Husband Didn't Acknowledge Mothers Day...at all

Hi everyone:

 

Well, we’ve been doing so well…my husband and I…and then, yesterday happened.  I know it shouldn’t have thrown me like it did but I we’ve been making so much progress that I thought …well, I guess I just thought THIS day would be different.

 

I am a mother.  One of the best mothers I know.  I wear that as a badge of honor because being a present, engaged, good mother is the most difficult jobs on the face of the earth.  Especially when you work and you also have spent WAY too many hours mothering the adult in your house.  Granted, I have dropped off of the mothering role for my husband tremendously but there’s still a bit of it there.

 

Yesterday, I had planned a family dinner at our house and invited my family.  Husband was very much on boards with this.  We had a terrific ADHD coaching session on Saturday and I went to sleep excited about Sunday being mothers day. My 4 year old daughter woke up first (she’s our only) and he didn’t stir when she asked for b-fast and such.  So, I thought, ok no big deal, I have lots to do to prepare for dinner tonight so I will get up with her and just start my day.  That was at 6:30am.  I then did 3 loads of laundry, helped her make a necklace, took a shower and played three games with her.  Finally, my husband stired to turn on the TV and become engrossed in Formula 1 racing.  He never said good morning let alone Happy Mothers day.  Cut to the chase, I ended up taking my Daughter with me shopping and as I was leaving was deliberately leaving without saying goodbye.  He “called” me on this and I walked over to him in bed and calmly said, through tears spilling down my cheeks, I don’t want to hug or kiss you right now because it’s inconceivable that I haven’t even gotten so much as a Happy Mothers Day out of you this morning.  We’re leaving, we’ll be back later”.  He said “I’m sorry, Happy Mothers Day”. 

 

In bed at 10:30 I still hoped there was something coming (such a stupid idiot I am) and when he rolled over to go to sleep I realized that there really was nothing…not from him..not something he and Daughter went to buy for me…NOTHING.  I flipped out.  I don’t mean screaming and throwing things but I cried harder than I have ever cried in my entire adult life.  I almost hyperventilated.  He was defensive at first but finally just let me lay it all out and all I kept hearing was “sorry” from him.  I believe he meant it.  But he also just kept saying that he has no idea why he does this…why he can’t seem to do for me what he knows would give me happiness.  He said he loves me but he just “forgets”.  He said it’s not intentional and hopes that I can forgive him yet again.  

 

My eyes are so swollen that I lied to a co=worker when she asked me what was wrong with my eyes today and I said it was allergies.  I am doing my best to not let this fester and to just get on with getting on but this is REALLY hard.  Please give me some words of comfort or advice.  I know that this is my life with him.  I know he has made some HUGE steps in our marriage and personally accepting and actively working on living with his ADHD.  I am doing the best I can trying to be patient and loving but days like yesterday are just simply almost more than I can bare.  I just pray that I’m only a few of us on this board that had to endure a day like yesterday.

 

GB

I'm so sorry

My heart just breaks for you, mamma.  I wish I knew something magical to make the hurt go away for you, but all I can do is say "I hear you." 

I am proud of you for acknowledging your worth as a mother when you said, " I am a mother.  One of the best mothers I know.  I wear that as a badge of honor because being a present, engaged, good mother is the most difficult jobs on the face of the earth."  It is so good that you recognize your effort and contribution.  I'm sure your husband does, too, even if it did not occur to him to show it.

Maybe by the time 10:30 rolled around he'd already figured he blew it and thought any gesture at that point would be hollow?

I know it hurts to not be acknowledged.  We can do a lot to build ourselves up on our own, but it sure would be nice to get a little positive feedback from our partners now and then.  Focus on your dear little girl.  Do something special between the two of you.   Happy Mother's Day, hun!

yep...same here

This is my first post on this board. From all I've read I feel like my story has been written in bits and pieces by all of you.

I didn't get any acknowledgement yesterday either. No Happy Mother's Day, no card, nothing. He called his mom and wished her HMD, and called and talked to his kids and ex-wife. At about 10:00 p.m. I asked him to say Happy Mother's Day to me. He said he did. I said I didn't hear him say it. He repeated that he did and gave me a big hug. Also went to bed at a decent time. I've been civil since yesterday, but distant. We went out to dinner tonight but it didn't seem like anything special.

About a week ago, he closed the page he was on,  as I was walking past him while he was on the computer. It looked to me that there was a nude woman on the page he was closing out. I made a comment about it, he denied it, and I walked away. He knew I was upset. I went out to get the mail, of which was two packages. I brought them in and he said one was for me. He opened it and handed me a small Indian basket. He said it was for Mother's Day, but he decided he wanted to go ahead and give it to me early. I think it was his way of dealing with the situation. I get upset, he'll try to smooth it out by giviing me something.

Some days are tough, aren't they! 

 

 

 

 

forgotten on Mothers day

Wow....I did get a nap and some time to myself.  But nothing else.  I was thinking I should be thankful for that.  Just a card or note or even a Happy Mothers Day would have been nice.  My husband is always gone sometimes I feel like a single parent and when he is around he is never "present".  I am a great Mom to a 1 and 4 year old.  I got more recognition from my 4 year old.  I feel for you.  I started crying reading your post.  It just amazes me that this really happens.  and this is not the first time.  We made it through.  I am sure we will make it through again.  Tomorrow I am taking my little guy shopping to help me pick out some earrings for my Mothers Day present.  Hang in there.  We all do the best that we can.

 

Me too

I'm sorry you and others got it too.

I was so upset by my husband's not doing this, and taking my 18 yr old daughter to lunch (not prearranged) after she came over to wish me a happy mother's day, that I mentioned the matter to our 24 year old son. I seldom speak to the children about my troubles with their father but, yes, I was very upset too and cried buckets.

Our son said "He's just clueless!". 

That has a ring of truth to it ?

What is "clueless"? Why is a person "clueless" and does it matter? And how do we get over being treated cluelessly? Do we raise our personal hurdle of something? And what is that "something"?

What is really going on here with these guys ??

I had a decent Mothers day with my family...My ADD husband got me a card, took me to dinner, and helped me with an important project...so he did fine ........ but I got heart ache reading your posts on all the guys who didnt acknowledge you moms on this special Day.....How horrible and I feel your pain......It stings to be so involved in your families life, not even to get  a kind word or thought..Granted  Hallmark invented the day for selling cards, but it says a lot more about these dads that forget....

Not sure what the problem is.....Is this just another ADD moment,  that they forgot... or are they angry and want to ignore you?This isnt .".I forgot to unload the dishwasher or pick up a carton of milk."...This was a big and significant day for each of you.....Just get a card, SAY" Happy Mothers Day"......kiss and hug......Set the example for the kids so they know how to treat mom on Mothers day......

At the very least you need to calmly sit down with the husbands and let them know how hurt and upset you are....If they are sorry, perhaps suggest they try again next Sunday and make it Mothers Day (2) and try it again.....

It will make you feel better.....MOMS UNITE !We appreciate each other....

 

I did tell him

I did tell my husband calmly how I felt about not getting anything from him for Mother's Day, even a greeting. I first told him later that day and he flicked me off & made an annoyed noise. I told him again yesterday. He said "You are not my mother." We have been married many years & now he says this? And he took my daughter to lunch on mother's day. But then he does chronically a) Leave me to suffer; b) Blames me; & c) Talks nonsense.

Someone suggested I stop giving him Father's day cards & presents. I'm thinking I'd like to delete him from my life. He is just too awful. And I am sick of being trashed by him & expected to just take it. What sort of person is he? I said "person"; no cop-outs allowed.

Nettie's picture

Mother to Whom?

I'm probably going to get *yelled at,* but I'm wondering about the expectation that a spouse buys a card and/or gift for their spouse on Mother's Day. Yes, you should be acknowledged throughout the year that you are a good parent (and praise yourself, too), but aren't the children supposed to be the ones surprising mom on Mother's Day? I've seen in the stores MD cards for women from their husbands, but in my family it's the kids who "celebrate" Mom, so maybe other spouses have different expectations/experiences like I do.

The issue is likely about not feeling acknowledged on any old day, not just special occasions. My husband feels a lot of stress about buying exactly the right gift for me because I am picky (unless it's homemade - I love anything homemade), so we agreed that I get to buy whatever I want, and that works for me! His generosity is clear, I get occasional treats, and the holidays are less stressful.

A gift doesn't necessarily mean you are loved, and people give gifts in more ways than the material. I think more analysis and negotiation may be needed. I suggest doing it at a luxurious spa :)

Discussing this on the weekend

with my fiancee. He has the same point of view that you do, whereas my father always gave my mother something on Mother's Day for 'being the mother of his children.'   As a result, I get the one present on Mothers Day and if money permits, I'll end up getting him something from me for Fathers  Day.  It's just a case of different traditions for different families - just as I was always allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve and he insists that ALL presents must wait until Christmas Day.  

If my husband had acknowledged Mother's Day

I would have been very upset. I am not his mother and i don't want him to think of me like that. We have no children. One of my actual kids called on Mother's Day, and the one who lives in my town came by, so that was fine for me.

Rosem's problem was that her daughter came by for Mother's Day and the husband took her out to lunch without his wife/the mother of his kids. Obviously, he didn't forget Mother's Day, since his daughter came for that reason. What he did was a deliberate slap in the face of his wife and I feel very bad for her.

Let's say your husband loves

Let's say your husband loves basketball. He lives and breathes the sport. Let's say that you personally don't care for basketball. But his team wins the championship this year. He is ecstatic and wants to share this joy with the person he loves the most. But not only do you not acknowledge his joy and loyalty and dedication to his team, you (frankly) don't care. It's not your "thing."  Sure, we can understand intellectually that you don't have to be happy for and with him, but it's a matter of the heart. How encouraged and cared for a person would feel if what's important to them is also respected and valued by you. It's a kindness and care for someone to love them in the way they "read" love.,if a man cannot see or care that something is important to his wife, then he lacks kindness and love for her. I find it a very selfish attitude when another's value for something is unvalued by his/her spouse.  Using your logic, perhaps I should ignore Veterans on Veterans Day simply because I nor anyone else in my family ever served in the armed forces. Heck, I'm an immigrant afterall ... What do Ai owe a Vet anyway? I'm being extreme to make a point. Those who do not honor mothers are not far off from that kind of atrocity... Especially the mother of your own children. 

RE

As a husband of 22 years, I can tell you it works both ways. In fact, I've gone from a very caring and thoughtful individual, to a guy who just doesn't care that much about our relationship anymore. Don't get me wrong she is a wonderful Mother, but not a good wife. BTW, she's not my Mother, but rather my wife, but I'l get her a Mother's Day card because shes a good Mom. That's all.

Moved to respond

Hello all,

   I don't know what kind of death wish I have, but I'm a man, I have ADHD, and I'm going to attempt to say something that at least introduces another point af view to this discussion. Here goes...

