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  • New to This Site and an ADHD Relationship (engaged) by: LahLah 1 day 42 min ago

    Hello world,

    I just received the ADHD Effect on Marriage book and started it last night, after seeing it recommended on an ADHD family support FB group, and visited the website this morning.
    I wrote to inquire about potential counseling (if it is an available option for us), and wanted to share my message to the forum as well.
    I chose this forum, but honestly I think it hits points for multiple of them- it addresses multiple ADHD/relationship topics.

    But here we go. My little novel. If you make it to the end, I apologize for the length, but even trying to summarize it grew & grew. 
    Much love and good vibes to you and yours! ~

    Good morning,
    I'm just visiting your website for the first time, and started your book ADHD Effect on Marriage last night, after seeing it recommended in an ADHD Support facebook group.
    I was excited to see you may offer counseling, if you have the availability and we're accepted to do so. 
    The long and short of it: I just moved in with my boyfriend, now fiance, of about 2 years just 3 months ago. He proposed right before we moved in together.
    I knew he had issues with procrastination and cleanliness (his place was a disaster, his own hygiene often gets put on a back burner, and everything will get done "later"), but, I knew before he got divorced and we met, he held well paying jobs and he was really good at them. He's very smart. 
    I support/ed him when he decided to stop working, in order to work on his own project, as he had saved $ for that very reason before we met. I hope it works out wonderfully for him and is successful, and say go for it! He saved his money for it, his choice!
    But, now 7 months after his original "deadline" to be done with it, then revised timeline to have a working test and being far from it, I have new concerns... but still support it in general. (And I told him before we moved in together, 'Im not saying this is YOU, it's not, but as a general statement, I will say, I will NOT be the idiot who moves in with an unemployed partner, and then is asked to help financially because of it!) He has mentioned maybe needing to get a job soon so he doesn't deplete his funds, which makes me sad as it'll further push back his progress, but if he decides to, I support that, too. Of course. 
    We split the bills, I work full time, and he uses his savings. 
    Now this is where things get sticky.
    After we moved in together, he got diagnosed, and started Adderall, for ADHD.  He didn't have an in-person thorough exam, but to my knowledge it was more like visiting a prescription pad online; but, he def checks the boxes for the symptoms and realized that himself. He sought the diagnosis and medication, himself. Compared to stories I've read, that in itself it already a huge GREEN flag (if that were a thing).
    But, from my perspective/feelings, moving in together immediately lead to a LOT of changes, and it's been a LOT to take. 
    He went from the generous, sweet, caring, smart, and funny guy to a frequently rude and crass individual that I also feel I can't rely on or believe his words when he says he'll do things (physical things like going through his boxes, or communication like that I can always talk to him). 
    We used to sit together on his couch when we watched tv and he'd rub my head or shoulders or feet, on his own accord. I'd sit by him or lay on his lap. Now he sits on the armchair by himself. I get to work remotely and stayed over at his often, and when it was lunch and dinner time, although he wasn't used to a 'regular' eating schedule, we'd eat together, and he'd even say a more consistent eating routine would be better for him. Now he says no thanks/not ready, and skips, which about daily leads to other issues as it makes him feel poorly, which also means no motivation and "can't think". I offer food or remind him he should eat, he declines and says he knows. He's repeated so many times, "I don't feel good/ I have a headache/ I'm so tired. I can't think. I need to eat. But I don't want to eat. It sucks. I need to eat more regularly." (variations) Over and over.) I met his kids after about 1 year (10yr old girl, 14yr old boy), and would sometimes visit while they were there (very Tuesday, every other weekend, and sometimes longer during summer or holidays). He seemed to be good with them- had them make dinner together, watched tv together, took them on walking adventures. And LUCKILY, they get along with me well. (I am SO fortunate they like me, versus if they hated me or were rebellious, etc). 
    When we first started dating, he had reasons/excuses for the condition of his rental (rented a friends house). 
    -He had to move in a hurry, AND his friend didn't move out his own furniture (which was mostly helpful, but some wasn't needed)
    -He admitted his old place was a wreck but said his X was messier than he was and was bad at keeping up with it, and he hoped for a nicer space and didn't want to keep living like that (his mother confirmed the 2 of them were like a tornado even when they just visited, and she was in fact as or more messy)
    -He needed more time to get to it
    But, after dating for several months, I started to realize... those may have been factors, but it was also HIM. If I had realized this from the beginning, tbh, I'm not sure if we would have kept dating, but we had grown close and I thought, "there are worse behaviors. I can help keep the place in order if we progress to the point of moving in together."
