slow response

​i have been in a relationship with a man with adhd for 8 months.  i have had a few trying moments but i feel that i really love him and am accepting.  my question is that when he travels for work it sometimes feels like he forgets about me and i don't hear from him for a few days.  in this day of technology it seems so easy to just contact me.  is it normal for someone with adhd to just get so busy and stuck in their own head that they just won't contact their partners for a few days??

looking for insight

I've been married for 27

I've been married for 27 years.  For the past several months, my husband has spent four days every week at his parents' home, helping them out.  He rarely contacts me while he's gone.  It's annoying when I just want a response to something and disheartening when I'm lonely.  Definitely an ADHD thing, I think.

Yea ,  he just told me the

Yea ,  he just told me the night before he left how much he appreciated me and how hard it is being on the road.  The longer we are together I feel like he is distant when he travels it is easier for him to detach because he says he hates being gone and wants to be home.  When we are together I feel very loved, but when he is gone he is gone.  it's hard.  We have gotten into some disagreements over texts and emails as well and this may contribute as well.

Married to ADD DH for 35

Married to ADD DH for 35 years.  He traveled on business for the first 20 years. He lost his wedding ring 15 years ago. He is a salesman.  He would make jokes all the time like "You better take care of me before I leave for out of town. 'Absence makes the Heart Wander.' Ha Ha."  I guess he was really telling me something I didn't want to know. There is now and not now. Here and not here. Impulsiveness.  Delusions.  Denial.  I can see that these tendencies make a relationship difficult when someone is not trying to control themselves.  We all learn we must control our baser instincts....some don't try too hard - the not trying is the problem with my DH.  If he tried to control these things, it would not be as much fun for him. If he had TRIED to control these things I could have loved him.  And I AM a lover.  I love love.  I love to love.  I am in love with love.  I was prime for manipulation - one of his coping tools to hide his challenges.  I really am not in his heart or head while he is out (and he is always out). The reality I must now face  - how little I meant to him all the while I was trying so hard to love this man. Love meaning: to care for, to care about, to hold in your heart even when not together, to desire the companionship, the closeness and work to be together. To put energy into being together because when you are apart, life feels not quite whole and not as good as it is together. To want to share time, resources, plans, space, and the future.  Yeah, he does not love me. Out of sight, out of mind. I am working to accept. I feel so stupid. I must leave or I will go crazy. The thought of leaving makes me crazy.

Very common...

I'm an ADDer and can verify this behavior. Even after 3 years of treatment (Adderall) I can get really plugged-in to what I'm working on and not reach out as often as I should. Now that I know what I'm dealing with it makes more sense. I don't travel much, so my days are very structured and with my auto-pilot functions cued and executed and I usually get everything done that needs to be done. A long time ago I developed a self timer for a quick email or text to my DW during the work day. Around 10am and 4pm I fire off a quick message to her. If I were to travel, things are totally not on auto-pilot and it is a struggle to organize structure into my trip and I could easily get lost in the day and not start up any contact. I would definitely call her sometime before the day was over though, a learned skill of course. I know it is hard not to take the loss of contact personally, but I believe in many cases it is just because the ADDer is out of sorts in the chaos of travel. Also... I have a hard time with "Small talk" in a crazed day and this often got interpreted wrong, so because of many instances of this poor communication skill it makes these calls a little anxiety ridden to make. The anxiety helps keep these calls awkward and helps repeat the cycle.

ADD treatment can really help with these situations.

Structure Helps Me Pay Attention

Lack of structure to my day makes any task less likely to happen.  I personally would probably not forget to call my husband, but lose track of time and don't manage to call my friends enough because I always have other tasks to complete.

Even too much time and no structure can cause the same issue.  I am a teacher, and in some ways, struggle more in the summer to get some things done, because I don't have an inherent schedule.  I have been thinking that it might be a good idea to implement a chore schedule for the summer for daily and weekly chores and another for long-term projects.  Time is nebulous otherwise...