   First of all, I'm 41y/o and was just diagnosed approx. 3 years ago. What that means is that I have lived an entire life of disappointing people who matter to me, forgetting things that were important to people I care about, and having relationships strained (to say the least) by my "inactions" and not knowing why or how to change it. So as I read this thread, I very much identify with the husband of the original poster. One thing that I'm guessing most ADDers are acutely aware of is the fact that it is nearly impossible for a non-ADDer to "interpret" the actions of an ADDer except through the prism of their OWN experience, or without internally using language most often reserved for "moral" or "character" type judgments. Because of this, we have spent our whole lives being misinterpreted and labeled. Lazy, trifling, irresponsible, immature, disrespectful, inconsiderate, flaky, spacey, and a thousand others that we've heard over and over and over since we were first old enough to forget to turn in our homework or be unable to keep a neat desk or room. So what strikes me most is the language, intensity, and moral/character implications of most of these posts.

"I'm sure your husband does, too, even if it did not occur to him to show it."

"He's just clueless!". 

"Granted  Hallmark invented the day for selling cards, but it says a lot more about these dads that forget...."

Wow. That last post was only one of many rancorous and judgemental statements made by the poster and was the reason I joined this site just in order to respond. (And she apparently had a "good" Mother's Day).

Here's the truth. A man's wife is important to him. Ideally, she's the most important thing (or at least the most important person) in his life. Mother's Day is important to him, extremely important to him - but only in the same way that it's important to him to remember not to walk in traffic, or stick his finger in an electrical socket. "Forget and i'm dead." Now, I'm being a bit facetious, but not much. I say this however, to put it in context with the way life is for a lot of ADDers, using myself as an example.

   Every second, of every day, of every year of my life, I have before me a "to do" list. By before me I mean literally, right in front of my face, pressing on that individual moment. Now believe me, I'm not implying that everyone doesn't have such a list, in fact I'm sure that all relatively functioning adults have one. A few of the things about my list that make it "special"

  • It's at least twice as long as yours.
  • 80-90% of the items on my list are not "to do" items, but are really past due "should've been done" items.
  • In fact, there's no realistic chance of me ever catching up on this list, only managing it in terms of the intensity and imminence of the consequences.

In other words, I wake up every morning knowing that there's an ominous list of things I haven't done, all that will have dire consequences to me (or worse my family), and I have to prioritize my time in order to prevent whichever consequence is coming first. Are the lights going to be cut off? Am I going to get fired? Am I going to get pulled over and arrested? Is my daughter not going to be enrolled in school? Now add to that the fact that because of the way my brain works, I'm not able to focus on multiple things at the same time. There's no "on deck", no "up next". Either I'm focusing on it in the present, or it's somewhere "in the abyss". Unless it's written down somewhere (on my person), I don't really have control over when it resurfaces. (Most of the time, it resurfaces when the lights get cut off).

   Nothing would make me happier than to do something for my wife on Mother's Day that not only is an accurate embodiment of how much I love and appreciate her, but literally blows her away with the fact that I had to have been planning for months to pull this off. Any man worth his salt would want nothing less for the woman in his life. To "blow her away" with happiness. Every day. All the time. Truth is, my life is a struggle that is so overwhelmed with things that should have been done yesterday, that I can't even acknowledge the things that have to be done today. Get this: (and i realize this is difficult to imagine) - The things that have to be done tomorrow? - don't even exist. Does not compute. Undefined. Division by Zero. Unicorns and UFOs. I can't even conceive of more than 24 - 48 hours from now. Asking me about something next month is an exercise in futility. Yes there were times in March or April that I thought "Mother's Day is coming up in a month or two", and that's it. It's gone. I can't do anything with it, I'm drowning in what I have to do now. And if I'm not "lucky" enough to catch a commercial on TV, or see a sign, or walk by the card section in the drug store during the week leading up to Mother's Day, (or Valentine's Day, or Easter, or Thanksgiving) it's very possible that I won't look up from what's right in front of me long enough to realize it's coming.

   I said all that not to make excuses for myself, and surely not to explain the behavior of all the husbands described in this thread. I just read the story of the original poster, and didn't read anything in it that said he didn't love you or appreciate you. I saw someone who forgot or didn't realize it was Mother's Day. I saw someone who was apologetic. I saw someone who acknowledges his mistakes and asks for forgiveness.

I also saw someone who was informed it was Mother's Day by his wife, who he had already hurt so badly by forgetting, that she was in tears. And I guess I'm one of the few people who has been there enough times to empathize and feel sorry for him. "I've unintentionally hurt someone I love very much -  AGAIN." Can't take it back, can't convince the person it wasn't intentional. And worst of all, can't convince the person that it doesn't mean what they think it means. That they don't mean the world to me. That I don't love and appreciate them. No amount of apologizing can undo the hurt I've already caused you. One of the posters hit the nail on the head. What can I do about it now besides apologize and beg for forgiveness? I can't run and get something now. It's ruined. My name is mud - again. I'm sure he felt sick.

   My advice to the spouses... help him remember. Like I said earlier, no man worth his salt wants to ever disappoint or hurt you. Unfortunately, for some of us with ADHD, we do that a lot. If you love us, and know that we're prone to forget, (and it means that much to you that we remember) then give us a hint please. Doesn't have to be obvious, but it does have to be relatively close to the occasion. Leave a "Mother's Day Sale" paper where he'll see it. Let him overhear you talking to someone else about Mother's Day. Works for Anniversaries, Birthdays, anything you need. We relish the opportunity to be pleasing to you. But because of the way our mind works, it's almost cruel to build up so much hope and anticipation and attach so much meaning to something and place the entire responsibility on us to either come through fabulously or potentially ruin our marriage, knowing we have a hard time remembering our own birthday.

I guess my point is:

Doing something for you for Mother's Day does not mean I love and appreciate you (in and of itself), it means I was lucky enough to remember in time to escape being in trouble.

Forgetting it's Mother's Day does not mean I don't love and appreciate you (in and of itself), and for those of us with ADHD, it's only one of 50 other things we forgot today. It just means we forgot.**

** Provided we do show you how much we love and appreciate you at several and various other times of the year.

   I'm very sorry for the hurt described in the pages of these posts. No one should be made to feel the way some of you have expressed. Again, I would like to state that I am not excusing or even explaining the behavior of some of the husbands here. I just felt moved to respond to the original poster because I didn't see anything in her post that indicated that her husband didn't love her, appreciate her, and feel sick that he hurt her so badly by forgetting. I hope the two of you can find some way to circumvent these "chasms" in understanding in the future. Best wishes.

P.S.

I realize this is half an ADHD issue and half a male/female issue so I hope I haven't destroyed my credibility (or not made my main point) by straddling the two. Some of the other husbands described just sound like bad husbands, ADHD or not. I'm talking about myself, people who have ADHD (like myself), and legitimately forgetting. Not slights, being inconsiderate, or even anything intentional.

And to "rancorous":

"This isnt ..I forgot to unload the dishwasher or pick up a carton of milk." - Unfortunately it is.

"This was a big and significant day for each of you" - Unfortunately, it's not.

"Just get a card, SAY" Happy Mothers Day"......kiss and hug" - I'd give anything for it to be that simple. None of us would ever disappoint. My best wishes to you also. 

 

  

arwen's picture

Mother's Day in context

22songs, I agree with parts of what you said and disagree with other parts.

Let me make clear, to start with, what my position is on Mother's Day.  I don't expect anything from my husband on Mother's Day because I am not his mother.  However, when our kids were growing up, I expected him to motivate our children regarding Mother's Day, since it would not be appropriate for me to do so.  (Same for birthdays or other gift-giving holidays.)  This was part of his responsibility as a father.  It was very nice of him to remember to wish me a happy Mother's Day this year, and to get take-out for dinner so I wouldn't have to cook (and I thanked him very much for his thoughtfulness), but there have been other years since our children became old enough to be responsible for their own Mother's Day greetings, where he has forgotten about Mother's Day, and I haven't minded (or upbraided him for any thoughtlessness).

Let me also say that I have been married to my ADD spouse for over 35 years -- I don't have ADHD.  We've had our rough times, but in recent years we have learned to make our marriage work quite well.  I have a very good understanding of what my husband is capable of handling and what he isn't (and he would agree with that statement).  I understand the intrinsic difficulties of the non-hyperactive ADD brain. (I don't have much experience with hyperactive ADHD, so I can't address that.)

I agree with you that it would be useful and appropriate for Moms with ADHD spouses to help their spouses remember Mother's Day.  But some of these posting Moms *did* that, and *still* the ADHD spouse forgot.  Such cases are beyond the question of "luck", and I'm sorry if it offends you, but I think those guys deserve to feel bad, even if their inaction was unintentional (as it sounds like it was from the descriptions given by the Moms).

Because no, forgetting Mother's Day is NOT like forgetting to pick up the milk or unloading the dishwasher.  Forgetting to pick up the milk is annoying, forgetting to unload the dishwasher is inconvenient -- but forgetting your mother on Mother's Day *can hurt your mother's feelings* -- and feelings are far more important than mere annoyances and inconveniences.  You, with your ADHD ability to escape a present pain by moving on to something more pleasant, may have a hard time appreciating how a non-ADHDer continues to feel the hurt feelings for an extended period of time and find it actually *hard* to forget the pain -- but I assure you that when a non-ADHDer feelings are hurt, they hurt quite a lot for a very long time.   And that's *nothing* like what happens when you forget the milk or the dishwasher.

Now, I'll grant you, remembering Mother's Day is not as important as remembering to drive on the correct side of the road, or remembering not to put your finger in a live socket -- but I'd also bet any amount of money you don't actually have all that much trouble remembering those really serious life-threatening things you avoid every day (or you wouldn't be here, you'd be dead by now).  From the way you describe your thinking, it sounds to me like you think that  the things you are supposed to remember are either hugely important or simply not hugely important.  My husband used to be afflicted with this same kind of myopia and I will urge you, as I did him, to consider the possibility of some third category in the middle (where Mother's Day would fall), of things that are very important but not life-threatening.   He has learned to view his tasks in this light, and I'd be astonished if he were the only ADHDer capable of doing so.

And finally, I really doubt your "to do" list is twice as long as mine.  There are over 300 items on mine, and that doesn't include any of the tasks that need to be accomplished as part of the three major home renovation projects I've had to defer until the fall.  About 80% of my list is also "should have been done" rather than current, and I doubt I will ever get caught up either.   I suspect that there are a lot of other non-ADHDers who have the same kind of situation, except possibly that they don't feel compelled to write down all their pending tasks.  Incidentally, my ADD husband's "to do" list is pretty similar to yours and mine.  I congratulate you for having one -- I see it as a credit to your diligence, since I am well aware that many folks with ADHD find it difficult to make and maintain "to do" lists at all -- but aside from that I question whether your list is quite as "special" as you seem to feel.