    When we discussed moving in together, I bluntly said, I love you, but I can NOT live how you live. I don't know what to do, because I want to be together, but I can NOT handle that.
    He said he would go through his mess and trash or donate the things he crammed away in one of the bedrooms (full) and NOT just move it, AGAIN. He promised, it would not come over and our place would not be the same.
    BUT, by the time it was moving time, he 'hadn't had time to pack/prepare' let alone get rid of the stuff he said he would 
    So now our garage and basement level are FULL. Of his stuff. There is a trail so we have room to get to the doors, I can get to laundry, and we can take the trash in/out of the garage.
    After he "warned" me he was moving this stuff in, he apologized, and said he would take care of it ASAP after we moved in and got settled. He'd 'spend as much time as needed' going through it and getting rid of it, don't worry! 
    It's been 3 months. He's essentially not touched it. He'll sometimes SAY 'I need to work on it a little each day' or 'I need to work on that' or 'tomorrow I'll start working on it after lunch daily'. But it DOESN'T HAPPEN (yet). 
    Initially I was overwhelmed and felt panicky over the mess. It's overwhelming, and he said he wouldn't bring it! I was looking forward to having the basement and a garage! 
    I offered to HELP. He declines. After a few weeks, I saw one box in the garage with KITCHEN items and FOOD, so I decided FINE, I'll do some MYSELF. I brought it upstairs and started unpacking and found something he had been looking for. (He was out, so I texted him). He responded, "is there a reason you're going through my things? I thought you of all people knew better". (!!) So I stopped, put the stuff back in the box, and put it back in the garage. wtf. After that, a few weeks in, I started Ignoring it. I don't want to be a NAG, it wouldn't help either of us, and his mother even advised me (I like her, we're weirdly open with each other, and he talks to her openly too) be patient and try not to worry about it, give him time. Well, IDK if that's the best solution, but I've ignored it and try not to say anything, but I agree when he repeats that he needs to work on it. 
    I decided before we moved in together, I am Definitely getting a MAID! I never had one before and can clean up after myself, I am not the best thorough cleaner but I like things clean and organized, but I did NOT want to move in together and stress and fight over cleaning a much larger space, with HIM (and seeing how he never cleaned and it was gross!) AND his part time 2 kids! I found them myself, scheduled them, and am paying for them myself. I think it's fine if I still vacuumed and dusted, etc, but I simply don't want to, I don't trust him to, and now more ppl are contributing to the mess. and I'm in a better place where I can afford it, nbd. 
    I told him about it, and to my surprise, he got really upset.
    He doesn't like "strangers in the house" and feels its an "invasion of privacy". We debated and went in some circles, but eventually he agreed we could try it a few times and re-address later.
    But then when they came for their 1st visit, he got mad all over again. He yelled, and left, and was gone for hours after the maid left, but came back from his driving adventure happy again.
    The 2nd time- same thing, except this time he accused me of saying 'I didn't care if he liked it or not, it was happening'. I calmly said, 'YOU said it FELT I was being that way, but that's not what I said. We agreed we could try it awhile, and I would REALLY like to keep having them come, it helps me a lot, and I am not the best cleaner either.' But he continued repeating, 'You said it! I remember exactly! You said that!' So I simply replied 'I'm sorry you feel that way'. Until he left, again for hours, then came back happy. 
    Due to several things he had said and how I was feeling lately, plus the maids issue, soon after I had a melt down. I couldn't hide it from him this time. I had cried privately a few times already, but this time it wouldn't hide. 
    He could tell something was wrong, and implored I speak to him. (He was in the right open mood). I cried uncontrollably, and when I could talk, then in between crying, I laid out my frustrations, concerns, and pain. 
    He said he didn't know I had been feeling this way (that he had been rude and crass for the past couple months and had changed), and he would try to keep it in mind.
    And, for the maids (not the main issue/argument, but a topic), he agreed I could keep having them come, until/unless he cleaned the place as well as they did. He claimed he wanted a chance to clean the place himself, and told me to make him a list of what needed done.
    (A few days ago I made the list, using the cleaner's list, and shared it with him. Not surprisingly, he said 'Ill have to look at my calendar, and get my schedule figured out...). He hasn't lifted a finger to clean, and I don't expect him to. Sorry if that's wrong to say. But I don't mind, because I like having the maid, and he has plenty of other things to worry about. 
    The Kids- 
    I DID notice when his kids were around, he'd be more distance and distracted and would often stay on his computer or phone and was a little shorter talking to them or me, but also realized the whole situation was new - him being divorced, me being there... I thought, it'd take time.
    Fast forward to the current situation.
    But now that we're both under one roof, AND it's Summer, OH MY GOSH it's been a LOT. 
