Can't take it anymore. Need words of encouragement.

I'm not going to write a book but lets say my life has steadily becoming a living hell with my ADD spouse. Unfortunately it took five years of jumping up and down, yelling, and begging  to get him and his parents on board with that fact I thought something was "wrong" with him. He is on medication now and seeing a coach but I have not one ounce of patience, energy, or sympathy to suffer through him while he is going through treatment. I'm a Christian who believes marriage is a permanent union and take my vow of for better or for worse seriously but its like I'm dying from all the pain, hurt, confusion, chaos. I worked hard, do all the rights things, pick up all the peices, and its all I do. He was gone for 3 months for work(and then got fired) and it was pure bliss. We're on the road to complete utter financial ruin, every time I manage to get us(Of course I have to do it) on track he sabatoges it. The rest of the family looks at us with pity, no one respects us because we can't "get it together" . We are the children always begging for money or having to have people pay our way or can't go to anything. We are the ones always trying to explain why he is out of work once again. I'm the one embarassed when he blurts out something inappropriate or acts out in front of people. I'm the one everyone looks at when he start saying something crazy or butts in on a conversation and take sit over being rude. I can't even have a normal conversation with this person without it becoming a totally exhaustive venture. I am mortified when I hear that they can't stand him, or we're not invited somewhere because no one wants him there because he is obnoxious and weird. And its worse when I get those looks of pity like people feel sorry for me or are looking at me like they are glad they are not me.  I get the comments (you had a kid with him?)  I can't stand this!! Please give me encouragement. He has sucked every bit of happiness from me and I"m turning into this horrible angry bitter person. Sometimes either telling him just tget the hell away from me and get out of my life, or just packing up my daughter and driving far far far away from him. I'm ready to give up on trying.

He is not a bad person but at this point I don't give a rip if he has a disorder or not, I just can't take it anymore.


All I see here is how how the non ADD spouse has to do all the work, make all the hard decisions and adjustments. There doesn't seem to be any sympathy for the total financial, social, and emotional nightmare this can become for the non-add spouse. We're tired, we've done all we can, we've read the books, went to our own shrinks, tried to forgive and forget, tried to beg and please, tried to suffer in silence.


-Broken and Sad


Wow.  You have just confirmed that I'm doing the right thing by running away from my ADD partner.  Yes, there is guilt but he's told me flat out that he will not get treatment.  You have brought the vision I had in my mind of our future into reality.  I've had daydreams of complete financial ruin, accute loneliness from being with someone who cares little about my life, my day and/or what I say, crazy looks from family members asking me "why??" (I never introduced him because I had a funny feeling the family would be very worried about this choice).  I do think of the first months we were together - it's like a dream how different and loving he was then.  The polar opposite of what he is now.  I can't imagine being married to that. 

Woman, you are tough.  I can't advise because everyone makes their own choices.  The impact on children could be "mom is tenacious, not a giver-upper and is there 100%" or "mom is a doormat and taking a lot of abuse and why won't she allow herself the happy life she deserves?"

I feel for you.  You need a vacation.


Recomended Book

This book may come in handy - "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" by Mira Kirshenbaum.

re:can't take it!

Sorry Ky that you are where you are. I have been through alot with my Adhd/alcoholic husband and I was where you are about 6 months ago. 1st I would really suggest you go see a counselor if your aren't at this time. you sound like your going to burst and take it from me anger and bitterness goes down a very bad road. I also would recommend you learning about borders and how to know when something is not yours to take on. If your husband isn't in counseling or taking some meds then that is something he needs to do. getting fired from a job is not good or nor does it boost the self esteem. If he refuses to get help or counseling then you have to decide what to do. He has to take responsibility for his actions its not yours to take it all on yourself. On the otherhand I see how my husband struggles but he still will not get rehab, so I've made a choice. Not easy to do I have 4 kids. I hope the best for you get some help you sound exhausted...I feel bad for you. I do have peace now and I have to say it is priceless....



