So frustrated

I have been married for 14 years to adhd spouse. I am at my wits end... I am tired. So tired of being barked at, not listened to, and expected to be the one that "understands" and lets it go. We have two beautiful children and we are fighting more and more infront of them. Ugh, i cant seem to let it go. I am sick of the immaturity, the not hearing anything, and just childish thinking or behavior. He is 47, we went on vacation last week and he couldnt even pull himself together to make our trip non confrontational. Hes mad and i am mad. He wants physical attention from me and i want nothing that means i will have to touch him. How have other coped? Is this a losing battle. Am i going to be with someone who will be immature forever?

Well... You are at the right place.

I'm the 46 year old guy who was diagnosed a little over two years ago. I had NO idea what I had been dealing with my whole life. After my diagnosis, I began stimulant therapy, counseling and found this website. It has been a roller coaster for the last two years, but things seem to be coming together. Both people need to be involved in the recovery to succeed. There are many great people here on both sides of ADD who can help you work through things. Does your husband know he has ADD? Honestly, I thought ADD was an excuse for poorly behaved kids 3 years ago, now I know differently.

There is hope with hard work. Welcome aboard...


We have known and have been

We have known and have been in counseling for over 10 years. I was hoping for things to get easier and it just gets harder. Its his excuse now, and i dont want to excuse it anymore. The lack of maturity is a huge issue for me. The constant bickering and his refusal to stop is exhausting. For instance, we just got back from an alaskan cruise (trip provided by employer for job well done for employees, basically a work trip) and my husband made no attempt what so ever to try to control himslef and his behavior toward the kids and our tight quarters. He picked fights over nothing in front of the kids. I swallowed all of it, then we went to see my family on the way home and he belittled me and humiliated me in front of family i only get to see every few YEARS! He was impossible. I dont allow it, so i told him to take care and to be in his space and to try to take care of himself FOR the kids. I feel this is our life... Day in and day out... yesterday my son had a baseball game at 6:00, its a half hour away, they had to pick up an extra player on the way and he never told me what time our son needed to eat dinner to be prepared for the game. I was thinking the game was at 7:30, i received no emails on time of the game, husband is assitant coach, so as a partner, i figured he would enlighten me... Well no such luck, he told me they were leaving for the game. It was 4:00 pm. I asked about dinner for jaiden and he said he had to go and then i was extremely upset because there wasnt any communication... I only needed 10 minutes for dinner and when i asked why he hadnt bothered to tell me anything after we have battled all week about his lack of communication, he said he "told me the other day when he was telling me about a conversation he had with a friend about game time....". How did that tell me when i needed to feed our son TODAY? He defended that "This was clearly enough information to determine what time i needed to feed our son by...." Then, he continued to defend and point fingers and tell me i am crazy and over reacting.... I know there was not a malicious intent to not feed our son, its just his way of defending and arguing about a lack of communication. There was never a thought that his talking to me would benefit of our son. I am so frustrated. It is absolutlely zapping all my energy and tolerance. I refuse to allow childish defensive behavior to go on when i see it. He will defend everything, he needs to point fingers in all differnt directions instead of seeing that he could have acted honestly and maturely. Even a simple, "ya know, i didnt think about feeding him, or, oops, sorry, lets work it out right now" its always "no, not me", i told ou ten days ago! I am so disenheartened. All if the workshops and all of the counseling tells ME i have to bend.... That he will never mature, at 40 years of age he will act like a 20 year old and at 60 he will "maybe" mature to a 40 year old. 13 more years of this may not work for me. I know i shouldnt fight in front of the kids but i dont want them to think lying and arguing are the right way to act when you could have made a better decision. Our children watch everything he does and i want them to lean how to be thinkers and not reactors like him. At the same time i am not getting the point across because i am so pissed at his defensive behavior. It is the worst quality i find i have zero tolerance for. And to top all of this off, the man treats me like his father treats his mom, like an idiot... I also refuse to allow that. I have a brain and i am not the kind of person to allow that. If i disagree with him, i am being disrepectful...! His dad is an ass and that is all i see now when i see my husband. And dont even get me started on the alcohol! In our last argument, i asked him to do the math... A chemically depressed person, on meds, (adhd, depression, bipolar), drinking a substance known to be a depressant, is not Going to have a great reaction when he continues to drink. His family gets together every weekend and, if they could, every night, to drink. i know that this is how they all kick back and have fun, so i know this "is one more thing he will do and still get nothing from me" scenario being written off as our future according to him. I know i am asking a lot, but i have taken more than enough to get here. I just want to be with a rational, thoughful (thinking) mature husband.... I know i am being sooo negative, i am in such a mean mood. I'm just mad and tired. sorry. After 14 years of just a repeat of everything, no growth, and constant frustration i feel beat up and am ready to wave the flag. I came from a lousy broken home (3dads, and moved over 20 times) and i dont want to do that to my children. Yes, i have been in therapy for years and years and years.

I am so sorry...

