Long-term planning help?

Wow!  First of all, let me say how happy I am to have found this site!!  I can't believe some of the stories and posts I have read... it's like I'm reading about my own marriage!  So thank you all for sharing your stories. 

As you can see from my username, I am a non-ADHD wife, married to a very very very ADHD husband.  He was diagnosed in kindergarten, and has tried all sorts of medication for the past 30 years.  So I am lucky compared to others here in that at least my husband acknowledges he has a problem.  Last year, we were at the breaking point, and I threatened to divorce him if he did not go to ADHD coaching, so he has finally started therapy, which seems to help a bit but we still have a long way to go.  I know therapy takes time, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to get an ADHD partner to focus on long-term planning?

One of the biggest issues we have every year are our taxes.  I am the type of person who has their taxes done in January.  My husband is the person who files for an extension every year.  This year, he promised me that he would get his paperwork in order by January (latest February) so we could file by April 15.  Of course April came and went, and the only thing we filed was for an extension.  My husband owns a business and we really need an accountant to do our taxes for us, otherwise I would just do them for both of us so they would get done.  Unfortunately, doing his business taxes and my personal taxes is out of my league.  After we filed for an extension, my husband did NOTHING to find an accountant (he refused to let me find one, because he says he needs to interview them since they will be doing his business taxes...).  Now, it is September and we still have no accountant, and no plan for doing the taxes.  And on top of that, every week when I have tried to get him to go to the office to work on the taxes, he schedules a sales trip, or a sales show or something.  I tried to explain that he needs to focus on the fact that our taxes need to get done, but he is only able to focus on the short term sales trips.  For him, October seems like such a long way away, that he can't think about it.  Everytime a store asks him to come do a sales presentation, he immediately agrees, instead of thinking about the fact that we have a huge tax deadline loom over us.  He has already booked himself on sales trips for most of September, so it is unclear how he will ever get his paperwork in order by October to file our taxes. 

How do I get him to focus on this longer-term task that needs to get done and reprioritize away from these short-term things?  Normally, I would just pay the penalty and file separately, but this year the penalty for filing "married, filing sepatately" will be close to $20,000 for me.  I don't have that kind of extra money sitting around to send to the IRS, because I foolishly believed my husband when he promised me he would be ready to file our taxes 9 months ago. 

I am really paying the price for being married to someone with ADHD!!! literally!  Help!?

I know exactly how you feel! 

I know exactly how you feel!  I am married just over a month to my husband, who was diagnosed with ADD a few months before we got married, and I am discovering all these things that end up costing us more money because they weren't taken care of.  He went to H & R Block for 4 years and 3 of those years he didn't file his state taxes.  The penalties are through the roof and we are really struggling as it is.  Not only that but he of course cannot find the w-2's for 2005 and his old company doesn't have them either.  Instead of working on any of it he is reading stories on the computer.  He put off doing an online driving school for court to the point that we had to pay an extra $10 to get the certificate in time.  I feel like the forgetfulness and procrastination ends up punishing me in the end because I'm the one worrying about the fact that we have no money and all our regular bills are overdue.  I love him and he is a great guy, he doesn't have the anger that I see alot of people with ADD seem to have and he is very accepting of getting help (he has an appointment to start therapy at the end of sept) but 1 month into our marriage and I'm already on anti-anxiety medication and considering asking the doctor for some sleeping aids because the stress and anxiety are wearing me down. 


In my personal opinion I would find an accountant and get the taxes done while he is on one of his trips.  You need to protect yourself and your finances.  Use the ADD forgetfullness to your advantage and just don't tell him what you did, wait for him to ask (if he ever remembers and does ask you about it) and then explain the taxes are taken care of. lol.  For me personally, I let a lot of things slide when it comes to forgetting mundane tasks, but when it comes to my financial future I do what needs to be done. 

I <heart> accountants

That's excellent advice. When my husband and I married, I *insisted* on our using my accountant of many years. I can't even imagine what things would have been like if I hadn't.

I have used an accountant for

I have used an accountant for everyone of our 13 married years. After the wedding I discovered unfiled taxes from my husband and the accountant fixed it all for us....


I am *definitely* planning on using an accountant.. the problem is that I can't do the taxes without help from my husband, because I have no idea where any of his files are.  Or, errrr... I mean, i *know* where they are, but they are totally unorganized, and I can't wade through them without him.  He has 5 YEARS of records and receipts in garbage bags.  The first accountant I tried to hire said he wanted $10,000 just to sort out the records!!!!!  We don't have that kind of money!!!

I started going through the records myself, but I have no idea what some of the stuff is!  I need his help, but he refuses to focus on this particular task.  Short of chaining him to the desk, I have no idea how to force him to recognize that this needs to get done.  Help????   I have already threatened him with divorce, because I just cannot actually afford to be married to him, mentally and financially...that convinced him to go to therapy but of course it takes time to undo 30+ years of ADHD mess in his brain, and we only have a month left to get our taxes done!!

Even more upsettingly, I started going through the paperwork and records, just trying to get them out of the garbage bags and into chronological order, and I found 2 checks from 2005 for several hundred dollars that he just never got around to cashing.  ARGH.  I was just laid off from my job, and money has always been tight, so it is soooo aggrevating to find out that he has literally been sitting on money that he just forgot about.  Of course now, it's way too late to cash any of those checks, but I feel like I have to babysit him from here on out to make sure nothing like that happens again. 

Argh.  I am so frustrated.  But thanks to everyone for chiming it.  In a sad way, it does help to hear how common this problem is.  At least I don't feel like I'm totally alone, or that I'm crazy for getting so frustrated. 

I also found a check from

I also found a check from 2008 that had not been cashed.  I made him call the company and have them issue him a new one.  The money is still owed to you.  I would sort out all the stuff in the trash bags that pertains to the year you are trying to file and then bring the accountant in.

I wish we had the money to

I wish we had the money to get an accountant to take care of my husband's 3 years of unfiled state taxes.  The state told us just to send everything to them and they would get them filed but we cannot get his w2's for 2005 from his old company and H & R Block said they don't have them, but according to my information tax preparers are required to keep copies.  While I want my husband to have the responsibility to take care of these things himself I don't want the penalties to keep adding up, unfortunately I cannot call the state or his old company or H & R Block because they aren't going to speak to me or give me any information.  It definitely is a work in progress to get these things straightened out for our future.