Sometimes I feel like the anger and frustration of living with two ADD people (50 yr old husband/16 yr old son) is going to consume me.  As hard as I try to be understanding I am just so tired of doing 95% of the housework and having to ask repeatedly for the help that I do get.  I will say he helps with shuttling our kids around and will do things when I ask.  But rarely does he offer to do anything around the house or even seem to notice that there are things that need to get done!  I try not to nag but I get so angry when I ask nicely several times for specific tasks and usually they are put off or simply forgotten.  As if the ADD is not enough, the economy has greatly impacted my husband's job (and our lifestyle) as he is a homebuilder and business has been is a trickle for the past 4 years.  At least, we have managed to pay our bills and keep our business.  But he is now home 3-4 days during the week sitting on the couch watching TV and playing on his laptop.  He does do paperwork, email, etc part of the time...but it's still on the couch with the TV on and his feet up for hours a day.  It just drives me mad!!!  My whole routine is off kilter with him home all the time and it makes me angry to see him sitting there while I'm up trying to do what I need to do around the house.  My motivation lately has vanished.  All I want to do is lock my door and sleep.  Some days I just leave the house and find errands to run or go to the mall even when I don't really need to b/c I'm so tired of seeing him sit around!  He is finally trying Wellbutrin as he has been depressed due to the economic situation and it is supposed to help ADD as well.  I will hand it to him that he is finally trying medication and he has been seeing a counselor with me.  I don't know if any of is helping or not.  I still feel invisible most days and so tired of feeling taken advantage of.  I'm having a hard time managing the anger, frustration and stress.  I finally saw my dr today to start an anti-depressant.  That in itself makes me angry...the fact that I have need drugs to retain my sanity in this home with the way things are.  I guess I just needed to vent.  I've read enough of this site to know that I'm not alone.  So, if anyone wants to share words of encouragement that would be great.  I'm having a hard time seeing the positive today.

I don't have words of

I don't have words of encouragement, other than "you are not alone."  I too weary of the many days and years of effort and work, on my part, and denial and avoidance, on my husband's.

Me too

I am weary too.  My ADHD Husband is doing the same thing expect that he isn't making any money. Its been 2 years since he had a good full time job. And without getting into all the details, I did finally start looking out for me and I stopped trying to fix his problems and told him as much. I am over the nagging, the screaming and the constant pushing.  He knows he needs to work. But I can't make a grown man do anything.  I don't have the answers. I don't know what else to do.  I have held it together now for the past 6 months, but today, isn't a good day.

Me too

Fast forward a few years...(husband 52/son 22) for my situation. I love both of them dearly! But both of them challenge my sanity and patience daily. I have asked my husband to never say "I was just trying to..." or "I didn't intend to..." because in the mean time, he does whatever he didn't "intend" to do and it hurts me deeply. In addition, he is very defensive, and can't even listen when I express what I feel regarding how I have been hurt or try to mention the never ending feeling of being taken advantage of (I don't dare use that language with my husband, because that makes even him more defensive).

I often ask myself why I didn't leave years ago, because in all honesty, not much has changed (with medication and several less than effective counselors and psychiatrists). This situation has not been good for me. I am extremely successful as an artist without this anxiety, frustration, stress, hurt, etc...but when I try to deal with all this, I am almost driven to the point of numb hopelessness. But what do I do?  I love this man, and I am concerned about the future of our son.  I don't want to be without my husband, but living with him has reduced me to most days of hopelessness, etc.  I too have off and on been prescribed an antidepressant at my request in an effort to try and cope and live with this situation, in an effort to find some relief. My doctor said as long as I felt so out of control of my life, I would always struggle with my feeling of well being. I am wondering if Melissa and Ned's experiences are the exception and not the rule? My husband is a wonderful man, and I think I am extremely understanding and patient, but we can't seem to manage two days in a row of peace.

So glad to see this post. I feel like I am reading about me!

