New here

Hi everyone,

I am 37, partner to someone who I think has ADD, and mom to 2 great kids.

I think he has ADD because he shows all the signs of it, even jokes about it sometimes, but never has gotten it checked out.  Going to a doctor isn't on his radar, unless it's to the ER for something and even then...

One of my biggest complaints is that we are not married.  He lied to me about being divorced, when in fact he didn't ever get that divorce done.  Five years into the relationship, he finally said he hadn't done it because he wasn't sure how to do it without me finding out, so rather than being honest in the first place, he let me think for five years I wasn't good enough for him (my issues, I know).  When I found out, I did an online search and there are people who will do all the legwork for you (his wife is in another province) - the first search result in fact - so I guess it just wasn't on his list and he avoided it.  Two years later, it's still not done and if I bring it up, it's my fault because it costs money that 'we don't have' - yet he'll get other things that over the years have costed 10 times the amount it would have taken. 

The day to day things I deal with, but at the same time, get so annoyed with.  He does not help with household things much at all - he'll 'clean' by grabbing piles of things and throwing them out without looking through them, meaning important things (to me) have gone into the garbage many times.  He'll gather up the dog/cat hair on the stairs into a ball, but then leaves it on the counter or on a dirty plate.  He'll offer to do something, like take a box downstairs, then trip over it for WEEKS until I take it myself.  I'd be thrilled if he did it within days, but never happens.  When he comes in the door, his stuff gets dropped everywhere, then in the morning he's swearing and stomping around because he can't find his shoes, keys, papers he needed, you name it.  At least once or twice a week! 

He also likes to just do half of things, and have me do the other half.  Drives me insane, because if I have to do half of something, I may as well do the whole thing and it's done.  He'll say 'if you get all the garbages from the house, bag them and put them on the deck, I'll take them to the truck - but really by the time I've done all that, walking 20 feet to the truck is not a big deal and then it's done.  If he takes the garbage out all by himself, he won't put the bags back into the cans, or return the cans to where they belong - I end up coming behind him and putting the bags in and then returning the cans to each room, so they're not in the front room.

He also forgets what he's said or what I've said.  He's very money focused and always says 'we' for things that aren't really us, it's him.  I don't have much say in what we do money wise, because he won't give up that control (because he knows I'll say 'no' to his impulse buys).

I've brought it up and he will admit he likely has ADD but won't go get checked out or get help.  It's no longer cute and charming though and I'm tired of it.

At this point I don't know what to do.  I don't want to break up my family, partly because he's not a bad person most of the time, and partly because I'd be scared to leave him with the kids alone for too long - that's another post.  But the resentment and hurt are still there - do I really stay with someone who can't see me worth the $500 or less he'd have to save up to actually get a divorce, who barely listens most of the time?  As it is I'm starting a separate bank account so I have emergency money and some say in my own business (instead of the money going into the joint account where it's gone), and not going to tell him about it, which is just horrible.

Lana

Frustration...

I feel your frustration.....and I am trying very hard to back off doing "everything".  I have a very bad habit of not asking for help because I don't want there to be a argument or for it to just go half done.  I wish I had a answer for you, but I don't....just know your not alone!!

Thanks!  Today I'm packing as

Thanks!  Today I'm packing as we're going camping.  For a few years I said 'no' to camping, because it was so much work doing everything and not being able to count on him to help.  Or visiting relatives for that matter.

So, packing the food, the supplies, the kid's stuff, my stuff and when he gets home he will be told he is responsible for packing his own clothing for the trip and that the laundry is free if he needs to wash something that is sitting on the floor - everything that was in the hamper as of 2 days ago is clean, folded and he's got his pile sitting on top of the other piles on the dresser. 

As for the master bedroom, getting very close to quitting doing his laundry, because it's so annoying to wash, fold and put it away only to find it dumped on the floor because he was looking for something.  I started putting his folded stuff on top of the dresser so HE could put it away and know where everything was, so now he lives off the pile.  Do I just remove the dresser and dump the clean stuff on one side of the room next? 

