Recent forum posts (all topics)

  • recording conversations: childish or helpful?? by: dvance 3 months 3 weeks ago

    So I am at the end of my rope this weekend with DH's inability to recall pretty much ANY conversation we have, either just the two of us or with the kids.  My oldest son turns 18 tomorrow.  He had prom last night, graduates from high school next Sunday.  He is VERY full of himself.  About two months ago, this child started teeing up the "when I turn 18 I can do whatever I want" conversation.  I mostly blew it off with humor--like "yep-good luck with that" type of thing but the more he brought it up, I had enough.  This same child leaves for a gap year in Costa Rica in September.  He is a beach life guard, manages a beach all summer.  He has also had issues with drugs and alcohol.  To say he does not have the best judgement in the world is an understatement.  He has a 1:30am curfew.  And every freakin' time he goes out we have to have the curfew conversation again.  So DH and I agree that this child will have a 1:30 curfew from NOW until he leaves for Costa Rica.  And both me and hubby have this conversation with the child.  In fact, it is DH who delivers this information.  And would you believe...as of yesterday, DH has no recollection of this conversation at all.  Convenient, huh.  So I told DH yesterday that we will have this conversation with the child AGAIN and this time I will record it so that when either of them "forget" this information, I have a record of it.  Second thing DH "forgot", also related to this child.  Child wanted to go with his friends to a "prom house" in Lake Geneva for a few days.  Um...no.  And BTW, a "prom house" is not a thing.  So no.  And again, DH and I had this conversation, DH agreed that he had never heard of such a thing, etc.  And then today the child is mooning all over the house because "all of his friends are at the prom house" and lo and behold--DH DOES know all about prom houses, they had them when he was in school, he has heard about them all over the place.  Um...what?  DH did not go to prom, he currently has no friends, and spends every moment he is not working parked on the couch watching either youtube videos or Storage Wars, so where he would hear about what's hot in high school is a mystery to me.  

    I know that others have similar problems with selective memory with their ADHD person.  Couple that with the "I know everything about everything" even with a LOT of evidence to the contrary and it is crazy making.  I start to feel like I am the one who can't keep stuff straight.  DH and the 18 year old have such an odd relationship-I am very anxious for the child to get away from the lousy influence that is his father.  Most things that DH and I discuss TOGETHER, and then present to the child, DH words it with some version of "your mother wants you to..." or "mom thinks and I agree".  Really not helpful.  The child tells me all the time that I am too hard on DH and that I am so bossy that DH just goes along with whatever I say.  I suspect DH's "selective" memory and desire to appear in a positive light EVEN if it means hurting OUR relationship is part of the ADHD impulsive, whatever is easiest in the moment, avoid conflict at all costs thing but boy--not mature at all.  And really hard to parent that way.

    I am ready to record conversations that we have with DS so that NEITHER of them can claim that a) the convo never happened or b) the content of the discussion.  Thoughts?  I have to get some sanity here.  And what usually ends up happening is that DS pushes back when DH is out of town or working late or has gone to bed already and then once again, it's ME that is the enforcer.  SO tired of that dynamic.  

    Any help or advice on dealing with the ever-so-convenient selective memory would be much appreciated-

    dvance

  • My house is filled with junk and is falling apart; what do I do? by: PoisonIvy 3 months 3 weeks ago

    [Edited to remove reference to needing help being talked off the ledge]:  I decided to do some inside work today and went into the basement, which I avoid because it's so dirty and cluttered.  I found what might be new water damage.  I'm so depressed and upset about the condition of the house, which ex took responsibility for but then neglected.  Yesterday, I was cleaning out the gutters, which he said we shouldn't get replaced when we had the roof redone a few years ago.  They were clogged and my hands smelled like sewage afterward.  I'm worried and sad about the situation; the house is my biggest asset but if it's in as bad shape as I fear it is, I might be screwed financially.  Thank you in advance for suggestions or support.

    I originally asked for help talking myself off the ledge.  I've done okay today, probably because I didn't go back into the basement and did other work inside and outside the house.  But I will say that the combination of years of "I can do it myself!" (ex-H), my desire to avoid micromanaging and "parenting" my ex, and long-term unemployment (ex-H) leading to long-term financial problems (entire family) has had a very negative effect on the condition of my house. 

  • Traveling with ADHD by: Hopeful Heart 3 months 3 weeks ago

    For me, traveling with my ADHD husband is truly a panic inducing experience. He has the overfocused type of ADHD. When we travel and he's in an unfamiliar environment, his brain isn't able to take everything in. He only comprehends about 50% of what is going on around him, maybe less.  This causes his judgement and decision making skills to b very impaired. I would say he makes some decisions at a 10 or 12 year old level. To further complicate matters, he insists on being in complete control of our activities and we are at his mercy. As a result, our physical needs have been neglected and we've been put in dangerous situations many times. 

