My BIG question

OK. The past couple of weeks I have read, and chatted and ranted and supported and identified and related and bashed (and laughed) on this site.  I am ready now to ask my big question:

Is there anyone here- anyone at all (besides Melissa Orlov and Sherri), married to someone with ADD/ADHD who managed to bring their marriage back from the dead?  I don't mean "We weren't getting along" or "We argued all the time but still really loved each other."  I mean a true resurrection.

Because Melissa is saying that if/when my husband starts treatment, I should "smother him with love."  We are so dead, the very idea feels awkward to me.  Not because I hate or despise him.  Its just not there.

That's my question.  Oh, and no recommendations of divorce please; not because I would find it offensive (I don't).  Just that I already know that option is available to me, and it isn't my question.

Thank you.

I know you said 'besides' me,

I know you said 'besides' me, but I wanted to give you a little food for thought...

Ask yourself...what do you feel his response would be if you did 'smother him with love'? Rejection? Acceptance? Are you afraid to try this approach because of what his response will be? I can tell you this, in my situation, I didn't care. I was so sick and damn tired of being sick and damn tired that I just decided either way, I would reach out to him...make it clear to him that I wanted our marriage to work (started doing this before I knew about the affair)..and that he could either join me, or he could face divorce. There was no inbetween...there was no 'Ok, I'll accept X behavior, as long as you do away with Y behavior'. Looking back, I might not have been real clear and concise about it from the get go. I knew what I wanted, I knew what I was not willing to accept anymore, but it just came about as each issue presented itself because I wasn't thinking clearly enough (lost my Daddy, found out about the affair) to be real clear about anything. It took from Dec until about March or April for us to finally iron out all of the details.

There is no in between. There is no "well, if he gets help then I might consider changing my approach to him" It will take both of you making immediate and deliberate attempts...and you might fail miserably 10 times before you get it right. Imagine yourself coming home "hi honey, how are you? how was your day?" greeting each other with a hug and a kiss...being genuinely happy to be see each other. See it and feel it...and become it. If you stumble, get back up the next day and try again....and don't stop trying in the face of what appears to be rejection on his part. My husband made it very hard on me many times. I have never been so determined to turn my life around as I was this time last year...and his behaviors were no longer going to dictate who I chose to be. No more anger, no more resentment, he either joined me or I accepted that we just were not meant to be together. I demanded peace and happiness for myself, but also realized that those BOTH began with me!

I want to stress something that I've said before, but it is worth repeating...I don't think we would be married today if I hadn't made the first move, stood my ground, showed him that I WAS a different person and I WAS letting go of the anger and that he could trust me when I said I was done being that big walking ball of anger. NOTHING would have changed...I believe that with all of my heart. I think he is so willing to get help because he wants things to work because he wants to be with me. He has gone from blaming me for everything wrong in the marriage, behaving in ways that were very self-destructive and destructive to the marriage, and never taking responsibility for anything he had ever done to being...well, the complete opposite. Again, this took months of me saying "look, this is one of those things that I'm not willing to accept anymore...yes, I might have asked something of you that you feel is not considerate of your feelings, but your angry response is on YOUR shoulders...why not just stop, think, and then decide that a little sacrifice is better than being a bully"

One situation that I will never forget...I was out of my mind with anxiety and fear once I found out about the affair. He knew, without any room for misunderstanding, that he would have to tread on thin ice, on a short leash, with nothing but unwaivering consideration for my feelings...until. This didn't come easy either. At least 3 separate occasions he got upset with the demands and tried to pull the "I'm not doing this the rest of my life, you either trust me or you don't" BS. SOOOOOOOO did not fly with me. He had been moody and irritable (guilt!!) for a day or two and it had taken it's toll. I'm thinking "he regrets coming home" "He wants to be with her"..I mean I was literally losing my mind. I laid in bed beside him..wee hours of the morning..unable to sleep with a knot the size of the grand canyon in my gut. I prayed. I asked God to let it just end. I prayed "if I wake him and he's ugly about it, then I will know that I've made a mistake and I will let him go. If I wake him and he's reassuring and kind then I will keep fighting for him" even though he was making it very hard at the time. I woke him and he was UGLY. I cried silently. "what is your problem!?" I told him I was sorry to wake him, just go back to sleep...and I cried harder. He starts ranting "no, you've already woke me up now, what is wrong??!!" and it wasn't a sincere request so that he could console me...he was livid. I said nothing for the longest time..then I told him about my prayer...and how his 'reaction' proved that we had made a mistake and that he knew what I needed, yet he gave me the exact opposite, and I just simply told him "this isn't going to work..." He was dead silent. I didn't get mad, I didn't yell, I didn't cut him down or criticize him, I just simply said I had prayed about it, got my answer, and it was time to move on. I was the hardest thing I have ever had to say to him. The devastation of feeling like everything I'd poured into the marriage, opening myself up and making myself vulnerable after hiding behind my walls of anger for soooo long, and it was all for was crushing. Twenty minutes later he was a completely different person...and he never missed a chance to reassure me again. Boundaries. He knew I had them now and he knew he better break down his own walls and get his $hit together. Join me or lose me.

I have never done anything that I am more proud of in my entire marriage...not only proving to him that I was a different person but also proving to him that he had to change or lose everything.

Hole in the bucket's picture

My only problem and

My only problem and disagreement with Sherri is this:
I don't think it should have to be our first move.  We've ALL made the first move THOUSANDS of times before this.  We're tired.  We're all tired.  We make the first move and things might get better for a while.  but then what?  Oh look it's right back to the way it was.  I don't know about you guys, but I am done begging.  Done being the first (and only) one to try.  Tired of letting the attitude roll off my back.  Watching my dreams get flushed down the toilet.  Watching money get thrown around.  Being yelled at.  Cleaning up after adults.  I'm fucking done. 
Sadly, Sherri might be right.  Maybe we do have to make the first move... again...
Then again... for me... it's not worth it.  I have humiliated myself long enough.  I don't care if all I had to do was pick up a doily and throw it in the garbage for everything to be fine.  I say screw that.  Because for the rest of my life, I'll know that I even had to fix our marriage.  That my spouse didn't care enough to do a thing... until I made them. 
I wish you the best of luck Revelation.  I will shut up now and watch to see how many people have saved their relationship. 

But I didn't do it just for

But I didn't do it just for him. Did I want to save our marriage...feel like we had something worth saving and had just gotten off track since we had a decent marriage before getting custody of his daughter? Yes. I felt there was something there. I loved him in spite of everything. BUT...I was at a point where several things were happening at once. First, I had sat through a months worth of spending time with my family at the hospital through (what we thought was going to be) my Daddy's recovery. I saw my brother talk to his wife in a way that reflected how I treated my husband...and I didn't like looking in the mirror. I also saw my sister's husband there for her 100%, through it all, handling the kids and everything else, and here I was separated from my husband and having to round him up from his latest drunken stupor (If I was lucky) or pity party to get him to help with the kids just so I could be with my Daddy. I then lost my Daddy and decided change was coming, with or without him. I had to decide if I wanted it with him or without him. I chose with. Not everyone will. NOTHING wrong with that. I loved him in spite of everything...and I felt he loved me too. God had his hand in every second of things and the way they played out..otherwise it wouldn't have the (seemingly, God willing!) happy ending it does. I didn't change myself for him...if I had, it wouldn't have lasted. It is real and the best gift I ever gave myself. I promised my Daddy and I did it. BUt, maybe another difference is that i NEEDED to change. I wasn't happy with who I had become.

You (Deven) seem to have held onto your ability to try and reach out and try and make things better...I had shut down and was nothing more than a roommate to my response to the fighting in our marriage...and feeling like I was getting the raw end of the deal. Maybe you haven't lost yourself so much as you've just given too much and now need to give to YOURSELF. :)

Sherri, I knew you couldn't resist *smiles*

I always appreciate your responses, the way you put it out there.  The hard, ugly parts and the good parts.  

