:

HER: I need you to help me organize and pay the bills.

ME: I'll do the best I can as long as you understand that I'm going to make mistakes. I get really confused by it all.

HER: What is so confusing about it? It's not that hard.

ME: It all becomes a blur. I don't see any patterns or relationships between online due dates, the paper bills we receive, how much money we have available, what money you have allotted to something else etc. It causes me great anxiety, because I don't want to let you down.

HER: Well, why can't you try harder and just do it.

ME: Why can't you understand that I can't try harder and magically understand it all. I'm doing the best I can.

HER: Well, that's not good enough. I feel like I do everything around here.

ME: And this conversation is a perfect example of the anxiety that I wanted to avoid.

 

 

 

Conversation that represents ADHD in our household...

Me (non-adhd wife): Do you think that when you see the clean clothes in the basket, you could help out and put them away?

ADHD hubby: What?  I did them the other day!

Me: That was two weeks ago.  I just need your help on a more consistent basis, that's all.  Are you saying that you won't help?

Hubby:  I washed the car (last month), I fed the dog (yesterday), I vacuumed (two weeks ago.)  I do help!  (Highly defensive tone and posturing.)

Me: I didn't say that you don't help, I just asked for your help in putting away the clothes.  I wash and fold them, and I'm just asking for your help so we can get them put away.  

Hubby:  You are so critical!  You are blaming me for not doing anything!

Me:  I'm not being critical, nor am I blaming, I am just asking for your help.  If you cannot help, just tell me.

Hubby:  I do help you all the time.  I took the kids to practice, I went to the store and picked up bread, and got the mail.

Me:  I know you do those things, and I appreciate it.  If you recall, I did thank you for those things when you did them.  I just need help in getting the clothes put away.  Sometimes they sit in the basket until the next time it is time to do laundry, or I end up having to do it again.  If you are saying you won't help, just say that.  

Hubby: (Grabbing the clothes basket huffily...) You make it seem like I do nothing.  I can never please you.

Me:  I never said that.  I just asked for your help in this one thing.  Why are you getting so defensive?

Hubby: It is how you said it.  If you would have just said, "Honey, can you put those clothes away for me?" I would have been glad to do it.

Me: I have said that before and you reacted the same way.

Hubby: No, I didn't.  You've never said that before.  

Me:  Yes, I have.  You don't remember.  It is okay.  Don't worry about it.  I wasn't trying to blame or accuse you of anything.  I just needed some help, that's all.

Hubby:  You should have just said that.  You just don't realize how you say things.

Me: I don't know how else to say it other than to ask you.  I get the same response no matter how I say it.

Hubby: No you don't.  You just get me defensive.

Me: So it is my fault you get defensive?  

Hubby:  You put me on the defensive.

Me:  Because I asked for help with the laundry?

Hubby:  It is just how you say things.

Me:  Right.

I am elated to know it isn't just me!

After 18 years of marriage where simple conversations or requests can quickly turn into unnecessary arguments we just found out that my wife has Adult ADD. After seeing your example I can totally relate to it. Now I know I am not so crazy after all and hopefully we'll be on the right track through therapy and proper meds to fixing our relationship. I am utterly amazed how the Adult ADD person focuses more on tone than what is actually being said or requested. At least that's my experience with it and when my wife is overwhelmed by the conversation she'll just walk away after I followed her logic to a completely different subject which ends up leaving me bewildered and frustrated.

Guilty of Reacting to Tone of Voice

I just finished a great book called Smart but Stuck:  Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas Brown.  We are not not just hyperactive, but hyper reactive, as I'm sure you have noticed.  It's extremely challenging to be hyper reactive and impulsive and to control that, with the right treatment, it can improve.

My husband has many times complained about how sensitive I am to "tone of voice."  I still am, but I try to listen to his message as well.  It has taken a lot of training to not let myself worked up so I can listen.  Once my limbic system is fired up, I can't even think properly, and then it is utterly pointless.  However, if he's hurt and lashing out meanly, as he sometimes does, I just walk away.  "Tone of voice" problem solved!  This is different than just being overwhelmed by the conversation, though I've been there, too.  Sometimes, it's the length of the conversation.  I have a limit as to how much time I can be "talked at," and I have expressed that I don't like it when he tries to control the conversation by lecturing me.  It's not even effective to talk longer to someone with ADHD.  Hello, attention-span issues!

Here is an article from the same author.  I don't know if the link will work or not.   

http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/66/slide-1.html?utm_source=eletter&...