When you were posting this, I was talking to my daughter about why she is all messed up with her sleep cycle. I told her she just lost all of her busy high school structures that kept her organized and in a good routine. You are exactly right about being less effective when there is too much time to get things done. I found it amusing to see you post, right after literally talking about this subject with my DD#1 ;)

Speaking of Sleep...

Yeah, and I fell asleep on my son's bed for two hours, and now I'm wide awake at 12:30 at night.  I have to get up at 5:00, but I don't care because the end of the school year is almost here.  It's like I'm subconsciously preparing for the lack of structure...  I guess that's my cue to go to bed!

Transition to summer

This is difficult, seems like it would not be but it is, so much of my structure is based on the work/school day. I am relieved at the start of summer because now I only have to get ME ready and off to work. Like you stated earlier, because I have too much time I end up rushing around more trying not to be late for work. Funny...

My DD#2 is officially un-diagnosed, but Obviously ADD, and has had issues with bedtime since Day #1 (Slight exaggeration ;) and there were so many times I'd fall asleep sitting in her room at bedtime, then wake up and Not be able to go to sleep. This was before diagnosis and I'd be exhausted when I got home (I could have gone to bed immediately), but had all the kid things to do, so when those things were squared away and I could go to bed, the ADD Curse was there and I was not sleepy at all. THANK YOU Adderall... I can have a somewhat normal sleep cycle ;)

teacher question

Hi, I saw you said you are a teacher and have ADHD, you must have a unique perspective of the classroom then and understanding the kids that also have ADHD. I am so glad the school year is almost out.  My son had 10 different teachers this year, only 2 of them did he have a problem with. He was a failing a class because one teacher would not accept HW if it was handed in 5 minutes after class started, i guess it was to get kids to learn to be organized, my son would do his work and consistently get a zero because it took him a few minutes to locate it, even though it was in his subject folder, it just takes him longer to get it open and 'see it'. I fought with this teacher saying this is not teaching him to be organized he just isn't, so you want to let him fail because it takes an extra minute to find his papers ??  When his grade had finally gone down to a 40, she finally allowed him to hand in all the 'missing' work for partial credit which was never missing in the first place. Completely demoralized him he didn't even want to do his work at that point, 'why bother I'm just gonna get a zero'.  He has gotten an A on almost every paper since this but it took almost the entire year and him failing to get her to understand, so his grade is a C- for the year.

Another teacher just the other day gave my son a detention which i don't have a problem with if he did something that warranted it, but what she did was unacceptable, she called him a baby in class told him this was 8th grade and that he did not belong in the class and that he belonged in kindergarten, so he yelled at her 'you can't talk to me that way', so she threw him out and gave him detention for talking back !  I am so angry.  Belittling a child in front of the class is unacceptable, and it wasn't the first time this has happened. I would have yelled at her too if I was him. Now what is interesting is this is the ONLY teacher all year that gave him constant detentions and insulted him.  Seems to me this one teacher had zero patience and a short temper, the teacher that taught this class the first half of the year said he 'was a pleasure to have in class', then this one has the class the second half of the year and he got detentions almost weekly.  It seems every year there is just one teacher that just doesn't 'get it' when it comes to ADHD and makes the situation worse.  I never know how to handle it, pull him out of that class ? I meet with the team and it does no good, I tell them positive teaching techniques work much better with him than negative harsh techniques. Do you have any suggestions ? 

school issues

I do believe that having ADHD and being a teacher helps me relate to my ADHD students on a much better level, and I have received a lot of positive feedback from parents on how comforting it is to have a teacher who "gets" their child and is looking out for them.  I have been on the receiving end of meanness by some teachers who assumed I was disorganized and inattentive because I didn't care.  I busted my ass in school, was stressed out all the time, spent hours on homework, had to get up every 10 minutes to walk around, or exercise, to "get my energy out."  Thankfully, my parents never questioned my methods, as they never had to nag me to do my homework even once.  I could never figure out what I was supposed to do on projects in middle school as I never received a single rubric.  I was afraid to ask questions because most of my teachers would get mad and ream me out for not paying attention, so my anxiety would sky-rocket, which would distract me, and the process would repeat itself.  It's quite a wonder I learned anything.  No one knew I had ADHD, I never received any special services or was coded because I was "doing too well"  even though my then-undiagnosed ADHD Mom knew I was exactly like her and was the one who had me tested.  I just want my students to have a better experience in school than I did...  I hated school for the longest time.