    He's 45, I'm 37. I don't have kids and don't want to have kids. I used to think MAYBE I'd be open for adoption some day, but I don't want to have my own. So him having 2 part time would still be a big adjustment for me, but some aspects are somewhat exciting- to be part of a family. 
    Well.... another reason to fret about our/my future.
    After we first moved in, the kids were here full time for 1 week due to spring break. Their grandma (his mom) also visited (bless her heart) to see our new place, and to help.
    Even with her entertaining the 10 year old (who needs constant attention/entertainment, the 14 yr old just stays on his phone and is chill), having the daughter demanding my attention AS SOON AS my work quitting time came (she'd say, it'd 4pm! you're done right?!), quickly felt exhausting. 
    She's a good kid, and again I'm glad she likes me, and I hope to be a good influence to her and continue getting along! But it's a lot!
    I tried to tell my fiance... 'you have told me before that You like some space and private time and quiet... thing is, I do, too... and sometimes I need a break... I am not used to having kids, and not full time, I am not used to it and it's a bit exhausting'.
    He did not take the comment well. It is understandably a sensitive issue, as he is concerned for his kids and the new blended families and them being happy. He said something about 'I didnt know they were so hard to be around!' or a similar defensive/offended remark. I said no no, that's not what I meant, that's not what I'm saying....
    I think he walked away wo any real conclusion to that convo.
    FFW to this past week- they were here for a Full week and a half, no gma this time. 
    The daughter has become my shadow. He honestly ignores her. He says 'they don't have similar interests'. He gets along better with his son, and they both happily sit on the couch on their devices, or are in to similar TV shows.
    So now I have this ball of energy wanting my attention all the time, where I live, 24/7, for multiple consecutive days. And I feel in to the trap of trying to be her playmate and friend more than being an 'adult'.
    --- I started therapy a couple weeks ago, in part to help me in the current situation due to my nerves and how I can get overly anxious or worked up over things, and she advised Dont Be a PlayMate, she has to see you as an Adult ---
    Anyway. On my own accord, I felt I needed to help everyone with lunch and dinner. Id help clean up after them. I constantly played with/ gave the daughter attention. 
    Meantime, her Dad and I had other unexpected arguments. The kids wanted to go to a movie. I like going to movies too. HE does not. So he'll say, "you guys can go". And he's happy to sit at home and let ME take HIS (future 'our', kinda) KIDS to the movie  AND let me pay for it.
    I did it once, and decided next time he should join us, &/or at least pay.
    They wanted to go to the movies. I really pressed him to join us. This time I offered to pay, again, for everyone, to try to persuade him to go. He sort of agreed, but when the time came, 'had a headache' and really didn't want to join. (He frequently gets headaches, legit, and coincidently, when he doesn't want to do something?). He was going to decline. I stopped arguing and said, whoever wants to go to the movie, I'm leaving now!
    Individually his kids looked at him and asked, 'Dad, you're coming right?' 'Dad, are you coming with us?'. And he Did. (Hooray). And he said his head got better during the movie, and both kids were having fun talking about the movie after the movie, and it was nice he had been there too.
    Then the daughter wanted to go to the Carnival near us. Her Dad said she could ask ME about it bc I may want to go too. When we were alone, I said, did you tell her to ask ME? He said 'yes, I don't want to go, at all, and I don't want to buy her all the junk food she'll want.' I said, 'why do you think I'd want to take her on my own? I think it'd be a fun family thing, but I don't want to go just her and I'. He said 'fine, you don't have to! I thought maybe you'd want to. You can just tell her no, too.' I said 'and make ME the bad guy?' He said 'Not the bad guy, you just don't have to go!'
    -- We have had several similar disagreements. The movies, the carnival, I offered to get us all tickets to Cirque du Solei and both kids said they were interested, and he said 'if it's a consensus, then Ill go, but it is NOT up my alley' then when I said yes, there's a consensus, they want to go, he said 'I've noticed a pattern of everyone wanted to go do something I don't want to'. I said 'well, unfortunately you don't want to do most things.' He said 'well, it's RuDe.' I said, 'it's RUDE I'm trying to find activities we can all do as a family for fun?! FINE. You let me know about cirque, I won't bring it up again, but the tickets are on special right now, and if they go up I won't like it!'. Then I told his son, if we're going, it'll be up to you guys, I told him I won't bring it up again. (And it hasn't been brought up, and we won't go). 
    *We do some things together. We go indoor rock climbing, sometimes just him and I when they're not here, and the kids join too and we do it together. We've had a board game night. We've taken walks together. We pick a movie at home (though the kids may want to be on their devices instead, cause they can never agree on a movie and get bored ASAP. They, or the girl, may& have adhd as well). 
