Social Issues

I have been married for 22 years to a man who was recently (2 months ago) diagnosed with ADHD by a well known psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD in children and adults.  However, he only confirmed what I already knew.  Who can lose his keys everyday for 22 years straight?  Anyway, today was a bad day and prompted this question.  My husband makes stupid statements often, and as if they are not stupid the first time, he repeats them about 5 times in a row.  This is so frustrating and embarassing to our children, especially when said in front of others.  For instance this morning my sixteen year old daughter turned on the kitchen tap but I had placed a block of cheese temporarily in the sink on some aluminum foil for lack of room as I was making lunches for the day.  I said something like "Honey, come on..don't you see the cheese?"  She said "oh, I didn't see it there."  It wasn't a big deal, and I can't blame her really-who's expecting cheese to be in the sink anyway?"  Then my husband rushes over and says to our daughter "WHATS WRONG WITH YOU???..." to which she cuts him off and reacts rudely.  He doesn't seem to sense that nothing more needed to be said.  That scenario happens constantly.  Does anyone identify with this?  Is this ADHD or something else?  Minutes after this encounter, as my husband is putting on his shoes to go out the door to work he begins telling the dog "you should go up and poop on xxxxx's bed". (daughters name)  He goes on to repeat this about 5 times.  "OK I say, that's enough."  and out he goes out the door with daughter two steps behind( (he drops her off at school) saying to me "this is why life sucks!" as she goes out the door.  Does this sound familliar to anyone or is  my husband one of a kind?  He has a horrible relationship at best with our daughter and our son (18) pities his father and puts up with his behavior most of the time.  But not always.  I try to keep the children respectful but he has not given them alot to respect.  And when they are disrespectful he blames their behavior on me.  Honestly I  do bear a measure of responsibility for their lack of respect but putting up with his behavior for 22 years I'm pretty sure will earn me sainthood.  So I guess I'm asking about the social issues of ADHD.  I've read that ADHD persons have social problems but is this what they mean?  Is there anybody out there who can indentify or help me understand this?  Or is it just his own strange personality?  I've have so much more to say but it's hard for me to put on paper what I'm feeling and thinking inside. Maybe I haven't explained enough of his behavior for a person to understand. There is so much more to his strange behavior....  Thank you in advance for listening and I'm sorry if I added this in the wrong place.  

sad and frustrated 

Social issues

Social issues and my husband. I basically can't bring my husband to work functions, or any social functions because of what may come flying out of his mouth. It is sad but I can't risk it. It appears that he can keep himself in check for his friend and his co-workers but because he is not really invested in the relationship with my friends he puts forth no effort. Recently we went to a dear friends home and instead of socializing with the adults, he stayed upstairs playing with the kids the whole time. I just accept these social limitations. I don't bring him places and go alone because I want to enjoy my friends and taking him along usually ruins it for me. Or he is just plain rude and will just sit using his blackberry the whole time being completely anti social. Am I right to just give up, go alone and enjoy myself rather than be subjected to the pain and embarassment of his ADD behaviors that are quite ODD to everyone but him. Signed Socially Frustrated.

Social issues

You said something that I realized is true in our relationship also.  With HIS co-workers he is very professional.  But with my family or our friends he who knows what he might say.  He only like to be with people that he feels superior to-so he can talk and talk and tell them what to do in every aspect of their lives. (I'ts so embarassing)  He also talks louder and louder and is almost yelling.  Until I say something.  Also, in some situations he will hug people who it really is not proper to hug (in that particular situation.)  Or he will keep touching their arm continuously as he's talking to them.  Or he will say "thankyou" 100 times  until it is totally ridiculous and embarassing. Is this typical of an ADHD affected person? Or is there another name for it?  And when I try to talk to him about it, I am the one with the problem.  



Social Issues

You are actually asking a diagnostic question - is there something else that is going on here, or is this a symptom of ADD?  As such, I think it is wise to ask the same doctor that diagnosed your husband these questions.  It is true that many with ADD don't read social cues very well, but there may be something else, too, though not being a doctor, I won't put any specific suggestions down here.

