Desperately seeking advice/support

This is my very first time on this website AND talking about my husband's ADHD. He was never diagnosed until after he married me, and began taking medication about 6 months ago (just started Adderall a couple days ago) and is also on an anti depressant/anxiety. We have been married almost 2 years. I am 38 and about to graduate as a respiratory therapist in May (previously a preschool teacher), and my husband is 40 and an architect (not one that makes 6 figures however :) - common assumption). We started trying for a baby in January (if you can call sex twice in 1 month trying). We have both put on a lot of weight in the past year - I am disgusted with myself and tend to "hide" and I have to admit for the 1st time, I am not attracted to my husband at the moment (which I would never tell him). 

I read a few of the posts on here and can relate to so much of what is being said. I am so beyond frustrated, unhappy, sad and angry at times. I have become someone I don't like and sometimes I don't even recognize. I have gone from being the very supportive, patient, fun, kind wife, to a miserable, nagging, critical, controlling wife a lot of the time. I feel like I am "raising" my husband and completely resent it. He's 6 feet tall, big Italian/Hungarian man who acts like a baby most of the time, which drives me crazy. It seems lately, that everything he does annoys me or irritates me. He never remembers to do most of what he says he's going to do or just never gets to it, he is always late - ALWAYS (which I find rude), and the only thing in his life that seems to be a priority is his job. Of course, he is now miserable too because he says all I do is complain and criticize him (guess it doesn't matter when he does that to me sometimes though). Inside, I feel really bad, I am totally aware of it and have this internal dialog with myself on a constant basis (anyone else know what I'm talking about?) to "stop reacting" "stay calm" "let him do his thing"...and as quickly as I say it in my head, is as quick as its out the window.  We constantly bicker & fight, usually over trivial things, he doesn't understand ANYTHING I say, he forgets so many conversations and always tells me that its me who forgot, and he blames me for absolutely everything and takes no responsibility for himself. He doesn't complete any tasks he starts (ex. : re-tiled the floor 3 years ago and had to finally get on his case and demand that the baseboards go back up by today before my parents come to visit tomorrow night). Still hoping he gets it done by tomorrow. Meanwhile i will have cleaned the entire house, laundry, reorganized the pantry, and went grocery shopping. I've been feeling like this marriage is going to fail big time because he is making me crazy and I am scared at what life with him AND children is going to be like (I want 2 kids more than I can explain and I am running out of time). I am trying to be as honest and "non long-winded" as I can. :)  Until about an hour ago, I just felt like my marriage isn't normal, my husband isn't normal, I am going to go crazy, and is divorce in my future? It never dawned on me to "Google" ADHD and marriage. After reading just a little bit, I think most of our issues are related back to that. I am by no means saying that I have no responsibility in this or that I am flawless, quite the opposite. But, I know in  my heart and soul, that even if my husband insists that's it's me - it isn't, not always anyway.

Hopefully, my venting made some sense. Now I am in desperate need of advice, help, and reassurance that I am not alone. In my frustration today when speaking to my husband on the phone, I blurted out how I feel like I am always alone - not in the physical sense, but in the sense that I don't feel like we are on the same page, or a team, or anything of the sort. I feel like it's always "tit for tat" with him, and competitive, and that we are on opposite sides - it sucks! This whole past week, every time we spoke to each other, it turned into an argument - I am exhausted. This is not how I pictured marriage and life together. We went to a l marriage counselor for a few months, but it became a chore and she wasn't really doing anything to help. I feel like we would benefit more from an expert on ADHD rather than just typical marriage counseling.

I want to stop "parenting" my husband - it doesn't work for either of us on many levels. I want to be happy and content, and I definitely don't want a divorce, I just know I can't stay married the way it is right now.

You are not alone!   I too

You are not alone!  

I too feel like my husband and I are not partners.  I don't want to be the boss, but I don't want my family to fall apart because my husband won't do things.  I'm not attracted to him anymore; the thought of staying for the rest of my life with someone who is depressed and anxious and has ADHD and refuses to confront these problems seriously and energetically makes me feel sick to my stomach.

