Who do you tell? Who listens?

So, I'm having a hard time finding people to talk to.  I've told a friend of mine, who has had to listen to all the ups and downs (mostly downs) of this relationship, that my husband has been diagnosed with ADHD.  And I told him how some of the things that he's done correlate to ADHD symptoms.  And my friend got kinda mad.  He said that I was making up excuses for him and that any of those things that I mentioned, any "normal" guy could do and maybe he's just a jerk.  I tried to explain I wasn't making excuses, I was just trying to understand.  I tried a different friend who just kinda shrugged, mumbled an apology and said he didn't know what to say.

My question here is, who do you talk to?  Is this a common reaction?  Do you tell family? Do you tell friends?  How do you distinguish between things that would look like rude and uncaring things my husband says or does versus the way he thinks and such?  Help, please. 

NO, I don't talk to

NO, I don't talk to family...learned this lesson through years of making the mistake of doing so. My sister is a 'black and white' kind of person. Her husband tows the line...and there is no room for anything else. I feel regret everytime I talk to her, feel more like a failure than if I just kept everything to myself. I love her very much, don't get me wrong, but she just simply isn't the person to talk to about my marriage.

I do have 3 friends, in real life, one of whom I talk to almost everyday..she has been a God send to me. I have an online friend who has been a tremendous help as well...over the past 7+ years. She knows my husband's good side and is able to objectively give advice and is honest with me when I'm being a drama queen and over reacting. She keeps things in perspective and is as unbiased as possible.

And then there is this place...there really is comfort in numbers...and not feeling so alone in your struggles.

I don't really talk to people

The people around me know about his ADD, but I don't really discuss the specifics.  I just don't think they'd understand.  I try to focus on the positives and if I need to vent to a friend (mainly one friend) it's sort of in a frustrated-but-joking tone.

If I'm really miserable I come here.

I do talk to him though, let him know how his behavior affects me and we discuss things.  He is rarely defensive and does try to understand how I feel.

I don't talk either

I made the mistake of talking to everyone (family and friends) about our situation a while back. Never again. No one really understands it. My friends think he is just plain crazy and my family thinks that I have to put up with him until the kids are grown. I found that even with people who are educated about psychology / mental issues / development issues, they still don't get it. Most think that he is just using as an excuse to get away with murder.

I don't feel the "need" to talk to anyone really at this point. Believe me I 've talked people's ears off with all this, but burned a lot of bridges along the way, lost some friends and made family relationships fragile. Don't want to do that anymore. I have found that most people's reactions are : leave him or don't complain. So I stopped talking. I will make a remark every now and then how our situation hasn't improved anything, but that's about it.

I found that talking about it doesn't help me or our situation. I understand that communication is key in relationships with ADHD partners but I am in a situation now that I don't even talk to him much. I've tried for 13 years and it hasn't taken me anywhere at all. I am just taking care of myself, the best I can do at this point. I have found that talking doesn't make me feel better and jeopardize my (very few) relationships with friends.

Sorry, don't mean to sound negative, but that's just my experience.

Who to talk to

I echo the other's sentiments. You do need to find someone to talk to or it all goes inward. How do you talk to anyone who isn't living it?

What keeps me from checking him out of this world? ...I can see the trial... so why did you beat your hubby to death with a guitar?  Fill in the blanks with all the rants here... attorney says..so he made messes, didn't finish projects... spent money without rhyme or reason..poor communication etc etc. Doesn't sound like he was THAT bad....So I'm locked up in a padded cell alone with my memories... ya no thanks.

waynebloss's picture


You get a padded cell?  I want your attorney!!

re padded cell

uh I beat the  prosecuting attorney to  death with his Iphone when he rolled his eyes......sorry LOL

waynebloss's picture

Cage Fighting?

You ever thought about getting into a cage and fight in the UFC?  You could think of the other person as your husband and then let it ALL out legally?  Just trying to help you stay free for as long as possible!!


Great idea! At the very least

Great idea! At the very least you need to join a gym that has a big punching bag and 'work it' for about 30 minutes a day.


