Recent forum posts (all topics)

  • Break Up (ADHD) by: adhdquestion 4 days 2 hours ago

    I'm 34 and my partner of 3 years and I have decided to separate. She is 31 and has recently been diagnosed with combined ADHD. 99% of the time,I have never met a more lovely, kind, caring, beautiful girl in my life. It's the 1% that was the end. Pre diagnosis was a rollercoaster of arguments, power plays, impulsivity, depression, drug taking on nights out, Hyperfocus/ me being ignored, crying/breakdowns, her mind racing, anxiety and generally living her life at 1000 mph.

    I wanted to reach out here because I feel like there may be people in the same boat as me that could help. 

    I have tried and tried to do everything in my power to make this work and I feel like I've failed. 

    We've been to couples counseling (pre-diagnosis, so that wasn't helpful), I'm doing my own therapy, she's on medication and now has a behavioral coach. She developed loads of helpful hacks to combat her symptoms such as multiple reminder alarms and writing notes (there are notes everywhere and piles of them). Our arguments became less and less as we both have been learning about ADHD.

    I worked on my anxious thoughts and feelings and she worked on her. The issue is that we haven't been able to solve this one problem.

    When her symptoms get too much for me (excessive talking all the time, fast actions, spilling and breaking something by accident, mood swings, tears etc), I shut her down.It can be something like stopping her midway through a sentence and saying 'I don't mean to be rude but I'm doing something'. This leads to a nuclear explosion of anger like I've never experienced. Like going from 0 to F.U in seconds.

    This then makes me angry and we have explosive arguments about ridiculous things. She ends up in tears ( pouring tears like someone has died), in bed with anxiety, and then it ends with her saying she can't believe I would upset her. How she doesn't have time for me to be rude, dismissive, unsupportive, and if she feels rejected or shut down, I will always get verbal abuse. No compromise. If she feels attacked because I'm in a mood and I've had a go about something that may not actually be her fault (but I've maybe had a bad day and not in a great mood) forget it... it goes to nuclear anger. 

    She's now started telling me I'm gaslighting her and it's emotional abuse. She says it's about 3/10 and that I may not know I'm doing it. I think I use my words in arguments to get my point across in an argument in a way that confuses her - I tend to talk about multiple things to use as examples of how I feel. and talk around the point instead of addressing the point. Perhaps to use as ammo to get my point across. She says her working memory isn't great so when I ask for examples she can't give me any. So all this makes me feel like a horrible person and all I've ever tried to do is try my hardest to make us work as a couple. Same for her.

    So now it's got to us going to 0-10 in anger any time she feels rejected or shut down. Even if we haven't had an argument, it seems that the smallest thing can get in her head and tip her over the edge. She gets so sad at night, if not medicated. And I mean tears and depressed, then in the morning, she tells me I'm the best thing to ever happen in her life and gives me loads of lovely compliments. 

    All our arguments have been from me shutting her down, not listening and being unsupportive. I feel so bad that her symptoms trigger me as I really try. But it seems to just build and build, until I say something and the anger and tears are back. I could go on about the 6 hours it takes to pack her suitcase to go on holiday, the verbal emotional outbursts, the PTSD she has when she was beaten up by an abusive guy at a wedding who beat up his gf (she jumped in to help and tried to fight him after calling for help), she thinks her mum and sister don't like her because of the way she was to them when she was younger etc etc... No matter how much I try and justify it, us ending still feels like I've failed and I'm deeply sad. 

    It seems we're just incompatible and I'm relieved I don't have to deal with this anymore, I feel tired and beaten by the whole thing but I wanted to reach out to find out if perhaps I have done something here that I shouldn't have.

    Thanks for your time.x




  • Hello everyone... by: sadinsavannah 4 days 13 hours ago

    Let me start by expressing my thanks for this forum. My wife of 20 years was recently diagnosed but I have had my suspicions forever. It wasn't until she recently had Covid that the ugliest side of ADHD reared it's ugly head. 
    She had a very bad experience with Covid and lost most of her senses for quit some time. Almost as soon as she recovered, she went into a hyper bucket list phase. I tried to be patient and understanding but when she had an affair that drew the line. 
    her premeditated affair, she claims was very impulsive and she absolutely couldn't stop wanting to do it. After the affair which happened an few months ago, I didn't find out until last week.. she claims she cut it off and couldn't understand why she did it and that she loved it and it would be hard for her to not do again. So we seemed medical advice. 
    last Thursday she went to the local medical behavioral place and was immediately told she would be more than probably have adhd and need medication, this of course has to be followed up my a test which we are awaiting to have done on the 15th of February. In the mean time they prescribed her 40mg of a non stimulating meditation. I have to admit it's helped her focus and calmed her all over the board thinking. I think this is going to be a long uphill battle. Until the 15th ... thanks for the support and I hope to gain lots of support here 


  • Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (RSD) by: Ardorguy 6 days 11 hours ago

    My wife is ADHD and cycles through the mood swings of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. This condition has devastated our marriage and ruined our intimacy life. I have come to dread the weekends, because I never know what will trigger the RSD episodes. RSD is a self-fulfilling prophecy so to speak. The more she rages about the lack of sex, and makes me feel put down and humiliated, the less I want it with her. We are in our 60's and our sex life has been few and far between. Early in our marriage sex was fun and spontaneous, but now it's a constant point of contention and the spark rarely happens. For me, the problem is in the relationship too … the day to day stuff outside the bedroom. She wants romantic times, but never ever does one thing to provide them. She is a rather thoughtless person in that regard, and has no clue how to be romantic towards me. It never comes 'at me.' We only figured out that she was ADHD about 15 months ago, after I read 'The ADHD Effect on Marriage.' Ten thousand bells and whistles went off in my head about her family and upbringing (a family of total slobs, in the housework sense) and she discussed it with her mother and it was confirmed that both of her brothers were diagnosed as ADHD when they were young, a fact we didn't know. They didn't get treated because she "didn't want them to take pills." I'm 99% sure her deceased father was ADHD, I knew him well. ADHD (ADD) was a 'boy thing' back then too often. The signs in girls often escaped notice. If I had known early in my marriage what I was dealing with I could have coped better. She agrees that she's "on the spectrum" (her words) but refuses to see a professional so far. The RSD episodes come out of the blue. The triggers are somewhat predictable. For example she'll watch a show with steamy sex or intense romance, 30 minutes later I'm on the defensive being called names. These episodes in turn make me never want to touch her — that's the self-fulfilling prophecy bit. It's the total irrationality of it that's frustrating for me. The 'black and white' thinking, everything is 'always or never' … the communication can never be achieved because of the rigidity of her thoughts and emotions. Sexual and intimate feelings are just about dead for me, which is sad because it should be a solid part of any marriage. I'm sad looking back on it all, I'm sad I feel helpless to solve it. It is way beyond my "expertise." I barely know what people are even talking about when they discuss sex and intimacy in marriage. I married at age 29 and don't even know what it's 'supposed' to feel like to be married, even at this late age.

  • Question for non-ADHD spouses by: mike1112014 1 week 22 hours ago

    In short, do you think the ADHD spouse can change? Or do you have to change to make it work? My wife and I have been married for 6 years, I was diagnosed at 3 years we had our daughter at 4 years and it's been up and down. I communicate poorly about things because of shame, especially money and sex. Getting diagnosed and treated helped us get strong enough that we had a baby together but those stresses have caused a relapse in me and I have to refocus and readjust all over again just to get back to a level of connection and communication we had before. My wife is running out of patience and says I have asked for her patience and effort and time for 6 years and she is spent, but I feel like I am ready and willing to make a big change and I have all the tools, but I get discouraged when she is not open long herself to the possibility and promise of it or assumes I won't ever change. I know she is protecting herself by not getting her hopes up again, but I need to find a way to get her to let me in again to believe I can make a fix again. Right now she believes every improvement was temporary to "get her off my back." I know it's my own behavior that's caused this but it's upsetting that she convinced me this was a medical problem and not a character one but she still talks and acts like I WANT this to be this way like it's a choice that I made and not a function of my condition that I cannot always sustain improvements.