Good luck with your situation!

I hear you

This is such a great post for me...It does several things for me...First it affirms what I have experienced with my wife, and what she has told me. She could have written it, y'all's communication attempts sounds just like ours. It seems no matter how hard I try to communicate or have a discussion about day to day realities of our lives, she hears my tone more than the subject matter. It just happened an hour ago...She made a statement that a friend of a friend was interested in renting a place to stay, and he asked her about her empty house (empty of people only) this is the second friend that has inquired over the last couple of months. Well as the non-adhd spouse I see this reality, that my wife has hoarding tendencies. So, the house is basically a large storage/junk house. So I mentioned how hard it would be for her to actually go in there and clean it up and get it ready to rent. And how helpless I am to help her because of the way she views stuff...So because this reality is something she wants to live like it doesn't exist, she automatically goes on the defensive. My desire is for us to be able to communicate about any subject...But, she instantly said "the stuff is there because her husband want let her make room for it here at our home. (After our marriage she started junking the house so bad, it was getting so unlivable I had to put some barrier's in place.) I backed off and let her think about it. The only reason I mentioned it is because I see the possibilities through my own eyes, I could whip through there in a week, and have the place clean ready to rent. But, I'm learning that Love will cause you to squash your realities for the greater good of your marriage.

Reacting to Tone

Thanks for your perspective and the link. I am definitely trying my best to learn more about this behavior / condition and how I can better communicate issues with my wife. I am quickly finding out though that when she is frustrated with the conversation she'll angrily point out " The Tone of my Voice " which is always followed up with " You don't need to talk to me like that" although she is speaking with emotions as well. I know now that it would be pointless to try and communicate any further so it would be best to try and  revisit the issue at later, usually much later time. I get the whole " You don't need to lecture me" response as well but I wonder now if that is because we non-adhd spouses have over the years unintentionally taken on the parent role in the parent / child like dynamic that develops in adhd / non-adhd relationships. Thanks again for your input. I am glad I found this site and am able to learn more about adult adhd.

Exactly the same

I have a very soft voice.  I talk with manners and empathy. I hear the SAME responses from dh that you do.  I have come to know that this is less ADD and more manipulation/gaslighting.  For my dh, it is a way of frustrating me until I give up and do the work without asking him to help.  Maybe he does not even do it consciously anymore but it is a habit that started long ago and now has become accepted behavior because I didn't stop it when it first started.  It is a little game he played and now I am stuck with it.

Where is...? - in untreated adhd - every single day

Adhd spouse:  "honey, do you know where _____ is?"   

Non-adhd: "no"

Adhd: "are you sure you don't know where it is?"

Non-adhd: "the answer is still no"

Adhd in annoyed tone: "so, you don't know where _____is."

Non-adhd: "when did you have it last?"

Adhd: "it was in my jacket pocket yesterday, but it's not there now"

Non-adhd: "are you sure you looked in the right jacket?"

Adhd: "hmm, maybe not.  Where is the jacket I was wearing yesterday?"

non-adhd: "seriously?"

Conversation

Him:  "I don't have to make any money because I don't spend any money."

Me:  speechless

 

When both have adhd

You left out the scenarios where both partners have ADHD.  I'm sure that I can come up with a really good conversation example, but my brain just went blank. Basic topics- I am the female, my brand of ADHD- combined type with issues organizing, interrupting, and being on time. My partner is organized with stuff but not thoughts, has a quick temper, and has been known to blow up at perceived interruptions. Meaning, I do interrupt, but even nodding my head to agree can produce a tirade and end with slammed doors. So far, all of the discussion has centered around what I need to fix so that my issues don't bother him, with very little attention paid to his temper issues, and sensory processing stuff that creates overwhelm and turns into anger.

i understand that one spouse tends to be the one that is less organized, but in my case both of us have symptoms that interfere. Please don't forget about those of us that both have issues with ADHD!

"You never clean up after yourself! I always have to do it!"

"Sweetie, you told me 2 days ago that I have been doing a really good job! I did (name several things that I had been given positive feedback about)"

"Well it never lasts. You are supposed to clean up after I cook. There was a leftover hot dog on a plate on the counter for 3 days"

"I didn't see it. And we had hot dogs 2 days ago so you are exaggerating. Why did you tell me I was doing better when you were mad about the hot dog? I would have taken care of it if I knew it was there."

