Will it get better?

Hi. My husband and I started seeing a marriage counselor a couple of weeks ago do to a lack of trust with him that stems from a opiate addiction. He has been clean for almost 2 years now but our problems were continuing to go up. During our first session the counselor said my husband had add. I started reading and researching alot on adult add and have learned alot and we both are starting to learn new ways of being together. We have been married almost 13 years. Our son is 12 and was dx with adhd at 6. My daughter is 10 and was dx with autism at age 3. I am feeling very guilty because I have never given as much weight to my sons adhd as I have the autism. Since she was dx it has been nothing but therapy for her. Speech, ocupational, physical, and in the last year she was dx with anxiety disorder so regular psychiatry visits as well.I always just thought with adhd/add you give them medicine and that was it. Boy was I wrong and now I am seeing that I could have done so much more for my son also. He is such a sweet kind hearted kid but has gotten very angry the last couple years. I am feeling all kinds of different emotions. Anger, guilt, hopelessness. I love my kids and husband dearly but feel like I am drowning in special needs. Everybody needs something different from me and it is exhausting. My husband and son are constantly butting heads and I feel stuck in the middle of them. His add is still very new (at least the knowing what it is) to us and he is just now working on himself. He has a very bad short fuse and all he does is yell at our son. I am trying to tell him about the things I am learning but he gets defensive. I dont know what else to do. Is it bad that I want to pack my bags and run away? I would never do that but feel like it alot. Thanks for reading.

Re: Will it get better?


You sound really overwhelmed and I feel compelled to respond.

Your post left off with, "is it bad that I want to pack my bags and run away?"   I say no it's not bad that you FEEL that way--that is normal!   It's what you do as follow up that can be evaluated as either good or bad.  There's a lot of people needing your attention in one house. If your life is like many here, you are also the breadwinner too.  My best advice is to carve out some precious time for yourself and firmly guard it.  You must take care of yourself, whatever that means for you--exercise, prayer, meditation, whatever it is that recharges you and gives you strength, emotionally and physically.  I understand you may feel it is too difficult and indeed it is, but it is NOT impossible.

After two decades, I have only recently suspected my guy has ADD, but I have been dealing with his symptoms the whole time, not knowing they were a result of ADD.  I curbed his angry outbursts by stating that I am NOT going to accept that sort of tone directed at me nor do I want to be in an environment in which it is happening.  I explained it was unpleasant and uncalled for.  It didn't matter that mostly he was not mad AT me, but just mad at something, because he lost something, because something broke, whatever.  I set a firm boundary that I was not going to live with such behavior.   Oh, sure he popped off some more after that, but I would make a habit of going to a different part of the house and closing the door until he was done fuming.  After more than a few times of repeating my reaction, he finally learned to tone done his fits and be mad somewhat quietly.  He would even come in and ask me to hang out with him again because he was "done."  From what I've read on this site so far, our reactions to ADD behaviors are as important to harmony as the 3 fold treatment of the ADDer.  Your husband most likely won't stop reacting defensively, but if he is like mine, hearing the information does have a positive affect eventually after he's had a calm moment to consider it. 

Please don't feel badly about your reaction to your son:  I thought ADD was a bunch of over-diagnosed hooey until fairly recently.  There is a lot of misinformation out there and unbridled misconceptions tossed about.  I'm surprised that the diagnosing doctor didn't point you to a good resource, but I guess there are a lot of doctors misinformed or under-informed too.  My marriage would be a lot richer than it is now if I had been able to recognize the ADD factor.  I just thought difficulties arose because we are just different as people and also as male and female.  But now that I know, I can resolve to do better going forward.   You recognize your reaction to your son's diagnoses was understated; now you can arm yourself with knowledge to react differently and attend it for what it is. 

I wish I had some suggestions for dealing with children in an ADD house, but I don't.  Keep reading everything you can get your hands on about ADD and especially this forum!