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  • by: roseamongstthorns - 2 months 2 weeks ago



    I am new here and this is my first post. I am the non-ADHD partner. My partner of one year is not diagnosed (and he has an aversion to most things in the realm of psychology that involves a diagnosis) but I have suspected for some time he has ADD. I am hoping that I might be able to get some insight by posting some information about our current situation as many of the posts I have read here have been really helpful and have felt like they are hitting really close to home.


    Our biggest issue is communication. We have found that often he will say something in the heat of an argument or  a heavily emotional conversation that will seem very harsh, out of the blue, or completely contradictory to something he has told me before when we are not in a similar situation. To give some examples: once he was telling me about a situation with a work colleague who holds a value that is different from our own. My partner started saying things that were against our values, failing to mention that he was thinking through how he would try and emphasise with this work colleague out loud. I got upset, thought he was contradicting earlier conversations. This in turn upset him as he couldn't understand why I was upset. Once we had calmed down and tried to talk about it again, it emerged he was thinking out loud. I had no clue of this at the time. He told me that I should have given him the benefit of the doubt based on knowing him - and he's completely right (I have my own set of insecurities my reaction played into) but it is also true that I had no idea how he was thinking out loud or processing the situation.


    Another example was when we were discussing something pretty innocent, and I referenced a previous example of a disagreement we had got into. My purpose was not to revisit the disagreement but to simply use it as an example. Anyway, he started revisiting the disagreement and said something that I was trying to change what he watched on TV (I had gone out of my way to make sure I never once said this in the disagreement, and I did in fact say this to him on multiple occasions - I had no intention of changing him). I then got upset because I thought he didn't believe my intention (not to change him, that I had never asked him to stop watching certain shows). This escalated pretty quickly because I was hurt and I am not very good at being calm or rational when I am hurt.


    When we revisited this once we had calmed down (he is very good at revisiting conversations or disagreements and he will preserve until we both feel "right" again), it turned out that he was thinking out loud again. Instead of telling me how he felt (which is how I interpreted it) he was simply voicing the thought processes to try and come to a conclusion. I found this really hard to get my head around until later in the day when he told me that he found it really hard to be able to think about anything in the middle of me being hurt/springing something on him that felt emotional (in this instance because I had referenced a previous disagreement he immediately felt on edge and emotional), and that he basically shuts down. One of his attempts at overriding this is thinking out loud.


    It became even more clear during a few moments where we were just messing around and having fun together. He was trying to come up with rhyming words (who knows why? Lol) and he was saying them out loud. A few times the words did not rhyme and he said, again out loud "no, that's not right." It suddenly dawned on me that he was unable to realise that the words did not rhyme until he had said them out loud and he was then able to consider them properly. Suddenly a lot of things made sense and I began to connect the dots. All of the disagreements we had about things he had said were not because he meant them himself, which is what I always took it as being, but it was simply his way of processing something. His cognitive processes make more sense out loud. I do my thinking in my head and he only gets the conclusion. It seemed like such a revelation. I mentioned it to him, and we talked about it a bit, where he confirmed certain things to me.


    Other things I have noticed:



    he's practically unable to hold a proper conversation or reply to me, or sometimes even listen, if we are in an environment with a lot of noise, actions, visual stimulus etc.

    his time keeping is pretty poor. He's often late to things and doesn't understand the frustration

    on the whole he is very lazy (he sleeps a crazy amount), and he finds it very hard to motivate himself to do anything without prompting. He tells me that he does want to do the things and to please tell him/prompt him/initiate going out etc. but finds it hard to do himself

    He considers himself selfish, and in some ways he is - his favourite pastime is playing video games and he would do this for hours and hours every single night, without fail, if he could get away with it. His default reaction when I suggest something out of his normal routine (which includes seeing me two days a week) is to say no - again, he says this is him processing it and thinking out loud but of course it's hard for me to override that response to wait and hear what else he has to say.

    His confidence is very low because of all of these and he thinks he is stupid because of the way his mind works. He's really not stupid.



    He is very observant and he sees things I do not. As a writer, I envy his perception

    He is incredibly loyal, incredibly genuine and very open with his emotions. I think we would have big issues if this wasn't the case. A lot of the insecurities I have that are fuelled by his thinking that I outlined above are calmed by the other things he says and does.