"I wasn't done. You interrupted. I'm going to bed." Leaves room, cuts off communication, and I sit there unheard and thinking about how unfair it is that when he flies off the handle he forgets that he had thought I was doing ok, because the hot dog is foremost in his memory and the only thing he has retained. And that, if I had noticed the hot dog I would have thrown it out.

Forgetfulness

We are walking past the kids' school.

ADHD spouse: Oh, look at that!  They are going to move that house!  See the steel beams in front?

Non-ADHD spouse: Yeah!  Cool!

Two weeks later.  We are driving by the kids' school.

ADHD spouse: Look!  They've moved that house!  Look at the steel beams!

Non-ADHD spouse: Oh!  Where did they move it? [looking out window] No, that's where it was when we saw it before.

ADHD spouse: I didn't see it before.

Non-ADHD spouse: Sure you did.  Just a couple weeks ago when we were walking by.  You pointed it out to me.

ADHD spouse: No, I've never noticed that before.

 

Case in point, just now, this morning

DH: Can we sit and talk a minute? 

Me: Sure, can I read you something from this book on ADHD marriage? 

Dh: Sure, does it say anything about our lack of a sex life? 

Me: Actually it does, shall I read it?

Dh: What...Does it give you an excuse? 

Me: No, it explains the reasons why I'm shut down in that area.

DH:Go ahead (smiling strangely) 

I find the places I highlighted and read and it to him... (Pgs 46, Forward momentum...) this seems flipped in our marriage, I often feel like the child who needs corrected and "fixed" esp. when I verbalized how I FEEL...  And all of Pattern 11...

DH: So do you see me as a parent figure? 

Me:  Um, in some ways I've parented you in the past, but in some ways your responses to me when I'm talking about my feelings,  triggers memories of when my parents would say, "you shouldn't feel that way", "don't feel that way", "you should be happy!"

DH: Oh, I have to get ready for work, can we pray...

He prays,  We both go to the kitchen for more coffee and I pray "God help me with this" ,  I think it's now or never... and I say... "Can I ask you a question?"

DH: sure

Me: Are you willing to be tested for ADHD again?  (bracing myself for his response)

DH: (after a pause) Well, if I do will you respect me, will you go to church with me?

Me: What? Are we making a deal here?  All I want to know is if you are willing? 

DH: Well it seems like this relationship is all TAT and no T ( he stopped , not saying Tit) 

Me: My going or not going to church is a separate issue to me, and yes I would respect your effort! 

DH: Well, yesterday,  when  Tom sneezed, you said God bless you, and you never say that to me when I sneeze! 

Me: Actually, ever since you brought it to my attention, months ago, I have been saying that to you when you sneeze!

DH: Well I haven't heard you! 

Me: Well just because you haven't heard me, doesn't mean I haven't said it... I clearly remember you even saying Thank you a time or two.

He clearly remembers because I see the light bulb of recognition flash across his face  

(my hubby is hard of hearing and he wears hearing aids, which compounds our problems because they don't work very well, esp. when the batteries are dead)

Me: Do you  remember when you were tested about ten years ago and you failed the test so miserably... (this was the Dr words, not mine) 

DH : interrupts me saying " What do you mean "miserably!!??"

Me: Miserably? That's what he said and The Dr concluded with "he couldn't even score the test!?" So, he sent us to another DR and you passed the test, but he still offered to treat you with those glasses for ADHD meditation, and you declined? 

DH: I Don't remember that! 

Me: Well I remember it very clearly...

DH: Well maybe you have ADHD too! (getting visibly flustered and agitated)

Me: (I smiled) I don't think so, but if you'd like,  I will get tested too. 

DH:I know you don't have IT! 

Me: Then why did you suggest that I do? 

DH:(getting more flustered) Well you have issues too! 

Me: You are right, I do, and that's why I'm in counseling, I'm working on me, and I'm reading this book to help me identify and learn how to recognize and change my dysfunctional behaviors that contribute to our problems. 

DH: I have to iron a shirt and get to work, and I think if we just do what God tells us to do everything will be ok!  

Me: Really? Will you please just read the book with me? 

DH: Sure

the end 

 

 

justbreathe

That's pretty good, I wish all my wife and I conversation were that constructive.

constructive?

