Is anyone on this forum married with no kids?

I wonder if there are any others like me here who have an ADHD marriage but no kids.  I've been reading here and it seems like most people have kids which I can imagine would make the whole situation much more difficult and overwhelming.  Though I see our situation in so much of what I've read - and my husband is so much like ADD descriptions - it also doesn't seem like we have it anywhere near as "bad" as what others describe.   I'm not sure if that's because we don't have kids to complicate matters or if we've just found a way to tolerate our differences or if my husband's ADD tendencies just aren't that bad.  It's certainly been infinitely helpful that i have a successful career that I didn't drop out of to raise a family - since he has been unemployed off and on over the last ten years.  Since we have been discussing this he now refers to it as his "defect".  I said maybe we have complementary defects - since I think I have my own issues coming from a family with two alcoholic parents.   His fun loving nature offsets my lack of a fun mind set and my over developed sense of responsibility offsets his lack of focus on responsibilities. 

Anyway, I'm just wondering if there are others without kids and if everything is as horrible for you as others describe in the Anger and Frustration forum - which seems to get far more traffic than any others.  Or are you better able to deal with the issues if it is just you and spouse involved?

Another married/no kids couple here

and we do indeed have it much better than many other people who post here.  I think this is due to a variety of reasons, but one of them likely is that we do not have children as you are correct that seems to enhance the issues for many couples.   Many people have posted here that they were making a pretty happy go of their marriages before kids, but once the kids came and the burden of work seemed so much less equal that the problems really started.

Also, my husband does not have symptoms that are extremely bad in comparison to many.  He holds down a job and always has done so, he helps at home though not always to the extent he's agreed to, and he is a loving and supportive partner.  He is inattentive ADD and does not have any hyperactivity.  From my research, those with the worst AD/HD symptoms seem to be those struggling with hyperactivity and I can see that in my sister-in-law's family.  They struggle with two ADHD children who are most definitely hyperactive. 

My husband also recognized himself that something was *wrong* with his reactions and in our interactions and did the research himself to suspect ADD and then made an appt with his doctor to get treatment.  Having a mate willing to work on his ADD makes a huge difference as you will find many here dealing with a mate who denies the symptoms entirely and his not being treated. 

We still deal with defensiveness and he thinks I tend to point out too much that he is doing negatively at times and not enough postive.  This is true and is an issue for us both because the way I was raised tended to focus on the negative that needed to be worked on & because when my husband is praised for the positive, he tends to think he has that issue solved and stops working on it.  We are a definite work in progress, but as Melissa mentions any marriage where the 3 pronged approach is being utililzed will likely be much happier than in an untreated or under-treated family.  We are aware of the issues and are working on them both from a personal standpoint, a medical standpoint, and a behavioral standpoint.  We have a lot of love and respect for eachother and try to be the one to cheer eachother onward in our endeavors.

I hope you and your husband continue to thrive!

Thanks so much for posting

Thanks so much for posting about your situation.  My husband has no official diagnosis - just my suggestion that there might be something to this.   So I sometimes wonder if I'm overreacting to even be looking into ADHD since we don't have all these major problems that others describe.  He doesn't deny that there might be something to this idea of ADD (he is also not H in my opinion) but he's not rushing out to see a doctor either - which I think is fine.  Life is not so bad for us and I think self education is enough for now.  So far he's receptive to what I've been discovering and sharing and I think he has made a major effort to be more helpful.  I've let him know how much I appreciate this and in his case the positive reinforcement seems to generate more good results.  He doesn't talk much about any of this but I do think he is thinking about it in his own way.   One of my biggest concerns is whether this has something to do with his job situation.   I haven't mentioned anything about that to him though.  I've just talked about it in light of the relationship issues so far.  Plus I sometimes wonder how he would get along if something happened to me - he is entirely dependent on me to run our life.   We are in our 50's and you start to think more about that kind of thing.

