Recent forum posts (all topics)

  • Husband Left Me, Does Not Recognize ADHD As An Issue by: HollieH 5 months 2 days ago


    I am new to this community. I am a 37 year old woman, a mother of two teenagers and have been married for 15 years-together for 20 years. My career is as a social worker in child protection and I have been in this field for around 13 years. My husband and I got together in high school and at the time, I did not know that he had ADHD nor would I have understood it being so young. As we aged together, he shared that he has ADHD and was diagnosed as a child and medicated for a short period of time. My husband did not stay on the medication as he said that he did not like the way it made him feel. My husband comes from a divorced family where his father cheated on his mother and then left the family home when he was 13 years of age by leaving a note on the table. My husband never received therapy to deal with this. As we grew up, had children and started to establish our adult lives things started to show in my husband. For instance he could never stay on task, lacked motivation to do anything such as clean the garage or cut the grass. There was limited assistance with daily chores and children. He could never keep a job and either quit or got fired. He has held the same job for 14 years now, which is great and I am very proud of him. He has angry outbursts that come out in rage over the littlest things such as not being able to get what he wants such as material items. He feels that he has nothing which he does (truck, snow machine) and that I have controlled the things he wants to do such a RC racing. I attend the races and cheer him on, however I do limit the spending as its tons of money. I have watched him not get his way at a race and throw a RC car across the track in front of small children. He recognized some of these symptoms and decided to go on medical marijuana and not actual therapy and medication. His daily weed intake increased from 5g to an ounce a week, perhaps more to cope. At the beginning of December he walked out on me. I had no warning. He stated that he lost the "in love" feeling for me and that i am controlling, we don't communicate and need therapy. I set therapy up and we are attending separately as of right now. He moved in with his biological father who is the person who walked out on him. My husband blames me for hating his job, and him not being able to do what he wants. We have spoken a few times on the phone but he gets angry and says he needs to learn to be a better man but all he does is snow machine and is on a weight loss kick. Then he yells and says I want a divorce and laughs but then on the other hand does not want one and is angry when I set up a mediator. I love my husband and I know that he needs further treatment and medication. I do not feel you do not love your wife after 20 years when the week before he left he was leaving me love notes. Our therapist also informed me that this is common in ADHD and that he is emotionally putting walls up rather than dealing with his issues. Has anyone else went through this? I am an emotional wreck and want my husband back. I know that our home will need to change and I will need to respond better to him due to the ADHD as our youngest daughter also has ADHD. Please help.

  • ADVICE on marriage when you both have ADHD? by: Miamo 5 months 1 week ago

    I have a double whammy in my marriage! - I am recently diagnosed at 53 (and medicated) and my husband (62) has been diagnosed but refuses to accept he has any responsibility to change.

    I read a lot on here about one spouse having ADHD and the effects this has, but I can't seem to find any support for us to navigate our relationship.

    Any pointers?


  • Advice adhd husband with anxiety and depression by: MeloMagic85 5 months 1 week ago

    Hello - it’s taken me 2 years to get to a place where I can seek help and advice. Iv looked for so long for people that may be able to help

    Me and experienced the same. 


    I married my husband in 2018. He was diagnosed with adhd, depression and anxiety about 6 months before we married but did not tell me till several months after we married and we had had our first baby. It was a very stressful time, for us both. 


    He takes his medications every day, sometimes double dosing (at apparently the consent of his Dr) and speaks to his psychiatrist often. His medications have had to be tweaked several times as we are dealing with multiple issues but ultimately he describes it as a light bulb finally being switched on and he is turbo charged. He has his own business, is extremely smart and ambitious and finally reaping the rewards. He’s able to be focused finally and concentrate on his work. But he is obsessive with it. He worked during my labour for example and constantly priorities his work even if we have guests over, he will work. He has sacrificed friendships, family time, holidays, and even his physical health - he has gained more than 3 stone in 2 years after being a really active healthy person - all so that he Can work. 