LOL I make bread often. something about slamming down the dough, punching it down and beat it into a nice smooth ball...ahhhh At the end of it I get to EAT it...


I love the humor in these posts,it so helps, yet.... It saddens me at the same time. My nickname is lilbit because I'm tall, thin and fit, that profile pic you see was taken a couple months ago.  I may look tiny but he literally cowers when I am angry.

My  brothers and my kids warned him DO not p**s her off, she is deadly. My brothers loves to share how I can turn any household object into a boomerang and I can beat the c**p out of someone twice my size. Usually I turn my rage into cleaning the house. One reason my house is usually sparkling.

In my last marriage my ex pointed a rifle at me, before he knew it I was beating him soundly about the head and shoulders with it and then threw a phone into his nethers. He didn't raise a hand after that.

I'm normally very gentle, peaceful and wouldn't hurt a fly, I even hate killing the spiders he's so terrified of.

going crazy re: talking

Strangely, since I been coming here the last couple of weeks, I talk to my husband even less.  Which is saying a lot, because we generally only exchange about 6 sentences/day, everyday.  Now, when I think about telling him something, I immediately think, "what's the point?  He won't get it anyway."

same with me

The people around us also know about hubby's ADHD.  And that's about it.  If I try to talk about it or vent, I end up trying to explain more and more and it turns into me sounding like I'm making excuses for him.  So, I come here and read (and sometimes chuckle) and feel so much better knowing that it's not just me.  I, too, am able to talk to him.  It might take a while for us to cool off to be able to talk - but it does get done.  And he does try to understand my views.  And I do know that he doesn't do thinks on purpose.  But knowing that doesn't make things easier sometimes. 

I know that he's not

I know that he's not intentionally mean or forgetful (most of the time).  And I've told him, I wish it WAS intentional...because when you're intentionally mean, that means you can stop being mean.  When it's not intentional...he doesn't even realize he's doing it so how can you stop?

I guess because this is so new to me, I just want to stand on a box and scream to anyone who will listen to me.  Talking to him helps to an extent, and he'll probably forget the conversation anyway.  I don't want to make family stuff harder and I don't want to alienate the friends I do have.  It makes me feel lonelier. 

I'm grateful for this forum so that I know it's not just me.  There are people who understand.  There are people who are practically living my relationship.  And I can't really explain how much all of you have helped me through my first few days since the diagnosis.  Thank you.

waynebloss's picture

Talks are getting better

This morning my wife said she needed to say 3 things to me, which again I said to myself, uh oh, what did I forget/or do now? 

1. Journey to Bethlehem which a church here in St. Louis puts on....VERY GOOD!!!  She said she would much rather do Friday then Sunday.

2. She wants to put off our healthy separation talk til the weekend because she will be very exhausted after her busy day today and tomorrow. She did not want to be exhausted when we had this discussion, which made me happy that she is taking this seriously on her end and not "try to help" me with me. I said ok, that sounded good

3.  Then something about her HS classmate being on the show called the "The Middle", I said cool, thank you! 

There was no bitterness, no anger which usually accompanies her talks, so I am not holding my breath but still taking baby steps down the right path.

Sorry, just needed to say something positive about her and us for a change, I have beaten her up pretty good in this wonderful site and need to let you know that she does have a good side...sometimes when the angry horned beast is sleeping and  having dreams of ripping my flesh off inch by inch while I roll around in salt!.   Sorry still not meds yet...time for them NOW! 

Wayne, although it may feel

Wayne, although it may feel like it to you, I don't think you have beaten her up at all! Your love, desire, passion for her all shine through in your posts, even when you're frustrated, worried, and upset. When you love someone the way you love your wife, it just shows. No matter how upset you get, how you feel about her isn't hidden in your rants or less 'positive' posts.

This feels like a really good sign to me. I'm praying that God will open her heart to you...


Wayne re:Agree!

We couldn't possibly have been imagining that you were making all this effort to reunite with a TERRIBLE person.  In fact, I thought she must be pretty impressive to be worthy of such ardor.  Continued hope...


