How to respond when your ADD spouse does not hold up his end of an agreement


I wish I had an answer for

I wish I had an answer for you.  My ADD spouse is so up and down with helping out and doing his fair share - it is very tiring.  I noticed your username as Im so Exhausted - it describes so many of us (Non-Add spouses)!

The best advice I can offer is that you do need to focus on yourself.  Doing things that make you happy. Really, moving forward despite his ADD.  What I did was look where my life was at - exhausted, lonely, feeling hopeless, sad, angry, ect... and then I thought about how I wanted my life to be - happy, not alone, relaxed, in control, healthy, ect... then I begin to take one piece at a time and develop and work on each one. To be happy - I decided what makes me happy? A clean, organized house? Ok then I do it for me.  Lonely? Then I began to reach out to my friends - that I had not given enough of my time to (I was to busy chasing my husband to get him to do (insert any task) and reconnect with them. What I found was that those friends were still there, still accepting me for me and helped me to remember who I was when I was happier all those years ago, and they provide a wonderful support system and filled that lonely hole I had.  Don't get me wrong,we have many, many more issues to deal with but making this change for me was a big positive change that has helped me deal.

Know that you are not alone in you read through this site, Im sure you will find many others stories are so like your life. I found it to be very comforting.

Thanks loney

That was great for me to read as well. I have been trying also to look at the ways that he does help and hold a lot of value to that.

Ah... this is all too familiar

This is the first time I've actually written anything on this site- occasionally I read things but I needed to feel some kinship.  Not only am I am lonely in my marriage to an ADHD partner for all of the reasons that are typical, but I am lonely in the fact that I deal with this on a daily basis and don't have anyone, here, in person, that gets it.

You guys SO get it and it is amazingly reassuring to know that you are out there, but honestly sad at the same time, that there are so many of us suffering...

We did the teleseminar last fall and it CHANGED OUR LIVES for the better.  I felt more hopeful and positive than ever before- but the honeymoon is over I'm afraid.  We have fallen back into the destructive patterns that have dominated our marriage for the last 16 years- yep it's been that long- good times:)

I am determined to get back to that good place but at this very moment I am completely depleted- exhausted beyond exhaustion.  The ADHD symptoms are sucking the life out of me- but I still have to make a magical Christmas for my kids and extended family...pray for me?!

Thanks to my new BFF's- those who are married to an ADHD spouse:) I wish we could sit down together and have a cup of coffee and commiserate!

Happy Holidays!

kerriann re: all to familiar...

Sitting at your computer and checking in with others- and posting yourself- you will find IS the equivalent of having a "cup of coffee and commiserating".  Just be sure and drink your coffee as you do so ; ).  

Yes, the Magical Christmas... Try not to stress yourself too much at this time of year.  If you have to cater dinner, or use disposable plates and utensils, get gift certificates instead of wrapping things, whatever.  Try to see where you can "cut the fat" and still have sufficient "magic".  I too am having the life sucked out of me.  Sometimes the ADD is harder to deal with than other times; for me, it seems to be harder to deal with during holidays as there is so much more to be done (or, in his case, to be NOT done *smile*).  

I lurked for a long time before posting.  But I found that actually communicating with others did help me on a day to day basis, if only to have the validation that "yes, that WAS crazy" and "yes, I feel that way also".  Best wishes to you and I hope to see you post more often, if you can.  

Hi revelation. Thanks- you

Hi revelation.

Thanks- you put a smile on my face- I needed that.  Your understanding and support mean so much!

And I was drinking coffee:)

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Ah, yes, the Honeymoon Phase

Our relationship has such a cyclical nature.

The quickest trip from one end of the cycle to the other was late this summer when my spouse finally agreed to get a full evaluation.  When the bottom fell out of the honeymoon phase that time, it deflated me so much, I really have no desire to do it again.

I get that he is in a panic. 

I do not like to see him in such pain.

He is so sad that he 'just can't be good enough' or 'is a day late and a dollar short." 

While I used to be so loving towards him, I am now angry.  And despondent.