It's hard for me to make too much commentary on your specific situation, but I can share my experience and ask some questions that might help.  The worst time of day to teach in terms of behavioral issues is the last period of the day.  Medication is starting to wear off for some kids, some kids think school has already ended, particularly if they have a faraway class and have to travel to it with their backpacks at the end of the day.  Loaded backpacks equals school is over, why am I still here?  Sometimes, in the case of an extended release medication, kids may have trouble in the middle of the dosage, because of the split peaks.  I would be beyond shocked if the class where your son received a detention was first thing in the morning.  I always pray that I have my hyperactive kids early, or that they aren't all in the same class.  Now, THAT's a challenge.  "Preferential seating?"  Great, according to law, they're all in the front row...talking to each other.  I always did better in the middle of the classroom rather than in the front row, as long as I wasn't next to a friend.  I was a talker, too.

I don't know you, your son, or your son's teacher, so just take what I'm going to say as general rules of thumb that may or may not apply to your son.  Sometimes, when kids sense a teacher doesn't like them, they make act out even more.  Given that your son already has impulse-control issues and is an 8th grade boy, this could  Remember that we ADHDers often "get off" on a good adrenaline rush of a fight.  It can be highly entertaining to live in the moment until the consequences take hold.  I don't know if you've read Melissa's book yet (highly recommend it), but it is a classroom version of symptom-response-response.   On the note of kids saying a teacher hates them, it is often egocentric adolescent paranoia...just because I don't like it when a student talks all the time and I show aggravation doesn't mean I hate the student, but that the behavior needs improvement.  Many of us can separate the kid from their flaws.  I would be rich if I received a dollar for every kid who complained a teacher didn't like them.  I always ask them to explain, and most often I am able to tell them where the errors in their thinking lie.  They are really at a vulnerable and insecure point in their lives.  However, I do know from first-hand experience that some teachers should not be in a classroom, or even around people; I'm certainly not trying to invalidate your son's experience, but just show you the common themes I see time and time again.

In regards to the yearly experiences of having a teacher who makes it worse, I can suggest a few things.  Don't wait until the shit hits the fan.  Write a very specific e-mail to all of his teachers detailing what helps your son and your concerns based on the past.  If you'd like, put it up as a post here and I can give you some feedback.  Sometimes, it's just a matter of rephrasing things.  Just remember that I'm a teacher and I might tweak your words quite a bit.  I promise to be nice, though :).  The letter needs to be dispassionate in that you should avoid shifting blame to the teachers he's had in the past.  If you say something that sounds like if that teacher hadn't been such a jerk, my Johnny would be able to behave, teachers are going to look at that and write you off as a parent who excuses their child's behavior.  Now, it may well be true that handling him a certain way produces better results.  That is true for my own ADHD son, my students, my Mom, and even me.  Heck, it's probably true for most people.  But if you phrase it in such a way that your anger shows too much or you dismiss the behavior of your son because you are hurting for him in how he's been wronged, you will miss the opportunity to establish a positive relationship with his teachers.   Even though your son has ADHD, he has to find a way to live in the world, with its rules and expectations. It isn't easy; I know that too well.    

I have been the teacher who is the only one giving detentions to a certain student, and I have also been the teacher who is the only one NOT having problems with a particular student to an equal degree.  When I have issues with a particular student not causing issues elsewhere, it could be any number of things:

  • I have that student at a bad time of day
  • the kid has a "fan group" in class which encourages the behavior, and doesn't have that elsewhere
  • kid feels insecure in class and acts out because doesn't know what's going on (kids do this to detract attention away from the fact they don't get it)
  • the student has other teachers who are lax in discipline, so I look like the a-hole who expects them to behave and gives a consequence to that end
  • this is the beginning of something that will eventually spill over to other classes; for whatever reason, I am the lucky one where it started
  • I have had this student for more than one year the student is too comfortable and the other teachers are "shiny and new," which ADHDers love (I do find, unfortunately, that many ADHD students start off strong because they're so damn bright, but once the honeymoon period is over and their binders are starting to overflow, the decrease interest in school coupled with disorganization does them in; this is more true at the END of the year)

and...I am not beyond saying...      

