I can't do this anymore

As the wife of a man recently diagnosed with ADD, I want to know when do I get to stop being him mother?  When do I get to stop having to clean up behind him?  When do I get to stop being the only mature, responsible person in my home?  When do I get to stop hurting, crying loosing sleep?  Is it wrong to feel that everything is all about him, while I'm the one suffering?

I've lost my companion, my lover, my safe place to be to this invisible thing that isn't even new.  I've lost myself, the strong independent woman I once was, to a man who I love so much it hurt.  I feel like I'm walking on eggshells all the time.  I'm not sleeping very much and for the last few days, I cry because of anything, everything and nothing.  I don't feel like I'm living, and just barely surviving.  It's like I'm on life support, but I can't pull the plug.  I need the pain to stop.  I want to go to sleep and not wake up until he has himself under control. 

mother, pamper or pussyfooting

You are right in saying that no one suggests the mother, pamper or pussyfooting.  I've discovered that it doesn't work.  It gives him less responsibility and ownership and I'm left not knowing what to do.  He is so unplugged.  Lots of people talk about how they significant other forgets so much.  Mine doesn't so much forget as much as he doesn't think.  I see it as not caring enough to be part of our life and or daily household responsibilities.  He doesn't complete anything, even something to little as putting a pop can in the bucket on the counter which is what it's for.  He'll put the can beside the bucket,even when it's empty.  When the bucket is full, it doesn't occur to him to empty it outside.  He'll put something in the garbage that hardly fits because the can is totally full, but doesn't think to empty the garbage can.  If I tell him what needs to be done, he get frustrated with me, so I'm stuck doing everything.

Typical untreated ADHD

This sounds so much like typical untreated ADHD behavior. I'm sorry to repeat myself but this cannot change until his ADHD is addressed, not just his anxiety.  He cannot change by willpower, even if he wants to, because his brain is working against him.  This is how untreated ADHD destroys relationships - but the odds that ADHD treatment would help him are in your favour.

For yourself, please get out of the house and talk to someone even if it's just to say 'thanks' to the person at the grocery checkout. Do not sit and cry. If there is anyone you can confide in then do it.  Also consider visiting your doctor and discussing with him/her whether you are actually suffering from depression or anxiety yourself. 

to sunlight

Don't apologize for repeating.  I did have to got out for a while today and ended up having to go further than planned to get what I as looking for, and happened to be alone.  I love driving and my errand had me on the highway, with my music and that has always been a relaxer for me.  It did feel good.

And I had called my doctor's office earlier.  Depression is nothing new to me, I've been on medication for years and it's clearly time to revisit the dose, again.

I really don't have anyone that I can talk to who would have a clue as to what I'm trying to express, which is why this forum is a great place for me to have ended up.

help yourself

Broken, I am sorry you are going through this. Grieving is ok. MY STBX has untreated ADHD, and I went through a major spell of heartbreak and loss when I realized that our marriage was not going to be what I had hoped and what it had promised during the hyper focus stage.

You are in so much pain. My advice is to stop thinking and focusing on him and instead, focus on yourself. What do you need to feel better that does not involve him? I guess what I am saying is, don't let him not putting the cans in the bucket make you feel bad. Don't let it define whether or not he loves you or cares. Step back a little bit. Talk to someone. Can you see a counselor or therapist yourself? You may be feeling some significant depression (I did, it's understandable) and it is tough to treat that on your own. 

This is just my opinion, but for this to work, not only does he need to treat his ADHD, but you need to hear and understand what he may be capable of at a given time. You can't really control what he does. You can only control what you do. You really have to let go of being angry (read Melissa's book if you haven't and hear how she did it). She decided to just be the person she was proud to be, whether or not her marriage succeeded, and did it. I don't advocate using ADHD as a crutch, but I didn't really understand how debilitated my own spouse was by it. I used to think that he didn't care and didn't "think," as well. When in fact he has a significant brain issue and putting the cans in the bucket is completely different for him than it is for me. I was angry with him much of the time, and it poisoned him and me. It hurt him terribly that I would be so mad over him doing something like the cans in the bucket (I was, I know!) It is important to pick what is important to you and not let yourself fall into defining his behavior about caring or thinking. 

 My best to you, in any case.   




