Support groups/forums for the adhd perspective?

Hi, I am new here and was wondering if anyone knows of any forums, or websites that have similar threads as this one, but with any kind of positive content from/for the adhd person's side. For example, the majority of these forums and site content seems to me to be about how horrible it is to have to suffer through any kind of contact with an adhd person, and how abusive, angry, incompetent, selfish, childish etc. we are. I certainly would never deny that many of us very often are, but so are the spouses/partners, and not always because of us. I'm just saying I came looking for support, but seem to be hearing only resentment and contempt. We get just as frustrated, legitimately, in our interpersonal interactions, but that doesn't seem to be acknowledged on this site. Maybe the non-adhd partners are the majority of the population on here, so people like me just aren't as active in expressing our side, but reading through many of these posts just feels like more beat-downs to add to what we've already been having to deal with throughout our entire lives. So if anyone knows a support group by add-ers, for add-ers, please let me know; I need a community of support and encouragement, not blame and resentment.


Thanks in advance, and please don't bash my request; it's just my personal observations and a sincere question.

I'm with ya...

I'm in a similar position.  I'm the one with ADHD, spouse is non.  The marriage is on the rocks, perhaps terminal (not sure), but I'm the only one willing to work.  I see two therapists and am about to hire a coach/organizer.  I'm 42, recently diagnosed, and really trying to change things.  

There is little or no empathy here for the fact that those of us with this condition have learned over our lifetimes how to cope, how to 'make it' through life when we didn't know we had a problem.  Now that we know, we need NOT ONLY to learn new ways to behave, organize our space and time, etc., but also we must UNLEARN many, many years of old coping strategies.

I know that life with me has been hard; I understand that she feels like she's been taking care of an extra child at times.  I can see that.  I don't blame her for feeling that.  But there is no effort on her part to abandon the very mistaken assumption that I did these things "to her."  There was no malice, no intention on my part.  (Of course, in our 'modern' society, impact has come to matter more than intent, which IMHO is about as backwards and uncivilized (not to mention immature) as society can get.  We've completely lost the notion that 'sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.'  Aaaargh.)  

Anyways, I'm grateful that you spoke up, and that the admin listened.


fuzzylogic72's picture

Thank you

Thanks to both of you for your responses... Kepler reading your reply was like a breath of fresh air after trying to breathe through a pillow all night. I know that's how good it must feel to have the support/venting posts for all the non-adhders, and that is important, but until now I never knew how much of a comfort it could be. Hopefully we can exchange more ideas in the future, and maybe take the lead in the new forum that admin has kindly initiated. I really would like to hear how your experience with adhd coaching goes; I too am paying out of pocket for CBT counseling, psychiatric counseling sessions, meds... I have always wanted to try a coach, since most of our issues (at least mine), are the day to day, routine lifestyle/behavioural choices, and not knowing any proven 'systems' that work or how to implement them in a lasting manner. I don't have the cash for it, but if it helps I am happy to go further into debt for anything that might offer any workable solutions to this nightmare. Ok, nightmare is dramatic, but it's certainly not the life i've dreamt of! lol.




<admin deleted email, see instructions about not including personal info like emails> (not on facebook, because i'm a school teacher, but i'd like to hear from ya.

fuzzylogic72's picture


Since this is a new forum thread, and it's geared towards the person suffering with adhd, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves and our nutshell of where we're coming from.

I'm Charlie, from Alberta Canada. 38 yr. old bankrupt male, diagnosed and medicated for about 10 years. Social issues (many) since about grade 4, barely made it through highschool. Grinded my way through a 3yr. bachelor degree in 4 years. Had and lost many long-term relationships and jobs. I'm a Massage Therapist, then switched to being a  grade 6 Teacher, now working towards my psych. major to specialize with adhd (if I make it through the course!) Recently began Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which helps. Tried Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, and now Adderall, plus many more for the anxiety and depression which have jumped on for the ride. Tried just about every nutritional supplement and diet proposed for adhd.

Adhd can steal our years away, destroy relationships and crush self-esteem. But I do not believe that it has to be that way. I hope if we can come together and share our experiences, strategies, and compassion, we can all change our lives drastically (and hopefully lastingly).

Looking forward to hearing from more of you!



Hi Fuzzy - I'm the non-adder

Hi Fuzzy - I'm the non-adder but I'm happy to see that you have gotten this going. I too have been disheartened by some of what I've read here and much of it isn't helpful to me because I'm not in such a negative place. After I read your comment on my other post I went looking to see if there was a place here where I might learn more about what it's like for the ADDer and voilà - here's something you've gotten started. I would like to know more about what it might be like for my DH but not asking him too much about this because he's never really been diagnosed with this and I'm not so sure how open be is to the idea that he might be an ADDer. So anyway thanks for getting this going and I hope you don't mind if I read along to learn more.
fuzzylogic72's picture

Are you KIDDING!!??

Do I MIND!?? To be honest, my motivation in searching for/starting a forum for POSITIVE comments that might help us help ourselves was mainly triggered by the fear of even popping my head into the other forums that seem to be focusing on the negative aspects of adhd partners. While I have never denied there is that negative aspect, I also know what life is like with non-adhd partners who take the "martyr" approach, and can only dwell on how they are victimized. I have been in a particularly dire situation lately, and was looking for ANY kind of support or understanding (a common need amongst add-ers, even if we don't know how to express that need in a more clear, timely and positive manner). So having a NON-adhd-er wanting to take part in a forum which is geared to TRUE MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING and support ask me if it's ok... I HAD to ask: are you KIDDING!!?? Of course I (and anyone in my situation) don't mind a handful of pure gold being dropped in our laps.

