Part 4 - ADHD Spouses and Their Diligence

I often say that though people are quick to label those with ADHD as “lazy” because they often have trouble following up on commitments, my experience is that almost everyone with whom I come into contact with ADHD is a VERY hard worker.  Some of that work (organizing the disorganized mind, for example) goes on inside, and so is hidden from view most of the time.  Diligence and a willingness to try, yet again, are traits that some non-ADHD spouses say they love about their ADHD partners:

“DH loves to work, and he's very good at what he does.  I'm not in the IT field, but I know he rocks at his job because EVERY SINGLE TIME I'm invited to a work function I've been approached by his boss, his boss' boss, the CFO or the CEO of the company.  They tell me how grateful they are for him, how grateful they are for me to let them have him so much.”

“I love how hard my husband tries.  We only just found out that he has ADHD but even when we didn't know why he did things he still worked with me to come up with compromises and solutions.  Sometimes I get so frustrated but then I remember how lucky I am that I have someone who is willing to accept that they need help and willing to work at making our marriage better.  I may not have asked to have a husband with ADHD but I'm am so happy to have a husband that works hard and never gives up on us or himself.”

“I love her faithful perseverance with me and her fierce independence. ...and she's hot :-)”

“What do I love about my spouse?  He keeps trying...”

“His ability to bounce back, willingness to try, and sense of humor. Feels good to think about him this way.”

It does feel good to remember the positive traits of your ADHD partner.  This week, and into the future, make sure to take some time each day to think about the positives.  It will help you move forward, and feel good to your spouse, too, if you happen to share those feelings.

And a shout out to the ADHD readers out there – trying really does get you brownie points!  Just make sure that the progress made with your diligence can be objectively measured!


What happens when your

What happens when your husband has drained the life out of you and you cant see not one good thing in him?.

Lost my marriage supposingly because of ADHD

I feel that my marriage had a severe negative effect on my marriage.  My boyfriend at the time of our dating read Dr. Hallowell's book "Driven to Distraction.”  To me, this was something special to me, because my family and friends closes to me never had the urge to pick up a book and try to understand what I might be going through.  Therefore, when my boyfriend read the book, I felt they he cared about how I ticked sort of speaking.  A time into our dating, he realized my severe disorganization belongs and paperwork.  As much as I tried to figure out things, the brain was not going to let me win.  I mentioned to him one night that this would be too much for him and that it would be best to breakup.  He did not want to leave me and we continued on where we were married.  Unfortunately, because he knew of my idiosyncrasies with the ADHD/Anxiety Disorder and after we were married, he did not want my stuff to follow me into our big 9-room house.  I explained to him that my stuff would have to come with me for me to live in our house. 
To make a long story short, we were married for five years.  In that time of 5 years, my husband was very abusive, financially, emotionally, and verbally.  My husband who knew that the ADHD/Anxiety disorder that I have suffered from and continue to suffer from since I was 4 years old, was constantly criticized to my face, because of my compulsiveness, disorganization, and somewhat mood swings along with a dysfunctional father.  I have been on every kind of med for my ADHD.  Several doctors tested me.  Once as a child, as a teenager at Boston Children's Hospital and third just before I married.  I fortunately and unfortunately prior to my husband filing for divorce, was directed to a doctor to this day helps me tremendously with treatment.  I so wish that my now ex-husband could have been a little more patient for some one who knew to extent and from a book what he might be dealing with.  I have held a job for 25 years and now and I am going to school for my bachelor's in Social Work and Bereavement counseling. 
It has been a hard road, where people look down on you, especially people who think because they are academically intelligent and from families of academic intelligence that you do not make enough money, you are a hoarder, just don’t add up, or are just plain mean.  My brother has successfully gone through life just the opposite where he has his MBA, PHD and makes good money with a successful marriage.
I feel singled out also from my ex-husband who I thought I could count on for his patience and kindness, but was wrong.  I would be interested in comments.  I know too now that I think of things looking back that the marriage would have never worked even without ADHD/Anxiety Disorders.  My ex was a controlling person who only wanted one way of living, his way!  Thank you for reading and letting me share.


Lost marriage and ADHD

It sounds as if you are coming to realize that your ADHD issues (disorganization being the biggest, I guess) contributed to the downfall of your marriage.  That's good to realize, because you can learn more about how to avoid that in your next relationship (read my book for more on this, or if you want to, listen to the audio book that I will be posting some time after Nov 1).  But it also sounds as if you have other issues that may not be ADHD related (hoarding, for example)...AND that your husband had his own share of issues, as well.

It's one thing to "know" about ADHD and anxiety etc in the abstract, it can be a different thing to live with it.  It sounds as if your husband did not make a very graceful transition to that.  His abusive behavior towards you is all too common, I'm sad to say, but awful in any event.  And an indication that he was out of control of his own life, I suspect.

Having ADHD can be a hard road, as you have described.  But there are things that you probably do well, too (I'm guessing your experiences may make you an empathetic counselor)  Hang in there!  Find out all you can about how to have a healthy relationship without letting ADHD get in the way, and don't be afraid to stand up for what you need.

summerwine's picture

YOur ADHD symptoms are no

YOur ADHD symptoms are no excuse for him abusing you at all. *HUGS*

"Joy" ???

