Are there ADHD interventions?

I suppose this may belong in the 'Treatment' section of this forum.  I am posting it here because 99.9% of my interactions and posting are in this section.

I wonder if an intervention is something that works with ADHD.  My spouse is so deep in his denial  whew - no responsibility for any unrest belongs to him - for anything.  He is misunderstood.  Friends take advantage of him.  Business associates screw him out of money.  His family is against him.  I expect too much,  I am never happy with him.  He tries so hard. . . . . . . .  He does not believe anyone outside the 4 walls of our home think there is anything amiss in our home life.  And if there are, they are just a**es who don't matter anyway.

I just do not want to give up.  I just gotta believe there is SOME WAY to get through to him.  

I do not know if his childhood experiences also affect his life.   He grew up with criticism, and feeling as he would never be good enough.  I do believe in the old saying: your childhood may have been rough, but your finish does not have to be a never-ending-rerun.  He is super defensive.  Does not apologize if I am hurt by his behavior - his idea is he only has to apologize if his 'intention' was to hurt or be mean.  Anything else, he takes no responsibility.  

Anyone have any input on the intervention idea?  did you try it?  did it help?  Did it back-fire?



I haven't tried it but I just

I haven't tried it but I just said last night to a friend that I wish someone would do an intervention on my husband!  The thought has crossed my mind before; last night,  it was triggered by my recent viewing of a movie in which the main character is an alcoholic but can't or won't stop drinking despite all the problems his drinking is clearly causing.


Hello. It seems to me that an intervention would lead to more extreme defensiveness, and he'd accuse you all of being against him too. It's possible that if you scheduled it for his prime control time, well fed, rested, mid afternoon. You would also need to have indisputable evidence  of behavior that caused harm. My dh is all about the evidence. Risky strategy. Have you tried marriage counseling? That can be a safe place for you to share without being interrupted or pushed off track. Might be easier on ego than a group. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture


Yes, I agree.  I would never attempt it on my own.  I just wondered if it is ever done.

I know it would cause an onslaught of defensiveness.  

We have gone to many counselors over the years.  We even did Melissa Orlov's sessions.  I don't know why I can't just quit and throw in the towel.    Not only am I exhausted, I am also very weary and disheartened.  Sad.  Embarrassed.  Ashamed.  

I am ready for some joy.  I want some joy.  I NEED some joy.


You do deserve joy! Lots of joy. I generally try to make my own. Dh isn't gonna bring it to the door, tho he might partake. And hope he doesn't disrupt it. I think if he hasn't gotten the point with counselors and the course an intervention won't do any good. The lightbulb has to want to change, and people telling him he needs changing rarely does the trick. Sometimes I think it's like "hitting bottom" before you will kick the addiction.  I'm sorry to hear you are embarrassed and ashamed. It sounds like you have tried extraordinarily hard to make it work. That is something to be proud of. Unfortunately sheer will can not change someone else's wiring. Good luck finding your joy!

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Joy in degrees

I am able to find some bits of joy.

 I really can't find any joy in my marriage.

I have done so much work on myself over the past years, I've almost turned myself inside out.  Life is about growing and stretching and becoming the best you can be.

I so, so, so just want to live.  I know everything that is worth anything takes work.  

This is beyond ridiculous.  Holding on to my marriage has become a distasteful chore.  

I am working my way through the book the Dance of Anger.  

I really do not want to work my way through anything else.  I want to get myself out from under the magnifying glass.  And enjoy me.



Hey there, I'm so--

Sorry to hear you are going through this. I did a lot of checking into interventions in my own situation. There were some divided opinions out there as to whether they were a good idea or not--either unfair and overwhelming or a good way to end the denial. I did not do it myself because my STBX had some pretty severe anger management issues and I was afraid it would set him off at me later. I would think that with some personalities, it may be a positive step. 

It sounds like you are doing and trying all of the right things. I am familiar with the weary feeling you have. Whatever happens, my best to you and try hard to take care of yourself. 


I did it (intervene) to my

I did it (intervene) to my add wife just after Thanksgiving last year and has made a big difference. Were both 45 and have been married 27 years. She was diagnosed as a child and has off and on been on meds, seen many doctors. She has seen her current doctor for the last 3, and "was taking" meds. Along with the forgetfulness, clutter, etc. the last few months she was verbally and physically abusive to me. She had threatened her own life and mine on more than one occasion. Let me add she also has a health problem a team of doctors are currently working on, they don't know what it is but some very rare form of ulcerative colitis, she was hospitalized 3 times last year for it, at times has conveyed her no longer going on with this condition.

