Hi I'm new here. My non-adhd husband and I have been together for 9 yrs (married 7). I am the one with adhd. I want help. I'm frusterated and clueless how to "do life". I want very badly to be a better mom, wife, friend. I want to change. I just don't know how. I know that I'm not perfect...far from, yet I have a hard time seeing things from others points of views in the moment. An example would be...I forget things constantly, but when my husband forgets to put in his mouth guard that helps his snoring issues I go ballistic because it happens every night. Why do I go crazy and get out of control when I'm angry and why does it seem validated in the moment??? Especially when he always has soooo much patience for me when I forget things. Another thing that I hate about myself is that I use him too much for things I should be doing myself. I almost use him to cope with adhd I guess. I need new coping strategies because I don't ever want him to start to be resentful of me. He says he isn't but I don't know how that is possible. I'm selfish by accident. It feels so real and important when I need something but I don't notice his needs. I don't need him to remind me of this to figure it out. He rarely complains about anything. He is just perfect...but I feel I take advantage of this. I don't do it on purpose though. An example of this is when I remember something I will text him "hey pick me up gum, hey I have to pay blah blah bill, hey I need to make dr appointment". Then if he forgets I get angry. I am basically 100% the person who had the ideas but he is expected to follow them. It's like having a personal assistant. But that is NOT okay. It has helped my adhd because it's like having two brains. My first brain has no working memory and anxiety and doesn't want to "do" what it needs to. But I tell the other brain (husband) to do it so that it gets done and isn't forgotten. Somehow this has worked in our relationship for 9yrs. It has been the norm. I plan and he does. I make some appointments or tell them they need to be made and he does it. The weird thing is that this isn't the "norm" adhd marriage that I see on this site. Here, we have a wife with adhd who is also the "parent", while we have the non adhd person being the "child". However, my husband shouldn't be seen as just an extension of myself. He should be seen as his own person and I need to be responsible for my own self. I just don't know how. I've tried writing down things but I still cannot prioritize and "do" them. Does anyone have this type of dynamic in their relationships???
New to website.
Submitted by nicoledsynicyn on 10/24/2020.
Hello wife :)
Submitted by c ur self on
In reading your post, I could not help but smile....You are my wife, and I was your husband, before boundaries....You are using him like a small child uses mommy....It's a tendency my wife has, to use others to cover her own inefficiency, spouses catch it, if not wise enough to see the diaster it will and is causing...Saying NO to that behavior is the same thing as saying I love you...
...My wife can't follow through (much of the time) so she used me to make her feel good about herself, so she could hide her true self...I was over worked, and worn out....So we had a talk, never make plans for me ever again, unless we discuss it first, and I agree! Period..LOL......That way, I can be the man she loves, respects and desires as her lover, and life mate..Instead of her mother...
Just work on you being the responsible adult you should be....Discipline your life like you are alone...No matter how busy your mind is, stop and give him your full attention, full effort, if not but 30 minutes in every 24 hour period....Husband's love to be wanted, just like wives, massaged, sex, smiles, kindness, walks....Ask him to cook w/you, flirt with him, dance w/ him...Never allow a day to go by, without showing him you love and appreciate him, not for what he does for you, just because you belong to one another for life....
I am pretty sure I have low level adhd (My daughter from my late (first) wife, has been diagnosed mild to moderate, she is much like me)...My wife is high level add (adderall)....It's been 12 years of learning opportunities LOL.....Two things that i will suggest about your add.....One is write down things...Keep a daily written log of responsibilities, and keep it with your iPhone, keys, somewhere it will not be lost...I kept a daily to do list for most of my life in my front pocket, i checked it off, and I added things during the day...lunch breaks, bathroom breaks...If you can remember to do it on your phone calender, use it...I forget to look at it sometimes when it's electronic....The second is: never discount you may have other issues besides add/adhd....Never discount your personality outside a busy mind...Never discount your heart (spiritual life)....The fact you wrote this post, makes you 100% ahead of most people in your shoes...That fact you SEE YOUR SELF, is awesome....None of us need to ever excuse wrong behaviors....And as adults, we know in our heart, what those are...
