All for nothing...

I guess I was deluding myself...  It's too late.  She's made it clear that it's well and truly over.  There's no longer any point in me nursing a false hope.

She doesn't trust me...  She can't rely on me...  She doesn't respect me...  She knows it's not my fault, but she doesn't want to hate me for something I can't control.  She doesn't have the strength to try a second time, and risk being disappointed again.

She thinks we were great as friends.  I'm not certain if I can go back to just being friends with her.

I'm not sure how I'm going to get through the next year, living in the same house as her until one of us can move out.



To Pb regarding "All for nothing . . . "

Ah, the drama of ADHD. I love it. How many times have we seen this on the site?

It sounds like she isn't saying anything new to you, that she hasn't said to you a million times in your "foggy" past.

She's still there (believe me, lack of money/resources does not keep anyone in a situation they want OUT of).

Even if there are children in the mix, she could give YOU the boot. Has she?

That year-long deadline leaves a LOT of time and room for major changes.

I suggest you call up all of YYZ's posts and read them. He did a lot of venting here, kept his mouth shut at home and got to work.

And is finally reaping the rewards of that very hard work he has done alone and unacknowledged.

She's watching, she's waiting. Get to it, man!



I'm in full agreement with

I'm in full agreement with best-is...

This is your chance, drama will do absolutely nothing and with your ADHD, trust me, it seems much worse than it is.  Biggest advice from best-is...:  keep your mouth shut at all costs.  put your head down, admit you are wrong even when you are absolutely positively sure you are right.  Give up total control.  If you want to stay with this person, you have to trust her, right?  so trust her...(I went through it and it is HARD).  But it works. 

God bless you,

Hard to function

Pbartender's picture



Let's all remember that the next time a non-ADHD spouse comes here to vent about how "It's time to walk away" or how their "Marriage has a deadline" or how "I am married. My husband is not married." or "What to do when you feel like you just can't take it any more...."  (No offense to the authors of those threads...  You know I back you up.)

Discounting my anger and sadness and loneliness and frustration as "drama" is unhelpful, disrespectful and mean.

"He did a lot of venting here, kept his mouth shut at home and got to work."

And that's exactly what I was doing in this thread.



Listen Mister

I don't care if you think I am being disrespectful or mean to you.  I really don't.  Do you know why?  Because I have ADHD.  I know the drama when I see it.  Someone needs to give you a swift kick in the behind.  I assumed that just happened since you are on here because your loved one just left or is going to leave.  Obviously it wasn't hard enough. 

Your anger, your sadness, your loneliness and frustration are very, very real.  I experience them daily.  Yes, daily and in a more dramatic way because they involve my two little girls.  Here's the thing.  Our reality isn't the world's reality.  Until you learn that, you will never change and your relationships will never change and you will miss out on the most beautiful things in life. 

If you want to vent, then by all means, this is the place to do it.  This site is a God send for that.  But listen, if you don't want input and advice and to hear what you really need to do, than say that in your post.  These spouses and loved ones of ADDers like us have been through hell.  And if they want to vent about walking away or a marriage deadline or just not being able to take it anymore, they have every reason to.  That is because their drama is real.  They stay in relationships with people like us because they love their partners and want to help and they just keep taking it until they can't anymore.  And don't put their venting down and then say "No offense to the authors of those threads... You know I back you up."...whatever (that's just you not owning up to your own feelings)

So suck it up.  What are you, 13 and upset about someone being "mean" to you.  Grow Up!  Until you realize that your story IS NOT about you but about the people you hurt, you will continue in your downward spiral. 


MagicSandwich's picture


I am printing this out and putting it on the fridge. Excellent.

Dear Drama

hey PB, as the author of marriage has a deadline...I totally understand your venting here, hell I do it all the time. If it helps you don't stop, vent to me, i don't mind. Its not drama its your emotions spilling out and you need a safe place to do it, just as us non-ADHD people do, this is the ONLY place i can spill my guts to people who understand.  I am sorry about the situation you are in, i'm sorry for the situation we are all in. I sort of flip flop myself between wanting things to get better with my H and wanting to just give up because I'm tired of Trying.  I just re-read melissa'a book and its helpful to see the ADHD struggle and see how I am responsible for part of our problems, but then when it says things like , only be responsible for yourslef, and setting boundaries, or doing 'learning conversation' i roll my eyes and say Who the hell talks like that, where you repeat back what you heard, i certainly don't have conversations like that with people...yes I know but when talking to someone who doesn't HEAR what is being said I guess it would be helpful but god I am sick of it all.  I just want a 'normal' equal relationship, and honestly as much as I do my part I don't think it will ever be what i want....but My H also doesn't seem to try, want to change, or isn't capable of change, even on the rare occasion he takes his meds, he doesn't change his habits.  Sorry how do we respond to someones post and always seem to end up talking about our own miserable situation....   anyway the point of my response was just to say i don't think your post are dramatic, at least no more than everyone else who writes here.

Pbartender's picture

Right on...

Right on...  I grok that.



Don't give up!

Don't give up.  A lot can happen in a year.  Keep trying, not just for her, but for yourself as well.  Show her you're changing, regardless of the outcome of your marriage.  Maybe that's what she needs to see.  Good luck.

PB again

I am sorry if you were offended by my comments. However, I stand behind what I said.

As far as YYZ venting, if you read all of his posts and the accompanying comments, you will see that he got hammered a number of times, too.

