If you've noticed a difference with age, do you think this is a truly age only related change, period. Or a change brought about by increased life stress for example or some other change that just happens to have started in later life?
If you've noticed a difference with age, do you think this is a truly age only related change, period. Or a change brought about by increased life stress for example or some other change that just happens to have started in later life?
Like many non-ADHDers, I was the subject of hyperfocused dating by my ADHD partner (who I did not know at the time had ADHD). Within a month he said he loved me, wanted me to meet his family, etc.
I began to notice many symptoms of ADHD (angry rants, easily frustrated, drifting off in conversations, etc)... and asked him on several occasions if he had it. He would either change the subject or ignore my question. He did admit one time that he would never take meds and "doesn't need to talk to anyone", so that tells me he must've done so at some point and had a negative experience. We eventually planned on going on vacation together, and just a week prior he was still telling me he loved me... then he simply disappeared. Stopped answering texts/phone calls.
I only confirmed for sure that he had ADHD because I began to get suspicious, and Googled him and found old articles from his early adult days that reported on his petty crimes (theft, vandalism) which were attributed to his depression/ADHD. (The courts ordered a psych eval and he was given a lighter sentence in combination with rehab/anger management therapy.)
The "ghosting" came at about the 3 month mark in the relationship. I'm not sure if this was just an abrupt end of his hyperfocus, or if he became squeamish at my persistent asking about his ADHD. I'd texted him a few times since, and know that he's gotten them (my iPhone says they were "delivered" so I am assuming he hasn't blocked or deleted me... yet). I wrote to tell him I know everything... his criminal past, his depression/ADHD, etc. and that it did not change how I felt about him, and that I accept him the way he is. Still, no response.
My question is, does the end of hyperfocus mean you're just dead to them? That whatever feelings they had for you weren't real? That they just feel nothing for you now? For him having gone out of his way to avoid the ADHD topic when pressed tells me he's pretty embarrassed/ashamed of being found out. I admit we had some spats over him not following through on promises, drifting off during conversations, talking too much/not at all (to which he once replied "geez, you tell me i talk too much/too loud one minute and the next minute you're saying i'm too quiet... I just can't win with you!")... but that was all before I read several books/blogs on what ADHD actually is, and had no idea. I do feel bad for not being as understanding and patient as I could have been, and I feel I would have been had I known... so I do feel perhaps him disappearing is partially my fault for being too harsh on him when I didn't know.
So what do I do now? Should I keep trying to attempt to connect and have a dialogue with him? Should I just let it go? I care so deeply for this person (as someone who also has suffered from depression on and off), but I don't know if the whole thing was just a moment of hyperfocus for him and it wasn't real or if he's retreating because he's hurt by my handing of his behavior/ADHD disclosure. Is breaking up with someone via "ghosting" a common tactic among ADHDers? I'm really hurt he chose this action. Even if were to angrily tell me off and break up with me, that would have been better than "ghosting" and feeling like you're just discarded like garbage.
I'm not really sure where to start here; and I'll keep it as short as I can. My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years now. He had ADHD when I met him and was largely under medicated and completely under treated. A few years ago he made the independent choice to work with his doctor to get medicated in a way that worked for him. Since then we've made great strides together. ADHD has never exactly been the focal point of arguments and tension but it does tend to be lurking in most arguments we have. I bought The Couples Guide to Thriving With ADHD a few months ago. Once I finished it I asked if my husband would like to look at it. He said he would and is slowly working through it now as well as far as I know. Every now and then he'll excitedly tell me about something he's read and how he things we can apply it. It's wonderful. This has been helping to eliminate many of the issues we didn't realize were connected to ADHD in our relationship.
Recently household chores are becoming huge problems though. House cleaning has always been a hard one for us in general. I think it's lucky I'm not much of a clean freak. So the messy nature of our home isn't world ending for me. In fact, if the mess is "clean" (as in no health concerns, minimal dust bunnies, no mold on anything) I don't mind at all. What does bother me is the extent it gets to and why. I'd like to explain; my husband is a kind and wonderful person. He doesn't like seeing me flit around the house and take on the chores alone. But his ADHD is severe and he finds himself playing video games while I clean instead. This doesn't often bother me; though sometimes it does and will lead to tension - but not often. His current inability to focus and help me clean the house does bother him though; and that leads to self inflicted guilt and then outbursts at times. Sometimes those outbursts catch me off guard and I react unfairly and the argument is off the races. Though we're lucky here too - they rarely get intentionally hurtful.