    Impulsive buying- he's bought/traded (2) newer used cars since we met, and both cars are worth more than my car was brand new that I bought myself years ago, each, (yes, he saved a lot, AND got a really good return on an investment) and is already contemplating replacing one and asked me about trading MY car to have the big 'family' car. Because he decided the SUV he bought for the family car 'isn't big enough' (which Ive also said about that, its plenty big, you have to pack better for the couple trips/year to visit your parents. You could get a small bus and it may not be big enough, and we can't have a bus.) I've said no, my car is paid off and I like my car, I don't like not having the option anymore from here on out of having my own car that I like and only he can, including even if I get a smaller SUV I might want bc he wants it to be BIGGER... (possibly a normal family debate, the mom usually has the mom car, but I don't want to have to have the mom car, but it's silly we have 3 cars, bc he has to have a fun convertible). Later he brought it up again and offered to pay for half of "my" our new vehicle if i was willing. Um NO. I said, again, I like my car and it's paid off and I like not having a car payment, so until my car goes downhill and needs lots of repairs, I'm not paying for another car. And he hasn't brought it up again. And he has enough guitars to supply a dozen bands, and will buy things versus looking for them if it's difficult to find them (like anything in the basement/garage atm). 
    This is turning in to quite the novel!! 
    I'll try to wrap this up, if you've gotten this far...
    During the past week+ they were here, he was frequently on his computer (hopefully working on his project, sometimes playing games), he often went to our bedroom to rest/think/sleep after I was done with work, went on a few solo errands, and declined when I invited him to try x or y games with me and his daughter. From my position, I'm thinking, WHY AREN'T YOU HANGING OUT WITH YOUR KIDS?!' and he complains they aren't over more often!! (He's used to living in the same house, still adjusting to shared custody). They are HIS kids yet I felt I was the one hanging out with them, or mostly her, and the irony that I'm the one who didn't have kids...  and if/when I go upstairs, he asks what I'm doing, when I'm coming back, or says I'm "hiding". I don't think it's fair (for lack of better words) he needs his space and can go upstairs and rest/nap/or get space, or go on a solo walk or errands etc, but when I do, I'm "hiding". 
    So it's tough. It was a LONG WEEK. They just left yesterday, we get a week off, then going to his mothers for a week (with his kids) which should be fine, we did it last year, and then they're back here for another week after, then a week off, then they're back again! Then back to regular school schedule.
    It's been a LOOOOOOOOTTTTT to take on. From my quiet clean solo apartment to living with an often rude, not feeling well, everything is "later", fiance, and having to entertain / help with his kids.
    For his end, he's right when he says it's MY choice to interact with his daughter, I could choose not to.... but I feel bad. 
    But after my therapy session earlier in the week (2nd one with her), I did feel more empowered, and feel it's REQUIRED, to work on taking a step back, and not keep trying to be so patient and understanding and trying to do so much.
    My therapist told me, she doesn't think we will work out. She thinks he has a behavior pattern that wouldn't work well with ANYONE and I will just go crazy. BUT, if I INSIST on staying and trying to make it work...
    I need to learn to say NO, to him and to his kids. And I need to be comfortable 'making him uncomfortable' and not keep trying to avoid conflict and doing everything. And stop Enabling and trying to fill in the gaps and do things for him. 
    I know she's right... I disagree that we can't work out, I hope, but she made some good points and motivated me to start working to change some things Now, before we ARE doomed. 
    I tried to ignore the daughter a little more. Not rudely, but not as play-mate-like.
    For lunch and dinner, since we had lots of left overs, I said everyone can do their own things. And they did. The boys ate left overs, and the dad helped his girl make ramen (her choice). (The next day I helped again).
    I found a flier on the floor by the entry door.  
    Earlier he found it it taped to our door and tossed it inside on his way out. 
    And then proceeded to step over it/ not see it when he came back in.
    I picked it up and put it by the steps so he'd see it. He stepped over/didn't see it.
    So I finally picked it up and said, 'why was this on the floor?'
    He said, 'because it was on the door'
    I said, 'but why is it on the floor?'
    He said 'bc it hasn't made it to the trash yet'.
    I tried to hand it to him, he ignored me. 
    I said, 'why do I have to be the trash person?'
    He said, 'fine! next time I'll leave it on the door!'
    I said 'now that would just be Lazy. I'm asking why you didn't put it in the trash.'
    He said 'because I didn't see it!'
    (now I need to work on the line that's not enabling and always cleaning up after others or doing things for them, being comfortable making HIM uncomfortable, and not being a B*. )
    Yesterday morning, I saw he left his chick-fil-a out from last night with some chicken pieces still in the box. 
    I said, oh no! You forgot to put the left overs away! (as in, they're no good now)
    He said yeah, I noticed that this morning.
    I said so, silly question, but it's trash, right?
    He said, yes.
    I said, and you could throw it away too, right?
    He looked and me and hesitated like he wanted to say something, but then said 'yes'.
    I said, OK. 
    Then I threw it away.
    I could said, 'Ill let you get it then', but I figure I want to start sprinkling this stuff in, not over-water it. 

