Adhd spouse with anger, poor communication and verbal abuse issues ** Need advice!

I am married to a spouse with adhd and my spouse will not get help.  My spouse blames me for everything.  When I try to talk to my spouse about my feelings, concerns, fustrations, etc he always puts the blame on me, says I like to argue, says I enjoy fighting, ends the conversation, etc.  In the past ten years of our marriage he has also called me names, said I had bi-polar, ocd, personality disorder whenever I would try to talk to him about things that were bothering me in the marriage he would get very defensive and angry and if I got upset or pushed my point any more towards him that is when the name calling would start.  I have endured a lot of pain and hurt and I don't know what to do anymore.  He will not admit that there is anything wrong and continues to blame me for everything.  He is always on his computer working and I am alone 95% of the time.  I do all the housework, yardwork, cooking, cleaning, taking care of our kids.  I feel like a single mother.  I am very tired emotionally and physically.  I am tired of living like this with him.  I know in my heart that I deserve much better.  I am very angry for getting into this position and feel stuck.  Please help!!  Any advice would greatly be appreciated.  We are going to counseling but he still thinks it is me- he twists and manipulates what he has said or what I have said to go in his favor.  Sometimes he will act like a child and ignore me for days and will even avoid eye contact with me over hte silliest things.  I am just so tired of all of it.  I am very fustrated!!!  He also worries to no end about germs, the kids, other people, etc.  To the point that my oldest child is having issues with anxiety and worrying too much.  I really want to leave but I feel stuck because of the children.  Anyone out there in a similar situation?  I am tired of being the one blamed. 

This has been my life too!

This has been my life too! It is hard to hear these comments, and to live this rollercoaster. Start by reading- Melissas book, hallowells driven to distraction, beattie's Codependent no more. Find friends to support you (not just to vent but to really give you the warmth you need). Seek a counselor who knows adhd for yourself. Exercise, take care of yourself- in other words, take careof yourself first. Read the many posts here...

Thank you

Thank you for your advice.  I am so emotionally drained from all of this.  It has been a hard twelve years (outside of our four beautiful children).   I have been called and labeled as having every disorder or problem there is.  I have been laughed at, mimicked, made fun of all because I wanted to talk to him about my feelings and things that were bothering me.  Now I am alone all the time while he is on his computer constantly.  I feel like a single mother even though I am married.  I truly don't know if I have the energy to continue with this.  I have been trying for my children but I don't know if this is the best example of marriage for them- I worry about them and how they view a husband, father and marriage.    I am going to order the books you recommended.  We are seeing a counselor and it is helping a little but he still blames me.  He says he has it all figured out and that I have bi-polar.  He has also said in the past that I have ocd and I also have borderline personality disorder.  He is so mean- doesn't even see it- he twists it all around- won't admit to even saying those things to me and will do this in our therapy sessions- he is soooo manipulative!  I have alot of anger right now towards him and have been trying for so long.  He just won't admit that he has a problem.  I'm hanging in there but honestly I just want to leave.  Sometimes there is too much hurt to be able to move forward. 


My husband plays the blame

My husband plays the blame game too.  He constantly reminds me that he is unhappy and has been for so long because I have not "met his needs."  He does not realize that I have been so busy parenting him and keeping the house managed, that I am exhausted!  No to mention, the intimacy has suffered because of the parent/child dynamic that has developed.  I accept responsibility too, of course.  But it wasn't until he was diagnosed that I started to research and discover why I was not interested in intimacy and why we were not connecting. I hope it is not too late for us. I am trying to get him to attend one therapy session with a new therapist. He accused me and the former therapist of "ganging up on him."  I just need to say these things to him in a safe environment. We are literally weeks away from a divorce trial so it is my last chance.  He seems to be getting more receptive to going with me.  I have backed off considerably and tried to be unavailable to him as much as possible.  It's a tough love approach but the more I back away, the more he seems to come closer.  It is encouraging to see that others have been struggling as well.  Hang in there everyone!