As for the "is it okay to go by myself" to parties, etc. personal opinion is "whatever works for a couple".  There are some things which interest my husband not at all...and I would feel badly if his disinterest meant I couldn't partake.  Neither of us is the worse for the fact that I do some things alone (and vice versa, so does he).  If the rest of the marriage is okay, and it's an issue of just not going everywhere together, then I wouldn't worry about it.  If you would prefer that he goes, but don't feel he can, then pursuing these questions with the doc is your best bet.

social issues

I also experience the talking louder and louder and then practically yelling, until I say something, too.  I also think my husband likes to be with people he feels superior to, as he likes to talk and talk and tell people what they should do and also how to do it.  They are very good at telling people how to do something because it seems that we can never do anything the right way.  I have learned to let this go with my husband but some of the people he encounters don't like this trait and get very annoyed.  I'm also wondering if anybody has a problem with their ADDer not being able to have a normal conversation with somebody.  Such as talking about family, friends, likes, dislikes, plans for the future, etc.   My husband seems to only be able to talk about what he is focused on, and he goes on and on and on and on, until I can hardly stand to be around him.  Not meaning to be rude, but alot of the time I could care less about what he chooses to talk about and I'm sure other people feel the same way when we're in a social situation.  I try to grin and bear it because I don't want to hurt his feelings.  You all know how that goes!!

I have the same tendency from

I have the same tendency from time to time - I can yammer on ad nauseum about a topic of interest to me, and realized not too long ago that people that don't share my level of interest in a particular subject don't want to listen to 20 minutes of whatever it is I have to say. Example - I like music. I like it a lot. I can talk for hours about guitars, amplifiers, bands, etc. I can explain to you how the singer from CCR was sued for plagiarizing himself. The problem is, I sometimes have trouble recognizing when you've gotten tired of listening. If there's a way to address this with your husband in a non-confrontational manner, it might be worth a try. Pragmatic skills can be sorely lacking in us with ADHD (try waiting in a long line with us!), and I know that I appreciate a gentle reminder once in a while that I need to not monopolize a conversation. When your husband tells people what to do and how to do it, does he say it in a mean, critical way, or is his intent to help the other person? People with ADHD have a different way of seeing the world, and can sometimes come up with unusual ways of doing things. Maybe he's trying to communicate this to others? Just a thought I had.

Yes, you deserve sainthood.

Pinning down whether or not behaviors stem from ADHD, are a result of compensating for ADHD, or are just part of their personality unrelated to ADHD is a VERY difficult and confusing task.  Certainly, some of the things you describe fit what is commonly seen in those affected by ADHD.  What helped me immensely was to read Is it You, Me, or Adult ADHD?  What a great resource for partners of those with ADHD!

My heart aches for the confusion and frustration that so many partners face. I've been there for 14 years.  I don't think that those who haven't experienced it could ever comprehend it.  Sad and frustrated, and anonymous, all I can really suggest to embarking on a journey of discovery and enlightenment of yourselves.  Read the various forums, but more importantly, read professionally published books.  I highly recommend the book mentioned above for all partners of those who have ADHD.  It was a great help to me.

You Me or ADD?

Glad to hear you liked this book.  I ordered it, but decided against reading it until after my own book is finished so that the author's ideas don't creep into my own.  But it's good to know there is another marriage/add resource out there!

Thank you for your encouragement

Ryan H, Thank you for your encouragement. I have read "Is it You, Me, or Adult ADHD?" and it is a great resource for partners as you said. I think I need to read it again! And I agree wholeheartedly that those who haven't experienced it could ever comprehend it.. That's why it's so nice to be able to connect with others who do.

social issues

I too have experienced the same traits in my ADHD husband.  My husband also has had a horrible relationship with our daughter and because of that, there has been no respect in either direction.  For many years, I thought it was just a result of his rotten childhood and his thoughts that if he had been miserable all of his life, then everybody else was suppose to be, too.  I also received all the blame for the behavior.  My experiences led me to believe that my husband was perhaps a little jealous of our daughter, as my side of the family was always close, always encouraging and always wanted to make life better for the next generation.  For most of our years together, I was blessed with being the main caregiver and followed suit with the way I was raised.  Unfortunately, that was not the case for my husband, as a result of his past and very seldom did he show any interest in helping me raise our daughter.  We think deep down this caused him to carry alot of resentment because of past choices he made.  I'm lucky in that we have been able to discuss these feelings and he is trying to work through them. 

Social & Family Issues

I have the same experience with my husband.  If I have something to tell the kids, he has to repeat what I said and add many more comments.  When he's telling a story, he repeats the same thing several times to make sure that everyone got it.  He grew up in a family that did this constantly.  I honestly think his mother has ADD too.  I've been married to him nearly 30 years, and it's only become more of a challenge to deal with this. When our sons were teens, it was very dificult for them to deal with their dad's repetitive way of communicating, but they have all learned how to deal with it as adults.  Our daughter is having a really hard time with it, as she's so aware that her dad doesn't listen to her and feels very invisible with him.  I've tried for years to make my husband aware of his interactions with the kids, but there has been no change. 

