Can meds help his outlook on ADHD as a core problem in our marriage?

My husband recently started seeing another psychiatrist for the ADHD.  He started 4 weeks ago and so far little to no results on Strattera, but based on what I've read, it requires some patience.  He believes meds are "just for now" and that his goal is to get off of them (I think he needs to stay on them...).

He also believes ADHD is not the core problem in our marriage -- ADHD's just some of his quirks.  According to him, the marriage is terrible because I'm me and I push too hard and criticize too much, and he's him and maybe we're not compatible after all (we've been married 8 years and have 3 small kids).  Yet our destructive patterns fit the ADHD rollercoaster perfectly and I believe at our core we are very compatible.  He chides my effort at ADHD knowledge, books, makes fun of me joining a support group and sees it as a way to shirk responsibility in my failings in the relationship.  Any ADHD dialogue gets shut down.  He tells me I should spend more time working on myself and my issues ("maybe I need meds") and to "back off".  All negative thinking and he is very fragile right now and he's ready to get a divorce.

Frankly, the realization that ADHD was so fundamental to the negative patterns gave me relief and gave me lots of things I want to work on for myself and ideas that could help us as a couple -- but has caused him to feel judged by me and made our marriage extremely contentious.  He sees me as the enemy always looking for the ADHD characteristics in him to blame him -- even when I try to talk to him positively, acknowledge my bad behaviors and patterns that contribute, etc.  He doesn't want me to go there AT ALL and all I get is a negative black and white response and now he's thinking divorce.

I get it, and am trying to back off, but I'm concerned that there is no hope for us, especially the way he withdraws into his own world and totally ignores me/resents me and shuts down.  My question is this -- can the right ADHD meds fundamentally change their outlook and willingness to explore things and get things going slightly in the right direction (I know they are not a silver bullet) or am I kidding myself here?

Miss Behaven's picture

Meds are not the magic bullet

Meds are not the magic bullet you are seeking. They will help in a lot of ways. But the things you are asking for are more often the result of therapy and hard work from both partners.

 

Also allow a person with a new diagnosis to go through a grieving process. It takes time to wrap your head around the fact that you are damaged goods. Everything that you go through when you losse a loved one you go through when you are diagnosed with something like ADD. It takes time. The non-ADD spouse wants to start fixing things now, understandable. But in reality dealing with the fact that you have been robbed of ever being truly "normal" takes a process to come to terms with before you can even begin to "fix' things.

Carmen's picture

Deeper than meds

Being a spouse of an ADD, I understand what you mean, but my husband has always been cordial, calm and willing to share his deficits and asking for help where/when necessary. I think I have been the "bad guy" because sometimes my patience is shorter than it should be. It is hard to understand an ADD mind! And harder to cope with it. It requires lots of love...from both parts!

Meds are  vital and it can take a while until they "quick in", but  I really believe that meds will not make the change you want in your marriage.  According to what you say, the communication between both needs to be improved. Even though, the ADD factor seems to be a "bad ingredient" to your communication, you can turn things around and transform it into a "good one", in changing your strategies of dialogue and in trying to get his attention to what really matters.

I hope that the "D word" will not be in yours and your spouse dictionary. It is more hurtful than one can think and instead of "fixing" a problem, it brings other problems to the table, much more difficult to deal with.

I will be praying for you and your family!
 

Meds are not the magic bullet

Miss B,

I have to agree with you about a grieving process.  It does hit someone hard when they find out they aren't exactly "normal".  Especially, if it is later in life.  I believe this has happened with my husband.  Even though his diagnosis was over three years ago, he still seems to remain in this grieving period.  He is on medication and has had some counseling but continues to remain stuck in most areas.  He just doesn't seem to want to do the hard work required to become a better person.  The ADHD seems to be like a security blanket to him and he uses it as his excuse almost every day.  It is frustrating and sad because he has so much potential.  Perhaps he'll never get out of this grieving period.  Time will tell.  It really hurts when you are with someone who continues to make bad choices in their life. 

