Im new here and I have ADHD

I never thought that i would be at this junction that i am today. I was diagnosed with severe ADHD back in 8th grade and was on rydelan (spelling?) till sophomore yr. At that time i stopped taking it because i felt like a total zombie and that wasn't me back then. Im 24 now, been married a 1 1/2 and been with my wife 2 1/2 yrs total. i always knew i never really grew out of the ADHD like the doctors said i would..... but i never thought it was as bad as it is now. i did make an appt with the dr and it is at the end of this week.

after reading some of the other posts on this site i realized that i am not far from my marriage falling apart if i don't get my problems under control. a list of my biggest issue (a lot i admit and some my wife says i have):

-Inability to really grasp what she is saying when we try talking about our relationship

-A lot of short term memory issues, such as not remembering conversations we had in the previous days or things i had committed verbally to doing at some point (i always blamed the pot from high school for this one)

-really bad with getting chores done and procrastinate a lot. i always tell her i will get it later and don't......

-i admit i cant sit still with out shaking my leg or fidgeting or having to be doing something on my android phone

-i get overly involved when playing video games and basically tune out the world

-my wife claims that i also don't hear her calling for me when she is in another room, apparently takes a few times before i actually notice her holloring my name

-she claims i am not affectionate as i used to be

-i am a disorganized wreck and especially with all my unfinished projects around the house

-also tend to have mood swings out of no where sometimes (though my anger has never manifested in a physical way or abusively)

-bit of an insomniac

-and cant keep a job for more than 6 months and cant restrain from compulsively spending money on stupid things


I come forth with this because i want advice, from those with ADHD and those dealing with a partner that has ADHD, so that i can avoid my marriage from being ruined. I love my wife to death and don't wanna lose her. we already have a strained marriage from all the petty fights and what not arising from my lack of chores, money issues, especially my memory issues, and from me not "getting what she is saying". She has already told me that she has at times considered leaving because the stress of me never remembering things and not paying attention to her.

What are some things i can do that will help improve my situation. i know admitting i have a problem is the first step, which i have done and am seeking medical help.

No i don't do any drugs, No i am not an alcoholic. (I drink only on special occasions and never more than 3 or 4 beers max)

I admit i am a sex addict but have have not had any affairs or anything. (i admit though that the lust we first had isnt there anymore)

Thank you in advance for any advance or help you can lend me.


and cant keep a job for more than 6 months and cant restrain from compulsively spending money on stupid things

That is the big one.  Ask yourself and answer that question here: Why can't you keep a job? Why do you spend money on stupid things? I will guess that you will say "I don't know."  to which I will say what it SEEMS like to us:

Its too hard, I can't do it. My mind won't focus so I guess I will permit myself to focus on other things that don't upset ME. That always worked when I was young with no responsibilities. I didn't ask for these responsibilties. Other things are more important, SHE will take care of me, OTHER people will take care of me, I don't think there is any work that interests me, I don't have the opportunities out there.  I want to enjoy my life rather than work too hard, she does not appreciate me anyhow so its her fault, she doesn't respect me so its her fault, she doesn't ask me nicely so its her fault, people don't understand me so its their fault, I am depressed so I need special care, I am depressed so I need to treat myself with new toys, I really don't need anyone's approval.  I WILL do what I WANT to do.  No one can tell me what to do. I am an independent person and I like it that way. I don't care about money (but deep down I know I really do not want to do without it but the only way I know how to have it is to seek it from others).  I deserve things and want to get my fair share. I am too cool and smart to be a workaholic schmuck. My life is to be enjoyed, not work too hard and stressed.  Any of these things go through your mind?

It would help a lot of us to understand what goes through your minds about these things.

I would suggest you change your thoughts to focus OUTWARD.  Have mantras in your mind like: I want my family to be proud of me.  I want my accomplishments to be a blessing to my family now and in the future if there are children.  I want to have self respect so that I can have meaningful relationships.  I want to be known for how strong I am and capable I am and  how people can count on me when THEY need my help.  I want to contribute to my community.  I want to be part of the building up of things that family, community, faith and trust, well-being of EVERYONE.  I want my wife to feel loved.  I want to BE loved by HER.  I know that these things require self discipline and work that no one sees at the moment but that eventually will combine to make up "who I am".  I know that living this way may require of me to make lists and plans and conversations and compromises and sacrifices.  But I am willing to put myself in positions where there is boring work, repetitive work, thoughtfulness.  I am willing to MAKE myself BE the person I want to be.  I am willing to sacrifice that moment of pleasure to be able to have respect in my life so that I don't have to hide who I am but freely and proudly let people see what I do and who I am.  I will learn all I can about how to be better in this world.  If there are medications, I will try them all and not give up.  If there are books or counselors about organization, financial planning, being a loving person, becoming spiritual, I will spend my free time in these things rather than my distractions.  I will find people to associate with who are the type of person I want to be so that their life style becomes more in tune like I am inspired to be.  All this growth can be FUN because I do it in love for myself and others.  I won't give up.

