fixations

I am not sure yet, but my own diagnosis of my husband is a form of adhd.

One symptom is watering. He waters plants, trees, and the grass with the hose for hours. HE thinks he is doing something important. When I come home and ask what he has done say for the last 3 hours, I can see all the puddles and wet sidewalks. He waters sometimes daily, sometimes only 3 times a week. But even when it has rained the day before, he waters.

Then there is the online hearts. I saw a number of games he had on a counter in the corner of the screen and it was over 2,000.  In the meantime, I do almost all the household work. HE of course says he is busy with the watering.

And if I go out for the evening which is very very rare, twice a month, he is usually passed out in a chair drunk from alcohol.  HE drinks mostly when I am out of sight. But I keep some track of empty bottles and cans, so I know when he has been hitting it.

To make matters worse, he operates large vehicles for a living. So he can't really go on adderall or retilin probably, or lose his job.

There is a lot of mental illness in his family, so this is not a stretch. But he thinks I am the whiner, unappreciative, exaggerator. 

One more thing. He loves to do "random acts of kindness" for people on street, at church, kids school, etc He is all over the map. People tell me what a "hero" of "prince" he is. He won't even take out the trash or pick up the kids without a big deal.

Help

MS

Not sure

I am the spouse of an undiagnosed ADDer.  I was very much skeptical of the reality and frequency of ADHD and so I've done a LOT of research and reflection on the matter before being convinced of that.   Again, reading with skepticism early on, I tried to find ways that what I was reading was not about my husband.  Everyone has personality quirks, but just because they are present doesn't necessarily mean they are ADHD.  I think it's about severity/frequency and also point of view (WHY is he doing these "crazy" things?) 

For me, the big clue was the vast difference between his word/deed and the things I knew to be true.  Example: we agree to a budget, set goals (short and long term) and to spend money a certain way.  We agree to and want to do it because we share a dream that the budget will deliver.  Behavior:  "budget? what budget?"   The contrast between intention and activity was so drastic and puzzling I thought there must be something physiological causing it.  So I began investigating the common conditions which affected such behavior.  The moment I became convinced was when I was reading some books about ADHD in support of the non-ADHD spouse.  I was stunned to see my life was in those books--my own very private thoughts about how things were playing out my marriage confirmed my suspicions of something being amiss.  At my wits end for how to proceed with repairing our relationship, I boldly (for me) asked him to read the book "Is it You, me or ADD?" and he had a hard time of it (not unexpected). I think he was hurt, unaccepting and of course defensive, saying I was the one with ADHD.  This is not uncommon either.

Sounds like you are new here, so I encourage you to KEEP READING.  Read every book recommended in this forum, then read the ones that those books reference.  You WILL find your way.

hyperfocus

Some ADDers, myself included, get what's called hyperfocus.  It is this really powerful state of focussing (obsessing) on something.  I love being in that state because of the tremendous power.  It's like my brain power increases ten fold.  I have done some of the most amazing things while in that state.  It is, quite frankly, a huge pain for everyone else in my life when I am in that state.  I can't, and I mean can't, think of anything else.

The drinking is most likely a coping mechanism, it really sucks to not be able to be like everybody else.  That's difficult to grasp if you don't have it, but I promise it is reality.  I have cried, cursed myself, and prayed to change my behavior.  Nothing worked until meds came into my life.  He needs to see someone about getting meds, IMO.  Alcohol clouds your already cloudy mind, adderall clears it up. (For me it did, anyway)  You can't do it for him, but, you can help him see someone.  I am guessing he has a lot of self loathing going on.

Is there ALWAYS this state of

Is there ALWAYS this state of mind going on? Is it a must to jump from one hyperfocus object to the next? Is there ever any downtime? I worry about this a lot...sometimes my husband hyperfocus is very hurtful. I can't think of one example, in 13 years of marriage, where it was a positive thing. I'm sure it can be a good thing for some. I'm glad to hear you say that meds helped you in this area. My husband just started a medication that really seems to be right for him (finally!) and I'm hopeful it can help him in this area too..although I'm not sure it is a problem..for HIM.

The drinking is most likely a

The drinking is most likely a coping mechanism, it really sucks to not be able to be like everybody else.

What is so great about being like everyone else? I think this is a huge hurdle for ADDers to overcome. I don't want my husband to be like "everyone else". I especially don't want him to be like my ex-husband and the guy I dated after him...who weren't ADD. I just want him to continue to get help and be more aware of how his decisions affect everyone. Being accountable for our own actions is simply something we ALL have to do, in each and every relationship. I concede that it is harder for those with ADD...but NOT impossible. We're working on this in counseling..making slow progress.

The hyperfocusing is

The hyperfocusing is difficult to deal with. My husband was crazy about lights- he has added 10 new lights in the house and 2 in the garage - 1 of which he refuses to turn off. The other lights are motion sensor lights (which, to be fair, I admit the 1 in the hallway was a great idea). He walks away from rooms with lights left on, he insists that his need for all of the lights is that he can't see..hmmm?  The best I can offer is that I try to weigh what is worth mentioning (the light left on in the garage 24/7) due to the waste of electricity and expense and what is not (those motion senors in rooms that no one is ever in(storage room) no waste, no harm.  I try to accept those things he seems to feel good about (even though I don't understand why) and only bring to light (sorry for the pun) those items that are dangerous, wasteful, or hurtful. I understand your hurt and anger about his time vs your time - but i also know that when my husband is in a hyperfocus state trying to get help from him is more trouble than its worth. See, he is so intense and focused on whatever it is at the moment that he can't stop, shift gears, to help out with anything until he has completed his focused task.  What I find so frustrating is that he isn't able to hyperfocus on something that is helpful or that enriches our family life.

All that being said; I have watched him from a distance when he is in one of these states and he is so driven - its great. He looks like he is happy and feels good about what he is working on vs. when he is trying to work on a task that doesn't appeal to him and he can be so distracted and angry with himself - that it is painful to witness. 

Its difficult for those of us without ADD, but I have seen a sliver of what those with ADD have to deal with and that's no bowl of cherries either. 

I'm still working on learning to accept his ADD behaviors and how to positively deal with them - it is a long, slow process- but it has helped me to not expect (and then be let down) something from him that he hasn't learned how to do.  I am hopeful that one day we can change this.

 

Your post was very

Your post was very interesting, it had be chuckling a bit to myself. I do not have these hyperfocus episodes that most ADHD people do have (and ADD people too) but I have the same thing with light. I turn on the light on full everywhere I am while my husband thinks the lights should be off in rooms that we are not currently in. So while he walks around turning off lights after me, I walk right behind him turning them on. We don't really realize we do this but I have acknowledged it lately as it started to bother me. I can't see without proper light, I really can't see, it is a huuuge distraction and I don't really know why.

I wake up almost every

I wake up almost every morning to both lights on in the kitchen... Which is A LOT of light. Apparently he gets up at some point after I go to sleep and either does not notice or think to turn them off..I have never understood this, but have to just chuckle and go on.