    He is very smart and dedicates himself when he truly wants to. I wish he could believe he is smart.

    He is literally the nicest person I know. He goes out of his way to help people, he knows right from wrong, he acts like a gentleman and treats me like a lady.

    He tries. So so hard. Which leads me onto my conclusion...


    I realise how hard he tries, and I want to help him. Especially now it has dawned on me what he does and how he processes things and how hard he takes it when I get upset. I am devoted to him and our relationship and I want to make this as good as I can. I was wondering if any of the above hits a nerve with anyone? If anyone can offer insight? If there are any tips?


    Many thanks

  • by: Vivien - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    Recently, I asked my husband if it appears to him that I move like lightning.  Meaning, is he ever in awe of how fast I take care of things, how fast I can clean a bathroom, how I can go to the grocery store and back in less than an hour with food for the week purchased? (not just a gallon of milk).  And he said YES!  This is not a hateful slam on was just really nice to see that he sees me.  I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for him to not be able to do that.  I am really working on understanding it from his side.

  • by: jennalemone - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    We have come to a point (40 years of marriage) where we cannot talk to each other any more. I can barely look at him anymore. I look at him and see all the times he ignored me and hurt my feelings and manipulated me...maybe it was all unintentional but it still affects a person to be so un-valued and demeaned.  It is said we should NOT take other people's actions or even words personally.  I tried to do that on a daily basis for 40 years.  You know what happens when you stuff your real feelings and think you are strong enough to rationalize in neglectful, hurtful situations?  One day you wake up and feel that you have never been loved or appreciated.  And they (those people who feel entitled to only positive feelings) feel like they have done a great job...( to which you were the catalyst and contributor).  One day you wake up and realize you have just been an extention of their wants and needs and YOU have not lived a life of integrity or joy yourself.  You have been pretending things are GOOD ENOUGH. One day you realize that you don't even know WHAT you want or need because all you ever wanted since you had your own family was that your family be healthy, functional and loved. Then, when it is all over, you access your SELF.  You did good by them.  Pitched in and conversed the best you could with what you know how to do.  Learned how to do things better so you ALL could have a nice life.  WHY do you now NOT feel good about your SELF?  

    I realize now that I have been his fool.  Just his tool. He has manipulated me all these years with empty promises and taking advantage. He knew my vulnerabilities because I was always open with him about my true thoughts and feelings.  He used me to look good to the outside things were normal about him.  Nice clean, organized house, good children, nice wife.  But HE was living an independent life.  He would enjoy the comforts and stability of home when home was pleasant and things were taken care of.  But if things were difficult or rocky or there was something to work through or converse or decide....he was overwhelmed and retreated to diversions so that HE did not have to FEEL the difficult feelings that come with ordinary life.  He preferred to give his attention to things that were FUN, funny, happy and pleasure.  I have been a single mom with one big oaf that came to the family when it was time to enjoy and play.  But was missing in action when things needed to be sorted out and attended to....even money issues. He was not been able to TALK about money or spending.    Not able? Or not willing -  so he could independently spend and keep?   I don't know since he does not talk.

    He told me I am not fun enough and that happiness (my happiness in particularly) should come from the inside. He said I should work on my self.  He said I worry too much....that is OUR problem...that I worry. This after 40 years of my over-functioning for the both of us.....I am not fun enough.  I know what that means.  Someone or some others in his life (with which he has no responsibilities or expectation) is more fun.   Either that or ... he is a depressed recluse who prefers drinking beer and doing crossword puzzles and listening to the radio than to being a contributing partner in a family structure.

  • by: Dinah - 2 months 2 weeks ago


    This is my first post here. I've been together with my boyfriend, B,  for almost three years, including a lot of long distance but also time living together (now we live an hour and a half drive away from each other so I see him every week-end). I read Melissa's book about two years ago, when B mentioned he'd had some trouble with ADD in the past, and it was absolutely illuminating. B was diagnosed with PTSD as well due to childhood traumas and has in general had a very tough life. Since we've been together we've helped each other a lot, he's now back in school (it's very difficult for him but he receives help from the school and has a prescription for Ritalin and anxiety medication that doesn't always help enough though) and we're working on understanding each other better.