FOR THE RECORD: WE* LOVE AND APPRECIATE THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND/DEAL WITH/LOVE US. We may not always express our awareness and appreciation for what you do, but we feel it every day. We just get tired of feeling wrong/deficient and inferior.

*"we refers to the adhd-ers who ARE self aware, DO take accountability, DO appreciate our partners, and DO want nothing more than to make our relationships work. Although logic would imply that the only adhders on this site would be those types, I still wanted to clarify that we are aware that there are 'others' with our condition that don't, or won't acknowledge their EQUAL side in relationship dysfunction, even exposed to this site, and resources like it. Those 'others' are in a very different place... but every one of us has our unique time, pace, and specific combination of life circumstances that prompt us into 'picking up our path and walking it with dignity'.

In short, WELCOME. As always, people like us appreciate, and need people like you.


Charlie "Fuzzylogic" 72


Thank the lord that there is at least a couple of ADHDers like myself who also need support from eachother. I came on this site looking for insight and what the non ADDers were going through to help me understand where my S.O. is coming from.
I was diagnosed with ADHD fairly young but there was not much for it then, and so as time went on, I too found ways to cope and learned to "handle" it but as it turned out, that was all wrong. I handled and coped wrong, for more than 20 years I now have to start unlearning all that I have ever known.
On top of ADHD, like most of us, I too am on meds for anxiety and chronic depression. To be frank, I just started truly taking the meds as prescribed. I never wanted to be on meds because I didn't want to be dependent on pills or be labeled a "pill popper" S.O. actually is the one who rang something in my brain and I started to research ADHD and realized that all those years of not being treated (meds and therapy) did more harm than good.

I just started my journey for a better future, to stay in a healthy and long lasting relationship, to reclaim my mind,  and most importantly, I already know my daughter is going to have some sort of form of ADHD and I want to be there for her and be knowledgeable and bring tools for her to use unlike when I was young.

Due to the status of my relationship with my S.O., this makes it all the more challenging and extremely hard but hopefully rewarding for our future (if we still even have one, i fear that it may be too much work and he may give up on me). He is hurt and angry with my "antics" and although my intentions were not to be negative, somehow, according to his words, they are.

I also pay out of pocket, and am seeking some type of aid to help costs. I see a psychiatrist to manage my meds and a behavioral counselor and then the cost of meds. As it was put to me, "it is 70% medicine and 30% therapy"


MTC's picture

Introduction for MTC

Hi -- I'm a lifelong ADHD that was never diagnosed from K-12. I graduated high school in 1976 and will be 53 this January. I was first diagnosed with bi-polar 4 years ago. I usually exist in a depressed state, with huge excursions into greatness, but short and often. After watching that documentary on PBS about ADD and loving it, I started medications for ADD. My ADD has kicked in so severely the last couple of years, I am amazed that I actually still have a wife, a house, a job. I don't have any close friends other than my wife, and that relationship may be too far gone.

I am grateful that someone started this thread. I am grateful that both ADD spouse and non-ADD spouses have posted. My wife is at that point many of you non-ADD folks are at and I can understand what you say. My wife and I start counseling on 12/28 -- but I fear it may be far to late for her. Some of my antics have hurt her deeply and may not be recoverable by me for her or by her, take your pick. Oops, sorry -- I will ramble on to the worst possible outcome if I don't shut up (my impulsivity is the powerful urge to open my dang mouth).

My need to be in this thread is exactly what I read it is about. A place for the ADHD spouse to give and get support from others like us. To share in a common malady. To share our experience strength and HOPE. I hope this will help me and us to understand and improve our lives! (if that sounds familiar to many I would not be surprised, if it works it works).

I need to converse with others in this situation, not to embellish or exaggerate or wallow in my ADHD, nor invent reality for the non-ADHD spouse, but to find and realize that I am not so unique. Uniqueness will kill me. So -- I also would like to keep my comments terse, because I had ADD and find it hard to read more than a few paragraphs at the same time... so HELLO - that's me.

confused60's picture

Hi MTC, everyone, Great

Hi MTC, everyone,
Great thread and I'd like to hop on it.  MTC, it's good you and your DW are starting counseling together, as she can begin to see some logic for your antics and perhaps the forgiving/changing process can begin. 

My name is Matt and I am in the discovery phase of my ADHD.  Prior to learning about it, I could not understand why I did the things I did over the years.  Many, many examples of typical ADHD behavior and, just like MTC, it has significantly ramped-up over the past 10 years, due in part to a traumatic brain injury.  I am looking for a counselor who can confirm my suspicions of ADHD and start some meds.  I've been taking Lyrica for another condition, and notice an improvement in my outlook and ability to function (have trouble with that sometimes-- make a decision? ha.)

My 25 year marriage is also in the dumper but I  am taking positive steps to work on that by sending us both into "time out" by getting her an apartment for a year.  While it is tough to do that, I am 60 so have something stashed for retirement, or what's left of it nowadays, and will use that because I'll never be able to afford retirement anyway.  While it's emotionally difficult to take such action, it will either wither on the vine or survive with battle scars and life will go on just fine either way.

I have a slightly different take on the gloom-and-doom posts on this site.  I found them extremely helpful to understand my own condition, and bolstered my self-esteem giving me courage and incentive to do something about me.  Many of the posts are sad and some pitiful, and it seems people think their situation is the end of the world.  10 years ago I almost died in a serious fall and was supposed to be a quadriplegic for the rest of my life.  I survived and after two years could walk as well as anyone.   Consequently, I have a different take on what constitutes the end of my world

In 2008 I was unfortunately diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and seem to have beat that too! yea, let's hear it for radiation zap!  I will counsel all of you that when you have your health, you have all you need to conquer any of life's challenges.  (Guys get your PSA checked regularly, I had NO symptoms.)

