Maybe, just maybe 'ADHD' is an excuse to act like a heartless jerk.

Seems to me this is just an excuse. Do they ever change? Do they even want to? Nope. And I say that because my guy is nice to whom he chooses, when he chooses, then acts like a completely heartless jerk to others when the mood strikes. 

It is crap. Immature, selfish crap. And no magic pill will make the huge difference. People only change if they want to. 

After reading other posts it seems these people have no desire to change, ever. Maybe it's a case of being a Narcissist. No one else matters unless that person can fulfill some need of theirs. The truth is, these people are controlling Narcissists and we are enablers because we put up with the s***. 

I believe you should treat eachother nice. Period. My childhood sucked (im 38 now) mom is a 'weekender' and mom and dad fought....both verbally and physically. Not all the time but too often. It wasn't lovely. Mom suffered, yes, but i suffered more, my first memory, age 5 consists of mom and dad fist-fighting and mom having a bruised backside. So I decided, that wasn't cool. Unfortunately, as it often happens this way, I had to endure a marriage of physical and emotional abuse, but I got out of that. Divorced 9 years now. And I stand by my belief that you should treat others with respect. It's not ok to throw things or yell ugly insults at the person you LOVE and have chosen to be with. So should I claim I too have ADHD and be a bitter jerk? I too have some emotional issues, life has not been kind to me. I get really sad sometimes, but its no excuse to act like the Devils spawn towards other people. So what do you think might happen if I behaved like my ADHD guy next time there's an argument? That's right, I'd be out the door. In about two seconds. 

I think it's baloney. I've been with my guy for about 5 years, we are not married but we live together. It was great at first, he's a real charmer...manipulator is probably a better word. I'm learning. He's a big ball of self-centeredness. Very intelligent too. Loves himself. Takes about how special he is. And finds fault in pretty much everyone and everything. I've never encountered a more critical person. It's embarrassing sometimes. If it takes too long at the doctors, he throws a fit...if things aren't up to par, wherever we may be, he makes it known. Him on the other hand, he can act any way he wants to. A complete slob most of the time too. A real lazy sob. And then I get yelled at because his things are a mess. I am not his mother. Whatever happened to an adult taking responsibility for his or her actions. He blames it on ADHD... If/when he runs out of his Adderall it's the end of the world. And who's responsibility is it to make the doctors appointment? You guessed it! Me. 

I feel unfocused half of the time because I take care of 99% of everything at home. I also work, and Im an artist. Im also dealing with Melanoma, I go to all appointments alone. Zero support from Captain Wonderful. He dumps everything in my lap, like he is Mr King S***. And you know, I don't throw things or yell at him for it. I just deal with whatever it is and move on. I am the enabler, but that's done now. 

Any argument is a complete nightmare. Regardless of what I say I'm the jerk, even if I'm apologizing. I rarely call him a name, I just dont believe in it...Still I cant get my point across at all. It turns into some kind of a power-struggle. He spits mean insults at me as if I was a nobody he could care less about. Afterwards he says he was just mad. And its ok because he LOVES me. 

Nope, I think this is all bogus. I agree it's a case of mental illness but you know, at some point you have to be responsible for what you do. I for one have had enough. I've treated this  jerk very good, I'm a registered nurse, pay all my own bills, and I'm tired of being disrespected by big immature, selfish boy. I suggest anyone else dealing with this get out ASAP because its not going to change. The good times, the sweet times, all that is not worth it because they are too few and far between and people like this will damage your psyche if you aren't careful. 



I'm glad you are - this guy sounds too far gone to be in a productive relationship.   I agree, ADHD is a not an excuse for the scope of garbage he's throwing you. I'm sorry you had to go through that.   Thanks for your story - I'm the same age, came from a home with abuse, as well.   I'm a pretty cool and supportive lady but I have zero tolerance for disrespect.  


or maybe he's just an heartless jerk

I read your post and I reread it - theres a few things i noticed - melanoma / doctors appointments.... thats a big deal and i hope you have other good people around you to help you through that time, best of luck. Your guy isn't going to these appointments or supporting with that? Thats NOT ADHD - thats somebody who is a selfish jerk, who just also happens to have ADHD and uses that as his 'excuse' as opposed to say 'im being a jerk' which is the truth.

