New to site and really could use some help

I have been married a long time. My husband has ADHD, I do not. He wants to be in control of everything from money to household. A project will be started and then dropped and then a new one will begin. I do not know how much more I can take. He wants to do everything himself with no help but nothing gets done! We have three cars that do not run because he is going to fix them. Of course it's been over a year with them just sitting there. We have an old house that needs fixing up and all the rooms have been started but thats it. If I complain he gets angry because he feels I want things done asap. Forget about hiring someone because he will not have that. He wants to do it all. And don't get me started on the piles of papers, magazines etc... things he wants to go through before he can throw them out. But I have been around long enough to know that NOTHING gets thrown out! Am I alone with this or are there any others going through this too? Any help would be great...

hi, I am new here too.  Yes,

hi,

I am new here too.  Yes, I too have an ADHD partner.  The constant switching of projects and unfinished business and the hoarding is commonplace here at my place.  If leatherworking becomes the big buzz, there goes a bunch of money for the BEST leatherworking tools and it will be the main thing for him...for a week? a month? then it just sits there.  Then another fad will hit him, and here we go again.  It took me a year, yes, a YEAR for him to part with a shopping cart that he brought home.  He was going to make a welding cart he could use (note i have never seen him weld) or a portable homeless shelter for someone in need (I kid you not); and catalogues are a problem here.  He accumulates them, and makes purchases that he really cannot afford.  I couldnt live in the chaos any more and told him that its not fair that he can go to his nice orderly fire hall to work, and i have to stay and work out of a mess (I consult from home).  I just can't bring myself to throw any of his things out because that would be controlling, and I do not want to be a controller.  So I literally chuck all of his crap into the garage and this is working for us.  He can have one room of chaos here, thats it!

I feel for you, my partner is not controlling but he is a hoarder, doesnt finish things, and things are chaos here because of it.  Sounds like compulsions (like hoarding) sometimes go hand in hand with ADHD from the reading I have done. 

Sunny.

Same here.  Husband has chaos

Same here.  Husband has chaos in 2 warehouses, 2 sheds, his side of the garage and his office. Hoarding that he won't admit to.  The longer we are married, the more stuff.  It is very upsetting to me to know of all the oily, messy, dirty disorganized stuff is there.  It is very upsetting to him if I mention it to him to clean it.  One day I challenged him to clean 12" of his stuff in the garage.  it took him all day.  He was very proud of himself to have done it.  I felt like the school Marm. Not too sexy.  It is now back to chaos - even the 12" he cleaned that one day.  He didn't want me to pay $20 extra dollars to have the carpet installers take the old carpeting for 3 rooms to dispose of.  He said he would take it in his truck to dispose of.  I found out he stashed it in his work warehouse three years ago.  This makes no sense to me. Doesn't do any good to try to change or help them.  It is really angering and frustrating, isn't it?

the warehouse

Guilty with the house and garage full of "stuff." We have so much you wouldn't believe it. I think part of what goes on is the idea of something vs. the reality of it. People with ADHD can be very creative and smart (my DH is), and his ideas are amazing--wow, it would be great if you built this out of that, I would never have thought of it. But the reality is, there are so many hours in a day and the likelihood that these projects will come about is small, particularly given the problems with ADHD and focus and finishing tasks. It is a vicious cycle--the more clutter, the more lost he seems to be. And there is also the phenomenon of what I call "dealing" with things, which, in my view, fall on a spectrum with different people. My sister "deals" with papers immediately, every day going through the mail and shredding, filing, or paying what is there. I "deal" with papers every few days or weeks, piling them up and then filing or trashing them all at once. My DH puts things places, and when he does, he thinks he will "deal" with them later, but often he does not or cannot, so a pile of papers may sit there for months, or he will put it in a bin or drawer (like your carpet in the warehouse) to "deal" with later, which probably won't happen. I agree with you--it does not do any good to try to change them. Better work on the things you can control yourself and try to let go of the rest. 

Jenna, been following you for a long time on here and enjoy reading your posts. Hang in there. 

Would you believe...

I'm the ADDer, diagnosed 3 years ago, and I'm the organized one here. My DW has piles that begin, usually when she wants to straighten up a public area and she plans to go through later, much later... I believe my need for order grew from not being organized and seeing other family members, like my uncle or undiagnosed ADD Dad, organized and never running around frantically looking for something. I think the anxiety that accompanies my ADD fuels my organization and need to be on-time. 