It is difficult for me to "put myself out there" with him.  I try.  But his response is nearly always a "beat down."  It is always, "I don't do anything nice for you because you are ____ ("always mad"  "a b*tch" "ungrateful"   "too needy"  "you don't really need that"  "you're just trying to get me to___"   "don't have sex with me as often as I want"   "ask at the wrong times"   "are never satisfied" etc.).  

Yes, I have tried to speak with him about his angry reactions to EVERYTHING.  He really projects his anger onto me.  I mean, its true.  I am angry.  But what my anger LOOKS like at home is this:  I make calm request.  He explodes/attacks/stonewalls.  I try to get him to calm down and engage more cooperatively by trying to explain non-defensively.  He attacks/stonewalls.  I leave the room, and try to avoid him.  DAY TWO:  I approach calmly, and explain that his behavior and response hurt my feelings.  He attacks/stonewalls and tells me in exquisite detail why I deserved his response.  I leave the room.  I avoid interacting with him beyond basic civility for several days.  He attacks- "You're always mad!".  *sigh*

I rarely approach him about things.  I really just don't want to hear anymore how worthless I am, what a bad wife I am.  How if I were "better" he would treat me "better".   I have found that if I do not hear it, it does not affect me as much. He continues to be in hyperfocus now.  I thank him politely for each task he has completed.  But I am also avoiding him.  

That's when you say "You are

That's when you say "You are responsible for your own actions, but using your logic, if I am responsible for your anger, then does that automatically make you responsible for mine?" not exactly productive, but I got so sick of that BS that I could scream. Take control of yourself FFS! I finally just started saying "there is no way on EArth that I can EVER be responsible for your isn't physically or humanly possible for me to be responsible for what you do and say"...God, just think about how insane and childish this logic is. ARGH!

Ok...REALLY...gotta go to counseling. LOL

Hole in the bucket's picture

Okay, here's my problem with

Okay, here's my problem with this whole, "You need to start the change."  Thing. 
Great.  More responsibility falls on our shoulders.  We watch the kids.  We wash the laundry.  We wash the dishes.  We fold the laundry.  We put the laundry away.  We get yelled at to aid in their self medication.  We clean the house.  We vacuum.  We keep up with appointments.  We finish projects that they start.  We find their keys.  We save the family from financial ruin.  We clean up after them.  We try constantly to please them.  We deal with the children.  For Christ's sake we even make love to ourselves for them!  We do all of this then sit alone, even if they are right beside us.  We have enough and we research.  We read magazines.  We read websites.  We read books.  We go to counseling.  We talk to friends.  We make forum posts. 
You know what I see and hear in every single one of those places? 
"Well here's what YOU need to do." 
"It won't happen over night." 
Well... alright... I'll be the one to say it... when the Hell do WE get to take a fricking break?  They gallavant around with their heads in the clouds that are somehow firmly nestled up their asses, happy as can be.  Every once in a while they feel down... so they pick a fight with us.  Their adrenaline pumps and they feel better. 
Let me say this again:
They.  Treat.  Us.  Like.  Shit.  So.  That.  They.  Can.  Feel.  Better. 
We are their secretaries.  We are their mothers.  We are their alarm clocks.  We are their everything and we are treated like nothing. 
People don't come to a forum site like this to dump their other.  They come here to save it.  They've done everything the books said.  They're listened.  Now, I hear someone else say, "Well, you need to take the initiative..."  And I flip a tit.  My eyes melted in my sockets to make room for the molten hot rock that boiled up from my diaphram and I knew in my rapidly freezing and hardening heart that I could make capillaries burst in my body if I just seethed but a bit more. 
Sherri, I know you mean well, and I know that you are a sweetheart and I know that you are a success story...
But the next person that suggests that we take MORE responsibility, will be picking up their teeth with two broken arms. 
Sorry you got smacked with the brunt of years long frustration building, Sherri.  I hope you can forgive me. 

Enter rantfest..

I agree. How long are we supposed to wait for him/her to find the laxative that will help him/her pull his head out? If he even makes that attempt he just puts his ass on his shoulders and continues to have a s****y outlook on life because reality is HARD.

When he does take, the tiniest itty bitty step forward, I'm supposed to shoot fireworks, fly banners across the sky and wait another 20 years for his next move..How long can I keep a grip, when I think I'm losing my mind..nope there it is running away with my sanity.

So If I stay in this hollow empty shell of a marriage..thanking him profusely kissing his feet.. waiting for scraps while he greedily feeds on the banquet I made. Screw that. Sorry folks  I just want to say don't let the door hit ya on your a** you might get a bump on your head.

Done ranting..I know why I have no motivation around here anymore. What;'s the point when I know inside, I'll just be packing and leaving this ADHD SAW2 life. Every day I wake to another shoe falling. While I spoke to his best friend I had to clench my teeth a few times while explaining. He kept saying things like why don't YOU???? In the end he got it but..need I say more?


I decided to have a cigarette while thinking about what I would say, I fished one out of my hiding place., because I know he scoots with what we have not thinking about the fact that I'd be left with none, so I hide some. I looked for the check a family member had sent. I was going to use it to add to our emergency fund. GONE. 

In that moment I took a drag and thought about when my kids were babies and toddlers. Locking up poisons, latches on everything, breakables packed away..hovering over them to make sure they didn't injure or kill themselves..taking away the knitting needle so they don't pierce their siblings through the heart... Never having a moment to BREATHE.. I'm still doing that with a 41 year old man..what kind of life is it when you have to hide, conceal, lock up everything so a grown person doesn't bring Armageddon into your life.

I put my hand over my heart I thought it had stopped beating. A strange sensation came over me. ICE.. I wasn't cold. There is ice where my heart was, my blood runs cold. Looking over the snowy landscape of our yard..the sun is illusory it isn't warm at all. That is my illusion..

OK Heres the problem with

WOW.... after reading this post I thought you and I had talked before... I am new to this web site in the sense that today is the first day I got the courage to reach out and create an account... I have read for weeks now and was too scared to actually join... Fear of what I would be accused of by my ADHD husband... I love him... but I often wonder if loving him is enough anymore... Every thing you said in your first paragraph was dead on... except my husbands version makes him a sex crazed maniac and as much as that may (or may not) sounds good to some... believe me it is not all it is cracked up to be... he is focused on getting "his" about 2 to 3 times a day and ignoring me the rest... when I dont give him what he wants then he either accuses me of having an affair or rags on me about how I must not love him anymore... or both! No it is the constant... cooking, cleaning, FULL time job outside the house with a commute to and from that job 45 minutes to an hour each way, plus 3 kids and a 40 acres farm with animals and bills and ect that need my attention too... and heaven forbid I be tired, or in pain of any sort or anything...

I ordered books, made doctor appointments and seek out help where I can get it and yet, he blames me for our marriage problems and at least weekly (if not more often) wants a divorce... then with in a few hours (or less) is back to loving me and wanting me to forgive all the hurtful nasty things he said...

Plus no one, NOT ANYONE understands... I can't talk to friends, family, or any one... HELL I can't even write in my journal, because he recently searched through my purse to find it, read all my private thoughts and spent the next few days using all of that against me and making me feel yet again horrible for the way I feel... I know that I have to learn and adopt to respond differently to his behaviors, but come on... when do I get a break or a day where I can be carefree and just BE ME!!!!

Point taken, no apology necessary. :)

3 points...

1. No all marriages have the 'one size fits all' solution. To be perfectly honest, in your situation, I think you're the classic case of the enabler and you just simply need to stop making every.f'in.thing.every.f'in.hour.of.every.f' OK for her. As I said before, quit bending over backwards and start being honest with her. You said this causes fights? Only if you let it. You take care of things because if you don't she won't...but I'm not talking about that so much as YOUR NEEDS from her. Ask for what you need...possibly starting with "make an f'in appt and keep it!"...and if she isn't willing to give you what you need, then RUN.

2. I concede that my husband, however hard it made it for me at times, has never EVER  been as oblivious to my needs as your wife seems to be to yours. We probably would not be married anymore if he were. I get your frustration...I'm feeling you, brother.

