speeding tickets

My husband now has two speeding tickets within 12 months.  One more would lead to suspension of his driver's license.  Me driving him is not an option; he commutes 280 miles (round trip) to and from his job as a caregiver for his parents once a week.  Do I do anything?

I guess speeding happens when

I guess speeding happens when one is tired and not paying attention to the speed. Roughly two hours each way is still a long trip. Not sure what you can do but maybe it's time for his parents to move closer or you guys relocate closer to his parents, or is a nursing home or respite care an option? If he has siblings who live closer to the parents, I don't see why they can't pick up that one day? Not sure you can do anything if sharing the driving together is not an option -- I find myself in a similar predicament, except it's with my parents and I can't go see them at all.


Thanks for commiserating.

Thanks for commiserating.  Unfortunately, I have little influence over the situation with my in-laws.  Taking care of them is my husband's "job"; he drives up on Fridays and returns on Tuesdays, so the driving isn't all on one day.  My in-laws refuse to get care from anyone outside the family.  Of course, if my husband loses his license, I guess they'll have to make some adjustments.  I suppose losing one's license is a logical consequence of not taking ADHD and its ramifications seriously.

I think it would be enabling to the extreme for me to agree to leave my job (I'm the primary breadwinner and my job is the only one with benefits) and sell our house, our most valuable asset, because my husband is not controlling his ADHD sufficiently to pay attention when he's driving.    

Gosh no

Ha! It certainly isn't a good idea to quit your job. I don't think you should intervene on this issue. Perhaps losing his license would be a wake up call. An expensive one.  I presume he is aware of the consequences? Speeding is one of those symptoms listed in Pera's book. Amazing how broadly it can spread. And his parents can move instead, or get non family help, not your job to worry about. Control what you can control and try to let the rest go.  Argh!

Thank you, Shelley.  I've

Thank you, Shelley.  I've decided to not intervene.  Suspension of my husband's drivers license would be an expensive for him and inconvenient for me, but I agree that it would be a wake-up call.  I appreciate the reinforcement for my decision.

speeding an ADHD symptom?

I didn't quite know it was that specific but it makes sense (like getting high).  My ADHD spouse likes to speed as well.  She stopped though, after she saw my reaction to her tickets.  One day a cop stopped her while I was in the car, and she started to cry because she realized the impact it was making on our relationship (and perhaps her bank account).  Good news is she now drives carefully.  I've also read that sometimes, people with ADHD only learn when it's a crisis... it's too bad that it may need to take a suspension of your husband's license to possibly get him to pay more attention.  My wife even wanted a race car at one point.  Thank god we never got one.


Don't quit your job.  Good for you for stepping back.  Your husband has to face his own consequences.   

In my husband's situation, I

In my husband's situation, I don't think he gets a high from speeding.  But he definitely does not seem to acknowledge the consequences of his actions nor the consequences of his inaction.  Even after months of therapy with therapist # 6 or 7, and years of treatment with medications, and an intense outpatient treatment program a few years ago, my husband's behavioral symptoms, specifically time management, have not appreciably improved.  It's very frustrating.  It seems that getting two speeding tickets, for speeding that occurred because he was in a hurry, would be a sufficient wake-up call that the ADHD-related hurrying and lack of good time management skills are not being dealt with and are having effects.

good point

Thanks for pointing out my assumption that speeding is all about a high.  In my wife's case, I'm pretty sure it's about the high.  But yeah, everyone will have different reasons for it, ADHD or not.  

I'm having to face that some of my spouse's symptoms may never change or improve much.  It sounds like possibly your husband's time management has it's limits too and that perhaps, no amount of treatment will ever get it to what you might expect or want from him.  But, my partner surprises me sometimes... though it's not consistent.  Once in a while I see something change, and then revert, and then improve a little, and then go back to the way it was.  I hope that your husband is able to learn something wise out of his speeding tickets.  And also, if he continues to lack good time management or repeat destructive behaviors, you may just have to accept his limits too.  I've realized is that there are some things that my ADHD partner will never be able to do, learn or understand, and that's that.  It hurts, and in my case, I'm hoping there will come a time when it won't hurt so much, or just let go so I can be happier.