I look forward to corresponding and contributing positive comments to this forum.

Hypr1's picture

Positivity from the master -- THANKS!

Matt -- thank you for responding. I am impressed by your attitude and would only like to congratulate you on staying positive. I don't know if I could handle it, but seeing your post helps. I don't know if I could handle my wife moving out for a month, let alone a long period. It makes my breastbone ache to even type that. My discovery of ADD/HD really just started, blinded by a good but probably an overblown diagnoses of bipolar some years ago, while all the time the ADD/HD was I think the real culpit.

Find that ADD counselor fast - waiting won't improve the situation. Waiting for the storm to blow over in my marriage has only trashed it. I am good at looking the other way in a car wreck-- OOH > don't want to see that!

You said, "and bolstered my self-esteem giving me courage and incentive to do something about me". I never thought of it that way. I'm reading posts, and finding out traits and relating to them in a big way. Then, however - I feel sadness and anger over my involvement with them. Your post helps me feel right now differently. I am ready to turn that page over, and this motivates me and I thank you!

And one more thing. Does your ADD brain spin up great and tragic tales of the future past? Mine does. Great thing if you are writing a novel, bad if you are planning for the future by acting in the now. I say this because last month my Doctor said - oh, these two moles on your chest should be excised and sent for a biopsy. Two moles that I've had for decades. OKAY. GREAT. NOT IN MY PLANS. I'm sure you've been here at this point.

So - fear of the future. What a sucky thing to do for myself and loved ones. I've waited over a month and haven't done it. So I need to do it and look at it and pray it is a not a problem Since my mom died in 2008, I've been so afraid of my mortality. I plan (or don't plan) events around that fear. CRAP!

I hope I've talked myself into action. I'll let you know. Again thanks for the comments, I really do feel better now.

confused60's picture

Hot in 4-inch heels

I don't know about that.  I can talk the talk but can I walk the walk?  We shall see.  My DW says I'm negative but I always counter that I'm a realist.  Now, what I've read about ADHD says we tend to be pessimists and expect the worst out of others, so just maybe my assessment is incorrect. 

I will admit to going through an anger-acceptance period (back and forth, over and over) before breaking down in tears one night (big strong man sobbing, so pitiful) and deciding that this whole situation had consumed me, and would kill me if I allowed it to continue.  BTW, I have always been in awe of people who cry and let it go, as opposed to people who throw the situation into the heavy bag they drag around in life, weighing them down. I would be the latter.

So, that night I let it all go. For real.  No more worrying; a complete acceptance of my inability to control my DW's actions. Whatever will be will be-- I immediately felt a huge sense of relief, and was able to see more clearly in the days afterward.

About getting an apartment for my DW for a year: It was the posts by the non-ADHD spouses on this site that motivated me put on my wife's shoes.  (I look hot in 4-inch heels!)  With the help of the posts I realized she might feel trapped since I am the sole income provider, and this might drive her to the "other man", so I decided to remove that pressure from the equation. 

And this is for both of us, to independently determine what we want to do in the future.  She/me is free to come and go between abodes, with the permission of the other.  No stress, no pressure.  Nice.  Yeah, for her.  I still have to bring in the bucks, pay all the bills, furnish a 2-bedroom apartment 1500 miles away, maintain the house and pets, and take care of me all by my lonesome.  A little one-sided but so what, I'll get over it.

Yes, my brain spins tales of future past way too often.  I don't think you should worry about the moles if they have not changed over the years.  It is prudent to get a biopsy of them and you should set a deadline to see a dermatologist.  Think about it every week and take action before your arbitrary deadline.

Don't fear your mortality.  We all know that none of us are getting out of here alive.  Death is a part of life and you should never worry about it.

So, turn your page carefully and take action.  My own behavior is that when I get knocked down in my life, I get up again.  (Go ahead life, abuse me again.)  Thanks for your kind comment, it made me feel good.


Off topic

Ok, this is so off topic, but why can't you be on fb if you're a schoolteacher?  I'm a teacher and I'm on facebook, as are many of my co-workers (some ever accept friend requests from students, but others don't).  

I don't know about teachers

I don't know about teachers but I avoid Facebook because I don't want my business life co-mingling with my personal life.  I signed up for it once - incognito - and it presented info to me about people I knew and it should not have had any way of knowing I was at all associated with those people.  One of the people was someone I had done business with and I'm sure he had no intention of having his personal info made available to me.   I've seen employees posting negative comments about work and they are "friends" with other coworkers, managers and even CUSTOMERS who read all about it.  Sometimes I think info is shared when it shouldn't be because people don't realize it's happening and sometimes it happens because people have no common sense.

fuzzylogic72's picture

grey area

Yeah, there is no official rule against it (as that could be a Human Rights issue), but it is 'discouraged' to the point of a virtual decree. I have personally heard great things about teachers in britain and australia using fb as a teaching tool, and I believe that with judgement, the potential for any problems are minimal. That being said, the educational system is such a completely right-wing, conservative bureaucratic machine that is more often worried about protecting themselves, than understanding how something can be good for the student's development and sense of community. So I'm just not going to bother with it anymore; too much hassle/nosiness from the 'higher-ups'.

fuzzy where are you?