  • An ADHD - Trauma flashback reconciliation by: HGuerin 1 week 2 days ago

    Hello, I knew from the beginning of our 19years and counting together (12 years married) that my wife was abused as a pre-teen. It seemed to me like background information; thought nothing of it other than compassion  for what happened. We had a wonderful courtship, engagement and marriage. 6 months after "I do" her mother died suddenly. It was heartbreaking for me because my mother-in-law was an amazing woman and I loved her. It was devastating for my wife. She took it really hard and I was her rock. I knew not to rush her grief process but after 8 months without any passion I reminded her about the lack of intimacy. She got furious with me. Eventually our marriage returned to the warmth, fun and romance we were used to before the tragedy. Fast forward, we bought a house and settled in for two years and expected our first child. When he was born I thought it was normal that my wife was tired all the time and subdued. Affection had dwindled but hey, she did a heroic thing of carrying, delivering and nurturing this beautiful baby. It got strange to me how long that mode lasted. We tried to make love for the first time 4 months afterwards and she started crying. I stopped right away and comforted her. We didn't try again for 6 more months. In that time she started complaining about my way of communicating.  Again we eventually got back into the swing of things. When our second was born the wheels fell off. She started getting hypercritical of everything I was doing. We don't have typical jobs and that allows us to distribute the parenting and housework. However her chronic fatigue was back like never before and I was assuming most of the roles in the house. I'm unable to form long term plans, not very good at prioritization, cannot maintain a calendar nor any routine really and most of all I am disastrous at time management but somehow I was held responsible for all of the cooking, food shopping, much of the cleaning, special projects around the house, watched the kids much of the time, still had to go into work (art teacher/ help run a school) as well as try to keep up with my work at home (artist). All of this while I was getting criticized for everything I did. This included not caring for myself in the form of not sleeping. For one, when I tried I couldn't sleep with stress thoughts pinging through my head and for two I can't keep track of time when I'm focused on something so I'd work until 2-3 in the morning. My wife's fatigue was so bad that that I was still getting up throughout the night for the kids and handled them in the morning so she could sleep. There was no affection, only nagging and complaining. I was a wreck. My self worth went into the toilet and I'll admit I wouldn't have wanted to be married to me. I was angry and sullen. I didn't want to see anyone; became a recluse. She and I started to see a marriage counselor and it seemed like from the start, I was the evil ogre and she was treated like the damsel in distress needing the counselors' rescue. I could say nothing right. It didn't matter how destructive she could be in the things she said; she could do no wrong in the counselors eyes. My wife finally said the words "I no longer love you". It was eye opening for sure. I had to take a long look into the mirror to see the monster I'd become. I went all-in on self improvement. I found God for the first time, reading the Bible and praying daily, worked out and got my body back. Plowed through book after book, podcast, YouTube video, articles on relationships, communication, psychology, self esteem, etc and learned how to control my swings of emotions. She saw all of the efforts as both a trick to win her back and pressure. 2 months later she asked for a divorce. Around this time my wife started seeing a trauma counselor. I know I never abused her. I never forced her into anything sexual, never hit her. I may not have been the most graceful in an argument but I never hurled insults nor threatened her. It became apparent that she was thrown back into her childhood abuse. In hindsight, the death of her mother and the birth of our first child triggered her as well. 
    My wife came to believe that my efforts to change are genuine and she eventually took divorce off of the table. For months we were getting along, working out disputes with a new counselor who believes that the marriage is the client and made sure both sides are understood. Despite all of this there was no affection whatsoever. The terms of our reconciliation were that I was to make no moves and she didn't offer any either. That changed after another 5 months since she wanted to split. She started allowing hands holding and eventually pecks on the lips for good morning. I was hopeful again but then... affection returned to zero when she got re-triggered again. She swore over and over again that it had nothing to do with me yet my mind is swirling with all of the pain, imagined reasons and boredom. This has happened two other times including the present. Throughout this journey we've seen a lot of counselors both marriage and individual and all of them offered up the question to me "by any chance do you have ADHD?" I always just chuckled it off "I guess so". Only recently did I start taking it seriously that it might be true. I started taking the online tests and read into the symptoms and now not only do I know I have it but it has greatly affected my life. That led me to Melissa Orlov's book. From reading "the ADHD Effect on Marriage" it not only validated our problems as issues that can happen in a ADHD/non-ADHD marriage but I realized how frustrating some of the attention deficit traits are for her. Throw in her childhood sexual abuse issues into the fold and it gets really difficult. With my rampant ADHD and her trauma recollection we were in a relationship stalemate. It's like finding out what happens when an unstoppable force collides with an immovable object. My wife and I still have a long road ahead but I'm hopeful it'll return to a mutually satisfactory relationship. I'm currently in the process of finding out what treatments are available. 

  • Broken beat and scarred by: Gardener 1 week 4 days ago

    Hi everyone. Gathering the strength for my first post.

    So.  After coming here and learning the truth I am facing painful realities about me and my marriage to an ADHD woman.

    My life has been one of caretaking.  I saw myself with perfectly horrid clarity.  Constantly blamed and shamed for trying to have some order in the chaos that is undiagnosed ADHD.