The most recent solution he's asserted to this problem is asking me to please leave him a task or two when I decide to clean. Because his ADHD makes looking at a messy room and finding the correct place for the items strewn about it a frustrating process; we agreed that I would leave him things in the kitchen. This way he can do the dishes or clear the counters, all items are either garbage or belong in the kitchen itself (or can be put on a table for me to go through later) and everyone would seem to win. This brings us to my issues; what is wearing me out.
Right now, as I type this, almost all of our commonly used dishes are dirty in my kitchen sink. We have a dishwasher - it's full of clean dishes. The last three times I've cleaned I've let him know I'm going to clean the house. Ask if he'd like to join me. He's said no, which is acceptable based the new system we are trying. So I let him know I would be leaving the dishes for him to do when he could. And for the third time I find myself faced with the choices of A). asking him to please hold up his end of the deal for a third time and potentially lead us into more tension around cleaning. B). take care of the dishes myself because they are bothering me (and I believe I'm responsible for my own happiness and comfort - not him). This I could do; but past experience raises some caution - this has caused arguments or hurt feelings in the past as well). Or C). I can sit him down, remind him of the agreement we have, and ask him if a new plan should be made. This has also caused hurt feelings and tension in the past.
Truthfully, I don't like to clean either. I understand I'm able to push through that more easily than he can for very valid reasons. While I don't mind the house messy things like dishes and taking out the garbage go beyond messes in my mind. These are dirt problems and I do like to live in a clean environment.
I'm feeling very stuck right now. I'm proud of both of us for working as hard as we have to improve our disagreements. We take a break and revisit the discussion when things are getting too heated, recently put a trigger word in place to tell each other we need to step back, we both make an effort to maintain respect through disagreement at all times, all that jazz. But I'm finding I'm feeling almost helpless within this discussion structure. My focused intent not to cause, prolong, or exasperate an argument will often leave me silently shouldering a lot of our responsibilities. Which is not say my husband doesn't contribute. He does.
I'd like to be clear here; I think this is my issue not his. The dishes in my sink are his issue; we've made a plan, we both agreed to it, it hasn't worked, he's resisted changing the plan and resists following it. In my eyes this is something for him to work on. My hesitance and anxiety about approaching him and telling him this is how I feel is my issue. And I'm unsure how I can get past it.
I guess I'm posting for two reasons: I'd love to see any thoughts/ideas/proven methods others may have for this kind of struggle over household chores. I'm sure there are many approaches I'm simply not seeing and one of them will work; eventually. I'm also wondering if anyone might have tips as far as communicating my frustrations to my husband in a way that may avoid him feeling overly guilty? Many times (not every time) we'll sit down and try to make plans or set up systems that might help us and he feels guilt over us having to do this. That guilt leads to a defensive attitude and I react very unfairly and things spiral. I feel like there must be a way to communicate with him when I'm feeling overwhelmed without us both reacting unfairly to the other.
I don't know if "conflict seeking" is the right way to describe this or not.
I don't even know if it's his problem, my problem, or a mutual problem.
Basically, every discussion, every disagreement, and every expression of negative emotion on my part-- it all turns into a fight. Zero to yelling in 10 setconds flat.
In 16 years, I haven't been able to find a way out.
If I state my opinion, it's an argument.
If I advocate for my point of view, I'm being controlling and aggressive and it's an argument.
If I try to guess his opinion, I'm being a people-pleaser, and it's an argument.
If I try to extract his opinion so I can agree with it, I'm being passive-aggressive and it's an argument.
If I talk about negative emotions (anger, fear, sadness, grief, hopelessness), I shouldn't feel that way, and it's an argument.
If I talk to someone else about negative emotions instead, that's emotional adultery, and it's an argument.
If I just don't talk, that's withholding, and passive-aggression, and it's an argument.
If I just don't react, that's withholding, and passive-aggression, and it's an argument.
Short of smiling all the time and making lots of smalltalk, there is NOTHING I CAN DO that isn't going to turn into an argument (and smalltalk isn't safe either; sooner or later I will make a mistake that can be turned into an argument).
This has always been taxing. Several years ago, I got so tired of it that I decided to just do the submissive wife thing. Smile all the time, always be available for sex, make no demands of him, keep all my feelings to myself, jump to meet every request, not pursue any interest that wasn't in his immediate service, say "YES" to everything. I enjoyed the NOT ARGUING. After about 5 years of that, I had a complete nervous breakdown. Which was, of course, my fault. And AN ARGUMENT that has been ongoing since 2011 (when I finally ended up in the hospital wanting to kill myself).
I'm a nervous wreck. I can't go back to being a submissive wife again (he won't allow it-- now it has to turn into an argument even if I say "YES" to everything). I can't handle everything being an argument any more. The mere thought of having to speak unless I'm saying something like, "I love you honey" or "What do you want for breakfast honey?" makes me shaky and sick to my stomach.
