I think my husband may have ADHD, or am I overreacting?

Hi, I have just discovered this website and I feel as though a lightbulb has gone on in my head. My husband and I have been together for 8 years, married for 1 with two children aged 4 and 3 years old. Our 4 year old has always displayed signs of ADHD and he is getting progressively worse - this probed me to start researching into the condition. By doing this I have been overwhelmed by all the signs pointing to the fact that my son has probably inherited this from my husband... Suddenly all the times my husband has stunned me with his seemingly thoughtless, selfish, self centred and impulsive behaviour seems to make sense! It has been breaking my heart that increasingly,particularly in the last 18 months-2 years, I have been secretly wondering if I married the wrong man, and questioning how  someone who was always so positive, laid back and soft as I used to be, ended up with someone who at best is silly and thoughtless and at worst, aggressive, cruel and unpredictable. But am I overreacting? Am I clutching to a 'label' to make myself feel better and possibly excuse my husband's behaviour? A few examples of what he is like:

1.) He is incapable of being sympathetic or empathetic to ANYONE.

2.) He is completely unaware of the poor way he communicates - either he is distant and appears as if he couldn't care less even when I'm in tears imploring with him to listen to me, or he loses his temper with no warning which results in him shouting, swearing, saying cruel things - even in front of our children. He always apologises for this afterwards, but it's as though he can't stop himself the next time he gets angry.

3.) He is a risk taker and an adrenaline junky - he regularly speeds when driving, leaves it to the last minute to brake and gets road rage at the drop of a hat - even with the kids in the car.

4.) He makes decisions regularly which impact on us as a family without discussing it with  me first - and then CANNOT understand why I get upset, insisting that he thought he was making a good decision and just wanted the 'best' for us, although 9 times out of 10 the decision he makes is what suits him the best, not the rest of us.

5.) He has a good playful side but doesn't realise that things he says as a 'joke' can be cruel or offensive to others, he always maintains that he is 'only joking' so therefore it is the other persons fault if they take offense.

6.) He can swing between being moody, bad tempered and impatient to being almost hyper and 'full on'  - playing rough and tumble with the kids and being the life and soul.

They are just a few examples, I would really appreciate it if anyone could give me their opinions - does it sound as if he has ADHD?

Thanks for reading this x

Throw in broken promises,

Throw in broken promises, apologies to stop behaviors followed by the same exact behavior 2 days later..over and over and over again, and you have what my marriage used to be like. It wouldn't hurt for him to be evaluated.

What it took me a very long time to accept is that they are capable of empathy...it just doesn't show in their actions. They aren't aware of how poorly they communicate because it feels "OK" to them. Although my marriage has improved tremendously, I still get mixed reactions when he does something that causes me to instantly be in tears. He'll either be extremely understanding and reassuring and sorry or he'll say nothing. Sit and smoke a cigarette, tap on his leg, hum a song to himself, etc...as if he's trying VERY hard to make me think he doesn't care. Do I believe he doesn't care that he's forced me to tears? No. I think he cares, but it puts his ADHD brain on overload and he just simply sometimes cannot deal. (medication has made this worse, sadly...seeing me in tears seems to just push him further away). My husband isn't an adrenaline junkie, but he often does not pay attention to his speed. He has gotten 2 speeding tickets in the last 6 months...the first tickets he has gotten since we got married 13 years ago. Not sure why this is getting worse, but I am contemplating having a long talk with him about paying attention to his speed.

As for the decisions they make that they 'claim' are for the betterment of the family, part of me believes that they really believe that to be true. I really think they think they are doing something good..for the good of the family. It is hard to swallow and hard to say "it's OK" when it really ISN'T for the betterment of the family, I know.

I honestly think that what comes out of their mouths and what they mean can often be two totally different things. Just like what comes out of my mouth and what he hears sometimes are two completely different things. I have tried handling this situation with very short, concise responses..."that was a very mean thing to say, please don't do that" or "that was not something most people would take as a joke, please stop doing that" and then dropping the subject. I realized a long time ago that anything more is just white noise to him and I lose my whole entire point in the argument. A quick, 10 second sentence seems to get me further than any hour long rant I ever delivered. Even if it takes days or weeks to see the results, I am having much more success getting through to him this way. I do feel he wants to be protective of my feelings...so pointing it out to him without giving him reason to become defensive is very helpful in changing his perception of how his behavior affects others.