 Here is what i did, we had been arguing intensely the week before thanksgiving, she stayed in her office and didn't come home at night. I called her boss to see if she was there. She works at a state hospital(IT analyst). Her boss gave me an earful, my wife wasn't doing her job, and they were close to "taking action" on her. She then walked down to the clinic and spoke to doctors that know my wife. They urged me to take action to get her some help, and advised me what to do. I did just that, phoned the coroner to see what my rights were as a spouse, they were willing to immediately intervene but i told him i'd like her to have the opportunity to seek help voluntarily. I confronted her on the monday morning just before work, told her what was up with work and to let me get help. I didn't bring up the fact i had contacted authorities. As luck would have it, she had a doc appointment that day. I counted her pills, and called the doctor. Talked to him for a few minutes and told him the situation. I went to the appointment with her. The doctor talked to her a few minutes and then asked her if she was taking her medication as prescribed. She said yes... then he turned to me and asked me what i thought. I said there was 11 in one bottle(adderall 30 xr) and 15 in the other(adderall 10). One weird thing that happened was he asked the nurse to take me out to the waiting room for 5 minutes. Now i don't know what he said to her in that time but she has been a totally different person since. After that he gave us some tips on learning to talk to each other peacefully.

 We have been doing much better since. Ive read the adhd effect on marriage cover to cover. I will admit i was somewhat ignorant on what add/adhd was and how much she struggles in daily life. We have been able to talk to each other, go on dates, enjoying hobbies, heck even back to sex on occasion. As for the forgetfulness, junk clutter, leaving drawers open....etc   Working on it. Baby steps.

Seems like it would be hard

Seems like it would be hard for anyone else to truly know what goes on with the spouse, especially if it's been a relationship that is one way outwardly, and then another way privately (like ours is).

I think until your spouse has a friend or connects with someone who is struggling with the same problem.... who can be honest with him, and that he respects and likes.... he will rarely listen to the ones who are close to the situation. But there is a chance he'll listen to the peer he respects. Or some celebrity on TV who has something to say about the condition.

That's how my dh sought treatment, after a colleague on the spectrum told him that my dh's ADHD was very obvious on the job. Somehow, my dh was able to convince the dr he is only ADD because he can dial down the hyperactivity on command. So his diagnosis is ADD, not ADHD. I'd been asking him to see a dr for 6 years with no progress. But a casual conversation with a friend started the ball rolling. So, you might need someone who is in the same boat willing to talk with your spouse, or at least reveal to him that they have it, and have sought help for their issues. And that it is not anything to be ashamed of.  Since my dh sought help, he's been wearing the diagnosis almost like a badge of courage to anyone who will listen to him.




I'm So Exhausted's picture

Intervention Schmentervention

Interesting that this old thread of mine should pop up.  I just cannot formulate an intervention on my own.  

Saddly, I am very cross - pissed quite actually - that my spouse has decided to avoid/ignore the deadline of January 28, 2014.  With no efforts on working on things that I feel are important in our marriage - it will die.

Did you ever hear of that saying "That which I fear I create." I don't know how to determine if I have created an end to my 29 year marriage by having a deadline.  I need joy.  I need to feel important.  I need to have my dreams and needs and wants honored.  I need a life other than trying to figure out how to survive in this cold dysfunctional relationship.  This just is not working for me anymore.  All my time is absorbed by trying to figure out why I should wait for that deadline.  Tic Toc Tic Toc.  It is approaching.  And dash it all to hell, he will let it die.

Did you ever hear of that

Did you ever hear of that saying "That which I fear I create."


That concept is one I am struggling with mightily right now as well.  The concept of a self fulfilling prophecy.  And what the difference is between a self fulfilling prophecy and just fate or a gut feeling.  How do we know which is which?  

For example:  When I was married, my H and I had some intimacy issues.  I had never had a lot of self confidence in that area and so I developed a fear that he would leave me because of sex (and boy did that make me mad and defensive).  Well, we DID end up getting divorced...his decision (though we are now great friends and I can NOW see that it was a good decision), and one of the reasons was because of our intimacy issues.  So, I felt like perhaps part of me MADE it a cause...self fulfilling.

And with my current situation with my untreated ADHD BF walking out on our relationship without a word...well, I knew that he had never left anyone before...everyone always broke up with or divorced him.  I had a fear in my head...what if he someday leaves me?  And here we are.  Self fulfilling prophecy or just me gut knowing that things weren't right?'s hard on one's self esteem and I am stuck going back and forth in my head about all of this.

I am so sorry for what you are going through.  Being able to see time ticking away and knowing in your gut that he is unable or unwilling to do anything...that must hurt a lot.  You deserve joy.  You deserve to feel important and be acknowledged.


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Cascade of Social Functioning  I was just reading about the Cascade of Social Functioning.  It sure describes where my ADHD spouse is trapped.  HE needs to see it.  HE needs to want to work it out.  HE needs to accept his issues and how they affect our marriage.  A good understanding of what is expected behavior in a particular situation is definitely a major struggle for him. 

He claims he has spent tens of thousands of dollars on counseling.  I show him how we have not - doesn't matter, in his brain he did.  He has step by step plans of action from at least 2 of the last 2 ADHD specialist he saw.  He claims no one has helped him.  In actuality, he has not followed any of the steps.

Surely hard - but HE has to accept his behavior.  I can't force it.