3. *disclaimer* MY OPINION. I believe that since my husband's only complaints about our marriage were the lack of attention and my anger (i.e. I was a bitter b*tch for him treating me so badly so I shut myself off and didn't even want him to touch me!) that since I changed those things (I hated them about myself anyway!!) it made him far more accepting and trusting of me. I do feel this had a role in his willingness to make changes himself. I am fun. I don't look my age nor do I act my age. I love having fun and laughing...just being silly. Before I was always cold, never had any emotion in my hugs or kisses...or sex. I had lost it all. All respect (for myself and for him) was gone. I needed the change. Had I not changed, he wouldn't have either...he wouldn't even care to try. His ADHD mind would convince him that there was nothing about me worth changing for. And there we would be...stuck. And probably divorced. Either way, I did need to change...and I did it for me. If it had everything to do with him realizing his need to change too...or nothing to do with it...either way, I needed to do it for myself.

We all have things we need to change about how we relate to our ADHD partners...I mean look at the the current status quo working for you? If not...then try something else. If you don't have it in you, then you just don't. It isn't about taking on more responsibilities, it is about deciding WTF you're going to put up with, what you're not, and drawing the line in the sand...and saying "either come over here with me, or I'm moving on".

waynebloss's picture

Ok, But another question

What if the shoe is on the other foot?  Since I found out about ADD and that I had it, the tides have turned.  I am the one home with the kids, the one responsible for the money, I work 3 jobs she works 36-40 hours at a part time job.  She stopped paying the bills for 7-8 months and then handed everything over to me and said I am done.  She is the one who stays out and does not come home until late without saying 1 word or a call/txt that she is going to be late (and if I do, then I do not trust her and I am a asshole).  I have Sat and Sun night to go out (but most of the time I have to work as a nurse over night due to us slowly sinking financially), she has Tues, Thursday and Friday, to the point I cannot make any plans during those times or she gets mad!  I teach Mon and Wed so after the gym I am home by 10:30p. We both help clean the house and make dinner for the kids but it is me who is with them 5 days a week then when they go to bed it is down to the prison cell until the morning!  We both take care of the kids, they are not the issue here, her recent actions are what is bothering me.

So, I take it all, the emotional crap/abuse she has thrown at me, the " I need my freedom and space" and give it to her and I have also taken without comment the financial disaster she put our family in and still there is nothing from her yet.  Sunday we are going to have our "healthy separation" discussion, so we shall see if I sing a different tune 

Recently she has been name dropping "other" men's names when she is going out with friends or to the gym.  I started to ask and thought that I did not want to take on the rant and the silence she would dish out, so I kept quite and just nodded.  She says that she has not cheated on me, my counselor asked if I thought she had and I said no but then my counselor asked what about an emotional affair with someone. Since he has been ignoring me, keeping her feelings hidden from that she is started to seek out the attention from men that she does not get at home.  I think she has, I really do think that she has flirted up to the line but has not crossed, so what now?  How does someone with ADD react to these actions from a non-ADD spouse?  Does it matter who has the ADD and who does not, are the reactions/resolutions the same?

Sorry, just some questions I need some answers to or some thoughts.

Nope...doesn't matter that

Nope...doesn't matter that you are the partner with ADD, in my opinion. Behavior detrimental to the marriage is equally damaging no matter who is doing the detrimental behavior. Her name dropping male names is just cruel. ADD or not, anyone would react humanly..and worry. What she is doing, for the simple fact that is bothers you, is wrong. Again..boundaries. If you're willing to let her set boundaries for the marriage that are hurtful to you, then you're probably setting the marriage up to fail in the long run. Yes, rushing her to 'decide' could result in something you don't want...only you can decide when that risk outweighs the horrible way it is making you feel. The emotional toll it is taking on you. If she cares so little about your feelings, she needs to let you go. My opinion is that she is still your wife and if her long term goal is to be a complete family again, she sure has a funny f'in way of showing it.

Sorry..I really really try not to go there..I know it isn't helpful to you. I know that we get caught up in other people's opinions and sometimes that isn't exactly what is best for our own situation, PLEASE Wayne, take this for what it is worth. A grain of salt with it.


waynebloss's picture

Never worry Sherri!!

If I did not want the answers I would not ask the questions!  I like the truthful feedback either positive or negative and I count on it.  Rev, Topaz, Devon, Aspen, Ebb and the others, your insight into the non-add world has been so helpful to me and my situation.  I know that each is unique but I do take everything you guys/girls say and think about it, your voices give me some different views that I would not have otherwise!

So please give to me straight, I do not like salt...just a lemon and a shot!! 


"keeping her feelings hidden..." 

I only post a little bit here though I read an awful lot, a bit obsessively actually, and not the one with ADD, lol.  

I'd like to offer a possible explanation for your wife's behavior; see, your statement  could have been written about me. 

My experience with my husband is not as bad as some here, but we went through some pain, as most relationships do at some point.  Over the last few months I think I puzzled out why I really don't want to engage my husband relationally again.  We talk about the weather, how his day at work was, etc, but not too much more.  The reason I hold back is plain ole FEAR.  Yeah, I saoid that.   I used to tell him all my thoughts, my ideas and what I felt made me feel bad about myself, we CONNECTED.  Little did I know during these conversations he was storing up "evidence" to use against me.  On one of our worst days we sat at our dinner table and he slung all my confidences at me and blamed me for everything that was wrong with us.  He abused my trust by stabbing me with the things he knew about me.  It nearly killed me to hear him say these things.  So I'm terrified that he will do it again.  In my world, it is SO against the rules of engagement, as it were.  In this moment if asked, I'm confident he would tell me he would never hurt me like that again, and will even believe it himself.  But without treatment, I have no assurances that is the case.  He may get spun, angry & depressed and do it again.  Uh, I think I would rather submit to bamboo splinters under the fingernails than have my heart broken like that again.  I'm not over the first time it happened; why would I put myself in the position to have it happen again?!  No thanks. 

So, yeah, we talk about the weather.  I'm not saying it's right; it's a matter of self protection.  I'm not ready for another beating. 

I'm also guilty of dressing up a bit lately.  I am hoping someone may say, "geez, you look pretty today."  At least I would hear it from SOMEONE, even if I have no intention of following up with a member of the opposite sex.  Sometimes a girl just has to hear it.  I know your wife is prickly when you say nice things, so I know what I'm offering is not a solution but maybe an explanation. 


That just hit the nail right on the head.  Thanks for your post.  I feel the same way you do.  I've been carrying the load for 13 years and I'm ready to drop it.

Hallelujah. At some point all

Hallelujah. At some point all the explanations of why they are like they are don't matter anymore.  I'm sorry my husband is sick, but I don't have to be his whipping girl.  I have made plenty of effort, and he has made very little.  This is the only life I get.. I won't spend it with someone who treats me poorly no matter what sickness they have.

I relate

This sounds so much like my ex. Funny thing was, when I started withdrawing from him, HE was much happier! He thought things were going exceptionally well when we had NO communication! Ultimately, having no one to give a frip about me or my opinions was not my idea of a marriage and I left.

ebb and flow's picture


Don't think you'll get many positive responses to this.. lol

I already tried this post. Not much success...

I don't know if it's because they're just not on this site because they're happy or if there aren't too many *happy* ADD couples out there.

Losing hope fast.


ebb and flow: you tried this post...

Yes, I saw that.  And I saw little response.  I thought I would try a "hunting" approach, see if I could help flush them out by asking in a different way.  Perhaps we should do it the way those psychologist who were doing a study on psychopaths flushed them out.  They didn't advertise for psychopaths; they advertised for people who were adventurous, risk takers...[named many traits of psychopaths].  Apparently they got good response. 

Perhaps we could ask, "Are there those among us who are intermittently satisfied with- but not wild about- their partner such that they would continue to stay with them, as long as no one more suitable comes along?"  Title too long?  LOL!

$400 in OR....

If you can do it yourself with the court papers, no contesting you can do it for about $400 or a good lawyer would be $300 an hour here

ebb and flow's picture


I'm pretty sure you got a whole lot of not so positive posts here...