It may appear that way but seriously he changed the subject about 4 times, dodged answering my initial question about getting tested again... I call the changed subjects "clay pigeons" he shoots them out to see if I will fire at them! Then we are off on the rabbit trails, chasing my tail or riding on the hamster wheel! weeee! If you will notice most of what he said was all about his needs... Not once did he address my needs...If there is a reason I feel a certain way it's "AN EXCUSE", because he never talks about his feelings, he has "reasons" as to why he behaves a certain way... (He doesn't make up excuses! He has reasons!)Its usually because I "make him" react that way! Blame game! Also if you look closely he put me in one down position at least a few times... Trust me, he won't read the book or get tested again... He's right I'm wrong it's just that simple, and  what he means by doing what God says... It's his way of saying YOU AREN'T MEETING MY NEEDS! It's ok that he blames and shames and forgets important details .... But last time I checked those are not Gods instructions... And by the way, the only thing this conversation accomplished was me getting my questioned asked... It was NOT answered! Also, because I was able to remain clear and calm, it didn't escalate into another disaster! 

What conversation most represents ADHD to you?

W: Comes in the door with heavy sighs and grunts after work (which is pretty typical, he wakes up with grunts and heavy sighs). No comment on on the furniture being completely rearranged and the heavy cleaning that took place all day in addition to craft and art projects.

Me: Your dog hasn't gone to the bathroom all day or even eaten. He just doesn't listen to me.

W: (More disgusted sounds but no verbal communications. Storms outside with the dog. Comes stomping back in and decides abruptly to grease up the newly cleaned kitchen with sloppily fried bacon. Leaves the kitchen greasy and all the dishes laying in the sink with congealed grease everywhere.)

Me: I don't understand why you decide you can't wait for dinner and eat all fatty food when you're in this mood.

W: YOU don't ever do anything all day! (as he navigates the freshly cleaned and rearranged house) You're a psycho! You need help! (no prior conversation needed for these diatribes. This is followed by many more hurtful names and accusations out of the blue.) You can't even sleep with me.

Me: You agreed on this arrangement until your ADHD is under control so you sleep better. I need sleep too.

W: I take my medicine every day!

Me: But, I told you yesterday I can still here you thrashing and moaning in the middle of the night even from the other room and you said "I know honey."

W: It's YOUR choice to sleep in the other room. Don't blame me for calling this MY room. Your the one with ADHD you psycho. YOU need help! I don't even know why you stay here. You're SICK!

Me: (retreat to bathroom and lock the door)

W: (follows me and pounds his fists on the door repeatedly) You sicko, psycho b----! There's nothing wrong with me! You have major issues! I don't have ADHD, you do!

This was followed by three days straight of him losing his keys repeatedly, losing important bills and notices when he suddenly decided to check the mail and forgetting to include important parts while he put a ceiling fan together.

 

 

 

Fly on the wall

This is a conversation we had 2 weeks ago, which is like many others.

ADHD husband: "I got to go right onto the plane"..."They didn't check my bags, or pat me down,  or put me in a machine or ANYTHING...It was GREAT".....They said I was "prechecked"

ME:  "What does pre-checked mean?"

HIM: "I don't know, all I know is that I got to go right on the plane and didn't have to wait with all the morons".

ME: "I don't think that is such a good thing....they didn't know who you were.....what if you had a bomb on your shoe or something, and didn't check you AT ALL?"

HIM: "I DIDN'T HAVE A BOMB ON MY SHOE"....."I GOT TO GO ON THE PLANE IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY...DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?"

ME: " I don't understand why they just let you go on with doing NO sort of checks, that's all"

HIM: "I DON'T CARE...I GOT TO GO AHEAD OF EVERYBODY ELSE, AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS".

Later that day...when he came home from work...........

HIM: "I talked to so and so from work, and he said that it wasn't a good thing that I wasn't checked by security at the airport.....I think he was right".

ME: (BIG SIGH......thinking "I told you that this morning")

This same type of

This same type of conversation happens repeatedly in our home. My ADHD spouse will always take the word of a third party before mine, even from strangers.  It feels like a spouse  is only needed in the running of their idea of their world, and nothing else. Therefore the spouse, the one closest on hand provides a source or outlet for the ADHD need for conflict stimuli.. the cog that keeps the adhd machine running....

What does your day look like today?

Me, in the morning about to start work myself: "What are you up to today?"

Him: (salesman)  "I am going to get a triangle switch that my customer needs to put the gear on the crankshaft that is needed to hoist the tankard to the stay pulls. It runs through the crannies that changes the direction of the scaffold joist.  The oil in the regulator gets too high and it breaks the leveler in the bushing housing. The roller blade was at right angle to the sway links and it rubs against the miter counter.  When that happens the print head hits the ink plate and ruins the basic blanket board causing major banding and incorrect registration. (I have no idea what his technical words actually are).