To Lynninny

Thank you.  I'm getting so much support here.  You guys are awesome.  It's not so much, and I know this might sound too picky and specific, but his not putting the cans in the bucket doesn't make me feel bad.  It pisses me off, because the numerous thing that he could / should do but doesn't, gives me more to do, causing me more stress.  I'm running a very small home based business, have 7 dogs, five cats, lots of dishes, laundry, dust bunnies and dirt balls, litter boxes and all the usual household stuff.  I'm overwhelmed but all of it and when he doesn't think the recycling needs to go out or doesn't think the sink full of dishes needs to be done, or that I need to know that he has decided to take leave without pay from this government pay, how am I to feel.  He has unplugged.  I'm alone here to do it all while he sits with some sort of device.

Hear you

I really hear you. I meant to emphasize disengagement for your own sake, but not to suggest that you were making something out of nothing. My STBX would do things like knock over something in the fridge, look at it for a moment, and close the door and walk away. Not pick up dog poop in our back yard. Drop his dirty socks in front of the couch. Ugh. I got completely overwhelmed many times trying to work and take care of our children and would be in tears of frustration at stuff like the fridge thing. Him getting better at it would have helped, and looking back I wish I had tried to get some help for myself, squeezed a few dollars for some child care help Saturday mornings or a cleaning service once a month or something. In the short term, what can you do to help yourself? My heart goes out to you. Hang in there. I wish we all lived in the same city and could have a support group/co-op to help each other out for real:-)

reply to lynniny

No worries lynninny, I did take your point and comment as empathy, it's just that sometimes I feel that maybe I should make a big deal out of stuff, that there are more important to get upset about.  Yep you described my hubby to a T.  I love driving so I can do that a little more, but you know what gas prices are, I'm seeing my doctor this evening with regards to changing my meds, and I'm going to be spending more time in my sewing room.  With the depression, I'm sure you know that it's difficult to be motivated to do even the smallest things that make us happy.  I always thought it was kind of weird to see people sitting in a fast food restaurant reading.  But that too I am going to start doing, because when I sit in my lazy boy, snuggled with a puppy to just read and put everything aside, he always interrupts me.  Something on FB, or something he found in the news.  So I don't enjoy reading here at home.  Just seem that whatever he's up to is more important than what I'm doing and I need to know right away.  Sadly, I've let him drag me down and I have to stop that.  I have to force myself to do things just for me, where he isn't going to be interfering with me.

Question?  Does anyone's ADD spouse contradict most of what you say?  Cut you of, even in public, as soon as you open your mouth?  It seems that what I have to say is always either wrong, not said the correct way or not as smart as what or how he would word it.  Like I made a comment about something on a commercial, which was simply my thought, my take on what I saw, and he felt the need to correct me.


Yes, my spouse contradicts a lot of what I say.  A few examples (just from last night's supper):  he contradicted me when I said that our cable-TV provider had removed certain channels from our menu; he expressed doubt when I said that boneless, skinless chicken thighs were on sale at the local grocery store.  Dumb things, right?  Well, we haven't been getting along well lately (for the past five years, LOL!) and I recently filed for a separation, but I had said that I would try hard to be polite and friendly while our daughter is at home, and so far I have been very polite and friendly, and I've gotten stuff like this in response.  

According to Daniel Amen's book "Healing ADD," "I Say the Opposite of What YOu Say" is a "game" that ADD people play.

Reply to Rosered

Yup, exactly.  I've noticed of late that both his mother and maternal grandmother do it a lot as well.

Occasionally I would tell him to let me finish or that's not what I was go say.  Sometimes it would almost turn into an argument.  But last Sunday while in company of friends he cut me off ever single time I opened my mouth, so I just shut up.  Later one of our friends ask me if he's like that all the time.  I'm not sure how to deal with it in public, because I don't want to make a scene, for my benefit not his.

Exhausted by the interrupting

I am constantly interrupted by my 54-year-old husband of 29 years who was professionally diagnosed 3 years ago and has refused meds or behavior modification counseling. When I say "hang on, I'm not finished" or "please stop interrupting" he usually rolls his eyes and sighs "go ahead..." By then the conversation is essentially over or escalates into an argument as his body language says it all. I'm exhausted. I have subconsciously been on high alert for near 30 years. The stress of constant conflict and frenzied activity is driving me to consider divorce, or at least separation, as my health and emotional well-being have been compromised considerably. But it's the interrupting that wears me out the most, as it communicates that what I have to say isn't important enough to let me finish.

reply to stop start rewing

Wow! Thirty years? I get the eye rolls and body language in other situations, but I'm happy to say that when Honey interrupts me in private and I tell him "let me finish" or "that's not what I was going to say", he actually apologizes and listens to me, then corrects me. I too feel that it means what I have to say isn't important and or/ incorrect.


