ADHD Wife with housewife issues

I'm a 25 year old woman who has been married for just about a year and a half to a wonderful man. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 6 years old, and tested many times over the years. I've been to see several doctors, tried multiple types of medications, treatments and therapy. Currently I take 30mg of Adderall twice a day, which I hope soon to bring down to 20mg twice a day.

When my husband and I got together in 2007, we clicked in everyway. We both wanted a traditional family where he was head of the family and I was head of the home. He knew that I wanted to be a housewife and stay at home mom. Before and after we got engaged I tried to talk to him about my issue of having ADHD and that I do have problems with conflict, focus, and getting things done, that I've been having problems like that my whole life. He responded everytime that he doesn't believe that ADHD exists, that its something that doctors and drug companies came up with to make money, that I just need to focus and do what has to be done. 

Well, we got married at the end of 2007 and have a loving marriage except for the fact that I have a problem with getting housework done. Let me go back and explain something first. When I got married I didn't have insurance to stay on my medication for adhd and I didn't get back on my meds for about 8 months into the marriage. And convincing my husband that I needed to get back on treatment didn't go well at all.  For those 8 months I felt like a child, no matter what I did I couldn't keep my mind focused on getting even something simple done. Putting dishes in the dishwasher, making the beds, etc...Now I'm back on my meds and its helping out a lot, but there is the problem with the hyperfocus thing, (anyone with add/hd know exactly what I mean). My husband would come home and see that not everything was done, that I wasn't doing what I said I would do when we got married. This would start huge fights that would last hours, that would leave me crying like a baby and hardly able to talk because I was overwhelmed with not knowing what to say. He would complain about how I can't communicate and when I do I go into a huge long winded detailed story. I don't know how to break things down like he can. I just wish he could understand that.

My hardest problem is staying focused and not procrastinating. Its not fair to him or myself that I can go to work and work hard there because it's a job I enjoy, but when I'm home I can't do simple house chores. I hate feeling like a disappointment to him, I hate knowing that he thinks I'm being lazy and that I'm doing this because I don't love him. I hate that he feels like I'm not contributing to our marriage. He sees that I can read and play a game for hours, but I have a hard time being the housewife I said I wanted to be. He tells me everytime during a argument that ADHD is just an excuse, you just don't want to follow through, you can't be an adult and grow up and get over it. How can I get him to understand? I don't know what to do, I really try and I see why he's upset. I just don't know how to get over my complications and do what I need to do without giving up.

Oh my goodness....     My

Oh my goodness....



My husband just left me for these very same issues..... and my money spending habits.  Wow... I am so sorry.  I hope you have found some sort of solution by now.

Tips that can help manage adhd

Short version at the bottom of this post :D

I have been undiagnosed adhd my entire life, I am a 33 year old housewife and a mother of 3. My mom did not believe in adhd  when I was little so she refused treatment and/or diagnosis. I would always joke, I swear that I must be adhd...  Just a couple of months ago, I finally got diagnosed with adhd with the help of my doctor. I have been living my whole life with no support or help, the worst thing about it is I thought it was just me. When I did the testing I laughed and looked at the psychiatrist and said. "Can I take this home and show my husband? It's like me, on a piece of paper."  I got on adderall 10 mg twice daily and let me tell ya. It's like the whole world slowed down. Instead of not remembering what happened that day and have it flash by as if it were a dream that you only remember a little bit about. Now it's like the second hand on the clock is moving at 1/4 of the speed and the days seem to last forever. I am getting used to this, at least now I understand when my husband says this day is just dragging on though.. My household struggles are a lot like yours with one exception. My husband, though he may not quite understand adhd, tries to help me as much as possible. 

Two words that can change your life Behavioral Therapy. I Just started, and I can already see how this is going to work. The great thing about behavioral therapy is you both have to go at least to one together. That way you can both know what needs to be done and the what to expect. From the sound of it, your husband needs to learn a little about adhd and how to help you help yourself. I had my therapist talk with my husband about my type of adhd which is combined, believe it or not we both chuckled when she went through the list of symptoms because it is like she was reading about me out loud. I am also bipolar, so that adds a whole new level of difficulties. One thing that may help is to make a weekly schedule for home life. Think small though, because big tasks tend to get avoided like the plague. For example, Monday clean the toilets and wash some laundry. Tuesday pick up clutter in the living room, and sort through mail. Wednesday vacuum the floors and so on. You do not have to schedule a time to do these things unless you want. but it is important to schedule a deadline time. Mine is before my husband gets home from work. I like checklists myself. Look at the paper and check it off when it is done. MAKE SURE AND PUT THE PAPER SOMEWHERE YOU WALK BY A LOT!!! Otherwise, you will get distracted and not get back on task. The tasks can not be huge or they will get avoided, make sure schedule only an hour or two tops for chore time. A little at a time is much better than none at all. Trust me I know. If my house gets too messy, I look around and get overwhelmed just by looking at it. Then even more flustered trying to figure out where to start. My suggestion would be to pick some stuff your hubby constantly bickers about. Because that is what bothers him the most.