What I would expect to hear is something like, "I am going to ________(which city?).  I am meeting with ______ (which people). I will be home at 5. What are you doing today? Let's meet for dinner."

RE: what does your day look like

I just found this blog and OMG I can so relate to your conversation.  Just had a big blow up with DH about being late again ( time management) .  DH very high functioning (genius IQ) but clueless when it comes to relationships , people and feelings.  He takes it personally when I don't want the mechanical details. And cannot understand the difference between treating me like another co-worker and a spouse.   Can so relate to other post about walking through high show while spouse does snow angles. DH has so many projects in the works and self imposed deadlines on things to do etc, very rarely do any get done.  I am continually mystified that birthdays, holidays , bill due dates and appointments seem to be like a surprise party held just  him. Some how I am the bad guy for wanting a person who has feelings not data. At work his intellect is somewhat rewarded but recently I think even they are getting frustrated with his multiple project over estimated always under construction mentality.  I can only imagine what it's like to be in his brain while I suffer silently wondering what my next disappointment will be.

 

 

what does your day look like

 I can only imagine what it's like to be in his brain while I suffer silently wondering what my next disappointment will be.

This last line says it all................and I am posting tonight with some hope in my life...............I am closer to getting out and having a happy life.........if I can catch the ADHD & ADD symptoms in time next relationship.  Some seem to want to get better if they can and others are clueless, like mine.

 

Conversation while driving to

Conversation while driving to the theater together in my car, her's is always to junked up to use...She: (loud outburst) get in this lane quick its moving.

Me: no reply, don't change lanes.

She: if you would have done what I said we wouldn't have gotten caught by this light.

Me: Who is driving?

She: No answer, next intersection; (outburst) quick get over.

Me: No response, no comment.

She: Get's quiet for 5 seconds, never looks at me and mumbles. "I'm sorry, I can't help it".

Me: I love you...we smile at each other.

 

She getting ready for work up at 2:00. work starts at 3:00.

Me: Good morning Angel, did u rest well.

She: No comment...5 sec of quiet...then will you make me some coffee.

Me: Sure

20 minutes later: She walking through the house naked to get clean scrubs and underware she leaves piled in a chair by the laundry room. " I love you" 

Me: I love you too.

She: Will you put me a frozen dinner and two waters in a bag.

Me: Yes, Is that all you need?

She: No, add some fruit too.

Me: OK

Me: walks to the bathroom door, "Hey you have some mail on the table and I...She: (loud outburst) YOUR GOING TO MAKE ME LATE YOU KNOW I CAN'T TALK AND GET READY!

Me: shaking my head thinking will I ever learn.

She: two minutes later Running out the door "Don't have time to kiss you bye

Me: Drive safely

Me: Clean up the wrecked bathroom and pour out the full cup of coffee she forgets in the microwave :).

 

Revelation

Thank you for sharing your comments below.  In desperation after alot of reading from alot of sources I am both happy and sad to understand what has been going on.  Reading the web mds, etc. etc. it was like reading a book about yourself and your situation.  My relationship with my wife has become increasingly strained.  I myself struggle with manic depression but am doing well with medication.  Sadly as I have been paying increasing attention and trying to identify and cope with what appeared increasing baffling behavior with my wife I am pretty sure she has textbook ADD symptoms and behaviors.  Seeking advice as to that first step.  She is diabetic so understandably frustrated with that regimine and doctor visits.  Her doctor left the practice and she is seeking new doctor.  Blood pressure medicine ran out, etc.  I can't get her to go and I had tried subtly addressing the ADD symptom observation.  Did not go well at all.  Really want to encourage her to a new doctor (have researched and provided local options) but desperately want to have this "situation" discussed with MD and if what I think get some help/relief.  Please ... any suggestions most kind and convincing way anyone first approached this.  I am starting to not cope as well and losing my patience resulting in complete frustration.