Mine did this frequently. He would talk over me and interrupt (actually said often, "but I KNOW what you are going to say!" Geez, imagine someone at work doing that!) and contradict and debate me to the point I stopped expressing opinions. I know the ADHD brain can thrive on conflict and it stimulates them--he certainly seems to thrive on it. Just yesterday I dropped our kids off with him and said, "listen to your dad, buddies," as I left. Just one of those things you say, right? Positive, supportive of him, whatever. He replied, right in front of them, "I don't know why you say that- it doesn't do anything." I don't engage any more and just left, but I tell you, I got to the point where I didn't care if it was ADHD or not. I was just so tired of everything out of his mouth being a critique, or negative, or just plain rude. I didn't want to figure out why any more. 

Also, the interruptions were like yours, too. I am an introvert and truly need some quiet time to myself at the end of the day. He would frequently find me engaged in a movie or something, after I had worked and gotten the kids to bed and planned the next day for 15 straight hours, and start talking over it. I would ask if he wanted to sit with me, but that I needed some quiet time and could we talk later? He would get so upset with me, like it meant I didn't care about him because I didn't want to see the you tube video he just found right that second. And insist that I watch it right then because it was so great. Sigh. 

My best to you. Continue to find ways to take care of yourself. Hugs your way. 


That's what I've been doing.  I'd start to make a comment about something on TV, then catch myself and not say anything.  I figure why bother, I'm wrong any.

OMG!!!!!!  Do you have any idea how good it is to hear that I'm not the only one dealing with with all this crap!  What a relief!  I've gotten so accustomed to it all over the year before the diagnosis, I guess just accepted it.

Thanks for the hugs and right back at you!

I know exactly how you feel..

I started another thread here two days ago.   I am currently in the process of divorce, which is incredibly hard for me based on my beliefs.  I have taken on the belief that I am single father with three children, one 29, one 7 and one 6, until I am out of the situation.  Yesterday her father had heart surgery, it seemed to go fine, but today there are apparently complications.  Since, and I am not trying to make myself sound grandiose here, I am the only financially and socially responsible person in the family, my wife actually asked me to take on caring for him, since he will not be able to work.  After I got medical attention when my jaw hit my keyboard at work, I calmly said she needs to go to the hospital and find out the actual information.  I will not allow myself to become the only horse pulling the chuck wagon with her family riding along.

I have to remove myself from the situation or it will destroy me.  It is like a tornado just waiting to take in anything in it's path.  It will indiscriminately destroy everything in it's way.  I read stories of people going through 20 years in marriages where they say there are miserable.  I don't think, even as a Christian, that God is calling me to be some martyr for another person. It takes two people to have a marriage, if there is only one involved all you have is a legal document that works for tax filing and affects inheritance purpores.


Wow, I can't believe she asked you to care for her dad knowing that you are at your wits end. She clearly hasn't fully grasped the problem. 


I have become convinced that ADHD must give my almost ex tunnel vision. Like yours, he would think of a solution to a problem that seemed logical to him or easiest (you taking care of her father--does she mean physically, financially, or both?) and would not for a moment see how it would appear or affect another person. Deep down I had seen him be very generous, but his actions often seemed so very selfish I would be incredulous. Mine once asked me, when we had two toddlers and I worked 50 hours a week, M-F, and had take home work, to take over everything else, too, in our household so he could use his time to get a new business idea off the ground. Basically coming and going as he pleased so he could devote all his energy to it. I already was doing everything-I think he wanted to be able to stay up all night and sleep all day to try this. He already had a job and worked 2 days a week (academia, flexible and sweet schedule). I could not understand why he could not use the 3 days a week we were out of the house to work in the daytime on his idea! I tried to compromise but could not take it with no help at all and him waking up at 3 on weekends. He was upset with me for years for tanking his prospects by not "supporting" him and kept reminding me that this was "not how he worked!" And get furious when I would interrupt him "working" on a Saturday at 5 p.m. (usually online surfing) for help with our active toddlers who had been up since 5 a.m. He would claim that he needed that time to "think." Wow. As I write it I am incredulous again. Good for you for saying no. Can't she take care of him or work part time or something? 