Please believe me that I do appreciate how hard a struggle you go through every day.  I see what my husband does, and I see how hard it is for him, and we've talked about it a LOT.  (Not to say it hasn't been equally hard for me to *deal* with him.)   And even though I don't have ADHD, I do have quite a lot of experience with being a square peg in a round hole, which has some challenges in common with ADHD in our society.  So I  sympathize with your situation, and also wish you the best in your efforts.   But I also think you may need to make more of an effort to walk around in the non-ADHDers shoes for a while.

 

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore

Mother's Day in context

Wow, Arwen!!!   As usual, your reply to 22songs was remarkable.  It is exactly how I feel and I'm sure most of the others on here will, too.  I'm wondering how our husbands would feel if we "forgot" to acknowledge their birthday or "Father's Day"? 

Nettie's picture

ADHD Gifting Tool

Here's a trick for gift giving (if you use Amazon). Take some time, right after reading this post ;) to set up gift wish lists in Amazon, including adding addresses and the one-click purchase feature if you don't already use it. Add items your loved one wants as you see or hear about them. Before the event, Amazon will send you a reminder, and you can simply click on an item to send it on it's way!

Also, for cards, when I'm reminded by seeing them in a store display, I go ahead and buy one, write in it, address it, stamp it, then write on the envelope "open on 5/19" or whenever and mail it. My family understands my "get it done while I'm remembering" trait, and we don't care about the date really - we just want to express/receive the love.

 

keywords: addie tools gifts holidays

How do you *forget* mother's

How do you *forget* mother's day?  There are ads all over TV, ads all over the radio, ads all over the grocery store, etc.  Everyone gets forgetful at times, but you can CHOOSE to remember it.  If you know that you're the type of person that forgets things like mother's day then the next time you see an ad or hear someone talk about mother's day, pull out your phone, go to the calendar and set up a reminder for that date and another one a few days prior to it.  Voila! I don't think it has anything to do with ADHD or ADD.  It's just that some men are inconsiderate. 

No, your wife is NOT your mother.  She is the mother of your children.  For that reason alone you should at least acknowledge the day.  If you have small children, then it is your job as a father to help them celebrate mother's day.  My mom's boyfriend has no children of his own and is not my step-father, yet he still gives her flowers on mother's day.  My fiance didn't do a darn thing for me, and I'm pregnant with his child and we have a 3 y/o.  I don't care that he has ADHD.  He certainly manages to remember important dates in his life.  Obviously mother's day just wasn't one of them.  I had even been giving little hints that mother's day was coming up in the weeks prior to it.  I get busy and I forget things too.  That's what calendars are for. 

It's inexcusable that these husbands didn't do something for their wives, especially after being reminded by them the day of.  That was his cue to get off his butt and do something for her.  I'm guessing that one husband managed to remember what racing program that was scheduled for that day.  I'm going to conveniently "forget" father's day this year and tell him that I figured that since we didn't celebrate mother's day then father's day is off too. 

arwen's picture

ADHDers can forget the most unbelievable things

Britt, I know it may be difficult for you to believe that anybody can forget Mother's Day, but I don't doubt that for *some* ADHDers, it's quite possible.  The things my husband forgot before he got on medication and in counseling I would have thought simply impossible.

For example, he's very close to his only brother, but only gets to see him every couple of years because their work/activity schedules don't match up very well.  So some years back, when his brother was coming to our area for a conference, my husband got a call from him to let him know and to find out if he could stay with us.  My husband, very pleased and excited, said that would be great, and according to his brother, suggested various activities we could all enjoy while he was in town.

Not only did my husband forget to say anything to me about it, but he completely forgot about the phone call or that the conversation ever took place.  First thing I know, it's several weeks later and my brother-in-law is calling from the conference wanting directions how to get to our house.  After whirlwind efforts to clean up the house and prepare a place for him to sleep, I then spoke to my husband.  I say, "Your brother called today, did you realize he's in town for a conference?"  "No," he says with obvious delight, "that's great, how long will he be around, where is he staying?"  "With us," I tell him, "because you offered our house to him when he called you about this three weeks ago."   Dead silence.  "Do you remember talking to him about this?" I ask.  "No," he says.  Eventually, after I mentioned several pieces of information his brother had given me when I had spoken with him, my husband finally remembered vaguely that maybe he'd had a phone call about something from his brother a while back.

Now, this was a visit that my husband had been very happy about and interested in, and he loves his brother very much -- their visits together are very special occasions.  This was something that was important to my husband (not just to me). Yet he barely was able to remember anything about their phone conversation about the trip, even after being reminded about many details.

The truth is that the way that the ADHD brain physiology works, it is often difficult for ADHDers to *form* memories in the brain -- if it doesn't grab their attention, it doesn't "register".  Even if it "registers", even if a memory is formed, it may not be stored in a readily retrievable way, for the same reason (the neurotransmitters just aren't as effective in the ADHD brain).  Obviously, if the memory doesn't register or form, there's nothing to remember/retrieve later on -- if it's mis-stored, they can't find it.

This is not to say that ADHDers can't learn techniques to significantly reduce these problems.  But if they have not yet acquired these skills (it took my husband years to improve his memory, using a PDA and other tools and techniques), a person with ADHD can really legitimately forget things, even important things like Mother's Day.  Unless the work has been done to improve memory, it may not be realistic to expect an ADHDer with significant memory issues to be able to remember.

Subtle little hints generally don't work with these folks -- they are too subtle to "register".  This is why I agree with 22songs that non-subtle reminders are a useful way to address the problem, until the memory skills can be acquired.

But I also agree with your position that if you and your spouse have discussed honoring these occasions and have agreed to do so, and then your ADHD husband isn't going to make the effort to remember Mother's Day, he shouldn't expect you to make any effort to remember Father's Day.  As I said in a different post on this thread, forgetting Mother's Day is not on the same order of problem as forgetting to pick up the milk at the store.  I feel that in order to communicate the importance of remembering Mother's Day, it's perfectly OK to "mirror" the behavior of the ADHD spouse, in order to teach by direct example.

 

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore

So it really *is* part of his

So it really *is* part of his condition?  Sounds more like dementia lol.  The entire time we've been together I've been astounded at how easily he forgets to do things I've asked him to do, how quickly he forgets things I've said, etc.  I've attributed all of this to him being an inconsiderate twit or at the least a typical male. 

My problem with the whole mother's day issue was that I wasn't just giving subtle hints, I was actively reminding him to get a present for his mother ( while reminding him about the child I am carrying and telling cute stories about what my son has done for me on past mother's days.)  We were also moving into a new house that weekend.  By *we*, I mean my family and I were moving things and he had decided to sleep all day.  He came over late on mother's day to ask me to help him do the dishes at his apartment.  I had been having braxton-hicks contractions off and on all day, probably from all the heavy lifting I had to do in his absence.  He told me that he didn't know we were moving that weekend, after he had watched me pack all week and after I had talked to him multiple times about Sunday being his day off and all we could get moved on that day.

It's a constant battle with him and I feel like I'm at my rope's end.  There are times when he makes me feel like the only thing in the world that matters and then there are times that he makes me feel so insignificant.  He hasn't even told me about his ADHD.  I found the information on some paperwork when I was packing. 

I just have a hard time believing that all of his and all of these other spouse's forgetfulness is caused by ADHD. I feel like that could just be a cop-out.  I forget things all the time too, get overwhelmed, lose focus, but the things I want to remember I make an effort to.  I bought my mother her gift that Sunday, but at least I managed to get her one.  I just don't get him.

I don't think this is ADHD.....

>>>

For example, he's very close to his only brother, but only gets to see him every couple of years because their work/activity schedules don't match up very well.  So some years back, when his brother was coming to our area for a conference, my husband got a call from him to let him know and to find out if he could stay with us.  My husband, very pleased and excited, said that would be great, and according to his brother, suggested various activities we could all enjoy while he was in town.

Not only did my husband forget to say anything to me about it, but he completely forgot about the phone call or that the conversation ever took place.  First thing I know, it's several weeks later and my brother-in-law is calling from the conference wanting directions how to get to our house.  After whirlwind efforts to clean up the house and prepare a place for him to sleep, I then spoke to my husband.  I say, "Your brother called today, did you realize he's in town for a conference?"  "No," he says with obvious delight, "that's great, how long will he be around, where is he staying?"  "With us," I tell him, "because you offered our house to him when he called you about this three weeks ago."   Dead silence.  "Do you remember talking to him about this?" I ask.  "No," he says.  Eventually, after I mentioned several pieces of information his brother had given me when I had spoken with him, my husband finally remembered vaguely that maybe he'd had a phone call about something from his brother a while back.

>>>

 

 

I don't think this is ADHD.  I think this is either the after-effects of meds or drinking.  My H never had this issue until he started drinking and taking Ambien and other meds.   Since drinking/meds occurred about the same time, I don't know if one or both are causing the trouble.

Moved to Respond Back

To 22Songs...THANK YOU!  

I am an ADD Wife and we also have mothers.  I am terrible about forgetting to send her cards for Mother's Day and birthdays, etc. (surprise, surprise!).  And she doesn't really care about gifts--she truly just wants a simple CARD.  That should not be too difficult, right?  So I put it on my To Do List.  I put it on my calendar.  I even posted a reminder to myself on my Facebook wall for all my friends to see.  And then I remembered it on SATURDAY AT 3PM (when I was already an hour late leaving to meet my husband and his family at our lake house).  My mother lives several states away.  It was WAY too late to send a card.  So I went to my typical fall-back solution when I am late...FLOWERS!  I quickly booted up my computer and clicked away to all the flowers websites.  They all claimed "Flowers by Mother's Day, Guaranteed!"  BUT...when I went to place my order, ALL OF THEM popped up an error message that the date I had chosen was invalid and to please choose another (starting with MONDAY).  Uh-oh.  Now I am REALLY in trouble.  In a panic I searched for a phone number, preparing to beg.  I was able to find someone who agreed to deliver on Sunday, but it cost me dearly.  Instead of $30 for the flower arrangement, I had to pay $70 to get it delivered on time.  Not to mention the cost in my relationship with my husband now that I am (yet again) TWO HOURS LATE to meet him--but explaining that I had to order flowers for my mom because I forgot to send her a card doesn't really seem like a good excuse.  And all I REALLY needed to do was spend $4 on a card in the first place and put it in a mailbox - IF I HAD BEEN ABLE TO DO IT ON TIME!

I can give you the long list of reasons why other things took priority over that task this week, but it doesn't matter, does it?  I failed...AGAIN.  Well, it could have been worse.  At least I got the flowers there (this time).  But look at the cost, and how many times have I had to pay that cost?  Sometimes I have to send a $3 card by overnight mail to get it there on time, to the tune of around $20!  And what's worse is that I'm sure when she gets the over-nighted envelope or the flowers, it just announces and highlights the fact that I did it at the last minute, probably negating any positive effect in the first place!  Ugh.

THEN, on Sunday after we drove into town for church, I was driving back to the lake house where we do not have a phone or cell signal.  My dear non-ADHD husband called me in the car (we were in separate cars) and reminded me, "Call your mom before you get off the highway."  I did call her, but I was only about 2 miles from the exit at that point, so our conversation got cut off after about 3 minutes when I lost cell coverage.

