A song that says it all.

  I've always thought that music had a wonderful way of pulling emotion out of me and I came across an old favorite song that I hadn't heard since my wife's ADD diagnosis.  I listened, but this time the words hit a deeper, much sadder chord in my heart.  It says everything I'm feeling about the emotional roller coaster my/our lives have become in the past few years, how I have to say goodbye to the now unrealistic expectations of our relationship, and just how incredibly lonely I've now become.  Please.  Take a listen and let me know what you think about this song.....it brings me to tears every time I hear it.  This song is who and where I am.

 Best wishes.

Tired Old Man


The song is on Youtube,  search for Moby "Signs of Love".  The lyrics are in a pull down under the youtube frame.




What changed?

Why so sad since your wife's diagnosis? What is so different now (other than her ability to be a little more normal if she is on medication)?

Tired old man's picture

Hello ADDmama1

  Thanks for writing back.  Your question is a good one and I'd be glad to explain.  Prior to my wife's diagnosis, I had always thought that her disorganized personal and social skills were due to her diagnosed depression and the medication that manages it.  As the years went by, and with the birth of our child, her inability to manage the simple household responsibilities became more and more apparent.  (Same symptoms you see everywhere on the sight...can't cook or clean up after herself, forgets to grocery shop during the day, then goes out at 11:30 to get milk for our child in the morning,  forgets to pick up our child at school)  More and more, like most non ADD spouses, I picked up the responsibilities to make everything in the house work smoothly.  But it became apparent that something else very very wrong, and my ability to juggle all the balls in the air was waning.  The diagnosis was made last spring and the hope of "normalcy" rose as she started a prescription regimen of what I've since researched to be the appropriate type and level of medication.  But only a few of the symptoms have improved.  Her ability to focus and not get so distracted has improved remarkably and with the help of a therapist, she does not require nearly as much daily supervision from me as to what we, the family, need her to do for all of us that day.  That is quite an achievement for her. 

The sadness, though, comes from what has not happened since the medication.  Her Critical and Executive thinking abilities have not improved in the slightest and her therapist told her that her ability to predict the outcome from her actions (logical and conditional consequences that we learn as children) and the ability to think (plan) for time after the current moment, are the worst she's ever seen.  Hence the grief.  After many months of hoping, believing, planning and praying, I've come to the most heart breaking realization,  that, other that her personal recognition and responsibility for her condition, nothing has, can, and will likely ever change.  I cannot change her or what she can do for us.  The responsibilities I now bear are permanent.  My old beliefs, my dreams, of what we are and what we do, in our family, are not realistic.  I will not have a co-equal partner in my life.....one that has my back and can equally share in the joys and burdens of raising a child and of growing old together.  I love this woman, and will lovingly support her,  but the truth is I now have another emotional, social and financial dependent.  Please understand that all of this is not a complaint...it is an epiphany.  It is what it is.  It is what's here.  Now.  The cards have been dealt and just recently turned over.  I now know the hand I have to play.  I am now the one that has to change.

So now the song.  Obviously Moby speaks of his own experience, but I can read my own things into it.  I, too, fly so high, and fall so low.  I wished and wished and wished, things would, could get better.  But they didn't'.  Those dreams are now, as he says, "gone, gone".  And like him, I've always been aware of who we are, and then suddenly, we wonder what happened in our life.  He then wishes that his love would draw close to him and share a special moment.  Don't we all.  Towards the end of the song, he says that it would be easy for him, for me, to live so beautifully and easily if he didn't have to face so many problems.  Life would be so much happier.  Isn't that the truth?

So here is my state, in melody.  Healing comes after grief.  I grieve the end of what I thought we would and could be.  Once I'm finished with it, I'll be ready to turn my face towards the sun.  In the mean time, I seek healing in the notes.

Best wishes, ADDmama1.  Thanks for reaching out.


Tired Old Man






Thank you for sharing this. 

Thank you for sharing this.  My situation is not exactly the same but I too have found that a diagnosis and resulting treatment have not led to as many or as much improvement as one might hope for. 

Tired old man's picture


Thanks for responding.  There actually a lot more to my story, another enormous sacrifice I will be having to make for our common good, but I'm not totally ready to share it.  It sincerely warms me, though, to know others need validation of their condition too.  Ill be glad to listen is you ever wish to share.  Peace.



TOM I'm a frank person. It is


I'm a frank person. It is difficult for me to add 'fluff' to what I say. Friends who know me and know how compassionate I am as well as generous, loving and kinda cute (that was meant to be funny, that last one) all know that when I write something it can sound harsh to other people and it stems from the 'filter' problem I have. I missed my attorney calling in life where writing is concerned.  That said, please understand I say this with compassion ... You're right about knowing that your life will never be 'normal' again. Normal is overrated. Normal is too black and white. Celebrate the oddities of your wife and marriage. You will learn to enjoy it.

This is going to be too long on the tooth (I'm writing too much here) but I'm going to tell you several things and you'll feel not so alone. I, too, have ADD. As you have learned the diagnosis of 'ADD' can range from those who are mildy affected and those who are severely affected.

When I was single I was a multi-million dollar producing real estate agent - ADD untreated and all. I was one of the most successful agents in my area. I had FINALLY found the one (and maybe only) thing I was great at doing. But then I got a dog. Then I began renovating a house I bought and every single room was 'undone' ... while I was living in it. My world when awry and I began to realize a lot about myself that I wish I had already know before I got the dog and the house. With those two changes, I was suddenly filled with anxiety all the time. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't work. I could barely get dressed every day. There were too many new things in my face and invaded my previously calm life and I couldn't function. I could not organize my home because I had torn apart every room in the house and was living 'out of boxes', so to speak. What I realized is that I was barely keeping my 'self' together 24/7. 

What I had always known about myself is that I never felt like I 'fit' in to the world. I had never in my life felt comfortable in my own skin. Doctors had treated me for depression for most of my life (considering my childhood I just figured they were right) but nothing ever got much better. I never had a 'normal' relationship and could never figure out why 'normal' guys wouldn't stay with me for long. When I was 18 my appendix ruptured and my entire mid section was filled with gangrene for days until they cut me open, then promptly told me that I'd never have children. So, I really thought I was destined to be alone for my life. Over the years I lost (or simply did not gain) many friends because I said and did stupid things that I never really meant to do. I had two real friends and several false friends based on my success. Then one day I saw a Stratera(sp?) commercial and sat in front of the television bawling like a baby because a drug company had just described the 'weird' I'd been feeling on the inside for my entire life ... in a 30 second commercial. What relief!!!! I wasn't crazy after all!!! I was just like lots of other people and with medicine I could be NORMAL!!! What exhilaration I felt!! I knew my life was about to change drastically. So, I got tested and got on medication. Things got better personally and I really thought I'd be so perfectly normal soon. I actually got married in 2004 where I lived in south Louisiana.

Then Katrina hit and though my house survived ... the emotions and mental anguish that went along with the whole deal is indescribable.  During Katrina I found out I was pregnant. Since getting married I had step-children and a bat-shit-crazy-ex-wife to deal with almost daily. After Katrina my husband got a new job and was working in Wyoming where he promptly started acting like a single a-hole and the stress was ridiculous. Then I had a baby. Then I found a new job for my husband but it was in Colorado and I knew that if we didn't go  we would be divorced very soon. So I willingly left my bad-ass career behind to keep my family together.

I have a 5 year old son in kindergarten that reads like a 2nd grader. His intelligence blows people away. OMG ... I'm doing something right!! We have lots of dinner parties at our new house in our new town and we've made great new friends. In the last few years I've tried 8 or 10 different combinations of medication and I am now on an 'acceptable' regimen. But - my confidence about my intelligence is currently suffering and I'm sort of at a standstill where a career or job is concerned. Money is tight. I need to work.