Wow!  I too have always considered my husband's best and worst quality as being how generous he is.  He's always willing to give to others and sometimes to the detriment of our finance.  His favourite line to me is "you might want to ..... ".  Even with my small sewing business, he can be very helpful in making sles for me, but on the other hand he volunteers me to do projects that I wouldn't never even consider.  I sew small items and do embroidery, and he once offered my services to do a total make over of someone's kitchen.  Not just towels and napkins, but curtains and the whole 9 yards.


You need to be able to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of the kids.  In my opinion, marriage is a contract between two adults.  Sometimes, one party cannot honor the terms of that contract.   In my opinion, it then means that the contract is broken, whether there are legal papers filed or not.  It is a moral contract.


Out of curiosity, how did

Out of curiosity, how did your husband react to the diagnosis? Is he going to get on some meds or seek counseling?

It can get better if they accept their diagnosis and try to mitigate some of the negative effects of it. Nonetheless, your marriage will always be affected by it in some sort of fashion. I understand where you are coming from about things around the house. My hubby never helps with the dishes (and we have no dishwasher), the laundry, or cleaning, etc. Most of the time, I'm OK with it. We don't have kids, just three cats, two of which were mine, and one of which he got me for our five year anniversary just recently. But sometimes, when I'm hauling laundry to my parents or the laundromat, or standing washing dishes for twenty minutes, I wonder if I can really take this. The answer is yes, because I love him. And because I'm a Christian, and because I don't feel like God has given me permission (personally speaking) to leave, I won't. I have a bad day and try to sort myself out on the next.

I do definitely suggest that you get into some sort of talk therapy. I started out on my own for several weeks before my hubby joined me. We've been going ever since (for over a year). The change in our relationship has been remarkable. I'm no longer constantly angry and I actually enjoy spending time with him again. Right now it seems that we are dealing with the more usual problems affecting a "normal" marriage such quality time spent together and money. But add those to the random ADD related issues and it can be overwhelming.

In any case, we are here to listen. Good luck to you.

Out of Curiosity

He accepted the diagnosis.  How we even ended up looking for help is that one day I was watching a Dr. OZ show where they were discussing ADHD.  They listed a few symptoms or sign that might be indicative of ADHD.  When Honey got home form work, I said I'd like you to watch this with me.  We both agreed that we needed to look into the possibility that ADHD explained a lot of his behaviours and we were right.  And yes, I glad to say that he is seeing s psychologist.  He's only on med for anxiety, but this is from way before.  He mostly will find something to do if he knows I'm angry about something else.  He has a tendency to clean the kitchen while I carry heavy thing around.  I could have mountains of laundry which is clearly dirty and needing to be taken to the laundry room in the basement.  He'll walk past it for days (I used to leave it there waiting to see how long it would take him to clue in) but he doesn't.

I'm realizing now thanks to this forum and you awesome people that MY biggest problem is that I just didn't get it.  Most of what was going on just didn't make sense to me.  Now it's starting to, I'm realizing that he's not just a jerk, well ya he's a jerk, but he's MY jerk, and I love him dearly.  Anyways, I'm learning that he's got things that he has no control over.


I'm in my lazyboy, watching TV and knitting and he is sitting at the dinning table not 10 feet away.  He's watching a movie on his laptop and even puts on earphones.  I feel so alone that I just turned off the TV and came downstairs to our office to be on my computer.  What else can I do?


Is it me?  Am I the only one who has read Melissa's book and now feels more discouraged than before?  Don't get me wrong, it's an excellent book, answers a lot of questions.  But am I the only one who after finishing, what I get out of it is that it's all about accommodating the ADHD person.  I mean really, but the time I sit and make lists with him that he won't follow any, I could have just done the chores myself.  It seems to be all about working out situations that make life easier for him, which is great, and he is totally onboard, he's encouraging me to take time for me, to enjoy my hobbies, to pamper myself.  But while I'm doing that, he is stepping over puppy pads, doggy blankets, dust bunnies at big as our dogs.  I can't get past the fact that he sees things that need to be one, but doesn't do it.  But has no qualms about bringing someone into the house that run the risk of getting attacked by dust bunnies.  I DON'T GET!  How do I get him to stop assuming that I'm wrong ALL the time.  We broke down today and I was giving my son-in-law directions, and hubby corrected me.  I was right, I could see the sign detailing where we were, he admitted that he didn't realize that we were where I said we were, BUT I WAS WONG.  I do I stop being so hurt and angry when he does this?

