I am new to this site and this is my first posting. This site is like an oasis in the desert to me right now. I am about to gush out all of my frustration here..
I have been married for one year to an ADD husband with no kids. He was diagnosed 7 years ago, but I didn't know about it until a few days ago. All of his family knew about it, but no one told me. I would not have guessed on my own that he had an ADD, just because I was not familiar with it. It was coincidental how I found it out. As you can imagine, I have been going through rough time due to stress and anger coming from our marriage from day 1, actually even before. I recently developed some health problems (nausea/dizziness/migraine) that my physician could not figure out the cause for. After hopping around different medical departments, the answer came out -- it was coming from stress. When I described my husband's behaviors and our problems to my counselor, she hinted that it could be due to an ADHD. I came home and searched for ADHD symptoms and I could see so many things that I could relate to his behaviors, although they are mild. When I told my husband to go see a doctor, he was upset, accusing me and the counselor for boxing him into a labeled category for no reason, but a few days later he confessed that he was already diagnosed with ADD a long time ago. In a way, I felt relieved that now I understand why he has been the way he was. After all, maybe it was not him, but his condition. However, I already have so much anger and resentment toward him that I have emotionally shut down myself from him. If I knew about it earlier, from the beginning, I could have tried to accept him more easily, but I am afraid that I have already lost my respect and affection for him.
We fell for each other very quickly. I mean, everything happened so quickly. We dated only 3 months before engagement, and another 3 months before wedding. Now that I think back, I feel he rushed things to get married. He was the warmest person I have ever met. Almost too good to be true. He sounded blunt (speaking almost carelessly) at times, but I could feel the warmth in his heart, and I could clearly see his adoring eyes whenever he looked at me. He looked exactly like an extremely happy kid with a big delicious candy in his hands when he was with me. (Now I see that it must have been the hyperfocus phase) There was no doubt that he was in love with me and he would keep the warm heart and adoring passion for me through the marriage. While we were dating he told me that he has some issues with his parents. His dad had an anger control problem and they had lots of conflicts in his childhood, with some physical punishment. He had a lot of resentment against his dad and because of that, even though he loves and cares about his family so much, he cannot express his love in a sweet attitude. He even warned me that he would behave differently in front of his parents before I met them for the first time. He was blunt to to his family, almost like a bitter business relationship. There was no smiling and laughing with when he was with them. I should have paid more attention to that, but how would I have known? He himself said that he is different from his dad, and he will never get violent, or angry at me. During dating he sometimes showed some frustration then he was blaming himself more than I would normally expect. And when he is driving on the road, if other drivers annoy him somehow, then he would get upset and chase after them or try to scare them in revenge. Back then, whenever he showed such erratic behaviors, he at least immediately realized and apologized to me, but now, he always says he has a legitimate reasons to be upset thus no need for apology.
I started noticing changes in him shortly after engagement. Since we had such a short engagement, wedding preparation was quite stressful. But if there was any stress, it was actually mostly on me, being a bride who was planning for the wedding with no one around to get help from. He literally did not do much. He got frustrated with money, because he did not have enough savings for the wedding, and rings, etc. (We took care of the expense 50:50) He would complain there and there, and was not helpful at all. So finally, fed up with his endless complaints, I told him to stay away from the preparation and I would all take care of it, even though he was the one who wanted to get married as soon as possible. This is why I think he rushed things. If you are not financially ready to get married, you should not even think about doing it so quickly. In his mind, since he decided to marry me, the sooner the better, regardless of the financial situation. But then, the reality was not as easy as he thought. So he started to feel frustrated, and he started to change. He became indifferent and careless to me. We had lots of fights over money and wedding planning. I got worried, but since I was told that many couples get stressed during wedding preparation and it will be gone after the wedding, I simply thought we were going through a normal temporary roadblock.
After the wedding, his tendency to get easily irritaed continued, or became worse. During our honeymoon, he kept complaining about things and got upset at me, as if he forgot that we were on our HONEYmoon. I even slept crying alone one night after a big fight, wondering what on earth got in his mind and what I have done wrong. He does not know how to comfort me. I felt emotional distance and isolation from him. He was not the same person I fell in love with. In the early days of our marriage, I continued to feel the same emptiness all the time. He has a demanding job and he was always under pressure, and his commute to work became hard and long after he moved in with me. I tried to accommodate his needs since I knew that he was physically tired. But he was just so cold, and blunt, and there was no affection in him. Even when he was not so cranky, his attitude was not affectionate enough to assure me that he still loves me. He started to show random anger outburst. He would curse out loud, throw things to the floor, slam the door, etc. He never hit me or physically violent. But even those verbal outbursts were shocking and threatening enough to me, knowing how gentle and tender he was before. I fell in love with Dr. Jekyll, but was living with Mr. Hyde. And even when he returns to Jekyll from time to time, it was not the same Jekyll but more like some hybrid half way. All those emotional disconnection shut me down. He was so stubborn and headstrong that when he gets irritated and upset, there was no other way around. After a couple of hours of alone time, he might come back to normal. This repeated over and over, and we could not even spend a few days without his outburst or fight. I became angry and resentful not knowing why he changed so much, and started firing back at him. I felt victimized by this uncontrolled immaturity.
In addition to the anger outburst and low threshold of irritation, he keeps doing things that drive me nuts -- lose things, forget where things are, book flights on wrong dates, leave kitchen cupboards and drawers open, leave the jars or snack bags open, rarely organize things, randomly gives irrelevant comments when I talk about something, and ZERO tolerance with hunger, fatigue, and pain. He always says he wants to have a physically active and healthy life style, and when things don't go the way he wants due to his lack of drive and consistency, the blame is on me. He abandoned me on the road one time when we were out biking along the lake on a trip because he was upset that the leisurely biking was not active enough for him and he was mad that I could not try mountain biking. I am not a good biker, and even riding a bike on a street is scary enough for me, and he demands me mountain bike! He just does not realize that I don't have the same level of physique as him! Being active is so important to him that he had to ruin our romantic bike ride, just like the way he ruined our honeymoon. He tends to get pinpointed in one thing that he totally forgets the whole purpose of why even he does things. If I don't do one thing that he wants at the moment, he forgets all the good things I did for him a minute ago. He has extremely low threshold for frustration. He has all the legitimate reasons to get upset. For him, there is nothing wrong about showing his anger - because there are so many things to upset him in the environment and he is just responding to them. And of course he does not understand the impact of his anger on me.
Not knowing that his behaviors were coming from ADHD, I could not help losing my respect on him when he could not take care of himself and household as a responsible husband. I felt like he wanted me to become his mom, secretary, maid and a trash can. He claims that I have condemned him and belittled him. I must have behaved that way out of anger and hatred since I shut down myself from him. I had to protect myself from getting emotionally destroyed by him. I do not know how to restore my feelings for him. Honestly I don't know if I want to.
We don't have kids yet. I would love to have kids, but now I am afraid of having kids with him. Even before I knew about his ADHD, I was worried that our children might inherit his anger outburst. Now knowing that ADHD is highly heritable, I am really scared. Last one year was miserable enough, and I don't know if I will have enough patience and strength to support a husband with ADHD and kids with ADHD. I am really scared.. What shall I do.