Ok...first you need to ask

Ok...first you need to ask yourself what it is exactly that you're wanting to let him know..what you're needing to say? Is it something you've told him before? Are you hoping the neutral environment will make him more open to listening to you? I'm just trying to figure out what it is you're hoping to gain from getting him to go to a joint counseling session with you.

Having said that, my marriage is living proof that communication break downs when married to someone with ADHD is a HUGE issue. You do often need a neutral party to help decipher the he said/she said. It is clear that you are coming to terms with the "OMG, I AM partially responsible for how things have gone so horribly wrong here" lightbulb moment and that's great. That is really where you need to start working on you. (telling myself this too...I've lost my sense of I'm not even doing as well as you at this point). At the MOST I would tell him each week "I have an appt with Dr. XYZ at 2 on Thursday, you're welcome to come if you want. I would like that" and leave it at that. Letting him know that you want him there, but letting it be his decision is your best chance at getting him to come.

If you have things you'd like to say to him and feel that a face-to-face about it wouldn't go too well, then maybe you could buy a journal and start writing in it and invite him to read it at his own convenience. Don't aim anything at him "I only reacted with anger because he...." but do it as you did above.."I just didn't know what was going on and my overwhelming sense of '' took over and I made a lot of mistakes. I assumed a role I didn't want. I became controlling. I became things I didn't want to be." You might add that you realize (if you do) more now what his struggles must be like and how he must have felt controlled and disrespected.

Man, it was a hard pill to swallow when I realized that my husband's accusations (me being controlling) were true. It is extremely hard not to try and grab the raging bull that is busting up your family and home by the horns and try and tranquilize him...but if I had know then, what I know now, I would have let him do his destruction. I hate the anger. (Sounds hillarious as I even type it, but I certainly don't love it LOL). I hope you are able to communicate to him what you want to say, even if you don't get him to come along with you to counseling. I think you're doing great. Don't consider it tough love, because it isn't is you letting him be an adult and that sometimes means you have to sit back and watch the train wreck a few times before it gets on track and gets it right. God help, it's very hard. :(

That's some great insight,

That's some great insight, thanks. Yes, there are things that I need to say in an environment where he cannot walk out or yell.  He has the tendency to take any input I have as "lecturing."  So when we have gone to a therapist in the past, he listened.  And he showed his compassion by touching my leg, or getting teary.  When we are home, he gets angry and says hurtful things.  I think therapists ask the right questions.  And if I respond to a question (about him) directed at me, it seems less like I am talking AT him.  He listens instead of lashing out.  See the difference?  I need to own my mistakes and I need to tell him that.  Up to now, I think he feels that I blame him for everything and that I have no role in the breakdown of our marriage.  He  already feels like he is broken or dysfunctional.  So I know the anger and rage he directs at me has little to do with me.  But it still comes out and we get nowhere fast.

As I read more and more about the impact it has on couples, I see myself just as much as I see him.  It is textbook.  I guess it will help me to admit that and I think he needs to hear it.  At home, anytime I own it or apologize, I think he thinks it's a ploy to get him to stay (empty words, promises.) I am a teacher. I'm used to working with kids and maintaining control.  He accuses me of treating him like one of my students. And I think he is right on occasion. I just want to help him and nurture him.  But I know that is not all there is to being a wife.  The sensual, physical side of me didn't show through since the mothering kicked in.  I feel awful and I hope him hearing that will open his heart again.  We've known each other for 11 years.  We are best friends. I think he just doesn't know what to do with his frustration. But the fact that he comes around and needs me so much, tells me something is there. It just needs to be rediscovered.  He has brought up the therapist twice since we last spoke about it.  If he brings it up again, I am going to invite him.  I have kept my distance these past few days and he has seemed intrigued.  It is hard but it is the quickest way to get a reaction out of him. Chasing him and expecting things only push him away.

Responsible? Huh......