Think it's the End

Great perspective on the grieving process....it really is a good way of looking at it.  Unfortunately, could be too late for me.  Over the last few days he has totally pulled the plug, acted meanly and emotionlessly and decided that we should go our separate ways and I've seen very little of him since.  Even as his symptoms have gotten worse over the last 2-3 years, he's decided to stick with believing ADHD is not a real problem for him and it's "mild".  By nature he is a very stubborn person, who believes he is usually right and is not comfortable asking for help or admitting any weaknesses.

I think I'm a glaring reminder of his ADHD and he just wants the whole thing to go away.  He literally said that this whole ADHD thing I'm fixated on has pushed him over the edge with the relationship and he cannot buy into "my alternate reality" of thinking ADHD is a serious issue and a core problem in our marriage and refuses to see an ADHD counselor (although he's still trying the meds unsuccessfully).  So much for approaching him in a positive way!  Now I'm literally the enemy and he wants nothing to do with me anymore.

Too bad he wasn't diagnosed and started treatment at a younger age and maybe he'd be in a better place today -- but his parents (teachers) don't believe it really exists and his Mom has a lot of ADD symptoms!  Time to get a job after almost 6 years of being a stay at home Mom and put my little girls first and let go of HIS alternate reality....so sad.

His undiagnosed ADHD wasn't as bad the first few years we were married -- less restless, finished more projects, less impulsive, more able to shift gears, fewer emotional outbursts, better moods, more able to sit and just hang out.  Not sure if it's an aging brain combined with financial stress that pushed him over the edge but his symptoms at age 36 are so much more exaggerated now than when he was even 5 years younger, and even less noticeable 10 years ago.  I can't reach him.  I feel like the guy I married has disappeared and been replaced with someone I don't even recognize.  Has anyone else experienced an increase in symptoms with age/circumstance?

Carmen's picture

Could be wrong medication...??

Hi,

I do think that with age, the ADHD symptoms worsen... especially if the person does not "believe" that s/he has a problem... and the family does not "believe" it exists! It is a pity that this situation puts an end to so many marriages. I have always believed that dialogue could be the "way to go". If he is in a "wrong treatment" it will of course get worse: If he has other issues (like depression, hyperactivity, borderline symptoms) he might be taking the wrong medication... ADDers take stimulants and "stimulants" can have the opposite effect if your husband has other issues... and this could be complicating the problem instead of helping. It would be desirable that the both of you could go to his doctor together... or you could make a phone call to his doctor and disclose the situation at home. I believe that ADD/ADHDers should be so thankful for their wives! They plan such an important role in trying to help them... I pray that both of you have the necessary wisdom and the love, important ingredients, to turn things around!

Reply to Think its the End

This is was my life exactly.  Ever word of it.  My marriage ended 5 mths ago.  Your every word hit home with me and was my experience exactly.  The man I was with 10 yrs ago does not exist and the person he is now is a stranger to me.  I threw him out when I discovered an affair, but he had been lying and cheating for the past 2-3 yrs and just had not gotten caught.  Now he wants to sweep the whole mess under the rug.  We present reality.  They are in denial and that is where my spouse firmly wants to stay.  It is so much easier for them to blame us for everything.  I have dragged him to counseling, threatened divorce to make him go, took him to marriage counseling 1 1/2 yrs ago when the infidelity behaviors began to rear their ugly head.  Well I say good luck.  He had zero history of long term relationships prior to meeting me.  Given his current disorders ADHD, OCD and Depression I wish the next person "good luck".  I stayed way too long at great expense to my own mental health.  Even the people who commit to treatment have a "good enough" life style, will never have the husband like your neighbor next door.  When you think about what we give up in terms of quality of life to be with someone with untreated ADHD the glass is quite empty.  I wish you all the luck in the world.  My husband is now living with his Mom and Dad at 37 and spends the majority of his time in bars flirting with 18 to 20 yr old girls and he is very happy doing so.  He gave up a loving wife, a beautiful step daughter, two chocolate Labrador retrievers, a water front home on a fresh water lake with Swans swimming outside our window.  The view is like the Monet water lily painting.  Before he left he was totally and utterly out of control in every way imaginable.  I have lived the books verbatim. He is now sleeping on a mattress on the floor in his parent's home.  He is much happier now.  They don't want normal.  They want chaos.  They want dysfunction.  Normal, stable, routine is boring to them.   Be strong, your online friends are here for you especially me.  Your words spoke to me and were so validating.  Thank you so much for sharing.

