If It Really Matters To You - Tell Us

Don't hint, don't beat around the bush.  We might be too distracted to read between the lines.    Yes those weeds are ugly, yes that paperwork needs doing... what, you meant you wanted me to do it?

Just tell us.  If it seems like we don't get it, we don't.  You can say it should've been obvious.  Maybe it would be to a normal person.  But what do either of us get out of that?  Do you want me to feel like an idiot for not seeing the obvious...

With us, hints aren't enough, if it really matters.  Sometimes the hints go through and that's enough, but you have to be straightforward if you really want something.

Thanks Jon37, that was brief

Thanks Jon37, that was brief and to the point. Its not always easy for nonadhd people to do exactly what you want either. We are not perfect. Dont take us for granted. We often REALLY dont understand what you are feeling. If it seems like we dont get it, we dont. Love us anyway, laugh, dont get mad. Give us time like you need time. Write a note reminding yourself that we both need to do things to help us communicate. Give up some slack when we/you mess up. ** Forgive me, are you taking meds? Correct meds, consistently taken can help alot, but alone it is not enough. Use reminders, change the feelings of low self worth you may have about yourself to allow others to love you. Dont be mean to those same people. BOTTOM LINE: it takes two motivated people to make communication happen- and lots of respect to keep it pleasant!


Great post Lululove... Jon37, Most people don't know anything about ADD and your post is a good statement to our condition. ADDer's (For the most part) don't ignore hints on purpose or ignore their spouses because they don't care. Knowing your limitations and working to keep them minimized can show your spouse that you want to make things better. I am not letting my ADD put a Cap on what I can do. Time and patience is what it took for things to improve at my house. My DW is seeing that things are improving with my behaviors and I am beginning to see that she is not reacting to how I "Used" to end up doing things. The bottom line is both people in a marriage should not put a Cap on what they can do. You never stop learning.




What if they refuse?

I told my husband this morning when I got up that I needed 3 things from him: he had to find my glasses (I am too blind to find them when they fall off the nightstand), he had to clean out the car and he had to move the computer desk because something important fell behind it. He found the glasses (or I wouldn't be able to write this) and then he went back to bed with the other things undone. And he slept about 10 hours last night, so he shouldn't be tired! What do you do then? He knows, he promised, he's not doing it. ADDers, please weigh in.


Maybe I'm not the typical ADDer, or my DW has trained me well :-) In the past, given three tasks and no deadline, I would prioritize based on what would I get barked at if it was not done quickly, like the glasses, then I would know I could do the others later and had every intention to do so, but it would be likely that lots of other requests or my own projects would delay the original request. Uggggggg... This must have driven my DW cRaZy. I understand what I'm dealing with now and if she asks for a couple of things, I try to get to them as soon as I can, then work on other things. If she sees me doing one of her requests and says she doesn't need this now, then I'll push it off for later. Maybe I try to over-estimate the need for the request, instead of what I used to do.

Meds and the things I've learned on this site have given me tools to do better. I don't want to continue to disappoint people anymore and if I let up, I fear falling back into old habits. I don't understand the guys that just refuse to change, but guys being stubborn to change is more of a Guy Thing in general. (IMO) Like doctors visits. Most guys won't go to a doctor unless they are bleeding out of their eyes. I get a full physical every year and go to every follow up my doc recommends. (Since age 35) I WANT to know if something is wrong or could be going wrong. 



Is the geeez for me for asking for 3 things or for him being so lazy? I need the stuff behind the computer desk because my customer has asked for a payment total and I need to get them weighed and respond. I need the car cleaned out because we can't go to the concert tonight, and I can't see out the rear-view mirror and I don't think that's safe. So these are things that have to be done today. He benefits from my eBay earnings, and the stuff in the car is his mother's. So why can't he act like a participant in the household? When I challenged him on this, he said he wouldn't do it because I was upset! Where's the logic in that?