In such a case, which seem to be the same "type" as my husband, I do not agree with the “stop the controlling, just sit back and watch the train wreck. He’ll learn” theory. This is useless & dangerous in many ways because letting an ADHDer of that type, drive the entire family in the wall just for him to “learn”, badly damages the rest of the family. Nothing else. Gingergirl's husband  seems to be soooo like mine! In other words, he does not seem to be worrying one bit about what he puts her through.... So learning from what? No matter what she asks, and how much she suffers: It seems that he could not care less. As long as SHE suffers and HE does not, what would be the incentive to move forward? 

On the contrary Ginger, I would say that your FIRST task is to secure and control everything that could cause serious damages to YOU (bank, property, IRS, savings, career, etc) & drop the rest. Why? Because you need to be on your feet to support your kids. The last things you want, if you plan on getting out of this ordeal, is having problems with all of the above. You are responsible for ... Well nothing! I don't buy this "responsibility of the non ADHD spouse awareness". If your husband breaks his leg playing tennis, nobody would have the weird idea to tell you that you are "partly responsible". Same thing for ADHD. Your husband had ADHD way before you guys met, none of that is your fault. Period. If he sees you miserable, if you have voiced your misery and if he refuses to commit to a solution, he needs to be held accountable for that like a real grown up! Period.

Sadly, all ADHDers are not the same. Some are nice loving guys struggling with their ADHD but willing to alleviate the problem; some, for any reason (I imagine because of a mix of personality disorder, history and core personality but, hey! I am not a professional) are quite frankly not so willing (nice?). Totally unscrupulous, not only are the latter refusing therapy but they are also making sure that their partner will be the only one to take the fall. Not them. When you are married to an irresponsible unscrupulous ADHDer , controlling, at least partly, is just doing your job as a parent toward your kids, by protecting them; and doing your job towards yourself by protecting yourself as an adult who has kids in charge. It does not mean that you ARE a controlling person; it just means that you have identified a potential danger hovering over your family and that you are taking measures: 100% common sense & good parenting.
Example? My ADHD husband gets into "throwing sprees". Basically each time I turn my back, he finds the way to throw anything (mainly mine)in the garbage; officially, “without even thinking of what he is doing” (then why HIS belongings never end up in the garbage can?). This includes my credit card. “Sit back and let him do his destruction” in this case is just unthinkable! This, if someone finds my card & uses it, could wreck my financial liability, hence my ability to own a car or rent a house (he filed for bankruptcy). As a consequence: I HAD to set 2 new boundaries: 1) You do NOT put a hand on ANYTHING that is mine ever. 2) No documents are thrown without my approval FIRST. Other example? He did not pay the car insurance, the insurance got cancelled and he did not say a word about it. He was driving us around and I was driving the car with no insurance until the insurance called on our home phone: Should I stop monitoring that? Huhhhhh No way! It's too dangerous.                                                                                                                                                            So yes, he is walking around whining about me being oh-so controlling & he seeks revenge for months (yes) but I could not care less. Am I a controlling person? Not the slightest.  Each single time he tries to start the blame game, he gets “you don’t want to commit to a therapy, I can't force you. But you don’t get to choose that I will take the fall for you.  I will not release the grip I have on what could have consequences on me, on the other hand you are 100% free to mess with everything that will touch you only” And I walk away otherwise I waste two hours listening to how bad of a person I am. Listening to his hammering criticism is acknowledging it and in the past has made him think that he was right! As soon as I have realized that: I have stopped!

My husband's “type” of ADHDers, apparently as Gingergirls', sees what is going on as “never his fault”. My husband is the victim in chief & the rest of the family (or therapist) are enemies. Therefore, they don't feel any guilt, ever! They would swallow your time, your energy, your youth, your health,your happiness,  your career,your savings, your properties, your entire life in no time and then turn to you like "so what?" if you let them. I know, I have been there and I have lost all of that to understand! 

