The end of me

After 30+ years of marriage, raising a family essentially as a single parent, while completing college & working up to 3 part time jobs, I can no longer find the strength to continue. My spouse was diagnoised with ADD/Impulsivity/Inattentiveness. His behavior also changes, and he becomes very mean verbally when he drinks any alcohol at all. For most of the past 30 years I took total care of the house etc, as he was "too busy, too stressed at work " to come home for more than  to sleep eat & go back to work. His memories of our life are very different of course, because I am "such a negative person, never happy with anything, just want to rehash the past all the time"

Over the years he has started, and discontinued, individual and joint counseling about 6 times. I have  had long term counseling myself several times over the years, to address my own issues and seeking coping tools to deal how his  issues affect me. I left him after he was fired from his job and became increasingly verbally, financially, and emotionally abusive. after several months' separation, and a very large attorney's bill, he agreed to joint counseling because "he loved me and wanted to save our marriage". After going to joint counseling for about 4 months I agreed to move back into our home. Almost as soon as I did that, he lost interest in doing any real work in our counseling sessions. Our initial goal was to improve our communication skills. He gave every appearance of working on this while in counseling but refused to practice any of the skills/exercises that the counselor suggested we try between sessions. The counselor was certified in ADD/ADHD, marriage counseling, and addictive behaviors such as sexual addiction and alcoholism.

We have been living together, in the house we purchased together, over 30 years ago, for 18 months since the separation. During that time he has violated my personal space on a daily basis, I am not allowed to have any input into how the house is set up, he freely goes through my personal possessions & clothing, throwing away & giving away things. I was not allowed to have any of my own clothes or books, etc in "our" bedroom because it was "a special place for us"; translate to for sex only. The closet was reserved for clothing that he found sexually stimulating & dresser drawers reserved for his sex toys. He has become increasingly abusive, escalating to the point of shoving me from one end of the house to the other because I picked up a notebook he left on the floor.  After that incident, which left me extremely sore & bruised in numerous places he left. I changed the locks because I really feared what he would do if he came back, to the point that I was unable to sleep. This occurred 2 days before I was starting a new job. While I was at work, he broke into the house and then left an outside entryway to the basement open in such a way that I did not realize it was not locked, so was sleeping in an unsecured house for 2 nights before realizing it.

As I re read what I have written here, I really just want to curl up & die.  I thought I was strong enough to get through this but today I don't think I can.

He stopped attending counseling with me almost 4 months ago, in all fairness, he DID give me permission to continue myself to get over my hang ups about the past, and sex. There must be something wrong with me because I don't choose to engage in sexual activity at least 3 times a day. He chooses not to engage in any activities with me, not even meals, on a regular basis.

I was very hopeful when I found this site, I thought that just knowing others were struggling with the same issues and finding ways to improve their relationships would be a great help to us. As he refuses to even read anything,, never mind discuss anything, my hopes were once again thrown to the ground and stomped on.


Oh, dear, I'm very sorry and

Oh, dear, I'm very sorry and concerned for you!  Please, don't give up.  Is there a domestic abuse organization in your area that you can call?  I think that you need protection from your spouse.  Also, if you have family members or friends who could help you, please contact them. 


Thank you for reaching out to a stranger & expressing concern. I think I needed to post some of my story here to be able to see it through someone else's eyes. I am currently not in the house with him, due to another family member's medical emergency. I will, however, be returning to the house in a few weeks.

2 days ago I received a letter from him detailing what he had done to/with my personal possessions since I have been away. Since it was so clearly a repeat of past behavior that he had promised me he would never do again, I felt that I had been violated, and was now stuck in a situation that there was no longer any hope of getting away from. It took so much energy, time, and money to leave before and then I so wanted to believe that we could make it work. Of course he reassured me that he  treated all of my things "with respect & consideration" as he went through them, packed things away, moved things to the garage & basement etc. We had a verbal agreement prior to my leaving, which we also discussed again via phone & email about my concerns & he agreed that he would leave my things alone while I was gone.  I keep most of my things in a bedroom that we do not use as a bedroom & I stated prior to leaving that my expectation was that he would not go into that room, or go through my things and he said"ok". Guess I misunderstood something in his response.

He "gave you permission" for counseling??!!

Does he own you? Are you a housewife who does not contribute to the household and he has to manage every penny? I doubt that either are true! Your husband is abusive. (Been there, done that, got the Tshirt.) ADHD is not an excuse for abuse!

If you need to, call the battered women's hotline or shelter in your area. You need to not be living with him.

Please take care of yourself. You can get through this


Thank you for your concern.

Thank you for your concern. It has really helped me see things more clearly.

No he does not own me, even though some days I feel he has destroyed me. One of our ongoing disagreements has been about his view of a wife as a possession, not as a partner. Of course his response when I say this is "That's not true, ect,ect,"

Through out our marriage I worked many jobs, around his work schedule, and children's school schedule. We both contributed to household bills and I paid most of the expenses associated with raising 4 children; schools, sports, music, clothes, summer camp, scouts, and the list goes on and on. There were many things he refused to pay for, like computers, cable & internet, long distance phone service, a 2nd car, vacations, college, a trip to the local ice cream stand in the summer..all of this, and more, I paid for while he banked/invested most of what he earned.  When he was fired from his job and announced is intention to never work again he said to me "That's MY money, you spent what you earned". even though, all the years I was spending my money raising a family & taking care of a house he had said "It's our money, It's for our retirement." We are both about 15 years from retirement age & I planned on continuing to work as much as I could for as long as I could. That will be a bit difficult now as he totaled my car after I finished my last temp job and his is no longer registered or safe to drive (repairs & registration "cost too much"). And no, we do not live on a public transportation bus line.

