I feel invisible to him....anyone relates?

I feel completely alone and the loneliness feels so much worse when you are actually in a relationship. I love him to bits and so does he but on a day to day basis sometimes I feel invisible to him. (He has ADD and I don't) Even the tiniest issue about him has to be discussed and addressed as it feels of major importance to him (and I'm always there and happy to support him). Then when I feel sad or under the weather I'm on my own. Or even worse he starts by being calm and 'listening' but by the end of the conversation he ends up being mean and hurtful to me....as whatever he's told me doesn't magically make me feel better! Anyone relates to this?

Our situation is a bit complex. We've known each other well over 15 years, and been close friends all these years. He broke up from a long term relationship 7 months ago and is still moving on emotionally speaking. Do ADD'ers take longer in the grieving process? On the other hand I'm still going through my divorce (split up over 2years ago). Since he hasn't healed emotionally from his previous relationship he does not feel ready to go public with our relationship so it's a struggle all the time to keep it secret. Therefore as you can see we both got a lot to struggle with. I am in the process of changing jobs, moving house and facing my divorce case in court. While he has a very stressful job, moving on from his past relationship and has ADD.

When we are in a calm mood its amazing the fulfilling conversations we have! But so many other times it's a struggle to communicate.....especially when I am in bad shape!

Any insights? pls help 

My husband, unlike your

My husband, unlike your friend, does not particularly like to talk about himself.  But he does have a hard time providing me with emotional support.  It makes me feel lonely.  I don't know if this is an ADD-related thing or not, but it seems to me that even though my husband prides himself on having relatively level emotions (not lots of ups and downs), I'm actually more emotionally secure despite having ups and downs.  My husband seems quite fragile; his outward displays of stable emotions aren't, I think, because he really is calm but because he bottles things up.  His seeming lack of ability to withstand hard topics in life (such as my expressions of unhappiness) have contributed to me not wanting to bring up hard topics.  But then I feel like I've been shafted, because I'm totally willing to discuss any hard topics that anyone has, even though they're often painful to talk about.  My only suggestion is to try to have friends and other family members to talk to about important personal topics.  

Wow, we really do have

Wow, we really do have similar situations. You described my husband to a T. If I try to talk to him about my needs, it automatically becomes an argument. He tells me I don't have any needs he is not fulfilling and dismisses me out of hand. He will not talk about it. I guess the arguing is done mostly by me. I try over and over to get him to hear me, which only pisses him off. He usually ends up walking out on me. All I want is to be heard. I feel like I ask for so little (spend some time with me.) I, too, end up just resigning myself to the reality that I will never matter.

Isn't that just how men

Isn't that just how men are? I've met a rare few in my lifetime that had the manners to act like they were really listening at all. I think they have to imagine us naked in order to act interested in what we are saying. I mean, come on ... men are men.

No, this is not your typical

No, this is not your typical behavior. My husband walks in the door and doesn't acknowledge my presence. He doesn't look at me when I speak to him, in fact he turns his back towards me. He tells me he loves me more than he could ever love anyone.  Yet I can't get him to even commit to a regular date night. Months will go by. I ask nicely, I beg, I cry. I gave him three beautiful boys. After giving birth to a set of twins, after a very difficult pregnancy, do you know what I got for mothers day? Nothing. When he does remember holidays, I usually get the half dead flowers or last crumbled up card for sale that morning. He says he loves me, but he acts like I don't matter. I am always forgotten or an afterthought. By the way, I am not high maintanence or materialistic. I just want to be valued. Why is that so much to ask?

I agree...I don't think it is

I agree...I don't think it is 'men' I think it really is the ADHD side of them that is happiest when left alone to do (or not do) whatever it is they want to do (or don't want to do)..PERIOD. They don't call it "inattentive" for nothing. It means exactly what it implies and the very simple truth is that they DO only make time for others when it feels beneficial to them (such as when they want sex). My DH can seem so very normal when he wants sex...or he can express all of the right sentiments that give me hope and make me feel like he is trying to make his family and marriage a priority again...until he gets sex and I swear it is as if the switch is flipped IMMEDIATELY. It is about an utter lack of ability to put yourself OUTSIDE of your own little bubble and see that you are neglecting everyone and everything that you claim matter to you. 