    I had a full blown panic attack 10 years ago in the days leading up to a trip to Mexico. That was my first panic attack and  I ended up in the emergency room with that one. 

    We're preparing for a week long trip right now. Yesterday I was in a state of semi panic all day long. I called my husband at work and unloaded on him in a very loud and unpleasant way. He handled it pretty well. He's making an itinerary and trying to plan and prepare, which he's never done before. He's trying to reassure me, but deep down I know he has no control. We are at the mercy of ADHD. 

    Do any of you have any advice or stories that will help me deal with traveling this summer? Thank you!

  • Has anyone come back from the brink? by: Evie_K 3 months 3 weeks ago

    I no longer feel I love my ADHD husband, not for about 6 months now. I feel terribly guilty about it because I know he's now trying to make changes (after telling him I want a separation) but it feels too late for me. He's no longer aggressive, but he is still very defensive and irresponsible and I struggle to find any positivity in our relationship to look back on. 

    Has anyone felt this way and made a recovery? I feel so ambivalent about working on my marriage and running as far away as possible. 

  • Permission to expect an equal partnership by: jennalemone 3 months 3 weeks ago

    The Bible I grew up on had quote after quote about how a woman should "obey" her husband as head of the house. Timothy and Paul especially demanded that a woman "stifle" and "submit" and be quiet because the woman was made "for" the man.  THIS is one of the main reasons I have been weak and do not like myself in my marriage.  I tried so hard to be a good girl and looked to the Bible for direction.  Now at this age and having had the experience in marriage as I did, I have to say that those passages lined me up for failure and I must look at the Bible as a 21st Century woman and say that some things were written by Jewish/Roman/Grecian laws of the land rather than from a loving God who loves me and I must throw them out and be wary of old views that I had taken upon myself to follow.  Timothy and Paul were especially insistant about a "woman's place".  And I was taught as a young girl that the Bible was written by God and not to question it.  I took it WAY to far and lived by every word and nuance.  I think many people, women AND men are like me and it makes some of us weak and/or entitled in a bad way.

    It is helpfpul for me to substitute some words in my own head to give myself permission to make judgments of situations with a healthier attitude for myself and my children. So I post the following.  I would have thought this sacreligious in my youth to take liberty with the Holy Bible's writings but I have memorized so many things that were hurtful to me as a woman.  I don't want to believe that God wants me to sit quietly and be hurt and discarded as having no value except as I can serve a man. Especially in putting myself in surrender to a man whose goals and interests are to be a silly imp and free of responsibilities. I must take into consideration that the Bible is written by men/for men. Some words have been substituted by me for me to have the permission to expect and view marriage to actually work for the family, not just for the man.

    A husband of noble character is his wife's crown, but a disgraceful husband is like decay in her bones. Proverbs 12:4

    An excellent husband who can find? He is far more precious than jewels. The heart of his wife trusts in him, and she will have no lack of gain. He does her good, and not harm, all the days of her life. He seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. He is like the ships of the merchant; He brings her food from afar. ... Proverbs 31: 10-31

    It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome husband. Proverbs 21:9

    The man Folly is loud; he is seductive and knows nothing. Proverbs 9:13

    Wisdom will save you from the immoral man, from the seductive words of the promiscuous man. Proverbs 2:16

  • Chasing the affair high by: Lonely7 3 months 4 weeks ago

    My Husband and I have been together for 17 years, married for almost 10.  I have always known he had ADHD (untreated) but had no clue the damage this was causing our marriage.  Like many others on here, I was feeling ignored, overwhelmed and lonely.  I work full time, and we have 2 young children and I had to take care of everything.  He is an electrician and started doing jobs for people in our community about 2 years ago.  Because of the praise and validation he receives from the people he helps, he became hyperfocused on the side jobs and spent very little time with us, his family.  Then, at the beginning of this year, my husband, who has always said he would never walk away from his family, started saying that he wasn't in love with me anymore and wanted a divorce.  About a month later I found out he was having an affair.  In total the affair lasted about 4 months.  The whole time he wavered back and forth over staying or leaving. He ended up deciding that he wanted to stay and try to see if our marriage could be saved.  That is when I found this blog and discovered that the ADHD had contributed to the majority of our marital issues.

    He was just put on 20 mg of Adderall about 2 weeks ago.  He says it helps his focus a little, but he has noticed that he gets short alot easier.  He has started seeing a therapist who specializes in ADHD.  He also is missing the high from the affair.  He says he is fighting the urges, but it is hard because he doesn't get that same high with me.  I know the physical reasons behind it, but it's still hard to hear.  

