Why won't ADDers ever do anything when you ask them to?

I've lived with my ADD husband for the past seven years. My daughter and grandson both have ADD (no biological relationship to my husband), and I've notice this phenomenon. I know we aren't supposed to generalize but I can't help it. Why can't you do anything when we ask?

Even trivial things: I was once doing dishes and the water was running. I walked into the living room and said "Will you hand me that pile of dishes on the floor?" I got the classic "in a minute." WATER WAS RUNNING. Why couldn't he have done it then, so I didn't have to go back in the kitchen and turn the water off and come back to get them? My daughter didn't leave for work when she should have and so was always late. That cost her some jobs. I swear if I told my husband the house was on fire, he'd say, let me sleep 5 more minutes.

He does say " you can't tell me what to do" but for people who live together, they do have to tell each other what to do. For example, my hearing is much more acute than his. If I hear the trash truck and say "You've got to put the trash out NOW" he'll say "give me 5 more minutes" and then he'll miss the trash. I concluded I can't change this, and it was one of the nails in the coffin of our marriage, but I'd still like to know WHY he does that.



My ADDer in general is not like this

so maybe the only way to find out what was going on with him or with your daughter is to ask them personally.

We have a kind of unwritten rule around our house that if anyone asks you to do something and you aren't doing anything important, that you do it right then.  This may have something to do with hubby's ADD because we both learned that anything not done right away has a much better chance of being forgotten.

If my husband is asked to do something he will sometimes decide that what he is currently doing that is unimportant is still more important to do than the thing asked.  I don t love this, but it is his decision.  If it was me that asked him, I will frequently just go do it myself and he will sometimes get a little irritated either coming behind me and trying to do it "I said I would do it in a minute" or griping me to after that he'd have gotten to it.  My conclusion is that if he doesn't want it being done, then he can do it then or take the consequences of someone not believing he'll get to it or to them thinking it is more important to get it done than wait for 'in a minute'.

This happens (him deciding to do it 'in a minute') frequently when we have ppl over. It happens most with the nieces/nephews and probably less often but still happens with the adults.  I will often just do it and again he doesn't love it, but I have made it clear........do it or hush about someone else doing it. 

No idea what was going on with your husband as he seemed contrary just for the sake of being contrary.  I will be interested to see if he steps up and gets a job and takes care of himself now that he is alone. I expect he will as with ppl like him, it seems to take being completely on your own with no one to rely on to motivate them.  Is very sad but I have seen it happen before :(  Hope you get your health taken care of.

The Why's of Procrastination and Avoidance for Me

Hi Sueann,

I can't answer why your husband refuses to do what you ask, but I have been guilty of that in the past and I have concluded these are my reasons or "reasons:"

