Struggling Marriage

I take Adderall once a day in the mornings usually 10-15 mg vs the prescribed 30's or I stay up way too long.

I am American.  Wife is German.   She is not born in America with German descent, but moved from Germany 4 years ago.  She speaks good English.  I think it is important to point that out as I think there is a disconnect between the cultures and communication in general.

At this point, I am not sure if the marriage has a chance of improvement (we are currently separated).  We are both quite stubborn and have had struggles from the beginnign.  We have two boys as well and I have an older boy from a previous marriage.

Taking medication is definitely a big help for me and getting things done.  

I think she has ADD as she possess's the same symptoms as I do...and i think she would benefit from some help, but like read many places, she feels ADD is somthing created by doctors...

I am no saint I recognize that, however am one half of the relationship.  

I am close to being done...any improvements on relationships where both partners have ADD?


Suggestions or help?


  As I read through the


As I read through the various topics on the forum it confirms that I am not an easy person.  Been through alot of other things in life as a kid...physical and sexual abuse...father was an alcoholic....etc etc etc.  All which make me who I am today..I am a piece of work.  Been to alot of counseling for the last 20 years to deal with issues.  Lots of success in getting through things.


Is my ADD causing me to blame her?  I still think she needs help.

Double whammy here too

My husband and I both have ADD. What's interesting is that when the environment is unhealthy we both seem to forget that we both have it and each other's symptoms drive us equally nuts. We have some similar symptoms and some different.

We've had HUGE struggles including those from outside influences like hurricane Katrina, a surprise late-in-life pregnancy and transferring around the country 3 times in the last 4.5 years. Our entire lives have been turned upside down several times and I'm sure you realize how difficult that is on an ADD person.

Being a step-parent is the most difficult job in the world. I tried really hard to get my husband's two adult kids to like me but finally I threw in the towel and stopped all efforts, like sending birthday cards/presents/money/etc because my husband never remembers to send them. They are starting to realize how hard I was trying. I'll leave it up to them. A counselor had to tell my husband this when his grown daughter moved in with us for a while and was acting like a typical, misbehaving teenager without discipline (which I was not going to try to give her but did absolutely require she clean up after herself) ... "Your 18 year old daughter is going to get married, move away from you and make her life without you in it all that often. If you are going have a 'loyalty' when your wife and your grown child aren't getting along you better choose your wife if you want the marriage to last." 

We've barely kept our marriage together at times. My husband says some incredibly insulting and stupid things that he later 'doesn't mean'. That has caused lots of problems.

As I speak, my 5 year old son is clapping along to the Thomas the Train song and the dog is squeaking his toy to the same beat as my son's clapping. The reason I even mention that is ... ADD life with ANYONE else requires so much compromise. My coping skills went out the window after Katrina and when I became pregnant. I'm still trying to get all wheels back on track and I'm doing ok.

One problem we ADDers have is that we become defensive after a life of feeling like we've been screwing things up or having people tell us that we've been screwing 'everything' up. That can lead both my husband and I to deny and ignore our individual part in the 'problems'. Also, because of the way we think, we don't realize how our 'out in front' sort of behavior can affect other people whether they have ADD or not. If our partner does have ADD ... then the part of our own ADD behavior that is inconsistent can feel like a wrecking ball to them.

I'll pray for you that you can let go of your ego for a while and determine if your marriage can be saved. We all have ego problems ... defensive ego problems ... "I didn't do that!" "I did not say it like that!" "Why are you always telling me that things are my fault?"

Whether or not she has ADD, you cannot change her. You can only work on yourself. Maybe you can give her one of the books on ADD and highlight all of the personality traits that you recognize in yourself. Who knows, maybe in reading the book she will realize what is going on with herself.

I do know that when people come down off of Adderall in the evenings they can act like real jerks. Maybe try drinking a cup of coffee in the evening when you're with your spouse. Maybe try a different medication. I've tried most of them. Of course, the medicine helps but doesn't make us 'normal'.

Speaking of normal, one ADD person in a marriage means it won't be 'normal'. Let alone two.

Good luck. God bless.

Struggling Marriage

Thanks for the comments, it is always helpful to see it and hear it from someone else who is experiencing parts of what I am.

If it is because of ADD or my past I am not sure, but the "being defensive" part is not unfamiliar.  I think on one side that I have learned to be defensive and guarded and that can spark quick unthoughtful responses.

When we were living together before and event that lead to our separation, I was smoking pot every evening to cope.  It would really help with my ability to deal with things and not over react, etc  Also was helpful on letting go each day of a really stressful job which I am highly successful at if I stay focused.  It gets more complicated... I work for her dad as well.  You suggested having a cup of coffee in the evenings, but afraid of it affecting my sleep.  Reading some of the other forums here, I cannot fathom how some people can take 30mg or more of adderall without being up all night.  I take 10 to 15mg.  Any more and I cant sleep.  

Lately, I have backed off of smoking pot and have been working out a lot, so it has overall improved my physical condition and focus.  I also feel better about myself.  No surprise.

In terms of my oldest son, I want to promote something normal and provide a peaceful house but as you have reminded me, there is nothing normal.  For this reason as well, I am so hesitant to move back in with her and bring my oldest boy back into the potential mess that I pulled him through before.  

I think sometimes that I would be best single because I don't want to drag a partner through my potential volatility.  One of my previous girlfriends knew I had a strong personality (ADD) and was happy to let me be the man.  We got along great, there was love and she took my son in with the same love...

I don't want to stay with someone until the kids are done with college.  I was the youngest and that is what my parents did to me.  Life is too short to be with someone that you dont like or where you have so much regular conflict.


Thanks again for all your comments and advice!!



Have you tried any other medications? Adderall and Ritalin made me feel like I was on drugs. I've been taking Vyvanse for a couple of years and it is better for me. While you are already split from your wife you should talk to your doc about trying another med or two, maybe samples for a month or so and see how you do. If you've never done that you'll be VERY surprised at how differently they all affect your focus. Adderall and Ritalin seem to be similar in their affects but the others are different.

My husband had to take an evening medication and/or have coffee, otherwise he's a nightmare to be around. Maybe try the coffee thing on the weekend.

Regardless, no medication takes away the problem ... only makes it easier - sometimes.

Some coffees keep me awake. I was at my best production level when I used to drink a coffee that Starbucks doesn't sell any longer. I'm not sure what was in it but I had 2 to 3 of them a day. 3 shots of espresso in the grande size. Ah ... that was my best friend ever!


Depending on what the day holds for me, I take between 40-60mg of Adderall. I don't usually have much trouble sleeping. Exercise has been key for me. I walk in the mornings and evenings when possible. I discovered that the exercise has a huge affect on the way I feel.

also got a German-American cultural divide

Hi there- 

I am also struggling with my German boyfriend.  We are having big communication issues definitely.  I've just started looking into some kind of therapy to get us both better in tune and on track.  

The biggest thing I noticed with him is that he sees no problem leaving the room if he's not directly and immediately involved in any conversation - even when I expect him to be available at least for a few more minutes.  He insists this is a German thing.  I see it as a lack of respect.  Does your wife do that as well?

My BF also harbors a deep distrust of pretty much all medications.  He doesn't like when I take painkillers "too often" and for all I know I think he even thinks decongestants are for American med-addicts.  He uses Vicks Rub.  


Does your wife do any of these things?