first time and need advice and help

So here I’m again… with so much anger and pain inside… trying to find answers and help. At least I’m being good at not saying things at the moment, I’m trying to stay calmed and think a lot.

One day he said no matter what we’ll never divorce (I’m not even close to be sure about that). You know what hurts me is that all of this life it’s about him… him having to move here, there (he’s in the military), does he ever care that I changed to a different country where I didn’t evens spoke the language? That I left my family and career just to follow him? And at the point where I actually find something else to do with my life besides being a wife and a mom then he hates it so much he could leave me for it ( I bake wedding cakes)? Are you serious? After me moving and changing my completely life to do whatever he needs me to do? Are you kidding me? Where’s the love and support? I could scream right now… I could leave right now …. What could I do? He’s so unfair. He’s pretty good at transferring guilt… whenever I don’t agree with something then that means I’m complaining. Man I’m so frustrated right now… I so wish I could cry with somebody

I’m not perfect, not even close, after a 3rd glass of wine I put my concerned face… he said that I needed to leave him alone with that! That I ate too much sweets and I needed to stop eating sweets (I’m not even fat and come one, my job is being a baker).
Help God… help me

You have to Realize

Coming from those who are "normal" WOW we see it as it's all about you!!!!!!!   You are all so shallow & selfish we lose interest in the mundane crap you see as dire and important! You were amusing for a minute now you're just SHALLOW and mindless once the initial flare wears thin. And by the why you never "SAW"  'THEM'   in the first place !!!

After all you admitted YOU changed - He did not - So whatever you changed was apparently exactly what he had liked about you! So who was the one who was at fault here???? 

hadn't thought about it this way

You are all so shallow & selfish we lose interest in the mundane crap you see as dire and important!

I can see how you would think this way.  If you were involved with a nonadder and then married, you probably also felt a bait and switch.  I am not add, but dated a man who was.  During our time together, I always tried to be kind, appreciative, fun loving and carefree.  I felt all those things every minute I was with him.  it was wonderful and he probably loved that time as much as I did.  He probably thought he had found someone who could always kick back and not stress over the mundane crap that wasn't important anyway.

he'd go home and I'd head home to my children.  When I got there after all the fun, my kids expected me to do all the mundane crap so they could have a roof over their head, food in their belly and clothes.  As a nonadder I suspect there were times I interpreted some of the mundane crap as more dire and important than it really was. 

Thank you for pointing this out to me.  if adders and nonadders could find a reasonable way to define what is actually dire and important, and then compromise, maybe these relationships would have a chance. 


You make my skin crawl

To ADDIsIntensity...

Can you be anymore of the ADHD stereotype with your response?   Although you are free to express your opinion most of us come here for support and frankly you are just mean, lack compassion and the ability to express yourself in a productive manner.  I would assume you seek conflict and I wouldn't be surprised if you justified your comment by saying you are being HONEST.  Save it.

hockeymom11's picture

THIS makes my skin crawl

"Coming from those who are "normal" WOW we see it as it's all about you!!!!!!! You are all so shallow & selfish we lose interest in the mundane crap you see as dire and important! You were amusing for a minute now you're just SHALLOW and mindless"

I always love it when an ADDr posts a comment like this about us non-ADDrs.  If you think maintaining gainful employment, taking care of children (many with ADHD), taking care of houses, leaky pipes and yards PLUS much more is MUNDANE than THOSE ADDrs should NOT be in ANY relationship or EVER have children.

Sorry, but life IS mundane, no one LIKES to do dishes or clean toilets, but when you are a grown up you have to do this!!

I totally agree that UNTREATED ADD spousal relationships are VERY much one way.  They are very self centered, riotous and cannot believe THEY have a problem.  I AGREE that with treatment (and meds are only a SMALL % of treatment) that they can have functional relationships.

MY problems in my relationship with an ADHD husband is that HE cannot admit he has a problem, it's all me, it's all my fault, I'm the mental case.  For years I have done nothing but bust my hump taking care of the home, the kids, the organization and the yard while he plays video games.  Believe me, I wish I didn't have to do all the "mundane crap" and be "amusing" but after he bankrupted us I don't have a choice.

we come to this site for support and try not to generalize, so please be respectful and do the same.


