It's time to walk away.

Sadly, I have found out that although some of his behaviors were caused by the ADHD, underneath it all, he really didn't love me.  It's time to walk away.  I just wish I hadn't wasted so much of myself on him.  

love yourself first....

Love yourself first,forget him...if he says he does not love you...then love your self and go on with your one is to be treated with such fake in a relationship...he is so mean to have you there all this time then say he does not love you,,,,he is being a real nasty jerk...people don't have relationships with people and then hurt them like that...

move on with your life and love your self first and true love will follow you...

I wish you the best of luck



I feel greatly comforted by your comment. I recently filed a petition for divorce to end my miserable marriage with ADHD husband and have been feeling hopeless and devastated. I just cannot forgive myself for making such a big mistake to marry him in the first place, falling in love with someone that never in fact really existed, and trusting someone so naively to be transparent as I was. If marrying him was the worst thing ever happened in my life, divorcing him was the best thing that ever happened.

As you said, "there is always the next moment". And yes,This Too Shall Pass. I just need to give myself some time to breathe, mourn, and move on. I just pray my experience now will shape me positively for the future. Thanks again for your warm words. 


so sad

I feel sad for you too. I hope better days are ahead. We have both been through too much for this lifetime.

Completely ignorant statements

I am brand new to this site after being introduced to this site by a friend.  Your post certainly caught my attention given I am a man with ADHD.  I suppose you are entitled to your opinion; however, I would like to make it known to everyone out there that this is ONE example of the millions of people out there with this illness (although I hate to use that word since I don't think I would be the person I am today if I wasn't).  I am in my early 30s and learning there is hope out there for me and others like me.  There are times in life when I have been able to do extremely well and other times not so well.  I also think it is VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO FIRST DISTINGUISH whether or not your ADD partner is actually WILLING to make a change and WORK towards that.

In the brief reading I did from NJTWINMOM, sounds like her husband WAS NOT WILLING to make the changes necessary for them to have a HAPPY marriage and therefore it clearly will not work out for the best.  This is obvious.  Don't put your negative thoughts out there based on your own experience and those you have read.   This message board literally represents a tiny MINISCULE fraction of the people living with ADHD in the world.  There are MANY MANY success stories out there as well.

I think her comment about (gross generalization quoted from above edited out) is (personal attack)  It is basically a stereotype and generalization.  For those of you out there, please do not let one statement like this prevent you from exploring the person you love if they are ADD or ADHD.  If it turns out that they are not willing to work on themselves, or work on your relationship, then fine move on.  OR after attempting to work on it, it doesn't work, fine then move on.

NJTWINMOM, your post caught my attention, and this is one of the very few times I have ever written something on the internet

Everyone out there, please don't let one post like this deter you from exploring the person on the other end.

I am sorry for your hurt and pain and feel for you, but I completely disagree with your (edited out) statement as it only causes hurt and negativity to those reading it.

MagicSandwich's picture

Dude - this is not a

Dude - this is not a stereotype. Not at all. There are PLENTY of spouses and friends whose lives have been RUINED by chaotic ADHD-ers. If you had any idea what it's like to have an ADHD tornado trash your entire life, you'd know that NJTWINMOM is venting. She's absolutely at the end of her rope. And contrary to your expectations, this forum IS an outlet for the "negative thoughts out there based on your own experience and those you have read." Please do not silence other people's pain or call their experiences and outcomes (edited out - repeat of attack) 

Yes, it is a stereotype

Yes, there are many lives trashed by ADHD out there, but the other poster is also right - there are also people out there whose lives are not trashed by ADHD.  So to group everyone together is unfair and hurtful.  People at this forum are a tiny sliver of who is out there...hence the reason why we don't want gross generalizations here.  The other poster was asking, in essence, that people FOLLOW THE DARNED POSTING RULES.  We have them for a reason.

