Physical Abuse and ADHD

I have no idea how I got to this place in life.  I am a woman with ADHD and I found myself physically abusing my husband tonight.  A significant event regarding our child began an evening long verbal battle, then helpful discussion, then a physical attack on him.  (up and down just like my mood) God bless him, he did not hit back or kick me out.  I need to know if there are other women out there who are like me.  I need to know how to "turn it off".   

I am currently taking 20 mg of Adderall 3xday and 300 mg of Wellburtrin.  I see an ADHD specialist, who is a psychologist, one time a week.  I have a masters degree in social work and have worked in abusive situations.  Yet somehow, I have jeopardized my marriage once again.  I want to have the ability to have a reasonable adult discussion with my spouse but emotions always overtake my abilities to create thoughtful arguments and convey legitimate concerns. On the surface, he thinks I want to "win".  Truth be known, I want him to be able to jump inside my mind and "understand".   I repeat to him over and over "just listen to me".   But when I feel that he does not want to listen, I attack.  I really don't even know why and get absolutely no satisfaction from it. 

I know that verbal abuse is common in relationships with one spouse diagnosed with ADHD.  I have tried to read through countless blogs of those who deal with an ADHD spouse.  But, I haven't been able to find anything on women physically attacking their husbands.  This has happened more than once for me and I'm concerned that there is something else going on with me.  My psychologist reassures me that it is my ADHD. 

I love my husband.  He is a good man.  How do I even approach him to say I'm sorry.  He's tired of hearing it and I don't blame him.  I try to show him through my actions...I've gotten on medication, I'm getting counseling, I've even been working hard to have more quality time with my children.  I am so desperate and lonely.

Please help.


It's hard enough to even try to convince an ADHD person but I will do my best.All you would be doing is pushing him further and further away!try to leave out the physical abuse,and if you say he did not react on you then he truly loves you.Try to go for a walk when you are feeling the way you feel,I really do not know how the ADHD mind work's, but I am sure it could be very stressful on your part, but more stressful on your spouse's,I say this having being in a relationship with my ADHD husband myself, and I have to relate to him as if I am ADHD too,to be able to understand him,and also so he don't feel as though I am labeling him,or bad,I use to think I have ADHD too when suddenly after educating myself more I realized that I am feeling the ADHD effect of it,and that is not good..You are doing the right thing though,continue taking your medications and working with your therapist,and try to leave out the physicals abuse,he would not be able to tolerate that for much longer, and you could lose him!...hope things work out for you may god bless you!........lovehurtsalotwithanger.

Thank You

Dear love hurts a lot with anger.  I am so appreciative of your comment and need the blessings at the end the most.  I met with my therapist today and he guided me through the steps I need to take with my husband over the next few days.  I never thought I would be the one with rage issues.  My husband does not deserve it and my children certainly don't deserve to grow up in a stressful environment.  If the roles were reversed, I don't think I would stay, even with love involved.  I have no idea what your situation is for I am relatively new to this site and haven't read through many blogs (mostly because I get distracted in the middle of them!).  Whatever it is, take care of yourself first.  Continue to educate yourself because if your spouse is anything like me, he probably has a very difficult time educating himself through books or on the internet.  I was in denial for over 10 years that I had ADHD.  I wanted to believe that I did because it would help me explain to myself why I have such a difficult time just getting through the day.  My extended family loves me very much but truly does not believe that ADHD even exists.  The only one that believed it was my husband and he is the one that did the research, got the books from the library, found an ADHD expert for me and learned how to approach me about it.  Without him I would be so much worse and would not have a clue how to weave myself out of my mess.  I make no excuses for my actions and neither should your husband.  He and I are both responsible for doing all we can so that the people we love have enjoyable lives.  As you see, I'm not there yet, I still let medication times go by and not plan out my day from the night before.  I am busy but have time for these things.  However, please don't confuse who your husband is with ADHD.  Your husband and ADHD are two separate entities.  He needs to know that he has to take control over the ADHD before it controls his life, yours and everyone else in his path.  I pray he is not abusive towards you and that he realizes that people will be able to differentiate him from his ADHD as soon as he admits that he has a physical condition that can be controlled (just like insulin controls diabetes--only not as life threatening!).  As you can see I'm ranting like a typical ADHD person so I'll stop.

