What to Say Thank You for in ADHD Marriages

A writer in this forum just posted about how important it is to remember the good in our partners.  I re-post her thoughts here as well as add my own.  I encourage you all to stop and take a moment to post something in this thread that is good about your partner - ADHD or not.  Okay, so here is the post that moved me:

"I find it very sad that even under an article under the subject "Joy in Marriages with ADHD" people can still find a way to post negative and disheartening comments about their spouses.  I understand people need to vent, and I do understand how frustrated and downtrodden non-ADHD spouses can feel even in the best of times.  I have been married to my ADHD husband for seven years, and we have two children.  My husband is difficult to understand and keep up with, as is any human being, but the positive aspects of him as a person FAR outweigh any negative attributes that stem from his diagnosis.  He is full of energy, even when he hasn't slept properly.  He can see through the forest when I'm bogged down by the trees.  He is never lazy.  In fact, he can clean the house more efficiently in two hours than I can in six.  He is an amazing father and husband, and he has made significant efforts to change negative behaviors that have affected our marriage due to his ADHD.  He is able to confront his symptoms and try to solve them, and he wants to with my help.  He doesn't view me as the un-supportive, whiny wife who needs a forum to vent about his downfalls, because I'm not.  Can we please start a string of POSITIVE comments from spouses who truly love and appreciate their ADHD spouses for who they are, symptoms and all?  We all need people around us who understand what we are experiencing, and I'm sorry if it sounds like I am being condescending or harsh.  I just want non-ADHD spouses to realize every issue they are experiencing could just as easily occurred with a spouse who does not have ADHD.  I was married before to a perfectly healthy man who mentally and emotionally abused me for eight years, and my ADHD husband was my light at the end of a dark, dismal road.  He is my knight and shining armor and my blessing from God.  He helps me find strength in myself every day, and his perseverance with me is far more than I have experienced with any other human being --- ADHD or not.

Please be thankful for the person you vowed to spend your life with, and praise God for every breath you are allowed to spend with him/her."

I would like to add my own "thank you's" to her comments, from my own marriage.  So, for George:

  • Thank you for being patient with me, and always flexible and accommodating
  • I appreciate that you always take my comments and ideas seriously, even if you don't agree with them (and even if I've said them one too many times!)
  • Thanks for continuing to clean up the dishes - it means a lot to me (as does your other participation with family and house)
  • Thanks for your generous spirit.  And for the thousands of hours you support me by managing this site even though you are so busy - that may be the ultimate in generosity!
  • Thanks for being so even-keeled.  I really appreciate the effort you've made to get your ADHD under control and we both live the benefits of it
  • Thanks for being a father who can still help his college-aged kids with their (very) complex math problems...I will always admire your intelligence and your ability to juggle a million things in your mind at one time
  • Thanks for the hugs today

What might you say thank you for?  And a warning - NEGATIVE COMMENTS ATTACHED TO THIS PARTICULAR POST WILL BE DELETED!   :-)


thank you, too

Melissa: Thank you for these very thoughtful "thank-you's".  You have been wonderful all these years for putting up with me, and for growing with me on this journey.  I know that it has not been the easiest time for you.  George

A note of appreciation for my Hubby too

On the theme of Hubby appreciation, I thought I'd take this opportunity to publicly add mine to this thread.  (My husband, Steve, and I have been followers and great appreciators of Melissa and her teachings on ADHD and marriage for about a year now.  Although I see us in a continuous process of learning and growing, we have made fantastic strides with Melissa's help).  So, let me commence with the appreciation:


  • Thank you for sticking by me during some truly interesting rollar coaster rides. (You know what I mean).
  • Thank you for understanding my ADHD, as we continue to work with yours.
  • Thank you for doing all the stuff you do with the computers that I would just never begin to understand.
  • Thank you for making dinner tonight, taking out the trash every Monday, and being willing to at least talk about when we might get the storage unit cleared out!
  • Thanks for always supporting me in my career, and whatever interesting twists and turns it might be taking.
  • Thanks for listening at times when I have had a lot of input and not enough output. 

