ADD spouse taking meds but my feelings are still indifferent

Hi, my story is probably similar to many others here: undiagnosed ADD that progresses to diagnosed but untreated ADD that progresses to a burnt out non-ADD spouse. A little over a year ago I completely lost my mind--years of financial strain b/c my husband couldn't maintain adequate self-employment and refusal to get a formal job, his "checked out" lack of presence as a husband and father (unless he wanted sex!), staying up late watching movies, refusal to get help for himself or us etc. etc. couple with my own screwed up belief that a good wife "submits" to her husband, isn't disrespectful (a good idea btw but never seemed to help resolve our issues) led me to class A breakdown. I never exploded-I just...was done. I don't know how else to describe it. I didn't hate him or want to punish him, I just didn't want to have to be married anymore. And boy did he change! Started getting treatment, making lists, trying to be helpful. It's been a year now and I'm still feeling the same way...I don't want him to touch me, I really wish I didn't have to be married. Has anyone else experienced this and if so what did you do ? Stick it out and your feelings eventually changed? Let the marriage go and wish him the best?  I'm genuinely curious. So many people here seem to either still be frustrated and angry or the spouses have gotten treatment and are moving in a positive direction. Are there any who have spouses who have changed and there is still indifference. 

We've been married 17 years btw. Thanks!!

I'm So Exhausted's picture

28 years here

Hi Jenb13,

I totally get it.

We are approaching our 29th anniversary this fall.

I have been in mourning over the dream I really believed I was making.

My spouse is who he always was.  All focused on himself.  In absolute denial about our relationship.  I am done.  Worn out.  Nothing left.  I am shattered, and trying to figure out what to do for ME as I have nothing left to even try for us.


I think the issue here is

I think the issue here is expectations. You either stay with him and accept the fact that he may not be what you visualized as a husband, even with treatment...or you move on. If you truly love him and want to make things work, you'll stick it out. But if you don't love him anymore, and you don't think there's any hope, then you need to give him a chance to find someone else. Some people are just not cut out for this life. That's not meant to be mean, but it's something I've observed on here. In order to be married to an ADHD partner, you have to have tenacity and willingness to fight no matter what.

I never stopped loving my ADHD hubby through all the crap we went through. Over three years of it. Our marriage was a disaster from day one. ADHD caused a lot of it, but stubborness and poor marital examples just added fuel to the flames. We were separated for a while--not formally, but he refused to live with me. It finally took me deciding to file for a formal separation to shake him out of his malaise. Suddenly it was, "I'll work on the ADHD", "We need to give counseling a try", etc. I gave him a chance and he took it. He doesn't always get it right but after awhile, my feelings did begin to change. I'm more positive now, though I still have bad days when I get resentful over having to do the housework or basically anything that I want done at that moment. Some days it's hard to ignore the couples that look so in sync together and seem to be apart of an equal partnership. I've learned to never judge a book by its cover. I've learned to love him in despite of the screw ups. 

After 18 months of counseling, our counselor said, "The difference between you two and all the other couples I counsel is that BOTH of you want to make this work." That makes all the difference in the world. If he's willing, and you're willing, get into some counseling together. If you have any doubts, then I would suggest that you get some counseling on your own and then make a decision. It may be that you've gone too far together and want to be done. But you may discover a little bit of hope buried beneath all the stress and residual bad feelings. I've learned that you absolutely have to put away the past if you want to move forward. I still have trust issues and we're still working on them, but making a conscious decision to not worry about what happened in the past makes a big difference.

Best of luck to you. I hope you find some happiness no matter what your decision is.


That would be me. Long story short, I left my spouse with untreated ADHD last year after 12 years of marriage (15 total together). I practically crawled away at the time, I was so flattened by the whole experience, which included years of the same "checked out" behavior, some verbal abuse, and his refusal to enter any kind of treatment or counseling. After a month or two on my own, the same thing happened to me. I was just done. I wasn't mad, I wasn't looking to fix things, I just wanted to be left alone and not be married any more. My life was so, so much better without him. 

We reached a general friendliness when co-parenting our children. And a few weeks ago, he tried to reconcile. It threw me for a few minutes. Then I thanked him and said no. I think for me it was simply too late--I felt the same indifference you do. I wish him well and I want us to be friendly, particularly for our children, but I don't want to be his wife any more. 

I am thinking that if it has been a year for you, and you don't feel differently, that may be telling you something. What would your life hold for you if you stayed apart? What motivation do you have to try to find a relationship with him again? Most of all, don't feel pressured in any way---you can take as much time as you need to figure out what is best. You may find that you wake up one day and the answer is there for you. 

My best to you.