exhausted...when is enough? ADHD spouse

I don't know where to start.   I feel like the weight is crushing me.  No one knows, because I keep it all together - I feel like I have to hide everything and fix everything.  I'm scared to walk away - what if it is fixable, and I know that he does really love me....could I be making a huge mistake?  I know that it would devastate him (not a reason to stay, but again, guilty me). 

But I'm afraid to stay - I read the stories where things don't get better, despite the best intentions.  I don't really want children any time soon, but if I did, I can't imagine bringing one into this environment - I parent enough already.  I don't want to be that person that had all the signs, and ignored them.  I don't want to put myself through more if there isn't an end. 

Please, I don't know what to do.  I'm at the edge, and I don't know the right answer.  I know no one can give it to me.   I can't really talk to anyone, as they wouldn't understand and its way to complicated and private anyway.   I feel hopeless, but I'm afraid.  I'm not willing to live the rest of my life like this.  There are glimmers of hope, but I don't know that they are enough.  How do you know if there is a  chance...or if it is time to walk away?

Is he being treated? Are you

Is he being treated? Are you all in counseling?

No one can know the answers to any of your questions, but there is always hope when you both are willing to get the help your relationship needs in order to cope with the issues ADHD brings to the marriage.

I get it

You are very similar to where I was a few years ago.  I decided to stay and see if he would get better. I stuck with it, have a wonderful son (3 years old) and am totally miserable in my life otherwise.  My husband's ADHD has taken me on a emotional rollercoaster (he had been getting help for 9 months, but only half heartedly....he has totally regressed from any initial success he had in treatment).  My job, emotional stability, finances, physical health (I developed psoriasis and a super low immune system due to all the stress), and general self worth have all suffered.  I only hope that you find yourself out of the pain before you spend more time and get further pressed down by all the weight. You think you are at the edge, but trust me it can get worse.  I totally understand where you are because no one knew what was going on with me for a long time, I was skilled in seeming fine.  Only someone who knew me before marriage and then didn't see me until a few years later  noticed the big difference.  They said it was like I was a different person.  They were right, I was just a shell of the fun and happy person I used to be.  I feel no joy, but do know that eventually when I am able to love myself again, I will get the joy back too.  I stayed because it seemed like he would have no place to live and would be really put out if I left him. I felt like I had to save him because there were glimmers of hope, like you mentioned.  I can't tell which ones where real though....it seems like my husband glimmered just enough to keep me around.  I think that those with ADHD that get help are wonderful, but you cannot count on it for your situation.  I know some people will be offended by this because ADHD is not a choice, but I would never be with someone with ADHD again. 

I remember watching Oprah with Marie Osmond and she mentioned that we tend to choose partners who reflect how we feel about ourselves at the time.  (Her husband was abusive).  With the emotional torture that happens with untreated ADHD partners, your self worth will only get lower. 

Ask yourself, why continue and let things get worse?  You will only have to find your way out of a darker abyss in the end.  Get out while you can.  I understand your fears to stay, they are your gut telling you to leave.  Love does not fix this one.  Good luck in whatever you choose.  If you do leave, get some counseling so that you do not fall into the same type of destructive relationship again.  I wish you well and wish I had found this forum sooner.

glimmers of hope

I really took to heart what elmstart had to say.  Just today I've made a decision (thank God for this website), to begin by setting the boundaries I can live with and by.  I tried talking to my ADHDer today about my understanding of this condition, and he won't have anything to do with the notion. He began talking over me as I was trying to explain.  I told him just the fact he wasn't listening to me and talking over everything I was trying to express, (as he was talking over me) he simply said he talked over me because he was right, ("because I'm always right", he said)  Now, this was by phone and I couldn't see his eyes or facial expression, but if I could have, he may have had a wry smile and warm expression is his eyes.  That would have made me smile and sucked me into the humor of the relationship.  However, his actions would indicate that he actually DOES believe that.  Then, if I don't talk to him for a few days, he gets sheepish and would say he's not always right.  Then we're back at square one with me not able to express my frustrations and wanting to express myself because he'll talk over my words.  He can go from the sweetest, charming, intelligent and most aware individual I've ever met to arrogant, frightening, cheuvenist (I know this is spelled wrong but it sounds like ' show vun ist ' and is paired with pig), on the turn of a dime!...Not to mention the anxiety I feel in public with him wondering what he's going to do or say next.  Like turettes!  I love him, but I hate this circumstance of manipulative control I stumbled into four years ago.  Thanks again everybody for being out here.   We're not alone, and we will make the world a better place as we continue to figure this all out.  We're worth it!  And I do mean everybody! 

lets not get into Tourette's

Some of us have that in our lives and would like to not get into those stereotypes as well. It's also really important not to believe that you know what an adhd is thinking.