    The last 2 years have also found us having many arguments, I have been verbally abused no end. Called names that I would never have imagined would come out of his mouth. I was with him for several years before we married and he was diagnosed and he was always so calm with me, he would never be abusive. When he’s become very angry this has turned physical on occasion with grabbing me, throwing or shaking me. I believe he’s always had adhd, he’s always had a serious issue with time keeping, obsessive personality, risk taking etc, but since diagnosis and medication it’s ramped up - I thought it was meant to stabilise? 


    I have always noted that his reactions are highly emotive when the crux of the argument is so minor. Iv often stated that I would only be expressing an opinion that would differ to his own and this would generate a huge response from Him. He’s said that I don’t listen to him, respect his opinions, that he is logical, right about 99.9% of things that he’s successful in his business so his voice should be taken more seriously. The truth of the matter is that at

    Times he is right but his delivery is terrible and poor. I have stopped arguing about factual matters but will stand by personal opinions on matters And this still causes uproars. The last had him telling me he wanted a divorce twice in the space of 2 weeks. 


    Every time a huge reaction does happen and he finally steps back and sees what’s going on I get an apology, albeit with an explanation for his feelings. He considers it both our faults and that I trigger him. I honestly in my heart know that 80% of our arguments are down to his mental health and how he justifies his behaviours  in his head. 


    Despite the above, due to the divorce threat - which he swiftly apologised for but I was not going to take lightly, he has agreed to marriage counselling - which has started. We are also trying to have a sort of “safe word” for when either of us feels slightly triggered by something so that we can walk away before something unnecessarily erupts. I want to also seek counselling  for myself to help with being with someone with adhd. 

    I wanted to ask if there’s anything I’m missing , anything else I can try? 

    I thought about seeing if we could get a second opinion on his medication, could that he worth something? 


    I finally appreciate he’s never going to be “cured” that this is it. But I’m trying everything I can to avoid being statistic. We have a child and hope to grow our family in due course. I just want to know Iv done everything I can.

  • Seeking Advice On Dealing With Sudden And Unpredictable Bouts Of Anger From My ADHD Wife by: YM 5 months 1 week ago

    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to know if any of you have any advice on dealing with anger outbursts from your ADHD partner.

    My personal situation is:

    1. The outbursts are, to me, completely illogical and unpredictable. After an outburst, when I talk to my spouse and/or research online, I can eventually (usually) understand what caused the anger, but in the moment, it is 99% unexpected every time. This is causing me anxiety and I am starting to filter myself and wondering "what does she want to hear" rather than saying what I need/want to say, because I'm afraid of causing an outburst that is going to upset her (sometimes for hours or days.) I realize this is very unealthy and I want to be a proactive and supportive husband, but, see point 2.

    2. I have tried to argue back. I have tried to discuss calmly. I have tried to just support her and l listen. Everything seems to escalate the situation unless I just sit there and "take it" and I don't believe I should have to take that abuse (at least it feels like abuse) and I don't have the psychological stamina to do it.

    So any advice on avoiding outbursts, dealing with outbursts, understanding outbursts would be welcome.

    Thank you in advance.

  • Venting and a couple questions by: das 5 months 1 week ago

    Sorry this is such a long post. I’m the mother of 3 teenagers and a 47 year old man. My husband always said he had adhd and I could see it reflected in lack of follow through with projects, etc. But never considered how it shaped his personality. I always figured he picked up the worse combo of his parents' personality traits. But I am realizing that his dad was probably adhd too.

