how did you tell your husband that he might have ADHD?

I would like to know how people told their spouse that they suspect he (she) has ADHD.  What worked, what didn't, what would you have done differently?

My initial research into trying to figure out what was up with my husband was by googling 'narcissism'.  He's self-centered, lies/embellishes constantly to make himself appear better or different than he is, and doesn't seem capable of coming up with original thoughts (he will take my ideas and talk about them as if they were his own, or he repeats what I've said as if he said it).  He works overtime to appear charming to everyone.   I don't think he has a real sense of who he is.  He expects his teenage kids to hang out with him and be his friend (i.e. assumes our son and his friends will want to include him in their plans when they're hanging out at our house).  Narcissism didn't seem to fit the bill because those people seem to be extreme - i.e. stronger personality disorders.  My husband is not so extreme:  more just general immaturity, not empathetic, not self-aware of how he comes across.  My husband was a klutz when he was a kid (according to the funny stories told by his siblings).  His brother had extreme anger management issues as a child (which I found out by mistake when my husband let it slip one time).  But, my husband has created an image of himself and the family he comes from, as if they are wonderful, perfect leaders in the community.  No honesty about the problems that his (and virtually every family) has.

I had been journaling my thoughts for a few years and finally went to a therapist to learn some coping mechanisms.  She took one look at what I had written (about a trip we had taken with our kids, how he was so incapable of coping with the fun part of travel - the part where it's okay to not have complete control, it's okay to get a little lost and figure things out and be open to adventure) and she IMMEDIATELY said, "your husband has ADHD".  This shocked me because it had never occurred to me.  He's quite successful at his business (as the therapist said, of course - he has two assistants), so it's not the usual "can't hold a job" story of men with ADHD.  The therapist said "it's no accident that he married you" because I keep things organized at home and completely take care of the kids.  He's like having a fourth child, though.  He does a lot of work around the house but never the more important things or basics such as turning off lights, locking doors, finishing kitchen clean-up (ie wiping up counters).

Does he have ADHD?  I don't know - I still don't completely understand it.  But assuming he does, how does one goes about 'diagnosing' a spouse and having that be accepted?  He tries to control his anger but would blow at this accusation,  and be in complete denial about possible ADHD.  I have no doubt that he would turn the tables on me and accuse me of everything he possibly could ("everything would be fine in our marriage if you would just . . . ").

Any personal stories you can share would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Your first paragraph really

Your first paragraph really applies to a lot of aspects of my husband...and he is most definitely ADHD. I think a lot of the embellishments and just flat out lies are, just as you said, to make themselves look better to everyone because they have never felt good enough being 'just who they are'. This comes from, in my opinion, a very low self esteem. Very common in ADHDers. He wants to be the life of the party, the 'cool dad', is flattering to women because it makes him feel good about himself to have them think he's 'a great guy', etc. Best I can come up with is that he has a huge void in his life that was simply never filled as a child and he has developed a keen ability to live in a world that is perceptually different from others, as a means of survival..of pretending to have it together, when he is, in fact, falling apart. The worse his ADHD is, the worse the lies and embellishments are and the worse his 'negative lens' is. (he views every interaction, every question, every request, every comment, every decision others make as SOMEHOW negative towards him). I think my husband's ADHD has caused him to never fully emotionally develop, just to be quite honest. He 'copes' with everything in life by NOT COPING. (running, avoiding, being passive aggressive, deflection of blame, cheating, drinking, etc). I say all of this with a HUGE sense of sympathy for him...wishing someone would have helped him when he was just a child. However, I also say this with a strong sense of feeling like it is time he was held accountable for his disorder and responsible for the rest of his life and making it better for everyone. 

My husband was diagnosed during a counseling session, but always felt like he was wired differently, so it didn't come as a huge surprise. Could you get him to the counselor that told you she suspects he has ADHD and let her suggest it to him? I sent my husband links from Melissa's Favorites (on this site) and wasn't so very subtle about it. Not suggesting that is best, or would work for you, but there comes a time when both parties have to own up to the fact that something is BAD wrong somewhere...and finding a 'reason' that is treatable and something you can sink your teeth into is preferable. My husband doesn't deny his ADHD, but he is currently completely untreated (was diagnosed in June of 2010) and is 'self medicating' and doing pretty much everything ADHDers should not do (drinking, not exercising, eating poorly-if at all, sleeping only 3-4 hours at night-if that, etc)

Good luck. It is very tough territory to break into, but it does sound like a diagnosis would help. Have you fallen into the anger/resentment/bitterness and codependent pit many of us non's fall into? If so, you've got a lot of work to do as well. 

Sherri