About 5 years ago I had a work related injury. His reaction: "I don't think there is anything wrong with your mother, I think she just doesn't want to work." Later denied making this comment but he had said it to one of our adult children so I don't believe I heard wrong. I am no longer able to work full time due to lasting impact of the injury combined with a pre existing medical condition. I do take jobs that offer the hours and flexibility I need when I can find someone willing to hire me. I am not complaining, that's just the way it is. I am an RN & am now licensed in another state (far from where I live).

I went to a battered women's group 2 years ago, guess I need to get over feeling stupid for going back to him before I end up hurt worse or dead.


Hugs to you

When you are mired in this situation, it's hard to see that there is a way out. Please go back to a battered women's group. Seek anything that makes you strong--friends, other family, maybe even your adult kids if they are supportive.

Get yourself a good lawyer. You will definitely be entitled to a part of the nest egg he built up by pushing all the responsibilities onto you.

I don't want to blame your husband's ADD for all of this appalling behavior. Most ADD people are very nice, (generalization deleted). He has ADD + some other pathological condition. You can't help him, you just need to save yourself. 



I've noticed you have been sounding so strong lately, and lending that strength to others, and hope it leads to good things for you.


This lady's problem I have dealt with. First husband did not have ADHD, as far as I know, was a complete control freak who would probably have gotten along famously with this lady's poor excuse of a husband. I have strength in that area because I have been there, done that and I'm still here to tell the tale. She will too, I'm sure of it. 

As far as surviving my current marriage, I don't know if I'm any stronger. I'm certainly angrier.

'they don't get anything done'....


Do you really know enough about people with ADD to make that ridiculous statement on here? I run a household, raise a 5 year old child, have dinner parties about every other weekend with wonderful friends and the list goes on. None of them perfect but successful enough that my child is very advanced compared to his classmates and my friends are more than willing to come back each time we have a gathering at my house. And, no, my house is not in horrible disarray either. 

Though your flippant statement may sound 'innocent' to you it very well could be considered a horrible insult. The thought that all ADD people are 'this way or that' is a very archaic notion. 

That really would be like me saying that all women named Sueann have terrible manners and are usually cat hoarders. 

Dmothomas, I am slightly


I am slightly confused by your post here. Do you have ADD? Is that maybe why you sound so defensive? I am trying to understand how your post offers support, insight, advice to me, which is what I came to this forum for. I realize I am very new to this type of exchange, and certainly do not know everything about how it is supposed to work.  My understanding was that if I posted something the responses would be directed to my post,  like I said, I am very new to this, and expect there is some amount of learning as you go involved here.

Bamiana, Yes I do have ADD


Yes I do have ADD and if you want to say it was 'defensive' you can do that. I was offended at the prejudicial statement made by Sueann and that is why my response was address specifically to her and posted directly after her post, versus not being stated directly after your post. That is typically how these 'thread' things work.

As far as offering you support, I grew up in a turbulent and somewhat violent household with an alcoholic father. The type of behavior you've described appears to be more of an anger and control disorder, which is not how we ADD people behave typically. It sounds like your husband has some other more serious issue going on. That brings me to being confused by Sueann's statement that is bashing people with ADD by stating we can't get anything done. I'm not sure why his awful behavior is being focused on from an ADD standpoint. Yes, that is offensive. Like I said, he's obviously got some other more detrimental mental health problems. Narcissism of the worst kind maybe. 

If you want to help yourself understand his ADD then there is a book that might help you identify where he belongs on the ADD ladder. The book is: "Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD" by Dr. Daniel Amen.

However, from the sounds of it I doubt that knowing which 'type' of ADD he has is going to help you at all because he is dealing with other, more dangerous problems.  

I wish you the best and most of courage in your decisions. God bless.

Bamiana, I suppose the most


I suppose the most clear way to put it that I can think of is this ... It may be irritating as hell to live with a person with ADD but we are not mean, dangerous people by any means. Having ADD doesn't make us bad people with bad behavior. Having ADD doesn't make someone vengeful and rotten. That being said, you need to pull up your bootstraps and go find a safe place to live and start over. You can do it. If you're strong enough to live with a man like that for this many years then you are surely strong enough to get the heck out of there. Good luck.

Thank you

Thank you for stating this so distinctly. There are so many people on this forum who seem to think ADHD is the cause of every problem they have. My husband has ADHD, and it does not cause him to be a psychopath. However, there probably are psychopaths who also have ADHD. We should be careful to sort out real ADHD issues from other problems. I think it confuses people and makes them think they have to accept all bad behavior because their spouse has a label.

Actually, I think the low

Actually, I think the low self esteem that stems from having undiagnosed ADHD (being told you're lazy, crazy, stupid, good for nothing, and knowing you're different but never understanding that it is something you cannot help) DOES contribute to some of the more hurtful (i.e. BAD) behaviors my husband displays. So, in a sense, it can make people behave in bad ways because some of the ways they learn to 'cope' often involve hurting others. I could name a laundry list of 'bad behaviors' I think are directly related to my husband being undiagnosed for 38 year, and we could all argue (I suppose) over whether it is directly or indirectly related to ADHD til the cows come home. I think my husband is severely affected compared to some of the other people here. He IS mean when life doesn't go his way...and is lack of impulse control and ability to think things through...past the next 5 sometimes dangerous as well. Just because the degree to which you (or someone you know/love) isn't like this, that does not mean it doesn't affect others the same. I love my husband and I only want the best for him...but he definitely has ADHD and he has done many things over the course of the last 15 years that if you cannot call them bad, I don't know what you would call them. Certainly not nice. I won't use it as a blanket statement, but I don't think it is fair to make this a blanket thing in the opposite way either...that it isn't related at all to the bad behaviors.