Broken and Sad

For all those who, like Ki, have given everything they have and are feeling emotionally beaten down, I encourage you to pull back from all that giving.  See my new post on non-ADD spouses who give too much in "favorites".  Your ADD spouse must be held responsible for making the changes necessary to sustain him in your marriage - you can't do it for him.

negotiation and setting boundaries

My husband is newly diagnosed with ADD.  He is to start medication but his blood pressure has been high.  After years of pointless psycho analysis he is seeing a psychologist who specializes in ADD.  It fits.  I should feel relieved to know I'm not crazy but I feel more hopeless reading about it.  

I'm 52 and feel 92.  I've been rolling  a boulder uphill for 22 years.  A brilliant man in whom I saw so much potential, I now mostly hate.  I feel terrible saying that, but it's true.  He nearly died last week and where I felt human compassion for his situation, I knew that had he died I could have found relief.  I could have hired our accountant to come and finish the last 5 years of taxes (to get desperately needed refunds), which would lead to being able to refinance our enormous debts (if I still have any credit rating left).  I could have had the ceilings fixed in 2 rooms upstairs (that caved in during years of neglect--the roof finally got fixed but the ceilings would be gotten to some day).  I could have had the yard cleaned up so I could reclaim the garden I lost to a watering system (that got dug but not installed, the sewer line that has a leak).  I could have had work crews come in a haul out the thousands of magazines and newspapers (that he stacks in the room where he sleeps--I left long ago).  I could have had a hazmat team come a clean the mold and mildew from the basement (too filled with stuff to move or breath).  I could have hired a yard guy to weed out the unplanted garden he claimed for himself 8 years ago (the dirt he made us sift with a screen so there would not be any garbage in it).  And this is just our house in town, then there is the farm with so much promise ...... 

There were years of verbal abuse preceeding all of this.  He only gets help when I've reached a breaking point and mean divorce. Then he is highly motivated (why?). Effexor has helped with the depression and anxiety that was diagnosed and I was contented for a long time not to be yelled at.  

I've been in and out of counselling (finally someone said it sounded like my husband had not been properly diagnosed--thus the ADD a month ago).  I've been "trying to zen it", my life, my mind have been in endless pain.  From reading these blogs I'm not sure that there is help.  I'm highly goal oriented, we have much to do toward our mutual goals for the future, but we can't work together on even a simple thing.  It's all too much.  He stops anything that I try to do, he focuses in the wrong places, he avoids that things that most concern him/us, he won't allow us to hire help (and can't afford to because of our financial problems that were created by him), he stonewalls even the smallest things.  He is a tyrant saying that he has 51% of the vote (because someone has to be the tie breaker in his world)--which is the same as 100% him, me 0%.  When I try to stand up to him I get stared at, yelled at and nothing beneficial comes from it.  

It all sounds so crazy, maybe here it won't sound so abnormal here.  There's probably no hope for me, I should have trusted myself and left in the first 5 years.



I hope he gets on meds now that he's diagosed correctly and that all will calm down a bit.  How long were you in the relationship before you noticed the quirks?

It was three months for me.  After the whirlwind courtship his dark side started showing.  At six months he just vanished but it is a good thing, a blessing, although I still care for him.

I really worry for him because the world is going to come crashing down unless he's found a replacement for me who has money.  I would never give him money but it didn't stop him from asking several times.  But even with money his life is in such a turmoil with the IRS, warrants from driving with no license or insurance, his neglected teeth - the list goes on - that he's going to crash eventually. 

Even with all the red flags flying I still got sucked into his manipulation.  He's charming times ten, WAS attentive and kind and promised me the world because he loved me so much.  I still mourn that person I first met but it doesn't seem likely that it will ever emerge again.

I hope you can get the help you need.  You certainly deserve it.

slow down and think

hi i know how hard it is i truley do

 mother and wife off adhd.

 im non adhd

 how does it feel for your spouse a least take in consideration they are feeling just as confused and lost.