    32  years came crashing down like a pile of crumbs on the floor once I saw how it had affected our relationship.  It took a massive effort on my part to get through her denial and lies to make her finally understand. I told her calmly and honestly what ADHD had done to me and our marriage and that I must be allowed to speak my truth.  I have never before been able to even suggest that she had anything wrong with her without the vicious reprisals.  Anyway, That was a very long incredibly painful sequence over 3 days to finally get through.

    I am the classic support person that has enabled the ADHD one to gather themselves and make success in life.  Always at my expense though.  I have had 4 careers of mine scuttled to follow the latest impulsive decision to uproot our family to pursue the next thrill for her.  Since she has the best job she has always used that to silence the voice of reason in our decisions, me.  That has left me in places watching her flourish with new opportunities and rewards while I get nothing in return for my sacrifice.  In a new place with absolutely no options.  No friends no job nothing.  Start over from scratch.  All the while watching helplessly while our life saving is drained rapidly.  That has finally culminated in my awakening to find myself a  very angry and hurt person who has no self esteem left at all.  It always gets turned on me so it is my fault and that has made me depressed and withdrawn, socially isolated and despondent. 

    Today I am finally taking care of myself.  I left 2 days ago when I realized that I had not been allowed to speak the truth for 32 years. I told her that I needed to give myself some time away to process what I just learned and to try to help myself out of the negativity that I have descended into. I have arranged a 3 week break so I can think clearly and rationally, because I can not process any of this inside the bubble of chaos that is our life together.  I came here to the forum last night and wrote it all out and the after reading it a bunch of times, just deleted the post and said I am not ready. I am so broken right now I just needed someone to listen a bit without dumping all my load on them.

    So anyone who has a kind ear and has listened, thank you.


  • not ready by: Gardener 1 week 4 days ago
  • One has ADHD and the other has PMDD by: Sammie789 1 week 5 days ago


    I would like to know if anyone else is in this situation and what they are doing or did... My husband has ADHD and I have PMDD, and we're new to these news.. Explains a lot. But still can't cope. 

  • Exhausted... by: teary lucy 1 week 6 days ago


    My ADHD is my husband. he is 60, says he has it and has tested twice but both results came back as he doesn't has one. We have been to counseling but didn't work. Since the test results say he doesn't have ADHD, there is no treatment plan. We've been together 9 years.

    My biggest issue with him is his rage, the extremely short fuse, not own his mistake and very mean. I used to think, "This is because ADHD, we just need to keep looking for a better doctor." But at this point, I am exhausted. Finding a good doctor for this issue is really hard and confusing. Since we have tried and saw some doctors who say that they treat ADHD but they were not experts.... Meanwhile, fights and arguments keep continue. At this point, I am exhausted and never been depressed like this before. I have been lonely. 

    Yes, ADHD is causing so many parts of our lives but even someone who has it can feel bad or sorry after he/she yells or rage, don't they? Don't they have some sort of regret and say sorry? My husband doesn't apologizes. Never. Everything, everything is my fault. Now when he angry at me, I just go to my room spend my time alone. 

    He says sometimes he would try a new doctor if I find a good one but how long would it take him to behave better? Or would it even work? 

    He spent this weekend cleaning a senior neighbor's yard. He does something good for someone but not for me. He used to call me "my lovey assistant". He was joking but it wasn't joke to me. I do all my house stuff - cleaning, all grocery shopping, refilling his prescriptions, make his doctors appointments, cooking, laundries, pay bills, weeding, watering, etc. I have asked him why he wouldn't;t help me. He said that's because he works 40 hours and I work just 25 hours. 

    At this point, I am not sure his mean behaviors are caused by ADHD or it might be just him. 

    How did you bring back yourself to move forward? I need some positive energy. It's been so sad.


  • Did your ADHD cause your divorce? by: trentthomas17 2 weeks 4 days ago

    I love this site and how poitive it is. I don't like talking about divorce but my non-adhd wife has decided to leave me. We have a 6-yo and a 3-yo girl and boy. I'm devastated. Ever since we started a family the negative parts of adhd krept in - anxiety over money, providing a good enough life for my wife and kids, insecurity of whether i was being a good enough husband and father, shame over making little mistakes. That's when i hurt my wife. When I would become overwhelmed with negative thoughts I didn't know how to communicate it to her. So she would feel lonely and shut out. After months of counseling, getting on proper meds, and learning about my (previously undiagnosed) adhd, the pain i caused my wife seems too much for her to overcome. I'm not entirely sure what I hope to gain from posting this. Maybe all I need is a virtual hug haha