Is it ADHD or does he just not love me?

I need some advice. This is the first time I've ever posted, but I have been using this site as a resource for a few months. My husband has been diagnosed with ADHD. I am the one who tries to keep it all together. Six months ago I found out that my husband was pursuing several women via Facebook and one woman at work. I was devastated. After years of being ignored, cleaning up his messes, yada yada yada, he found a way to convince himself that I caused him to look elsewhere. I told him I wanted a divorce. When he realized I was serious, he changed his tune. He said he would do anything to save our marriage. I asked him to read Melissa Orlov's book, to go to counseling, clean up some financial matters, pay attention to me, stop walking out on me every time something doesn't suit him. My list was reasonable and I even wrote it down for him so he wouldn't have to remember anything. Fast forward six months later and he still hasn't done one thing on the list. I have told him I will divorce him if he won't do the things I've asked. He lost the list, but insists he wants to do everything I asked him to do. He swears he loves me more than anything. So my question is, how much of this refusal to do anything I've asked a product of his ADHD, and how much of it is that he is just full of sh{t? About once a month for the past six months I have reminded him that I will not allow my needs to be ignored anymore. We've been married for 10 years and they have all been devoted to his needs. I won't be ignored anymore. He actually left me two days ago because I brought the subject up again. He is mad at me for not believing him when he says he wants to do the things on the list. He acts like I am the unreasonable one. Who is the unreasonable one here?

My feeling is that the not

My feeling is that the not doing things is highly related to the ADHD and not because your spouse is full of sh**.  However, that still leaves the question, which only you can answer, of whether you're willing to live with the ramifications of the ADHD.  I'm where you are right now in many ways:  trying to decide what I can accept in a marriage that has been and continues to be, every day, highly affected by ADHD. 


I guess I am afraid of making a mistake. If his ADHD is preventing him from doing things, I feel like I have an obligation to be patient. On the other hand,  six months seems ridiculous! Shouldn't the threat of losing his wife and family be motivation enough?

One would think so, wouldn't

One would think so, wouldn't one?  I'm not being sarcastic; what you are talking about is my core dilemma in life right now.  My husband has not, as far as I know, engaged in infidelity or even had a wandering eye, but he's been fired twice, can't/won't look for a job, was MIA as a parent for many years, continues to not hold up what I consider to be a fair share of the household duties, and seems incapable of showing interest in me or expressing affection.  And yet he says that I am important to him!  And that the marriage is the best thing that ever happened to him!  There is a huge conundrum (hope I'm using that word correctly) for me:  the longer I'm going with not getting what I want from my marriage (i.e., the more time my husband spends engaging in certain behaviors and not engaging in others), the more it seems as though he has an incurable illness, and the thought of divorcing someone who has an incurable illness makes me feel guilty. That's why I encourage you to sit back and figure out what your bottom line is.  Not to be crass, but don't throw good money after bad!  Spending lots more years in a situation that makes you unhappy won't do anything but make you even less happy.

One of the things that I find

One of the things that I find most frustrating is that my husband believes he has ADHD, trusts the therapist he worked with years ago, yet seems reluctant to accept the damage his ADHD has done. He can't believe his issues could really cause so many problems. He wants me to share the blame. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not perfect, but I have been a good wife. He also drinks way too much, which I've learned isn't uncommon with ADHDers. I read Melissa  Orlav's book and it was like she was spying on our home! I tried to get my husband to understand that he needs to manage his ADHD, but I get the feeling he doesn't want to admit just how big his issues are, so he would prefer to bury his head in sand. Sorry I am rambling. I just don't understand why he would rather lose everything. 

Same issues here...always

Same issues here...always felt something wasn't quite right...was thrilled to get the ADHD diagnosis, but it all went downhill fast after that. He wants to claim all of the 'shiny' parts of ADHD, and expects me to just accept the rest. Broken record me "I am not accepting things that are hurtful to me and our marriage just because it would be easier for YOU if I did" because it would save him the trouble of having to put forth an iota of effort.