I am deeply very sad that I will never be 'normal'. I see it every day in the way people react to me. I'm not sure what it is but I guess I'm a little bit like a human whirlwind at times and real dingbat at times. I'm as normal as I'm going to get. I try super duper hard to be as normal as possible for my son. Not being 'normal' isn't about to make me sit around and feel sorry for myself or cry about it. If not for my own sake, my son needs his mommy to be present at all times. I'm not perfect and never will be but I'm still a child of God and he's put me here for a reason.

Here is what I want you to really hear ... The only reason I remember to pick my son up at school every day ON TIME is because I have an alarm that beeps on my phone to remind me. The only reason I remember to give him his allergy medication is because I have an alarm on the phone that beeps and reminds me. The only reason I remember to wake him up for school is that I have an alarm that reminds me. Not long ago I realized that the only reason I did so well in real estate is because that every single procedure involved in the process is written in a time sensitive contract and it all fit neatly into one manila folder. Everything else was in my Franklin Planner that I invested LOTS of money and time keeping me on track. In other words ... for people like us there must be a SYSTEM. A strong, black and white system. I have to create habits to use my system. Just because I originally put one in place didn't mean that I'd use it. Habits to work the system so the system can work. I wore a watch on my wrist - one with a big face so that the time was always in front of me. Before I went to bed at night I wrote things I wanted to accomplish the next day in my Franklin Planner. That thing went with me everywhere. 

Now, here is the part where I don't know how to 'fluff'. Your wife may possibly have something in addition to her ADD. Maybe her diagnosis is not quite right and maybe you need to keep seeking answers. What if she is Bi-polar? What if she has some other more serious disorder? Well, you continue seeking answers and then you help her create a 'system' to keep her life together. If she is feeling like she is screwed up and has given up trying to achieve whatever level of 'normal' she can achieve and is just sitting back and letting you take on EVERYTHING then she needs to find a way to suck it up and get herself back into reality. If ADD is all she has - then she is more than capable of doing many of the things you said she can't do - but she may need to experiment with her medications in order to get where she needs to be. Being on the right dosage and schedule of any one particular ADD medicine doesn't mean you have the answer. I PROMISE you, no matter what people tell you, all meds of this type act differently. Adderall worked great for me for a couple of months. After that I was all over the place and feeling like I was on drugs. I've taken several combinations and now I'm on Vyvanse. I'm still working towards finding the right combination but I now know that Vyvanse needs to be included in my combination.

In addition to the ADHD Marriage book you can get from the folks that have this site, I STRONGLY urge you to get a book by Dr. Daniel Amen who has been a serious pioneer in realizing that there different levels and types of ADD/ADHD, his book is "Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD"

Get that book and use your experience with her to try to determine where she fits within those 6 types. Dr. Amen suggests different meds to stay away from and different meds to try based on the type. He also talks a lot about the supplements we should use, like fish oil.  

Don't give up all hope. ADD is not a death sentence to the brain. We can succeed if we make up our minds to succeed!

Good luck. God bless. Peace!

Thanks for recommending

Thanks for recommending "Healing ADD."  I just got it from the library yesterday and found the material about the different types of ADD to be fascinating and more helpful than books that lump all people with ADD together.

TOM and ADDMama1

Your posts both made me cry. 

I can relate to TOM's 'epiphany' and am in some sort of grieving stage myself. He described PERFECTLY (his wife's description of her most drastically affected areas) what I am, deep down, most terrified of myself...with my husband. (he is ADHD, untreated) Lack of ability to think through his actions truly seems like an area that I am just not sure is ever going to be 'better' for us. This is most detrimental in the area of employment...and quite possibly plays a role in his infidelity. This week alone he only worked 2 days. TWO days out of FIVE. He is completely and utterly convinced that he is "getting away with it" (his exact words to me last night) and it seems very highly unlikely that he is and rumor has it that people are starting to complain. His being a provider for our family has been the ONE thing I have always thought I would never have to worry about...and now I realize, it has just been by the Grace of God that he's managed to do so for the last 15 years. He just cannot seem to see past the end of his nose on this one and actually told me last night that he hated his job and therefore he would never give 100% to it and I just needed to either accept that that is how he is, how he has been since he was a young child, or move on. Accept that he will NEVER take the steps to provide me with simple peace of mind by getting up and going into work everyday? When the one thing you felt you could always count on is taken away, on top of everything else, I am not sure what I am supposed to hold onto anymore. For the record, we agreed long ago that I would stay at home with the kids and he would be the bread winner. I am in college and am the mother of two children..19 & 13. My 19 year old is severely autistic and requires I do everything for him. As my DH gets older, his ADHD seems to get worse and his work ethic/seeming ability to just get out of the damned bed and GO TO WORK diminishes GREATLY. As for medications, that seem to have really made a difference for you ADDMama1, he tried Concerta...hated it. Tried Vyvanse..it made him hostile and agressive..he stopped taking it cold turkey and CRASHED emotionally. (almost a year ago). Went back on meds (Concerta) and took them maybe 2 months and not only stopped taking them but stopped going to see his psychiatrist...with no explanation or warning. He is untreated, chooses to remain that way, denies there is any need for any change, drinks too much, smokes almost 2 packs of cigarettes a day, gets ZERO exercise, eats like hell, rarely leaves the den, and only seems to care about spending time with me long enough to get sex and then NOTHING. It often amazes me how 'normal' he can act when he wants sex. I think we all know that when the ADHDer is aware of their need for treatment and is willing to try meds and counseling, there is always potential for improvement and great reason for hope. Maybe even TOM's wife could benefit from switching meds/tweaking meds. But, if his wife is anything like my DH, getting them to see that it could help without seeming like you're trying to control their lives/minds is very hard to do.



I emphathize with your

I emphathize with your heartbreak SherriW. I must be so difficult for you.

One thing I've noticed is that many spouses on here relate all of their husband's bad behavior to ADD/ADHD. I simply don't believe that is the case. Maybe I feel that way because I've never experienced that kind of ADD related behavior myself. I have had some odd behavior in my past but my biggest problem now is being able to get myself back on track professionally with all of these people around me needing so much from me and with this 1840 square foot house that feels GIGANTIC when it comes to trying to keep it clean. I HATE housework. I'm trying to train the dog to put his toys away. Then maybe he'll train my husband and kid. ;-)

I'm different because I discovered my ADD when I was single. HOWEVER, I discovered my husband's ADD when I was married. Together we run a mental institution at our house.

My husband has many of the traits that the ladies mention on here but I think much of it ... like the attention and sex thing ... is just about being a man and not about ADD.

Decide where your limits are SherriW and change your living arrangement if you decide you must. You CAN figure it out.  Don't start feeling like a victim. Get that book I keep telling everyone about as well as this one Melissa Orlov has on here. The 6 types book will help you clear the confusion about the ADD in the first place.  Don't give up on yourself most of all. You're obviously a strong woman or else you wouldn't be putting up with that monumental bad behavior and working so hard to keep your family together. If you were weak you would have already given up and given in. Your strength is obvious. 

On a different note, for some reason when I seek answers to problems in my marriage I usually get books for written normal people. I really do think much of what the women are writing on here about their husbands has a lot to do with the Mars vs. Venus theory. It just ain't easy to put up with a man - no offense guys. We women live in an emotional world, ADD or not. EVERYTHING is connected to our emotions. Just to be married to a man we have to chant self-acceptance daily.