Either the arguments have to stop, or we have to separate.
And separating isn't an option. Our kids are too little, and it's common knowledge that either I would relinquish all parental rights and walk away or it would be the custody battle from Hell.
ETA-- Self-awareness on his part isn't going to happen. I KNOW how painful self-awareness can be for the variously disordered (I'm an Aspie-- I would love to stop being obsessively self-aware every waking moment, but I understand that that is something I must never, ever allow myself to do b/c The Beast Autism will slip it's leash if I relax my guard). I would NEVER wish that pain on him. Plus, as painful as constant obsessive self-awareness is for me, at least I had the blessing of a loving, supportive, basically emotionally healthy family growing up. He didn't. He was subjected to an almost total lack of support and constant and unending low-to-moderate level verbal and emotional abuse. His self-esteem, while it looks great on the outside, is a fragile and hollow shell. He could never sustain self-awareness without completely and totally crashing.
If there's going to be a change that stops the arguments, I'm going to have to be the one to make it.
Hi there, I haven't posted in a while, but I have something I am struggling with on how best to approach my ADHD husband. After years of fighting over impulse purchases, my husband opened a credit card with separate checking account. It is funded with a percentage of any bonus checks he receives from work. It is not the ideal solution for me, but he really likes it and I have to say that we haven't fought since it has been in place for a year. In the past, we fought a lot over his purchases because I thought many of them were unnecessary. I couldn't believe that our hard-earned money was being spent on hobbies that we only do once a year or a fish tank. The deal is that he will give me a print out each month of the credit card paid receipt (not statement) that the card was paid in full. He usually also prints out what his checking account balance is as well. He was late this month so when I approached him with an email. We do better in writing than trying to discuss heavy topics like this verballly. He replied that same day that the automatic minimum pay kicked in. I am thinking in my head "great no late fees, but picking up interest charges on a credit card balance." He once told me that if he didn't pay the balance and wished to use his money on interest charges then that is his prerogative. Anyways, I politely replied with I would like a printout of his current the credit card and checking account balances. He has yet to respond or acknowledge my request so now I am not sure what I should do next. Part of me is scared to talk to him in person - there is never a good time to approach on such a delicate subject. Anyone have advice for me? I have no access to either account online.
Hi. I'm new.
My husband is the ADHD spouse, but I don't get to call myself the "NT spouse."
Nope-- I'm the spouse with Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder.
We've been together since 98, married since 01. Fourteen years next month.
Four kids. Daughter 13, thriving and presumed to be NT (suspected "Broader Autism Phenotype," but I'm not pursuing anything if it's not causing her problems). Son 7, diagnosed ADHD, currently not struggling enough to warrant medication. Daughter 5, suspected ADHD, but not going to pursue a diagnosis unless it causes problems at school. Daughter 2 years 8 months, too young to suspect anything but I'm starting to wonder. She moves and climbs and fidgets constantly. She CAN speak but strongly prefers not to.
Fourteen years of assuming it was all my problem, that all the problems were my fault, that every issue was because of my disorder and therefore my responsibility to fix.
He's a good man; he does a good job. He's been consistently employed ever since he got out of college. Bills get paid and groceries get bought before he spends any money impulsively. He is not an alcoholic, or a compulsive gambler. He does love his "retail therapy," but like I said, bills get paid and groceries get bought first, and we don't keep credit cards, so it's done on a cash basis. I got no complaints.
He even contributes to housework if it's necessary. Not that it's strictly necessary-- I get to be a SAH. If I have to do 99.7% of the housework, that's called carrying my weight.
Still, I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted and FED UP.
Mostly I'm tired of every disagreement, every conflict, and every expression of negative emotion (whether it relates to and/or involves him or not) erupting into an argument.
I've tried everything. For the first five years, we fought it out. That got old. For the next three years, I tried talking to other people about any negative feelings or "off" opinions I might have. That was emotional adultery. For the next five years, I tried doing the submissive wife thing. That blew up in a huge way-- I resented the submission, he resented the responsibility, checks and balances disappeared, and communication died. Since then, we're back to fighting it out. It wore on me in our early 20s-- now approaching 40 and a complete nervous breakdown later, I CAN'T HANDLE FIGHTING IT OUT ANY MORE.
It saps my energy, makes me hate myself, and stresses me out so badly that I shake constantly and can't think straight.
I'm not asking him to change. He's not even aware of what he's doing. He suffered constant low-level emotional abuse from both parents all through childhood and his self-image is too fragile to sustain self-awareness.