Have you abandoned this forum?  I wish there were a few more people here who were a little ways down the road toward something just a little bit positive and constructive in their lives.   There are just so many gloom and doom, victim conversations here which just isn't for me.  I really enjoyed hearing your perspective since I'm not really in too much of a position to ask DH - what's is like?

fuzzylogic72's picture

I'm here....

Yes I'm still lurking around the site. Just kind of trying to be the silent observer (doing a lot of that lately). Kind of in a fog at the moment; I have been making a lot of changes within myself and in my life lately, and not getting a whole lot of encouragement about any of it (not that I should expect it, since the changes should be for myself); maybe I just need/expect an unreasonable level of encouragement for a grown-up guy. Just getting that 'spinning wheels' feeling (I get easily discouraged without positive feedback). Even your last comment asking where I was and saying that you appreciate my input made me sit up and take notice, kind of like, "what!? somebody noticed something good about me? I have something valid to offer? Holy crap, that's awesome!". I am getting the feeling that some people in my life really would rather not have the hassle of having to deal with my condition; like "if it takes work, then it's not meant to be".

So... trying to stay positive and objective about everything, without being so hopeful as to set myself up for a let down. I know that my steps are big ones for me, but to to others they are probably too small to be enough.

Sorry for sounding gloomy, things are actually getting better every day (within myself), so I'm probably over-emphasizing the gloominess.

Anyways, I'm here still, and always like to exchange thoughts, just didn't see a whole lot of optimism on here lately, and optimism is something I am sorely needing at this point in my life.

How are things going with you?

glad to hear that

Glad to see that you're still here.  Things are okay with me - I can't complain.  It's good to hear you are taking some good steps for yourself.  I was talking to a friend of mine who has major marital problems in her opinion - and no ADHD even involved!!  I shared some things with her that I read in the ADHD marriage book that I thought were probably applicable to any marriage.  It talked about how you can't control or change the other person - you can only control yourself.  So I told her I thought she needed to focus more on herself and taking care of herself and being the best she can be rather than dwelling on the DH and what he should be doing.  She was getting sucked into a dismal abyss consumed with negative thoughts about him and in turn becoming kind of a powerless, distraught, negative victim herself.  She seemed to feel better about things after we talked.

So anyway, it seems good that you are focused on making some changes that you feel are good for you.  Maybe you can get a little encouragement here. I think it's just the normal human condition to want to be recognized and encouraged for accomplishments.  I hear alot about that in the workplace - and I see it with employees.   People want more than anything it seems to be recognized for doing something good.  So, in my humble opinion it's not too much to expect that even as an adult guy.  You sound like a very caring, sensitive guy.  And you make me think my DH is maybe like that too but it just comes out very, very rarely.  I always just thought that was a "guy" thing to not show those kind of feelings but maybe it goes with the ADHD territory. 

Hang in there - you seem like a good person - really trying hard to do the right thing.  In the long run that will be good for you even if not appreciated so much by others.

fuzzylogic72's picture


Thanks again Ambrosia; hey this is probably a silly question, but what is 'DH'? Dumb Husband? lol, just kidding. I Was actually thinking it was divorced husband, but not sure. Thinking about what you mentioned about discussing that book with your friend, and I agree. I just got the book recently too, and think that is the most powerful message in it (being the best you can be for yourself). I always used to think, "what if I do all of these things, which are difficult, and they don't try to meet halfway, and it ends anyways; that would be so deflating". But now I am seeing that even if the efforts are not reciprocated, and my efforts are only met with more criticisms, and worst case it does end up falling apart anyways, then at least I have still made a positive investment in myself which will amount to investing in the next relationship. I'm doing a lot of new and ucomfortable things lately, like stepping out of myself and trying to take on the role of the detached observer (not cold, just more like my therapist listens and responds to me). I used to seeing this as backing down from my standpoint and capitulating to someone who isn't being objective either. It's actually a lot easier, and more gratifying (not to mention effective at making peace) than I thought it would be! Now instead of looking out for my own interests, I look at it as stepping up to be the one who is looking out for the interests of the relationship. I try to hear the voice of my therapist/counselor (Dr. Alladin-- AMAZING) and try to act like he would act in my position, and it helps. He said you can't control the actions/reactions/perceptions of someone else, and that effort will only cause more frustration, but you can focus on your own conduct (internal and external), and if it doesn't "work", then you will have the knowledge that you held up your end, and have your dignity which is the most important thing a person can have. And an added benefit is that you can look at it as research data; if you conduct yourself with grace and objectivity (or at least put in your most sincere and consistent effort), and you are met with negativity, that is information that will help you understand what kind of person you are dealing with, and it will be easier to make the decision about whether they are the right person for you or not which will make it easier to accept the end (if it goes that way), and move on without a guilty conscience and lingering regret/self-blame. Not everyone is a good mix (like chemistry; some elements won't mix no matter what you try) and every 'wrong' fit you experience just brings you closer to the 'right' one, but dealing with the 'wrong' ones in the RIGHT way paves the way and sets the climate for all future relationships.

This is how I've been assimilating his words, and my experiences to try to stay positive and put in the effort that my relationships (with self and others) and my peace of mind need. I really appreciate our communication; it's keeping me on track, and making me reflect clearly on my areas of growth, and giving me the confidence (even enthusiasm) to continue working on the areas that need improvement. I hope I will have some similar sort of positive impact on your peace of mind, because it sounds like you truly deserve that.

The generally accepted

The generally accepted meaning of DH in another forum I visit = Dear Husband.  Obviously one could insert other D words in there....