However a moment of levity. I have ADHD; diagnosed in the last 6 months but it's so obvious i have had it since childhood, it's ridiculous. Point i am making - when i didn't know i had it, i tried harder and harder, worked longer, made myself focus when my wife said 'we need to talk'..... and i partially succeeded with that (it was getting harder and harder and less successful). Once I was daignosed with ADHD i went "ooooooh, that makes sense" and proceeded to start slipping in to comments like "oh, im sorry i did x or y - its becuase of my ADHD".

So the point here is sometimes it's easy to 'blame' it on something, especially as if you have been striving HARD for something and it doesnt work always as it should, especially simple stuff that 'men' should be able to just 'do' to finally have a reason that is other than 'your less of a man' is a nice feeling.

So in summary, unless you've dated many guys with ADHD - please dont think 'its' an excuse, or baloney. it isnt. HOWEVER your partner shouldnt use ADHD as an excuse to act like a jerk.

If he didnt have ADHD im sure he would still be a jerk.



Maybe ADHD just an excuse

Wow, is that my life w/DH since he moved here.Unknown if ADHD or just a jerk. Is it ADHD? -He refuses to talk to MD truthfully. Tells MD , "Yea I get mad sometimes. (Reality is: every day, any reason, even waking up sets off the bomb) Everyone he knows is terrific except me & anyone he's shared the same roof with. (Admitted it to me during the worn out to death- "Im sorry phases)(or if he stays with anyone for more than 3 days. I know as I get the furious phone call about someone taking too long at breakfast, etc! I can't go on trips as he will viciously verbally attack me as loudly as possible-learned yrs ago to stay home & of course that infuriates him too!)I'm to blame for everything, others are to blame for anything he cant pin on me. What a "perfect angel" that has never ever done anything wrong! For me, it's been 15 yrs of this. Cant be in same part of house when he's here, as "Im looking at him" gotta leave room if he's on phone-Im spying on his conversation! ) If he asks what should he do about a particular thing, the answer gets turned into a furious "telling him what to do" If I talk, I should shut up. If quiet, what's wrong that I wont talk!! Called every name in the book many times over for what I do or don't do, say or don't say. I'm stuck here as my income not nearly enough to live on. I have chalked him up to be just a jerk, I can't fix him, he won't seek real help.I live a life of retreating to the back of house, out of sight till he leaves for work, etc just to try & avoid an hours/days long bashing of me & how screwed up I am..Oh he'll come looking for a fight with a "Hey, can I ask ya something? " 100% likelihood of explosion when I answer. It's absolutely nuts! I'm not a confrontational person at all & this is having a horrible toll on my psyche. Wish I could say I'm the only person experiencing this, sadly I'm seeing its rampant!


You just described my life :/  well, a lot of the time anyway. Sometimes it seems great which makes me question my sanity.

I am 25 year old in a nearly

I am 25 year old in a nearly identical scenario with my current boyfriend. I've been trying to do as much research as I can to figure out how much of his bad behavior is due to his ADHD and bipolar tendencies and how much, if any, is just his personality/character. We have only been dating for two years and for a while I was hopeful about a future with him. He does seem interested in going to therapy and getting back on his medication. However, he is picky about what doctor to see but expects me to do most of the legwork of finding this perfect doctor. So months have gone by and we haven't made a single appointment yet.

I'm about 99% sure that I want to break up with him. I'm doubtful I'll see much progress and I think the relationship is hindering my personal growth and taking a toll on my self esteem. On the flip side, I feel bad for abandoning someone with mental issues, especially since he has no family here and just one friend.  To get an idea of where I'm having trouble drawing the line between ADHD vs. Jerk, here are some details of what I have to deal with:

-During his tantrums/outbursts he sticks his middle fingers up at me, recently pulled his pants down, started smacking his bare bottom and saying how he wished my face were under it so he could S*** on my face, etc.

-Contacted a prostitute for sex and she actually did come out to meet with him. He says that "he chickened out at the last moment and realized he didn't want to disrespect our relationship." Says they never did anything and she left.

-Has forced me into sexual activities that I don't want to do, many times. I won't get into the disgusting details of that.