    When he doesn't do the things he says he'll do and needs to do, I've tried different approaches, typically just "you said you were going to do X?..... are you still going to?.."
    And his typical response has been "later", "why? why is it important?" or "it's not priority".
    I'll say, "but you said you would do it this evening". He'll repeat the above or just say "later". 

    He asks me to remind him to do several things, daily. But if/when I do, he says later/ brushes it off. (And he needs to find his own method, I can't be his task manager. Esp if he is just going to ignore me, even after he asks me to)
     
    I think I try to talk to him calmly and feel I have to walk on egg shells with him a lot of times.
    But then he'll tell me the same thing. He says he often feels hesitant to talk to me and he has to walk on egg shells...
    My POV, I feel when I question, contest, or don't just let things go, he says I'm being defensive or offended. To me, he's being defensive/stone walling/ projecting/etc.
    So when he told me this again just yesterday (I think in response to me contesting that I hadn't 'clarified' something to him that we had discussed before, that I thought i said calmly, but he saw it as me being defensive), I said:
    "If it makes you feel any better, I often feel that way, too. I think we both just need to try to be sensitive when we choose our words, and in how we receive/respond to it. Sometimes you may see my face betray me when I'm processing things, but I do try, too."

    And yesterday he started NEW meds bc he felt adderall wasn't working. He started vyvanse. The side affects concern me, but all stimulants have similar, he said. 
    But the cost isn't sustainable. He doesn't have insurance and the cost is ShOckIngly high!!! So we both hope they work, and hope they don't, because it's too expensive to keep up long term!
    He says he's listening to ADHD audio books. I think that's great. He got me one to read too, but I didn't get far in it yet, then I bought (this one) and already like it better since it's for both perspectives. 
    He said I should do whatever I want and do 'my' things and enjoy this weekend since we have no plans, and it's no longer always going to be that way (obviously! due to his kids) and said he plans to work on his laptop awhile, then do house things this afternoon.
    If* his headache goes away/doesn't get worse. (He also said he'd work on it with one of the kids this week, they didn't at all). I reminded him he also said he'd mail something Thursday, then Friday, now it still needs done. He said OH yeah, crap.
    (But it needs mailed... it's a large box of board games I helped him sell, but he said he'd mail because its too heavy for me, and I did the rest of the work.)
    *Note: after I submitted my post, he went upstairs to lay down because he was "distracted". I don't forsee it being a very productive day.

    I do feel bad, because I know he wants to try/ wants this to improve. And I'm so glad he's trying, or starting and wanting to try. That's why I think we have hope. But it's still very hard on me, too. 

    He also agrees he needs an adhd coach or therapist, BUT, like most things, he 'isn't interested in doing that yet' because it's hard to find someone/the right one, and, he has other things right now...
    I think it's something i need to put on a future 'you MUST do this, or we won't work out' list, or timeline as has been suggested to me, but IDK how to develop it yet/ my own thoughts. 
    I have also said I think we should do couples counseling. He asked Why and says he doesn't think we need it and doesn't really want to, but would be willing. 
    My therapist said she's willing to do ONE session with both of us, but otherwise won't do couples unless he spoke to her on his own too, so it's not biased, or we could go to someone else separate for that.
    Problem with that, like my therapist and his meds, is it's another financial concern. It may be worth it, but, my insurance doesn't fully cover my own, and may not at all for couples, and he'd also have to pay out of pocket. So all this is in flux atm. 
    But I want to do at least the 1 session together she offered.

    So. I'll end there. I know I over-shared more than enough, and I apologize for the length.

  • So now what? by: Eighpryl_AB 3 days 11 hours ago

    I just connected the dots a couple weeks ago and realized that ADHD is most likely what I'm dealing in terms of my husband's behavior.   I've been researching and reading everything I can find online about adult ADHD, and have read The ADHD Effect on Marriage, and Is it You, Me, or Adult ADHD.  I'm having severe swings between hope and total despair.  Lots of crying when I'm alone.  I see that change CAN happen, but I'm desperately afraid it won't.  My husband is the guy who believes that "ADHD" is just an excuse people use to drug their badly behaved or hyperactive kids because they're too lazy to be parents.  I'll admit that up until recently, I didn't know much about it myself, tho I'm far more open-minded than he is.  We've always joked that he has ADHD due his incredibly high energy levels and constant fidgeting, and his propensity to be forgetful and absent-minded, so the fact that symptoms I didn't even know had anything to do with ADHD have likely been the invisible destructive force behind almost 20 years of wedded chaos and instability is kind of ironic.

    In our relationship, I'm the reasonable, steady, more introverted partner.  I am not a nagger or a pusher, nor have I ever been.  He is the life-of-the party, constantly moving, boisterous, opinionated partner that everyone loves.  He runs his own successful business (which would probably be more successful if he was more organized and better with time management), and is a very loving and involved dad to our four teenage children.  I think he's developed a lot of good coping strategies over the years because he used to have a terrible anger management problem, and was very verbally abusive for the first 6 years of our marriage.  He was able to get a grip on the more overt aspects of his abusive behavior when I threatened to leave him, but he still has a tendency to subtly jab, poke, insult, accuse, blame, shame, and guilt in attempt to manipulate me into doing what he wants.  He's started doing this more with the kids as they get older, as well, which they don't exactly understand and they get frustrated by, as well.  The one plus is that I no longer feel that I'm crazy because I'm not the only one experiencing it, but I also try to deflect as much if it from them as possible, because I know how damaging that kind of "influencing" can be.  He's swung from giving everyone a piece of his mind in our early years to letting people (outside of our immediate family) walk all over him now to avoid blowing up at them.  Except me.  If he doesn't read agreement on my face or I don't verbalize my agreement with him, or if I actually verbally disagree, he gets offended or upset or outright angry.  I spend (waste) a lot of time clarifying that what I said was not meant to be offensive or hurtful, or having to defend why my patience has worn thin when I finally snap after he's being too pushy or rude.  And it's mostly stupid little things that he'll say to me or infer about me, but it never ends.  That said, he isn't like that all the time.  He's generally a chatty, positive, jovial goofball, and that is all anyone outside our home knows him as.  He plays and jokes with the kids all the time, so they have a very positive relationship with him for the most part.  But then there's me, and I am the buzzkill.

