How long to the point of no return?

After reading many of these threads, it seems a common theme among us "nons" married to ADHD spouses is "the breaking point". It may be after 3 years or 30 years. It could be their diagnosis, finding this site, or a particular incident that gets us to this point. But, it seems like we all have a moment when, after years of being hopeful and thinking it will get better, we realize that this is our life. They won't change. ANd you have to decide if you can live with that or not. I am not saying that things can't change, but no matter how much counseling or what kinds of meds our ADHD spouses take, it will always be a part of them. We will always have to deal with their ADHD symptoms. 

I've been married for 13 years and there have been so many moments throughout our marriage. My "point" came at Christmas when DH stormed out of my side of the family's Christmas celebration for something that everyone (except him) found very trivial. It was extremely embarrassing and upsetting for me. How do you explain that to your family??? I have been able to get over other things (eventually), but this one was the catalyst for making me seriously consider separating. But, with two kids, 16 years of being together, and him being the main breadwinner, it is not so cut and dry. 

I know hindsight is 20/20, but like many of you, I keep looking back at things and think "how could I have been so naive to marry him?" There were moments when we were dating, but being in my very early 20s, I stupidly thought they were isolated incidents. And why didn't I  push the issue of him getting help in the five years we were married before having kids??? 

The last thing I want is a broken family. This year, I promised I would make myself a priority and I have. I finally saw a doctor about my depression and joined a gym to help me feel better and shed the weight I have gained from self-medicating with food. He said he would go to couple's counseling, so I am in the process of finding someone to see. I'm not sure if it will change anything, but I have to try. 

I am not sure where I am going with this thread, but just want to remind all of you non-ADHD spouses that you are strong, and you have to focus on yourself and your happiness. I am thankful to have this site, where even if we don't find a solution, we can vent and share with others in similar situations. It is nice to have someone to talk to who doesn't look at you like you are completely crazy when you tell them about some of the things you deal with by being married to a person with ADHD. 

Boiling Point

I'm sorry that your husband's symptoms flared so publicly at Christmas.  I know it's embarrassing and makes future gatherings quite awkward.  My DH had a couple years where he was into certain conspiracy theories and would impose his opinions at length and not listen to anybody else's arguments.  He lost some good friends, and we aren't invited to certain parties anymore.  My friends call me a saint for dealing with the myriad of issues.  No one fully understands how ADHD can impact everything.  I've explained it to my closer family members, and good friends, keeping it secret doesn't really help anyone.  I've got glib responses for the people who don't really need to know, and the ones who do can understand and be sympathetic.  It is a brain disorder.  He didn't overreact because he wanted to cause a scene and embarrass you.  His symptoms were in charge that day. 

It's interesting how many times we can get to our breaking point, then find some glue to repair it.  But of course repairs leave the object weaker so later cracks are more destructive to the whole.  I'm very happy for you that he is willing to go to counseling with you.  I know you don't want to divorce, so maybe counseling will repair enough cracks that you can be happy.  Make sure the counselor is well versed in ADHD, it is shocking how many aren't.  It's great that you are taking care of yourself.  A critical step in the path to sanity. 



Thanks so much for your response. I really haven't said much about Dh's ADHD to my family because I believe they will just think I am making excuses for him. They live 3 hours away, so they don't see him on any kind of regular basis, but I do know they notice things about his behavior (even before the Christmas event.) 

I hope counseling does some help. I worry that Dh won't be very receptive if he perceives he is being "blamed" for our problems. We have never tried it before, so I hope having an unbiased person will make me feel more comfortable sharing without the worry of him blowing up. 

I just want to say that I am

I just want to say that I am so happy I found this forum. Living with bf and his two teenage sons with adhd, I love having the support and giving the support. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, I hope the counseling works out for you. We tried in the past and he made it through four sessions, I still go for myself to therapy. I had stopped going for a while, and it was overwhelming. Like you said it really is a commitment to accepting them exactly as they are, and as you know that can be unpredicable in any given moment. They can go from smiles to anger or depression rapidly. I think like you said it's important to take care of yourself, it's great that you started a work out program. I run for a hour every day, to burn excess energy and stress. I also sew and meditate, and I find that extremely helpful. I don't really share my personal life with my bf and kids with my family or friends anymore, because they just don't understand, so it's nice to have somewhere to come where I am understood :) I hope you find happiness with your partner and things go good for you :)

Welcome midwestgirl. I think

Welcome midwestgirl. I think the best thing for me about this site was realizing that I wasn't crazy and that there are other people going through the same kinds of things. My close friends who are married do not seem to have the degree of issues like DH and I have, often cause by the ADHD symptoms. A few of my friends know about DH's ADHD, but have no idea of how severe things can be sometime. I don't even attempt to tell my family, even after the Christmas incident. It would be way too difficult to explain and for them to understand. I think they would also think I was just making excuses for him. I don't know how counseling will go, because I fear that DH will just give up or walk out if he feels he is being blamed for everything. (He will perceive it that way.) Anyway, I wish you luck, too, and am glad you have found ways to take care of yourself admist the chaos. 

llc's picture

I may have come to the wrong

I may have come to the wrong forum. I came here newly diagnosed with ADD and hoping for help and support but every post I have read so far is people married to someone with ADD and how horrible it/they are. I am already wracked with shame and terrific guilt about my condition and reading these just confirms it. Dont misunderstand, I know add is very hard to live with and everyone has the right to comfort and support! But after skimming some parts here, I am thinking I am not in the right part of the forum or in the wrong forum in general...could someone tell me? I don't want to keep reading if I am. Thanks.

New to site

Hi llc:

Please read the instructions here.  These are referenced in the big blue box in the top center of the front page of the site for those who first come to the site as guests.

In these instructions, we warn newcomers that many come to the site to vent their frustrations and share their disappointments, and that they will likely wish to start with "Melissa's favorite" blog posts.  These are intended to provide some background and helpful strategies for making your relationships better.  Diving straight into the forums can be discouraging, but can eventually be useful to the ADHD'er if you don't recognize how much your ADHD symptoms impacts your relationship.  I would tread carefully there if that is your first exposure to the impacts of ADHD on relationships - it might be hard to take.  George


Welcome.  Certainly the Anger part of the forum is probably not the best place to start.  I agree with the Admin that the blog posts are good.  There are also some other sections, such as Support for the ADHD partner (although it seems that non-adhd also post there), and the Progress/Hope sections.  I do hope that you can find some support, it isn't easy to be diagnosed, or to come to term with what it means.  Best wishes in learning how to mitigate the negative aspects and accentuate the positives, and learn to thrive.

llc's picture

Also, not coming into this

Also, not coming into this section seems so obvious now! I am pretty frustrated and angry that it took 38 years for someone to diagnose me, so that's where I started. Definitely a duh! Moment! ;)


llc- I am sorry you were put off by the information here. I think it is great that you are seeking information and help. Many of us without ADHD use this to vent, because our family and friends have no idea of some of the things we deal with when it comes to ADHD. (I, for one, purposely don't tell them the details b/c they would think I was crazy for putting up with some of the things I have.) It is a difficult thing to explain to someone who has know background knowledge about it. ANyway, I do hope you find some help here.