Carmen's picture

Deeper than meds

Being a spouse of an ADD, I understand what you mean, but my husband has always been cordial, calm and willing to share his deficits and asking for help where/when necessary. I think I have been the "bad guy" because sometimes my patience is shorter than it should be. It is hard to understand an ADD mind! And harder to cope with it. It requires lots of love...from both parts!

Meds are vital and it can take a while until they "quick in", but I really believe that meds will not make the change you want in your marriage. According to what you say, the communication between both needs to be improved. Even though, the ADD factor seems to be a "bad ingredient" to your communication, you can turn things around and transform it into a "good one", in changing your strategies of dialogue and in trying to get his attention to what really matters.

I hope that the "D word" will not be in yours and your spouse dictionary. It is more hurtful than one can think and instead of "fixing" a problem, it brings other problems to the table, much more difficult to deal with.

I will be praying for you and your family!

Deeper than meds

Unfortunately, the "D word" was thrown at me almost every time we got in a discussion about anything important.  It is hurtful and even though we now have the diagnosis and an explanation as to why he has had these angry outbursts, it did bring on more problems.  I hate to say it but I am still having difficulty getting those angry outbursts out of my mind.  It is hard to accept that from a loved one.

It is...nothing can be taken

It is...nothing can be taken back after it is said. Divorce was a 'threat' we both used far too much, and after years of seeing no progress, and losing hope, I jsut fell into the pits of hell with him and became far more angry than he ever was. It's such a horrible, horrible cycle. Do yourself a favor...let go of the past...and give the benefit of the doubt, and move forward with a clean slate. I knew he didn't mean what he was saying, but never could figure out why he would say it. Now I know, it's not personal. And I'm sure it wasn't personal for you in your situation either. I honestly think it's their 'coping mechanism'. If he was hurt, then he had to hurt me 1000 times worse...even  if it meant lying.

It is...nothing can be taken by SherriW13

Oh, I did do myself a favor.  The last time he threw the "D" word at me, I had finally had it and let him know that I was ready to go for it.  Only problem, we couldn't afford a divorce.  Too much debt.  Neither one of us could make it on our own.  Sad but true.  During all of this turmoil my husband was diagnosed with ADHD and at least gave us some answers as to why our relationship has been awful.  He is also fighting anxiety, depression, ODD, and BPD with probably other things in the mix.  OH BOY!!!   In letting go of our past, living in the present and moving toward a future, I have let it remain known that if for some reason he feels he still wants a divorce at some point that I am OK with that.  For now, he is still here and we seem to be doing as well as can be expected.  I do continue with my "plan B" in the event things do not work out.     

My husband took meds and they

My husband took meds and they made him worse. He was half-heartedly diagnosed as ADD years ago, took Concerta, and it made his moods HORRIBLE. He stopped taking it. He doesn't want to take meds and I don't want him to either. From what I can tell, meds do not replace the negative behaviors and the impulse control issues, they only help with the ADD person's ability to 'think' more clearly. (please someone correct me if I'm wrong..this is what I was told by our counselor). He will need some behavior therapy as well.

If I had a nickel for every time I lived your scenario I would be rich. I blamed him (didn't know he was truly ADD), he blamed me (I nagged too much, he loved me but hated me, I criticized everything he did, he could never do anything right), and we got nowhere. I suspect he's probably got a LOT going on right now, newly diagnosed and having to accept that...and getting to the point where he'll take his own advice and work on HIMSELF and stop pointing all of the blame at you will probably take some time. I would just explain to him that you get it..that you're both at fault...but that you both have to admit fault and accept responsibility for stopping the roller coaster. It is very difficult to stop the blame game and start to look inward at what WE are doing to make things worse...especially when he's shutting you out and pushing you away and ready to walk out the door (been there three times with my husband...two of those times he was cheating). Stand firm in getting YOURSELF some help to help you cope with everything that's happening and just leave him to absorb everything and process it all. I wish I had better advice, but I don't. The harder you try, at this point, the worse it will be for you. I know, trust me. Put a smile on your face, go on with life as best as possible, tell him you're doing what you have to to change your attitude...and hope for the best. ((((HUGS)))

Are we married to the same man?

