What is it with leaving drawers and cabinets open??!!!

This drives me nuts! He is the cook in the house so I leave him be in the kitchen to make dinner and I am the clean up crew. I walk in the kitchen after he's cooked and the silverware drawer is open along with the cabinet where he got the dishes out. In the bedroom when he takes a pair of socks out of the drawer he doesn't close it.  What is it in their brain that makes it so hard to close a drawer after you open it?

Same here!

Mapper, I don't know, but it has been discussed in these forums before. Many non-ADHD partners notice this and I am one of them. It bugs me but if this was the ONLY "thing" that my BF did (due to ADHD most likely), I would be tap dancing on the ceiling (haha.) It does bother me though because we have large dogs who can - and will - help themselves to anything they can reach and/or get their mouths on. Plus they are tall so they could easily run under one of his left-open kitchen drawers and scrape their backs, maybe even cutting themselves. It is a hazard at times!

Same goes for getting a food or drink item out of the fridge, getting what he needs, then he walks away. Back to his (home) office or to the couch, whatever. Leaving the food/drink container sitting out on the counter. Or nasty, used kleenex and paper towels... which the dogs find to be particularly delightful, if they find them before I do! Why why why leave them on the counter, when the trash is literally two feet away?

A mystery indeed.

My husband does this too. And

My husband does this too. And it drives me crazy too.  But I  finally just  accept  it  as my problem  and just close  them.

same here!

same here :-) messssy...I call that living in half circles...My wife's drawers are so stuffed with old stuff, she can't throw out, that most of the things that fit are in a pile on her side of the bed...Evidently her add brain does not process like a brain that doesn't have add...My wife does the exact same as your husband...If she gets stuff out for a sandwich, I have to go behind her and put the stuff in the frig...drawers and cabinets, leaves the front door standing open, w/ the a/c working away...I find stuff 1/2 done all the time...her bedside table and the floor around her side of the bed is unbelievable...She is constantly looking for stuff :) I wish I had a nickel for every time she has asked me have i saw her ear earring or cell phone etc...I usually find the earrings in the bed or on the carpet some where :) it's really amazing how much stuff we recover...a few days ago I found this ring under the couch cushion that she loves to wear...and I dropped in the bottom of her purse right under her wallet that is 4 inches thick that she hides from others :)...she had the ring on the next day :) when i pointed at it, she said oh i found it :) I never did tell her I planted it for her to find :)

Oh the front door and a/c

Oh the front door and a/c thing! Another rant of mine! However with us it's the furnace cranked up to 75 because he says he's so cold, but then goes and opens the sliding glass door in the back and front door for the cats to go in and out of and leaves those open for 1/2 hour while the furnace is cranking away and working harder to make up for it being cold.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

The annoyances get greatly inflated


What I have discovered is that all the little annoyances, that almost everyone lives with, tend to grow into huge monsters in homes with ADHD because there are SO many of them, and they do not seem to improve.

A little trick I have come up with - to keep me sane :) - is to mentally review any given situation.  If I find that scenario is played out in either the funny pages, or on TV sitcoms like the old Dick Van Dyke Show or Home Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond -  then I realize I need to laugh it off.

I have been accused of having too many rules.  I just always thought it was common courtesy:  1.  Take your muddy shoes off before you come into the house.  2.  If you empty the carton of ice cream, throw it away, and after you finish your dessert, put your bowl and spoon and ice cream scoop into the sink.  3.  Hang up your coat in the mudroom, not on the backs of the chairs.  4.  Do not leave wet bath towels in a wad on the carpeted floor of your bedroom.   5.  Put your dirty clothes down the laundry chute.  6.  Put the scissors back where you found them.  6.  If you use the last of something - paper towels, ketchup, coffee, peanut butter - write it on the shopping list.  7.  After you wash your vehicle, put the supplies back where you found them, do not leave them in the driveway.  8.  If you use the kitchen table or kitchen counter to work on a project, clean up after you are finished.  I do not mind when things take several days to complete - as long as I see progress.  I go crazy when a project starts, and then stays for weeks on end, not getting completed and gather dust.  Not to mention making the house look cluttered.  

