Three years of research, three years after my ADD diagnosis, three seconds to dismiss my thoughts...

My diagnosis was almost 3 years ago at the age of 43. I have apologized for my actions, I always take my meds, I'm working on correcting poor coping skills, I read a lot about my condition, I post to learn more and hopefully help a few others along the way. My DD#1, recently diagnosed with ADD caught me by surprise, but it all made sense when I started putting all the pieces together. My wife has pretty much discounted ADD from the very beginning of my own diagnosis. She thinks there is ADD, but the symptoms are things everyone feels. My DD#1 started having severe depression issues 5 or 6 months ago and her psychologist suggested anti-depressants which they psychiatrist prescribed, but had little effect, then he changed her to Lexapro which made things far worse, he then added Abilafy, after I suggested that I thought she might be just like me with ADD, which seemed to improve things slightly. DD#1 did not like this guy, her psychologist flat out told my DD#1 and DW that there was "No Way" she had ADD and she just wanted to be skinny like her dad. WTF?!? REALLY... The psychologist referred us to a psychiatrist she really liked. After 3 meetings, he agreed with me about the ADD and put her on Vyvannse. DD#1 responded immediately for the better,just like I did.

Sorry for the long setup to my topic, but it sets the stage.

My DW and DD#1 seem to but heads and did today over a conversation about chores. We were discussing everything together and after my DD#1 went to her room, my DW and I continued the discussion. We pretty much agreed on the situation regarding the chores and my DW#1 not being respectful enough to her when confronted about not getting things done. What made my DW mad, was later in the day, several hours past the confrontation, my DD#1 asked to go to Target for something. My wife was shocked and PO'd that she would make the suggestion after what happened earlier that day. Well... This is now the part where my research and understanding of ADD can shed some like on this Classic "In the now" behavior. As I was beginning to explain in terms of how I would act, the next day, following a confrontation with her like nothing ever happened. When I tried to continue, she just cut me off, telling me that everything does not have to be related to ADD. REALLY... She knows this because of all the research she has NOT done about ADD. She still tells me she does not really believe DD#1 has ADD, but hopefully she will lose weight on the meds. This is about the only thing she believes the meds do. (Another Sore subject) Things in general have been improving for us, but her anger problems (She acknowledges she has) are still obviously still aimed at the subject of ADD, even though she says she does not believe had any affect on our marriage. My DW just cannot believe that ADD behaviors are not simply disrespect for her and a means to be taken advantage of.

Well... Thanks for listening. I have much more work to do here. DD#2 is Very ADHD, even my DW believes this now. She was pissed when I first suggested it shortly after my diagnosis. I am about to make an appointment for her to get evaluated. I HATE that I have passed this on to my baby girls, but I'll be damned if I let them go their entire lives not knowing what could be going on in their heads. I will not let them believe they are Stupid, lazy or Crazy! Wish me luck :)    



First, thank you so much for your posts--it's so interesting to hear the ADD perspective here, in a neutral environment. It's interesting that your DW doesn't think ADD had any effect on your marriage. In my marriage, the roles are reversed--my ADD DH swears his ADD hasn't done anything to us or our relationship. Anytime I bring it up he says I'm blaming the ADD, and that the problem is between us.

You're right, you do have a lot of work ahead of you, on both sides. Change is just so difficult, especially when it comes to what we each consider to be a "natural" reaction or response. My DH and I have had many issues relating to household responsibilities. One example that may relate to yours above: my DH will be lounging on the couch watching tv or on the computer; he'll hear me emptying the dishwasher, and he'll say "Oh, I meant to do that--don't do it, I'll do it later." When he says this, I'm at least halfway through, so I say "It's ok, I'm almost finished, and this has to get done now b/c the sink is filling up with dirty dishes. You can help me now, if you want," which he doesn't. (This is not to say that he never helps around the house; there are a few specific things that he does fairly regularly, but this example is a very typical occurrence.) When this happens, I get frustrated. It's bad enough when my DH doesn't see or notice things that need to be done (he swears he doesn't notice the dirty bathtub that needs to be cleaned), but it's so much worse when he sees something and still does not do it. When he says something like "I meant to do that but I forgot," it feels like he's purposely leaving it for me to do. I know this isn't always his intent, I know he sometimes truly forgets, but he is also passive aggressive (he admits this), so I'm never sure what's going on underneath. I've explained to him that b/c there's only the two of us in this house, if something needs to be done and he chooses not to do it, it means (to me) that he's leaving it for me to do. Even the "I meant to but I forgot" line hurts b/c he knows how I feel, and it's still not important enough to him to do at that moment (before he has a chance to forget) or write it down (so he can remember later in case he does forget).

