The hardest thing about being married to an ADHDer

I have been married to my husband, John who has ADHD and possibly also Asperger's Syndrome for 3 years and we have a 2 year-old daughter together.  Though there are so many struggles being married to someone with ADHD, but I think that the hardest part of all is that most other people don't understand and can't relate.  It's hard when family members and friends turn their backs on you because they think you are just married to a loser, loafer, etc.  It adds so much hurt to someone who is already struggling when the people they love and try to find comfort in give them the cold shoulder.  At least that has been the biggest problem for me I think.  My husband has had numerous jobs since we've been together (working on getting #12 right now).  Others don't understand why he has problems keeping jobs so they just assume he is a loser who won't support his family and that I am a dependent wife who just doesn't want to leave when I should.  They don't get the fact that he tries so very hard to do right and to be like "other people", but it is an uphill battle for him.  Does it cause me hurt and frustration and anger?  Of course!  But I also remind myself that he is doing the best he can and he has to find a job that fits him with all of his unique qualities.  He is a good man with a heart of gold, but he has made some mistakes and used poor judgment at times.  My sister and her husband pretty much cut themselves off from us because they view my husband as an immature idiot who won't hold a job and they are mad at me for staying with him.  That hurts me so much because I have always been close with my sister, but this has put a strain on our relationship.  My parents have struggled with it too, but I think they are finally starting to see that ADHD is a REAL diagnosis.  My dad has come from the school of thought that people are overdiagnosed and overmedicated for things like this, but I can tell he is starting to soften up a bit.  Recently when he found out my husband lost his last job, he said "well we will just pray that he finds a good fit next time".  That almost brought tears to my eyes when in the past I would always hear "well maybe you need to think about leaving him", etc.  It's hard when everyone around you is saying you are stupid to stay with someone you love.  I just wonder if other people have the same problem of wanting to be able to talk about things with a friend of family member, but there is no one around who understands because they don't live with an ADHDer the way I do.

No one to talk to


I feel your pain, and all I can say is . . . that's why we're all here.  Because to others, our husbands seem to be just incredibly selfish and immature.  I will say this, it may take some time for your family to truly understand what you go through, but I would express to them how much it hurts you to not have their support.  No matter how little they care for your hubby, I'm sure they love you dearly and don't intend to be hurtful towards you. 

I have been married for less than a year to a husband who I am certain has ADHD.  I have not yet determined how to approach bringing my discovery to him, but I'm working on that.  I have been blessed with a sister who is a psychologist and has been diagnosed with ADHD (very mild compared to my hubby), so I lean on her quite a bit (she is what's holding me together right now).  Sometimes it feels like absolutely NO ONE else in the world understands my plight (other than the folks on this site of course ;)

You are not "stupid" for loving and sticking with your husband (I plan to be around for my husband as well).  People (including family) will always have their opinions, but you have to make your own decisions in the way that works for you. 

I would say, just keep praying and holding on, your family will come around.  In the meantime, continue to write . . .

It's good to not be alone

Thanks E-Bo,


I don't really feel like I am stupid for staying with my husband either.  I just feel like that is the kind of thoughts some peope in my family has had.  In fact at one point, my brother said "it's not our fault you married him".   I don't remember what brought that up because I know I wasn't complaining about him, but whatever the cause, it hurt.  With my Sis, she is just one of those people that thinks she is pretty much always right and since I know her so well, I think if I told her how it hurts me that I don't have her support, she would probably just say that she isn't the supportive type.  She is not an overly friendly person and she will admit to that.  It's just a hard feeling knowing that no one understands (of course besides those of us who know how it is).  I guess I am fortunate in a way because my husband was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and has been on meds pretty much his whole life, so I didn't have to convince him that he has it.  As his psychiatrist says, he is pretty much the "poster boy for ADHD", so it's bad enough where you can tell easily if you know what to look for.  Hopefully your husband will be open enough to be accepting of your suspicions and will agree to go to a doctor to be evaluated and get some help.  I am a huge supporter of medication for ADHD as I have seen my husband without it and it ain't pretty.  He still has problems with it of course, but I can still tell a huge difference.  Without medication he is LOST.  I mean, he just can't seem to keep the simplest thought in his head, he is like a bouncing ball.  Not only that, but he becomes more paranoid and sensitive to loud noises and gets angry more easily without it.  So I truly hope that if you husband does have ADHD he can get help for it too. 

remeber if you sense these

remeber if you sense these negative feelings toward your husband etc, I know from experience that he feels that - or alot of it.  He's the one being misunderstood and rejected.  We know what it feels like to be misunderstood, thought of as a loser, and somethimes wonder if its true.  Just accept who is - now.  Grieve what he can't be and move on,if you love him.  An individual is not defined  by/ and love is not dependant on performance.  I am sure there are things that frustrate him to no end- trying to communicate and not getting thru.  Negative feed back.  ADD is not an excuse and like with any thing else- there are helps, but bottom line- this is who he is.  Accepting and working with rather than trying to change or finding ways to get him to think and perceive as you do-- pressure to perform makes everything twice as difficult.

regal.70's picture

Tears to my eyes


u go girl ;-) your passionate support of your husband and lover brings tears to my eyes! us ADDers are so passionate about what we do too. although it looks to others like we're all over the place, no one REALLY has it all together...what a shame that your family seems so judgmental and that you both have to always "climb uphill" with them.

your husband is lucky to have you watching his back. rock on!

BTW the next person who tells you that love is stupid, direct him/her to the 13th chapter of first Corinthians...LOL

This brought tears to my eyes

This brought tears to my eyes too. I do love my husband, so much. Which is why everything we are going through is so worth it. At times it seems we are so far apart, so different that I dont think either of us understand where the other is coming from. The love is there. And that is somtimes the only thing keeping us together.

Please help me understand

I have the same problems with my finace. We have been together for 3 years and have 2 kids and my life has just become horrible with him. He won't work, won't pay bills, won't stay home, won't help out, he won't do anything!!!! I've just about had it with him. I'm literally on the verge of leaving because we can't hardly have a single day without another argument. I've had to support him throughout the 3 years plus our 2 kids on a part time job and school loans. Please help me to understand him better or maybe some advise or anything at this point. I've tried talkign to him or working something out or going to someone but nothing does any good. If you or ANYONE can give me some advise please please please, (email address deleted)