My husband just got diagnosed with ADHD and what the doctor thinks is some other type of anxiety disorder, layered on top of a untreated learning disability- that we still need to diagnose.  It has been a hard year and a half and we are expecting our first child in 3 months. We are having a boy and the genetic counselor told me that we need to find out exactally what is wrong with my husband so that we can be prepared to deal with what ever he may have passed on to my now unborn child.  My husband is somewhat sweet man, but has a mean streak in him a mile long. He has spent the last 35 years of his life living in denial of his problems and blaming  everyone else for misunderstanding him!  He does not want to take any medication, though with his combination of symptoms--he needs to.  He has a silver tongue and is very charismatic and was sought after by many women that just looked at his musical talents and caring heart as their attraction to him.  Because he was not willing to explore his problems himself, I walked into this marriage blind to the severity of what my day to day life was going to be like.  It seems like I am going to spend my life taking care of him because he does not seem to be able to get it together to be able to take care of himself. He makes $9.00 an hour part-time as his mother's In-home care worker, which he really does not even do.  I think this job  is her way of getting some extra income ( he gives her a percentage of his pay) and to help him to have at least some kind of job.  He can't read too well, he can't write or get his thoughts down on paper.  He can't really spell. He is basically a somewhat functional illiterate, and very prideful and stubborn to any methods to help him be a better husband and provider. You would never know this from being around him, but it becomes all to evident when you live with him.  Many people accused him of wanting to marry me because he was looking for someone to take care of him. His first wife left him for financial reasons that I now totally understand. He often talks about the other women that wanted to be with him.  Women with more money and influence that me, but that he chose me because he loved me more.  I don't feel that I have gotten a prize at all.  I totally am starting to believe that though not deliberate, this thought of trying to find someone to take care of him- may have been true, at least on a subconscious level.  Of late I have been asking him, "How did you plan on making a living to take care of us?  How did you plan on having a car to drive or insuring it? (This man complains about how much it cost to gas a car that was given to him by me and is insured under my policy!!) How did you plan on getting yourself medical insurance?(he has never had medical insurance his whole adult life since he was taken off of Medical for AFDC at 18 years old thru his mother whom was and is still on public assistance)   What was your plan for weekly groceries and personal upkeep for even yourself? ( most of the time before we were married, he would go days without food and frequent people's houses where he knew he could get a free meal and eat them almost literally out of house and home in one sitting" To all of these questions, he just says that it would be great for us not to have this conversation because it would cause a fight.  The man did not even know how to use a computer before we got married, but now he has found internet pornography and spends almost every waking moment he has sitting on that computer and watching Asian cartoons and listening to music. There has hardly been a day in the last few months that I have not walked into the house and found him on that computer, basically sitting there doing nothing.  He just started washing his own personal clothes when we were courting.  I noticed a smell coming off of him all of the time.  It was because he never washed his clothes. He also hardly ever combed his hair.  We all thought he was a earthy health nut, but that was not the case.  Personal hygiene and upkeep is something that he has to be reminded to do. As I type this, i am scaring myself.  I see from this forum that many spouses of men with this and similar conditions have to deal with almost all of these situations. Asking him to get me one thing and he gets me everything else besides what I asked for always drives me crazy. I am not sure that I can stay in this marriage. Being pregnant with his child scares me so much.  If my son is like him, I will be stuck with this situation for the rest of my life. The Lord himself is going to have to deliver me.  

Your not "stuck"

Wow Leslie!  First off let me start by saying, we don't have children. We have been married for 4+ years and we have had no luck conceiving. Now, I look at that two ways, sad and a blessing. I worry that a child would have the ADHD issues that my husband suffers from and yes, that would mean that you have a challenge to deal with for the rest of your life. However, my experience has taught me that I have to always watch out of me. I have to know that no matter what or how my husband can nor cannot help, that I have to be able to stand on my own and make it. Granted, now you have a child to bring into this world. Understand, the Lord is not going to delivery you from your choices but with your help and faith, He will guide you and give you the wisdom and knownledge to understand what you have to do to protect yourself.  But understand this too, no matter how much you love the good hearted man you married, he is his own responsibility.  I have had to lay a big fat plate of reasonability at my husbands feet everyday. Some days it works great but most days it a fail.  But once I found peace within myself and realized that I had to move out of the Lord's way to let Him help me and my husband, I don't sweat the small stuff anymore.  I won't lie, I am afraid that one day may be the last day I go home.  It makes me sad to think about that but everyday all I can do is get up, and do the best I can.   I truly believe my husband doesn't want to feel the way he does or do the things that he does and for me, I see the growth, I see the changes he tries so hard to make.  Maybe my case is different.