My garage can get pretty messy, I'm not perfect, but I get it straightened up pretty quick. Projects at home usually cause the disorder, when I get the job area cleaned up and get all the tools back to the garage and have no time to straighten up. I purge my garage and my things on a pretty regular basis. I HATE clutter. Okay... Maybe a little OCD joins my ADD too ;)

I think an ADD has to realize that disorganization is compounding the Foggy ADD Brain and by creating specific places for key items can help the disorganized brain. Specific routines also help, because it becomes a sort of Auto-Pilot. The Auto-Pilot handles the everyday things, so you only have to remember the out of the ordinary things, where Smart Phones can come into play with tasks, to-do's, calendars and most importantly their Reminder Alerts ;) 

familiar

All I can tell you is I am sorry, and I understand how frustrating this must be for you. My ADHD husband is a control freak about certain tasks--he won't let me just take care of them, but then he can't deal with all the steps it takes to get them done himself. It can cause a great deal of stress for me to feel so trapped, and I have now gotten to the point that I just give up most of the time. When I say he won't "let" me, I mean that he argues, and insists, and it is just not worth the stress.  

Once our stove broke. The STOVE. I needed to cook with it. We have children. And he could not deal with taking care of it (fine,) but would not let me just call the manufacturer, even though it was out of warranty, and have someone come and look at it. Too expensive, workmen are a rip off, etc., DH could get the part on his own, etc. And arguing was just not worth it, believe me. So I waited, and waited (and believe me, a bomb goes off if I nicely ask, "bug," him about stuff like this--he freaks out), and 4 weeks later, had no working stove. My mom came and freaked out, which she does, and it was even harder to deal with, because it was so hard for her to understand that he would not just "let" me call someone, and I found myself defending him. Finally, after 5 weeks, I said screw it, and called. To this day, I hear how I spent so much on a cheap part and the labor was $75 an hour and we could have gotten part of a new stove with what I spent. But at least I had a stove.  

It is not worth the battles, and I am too tired, but the result is that I have a half-finished house, brakes that are almost gone, and a hot water heater that is about to go. Just want you to know I think this definitely must be some manifestation of ADHD, the inability to start something and then follow through. And DH has a point--it would be cheaper if he did it, but the problem is, he can't much of the time. 


Hang in there. 

Thank you everyone for you

Thank you everyone for you feedback. I really love my husband but he drives me crazy!!! I know you know what I mean... He knows he has ADHD but does not want to go on meds. So many times over the years he has promised to get things done but they always fall through. I am at a point now when he tells me he will get something done, I know it's a very slim chance so I don't expect it. That way I am not hurt when it doesn't happen. He also pays all the bills and I can't help but wonder if I had been in charge of the money all these years if we would not be better off right now. I am not the spender in the family and he doesn't spend like he use too but we still have things we don't need and I just don't even reply when he brings something home anymore.

It's just great that I found you all. I feel like I am not alone with this, thank you!!

Organization and Hoarding

I don't know whether or not hoarding goes along with ADHD.  I LOVE getting rid of things and giving things to Goodwill!  I have less to organize after a purge;)!  I think the decision-making process for someone with ADHD can be daunting and can lead to BAD decisions, liking keeping too much crap and telling ourselves we'll deal with it later.  "Later" leads to more clutter.  Clutter leads to anxiety.  Anxiety leads to more avoidance.   One of the biggest aspects of my anxiety concerning clutter is  knowing where to start.  For me, the EASY part is getting rid of things, once I have started.  

Paper is my personal nemesis.  THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING TO HANDLE ORGANIZATIONALLY.  Paper tiger, indeed!  I have long-struggled (and continue to struggle) with the management of paper.  I've tried different systems, but I'm still working it out.  Projects were a source of tension for my husband and me.  I'm getting better at not having too many and not putting them before less interesting things, like my everyday responsibilities.  

 Visual clutter is mental clutter to me, and it impedes my concentration.  This is why I keep battling my organizational demons.  I WILL figure this out.  I tackle a little paper every day and continue to experiment with different tactics to handle clutter, paper, and otherwise...  

I don't blame you for being pissed at your husband.  I would be too.