Husband recently diagnosed with ADHD...going well till now.

Hi everyone!  I have to say I feel incredibly lucky to have found this site, its like someone has been sitting in my house for the last 4 years taking notes!!  A little background about us, my husband and I have been together 5 years (4 kids between the two of us but none together) and married for 3....the first year was great and it only went downhill from there.  He really did become a different person and nothing I said could make him see that...he was angry, hostile and always ready for a fight.  Mix that with addictions, cheating (the most recent was in June of this year) and him deciding he really wasn't "in love" with me and didn't want to be married has made the last 3 years the hardest to take (although he has never left).  But through it all, I have been the optimist that kept it all together, picking up the slack and desperately trying to "save" my marriage.  I have a knack for seeing the positive in everything, so usually I am able to "talk him off the ledge" so to speak when it comes to our marriage.  This included two rather ineffective tries at marriage counseling, he refuses to ever go back with me. 

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, his regular doctor diagnosed him with ADHD and he started taking the medication in addition to his depression meds and its been such a welcome change!!!  Nothing perfect, but he actually apologized when he blew up over a couple really minor things ( a BIG step for him to admit being wrong).  He's been more willing to discuss issues and to just hang out with me and have fun.  We have even been able to discuss the ADHD and how it has affected us and what to do now that we know about it.  I read him some of the posts from here and talked with him about the research I had done after we got his diagnosis.  He has been seeing a counselor at the college he attends (completely on his own I didn't even know till he had went for a month) and that also seems to be going well, he doesn't tell me what they discuss and I don't ask.  I'm hoping eventually he will be able to open up (all he will say is he is working on his relationships) and let me in, but I know hes not ready now.  So I know I probably shouldn't be complaining, but last night has me completely confused!!!!

Last night before we went to bed I asked him if after having a few days to think about the ADHD, how it was affecting us (the discussion we had a few days earlier) and meeting with his counselor, was he still willing to work on the relationship.  He told me he was and that he wouldn't be taking the meds or seeing the counselor if he wasn't.  I then told him that I was just as willing to work on it too and change the things I needed to and that I was going to schedule an appointment with a counselor in town that specializes in ADHD and marriage.  That's when he flipped out......he started yelling that I'm always thinking we need a therapist (I admit the previous attempts at marriage counseling were horrible and didn't work, but it was the only way I knew to try and get him to see how horrible he had become) and that we can get through this by reading the books and me doing the research and we can fix it ourselves.  He went on to tell me its too expensive for me to go (we do have insurance) and that he goes because its offered free and when he stops going to school then he wont go either.  He told me that here is nothing wrong with me and that I don't need to go.  I couldn't get him to understand that both of us need help to change the patterns that we have set and especially me because I need to change how I relate to him and to get rid of the anger that I didn't even realize I had till I started reading these boards.  I never said a word about both of us going to see the marriage counselor, although I would be very happy if one day he did go with me.  He's totally against me going and I cant figure out why.....any ideas out there???

So I'm very sorry about the book I wrote here, any advice or ideas would be very welcome!


Extreme range of emotions after diagnosis...

I was 43 years old when I was diagnosed with ADD. At first I was euphoric, finding out that there was an explanation for so many of my behaviors. Sadness, thinking about how this unknown had messed up so many things in my past. Guilt, for the ways that I unknowingly hurt people. But mostly Hope, for the things that can improve. I own this ADD and I will keep working on improving my condition. It takes time to get used to how you feel with the meds. Awaking from the ADD fog and having to re-learn so many things. This is an adjustment for the ADDer and NonADDer. You have to have patience, he has to keep working on un-learning bad coping skills and give you time to believe the changes will stick and not be a temporary hyper-focus. He is likely trying to process all of this and easily overwhelmed with the thought of people analyzing him before he fully understands.

Good luck!



Thank you for reminding me to have patience....this hasn't been a good past couple days.  He is starting to use the ADHD as an excuse for his past behavior, he doesn't want to admit that even though the impulse was there he still could have said "no" and walked away.  I can understand that he isn't ready to try the marriage counseling again, but I'm still confused as to why he is so upset that I am going to go.  I was very clear that I didn't expect him to go, while still letting him know that I hoped eventually he would.  I know we can do this and I'm afraid he is just going to give up!!!

Thanks for listening, I have read your posts and you give me hope!