  • I am not perfect and I need to work on my own issues in managing this child better



So here are a few questions:  

1) Which period of the day is this class?

2) What was the incident that fueled the name-calling?  Does that teacher have to talk to him repeatedly about this issue?  What is your son's response?  Does he accept/realize his part in this?

3) ***VERY IMPORTANT***How have you responded to the early assertions by his teacher that he was misbehaving?  Did you communicate with her by phone or e-mail as issues would arise?

If you have been in communication, who initiates?  Has your son been sharing throughout the year or are you surprised when you get an e-mail or phone call?  Are there any discrepancies between the two stories?  If so, how do you handle this?

When you receive word of an issue, are you open-minded that your son might be having some issues, and that the teacher might have his best-interests in mind, but is simply frustrated with the behavior?  Do you think this is the case with any of the teachers he's had issues with? Is there a common theme with the types of symptom-response-response?  Can you sense when a situation is going to escalate?  If so, how do you know?

Did you TELL him you would probably yell, too, or is this just what you're posting here to vent because you are sad that your son was humiliated?  Unfortunately, if you openly supported this response to her ridicule, you will likely see his behavior worsen, because in his mind, if the teacher is mean (true or not), he will be justified in handling it as he did. And because he has ADHD, he will NOT LINK HIS PRIOR BEHAVIOR WITH A FUTURE RESPONSE.  His short-term memory is too porous.  He will think about the meanness, but NOT about his contribution.   Why?  That happened 5 minutes ago.  It has taken me a LONG time (years) with my husband to be able to address my behavior if his response is inappropriate.  Here-and-Now thinking combined with the sting of mean words meant I was not addressing my own issues AT ALL.  But that was still my responsibility. It's not that being hurt  doesn't make it more understandable, or that the other person wasn't at fault, but we are all ultimately responsible for our behavior, and even when our own behavior is difficult to manage (believe me, I so get this and am not trying to minimize), we have to FIND A WAY to help ourselves do better.   

 Why was there a different teacher?  Was the 2nd teacher a substitute?  If so, that would explain a lot.

On another note, I completely agree with you about the homework issue.  It takes me a while to "see" things, too.  And the consequence alone will NOT help your son get a better frontal lobe and be magically organized.  That is a skill I am STILL working on.  Now, I have had classes that are slow responders because they are trying to avoid the start of class.  That doesn't sound like that is the case here.  Finding the right system is extremely difficult, and it also requires he plan out time for reorganizing on a regular basis.  For organization, I will recommend that your son not use the accordion binder.  It is the ADHD Vortex of Doom.  There is no chronological order, kids shove papers into the black hole, and they can't see anything.  It seems great at first, because all of the paper is "trapped" in there, but eventually (and it DOES happen), there is so much paper in there that nothing can be found.  It may well be in there, but when you hate to organize rarely clean out the binder, it just gets worse and worse, and by the end of the year, it's a disaster.  

Here I am again! I need to go to bed.  I don't have time to make sure everything can't be taken the wrong way, so if I sound rude anywhere in this post, know that I don't mean to, and that I apologize in advance!  I hope this is helpful...

Good luck!



Thank You for your comments, was a lot to take in.  Some of it did apply to my son's situation some did not, not a class at the end of the day and his meds tend to last until about 5pm, both his and her story about the incident were the a point, my son actually knows to tell the truth after many times of not giving me the whole picture and getting in trouble for 'lying', she left out the part when she belittled him.  He was talking, she told him to stop, he continued and it escalated.  I understand how frustrating it is when you tell a child to stop doing some behavior and they don't, it drives me nuts too, and I do agree he probably should have been told to go out in the hall, or received detention if he continued to talk, the name calling/belittling however is unacceptable, i expect that behavior from a child not an adult. That was the part I had a problem with.  Some of his other teachers have told me they have a problem with him not being able to stop talking (he does have a hard time with putting the brakes on the mouth), but they have him step out in the hall they state their expectations and he stops, the act of being removed for 10 seconds works (works at home too), without having to yell at him or embarrass him.  Since that wasn't the first time she called him names before sending him out of the class he argued back with her, as he said to me 'I have rights too'. I should have discussed this with her after the first time instead of waiting for it to become a bigger issue.