Short of finding a cure for the condition formerly known as Asperger's (outside my control-- I can try to control it, but I can't make it go away any more than he can make ADHD disappear or any more than either of us can magically become left-handed), what do *I* need to change to bring peace back to our domicile????
What forum does this belong in??
H is working 2nd shift. He usually gets home at 11PM but last night worked OT and didn't come home until 1AM. He comes home and takes a shower in our master bath, you know at 1AM while I'm trying to sleep right outside that door! He does it because I wake up every time he comes home so he assumes it's ok to shower there rather than in the other bathroom! Then he goes into the computer room. I acn hear him playing his damn video game anytime I wake up! I get up at 5:30 and he still has not come to bed. I get up and he's all chipper and says "Oh I'll make us some breakfast. He does that and tells me "I've been tired since midnight". I said "Then why didn't you come to bed right when you came home?" He goes "Cause I'm a dork." I don't understand that! He's tired but yet stays up until 6AM playing his video game and then goes to bed as I'm about to leave for work! He doesn't have to be to work until 2PM, but I highly doubt he'll go in. His sleep will be interrupted by outside activity. He did this a year or so ago too. Just stayed up all night for no reason but still went to work at 5AM.
What is it that makes them make these poor decisions for no reason?
I have been reading up on ADHD alot in the past two weeks after my sister mentioned it to me because I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what happened to my husband after I married him. I would have never thought of ADHD pertaining to him but after reading about it some things really fit. Such as the Hyper focus when we were dating and than about two months after the wedding it seems like I ceased to exist and we have been married for three years and as time goes by it just continues to get worse. He is a workaholic by choice he works a full time job and than a full time job with his family so we almost never see each other. He used to make sure he had and made time for me but now it seems he doesn't care if he sees me or not. He even started a new job to were he would work less hours and he puts all of his time in at the family business. He makes plans with me and than just doesn't show up.
I believe his whole family has ADHD. They are all workaholics and if you arent working every minute that your awake your just lazy. And at first they were all very nice and social people but after the wedding they don't have much to do with me either. Besides having nothing to do with me I notice how terrible my husbands attitude has gotten towards me. I fell in love with him because he treated me differently than people in past relationship, he was sensitive, caring, easy going and just a genuinely great person. He always said he couldn't be mean to people and I totally believed him. He just had a awesome personality and it was hard not to love him and like him , he was a wonderful person and a great friend.
Well I don't believe that anymore because he treats all the rest of his family and friends and co workers great but yet he is mean to me. It's like he's somebody completely different to me than he is to everybody else. He is still the person to everybody else, the same person I met. He says horrible things to me, he's called me names, I can't just talk to him anymore, he has told me he no longer feels the need to conversate with me, (and he used to call me many times a day) and no I never hear from him, he returns texts and calls from everyone but he has told me himself on more than one occasion he seen it was me calling and he didn't answer but than he's mad that I don't call him anymore. He stays at work late many times a week and he has done this for years be it one hour or three hours and I have asked him nicely if he could just call or maybe text me and let me know and that it doesn't have to be every night but once in awhile would be nice, nope he can't do it, but he calls and lets the family business know he's going to be late.
He's so different from when we were dating if he was going to be five minutes late he was calling me. He was never disrespectful. He cared if I was sick or having a bad day. We lived a distance a part and he would drive almost a hour just to give me a hug and spend a hour with me. He would drive down to spend a hour go back home to finish work and come back down to spend the night at my house. Now I can be sick and he jokes about me dying. I'm not even a mile from him alot of times or he passes right by the house and he can't stop just to see me. I catch rare glimpses of the man he was before the marriage but they are becoming so few and far between. I have become to feel as if he hates me and it hurts so bad because at one time in my life he made me feel like the most loved and important person he had.
I am just so sad all the time and the marriage is no marriage. And everything is my fault always according to him if I would just be happy everything would be fine. He is great at playing the victim in every situation in his life. Another thing that makes this situation bad is he is a grown man ( that acts like a grown man child) that like I mentioned is a workaholic who works with his family and they have total control of his life and he allows it. Like the comment was made a few years back "What is he supposed to do go home and sit with her at night?'
I live my life alone he works all weekend he is at the family business two times a day during the week besides his regular full time job and than he works at the family business all weekend long both days, so even when he is with me he is basically falling asleep after he eats so he isn't present anyway.
