Comments on the book so far (from female with ADHD)

Hi there,

Just wanted to say hi and to pass on some comments regards the book The ADHD Effect on Marriage. 

I'm about halfway through so far (up to the chapter on empathy). 

As a female aged 52, diagnosed with ADHD three years ago, I have to say the book is interesting reading and I am nodding my head as I recognize similar patterns in my marriage to those in the book. It is really helpful for me to understand my ADHD and how this affects my partner (as well as myself).  Apart from medication (Ritalin) I have to say I've not been offered much else in the way of management.  I plan to book an appointment with my doctor to discuss this further.

I am a firm believer that for every problem there is a solution or at least strategies that can be tried to get the best out of a situation. 

One thing I am finding though is that many of the ADHD male behaviours that are described in the book and the forum seem somewhat similar to traits of non ADHD men.  Not wanting to generalize, of course, but I believe women are usually more in touch with their emotions than men and often more able to discuss things than men.  This seems particularly relevant to the comments in the book about being ignored "after the honeymoon is over".  Then again, maybe my husband's coolness was in response to my undiagnosed ADHD.  The forum and book also seem to deal more with non ADHD wives dealing with their ADHD husbands.  This makes it a bit harder for me as a wife with ADHD to relate to some of the ADHD issues discussed, as they are quite male gender related, i.e. traditional stereotypical roles (being a reliable breadwinner for instance).

Another thing worth mentioning is that being diagnosed with ADHD later in life has definitely come as a shock and was the last thing I expected.  This has made it difficult for me to be certain about the diagnosis. My doctor assessed me as having ADHD first with a computer questionnaire and then by having me undergo a SPECT scan.  The scan results came back showing four deviations from normal, supporting a diagnosis of ADHD.  I have also asked my doctor on a number of occasions if he is absolutely sure about the diagnosis.  I just thought this was the way I was, a bit quirky, perhaps.  My husband does not believe I have ADHD or that ADHD is a condition that even exists.  I think he and our sons think it is just a label people use to excuse laziness or bad behaviour.  I have asked my husband to visit the doctor with me to discuss this but he does not want to go.  He feels the same way about counselling.  I've gone to counsellors over the years to sort out difficulties on my own (both before and after my diagnosis of ADHD).  That has helped a little but I find it difficult to work on the marriage without my partner being willing to be involved in any therapeutic process. 

The more I read about ADHD though the more I believe the diagnosis may be true, i.e. I have always been disorganized, I found schoolwork easy but got my work done quickly and then mucked about. I've always had lots of ideas going on at once.  I find it hard to be decisive as I can see both sides of an argument (can be accused of being a fence sitter).  When younger I was much more headstrong and opinionated but being married for over 30 years, having having children, etc., has shown me I am definitely not right about everything.  I have a thirst for knowledge, an entrepreneurial spirit and am a bit zany and madcap with an irreverrant sense of humour (some would say a bad case of "foot in mouth disease").  I am very emotional and find it difficult not to cry when having the same old "heated" discussions, that never seem to reach any resolution.  It is now just easier to keep my thoughts to myself and try do what is expected of me.  But no matter how I try, I cannot hold things in forever and out they come, which means another "discussion" that goes nowhere good.  I also tend to embarrass my family - by saying things they wished I wouldn't, or by laughing too loud, drawing attention to myself (and to THEM!).  I do try to control this and promise myself I will be careful what I say when out visiting.  But you can probably guess how that goes....!

Anyway, still have a way to go with the book but thought I'd say hi and see if there were any other females with ADHD or husbands of wives with ADHD who may wish to share their thoughts.