It's kind of weird.  We didn't have kids because it just didn't work out - wasn't intentional.  At one point many years ago we talked about "intervention" to have some kids but both decided that if we're meant to have them we will and if we're not we won't.   As things have played out I do think things turned out for the best.   Many times I've thought there was no way I could do everything I do plus have kids and I can't imagine that my husband's level of focus on responsibilities would have been any different with kids in the picture.  I know I would not be in the job I'm in if I'd had a family and we could have been in a world of financial hurt with his recent job history.

My opinion is that the

My opinion is that the 'degree' in which families are suffering is far more related to the willingness of the ADDer to seek help and make positive changes. It does take two to stop the vicious cycle of resentment and anger and 'the blame game'. I can't imagine having a willingness to move forward, even after letting go of my anger and taking steps to educate myself, if my husband weren't seeking the help he needs. Honestly, we haven't started counseling yet. We went for 3 sessions and our insurance company dropped the bombshell that they're not paying for it (our daughter had gone to her 10 sessions at this point). As soon as we got the DX, we had to stop going. We're paying off that huge balance and then will pay out of pocket for our sessions at her very generous reduced rate. HOWEVER, since we have come to a better place in our lives, surviving a lot of personal tragedy (that was the catalyst for us basically getting our heads out of our butts and seeing what a mess we had made), and realizing that we both want to be together...and we both want better for each other, we've made huge changes in the meantime. It all truly is a personal decision...ADDer or not...whether you want to give 100% to making things better or you want to continue being miserable. Children do complicate the situation, our daughter being in counseling is a result of our mess we created, but I don't think it makes things far as the behaviors of the spouses. Again, I tend to lean more towards self accountability for actions...admitting there is a problem...and working to fix it. If this isn't happening..for even just one party...then therein lies the 'worst case scenario'.

No kids together

My husband and I married in middle age. He'd never been with anyone before and had no kids. My two were grown and out of the house. The younger one has ADHD, and so does her son. She's never been diagnosed, but my grandson has and I'm sure his mom has it too since they are very much alike.

I think it's a good thing we couldn't have kids together. Our house is such a pigsty that it wouldn't be safe for a child. Interestingly, none of the kids in my husband's family (sons of a clearly ADD father) had biological children. Two have ADD and wives who have had to support them. I doubt it occurs to either my husband or brother-in-law that the clean floor requires some doing. Isn't there a fairy who comes in and does all that stuff?

We don't have kids .. I

We don't have kids .. I always wanted a big family though but it never happened ...


No kids

My husband and I don't have kids either.  He was diagnosed at the beginning of the year with ADD, and since then (he's now medicated) things are definitely improving.  Also a work in progress, but at least we aren't going down hill any more (I was ready to leave before the diagnosis).  He and I also complement each other very well.  I am super-organised and serious, he is fun-loving and spontaneous.  I am very glad I don't have it as bad as some people on this site, but I do know that if we had had children, things would have been very different.  Financially things would have been very tough, and I'm not sure how I would have coped with the extra responsibility.

sam_i_am's picture

no kids here either

Thanks for starting this thread. I stumbled upon this site today and was thankful to find it. My husband has ADHD, he was diagnosed several years ago, but has been minimally invested in his treatment. We recently hit a breaking point with life stresses building up ( I am father was diagnosed with a terminal condition..we can't afford our house....) and started talking about calling it quits. There is so much emotion  attached to this discussion. I love my husband greatly,but have a hard time watching him use only a portion of his potential and struggle with my feelings of not having a resource for me and my needs. I am exhausted because I feel that I am always on call; needing to be available to him to assist with finding lost keys, lost wallets, lost work id tags, etc. He often calls me from the road wanting me to give him directions, and has a hard time understanding that I am not able to provide him with the information he needs. I recognize that I am to blame for some of this dysfunction in our marriage, but know that there can be a better life then this. I just have to figure out if this better life is with or without my husband.

