A question for my Non-ADDer friends... (Not to exclude my ADDer friends, of course)

Are your DH's doing anything about their ADD? Meds, therapy, reading about ADD or exercising? I've been there with some of the behavior's you are describing. I was more of the Shut-Down type than a Get Angry Mean type before diagnosis. The classic event around here was due to my oblivious powers of observation, so if there was something I "Should" have been noticing was bothering my DW or something that she had told me at some point she would like to get done, she would not nag me about it and pretty much just wait for me do notice the issue or start the project she asked me to do. At some point during the wait she would eventually get pi$$ed off about it and blow up at me about the issue, catching me totally off-guard. Completely unprepared for the subject because I did not ever notice, or because she mentioned something a while back and I forgot or worked on other items in the to-do list. I know the "Feeling" like you are being attacked and understand that it was an over-reaction on my part because of being caught off-guard. Time Management was an issue I figured out a long time ago, before diagnosis, and was just SICK of being late and all the reactions from people when you are late. I think my anxieties drove me to better my time and organizational skills, but I did not have a skill for being oblivious to the world around me, unless something was blowing up in my face.

Since my diagnosis, time management, organization, communication, prioritization and general health is all better than before. Without treatment through treatment with Adderall (No med vacations), some therapy, lots of reading and posting/reading posts like this one, I don't think I could have moved out of neutral. I was diagnosed at 43 and three years later I'm still working on my reactions/communication skills. I believe ADDer's can improve, but how much is up to the ADDer and how much damage was done before any improvements. I wish there was a formula which calculated the point of when there was "Too much water under the bridge".

Thanks for listening...

Doing Anything? Sorta....

Since I "discovered" adult ADD last year, then broached the subject a few months later and was very kindly and gently shut down, we have had one other conversation about ADD.  While talking about his work day he threw in this comment "My boss says I have ADD, too."  (sheepish grin).  When i inquired further I was very kindly and gently shut down.  So no, he is not diagnosed, and not talking medication, and not getting counseling or coaching, and not exercising (although he is very active in general).  BUT, I have noticed that this little worm is getting into his brain somehow... he occasionally will acknowledge that he has been ignoring me.  He will occasionally say he knows I do more than my share around the house and with money management and with family connections and he hopes to do more.  He will occasionally put down the XBox controller when I ask for a minute of his time.  Not much has changed, in other words, but he seems to occasionally have an awareness that he is not very ...... aware.  He still overbooks his time, has to work far into the night before a deadline, interrupts or walks away from me if I'm talking, "blurts" hurtful comments without any awareness that people have feelings, and still seems to need very little interaction with me to say convincingly that he loves me and loves being married to me.  (Well, to be honest, I'd love being married to me, too.)  I think he would only go for a diagnosis or any kind of treatment if I made an ultimatum to leave, and I would never do that.  Make the ultimatum.  He knows about the condition.  He knows there is help available.  He knows it is a very serious issue to me.  The rest is his decision.  If I left, there would be no ultimatum beforehand.  At this moment, I feel like if I was ready to leave, I'm not going to take a hostage.  I can't imagine getting that far down to the road to "it's over", and somehow being able to come back from that.  And it wouldn't be fair if I was the only one who got to decide if he had succeeded.  So to answer your other question... I think if both people are still there, there has not been too much water under the bridge.  If there were, and that person didn't leave... well that makes no sense to me.  You can't stay AND say too much water under the bridge.... can you?  

Gardner always has a way....

of putting things EXACTLY like I'm thinking them. Our situations only differ in that my DH has been diagnosed, agrees with the diagnosis, is on meds (many of them), see's a psych and an ADHD coach. W are even in Melissa Orlov's current marriage seminar....yet, he is STILL very much like Gardner described. Removed emotionally and physically, constant gaming, no sex, porn, very little to no help with chores and the like...the list is endless. But he's aware...he knows he hurts me, he knows he is ignoring me, he knows he's not giving me what I need. But that awareness and a bucket of chicken gets us know where. There are moments of the light going on and I grab on to it like a fat kid grabs cake. But, in the end, I find it's about me. I"m the only one I can change and I'm doing it with gusto and somehow it's helping. I know, for me, too much water has gone under the bridge. BUT...I stay because we are in a very low conflict home and I just can't break up my 6 year old's world. If we had no children I would've been gone 3 years ago when I seperated from him. So, for me, there can be too much water and still stay.

180° Differences between you two...