    Obviously there are ups and downs, we've just come out of a tough period but we always manage to reconnect and learn from what happened. 

    My question is this: while my boyfriend acknowledges that he has ADD and PTSD and that they have an impact on him and us, he doesn't like discussing it too much because he doesn't want to be defined by his "problems". If people take issue with his behavior, he takes it very personally and gets defensive (which spirals into yelling and crying matches when I'm myself feeling vulnerable for whatever reason and don't have the strength or ability to be soothing and rational). It's happened a few times now that members of my family witnessed such "episodes" of his (they live in a different country so we only see them every once in a while): one sibling saw him freak out and yell at a neighbor for what turned out to be a misunderstanding; one got very scared when B had a meltdown while he was driving us because we asked him to slow down (it's an old and tricky car) and he felt we were "attacking him" and "not trusting him"; and my parents saw him get verbally aggressive with an airport authority person when B felt cornered with all the (routine) security questions we were being asked. 

    Because of this, several members of my family have already approached me and told me that they worry about me, one even thought that B was physically violent towards me. They were especially shocked because they usually see him playing with the kids for hours, helping out in the kitchen, fixing electric appliances around the house when we visit my family, being caring and supporting towards me etc., all the typical ADHD qualities that make us fall in love with them in the first place... I tried to reassure them as well as I could by saying he was under a lot of stress at those times, but I know they worry that I'm in denial and possibly in an abusive relationship.

    What should I do? On the one hand, I respect that B doesn't want his private life (and the state of his brain) to be a subject of discussion with his in-laws. On the other, I cannot stand the looks of worry and the whispers behind my back - it's embarrassing, it's damaging to my relationship with my family and with B, and I just wish I could tell them that it's not his fault, that he's working hard to control his emotions and that jeez, I'm not getting beat up or something! 

    I just want them to see him as the amazing person that he is, loving, fun, caring, attentive, he makes me happy - and not be side-tracked by some bad ADHD/PTSD-triggered episodes.

    Have you been in such a situation? What did you do? How did it play out? What course of action would you recommend? I'd really appreciate your help.


  • by: Geese - 2 months 2 weeks ago
    I went home mid afternoon and had my first run in with the angry insulting and belittling wife I thought miraculously went away since I started treatment. In the middle of a very busy day she called to say that she was feeling overwhelmed and needed my support at home. So I wriggled out of some nonessential work tasks and went home. I did say that there was still some office work that needed to be done and asked her to be tolerant of phone calls, emails and other sudden needs to do work. The whole time she basically angrily yelled at me for what I was saying to our preschooler, for having no sense of time and for being an expletive that can't be reprinted here. She doesn't believe that ADHD exists, that I have it or that the medicine is working. So she attacked that too. "that medicine you are taking is not working". Honestly I don't know if it is or not. It feels like it is. I am getting more work done in the last week than ever before. I think I've been better at home. But then again, if part of this ailment is not knowing how annoying and a pain you are, then I wouldn't know whether any of this is just one big hallucination. Anyway, I didn't argue back and really just didn't see the point of stirring the pot. I am going to go with the assumption that I am on the right track and that she is just having a bad day and choosing to take it out on me.
  • by: maplechic - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    My spouse of 12 yrs ( known for 14 though) has ADHD.  He has that and Bipolar II and OCD.  Yes quite a powerful mix. I am not unscathed though I have Bipolar type A or I.  I seem to deal much easier with my illness, when he struggles even with medication.    Now on the whole he is nice guy, intelligent guy and he treats me well for the most part.  The part I want him to really work on but I  dont how to get it across effectively is A) he talks over me all the time B) I might be explaining something about how I feel an he internalizes it and thinks I am getting after him when he isnt the the topic I just need to vent, he vents I don't think he is mad at me when he does unless he is talking about me . He also takes over stuff I am doing, this not helpful because I am one if I need the help I ask, if I cant reach something, or figure something he could I will ask.  If I am doing something I know I can do, I like to not have him jump in and assist  with it, make me feel I am doing it wrong so he has to make it right, This only makes me stressed.  I would like him to know when I am indicating "Honey I am alright- let me do this." If any one can relate please comment, I know sometimes he only wishes to be Mr Helpful and thats great, but when he does not Listen to me, to what I feel I do or dont need from him, it stresses me and stress isnt good for my condition anymore than it is for his, One last thing can anyone relate to your spouse with this  cracking up in hysterics and being loud alot?   Loud noises bother me, always have, and it ties in my condition to, its just apart of me but sometimes my spouse is rather carried away and loud and its hard to concentrate.  