Hi getmetothelight. I think you and I may be married to the same man. Maybe when he disappears he's coming down here to Atlanta.

Kidding aside, my ADHD hubby was diagnosed as a child of 6, but I don't think he truly accepts that he has ADHD. I have obsessive compulsive disorder, and I was diagnosed at 19, but not until I was 31 did the light switch on and I truly understood what it meant to be OCD and how it affects my life and the lives of my loved ones. It's like before that I was expecting it to "go away" somehow. When I finally "got it" I sought cognitive behavioral therapy on top of my meds and I finally began improving dramatically. I was on (and still am on) meds from the age of 19, but my acceptance wasn't there.

Getting back to our husbands, I agree that when someone finally "gets" that they have a disorder whether they were diagnosed recently or long ago, they have trouble adjusting emotionally to the idea that they are "different." (I think at first many see it as faulty rather than different)

My husband recently had an awful angry outburst at me and said very hurtful things after I had told him 2 weeks prior thatthese outbursts had to stop. After the outburst 2 weeks ago I told him he had to seek treatment with an ADHD expert to work on behavioral strategies for managing his ADHD and to get his meds reevaluated. My hubby is on Stratera now, but I can't see that it makes much of a difference. Additionally, I think my hubby may be depressed and have anxiety, 2 things that can often be found along with the ADHD and I think all of these issues need to be treated.

My hubby also tells me that our problem is that I am "to sensitive" get "upset for no reason" and that he "never knows what will make me mad." He has recently told me that he doesn't know if we can work our marriage out because we may just not be good together. Like you, I feel that we are quite compatible and his ADHD symptoms are just running rampant. My husband is in total denial and has finally moved out as I told him I would no longer live with him if he refused to seek treatment. I told him I did not want to end things, but that until he was ready to see an expert I needed to be away from him.

He moves into his condo on September 19, but in the meantime he has been staying with coworkers (who are considerably younger than he is) and he seems to be having the time of his life, from what I have gathered from his coworkers Facebook postings. He has been very passive aggressive with me, and has done things such as not returning my call last night after agreeing we would talk with the reason that he was very busy fixing his coworker's washing machine.

I think my out of control husband can't accept that he has ADHD, even though he has known almost his whole life. He is having trouble with the idea that it isn't just a name or something to joke about, but a nearly debilitating condition at times that wreaks havoc on his life and my life. At this time I have told him that he should contact me when he decides to make working on our relationship a priority that falls above fixing a washing machine, but that I will not call or email unless I hear from him. I have disconnected from his coworkers on Facebook.

My husband is, at heart, a good man and I do love him dearly, but right now the man I love has gone AWOL. I am hoping that if I give him time and space he will reach the conclusion that his life could be so much better in every way if he were to treat his ADHD. Not just our relationship would benefit, but I believe every other aspect of his life would also improve. I know he should want to treat his ADHD for himself, and not just for the sake of our relationship, but I am still hoping he will decide his  life is better with me in it than without, and that it is worth it to deal with his ADHD in order to continue to share a life with me. My hubby takes a long time to realize things, is extraordinarily stubborn, and has a very hard time admitting he is wrong. I am hoping he returns to me as someone who has taken ownership of his problems, and does not blame others for them, however, I am accepting (though kicking and screaming all the way) that he must DECIDE he wants to change and that I cannot force it.

It sounds like you may be in a similar situation and I would advise you to give him his space, and maybe he will be able to work through his issue. I wish you the best of luck. Message me if you want to chat. :)

Are we married to the same man?

I'm finally going to comment on this site.  I apologize in advance for my rambling and great length.  I would give anything to have some of you in a neighborhood support group, but alas, it's a nearly futile effort to find even one qualified psychiatrist in my region who actually knows about adult ADHD and how it DOES exist even if it doesn't look like childhood ADHD, even if the patient IS congenial, confident, and quite convincing that there's not a problem at all.  Approx. three years ago, we were all diagnosed.  Me with inattentive ADD; my husband and two sons with the "H".  We've been married over 22 years.  My diagnosis came as somewhat of a relief in that it finally answered what's been "different" about me my whole life.  I did the grieving, did the reading, am daily "trying my best to doing the work".  I went through a major depression prior to the diagnosis, with only blank stares from my husband when I spoke of dying and/or the need to blow my brains out just to get him to listen to me.  Learning that I'd had low-level depression for years along with the ADD/PI certainly made sense.  I also gave myself much-deserved credit for immense amounts of patience, tenacity, and coming up with years of strategies to help both of my sons.  It certainly would have been much easier back then if I'd known about their ADHD, as I would have at least had resources from which to draw.