Desperate for answers

I am so thankful I stumbled across this site. My husband and I have been married for 1.5 years and after the first 6 weeks he just quit caring, or so it seems.  Since then I have tried and tried to reach him but in every effort he just gets extremely defensive.  He hyperfocused on me while we dated and I thought he was the most sensitive and loving man. He acted like he new what it took to have a successful marriage and now he acts like an invincible teenager with no responsibility.  My self esteem was damaged greatly prior to our relationship and now my self esteem has been damaged even more because of his apparent lack of sensitivity or concern. Now I have turned into a nag and I know he can't handle much more of my complaining. He has not been diagnosed and quite frankly there is NO way he would ever submit to the testing.  I'm certain he has ADD since childhood as he quit school in the 9th grade because of lack of interest, after which, he became addicted to meth... (to his credit he has been clean for 10 years). However, he has an alcohol problem. We are now on the verge of divorce. I love my husband greatly, or at least the man I thought he was.  I don't want a divorce but I can't reach him or get him to see that he is killing my spirit and self esteem.  Is divorce inevitable?  Do I just need to keep quiet and let things happen? How much of myself do I sacrifice? How do i reach him? Do ADD people ever become the sensitive people they used to be? No kids either.

Desperate for answers

Dear Tracy:

I'm not a professional but just a person who reads allot, so take my comments for what they're worth. I'm the wife of an ADHD husband.

When reading your description I can't help but wonder if your husband may suffer from Narcisistic Personality Disorder. I would suggest looking it up and studying it if you haven't already. I have read that it's fairly common for a person with ADHD to also suffer other disorders, so he could struggle with both.  While there is allot of help out there for ADHD and I believe it doesn't have to ruin a marriage IF a partner is willing to acknowledge the problem and get help, if your man has NPD, I've heard there's almost no help for that condition because the person will virtually NEVER seek help. If you decide that's what you're dealing with girlfriend, you're probably going to need to get out. Sorry. Hey, at least you don't have kids and you can start over...

no children

I've been married 10 years and we don't have any children but no it doesn't make it any easier!!  I think he has it really bad and because of that we don't have children.  I want to have one but I am on again off again about the matter.  I'm 34 and not getting any younger.  He doesn't spend enough time at home for me to be comfortable to have a child and them suffer from not having a dad.  I have been blessed to have good money jobs as well.  If not we wouldn't have a home, I don't think.  He has his own business and I don't think he manages his time well or runs it the way a successful business owner should.  He has the hardest time sending a bill to collect money or do the paper work but he can work none stop hours on end daylight to dark.  It drives me nuts, plus he hides how he bills people or has a reason why why all the time for everything!!  We don't have any friends together and that is hard on me because I'm a social bug and he has made that very tough on me which pushes me away more and more.  It all adds up and makes me angry, sad, disappointed, mad, and half insane!!  Good luck to you...

Married No Kids

I am new to the site and just getting the hang of things. We've been married 12 years, no kids, which is something I am very grateful about, frankly, as I can see that the discipline of a child, follow-through, boundary-setting, etc. would have been major fodder for conflict in our marriage had we become parents. I'm so glad we don't have that to deal with since dealing with just the marriage is sometimes challenging enough, although there's lots of good stuff, too, so ADHD is certainly not ALL of our life.

 I am the non-ADHD wife who is married to a genuinely good guy who's really just trying to get a handle on his ADHD and accept that this is a condition he is going to have to manage on a daily basis for the rest of his life. We are committed to each other and to our marriage. 