Bless you wife :)
If you click on my screen name, you can see 6 years of my posts....That could help, or at least be something different...:)
One other thing, every human has 24 hours each day....Do not excuse time wasters....like most distracted, and self absorbed minds can do...If your doing things to entertain yourself, putting it ahead of wife, mother, etc., responsibilities....You know it! So as long as you excuse addictions to time wasters, you will always be behind or suffering when it comes to real life issues....(That's just a fact add or not) This isn't an accusation by no means, it's just reality here!...I hope your not that person....<3
Thanks for your comment :)
Submitted by nicoledsynicyn on
Thanks for your comment :) and I especially like the part where you said to do everything as if you were alone. I have tried that and it has helped in the past but I just never ended up sticking to it because I felt like it got to be too much or too hard. I have been on my own before and had a job and could take care of myself no problem..but with my daughter in the picture I then ended up abandoning a lot of my own needs to take care of her and focus on her needs. Then when I started dating my now husband it was even harder because now I can't give everyone the things they need. It feels overwhelming to me. Like I have too much on my plate. Like I cannot handle what normal working moms/wives handle. If I want to be good at work I give it 300% and work hard but then I get home and don't want to move a muscle I'm so exhausted both mentally and physically. If I want to be a good mother or wife I have to do it on a day I don't work. Idk how regular people come home from work, make dinner for their family, have time to give everyone attention that they need, and then still decompress or care for themselves. Sometimes I wonder if I would have been better off in a situation where I only had to worry about myself and that was it since I feel like I'm failing at everything. I can only give one thing at a time myself. Then I think ok so I'll just compartmentalize my life and give each compartment time on its own. So I can schedule time to give my daughter a lot of love and attention, then schedule time to show my husband affection. It's just life doesn't work that way. I have to be able to do it all at the same time. Like I have to be able to cook dinner and not be irritated that my husband/daughter are "distracting me" if they walk in a room. Or I have to focus on my routine in the morning so I'm not late for work, but now my daughter needs help with something and I want to have patience when I'm in a hurry and have anxiety about being late and if I'm distracted from my routine then I end up aimlessly wandering trying to remember what was next. I want to be able to do both! When I try and multitask I fail, and accomplish nothing because everything will be done half-ass. It's like I can get an "A" in one class and every other class I get an "F" for the day so I kind of have to pick which class is most important each day. And the only way to do it differently would be if I did a little work in each class everyday and got C- in each class then. Obviously what I'm doing isn't working....ugh
Hello! Thank you for sharing
Submitted by ADDgirl2020 on
Hello! Thank you for sharing your struggles as the ADHD WIFE! It seems like this site draws more wives who are the non-ADHD spouses. The gender switch in diagnosis really seems to have a big impact on the relationship dynamics. That being said, I've been in my relationship for a little over 10 years but was only just diagnosed ADHD-inattentive in late spring of this year. Our relationship was at the breaking point and we were already doing an in-home separation in an attempt to ease the tension. I am so glad to hear that you're not experiencing the relationship fall out as a result of your ADHD symptoms! And you're on the right track to try to prevent those problems as well. Commenting like this is how I remind myself of what I might need to refocus on so just know that I am working on taking my own advice wherever applicable. And now, my two cents:
1. Receiving grace for your forgetfulness but not feeling able to reciprocate and having BIG emotional reactions. - I am overly sensitive in general. I have a tendency to hyperfocus on an actual or perceived slight against me and I can't see any other perspective until my feelings are addressed, even if the original point to address was me hurting him. It doesn't sound like you're in my kind of boat specifically, but you do seem to be hyperfocusing on your own negative responses to him forgetting things. This is probably one to discuss with a therapist to help you sort out the WHY behind it all. One possible suggestion though. If he's been getting upset in response to your anger outburst, come up with a code word that he can say to disrupt that cycle by helping you look outside of your current perspective. Example: He forgot an item you requested while he was at the store. You make an angry comment or accusation. He says your code word (apple pie, or marigold. something silly and devoid of emotional association to these situations), "Hey babe, this feels like an apple pie moment." You then consider whether this was a critical situation or if you'll be upset with yourself, for being upset with him, later. This technique has helped pull me out of hyperfocus (begrudgingly sometimes) and started minimizing similar negative interactions with my bf. Some questions that might help you self reflect (and maybe discuss with your husband if you feel an outside perspective would help): Do you feel like you react the way you expect that he should, or inevitably will, react to your own forgetfulness? Do you feel angry because his actions seem or feel intentionally hurtful towards you? Why do you feel like your feelings were invalid outside the heat of the moment? Have others close to you (previous relationships and/or family) behaved in a manner similar to yours in response to your own forgetfulness?
2. Not considering his needs. - I can totally relate to your struggle to notice his needs. My issue is that my bf has been VERY vocal about his needs for years but because I felt defensive I literally did not hear him most of the time. And the rest of the time, outside the heat of the moment I would totally forget any needs he informed me of. I'm a little jealous that your husband seems so laid back about everything but I also understand the struggle you're facing with recognizing a problem, or potential problem, and feeling powerless to do anything about it. Previous poster said something about setting time aside to think of him specifically. That really seemed like a good idea. I like to do little craftsy things to help me be invested in stuff like this. For example: making a list of X number reasons why I love you and writing them all down on little hearts or strips of paper but with different colored pens and keeping them in a pretty box then getting one or two out and leaving them for him in his wallet or by his toothbrush so he can find them and have something tangible to keep as well.