The original post was

The original post was regarding ADD not ADHD and there are significant differences between the two. There are usually other factors involved. SherriW I'm very sorry youve had to deal with so much. Good luck. Hang in there. God bless.

Almost everyone I love has ADD

My younger daughter has ADD. She dropped out of high school, and got pregnant when she was 16. Consistently choose drugs and druggie friends over meeting her son's needs and lost custody of him when he was 5.

My grandson (the aforementioned child) won't do his homework. Smart as a whip, failing all his classes. Last week he cheated on a band test and got kicked out of band.

My husband, who has ADD and isn't biologically related to the 2 people I mentioned before, lost his job in May and hasn't looked for a job since, being content to live off my earnings. He also doesn't do any household chores. If he drops something it just sits on the floor. This is scary for me as I am physically handicapped and afraid of falling over all the stuff on the floor. I'm also tired of not having any clean clothes or clean dishes. I work from home so his constant "I don't have to do anything" attitude is constantly rubbed in my face.

My other daughter who does not have ADD worked her way through college, was in the top 10% of her law school class, started her own law firm and is certified in the specialty she practices in. SHE gets things done! She is struggling to raise her nephew, whom she adopted, but struggles because she can't really understand a mind so different from her own. 

So my comment was not meant to be flip. It is truly my experience of people with ADD. If any of the people in my life managed their ADD as well as you say you do, I'd be the happiest mother, grandma and wife in the world.



I'm really sorry to hear all

I'm really sorry to hear all of the difficulty you all face. Happiness is a mystery to conquer when you are faced with disabilities, whether they are your own or others. I wish that all of you were more compassionate about each other's disabilities. None of us choose to be this way, do we?

The part of my life I mentioned was the part where I accomplish my best success ... family and friends. That doesn't mean I am a 'model' ADD'er. It also doesn't mean that my life has been any easier than anyone else's who has ADD. It simply means that I use different coping skills than some other people and it took a LONG time to close to 'normal' - especially since my mother didn't understand me and I did not have a support system to help me get here. Knowledge seeking and God have been my system.

Too many people with mental or physical disabilities are willing to adopt words like 'dysfunction' quicker than words like 'accountability'. That isn't an easy task for anyone living with any type of disability. Most people with ADD don't even realize that there is a worthwhile human being inside because they've been told they are stupid and worthless for their entire lives, so they believe it. It is particularly easy to believe that "you'll never amount to anything" when the people you love say it to you over and over again. 

I hope that you can get your hands on a copy of that book I mentioned previously. Reading it may help with your own heartbreak regarding your daughter and grandson. Understanding can bring relief. Good luck with your difficulties. I wish you all the best. God bless.

summerwine's picture

"Too many people with mental

"Too many people with mental or physical disabilities are willing to adopt words like 'dysfunction' quicker than words like 'accountability'. That isn't an easy task for anyone living with any type of disability. Most people with ADD don't even realize that there is a worthwhile human being inside because they've been told they are stupid and worthless for their entire lives, so they believe it. It is particularly easy to believe that "you'll never amount to anything" when the people you love say it to you over and over again. "


I just had to quote this because it is perfect. People on this board are always asking why doesn't my ADHD husband just admit that he is a screw up and start doing better and not be so defensive? Ummmm maybe because when you spend your whole life trying to make people see that you are a good person inside while they tell you what a useless piece of trash you are you might get a little bit defensive? maybe you would find it hard to say Yeah I'm a big looser. LOOOSER. I am a bad husband and I am forgetful and stupid and lazy and can't hold down a job or clean the house and I just SUCK. I SUCK. Thanks for loving me despite the fact that I suck. Now I'm going to go and magically get better just to stop sucking and making your life terrible for you. OK I get that's not what you guys are asking for. But that's what it FEELS like you want. Just ONCE in my life I want someone to say: I know you try really hard honey and that you are a good person on the inside how can I help you do better? But noooo all my life its: you suck I want you to list all the ways you suck and tell me how you are going to stop sucking.

Summerwine It


It definitely creates a feeling of being completely alone, doesn't it? Feels like you're on an island of penguins who don't understand your language, body language or creature habits. That's kind of a joke but it is also reality and you know what I mean.

Many years ago I really got the meaning of "God has already given you everything you need in life to succeed". That is when I stopped using the people around me as a mirror ... because I always looked like a P.O.S. in their reflection. I believe that God has given me the tools to get to where I want to be and I just have to learn how to use them.

My husband also has ADD. Our house can be like a mental institution at times. I can tell you, it really is hard to be married to someone with ADD. He can testify to that also. 

We've been through the ringer of life the last few years ... since hurricane Katrina. It has definitely taken a toll on our marriage and on my self-esteem. But sometimes it only takes one thing to get back on track sometimes. I read this the other day and it automatically boosted my self-esteem: 

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
by Ralph Waldo Emerson"

Summerwine, get the book I mentioned earlier. It will change your life if you can identify which of the 6 is you. Ask your spouse to read it if you have one. And, who cares if you suck at a lot of stuff. Only work on the important stuff. I suck at tons of stuff. I'm awesome at tons of stuff too. I used to try to make EVERYTHING important but you'll go crazy that way. Only the important stuff can be important. Everything else is just 'droppings'.