You have read my posts... Rot Row :)

My posts have been ALL Over the Map in the last two years... The "Just say no" thing is what causes SO much guilt. So much worry that I've discovered something aiding the impulsive choices and it may be TOO Late. After all, in my experience I was so oblivious to something that was bothering my wife that she would have to explode at me to bring it to my attention. Imagine a whole life of finding things out this way. Family, Friends and on the job... Scary to realize how blind I was before Adderall. Patience on my part was important because my wife would react to things before they happened based on my past actions and I was doing things better. I know once precedence is set it takes a long time to fill that empty bucket up with a new precedence. I went to a Family Therapy session with my wife and her Psychologist and it went very well. My wife did not know anything about ADD and it's affects on a marriage and I knew this meeting could help us. Also the doctor knew so much about my DW that she would know exactly how ADD would affect her, instead of trying to figure both of us out.

Thanks for saying my posts give you some hope. I hear so many stories of ADDer's who don't seem willing to change that I feel like I should try to show that change is possible.



Your posts are awesome, they give me some insight that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I'm trying to stay as patient and calm as possible, I love him to death and I really want this to work out.  I guess never realized how angry I really was until I started reading the posts on here and realizing I have been keeping alot inside.  I really think the counselor will help me, but again hes so against me going, he doesn't get that I need help too.  And I can relate totally to what you said about your wife, I find myself planning ahead for the next step in order to ward off whatever disaster I am imagining will happen.  I wish I could get him on here, but he totally wont, he does seem to listen when I read some of the posts though.  He thinks he can do it all on his own....with no support, except his counselor (whom he wont even tell me the name and has stated I will never meet).  I'm honestly confused and just trying to stay as optimistic as possible.

Thanks again :)

This site has been invaluable to me and I hope he will lurk out here and realize the site is not a bunch of NonADDer's bashing the ADDer's. Another thing may be something like I felt before reading about ADD. I used to think that all my bad, impulsive, selfish, oblivious, scattered (I could go on...) was "Me" the way I made myself and nobody else could be like me. I never realized what low self-esteem I had as I projected quite the opposite. Maybe he also feels like he may vent a little and does not want to end up discussing it together is a couples session. These were things I felt... I saw your other post and have not responded to it, but I see why being optimistic is difficult. Having uncontrolled ADD is like the cartoons where a guy has an angel on one shoulder and the devil on another and both suggestions make sense. Which to you choose? Hang in there...


Any chance he is lying about

Any chance he is lying about the counseling? This is NOT fair. You are accepting far too much from him that is just simply "his way or the highway". He needs to have FULL disclosure of his life right now...and needs to work with you to repair the damage done. He's taking meds and MAYBE seeing a counselor...but who knows? You really need to read some of the posts here about creating healthy boundaries. After my husband cheated the second time (first time in 1998, second time in 2009) I didn't ask...I demanded counseling for us and I also demanded FULL disclosure of everything in his life. If I wasn't worth it, then I didn't want to be with him. This is insane. He is manipulating you...I hope you start to demand more for yourself.

A couple of things... The

A couple of things...

The impulsivity/compulsivity issues ADHD causes are one of the hardest things I've ever tried to wrap my mind around. It seems as though for some (my husband included) he does not have the ability to think past the next 5 minutes to see far enough down the road as to how his behaviors will hurt those who love him...and sometimes himself as well. This can be 'spur of the moment' lies that he tells, to avoid conflict/being caught...without realizing that the truth usually always comes out and then there is conflict AND lost trust. This can be "I'm only going to get $40 from the bank" and getting $60 or $80...or only getting $40 TODAY, but getting $40 more tomorrow that he never mentions. This can involve blowing all of his money for lunches for the entire week in one day and not realizing that this puts a burden on the family finances because, God forbid, he not get more money because "I have to eat!". It makes no sense to most people, but is extremely justified in his "instant gratification" world. 

My opinion about why he may not want you going to counseling is that he somehow feels threatened by it. (will the counselor tell her to leave me? will it change her into someone stronger who will leave me because of what I have done?) Counseling sessions are painful because it is (in spite of how it manifests itself) very painful for someone with ADHD to be confronted about the pain they've caused. It usually either goes one of two ways...they get mad, defensive, and shut down (refuse to go back) or they start to take responsibility for it all and try and make amends. The first is the easiest, of course...and probably the most common reaction. Blaming the spouse goes along with it. "if only you would stop nagging and just get on board....".