Coming here to vent is almost essential to your recovery-you need the support, but it’s not a free pass from honest, and I find almost always, constructive criticism.

The Defensive-PoorMe Meter on this site is pretty sensitive, let me tell you. We Non’s have been living with it a LONG time. We Non’s would be doing the ADHDers, who are trying to change their lives and rescue their marriages, a grave disservice if we didn’t call them on it. I sincerely mean that.

TOTAL honesty is the name of the game here. Personally, I take what any ADHDer says with a grain of salt. Because, let’s face it, honesty can be a problem with some, certainly not all, ADHDers. Experience tells us so. Chronic exaggeration, lying and alternate realities are so common a subject on this site, it’s almost laughable.

Again, I’m sorry you were offended. I personally am glad you are here, the insights offered by the ADHDer are invaluable and in many instances have led directly to changed and better interaction between spouses/partners.

I hope you stay. We do understand your sadness, loneliness, and frustration. Some of the Non’s here have been living in that same place for decades.

If I could give you one thing in this whole heartbreaking business, it would be patience. I wish you that.

Pbartender's picture

Yeah, I get what you're saying...

If you haven't, read through some of my posts, too...

I wasn't exactly offended, but frustrated at what sometimes seems like a double-standard (granted, one that often seems deserved).  I'll never turn away honest and constructive criticism, but sometimes it crosses a line and what could be constructive becomes merely criticism.

The particular wording just struck a nerve with me.  I responded a little more defensively than I probably should have...  My apologies in return.  Partially because, in the past before I was diagnosed, if I was having trouble and tried to talk about it with my wife, she would say the same thing...  "Knock off the drama.  Suck it up.  Deal with it."  But as usual for undiagnosed ADHD, no matter how much I sucked it up and dealt with it, things never got better.

Now that I am able to deal with it in a productive manner, I'd like to believe I'm putting in a lot of hard work toward that goal and making some progress. 

I'd thought I'd seen small signs of hope from my wife.  Being told differently by her so succinctly hurt hard.  I came here to say the things I was feeling, but that I couldn't say to her, because there was no way it would have made anything better.  I had to get it out, before it shut me down.

hard to function... 

I'm sure everyone here can understand that, if I put my entire story in each of my posts it's be a lot easier to understand where I was coming from.  But, also like everyone here, it's a long story.  To even consolidate it down to the relevant highlights for each post would end up being a little ridiculous.  Suffice it to say that my undiagnosed ADHD was slowly ruining an almost 14-year-long marriage.  My wife moved to a separate bedroom, because neither of us can afford to move out.  Shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed, and I've been working my ass off to understand my wife's situation and to improve my station ever since.  So no, I don't need a kick in the pants, I don't need to be told to get to work, and I don't need to be told to quit whining.  I need to blow off a little steam from a bad situation so that I won't give up when to the going gets tough.


Yep, I went through a bit of that, myself.  Still am, in a way, as I am being forced to catch up emotionally to where she is.  This, right here, is part of that.

I can't speak for all ADHDers, but in my instance it didn't happen because I didn't take her seriously or because I thought she was bluffing...  Part of it was due to fact that I flat-out didn't get many of the signals she was sending, because of my ADHD.  Either I missed them entirely, due to the inattentiveness and forgetfulness, or I misinterpreted them (in fairness, she too, misunderstood many of reasons we were unhappy and having problems).  So, secondarily, none of the solutions we tried worked (at least, not in the long term). 

In my point of view, things seemed okay...  We'd have a problem (but every couple does, now and again), we'd solve it and things would be better.  We'd have another problem, it seemed like a different problem because we attributed it to a different cause, we'd "solve" it using a different tactic and things would be better.  It seemed like we were dealing with all our problems, when in hindsight it was mostly the same problem over and over and none of our solutions worked for long...  We just ignored the problem and "sucked it up" and pretended it wasn't a problem for a while.

She came to that realization first...  decided that there was no way to fix it, and it feels like she's sort of given up.  I hadn't gotten to the point of giving up, yet, and was trying to understand the problem and find a "real" solution, which lead to me being diagnosed.  So, yeah, I was surprised, but it wasn't so much about the fact that we had problems, the surprise was more about how far along the road to divorce my wife had traveled.  I knew there problems, I just hadn't realized the degree to which they had built up.




Dear PBartender,

I'm sorry to say you can't see past yourself.   I really don't need your whole story or the situation your in.  We are all there.  Maybe to different extents and with different histories but we're all there.  Go ahead and click on my name.  You'll see all my posts.  I'm not a veteran at this.  Heck, last week my dad and I had a big blow out in a parking lot because I couldn't control myself and then, I couldn't function the whole next day.  So, I did what you did, I vented on this website and got some very good advise.  Look earlier in the year, you will see the physical abuse I imposed on my husband and the verbal abuse my kids had to listen to.  But let me tell you, I just got finished cooking three separate dinners for my family while my husband sat down stairs playing with the kids and watching TV.  In the past, I would have said...not fair, he should help or he shouldn't expect this, or I would just be mad for no reason.  Now, I am so grateful I am still living in this house with my beautiful family I'll do anything. When I'm wrong, I'm wrong.  When I'm right, I ask my husband, "Am I right?" because I don't trust myself.  And you shouldn't trust yourself either. 

