First, a definition. Parent/Child Dynamics are when couples interact in a way that has one partner (typically the non-ADHD partner) most often in control - taking responsibility for making things happen in a relationship, while the other partner (typically the ADHD partner) has less stature in the relationship...waiting to be told what to do, and with an opinion that is undervalued. The child figure is often scolded, nagged and more to try to get that partner to take on more responsibility. This tends to set up feelings of resistance or hopelessness. You have likely experienced this dybamic in your own relationship, and it kills your intimacy, kind feelings towards each other, and more. To thrive, you MUST get out of Parent/Dhild dynamics.What does being a 'child' in a relationship look like?
First, you have little power. You feel as if you are being told what to do all the time. You might think 'why should I bother trying? I'll never be good enough.' You make decisions based upon trying not to 'get into trouble.' You are dependent upon another to guide you or picl up your messes. Most importantly, you under-function in the relationship.
These things are usually directly tied to under-management of ADHD symptoms (such as promising to do things, but then consistently not doing those things; not managing your time well, etc) and also can be linked to feelings of shame or feeling 'less than' others (low self-esteem).
Here's what it looks like:
- You promise to do something, but rarely follow through.
- You say to your partner 'I'll do what you want, just make me a list' rather than participate in guiding your own actions
- Rather than call the other people with whom you are carpooling with to set up the schedule, you ask your partner how to do it
- You shoulder little or none of the responsibility for joint responsibilities, such as childcare, even though you have the time
- You do not stand up for your opinions or ideas in a constructive way
- You throw tantrums or think it is okay to go from ) to 120 mph instantly, in order to get your way - an have no plans to address your anger issues
- You subvert your partner's requests as a way of getting back at him or her
- You require that your partner pick up after you at home, even though s/he doesn't have time or desire to do so
None of these things sound very complimentary when read in a list tlke this, and it can be hard to confront our own child-like behaviors. Particularly if you are having trouble accepting or managing your own ADHD. So here's what it looks like in your partner when you are acting like a child:
- You get bossed around all the time
- Your partner, who didn't used to seem to be a perfectionist, is chronically angry with your lack of performance
- Your partner nags you
- Your partner disciplines you or creates consequences for poor behavior, in an effort to hold you accountable.
I'm not saying these are good strategies (they aren't) - just that this is what you will notice.What to do?
First, if you're in a child-like position in your relationship, it is hurting YOU most of all. So take it seriously. You want to be a full partner in your relationship, and only you can be the initiator of that process. Yes, your partner has things to fix, as well - for s/he cannot continue in the parenting role, either. But don''t waid for your partner to change. Work on your own issues, and your partner will come along.
Your first step is to do a better job of managing your symptomatic behaviors. Start with my online treatment guide (download this from the home page). Make sure you have the professional support you need - a doctor, therapist, coach, etc. If you are struggling to set up support systems that help you implement your plans, a coach could be a good choice. Consider meds if you haven't tried them - they have the hightest effect rates and can make a huge difference, though there are also other Leg 1 treatments, as well (see the guide!)
Set up structures that give you more power - such as weekly chore meetings in which you get to participate in setting your own assignments.
Don't ask your partner to organize for you. Hire a coach to teach you how to organize yourself
Learn to say 'no.' It's better to say no and explain why (calmly) than to take on a task you don't actually have time for.
Talk with your partner about which home tasks would most benefit your relationship if you took them on. Then, don't try harder...create a system that works for you that you can sustain. That's 'trying differently' the ADHD way.
If you have an anger issue, deal with it. Out of control anger hurts you as much as anyone else - those you love will learn to be wary of you and avoid you...which feels 'easier' in the short-term, but which degrades and/or destroys your relationship in the long.The good news...
Getting out of Parent/Chlid Dynamics tales time and effort, but it is one of the singly most productive things you can do to make your marriage a happy one again.
- MelissaOrlov's blog
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Another unhealthy balance
Submitted by Brindle on
In our home, I didn’t nag. I gave up asking because even after the initial request for anything I was told I was a nag, and it was clear he had no intention of helping. I feel like our home is more like a parent/entitled, angry teen dynamic. You know, the kind where the attitude is “Just leave me alone,” and they want all the services in the house to continue but want to contribute nothing to make sure those things get done? My husband gets angry when anything is said at all how he only goes to work and plays video games.