I would make it perfectly clear that I wanted to go FOR ME and that I NEEDED it FOR ME and that it was unfair and unreasonable for him to be upset with you over it. Stand your ground. You do need it. I have a feeling your 'knack' for seeing the positive in things has gotten you through a lot, and that is good, but I also fear it has let him off of the hook for far too much. He is an adult. He has a disorder that has caused you a LOT of pain (I too have been through the infidelity) and he needs to be thankful you're willing to go to counseling instead of trying ot fight you on it and keep you from going. He's afraid. It isn't up to you to figure out the why's and how's of everything for him. He is probably full of shame and guilt and would prefer you do nothing to bring up the things he's done in the past. It is about control. He may even rebel against you if you insist on going...but you cannot spend the rest of your life avoiding things just because they are uncomfortable for your own expense. I tell my husband a lot.."I cannot just accept things about you that are hurtful to me simply because it is easier for me to accept them than it is for you to change them". I've accepted all I am willing to. The rest will change, because HE did the hard work and changed it, or else. Go to counseling for yourself...and let him work on himself however he feels is best. Let go...and take care of you.

We found out about the ADHD after my husband was unfaithful the 2nd time. I told him (before the diganosis, but after the affair) that he WOULD fix whatever it was that made him 'go there' and he would not stop until he had done just that...or I was not interested in being married to him anymore. That was in Dec of 2009...and we're still not there. Just came out of a horrible depressive spell and he is finally going to see a psychiatrist because his medical doctor and our counselor have yet treat his ADHD successfully. He has not had much luck with meds. Good luck!


I went ahead and made the appointment for me, next week.  DH isn't happy about it and he isn't coming with me, but I need to do this for me, to get my head straight.  Right now he is trying to use our lack of extra money as an excuse and told me that if "if you are gonna blow $30 a visit on a counselor you don't need then I don't have to stop smoking".  Pretty much we are not speaking at the moment, he came home from school today (around 11am) and went right to bed and hes been in there since.  But I'm hanging in there.


Is your husband taking his meds? It takes a while to figure out the right dosage and timing to get consistent results. Some of the posts you are making sound like he is still showing a lot of ADD behaviors. That is very good that you are going to the counselor. The more you know, the better for you!




I know hes taking them, because he relies on me to remember to give them to him.  That is something he asked me specifically to do when he got the script filled, because he didn't want to mess it up.  Hes not a bad guy, he just isn't taking this as seriously as he should (well in my opinion anyway).  Again just my opinion, but I think the dosage might be off or its entirely the wrong script.  He is doing a bit better, but not what I would expect (I used to work in a group home for juvenilles, so I have an idea of what to look for) and the Concerta seems to amp up the crabby and angry side of him a bit.  I'm trying really hard to keep my mouth shut and leave it between him and his doctor though.

Thanks for all the advice and just listening to me vent. :)  It helps more than you know!

I was lucky with meds...

I have heard that some people taking Concerta can be more irratable/easily angered than they normally would be. Adderall was the first drug that I tried and it's effects were immediate and amazing. It took a while to tweak the Adderall doses, but once I got them right, I have been pretty consistent. Does he say how the Concerta makes him feel? Is the fog gone, more energy, awareness and clarity? My DW probably wanted me to shut up about how much better I felt. I did not obsess about food and "Wanted" to exercise (Walking). It is good that he is accepting the ADD and seeing a doctor about it. It does take a little time to adjust to the new way you feel with better balance in the brain :)





Really the only thing he has said about the meds is that he doesn't have a problem waking up anymore and he doesn't need 3 naps during the day.  He used to have to drag himself outta bed and then he was ready for a nap an hour later.  As far as clarity or the fog being gone, I asked him about it and he looked at me and shook his head like I was I'm thinking that there is no progress there.  I would love for him to feel better!!  And I would love it even more for him to tell me that!!  He really doesn't seem to be any more irritable than normal...hes easily annoyed and irritated anyway.  I have noticed that he's spending more time by himself now, away from us (either in the bedroom or outside)...not sure if that is good or bad.  I'm just going with it, he wont let me go with him to see his counselor so I cant give the guy any insight from the other side of the equation.  And knowing my husband he probably hasn't painted me in the best light...I can see him running my down, bitching about me and making this all my fault.  Some friends of his have hinted to me (although not outright saying anything, wouldn't want to break the "man code") that he has been bitching about me and planning to leave for the last 6 months.  All I can hope is that the counselor is smarter than that!

Escape is easy...

Classic ADD concept. Blow up your life and start fresh is a concept that sounds appealing because the solution is not riddled with all the facts of it's reality. The grass is always greener, yada yada... After you blow up your life you will eventually see what it cost you and then the cycle of guilt will begin. Most of the time what is done to blow up your life is damage that is irreparable. Keep working on you, as this is the only thing you can control. The counselor will not be fooled by his ranting and placing blame. These guys/gals are not fooled easily. He will probably get a dose of medicine which is not easy to swallow and hopefully re-think his position.