My personal opinion on why they avoid the 'hard' topics is simply because denial is the best way to cope with anything that makes them feel 'bad'. My husband's denial comes in the form of threatening to leave (which has stopped working...if he wants to leave, he has been told he is welcome to do so) or becoming extremely defensive and turning the topic around on me "all you want to do is yell at me/you are just like my dad was/I can't even talk to you anymore/all you want to do is bitch"... just happened the other day.  The point of the conversation is lost in his 'accusations' and he feels justified to walk away and not discuss the issue. 90% of the time this is how a conversation about something 'hard' ends...with him accusing me of "talking down to him" or "yelling at him" even though, God as my witness, I'm not. I can even be talking about someone or something COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO HIM and have a 'tone' that indicates frustration..NOT AT HIM, just at the topic itself...(i.e. "man, it drives me nuts when _____" ) and he accuses me of this. However, I have watched my tone very carefully...and have come to realize my tone does not matter...no matter how calm I remain, if there is anything in the conversation that requires him to admit to wrong doing or even admit he needs to change any behavior (no matter how destructive...such as lying to me) then this is how he responds. 

He does not spend time with me either...this is the second "period of time" in our marriage where he has done this. He has time for others, he socializes with others, but NOTHING with me. Sadly, I've fought so hard to get him to do something with me and waited for so long that now the thoughts of doing something alone with him sounds very unappealing to me. I've decided I'm going to start socializing with my friends...at least know they garner some enjoyment from my company. 

It's almost creepy the way

It's almost creepy the way you read someone else's post and it's like reading about your own life. My husband only wants to do things that directly benefit him- like sex. And I get the same crap about my tone. And you are right, it doesn't matter how you speak to them, it doesn't matter how nice you are to them, you NEVER get what you need. If I try to address any issue, I get screamed at for trying to ruin "everything". I'll be told how everything was perfect until I ruined it by "wanting" to start a fight. Then when I ask him why it's so awful to pay attention to me he tells me it's because of how I "always" yell at him. When I point out that he is contradicting himself by on one hand saying everything was wonderful before I dared to ask for anything from him, he just about goes nuts. When I shut my mouth and go along with him, I get nothing; when I open my mouth, I'm a bitch who deserves nothing. I feel like I have to be a Stepford wife. Just look pretty and STFU. I am only allowed one emotion around him. I may be smiling and pleasant, or he is accusing me of being "angry". I'm not allowed to be frustrated with the kids, sad about a misunderstanding with a friend or collegue, passionate about a cause, etc. all emotions are described as "angry". The truth is I am rarely angry. When I do get angry, it's because I can't through to him!

Sure Is Creepy

I read YOUR post and was just amazed at the similarity in our situations.  Actually read it to my ADHD husband, stressing the "It's almost creepy" line....he actually agreed.  

It does help to see that others are in these situations, because in the midst of all the pain, confusion and hurt that ADHD can bring, one can feel so UTTERLY and COMPLETELY alone.

Wow, me too

I feel the same way you guys do. My husband is like this. He has ADHD too. He never has had time for me, I thought things would get better once we got married but they only got worse. I feel like I never mattered to him. We have 5 children together (plus I have 2 from a previous marriage) so people have no idea he almost never touches me, I just get pregnant easily. He used to like sex but he is so selfish about it that I can't enjoy it. I tried to talk to him about it and tell him what I like and he accuses me of wanting him to be like my ex. He frustrates me so bad, I just want him to pay attention to what I like once in a while. But because he doesn't want to have to figure out what I like, he just doesn't bother touching me at all. He won't even rub my back. I just gave birth on April 4th and he already thinks I should go back to work because he doesn't think HE should have to, he wants to be able to stay up all night playing video games and sleep all day. It's 4:30 in the afternoon and he is in bed. He half-ass cleans the house and complains that *I* should do more. My first day home from the hospital I was trying to juggle sleep, breastfeeding our newborn and completing my school work (online college) and he has the nerve to tell me to "get off my lazy ass and do some housework". I stopped complaining about him to my friends and family because it's just embarrassing. I could deal with the ADHD if he would just take SOME responsibility for himself. Or if he could stop being a bully. Or if he could actually take care of things like he says he does (he cleans the house but it's only dirty because he lets the kids eat wherever they want and now they don't listen to my rules). He tells me that my opinion doesn't matter. I wish it did.