Would love information on how to get him to see a doctor and get answers as to what the problem is and if medication would work, but I'm NOT going to make the appointment, take him there, fill the prescription and then remind him twice a day or whatever to take his pills.  I think he can look after something on his own!

 

Lana

You too!

I have been married just one month shy of 36 years to a warm, creative, contradictory, confusing, talented, funny, frustrating man.  I discovered adult ADD a week ago.  The fog has lifted.  It has descended again several times in those six days, but once you have seen the sun you don't forget it's there.  I have not had a conversation with my guy about ADD, and at this point, can't even imagine how it might happen.  Yet a part of me thinks it could happen.  So I'm just learning more, right now. 

Lana, your mention of clothes and laundry made me smile.  The trash story, too.  I have probably smiled more in the past week, even at my husband, than in the past 10 years.  He seems a little confused and off-balance by that.  Is it petty to say I'm enjoying that?  I'm smiling because I am acting on the single-most important realization I have made since I learned about ADD -- I have spent 36 years finding and trying out "strategies" for changing his attitudes, or mine, or his behaviors, or mine, in order to have the connection, peace and fun that I still believe marriage to him could hold.  Yet everyone of these strategies was aimed toward problems we don't have.  We don't have a communication problem, we have an ADD problem.  We don't have a money problem, we have an ADD problem.  We don't have a housework problem, we have an ADD problem.  We don't have a problem with his not being interested in me, yet saying he loves me -- we have an ADD problem.  I have read many ADD spouse stories where the frustration is so intense, that feeling of "Why should I have to do this?" is so overwhelming, that advice to let go of the anger seems incomprehensible.  Why on earth would I have an answer for that?  But I'd like to try.  It might just come from being in this relationship so long, and having raised two kids, now 35 and 28.  When I get frustrated and ask why do I have to ?!?  (chores, be responsible, pay bills, say no) I first ask, do I really have to?  This is helping me overcome the martyr role I have adopted at times.  Then I ask Do I want to do it for me?  If I don't really have to, and I don't really want to for me, I've  stopped doing "it" whatever it is. 

Sorry to go on so long.  Laundry.  What I WANT is him to share in doing laundry, all the way through to folded and put away.  Have any of the 57 different strategies I've employed succeeded in achieving that?  Care to guess?  Why have I gone on so long thinking that attempt #58 will work?  So I've accepted that, for now, I can't have that.  Next, would I rather do less of "his" share, or would I rather have a calm, orderly bedroom?  I've tried both.  Does leaving the clothes for him to put away work?  Hasn't worked so far.  Does not washing his clothes work?  Nope.  And he never complains "where's my laundry?"  He's not an idiot.  He knows where it is. He knows why.  Sorry, my point is, and this is true FOR ME, not necessarily for you, most weeks, I'd rather have the trash out FOR ME, and I'd rather have a clean, calm bedroom FOR ME, so I do those jobs.  FOR ME.  Do I sometimes resent that he gets to enjoy those benefits, too?  Yeah.  But when I start to resent too much, it makes ME feel like crap, and I'm tired of feeling like crap.  So until and if I get to a place where he gets help with ADD, I'm still going to make my world nicer for ME.  On my worst days over the years, I've thought I have to get out of here.  If I were alone, I'd still be doing all the laundry, all the trash, all the bills, etc., etc.  But I wouldn't be able to listen to him play the guitar, play with his grandchildren, hear him call me doll.  And I still want those things.  That's why I'm still here.  Best wishes. 

Where I want to be...

I loved reading your post!  You are at the place I wish I was....but I'm trying to get there.  You seem to have a amazing connection to your husband and a great way of looking at things.  You give me hope!

funny....

And sometimes I have to re-read my own comments to remind myself I can feel that way.  ;)