What are some thoughts here about "best case scenario" for having a life with as little chaos as possible within the context of an ADHD marriage? What are some things that have caused the rest of you to struggle the most? How could it be better? If you knew what you know now AND STILL CHOSE TO MARRY YOUR PARTNER what would you do differently? I will start: I would not have children or many pets. I would have one, maybe two cats. As for my children, they are my world and I absolutely would not live without them now that they are here, but bringing them into the world with a spouse who has executive functioning deficits has made our home life a chaotic mess and placed an undue burden on us that I would have chosen to dodge. I also would have chosen to work full-time throughout our marriage (if there were no kids, I could have done that guiltlessly) because money issues have been brutally divisive in our home. Being financially dependent on someone with a good income but spotty management skills has been nerve-wracking. No shut off-notices! No late fees! Wow.... I would also definitely have not been down for the multiple cross-country moves we have done. Every time we have moved, it has been a huge financial setback, except this last one when my Dad finally felt sorry for us and basically gave us his grandmother's house he inherited. (we pay him for it, but not much and on paper we own it outright--which is a HUGE blessing. Last house foreclosed during the economic crash). So, to recap, for me, the things that would have made my life easier and better would have been 1. being child free 2. minimal pets 3. working full time consistently 4. maintaining residential, or at least geographical, stability. These issues must have made an impact on our children, because my DD, age 21, has already had her tubes tied (can you believe she found a physician willing to do that at her age? ) saying she would rather be set on fire than have a child--EVER. She also has ADHD, severe hyperactive, and she has seen the struggle and opted out. And I have been her biggest supporter, although none of my friends or family can fathom why I am totally on board with my young daughter having a tubal ligation when she is barely an adult. Well, spending even one day in our home at any point over the last 21 years would be enough to answer that question. ADHD makes life very, very difficult and self-management is enough of a challenge. I totally get why she made that choice and would have made the same one if I had known what I know now. (although, paradoxically, my daughter is the love of my life and I can't imagine life without her--go figure). What about everyone else? What are your "woulda", "shoulda" "if-only" scenarios and why?
What is the Best Case Scenario/ADHD Life
Submitted by phatmama on 04/19/2018.
OH! Absolutely no children!
Submitted by barneyarff on
OH! Absolutely no children! And I would buy both sides of a duplex and each of us could live in our own sides. And never ever would I combine finances. And I think I'd have some kind of paper drawn up saying that I wasn't responsible for his bills. Geez, that's not a marriage. That's a business arrangement.
A Duplex--For Real????
Submitted by phatmama on
Oh, my gosh!!!! I cannot believe you said that! I have literally begged my DH to let us buy a duplex and let us live next door to each other for the rest of our lives. I am dead serious. We are still in love, but dislike each other intensely much of the time due to the overwhelming stressors of co-parenting, co-financing, and cohabiting. We just don't do that "adulting" thing well at all together even after two decades. If I had my own space without all the tools, musical instruments, piles of bills and statements and paper detritus, the old sports equipment (roller blades, kayaks, rock climbing gear, martial arts gear.....) I would be in Heaven. I would have a little space with some books and magazines, my cooking stuff, my journals, and a computer and a TV and I would be happy as a lark. If I had never in our entire married life had to depend on him to mow the lawn, finish a project he started, or clean up after himself, we would have been fine. The terrible fights and verbal abuse and bitterness have all been triggered by trying to live together when we are just simply not compatible. Having children and me wasting my Master's degree and staying home for 13 years sealed the deal on any hope of us getting along--we just could not navigate that leap with any emotional finesse and living under the same roof left us with nowhere to retreat when tensions were sky-high and the gloves were off. I have never heard anyone else suggest the duplex plan, and when I ask my DH, he says absolutely not. Everyone else I have mentioned it to has found it weird and said "Why not just get a divorce?" Well, I don't really want a divorce. I want to share my life with my love, but I don't want to share my living space with him.
Submitted by barneyarff on
It's my experience that ADDers make really good dates but they make horrible spouses.
So, how to remedy this? The kids are grown so that stressor is down. But his life style and mine are very different and I'm over it. I don't want to live in a Frat house anymore.