Here is the thing, I'm your biggest fan.  Yep, hard to accept that someone so blunt and to the point could be your biggest fan.  I've been where you are and I know you are capable of making changes and saving your marriage.  But you really have to stop talking and listen.   When someone you love has, not only a foot, but a hand and a head out the door, you don't demand respect, you don't set anyone's advice aside, and, for goodness sakes, you don't tell people they are mean to you.  You lost that right long time ago.  You gave that right to your ADHD.  Sinks, Huh!

 Go back and read everything you have written on this website...not responses to what you have written, but what you have written.  Look at how long and drawn out it all is.  Look at how you explain away everything and how you have been working your a** off.  Somehow, the rules of ADHD don't apply to you.  No, I haven't read any of what you have written except for small snippets here and there. They were too long for me and I can't keep my attention on things for that long (no joke)  I know nothing about you.  I really don't know if what you wrote is long and drawn out but my guess is yes.  My guess is that when people responded positively you thanked them and talked about how wrong you were and when people responded negatively, you wrote a message to tell them how upset you were about their responses.  You are text book ADHD. 

One more piece of advice before I leave you to your own demise:  don't respond to this today.  If you want to respond at all, respond tomorrow.  Think it through.  Then your point will be much clearer and you won't sound like a 13 year old.  Even if it is a negative response, at least I'll respect it. 

Good Luck!

See what happens when no adderall

Dear PB,

See what happens when I don't take my adderall...I am mean!!!  Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I took my own advice. 

I'm sorry.

I have been thinking about you all night.  I do that a lot when things really bother me or when I just can't get the right thing out.  I don't think you are 13 or your writings have been long and drawn out.  I even said that I didn't read them.  That was just me making no sense.  It's like my brain throws up all this garbage and it lands on the computer screen.

The things you have said reflect almost exactly what I have said in the past.  It got me no where.  When I see someone else doing it, I just want to shake them and say, look at me, you don't want to be like me. 

I will celebrate my 15 year marriage this year.  So, I, too, understand what is at stake here.  My husband moved out of the bedroom over four years ago.  It started when I was pregnant and very sick but now he says he just sleeps better there.  I use to question it and cry a lot at night because I just wanted to hear him breathing next to me.  Now, I'm just glad he and I are in the same house.  About a month or so ago, my husband got upset at me because I got mad about him not cleaning up after himself.  He gave me a long speech about how my behavior needed to stop.  I launched into the same response as you did..."I have been working my a** off trying to get it right. I know I'm not perfect.  I know that I get mad when you don't clean up after yourself...just like all normal wives do.  I take medication three times a day, I go to counseling, I read books and I blog...I will do whatever you would like, just cut me some slack here."  I said my peace and walked away and it hasn't happened again.  I carried it no further and he didn't either.  I know I still have a long way to go.  Look at how I react to you and I don't even know you...imagine how my husband feels!

I was going to edit my statement above but thought that would show I was a coward, especially if you had already read it.  So instead I decided to leave it.  The only thing I ask that you take away from it is that I feel very strongly about meaning it when you say you are working on it.  If you are on meds, take them, they don't do anything for you when they are in the bottle.  If you can, see a counselor--but only one that specializes in ADHD.  I can't imagine getting through this on my own. 

When I hit rock bottom in March, I hit it hard.  I really thought my husband was going to leave and take the kids.  I hid in the pantry under the bottom shelf most of the night and cried.  It was very lonely, sad, exhausting, confusing, did I say sad and lonely.  But that was my kick in the behind.  It was hard, too, and I never want to take another blow like that.  By March I had already been on medications and working with a counselor for six months...SIX MONTHS.  I thought I was working my a** off.  I would go to my counselor and complain about my husband not understanding or my family making me stressed because they couldn't admit they had ADD or old friends who don't call anymore.  But when I hit bottom, I realized that all that stuff was just fluff.  None of it mattered.  Who knows if any of it was real...but it was DRAMA.  What mattered?...My kids.  My kids mattered.  I could get through my husband leaving or friends not calling or parents not "getting it".  I would never survive if I couldn't see my kids.  At that point I woke up.  I realized it wasn't about me.  It wasn't my story I was ruining but theirs. 

My husband said he didn't care anymore, he just wanted it fixed.  He didn't want anything to do with it...I was on my own.  I knew that any effort I showed to him that I was improving, really wouldn't was too late.  So, the only thing I could think to do was take my meds on time.  That's it.  I could show him that I could at least do that.  And that is what I continue to do.  (except for nights like tonight when I'm cooking three different meals and forget).  It has been about another five months since then and that is still the only concrete thing I can think to do.  That, and keep my mouth shut.  But I can't even seem to do that without my adderall. 

In real life, I'm a pretty regular everyday person.  People in the community don't see me as a whiner or an out of control mother, as I'm sure you are a pretty normal guy.  Sometimes when you share deep meaningful or hurtful things with strangers, that becomes your identity to them.  I don't think that way of you.  I think you are just trying to do whatever it takes to change and make up for lost time.   I hope my initial reactions have not discouraged you from using this site.  That would be a loss to all of us. 

Finally, trust in God.  I hope you believe in Him but if you don't I'll trust in Him for you.  Anything with God is possible...ANYTHING!!

