Tips Sought on Treatment for ADHD and Support for Spouse

I am brand new to this forum and I'd like to first start by saying "thank you" to Melissa Orlov and Dr. Ned Hallowell and to all the folks who come here to ask questions and leave comments. I can't begin to express how beneficial it is to find that I am not the only one dealing with this issue. I have found myself increasingly isolated as I've had to deal with my husband's issues, and to be honest, the only thing that has kept us together all this time has been the terrible economy and the potential financial ramifications of separation and divorce.

I am open to suggestions on how to get my partner to get tested for ADHD or ADD. To listen to him, all of his problems are due to external factors and other people. In the twenty years we've been together, he's lost at least 12 jobs and has been unemployed for at least 3 years. His last job loss came a couple of weeks ago after working just six weeks.

A few years ago we received marriage counseling and he successfully convinced the counselor that he had never been at fault during the job losses or his previously failed marriages. The counselor told me initially in private that he thought he suffered from Aspergers but backed off that diagnosis as counseling progressed. Our sessions ended up being my husband and the counselor chatting about grilling and "guy stuff" and it ended up hurting us more than helping us.

Then two of my friends, both school teachers, told me that they'd been trained to look for symptoms of ADHD and ADD in their students so they could receive testing and proper help. Without knowledge of what the other had said, they both told me they thought my husband should be tested and that he displayed some of the typical behavior. However, my husband is convinced that everyone else is at fault, including me. So I am at a loss as to how to broach the subject of testing - or where he would receive it - without causing World War III.

At the same time, I've withdrawn more and more from friends and social activities and have fought depression. My husband is constantly telling me that I created problems that I didn't, that I said things I never said, or that I am at fault for decisions that he made. During marriage counseling, he said he did not care what I did, didn't want to hear about my work or any volunteer activities I've been involved in, or basically anything about my life that did not directly relate to him. It has reached the point where I can only speak to him in 30-second "sound bites" or he accuses me of talking the subject to death. Half the time, he "edits" what I say to him, instructing me on how to say it with fewer words or in a manner that he approves. I walk away rather than fight, but the result is that I'm keeping an awful lot inside and I've lost a huge chunk of who I am.

I have a lovely home and I like living in the town I currently live in. But I am facing the very real possibility of having to give up what I have here and move to another state where the cost of living is lower, so I can start over by myself. I wanted to be married and I wanted to have a significant other to spend my time with, to plan my future with, and to share my days with. But since I can't make any plans with him - he becomes very frustrated just a minute into any conversation - and I can't talk with him, and he admits that he doesn't care about anything I do that doesn't involve him, I am at a total loss here.

If any of you have been through something similar and have words of wisdom to share, I am all ears. Thanks in advance.