Although very sad and uncomfortable and reluctant to share, The following is what has led me to think what I think and seek help in this direction

Things seem to be degenerating.  My wife completely looses her attention span.  When we are on the telephone and if it is a topic she does not want to talk about or seems sometimes to immediately get bored, she will just up and say, I gotta go and hang up.  In the middle of a personal conversation suddenly disconnect, ask me to stop talking or start talking about something else. If in the car if I slow down or turn suddenly of a car approached from the periphery will grab the door handle, yell out, recoile in a panic when there is not even remotely any risk.  When out driving on errands or house hunting when I would randomly call or she call in she would be lost saying I don't know where I am right now, must have taken a wrong turn.  It happens frequently.  Can't remember train times from work and they are always the same.  Getting on wrong train and not knowing location so I had to retrieve her.  Recently travelled to see family arrived airport went to wrong airline missed flight and she is in that business.  When we go to a store almost every time, if I turn around she is gone and has walked off not saying anything.  I have no idea where she is. Have subtly tried to just set a point to meet when we go to store just in case and she does not return.  When watching TV or on computer cannot interrupt even gently or she is angered.  If asking for help when TV on or in front of computer will answer okay but then distract and do nothing.  Numerous things around house all the time partially started, abandoned, partially finished, pile here pile there. Many boxes with two or three things in it half empty, no rime or reason. Very distractable at any time. When we sit on couch (admittedly I can have shaking leg thing) if I tap once or tap finger, clear throat she is immediately irritated and angered telling me to stop.  Recent procrastination regarding potential vacation led to angry exchange last night because once again could not decide and left to last minute which greatly limits or eliminates options.  Regularly forgets medications, phone, some appointments.  She rarely answers the phone (which used to be chronic problem I had) unless she has an immediate need to speak with me. Almost never when she is in front of the TV, computer, etc. just ignores it.  Surprisingly sometimes shocking rude or inappropriate comments which are just not appropriate or consistent with what is being discussed or going on.  This is not her.  The romantic aspect of our relationship is totally unpredictable making it absolutely uncomfortable to when if or how to approach it although given our age (mid-fifties) I do understand other complicating factors. 

When I continue to read it sounds just like what happens and even as the non-ADD partner exactly how I react and what I say.  It is scarry.  I am at wits end ..  I love my wife dearly but feel like my reaction in frustration is just pushing us apart.  It is exhausting sometimes and I am so worried it seems to be getting worse and more frequent.  I get so worried now I want to learn how to best cope and what to do and to encourage her to address and improve quality of everything for her. The details above are no indictment of her.  I understand I can play a part too and have had to face and cope with my limitations which probably concerned and frustrated her as much as well but the above is as honest and objective as I can be.     

I have never commented or blogged before if this is what this is but alot of the things you have all said below, as to other topics on this site, even as to the back and forth dialogue is all too familiar.

Probably said too much but good to put thoughts in words.  How do I bring this to a point of recognition and the right resource of help most gently, supportive and quickly/  Any suggestions, recommendations or even criticisms welcome.  Thank you. 

- Joe

    

You just described my

You just described my wife...I'm also in my mid-fifties...You sound just like I did a while back, being a man who loves his wife...wanting to fix things...Here are some things I have observed, and have come to recognize that might help you...First you must keep your emotions intact (stay face to face w/your own actions, words, tone of voice... Anxiety and frustrations or you will just make it worse for both you. I'm sure you've found this out so you know this is paramount...So you cannot own or worry about what you have no control over no matter what train wrecks you see coming...Remember you said you loved her...Love is patient and love is kind...

First I would say the forgetting where she is probably should be told to a medical doctor. My wife has supplements everywhere and is so sporatic w/it she can never remembet to take anything faithfully, even her adderall. In conversation, if I get long winded at all, I loose my wife...her ability to follow is terrible which creates frustration quickly. If we set down to watch TV, she always wants to control the remote, and what we watch, she will speak out at times, but it annoying to her if I do, she will hit pause and back it up when I finish speaking. She can go in a store and loose two or three hours just looking around. I've come to realize add minds live there life in 1/2 circles...Let me define that...If I pick up something or start something...90% of the time I compete the circle. Take clothes I wash, I dry, I fold, and I put in the drawers or hang them in the closet...My wife, she will wash, maybe dry if she think about it, if she remembers to get them out of the dryer they usually end up in a pile on a chair or couch. Cooking...I will fix a meal set down to eat, get up and clean the dishes or least load the dishwasher...She is so proud of herself, when she can get a meal cooked (i and am too) but the kitchen is a wreck and it want get touched unless she does it in self defense maybe a day or two later. So I've learned my role is to don't look over her shoulder and to clean up after meals :)...My wife sets an alarm as much as two or three hours before she has to be somewhere, she can't make her self get up. When she does, she's usually not approachable and you cannot engage her while she is getting ready for work, or she can loose it, she cannot focus on two things. She must be left alone to get ready, she runs late a lot in the best of circumstances. Distraction is a major problem, in sex, in driving, conversation, every part of her life etc...you can't assume anything w/ add. She will be sweet and loving one minute, and ugly the next. My advise to you is get counseling from an add/adhd specialist, if she will go. But, don't make it worse, by trying to force her to see what you see, because she don't...Just love her, and walk away from bad behavior, let her be responsible for her own actions...(If you look at her as broken or try to control or force her you will end up being bitter, and destroy what marriage you have) my wife loves to blame me so I realized when I would not speak, or buy in own bad behavior she had no one to blame and it made her see herself. Separate yourself. The first time she interrupts an important conversation or turns unreasonable just walk away and keep walking away. You are not responsible or her actions, only your own...This way you will become a mirror...Friend I hope this helps...You are not alone...I will pray for you..

