I had suspected my DH had ADHD for months. We were seeing a therapist for one of our children for another reason and so was able to discuss one-on-one with him. He agreed to do the eval on my DH and ended up diagnosing DH with ADHD - PI. However, he said DH only needs meds - no therapy. WHAT!?!?!? The shocker was when he told me that I have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Traits and I need months of therapy.
Of course, when I read what the traits are, I think anyone living with a spouse with unmanaged ADHD would exhibit these traits/thoughts:
- I am fully responsible for myself and others
- I have to depend on myself to see that things get done.
- Others tend to be too casual, often irresponsible, self-indulgent or incompetent.
- I need order, systems, and rules in order to get the job done properly.
- If I don't have systems, everything will fall apart.
- Details are extremely important.
We have six kids whom he home-schools while I work a full-time job outside the home. If I didn't do all of the above things, how much more chaotic would my and my children's lives be? Anyone else run into this from a therapist? I would switch therapists in a heartbeat, but I know DH will never cross the threshold of another one. The only reason he was going to this one was because of the issues with our child.
I haven't run into this from
Submitted by PoisonIvy on
I haven't run into this from a therapist, but I do know that adjusting to my husband's ADHD has almost required me to be obsessive and compulsive. If it were just me, living by myself, I would be able to say to myself that rationally, all these bad things won't happen just because I do or don't do something. But many bad things HAVE happened as a result of my ADHD husband doing or not doing certain things, and so I've become hypervigilant about many issues and tasks.
Submitted by jennalemon on
Yes, it is like ... If you go to dinner and expect a nice time, you can relax and anticipate the food and enjoy. If you have been conditioned to go to dinner and the chair is pulled from under you or breaks every time in the past, you obsess about the chair and the floor - it hurts. Then someone calls you obsessed and compulsive and it's your fault that you are uncomfortable with the person causing the unexpected (and now expected) pain ... double ouch.
My husband's therapist blamed
Submitted by lauren07 on
My husband's therapist blamed most of the problems on me. He put him on depression meds only. The therapy hurt our marriage more because it caused my husband to blame me when he did crazy making or thoughtless things.
And yeah, I feel a bit ocd now, but it's a good thing. I am even better at getting things done.
It take one to know one :)
Submitted by c ur self on
I think most therapist, that haven't been married to an add/adhd or dealt with it on a level as personal as a spouse or child has only book knowledge to fall back on. Saying that I am sure there are some great one's out there. In my opinion for what its worth, I think a therapist knows if he can get both parties to look only at their own behaviors, he as a possibility of helping the relationship. But, we are the experts on their (add/adhd mates) behaviors...But, guess who is an expert on our (non-add/adhd spouse) behaviors? ouch, did I just say that? After taking the traits you have listed (I have most of them) into a marriage w/a wife who has chronic add, this is what I found out about myself after living with her for a few years, or I should say, the Lord had to reveal to me...I didn't want it, because I was the one who was responsible!, right? Well, I was so focused on her behaviors that to me (to my responsible world!) was so irresponsible, that I became angry, controlling, mothering, bitter, felt unloved, felt disrespected...Every add trait became my next knife in the back, and I could not get off the train,, and I had my reason to blame her, mostly her denial!!! it was her causing my pain...she was destroying my life. Well now, back to the therapist...I suggest you focus on you, own your attitudes, do not focus on his behaviors, focus on yours...Do not take responsibility for him, it's not your job! Do not be an enabler! I found out that I could love her, and be happy she is my wife. But, I could not do it, looking at the wreck she makes in the house. I could not do it focusing on her ability to hyper-focus on things that are not what I would call benifical to our relationship. I could not do it wishing she would show up at church before the service is half over. I could not do it focusing on her inability to control stupid outbursts, that I have to ignore. I could not do it focusing on the knowledge, I am going to do at least 85 % of the house work as long as we are married...The truth is my wife has Add, and it effects us...I have my own issues and they effect us also...so I had to decide if I was going to let add destroy me, and us, or just do as my wedding vows said, get up everyday and give 100% to my marriage, regardless of what my wife is giving...
Submitted by dedelight4 on
c ur self.....I understand and agree with most of what you wrote, but I sense a bit of a lack of empathy for this woman. She has SIX children. I haven't read in any of your posts whether or not you have children, but with six, homeschooled children.... and add to that..... an ADHD husband.....WOW..... THAT.... is enough to make a person go bonkers.
