She (non-add) Read the Book. . . .doesn't matter, and she doesn't care

My wife took a vacation away from me with the kids to see her family.  I secretly stowed the book in her luggage with a nice love'ish letter.  She "skimmed" the book and found "a lot" that she related to and understood.   But it's all for naught.  She's absolutely stuck in anger mode and told me last night that she wants a separation (read: with all that she's planned for, divorce; but she has to wait a year to get that).  I tried talking to her and pleading with her, but literally, every statement I made was instantly morphed into a putdown or threat in her eyes.  Even when I spoke specifically about myself, she took that my actually talking about her when she "read between the lines."  I'm absolutely sick with grief for the life she's going to inflict upon our children. . . .who are 4 and not even 2.   

ANY advice would be GREATLY appreciated! 

ebb and flow's picture


I hate to say this but it sorta sounds like, "too little, too late".

I know you made a beautiful attempt by sending a book, and with a love letter none the less, but it sounds like if she's taken the kids out of the home to grandparents she's pretty much had it with the symptoms!

Anger is not the way to solve the situation but if she's anything like me (non-ADDer) it's about survival at this point. Sounds like she really doesn't understand what's going on with regards to the ADD and the only way she could cope is through anger.

Give her some time to cool...

In the meantime you could do a few things to make life better FOR YOU! (and in a round about way, it may make things better for the marriage). Are you on meds for the ADD? Have you considered therapy with someone who understands what you are dealing with regularly? If there are issues with time management and balance in your life, have you considered a coach??? These are a few things you could work on and have control over with regards to the situation. They are all positive things you could get your mind to 'focus on' instead of the overwhelming grief feeling. :(

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this right now.

I'm just giving you advice from a non-ADDer perspective... Kinda like, what I would hope you would do if you were my ADD partner and I left the home...

I hope it was helpful. :)

Good luck!!! :)


Consider giving her time and space...perhaps suggest to her that during this separation you would like for her to consider the two of you work on the marriage instead of jumping into divorce.  I am in your wife's position right now and have asked for a separation, but I would welcome the idea of us working together to see if we can come back to each other.  That is not to say that things WILL work out, but it's worth a shot.

You will have to give her time and space, however.  If she has asked for it, you need to respect that she needs it and listen.

Just my 2 cents.......

Hard to do, but trying

Space is exactly what she wants and is in hyper-drive to get it.  I know it's going to be hard.  . . .very hard, but I'm praying every morning and night for God to soften both our hearts to Him and to each other. . . .and for Him to give me the strength and patience to allow her to find me again.  Thank you. 

waynebloss's picture

I am there

I am the one with ADD, for the last 2-3 years our marriage has started to go downhill and now it is at the bottom.  I was recently diagnosed and started counseling and medication which have allowed me to start making changes for the better...FOR ME.  My wife has stated that she needs time and space to start to heal and see if there will be a us in the future.  I did not understand why she needed all this space and time and for months I would not give it to her, then finally we hit rock bottom last month.  Then it was decided that I would move downstairs and she would remain upstairs.  We have 2 children 6 and 5 and they are usually in bed by 7(Ish)pm, once they are down I go to my living area and she stays in hers.  We do not talk about anything except for the kids and schedules, that is it.  She has her 3-4 nights a week where she can work late, go to the gym, go out with friends or just hang out with no communication with me as to where, who and what time.  It has been HELL but I understand about the time and space needed, I needed it as well as my wife, which I did not know until it happen.  The book was a VERY bad idea and it backfired, this is the time you need to leave her alone, stop bothering her, stop trying to "help" her with her issues.  It is like having her try and "help" you with yours, you would not accept it nor would you ask for it! 

I am seriously in the same position right now, I do not know if we are going to divorce or if we will stay married, I am hoping to stay married but all I can control is me and not her.  I can make changes for me which allow me to be a better person, which will either show her that I am changing and that ADD is in control or it might be too late, if that is the case then I making myself better and that will pay off for me.  Sounds a little harsh, but right now all you need to concentrate on is you and leave her alone. 

My wife and I still wear our wedding rings and our last counseling session, she stated she still loves me, so I am going with that and hope for the best.  I trust that she is not cheating, but she is finding herself and letting all the anger/stress/hate/sadness decrease which will allow her to start the healing process. 

I wish you the best of luck, but please leave her alone, stop trying to resolve her issues and start resolving yours.


Keep in there!

I am doing just that, giving her space.  It is very hard for me not to express my love and affection for her and hope for "us".  If your spouse has yet to leave the home and actually can say she still loves you. . . .you are a lucky man.  I know my wife will not say that to me.  Her anger has completely blinded her.  Hope is eternal. 

waynebloss's picture

I love you, not in 4 months

She is still here but the words "I Love You" have not been spoken for 4 months now..I still whisper it, but she has not said those words to me.

Thank you, very much!

Especially coming from a Non-add spouse, thank you thank you thank you.  I think your words are spot on, especially the "survival".  She is now constantly bringing up cherry-picked items (ALL from the non-add perspective) and twisting them to make a point of how awful I am or proof that I won't do this or that.  I've been told to just let it happen and allow her to find her own peace.   It just kills me knowing what it's going to do to our kids. 

ebb and flow's picture


I know its hard to hear her angry rants... but maybe try to listen and more importantly *hear* what it is she's saying underneath the angry tone.

Especially all the "cherry-picked items"... those are the things that, on their own are trivial, but collectively hold enough power to destroy a relationship!

Hear her...

Usually under the anger is a hurting, wounded partner who just wishes you'd acknowledge her pain--even if it feels like a direct attack towards you! Remember, she's probably just attacking the ADD symptoms, not you! If she hasn't been educating herself, though, it will be hard for her to separate the person from the symptoms.

Try to separate *yourself* from the symptoms so that you can hear her words and know what to work on. It may be easier that way so that you don't end up feeling so defensive when she's sharing her feelings.

So, I'm still curious to know if you are on meds, or using therapy or coaching... You don't have to share if you don't want to...

I was just asking because if you weren't using any of those tools, they may be of some help to you both! And starting one or all of those things may be what she's waiting to hear from you.

Just a stab in the dark! I'm no expert... that's for sure! ;)


I've gotten a couple of names of therapists who specialize in ADD from the therapist my wife  and I used to see.  I'll be calling them next week to see which one fits best with me.  Bottom line. . . .I'm about to get knee deep into it.  I'm halfway through the book also.   

I've not been on meds for a LONG time.  I tried Stratera (SP?), and I've got a REALLY REALLY low tolerance to all meds.  They gave me a child's dose - at the time I was 6'2, 195 lbs.  Within 30 minutes, I could hold out my arms and hear and feel my pulse.  It scared the crap out of me and I decided to punt.  That was 20 years ago.   

It was not until finding the book that I EVER was able to listen to anyone or read anything that really captured how I feel and think.  I actually did a 20 page report on ADD back in college (psych minor).  It was during an interview of a psychologist that I first self diagnosed myself - my interviewee confirmed my own diagnosis.