Where is that contract I left on the couch 3 weeks ago?

Is this your house?


I just recently discovered this forum and like many of you I am relieved to find that there are so many people in a similar situation to mine and that we can support each other.

My wife is a physician and she has diagnosed herself as ADD. After doing some research, I went from being suspicious that ADD was a made-up condition to really believing that medication for it was my only hope for keeping my sanity. By using this forum I hope to share my struggles and coping strategies and hopefully get some feedback.

One thing I have found is that ADD can present itself in a great number of symptoms that don't all necessarily have to be present in order to fit the criteria of being diagnosed as positive.

When my daughter was born 2 years ago, my mother-in-law moved in with us to help out. I have also come to the realization that she has ADHD which shouldn't come as a surprise since it is hereditary. I was hoping that Nana would help with the share of the housework that my wife was not doing. Instead she rarely lifts a finger and actually just added to my workload while she goes out partying 7 nights a week. I feel like I live with 2 teenagers who just make a mess and don't care and 1 toddler who is pretty similar. I feel like the only adult in the house. Working 9-5 and being virtually a single dad in a household of ADD was killing me. Literally. So I recently changed my career to working from home part-time to give myself enough time to cope with my challenges.

Interestingly, although my wife recently graduated from Med school, I would rarely see her study. For the longest time I couldn't figure out how she got through school. Seven nights a week she would want to go shopping or out to a movie as a way to satisfy her need for stimulation. What I finally realized was that she was staying up until 3 or 4 a.m. (When there was no temptation of movies or shopping). Even though she has graduated she is still terminally sleep deprived but refuses to go to bed early saying she can't. We have an ADD assessment booked for October and I'm hoping the medication will help with this. Having a flexible work schedule also helps me deal with this.

The self-medicating with shopping is insane. We have a 5 bedroom house and every corner is filled with crap. If I try to clean it up, I get accused of hiding things. We have lived in our house for three years and I have never invited my parents over because our house is such a mess. The only coping strategy I have for this is to take items left on the couch or the kitchen counter and place them on the dining room table. Sure I've lost a dining room, but at least there is some semblance of order in the living room and kitchen.

Later today I will be heading off to Disney in Florida. Originally I was dead set against the idea since it is uncomfortably hot in Florida right now and to save money my wife wants to camp (which I hate). I was willing to do virtually anything else for our vacation. So we compromised and we're going camping at Disney. Her argument was it is the only affordable place we can just show up and do whatever we want each day without planning. I'm not sure if this is ADD or just plain old manipulation with tears and divorce threats to get her way.