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Financial Stress

Readers Respond: Married to ADHD?

Responses: 72


Updated March 26, 2013

ADHD symptoms can create stress in any relationship. Both partners must work together to make things better. What’s the biggest challenge you face living with a spouse or partner with ADHD and how do you successfully deal with it together?

Can't take much more of this marriage

My husband of four years has taken me through the ringer! I had no idea that he was ADHD until I came home one day from teaching in my classroom of ADHD students. My husband talks without ceasing and usually about every single thing that happened to him that day. It can literally take an hour for him to purge all of the facts out, even though I'm not remotely interested to hear the details. By the time he asks about my day, I get a two second chance to respond before he's starting up again with something he forgot. When I show that I'm done listening, he gets offended and accuses me of having no patience! Seriously? This goes on EVERY SINGLE DAY! I've gotten to the point where his voice is grating on my nerves. If I ask him for a few minutes of quiet when I come home from work, he gives it to me but then unleashes his play-by-play. If I ask him to please be quiet for minute, he gets highly offended and angry. Can you can imagine hearing someone talk every minute and a half?
—Guest Chatterbox Hater

Coping as a wife of Adult ADHD

Have been married for 50 years to a man with ADHD. A miracle! Sweet, talented, caring, hard-worker, helps around the house, volunteers, likes to help people, doesn't drink or smoke, etc. etc. Sounds perfect, right? Then from out of nowhere there's a shift in personality, snaps, is angry, lashes out, and with little or no provocation. Not physical, but lots of emotional and mental anguish on my part. Afterward, if talked about, he will deny, deny that he acted inappropriately. That I provoked his behavior. But will never admit he has anger or that it's inappropriate. Will NEVER apologize. Once it's over, as far as he's concerned, it's over. But it has hurt me and I do not feel trusting, close, or as if my feelings matter. I have seen counseling in the past, and have gotten him to go, also. I asked him to read a book about ADHD just the parts about the part of the brain that doesn't stop impulsive behavior. I thought he had recognized himself, but of course, it continues.
—Guest PD

Don't let me off the hook but believe me

It's so discouraging to try, and try, and try, and try... and still keep screwing up. I am medicated and take my Concerta religiously. I have been to therapy and would keep going if I could. There are things that I'm really good at, I've never lost or randomly quit a job, and I can do finances. I have two master's degrees. And yet I cannot keep a room tidy to save my life. Not even close. There are times I think I should just give up on relationships since I drive people I live with crazy with that and with my inability to read between the lines. The worst is when I get frustrated enough to say something like, "I hate my ADHD! I really thought this time xyz would be different. I thought I had it under control, but clearly didn't. I'm sorry." - and then the response is "Stop making excuses. You had plenty of time." ADHDers don't need to be let off the hook, but help with structure and BEING BELIEVED that it's hard would make such a difference. Sometimes I just want to give up.
—Guest Cecelia

Very Sad

I'm a wife of a husband with ADHD. He is in denial and very prideful. He has no filter on his mouth. I have three children and one on the way with my husband. He is very mean sometime. Especially when we have disagreements. I don't want to be divorced but he hurts me down to my soul and the children do not deserve it. I think my husband is a good hearted person but I don't think I can deal with his severe ADHD. Again the children do not deserve to be talked to in a way that's not good. I'm gonna stop now because I can go on and on.
—Guest Just married ready for divorce

daughter and husband with ADHD

My daughter is to be evaluated in May and I'm pretty sure the psychologist is going to tell me she has ADHD. I struggle with the two of them, my daughter and husband, constantly battling with one another. They are like two peas in a pod. I feel for my husband because I think he tries as hard as he can to be close with our 5 year old but he doesn't have the patience or attention. They have wonderful short lived moments together and then she just reverts back to pushing him away. He tends to smother her and I keep telling him to give her space. It's a struggle to maintain a happy peaceful environment.
—Guest JC

to guest steph

OMG!!!! I had just finished my response and came back here. That is sooooooo my husband!!!! He totally thinks it's funny when I am in a utter rage and I want to knock him to the moon!!!!!!!! And he does do things just to make me mad!!!!!!!!!! The thing that probably irritates me to no end is the repeating of things...... and it could be as little as one second later. He'll say something and I say please don't say that it bothers me and then 2 seconds later it comes out again..... hmmmmmmm kind of like tourettes he seriously can't control himself. He is almost forty and never been officially diagnosed. But, I can't take this much longer and I will make an appointment at the doctors for him.

Never enough space

Well that always sucks !!! Not done with my thought but I'm out of characters......heres where we left off with what he says after he does something well...And I don't have to do anything for them for at least six months. So it is very difficult to acknowledge what he's done because I know it will be a long time in HELL before I am HAPPY with him again. It's also maddening that everyone views him as quiet and passive so any problem has to be the b****'s fault that he's married to. Because no way could it be my husbands fault !!!!!!!!! I tell him to do things he just doesn't do it and that's not my fault. I am his wife not his mother. So, if he doesn't call.... not my fault.....doesn't come by.... not my fault........forgets your birthday......not my fault!!!!!!!!!!