Dueling disabilities

When I married my husband I had no idea he has ADD. He knew I had been hit by a car and had serious physical deficits as a result. I showed him my scars, where the screws are in my knee, etc. so he knew what he was getting. He got fired 6 weeks after we got married.

 I love him but I can't do the work for 2 people. When I lived alone, my house may have been messy and I once  broke my ankle while trying to carry the laundry in from the car but I could walk through my house and I never ran out of clean clothes and I never had to decide what to cook based on which dishes were clean. Now with 2 people's dishes and clothes, I can't keep up. Why should I expect him to sleep and channel surf and play games while I earn the money and I do all the housework for 2 people.

He doesn't suck! He's a perfect physical specimen. I firmly believe he's capable of doing the dishes and laundry, throwing away the packages he uses and walking his dog. He just chooses not to and that's what sucks. I don't want him to feel bad. I want him to step up and meet his own needs.

summerwine's picture

I can't meet my own needs

I can't meet my own needs most people with ADHD can't meet their own needs. He might be able bodied but is he able brained? No.

And I can't meet his needs

So do you think a person with a real physical disability, who has enormous physical difficulty doing all the work of 2 cats, 1 dog and 2 people, should just give up? Should I just leave him to stew in his own filth until they come and evict him, because he is choosing not to work, rather than hold him accountable?

Should I stay up all night cleaning up after him, after working 7 days a week on this computer, because cleaning up doesn't fit into his channel surfing time? Really?

Maybe Dr. Hallowell should stop counseling people and writing books because, after all, he has ADHD, so he couldn't possibly even meet his own needs? I think not. I think your statement is enormously insulting to people with ADD like YYZ and many others on this blog and many other people with ADD who do take care of themselves, work at fulfilling work, and support their families.

My sister who has developmental disabilities and is schizophrenic takes care of our mother. It may not be perfect but my mother can walk through their apartment without falling. Do you think you ADDers are more disabled than she is?

summerwine's picture

ADHD is a spectrum disorder.

ADHD is a spectrum disorder. Some people have it worse than others. How do you not understand this??? Some people are born with worse ADHD than others and then there's when you finally got diagnoses and how abused you were growing up for being ADHD and how smart you are and all of that to factor in as well. Some of us really can't meet all of our needs. Its great that people like Dr.Hallowell can but not all of us can. Do you read the forums full of people fighting ADHD? Do you see the ones who can't keep a job no matter how hard they try? The ones who are still virgins when they are 40 years old because their ADHD drives people away? Do you see the ones having their kids taken away by the state? The ones on disability? The ADHD people who are in prison or who are homeless or who die young or who get pregnant too young?? The ones who get into car accidents or who burn their house down because they forgot the food cooking on the stove. There are LOTS of us like that. Fighting everyday just to have a friend or have roof over our head or fighting just to have food. It is something that effects executive function, do you even know what that IS? And you guys complain about dirty dishes? What if some of you are married to the guy with ADHD that is too serve to hold a job or keep a clean house? Have you considered that? If all you have to complain about is how hard it is to make him remember stuff maybe you got lucky to find an ADHD person who isn't as bad.


There is a book you all should buy it's called "ADHD in Adults: What the science says"  not what makes you feel better and not what some self help person tells you but what the real science is.

Yeah, I see all of that!

My daughter, who I love more than life itself, did all the things in those lectures. She dropped out of school. started stealing my car when she was 14, lost her driver's license, is obese, is addicted to nicotine, caused me to lose 2 good jobs by not having the car available when I needed to go to work (without notice), and got pregnant when she was 15. She has a (relatively) good job as the manager of a store in a pizza chain. She got promoted to manager within a few months of starting there.

My ADD husband was a virgin when we started dating. How many women can say they seduced a 43 old virgin? (I can)

But he worked (albeit at a number of different jobs) until after we were married. Only when he married me did he decide he couldn't work and deserved to spend all day channel surfing. 

He may not be, in his natural

He may not be, in his natural state, as "able brained" as some people but that does not mean that there aren't options and ways to at least HELP him function better. 

I have been in places in my life where I could not meet my own needs, and for a very long time I felt sorry for myself and blamed everyone else in my life. Then I even got sick of hearing myself do that and I did something about it. Yes, you can call ADHD a disability if you want, but it is TREATABLE. I know that even with the best of treatments, it isn't always manageable enough that some individuals still don't struggle but you are your own worst enemy with this kind of thinking. Just as "I" had to get over blaming my husband for my anger and start working on myself, you have to get over feeling like the entire world is against you and start helping yourself. Many of your posts lately, the majority of them I would venture, are basically following the same line of defense "I shouldn't have to explain/apologize/meet my own needs because I have ADHD" and being upset with those of us who just do.not.get.that attitude. Whether you 'get it' or not, is irrelevant to me, but I hope for your sake you 'get it' that your self-defeating "the world just needs to accept me for who I am" attitude is probably what is standing in your way of being the amazing, happy, POSITIVE person I know you can be...anyone can be. You, my DH, and every other living soul needs acceptance and do NOT need people in their lives who criticize and verbally abuse them. But, let me tell you...from my experience...I have given my support and my love as best as humanly possible for a very long time now, and will continue to do so until the day comes, if it comes, that I decide I have nothing left to give. Have his ADHD behaviors improved? NOT ONE BIT! So it is not all about getting support, but it is also about SELF AWARENESS AND SELF IMPROVEMENT. I can offer support all day and all night, but that does not change his ADHD or the fact that some of the things he does because he remains completely untreated are HURTFUL and DANGEROUS to the family. (like lying and not giving 100% to his job so that his family lives in fear constantly of him losing his job and our only means of survival at this point). 