These are a few of the particularly bad traits I don't think I can put up with much longer, in addition to the "normal" symptoms of ADHD and general craziness of life with him. Your post was VERY helpful to me and has pretty much helped me confirm my decision to move on. If anyone reading this can tell me whether the aforementioned details sound related to ADHD or "bipolar tendencies" or whether he's just crossing the line and is a total jerk, that would be a great help!

Thank you:)

All of these posts remind me

All of these posts remind me of my situation somewhat.  It is hard to know what is ADHD symptom or trait and what is "just being a jerk".  It's hard to distinguish that with any mental illness.  Sometimes I just want to shout "be a grown up!"  Being a grown up quit frankly sucks sometimes.  I constantly have to do things I don't want to do and/or don't enjoy doing but they need done.  Just do it, don't complain, don't blame it on the ADHD, don't expect a reward for doing something you should have done anyway.  But, sometimes people are just jerks no matter what.  I like the one post that said if the husband didn't have ADHD he probably would still be a jerk. 

To Flowing River, if I can give you a little advice, it sounds like your boyfriend is just a jerk.  Get out.  If he is actually calling up prostitutes, that is no future for you.  My heart sank when I read he forces you to do sexual activities you don't want to do.  That is not love, or respect, and that won't change-whether he has ADHD or not.  Whether it's ADHD or Bipolar or narcissism or some other mental illness, he is still crossing a line and being a jerk.   This is not a safe environment for you. 

River, please break up with

River, please break up with that thing. He is abusing you and you're being victimized. You need to get away asap. This will never work and I know it's hard to give up but don't believe for another second that there's hope. No point in being a punching bag for someone who obviously has so many problems he can't even begin to change. If someone did that butt thing with me or the sexual assault (!!!!!!!) I would say you know what, you're a psycho and I'm outta here. I pray that you will be able to get away from him. he sounds extremely SCARY.

Linsy's picture


Dear River, he won't change. Read Why Does He Do That? For guidance is revelatory. You don't need this, your life is infinitely precious. Sending love and support from many miles away. Please live your life without abuse as soon as possible. I don't care any more what is 'wrong' with my husband, I just know his behaviour made me very unhappy and damaged our children. So I left him. I wish I had done it years before, but don't regret it  because I have my lovely kids.

Not just men

My wife is the ADHD sufferer. She also deals with PTSD, BPD, and severe depression.

Basically, everything that ever has or ever will go wrong is my fault. When I was deployed in 2011-2012, everything was awesome - she was hyper focused on me, we had two babies after I got home, and life was good...for about 10 seconds at a time. Now all the yelling, swearing, name calling, and physical abuse happens in front of my two girls, and they aren't old enough to understand why Mama hits Daddy and screams obscenities.


i understand that she has a lot to deal with. Her PTSD is the result of her ex husband smothering their newborn son in a drug-induced haze, and that right there is the reason I put up with it all - but now my own mental health is dangerously deteriorating as our marriage collapses. I don't know what else to do - all I know is there is always an excuse, a deflection, denial, etc - and a finger pointed squarely at me while she rages and projects the sins of her past upon me.

I'm almost ready to give up. Sorry if I hijacked. 

senseiadams: I'm so sorry

Senseiadams, I'm so sorry you are in this situation. I know you will find some great friends and support here in this forum. Melissa's book on ADHD is awesome and so helpful and encouraging. It would be helpful for you, if you haven't read it yet. But, anyway, I feel so bad that these girls are watching their mother's abuse. If it doesn't change, it will scar them for many years to come, maybe life. It sounds like she needs some serious counseling and professional help. I pray for your family. Hugs.

BPD, PTSD and ADHD are a Dangerous Combo

I was in a relationship with a woman like this and it didn't end well for me.  Be careful and take care of yourself.  If your wife was a victim of sexual abuse as much as I sympathize with her.......she could be a ticking time bomb.  This was my experience......the abusiveness only became worse not better.  You need to have really clear and absolute boundaries for yourself or you might find yourself worse off than you are now. 

Take care

Yep, she was...

Sexually abused as a child by her father, and watched it happen to her sister for years as well.

I'm so tired, I have put in 400% of the effort in this marriage, and I feel like I'm only staying for the girls.