    Has anyone been through this?  If so, how were you/your partner able to overcome the urge of chasing the high?  I'm looking for any signs of hope.  I love my husband very much and know all of this is the unmanaged ADHD.  I have read Melissa's book and shared passages with him.  He acknowledges that his ADHD has been out of hand, but is not sure he can get it under control so he does not go through this again.   

     

  • "I can do it myself!" by: PoisonIvy 4 months 3 hours ago

    Except when he couldn't.  Then he didn't want to do it at all.  

    Did or does anyone else have this experience with his or her partner?  Here are some examples:  1) My ex wanted to be able to fix anything that broke in the house or on a car but if he couldn't do it, he tended to be reluctant to call a service person.  2) When I asked him for his thoughts about resolving a driver's license issue for one of our daughters, he offered an answer off the top of his head and suggested not digging deeper into the issue despite my research showing that his answer was probably not correct.  He also suggested lying.  3) One time, our car got stuck in a snowbank.  Ex was driving.  A pedestrian walking nearby offered to help push us out.  I accepted the offer, which was successful.  Ex kept saying afterward, "I could have gotten us out! I could have gotten us out!"

    This type of behavior was one thing that made it difficult for us to have a marital partnership.

  • Progress Report: Breakthrough to the Next Level by: kellyj 4 months 19 hours ago

    This is just a quick update on the progress of the things that have transpired of late, and again, with the same cycle. came a breakthrough that I can see.  This has been a long time to coming and it's started with me planting those seeds again and with the help of our therapist...I am beginning to see a new pattern developing.  And in respect to our therapist, I walked in feeling like something needed to happen and I was being rather forceful in my attempt to get some things through to my wife that I felt I had reached the end of my rope which my T picked up on and took over again as usual.  I had pretty much had with being muzzled and all these defence mechanisms which I now clearly see to the point, I was really getting tired of it.  Tired of getting to the same place each time and never going further.   But as I began to feel "stifled" once again by my T  * shutting me up and making me listen with no input what so ever on my part ( and since I trust him implicitly and I always know what he is doing is for "both" our good and best interest ) I saw he was trying to show me something which was why he was making me shut up.  As I heard him talk to us....what he was doing was the very thing ( I) needed...but in a way that wouldn't make my wife upset or shut down and stop listening to him.  And the key words he used was "conflict avoidant" ...which really registered with me from our earlier visits.  He said it to my wife briefly in passing that he felt she was doing this..and that was key?  I realised, what she has been doing all along, is trying to avoid conflict entirely but in order to do this...we never had reached a place where she would go any further to resolving the conflict in the first place?

    Anyway, what came out of that, was me feeling less heard than before, but with something new to think about?  What he gave us as an assignment "together" was to talk about, not what we can do...to fix this issue....but what we can "not do" to fix this issue which was exactly what I wanted..but now with a kicker?  We can only talk about "we"...instead of using (I) or ( me) or (you) in the conversation.  This was a brilliant move on his part....but not until we got home and my wife started in with her usual accusatory language and pointing the finger at me?  I realised that she was not going to change one iota...if I didn't do something different?  At great protest and with a fair amount of resistance.....I figured out a way to pin her down..and not let her move out of the "we" and back into the ( I) language again.  The "I want" language which is what she always uses?  I got so fed up with hearing everything start with (I) want...that I finally blew a gasket and got some felt pens out..and started diagramming on a mirror we have in the front room like a chalkboard.  I also realised the futility of talking when she would allow me to anything so by defaulting to what I do best?  Drawing pictures and "showing" instead.  Showing...instead of explaining...with those visual aids like I said.  It was maddening ( once again ) to come and hear...my wife's version of what our T said..compared to what I heard?  And the only thing she heard....had to do with what she wanted...period.  I finally got angry and said "how old are you?  Didn't your mamma tell you, you don't always get what you want?  What about what I want?  I want things too?  In fact, what I want...is what you don't want...and that's a problem for me!!!"  And what she doesn't want...is to talk about it again?  Nothing new there, to the point of exasperation.  Fine then....you don't want to talk?  Now you're speaking my language.  I'll show you instead...and out came the felt pens and away I went.  On a big mirror like a chalkboard..and was drawing away like there was no tomorrow.  And despite her saying...."why are you doing this?  I don't want to do this!!".........I gave her no choice.  I did it anyway,....whether she liked it or not?  But at least for her...I wasn't talking.  That was my in...to get her to "see" it....not hear it....since apparently....what she hears is missing anything to do with me?  But in my pictures....I was certainly there and there was nothing she could do to stop me from including myself....in my own drawings!!!  The utility of doing this...was short of amazing ...but it took a few days for my drawing to sink in.  She came to me this time...with some startling revelations.  They were not revelations to me....I've been saying them for as long as I could remember?  When that happened...suddenly, we took a quantum leap up to a new level...which is in essence to my T was saying....he gave me the template to use to do so?  I just visualised the template...and drew it on the mirror.