I know I still have things to work on here, too--I need to find ways to prevent that frustration from really settling in. I need to consider his "intent" a little more than simply his actions...

But that also brings up an interesting debate I've been having with myself for quite a while--intent vs. action. I may post this as a new thread b/c I'm very curious about different perspectives on the topic, but briefly, I'm not really sure how valuable good intentions are. After all, someone might intend to donate a million dollars to children's cancer research, but if they forget or don't follow through, where's the benefit? Likewise, someone may not intend to fall asleep behind the wheel, but if they do and cause an accident, does the intent really matter at that point? I know these are extreme examples and in no way do I mean to equate these with the everyday acts of my DH...but as I said, it's something I've been going back and forth on a lot lately.

To bring it back to your current example, your DW does need to understand that your and your daughters' ADD behaviors are NOT merely meant to disrespect or take advantage of her. It's self centered of her to think that everything you guys do is just to get some type of reaction from her. But now that you are aware of how these behaviors make her feel, you might want to consider ways to change those behaviors--it would be equally as wrong to continue acting in this way and expect her to stop feeling the way she does just b/c she's not understanding your intent.

Good observations :)

Household chores have not really been much of an issue with me and my DW. I have always done my share of things concerning the house or parenting duties. That being said, back when I lived in the ADD Fog, I could walk past the dirty bath tub and literally not notice, or notice but be doing something else and thinking when I finished "X" I would take a look a the tub. The problem was that after X was done, time had passed and the Tub was not "Cued up" in memory anymore. So when the question would come after she would be cleaning the tub, Mad about having to do it because I should have noticed it needed to be done, now she "Of Course" was left to do this "As Usual". So... Even though I did notice A: Nothing I say will help, mentioning I noticed or Intending to do it  B: Being angry at me for not doing something I "Should have noticed and Should not Need to be asked to do it" Totally made me feel like Shit because 1: I did notice and was going to, but time got away and my short term memory failed, AGAIN 2: I do household chores all the time, why would I deliberately NOT do something just to make her mad??? 3: My wife is Pi$$ed and comes at me about this which would send me to "Shut-Down Mode" and my lack of words and blank facial expression sent her further into outer space.

I was not a mind reader, I might have done three other things that day, but since only the tub was noticed they day was now a disaster, AGAIN...  This was a repeat cycle for many years.

After diagnosis, I was elated to find and explanation for so much of our miscommunications and how I could be oblivious to everything. Chores and communication have improved dramatically in the last three years. Our biggest issue for a long time was not over any of this or other ADD traits that had hurt us in the past. What she focused on was I was happier, started exercising regularly and dropped about 100 lbs in two years. My weight loss was, in her eyes, because of the "Speed" I take every day. Speed was her passive aggressive way to needle me about my changes. This has finally stopped for the most part, but she still believes it and I won't talk about it anymore. I've asked for us to go to counseling to work through that and other things. We saw her counselor after my diagnosis a couple of times, then not since those 2 visits about 2 months apart. I have asked several times in the last year for us to go again, but she refuses. Obviously we still have some issues to work on, even though things are better most of the time.

After my DD#1's diagnosis, which my DW does not Really believe anyway, when I try to offer some "possible State of mind ideas" from my ADD perspective, my DW gets defensive and often dismisses me like I don't have any idea as to what I'm talking about. Yesterday she told me "Everything does not have to do with ADD". She was upset about how she felt our DD#1 treated her, and she rightly deserved to feel this way. I told my DW that the behavior was not acceptable and agreed that my DD#1 was not doing the chores consistently. I was Trying to make my wife feel better and that maybe DD#1 was not knowingly trying to hurt her. My DD#1 is new to the diagnosis and has not had much time to figure everything out about her ADD and it's affects on the ones around her.