Tired old man's picture

Hello ADDmama1 and SherriW13

Wow, I am amazed and charmed at how quickly you two can articulate your thoughts and post them up so fast.  I really appreciate your efforts at giving me some feedback.

Thank you for sharing your stories with me.  Everyone with or without the condition has a story to tell and we're blessed that Melissa has created this space for us.  Without validation, significance, as one book describes our need to be heard, our burdens would be lost within ourselves and our personal journeys would be that much harder to travel.

I was actually Dr. Amen's book (s) that brought my wife's condition to my attention.  After reading that, and several of the other ADD/HD specific materials I found and B&N, she and I recognized the very specific symptoms she was having and we presented them together to her psychiatrist, who was also supervising the depression medication portfolio.  Several medications were tried over the course of 3 months and her current regimen truly has her functioning at the best levels ever.  She has added Omega 3's to her diet, but the generic herbal offering have done nothing for her.

I can also recognize the same stresses in my wife as you described in your story.  New changes and circumstances put her head into a spin, and she admits to sort of losing her mental momentum.  Her diagnosis and the work she now does with her ADD therapist has her mentally drained every evening.  And while she's challenged, she's starting to understand the great disadvantage that she has been living with over the years.  Her great artistic and creative capacity could never outshine her social and personal, how should I put this..clumsiness, awkwardness, you know what I mean, don't you?  But together, we are planning and finding ways to get her the skills to self manage.  Like you, she has an enormous daily schedule, a book that she looks at all the time, with a small note pad strapped to her wrist, to write down any thoughts that need her immediate attention, as well as a multi-alarm wrist watch.  She just recently learned how to count a clock backwards so she could figure out how much time things take, so she could get ready early enough to be on time for appointments.  A skill we take for granted, but she was blown away by the fact that someone could count time backwards and start getting ready early enough to be on time.  Baby steps, but at least they are forward.  These signs of progress clearly warm my (our) heart.

And please don't misunderstand my use of that horrible word, "normal".  I've seen a lot of people in this blog get very upset and defensive about the word, and because of it's emotional nature, I did put it in quotes.  Normal is a truly lousy word, and is subject to one's interpretation and in many ways its meaning is totally meaningless in points of conversation like this.  My definition and use of the word for anyone reading my earlier entry, was to simply describe what I needed, expected, projected her to do and be.  I need her to flush the toilet when she's done.  Put the garage door down when she's obviously the last one in at  night.  Turnoff the gas fireplace before turning in for bed.  For me and me only, these were personal behavioral expectations I had, my "normal".  I now know that these expectations can't be met, not because she's lazy or stupid.  She has a bioneurological issue in a few, very specific areas of her brain.  I now know that and she and I will learn to live with it.

I haven't given up hope......only my old expectations, which don't want to easily leave.  The book "Who moved my cheese" teaches us the lesson that life, all life, changes.  Nothing stays the same.  We can try to fight it.  Deny it.  Ignore it.  But the fact is that my life's paradigm has changed and it is nobody's fault.  The lens through which I was seeing our life, was distorted.  I now see, and accept, the truth...our real condition.  But I still need to cry for what I wanted our life to be like, be it realistic or not.  I'm heartbroken.  If I could see her condition as the result of a car accident or disease, I think it would be easier to deal with because I could validate its cause.  But brain chemicals????   How can we touch, fight, understand such an invisible nemeses?  The invisibility makes our acceptance all the harder.  Chinese wisdom demands that we be as flexible as a fresh reed, hence we suffer the fate of a dried stick.  (It breaks in two.)  Recently, I feel very, very dry.

Which is why I started this new thread...to explore new ways of finding ourselves....those with and without the condition.  I wrote my entry, not to deny or resist any need or responsibility to help her and us....to the contrary, my release of the past makes room for mutual growth.  Music, its meter and words can bring such powerful emotion to the surface.  It's a way for me to relocate my person, who has been lost in the years of oversacrifice.  I'm tired, more than I can say here.  I need to reignite, if I'm to help myself and family.  I can't lift a new responsibility until I let go of the old one.  I was wondering if others used the power of song, or maybe poetry, or stories to find a balance in their lives.  So, anyone out there know a good song???

Best wishes to all.  Peace.


I wrote poetry when I was

I wrote poetry when I was younger. Unfortunately it was all sad poetry. I enjoy music also but it is the uplifting songs I like. I heard one earlier today and it made me think of this post. I made a mental note to google it when I got home. Unfortunately, you can guess how that one ends. Yah - no idea what it was but I'll think on it. It was a classic rock era piece and it had something to do with not being normal ... but I can't remember.

Who Moved My Cheese is a good one. I cannot easily understand or empathize with the idea of grieving loss of untouchables. I don't quite grasp that idea for some reason. Not being snarky, I truly just don't get it. Or, maybe because of my history with family and with my own perceived limits, I've never really had my heart set on someone being one way or another.

I've no idea why other ADD folks would be upset by the use of the word 'normal'. It doesn't bother me. It is no longer a goal of mine. I do know quite a few 'normal' women. They spend a lot of time focused on the abnormal people they know. I think they must be bored. I've never been one for gossip. I have a tough time remembering what to say about other people. ;-)

Good luck. God bless.


(ps ... my older sister is schizophrenic so I do have an idea what you mean by behaviors that can't really be changed and some loss. She only began showing symptoms at 25 years old. I was 23 and 'lost' her then though she still lives. I haven't seen her or spoken to her in many years. Maybe the loss of the relationship is similar to what you are talking about with your wife, I'm not sure. I understand about grieving over the living. It is the toughest thing I've ever been through.)

grieving the loss

I can relate to this in so many ways... for myself and people I have known.  A friend was excited about her first grandchild.  The child was born, and is a dwarf.  My friend struggled hugely with trying to accept this baby and bond with him the way she had "expected" to.  She felt awful about herself and thought it was because she was angry, worried, ignorant, etc. about what it would all mean.  But I could tell she was sad and disappointed, and she hated to acknowledge those feelings.  I was able to help her realize it was okay to "grieve" the grandchild she didn't get and at the exact same time, love the one she did get.  Within days she was able to do both, and grow very close to her new grandbaby.  So yes, I totally understand grieving the relationship you hoped to achieve "someday" and now accept you never will.  But it is also possible, at the same time, to learn to love the relationship you do have.  Sometimes I even call it grieving the death of the "fairy tale" because, except for the hyper-focus romance period, if you had one, the relationship we thought to have was always an illusion.  It is hard, hard, hard to accept.  But so far, for me, learning to do that is better than the alternative.  I struggle with it all the time.  Yesterday was a good day.  Today was not.  Tomorrow will be something else again.  Some days I can imagine having to love him from a distance, in order to find peace.  But that's not the ending I wish I couldl write.

I agree, very eloquent way to

I agree, very eloquent way to put it...

ADDMama, it isn's the untouchables we mourn, not in my case anyway, it is like the curtain was pulled, I realized that my life (security) was always an illusion and once life got tough, my ADHD (untreated) husband couldn't keep up the act anymore and everything came tumbling down and my entire paradigm shifted. When the smoke cleared, it became very apparent that things would never feel 'normal' again...the person I married and thought I knew had become someone completely different. I still (stupidly??) hold out hope that he will eventually grasp the gravity of the situation and decide he wants a better life for himself. For all of the stress and sadness I feel, I do feel he feels equally sad, depressed, and hopeless. The difference is, I am willing to fight and do whatever it takes...for now, he just simply wants to skate by with the same old worn out life "this is who I am, accept me or not".