I can see saying such a hopeless thing if the AD/HD goes untreated and the person will not be treated for any reason however when someone is being effectively treated for AD/HD and is on board with their treatment the energy absolutely can flow both ways. It's not nearly so fatalistic when treatment is embraced and pursued.

ebb and flow's picture

Really? Is it that "outrageous"??

I'm not sure I agree that the statement above is so "outrageous"... 

I mean, they have an abundance of non-ADDer support sites on the Internet for a reason!

I don't mean to be too outspoken, but I hate it when people try to say that being with an ADDer is not a difficult situation that can feel very much like the energy is flowing from one side! And, I'm sorry, but when someone feels that way in a relationship it is not "selfish" to let the other person know they feel that way and wish for some change to be made. Otherwise, why be in a relationship at all? I understand some ADDers may have difficulty in the relationship department, and that they deserve love too (obviously), but then admit that you have difficulty and get help for it! Or else, don't get caught up in the whole relationship dynamic in the first place! 

I don't think the non-ADDers on here are "selfish" at all!!! We're the loving morons who keep coming back for more even after the ADDer has displayed some pretty nasty qualities, or after they've seemingly lost all interest and are focused on something or someone else! I think the people on this site have very big, kind hearts to endure half the sh*t I've read!!! And, let me tell you, some of it just sounds downright abusive-- ADD or not!!!

I'm fully aware that ADD is something that people are born with and are not in complete control over... But lets not lose sensitivity towards the loving people who try very hard to help carry the burden and the frustration of it along side you! Under most of the angry posts on here is a broken, sad, and lonely person who just wants to figure it all out. And from what I've read... some ADDers can feel the same about themselves, too.

What I do find ADDers understand is just how frustrating and damaging ADD is in their own lives (effecting their self esteem, etc)... The part that ALWAYS seems to be missing is the understanding of how frustrating and damaging it is on the outside--for the loving people around you!!!

The people on here are here because they want to learn how to deal with the frustration ADD brings into their lives. It can be tiring, frustrating, draining, depressing, dark, confusing, annoying, etc (all things I'm sure ADDers would agree they feel about their own brains too!)

I have to disagree that posting that a relationship with an ADDer can feel like a one sided endeavor is a "selfish" thing to say... I'm in a relationship with an ADDer and it feels most times like I may as well be single as it feels soo one sided. I stay with him because of the "selfish" posts on these support sites...

Sorry, that's just the honest truth!

ebb and flow's picture

Oh and... "You are all so

Oh and...

"You are all so shallow & selfish we lose interest in the mundane crap you see as dire and important! You were amusing for a minute now you're just SHALLOW and mindless once the initial flare wears thin."

This sounds like something someone "shallow and mindless" would say... but it was very amusing for a moment there!

A very mean comment!!!

If your argument was even remotely true about ADDers, then why do they stay after the "initial flare wears thin"? You make it sound like "normal" brained people are just toys you become easily bored with and toss to the side... 

Not nice.

A Bit Concerned

I'm a bit concerned about the flow of this particular forum topic, for in it I see lots of harsh generalizations.  Living with untreated ADHD and the marital consequences of untreated ADHD, can be awful for BOTH partners - the one who has it and the one who doesn't.  But it is my hope that people reading this blog and forum will come to realize these things:

  • ADHD does not doom your relationship.  With solid management, ADHD can be made to be neutral and the partner you fell in love with resurface
  • There are phases that different people go through.  Denial and anger are incredibly destructive...getting past them starts you on your journey forward, and into a new phase.  The non-ADHD partner who is living with a person with ADHD who won't admit it makes a difference is in a really tough spot.  But don't make a generalization that all people with ADHD are like that, or all non-ADHD partners have the same experience.  (In other words, I've seen plenty of people with ADHD who are overly concerned for their partner's well being, too)
  • Denial happens in both partners.  So does anger and frustration.  It just gets displayed differently.
  • You are each responsible for yourself. Your untreated ADHD partner can try, for example, to assign blame to you.  That doesn't mean you have to accept it.  You can explain clearly what your basic needs are for a relationship and challenge your partner to become a great partner.  But then it's up to him/her to follow through or live with whatever consequences come his/her way based upon the actions chosen (anger, frustration, disconnection, maybe divorce...or, happiness, joy, gratefulness...)

