Today I am feeling defeated by ADHD

I am functioning on few little sleep and a bazillion thoughts racing through my my apologies if this makes no real sense or is all over the board. Honestly, even trying to put it into a meaningful thought in my head isn't working well for me.

I hope I have made it clear since becoming a member here that I love and respect my husband (ADHDer) tremendously. I hope that my posts have reflected my honest efforts to try and make my marriage something we can both we happy with. I don't ask of him what I don't expect of myself. Honesty. Kindness. Compassion. Forgiveness. Unconditional love. I don't expect perfection, truly I don't.

A little background: We separated last Fall, hit rock bottom (or did we?), and reconciled in Dec of 09 and agreed we'd try again, go to counseling, etc. No ADHD diagnosis at that point, just tired of living like we had the 6 previous years and both wanted better and different. It felt real. It felt like a turning point. It felt like the world had dropped out from under us. In addition, without going into details about it again, it felt like God was saying 'give it one more chance...and I will help you'. It just felt right. The first few months were trial and error...and a little more hell...but we got through it. Around May/June things started to really turn around for us. We rarely fought, and when we did it was over before it began. These few months were everything I had ever imagined we could have in a marriage....aside from getting the ADHD diagnosis, starting counseling, and a few small lingering issues, I was happier and more connected to my husband than I ever dreamed possible. Then he started medication....

Summation of that goes..he started Concerta and from day one he was irritable, argumentative, and everyone was back to walking on egg shells worried that he'd snap and go off on them. My daughter even noticed because it wasn't something he could hide. He was snapping at her too. Went through hell and back for even daring to mention to him that he needed another medication, that one was making him horribly mean...but his actions showed that he cared..because he went and got off of the medication..and that meant the world to me. The 4 days he was off of medication, I once again saw the kind, loving man I thought was gone forever. Then he started Vyvanse. At first it seemed like it was the answer to my prayers. No irritation, no moodiness, and it gave him a lot of energy unlike the concerta which made him a zombie. About a week into the medication, I felt some irritability creeping in, but it seemed almost as if he was aware of it, but was trying desperately to hold back and keep control of it. Last week was week 3. Our pipes froze and burst and it was a dark day, to say the least. We had a disagreement on how to proceed with the clean up (he wanted someone to come in and do it, I felt we could do it ourselves) and when I voiced my opinion ("I wish you and I had discussed it before you called someone to come in") he cussed me out. Complete with two or three "f**k you! Do it yourself!" and he left me, sobbing, in the den cleaning up the mess by myself. My reasoning didn't matter, he wouldn't even let me make a point without screaming at me. He saw my disagreeing with him as me trying to control everything. I guess it would help to explain my logic...the 'mess' in the garage was basically water...and since you literally could not walk through the area where the water was, I couldn't see how anyone could 'clean' up the water. These services don't come to 'clean' for you, they come to remove water from areas that aren't under 4 feet of junk. It made it about 4 feet into our den too...and I tried explaining how humiliated I would be for anyone to see our den...and the carpet was already ruined, so why waste their time to come clean something that is ruined from years of abuse by us and our cats? It wasn't that we sat down and had an adult discussion about it, it was that he called them and had them on the way and when I found out I literally got sick to my stomach, started to cry, he asked why, I told him "I wish we'd have talked about it" and that was all I got out..he went off and cancelled and left. He slept in the den that night...and I went to bed with hives on my body because of all of the stress of the day. I chalked it up to the fact that it was just a very stressful day and I let it go. I thanked him for trying to get it all taken care of, told him I did appreciate that, and all I was asking was for him to see my point on that one issue. We had already done most of the cleaning out and drying of the garage ourselves.

A few things that have really concerned me...last counseling session he told her that he felt like I was trying to control him again. He felt things were regressing. I posted about another thread about the guitar. My only guess is that since I made an issue of him trading it in, told him how hurtful it was to see him letting it go that way after making me feel like such a schmuck so many other times and him refusing to get rid of it, that it made him feel guilty...and he was deflecting the blame on me saying I'm trying to control him to avoid feeling like he needed to apologize for hurting me. I have no other idea why he would say that. He mentioned me telling him we were only spending $20 on each other for Christmas as the example, when I pushed for specifics, but I tried explaining that was not about control it was just simply about us not having $200-$300 extra to spend on each other. With the counselors help, he finally conceded that might not have been the best example...but gave no other specifics. All I ask is specifics...if he feels I'm doing something that I certainly don't want to be doing, I need to have specifics so I know what to correct, right? In the same aspect,  I don't want to spend the rest of my life being accused of controlling him everytime we disagree on something. In no way did I try to control that situation other than telling him that it hurt me to see him sneaking and trying to trade it in...I simply expressed my disappointment and got accusations of control in return.

