Newly married to an ADHD partner

My husband and I have been married for about 6 months now. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and took Adderall off and on throughout his life, but for the past 3-4 years he has been taking it consistently. I've read the books and I'm reading all the forums and I still feel so lost. My husband is a wonderful guy but his self-esteem and confidence is almost non-existent when it comes to his career and work abilities. He has been a nurse for about six years but has been fired from many jobs because he says inappropriate things at times. He was even reported to the Board of Nursing because of an inappropriate comment to a co-worker, which then put him on probation...further limiting job opportunities. In the jobs that he has been able to keep he gets rave reviews and feedback from patients, co-workers and even some supervisors. He is about to complete his Masters degree, which has been a difficult task with studying and writing papers, but I do my best to try and keep him on task....which can also lead to fights because of my "nagging."

My frustration comes because my husband is constantly plagued by what happened in the past. Being on probation will always be on his record as well as all the jobs he has been fired from. He has absolutely no confidence that he will be able to move on to a better job and if he does he's afraid that the same incidents will occur again. Everyday I have to be positive for him or else he falls into a depression of self-loathing that scares me. He's so frustrated with himself and I can't get him to see how wonderful he is and why I wanted to marry him. I'm also becoming depressed myself because it's really difficult to be positive all the time...especially when things are not working out. I am the primary breadwinner at this point of our relationship and I know that also bothers him because he is not able to take care of his family.

There's so much else going on, with the forgetfulness, impulsivity, my nagging, the fights and frustration....but I feel this is our major problem and I don't know how to help him.

I understand your husband's

I understand your husband's concern about his employment history and I understand your desire to shore up his mood.  But you're taking on an impossible task.  It's unfair and unrealistic to expect that you can keep your husband from being depressed.  I mean, it's good for you to provide him with emotional support and for you to act positive when you feel positive.  But his self-esteem has to come from, you guessed it, himself.  I don't recommend being nasty just for the hell of it.  But you have the right to your own feelings, just as he has the right to his.  I know; I've been there, done that.  Feeling responsible for keeping another person happy -- happy as in the feeling, not happy as in "mmm, supper tastes good tonight" -- will, sooner or later, lead to you feeling resentful, because no one can be happy all the time.  And it might lead to your husband feeling resentful, too, because he might start to think that he doesn't have the internal resources to improve his own mood and self-esteem.  

On a more practical and immediate level, is there someone he can talk to, such as a school counselor, a colleague that he trusts, or an employment counselor, about whether there's anything he can do when looking for jobs that will take some of the tarnish off the weak spots in his job history?

Good luck.  I have a depressed husband, too.  It's hard!

I can totally relate. My ADHD

I can totally relate.

My ADHD husband and I have been married for almost five years. Two days before our wedding he was fired from his job as police officer. He was devastated and therefore depressed for many months afterwards. Heck, I would say that there has been a constant level of depression with him ever since. It comes and goes in intensity. To say that it's put pressure on us is an understatement. I too am the bread winner and it's caused multiple fights between us. There was even time that we chose not to live together. But things are starting to turn around.

Rosered is right. You can't be held accountable for his emotional state. Yes, be positive, but also be realistic. Would he benefit from a career change? Is there another subset of nursing that he could pursue that might take him out of the line of fire? I've always heard that hospital politics are a nightmare. Probably not much different from the politics of law enforcement. My husband has sporadically applied for other LE positions over the years, but it has been just recently that he has seriously pursued the field again. Being a cop was his dream job and I want him to be happy. I encouraged him to pursue a degree as well but like your husband, mine struggled with the papers, the reading and projects. It was a nightmare. He started out with 4 classes and ended up with one, which he failed. He didn't re-enroll this semester and has finally started applying for LE jobs again. But there were a few days where he was irrational with fear, worry, and doubt. I just couldn't take it because he was making any sense. We had a big blow up and then I just backed off and let him be until he worked himself out of it. Sometimes that's all you can do.

Hang in there. Perhaps he should seek counseling or at least try a stimulant based anti-depressant (Wellbutrin) if he's not taking any other ADHD meds.