Wayne, I'm rooting for you. I wish my hubby would see things the way you do. I relayed your story of the bandage but I don't hink he gets it yet. Keep us posted I'm praying for you and yours.

waynebloss's picture


You guys make me smile!  If someone around you pisses you off, just think that there is someone in Mizery (Missiouri) who is thinking of y'all and praying for peace, healing and some happines for y'all!! 


I am not leaving...will keep daily updates going on!  It is nice to actually talk about this to someone who either gets it or just listens without judgement!! 


Topaz, is that you in the pic?

yes, me

You keep the flame of hope going.  Your posts help so much to see the other side. Yes that's me in the pic, taken a few months ago by my son. He said it really captures the sadness,the feeling of a caged bird, looking out, which I do often.

Topaz re: your picture

I suspected that was you.  The picture looks really tiny on this forum to me, so my interpretation of the picture was  that you just beat Sad's  a**, and are having a satisfying smoke afterwards.  Clearly, I was wrong.

re pic

I'm holding a cup of coffee. I had just come home from working 18 hours. I was pensive, knowing it didn't matter how hard or smart I worked. It was doomed from the start. He wouldn't let me have any part of it until things started going south. Things got better for a while when I started working there and laid off his buddy. Until I would take time off, things went south again. I couldn't keep up.

waynebloss's picture

Hmmm....try this

Watch the original Alice in Wonderland and at the same time put on Pink Floyd's "Darkside of the Moon".  Turn off the volume to the movie, then when it starts, toke up a bit and relax!

Or open the cage door and fly, but not too high or you might get sucked into a jet engine!

Really, Wayne? Pink Floyd?

Spoken like a true "aspirational" guitar player.  What next?  "Stairway to Heaven"? *hoots*   "The Wall" never helped any WOMAN reorder her mind properly when facing an existential crises.  Crying is in order.  At this time, only a bit of classical music will do.    

re: Pink Floyd

Chris Botti on horn "Emmanuel" with Lucia Micarelli on Violin transports me to Nirvana, otherwise Metallica. LOL

Truly music soothes the savage beast.

re: music

Thanks for sharing that..will find it.....Today we SHALL have Music ....as loud as I legally can and ClEAN wiping the cobwebs out of my heart mind and soul and home...Catharsia.

 From the love song of J

 From the love song of J Alfred Prufrock / t.s. Elliot


This says it all!!

For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?


omg it has been TOOO long since I have read poetry out loud..music of my choice filling the air..I am healing...

Topaz- re: the love song...

Yes, one of my favorites.  I prefer classical music because it doesn't having any lyrics/singing to impede on my own thought processes.  Wayne, my husband says the same thing about it- makes him sleepy (unless the piece is over-the-top exciting).  

waynebloss's picture


I LOVE Crash Test Dummies!!   I know all of their songs!! 

crash test

Swimming in your Ocean...(sound familiar)


Lord knows I'm weak,

won't somebody get me off this reef? Badfish-Sublime

waynebloss's picture

Hmmm..Is this our (ADD) song?

Swimming in Your Ocean

When I'm sampling from your bosom
Sometimes I suffer from distractions like
Why does God cause things like tornadoes and train wrecks?

When I kneel before your bounty
Sometimes I wonder if there could be really
UFO's that come from other planets

I do not know but sounds and looks like ADD to me! 

ADHD song,

I play that song when he's zoned out. ADHD anthem perhaps. our worlds collide...( another song) I find music helps me cope. Sort of like this forum. Someone sings the sames ongs.

when worlds collide

or maybe this is the Anthem, I imagine this is what he is thinking....


Powerman 5000

What is it really
That's going on here
You've got your system for total control
So is there really anybody out there
Now watch us suffer cause we can't go
What is it really that is in your head
What little life that you had just died
I'm gonna be the one that's takin over
Now this is what it's like when worlds collide

waynebloss's picture

Just not Pink Floyd

Just a suggestion...to add to my iADD mind if I am mad or need to let out anger without cause to anyone else I use Marlyin Manson, System of a Down, Disturbed, Fear Factory and so on..  To relax I like George Stright, Zach Brown band..(Free, Where the boast leaves from, Toes, and Chicken Fried).  I cannot do classical, for some reason it puts me to sleep. 

waynebloss's picture

Just not Pink Floyd

Just a suggestion...to add to my iADD mind if I am mad or need to let out anger without cause to anyone else I use Marlyin Manson, System of a Down, Disturbed, Fear Factory and so on..  To relax I like George Stright, Zach Brown band..(Free, Where the boast leaves from, Toes, and Chicken Fried).  I cannot do classical, for some reason it puts me to sleep. 

re:Wayne music

I get that.. My hubby listens to the same stuff.