So Was the Woman I Dated

By her father....that's why I said what I said.  I became the embodiment of all her rage from her childhood and that got transferred onto me.  It was an impossible situation to deal with and I took a huge hit in every way possible in the end.  It was a nightmare for me......I just wanted to pass this along as a confirmation that the things you are experiencing probably have nothing to do with you or have any responsibility for.  Fixing what is wrong with her is most likely impossible on your end.  I'm sorry you have to go through this......I can definitely empathize with you.

Off topic to J

J, you and I share this in common,  my h was sexually abused by several of his relatives, so was his sister.  It was bad enough that his sister committed suicide.  He has never dealt with the abuse, he started to but then he stopped because it was too uncomfortable.  I totally understand that.  He also never dealt with his sisters death. For him, because that control was taken from him as a child, he sees everything  ..and I do mean everything involving any close relationship as control on him.  I also believe he has problems with anger transference, and putting all that undealt with anger and fear right on to me. Add that un treated and un managed adhd... And it seems to be a situation that is impossible.


i have made the decision that it's over, I am not going to accept the blame for his situation any more and I will not accept the csa issues or his adhd as an excuse anymore either.  He has the tools, but refuses to do the work.  He wants to crawl back into the hole where he didn't have to deal with any of it, but sadly doesn't realize that the protective hole is gone.  If he climbs back in, he will do it with "them" right there with him.  

I Understand Stacey

As I said...."the big mistake (yoga sutra ) not knowing what your seeing...and believing it's something else"

The fear that brought me here to find answers for myself.  I'm a man on mission.  Takes one to know one?

No matter how much evidence I can come up with and anything people say to the contrary...I have to rely on myself for answers and use what my well earned intuition is telling me to do.  It's a feeling...that's all I know.

The difference between being in denial or not for me....was not listening to this feeling in the past.  I didn't know what it was telling me before and I didn't understand it then.  Coming here was verifying something that couldn't really explain to anyone else...but this was part of it...and I was making sure that my feelings about it were either right or wrong.  It is an instinctual feeling that cuts through all the riff raff of everything else but mostly ...when I've made the mistakes of my was not listening to what I already know...instead of listening to anyone else.

If I apply what I learned from the mistakes of my past...and just listen to this feeling I's really never steered me long as I know how to navigate.  Knowing "how" as I said....would require a book to splain it to you.

You go girl....and kick some ass!!!

Thank are very kind :)


PS  A bit of Wisdom my dear old Mom use to say to me all the time  "Absolute power...corrupts absolutely"

There you go;)


I agree with alot of that -

I agree with alot of that - but for him, he bases his decisions on what ever feeling he has at the moment.  And sadly his feelings are pretty twisted, and he has a very altered and twisted world view (therapists words) that has been damaged from the abuse of the past.  He doesnt see things for what they actually are, but through a filter of abuse and anger/control transference.  And those feelings are steering him back into a life with out substance.  its sad - and I cant rescue him. 


He has to rescue himself, and I believe with my whole heart he is afraid of what rescue will look like  - suddenly he will be responsible for his life and wont be able to blame the past for his emotional state, and his inability to function as an adult.  Maybe he thought by going through the motions with me it would solve all the problems.  And when that failed - because the real solution is doing the work and being committed and not wishy washy about it - he is opting to run again.  I hope that one day he finds it in him to do the work of saving himself.  Just because I am walking away, doesnt mean I dont love him. 


This song really hits home alot for me:


There's no sense, the fire burns
When wisdom fails, it changes all
The wheel embodies all that keeps on turning

Blood red skies, I feel so cold
No innocence
We play our roll
The wheel embodies all
Where are we going?

All in all
You expect the wise to be wiser
Fallen from grace and
All and all I guess we should have known
Better 'cause

What about us
Isn't it enough
No we're not in paradise
This is who we are
This is what we've got
No it's not our paradise
But it's all we want
And it's all that we're fighting for
Thought it's not paradise

You and us, or I and them
There comes a time to take a stand
The wheel is watching all
It keeps on burning

The venom works, it's like a curse
A trojan horse, when will we learn?
The wheel embodies all that keeps returning

All in all
You expect the wise to be wiser
Fallen from grace and
All and all I guess we should have known
Better 'cause

What about us
Isn't it enough
No we're not in paradise
This is who we are
This is what we've got
No it's not our paradise
But it's all we want
And it's all that we're fighting for
Thought it's not paradise