We did have the hyperfocus whirlwind dating...then had a few rough years...then he was back to hyperfocusing on me and we were best friends who NEVER fought for many years. Our family dynamics changed (we got custody of my SD) and things spiraled out of control and we just have not been able to recover for any meaningful period of time. What I am grieving over is the simple fact that it finally dawned on me that THAT life was most likely gone forever, and that we may not ever be able to recover/forgive each other, and the hardest part...that my life, today, IS my new reality and does require a huge mental adjustment if our marriage is going to be able to make it. Even though I don't recognize the man who lays beside of me in bed each night, if I am to have any shot of peace in my life, I too (same as TOM), must make some major shifts in my life...including taking on much more responsibility financially and having to depend on others to take care of my son (GUT WRENCHING thought!!).

It does seem unfair, but falling victim (as ADDMama said) will get me nowhere. I have started over and come back strong more than once in my life...I just had hoped by the time I got to be my age (43) I wouldn't have to anymore. Sucking it up, moving on...doing what I have to do...soon. :)



mourning the loss

Hi SherriW13,

I feel like I am grieving the loss, also.  It's as if the man I met and married died and I have no idea who this person is now.  All the promises of the big house and the great financial future are gone.  Now that everything is out in the open, (the cheating, lying, financial struggles, home foreclosure), it is as if there is nothing else left for my ADHD husband to do but run from me and our children.  He has been out of the house for about 1 month and a half and isn't exactly rushing to get back.  He still will not even tell me where he is staying.  He is probably staying with this other woman, but keeps denying it.  The fact that he can so easily be without me and the kids hurts beyond words can even describe.  I wake in the middle of the night in a king size bed completely alone and don't understand why.  All I know is that I have done absolutely nothing to deserve this.  And this man claims to still love me.  I don't think he knows the meaning of the word, LOVE.  Do ADHD people have a harder time expressing love or feeling anything?  I don't see how this marriage can possibly survive this.  I feel closer and closer to the divorce court everyday.  Friday, February 3rd is supposed to be our 1st day in family court.  I am waiting for him the very night before to come to me with more promises of bull crap just to hold me off on the court date.  I just pray to God to keep me strong and get me through this, if not for me, then for my kids.

I thank you all for this forum and your support.  Without this website, I would truly think I was losing my mind because that is what my husband has led me to believe; that everything I feel is all in my head.

Stay strong everybody; you know we deserve so much better than what we are getting.  ((HUGS)) SherriW13!



Please stay

Please stay strong everyone.  I am in mourning, as well.  My life is similiar to so many others on here and I am finally tired of struggling with it.  My husband got stupid drunk a couple of weeks ago (has always had a drinking problem that seems to be effecting him worse as he gets older, he is 55).  The next day we had a discussion about it and of course he didn't remember anything.  I advised him that I was beginning to ask myself why I was still putting up with this behavior and that I finally realized at age 58, that I don't have to put up with it anymore.  He did acknowledge the discussion as a "wake up call" and he would begin taking the steps to curb this problem.  I know it will take time for him to work through it but the problem is the thing that triggers his drinking, talking on the phone, personal and business phones, hours on end at home.  As soon as it rings he heads for the frig.  The cycle begins another time.  While I could smash the personal phone, I can't do that to the business phone, it isn't our property and unfortunately he needs it for work.  Well, it happened again last night.  Talking on the phone to several of his buddies at work and by the time he came in the house for the night, we have a detached garage where he spends most of his time, he was drunk.  Strike Two!!!!!!!   Three strikes and you're out, isn't it?   He just refuses to get it.  Not my problem! 

"I don't think he knows the meaning of the word, LOVE."  I know my husband didn't know the meaning of that word when I asked him many years ago.  He also has a harder time expressing love or feeling anything.  I feel this may be the case in many ADHD people but not all of them.  It might depend on what nurturing they received as a child.  

Wow...that is a very

Wow...that is a very tough one for me. As much as I have gone back and forth on this one...all of my marriage...I am not prepared to say that ADHDers aren't capable of loving people. I am fully prepared to say that, in my personal experience, they are not always capable of behaving in a way that shows that love. I think the most key factor for me is that my husband isn't a 'fighter' (in the sense that he sees there is a problem and wants to work to fix it). I, again in my own personal situation, feel this is due to what appears to be stubborn pride but what I feel is truly just a complete lack of confidence...and an overwhelming fear of rejection. Also, possibly just the sheer lack of ability to muster the guts to face the hard work they know it would take to make things right. I think and think and think about what must have been going through my husband's mind when he was talking to the 'other woman' and starting his affair. Things were bad between us, there is no denying it...and his explanation "I thought she was what I wanted for about the first two weeks..then after that I was so deep in that I just did not know how to get out of it, but I knew I had made a huge mistake"...it just makes me feel like maybe his love and devotion to our marriage is based on how 'good' things feel? 

Love, by my definition, is an act...and not so much a feeling. You are faced daily with decisions that affect everyone you love. You make decisions based on what is best for everyone and you certainly do not make decisions that hurt...ever. In my situation, my DH is kind, loving, complimentary, calls just to say "i love you" but his actions are hurtful, stressful, and seemingly selfish almost.every.single.day. He says "I will just never be the man you need me to be" and I'm saying to myself "you don't even seem to be fu*king trying!" Sure, I guess I should just 'accept' that getting out of bed at 7, being at work by 8 and working a 40 hour week is asking too much...simply because he has ADHD? I cannot really bring myself to accept anything simply because he chooses to remain untreated. However, if he had his way I would take anti-depressants every.single.day.of.my.life simply because they take the edge off of my stress and anxiety and help me 'accept' things a little better...vs. him just working with me to make our marriage better. So, by my definition...no, my husband does not seem to love me at all. Sometimes I feel it is more of an 'need' than anything...he NEEDS me because I am, as one counselor put it, his "rock". I saw something the other day that was so fitting.."I am a strong person, but every now and then I need someone to put their arms around me and tell me everything is going to be ok". That's where I am. 

Perfect example of this...guys, I have literally been left alone in this marriage for about 18 monts. ZERO socializing together...not due to my lack of trying. ZERO time spent as a family...not due to my lack of trying. The ONLY time we spend together is on the weekends, in bed watching TV...and only when he wants sex. Then he is off to the den again to drink and play video games. (he came to bed at around 8 a.m. this morning...and will sleep most of the day). :-( Anyway, he got caught lying to me Friday before last. I found out, at the same time, that he had lied to be about a cookout our mayor had...he went, without me, saying spouses were not invited. It was a flat out lie. WTF?? I just basically went into overload and went silent to sort through what I was feeling and see where I stood after working through it all. I did, however, confront him about the lies first. By Tuesday (I confronted him Sunday) he was melting down. He didn't go into work, asked me to come home right after school, and I knew exactly what the deal was. He wanted me to come home and have sex with him...because he NEEDED me. He said to me "it seems like when I need you the most, you are more distant and not there for me". *insert explicatives here!* I said "are you kidding me??? this has been the story of my life for a very long time now...and you 'need' me for 3 days and you're losing it but I am expected to suck it up and just fu*kin get over it when I need you?" Do you get a fairly clear picture here? I did not come home after school, told him I was tired of him not 'getting' it, that our marriage was ALL HIM TAKING and ME GIVING and that until he could acknowledge that I had nothing more to say to him on the subject. Of course he kept on and kept on and kept on until I finally gave him sex (Saturday) and off happily to the den he went....(and did I mention he didn't come to bed until 8 a.m. this morning?) He was furious with me...when I didn't come home from school..and accused me of "holding sex over his head"...swore he would never initiate sex again...etc. but swore it had nothing to do with sex. It does. I haven't figured out exactly what sex does for him (assures him that everything is fine???? Anyone?? cause I REALLY am terrified if he is that clueless!!) but I do know this much..it is the ONLY THING that motivates him these days. I honestly do want to stop having sex with him for a while...as it is to the point that I feel completely and utterly used...but I know to do so would mean WWIII. 