My husband is unwilling to look at his ADD behaviors or do anything about them.  What I have to constantly work on are my own reactions to his behaviors and also try to help my children have a decent respect for their dad without dismissing their insights and feelings about his treatment of them. 

reply to plant lover on social issues

My mouth dropped open when reading your comment. Your last sentence "what I have to constantly work on are my own reactions to his behaviors and also try to help my children have a decent respect for their dad without dismissing their insights and feeling about his treatment of them" could have come from me if I knew better how to express my feelings in writing. I thought I was the only one in the world facing the challenges I have had to face. My son 18 handles his father's behavior better than my 16 year old daughter and I am hoping that as they mature their understanding will grow as it seems to have done with your sons. However, from the time my children were babies on up to 4 to 5 years ago my husband would have violent angry outbursts. Very frightening for all of us. As frightened as I was, I can only imagine how frightened the children were. And his outbursts were always over little things that you would never have expected could lead to such a fit. And the day after, or even the evening of the episode, he would almost always apologize. And usually cry and say he'd never do that again.....But time after time it happened and time after time he'd apologize and the cycle would continue. Now my daughter has no respect for her father because of this history even though his rages are very infrequent (almost non existent). When he asks "why is she so rude?' or is sad because she doesn't want anything to do with him...I try to explain gently as possible because he is so emotionally fragile. (Which seems so unfair. This guy has caused so much difficulty for everyone else and we have to treat him with kid gloves) And he doesn't seem to understand. He doesn't get it. I try to help him find ways to communicate with the children that will be more successful and he can't seem to do it. He keeps going back to teasing. He says silly things that don't make much sense, and just irritate the kids. They respond badly and he continues and the cycle continues. And funny enough I am sure his mother has ADHD too. I would like to get counseling for my daughter and did try in the past but because of his rage issues they wanted to and did inform children's aid. (That's another story in itself) I did manage to find counseling for her but she was not comfortable with the therapist. However, I would like to find someone to help her that is familiar with the behaviors of an ADHD parent. I'm sure this is rare and expensive. And she is still very changeable-at one moment she may agree to go to talk to someone and then the next minute not. But it may be something we will have to deal with in the future when she is more mature. Thanks again for letting me "vent"!

Social Issues Reply

Thanks for your reply.  I totally connected with your comment about your husband's fragile feelings and how difficult it is to communicate with him.  My husband is the same, and I'd include that he has a very fragile ego and little self-esteem.  He has so much shame from feeling "wrong" all his growing up life, and from being in a family with very strong dynamics, led by his very strong and ADD mother.  I've watched the family for 35 years, and most of the time there's no logic or sense to what his Mom says, it's just how she views the world.  I try to imagine what it was like for a youngest child with ADD to make sense growing in a family that made no sense.  So I understand that the shame is enormous.  BUT, holding on to that is not helping him in the present, and I wish he could see that.

My daughter is 7 years younger than any of my sons and is very sensitive to being "invisible" in the family.  I don't see it the way she does, and am working with her, but she feels very ignored.  So when she comes home and go into a room with her Dad and he's so completely into the video game that he's playing and the conversation he's having with me that he doesn't even greet her, her feelings are deeply hurt.  This happens to her several times a week.  The other behavior that I find challenging is that he always has an excuse for not doing something.  He doesn't take responsibility for his behavior, but just excuses himself.

I talked to our therapist recently.  He thought it would be a good idea for my husband and I to see him together (which we've done in the past), and to start to work out a plan for helping my husband create a better relationship with our daughter.  She really needs a strong dad influence at this point in her lie, and I want to support him to do more than he's done.  The therapist also suggested bringing in our daughter and having him guide my husband and daughter in creating a plan of action together.  Because my husband blows off most of what I say to him, the therapist is hoping that his guidance can create a beginning.  He also said that our daughter is now old enough to hold her dad accountable for some of his behaviors.   I've accepted that he's not going to work for changes for himself or for me, but I hope that he'll work to improve things with our daughter. 

It helps me to read that other women are dealing with the same struggles.  None of my friends have these issues, and I feel so lonely.  I don't have anyone locally with whom to share these thoughts.   But my life is so stressful and I spend so much time just dealing with his energy and his way of doing things that I have less and less to offer to anyone else.  I appreciate all of you who share your stories.  I know we're all trying to manage challenging relationships and busy lives.  Wishing you all a bright point somewhere in this week.

