my ADD partner wants to separate from me

Hi, I'm new to this site.  My life is turned upside down right now, so I'm trying to get a little support any way I can. My ADD husband just told me that he wants to separate, that he fell out of love with me and that there's no chance of working things out.  Even though our marriage has been less than perfect for the past couple years, and I even thought about separation sometimes myself, I am still devastated.  He said that I just make him feel bad about himself, and that he deserves to be happy.  I know I have become overly critical, unhappy and have lost patience with him because of our problems, but he didn't seem to have any insight into his contribution to our problems. He has many wonderful characteristics and I would be willing to go the therapy route if he would.  But I do wonder if it's hopeless. He seems determined that we're over. He was diagnosed late in his teens with ADD and didn't get any treatment other than ritalin at the time.  He had a very unsupportive home life.  He has actually done ok in his life professionally, but everything else is a mess.  Early on in our marriage I convinced him to see a therapist, but that didn't last long, and he didn't want to be on medicine at all.  Even the one piece of advice the therapist managed to impart was to exercise everyday, but my husband won't even do that. To vent some of my emotions today I made a list of the things that caused us problems (not saying that I'm perfect at all), just wondering if these are typical ADD characteristics.  What do you think?  Is my marriage a lost cause, even if I could convince him to go to counselling with me?

-He's self-centered.  He complains to me everyday about all the bad things that happened that day, a bad driver on the way to work, a co-worker, his son (my stepson), and never asks how my day was.

-He doesn't pull his weight at home, unless I nag him.  He just does'nt notice when something need doing like taking the gargbage out, so it inevitably gets done by which point he often says "oh, I was going to do that"

He is unmotivated.  He rarely initiates any home improvement projects, chores, meal planning and shopping etc. But if its something fun that he likes to do like playing video games he'll put in endless hours and effort.

He cannot seem to take care of himself other that basic hygiene.  He won't work out, go to the doctor or dentist or financial planner

He resents having to put any effort into our intimate relationship  "I shouldn't have to light candles, give massages, play music, it shouldn't be that hard"

He spends money recklessly and impulsively and has no savings, he lives paycheck to paycheck even though he makes a decent living and has little debt...where does it all go? take-out, impulse purchases, alcohol, overspending on hobbies and entertainment.

-indecision over everything.  he changes his mind back and forth so many times, and he gets mad at me when I comment on his flip-flopping. It's so hard to make plans when he can't decide anything until the last minute.

he has a short fuse and loses patience if some chore takes longer than a couple minutes. or he gets distracted and spends an hour re-arranging a closet that was fine as it was, while I'm left doing everything else.

- he is undependable.  He often doesn't follow through on promises because he forgot.

 Ok, I think I've vented enough.  Thanks for reading...any of your thoughts/advice would be much appreciated.


I'm so sorry you are going

I'm so sorry you are going through this.  It is a tough position to be in to have had thoughts of ending it yourself, decide not to and try to work on things, and be told "too bad", essentially.  I can relate...except I didn't even get told BF (of 3.5 years) just flat out stopped talking to me after a fight (in which his alleged untreated ADHD was one topic).  I can't speak for why he decided to cut me out like I never existed despite all we have been through, but I have a feeling a lot of it is that he just can't face what is going on and couldn't bear the thought of me ending it (he has been left/divorced/given up on his whole life). 

Perhaps your husband is also being crushed by inability to be motivated and shame.  Maybe some time apart could be just what the two of you need to reassess and either start back on a different path together or realize that you aren't meant to be on the same one.  I wish I could tell you which or give some magical answer as to what to do.  I wish none of us had to endure the heartache and uncertainty.

sounds familiar

First off, I left six months ago. I could not take it anymore. He has recently temporarily moved in with me and NOTHING has changed in our dynamics. At least I saw it coming:/

All of the points that you brought up are problems my husband has. At my wit's end, I finally found this site and discovered there were two main types of add/adhd. Mine has the inattentive type.  I sent him to get tested, but he won't try meds. 

Mine also blames me for making him feel bad about himself. The only way I can keep from doing that is to be completely unhappy myself. It's a lose/lose for us. If I say anything about a problem he has caused, I'm hurting his self esteem. If I say nothing about a problem he has caused, he gets upset that I don't care and/or the problem doesn't get addressed and may get out of hand. Even if I say something, the problem will keep happening. 

I have had to reinstate my previous coping strategies of doing things myself and keeping things to myself. It is so hard and it is devastating not being heard. If we didn't have a child together, I would drop all contact because his inaction really hurts me emotionally. 

You can put some coping strategies in place to help you stop "nagging" or making him feel bad, but if he is not able to help himself or get help, you may get worn down emotionally. 

Good luck to you.


Thank you for your words of support.  I feel exactly like you described it: a lose/lose situation. Either I bite my tounge and say nothing , pick up the slack and become upset and resentful, or I say something to him for which he resents me for treating him badly, and turns the tables on me and says I'm the problem because nothing ever makes me happy. 

I'm so sorry too.  You

I'm so sorry too.  You described my husband almost perfectly, except for the financial.  Although sometimes he does get impulsive which was very worrisome for me b/c he is so careful with money.  I think that was a sign the ADD was getting worse (for lack of a better word).  My husband didn't get diagnosed until earlier this year.  He is only on meds, will not follow through with therapy.  Just my opinion from what I have read and seen on this forum.  If your husband is willing to try medications (and there are a bunch out there, not just Ritalin) and therapy with you, I think you have a chance.  It will be hard work but worth the try.  If he isn't then there isn't anything you can do except get counseling yourself to deal with the hurt and grief over your marriage.  I feel if you are married you should try everything to stay married, especially if you have kids.  And it seems like you are willing.  Have you read the book from this website, ADHD effect on Marriage?  It's really good, but your husband has to be willing to try too.  It does a good job of pointing out how both spouses contribute to a relationship that is not doing well.  It's very insightful.