When ADHD in a relationship makes non-ers appear crazy...

Does anyone else struggle with this?  It's rarely talked about but I feel like it probably happens to other non-ers.  I suppose it's not a priority on the list of concerns as there are even worse things that need to be addressed and so doesn't get talked about often.  But does coping with your partner's ADHD ever end up making it appear like you're crazy, unreasonable, moody, neurotic,  etc.  to the public at large including friends and family?  Those suffering with ADHD often have had a lifetime to develop coping mechanisms to help them mask their disorder at work, around family and friends, or out in public.  I know at least in my relationship that my partner is like a Jekyll/Hyde character, acting one way around other people and then acting very differently when it's just us.  Since I don't know very well how to "put on an act" many people, who don't realize what is actually going on at home, assume my reactions to my partner's ADHD are simply faults that I have.  Or here's a good one:  my partner has an irrational need to have his car be the first in, in our parking space (we have to park linearly so one car gets sandwiched between the wall and the other car).  What he'll do if he needs to go somewhere is move my car into our elderly neighbors parking spot and leave it so when he comes back he can just pull in and then pull mine in behind.  He gets IRATE if I move mine out of neighbors spot before he gets back because then he feels he has to move mine AGAIN and then pull his in after.  So naturally, our elderly neighbor upstairs thinks that I'm an inconsiderate jerk who steals her parking space since it's my car that gets left there.  What do I do?  Go knock on her door and say to her, "oh, I'm sorry I'm not the inconsiderate jerk.  My boyfriend has an irrational fear of his car being first out but won't let me move my car out of your space because he's too lazy to move my car again when he returns even though it's to accommodate his irrational  necessity"?  Even if I had the balls to do that, he'd go off the deep end because I let it slip that he's not the perfect gentleman that he wants everyone (besides me) to think he is. 

Another example involves his lack of social boundaries.  When we'd be in a social setting, I'd be a nervous wreck because of his inability to manage himself properly socially.  He'd invite relative strangers back to our home for the evening or tell people I'd be willing to help them with something the following weekend that I either couldn't or didn't want to etc. if I wasn't there to subtly intervene.  So, naturally, I started hearing from people that I was 'clingy' or 'uptight' because I was always in such a nervous mood at these gatherings not to mention feeling like I had to be by his side all evening for fear of what he'd get us or me into should I step away for a minute.  He'll also often tell his friends and family about my seemingly 'negative' or 'crazy' conduct without mentioning to them how they could be responses to his ADHD behavior OR many times when seen in context are actually 'positive' and "recommended' ways of coping with or helping him manage his ADHD behaviors.  Theres just too many examples to relate here, but in general I've come across a lot of the time very negatively or a least come across as someone very different than who I actually am.  I've limited my interaction with his family because of this, which makes me really sad.  But they refuse to see or he simply hides how abnormal he is.  Also, I've found that having COMPLETELY SEPARATE social groups has really helped.  Maybe that seems extreme, but I need to be able to just be myself around SOMEBODY and to NOT have my identity be the byproduct of the out-of-context information he'll relate about me and/or the out-of-context behaviors I'll exhibit around him.

I can relate to this.  I'll

I can relate to this.  I'll write more in the morning; I have a grinding headache right now and want to get to bed.

I think that in comparison to

I think that in comparison to my ADHD husband I look hyperemotional (aka moody), but I think that this is because his mood and affect are so consistent.  He rarely expresses sadness or anger but neither does he express joy or happiness.  I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.  Under nonstressful circumstances, my and my husband's personalities would seem very different; throw in the stress caused by the ADHD and other problems, and my emotions really take a beating. That tends to show, unless I expend an extraordinary amount of energy repressing my feelings.  Sometimes I'm willing to do that (for example, when I'm at work); other times, I'm not.  I don't go out to social occasions very much, and I particularly avoid ones with my husband, because then I not only have to repress my feelings, but I'm having to repress stronger feelings, the ones I experience when I'm in close physical contact with someone who makes me feel uncomfortable.  

