ADDer and feelings

This is a question that I am hoping the Adder's on this forum will respond to as well as the non-Add spouse with how their spouse/partner deal with this issue.

Do you find it difficult to express (speak your feelings, write a letter/text/email, ect) your feelings of love to your spouse/partner? 


Dealing with it...

Explaining my feelings is very difficult for me. Disputes and misunderstandings in my house are best worked out through email or text messages after a cooling off period.

I am the ADDer and disputes are not ever attached to my ADD, just me. Verbal communication has vastly improved since my diagnosis almost two years ago. In the old days, my wife got mad and I shut down hardly able to utter a single word. The meds have helped me respond to the situation in a more productive manner, but this is still a work in progress.

The ADD is not ever brought up in our disagreements, so I am not sure if I am the luckiest ADDer around or not, because I am the only one acknowledging it's affects. I am trying to learn as much as possible about how ADD has affected me, us and everyone around me.

Text gives me a chance to organize my thoughts and think about what I am about to say, before throwing them out. The face to face communication can go wrong too fast and when I feel/hear the anger. I know I used to just hope the conflict would just go away, but know I hate it lingering on.

Now days I think: What is the problem? Understand how it happened. Explain my view. Listen to her view. Admit fault, or accept apology. If we are still divided, then agree to disagree on the subject. Move on from there.


I hope my DH and I can get to

I hope my DH and I can get to that point when we discuss issues. However, DH states what he wants to happen and that is the end - if I try to share my side he says that all I am doing is re-hashing what was already done. So basically, if my view is different from his - Im wrong.  Im only right when I agree or do not attempt to understand his point of view (no asking questions to understand).

My original post was really about if ADDers are able to say to their spouses "I'm sorry for how the ADHD makes me behave" Or "Im sorry" Or "I love you" Or "I want to work things out"...ect.

Basically, as the non ADD spouse I am trying to understand why my DH has never once apologized for anything that has gotten us to this point.  I have admitted and apologized for my mistakes and bad behavior past and present - I have told my DH that  I love him again and again- no response.

So I am trying to figure out if this is and ADD challenge or just my marriage.

Thanks for your imput. 

My husband won't necessarily

My husband won't necessarily say he's sorry for the way his ADHD makes him behave, but he does do things and apologize for them that are (I feel) directly related to his ADHD. "I'm sorry I snapped at you, it wasn't your fault" things of that nature. There have been times when he would have rather died than to apologize, it seemed. Even if he was blatantly wrong, it was somehow my fault. I also can totally relate to the "if I don't agree with him, them I'm wrong" thing as well. Agreeing to disagree did not come easy...and still doesn't always.

Apologies for his behavior, holding himself accountable and taking full responsibility for his actions came only after many, many years of us going round and round about whose fault everything was. I don't mean "I'm sorry I didn't come home last night" kind of apologies...I mean "I'm so sorry for all of the hurt I've caused you and all of the things I've done to you" kind of apologies. This only came after I decided that my life was changing and told him things were either going to be different or we weren't going to be together...and it took a lot of time and patience and is about 90% better.

It isn't that they are incapable of A) seeing the pain they're causing, B) being remorseful, C) apologizing and taking responsibility...but I cannot give a word or description of why the walls stay up and they refuse to accept any fault other than it being close to the same reasons that I didnt' want to accept that I was angry and bitter and contributing to the problems myself. Change comes HARD. Going outside of your comfort zone is torture...especially when it is all you've ever known for so long.

As for "I Love You's" ....never been an issue here. That would seem to maybe tie into the whole "control" thing. Has he never expressed his love for you this way or did it just stop when the ADHD spiraled out of control?

I'm a woman. No I do not

I'm a woman.

No I do not have problem with expressing my feelings. I have a problem with over expressing, I tend to circle when I talk and everything always has a lot of detail. I get the impression a lot of men have this problem, ADD or no ADD.

yyz: "Now days I think: What

yyz: "Now days I think: What is the problem? Understand how it happened. Explain my view. Listen to her view. Admit fault, or accept apology. If we are still divided, then agree to disagree on the subject. Move on from there."

Love that! That is how ALL 'situations' should be handled...ADHD or not. :)

You know I don't have ADHD, and my husband the best of my knowledge:

-no he doesn't have any problems telling me he loves me, how much he loves me, how lost his would be without me in his life, how much I mean to him, how beautiful he thinks I am, how good of a person he thinks I am, how lucky he is to have me, etc.

-he HATES communicating about anything significant over text. He HATES e-mails. I communicate better in writing...feel it really helps give me a chance to say what I want, editing and deleting things I don't really want to say. We have found a compromise for this problem by keeping a journal that we both write in. He hasn't always responded to things I've written (just like he would ALWAYS...and I mean ALWAYS ignore my e-mails), but for the most part it has helped. If I am having a tough day at home and need to talk to him, I will write in our journal (or just in a notebook) and show it to him after he gets home. My interrupting his work day with marriage problems (which cause him to unravel at the speed of light) had to stop. So this works best, but it has been hard for me to 'wait'...since I need to fix everything..yesterday.

He prefers face to face, uninterrupted conversation...and before he started meds, this was a very effective way for us to spite of the occasional misunderstanding or disagreement. Since starting meds, he has been far more defensive, I never know what will set him off (things I would have NEVER dreamed), and our communication has suffered greatly. Before meds, we would sit and talk about anything and everything...there was no need for 'meetings' and avoidance of certain topics until counseling sessions, etc.

It is all getting better...thank the Lord. He recognizes what has happened..and we are working to fix it.

We have gone through periods in our marriage (best I can tell they are the 'dark side' of ADHD that Dr. Hallowell talks about) where communication was NILL! NOTHING. If I left him alone and never uttered a word to him, he wouldn't acknowledge my exsistence. It's devastating.

I hope this helps some.


Just wanted to add....I

Just wanted to add....I prefer talking face-to-face as well, but developed a habit, over the years, of sending e-mails feeling maybe, JUST MAYBE he would 'hear' me that way. It never worked. Talking face-to-face was nothing more than 'round and round we go' or 'he said, she said'. I guess it was a way to drive my point home...because I never felt heard.

We were able to talk more face-to-face until he started meds (again, getting better) and the e-mails had vanished. The journal was my idea because I feel that there are sometimes thoughts and feelings that need to be said, but not necessarily be part of a conversation, ya know? We don't have to hash out, sort through, and analyze to death each and every thought we have. It was a way to share thoughts, concerns, fears, feelings, joys, etc...without actually having to have a conversation about it. Originally my thought was it would be a way for me to say "that really hurt my feelings when you XXX" or "I am so proud that we are doing so well" and stuff like that...but it has become a way for me to express myself when he isn't available for me to talk to him. He is trying to accept my need to do this and I am trying to accept that my timing sometimes sucks. (like calling him during work to discuss heavy issues).

I think that's a very good

I think that's a very good tip, no matter what couple. We don't always think about what the other person is doing and just contact them whenever we are upset, it's so easy to do that nowadays with email and all. But if I'm in the middle of focusing on work I would also get annoyed at my husband if he sent me a long email with "feelings and nagging" as I would view it as at that very moment. Having a notebook or similar system that the other can read in when they feel ready and open for that kind of communication is really clever. I've heard of people having a set day in the week or month, set time, so both are prepared and know what to expect.

I also dislike text form. I really do love it as you can read things over and over and really give something a second chance etc it's just too hard for me to follow. I call a lot, if I have a question about something I spend nothing but a few seconds trying to google it then give up and call the company or whatever it is directly. It's safe, then I don't misunderstand or.. miss something.