He doesn’t want to be involved in the kids, in the housework, in vehicle maintenance, in bill paying... you name it. But he certainly does want me to admire him and think he’s a great husband.
I don't boss or nag and I'm
Submitted by SweetandSour on
I don't boss or nag and I'm not chronically angry. I do get angry at times - because I'm human. I feel like I'm not "allowed" to be human though. I feel like he doesn't understand that EVERYONE gets angry sometimes and ALL couples have disagreements sometimes - even fights. He has such skewed perceptions - he makes it sound like I'm a monster. If I'm not perfect (and I'm not), I'm a monster - which is how he now responds to me - it's a foregone conclusion in his mind that if we have any conversation at all I'm going to "flip out" - he doesn't trust me at all anymore which is kind of ironic since I've been "there" for him over and over again and he's almost never "there" for me. I'm getting next to nothing out of this relationship, but I'm trying to do the right thing and own my decisions and my behavior. I want to move forward and there's just almost total resistance from him. It IS incredibly frustrating. I don't want the parent role and I keep trying to address him adult to adult, but I don't experience much success. The sullen teenager is exactly what I see too.
Nice article...It's really the way it is.....
Submitted by c ur self on
But I feel for the two ladies who posted about their spouses being "entitled teenagers"...I would add to that...defiant entitled teenagers....You know, people have to have a heart of caring....When their is limited to no concern/care to meet their responsibilities....It's really evident....I've spent quiet a lot of my time breaking all these bad habits I acquired the first few year w/ her....But to live w/ her in any kind of peaceful way, I had to learn to just live w/ somethings I do not like....The messiness and the selfishness is two that I face every day...LOL....Sooooo...I try to just count my blessings, and stay positive, it could always be worse...I could have a clean house and I could have a more peaceful life....Just not w/ my add wife....
So like Melissa's list above says...I Just need to make sure I keep my side of the list solved..:.***Because the moment I think, and attempt to solve her side...My side fills back up***....It's amazing how that works....Thanks Melissa...
Submitted by bsmaltz on
I stumbled across this site after googling "marriage and ADD". I feel alone in this struggle as I search for a resolution. I am the non-ADD partner and often accused of being controlling when I am just trying to keep order in the house. My husband takes medication although I don't think his doctor has helped at all with techniques to manage his condition. He is forgetful, inattentive, hyper-focused on a hobby, isolated and at times catatonic. From what I have read, many of these characteristics seem common. I am at a juncture where I am looking deeply inside to determine if I want to continue this fight. I have filled the parent role well and I am quite frankly tired. I want someone I can rely on and know that something is handled with no issues. I am trying to avoid bashing him but I just do not know which direction I should take. We have been to counseling but I think he needs to go on his own to maybe alleviate some of the issues. I am struggling to see any benefit in this marriage. Perhaps I have changed while he has remained the same. Regardless I need a resolution as I am continuously annoyed and do not want to spend the rest of my precious time feeling this way. Some things that have helped us (that I started years ago) include:
I bought an adhesive dry/erase board for the fridge for his chores. Even though it helps him it puts the responsibility on me to make the list.
I asked that he use his phone/iPad as a reminder for important dates. Again, this comes from me.
Any suggestions for a glimmer of hope? I read this and started this account today after getting a text at work that he is thinking of changing vehicles. Not something I would like to see while at work.
Some of the things I would suggest...bsmaltz
Submitted by c ur self on
Based on your post, a lot of your frustration is built around your mothering....You will totally turn controlling, and justify it, if you are not careful...Because of a lack of respect that you can't help but have, when you excuse your self for carrying another adult....
You need boundaries, and you need acceptance....(acceptance doesn't mean you agree w/ his way of living, it just means you are going to step away and not own his decisions and choices)
You need a healthy view of your spouse, we all do....But, as long as mothering is going on, you will never respect your husband..(Mothering itself is a total lack of respect)....Plus, the more you mother, the more he will allow it....You are creating an invalid....And a very dysfunctional life mate....
