why does anyone have too?

I've read many forums on here and so many questions of why the non ADHD person has to change their lives to be happy in a marriage that clearly only one person is responsible for working or not working, so it seems to me!  I've worked on me and doing things for me and all he does is take that opportunity while I try to live a life that makes me happy doing things I would do being the social person I am.  Do you know what I get out of it?  I get even more lonely!  If I start going and doing things I want to do he doesn't mind because he would get to spend countless hours in the garage doing who knows what in there.  He locks the door and I have to knock to get in but when he isn't in the garage he will leave it  unlocked.  Does anyone else think that is weird?  I am a very caring person and hearing some things that come out of his mouth while we watch tv on certain subjects are very upsetting to me.  Obviously I want my marriage to work cause I'm still married but I almost daily ask myself WHY?  I have a good job I provide the insurance and I am a very positive person so why do I want to keep living in what seems to me to be a Stuck life.  I want to move forward and be with someone who provides the same qualities as I do to a relationship.  It is very difficult for me to understand why I have spent so much time trying to be happy in my marriage I'm not happy in.  So Why do I try to make things better and Stay?  Anyone know?

Perhaps, because you are alot

Perhaps, because you are alot like me and others on this forum.  WE ARE NOT QUITTERS!!!!!  We hang on to that "last ray of hope" that things will turn in a different direction.  I know in my case, when my marriage hit rock bottom, before my husband was diagnosed, we were heading the divorce route.  I was truly capable of taking care of myself and my daughter, at that time, with the help of family but instead decided to call him on his threat and throw the ball into his court.  Finally, he was going to have to make a life changing decision on his own.  I refused, at that point, to ever be blamed again for anything and everything that was wrong in his life.  In some ways because of our motherly instincts we hear and see their cries for help, even though we are not suppose to be this way, and we are caring enough to try to guide their lost souls in the right direction. 

In regards to the locked garage when he is in there.  I don't want to raise the "red flag" but just from my experience, there may be something more to that than meets the eye.  Save yourself the agony and get to the bottom of that, as soon as possible, especially if he has just started doing it.   

ebb and flow's picture

I think you stay for the same

I think you stay for the same reason we all do.... because you think its going to get better one day!

I find too, that my ADHD partner has good days and bad days and that in our relationship when it's good between us, it's the best! That gives a little bit of hope to hang on... waiting and waiting for some big change to occur where your partner or relationship can finally REMAIN good.

I'm not sure if we're suppose to just eventually give in and accept the crap that comes with living with someone who has ADHD or if through counseling there can be some "change" or "growth" or what ever, in both parties.

I'm so confused...

Not enough info


You haven't given us all the relevant info...most important, has your husband been officially diagnosed?  And, FWIW, I believe that a diagnosis is only official when the person in question has received it himself.  For example, it was my wife's therapist who initially made the observation (based on my wife's descriptions, since I've never met her therapist) that I might have ADHD.  But that was not an official diagnosis.  No matter how much some of the descriptions 'seem to fit,' there was nothing official until I and my own therapist had concluded that.  I'm always a little shocked when I see a spouse complaining about their partner's 'undiagnosed ADHD.'  There is no such thing.  I'm not saying this is the case with you, but as I said, it's not clear from your post.

Second, am I correct in hearing that it is your perception that it's the non-ADHD spouse who has to do the majority of the work?  Or do you feel you're doing ALL the work?  Or are you miffed that - as the 'normal' (non-ADHD) person in the relationship, that you shouldn't have to do anything?  Because these are all very different scenarios.  If you're doing ALL the work, (and again, I'm assuming that your husband has been officially diagnosed), that's not acceptable.  If you're doing a PORTION of the work, that is EXPECTED.  Early on in the post-diagnosis phase, you'll probably feel like you're doing MOST of the work, since much of what happens for the ADHD person begins with understanding and then UNLEARNING old habits and ways that they learned to compensate for their challenges.  OTOH, if you believe that you shouldn't have to do ANY of the work, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.  Again, I'm not sure that's what you're saying; it's rather unclear.

As for the garage time, don't jump to conclusions.  We guys like our 'cave' time.  Who knows why?  Perhaps it's engrained from our time 10,000 years ago as hunter/gatherers and all that time we spent alone on the hunt.  Whatever.  Why does he lock the door?  Are you CERTAIN that he even knows he's doing it?  We ADHDs aren't exactly known for being entirely aware of our actions.  (I suppose he NEVER loses his keys?)  It's certainly fair to ask him, but just make sure that when you bring it up, you're ASKING and not ACCUSING.  If he is ADHD, he's spent most of his life with other people accusing of of things (You're lazy!  You just don't try hard enough!  You only think of yourself! You never listen to me!)  99% of that is patently false.  At this point, his job is to understand your and other people's frustrations.  Your job is to stop accusing.  (And trust me, whether you think you are or not, you're probably at your wits end, which means that yes, Virginia, you ARE accusing.)  Like it or not, you are part of the cycle.  The cycle MUST. BE. STOPPED.

