Mending a Marriage when both husband & wife have ADD

My husband and I have both been diagnosed with ADD in the last few years.  I feel like he does not do his share of household chores.  He doesn't get home until 7:30 or 8:00 at night.  I think he chooses not to come home earlier, because he knows I will have something to complain about.  He will do the evening dishes and feel like he has done his part.  I feel like I am constantly asking him to do certain jobs, but yet he will not do them. Of course having ADD myself, I have my own difficulty organizing papers around the house, which he complains about.  I love my husband and he says he loves me, but I feel like this marriage is very one-sided.  My husband is very kind hearted and he bends over backwards to please his employees and friends, yet I do not get that same attention.  I am feeling very frustrated.  We have been to marriage counseling, but there have not been any positive changes in our marriage.  My husband will say he sees my side of it, but he will not make any effort to take on more responsibility.  We have been married for 25 years, but I don't know how much longer I can be in this relationship the way it is.  I am exhausted and stressed out.  Is there any hope for us?

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I have the same issues!  There are so many posts about ADHD/NON ADHD relationships but none about our type of relationship.  We ADDers need structure and when neither spouse has structure it is not good.  We've both been diagnosed within the past few years and in my husbands case, it was more of a diagnosis based on what information I gave because he will not go to counseling!  I told him our marriage is in deep trouble but he doesn't see it.  He thinks I am nuts and very irrational and blames me for any conflict that might arise.  F0r instance I was just mumbling to myself that I have to do everything in this house!  I feel like I am struggling to keep my head above water and very often I sink under!  I also have 3 children, 2 of which have ADD.  I am the only female in the house.  I have been fighting over ""little" things forever!  Things like taking off your shoes when you come in and utting the toilet seat down are impossibilities for my husband!  My kids are alittle better but he refuses to listen!  Last night I sat down next to him to watch TV and I looked down at his legs and they were covered with grass clippings all over his legs, socks and shoes!  How can you NOT notice that!!!  I told him to finse his legs off outside and he was like "yeah right, I'm going to rinse my legs with that ice cold water"  like I was nuts and irrational to even suggest it!  We also have been married for 20 years - most of them have been unhappy (for me anyway)

Two ADD Couples

In couples where both partners have ADD there is usually one person who still is the better organizer, and it sounds as if you are that person in your marriage.  Ideally, because your spouse also has ADD he would understand just how hard it is to take on this role and express his appreciation for your doing so.  Doesn't sound as if that is happening here.

I think you can assume that it takes your husband lots of energy to bend over backwards for his employees and that by the time he gets home he's thinking he can let himself relax.  This isn't unusual behavior in any marriage (ADD or not) but it can be destructive when the other partner feels slighted.  Usually, some serious conversations about priorities and how actions are important in maintaining connection and momentum in a relationship can get a partner who is "relaxing too much" at home to rethink this practice.

Did your marriage counselor focus on your ADD and how it might affect your relationship?  From your very brief description it sounds to me as if one path might be to stop fighting the ADD quite so much, and figure out alternative ways to get things done (hiring a person to file papers once a week, for example; making date nights and forgetting about the dishes once in a while; finding ways to accurately measure the amount of effort or time someone puts into things).  You say that your husband "will not make any effort to take on more responsibility" but that is a claim that often isn't quite accurate - sometimes its that he sees no good reason to take on more responsibility, or feels that if he takes more on he'll just be told he didn't do it right or can't please his partner, or something else.  Or he doesn't share your priorities and doesn't feel that his time would be well used doing whatever it is you wish him to do.

These things can be worked out so, yes, I think there is hope.  I like the fact that you still say you love each other and that he does have energy for people (even if you feel neglected somewhat).  I also like the way you describe him, which shows appreciation for some of his good traits.  There is still love there, but you need a break.

Think what you would like that break to look like - long term or short?  escape or fix?  Then start making a plan to make it happen.  In the meantime, find part of your schedule that you can replace with regular exercise if you aren't already doing this and you should start feeling better both mentally and physically.

Family of 4 with ADD/ADHD

My husband and I have been married for 14 years with a 10 year old and a 7 year old child and we all have ADD/ADHD and are on meds. My husband and I love each other and our family is the most important thing to us. It has not been easy but I think we have survived this long because we have a good foundation. We have had our problems and we will have more problems in the future. We are unorganized in some areas and hyper organized in other areas. He is domestically lazy, I handle the household, everything! This does irritate me but I have learned, especially in this last year, how to work with our needs and short comings. My husband works hard both mentally and physically with is job and I now have a better understanding of how "he feels". It doesn't mean I agree with him but it is easier for me when I know that he feels like, he has been working all day, coming home to two kids who want his undivided attention at the same time, me wanting my undivided attention as soon as he walks in the door, eating dinner etc. He tends to "shut down" which means I get upset. I just worked all day, got the kids from school, attacked homework which is a total job in itself with kids who have add/adhd, cooked dinner, cleaned etc. I want him to help out and he wants to relax and all this is happening right when the meds are wearing off. I am still working on getting more organized and trying not to do everything myself then feeling guilty when I can't. But I have a husband who understands that we are both going through the same thing, so we are not as short with each other as we used to be. Some days are better than others and some days are just awful. For me, I have to take each day as they come. I really look forward to those days when my husband and I just click and we tackle the day smoothly. Those days can make up for the other days when nothing seems to work. I like to think that in this past year that I have learned that my husband is not going to do dishes and laundry, I can't make him. He has learned that I am not always going to put the laundry away, that he will need to look in the basket for clean underwear if there are none in the drawer. I have accepted that he will not clean the kitchen but I can be happy when he puts his dishes in the sink and rinse the food off. He has learned that the clean dishes may not be put away and he will need to get something from the dishwasher. Communication is not always easy for us since my husband still shuts down when I want to talk about "us" from past negative experiences, we are just a work in progress. I am looking forward to learning from everyone here.