I do try to be objective, and it is hard.  I am neat and organized.  You know, A Place For Everything and Everything in Its Place.

Yep, quite a trick for a Messy Person and A-Little-Bit-OCD Person to co-exist.  

To me , it all boils down to common respect.   



And ANOTHER thing that

And ANOTHER thing that irritates me is that random pieces of paper, like a torn off corner of a piece of paper with a number on it, will sit on the coffee table or kitchen table for 2 weeks and never be moved. After so long I just toss it into the garbage assuming it isn't important. It never fails, though, as soon as I do that the next day he'll go "Where's that piece of paper that was sitting here? I need it as it's a code to get into such and such". I play dumb and go "I don't know what you are talking about". 

ah yes, the little papers

Mapper, This happens to me too. OMG. There's SO MANY OF THEM. When we were first married my ADHD husband would put dozens of little pieces of paper with phone numbers, names, etc on any flat surface in our apartment. Our kitchen table was covered, as was the dining room table, the bedroom endtables, dressers and any place else that would hold a scrap of paper. I couldn't take it any more, and asked him WHY he had to do this. He said, "I NEED these and I have to have them like this so that I can see them all at once.". WHAT KIND OF SENSE DOES THAT MAKE? First of all, you can only see one thing at a time, second, it made a huge mess in our apartment and no one else could use the tables. It was crazy. I won't let him do this any more, but there are STILL places where his "scraps of paper with numbers " are still all over. (same with the mail).

OMG! You too??? He collects

OMG! You too??? He collects so many business cards being a DJ and never calls these people and then the endless journals and notebooks with a few pages written in EACH of them and not in order either, sometimes he writes stuff in the middle pages only. He hoards paper and just about anything. He always leaves the closet door open with the light on too. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

It is how it works


I have been looking at my spouse with a different set of eyes in the recent months.  This sorta stuff gives me insight into exactly what is going on in his thinking - how his brain organizes stuff.

The tough part for me has been the boundary between his way of doing things and our lives together.  My spouse's walls of structure have been built up over 50+ years when he didn't know he was ADHD.  Now that he does understand, it is one of the many parameters of dealing with life issues.  Is this ADHD?  Is this just a Guy Think?  Is this a poor decision to agree to something that was not what he really wanted in the first place?  Is it just a bad day for him?  Those are HIS things.  How it affects me are COUPLE things.  As much as I need to have understanding for how his brain works, he also needs to have understanding on how 'feeling' forgotten affects me.  Yep, I know he didn't 'forget out of spite.'  I was, however, looking forward to spending time together.  And not having that plan fulfilled is a disappointment.

No, it does not mean it is AOK for him to treat me poorly when he forgets something.  Yes, I understand he forgot.  Yes, I no longer sit in anger when he does not show up - I have my back up plan.  But yes indeed - Liz's boundary needs an acknowledgement from his side for an agreement that he was not able to uphold - does not matter one whit it he really didn't want to do it in the first place, or he got wrapped up in a job and time got away from him.  

There is not a need for a full-fledged 'restitution;' however, a simple "Oops", or "Dad-Gum I lost track of time again" still tells me that I am valuable and my feelings count.





I know he. He just called me

I know it! He just called me minutes ago to tell me that although he forgot to take our (putrified) garbage to the curb, the trash guy did pick up HIS bulk trash. I keep telling him to do it the night before. Then he tells me that he got $85 back on our new fridge for getting a holiday price adjustment and I commended him but I guess he wanted back flips and a cookie so he starts cheering and giving himself accolades and when he heard nothing but silence on the other line he stopped and said he did that since I wasn't. O...k...see, it's a "sorry I forgot something that you wanted me to do" but I did this other thing that benefits him. Whatever dude. I will take the trash out the night before myself so it's done right. No problems, no complaints. I will just do it as if I were single. :)

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Believe me, I get it!


I am continually separating myself from all the cheerleading I did for many years.  Thus, came part of my ID here of "I'm So Exhausted."  I simply canot be the only source of encouragement he receives.  He needs to look inside and figure out what makes him tick.  And tock!!!!