We must allow them to live their lives...We don't have to share our lives with them, but, we can't live for them.....
Submitted by jennalemone on
Just to add to c's note. To soothe the bitter pills we need to swallow in acceptance of the situation we find ourselves in.. I imagine that you, like most of us, are merely functioning like an adult with responsibilities and certain standards of cleanliness, order, pride, timeliness and manners. And finding that just living up to your standards is not working when one of the couple seems comfortable, no determined, to live far beneath those standards we have for ourselves. It is like consistently picking up the living room and consistently finding it messed up again and consistently being accused of being "unloving" because you can't "not see" the mess but want the mess to be clean and tidy. It is frustrating. Anyway, that is what it seems like to me. I just wanted to say that I don't think we "created" the invalid. But c is showing us that we need to "see" the invalid as he/she is. And know that it is not possible to make the invalid into something they are not. In other words, one of the ways to be able to live with our spouses as they are is to acknowledge that they are different than us and to accept that. We can no more make them be like us than they could make us be like them. Although I may add a regret that I have...I have become a little more messy, late, unkempt than I was before marriage. It may be a good thing...I may have been a little too focused on tidiness...for other people's standards. But I also mourn my old self before I compromised so much in the name of togetherness and peace. So I believe the trick is to be aware and acknowledge the differences. Then to find spaces to let them be themselves and spaces to let yourself be true to yourself. Maybe this is true in all marriages but especially true with someone so different from us.
Hold on to your own good traits. Hold on to your own truths and needs and goals. And also let our partners grow or not grow in their own way finding less partnership than we would like and needing to find partnerships in other places. To me, it is an adjustment in my expectations, sad to give up. But the only way to function and be tru to yourself. Do I respect my H? No. Respect means that I trust and look to him for direction and modeling. H does not merit my trust and I choose not to follow his examples in life. I regret that our sons did not have a better model. A different kind of respect, maybe called allowance and acceptance, is what I have for H because I made promises and have children with this man and cannot find suitable options than to stay put and allow my life to be like it is, doing the best to be true to myself and to honor my role of wife and mother. Also, to find people who are good models to come into our own and our children's lives. Like I tell my children and grandchildren, you become somewhat what your friends are like...choose good people to hang around with.
Do I love H? Love as in the noun - Do I find pleasure in him, do I feel joy when I am with him, is my life better with him, am I a better person when I am with him? No. Love as in the verb - I honor my commitment to my husband. I support him. I care about his well being and growth? Yes.
Submitted by phatmama on
@Jennalelemone, I always find your posts to mirror my reality very closely. When I read the above response, I wanted to let you know how eloquently stated this is, especially the way you are able to articulate some of the complex subtleties of life with an ADHD spouse, such as respect, companionship, role modeling for children. I am in my relationship for the long haul, as I have a deep love for my spouse and a reverence for the life we created together (home, children) which I would never have sought had it not fell into my lap with him (I had no plans for marriage/children, ironically). In order to stay coupled with my DH, I have had to be very, very honest about what to expect. I find that when I get the most upset and unhinged (like last week, when I bolted for the motel), it is when I allow myself to expect that he will follow MY schedule, meet MY expectations, adhere to some semblance of NORMALCY. When I let that go and "remember" that he is never going to be home on time if he is at his workshop, not going to remember my birthday or anyone else's, not going to finish any project he starts--ever, then I am can cruise along and enjoy what he does bring to the table. And he does bring things--he will work on a science project at the kitchen table with our nine year old for HOURS. For FUN! They have built generators, windmills, circuit boards, etc.... I would last about five minutes doing that, but he can stay engrossed for hours. What a gift to her to have a Dad who can enter her world and not be clearly ready to bolt back to "adult life" in about a half hour or less. He is childlike, and in accepting that, there is some peace. Detachment is HUGE in maintaining this marriage--detaching from the kind of partnership that I think other people have or that I ought to have. When someone is oblivious to schedules, deadlines, household needs, etc..... adult partnership doesn't look like the textbook variety, but if you can detach, there is some peace. If you can't, you will bang your head against the wall forever. I imagine that many people who can't detach eventually split up to find a better deal elsewhere. I love what you said: "I honor my commitment to my husband. I support him. I care about his well-being and growth.". I know that has probably not been easy to come by, and I respect you for that. Thank you so much for sharing and showing that it is not so black and white as "stay or go", but can be something in between, like stay, but detach and go a little emotionally to a place where the behaviors are no longer triggering.
