“My partner shows all the signs of ADHD, yet when he saw a therapist who referred him to a psychiatrist he was "diagnosed" with depression and anxiety and given medication. This has helped a bit with his anger but the medication hasn't helped his disorganization, forgetfulness or lack of ability to follow through. He still gets very angry and can "shut down" if he feels slighted, misconstrues someone's comment or if the neighbors make any sort of loud noise! We are in marriage counseling but have not been helped much. We have recently started seeing a new counselor and I hope this will make the difference. The last therapist rebuked me for bringing up the idea of ADD. And my partner laughs at me too. Do you have any suggestions how to handle this? I would like things to be better.”
Very frequently, depression and anxiety are “co-existing conditions” with ADHD, though the fact that your partner is depressed and anxious does not indicate the presence of ADD. He may have it, he may not.
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I came upon this article about making one ADD spouse / one non-ADD spouse marriages work. The author, Andrea Little (now Andrea Betts) had culled these guidelines together with her marriage support group peers. I link to it here and hope that you enjoy the group's perspective and collective wisdom.
Effectively communicating with your spouse often seems like hard work - pushing the proverbial rock up the hill. Have you ever stopped to consider the role that your everyday responses play in how smooth - or rocky - that communication is? I started thinking about this topic the other morning when I woke up to find my husband's arm across me, cutting off my circulation. The situation got me thinking about the "responses" we make to a thousand different situations we find ourselves in every day. There are internal responses (how one feels about something, even if they don't say it) and external (what you say and do). Then there are conscious and unconscious. All play a role in a marriage affected by ADHD.
"So much good advice but how do I get my husband to read with me or even try? I am so alone and I honestly don't know where to turn. I can't leave due to finances and no where to go. I don't know if it would be right to call an abuse hotline, because he is just verbally abusive. Learning more about the ADD mind is helping a little. Just no where to turn."
First, you are not alone! There are many, many people out there who are in the same situation that you are in – feeling isolated in a relationship affected by ADHD, feeling as if they somehow didn’t get what they had bargained for in their marriage – that it all has been an ugly surprise.