First step today

Well I don't know where to begin. I've been married 32 years and only very recently learned enough about ADD & ADHD to think maybe my husband has this. I mentioned some things I'd learned about it to him in passing once and he said oh yeah, that's what it's like. I didn't think much more about it until I heard Melissa on TV this week promoting her book. So I thought I would look into this a little more because it sounded like us. I found this site today and have been reading and OMG this IS us. Fortunately our marriage has survived but this would explain SO much about why it is the way it is which is really helpful. It also explains a lot of things about my husband. I love him dearly but I think understanding more about this could help him, me and us. So today I got him to sit with me with no other distractions and told him what I had discovered. He listened and we had a very thoughtful conversation about many things. We agreed we wanted to learn more about this and would start by reading this book and maybe another one. I'm happy he was willing to listen and investigate and didn't get upset or discount the idea. I'm really in shock after reading some things here. It is so much like us. I'm looking forward to learning more about this as I think it could improve our quality of life and prevent things from getting worse. So glad to have found this site.

Congratulations!  It's great

Congratulations!  It's great that your DH is interested in learning.  How did you present the materials to him?  You must have done something right, and I bet others could benefit from your experience.

I approached the topic at a

I approached the topic at a good time when there was no tension or duress over anything and told him I wanted to talk to him about something important when we could have some uninterrupted time together - no phones, no computer, no newspapers.   I don't know exactly what I said but I was careful not to criticize him and presented the info more related to how different we are and that I think this info about adhd and marriage sounds very much like us.  Then I talked about two things - that I feel like we are growing apart and that at times I feel overwhelmed with life's responsibilities and there is no one who can empathize with my situation or support me.   I told him I thought it would be helpful if we could learn more about this - that I wanted to read more about it because I thought it could help in these two areas - and that I thought it was important that he learn more about it too. 

I think it helps that we do both respect each other for our strengths and do realize that we each bring something to the marriage that helps the other person.  However we do also realize that we are very different from each other and that those differences can make life challenging at times for the other person.  I have been reading more since my first post and I'm just amazed how much some of this stuff applies to him and us.  On the one hand I wonder if I've overreacted and jumped to conclusions based on reading a few things on the internet.  On the other hand I continue to be amazed at how much what I read sounds like him and us.  

He's a very positive and upbeat person (in spite of recently losing his job) and I don't want any of this to have an adverse impact on him.  I want to be helpful to him and to us. 

norma623's picture

Ambrosia my post would read

Ambrosia my post would read almost exactly the same as yours.   Our daughter sent a link to us both after seeing the Today Show - saying "this sounds like you guys".  A bit shocked and yet curious - I looked into it and my jaw dropped as I read.  We just had our 30th wedding anniversary - and to be honest, this last year has been the longest.  4 or 5 years ago he was diagnosed with ADD and takes meds, but never had counseling.  We never slowed down long enough to discuss or even think about what it really means or the impact it was having on our relationship - only how it was affecting his concentration at work.  

Last Saturday morning we spent the morning quietly talking about it and it was as though the weight of the world began to lift off his shoulders as well as mine.  For the first time in years, I have some hope.  Even the little bit of new understanding helps me feel my glass is half full - rather than half empty.  Most of all, I came to realize that given what he's been dealing with (ADD) he's an amazing man - who is trying so very hard to give me his best effort and I'm just beginning to realize it.  

Yup - I hear ya. I think

Yup - I hear ya. I think someone on the "outside" has no idea what it's like for the person and you just wonder why they are the way they are. I have at times been very bitter and resentful about some things but I'm not a nagger or yeller so I just deal with it myself. Plus I do think very highly of my husband for his many strengths so I never felt like really coming down on him about stuff that seems relatively trivial. I think as I've gotten older and my own job has become more demanding the little things have added up to become a bigger burden on me. Plus I don't like the drifting apart especially as I see people's marriages around me falling apart after many years.

more progress

I have always been pretty much the type not to nag or make "honey-do" lists.  I just find nagging unpleasant and I've always thought - make your own list.  My husband does sometimes ask me to make a list of stuff that needs to be done and if he asks I will do it.  Sometimes he loses the list before he gets everything done but he is often pretty good about using a list to get things done.  So since I've been learning more about this I decided it's kind of dumb on my part to resist doing the list thing if it's helpful.  I'm a list person so it's second nature to me.  The losing of the lists though kind of bugs me.   I can't remember everything which is why I write stuff down so once the list is lost I can no longer remember half of what was on it.  So he has suggested electronic lists are better - he can find them in his email if he loses the original. 