I haven't experienced this in

I haven't experienced this in my life either with my ADDer or with other men in my life/family who care about me.  Do they sometimes lose interest before I am done talking?  Yes, but then I tend to talk the way I type and everyone here has probably suffered more than one novel from me :)

I would have never married a man who I felt like listening to me was a chore because I need conversation WAY too much for that.  At his core my husband really is interested in what I think & what I have to say.  He says he gets a real kick out of the way I view and express things........even though he needs breaks now and then :)

ETA:  Since my post got put down at the bottom, I wanted to address the 'he only does what benefits him side of the coin'.  I also don't experience this, but I do admire women who have the ability to have sex with a man when he is acting the way some of the men here are acting.  God is my witness, if I was approached for sex after some of these behaviors, I would be physically incapable of responding.  Even if I felt it was for the good of my marriage to put things aside and do what I can to promote any kind of connection with my husband, I honestly don't think it would be physically possible! 

Honestly, I find your

Honestly, I find your response insulting. You offer no advice, just simply state how YOU would never have gotten yourself into this type of marriage. Your condescending tone about how some of us deal with our sex lives was particularly insulting. YOU aren't married to a man who can't focus, can't follow through on promises, and is self absorbed? Then YOU didn't marry a man with ADHD. My husband doesn't act like its a chore to listen to me. It is a chore for someone with ADHD. He WANTS to listen, but cannot. It is painful nonetheless. Because they have issues with attention, they often don't recognize that they have been completely self involved, and don't understand why we are repulsed by the idea of having sex with someone who has barely spoken to us all day, or otherwise acted like they are the only one with needs.

why did I marry someone like this? I didn't. He hyper focused on me for the first year. It wasn't until AFTER we married, had three kids within Two years (twins), bought a fixer-upper, lost a business, lost both of my parents- our biggest support system, that life got a little too real for my ADHD husband. I used to be able to laugh at my absent minded professor husband's actions. His lost keys didnt affect me. Now it means he will be late picking up the kids. Late for work? Didn't matter, he ran his own business. Now he has a boss and it matters. Our existence depends on it. Forgot to pick up a needed item? No big deal, we were adults who could manage. Now I have three kids who often have needs that can't wait until tomorrow.

I think you may be posting on the wrong site. Those of us married to people with ADHD need support. We beat ourselves up enough, we don't need any help. There may be a website devoted to those who never made a mistake, or had to deal with painful issues, you should post THERE.

Thank you Waterfall, as that

Thank you Waterfall, as that post made me feel the same way. In my case we are not married, and it's very complicated. I need your insights infact. Me and my partner (ADD sufferer) have known each other for 19years.....they were years of full support for each other, always platonic and I would have sworn on anything that this friendship would never evolve into anything and this thought made me feels safe. Well...my marriage broke down over 2years ago and my partner's long term relationship collapsed a few months ago. Our break ups had nothing to do with each other but since we are both single we discovered feelings for each other. We did the impossible to rationalise them, try to make them go away as we feared for our friendship. But in the end we gave up and surrendered that maybe this is our destiny. He was diagnosed with ADD years ago so as soon as we decided to give it a try he said we wont' do this unless we go to therapy. Our therapist is a blessing since her own husband is an ADD sufferer! 

My issues here are these (besides the self-absorbtion/lack of attention etc). He takes long and is very slow in dealing with emotions. So when we got together he told me he needs his time to emotionally let go completely of his past pain and relationship. Its not that he is in love with her or wants to spend time with her. None of this. He means that he needs time to emotionally shift and fully commit in our relationship. He is completely honest with me....so honest sometimes I wish he'd use more tact in being honest....but we all know tact is another pain for us to endure. So basically we are keeping our relationship 'hidden' and everyone thinks we are just friends and this is killing me. However I trust in him fully and I know what he means that it might take him another year but one day he will wake up and 'bam' he is ready!

Is his slow emotional processing part of the ADD? Please believe me that he is genuine and not taking me for a ride, he is too blunt and honest to do so. 

Any comments?

You deserve to have a man who

You deserve to have a man who is fully devoted to you. Yes, my ADHD husband takes longer to process some things, but this is done within the context of our relationship. Life with a  person with ADHD can be lonely enough when they are devoted; I can't imagine how lonely it would be if there is no commitment! They seem to have a very different concept of time. When I've complained in the past that we don't do enough together as a couple, he would remind me of a great date we had. Then I would have to remind him that that date occurred BEFORE we were married!(about ten years ago!) He would genuinely look shocked! If you ever do get a commitment from him, you will have a lot of work to do just to keep your head above water. I just don't think I could put that much effort into someone who isn't ready to commit to me. I hope this helps:)

I also don't exist


I am touched by your posts and not sure if relieved or sad, maybe both, to see others express what is in my heart, and experiences so close to my own.  I was married 5 mo. ago and realize now I was just the recipient of my ADHD partner's hyper focus.  The next wanted thing.