He grew up in his self-professed "perfect childhood".  Mother Cleaver waited on him hand and foot until he finally moved out at the tender age of 26.  She continues to serve him and defend him and his actions vehemently, no matter what damage or hurt they really cause his family.  I've obviously never measured up to his Leave it to Beaver fantasy of what he believes marriage should be,nor do I intend to, especially the part about absolutely no conflict or any other emotion other than HAPPY.   I've always tried to "figure things out" in our marriage, and was genuinely baffled when absolutely NONE of the communication techniques, marriage seminars and retreats, "I messages", ever-so-carefully chosen words, etc. (ad nauseam) ever worked.  WHY could we never communicate, without the extreme defensiveness, blaming, stonewalling, passive/aggressive, resentful, and most of all, DENIAL of ANY contribution to our struggles?  A counselor friend had once even copied from a book the chapter entitled "The Need to be Right" and basically put my husband's name at the top of the page!  So others seemed to also see that something wasn't quite right.  I truly love my husband and he has, and ALWAYS will be "a good man with a good heart". 

Upon actual diagnosis, we all did an entire summer of neuro-biofeedback (of which my 18 year old still does not forgive me!).  It really only helped my youngest a bit, who's now 14.  Much counseling for me, a few sessions in vain for the two of us.  When all energy is focused on feeling attacked, and subsequent defensiveness, blaming and stonewalling, it's impossible for us to actually work on the marriage when it's OBVIOUSLY 100% MY FAULT!  After trying for 18 months to solve my problems and depression without meds, I finally succumbed, satisfied that I had genuinely tried to resolve the issues and wasn't just copping out by "popping a pill".  I have always been a highly reflective person who strives to learn more about myself and what things I need to work on as I try to address my faults.  I also clearly understand my strengths and realize that learning to compensate, do my best to be open to advice and trying new things, and not beating myself up for my own failings are things that will keep me busy for years to come.  As the depression started to get better, I still felt I was dealing with my same inattentive struggles, so I started on Strattera.  I was initially blown away, thinking, "Wow!  You mean other people's brains are like this ALL of the time?"  It was a brand new world.  That lasted 2 1/2 months, til it basically stopped working.  After a year of trying to convince the psychiatrist, I finally began the near-futile search for someone else.  I'm currently taking Vyvanse and it's working pretty well for me.  Still on the Welbutrin, working with an ADD coach, seeing a therapist, etc.  So, I am trying to work on myself and our marriage.  We went to a handful of counseling sessions together, which consisted of him being so guarded that nothing was really accomplished.  It doesn't help matters when his motto is "avoid conflict (which even means discussions or differences of opinion) at all cost, and he most definitely was not only a completely innocent victim, but it was 100% my fault and asking him what he thought he might need to work on simply garnered the same "deer in the headlights" look and the adamant belief that it was either truly unnecessary for him to work on anything to improve our relationship, or he would play the pathetic victim card and accuse me of  saying it was "all his fault."

My recent agonizing and vacillating over whether to stay or call it quits come from the seemingly opposing views that I truly do love him (the real him behind the wall), and not knowing if the kids and I can survive the ADHD roller coaster ride.  I truly feel it was divine intervention last spring that led me to two books:  Is it you, me, or ADD - Getting off the roller coaster, and ADD & Romance.  Between those two books and Daniel Amen's books on the scientific proof that ADHD does exist, it was like, "OH, MY GOSH!!!! I'm freakin' looking in a mirror!"  To be able to read accounts of others who were going through the exact same thing was mind-boggling.  I knew that it would either be news of great hope, or I would be screwed for the rest of my life!  Great news because there was actually a explanation for the chaos and not only could I understand and research it, it also gave notion to the possibility that he wasn't just a selfish bas***d all along and perhaps there was hope after all!  The most frightening revelation from the books stated that he seemed to have the "perfect storm" combination type of ADHD, which was the most difficult one to treat because:

1. The overactive cingulate in the pre-frontal cortex causes him to get "stuck" in his thinking, making it impossible to see/understand options, not budge on his opinions or listen to others, and be very stubborn and argumentative.  Therefore, he's stuck on the idea that he's not the one with any problems that need to be addressed.  (If only I would simply...fill in the never-ending list...then all of our problems would be magically solved!)  Yippee!!!

