at my wit's end!

My husband was just diagnosed with ADHD but has not yet started meds. We've been together four years, married not quite a year. In the beginning of our relationship he was helpful (to a degree). For his birthday I bought him a motorcycle. Now all he does is work on that. He completely blows me off and every time I mention his lack of attention (which was a problem before) he says I'm jealous of the bike. We are currently doing a lil mini home project-stripping and restaining all the baseboards and doors of our house-and by we I mean me. I can't begin to count the number of times I've talked to him about helping and how itd show he cares and yet he's spent no more than 20 minutes on it. I probably wouldn't be so mad if he hadn't agreed to help before we started AND I hadn't gotten into a minor car accident that left me unable to do it for a week. My question is is this typical for someone with ADHD or is he just being a jerk? If its ADHD, is there any way to motivate him to help? I'm new to all of this and we are seeing a therapist to help with his depression and adhd. But I feel like a once a week appointment isn't enough to keep me from blowing a gasket.


Hey honey, would you hand me that paint brush?...... OH LOOK! SOMETHING SHINY!


it's simple, I know this one,he is distracted.That's the problem! also adhd as a result.



One year and counting for the

One year and counting for the quarter-rounds, the electrical project in the garage, the list goes on and on. We hit bottom, and we both agreed that DAILY things like the dishes, putting the trash cans out, etc, absolutely HAD to get worked out first, before the bigger, long-term projects could even be considered. We are about 2 years into JUST THE DISHES - and I am serious. We have been working on "who's going to do the dishes, and when" for 2 years now. We've both been in individual therapy for years, marriage counseling for years, we even took Melissa's relationship course, and read the ADHD Effect on Marriage (which has a whole Chore Wars section).

Where we are now with the dishes is an actual schedule, printed out, that shows who does the dishes, and on what days. We also have a SEPARATE printed out sheet that lists exactly what "Doing The Dishes" actually means. (It includes wiping the counters, putting the dry dishes away, rinsing out the sink, picking up pieces of food off the floor, etc.) My Husband was actually oblivious to the fact that the counters needed to be wiped, or the sink needed to be rinsed out. It just did not hit his radar. I could not believe that he could not see those things. I thought it was just an avoidance issue. When I finally understood that he literally did not/could not see them, I was willing to point them out, and then we agreed that those things would be included in "Doing The Dishes".

The overall picture for us is permanent, lasting change, and refining the process as we go along. The communication about What I Need (I Need Us To Take On The Dishes Equally) and the process about how we get to an agreement (lists, checks/balances, follow through) is the way we need to tackle one issue at a time. Once I can see that he IS doing the dishes on the days he agreed to, and we are tracking that he is being successful, then I will consider that a permanent change. Then, onto Issue #2 (I Need Us To Take On The Vacuuming Equally) out of about 25 Issues.

I don't mean to discourage you at all, especially now that you're at the Beginning of your ADHD journey with your Husband. I'm just letting you know that for us, long term issues like the baseboards might have well been as easy as getting to the moon.

For me, I am currently mourning that fact that for the rest of my life (or however long I choose to be married to him) that this will be my life. This tedious, exhausting, drawn-out problem of motivation on his part about things that need to get done in daily life will forever be a challenge that we will have to face one at a time, with many conversations, lists, agreements in writing, tracking, etc. I am mourning not being married to a man who can just see that the lawn needs be mowed, and gets up and does it. I am mourning the lack of "normal conversation" around who does what.

Good luck to you.

Melomom- to some degree

Melomom- to some degree that's me and my hubby. At work he's able to follow a checklist which seems to help. To some degree he's......not so bad? He does laundry and dishes and usually picks up the house. I realized LONG ago that my standard of clean no where near matches his. I'm okay with it cuz I see that he's trying. Not gonna lie though it annoys me when I get stuck in the "mom" role. You know the one. Where its reminding to the point of feeling like a nag! My dad is a man that believes there are 24 usable hours in a day and that certain tasks should always be done by the man-though oddly he also does dishes and cooks. I guess its disappointing I married someone who is not ambitious. Plus he can be extremely disrespectful. :(

We were stuck in the

We were stuck in the parent-child dynamic for a LONG time before we learned about it in Melissa's book. Once we recognized it, I said I refuse to be in that role anymore. He said he didn't realize that his inability to initiate or follow through with chores was causing me to step into that role. I also learned here that I need to be ok with things getting done "well enough." (See my other posts on coffee making, etc.)

