I surrender

I have read and learned alot from the post here so here my shot at getting help I hope.  I have been married for 7 years and was diagnosis with ADD 3 years ago, but I am 38 years old and grew up with people calling me lazy and dumb.  So it was a greatt relief to have some reason that caused some of my problems.  But even though I have been doing better since the med's and others in my life see it also, the damage i did to my wife and family may have been to much, because my wife thinks she wants a divorce. I cant blame her since I have been on the med's I see the destrution my behavior and am ashmaed. But I have been doing my best to change my bad habits and to be more involved. The problem is that my wife has been hurt so bad from my actions before the med's that she doesnt think she loves me anymore. I am so lost because i see my faults and i try to correct them and do good for awhile then i may not do so good but I always catch myself and try to correct it. Please how can i make her understand that i dont do these thing on purpouse and that I am trying to become a better husband and father.                                           



                                                                                                                                              Thank you

It sounds you have made some

It sounds you have made some great strides with your ADD. First of all you are acknowledging your past and the pain that this has caused your wife. Have you done marital therapy yet. Please read the book, " Is it you, me or adult ADD", It will show some examples of how the relationship has changed when someone in your family has ADD. When you see yourself saying or doing something of your past that you know was painful. Stop and say i am sorry. If your wife thinks your meds are not working, listen and try something else. Her  opinion is so valuable how you are to live with. Good Luck

re: I surrender

Your situation seems to be an exact duplicate of my own and I can relate so much to what you are saying and what you must be feeling.

Let me ask, you were diagnosed three years ago and I assume that you began treatment roughly at about the same time and have made strides and improvements that your spouse sees and acknowledges ( I know that its not a simple 'on/off' switch and that there are steps back and I know so well what it means to catch yourself and make corrections ); how familiar is your wife with the process of ADD and recovery - has anyone - a doctor, counselor, so forth - explained to her that it is an ongoing process?

When did your spouse indicate that she no longer loved you and did not think things to work out? How much time has been between this and your recovery phase?

The reason I ask is, your situations seems very, very familiar to me as I went through it myself and there are some potential 'red flags' that might be there if you are in the process of recovery for a while and your spouse is focusing on the pre-treatment part of your marriage rather than the recovery part. Its true that the bad time before can have a momentum that carries the bad memories and ways of thinking a good bit beyond the recovory stage, but there is a particular case where the 'injured spouse' will hang on to the bad period in their thoughts to a point where one could say it is 'unnatural' - i.e. almost as if its an excuse for something - do you feel it to be the case here?

I'll never forget my wife telling me once -  " ...unfortuantely, NOW you've picked the time to come back..."  she was referring to my recovery from the ADHD and the progress that I'd made ...almost as if she were more resentful of the progress I'd made than she was of the bad years! 

You see, she had gotten involved with a male coworker shortly after I'd began to get very serious about dealing with my ADD and to really want to start being a good husband and father and my 'comming back' was interferring with her ability to justify something that was completely out of character for her, her personality, etc. Its this 'fog of the affair' thing...its very, very common, regardless of ADD, how good or bad the marriage was before and it is a world of its own. It complicates things incredibly and if this is what your situation actually is, you are going to really have to step up to the plate - i.e. accept responsibility for the damage you did in the marriage, yet at the same time, you are going to be dealing with a spouse whose ability to fairly judge, put things in perspective, forgive, etc., to be heavily comprimised - to put it mildy.

You'll find that you'll be having to carry your weight and your families as well during this period - just like your wife had to do for you before! And if you realize that, that she is under the influence of something that she can't control at the moment - just as you were with respects to the ADD, then you'll be able to get through it and come out of it a stronger man than you were before.

Of course, that may not be the case with you and your wife at all but there seems to be some uncanny similarities between us.

At any rate, don't give up regardless and keep us up on how things go with you.





We enjoy warmth because we have been cold.
We appreciate light because we have been in darkness.
By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness.
                                                                              -David Weatherford

I surrender - other side

This is the wife, I just wanted to give my side of the story.  First, he was diagnosed with ADD 2 years ago, after I was going to counseling on my own for the second time in our relationship.  The first time was due to issues I was having (again) during adulthood with being sexually moslested as a child.  The second time, about two years ago, was due to excessive depression due to prolonged stress.  I was to the point where I really thought I would physically harm our two young children - and I did not like the person I had become.  I'm so tired of always being the responsible one.  It would have been nice to have the option to take the full 12 weeks when both of our children were born.  But, the first one I was so stressed out because my husband decided when I was 8 months pregnant and working two jobs, to quit his job of 11 months.  I went into severe post partum, I would just cry because we had just bought a house that summer and now it was X-mas time and we had a new baby, new house and I was the only one bringing in the income.  I was VERY GRATEFUL that he was there during that time and was supportive, but again, I heard the promises that it would be ok, he would help and it would be fine. 

