I just recently found this site and have been reading. I've only found one other poster, ChaosQueen, who has said that they were in a double AD(H)D marriage and just like her I read so much that is relevant to my situation but none that share the larger more complicated picture of being in a double ADD marriage. Is there anyone else out there...
I am male, mid 40's and was formally diagnosed with ADD (no H) about 10 years ago, though I began suspecting in my very early 30's but didn't want to admit it. I feel I have to a large degree "overcome" it in that it is well managed with 72mg of Concerta and a fairly strict and diligent routine to prevent the common lost keys, missed bills, forgotten appointments, etc. I have also come to grips with what types of activities I can accomplish and what I absolutely will not be able to do acceptably which led me many years ago, in fact even before being diagnosed, to change careers from accounting to that of a technology professional for a very large and demanding company. In this new career I have succeeded far better than I ever envisioned myself doing mostly through a series of unplanned blessings provided for me to stumble into by a very benevolent Heavenly Father. My current bosses are aware of my condition and have amazingly worked with me to find ways to leverage my talents and strengths while minimizing the non-normal challenges that my ADD adds, and for this I am immensely grateful. This was not the case at my prior employer for 15 years up until 6 years ago. In my home relationship I am definitely the parent in the dynamic as all of the finances, planning of most kinds, reconciling, etc all fall on me; this despite all of my attempts to suppress that dynamic and be as equal with my wife as feasibly possible. I am fairly well organized and have developed processes, locations and lists to help keep track of most everything. Being a technology professional I have also found ways to apply technology so as to help me overcome many of the ADD challenges that I face on a daily basis.
My wife of so far 18 years is 2 years younger than I and was diagnosed with ADD (also no H) a few years after I was when I began understanding the condition and seeing the previously misunderstood symptoms manifesting in her as well. She also takes 54mg of Concerta and has for several years but we have both come to recognize recently that it probably isn't the right med for her. She has also overcome much adversity in life, much of it due to ADD induced hindrances, and has attained a masters degree in teaching and become a very gifted kindergarten teacher. She has a passion and magic about her when it comes to small children that awes me. I often feel like the spouse of a rock star when we go shopping as invariably we will run into a child that she had in her class often years earlier and they still remember her and want to give her a hug. Amazingly she will always without fail still remember their names, all of their siblings, parents and more. She can't remember to drop off the mortgage payment I gave her just 30 minutes prior but she never forgets a child and every detail about them.
Her difficulties in her work lie in all of the increasingly demanding bureaucratic overhead that has begun to be thrust upon the education profession by voter pleasing politicians and politician pleasing educational bureaucracies. This overhead only keeps her from being able to teach most effectively and because of it's displeasing nature to her it takes her 2-5 times longer to perform than her peers. This time and energy commitment basically leaves her little left for the rest of us, which is a problem. On top of that my wife is an unorganized disaster and we have heaps and stacks of educational materials and supplies everywhere. Lots of our personal money is tied up in all this stuff that only burdens us with "stuff management" issues that we are ill prepared to deal with. When the disorganization begins to pile up excessively in our primary living spaces, sometimes to the point of having what I call "hoarder paths" through the house, and I begin to feel the shame and embarrassment of this then we are primed for the periodic explosions that have come to cost our marriage so dearly.
I try very hard to be understanding, empathetic and encouraging, which I feel I should be able to do since I deal with all of the same issues but this all goes unnoticed and instead the focus is on my "controlling" when I try to help her bring some order to the chaos despite my experience in dealing with the same types of issues. She also doesn't want me messing with her stuff so instead I focus on helping keep the laundry, dishes and vacuuming done in addition to the typical male yard work, automotive and honey-do items, but this carries no recognition in the light of the hard feelings toward me for confronting the oppressive unacceptable disorganization. This resentment in turn has destroyed our sex life, which is not non-existent but has no initiation, passion, intimacy or desire on her part except when she's had a bit too much to drink (which we very rarely ever partake in for many reasons).
We also have 2 teenage kids, a very smart and creative but underachieving boy also with ADD (no H) and on Concerta, and a high achieving girl who naturally has the focus of an owl, incredible self motivation and drive and the determination to achieve absolutely everything she sets her mind to. I don't know where she gets it, couldn't be from us, but I don't remember adopting her either. :) The dynamic of parenting these two vastly different personalities has its own challenges and costs as well, but I feel these problems are merely side shows to the big show that is our disorganization and undependability. They're both really good kids with no real problems, but I fear our problems will eventually damage them.
My wife and I seem to both have different types of ADD where off my meds I shut down, retreat inwards, become Walter Mitty and can't make myself do anything that isn't mentally entertaining. She on the other hand is more classical ADD (without H) and is undependable in remembering tasks or anything unimportant to her and wholly unorganized not wanting to take the time to put things where they belong and as a consequence losing everything when it is needed (so we go buy more if that solves the problem for now).
So I'd really like to hear from any other double AD(H)D couples, the issues you deal with, how you deal with them and what does and doesn't work for you. Thanks much.