I did finally seem to figure out a way to help him with the organization/homework part. You were right the Binder WAS an issue, it seems so simple and it is what they are told to do but it doesn't work for him, as you said the amount of papers in each folder just got out of hand, to the point he couldn't close the binder. I gave my son a briefcase, put all his folders in it and he uses that instead of a binder and then having to put the binder in a back pack, some of his papers got lost in the backpack shoved at the bottom never to be seen again. Organizing papers weekly didn't work either, so I have him do that after he completes his homework every single day. He hates doing it, but it takes 10 seconds and he hasn't lost an assignment since. Hopefully now that we seem to have found something that works it wont be an issue next year.

thanks for your comments.

As I appreciate your comments

As I appreciate your comments should start a new thread because  you are talking about everything but my original question  I  not finding this helpful to my particular situation   Thank you 


Pbartender's picture

As for the original issue... 

As for the original issue...  In a word, yes.

Last summer, before I was diagnosed, my wife complained of the exact same thing...  I had driven myself and the kids up to my mother's house to visit for Independence Day (DW couldn't get the time off of work).

While I was there, our car died and I had to find a new one to get home.  At the same time, my mother was having personal issues with both my younger brother and my older sister.  There was far more stress than I'd expected from what was supposed to be a vacation, and an awful lot of distractions.  I got so busy with it all, I didn't call as often as I should have, and inadvertently I made her feel -- understandably -- unappreciated.

Under normal circumstances, it happens as well.  I hate talking on the phone.  For someone with ADHD, it's hard enough to have a focused conversation with a person face to face... but when you can't even see them?  That's truckloads harder.

Also, I know I have a tough time talking to someone if I don't really have anything to say...  I'll find myself putting off phone calls to relatives, until I have enough news to warrant a conversation longer than 5 minutes.  It's a lot easier to maintain my attention on the conversation, if I have something meaningful to contribute.



he was diagnosed 8 years ago

he was diagnosed 8 years ago and is on adderall and takes 3x a day.  we have talked about this and he has said that he doesn't like talking on the phone which many people don't.  he also has stated that he doesn't like to talk if he has nothing going on or doesn't feel he has anything to say.  i get so much attention from him when he is home that i miss it when he is traveling i miss our time together.  we have had a few disagreements which i feel came from messages that we both interrupted differently, he is very literal so i am more mind full of what i send . he has told me he appreciates that he can be himself around me and that he is very grateful for that.  he also has said that his traveling has ended many relationships because it is so unscripted. some of these post make me feel like i should run because he is going to start treating poorly an it's only a matter of time....i find that extremely sad and hurtful for both of us.  we both have full time jobs and and our hours are not the same so we make and effort to be with each other.  because of personal choices we will not get married and will not have children so it's just us and i want to understand more about adhd.

Pbartender's picture

Perhaps, just let him know

Perhaps, just let him know that it doesn't have to be a long or informative call or message...  Just a quick "Good Morning" or "Good Night" or "I miss you" or some such, to let you know he's thinking of you and that he's still alive.

And I'll be honest, I feel the same way about a lot of the posts on these forums...  As someone recently diagnosed with ADHD, and working hard and fast to set things straight, the oodles of stories about ADHDers who DON'T do anything and the non-ADHD spouses who give up on them are terribly discouraging.  Even the forum that's supposed to be about successes are full of those stories.



sorry for going off on

sorry for going off on a tangent on this post...i think its the old case of Out of sight out of mind. my H does the same thing all the time, even if he is home and in the garage, nothing else exists.


Anger, resentment, what point do you say enough?