reply to plantlover

None of my friends have these issues either.  Before I found this site I thought I was the only one in the world who had them. And yes he has a very fragile ego and little self esteem.  It's interesting the difference in the behaviors of our daughters.  My daughter (16) is so angry at her father and is barely civil to him. (Except when she wants him to buy her something-he (probably feeling guilty for the past) will buy her just about anything unless I step in. And I find that whole dynamic really unhealthy too) Anyway this creates alot of stress in the family.  At the same time I understand her underlying anger, but try to encourage respect.  He often responds just as badly as she does, instead of taking the higher road.  Or he becomes sad to the point of tears and can't understand her treatment of him.  It's so frustrating to be in the middle.  I have often thought that since she survived many of his terrifying violent rages that she would be afraid of him and therefore be afraid to be rude or act disobediently toward him.  We have discussed this and she says that when she was little she was so afraid of him (and still is) that the only way she could try to protect herself was to be tough and aggressive back so that he would not see her fear.  This is her explanation.  Yesterday she told me that in English class they were asked to write about the most frightening thing that ever happened to them.  She and her friend whispered to each other that they could not tell the most frightening thing (since they both had violent/abusive fathers) and didn't want to end up with an investigation by childrens aid.  So my daughter raised her hand and asked the teacher if it would be ok if they wrote about their most frightening dream.  And so they did.  Anyway, it underscored for me how this is still very much alive in her mind.  She fears him yet doesn't want to show it and covers up by being touch and rude. And I can't seem to help her to react differently.  But as I said before, I am hoping that as she matures she will be more open to  receiving the counseling that she needs. 

reply on social issues to plantlover and sad and frustrated

My mouth also dropped open when reading your comments.  It's the same between my husband and 20 year old daughter.  Most of the time they are invisible to each other.  His head buried in the computer, she walks by, nothing said in either direction and the cycle continues.  The disrespect continues.  I wonder why!!??!!  I've talked to my husband about it, I've talked to my daughter about it and I get the same response, why should I, nothing will change.  As I have stated before, my husband made the choice to not be a valuable part of our daughter's life and now is suffering the consequences.  I will always believe that this is a result of his own childhood, where, because of unfortunate circumstances, he did not receive the proper nurturing, therefore never learning how too.  I hope deep down my husband wants to make a change,  for the better, at some point in his life but I'm not sure he sees it as one of his top priorities.  He has so many other issues that he is dealing with.  At least, for now, with the help of learning recently, that alot of my husband's issues were due to ADD, just diagnosed, they can be civil to each other every once in a while.  I still don't understand why husband can't talk to daughter about their issues.  I've asked him to take her out to lunch so they can talk and perhaps settle their differences, but that hasn't happened and probably never will.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised at this because my husband and his mother always had their differences and never got along good either.  So, why wouldn't it be the same in our family.  At least he has finally acknowledged this and we've talked about it with his counselor.  I think maybe he is afraid of what our daughter might have to say to him and will only bring about more regret.  Perhaps someday!!!!!  Lucky, for her, she is strong like me and has accepted his shortfalls, with encouragement from me and has found this nurturing through her boyfriend's family.  They have accepted her, as a part of their family.  Of course, this makes me happy and sad, all at the same time, as you can imagine, but it's good for her. 

to newfdogswife

My husband did not involve himself with the children when they were younger either!  Everything was for me to take care of.  He admits this now and cannot even look at pictures of when they were small.  And then they wonder why things are the way they are now??? I can understand your mixed feeling over the  nuturing she receives from her boyfriends family.  When my children were born I thought I could give them the world but it didn't work out quite as I had hoped.

ADHD in your husband

This sounds very familiar "Sad and Frustrated". Your husband definitely has ADHD. Coming from a person that has ADHD, i will tell you that your husband for the better part is socially akward. People with adhd tend to act on impulse, saying the first thing that pops into our minds. That part just can be helped but only by will power of your husband, he has to want to stop saying stuff like "you should go poop on XXXX's bed". Medication does help with other aspects such as forgetfulness, and other "symptoms" of adhd. These are typical ADHD behaviors. As i am not a doctor i can only speculate, but i would try and see if any type of medication would be appropriate for him. Then again he will have to remember to take the medication on a daily basis. Just google ADHD social issues. Best of luck JJ a person with ADHD P.S. 22 years is a long time the medication may have effects on his mood i know it does for me. so you may want to have him try itfor a month and then make a decision together on wether or not to continue that kind of treatment. sorry if i misspelled anything

Question for all ADD/ADHDers about abuse/anger

I truly appreciate the frank and honest posts from all of you.  I have learned a great deal from you and have tried to be more understanding toward my ADHD husband based on that.  I would really like to hear from those of you ADDers who have those anger and abuse issues that many non-add spouses (including me) are writing about.  Could you explain or describe what it is like for you either hearing from a hurt spouse how you have disrespected/hurt/abused them again or if you do recognize that anger and abuse in yourself as you are doing it...what is that like for you???  Are you on medication for that specific symptom? Does it work?  What helps?  Please help me understand this side of my husband.   He is not as self aware as many of you are in your postings.  Please help me help him.  I really want to understand this!

Thank you and God bless!