PLEASE a request to everyone posting here - be sensitive to the fact that your partner may be doing one thing...but don't generalize to everyone else who either has or doesn't have ADHD.

Can I just take this

Can I just take this opportunity to say something that has been on my mind for a while...hoping someone can help? It relates exactly to this subject....

The generalizations are hurtful...even to those of us who have made it through the anger, but are still trying to heal from all of the hurt and pain. It isn't helpful to hear these generalizations (ADDers are incapable of empathy, if they're showing you attention it is ONLY because of hyperfocus and it will eventually assured, the relationship has to be all about them, etc).

It shakes my foundation sometimes, makes me realize I'm not as strong and secure in my relationship as I wish I was. Reading some of the supportive posts helps me keep my focus, but reading some of the REALLY negative ones really throw me for a loop and prove just how far I really do have to go far my marriage has to go.

Are they only capable of being 'nice' and 'attentive' during hyperfocus and after that, you're just screwed if you stay with them? I have thought about this so much and feel that my husband, although he does really like 100% of my attention (it all being about him), he also has always seemed to genuinely care about me and my feelings too..even when his actions didn't show it.

We just reconciled last Dec, and have worked very hard to be in a better place in our marriage. He has the affair and has done everything I've needed him to do so that he can regain my trust. I think sometimes that his 'attitude' I sense occasionally is because of the shame he feels. He was cheating when my father passed away and will openly admit he was not there for me like he should have been and how horrible he feels because of it and how hard it is for him to let go of that guilt and shame.  But, then the 'fear' part of me (I am driven mostly by fear these replaced my anger I suppose) immediately assumes it is my worst fear realized, that he IS only behaving and going above and beyond for our marriage because of a new sense of hyperfocus (doing everything possible to gain my trust and keep his marriage together) and I panic..inside. Where do you draw the line? Most of the time I can convince myself to just keep moving forward and keep loving him through the 'moods' and attitude...and just have faith that what I feel is more important than what some nay-sayers here feel they know about ADD based on their own 'not so happy ending' experiences.

I guess what I'm saying is that these generalizations hurt those of us who aren't dating YOUR OLD BOYFRIEND WHO LEFT YOU SO ANGRY AND BITTER, we're dating/married to men who are their own individuals. Just because a 'group' of people have the same diagnosis have some similar issues, that does not mean that you can say with any certainty that they're ALL incapable of XX, or certain to do YY.

It just comes at a time when he's 'picking' at me because of something, but denies it vehemently. I dared ask a question, truly not knowing the answer, about something he was doing...that in a way was a 'suggestion' on how he might 'fix' something (yes, I DID..I made that mistake)..and he accused me of saying he was stupid. Even brought it up again this morning. All I could say was "It never crossed my mind for one second that you're are one of the smartest men I know. I genuinely did not know if you could do that or not, if it would help, so I asked..that's all" I am not yet 100% able to look forward and see how he's going to take it and make something negative out of it, but I'm working on it. We're all over the board with issues in our sex life...he's confusing the hell out of me..should I back off? Should I initate more? When I think I will, and I assume he knows  I'm considering it, he'll develop a stomach ache or this an excuse to avoid it..even though he tells our counselor he wants me to initiate more? She says "communciate"...but I don't think she gets how hard it is sometimes to feel like I'm getting a straight story from him. I WILL be bringing it up tomorrow. And his insecurities...he hasn't acted the same since I started school. I made the colossal mistake of telling him I have a male lab partner (one of 2, the other is female). He tells me that his insecurities about me working (interacting with men) were part of what sent him over the edge last fall. Leading me to feel that he 'resents' me for it...or holds it against me...and somehow this will result in his 'withdrawing' from me. He says he's supportive...poo-poos the idea that he hasn't always been supportive, but he hasn't..and he isn't. I am now being accused of "losing focus" on the marriage (i.e. HIM) simply because I had to study Tuesday for a  big test I had yesterday. I feel I will never be able to win. Our counselor tells me to just let him work it all out himself, but what if he comes to the wrong 'conclusion' at the end? I will be bringing it up tomorrow in counseling..she has already said she wants to start now working on his insecurities.