Besides, through Gingergirls’ story, I just see mine. Let me tell you about my experience.                                                                              It took me few years of marriage to realize how manipulative some ADHDers can be! Even the couple therapist who was following us has been fooled for a long time! My husband has been diagnosed with ADHD (distracted version) 10 years ago but has had strictly no problem in his job, a spotless 25 year-career in the military with outstanding ratings from his supervisors. Now in his federal job, his evaluations are.... Pristine! But as soon as he is home, he presents with the complete range of symptoms plus more:                                                                                                                                                                                                                -not listening to anything -late fees on every bill -totally addicted to his computer and TV (he needs to have both of them on at the same time as soon as he arrives. He eats, returns to them, falls asleep with them, wakes up at 5 to be able to be on the computer again, then goes to work and so on) -forgets to go get his kids for visitation, (1st marriage) -messes with our healthcare coverage: the kids & I, have spent 10 months with no medical coverage because HE was covered & did not see why he should bother about ours! Of course he did not say ONE word about that until I found out. (What if, with 4 kids, one of us would have had an accident? Try to envision the bill....)                                                                          -messes with the auto/house insurance -erases job offers for me on our answering machine: officially by mistake also but this never happened with HIS messages -cuts me off-screams on me-calls me names...

Each time we went to see the couple therapist (military) he was preceded in the room by his spotless reputation , his crisp uniform, his 6'8, his total self-control &, icing on the cake, he was behaving like the coolest person on this planet! Each week, I was, of course, saying that I had spent one more week living in hell and…… I was immediately labeled as “the complaining lady with the perfect & loving handsome husband”!
I remember the therapist proposing the paraphrasing technique in order to slow down the rhythm of our arguments & avoid misunderstandings…. A pure joke! My husband was talking to me slowly like he would have talked to an hysteric “why don’t you want to try that? Don’t be so negative, we can make it” I remember replying “because as soon as there is an issue, you start screaming, & calling me names, do you really see me repeating “ Ok I understood that you called me a b*** is that what you meant?” (LOL!!)? It does not make sense! We need to address your anger management issues FIRST! Of course, he denied the problem & the therapist trusted him since he has had no report of any anger problem on the job!
As soon as we were in the car he was looking at me, seething with rage, saying: “I am certainly not going to do that! You know that I totally got that you and this frea*** bi*** of therapist have ganged up on me?” and I was spending the rest of the ride listening to him screaming about how bad I was.

The therapist did not trust a word of what I was saying until….. One evening, my husband was unleashing his violence on me, once again. It got to the point where I called 911 & he did not notice that I have dialed the number already. I did not say a word because he was literally screaming on top of his lungs but the operator heard (& recorded) his threats, his insults, his screams etc…. I then said “I am sorry I did not mean to call you” & hung up. Realizing what has just happened, my husband left the house (to avoid being arrested). 10 mins later the cops were at our door! It took THAT for the therapist to understand!
Of course she got MAD realizing that for over 6 months I was telling her the truth, he was lying & she trusted him… She reported him.
On this very day, things have changed. I have realized that the keyword was: SANCTION (I know it sounds "tough love" but all the listening and the acknowledging and the "I take responsibility" I have been advised to apply, drove him to only ONE THING: be more abusive). As long as he has managed to deflect the consequences on me, it has actually fuelled his abuses and the other symptoms. He has never been abusive on the job because he has understood that there would be consequences to his misbehavior. Since that date, I have made sure that each misbehavior has consequences.
Now, Is it consistent with a loving relationship? To my opinion, No. How do I see the future? Not bright, because no one should you be obligated to keep their spouse at bay in order to survive. But at least have I managed to stop him from destroying me completely!

To me the key has been -1- Getting totally independent (Job, bank, assets) -2- Setting rules “you can talk to me anytime you want but ONLY on a civil basis: try and start criticizing, complaining, disrespecting me in any way and the next thing you will know is that this conversation is over” ” yes you can try to retaliate and sulk forever, but don’t expect me to pay attention to that or even consider that I could take care of you. I owe that to my kids, not to an adult that disrespects me. Your shirts are not ironed? Too bad: you will have to spend less time on your computer or walk around with a wrinkled shirt.” -3- Enforcing them. -4- Bargaining: Demand a win-win agreement EACH time.                                                                                                                                                                                                       If your husband ADHD type is the same as my husband's, you can be sure that he will take advantage of any guilt he will notice in you. Hence, according to my own experience, all the “take responsibility for the problem” “be compassionate”, is just the best way to get a first class ticket to a living Hell! Neither are you the problem, nor his personal therapist (leave it to the pros), nor a verbal punching ball, nor have you any obligation to share the burden of the consequences of his misbehavior. Period.