Give me ABBA any day, that'll put me in a good mood.  Or some good ol' 80s music.  I used to listen to Orrf's Carmina Burana when I was angry (years ago), I don't really do that anymore.

ebb and flow's picture


I try to talk to family, then friends but no one really understands what the hell I'm still doing in this relationship. Actually, the line I get most often is, "don't get me wrong, I love (ADD partner)... but I just want you to be happy again and this relationship seems to be killing your spirit" or "how many times are you gonna *try* to make this relationship work... I mean, where do you draw the line??". 

It doesn't feel like anyone gets it and they don't. You don't normally stay in a relationship where you feel burdened or unloved or lonely... It's just not the "norm". But we're not in the realm of the "norm" anymore and so that sort of logic just doesn't apply.

I come here to vent. I look things up on the Internet with regards to ADD. I read books about it to make myself feel like what I'm going through is "normal". I journal. I talk to our counselor and that's one of the best things because she knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about without any need to defend myself, or elaborate...

Other than that I try not to talk to anyone about it... It's just too dysfunctional for anyone to sympathize with.


not to mention anyone you do talk to gets so tired of hearing the same thing,so you don't talk about it,  you bottle it up.

Now that my blood pressure is

Now that my blood pressure is down and I've had the day in solitude to contemplate things I did want to at least add...

I can talk to him too..most of the time. He does care about my feelings and he does try and listen and understand. More often than not, he proves he cares through his actions even if his words aren't exactly what I want to hear. It wasn't always this way, quite the opposite.

I think the most important thing for me is just the need to relate to people about things that ARE unique to being married to someone with ADD. It is hard to find someone who (as many people have said here) don't feel you're just 'making excuses'. It is hard to explain that I accept things about him that other people wouldn't (or say they wouldn't) because of his ADD. I feel very blessed too that he's willing to get help and is willingly and gladly going to counseling with me. We still struggle trying to see each other's points of view, but who doesn't?

He is very attentive and I am not lonely or left longing for his attention (sex? yes...attention? no)


I'm So Exhausted's picture

You become wise and learn to whom you can vent

Living in NorthEast Ohio, I have found a lot of resistance to ADD/ADHD.  Last year the National CHADD convention was here in Cleveland - it was poorly attended.  In my opinion, it is because NE Ohio is so behind in understanding ADD.

I have family members and friends who poo poo my frustrations.  I get the comment "My husband does the same thing."  Trying to explain that my husband does these things ALL THE TIME and it causes chaos - just does not compute to them.

In 27 years of learning and understand ADD - this Forum is about the best place I know to find an understanding ear and get positive feed-back.

I especially feel a great deal of relief just to hear "my story" told over and over by other women.  I am not alone, and neither are you!

waynebloss's picture

I hate when people confuse lazy with ADD

Since I was diagnosed, I have heard more and more people say that they have "ADD" because they  forget to do something or that they did not finish a project!  I burns me up when people use ADD as an excuse for being lazy!


Many people who have ADD/ADHD have been 'accused' of being lazy and stupid all of their lives. I suppose somehow the ADD/ADHD behaviors cause this misconception..poor follow through, forgetting to 'finish' stuff', etc. I can tell you that I've called my husband lazy a gazillion times over the years. Hey..I didn't know, OK?

I about fell out of the bed last night when he came home, noticed the bathroom sink was stopped up again, and unclogged it. Do you know how many times over the last 10 years that we've lived here that I've gotten under that sink and unscrewed the pipes to clean out the "U" looking pipe and unstop the sink? I mean it's easy, doesn't take 5 minutes, but still...he has NEVER unstopped anything around here. I think I love Vyvanse.