How much help do you give ADHD spouse?

DH decided to take a leadership role in son's cub scout pack. I warned him about the work involved and advised against it, but true to form, he took it anyway. I told him not to expect me to help, as I am already ds's den leader and we have a daughter in her own activities. Because the pack leader left, he was basically just handed everything with no one in place for other leadership roles. He either hyperfocuses and spend crazy amounts of time planning, researching, etc., or does nothing He planned a pinewood Derbyworkshop for tomorrow. Sends an email, then has auto reminders sent out. Everything is on there except for the place. Guess who never got tools, etc. together for thus, never got a place, and never sent an email to cancel? So, tonight, a parent from the pack calls his phone twice, then mine. We don't answer. I am not getting dragged into this. But, because he is my husband, people ask me about stuff and I am looking bad due to association. He was getting his laptop set up to send an email (I think) then fell asleep on the floor. There some other (new ) leaders who I wish step up and take charge. However , my husband complains about.not having help, yet when people do, he complains they aren't doing it right. I ask why he keeps doing this, and he says out of obligation. (He is an eagle scout). He does not have the organization skills to do this, but I do not want to step in. Should I? I hate that affects our son. I really wish he would quit scouts so we could be done with all of this. I know that is terrible to say. Do I just let DH do this and fail?

Don't mommy a husband

I have spent a lifetime of "stepping in" so that pieces didn't fall.  People have to fail and feel their own consequences.  Dh used personality and selective memory to cope with his failures but did not learn the lesson of consequences because people (his family and now me) would "step in". Let your family members be in charge of what they are in charge of.  I and some of my friends are professional, hard workers, sensitive and conciencious.  Many of us have enabled our husbands to become less than they should have been by taking care and "stepping in" when we thought it was not done on time/well/like we would do it.  Let him take the fall.  When your son asks you about it, talk to him long and calmly and let him ask all the questions.  Talk to your son without resentment or malice but with love and care.  Don't let your son see you step in to take care of your husband's empty promises. If you do, you are modeling for your child how to take care of other's responsibilities OR that people will always take care of your messes ie: you don't have to grow up.  

That includes your caller....let the caller sit with your husband's lack.  Let them work it out.

You wouldn't expect your husband to take over arranging your girl's group duties if you fell asleep would you? No. No one else would expect your dh to take that over either and no one expects you to step in for your husband didn't agree to be his secretary on this project.

I agree with Jennalemon,

I agree with Jennalemon, although it's hard to do.  I think partly b/c the way women and men are viewed.  No one would expect a husband to pick up the slack for something that a wife was  responsible for, I don't think people would call a husband's cell phone and ask what was going on.  But for some reason people feel it's completely OK for them to call the wife if the husband drops the ball.  And because your son is involved it's even more difficult, but the above post is correct too, it will just teach your son that he doesn't have to follow through with his responsibilities, someone will cover for him.  And we all know the world does not work that way.

I think it's great that when he first agreed to this you voiced your concerns and stated why you didn't think it was a good idea.  This is not on the same level but my husband (has ADD) told my daughter she could get a fish tank for her birthday, after 5 years of me telling her no b/c I knew it would fall on me to care for it.  So he said he would help her and remind her what needs done and when.  Yeah right!  He hasn't had a fish tank since he was 14 (he's 44).  One morning the tank needed to be cleaned and he told her they would do it soon.  It was about 9:30 AM, she kept pestering him about it, asking when and can they do it now, etc (you know how kids are).  He was not doing anything else, he was on the internet looking up stuff about wood burning fire places (another story for another time).  Finally she came upstairs with tears in her eyes and said to me, he won't do it today-he'll end up forgetting.  That's when I realized that she knows her father won't follow through on anything he says.  She goes to her room to cry her 11 year old eyes out and I go downstairs and calmly tell him, "you need to give her a time-for her as much as for yourself.  you need to set a time to do this or you will be on the computer until lunch time and then not want to do it.  She thinks you will forget and not do it, you cannot let her down."  So he actually does tell her a time and they clean the tank.  Amazing.  Just a side note, he seems to run out of steam the later the day gets.  He is not the type that works on a project until late in the day, he'll stop around 3:00 and will not do anything else.  One time our basement window leaked, rain poured in and we had about 2 inches of water in the bathroom down there.  It was about 8:00 at night.  He left it until the morning! (I mopped it up though).

Also agree

He ended up sending a cancelation email at 7:30 this morning. It was set to start at 8:00. I am sure he never called that lady back, and I sure as heck didn't. Because I am a den leader, people know me and I guess that is why they try to call or email me when he doesn't respond. Ugh. I agree and do not want to try and pick up his slack, because I seem to do that all around the house. I am the alumni president for a house I lived in in college. I would never expect DH to schedule meetings, return emails, etc. for my thing. Nor would anyone call him. He complains about the stuff he has to do, the other leaders, etc. all the time. When I ask him why he keeps doing this, he says out of obligation and brings up how I grew up in a family that knew nothing about that, blah, blah, blah. 

The fish thing makes me think of DD wanting a cat. We have a dog, and I do not need one more thing to take care of. The litter box, more shedding, etc. I am the mean one, because Dh is all "WHy can't she get a cat?" We all know who will end up doing the work, right??? I am also laughing at the wood burning fireplace research. We have a fireplace, but it doesn't have the insert to help make it more heat efficient. He is convinced the brick is crooked and causing structural damage to the floor. He wants to take the whole brick fireplace out and put a gas one in (mind you, our house is all electric) to help supplement our crazy high electric bills in the winter. Because we have lots of extra money and time for that. He has been working from home and is constantly coming up with things he has researched. We have to move all kinds of bushes around because they aren't getting the right light, the sump pump pipe is too close to the house, etc. It is so frustrating since we live in a house of a million half-done projects.