Me, too ...

Wow ... did your post catch my attention ... my husband has the same emotionless demeanor ... I describe my husband as being "flat lined" ... he never gets angry ... no matter how much I try to get some kind of reaction from him ... he rarely laughs ... has become a little more emotional since he has gotten older (68) when watching a movie ... but basically he does not enjoy anything much ... mine also rarely expresses joy or happiness ... so surprised to find somebody who is experiencing what I am experiencing ...

It's a Catch-22 when I'm out

It's a Catch-22 when I'm out with my ADHD dh. There are days when all I want to do is just go out, and he sits in front of the TV refusing to budge. Gosh forbid there is a long holiday, then we might not even get to go anywhere (the longest being 10 days).

When my dh and I do head out, he becomes extraordinarily animated to the point of verbal hyperactivity. It does not look like anxiety but it feels like he's been fired up with rocket fuel and he is absolutely the center of attention where ever we go. I learned to play the game and keep up with him so I don't stand there looking like a lump of coal. Usually I feel like I need to re-adjust as quickly as possible from being depressed with the struggles at home and go into "social" mode just to keep up with him.

People usually find him very approachable and engaging, I think that's why I feel there's a Jekyll and Hyde thing going, I feel a bit hypocritical showing the "good" side but I suppose many couples no matter what circumstances are like that, plus there will always be one partner slightly more in charge of moving the conversation. Sometimes I feel it comes off as if going out was all his idea, and I'm the one who's being dragged along. I just happen to be naturally reserved and have a very dry humor so it's not necessary for me to be in the spotlight. My dh loves being in the spotlight, probably another coping mechanism for people to like him for his jokes and good nature, people tend to compare his mercurial charm to my wet noodle-y demeanor LOL

He doesn't tell people my negatives but he will say things I never hear him agreeing to in private, things having to do with getting together, planning activities, talking about the latest restaurants and hops, etc.... none of which he shows any interest in when I bring it up. But he's absolutely *fabulous* about it with others, go figure :)

The only thing that irked me in any significant way is that he'll make a beeline ahead of me and start talking to the first person he sees, and basically, he (perhaps unknowingly) physically puts a barrier between me and the other person so they don't physically see me until I get up close to the person and my dh, but I feel that I always have to "squeeze" in, or they will never notice I'm even there. I don't know if I can describe it... we'll walk in together, and he will just go up to the person and start talking to them somewhat intimately/intensely and I feel I've been dispensed. I have told him repeatedly not to usurp our entrances as a couple, but he does it all the time. I find I'm not so hurt by it anymore, I just have to "keep up," and make sure I do not allow myself to be left out, either that particular conversation, or just being there in general.

People (mostly women in our case) are generally very polite and recognize me but there are some women who will take my dh and "run with it," if you know what I mean. There have been a few occasions where I have felt like an absolute cuckold (whatever the term is for a sexually inadequate spouse) with these other women because of the cattiness factor, and the dh is completely blind to it. That has caused a lot of humiliation for me in public. One time a women misread my dh's hyper interest, and she took over my seat at an event. I had gotten up from the table, she came over and deposited her shoes right on my seat, basically staked her claim next to my dh, and got a bit testy when I came back to my seat!! She said she was SITTING THERE.  wowza.... Thank goodness I knew this from past experience and I handed her shoes back to her.... sigh. But I know if my dh understood some of the social mores of gender roles, that woman would not have gotten the idea into her head, kwim?

edit: I wanted to add, he also praises me to high heaven, and while it sounds fine, it sometimes backfires for me because the way he goes on and on in public sometimes incites some competition and envy among my SILs and I'd rather not have that. I don't like to toot my horn in public but he feels the need to do that, perhaps another way of bringing some type of affirmation for him that he's the guy with the "best life". It makes him feel better to show off he lives a perfectly charmed life, I think?

