Recent forum posts (all topics)
- ADHD husband here - need advice by: Quercus McGurkus 1 day 21 hours ago
- Recently diagnosed husband personality and life changes by: ClaraB 2 days 13 hours ago
Since his adhd diagnosis a couple of months ago my husband has told me he doesn't know if he wants to be in a relationship. We have been together 6 years, and were married a year ago. 18 months ago we had a stillbirth and last year was very hard on my mental health and our relationship took a battering. Mid last year he also bought a business in an industry he hasn't worked in before which became his 24/7 focus and i felt disconnected from him at a time I needed more support. He struggled to move between work stress and spending quality time together. I started to struggle with what I now realise were adhd tendencies like patchy contribution to housework, being snappy and irritable, prioritising his phone over our face to face interactions, feeling criticised by even small requests. I took this personally and was reactive and became withdrawn at times. I now feel I can approach this with compassion rather than annoyance. We were seeing a couples counselor prior to the diagnosis, but he doesn't want to do this any more as he feels our issues won't be helped by that. He has started seeing a psychologist on his own. Further complicating things- I unexpectedly got pregnant and am in my second trimester. We were taking a break from trying after two losses. He was previously very excited about having a child together. Now my husband told me I am only being nice to him since I peed on a stick (which also correlated with a diagnosis and him explaining how unhappy he was). He told me the baby is unwanted for him and has made comments about how as a man his rights are unclear in this case (this is not something he has expressed in the past and is insulting after what we've been through trying to have a baby). He feels he is trapped and it is my choice to keep the baby.
Right now he thinks life will be better alone and not surrounded by people, because he feels people close to him are constantly disappointed in him. He said he wants to do what he wants, when he wants. He has this notion that all of his past relationships start with women who find him exciting and then the novelty wears off because he won't settle down. I don't feel like this. We have transitioned towards settling down together after both living very transiently by choice. There was no pressure from me. He has expressed that he doesn't want to get treatment he just wants to live his life to suit him. He doesn't see the point in a relationship. And doesn't want support for his adhd because he can just do things his own way and be happy. I'm ok about the single parent idea. I'll be heartbroken and it is not my preference but I have good support. It will mean moving 2000km away to be around family and friends. We have no family where we are. He has suggested he's only considering staying together because of the baby and because of the family relationships and friendships he would probably ruin if he left me and a child.
I am at a loss. I want to support him to find solutions so we can get back to what was previously a very loving and happy relationship. But I don't know if or when he will come around to accepting that? I know anger can occur with an adult adhd diagnosis. But does anyone have experience with this and whether it takes time? I feel like the diagnosis has brought out narcissist traits. But I also feel guilty thinking that because of what he is going through and how unhappy he was for 12 months while I was not a great partner.
- Looking for stories of hope by: prestopr 3 days 3 hours ago
I've been with my partner for around 10 years we have a 4 year old daughter. He was diagnosed a few years ago, has a long history of challenges with alcohol. He went on medication a year ago and it immediately managed his dependency on alcohol. He also noticed a huge difference at work and was able to achieve more.
However our relationship was never rockier. His orginal meds really increased his irritability and while better now the cycle of defensiveness, blame and conflict is almost terminal.
Despite the above he is at heart a good person, he has just been masking for so long he does not know any other way. He's a devoted Dad and I know loves me dearly, he just can't seem to grasp the challenges I face daily of living with him. He's very chaotic, messy, disorganised and relies on me as the problem solver. I've let it happen but now I'm exhausted.
We recently seperated but im back home after 2 weeks. I can't bear to be away from my daughter and the idea of losing my family is too much. But the thought of living like this for another 30 years is equally overwhelming. My question. What actually works? We are in counseling but im not sure if it is really helping, we seem to be making better progress unpicking our conflict on our own.
how can I get him to make changes around the house, help out more. Make small changes but actually stick to it. Nothing ever sticks. He's tried a ADHD coach but he does not keep to the practices. I feel so stuck, I'm looking for hope but I don't know if he can really be the partner I want him to be. How can you work out when it's time to leave or is it better to change from within.
If we break up is co parenting with a ADHD ex just a whole new set of problems? Would love to hear experiences.
- Exhausted and don't know what to do. by: User090318 3 days 21 hours ago
I'm exhausted and don't know what to do. Please seeking advice and guidance. Apologies for the lengthy post.
Me (28 y/o F) and my fiance (29 y/o M) have been together since about 2015 and got engaged in Summer 2022. He has an ADHD diagnosis since he was a child. Currently un-medicated. As of 2021 he has discussed his feelings of depression and anxiety with me. (I've encouraged therapy and professional help on multiple occasions but he refuses). Since getting engaged we're not getting along and I feel like I'm losing my sanity.