2. Temporal lobe disfunction makes it nearly impossible for him to hear correctly and interpret and understand language.  This results in hearing EVERYTHING with a negative spin (as if our words are first scrambled in a filter).  Consequently, he constantly feels attacked, even when people are clearly not doing so.  This creates much anger,  assuming, and jumping to conclusions on his part.

3. You know, the standard defensive, denying, blaming, poor memory, etc. that comes with the territory.

(I apologize for getting technical here, but I felt the need to include this info because it truly helped me to see and understand the why's behind all of these behaviors, and that they hopefully weren't because of the passive/ aggressiveness and a narcissistic personality, as many counselors and doctors have stated.)  Perhaps this could help others.  This meant that there could be hope, if he'd agree to seek treatment and behavioral therapy.

Fast forward (as if that was an option here!) to present time, and throw in the fact that he has atrial fibrillation, where his heart beat is, at times, irregular, so the psychiatrist won't touch him with a ten-foot pole.  He's currently in the process of trying options to resolve his heart issues, but there's no guarantee.  Add high anxiety, borderline paranoia, and (in my opinion) low level depression to the mix, and it makes for a most erratic ride.  His heart issue makes me want to scream; but in the back of my mind I also feel that if it is resolved then he won't have any more excuses left as to why he can't seek treatment.  My opinion is that regardless of whether or not he can take meds (and there are non-stimulant options), he could still see a therapist and try to practice new options for relating.  Knowing that he is driving others to extremes with ADHD behaviors -- often hurting them, though unintentionally -- does he REALLY want to keep doing that?  And...what would he be willing to do to change?  Meds are NOT a magic pill (dang it!), but I believe they might help us deal with some of the walls that are preventing the real him, with the good and loving heart, from coming through.  (My youngest son is currently bearing the brunt of dad's critical rants and accusations that his mis-steps are intentional, and therefore, deliberate disobedience and disrespect which warrants the all-purpose punishment of banning him from his electronic devices.  My son's recent starting on meds has allowed him to discuss things using logic and reason, neither of which work with his dad!)

Knowing how uber-sensitive he is to even the slightest display of emotions or even slightly raising my voice, I have worked hard to exercise extreme patience, speak calmly and at a steady pace, and learn how to stop talking and trying to get him to hear me when it becomes obvious that it's just not working, while still standing up for myself, my views, and my children.  I share with him the things I have been and currently am working on, and I ask for his honest feedback as to whether or not he sees/feels/thinks that changes are being worked on.  I also continue to request that he work on things to improve our marriage.  He consistently SAYS he loves me, but love is not just a word, it's an action.  I'm even trying hard to not show the "forbidden" frustration with the ever so few and far between romantic and/or sexual encounters, since talking about it and asking for what I need does no good and anything he thinks he sees or perceives as negative from me gets the silent treatment or him acting like a child.  I've given up on initiating, telling him I'm tired of the rejection.  Instead, telling him that just about any time he wanted intimacy, I'd be ready, willing and able.  Just say so.  (I'm still waiting.)

As I continue to struggle, I've decided that I HAVE to take care of myself.  I've started doing yoga, tai chi, etc. at the YMCA and I love it.  I practice lots of deep, deliberate breathing.  I TRY to get decent sleep, try to focus on positive thoughts, and pray a LOT.  I continue to read and search for options, go to counseling, take meds, etc.  I just picked up the book called Should I Stay or Go, regarding controlled separation.  My therapist and I agree that I've been trying too hard and it's not doing any good.  While I continue to try to speak to and treat him respectfully, I'm getting pretty fed up with all the marital advice that doesn't take ADHD into account.  All those things DON'T work like they're supposed to do, and it takes TWO people to make a marriage work.  I probably should seek out an Al-anon group and just lie about the details; from what I understand, it's quite similar to living with an alcoholic.  (Out of respect for other readers who may actually be in such circumstances, I truly speak from no experience.)  It's also frustrating and confusing because no one else around here believes me when I talk about the ADHD factor.  They all just say that everything is deliberate and that he just doesn't care.  In my heart, I know that's not true, but it's a thinner and thinner lifeline on which I continue to cling.  I would just feel horrible and feel like I really let my kids down if I gave up just a moment too soon, especially when I believe I was meant to finally read those books and gain insight.  (That is, if he actually did get treatment and it helped.)  Well, the sun is coming up, so I appreciate anyone who's had the endurance to read through this novel.  Any insights or ideas would be greatly appreciated.  If nothing else, thanks for "listening."  Ü