Once I realized what I was truly dealing with, after many fights, many tears, many trips to the police stations (mine has anger issues too), money spent on schools, money out the window for countless things, big pipe dream plans, I found this website which really did help give me some insight on what an ADHD person is dealing with and it showed me that I just cannot change some things. I read some post of couples together for 40 years and though, I cant live like this for 40 years! So I changed my outlook. I had to sit down with my husband, in a calm manner, cause you know yelling doesn't work, and laid it out simple and straight to the point, I love you and have done all I can but right now, I have to look out for myself.  I told him I needed his help but I couldn't fix him, nor his issues and that I was and have been doing the best I can but that now its my turn, that it was going to be all about me for a while and that I needed him to step up.  Did he step up? Well, no....he quit his good paying job and now hasn't worked in 6 months. But he did step up in other ways. He went to a doctor and everyday he gets a little better. 

You just have to step back, talk long and hard to the Good Lord and go where your spirit leads you. Right now I have been in this "let the Lord handle it" now for 6 months and its hard. I want to walk away some days, I want to fix it, I feel like "by now Lord, you should have this fixed" But guess what?  My faith is not dictated by MY time line.  Some days are great, some days like today, I just want to give up. 

Learn all you can about what your dealing with, find your self respect, find your boundaries, plan for you and your baby's future and know that you are in for a long hard road but that no journey is easy but your reward will be great!  Once you find your peace and your understanding of all this mess, you can better help yourself and your child as he grows to deal with these issues. You alone, as his mother, will be able to understand the best way your child will learn, developed relationships and what really will work and not work. You alone could be the best resource for your child for his whole life.  He wont have to go thought the struggles his dad goes though cause you are there to understand and to help guide him the best you can.  You have a real opportunity to touch a life more then you know.  Congratulations!



thank you for your kind words

I can't stop the tears from flowing right now. Looking at what the rest of my life is going to be like is just so sad for me. 

This is the biggest test of my faith that I have ever had. I did not walk into this situation making a choice to live like this. I had NO IDEA that this man suffered from this and other diseases.  I did not know about 90% of the things that I am discovering in our marriage.  Most of that is because he has lived in a fantasy world most of his adult life where he was not even in touch with his issues.  He is passionate, attractive, and very talented musically. He stays focused on his strengths, and has never tried to deal with his short comings. The things that we are dealing with are just things that he ignored in his past and that I believe ended his last marriage. 

I will look at your words again and take them to heart. I do have to protect myself and my unborn child.  No matter his issues, we have to have a place to live, food on the table, clothes on our backs and health insurance to take care of ourselves.  I am going to let him deal with his issues and take care of us.  Everything else is going to have to stay on the back burner for now.

Denise, I just wanted to say

Denise, I just wanted to say thank you for your words. I really could relate as you almost completely described how I am feeling. There are bad days (today is mine) but we do just have to get up and try again the next day.

I'm trying to find the place that you speak of. The focusing on me part. I'm barely in there. I have finally stepped out at church and got involved after keeping myself restricted to just Sunday service, fearing that when my ADHD husband decided to attend, he would decide that we needed to go elsewhere. I'm working on finding hobbies that will take me outside the house (I write in my spare time and often at home or at work, so I'm pretty stationary). I'm working on making friends for the first time in a long time (I've never been very social...I've kept friends from high school but they all have moved away and sadly, moved on). I'm working on not letting his behavior get to me. It's so, so, hard. Today was one of the days that I just wanted strangle him because he didn't respect my request to come home at a decent hour and then he wouldn't wake up off the couch and go to bed upstairs. I should have just left him there, but I was afraid he wouldn't get up for school. I shouldn't have even gone there. But I did. And the giving in to that overwhelming desire to wrap him in cotton wool has only served to ruin my day.

But you are right--I've got to move out of God's way and let Him work. Even my husband has told me that, but my control issues are so overwhelming sometimes. I fear the result of my husband's bad choices but I've got to let it go. Otherwise he will never learn. All his life he has had safety nets around him and it's only been the times that he has fallen so completely on his face that he has learned anything.

Thank you for your words. They brightened my day and have given me hope.

Hang in there Leslie

Hang in there Leslie! You are going to make it, some how some way. You are so overwhelmed right now. Don't try to solve all the worlds problems, just be selfish and take care of you. I will say many prayers for you and your family.