For background, trying to summarize as best I can -- After getting engaged last summer he went on a bender of drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana beginning all day every day for about 2 weeks. He'd previously been a weed smoker for years but not to this level of abuse. I expressed my concern a few times. He only stopped once we had an enormous fight about it. He admitted afterwards that he uses marijuana as a crutch to deal with his emotions. He said he was experiencing a lot of emotional difficulty at getting engaged because it was such a big life change, his childhood is over, etc. Due to this, I suggested we try couples therapy. I wanted to work through his substance abuse, depression, etc. with him in therapy. We went a few times but he refused to continue and said "we need to learn to deal with conflict ourselves." I, of course, felt awful. Being newly engaged, this was supposed to be a very happy time and it wasn't. It seemed like couples therapy gave him license to turn his substance abuse and mental health issues on me and make them my fault. He would say "you're the reason I'm depressed", "it takes two to end up in therapy", etc.
Since that time, for about a year, we've continued to have issues. The issues have escalated and I need help, I'm at my wits end. He is extremely difficult to talk to. I feel like I'm losing my sanity. Every time we argue I feel smaller and smaller. I feel like I'm living inside a vacuum and when I step away from him I'm like oh ... "wait a minute, I remember who I am." I feel like I don't know what a normal argument is anymore and what I am allowed to be upset about. Whenever I'm upset I feel like he flips it on me and somehow I always end up apologizing when I was the one who went into the discussion feeling upset! In arguments if I say "when you did X, it made me feel Y" he always replies with "you are accountable for your own emotions. I am not responsible for how you feel." Or "I can't help the way you feel, you need to control your own emotions". We can never have discussions about hurt feelings where I say I was hurt, and he simply apologizes for being hurtful. He always has a convenient way to make it my fault. I am tense around him because I don't know what his mood will be or how he will reply. He flips angrily and becomes paranoid and the simplest things. I find myself agreeing with his logic just to stop the argument and come to a peaceful place.
He is either extremely disciplined, or not. Which I believe is characteristic of ADHD people. And when he is disciplined, he is extremely arrogant about it and lords it over me. Constantly telling me that I am not accountable enough and need to be more like him. I am constantly not doing something right in his opinion and he is constantly critiquing me. When I bring up that his critiques wear on me he tells me to stop playing the victim and be accountable. He rarely asks questions of my activities and just tells me what he would do. When I disagree, he tells me that I don't listen to him.
Recently, I put on a pair of gold hoop earrings to go to dinner with him. He told me he didn't like them and wanted me to take them off. I told him I liked them and wanted to wear them anyway. He asked me, why wouldn't I want to dress in a way that is attractive to him and said that it is disrespectful to him (as my fiance) to go against what he finds attractive. I said I did not ask for his opinion and asked him to respect my wishes. He said "why would I ever compliment you again if you don't listen to me when I'm telling you now I don't like something." I get so stunned at how such a simple thing escalated into an arguments. It is making me feel crazy because he always finds a way to manipulate the argument into a way where he is right. I have had dozens of arguments like this. I cant even remember them all anymore.
I lost it today and am strongly considering calling off the wedding. I can't take much more. He is involved with coaching after his regular 9-5 job. I was leaving for work this morning and making polite conversation when I asked him "if he had practice tonight?" He suddenly became irate. He started angrily repeating the question and following after me yelling "Do I have practice tonight?! Answer the question yourself! Do I?!" I was so stunned and replied that I wasn't sure of his schedule because he hadn't given it to me. Over the weekend his dad shared the schedule with me and I forgot that I had it. My fiance continued to stomp after me yelling "You're asking a stupid question! My dad gave you the schedule! Stop being a liar!" I walked out.
I was stunned at how quickly the situation escalated and sat in my car before work to reflect on the situation. I wondered, as we approach getting married, that if I had a child with this man and he spoke to me in that manner in front of our child, would I be proud? Would that be appropriate? Would that be something I'd want the child to witness? No.
I texted him this morning from my car saying "No one deserves to be spoken to the way you just spoke to me." He texted me "Stop playing the victim." He can just never apologize for his behavior. I get it that I had the schedule but I really don't feel my question warranted that response.
I feel like I cant have a conversation with him anymore. I don't know if its NPD or ADHD related but I am emotionally drained and stuck. I love him very much and that is why I struggle with what to do. It is difficult to consider ending things with someone you love but I feel like he isn't the same person anymore. These arguments seem incredibly abnormal. Do people who have been together almost a decade just have these issues? Please help.
EDIT -- I want to profusely thank everyone who has taken the time to weigh in and help a stranger in a time of need. Your thoughts are appreciated and have been very helpful in sifting through the chaos.
