Feeling Hopeless

I've been married for over 10 years and have 3 children. My husband has been diagnosed for about a year now.  I feel overwhelmed all the time.  We ague constantly.  I just end up not wanting to talk, because what is the use when the person on the other side isn't listening to you.  He tells me he can't help it, that's just how he is.  He tells me I need to change my perspective of things and accept that he just cant listen to me.  I'm just not sure how a marriage can work like that let alone the business we have together.  I feel like I just do not matter at all, I am constantly being talked over and ignored.  I feel helpless to do anything about it.  I can handle most of the things that go along with his ADD, the messy house, misplacing things, disorganized, disproportionate chores (i don't like it but i accept it), but what i cant tolerate is the not being herd, ignored, the lack of respect that he shows me. 

I am by no means perfect I get upset and have had a tendency to yell at him.  I'm trying to not do that by walking away until I have calmed down, but he will follow me around, corner me at times and just not give me space to relax. The worst spot for us is in the car, I can't get out when an argument gets carried away and I end up crying and get more worked up.  He continues to talk to me in a very unproductive way, even though i have said I do not want to talk or I cant talk.  I feel like at times he is trying to push my buttons and make me go crazy by telling me constantly there is something wrong with me. He has no concept of personal boundaries.  I have been told for years now that everything is in my head and that there is nothing wrong with him, he now acknowledges he has ADD but insist there is noting he can to about it and I'm the one who needs to change. I feel like everything is always one sided, I have to do all the changing because he can't.  That sounds more like a cop out to me, its the easy way out. I think there are many ways for him to get better but its just too hard for him.  He has taken several different medications and none have worked and he is on yet another one.  But, I believe that  there has to be a real want to change on his part to help, and if he just has the mind set that nothing will work for him, i guess that's how it will be. I need to be listened to in a marriage and if I'm not I do not feel like I matter, or I count. I end up feeling like there is something wrong with me that I can't handle everything (and that's what he is telling me).  I'm not superwoman and because I'm not the one with ADD I feel like I am expected to be. I am responsible for the majority home, work, kids, everything and on top not have my feelings or ideas validated. There is only so much a person should be expected to do. I have needs that should be met too, but are pushed aside because he has ADD.

I feel hopeless that i cant make everything better, I can only better myself but that alone wont save my marriage.

I understand how you feel

I understand how you feel completely. I, too, feel like I signed up for a partnership and feel like I am all alone. It is a different kind of loneliness when your "soul-mate" is right next to you. (sorry for the sarcasm there).

From what I have been reading on this site, the outlook looks bleak. I don't understand how I could ever begin to try to work with my husband on his ADHD, which is a mental illness. I can try to understand him and figure out how to help him until I am blue in the face. He has to want to work on it and he has to manage it. Maybe it can't be fixed, but it can certainly must be managed if it will ever work out. Until he is willing to do that, I am simply required to live in a war zone? And what if he never decides to do that? Am I destined to be used by him for everything he needs?

One hour ago my husband exploded, waking up our son because I woke him up since his sister called and said it was an emergency and she needed to talk to him. I would never allow or condone a child/teenager doing that, so what adult should receive a pass to do that??? No one. I'm sorry for my non compassionate outlook.

My husband and I have only been married for three years, but my mother is a narcissist with Borderline Personal disorder. People with mental illnesses need to manage it themselves. The hard part is that their brains, the part which makes the decisions, are the ones that are sick. I feel very bad for anyone with a mental illness. I feel worse for those around them.

understanding "alone"

I am trying to encourage research and self education on this personality type. However, my family is no help because they only see the side he capable of showing them. The endorphins and dopamine kicks in due to fresh family love and involvement so they see NONE of what I have to deal with 24/7. I'm the one that's "nuts" Please excuse the expression, it is only that, an expression. Yeah, I feel as if I'm on my own private island seeing no way out when it's just a "storm" that's hiding the ship just off shore.


He is now dead set on trying

He is now dead set on trying to tell me there is something wrong with me, he is so focused on telling me I have this disorder or that disorder.  I am so tired of not being allowed to be upset by the things he says or does.  If I yell and scream then there is something wrong with me, if I walk away and say i do not want to talk right now, there is something wrong with me.  I feel like I'm in a no win situation, he doesn't want to focus on his issues or what he does instead he puts me down telling me there is something wrong with me.  I am so frustrated with this whole situation that all i want to do is cry. There is no hope for my marriage he will not listen to me or respect me.  He thinks he is so right all the time. I am exhausted just trying to get through the day.  I am now just trying to avoid him because he will not listen to me and all he wants to do is try to prove there is something wrong with me.  I am lost. 