3. Feeling like you're the parent and he's the child. - Is this a result of you deciding all the errands and telling him to run them and/or your anger over his forgetfulness? Or is there something else at play here? I am fully a typical child in the parent/child dynamic of my relationship, which is typical of the ADHD partner. The reason my bf feels like a parent (because I have no complaints with being told what to do or him cleaning up things I've overlooked) is because of the constant nagging/reminding and burden of household chores having fallen heavily on him if the nagging didn't work. It seems to be that imbalance in the day to day running of the household and chores that makes my bf feel like he's chasing around a carefree toddler instead of enjoying a partnership where the workload is balanced according to our respective strengths. So I guess for this one, just try to evaluate why you feel you're in the parent/child dynamic and what key factor could you change that could cause a positive cascade effect to pull you out of that dynamic.
4. Feeling unable to prioritize and/or self activate to complete tasks, and feeling like you're taking advantage of your husband. - First, I have struggled with this for years. I have a small graveyard of unused or partially used planners, organizers, bullet journals, etc. There is something to be said for routines. Most of us ADHDers rebel against structure but when in place we tend to actually thrive. I say this because what's been working so far for me is to have scheduled times to do certain things. Example: Sundays, before lunch, I do the meal planning and put together the grocery list. If nothing is needed for meals that day then I put in an order for grocery pick up on my way home from work on Monday. I use Google Keep to make my grocery list (and it's shared with my bf) and I take a picture of the meal plan and that is in a second, shared Keep list. This way he can easily see what the options are for the week (meals not tied down to specific days) and he can add things to the grocery list throughout the week so I can take care of getting those. This also helps prevent my impulsive purchasing of snacks and spending hours at the grocery store wandering back and forth because I forgot I needed something else back in the furthest isle that I was just in... Another example: I try to schedule a specific day and time for making necessary phone calls. I HATE making phone calls. I don't understand why they're so difficult for me but getting them done just seems to stress me out. Batching them all together helps take the worry/anxiety about needing to do them, or not having done them, off my plate. As for prioritizing, it sounds like you are the planner and you are prioritizing the things that need done, you're just relying on your husband to do the leg work. If that's been working for you both as long as it has, it doesn't sound like it's likely to become a problem. I think it would be good to have a conversation to set expectations with each other so that he doesn't end up feeling taken for granted. If you both have an understanding and agree that this dynamic is how you split that work load, then you're really in a good place there.
Thanks sooo much! Great
Submitted by nicoledsynicyn on
Thanks sooo much! Great advise!!!
Oh my gosh, I can totally
Submitted by Poohnot on
Oh my gosh, I can totally relate to you both. My husband was the one that deduced that i had it and talked me into getting diagnosed. It has been the cause of many arguments. I too forget things a lot. Unfortunately, in my case, my husband is not understanding. He says that the ADHD is an excuse and he doesn't feel like thinking for me as well as himself. He cant trust me to handle things he has asked me to do. It has caused a huge strain in our marriage. He resents having to "rescue me". We have been married for twenty years but there are times that I seriously didn't think we would make it.
Can relate somewhat
Submitted by Poohnot on
I'm new here also and I am the one with ADHD.
I started using Omnifocus software and write everything down. That might help you. I do need to stretch myself to do things outside of my comfort zone, but there is always that fear of failure.
It's really great for me to read this thread....
Submitted by c ur self on
So much of what you are discussing (three ladies w/ add/adhd) has the potential to really help (bring light to how your minds work, and your feelings about it) the many many non-adhd spouses on this site....I just wanted to add one thought to my previous post...
It's about communication....You three have an opportunity, like we all do...It's about honesty, it's about managing our emotions....The biggest problem for my wife and I (close to 13 years now) has always been emotions that stop or prevent communication...It's not love or faithfulness...It's Pride...When two people truly love each other, they have to recognize the huge difference's in their thought process's...The days and times my wife and I can set aside our pride, our defensiveness, and talk calmly and openly about our true selves (ownership)...Those are the times we grow as one...All of us, add or not can have expectations based on many things in life...We all have human characteristics we should care to recognize and work on.....So many spouses who are not high level add, can find ourselves feeling forsaken, used, and unloved quickly!....Minds effected by add/adhd who want a sound relationship, must be able to be honest, and trust their spouse to hear the truths and realities about what it's like for you to live day to day....The spouse is already experiencing it (viewing it)....But the swallowing of Pride, and the ownership of the add minded person is vital to move forward....What makes the fire grow larger is the Pride, the misunderstandings that happen when we refuse to communicate openly and honestly....
My wife has spent most of our married years in denial, filled w/ pride, and want discuss add or her meds with me, her husband....So the results of refusing to recognize intrusive living causes many things...Anger, bitterness, separations, divorces, all bad!...But when grace is shared, when truth is shared...When pride is put behind us...We can communicate honestly, we can take ownership of things like our meds, like our unfiltered hurtful comments...We can apologize and move forward....I've said often add/adhd people's lives work better alone (no one to intrude on, and forced to be responsible, must depend on themselves)...Well that may true to a degree, but when we take ownership, communicate honestly, and never excuse intrusive or abusive behaviors, we can have wonderful lives as two being one...<3