- Melted Cake a Metaphor? by: Luvs2Run 4 days 9 hours ago
Today was my daughter's birthday. We had already done a trip to celebrate but wanted to do just a few special things at home to still make it a good birthday. She really wanted to make a cake with me and decorate it a very specific way. She talked about it for days. I love making the kid's birthday cakes. They're never perfect but I'm getting better and better. We frosted it together this morning (she just couldn't wait) and we were both just tickled by it. I put it in the fridge so the frosting would stay in place. We opened gifts and had some family time. I took a few minutes to handle a work thing and then we were going to have cake. As I came back in I said "all right let's pull this cake out"...my ADHD spouse said "oh it's in the oven, oh no I left in there longer than I meant to". In the oven? Why was it in the oven? It was already baked and frosted. "I pulled the cake out and it was cold so I wanted to warm it up". The frosting and little details my daughter and I had done together were completely melted. There was icing running all over the oven and the special cake stand from our wedding which he'd put in the oven with the cake as well. I was upset. "WHHHHHHHy would you put it in the oven?" "Well it was all cold, geez you don't need to freak out just because I made the mistake of leaving it in there too long". My daughter is telling him "it's fine I like it like this" which just makes me feel even more confused and thrown off. Isn't it fair for me to be sad and frustrated by this? Isn't it fair for me to expect him not to mess with the cake I baked and frosted with her while he was doing his own thing? Why am I "crazy" and "over-reacting" when something I've put time and effort into and cared about for our kid is literally put into and oven and melted. Then I had to try and shake it off and serve the cake without turning it into a whole thing for our daughter. Here are the things that make this so hard to get over 1) Things like this happen often. Something that seems like it should be a given to me is apparently not a given. It feels like I can't really do anything in life without the fear of it getting randomly erased or knocked down. 2) He doesn't take responsibility for them. He thinks I'm crazy for being upset. He did say "I'm sorry it got left in the oven too long", but that just negates my feelings which are that it shouldn't have been put in the oven at all. It frames it as though I'm a tyrant giving him a hard time for a simple mistake when it's really a bit of an intrusion and unprecedented behavior. 3) I feel caged in these situations because he does not want me to have feelings about them. It just makes it that much hard to regulate myself when I'm being judged for having the emotion at all. 4) Lastly it just feels like there's no way to remedy this. A lot of times these stem from a self-focused modus operandi. He likes his cake to be warm. He doesn't like icing. He truly feels the cake was better after having been in the oven. He can only sort of understand that how it looked mattered to me. Or maybe he just doesn't care that it mattered to me? I'm truly and honestly not sure.
How do I face a lifetime of hopes dashed, of working super hard just to have things melted in the oven, when my efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated and even...resented? How can I authentically try to take the loving path when I feel so abandoned, unseen, and restricted? I want to keep trying, to keep pushing for a good and happy life together, but it's getting really hard to see a future that doesn't involve having to give up everything that brings me joy or makes me me. It's not just about the cake.
- learning about ADHD post-divorce by: nefun76 1 week 1 day ago
It was a light bulb moment for me when my ex shared a link that it's possible he could have ADHD - his is more of ADD as there was no impulsiivity but there was acute selfishness, unreliability and inattentiveness. Zero investment in marriage or family. We had a parent -child dynamic in a decade and a half old marriage. The experience of the non-ADHD spouse shared in the article was 1000% my reality .
We have had so many conflicts, I was emotionally drained , exhausted and depleted. He was hyperfocused on several businesses which kept failing , I had to sole provide for the larger part of our marriage which I was happy to do them because I felt he needed to focus on his business. I also had to support him in these businesses as he always said I was very smart and he needs me but no reciprocity . I struggled on my own to meet my own needs and that of the children . He only wanted his emotional and sexual needs met.
He just wanted the benefits of fatherhood and marriage without the responsibilities. He would leave the home /walk out when things were not working , literally abandon us for months under the guise of wanting peace . His idea of peace was to be left alone and not be involved in household, child care or anything that required mental or physical effort. Never felt he should protect his family, he would tell the kids I am a strong woman so to him I could manage or fix any problems. He was intensely stingy and selfcentered - would not share anything with me except on very few occasions. He needed to be told or reminded to help with everything except things that benefit him.
He was a closet cheat and has been unfaithful in the most grotesque way. He seemed to have a good outward personality so it was hard for anyone to relate or for me to share my challenges
He recently cheated with a mutual friend of ours, filed for divorce and plans to marry her. It was a horrific ordeal but I am thankful that my pain and what I went through was validated by his diagnosis and that I was not unreasonable or expecting too much . I asked him if he would share his diagnosis with all those he has demonized me against but he ignored . He is one to cling to sympathy .
- Contagious passivity by: Swedish coast 1 week 4 days ago
Does anybody else have an ADD spouse who spends a big part of every day closed in and resting in bed?
I thought I could live my life independently in the next room. But I'm starting to feel deeply affected by it.