Take care of your family and then yourself,

hard to function

Hard to function. Don't beat

Hard to function. Don't beat yourself up.  I agreed with what you said in your strong response and was glad that an ADDer was able to say the "you need your butt kicked" whole story.  PB,  It IS time you stopped thinking about yourself and your needs from others and accept that your disability is going to take some extra work on your part.  As much as we all hate alarm clocks and schedules and other aids, if you need them, they will help you. If you love others, it is up to you to do the extra work for THEIR benefit. It is not all about you. THat is what love is.  As much as we all hate to admit our vulnerabilities, it is the person with integrity who admits them.  Everyone has their challenges.  HTF, I understand posting regret, but it is the cries from the heart on these boards that sometimes are the most helpful and telling the story as it is.  I also agree that these boards ARE a good place to vent - both sides.  I hope no one hesitates to write because we want other posters to "like" us.  I hope the truth of the emotions, feelings and thoughts keep coming and we do not try to just "be nice".  What purpose would that do?  This is anonymous, not a physical neighborhood.  Getting along on this site means we can and should "put it out there" to learn from it like we don't do in our actual personal lives.  There is something that is hurting us on both sides of ADD.  That is the ADD itself.  Let it show here so we can all explore it. 

isn't it ridiculous

My add is so ridiculous. I can't get a strong point across without feeling malicious and I don't know how to be kind and strong. I guess that is why I have relationship problems. Today is a new day. PB be smart. Jenna, thank you. God help us all! Htf

Hi Hard to Function, I have

Hi Hard to Function,

I have anger issues too, especially after my meds wear off.  I also take them 3 times a day to help circumvent that.  If I may make a few recommendations to help with the anger from someone who understands...

1.  Meditation...  I used to think it was a useless endeavor that couldn't help anyone with anything.  I certainly didn't think I could do it, given my lack of concentration.  What sold me on it was a few things:  A) Having read an article in a magazine which stated that studies have found it actually acts on the frontal lobe...the VERY AREA we need help. I have done additional research since which backs this study up. B.)  My insurance company pays for classes on meditation.  Why would I care about this fact?  Well, insurance companies are very careful about what they pay for...  They don't want to pay for things people need sometimes, never mind what they DON'T need.  If an insurance company is willing to foot the bill for this, they have researched it extensively and have concluded that the cost-benefit analysis is such that it is well worth it to have their client base meditate, because it has proven health benefits. A weird reason, but makes sense to me...  No need to go to a class if you don't want to (I haven't).  For a book, I suggest 8 Minute Meditation.  I will tell you that I hated it (meditating)at first, but now, I actually look forward to it.  The book teaches 8 different types of meditation over 7 weeks.  I like the simple breathing meditation (focusing on your belly breathing) because it's not distracting.  I find mantras annoying and distracting, but that's just me.   My husband has been supportive of this and is opinionated enough that he would have told me if he saw no difference.

Exercise helps too.  A lot.  YYZ loves his walks.  I like to run.  Both are great ways to help concentration and deal with anger.  Don't underestimate its' value...  Both meditation and exercise increase dopamine levels in the brain (though they don't replace medication).

You did a good thing by apologizing to PB. I know the anger thing is challenging.  Reading your non-Adderall and Adderalled posts was like reading posts from 2 different people.  Holy crap, do I know what that's like. I have the "Sybill" experience, too;) when my meds wear off.  Have you read the "Undiagnosed ADHD Can Make You Angry" by Zoë Kessler?  It's on the home page of this site.  It's excellent.  I posted on it a few times because I relate to it so well. 


Can't imagine

I really like all your suggestions.  How in the world can I get to a place where I'm calm enough to do meditation.  I can't even hear a song at church without breaking down into tears (and it could be a happy up beat song!) I would love to sit and meditate.  Heck, I would like to say the "Our Father" prayer to myself without starting to sing a Lady Gaga song in the middle of it or think of how I really enjoyed the pickle at lunch and should eat them more often.  And the "Our Father" only takes 30 seconds to say! 

I'm not going to make an excuse about exercise...I just need to prioritize a little better.

Can I ask you, has your anger seemed to have gotten worse as you have aged.  It seems that I get worse and worse with every birthday.  Any insight?

Thanks for the suggestions,



Well, there's more stress because of the marriage crisis I have been in, but I have always had "mood lability."  But (and I don't know your age), I know that hormonally, periods can exacerbate ADHD symptoms.  I have an IUD, and haven't had my period in a year and a half.  A bit more stable now.  Before that, taking meds before Auntie Flo was like eating Skittles.  Useless.  My moods were much worse, too and all my symptoms intensified.  Save being on the pill, I really never had a regular period.  It would always vary by several days.  Yet my moods would always tell me the storm was coming...

Yeah, distractibility...  That's why I like the breathing meditation.  No words, just breathing.  The words would become a springboard for other thoughts, at least for me, or I'd think about how annoying it would be to repeat the same mantra over and over.  BORING! And unlike my misconception, you don't have to "clear your mind of thought;" you simply acknowledge the thought, and deflect it by going back to focusing on breathing.  Like anything else, it is practice.  As the author of 8 Minute Meditation says, the brain's job is to think, so trying NOT to is impossible.  The stress of trying not to will just make it worse.  I have a lot of ADHD symptoms, and I can do it.  I even taught my ADHD son to do it, and he is H-Y-P-E-R, even on meds...  The book is so easy to read, even for a distractible person. 


Thank you ADHDMomof2 for sharing such personal information.  It is very helpful and I'll try to follow through on some of these suggestions!!

Hard to Function

Hey, no problem...One thing I

Hey, no problem...One thing I wanted to throw out there... I've read in multiple places that women's periods often get worse in their 30's and after having kids.  It would seem to follow that if that is true, all the crap that comes with it would get worse (moods, etc...) and if that is true, during these times (right before your period) would be even crappier...

