My wife and I have been married for 2 years. Last year, I was diagnosed with ADHD and am now being treated with Adderall. At first I felt dramatically better, more focuses and able to do the things I needed to do. This new found ability to focus led me to do something I had wanted to do since I had graduated high school: Get a degree. I am now a month into school, which I am doing online. I have to work full time and then I return home to go to school full time. I find myself so focused on completing all my work that I neglect my wife. This has led me to feel very guilty and angry with myself. My problem is, in order to provide for my wife and future family, I need the degree so I can't quit or cut down on school. But this anger and inpatients with myself has led to me throwing temper tantrums, and nit picking small things my wife does that frustrate me. I am blessed with a very wonderful and patient wife, but my own guilt at not being able to give her the emotinal attention she deserves and my constantly raging anger have led me to think it is in her best interest if she were married to someone else. I know that the facts don't point that way, but I can't seem to find anything that will either rectify the situation (i.e. keeping myself calm) or to make me realize that my wife is willing to be patient while I get my degree so that we can live comfortably later. If anyone has any advice or experience with similar situations I would be ever grateful.


It sounds as if you are being harder on yourself than your wife.  Getting your degree is an important step for you and your family.  It will most likely improve your financial stability in the future - something that you both will surely appreciate.

There are times in a marriage when one thing or another must "give" in order to reach certain goals, and it sounds as if you are in one of those times.  That said, no marriage thrives if one or both partners is feeling ignored.  Perhaps you can do this:

  • accept that school puts lots of pressure on you and that's okay.
  • get your wife's promise that if she starts to feel badly about how your life is unfolding she'll bring it to your attention right away.  This should help alleviate some of the guilt you feel as you anticipate that she feels neglected - let her tell you when she's feeling neglected instead.
  • talk with your wife about how quickly it makes sense to do these courses - perhaps half time would fit your joint schedules and goals better?  Or perhaps getting it out of the way as fast as possible is the best option?  Make sure she is on board with your timing for the schooling, since she, too, is sacrificing for it
  • schedule some once or twice weekly "high intensity" times together when you are all hers - a once a week dinner out, or two hours of sex every Sunday afternoon, or a scheduled walk where you can talk deeply and hold hands, or a going to a live sports event where you just have fun together, or....  Something that you both treasure (and change what this is as needed to keep it fresh.)  Guard that time from the encroachment of other obligations and it should help you feel better about your relationship.
  • talk with your doctor about your spurts of anger - perhaps they are related to your medication, not your schedule (Adderall can make people moody).  You might consider trying a different stimulant

Melissa Orlov

You are doing the best you can for your family

Grant yourself a PRESSURE PASS that says it is okay to be stressed, but you have to figure out how to handle the stress.. Don't beat yourself up to your body's reaction to your situation--you have a lot on your plate. I am a strong believer that putting in a relaxation CD (NADINE MANUEL is my favorite) that puts you in a relaxing hypnosis prior to falling asleep will help you feel more rested and able to handle your day. Stress will lead to cancer and disease (I am a survivor of cancer age 34) ---- it is killing your body to live under that constant cloud of stress. You need to find ways to let it out. Listen to your body. I am not a HOKEY POKEY type of person, but one hour of hypnosis sleep is equal to 4 hours of real sleep. Try it and keep thanking your wife for being your support system. However, be so careful not to abuse her verbally or emotionally. This will cause more damage than you will realize. Just try to give yourself a break and don't be so hard on yourself. Maybe you need a drug for anxiety. You know Aderall and stimulants amplify the anxiety your body feels. Good Luck and let us know if it gets any better, -Doodlebug