    I am currently questioning whether I can handle forever, after 18 years of marriage. Things that are driving me crazy about him:

    Unable to “read a room”

    either being the focus of a conversation or not participating at all

    talking endlessly about a subject that nobody cares about (and can’t/doesn’t read others’ bored body language)

    exaggerating stories (lying!) to get a reaction

    making unfiltered comments sometimes  for attention, sometimes just plain oblivious that they are inappropriate- telling our sons middle school soccer team they are playing like garbage- yelling at kids on the soccer field- in conversation describing a kid to another parent by saying “you know, that fat kid”- bringing up the subject of suicide at a family dinner (it fit in the conversation but was unnecessary to include) when my cousin and sister both experience that kind of loss to someone very close(he knew this but prob forgot)

    zero initiation for any chore around the house- but always saying he was going to do it as he sees me doing it

    i handle any money, planning, issues revolving our house/home life. Spending generally isn't a source of contention but he has no idea about our finances and doesn't care to.

    the emotional maturity of a 16 year old. 

    Temper tantrums when encountering difficulties- whether it’s with a printer problem or finding his lost wallet or whatever

    hurt feelings if the kids don’t really acknowledge him, but the times that they do he barely acknowledges them back. 

    Taking things the kids do or say personally, currently he can’t grasp that they are teens and moody and sometimes they say not nice things to parents, but they don’t really mean it. (And I’m not saying they shouldn’t be corrected)

    Constantly having to diffuse situations between him and kids so they don’t escalate into full blown fights. He will say things just to get a reaction from them and then they react and he gets mad.

    Loves to counter the kids. One says she doesn’t want to go to college so he starts with, “well you won’t be able to get a job, I know, that was me, blah blah blah.” The other kid says well I want to get a PhD in engineering and so husband says, “well you have to know a lot of math and be really good at math (in a discouraging tone as if it’s a bad idea).” Like ugh!!!! Kids can’t win with him!

    Riding in a car with him is miserable- always mad and yelling at other drivers and can’t understand why it upsets me that he is upset with others.

    The latest straw - I agreed to go back to work full time after 10 years as sahm so that my husband could get out of a stressful job situation and use his GI bill and go back to college full time. That was supposed to take 3 years. After taking a couple semesters off to take some optional additional army training(he is in the reserves) and also failing (and retaking) a couple classes- 5.5 years later he graduated. Now the job search...I’m job searching for him because he puts next to zero effort in. He got a job offer, but turned it down because he thought it didn’t pay enough! What an ego! Or lazy? Or both. I am livid! 2 months after he graduated and still no job! Take the low paying job and keep looking! Idk, am I crazy to think that? Maybe i would feel differently if he were useful around the house.

    I feel like our marriage has been a roller coaster of good and bad with these defining let downs where I realize he will always be most concerned with himself. If it’s not one of the above behaviors it’s another that eventually drives me to where I am at now. Miserable! The social aspect has been hard on me lately. I now try to keep him away from other parents and people who I would have engaged with in the past, because his comments and behaviors are so embarrassing to me and people don’t like him. Only my closest friends (one or two) and some family can tolerate him. It makes me sad and lonely.

     And now that I’ve made him out to be a horrible person- I know he loves me. And God love him- the man has tried and does try. It’s just never enough for me. And old habits die hard , so a lot of times him trying is just temporary fixes to get us through the current argument and then he reverts to old behaviors as time goes on. I don’t think he has ever been unfaithful. He compliments my looks constantly. He does sweet things like makes me breakfast occasionally and can buy super thoughtful Christmas/ birthday gifts some years. (And as I write, I just noticed he surprised us with donuts this morning!) And I think it would kill my kids if we divorced, even as dysfunctional as he is. It’s such a struggle. I hate the example he sets for them but yet he is there and involved just enough that I’m not sure leaving is best for them.


    Well if you are still reading, thank you. My questions are: he has never been medicated. does medication help these personality type issues? I mean at this point I feel like he is who he is. Is it possible for a marriage like this to make it? I am miserable but honestly want it to work. Do I have to turn a blind eye and suck it up?  Can I bring this stuff up to him? I feel like if I lay it all out it’s like a total attack on his personality and who he is as a person. In the past it’s always been one issue at a time, basically whatever happened to make me mad is what is brought up and addressed.  

    Thanks for reading!