Told ya! ;p

We just gotta find the positives in our own lives... even if it's in little glimpses here and there.

It is true that the people who are making it work are probably happily making love to one another and enjoying each others presence/company and the romance and love they've finally got back in their marriages---through some strange miracle! They're not gonna waste their time posting messages here amongst us crazies.

Just sayin... 


Look at how much effort we're putting in here, day and night!!!! I think it'll come for us too. It'll come for us, we just need to learn patience. I strongly believe we go through everything in life for a reason. I think reason number one for being in love with an ADDer = lessons in patience.

*sinks back into meditative equipoise* LOL!


True, that.  I guess as other posters have pointed out, the website is self-selecting for those having difficulties.

On a brighter note, my husband became my "hero" yesterday.  I mentioned here that I was going to the doctor Monday AM, but we had bad weather and the substitute physician I was supposed to see called in that day (I had tried to get an appointment with my regular physician of 15 years, but the office said no availability for him until March!).  My husband, who shares the same doctor, spoke with him at his appointment yesterday about my need to see HIM.  I don't know what he said, but the doctor sent me a short note giving me an appointment for later this week and for me to tell the office staff he personally OK'd it.   MY HUSBAND- MY HERO!

Ok..what is wrong with me

Ok..what is wrong with me lately!! You're all making me cry!!

I'm so happy for you...for each little 'positive' feeling you're able have for him, you can build on those and this is where things start to really turn around. Next time his ADD is kicking in, remember this. Remember matter how small. YAY!!

Did he make an appt? Might not be something you want to do, not sure if you said or not, but I made all appts and did a lot of 'reminding' in the beginning...wasn't leaving anything up to him. If that is what it took the get the ball rolling, so be it.

Ebb...the fact that people aren't posting here is in no way a reflection of what your chances are to turn YOUR situation around. I had a very, very limited amount of support and no knowledge of ADHD..he wasn't diagnosed until June 2010, we reconciled Dec 2009..when we started turning things around. You do not need to hear about fairy tale endings, you do not need to know that X % of couples make it or don't make it, all you need to know is that you want something better for yourself.  Although counseling isn't a guarunteed 'fix', it sure is a good start...the fact that he's finally going with you is reason enough for you to have an enormous amount of hope. Cautiously optimisitic! :)

Sherri re: did he make the appointment?

Not yet, but he didn't get the referral until 4:30 PM Monday and its only Tuesday evening.  I am waiting a minute to see (afraid to ask him, because if he says ANYTHING negative, I'm going to need a Nitroglycerin tab under my tongue ARGH!).  I will get with him about this AFTER my doctor appointment, after which time I hope to have enough Xanax in my system to be all "Dude, you make that appointment or what?  Cool." (answer won't matter...) LOL!

Hey..he got the

Hey..he got the steps!!!

I think I have finally met someone who is more OCD (or whatever nutso name they want to give it) when it comes to being able to just .... breathe. You've lived this way for how many years? If it takes a week of "reminding" him and letting his negative comments roll off of your back, then so be it. Having the courage to ask without out needing a Xanax just because he wants to be a jerk about moving forward is something you really need to dig down deep for. I would have to remind myself, through the pain and fears of losing him that it was better to be alone than miserable in my marriage anymore. I couldn't let him drag me back into the old ways (I did, but I always dragged myself back out and eventually stayed out!). You have to believe that it is your right, as his wife, to ask "just wondering how things were going with the referral..were they able to get you an appointment?" and if he is negative, then that's OK. I was able to cope with a little bit of negativity as long as he was 'hearing' me through his actions (like when he refused to admit the Concerta was a problem, started blaming me for everything again, but made his own appt). Walk away, take deep breaths, and just keep reminding him that his choices are getting help or losing his family. Sadly, we have a huge part (typically) in 'motivating' them to get help....and in my case, if I hadn't pushed and pushed and pushed and made appts and didn't give up, then we wouldn't have the diagnosis and would have no clue what we were dealing with a year from now when things didn't change.

(sorry if this gets spacey towards the end...took a 6 hour break between when I started and when I finished...pipes burst, flooded the garage, emergency clean up, and then off to school for my Microbiology final..sans shower. Ugh)

waynebloss's picture


That is very good news!!

waynebloss's picture

Re: Next step

The next that taking care of you or for him to actually make and go? 

ebb and flow's picture


Agree! This is great news!!! Yay!

Sherri re: steps

Its not courage that's wanting- its consciousness!  I really cannot take the stress right now.  I had to lay down yesterday because I couldn't find my kids matching pink pants to her sweatsuit.  Seriously, my adrenal glands are burned out.  

This is nothing like my usual self.  I have always been able to tolerate a high amount of stress- I was working full-time, pregnant, running a household and in grad school all at once at one point in my life (in addition to numerous hobbies).  Maybe later I can cope with a little negativity from him.  Right now?  I have to be cool.  My BODY says "NO".  Until I get the Xanax... : )  Won't go back;  just have to go forward S-L-O-W-L-Y.

waynebloss's picture

Re: Pushy is good

My wife pushed me, she actually told me that I had to make the appt and left it alone.  I waited for about 3 weeks then made the appt.  My wife said she was waiting 2 more days then making it for me and if I did not go she and the kids were gone.  It was that simple go or lose everything, it is not a hard choice when faced only those decisions.

wayne re: pushy

I am now in receipt of the blessed Ativan- let the pushing begin!

waynebloss's picture

Re: Becareful

Ativan has some nasty side effects, so be careful and monitor!  Good Luck young lady, will say a prayer for you! 

Wayne re: side effects

Wayne, I have such a clean liver that it never takes very much of any drug for me to get effects.  I will probably only need a lick of that pill!  But I will monitor- I asked for something that I didn't have to take everyday.  Doctor suggested an antidepressant; but really, I am not depressed.  Don't see any reason for a daily medication.  Just want to get my body out of overdrive right now.  Thanks for the prayers, but I am OK and feeling pretty good overall (except for the 10 min a day that I get that heart-attack feeling).  Outside of that- right as rain!

ebb and flow's picture


So happy to hear it! :))

My ADD partner cleaned up after dinner last night and started the dish washer! I will be thanking him for it when he wakes.

He's so kind for doing that after a 10hr + shift late at night.

Love is in the air!


ebb- you know what we need?

We need to start a new forum- like a "brag book" where we all can post only these lovely little "snapshots" of sweet and loving incidences.  Then, we can refer back to that page and re-read whenever we need a "booster shot!"

ebb and flow's picture



Lets do that!!!!

Such a good idea!

wayne re: good

I am really glad to hear that things are going well with your wife.  Kudos to you for your hard work!

waynebloss's picture

Thanks Rev

It is good baby steps right now, still a few more things to work out but I am happy with things for now. 

OK Wayne, Ebb, Sherri- Help! I've got questions!

You too, Topaz and Hole (if ya'll are still around)

So here's what happened:  I am trying to be all "Sherri-like", doing what Melissa said- that "smother him with love" @!%#.   OK, I didn't "smother" him, maybe just drizzled.. with "like".   Anyway,  I have been nice to him, asked him about his day,  made that infernal hot chocolate. I was not cold, but was receptive to him when he offered his support re: my fears about going to the doctor.  I did a few thoughtful things- whatever.

So, we were chit chatting in the kitchen about NOTHING as usual, smiling and such, and I said (smiling), "You know what I noticed about you recently?" And he immediately ROLLED HIS EYES AT ME AND SIGHED HEAVILY.   Keep in mind that this was the only 10 minutes we had talked ALL DAY and it was 10:00 PM. In fact, it was the only 10 minutes I had even SEEN him all day.   Remember I told you I avoid talking to him because it is always unpleasant?  ITS STILL UNPLEASANT.  

This seems like a tiny thing.  But this is the kind of "communication" we have.  As soon as we try to talk about anything besides the weather, work or something cute the kids did- BAM, it turns into something unpleasant.  I probably would've passed out from the strain right there, were it not for my new friend, Ativan.  Instead, I just calmly (read- dreamily) told him, "You're lame."  Sherri, I need a booster shot of positivity.  I'm not sure I can do this...