Did hyperfocus switch off when he started meds? Did hyperfocus switch off when we disagreed about the guitar? I am certain that in his mind, it IS about me trying to control him...and that terrifies me. No matter how I slice it, it was a huge 'reason' in his mind for his unhappiness in the marriage...and let's face it, that unhappiness ended in an affair.

Is it not about hyperfocus, were the changes real and lasting...and the medications are just screwing things up? I don't know...and this terrifies me.

Our daughter has told me of a couple of times lately when they've been out and he's called me, gotten mad at me, and told her "she makes me so mad when she does that!" and I had no idea he was even mad at me. When he went to get pizza once, he called while on his way to get it. I took a hot bath because I was freezing. When he called I told him I was in the tub...he got off of the phone furious with me because I took a bath. Why? Does he just hate me? I mean why all of the anger towards me all of the sudden?

He had another guitar he's been trying to sell...someone called the other night and he told them he'd already sold id. Explaining later that he just didn't want to sell it to that person, he said it was still in the den and he hadn't sold it. The reason this would upset me is that if he'd have sold it and kept it from me...when we are struggling so badly financially. Also, I worry what he would do with the money. If it were as innocent as buying more guitar stuff, I would almost expect it...but if it were something like buying pills like he did last Spring, then I would probably have no hope for us left at all. I have no reason to believe this other than the fact that the friend I strongly suspect he got the pills from has been calling him a lot lately...but I believe the reason to be that he's recently broken up with his girlfriend and just needs an ear. My eyes and ears are open. This person popping back into the picture brings up a lot of old memories but I don't want to jump to the conclusion that my husband is doing anything wrong when it may be entirely out of his control. Anyway, when I couldn't find the guitar I asked him about it, he immediately knew I was 'accusing' and got mad. It was in the den, just like he said. I told him that I realized that being accused of lying when you aren't must be very hurtful, and I truly felt bad when I did it, asking for him in the meantime to understand that I am only human and that I hoped it could have patience and compassion and that it would get better..HAS gotten better..with time. He stayed mad all day, barely would speak to me last night, and even when I snuggled with him for a while last night, when I went to go to sleep and told him I loved him, he didn't reciprocate. I don't do this to him anymore....I get upset, and I get over it. I TRULY let it go...and he did too....for a while...but not anymore.

I feel like I am losing my footing...I feel like I am losing hope. I have gone over everything 1000 I ever going to be enough? AM I doing something wrong? Is it me? Does he really hate me just as much as he did this time 14 months ago and now that the hyperfocus of losing me has worn off, it is all coming back to him? Is it just the meds? How could I even begin to face that situation again...I can assure you that if I told him I feel the Vyvanse is making him be mean to me, he would put me through hell...I am apparently no longer allowed to have any feelings that don't agree with his.

He apparently had a meltdown of sorts last week...texted me telling me what a failure he feels like he is...and said he saw no reason to keep going. I suggested he see our counselor, talk to her, I just didn't know what to say...but needless to say, it really hurt me to hear him say he felt he had no reason to keep going. He called me a little later, acted like everything was fine. ??? Later, at 11 p.m. when the meds are worn off and he's REALLY cranky and sometimes unreasonable, he brought it up and basically what I heard him saying was that he feels he can't talk to me anymore...that when he tried, I just got he would just find some other way to deal with his feelings...even saying that he was trying to avoid 'an episode' by sharing his feelings, but he guessed he would just bottle them again, I am paying the price for not being strong enough right now to handle my husband telling me he has no reason to live. I'm so confused. I asked "do I just need to listen? do you just need to SAY IT to feel better? Is that all you need?" He also accused me of making him feel like he was "weird" and like I needed to fix him. I told him I could accept everything about him and would work with him for the rest of our lives, if I had the peace of mind that he would never cheat again...that that was ALL I needed him to fix...the rest we can compromise on...and I love him regardless. Needless to say I ended up cutting the conversation short and going to bed...I felt it was going nowhere good.

My only plan is to make it through the best as I can...praying for some mercy from God that he'll give me some answers. I have none. I am terrified that he is going to try and drag our marriage in the ditch. I'm not going there with him again.

Please pray for my marriage...and my family...and my husband.





Although I have no concrete

Although I have no concrete answers, I did ask him if I things were OK and if there was something I should be worried about. I explained that I felt he was distant and that he hadn't been around much (working late..he has started programming this week) and that I just missed his presence. He said he was mad at first over the guitar thing yesterday, but claimed not to be mad about it yesterday evening. I just know he barely spoke and was not himself. He claims he is under a lot of pressure at work, has just started programming this week, and I guess what he was trying to explain is that his brain was just 'fried' by the time he got home. His meds are wearing off about the time he comes home too..and that is when he is most 'unpredictable'. Maybe the increased dosage will help this a little.