It's all a bit frustrating, because three years ago I would have been oblivious to the fact there was something wrong, let alone have any idea as to how this could have happened, much less communicate my thoughts to her, because she would have been mad because I never noticed when she was upset, so she would be upset with me Not Noticing in the first place before angrily explaining what was wrong...

Thanks for listening...

"I have always done my share

"I have always done my share of things concerning the house or parenting duties." OMG, your wife is so lucky! I think that if my DH and I were able to share our responsibilities more equally (consistently), we'd have an easier time communicating about everything else. But we have a history of poor communication surrounding household chores, and the anger and resentment that stem from that bled into other areas of our marriage--for a long time, I truly did not understand that he didn't see the dirty tub or the muddy boots he dropped on my living room rug. In my mind, these were such obvious things. Then I came to this board a couple years ago and read a post from an ADDer that explained seeing only the things in front of you--he/she said something like: I wake up, I take a shower, I see that the drain is clogged and I think "I need to unclog that," I get out of the shower, grab a towel, dry off, grab clothes... and at the end, the person said that because he/she didn't turn back around to the tub, they forgot about the drain, and they were already thinking of the thing in front of them (towel, clothes...) and the spouse got mad b/c the drain was clogged, and the poster felt like crap. And in that moment I felt so bad--I realized I had been treating my DH in a way that probably made him feel like crap, too, which is something I never wanted to do.

So we sat down as suggested by our counselor and made a list of household chores, divided into things that had to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I thought this would help b/c it clearly divided who would do what, so if I noticed that the trash hadn't been emptied, I didn't worry about it or feel obligated to do it myself in that very moment b/c I knew that was on DH's list, and he would do it when he had time. We even approached the list based on who didn't mind doing certain things (I don't mind doing laundry, he hates it, so that was an easy one). But after a few weeks, it became clear that he wasn't regularly doing his things, which made me feel frustrated and angry--he basically said the list wasn't going to work, but he couldn't come up with any other ideas, so we were right back where we started...which is basically where we still are today. The difference, though, is that I know he doesn't mean to leave things for me to do, so I try my best not to say things that make him feel like crap--as I mentioned about the dishwasher, there was a time I would have seen that it hadn't been emptied and would have asked him why he left it for me to do. Now, I just empty it; if he says anything, I suggest that he can help if he wants, but I'm careful to stay away from anything that may make him shut down. I'm just tired of fighting about the same old stuff. I don't think I've reached a permanent solution, though--I still feel frustrated that such an imbalance exists, and I don't want to feel this way forever, but I'm not sure how else to approach it.

It sounds like your wife is carrying around a lot of baggage from the years before your diagnosis, which is understandable but certainly not helpful if you're both committed to moving forward. You're in a tough spot--your DW probably feels now with your kids a lot of the same emotions that she felt with your ADD behavior. That can be difficult, especially if she's still not over all the hurt and resentment she likely felt with you before your diagnosis. It sounds like you were on the right path trying to validate your wife's feelings about the DD's behavior, but her reaction sounds like she was feeling attacked (if she felt she had to defend). Is it possible that your wife could have interpreted you providing your ADD perspective as you defending your DD? I have no idea, I wasn't there for the conversation, but if you said anything like "she didn't mean to hurt you," it could have left your DW feeling teamed-up on. I don't know, just a suggestion. 

Just curious, does your DW acknowledge the changes you have made and thank you for them? Or does she just point out the work you still need to do? The whole weight loss/speed comment sounds so mean, it just makes me wonder--doesn't sound supportive at all.

You're describing the Chore Wars

You're describing the Chore Wars, which I cover in my book.  Many, many women respond to their partner's continuation of not completing things in just the way that you are responding.  There's a good side and a bad side about dealing with it as you are, however.  The good side is that you are having fewer arguments around it and you aren't making your husband feel you are complaining at him all the time.  The bad side is that by finishing the chores that ought to be his, you are taking on extra responsibility.  Some people have "room" to do this, most do not.  At some point the result of taking on those chores is resentment, frustration and parenting behavior such as nagging.

A list may not work for your partner because it doesn't bring the chore back into the "now" without the partner seeking it out.  Try, instead, some sort of electronic reminder system on a phone or computer or both.  Toodledo and Wunderlist are two that some I know with ADHD use, also Outlook.  This works for chores because they can be anticipated - still won't do anything for the hair in the shower drain...

