Unlike what seems to be the majority, I'm a male non-ADD spouse of a female ADD person.
We've got a great marriage in every other respect, and she is on meds, etc. Generally the meds and treatment seem to be enough to keep her functional in her job and as a mom, but there's one thing that's still driving me to distraction and I find myself becoming increasingly resentful. I should say that in every other way she's a wonderful, loving, caring person, and the last thing I want to do is anything that would put our relationship in jeopardy.
The issue is that of cleanliness. The basic issue is that she's basically incapable of picking up after herself, including garbage. We have a nice if small house, and I work very hard to pay our mortgage. Aware of the ADD issue, I try to do as much of the cleaning as I can, but my job has me working sometimes 50-60 hours a week, so weeks can go by when I'm not able to do very much. During those weeks, the house becomes, quite literally, a garbage dump: food wrappers, spilled food, junk mail, toys, etc., scrap paper of every kind, etc. litter the living and dining room to the point that the clutter and trash literally cover the entire floor, ankle deep. She insists every day that she's about to clean it up, but that insistence goes on every day for literally months. She tends also to become very resentful when I do clean, as though my act of cleaning is also a moral judgment about her (I really just want to pick up the trash!) By the time I get to it, it often takes me several days to dig out (sometimes literally with a shovel), but often 48 hours later you can't tell I did anything, which I have a hard time not taking as a complete slap in the face. She's not a "hoarder" in the sense of not being able to get rid of things--it's just that she seems to literally forget about anything the second it leaves her attention: if she gets a takeout sandwich, for instance, the minute she's done eating the wrappings and leavings just leave her consciousness and fall to the floor. She's even well aware of flylady and other resources--but essentially just spends hours reading those resources online and talking about how she's going to implement them--but then never actually doing anything. She seems to be able to tune out the mess to a great degree, sitting in the middle of it, television on, wrapped up in her laptop.
Right now, I'm reduced to essentially living in one room of the house I'm paying for--my study--which is the only room over which I have enough control to keep tidy. I literally feel imprisoned within this one room of my home. I know the mess is bad for all of us, and its teaching our daughter terrible habits. But fifteen years worth of treatment, meds, every kind of positive cajoling I can think of, and biting my tongue every time I enter a room, hasn't helped and everything's worse than ever on that front.
I'm getting to the point of wondering if I'm going to have to decide to live like this my whole life, or if the only option left to me, as good as the rest of our relationship is, is to offer an extreme ultimatum (the mess goes or I do).
One idea I've had has been to hire some kind of professional organizer to at least dig us out--but I'm concerned about the expense, and also concerned that no professional organizer would want to take on our embarrassing mess.
Has anyone else dealt successfully with this? Any ideas? I'm losing my mind!
Thanks in advance for any insight you might have.