I'd like to hear everyones thoughts on an ultimatum for my ADHD husband to go with me to marital counseling. I'm a pretty even tempered, logical person and I've done a lot of reading on the subject and about relationships. I have started going to counseling myself and it became evident really quickly that things are not going to go anywhere with just me trying to influence our commun ication dynamics. I don't mean to phrase it "come with me or else" I would like to simply ask if he will join me. If he refuses I want to move out. Is this too much of a shock factor that would make things worse? He is not diagnosed and he is not willing to find out for sure. I am not going to ask for that; I want to improve our communication as a goal. I just feel like my very presence and damage control effort are making it too easy to stay in the place he is with me taking care of the important things. (I learned quickly not to do everything!) There are no consequences for him as he contiues to avoid the subject. We are both miserable. I also struggle with the moral value. Is it too controlling or manipulative of me? I would like to hear from both ADHD and non. Thanks.

Not too much to ask...

If you feel strongly that your relationship is stalled, you have been working on yourself with counseling. I have ADD and long before I knew it my future wife and I struggled through a conversation about communication. It was like pulling teeth getting information out of me. She needed more than silence and me nodding yes or no when she guessed my answers. Your partner should respect your worries about your future with communication issues. Don't let an ADDer off the hook, then the precedent has been set and he will know the minimum level needed to continue. Does your husband take anything for his ADHD? It's hard to step out of the comfort zone, but ignoring things does not help either.

Marriage is hard sometimes and ADD makes you want easy until you are forced to work to keep it together.


I avoid the 'controlling'

I avoid the 'controlling' label at all costs..but I presented it like this to my husband.. we obviously got the marriage so far off in the ditch that we need some professional help. I made it clear that we wouldn't survive without it. That is not me controlling him, that is me having boundaries that are important for ME. I can't stay married and have any peace of mind AT ALL (or Hope) if we didn't get professional help. No ifs, ands, or buts, if he didn't go I was done with the marriage. Drug him kicking and screaming, but I love him and he loves me and I feel someday he'll thank me.

He does like our counselor and it does help him (he's going alone right now).

If it is down to him going to counseling with you or you leaving, seems like a no-brainer. There is  nothing wrong with having boundaries and needs. As long as you're ready to stand by your ultimatum, then do what you need to do.

Ultimatum vs the facts

There's a difference between an ultimatum and simply stating the facts, though the person on the receiving end doesn't always see it this way, especially if he feels threatened. About two years into our relationship, I finally said to my partner--"I don't think I can go on if we don't get some counseling." This was the truth, and I was prepared to pull out of the relationship. But he said okay and I found a counselor who had ADD himself. Even though my partner had diagnosed himself with ADD, he felt it didn't affect his relationships and he initially turned down medication so counseling wasn't a piece of cake. But the counselor was great. He didn't push anything down Max's throat (and neither did I). We were in counseling two years, and now together for 10 years and we are in a very good place. So I would say, consider finding a counselor with experience with ADD. Tell your husband the facts--that you would like to stay together but that can only happen if there are some changes. Rather than pointing the finger at him only, say that you are feeling sad, angry, confused, frustrated, whatever is true for you, and that you would like to attend counseling together so that your marriage can continue and thrive. I wouldn't tell him you will move out if he doesn't unless you mean it. But if you mean it, say it. One other thing about counseling: I learned that I was not good at setting boundaries. Through this counseling, I grew so much in unexpected ways. I learned to set limits with Max without anger. He learned to openly talk about the difficulties ADD presents and to trust I would not criticize. Perhaps admit to your husband that you want to improve your behaviors, too, so that they are healthy and positive for both of you. Max told me that the turning point for him in our relationship was when I realized I needed to change. Good luck. It IS possible to have a good relationship with someone with ADD. It's not easy, though, so give yourself a pat on the back for trying.


Thanks Survivor, your post is encouraging. I told me husband I was going to counseling, and I said he was welcome to come. I know that is a far cry from an ultimatum, but the opportunity and conversation presented itself so that I could invite him instead. To me that was a better way. In the past he flat out refused the very notion, so I was expecting the worst when I posted my question. He basically said he was going becuase he figured if I thought it would help us, he would humor me. As far as he is concerned he doesn't need to be there for his own sake. Well, I'll take what I can get. Positive things can happen; it will likely become evident that he does in fact need to be there for other than aquiesence.