As I read through the many posts and comments on this site, it strikes me that many do not seem to have read Melissa Orlov's book yet ("The ADHD Effect on Marraige"). PLEASE READ IT TODAY! It is relatively short and very easy to read quickly.
If you are the NON-ADHD spouse, it is especially important for you to read the book! Many ADHD books do not really speak to the LOVED ONES of the person who has ADHD. They can certainly help you understand your ADHD spouse better, but Melissa's book also helps you understand YOURSELF and your own frustrations and reactions TO your ADHD spouse. The frustrations you have felt are very NORMAL in an ADHD-affected relationship! You have been doing the best you can for a long time, trying to find ways to cope while trying to also find ways to motivate your partner (usually to no avail). In many cases, you did not even realize your spouse had ADHD until recently, or you only now suspect it. Your relationship has likely developed certain patterns of communication, behavior, division of responsibilities, etc. along the way. But these patterns may actually be HINDERING the success of your marriage, rather than helping! Just like the ADHD spouse, YOU have been trying HARDER, when you really need to try DIFFERENTLY (too). Trying harder with little to no result is exhausting and frustrating, to say the least! I promise you, this book will give you HOPE and will "validate" (sorry for the psycho-babble term, but it's true!) your experiences--it will NOT make excuses for your ADHD spouse or blame YOU for their shortcomings. But it can help you to see ways that your responses to your spouse can either hinder or help them on their journey. If you can learn to provide a "safe place" for your spouse to find ways to try DIFFERENTLY through some trial and error (BTW, this inherently includes some FAILURE as well as success!), he or she is much more likely to make some real progress, which benefits you both!
If you are the ADHD spouse, it is ALSO important for you to read the book! It enabled me to understand WHY my husband has responded and reacted the way he has through our 18 years, even if his responses have sometimes been less than helpful. It gave me a glimpse of what it has been like to walk in his shoes, and I am no longer resentful or bitter for the ways HE has found or tried to cope. And it has given me HOPE that my husband who has become a bit of a "control-freak" the past few years, just does not know how else to handle things. And I don't either...we BOTH need to find a way to try DIFFERENTLY! I now understand that for someone who does not have ADHD, it is perfectly LOGICAL to just try HARDER...because it works...for THEM. They are accustomed to a consistent cycle with few exceptions of: Problem-->Hard Work-->Problem SOLVED...Move on to the next problem. But as you know if you have ADHD, WE are totally accustomed to a whole different cycle: Problem-->Hard Work-->Problem Solved (temporarily)-->Setback or FAILURE...(same) Problem Returns...Shame, Guilt, Frustration, Paralyzed...Afraid to even TRY with the next problem! But for someone who has NOT experienced this cycle repeatedly, when they observe our behaviors of "paralyzed," "afraid," or lack of trying, it translates in their language to "LAZY" or "DOESN'T CARE." And the harder they TRY to motivate US, their lack of success puzzles them and they will try HARDER, which often means patterns of controlling, correcting, "parenting" us, etc. And usually that just makes things WORSE instead of better. So we are the ONE area of their life where trying harder doesn't WORK. No wonder they get so frustrated and angry! Anyway, reading Melissa's book will really help you to have empathy for your non-ADHD spouse and hope for your marriage also.
PLEASE READ THE BOOK!!!