All in all, things are going much better for us. Our home is much more peaceful and less chaotic and my children are a reflection of this..thank the Lord. I know we have a lot of work to do...I'm not saying I'm giving up or even close. I'm happier than i've been in a very long time with my marriage. I just wish that some people would really think about what they're saying...and how irrational they sound when they say it. Those of us in the healing process have enough trouble sorting through the crap as it is...making sense of it all...without the addition of the generalizations coming from all directions that make us wonder how anyone could possibly love any of us! ARGH!

replacing emotion with reason


I really like the insights you have.  When I come here I try to get myself to take a brief moment to learn from each poster. I try to imagine myself as the poster and assume the other person is not flaming, but hurts as much as anyone else.  I tend to believe that anger or lashing out is buried emotional hurt.

The hardest posts for me to relate to are the ones unable or unwilling to make different choices.  Then I remind myself that all hurting people will either stay miserable, change at a slower pace than I would, or take charge of their life by acting in their own best interest.  A complicating factor to writing here is that emotions run very high and for good reason.     

I remind myself that each person has a unique set of filters that define their perspective, each has had a unique partner, and each is at a different level of understanding of what is happening to them, and what they can/should do about it.  They are here reading and writing to find solutions and to figure out if there is hope.  What I notice a lot is that people are just plain hurting so much they can't step back and observe their own behavior.  They are blinded by the intense anxiety and fear about their life being out of control. I've been there/done that, so I get it.  

If someone writes something that appears to be really insensitive, they are probably frustrated too.  They want someone to validate them even if they have not expressed themselves as well as they could.  They may have made a rash decision to send their message right after they were triggered emotionally.  This thread has been like a set of dominoes, one emotional post triggering another--snowballing until Melissa stepped in and tried to inject some reason. 

One very important thing for everyone to learn is NEVER act when you are emotional.  you can certainly make a decision while emotional, but DO NOT ACT.  Postpone until your reason is in control.   Everybody needs to examine what triggers their emotions, develop a plan to stop all actions until the emotion has subsided.  I know this is easier said than done, but I got tired of my emotions ruling my life and paralyzing me to make good decisions. My counselor said I was catastrophizing.   I do slip up sometimes, but I am trying very hard to recognize triggers in my life.  when I recognize one--I want to just zap it because I know what it will do to me--hours of anxiety, fear, headaches, saying things I will regret, etc. Frankly, it hurts me more than the person who did or said something to trigger it.


I agree that the pain comes

I agree that the pain comes from a very real and very valid place. I relate to, and sympathize with those who are in marriages with partners who REFUSE to change. How could I not? I spent 6 years of my marriage in that ugly, dark refusing to change, him refusing to change..and where it led us was nowhere pretty.

It isn't the pain so much, as just the flat out 'dehumanizing' of the people they once claimed to have loved so much.