Let me be fair.  He is a sweet, good hearted man.... but his ADHD makes him the center of the universe.  I had a high end career, savings, prospects for a future where my voice mattered.  It is all gone.

Seems all we do is work at fixing his life.  His finances, his job, his home, his memory issues, his custody issues with his child, .... I am an organizer with legs, the one that finds herself saying I don't want to be your mom as I talk to him and he sits and sets the conversation up as me lecturing him... bc he does not participate.  I know he is feeling he is failing.. but I am so angry now... that is part of the self-centerdness... Can't we ever focus on how all this is making me feel?  Nope.  

He started strattera a few months ago after I nearly lost it completely when I found out, right after a horrible honeymoon he treated as a video game playing vacation, that he had been lying all along about finances (out of shame not that he is a jerk) but the results were the same... I had to use all my savings to "fix" things, and here I am... things like they are.... if I end up on my own,...no job, no savings...nothing.....  bc I had to be the one moving to his place bc of his custody issues and work.  Before you say I should get a new job... my job required to travel internationally... I keep being told in this area I am overqualified.

Talking fixed nothing... we make deals.. I come up with ideas to help him control video gaming time, reminders.. so I don't have to be "on" all the time.. He does not follow through bc in the deep, at the end, he wants to do what he wants to do.  I am probably being unfair... I know adhd sufferers have to work harder that everyone else, this just makes me feel guilty, and more depressed.  Talking just makes him feel like a failure, when what I want is for him to see how serious this is getting for me and to become proactive.... so maybe I should just sink into silence and finish disappearing.  I thought, due to his hyper focus, that here was a man who loved me, who would care for me as much as I for him, that "saw" me... and I am instead invisible in so many ways... and when I complain or try to negotiate a way to save us it all goes to him feeling bad... then it diffuses.  I hate the wife ADHD demands me to be.  And I am loos... no... I can honestly said today I feel I have lost my fight.

Today, for the first time in our 5 mo married I did not meet him at the door to hug him when he came home for lunch and I did not hug him goodbye.  What's the point?  It is all so hopeless.

Strattera gave him awful side effects.  Our sex life died, he wears diapers bc of leakage (we are in our 30s), he bc snappy and moody, now dismisive bc he did not want to bother, rather than with non treated ADHD when he was trying but unable to really "see" me.  He saw me the first year.... part of me is so angry... if h

e can do it then how can't he do it now?  Then he bc so depressed his mother came to see me crying bc she thought he would commit suicide.  I set up a nice relaxing environment for us to talk and he tells me he was thinking about it bc he had ruined my life.  Please let me scream this out... SERIOULY???  I have to be responsible for that???  If I have to carry any more burden I will sink.  He was off it for a week and started taking it again (even though we had agreed not to till he met the doctor)  But agreements are just talk..he cannot focus enough to follow through on anything.  I feel defeated.

Sounds like my ADD spouse has

Sounds like my ADD spouse has a twin living with you. While it helps to know that this seems to be typical behavior of men with ADD, and maybe makes me feel a little less the person always at fault, to blame. Anytime I try to discuss my needs, hopes, anything at all, he does all of the same things. So I just want to cry sometimes, how do I live with being treated as a non-person for the rest of my life, is it even realistic to expect that anyone would? Even for love...He treats his ADD diagnosis as a license to do whatever he wants without consequence, no accountability, no responsibility,  no ownership of his behavior.  I entered into marriage expecting to grow with a lifetime partner, not to be an emotional, verbal, sometimes physical, punching bag to a perpetual ill behaved child.


I feel so alone too...my husband goes on and on about his problems at work,his kids he's missing all the time since he lives far away from them,and when there's a problem with my issues he listens for a bit then he gets upset in the end of my conversations with him.Seems like we have same instances in our relationships. I too just came out of a long term relationship of six years with someone I was with and he too was in a nine year relationship with his son's mother, and he moved down with me far away back to his home town and I can tell he has not gotten over his past affairs even though he said he did.He seem always distant from me and i know he lies about everything. ADHD is a very serious thing and i think we have a lot of thinking to do as far as our future goes and our mental stability.When my husband moved out of my home, I was devastated and that was before i knew he had ADHD I thought it was my fault,but to tell you the truth,since i found out he have ADHD,I felt better to know that if ever our relationship fails it would not be my fault, and I am happy to know that much...cause all that time before I thought it was my fault and I know now and I feel so much better.....and it would not be his fault either cause it's a disorder and he was born with that...