  • by: Jenred813 - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    Hi everyone this is my first post here and I am seriously soooo excited to be here. I've been reading a lot of people's posts and oh my can I relate! My hubby was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and now years later I think it still really affects him. We've been married for almost 2 years with a 10 month old  and I am so about ready to throw in the towel. One of the main issues is money and his stupid, STUPID car.. 2013 ford mustang decked out, that was a base model and he has pouuuuuured money into over and over when I have to use gift cards from our baby shower to pay for diapers and baby food! :( the other night I told him how we are going to start paying off all of  HIS  debt, about $20,000 total and I said that requires you to sell your car, so we can pay off the car loan, to which he said "fuck no" (excuse the language) but really. We are living with his grandparents because we can't afford anywhere to live and as soon as he gets paid he spends it on his car before I even have a chance to pay bills. I just feel my son and I are Sooo unimportant compared to that car, he says it's his baby, but really isn't you're infant son your baby?!! Idk what to do.. He obviously values that car so much over us that I can't take it anymore. 

  • by: dvance - 2 months 3 weeks ago

    So I have been talking with my counselor a BUNCH lately about the idea of acceptance.  After 20 years of being the responsible one while ADHD hubby gets to do pretty much whatever pleases him at the moment, I am negative and spent and exhausted-like many of us are.  But we cannot afford a divorce and we have two kids.  Right now my plan is to suck it up until the now 8th grader graduates from high school and then RUN as fast as I can.  In the meantime, my counselor has me working on getting to a place of acceptance.  I know this is best for me.  DH is likely to not notice my stance either way. I once heard someone say the hating another person is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for THEM to die.  That's what I feel like.  My constant mental railing at what DH is or isn't--it's only hurting me.  He has no idea and likely wouldn't care if he did or would not be able to do anything about it for any substantial amount of time.  So the idea of acceptance--how does that differ from giving up or being resigned to the crappy way things are?  In my marriage, DH does not have my back.  Small example: I had the alarm set on Saturday morning so I could go to my hot yoga class (one of the only things that is keeping me sane lately!!!!).  So when we went to bed I said that the alarm was set for 7:30 so I could get to the 9am class.  Sure enough the alarm went off, he nudged me, but I dozed off again and missed the class.  That I had paid for.  That I had really wanted to go to.  He had gotten up, by the way, but didn't come in to see if I was awake and making my way to the class.  I was REALLY crabby that I had missed it.  Mostly it made me sad that it never crossed his mind to make sure I got there.  In my marriage he is not dependable.  He has been fired from two jobs in the past three years and it's NEVER his fault and the companies are both going to go under without him.  ( they haven't by the way...)   He is not consistent--for some periods of time (it may be hours it may be days or weeks) he is PRESENT and with us, and then he fades away again for an indeterminate amount of time, for no reason I can discern.  He does weird things and when I ask about them tells me he is an adult and he can do whatever he wants.  He does not come home when he says he is going to.  He may or may not answer his cell phone when I call during the day and he may or may not answer texts during the day, but he says he wants us to stay in better touch (he travels Mon-Fri for business).  If I tell him how I feel, he says he is not responsible for my feelings.  Okay then.  None of those behaviors seem very partner-like.  None of them seem very kind or caring or putting the other person first.  But if that is all he is capable of or willing to do (I have no idea which it is), and I accept all of that, what does our marriage then look like?  If he does not take care of me (not in some weird babyish way), if he does not feel responsible for my feelings (NOT in a codependent way, just normal), if he does not feel any particular need to respond to my texts or calls--how do I accept such a barren marriage relationship?  The counselor talks a LOT about being able to accept DH for who he is and stop being so mad at him for NOT being something else, which makes total sense.  I get that it is healthy to accept what actually IS not what you WISH was the case, in all aspects of your life and to live with the choices you make, good and bad.  BUT--if I am on my own on so many levels, what do I need to be married for????  If I had a roommate that I knew had somewhere to be and slept through her alarm, I would go in and make sure she got up for the event.  DH feels none of that responsibility or care towards me.  He tells me I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself.  Clearly--I have been for this whole marriage, but then why do I need him?  Why accept behavior that is so thin emotionally?  Our marriage counselor asked us at the first session in the fall to each think of something we needed from the other and after a week of thinking about it I could not come up with one thing.  It almost doesn't occur to me to need anything from him because it's a crap shoot as to whether I will get it or not.  So the idea of acceptance--I am having a hard time with that right now.  If what IS is little and so NOT-sustaining, what then does a marriage relationship look like?  How do you keep a marriage going when one person actually tells you he is not responsible for your feelings or he can do whatever he wants because he is an adult?  Where is the sense of partnership?  We are not a team, we are not on the same side, none of those marriage cliches apply to us at all.  I hear other wives mention that they have to check with their husbands about whatever and I am just baffled.  I wonder why they would even tell their husbands at all, let alone ask for their input or opinion.  Do people actually do that??  Discuss stuff and assume their spouse has something useful to contribute?  Assume their spouse cares either way?  I filed our taxes on my own, the refund got deposited and I spent it on back bills all before DH even realized I had taken care of it.  This was done in January--I had our refund in our bank by the second week of February.  I can't remember when he asked about the taxes and I told him it was done and the refund had paid back x-y-z bills.  He was like, oh-okay.  End of discussion.  Never once crossed my mind to run it by him what bills I would pay or what to do with the money.  He didn't even have to sign anything because our accountant files them electronically.  So strange.  Lonely.  That's what it is.  Lonely.  