Feedback on how I could've made this first foray more pleasant and productive would be appreciated.  Also advice on avoiding these communication snarls.  Thanks

What helps me is the

What helps me is the understanding of the MASSIVE undertow in their lives...where they have just grown accustomed to everything being negative. What he was probably thinking was that you were about to say something isn't that he thinks you're stupid, what you have to say isn't important or anything like is just that he's certain an 'attack' is getting ready to happen. I get 'attacked' like that (sighs, negative body language, and sometimes mean words) when he feels the lowest about himself....especially if he perceives an attack coming. This is where you understanding what is going on in his mind when you see this rude (sorry, but it is..) behavior.

Lady, it literally requires patience in which I never dreamed I would have. I have often struggled with it because "ignorning" it often feels like I'm "Ok-ing" it, but it usually doesn't end up with me feeling that way in the end. I guess I would have said one of two things...depending on the situation..

"I know you probably don't mean to do it, but when you roll your eyes and sigh like that, it really hurts my feelings...I would like to continue with my comment if you'd please just hear me out..."


"I'm not sure if you realize that you just rolled your eyes, but I would like to understand what just went through your mind and why you would act that there something that I could do or say that would help us fix this communication problem that we have? Could I word it a different way or preface my comment with something that would make you more receptive to what I would like to say to you?"

Just try and point out to him that his body language/reaction is really putting a wall between the two of you and you both need to feel free to 'talk' without fear of being 'rejected' by body language and 'sighs'...and eye rolling.

I may have even said "that was really hurtful that you would immediately react that way to something I wanted to say to you...I don't know what I have done to make you feel that is your best 'defense' against me..but if you would like to hear what I had to say, I will be in the bedroom" and just walk off. I don't know..just very hurtful...been there, done that...and I try and make a point that I feel somewhat responsible (because the truth of the matter is I WAS somewhat responsible for his defensive attitude towards me) and want to know what I can do to help him not "go there" to that place as soon as I say something that he feels is going to be 'negative'. I am still earning his trust...and still proving myself and my changes to him. I am still having to prove that I love him unconditionally....partially because I'm fighting against YEARS of damage I did to him and a lifetime of damage other people did to him...and partially because he is not capable of just opening himself up and trusting anyone completely. Just when I think he has, something will happen that proves to me just how 'broken' his self-esteem still is.'s not easy...but you have to consistently take the high road and instead of reacting with anger try and see past the outer reaction to what is really going on inside his head. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of love...but it does get better. Most importantly, I feel very proud of myself for being able to not go back to 'that place' of anger and frustration.

Another thought that might

Another thought that might help...

When our children are growing up, they have to be 'taught' things you can and can't say, things you can and can't do, why reacting one way is not the best way to react vs. another (especially with teenagers). You take a child who has suffered a lot of neglect and lived a life that did not reflect a healthy way of doing anything (relating to people, living in society, family loyalty, placing value on your marriage, etc) and try and bring them into your home and imagine the issues you'll have. Once you can 'reach them' (I compare this to someone with ADD/ADHD admitting that they have a problem and need help) it still takes a lot of patience and 'being the bigger person' to break down the years of mistrust and lack of self-worth that they have already built up. We're dealing with adults who are basically in the same situation. I often wonder if they feel the same "switch" in feelings we do when they lose hyperfocus. Do they even notice that they've lost hyperfocus and are ignoring their marriages? Are they just as confused about our change in happiness as we are about their change in focus? isn't always enough to have this the end, they have to decide that they're going to make the changes and become FULLY aware of how they are reacting/acting and make the changes that are needed in order to make the marriage something BOTH parites are happy with. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes more effort on one partner's part than the other...and no one can decide for anyone if it is worth it or not. In spite of everything, it was worth it for me.

waynebloss's picture

Re: It is ok

I am going to shoot from the hip with my own experience, so do not shoot me yet! 

"You know what I noticed about you recently?"   If Jen would have started off with this statement last week before our "talk" I would have done the same thing as your husband.  I would also take a deep breath and prepare for what negative comment came out no matter the non-verbal language she was saying.  There has been some positive communication with you guys but there also has been some negative and we with ADD concentrate on the negative, ESPECIALLY when it comes our spouses.  We are so used to the neg that the habit is hard to break..(Just thought of the Chicago song!...squirrel!)  Someone has to break the negative language especially the non-verbal! 

For me it was hard to listen to her because of the non-verbal language that she was saying all day and night to me without saying a word.  I finally had enough, I was tired of negatives, I was tired of fighting so I decided to be positive, try to be happy and said screw her!  I am going to be happy and if she does not like then so be it.  It is the attitude that comes with the types of language that we pick up on. 

"You know what I noticed about you recently?"  I would have automatically thought positive until YOU turned it into a negative. ADD tells us you are going to be negative without even thinking about it, along with the recent history of having fights, clashes, and anything else that is etched into our fast paced minds that no matter what, she is going to find the negative in me and tell me about it.  You might have due to the frustration, anger, hurtfulness that has been handed out like candy, but it starts to get better, in my eyes when someone breaks the chain and refuses to give in.  I do not like the shower with love either, if my wife would have done this, I would have thought she cheated or has done something very very wrong.  It takes baby steps at first, but it does get easier as time goes on. 


So, hang in there even though we/he is a pain now, just keep on trying to to be positive.  When he starts to go off, take a breath do not react, but when he is finished remark on something positive about the conversation, smile and let it be.  It is not jsut about how YOU can make things better, it has to be about how BOTH of you can make things better.  If he dos not want to, then he does not want to, cannot change his mind for him you can only change yours!

This is a point of view from an ADD husband, so do not shoot yet..give me a head start!! 


Shoot you? I want to thank

Shoot you? I want to thank you!!

I love getting these insights. I know that not all ADDers are the same, but I think there are enough commonalities that these kinds of insights REALLY help us non's understand and react better.

One thing you said, that gave me an "a-ha" moment was about the 'body language' you were seeing "all day and night to me without saying a word" I KNOW that my husband is sooper-dooper sensitive to everything I do..or don't do..and very often his perception of what I am 'saying without saying it' is WRONG and it causes me a lot of grief because I'm happy and content on the inside, but I might be physically tired or not feeling well on the outside and that is all he sees. This is the reason I feel emotionally exhausted sometimes. I am sensitive to what he says or how he acts, but I can honestly admit I don't pay any attention to his 'body language' unless it is just flat out OBVIOUS that something is wrong. It can be something as simple (to me) as not giving a hug or a kiss at the right time...when he expects it, or not laying close enough to him in bed. I tend to worry about this (him feeling he's not getting enough attention when I'm feeling things are just 'normal') with enough regularity that I'm considering getting counseling separately for myself. He tends to let things build up for weeks or months instead of just saying "Hey, I want to cuddle with you tonight" or "I would really like a hug" and this lack of communication has caused us a lot of problems and me a lot of unneccessary stress. In a nutshell, I feel like things are fine and all of the sudden find out that they aren't for him..but he hasn't said anything to me about it all along. I will try to explain why I feel this happens...and you tell me if you agree...if I can manage to verbalize it in a way that makes sense. I think he is so insecure that when he senses that I'm 'distant' or if I don't give a hug when he thought I should have, he immediately goes into defensive mode...shuts down...convinces himself that I'm not happy or that I don't love him, so he starts getting irritable and distant with me...until he finally gets the courage to mention it in counseling and it comes out, somehow, to be all my fault because of something I did 2 months ago instead of him just having the courage to face the demons inside of him, make himself vulnerable, trust me enough and just say at the time it happens "I would like a hug" or "I would like to make love" or "I am sad that we aren't cuddling as much lately". Make sense? Any advice on how I get him to start being more honest and open with his feelings?

About the showering with love thing..