I'm sorry if it seems like
Submitted by c ur self on
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm not empathetic, that's not the case, it breaks my heart to read the pain and frustrations mom&wife and so many more are going through. See, I understand I live there everyday too...But, if there was an easy answer for us these posts would disappear. Add is constant...So we must recognize it's effects, and especially what it is capable of doing, and does do to us the partner. Mom&wife is tired, was she created to do what she is having to do? I will let answer that question. What is right for six children? We in America, get a view of life that we buy into, and we set back and say in our hearts, This is the way it should be, but when the circumstances of life (add behaviors for one) start throwing road blocks in our path we start wanting to fix it. How does that usually happen for the one who is feeling the strain? I tell you how it worked for me...Work harder, point out the incompetence regardless who's feeling get hurt, get some order and systems in place :). I have 4 children 23-35, and two grands..:)One w/adhd.
A lot on your plate!
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
With six kids (plus the ADHD husband) you have a ton going on! YIKES! Yes, it's likely you will wish to exert some control to keep things in order (or as I like to say, keep your lives from flying apart.) Try not to let that need to hold things together let you lose track of the most important part of your reason for getting married and having a family - the warmth of your relationships. It took me a very long time to learn that there are warm ways to keep things orderly (i.e. asking for assistance, setting up systems that allow all household members to participate with dignity), and there are cold ways to do it (i.e. ordering people around). My suggestion is that you focus on staying respectful and warm so you can control your environment without controlling the people you live with. In the meantime, your partner should address the ADHD symptoms or won't likely get far enough. Your therapist does you a disservice if he/she doesn't focus on what BOTH of you can do better.
On a different note, the most recent ADHD Report (which recaps the latest research on ADHD) had a really interesting study in it that reinforces the idea that the best treatment for ADHD is a combination of lower doses of medication combined with good behavior therapy. The research crossed dosing of medication at four levels (none (placebo), low, med, high) and 'dosing' of behavioral therapy (none, low intensity, and high-intensity behavioral therapy) to find out what combinations were most effective. To quote the report synopsis, "...Of interest is that there were no benefits of combined treatments (i.e. methylphenidate in this case combined with behavioral therapy treatment) when the dosage of either treatment was high, but the combination of the low-dose treatments (i.e. low doses of medication plus behavioral therapy) produced substantial incremental improvement over unimodal treatment."
Translated, that means that the advice that your husband only take medications is flawed.
Enabling and Controlling
Submitted by MomNWife on
I have been an enabler for years without realizing it. The ADHD symptoms really became a problem over the last 15 months. He bought two rental properties and they became the only thing he could focus on. As a result, everything else got dropped. I wouldn't worry so much about picking up what he has dropped, except that the consequences fall mainly on our kids (i.e. dinner late, forgetting to take them to appointments, forgetting to pick them up, etc). Once I figured out the ADHD and started reading about it, I quickly went back to the Boundaries book by Drs Cloud and Townsend to brush up on setting boundaries (I had to do this years ago with my mom). I also began letting some things go and stopped enabling him. The problem is, now that he knows I won't do things for him, he just asks the kids to do it. Since he is their dad, they obey his "order" to do things for him. This annoys me to no end. I know, I should probably let it go, but I'm worried that he is just training them to be enablers also.
Melissa, that is great advice to control the environment without controlling the people. I guess I'll have to figure out how to do just that. I do know that the overall stress level has caused me to be short-tempered with everyone. As far as therapy goes, I am willing to stay for a while in the hopes that my husband will figure out that he needs counseling also. A friend said when her ADHD husband started meds, he needed the therapy just to deal with the realization of what "normal" was like.
I am trying to "Let go and let God" take care of things. I just worry about the long-term impact on my kids. I guess that is just one more thing to trust God for.
I already had generalized
Submitted by LyraHeartstrings on
I already had generalized anxiety disorder and a bit of OCD but had therapy etc. With the ADHD I find that my anxiety flares much much worse and more often. After 3 years or so of being the puppet of his family, I finally had a nervous breakdown. I became very depressed, having panic attacks many times a day and so on. The stress is ridiculous. At first you just compensate, you think you're being a good wife, or kind or whatever. Then the months and years go by where you're never considered and it's like you're invisible except when a skapegoat is needed. I definitely believe that living with someone with ADHD would worsen anyone's existing anxiety and push anyone towards having to overcompensate with order and rules. You probably don't have OCD at all and it's a by product of the other person's chaos.