Love the post and a question
Submitted by nexus7722 on
Hey there. Both of these posts were very helpful, especially concerning realistic expectations. I'm still working on that and figuring our what our new "normal" will be. I'm curious as to whether you have kids in the marriage and, if you do, how you balance out expectations for that? If I were just dating someone or married to someone with ADHD, I think I could back off a lot more. But it gets really complicated when you have a little child and the ADHD behavior can, at times, put them in danger or cause them harm in other ways. Thanks <3
Submitted by phatmama on
In December, we went to Florida for Christmas. Unfortunately, it was not warm in Florida last December, but our 9 year old planned to swim. She has a very high tolerance to cold (underactive sensory system) and was basically oblivious. My husband let me sleep in and he took her to the beach at about 7:00 am. They were in the freezing ocean for about 4 hours. She had a blast, but was covered in cold chills, trembling, and starving by the time they wandered back up to the room to forage for food. On the one hand, he is the only adult I know who would step foot in that freezing mess just so our daughter could have the fun vacation she wanted and for that I am in awe. BUT--maybe 30-45 minutes at a stretch would have made more sense. "Go big or go home" could be the life motto of my DH, and when it comes to the kids, it is usually "go big". He is the fun parent who will play with them for as long as they want--he is all in. But what that means is that he will forget they need to eat regularly, will let a redheaded child stand outside with no shade and no sunscreen while he skateboards for hours with an older child and when that redhead is returned to Mama, she is nearly blistered with sunburn that he absolutely DID NOT NOTICE WAS HAPPENING before it got to that point. The bottom line is that I, not HIM am forever responsible for their safety. After that sunburn event, I texted him when he was going out with her: does she have her hat, does she have on shoes, is she wearing sunscreen, has she eaten, how long have you been out, etc....I never assume that things will just turn out ok and I have to remain hypervigilant at all times when they are out having fun. At this point, our first two are adults, thank God, and our youngest is now 9 and not so fragile, so life is MUCH MUCH less stressful. When they were little, I just had to accept that he was the playmate more than anything and that I was the parent making sure they stayed alive. It was a lot of work and a huge stress, and I often think ADHD couples who choose to have children are insane, but that is a whole other topic......
I hear you
Submitted by nexus7722 on
Thanks for replying back. Our kiddo is 2 1/2, but my husband didn't get diagnosed with ADD until a little over a year ago, so I had no idea what I was getting myself in for when I decided to get married and start a family with him (as you all know, we were in the hyperfocus phase prior to getting married, then we got married and he suddenly lost all interest...which is apparently normal for ADD). He is a great father, but he does have anger problems, so he'll have tantrums in front of our son (at least weekly). I'm worried my son will start to think that's normal behavior. For safety concerns, aside from the anger issues (which do worry me, in case he ever "snaps"...since he doesn't know how to manage his stress or his feelings effectively at this point), my biggest concern is the zoning out when I'm not there to monitor things. He often has no idea that our child has wandered off or is in potential danger -- because he's fascinated by something on the tv or on his phone. I have calmed down a bit since our child is a little older now... as you mentioned you were able to regarding your kids as they got older (as someone with VERY fair skin, I could completely relate to your stress over your poor daughter's sunburn!). I also hope that, in the coming years, my husband can learn to better manage his symptoms. Right now, he's managing okay as a father, and very less than okay as a husband. I'm choosing to prioritize the former for now.
Awesome post Phatmama....
Submitted by c ur self on
Now that is a dose of sweet reality;)....My wife is so much like your description of your Husband....You made me think of my text to her Easter Night.....
TEXT..."It was a very kind thing you did for our grand children today...They really enjoyed there day because of u"....I should do more of this, she thanked me for it....