They do NOT want to admit how big the issues are...and I think it is a matter of survival that they continue to try and convince us that they have it all under control...and continue to bury their heads in the sand. SOOO with you on this one. I don't know why my DH would rather lose everything either...but I am done trying to save him from himself. I've warned him, told him, tried to reason with him, given up my anger towards him (as best as I can...although I admit I grow more bitter everyday...and feel as though I care less and less everyday), and he continues to drink too much (which is HORRIBLE for someone with ADHD), spend 95% of this time in the den, only engages with me when he wants sex, does NOTHING with me or the kids, is flirting with disaster where his job is concerned, lying, etc. I think the only way they are going to feel acknowledging their fault in the issues of the marriage and putting forth some effort is worth their while is when the pain of NOT doing these things outweighs the benefits of ignoring the elephant in the room. We have been to that point and back a few times...and now I'm very afraid that it would just be too little, too late for us. 

No it isn't. If you haven't

No it isn't. If you haven't read Dr. Daniel Amen's book about they types of ADD then you should. It will help you. This was supposed to post under Waterfall's post about 'isn't it enough knowing that he's about to lose his wife'. 

btw ... six months isn't long when it comes to relearning coping skills. Not for an ADDer.

6 Months

Agreed... 6 months was Just the Beginning for me. I am still a WIP almost 3 years post diagnosis. 

Thank you I will get the

Thank you I will get the book. Bare with me, I am trying to if I ask my husband to make an appointment with his therapist, or ask him to read a book, and he is aware that failure to do so means he will lose his wife, he may NEVER do what I ask? I just can't wrap my mind around it! 

Waterfall, all I can tell you

Waterfall, all I can tell you is that it hasn't been my experience for my husband to never do what I ask.  Does he forget to do what I ask sometimes?  Yes. Does he forget many times if it is something he really doesn't want to do or want to see?  Yes again, but he ALWAYS listens to me even if it is midnight and I can't fall asleep because I just need to talk something out and his meds are long it our most productive convo?  No, but he will listen and participate and sometimes that is all I need to see from him.

What I can tell you is that for close to a year post diagnosis my husband seemed to me to be doing nothing as far as permanently changing behaviors.  He thought he was doing a ton because he was going to a coach (worthless one), taking meds, and *thinking* about what he needed to change.  He was grieving his diagnosis and I didn't know to expect this.  I was probably more frustrated at the end of the year post diagnosis than I was pre diagnosis because I was in the "We know what is wrong, lets get working on it" mindset, and he seemed stuck in neutral.

What I think could be the problem is that there is too much on your list for him to digest at once, and just letting it go until he starts dealing with it makes it easy for him to put it in the *not now* category and not even realize he hasn't done anything about it for 6 months.  He probably has thought about doing something about it, and believe me for my ADDer, that counts as much as doing to him..........I don't get it but it is the way he thinks but it is what I have to work with.

If I were you, I would institute a regular family meeting at least once a week where you praise what has gone well and decide what the next things to work on are.  I would try to never give him more than 3 items to work on at a time, and break them down for him into bite sized chunks that can have measurable benefits inside that week.


For example, a list might look like  1.  plan some type of date night for Friday of this week.  2. Put away all the clothes you have lying on the footboard of the bed...sorry maybe that one is just an issue that we have LOL   3. Read or listen to 1 chapter of Melissa's book.


Whatever works for you, but something you can both clearly see if he is putting forth the effort to do and that can have immediate results.  As you see him starting to take what you are asking for seriously, you will feel less resentment and start to feel cared about the way he is claiming to you that he cares.  I can tell you that for people with ADD, I have been told many times that they think as long as they *feel* something they don't really see the need to back it up by *actions*.  I dont get it because for me what I feel motivates me to action automatically, but I guess it can be part of the ADD brain disconnect or it could be that they just have never learned to show love the way we expect.

Often couples (both those with ADD involved or not) have different love languages and have to expend some effort to show love the way their partner feels it rather than showing it the way we want it shown to us.


Wishing you all the best!  It is very possible to be extremely happy in a marriage with an ADD mate, but you do both have to learn to speak the other's language!