So what are we doing this weekend?

I'm just curious. Haven't read much about this topic yet and there is no board about "planning".

What happens when you (non-ADD spouse) inquires about what's going to happen the next few days?

In my situation, my ADD spouse will simply be very annoyed with the question. How can he know what he will do this weekend? How does he know how he's going to feel this weekend? How do I dare ask him the question? Wait a minute, I must have a secret plan for asking the question... 

If at any time at all we decide to do something, 99% of the time, it will not happen. 

So, whenever we are asked somewhere, I learnt to say: "you need to ask him because I can't commit for him". or "we don't make plans in our family". We'll see when the time comes. 

How I learnt to cope (10 years of marriage):

1. I have no expectations at all

2. I never count on him for anything. 

Does any of you have similar experiences? How do you deal with it?

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, my ADHD

Unfortunately, my ADHD husband doesn't have any type of a plan, for any day of the week.  He wings it every day.  I, on the other hand, have my days pretty much planned out.  I had been frustrated with him for many years, because of this but after his diagnosis and some reasoning for it, I have learned to let him be and if plans he talks about happen, so be it.  If I have something planned myself, I let him know about it and he knows he is welcome to join me. 

I have no expectations either and counting on him to follow through on things is slim.  If something does happen I just consider it a little bonus!!!!!!     

I had to laugh at this one.

I had to laugh at this one. Oh yes. My husband thought I was attacking him if I casually asked him what his plans were for the day. On the other hand, I would at least mentally plan my goals each day, even if it was to do nothing. During the week, he would suggest that we do xyz on Saturday. I would be excited and cancel whatever plans I had for the day, thrilled to spend the day with him. When I got up on Saturday morning, he would be gone. He wouldn't return until late evening, when it was way too late to do whatever we were going to do. He would say he forgot. I would be sad. This happened time and time again until I just gave up and refused to schedule anything or at least refused to postpone my plans. And yes..same thing. I never have expectations. I never rely on him. Very sad and certainly not a good marriage.

This sounds like misery

It helps me to read these posts as I mourn my relationship that has fallen apart.  I know I'd be chronically lonely if I stayed, still it hurts when I think of how it was in the beginning - sheer bliss.  That person is gone though and he's not coming back.  The last girlfriend stayed with him for four years.  She has to be a saint. 

Thank you for your posts and I feel for both of you.  It has to painful to be with someone who is never there.

arwen's picture

weekend planning

Yes!  My ADD-husband and I (non-ADD) used to go through this all the time!

Does your spouse understand the need for *any* planning for *anything*?  Mine did not.  I got the point across to him in a somewhat in-your-face object lesson when this got to a critical point with us:  I did absolutely no planning whatever for a vacation we were taking.  I mean none.  I didn't plan any reservations, I didn't plan for packing, I didn't plan any activities.    As a result, we left many many hours behind what my spouse expected, had trouble finding a place to stay, were not able to do some of the things my spouse had wanted, etc etc.  To all complaints and irritations I responded with calm and mild surprise that since he never thought planning mattered, I decided to stop doing it, too.  Since it all revolved around something he really enjoyed, and he wasn't able to have the fun he wanted, it really brought home to him that *somebody* needs to do some planning in order to get a desired outcome.

Not exactly surprisingly, my husband progressed from not understanding the need for any planning to the expectation that I would plan but he did not have to.  Again, I had to implement an object lesson, where the desired outcome required a certain level of input from him, but since he didn't plan, I planned without his input and the outcome was not what he wanted.  I also underscored the need for him to plan to execute his responsibilities by not being able to do things he wanted me to do since I was busy taking care of the responsibilities he hadn't done because he hadn't planned.  The strategy was to figure out what he particularly wanted me to do, and not do it in favor of something he was supposed to have done (taking a leaf from Ghandi's notebook on passive resistance) in order to draw attention to the problem in a way that put the shoe on the other foot so he would really understand, through natural consequences, in a way that just talking didn't seem to do.

Even when I got him to accept the need for planning, it didn't make actually *doing* it any easier.  Planning is not only way down the list of what my husband wants to do, he's really terrible at it.   I promised him that although I would not do it for him, I would help him.  For planning weekends, we arranged to have a meeting to plan together before the weekend, and I put together a sort of catechism for him  (e.g. what are my top three priorities this weekend?  do they require any preparation?  do I have the tools/supplies/information already on hand? etc etc).  We made a few rules, like not all his three top priorities could be "fun stuff", and we always did at least one of his priorities -- that helped insure that he saw some upside for him, but I wasn't locked into a totally ridiculous plan either.  Initially we went through this catechism at the beginning of our meeting.  Later, when he became more comfortable with it, we moved it to something he did on his own before we met.  It helped a lot that his counselor supported this activity, and worked with my husband to get better at dealing with it.

We still have these meetings every week (got one scheduled for tonight!), and although we still sometimes have miscommunications or argue about the merit of something, the *planning* aspect of it goes much more smoothly than it used to.  (But it took us 10 years to get from "why plan?" to where we are now.  Of course, this website wasn't here and I didn't have other good sources of advice, so it was all trial and error.)  Sometimes he fails to go through the catechism before we meet, but he's so familiar with it now that it's quick and fairly easy for him to go through it as we start, sort of like "thinking out loud".  Our weekends don't always work out exactly as we planned -- the unexpected does come up at times -- but mostly because my husband still sucks at dealing with the catechism question "do I have all the tools/supplies/info already" and almost always has to stop what he's doing to find or sometimes even buy something he should have made sure of earlier.  But it's a *vast* improvement over what used to happen.

Hope this helps some!  Good luck, I know it's tough!

these clear examples are so helpful

Arwen,

What I find most valuable about your posts are the way you move from "this isn't working" to "let me try this" and then give us examples.  Actions speak so much louder than words most of the time, especially to those with ADD who don't understand why their behavior is a problem.  I thought this next quote you wrote was just brilliant.  How did you keep yourself from laughing?

"I did absolutely no planning whatever for a vacation we were taking.  I mean none.  I didn't plan any reservations, I didn't plan for packing, I didn't plan any activities.    As a result, we left many many hours behind what my spouse expected, had trouble finding a place to stay, were not able to do some of the things my spouse had wanted, etc etc.  To all complaints and irritations I responded with calm and mild surprise that since he never thought planning mattered, I decided to stop doing it, too."

I especially liked the part that "since he never thought planning mattered, I decided to stop doing it, too."  You not only got his attention, but you did it through action and responded with calm.  Thanks for sharing.

Brenda