Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I have read the "ADHD effect" book and it was a revelation.
I have been married to my wife for 12 years, and while there have been "issues" it was a happy marriage for the first ten years. We have a son who is 9.
Recently we have moved to another country and this seems to have triggered something in my wife. She also had a long form of covid that lasted for many months. The "problems" (textbook ADHD symptoms) were however there right from the start pretty much, I just didnt know what they were and what to do with them.
I first thought she has narcissistic personality disorder and was fairly set on that - until I came across the ADHD symptoms...... I had no idea and now I have gained a fairly clear picture. I always had a feeling that while her conduct taken at face value would indicate narcissism, there is a missing element - she isnt taking advantage of other people, she's not in it for the gain or for admiration, I am pretty sure of that. As selfish as she may come across at times, it doesnt look like she's out to get an advantage, there isn't any malicious intent in her actions and omissions, it's just that she can't get her act together in so many things.
I had long resented her for getting up in the morning, making herself a lovely cappucino and not even asking me if I want one too. Or just not bringing the products home from the supermarket that I enjoy, she would usually come back with the bare basics only. Or the fact that when we are on a vacation trip (that I organised all alone) she wouldnt even see if she can find a nice restaurants or do anything at all. She's really bad with household cleaning too (and if she does something it's usually really sloppy and I have to do it again) and her own bathroom is so dirty honestly I wouldnt use it myself. It's filthy. Her clothes are thrown into the wardrobe with no system, some not even folded, it's a complete mess. I heard about the "ADHD walk" with the posture sway and it's 100% her. She also constantly runs into things, she forgets to switch the iron off and leaves the house for a week. It's scary at times. She left the gas cooking stove on twice, burning away the whole night. She has no vision or goal in life other than make her boss at work happy - which she does consistently, her shortcomings at home and in our marriage are completely absent (it seems to me from the outside) at her work life.
I task her with easy things like "Please buy a bed head for your bed otherwise we'll have to paint the wall when we move out" and she says yes and nothing happens. That was a year ago and she still doesnt have a bed head. She also wasn't able to buy placemats for the dinner table, I have to do all these kinds of things myself because she can't get them done. I manage all finances, insurances, pension plans, travel, etc. 100% myself for the family, she has no interest. She hasn't picked up a paintbrush once, hung no photo on a wall ever, and generally drifts along in our life without making substantial contributions. She can't make a family home a nice place, it's imposible for her.
The thing that got me thinking and really alarmed was when our son got a diagnosis for severe dustmite allergy (and we live in a rental place with an old carpet). We treated his room together and then explicitly agreed that she would take care of the necessary steps from there - meaning vacuuming, dusting blinds etc. As it happened she was away for a few days and I got around to vacuuming his room with a new dustbag, and it was shocking. The room was absolutely filthy, six weeks after my son's diagnosis. When she got back I confronted her and she admitted she had not vacuumed it even once. She wasnt able to say why, just that "i didnt expect this". I got soooo angry with her and our marriage is seriously on the rocks now because of all of this. We have a serious problem with me being the parent and her being a child in our relationship, and we both actually acknowledged that even before I came across ADHD as a possibility. It's terrible. I sometimes think of her as an imbecile, despite the fact that I love her so much. I have zero trust in her that she can get things done and contribute to our life.
I am scared to confront her with the suggestion that she may have ADHD. Not only because she might reject it, but also because I was set on her having narcissistic personality disorder and now I'm pretty sure I am wrong with that. What if I am wrong again? I will come across as a husband who is trying to label his wife as mentally ill, it's not who I want to be. And maybe it's NPS after all or maybe something completely different... who knows....
How have others approached their better half with this topic? I am so scared of doing the wrong thing and ruining my marriage - which I really want to save - irrecoverably.
Hoping for some of you out there to share your thoughts and how you went about it in order to get your partner to seek a diagnosis. Many thanks from downunder