Can things get better? How do I help him?

Hi! I am 35 and married to a man with ADHD. After reading the post here I already feel encouraged and it has helped me understand my husband more easily. However, I do need your help and advice. I married my husband less that a year ago...I have three children from a previous marriage. He is 32 and this is his first serious relationship. He wowed me with heartfelt promises and he is very kind and loving man. After about three months I realized that I probably had not married the man than I thought I had. I know that taking on three kids and a wife was a huge step for him and according to him it is what he has always wanted. Our marriage is now in serious trouble even though we love each other very much. If any of you are married and you have ADHD or if you are married to someone with ADHD please help me understand how to help him because he has a hard time verbalizing for himself. Issues that we are dealing with..... The three things that I ask for when I married him was that he be honest, stable, and responsible. I didn't feel like they were unreasonable request.....but is that to much to expect?

  • He is constantly looking on line for a new job and tries to convince me to move all the time (I am not willing to move because my children are in school and honestly I don't think that he would like a new job somewhere else any more than jobs here where we live)
  • He lies all the time....even over silly things. Over things that really matter too, he would rather lie than be honest if he thinks I won't like it. (this may be completely different and unrelated to ADHD, but still a problem)
  • He wants my undivided attention all the time and hides away anytime that others are around.
  • He does not live up to promises to do things with the kids after asking them if they want to and telling them that they will
  • He does not help around the house or with any responsibilities unless he knows I am at the end of my rope and then he tries really hard to help, but only till he knows that I am over it.
  • He will not take medication for ADHD because he said when he took it years ago it affected his job, he is in sales and he said it slows down his brain to much and he can't react quickly enough to close the deal.
  • I am not sure if this is related but he has also struggled with ED his whole life....He says he can't turn his brain off long enough to concentrate on sex.

    Now please, don't get me wrong, I am not trying to imply that I am perfect or that he is awful. I love him very much and I want to understand him and know how to help him. Right now I am stressed to the max...with work, the kids, and taking care of the house it is hard to give him all of the attention and reassurance that he needs. please help before it is to late.
  • Hey McPenny I hear you. I too

    Hey McPenny

    I hear you.

    I too have 3 children from a perivious marriage...I thank God that they are grown, but I have grandchildren that are effected by my husbands intolerence of them and he forgets to keep his promises to them (as well as to me) My husband is also in sales and says the same thing yours does.Although I did tell him if he did not seek medical help I would have no choice but to leave.He is on medication...but I really dont know if it is working...thus all the job losses???

     I too did not know who I was marring, for in the beginning all eyes were on me, he was so devoted to us, I trully was sweeped off my feet,now nothing. My friends tried to tell me that there is some thing not quite right about him, I did not listen...I fell in love. He told me his business was doing well,it was not.He said that his relationship with his mom was good,he cant stand her is what I found out later .Im not sure but I think that telling fibs may be a way to compensate for the truth that they are afraid to acknowlege.To answer your question from some one who is questioning as well...I dont think things stabilizes, married 4 years and its still a struggle with gaining peace even to some measure...Melissa or some one, please direct us.I am new to this fourm and the blog pervious to McPenny is my call for help.

    All the best to you McPenny. Gracie

     

    Dear McPenny, I feel for you.

    Dear McPenny, I feel for you. A new marriage and already the promises have fallen by the wayside. Unfortunately an ADHD person is very good at making promises with all sincerity, but also just as good at being unable to keep them - indeed - usually they do the complete opposite to what they had promised. Your situation is very similar to many of us who post here and on other boards. No, your requests were far from unreasonable, but his brain disorder prevents him from being able to carry them out unless and until he is properly treated for his condition. If he refuses treatment, frankly, your marriage hasn't got a chance. If the meds negatively impact on his work performance then perhaps he should look into either trying different meds, or finding another line of work so that he can take meds..... that is, if he wants to save his marriage. Also, google for addspouse where you will also find much support.