It is a bit "my way or the highway" but it was either that or sinking into depression. Then if you want to remain in this relationship, or not, is your decision. Of course life is not comfortable with so many measures and rules but if your love for your husband is strong enough, and mainly IF YOU can handle this, after all: Why not?

I wasn't responding to

I wasn't responding to Gingergirl...first. Second, I would never let my husband be in charge of bills, insurance, or anything else that could affect me and my children in such a huge way if/when he 'forgot' to pay it. That isn't controlling, that is common sense. Third, I'm not talking about letting go of things that you CAN control, I'm talking about letting go of things you CANNOT control. Otherwise, you're asking for insanity.

Lastly, I did let go and let my husband hit a brick wall...and he lost his job, we almost lost our home, and he almost lost his life. It was the best gift I ever gave him. I immediately went back to work to save us from losing our home (I hadn't worked a real job in 14 years) and because I finally let him go and let him fail (or succeed) on his own, although he did fail, he is now succeeding in a way that he NEVER has in all of his 39 years. Short of handcuffing him to the bed I couldn't stop him from drinking and abusing various other substances. Short of drugging him and physically dumping him in his office at work, I couldn't make him go to work and keep his job. Believe me, I tried for FAR too long...and it probably cost me several years off of my own life. 

I have never had an experience where a therapist believed only him. I have never had a lot of the experiences you describe. What you describe, your own personal situation, doesn't sound like a marriage...but a managed roomate situation. Fortunately, I can have compassion and not have a 'living hell'.

It seems if he is in denial

It seems if he is in denial about his condition and it's easier to blame you for what is or isn't happening. I could be way off but it's easier to blame then want to change or attempt to fix his own problems.

Stay strong and

Stay strong and "present"/mindful (as Jon Kabat Zinn would say). Setting boundaries is a really important thing when your spouse is out of control but probably a really hard one without crossing the line into what they see as possibly controlling. However, things like verbal abuse shoukd not be tolerated and you can try to stand your ground by refusing to engage in conversation when he denigrates you... Say in a calm voice (be calm), "I dont want to call names or blame each other, it makes me feel bad. Lets talk later when we can be more respectful.". Or something like that? BTW, these are great books- please just dont try to "enlighten him" with all this great info, just yet. It seems historically many DH take that is more blaming and finger pointing- instead, for now, use these books to educate yourself on the possible dynamics of your relationship and to help give you a better view of things. Give yourself time to digest all this..You are doing great! :)

Long-Term Perspective

Yes, my husband blames!  When I married 21 years ago, I thought I knew how to communicate clearly, by choosing a good time, listening with an intent to understand the other person, not interrupting, pausing to think and respond in a thoughtful way, not blaming, looking for a win-win.  But many of our conversations still veer off into annoyance and fighting, even over minor issues.  It took me years to figure out that a conversation often took the first wrong turn when my husband would find a way to blame me for what I said, not saying it clearly, not understanding what he said, and having bad communication skills from a difficult childhood.  There are other conversation problems too, like arguing about small things, jumping from topic to topic, defensiveness, duplicate conversations because he can't remember, anger, yelling, interrupting, extended monologues, saying many things three times in a row in slightly different ways.  He easily can talk nonstop "at me" for 20 minutes ".  I feel diminished, unheard and helpless, while I'm still trying to understand his point of view.  Sometimes I show annoyance or fight back.  Either way, the long-term anxiety of not settling simple issues, both being emotionally reactive over many sore topics, and fearing the next argument has seriously strained my health.  Also, it's impossible to confidently plan getting together with anyone because we have so many arguments followed by the strain of putting on happy faces, so we've withdrawn from much social life.  And I dislike myself for doing this for so many years.  I think his blaming may come from feeling shame as a child and later.  I'm clearly codependent and in addition to Beattie's book recommended by lululove, I high recommend Pia Mellody's books "Facing Codependence" and "Facing Love Addiction".  I'm now about to leave my second marriage (even though my husband is absolutely wonderful in all the ADHD positive ways) because I don't want to fight until I die, even if the fights are in fact my fault.  I applaud Melissa and others for overcoming their problems.  Perhaps it boils down to communication.  They apparently have a spouse who is able to listen without getting anxious, pause, and then respond without taking over the conversation and blaming.  And/or one able to try diet/meditation/medication or reading a book about ADHD.  Gingergirl, sadly my perhaps unorthodox advice is to give it your best try and don't keep trying for many more years.  Children can also be damaged by angry, unhappy parents and time isn't waiting for you.  With only one exception, my many friends who divorced in mid-life were able to happily remarry.