  • My daughter will not speak to my ADHD partner. by: Aly. 5 months 1 week ago

    I have been with my partner for 4 years and after a few months I knew something wasn't right. I suggested he may have ADHD, he got checked out and was given a formal diagnosis at the age of 48. He is now on medication but has never been given any support or guidance on how to cope with situations.  I have a 15 yr old  daughter who used to get along with my partner and they used to laugh and be silly together, and although she often found him "too much, or annoying"  they always bounced back from any negative situation.  We have recently relocated to a different country and he seems more "too much" and she, more  intolerant,  they have been constantly bickering until the point at which he had an emotional outburst, involving shouting, hitting himself in the head and then getting upset.  I told her that his behaviour was not acceptable and he needed to leave the home, as I don't want to expose her to this type of behaviour, and the disharmony was becoming an exhausting daily problem. I then began to research ADHD, and why someone would have such an outburst. It turns out that I have so much less knowledge than I thought I had about the condition, and for the 4 years I thought I was helping him, by telling him the right way to do things when he got them wrong, or nagging him to remember things and questioning why he does or doesn't do things, but it has only been making things worse.  I feel so bad for him, knowing that all the time he was getting things wrong he was misguidedly trying to get it right.  However my daughter wants to know when he is leaving as she says she's "done with him" she no longer speaks to him or stays in the same room as him, it has been this way for nearly 3 weeks now, our house is a very quiet sad one.  After gaining my new insight I have organised a Dr appointment to arrange support, but today my daughter asked when is he leaving?? I don't know what to do, I feel stuck in the middle, I feel sad for him, I don't want to end the relationship, but I feel I'm being a bad parent if I let him stay. 


  • Struggling with our relationship, partner has changed his mind about medication by: cgb222 5 months 1 week ago

    Firstly, hi there everyone! I'm happy to have found this forum and hope that it'll be a great source of support for both myself and my partner. I'll start off by saying I love him so incredibly much and have stuck by him through thick and thin. He's wonderful, intelligent, joyful, enthusiastic, and loving when we're good. I want to continue doing this, but recently, our relationship has spiralled into something awful. He genuinely sees me as the enemy, and treats me pretty badly as a result. He was undiagnosed for our entire relationship up until this month. For this time, I thought forward to a diagnosis and medication as a tool which could help significantly in resolving the root issues of many of our conflicts, however, he's now decided he doesn't want to treat his ADHD, and I don't know how much longer I can deal with his behaviours - which breaks my heart. 

    A little background - we've been together for 6 years and are now in our early twenties. I work 50+ hours a week in a very demanding exec job, and DH working very hard to finish the last year of his BA degree. DH had a rough childhood in which his symptoms weren't necessarily picked up on, but we both feel his symptoms have elevated significantly throughout the time we've been together, coinciding with his teen years. After being rejected by a doctor (UK) who refused to refer to a specialist on the grounds that he did not believe DH had significant evidence of childhood ADHD, DH felt incredibly defeated and did not seek a diagnosis or treatment for years, despite many discussions as to how a diagnosis and medication could improve his daily life. Upon recommendation from a uni tutor, he was referred to an educational psychologist this year, and finally diagnosed. However, in order to be evaluated for medication, he must still go through the NHS - his educational diagnosis will simply help this process.

    I was talking to him recently about arranging an appointment with his doctor in order to request a referral, and he suddenly revealed that he no longer wanted to go on medication (or seek therapy), for fear that it would change him, dull him down, or simply stop working after a period of time. He had never brought up these concerns before - and I'm really taken aback by this sudden announcement. Honestly (and I know this is incredibly selfish), I'm struggling to cope with the idea of DH not seeking any traditional form of treatment for his ADHD, as his symptoms (in my mind) are severe, and to tell the truth, for the latter half of our relationship, I've almost relied on the idea of him getting medicated or seeking help, believing that it would improve some aspects of our relationship. I understand that many of our issues derive from me being less than perfect, and the clear parent-child dynamic we've developed over time - so aren't blaming all of our issues on his symptoms, but deep down, feel like having a tool like medication to improve the mental obstacles that would be so hard for him to overcome naturally would help both of us significantly. I tried to talk to him about this, but he ended up just dismissing me and giving me the silent treatment :(