So many of us ADDer's never get it and I'm riddled with faults myself, but trying to be better and help others if I can.




I'm not even sure if the counselor knows about the diagnosis or the meds, he was diagnosed by his regular medical doctor.  Just one of my many worries that he will never get the help he needs cause he isn't telling the counselor everything!!  He's so sure everything is my fault that I can see him not telling the counselor (about the ADHD) just so that he will have confirmation that I'm the reason things are horrible, thus giving him the "permission" to get out without guilt.  Yes, I have control issues...I'm very aware of that ( I need to know what's happening, when and where to keep me from spinning completely out of control) and hopefully I will be able to get help for it.  And him not letting me in even a little on his counselor or what hes working on is driving me nuts.

Thank you everyone for letting me vent the past couple days, you guys are awesome!

yyz please explain

This concept is so foreign to me--I don't get it.  It's clearly got my soon-to-be-ex written all over it.  "Blow up your life" is exactly what he's been doing.  In our case, this includes 20 years together and 2 kids.  Is it even possible for him to see reality?  How does one convince oneself so well that life is better without the people who love you??  It's one awfully deep hole to dig and settle into. 




Blow up your life...

As a child, my family (Mom, step-dad and sister) moved a lot. I figured out pretty early on that over time things just seemed to get worse for me with friends and at school, so when we moved I could be anything to the new people as they knew nothing about me. C student moves to a new city and becomes an A student. I could re-invent myself. You become so consumed with your unraveling that you can envision a better happier life if you could just "Reset" and do things better the next time, then the next time, whether talking about a new job or new friends or a new girlfriend. In our current situation were are over-whelmed by the giant mess our lives have become and it is easy to "Think" starting new could help.

Well for me it seemed that my DW and I had grown so far apart that I did not know if she loved me anymore. I thought that if it were not for the kids she would be gone because of the disconnect. I had gotten a new job with a big pay increase, but a lot of stress and lots of long late night hours. We had worked for the same company for our entire marriage, so she knew everyone I worked with and my hours were rarely late. There was a lot of new variables mixed into our lives in a short period of time. I worked with a couple of female employees who had jobs that required a lot of my time and became friends with them. Of course everyone knew I was married and nothing ever happened, but I knew my DW would not like me talking about anything other than professional matters and I ended up doing just that. I had no female in my life that I felt like I could talk to, like family, because I did not want any bad blood to deal with because I felt they would judge her. By talking to this co-worker I knew that if this was found out there would be serious consequences, regardless of my intent to try and improve my relationship with my DW. Once this thing was put into motion I felt like I was watching a train wreck in slow motion. I would never in a million years leave my kids, but I did think sometimes they might be better of with their mom and me with joint custody. Gut-wrenching thoughts because I did not think my DW would ever forgive me. The anxiety attacks I began having, which I had not experienced at this level before, sent me to my doctor, who sent me to a psychiatrist and my ADD was discovered immediately. There was an extreme roller coaster ride for the last two years and there were many time that I felt like the old days and if I split with my wife, life would be easier... This was simply something I did not believe anymore and I fought to save my marriage and since my communication skills had improved and I was not oblivious to everything around me I knew we could get through all of this. Things are drastically better these days.

It is possible for him to see reality, but he has to know and accept what he is dealing with and begin working on how to better himself and benefit the ones closest to him. It IS a Big Hole to be in, for sure...



Makes more sense

That makes sense, actually.  Though not a realistic answer, it does make sense.  

Blowing up your life is not realisitic...

I did not mean to say it was a good way to deal with things. It was a way to cope back when I did not understand what I was dealing with in undiagnosed ADD. This coping strategy is one that I am going to archive is the Failed Strategy Box :-)





I get it yyz's my husband, too.  

@e: I just meant that doing things like this never solve anything.  Not a realistic solution to your problems. 


I hope your husband can figure out what is going on and begin to develop some replacements for the old self-destructive coping strategies :)

Keep us posted...


Realistic isn't the word I

Realistic isn't the word I would use...

It isn't nice, productive, helpful, and does not in any way provide a person with a stable and healthy life...but whether it is realistic to you, if your husband chooses this 'pattern' in life, then you're stuck having to either ride the wave of the blow up or choosing to walk away from his poor (non existent) means of coping...or praying he's like YYZ and decides he wants his life to be different. 

Without going into details, please trust me that I know what you're dealing with. You and I see how sad it is...and how it leaves so many broken hearted people and devastated lives in it's wake...but no matter our feelings, we aren't the ones doing the blowing up and we cannot change it either.