So, making myself a short-long list of things to work on in the coming new year with our counselor. Probably going to need some individual sessions. I'm not sure if it will help me gain the confidence and security I need to stop being so vulnerable to his every mood. I KNOW he is happiest when I am our counselor said, he depends on me to ground him...but I cannot always be strong. As crazy as it sounds, for so long I equated my anger with strength. My anger would give me the courage to just not care about his feelings and just not care if he was mad.."He'll get over it" was my motto. Now that I've let go of that crutch, I don't know where to find my courage. Being a Christian, I am supposed to find that courage in Christ, but I'm even failing miserably at my own religion.

Thanks if you've read my novel...

Our Health

I agree with what you said. I know I need counseling also , but I have no insurance he want put me on his. I have always been a strong woman until now, now I feel fragile. I also have faith for a shocker he his a former Pastor, yet here I am in a situation worse than any nightmare. Thanks for reading, comments welcome and prayers needed.

avie93309's picture

From the ADHDer

I would like you to know, you're in my prayers. Bless your heart for staying strong for him. Reading your story, brings tears to my eyes.

I'm a 38 yo mother of 3 girls (16,14,12). All of us are ADHD. Diagnosed 3 yrs ago, and re-diagnosed this year. The middle one is Bi-Polar as well. Two(2) of my kids are on Concerta, while my eldest and I are on Adderall now. I take Celexa, while my middle child takes Wellbutrin and Trileptal. Concerta has a tendency to make you irritable and also give you terrible headaches. I used to take it, too. We take Trazodone to be able to sleep (bc we can't shut off our mind). The mood swings are sure improved by the Celexa, and Trileptal (on my daughter). Lack of sleep makes our mood worse, and the depression sets in.

I see some traits of mine in your husband. I felt attacked and controlled when opposed to. I don't see reason when I'm enraged - I scream, throw stuff out & break things. When I get so mad, I runaway, I cannot confront anything yet I'm very tactless. My husband says he feels like a ping-pong ball, half the time. He became depressed and started drinking. I asked him to stop, but he wouldn't. I so needed someone who can be strong for me, not an alcoholic! We argued constantly.

A non-drinker came into my life, so I decided to leave my husband, filed for divorce in September after 8 yrs of marriage. I got engaged with the new man (I was so sure of it! That's how my 2nd husband came into my life). My children are so confused, they love him even though he's their Step-Dad. But my husband is one stubborn man, he hang in there. He had quit drinking, and pursued me. I'm a hopeless romantic, and he knew that. He made me a video CD of all our memories, and how we were happy, and how the mental illness has taken all of that away. He wrote me a letter saying, he found solace in alcohol in his efforts to numb himself from the pain of not being able to help the kids and me. I eventually broke off my engagement and put the divorce on hold. He agreed to an open relationship (my husband still lives with me).

I asked him, why he agrees to all this and refuse to leave. I told him, how I don't take pleasure in hurting anyone but I hate hurting him, that I think it's best for him to leave me. And he says,"Because I made a vow to love you in sickness and in health. And you are a very sick person, a child in a woman's body. He (your concubine) will go away because you'll lose interest in him, just like you've lost interest in your garden, and your baking, everything else. I know you love me, I know you more than you know yourself. We just need to find you other interests."

I don't know if it's any encouragement. When things are so bad, and you can ignore it do so. My daughter and I are ODD, is he? So we tend to go the opposite of what's asked of us. There are triggers, you know. Have you read the Explosive Child? It's a very good book. It's not you, and he is not going out of his way to hurt you intentionally. I myself just react. Unfortunately, without thinking. We are never wrong. And in our mind it will always be the other person. But when we're alone and medicated, we do think about everything and realize how awful we are. So we try to say sorry, but then the person comes back (when the medication wears off, and say no we're not sorry.)

Have you ever attended Al-Anon? Or anything for Co-Dependence? I went as suggested by my psychiatrist, it helped me sort things out and calm me down. Learned to apply the Serenity Prayer. You need to take care of yourself, only in doing that can you find the strength to help him. A lot of the skill set there can help the Non-ADHD person esp. if you choose to stay.

I'm trying so hard to understand myself and beat this stupid disorder bec whatever skill I learn I can share with my kids. They're the ones I've hurt most. I'm seeing a new counselor - Anger Conversion is his forte. I'll see how it's going to work out. I'm also seeing a new psychiatrist. I've been reading tons of books, I'll buy the one here, too.

My husband on the other hand, is still very active at church. He's one prayerful man. We're Christians, too. He's really close to both priests and get a good support from the Men's group. He ensures we make it to church. He continues to make me food and give me attention, it's so bad when the meds wear off in the afternoon or before I take it in the morning. He has to remind me to come home, even my kids when I get hyper focused at work.

I can feel that he can be my anchor now that's he's sober. I told him today, "If it were not for my children, I wish I'm dead so I can stop hurting others. My impulsivity, urges and rage are sometimes stronger than my will."

