How do I get him accept that he might have ADHD?

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I don't have any good tips

I don't have any good tips for helping your husband realize he might have ADHD.  But I want to say that you are not alone:  I could have written what you did about my partner's behaviors and my responses (although my writing would not be nearly as clear and compelling as yours).  

My husband seemed to accept the ADHD diagnosis without protest.  However, actually doing things to deal productively with ADHD has been a different story.  He likes taking meds; he doesn't like making behavior changes.  It's very frustrating.

You wrote my last 17 year. 

You wrote my last 17 year.  My H was finally diagnosed 9 yrs ago when I knew something was off with our first son, during the consultations for my son and my H saying 'i do that' over and over, the light bulb went on. The Ah Ha moment that HE had ADHD and why everything was just so challenging in school, and life.  Like Rosered above my H takes his meds (inconsistently) however he has done nothing to change his bad habits. Only during a crisis, like my threatening to leave him, does he change a bad habit, but it is always temporary.  Why good habits are so hard to keep and bad habits so easy to fall back into... I don't know.

Honestly if it weren't for my realizing that my children were not like the rest of the kids their age and getting a diagnosis for him, my H probably never would have been diagnosed himself. We went to marriage counseling long before kids and no one ever mentioned ADHD as a possibility.

Ah...Change... Why must it be so elusive?

Hi funnyfarm,

The reason he is having trouble changing and the reason he doesn't take his meds consistently are the same.  His memory of "how bad it is," the sequence of events that leads him to trouble, and even the sequence of events that leads him to success are likely forgotten, or not remembered well enough or detailed enough to learn from it.  "Does not appear to learn from mistakes" is rightly part of the DSM IV diagnosis criteria.   So he doesn't take his medication consistently, which literally prevents him from learning, even if he wants to.  You know from my posts that change is something I have to work my ass off to accomplish, and it is rarely, rarely linear for me.  I don't think that it is as simple as brain function in this case, thought.   From your posts, it doesn't seem to me that your husband wants to fully accept his diagnosis, and I think he may, in addition to having legitimate issues, may be trying to "rebel" by not working to establish better medication habits.  It's like he gets it but doesn't want to at the same time, and his memory issues shield him from both an accurate self-perception in the moment and over time while you continue to live Groundhog Day every day.  It must be difficult to have the kind of memory you (and all the other Non-ADHDers) have in that you can recall the pain so vividly and anticipate the future with dread.

Well, I wasn't trying to be depressing, there.  If he ever wakes up and has a more profound "AHA" moment, change is truly possible...  I hope you and your family have a happy, peaceful, and drama-free Christmas, if you celebrate it.

To bed!

My daughter has a stomach bug, which is the only reason I'm still up.  It's been Laundry-palooza around here tonight!  Crossing fingers that none of the rest of us get it and scrubbing like a surgeon, too.


Yuck...i hope your daughter

Yuck...i hope your daughter gets better quick and no one else gets it too...    You are probably right about my H, it seems when he makes progress and things actually start to get better, he just lets it all go and slides into the destructive ways again... Its maddening.  I think of him as someone who is constantly on a diet, they lose 50 pounds by doing the right thing, then when they reach their goal, its like I'm done i don't have to keep it up, and they just go back to what they were doing before thinking they wont put it all back on again and before they know it they are right back where they started. Its a temporary change, not a permanent lifestyle change. I feel like the rug is constantly being pulled out from under me...and I've learned never to get comfortable when its 'good' because thats when everything starts to go bad again.

here it is the day before christmas eve, i am cleaning (well taking a break now because i am so frustrated), doing laundry, went grocery shopping, cooking, trying to get 100 things done and ready for a house full of people tomorrow, while keeping two off the wall kids under control...and what did he do ? Slept until 10am, washed a couple dishes, yelled at the kids and took off to go shopping, clueless that I could use some help...even though I said I could use some help!...i saw him for 5 minutes today. 

Hope you also have a calm, pleasant, and Merry Christmas.

You have written such an

You have written such an articulate post. I related to nearly every thing you've discussed here.

While I have worked on not "owning" the chaos and ensuing frustration due to dh's ADHD, I feel I will never totally recover that part that really defined who I was at the time of our marriage. While I had my own traumas with a narcissistic father, I still had some goals that I was slowly working towards, despite being a wounded daughter. The loss of identity didn't just start with the marriage union, but it was probably on the mend since childhood. My identity has progressively gotten away from me over the 20 years of marriage and particularly noticeable in the last 5, to 6 years. I also feel I have been a caregiver from my youth and all into the adult years w my dh.

I went from being cultured, somewhat adventurous and financially independent in 20 years to being isolated, homebound, and required to account for nearly every thing I spend on family needs. My name was not on the active bank account for years and it was financially abusive in that regard. The inequality of the relationship is not so obvious in public but it can be very depressing and oppressive behind closed doors.

I don't have any real advice except to not own any of the frustrations that drive you to lose yourself. I have some support from my mother, some women friends (but they don't have ADHD in their lives so that is limited), but thank goodness for this forum, I feel OK. I think we all need to find ourselves in some kind of pursuit, whether solo, creatively, or with other women working on other causes, to give us back our identity and our goddess given strengths as women, not less than half of something in a dysfunctioning relationship.

Every day, I clean his coffee grinds from around the coffee maker, behind it, and all along the backsplash of the sink (?!). I just think to myself, I'll clean this in under 10 seconds and I won't spend any more time dwelling on how a 54 yo man, between the coffee bag and the distance to the coffee maker can lose more coffee than what he ends up brewing. I think to myself, it's the ADHD, and his lacking ability to modulate certain functions and I refuse to take on that burden as my own. My only worries is whether he can raise our sons alone if I decease suddenly or if I become invalid or unable to communicate. I know this might sound hilarious, but I am so afraid he's going to serve me blender-ized pizza for the rest of my days if I'm unable to move or speak!