Well....we ended up filing bankrupcy and losing the house, just he filed since I filed before we were married to get rid of our $50,000 in credit card debt.  Don't get me wrong, I take responsibility for it also, after all, I allowed him to charge on my cards with the promise that he would make some or all of the payments.  But, everything was in my name since he couldn't get anything in his name.  I helped him get his license back before we got married, paid off fines, paid off bad debt to get his credit better and then I HAD TO FILE!!!  I was so embarresed and ashamed that I let it get that bad.  He has never held down a job for an extended period of time, or if he has, it was never steady (cash only or commission), or if he was lucky to get something decent with benefits, it usually never lasted more than a year.  At one time, about a year ago I tried to recall the jobs that he has had since the 13 years that we have been together and I lost count at 20, me on the other had have had three steady jobs, the one I was laid off after 11 months, the next I was there for 9 years and now I've been at my current position two years.  Not to count the numberous 2nd jobs I took to bring in extra money - waitress, call centers, paper routes, etc. 

He only got really serious about getting help about a month ago, when I told him I wanted a seperation.  He has been on his meds for two years, but he still doesn't have steady work.  He works only in the summer, when the weather is nice on a cash basis.  No benefits, and any money he brings in just gets us caught up from the winter when we fall behind since he can't collect unemployment.  Plus he still has anger issues and lets little things get to him.  I know he loves me, but my question is - if he has been like this since the day we where together, how can I love him?  I don't even know him, and further more, I don't know if I want to invest the time anymore.  I want him to be a part of our childrens lives and I agreed to get counseling IF he moved out to give me my space so I could think - that hasn't happened.  But him and I are getting separate counseling.  I'm just so confused, I don't think I have the strength to live with this for the rest of our lives.  I'm so scared to enter into anything big, I want a house again sometime - but I can't bring myself to think about entering into a mortgage with him.  Especially since we are still dealing with collection agencies for the 3rd time in our relationship.  Filing again is NOT an option for me, I will not go back to that again.  So, now I'm dealing with payment plans and driving our only vehicle that is 10 years old and will probably start to nickel and dime us to death soon.  I've heard the promises so may times, I just don't believe them anymore...I have lost repect for him and I don't know how to get it back, I don't want to hurt him I just know that my heart doesn't seem in this anymore.  I'm tired of trying, tired of crying, tired of defending him to friends, coworkers, etc. - I guess I'm just plain tired.  Any words of hope?   T 

re:I surrender

Dear Mennen wife and husband. I read your post and I'am choked up. I have been married to my husband who has Adhd/depression and is an alcoholic for 13 yrs and believe me I understand what you both are writing. I saw my husband struggle for years and fall apart, especially in the last year and a half. He did so many damaging things to me (posted under frustration anger and adhd I think) that I have been seperated since january. Theres no other man I don't even want to think of another man. But I had to make a choice, and he did too. It got so ugly in the end he walked around giving me the evil eye continously and we couldn't  talk without fighting. Seperation has been good for me, It has allowed me to gain perspective, believe in myself again and even feel a bounce back in my step. I feel for both of you your hubby did a big step by getting on this forum so I applaud him I don't think mine would. And I applaud you too wife. Just remember there is always hope no matter what circumstance. Hope carries you through wether this marriage makes it or not. My house is on hold right now and they will serve foreclosure papers on me in Feb 2010. So I hope to sell it.  Please do not enter into anything big it will only be more stressful at this time. Is there anywhere husband you could go even for the weekend to give your wife a break? could you even put the kids with someone just to have give wife a  weekend to think. I also would suggest a support group as well it has been helpful on top of getting counseling. I feel for both of you life isn't easy and I was in your state wife even worse because I let my exhaustion turn into anger and had a episode that landed me in the hospital for 4 days. I learned alot about boundaries but it does sound like your husband is trying to change sometimes we think its too late. You just need refueling..I hope this might have helped you. your in my thoughts and prayers...

I have always done my best

I know that I havent even been close to what one would call a good husband, but I really had no idea for most of my life how to deal with what most people call every day life, I have alway tried my best by my wife and family and i have always failed, but I am getting help and I am becoming a better person. I am still the person my wife fell in love with with the exception that I wont be the idiot I was I will be the man she deserves.

re: I have always done my best

Just want to let you know that I've been in your shoes. For whatever reason, sometimes we have to hit a rock bottom before we are able to really start moving. I don't know why, but it seems to be the case.

You need to understand that a radical - in the extreme urgency sense of the term - radical departure from who you have been for all your past is required here. That is something that is easy to see in the darkness of night but very difficult to maintain on a day to day basis - especially when things seem to be 'coasting' or getting better - thats when you will need to be on your guard the most with respects to your ADD and the person that it has created.

'Getting better',  'making improvements', 'progressing' all of that is simply not enough. The 'Peter Pan' in you has to die. Thats the only way. A total 'rebirth' is necessary. It sounds like you've come to that painful point where you can understand/accept that.

The place where you find yourself now is just a starting point really. The real work lies ahead of you.


God bless both you and your wife.


