I'm pretty sure that my husband is showing ADHD symptoms, but he doesn't think so.
I've tried giving him examples and all he says is that " he's special " then tries to laugh it off. And will say he's not ADHD.
How do i get him to realize what he does is affecting our relationship, I don't want us to split up, we've only been married 18 months, but as it stands at the moment, because life has become difficult and I'm also going through some hormone changes being Peri-menopausal, he blames a lot of the way we feel on me, and i don't know how much i can cope with this.
I said that i would get help which i have, but he's stuck in denial and hasn't even considered changing or doing anything to work out why he is the way he is.
He won't read any info I give him, he struggles. He won't watch videos for long particularly at night, because he gets bored and falls asleep. We can't have too long/serious conversations because again he gets bored and stops listening,
Please help! x
Bringing ADHD up
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
Hi - whether or not someone has ADHD can be a touchy subject - the harder you push the topic, the more likely a resistant partner is to dig in their heels and resist. This is in part because they feel that in trying to 'label' them you are also blaming them for struggles in your relationship. You're reporting that some of these feelings seem to be surfacing in him. The reality is that you are both likely contributing, and to approach it from that perspective can help. (For more info on this, see my first book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage.)
Even though you have ADHD in your head, it can be helpful to respect their resistance, and focus on the exhibited behaviors, instead. You can do this in an ADHD-informed way. For example, trying to avoid parent/child dynamics by not parenting, and discussing why it's important he steps up. Engaging in physical activity together which helps you both and can be a mood stabilizer. Setting verbal cues to help stop regular escalations into fights. At a point in which you are more steady as a couple you might then be able to bring the topic of ADHD back up.
When ready, one of the ways that people say sometimes work is by selecting a few paragraphs or sections from the patterns chapter of The ADHD Effect on Marriage and reading them out loud - with a 'hey, listen to this - it sounds like us...' approach (non confrontational!). make sure to select a section that points to your issues as well as a section that points to his.
He holds all the power
Submitted by adhd32 on
Like leading a horse to water or toilet training a toddler, the end result is entirely up to the subject not the individual seeking change. First, you must accept that the end result is not within your control. You can plant the seed but he must be all-in to tend and nurture his condition with therapy and changing his habits. Sustained effort and change are not usually things ADHD people willing seek unless they have no other choice. Even the threat of an impending divorce or the loss of a friendship or job is not enough for some to feel the need to change. It's easier to adopt a victim mentality and blame the spouse, or the boss, or spin the friendship around. You cannot change him or make him see (there is none so blind as a man who will not see). Either accept this life and concentrate on you or move on. Do not, under any circumstances, take over responsibilities that belong to him or make excuses for him or his behavior. If you have taken on some things because you thought it was helping him by making things easier for him and no bid deal for you, you need to stop and make him accountable for himself. He needs to feel the pinch of his actions and inactions.
Submitted by 1Melody1 on
I respect the soft touch approach when it works for a couple and every couple is different. If that works for you, that's wonderful. For me personally, looking back at my 20-year marriage (now over), I wholly wish I had not taken that tact. It resulted in complete inaction from my husband and in me assuming too much responsibility for the dysfunction in our marriage where ADHD was clearly at the root.
My ADHD husband did not react to my "working together" approach, dividing tasks, scheduling time for dates and physical activity, etc. I spent a long time trying to be the good wife who worked with him and encouraged gently, while trying to protect him from feeling shame/discomfort about an ADHD label. In retrospect, I wouldn't have wasted my time and spent those years in fruitless hope, trying to gently bring him around. I would have been assertive, like an adult should be with another adult - and life partner - and openly discussed the challenges in the marriage, my feelings and ADHD's contribution. I would have made my expectations for joint action clear and listened to his input on how to approach it too. Had I been assertive, I would have seen a lot sooner that he wasn't going to participate or change no matter WHAT the approach. Similar to ADHD32's post, ultimately even divorce was not enough for my husband to change anything. He would rather divorce, split finances and not see his child than acknowledge and address the impact of ADHD.
That's just me and only you know what might work with your partner. Best of luck and keep an eye on your own health/ability to cope - that must come first.
Submitted by adhd32 on
I too tried the gentle approach which left me hanging most times. I never could really, really trust that he would get up and pay the bills or pick up the kids on the way home. Never knew if he would get the milk and bread or will I have to run out at 10pm so I could make lunches for next day. Sorry I forgot gets old when you RELY on someone to carry out things they promised to do. This is where I have an issue.
The advice is to brush it off so ADDer isn't traumatized by criticism, I say too bad!! If H doesn't want to work on an improvement plan, or figure out a way to remind himself to stop at the store, that's his fault and a choice. Many suggestions offered to him by professionals are ignored so he could remain in his ADD caccoon. Why should the innocents in the situation have to go without a decent lunch because H can't face the fact that HE screwed up again and maybe there is a better way? He is in control of himself and well aware of the services available, if he choses denial he also chooses the fall out of not availing himself to those services. Everyone in the household is collateral damage and pays for their denial, not only the spouse.
Submitted by c ur self on
A few thoughts...Only positivity and acceptance enhances our marriage relationships...Expectations (to think, or be more like me) are real relationship poison when it comes to who we are, with or without our spouses, and what is important to us as individuals...
Minds (adhd, men, women, etc..) are all different, and will always think, feel, and behave differently....Everyone has their comfort zones, their loves, and their unspoken priority list, that they live out daily....Most of us would not want our spouses to attempt to think for us, or diagnose us, every time we lived out realities that they could not comprehend in their minds...Many times the day to day actions of some of us, may be much more highly approved of by the masses, then what we might be experiencing and are witness to coming from our spouses....But that doesn't change the reality of who both parties are....
Most of us, adhd or not, will need boundaries in our lives at some point, we also will need to accept that what might mean a lot to us, might be a non issue for our spouses, and be at peace with that....We shouldn't self inflict suffering in our own lives, because we don't like someone else's...? A lot of my own pain ended when I determined in own heart to stop!! (pointing out, seeking to fix or change).....Counseling (a calm rational mediator) is a great tool to bring us back to our own individualism, and theirs, our shared vows, and what is and what is not marriage responsibilities etc...
When it comes to change, people must see the need to change, (want to) and people must have an ability to change...It's much better for you to just peacefully enjoy the movie video alone, while the man you love enjoy's his nap....It's who each of you are....
Submitted by CompletelyLost on
The one thing to realize is that some marriages are futile. The other partner is so checked out that no tactic no matter how positive, or assertive or anything will save the marriage if the ADHD partner is not engaged in finding solutions. One can never tell if they will ever engage. So I say do the best you can. Do the next right thing and if that next right thing eventually is a divorce then for your own sanity do that too.