I had my epiphany and felt so much better about my life. I started working on myself and becoming stronger, more independent, and working towards a future for myself and my kids. I have prayed for my marriage, my husband, my family. I have prayed for God's strength to help me fight the devil. I have been fighting for a very long time now. I am finding that the stronger I get, the more I realize just how truly sick and weak he is. I do not expect perfection, God knows I don't. But never in my life did I dream I would end up in a marriage where...well, there was no marriage...again. I left my first husband for the EXACT same behavior. Someone ignores you long enough, and the love just dies. It just dies and there is nothing you can do to stop it. I had ONE bad (sad) day after I left my first DH...because I had so many bad years leading up to it. God knows I don't want history to repeat itself, but I feel like that is exactly what is happening. How do you tell someone "your behavior shoves me further and further away from you every day...and destroys a little bit of my love for you every day.." when they simply just do NOT seem to be able to grasp this? The only thing I can think of to make him understand is to ask him to just leave...now, while I still have feelings of love for him, in the hopes that he will leave and eventually 'get it'. If he stays, and things remain as they are, I know without a doubt in my mind, short of a miracle, that things are not going to work out. Even in the worst of times in our marriage, I at least had a partner...a best friend...and we had a family to speak of. He LOVED spending time together, going out and doing things. I think that is the hardest pill to swallow of them all...that he no longer wants to spend time with me...and is willing to lie to me to see that it does not happen. Oh, and it isn't that he isn't spending time OUT...I finally confronted him about the fact that he occasionally comes home from work with alcohol on his breath and he admitted (whether it is the truth or not, who knows??) that he does go out after work with his boss some...so out to bars, to city employee cookouts, and out for drinks with his boss...on a fairly regular basis...but I can't get him to go out to a meal with me on a Saturday afternoon. Yeah, remind me again why I am still here? 

The separation between my

The separation between my husband's thoughts and words, on one hand, and actions, on the other, is huge.  One of the biggest differences that I see between us is the following:  I admit, to myself and to my husband, that I don't know things, that I have mixed feelings about our marriage, that I'm not sure what I want to do with my life, and so on, but nevertheless I try, every day, to help him out and to show some gratitude for what he does.  My husband says that our marriage is the best thing that ever happened to him and that he would be devastated if we broke up, but he doesn't help around the house, isn't looking for a job, and won't work on behavioral approaches for his ADHD.  I'm not sure if the marriage is worth saving, but for the time being, I try to behave as though it is worth saving; my husband says that he's sure we should stay together, but he behaves as though he doesn't care. 

Very familiar with the

Very familiar with the 'disconnect'...and it is baffling to me as well. I think this is why I cherish and LOVE the input from those with ADHD here who can shed a little light on why this happens and what they are thinking. My husband has the same attitude as yours (says he does not want to lose his family, that I  mean more to him that anything in the world) but yet DOES nothing to show it (i.e. his actions say the exact opposite!)

It has become an issue of

It has become an issue of trust for me:  I don't disbelieve my husband when he says that he values me and our marriage but I also don't believe him.  Personally, I'm both deeply tapped into my feelings and very rational and logical, and so my rational self says, "This person's words and actions don't mesh; which should I believe?" and my feelings say, "This hurts!"

I'm not sure about the disconnect...

I wonder about why the only thing disconnected is me and my DW's personal connection. Everything is connected with our jobs, the kids, getting household stuff done, taking care of everything but us. I want to know why We come last is the priority list. No real date night in months. Maybe go out to dinner, but it just seems to go like a small talk session. Shields up, playful talk or compliments have no affect. Always tired and stressed out, so relaxing and connecting rarely happens. We are every bit of the room mate couple we were before things went wrong, my ADD was diagnosed, and I began fixing myself and trying to make my marriage better. I feel alone most of the time and it sucks.  I would never demand sex, because I don't want pity / obligation sex, I want real sex with my wife. So I wish I knew what would help Re-Connect us as a couple. Maybe my actions don't show enough, but unlike the old days she does not get mad about stuff I'm not doing, or things I should be seeing. It's like there is no information, so I don't know How I'm doing... Not very good I guess because she doesn't loosen up much around me. I know I'm a big help to you guys today, but this Non-Connection sucks ass... Sorry :) In spite of my DD#1 getting Vyvanse prescribed to her last week and my DD doing really well on it so far, she does not really think she has ADD. My DW thinks my DD Wants to have ADD, so she can lose weight, but if my DD feels better it is good. My DD#1 has had real tough time with her freshman her and things over-whelmed her and emotionally began to spiral downward. The anti-depressants made it worse and she only felt flat and withdrew from her friends and hated going to school. The response to the Vyvanse has been amazing.  I am SO relieved that she is doing better :) I hate that I did not see her symptoms sooner. My DD#2 is younger and quite obviously ADHD, so my inattentive ADD DD#1 was much harder to see. Hang in there Sherri! I'm rooting for you!


You, my friend, are in the dog house.  I need some time to think on this, and will reply more later.  This is the clue...Shields up, playful talk or compliments have no affect. Always tired and stressed out"   However, this is instructive, too:  unlike the old days she does not get mad about stuff I'm not doing, or things I should be seeing."

More later.  I don't want you to reach the point where you wonder why you are trying so hard.  

to YYZ

DISCLAIMER:  I can only offer my point of view… I can only speak from my experience.  Though I am avid student of human nature, have read very widely my whole life, and am “old enough to know better”, I can only see things the way I see them.  So, to you YYZ, and to anyone else who’s reading this:  If any of this is not “true” for you, then it isn’t.  Just that simple.  But if any of it makes you uncomfortable, makes you get a tear in your eye, makes you angry, makes you sad, I encourage you to look more closely at why that might be so.  Marriage is fabulous, and fabulously hard.  Focus for a moment on the relationship.  Set aside the kids, the jobs, the house, the in-laws, the hobbies, the friends, all the other demands of life.  Because I think most of us want a relationship that is sustainable though all those other things may change.  Don’t make your marriage the thing that sustains all those other “business” (busy-ness) things.  Make your relationship the rock-bottom, rock-solid real-life dream – a partner who gets you, who likes you, and makes all that other stuff better.  Put it first, not last.  If you  have a crappy house, and get a better one, it won’t make your marriage better.  But if you have a crappy marriage, and get a better one, the house you live in is just fine.  All of us here are dealing with a marriage that includes ADHD.  That’s our little version of the “challenge.”  Other marriages are dealing with things, too.  Never forget that.  Your marriage wouldn’t be easily perfect if ADHD disappeared tomorrow. 

Dear YYZ,  I think you have hit the wall.  Done some easy things, the low-hanging fruit as they say, and done some very hard things.  Made some changes that have stuck, and made some changes that keep needing to be made, day after day.  But now you sound stuck, and discouraged, and you are wondering “how much time” it will take to get back to connected.  So.  Hitting the wall.  There are a few options:  1.  You can wait for the wall to fall down by itself.  2.  You can wait for the one on the other side to knock a hole in it big enough to crawl through.  3.  You can buy a ladder, but it would have to be a tall ladder, and ladders are so scary.  4.  You can go around the wall, but you can’t see the end of it from here.  5.  You can start to think “Is there really anything on the other side I want?”  (dangerous thought, huh?)  6.  You can think I’ve come so far, and this crappy old wall is probably just made of thoughts that are no longer true, and habits that are no longer useful, and hurts that have never been healed, and this wall is not going to stop me from going all the way.  Even if, on the other side, things are not the way I want them to be. 

