ADHD husband wont work how can I help and motivate him? please help!

I love my husband we have been married 3 years.He has admitted to this problem but we don't know how to fix it!Any advice or help please please tell me!His work schedule is flexible so he gets commission and can go when he wants. He doesn't want another job because it pays significantly better then any other.He is REALLY great at what he does when he does it. The problem is when it comes time to work he wont do it, he thinks up every excuse in the book to push it to later in the day and then it's too late and tomorrow is the magical day,me ignoring it doesn't help and the more I nag the more un motivated he gets and sometimes angry with me.  He will take naps or just sit and stare at the TV or online,he gets in this zone where no matter what I do or anyone does or says he just can't do it. We've tried incentives and all kinds of things! He will be incredibly motivated and confident until it's time to perform then he zones out,even if it means loosing his job. He is not a dirty person,I know this isn't him he wants to be successful and respected not lazy, I know he is better then this! What can I do or say to help motivate him him? I'm scared to have children because I want to be able to provide for them but we creep more and more in debt and that doesn't motivate him either.I'm also worried about how he'll handle other future jobs.He has been diagnosed with ADHD a year ago, taking his meds does help sometimes but it seems like we always end up back here and I don't know what to do or say. Schedules help alot but there are still many days where he will think of another random excuse why he couldn't follow it that day. He's really the sweetest,nicest guy,great people person,everybody loves him and is impressed by him and he is great at what he does and incredibly smart but I don't know what to do. Please help he has so much potential and I hate to see him struggle!  Does anyone else struggle with this?

I can relate

I could have written your post myself.  I understand what you are saying about his not working.  I remember when I was first married I knew there was something wrong but I didnt know what it was.  Our second year of marriage my husband( ADD inattentive) was laid off after working 18 years.  It was such a disaster.  He did not go back to work for 4 years.  I then realized that I had to be the bread winner and do all the housework and be a caregiver for my affected spouse.  I am the same.  I knew that having kids would just add to my frustration and I could not take on another responsibility.  I have been married 16 years now.  It has been a destructive road for me.  My spouse has been laid off two times and not worked 8 years of that time.  I am frustrated and mad all the time.  I am tired.  I have lost myself and I see no hope because he will not get the help he needs.  I guess what I am saying is I have enabled his disfunction so he has no reason to get help. I  have prayed and prayed for someone who knows what I am going through. This web site has done that for me.  I no longer feel like I am the one who is crazy.  Right now we live as roomates and he is working but he sleeps alot and he is on the computer all the time. You have only been married three years and there is hope.  If your husband could get on medication regularly and get a great life coach. he can make it work.  If not you are headed down the road I am on and it is not fun.  I wish you the best.

I can relate too

I married a man three years ago who has ADD. I did not know that he had ADD before I married him I found out about one year after we were married. When I met him he was working at building his pool business and was actually hyperfocused and worked about ten hours a day. When we got married he began to hire other people to do his work because he said that he could not handle it anymore. About a year after we married he sold the pool business and decided that he would go to school full time and not work. Well this this really affected our marriage in a really negative way. I became resentful at having to take care of everything financially as well as most things at home. During this whole process I became pregnant and had a son. We have been married now almost four years and my husband has become a full time professional student. Despite struggling with his studies due to the ADD he continues to pursue anything that does not provide income for the family. He also seems to have a problem staying in one place he always wants to travel (he spent 7 weeks in Europe over the summer despite my feelings) and he has even mentioned living in California two to three days a week for a possible religious study progam. Is this part of the ADD? We were in marriage counseling for about year and a half. The therapist was the one who sent my husband to a psychologist to get tested for the ADD. He is now on Aderal for the ADD and I notice a little change but not a major change in him. He is still disorganized, impulsive, not willing to work for an income, and set on pursing what he wants to do regardless how it affects the family (although he won't admit to it). I know that my attitude has not helped the marriage in a positive light either. I relate to him mostly from anger, resentment, frustration, and regret. I think I have lost all respect for him and I find it almost impossible to see the good in him. I know that he has many good qualities but for some reason I can't seem to focus on them. At this point we have stopped going to marriage counseling because he did not want to go anymore, but I am still going to individual counseling myself. Both counselors have in a round about way suggested that I should start to prepare for a divorce. It's a hard decision to make especially when there is a toddler involved. Most days I feel hopeless and sad to think that my marriage is in the state that it is in. My husband is completely consumed with this studies morning, noon and night. He is not really apart of our family, I do most things alone with my son, and he really is not engaged. I thought that the Aderal would have helped more but it hasn't despite adjustment in medication levels along with different med's that have been tried. I want to end by thanking everyone who has written on this site. It has really made me feel like I'm not alone and that I;m not crazy. It has been a real inspiration for me. Any advise from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Bless you and yours- Snook (plese excuse any grammatical errors)

