Recent Topics

  • by: I'm So Exhausted - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    I think this particular piece of advice from this forum could easily apply to all sectors of married life.  

    "The goal is to be the best people we can be...and see if this keeps us married.  You don't want to remain married at all costs (that's the "old" way)"  ~Melissa Orlov~   

    I choose to believe my ADHD spouse and I are both working on that.

    I have set up my own necessary boundaries.  I do indeed understand that it is hard for my spouse to be held at arm's length.  I also understand why it is still necessary for me to hold my spouse at arm's length. I am not looking for perfection.  I am looking for consistency. Only Liz will know when it is time to choose to change that dynamic.  I cannot allow my own random fears, based on old thinking:   "You'll ruin everything."  "You are being too hard."  "You expect too much." to cause me to be manipulated.  Nope, I will ruin nothing.  I will instead discover what I really have.  Nope, I am not being too hard.  I am being real.  Nope, I do not expect too much.  I have clear goals - not too soft, not too hard, just right! 

    The rose-colored glasses?  Gone.

    Gullible Liz?  Gone; well, for the most part, LOL!!  

    The naivety?  Gone.

    Feeling manipulated by guilt and anger?  Gone.  

    I have acknowledged what I did.  I am not dwelling there.  

    I can say no.  I can say, "I was misunderstood."  I can say, "No, that is not what I said."  

    Yes, my wants and needs have matured and evolved.  I choose to believe my own feelings and needs are important.  I have learned skills to remove myself from the poor coping mechanisms of learned helplessness and feeling guilty.  

    I try hard to be polite, yet persistent! 

    That is where Liz is at, this May 7th, 2016.

    I like it.

    Very truly,

    Liz

       
     

     

     

  • by: Rosered - 2 months 2 weeks ago
    I discovered yesterday that, for at least the past 10 months (when he added himself to my daughter's cell phone plan, for which I pay), my husband has regularly been having lengthy phone conversations with someone, all while rarely if ever initiating communication with me. I discovered this morning, not to my surprise, that the someone is a woman.
  • by: Bobbi97 - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    Good morning. 

    Where to begin? Ahh, perhaps the beginning:

    I was diagnosed with ADD in my mid-20s when I only had two toddlers and was a navy wife stationed hundreds of miles from family, friends, and support. I was overwhelmed and not keeping up with domestic tasks. I was placed on Adderall with no therapies. It raised my BP so my PCM placed me on wellbuterin. That gave me migraines. After becoming frustrated with my PCM over constant ineffective med changes and all the side effects that came with them, I gave up and learned to cope on my own.

    Four years ago my husband retired and we moved close to my mother. I was now older (wiser?) and aware of my limits. Our entire family had difficulties transitioning to civilian life. The loss of our military community and its resources took a toll on all of us. My husband enrolled full-time in college, I enrolled part time in art school. My two toddlers were now in high and middle school, while our youngest only in second grade. Our eldest started cutting. Our middle was diagnosed with ASD and refused therapy. Our youngest had difficulty relating to peers and making friends. My husband was diagnosed with severe PTSD accompanied with depression and placed on Zoloft.

    Then, everything fell completely apart.

    Last summer my husband disengaged from our family. I failed to reel him in regardless of any angle I tried. My clientel was growing rapidly. The kids were doing much better. I, without realizing, hyperfocused on every aspect of my art: webinars, art school, building my business, and trying so hard to please clients. At the end of summer I found out my husband had an emotional affair. We had just celebrated 18 years of marriage and the affair partner 12 years younger than my husband. Devastating does not even begin to describe.

    In true ADHD fashion my emotions sky rocketed: despair, anger, incredible sadness, and an urgency to find and fix whatever was wrong. I couldn't control anything: my words, my thoughts, my emotions, my actions. I said hateful things that I immediately regretted the moment they left my lips. I cried. I screamed. I wailed. I slept all the time and never at all. Some days I'd wake up to get the kids off to school, return to bed only to be awoken when my daughter returned home that afternoon. Others I was awake for more than 40 hours before I could find slumber. It was all unfamiliar and completely uncontrollable. It seemed the more I tried, the more I failed.