I reiterate - YES there are negative feelings here.  But PLEASE try to express them in a way that allows you - and others - to learn from each other, rather than end up in two warring camps.  We don't need a mini-version of Congress at this forum (don't even get me started on politics!)

I took out the personal attack in the last post.  That, too, is against the posting rules.

How about if we ALL take a few moments to reset on this one?

And I think it's ironic that this thread started with a post about how someone is leaving her spouse for reasons that clearly are OTHER than ADHD.

I'm not editing this out, but still

I'm not going to edit out your comment, but still would like to point out the implication in what you write lacks internal consistency.  You yourself say that you fell in love with someone that never in fact really existed, then imply your husband's ADHD is why your marriage fell least in this particular post and environment (I am not familiar with other posts you may have made, so perhaps I read too much into what you write here).  It is my observation that "romanticizing" about a partner or imagining who a partner is (versus observing who they really are) is a major factor in divorce, even if the partner doesn't have ADHD.  This is particularly true if you get married before the dopamine-laden infatuation stage wears off at about 24 months in.

ADHD can be a big, big problem in a relationship - for sure.  But you didn't know either about the ADHD nor about how you were "creating" a person in your mind who didn't exist.  You should forgive both yourself AND your husband for the pain you've caused each other if you can.  Good luck with moving forward.


Hugs Lily1

Yeah, I'm kind of there too.  My 25 year marriage is more or less done and over.  He did get the diagnosis, tried a little.  Got medication tried that, needs to talk to communicate, to appreciate, to care about me.  He doesn't and he never will...he mocks me and says he never loved me, that he has always just wanted to hurt me....well he is honest then.  If he has to take 100 pills a day to love me, what good is it?  He is a pathetic excuse for a husband and a father.  I have tried and tried and tried.....why?  (edited out - gross generalization about ADHD)

"The Thorn Birds"

Thanks everyone for your kind words.  It's so hard.  I bonded with him more than I have with any other man in my life.  Why are men with ADHD so easy to fall in love with, and then so hard to live with or live without?  If you've ever read the book or watched the movie "The Thorn Birds" you'll understand this.  I feel like he's the thorn and I'm the thorn bird. 

Pbartender's picture

I know you're angry, but...

(edited out - quoted the gross generalization above)

...that hurts.

Just like any other group of people in the world, there are good people with ADHD and there are bad people with ADHD.  Don't confuse having ADHD with being a bad person.


My mum is extremely happily

My mum is extremely happily married to my ADHD dad. Your comment may be your opinion- but it's just not universally true. I'm sorry your marriage has been so tough though.

Different Times...

I read this post this morning, and was thinking about my Mom & Dad, and how they after 50 years are still happily married and my Mom has ADD.  Now thinking about this I believe there are factors that have lead to them being happy.

1) Times are different now...growing up my Dad was the bread winner, my mom had a part time job as a sales clerk at the Mall, which she quit when i was about 10 because working part time and 'managing' the house was too overwhelming for her.  As a matter of fact growing up I do not recall anyone's mom having a career or demanding full time job as most women do now..  so then most women managed the house and kids and maybe had a part time job.   Now most households have 2 working parents, yet typically the woman is still expected to do all if not most of the house work and child care. (yes there are exceptions, i just don't know any personally) Leading to more stress.   This is the norm for a lot of families whether ADD or not..many of my friends who there is no ADD in the family are still so overstressed simply because of work & home responsibilities.