And I feel if I finally decided to wash my hands of the whole thing, it would be like leaving a newborn baby outside in a snowstorm.  

My kids have grown up.  It feels like my husband has not.

High maintenance.  This marriage is high maintenance.  I am weary.

I'm So Exhausted re: honeymoon phase

And what happened?  He agreed to the evaluation- did he get it?  

Yes, it is very hard for me to get in touch with my empathic side when I am angry at him.  I know my husband feels as you have expressed.  That "day late and a dollar short" thing.  I can- at times- step outside myself and see how awful this is for him.  The problem is its MY DAY and MY DOLLAR that he is late and short with.  In other words, its hard to empathize with the person who you feel is screwing you.  

What's funny is that my husband thinks that I am high maintenance, just because I need a teaspoon of maintenance a day.  When I detailed to him how endless HIS needs were as compared to mine,  he got very quiet.  I think he got a slight glimpse behind the veil of all the work that goes into keeping him afloat.  I think it kind of scared him...

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Revelation - the evaluation

Yes, he did get the evaluation at the Cleveland Clinic.  By the scales they use, he meets the criteria for ADHD Combined type.  I had high hopes that maybe he would be willing to change.

Less than 2 months later the bottom fell out of the honeymoon phase. 

I guess the song is true: Shoes don't stretch, and men don't change.

I cannot get near the love that I have for him, because I want to just scream. 

I know all relationships have ups and downs - but ours has major highs that whack against the ceiling and major lows that crash back down to the floor.  Too much.  And these are not marriages or deaths or losing jobs or life altering situations - they are just everyday irritations that have major repercussions.  The problems that are mountains in our relationship get denied/ignored, and the minor irritations get blown out of proportion and turned into WW3.

I feel this reply is sort of all-over-the-place - but I guess maybe that's where I am this evening.

I've been there

Hello I'm so exhausted.  I get it- the highs and lows are too much- if only there could be a steady good place!

Have you done Melissa Orlov's teleseminar?  My husband and I have been through many different counselors and this was the first time he didn't feel like the bad guy and actually developed real empathy for me and I for him.  Right b/4 the seminar I was where you are-I even called a divorce lawyer but then cancelled.

As Melissa always says- don't try harder- try differently.

Hang in there!

Now what?

So Exhausted, where do you go from here?

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Matheson77 - I'm here looking for a Guide Book

Where do I go from here?  That is the $64,000 question.

I was researching stuff online a few weeks ago, and came across this site.  I've been giving that questions a lot of thought.

waynebloss's picture

Re: Surprised you would be

Sorry, just saw that I sounded like Yoda in the subject line! 

You would be very surprised how a newborn baby can grow up to a point of taking care of himself in a hurry when there is nothing there!  I am not going to speak for all ADD people, but that is what happen to me.  I was left with a choice of continuing my ADD ways and have nothing, no wife and no kids, and it was not a threat, warning, or promise but it was reality!  Even though we have ADD we are still adults and I think that most of us know what we are doing when we do it but we have been doing it so long that it is 2nd nature.  Change scared me, I cried like a baby when it happen, all alone and my support "blanket" that was there was no longer there!  I had to grow up or lose everything! 

He is sad which means he knows and that he can change but why when you are there? Why change when there is an angry person waiting for us? The best thing that I see looking back that my wife did to me was throw me overboard and said sink or swim, then she left us mentally and physically. We have been "in-house" separated for 2 months now and I will say that it was the best thing for me.  I know that every person is different, but if he is sad then he knows which means he can change if he WANTS to. 

That is the hardest part for me, reading others with ADD like me say they are sorry about their actions but then 5 minutes later do the same thing again and again.  I do not get it, if you know it is wrong then why continue?  It is not the ADD making us do that, it is something that we are already thinking of, so if they love like they say they do then why?  If I can find that answer I will post it here but I do not know if it will ever be answered. 

I saw my wife again for the 1st time since Jan of this year on Sunday!  So far she is staying so Christmas has come a tad early for me!  Now for a brand new year starting Jan 1, 2011!