You are right about guys not wanting to go to the doctor. I have to practically sit on DH to get him to take an aspirin. When he's got a headache, he'd much rather whine and complain and do nothing than take a pill. I'm lucky that he worked in mental health and knows how much good psychiatric meds can do.

Sorry... I should have clarified the "Geeeez"

It was aimed at the ADDer's that know they have ADD, yet seem to do little to improve their situation. I know it must stink to literally have to spell things out to get a job done, but I know before my diagnosis that was often needed. One task at a time helped to not over-whelm me, uggggggggg... I hate thinking that was the way I was for so long. I know I also would shut-down if I felt attacked. It does not sound like that is what you are doing. Logic rarely applies to the run away/shut-down process.



It really is not that easy. I

It really is not that easy. I know that it might be what some ADHDers need to help the understand, but I have always tried to be very open and honest about what I need and it doesn't work. This isn't to say that he never does give me what I need. Nor is it to say that my delivery doesn't suck sometimes. Our communication issues are partly my fault, I admit. Many times him not giving me what I need is simply him not being ABLE to give me what I need. It literally might seem like climbing a mountain for an ADHDer to give his time/attention to his wife. If simply saying "I want to spend time with you" was all it took, none of us would be here.

To me, this is hinting at 'blame'...like you're saying that the reason ADHDers don't do things is because we don't ask clearly enough...and this simply is not always true. Walls are built. Emotions are shut down. The ability to give (on both sides) is demolished. Communication is tantamount to torture.

I know you believe in your mind that it is just as simple as just asking more clearly...but many of us are living proof that it isn't. Whether it is asking him to mow the yard or seek treatment for his ADHD...and many things in between...just asking simply does not work.

Hi Jon!

Yeah, sometimes I need clarification too...

example:  On the evening of my DD's school auction we had to cancel the babysitter last minute because DD was sick.  I had been looking forward to going out and talking to other adults (my husband socializes with colleagues 2-3 times a week.  I have gone out without kids twice in the last year, so I REALLY wanted to go.)

DH:  "Well, I guess I'll just stop by for a few minutes at the auction and tell everyone DD is sick and I'll come back."

me:  "Well, listen, if you don't want to go, I will.  i mean if you're ok staying with the kids.... I was really looking forward to going..."

He shrugged and said 'Ok...whatever."  He seemed a little grouchy, but he is always a bit grouchy when he has to spend a couple hours babysitting.  So I went, and had a good time.  when I got home, I put the kids to bed (I was gone less than 2 hours, to try to minimize his babysitting grumpiness).  IN the morning, he was still grumpy and obviously distant and cold.  I was trying to get ready to teach a class in our home in which he would be participating, so I really didn't want angry, resentful vibes emenating from him....  So I asked him what was wrong.  He said, "we'll talk about it later."  Well, that sent me into panic mode.  Finally I demanded:  "WHAT have I done wrong????"

He said, "I really wanted to see the project DD and her friends made for the auction."

Me:  "And.... I somehow prevented you from going?"

him:  "WEll, you were so desperate to get out and have a drink with the other moms I didn't want to prevent you from going cuz you'd be all pissed off."

So, I pointed out to him that 1)  He COULD have said, "I really want to see the project DD and her friends made for the auction."  in the first place.  Or, 2)he could have CALLED me at ANY POINT to say, "Y'know, I really want to see the project DD and her friends made for the auction, so could you come home and watch the kids and i'll go check it out?  I would rather have missed it entirely than have to go through the emotional turmoil you just put me through!!" The event was 4 blocks from our apartment.

I panic, and totally shut down when I know my husband is angry about something I've done (or haven't done) and I don't know what that something is.  He did finally acknowledge that perhaps letting me in on the facts would have been helpful, and promised to try not to do that again....