Just you feel there is ANYTHING you need to change about your behaviors when it comes to relationships with those you love? (PLEASE don't tell me "I can't" because I don't buy that...not for one minute..from ANYONE..ADHD or not)

summerwine's picture

"Just you feel

"Just you feel there is ANYTHING you need to change about your behaviors when it comes to relationships with those you love? (PLEASE don't tell me "I can't" because I don't buy that...not for one minute..from ANYONE..ADHD or not)"


I don't go to our counselor and take my medication and read books and read forums about ADHD for NOTHING. I work hard I try hard I struggle every single day with my ADHD and my sons ADHD. I work so hard. But the problem is not that I can't it that it's HARDER for me and yeah there are going to be some things that I really might not be able to do no matter how hard I try. There are some things that I can't change 100% I will never have the memory of someone who doesn't have ADHD so I don't think it's fair to expect me to. I can improve something like that but I will never be 100% like a normal person. Why are you guys so all or nothing? Why is it BE NORMAL or fuck off? Why is it so hard to understand that as someone with ADHD I am going to fight every day to 75% of what you are? Why do people kick me like a dog for that? Why isn't that good enough? Why don't I get compliments and encouragement for going from 50% to 75%??? Why is nothing I do good enough??? Why do people not accept anything less than perfect? I read here and all I can think of is one day my son is going to be married to one of these women and it makes me sick. I want him to do well I want him to be able to do better than 75% but he won't be 100% because of his problems and i think no woman will tolerate that no woman will love him for fighting to be almost 100%

I have spent 30+ years

I have spent 30+ years married with a man with ADD. I am struggling to come to terms with the reality that no matter how much I love him IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH. I have spent most of those years being told EVERYTHING  is my fault. If I would just_____ (fill in the blank, it changes, sometimes from minute to minute) then his life would be fine. I have been supportive, picked up the slack, covered for him when he forgot things like birthdays, important school events, had to take cabs to the ER because he was too busy to leave work or couldn't be found at work (my fault, I "must have dialed the wrong number") dealt with every major health issue of my own ALONE (because all I "want to do is run to the doctor all the time"). I actually see my physician once or twice a year, excepting an acute illness. 

I have no place in our home (and I use that word very loosely) that I can leave a single thing without risking it disappearing "how was I supposed to know that was something you wanted?" . I have no privacy, he barges into the bathroom (that "shouldn't be a problem since we are married") with no regard for my personal preferences. If I try to have a telephone conversation he follows me around with constant unrelated comments. Polite requests that he please wait until I am done my phone conversation results in angry outburst or his withdrawal as punishment because I dared to make a request that I considered reasonable.

I have given & given, tried & tried to improve communication, work out compromises. At what point is enough enough????? When I die? I am sorry he has ADD, I am sorrier that he refuses to accept responsibility (like I have for my physical/medical conditions) and seek treatment. Seems it is just too easy to blame me for everything.

summerwine's picture

Did oyu just tell me to shut

Did you just tell me to shut up and that I am ridiculous? What a wonderful support forum.

When I typed it originally,

When I typed it originally, in my head I sounded like a motivational preacher and I just knew you'd come back with "Hallelujah!". Now that I re-read my post, I don't blame you for your response. I do apologize for putting it that way. You're right and I am sorry.

The truth is that I believe in the abilities of everyone with ADD. I believe in you even though I don't know you. I do not think you are ridiculous. My thought filter fell off for a minute. Happens with ADD sometimes. 

I really wish you the best and I do want you to succeed. I know that you can and you'll get past the frame of mind that you have about yourself. You can do it on your own terms.

Good luck. God bless.

Summerwine ... Again, so

Summerwine ... Again, so sorry! I flagged that post as inappropriate so that they would remove it for me since I as unable to delete it myself. 

I was not asking "are you

I was not asking "are you getting help" I asked "is there anything you think you need to change about your behaviors when it comes to relationships with those who you love?"

I can answer this question for myself..YES. ALL OF THEM. And I do not have ADHD. I work hard and struggle every day with my ADHD husband, my special needs son, my most-likely ADHD daughter, school, dogs, cats, house, laundry, bills, meals, etc. There are things that are harder for me too...this is true for every single human being on the planet. I could work 16 hours a day and never be even close to 75% in some of the things I wish I could do better. You, nor anyone else, corners the market on "some things will always be harder".

I don't have ADHD and my memory SUCKS. Thankfully, I am married to a man who does not give a shit. (maybe BECAUSE he has ADHD) 

I am NOT EVEN CLOSE TO being an 'all or nothing' person. I think, if I remember correctly, you came here because you were dating a guy who didn't understand your system you had set up in your house that 'works' for you and your son and I told you to tell him to get used to it or get lost. (Please forgive me if I am mistaking you for someone else). Does that sound like an 'all or nothing' person? All I want is someone like YYZ, DF, Wayne, you, etc...who know they have ADHD, admit that it affects their ability to function in life, and DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT. My husband does everything ADHDers are advised NOT TO DO. (drink, not get enough sleep, ZERO physical activity aside from work...not to mention he is not in counseling, on meds, doesn't read or care to read or learn or acknowledge anything about his ADHD) I don't think it is asking too much for him to take some initiative to get help...and I do not think I am a bad person for not wanting to spend the rest of my life like this. 

