On the brink of giving up

Hi all I am new here so please bare with me, I have been with my husband scince we were 13 and we had our first child at 14, we now have two children age 14 and 7, our 7 year old is deaf and disabled so as you can imagine life has not been easy for either of us. My husband was diagnosed with adult add after his mother recommended he saw the same doctor who diagnoised her, When he was diagnosed about 3 years ago it was, at first a relief to him and me and the medication seemed to help.. We went through some problems and saw a marriage counsellor and did split up for a while but seemed to have sorted things out, whilst we were seperated my husband stopped taking the medication saying that he felt better off it and has just recently  begun taking it again. The problems I am having at the moment have been going on forever but i think Im just getting fed up of dealing with every thing alone I understand his add hinders him slightly but how do i know what is add and what is just him? I think he has become so used to the way he is I dont think he sees a way of changing I dont want to sound like im putting him down because I love him very much but just some friendly advice on what i could do would be of great help.

I suppose the biggest problem  i have at the moment is his complete and total self obsession he thinks only of what he needs or he wants I have to constently remind him to try to think of others, he has just started taking the ritalin again (about 3 weeks ago) and he is on antidepressents, the ritalin does seem to help him focus but again on himself he can spend hours and hours on the internet and as soon as i ask him to do anything becomes very grumpy He is very withdrawn all of the time and seems to have something new wrong with him daily, he is constantly shouting at the kids and his relationship with our eldest is at rock bottom as he feels the need to make comments on everything from the way he eats to the way he dresses he also does this with me he always notices something wrong and is constanly complaing this needs doing or we need to do that, he also seems to have an obsession with smells everything smells so much so that even after i have wahsed and cleaned my teeth i lay uncomfortable in our bed as i know he will mention it this has even led me to sleep on the sofa. We have talked this through a million times with always the same response sorry I know what Im like but the thing is I dont want him to be sorry I just want him to be happy and hes not ever. When he is in the house its like a tension in the atmosphere and the worst thing is he just seems so unhappy and angry all the time I have felt guilty in the past but I know now that its not me I want to help but I dont know how. This has been going on for years but has got worse because i am now working full time and he is not I try to be supportive but its draining to always be the supporter we never laugh and talk and sex is also a no no. we have been or sorry I have been working on this for years and nothing ever seems tyo change is there something i can do or are we just doomed ? thankyou for taking the time to read this I know I have harped on but its just a relief to have someone or sompe people to talk to that may understand thankyou again x Ps he also talks to his mother at least 5 times a day sometimes more

Is it ADD or Just Him?

Actually, except for how you decide to treat it, it doesn't matter if you can label your husband's issues "ADD" or something else. What matters is that he is doing a number of things that are alienating you and your children, rather than pulling you together as a family. You need to treat these things as symptoms, as well as stake out your place in this household by drawing some firmer boundaries.

  • Starting from the end. It's not okay for your husband to use his mother as a confidant, rather than you. You can't control his relationship with her, but perhaps you can talk with him and explain that you are feeling as if the two of you have drifted too far apart. You know he has a great deal on his mind, and can he share those things with you?  If you think it appropriate, you may wish to approach her and suggest that right now she is interfering in your husband's ability to focus on his family.
  • Second, consider talking with him about teens and what constant criticism does to them.  Ask him to clarify house rules with you - what is acceptable in terms of clothing, hours, activities, curfews, etc.  Then, have a family meeting and discuss these rules with the kids and with him (consider writing them down and posting them).  Let everyone know that your goal is to have everyone respect the rules so that there isn't so much "picking on each other" going on in the house.  Ask your husband if the two of you can talk about what's worth commenting on with the teens and what isn't before he nags.  If he has trouble with this idea, perhaps you can ask him to put himself in his kids' shoes for a little bit.  How would he feel if he were being nagged and picked on all the time?  If you can manage it, it is always a good idea to have the kids help you decide how to frame the rules - they'll be much more likely to live by them if they are involved in creating them.
  • Anger is one potential symptom of ADD.  His depression may well be linked to his ADD, too.  Have him talk with his doctor about anger and see if other ADD medications might work better for him and help him control his anger as well as his focus.  Sounds as if ritalin isn't perfect for him, as he reports he doesn't like taking it.  There are many other options out there and he should explore them until he either finds something he likes better or decides that ritalin is the best option.
  • Some people with ADD have hypersensitivity - for some it's to touch, others to smell.  I'm not a doctor, and don't know the details about this, but it is real and he should also talk with his doc about this.
  • You are correct to pinpoint never laughing as an issue.  Hopefully some of the tension will ease when the rules for the kids are clarified, mom backs out of the picture, and his meds are straightened out.  At that point, see if you can get him to focus on the present and start doing some fun things together - maybe even silly.  Go go-cart racing or something different...just for the hell of it.
  • Your sex is complicated by your relationship, guilt and the rest right now.  Try working on a different type of intimacy first - holding hands is usually a good start, or a short peck on the cheek or forehead for no real reason other than you are thinking fond thoughts.
  • At some point, you'll probably want to see a marriage counsellor and start working on your communication skills together.  I would advise that you focus on the present and the future, not on the past.  What can you do TODAY to make today and tomorrow better.  FInd a counsellor who is willing to do that and not tromp around in the bad feeligns of the past, and I think you will maximize your chances for success.

Melissa Orlov

I understand..

I will start off by saying that unfortunately, I have no answers for you, but that I understand almost completely what you are going through. I wish I had answers and solutions myself. I have now been married to my husband (who also happen to have ADHD) for 3 1/2 years now (no children). Now you said your husband has ADD, but there are so many similarities, and sometimes people even mix them up. However, my husband seems a lot more hyperactive than how you described your husband so that would be a difference. As I read through what you wrote, I shoke my head so many times because I can relate so much; the total self-obsorbtion, not thinking of others, spending so much of his time on the internet, struggle with daily tasks, unhappy... or the other extreme, so happy and hyperactive that he gets annoying, and sense sensitivity. My husband has a strong sensitivity to touch. Doesn't like to be touched typically. Our marriage is really struggling. I noticed problems with him withing the first 6 months of being married. He would totally embarass me (no on purpose) when we were out with other couples, etc. Even when its just the two of us at home I struggle with either the ADD side or the ADHD (hyperactive side) of him. Especially the self-obsession. He has such good heart and has good intentions but does not realize he is like this, and doesnt even show me the affection or kindness that I deserve. I remind him of this all the time but that doesnt seem to do any good. It usually just ends up in an argument. He just can't see it. It's just the way I am he says! So anways, I understand your frustration pretty well. I am sorry that you hurt with this. It is so hard! My heart goes out to you.