I understand that the

I understand that the behavior might never change.  That is frustrating and hurtful.  At this point, because of my husband's behaviors that won't/can't change, I'm the primary breadwinner and primary parent, do the vast majority of the household chores, and make all major decisions, all while coping with financial problems leading from the husband's behaviors that won't/can't change and with now-chronic health problems that I don't have time to resolve and can't talk about with my husband, because of behavior that won't/can't change (lack of empathy combined with extreme self-centeredness and apathy).



Rosered, I think this one must be very stressful and painful, but good for you for deciding not to do anything. You can't drive for him and even though it may affect you, perhaps getting another one would be a wake up call. Sorry it would affect you. 


Is he chronically late? I know my STBX sped all the time (managed to talk himself out of a few tickets, which he was proud of). But it was because he was always late for everything--work, movies, picking up kids, everything -- so he would try to make up the time by driving fast. One of our last days together we got pulled over right outside a friend's wedding. He was tired of me criticizing him for making me late to everything and he was trying to "prove" that we could still get there on time. He talked his way out of the ticket, we sneaked in 2 seconds before she walked down the aisle (had to step over everyone in silence, the last to arrive, and he looked at me and said, "See!?!") I told him that I was never getting in a car with him driving again. Sigh.

Best to you. Hang in there. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture


My husband drives beyond the speed limit.  I  really don't know why I give myself permission to drive 5 miles over the posted limit, but think I can judge him for driving 20-30 over  - but I do!!

In all honesty, what could you do?  I have explained to my spouse how uncomfortable I feel when he speeds, and ask him to please stay within the speed limit if I am in the vehicle.  He agreed, and does.  I do need to remind him - often.  

It is a different story if he is angry.  Then he doesn't care, and I refuse to get in the vehicle with him.  

He always has a it-was-not-my-fault attitude if he gets pulled over.  He refuses to admit he was in the wrong.  Nope, it was a police officer who was out to get him - needed to meet their monthly quota- etc., etc., etc.  

He does not see his speeding, nor believes hs reckless driving as a reality.  He thinks we actually invent stories about episodes to tease him.  


I think the speeding tickets

I think the speeding tickets are a concern to me because I see them as evidence of poorly controlled ADHD.  And in the past, poorly controlled ADHD caused my husband to do dumb things like leave his work vehicle in a condition and position that caused it to roll backwards and hit a tree, and he then was fired.  

I've realized that I'm not as concerned about the speeding tickets per se as about the fact that they, along with many other things, indicate that my husband is making no progress in overcoming the challenges posed by ADHD and his other psychological disorders and that he doesn't seem to give a damn that he's making no progress.  He's happy to go warm his therapist's couch every week and talk about his feelings, but work on time management so that he won't have to hurry?  Nope, that's too hard and scary.

ADHD can get in the way of their own progress

As far as I understand, ADHD can be like a catch-22.  If the ADHDer wants to recover (and I don't know if Rosered, your husband is sincerely interested or not), things like forgetfulness will cause them to miss therapy appointments, feeling hunky dory can cause them to not recognize they still need the help, lack of awareness of the impact of their behaviors may prevent them from improving relationships, short-term memory stops them from learning from their mistakes and so they repeat them again and again...and again... did I say again?! etc.  So when you say that "he doesn't seem to give a damn that he's making no progress" that may actually just be another ADHD symptom or something related to it (he thinks he's getting better, he doesn't recognize there's a problem, he's out of touch with reality or whatever).  

I used to get very frustrated with my partner because it seemed like she just didn't care (was inconsiderate) and from my point of view, wasn't taking her ADHD seriously.  She was broke, treating me like crap etc.  But then I realized, it's not that she didn't care.  It's that her brain disorder was causing her to act like she didn't care (or actually not care - you pick).   Her ADHD symptoms were getting in the way of her own recovery.  At this point, I try not to take her behaviors so personally.  I just have to decide whether or not to keep living with her ADHD and how.

BeingNT, you're right.  My

BeingNT, you're right.  My struggle right now is to decide whether to stay with my husband.  I know that the ADHD may be the thing that is causing my husband to not know that his behavior isn't improving.  I've been invited to attend a therapy session.  I'm reluctant because I think my husband will see this as further acknowledgment that it's OK for him to depend on me to make changes, but I'll probably go, so that I can express directly to the therapist my concern about my husband's stagnant or worsening symptoms.  

hopefully the therapist will help

Rosered - I'm going through the same struggle, whether to stay or go.  I've proposed living separately as a possibility, maybe it can save my relationship.  I have quite a few friends who live apart from their spouses and it's worked out well.  I'm still deciding what to do.  I hope you get clarity soon too.  