2) It takes the right partners - When I say my mom 'managed' the house..i honestly don't know what she managed. The house was never clean, she did go grocery shopping yet the bags of non-perishable food would sit on the kitchen floor until either everything was used or it was time the next week to shop again so what was still in the bags finally got put away. She would let the dishes pile up in the sink and counter...dishes were my job when I was 13, as was the laundry. My Dad did all the finances, to this day she still doesn't know what his salary is and doesn't care. She never got me up for school on time or helped me or my brother with homework, unless the homework was an art project. She was and still is very artistic and always showed interest in enhancing my artistic ability but not academics. I don't ever recall her cleaning...i still don't think she does. Things in the fridge would get moldy and my father would eventually clean it out. She did make dinner every night..most was inedible to me...i never realized how good steak was until I got out of the house and cooked for mean its not supposed to taste like leather ??  Very typical ADD stuff.  It drove me crazy ! And it still does.   yet not my Dad. he is one of the most laid back patient men I have every know, other than His Dad, who to this day at 97 is my hero and the funniest happiest man I have known. My Dad only raised his voice at my mom once that I can recall, and that was when she slapped me across the face.  he never complained about the house always being messy, dinner always being lousy, or having to help me with homework because she wouldn't/couldn't.  Now they had a very loving relationship, they still walk down the street holding hands. My dad was always the moon, starts and sun to my mom, she still idolizes maybe that is why he put up with all the other stuff.  Who knew what ADD was back then, no one managed it if they had it.

So with that said, if my mom was married to a different man who was not so laid back, or was raising a family in today's demanding times, would she have been happily married ?  I highly doubt it.    I unfortunately have a very demanding full time job, with 2 ADHD kids and am married to an impatient ADD man, I still have all the chores and child care responsibilities, and I am not happily married.  Different times, and not the right partners for either of us.  Of coarse managing ADHD now would help significantly but he doesn't and he doesn't think its a factor.


Pbartender's picture

A self-fulfilling prophecy...

Realize that you are basing your conclusion off of a single man -- your husband -- self-help books about problematic ADHD marriages, and the anecdotes of people who post to an internet forum devoted to problems in ADHD marriages.  Your data set is limited and biased.

Comments and attitudes like this hurt everyone...  It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am a man with ADHD.  You've just told me and everyone else that I am incapable of feeling love without drugs...  that I am only capable of hurting people...  that I will never worth the love and devotion that everyone else in the world deserves...  that I am not as valuable as other people, simply because I have ADHD.

And so I think to myself...  Why bother?  Why try?  What's the point of struggling to make myself a better person?  It would be so much easier -- and perhaps better? -- if I simply gave up.  If I let my wife and my kids leave and spent the rest of my life living alone, so I couldn't hurt anyone else except myself.  If what you said is true, none of my feelings for them are real, anyway.  Shouldn't they have a husband and a father who loves them for real?

And that in return, of course, is exactly the sort of thought and action that an ADHDer reacts with that reinforces the stereotype that you've built up.

One negative reaction feeds the other, which in turn feeds back.



Well then

You definately need to do alot of reading on this site.

There are MANY, MANY others who feel exactly the same as I do, and who have said so, I do not appreciate you targeting me.

Pbartender's picture

Yes, I know there are.  A lot

Yes, I know there are.  A lot of people here have been and still are angry and venting...  but that doesn't make it right.

I have done a lot of reading on this site.  I can assure you that I'm not targeting you.  I try to address it wherever it catches my attention, because it's a poisonous way to think.

You're right that it's a prevalent attitude here and in many cases it may be true, but it's not one that's in any way beneficial toward helping married ADHDers to improve themselves and rebuild their marriages.  It will never encourage us to do the work that it takes to bring out the love and respect that most of us want to show you, but that the ADHD gets in the way of.



Well then

You have been here a month, and me over a year...

Pbartender's picture

I can't tell you how sorry I

I can't tell you how sorry I am, that you've been here for over a year and that things are still so bad for you that you are this angry about it.  That in all that time, your husband hasn't been able to consistently get a handle on his ADHD.

I've read a lot of your posts about how your husband is "stuck", about how "his wheels are stopped", about how it feels like he's just given up.  I sometimes feel the same way about my non-ADHD wife, and perhaps that's part of why this type of attitude bothers me so much.  I wish I had a way to get him going for you.