Yup - there is so much value in that idea of focusing on you and investing your energy in making changes and improvements in what you can control (which is you).   It's so much more frustrating and not gratifying to keep focusing on the other person and what they are or aren't doing because at some point it is pretty much like beating your head against the wall.  You spiral into that negative abyss that takes on a life of it's own and consumes you.  At least when you work on doing things for yourself you can see progress which in itself is somewhat gratifying.  I can say I've been a lot happier since I quit focusing on DH's behaviors that I don't like.  The stuff is relatively minor though compared to some of what people describe here.  He's not doing anything that's ruinous to our life - in my opinion.  It's more stuff that annoys me or makes me feel bad and it's me who chooses to feel bad/annoyed or to focus on something else more positive.

You said it exactly, Fuzzy!

"Dealing with the 'wrong' ones in the RIGHT way paves the way and sets the climate for all future relationships."

Thanks so much for this post.  I am the non-ADD wife.  We had the typical mutual hurt/blame finger pointing for almost six years before my husband's ADD was diagnosed.  After he was diagnosed, I as SO happy, because I thought we would finally be on the "same page" and be able to move forward.  Truth be told, my husband did make some changes in terms of helping out more with the kids and the home, and I tried to be appreciative of those.  But while I read every book on ADD and tried to understand what HIS life was like, I didn't feel like he ever validated what life was like for me, on the other side (before diagnosis).  Basically, I just don't feel like he really accepted the fact that ADD could have a real effect on others, and it's hard to move forward without accepting and empathizing with another's struggles.  I spent a lot of time trying to "get him" to see how -- even if it was unintentional -- he hurt me, and this just caused him to get angry, and a lot of the same cycles continued.

Anyway, fast forward to now, after hitting rock bottom and feeling victimized and going through the "Why me?" phase, I, too, had an epiphany and realized that I just need to uphold my end of the deal, regardless of what my husband does or doesn't acknowledge/accept.  As someone else said, everyone is at this point for a reason -- there is a lesson that the Universe/God/whatever you believe in is trying to teach you.  When I truly realized that I wasn't in control and couldn't control my husband's thoughts/feeling/reactions -- which I was looking to for approval or appreciation before (yes, we non-ADDers need that, too!) -- and I could finally look at myself.  I realized that I had been acting in very immature ways: keeping score and not being loving and generous because of x, y, or z mean thing my husband had said or did (feeling that he didn't "deserve" it), withholding from being open/vulnerable and acting pouty over some slight -- real or imagined -- and expecting my husband to make up or "fix it," yelling, calling names, and losing my temper and justifying it because my husband was yelling, calling me names, or losing my temper.  I was able to see that, from his standpoint, I was a pretty unpleasant person to be around myself -- regardless of how "justified" I might have felt in being this way. 

A huge revelation for me was realizing how much *I* was being controlled by my husband's state of mind.  If he was mad, it would make me mad.  If he failed to call or follow through, it would send me into a tailspin.  Etc., etc.  So literally, overnight, I let go.  Fuzzy, you are SO right that the only thing we can do is behave with dignity for ourselves.  I stopped nagging.  I stopped losing my temper (notice I didn't say stopped getting angry -- I still get angry, a lot, but I have been able to CHOOSE how to deal with it, which is usually to go do something else, talk to a friend, exercise, write in my journal, etc. as opposed to taking it out on my husband).  I do nice things for him.  I LISTEN, something I have never been able to do -- because I always feel attacked and want to step in a defend my views -- but it finally dawned on me that what he THINKS is HIS reality.  There are parts of it that are true, and parts that are not, he is entitled to think them, and I just need to listen, own and fix the parts that are true, and let the rest roll off.

 My husband has noticed, and weirdly, instead of being happy that I am finally not angry, controlling, mean, telling him he's wrong all the time, etc....he's FURIOUS.  He has holed up even further in the basement with his computer games, doesn't sleep in the same bed, and thinks this is yet another attempt by me to control him (not sure how I am controlling him by just living my own life and becoming centered in myself, but anyway...).  He keeps asking me "Why" I have made these changes and Fuzzy, I have tried to explain exactly what you said in your post -- I am doing this for ME, trying to BE the right partner, rather then tell HIM how to be a good partner.  He is perfectly capable of doing the right thing if he wants to.  I've also told him that the only way I can really know that I did all I could for this amrriage is to focus on myself and be the best I can be -- that if this doesn't work out, I will still have learned from this experience and changed for the better.  This only makes him more furious and he accuses me of planning to leave him, which is why he has no "incentive" to change.

Anyway, reading your post gave me a lot of hope that ADD doesn't prevent him from having the same "revelation," and gives me confidence that I'm on the right path.  I hope this also gives you some confidence that a failure to reciprocate isn't because your partner is a "non."  As you said previously, everyone has to walk their own path, and sometimes people need to be presented with the same "teacher" over and over again (in different forms throughout their life) for them to learn the lesson, and that goes for everyone.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/advice on staying the course in spite of discouraging feedback, tips and tricks, etc. 

Hi Kepler. I just read your

Hi Kepler.

I just read your comment and wanted to say to you... "Don't give up". You said you have been "recently diagnosed" . I assume this means that you are still quite at the beginning of learning about ADHD and dealing with it. It will take time. For you as well as for your partner.

My guess is, that it took time to get to the point where you are now, and you are doing the best you possibly can do by getting the help you are getting. Don't give up!

I hope i works out for you.

Take care


Sorry for taking so long to respond.  I work 70 hours a week and have little time to spend on fora, even though I often find the exchanges useful.  At any rate, 'recent' meant about 18 months ago.  It's a long journey.  The temptation is to want a magic bullet.  It's all great at first, learning about the condition, making sense of  my life and all the nutty things I do.  But then the reality of how much work there is to do sets in, and it gets pretty overwhelming.  Sometimes it seems it would be a lot easier to just go back to the old ways.


