Is it Possible for Him to Turn it Around?

My marriage is in a pretty dire state right now and I have been reading posts by others whose husbands have been in denial about their AD/HD. It seems like in many of the posts I have read the couples ended up separating permanently as the AD/HD husband never saw the need to change.  My question is: Is it even possible that my husband might "see the light" and get treatment?

My situation is that about 5 weeks ago I asked my husband to seek treatment or move out as I could no longer deal with his angry outbursts followed by periods of not speaking to me for several days. It was as though anything I did that he did not agree with would set him off. He decided to move out and has told me that he cannot seek treatment just because I want him to. I cannot be so demanding and rigid and just expect him to do whatever I want.

He moved back into the condo we were using as a rental property. He has periodically communicated with me, though he has said we can only email because talking on the phone is "too emotional." His emails have been strange, and when I have spoken with him he sounds almost robotic and not at all like himself. Last week he told me that he and I cannot communicate for awhile to give him time to figure out if he has anger problems just from being with me or if they are truly an issue he brings to the table.

Additionally, he began drinking fairly heavily every night for the past 6 months and, though he says he probably does drink too much, he continues to do so. I think this makes his anger worse. His drinking got worse so gradually that it took him being too hung over to go to work on a random Tuesday that made me see he had a problem. He takes Stratera but does nothing to treat his ADHD behaviorally, and to share a quote I like "Pills don't teach skills." I am sure the alcohol doesn't help with the effectiveness of the Stratera.

He has always had trouble with dealing with anything emotional and has had trouble with expressing empathy. For example if I was upset and needed support instead of being comforting he would tell me I needed to learn how to comfort myself and would be irritated with me rather than supportive. I would like to believe that the man I knew at the beginning of our 6 and 1/2 year marriage is going to come back and decide to get help, but I am afraid the chances of this may be slim.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and seen their DH turn it around?

A couple of things I wanted

A couple of things I wanted to comment on...

My husband had a 'problem' with alcohol for about 2-3 years before we separated last Oct, but nothing like what he started doing after I asked him to leave. He was drinking everyday and consuming large the point of passing out. It made his anger 10000 x worse. I didn't recognize who he was. He was completely irrational, unreachable, and seemingly uncaring. He would push me to the point to where I would just tell him I was done...was filing for divorce...and then and only then would he beg me not to divorce him. I TRULY feel that alcohol, consumed in more than just small amounts, has a significant negative impact on my husband. He stopped drinking in February. It took quite a while for the fog to clear. If he continues to drink, you may have an even bigger battle on your hands.

He really needs to acknowledge his anger. Just like most of us non-ADD spouses have to acknowledge our anger. What he is essentially saying is that you might be responsible for his anger and that's just BS. His anger is his choice. If not, and it's truly a part of ADD (I don't have experience with this, my husband is mostly passive ADDer), then he needs to get help for it. My anger was in response to hurt and frustration...but ultimately it was MY anger and not something I could (fairly) blame on my husband, regardless of his behaviors.

I really hope he starts acknowledging his part in the problems of the marriage, but in the meantime you need to give him the space he needs to figure things out on his own. The more you try and 'fix' him (even just insisting on communicating with him if he's resisting), the more he'll pull away. Focus on what changes you'd like to make FOR YOU and let him figure out things for himself.


I agree that you're best off to leave him alone right now. I mean go DEAD quiet and let him decide what he wants to do. It's gotta be his decision whether he's willing to submit to proper treatment, firstly for his alcohol problem and then for the ADHD and any potential co-morbid conditions. Unless he really decides to deal with BOTH, he's not going to be a bearable partner for you. He may need a while to hit rocky bottom. Meanwhile, I would do like SheriW13 says and work on you both in counseling and taking care of your body with diet and exercise...and amidst the heart-ache try and find ways to bring some joy and laughter into your days...even if it's stupid old "I love Lucy" videos...anything to bring a few moments of levity into your days. I'm sure you can use the mental break that a laugh can bring. Hang in there.

For a break

I like watch America's Funniest Videos and hope for a good belly laugh! And I've separated myself from the idea that I will ever have the kind of relationship I thought I would with my ADD hubby of almost 30 years. Better to focus on you and your own happiness. Don't allow yourself to get sucked into his problems, he's going to have to figure them out himself. Tired sigh...