There's so much misplaced hate.  I just want the non-ADHD spouses to understand that some of us -- most of us, even -- are truly good people.  But the ADHD tends to hide that, because the intentions behind what we do and why is so often misunderstood.  Because of the unintentional mistakes we make and the reactions to those mistakes, we often end up learning to be worse people than we should be.  And everybody -- including ourselves -- starts to believe that we are that worse person, and that we can't ever be the good person we are meant to be.




I can feel your anger and unhappiness in your comments...many of us feel the same way, we are hurt, angry, disappointed....but here is the thing...there ARE people with ADHD that are good spouses and parents, and they try very hard to manage it..some of them that are on this site. Then there are those who don't.    I am the non-ADHD spouse and am not happy either, but I would not generalize an entire population of people that have ADHD as all being 'Bad'.  It would be like someone assuming I am stupid because I am blond. I am far from stupid.  I think one reason there are so many posts from unhappy non-ADHD partners is because we are unhappy and are looking for help, relief, or to vent..the happy people are not looking for a place to vent and may not even think there is anything 'wrong' with their relationship. but that is just my guess.

  I think there are very good people that also happen to have ADD, however I also think there are Bad people that have ADHD and some of their bad habits or just downright rotten personalities are 'blamed' on the ADHD, maybe even without ADHD they still would have been rotten people.  There are plenty of mean, selfish, unlawful people out in the world that do not have ADD as well.

I have read many posts on this site where it sounds to me like a spouses behavior is being explained as ADHD when really its seems like they are just plainly not nice people to begin with.  I am sort of tired of every bad behavior that someone has as being caused by ADD, no sorry...not everything can be explained or excused by that.  On the other hand we all know there are varying degrees of this disorder and things that go along with it.  Unacceptable behavior no matter what its cause is still unacceptable behavior...and they should be held accountable for it.   


Thank you

You went into much more detail and I do agree with you.

Many of us are here to vent, and depending on what is happening at home, it can be good or bad.

When people who are engaged or dating someone with ADHD are already here and having problems, yes, most of us (not all) do tell them not to get married.

Sorry, I am usually very verbose and could write a novel, but words no longer come easy about all of this anymore....

But some of us DON'T say don't get married

It is the downside of the internet - the squeaky wheel gets heard.  One of the very real issues of this forum (that I'm well aware of) is that it is self-selecting to the negative.  That is, people who are happy in their marriages don't type in the words "angry with my spouse" or "adult ADHD" and end up at this site.  So the forum, at least, is very lopsided in the view it gives of ADHD relationships.  Which is not to say they don't have their problems - they do...hence the reason for my book.  But the point of ALL of this is to show people how to IMPROVE their relationship - not to suggest that they are all bad.  To give a person who is engaged to someone with ADHD the advice not to marry that person is simply BAD ADVICE - it stereotypes someone with ADHD as bad, and it assumes that the relationship of the person asking the question is just like your own (if you are unhappy) or not like your own if you hare becoming happier (though of course then you wouldn't suggest not to get married...)  Furthermore, it assumes that the progression of a relationship that starts out with known ADHD will follow the same trajectory as a relationship in which the ADHD was unknown for many years.  I think that assumption is not valid.  If you know about all of these issues BEFORE they happen, my bet is that you'll be able to have a different trajectory and a different outcome...another reason I wrote my book.

I ask that everyone at this site think carefully about the concept of coming here to vent - it is no more productive here than it is at home - and start thinking about the positives you would like to take away from learning that there are others who share your well as ways to address those problems.  You all have much to learn about and from each other.

So sorry you are in pain but this statement is 100% untrue

(edited out - repeat of gross generalization above)

I love my ADD husband very much and he more than returns the feeling.......backed by action too though not always the action I was hoping for :)  Even in the untreated years we never thought abour nor discussed dissolving our marriage and I certainly hope we and believe that we never will.  I can't even imagine the pain you are in and feel for you deeply.

Though I do sincerely feel deeply for what you are going through, I do have to ask you not to speak in generalities and cause pain for other people.


I said ALL the people I speak with and then you clearly say I haven't spoken to you.