Husband: walks in room "what

Husband: walks in room "what did you say?"

Wife: (didn't say anything) "nothing"

Husband: doesn't believe me, gives a dirty look and storms off defensive truly thinking I said something regarding him.

What Converstation Most Represents ADHD to You?


by anythinggoes - 04/02/2014 - 09:37

W: Comes in the door with heavy sighs and grunts after work (which is pretty typical, he wakes up with grunts and heavy sighs). No comment on on the furniture being completely rearranged and the heavy cleaning that took place all day in addition to craft and art projects.

Me: Your dog hasn't gone to the bathroom all day or even eaten. He just doesn't listen to me.

W: (More disgusted sounds but no verbal communications. Storms outside with the dog. Comes stomping back in and decides abruptly to grease up the newly cleaned kitchen with sloppily fried bacon. Leaves the kitchen greasy and all the dishes laying in the sink with congealed grease everywhere.)

Me: I don't understand why you decide you can't wait for dinner and eat all fatty food when you're in this mood.

W: YOU don't ever do anything all day! (as he navigates the freshly cleaned and rearranged house) You're a psycho! You need help! (no prior conversation needed for these diatribes. This is followed by many more hurtful names and accusations out of the blue.) You can't even sleep with me.

Me: You agreed on this arrangement until your ADHD is under control so you sleep better. I need sleep too.

W: I take my medicine every day!

Me: But, I told you yesterday I can still here you thrashing and moaning in the middle of the night even from the other room and you said "I know honey."

W: It's YOUR choice to sleep in the other room. Don't blame me for calling this MY room. Your the one with ADHD you psycho. YOU need help! I don't even know why you stay here. You're SICK!

Me: (retreat to bathroom and lock the door)

W: (follows me and pounds his fists on the door repeatedly) You sicko, psycho b----! There's nothing wrong with me! You have major issues! I don't have ADHD, you do!

This was followed by three days straight of him losing his keys repeatedly, losing important bills and notices when he suddenly decided to check the mail and forgetting to include important parts while he put a ceiling fan together.

non-ADD: It would be nice to

ADD spouse is sitting at the dining room table. 

non-ADD: It would be nice to go out for dinner tonight with the kids.

ADD: It's not a good idea. The weather is pretty bad and we shouldn't be going anywhere.

non-ADD: I don't think the weather should stop us from having a good time.

ADD: It's raining. I know you don't like the cold weather.

non-ADD: That's not true... I'd like to go out. Besides, the diner is only 3 blocks away.

ADD: I promise I'll take you and the kids somewhere this weekend. You know I can't talk when I'm multi-tasking!

non-ADD: so when is a good time to talk about having dinner, then?

ADD, a few minutes later: I'm going to go for a long walk. I'll be back in a couple of hours.

non-ADD: (sigh)

ADD: I need to replace the porch light first.

ADD, minutes later: where's the umbrella?

ADD, minutes later: I'll wear my other sneakers instead.

non-ADD: (as he's leaving). It's 7pm. Just get home soon so we can have a pizza delivered. The children are hungry. We might have to eat without you.

ADD: well, there's not much you can do since there is no cash in the house. *leaves*.

non-ADD: *logs on to ADHDmarriage forum*

 

 

 

 

Conversation that represents ADHD in our household...

Non-ADD Spouse: Now that you are working you can contribute to the household budget to help pay mortgage and bills .

ADD Spouse: Well how much would be needed.

Non-Add Spouse: Well 50% of your paycheck would be nice

ADD Spouse: Seriously! half of my check.

Non-ADD Spouse: Well yes, it would be a fair way of helping.

ADD Spouse: But you make more than I do so I shouldn't have to pay that much!

Non-ADD Spouse: Well technically my 50% will be more than your 50% since I do make more than you

ADD Spouse: How so? 50% is 50%

Non-ADD Spouse: Yes but lets say 50% of 2000 is 1000 and 50% of 1000 is 500..do you understand?