Gardener: This must be torture to watch your DH see glimmers through the ADD Fog and drop a little nugget of hope, but not enough to cash in on. I did not really believe the psychiatrist when he told me ADD (I have have somewhere inside), so he asked me to read a book and come back and tell Him what I thought. I finished it in one weekend, marking passages with a highlighter. I did not want to wait 30 days, so I called and took his first open appointment. The Adderall worked immediately, within 30 minutes. Maybe your DH is slowly putting things together and would be open to read all or part of a good ADD book? As far as your reactions go, like shutting down and no ultimatums, my DW tends towards the anger, snide comment, ultimatum sort of ways. This makes Repair Attempts a little more challenging. I cannot fix her anger and much of it is justified, so I try to keep working on me. Also, I know if it were not for the DD's, she would be gone. 

Gratitudeiskey: It's really terrible that your DH has not seen the light from the diagnosis and meds. I know the meds don't really work for everyone. He has to Get It... I am glad you are trying to focus on yourself and your 6 year old. I don't think I could deal with zero relationship for too much longer without eventually splitting. I hope my DW is not just waiting for the right ammo to split. This was why I needed a Water Under Bridge Scale. 

I hope things improve for you both. 


If you could only recommend one book to a fellow ADDer, which would it be?  I know which books I've gotten the most out of, but I'm looking for something he could relate to.  I read just one that book was aimed solely at ADDers that really put me off (I felt it minimized the effect ADD can have on others--which I suppose is natural for someone suffering from the effects ADD can have on others), so I'm leery of picking something for him.  And please make it a book that is short, interesting, and fast-moving!  :)  I have left Melissa's book lying around, to no avail, and I have yet to cash in on a five-year-old promise he made to read just ONE book about improving a marriage... so I want to make it count.  Melissa's is excellent, and more tuned to both parties than "Is It You, Me or ADD?"  That's the one that made me cry in the library parking lot.  

Tough call...

The book my psychiatrist asked me to read was "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!" and I read a page or two, the ran to find a Highlighter Pen. It felt like they were writting straight out of my brain in many parts. There were a few Cases that were a tad slow, but this ADDer read it in 3 days. I have not re-read the book since I originally read it 3 years ago. I recently Driven to Distraction and though it was a bit dated, it was good. I'm 2/3's of the way through Driven from Distraction and it is an Excellent read. 

I know you just asked for ONE. So I'd say as a person who used to think ADD was mostly BS excuses for poor behavior and I picked up "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!" and my life changed instantly, I believe I'd recommend it. The books I read later were read with the knowledge of being an ADDer. I purchased "Is It You, Me or Adult ADD?" as my second book and for my DW to see how this could have been affecting her. I got halfway through and just felt like crap. My DW never picked it up...

Choose Wisely ;)

My ADHD husband takes meds,

My ADHD husband takes meds, is not in therapy with a trained ADHD therapist or coach, does have weekly meetings with a vocational rehabilitation counselor, does not read about ADHD, exercises three days a week (when he's taking care of his parents, he basically is confined to their home), and has instituted a few behavioral changes (he perhaps has programmed a phone alarm for vacuuming once a week).  His ADHD is not well controlled.  

I think I 'hear' what you're

I think I 'hear' what you're asking...so I'll answer your question...then I'll speak to what I think you're really asking...

You know my 'story' (my husband's destructive path to FINALLY getting help) so I won't repeat it. It is complicated and 'different' in that he got the diagnosis during a time when I THOUGHT things were going better for us, only to find out that from appx Sept of 09 until Feb of this year he was abusing alcohol, pills, and various other things and so any 'treatment' he had after his diagnosis (in June of 2010) seems null and void. His behaviors BEFORE the substance abuse and drinking started were (if I had to limit them to a few 'big' ones) that he spent money he knew we didn't have, him spending too much time away from home/with friends, him getting very nasty and angry when he didn't get sex but never 'hearing' me when I tried to point out that it felt very cold and empty to me to be having sex when all we ever did was fight over my SD. (he had his head in the sand about just how manipulative and dishonest she is and I overcompensated by being extremely strict on her...never a good situation for anyone). Before getting custody of my SD, which caused his ADHD to go into overdrive because of the stress it added to our marriage, things were very good for a good number of years. 

Life, however, cannot always be 'stress free' and his poor coping skills pretty much about did us in this past year or so. He has cheated...twice. This is the only thing he's done that I would consider to be a deal breaker. Call them excuses, or extenuating circumstance, or whatever...but I have made peace with it...and I am still here and still trying. Until I am DONE, I will continue to try. I can't hardly rationalize away 2 affairs...so moving past a 3rd will NOT happen. Only time will tell if we will recover and survive all of this...I honestly don't know if I CAN live with two affairs and countless 'inappropriate' ( TO ME ) friendships...MUCH of it will depend on him and how well (or not) he continues to do. I cannot honestly answer the question as to why I stayed during the past 2+ years when I saw ZERO effort on his part. Maybe deep down I knew about the substance abuse and that his drinking was to blame for his disconnect and withdrawing from me. I think mostly I just prayed for God to give me a sign...and kept waiting for that sign...and it came in the form of him hitting rock bottom and finally getting help. Maybe. Maybe it is yet to come. For now, he is making much more effort than he ever has...and I will meet him 100% in the middle. Otherwise, why bother staying. I either put the past behind us and move forward or leave. My hope is that he'll continue to keep moving forward and keep taking responsibility for his treatment...and that the past will be laid to rest once and for all. But, if I have learned one thing, I cannot predict how things will go with him...but I am certainly not going to engage in a battle of 'punishment' in the meantime. 