    I reached my breaking point early this year.  On two separate occasions he blew up at me at the dinner table in front of our children when he was getting on their cases for something.  Once because he perceived that I disagreed with him because I didn't immediately vocally back him up, and the other time because the child in question turned and looked at me during the conversation so he thought I MUST be secretly agreeing with them instead of him.  I defended myself until I saw it was pointless, and both times I got up from the table and walked away while he continued to rant and rave at me, then to the kids about me after I'd left the room.  He doesn't often escalate to that level anymore, but I still had to spell out to him 5 months later when he didn't understand WHY his behavior in both of those situations was problematic.  He apologized to me and to the kids when we were all together.  While I appreciated his apology, it really felt like it was too little too late.  I haven't been able to force myself to have sex with him more than 3-4 times since the second incident.  Each time I did I felt so angry and resentful about it that I decided that I probably need to not be doing that right now.  He's not happy with me over this.  Claims he's the only one who makes any effort in this relationship and that I just hold grudges forever and enjoy punishing him, but this kind of thing has been going on for 20+ years.  We have had countless "discussions" (that spiraled into arguments) about his angry reactions, and his hurtful words.  I have gotten so much pushback, denial, justification, and blame shifting back onto me that I am so over it.  

    Now that it seems like I have figured out the reasoning behind his rotten behaviors, I can understand how he doesn't see or understand the destruction he brings on me emotionally.  If I'm honest with myself, there is a part of me that genuinely wouldn't care if we ever resolved anything because I have reached the point where I can't stand him.  BUT, we have four kids still at home, and I can't afford to support myself in this economy, let alone myself AND four kids, and I would never leave them... especially with him without me here to buffer when he gets out of hand.  I feel like I've lived all these years compensating or covering for him to make it look like we have this perfect family and perfect life, and while we are very blessed in many ways, I also feel like a massive fraud.  But how do I convince him to actually look into ADHD with an open mind and possibly TRY to get some help?  He does not have the interest or patience to research and/or read anything himself.  Is it reasonable to give a partner with ADHD an ultimatum?  How does that even work when you are too exhausted from years of basically emotionally parenting a spouse with ADHD to even do the work anymore on yourself?

     

  • What to expect from medication by: GADmeetsADHD 5 days 18 hours ago

    My husband was recently diagnosed with ADHD in his late 30s, and has very gradually started to take medication. He started with half dose wellbutrin, now is going to whole dose wellbutrin, and in a month will start something else if all is well. I'm wondering what your experiences with medication have been in the early stages. Stress is so high at home that we urgently need some significant change, but I know better than to think that medication would magically solve everything. So I'd really like to temper my expectations. What were positive changes? What did you still need to work on?

     

  • ADHD effect on Marriage by: Anonymous (not verified) 6 days 9 hours ago

    Hi, new here as I'm trying to salvage my relationship! Is there any point reading the book? 
    I'm not sure I can cope with something else telling me that I need to adapt and change *my* non-ADHD behaviour. I need good constructive advice about whether a relationship is is possible and to still feel like myself and not that I'm constantly compromising who I am & what I believe! 
    thanks! 

  • I Give Up by: patlaap 1 week 1 day ago

    Well, after 21 years of marriage, not happily, I'm finally giving up! We're getting a divorce and going our separate ways. Wife has ADD and depression and simply will not get help. When she was going to counseling, about 6 years ago, things were fine, but sometimes a little rough. Her counselor retired, gave her a list of referrals, but she never would call them, or would lie to me about calling them. Her counselor told me one time that she recommended a psychiatrist. However wife would not go. Long story shorter..... we are filing for uncontested divorce. Wife's lack of concern and me exhausting all my tolerance. This is not the first time her and I got a divorce. We're married first time for 10 years. Eventually all she wanted do do was lay in bed all day long. Would not get help but would get angry with me for suggesting she did. She decided she wanted out (just like this time) After being divorced about a year, we remarried. Biggest mistake of my life! Has been mostly hell since! Now we're getting divorced again. I'll be happy to get this over with. We're not young folks, me 73 and her 68, but it's much better than living a life unhappy and with a woman who absolutely cannot be happy!

  • Non-ADHD Spouse Affair Recovery Help by: jwood 1 week 3 days ago

    I just finished Melissa’s book and it hit home so much! I am a non-ADHD spouse married to my husband who was diagnosed last month. We have been together almost 16 years (15 of them extremely happy…one of them completely heartbreaking, painful, and devastating).

    Much of what was touched on in the book highlighted what we are both going through (and have been going through unbeknownst to either of us that it was ADHD, because the symptoms weren’t causing any disarray in our relationship). That was until September when I found out my husband was having an affair. It has shattered me. I felt completely blindsided in what I thought was a very happy marriage. The book spoke about the ADHD effect on affairs, but I am having such a hard time wrapping my head around why and where to go from here. I am not the nagging, unsupportive, uptight wife outlined in many scenarios discussed in the book and on this website. We hardly fight or bicker, and are very compatible in most aspects. We have a ton of fun together, always up for something new and different, but also have fun just being together at home relaxing. Through couples therapy, my husband has assessed and indicated that there has been no justifiable reasons for this affair. It wasn’t anything I did. It is not a relationship issue.  It’s just a feeling he’s had. A feeling of curiosity for other women and ambivalence/lack of desire for me lately that lead him to this affair.

