I love my ADHD wife ......

.... but she says that she has never been in love with me. This is we will be married 14 years and we have two wonderful children, together. My wife is absolutely my best friend and the love of my life. I have gone to years of counseling to better understand the symptoms and I feel I have done a good job of letting go of the early frustrations I had because I just didn't understand. There are still times that she will say things that will raise the hair on the back of my neck but I just take a deep breath and remind myself that she didn't mean it "that way."

Four years ago we were having a difficult time with her oldest son who has ADHD and ODD and she allowed herself to "check out" of our relationship. She fell in love with a man online who in the end turned out to be a fraud. She, being very internet savvy was completely shocked. After that we kind of settled into a period in our marriage that was just amazing to me.

See, over the years I have always felt as though I was chasing her, in competition with someone else for her attention and never really had security. During the last few years I experienced a level of security that I had never felt with her before; I was loving my life.

Last year she decided to go back to work and we began bowling which put us around a lot of other men. It became increasingly difficult to have to compete for her time again. Many times her conversations with the other men became flirtatious and in several cases men propositioned her. I DO trust my wife to not cross lines but it is embarrassing and humiliating to have to shake the hand of a man that asked my wife to sleep with her (because I am not supposed to say anything to the guy - so he doesn't know that I am aware of his advance). To my wife these interactions are completely innocent but it's the men's perception that really matters here. I have tried to tell her that she is giving signals to a man that it is only natural for them to him to explore. I recently found out she was sending photos of herself to a man while we were on a date - I was heart broken more than anything else.

I have filed for divorce but after a few days reconsidered because I love her so much. She has expressed some interest in separating to get her head straight and HOPEFULLY come back to me .......... right now I am just trying to hold on. I don't want to put our kids through the emotional mess that will ensue and honestly, I don't want to be without my wife.

I hope and pray we are together forever but I am not sure what else I can do at this point.


I am right there with you

I know exactly how you feel. I love my ADHD wife very much. We have been married 15 years and have three children. She wanted a divorce 6 months ago but I fought her on it. I had depression but have since addressed it. While depressed, she took advantage of my insecurities and talked me into a trial separation. I now see how her ADHD fed my depression. I only recently learned the symptoms of ADHD so I spent all those years thinking she just stopped loving me. When the separation began,she started "going out" a lot. I found out that she was perusing a friend of mine at the local tavern. I confronted her and it eventually stopped. She still stays in touch with a lot of male "friends". I resent her for turning me into jealous guy and then telling me that I am micro-managing her life! I stopped leaving the house for the "agreed upon" days. I explained how I agreed in the wrong state of mind ( while depressed). She accuses me of not letting her have time and responsibility alone with the kids. She, unfortunately, made the kids do all of the cooking and cleaning that I normally did and she would get upset with them if they didn't. I had to put an end to that. Long story short, she refuses to seek treatment for ADHD. She admits to having it ( and ODD) but says it isn't an issue. I keep fighting because I know that her actions are self- medicating and she hasn't crossed the ultimate line with me.....yet. I go to Al-Anon since I have an alcoholic father. I found that the principles help me with my wife. Specifically that I can't control her "disease" but I can control myself and that I need to take special care of myself.  That is the important thing. Take good care of yourself. You are no good to her or your children if you aren't good to yourself first. It takes a lot of energy and creates a lot of mental anguish to do what you are doing. And they say love is dead.

14 years and two wonderful children

When I first started reading your forum, I thought maybe my husband wrote it.  We have been married 14 years and have two wonderful children and I have ADHD.  Everybody's situation is different so I can only speak from my experience.  I love my husband with all my heart and all my soul.  I always have but there have been times in my life that my ADHD would not let me.  I know that sounds bogus and had I not lived it, I wouldn't believe it.  In our 14 years, I threatened to leave him so many times.  I said hateful things to him in front of our children and I was even physically abusive towards him.  I am not at all proud of these things but share them so you may get some perspective.  He is a very intelligent, handsome, and loving man and yet he stayed with me even before we had kids.  I am currently being treated for my ADHD but it has taken a series of serious ups and downs for me to get to the point that I could admit to myself that I needed a "reality check".  After a major incident between us about three weeks ago, we had a very frank discussion.  I never knew that my husband thought that I truly didn't like him.  It just never occurred to me.  I know that I told him, probably several times, that I didn't think I loved him.  I figured he would know that I was just angry at the time and of course I loved him...I married him, moved several places with him, and had kids with him.  

Our circumstances are a little different but I do understand where your wife is right now.  I'm sure she is truly confused.  She probably doesn't know what she wants because we ADHDers have a very hard time making decisions and choices. When I have done things in the past that have made my husband's heart break, I didn't understand why he couldn't separate my actions from our relationship.  I was a complete mess but didn't know it and wouldn't accept it  even though I knew I had ADHD.  However, this is no excuse for the disruption and hurt I caused in my marriage. And, there is no excuse for what your wife is putting you and your children through.  I had to decide to take ownership of my ADHD and only after that did I begin to recognize all my wrong doing.  Medication is necessary for me and I also get continued support from a psychologist who specializes in ADHD.  I know my husband still loves me but we have very little intimate moments anymore.  I accept that I have caused this and I'm working on repairing it.  I love him so much and would do anything for him.  I also love my children more than anything in the world and will continue to keep my marriage in tacked so they can have a low stress happy life.  

Don't give up on her but it is okay for you to expect her to take responsibility for her actions and her requests to you.  She should not be allowed to blame it on her ADHD when there are means out there to help her correct it.  

Thanks for being another good guy.  The world needs more of you,

Not defined by adhd