I find it very sad that even under an article under the subject "Joy in Marriages with ADHD" people can still find a way to post negative and disheartening comments about their spouses.  I understand people need to vent, and I do understand how frustrated and downtrodden non-ADHD spouses can feel even in the best of times.  I have been married to my ADHD husband for seven years, and we have two children.  My husband is difficult to understand and keep up with, as is any human being, but the positive aspects of him as a person FAR outweigh any negative attributes that stem from his diagnosis.  He is full of energy, even when he hasn't slept properly.  He can see through the forest when I'm bogged down by the trees.  He is never lazy.  In fact, he can clean the house more efficiently in two hours than I can in six.  He is an amazing father and husband, and he has made significant efforts to change negative behaviors that have affected our marriage due to his ADHD.  He is able to confront his symptoms and try to solve them, and he wants to with my help.  He doesn't view me as the un-supportive, whiny wife who needs a forum to vent about his downfalls, because I'm not.  Can we please start a string of POSITIVE comments from spouses who truly love and appreciate their ADHD spouses for who they are, symptoms and all?  We all need people around us who understand what we are experiencing, and I'm sorry if it sounds like I am being condescending or harsh.  I just want non-ADHD spouses to realize every issue they are experiencing could just as easily occurred with a spouse who does not have ADHD.  I was married before to a perfectly healthy man who mentally and emotionally abused me for eight years, and my ADHD husband was my light at the end of a dark, dismal road.  He is my knight and shining armor and my blessing from God.  He helps me find strength in myself every day, and his perseverance with me is far more than I have experienced with any other human being --- ADHD or not.

Please be thankful for the person you vowed to spend your life with, and praise God for every breath you are allowed to spend with him/her.


Here here. it's nice to hear some positive comments regarding spouses, partners with ADHD on here for a change too. I too met someone although it was very brief, looking back on reflection he was probably one of the most kindest and nicest guy's I had ever met, he wasn't the typical hyper-focus person that people go on about, where he would leave love notes lying around or completely lavish me with attention, he was quite cautious at times and would like his own space but during the time I did get to spend with him, he was kind,considerate, funny and very attentive and was always doing little things for me. If I told him I didn't like something such as him calling me by my real name which I totally detest , he got the picture and never done it again. There was one time where I became a bit frustrated because I felt sometimes he would come across as patronizing,however after some discussion and him sleeping on it he was willing to give it a try and he even admitted that he can sometimes get carried away with things and would spout off without thinking and it was never an issue after that. All in all he was a top bloke. He was clean,organized, not lazy and worked very hard doing two jobs and he made me feel very special and he was quite protective towards me, I never witnessed him being forgetful as some people describe on here and without sounding harsh some of the threads are quite demeaning.Most of all he respected me

In hindsight it was me a non ADHD person that truly fucked up what we had in the end. I innocently pissed him off one evening and he wasnt able to tell me at the time and being an ADHD person he blurted out that perhaps things should go back to how they were before,me meaning it to be that he just wanted to go back to being friends instead and when I challenged him on this he said it didn't matter but I still pushed him for an answer anyway when in hindsight with my understanding of what I know that now is that he didnt really mean it. In reality looking back and being an that I am I should of left it and let us both have a cooling off period instead. No but what did I do, I left like a petulant child although somewhat confused and hurt still and when I got home I still continued to bombard him with texts and emails saying how hurt I was and seeking justification and leaving the xmas present he bought me on his doorstep, how childish is that I ask myself, he returns my things as requested the same evening still remaining polite and civil and then texts me afterwards saying sorry for the way things had worked out, and I know now that he did mean it and did not want things to end the way they did either. I was such a fool because that also my cue to admit in saying how sorry I was for the way I had reacted and should of reconciled with him as an adult instead.

I'm sitting there like a dumb ass thinking why is he blanking me, duh, because I walked out ,and basically reacted and gave him the impression that I no longer wanted to be with him. If that wasn't enough I still continued with sending emails and putting notes through his door that were the size of book,lol, saying things like I know what my crap is and what isn't, saying things like I always felt like I was fitting around his routine and that he needed help with his trust issues, duh when all along it was my crap,my issues when basically he was just an ordinary guy who had turned and transformed his life around for the better. He must of thought I was some insane crazy person and yet he still had the decency to want to talk about the relationship and yes he had every right to be cold towards me and pissed off after all I had personally insulted him and abused his trust. Yet I still failed to fuxxing realize and still couldn't understand when he said that he didn't think things would work out, and at one point he even went as far as saying he would sleep on it and although cold, he said I am here arnt I, which basically I should of accepted and therefore ate humble pie instead, He was even decent enough to say we could still remain friends. Oh no that wasn't good enough for me either I then went onto to venomously do some tongue lashing nasty texts and now I am sitting here all alone knowing that I have lost this good guy for good and I feel totally devastated because my world feels so empty without him in it and I will never get another chance and it is me who has to live with the consequences of my actions because I have deeply hurt and offended him. So please guys, perhaps he is the one that has had a lucky escape and go easy on them because none of us our perfect and just because you may not have there condition, quite frankly some us our perhaps alot worse than they are and we don't always look at ourselves first and deal with our own issues instead