Hmmm, sounds like me....

Between your response and the first comment in this string, I think we have my situation.

My guy expresses great ideas about what "could" happen, whether it be out trip abroad or his interest in this place to eat, or that event he is interested in or that we might go to with family or friends.  But these he "could" things never happen.  I have come to understand "could" is a fallacy.  So, I don't buy in.  And his family can pick up on my lack of interest and of course he sees I'm not excited.  Well, I'm not excited because these are all pipe dreams.  If I buy in and get excited like they will actually happen, then later on I am hurt big time because they don't happen.  It's like he promises something and then takes it away.  I believe he and his family expect me to get excited about his ideas even when it's clear from the get go that they will never come to fruition. His family has been living with his dreaming so long that I think they all buy into it and just think it's funny how things never happen and value his "vision".  But I find it hurtful of him, and them too.  Why should I be looked upon as moody and uninterested when I'm just factoring in realities, like he'll never be able to decide, he can't afford that trip, he won't make the time, he won't plan ahead or allow me to so that we get the reservation or the tickets or the table for the great idea he has.  I also have limited my time with his family for this reason and because they all seem so stuck on themselves, like I can't possibly be good enough for their 50 year old, never married, no kids, no good relationships, no money, chaotic lived son and brother!  Uggh!  I'm quite fine and happy and have my own life and successes and security thankyouverymuch!  All I need from your son/brother is respect and love.  But that seems impossible for ADD guy to express.  It just all seems to be about him - his wants at every moment, his needs, his desires, his obligations........  and I should feel lucky to get to tag along.  Life with him seems to be life through the looking glass or down the rabbit hole, as I call it, into some altered universe where we flit from one thing to another with no thought, dreaming about all the things we "could" do but never doing anything for the coulds to happen and just settle for being happy with the mediocrity of a life flitting here and there with no clue or direction in mind.  And, of course, I'm supposed to do all the day to day life dealing matters - cook, clean, trash, bills, etc, etc, in between the flitting from one thing to the next.  And I should always look great without effort, that too.   When he's around I can't even get time to do my fingernails - and I use clear polish! - not a lot of time here.  It is cahous!

Is this ADD/ADHD?  Help me understand.  

In telling friends and family

In telling friends and family about my recent breakup, I keep getting the same response, which is "why would you put up with all that crap?"  Everyone has been supportive of me, and they're not the kind of people that would side with me and say "what a jerk" about my husband.  They all love my husband dearly and they all see just the amazing love we have for each other, but they seriously wonder why I put up with it, and if I'm crazy.

My husband doesn't do things that make other people think I'm crazy directly.  They just think I'm crazy for putting up with it.  And when you try to explain why you put up with it, they think you're even crazier.  And even I'm starting to believe it as I tried to explain to another friend how the ADHD mind works, how the ADHD brain hyperfocuses on a new hobby or something he discovered, and I fall by the wayside and ignored.  My friend asked, "do you hear yourself? You just said it's normal for him to ignore you."  And here I was, defending him!  So maybe we are crazy for putting up with this?

Hi nonadhdme, please don't be

Hi nonadhdme, please don't be too hard on yourself right now as you process all your feelings and the information you are learning about ADD.  It can take a long time.  We certainly aren't crazy, we just truly want nothing more than to have our marriage to the person we love work out.  I am glad you have supportive friends who want the best for you.  As we know, though, it is so easy to judge/give advice to someone else about their relationship and what they should do, but when you are the in the actual relationship that is a whole other story.  Has your husband actually moved out yet?  You hate to have false hope, but I do think sometimes when people move out they have more time and less distractions to think about the relationship and change their thinking and decide to work on their ADD and marriage.  However, other times it's too late because by the time they "get it together" (if they ever do), the nonADDer has decided to move on to a better relationship with someone else or maybe without anyone.  Sending you and everyone else on this site strength and peace.       