I can't speak for Melissa, but I would like to say that I think you and Rev are both misunderstanding the concept. It isn't about "OMG I love you so much! You're so wonderful" while they're rolling their eyes and huffing at you. It is about changing YOUR reaction to the huffing from ANGER to LOVE (understanding, compassion). Instead of reacting the way everyone is used to us reacting..getting mad, walking away in a huff...just simply see it as a chance to possibly start a new way for both of you to react. You don't react by saying "you're such a wonderful man, I could not ask for a better husband" and walk away. Love isn't about what you say as much as just how you treat someone and how you don't react to every.single.mistake.they.make with anger. I used to ask myself how I would feel if every time I made a mistake (God knows I make my share) I was belittled and fussed at like I used to do him? I would probably feel horrible about myself. Having a right to be upset about the things that he does is one thing. Reacting and treating him like a child was another. I used to use the excuse "well he acts like a child" but realistically, I REACTED like a child.

Anyway..just wanted to give my 2 cents on isn't about being lovey dovey, to me. Yes, the hurts and disappointments are so devastating sometimes that it is hard to find this place...but it really doesn't hurt anyone to just change the way you react to, say for example, the little things...start there. React to the eye rolling and huffing differently..

Wayne..any advice on how to react to a situation such as Rev described that might have been affective with you? Most of the time, even if I walk away without making my original point, I make sure to let him know that it is not "OK to react that way" but he also knows that I hold myself accountable for my past reactions and how they play a role in current situations..BUT he also knows that eventually he'll either have to trust me and stop being so defensive or we'll never be in the happiest place possible in our marriage.

waynebloss's picture

Re: Advice

Trust is the biggest thing for me right now.  I am finding it hard for me to trust her reactions right now and her conversations. 

What works for me is that I take a breath and I actually count to 10, it takes practice and practice and practice for me to breath and count, but I have learned that by the count of 10 she has already started the conversation and I can tell if it is going negative or not. Then I can better react to what is being said.  

Adivce from a ADD'er, just remember that we are very used to hearing all the negatives that we are expecting them, especially from the person we have hurt the most! We might not act like it but we do remember how much pain we have caused and are very ashamed and embarrassed about it.  So to better defend ourselves, it is easier to attack the person rather than take it anymore.  That does not EXCUSE us from our behavior, we also need to learn that our spouses have heard nothing from us but negatives, attacks and down right mean things so we also need to learn patience and how to better conversate. Also, I am finding that reading how to have a conversation is helping me as well as practice. 

Mind you none of this is possible if the person, ADD or not, if the individual does not want it. If there is no "want" to change, there will be no change. 


Hope this makes sense,

Wayne, you better run fast!

Because this is as much of a head start as I am giving you.  I had said NOTHING but positive things to him that evening up until that moment. Yes, someone has to break the chain, and I tried, but look where it got me.  I don't know if I have the stomach for this...  In a nutshell: I was nice to him, complimentary even, I go to say something else nice to him and end up having to take an Ativan LOL!  I am too used to getting HIS negative reactions.  I am VERY sensitive to it right now, and I will admit it is easier to not talk to him at all, if this is where chit chat goes. ARGH!

waynebloss's picture

Re: Wayne is RUNNING!

"positive things to him that evening up until that moment."  In a volatile situation such as dealing with us (ADD), it takes days maybe weeks of positive things to take over ALL the negative things.  Not telling you to kill him with kindness, but 1 negative comment and/or reaction we see erases 20-30% of all the positive things you told us.  This is not for only, we with ADD have to abide by the same rules, we have to remember and understand that the more negative we are, the more negative our words the more harm we are doing.

Reacting such as Sherri pointed out, is the hardest thing for me to change.  I can see my "bad" reactions have a negative effect on Jen so I am trying to breath before I react, I am doing ok, but I still have hiccups. 


You know what I noticed about you recently?.......

One last thing...

Rev..(((HUGS))) You're doing just fine. Don't beat yourself up because everything isn't running smooth as silk. He's got the referral...focus on that. Then focus on the appt. Then focus on the results of his eval. Then focus on getting the professional help you both need to learn to break these communication disasters (been there, done that...still have these issues, prollie always will) least hopefully learn to minimize them.

Just take things one step at a time. See each 'conversation' as a learning session. See what you might do differently next time, think about it, maybe journal each incident...and leave the rest for the pros. We can help you, we can share what works for us, we can give you support from a group of people who completely understand...and I pray that is enough to get you through the next few weeks until you get some serious therapy going. My best advice at this point is to not give up on that. You need this..your marriage needs this. Don't let him 'forget' or 'give up' on counseling if at all humanly possible. Maybe it was cruel, but I reminded my husband often "no counseling, no marriage". We drove our marriage into the ditch far too  many times already...we need to learn something 'different'. :)

Sherri re: smooth as silk...

Not expecting smooth as silk, but DANG!  Can't anyone have a 10 minute conversation without it turning into a squirmish?  Now I feel all, "You know what I noticed about you- you stink." (but still said calmly due to the miracles of modern pharmaceuticals) LOL!

waynebloss's picture


You can but it takes time...10 minute conversation with nothing being negative is a big step for us, but it can be done with practice.  I talked to myself and in front of a mirror before my wife and I had our talk.  I thought I was stupid standing there talking to a mirror, my kids laughed at me as well!!  It did pay off, I was able to remember what I saw and how I reacted and I was much better than I used to. 

You know that would give you a hug as well, but Sherri gives them out so well and her are so much better than mine so I will just let her give out the hugs! 

Lady, there was a point where

Lady, there was a point where we couldn't make it a day without fighting. Honestly, there was a wedge between us that was 3 feet thick and made of concrete. We were your classic "it's all his fault" "it's all her fault" couple. We were even at the disadvantage of not having a damn clue why he acted the way he did, repeated the same hurful behaviors over and over...I bet he would even (were he honest with himself) admit to being relieved to know that there was a reason he was always unable to do what he said and say what he meant.

What also was hard for me to handle was the amount of time it took for things to feel like/become habits. It has been decided that since I did not grow up in chaos, that is why I immediately flip the 'panic' switch when there is a situation that I feel is out of my control. I don't like chaos, I CRAVE PEACE WITH MY ENTIRE SOUL. So, for me to be able to not see a screw up (for me or for him) as 'it just isn't going to work out', I had to have a very strong support system in place. I have two really good Christian friends and another friend who I've mentioned before..was the one that would pick me up, slap a little harsh reality into me, and send me on my way every time I wanted to give up. Each friend gave their own unique 'gifts' to me and I truly believe God put each of them in my life to help guide me in the right direction...for ME. You need people to remind you that just because he rolled his eyes and huffed doesn't mean that there is just no hope at all. (I am trying!) It just confirms that you're dealing with someone who has low self esteem and expects only negatives from everyone in his life...therefore he cannot be approached without getting defensive. (Classic symptom of ADD/ADHD).

I never did ask...were you going to say something positive? LOL If so, I would maybe leave him a note or something saying "I just wanted you to know that (insert positive comment here) and that I'm sorry you thought I was automatically going to say something negative. I would really like for us to be able to communicate in a way that neither of us has to be defensive and I hope that we can learn to be more trusting of each other in the future". We keep a journal..we share writing in it...and it helps to 'talk about' the 'touchy' issues without having to 'talk about' them, ya know? It is easier to write kind things (initially was for me anyway) than it is to say them...and you don't have to be there to see the eye rolling (if there is any). ;-)

Sherri re: journal

As a matter of fact, what I was going to say was actually "neutral".  But I had prefaced this question with several decidedly positive statements.  I think that's why I was surprised by his reaction- as if I was setting him up with "positives" so that I could then launch a sneak attack?  

I do like your idea about keeping a journal.  Truthfully, my husband is not a journal kind of guy.  He is one of those stoic, man of few words, can build or fix anything sort of men.  He will see journal keeping as frou frou.  But I might be able to get him to keep a running pad of paper going with me for the touchy issues.  Thanks for the tip.  

Like you, I don't like chaos.  I like calm, peace, order, solitude- my brain needs it! Compared to a lot of others who post here, my husband's ADD behaviors (bedsides the emotional not-thereness) may not seem so bad.  But it is a terrible match for my personality.  He loses things all the time;  looking for things makes the top of my head blow off (even if I am the one who lost them).  And so on.  But thanks for your input.  I will try it.