Solution: ask.  Nicely.  Maybe he's working with power tools and doesn't want the kids coming out and getting hurt.  Maybe he's sniffing glue or surfing porn.  If so, you're completely within your rights to ask him to stop.  Maybe he's out there crying, or otherwise trying to deal with the emotional pain that a diagnosis ALWAYS brings.

I am sure that you are - as you say - a very caring person.  But your job at this point is to STOP caring.  Because over the years, like it or not, your caring has turned into nagging and complaining.   You're annoyed and hurt - that's completely understandable.  But since you can't speak directly to the dopamine receptors in his brain and tell them how much they've hurt you over the years - well, you're just going to have to suck it up.  Chances are he still loves you very much.  ADHD people forget to tell people that.  Which sucks.  But it is what it is.  Maybe he needs to learn to set an alarm to remind him to tell you he loves you.  Which doesn't sound very romantic, sure.  But the dopamine receptors in his brain don't really care.  Sorry. 

But again, all of this may be completely pointless if he hasn't been officially diagnosed.


Kepler thank you for your input.  He has been diagnosed about 7 years ago when he went into a place that helped people with depression.  He lost everything he owned at 32 years old.  He almost took me under with him but thankfully he bought all the things b4 we were married.  He has forgotten that he was diagnosed with ADHD but i remember the conversation we had the day I went to pick him up from that center.  We were eating at Wendy's when he told me.  It was kind of comical because I assumed he had it and so when he told me we both smiled.  He was given welllutron and Lexapro for meds.  He didn't like how it made him feel so he got off of them all together.  I didn't give you enough info on my situation and I'm sorry but there are so many of hurt and lonely times that I can't keep  them all straight  myself.  I will tell you that over the 10 years he has changed socially.  He has stayed out all hours of the night working on something or somewhere.  I have been very understanding up to this point in my life that I want to be married not a single married woman.  I spend countless hours in the house by myself, and yes I work, or going places by myself because he wants to work on something or whatever he feels comfortable doing.  He has gotten us in trouble with planning and zoning and we have court a because he has so much junk and vehicles on our 1 acre property.  When we talk and I ask about more time, which is the only thing I am asking for.   His answer to that is ,you should understand!  Every situation he has had in his life I should approve of and understand because he has it so badly.  Well I'm gonna tell ya he doesn't have it bad at all.  He and I would have a very comfortable life if he wouldn't buy vehicles and motors and transmissions; not to mention nothing to put them in or money to work on any of them.   Example, If he only had 1000 dollars and no work or money coming in he would buy what he thinks is a good deal, and do nothing with it.  If you think I'm supposed to approve that and understand those actions I can't do it.... 

     I probably spend a total of 50 hours with my husband in a seven day time frame.  Maybe 3 hours b4 I leave for work and maybe four hours on Saturday and Sunday.  Before this I didn't see him but on hour b4 I left for work and he didn't do anything with me on the weekends.  I shouldn't have to beg for my husband to spend a day with me without going to the garage.  I can't tell you the last time that happened.  I have to, as we call it, Nag!!  I think the breaking point for me is the poor judgement on time, money management, and the fact that I sometimes feel rage and I don't like feeling that way.  I'm not a nagger and I'm very laid back.  I guess I could say he brings out the worst in me sometimes.  He is trying I just wish I didn't have to get angry before he thinks of being with me. 

     I want to have a child and have put it off for so many reasons.  The biggest thing was my child not having a dad around!  He has a daughter and they don't have the best relationship.  Nor did I see him try very hard.  He used work as an excuse not to see her and It makes me sad that the man I married is that way towards his own,  I want more for my child.   I was raised with both parents and I want the same attention and unconditional love for my child .  That is what I  had growing up and now from both my parents!  That is important to me.  I don't want my child to experience the disappointments as I have from him as an adult. 

As far as the garage door being locked my biggest concern is a vehicle falling on top of him or him hurting himself and me not being able to get in to help.  I am a very understanding woman and I will continue to keep trying to make my marriage work.  Things are starting to look up for now I just hope they continue.   I hope I gave you more information for you to hopefully understand a small portion of what I've dealt with.