Nonadhdme, you sound so much

Nonadhdme, you sound so much like me.  Just yesterday I was describing ADHD to my brother, and explaining how it is manifested in adult relationships...and in the back of my mind I thought "you sound crazy."  And sometimes I feel crazy when I'm trying to understand what happened and how it all imploded so suddenly.

Thank you, st, for your advice to not be hard on ourselves.  I can't help but beat myself up when I see the ways in which I responded - to the undiagnosed ADHD - but nonetheless, destructive.  I desperately wanted the relationship to work, and I couldn't for the life of me understand what was happening and why it wasn't, no matter what I tried.  I'm reading Melissa's book, even though the relationship is over, mainly to understand what happened.  I now see, more than ever, that my reactions were natural to the situation, and had I known about ADHD, I may have been able to handle things differently - but I didn't know about it, and so I did the best I could with whatever information I had.  It's a bittersweet understanding but I'm grateful for it.

I wish I had more answers to offer, more advice to give... Instead I wish for you, and everyone, strength, ease and clear minds & hearts.  

Hi bksts, Melissa's book is

Hi bksts, Melissa's book is really good but I highly recommend also reading Is it You, Me or Adult ADD.  This was the book that made me so aware that I had been dealing with ADD all these years.  I hadn't really even heard of ADD until a few years ago until my son was diagnosed and my husband had already walked out.  It is really difficult and sad to think about what could have been if we had known and how we would have handled some situations so differently.    

Yes, I've read that one

Yes, I've read that one too....and it definitely made me aware of what was going on - I was even surprised to learn about Restless Leg Syndrome as a symptom...which explains all the twitching that went on at night!  It is so difficult and sad to think "what might have been"... sometimes I can shoulder it and feel strong to move on.  Other times, I feel low and lost.  In the end, he left, and there's nothing I can or want to do unless he gets help.  That much is for sure.  I cannot get help for him.  So the only thing left is to learn, heal and move on.

Bksts, you're right on the

Bksts, you're right on the money with thinking about "what might have been".  Sometimes I feel so much anger and frustration that I'm glad this is over and I can move on.  It's almost like he did me a favor by letting me go so I didn't have to do it.  But other times I wish he would come back.  But you're right, we can't get help for our husbands, they have to want it themselves, and what's really discouraging is I don't see many stories here of the ADHD spouse actually getting help, staying the course, or eventually making it.  So we just have to move on, and hopefully eventually find a new mate who will give us the attention, love, affection, and appreciation we deserve!

I've seen my siblings look at

I've seen my siblings look at me as if I'm the crazy one when I bring up my concerns over dh's ADHD. They jump and defend him (their BIL) saying it's all in my head. I don't know if it's just so foreign to them to have these conflicts in their own lives, or they are playing devil's advocate. Then I get this nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach that all they're doing is sizing up their ungrateful sister. Our parents used to psychologically pit my siblings against me, and their perception of me as the bad seed continues to this day, so it's been a hard pill to swallow, given the challenges I've been faced with.

I will honestly say that it's similar to someone who stays with a physically abusive spouse. When people finally see the physical evidence of abuse, instead of supporting the individual, they will go, "why on earth would you stay with someone like that?" as if it is the the individual's fault.

st, my husband hasn't moved

st, my husband hasn't moved his stuff out yet, but he is look at apartments to move into.  At this point I don't know what false hope is, because there's a part of me that's hoping he'll move out sooner so I can move on. 

I guess the best case scenario is, he moves out, realizes how his ADHD is affecting everything, and comes back to me apologizing and asking me to help him with his ADHD, and be a lot more aware, a lot more conscious, and work a lot harder at it.  But I don't know if I can put up with it anymore, and more importantly I don't think he can be more aware and more conscious about it.  There were a couple of ADHD husbands on this forum that talked about how hard they want to work on winning their wives back, how they're so aware now, and how sorry they were for putting their wives through their crap.  I think my husband has to reach that level of clarity before I will take him back.