It sounds like your husband

It sounds like your husband (and you...based on other posts you've made) have the EXACT same dynamic as my husband and I do...the ASSUMPTION issue. He assumed you'd be mad, so he stayed home and got grumpy instead of saying "maybe we could work it out so that we could both go". This is CLASSIC lack of communication. I see a lot of things like this in my marriage and am trying desperately to recognize it immediately. It isn't that he didn't KNOW what he was thinking (i.e. she will be pissed off if I don't let her go..it's obvious she really wants to go) but it seems easier to just let you 'get your way' (yes, this is our way of thinking...sadly) than to express what we need/want and risk making you mad. With SOOO many years of this crap adding up, the ability to compromise seems to just DIE. I'm trying CPR myself. :-) The ability to quickly think "we could come up with a compromise" gives way to "if I don't let her go, she will be mad"

Also, if he agreed to let you go without expressing his desire to see the project, then it is fundamentally WRONG for him to be mad at you. Guilty of that myself. Gah!



The thing here was though:  I thought he truly did NOT want to go.  I thought I was doing him a FAVOR.  If someone said, "Well, i'll just go somewhere and show my face and leave immediately."  if the listener was ADD or not, I still can't find any way to interpret that as, "I am really desperate to go!"  He said this BEFORE i'd expressed my interest in the event.

I just don't get it... but, then again... I never do.  *sigh*


This is the perfect example of miscommunication and I've gone through what Ellamenno is describing a thousand times over. Nobody on either side of the ADD fence is a "Mind Reader", so when a situation come up like this or going out with friends on occasion the polite thing to do is ask your spouse if they mind me going to "X" with "A, B and C" and I should be home around XX:00pm? This is very simple really.

When my DW asks me if I mind her going out with her friends, I support it totally because she rarely does. If there were some reason why I did not want her too, I'd mention it. I want her to have fun with her friends and stop worrying about Everything for a couple of hours. When she gets home I simply ask if she had fun and let her say what she wants.

I rarely ask the same question because while I'm out I get all anxiety ridden over how long I'm staying, how much I drink and who shows up. She never says no, but it is the suspicious looks and questions as to who will be there and so on. It is so stressfull that I rarely even ask... Sigh... Assumptions on both parts I guess.


Asking permission

always seems so weird.  I have been out to meet a friend twice in the last year.  I was able to get my husband to go out with me for a drink in the neighborhood (1.5 hours) exactly once.  On my birthday.  (that was my present).  my husband goes out for work several times a month and also sometimes goes out with friends.  He is always sheepish and asks for permission to go out.  I don't know why he's sheepish.  I supposed he feels bad because i basically have no friends and can't go out anyway because of the kids...  Or maybe because he's spending money, and he's always telling me I can't buy stuff and we never have any beer or wine in the house because it's a luxury we can't afford.   I sometimes don't have a drink for months, and y'know, after a long day sometimes a beer would be nice.  but there isn't any.  And I can't buy any.  So maybe that's why he's sheepish about going out.  or maybe it's because he knows that if he goes out with certain colleagues he will get home at 3:30am and be hungover the next day. 


After work...

Really... Going out after work is something that just doesn't happen for me. Nobody ever calls and says "Let's go get a drink". I guess I've turned the invites down from long ago, See My Previous Post, and been written off by most. Weekdays are just a mad rush to get the kids ready and dropped off at school, get off to work on time (Hopefully). Work my ass off all day, "Try" to leave on time (Rarely), then rush home. It is like the one who get's there last burdens the first one home. This being the case, I rarely drink. My DW and I rarely go out as we don't want to burden anyone to watch the kids or one of us is too tired. Then the weekends get here and there is so much to do, or we have an obligation to go somewhere, so I don't know what a relaxing weekend is anymore. Where is the pay-off? The only people I know who go out and have kids are divorced. People watch their kids, oh yeah, like us...

It is like some unwritten rule that we cannot have fun unless "Everything" is done... Drinking just gives you a hang-over, right?!?  

Sorry... I'm just in a wine-ee mood :)