It is indeed precarious in finding the balance between giving him what he needs in the way of acknowledgement, and getting what I need from him.  I need to remind myself -  often, often, often -  that how I choose to be seen by others is not gonna be dictated by how I feel treated.  

The small consolation I have discovered in looking at "LIZ" over the past several months has been this - I have received feedback - from my direct question - that while I do express frustration, and it gets to be overwhelming for some to hear over and over and over, I have not been seen as a wife who bashes her spouse.  Nor have I given the indication that I have any disrespect for him - at all.

My frustration at not finding solutions has made some people feel that I am negative.  All those are good indicators to me of how I need to adjust and change who I am.  

I also temper that with the fact that people who have not lived for 20+ years with an undiagnosed person with ADHD - have no clue, and NO room to judge.  

I hate watching my spouse struggle.  I hate being in the cross hairs when he spins out of control.  I LOVE my spouse.  I LOVE myself and my well being, too ! 



Beautifully stated and I

Beautifully stated and I agree with you. Someone posted on one of these threads that they will try to accommodate their husband as much as they can without losing themselves or having their children  disrespected or losing their self-respect. Nobody really knows what we go through unless they walk in our shoes and if venting is the only way to keep our sanity then good  friends will listen and understand that there are not many solutions unless  the  affected person can follow through. All we can do is be good people and try to be a good spouse  with not that much to work with. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

My difficulty


"...try to accommodate their husband as much as they can without losing themselves or having their children  disrespected or losing their self-respect"  That sentence describes another area of concern I had:  trying to keep the tail from wagging the dog.  While our children were growing up, I was not able to find that line of distinction to bring peace to our home.  

Rather than being able to just simple state my opinion, I spent a lot of time trying to get my spouse to understand and acknowledge. That did not work.  We had a difference of opinion on how our children shared their ideas and opinions with us.  It was very difficult for me to be supportive of my spouse's place as father, and yet not stand by and just accept intolerance towards our children's feelings.  

To this day, it is very difficult to get through conflict.  As I see it, there is not a right and wrong - just two people who do not agree and need to learn to get along with each other so both can be content.   

I see my spouse struggle with dealing with the mind set of 'If Liz is getting her way on something, it means I am WRONG. And I am not wrong.' 

I do not see everything as right or wrong, black or white.  Made how I viewed my spouse dealing with our children look very harsh.  I had been accused of making him look wrong in their eyes, or not standing behind him.  He was very kind and loving, and not belittling, and he NEVER raised a hand to them - never -  - yet he wanted his opinions and views to be our opinions and views.  Blind obedience.  

Many times, I made the mistake of trying to talk it through with him.  It did not work.  Now I state my opinion, and if he starts to get angry, I walk away.  Even with him shouting at me "Go ahead.  Just walk away.  That is what you always do. . . . . . ."  and on and on and on, until he spins into a furry of anger.

 I am entitled to my opinion, delivered in firm yet kind words.  



Go ahead walk away it's what

Go ahead walk away it's what you always do… I've heard those words more than once. I'm walking when I really want to run. Now it's just simpler to say less instead of expend any energy. Most of the things my husband promises or wants, like a house or perhaps starting a huge project, I just agree with or not of my head but we all know the end result. 

Hey Liz

When I read what you just wrote and got to the part about black and white, wrong or right thinking on the part of your husband the sirens started going off in my ears.  This is a major problem I have with my wife and I have been doing a lot of research on this phenomenon in order to help me understand her. I am not like this and share your opinion about this topic.  For what it's worth, from what I've read recently....you are the healthy one in your way of seeing things and it's definitely not WRONG to NOT to see things as either black, white, good, bad.  I took this snippet from an article on this topic:

Black” or “white”, “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad”, “smart” or “stupid”, “strong” or “weak”. Do you live your life in black and white terms?  Is your mood in constant fluctuation, going from great to depressed in under one minute?  Many people suffer from this black-and-white thinking pattern, which is greatly influenced by their childhood and earlier experiences. The all or nothing type of thinking can seriously damage your sense of self, well-being, happiness, and relationships.

