I'm reading Melissa's book - it's very good

As I've mentioned in a few other posts I don't have a really bad marriage situation like a lot of people who post here.  I'm so sorry for how difficult many people's lives are.  When I heard Melissa talk about this book I really thought it sounded like my husband and I  thought if this is what's going on with us maybe we can improve our marriage by learning more.  After reading here though I sometimes wonder what am I thinking - my life is heaven compared to many.  I'm reading the book though and it's very good.  My husband has never been diagnosed with ADD/HD but the more I read the more I'm sure he has it.  Everything sounds just like him - though the impact on his life is not terribly severe unless it has something to do with the fact he's not been able to stay employed longer than about 18 months over the past 10 or so years.  He had one job for a long time but then after being laid off he has had five jobs in the last ten years and is currently unemployed again. 

The employment situation hasn't devastated his life because I have a good job and we don't live beyond our means so we don't have financial problems as a result of that.  Some other reasons I don't think this has had as much negative impact on us is that he lets me run our finances and we don't have any kids.  I could not do the job I do plus be completely responsible for the kids which is how it would be.

I do also think that our marriage isn't so bad because we have maybe "instinctively" done some of the things Melissa describes in her book.  I rarely nag or get outwardly angry because I think I learned long ago that nagging doesn't get any more done and getting angry just makes matters worse.  He has made it clear to me that I'm an overly perfectionist, controlling person.  I agree with this and I've tried to moderate my behavior.  He doesn't say much but I think from some things he says that he maybe feels somehow "inadequate" or "inferior" to me.  This probably started in college when I did very well academically and he did not and has carried on as my career has gone well and his has not.  So I make a big point of doing everything I can to bolster his ego and self esteem.  He's a pretty up beat, positive, can do person even under difficult circumstances but I think it would be very easy for him with his employment situation to sink into a negative abyss.

I'm reading in the book now about getting to the point where you accept that you are not going to change the person and you have no control over them and can only control your own life and try to be the best person you can be and be as happy as you can.  I can really remember getting to this point where I decided I'm simply not going to dwell on the negative or what he doesn't do or how he seems irresponsible and I'm just not going to be bitter, angry and unhappy about this.  I have the capacity and ability to do what needs to be done and I'm just going to do it and move on.  Getting into this state of mind was a very good thing for me.

I still don't like that I am responsible for most everything but on the other hand I do like being in control of things so in that respect it comes naturally to me.  What I most don't like is that I feel like we are drifting apart - sometimes acting more like roommates than husband and wife.  I'm relieved though to know there is perhaps a logical explanation for all of this because I have at times felt very hurt that he "didn't care about me".  He would always say that wasn't true but the actions spoke louder than words - but now I have a better understanding.

I read some things to him from the book - mostly positive traits of ADHDers that sound like him - like the fun person everyone loves to be around.  To that he said really?  I wonder what the deal is with me and jobs.  I said nothing - though I do think if he does in fact have ADD it probably has something to do with his employment situation.

Anyway, I think the book is very good and helpful and it makes a lot of sense to me based on my experience.  He's somewhat interested in this too I think so hopefully he will read it when I'm done so we can talk about some of the "issues".  I sincerely hope people who are in such troubled situations find a way to a better place.  I think the book can be a helpful resource but the kind of change described is not easy especially if you are really hurting.

ebb and flow's picture

I'm happy that your

I'm happy that your relationship is not as outwardly difficult as most of the posts on here! It's nice to hear that some couples can just figure out how to flow together instinctively, as you put it.

I love the part where you said you do everything you can do boost his ego and self esteem. It's true that we cannot change our partners but we certainly do have an impact on their wellness with the use of powerful positive or negative words. I love that you boost your partner whenever you see him down! I will take this to heart and try to practice it whenever I see an opportunity to do so! 

Your post kinda gives me a little hope...

Thank you!

I'm glad you found my

I'm glad you found my thoughts to be somewhat helpful. Sometimes I do feel kind of out of place here yet it is helpful and educational. As I read here I think there are some fundamental things that could make any marriage difficult - even without ADHD. It seems like most everyone is a somewhat fragile, sensitive human being and that they respond better to feeling valued and appreciated. You know the old thing about positive reinforcement. I can just see in my husband that if I tell him how much I appreciate something he does or what a great job he did that it inspires him to do more of what is helpful to me. It doesn't solve every problem or make him notice all the things that need to be done or remember to do everything I ask but it does make a positive difference. Plus it just makes for a more pleasant environment than one in which I am constantly harping and complaining. That's kind of what I mean about it being a good thing when I finally decided to just let go of the negativity and move on. I ask myself whether whatever it is that I think I want to gripe about is really that important or that much of a burden to me and most often it is not. If it is important then I make a point of addressing it in a positive, constructive way and he usually agrees with me and makes an effort to respond.

Thank-you fuzzylogic. That's

Thank-you fuzzylogic. That's a very nice thing to say. I do try not to be like the type of mate described in the book Delivered from Distraction which I'm reading now. It says ADDers often pick the following kind of spouse because they think this is what they need: "a caricature of a bad fifth grade teacher - someone who is controlling, demeaning, belittling, and very well organized.". I do think my DH liked that I was well organized and managed money well. I'm sure he wasn't looking for controlling, demeaning or belittling though. He does think I come across as condescending at times and though I don't feel that way perception is reality as he says. The book mentions that it's really important to find the right job and the right mate. I think - and he does too - that I'm the right mate but I don't think he has the job thing figured out yet.
fuzzylogic72's picture


He sounds just like me (with the blessing of a partner who understands him).

I truly hope he makes it worth it in the end. i can't speak for all of us, but I know that for some of us, that is all we want in life. To find someone to share an equal relationship (though that equality will be expressed in different ways), and to spend the rest of our lives trying to give back what you have given us. Both sides of this adhd relationship venture so often reach a point where they regard that outcome as a pipe-dream; but some don't... some BOTH try, DON'T make excuses, DON'T blame... they love, and try, and keep trying. And they end up with the happiness they deserve.

Thank you for sharing, and for helping me learn more about adhd-ers, and non-adhders alike.

Peace, love and acceptance are found within; find it, and give freely of it. It sounds like you are one of the  few who live that.