I found this site last night for the very first time and can't pull myself away.  I am reading my life so many of my thoughts and struggles written by others who are struggling like me.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I am not alone and not crazy nor unstable (as my ADHD spouse likes to say).  At the same time, I'm not feeling very optimistic that my life will get better as the road to reparation and healing seems very long and arduous.

My husband and I have been together for 25 years and married 22 of those years.  First 10 years were great; financially sound, traveled a bit, had a social life and close to family- then there was a gradual and subtle shift in my husband after the 2nd child was born (16 years).  He was diagnosed w/ ADHD about 6 years ago.

 Years later...2012

3 children, one in college and 2 more to follow soon.  A house in an affluent suburb that we can't afford to maintain.  Over our heads in debt and looming future debt.  Overweight ADHD spouse.   Has not contributed any supplemental income for at least 5 years.  Zero saved for college, retirement nor emergency.  No pension, 401k...    No family inheritance to provide a cushion.  We are in our late 40's/early 50s

When my husband was diagnosed with ADHD, there was relief to the extent we know what were dealing with.  Like so many of you, I have tried everything humanly possible to try to save my marriage and have remained hopeful.  It's been about 7 years of really, truly hard times - my spouse had been in and out of therapy and tried so many different types of meds.  I've been on antidepressants and fear that my physical health will be compromised.  To this day, he does not share with me what meds are working or not, if making progress w/ therapist?  On his 4th therapist...that I'm aware of.

My life does not make sense -  my husband is highly intellectual, ivy league educated, articulate, socially adept, handsome and very very get the picture.  Unlike some of the problems non-ADHD spouses struggle with, mine is helpful around the house, responsible with kids, timely, is not prone to bursts of anger, a little forgetful but nothing I can't live with, always smiling and humming, loves to cook, serve cocktails, coffee in the morning...will run errands and offer help to others in I write this, he is taking a long weekend at the beach w/ one of the children.  He left early Friday so he can take full advantage of the beautiful weather.  Looking for work?  Not a priority for him.

We started a business 9 years ago when things got really bad.  We worked really hard and well together initially.  He was very involved in starting the process but once we stabilized, he dropped the ball.  He does not initiate and take responsibilities  - unless I tell him - nag him. I now handle 99% of the business responsibilities. I would love to say the hell with it and not work so hard but it's our only source of income, I can't jeopardize it.  Yes, I would love to go and enjoy the beach with them but he left early Friday and last time I checked, Friday was still a work day. 

The reality is that he will do anything else in the world but face our dire financial reality??  Yes, at moments of clarity, he has admitted that paralysis, denial, emotional shutdown were due to his fear of failure.  And yes, the incessant drone of my voice.  Admission is a start but worthless if there's no follow through to remedy the problems.  I feel as though I've given him too long a rope - I did my best to hold it together for my children and my marriage...I was always able to "figure" something out for us to get by and he has taken that for granted.  I do not for a second discount the struggles ADHD individual live with, but when there is therapy, medication, behavioral changes that he doesn't fully take advantage of, what choice do I have?  This has been going on for at least 7 years...there isn't a universal threshold where beyond we throw in the towel.  For me, 7 years has been long enough.  Divorce seems like the only way I'll get peace in my life - I am deathly sick of fighting over and over about the same issues.  I don't know know what to do differently to get different results - 

For now, the only thing that works for me is to have zero expectation and speak w/him only when necessary.  I know most therapists will agree that this is not a healthy approach but it's the only way right now for me to cope.  The anger and resentment build up is so high that I am unable at this present moment to have any positive thoughts with regard to him or marriage.  I don't know that I have what it takes to repair this marriage -  the damage and the hurt is so painful that I believe I've reached that point of no return.  If I call it quits, am I the bad one who didn't try hard enough? The one who didn't really want it to work from the beginning....been down this road more than once with these familiar words.