My husband cheated...twice. He has gone through 'spells' where triggers sent him over the edge of reason and has caused so much hurt that I wonder how I still love him..then I remember. He calls, just to say "I love you". He constantly does things to prove that he thinks about me and the picking up our favorite drink or bringing me chocolate when he knows I'm PMSing. He gets great pleasure from spending time with his family and making us happy. He's never short on compliments to me...making me feel like I am the most beautiful person in the world...even after 13 years of marriage. He CARES. God..he really does care about the happiness of those who love him, even if he doesn't always manage to live up to what he'd like to do to prove that love..he TRIES. He IS trying. He continues to deal with the shame of his past actions, and struggles to be a better man. He thanks me for caring enough about him to learn about his ADHD and says how much he appreciates me doing so. He has stopped so many of his hurtful behaviors...has gained control over his spending (although I took his debit card, he has not once asked for it back..made excuses to get it back like he did in the past), he has stopped drinking..this in and of itself being a miracle I never dreamed would happen without rehab, he comes to bed with me every night (he slept on the couch or went to bed hours after I did for many years), he has finally accepted and acknowledged that I am not the problem in the relationship between myself and my step-daughter (HUGE issue for the previous 6 years of our marriage) and has stopped expecting me to make right what cannot be made right in that situation...I mean the list goes on. If he can change these things, then why can't he change the cheating? He has more empahty for me than I have for him sometimes. How can I let the bitterness of others cloud my ability to see this? I dunno, I suppose I'm human...and afraid...and quite vulnerable to his moods sometimes. Just for the record..he has been a little 'difficult' lately, but is still far better than a year ago. I just tend to panic too quickly and trust too little...something that I accept about myself and don't beat myself up about because I am human, reacting to hurtful situations, but still refusing to let it cripple me and throw a wrench into our progress. Does that make sense?

I am one of the most sympathetic people you will the asepct that I completely understand how destructive and hurtful the ADD behaviors are. On the other hand, I also feel there isn't enough sympathy for those suffering from ADD in some instances and that is as big of a problem as the later. If they refuse to get help, then you either choose to leave or stay..but why hate them and be bitter and angry? It is such a choice...and such a waste. If you're happy you "dodged the bullet", great....but if you don't let go of the anger...regardless of whether the relationship lasts or're only hurting yourself. Just like you said, the anger and negative reactions destroy us worse than the ADD behaviors themselves. I have dealt with other problems in other relationships, completely unrelated to ADD, and the same applies. If you're bitter and angry and you exude it in everything you say and feel then it is something inherently wrong with YOU..not the person making you that way.

hockeymom11's picture


I agree that we shouldn't post in anger or generalize.  I admit, I am still in the angry phase of things, very angry at my ADD husband.  I'm working on it very hard, but it isn't easy when he makes no effort. 

I'm also working on an exit plan because I've discovered that although I am angry, almost 99% of my anger in life is because of him.  I am a VERY patient person with others, my kids, my job etc.  The counselor said I wasn't depressed because depression encompasses all aspects of your life.  My life is great, my kids are great, I love my job and my hobbies and helping others.  He said I have compartmentalized my life because of my husband and it's not healthy.

I have come to realize that on a "cellular level" my husband and I are fundamentally different people who shouldn't have "hooked up" period.  I don't know WHY I was attracted to him in the first place (hyperfocused??, love is blind?? opposites attract??).  I did see the red flags back then, BIG RED FLAGS, yet ignored them. What was I thinking??? This haunts me more than anything and I think this makes me extremely angry at MYSELF. He was a college dropout, smoker, drinker, did drugs, bar hopped, had bench warrants for his arrest, even delivered drugs to a trailer park!!!! I was a graduate student with a 3.9 GPA, athletic, didn't drink, didn't smoke, did charitable work and humanitarian work. GOD all I can say over and over again is what was I thinking. How did I expect this marriage to last?????

I know I have a tremendous way to go to change myself and control my anger.  I do not want anger devouring my life, changing my thinking or changing my core-self. 

that's why I need to get out and can no longer work on this marriage.  I admit when I read some of these posts, my head explodes because I can FEEL their valid anger.  It's hard when you're living it to hold back sometimes (the old "MissBehavin" posts!!).

hockeymom11's picture

wise words

here is a quote from the Dalai Lama.  Even if you aren't Buddhist, it still applies and I guess we all need to think about this before we open our mouths in anger (me included!!)

"Sometimes, when we are discouraged by a difficult situation, anger does seem helpful, appearing to bring more energy, confidence and determination. And while it is true that anger brings extra energy, it eclipses the best part of our brain: its rationality. So the energy of anger is almost always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive, unfortunate behavior. "

Dalai Lama

Wishing you the best

From what you have written, you have some REAL fundamental differences---ADD notwithstanding! When are you thinking of leaving? There is nothing to be angry about. It is not his fault or yours.