How do I know?  Because I am a recovering black-and-white thinker. I, too, used to see the world as a scary place, where you have to be prepared for the worst, where some people are good and others are bad (but most are bad and can’t be trusted), and some are strong, while others are weak. The all or nothing thinking is actually a defense mechanism people use to cope with life’s challenges.  Unfortunately, this type of thinking prohibits you from seeing things as they really are

This is one of the greatest challenges I have with my wife and I believe it is the source for most if not all of our conflicts together. In this way of thinking, there is an opinion to everything.  Even if you don't have one about something and state things without an opinion....all my wife hears is an opinion, an assessment, a judgment or criticism where there is none and will accuse me of all manner of things that aren't actually happening.  If it's not an opinion...then what can it be?  Literally!

If there are only two categories for everything (black or white)....then where does red go?  lol 

The other tendency that goes along with black and white thinking is catastrophic thinking ( also a problem for my wife ) where even the most innocuous of situations turns into cataclysmic event in a blink of an eye.  I still believe this starts with black and white thinking in the first place and it is not a healthy way to view the world or other people.

Just my two bit:)


You Sound Like My Wife

I had to laugh.....what's even crazier is that I grew up with a mom who was the most OCD neat and tidy person you've ever met.  I had manners and courtesy spoon fed to me and  it still didn't make a difference.  I still do the same things as your husband even though I am much improved with a lot of effort and changes in attitude.

Side note:  it really helps me to live with a person that is neat and organized compared to someone who isn't.  I've lived with both and at least I have a fighting chance if at least one person in the house doesn't suffer from clutter.  Tell your husband he should count his blessings and adopt your rules for himself instead of fighting against them.  He's lucky to have such a good role model to follow.

Respect, yes that is it for

Respect, yes that is it for me also. "Leave no trace." Finish what you started. My husband leaves cabinets open, projects on the table. He does try. It gets better for a bit then he forgets again. He forgets more often if I've gotten upset with him for something. No surprise there.

It feels like disrespect, even though sometimes it is the ADD. Not all the time. I know he does it on purpose when he's mad at me. But the rest of the time I think these lapses are actually the symptoms. It's still annoying.  

I'm at a point now where the table collects too much for my liking, it all gets thrown into a bag which goes into his hobby room. He can figure it out from there. 

The Cabinets

Distraction.  That's why we don't close cabinet drawers. After I clean the kitchen, I do a visual sweep to check for open cabinets.  There have been enough posts on this site (not just yours) for me to realize that, yes, this is an ADHD thing!  But hey, I am cleaning the kitchen, and now I know why I do what I do ;)...



I have watched my husband place down his dinner plate ON TOP OF important pieces of mail/papers, etc and tell me he didn't notice they were there. Like, multiple times. He has left items out FOR WEEKS on end, and I stare at them every single day over and over and over just waiting for him to actually notice and put it away himself because in my opinion it is ABSOLUTELY NOT MY JOB TO CLEAN UP AFTER HIM!!! Every time I see things like this my blood boils more and more. However, much to my disappointment every single time, he LITERALLY will not notice that the item is still out of place and won't put it away. I'm talking about a power tool sitting in the middle of the kitchen countertop. Literally. He worked around it for 3 weeks straight, shoving it aside to cut veggies, etc until I flipped out and left it on his pillow on our bed!! He moved it from his pillow and it sat on the bedroom floor for another week before I gave up and put it in the garage. When I went ape shit over the fact that he literally worked around a drill in the middle of the kitchen for 3 weeks and he STILL didn't put it away after I left it on his pillow, he told me that it didn't bother him that it wasn't in the garage where it's supposed to be and that it's my problem because I'm the one who has an issue with it. Unbelievable

Who's problem is it?

Read your post again and tell us who's problem it is...Your beside yourself about it, and based on your account of his actions he could care less...This is a perfect example of why there must be boundaries in many of our relationships...My spouse is the same, she is more comfortable in a huge mess than in a clean house...I remember right after we got married, before the boundaries...I swept and mopped (used lysol) the kitchen while she was out one day ...She came in the door, and said something like...What's that smell? I think I said, it's called clean...

