ADHD wife, communication issues

I am a newbie. My wife was diagnosed with ADHD recently and we have been married for less than a year. One of the things that troubles/concerns/frustrates me is that (among other things) she often makes inappropriate comments which many a times sounds awkward and rude. Her comments makes me wonder whether she thinks about what she says. When I ask her about her comments, she says that it is all logical and ok to her and she gives a long winded explanation as to why she is right. Even that sometimes doesn't always makes sense. When I confront her with the inconsistencies, she immediately goes on the extreme defensive and says that I am not being supportive of her views and that I am always supporting the other side.

The problem is that she has been doing this with all of my family members (especially the close ones) and I am concerned that there will be a point when things will get strained.

I want to help her and ensure that my marriage works out well. I would appreciate all suggestions in this regard.

 

 

 

Elisabeth's picture

ADHD wife, communication issues

Hi There, 

My boyfriend has ADD and also has this particular symptom of it.  He too has a fairly new diagnosis (October last year) so we are still learning how to manage ADD in our everyday lives.  The thing to understand is that there is a reason your wife says these things - and that reason is the ADD.  A few things to think about - has your wife accepted her diagnosis?  What have the two of you done in terms of understanding ADD and her own symptoms and how to manage them? Have you worked out what tends to trigger her symptoms i.e. stress, fatigue etc?  Does she take meds? How comfortable are you with your family?  Do they know she has ADD?  If so, I would suggest talking to them about what ADD is, even emailing them sites and information to look at and talk to them about what your wife's symptoms are.

So if you and your wife are comfortable about talking about it with each other, sit down together and do some fact finding.  Go to a site that lists out ADD symptoms.  Go through them and understand that your wife may not suffer from all symptoms, but work out together which ones she does - you will see that saying comments that may be inappropriate is one of the symptoms.

In terms of does your wife think about what she says?  She probably does.  The issue being that to her the comments do make sense - in her mind they do as do her explanations, but not everybody thinks like she does. As my boyfriend put it, (I read your post out to him), he said it's like he will think everyone is on the same page as him, then out comes the comment and he slowly realises that he was a number of chapters ahead of everyone else in the conversation.

It helps when people you are close to and deal with everyday know about the ADD and also know what the symptoms are so when a comment comes out that is off the mark (or other ADD behaviours are showing), then people understand there is a reason behind it.  We are very open with our family and friends, and even when we are out, we have social cues for each other too, such as a hand squeeze and a nickname for the ADD so if there are any issues with comments or other ADD behaviours, we can privately alert each other without having to make a public showing of it.  Things such as stress, fatigue, alcohol can also increase the strength of the symptoms.

When you wife does come out with one of these comments, it is important to talk to her about it, but not in an accusatory or blame-laying way.  You need to use non-confrontational language and let her know that you do see her point of view, but also that you can also understand why so-&-so may have misinterpreted it.  I find with my boyfriend facts work well.  If I can say "because of this and this, Mrs X may have been hurt by that comment" he can then see it from the other side too.  Your wife may feel very self-conscious of this behaviour so you do need to have a gentle approach.

Good luck with it...Just always remember your wife does not mean it and not to take it personally, but it is something you can help her to manage.

Big Mouth Wife here..

I understand your post and what your wife is doing. I am a little more lucky b/c I was actually diagnosed 23 years ago, so I have been dealing with my ADHD tendencies for a while.  I have always been told I talk alot and its been joked I have a "big mouth." When I was younger my mom used to punish me for saying certain things, and I didn't understand this. AS I grew older adn worked on delaing/coping with my ADD I found good friends that would help me realize wheat I was doing/saying.  They wold do this in a nice way.

 I can't say I was perfect, I knnow that my problem with not realizing how what I was saying was being recieved by others drove many peole ot of my life. ( mostly men) 

Now God has brought me the BEST husband ever.  When we first met he totally did not even believe in ADHD. AFter a while with me he is a total believer in it and using medication as a part of the treatment. Also, we have had to work on how I talk and communicate with him and others.  He was even willing to go to my couselor with me. ( which I also, feel is a good part of dealing with ADHD)

I agree with Elisabeth "When you wife does come out with one of these comments, it is important to talk to her about it, but not in an accusatory or blame-laying way.  You need to use non-confrontational language and let her know that you do see her point of view, but also that you can also understand why so-&-so may have misinterpreted it.  I find with my boyfriend facts work well.  If I can say "because of this and this, Mrs X may have been hurt by that comment" he can then see it from the other side too.  Your wife may feel very self-conscious of this behaviour so you do need to have a gentle approach." Before my husband learned this and was frustrated with em I wold totally tune him out.

Gentle is always the best approach. ALso, my husband and I have found a "secret word" works well in public. If he hears me getting a little overexcited he might say our word or give me a little tap under the table. LAter on if I don't understadn we talk it over and he explains nicely that "when I said this others might think __________"

Just be understanding and if you and her are new to ADHD, I agree that you should study abou it and the tendencies that come along with it. Also, I highly recommend finding a counselor that works with ADHD. When I was diagnosed at age 8 I and my mom both went to a counselor. He taught me how to work with my ADHD and taught my mom how to work/live with me and my ADHD. 

Good luck and don't give up. We all need good understanding men.

PS I hope my answer was not to ADHD and you can understand what I am saying.