Maybe you are able to get some support from your husband's therapist.  My spouse and I see a therapist together, and the therapist is quick to point out what my partner can't see.  I actually feel like I'm being heard and my wife has begun to understand that actually, it NOT OK for her to depend on me.  We have a very good therapist who seems to understand ADHD (and my wife's other disorders also).  So it's helped to have someone else there. Feel free to share how the visit goes on the forum.  I sincerely wish you good luck with that, I know how it can feel.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

My own anger

I guess my own frustration and pain, from living with a spouse with un-addressed ADHD, gets in my way.  Years of couples counseling haven't gotten us anywhere.  The last counselor told me I have to move past my anger.  I'm trying.  I find it hard - very hard.  I have assumed all the responsibility of our finances.  We are sinking into deeper debt.  I am tired of shouldering it all alone. My spouse is self-employed.  He has been in business 32 years  - and sinks close to $1,000 deeper in debt each month.  Yep, at a rate of $12,000 per year.  A windfall several years ago allowed us to pay off $150,000 of the debt, leaving us with a 15-year  mortgage.  That didn't last long.   4 years later - $50,000 in debt.  

I am at a loss how to stop the insanity.  I want to sell our home and RV and tractor and get into an apartment.   My spouse is attached to the land.  Won't budge. 

I do not want to be divorced.  I do not want to be divorced.  I do not want to be divorced. But I feel it . . . . .. I am so at a loss.  What will friends and family think?  They think we have a perfect marriage..

The Sanford and son routine happened again this week.  On top of our debt, my spouse sees value in scrap/junk/  He hauls it in here by the truckload with big dreams of selling it. . . . but the cycle repeats and it ends in piles in the barn or back yard.  Very close to hoarding.  Open the barn door to a wall of 'stuff.'  

Why can't I just say, "I am outa' here?"



It's one thing to let go of

It's one thing to let go of anger based on (or to forgive someone for) things in the past.  It's another thing to let go of anger or to be forgiving for actions and behaviors that occur every day and that, as far as one can tell, will never stop occurring.  It's very hard to be in the position in which the only real choices are to quash one's normal reactions (e.g., anger in response to a spouse bankrupting the family) or to end the marriage.  But that's the position of many of us who are married to people with ADHD.  And then when you add in that poor money management and inability to keep a job are common manifestations of ADHD, the non-ADHD spouse is in the position of not being able to leave the marriage even if he or she would like to do so.  

I'm So Exhausted's picture

What is that feeling?

I feel very odd.  Not stuck.  Not trapped.  Can't label it.  It is not a pleasant place to be. I do know I do not what to be in this spot.  

If I can't label it, I don't know how to work on it.


First I agree with almost everything there.  The only thing I point out is that we aren't really supposed to quash our normal reactions, but rather change them to align better with the reality of our spouses.  Change natural responses you say?  What's natural about that?  Well not a lot.  But we are asking our spouses to retrain their brains so I suppose it's not out of line to ask the same of ourselves.  Up to a point.  The books tell us to make ourselves clear and set boundaries, but from what I can tell, most of us don't really do that.  Instead we just take on more and more and quash a lot of negativity which makes it really hard to move past anger.

But it is really hard to consistently make ourselves clear and set those boundaries.  Because we are rarely rewarded for it.  But I do think it's reasonable to expect your spouse to acknowledge that he isn't managing the ADHD well and that it is reasonable for you to expect him to show some effort to do so.  This is the only way we can have hope of improvement.  Maybe that is something you could discuss at that counseling appointment.  And if you have a doc of your own, maybe you can ask for strategies on how to set boundaries and expectations. 

I asked mine, and it seemed to come down to just do it.  In a much nicer way of course.  And when I have it does go better. 

Chances are your husband doesn't want to get divorced.  I'm sure he can see that he would be screwed without you.  But that in a way may be interfering with his progress, it is emasculating.  So if he realized that you were seriously considering it, he might make more of an effort.