Now some questions (which you can answer just to yourself).  1.  Has there ever been a moment when you were positive your wife understands what it is like to "be you?” 

2.  Has there ever been a moment when you were positive you understand what it is like to be your wife? 

3.  If yes, to either or both, was that moment acknowledged, celebrated, just a pause taken to say “this is huge”?  

4.  If no, why the hell not?  

I say I think you are in the dog house, because it sounds to me like your wife is punishing you.  She is feeling sorry for herself.  I know the weight problem you have “solved” and she is still struggling is one aspect of this, but she seems to feel unwilling to let go of past hurts.  If this is because they remain unacknowledged, get busy.  If they have been acknowledged, what does she gain by holding onto them?  Safety, for one.  You know the old adage, once burned, twice shy.  With us non-ADHD spouses, it can be years and years of getting burned.  If she holds you at a distance, she can convince herself she is avoiding hurt.  Now we all know intellectually, this is dumb, but we still use it all the time.  We think, why should I extend myself, when I already know I’ll get burned?    Wouldn’t I be stupid to offer myself to someone who has “mistreated” me in the past, just to give them the chance to do it again? 

Those of us with spouses still in denial, or not doing treatment, or exhibiting all kinds of dark and dangerous Three Stooges behavior, look with envy on your wife.  She has a guy who is actively treating, actively altering behavior, actively using systems to stay on track.  Yet several years later, she is still holding out.  Why? we ask.  Some possibilities:  1.  It was you, not her, who discovered ADHD through your own proactivity.  2.  It was you, not her, who accepted the bitter pill (hah! LOL) that ADHD was a permanent fixture in your lives.  3.  It was  you, from all appearances, who got all the benefits from treating it.  She is standing back, watching all this, perhaps thinking WHAT ABOUT ME?  Where’s the magic pill for all I have suffered?  Where is the award for most patient spouse of the century?  You feel better, but I feel the same! 

Whew.  Sorry to go off like that.  As I said in paragraph one, I can only speak from my point of view.  So.  If I had a spouse who acknowledged ADHD, got treatment, made changes…. I’d be terrified.  He might not “need” me anymore.  He might start taking responsibility for stuff, so I can’t use him as an excuse for things being as they are.  He might start taking care of his health, so I can’t be the superior one any more.  He might start achieving things again, leaving me at home with my snacks and my books, and no life, because I had to put it all aside years ago to take care of him and the kids and the money and the house, and it’s too late to do it again.  I’m going to build me a wall, so I’ll finally feel f*ric#ing safe!  

I think that’s what you’re up against.  What would I need to knock a hole in that wall? 

Dear Wife,
If I never said I’m sorry for the confusion, hurt and loneliness you have endured, I’m sorry. 
If I never said thank you for holding us together all those years so we could still be here today, thank you.
If I never said that whenever I think about my future, I see you at the center of it, I’m saying it now.
I regret every day that I ever put that future in jeopardy, but I don’t want to live in regret.
If I could have understood then what I understand now, I wouldn’t have done it, but I didn’t know.
If you are still tired, I’ll wait while you rest.  If you are still hurt, I’ll wait while you heal.  If you are still angry, I’ll keep praying you find peace.  I still want to be your husband, and I still want you as my wife. 

Only you know whether a “grand gesture” (and I don’t mean a trip to Paris) or continual small gestures are the best way to help your wife break out.  No one knows her better than you do, now that you’ve started listening.  You might ask “how much more do I have to do?”  I don’t know, but you will, when you’ve done it.  Lastly, why should you have to be the one to get rid of the wall?  Because you’re the only one who has shown up. 

And most of the time, until you get good at real conversation and fun over food and wine,  stop having those kinds of “dates”.  Instead do things together.  What did you both enjoy, back in the day?  Bike riding?  Bowling?  Antique browsing?  Sky-diving?  Stamp collecting?  Activity, activity, activity, reduces the pressure, sets free the fun, lets you play together, for God’s sake.   If it feels awkward, too damn bad.  Keep practicing. 

Your most dangerous trap, at this point, is to follow your wife’s example into martyrdom.  To withhold, because you are experiencing that.  To suffer in silence, because she is. Beware.  And best wishes!

Wow... You are good! :)

Hit the wall sounds about right...

"wondering “how much time” it will take to get back to connected" is Exactly what I've been thinking for a while now. My DF's worst fear is someone making her look like a fool. I admitted to the mistakes, gone to the couple's therapy with her therapist. We agreed on goals, which were met early and acknowledged in a follow up session. The therapist was happy with the results and said we could come back if we felt like we needed to do so. "If they have been acknowledged, what does she gain by holding onto them?  Safety, for one.  You know the old adage, once burned, twice shy.  With us non-ADHD spouses, it can be years and years of getting burned.  If she holds you at a distance, she can convince herself she is avoiding hurt." This seems to be where we are and have been for a while. It was all about broken trust and an empty "Trust Bucket". I knew this "Bucket" was going to take a long time to get re-filled. The errors of the past that lead to my diagnosis have been eradicated. I don't lock my phone, texts, emails in plain sight. I never go anywhere without her, other than work. She knows what I do for lunch during the week. I put up the laptop, iPad or iPhone when she is comes into the family room. I never disappear on the computer upstairs. If I work late, I tell her beforehand and let her know how long and leave +/- 15 minutes of my word, or I let her know it's going to be longer. Honestly, she works late and on the weekends way more than I do. If the kids have a doctor's appointment or are sick, I plan the appointments and or stay/take them as much as she does. I am really trying here. If things are not under control, she just cannot stop worrying and will never do something selfish, like have a little fun. She is a worrier and always has been. I know what makes her tick and my laid-back nature made a good match. The bubble was burst (I failed and became another worry). 

Speaking of doctor's appointments, I've got to take DD#2 to one now. I will finish answering your questions in a little bit.

Hold please...

Do you think this might be a

Do you think this might be a case of "she has always been this way" but it only bothers you now, now that you NEED her. Before you were happy to fly 'under the radar', so you say, and just float by with whatever, whenever. Now that you've been successfully treating your ADHD, becoming more self aware, and maybe becoming more aware of and needing more human contact maybe you're expecting things of her that she's never really given, but now that you NEED them, you're struggling with accepting HER 'as she is'. ??? Just a thought. I know my husband seems to give a shit less about relating to me on a level even as just friends who talk and spend time together...until he 'needs' me...and I am expected to switch gears and meet his needs. I'm struggling hard not to just completely shut down and want nothing from him. Maybe this is where your wife is 'stuck'. Maybe you were a better 'fit' when you were both OK with the roommate situation. I'm not saying she shouldn't try a little more, but I do believe you need to say something to her along the lines of what gardener said..."I know things haven't always been perfect, and for that I am sorry. Can we start anew? I really would enjoy spending some time with you..just you and me. I know it is not our 'comfort zone' but it can be if we try enough" 

I know when I 'give into my husband's needs' it feels very scary and like I know the other shoe will drop just as soon as he gets what he needs from me I will be alone and lonely again...so  maybe it is more about control and her needing to be certain this won't happen to her if she does give in. Maybe she is stuck in the 'parent/child' roles and cannot get out. Either way, you need to get to the bottom of it and she needs to help you work through it. 

Not always so guarded...