484,000 sites relating to the connection 'adhd and tourettes'

It was my dear guy with ADHD that mentioned, in a vent of frustration, " it's like having tourettes syndrome" that influenced my reference.  For those of us here for true support and putting together the puzzle, for ourselves and our loved ones, we have to listen closely to what our loved ones are saying.  They're could be an important key in our response to their behaviors.  I've seen more responses of sympathy towards the individual with the tourettes condition which would provide a bit of protection, where the person with ADHD, the protection isn't available because the condition isn't as obvious.  I had alot more patience with my guy with ADHD after he said that, and don't worry, I never have to wonder what he's thinking.  He's always announcing what it going through his mind and it annoys HIM! 

If you have it in your life, perhaps the research is worth a peek.  After doing my own, I don't feel stereotyping would be accurate, however, I'm very interested in your experience of how there could be no 'link'.  And when you say "as well' are you saying that I have also stereotyped ADHD?  Or was that referring to the  ' chauvinistic behavior'  reference, or were you referring to a separate blog that referred to blanket prejudice? 

Our purpose for being out here is not to dissect responses of the community as a clinical judge of ethics.  I believe that those types of personal opinions and tones prevent the real purpose of why we're here in the first place.  To heal.  However, there is a 'not appropriate' to the right of 'reply'.  Feel free.

As one of the more vocal individuals

with ADHD I felt that there is enough misunderstanding, judging and stereotyping of ADHD with out bringing in another neurobiologic condition to confuse matters. The nons want us to focus, well I am trying to bring this back to focus. I live with Tourette's in my life, am a member of the TF of Canada and have had to explain the condition countless times in the role of advocate for my child, who by the way rarely receives sympathy for his Tourette's or  ADHD. When I say lets not get into Tourette's, the reason is very simply that this is an ADHD forum. It would feel more comfortable to remain on topic without the inevitable complication of having to explain , correct or  justify a different condition.

Furthermore, the complications of symptomology arising from co-morbidity of  these conditions is such that an investigation of it here would be an injustice. Does your partner, or a family member have Tourette's? If not, the appropriation of the condition is invalid.

I think that our particular can of worms is adequate( as I am prone to overwhelm and those alarms were going off in my brain as I was reading your post) and if I thought we need to open another, I would defer to the co-morbidity threads.

Whoops! Glad I Thoughtfully thought twice!

I owe you an apology.  I just realized the first link was not a non!  That throws the whole matter into perspective!  I hope the offense I created can be forgiven.  I must admit, I'm getting a crash course in learning to communicate properly!  I will keep our conversation clear in mind when I speak with other nons about feelings shared.  I believe God lead me to you because of your reasonable way of helping me think twice in the direction I was mindlessly going in.

My cheeks are literally blushing. 

Thank You!  And now I understand the 'as well'.

God Bless!

Well Dog Gone It! I Did it Again!

The first link IS from a non.  She is the spouse of an individual with ADHD!  My wires of interpretation are getting crossed.  Well, if this isn't a good source site for integration, I don't know what is!  Golly.  What will I do next?  Better just take a break and keep laughing at myself for the 'typical' ways I get myself in and out of 'Christine Human Dilemmas.' 

Have a Good one, eh?  And God Bless!