  •  Only from reading how inconsistent and yet self-deluded we can be regarding our performance based on remembering did the light bulb switch flip on.  That's one of many reasons I appreciate reading the perspective of Non-ADHD spouses. It wasn't just my DH.  It's a common thread out here.  In my mind, I could do it if I was just given the chance. Of course, with my smart phone, I can set reminders for myself, but it's not a fail-safe.  Doing something right away is almost always better for me.  There are now times where I say "But I'll forget!  I need to do it right away!" to my husband.  If something more pressing is at hand, he will offer to remind me later to help me out.  Sometimes, my automatic response is still "I'll do it tonight, later, in 10 minutes, and the like, because I forget the lessons I have learned.  But when he reminds me why that cannot be, I am better about saying, "Yeah, you're right.  O.K."  He shouldn't even have to tell me that, but I don't always remember what I already know, if that makes sense.
  • I'm pretty stubborn.  I am also tenacious.  I've always been the flip sides of the same coin, one to my detriment, the other my saving grace.
  • In addition to being stubborn, my working memory issues have prevented me from seeing that I am not capable of putting something off with a high degree of follow-through later.  It has literally taken me forever to see that, and my husband had been bugging me for years to do things right away.  Given that we are BOTH stubborn, I hated what I perceived as his bossiness, and he couldn't understand why I had to be so stubborn given my unimpressive track record.
  • My husband rightly pointed out to me that I would talk and talk about doing something before actually getting around to it, whether it was something he had requested me to do or something I needed to do.  For me, talking about it was one way I dealt with the anxiety that I wouldn't remember to do it.  It was also something I did whilst I deliberated the importance of it compared to other tasks, because I am so terrible at prioritizing.  It got to the point where I was talking about how badly I had to pee...and then not doing it because I had determined other tasks more important (one of the indirect side effects of being a teacher and not being able to pee when I needed to; still my issue, though).  When he used this as a prime example, I stopped talking about anything I had to do cold turkey.  It was getting ridiculous.  Actually started getting a few more things done.
  • I don't like to be disrupted from what I am doing to do something else, because it requires me to "task-switch" and then resume the previous task.   Since it requires more focus for me to get started on something, being interrupted is frustrating to me.  This is especially true when I am engaged in something I hate and want to get it done and he disrupts me.  For example, today, when I was dusting, a chore I find loathsome, he interrupted me twice in the span of 10 minutes.  I had my IPod ear buds in and was listening to music that induces Beta waves for concentration.  I even (get this) planned ahead and communicated to him beforehand that I would be listening to my IPod, so if there was anything he needed to say, say it now before I concentrate on the world's most thankless task (seriously, while dusting in the right light, you can see dust particles in the air mocking your efforts).

I am starting to believe my

I am starting to believe my father (deceased) may have had ADD or ADHD.  I did not understand that he might be responding to his inability of being distracted while doing a task rather than his feeling to me.  I thought he was disdainful of me.  His look and actions would be angry-like which I took as hateful toward me because he wanted a different type of child (boy) than the sensitive girl who was asking for his attention. And he was always doing a task.

Pbartender's picture

In another thread, I

In another thread, I mentioned the differences I noticed without my meds yesterday...  This one one of them.

My daughter is a chatterbox (and has a few ADHD red flags, herself).  She'd come up and start talking to me without preamble, while I was already engaged in something else.  It was a jarring interruption, not only because it broke my concentration from what I was doing, but also because through the I'd missed the first two and half sentences of what she was saying in the transition.  It got me stuck in a spot halfway between the two, without my full attention on either, and unable to quite make the switch.

I'll admit, my first reaction (without meds, mind you) wasn't exactly anger, but an intensely frustrated annoyance -- almost as bad in its effect.  I know I made a face likely could have been interpreted as hateful, and it took a conscious effort to not snap at her for it...  But I took a deep breath, paused for a second to gather myself, asked her to hold for a moment because I was in the middle of something, got to a spot I could pause, and then asked her to start again.

No problem, in the end, but boy...  Without the meds, it's a lot tougher to make that mental switch.

Look up the sailing term "beating to windward"...  This is when a sailing ship is trying to sail into the wind.  It can't go directly at the wind, but must zig-zag back and forth as close as they can sailing into the wind.  When they make the zig-zag turn -- "tacking" -- there's a tricky moment when the ship is facing directly into the wind and sails are just flopping about.  The sailors rely on the momentum of the ship to finish the turn and get to a point where he wind can fill the sails again.  If there's not enough momentum, it slows down too much to keep turning, and the wind may hit the sails from straight ahead and stop the ship dead in the water.

"To stay. To tack, to bring the ship's head up to the wind for going about; hence to miss stays, is to fail in the attempt to go about. In stays, or hove in stays, is the situation of a vessel when she is staying, or in the act of going about. A vessel in bad trim, or lubberly handled, is sure to be slack in stays, and refuses stays, when she has to wear."

That's kind of what's it like to switch focus as an ADHDer...  In nautical terms, our brains aren't very handy in stays.  We often have to go round full circle, when we should be able to just turn.