Pbartender's picture

Don't worry about it too much...

Don't worry about it too much.  Everyone here is in a bad place trying to get someplace better.  We all occasionally use this forum to spit out all the nastiness that we can't at home.  I try not to take it too personally...  It's hard sometimes.

Some of your advice rang true.  I just wasn't in a spot where I wanted advice.  I wasn't ready to listen to it.  Especially in such a...  "blunt and honest" fashion.  ;)  I needed to get past my roadblock, first.

I am glad that I followed your advice to sleep on it...  I was ready to respond last night.  It probably wouldn't have helped.

You're right in that we don't have the right to demand respect.  I would venture that no one does.  Respect is something earned.  That doesn't mean, however, that we need to put up with disrespect.  One of the most important things an ADHDer needs in order to improve himself is confidence and self-respect.  We need to be accept constructive criticism when it's offered, but allowing people to put us down only hurts our efforts.

"I realized it wasn't about me.  It wasn't my story I was ruining but theirs."

Yep...  I had that same realization before I was even diagnosed.  In fact, that's what led me to talking to my doctor possible causes, and my eventual diagnosis.

"I knew that any effort I showed to him that I was improving, really wouldn't was too late."

I and that's exactly the notion that I was working through over the weekend.

Rest assured... I am on medication.  I take it religiously (I've been taking it later in the morning, so that lasts through the evening, when I'm at home...  I need it more there, than at work anyway).  I have an ADHD-specialized therapist/coach who I see about every week and a half or so.  We talk about what's working and what isn't, and figure out ways to work with it.  The tough part for me right now is maintaining enough confidence to keep up the hard work.

"Take care of your family and then yourself..."

Absolutely, but also...  Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family.  I can't change my wife or my kids, but I can change myself for the sake of them.

Thanks for bearing with me, everyone.



most important

Yuk, I hate awkwardness. Most importantly, how are you and how are things at home? I promise not to be disrespectful. I really want to know if you are comfortable sharing.
Pbartender's picture

Doing what I can...

Sorry...  Got a little preoccupied yesterday.

I'm doing okay, mostly.  I sometimes get hit by realizations about what I've done over the last 14 years, or about the ADHD diagnosis itself, or about my wife wanting to end our marriage.  It hits hard, and it hurts, and it's not fun trying to deal with it alone.  You guys are a big help, there.  But I work on myself, and I keep myself busy trying to catch up on all the projects that should have been finished months ago.

Things seem mostly okay between me and my wife, as well.  We're friendly and we're getting along fine as friends with each other.  At the moment, she's the only real friend I've got, but talking with her about any of these problems in the way a real friend would is...  awkward...  at best.  Also, I'm still not quite ready to be "just friends" with her.  That's been difficult to deal with.



If you don't mind my asking,

If you don't mind my asking, how do you deal with the awkwardness? I usually just isolate myself from everyone for a while. However, lately I've noticed that going off on my own just confuses him even more. do you bring up the problems or does she ask? I'm afraid to actually talk to him about an add issue even if he asks. I don't want to remind him how strange I really am. But, at the same time, like you said, he is my only real friend.
Pbartender's picture


"If you don't mind my asking, how do you deal with the awkwardness?"


Usually, I bring up the problems.  Most of the awkwardness stems from her not really wanting to know anything about any of it.  Imagine the sort of politely uncomfortable reaction you might get from discussing your troubles with irritable bowel syndrome (assuming you had such troubles) with your next door neighbor.  That's kind of what it feels like trying to talk to my wife about it.




For me, I'd rather talk to my neighbor about IBS! LOL.  Seriously, not to make light of the subject, I get IBS when I try to talk with him or anyone about my anger and control issues--sometimes even my therapist.  When this first happened to us in March, I couldn't look at him for days.  I would put the kids to bed and work around the house.  He stayed in the basement watching TV.  I would often tell him how I was just happy still to be in the house and that I appreciated his patience.  During the day, we would try to be as normal as possible for the kids sake. He was kind enough to tell me at the time that it would probably take him about six months to start to trust me again.  I didn't ask for a time frame, he just offered. Since we were married, about every six months I would verbally attack him for some reason or other.  In March I physically attacked him.  The fight was about the children and it was all a story I had made up in my head and started to believe it.  I believed it so strongly that my therapist had to convince me to let it go because it was all untrue.  Anyway, we are approaching six months and it is getting better.  I have no choice but to wait and be patient with him.  Every time I get angry I have to decide if it is worth my marriage. It never is worth my marriage.  I know it is hard to loose the trust of a best friend and harder to loose the trust of someone you vowed to always love and cherish.  But, time heals all wounds, no matter what the outcome.  Unfortunately our ADD makes us want every thing now.

My choice was to keep my head down and keep working on it.  I don't keep my head down because I am ashamed of myself (although I am) or I feel I am being punished.  I do it because I get myself into less trouble that way...usually it works!  I made the decision to not hide my ADD from him anymore.  If he sees something is wrong or if I make a sarcastic comment, (usually) I will recognize that it is just in my head and I tell him..."I know it seems to be about you but it is just this ADD and I'll get over it, I just need space. "  He is a very intelligent, likeable, and articulate guy so I started to ask him how he copes with events that make him angry or stress him out.  I had never done this before, I was always just kind of jealous of him.  He has some very deep and insightful things to say.  He helps me so much with external issues in my life.  But, it is still very difficult for me to approach him on our relationship. 

