Hello all! I'm not new to AD/HD, but new to this forum. I have lived with people my whole life with ADD. I have spent a lot of time on this site and hear my story. I'll give some background info first.
I have a 17 year old son who was diagnosed at 4 with severe AD/HD, a 13 year old daughter who was diagnosed with AD/HD at 11, and my husband who I've been with for 15 years was just diagnosed last year. My first husband, who died when my son was only 18 months old, is believed to have had ADD. After more research when my husband was diagnosed with ADD, I now believe my father is ADD as well. That's why I stated I have lived with ADD my whole life. I went from my parents home, where I believe my father is ADD, to my first husband who I believe had ADD, my two children, and my current husband.
For years I have struggled with juggling everything and now I don't know if I can keep doing it all.
As for my children, I have seen some improvement with the medication. However, their attitude towards doing more to help themselves has me concerned how they will ever make it on their own. They can't even remember to take their meds everyday regardless of the suggestions I have made to help them help themselves to remember. Anyone with children knows how difficult it is to tend to all of their needs, toss in ADD for both, well the struggles amplify. Oh, and I also homeschool them. Now, toss in an ADD spouse who is in the military which adds in a whole other set of difficulties. Mix it all together and I'm about to lose my mind.
After my husband was diagnosed (which took me threatening to leave), I jumped in doing research online, buying books, taking my time to figure out what is different between adult ADD and childhood ADD.
So, why am I angry and/or frustrated? I know having ADD is not their fault. However, none of them will do anything to help themselves more. Of course, my biggest source of anger is directed at my husband. Now, that he has his diagnosis it's more like he just has an excuse for all of his “bad” behavior. I have realized that a lot of the hurts I have experienced are caused by the ADD, but why is their no decrease or more effort on his part (the kids are just kids).
My whole adult life (except for the time spent between husbands) has been a constant do you have your wallet, your keys, do you have an alarm set, did you remember this, did you remember that, have you taken your pill, do you have everything you need, did you remember to do this, do that. I have been through all of the forgetfulness, the communication difficulties, impulsivity, lying, cheating, leaving, gaming and porn addictions, walking on eggshells because I don’t know what mood he will be in, the angry outburst and shocks to my nerves (most of these all by both husbands). I’ve been through the countless amounts of wasted money because he didn’t put the water bill in the mail, he forgot and left stuff outside to be ruined by the weather, countless small things that only needed a few minutes to repair ended up needing major repair or replacement because he “never” had time to get to it. I have been there picking up the pieces every time.
I handle all of the bills, stay on house and car maintenance, kids appointments, his appointments, the bulk of the children's educational development, run my own business, and constant "reminder person" for them all. I have no time for myself and resent all the play time he has. I have to be the adult and he is just another child, only he won’t do what he is told.
They aren't bad people and it’s not horrible 24/7. My children are sweet, smart, happy, and healthy. My husband is sweet, thoughtful, smart, and healthy. However, I feel like running away from home and feel guilty for even thinking such thoughts. I just keep thinking when is enough enough. I feel as if I’m drowning, he’s watching, and won’t even through me a rope.
My husband makes me feel like I have to change. How much more forgiving, understand, and patient am I supposed to be? It appears as if I am expected to just put up with all of this and not complain, not be upset, not be resentful, or tired, because he can’t help it. But he does nothing to change. I haven’t ever had a relationship with anyone who hasn’t had ADD. So, I have no clue if this is all ADD or ADD with personality flaws that have no treatment.
I feel like I’m losing myself. I feel like a manager more than a wife and partner.
He’ll talk to me as long as it’s something he wants to talk about. He’ll ask me things like what I would like to talk about or what I’m thinking. I typically respond with nothing because of years of actually thinking he’s interested to realize he isn’t. He cuts me off and says he has to interrupt or he’ll forget. However, if I interrupt him while he is talking about something non-important because I’ve been reminded of something important to tell him I’m being rude.
If I bring up something he has done that has been hurtful to me he starts an argument and I’m to blame somehow, or he tells me he did mean to hurt me and that’s supposed to make everything alright because it wasn’t his intent.
I feel like I get set up. He’ll be very nice and offer help so when I tell him what I need help with somehow an argument is started by telling me how that doesn’t need to be done. Or I’ll actually trust him to do something, and he’s “forgotten” so I have to try to scramble at the last minute to get it done. I’d rather not even ask for the help or give him a task when he asks if there is anything he can do to help, it usually ends up back on my plate at the last minute and I’m even more frustrated. He’s also pretty good about “helping” me with doing projects I can easily do but leave the projects I can’t do and he won’t do.
I stopped expecting him to make anything around the house a priority. He claims he wants to do things but he couldn’t sleep the night before (sleep apnea, more like stayed on the computer all night), he doesn’t feel well (he is always sick on off days when there are no plans to go somewhere, or gets me to agree to do something outside of the house with him, and there’s always the “I forgot”. Of course, I’m supposed to be so stupid to not realize what he is doing. When I gave up expecting him to help around the house I was going to pay for help, but that can’t happen because he “wants” to do the stuff, “likes” to do the stuff, or insults his male pride. But he won’t finish a project and I’m expected to live in a home and watch it crumble to the ground so as not to insult his pride.
We can’t even communicate effectively. I have a degree in social work, I have been trained how to communicate with people. He will argue, knowing I meant one thing, but because I picked the wrong word he focuses on that improperly used word to defend that he wasn’t doing that. He also defends himself by saying he didn’t mean something or he didn’t say it that way. For some reason, I’m also too stupid to pick up on tone or body language (they must not have taught me that one, like you even need a degree for that). I have to constantly say, it wasn’t what you said it was how you said it. His tone and body language is so hateful at times. But again, I’m too stupid to know that as well.
I feel like my life is a roller coaster. He is sweet and kind and then cold and hateful. I think everything is going to get better and bam here’s the newest hurt. I start to distance myself being prepared for the “typical” behavior and he’ll turn on the charm, I fall for it and then the rug gets pulled out from under me and I feel stupid for falling for it again.
I’ve done the research, read the books, even try to tell him about what I’ve read about (he only wants to hear it if it’s defending him). I’ve gotten him into couples counseling, that helped only for a short time as it was around the time of his diagnosis when I had said “enough, get help”.
I do love him. He isn’t all bad. I am just tired. Tired of being disappointed, criticized, argued with over everything, my opinions or thoughts aren’t as important as his. How I feel isn’t as important as what he is thinking.
I guess I just don’t know what to do. Do I just hang in there and hope for the best? Is there hope? Is there help? How can I get him to seek help? Or am I just kidding myself that anything will be any different? Should I cut my looses now and save myself? Any advice?