I have read some really horrible things on here.  Lay off me or call everyone else out.

This needs to end.  Have you read ALL my posts?


I read horrible things too

and I try to truly call out any completely incorrect statement that I have read.  I noted the "all" comment because I am fairly sure we've had exchanges on this site and I have enjoyed posts you've made and since I am not in the only happy ADD/non marriage with a member who post here (including MELISSA btw), I believe that to mean your 'all' ppl on this site statement can't be true.

If we've never spoken back and forth in a thread, then I completely apologize to you.

However your initial statement is still very untrue.  I believe it is vital that kind of statement be challenged.

If you have seen those kind of statements that went unchallenged and that is why you feel targetted, then I apologize for my part in not challenging them at that time.  I really don't spend a lot of time online because I have a pretty full and busy life.   I saw your statement, disagreed vehemently, and said so.  If I did so poorly because I was heading to do something else, that is on me; but your statement about it never paying to stay with a man with ADD is still wrong.



OK wrong.

I have a VERY full and busy life as well.

Let's just call this over.

MagicSandwich's picture

Please do not silence anybody

Please do not silence anybody in this forum on behalf of your marriage. Venting is natural. If you can't give support, don't say anything. 


(Note from Melissa - parts of this particular forum has crossed the line, in my opinion, between venting and smearing ADHD people, which is explicitly against the posting rules - gross generalizations.  I have received several complaints about it - and rightly so.  Should have caught it myself.  Let me be clear here - we all have our own opinions, which is why the forum exists at all...but as a forum in which one of the main objectives is to learn more about how to live together, it's critical that people express themselves clearly but also carefully.  Yes, there is lots of pain to be discussed, but please be sensitive to other readers as you write about it.  This is NOT meant to be a "Pick on ADHD people" site.)

ADHD people are reading this for support too...

We shouldn't have to read generalizations about us that life with one of us will cause never-ending pain and will never work out.

I get that she's venting, and if she was solely venting about her particular situation, I would be all over supporting her... but one of her comments crossed the line.

But this website isn't just a support group for non-adhd spouses dealing with adhd spouses. It's called "ADHD MARRIAGE". All of us are here together working on this and venting and the venting has to be respectful. It hurts to read someone writing something derogatory about a group you belong to- even though of course I rationally know she isn't talking about me and is venting... but it has to be more respectful, sorry.

How would you feel if it was reversed and someone with ADHD was on here saying, 'never ever ever stay with a non-adhd person. The pain they will cause you is neverending..."?

People were challenging her on her sweeping statement about the group, not about her own experiences with her husband, which clearly have been really painful. No one was challenging that or attacking her.

That's the last time I am weighing in. I don't want some conflict over this. But I am not going to silenced either. This site is for all of us.


MagicSandwich's picture

These "don't offend my

These "don't offend my diagnosis" reactions really anger me. 

Yes there are plenty of even-keeled ADHD-ers out there, and good for them. But you know what? Trying your best to make things work with an out-of-control ADHD spouse very often means being devalued, cheated on, bankrupted, lied to, ignored, insulted and used in every possible way.  No amount of tit-for-tat "how would you like it if an ADHD person said something sweeping and negative about people who don't have this disorder?" matters to somebody who is suffering at this level. 

We should all be hip to the truth about this disorder enough to allow somebody the freedom to use hyperbole without getting "offended."


Am I finally seeing someone, anyone, who has read what I had to say and taken it as venting with some experience and some truth to it??  

Apologized, did BEG for this all to stop, and it just kept coming.  You make many valid points about what "some of us" have endured.

Thank you.  Will this ever end??