First time my husband wrote

First time my husband wrote in the journal, I almost had a stroke...but in a good way. I never dreamed he would do it even though he said it was a good idea, "fine with" him, etc. If I write something, I do it when he isn't around and leave it under his pillow and then tell him to look when he gets time. Even if he won't engage with you on this immediately, if ever, maybe it will at least give you an outlet to say things to him that need to be said without having to face the emotionally stressful situations it causes for you. I think it might even be therapeutic for you to let him know "I wasn't going to attack you...please try and see how your reaction is so very hurtful...and destroys any chance we have of ever having a conversation". Hell, he needs to KNOW these things. This is where healing will start. This is where you will at least feel HEARD...and the fights can be avoided...the hurtful reactions can be avoided. I think this is the one thing you're missing just feeling like you exsist and matter to him....and maybe, quite possibly, he is missing the exact same thing from you. (((HUGS)))

ebb and flow's picture



'"You know what I noticed about you recently?" And he immediately ROLLED HIS EYES AT ME AND SIGHED HEAVILY.'

In that moment I would take a deep breath and try to remember that he is so used to something negative finishing that sentence that he now thinks he's a mind reader! He's developed a negative coping mechanism that automatically goes into "roly-eye mode" whenever anyone comments, "you know what *I'VE* NOTICED about *YOU*... His self image/esteem is soo low he thinks it's going to end in "'re just too (enter FLAW)".

Try not to take it personally. I know it's easier said than done but it will help your anxiety to leave the crazy up to him! Just try to treat him as you would anyone else.... at that point say, "What? What did you *think* I was gonna say?!?!?!?" With a light hearted smile... And then see where it goes from there.

That's just the zen talking.... I'm sure I would have smashed a plate if there were any in the vicinity. heh. :/

Thanks Ebb...

Now sufficiently lobotomized, I will try the "be curious, not furious" route next time.  By the way, he made the appointment for the evaluation.  Its in February. Wish me luck.

ebb and flow's picture


No worries... I'm on similar s**t (clonaz). Doesn't *really* help the situation... just calms some of the crazy chemicals that flood the body because of all the crap we go through daily. :/

I do wish you all the luck in the world!!!!! :))

Remember to ride that diagnosis 'high' and try to show him the pros of medicating, therapy and coaching... Really, that may be one of the best times to hit him up for the "three legs of treatment"... before he starts feelin' like he can handle it all "on his own"... eek!

Good luck to you and keep us updated!!!! :))


This Ativan is a miracle!  It makes me feel better than my husband does.  In fact, I'm going to divorce my husband and marry it.

And no, I'm sure it doesn't "help" the situation... wait a minute... what situation are we talking about?  Is something wrong...?

waynebloss's picture

Re: Luck

Wishing you all the LUCK in the world!  You do deserve it! 

rex-re: eye-rolling

I would react the same way, if hubby prefaced a conversation that way.  Smile first, eye contact, then, "I like something I've noticed about you recently" or something along those lines. I'm finding it works for me. Mine is more receptive when I don't preface conversation like that. Keep this in mind a person usually only hear the Last thing said in a conversation, so end it with something positive too.

If hubby does the eye rolling sighing et,I stop and ask in a concerned tone"are you okay? He usually will tell me "what now? I respond I have something good to share with you. He usually relaxes.

Topaz re: eye rolling

I guess the problem is I would NOT react that way.  I would be all eager to hear, even if it was a somewhat negative comment.  The fact that he even NOTICED something about me... I would be all, "REALLY?  That's fascinating..."  By the by, where you been, girl?


I get that,I'm learning to adapt to his way of thinking and learning what he is more receptive to,

Both our computers crashed,LOL so I'm using the stupid notebook. You know the one that I can only type with one hand on. Need to catch up here and report what has transpired,


Glad to see you back! Missed you.

Brag Book

It will be a very short post...

the first move

I realise this thread has been silent for a long time but thought I'd drop a note here anyways cause I've been thinking about this alot recently.

we lived like roomates. he (non) wouldnt even talk to me most of the time because he couldnt stand the hours of arguing and misscomunication that came from just saying hi to each other. but he never made the first step. he always tried to understand and put effort into things but towards the point the scale tipped he stopped. it's like he had nothing left to give. he was so tired of it. I honestly started trying (once diagnosed) just a bit. but first and foremost...I had emotions where  there werent before. everything he said made me cry where as before I (to him) seemed as if I couldnt care less about him or much of anything that didnt revolve around me. with alot of meds were able to start putting things into a priority list and my emotions were extreemly fragile. so for every one nice thing he did it did not erase the rest of the day. the idea of positive reinforcement is a very good one. but for me I turn crying into anger so I took offense at everything. even after I started treatment he didnt want to respond. he hung around but couldnt seem to bring himself to try again or even talk to me much. once time I got mad and demanded to know whether he wanted to help me get better or not because without him being a part of this I couldnt find all the answers on my own. and to be honest what the heck was I trying for if it seemed to me as if HE couldnt care less and would eventually divorce me.

I suppose it was then that he decided to give me an answer knowing it would hurt me. he said "it is not all about you....I've been here too and you've devastated our lives. you have to take responsibility for that and part of that is that I need to recover too" . it really sucked to hear but being someone who really wanted to suceed I thought about it. so instead of working on me 24 hours a day to get better I tried to be there for both of us. I realised that we both needed positives and me having a problem he doesnt , doesnt mean he's in a better place than me. I had no right to ask him to give everything he had to me until I got better even though he was almost gone. for our marriage to work ...we had to shower each other with compassion and understanding. that meant taking turns. listening to each other. it was hard the first couple of times because what we had to sort out was alot of stuff that essentially looked like pointing fingers at each other. but as he started to shut down the first time we talked I stopped and realised he was shutting down because we needed a dose of positive. so I started thinking and told him what I liked about him.  as an adhd I figured out somewhere along the way that basically I needed alot of dicipline growing up I didnt get. and now silly as it was I needed my husband to show me how to grow up. but he wasnt looking forward to that because he saw it like he was going to be the parent forever. I didnt know thats how he felt I thought he just didnt want to help me and was looking for a way out. once it came out I was very surprised I said "no...I'm quite capable I just litterally have no idea how to do alot of things or even if most of my memories are true because I filled in so many blanks"

everyone is diffrent but though I thought he should make the first move and my stuff was harder and he should help's a reality that cant be ignored....I had the problem but I had dragged him along with me for 8 years and that created a huge monster as well as our two kids who are well behind on alot of life esentials because mom didnt know how or was self obsorbed and didnt get around to it.  I'm sure he's actually mentioned it sort of a few times but it didnt get through how messed up his own life had become because of me until he laid it out gently. "I want to die, I dont want a divorce. I cant even make up my mind about what food to eat sometimes because I cant remember if I like that food or you told me a thousand times that I like that food and I started going with it. I have nothing left no family...they are all gone because I chose to follow you in life and I dont even know if there was something wrong with them or you just manipulated me into seeing things that werent there. I cant get them back, they never want to see me again because they dont want to be around you. staying with you and chosing you over everything else has left me nothing....nothing else to go to, nothing to leave you for. I dont want a divorce I just want this to end and lately I want to die because I have no life outside of you now. I have no hobbies because I've taken care of the things that you didnt do. I have to take vacations from work just to catch up on things at home that should have been done. so please stop asking me if a want a divorce or telling me that I dont want to be a part of the solution. I just dont even know myself anymore, how can I love you if I dont even know who you are? whats real and what wasnt? did we even fall in love or were you just focusing on me for a while? 