This might just be the anger talking, but my husband's biggest mistake isn't leaving the marriage for the wrong reasons.  His biggest mistake is giving me time to think about my own needs and realizing I don't need this!

You sound strong!  I so hope

You sound strong!  I so hope he doesn't put you through the roller coaster of emotions as he figures out what HE wants. Stay true to yourself.  I wish the best for you!

Thanks, trust me I'm not as

Thanks, trust me I'm not as strong as I sound.  These moments of strengths come and go.  Ask me again in 2 hours and I'll probably take him back, no questions asked!

I relate, remember I took my

I relate, remember I took my husband back 3 times until I found out about the affair after the 4th time he left.  If he hadn't left or I hadn't found out, I know I wouldn't have had the strength to end it yet.  It was only his leaving and having 2 1/2 yrs by myself to work through these emotions that I was able to see the situation for what it was.  I guess all we can do is take one day at a time.  In the early days after I found out about the affair, I would read others write how it would get better with time.  It was really difficult to believe that with all the pain I was feeling, but now I can say, yes, it does get better and I hope in time it gets even better.  

Being cheated on is like the

Being cheated on is like the ultimate act of betrayal, I can't imagine what it would be like if I found out my husband was cheating on me.  But, it sounds like you're better off.  Thanks for the words of encouragement.  This is all really tough for me at the moment.  Like I said earlier, one minute I'm strong, the next minute I'm a sobbing idiot.

justme2013's picture

I can relate also! I often

I can relate also! I often feel that I appear moody, crazy or just plain bitchy because as you said others know a different man than I do. So I have heard from friends that I am a little hard on him, I seem to get upset easily....etc. All of which just feeds his ideas that it really IS me. They just don't know what life is like when they are not around, how tired I am, how frustrated I am, how his forgetful clumsy behavior just isn't cute or funny to me like it is to them. But the few times I did tell friends whats going on, I got girlfriends saying why would you stay with him and put up with this and I have to then explain that he is NOT a monster after I just described a monster.....yea....it is definitely a lose/lose situation........

You Are Not Alone

Hon, you are not alone in your experience ... I am glad you brought the subject up because I have felt that way for a very long time ... and it adds to the frustration ... people are so quick to judge without really knowing all the facts ... no one understands what it is like to live with them ... mine will tell complete strangers all my personal business ... while I stand there looking like an idiot ... so embarrassing ... or he will act anti-social at church ... if someone speaks to him ... he just grunts ... and I feel like his actions reflect on me ... we have no friends in the city we live in now ... I have taken iniative and invited couples to our home but the invitation is never reciprocated ... and I've even been accused of being too controlling when all I am doing is trying to motivate him to be polite ... its a no win situation ... 

Goodness!  I feel your pain.

Goodness!  I feel your pain.  I actually do feel crazy most of the time.  After spending a few hours today on this board, I believe I may actually be crazy.  Crazy for putting up with all the crap I have for years.  

I've finally been able to admit to a group of virtual strangers the life I have been living.  Yes, I look like the crazy, over emotional, fruitcake most people think that I am.  The kids nicknamed me the Grim Reaper of Fun.  Isn't that lovely?  I'm seen as the nervous wreck and if people only knew what it's like to live everyday of their life with a family of ADD'ers, they would know why.  

I wasn't born this way.  I didn't leave home this way.  I slowly evolved to the person I am now and I don't even know who I am any more.

Constantly being your spouse's everything while you get scraps of their free time (only if there isn't something more appealing for them to do) to replenish your emotionally drained self.  I have had to constantly babysit and wait with the net to catch him when he falls.  Help him because he volunteers for projects he can't possibly finish so it's me to the rescue so he doesn't fall on his face.  Constantly facing disappointment, be his cheerleader, come up with good excuses or a positive reason for his failings.  Caring all the burdens of life on my shoulders and only until I hit my breaking point does he come charging in. 