Common Ground 'Glad the tourette subject came up'

Hi Simora,

The "as well" is what threw me.  You didn't give a reference to a previous stereotype that I could verify or relate.  I am a new 'vocal' myself who chooses to seek information, and I purposely tried to find the sites of other 'nons' that can relate to how it feels exhausting, (which WAS related to this link), and I gave my experience.  Since your son has tourettes, and trust I feel great empathy (sympathy, I realize, would take away from my belief that "we are all blessed equally") you may agree there would be an element of 'exhaustion' as a 'non tourette' yourself, facing the challenges of tourette (or I got the sense you don't have tourette).   I'm glad the subject came up.  I was new to the forum yesterday, and I came in with excitement and hope because I didn't know there was a site full of women in my situation.  The first two replies I received were not from the nons I was intentionally posting to, but rather, from individuals with adhd that wanted to 'set me straight'.  I'm not prejudice or eager to stereotype, I'm a non who loves 3 individuals with add and/or adhd, and it's become a very delicate subject for me as a new mother and (not related to ADHD) victim of discrimination,  in a way that would, I feel, drop your jaw.  I'm not here to pick on individuals with ADHD.  Quite the opposite.  I am here to start healing from trauma's I can relate to with the nons, and find a common ground of communication with the ADHD vocals, and NON vocals, to create a language that may be very helpful in communicating with those I Love, Respect and Cherish  (those with and without adhd).  These are just terms to help reach our purpose for being here, and that is to integrate, not segregate.  You said your alarms went off when you were reading my words, which is how I feel sometimes when I'm in public with my adhd guy. (the tourettes reference)  Common ground.  Same response.  I am open to how YOU would have worded my intended expression.    Who has the post traumatic stress disorder.  Perhaps we both do.  Should I put up my guards and assume that you will sense that as yet another stereotype?  I don't mean to come off with sarcasm, I never appreciated that form of speech.  I am Christian, and my church growing up was the show 'Little House on the Prairie'.  I liked how the Ingalls did their best to keep the harmony.  That is the obligation we all have, and I am doing my best, the best way I know how.  I do acknowledge your point of view, and will thoughtfully consider with respect your reply.  It's important!   And please, I'm curious.  What did you reference the "as well" comment to.

By the way.  My guy is from Alberta, and my Grandmother was from Pincher Creek.  Love that country!

as well

refers to all the "those adhd's are all the same..." posts and issues around generalizations, negative and otherwise. Nobody likes to be reduced to a set of characteristics. The stereotyping subject is a little touchy here as you have found out by now


I  had looked at the list of famous people with ADHD, and it was most impressive.  I found myself understanding how amazing the men in my life with this condition (label?) could fit into this list of wonderful names.  I see them easily relating to each other, and providing valuable perspectives and, if I may say, entertainment.  I've always had a natural desire to entertain, and I envy the energy of the condition. I don't envy the environment of 'nons' they have to wade through to find the acceptance, and perhaps this is the time in history that we get to see The Joy of Perfect Partnerships, whether it be a marriage, working partnerships, learning partnerships, play partnerships, etc...without the psychological labels.  When I met my guy, I needed a man of his nature to save my life.  I was being killed, literally by other nons, and his powerful forwardness and take command force is allowing me to watch my kids grow up.  I wish I could feel at ease having my children around him, but I get too tense as he showed behaviors that as A new Mother, I found myself in protective mode.  I kept hearing my own mother in my head saying, "don't expose your children to that".  I love my mother, but she is one that has actions of those that makes 'labeling' dangerous and blaming, frustrating.  I want her to love and accept everyone, yet I still have her conditioning in my head to 'avoid' my.' Dad types.'  And they've been married 50 years!  I don't want to avoid.  I want to embrace and lift my loves, myself and my children to new height because of the moral and mysterious value this endeavor of new attitude  will bring!  For the sake of this site, how do non's speak with or about non+non's to avoid offense?  I want to shed my Mother's language and start creating my own and stand firm by it.  Without prejudice.  With the positive, positive, positive winning without debate so everybody wins!  Frustration is a shared emotion, what else do we share? 


For the record, I'm really at a loss as to what you said that was so bad...and I truly hope that you don't let it keep you from posting or using the site as a support system. I've tried, as a NON, to explain that when we (non's) post it is ONLY ABOUT THE ONES WE LOVE and not about anyone here with ADHD. I respectfully disagree that your statement was a generalization or in anyway derogatory to anyone with tourettes, but that's just me. I just.don't.see.it. If he has issues similar to tourettes, why is it wrong to compare his behavior to that? If I compared my husband's behavior to bi-polar, would I inadvertantly offend anyone and everyone here who is bi-polar? I think this is getting out of hand and isn't helpful at all. Again, no one focuses on the person posting and what their struggles might be, everything is dissected and ONE SENTENCE jumps out and that is the focus of the entire response. It's sad. Really. Again, I just don't get it. I saw nothing so bad about your response. Sorry to get off topic...