    A few months after my discovery, real conversation started taking place between my husband and I. It felt like blaming. He said I made him feel unloved and abandoned. He said I didn't hear him or acknowledge what he was telling me. He said I didn't touch him anymore. He said I was unavailable. I didn't understand. I had been trying my hardest all summer to get him to reengage with us. He pushed me away. What did he mean I wasn't there, that I had abandoned him? He explained my art took too much of my attention away from him. That my school felt more important. He said I put too much on his plate: the kids, the laundry, the housework, the animals. He said he felt stretched to his limit as it was with a 40+ hour work week and full time classes.

     

    I quit. I quit it all. I knew I had difficulties what I called, "balancing." I made him my priority because my marriage and my husband were so important to me. I paid attention to how much I touched him. I sat next to him while he played video games and watched sports. I took all of the housework, children, animal, household responsibilities back. I made his coffee and brought it to him. I cooked his breakfast. Yet, nothing seemed to change on his end. And I was left feeling like a maid.

    I asked him why he hadn't changed. I wanted to know why I was the only one making sacrifices. Was he making them too but I just couldn't see them? Then he started telling me I was embarrassing when I dropped him off at work on days I needed our only vehicle for child chauffeuring. He said it was a turnoff and completely embarrassing when I didn't wear flattering clothes and didn't wear makeup or so my hair. Why on earth should I have to get up at 5 am to to my hair and makeup and put on heels just to drive him 2 miles to work when I'm already up at 6 to get kids off to school and cater to him? All I'm going to do when I get back from dropping him off is get sweaty and hot trying to tackle 7 million loads of laundry and 800 dust bunnies and not even do that right. I came to the conclusion that he wanted me to be a person that I simply wasn't.

    When I told him I was not a stepford trophy wife and I had zero desire to be one, he said that wasn't what he wanted it meant. I didn't understand. I still don't understand. I addressed feeling like a maid. He said he was sorry. I told him I felt I had no purpose. I wanted, I yearned, to be more. I'm horrible at domestic duties. I can't remember which kid needs what for school. My 17 year old will tell me he needs conditioner and my 11 year old pencils and I buy my 17 year old a binder and my 11 year old a candy bar. Who does this???? I was good at my art. It made me feel accomplished. It is literally the only thing in the world that I have never failed at. It is the only thing I truly understand and feel whole and like I'm a normal, functioning human being. He didn't get it.

     

    I asked for marriage counseling because it became apparent we had communication issues. I felt as if everything I said fell to the wayside. Nothing stuck. And, according to him, I didn't understand and misconstrued everything he said. He dragged his feet. For months!!! My intuition went off and I started to snoop. I begged, pleaded, cried, ranted, screamed...out of control, all over again...what are you not telling me? What are you keeping from me. He said nothing. He said I was paranoid. He made me feel like I was going crazy. I lost huge blocks of time searching through his laptop, his accounts, everything. I found proof of an affair. He denied. I became so intrusive and accusing. I was at a loss. I couldn't make him be honest with me. I hated the person I had become.

    I finally went to my Dr. She said I had Inattentive ADHD along with a touch of depression. She placed me on Vyvanse and eventually Zoloft. I also sought verbal therapy.

    While my abilities to focus and stay on task greatly increased, there was no improvement in my marriage. I asked why he hadn't made the marriage counseling appointment. I got excuses. I laid down ultimatums. They were never fullfilled. Our arguments became yelling matches and closer together. I finally asked him to move out. He refused. He said he loved me. He said he wanted our marriage to work. 

    In February a co-worker of his and former client of mine sent me a message declaring her love for my husband. They had been having an affair since October. Done. I was done. Again with the uncontrollable emotions and words. The hateful verbage flew out of my mouth before I could stop it. He sat around in a hoodie, with his hood up, constantly. Every time I tried to have a call and meaningful conversation with the intention of getting to the bottom, he would shut down. I got so angry and entirely frustrated. Then last month, in the heat of the moment, he declared apologetically that I am cold, emotionally selfish and unavailable. That I never let him talk. I constantly interrupt him therefore I don't have interest in what he has to say. And again, he said I wasn't there for him. I yelled back, what do you mean? I'm right here!!! I dropped everything for you. I took everything back into my plate. I watch you play video games. I did everything you asked of me. He just shook his head and walked off.