    Any thoughts on acceptance vs resignation???  Love to hear them...


  • by: c ur self - 2 months 3 weeks ago

    How many of us started off just wanting to love our spouses unconditionally? This is a good thing, but, I just didn't know all the different faces of Love...Nor did I know how to recognize fake spirits that showed pleasing attributes, and influenced me to say it's Love. My perception, was skewed because of my own neediness, and my own spiritual immaturity. 

     I didn't even recognize it in my own heart, so how could I beware of someone else's?....Mothering or enabling an adult is the same as starving a hungry man...Right before his payday comes we keep jumping in and cutting him off.  Right before he can receive the just reward he so desperately deserves...

    Sadly mosts of us continue this cycle until he has been without nutrition for so long that we've turned him into an invalid...So his growth becomes stunted because we refused to allow him to eat...

    Why did I do this? Love? Sadly yes, but, it was a fake, that seemed pleasing...It fooled me...When I thought I was saving his life, I effectively starved him...

    What fooled me? My neediness?....My faulty faith in my own abilities? All the things I've blamed for our conflict?

    If you walk up to the payroll table and stick your hand out to get your paycheck it is your right to do so....If your spouse walks up to the payroll table and stands on their head, then reaches up to receive there paycheck it's their right to do so....

    The moral of the story?...Whatever you do, when you see this adult standing on their head, never ask why, or tell him it's the wrong way;)

    True Love isn't always pleasurable...If it was Jesus wouldn't have went to the cross...

    Blessings C

  • by: curryflow - 2 months 3 weeks ago
    Hello everyone, I am relatively new to this forum and definitely relatively newly accepting of the fact I have ADHD. To make a long story short I have been married for 15 years. Only in the last year or so have I accepted the ADHD tag and tried to do something about it. And for the first few months my efforts were pretty half hearted. I am now taking drugs...So my wife has been dealing with this for a while and had built up a lot of resentment and anger towards me. We have our first child now and he is an infant still. This baby has accentuated all our problems and definitely exposed my issues greatly especially with lack of sleep... I could keep going but I have noticed on this forum it seems that the angry person is often the ADHD person, not the other way around as it is with my situation. Problem is she has so much frustration that it has boiled over into abuse in my eyes. She has slapped me, pinched me and yelled at me and called me all kinds of names and says she hates me, wishes we never met etc. She used to apologize for this but now she feels completely justified. I used to think she didn't mean these things but now it is always bad it seems the past week or so. I have considered she might have post partum depression but it doesn't really matter because she won't look at her self anymore. Only blames me for all problems. And it's hard for me to argue with her because I can see how frustrating it is. Anyway. Anyone else have this issue and if so what are your suggestions? Thank you