PB, you just described what i

PB, you just described what i find so hurtful and frustrating to me. However your ability to recognize your reaction, pause, and change it, makes me proud of you.  My H does the same thing, i may say, could you please do xyz for me ?, and he says he hears 'Do XYZ', like a command, not the 'could you please part'...then I get a big sigh, an angry look, and very often a sarcastic, 'is there anything ELSE you want me to do?'...and it may have been the one and only time i asked him to do something, yet he makes it sound as if I had been asking him to do things all day, and in all honesty I haven't.  Now turn the tables, if I am in the middle of doing something and he says, can you do XYZ, even if i stop immediately and start walking toward him its not fast enough, then he will get really angry, maybe push me out of the way because i did not move fast enough.  I understand its hard to switch focus, but the reaction is hurtful, i also understand his impatience when he wants me to do something the instant he says it, again the reaction, anger, is what gets me. 

by funnyfarm - 12/26/2012 -

by funnyfarm - 12/26/2012 - 16:28

PB, you just described what i find so hurtful and frustrating to me. However your ability to recognize your reaction, pause, and change it, makes me proud of you.  My H does the same thing, i may say, could you please do xyz for me ?, and he says he hears 'Do XYZ', like a command, not the 'could you please part'...then I get a big sigh, an angry look, and very often a sarcastic, 'is there anything ELSE you want me to do?'...and it may have been the one and only time i asked him to do something, yet he makes it sound as if I had been asking him to do things all day, and in all honesty I haven't.  Now turn the tables, if I am in the middle of doing something and he says, can you do XYZ, even if i stop immediately and start walking toward him its not fast enough, then he will get really angry, maybe push me out of the way because i did not move fast enough.  I understand its hard to switch focus, but the reaction is hurtful, i also understand his impatience when he wants me to do something the instant he says it, again the reaction, anger, is what gets me.


It is the anger that frightens me when I ask DH to please do something for me it always blindsides me and I cannot cope well with it.  I try not to ask for help if I can.  For instance today he was to take me to the eye clinic, they put drops in so that I cannot drive.  We  were snowed in so I cancelled the appointment.   His response was to say well you can find your own way their next time.  He does not work so it is not that he is too busy to do it.

You are too funny...I can see

You are too funny...I can see you now, I have to pee, oh but wait i need to turn the coffee pot on, i need to pee, but first i have to let the dog out, i need to pee, but first i need to grade these papers.....  i see my son do this, although thankfully without the narration of needing to pee, until he is literally running to the bathroom unbuttoning his pants and barely making it into the bathroom...which often explains the 'mess' on the floor, ugh..

I am at a loss as to ask for help without getting the angry reaction, like i have just asked him to cut off his arm and hand it to me.  If i truly do not need HIM to do it, i will just do it myself and avoid the irritation. I know a large part is the meds, or not taking them...alas here it is christmas break and he has not taken his meds in 5 days as he very often forgets to take them when he doesn't have to go to work, and reminding him to take them is not a good thing, he once threw his bottle of pills at me for reminding him to take them after he had forgotten for a few days in a row.  How do you ask someone prone to impulse anger and that has no 'pause' button to do something, reminding him that he needs to do X by a certain time causes anger because I am assuming he is going to forget, ok so when i don't remind him that he has to do X today and then forgets, then again its my fault that i did not remind him. (scream !!)

Self-Awareness, Self-Control, and Change :)

Hi funnyfarm,

I never even considered how "hereditary" this could be.  Now I know where my son gets it from.  Way to go, powers of self-observation ;).  Great.  So my son peeing all over the place is not just a "phase?"  Our radiator in one of our bathrooms has actual RUST from his inattentive and 11th hour peeing!  Well, at least I know we are not alone ;)!

I honestly don't think there is anything you can do differently.  Your H is being totally unreasonable.  This is on him, meds or not.  Throwing a bottle at you?  Really?  He might have impulse anger, and I certainly get that and the challenge of that.  However, he is actively choosing NOT to treat his ADHD seriously as he should, and nothing justifies that type of behavior.  You know, my DH might not have ADHD, but there have been many times when I have wondered what I can do differently to elicit a different reaction.  He just had so much pent-up resentment, that he would just REACT.  Ultimately, though, I can't really do anything to manipulate the outcome.  I can only do the right thing and hope for the best.