He puts on a great show in public.  He seems so mild mannered and quiet, good guy, etc... Then I come off looking like the biggest [email protected] in the world.  I can understand where you are coming from.  I can't tell you how to fix this or how to not go crazy and stay with him.  All I can say is I know where you are coming from and hope you don't end up as crazy as I feel. 

I'm so glad you posted this!

I have been avidly lurking on this board for a whole year, finding so much solace in knowing I'm not the only one going through the craziness, and it is your post that finally made me show up and respond to someone! It's the "non AD'er looking crazy" that affects my psyche the most!! In my circle, I am college-educated with two degrees, a professional who is seen as a leader in my community and a success. Yet, I cringe at exposing folks to details about my home life! In public and amongst our mutual friends, my hubby appears to be so calm, mild-mannered, friendly and a really solid guy. And that's the way most in his family see him as well (except for his Dad). As a matter of fact, his high school classmates are envious of me for landing "a catch." That's the man I thought I married.

HOWEVER, what they don't see is for 8 of the last 15 years he comes home and completely ignores me and the kids. He is so absorbed in his TV and computer activities that its the only way he spends his waking hours at home. For years he didn't talk to me or hang out with me, just goes straight downstairs to the man cave. For months at a time, he won't spend any time with me or the kids - either working, or sleeping, or electronic toys -- unless there was a big public function -- where he is then the life of the party! He doesn't help with kids, housework, bills, mail, any adult decisions, no sex except 3 or 4 times a year, chooses to sleep on the couch EVERY night, spends all the money he makes & most of what I make. I am the primary breadwinner but the house is full of HIS toys & expenditures, while I struggle to rob Peter to pay Paul. As a consequence, each time I hear him excitedly talking about buying the next latest techno do-dad, I get all touchy because I'm shopping at thrift stores for the kids & running to the bank to cover the overdraft fees. So our friends & his family think I'M the cheap tightwad!! 

Due to the lack of support, extremely high stress levels, ignoring of my needs, and years spent being HIS parent.....my hair is turning prematurely grey and my anxiety levels are through the roof. Yet hubby is so cool, calm, & nothing bothers him -- (why would it, I am the one who suffers through his bad decisions). So consequently, his family are looking at ME in alarm -- I'm the crazy one who obviously is off her rocker! He is always bragging to friends & family about how he never worries about money, and if I could only learn to be like him - I'd be much happier. After all it always works out in the end, doesn't it?  That makes me SO angry -- it all works out because I WORK LIKE HELL re-arranging finances, delaying bills, shopping at thrift stores, fixing buttered spaghetti for dinner to MAKE things work out! Then I have to endure his screaming at me & repeated arguments when I say no, we can't afford his latest toy.

He's lost two jobs, been out of work without looking for a new one for 9 months, sleeps for 20 hours at a time on the weekends, watches TV while simultaneously playing with his Ipad or hours on his computer most nights. While I have single-handledly raised two terrific kids, arranged my work schedule repeatedly to accommodate them with no help from him, and did it all with zero affection, understanding or assistance from him.  All of which causes me to occasionally be snippy in tone when responding to him -- that's all the proof he needs to constantly tell his family what an emasculating b*tch I am!

I am soooo thankful for my job, my college friends who know how I REALLY am, and my external leadership opportunities....all of those people treat me with the highest level of respect and make me feel worthy of a conversation.  Privately my closest friends have begged me to leave this marriage & save my sanity, but publicly those who see us socially think we're the perfect couple. Any slip otherwise, results in him painting ME as the unstable one. I am ashamed to let people know the hell I have put up with for a decade - they'd either never believe me or blame me for tolerating it this long.