She is pretty much the same and has always been a worrier, like she has to make everything right for everyone first. As an employee, boss, mother, daughter and needs the world to think "She got this"... She fears people judging her, or having someone do something to make her look like a fool, someone to be pitied or worse laughed at. Our lives were pretty good for a long time other than never being really safe financially. Always nervous on any vacation and every time we seem to get caught up, something seems to find a way to knock us back off-balance.

My DW has seen a psychologist off and on for 10+ years, but has not had a session since shortly after my diagnosis. I would think that more therapy could have helped, but during our couples therapy her doctor picked up on ADD's affects on our marriage and maybe that affected her. Like Gardener said "I got the Easy Button, quick results, quick improved behavior, Poor behavior caused by a Joke disease excuse, Side Effects include Weight Loss, and She has to still work on herself, accept my diagnosis, take meds with side effects which include Weight Gain and Decreased Sex Drive, Hardly fair of course. I understand all of this and I try to re-assure her that she is the only one for me. I have apologized about my mistakes and she has accepted my apology, with the conditions that they do not occur again, and they have not.   

As far as my Needs, I don't push her, because I don't want her to feel bad about not wanting to do things. But I know she feels bad anyway, because she thinks she should fulfill my needs so she worries about it, adding to her list of worries. We talk about doing things, but since everything is more important than our fun time.

Things have been at a higher stress level, with DD#1 being withdrawn and depressed. My DW has had a hard time with understanding the issues and thinking it might just be dramatics or trying to fake ADD to get meds like me. This would leave my DW off the list again. Maybe improvement will occur when things settle down a bit.

More later...



summerwine's picture

This is great but what about

This is great but what about all the horrible things she has said or did to him? When is he going to get an apology for the lashing out and the making fun and the picking and the distance and the disapproval? never? Is that okay? Is she justified to be cruel to him? Was my exhusband justified when he called me a stupid bitch all the time? Don't I deserve and apology for that? Where is MY dignity? Why does the person with ADHD have to do all the work and do all the begging for forgiveness? When do I get treated with respect? Doesn't yyz deserve respect and love? Why is it okay that she refuses to give it and he just has to keep licking her boots? Am I missing something here? I feel like because I have ADHD no one ever has to apologize for being cruel to me because I probably deserved it for being ADHD. Just once I want someone (my ex) to look me in the eyes and say "you didn't deserve the way I treated you"  Why can't I get that? Why can't yyz?

I think these are all very

I think these are all very good questions...for your ex-husband. 

I have, on more than one occasion, apologized to my husband for being so angry. Better yet, I have worked my ASS OFF trying to change those angry behaviors and be far more supportive and loving..in the face of (I HOPE YOU GET THIS) getting NOTHING in return. That is, he hasn't quit drinking (very important to me), he has not started going back to church with me (also VERY important to me), he has not initiated or admitted to needing any kind of treatment (obviously very important to anyone with ADHD), he has not stopped being dishonest (again, obviously very important..VERY). But I am still trying to be kind to him...I do not call him stupid, EVER...even though everything that comes from my mouth is taken as such. As for his dignity...his behaviors strip that from himself daily...not ME. I know he cannot be proud of himself for some of the things he does...but he is responsible for himself and his actions...NOT ME. PLEASE stop acting as if there is anyone here who expects you to bow down and take ANY sort of abuse or cruelty. Is there something going on that is making you seem so defensive? I ask because I would truly like to HELP you sort through it...please use us as a resource to help you and not as a punching bag.

YYZ does not deserve the 'wall' he is facing...I agree with you on that. I would jump for joy if my DH had done half of the things he has done to try and make life better. Everyone deserves an apology if someone has hurt them. No one can dictate to YYZ's wife how long she needs to 'heal'...but I suspect, in her case, she is just locked up tight in her martyrdom and won't be coming out anytime soon. As I tell many people here, the problem is not just with the person who has ADHD.

of course

If I could speak to YYZ's spouse, if I could offer her something to think about or work on or apologize for, I probably would.  But she isn't here.  She isn't looking for answers.  Is she justified to be cruel to him?  Nope.  Was your ex justified in calling you a stupid bitch?  Never.  Don't you deserve an apology?  Yep.  Where is your dignity?  I don't know.  Why does the person with ADHD have to do all the work?  They don't.  When do you get treated with respect?  I don't know.  Doesn't YYZ deserve respect and love?  Yep.  Why is okay that she refuses to give it and he has to keep licking her boots?  That's absurd.  Nothing in my statements said that it was okay or that he ought to lick her boots.  I encouraged him to express his love and commitment, which isn't boot-licking in any sense of the word.  Are you missing something here?  Yes.  I'm sorry you feel like no one ever has to apologize to you.  I would LOVE it if your ex looked you in the eyes and said you didn't deserve it.  You ask, why can't you get that?  I don't know.  You ask, why can't YYZ?  That's what I was trying to address.  I gave a "for example" of what I would like to hear, in case it might be something his wife might need to hear.  I have looked again and can find nothing in my writing which implies the way your ex treated you was acceptable.  

You ask when he is going to get an apology "for lashing out and the making fun and the picking and the distance and the disapproval".  If this occurred in their relationship, then maybe he needs to look for an apology for that.  What I was responding to was YYZ's persistent struggle with feeling connected to his spouse and wanting to feel like they are making progress on repairs to their relationship, rather than just lessening his ADHD's effects.  

Been there, done

Been there, done that...'waking up in a king sized bed alone...didn't do anything to deserve it...won't tell me where he is living....probably with the other woman' (my husband was...indeed...having an affair)

BUT...you can recover from this. Whether he is cheating, not cheating, comes home today or never comes home...all of this is OK. One of the most powerful lines, as corny as it sounds, in the Codependent No More book for me was "All is well for the moment. All is as it should be and as it needs to be. All will be well - better than you think" (at the end of chapter 5) Don't focus on Feb 3rd, don't focus on what he's doing or not doing. Don't focus on anything but making each and every minute of your life worth living in spite of your current circumstances. 

Chances are you are right...and he will come crawling back at the 11th hour and you will have a very hard decision to make. My best advice to you is to do a LOT of soul searching between then and now. Ask yourself some tough questions, the ones that many of us non's shove to the back of our minds and very masterfully pretend don't matter. Please work on YOU and finding YOUR strength so that you can make any and all decisions you need to make in the near future based on what is truly best for you...and if you cannot do that on Feb 3rd, then see if you can get a postponement. You need to be able to decide what you want and not let your emotions get in the way. The stronger you get emotionally, the harder the decisions feel, but the more clarity you have knowing what is right for you. (((HUGS))) My heart mourns for us all...even our ADHDers. Very sad.


Hi Sherri,

Been out all day at my friends house with my kids, come home at 9pm to a message on the machine from my husband, which was left at about 4:45pm.  He says to call him back because he wants to "talk."  Called his cell phone about 9:30 pm at night.  Of course he does not pick up, and I leave a message for him to call me.  PS:  It is now 12:30 am and still have not heard from him this evening.  So, my question is, where is this man (who might I add, is still married to me) on a Sunday?  Are these the actions of a man who wants to reconcile with me?  All I am doing right now is tormenting myself with images of women he could be in bed with right now, because it sure as hell is not me!

Why does he even bother calling me?  I wish he would just get out of my life and stop communicating anything with me.  All it does is gets my hopes up and then he cuts me down again.

Believe me, Sherri, all I want to do is work on me, but I don't even know who "me" is anymore.  I feel as if my husband has stripped me of everything; my pride, dignity, money earning capacity.  I've been reduced to nothing.  I  have let him do this to me.  I don't think I have ever hated anybody as much as I hate this man right now.  I can't believe this is the same man that I stood opposite of and said marriage vows to 12 years ago.