Speaking of ADHDers not doing what they are asked, I've noticed a major shift for the better in my marriage in recent weeks.  I am trying to relinquish some control and my husband is choosing to respond with kindness.  He has asked me many times to simply "listen" to him when it concerns prioritizing.  I finally am really letting go, and he is treating me more respectfully and telling me he appreciates my listening (!) and my efforts.  It has always been difficult for me to give up control, both because of my pride and also because he would throw it back in my face at a later time.  I also didn't want to feel like the "inferior" partner.  But as he pointed out to me, there are a number of areas in which my innate ability or skill set is superior to his, but he doesn't care and would defer to my judgment in these areas.  That helped to make me feel better that he wasn't viewing me in a negative light and that is making it so much easier for me to let go a bit.  He's actually acting like we have a future.  I am wondering if the reserve of calm I have from being gluten-free is giving me that extra push as well as clarity.  I am going to go casein-free as well, now, because I am convinced I have another sensitivity, perhaps not as serious as gluten, but serious enough.  I'll let you know how that goes.

The sickness is just making the rounds in my family.  I am up for the 4th time for a coughing fit so I don't wake my DH up, who is sick with a fever like my son.  No vomiting, so far for him.  What the hell.  Sadly, we all received flu shots in October.  Glad it helped ;)!

O.K.  I am going back to bed!

ADHDMomof2 (i.e.; "Mouth breather")

"IMPORTANT" ADDENDUM:  I am not peeing on the radiator.  As a woman, I do not have that kind of reach, and am at least self-aware enough not to miss the damn toilet!  

I am very happy for you that

I am very happy for you that you are having some 'calm' and your H is responding positively to it.   I wish i could at least give gluten free a shot with my son and H, but without his buy-in it ain't happening...i have been buying less of those products but not sure it will help.  funny I was at whole foods last week and standing next to a woman buying gluten free cake mix, and thought hmm wonder if that is adhdmomof02

I admit i do have a lot of resentment in me too, i have tried to let it go, and i am able to do that sometimes, i have a hard time forgetting the times he did something that was just so hurtful i wanted to walk out then and there but resisted because of the kids.  I have at least changed my 'automatic response' to him because it just throws fuel on the smoldering fire, but when he is constantly doing the things that make you mad or hurt you how do you just let it go ? Its such a shame because he is a decent guy for the most part and when he takes his meds...he realizes he needs them for work, why he doesn't see that he needs them just as much for when he is home I just don't understand.

I hear you about the radiator..i have sanded and painted them in our bathrooms, along with replacing the flooring. I recall once walking by the open door while my son was going and he turned to tell me something....just like holding a hose and watering the garden...ugh.  thankfully he has learned to have a little more attention to what he is doing.

Lightbulb moment!!

"For me, talking about it was one way I dealt with the anxiety that I wouldn't remember to do it.  It was also something I did whilst I deliberated the importance of it compared to other tasks, because I am so terrible at prioritizing."

THIS THIS THIS!!!  Thank you for the insight and for finally explaining this behavior to me!!  

Also the words about task-switching, I feel like interruption from hyperfocus is like shaking someone out of deep sleep.  

And also "He shouldn't even have to tell me that, but I don't always remember what I already know, if that makes sense."  YES SO TRUE.  I always "forget what I know" when I think about what to cook for dinner for me and DH (things he doesn't like) or make commitments that overlap on something I've already scheduled (which is why I now write EVERYTHING down in my smartphone calendar).

But mostly, thanks for that true and eye-opening explanation of why I spend 3 months talking about something instead of just doing it.  You are my hero of the hour.


YES! I know!! It is horribly frustrating to constantly hear, "I'll get to it later." Later usually means NEVER.

