My partner says ADHD doesn't exist.

I was diagnosed with ADHD (both types) about three years ago. My doctor (primary care) didn't think I needed any kind of medication because I wasn't having trouble at work and had successful coping skills as a child/teen. That's not exactly true--I've been called to task before at work for being distracted by things like the Internet or my phone. But generally I put out good work because it's something I enjoy. I wasn't diagnosed as a child because back then I don't even think doctors knew about ADHD. I know that for all my life people have called me "dense," "thick-headed," "distracted", "off in his own world" and "the Energizer Bunny." I pretty much am on the "Go" button until I go to sleep and then it's the "Off" button and you can't even wake me up.

My relationship is in shambles right now, and I know it's because of my ADHD. I only found out exactly what impact it was having when I came across this website. My partner had pretty much convinced me that I'm self-centered, selfish, disrespectful, lazy, stupid, inattentive, obstinate (okay that one's true and has nothing to do with my ADHD) and mean. She insists I don't care about her because if I cared, I'd change the things that are hurting her and making her angry. But I'm really trying to fix all these things. I'm not mean, or at least I never intend to be mean, but I do open mouth, insert foot a lot. I had a pattern of blaming others, especially her, for anything that went wrong or whenever I agreed to try something her way that didn't work. And I used to lie a lot to cover myself, particularly to get things my way. I tend to not communicate and avoid conflict because I hate when people are mad at me. I also avoid conflict because I don't think well on my feet, particularly on emotional issues and I'm terrible at verbal communication. I do MUCH better in writing where if I forget something I can edit it before sending.

So I get what I've done. I understand how I've hurt her, why she feels so angry. I've made promises and not kept them. I've made mistakes that have had financial repercussions. I backed off from intimacy because after working all day I was so tired at night I just couldn't do it. I try to tell her I feel overwhelmed--I'm the only one working, I pay all the bills, AND then I also cook the meals and do the yardwork and a lot of the cleaning. She has back pain issues that prevent her from doing a lot of physical stuff, and I get that. But then when she expects me to be romantic too, it just gets to be too much. Plus she's anal (maybe OCD?), so it's not like I can do a quick rush job of cleaning--it has to be p e r f e c t. And it never is, because I don't notice that I missed something here or I don't fold the shirts the way she wants them to be folded, or I get distracted mid-task and go off and put out whatever fire is calling my attention.

I'm so happy to have found this site because it made me see that I'm not just a total f*ckup who can't do anything right and a bad person beside. (And I've been called the most horrible names and adjectives.) I see that others are going through the same thing and that there actually can be success and not just failure. To those non-ADHD with spouses who want to deny their ADHD, I say give them a thwap on the head for me. Because I really can see how it affects everything.

My problem is that to my partner, ADHD isn't real. It's just an excuse. And she doesn't want to hear ONE MORE EXCUSE from me. So where does that leave me?

Right now I'm planning on telling my doctor that either I need her to prescribe me meds, or I need to find another doctor. I'm also trying to find a cognitive behavioral therapist to help me learn strategies. I already use notepads, post-it notes, my phone apps (calendar, lists, reminders), and anything else I can think of to help me remember things. I'm trying to develop triggers to help me shut my mouth and not interrupt or blurt out stuff. I've decided that at this point, everything is my fault. (because if I suggest ANYTHING is my partner's fault, she gets screaming mad and argues with me for six hours). So yes--anything she accuses, me of, it's my fault; it has to be. I'll just accept that I'm lazy, stupid, etc. when she says it, because again to refute that is an excuse. I don't really have a choice because I do love her, I know I've hurt her, and I want to save the relationship. I just hope the meds and therapy for me alone are enough.

And yeah I feel like nobody will ever get me, but at least I'm not alone in that, apparently.