What about us
Isn't it enough
No we're not in paradise
This is who we are
This is what we've got
No it's not our paradise
But it's all we want
And it's all that we're fighting for

What about us
Isn't it enough
No we're not in paradise
This is who we are
This is what we've got
No it's not our paradise
But it's all we want
And it's all that we're fighting for
But it's not paradise

What about us
What about us
What about us
Isn't it enough


This song is my message to my H.  But he wont ever see it, or hear it.  Anything that comes from me seems to be to him that its coming from a point of control, a point of hate, mixed in with those who abused him.  Anger transference.  Blame.  His claims of control are actually a reflection on himeslf.  He is the once controlling, he is the one who has essentially been emotionally abusing me with this denial, his lies, his refusal to meet my needs, expecting that I should not have any.  Thinking he should have zero responsibility in this.  He thinks that things should just be perfect with no effort on his part. 


His excuses are infinate.  And he uses his past to justify what he does now.  I hope it serves him well in the future, because it will not be me anymore.  he wont have me to blame and hold responsible.  He chooses to make it about I vs them instead of US.  I am the "them".  So he has to be "them" to me.  The venom inside him that tells him he is broken and a failure is the enemy and he is running to it for comfort.  That venom put there by people who assulted him, controlled him and took from him everything, stripped him to his core and left him a shadow of who he could have been. 

It's An Excuse

I am just reading through this wonderful blog and saw the above post by Jessi12. Although it was a long time ago, I couldn't agree more. My husband knows he has ADHD but refuses to be medicated. I think he self medicates with alcohol and marijuana, which, in my view, doesn't help. He's a total jerk when he's had hard liquor, and when he smokes marijuana he acts stupid and slow. I am a highly functioning professional who handles everything in our household, unless of course it is one of those days or weekends when he feels like being handy and accomplishing household chores and projects. Everything is at the whim of my husband- whether we have a great day or a bad day is determined by whatever mood he is in. He can be amazing for months and then all of a sudden we have days, weeks or even months in a row where life is complete hell because he is so frustrated and reactive. He is nice to everyone he meets and is very social and charming. To me, he is a complete asshole whenever he wants to be and has no control over his emotions. I think all of the losers with ADHD should stop using that as an excuse to be out of control jerks and fix themselves. I don't have ADHD, but if I did I would make sure I got rid of it. Or maybe all the losers with ADHD should get together so you can torture each other and leave the rest of us normal, highly functioning intelligent, successful people alone. If you meet someone who interrupts you, changes the subject, gets angry at every small thing yet thinks he is somehow better than everyone else, run for the hills! Really, saying "oh poor me I am sorry I have ADHD" is just an excuse to be a loser and a jerk. 

say what?

"I think all of the losers with ADHD should stop using that as an excuse to be out of control jerks and fix themselves. I don't have ADHD, but if I did I would make sure I got rid of it. Or maybe all the losers with ADHD should get together so you can torture each other and leave the rest of us normal, highly functioning intelligent, successful people alone. If you meet someone who interrupts you, changes the subject, gets angry at every small thing yet thinks he is somehow better than everyone else, run for the hills! Really, saying "oh poor me I am sorry I have ADHD" is just an excuse to be a loser and a jerk."

Wow! I am a medical provider and also have ADHD that was diagnosed after 12 hours of Neuropsych testing completed over 3 sessions. My daughter is 5 and showing signs of ADD/ADHD and sees a child psychologist. of course they dont label children, but this led me to get tested to better understand what my daughter is dealing with. this testing was open ended and I could have been diagnosed with any mental health disorder. However, the Clinical Psychologist chose ADHD. there are objective tests for this, its not all subjective. Calling someone with a developmental disorder a loser and not functioning, or intelligent is very ignorant. I am willing to send you screenshots of the money i have made from starting a medical devices company in 2008 and selling in 2012. I am 37 and choose to work as a provider. I don't actually need to work. Still think i'm stupid? .........after reading your guess is you would still generalize and label me stupid


Choosing a moral compass

I could not agree with you more - respect is an important part of communication and, sadly, some in this forum do nor practice it.  I try to be tolerant of that fact simply because I understand that they are expressing their pain, and there needs to be room for that, too.