    A taste of the way in which his symptoms (outside of his issues with focusing, reading, etc) affect our relationship:


    • He's become an incredibly angry person with a hairpin temper - anything I do or say could set off a tirade of insults and shouting (this often results in days long silent treatment). I feel like I can't win in these situations - I always approach them in a non-confrontational manner and never shout, always suggest conflict resolution etc - this seems to 'wind him up' more, leading him to accusing me of being cold and holding back my feelings. Equally, if I play his game and argue, it elevates the situation further. Speaking to his childhood and current friends - they also feel he has, and has always had significant issues controlling his emotions - but particularly anger. He generally won't hold back from hitting below the belt, and his mind seems to process things in a completely different manner - leading to him perceiving me as the enemy without fail. Obviously, this fighting makes him incredibly unhappy too.


    • He has significant issues with staying organsied, clean, and tidy. All of the assignments he's submitted for uni this year have been late, and no matter the size, he has left them until the last day out of months to complete. (When I tried to talk to him about how he should mention this consistent lateness to his educational psychologist during the diagnosis process, he said he didn't feel it was a symptom because even if he submitted his work late, it wasn't technically late as he submitted it to his tutors via email after the fact and received no repercussions.) His living space is a mess, and not in a 'clothes and items everywhere' kind of way - it's leaving rotting food, old plates, and ash everywhere to the point that he had a fly infestation in the bedroom of the last flat he lived in. In order to avoid this, I'm stuck cleaning up after him for most of the hours I'm not working or sleeping. He of course says he'll do it, but will leave mess for days regardless - which I personally can't deal with. Since we moved in together, he's become more aware of my standards and got marginally better, but still really struggles with this. He struggles to keep up with the cleaning routines of washing his hair and brushing his teeth especially. 


    • He struggles with time blindness and possibly addictive behaviour. He spends hours per day playing video games with friends, and priorities them because it's more fun than hanging around with me when I act like a nagging mother (which I understand). The prioritisation issue has worsened as of late due to the fact that we've been fighting more and he doesn't want to see me. Though he spends probably more than four hours a day playing games - he says that he doesn't have time to get a part-time job because of uni. In addition to this, he pretty much smokes a significant amount of weed on a daily basis. I have no issue with smoking in a controlled, chilled way (though it's not for me), but believe this is too much for his health, and too much for him financially. He argues that he's not addicted or reliant despite the fact that he'll ask people for money to spend on it if he has none. I believe this is his form of self-medication, which may explain why he's become so reliant on it - which poses the argument - why wouldn't he want to go on a prescribed medication designed specifically for his condition?


    • He has significant issues with impulsivity - particularly with spending. He'll spend his student loan - his only income - (which is given in chunks of thousands) about two or three months into the four-month window it needs to last for, leaving him with no money for about a month. Much of this goes on weed. 


    • Obviously, he's sick of me nagging him about everything listed above, and I understand where he's coming from. It must be awful. I always try to approach it in a rational manner and accommodate him well, but he's fed up with being controlled, and I can't be his mother anymore - though, I think the organisation side of things would spiral further if I simply didn't interfere with his life. 


    TL;DR, our relationship is in trouble, and I believe much of this could be aided by medication, but DH has stated he no longer wants to seek treatment. Do you guys have any suggestions as to how I could talk to him about how medication may be able to benefit him? Or any tips for how to improve our current parent-child dynamic - or even my behaviour? I love him so much (even through it seems like I've just ranted about him for paragraphs) and want nothing more than to be able to have a functional relationship with him. Sorry for the long post, and thank you to anyone who has read - it helps to get this out. Much love to you all. 