When he shuts himself in, it's often for hours, or until the next day. It may mean illness, an inflammatory situation, medication side effects, depression, exhaustion or that he is overwhelmed, or even content. I usually can't tell the situations apart, they tend to look the same. Communication is very slow and reluctant on his part, so it's hard to be supportive, except with practical matters (is that me keeping poor boundaries?).
It stresses me out. It makes me feel vulnerable. Kids pick up the low energy at home. I try to counter it, which is exhausting. I feel physically weak by spending time near my husband. I force myself to be active, but it doesn't come naturally. I feel the weakness acutely, like a threat to my sanity.
Is there any way to avoid this contagion?
- Moving with ADHD by: ebecoat01 1 week 6 days ago
- Tired and lost by: TiredPartnerBr 2 weeks 2 days ago
Hi, everyone! I'm new here. English is not my first language, so please bear with me. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6. He's 36. We've been together for almost 20 years now (highschool sweethearts). I consider myself to be a very patient person, but now that we have a baby (1 yo), I'm just so very tired of everything. I love my husband, I really do, but I don't think I can take this any more. We just started couples therapy to try and save our marriage, but sometimes I feel like there's nothing else I can do. I don't even have the strainght to write about it here, I'm just so tired. He is an amazing father, human and He's very smart. But he doesn't know what he wants, he is a total mess, he is so aggressive sometimes, he is very critical and judgmental to everyone around him, he has a hard time sticking to jobs, sometimes it seems like he doesn't quite accept and know how ADHD affects our lives, and it's so frustrating. Don't know what to do anymore. My family and some friends that LOVE him are actually being very supportive and saying they understand me, which I'm very surprised about because somehow he made me believe that all of our issues were in my head. Does anyone have any tips on what to do? I'm so lost and tired! Thanks
- Lost and at the crossroads… by: LostinLife23 2 weeks 3 days ago
Unsure where to start as everything seems like a blur in my head. Although at the crossroads of having to make tough decisions...
Basic background info - I am 49 and was recently diagnosed with ADHD in March of this year. I am currently on meds but haven't started therapy yet. Wife is younger and diagnosed with GAD. Married 10.5 years, been together for 13 yrs and we are both on our second marriages.
Marriage has been rocky for several years due to trust being the biggest thing killing it. She stated she can't trust me as i wouldn't follow through with what i would say or had slight addictive tendencies which were hard to quit when i said I would. I get that, I understand she had problems with trust and yah i wasn't the most trustworthy person. I don't blame her for how she felt. She is an extremely smart, strong willed, independent women that I am still attracted to and still want to be with.
My issues are that I have extremely bad spirals and have created this loop of having a fight, realizing what i did, apologizing and promising I would change only to be triggered again and spiral. As this has gone on for years before i was diagnosed and have had several spirals since being diagnosed - she feels i haven't changed. And maybe i haven't...
I got laid off from a job of 23 years March 1st, got diagnosed the next day.. My world around me collapsed as of March 1st because I lost a huge support team that I had with my work family. I had a routine, I had a meaning in life, I had purpose... I slowly went downhill to a dark place where I was constantly spiraling and she helped me.. she supported me.. Although with the years of pain behind us, she was already at zero. She had no more to give and I kept taking.
Fast forward through the storms..to yesterday. We haven't had many days where we don't fight, she hasn't had a weekend where we haven't been in turmoil because of me. So she is resentful and I honestly get it. So yesterday.. we had a fight and my impulsiveness said forget it and I went and applied for an apt. I got approved same day and now it is decision time... She is aware and I told her I have two options I want to present as I don't want a divorce.
I want to fix myself to get back to the person I know I am, who i want to be, happy and able to support her and our marriage.
Plan a - to stay at home.. forget the apt and I want to go see a therapist although I will need her support, so i asked for her to support me. (Not financially but mentally through this.) Mind you she hasn't stopped supporting me.. Even yesterday in the spiral she walked me back into a calm spot and reality.. I don't have a fear she won't support me... but I asked because I didn't want to feel like I expect it.
Plan b- to move out and I would like to stay married - I want to see a therapist and I would like her support still. She quickly blew this one off as she feels that if i wanted the marriage to work then i would stay in it no matter what.
So that led to plan c.. move out and divorce. 100% in or 100% out.
Her biggest issue with plan a was that I didn't mention anything about supporting her or what I was going to do for her or for the marriage, i agree.. i didn't. I got talking and I got on one path..and I didn't talk or think of other parts but what I wanted to say.
At this point I am confused and I don't know what is best... I feel I will be ok but lonely moving out and getting a divorce. I love her and I want to be with her... I feel one of the biggest issues we have is communication. I have a hard time wording how i feel and she takes things based on how they are worded.
I guess... right now lost in life in 23...
Thanks in advance for any comments or posts.. I appreciate them all... this was therapeutic alone just typing it although I do value your opinions..