And I don't want to support him when he is a miserable mess in a slave labor job. So, what to do. In my imagination we would live apart but stay married. It's more common than you think. although I don't know how many have side by side duplexes.
I wonder if you give you husband choices (divorce or living apart) then he might start thinking living apart isn't that bad. Frankly, I'm guessing he doesn't want to live apart because that means he will have to be responsible for himself.
I have friends who are great friends with their spouses now that they live apart. They vacation and do holidays together. In most of the cases, it's the husband who had quite a wake up call. and the woman is feeling peace.
It's amazing how many " man children" there are. I'm so tired of it.
As an aside. We have an ancient dog who has had several accidents, thanklfully he gets to the basement first which has a cement floor. But even with mopping the oder lingers. So this weekend with no mention from me, my husband did deep cleaning on the floor. He asked me to help and I did. We moved everything, swept, vacuumed, mopped, used the carpet cleaner (it works amazingly well on a cement floor) and mopped again. We were both filthy and smelly after all of that but the floor was clean.
That night I stayed up late to get the dog out one last time. The next morning my husband left without taking the dog out so guess what......
What the heck??!!?? Why would you not take the dog out after all that work? And now it stinks down there again. I cleaned it up and mopped but it needs vinegar water and to be left to air out for a few days. I was disgusted........
And I would be "OK" with all of this if I didn't live there or own the house. Which is the other problem of buying the duplex. I'm pretty sure his side would be junked up pretty quickly.
And if we were married I'd still end up paying the house insurance and house taxes. See? I can't win. He gets to just avoid everything and then I'll take care of it. I hate that.
I 100% understand this. I
Submitted by Hopeful Heart on
I 100% understand this. I have lived separately from my husband two different times and i enjoyed it immensely both times. My husband isn’t messy, so that isn’t in issue for us. However, my husband constantly gives off a vibe that says, “I’m very busy, I’m very important, my time is very valuable, I have important people to talk to, I have important things to do.” And on and on. As soon as he’s finished being important, he collapses from exhaustion. He is either exhausted or sick on the weekends or he spends weekends doing activities with the kids. He ignores me 100% of the time. I just never make it on to his list of priorities, but I’ve been waiting patiently for 24 years. I truly despise that dynamic between us. When we live apart, it’s like I’ve been set free. I no longer spend my time waiting for him to acknowledge me. I have my own life and my own schedule. During our times of living apart, he is much more attentive when we talk on the phone. He’s much more attentive when we’re together. It’s such a strange situation.
Set boundaries and don't enable
Submitted by bowlofpetunias on
I deficiently let her take advantage of me. For example, having me run errands because she forgot something, even though I was supposed to be working on my dissertation. Or calling me 5 times in a row while I was working on my dissertation. Granted, I complained, but I still answered the phone or ran the errand most of the time.
There was one case where she made fun of me for wearing a jacket to go to religious services--I was going to be hot! Walking home, of course, she discovered that she was freezing. Why wouldn't I let her have my jacket??? I kept trying to draw the boundary, but she kept twisting it into to me "punishing" her without understanding that she was trying to make me suffer the consequences of her bad decision. iI was, in effect being punished for doing the right thing! After lots and lots of arguing I let her wear it for a bit. This happened again when we were walking a new dog. She got passive aggressive and started complaining that I was not going to share my jacket. I believe I held the line that time.
(This also brought up a lot of issues for me. My older sister was/is a real basket case. I had to play the role of the good child who makes the parents feel better. But they--my father and grandmother especially--kept blaming us collectively for my sisters misdeeds. And, on top of that, she did not ever get any real punishments. They rewarded her. When I did something wrong, oh boy did I get punished. My father even beat me with an antenna I accidentally broke off from a small tv, for example. He would say things like "Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about." With my grandmother, it was the hairbrush or the belt. She believed in punishing BEFORE the misdeed in order to prevent it from happening.)
Submitted by c ur self on
Knowing what I know now, there would need to be boundaries from the start...But ADHD isn't a reason in my opinion to not have a full happy life, w/ children...It's the denial of it that is the killer, and that is what makes a person unfit to even have a spouse....
If we never excuse ourselves for poor behavior, and manage our lives in a responsible manner.....ADHD isn't a thing.....