It's not just you.  I don't

It's not just you.  I don't know if I've read Melissa's book, but I am aware of (and quite frustrated by) the advice that spouses or partners of people with ADHD deal with it by being endlessly accommodating.  (It seems as though such advice is always prefaced or followed by, "No.  Of course I'm not suggesting that the person without ADHD do all the compromising," even though the advice does exactly that.)   

It's not just you. I don't

Thank you rosered for your response.  What do we do?  I love my husband to very much and cannot see myself without him, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life "playing into and accommodating the ADHD effect!  I feel like I'm drowning!


The suggestion of making chore lists seems to be highly recommended.  Honey has made his own list of chores that I'm okay with.  Quite frankly, I don't care what's on his list as long as there is a list, I'm okay with it.  List is made and pinned on the fridge, but Honey doesn't remember to look at it. So I'm still having to pull extra duties by doing his chores.  I feel I can't say anything to him, because then I'm either nagging or mothering.  So how does this help ME?

He's spending more and more time on the internet.  Now he has it on his computer, iPad and cell phone, so he's never disconnected.  He spends a lot of time watching movies on his laptop, and when I'm done in the downstairs office or my sewing room and go upstairs to watch TV with him, he just puts on his headphones to drown out the TV.


barneyarff's picture

I say this with great concern

I say this with great concern for your well being.....

If you can live apart from this person, consider doing so.   You can stay married and just live somewhere else so you don't have to deal with all of his "distractions"

You could then go on a date several times a week and have a great time then go to your own home that is clean and organized and he would have to go to his home that is a mess.   Really an elegant solution.  I am considering it myself even with kids.  A person who is making you miserable and is unwilling to ACCOMMODATE YOUR NEEDS doesn't really deserve to have your company.

You can still "love" him but do it at a safe distance.  It also gives you some leverage.  If he wants to live with you then you have to see certain criteria met.  And he either does it or not.  You will still be safe in your own clean organized living space.  And probably when the two of you are together he will focus on you.  If he doesn't, well go home and leave him stranded.

I'm retired and do not get

I'm retired and do not get very much for my pension.  I couldn't pay rent for an apartment, plus the utilities.

barneyarff's picture

Yes, I felt that way too.  I

Yes, I felt that way too. 

I had already spent many years trying to "accommodate" my husband's needs  (OMG  that sounds like some advice column out of the 1950's!!!)

I had lovingly taken him to dinner with a list of chores around the house that need to be done and let him choose first and put the list on the refrigerator and he would not do his part of the list.  6 months later when I finally got tired of the nasty bathroom I confronted him, he yelled that it was my fault because I never taught him how to clean a bathroom.    What??????   I'm not his mother.

Most everything I've read talks about the nonADDer jumping through all kinds of hoops to accomodate the ADDer who gets to decide whether or not to fix the problem.  To be honest since it's mostly men who have ADD I suspect a sexist component.  Most of the advice feels like old school advice to wives to make sure everything is done so when the man comes home, the man can sit and read the paper and relax after his hard day.

I'm mostly disgusted by it. 

That is exactly how I feel. 

That is exactly how I feel.  Sadly, it's also how my first marriage was.  Don't know if he was ADD or not, but he was 100% chauvinistic and raised that way.  Sexist component?  You could be on to something there.  Some day I'd like to whack him upside his head and tell him to grow up and be a responsible man for a change, but what good would that do?

Book doesn't recommend enabling

I totally felt more depressed after reading the ADHD relationship books.  The thing is, that the books do not recommend that we accommodate them completely, but I recognized that I wasn't likely to follow through on the steps required to enforce fairness. That is on me, and lots of the other nons on this forum. It is easier to enable. It is hard to establish boundaries, and expectations, and allow the consequences of failure (since they do impact us). It is hard to be consistent, and to let go of frustration and anger. It is easy to focus how unfair our lives have turned out. But that is not all their fault.

it is also unfair to my dh that he is one of the 4% with atypical wiring that results in near certain failure of things that require executive function. Totally unfair that society expects that 4% to still function like the other 96%. 