Unpredictable moods was common place here too...you never knew who he was going to be from day to day. I don't miss walking on eggshells. He has had to learn that just because he's in a bad mood doesn't mean that we all have to suffer the brunt of his anger and frustration. Getting him to 'lean' on me isn't something I've managed to accomplish. He wants a sounding board and nothing more. I'm not sure if it is ADHD or just a male thing..not wanting to be 'fixed'.

Maybe an evaluation is in order. You are not alone. I wish you all the best!


Thanks Sherri, it's so so

Thanks Sherri, it's so so nice to get another perspective on this. I have been feeling so lonely in this situation, so it really feels as though a dark cloud has shifted slightly and let in some sun! I really took on board your comments on responding to his thoughtless actions/words in a clear, concise way rather than going on and on at him - I admit I do do that, I guess I think if I keep trying to explain to him how he makes me feel he will start to understand - I realise now that all I'm doing is overloading him and he probably stops listening to me after the first 30 seconds! I definitely agree too that he is not deliberately trying to upset me and genuinely does believe what he says is 'OK' and that he does care about me and my feelings - I can't believe I would have ever fallen in love with him if this wasn't the case. I honestly know he is a good man and loves me and our children more than anything. It's just so draining emotionally and our marriage feels like it's one battle after another after another... I know all relationships need work and all are hard at times and that's without ADHD as a factor, I think it just gets me down that there is definitely an imbalance of joy and pain, the lovely, fun, romantic times are few and far between and the negative 'vibe' in our household seems ever present. So, now comes the fun part - presenting him with the info and suggesting he has an evaluation... Not looking forward to this! But for the sake of all of our happiness I know I've got to do it.

I think my husband has ADHD! I need help!

I have been married to the same man for 10 years, together 12. We have known he had undiagnosed ADHD a child and the last 2 years his symptoms have increased, but, even though I am an RN, I had no idea that they were symptoms of ADHD until today. I read an article and ALL his "issues" can be grouped under that "label" so to speak. Insomnia. Irritibility, Mood Swings, lack of trust, depression, anxiety (which I believe causes his stomach upset, feeling as if he has to have diarrhea, but nothing happens). I want him to go get help. He knows he needs it. He blames his feelings on me because he is a stay at home dad, by necessity, not by choice, and I work midnights. We have 2 boys, ages 6 and 4. He has about 15 projects he has started and not finished and thinks if I could be on a dayshift that this would alleviate his issues and he'd be able to "get things done". He does a great job taking care of the kids and tries to do the chores, but he is almost resentful and thinks I should be contributing to the housework more. I think that if he didn't let the stuff pile up in the first place, we wouldn't have an issue. He says he'll work on it, so do I and then it just goes back to the same. He constantly complains. MOOD is Usually worse in the morning. I tried to show him that treatment would help eliminate a lot of what ails him and he won't go unless insurance will pay for it. Currently have no insurance. I am at a loss and don't know what to do. I work at a busy GM assembly plant health services dept. I am an RN but if I go anywhere else, no dayshift jobs are available usually. I like working nights but have recently been diagnosed with clinical depression and placed on Zoloft. I think I have Work Shift Disorder and lack of Vitamin D (never see the sun), which Depression can be a symptom of. I also have anxiety and take Klonopin. This all started after children and I started having hormonal changes. I want to feel normal and when he expects all these things from me it makes me not want to do anything at all! I am working on me. I am researching other ways to increase Seratonin levels but it takes time and i only have been recently diagnosed (2 weeks). The difference is I am actively doing things to help me, and he is thinking once I am back to where i need to be, that he will be fine. I disagree. Anyway, if anyone can point me in the right direction or comment, share a story, Anything! I feel alone and desperate to keep our family intact.