"NORMAL" is all relative...depending on who you ask as to what it looks like. For me, 'normal' is just a relationship that does not FORCE me to either leave or live in fear of the next crisis always lurking around the corner. I don't want to kick you, or anyone else (especially not my husband), for having ADHD...but I would like to stick my foot up his ass for not doing anything about it...and that does not make me a bad/intolerant/unaccepting/unsupportive person. 

I TRULY am sorry if you're not getting encouragment and compliments from those around you...but if this is the case then you might need to change 'those around you' and not let 'those around you' convince you that we are all (here on this forum) horrible, ADHD hating people. We, here, cannot possibly see your daily accomplishments and be there to encourage you...but I can say that I think it is wonderful that you're doing all you are (counseling, reading, meds, etc) because it WILL make a difference for you and your son. My DH wasn't DX until he was 38 years old...I can only wonder how much different his life would be if he had been given the time and attention he needed when he was a child. 

I am not sure who makes you feel that what you do isn't good enough, but that certainly feels very much like misplaced anger...towards us...and may need to be directed at someone more close to home.


I don't get why you say this...

I can improve something like that but I will never be 100% like a normal person. Why are you guys so all or nothing? Why is it BE NORMAL or fuck off?

I am not sure who you are referring to as "you guys", but it sure sounds a lot like nonADD mates, so I can answer for myself and what I see among my peers.  We are NOT all or nothing and we are especially NOT be normal or f off or we would certainly not still be here, talking, studying, and learning about ADD. 

Why do you keep making comments like this?  It is NOT TRUE!

I am happily married to my ADDer (who yes sometimes drives me insane but he can say the same about me too). 

Why is it so hard to understand that as someone with ADHD I am going to fight every day to 75% of what you are?

It isn't hard to understand why you will never think or function like a person without ADD.  Whether your best is 75% or not is not my business.  My husband functions higher than that when all his tools are working.

Why do people kick me like a dog for that?

Who is kicking you like a dog??

Why isn't that good enough? Why don't I get compliments and encouragement for going from 50% to 75%???

The only people who can determine what is 'good enough' in your family is you and your mate, but you should completely absolutely get compliments for your successes!

I read here and all I can think of is one day my son is going to be married to one of these women and it makes me sick.

As one who I can only assume is one of the "these women" you refer to, your comment makes me sick too.  If you can take what the majority of us are trying to accomplish here and see it as a negative, then I don't know what the answer is.  I think your son could do a lot worse than "these women" who work every day to help and support their mates.

By the way, many people with

By the way, many people with ADD have above average intelligence like your grandson you say is 'smart as a whip'. I bet he's been told he is stupid for getting kicked out of band. The opposite is true obviously. There is one or two things that he is very passionate about and he does EXTREMELY well. He's probably asked why he doesn't choose to do other things as well as he does that one or those things. It is because he doesn't really have the ability to choose that kind of attentive passion for all things. The 'normal' learning environment is horrible for ADDers.

I also dropped out of school. I was a total screw up. I got fired from several jobs when I was young. Thank goodness. I went on to develop a real estate career that I LOVED and made a six figure income annually before I gave it up to allow my husband to pursue his career, which required us to move across the country. 

When I was a teenager I was told many times that I'd never amount to anything. I don't really care who thinks I am 'anything' because my son thinks I'm the best person in the world and vice-versa. God thinks I'm pretty special too.  My hope is for every young woman with ADD to be able to make a statement like that when they are in their 40's. :-)

God feels the same way about you, your younger daughter and your grandson. You're special people.


Comparing ADDer and non ADDer

All the ADDers I know are very intelligent. My 2 girls, one ADD and one non, each tested the exact same IQ. The ADDer manages a pizza place and the non is a lawyer. My grandson qualified for advanced classes but won't turn in his homework and so is failing. My husband graduated from college. That is why this "I can't work; nobody wants me" attitude is so frustrating.

Your attitude is equally frustrating...


You talk about your physical disabilities so much and with such an 'angry victim' perspective that it makes it obvious that you have a severely negative impact on the people around you.

I have severe arthritis that makes my days very difficult physically. I also have ADD. I put on my big girl panties every day and work on making life a nice place to be. The girl that got her arm bit off by the shark ... she does her own damn laundry with one arm. When I was a little girl there was a lady who shopped at the same grocery store as my parents and she had no arms. She packed her oranges in a bag with her feet. I'm sure she does her own laundry that way also.

Yes - let him sit in his filth and mess until he figures out he's got a big problem. You might be doing him a favor. Every now and then we ADD people need the bitchy ones around us to shut up so we can think straight. Neutral peace and quiet may just change his life for the better.

Both you and Summerwine are using your 'problems' as crutches. What is it going to take to make you realize that there is more to life than you are both willing to see right now. 

Suck it up. God has already given you everything you need to succeed. 

Whining, bitching and moaning isn't getting you anywhere. Do something about it. Don't bother responding like a victim or complaining that you don't like hearing the hard core truth. I will promptly unsubscribe from this whole pitiful mess and won't even get to read your response.

Good luck. God bless.


Of course, I know people who are disabled can do great things! But does the surfer with one arm do the laundry for able-bodied people in her household while they sit and watch TV? Did the person who had no arms shop for able bodied family members while they slept 12 hours a day? I suspect not!

I am asking how to achieve fundamental fairness! I can accept that he doesn't want to look for a job. I can't understand how he lives off my work, and won't even pick up stuff he drops on the floor. That's not a disability, that's just wrong! Frankly, because I move so slowly I can't do all the work for 2 people, 2 cats and a dog.