Here's one for you: One day, was getting ready for work, and he's just sitting there, staring into space, strumming his guitar. I notice that the dogs have come in and give me the look, whining and doing the (what I call) "The Potty Dance." :0) My dogs are very good about not going in the house and obviously, I would like to continue this trend, so I ask him to please take the dogs out. "Oh, I'll take them out later. They're fine. They need to learn to hold it anyway." I refrained from pointing out that it had been hours since they had been out. 

What do you think the culmination of this story is? You guessed it! Nice little present for us on the living room carpet. It's all good, I think. I will simply let him clean it up, and I left for work. Now, he pays more attention to those pesky little cues! 

I feel your pain, trust me. We have settled on a system that seems to work: If it can wait, truthfully, then it should be allowed to be done whenever, as long as it is done within the same day. If it is truly important, I will say so, and though he may grumble, he usually does it. Sometimes, however, he does wish to be petulant just to show me, and it is then that I do it myself and save myself the grief. Hope this helps!! Good luck and keep us posted.

Why he does that

Because it's terribly difficult for him - biologically - to disengage from one task and re-engage with another.  He knows that if he drops what he is doing right then he will likely never get back to it - possibly not even remember it - so he would prefer to finish up first before disengaging.  Also, you expect that because it's urgent to you (AND you know WHY it's so urgent - i.e. the water is running or the trash truck is coming) that he understands these same things - or that he will simply respond to you because you think it's urgent.  But he probably doesn't hear the trash truck (as you point out) or the water, and so he doesn't understand the urgency.  What he does understand is that if he stops right then what he is doing will possibly never get finished - not a good outcome.

If other readers have this sort of problem, set up a verbal cue with your spouse.  If you use the words "this is an emergency" then you both agree that he/she will stop what they are doing right then and attend.  But if it's not an emergency, you will respect the fact that it is very hard to be interrupted when you have ADHD and then finish what you are doing.

My ADD womanly opinion.

I figured I would respond to you, being that I have ADD and maybe hearing it from a woman's perspective it would be better. For me my mind is constantly racing, I am always "stuck" inside my head. When I start a task, I ABSOLUTELY have to finish it right then and there or I will forget what I was doing. Its an adaptation I guess. I am always thinking, about what I have to do next. Its almost obsessive compulsive thinking, then because I'm so stuck inside my head I can't focus so much "on in the moment". Then if your stressed it makes it worse, and everything is stressful trying to NOT forget is stressful, forgetting is stressful, letting people down is stressful. Then the vicious forgetful cycle continues. It is really hard to be in the moment, and to focus on the tasks at hand. So once I get that "good" focus, I have to work fast not to "lose it". So you focus on what your doing and complete it, then move on and if your lucky you don't forget what it is someone asked you to do while you were completing that task at the time. :) I know my husband will tell you I am famous for the "in a minute", and I will forget right after unless he asks me when I'm not so focused on something. In my head I'm like...ok I gotta get this done before I forget. It is like your in competition with your mind, there always a race to do things before you forget, or struggling not to forget.

Try some of these things, (that work for me) try to give more time for things, and not make things so urgent. Schedules help SO MUCH, a steady routine schedule.  EVERYthing must be calculated into it, because having ADD and being stuck in your head its easy to lose sense of time. Time to get dressed, the time to eat breakfast, the time it takes to drive somewhere, all this time has to be counted for. Then lets say you need to be somewhere at 10:00 am. You calculate it takes you an hour and 1/2 to comfortably WITHout rushing do those things. Then you know you need to start getting ready at 8:30. If you make him a steady schedule like that for him to follow for the important things, as well as little things that really bug you that he forgets too, life will be a lot less stressful. Thursday nights by 8:30, take out trash (if trash comes friday morn). I have a white board/calendar on my fridge so I don't forget anything. He needs visual reminders in places he can see daily. (not a planner that can be stuffed in a wallet) Its a lot of leg work at first, but if you pick your battles with the things that bug you the most (keeping your house clean) and try things like this long enough to help him develop these things into habits (every thursday it will become routine to take out the trash at night), you will both be less stressed in the long run. Trust me, 3 years ago my life was a mess until I figured out ways to help me "keep up" with everyone else. I feel much more organized now, and less stressed because I can keep other people happy too, and I have a lot to juggle. I can't imagine being a man with ADD because at least us women have that natural tendancy to "fix things", so we can adapt better. Its probably equally frustrating for him that he can't meet your needs everyday, just keep that in mind. I hope I helped and you two can work it out!! Good luck!