    I caught him in a blatantly cruel lie about his affair which led me to leaving him a couple months ago. However, upon my leaving he immediately had clarity, expressed his regret, ended his affair, and begged me to come home so we could heal together. He poured out his heart stating everything I was waiting to hear for so long, “I’m losing my mind without you…I’m all in with you…I want a lifetime of happiness together…I’ll do anything to get you back…so not worth throwing this away…What was I thinking…I don’t deserve you…You’re worth it/we’re worth it…I want to share how important you are to me because that’s something I lost sight of for some crazy reason”. How could I not go back?

    I felt the feelings start fading again as these promises went unfulfilled, and I couldn’t count on the goals/benchmarks we were going to lay out together anymore. My expectations were too high. I still had too much healing I needed to do individually. He continues to have so much ambivalence toward me he can’t even initiate a nice word/action/thought about me. There is so much negative baggage he starts each day with about me, then add that to his obsessive thoughts about other women, and his novelty for me completely wearing off without any ability/want/knowledge to change it. I feel completely stuck and I feel completely hopeless. My world is turning upside down and I have no control over the outcome of it.

    I have asked for such bare minimum things since then (i.e., reflecting on a good part of our day together, a reason he fell in love with me that he still feels, a weekend away, doing something new he likes together). I'm not asking him to rehash the details of the affair or berating him about how he hurt me. I am asking him to push this old baggage he created aside, see me/us in a new light, give our relationship some attention, assurance, and positive reflection so we can move forward together on a clean slate with a fresh feeling. We don’t live a boring life. I have a hard time grasping that he actually wants something different in a partner or in his life.  With the exception of novelty and desire to see what else is out there, I truly believe that he wants all the same benefits, joy, stability, freedom, happiness, and support I provide…but with a new face, body, voice, and ability to tap into that curiosity to meet that need for new affection, attention, and admiration once in a while. He goes through phases of what he wants and what he feels so often…I sometimes can’t keep up.  Sometimes I feel that I have been the only substantial thing in his life that hasn’t been a phase up until now, so I can’t wrap my head around him feeling differently for someone else in the long-term if this is his issue with me.

    I hate that I had this promise of clarity, prioritization, and healing patiently together ripped from me as soon as I put my heart back on the line. My resentment, sadness, and anger grows each day he can’t commit to our relationship. I’m starting to become someone I don’t recognize anymore, which is making repairing our relationship seem even more difficult lately because I’m not the laid-back, carefree, trusting wife anymore…I can’t be…I was that person and that was completely taken for granted.  It terrifies me the longer this goes on untreated and undiscussed the worse it will get because he is always looking for the “quick fix” and will move on if something doesn’t work and it will just “work out for him”. He has such a unique coping process with difficult information, the smallest bump in the road is just another justification to shut down, and he is so quick to do so. It's not getting us anywhere. Is there anything we can do together during this time of his own self-reflection? I am out of resources that can benefit us both that we can share together and I would love your insight and/or suggestions.

    I know this was a long…It was both an outlet and an inquiry.  I am just so lost and need additional recommendations more pertinent to this specific situation.

  • Advice for Righting the Ship in Your 30s? by: vinmir 1 week 6 days ago

    First-time poster, long-time reader, new member.

    I'm a 32-year-old male with ADHD that was only recently diagnosed, which is still confusing given how much I struggled in high school and college. Up until maybe 24-25, I felt as though I was headed on the right path, then things slowly started to unravel. I've got a partner of 11 years who I was ready to marry 7 years ago before it all fell apart (a one-year bout with agoraphobia was the catalyst that sent me into a tailspin). It's like I blinked, woke up at 32 and found myself $40K in debt, struggling to work and riddled with anxiety. We have been living with family for the past three years, but while she's been saving and building up to start a life for us, I've been drowning in the deep end. The pandemic was a nightmare for me, as staying home lead me down a road of various impulses and addictions (all behavioral, and all including money). Fortunately, I do make good money when I am working, as my creative mind is advertising's best friend. I'm not looking for pity or sympathy, I made my bed and I'll sleep in it, but rather any tips, tricks or pieces of advice you've used to right the ship when you're down and out. I love my partner more than anything, though I honestly have no idea why she's still with me, and want to put in the effort to build a real, sustainable life for us. I just have no clue where to even start and get overwhelmed (and often bored) after the first step each time. The stress I feel in my heart knowing what my mind has done to her is honestly unbearable. It breaks me and I want and need to make this right, so any and all food for thought is appreciated. I should also mention that I'm unable to take medication due to health reasons.

    Thanks very much in advance.