Yes, we ADDers are SO USED to disappointing the people in our lives who we love the most.  I DON'T KNOW why I could not take 20 minutes out of my week to select and mail my mother a card.  I have the address memorized.  I keep stamps in my wallet.  What is WRONG with me?!  But I have spent a lifetime answering that question with: "a flaw of moral character."  I am finally beginning to learn that in the cause-and-effect of my life, the (negative) effects usually have causes that really are NOT moral, even when it looks that way.  Unfortunately, that fact still doesn't change the EFFECT for the other person or that they likely perceive the cause as moral and a lack of my caring, thoughtfulness or love.

I ABSOLUTELY agree that reminding your partner is extremely helpful.  At the very least, make sure they are AWARE of an important day coming up (anniversaries and birthdays are especially difficult because there are no external reminders like there are for Mother's Day).  However, please note that I had 3 or 4 different types of reminders set up for myself and I STILL forgot!  And I am a woman, so it's not a gender thing.  

I do have some advice on this for the non-ADHD spouses, but I realize it may sound hollow coming from someone with ADHD, and it may sound like yet another "excuse" to add to the pile.  And maybe it is.  But I will offer it anyway and you can take it or leave it...  

Mostly, I would recommend to please be careful with your expectations.  If you build up some sort of fantasy in your mind about your spouse remembering your special day and showering you with gifts, appreciation and affection when you KNOW that is not their typical nature, then you are just setting yourself up for disappointment and them for failure.  Especially if you add to this "test" that you will intentionally not mention it nor remind them, in order to "see" if they will remember: I can promise you - 9 times out of 10 (or maybe 10 out of 10?), THEY WON'T!  No, it's not fair that you have to remind them.  No, it's not fair that they cannot make this task a higher priority.  No, it's REALLY not fair that even after you remind them, they will still forget.  But it is reality.  And the reality is that you are married to someone with ADHD.  So you have a choice--you can leave them, you can sabotage them by intentionally NOT helping them, or you can understand them.  Understanding them requires a LOT of patience and forgiveness, and it is HARD--you have needs too!

But if you are planning to stay with your ADHD spouse, then you must decide to "put on your big girl panties" and deal with your, albeit unfair and unfortunate, REALITY.  Go ahead and grieve for the loss of your what you hoped your marriage would look like; get mad that it's so unfair or unbalanced; but then you must let go of that, for good.  Okay, now stop and think: Does your spouse love you?  Don't evaluate this by actions or inactions in how they EXPRESS it, but by how you think he or she FEELS about you.  Has your spouse EVER remembered a special day, done something thoughtful for you, or planned a special evening?  (Of course, or you would not have married them!)  REJOICE in those successes when they come and BELIEVE that THOSE moments show how they really do feel about you; and then try as hard as you can to FORGIVE all the times they fail, and BELIEVE that THOSE moments are NOT indicative AT ALL of how they feel about you!!  Because, take it from me--an ADD Wife--we want MORE THAN ANYTHING not to disappoint others, not to hurt others, not to fail anymore.  But we must live every day with the reality that we WILL.  And we don't have the choice to leave.

Thank you

This helped me so much. I need to print this and refer back to it when my husband, who just forgot our 25th anniversary, forgets yet again. You rock!

Beautiful post ADD Wife

Especially like this:

But if you are planning to stay with your ADHD spouse, then you must decide to "put on your big girl panties" and deal with your, albeit unfair and unfortunate, REALITY.

In my case, it's my son who has ADHD (his dad also, undiagnosed at the time, but we are no longer together).  Since I can't and won't judge my son or give up on him, your words are all the more apropos for me.

My mom was ADHD too, I am now quite certain--also undiagnosed.  So this condition has played a large role in my life and heart. She passed some years ago.  Happy Mother's Day, Mom, wherever you are!

Whoops--I just realized you wrote your post five years ago.  Well, still very timely, as far as I'm concerned!

robin berry's picture

i understand i do ADD but i

i understand i do ADD but i do not use it has a handicap i do beleave that with ADD can work  a normal job only problem is they do get looked i grew up with a mom with that had a drinking problem that wanted me and sister to marry rich my sister is a former student of Texas A&M my brother n law and husband are also former students of Texas A&M my bother n law has ADD but his is not severe how ever mine is severe i have learned to deal with it and go on i am not handicap some people with this problem thank they are i have a uncle that has down syndrome now he is handicap look at it like this there are people that have it worse than i do iwas made fun of in school did not let them no they where making me feel bad because sooner or latter it is going to bite them in the ass i am a strong person my father is a large and small animal vet my mom and dad divorsed is was 4 my father wasnot that much n my life growing he is now how ever i thank mom had a lot do with him not being there mother can be hurtful the only grandparents we had was my dads parents they where in our life matter they are one the that found i had ADD they had me tested at the age of 5 my mother parents passed away before me and my sis was born my mom will say me and sister messed her up life mom has divorce my dad and stepdad my step dad was a good man he bought cars for me and my sis he payed for college he retired my mom left him she hadit made with him he was a retired president of a bank what more could u want my grand father gave me 6,000.00 to for a truck wanted iput it the bank my mom tell my husband when we first donot let robin spend that 6,000 come to find out have to bail my mom out of money problem i gave her 6,000 she said owed her messing her life my husband said she so wrong i no u donot take money ur kids i was affraid of looseing her      

Mother's Day?---How about my birthday?

I am new to this site, and all I can say is that after 34 years of marriage (my husband has ADD), if I had access to communication like this years ago, it would have saved me so much pain over the years.

22songs--I can't thank you enough. When our spouses forget important things like Mother's Day, and in my case (unbelieveable to me!) my birthday, we feel pain. Deep, intense pain. Like Graditudiesky said, it goes so deeply to your core, mostly because it feels like such a sense of grief. Of painful loss. I'm sorry to say, but you grieve for the type of husband you thought/wished you had married. One that acknowledges the love, the caring, the responsibility you have shown for the family over the years. YOU have been the one that has held it all together. You have been the one that has looked the other way, used your vital life's energy to keep going in spite of his "stuff", used your sense of humor to laugh off all the strange, odd, and sometimes downright unexcusable behaviors. What happens is, we become "primed" for disappointment. It's like a wound that keeps scabbing over, but sure enough, just when you think it may have healed, it gets knocked off again, and it hurts so much. It is not a fun way to live.

Marriage is supposed to be about trust. For me, that's been one of the hardest things. I want to be able to trust and count on my husband's behavior, and yet i'm never sure which way it will go. Yes, we have gone through the exercises about talking through an event ahead of time. We've even talked about what he can or can't say (he has a habit of saying whatever comes to his mind, which has caused myself and our children embarrassment). Even so, there has rarely been a special event where after a day of me planning, cooking, hoping for a special gathering, I haven't gone to bed angry or in tears. Am I overly sensitive and reactive? Definitely. Do I deserve a happy occasion without him "ruining"it? Definitely! If I was the only one that thought some of his behaviors and comments were off-base, that would be one thing. But I'm not. I'm just good at covering for him. That takes energy, energy, energy. And you get to a point where you are just plain tired of it all. I'm guessing if a study was done of non-add spouses, they would have an above average amount of illness. The chronic stress and anger and sadness from the dealing with all of it does take a tole.

Anyway, back to your comments. It helps me SO much to hear from you what is going on inside the ADD mind. Because, you see, those of us non-Adder's are plagued with confusion and insecurities about whether this spouse of ours is trying to hurt us on purpose? Messing with our minds? Bringing us down because they feel so insecure about themselves? We think, how else could someone be so unthoughtful?! If I can understand and truly believe what you are saying, more of the things that have happened in our marriage make sense. I especially tuned into the idea that your "abyss" is so full of things that are hanging over you all the time that it's hard for you to think ahead to what's coming next. I always tell my husband he can't seem to stand back and see the bigger picture. Maybe that "bigger picture" is much more crowded and full of chaos for him than it is for me.

Obviously, I love my husband very much, or I wouldn't still be married to him. No one makes me laugh like he does, and when we can put the ADD aside, we have a lot in common, and believe in many of the same things. When he puts his mind to something, he works very hard. I've learned to see, like you said, that he shows his love in trying to please me when he can, and I realize it must not be easy for him to live knowing his name is going to "be mud" at any moment.

I'd appreciate more of your insights, especially about why things happen the way they do from the ADD male perspective. Thanks so much!

 

Nettie's picture

Response to two comments

"So it really *is* part of his condition?  Sounds more like dementia lol."

"I'm just good at covering for him. That takes energy, energy, energy. And you get to a point where you are just plain tired of it all."

Well, from an ADHD partner's perspective, it's not really LOL that one's brain feels like it's rotting at a young age, and it takes huge amounts of "energy, energy, energy" to deal with one's ADHD tendencies. If you really want to learn about how it feels, I'm bookmarking some of the input from the people on this forum with ADHD: delicious.com/addieresource.

Your Pain is Our Pain

Ouch, your pain shoots right to my core too. Because so often I am the one INFLICTING the pain. And I hate it. But what strikes me and pains me the most are all of the "meanings" that you attach to the behaviors of ADHD:

"trying to hurt us on purpose? Messing with our minds? Bringing us down because they feel so insecure about themselves? We think, how else could someone be so unthoughtful?!"

and 

"you grieve for the type of husband you thought/wished you had married. One that acknowledges the love, the caring, the responsibility you have shown for the family over the years. YOU have been the one that has held it all together. You have been the one that has looked the other way, used your vital life's energy to keep going in spite of his "stuff", used your sense of humor to laugh off all the strange, odd, and sometimes downright unexcusable behaviors. What happens is, we become "primed" for disappointment. It's like a wound that keeps scabbing over, but sure enough, just when you think it may have healed, it gets knocked off again, and it hurts so much. It is not a fun way to live."

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that our actions or non-actions are COMPLETELY UNRELATED to how we feel about you or the way you have "been the one that has held it all together" or "looked the other way."  At least for those of us who are aware of our ADHD, we KNOW all that you have done and are so grateful for it!  Our insensitive and frustrating behaviors are a result of immature parts of our BRAIN.  It's just that we are adults, so that is hard to accept because adults are supposed to be more in control of ourselves!  But if a child forgot your birthday, did or said something careless, thoughtless or tactless, would you attribute the same intent or meaning to his behaviors?  Certainly not!  A child is not expected to think or behave like a mature adult.  But...people with ADHD often behave in many ways just like that child, without any intent to "send a message" of any kind to anyone!  And so we are shocked and feel terribly guilty (and often defensive!) when someone "interprets" a "message" that we never meant to send at all.  Especially when the interpreter is our beloved spouse, who somehow "hears" the "message" that we supposedly do not love them or care enough.  But of course, our defensive response does NOT help the situation, and it often explodes into anger or blaming YOU for misunderstanding, or for reacting in whatever way you did to whatever you thought we were "saying" in the first place.  Ugh--you can see where this cycle goes, and I'm sure you've lived it many times.  