This comment interested me so much

In the scenario I described, where I said my husband wouldn't stop what he was doing to hand me the dishes so I didn't have to go back and turn the water off and come back, he told me something interesting. He was reading an article in the newspaper, and he told me that if he'd stopped to hand me the dishes, he would have had to re-read the whole article.  Can you explain why that would be? It baffled me, and it made me feel like the article was more important to him than I was.



The "why" is about interruptions.  But that's not a blanket excuse for the situation you described.  I have the phrase "Mark Where You Left Off" posted in my offices and brainsheets as a constant reminder that I have to leave myself enough information to know where to begin again if I get interrupted on a task.  In your scenario, that would simply mean drawing a line in the article with a highlighter, pen, crayon, or smudge of red sauce from the dirty dish.  

I can only suggest that you realize that instance was about dishes and newspapers, not you.  

This is interesting because

This is interesting because that is how I observe my ADHD dh to be. When there is any interruption (by one of us) to his television viewing, it is some kind of upset and jars him. For instance, no one is allowed to speak to him when a program is on TV. The slightest interruption will set him off especially for shows with a plot. He's constantly rewinding and playing sections on DVD if one of us should walk into the room. He will automatically stop the video and rewind 30 secs back and start again if he feels we have interrupted him enough. If I ask him casually what the TV character is doing that instant, he will re-wind back "one chapter".  I think perhaps once he takes his focus off it, it will take a while before he can get back to the storyline. He cannot understand how I can turn a program on, walk away from it (quick chore, snack break, etc) and return to it, pick up at a new spot. He is a little better with sports but he is still focused almost solely to the exclusion of all conversations that go on in the room.

Now, I think this is certainly something I notice with my children (on the autism spectrum) who exhibited atypical responses as well. For example, as toddlers, if they tripped going down the stairs, would stop themselves immediately, "rewind" themselves by backwards-walking all the way back to whence they came from, e.g. their bedroom, and start the walk from that point back down the stairs. If for some reason I misunderstood and interrupted them in their "re-covering" their path, they would get terribly upset.

p.s. btw I read your reply regarding Cluster Bs and ADHD but need time to digest before responding. 

Marking where you left off

Marking where you left off doesn't always hit the mark, not for me.  The short-circuits in my own working memory auto-erase everything if I'm interrupted.  "Enough information to know where to begin again" might mean a whole page full of notes that had to be written while reading and then re-read before resuming.  That's a lot of premeditated work - possible, but hard, and certainly not something that comes naturally.

Remember the old days of word processing programs, where you had to manually save your document every 5 minutes in case the computer crashed?  And if you didn't, you had to reconstruct it from scratch?  NT brains must have an "autosave" feature that makes it easy to pick up where they left off after an interruption (a.k.a. "computer crash").  ADHD doesn't, so every interruption is an unsaved computer crash.  When I read & get interrupted, I usually have to start over from the beginning, or at least a few paragraphs back.  If a complex idea was building through the whole article, you bet I have to start again to get all those single threads back together, ready to be woven into the full concept the author intended.

If he'd spent 30 minutes constructing a new memory, and (intended to) only take another 2 mins to finish, I can't excuse his hesitation to be interrupted but I can understand it.  Helping with the dishes will take 15 seconds and, timewise, that's such a tiny thing to do, it might not be worth erasing the last 30min of work just for a 15-second task.  

It totally comes off as selfish and uncaring.  It is selfish and uncaring.  It is his way of trying not to lose the new memory he's forming.  There are better coping strategies out there, but it doesn't sound like he had any.