I was in your shoes 10 years

I was in your shoes 10 years ago.  Guess what I did?  Kept on doing what you are doing.  Holding it all together while he does "as much as he can. He says he is trying."  He is also intelligent and early in our marriage made a good living until he lost 2 jobs in 2 years and we lived on our savings while he "waited for the next big job to come along" and now it is all gone.   He is the guy everyone loves with a big generous smile always helping out the neighbors with his $10,000's of tools and equipment.  Now, I am in a bind like you.  And very angry that I worked so hard and he "enjoyed life" even while I was working full time, doing all the household work and parenting the boys.  It was him who insisted that we could afford our big house when we bought it.  He seems to have no shame in that he started his business 20 years ago and didn't mak e a decent wage/insurance/retirement from it, counting on me to balance things and pay the home bills.  It is like he seems entitled to me taking care of things.  It is very upsetting isn't it?

already frustrated

My husband decided to take a job out-of-state last August. I fought it hard. He has ADHD - and bad. I think he also has dyslexia and refuses to have that looked at. His symptoms are rather severe, even medicated. I imagine the male ego thing is also in there - feeling incompetent - b/c he lost at least 3 jobs b/c of his ADD now. He is very smart - has a masters degree and is a teacher. He cannot write - is ashamed of his handwriting. He had to leave a note taped to our door a couple months ago for the plumber b/c we would be gone. He actually wrote it on the PC and printer it out instead of handwriting it!

Our story is long and crazy. We have 4 kids. He left us for this "dream" job which I insisted would not pay enough for our family to live - in Chicago - we live 3 hours away in Indiana - it also had no health ins. - he refused to ever look at a budget or discuss and "reality" with me. WHen he does work, he is a total work-aholic and still blames it on the particular job(s), rather than himself. He is extremely creative and spends almost all his time on the fun part of his job - creating power points and other fancy things on the PC to use in lessons. He procrastinates in regards to grading consistantly - shows up late or not at all for meetings, etc. - which led to his losing our "dream" job here in Indiana. He told me that I was "in rebellion to God" for not agreeing to the move with out 4 small kids to Chicago with him. He was convinced that this was God's will for us/him.

So - he went - the health ins. never kicked in, like he said it would. The people whose basement he was planning to stay in for "free" ended up charging him $250 a month. He borrowed $1500 from his sister to buy a car from a junk yard. This car just died in Chicago last week. I paid from Sept. to Dec. $25 a month to his sister for this car, then said he could send the monthly check to his sister. He has not mailed one check. So we owe her about $1400 for a car that no longer exists. He borrowed $1500 from another sister the month before he left for this job to cover our family costs b/c he didn't find any other work before this dream job in another state.

Now the school year is over - he has to work 3 days next week - then he is home again. He has come home faithfully every weekend. I am always relieved when he leaves. His messes are consistant. He never looks at finances. I do all the bills. We got a huge tax return - I spent most of it - intentionally. I kinda regret it now, but he is okay with credit cards and borrowing money - which I am not. We are also $10K in debt to credit cards. I have a degree in architecture but have been a stay-at-home mom until he started losing jobs the past 2 years - then I took 3 and quit 3, at his convenience - long story there - the last full-time job I quit b/c he was leaving the state for his dream job and I didn't want my kids to be in childcare with their dad gone and their mom at work  - also, I thought, what is the point of staying married if I was working full-time and raising the kids myself with him gone?! So, if I was to stay married, I would stay home. My folks are also wealthy and generous, so I had a financial buffer for a while if he lost this Chicago job in short order.

Well, he lasted this job, but for us to move and live in Chicago minimally even, if would require a 20K raise from this year and health ins. - I told him since he typically works 70 to 80 hours a week when he is a teacher I could not work too - I would need to stay home to raise the kids. So, he is giving up the job and coming home next week.

He has not looked for work at all here - he started a couple of job applications but did not finish them - he has been way too stressed. Imagine that! The single man living in another state without wife and 4 kids to care for is more stressed and busy than I am! But it is actually true! He is far more stressed than I am! He is always more taxed and stressed - even when I gave birth to our first child - which lasted 27.5 hours - no epidural - 3 degree lacerations - yada,yada - he could not stay overnight with me at the hospital that had no infant nursery b/c the fathers bed was too uncomfortable - and the next morning I had to call him when his alarm failed to wake him enough to come back to the hospital! Talk about post-traumatic stress syndrome - for me! Not him!