I believe my husband has ADD

I have been married for 8 yrs come July 2012. I truly believe my husband has an undiagnosed form of ADD and Asperger's. It is beyond frustrating. We married and a month later he went to Afghanistan. He came back and was NOT the man I married. I am his mother and I do everything in the house. I do come by it naturally my mother was always in charge but I don't want to be the mom and dad!!!!!! I love my husband but not as much as I did nine years ago when we met. I am very confused because it was not diagnosed and he is almost forty years old. I go through times where I feel sorry for him and want to help but then my head says he doesn't care about me or this family and he does it on purpose and is evil!!!!! Which in my heart I can't believe I think that and it makes me so sad to think that of him. When he does something it is done out of this world and usually done right. But that only happens once in a blue moon. Then it's like his brain tells him "ok now I can be an ass do nothing".

ADHD Wife and One Very Patient Husband

Since being diagnosed with ADHD and depression, I've been able to understand and love who I am more today. It is not just medication, but combined with a therapist who specializes in ADHD has been key. My husband has been to therapy with me and has been open to learning more about this also. It is challenging and bless him for being patient and supportive because I know it has to be difficult at times!! We have someone come and help organize and do basic cleaning a couple of times a month and that is very helpful. I have to keep working on me though, a day at a time, and be willing to keep trying what is suggested by the therapist. Being honest with my husband when I'm exhausted and have been going non-stop, or if I've misplaced something and need to process through things is better than hiding it inside and is freeing. I am who I am & I spent 30+ years being insecure about so many things. I have to share with him how I'm feeling and let him help me work through areas where I need help.
—Guest Vacation

My husband has ADHD

It is very hard living with ADHD. My husband can be extremely difficult and knows how to push my buttons. I often find myself going back at him even though I understand that it is not the best thing to do. I try to talk to myself and tell myself not to engage him. It is hard. Now my 14 year old daughter has been diagnosed with ADD so I have two of them that I am trying to deal with on a daily basis. I don't want to go home sometimes. I have a great job that I love and the people are wonderful. I enjoy being around them everyday and I have great friends. Family does not understand my husband and has reacted in a negative way which makes get-togethers uncomfortable. I am trying to deal with it all. I thought this web site would be a support for me. I do see a counselor every three weeks he is someone I have seen since I was a child. He helped me through my mother's death at a very young age and knows my family well. I need help to be strong enough not to engage my husband in battles.
—Guest Cheri Markland

Undiagnosed Boyfriend

I have been dating my boyfriend for two years. He works out of town, so it took me a while to figure out that something wasn't quite right. After doing some research, I realized he had all the classic symptoms/signs of ADHD. I gently asked him if he thought he did. He was so upset with me that he nearly ended our relationship. Because of his occupation, I know he will never accept this--or use medication to treat it. I struggle with broken promises....constant lateness....poor time management.

lost in my relationship from his denial

I am a 43 y.o. mom with 2 sons and 1 daughter with ADD/ADHD and while having my younger son tested/diagnosed our family doctor and close friend asked me to answer the questions on the adult version of the survey. I was diagnosed with ADHD along with my 2nd son who was also diagnosed. The problem now is see things a lot clearer and well my husband is in complete denial for himself. He has classic signs and symptoms and in educating myself I believe he also has unresolved childhood abandonment issues and is classic passive aggressive of which at the end of the day with my meds wearing off pushes every button I have exposed. I cannot take the long acting it keeps me up for days on end so I take short acting 2x a day. I am a person who looks things head on, wants to understand them and learn and grow from it moving forward. He hates change and I think feels admitting he has issues is demoralizing to his manhood. Unfortunately for him, he is losing out on so many levels.

Husband again

Ok so obviously on my 3rd post you realize I have ADHD as well...If you do NOT have ADHD and you are married to someone who does, they probably NEED to be medicated, for everyone's sanity. But it doesn't fix it all, it just helps a LOT. To those of you dating someone, it doesn't really change you have to decide if this is the life for you. My husband and I BOTH have ADHD and are BOTH medicated, otherwise it can be unreliably unstable, in other words we don't know how the day will go. If having things done orderly is the way for you then being with someone with ADHD is probably not the best match. We've learned to lower the expectations and let things go. I feel less stress about how he inconsistently helps and he doesn't put demands on me to not lose things or to get things right. I have been known to lose the keys, both look for an HOUR to find them in the spot they belong! Who knew!?
—Guest Steph

ADHD husband

Oh, I also want to add that he has his PhD, and has been on medication since he was a child. Without the medication I am not sure he would have finished his PhD. Writing is hard for him even on the meds. Playing video games would have superseded any progress in life without medication. )
—Guest Steph

ADHD husband

My husband has to take his medication at home as well, otherwise he likes to intentionally get you going. He thinks it is funny to irritate me or the girls, on meds he is nice and loving! I swear he should be analyzed by people saying ADHD either A doesn't exist or B don't need meds!
—Guest Steph

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