Book: The ADHD Effect on Marriage

I recently purchased the book - The ADHD Effect on Marriage. I have been married for 24 years and I believe my wife has ADHD. She does admit she probably has ADHD, but refuses to seek any help. Our 16 year old son has been recently diagnosed with ADHD and is currently taking medication for this. I have seen a big improvement in him, when he is on his ADHD medication. My wife shows many of the same symptoms as my son, but like I said before, refuses to seek help. I have spent countless hours researching ADHD and I am about at the end of my rope. This is why I decided to purchase this book. My Question is: Before I start reading , should I let my wife know, that I am reading this book, or be secretive about it? Should I suggest that she read the book first? Any suggestions would help. The strain and stress of the marriage is becoming too much for me to handle.
 

I don't know what the right

I don't know what the right answer is but I am in kind of a similar situation. I think my husband has this but I've only mentioned it kind of casually and he kind of affirmed agreement with some statements I made about what I'd heard it is like.  When I heard Melissa promoting the book I really thought it sounded like us so I decided then that I needed to learn more about this.  I did tell my husband I was going to read the book but I presented it by saying the book sounds like "us" and that I thought there were two specific things that sounded like our marriage that I thought could be better.  Then I told him I wanted to read the book and see if there was anything that might help "us" in these two areas and asked him if he was okay with that.  He said yes.  Since then he has occasionally referred to my reading about his "defect" or my learning more about his "disease".  I've shared a few things with him from the book that I thought were positive or at worse constructive and he was somewhat interested.  I'm hoping he will read it when I'm done - he does like to read.  I'm also reading Delivered from Distraction.

I'm not pushing the whole thing much though because our life isn't "bad" and for the most part I love a lot of things about him.  He's a very positive, confident, upbeat person and I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that by making him think he's "defective".

comments about being defective

When he "jokes" (hint - it's not really a joke - he's testing the waters here) about being "defective" or says you are reading about his "disease" you can/should reply that ADHD isn't a disease, it just is, and you're curious about it.  You don't think less of him because he has ADHD and, in fact, you cherish many parts of his ADHD but you are also trying to understand it better because there can be some negative behaviors associated with it that are manageable, but only if both partners know what they are dealing with.

In general, I find that making ADHD "neutral" in your relationship opens both partners to thinking openly and creatively about how to best exploit the positives of ADHD and manage the negatives.

One of the issues

One issue with ADHD is compounding shame.  Would there be any other type of book you might read and not share the fact that you're reading it openly?  I suggest you be completely open - you are reading it because you are curious and think it might help you understand your partnership better.  But don't try to push it down his throat.  If he gets curious because you mention something interesting, great.

Hidden feelings of shame often make a person with ADHD unwilling to fully deal with ADHD (or, they start taking medications but are ashamed that they need to do so to function).  Neutralizing the fact that ADD is part of your spouse's life (and an accepted one) is important, and being open about your curiosity is as good a place to start as any.

Wheels in Motion.

Melissa, Thanks for your help.  I took your suggestion and told my wife "I just want you to know that I am reading this book to help our marriage." (showed her the book).  She shrugged her shoulders and walked away.  As she walked away, I told her "I am just trying to help understand our marriage better".  It has been 4 days, since the conversation and I have not talked about it anymore and she has not mentioned anything about it.  It is out in the open and I feel comfortable about reading the book.  This is a good start.  Thanks, Again.