I can understand your comment,  "you grieve for the type of husband you thought/wished you had married," although it cuts my heart like a knife because I am sure that my husband has felt that way about me too.  I do actually think you have to grieve (see my previous post in this thread)--for the husband he will never be, for the marriage you will never have.  But rather than allowing the scab to keep getting knocked off, you need to LET IT HEAL so that you can find a NEW image for your future and your marriage.  If you do not change your perspective/expectations, that scab will KEEP getting ripped open over and over, and may begin to feel like someone is pouring lemon juice on it!  But to do that you will have to let go of your "fantasy" marriage/husband and figure out what happiness in your marriage WITH ADHD looks like.  Then start working towards THAT instead of wishing for what can never be.

That's what I am trying to do in my own marriage--to find our new hope. And I am the one with ADHD! Believe it or not, we must change our expectations too. My non-ADHD husband CANNOT be who I wish he could be either, mostly BECAUSE of who I am with my ADHD. He does not have the freedom (at least not yet?) to be easy-going or laid back (when there are bills to pay), or to enjoy spontaneous bike rides with the kids on a Sunday afternoon (when there are dirty dishes in the sink and loads of laundry piling up), or to shower me with encouragement (when I am frequently so incredibly frustrating and seemingly unresponsive!). One of us has to be the responsible one, and it's typically not me.  So, I also grieve for my marriage that will never be, except that I also have to live with the fact that the loss is because of ME, even though I know I can't change that or control it.

And I don't know yet exactly what a successful and thriving marriage with ADHD looks like, but I desperately want to find out!  Because I truly WANT my husband who has "held it all together" and "looked the other way" for so long (18 yrs!) to be happy--he deserves that.  (I am crying now.)  And I'd love to be happy too.  I believe that there is a new hope for us, and I plan to find it. 

DF's picture

Not fully understanding.

I like what you say.  It's what I've been dying to say to my wife in speech and in text for the past month and a half since I've been diagnosed.  I'm failing miserably at it every time I get a chance and those times are far and few between.  I don't wish much because only we have the power to make things happen, but if I could have a wish, it would be to remember what I read in these forums so that I could properly convey to my wife how I feel. 

Yes - it is bitter disappointment waking up every single day knowing I'm going to disappoint my wife and having to convince myself that it will not be today.  Yes, it does suck that I have to live day to day because I'm most likely not in my wife's plans for tomorrow or the next day, but I screwed that up back when I was in those plans -> pre-diagnosis.

I know very well the need to feel cared about and supported by your spouse and the anxiety that comes from feeling rejected, even if rejection isn't really there.  My wife doesn't understand me because I can't explain it well enough and she isn't researching on her own.  She's angry because she tried to do something about intimacy and telling me things that were on her mind, I just didn't hear her or went into defensive mode.  I feel so ugly inside.

But speaking as a guy.  We're bred to only accept our self worth when we hear how great and awesome we are.  "I am man.  I make fire.  I am great."  ADD(HD) or not, that's in our nature and the things you're saying above about your feelings for your husband is tough for me to comprehend completely.  Did he leave?  Is he not interested?  Am I asking too much?  I don't know why he wouldn't

For me, all this blood, sweat, and tears from fighting my way back into my wife's heart is unbearably tough at times.  But a hug.  A simple hug can wash away so much for me.  I got one for 'her' birthday, but I don't get them often and I over reacted with the excitement of it all and hyperfocused.  I wanted the moment to last and tried to hard only to find myself sounding like Chatty Kathy.  Bomb's away!  Didn't get one for Mothers Day even though my gift was AWESOME and she even said so.

So again, what guy wouldn't want to hear that your efforts are to make your lives better?  I don't mean to come across as judgemental, just trying to fill in the gaps.  I'm doing everything I can to be the best for my wife and constantly fighting failure that lurks in the corner.  So I hear your hurt and I share it.  I crave my wife's touch and it's hard for me to understand a guy not interested in the kind of attention that a hug provides. 

Hugs?

"Didn't get one for Mothers Day even though my gift was AWESOME and she even said so."

DF are you saying you only get a hug on holidays?  And even that is conditional?  wow.  I don't get hugs from my husband either.  I live in fear of disappointing him all the time, to the point where when I hear the key in the door I panic and my eyes dart around checking to see if the drawers and cabinets are closed and I run through my mind trying to think if there was any errand i'd forgotten.  The weird thing is though, he can be totally annoyed to the point of blowing up at me if I forget something/take too long to do an errand/get confused/overwhelmed, but then he'll expect me to have sex with him later in the same day. huh....????  No hugs, scolding, then.... 'hey, wanna boink?"  I don't get it.  When he gets upset his words/tone of voice are so scathing that I totally shut down and can't even speak.  It is, to say the least, unattractive. 

Gratituteiskey:  I'm so sorry about your lousy mother's day.  Mother's day is important to me too.  I've told my husband this, but his response is always 'You're not my mother."  So when my kids woke up at 7:30, I nudged him til he woke up and said, "It's mother's day.  No, i'm not your mother, but you are THEIR father.  I'm sleeping in.  It's your turn."  He grumbled, but when it became clear I wasn't moving, he got up and dealt with the kids.  Sometimes you just have to make a demand.  Pre-empt the disappointment and stand up for yourself. (and again - I'm the spouse with ADHD).

DF's picture

I didn't see that coming...

Hugs only on holiday's?  No.  But I'm the one with ADD and had been neglectful for years and now the table has turned and I'm dying a slow death of solitary confinement each and every day.  I've given my wife reason to not be happy with me.  I get it and I understand and I know not to ever do that again, but solitary confinement requires that someone else opens the door.

I don't get much attention from my wife so holiday's are when I can do something nice and get some form of appreciation for it.  It's all I have these past many months. 

Mothers Day by many standards would have been a success under any circumstances other than my current situation.

Woke up at 6:30AM to get breakfast started.  Bacon takes a while to cook a whole package ( for everyone ) so I was behind schedule.  Got the kids eating since we had a "full" day of their various sports activities.  Was in a rush to get the wife up - dirty look from her since I kissed her on the cheek and she didn't stir, so I kissed her forehead and that was a huge no no.  I felt like I was taking advantage of her, and even if she didn't mean to, she kind of helped with that feeling.

She didn't eat breakfast.  She's not a morning person and she didn't have time to wake up properly so - eh, the kids ate.

While she got ready I scurried through the house and actually remembered everything to bring for her and I and the kids various athletic equipment and packed lunch for the kids since there would be no time to come home.  Previously presented gifts were not opened.

Home by 4:30PM and wife is exhausted and wants to take a nap.  She opens gifts and is pleased.  I'm not around since I'm looking for things to do to stay out of here hair.  I find a book and sit outside and read.  I feel like a loser.  There's nobody for me to call to hang out with and this has been a hot button issue for my wife.  So I lose away on the deck and take a nap on my own.

I wake when the wife works on gardening and I go run.  She has mentioned that her love of gardening is not my place to look for welcome.  I remove myself and go loser away.

Wife goes to be with friends.  I take the kids for a walk to get ice cream and work on teaching my youngest how to ride a bike without training wheels.  Something my wife would normally love to partake in.  Wife doesn't come home till midnight.

That was Mothers Day.

My pain is knowing that I'm keeping my wife from her kids because she doesn't want to be around me and I've got nobody to call and hang out with.  I used to not be home much because I ran around doing what I wanted to do.  I felt guilty and stopped.  Now I'm the ultimate Mr. Mom and it frustrates her.  For some reason I'm left to believe it's abnormal that I don't want to play poker, golf, or go to a bar with the Dudes.  I don't oggle other women and I don't feel the need to comment on their body parts to the other guys around me.  Sorry, but I guess that makes me a loser. 

In a couple weeks I'll be back to playing adult team sports.  I'll finally be out of my wife's hair.  This will be good since I found out yesterday the kids will be going to their grandparents for a week this summer.  The last two years this was a special time for my wife and I to have couples time.  This year I already know how this show will play out.  I'll be the loser at home worrying about my wife who will not be home before midnight after going out with friends.  Or if I'm lucky enough that she wants to go to dinner, we'll go home afterwards and then she'll head out to be with friends - still me being at home, the loser.

enough!!!

DF, you've GOT to stop telling yourself your a loser.  I don't care WHAT you've done in the passed that pissed off your wife:  hating yourself will not make her love you.  You've both got to move on from whatever it was - ADD related or not - and stop blaming and hating.  I cannot imagine living like you have for a year.  Stop putting yourself down.  Your brain hears the negative self-talk and it's believing it and internalizing it.  You have to stop.

If your wife gives you angry looks when you kiss her in the morning, you've gotta stop doing it.  You need to talk to her and explain that you are going to stop doing the things that are irritating her, but you are also going to stop pussy-footing around and living apologetically.  Stand up for yourself and don't slink away....  OK, so maybe you don't socialize a lot and go to bars.  That doesn't make you a loser.  If you enjoy the adult team sports, great.  get into that and reach out to some of the other folks involved.  go have a beer after the game.  Have SOMETHING in your life besides tip-toeing around your wife.

Who Were You Replying To?

Hi DF. Before I respond to your questions (did he leave, etc.), I am not entirely sure if your post was for me ("ADD Wife") or someone else?

Wow, you've only had a month and a half to process this information. I am on year 3 and I feel like I am just BEGINNING to understand some parts of myself and my behavior! I felt the same way about not being able to explain it to my spouse in the beginning. My efforts to explain were terrible because I did not understand it myself so anything I said seemed to come out wrong or sound stupid. And I could not get him to do the research himself either. It is getting better now. I understand ADHD much better, and he is currently reading Melissa Orlov's book "The ADHD Effect on Marriage." I can already tell he is developing some empathy for me and he is only halfway through. Reading the book REALLY helped me to gain some insight and empathy for HIM also. But even if your wife is not open to learning about your condition right now...if she can hang in there with you for awhile, and if you can manage to put some of your feelings and emotional reactions "on hold" temporarily, I think it would do you both some good if at least YOU could have some time to work through some things.

[Someone on this site told me that my husband could have been resistant to dive into the research because he might think that I would sort of hold him responsible to "fix" ME on top of everything else my symptoms already required from him. And he did not need yet another "project," especially not one fraught with such potential minefields!]

Just a few observations from my own journey that might (?) help you:

1. Emotional health comes first.

It took me almost a year with a counselor to rebuild my self-esteem. I had to learn to stop the criticizing "tapes" playing in my head. These "tapes" were telling me that I was not a good person and that I was "lazy, crazy or stupid" (the title of a popular ADD book!). At the beginning, when my counselor asked me to list my gifts or strengths, I LITERALLY could think of none. ZERO. I only thought of myself as a failure with weaknesses. I could not fathom why my husband did not leave me or why he would have any reason to love me at all. But gradually, I began to see and BELIEVE that my weaknesses and failures were not MORAL. And slowly, I began to find my gifts and strengths and attractive qualities. As with lots of good things in life, many of my strengths also have a "downside" that I had difficulty controlling, which turned them into weaknesses in my mind. So for most of my life, I considered even my gifts to be problems! It took MANY MONTHS for me to undo some of this thinking, and I still have a ways to go, but I am much more emotionally healthy and stable now.