I'm enjoying your plural of forum.  It's so rare these days :)

I'm with you, sadly

I am the non ADHDer in a nine year marriage.  When my husband was finally diagnosed I thought there would be some help, that he would get better.  That things would get better.  The fact that you cannot  appreciate how hard you have made your wife's life is evident in your writing.  While you forget and forgive easily the rest of us /she may not.  I can only tell you that as a wife of and ADHDer ,I don't trust him to be the man I thought I married, the man I fell in love with.  The emotional damage to our children will take years if ever to be repaired.  I love our children and they  keep me from totally regretting the day I married him. 

My advice is Stop blaming society and take responsibility for your actions.  YOU caused the pain.  Imagine waking up to everyday waiting for something horrible to happen and be told "I'm sorry but I didn't mean it.  I really do love you."  Emotionally your wife is in the ICU.  Until you can be the salve for the wounds you caused your wife, she may not see the strides you have made.  She's still too busy wiping up the bloody mess.




ebb and flow's picture


Edited my moderator

This is suppose to be the ONE SAFE PLACE the ADDers on this site can come and share their story and struggle with each other and with some accepting/open non's...

For those of us non's who love our partners and want to understand their ADD better so that we can understand what's what in our relationships THIS IS GOLDEN!

I don't know about you but I know my ADDer cannot articulate what it is he feels (ADD-wise) so to hear others describe what it's like from their end is precious info to me. I don't want non's like you coming in here puking out all your verbal negativity onto this thread as well. There are other places on this site set up EXACTLY for that. Please post there! Trust me, I have all sorts of issues against my ADD partner as well... but I have, at least, the decency to respect this thread for what it is!

I'm pretty sure us non's with all our anger and rage have bloody well taken up this whole site on the 'ADHD effect on Marriage'! I'm sure we can at least leave one safe area on this site for the ADDers. Wouldn't you agree?

Safe place?

There are MANY of places for ADDers to sing kumbaya and not face the havoc they bring to others lives. Facing what you do is a real sign of compassion and growth. Wondering if the people you hurt will forgive you Without acknowledging the pain will not allow that to happen. My previous comments wee not puke but a reality check.
ebb and flow's picture

sandy kessler

"Facing what you do is a real sign of compassion and growth. Wondering if the people you hurt will forgive you Without acknowledging the pain will not allow that to happen."

Perhaps we ALL should take a little bit of our own advice at times.....?

The definition of Compassion is a strong wish/desire to see other beings free from suffering (whether it be self inflicted or otherwise). It takes great Wisdom to see the suffering present in all beings (ADDers included); regardless of whether that person is harming you as well.

Sometimes in order to Grow we need to Humble ourselves and open our eyes to the teachings RIGHT BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES! 

I'm only saying that if you are here as a non-ADDer to Grow.... then grow!

If you are here as a non-ADDer to vent anger... then vent anger! Please acknowledge though, that there is a Forum set up specifically for just that. 

In other words, this doesn't seem the appropriate thread to be venting frustration when others are trying to be open and vulnerable.

fuzzylogic72's picture

Wow. Great example of intolerance Sandy!

Reality check? Check your SELF... and consider the forum topic before spreading more of your 'woe is me' victim crap. Unless you really do have THAT much hate; in which case it clearly emanates from your own character, and add is just an easy scape-goat to pin all of your own interpersonal short-comings on people who might have bigger things to worry about than your self-righteous sniveling. Contrary to what you ignorantly proclaim, there are very few places for us socially deficient people to get together, "to sing kumbaya", let alone have the gift of the RARE non-adder with a shred of empathy/education/understanding (like the poster you so arrogantly/ignorantly reprimanded) to hear our words. Stay off of THIS forum; it's not for people like you. 

And thanks again Ebb and Flow; people like YOU are why i'm here (and some of us do learn....)

Peace, love, and hope,


fuzzylogic72's picture

Safe Haven..

Hi E&F,

I haven't been on here in a long time (got out of a bad relationship; of which I was at least half of the problem, but it was bad nevertheless), and have been going through a LOT of employment stuff (again, my doing I am sure). Most peeps like me would have no reason to come on to a site like this (adhd or non-adhd), until/unless there is a new, or on-going problem that we are ALL seeking an answer to. Anyways, I thought I had/have found "THE" person that I have always been looking for, but never felt lucky/worthy enough to find. I have truly been trying to monitor my actions, words, reactions, and general behaviors; with success until recently (we have been fighting). The difference is that this time, I don't have that usual subconcious, "its my fault" feeling, but I still see that I am doing something to drive her away. Anyways, the main reason I have been avoiding this site (aside from not having any tangible issues to discuss), is that the membership here seems so polarized (usually in favor of the non-adhders), so I know there is very little, if any USABLE insights (positive, usable, AND applicable to the 'guilty, aka:adhd' side of the equation).

Anyways, long story short, I was scanning through all the usual, "my adhd guy is a piece of crap who has ruined my life" martyr crap, and then got to your posts, which once AGAIN gave me comfort. It is SO encouraging to know that there are people who believe that being with people like me could possibly be worth the effort. I thought that the girl I am with shared those sentiments, but now that I am seeing this is not the case, it feels good to know that there is still the odd understanding ear out there. People like you really do give me the hope to keep trying to make myself "closer to normal", and worthy of love. I want to thank you for that; you really are a rare person.