I get it

I have just been married 3 years and have found out that my husband has ADD. It makes everything make sense. I am relieved that we started out with separate bank accounts. I have thought to myself recently about leaving. Leaving would be a challenge with a 2 year old son in the city where we reside - expenses. Lately, I have decided that I will live as if I have left. My bank account is separate. The time that I spend looking after the child is the time that I would spend were I alone anyway. I have to learn to unentangle myself from this man and watch him from a distance. I can observe him in the same way that I would observe a friend. Sometimes it helps for me to look at his as a room mate. The most challenging thing is the money. I have to do everything that I can to make sure that our money is separate. We share no bank account. But I am still challenged. I know that there is going to be a lot of learning. I have not ruled out leaving entirely...

undiagnosed ADD spouse - 15 year picture + I think I have it too

A lot resonating here.  My husband had ADD as a child, and is still (this part is diagnosed recently in a workman's comp retraining analysis) 80%+ dyslexic.  I'm sure he didn't grow out of the ADD.  10 years ago, my mom sent an article about the ADD spouse and suggested DH was.... I resisted.  But it just gets worse.  And today, I realized that either I have it, too, or I'm unraveling at the edges from the stress.  I increasingly just give up.  I can't focus at work, I can't say no to any one, it seems...I don't even want to list how over committed I am at work and in our personal life.  I have ceased to believe that I matter.  I am depressed.

We have tax problems (him);  a lawsuit judgement (he was a contractor, half did a job, didn't finish it until after his license expired - and yes, I was the one who wound up crawling through the basement to run the lines to help finish).  We have no credit and can't buy a house (lost the one we did have), a car, or get a credit card.  We are in collections on my school loans.  I (regretably) cashed out my stock options and retirement at age (old enough to know better) to keep him out of jail on another construction project.  He is SO bright and SO charming and SO friendly... but a mess.  A hoarder... we are renting an acerage/farmette place with inside storage for 10 vehicles - full to the gills with tools and stuff.  Plus unfinished vehicles outside.  I have an ivy league MBA and we wind up sharing one running vehicle between us.  Every time I try to get him to do anything, I am a nagging B or unreasonable.  And, yes, I am a Christian and I didn't believe in divorce.... yet I think this is emotional abuse... and divorce might be the only way to regain my sanity.  I won't be able to remarry, but at LEAST the misery will stop.

I am grateful every day of my life (sad, but true) that I did not have a child with him.  I wish I'd had children, but this is no life for anyone.  We owe everyone, I won't borrow from my family and I am sorry that my friends keep taking pity on us.  I don't even want them to know what I make as they would be APPALLED that we can't make ends meet on what I bring home.  (and not a dime of savings).  I've been manipulated into making my separate bank account joint each time I try...

I think about trying to distentangle myself... and can't imagine how I can even do that.  I love him - really - yet I also feel so sorry for him.  He was an alcoholic for long enough to screw up his body... had cancer, lied to me (although he doesn't see it that way - he "thought" he explained to me) before we were married - then got cancer again.  So if I leave him, I'm abandoning a sick man... I can't tell you how many lies he told before and during our marriage - some I recognize were just mis-communication, some were just that he truly forgets he hasn't said "X" - some he doesn't see as lies.  Some were... but he is pathological about lying when he thinks someone won't like the truth. (he was an abused child for his learning disability and "inattentiveness" - to the point of nearly being killed).

He currently does have a job with a salary.  It is unclear to me how long he will keep it (It has been almost a year and that is an amazing record for him.... this is the first time it has been more than 2 months in our entire marriage).

I am deep down afraid that he will die if I leave - he is that scattered, and that depressed himself. 

I appreciate reading that I am not the only frustrated one here.  I know I need therapy.  I suspect that, I, too need treatment. (I"m on an amazingly high dose of antidepressant and remain irritable, angry, and crying at the drop of a hat.).  I need to keep my job - I carry the healthcare.  And I need to at least figure out some communication strategies. 

I can't tell you how glad I am to have figured out that I am not alone, and that there is a name for what he has... and probably for what I have. (we are well matched in many ways - that's why we got along well - both driven and incredibly bright... but both of us are a bit scattered... I didn't used to be but I'm losing the battle now.).

Thanks for listening.

Disentangling yourself

Nikki - you would likely benefit from therapy or a support group or some way to share what is happening to you - you shouldn't have to take all these feelings on by yourself.  First, you need to know that you aren't responsible for your husband's behavior - HE is responsible for his behavior, and that includes what happens to him if you decide you must leave.  I know that you know that intellectually, but it's that "deep down" thing that's scary...those feelings of guilt and unhappiness and the "I ought to be able to be in control" feeling that the Ivy League can instill in any/all of us...except that we aren't really in control of anything except our own responses to events around us.