Another option might be a white board near a door that is used a lot (i.e. you see it a lot).

Many ADHD coaches can help you find a system that works if you can't do it on your own.

So before the two of you give up, try other types of reminder systems.  Experiment until SOMETHING works.  I've rarely run into anyone who can't figure out some sort of system that helps them do chores when needed if they persevere.  It's important for the long-term health of your relationship that you feel you can rely on your partner.

So many similarities in our cases...

Better understanding the history and conditions which affect the ones we love is So important. A sad truth is that Perception is a B1+ch... I was disheartened in the beginning when I was working hard to do things better, followed by angry at doing things better, yet only having the things that we missed pointed out, followed by Knowing that it takes a LONG Time for your consistent actions to Create the new perception. I hoped that by Doing more of the right things that eventually things would improve and that she could believe my actions were not a temporary phase. My wife has had a lifetime of being disappointed by people and once her trust is gone, it is hard to re-gain it. I am sure my DW did not think I was ganging up on her, but she thinks I put too much into ADD. She does not like me to talk about it, but she mentions others to me that she thinks has ADD, so it is okay to talk limitedly about it the right context. She was still to angry to have her anger seem unjustified, so she ended the conversation and walked off. I was not going to push her, because she was upset, had a right to be upset, but blowing me off for trying to help work through the situation really hacked me off. (I would have thought I said something wrong in the old days)  Part of the issue is, IMO, is that she is not used to having someone challenge what she says or thinks. This is a new dynamic to our relationship and we have even discussed this fact. The meds sure help me sort out the ideas flying through my head and I have more confidence in plucking something useful to say in real time. My poor DW used to have to try and have both sides of our arguments because I would shut-down and she Needed me to give my side, tell her she was wrong or admit I was wrong, but I could not stop the noise in my brain, sadness of another failure and so on. 

We have both always struggled with out weight, so I understand why she bothered my my seemingly Magic Pill for happiness and Weight Loss. AND at 46, most guys are looking to upgrade. It is REALLY hard to be a guy when so many of us set shitty standards as a norm, so even when I try to do and say the right things, they are often not taken as any more than lip service...

One thing that I came up with that helps keep misunderstandings about chores from happening is: On a Saturday, let's say, where there is no real "Plan or event scheduled" (ADDer's Nightmare Day) there is not the daily auto-pilot schedule of recurring events / tasks. My To-Do list is huge... I don't know where to start, so I'll ask my DW "What 2 or 3 things would you like to see me get done today?" She really likes this and I like knowing that what I choose to work on will be appreciated and not find out later that it was not something that was bothering her so much. I DETEST wasting time... Maybe something like this could help you and your DH out?

Thanks again for your reply :)  

Been there....

YYZ - you said "Part of the issue is, IMO, is that she is not used to having someone challenge what she says or thinks. This is a new dynamic to our relationship and we have even discussed this fact."

Wow - been there done, that.   I truly believe at 43 I was the very first person (not just girlfriend/woman) to say NO to my ex or to challenge his belief or to set boundaries.    This really set him off - at one point he even said to me "you're idea of a family is totally f*d" when simply asking for someone to phone before dropping by.  Oh and then the twisting that he could do when I disagreed with him - taking a small area of differing beliefs/tolerances and project it onto a whole huge area that he could then blame me for (for example - I'm very fair skinned so i stay out of direct sun if i can - reasonable?  This was turned into I am holding him back from his dreams because he could not go on boating vacations,etc... I NEVER said that, I just said i'd need some cover) - go figure!.   I don't know if this is an ADHD thing, I try to relate it - but he really had a very hard time accepting anything that was different from how he experienced it growing up, how he perceived it should be.  That was difficult to say the least.  

Hang in there - you are not alone! 

Hey kit_kat_lover...