I really could just go off the deep end when he claims he's doing this all for me. No he's doing this all mainly for himself and for the family business. Against my wishes he keeps paying for things for the business with our money when he is no longer receiving pay for his time. Yes one day it may be his and his brothers but the way he's going he will work himself to death long before that. And now he wants to buy equipment for the business. I don't want to be taking out loans when it's the businesses responsibility to buy equipment not ours why should it be on our dime? He would allow us to go broke when it comes to the family business it's just crazy.
He is willing to throw away everything for his work I guess that means me it feels like he already has. I'm no longer a priority to him at all. He had lost some relationships before me due to his time but he promised me he had learnt his lesson and was older and wiser and would never ever do that to me because he could never deal with loosing me and now he talks about me leaving him like it's no big deal almost like he wants me to. He treats me like I'm a bother to him.
Odd though when I explain to him how I fell about not being important and not a priority and that when he walk out the door in the morning he just forgets who I am. And why he belittles me and changed toward me so much. One minute he claims he had no choice but to change because of my actions and than the next minute he acts like I'm nuts and I'm not seeing what I'm seeing and I just don't realize and see how much he cares about me and loves me and he hasn't changed only I have and I don't love him anymore.
Besides being sad some days I feel like I'm going crazy. I don't know what I want. I know I don't want to live like this. I haven't said anything to him about what I have been researching, he would never get an evaluation because he could never handle being less than perfect and have to acknowledge he can have a problem just like everyone else.
Sorry if I rambled and jumped around, I just have no one to really talk to and I don't even know if this could be ADHD but I thought it sounded as if. I just could really use some support. Thank you so much for listening to me!!!
I just don't know anymore. In some ways I wish he did have ADHD as that would explain the behavior. He told me he was diagnosed with this when he was a kid, but then he also thinks that the government did secret experiments on him when he was in elementary school as well.
There's more, much more. He's got good stuff too:
I'm just kind of writing things down to write them. I don't know what I can do anymore to help him. Every job he's gotten, I've found for him. He can't do anything on his own - constantly comes up with business ideas but as far as executing them forget about it. He has grandiose plans CONSTANTLY that are just ridiculous but he gets angry if I don't 100% support him.
I guess the point of all this is that I'm feeling really hopeless in the face of all his "Stuff". I feel like he will always be a burden for me to bear. I was able to get him on health insurance finally, so I'm hoping that maybe he can start getting some help in the form of meds.
Divorce is something I think about constantly, but I don't feel like that's an option. I guess I'm just tired of being the caregiver to three kids and an adult.
Seeking thoughts and opinions relating to cause and effect of potential ADD? or just two people with personality conflict?
Married to 2nd wife for 5 years. Since the beginning, she has shown anger problems and low self esteem. She is a smart, beautiful woman (age 50, me 49) and is now seeking help for low self esteem that was evident long before our marriage. We have had good times, but mostly struggled to get along from the start. Her "explosive" anger and lack of esteem have been damaging. I have made mistakes along the way due to the question if this marriage is the right thing for either of us. I have not been "officially" diagnosed with ADD. I've been a writer, a musician and demonstrated traits of a melancholy person since youth. I do tend to be scattered at times, but I have been always made to feel as if MY issues have caused the problems in our relationship. My wife is very high strung and very intelligent. I am laid back and try to take things one day at a time. I have two daughters from previous marriage, ages 15 and 17. They lived with me half time up until we got married. Since then, I have been the 'weekend" dad. This was a mutual agreement between myself and their mother, as their school and friends are located about 30 minutes away. But since this 2nd marriage, they rarely see me for a lengthy time, mostly due to the fact that my 2nd wife just doesn't want them around and resents them. Bottom line, my wife blames our problems on the fact that I am ADD, based on what she has read, and not on an official diagnosis. I went to a regular MD who sent me to an "evaluation", but I thought it was rather lame. Hence, I was prescribed medication, of which my wife now says is bad for me, although I do notice a difference in the way I feel and focus. She says that diet and exercise (I have always eaten well, been active and am in good physical shape), along with vitamins and counseling are what should be the norm for me to "function" on normal basis. Because I have yet to follow her guideline of "treatment" she says that I don't care about myself and she has lost respect for me. Really? In my mind, the first step is to go to a qualified doctor, seek evaluation, then go from there.
Due to the resentment, I am treated as a someone who is "mentally ill" and not treated with respect and love. She says she loves me, but cannot show it due to the problems and hurt I have caused her (not mentioning the hurt she has caused me)
Question is: How do you know if you have ADD without an official diagnosis? How do you know if the problems are from a combination of simple personality conflict combined with past resentment and pain and not just ADD? How do you heal in the meantime when your partner just shows anger and resentment and no love at all?
Ready to just quit and find someone that works for me. Life is short, should it really be this difficult?? Is it really worth the effort to try anymore?