Looking for input on a problem that resurfaces at least a few times a year between my husband (or possibly more accurately, his ADHD) and me.
I will be working on something, for example fixing something around the house, and I will have mentioned to him that I'm working on it, and often told him about any problems I have run into. Then I will be in the middle of something unrelated, and he will decide to help on the project I have been working on. This would be great, except for a few things: 1) He usually won't tell me he's going to help, 2) He won't check in to find out where I'm at in the process or what problems I've run into, and 3) He won't remember anything I have told him about it. From my perspective, he basically disappears for an unpredictable amount of time (usually leaving me in charge of our young kids without warning). Then one of several related scenarios occurs: Either he reappears to tell me all about how he's been helping, but invariably this includes things that have taken him a really long time because he re-did things I already did and told him about (though he doesn't remember me telling him), does things sloppily because he couldn't find something he needed (though I have previously told him where it is), or made a mistake because he didn't take the time to look something up (often something that I had already looked up). Or alternatively, he will burst back in telling how he found an easier or cheaper way of doing it, but when I extract myself from what I'm doing and check out what he's talking about, I find that he hasn't read the fine print or looked into his option carefully, and it doesn't actually work. Or alternatively, he bursts back in complaining that something needed for the project isn't working and he's been trying to fix it or find a work-around, and when I go to check, I find that he forgot to plug it in or something simple like that. This is all against the backdrop of two kids trying to get our attention, following me around, and asking me tell them what's going on.
When any of these scenarios occurs, I'm frustrated because his lack of communication and poor memory make this really inefficient and unhelpful (despite his intentions) and I'm exhausted by trying to communicate all of this with him amid the chaos of kids. He then gets defensive that I am frustrated, when he feels that I should be appreciative that he is trying to help (which I get). I wish he would just tell me that he's going to help, so I can fill him in, or that he would stay with the kids and let me continue working on it, or that he would work on something else that I'm not working on. But he shows no awareness of how he contributes to my frustration, and no apparent interest in communicating better or making a system to remember things. At this point, I think he and I have had this conversation at least a dozen times over the years, and we always work through it, but it involves more stress and hurt feelings than either of us would like. He's a smart guy, and he's legitimately trying to help, but there is always more to do than there are hours in the day around here, so efficiency and communication matter.
Does this come up in your relationship? What have you tried? Does it work?
Thanks in advance.