And, like Melissa said to George, I do really appreciate the hugs, even though sometimes I'm so hyperfocused that I don't seem like I'm completely present to receive them.  Sorry about that!

And as they say, in this case, it is as joyful to give as it is to receive!

Thank you again, Melissa.  You've taught us both so much.  And we continue to be avid students...again, in great appreciation!

Nancie K.

Thank you!

I was so moved by this post that I had to write my part. It’s funny that I had just read another article yesterday on a different website about how a “thank you’ and expressing gratitude can save your marriage! Melissa, you are just awesome in many ways, especially the way you inspire people with your knowledge and experience! I can’t explain how much we (both my partner and I) have learned from you and hoping to learn in this wonderful life journey although it is very tough at times! And it’s so easy to forget how many ways our ADHD partners make our life simple and easy on various occasions.
I hereby thank Carl, my partner for his childlike innocence and enthusiasm for anything which helps to look at life as fresh as ever! I thank you for your willingness to help with anything (gardening/computer/house etc) no matter how busy you are. It’s amazing how capable and curious you are to find new stuff from net all the time. I love the fact that you can so easily to do anything new and different event though you may have other priorities. I thank you for all the help you have done for my son on various occasions. I love that you love cooking due to which we all enjoy different type of food from all over the world! It’s so amazing to see that I get an answer from you for anything I ask and I can rely on you on that! I thank you for all the support you have given me when my Dad died and all other problems which I keep having with my folks. I have always learned something different about them when I discuss issues with you. Thank you for all the support you have provided whenever I had to do anything with my resume during my job search and also your inputs at times for my clients. I am surprised about your willingness to watch my regional language (Malayalam) movies and your interest in learning other cultures and mostly the multiple interest which opens up a whole new big world of wisdom. At times, I am so shocked how easy you can let go and move on easily.
I am really amazed by your technical knowledge!
I have learned a lot from you – about world and life in general. Although we still haven’t reached where we would like, it has been a pleasure knowing you for last 8 years and thank you so much for being a most important part of my life in these years.

Thank you for your appreciation.

Ajimol, thank you for your kind words, in keeping with the spirit of this post  I would like to acknowledge and thank you for the complete turnaround you have brought into my life.  First of all thank you for being the one to discover both my sleep apnea and ADHD and for being persistent yet patient with me while I fought you tooth and nail on dealing with my  ADHD symptoms and its effect on both our lives, I literally owe my life to you cos the sleep apnea could have been fatal in my case. Thank you also for sticking by me while I rode off on whatever adventure caught my attention and  for the efforts you made and continue to make in finding the resources we need that have helped our understanding of ADHD including Melissa's book and the couples seminar.  Without these I would never have been able to understand the role my symptoms played in the early tumultuous years of our relationship or  the importance of consistency in rebuilding trust. Your passion, energy and commitment to your patients both inside and out of the hospital never fails to amaze me, I hope your patients know how lucky they are to have you advocating for them.  I love how you can be so direct even though I struggle with it at times. Thank you most of all for being my lighthouse in the dark, stormy confusion that my life can be. I'm grateful that you came into my life like an angel when I needed you most, but more so that you had the courage to stay. You inspire me to be the best that I can be and I look forward to many many happy years together.

Melissa, a heartfelt thank you for sharing your life experience & expertise through your amazing book. We took the couples seminar as well, earlier this year and we continue to learn from it. we go back to the recordings once in a while and always manage to find some new tidbit of info that we missed before that helps us move forward. Before I began this journey of self discovery I hadn't heard of validation, verbal cues,  letting go of ghosts and many of the other tips and techniques that have served to improve the quality of our lives and our relationship. I'm sure Ajimol will agree with me when I say that we would not have been here looking forward with hope if it was not for you and the book you wrote.