2. Medication for adults is confusing. Don't give up!

I started on medication right away, thinking it would have the same dramatic results that we saw in our 11 year old son, and in some of the anecdotes I had read about in ADD books. But it didn't. I was not sure it was doing anything at all. So I questioned/doubted my diagnosis and then slipped into despair because where I had first found some relief in being able to attribute my troublesome symptoms and behaviors to ADHD, now I couldn't. And that meant that I really MUST BE lazy, crazy or stupid! But I had misunderstood a lot of things. First of all, adult symptoms manifest very different than those of children. Secondly, kids have not learned many "cover-ups," so what you see is what you get. Also, even though my son is not considered hyperactive, some of those kinds of symptoms (talking a lot, interrupting, and what I call "flopping" around) subsided significantly when he started medicine. But adults usually do not have the hyperactive symptoms in the same way, AND we have usually had DECADES of developing coping mechanisms and ways to hide our symptoms that we don't even realize we are doing.

AND...I have discovered that it takes a long time and lots of trial-and-error to find the right medication! Some medications work and some don't work as well, or they might have bad side effects for some people, and it takes a good bit of TIME to figure all of that out because you have to give yourself a few weeks on each one to observe the effects (unless there is a dramatic negative effect--then don't wait!). And people with ADHD are notoriously bad at self-evaluation anyway. So if you are trying to evaluate your own behavior changes by yourself, it is pretty hard! I STILL change my dose and brand of medication sometimes to see if something will work better or differently.

3. Evaluating the effects of your ADHD on others is hard to do until you are emotionally healthier.

For the first year or so, I was still incredibly sensitive and "needy" emotionally (if not more so than usual!). I was dealing with a lot and completely re-evaluating myself. That process is very draining! So it would have been very difficult for me to objectively perceive the effect that my symptoms have had on my husband during that time. But once I became a little more stable, I was able to begin to understand and discover what it has been like for him to deal with my ADD in our relationship (married 18 yrs). Now I "get" why he responded to me in certain ways or developed certain types of behaviors (HIS own coping mechanisms!). This is the "step" I am on right now.

4. Treatment is NOT just medication (or counseling)!

Finally I am beginning to understand that medication can help me feel more ABLE to make changes, but I have no idea what changes to make! I have read books and I have tried a few tips here and there and some have been helpful. But I really need to make bigger LIFESTYLE CHANGES in order to truly transform my life and relationships, and that means real TREATMENT of symptoms. Book after book will tell you this, but for some reason, I couldn't grasp what that means. I still don't fully understand it. But, I now recognize that I NEED it. I was already doing some counseling (which is PART of treatment), and it helped tremendously to work through my emotions and self-esteem issues. But traditional counseling (mostly talk therapy) is really not the best design for learning new practical skills. So my ADHD SYMPTOMS are still largely "untreated," and therefore they have not improved much. I am more stable emotionally, but I have not yet developed new systems, methods or processes to significantly improve my success at DOING LIFE! So, I have asked my husband to read Melissa's book. Then I will discuss with him that I want to find an ADHD Coach who can help me and US. A coach is different from a counselor because they work on behavior modification techniques (I think) rather than just talking through the emotional issues of a problem. BOTH types of treatment are helpful and necessary...but insufficient by themselves. I might have been able to do them at the same time, but I am not sure? I don't know if I would have been emotionally "ready" for a trial-and-error type of system for learning new skills when it inherently requires some failure. At the beginning, I was already beating myself up for every failure (real or perceived!), so it may have backfired. And I am not so "jumpy" and defensive now with my spouse's every word or deed, so WE are probably at a better place to experiment now as a couple too. I feel ready now...bring it on!

I did not have much guidance to help me interpret what I was feeling, what was happening, or what my next step(s) should be as I began this journey. I hope my path can provide some help, or at least some reassurance, for you! I hope your wife can give you some time to figure things out now that you have a diagnosis. She might fear that you are going to use your diagnosis as an excuse which would then discount the validity of her feelings and reactions to your past behaviors. One thing to learn early on is that ADHD is NOT an excuse, but it IS an explanation. We (ADHDers) are responsible for what we DO with it. 

DF's picture

To you ADD Wife

I read some other stuff you wrote in other posts and answered my own question about your husband.  It almost sounded for a bit there that you were seperated.  Now as for your your latest post....

I was fortunate on the issue of meds.  I took the advice of another poster who my situation relates closely too and it worked.  Fom me, 10mg works fine.  I tried 1 day at 20mg and could barely get up off the floor.  The squeeze that the adderall put on my brain felt like it was literally a hand on my brain keeping my head pointed straight.  I do not believe the meds are the answer for me.  For me I believe that knowing about ADD is the best med I can take.  While I continue my journey of self discovery and learning about how to see the symptoms perk up, the meds are just making it easier.  If I want control, I have to be able to see it coming and learn how to stop it.

For the emotional health, this is tough.  I do see where I'm in a needy, fragile phase, but I don't really know how to cope with this.  It's pushing my wife away and without even talking to her I seem to be doing it anyway.  If I can't make family plans with her because she's not interested, I can't very well talk about the damn weather everyday.  She doesn't want to talk about her day at work because she's burned out at her office and is unhappy there.  I'm left with little options.  She likes gardening, but she's pissed off that I'm all of a sudden interested for the first time in 12 years.  Everywhere I go it has to be grey and simple. 

I'm constantly going through the cycles in my head of memories and I can pick out the ADD and when it interfeared.  I can still see the disappointed look in her eyes.  You are so right about the not being an excuse.  I've been unable to verbalize that it is an explanation and my wife doesn't see it that way.

Lastly, I know I have a lot of good qualities.  I make people laugh, I'm athletic, and I want the very best for my family.  My self-esteem issues come from my decade long desire to want to make my wife happy, but failing.  We've had a lot, a lot of good times, but she's only remembering the bad right now and for the foreseeable future.

ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE!

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that our actions or non-actions are COMPLETELY UNRELATED to how we feel about you or the way you have "been the one that has held it all together" or "looked the other way." At least for those of us who are aware of our ADHD, we KNOW all that you have done and are so grateful for it! Our insensitive and frustrating behaviors are a result of immature parts of our BRAIN. It's just that we are adults, so that is hard to accept because adults are supposed to be more in control of ourselves! But if a child forgot your birthday, did or said something careless, thoughtless or tactless, would you attribute the same intent or meaning to his behaviors? Certainly not! A child is not expected to think or behave like a mature adult. But...people with ADHD often behave in many ways just like that child, without any intent to "send a message" of any kind to anyone! And so we are shocked and feel terribly guilty (and often defensive!) when someone "interprets" a "message" that we never meant to send at all. Especially when the interpreter is our beloved spouse, who somehow "hears" the "message" that we supposedly do not love them or care enough. But of course, our defensive response does NOT help the situation, and it often explodes into anger or blaming YOU for misunderstanding, or for reacting in whatever way you did to whatever you thought we were "saying" in the first place. Ugh--you can see where this cycle goes, and I'm sure you've lived it many times.

This is by far one of the best paragraphs I have ever read about ADHD. It made me cry. It is so very, very helpful to have this kind of insight coming from a neutral party. This really hit home for me today and an issue I am dealing with in my marriage. We have opened the lines of communication again and are trying to work through things. This weekend there were three separate incidents where he made promises he didn't keep or said he would do things that he didn't. One was a promise that he was going to the den and would be back up in 5 minutes, just had to make some cigarettes. He didn't come up in 5 minutes...or 5 hours. He slept in the den the entire night. Second was his promise that since yesterday was Mother's Day we would do anything I wanted "we can go riding, or watch movies, it is your day, we will do anything you want". We went to church and then went to the park for a picnic. On the way home I mentioned TWICE that I would like to watch a movie when we got home. He went to the den immediately but said he wanted to come watch TV with me, when I was done feeding our son, but specifically said "not a movie, just TV". The third ties into the second...he came to "watch TV"..which translated into he wanted sex. We were cuddling and he said he wanted to cuddle with me all night, naked. I guess his urges got the best of him, he couldn't wait, and once he got what he wanted he went back to the den and I didn't see him again until 3 a.m. when he came to bed. No movie. No cuddling. Nothing. Sex was quick and one-sided...which is not normal for him...and it made me feel used and sad.

I wrote to him in our journal about it, but haven't given it to him yet. My reasons are that I don't want to make him feel like his efforts are always going to be met with my criticisms. Yes, we had a nice weekend, but it was also a reminder of how much hard work we have ahead of us. There is no 'right' time I don't suppose. I will show him the journal soon. I asked for him to please try and be more aware of what he says and the things he promises. I pointed out that I feel it is his desire to say just the right things at the right times in order to make me happy, but when he doesn't follow through with what he says it causes disappointment and makes it hard for me to take him at his word. I suggested he just not say anything as opposed to saying things he doesn't intend to follow through with. I also asked him, if he does make one of these comments or promises, that he do everything humanly possible to follow through, even if he doesn't want to...again to avoid the disappointed feelings. I told him I did not think his intention was to hurt me, but that is the end result so that would suggest that it needs to be addressed, right?

Also, I thought it would be a good opportunity to point out that it is a classic sign that he is not in control of his ADHD, but that it was in fact in control of him. He denies that his ADHD is involved, to any significant degree, with any of our issues. I told him it should be proof to him that it is more in control than he thinks.

Any advice on how I could word this better?

Re: Invaluable

Yes that is a great article. My question is how do we know if they really love us? We have so few days that we are on the same page. I am so hurt because the way I receive his words and actions that I no longer know what is real. Today he blew us over what I think was nothing, but to his reaction it was huge...? His favorite thing to say to me is get out ...leave.This morning he said he'd call the law and have me put out.He has done this almost the whole time we have been together and later says that it is because I make him so mad that I cause him to say these things. Part of me knows that I'm not responable for his behavior but what does that matter? To him it is or his reasoning? I feel so unloved and homeless..I'm getting so sick and he lets me know daily and sometimes many times. Sunday he was so angry I cried many times. My only child is dead and so is my mother so Mother's day is hard already, but his anger made it almost unbearable. I ask his why he was so angry he said it was pay back for the way I had talked to him in the past ? I believe it is the ADHD coupled with his Testosterone injections, but I have tried to speak to him about it only to get anger lashed out on me. I'm so hurt not just for me but him...I see the wild look in his eyes and then the anger comes out. As he was leaving for work he thew the finger at me while he drove off. Part of me wanted to laugh at the childish behavior but it really was hurtful...what adult acts like that ? Thanks for reading, feedback and prayers needed.

Sorry, Delaine

Wow, that is rough.  