Thanks for defending "us"... that is a rare and unusual thing to witness, whether it be family, friend, or stranger.


Please don't take our ranting

Please don't take our ranting and raving personal.  Just like we're not suppose to take your ranting and raving personal.  We do, very much so, value your input.  It isn't very often that we get to hear input from the ADD/ADHD side of the coin.  Please understand that many of us have been with our partners for a long time and have withstood alot of pain and suffering with no real explanation behind it.  ADD/ADHD was unheard of back when many of us got married and I myself wondered for years how I got hooked up with such a jerk.   

fuzzylogic72's picture


It's not that we take the rants personally, just wanted one forum where we don't have to hear it, so we started this thread.

so happy

I'm new here, I'm the non in my marriage. I too am glad there is a forum for The ADHD spouses to get support.  Mine is very shy about posting and I was hoping he could find support alongside me. I hoped if he could see he is not alone and he can share too that he might feel better and learn how to improve things. All his life he kept things very close to his chest, and I can understand why. I love him, have been with him for 20 years and want to find answers for both of us.

Thanks for having the courage to stay and share.

ebb and flow's picture


I'm the non-ADDer in the relationship and I think I do need to take it personal! I think that's the only way I can put my self back in place again! The way I've dealt with my misunderstanding of ADHD is to burst out with anger, silent treatment, avoidance, and all the other unhealthy methods my little mind could come up with. :/

I love that there is one place on here where ADDers can openly chat about what their perspective is... Also, in reading I'm learning what my partner may be going through. This is important to know as there are two of us that need to heal in this relationship and he's not at all open.

So, please carry on... GUILT FREE, because some of us are humble enough to learn from you! :))

Non-adhd partner and mother to adhd child

I could use some positive advice on how to handle my husband.  We have been married for nine years.  He has destroyed our finances.  We have no insurance.  He embezzled money from the place where he works.  He lacks the capacity to fix this mistake.  The only reasons I stay is because my daughter knows Dad has adhd and by leaving him she may conclude that adhders are not worth loving and, two, I have yet to earn enough money as a single Mom to support myself and my two girls.  I cannot remember when there has been any joy with my husband.  His constant lying and workaholic ways to hide what he was doing with our money has devastated me.  He has been in counseling for three years and is on meds.  He has a life coach.  We have spent a ton of money to get him to function.  (My daughter is also on meds and sees a counselor.)  NONE of his counselors picked up on his lying/embezzling.  I read all the info about adhd marriages and I must say I have little hope for my own.  I am afraid for my daughter that she will turn out to be like Dad.  I am also really tired of hearing how great adhd is and that it has gifts.  I can't see them right now. All I see are people who get a pass for crushing people they swear they love.

I find your reasoning insulting


First of all you have my sympathy for the obvious heartache you are suffering...but I hope you can find a way to make this bluntness useful, because

When you say: The only reasons I stay is because my daughter knows Dad has adhd and by leaving him she may conclude that adhders are not worth loving

I am insulted.  I am an ADDer and totally believe that I am worth loving.  Their dad is a thief who steals money from those closest to him - not because he has ADHD, but because he is a thief.  Maybe it's harder for ADHD folks not to steal, but no one steals  because they have ADHD.  People steal because they have bad character.  So when you say that you are afraid that your DD will conclude that she isn't worth loving because she has ADHD like her dad, just remind her that she always has choices to make about her moral character.  Just like you have choices to make about living with a lying thief, or starting over even though money will be a problem.


Living with ADHD or with ADHDers isn't easy, but I'm sure you want your daughter to choose someone with a reasonably good moral character.  What kind of example are you setting for her?


Sandy Kessler

I have to agree wholeheartedly.  I am the non-ADHD Spouse.  I have enjoyed reading this thread strictly from the ADHD point of view.  It helps me to see it from my spouses point of view without me forcing him into talking constantly about in order to get me to better understand.  I have had almost 15 yrs with mine and I love him with all of my heart.   am proud of him finally getting himself some guidance for himself.  Whether we work out our marriage at this point is not even my concern.  My wish for him is to improve his way of life.  For him to get answer for himself and feel better about himself.  He will always be my best friend, he may just not be my husband.  I am working on me and will vent on another thread, if needed.  We need to post where WE will get the best benefit for ourselves to heal ourselves just as they need a place where they can talk to others and not feel so singled out and alone.  I do not feel that it is anyone's place to come on here and bluntly put someone with ADHD in their so called place when this is a place where they should feel safe to interact with others while they too attempt to do their own healing.  Let's you and I learn from what they have to say here, but stay out of it, and you and I can go to a thread with others who relate to us and work to heal each other! :)

How to behave appropriately?

I'm a nineteen year old woman and I've recently been diagnosed with severe ADHD, which has obviously had a huge effect on my relationship with my fiancé. For example, right now, he's in the kitchen, tidying up because I wouldn't stop bouncing around at bed time and he finds it frustrating, so he said something along the lines of, "If you aren't going to settle down right now, I'll go and finish the washing-up." I know that it must be really annoying for him, but I feel like I can't stop acting this way. I feel trapped between feelings of, "I've always been this way, why can't he accept it?" and "I know I'm being annoying, how can I change?". His reaction was perfectly understandable but for some reason, it upset me a lot. I don't want to lose my bounciness, in a way, because it makes me me, but I know there are times when it's not appropriate and I think I need to find a way to not be so bouncy at those times. I also need to not see his criticism of my behaviour as a criticism of me. Is there any way I can do this?

Sorry if this is the wrong thread or the wrong forum to post on!