even while saying it he was a bit of a zombie. I figured he wasnt in the right place to talk much more so I did the best I could. I told him "I cant give you the answer to any of those questions, but I can say I'm sorry and I can tell you that you have a right to make your own decisions. that much I know" . he actually smiled at me. I told him I'd try to find out more about myself if he wanted some time to find out who he is again and then maybe we could start our relationship over. until then we'd try to give each other just a little space throughout the day to think about stuff without taking it personal.    I guess my thought is that does seem like the non-partner is always taking responsibility and making first moves, it's like you have to make the appt for us and then we may not even go. but heres my thought....if you have a spoiled child who you tell to go to his room right now and think about what he's done and then he just laughs at you and ignores you stick with the consequences? or do you "understand" them and let them walk all over you. I'm not blaming my husband but now that I can see things a little better I'm scratching my head and asking "why are you blaming me for ruining your life if you didnt have the balls to set the standard? why am I the only one to blame for manipulating you if you let me? you may be confused now but when we were getting married and you figured out I was a bit crazy why didnt you make the darn decision to stop? heres a thought ...dont make it negotiable. when I walk into a car dealership they do not like me because I walk into the deal know exactly what I can afford and what I cant.. I know exactly what I want in a vehicle and what I dont. I WILL keep looking for it until I find it and I wont be talked into something that isnt on my list. so if you walk into the car dealership and get talked into a car that leads to buyers's natural to get angry at the sales man (who is not being good but manipulative) for being persuasive...but who signed the papers?  end result? I have a car that will not bankrupt me, have the essentials for me to keep going and the salesman got paid for his job and is really not any worse off, just miffed he got what he should have got instead of more. the idea is to tell us that he cant possibly go any lower because it will send him backwards on the sale (we want you to do more for us and tell you we cant do any more ourselves) but instead of calling the bluff we feel sorry for him and his sob story of how the economy is hurting everyone (aka he might have to put a hold on the fourth garage expansion project) and we tell ourselves that everyone pays a little more than they want to buying at a dealership and we sign away.  I realise I'm not painting myself in a lovely picture but then I'm not worried about owning up to what I now see that I was doing. I'm calling it for what it was. stupid. but starting a friendship between the salesman who sold you the car and yourself is not easy and doesnt give you warm fuzzy feelings. but you are responsible for taking it. if you cant afford it....dont offer it. dont blame each other but take your own responsibilities... so the idea is if you already have the car (your life now) and you find that you and the salesman have enough history together that you want to try....write a list of what you have to have in life and realise that some things arent negotiable they lead to disaster, dont give in. it's not the start of an attack it's truth. you know you cant live without somethings. you know your not asking for a really easy life...just not one filled with remorse and bankruptcy and anger. the salseman might be used to getting their way but in the end if they cant sell you something for the price they want they will make the decision themselves. either tell you "it's not possible" or "you wont believe what I got my manager to consider" every sale is diffrent but all you can do is come to the table with your part and stick to it. some salseman will not be happy at first but will soon see that those essentials on your list will have to stay if they want to make the sale. they will work more easily if you state I want to leave here having made a deal with you (I want to be here and work on this with you and be with you) they will figure out ways to make it work so that they make the sale and you get what you need (at this point they are not manipulating you but rather acknowledging you as an equal and finding a car that will suit you and lead you to come back to them for all your needs creating a relationship)  this does not mean we gave up and took a lower deal to get a larger return later but rather we realised a stable income based on good relationships is alot better than burning every bridge just because we didnt get top dollar everytime. but if everyone signs the papers with only a tiny fuss they are enabling them to be the way they are with no consequences.  

My car salesman brought nothing to the table.

If my marriage is a car deal, and my guy is a car salesman.... for 36 years he has said nothing but "It's a really nice car, it's the only one I have, and I think you should buy it."  No matter what I countered with, he repeated "it's a really nice car, it's the only one I have, and I think you should buy it."  Could I get blue? Nope.   Could I get 4 doors?  Nope, and why can't you love the car just the way it is?    I understand the point you are getting at, I think when you ask why are you blaming me for ruining your life if you didnt have the balls?  I hope you are saying that both partners contribute to the state of the relationship.  If my ADD spouse asked me this question, and used your car salesman example of why I shouldn't have put up with it, I guess the first answer that pops into my head is... I gave in because I love him.  I put up with it because "demanding" better was never successful.  It either made him feel defensive and try to show why it was my fault, or it made him distort, and try to show why I was interpreting it wrong, or it made him unbearably sad, and I felt like I was kicking a puppy.  But it never changed the behavior.  My holistic view at the present moment is that ADDers just want to be loved and accepted for who they are, in the entirety.  And the spouses just want their mate to acknowledge what they have endured for the sake of the marriage and family.  I think I'm demonstrating that I love and accept him for who he is by staying here and continuing to try to make it good.  Which might appear to you or my spouse as "not having balls".  It really has taken all the strength, compassion, patience, commitment, trust, love, humility, and fortitude I possess to remain committed to my guy for 36 years.  If that's not having balls, I don't know what is.  If my only choices are to leave or shut up about asking for some acknowledgement.... oh I hope that is not true.  If the benefit to my having stayed by his side for all this time is "you shouldn't have let me treat you that way", I struggle with that.  I have tried to "have the balls" to require better behavior for decades.  I read every book in print about marriage, and tried every strategy.  When I learned about ADD from a book, sitting in the library parking lot, I cried and cried and cried.  I'm not crazy, is all I could think.  Just as ADD folks fear they can't trust their memories, feel like they're just waiting for the next screw up and not knowing what it will be... spouses have struggled with doubting their own observations and intuition.  Because their beloved mate told them they were imaging things, were way too sensitive, too controlling, etc.  This condition not only makes the ADDers brain function differently, it makes the spouse think their own brain isn't trustworthy, either.  So if I should have had more balls to demand better, I have to answer, it simply does not work with ADD to ask for better.  It.  Does.  Not.  Work.  Should I have made the final ultimatum and left years ago, and because I didn't, I forfeit my desire to just be acknowledged that I kept on loving no matter what?  That seems as awful as the many non-ADD spouses I read about who, at the moment their mate starts treatment, decides it's too late.  My guy has made no move to get evaluated, diagnosed or learn more.  But here I am still.  Am I a sucker?  A fool?  A doormat?  How do you love an ADD spouse, then?  I truly value hearing the ADDer's viewpoint, but I don't understand what to do with this knowledge.   

I understand gardeners point

I understand gardeners point of view too. Throw alcohol in the mix and that makes add'er more defensive and more belligerent. The demanding for my point or treatment of me falls to the wayside when the add'er fights to to the death. You hear all the time, marriage is compromise. I came from a broken family and he didnt. I thought that he would show me how people stay together... Boy, what a fool i was. All i see are drunk people married forever. (in this family anyway) some party every weekend, its all about appearances. "What are they going to say if you arent there with me" he would say all the time. "I cant go without you, what would it look like?" Another job of mine to make it "look" right. Its a shame that it had to come to "this" where the decision to move forward is one more "let it go" for me. What is there to look forward to? When does it get easier? After 10 years of meds and no "work" the car is shot and looks like hell. No extended warranty, no lemon insurance, needs overhaul and new paint job, and i cant seem to find the right mechanic to do it for the right price, in the quickest amount of time that i need it done by. Most people buy different cars, tinker around with them and see what they like and dont like until they find the car they think has all the toys perfect for them. After the purchase there are still some things that may be wrong even though the mechanic looked at it. Sometimes you just want to get rid of it because after a while it nickel and dimes you to death. But we love the car anyway because it fits us. Maybe you stay because you are loyal to the brand? Maybe something about it is comfortable. Maybe because sometimes when you really need to depend on it, it comes through right at the exact minute you were ready to trade it in for a newer model? I have no idea either. All i know now, is that in real car time, cars DON'T get better with age. They break down and end up as scrap metal. I would have thought after 14 years we would have opperated on cruise control by now instead of constantly slamming on the brakes and crashing into other cars causing numerous injuries.

I couldn't have said it

I couldn't have said it better myself...and I wanted to add that the 'initial' friendship isn't with the used car is with this different prince of a guy who appears to have all of the inside information on how to buy a used car and come out on the winning end. You wonder why you ever even thought about buying a car without him and feel like you'll never have to worry about buyers remorse again.

I cannot add anything else to what gardener said...I agree 100% with everything. I have no idea how to motivate my husband to do 'better'...if asking or demanding worked...well, I wouldn't be here.