Is he on ADHD medication also, or just testosterone?  The T can definitely cause some irrational anger, I think.  But there are also some ADD meds that can cause some irritability too--especially when it is wearing off.  My son was taking Focalin XR for awhile and he had some psychological side effects.  He is a VERY laid-back, happy-go-lucky kid, but he became almost depressed at times and begain to have some suicidal thoughts, and he was also irritable/angry in the afternoons.  When he told me about the suicidal thoughts, I immediately tried switching his meds (now on Vyvanse), and all of that is completely gone, thankfully.  Remember that these medications are designed to alter our BRAIN chemistry, so it makes sense that certain ones might cause some unwanted emotional side effects.  I would just watch for that if he is taking anything.

Or if he is NOT on ADHD medications, he might need to try some.  Stabilizing my emotions is the biggest benefit I get so far from taking meds.  My reactions and feelings are much more "even" and steady--I do not get quite as high or quite as low on that roller coaster anymore.  Of course, major events or major arguments, etc. can still cause some of that, but I think most non-ADD people experience that anyway.

If you can "see it in his eyes" like you said, it makes me think maybe it IS from the hormones?  I have no idea if there is anything to counteract that side effect?  You would have to ask a doctor.

I don't know how you will know if he really loves you or not.  The answer to that will be different for each relationship.  But I would definitely not try to evaluate it in his angry moments.  If he ever has other emotions toward you, try to snapshot those moments in your head and see what you think?  Hang in there; you are brave and strong to stick it out and try to make this work, even after being treated so badly.  And yes, I will pray for you.

RE:Sorry Delaine

Thanks for reading , responding and above all your prayers. I have gotten to the point that I believe that prayer is all I can do. Yes he is on meds. at the moment he is taking the only non stimulant out for adults and yes I have read that it can have effect on his personality. The thing about it is this is his 3 drug in a year and it has been the most effective by far..I do think he could use a higher dose , but he want hear of it. He told his doctor that it effected him going to the bathroom and said the doctor would not increase it. I'm not sure of any of this due to the fact that he will not let me talk to the doctor. He took Vyvance for 3 months, but after the 3 rd month he was having explosive anger. As for I can tell the T shot does have an impact on his behavior , but there again he is closed to taking about it, it only causes him to exploded. I really don't know only what I see and my thoughts are as this. He is almost 52 wants to have a body of a 30 yr. old and takes the T shot to help that and his ED.Now am I seeing clear ? He says he takes it BC. his T is low and it can cause cancer etc. if it's not raised.The doctor that gives him the shots is a different Doctor than his ADHD doctor. Last week he came in from getting the shot and went off on me..he was angry all day. The first thing he said to me in a hateful tone was " you don't know as much as you think the T shot is not  steroids...etc. The day continued in his anger.

I remember when he started taking this ADHD med. he told me he had no ideal before that he saw things different, but now it's about 80% back to where he was without the med.I bought the book "The ADHD effect on Marriages" but he has little if any interests in reading it, nor does he have any to go back to counseling or get a coach. My husband hates to face that his ADHD is having the bulk effect on  us. I believe he takes it so personal...I have tried to tell him I look at it as any other sickness...cancer...diabetes etc. but he just want listen. My heart goes out to him inspite of the effects it has on me, because I have gone though  deep depression  when I lost my baby and mother and know that I was not myself and treated my love ones poor but could not see it until I got meds. and was better. I'm a strong woman , but I am getting sick over this. I have no insurance and have been turned down for free care so if I don't get a hold of myself I'm afraid I will slip into that depression again. Thanks for reading, feedback and prayers needed.

was reading

a post somewhere else that kind of sums it up. You know you have adhd when: you know your dad'sb-day is July 11th, you know today is July 11, somehow you don't know that today is dad's b-day

Bingo!

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  I will frequently schedule myself to be in two places at once (usually taking a child somewhere while I am supposed to be somewhere else) and it never occurs to me until I am getting ready to leave!

Remembers, but had to take energy back

My husband remembered Mother's Day, but has developed a pattern where he needs to get energy back for any energy he gives to me.  Whether it's spending time, money, or energy, if he gives anything to me he has some kind of big crisis within a few days, and wants double the energy back to support, encourage, or help him through it.  It sounds odd, but I've been keeping track for the past several years.  It's to the point where I don't want him to give me anything, because I know he's going want double back from me, and I don't have it to give. 

My kids got together to have a special dinner for me last weekend to celebrate the completion of a big project.  They're adults, so they did most of the work and planning, but needed some help from my husband to keep it a secret.  He did the dishes a couple of times and some other household chores.  Starting with Monday, he's had the worst 3 work days that he's had in years. I've already spent quite a lot of time listening to and being supportive of him, and we're nowhere near finished with it all.  I'm going out of town this weekend for a planned event, and he's already frustrated that I won't be here to help him with all the stuff we need to discuss.  This is a pattern that we've developed over the years, and it means that I don't do much of anything "extra" because it causes him so much stress.  Even plans to attend a 2-hour ministry meeting causes challenges.  He really wants me here and available to him all the time.  It's exhausting.

Wow - I can relate

I can relate to the "need for double the energy and support back".  It seems that lately, yes, my wife is doing better at giving me time without distraction, making it a point to do not do some of those things that make me angry, etc.  And she also has been having "melt-downs" where she really needs me to be supportive, tell her I love her and bolster her self esteem.  It feels like it is beginning to turn into a co-dependent relationship and I am so NOT a co-dependent.  I have no desire to be her rescuer.  I just want to say "get a grip" but know she would think that was so terribly harsh.  I just don't know how to respond to her when she gets like this.  She won't take my suggestions that she get help - coaching, counseling, whatever.  She's on meds and sees her psychiatrist maybe once a month and she seems to think it is enough.  It's not.  And I am getting tired of her coming home from work overwhelmed and/or close to having a breakdown and expecting me to be there for her.  It would be nice if sometime she would just come home in a good mood so we could have a pleasant evening.

I am so sorry

As reading your story it touched me I am 20 years old with 2 kids a 2 year old daughter and a 1 year old son, I am a stay at home mom and take care of our children 24/7. I hate to say this but my husband has nothing to do with our kids and me being so gullible I though yesterday would be so different. The kid woke me at 10:00 and he stayed asleep finally around 2 he got up and asked me where is lunch was. I was in a very bad mood and he didn't know why finally at 6 pm I said do I even get a HMD and he said oh I forgot HMD. All night I kept waiting for something but nothing happened. We went to bed at 11 and he didn't even hold me he just went to sleep. It was really painful and I couldn't believe it. I woke up this morning still very upset and he doesn't understand why he said Mothers Day was yesterday so I have to reason to still be upset today.......

The best Mother's Day I've had

Hmmm.  I remember reading this thread last year, after I got nothing for Mother's Day, and it ending with me being yelled at for asking my husband if he would mind putting the kids to bed so I could relax (and me subsequently in tears). 

So this year, after finally internalizing that maybe it's my own *expectations* that is bringing me down, I decided to just celebrate myself.  I didn't expect my husband to do anything -- if he wanted to, great, if not, fine.  I got up early, went to the grocery store, and picked out a bouquet of flowers and two balloons.  Came home and put the balloons on each child's seat (4 1/2 and 2).  My husband was still sleeping on the couch (where he has been for the past five months), didn't wake him up or ask him to do anything -- got the kids up and dressed and down for breakfast.  The kids were THRILLED with the balloons and that it was a "special" day, we discussed going to church, and brunch, and planting some herbs in the garden.

It's 8am.

Husband (from couch):  "Who got you the balloons?"

Me:  "I got them for myself."

I continue chatting and laughing with the kids.  We're talking about the garden.

Husband (from couch):  "I thought you were going to plant the garden yesterday."

Me: "Didn't have time.  But it's Mother's Day today so we'll spend the day together and do it this afternoon."

Husband finally gets off couch and comes in kitchen with a scowl on his face.

Husband:  "I'm taking the kids to the aquarium this afternoon."  Looks at me with a defiant look on his face.  I don't answer...I'm thinking of how to respond without creating a fight, since that's what he's trying to do.

Husband:  "Are you going to answer me?"

Me:  "What's the question?"

Husband:  "I'm taking them to the aquarium this afternoon."  As much as I was tempted to point out that that was still not a question, I simply said, "That's fine, do whatever you want."

Husband sits down at dining table and looks at balloons and flowers, and says, "I was going to get you something today but since you beat me to it you can forget it."

I shrugged and left the table and went to the computer.

Husband comes in five minutes later.  "You know, you always leave the kids unattended, spending the ENTIRE DAY on the computer.  You can't take care of the kids -- you hate even being alone with them."  My son is in the room and looking up and listening.

I say, "You know it's Mother's Day, and I'd like you not to speak to me today."

Husband: "$#$^& Mother's Day.  You can't even take care of your kids and you spend your whole day on your a--. "

Me:  "Could you please stop putting me down in front of our son?"

Husband to son: "I'm sorry I yelled at Mommy.  She really pisses me off."  Then he walks away, muttering in a childish, mocking tone, "It's Mother's Day.  Put me on a pedestal."

I go on with my morning, to church and brunch with the kids, and had a great time.  Come home and take a quick nap, to wake up and find my husband leaving with the kids and the au pair -- on her day off -- to the aquarium.  It's 2pm.

I watch them go, invite a friend over, relax, and then start preparing dinner around 5.  No one's home by 6.  I call, to find out husband has taken the kids and the au pair OUT TO DINNER, without inviting me.  So I end up eating leftovers at home alone.

This is all, by the way, after six months of me (nonADD wife) 1) taking responsibility for myself, my anger, my codependency, and apologizing for all of the mistakes I've made in our marriage; 2) laying out all of the things I want and need in a marriage without blaming, accusing, or telling him how he should go about making it happen (i.e., trusting that he can do it on his own and will ask for my help/advice if he wants) and 3) letting him know that I will treat him with respect and want to be treated the same -- a promise I have lived up to.  I have also made it clear that I cannot and will not live in an environment where I am torn down, berated, belittled, demeaned, and called names in front of the children.  Husband says he doesn't want a divorce, and wants to work things out...but has slept on the couch for five months, spends time and attention on the au pair, and blames me for all of his problems.  Last week he invited himself to lunch with me and the kids and called me an a--hole in front of them.  Oh, did I mention he also told me he had an affair?  Yooo-kay.

All I can say is, I cannot be more grateful to my husband, each and every day that passes, for making it crystal clear to me that leaving is the exact right choice for me to make, without a second look back.  And for helping me become a better person in the process.  With two great kids! 