Blessings to you,


Thank you for the replies and

Thank you for the replies and prayers...

It truly is an up hill battle sometimes..and my resolve sometimes comes and goes...but we managed to have a wonderful Christmas.

Thursday he was very tough on our youngest and he had her in tears about 3 times before I finally tried to talk to him. I am VERY VERY against one parent stepping in when the other has an issue with one of the children, but having been on the receiving end of his wrath myself lately, I truly felt I needed to try and reach out to him and make him see that the evenings are when he is most irritable and short fused (when his meds are wearing off?) and God as my witness I did feel like he was being far too hard on her. She said something, he took it in a way that she SWEARS she didn't mean it, and he was convinced otherwise. I tried explaining to him that he takes things I say like that all the time and ask for him to just please consider that maybe she DIDN'T mean it the way he took it. He got really defensive, accused me of over-riding his authority, and was furious. It ended as quickly as it started..we just agreed not to fight over it...and I just asked him to please consider what might be in play.

Other than that, we had a wonderful spite of the losses we suffered in the last year. Even if the meds are making him a little more irritable, he is at least starting to regain control of his emotions and seems to be a little more reasonable than he was on the Concerta. He is at least willing to listen to me, even if he gets mad initially, he gets over it.

His meds were increased last week too...I'm hopeful that the new dosage will minimize his 'coming down' from the meds too.

Can't do it anymore...

After a lot of thought (most of which happens at 3 or 4 a.m. because I haven't been able to sleep for WEEKS) I have asked him to stop the medication. I can't do this anymore. It isn't fair to me or my daughter (both of us are left in tears almost daily by his sharp tongue) and he's crossed almost every.single.boundary I set for myself last Dec when we reconciled. I've remained calm in the face of his storms, I've cried instead of getting angry and blowing up, I've prayed until I'm sure even God himself is tired of hearing it. I either stop it now, or lose myself again...I'm not willing to do that. This isn't him, I know it isn't....even at his worst behaviors (spending, drinking, etc) he was NEVER this mean.

He went from asking me to re-marry him, wanting to renew our vows, to getting mad at me for something I say or do, everything that comes from his mouth is somehow critical, he's blown up at me more than once, there is never a right time to discuss anything I'm feeling, and he's even gone back to insisting that I admit I am partially, somehow to blame for EVERYTHING before he'll admit he needs to talk to our counselor...but NEVER EVER admitting to what he's doing. This was boundary not blame me for your ugly behavior, look inside yourself and ask why and STOP HURTING ME! I'm being accused of being overly sensitive, obsessive, etc. I went from being on top of the world, feeling more secure in my marriage and hopeful for our future than I had in a very long time...not needing any reassurances from him (his actions and kind words were enough reassurance)..BEFORE meds to being a crying, ball of nerves. I can't do this.

I love him...I know he loves me. I hope he will see what the meds are doing and stop taking them. I PRAY he sees what they're doing and stops taking them. I have no answers for how he handles his work struggles, praying our counselor can help there too, but we aren't going to have a marriage if he doesn't stop.

I'm devastated...out of hope...and wish to God he would have never started down this path with medications. I'm just too exhausted to fight it and be strong anymore.

Is he taking the right medication?

I'm so sorry to hear how you are feeling.  You're in a tough spot.  But some difficult things to consider---is it the medication that is causing this for sure?  If so, then it's simply not the right one for him.  If you ask him to stop taking this medication, are you ok with him not trying others?  You should somehow be involved in the discussion of how the medications affect his behaviors with his physician.  The right medication actually changed my husband's behavior from being mean/supercritical to being more reasonable.

Thinking of you...

Thank you

This is medication #2. He took Concerta...same thing. It wasn't easy getting him see what it did to him, he actually would not even admit it unitl he was OFF of the medication, but he did admit that he was irritable. I am fine with him trying 10 different medications if he weren't so unwilling to listen to me and trust my observations each time he tries another. I am 99.5% sure it is the medication.

He literally changed from the husband of my dreams to a mean, distant, critical, argumentative ticking time bomb right before my eyes...and he somehow brilliantly manages to make ME feel like the bad guy. I mean I found myself back to square one...having feelings and being so upset emotionally all the time, but somehow letting him convince me that it was ME. How do they always manage to do this?!

I tried...I did. I bit my tongue, I cried in private, I fought back tears...and when he found me in the kitchen crying the other night and walked away I KNEW I could not stay married to 'that man.' I am not perfect, but for God's sake don't I at least deserve a husband who feels something and is able to f'in show it when he sees his wife crying and knows that he's the reason? I had that husband...until medication stole him from me.

For the four days he was off of concerta he was back to himself...sweet, kind, caring...I am terrified I'll never see that person again. Literally terrified.

He took his medication this morning...even after I asked him not I am not sure what to do...