And all the projects are far

And all the projects are far more elaborate then they need to be.  One of the railings on our deck is lose (has been for years but now is really bad and is a safety issue), all he needs to do is tighten the bolts, maybe replace the bolts.  Instead he wants to build a trellice (spelling?) over if it to secure it.  I've started to do whatever projects I can on my own.  It's not the ideal answer since I already do absolutely everything, but he assumes he knows how to fix everything and he doesn't and won't hire someone to do it.  If it's a big project I am able to convince him to hire it out.  We needed more insulation in our attic, been asking to have that done for 2 years (he didn't care b/c it wasn't his room that was freezing-only his daughter's!).  I finally said you do it or I am calling home depot by this date (there was a sale going on for insulation).  He did think about doing it himself but by some miracle decided he didn't really have the time or the inclination.  But, I had to call home depot and set everything up.  I always have to explain to him, like he is a child, this is what will be involved if you do it, plus spell out for him how many days off he'll have to take and how many days of overtime he will have to turn down.  He can't think all those details through.  I know that's his ADD but it's so infuriating.  He lived on his own for a long time before we got married and kept his house in good condition.  Now I think, how in the world did he survive on his own!  And it scares me to death wondering if something were to happen to me how would he care for himself, the kids, and the house? 

My husband spends most of his

My husband spends most of his time at his parents' home, living with them and providing a modest amount of caregiving.  I asked him to arrange his schedule for his trip home in December for the holidays, when our daughters were visiting, to give himself time to do a project:  trying to get more heat into the girls' bedrooms.  He started working on the project five days after our older daughter left in January and a few hours after our younger daughter left to return to college.

You are so right

I have to just let stuff go, even though his lack of organization kills me. You are right, I cannot imagine expecting him to pick up my slack, let alone him actually doing it. I do enough stepping in around the house (dealing with piles he has long forgotten about, things he said he would do, etc.)

Its unfortunate that our

Its unfortunate that our situation goes beyond a mars vs venus thing between the if that weren't hard enough on it's own.

I tend to plan before starting a ptoject. I will approach with my "finalized" idea, and the adhd spouse will throw in lots of new variables, upsetting the carefully laid plans...i dont want my adhd partner to start anything, nor change course, i want him to complete it with me, in the way it was planned.

At the same token, the adhd hyperfocuses when taking on projects at the last minute, and expects non adhd to have the same stamina for a fly by the seat of pants approach, to drop everything and focus the same way. They see the non adhd partner as a tool to the end product.


See the conflict already? The non adhd spouse may be able to understand the adhd spouse and transcend the obstacles, the question is whether the adhd spouse will do the same for their non adhd spouse...


Oh my gosh- They do not get how other people do not want to devote hours upon hours, sacrificing sleep, financial, and family responsibility, for whatever they are doing. I had to come back to this because DH and I got into a huge argument about stupid Cub Scouts. He is saying he wants to step down from this position, yet will head the comittees on 4 different things instead.  (This was after the 100th time he swore he was going to quit because so-and-so wasn't doing things right). I talked about the work involved and what about quitting and he went off about how I don't know what commitment is, blah, blah, blah. Then he has the nerve to tell me that I am part of the problem, because I am not doing enough den activities. I lost it. I am currently working several different jobs, taking a class, doing most of the housework, just to try and cover the bills (not including the mortgage.) I am busting my ass while he seems to have set aside his tax business in lieu of planning this stupid Pinewood Derby. Since getting fired in April, he has billed his clients a total of $2000. He used to make more than that every two weeks. Oh, he has clients (not sure how) and keeps telling me the money is coming. But he was burnt out from working all of those hours. Poor thing. The only reason our house isn't in foreclosure is because my parents gave each kid a large check from some investment $$ they made for Christmas. He seems to think that no one else is pulling their weight because they are not willing to spread cub scout crap all over their house and spend hours upon hours working on it. No, they probably see this as a hobby and their main goal is to provide for their family because they are all parents! He looked at me at one point and said, "We are just two completely different people. I can't live like this anymore." Ha! Join the club. 

This is my first time on this

This is my first time on this site and I am amazed at how familiar all of this is! Our house is crazy and unpredictable. My husband and youngest daughter (11 yrs old) have ADHD and our oldest daughter (13 yrs old) has type one diabetes. My husband also bites off more than he can chew at times and I used to run to the rescue. Last year I HAD to set my boundary. We had just bought a home and moved in. I was going back to finish my Bachelors that included an internship after I had taken a year off to help our daughter adjust to her diabetes (he buried himself in work 70-80 hr weeks). Our lives had been turned upside down for a year and we had the opportunity to get a service puppy for our oldest. This required: that the puppy not be left alone more than 4 hrs, training meetings twice a month and of course the care that goes into having a puppy. I let him know that I absolutely could not take the responsibility and that he would have to commit, I thought it was a horrible time to take it on! We have struggled through it. Our daughter and the trainer have been upset with him at times but I have stayed out of it. I figure we are all responsible for our own actions and I do not feel responsible for the relationship between our daughters and my husband now that they are older. I wish the best and hope it gets better!

I'm So Exhausted's picture

When helping turns to parenting

What I can share with you is what I did.  I spent 20 some years picking up the stray ends, forgotten commitments, completing unfulfilled promises on household chores - - -and I have had to spend the last year learning how to not be his mother.  My ill directed "help" made my relationship to my husband a parent/child relationship.