You have so much insight and

You have so much insight and have educated yourself so much it is almost sinful that your husband refuses to do the same. THIS is why this site is so very helpful to me, and many others I am sure, because just when you think you've got things figured out, you get even more answers and it's just like a cherry on top of the banana split. Sometimes it is literally 'reason to keep on trying'. If I copied and pasted quotes from your post that reflected my thoughts or feelings or life...it would be about 70% of it.

Most interesting to me was the way that everything you say is taken in a negative way or you simply changing your voice a little it taken as you raising your voice to him. "don't yell at me" "don't raise your voice" "all you've done for the last five minutes is fuss at me" and on MANY occasions he was DEAD wrong (from my perception) when accusing me of these things. I'm sincerely pouring my heart out to him, almost literally begging for him to understand what I'm trying so hard to say in a way I THINK he'll understand, and he comes at me with "all you're doing is fussing at me, I'm not listening to this anymore!" and I'm left feeling unheard, hurt, and disheartened...or at least I did for MANY, MANY years. I almost wondered if we didn't speak two different languages. He is, however, capable of seeing, and even verbally expressing, his faults and taking responsibility for his part of the breakdown of our marriage..so maybe this is just a defensive move on his part because once he's 'mad' getting him to admit any fault is typically impossible.

Ah...avoiding conflict....this was an excuse my husband used to cover up his lies for so many years. "I didn't tell you I was going to stop by XXX's house for 2 hours because I knew you'd be mad" No amount of rationalizing with him ever made him see, or so it seemed, that the fight that resulted from him "disappearing" for 2 hours was far worse than if he'd just have taken the chance and been honest. It was only an issue because I didn't trust him, because he lied..to avoid conflict. MAJOR frustration over that one for a very long time.

I will re-read your post for the 3rd time as it has so much information that I'd like to make some notes about, but I wanted to take a minute and say thank you for posting and for the information. My husband and I hit rock bottom last Fall and are currently rebuilding what I once felt truly was irreparable, for that I am grateful, but it doesn't change the fact that we have a LOT of hard work ahead of us. This served as a reminder. It's so easy to forget what we were dealing with when these behaviors disappear for a few months...but I don't trust that they're gone.

defensive move on his part

defensive move on his part because once he's 'mad' getting him to admit any fault is typically impossible.

Just wanted to make a comment on your thought. When I had a disagreement with the ADD BF, he would raise his voice (not yelling but just authoritative) and insist we stop talking.  I would comply, then later I would send him an email "confessing" what I had one wrong and what I could have done different.  I was sincere when I admitted my fault. I never asked for his "confession" but oddly he'd become very remorseful and admit his wrongdoing. I've also learned that he has told others that he has not treated me right.

But I was not married to him and we only had 3 disagreements in the two years I was with him.  I learned from that experience that there is power in humility.  you can fight and fuss all you want but it just doesn't work.  I think it is especially difficult with men because their greatest need is respect.  if a man argued with him like I did, it would lead to something physical.  Most men don't want to get physical with their wives so they use verbal "power" and refuse to give in. I think it is especially difficult for men who have weak verbal skills.

I am not saying everyone should do what I did, but it is something to consider. I think that when a woman shows respect it disarms the conflict.  So why don't we women get this and take the high road?  I don't know because I argued terribly with my exhusband, maybe that is partly why he is my ex.

brenda

I agree, walking away from

I agree, walking away from the argument is an absolute MUST .. at least for me in my case. These times of him being mad and refusing to admit any fault were part of our marriage for many years. I can't even take 100% of the credit for our new found solution (walking away before things escalate) because it is as much a skill he's learned as it is one I've learned. We both are equally exhausted and disgusted by our behavior during fights over the course of the last 6 years of our marriage and we're both equally dedicated to doing everything possible (subject change, agreeing to disagree) in order to avoid these kinds of knock-down-drag outs.