    We are seperated now.... it

    We are seperated now.... it seems that all he think about and talk about is getting back in the house with us.  When he comes over he requires all of my attention and focus which takes away from my children and zapps my energy.  When I tell him that I am ready to go to bed and for him to leave he gets very angry even though he knows it is coming.  If I tell him that I want to spend time with the kids and ask him not to come over he goes to the bar or to play poker.  I feel guilty because I enjoy the time that he isnt there so much.  The house is so peaceful and me and my children have such a great time together.  The thing that really troubles me about all of this is that in the advice I have been given I am somehow supposed to take the lead in everything without making him feel like I am leading....I have to fill in the gaps of what he doesnt do and smile as I go.....I have to accept that he will never be able to act like a responsible adult but never make him feel bad about it, all the while I need to maintain a clean home, cook, care for my three children as a single parent, work a fulltime job, give him clues and triggers to remind him of things.....and NOT be bitter or stressed for it.  I have no idea how to do all of these things.  We have been married for six months today, all of the problems and stress has taken over my life.  He is stressed too because he WANTS to be what I need....and he feels bad when he realizes that he has once again dropped the ball.  The kids like him but they have admitted to me that they like it better when he isnt around because he reguires so much attention and they are tired of his broken promises.  More and more I feel like counseling and medicine is our only hope.  We are in counseling and he has finally said that he will try medicine again, I have told him that I will not let him move back in with us until he follows through with taking medicine and has been taking it for at least few weeks.  I feel bad because he is very hurt right now but I felt like I was going to loose my mind if I didn't get some relief.  I am also tired of my children getting the short end of the stick. 

    Sorry for your pain and

    Sorry for your pain and anguish McP, but well done for doing what you need to do for you and your precious children. What he does is up to him - he is an adult after all and can make his own decisions. Putting up with all the very challenging ADHD behaviour takes its toll on all of us, and we are only human, and only so much can be tolerated before it begins to have alarming effects on our emotional, psychological, and physical health - then we end up having to get medicated, whereas the ADHDer sails along obliviously doing nothing to get themselves sorted out for as long as we put up with their behaviours. You have done the right thing. I repeat, please google addspouse - it will do you good :-)

    for McPenny

    This is the time that you need to figure out how you want to live your own life.  You suggest that he can never act as a responsible adult.  Well, if that is really true, then he will be unlikely to sustain a relationship with another responsible adult (in this case, you).  I worry about your comment "The thing that really troubles me about all of this is that in the advice I have been given I am somehow supposed to take the lead in everything without making him feel like I am leading....I have to fill in the gaps of what he doesnt do and smile as I go.....I have to accept that he will never be able to act like a responsible adult but never make him feel bad about it, all the while I need to maintain a clean home, cook, care for my three children as a single parent, work a fulltime job, give him clues and triggers to remind him of things.....and NOT be bitter or stressed for it.  I have no idea how to do all of these things."

    Who gave you this advice?  Your therapist?  If so, you need a new therapist!  It isn't your job to cater to his ADD!  It's your job to live your life the way you want to - the way that makes you happy - and its his job to cater to his ADD.  If he can work through it because he thinks that he needs to, then to the degree that you think you want to help him, great.  That would be a gift from you because you love him.  But no one should be telling you to stay with a person whom you can't respect (because you feel he'll never be a responsible adult) and need to baby him or be his slave.  Some couples work out signals and reminders as part of who they are together because it works for them, but not because you MUST do these things.

    Sorry to get worked up about this, but you should be taking the lead in YOUR life, not his, and unapologetically so.  HE should be taking the lead in his life.  If he can't find the resources inside him to do this effectively, then it's unlikely your marriage will survive.

    Hope this helps.  I'm not trying to be negative in any way, just trying to straighten out the record a bit (particularly if you think you've been reading that advice here...because if you have, it's not what I'm intending you get out of it).