Carl M


Thank you

Thank you for writing such wonderful words about your wife and your experiences!

i am new to some of this, but

i am new to some of this, but have lived with and loved an exceptional person who happens to have ADHD for 15 years.  Although my husband has the diagnoses and displays the symptoms, it is far from what defines him.  my husband may be forgetful about cleaning up, but he will never be forgetful about showing his love and always working toward the good.  to me, this is much more important than any day-to-day task around the house.  there are only so many things that any person can prioritize and stick with.  for my husband, those top priorities have always been ones based on values, morals and a beautiful philosophy for the good.  i have so much admiration for my husband and am deeply grateful to have him in my life. thank you, Babe for always standing by my side no matter what i throw at you (literally, sometimes), for teaching me so much about life and what is worth prioritizing, for loving me and for accepting how i love you.  our journey has definitley been an intense ride through life and i look forward to it's continuation with constant change and growth and forever working for the good. all my love, completely & forever

Thank you Kyle

Reading these posts have been like sunshine on a cloudy day.  I always knew that the key was letting go and looking up, I just forget sometimes.  I still have a lot to learn but I have a lot more hope now.  This is my resolution- to focus on the positive more and let my husband off of my rollercoaster.  We have recently married after 8 years together and have 4 boys between the two of us, all from a different ex.  Both my husband and I have ADHD and at least one of our boys.  Challenging to say the least.  And yet my husband always manages to be optimistic even when I try my darndest to rain on his parade.  I want to thank my husband for never giving up, loving me no matter what, and making me fall in love with him again and again, even after all this time.  Thank you Kyle for always kissing me goodnight.  Thank you for buying all the cleaning products (you do clean better than I do) and making the bed every chance you get.  Thank you for the best chicken curry I ever had along with all your other amazing culinary creations (my husband is a chef by trade).  Thank you for always being proud of me.  Thank you for telling me everything is going to be okay and we will get through this whenever I get worried.  And I want you to know how lucky I am to have you in my life!  Love Lisa 

I just bought The ADHD effect on marriage, and I already feel myself breathing easier.  Thank you Melissa for helping me see that I CAN do this.


Loved reading your note

It's great to hear all the positives you write and the fact that it helps you breath a bit easier.  I find that when I suggest spouses think of three things each day that they are thankful for it really helps make life look brighter.  It's too easy to get 'stuck' in the yucky stuff of life and not appreciate the good things that come to us every day.  Good luck!  (and any great curry recipes to share??!  :-)

llc's picture


These posts Saved my evening. I am newly diagnosed and I have been more and more discouraged by the posts here. I find a whole lot of pain, resentment,hurt,anger and disrespect but very little about anything good in the ADHD spouses they are married to. Given the stories I've read I don't blame anyone for feeling this if their spouse fails to seek help and refuses to acknowledge the damage they cause. I don't understand this because I am tormented with guilt for as long as I remember and constantly tell my husband how much I love, care, and appreciate him.

I wish there were more posts like this one. Most of the posts i have read are very hard/painful to read when you have adhd.i wish there were different sections for those diagnosed and those who are spouses. It might make things easier and feel safer for people.

But since that isn't the case, I am just grateful or this beautiful ray of light. Thank you. Xo


It has been several years since I was diagnosed with ADD.  My initial reaction was relief that there was a name for that feeling I'd always had of being broken, something besides laziness or stupidity.  But next was the horror that I really was broken, and I didn't know what to do to fix myself! My husband frankly did not believe that ADD was an actual condition until, after listening to my endless recitations of book passages and blogs and medical articles and.....well, you know hyperfocus works.......even he had to admit that either the experts were on to something or they somehow knew me very well!  And I was terrified that our two children would somehow end up facing all the obstacles that I had struggled with.

After I had listed every shortcoming and failure and negative trait that I could possibly attribute to my ADD, cried buckets of tears, and grieved the fact that certain things would in all likelihood always be a struggle for me, he said something that I guess I'd already realized but couldn't quite voice.  " But don't you see that it also makes you who you are, some of the very best things about you? "

And now, when I'm really being hard on myself because I can't get my ADD under control, or even when HE's frustrated with me for all the same reasons and then some, I remind myself......I am creative..I can think outside of the box....I can THRIVE in the midst of twenty-four chaotic Brownie Scouts covered in paint...that's all part of my ADD!!  The same traits that drive us both crazy are also the ones that have made our family thrive in many ways.  And I'm grateful that my husband, even though my ADD can be a challenge to efficiency and order and all those things he treasures, can still see the good it can bring.  I'm grateful for him.