Hi there from the UK
I am desperate and relieved all at once! I have long suspected that my very kind loving husband has "something" not quite right but haven't ever been able to put my finger on it. After reading the content on this site, ADD seems to be a perfect fit. So there's the relief! However, I have been trying to encourage him to seek some help for some of his more destructive behaviors for most of our 6 year relationship. He just downright refuses. His father, mother and brother also have obvious symptoms of ADD and I suspect aspergers perhaps for the brother and father and grandfather but, taking from their parents lead who have never discussed the matter, brushed it under the carpet and refused to acknowledge any issue at all, have never done anything about it.
I think ADD may be much more recognized and accepted in the US than it is here. Of course the first step is assessment and diagnosis, I can't even get that far so the treatment there is out there isn't even available to us to help the situation.
I feel so trapped. I am so worried that if we can't figure out a better way of working together and communicating that our child will suffer the same consequences of depression, frustration and relationship difficulties :-( I have even been to counselling I can't afford to try to figure out a better way of dealing with my husband's behavior, but everything I try just seems to fail.
The chores thing has always been an issue, as has lack of prioritization & organisation, just plain forgetting to do VITAL things like giving the cat his medication, feeding the dogs, leaving doors unlocked, garage doors open, going to the shop for one thing and coming back with a bag of stuff we don't need and not with the thing we do need, never finishing jobs, needing to be nagged until dawn to get the simplest things done, never putting things away, wanting a medal for doing something that everyone else in the world has to do, like make their bed or open their curtains, being very ungrateful for anything I do. The list goes on and on.
The biggest issue I have is that he takes absolutely no notice of me whatsoever. I can ask him calmly and quietly to do something or not to do it, several times over several days or weeks, and he will just either ignore me completely or if I press him gently he will roll his eyes and reply with YES OK WHATEVER but then never do it. And this has some real consequences for us, like dislocating the dogs jaw (the dog always lunges for a ball on the floor so you have to pick it up and throw it, but he didn't listen, tried to kick the ball after I had asked him several times not to and dislocated his jaw). Leaving the dustbin on the floor so the dogs drag it all over the house. One day they will try chewing on something that will hurt them. But this doesn't spur him into action, he still just forgets most days. All the important things he forgets, I have to do. I am already working full time, studying part time and work evenings and weekends.
Another example. The switch to turn the shower on is too far up the wall to reach. I ask him to leave it on because I can't reach it. He keeps turning it off anyway. I get cross after a couple of weeks more and eventually we have a row about it. He says he didn't take any notice of me because he worried about wasting electricity, although he wasn't sure it did PLUS he didn't beleive me!! I had to PROVE i couldn't reach! Why didn't he just say all this at the time instead of saying "YES OK"? This is his thought process or excuse for for everything, that I am too demanding, or have to many rules he can't remember all of them. But I am not a "picky" type, i only press him on the important things, like practical security things, safety things, welfare things. I ask him to please leave the outside light on, which is on a motion sensor, so when I get home from work I can find my way to the door. At the time hes says yes he will and never does it. When I confront him about it he says he didn't want to because it would cost money if the wind blew and turned it on a few times in the day. So its OK for me to trip and fall because I can't see. Or him trying to feed me Haddock, which I hate, 3 nights in a row because even though I told him I don't like it, he didn't believe me he says! Why instead of saying to me YES OK WHATEVER, doesn't he communicate his thought process to me at the time? Instead he leaves me thinking OK, he's got it now and then he's already decided he's not going to for his own reasons, but won't tell me! I hate having my stomach touched, he often tries to touch my stomach, when I get irritated, he has a go at me. Its me being overreactive and unreasonable apparently. When I get frustrated about these things he just gets angry back at me and says that I should just learn to ask him nicely in the first place and that I'm stressed and he wishes I was calmer. So frustrating because he never takes any notice of me when I ask nicely for weeks, so I only get angry AFTER trying everything else for weeks months sometimes years to get through to him! If I ever tell him that I'm unhappy about something, i.e. him not feeding the dogs the right amount after being asked several times, he turns it round on me and I become the bad stressed unreasonable one, and he ends up being the victim! I am so horrible to him for bringing up that something HE has done has upset me!!
So anyway, I can now see that this is quite likely due to ADD. And I should cut him some slack and try to see things the way he does. What I am sacred of is that without a diagnosis, I am going to be the one making all the compromises and sacrifices in order to keep the peace and a safe, clean house, while he just goes about blissfully unaware of the pressure that puts on me. Other than these things he really is a kind hearted, nice chap!
Now we have a baby on the way, and with no chance of getting him to accept that he needs to get some help (Trust me I have tried everything) to help us, I am so worried that I have a high chance of having a baby with ADD too, and I will have no support from him at all, as well as having to cope with his unsupportive behaviors and the risks that his "forgetfullness" and poor communication skills will bring to our child. What am I going to do? I have subtly mentioned this to him as a motivator for going to talk to someone to get some help (I call it "get more tools in your box to deal with a bigger range of obstacles" to try to sound more positive) He just tells me to stop being so silly and of course he's going to be able to care for the baby properly.
I almost feel like I could cope better if I was on my own, even with a new baby. I have tried some serious conversations with him and he just mocks me and tells me "here you go again, getting all over dramatic, i've lost respect for you and this now, i'm not listening". We have tried talking about it. Lots. I just don't to seem to be able to get through to him that we need help.
He is so focused and competent at work, a lifelong career within which he is (apparently) highly regarded. Just a different person at home. Some of my friends just say that i'm being harsh, and that most men are like him and he's a nice guy. But they don't see the tears and massive reactions that erupt from my other half when I confront him about not tidying up the garage which I cannot get into, for the past year. He would just never do that in front of anyone else.
His father, mother and brother are all very similar, but in fairness much worse that my husband, god knows how he turned out so well!
I'm just lost, exhausted and feeling hopeless. This is clearly ADD but with no diagnosis, a new baby expected and more than the lions share of household responsibilities, have I really got the time and energy to "support" our relationship through this issue thanklessly? The examples I have given are literally a handful of recent ones. Things like this happen every day, some small, some unacceptable, but non-the-less, all getting too much for me.
I need help! Please.