Might I also add that I am turning 50 years old in August.  This is certainly not how I imagined my life would be like at the age of 50!

Well, I'm going to try and get some sleep now in between my racing thoughts.  It still amazes me how easily my husband is able to dismiss me and his kids out of his life whenever he feels like it.  I guess tomorrow when I wake up, I better start working on my papers to fill out for family court on Friday.  Life is just very sad for me lately.  

Sleep well everyone.





My first thought on the

My first thought on the message thing was that he was NEEDING you at that moment, but found a way to 'cope' otherwise and when his need went away, then so did your ability to reach him on the phone. Most likely a moment of weakness and it passed...until the next one. It is actually, in my opinion, good that he wasn't able to get ahold of you (i.e. have you give him what he needed at the moment). I think my husband's affair (and our separation) were both prolonged because he got everything he needed from me...and then left me sitting here alone, lonely, confused, and feeling hopeless...and he was out partying and having a good ole time with 'her'.

Reading your post, I will tell you what is holding you back from being able to 'find' yourself again...you're blaming him. It is very hard to admit that there is something fundamentally  wrong with US or we wouldn't have EVER allowed ourselves to be treated as we have. We would have never reacted to our circumstances the way we have. We would not have allowed ourselves to be beaten down, doubted ourselves, and surrendered our pride and dignity if there wasn't something WE need to work on ourselves.  You cannot hate him for treating you poorly....instead look for the reasons as to why YOU allowed it. That is where your healing will start. I am in the infancy stage of this self-discovery, but feel so very forunate to finally realize this. If the very first time my husband displayed his ADHD behaviors (as early as 6 months into our marriage) I would have not immediately started taking it personally, started feeling codepdenent, started reacting in ways that made me ashamed of myself, and started giving away my power to him then things might have gone so very differently for us. I wish so badly we had gotten the diagnosis before he was at such a 'low' place in life...because I think that is a key reason he refuses to admit he needs help. So much has happened that he either doesn't feel his marriage is worth it...or so much has happened that he feels the simple fact that we are still 'together' means there really isn't anything that needs to be done. (denial).

Got this from a FB page I get daily "God wants you to know" updates...it can apply whether you are spiritual in that way or not...I hope you can apply it to your upcoming 50th birthday and change your perspective about it...

On this day, God wants you to know...that a new beginning is always possible. Let the greening of the Earth in springtime be a sign for you that a new beginning is always possible, even after the longest, coldest, darkest winter.

Please keep us posted...(((HUGS)))

Another thought...in every

Another thought...in every codependent relationship, there was always a time when we were victims. Victims of some unknown force that transformed our lives into something we could have never fathomed. We didn't deserve this. We didn't deserve to have the fairy tale we thought we were getting (many of us truly thought we had found prince charming re-incarnate!) turn out to be a reality, but one that faded as the ADHD hyperfocus wore off and reality set in. It is foreign to us and very hard to comprehend how someone can be so drastically different because of brain chemicals...and then just have them switch off over night (I can tell you the exact day my husband's hyperfocus died) and we wake up feeling like we've been hit by a tazer. BUT then we recognize the ADHD...recognize how we allowed ourselves to fall into the victim role...and then we move on. I don't hate my husband for anything he has done or does not do (such as admit he needs help, actively seek treatment)...I do hate that life could not be different (better) for him by getting a diagnosis earlier in his life, but I refuse to spend the rest of my life being a victim of his ADHD. He isn't brain dead, he knows he needs help...even if he won't admit it. If he continues to refuse to get help, then I can only blame myself if I continue to live with him untreated. MY CHOICES are my own...and I cannot hate him for them.

Can't we just all get along?!

Hi SherriW13,  and anyone else listening,

My husband just stopped by my house to give me a whole $20.00 (which by the way means nothing)!  We spent the whole half hour he was here talking about the family court date the Friday morning, the 3rd,  and what is going to be said.  I was fine when he was here, never cried, was very strong, but now that he is gone back to wherever he is staying (a friend, another woman, who knows?!), I feel incredibly sad.  I don't know if I'm sad over the fact that I'm still in love with him, or I just am deathly afraid of starting this whole single parent thing!?  In the moment he was here I just wanted to grab him and hold him tight, tell him I love him and not let go.  Why can't we just break down all these walls and just be happy?!  I am being a stupid, sappy, idiot?  I mean, we have children together, we have a family together, we have a history!  Shouldn't this mean anything?  Should I tell him all this, or am I just setting myself up for more disappointment and being made of fool out of?  Are ADHD people (yes, he does get treatment) that afraid of rejection that they will not put themselves out there like this?  I'm very confused.  I know I have to go through with this thing Friday morning or I will never hear the end of it from my family!

Please somebody help!!!



My Help


You have to do what your heart tells you to do.  Has he acknowledged his ADHD?  Is he in therapy or counseling?  On medication?  Willing to get help?  Those are the important issues right now, not throwing yourself back in his arms to be set up for more hurt and confusion.

You are by no means a sappy idiot.  You have the unfortunate situation that many of us here do, you love a man with ADHD.  Get yourself in counseling, get him in counseling, get him to his GP, or a psychiatrist and get on this...AND NOW!   ADHD, in my experience is like a cancer, and the longer it's left untreated, the worse things are.  NO, it won't kill anyone in the physical sense, as the cancer would, but it kills hopes and dreams and your spirit AND RELATIONSHIPS.  Get help for both of you if you still love him.  If it's not meant to be, then you will know that you have given it your best shot and it was not meant to be.

I wish you all the best, and offer a sympathetic HUG. :)


TOM: I am an ADHD guy and If

TOM: I am an ADHD guy and If you want to know the truth all that drama you are creating within yourself, just makes the situation worse. Why do you have a need to see yourself as superior. Scientists now believe that the gene that causes ADHD was the gene of the hunter who had to have a keen awareness of everything in the environment to provide meat and to stay alive. They postulate that the non-ADHD people were the gatherers who stayed behind and did repetitive mind-numbing jobs. They were genetically suitable to focus on boring tasks. Of course they socialize well. What else did the have to relieve their boredom.

If you are trying to take a genetic hunter and make her a gatherer, that is not going to work. You can give her all of the feel good drugs that you want, but that will not change who she is. If you are a gatherer, gather and let her hunt. Hunters can do things that gatherers can not imagine. They can point things out in the environment that gatherers can not even see. They are honest because the are not genetically programmed to be socially dishonest. While gatherers are programmed to sit around and talk about nothing, hunters are programmed to talk about real things and to reject talking for talking's sake. In fact, hunters are programmed to be quiet and to talk when necessary. Before the advent of television hunters were respected. Eienstein was a classic hunter. He forgot everything. With the advent of television (especially situation comedies) the idle chatter of skillful gatherers became the standard for judging people. Out school students are taught to participate in teams. We are judged at work by how we support others and how others see us. The hunter who goes off on his own to explore the universe or create s revolutionary concept or idea, is told to go back to your cubicle and take your meds. You have ADHD Einstein. Get used to eating nuts and grain, because the days of fresh meat will be over if the gatherers do not encourage the hunters to hunt. That is a metaphor. Many gatherers take things litterally when hunters are speaking symbolically.


Tired old man's picture

Another song that stirs my heart....

  It's been 6 months since I posted the name of a song that I'm finding a surprising emotional connection to.  At my age, I'm not really that into pop music, but this came on Radio Disney while my daughter and I were in the car. I heard the words, and I started weeping right there at the traffic light. 

Katy Perry.  "Wide Awake". 

  Do you have a song, or verse that connects with you??  I'd like to hear about it.