    But he did make that marriage counseling appointment. Guess what? He was right. I was emotionally selfish. I constantly interrupted not only him but everyone! He had been trying to tell me - for years!!! - that he needed me and he was lonely. I took it so literally the times I did hear him. I misconstrued mostly all of what he said. I know it doesn't excuse the choices he made to solve and he has taken complete responsibility for those choices.

    I had no clue I was so socially inept. I have always been sort of a loner, not out of choice, but because I felt diminished and inferior, small, in the company of people who didn't understand my quirks and verbage. It has gotten so bad in my early 30s that I just avoided anything social. I thought I just had social anxiety. When we moved here in 2012 I tried to make friends with my kids' friends parents. I seem to put my foot in my mouth at the worst possible moment and they all eventually yet quickly backed away. Other folks seemed to treat me as if I were invisible. I got talked over. I would miss opportunities to join a conversation. I knew I had an issue understanding and interpreting how conversations were delivered. What the words really meant. I'd go over past conversations in my head over and over again. I would even ask my husband, what did they mean by ____? 

    In middle school I discovered myself as the third wheel to a best friend duo. I didn't date in high school. I had no idea how to flirt as an adult. I mean, the way my husband and I met and married was even blunt and to the point. A mutual friend said he thought I was cute. I walked up to him and said, "Dinner. Friday. Pick me up at 6. You're paying." 

    As therapy continues, I find out more and more of what my Inattentive ADHD is responsible for. I feel completely responsible for everything that went wrong in my marriage. I feel incapable, inadequate, not fit for any social interaction. I feel broken and toxic. I feel so guilty and horrible for not catching that my own husband needed me and I didn't see it. That poor man has PTSD and I failed to support him in the ways he needed me most. Then I said hateful and demeaning things that I can't take back in response to him telling me I wasn't there.

     

    I feel so angry that I'm about to turn 40 and my marriage counselor - not my pcm, not my ADHD counselor, none of the doctors and counselors I've seen in the last 15 years - mentioned ANY of this. The only part I knew was that I couldn't concentrate, focus, or stay on task. I had no clue, until this month, that the out of control and inability to control my emotions was ADHD related. I had no earthly idea that the reason I couldn't socialize "normally" was ADHD related. I had no knowledge that the constant analyzation and over analyzation was due to my ADHD. I thought there was something wrong with me that I couldn't complete domestic tasks like a normal person. I thought I was lazy and no matter what I tried to kick the lazy out, I failed. Why does my ADHD counselor want to talk about dividing a room into fourths when she knew my marriage was falling apart? Why didn't she educate me on all of this? All I talked about was how my house was a wreck because I spent all day researching how to fix my marriage.

    So here I sit, turning 40 on Tuesday with Mother's Day on Sunday, with my kids, my husband, and my mother all hounding me about how I want to spend my day and what I do I want as presents. I don't. I don't feel worthy. I have failed at being the parent and wife they needed and deserved. I feel so deflated. 

     

    My husband and I are still setting up cues for when I subject hop or I talk too fast for him to keep up. We are still trying to make adjustments according to my ineptness. He is being so patient and kind and encouraging. I feel so undeserving. But we are making progress, taking baby steps. Stopping the heavy conversation when either of us gets overwhelmed or frustrated. Tempers haven't flared. I am learning patience. I am learning to communicate at his pace. I'm picking up on the things I was previously unaware of. It is going so slow. But I know this is all going to take time.

    I can't bear to look at my art equipment. I feel sick when I think about it. We need me to have an income and I just can't bring myself to make any art. In so scared of becoming hyperfocused again. I'm scared to communicate with potential clients. With everything else, it's just too much. I've been searching for a job and find I qualify for little. And none seem to fit my family or household demands. I'm scared to death out one more thing on my plate while I'm trying to learn to manage all of this newly discovered shortcomings. The last thing I want is to put something from my plate onto my husband's. So I freeze. I look at listings and save them. I talk about them and ask my husband's opinion. But I can't bring myself to apply.

     

    So I guess I'm here for support. I guess I found "my tribe.