Most people take the easier path. Our ADHD-ers do, and so do we. I have recommended on this forum that in order to be happy that people assign tasks that work with the ADHD brain in order to increase the probability of success. That doesn't mean that I do everything, but it isnt reasonable for me to expect my ADHD husband to organize and plan anything. But there are things he can do. I am much happier now that I view things in terms of realistic expectations. And I recognize that my pathological conflict avoidance disorder is a large part of the reason he gets away with so much. I can forgive myself for that and see what I can do differently to get different results. But I can't expect anyone else to stop taking the easier path if its available to them. 

carathrace's picture


Shelley, this is one of your Greatest Hits:

"it is also unfair to my dh that he is one of the 4% with atypical wiring that results in near certain failure of things that require executive function. Totally unfair that society expects that 4% to still function like the other 96%. "

I never thought of it quite like that.  We/I non-ADHDs can list many things that are unfair in our lives.  But we have not cornered the market on unfair.  Melissa says we need to cultivate empathy.  Keeping in mind what you said will help me do that.

I also like and agree with your view that it isn't realistic or reasonable to expect certain executive functions to flow from our ADHD spouses.  In other words, quit beating that dead horse and get on with "increasing the probability of success."  Thank you.

barneyarff's picture

Shelley  I like reading your

Shelley  I like reading your stuff, I really do

But I have a question

How does one "enforce fairness"?   Let's take my example of curtiously asking hubby to divide up the chores.  I even took him to dinner and let him choose first.

When he does not clean the bathroom for 6 months (I'm not kidding.  I just held my nose and let it go for that long), how do I "enforce fairness"?

What does that look like?  Everything I read says hire a maid.  OK, but he has to pick up his stuff enough for the maid to clean.  So, then I read that he has until the night before the maid comes, then I will pick up everything and throw it in the closet, throw it away, throw it in his room with the rest of his junk.

Of course then, I am faced with an enraged husband.  So, where is the fairness?  I really don't know how one "enforces fairness" with an adult partner.

The only way I can see it is "Of course, I would be happy to go do this fun thing with you husband of mine, as soon as you clean the bathroom"  But that is a parent/child relationship.

It still looks to me as though the ADDer holds the rest of us hostage.  And unless the ADDer is willing to take meds, go to counseling and quit paddling down the river DeNile the only 2 options the non has is to either put up with it or move out.  Both are extreme.

Please tell me where I am wrong.

Excellent question

I do understand your frustration completely. And enforcing fairness is really hard to do without parenting. I asked my counselor and she didn't have ideas that didn't involve consequences. Did you get a commitment on how often he would clean the bathroom? It would be important to have specifics. Perhaps get it in writing. I will clean the bathroom every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. Then praise him when he succeeds. If he fails, tell him using an I statement how you feel. I'm really frustrated that you didn't complete your chore as promised. I would like to know I can rely on you to fulfill your commitment to help me...  He's likely to respond poorly of course. It's not a big deal, blah blah blah. Then reschedule the discussion to when he will respond better and ask him what consequence he thinks is reasonable for him when he doesn't meet his commitments to you. 

And enforcing fairness is still a stretch. It's not fair. Life isn't fair. And there is a higher rate of divorce with adhd marriages because many of us don't get enough pluses out of the relationship to help compensate for the negatives. Each couple has their own tolerances of course. I don't have a lot of sympathy for the ADHD folk who don't seek diagnosis or treatment. If the non says she is concerned you have an illness, even if you think she's delusional, finding out wont hurt. But many people are scared to be blamed... So I can empathize but only so far. Treatment isn't magic. The symptoms are still there. You still need to work with the skill sets each individual brings to the table.  Don't ask me to wire a house and I won't ask you to build a spreadsheet. 

Put up with it or move out... #3 is acceptance and mitigation. It's like putting up with it, but in a way that you can be happy. All unhappiness is the result of unmet expectations. So change expectations to match what is reasonable for the ADHD brain.  Wow there's a lot to mitigate.... Hire the maid. Suggest he set reminders in his phone to clean up before she gets there.  Or ask him what he thinks is a good idea on how to make sure that happens. Etc for each required mitigant. This is hard. Really hard.  I wish I could say that if you followed all the professional advice you would have a fair and balanced relationship, but I'm not sure those exist outside of fairy tales.