Yes Phatmama we must accept and not expect...Their make up is just different....
Submitted by c ur self on
(I just wanted to say that I don't think we "created" the invalid. But c is showing us that we need to "see" the invalid as he/she is.)
Let me try this again;)...When dealing w/ dependent adults, (spouse, person, family member etc..) it can be a very slippery slope...What I call the product of an adult who likes, seeks and cries out for this enablement is an invalid....So my point here was and is simply; continuing as a Co-dependent person will cause me to turn my dependent adult into a invalid....
Simple example....Today I got a text from my spouse who was upset about her circumstance....And a phone call that I let go to voice mail while I was on the arc trainer at the gym...(The phone call was from my 86 year old Father who lives alone and is dealing w/ dementia....My tendencies and my past co-dependent nature w these type issues...Stop my life's activities and Deal w/ them immediately....So w/o boundaries for myself I end up miserable and co-dependent....Because dependent people can be never ending, and I only make it worse by catering to them....(My Dad forgets from one day to the next what we decided and talked about a day earlier)....Life begins all over for him each morning in the little details....
It's sad to have guilt over not stopping my work out to hear someone complain about something or want to dump their problem on you....I am learning, and keep reminding myself how dysfunctional that picture is....But sadly that is what I am working through....
Submitted by c ur self on
There are some good books on Boundaries....I think you could shake things up in a positive way if you start there....Being tired and continuously annoyed is something I know something about....Think about the past few years....Now think about how things are today....Now think about the picture you have of the future.....?
See this why it is up to you to make positive changes....You want a better more peaceful existence....So work to that end....
I wish you well....
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Submitted by nexus7722 on
I can relate to a number of the posts. My 50-something husband was diagnosed with adult ADD a couple of years ago. Since then, he's gone to therapy, we've gone to therapy, and he's on medication. But, it really does often seem like one step forward and two steps backward, perpetually.
At different times in our marriage, different symptoms were more problematic than others. Chores (and his inability to do those we agreed he'd do) were a huge issue when our son was a baby and we had to host a nanny share (hence, the need for a clean-ish house). Now that we don't host the nanny share anymore, I've backed off of the chore bandwagon because it's simply not as important now as it was then.
Currently, our biggest issues revolve around 3 symptoms:
So, I don't know. For the non-ADHD ladies here (and men), it's unbelievably hard and I feel for you. I've tried the dry erase boards. I agree to text him shopping lists so he doesn't lose them or forget items (that sometimes works...sometimes he forgets about the list and just buys random things). I've tried backing off completely, engaging him lovingly, and everything in between. I've thought of leaving. I've thought of cheating. And then I come back to just trying to be a good person (cheating is not who I am) and trying to be patient. So far, what's helped me most is limiting the amount of "fixing" I try to do (wasn't working anyway), I limit the amount of reading I do now on ADHD (I'd spend hours per night trying to learn all I could), and I now focus on my hobbies and friends. When my husband can be civil, he is invited to hang out with us or to join me for an activity. When he can't and has another tantrum, I calmly remind him that that kind of behavior isn't appropriate in front of our son, and I walk away.
So, no answers. Just sympathy. For people who don't have an ADHD partner -- and often for the ADHD partner themselves -- they just have no idea of the impact this has on the non-ADHD spouse. It can be lonely and life-alteringly depressing if you let it get to you.
Submitted by c ur self on
What to do when we are being subjected to your list 123 ?
Accept the reality to begin with...Which based on your post you are doing just that...But that doesn't solve the problems....I don't know about you and your spouse, but, trying to relay the type issues you have listed to my spouse would likely cause her to do #3 on your list....Which says to me...I like who I am so deal with....They really don't want to hear it....
You can continue being patient and loving (which is a good thing) or you can confront him and give him ultimatums...
1) Anger management is something you could insist on, for you to stay....
2) The power of his body belongs to you....Just as the power of your body belongs to him.....1 Corinthians ch. 7 verses 1-5.....So I would just tell him, he vowed it, and he needs to lovingly fulfill his life time promise...(This one for the life of me I can never understand, unless it's the side of effects of drugs or he is cheating)....(Or, Unless it's just the fact you are loving and available and never push him away...which would be Awesome by the way, but he may view as no challenge)....