Sorry to offend you. I don't even have a handicapped placard on my car because I don't want to be treated special by strangers. But I want my husband to love me enough to do his fair share in spite of the challenges he faces, just like I do. Sorry if that offends you enough to make you want to drop out of the site.

You can't change him.

You can seek out all the counseling in the world ... If he is depressed, a moocher, a lazy loser ... not a darn thing you can do about it. You have to accept him or don't. Does he want to change himself as badly as you want to change him? 

I am not offended, I was trying to get you to stop sounding and feeling like a victim. You can't control him. You can control yourself and your situation. If he doesn't want to work on the situation as badly as you do, there's your answer. What are you going to do about it?

Sueann, I wanted to ask ...


I wanted to ask ... why do you feel like it is your job to do his laundry and feed him? Why not shove his laundry in a closet and just worry about yours? Why not buy paper plates from the dollar store and only worry about feeding yourself from now on. Why is it your job to try to 'take care' of him. I think that's how many ADD people get away with living in an unhealthy state of mind is that they act unable to take care of themselves. 

I'm not suggesting 'tit for tat' ... I'm just saying that since you are not physically capable of doing so much then don't push yourself. I'm suggesting ... Take care of what you need for now until you decide how to change your situation.

Get a rake and rake all of his crap to one corner or something. He'll either get off his ass and at least deal with his own trash or you'll decide you don't want to put yourself through the anguish any longer ... I'm guessing.

My husband does more than

My husband does more than SueAnn's, and I do not have a physical disability, but I've stopped doing certain things in the house.  I don't do my husband's laundry.  I pay most of the bills (out of a joint account) but even though I live in a marital property state and have some legal responsibility for all the bills, I don't physically pay my husband's cellphone or credit card bills.  If he's late, he's late.  It's liberating to realize that I don't have to do these things.

I can't get to the washing machine!

Our house is small and the closets are tiny. He believes that it is not possible to hang up our clothes. Washed clothes stay on the floor of the laundry room in baskets until he steps on them to put another load in the washer, then they get washed again. I am truly frightened of the laundry room; I've fallen there several times. We can't afford to do our laundry separately. I can't afford water and electricity for 2 sets of laundry. I am tired of not being able to go somewhere I've planned to go because there are no clean clothes. But if I did my laundry I'd do his too just for economic reasons. I work about 60 hours a week so I feel he should do the housework. I've said I would do the laundry if he'd make it possible to get to the washer, but he won't do that.

He does cook. He just won't do the dishes. So we decide what we are going to cook or eat based on what dishes are available. When I handed him an empty package to put in the trash because he was closer, it fell on the floor and he didn't pick it up. Every time I do go in the kitchen, I spend the first 10 minutes putting trash in the trash can. Last night, I threw out an eggplant someone gave him in August!

I don't believe in paper plates; they aren't environmentally responsible.

I don't feel like I have a partner. I feel like I have a master and I'm the servant.


A possibility...

Divorce is always a possibility and I sure would not blame anyone for doing so if their ADD spouse simply will not work on the marriage. Not working on their part of marital happiness applies to all couples, dealing with ADD or Not...

I felt all kinds of bad when I became aware of all the things I did not see and behaviors I could not seem to stop. I have worked on my part ever since my ADD was discovered. I also believe that if a marriage is in trouble there are likely roles played by both that got them to into marriage trouble. My wife asked me if I wanted out of the marriage, I said "no", but could she forgive things from the past? She said "yes"... We went on from there and almost 3 years later we are still working on things. I still wonder when we get to the point that we are both satisfied and don't even consider that a split is possible. Once you find out that the other considered the choice, how do you know when they have taken the option way out of the equation? When do the shields drop? 

I wish I had the answer...


My daughter is a divorce attorney and I'm trained as a paralegal. So the divorce isn't the problem. My daughter has been pushing that option for years as I will do better if I can claim her father's Social Security.

The problem is that we would have to be separated for a year and I have no legal right or authority to make him leave. My job is 100% commission and does not inspire confidence in landlords, so I'm having a hard time finding another place to live. Not really interested in living in a 1989 Volvo.

I really just want him to be fundamentally fair. He wouldn't expect a roommate to pay all the bills and do all the housework, why should he expect that of even an able-bodied wife, which is not even what he has.

Sueann... you said, "I really

Sueann... you said, "I really just want him to be fundamentally fair. He wouldn't expect a roommate to pay all the bills and do all the housework, why should he expect that of even an able-bodied wife, which is not even what he has."

It is crystal clear you are not going to get what you want in this relationship if the problem has been going on this long. You cannot change him. You are enabling him to act the way he is acting towards. You are justifying it by allowing him to continue so long.

I agree that you should just kick his butt out. You do have the right to tell him to leave. If he won't leave then have someone come in and help pack his things and get him out of there.

No offense intended by this and I have to put it out there ... you have a rebuttal for every suggestion with a reason why that solution won't work. If there is no solution that seems doable to you and if you are not willing or able to get a divorce then you need to accept the problems and stop making excuses for why you cannot handle your life as it is right now.

I'll pray for your courage and strength. God bless.

I don't have that right!

My daughter is a certified divorce attorney. If she says I can't make him leave, I'll believe her instead of someone on a website who doesn't know the laws in my state.

It is my second choice if I can't get what I really want, which is him, functioning and employed. But I agree, I'm not going to get that. But working out the logistics when I don't have a W2 or paystub to give a landlord is going to be hard.