    If you got through my real life Lifetime movie, thank you for reading. I appreciate it.

  • by: catzeye800 - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    My un-medicated ADHD husband has common ADHD problems like closing doors and cabinets, but it has come to a point of being potentially deadly to us and our pets. He has left the stove burner on multiple times and walked away without realizing it was still on. He even went to work with the stove on and I'm thankful I had a house to come home to. My husband has left the fence unlatched so that the dogs have had free roam of our neighborhood and I'm afraid our big dogs will be shot for being scary. And yesterday was the last straw. I went to leave for work and happened to open his car door to grab something and one of our cats jumped out. He was apparently locked in the car all night and had I not found him, probably would have died from heat exhaustion before I made it home from work. I'm at a total loss about what to do. I need suggestions on how to help him remember things like closing doors, locking gates, turning off the stove, and generally checking behind himself for our animals to make sure they aren't being put in danger.

  • by: StacyG - 2 months 2 weeks ago

    I'm not sure whether to cry with joy or sadness at finding this site--I'm so relieved to find others going through the same things, but then I'm sad for those of you going through the same things!  I've been overwhelmed lately, with the normal responsibilities that I have to take care of since P doesn't follow through with much, even when I ask for help.  I'm trying to start a new career while working in my old job that I hate, running the kids around at least five nights a week, we're strapped financially with daily bills, and our oldest is starting college this fall. I sat down and told P very calmly that with all that was going to be happening in our lives with my new job and schedule change, that he would need to be more available to help with the kids and household.  He promised he would be more helpful and told me not to worry, and it felt like the movie Groudhog Day yet again.  I feel like a description is in order--maybe someone can identify with the same habits and issues with their ADHD spouse.  

    P is a wonderful person, he's generous, smart, witty, and happens to be a clinically depressed alcoholic, workaholic, hoarder with the ability to close off his emotions with the drop of one of my tears.  Thank God he's sober,  and on meds for his ADHD that have also done wonders for his depression.  Despite those awesome developments of proper medication and newfound sobriety, some things just never change.  We were arguing over household chores again, and I broke down and admitted to him how incredibly stressed out I was.  I told him I was crying on my way home from work the other day and was fantasizing about just steering my car into a tree.  HIs response was to turn his back to me and go to sleep.  I sat there sobbing in bed next to him and he didn't do or say anything at all.  Is this "normal" for an ADHD spouse to react that way?  It's definitely not the first time he's turned his back on me when I've been distraught, but this cuts to the core.  I don't know if I can get past this, I'm so incredibly hurt and lonely.  This can't be healthy for me to stay, but I don't want to break up my family.  He's slowly sucking the very breathe out of me.

     

  • by: lostmyself - 2 months 3 weeks ago

    How do you find a therapist who is experienced in ADHD couples? I secretively asked my husband's doctor for one for me to see to try to learn to cope with his ADHD and stay married. After waiitng months to get in her schedule, I' ve had several visits where I always leave feeling like I've wasted my time and money. Not one bit of advice on how to cope other than seeming to support divorcing him or "assertiveness training" for me which has thus far involved my writing down when I feel I wasn't assertive.

    I need help on this rollercoaster. 

  • by: ADH9er - 2 months 3 weeks ago

    I wrote this in Feb of this year, just had to get it out of my head.

     *******Let it be known, to all who would choose to read this post, the following statements from ADH9er, reflect how ‘HE’ and only HE,feels, and does not reflect, or need to reflect, the thoughts, emotions,or feelings of anyone else, and furthermore, below said statements do not, I repeat, do not excuse, diminish, dilute, make light of, or in any way shape or form, minimize the bonafide undesirable, hurtful, exhausting, negative, unfair, unhealthy effects that HIS NEUROLOGICAL CLINICAL MENTAL CONDITION of ADHD  Has - Has Had - or - Will Have, on those persons closest to him, that he dearly loves and needs, or anyone to which his existence comes in contact, either Physically, Cybor-ly, or Hypothetically.*******.  Amen