Add husband who delivers no income

I read your email and can totally relate. I married someone who had ADD but I did not know it at the time as he was hyperfocused on building a new business. 1 year 1/2 later we had a daughter and he no longer had the business and refused to work full time. He maxed out credit cards and I continued to work full time and payed all the bills. Finally I divorced him although like you it was a hard decision with a little daughter. I do not have to deal with the chaos, the anger, the irresponsibility and let me tell you he has not gotten better. It has been over 2 years since we divorced. He rarely pays child support (but always has a reason why) and he is struggling financially and working short term jobs. Child support enforcement agents are after him as well as collection agencies. I am just glad I am now back on track, I have my own home (he did not get it as I owned it before we married). Oh also he dabbled in prescription drug abuse as well which I found out is common in ADD folks. Despite all of this, he and I are on good terms (I just try not to think of how much he owes in child support and I let the state take care of that). He lives nearby. I have primary custody and he sees our daughter every other weekend. I still love him but I know it's better this way. I would have been living on the street if we stayed married and my anger would have just continued. Our daugther is much better off with us not together. It is hard but you have to think of your child. My ex was on Adderall too - I did not see much improvement. You deserve the best and so does your child. Don't keep suffering!

For Newto this

You have enough insight into how the two of you relate that you have already discovered that nagging makes your husband even less responsive to your requests.  So take the high road and resist the temptation to get his attention this way (it gets the attention, it just doesn't get the it's ultimately destructive for you).

You might consider either a financial counsellor or a marriage counsellor.  But not one that will spend lots of time diagnosing him...rather one who will spend time helping him develop enthusiasm for what he needs to go off to do, so that you aren't put in the position of needing to do that.  Also, he might have some issues with depression...not sure on this one from what you've written.  There are some anti-depressants that also treat ADD (Wellbutrin is one) so that might be a med for him to consider trying.  He would need to talk with his doctor about this.  It also sounds as if there are significant highs and lows for him - I would also talk with a doctor about those.  It's possible he's been misdiagnosed, so make sure he's dealing with a doctor who really, really knows about these things.

TV and computers are a form of self-medication for people with ADD (when you do these activities your brain increases the amount of dopamine it produces).  This suggests that your husband's treatment is not yet in the ideal zone.

As for you - you can't force him to change his behavior, but you can change yours.  I would first figure out how to get your fear under control.  This is for two reasons - your fears about your future are real and understandable, but they add to your problems by reinforcing that you are losing confidence in the relationship.  It is hard not to have significant financial worries these days, but research shows over and over again that we often make bad decisions out of fear.  If you can talk with someone about how to diffuse that fear a bit I think you'll benefit personally, and that it's possible that your relationship will benefit as well.  Second, you do need to start asking yourself some tough questions about what's important to you.  You've made some good decisions so far (not having kids until you are confident it's the right thing to do is one of them).  Are you willing to forgo kids forever if that becomes one of your choices?  If not, are you willing/able to raise them primarily yourself (or do you have family that might support you in the event of a divorce 15 years in the future?)  Are you so in love with the positives of your husband's personality that you can overcome your concerns about his financial issues?  Could you be the breadwinner for the family and feel good about it?  It may be time to start exploring your own feelings and see where you wish to draw the boundaries in your relationship (this is a theme I return to over and over) and for yourself.  The two of you are certainly inter-dependent as a couple, but I would hate to see your fear of what might happen in the future (completley unpredictable by anyone) so color your present time that your fears become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I don't know if this helps, but it's at least some ideas to think about.