3) Stone walling and shutting down is usually because our add spouses doesn't feel accepted by us, (we are always pointing out their short comings in daily living) and they feel hopeless to change who they are....Things we call chaotic and dysfunctional they call normal....The things we call normal, they call anything but.....
Judging their behaviors, based on the expectations we place on our selves is a huge mistake....Their minds will never allow them to meet that standard.....And that can work both ways of course....
IF you keep refraining from enablement, anger and keep telling him nicely once your own needs....Then walk away patiently you will be doing great.....At that point you have kindly put his responsibilities on his plate....That's all any of us can do....
Submitted by nexus7722 on
I think this is really excellent advice. I've/We've tried so many different approaches, some of which have worked better than others.
So far, what has worked best for me when addressing his symptoms is to try to stay as calm as possible (doesn't always work, particularly when the symptoms are affecting our toddler), and to set very kind but firm boundaries with him.
One of those boundaries is that I've insisted on him getting help for the angry outbursts and the tantrums. When one of his tantrums got so bad that he slammed his fists down 6" from our child on the couch, I put my kid first and told him he could go stay in a hotel until he got himself under control (he'd gone off his meds, to terrible results). He is seeing a therapist to address the issue now. As Melissa has pointed out in other posts, the anger could be rooted in any number of things (including him still likely needing to figure out proper dosage for his meds), but my best guess is that he's angry with feeling like nothing he does is ever good enough (he has angry outbursts at work when criticized for his work), and the latest one (just yesterday), was because I had to nicely "nag" him about a dental bill for himself that he hadn't paid for over a year. Couldn't let that one go any longer...could affect my credit.
As for the sex thing, from what I've read, people with ADD are either REALLY into it, or REALLY not into it. My husband unfortunately falls into the latter category. He just gets too distracted and occupied with problems (no matter how small) to ever really connect intimately. I did catch him watching porn once, which I wouldn't have cared about, except that he lied about it and would use the "I'm tired" excuse with me for months at a time. I've just stopped propositioning him completely. I also believe he has a marital obligation in that area, and that he has chosen not to fulfill that obligation. So, we'll see where that leaves us. I'm 40. A virtually sexless marriage isn't going to work for me long term. I've told him as such, so he's aware.
And, for the stonewalling... one thing that has helped me (that I can't always remember to do, but should try more often), is to handle any difficult conversations via text or email. Keep it brief. Keep it unemotional. Be very clear about what I need him to do. Save the in-person conversations for fun stuff. That seems to work better for him.
But, it's a rollercoaster. And a lonely one. Trying to just detach and spend more time with my friends and my interests, so the ADD marriage doesn't become all consuming.
ps -- I agree completely that it's fruitless to evaluate him by the set of standards that you'd have for someone without the condition. This may seem silly, but I have started to try to think of him like a cat (I love cats). They don't always come when you call them, particularly if they're interested in something else. They can be real jerks at times and ignore you. And they can often do things that horrify you (like my cat bringing me injured mice or a sparrow from the backyard). They are little killers, but we love them anyway. And I think we're able to because we recognize just how different cats are from humans. We'd never hold them to our standards. I need to try to think of my husband that way. He will never be the man who I thought I was marrying during the hyper focus phase. We just have to find our new normal.
Makes sense to me Nexus....
Submitted by c ur self on
The cat thing is funny;)....It's "ability"....Some things are intentional and some things are not....It's a mix for all of us....Selfishness isn't just for adhders....And hyper focus isn't selfishness....But the effects it has on a person's ability to see the big picture of life...(Their daily responsibilities) is just as damaging as if it was an intentional selfish act....
The sex thing I understand completely, I'm 61 and I think twice a week or so isn't to much to ask....The problem for me is I do not like making love to a complaining victim who is there out of guilt....LOL....I want her to be engaging, and have the same normal hunger for me as I have for her....and thankfully it's been better here....Managing life is just harder for her, she gets distracted so easily and the inability to manage time really keeps her wound up and rushing to get some where....It's tiring to watch...;)...I'm learning to not engage her during those times, she can't hear or remember well during those times and she can loose it emotionally, when she realizes she is late, (even later:) because she stopped getting ready to answer my question or hear my comment...It's just important we understand the state of mind they are in at times.....