There is a huge part of me that feels like your wife is holding onto some MAJOR resentment towards you. Period. I guess what you should be asking yourself is..was she always this 'detached' and you just didn't notice (or care) when you were in the ADHD fog? Maybe you married her/fell in love with her because she didn't need/want much from you. Is it a situation where she was open, loving, affectionate, kind, and interested in sex..and then *wham* she wasn't? After the friendship you had with the co-worker? The ADHD diagnosis? Weight loss? Also, for you...is this about SEX or you wanting a partner to share with, laugh with, and do things with? I know many times my DH (untreated at the time) would only 'behave' (do and say all of the right things) to get sex and it was like immediately afterwards he would be gone. I mean IMMEDIATELY afterwards sometimes..he would literally put his pants back on and say "I'm going to hang out with ____ for a while" and didn't seem to connect THAT with me not wanting sex.

So what are your motives..what are you really wanting/needing from her...ask yourself that and start there. Is it impossible or out of the question for you to say "I really, really crave time with you...time with my wife...doing things we both enjoy...and just being a couple...it would mean the world to me if we could start making a real effort to make this happen for us...even if it means we have to see a counselor and work through some issues or feelings you might be having that are preventing you from wanting this with me...I am willing to do the work because I love you and want us to have an intimate and close, loving friendship..marriage"?


Oh...and since Feb he has

Oh...and since Feb he has been seeing a counselor who specializes in recovery...and who has ADHD. He LOVES her. I am told they are focusing on his lack of coping skills the most. He sees his shrink once a month. (sometimes more often). He takes trazodone (100mgs) and hydroxyzine (25mgs) to help him sleep at night...and is prescribed the hydroxyzine (Vistaril) twice during the day as well, for anxiety..if needed. 

He recently stopped Straterra (which didn't really seem to help in any way) because of some 'male' issues and is now taking Adderall. He takes two doses a day, that's about all I know. He seems to be doing really well on it, however I am afraid to put too much hope in it just yet because his psychiatrist insisted that I come to his appts with him or he wouldn't prescribe it and if I go and report that he's being a complete jerk like he was on Vyvanse and Concerta..he will take him off of it. I don't imagine he could 'fake' it if it was affecting him that way, and he is 'clean' now compared to when he took the others so maybe that will make a huge difference too. He's been on it a week and claims that it really is helping him focus and concentrate...and sleep. He is being super sweet...but not sure if that is the meds or just him wooing me so I won't give his shrink a bad report. LOL Time will tell. 

There is no predicting...

I sure am glad to hear that things seem to be moving in the right direction for you both. You have asked some good questions which I will try to answer...

Was she always this 'detached' and you just didn't notice (or care) when you were in the ADHD fog?: She was never detached, very much a Pleaser to a fault. My DW always had the role to make sure everyone was taken care of. I was amazed by how she could remember every birthday, anniversary, what people liked/disliked, everything I could not do well. There were many times that her Pleaser Standards were expected and not met on my behalf. She began to think that I just did not care to work as hard with these things, so she tried to do them herself and resented this reality. (All long before my diagnosis)

Maybe you married her/fell in love with her because she didn't need/want much from you? Not at all. She was my ideal image of a beautiful woman and we were friends for years, before we ever dated. Indeed I knew she Expected a lot from me. There were boundaries in place (Structure/Rules) which kept us successful as a couple for the most part.

Is it a situation where she was open, loving, affectionate, kind, and interested in sex..and then *wham* she wasn't? After the friendship you had with the co-worker? Nope... We had a good 5 or 6 years of pretty much room mate situation going on. My drive was always higher, but she was hampered with not being able to just forget things and relax like I could. After the diagnosis and co-worker friendship that almost ended everything we had ridiculous drive for about 6 months, then things started tapering off. All the bickering over the weight loss affected things for sure. 

Also, for you...is this about SEX or you wanting a partner to share with, laugh with, and do things with? I am totally against just plain Sex out of obligation. Pity Sex. We have great sex when we do, but I don't want to have sex if we both are not going to enjoy it. I need these connections you describe. 

I have talked to her recently about us needing more time to work on us, she agrees and there is a move in this direction. I've also mentioned that I thought couples therapy would be a good idea to get through some of the Groundhog Day issues. I wish I could be as fluid with my thoughts as you describe, but I have echoed these ideas to her. 

I think things are moving slowly in the right direction...