I have just gotten off the phone this morning with a coach who works with ADHD businesspeople to help them better understand their motivation, drivers and personal structures.  He is going to be creating something for those with ADHD who come out of my couples seminar looking for ways to continue their learning.  If you want help, I would suggest you and your partner consider my upcoming seminar (starts March 28) and then that add-on course, which we should be announcing in May.  In both you will find the kind of support and respect that you deserve.

Back in 2013...

I should have caught that the forum post at the top of this violates all sorts of posting rules we have.  For example, extending your own personal experience to an entire group of people.  So I'll say it here.  Just because Jessie was married to her second jerk (the first one she chose, she divorced) does NOT equate to all people with ADHD being jerks.  And all people who struggle to manage their ADHD aren't jerks, either.  In fact, in my experience, few are.

You comment that "if I had ADHD I would make sure I got rid of it" shows and egregious lack of understanding of what ADHD is.  You don't "get rid of it' - you learn to manage it.  And that takes significant time and effort.

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine that you mention (he's nice to others and a jerk to me) is usually an indicator of parent/child dynamics in the relationship.  Your bitterness and anger show through in what you wrote - I'm quite confident they show through to him, too.  In other words, YOU are half of that dynamic.  If you want to fix how he respond to you, a good place to start is with how you respond to him.  Particularly since you can't control him, but you CAN control you.  (Or, perhaps you can't?  But I digress...)

One reason people with ADHD refuse to medicate is that they feel that if they do, all of the blame for the relationship issues will be on their heads.  Another reason is that they don't think ADHD is a very big problem in the relationship.  This form of denial is usually DIRECTLY related to being with a very angry non-ADHD spouse.  "My ADHD isn't the issue," they think, "it's really your anger that's the issue.  If you would just be nice to me like everyone else, then things would be fine."  The way to address that is to take control of yourself and your own anger so that reasoning is no longer available, and invite your husband to respond.

At this point, I probably have your hackles raised.  So be it.  If you are talking about taking responsibility, then start with yourself.  You have many options - read 'co-dependent no more' by Melodie Beatty; calm your own anger with therapy; learn more about ADHD so you are more informed about what each of you can do; encourage your husband to read my free e-book on treatment (it's not just about meds); show him my blog post "For men with ADHD who aren't convinced it matters,' start to journal to inspect your own co-dependent behaviors; register for the couples seminar that starts 3/28, or leave.  All of those options are healthier for you (and for others) than simply telling others that since you and your husband are failing, so should they.

great feedback

awesome insight.


I was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD by a licensed clinical psychologist after 12 hours of NeuroPsych testing. My daughter is struggling with certain areas and I decided to explore this route in order to better understand what may help her provider to diagnose her properly, so that she can excel in school. I just signed up to this website and feel hurt reading comments after just 30 minutes of perusing. I had no effing idea i had this. None. My wife of 15 years knew something was off but we could not place our finger on it.  After getting diagnosed, my wife purchased Melissa's book which described our experience to a T. I mean it was like having someone explore what our marriage was like and present with surgical precision. I did not agree with all of the book, but its marginal in terms of the big picture. I was just reading a comment on here about how all ADHD people are dumb, non-functioning excuse making people who fake it. I have an advanced degree, practice as a provider, started and sold a company after 5 years of ownership in my 30's and am very ambitious and have proof of my intelligence from the IQ score listed on the NeuroPsych eval. In terms of the author of this post, i believe all people have a moral compass and conscience and should not treat people with disregard, disrespect and what not. Loving your partner is not what this guy is doing. period.   

My apologies

to those I've offended, please accept my apologies, this was not my intention. 

Theses are simply my own opinions and experiences. We all have our own life experiences and our own wounds...again, my apologies to those offended, it was not my intention. I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings or undermine anyone. 


We all have been through alot with ADHD, I get it. No problems friend.

Have a wonderful week 

over generalization

While I am sorry for your personal experiences,

Not all of us are using ADHD as an excuse.  Many of us are simply trying to identify the problems we need to address, and tackle them in an organized manner.  Simply saying "try harder" to an ADHD spouse is like telling someone with a broken leg to simply try harder to walk.  Bad analogy, broken legs heal.  ADHD doesn't heal, it must be worked around.  And identifying it is crucial to learning how to do so, otherwise it's all just wasted effort and time.

It seems your spouse has other issues, as is often the case, so both of you are in error by simply using the ADHD label as a catch-all.