What I really wonder is if he would agree with everything I just said.  He came in just now to tell me goodnight and I closed this right away.  (I explained what I was doing and said it was a little personal).  I would not mind sharing it with him but I'm afraid of what he would say or think.  I couldn't bear him telling me that I got the details wrong.  I have to hold onto the hope that it is getting better.  I know he would think I was full of that ugly D word..."Drama"!!!

As you have learned first hand, I can be very foolish at times.  Wait, not "at times", a more appropriate word would be "often".  When I go to bed at night I recount all the foolish things I have done (at least those that I recognize).  It makes it very hard to sleep but it brings me closer to God and helps me focus on making everyone else's day a little better tomorrow. 

I hyper focus on everything, so, I am trying to use it to my advantage.  When I think that I'm headed down the wrong path with my husband, I try to get myself involved in something else that requires my attention.  I don't work outside the home and have very little time to get involved in the community so I usually just do something like clean out a closet or organize my paperwork or rewrite my calendar.  That helps the time go by quicker when there is really no one in your life you can talk to.

I hope your day tomorrow is at least a bit better than it was today.

Hard to Function

Pbartender's picture

Heh... A lucky guess.

Yeah, getting stomach problems isn't terribly uncommon, when you're under a lot of stress.  I hadn't realized it'd hit so close to home!  :P

Anyway, when she notices something wrong and asks if I'm alright, I'm trying to get into the habit of saying, "No, not really, but I will be later.  I don't really want to talk about it right now, but thanks for asking."

I've also been trying to do the same thing with the hyperfocusing...  I get myself out in the yard and do some yardwork.  Being outside in the sunshine and fresh air helps me a lot, as dose the "exercise with a purpose" that yardwork is for me.



Glad to read this apology!

PB- if you are Reading this-  Whether your wife gives you more chances or not- right now you feel like this is the end and she will not forgive you and you are clearly hurting. I am sorry you are feeling out of time and out of hope. I hope you can get through this with some strength and grace. You have taken responsibility in your posts again and again and indicated haw hard you are trying. So while it might be too late for the marriage (although I hope not), it is not too late for your life and your future. Keep going regardless of whether your wife is up for hanging in there with you. I am sorry you got some harsh responses here when you were hoping to vent and find support. Some people on this site have a lot of anger and can't help having that leak out in response. I find it very presumptuous when people on this site assume that their situation is everyone's situation... - everyone with ADHD is different and the symptoms emerge differently and with different strength for every person.  You were probably a good spouse in some ways and disappointing in others (as we all are- ADHD or not). It simply boils down to what a spouse can live with. that doesn't make you some terrible person. Having said that- keep up the good work and remember that all the chnges you are making are adding up to a big change that will improve your life. .... HANG IN THERE!

Hard to function- Last night I read your post to PB and typed a big long response basically saying that I thought your comments were too strong and kind of mean. Then I got scared my ADD was making me defensive generally and decided not to post... ha ha ha. Reading it all again- I still today think that it was too harsh- but I see that you recognize that as well... This apology post was hard on yourself too... You didn't mean harm- but you posted impulsively and realized later it was stronger than you meant. it to be... I can't tell you how many times I've had to do the same thing... I constantly say to people "If I sounds aggressive, I am sorry. I don't mean to be. I am just trying to be emphatic". It's hard for me to realize that I can sounds really angry or tough when I don't feel that way at all...

Anyway-  It takes a really big person to apologize and own up and you are obviously a really lovely person. Keep working at it!

A few years ago, I was

A few years ago, I was skimming a book about marital problems (generally, nothing specifically having to do with ADHD-affected marriages) and came across a section that really struck me.  The author stated that it is a very common occurrence among couples who split up that one of the partners will have spent a long time (years, often) very unhappy and expressing this unhappiness to the other partner, who seems to not take the problems seriously or thinks the person is bluffing.  Then, when partner number 1 takes a clear, unambiguous step to end the marriage (filing for separation or divorce, moving out), partner number 2 EXPRESSES SURPRISE, as though he or she had no idea that there were problems in the marriage.  Also, partner number 2 typically says something like, "How could you do this to me?"  And partner number 1 is just standing there, shaking his or her head, and going, have you not listened to a word I've said all these years?  

I see this dynamic a lot on this website.  Spouses with ADHD:  open your eyes and your ears, and take your non-ADHD spouse's concerns seriously, before it's too late.


If your wife wants a best friend, be her best friend!!! If you can't (or won't) meet her greatest need ( for FRIENDSHIP), why should she want to meet your physical needs???? That is just the way most women are made. Sounds like she may have done all she could to meet your need first, and found out that after she gave all she had, you still didn't come through as a good friend for her. If having you as a bff is the most important thing in the relationship to her, at the point she realizes that you truly will never be that friend, she may think, "why bother?"

Wanting to be just friends is her way of finding out if you care enough to meet her greatest need. Do you?

Pbartender's picture

I would love to be best

I would love to be best friends with her...  We had been at the beginning.

Putting the brakes on and down-shifting to just friends is just a little tricky.  I keep wanting to climb back up that friend ladder by leaps and bounds, when I need to be inching my way up it.




Why is being bff downshifting? In the same sentence, you say it is tricky downshifting, but you want to climb back up by leaps and bounds. Back up to what? Friends and sex? (sorry, just a guess)

What exactly does friendship mean to you and how does that compare with her definition of being friends? My guess is that she anticipated a friend she could trust 100% and love without reservation. Usually, wanting to be "just friends" means "no sex."  "No sex" can come from grave disappointment in other areas of her life with you. What are you not doing now that you did as a friend? Do you treat her as a best friend without expecting immediate rewards? She likely expects best friends to be an end in itself, not something artificial that you would do to get a "reward" from her.

