I’m writing to describe what I went through with my ADHD wife through my serious illness. When it was finally diagnosed that I had to have heart valve replacement surgery my wife’s oblivious cruel streak came out. All this happened before we knew, at age 58, that she is very likely ADHD. Anyway, the very evening after getting home from the hospital, having undergone diagnostic angiography, she tells me that she doesn't want to deal with my ‘anxiety’ around the whole thing and that she was looking at apartments and possibly moving out. At this point I am a desperately sick man, and had been pretty ill for 4 years, very ill for 2, and extremely ill for about 5 months. My history of anxiety disorder is what she was referring to. But by the time I had faced surgery my anxieties were being dealt with quite well with medication, and I wasn’t struggling in that sense. This was one of a string of health crises of mine where she exhibited a level cruelty that I knew was not normal. I was extremely ill, possibly facing death albeit at low odds, very painful surgery and a months long recovery. The next day after my diagnosis and her abhorrent behavior in the circumstance, I was so upset and weakened that I had to call my sister to remove me from the house. I stayed two days with her. That was all 3 years ago, I am doing very well health wise, and a lot of changes have happened in our lives. Upon reading “The ADHD Effect on Marriage” in recent months, ten thousand bells and whistles were set off. In my wife’s case she simply cannot ‘read’ interpersonal situations like any normal person, and this can emerge as seeming cruelty, even though it isn’t intended that way. After my ten thousand bells and whistles moments, I did recommend, very gently, that she take a look at the book. At first read of a small part of the beginning, she said it didn’t ring with her. I didn’t push it. She spoke with her 82 year-old mother and come to find out, both of my wife’s brothers were diagnosed as ADHD when they were young, and she said simply, “I just didn’t want them to take pills.” Also, I’m like 95% sure that my wife’s deceased father was ADHD. The house was a pigsty for them growing up, no one ever cleaned up, and my wife’s sometime efforts at cleaning were futile. The house was so bad that she was embarrassed to have people over. All this said, the misreading of personal situations explained so much to me about the years of fighting and frustration, AND the ‘chore wars,’ (my wife is still a self-admitted slob). I’ve never thought that she was a bad person, despite the fact that she could treat me cruelly in many of my most desperate situations. During my heart surgery recovery she did little to care for me even though I was totally dependent on her help as my home-care person. Again, the ADHD signs reveal that she has little idea sometimes how to focus on the needs of another person through an inability to read situations. She has never had the ability to put herself “in someone else's shoes.” I was wondering what other peoples’ experiences were with an ADHD partner and with them being mentally absent, and clueless, during serious illness of the non-ADHD partner.