Thank you all for your advice

Thank you all for your advice and sharing your experiences.   I, unfortunately, do not see my husband changing.  He has convinced himself that I have a "disorder" of some type and will not accept any responsibility for his add and verbal abuse, etc.  Just last night he again despite our counseling and working on our communication threw another hurtful comment my way.  My youngest son, who is four, has recently bee diagnosed with add also.  We were discussing genetic factors and that it runs in families, etc.  When I told him this was something that I was concerned with for the kids he replied to me "well, there are some mental conditions that I am concerned with also with the children."  Implying that he is worried that my "conditions" that he has diagnosed me with will effect them.  I am so tired of the blaming, the not having anyone to talk to, being blamed for liking to argue, mimiked, made fun of, put down,etc.  I don't see any long term change in this man.  I have to agree with Mary on the last post, being married to a spouse with add or adhd can work ..... if your spouse is willing and has some communication skills.  In my situation, I don't think, unfortunately, that will be the case.  I worry about my children and the example that we are setting for them.  When my husband is home the entire feeling of the house changes.  I can also see it with the kids.  I am going to try counseling for a few more months but if things don't drastically improve I am going to make plans to leave.  I will keep you all posted. 

Others people that experience same problems

I have been married to a man with ADHD for 13 years. It has it highs and lows and it hasn't been an easy road. He did not start treatment until December of 2010 and it has changed some for the better. Although being on the medicine, he is much more focused on the things that stimulate his brain. Plus family time is very hard for him on the medicine because he wants to stay busy until he is ready to drop. It has been so very difficult on me as we have 6 children. Like many of you, I am solely the one that does the majority of things in the home and with the children. It is very tiring sometimes. Sometimes I get mad and then I slowly pop out of it and try and think how much more difficult it must be for him. He has bought me flowers and some little things here and there which I am very thankful for. Although he has a huge lack of feelings so he does not comprehend when I'm feeling neglected by him. Which can be often. Sometimes he seems to have quick mood swings, seeming lovie at one moment and course minutes later. This takes a major effect on me. It's extremely hard when the spouse with ADHD doesn't have feelings to understand the non ADHD spouse that does have feelings. Sometimes it is very very easy to feel completely alone even though your married. Some days I feel so overwhelmed by all of this. Are most people with ADHD not very emotional or lack feelings? My husband has not cried for over 13 years even when his brother killed himself. Sometimes I fear all the past feelings he has kept inside will catch up with him and he'll lose it one day. Does anyone else have any of these problems/ issues in their marriage with their spouse?

ADD Emotional Control...

