Social planning

My husband has ADHD and I am so relieved to have found this resource! One thing that I have difficulty with is that I always seem to have to change plans to suit him. We can have something on the schedule for months in advance, and when the event arrives, especially if it is something that I have showed interest in, it always seems that something that is more important to him comes up, or he decides that he doesn't want to do anything at all.  I am feeling as though my wants and needs don't matter anymore and I am losing touch with things that I enjoy.  I suppose I could go do the things I like without him, but that defeats the point of doing things together and sharing each others interests. What can I do? I know I am not handling it well. I typically just give up, go do what he wants to do, but am disappointed that I had to give up the plans for the event that is from my side of the interest spectrum.. 

carathrace's picture


I have noticed this same situation happening with other couples, too.  I don't really know what it's about, unless it's the ADHD symptom of avoiding or not being able to do things that don't interest them.  If you two have a counselor, you could negotiate this with him/her.  I understand why you're upset and I wish I had an answer for you.  Maybe someone else can suggest a work-around that worked for them.  For me, I just know there are some things that my husband isn't be able to tolerate -- usually situations where there are a lot of conversations going on at once, like Christmas Day with my family.  We negotiated that he will come with me, but that I'm ok with him going into another room to read, or going out for a walk for awhile.  He needs a break from the over-stimulation.  Maybe there's some negotiating you can do along those lines?  Then there are other things that I just go and do with my friends -- I enjoy it more with them anyway.

IO's picture


I have pretty much the same issue with my husband! I read all of this stuff about how I should just schedule a date night or fun outing! Just put it on the calendar! But even when I do that, he often just decides when the time comes that he's too tired, or why are we going out to dinner when we went out to breakfast this morning? Or he doesn't feel like spending money, or, or, or. Things have really come to a head at times when he would then announce that he was going out with another friend. Wait, you couldn't go out with me because you were too tired, but you can go do something with someone else? I have even gotten to the point where I am fine with doing what he wants, so long as we are just doing SOMETHING together, but then he just doesn't want to do anything. I'm getting to the point where I feel like I could probably get him to stop watching football (which I hate) by watching it myself, as he just seems to not want to do anything that I *want* to do, or with me.

I understand about doing things that you like without him - while it is fine sometimes, and I do go places with other people or on my own, I want to FEEL like I am married. Sometimes I want to do something romantic, which I can't do alone or with someone else (unless I want to start having an affair, and I most definitely do NOT.) To me, having to do stuff that I like on my own or with other friends is the same as being a single person, so why am I married again?

Bad habits limit social options ADDENDUM

I did not realize for years that my dh did not want to do anything where he could not drink and be able to smoke while doing it. He always was giving me excuses for not wanting to do social things. Usually it was because he didn't like the people or he would put down the event or he would start a fight with me right before we left.  Now I realize drinking and smoking was a bigger part of his life than I even could have guessed.  He is not a fall down drunk but he must have beer every night.  He prefers to sit in the garage and smoke and drink beer and listen to the radio by himself than anything in the world, including being with me.  I have some resentment about his smoking as we supposedly quit smoking together 15 years ago he said he would use a pipe and then cigars to help him ease the quitting.  He never quit the pipe and cigars. The cost of tobacco, highbrow beer and extra health insurance is high for us. I don't want him smoking in the house so he says it is my fault that we don't talk because he can't come in the house.  His addiction and bad habits have become who he is because they limit what he can do without them. It may be that he is soothing his untreated and unaccepted ADD with these habits. But his bad habits have become OUR family problem.  And we are both isolated by his need/preference to soothing himself above the needs of his wife and children.

Every story has various perceptions if I turn the above paragraph around on myself, I will try to figure out MY part in the previous frustration about social options. 

I have difficulty planning social events because I am indecisive and shy. I am judgmental. I take responsibility for other people's moods and try to fix things that are not my business.  I am irritable and have misophonia where I get very angry when people eat sloppily or have bad manners in front of me.  I have become lazy and prefer to watch tv than to get out and socialize. I am uncomfortable around people after awhile when I run out of things to say.  Their mere presence annoys me after and hour or two. I am obsessive about a clean organized house. My irritation limits what I can do socially. I soothe myself with food, computer, my inner thoughts, talking to others, prayer, meditation, groups.  My irritation has broken some relationships. I isolate because I get obsessed and irked.  My family seems distant to me because I lack the skills of soothing and comfort and acceptance.

Now, to put a positive spin on this all rather than picking at the negatives of both of us:  We were young and curious and fun.  We partied and were social and both gregarious when we were young. We found ourselves pregnant and were able to provide a home together as good as we could. We both had opportunities to flourish in careers.  We went to church together when we were young and brought up children we can be proud of. As we are aging, we are experiencing grief and loss which is part of the normal process and we are coping with those things the best we can. We are experiencing fear of unknowns as we are looking at our future and wondering how we will endure with less energy, abilities and resources than we had before and this is a natural fear.  But with faith, acceptance and letting go of our need to control, there can be joy.

I'm just saying...this is life.  I'm not perfect. But sometimes, in self righteous indignation, I come on this site and spew my irritations totally blaming dh for my fears.  I can see that my work is to accept Life on its terms and not to expect anyone to be perfect, including myself.

barneyarff's picture

Jenna That is very impressive


That is very impressive and mature.  You've made me think through the night.

Of course there are 2 sides.  We all know that but to write down your side of the problem shows some courage.

to barneyarff

I have thought about the scorpion and the frog simile that you wrote about too.  We are on similar paths. Nice to know we are not alone.