Frustrated too...

So much of what you say, frustrated, sounds exactly like my marriage. Except my husband would just disappear and live in the basement if that were okay. We finally went to see a counselor who knows about ADHD (after 3 failed other counseling attempts), and the guy seemed to really get it. My husband doesn't like him because he's Catholic and and has Catholic values. Whatever the heck that means. He so concerned with proving that he is not wrong, it is not his problem, that he is not to blame, etc., that he can't hear or process anything I or the counselor say (or most others for that matter). I spoke with the counselor after our appointment because my husband came home so angry, and the counselor said he shows not signs of being able to even comprehend what collaboration in a marriage means. How on earth can we ever move forward if this is where we sit.

Reading about other's experiences is helpful but not at the same time. It helps me cope with these feelings I have as the non-ADHD spouse, but it paints a picture of a marriage that I definitely did not sign up for, nor really want any part of. It feels like a nightmare to think about living with this even if he were to work on managing it, which he is not.

It's tricky when we have a child together and I worry about my son spending the night with his dad who can't get up in the morning, has a ridiculous temper, drinks to self-medicate, and disappears emotionally.


I hear you loud and clear "frustrated". I too married a man this last August. So gentle, peace filled and focused on me that I "fell for it". I DO love him dearly. In his focused moments he admits he has ADHD and has a Dr.s appt. set for next week. I don't have any trust he will be able to remember what he needs to discuss with the Dr. because of all the memory, denial and defensive issues associated with a lifetime of untreated ADHD. I feel your pain, you are NOT alone. If I try to have a conversation about his impulsive spending or lack of peace and how we might tackle it as a team he is progressively (as the Dr.s appt. grows closer), becoming increasingly volatile at the drop of a hat. Then he retreats completely or has a wrath outburst if I don't talk. I can't win either way. I pray ceaselessly. I'm trying to be patient, however I am in Mid menopause as well and am VERY challenged putting out his ADHD fires and trying to keep up. Keep your chin up and God be with you.


Keturah's picture


This may not come as a surprise nor should it help you in your current situation ...but I am living your life now as well!  Reading your post, I had to scroll up to make sure it wasn't one that I wrote.  I'm in the 'thick of it' now with my husband ...don't know what the outcome is going to be.  I just know that I am so very beat down emotionally that I don't know that I want to put forth the effort in trying if I'm the only one that has to make changes to accommodate him!


Extremely frustrating.... I hope you find strength through others within this support site... that's my goal because lawd only knows... I/WE NEED IT.


Shared issues here as well

I also read your posts and felt as if i were reading my own thoughts. Anna, I read a previous post from you that said, when you and your husband were "connected" it was like a high that you crave and then when it goes away you reach a low. That is exactly how I feel. My husband and I have only been married 10 months and I had no knowledge of his disorder beforehand. Like many of you, I feel angry that no one told me or explained it to me. I want to have children with the man I love one day but now I am fearful of bringing a child into this home environment. Where one day is good and the next can be awful. I love him so much but I could really use some support on the bad days, like today.

Frustrated Too

I'm new to this site and I'm so glad I found it.  At least now I know I'm not alone.  I too understand what you are going through. I'm frustrated as well. I'm married to a man with ADD and I feel like I have to be superwoman because I don't have ADD.  We have two children together and I do everything including all the house work.  I'm emotionally and physically drained.  All he concentrates on is work. Everything is work work work. He doesn't spend time with his kids or myself. When it comes to work he is quick to what has to be done and what his priorities are. But at home NOTHING.  I seriously feel like a single parent with financial backing.  I cry every single day because this is not what I signed up for.  We have had many talks, always about the same topic.  He thinks I'm a nag and feels like he can never do anything right.  Then he will ask me for my suggestion on how to get something done and when I give my suggestion or simply comment on something....He tells me I'm attacking him.  I really don't know what to do anymore.  I'm so frustrated.  I don't want to leave him because he is the father of my kids but I also can't raise my children in a house hold were all they hear is arguing.  It's like a roller coaster. One minute everything is fine the next it's not.  Sorry if my post does not make any sense because I'm crying as I type.  I really don't know what to do anymore.  Should I stay or should I leave?