Thank you again for taking time to help me.  Please keep blogging.  Reading the difficulties that non-ADHD spouses have to go through helps me to understand my husband and trust him more.

God Bless You too,

still trying to be "not defined by adhd"

OMG, this just occurred with

OMG, this just occurred with me two days ago. I have ADHD and have put my boyfriend through hell. He has stood by me throughout my initial diagnosis,(which he convinced me to seek help for), and finally the roller coaster of a relationship came to a head. As a woman I have found very little information on abusive relationships and correlations to ADHD, but then again, at this point does the ADHD matter anymore? Unfortunately we have had many challenges excluding my ADHD but I'm sure underlying anger issues are only exasperated by the ADHD. Picking ourselves up after such a horrific event and to someone we love no less!, is the most difficult thing I have had to face yet. Perhaps if I were married, a future without the anger and violence would be possible but in a dating relationship, no one can blame him for leaving. If the roles were reversed I would be singing "her" praises, but as a woman the feelings are confusing to say the least. Ideas of abusive relationships where gender roles are reversed is not something that is easily accepted in my mind. I have spent two days researching and trying to understand this behavior. I'm lucky enough to have a mother getting her Phd in psychology,(ironic isn't it?), and with her help, I know today is a first step. I can never take back what has happened in the past and the pain and hurt I have caused to such a wonderful, supportive man. I can, however, make changes today that will ensure my relationships in the future are meaningful, loving, and stable. I would love for him to be a part of my recovery and everything to work out in the end, but I know in my case, it's too late. I can only attempt to make amends and work through the hurt, guilt, emotions, etc. Perhaps in marriage, with a strong commitment from both, you too can start anew today. "Nothing is written." 

I would also just like to say, this is my first time posting and after perusing the site more in depth,(especially for this particular topic today), I am amazed at the amount of negative personal stories. I haven't indexed the entire site but most forum posts I've read seem to be huge warnings and red flags to non-ADHD partners to run for the hills! If my boyfriend had been smart he would have read this forum first and would never have had to go through the emotional ride to begin with. I feel branded after reading some of these posts. Obviously, I met some of the negative expectations written about but I've also had a specific, individual life and not everyone is the same. To think that I may become a better partner in the future and will have learned from my current experience, only to meet someone new and wonderful who reads this site and sees me as a potential problem or as one person wrote, "will never change," is disheartening. I would like myself and future partners to research and learn about the challenges associated with ADHD but this site even scares me from dating a fellow ADHDer! How supportive can it be when everyone is just commiserating over their past ADHD partner relationships? There seems to be little in the way of positive, successful strategies and especially there outcomes. My future according to this forum is very bleak indeed:(

welcome to the roller coaster

Rockbottomyet, This ADHD really is a terrible thing.  When I first posted this forum, I was in the beginning stages of accepting what ADHD was.  My "name" was "not defined by ADHD".  I was, and still am, a lot like you.  When I read the postings, I think, "well that's not me", "I wouldn't do that", or "yes, but now I see the light an understand".  Truth is,  I keep seeing new lights!!!!! Everyday when I force myself to read these postings, I learn who I am and how wrong I've been.  Not on everything...I am a relatively sensible person...but on a lot of the important things in life...especially things that involve relationships and decisions. 

Thing is, we are branded.  And I have found that the more people I show the "branded mark" to, the freer I become. 

And, everything in life changes, even us.  Those that "will never change" are those that refuse to recognize that their bodies are malfunctioning. 

I know you just started on this site but please stay.  I get more support from the nonADHDers than I do from anyone else.  I learn how much pain I have the potential to cause...real pain.  I learn that when my emotions settle down and I want to resume the day like it was before I flew off the handle, my partner's emotions don't bounce back quit as quickly.   

Sometimes I ask myself, why would anyone leave?  I'm a caring, generous, loving wife and mom and would give my life for my family.  Well, I found that essentially, I had to give the life I knew away.  I did it for my family and my friends. 

If you stay on this forum you will find positive stories and successful strategies.

Good luck and thanks for have helped me greatly,

hard to function