Self-employed with ADHD spouse


I am new to this forum. My husband and I are self-employed. We have been married for 15 years and have been working together for about 16 years. We have so many difficulties working together, largely due to his ADHD issues (and my unproductive coping mechanisms...) I'd like to hear from others who are also dealing with this.

Thank you

Self-employed working with ADD spouse


Hi, I worked with my ADD husband in our small business for 23 yrs.  He made it clear that he was the boss and he wasn't to be

questioned.  I lasted 3 yrs. and was hospitalized for depression. Shortly after I returned, I came across an article on ADD

and  insisted that he should get tested. He was diagnosed and put on Ritalin but I could see no change.

I was positive that he had some kind of brain disorder as his thinking was just so abnormal.  He couldn't complete orders,

couldn't remember to order supplies and when he did there were always mistakes,  couldn't follow a schedule, would

promise orders and not follow through, had no pride in his work,  would put in 8 hrs. and no more & about half of that

he was unproductive, was inappropriate with employees, late paying bills, wouldn't put tools etc. back in place, made constant errors

& didn't learn from mistakes - I could go on and on.  In short, he kept the whole place in utter chaos.   Anne

Working with ADHD spouse

I gave my husband work to do for my small business, in order to justify his salary from the company. Admitedly, it was not work he was well suited to (it required very accurate data entry) and dealing with some jobsworth-type people employed by our major client. It caused nothing but problems. He would leave everything until the very last minute and then blame everyone/thing else for the fact he had missed deadlines or else he would say that there was no real reason for me to insist on a particular date. I just chose arbitrary dates with no real reason, so he didn't see why he should stick to them!!! I was constantly on edge, waiting for the next problem.

Fortunately, the project came to an end, and so I didn't actually have to fire him, but I did tell him I would never work with him again.

It is difficult enough living with an ADHD spouse without working with them as well. If at all possible, I would advise you to extricate yourself from the business arrangement. If that is not possible, then maybe try to re-define your working roles so you take on the areas that he is really weak in or you outsource them. But make sure you don't overload yourself.

Sorry this sounds so negative, but I have survived!


I feel your pain

I actually started the thread that was mentioned above.  Dh is trying the self-employed thing again. I know that the work is out there (he is a CPA), but him being able to take on enough, manage it all and make a decent living is my concern. When he worked for firms, there was an office manager that did the billing, submitting, etc. When he started from home, he realized he had to do all of that and tried to recruit me. I refused. I work other part-time jobs and plus, if I wanted to be an office manager, I would have gotten a job doing that!! Based on being married for 13 years and doing lots of home projects, etc. , I know we would not work well together. (He, of course, doesn't see that.)  

It is hard for you to leave at this point (especially if this is your main source of income and leaving could mean DH might lose business due to lack of organization and other ADHD issues). I wish I had advice, but I am trying to avoid getting intertwined in his business. It is bad enough having him here all the time and dealing with his piles of crap everywhere. Do you want to get out, or just find ways to cope?