  • Wife doesn't belive in adhd how to get her to read the book by: Dano59 5 months 1 week ago


    I just started reading the book I've had adhd my whole life diagnosed as a kid untreated after middle school  have been trying to find right meds for almost a year. Our marriage  is a mess definitely  parent/child dynamic  I also struggle with RSD. My wife doesn't  belive in adhd she hasn't actually  said this in reference  to me but we have a friend who has a adhd child and our grandsons father has it I've heard her say it's a excuse parents use for bad parenting! And if I try to explain  why I have done something  as a Adhd symptom she says I'm using it as a excuse. She tells me I'm the only one that can save our marriage I need to learn to not be so insecure  in our relationship (rsd) but everytime I screw up mostly adhd stuff (forget things, get distracted, hyoerfocus) she gets mad which of course to me is criticism which effects my rsd. Anyhow I've started meds haven't found right one or right dosage yet I'm reading this book and I think more than anything  working this book is the only thing that might save our marriage but I dont think she will read it. And I'm honestly  afraid to ask because  I feel like this is our only hope if she says no I'm not sure what to do.  I will say in her defense  she doesn't really  read any books and doesn't  have much time to read we have our 3.5 year old grandson and work different  shifts so we don't have to use daycare so when I'm working she doesn't  have much free time to read if she wanted too read it I'm pretty  sure no time to read will be her number one excuse. I just want to know if anyone  has been where I'm at and what strategy  you used or even a non adhd spouse that was like my wife fed up and a non believer how did your spouse get you to read it?

  • Coming apart at seams by: Neuchatel81 5 months 1 week ago

    My husband and I have a 40+ year relationship, but it has come to a head with his inability to handle money in a responsible fashion. His business has had issues such that our personal funds are being utilized to cover the debt, and this has put us in a very precarious financial situation. According to him, vast amounts of money will be flowing into his business account any day now, so I am just overly emotional and not giving him a chance. He also insists that it is not as if he was spending the money on a fancy car or a mistress -- it is for his business that must survive! He has consistently spent more than he earns each month for a number of years, and no amount of calm discussions have persuaded him that this is actually a problem. He just sees the optimistic future that things will "get better" and does not understand why I am always trying to emphasize the negative side.

     We have been to a variety of counselors over the past 30 years for the same issues -- lack of communication, lack of follow through, inability to initiate items that must be handled in the home. I am very organized, and recognize that I like all things to be that way, but I do not have the patience of Job. He insists that he will now "try harder" since we are under a great financial strain, but is unable to tell me how his efforts will differ from those in the past (that have resulted in no improvements). He insists that we need to take one day at a time, and make a good effort. I see no end in his inability to handle money or our relationship in a responsible and caring fashion. Of course according to him, I am a big part of the problem since I just keep asking him why it has taken him so long to realize that the "house in on fire" when I have been saying the same thing for years.

    He refuses to go back to a counselor. He just feels as if he needs to have better sleep, more exercise, and stress free time in order to accomplish his goals. By the way, I fully admit the past 3 1/2 years have been hell as we have been caring for 4 elderly parents, 3 of whom have/had severe dementia, both fathers have died in past 18 months, and his mother is under hospice care; this has been a terrific strain on us both.

    Is it time for me to leave? I actually do love him still, but it appears he is incapable of making any changes unless his sleep, exercise, and stress improves, and he has been saying that for as long as I can remember. I feel as if I am losing myself.

  • Living with a hidden Disability by: disabled person 5 months 1 week ago

    Authors note:

     I am new to the site, so I have not read all of the comments, suggestions, etc.    I want to share what I think might be a different point of view.  Throughout the story, I will be describing various situations.  I am sure some of those will not be accurate.  I am by no means suggesting that I know all that goes into pre-school, school, or other events described in this posting, so please take these as patterns for how a day goes, rather than an exact prescription of a day.  It is my story, so I am taking liberties to create patterns rather than focus on exactly what happens in a given day.  If this prevents you from following the story, correct the daily outline – for yourself –so that you can follow along. That is what is most important here anyway.