  • Need help with ADD husband! by: tiptoethroughtulips 2 weeks 1 day ago

    I am new to the site and I am seeking advice. Been married to my husband for 32 years. He has exhibited some signs of ADHD over the years but it has been getting worse over the last few years. He has been told by the 2 marriage therapists we have seen that he very likely has adhd. He will not go back to see these therapists (that I found) and when I ask him to find a therapist, he won't. He refuses to accept the “stigma” and the “label” of ADHD (those are the words he uses) and therefore refuses to seek evaluation.  I bought 2 copies of the ADHD effect on Marriage and gave him one. He has been reading it but I really feel like he is refuting most of it. He is writing notes on every single page so it is taking him a really long time to read it. I was hoping for a miracle revelation like "OMG I have put my poor wife through so much stress and anxiety and I have been such an asshole and I need to do whatever I can to try to make it up to her." So, yeah, that's not happening. I feel like I’m living with Jekyll and Hyde. Most of the time he is very nice and pleasant and then, without warning he’s picking a fight and being hurtful and disrespectful. The most bothersome thing is that his perception of people, mostly me, is skewed. He accuses me of the things that he in fact does. Trying to have a conversation is futile. He interrupts constantly. The conversation typically turns into argument and then goes in every direction and leaves us both exasperated. During these arguments he says very hurtful things to me. He just cannot see that he is being hurtful. It is always justified or explained. He has apologized to other people for his behavior but with me he cannot accept that he’s wrong, and has no regret for his behavior. The apologies, if at all, are typically after hours or days or even years and are hollow non-apologies. Ex: “I’m sorry you took it that way”. He has lost relationships with people he loves because of his bad behavior. I'm at the point that I just don't think I can deal with this if he continues to refuse to do anything about it. I appreciate any advice!

  • I Need help approaching My ex girlfriend and asking her for a second chance. by: Blake Solsma 2 weeks 6 days ago

    So me and my girlfriend broke up with me last mouth on May 2nd. She said it wasn't my fought but she didn't want to me go in to depression and hurt me. I have had adhd since i was diagnosed at the age of 7. Ive never had so bad depression and anxiety in the period 2 weeks.The stuff i was going thought i have never had happen in my life. My entire body turned numb for the whole day, i wasn't eating anything barely getting any sleep. The night after she broke up with me i could not get any sleep in my house and could not be in my house because she had helped me choose my colors for my walls and helped me put stuff together in my house. That night or morning at 2 am i could not get any sleep so i decided to get in my diesel truck and drove to my parents house that is 8 miles away at a 100 mph because i didn't care about life anymore and my life was i thought was over and had no idea how to deal with what was going on. So i turned around and i did the same thing on back home. i put on a lot of miles on my pick up going to talk to my parents and pastor and going to my best friends house that week i found someone to talk to and i could trust. ive started to go to a relationship therapist to help me and hes helped me a lot on how to focus my brain on whats more important. He has showed how to meditate and that has really helped me to the point ive archived the state weight less ness while meditating. I call it being in the Zen Moment when that happens. Meditation has really helped me be able to do the things that she helped remind me to do stuff. Since we have broke up i have read Taking charge adult ADHD like 4 times and the adhd effect on marriage twice. By reading these books ive learned alot of things i want to work on and have started to work on. i know these things will take time and will not be over night so im fine with that it takes time. i enjoy taking notes on these books and learning what i can do better and work on. I don't know to approach my ex i think she will agree to see me on a neutral playing field so we can talk to each other. i have some ideas what i want to say to her and ask her to have a open mind because it would have done the same thing if she came to me how do i make that happen. i think are relationship was affect in the past 6 months from my adhd and a communication difference because after reading these books i realized we were not doing it right.

    there is more to the story i just summarized what happened and what i need help with. i would like help on what i should do i think a zoom call or a discord call would be better for me to explain what was going on.

  • Adhd/depression/anxiety/drinking by: Maria23 3 weeks 4 days ago

    Hi, I'm married to a man with all of the above - and we're in a mess! We've been together for 21 years and have 3 children (one with a disability) Husband was diagnosed officially with ADHD in 2021 and spent a tough 6 months trialling meds until he found one which worked. We both thought his life would get better, but things seem to have got worse? He takes antidepressants, struggles with mental health at times but does everything right to look after himself - he runs (and runs), raises money for charity, helps other people with their mental health issues.

    He has always had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, over the years he would drink too much and never seemed able to stop on a night out (or in) This led to lots of arguments and he always got upset with our oldest daughter for some reason (similar personalities?) I was always the peacekeeper. Recently, he drank to excess and it's so hurtful for me and the kids, he can't accept there's a problem there and I don't know what to do? I can't make him stop drinking - he thinks he can read a self help book and control it himself. I think he's setting himself up to fail due to his emotional dysregulation. 
    There's a LOT of childhood trauma in his past that he's addressed through therapy, I feel more therapy would help him accept his ADHD and learn to live with it more positively?

    He can't understand why I feel lonely as he loves me, everything I say he takes the wrong way, the defensiveness is such a barrier, he thinks I'm blaming him for our marriage problems - I have said again and again it's the ADHD but it doesn't get through to him.

    Pretty sad right now, feels like he won't (can't?) fight for our relationship and cannot accept the effect his adhd and mental health is having on all of us. 


     

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