someone please help us.....

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD and Bi-polar, which includes depression and anxiety.... We have been married for almost 6 years, and after about our first MAGICAL 3 mos its been a real struggle. We have had 6 different counselors, both individual and marriage, it seems to get better for awhile but ALWAYS goes back to the same crap. We have been separated probably 4 times, and I almost divorced him in Jan

I know all the typical symptoms of ADD but does anyone elses add spouse act like a child??? like literally he torments and teases me and our children the way a big brother would. kicking and pushing to the point where they cry and then he laughs. I dont know what to do....

Also no matter how hard i try, I still continue to do EVERYTHING for him, I find him jobs, I make his dr appts, I pick up his meds, etc.... I ve tried to just let him do it but then he doesnt do it and that affects our family.

He has been in and out of jobs for the last 3 years. We currently live in a bedroom in the basement of his brothers house with our three kids.

I almost committed suicide a few weeks ago- I know its horrible and selfish, but I feel like im in a black hole that never gets better. I feel like im the only one that cares. I feel like he just keeps me around for convenience, I am more of a mother than a wife

I also have a VERY angry 3yr old and my 9 yr old has ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder.

How do I get him to take me seriously??? He knows ill never go through with a divorce. How do I get him to realize that his behavior is killing me?

I desperatly need a help meet, a companion not a 40 yr old teenager

Please help me

Oh Erica, we're here for you


I feel for you and I'm sure you will find a lot of support in this forum.  You are in a very tough place right now between the stresses of your husband and your children.  I'm there, too.  Did I read in a different post that he was diagnosed, but can't get medicine for 3 weeks?  (Bizarre!)

Yes, many ADD spouses feel like parents to children rather than partners.  It's horrible.  Keep in mind, my husband does not have severe ADHD symptoms and he is not bi-polar.  However, even a lesser case of ADD can feel off-balance. ADHD has some serious relational consequences. 

I reached a crisis point myself last month.  Like you, I can't consider divorce.  But, I can consider separation.  My husband finally took me seriously when he heard me calling my mother (sobbing hysterically) and asking if I could come stay with her for a few weeks.  Let me tell you, calling my mother was the most humbling experience of my life (she was wonderful) and my husband knew it and felt it and we are working toward solving many of the problems ADHD causes. 

So, do you have anywhere you can go for a while?  It's almost summer, so you shouldn't have to worry about school schedules.  Can you stay with a parent/sibling for a few weeks until he can at least get started on medication?

Let us support you,




Wow Erica,  that is a LOT to deal with!  I don't know that I have heard of bi-polar and ADD together.  That would be really really tough!!  And then dealing with kids who have issues  I am so sorry!  When was your husband diagnosed?  Was it recent; before the marriage; shortly after?  I admire you for saying you would never go through with a divorce.  That's a big statement!  In some ways, I think knowing that will HELP your ADD spouse, even though I am sure you fear that it will make him less accountable.  But there is so much insecurity and low self-esteem with ADD that the fear of a spouse leaving could be so paralyzing that he would be unable to make any positive changes at all.  However, you DO need help for yourself!  Sounds like you are already working with counselors.  That's great.  Make sure you continue to go, especially if you are having any suicidal thoughts at all.  Even if you go by yourself and for yourself (vs. marriage), you definitely need that support.  In an emergency, please call a suicide hotline!

I am not sure how to advise you because those are some complicated diagnoses.  Feeling like a parent toward an ADHD spouse is very normal and common.  My DH and I have fallen into that pattern for years (married 19 yrs in July).  It's not fun for the ADD spouse either, but I don't really blame him (or you).  It is natural to resort to that when we will not pick up our responsibilities or complete necessary tasks.  BUT it is NOT healthy for the relationship.  It leaves both of us (you) feeling bad.  What I am not sure about yet is what you (the non-ADHD spouse) ARE supposed to do!?  I am actively seeking help and that is one of the things I hope we can figure out.

I do think that doing everything for him will enable the bad behavior.  ALTHOUGH...traditional "tough love" is not really the answer either because if we feel alone, we easily get overwhelmed and give up or shut down.  If you are able to get him to agree with what he NEEDS to do (even if he has no idea how to accomplish it successfully), I guess that is a start so that you can figure out how to then genuinely encourage him in a way that helps him feel loved and supported (but not to control, disguised as "help" - this is the parent-child dynamic again!).  It is really tough and I don't have a lot of answers.  Except that as painful as it is for you to deal with these complex problems, he is also dealing with them, AND the pain of knowing that he is the "cause."  He may even feel guilty that your son's condition is indirectly his "fault."  I know from my own ADD son who is VERY laid-back that while it often appears that he doesn't care about anything and he's so easygoing (= happy, in my mind), he can sometimes be scared and overwhelmed inside and just doesn't show it.  So don't assume your husband is oblivious or doesn't care just because he jokes around a lot.  On the inside he may be paralyzed with fear and guilt!

I am so sorry you are going through so much.  I pray you can find some hope and relief ASAP!