Not your typical ADHD Marriage. HELP!

The Love of my life of 18 years (Married for 11) has just told me that she doesn't want to be in a relationship with me. I'm devastated. I was diagnosed with combined subtype ADHD shortly before our first (only) child was born about 2 years ago. I had always self medicated with Marajuana (which she knew about but didn't really approve of for a future family environment). I agreed with that and don't condone using cannabis in the house with kids around.

Before I run you through this, here are the cliff notes on my Wife and I. I am an outgoing dude with a good sense of humor. Now that I think about it the sense of humor developed both as way being stimulated by making people laugh as well as a self defense mechanism for ADHD. Self deprication is an art form trust me. I am a 7. In smaller rural areas I could be an 8. My wife is a 12. In order to rank a 12 in my book you have to be beautiful, but more importantly intelligent with a great sense of humor. She is completely unaware of how beautiful she is though I tell her often. She is maybe a little obsessive compulsive. Things definately need to be done a certain way (dishwasher loaded, housework etc.) She has both tolerated and compensated for my dysfunctional messes over the years (clothes piling up in the bathroom, clutter etc). I am sure that this bothers her more than the average non ADHD Spouse. Bottom line about us is that we are complete opposites.

Everything was reasonably great until our child was born. Our child is the most beautiful child on the planet. Personality and kindness just melts your heart. Going to be two in a couple months. When he was born predictably as I believe Melissa's book states, my wife's compensating for me (in area's of bills, baby skills, etc.) became unbearable for my Wife. She is the greatest and most selfless Mom the world has ever known. One other very important event that happened during the pregnancy is that I became focused like a lazer on my job. I had just been laid off earlier in the pregnancy. I was determined not to let that happen again. I had also just been diagnosed and had started taking Adderall (I had quit the weed cold turkey). So again per Melissa's book, I believe I stopped my hyperfocus on my wife and shifted all that toward the Job which in my mind was a better way to serve my wife and impending baby. Right as my child was born, my job work load tripled. Guess what else tripled? Adderall. The more I felt my Wife pulling away from me, the more of that stuff I took thinking that I wasn't cutting it. I would run out of my prescription early and crash for days. This was hard on her. She began to resent me. At the time, I couldn't understand what had happened to us. The adderall was clearly an issue, so I tried other drugs but ended up going back on Adderall because they didn't work for me. At one point I had taken so much one night that I accused her of cheating on me years ago. While I never felt that i was out of control, I clearly had a psychotic moment of paranoia from the Adderall. I would never (nor have I ever) physically done anything. I realized that I was acting out some seriously deep seeded emotions that were involuntarily coming out as I tried to figure out why my wife didn't love me anymore.

We made the mistake of choosing a counselor who did not cover ADHD. The counselor thought of ADHD as a simple lack of attention. It was at this time that Melissa's book came into my hands. It was a miracle to me. Finally a book to explain what happened, is happening and how to fix it. My Wife seemed interested at first, but then she seemed to push back on working on the excercises. Fast forward to now. I am off Adderall, but decided to use cannabis to do it. She does not approve of this in spite of my keeping out of the house.

She will not commit to any path toward healing our Marriage. I found an ADHD counselor and she won't go with me. She has said that I need to work on this on my own. She doesn't want to be my therapist etc. I don't know what to do . . . . I know that I have made mistakes. I know that I am a burden to her. How do I save this for us and our child. She clearly has Chronic Resentment towards me. I have moved out for a month and this did nothing to alleviate. I finally moved back in recently because it is too hard on our child.

To end on a lighter note (and hide my very real pain), you should know that some details of the story have been changed to protect anonymity. For example, I am really like a 5.


Hi Clueless!

So sorry you're having such a hard time.  Having a child will magnify any problem in any relationship, and when you add ADHD it's a nightmare.

I think what you really need to find out first and foremost is what medication will work for you.  I dunno if pot is the best solution - unless you have a lot of hyperactivity it seems to have the very opposite effect that you want (at least I found that it just made me burned out, hungry and exhausted).  If you've got an addictive personality and you can't keep yourself from abusing adderall, then you need to try something else.  Has your job responsibility/stress leveled off at all?  Could you go back on the Adderall (assuming it was working) without abusing it?

I can tell you as a mom myself, having a baby is earth-shatteringly hard.  I always knew it would be difficult (which is why i put it off as long as possible) but once my first daughter was born - and each year as she grows, and now a second child almost 2 - I am learning how tough parenting is.  I don't care what anyone tells you:  being alone with a toddler all day is not rewarding at all.  It is exhausting, frustrating and thankless.  For women especially, it is so life-changing.  You are at a disadvantage with employers, looked down on by all of society etc. etc. etc.....  So I'm sure your wife went through some emotional stuff as well as dealing with cleaning up after you.

I am the ADD spouse in my marriage, but i am also the mom/wife, so it is my responsibility to organize the household, make it run and try to earn money any way I can (without having to hire a babysitter because then anything I earn will be gone immediately).  So, for me life was unbearable for the last 4 years before I was diagnosed and started Adderall.

My husband has been fed up with my mistakes, forgetfulness, lack of focus and I gave him Melissa's book to read.  He is an academic, and is rolling his eyes and dragging his feet about doing any of the exercises, but he has been less hostile toward me since we know what's wrong (and since the adderall is helping).

If I were you I'd quit pot and find a good ADHD doc who can help you find something (legal) that will really help you.  Finding the right meds/dosage is a pain in the butt and can take a long time, but it's worth it. 

good luck & keep us posted!

ps-if you're really a 5 and your wife is a 12, you really need to get your butt in gear and get her back, buddy!!!!  :-)

Ellamenno, thank you so much

Ellamenno, thank you so much for commenting on my situation. I really appreciate your input and insight. As a dude I can say without hesitation that women are the stronger sex. Not just because of what they go through  with pregnancy, then birth, but I think the eye opener for me was that the birth is almost like the beginning of the "real" sacrifice. Selfless creatures. I could not feel more proud of my Wife. I am blown away by how great a Mother she is. What sucks is that my actions unintentionally betray my real feelings. My actions have shown more disrespect I think.

With regard to Medication, unfortunately I have really exhausted all options. I did see an ADHD specialist who tried me on Concerta, Staterra, Vyvanse. None of those had the effectiveness of Adderall. I have gone off and back on Adderall three times. Extended release and instant. While I don't disagree that there are drawbacks to Cannabis, for me the two things that it seems to be very effective at is acting as an enhancer. It allows me to feel stimulated while doing mundane tasks that I might not complete otherwise. Adderall did something similar all be it differently. I think that what THC does for me best is it allow me to feel content and present in the moment. Relieves the anxiety and overwhelming stress the ADHD people feel daily. I really helps me to be present and not distant, so I guess it causes what is in front of me to command my attention and focus much better. As far as going back on Adderall, I do fear I would abuse it. I never snorted it or bought it on the black market, but I would have great difficulty in reaching  any  kind of contentment with my own effort and results. No question this was fueled both by my adderall induced hypersensitivity to my Wife and my excessive focus on my own inadequacies. I do wonder if there would be a better balance with Adderall with Cannabis used intermittently. For me it is a very slippery slope. :(

Believe me I am doing everything I can to win back her heart. I'm currently looking into black magic. Risky? Yes. Necessary? Probably not.