Are you the Non-ADDer is your relationship? Conflict usually caught me off guard, caused great guilt that I did not see the problem, my brain scrambling to catch up to the topic and generally sent me to Shut-Down Mode. I usually felt attacked from seemingly out of nowhere and it's not like I did not have an opinion, I just could not grab the right thought to best express myself. I would say something the wrong way, then there was no re-do, no 7 second delay... I am basically a very laid back guy and I don't like conflict. I heard my A-Hole step-dad screaming too many times growing up and I was NEVER going to be That Guy. The problem is I learned to stone face my reactions and internalize my emotions as a form of self preservation and a handy tactic against some idiot trying to belittle me, but terrible when dealing with someone you love. My DW tends to try and twist what I say when she is angry too, but not nearly to the level you use in your boating vacation example.

The thing was when we were discussing the situation between her and my DD#1, we were not arguing. We were in agreement about my daughter treating her disrespectfully and I was trying to explain that maybe the ADD poor communication made it appear worse. I wanted her to feel Better and that it may have not been this intentional calculated show of full disrespect. I thought this was a 2 way communication, I thought I was trying to help sort through the issue, but when she did not like what I had to say, it became a 1 way conversation which she immediately ended. There was nobody around, just me and my DW, so there could not be any "Me taking up for DD#1" and "Being on opposite sides of my DW". I was simply trying to support my wife in a way that was impossible before diagnosis and Adderall. 

My DW always wished I could just communicate with her and now that I Can better communicate she decides when this communication ends. I did not appreciate that. If I would have just blew off something she was saying and walked away the conversation would NOT have ended at that point.  

Thanks for your reply...

Are you sure your name isn't S********* ?

Hey YZZ - first off you ended your post with "I have much more work to do here".   While I cannot praise and congratulate you enough for seeing this, I think your wife has a whole lot of work to do on her side (no disrespect intended).  Yes your timing may have been off or some other reason, but you sound like the one walking on egg shells now.  

And yes, I am the non-ADHD (ex) partner. And i'll tell you it's frustrating as all hell! Looking back,  I can see all of the symptoms and say "aha - that's what it was, not him" and I can forgive and work on it (but not alone).  When I read your reply I actually got a little nervous because what you described about avoiding conflict and your step-father is my ex to a tee.  He too kinda shut down in conflict and "pretended" to reach an understanding with me.  This only did more damage as the subject would come up again later and I would be so pissed that we were having "that discussion" again.  SO MANY TIMES.... And so much could have been avoided if he would have spoke his mind on many subjects - only later I have to hear after the breakup he was just trying to be a "nice guy".   And the cycle continued because after the third time discussing a "formerly agreed to topic", I'd blow a gasket and go nuclear to get it through his head (usually didn't work anyway)!!  So that reinforced his behavior to not tell me his true thoughts on things and just go along...fuel to the fire!   Being the disgruntled dumpee, I sympathize with you as I would have loved my ex to embrace his diagnosis.  A diagnosis which came from many days of me subtly leaving emails, notes around.  Funny, before we even thought ADHD seriously, I constantly suggested things like white boards, alarm settings, calling me first thing in the morning when traveling so i dont feel neglected - plenty of what i thought were "reasonable" solutions.  But nope.  Now with his diagnosis in hand, he refuses to really take stock that a great deal of our communication problems were a result of ADHD symptoms.  Being willing to go to the end of the earth to work on it (even telling him I would help him try without meds), I so would have welcomed your attitude.  Bravo for you!  Instead, I get "blamed" still that everything that escalated to nuclear was because of who i was, not a rocky foundation built on ADHD symptoms.  Its tough - I feel for him, because I truly think it will be hard to find someone who is already in the trenches, educated about it and willing to work.  

WRT your wife, it has to be frustrating for her to live in an ADD household, but she has a choice to make it better - especially with a willing partner.  3 years working on yourself would show anyone that you are comitted to it, even if you do backslide (only natural), here and there.   It almost sounds like from this post (and i read a couple of your back posts) the tables have been reversed and now she has the ADHD or something else she's battling internally?   Is she feeling resentful that you are trying to make yourself a better person, more caring, more well rounded?  If that's the case, I don't know what you do - it's kind of like when you finally got diagnosed - only you could help yourself.   Sad but true in all things we battle internally. 

Hang in there - again if I could have you sit down with my ex and shake him til he gets it, i'd love it.  I commend you for taking control of helping your kids navigate this as well - it really shows your character.


Hey Kit...