    Having gone through this myself, I finally recognised something I was familiar with.  A breakthrough and step up to the next level of awareness?  And suddenly when that happened....my wife this time, came to me and started talking about it.  What I saw and realised was...the bell of knowledge had been rung...and there's no unringing the bell....once it's be resounded fully.  That was the breakthrough...with a renewed hope for the future.  I just wanted to share.....how by myself with the help of my T.....I took what I knew and what I do best...and made that work for me?  That one, I can't tell anyone else to do....because those pictures in my head just come to me and always have.  All I have to do...is draw them and point...and go....."see what I mean?"  If she wouldn't listen and was closing her ears....the next best thing is her eyes...and now, we're talking my language.  The language of pictures so she could see?  It's what I do best....I can do that one in my sleep.  All I know...is that it worked....to sprout those seeds and get her to see.  Where there's a will....there's always a way?  And since I'm an Artist....I just took a little Artistic license...and did it my way this time.  And surprise surprise, it worked like magic.  Shazaam!!  Private Pyle. Gollllllly!!! LOL

    J

  • Negotiating cuddling and hugging in mornings by: Redhead5 4 months 4 days ago

    So I'm one of those wives who likes to hug and cuddle in the morning as part of connecting with my husband. It's hard for me to just wake up and go on my phone to do stuff or watch a show without quieter time to wake up and connect with him. I've found its what I'm drawn to in the morning because it helps me feel connected and loved, helps me get a sense of our day, get our relationship secure again as it can very up and down and opens me up to more connecting things with him. When he's okay emotionally he has enjoyed these type of mornings as well. But with his ADHD, he finds the quiet hard and not going on his phone for stimulation hard and not watching tv or going on Facebook, etc hard. I've adapted with him to have headphones on where he can listen to music or whatever but that isn't enough for him he says now. He needs something visual. But having him watch tv while I want one on one attention doesn't feel connecting to me first thing in the morning. I've also adapted to him watching with one hand on his phone but it feels like it's taking away from me still. He gets very anxious without stimulation very quickly though. I'm not sure if it's a learnt behaviour to counter his anxiety or he really needs stimulation almost the entire time he's awake. 

    Has anyone else dealt with needing stimulation like a phone almost all of their waking hours? Found ways to meet that in bed when their spouse wants one on one time without distractions? 

  • Futility? by: ArtGamer 4 months 4 days ago

    Long story short -- Married 20 years.  Lots of ups and downs.  I knew my wife had ADHD but didn't realize it was contributing to so many of our bad times, making bad things worse.  There were many problems she perceived as real but I now realize that it was a problem with her perception rather than an external situation that could be resolved.  Fighting these imaginary battles squandered our energy, youth, finances, careers, and friendships.

    In the last 9 months it has gone to extremes.  She has finally started medication, but I am reeling from the emotional turmoil.  This should be one of the best times in our life together.  Everything is good right now, yet my wife has gotten more and more unstable, which in turn destroys the stability in our home, which in turn makes it very difficult to experience what should be the happiest time of my life.

    Sites like this and a few books have helped me understand what is going on now and in the past.  Understanding is, of course, helpful.  I am doing my best to let go of the pain she has caused, especially recently when her condition became so much worse.

    I love my wife.  However, I need some things for my own happiness and well-being.  I need a certain amount of stability for a healthy lifestyle and the opportunity for happiness.  In the last few years I have become more self-aware and learned that peace in my home and personal relationships gives me the strength needed to overcome and be productive.  I simply cannot be happy without a certain amount of stability.

    The more I've learned about ADHD in the last few weeks, the less optimistic I am about our marriage, friendship, partnership.  I have needs and desires that won't be met by the random, unstable lifestyle that I'm experiencing now and have so often over the years,  I got married for the friendship, companionship, growth, and intimacy.  All of that is gone now.  It is not possible for me to have those things with someone who randomly shows up and destabilizes everything the moment she walks in the door.  I sure as blazes didn't get married to be someone's caretaker / parent and I refuse to accept that role.

    Love is simply not enough for what I consider to be a successful relationship.  We can all love people that are not right for us.

    Life and relationships require that people show up.  I understand from the books that I have to "let go" of all expectations, but that isn't going to work for me.  I cannot share life with someone that simply never shows up.  Once in a while, sure, I've lived with that, but not all the time and every day.

    What is the point of having a life with someone who isn't there?  If you can't count on someone to be there, why bother?

    Can anyone explain to me how to make this work without giving up on everything I want from a romantic partnership? 

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