My husband of 3 years has ADHD. It negatively impacts his quality of life and our marriage. He has no interest in taking medicine or otherwise managing his ADHD because that would be the same as admitting that there's something wrong with him. He claims to like "how his brain works" (I struggled with moderate to severe depression for about 15 years before getting treated so I do understand where he's coming from.) I can appreciate that he likes being him and I want to support him; however, our marriage and lives are falling apart because of this. (He, of course, thinks its because of a host of other reasons.)
The two of us a gradually falling apart because of this issue. We've both gained a lot of weight, can't maintain our finances, or clean the house. It's almost like living with his ADHD has given to to me too, because I used to be good at all those things. Half the time I feel like I'm living with a sullen 13 year old boy instead of a grown man and I resent feeling like his mom instead of his wife. On the flip side, I know he doesn't do those things on purpose, just like if I forget to take my depression medicine I don't go to pieces on purpose.
What can I do to help support my husband and our marriage? Are there books I can read? Websites I can visit? I want to learn to live with his ADHD in a productive way without feeling so much resentment.
Submitted by Mara on
I understand you. I was there on my first 2 years of marriage, we have 6 now. When he was diagnosed I started to learn more about the condition and shared it with him. That motivate him to work on it. Google is a great resource of information, Dr. Hollowell website is great, this blog and forum is very helpful. Dr. Hallowell books are very recommended . I just got Melissa Orlov's book about ADHD and marriage, I'm going to start reading it. If you love each other, there's hope. But you have to work together as a team. Learning about ADHD give you a strong tool to deal with it and improve your marriage. Wish you luck!
One more thing
Submitted by gardener447 on
Welcome. You said: What can I do to help support my husband and our marriage? My first suggestion would be to include yourself in the list of who needs support, from you. Many posts here will echo the theme of "put your own oxygen mask on first" in an airplane emergency. To me this means remembering to eat well, exercise, meditate, sleep, try to recall what I used to think was fun, and do some of it, not beat myself up about not being able to do it all, or about wanting more. It means being as patient, kind and loving to yourself as you want to be to him, and being as committed to being strong for yourself as you are to your marriage. Resentment is a tough one. Nelson Mandela said resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. Try to remember you can't change someone else, you can only change your response to them. I try to remember that my guy's ADD symptoms ARE NOT ABOUT ME, that his crappy coping mechanisms ARE NOT ABOUT ME, and I try to remember that for most of the behavior that bothers me, he's not "doing it to me on purpose". When I can say to myself, wow that's a good example of ____, then I'm more likely to step back, not take it personally, and not get hurt, sometimes even laugh. I don't mean to sound like I have this nailed. I figure I'm at about 15-20%. But that's 15-20% more than I had last year.