You sound like a great mom,

You sound like a great mom, happy mothers day from one member of your support staff :)! No really, this web site is visited by so many peoplle who KNOW what you are saying, and can empathize with what you're feeling. I am on this journey of understanding too, of what it really means to have a spouse with adhd and both of us (Dh and me) are learning. I want to suggest a different alternative for what happened Sunday. I think that for whatever reason (like a strong adhd moment), your husband was having trouble connecting. Just couod not do it, was tired, felt the challenge of having to meet some perceived expectation he could not deal with... Whatever (Im speculating). And in this way, though he may have had an underlying awareness of this process, could not see that he was doing this-- hence the "im sorrys" (along with, the internalized guilt of not having met the expectation of doing "the right thing". I guess my replay of your Sunday, woukd have started like this: since it was Mothers day, i would not have done the three loads, (ok, maybe one ;)), but let myself enjoy a day I knew I deserved. But if your dh was not meeting your real expectations, let him calmly know it- "yknow honey it would mean a lot to me if you helped me this morning with breakfast for mothers day"... In other words spell out what you need and dont assume he knows- too much internalized stuff is going on for him that is/may be out of his control, seriously. Does that mean he should not make an effort to make your Mithers Day special? Absolutely not! But I think, depending in where/what time/what med, etc our spouse is, he may not immediately be able to pull it all together. I am learning to give my dh the opportunity to respond with reminders versus taking over and "doing it myself because he can't"...(my own previous style)... And the surprise is, he IS managing and doing more. I am also letting go of some things (the not having All the laundry done would have killed me before, lol!)... If certain things are not done in my timeframe that he was supposed to do, then so be it. If it is something I really care about, then Ill do it or get someone else to do it. Same goes for Dh (something he obsesses over, then he shoukd be in charge and not be irritated at me/overreact becaude its his responsibility).... If he had not gotten me a gift (and happily, he did something- much to my surprise), then I would have said in a quiet moment- "yknow, that it would have made me feel nice if you had done something for me on Mothers day...im just saying..!". Unfortunately, people w adhd dont always put it together in a timely way, without a little (ninconfrontational) help... Still working our way out of this paperbag though, and all is by far, not perfect. Still trying to learn...

Good for You!

"I am learning to give my dh the opportunity to respond with reminders versus taking over and "doing it myself because he can't"...(my own previous style)... And the surprise is, he IS managing and doing more. I am also letting go of some things (the not having All the laundry done would have killed me before, lol!)... If certain things are not done in my timeframe that he was supposed to do, then so be it." 

From an ADD wife, I say thank you for doing this for your husband!  For giving him the "opportunity to respond" and then acknowledging that he is "managing and doing more" - it seems to me that wrapped up in that word "more" are also some failures and times when it DOESN'T happen.  But it is very refreshing that you have the perspective to see the PROGRESS and not get bogged down in the setbacks!  I hope my husband is able and willing to give me the same freedom and to look for the positive results too.

I especially like your comment: "If it is something I really care about, then Ill do it or get someone else to do it."

That is exactly what I keep thinking, but it seems rude to say it to my husband, so I don't.  If something really bugs you (like the dirty dishes in the sink) or you are going to be upset if it's not done (like dropping off the tax returns at the accountant), then DO IT YOURSELF!  It's great that you have come to that conclusion by yourself.  Hopefully we ADDers will surprise you sometimes and get things done that you were not expecting us to, but if it's really important...you'd better at least PLAN to do it yourself and if we do it for you--that's a wonderful bonus!

Thank you addwife for your

Thank you addwife for your kind words. I just reread the bulk of this thread and only just now realized that the original post is from last year. But does that really make a difference? I thank especially df and you for bringing in some incredibly helpful perspective from the "person w adhd" side. And i am struck by the fact that these lines are often blurred by the fact that no matter which "side" of the table you are sitting on, we all just want to be heard and respected... :) I do want to add the disclaimer, that I am the same person who only last Friday night was crying into my drink wishing my DH had a clue... But look, it is a continuing work in process for us all... Right?

What about things we can't do?

I am handicapped and can't do everything I know (and he does if he thinks about it) needs to be done. I also run into a problem with things that only he can do for other reasons, like banking HIS paycheck. I can't deal with his direct deposit, I don't work there. If I can't count on him to do the things I can't do, how do they get done?

I honestly, at this point, don't care if my husband loves me or not. I just care that he does what he needs to. I like to think that he'd want to feed me and provide me medical care, but I really don't care whether he wants to or not, as long as he does it. We can live together if he does what any husband needs to do, but I don't know how long I can go without adequate food in the house, without a car, without medical care, etc. while his needs are met. 

Happy belated Mother's Day!

One of the hardest things, I've ever tried to do is live a life of no expectations from my wife, but, I've come to realize for me to have peace with her  I must...You said in your post "I know this is my life with him"...We all know that, those of us who love and live w/ our add/adhd spouses. It's hard though, I'm sorry you suffered such hurt. I hope it has gotten better!

Geese's picture

what a nightmare

Why happened to you is pretty bad. Mothers and fathers of young kids obviously need the other parent to step up and celebrate mothers/fathers day or it doesn't happen. How he could have missed that four years into the parenting gig is beyond me. And I'm a guy with ADHD and pretty difficult case of it as well. Hope things go better for you next year. Hang in there. And happy belated Mother's Day :-)

Been there!

Hugs.....it is so painful.  I know.  You have to either just get used to buying your own presents, or specifically saying to your H a week before, "today you have to go shopping to buy me something."  Sad.  

 

I can't tell you how many Christmases I've had where everyone is opening gifts....lots of gifts (purchased by me), while I will only have a gift from each son.  I am very grateful that my kids aren't selfish lazy self centered brats.  But, it gets old seeing piles of presents for everyone else, while you only have two (one from each kid).  My H will typically say something like, "oh, you only have two presents.  I messed up.  We'll shop for you tomorrow."   Ugh.  Then usually he picks a fight with me later so we don't end up going.  

My ADHD husband of 30 years rarely ever gets me anything for my birthday, christmas or Mother's Day.  He forgets, and even when he's reminded, he doesn't do it.

 

It's part of the self centeredness.  If their special day was forgotten, they'd be pissed.

 

On Mothers Day, my son did everything (BTW...my son has ADHD as well, but since I raised him and not H's stupid, lazy mother, my son has a clue!!!).  And, as usual, my H kept talking about FATHERS day.  He's done that before, too.  So  self centered.  I kept saying, "It's MOTHERS day."   Your day is NEXT month.  Of course he knows that but he can't help focusing on himself.

 

One Mothers Day, we all went out to brunch and the restaurant was handing ut flowers to moms.  H said to the employee, "what about me" ?   Yes, he was "joking" but it was just another example of him moving the spotlight from someone else (me) to him.  He does that anything it's someone else's special day.  Ugh.  He's also done this during our kids' graduations or their special days.  Ugh.

 

Today I'm annoyed at H because every time I buy something that we both enjoy, I have to buy a LOT extra because H will "hog" it all.   Lately, it has been hummas.  I will buy FOUR BIG FAMILY SIZED hummas containers and I will write my name on ONE of them (I had to start doing this), in hopes of even getting to taste it.  I also do this because H will "double dip" (ugh).  

But, lately H has mowed thru the other three containers, and ignored my name on the fourth container and had eaten that as well.  Who does that?   I really shamed him today.  I don't care that he "felt bad" afterwards.  He deserves to "feel bad."   If his mom hadn't been such a lazy mother, he would have learned some manners decades ago.   So, today I went and bought FOUR more containers.  let's see if I get to have any ...lol.

 

This sickens me because it reminds me of my college roommate.  I realize now that she had impulsive ADHD.  If she didn't have something, she'd just take mine.  No asking, just took it.  When confronted, she'd say, "well, I needed it and I didn't have one of my own."  Ugh.  (she also had an extremely lazy mother and a bipolar father).

Mother's Day? It's good that

Mother's Day? It's good that I have low expectations. Our daughter was invited to a friend's house and asked for a ride. I told her to ask her dad since he said he had to go to the hardware store and I thought he could drop her off on the way. He was "too tired" so I ended up taking her. I picked up a roasted chicken for dinner because I knew he had nothing planned. My gifts were from our daughter that she made at school. My therapist asked if he knew it was Mother's Day. Yes, he did, because he took our daughter to church with him and they handed out flowers to the kids to give to their moms.

Birthday? My last one involved him tossing unwrapped presents on the bed in the morning. He made dinner but I ended up doing half the dishes. He didn't take our daughter to get me anything and she's too young to go on her own. I'm not even sure she knew it was my birthday. OTOH, he wants a big celebration for his.

Hogging things? Yes! We like ice cream. Usually we get four containers - one for each person in our house. If we eat some of his, he gets mad, but when his is gone (and it's always gone first), he eats whatever one he wants. Youngest Daughter has taken to choosing flavors that no one else will want so she can be sure there's always some for her.

Since we've filed for divorce and I know my relationship with him won't exist for much longer, it's much easier to tolerate these things.

Typical!

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Birthday? My last one involved him tossing unwrapped presents on the bed in the morning. He made dinner but I ended up doing half the dishes. He didn't take our daughter to get me anything and she's too young to go on her own. I'm not even sure she knew it was my birthday. OTOH, he wants a big celebration for his.

Hogging things? Yes! We like ice cream. Usually we get four containers - one for each person in our house. If we eat some of his, he gets mad, but when his is gone (and it's always gone first), he eats whatever one he wants. Youngest Daughter has taken to choosing flavors that no one else will want so she can be sure there's always some for her.

>>>

 

Yes, their things are big deals.  But they won't respect boundaries for others.

 

My friend remarried a few years ago to a guy who has serious ADHD.  She didn't know because it was a long-distance relationship while dating.

 

She has a middle-school aged son still at home.  He will only eat X cereal for breakfast.  Her H will eat a variety of cereal.  She always buys a lot of cereal, but writes her son's name on his box, because it's the only flavor he'll eat.

 

One morning, before school, son complains that his cereal is gone.  Her H's cereal choices are still there.  When she asked her H why he ate the only cereal that the son will eat, he basically said that he'll eat any damn cereal he wants.  Ugh.  She now HIDES her son's cereal box so that her son will have some.  

 

I, too, have had to HIDE certain foods that are needed for a recipe or special event because H will not respect that the item is needed for something.

 

At least twice, I bought something for my kids to take to school (for a school party).  I put the items in a bag, wrote ON THE BAG.....For School Party.   H still ate it.  And when confronted the next morning when the sad kid didn't have the item to take, H would yell, and say that because I made him "feel bad," then I should have to run to the store to replace it before school starts.  

 

 

These are things that I strongly believe that Good Parenting can mitigate.  My H's mother NEVER taught her kids any boundaries.  HIs siblings were able to take each other's things without asking.  H will admit that his mom never taught them to "think about others" or to "only take a fair share."   H's mom was too lazy to teach her kids ANYTHING!!!  I am not kidding.  

I'm not with my ex but we

I'm not with my ex but we share a child. He didn't get me a card from our kid and he brought over the ugliest potted weed as "flowers". I laughed so hard!! At least I'll save money on father's day haha. 

My very first Mother's Day? I got nothing. The next one was remembered. The one after that I got nothing and had to watch our kid all day while he slept off a 24 hr shift. I cried all day. 

This Mother's Day?!? My boyfriend got me a hefty gift card from V Secret because he couldn't be here.  I expect brilliant Mother's Days from here on out, just not from the father of my child lol.