I wasn't sure about my name being S***********? Shed some ligh on my running low on meds mind :)

Thanks for the compliments, I really appreciate them. What is really weird is that I've read SO Many posts from your fellow Non-ADDer's about "Walking on Eggshells" and spousal anger and I have always seem to be the ADDer 180 degrees off the typical male ADDer. Maybe the coping skills I created after my 10 years with a verbally abusive step-dad destroyed my self-esteem and this trauma caused me to suppress all of my emotions showing ANY weakness and to avoid conflict at all cost lead me to be the "Eggshell Walking ADDer". I learned of my ADD, no H, at age 43, but even though I joked about being ADD I never thought I was. I became pretty organized after years of not being, pretty on-time after years of chronic 10 minutes late I discovered Outlook Tasks, To-Do's, Notes and Detailed Contact info (B-days /Anniversaries / Kids names) back in 95 or so and when the first "Outlook Syncing" phone came out in 2000, you bet your A$$ I bought it. (It was really cool too) Spending was something I never got to good at until after diagnosis. 

The anger my DW has shown, and I understand, is that "Yet Again" things always seem to work-out for me without seemingly too much effort on my part. She has been struggling with depression and anxiety for years and her meds kill her sex drive and cause weight gain. My "Magic Pill" instantly cured my ADD Fog/Sadness and since I get to take "Speed" for the rest of my life the only side effect is being skinny in her eyes. We don't talk about this much anymore because even though we said we would agree to disagree, she would find ways to go through it ad nauseam. She KNOWS I had had enough but the resentment is still there, just in the background. I've asked and all but insisted that we were not qualified to work through this and a few other issues and I suggested more couples therapy, but she does not want to do it. My DD#2's sudden over-whelm, then DEEP Dark depression really scared us both to death, and it eventually got my DW to ask if I thought she had ADD. At first I thought no... But when I really started piecing together the big picture and all of the personality quirks it hit me like a ton of bricks. She is JUST like me, except she also has her mom's bad temper when pushed. My DD#1 has responded amazingly to the Vyvanse, such a relief, but the Teen Girl Vs. Mom thing is just warming up. 

Thanks so much for the kind words and great insight from yet another Non-ADDer trying to figure this all out :)

Let me know where your X-Partner is and I'll see about shaking some sense into him ;)

I've been thinking a lot

I've been thinking a lot about the example you gave of the disagreement concerning your daughter.  Here is my take on the situation.  I can understand you being frustrated by your wife's response to your attempt to explain your daughter's reaction.  But maybe your wife was thinking something like follows:  "OK, I have been living with my husband for years.  And he's finally shaping up.  And maybe he's taking responsibility for his actions.  But now I have two daughters who also have ADHD.  SO I'm going to have to go through all this stuff with them, too.  Plus, they're' teenagers!  I'm really worried about what is going to happen to them, and I'm worried about how they're going to handle their lives, and whether they can be responsible adults.  And then my husband tries to excuse my daughter's behavior?  If he was attempting to reassure me, I don't think it's going to help.  Plus, this  makes it seem like he's more on her side than on my side.  And maybe our daughter will see that, too, and will play us off against each other, or, worse, maybe she'll like him more than she likes me!"

I understand what you are saying...

Our conversation was private, DD#1 had gone to her room and I was just trying to help sort out the situation. I was trying to support her and completely agreed with my DW as to DD#1's actions. You are right... our daughters both have ADD, DD#2 not officially diagnosed but it is even obvious to my DW, and DD#1 is a teen and naturally going to butt heads with her/us even without ADD. We are lucky in a sense because I was diagnosed 3 years ago and have been researching/reading/posting and trying to coach my girls when I recognize ADD behaviors. They don't have to think they are lazy, stupid or crazy like I wondered off and on for 40 years. I know my DW and I are still in recovery ourselves, but she only sees lost trust to repair and poor reactions/observations maybe getting better. My DW does not want to hear anything about ADD because it is a sore topic because of me. My daughter's get just as mad at me at times because I am the inflexible one when it comes to their chores of staying home sick. I completely supported my DW's position when we talked to our daughter. After my daughter left the room I was just trying to help sort everything out. How many misunderstandings did we used to have, now not nearly as many because of the things I have learned. I probably left her feeling frustrated a million times, but I never cut her off, gave ZERO credit for what she was saying and just walked away like there was nothing I could say that was worth hearing. That is what sucked...