as far as the job thing goes,

as far as the job thing goes, i normally do warehouse jobs and get laid off becuase i go through temp agencys. and if it is a regular job like walmart i just end up doing little stupid things that add up and get me terminated. as far as the money spending goes its just imulsive, when have extra cash after paying bills i just feel like getting things i want. like a invisible hand is pushing me that direction and making me wanting it. most of the time i am good about it and rethink it before i do buy it but when i have the money it burns a hole in my pocket so to speak. its not like i spend the money before paying bills or anything. i am a mechanic and a computer tech, so i am always looking at new tools or eletronic hardware. most of the time the things i want are too expensive so i cant get it anyways. my wife and i communicate about the bills and how much money we have very well.

my worst spending habit is on household projects. i will use our left over money after the bills to get little things to fix the projects around the house. like plumbing pieces and what not and fix little projects around the house. those projects i always fix and finish. its just she hates that i use our last 10 dollars on fixing stuff at the house rather than holding onto it incase need extra gas money or extra pack of cigerrettes.

Way to go

That is exactly how us nons feel about ADHDers who can't/won't contribute their fair share. But if the experts are right, they can't do a lot of the things you so rightly suggest for him to do. (It's hard for me to comprehend. )

I would also suggest some concrete steps that would require less thought, just more routine.

  • Do whatever it takes to get rid of the sex addiction (i.e., computer filters controlled by your wife). That is most likely why your desire for your wife has waned, and it probably makes her feel like crap. For an ADHDer, it is the easy way. But if you aren't getting it anywhere else, your wife will look a lot more attractive.
  • Let your wife "drive" in the relationship. Look to her for advice, reminders, etc. and ACTUALLY DO WHAT SHE SUGGESTS -- RIGHT AWAY! It is irritating to be the wife of a rebellious teenager. If you can't accomplish something on your own, look to her for help and don't adopt a "don't tell me what to do" attitude. Be appreciative for her help and thank her.
  • Get a large white board and write down important things that need to be done. No more than a few. Refer to it constantly. Make it a priority to do the things written on it.
  • Let your wife know you need to work on one thing at a time -- if she has additional suggestions for you to do, have her write them on the white board so they are not forgotten while you can work on one thing until it is completed.
  • If you can't sleep, don't wake her up for company.
  • If you are angry, learn how to stop, tell her you need a time out and will continue in _____ minutes, and leave the room to cool down. Go for a short walk so you can think. NO VIDEO GAMES DURING TIME OUTS. You are thinking about your behavior, your argument, and how to express yourself constructively. Then return to talk, like you said you would.
  • If you can't find a good job, in good faith, get a low-wage easy job. This shows that at least you are trying and not being a freeloader on her. Meanwhile, maybe you can get some training in a job you would enjoy more. (If you're not working at a good job, you are at least on the road to it!!!) You must stay employed, even if you get fired every six months. Sorry, but nothing represents a mommy/child relationship to a woman more than supporting an unemployed man who stays home to "play." You MUST work. Everyone does -- like it or not.

I believe that you can't do a lot of what you say you have trouble with. But if you do what you can and don't make yourself difficult to live with, you can be a great team. Most women genuinely want to help. But they don't want to be mistreated for trying to help you. Swallow your pride and realize that you now have a help mate to make up for all the years you tried to make a go of it on your own -- and do everything you can to participate in being a willing participant in the "team."


as far as the sex addiction

as far as the sex addiction goes we could do it a few times a day but it isnt enough for me. and the only sex we have is that passionate sex. we never have that wild lustful sex like when we first met.

when i cant sleep, i dont wake her up or anything. ill just sit and watch a movie or tv episodes on my pc till i feel tired enough to go back to bed.

I live in a very rural area now and even min-wage jobs are impossible to find. but the white board idea is really good. will have to pick one up.

a lot of my issues used to be worse but i think i have been getting better on a lot of things but the big ones are the memory issues and attention span really, so my wife keeps telling me.

Wow, I almost wonder if

Wow, I almost wonder if you're my husband save for a couple of details, you describe him to a T.