              I have made this observation for some time, in my adaptive, ongoing, yet inadequate unsuccessful, mitigation of my ADHD traits, in my marriage, to a ‘mutually’ desirable plateau.
           In our mending process,  I am adversely affected by those things that my spouse has brought to our relationship, that she is gradually discovering as Co-dependent.( to which, I am very appreciative of this,(her), positive growth of discovery.)
              In simple terms, ADH9er’s problem areas, IN RELATIONSHIP, attributed solely to HIS real-time intellectual  / emotional capabilities, or lack thereof, can be ‘scored’ or ‘identified’ at a particular level of intensity.  Now add the previously mentioned ‘Co-Dependant’ attitudes, suspicions, and / or relational interactions, brought, (though they be unintentional), to the already very difficult challenge.  I Judge the resulting combined sum of these TWO parts to considerably intensify that, which I ,ME, DH, HUBBY, OTHER HALF, am HELD (at times contemptuously mind you), to singularly RECTIFY. (Qualifier: “Until such time that Tom ……”)
               This is not brought here as an ‘excuse’, or a bid for pity,  it is my reality. This, which I perceive as injustice, contributes to my ‘Anger Responsive’ tendencies, which in turn, compounds the overall quagmire, and slows the ‘awaited’ recovery.
               I have not found a great deal of conversation, here, (on the forum) that gives testimony to, “oh my gosh, I can see how my contributions hinder & hurt my spouse, making their likelihood of eventual, (even minuscule), ‘Recovery’ increasingly more insurmountable,”and /or“A like portion of, My (non ADHD spouse), own anger & frustration has been unduly levied on them.”
                With regard to those, (above alluded to), spousal contributions, i.e. Dysfunction Dividends, I make the point to MY hyper-focus, by its genetic disposition, will, with little divergence even when I intentionally administer counter ‘Re-Focusing’ mindfulness, tend to gravitate toward that which delivers the greatest stimulus at a given time, consuming a vast portion of my ‘Will’, self talk, and emotional reserve, giving rise to subsequent fatigue, resentment and at times, disillusionment.           Now add to that, no matter how subtly or diplomatically I approach a conversation to express this sentiment, things go south.                                                                                                      
              I find that pressing on toward ‘my’ adaptive ‘structural’ alterations is still possible, albeit with greatly reduced motivation and achievement.
       
       ADH9er

  • by: BrandonADHD - 2 months 3 weeks ago

    Hi all, I could really use some advice or encouragement here. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD about 5 months ago and am still just learning the impact it has and continues to have of me and my relationship with my wife. A the same time, my wife is also going through her own battles with grief (lost her brother) and chronic illness (resurgence of Lyme) that is physical exhausting and in addition to her ongoing depression and anxiety. This is creating a Catch 22 situation in which we are really not supporting each other because we both need support ourselves! As a result, we both don't feel supported by the other and that is taking a huge toll on our relationship.

    We were just married in October and I feel like there is definitely resentment on both sides. She needs an emotionally supportive and consistent partner, but this is not me (right now) as I learn about how to better regulate my emotions, respond to her emotions, and deal with the symptoms of ADHD. And on this journey toward my own self improvement, I also need a supportive and patient partner, which is also very difficult for her. This is not how I imagined starting our life together as newlyweds.

    People have commented that even objectively, we have a lot on our plate. I am also struggling to finish my PhD while searching for jobs. Needless to say, I feel stressed and overwhelmed in addition to a host of emotions that I am trying to get a handle on and that include:

    • Anger/resentment toward my wife.
    • Sadness about where our lives are at.
    • Exhaustion - Physical and Mental taking on more household chores while also dealing with both of our emotions.
    • Guilt over my inadequacy as a supportive partner
    • Cautious/tentative when relating to my wife because I don't know how she will react.

    I am frightened about the future and what it holds for us as a strong couple. If she wasn't dealing with her own battles, I think she would likely be more supportive. Instead, she is shutting down (e.g., not being vulnerable anymore) and I experience demeaning, passive aggressive, and condescending comments that further exacerbate my emotions. I can understand why as I have broken significant trust over the past couples years, but this also has a big impact back on me. I end up struggling to work through intense emotions brought on by these interactions (and shutting down a bit myself) instead of focusing on how to overcome my symptoms as well as finishing my PhD/finding a job (something we both really want ASAP).