My husband went off medication about 6 months ago and is about to go back on again because life is just too hard for both of us without that help. He's going to try an anxiety med this time since the anti-depressant he took for a few years didn't seem to help that much, long-term. His biggest problem is his lack of ability to handle frustration. I do all the finances and organizing, so all that's pretty okay. Thank GOD he is not a compulsive spender, although he has to exercise considerable self-control to resist buying an over-abundance of toiletries. (Aren't 6 deodorants enough now?) His mouth gets him into conflict with me sometimes.  I am not very fond of cursing and his constant frustration with most in-animate objects that won't behave themselves (ya know, the garden hose gets tangled, etc.) just causes him to go into a cursing tirade which makes me feel abused because I am forced to listen, especially in the car. The biggest difficulty in the marriage FOR ME though is me being his personal psychiatrist and mother rather than his wife. That's not very sexy.  I don't nag very often but it's always me to suggest counseling or medication or that he needs to sit and talk about his feelings and frustrations and 'get them out' while I listen.  I often long for him to take a sense of leadership and to come up with realistic strategies for our future. But I know that stuff will probably always be left up to me because he simply is not capable of it...and it's not his fault. It's the ADHD. We're in a difficult situation because we live in a very remote area where there are no psychiatrists at all or specialist psychologists who know anything about ADHD. A GP pretty much prescribes you the meds you ask for, provided it's a reasonable request. Thus, here I am, as a person who has always loved to research and study psychological topics, becoming the armchair psychiatrist. Not a good thing for a wife to be. But without me taking that role, we would have no understanding or well-researched ideas on what to do. I don't mean to sound like an errogant, know-it-all,  butt-head, but if it hadn't been for my interest in these topics, which eventually lead us to his diagnosis (by a psychiatrist 6 hours away) my husband would be a total mess now because he wouldn't know WHERE to turn or what was going on. I think his anger and frustration would've consumed him. Just knowing what's going on has helped allot.  My personal challenge is to stop being "the leader" and find a way to develop a more equal relationship between two adults amidst some really...well, to be honest, sometimes childish behavior by my dear husband. It's such a tough thing. I'm hoping the new meds will help him manage his anxiety and the million things darting around in his head and that will result in just a more "manly" instead of "boyish" approach to daily life, which will feel allot sexier to me...and to him, I'm sure. Tell me that seriously unrealistic for me to think that can happen? Don't forget...I'm new at this, so be gentle! :-)

Determined's picture

Knew I didnj't want kids at even age 12.

I knew i didn't want kids even as young as age 12 back in the early 70's. My daily struggles and all things floating around upstairs in my head; I just felt this life was such a massive struggles for me just to keep my head a float in school and home chores, I don't want to see my kid go through this also... I also seen everything I struggled with was so much easier for my friends & family.' I knew something was not right. I knew about the gene pool and how it can be thrown off to your kids. I was not going to let that happen.

I remember one day my Mom gave me that old speech; "Wait till you have kids and you'll see what I'm going through". I looked her dead in the eye said don't worry Mom, I promise I'm never having kids; you better look towards my brother for your Grandkids.

Yep, that my story why this female didn't want kids; and hey I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until 2000. It all kinda comes together.

So anybody else felt the same as a kid or young adult about not wanting kids because of our struggles?

not wanting kids

Yep, I remember being about 13 or 14 and saying to my family doctor I didn't want kids.  He said you will when you meet the right person.  That never happened until I met my ADHD boyfriend.  Even then it wasn't an overwhelming want;  just a thought that crept in.   

No kids but the ADD hubby.

I am married with no kids and no plans or desire for kids. I am one of those who decided young, but it was partly because I had difficulties with my reproductive system from an early age.

I've never fancied myself much of a parent, yet I find myself having to parent my husband more often that I'd like. He was diagnosed just a couple of days ago and came home with a bottle of Ritalin. I have very high hopes that this medication will bring something positive our way.

I discovered this site while going through my coping ritual: RESEARCH. Anytime I'm faced with something I can't handle, I research it to within an inch of its life. If I can know it, I can conquer it, I guess. I'm the first to admit that ADD isn't the only issue in our relationship, but it may be the issue that leaves me holding the bag when we BOTH need to be working the marriage, so getting a handle on it is what I'm hoping for.

Anyway, I didn't see any "introduce yourself" forum, so I'm introducing here. Hi!

Yes, educating yourself is a

Yes, educating yourself is a huge part of managing the marriage...but no matter how much you research and know, he has to be on the same page with you and want to recognize the issues it brings to the table as well. I hope he is. You didn't say.

I've researched myself to death..I am exactly like you..I feel knowledge is power, but it hasn't helped me in my marriage because I am the only one who is interested in acknowledging how it has changed me. He thinks he can control it on his own...unlike the other 4 million people who have it.

