I'm an ADHD wife

I am a 33 year old wife with ADHD.  This is my problem, I feel like I'm actively seeking treatment for ADHD, but my husband doesn't want to get on board with any recommendations from the book.  He read the first half about a year ago, and got very angry.  Like stated in the book, he feels like he should just take my outburst or symptoms and say "oh that's her just ADHD", and then not say anything to me.  I told him that is not what I want for us.  He says I don't understand how I affect him, and I probably don't fully understand it, but I think I do for the most part and I want to understand.  I grieved for our relationship for a long time after I found out I was the cause of the problems.  

Let me try to give an example of our problem with communication.  If my husband tells me to do something or questions me about something, I get aggravated, and I, what he calls "snaps" at him or gets an "attitude".  We have struggled with the child/parent dynamic, and I do get defensive when he's trying to tell me how to do something or ask me why I'm doing it "that way".  This last fight, I tried really had to stay calm and not have any outburst but he turns his love off, and I feel even more desperate in wanting to first, get him to understand and validate my point of thinking, and then later, to just try and fix us.  This usually gets no where, and I fall off the ADHD wagon with saying I hate him. ;(  I don't mean that.  I just want him to talk to me and work it out.  When he thinks he's right, there is zero affection in him, he just wants me to see it his way, and then he says I'm the one that wants to be right and only see it my way.  This is a reoccurring argument, and endless cycle that I don't know how to break.  It's the blame game over and over.  He said he's tired of this, and I'm scared he will leave me just because I'm trying to standing up for myself and what I believe in.  He says I turn everything around on him.  But I honestly don't see that I do, and in my head, I'm thinking I'm trying to explain my point of view.  How can I fix something that I don't understand or see that I'm doing it?  He says he often is asking those questions or saying things to me as joking.  I take what he says literally.  I never have been able to tell when he is joking and when he isn't.  He says I should just know, but my brain atomically jumps to being upset.

IDK if any of this makes sense or if I'm rambling.  Any input would be appreciated.

Oy, you know what? I am the

Oy, you know what? I am the non-ADD spouse, and Im tearing my hair out but your marital problems seem similar to mine. Im sure youre really frustrated and so is he. Wanting to understand is a really good thing though, and I think it's probably much needed in order to get on better footing. Your post made me sad, to be honest-- you seem like you really are trying, and feeling like youre getting nowhere with your efforts.

I dont know if this would help, because I dont have ADD myself and dont know how hard it would be to do this, but would it be possible for you to count to five before you say anything to him (to try to diffuse the anger), or to look at other ways that he meant what he said? This is a bit hard for me to express, but I think that I'd really like it if my spouse didnt get defensive over me saying, for example, that his snoring kept me up. Sometimes, people with ADD seem to take everything as an attack, even if it's just a statement on the other party's side.

To use the example that I gave, if I were to say "Man, you were snoring so loudly last night, I barely got a wink of sleep!", Im not attacking, and would much rather hear "Oh no, thats awful, I bet youre pretty tired. Do you have time for a nap today?" rather than "I didnt mean to, you know I cant help it, why are you attacking me over this, you are being mean over something I cant help" etc. I wasnt being mean though. I was just saying I was tired. I wasnt blaming, and I just wanted some empathy for being exhausted.... so if he gets defensive(his response) instead of giving empathy (my need), then it causes a big problem. I end up feeling unloved and unheard, he feels attacked and blamed, and things invariably go downhill from there.

I can tell you that in my experience, ADD is extremely frustrating to live with. Its isolating and lonely and it feels like Groundhogs Day of bad feelings and resentment.  Is here any way-- and i know it'll be painful at times-- to ask him to respectfully air his grievances so that you guys can get an open conversation going? WOuld he be willing to hear your grievances, if you bring them up in a similarly respectful way?

Im no expert, so please take this for whatever it's worth. But....I really hope for the best for you. Seems we are all in this together, huh? Good luck, and I hope you have a happy update soon. <3

 

Edited to uncapitalize something. Didnt need emphasis, my fingers are just a bit derpy when it comes to the caps key.

I'm also the ADHD wife

I've been with my husband for 16 years (married 11) and I was diagnosed with ADD about 6 years ago. Since being diagnosed, our fights have become different. In the past, he would think I was purposely trying to hurt him, annoy him, or make him angry. So, he would often turn nasty and try to hurt me in return. Usually our fights ended with me crying and not understanding why he was being such a jerk.

Now, he doesn't get angry and nasty. He's more frustrated because he knows I can't help it, which results in him pointing out my flaws - over and over and over again. Why he thinks that helps, I have no clue. I can never explain something from my point of view or explain why I did something the way I did without him saying I'm just being defensive and won't admit I have a "problem." Again, I have no clue what he means because I admit wholeheartedly that my ADHD affects everything I do.

Sometimes I realize it's easier for me just to agree with what he says because that's the only way it'll end. Coming straight from his own mouth he has told me he can't trust what I say because of my "history" of memory problems. Then he says "Sometimes I think you just say what I want to hear so I'll leave you alone." It seems to me that our fights are just a way for him to vent his frustrations about how hard my ADHD makes his life.

My husband also won't help me with things just so he has more fuel to complain about later. He knows my ADHD will cause me to overlook things (or hyperfocus on one thing so I am completely blind to another.) He'll see something sitting in a place it doesn't belong. Instead of 1. putting it away (which he'll never do because "it's not his job") or 2. asking me to put it away, he'll make a mental note of how long it takes me to notice and put it away. Then, he can throw that in later with his list of my flaws. He knows I can't stand it, but keeps doing it anyway.

Personally, I would assume anything said in a "joking" way is your husbands way of venting about your ADHD without sounding like a jerk.

I know they consider us the "bad guy" making their lives difficult. But, they have no clue how frustrating and more difficult it is for us to live with.