And jennalemon's response above is exactly how my husband thinks too.  "I need to live my life to the fullest", "I don't want to focus on this, so I'm going to allow myself to get distracted"... lots of little childish thoughts and behaviors.  Lots of entitlements.  Lots of things that he thinks he shouldn't have to do but every one else does, such as having a 40-hour work week.  The thought of that KILLS him.  He wants to become a teacher, not because he wants to teach, but because he wants to have 3 months off every year because he needs time for himself to do the things that he wants.  Life doesn't work that way, buddy.  That's 3 months without a paycheck too!

So here's my advice as the wife, or soon to be ex-wife maybe, of an ADHD husband.

Acknowledgement of the problems is a big deal.  But you have to consistently remember the problems, and how they affect your wife.  It's very easy for an ADHD person to focus on how everything around them affects them, but not always the other way around.  That's human nature, everyone likes to focus on themselves first, but when you add hyperfocus, then little annoyances become huge issues.

When you acknowledge your problems, make sure you really "get it".  So here's an exercise.  Sit down with your wife, and tell her, "Honey, I know I have [whatever problem].  It affects you because [how it affects her and the family/household].  Do I have that right?"

See what her response is.  If she feels relieved that you finally understand her, great.  If she tells you no, ask her to correct you, then repeat it.

After you get the acknowledgement part out of the way, talk about what your goals are, and how you plan to stay on track.  If you have trouble keeping a job because you keep getting laid off (versus being fired or you wanting to quit because you get bored), then you might want to look into getting new skills to make you more marketable or qualify for better jobs?  I honestly don't know how to get around that one.  But ask her to help you.  Maybe make a list of daily "to do" tasks, and check them off.  If you need to, make it into a schedule... 7am, I will wash the dishes.  7:30, I will take the dog out.  Whatever you need to do to stay on track.

Here comes the hardest part... Keeping all this up.  I will tell you, my husband had the best intentions, the greatest in the world to accomplish all this.  He hyperfocused on "turning his life around" for about a week, until it got hard, or got bored, or had a minor setback.  Then it all went to hell, and when I tried to keep him on track, he felt I was being too controlling and too nagging.  So if you have to, write yourself a note right now.  Write down WHY you are doing this.  Write down that your wife is not the enemy and she's just trying to help.  Maybe make yourself a video saying the same thing.  And then review this periodically so you remember.  Maybe give her a copy too so she can remind you when you fall off track.  And trust me, you will.  But that's ok as long as you are willing to get back on track and not blame your wife.

One other thing that our couples therapist had try to get us to do but my husband never could remember it or never wanted to participate in, but I tell you it helps a lot.  And it's very simple.  Make it a point to say to the other person (so this goes for your wife too), say "I love you" at least 3 times throughout the day.  And a "I love you too" response doesn't count.  Like if you said "I love you" and she said "I love you too", that's 1 for you, but 0 for her.  You have to actually initiate saying that.  And it doesn't have to be a big thing.  As you leave for work, just say "See ya later, i love you!"

It's easier than it sounds.  And the 2 days that my husband did that, it really helped.  Then he forgot and well, nevermind.

I hope this helps!  Good luck!  I'm proud of you for taking the initiative to admit your problems and seek out suggestions!  That's very brave!

the thing is i tend to be a

the thing is i tend to be a work aholic. i have no problem doing 40+ hours a week at a job. i actually enjoy it. i want to work, i want to pay off my bills and i want a good life for me and my wife. i admit i proscranite really badly though. the only reason i dont wanna get on meds is we spend at least 200 or more a month on her meds that i dont wanna finacially burden us further with meds for myself. i am surprisingly selfless with my wife. i always pick doing something for her over doing something for myself. and the "i love you" thing is not an issue. i tell it to her all the time, and thats not including the "i love you too"'s.

i try as far as the choirs but i admit i get side tracked way to easy and keep putting it off until she gets upset and then we get a minor fight over it. i am able to get myself going on a system but like i said i get sidetracked and then i lose steam on the chores and divert it to whatever sidetracked me. me and my wife have an amazing relationship if it wasnt for the fighting. when we are good, we are amazing, but when things get bad, they get bad.

some of my problems i have i never associated with the adhd, i always figured it was due to something else. but then doing all the research i have done recently i came to realize a lot of it stems from the adhd. i have no problem admitting when i have a problem. for example i know i get hooked on gambling too easy at like carnivals or fairs on those rip-off games. so i stay away from those and casinos and what not. before my wife i never had one relationship i was faithful in, so now i dont go out drinking at bars or go to strip clubs or even hang out with females that could even provoke me into ruining my loyalty to my wife.

im sorry if i sound like im rambling or repeating myself. i just know that if i didnt have horrible short term memory and didnt proscrinate and what not that everything would be fine. i know that seeing the doctor and getting on medication will help a lot with some of it but for the things that the meds wont help, i dont know what to really do to fix it. hence why i am here asking for advice.