My husband (ADHD) and I (non-ADHD) have been together for 8+ years, and married 4+ years. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. As an adult, that diagnosis was confirmed, and also clinical depression. He went to therapy a few times, but couldn't stay consistent with it. He is now on meds for depression, but not his ADHD. I have GAD, and go to therapy weekly. Through dealing with my own crap in therapy, and some of the difficulties in my marriage, it has finally dawned on me that many of the behaviors that drive me nuts about my husband are actually textbook ADHD behaviors.
I have always fancied myself fairly intelligent, so I'm embarrassed to say that I had NO idea. I only thought I knew what ADHD was, thought I understood what having it entailed, thought I knew the symptoms. I did not.
- Terrible at consistently helping with any regular chores; even the bare few he was doing for years have petered out...he says he's "over them", like they're a hobby. I am EXHAUSTED from doing everything else.
- and yet...I KNOW he's not a lazy man. When he does get into a project, he will work himself to the point of actual physical exhaustion. And it's so important to him that I see his work, and that I'm happy with it.
- Leaves 100% of our finances and future to me. Won't even LOOK at the budget that I keep. I make sure all bills are paid. I am very tired of having to be the "bad guy" as far as our money goes. He spends like a maniac, and he never stops wanting more more more new stuff.
- and yet...he does try to check in with me about huge expenditures. He knows this is a big burden, and he knows it isn't fair that I have to carry it. I just wish he would stop asking if he can have this big thing or that big thing. We'd be rolling in dough if he didn't.
- Can't plan or help me plan anything. Birthdays gifts? Forget it! I will never get anything from him, ever. And he gets ridiculously huffy when I DARE to ask him to talk with me for 5 minutes about planning an upcoming vacation, like it's the biggest drag in the world!
- and yet...when I stagger, exhausted, into our vacation time, he will pack everything and drive everywhere. He just can't plan anything about it. And when I come home to nothing on my birthday, he has the most desperate, embarrassed look on his face--he knows he should do something, but he just can't.
- Doesn't cook. Really, he has cooked for me two times in our 8 years together--both times it was buttered noodles, and both times it's because I was crying and overwhelmed. If we are having dinner, it's because I'm making it. He eats out for lunch every single day, even in times when we were strapped for cash. And I am cleaning up the dishes by myself, too, of course.
- not sure I have an "and yet"... for this one. I guess he will occasionally bring his dishes to the sink? And sometimes he will go pick up the dinner, if I order carry-out? I really do have a hard time with this one. He has said SO many times that he will try, but then nothing happens.
- The sex is gone. Just...*poof* g o n e. We had an amazing time in the sack for several years...then it was OFF, like a light going out. I couldn't understand what had happened; it was so sudden. Maybe once or twice a year for the last several years. The last time was over a year ago. This is also his depression meds at work, but it started before that. We have had several gentle talks about it. It just embarrasses him so much, and nothing ever changes. It makes me feel so sad and lonely. I am afraid of initiating anymore, the inevitable rejection hurts like hell. But if we are to ever do it again, it's going to have to be me.
- and yet...I know he loves me, and is faithful to me. And he is an affectionate guy; kisses and hugs abound...just nothing more than that. And I have seen on his face how much he thinks he is "failing" me as a husband, because of all of this.
- He is a serial hobbyist. Always intensely interested in something or other--that of course we must spend hundreds of dollars on. A month later--maybe even a week later--it's like it never happened, he has moved on. We have beekeeping stuff and no bees. We have all the best backpacking equipment, and we don't go backpacking anymore. His words? "Well, now if we need it, we've got it!" Sure, what we don't have is ample savings.
- and yet...his passion is pretty inspiring, and I have been interested in some of his latest pet hobbies. I just wish he could BORROW equipment, instead of insisting on buying it all. Also: some hobbies have stuck. He's been doing bonsai for 6 years now.
- He often won't answer texts (and I really don't send many). He will leave his phone in another room all day, and not look at it once--if I needed something from him, I'm on my own. He will sometimes just ignore the fact that I've spoken. It makes me feel invisible. If I repeat myself, it's "I heard you." How am I supposed to know that? Just an awful communicator.
- and yet...when he is able to focus, we have had incredible conversations about everything and anything.
I know all of these things have to do with ADHD...and yet...they still make me feel so angry, and resentful, and lonely. My anxiety issues are hard to carry (and I'm sure I'm no peach to deal with sometimes, either). The idea of carrying all of this stuff too, indefinitely, is soooo overwhelming. So much of our life together is up to me.
And yet I love him so much.