MagicSandwich's picture

What you said is nothing new here

Arrgh I do believe your original post has been manicured by the moderator. I'm glad I had a chance to read it before the whitewashing. Your words echo many other posts in this forum where tearful, exhausted ex-spouses have advised readers to never marry a person diagnosed with ADHD. What you said was: 

  • not a new sentiment in the forum
  • a completely normal and expected reaction in the context of the severe abuse that was done to you
  • did not meet the burden for the definition of "insult" whereby you would need to issue an apology to anybody

I like how you stand your ground. Hang in there and try not to let this strange and selective reactivity make you sad. You were not "smearing" anybody. 

Thank you

Thank you so much.

I do find it very bizarre as well.

MagicSandwich's picture

Compassion is the virtue of empathy for the suffering of others.

Nobody is picking on anybody Melissa. I can name at least five other threads going back to 2009 whose words echo the disputed text found here. Why the sudden censorship?

People in the throes of real suffering often use hyperbole - psychologists and counselors will tell you this.  Suffering people need our compassion first and gentle redirect second, if necessary.  

To Pbartender and everyone else.

I apologize.  I didn't want to hurt or discourage you, or anyone else.  I was upset when I wrote it and I didn't stop to think how my words could affect someone else.  Venting is a slippery slope.

Pbartender's picture

No need...

You were complaining about your husband, and trying to make distinctions between his ADHD symptoms and his bad behaviors that had nothing to do ADHD. 

That's a necessary thing, and there's nothing offensive about it at all...  We ADHDers need to make that distinction about ourselves as well.  We can't be using ADHD as an excuse for everything we do wrong, and we need to take responsibility for the things we say and do.

If your posts were venting, they were pretty mild.



Pbartender's picture

This isn't meant to be an attack to anyone...

...but perhaps we should all review the Melissa's instructions for this website and forum:

I know I sometimes skirt perilously close to gross generalizations, and that even though I don't intend them to be some of my posts sound an awful lot like personal attacks.  There are certainly instances, where I would probably be better off moving on to something else, instead of posting.

I'll try to be a little more careful about that.

My responses weren't meant to be a personal attack, NJTWINMOM, though I can see how they might have been seen that way.  I was upset, and was trying to "respond (politely) in a way that broadens the conversation"...  I'm sorry if I missed that mark.  My intent was to show what it feels on the other side of that comment and I may have not expressed myself as well as I would have liked.  Again, sorry about that.



Oh please

I did apologize, then I did ask if we could just end this.  I didn't come at you, though clearly you came "at' me.  I am NOT the first to generalize, I am not the first to recommend someone already having issues with an ADHD partner NOT get married.  

I am sorry that you have this condition.  I am sorry that my husband has it as well.  As for me, I do not have it, but I am living the life of pain, hurt and misery as if I did.  Read my story.  Take a walk in my shoes.

I am not here that often anymore and I am sorry I ruffled your feathers when I did pop in.  I have never once had issue like this in over a year.  You are here a month, and there is a problem.  Can it be dropped?





Been following this --

I haven't said anything yet, but when an unmarried person is already on this site trying to figure out what is going on with a boyfriend/girlfriend who is causing them a lot of pain, I also think it is a disservice to encourage them. After all, they probably wouldn't be here if they were dating a person who was genuinely trying to get help for the ADHD. They are dating ADHDers with problems -- and they need to know they  are PROBABLY in for a rocky ride. NJT.....   I think you are being honest and probably accurate about your  assessment for their future IF THEY HAVE ALREADY FOUND THIS SITE SO EARLY IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP!!!


Thank you

Thanks for your support lynnie70.

I'm so sorry Lily.  Does he

I'm so sorry Lily.  Does he know?  What was his response?  Do you have a support system in place?

I deserve better.

Yes, he does know.  I told him.  His response was almost no response at all.  He doesn't think there is a problem, at least not with him.  It wasn't just the ADHD making it seem like he didn't love me, he doesn't love me ADHD or not.  It's hard, but it's getting better.  I'm tired of having to fight to feel loved.  I'm not doing it anymore.  I deserve better. 

I'm tired of having to fight

I'm tired of having to fight to feel loved....I deserve better.

This says it all for me too. ADD or not.  Well said.