 I could have just consoled her and gone up and reamed out and grounded my daughter. Would that have been better? I certainly believe there should be consequences for her behavior, but my DW ended our discussion because She was done... 

I really appreciate your reply. I know I can still miss things and love getting feedback from my Non-ADDer comrades :)

Your wife's response was

Your wife's response was neither appropriate nor polite nor rational.  But maybe she was just in a pissy mood. That happens to all of us sometimes, in ADHD marriages or not.  Have you said anything to her about it?

My DW was Very stressed...

We had her parents over just after this happened. Our DD was really in a bad place for several months, the docs thought it was depression, the meds did not help and when they increased the dosage she really spiraled down, like I did on anti-depressants. My wife still worries that she will go back to where she was before the ADD meds.

So... My DW doesn't want to get walked over, she always thinks people are trying to pull a fast one, but she also does not want to push our DD over the edge. I let this one go, only because I understand how much of a worrier my DW is in the first place. 

I am still learning how much or little to react myself after decades of oblivious behavior. I appreciate the honest opinions that I get here. It keeps me grounded.

Thanks again :)


And so do I appreciate your

And so do I appreciate your take on things.  

Again, not to excuse your wife's rudeness, but you're right about the fact that stress may have played a role.  When I was thinking about your original message, I thought about the fact that when my daughters were still at home (they're both in college now), I did most of the heavy lifting vis-a-vis parenting tasks, and it was really hard and really stressful, and we have "good" daughters.  They had problems, but nothing that I thought didn't come with the territory:  underage drinking, problems at school, problems with friends, etc.  But even though their problems came with the territory, it was still very stressful to deal with the stuff, because I love them so very much.  It was hard but bearable.  But then when my husband got fired because of a mistake that he made that pretty clearly seemed to stem from his ADHD, and even though this seemed to open his eyes, I felt as though it was the straw that broke my back.  I didn't want to be the kind of person who would leave a spouse over something like this (and actually, I haven't, at least not yet), but I was just so incredibly stressed.  One daughter had had a brief health crisis (accidental overdose of ADD meds, of all things) that caused a near-psychotic reaction), and that was so incredibly frightening.  Even thinking about it now makes me tense up and puts me into a not-very-good mood.  (PTSD, anyone?)  Anyway, that stress, especially stress about people we love, is very hard to deal with sometimes.

Stress, absolutely...

My wife is a worrier to the Nth degree. Ever since she was young she had to take care of everyone. She had a physically abusive step-dad, who beat her mother and brother for 10 years before her mom divorced him. She has always felt like the had to make everything right for everyone, the problem is that the stress gets vented at home. I was one thing she never had to worry about until stress from a new job after 12 years, major death in my family, years of a room mate marriage took it's toll on me and my over-whelm and anxieties sent my unknown ADD into hyper-drive. My diagnosis was made, but now I was another person to add to the list of people she had to worry about. She had seen a counselor off and on for years to deal with her depression and anxiety about her family. Her doctor actually got her to see that she took care of everyone but me. I was okay in her eyes. I never had any needy behaviors or was someone she needed to worry about at the next family gathering. The doctor and meds helped her too, but the side affects of weight gain and low sex drive made our room mate situation even worse. The anger came at the peak of my unraveling when I became friends with a co-worker (And I swear there were no feelings other than friendship) and I had nobody to talk to about my issues at home because my guy friends are useless in matters like these and female family members would judge my DW and family gatherings would have become a nightmare. So I stupidly discussed matters with this friend hoping for some unbiased female perspective. This almost ended my marriage as the stress I carried knowing that my DW would end things if she knew I sought this kind of help. Paralyzing anxiety attacks send me to my doc, who sent my to a psychiatrist. The psych took about ten minutes before suggesting a diagnosis. The rest is history... I responded well to meds, began exercising, lost weight, productivity soared at work and at home and my DW just had a hard time with my easy diagnosis and magic pill that made me lose weight. The worrier that she is of course braced for the worst and anger and shields on high were the name of the game for over 2 years. Things have improved over the last few months, thank goodness, but I thought and still think we need more couples therapy to work through some of these issues.

Thanks again for you insight...