Welcome to the group.


It must be the ADHD

that is causing  my miscommunication Sherri. I was under the impression that I was suggesting that we stay on the topic. I apologize if I gave the impression I was jumping down anyone's throat. Somehow I missed the part of the post that indicated enough exposure to Tourette's to make a comparison between the conditions. In my experience, Tourette's has such a wide range of both symptoms and stereotypes already that it could easily cause a great deal of confusion for the majority of people here who likely don't have Tourette's. For example, most people think of Tourette's of that swearing thing when in fact very few Tourette's sufferers ever experience it. There are hundreds of symptoms. I also missed what it was that the two conditions had in common. Again I am sorry about my compulsion to maintain focus and stick to facts rather than supposition.

She was on topic with her

She was on topic with her post..you picked out one very small reference and that is all you focused on...and proceeded to get 'off topic'.

Maybe you also missed the part where she does have knowledge of tourettes...but you didn't take the time to ask. My whole point entirely. You assumed a lot from one small comment that was made.

I am not sure how to respond to your comment on the "great deal of confusion for the majority of people here"...because that truly is so far out of the way I would EVER have taken her comment that it isn't even possible for me to see how you can make the jump from her comparison of her ADHDers public behavior to tourettes and the mass hysteria and confusion it would cause those of us who are apparently incapable of separating a jestful comment from the actual disorder. ?? Really?

I admire you for all you deal with, I really do. I mean that whole heartedly. I just wish you didn't feel so 'attacked' by everything. I do feel that you're struggling to separate yourself (and your family) from the experience and feelings of others here about their own personal situations. I can assure you, for future reference, when I post anything..referring to any disorder or anything to do with my husband, it has nothing to do with anyone BUT HIM and ME and OUR experience.

I think you took her comment wrong..I do. I'm just being honest. Even realizing your sensitivities to the specific disorder and why you have them, I still think you took it wrong. We will just have to agree to disagree, I suppose. I don't wish you cause you any frustration or grief and I hope that we can continue to be a source of support for each other.

thats the problem with

not being face to face I couldn't read those cues that indicate the careless comparison that some could interpret as meaning her husband involuntarily swears a lot as actually jestful. I really don't believe I said anything about mass hysteria (who's over reactive?) And if you ve read, you will see that I did indeed ask if anyone in her life had Tourette's. I simply advised it was potentially inaccurate and imprecise and moreover off topic. I did suggest it belongs in a co morbidity thread.

I was never offended or sensitive about her post. I am offended by your attempts to direct how I feel and your propensity to misunderstand my remarks no matter how hard I try to clarify. It is not "jestful" to glibly refer to a subject you are unfamiliar with, especially one that is very commonly misrepresented. It is uninformed and perhaps a little unwise. You are cavalierly reading a great deal into my comments AND you are telling me how I feel. What I want to know, is what makes you an authority on my feelings or gives you the right to judge them as appropriate or not. As us ADHD are so often told, sometimes it is better to not say what you are thinking.

Well, my boyfriend does swear ALOT (carpenter)

My husband (ADD)and I are legally separated and the ADHD 'boyfriend' is why I'm here.  He does swear alot, but I know it's not in the tourette manner.  It's in humor or rage, which can be in the same 30 seconds. (and I did think tourette was just a disorder of inappropriate outbursts of course language).  However, he does display interesting 'jolts' of firing energy that may be a symptom.  But one thing at a time.  Regardless of the valuable information being displayed today by our varying views, and I thank you all for each, I just want to hug you all because we're here to share the frustration, get to the root, and , I hope, feel relieved when we feel we've been heard and acknowledged with passion and compassion.  (Has this happened?!!)  I'm also seeing how addictive this process of forum boards can be!  I feel so alive!  Ha Ha Ha.  Is that sick? I'm learning more about relationships with such intelligent individuals today, then ever in my life!  And I realize I've been protecting my feelings and opinions...well...forever, because I have FELT more emotions, consistently today, and feel a sense of being helped on so many levels because of the courageous and honest participation feeding this website.  I'll be wrong, I'll be right.  I'll be here to take a bite!

thank you for proving the point ladysmile

Only 10% of Tourette sufferers experience that symptom but 80% of people think that is Tourette's. Do you see how an innocent but uninformed comment can lead to misunderstanding? I was trying to be as diplomatic as possible in my advise. I was not sanctioning. ADHD on its own is complex enough for me when I am here.