Pbartender's picture

Sex? Who said anything about sex?

I know I had that one thread, but it's not all about sex... 

I was talking about the difference between A) not being friends, B) being just friends, C) being best friends and D) being best friends while also romantically involved as a couple.  There's a certain trust and exchange of thoughts and feelings that happens at the "best friends" level that doesn't at the "just friends" level.

We used to be D, at one point and briefly fell to A at our worst.  I would like to get back to D eventually, but would be perfectly happy with C right now.  We seem to be somewhere around B at the moment.  By downshifting, I'm talking about wanting to be at C because I want to be able to share what I'm feeling and thinking with her (and vice versa), but having to stay at B because she's not exactly interested in hearing any of it.  The trust she needs to even get to C isn't there because of the years of undiagnosed ADD and all the troubles it caused.



Not Yet.

Hi Pb,

It's not over yet.  I know you're up and down, and it's very easy to let the vacillating moods of your partner become your own; I totally get this.  In fact, it's been the topic of therapy more than once, let me tell you.  The best advice I have been given on this is to "control what you can control" which will reduce your stress level and improve your morale, which can help you and your wife.  What I mean by this is to continue to work on your goals NO MATTER WHAT.  Because the second you drop the ball because you're down, even for a little bit (and I have been guilty of this), you are just proving what your wife thinks she already knows.  That has been so difficult to DO, even though I have understood this for a long time.  Now I am doing it, and it is making a world of difference for me.  My husband has been saying this to me for over 2 1/2 years.  We are still married.  He keeps playing the divorce card, but I'm not letting it rattle me anymore.  He still loves me, even though he doesn't fully know it.  He has other issues that have nothing to do with my ADHD (childhood crap).  I know we could still end up divorced, but I know that I am moving forward in a way that is giving me confidence based on incremental successes... I think that is an attractive quality, too. 

That book I recommended to you is helping tremendously.  I swear, Melissa's book and that one should be part of a damn gift set.  Invaluable books. 

She doesn't want to try again because she doesn't want to get hurt.  She couldn't get hurt if she didn't love you.  She would be apathetic.  She's clearly so far from neutral here...  It is very common for people to say "I love you but I'm not in love with you" during a marriage crisis.   She might not have used those exact words, but that's what she is saying, essentially.  That doesn't mean it's over.  The bad parts of ADHD, which throws the non-ADHD spouse into a parent role just aren't drawing her to you. 

You CAN make the kind of progress you need, Pb.  We'll all help you like you help us.  Really, you can do this.  I mean it. 

Pbartender's picture

Another book recommendation for everyone here...

While I'm thinking of it, this post reminded me of a book I just started reading.  I think it would be a big help to everyone here, ADHD and non-ADHD alike...

The Art of Living, by Epictetus

It's short, only a hundred pages or so, and each "lesson" is no more than a few paragraphs long...  Just right for an ADHDer to read in bits.

for those of you familiar with the Serenity Prayer, The Art of Living is a book of stoic philosophy that embodies the same ideal, but in a more comprehensive and practical manner.  Epictetus himself had been a Greek born as a Roman slave, and who later obtained his freedom and taught philosophy.  To borrow from wikipedia...  "To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty to care for all fellow humans. The person who follows these precepts will achieve happiness and peace of mind."

The book echoes a lot of the advice given about changing only what you can control, but also a lot of sound advice on not worrying about the things you can't control.

I just starting reading yesterday, am about a third of the way through it, and it's already completely changed my outlook on this particular situation with my wife.



Pbartender's picture

Give me your opinion...

I know the correct answer is, "Don't worry about it and get back to work!"  But I'm curious to know your opinions...

Thinking back on the conversation that resulted in this thread, one response my wife made struck me and I'm not entirely certain what to make of it.

I made mention that our kids currently think that the two-bedroom solution is a temporary thing -- My 12-year-old daughter likened it to a falling out she had with one of her best friends.  They spent several months not hanging out with each other, but later made their peace and got back together. -- and that if it isn't, we should talk to the kids about it, so they know what's going on.

She nodded but said, "We should wait until after we figure out the logistics."

Does that notion make sense, if she really wanted out and was set on leaving?  She's never actually brought up the possible logistics, except in a vaguely passive-aggressive sort of way...  Web surfing for apartment rentals, fiddling with mortgage calculators, or mentioning as we drive down the road "Oh, there's a house for rent, I wonder how much they're asking?", that sort of thing.

Or did I just accidentally call her bluff and not realize it?

In retrospect, it just seemed an odd answer.

In other news, I'm wondering if some my emotional drama during the last week or two might have been due to my medication not working as well as it should have been. I met with my doctor yesterday, and after talking it over with her she switched me from Concerta to Vyvanse to see if it works better with fewer side-effects.



To me, it sounds as though

To me, it sounds as though your wife is still contemplating moving out of the house.  But you should ask her.

I agree.

Your wife is probably not 100% decided- but is thinking (rightly-so in my opinion), there is no reason to discuss this with the kids until and unless a true split is initiated with someone going to live in a separate residence. Why have all that anxiety and sadness hanging over them when there isn't a resolution in sight...