On the not knowing what to say or the long winded, and if you are anything like me 50 million subject changes that never even get the whole subject covered before you move on to the next. (I tend to change the subject right in the middle of the sentence a lot.Or start talking and just stop randomly and not even have a clue what I was saying just a second ago.) So I feel ya hun. Try writing it down and make it like a checklist. Don't wait til you get into a fight to whip it out either. I tend to butter my hubby up before I have to do something that may upset him like talk about things that are bothering me. Like cook him a nice dinner and then when his belly is full and he is all content I just ask him to come sit down so we can have a talk about some stuff and that it isn't a big deal or anything. 


As you know we can ramble on so I will put the shortest version possible here:

Behavioral Therapy

(Tell your Psychologist or Psychiatrist what you are struggling with the most and they will work up a plan to help you change the behavior that is causing it.)

Try to educate your husband about adhd in a pleasant manner. The way it was explained to me it's like your brain communicates like a circuit board on a computer, and sometimes there is a short in the circuit that causes the data to be lost in transmission. This is only one part of it though and I am sure your psychologist could help him understand during the first visit.

Make a schedule for chores and tasks that need to be completed and only put a couple things on it each day, think small. Put a deadline time on each task.

I like to schedule them early, so I have the reward of free time after.

If you have the funds, hire someone to help you start with a clean house. I like friends, family or a cleaning service could work too.

But make sure and look around and make a list highlighting the problem areas especially. Mine are folding laundry, Dishes and any kind of paper.

Use a checklist for cleaning.

Treat your schedule like a checklist. Mark it off when it's done. 

Jobs are structured and have deadlines, Your home life should too. Since structure and a schedule work great for adhd people.

On the money part. Try carrying a set amount of cash for the week. And when you run across something you just "have" to have like right now, just stop walk away and wait until tomorrow. If you absolutely just can not live without it then out of each paycheck put back a little money and purchase it. You know what I mean too, I have things that I impulse buy then they sit unopened and may not get opened for months because I forgot all about them by the time I got home.

Lastly adhd is not an excuse, it is a disorder that we have to constantly work with. Sometimes the symptoms can be a little overwhelming  but with effort and support they can be managed.





This such a great post because it is so real, and full of self-awareness, sane, calm and productive ways to tackle people's struggles with acceptance of the effects of adhd on them and their spouses...I love it....I notice the lady you replied to posted in 2009...I hope things have worked out well in her marriage...

As a husband that was quiet ignorant of the effects of add on a person....I was a lot like the husband in the original posters post....When we came home from work (the days she bothered to come home, lost in that mind in some dollar store;)) and her adderall had wore off...All I new is I got very little support in maintaining the home, meals were on my own ( unless I cooked, she usually could find time to eat)....I could only she how overwhelmed and tired I was....And like him; I chalked it up to laziness, unconcern and lack of love...:(...7 year's latter and much conflict, separation, counseling...etc....Things are better!

What could have helped us before the insane ride started....This same self-awareness you and many adder's on this forum freely talk about with their struggles....Pre-marital counseling in this way would be huge....But, Sadly Fear of rejection among other things hinders self-awareness in us all....

I really pray you guys' can move forward...And your husband can be at peace w/ your struggles....And his own:)



c ur self

I noticed when she had posted but it was on the top of the search results, so I figured it needed a reply. Not really knowing why I am, the way that I am my entire life has lead to many struggles and self-hate. It has taken many more just to figure out how to manage many of my symptoms. Like I said un-medicated and undiagnosed for all of my life. I figured even if this lady never sees this post someone else might. If I can help even one person with the experience life has given me, then it is worth my time and effort. :D


c ur self

I do believe that we will be fine. I also hope that the original poster found a solution as well, if not then maybe peace within herself. 

Thanks for your kind words, If more people were willing to understand the struggle, support each other and work overcome each others problems together as a couple as you have there would be many more happy marriages than divorces. that sure is one lucky lady to have that much support behind her.

Insight does help

Very true, us adhders really could benefit by hearing how it is on the other side of the fence. I know that being my husband must be a challenge every day. Fortunately, he starts each day with a kiss. No matter how yesterday went or where the day goes from there it always starts out with love. This little bit of effort keeps the love going even when we are strained due to the messy house, laundry, when I get distracted and forget about dinner, or just whatever it is that may cause strain. That one simple act reassures both of us that we are here for love and we stay for love. No matter how hard it gets, just remembering how much you love someone can make the struggle seem more worthwhile.

The big picture

I'm glad your H starts the day off right:)...Just trying to step back and see the big picture of what it takes to get through each day as responsibly as we can...Sharing in everything we can:)...I'm an emotional person, so I have to recognize that and keep it under control...Not overreact to things, that are just her getting through a day:)...I had a working Mom and a single parent home....So learning to cook and clean was just something my brothers and I learned at an early age...It as served me well;)

I've always been a go getter...probably have add to some degree....terrible listen, my mind runs fast w/ several thoughts at the same time...But, I always found ways to cope and turn it into strengths...

We really are a lot a like....maybe that's what makes me mad....She hogs all the fun....and scares me so of us has to be the adult...LOL...


Great List Such a Postive Attitude!

I made the comparison to getting on Adderall to not knowing you needed glasses, and then getting them and you can actually see!  It's nice to hear other peoples experiences with this.




Yeah, that is about right Seems like everything is spinning out of control and you just can't stop it no matter how hard you try. You get soo wound up into everything that even the tiniest little thing can make the balance shift and it will all come crashing down.