Also wanted to +1 what Melissa said - to YOU it is crystal clear why it's urgent because of the noise context.  If he couldn't hear these sounds and you didn't mention them to him, there was no way he knew it was urgent because he had no context cues.  He's using so much strength to tune out ALL outside cues, so he can focus on the article.  You said he doesn't hear so well, so maybe for him it's visual or internal mental cues that distract him.  I do get distracted by noises, and here's what I might have to tune out at any given moment: not only the water running but also car noise from outside, people talking on the street, the sounds of neighbors moving around upstairs, bubbles fizzing in a glass of soda nearby, door handles turning, lights from the shops outside, moving car headlights from the street, the sounds of my DH typing, his breathing (he tends to unconsciously hold his breath & then let it out in big sighs which I then have to interpret, is this frustration at something I did/didn't do or just a normal exhale?), every third word of whatever I'm focusing on desperately tempting me to think about something else.  There's no priority filter in my brain which lets me only listen to what I know is important.  It is MUCH easier to blanket-ignore all those cues, otherwise you have to 

  • hear it,
  • analyze what it is,
  • decide whether it's important or relevant to you
  • determine if this sound has any implications re: promises you made, actions you could take, etc
  • after all those judgment & prioritizing calls are made, try and refocus.

With all this work spent on focusing, he's not connecting the context (the sound of water or garbage truck) to your comment.  He heard, "Do this thing."  Rather than, "The water's wasting and your help would smooth & speed up this whole process." 

Again, not trying to excuse.  Just trying to explain.  Yep, it's sucky.  Yep, there are coping strategies out there - which different people use to different degrees & find different amounts of success with.  I'm glad you did what you needed to, Sueann, and I hope these insights help you understand.

I guess I'm just selfish

What I wanted was a husband who thinks more like I do. Whose thought processes on being asked to do such a simple thing would be like "My handicapped wife works 80-90 hours a week and I don't work and she's doing the dishes while I'm sitting on my ass reading the newspaper. So I will hand her the dishes and so what if I have to read the article again."   But it doesn't work like that. I had to face the fact that what I need will never matter to him. It sucks because I love him and I miss him but he can't be the person I want him to be. I just don't have the patience or the room in my life for a person who expects EVERYTHING to be done for him.

Why Don't ADDers ever do anything when you ask them to?

Dear SueAnn:

I recently two years ago; after getting married - found out from my own mother that my husband had ADD.  Upon asking my mother-in-law, if she knew he had this, to which she indicated "yes", since he was a boy. I asked her why she hadn't informed me of this and she indicated, "I didn't think it was important".  I forgave instantly because I knew that she must have had some serious problems to want to hide this fact from the person she would hope would take care of him.  Point being all the entire time I have been married to him - this has happened.  It is the toughest thing when you are independent before you get married to cope with another person in the first place, while leaving your independence at the door and offering you heart on a plate of love to another with a comittment of hopefully, securing a happy life with them, while getting wiser in your years. 

The best advice I have for you is to simply do what you need to do calmly.    ADD is the hardest egg to crack when it comes to habits and behavior that the person with ADD has.  They simply don't see it.  Now it isn't an excuse for abuse and there are ways to actually have things completed.  I do this all the time.  When my husband asks me to do something now I simply say, Honey, hold on a moment - even if I have to stand in the same place behind a wall for 30 seconds, just to offer them a moment of feeling like "hey how come she isn't running to me".  Then once I hear the second request I come in calmly and say honey, the other day when I asked if you could help me with this or that do you remember how you said... give me five minutes?  Chances are... instanly it offers the memory to them "oh snap, I did say that".  Most likely you have offered calmly a resolution.  It will make a habit of...being calm and kindly showing them that what they are doing isn't very nice.  It does work but you have to remain calm at all times and civil.  Remember, we are not perfect but we can make the best of our lives simply having patience, understanding and showing another how to make small changes habitually to a positive end.

Take care