Interest is variable

Like everything else, his interest in "fixing" things is variable, However, right now (a big whole 3 days into it) he seems committed to his course of treatment and willing to follow doctor's orders. That's a big step, from my vantage point. I've brought up a few things that I've learned in reading so far, and he's not shutting me down when I do, so I'm taking that as being something of an interest. I know he's not going to do the research on his own.

What he has done is talk with his psych nurse at the VA and tell her that he can't be expected to call when he needs her; he needs regular appointments or he'll only show up when he's "clear". One thing he is good about is showing up at the VA for his appointments. I think the military training stuck there. He's often late, but never blows it off completely.

As for myself, I am willing to own the things I'm bringing that are making the struggle that much more difficult. I'm shopping for a new psych for myself starting next week (Every time insurance changes I have to go through this dance. He's a veteran, so he gets consistent care at the VA.) to make sure that the "You must have it too!" suggestions are merely projection as I think they are, and to have someone to help guide me through some of the emotional fallout of the whole thing. It's only fair that if I'm going to ask him to acknowledge and work on his "stuff" (ADHD or otherwise) that I work on mine (depression, mild OCD, PTSD).

Thanks for the welcome and the realism!

None yet...

My husband (ADHDer) and I do not have children, although he wants them very badly.  Part of the conditions of us 'trying' is that he seek help for his ADHD, after trying to convince him to do so for quite some time.  The kid issue means enough to him that he has his first appointment with a psychologist tomorrow!  He isn't comfortable with being medicated, and I think that if he's willing to work at it (which he seems to be at this point), he can make the changes necessary without the meds.  However, one concern that I've had (especially with adding children to our family) is the instability of his employment.  In the past 3 years that we've been married my husband has had over 12 jobs! At first I thought that he was just 'figuring out what he wanted to do', we are young.. but I've come to recognize his employment issues as a pattern consistent with his ADHD, and I cannot risk bringing a child into a marriage with such an unstable support system.  I do think that his employment issues would have caused more damage to our marriage had we had a child already.  My job is decent, but does not provide enough for us plus a child.  I think the extra demands of a child would just magnify all the issues associated with ADHD! My husband, at first, said that a child would put enough 'pressure' on him that he wouldn't quit a job, he'd just be miserable at one, but the more he read on this site and others the more he also came to acknowledge that his employment pattern is probably not something due to a lack of 'pressure'.   

Is anyone on this forum married with no kids?

Yes, I'm married thank goodness, and childless not by choice. Always was ambitious, but ADD and OCD were overbearing burdens. Didn't fit in well, found every long road to nowhere. Jealous of doctors, lawyer, etc. Then, the worst of all, my wife and I couldn't conceive. Each time I hear of another expecting couple, it's the hardest news to digest. Glad I found this site. First one I came across that addresses more than one major curse.

Marriage is easier without kids

But I think that's the case whether there is an ADHD spouse or not. Marriage is about two people and their relationship, and becoming a parent adds one or more relationships to the mix which is when things can get hairy. Not only do you have to be responsible to nurture the marriage but also the parenting relationship with the child(ren). We have two kids and were on the brink of divorce only a year ago. Because of that though, we were forced to grow up, learn to communicate better and work even harder not only for the sake of our marriage but also for the sake of our children. I don't know how long it would have taken to make a change in our marriage if we never had kids. So in a way having kids helped improve our marriage. We communicate better than we ever have before and understand each other better because we were forced to. We could have gone in the other direction though. I'm not saying our issues are gone but we have the same goal in mind now and that makes it easier. That said, having two kids with an ADHD spouse is definitely harder, and we are done having kids. I always wanted 3 and would still have another if I knew he could handle it but I don't think he could. I feel like we would hit another downward spiral and would probably end up divorced if we put the pressure of another child on our marriage. He is definitely done, and I think he knows his limitations. I know mine. I'm happy with our two kids and like I said, if he didn't have ADHD and we both wanted another I'd have more but with our situation I've accepted that we should be done.