Submitted by phatmama on
I hear what you're saying, but it does not compute. In my experience, having children was the grenade that blew up our life. We struggled before, but it was still fun much of the time and we were able to forgive each other, shake off the bad feelings, and move on. After the kids were born, we just couldn't make up fast enough anymore. Our first child was/is so hyperactive/impulsive that parenting her was a living Hell and it came between us every day. It still does. The only thing about parenting our children together that we got right was the really fun adventures we have had as a family. With the ADHD, being spontaneous comes naturally, so we have checked all the "travel" boxes and made some crazy memories. My kids are the only ones their age I know who have DRIVEN (in a VW Beetle--LOL) across the country at least four times by the time they were adults. We lived across the country from our families for many years and during the time my DH was unemployed during the economic crash, he had no problem loading up the crew and driving 3,000 miles and stopping everywhere along the way that was at all interesting. For that, I will be ever grateful. For the rest, the day to day work of rearing them together--not so much. It was awful and it truly ruined the best parts of our bond. Before they were born, he was exciting and interesting to me. After our daughter was born, I could no longer even imagine feeling this way because the stakes were too high. It has nothing to do with attitudes or excuses. If you leave your two children with your spouse all day and he literally forgets to feed them, or takes them out in the cold with no outerwear, or keeps them in the sun until they are nearly blistered while he skateboards, it is a big deal. If we hadn't had the kids, I would have been at that skate park cheering him on in a little skimpy pair of shorts and a tank top and flip-flops feeling like the luckiest girl in the world to have a man so fun, athletic, adventurous, and spontaneous. I am sure he misses that girl as much as I miss the way I used to think about that guy, if that makes any sense.
Submitted by c ur self on
I enjoyed your post :)....I understand and deal w/ much of the same....But not every person w/ add/adhd refuses to recognize their limitations w/ awareness etc....I have a adhd friend who is a retired University Professor who raised 5 children and has a great relationship w/ his wife....So it's manageable with awareness....
But even though we have so much in common in life.....There is still that unknown thing of severity... 1 thru 10 scale thing.....So I suggest everyone make that decision (children) wisely, based on your own circumstance's and the level of responsibility the person or person's in question shows.....
c ur self
Submitted by phatmama on
I do agree with you in that someone completely aware of and humble enough to seek damage control for their ADHD would probably have a considerably better chance at a happy family life than many of our situations on here. My DH is very intelligent and has a job that requires a high level of expertise and he was also raised by his gung-ho parents to never admit there is anything he cannot do (even when this is so clearly not the case). Asking for help for him is totally off the table, almost all of the time. He is very proud and will not discuss anything with anyone if it may lead to speculation that he is less than competent in any capacity. I also like your scale concept. That is so true and totally affects the quality of life of the family with an ADDer. It is interesting to read this forum and see how that plays out in the lives of other members here. It is obvious that many people on this forum are dealing with spouses closer to the 10 than the 1, that's for sure.
Submitted by c ur self on
I'm a lot like you describe your husband here;)...On the job I was a high performer ( above average intelligence, but I dealt w/ a low self esteem in my younger years, I was the product of a broken home, middle child, raised by mom, poor family, etc..)....What I did have that really served me well on the job was, common sense, fortitude and a strong work ethic....I got a little like your husband in many area's because of the character (lack of) of so many people I've run across on the job, and in life....It's just difficult to trust some people, and wise to not attempt it w/ others....
But I learned who I could go to w/ problems for help, it was just a short list of them;)...So I have probably made life a little tougher on myself, w/ the independence and self trust... But it's a catch 22...I forced myself to learn and persevere...And, after 22 years I got a management job, which I handled well, (once I learned to deal w/ problem people) mostly because of my self drive to excel...
But as I've aged and learned to trust the Heavenly Father, I think I've changed a good bit....When it comes to marriage and life, I know I don't have the answers, but I've learned He does.....If I only trust him, instead of the circumstances that are confronting me...I find I can make it through it, and still maintain thankfulness and my peace....Just being human, makes It difficult though;)...It's very good to swap our pride for humility (me and your husband) ;)....
As a youth, I was the middle child and had to be the responsible one....