Also, I am taking Strattera but the bounciness still prevails!

ebb and flow's picture


Well, I'm the non-ADDer in my relationship and I can tell you that I'm the type that loves to poke and tickle and wrestle around with my partner--in jest. Since being with my ADD partner I've not been able to do that as one of his symptoms is sensitivity to touch... So, therefore, poking and tickling are definitely out and he doesn't see the point in wrestling about because it seems silly to him and a waste of his time. Booooo.... :/

I guess, in every relationship there are parts that you have to be willing to sacrifice to make the relationship work. In your case, it may be the bouncing around. The thing that you must assess is whether or not you CAN stop it/manage it, and whether or not its something you want to live without.

In my relationship, I decided poking and tickling were not important enough to leave someone over. So, I just let it go to keep the peace between us. 

Hope that helps some... 



Thank you - that is helpful as it made me think about whether I want to change or whether I can't change. At the moment I feel like I can't change - he's generally extremely supportive of me and my crazy behaviour but my bounciness in particular is causing a lot of arguments. Every time I bounce (I also tickle and poke too!) it's like I forgot that I wouldn't. And once I start I can't stop!

ebb and flow's picture


Maybe there's another way for you direct your energy, like running or something.

I know it's hard but just like in my situation it took time to actually remember that he hated when I would do that. It was REALLY hard because I've always been really playful and kinda goofy with my partners. It was part of my intimate connection to them, and the fun in our relationship. It was such a downer when I finally accepted that he hated it! I was really hurt and actually contemplated deeply whether I could be with such a "downer"... But, then I after thinking long and hard I learned that if I want to stay with him I must respect his wish for me to stop. It's more about respect than anything...

Try to burn off the "bouncy" energy in other more creative ways.... Maybe that will help with the inner feeling that might accompany it. Ya know??

Ps- I still miss playing like that with my partner.... :/

I think I'm totally going to

I think I'm totally going to try running again, I used to do karate, which was helpful, so I think running might do the trick. He ended up sleeping on the sofa last night because we stupidly ended up fighting about it all! :(


Hi I have ADHD and was diagnosed when I was four then again when I was an older child then again as an adult because doctors beleived that we out grew the chemical imbalance in our brain. One thing I would like to point out to people and some are on this forum, we are not sick, diseased, or broken we are just different, we think different and learn different but really who dos learn the same? we all have something that makes us different from other people. I am 37, a wife and mom and have rescued animals all my life, 98% of the jobs I have had have been working with animals and kids and I am now working on getting my developmental service worker diploma and want to work with people that have severe behavioral disorders so far I have worked with kids that have different lvls of autism and loved working with people who had severe autism and behavioral issues, I would also love to work in the prison system with juveniles as I beleive that alot of them are kids that have just been beaten down their whole life and never really given a fair shake. It is also suspected that my daughter has ADHD but instead of medication we are just working with her teachers, behave mod the best we can and keep her busy but anyway speaking of busy one of the ways I deal with it is to keep myself busy to so I am off to the gym ttyl.

Sheri, It sounds like you

Sheri, It sounds like you really handle the ADHD well! I watched the clip on Melissa's favorite page and see where working out helps can help with focus. I know when I worked in the school the older kids with ADHD would to Karate and such things that helped them focus. I think dealing with ADD and ADHD is learning skills that help in all areas of life, unfortunately there are a lot of adults without the diagnoses so they have never learned good coping skills.

Excess energy

I wholeheartedly agree with ebbandflow's advice.  There is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that physical activity is good therapy for ADHD.  I suspect there is probably some clinical evidence as well, but I don't know.   Perhaps Melissa or Ned know?  (hint, hint)

T-I-Double-Grrr-R, that spells Tigger...

Sorry for the bad joke, but that is where my ADD Brain took a left turn at your original post, littlebear... Walking helps me, a bit, but my knees are not 19 years old anymore so karate is "Right Out" :-)

Ebb and Flow... I've seen your posts about the tickling and poking deprivation and it is the opposite in my house. Me, ADD, tends to be playful, but I learned a long time ago that my wife is easily startled and hates to be touched unexpectedly.

Indeed a "Big Boo" :-/

I have a hard enough time showing affection in a spontaneous way...

Best wishes fellow bouncers, ticklers and pokers :-)

waynebloss's picture

Re: Wife hates to be poked

My wife hates to be poled, says that it actually hurts her.  We have our moments of "play" but they are few and far between.  We have both lost a considerable amount of weight and have gained muscle as well as box so we sometimes get physical with each other in play only.  I have learned not to poke or tickle due to her not liking it but at least we can get along long enough to have some happy moments between us.

Me too

I too do not like to be tickled.  I make it a point as soon as people get playful that tickling is out.  I don't find it funny, it just makes me mad.  I love to play around as much as the next person and I love to act crazy and silly, I just draw the line at tickling.  I am the nonADHD spouse, but I know I have issues of my own!  I am a very anxious person, whether it is for a legitimate reason or not, but it causes me a lot of stress and I am unsure how to resolve it.  My husband is a very sudden person and is constantly causing me to jump because I am not expecting him to jump up off the couch with no warning, slam doors and cupboards, or suddenly yell or whistle for the kids out of the blue.  I probably drive him crazy too because he does these things and I immediately ask what is wrong, if he is ok or upset about something.  I've told him that I associate quick movements and slamming things to someone being upset or something being wrong.  It is a minor thing I suppose but it keeps my anxiety level up and I feel like I'm constantly on edge so that I am not taken by surprise by the next "sudden" noise or thing. 

Am I the only one?


Wayne, your avatar is hysterical!