Not Legally

I'm not suggesting you go to court and have him removed from the property. I'm suggesting you tell him that it is time for him to leave or ask him nicely to get out. Maybe he will.

Something has to change!

SueAnn - you've had the same problems for so long...and you have significant financial restrictions, I know.  What I don't understand is why it's impossible to boot him out and tell him you simply aren't willing to pay for him anymore?  Get the laundry room cleaned up once, then keep it to your standards.  Clean dishes FOR ONE as you do them.  You equate his doing certain things (like dishes, not necessarily cooking - since he's doing that already) with his ability to show he cares.  But he's not going to get there - you've tried everything you can to push him in that direction.  So after years of trying hard, if he's not going to get there, the next step is a decision for you:  either put up with it or change your situation.  Best I can tell, since you can't afford to hire anyone to help you as a way of changing your situation, the only way to change your situation is to take control of it.  (That's where the one armed shark bit survivor thing comes could likely do it on your own if you didn't have him pulling you down.)

If you CAN'T do it on your own, put the handicap sticker back on your car and see if you can get some social services help with your problems...or maybe a local church group...or...  Do SOMETHING to change where you are.  Right now you are in a co-dependent relationship that is hurting you (and probably him).

I agree with your comment

I agree that gross generalizations about people with or without ADHD are damaging and, in fact, they are against our posting rules.  And, to SueAnn, while there is clear documentation in the research that some people with ADHD have trouble getting things done due to difficulty organizing, distractibility and the rest, there are also many people like my husband and daughter who get things done quite fine, many times because they've worked hard to put a system in place that works for them.  (As I do, when I wish to make sure I get something done.)

Thank you all

As I re-read my original post, and all the comments that have been posted, I now see my situation in a slightly different way. The end of me  that I was feeling seems to be evolving into the end of the me that was heartsick by a continuation of the same treatment and behaviors by my spouse that played a significant part in my decision to leave 2 years ago. 

I have tried to discuss his behaviors and how they affect me; lack of respect: for me as a unique individual, for my right to personal space, objectification, being treated as less than a partner, less than a human being, not being seen through his eyes as someone with equal rights & a part in decision making, constant comparision to other women, and images of other women.  These are all issues I raised in our joint counseling sessions. Some things he said he understood, and would NEVER do again; like going through my personal posessions, throwing things away, etc. Other issues, like objectification, excessive pressure for sex, and telling me there was something wrong with me because I did not want to engage in sexual activity 2 to 3 times a day, his response to these things has been "where do you get these crazy ideas from?" Never in front of the counselor of course, there he would say things like "I never said that",  "you always  take things out of context",  "All you ever want to do is rehash the past", "can't you ever let anything go?"

After being diagnosed with ADD the ADD became the reason for all his behavior, he "couldn't help it", that is "just the way I am". This means I am under constant stress, in constant protective mode, never knowing what direction he is going to come at me next from, what I am going to find when I get home, if I dare to leave the house at all. I really think some of the behavior is intended to make me afraid to leave the house, which further isolates me. He has refused individual counseling, refused to even discuss the option of medication, now refuses joint counseling. And, if I leave leave, I am breaking our vows, marriage is for life and on and on. I become "the bad guy, the unreasonable one, the one who refuses to change." He has stated quite clearly, many times, in counseling sessions, that he "was not going to change anything else" about himself or the relationship.

Buy yourself CoDependent

Buy yourself CoDependent No More by Melodie Beattie..TODAY if possible. I think this is simply just the classic case of him controlling so many aspects of your life simply because he is so insecure and feels it is his best shot at keeping you from having any opportunity to leave/meet someone else. It really seems, from what I have read, that he is an abusive (even if not physically) control freak. You've let your life become completely about him. Get the book. (((HUGS)))

I actually purchased this

I actually purchased this book, on the  recommendation of  the counselor I was seeing while we were separated 2 years ago. I found it very helpful at the time. Will have to get myself a new copy and start again.

You have your answer already.

It is clear that you already know what you should do and need to do for yourself. Charge past your fear and do it. Focus on yourself. Marriage isn't a pair of handcuffs. Clearly - you know. Best of luck. God bless.

Thanks again for your

Thanks again for your comments, kindness, sharing, and insight.

After reading this thread, I

After reading this thread, I just had to respond.  As a previous poster said... "been there, done that, have the tshirt."  Your husband's behavior is abusive, plain and simple, and should not be tolerated.  Having ADD does not give him the right to treat you this way.  If you haven't left already, please do.  You do have the strength and there are people and programs available to help you.  You may not believe it now, but things will get better and you will be much, much happier.  I speak from experience, after going through this myself.  Good Luck.

Draw the line at physical abuse

While I feel it is my job to try to encourage couples to find ways to stay together, I draw the line at physical abuse.  If you are scared enough in your situation that you got the locks to the house changed, then I suggest you get a restraining order against him and protect yourself (yes, I know that restraining orders don't always work to keep someone away, but it's a good start and will clarify your intentions to him - since the lock didn't seem to get it across.)

Couples can only improve their situation when BOTH members of the couple wish to engage in the business of doing so.  If your husband has "stated quite clearly, many times, in counseling sessions that he has no intention of changing anything else about himself or the relationship" and what he won't change includes aggression (among other things) then your marriage is over.

Good luck to you - please continue to use this site as a resource for strength - there are many people here who are sympathetic, I'm sure.

I did ask and he won't

I have asked him to leave and he says he has as much right to be here as I do. Expects me to leave if I am unhappy. My daughter says he's legally in the right.