Many adders (in my opinion) can struggle w/ their priorities. It's not that they don't care, it's just not in their "ability" some times to do any different....We are slaves to our minds....It's a huge mistake in my opinion to get to much on the table w/ them....My wife's personality is the type to jump at every new shiny thing, engage every new person....Start multiple things, projects etc....Never finish anything and pass it off to me...LOL....I'm learned to not take those monkey's FINALLY... LOL...And like my granddaughter said when she took a big sip out of her sippy cup thinking it was juice, when it was water....I don't Wike it!!
My wife didn't Wike loosing her enabling husband....But it's why I am still here, and it's way she is a better wife....And it's why I have so much more peace.....
Keeping our worlds small and manageable is very important for our peace.....Cat's are terrible at chores;).....Great at playing games though;)
Yep the anger is not good...I agree w/ you, he needs to confront it and get help...So many of our spouses need accountability partners (we all do) and spouses are not good ones....I would love to do that if it was possible for so many who post here.....
When people realize you care (and don't want anything) about them, and their circumstance....Sometimes they can hear you w/o all the negative emotions attached.....
Submitted by c ur self on
(So far, what has worked best for me when addressing his symptoms is to try to stay as calm as possible (doesn't always work, particularly when the symptoms are affecting our toddler), and to set very kind but firm boundaries with him.)
One other thing, in our busy worlds we can just react in the moment....What you wrote above...(kind and firm boundaries is excellent in my opinion)...It is very important that we do this like we would want it done to us....My suggestions are to; Never do it with escalated emotions, never at bed time or in vulnerable situations....Never on the fly when it may be heard as a positive, but, want be remembered as truly an important boundary....I like the Kitchen table when all is calm...If that isn't possible, I also like kind text messages....I would use email, but, she has thousands unanswered LOL....
Just because there are issues that arise w/ add/adhd and daily living....If I loose my patients and get disrespectful of her as a person and my wife, then no matter how important my message is, I've lost her!...Just like disrespect coming from her to me is going to cause the message to not matter, or be heard....
One step forward and Three back
Submitted by Shell10 on
I feel your pain. I too tried learning as much as I could about ADD. I quickly found I was the only one in the relationship that felt it was a problem.
We went to support group (twice). I finally got him diagnosed after marriage counseling failed. His Dr. was only interested in writing scripts . No behavior mod, no anything...just meds.
By the time he got home from work, the meds had worn off and I was seeing the same individual that I had become frustrated with.
After 27 years, we divorced. I thank God that we never had kids. Who needs kids when you're married to Peter Pan. I wish you the best.
AHDH (and more) the whole time...
Submitted by Will It Get Better on
The only real hope is for your wife to take 'ownership' of her ADHD and actively seek treatment on each leg of Orlov's '3 Legged Stool' (Physical, Behavioral, Relationship) of treatment. You have your side to 'work on' as well. Your wife has started on Leg 1 (Meds) and hopefully expands her approaches. Read Orlov's 'The ADHD Effect on Marriage' for very useful descriptions of the issues you and your wife are facing. You'll need to work on your 'parenting' of your wife to (hopefully) establish some balance in your relationship. There are no guarantees however; expect a bumpy ride. My best to your children.
Yep. You did it. You
Submitted by Hopeful Heart on
Yep. You did it. You unknowingly joined the club. Why wouldn't you? That's how marriages are supposed to work. We are supposed to go through different seasons in life where one spouse needs to step up and do more than their fair share for the sake of the marriage. Maybe one of you is ill, starting a new job, or finishing grad school. One spouse is happy to honor the marriage vows by stepping in and taking over. However, we had no idea that we were stepping into a trap and we were teaching our spouses how to treat us for the duration of our marriage. It never occurred to us that we were going to spend years (naybe the rest of our lives) being taken advantage of, ignored, and blamed.