So that's where I would like you to start.  You ARE in control of a few things - and one of those is whether or not you can take yourself to a doctor or therapist who can help you get yourself back on to better footing.  You have much strength, but it has been sapped...a good doctor can help you get that back (and adjust your meds so that you are doing better, too).

Though I am not a doctor, it does not sound to me as if you also have ADD.  The words "I didn't used to be but I'm losing the battle now" is the give away - if you had ADD you would have always been scattered.  Rather, you are responding to the pressure you are under and, possibly, the high doses of anti-depressants (at least they made me scattered - but of course they also helped me get through my depression, which was the up side of taking them).

You must protect yourself adequately so that you make it through this time.  keep writing here for as long as it helps you, and start making a plan - perhaps a "business plan" for yourself - what are the steps that you need to take in order to start to get your own life in order, regardless of your spouse?  Think about what you CAN affect and work on those things as best you can, without spending extra energy on the things that you can't change right now.  You should start feeling better, once you don't feel as if you are just spinning your wheels with no success.

And, please let us know how you are doing.  We (I - I guess I shouldn't speak for all here) would like to support you as best possible.

Ok, looking for words of

Ok, looking for words of encouragement, hope, comfort and peace, at least there is some empathy here! It's nice to find any information for an ADD spouse! I've been quite alone in my little Addland. Only recently my husband decided that he needed help. What a time I had finding a doctor that would treat an adult with ADD! Amazing what a little pill can do! It seems to help him complete his thoughts. Maybe there's a little pill out there for me... anyway, I'm sure feeling your frustration with the ADD and the churches stand on divorce as well. Though, I suppose I have ADD to thank for becoming a christian and the financial ruin took care of the divorce issue. I can't afford to divorce him! Sorry, I've been desperate here, just today I reminded myself that even when I have absolutely nothing Jesus Christ is more than enough. (really, I'm not trying to offend anyone, just my personal conviction) I'm encouraging myself here too. We can do all things... We're going to remember to focus on the answer and not the problem. If you can, give yourself a break and step out of the situation for a while... at least a few deep cleansing breaths... I wish you the best...

"I can't afford to divorce

"I can't afford to divorce him" I understand I can't afford to divorce mine either but we are getting closer to signing the seperation papers. I'am a christian also but to stay in a situation that is not nurturing but abusive is something I decided not to have anymore. Even if I have to sell my house and be broke (I'am) But I do have my pastors support because they saw the abuse I was going through. One of them told me that I use to walk around churchlike a beaten ragdoll.But now so many people say I have a bounce back in my walk. I will live in the peace I have now no matter what. I'am tired of believing the lies.He won't change and we still can't talk.Isnt that sad and we are going on 13 yrs married. My husband has been diagnosed since a young child and he is now 40yrs. He has a past of you wouldn't belive the stuff he has done. I'am not even angry anymore its just sad all the way around. Today I broke down and cried like a baby because I'am grieving of losing a partner, even though this is hard I have to do what is best for me and my kids. That is not to be with him anymore. I know its not just his Adhd that has done this. I have met people with Adhd who are really succesful in their lives even marriages.Alcoholism is a destroyer of families. I'am in a support group at my church called never alone, its group for seperated and divorced women. Its been so helpful because I meet with others who share my pain. I would encourage some of you to join a Adhd group or start one if none is near you. You would be surprised of the people who need a group. Thanks now I will get off my soap box. Peace to all of you

to optomistic

Your tears are understandable, as is your grief, but it is good to hear that you also feel some hope and that you have days when there is a bounce in your step because it has been a long road for you.  We are all thinking about you and wishing you well as you proceed on your journey.

Thanks Melissa, I appreciate

Thanks Melissa, I appreciate your kind words and your wisdom on this site. This site has been very helpful to me. It really has helped me to understand Adhd better and understand so much of what and why my marriage failed. I would say to others to keep hope life isn't over because of Adhd. Many people have been successful because of it. I have a friend who is Adhd a nurse and has a thriving forensics business.She raised healthy kids , She inspires me. I just read some inspiring words you are in charge of your future and not the circumstances that are around you. You determine the course and no matter what obstacles, Yes you can do it..