    This is the story of a child (Coffee Cup, abbreviated CC) living in a family, going to school, and all of those "normal" things.  CC has a sibling named ZZ.  ZZ is the older child by two years, so it isn't much of an age difference.  Both parents are educated, have a big extended family, live in a lovely home, and generally don't need or want anything.  For a child with a disability, this is the best view of a family situation.  Later we can talk about what it would be like not to have this level of stability, privilege, and social standing, back to the story.  ZZ and CC are expected to do all of the typical things that children do, clean up, help around the house, do chores, etc.  The difference is - well, things are not "normal or typical" for Coffee Cup.   With that – here is how life looks from CC's point of view.

    During the first 2-3 years of Coffee Cups life, everyone thought CC was so cute look how CC could jump from one idea or activity to the next - look at how well CC could help mom/dad/friend/grandparent with that job that CC had not seen before - how amazing!!!  Praise was bountiful, and attention was all focused on this new bundle of joy.  CC felt like he/she/they could do anything!!!  Life was AWESOME!!!

    As CC got older, the expectations started to change.  Things all needed to be done in a particular order, a certain way.  If something was not done in the "standard way,"; well, then it was wrong, bad, stupid, silly, took too much time (I think you can follow where this is heading, if not, hang in there – it will become clearer later).  As all of the comments and body language were being communicated to CC, they just started to feel dumber and dumber.  A failure before CC was even in school. 

    Now we start school - all of the expectations change AGAIN!!.  CC felt that he/she/they couldn't keep up.  They would come down for breakfast and "forget" to bring sox (or any other item).  The shame cycle ratchets up - CC, why can't you remember to bring the sox downstairs - I don't need to tell ZZ, your other sibling, to do this all the time.  Because of you, ZZ and you will be late for school.  Looking at the clock, never mind, I will have to drive you to school.  Again  I will be late to work.  Then the adult further enforces this shame with the "huff," "eye roll," "shaking of the head," and sideways look to the other adult. 

    Given this group's nature, I expect we have all seen, heard of, or been a part of this type of interaction.  I expect it happens quite often.

    Now we are in pre-school; generally, the way these sessions work is you have activity time, reading time followed by quiet time, food, and repeat.  Well, for CC, the activity time is excellent, except that they don't share well – they want to run and do anything to keep moving.  This leads to an adult coming over after another child (RR) has complained about something CC has done. 

    The teacher (authority figure), now CC, RR, told me that you are not sharing.  CC drops their head down.  You see, at this point, CC has no idea what the teacher is saying.  For two reasons – it was 15-30 minutes ago, and RR said they didn't want to play any longer.

    What is troubling about this situation is that CC isn't seeing the non-verbal cues used by society at large to communicate what is and isn't happening.  CC didn't realize that RR did want to play but gave up since CC didn't understand or see the non-verbal message. 

    Now we have CC being "shamed/corrected/rebuked" by an authority figure for not "playing nice" with another child.  CC won't say anything since they are either baffled, don't know what to say, or cannot form the thought fast enough for the situation.  So CC walks away from this encounter, going, "What just happened? I don't understand any of it. What did I do wrong?"

    Notice the start of a significant pattern for CC – scratching their heads and not understanding what happened.  It is followed along with frustration, which turns to anger since people are not explaining things that CC understands.  My best explanation of this would be to ask a blind person why they tripped over something.  A less charged (by the way, why is this so charged since ADHD is a disability, I have often found that hypocritical), when a person speaking a foreign language asks for directions, and you provide them in a way they can't understand.  Then you make them feel stupid, dumb, like an idiot that they didn't understand.  I hope we are all seeing many judgments placed on people/children etc – for not meeting our expectations.  We have yet to put ourselves into their situation or, as often suggested meeting them where they are at this time.