It's great to hear that he's "not so bad". However, I'm sorry to hear that he's so disrespectful. I hold my boundaries now, and have for a while. I will not tolerate meanness, rudeness, disrespect, etc. I will simply say to him "that was mean, it hurt my feelings, I feel disrespected, etc and I'm not going to take it. Period". I realized many times he was not even aware of how he was coming across, and it took pointing it out EVERY time for him to see how big of a problem it was.

The ambition problem seems very selective..............he's VERY ambitious when it comes to motorcycles, but when it comes to baseboards, suddenly he has NO ambition. Hallmark of ADHD lol, and a problem you will probably be working on for a LONG, time like we are.

Take Care.

Quick comment...

Generally speaking, I don't think ambition towards motorcycles and baseboards are even on the same map. We might as well compare ambition levels between "Live" or "Die" ;)

All humor aside, I have been able to hold off on my "Fun" projects, until I get "Needed" projects done. I think of it as making deposits into my "Fun" account. It give me something to look forward to, but I don't have to feel guilty about the Fun Project, because I feel good about doing a bunch of things that make my DW feel better about our house.

Disrespect, rudeness and meanness were never in my behaviors, but in the old days I would sneak time for fun projects, then scramble to finish what I "Needed" to get done. This was a BAD way to go about essentially the the same end results. What the Hell was I thinking back then?!?!? Stupid ADD Fog!!! 

You need to teach a course

YYZ, you really need to start teaching a webinar or something to all of our ADD spouses...

That's such a wonderful, healthy perspective on being able to divide your time and energy between "fun" and "needed" projects. 

I'm blushing ;)

Thank you for the compliment Veg Girl :) Maybe if I felt like my marriage was at a healthy place and not just calm as we work on the business end of our family, I'd actually consider something like a coaching position. I "Feel" like I have some clue in regards to my ADD and how to improve myself and drive the ones around me "Less cRaZy" ;) My example about projects, just seems to be logical to me. Ignoring your Fun Projects until ALL the Required Projects are done will Never allow you to get to a fun one, then you eventually resent not feeling like you can do a fun one and we are back to Square One (Sneaking Fun Projects in) . The "To-Do" list never ends... 

How about, "Eat your dinner, then have a little dessert" ;)

1 Project Done = 1 Fun Thing

You just gave me an idea! I am thinking about offering up a "deal" to my Husband: If we can both agree to One Project that needs to be completed around the house, then at the same time, we can choose something Fun to do as a reward. Once the project is Completely 100% Done, then we can do the Fun Thing. We could write both things up in an agreement (so we're clear, and things aren't forgotten), and we could keep the Fun carrot hung up for everyone to see as a motivator. It's a Win/Win in my eyes! (Then, if that works, we move onto Project # 2 of 113.)


I'm going to "steal" this idea! :) if all else fails I'm going to steal pieces of his bike and hide them til a task is done. Just kidding (mostly)

YYZ Patent Pending ;)

My DW is always looking for something that "Seems" different on my car ;) She actually asked me the other day and she was Real Sure I had modded the exhaust and/or the rear end. I was able to look her in the eye and say that I have done "NOTHING" to my car and still retain my clear conscious :D

He agreed!

We are going to try the One Project Done = One Fun Thing! I can't wait to see if it works!


That's great! Just watch out, because as an ADDer he might try to "Mod" the Formula, like OPD = 2(OFT)... Two for One Sale... We are born negotiators :D

Let me know how it goes!

summerwine's picture

This is one of those things

This is one of those things where i really just dont understand other women. I got in my coworkers car the other day and her car was spotless and smelled nice. Then she apologized for the mess because there was one tupperware container on the back seat. I just dont understand. My car doesnt count as messy until the trash in the back is so high the kids can't put thier feet down. Then we clean it. but other women? One tiny spot of crumbs and the whole kitchen is a disaster. It makes no sense to me. It must be so stressful to need the world to be spotless.

I'd say that we're on one

I'd say that we're on one year and counting for the "Husband will vacuum once a week" behavior.  I hate vacuuming and my husband doesn't seem to mind it.  He briefly dipped into washing the dishes but he would take twice or three times as long as me and leave food crap on the dishes and utensils.  (He was very offended when I expressed my displeasure with the dishwashing results.  I'm not a very clean person but I do have a thing about gunk being left on the dishes.  I think it might be an issue of eyesight or lower tactile sensitivity (I run my fingers over the dishes to make sure I've gotten stuff off that I might be able to see.)  I don't mind that I do more of the housework, but I did mind that it took so long to get the vacuuming behavior established.