Don't be hard on yourself for being upset. Lack of progress is SO frustrating. The ADD behavior is very hard to deal with, as I've read in countless posts. The problem is it seems that either the ADDer won't accept or do anything about their ADD or the ADDer is trying to learn and improve, but the NonADDer spouse has had so many years of frustration leading to anger that they are afraid to let their guard down because the ADDer's attempts may be the latest hyper-focus and any improvements will not last. I've been married for 16 years and most of them were pretty peaceful, I'm not sure that really means really happy or just getting along... After my diagnosis 2 years ago I've been working hard to improve things and the last two years have been the hardest, go figure... I knew I needed time to show that things are going to be better from me and these changes do not come over night.

I hope for the sake of you and you children that your husband can see what ADD can do to a family. It is not just ADD, but everything that ends up spinning around with it that makes life miserable.


Thanks so much

I really appreciate the thoughtful reply. Sorry the last 2 years have been harder. I wonder if it having a name makes it harder. Or, the meds can make him crazy sometimes too.. There are so many side effects that affect mood. I agree, He does need to try hard, and it's impossible for some one to try 24 hours a day, consecutively. We did have huge talk, around in circles as usual, but he is really trying today.... We did go to a friends bbq tonight and he did not drink either... I'm not much of a drinker since we have had our children. I dont really miss it either. I do catch a lot of flack for it though. I cant imagine how much he will take if he can keep it up. Seems all these north eastern folk like their beer. I am encouraged that you managed to be married for 14 years un diagnosed...! That is some good communicating or a very patient spouse and you probably tried too. Never knew marriage wasnt the "easy, breezy, fun time" happily every after implied. I wonder all the time how people do it. The tough pill for me to swallow sometimes is i never wanted to get married until i was in my late 20s and even then i was sceptical. However, i am reminded everyday that I am so blessed to have our children. So eternally grateful. They keep me going everyday. Just wish it all made sense. If i am so uterly frustrated and cant control myself sometimes, how on earth will he be able to control himself ALL the time.. Its a lose, lose set up to playing on the merry go round... The other tough thing to see is how much pain is in his eyes now that he knows how miserable and frustrated i am. I put that there... The low self esteem has taken yet another blow. This whole process is totally brutal.

Name, maybe...

I think finally realizing we has some real issues made things harder. I responded well to Adderall, it was unbelievable and within 30 minutes I knew what it was like to feel good. Living with 43 years of undiagnosed ADD caused me to develop a lot of bad coping mechanisms that I was going to need to un-do. The biggest change for me was seeing facial expressions and body language. I was like a child trying to learn how to react to them, after a lifetime of never seeing them. I could voice my opinion in an unexpected discussion. I used to shut down in conflict. Not that I did not have an opinion, but I could not pluck one of the 500 things going through my mind in fear of it being the wrong thing to say. I was not tired and cranky when I got home after work. My drinking slowed after children and has really come screeching to to almost nothing since it really nullifies my ADD meds. I don't want to feel that way anymore. My DW is hardly patient... She has the quick fuse, I was the laid back one. I'm not as laid back anymore as I see and hear things that I missed in the past, or I feel like I can react to a situation in real time instead of ignoring it. I believe the kids have saved us, because when things got bad we had to think about them. Marriage is hard even without any disorders. I have said it a million times that if my wife can't put up with me, then I would never marry again. The problem with ADD is that it never goes away... The meds help, knowledge helps, but there are great days and so so days. At least I know what it is that I'm dealing with so I can keep trying to improve things. Self control, like you mention is just a coping mechanism to protect yourself from the conflict. Shut-down and hope things are better later... Not a very good strategy I guess...

This process is brutal and I hope you hang in there.


Oh man, have we been there!

Oh man, have we been there! For years, I carried a lot of anger and resentment on my shoulders only to be told years later (ie, now), that all our problems have been due to my "controlling ways". My DH holds it against me that I felt like you, but doesnt acknowlexge why I felt that way. He refuses to believe his symptoms are at the underlying cause of so much of our problems. Ironically, with the new diagnosis, and my own education of what this is -and how I actually contributed to the problems by codependent behavior (read Melody Beattie's codependent no more)... And my realization that I still loved him caused much of my desire for physical intimacy to return. At first this freaked him out because he, I guess, experienced his own "why now" moment- to having given up on our relationship it seems and just sleeping on the couch. He is having no idea about his behavior which is not helped by his very poor self observation skills, his anger issues, and in our case his self medicating behavior (alcohol addiction) on top of his adhd meds all interferes with our and his recovery process. So now we are here again- room mate marriage, no intimacy, and continuing anger- at least on his side. I dont carry the same weight of anger anymore, though much has been replaced by deep sadness and loneliness. I mourn what this relationship could be if he could deal with his symptoms as they pertain to us, and all the years we wasted not knowing about the same.. And just constantly bickering over what I now know was behavior caused by this disorder.

It is way too hard

It is way too hard sometimes... I just posted a huge rant above. That would be really difficult too. All i can think of now is to say sorry. He misses the intimacy and i cant imagine reaching out for him. We are complete opposites on that front. Thank you for sharing : )