I can very much relate to the red flags. My husband and I are not as dissimilar in background, yet there were some huge red flags which I down-played. I never ignored them, but thought I could quickly and easily "help him along". BIG mistake. I wanted to be with someone who truly wanted to marry me and who I believed would never leave. I got what I wished for so far, and I'm still disappointed! Why? Well, I really was very lonely before meeting my husband. That cannot be denied. And, he has indeed brought a great amount of joy into my life. Still, the way ADD will play itself out is unknowable to the uninformed. Just when one thinks "progress" is being made, we find ourselves, 3 steps back! This is beyond frustrating. It's scary, sad, and pervasive.

I am grateful everyday that we only have a sweet beautiful doggie to worry about and that we both choose not have children.

I know all that good stuff about being responsible for our own actions, yet it really does take two to tango. It can't be always be about one person trying to understand and come up with tangible solutions. Both people have to truly want to be together and fight for each other.

I hope it works out for you in the long-run because life is truly too short to be angry or miserable!




I have sympathized with your story since I came here. I have never felt like you were coming from any other place than just wanting change..for yourself and your children, especially. There is a difference. I hate that he won't see his faults. I get a sick feeling just thinking about what my life would be like had my husband and I both not seen our faults and made drastic changes. I continue to wish you all the best.

Stories like yours are therapeutic, in many ways...I know I'm not alone. I know that this disorder isn't made up and I'm not just looking for ways to excuse his behavior. It is real. It is hard. It isn't these stories that are hard to digest. It is the people who assume that their ADD experience/partner is MY ADD partner/experience. Most of the time I can blow it off and take it for what it's worth..but not always.

God looks out for me though...because I trust in Him. Today, feeling as weak as I have been feeling lately, he has called me several times and is back to his sweet, thoughtful self. There had just been a little 'wall' for a few days...where I think the insecurities got the best of him...but hopefully he's dealing with it in his own way. I needed his reassurances...but didn't say a word...and got them anyway. :)

hockeymom11's picture

lonely too

Electra, I guess I was lonely too when I met my husband. I was in the midst of grueling medical school and he was like a breath of fresh air (he worked at the Univ in the I.T department).  we had a blast going out, going to movies, plays, parties etc etc.  he was prince charming and I guess I thought I'd never find someone.  I figured once I got out of school and found a job there would be no room for dating so maybe I "settled".  I also saw things in him that I thought he would grow up and grow out of it.  He didn't do drugs when I met him, but just before meeting him he dabbled in illegal drugs etc.  He quit smoking RIGHT before he met me (I NEVER would have started dating a smoker) and he did drink with his "buddies".  He was always lending money, buying others lunch, doing favors for everyone I just thought he was great!!  And he was, for about 3 years.  I guess we should have dated longer and I would have found out about this, but like I said, I felt like I was "getting old" and needed to find someone.  what a mistake I made.  I feel like an idiot.  I look back to one of the other guys I dated and dumped (long distance relationship with both of us in college).  He was educated, driven, we shared similar hobbies and had known each other for years.  I can't undo the past, but I know I made the biggest mistake of my life doing that.  I regret it now.  I can't look back, but I also can't move forward with this man.  He has started smoking again (leaving his butts all over the driveway, garage etc), stays out drinking and texts me "I'm too drunk to drive home so I'm staying at XXXX's house".  Could care less about my hobbies, interests, religious beliefs or life's goals.  He's a terrible role model for my ADHD son.  When my kids go to Grandpa's house, they learn LIFE SKILLS: how to check the oil, how to use a paint brush, how to use a hammer etc etc.  When they are with Dad, they learn how to defend the planet from space aliens and other video game important skills.  I just can't take it any more.  I want my boys (ESPECIALLY the ADHD one) to grow up to be well adjusted, functional ADULTS!!!  Dr. Phil always said we aren't raising children, we are raising adults.  I worry about my ADHD son.  I can't imagine a women feeling about him how I feel about my husband. It breaks my heart.