Hello! I have been educating myself as much as possible about the issues of being a non-ADHD spouse married to an ADHD spouse. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD and other co-morbidities 8 years ago. His response to the diagnosis was to ignore it. Needless to say, my life with his is extremely difficult, exhausting and challenging.
One area of constant frustration involves his basic communication or speech patterns. I don't know if its bcs I can't articulate the exact issue, but I can't find any good information on what is happening and what to do about it. (That's the most important.)
1. In conversations, he has to have everything repeated 3 times. Exactly 3. I will make a statement - eg. 'it's raining.' His response is 'ITS RAINING?' I used to say, 'yes, it's raining.' Followed by 'ARE YOU SAYING ITS RAINING?' which used to be followed by an eye roll from me and a third exclamatory 'ITS RAINING?" I learned to stop repeating myself, which usually makes him angry. I now only say things once. I also don't understand the heightened emotional response from him (hence the caps.) I'll say something in a flat conversational tone, and his response is vocally over the top. Like I said the house is on fire.
2. You can't call him on the phone. Seriously. I've called him about 5 times in 20 years. His response when he answers is to tell you right away, for whatever reason, he can't talk to you. I suppose I could text and warn him I have an issue I would like to discuss, but that seems such heavy heavy lifting for me? Are people with ADHD just unable to take unexpected calls? Obviously, in 31 years of marriage there have been some serious emergencies and I just have learned to never call him, it does no good in solving any issues.
3. Monologues - this is a hard one. He will talk forever on automatic about things he cares about. He doesn't look at me for engagement, it's just like someone hit 'talk' and off he goes. I could be the dog. If I interrupt he gets annoyed, if I leave he gets annoyed. These monologues are never about things in my life. For my own mental health, I just leave now. I don't need to feel any more resentment.
4. Extended silences. If we do talk, and there's some actual give and take, he just clams up. I can ask a direct question about anything, and there can be a silence of such duration I actually get bored. He literally becomes mute. Stubbornness? Control?
5. Hinting. Nothing is ever direct. It's always some hints i'm supposed to follow. I don't, which annoys him. Example - he liked the tv louder than I do. If I was watching by myself, he would walk in the room, sit down and say 'you can turn up the tv if you want to.' Naturally I would say, no, I'm fine, which would also annoy him.
I apologize for the long post, and the "picky" things I'm bringing up. But they really really effect my day to day life and communications with him. I can't find anything about these 'patterns' - maybe they're too trivial to talk about? And FYI, his mother has the exact same communication patterns. She is, sadly, a very disturbed woman, so maybe this isn't ADHD?