Well, I have found the perfect electronic tool.  We both have an iphone and he always has that thing with him always available for phone calls and constantly checking email.  I always have mine too - a great organizational tool for me.  I have all my to do lists on there.  Anyway, I found a free To Do app that lets me a keep a list for me and a list for him.  I can email his to do items to him and he can save them onto his phone - which he now does.  He doesn't exactly look at the list all the time and isn't exactly focused on efficiently getting the stuff done in a timely manner but I have noticed improvement since I started doing this.  This is one of the things we talked about when I broached this whole topic with him.  I told him maybe I should help him more with lists of things to get done and that this might be a good tool.  He was actually all for it which is nice.   He jokingly asked if the to do list could speak to him and tell him what to do.  Well, tonight I figured out that I can record my voice and send the recording along with the to do - amazing.  I sent the first recording to him tonight - can't wait to hear what he has to say about that tomorrow.

things continue to progress

I am seeing more progress.  The electronic iphone app is being used.  I notice what needs to be done that he could do, send it to him via email (which he's always checking) and he saves it on his list.  He looks at his list without me saying anything and is actually getting some things done without me continuing to ask about them over and over and over again.   It takes a while but it happens unprovoked. 

Today he even asked me if I really thought he didn't care about me - which was follow up to an earlier conversation about being burdened with most of the responsibility and rarely getting help when I ask and never if I don't - which makes you think the person just doesn't care about you.  What you want, how you feel, what you give up, etc.  We talked again about this - calmly, rationally - and I explained what happens and how it makes me feel.   Unfortunately he was talking to me on his cell phone and he dropped me when another call came in so our nice conversation was cut short but we can pick it up again later.

I think my situation is not very "bad" compared to others I've read about here.  One big factor may be that we don't have any kids - something that would make having an ADHD spouse much harder I think.   I also manage all of our finances and he goes along with whatever I recommend so we don't have financial problems.  He actually turned his finances over to me at one point before we got married (that should have been my first clue).  Though more and more often it seems he doesn't have a job, I do have a good job so we are able to get by like other single earner households.  When he is working he usually travels quite a bit which gives me a "break" from his neediness.  I also tend to be a positive "glass is half full" person so I think I tolerate a lot before I become bitter and angry and I don't get outwardly bitter and angry toward him.   I have learned after many years of marriage that doing so causes more harm than good.  I genuinely believe he's a good person and our life hasn't been "ruined" by his way of doing (or not) doing things.  So I counsel myself not to get worked up about all the small stuff - even though a lot of small things add up to be very annoying.

The book

I finally ordered the book - The ADHD Effect on Marriage - and got it yesterday.  I started reading last night - very interesting.  I haven't quite figured out how I am going to share some of this info with my husband as I don't want to constantly be quoting from the book as I'm reading it particularly since he has no official diagnosis of anything.  I sure am reading a lot of things that sound like us though and I'm only on about page 50.  I think I may just tell him when I'm done reading it and suggest that he read it - for the sake of improving our marriage not necessarily improving him.  In reading so far I think we long ago figured out on our own how to do some of the right things which may be why our situation is not so bad as many people describe here.  Plus we never had any kids which it seems makes this kind of situation much less complicated.

Anyway, I think the book is very good and I'm sure could be very helpful but depending on someone's situation it might mean making a lot of changes which can be difficult under any circumstances.

It is really refreshing to

It is really refreshing to see someone who has lived the ADD life, but yet managed not to let it make you bitter and angry and resentful like it has most. You should be very proud of yourself.

I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading all of your posts and I admire your ability to love your husband unconditionally. It is something I had to learn...as odd as that sounds. I always 'bragged' that the best gift my Momma gave me was the gift of unconditional love, and how it taught me how to love unconditionally, but I was wrong. I have nothing on you.

I have little doubt that you're going to be successful getting him to participate in this process with you. You've apparently learned how to be creative after all these years. :)

Good Luck!

Sherri