Anyway - he planning to go on unemployment and food stamps. That bothers me SO much! He knew when he signed this contract last July that there would be no summer pay but could not find the time in the past 10 months to look for work! Rather than enable him, I have decided to not look for work. I imagine then that I should be okay with whatever he comes up with - ie: Uncle Sam paying the bills. Praise God (literally) we just got approved again to be on state health insurance. 

So, he is home this weekend and all my thoughts are hateful and frustrated. I had the stomach flu all day Friday. When he got home from CHicago around 8pm that night I said he should not sleep in the bed with my, b/c my sick germs were all over it. He said he would be okay with getting sick - then he wouldn't need to work those last 3 days next week of this job. I said "we really need the pay!" He said "well then we could get the sick pay". All this in front of our 4 kids! Where is the integrity? How am I to respect and admire this man with an attitude like this?!

I try to remind myself that he is really sick. He doesn't mean to be "irresponsible" or "lazy" or make horrible messes everywhere and not clean up after himself. He is incapable of realistic life expectations - a true/extreme idealist. He is not able to do anything different right now b/c he has not had the proper help. I have asked him to read Melissa's book - won't -to take her online course - won't. Won't get checked out for dyslexia. Saw an organizational coach once in Chicago - this was a miracle. He said he would see her again once he mastered the things she taught him. I never heard of a second appt. Of course this was paid for by a credit card, so I imagine this was a good thing.

What to do with my constant anger? I thought I made so much progress while he was gone? It is all coming back. I have gone to Al-Anon. He doesn't drink - 25 years sober - but it has helped me SO much - dealing with someone in denial regarding how sever his problems are affecting the whole family.

Any ideas/any hope? I pray a lot. But my husband has choice in this too.



As we see on the boards here,

As we see on the boards here, other people accept that they have ADD.  They do the extra work it takes to take care of their families even though it is tough for them.  Your husband and mine could be brothers.  Are they sick?   Or just lazy and feel entitled and enabled? Or do they have a WAY lower standard of living expectation than we do?  I stayed because I hated divorce.  I talked to my minister about my anger and resentment and he told me that God does not want us to ruin our lives for any reason. Whose permission do you need to keep your own sanity and give your children a good parenting/marriage example?  


Hi Jennalemon,

I felt really bad the night after I wrote my first post on here - actually maybe it was my second ever.......what if my husband gets well someday and goes on this website and see my description of his issues, etc. - it was be unmistakably our family. I think I might email Melissa to see if she could delete it. Or...what if he goes on just thinking about getting help and sees my harsh words and criticism? That could stop his progress immediately. How do others feel about this?

I am not a technology person - technology has harmed my marriage SO much I resent it, frankly. Facebook/Internet/Work addiction. We are going to run out of cash again soon, so I suggested that the first thing that should go would be the internet and Netflix - all free things at our public library! That's what poor folk do! He was not happy about this suggestion. I imagine it feels like I want to control him this way b/c he knows how I don't like it.

Maybe you and I could talk through personal email accounts?! I don't know if it is really appropriate to put all the personal info into a public space!

It seems like you are a Chr. too. I do not believe in divorce either. I have 4 young kids who adore him and would be devastated by a divorce.

Let me know how we could possibly talk "offline" through email.



you've been in a relationship only 8 months - and you're questioning whether his lack of communication is normal?  If he is ADHD, I suppose it can be normal but exhibiting such symptoms so early on in a relationship goes against what experts about ADHD individuals and their ability to hyper focus on a new relationship.  Your concerns should give you pause to think about what the future would be like - go with you gut.

His lack of communicating is

His lack of communicating is only when he is traveling.  When he is home we see each other several times a week and touch base everyday.  I guess I should define lack of communicating to me.  I expect to hear something everyday.   Maybe it's me?? 


It's not you. 


If it's important to you, he should do it. 


Part of ADHD I believe is lack of empathy, or a lessons version. It's all over this website. 


I would really look at your relationship and see do you want this the rest of your life? 

It's just the beginning.....