I can add a little personal ADD emotional insight, at least how it applied to my life. I was an emotional kid and would get my feelings hurt and cry and be sad. I also lived with an extremely mean and verbally abusive step-dad from age 3 to 13. This guy, after learning so much about ADD, is a classic case study for ADD. He took everything out on me. I didn't play sports, I like to build models, read about history, I was smart but often bored and had poor grades, and then the worst thing... I was a really good Bass Trombone player, not football, Band... Oh the shame... At the age of thirteen he told me I should be a girl because I liked to play inside and my sister was out playing football with the boys. I was nothing but a big fat sissy. I cried as usual, but this time was different... I was so angry at that SOB, that I vowed to never expose weakness though emotion again, and pretty much that is the case. Emotion shows weakness and would not give someone this upper hand again. Most of the guys like my step-dad were idiots and I could out-smart them easily and grin and give smart-ass retorts they could not understand, let alone respond to in an intelligent way. My main defense control system. I'm not proud of it, but I am not mean at all and I never start a fight and when I have opportunities to "I told you so" people, I don't because I sure know how it feels... Since the age 13 cry, I cried seemingly randomly at age 26 going through my divorce, which I wanted, and it was just spontaneous and unstoppable. My last cry was when my 1 of 2 best friends from High School was killed in a head on collision in November of 2000. My emotions are to this day still in check. I believe I can read emotions better in those around me since my diagnosis, but I am still pretty internalized and I let people see what I want them to see. Rambling again, I know... The Adderall is all but gone.

I hope some of this makes sense.




My husband indicated that

My husband indicated that when he was young his Uncle told him men don't cry. He took it to heart and just doesn't release about anything. He was close with his brother and I figured that he would show some emotions over the death. He never shed a tear at all. It worries me that one day all the pent up emotions and feelings will go off like a bomb. He went through a lot growing up and he seems to have used it as a new coping method to not deal with things. My husband grew up doing a lot like sports, band, vacations, and good friends. Somewhere he just locked himself inside somewhere though. Sometimes it must seem weird to him that I do cry and release and vise versa sometimes with me about him.

How does the Adderall work for you? That is what my husband uses and he now finishes things. I'm very pleased he does, but he is so stimulated that it's really hard to get him do much outside of his interests. Before Adderall we watch movies together a lot and now I'm lucky if he comes in before 12 a.m. from his shop. I imagine I should just be thankful he is busy and doing things that he likes and completing them now.


Works pretty well for me. I understand getting locked into something, so I try to lay out a couple of goals for the day and having a better awareness of time. I focus on each project and tend to finish. It's all the distractions that used to make this impossible. The Adderal affects are not perfect, but really help my scattered brain.

One note about emotionless responses... It can be safer to seem stoic rather than try to use our immature emotions to help support. I always feared making things worse.



Holy moly

Yes, I am also to blame (his mind today). Imagine this (as only all of you can): After an already busy/stressful few weeks, happy, but stressful, we're laying new floor today. Uh, yeah, house is all over the place (although I do get to organize a bit), and the noise... Elec. saws, etc. All was great, I was the love of his life. Then I left to do errands. Sigh. He's 68, barely diagnosed, untreated, we can't talk about it. BUT, I started seeing my own therapist a while back, that started to get me on a better track. Recently I discovered, "Scattered" by Gabor Mate. He has ADD and has provided me with hugely needed insight. I'm half way through the book, it just makes sense now. I feel for all of you, I feel for me. I also... with all my heart, and most truly feel for, and love my husband. -B

so sorry

gingergirl, I have experienced much of what you write and I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I feel you, so much of what you wrote. 

The best thing I ever did for myself was admit to myself that he was not going to go to counseling with me anytime soon, and I went myself. I also read Melissa's book and it helped me understand the disorder much better. My spouse has taken medication in the past but currently is not and has not done anything further to acknowledge how ADHD affects his or our lives or to treat it or manage it in any way. 

I didn't know a human being could endure the amount of pain and anger that I have been through in a decade. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I know he has been through his share as well, and it is so sad. 

There are things you can control, and those you can't. You can try your best to communicate but you cannot make him do anything, including change. The advice to let go, to let him go, and focus on yourself and your children is the best I have gotten. Not in that "forget him! I'll show him, I won't have anything to do with him" kind of way, which I tried a few times, but the true, "I want to live as the person I want to be" way, with integrity, and happiness, and self-fulfillment. I do not like being an angry shrew. I like being a calm person who knows what I can and cannot control. 