You deserve a break

Well, I read the original post the other day, which prompted my " altered" universe post.  And here you are, saying the same things I experience.  The money thing, "it always works out".  If I've heard that once I've heard it a thousand times.  The exact same words, which I have never heard another human utter before him.  We don't have our finances mixed, and never will.  But when I ask about how his "business" ideas will make money and how we would live, this is his explanation.  He can't see ahead, I know that now.  But he thinks I'm crazy and Debbie downer for thinking ahead.  And we talked about kids, and tried, and it became clear I'd be the sole parent.  He just likes the idea of offspring and likes the idea of playing with them and doing things with them, i guess.  But when he has a chance to play with his nieces and nephews, he never does it.  I've played with them more in his presence than he has in mine, and I'm not one of those I love kids people.  But they are cute and all.  He seems overly distant.  He's so in his head all the time imagining how great his life will be.  But he's 50!  When is he going to start living his life?  It is so sad to watch. 

Has you husband sought treatment?  At this point, I would be planning my exit.  It is just too stressful.  

I try to hide his behavior from people close to me too.  He ran out of gas on Christmas, driving 10 miles to my sisters for dinner.  He was on the highway!  And he didn't have his license!  And, get this.  After I brought him gas from a can my nephew let me secretly have so I didn't have to tell my whole family that he ran out of gas, he wasn't going to refill the can with gas once we got to the station.  And when, at the same time I mentioned refilling the can, I saw him scraping up change for gas for his car, I realized he also had no money on him.  Really?  No gas, no license, no money, on Christmas.  So, I gave him a 10 or 20, and its tiny but no thank you, no refund, no mention of the incidence again and I'm told to keep it secret from his family.  Crazy!

My friends are worried about me.  But I'm struggling with leaving this man because he has a disability.  I'm not one to walk away when a person is down.  But I think there comes a point where the ADD person has to get help and do the work, or the non ADDer has no choice but to walk away in order to keep their own sanity.  

Hang in there.  I don't know how you do it.

I'm glad I've found this

I'm glad I've found this site. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD at a very young age and has such a severe case of it that he was a test subject for the drug, Stratera. I love him very much and he is a great person and very supportive of my life goals and does many thoughtful things for me, but I am just so frustrated with feeling like his mother. He changes his mind constantly and can be single-minded in his obsession with things. After 6 years of marriage, I hate how I act towards him, I am so irritable because most everything he does just drives me nuts! I feel like a bitch, but he never listens and ALWAYS interupts everything I try to say unless I scream at the top of my lungs. I have always gotten along well with everyone and I am always nice to everyone, but I feel like the wicked witch of the west around him most of the time. He always expects me to drop everything and listen to him no matter what problem he's had during the day, but he won't even take the time to listen to me for 5 min. I am just very frustrated. He also hasn't taken any ADHD medication for 5 years because last time he was on it, it made him suicidal and he says it makes him feel like a zombie. I just don't know what to do, he thinks I'm the bitch, but I am just extremely frustrated.

I have ADHD

Ok, I have ADHD and am reading all of theses comments. WOW! Are we ADHD -ers that AWEFUL? It took my non-ADHD husband telling me I was a "ROOMATE" for me to get open my eyes, but I have been treated with meds for about 3 years. The funny thing is.........why then did he tell me the reason I went on the meds was to LOOSE WEIGHT? Has anyone on here looked into ways to HELP......all I have heard is me, me, me, me (although I can't say that has never been me). Communication seems to be the biggest factor as I see it. ADHD-ers and non-adhd-ers see things so different. I understand that, but rather than talk to others, get help from a professional trained in ADHD. My story is too late, and I won't "vent" my situation anymore because I see how you guys hate that. So, just know that your choices are yours. You can choose to help your relationship, or just get out of it. I (the ADHD-ER) am choosing to get out. I need someone to accept me for who I am, not who they think I SHOULD be. Everyone has faults, no one is perfect. I accepted him for who he was ( all the things that made me unhappy), but loved him anyway. Does that make me crazy for putting up with that? No, it makes me human. If I sounds just like your spouse, I am so sorry. If I helped you see things from "our" world a little, great, and if you really don't cre......I am so sorry. We make our life what it will become. Our decisions, no one else's. Make a choice to be the best you can be, for you and your partner. We don't do things intentionally to piss you off. Our brains chemistry is just wired different, missing chemicals, or something different. I can't speak for your spouses, I can only speak from my heart. Good luck to all of you, and I sincerely mean that. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