ADD Spouse: huh? you'll have more left over than I will! It's not fair!

Non ADD Spouse: Seriously! (frustrated).

Conversation representing ADHD

Really you are only frustrated?  My patience level has deteriorated so bad there is no way I could handle that type of convo regularily, I would be moving on, life is short and too important.  Anything repetitive is never going to change.

 

Honey...Have you Seen My Drill Gun?

spouse:  what's a drill gun?

me:  you know......the blue thing

spouse: that blue thing you left on the kitchen counter?

me: yes

spouse: I put it in the pile of tools in the next room.....where I put all of your tools.

me:  I looked already, it isn't there.....I really need to find it......actually, I was not finished with it when you moved it.

spouse:  how am I supposed to know that.......you always leave tools on the counter and I always put them in the pile of tools in the next room.

me: well........ it isn't there

spouse: well....I don't know then

drill thing made me smile

We've had that very same conversation. lol. My husband's tools get put on the kitchen counter also. He will have me find something for him when it's on a counter right in front of him, but he can't see it. This happens on a weekly/daily basis. Thanks for this. :)

Yes...This is definitely an ADHD Trait

What can I say?  Half the time, I picked the drill gun up and moved it myself then set it down without realizing that I did.  The other half, she did move it out from under neath me but......I have no leg to stand on here.  At least I look first before I ask.....asking is just to make sure I don't go tearing the house apart looking in case I didn't move it.  I'm screwed either way. (pun intended lol )

(I'm working 2 jobs from home

(I'm working 2 jobs from home on the computer and am the sole breadwinner. We have 1 and a half year old at home and can't afford daycare. Husband stays home.)

Me: Can you please keep baby busy while I'm working? She's crawling around under my desk/wants to be picked up/needs to play etc.

Him: (In bedroom playing video games)  I'm not going to just sit there and STARE AT HER all day!

(He then pushes me into putting her into a daycare for $600 a month just to give HIM a break. Seriously. That lasted a month.)

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Me: Can you look up (insert subject here)?

Him: I'm no good at looking things up.

Me: Can you just try Google?

Him: I don't know why you always push me to do things that you know how to do. It's hard for me and easy for you, why don't you just do it, it makes so much more sense. I'll only screw it up, anyway and then you'll be mad.

Me: (looks up my own stuff)

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Me: can we read this ADHD book together?

Him: I don't like self help books, I don't trust them. I'd rather go to an expert.

Me: the author IS an expert.

Him: My brain doesn't retain the information.

Me: I see you reading books all the time.

Him: Those are fluff, they're easy to read. I don't have to think.

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(We're in the car. I get out.)

Me: Are you coming?

Him: I'd have to stand and that takes effort.

(ACTUAL CONVERSATION!!!!)

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Him: People shouldn't back their cars into parking spots.

Me: why not?

Him: It annoys me.

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Him: That car shouldn't be there, I'm on the road and they should get out of my way.

Me: !!!!!!????

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Me: Can you cut the grass please?

Him: I'll do it in my own way, in my own time.

(Weeks later we get letter from the city about how someone complained about our backyard which now has plant life taller than ME and I'm 5 foot 1.)

Me: The city says we have 48 hours to get the yard cleaned up, let's start NOW.

Him: It won't kill them to wait; why do we have to cut it now? We can do it tomorrow.

Me: We only have 48 hours or we will be fined. I don't want to wait anymore.

Him: *grumbles about how it's not fair, how the neighbors suck, how the city is unreasonable, how it's his lawn etc etc.*

(I end up hacking down massive plants for hours because he could not just run the mower a couple of times in 3 months.)

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Me: Do you want to help me with this? (Whatever it is)

Him: No, I don't want to.

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The dilly of them all that I hear all the time is I will ask him to do something and he just flat out says: "I'm not doing that; that's not going to happen."

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We get a lot of snow and I usually shovel the stairs outside and walk so we don't slip etc. and I put rock salt down. He doesn't ever want to do this and the few times he has shovelled, he picks up maybe 3 or 4 out of the 6 inches of snow, so there's still snow on the ground. He says, "You don't have to shovel all the way down to the driveway." Then it turns into thick ice that I then have to use an ice pick to pick away at for hours.

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Me: let's clean up the leaves/branches on the front lawn.

After grumbling and putting it off, he finaly comes out to help. After 5 mins, he disappears. I continue working and come in sweating and panting -- he's sitting at the computer or watching TV. Yup.