I suppose thinking about it, I haven't always been eager to admit my fault...when angry or not...so I suppose he's not much different than I am in that aspect. For years he'd admit he was wrong to stay out late drinking or to tell a lie but he never accepted complete responsibility for his part in the mess our marriage had become..and neither did I. He did get upset the other day over something and the more I tried to explain/reason with him, the madder he got until he finally said "why can't you just drop it??!!" so I did. It would have been to his benefit to hear what I was saying, but since he had other ideas, then he can just work it out on his own. Fine by me. I was frustrated for about 10 minutes and then let it go and went on with my evening. DRASTIC contrast to how that would have played out a year ago. I would have insisted he hear me, felt disrespected, and been angry with him for the rest of the day, if not longer. He's perfectly happy to walk away and let things go 10 mintues later, regardless of the issue 95% of the time. It wasn't something that had to have a resolution for me to be happy so it was easier to walk away. :)

Update: ADHD Husband starting Meds/Therapy

We have been going to a marriage counselor for a little over a month now and my husband started Adderoll a couple of weeks ago. Not much has changed, he claims to be trying and I know it's hard for him to do tasks at all, but things still aren't getting accomplished. Through the years, we've been through a couple of different counseling options. Every time, the counselor has tried to get my husband to do some "tasks" before the next session and produce his results and every session, he produces nothing. He is still doing this with out current counselor and proceeds to give virtually no reason as to why he doesn't do them. Now I'm not expecting miracles, but wouldn't you think if you were under scrutiny to some degree for why we are in counseling in the first place, you would try your hardest to overcome it at least in a session? I know I would at the very least try to prove to the doctor that I was trying and even if things hadn't improved greatly at home. Not my husband, he has done nothing set forth by the doctor, with the exception starting meds, which he feels aren't working or necessary. As a result, further evaluation is now needed to see if there are deeper "mental/learning" issues. He has to have a "Pyschological" test done, but doesn't comprehend the seriousness of this. I am at a loss for this situation and hope we get some answers after the outcome of this test. Has anyone else had to do this, if so what type of diagnosis came from it? I'm trying to get a grasp on what else he could be facing besides medication and therapy.

Response to ADHD Husband starting med/therapy

My husband had a state of the art evaluation by Harvard trained Phd, MDs etc.  That was 10 years ago and he has never embraced his diagnosis.  ADHD, OCD, Depression, A reading disability.  At first it was "I always knew something was wrong with me I just didn't know what." To now complete and total denial.  Some people just don't want help.  The more you force them into therapy or to take meds the more resentful they are towards you.  After 10 yrs I gave up.  We have separated (April 20th) but have not yet filed for divorce.  I want to wait until I am in a better place to go through that.  For now we don't see or talk to one another at my request.  It is just too painful to see or talk to someone you loved so completely who I have not seen for the past 5 years.  I kept waiting for that person to come back.  He was never coming back.  Once the relationship matured and became routine I lost him.  There was nothing I could do.  I have tried it all and I have spent much time at the Hallowell Center in Sudbury.  Some people don't want help and want to stay in denial.  I hope some day my husband regrets what he did to me, but honestly he has shown little remorse and he put me through all of it.  Every chapter in the books I lived it. He just wants to sweep it all under the rug and "move on".

So the diagnosis does not always bring you the results you are looking for.

Same here

I could've written your post, Kelly.  The only thing different would be the length of the marriage...26 years.  I agree that some people just don't want help.  My husband would rather be right than happy...and isn't that sad.   I've been separated seven months and know that it will be permanent.  Yes, diagnosis doesn't always bring good results....sometimes it brings a big, fat nothing.

This sounds like my husband

This sounds like my marriage without the divorce or separation.  Which I would really like.  I keep telling myself ....remember the old me in college....you know the happy girl?  Where did she go?  We are together for the children.  Going on 22 years.  I feel like I am in hell being tortured.