So tired of being responsible for EVERYTHING

I'm not even sure I need to say anything more than that.  

It's not that my spouse never does ANYTHING, it's that he can never be counted on to do ANYTHING.  He lacks the organizational skills to have a meaningful career (i.e. got fired 4 times, quit one job with no notice, can make ok money as temp attorney, but again, nothing we can COUNT on).  So he's home with the kids, and since we certainly can't afford private school (due to prior issue) "he" is homeschooling the kids.  Except that I have to find the curricula.  And schedule the county reviews.  And arrange the co-ops.  And make sure the library books are returned.  And create the schedule.  And find and make and print the worksheets.  And remind the kids to do the homework for their co-op classes.  And remind him where the coop classes are and when to go.  And deal with the school board.  And make the kids put their papers away.  And schedule appointments with him to ensure that he grades their papers.  And write or at best help write the lesson plans.  And remind him of the classes he's sposed to teach them, and the books he's supposed to use.  And help my eldest complete his correspondence course.  And find online classes for the kids to take to cover topics he doesn't have time to address.  And deal with the school system for IEP's and such.   And clean up after the kids when I get home.  And make them do chores.  And then clean up HIS mess.

And make dentist appointments, and doctor appointments, and flu shots, and get prescriptions, and pay the bills, and deal with our budget, and fill out all forms, and plan grocery lists, and take kids to extracurricular activities, and help with home improvement projects, and get car repairs done, etc, etc, etc, etc.   

ARGH.  This is in addition to the rest of my JOB.  The one I have.  That makes all the money.  While he is home.  Every day.

If I ask him to do x or y, he'll do it.  Or he'll say he will.  If he doesn't forget and get distracted halfway through and not finish or do a bad job.  That assumes he starts the activity and didn't get distracted and forget before he even began.  Which happens all the time.

I am so tired of having all of this, everything on my shoulders.



I feel your pain.  I'm in my

I feel your pain. 

I'm in my 20s, and married. I have ADHD and so does my husband. The main difference between us when we got married was that mine had been diagnosed and treated since I was in middle school and his had not. His mom had tried, but his dad just thought he needed more will power, maturity, etc...the typical nonsense. His mom responded by basically taking care of and doing everything for him until he was old enough to move out.

Because I've been working hard since I was a kid to manage my ADD, I'm fairly high-functioning. I started living with my husband less than a year after he moved out of his parents' home and found myself suddenly in charge of serving the empty "mom" function in his, cleaning, reminding him to do little things, keeping track of his schedule, reminding him to get to bed and get out of bed for work, finding him new jobs when the old ones ended, managing all the finances, appointments, obligations, you name it. For most of our marriage, I've also been the primary breadwinner.

Having ADD myself, I have enough challenges keeping these sorts of things together on my own. This made the unfairness of it especially strong in my mind, but I forced myself to keep reminding myself how much of an advantage I had in the 10 years of ADD treatment I'd been fortunate enough to have.

Still...I got so mad at him sometimes when I would be counting on him for something and be let down the umpteen millionth time. It's hard not to take it personally when that happens. In that case, however, my ADD was an advantage because once the dust settled (meaning, my anger and frustration) I really could understand his troubles well enough to believe that yes, really, in spite of how it felt he was doing his best and it was not his fault. 

​Having ADD myself also meant that I had no doubt things could get better, that he could learn to be more effective at managing his symptoms. If I could be high-functioning, he could too. I also knew that simply yelling at him, laying on guilt trips, and treating him like he could do better, but wouldn't, wasn't going to help; the people in my life who took that approach with me were not the ones who helped me. 

So...I made a big effort to educate him about ADD, as I'd already educated myself for 10 years (and still do). I didn't hide my frustrations with the situation from him, either, but I made a big effort not to blame or belittle him or imply that he just wasn't trying hard enough. I urged him to keep working on figuring out how to manage his ADD and helped him in his efforts to do so. 

And, here's the big, big thing: when he did things right, I laid the positive reinforcement on thick. Never take successes for granted, even if they seem like simple, basic things to you. With someone who has ADD, negative reinforcement brings avoidance, anxiety, and ultimately, worse ADD. Positive reinforcement makes things better. It really does. I can't tell you the difference between now and five years ago. I truly feel like I have an equal partner in my life and marriage. 

Understanding ADD is the most important thing, because that will help you learn how to forgive and how to help create positive change. Read books, see a counselor (there are usually pro-bono counselors to be found out there), keep talking to folks on message boards like this and encourage him to do the same. Any other advice I'd have for you, I wrote in an article a few years ago, if you'd like to read that:

Otherwise...I'm afraid there's no silver bullet cure, but things CAN get, so much better. Hang in there, and be proud of yourself!