We will simply have to agree

We will simply have to agree to disagree..I have enough on my plate dealing with this kind of "the moon is blue" "the grass is purple" crap in my own home. I don't care how you feel or what your feelings are...and I certainly do apologize for saying you took her comment wrong. Take it however you feel it is important to you and your situation to take it, but the hypocracy in you calling me "overreactive" is comical to me.

No, more accurately would be

No, more accurately would be that my husband does this to me. Pick one thing I say out of a days worth of words and focuses on it to make himself right. You're picking everything to death, just like you're looking for a reason to hate everyone here who doesn't have ADHD..or like you're waiting in the wings to try and dissect everything said and make it somehow about YOU...or to push YOUR opinion on everyone else as 'how it should be'. Really, I've held my tongue as best as I can. You don't command the respect you think you deserve...you demand it with criticism and by over reacting and taking things personally that have NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. 

You're right, I used an exaggeration to make a point...

I have to laugh when you want me to say I misinterpreted what you said...I honestly do. You were angry and were immediately defensive and condesending. I really do feel bad for you that you cannot see how others might see your comments this way. I don't think it was accidental either. Can you honestly admit there is nothing indignant and angry about them?

I am probably one of the most patient, understanding spouses here...I love my husband and accept him just as he is. Your last two sentences are classic of what the majority of us non's endure being married to an ADHDer. Yes, this was all MY fault...and you are 100% right. Feel better?

I just simply didn't want your snarky comments to run off a brand new member who is trying to take her situation in stride, with a bit of humor. Lord help her, she chose the wrong disorder to compare her BF's behaviors too...I'm glad she'll stick around anyway. God knows we need all the support we can get.

yes you are right again

it is so much better to encourage misunderstanding. Well Sherri you make a new member feel welcome at the expense of an old one. You are judgmental, condescending and pejorative. I can see I am not welcome here. Thanks for your support. Good luck, you'll need it. If this is the degree of tolerance you show to your spouse, I can see why there are issues. I am so outta here.

fuzzylogic72's picture

Molinia Caerulea and other rarities

Hello all!

I just wanted to share something cool: It was a crazy coincidence when I read the post above. I just broke up with my lovely, but somewhat abusive girlfriend on Friday evening after yet another fight (which obviously had to have been my fault, so I just listened). Anyways the crazy part is she said pretty much EXACTLY the same thing about the full plate, and my blue moon/purple grass delusion...

I HAD to do it; just to satisfy my own curiosity. What I learned was so ironic, yet fascinating in a strangely comforting way:

Molinia caerulea (Purple Moor Grass) is a perennial grass native to Europe, west Asia, and north Africa. It grows in locations from the lowlands up to 2300 m in the Alps. Like most grasses, it grows best in acid soils, ideally pH values of between 3.5 to 5, however, it can continue to live under more extreme conditions, sometimes to as low as 2.  Introduced populations exist in northeastern and northwestern North America, and as a horticultural ornamental plant.

Identification:  The leaves are coarse, green, taper to a point, long, flat and sometimes slightly hairy on top. Flower-heads long, branched, either spreading or narrow.

Leaves mainly basal, flat, 5-8mm wide, sparsely hairy. Ligules replaced by ring of hairs. Purplish leaf sheaths. Wiry stems 30-100cm (taller when sheltered by gorse and heather). Widespread growth, locally abundant on permanently or seasonally wet ground. Marshes, fens, and on wet heaths and moors.  

Going by the pictures, it's actually quite pretty as far as grass goes definitely more interesting than the green stuff.

And you're never going to believe this:

Visible Blue Moon:

The key to a blue moon is having lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micrometre)--and no other sizes present. This is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires. Ash and dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere by fires and storms usually contain a mixture of particles with a wide range of sizes, with most smaller than 1 micrometre, and they tend to scatter blue light. This kind of cloud makes the moon turn red; thus red moons are far more common than blue moons.

