Getting upset with ADD spouse

I've never had a problem letting my husband know what I need and why: "The laundry has to be picked up from the laundry room floor before they deliver the new washer", "I can't do the laundry because I fell in the laundry room, and I have not one pair of clean underwear, so I need you to do laundry", "because you lost your job, I can't get my hypertension meds and I'm going to have another stroke", etc. I often cry when I beg and plead with him to do some small task I can't do. He ignores me. I always said it can't be because he's putting it in the "not now" because I am there crying and begging him to meet the particular need.

He admitted to me tonight that it's because I get so upset when a need is not met. So what am I to do? If I just say matter-of-factly "The laundry needs to be done" it will go into the "not now." If I tell him "I can't go to work tomorrow unless you do the laundry tonight" and cry, he'll know I want him to do it, but he won't because he doesn't want me to be "emotional." So what do I do to get my needs met? Does anyone else have this dynamic?

this is SO tough. and I'm sorry.

I feel your pain from hearing my SO say the same thing about how he feels.  All I can say is that I know you're feeling impotent and probably hopeless.  I know *my* apology does nothing for *his* behavior, either.  I wonder if an "explanation" of his feelings will go any way towards helping you understand - although I can't offer solutions.

Can I suggest leaving out the consequences or conditions when you tell him these things?  The explanations you offer, though they TOTALLY MAKE SENSE, are putting the "need" and the "cause" for his action on someone else.  i.e. You​ need to this because of someone else​, rather than because of you​.  Horrible as it may be, saying it logically like this takes away 99% of the urgency because... well... it's not directly his problem.  There's another degree of separation between his action and the consequence.  And it's really, really hard for an ADDer to consider other people's suffering as a direct consequence of their actions.  In school I'd get marked down on essays because I would state the cause and the effect without making any connection of HOW A caused B, just stating that A happened and then B happened and thinking the relationship was clear because I had put them in the same sentence.  (That's why these days I try to over-explain everything, and I usually come out with some kind of connection eventually.)

Let's think of it as the "here" and "not-here," or the "me" and "not-me" - that's what my BF complains about.  That I get the things done which relate to me but not things which are important for both of us.  It is easiest for me to see the consequences that actions will have on me if I do/don't take action.  Realizing that the same thing​ happens for other people who depend on me when I do/don't take action is... not the way my brain instinctively works.

It's true we hate being the cause of someone else's upset - yet we know that all too often, we are.  And your DH wants to avoid seeing you upset because it makes him feel even worse.  What he would love the most is to have his own chance to shine - if there's no expectation from you, then he can blow you out of the water when he excels, but if you're already expecting it then all the fun and challenge has gone out of it.  as you may know, fun and challenge (a.k.a. stimulation) are really, really key to keeping an ADDer engaged in something.

I KNOW that backing off is also the wrong solution.  2 times out of 10 we shine, but the other 8 we may nosedive.  I also see from many of your posts that you really do physically depend on him.  I see that you get that "nagging" is the wrong way to go, but can't see many other solutions.  If there is some way to give him a very direct and very personal interest in these tasks (without incorporating any kind of tomorrows or laters) - do that.  Tell him his phone fell into the laundry basket?  Then when he's gone to look for it, you could say, kindly, "While you're already here, honey, can you please, please do the laundry?  You know I am unable to do it.  ​I need your help​."  This way he feels he is not just plain obligated​ to do it, but is making a contribution. 

Just a thought.  I wish you the best and I hope you can find hope and help here.  

We went on an errand today and talked

about this issue. I realize a lot of this is because he is an optimist and I'm a pessimist. I see all the consequences that could happen. How could I not; I am a woman who suffered a life-changing injury as a result of running out of gas and who flunked out of graduate school because her ADD daughter couldn't find her socks!

He on the other hand, has never had a bad consequence in his life. When he lost his job, I still had to pay the rent because my name was on the lease, so he didn't end up homeless. I am supporting us now because he's not working. He thinks my "If they deliver the washer and the laundry room is this messy they'll just take it back" as crazy. Of course they'll deliver the washer, he doesn't have to pick up the mess in there. Well, in this case he was right. He thinks about the 9 times I didn't fall over a mess he made, not the one time I did.

So do I just let him not do the dishes and then we don't eat? Our dishwasher takes 3 hours and you can't cook while it's running, so doing it at night is, to me, logical. To him, he shouldn't have to do it while he's tired. Why is he tired, he doesn't work or do housework?

I fear we are not going to be able to mesh our different belief systems and this marriage will fail.