If I were you, I wouldn't bring this up again until you are on firmer footing- because it may be the push she needs to go figure out the logistics. Right now is probably pretty crucial and she is taking her time to figure out if she is actually wanting out or not. Give her the space to figure it out- but do continue to let her know you care and haven't given up on her and on the marriage. I know that's very hard to do- but it's going to give you the best chance at what you actually want- reconciliation...

Good luck!



Pbartender's picture

Kind of what I'd thought...

"Your wife is probably not 100% decided- but is thinking (rightly-so in my opinion), there is no reason to discuss this with the kids until and unless a true split is initiated with someone going to live in a separate residence."

That's what it felt like...  that she might not be as certain about it being over as she's actually saying.

"If I were you, I wouldn't bring this up again until you are on firmer footing- because it may be the push she needs to go figure out the logistics."

I agree.  That was my plan, regardless of anything else.  I cannot control her, and will drive myself insane trying to do so, and so I'll take the advice of my new Greco-Roman friend...  I will stick to what I can control that concerns me, do my best to not worry about what I can't control or doesn't concern me, and stay true to what I value.  I can improve myself, I can determine my own actions and reactions, I can exercise control over my thoughts and emotions, I can make certain my wife and kids have a safe, happy, healthy home to live in.  I can be happy and take pride in myself for doing that much.

And whatever care and love and friendship she decides to show me in return, I will accept as the gracious gift it is.




Sorry, I'm not the one to give insight on communication. Unfortunately, I've had lots of experience with meds. I've tried the ritalin, concerta, vyvance and combinations in between. not sure who your prescribing Md is. My experience is that many primary care physicians, no matter how good they are in treating more common problems, really don't understand the fine tuning needed to treat adhd. seemed to me that no matter what Md I was seeing duri g my life, he/she would just start "throwing" meds my way to see if something stuck. made me feel like a drug addict when in all honesty I was trying to avoid becoming one. My saving grace was my psychologist who specializes I adhd. He became my advocate intervened with my MD. Do you have anyone like that? I'm on a concoction now but it works and my Md could have never gotten there on her own. Good luck...meds are one of the hardest things! FYI, vyvance use to offer a discount card. Ask your Md if you don't have one. Also, I type most of this stuff on my phone: I'm not young and not good at this tech stuff so if I miss words or if things don't make sense, it might be my ineptness in this thing!!!!!!
Pbartender's picture

One of the first things I talked to her about...

Yeah, I'd done a little homework on it, and it was one of the first things I talked about with my Doc.  She's not a specialist in ADHD, by any means, and she has less experience with adult ADHD than ADHD in children, but...  She has many younger patients with ADHD that she helps treat, and she does have a step-son with ADHD.  I've consulted with my therapist/counselor/coach (who can't prescribe, but is intimately familiar with the various medications and how they work) as a second opinion.  I use recommendations and advice from them both (thus far, they largely agree) to make my own decision.  I'm willing, for the moment, to give them benefit of the doubt.

And yep...  I didn't need it, but my Doc made sure I got one of the discount cards for Vyvanse.

The switch to Vyvanse was more about the side effects I was experiencing with Concerta -- not lasting as long as I'd like, jitteriness, and crashing around dinner time when it wore off -- than anything else.

Thanks for the tip, though, I'll keep an eye on it.



The Concerta gave my husband

The Concerta gave my husband the ups and downs BAD. Vyvanse, not as much, but he did crash in the evenings. He takes generic adderall, divided into two doses a day, now and does a lot better. Something about the extended release and his metabolism didn't mix well. He would get rushes and never know when they were coming. He felt physically bad on both XR meds.

As I said in another post,

As I said in another post, don't assume or try to figure out anything...just stop talking about it. If you want to focus on changing what you can and accepting what you can't, then start here. So many times I have fallen victim to this kind of thing...trying to dissect a small comment my DH made (he's ADHD, I'm not) and get inside of his head. It makes me miserable and never really makes much difference in the end. As a matter of fact, me reacting to what I think he might be thinking has actually probably caused more issues than I care to admit. I am glad you're coming HERE to talk it through, instead of bringing it up to her, but I still think you need to find a strength greater than your own and find a way to have some faith right now.

I honestly would just do as you have been doing, keep working on yourself no matter what happens or what she says or what plans she makes...and just stay focused on the bigger issue at hand which is taking care of yourself. I agree, remaining focused and confident in the face of your situation is an attractive quality. Be someone she can depend on. Be someone she can respect. Be someone you can respect. Everything else will fall into place. I'm praying for you guys!


Analysis Can Be Stifling...

"...don't assume or try to figure out anything...just stop talking about it. If you want to focus on changing what you can and accepting what you can't, then start here. So many times I have fallen victim to this kind of thing...trying to dissect a small comment my DH made... and get inside of his head. It makes me miserable and never really makes much difference in the end. As a matter of fact, me reacting to what I think he might be thinking has actually probably caused more issues than I care to admit. I am glad you're coming HERE to talk it through, instead of bringing it up to her..."

Very well said, Sherri.  Great advice.  I, too, have done this.  I over analyze A LOT of what my own DH says.  Partly because that's my nature, partly because he can be passive-aggressive, so what he says and what he means don't always match up, and also because of where our relationship is, but I guess it doesn't really matter.  I just need to stop doing it.  I'm probably contributing to his passive-aggression by trying to get inside his head and pander to him, and yet, like you say, it causes more issues that it solves.  Ugh.  I know that so well...