Welcome to the desert of the Real

                            -  Morpheus


Mac, I love you and sometimes

Mac, I love you and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to finally come up into  the sun. Blaming yourself is not the answer, rather forgive yourself and make little steps and goals each day and try to achive them. Take deep breaths and realize you are a good person with a bad disease that you are now getting help with. Stay away from triggers that seem to bring you down, and try to step back and let Tami have some space to sort it out and think about things. SOmetimes that is what it takes to grow and heal. I love you more then anything little brother, keep taking your meds and keep going to thearpy..Please do not give up. Things always seem so desperate when it finally comes to a head, and then one must move on and figure out how to heal and grow and become the person you want to be. Picture it in your mind and make small goals to get there. You are a great dad, and you are a great person. You  were diagnosed late and time is needed to mend. I remember you coming to me and giving your life to Jesus...Mac--reach out to him, pray, he knows the out come that needs, the first thing you need to do is forgive yourself....seek his wisdom, he will never forsake you or leave you.. pray for his gudience and tell him what you want, and to also pray for Tami and the pain she is going through. Love and hold those kids...Step back and let Tami have space, and see if she can think more clearly with time alone. I love you and I know what you have been going through with this disease has been terrible, but you now have the POWER to change it with the meds and threapy..Tiny steps mac, Rome was not built in a day.I  LOVE YOU LITTLE BROTHER AND YOU ALSO NEED TIME TO HEAL....I AM HERE FOR YOU, IF YOU NEED TO COME SEE ME, I WILL GET YOU HERE TO COME STAY FOR  AWHILE........CALL ME SO WE CAN MAKE THE ARANGEMENTS, I EXPECT TO HERE FROM YOU IN A DAY OR SO, SO i CAN GET YOU HERE. Love you sister,


reply to: surrender-wife

I am the sister of the man who said he wants to surrender. It pains me that it has come to this, and I know the past damage is done. Although he has been taking his meds and briging in income now, and says that he finally knows what it takes to make it work, it is hard on the spouse that has been on the receiving end for so long with the painful memories from the past. Stress can kill you. I know my brother is a good man with a big heart, and he has had a very touch childhood, and had struggled all his life with this disease until he was diagnosied. He has told me just recently that I don't blame her it is all my fault, but I am getting better, and I want her to be able to see this. SOmetimes taking a step back away from each other, in different homes will gives each other the space and room to think and try to balance out what they are both feeling. IT TAKES HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION TO TRY TO HEAL AND TAKE THE TIME TO THINK IF IT IS WORTH IT! Most couples are to often willing to give up to quickly. I too had a bad expericence with my relationship when my husband came back from Africia a long time a go a different man, We had to children in diapers, and he began to drink alot to deal with the pain that he seen over there, and would constantly verbally and physically hurt me. I grew up in a home like that so I thought it was normal. Jeff and I were going the end it all until I realized what he had was depression from what he went through with the Marines. We are still together after 19 years, and he is a changed man. Sometimes things don't work out and when there are children involved it is even harder. With my brother, I noticed problems when he was younger so it started why before this, and then he only recently got the help he needed and realized he had a disease that is not only hard on him but everyone around him. I love him and Tami a lot and I feel for my neice and nephew. And I have cried lots of tears over the last few weeks becuase I want them to be able to work it out. If it does not work out and the damage is to severe, then my hope is that Mac will be ale to move forward and realize he still has those children he has to be a father to, and go forward. If seperating and taking some time to heal and figure out if it is worth saving then that what needs to happen, I think ending it to quickly is a big mistake and taking the final way out. But this is not my dicision and all I can do is try to support both them and make sure my brother is not sucidial. Often we Adhd, the damage occures over a very long time and then it comes to a head and one of them once to end it. Whatever happens I will be there to support my brother, and kids and even Tami. I would love to see both of them and talk to them together and try to share love and support so they know they are not alone, but if they don't want to that is ok as well. They are both deaing with a very hard and difficult situation right now. My brother had indicated it is all is fault and it is to late for me, as I lost the women I love. I told him he needs to keep working on himself, and take care of his children, and let Tami think about things and make her dicision. BUt fighting and saying means tings to each other in front of the kids is not good, as they will remember this and think it is normal, as Mac and I both did. Pick a place to discusss things if need be away from the kids ears. And remember, listening to "others" say go leave him, he is no good, is not the right thing to do as well, the deicision no matter how much it hurts should be made between the to of you and no outside parties. We, outside parties whould offer love and support and prayer to both of you. My love and support goes to both of you and I am here what ever happens...I pray for you both and for the kids everday day, and I am only a phone call away or 5 hours... Love the sister of the man with ADHD.........

I surrender other side

I to am the other side. Reading your story is like reading my life. We have been married for 23 years and much of what you stated is so true. I just keep us above water financially. We could be bankrupt at any time. My husband works 6-7 days a week 10-15 hours a day but for some reason can't seem to come home with a paycheck to match hours. He is self employed and wants to help everyone except his family. He has been on medication for 4 months and I have seen some relief but I know we have a long way to go. One thing I have learned is to take care of me because he will work me to death literally. I tell him when I am going to bed and not waiting up for him. I am taking the time for me and trying to repair my physically, emotionally and completely worn out body and mind for now. This as been the best thing right now is to heal me.