Started the job I retired from at age 17....Married at age 20 two kids by the time I was 24...My first wife was 19 and had nerve issues (trichotillomania) and was very dependent on me to handle things...I Lost her from this life w/ breast cancer that ended up in her liver at age 49...Remarried my present wife a year later, and we have struggled (understatement) LOL...She is definitely quiet high on the scale in most areas....I'm a guy who just likes a lot of closeness, I like to give and get respect, I like a clean house and so many other things...But, I have found it just wasn't happening :)....She is sweet, but, she is messy, and a mild hoarder... OMG...LOL...We are so different....But I'm learning to accept, it, instead of fighting it....That will destroy you! LOL....
Our big issue is sex, I want intimacy, I want her to make it a priority....She could care less about it over the past 4 years or so (except for the 30 second right before her orgasm, during it, and maybe 5 min. after)....She has to use Replens, and Coconut oil (which of course I buy for her) due to her thinning walls, which are sensitive to intercourse....It happened while we were separated a year (2013). When she left, her Va jj was fine...But after a year w/ out sex, my semen burned her, and she says sex is painful...Replens, and coconut oil helps....And she still loves her orgasms, but w/ her add overwhelming her mind and time...And the fact it's painful, she just waits for me to complain, even then she likes to put me off....To steal a quote from my granddaughter here.....I don't wike it!!! LOL.....Last time she went to the GYN doc..She came home mad at him...Because after he listened to her complaints and examined her....He told her she needed to use it....LOL...That made me smile, but it wasn't what my sweet little victim wanted to hear....
Oh well, I'm rambling....
One other thing we all know about our spouses or anyone w/ add/adhd or any other mind thing...Many times it's a heart issue as well producing the behaviors....It's the stuff mixed w/ add/adhd that makes them impossible to tolerate...Add doesn't keep a person from caring, and managing there lives well.....That is more a character issue to me....I've seen my spouse perform at a high level, IF she felt under pressure (family coming to visit or for a holiday gathering, Son's new girl friend coming to visit etc...I don't even recognizer during these times.....So I know she is capable...LOL, but just like all of us, you have got to be willing to make that level of responsibility be a daily thing...
Two big things I wish I had
Submitted by dvance on
Two big things I wish I had done differently. First, I would have waited longer to have kids. I was 25 when we got married and 29 when I had our first son, 31 for the second. Now granted, two kids isn't that bad, but I wish I had waited longer. Perhaps more of the nutty behaviors would have revealed themselves and I may have made other choices, who knows. The second thing I have HUGE regrets about is my job. I taught for 3 years, took a year off to get a MA degree (don't regret that) then taught for another two, had the kids and stayed home for 7 years with them (don't regret that either--the younger one had lots of health issues-surgeries, motor delays, heart issue), and now have been teaching for 12 solid years again. What I regret is not making the jump to public school sooner. At this point, I am 47 and have all this Catholic school experience under my belt and public schools won't look at me--either they don't think my private school experience transfers or I cost too much with my degrees and experience. While I LOVE my job and am very good at it, I would make more than double at a public school and that would have changed the dynamic in my house a TON. I may have left at various junctures if I could have supported myself and the kids better/at all and we would have college money for both of them. As it stands right now, we have zero college dollars for either one. For all my feminist posturing, the truth is I could not support myself on what I make. That is kind of scary and it's a bad place to be power-wise. We do not own property--we have always rented, which is a positive thing in my opinion. Anything that needs fixing--I call the maintenance people, so I do not have the issue of things half done all over the house. In fact, DH is not allowed to fix things in a rental--haha!!!
So the job and waiting longer to have kids are my two things. Aside from wishing I had not married an ADHD person at all...
I would have stood up for
Submitted by PoisonIvy on
I would have stood up for what I thought was right earlier in the marriage so that it would have been obvious to my ex-husband sooner that certain kinds of behavior were unacceptable to me. Among the things that I let go were the following: (1) Ex didn't tell his parents that we were living together before we got married. Big red flag as to ex's extreme deference to his parents and his willingness to lie. (2) Ex cheated on our taxes the first year we were married. I knew. It was very wrong for me to go along with this.