I have retrained my brain

I have retrained my brain quite a bit, as a matter of fact.  My husband, on the contrary, has not made efforts to retrain his brain or himself.  

Oh i totally see the effort you have made

It is obvious that you have done a tremendous amount of work.  I didn't mean to imply otherwise.  I think I was being more self-critical than anything because I hate conflict so I rarely do a good job of setting those boundaries and asking for better behavior.  I just want to bury my head in the sand or run away.  Alas, that won't get me what I want.  The counseling session though does provide a forum for you to ask for measurable effort in managing the ADHD symptoms.  It's very hard for hubby to avoid the issue when the 3rd party is there and you are being quite reasonable. 

I know how hard this is for

I know how hard this is for all of us!  I'm not a head burier but I do tend to go through cycles of trying very hard to make changes and then saying, essentially, "F... this" when my husband doesn't change at all.


Hi I'm so,

I am sorry you are in this position. Is there any way you can at least separate your finances so that you feel like you are more in control of what happens? So that everything isn't joint and you don't have to carry his debt into your old age (since he won't budge on minimizing your life expenses?) 

I hear you. Divorce is awful. I am going through one right now. I will tell you--I asked the same thing--what will everyone think? His family will hate me. I am a failure... all of the above. I am not advocating it for you or anyone, but one day I realized. They (meaning "everybody") don't have to live my life. They don't live with and wake up to my situation every day. It doesn't affect them. And one from a friend who has been in recovery for years and years: "It is not your business what they think." Sure, it was a shock when we split up and I left. But that passed pretty quickly and everyone went on with their lives...including me. 

At any rate, best of luck to you. Try to focus on the things you can control and taking care of yourself. 

I had to stop complaining

"Instead we just take on more and more and quash a lot of negativity which makes it really hard to move past anger." In retrospect, I see that I quashed to avoid my grief.  When I finally faced it, it HURTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!  It meant accepting the reality that my wife wasn't going to give me what I so desperately wanted and needed.  And I keep facing it over and over, whenever something else comes up in my relationship to show me or remind me of what I want and is missing.

I think that many of us non-ADHDers have probably spent a lot of time complaining about our spouses, trying to change them, feeling hurt over and over, hoping for better, because let's face it, as nice as some moments are, we still feel very unsatisified with our relationships.  I'm not judging anyone, but I realized I had to stop complaining about my wife, to anyone including myself.  I mean, airing out feelings is one thing, and I think getting angry over something happening in the here and now is also something I wouldn't want to lose, but I can go in circles if I just keep saying "she this and she that".  I realized that I was avoiding my feelings at a certain level, and mostly, avoiding taking full responsibility for myself.  

"It is not your business what they think." Blunt, but so empowering.  I also feel self-conscious about what my family would think, and my friends.  But in the end, I need to be happy and I know that's what they would want for me.  And I know they would be there for me also.  My siblings are both divorced, so I almost take pride in being the only one who's sticking it out.  But I gotta drop that machismo because it's not helping.

To: I'm so --- ask yourself where your life will be five years from now, and where you want it to go.  I would agree with linninny, if you can get some independence financially or otherwise, you may feel more in control and better.  That's what I've been doing and it's helping a lot.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

beingNT,I have the logical


I have the logical understanding of not caring what others think.  The hiccup comes in the fact that I have spent so many years "pretending/hiding/protecting" my spouse, that my family sees him as Mr. Fun, making everything a great time for everyone.

If we stay on the path we are on, I see a train wreck of major proportions in a short amount of time.  I see a much better life on a differnt  track - and I am so disappointed my spouse seems to fight tooth and nail to stay on his track to disaster.  

In counseling sessions he cries and cries, and I am asked, "How can you not be moved by his emotions?"  One counselor said, "Look what you have done to each other.  He is sad, and you are mad."  Sigh.  My paradigm - my spouse can play the 'victim card' like an expert:  He cries,  "I try so hard.  I cannot understand why she doesn't appreciate me."  

We have been married since 1984.  Our daughter got engaged recently, and we are planning an August wedding. My heart's desire is for all the focus to be on her and her special day.  Why oh why is all this stuff with my spouse coming to a head now - - of all times?!  Ignoring it is not working.   

Your Counselor

Your counselor needs to read my book, in my opinion, which will provide insight into how and why you are not moved.  Consider giving him/her a copy.