Absent Husband/Father with ADD

I am new to this site but glad I found it. I am 30 years old, married for almost 6 years. We have two small children (3 and 8 months) together and he's in Grad school. We've been to counseling in the past and "worked" on some things we were having difficulties in. Because he is in grad school, in archeology, he has spent many weeks away doing research. At times when he has been away he has been so hyper-focused on his work he has not called to check in on us, or has not picked up the phone when we try to call him over 9 hour or so periods. One thing that we had discussed in counseling was that I needed him to do small gestures of appreciation while he was away or very busy with school when it gets to be very demanding and he's working 16 hour days. At first he did do a few nice things. A small note, flowers..., but it quickly faded. I reminded him several times over again that this is what I need to make me feel loved and appreciated especially when he is consumed by his work but it has been totally ignored. This summer he has been away for 3 & 1/2 weeks already (he will be away for the 5 weeks of June as well) and has not attempted any gestures, even after reminders and has even taken off to a bachelor party in Vegas for 3 days without even discussing it with me. I am deeply hurt by his actions and non-actions and he doesn't understand why. I've tried to explain to him but he sees it as my problem. We live away from all of our family so I have no help with the children, and very little in the way of companionship from him or anyone else. I have a few moms I am friendly with but no real deep relationships. I feel lonely, and sad, and mad; even dreaming about it. Any words of wisdom/support would be greatly appreciated. 

Been there

Please don't feel like you're alone.  My husband took a new job a couple of years ago that involved a great deal of travel.  He would leave for a week and not call to talk to me or the kids.  He wouldn't even leave his itinerary of where he would be.  We dealt with it over and over in counseling, and I of course thought he was cheating.  Well,  he wasn't--just viewing life through that paper towel roll.  Anything not in front of him, he doesn't see or think about.  

I'm sorry I do not have an answer for you, as we are currently separated and moving toward divorce.  Treatment and medication did make a huge difference with our problem for awhile...but there would be huge steps backwards that I couldn't handle.

Good luck.......being a single mom isn't easy, and I know you feel like you are one with his travel.  


Thanks js

So sorry about your situation. I never thought ADD would have such an impact on a marriage. The paper towel roll view really hurts sometimes.  Best of luck!

I feel for you

I'm going through that too with my boyfriend (he has ADD) and it's very frustrating to me. He's very busy right now working extremely long and pressurized days and hasn't answered a single email or text or call for two weeks. Our relationship is very new and I don't know what to make of this. It seems to me he's trying to get rid of me without having to say anything, but that doesn't really jive with his behavior in the past - when he's felt concern he's asked for us to have a talk. The paper towel roll analogy scares me though, and makes me wonder if this relationship might not be right for me after all, which is very disappointing. Other than this one thing I'm crazy about him! He is a really kind, sweet, loving man.

Absent Father/Husband

After 25 years of marriage, finding out about an affair and having our son diagnosed with ADD, I finally put all the clues together and realized that there is a strong possibility that my husband has ADD and that this was the main reason for our dysfunctional marriage.  I can really relate to the posts about being an absent father and husband.  In '99 by husband said he was unhappy with the marriage and said he was leaving.  He did not say when he was going to be back.  He comes back one week later and then 3 weeks later takes off again for another week.  No calls home even to check on the kids.  Fast forward 5 years, we continue to struggle as he tells me that if I just didn't say anything we might be ok (comment makes no sense).  In '04 he takes a job out of the country.  I stayed in CA with our kids.  He takes off and disconnects his cell phone.  I had no way to contact him, only through emails.  He does not call our son or asks me how he is doing.  When I would ask my husband to call him he said he would and then didn't.  Unfortunately, 4 months later he asks if he can come home to try to work things out.  I foolishly agree.  Fast forward to 2010.  He is about to lose his job and comes up with the idea of taking a job in another state.  Again I stay in CA.  While gone he again rarely calls our son who is also clinically depressed (gee, could having an absent father all his life have something to do with that?!).  In the year since he has left, he has not asked me at all how I am holding up dealing with all the stress.  Three months at a time can go by without him asking me how our son is doing nor did he ever level with our son that he would not be home every month like he originally told us he would.  This had to hurt our son as basically he abandoned him and me.  When I bring it to his attention that he hasn't asked me about our son he makes an excuse that if he did ask me then I would blame him for our son's ADD problems and even tries to blame our son for not calling him.  Both our children have lost all respect for him and no longer want to talk to him.  I have finally realized that the marriage is over.  What I want to say to all those who have ADD spouses is that as long as you are in a marriage with someone with ADD, I believe you will have struggles.  I spent 25 years of my life which I can never get back with intense frustration and things only got worse.  He was not attentive to me or our children.  You will never be able to make sense of a lot of things they do.  I have really had to fight the urge not go over and over what he says and does.  It will never make sense!!  When a parent blows-off their children and not call or be attentive to them when they are home, that's when you know you are dealing with a situation that is much more than just two adults whose relationship is not working.  My husband just wanted to be a friend to our daughter and never discipline her and never could relate to our son who struggled more in life because of his ADD and depression.  Big decisions like where our daughter would attend college were only handled by me.  Never did he ask how the counseling or medication was working for our son.  Didn't even ask to see our son's ADD testing report.  He showed no interest in any of it!!  So remember, the absenteeism will go way beyond just not calling.