lack of social boundaries

1.  <<Another example involves his lack of social boundaries.  When we'd be in a social setting, I'd be a nervous wreck because of his inability to manage himself properly socially.  He'd invite relative strangers back to our home for the evening or tell people I'd be willing to help them with something the following weekend that I either couldn't or didn't want to etc. if I wasn't there to subtly intervene.>> 

I know of no one who has a bigger, giving heart than my ADHD spouse.   There have been awkward situations that turned into a safety concerns for me and my 2 children.  My spouse took under his wing a young man - let's call him Joe -with many problems - including problems that landing Joe in jail.  My husband even spent a Christmas Eve visiting Joe in prison.  My husband hired Joe to build an addition on our house.  Each day after Joe left, my husband would look over the work that was done, and correct all the mistakes.  Any suggestions that Joe be addressed over the poor workmanship was ignored.  Joe used a nail gun - set too high - to shingle our new roof.  Within three years, we had to pay another contractor to rip off our expensive, 35 year architectural shingles, and redo the whole roof.  Our homeowner insurance would not cover the poor workmanship.  Joe got angry at being confronted - he had no insurance.  So we shouldered the cost.  This young man was so erratic, I was afraid of him - yet my husband did not acknowledge my fears.  Last year Joe shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, then took his own life.  It seems sometimes that my spouse is attracted to help the scums of the earth, and then feels betrayed when they act like - well,,,,,,,,, like the scums of the earth.  I have a kind Christian heart, but there needs to be a balance on who you reach out to and who you leave in God's care.

<<So, naturally, I started hearing from people that I was 'clingy' or 'uptight' because I was always in such a nervous mood at these gatherings not to mention feeling like I had to be by his side all evening for fear of what he'd get us or me into should I step away for a minute.>>

Oh yes, I can under that fully!!  I do not like to just invite total strangers into my home.  I also do not like being volunteered to do things.  I have heard my spouse say to a brand-new Mom, "Oh, let my wife help you - she's really good with babies."   He totally insulted the new Mom, and embarrassed me.   

<< Also, I've found that having COMPLETELY SEPARATE social groups has really helped.  Maybe that seems extreme, but I need to be able to just be myself around SOMEBODY and to NOT have my identity be the byproduct of the out-of-context information he'll relate about me and/or the out-of-context behaviors I'll exhibit around him.>>

My spouse has - at this point - totally isolated himself from all our friends and family.  He is 56, just recently accepted his ADHD diagnosis, and is fighting getting a coach tooth and nail - he erroneously feels that will be wasting money.  Our marriage had evolved into the Mother/child dynamic.  He did tell me he wanted to move out - so he wouldn't hurt me anymore. (A glimmer of hope that he has  some understanding of how the chaos is affecting me.)  I am trying to encourage him that it will be cost effective to hire the coach.  Rent, ulilities and furnishing for a second living space would be much more than $200 per week.  At this stage of the game, I am at a loss  We have started many self-help programs, saw many counselors.  I see that my spouse interprets the 'choices' he is given, as direct commands.  I.E. "You can try something different, you can get divorced, you can get a separation."  He only hears, "You have to get divorced." 

I have gone back to college.  My spouse said he would be supportive - I had expected that to be help with the domestic work load and I would be given privacy to work on homework.  His idea of support is he just doesn't complain that undone work is piling up around us. 

I chose to marry this man, I see glimpses of his wonderful loving heart - yet the built-up chaos of a life without boundaries, schedules or routines, and my shouldering all the responsibilities is weighing me down.  I HATE the though I will fail at marriage.