    Okay, move along – we in school during a time (before we had programs to "catch" many of these disabilities).  CC is failing at school; they can't read as well, so they get some special reading lessons, but CC is so far ahead in other areas they are placed into the "advanced track."  School is really interesting now, as you might imagine. CC's parents are thrilled!!!  CC is scared to death!!!  CC "knows" that he isn't as bright as the other kids, so now he/she/they feel even more isolated.  CC can't talk to his parents about this, can't speak to his friends, because he is now with the "smart kids" so that other kids won't talk to him as much.  What does a child do when they feel isolated, alone, and miss understood? 

    CC either starts to withdraw or move to an area that they are successful at in school.  CC has fewer friends or only friends in the area that they are successful at, pick something, sports, art, drama, e.g.

    Things are becoming more contentious at home, but CC's parents don't understand why CC is so moody.  They don't understand CC's interest in video games and why they spend so much time online.

    Instead of conversations – there is a growing tension in the house.  The discussion quickly turns into yelling and anger and lashing out in frustration of not being understood.  CC appears to have a "chip on their shoulder" all the time.  They will take any situation and turn it around and say it isn't "my fault."  They will stomp away and retreat to a safe space or perform some physical activity until they can calm down.

    Realize that by high school, these patterns have happened billions of times.  CC now has a great deal of practice at protective behaviors but maladaptive to many other situations.  Usually, people with ADHD are gifted or have very high IQs, so they are talented at figuring out how to get things done – even if it doesn't always have the best outcomes.

    When I speak to people who don't have this disability, I use this as an analogy – which often helps. 

    For a person with this disability, life is like driving in snow white-out (or a rainstorm when the wipers are not enough), where you can't even see the car hood's front.  You are so focused on staying on the road, keeping people safe, it is taking every ounce of your attention.  Then you have a person in the car asking all the time – "are we there yet" – in no time, you lose your patience and scream back, "No, we will get there when we get there."

    After this interaction, the car goes to what I call "concrete" – no one will say a word until that cloud has passed.

    So, why choose to give you a view of life with the disability of ADHD?   Being diagnosed later in life, you see the challenges and hurdles we have experienced.  Also, to understand that, as a brain, rewiring will take 1-2 years of positive experiences.  Diagnosed at 46, I am one of those people who have patterns to change.

    I was handed the ADHD Effect on Marriage and told to read it by my spouse (who doesn't have the ADHD disability).  My response when I saw the title was anger – you see, this once again appeared to be "someone" wanting to "fix" me.  By the way, I have been on meds since diagnosed, so being on meds was not the reason.  Also, meds help to manage a situation; they don't "make it go away." While reading the book, I noticed some common issues.  See them noted as issues below.

    If diagnosed as an adult, you have spent all of that time creating patterns to protect, hide, and adapt to situations.  We might appear to be happy and glad on the outside, however fearful, not trusting, and protective on the inside.  Realize that my worldview was that I am inadequate, incapable, e.g., in some way, shape, or form.  Shame response is robust.  Generally, we have patterns that, while protective, are often counterproductive to our desired outcomes.  We are often aware that the common thread is us.  It is just hard to rewire 46 years of patterns. 

    Also, as the spouse, you are getting something from the relationship in the current state.  Changing this will require you to change patterns as well.  If the person with the disability changes, how will the person without disability manage to have their individual needs met?   

    It is complicated to separate the two people spoken about when using ADHD spouse and non-ADHD spouse.

    Many people with an ADHD disability also suffer from other coexisting conditions; mine is a disability of written expression.  Something to consider when speaking with a person who has this disability.

    This book would be better if it highlighted living with a spouse with a disability.  Granted, that would not have been as "catchy a title."

    Many of the strategies in the book have a foundation in trauma-informed care prosocial interactions – see these links for other materials:

    Child trauma Academy:

    A book by Dr. Perry and Maia Szalavitz (Author)