    Every day sucks a bit more and I don't feel like we are building. She doesn't feel acknowledged by me and I don't feel acknowledged/understood by her.

    I still love her deeply, but this stalemate cannot continue. My hope for a positive and fulfilling long-term relationship is waning.

    Has anyone been stuck in this paradox of both the ADHD partner and the non-ADHD partner needing support, but neither able to provide? What was your experience? What types of advice do you have? 

    Thanks,

    Brandon

  • by: Pestle - 2 months 3 weeks ago

    SO hates dishes but doesn't feel confident enough about any other household task to take it on without asking me to do it for him or expecting me to stand right over him and issue instructions every five seconds. (Not quite true . . . he "does the laundry," i.e., he starts a load of laundry, plays computer games for 2 hours, finishes the load, sets the laundry basket near the computer for another 2 hours, half-heartedly folds a few items from the basket, forgets it's clean, throws a few dirty things on top, and puts the whole thing back in the washer. Multiple times a week. My clothing is wearing out and I never get to wear it.) So he's on dish duty by his own choice. And this means that my meals come with the remnants of previous meals plastered to the dishes and the silverware. I usually just scrape it off and don't say anything, but the other night I brought the veggie chopper jar out to him. It was encrusted with raw potato. Disgusting, blackened raw potato. "Did you see a problem with this when you put it away?" I asked. "I thought it was supposed to be like that," he said. "Covered in garbage?" "It's new. How am I supposed to know what it's supposed to look like?" he asked. So I went to go wash it, and he yelled at me and told me that if it was such a problem, he'd do it. And it's back in the drying rack again, still covered with rotting potato.

    I cooked with my kid today, and had to keep putting tools aside and fishing for another tool that wasn't covered in yuck. Why are we paying a water bill if all he's doing is getting the dishes wet? And then throwing a screaming temper tantrum if I complain . . . am I really some overly-demanding perfectionist if I think it's disgusting to only wash the inside of the bowls and to leave last night's soup dripped down the outside?

  • by: lostmyself - 2 months 3 weeks ago

    This is my first post but I'm finally ready to talk, now that my marriage may be over. Together 18 years, married 16, two amazing children. Husband diagnosed 2 years ago with ADHD and taking Adderall and an ssri, although he was diagnosed when he was young but his mother was afraid the meds would stunt his growth so it was swept under the rug. Ironically she is obviously suffering from ADHD as well but would never accept that and I would never suggest it although I love her dearly. I am not allowed to tell a soul about my husband's condition and I often feel so alone and trapped. 

    I read books about ADHD but he will not, nor does he want to learn about it. He just wants to take a pill. Despite my efforts, he mostly eats junk when he does eat at all, has a massive sweet tooth, has been addicted to Copenhagen since he was 15, rarely exercises although over the years he's been hyper focused on it. Learning about ADHD has made our relationship make sense to me at last, but I also get so angry that this is the way it will be... Had I known I would have never married him but our children do make it all worth it. In fact the only reason I am sad about my marriage ending is for them. My parents were divorced and I never wanted that for my children.

    Over the years I have wondered how we got here. And I've wondered where I've gone. I've lost myself, walking on eggshells and trying to keep him happy. When he is, all is right in the world. We've been through therapy several times. He had a sexting affair, I chose to believe that it wasn't more than that, and his hyper focus on our relationship reminded me of how I fell in love with him in the first place. We viewed it as the worst and best thing to happen to us as our marriage has been much better. I never thought it would happen again. But yesterday I saw a text pop up that I asked him about and he denied knowing this person. He even called the number over speaker and acted like he didn't know her. When I looked up her number I find that she is an escort. And going through phone records today I discovered that their first contact was last summer. No other records but if other texts were via iMessage I will never know. I even tried calling her today but she did not answer. 

    He does not know that I know yet. I love him but I hate him for throwing our marriage and family away. I have always warned him that if he ever cheated I would be gone. He even said yesterday that he knows that and he never would. 

    He lies about things that don't even matter, so of course he would lie to cover the biggest mistake of all. We have a 4 hour drive home ahead of us today. I can't decide if I will hold my cards close or tell him as we drive. 

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