That said, you can save yourself and your husband might even be able to change, but he'll need to work on it.

I too can relate.... but let

I too can relate.... but let me tell you, having kids with him is not going to make things any easier.  Before I had kids, I guess I just took care of the house, and his half finished projects were not so annoying..... but after kids!  First he was all sad because he felt like I didn't give him enough attention, and babies always add so much stress.  As they got older he was annoyed by my 2 who are 20 months apart and their needs.  Even though he loved them and helped w them when he was home, it was like he was the big kid and he was jealous of the babies.... really!  He even ended up cheating on me because he needed the attention, and the excitement that family life with little ones just cannot happen.....  He was very woe is me.  I felt like there was something I was doing wrong and I was stretched so thin.  I ended up depressed.   Things are not any better at this point.  If I could turn back the clock and knew everything I do now....  I wouldn't have chosen him to be my childrens father.  As cruel as that sounds.  They are 6 and 7 now, and not only are they going to have the issues of growing up around a relationship that is hard.... but might also suffer from this affliction themselves.  Also when you are taking care of kids, I have found it to be quite a job, and I have become resentful of having that extra kid to take care of instead of an extra parent to help.  And now I am pregnant with a 3rd (accident) and I am worried about our future.  Just me being prego and sick it is annoying to him to add any extra work to his load (we are at a low point right now, so sorry if this sounds really negative)


As you can see, you are not alone.  There are plenty of us here who share you pain, both the ADHD and non-ADHD spouses.  I would recommend reading Orlov's book, it was very good and helpful.  Gina Pera and Susan Tedeschi also have good options.  Yes, a counselor grounded in ADHD is absolutely critical to success.  Your husband also needs to be aware of what behavior is a symptom and own the ADHD so that he can work on mitigating behavior.  It is important, however, to not make ADHD a monster, so try to acknowledge the good aspects of the condition and your husband.  Try to remember why you fell in love and do some fun things together.  Also, the book will have good suggestions on better ways to respond to the behavior.  It is hard, but it does help. 

I also caution about having kids before you resolve the interpersonal issues.  Stress is a huge trigger for ugly symptoms and kids bring lots of it.  Seeing my husband's family there has been a 100% throughput rate on the ADHD genes.  My step-father's too.

Also, there is more to ADHD treatment than meds alone.  There should be coaching and/or behavioral therapy in conjunction so that he can learn new ways of doing things.  In addition, a healthy diet, ideally low on chemicals and preservatives, has helped some.  Omega 3s have been shown to help brain disease.  Exercise and sleep are also really important.  Take care of yourself as well.  Find ways to add some joy to your life.  Remember that the symptoms are not personal. Best wishes.

Being partners again

Parenting your husband is a relationship killer.  He will be another child - but a big one!  I was parenting my wife, but now I'm not.  I'm hoping to feel more like partners again (if we ever truly were).  I think what's critical (and I'm working on this too with my spouse) is that your DH be willing to get help and take responsibility for his symptoms, and that you are also willing to get help and take responsibility for yourself too - and I mean that in the sincerest kindness because I am/have been in your shoes as a non-ADHDer with an ADHD spouse.  I know for me it doesn't help me to keep blaming my partner, waiting for the day she'll change into this or that.  That only creates more bitterness and dependency on both our parts.  It means not picking up the slack for her and letting her learn from her own consequences.  Couples counselling, with someone who specializes in ADHD (or better yet, who has had personal experience dealing with ADHD, in their family for example) makes a difference.  Coaching for your spouse.  Support for you.  I think I'm still in too much pain to be able to be completely neutral about my situation as I'm still contemplating leaving.  But I do feel that if you are going to have more kids, recognize the responsibility if your husband cannot be there for you in the way you might want or need (I'd say that whether or not there is ADHD) as kids do add an extra stressor.  I don't have kids myself, but simply observing this in other families is enough for me to have that warning.  I believe there is hope, but it takes two to tango if you both want to experience mutual joy and I think you probably need to ask yourself what you need from him, and ask him if he's able and willing to work with you.  Glad you found this site.  It's helped me and I hope it helps you too.