Now I am waiting for the 2nd

Now I am waiting for the 2nd towel bar to be put up in our bathroom. We have one that went up when we moved in but we want another one to hold another towel. We went to Home Depot and got one last Saturday. It is sitting in it's box right next to the bathroom door. He asked me Sunday night where I want it hung and I showed him. Told me he'd do it Monday after work. It's still sitting in the box in the exact same spot I left it. I'll be lucky if it gets hung before the end of the month!

Hangers on the bed

This is probably the one that I understand the least. He takes clothes out of the closet on the hanger, and proceeds to leave the hanger on the bed. It takes extra effort to do that, and he must see what he is doing. The bedroom is not a dressing room at the mall, no one is going to sweep in and collect any random hangers left behind.

As for the kitchen, not only does he leave cabinets and drawers open, he leaves the microwave open (so the light stays on)! 

Kitchen table is apparently now a utility table!

We have a kitchen table that I will admit we never use. We eat all our meals on tv trays in the living room so we can watch tv. It's just what we've always done, but we have a kitchen table for guests and just because it would be odd if we didn't have one. However I do have colorful table mats and a glass centerpiece on it.

Our house is set up kind of odd in that there is no back door from our garage to the backyard. If we want to go to the backyard we either have to go out the big garage door and open the fence to get into the backyard or go from the garage to the living room to the kitchen and out the sliding glass door. Well he usually goes out the sliding glass door so hauls tools and stuff through the house and there's no covered place to keep them outside so everything ends up on our kitchen table. Right now on the table we have: Miracle Gro and a sprayer for it, a ball of twine, box of fertilizer, 2 saws, gardening gloves, a cardboard box with empty seed packets, fuse for a light outlet, 2 wall plates for outlets a couple of booklets, his leather jacket is hanging over one of the chairs and when he gets home his backpack sits on that same chair. I'm tempted to take it all out into the garage and leave it in a heap for him to deal with!

Open drawers and cupboard doors

My DW leaves cupboard doors and drawers open- the drawers only for an inch or two! I still have two eyes due to constant awareness in the kitchen. I thought I had a solution when I put a new kitchen in with soft closing doors on the cupboards. Did not help, so anyone planning on that solution, save yourself a few $. I like them anyway, as there in no slamming sound on closing for me. She has a severely autistic nephew, so for me to even hint on the possibility of a mild form of ADD, would be catastrophic. Life goes on. 

Oh dear.  My DH is actually

Oh dear.  My DH is actually really good at doing chores, but every once in a while something odd remains undone, like he will unload the dishwasher but not put away like two coffee mugs.  Why?  Who knows?  Ditto loading--he will often load the entire thing but leave like one random plate and a glass in the sink.  Why?  I will say, however, compared to what I hear on this post, I am just grateful for all he does do.  In my house we say "don't make work Mom"--sort of like an earlier poster who said "leave no trace"--love that!  Both my teen boys have ADHD too and it's funny to see what tendancies they have.  Neither of them is particularly neat, but then they are also 14 and 16.  The big guy is pretty good at putting stuff away in the kitchen, but laundry-forget it.  I just got him another laundry basket and dump his clean stuff in there so at least it's contained.  The little one has to be reminded literally EVER SINGLE TIME to put his dinner dish in the dishwasher.  EVERY time.  Ditto snack stuff--just leaves his bowl/plate in the sink.  Every. Time.  working on it though.  The idea that they just don't see stuff is so hard for me to grasp.  It's been told to me multiple time by multiple people, but I just cannot wrap my brain around it.

leaving the drawers and cubboards open

My bf, for some reason, is incapable of closing cubboards and drawers. One day he even left the microwave and fridge door open! I don't get get the issue he is standing right there he had no problem opening it and he seems to be able to close the front door! I always close them but I think I will leave them open. Maybe if he hits his hip or head he will close it. But, good news! I just witnessed him closing two drawers in a row without saying anything about it! I'm very proud of him.