Blue moon can also refer to the third full moon in a season with four full moons.[1] Most years have twelve full moons that occur approximately monthly. In addition to those twelve full lunar cycles, each solar calendar year contains roughly eleven days more than the lunar year of 12 lunations. The extra days accumulate, so every two or three years (7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle), there is an extra full moon.

Modern interpretation of the term relates "blue moon" to absurdities and impossibilities; the phrase "once in a blue moon" refers to an event that will take place only at incredibly rare occasions (such as an adhder who isn't selfish, cruel, ignorant, hostile, misinformed, bitter, angry etc.).

There are actually some gorgeous photos of blue moons; here's a link to one of my favourites (makes a sweet screensaver):


(super long link, but worth it)

Anyways, just thought that was kinda neat. Incidentally Blue Moon is also a crappy, over-priced beer.

Well, it's past 5am; time for bed! I wish everyone a wonderful, and harmonious day!



Just want to clarify, I'm not saying my husband (or you) is delusional and thinks the moon is blue...or purple...or whatever...just saying our conversations sound like that...like we're each speaking a different language sometimes. I take it very seriously...but it is very frustrating and scary to me that it seems what I say is soooo misunderstood (or at least judging by his reaction it is). He has now decided not to continue with counseling, he's doing it "his way" he says...so I'm just not sure how this will ever resolve. This was the MAIN thing counseling helped us with..to understand each other's feelings. He stopped his vyvanse mid-Feb, cold turkey, and has unraveled.

Welcome back Fuzzy...glad you seem to be in a better place now...and have kicked your drinking problem! I know you're proud!

Sherri, just sending a quick hug...

Just sending a quick (but huge!! cyber) shout of support to you. The no meds (well we know what that means, good and bad!) and no counselIng is a kind of scary prospect. But maybe part of that necessary journey we are on. Perhaps this is really just a timeout, time will tell. As a smart person told me (namely you ;)), stay strong and believe in yourself, especially since he has to figure it out himself...and you need to keep to your own places of strength and support in the meantime.

Thank you! Definitely working

Thank you! Definitely working on myself. God has a funny way of showing us that we need to practice what we preach...I am having to 'get it' about what it really takes to not let his ADHD control me. It is often tough to separate the ADHD from the person. It is often hard to know what they choose to do and what is out of their control. It feels so much like a choice....I mean logically, to me it seems like a choice...but maybe it isn't. Really struggling to separate that right now.

He said he would make an appt for counseling this week...guess he either said he was doing it "his way" (rejecting my suggestion to go to counseling and/or call his PCP) just to take some control over what he felt I was trying to control or just said it to hurt me. I told him counseling ("getting help") was an absolute must when we reconciled in 12/09...God help us if he decides now that he's not going.

Thank you for creating a balance


Hi Sherri!

This is the third time I'm writing this thank you.  I have re-written this twice and my computer logs off when I try to save and send!  This is very important for me to convey my appreciation for your attempt to clarify my true intent which wasn't with intent to offend, but somehow I felt offended.  

  I'm thankful that the individuals at this site are very active to get to the roots and keep both sides of the reality available for honest and personally accurate perspectives.  The reason I'm here is because I've been in a state of shock for four years with my boyfriends MO of directing personal offenses at me.  (That has felt incredibly unhealthy!)  But I have learned to shrug it off and don't actually FEEL offended until he starts attacking me with comments about my parents, children or friends.  I keep him hidden on the sidelines because of this reason, and I'm afraid of what my reaction would be if I opened the gate a little further, let him into the family circle and he started offending my family face to face!  I feel like it's taken a great deal of trust building to get this far...back!  I know this website has a subject matter that is going to attract very smart people and open doors of 'offend or be offended' moments.  From what I'm learning, that would be more normal than not since being offended is something we're all experienced in if we've come this far!! And maybe that's too much assumption.  It's not in our hearts to create a sense of offense just for the pleasure of it.  That isn't in our true human nature regardless of conditions and that is also why I'm thankful for this site.  I think alot of people know this and we can grow together in this maze of amazement! 

Again, I would like to thank you, Sherri, for your support and warm welcome to the club.  That meant  so much to me and I will keep coming back for more!!  Feeling stronger every day!

God Bless