The verbal abuse is the worst. Mine is a master of it, and a master of turning everything around on me. I, too have been called crazy, angry, the one with the problems, "your problem is that you are not a happy person," anxious, etc. And it sucks. Also because, from his point of view, at times, it is true--I am mad, and anxious, and controlling, and not happy. But here is the thing, really: he may never, ever, ever see your point of view the way you want him to, agree with you, or validate your feelings. Ever. I hope that he does, but you cannot put your eggs into that basket. I likened my situation earlier to hurling myself into a wall over and over again and hoping the wall would move. Instead, you have to believe in your own morals and values, behave in a way you are proud of, and take care of yourself. If he doesn't arrive at the party, then so be it (I sure hope he does, though). I can tell you that this doesn't mean you have to take sh*t from him--instead of reacting in an enraged or wounded manner and trying to get him to demonstrate that he "sees" how bad his behavior is (been there, done that), you can calmly tell him that it is hurtful to you for him to call you names, and leave the room. I tried it and at least I don't feel so awful afterward, even if he does not respond. 

Best of luck to you. 

Exactly describes my situation

I am 34 and married to a 27 year old man who was clinically diagnosed with ADHD as a child, along with his identical twin brother. Problem is, along with the issues you all have been describing above, I went through counseling as a kid in the 80s, before there was an actual diagnosis for ADHD. I was told that I was "hyperactive-depressive-disobediant" because they had no other label. Now, because my husband is aware of this, he ALSO uses this as leverage against me, calling me "psycho" and "insane" when we have fights. He tells me that I have "flawed logic" in arguments, after he has clearly twisted the issue back on me. I'm just about fed up. He gets violently angry (punches walls, throws his cellphone, you name it) when I ask about our finances (he is the sole breadwinner.) His reactions to any questioning result in anger, of some degree or another. It's as if I have no right to know where all the money goes.  When he dies give me money, he is all, sure honey, yeah go ahead spend it. BUT the second I do (and usually on groceries or household items NEVER NEVER on myself, omg!) He will say, SEE, you do nothing but SPEND ALL MY MONEY! I'm afraid to accept it, now, which he immediately notices and goes on the rampage saying I am "looking for a fight, don't be stupid, take the money."

I'm always walking on eggshells, and because we live in a foreign country and have no money and can't speak the language, I am essentially trapped here. I grew up in an abusive home and do not speak to either parent (their parents are also all deceased.)

I have no friends to speak of, and he also tells me that "I don't allow him any freedom." I never tell him what to do! I just don't get it. I tell him I think he has passive-aggressive disorder because all of his behaviors point toward it (my mother was.) Then he puts it back on me saying, no, you're saying that to MANIPULATE me!  Really, guy?? really... I've about had it. I think either I do myself in or I jack up the credit card and JUST COME HOME.

It's wonderful having someone who has the same issues mentally as me but yet calls me the psycho!!

nickyadams6's picture

In the same boat

New today, the more I read the more I realise what I've put up with. It's gotten worse since his heart attack in February What with him having adhd and bipolar I feel so alone , its a beautiful sunny Sunday in England and Im sat indoors whilst my husband and his son are in the bedroom on the ps3. Ignoring me. He wants me to move out because "we don't get along" I cant talk about my feelings , It'll spoil the day if I do , god help me , I have spent the last five years working put how to say things, what to say, when to say them I stopped doing my job to be closer to him , I work once a month as I thought we we're going to keep trying for a baby but naa! It's my own fault for being in. This situation I thought I could help and I have but it's all been at my expense , not just monetary. I don't think I've had a day when I've not been in tears over something since the heart Attack. But I don't care about him, I'm lazy and doing my job once a month is no career. I'm gabbling my grammar is rubbish I need help!!

I feel the same way in my marriage with my eife

Hello, I feel the same way in my marriage. My wife portrays an image in public but when it is just the two of us and our boys she gets very abusive verbally and I am always tinge blamed. I hear excuses on everything and she has never been wrong in the 10 years of our marriage. I have seeked a Psychologist for myself to talk the issues out. My wife is seeing a counselor that we both saw originally. The counselor did not want me to talk about ADHD or bring it up so I decided that I needed to see a Psychologist. My wife still sees the old counselor because she is hearing what she wants. I just want you to know that there are others out there in your same position.


good luck