Great marriage one day, bad marriage a week later?

My husband has ADD severely.  Our marriage has almost ended many times b/c of it.  I always have to get to my breaking point, and give him ultimatums.  Of course, he does whatever I ask of him for a while and then stops. For instance, I made him promise me that he would find a psychiatrist that he liked, and get on a medication that worked for him.  Well, he found a doctor that he liked and he also liked the medicine.  Then he stopped taking it!!!  Now, he denies liking the medicine and missed his last doctors appointment.  He has a highly addictive personality and has quit smoking cold turkey during this time.  Is that why he's stopped?  He lies to me and tells me he takes the medicine and I know he hasn't.  It seems like we have a good marriage and then we have days that are awful. The worst part is that when he is so out of focus, he starts finding things wrong with me almost just to pick arguments.  I really think that he needs counseling, I need counseling ( I already go) and that we need marriage counseling as well.  How do I convince him of this?  I'm getting exhausted from the viscious cycles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

great/bad marriage

Sounds just like my marriage. Its been that way for the majority of our 3 years together. Don't see any change on the horizon either. He only sticks with things briefly. You must remember (for your own sanity) that you can't MAKE anyone do need to just take care of yourself..continue your counseling...pray. I wish you the best. ~Exhausted


It looks like I'm giong to always be in this roller coaster.  It's so hard when you just want stability.  I guess I'm just going to have to focus on the good!!  Thanks so much for your reply.  I've gotten better at working on myself. If he's in a bad mood, I don't have to be around him!!  You have to have a strong inner self to be married to someone with ADD!!

Great/Bad mariage

I feel this way too. I am struck at how many people here have being married 5 years. That is how long I have been married. I have ADHD very badly and have only know for a month. What I think is interesting is that I think it my wife fault that it is a good/bad marriage. One day everything will seams find, then the next a day she will leave. The better I think things are the more likely she seams to leave. When she left before we did not know I had ADHD. Now we do and I have told her how much I want to get better and I think she believes me, but she just filed for divorse. Just when I needed her support the most she left. I am so very confused I thought that if she knew what was wrong with me and that I am not a bad person she would want to be there for me. It makes me think I can not trust my instincts. Which is very uncomfortable because usually my instincts are good.

Tom I feel for you but right

Tom I feel for you but right there in your post "What I think is interesting is that I think it my wife fault that it is a good/bad marriage." may be a big source of your problems. Take a step back and look at yourself and your interactions openly and honestly. There is probably more than one at "fault" here Good luck

"I always have to get to my

"I always have to get to my breaking point". "It seems like we have a good marriage and then we have days that are awful."   What a  crazy roller coaster ride, isn't it?  The inconsistency of efforts to improve astound me (time and again, and again, . . . )

Yep, I have to get to the breaking point before my wife will budge an inch too.  For more than 4 years I worked to get her to consider having her ADHD treated.  I tried all of the tricks - endless gentle requests, discussions to see if she thought it would be a good idea, demanding it happen, silent treatment, etc.  It didn't matter what I tried.  Finally, I was ready to end the relationship, and only when I made that known did she begin to take any steps towards treatment.

I can't advise how to convince him as I haven't found any sort of answer.  Some books aimed at partners of those who have ADHD include sections on working with your partner to get them to accept treatment or go to counseling.  You might seek out those resources, but some with ADHD are highly resistant to such efforts.   

Wish I had better advice for you.  Perhaps someone will.  As awful as it is, sometimes those with ADHD have to face the natural consequences (ie driving your spouse to divorce you) of their actions before they decide to make an effort to change.  Being subtle about your dissatisfaction likely won't get the message across.  For many such situations, it will forever remain you who is the problem until they are faced with the negative consequences themselves.


negative consequencew

Thank you so much for your reply.  It's comforting knowing you're not alone in this.  You are right about the negative consequences.  My husband is highly addictive.  He used to drink all of the time to "treat" his ADD.  At first I understood.  Then I realized that the drinking only made things worse.  I begged and begged for him to quit or at least cut back.  Guess what?  He had to get a DUI before he finally cut way back.  Now he only drinks a minor amount b/c he knows the consequencs.  It's hard not to feel like you're the parent and they are the child.  I use tough love in my home every day. People with ADD will test their boundaries.  You have to mean what you say!!!! 


Being a parent - uggh!

For many of the years I have been married to my wife (both before diagnosis, and also after), I have lamented about being the only parent in the house, and always feeling like I HAD to step in to save myself and the children from the consequences.  I still resent having to be a parent to someone that's supposed to be my partner. 

Reading books aimed at helping the partners of an ADHD spouse have helped me greatly to not feel so alone, or confused.  If you live in a large metro area, there may even be support groups available. 

Viscious Cycles

You'll probably need to learn to divorce yourself from some of the worst of the cycles.  Someone who respondes further down the line suggests that you must be strong inside.  That includes demanding that you are treated with respect (this is my theme for today, it seems!).

What you don't want to have happen is that you get so upset about what he is or isn't doing, or the particular cycle that you are in, that you start to get angry just because he's being who he is.  In other words, give him the freedom (respect) to be who he is, and insist he also give you respect.  Once you start "controlling" him, it's all over.

The very odd thing about these relationships is that once he understands that you KNOW you can't control when he takes the meds, he'll be more likely to take them because he won't fear that you are controlling him.  So, you can insist that he treat you a certain way (your right) and you can even point out that it seems easier for him to do so when he is taking his meds and so the meds might be a nice tool if he wishes to achieve the goal of being with you more responsibly, but you can't insist he take them - it's his body.

Tell him you miss the closeness you felt towards him when he was on medications and less likely to impulsively criticize you and argue and see if that helps.  Carrots work better than sticks.  That said, there are consequences to his actions.  Hopefully he'll see that before things start going seriously downhill.  Stay yourself...try to let him be on the bad days (retreat)...and celebrate the good.  I'm hoping this approach will leave you less exhausted.

My husband has severe adhd

My husband has severe adhd and as many others I am now, after 6 years, at my breaking point. He goes on and off medications (which is a much too small dose), and he only takes them to get me off his back. He thinks his adhd is why he is so charming etc. I have tried to ignore the fact that he doesnt always take them, but the truth is I can only ignore it for so long, because he is almost unbearable to be around, when he is not on the meds. I'm wondering now if couples therapy targeted towards adhd has any positive effect? He realizes he has the disorder, but doesn't see the impact it has on the family, and basically believes that we are just too sensitive. I think the fact that his job is his life and takes him away on trips more often than not, has made it easier. He can be very nice, charming, loving, etc. but the bad is overshadowing the good. Does anyone know about the effects of adhd couples counselling?