View Full Version : Why all the hate?


Dreamer's Wife
01-16-14, 08:33 PM
My husband of 5 years has been recently diagnosed with Inattentive ADD. This is not at all news to me (I have been pushing him to see a psychiatrist for almost as long as we have been together), but the diagnosis has allowed him to finally get the medication he needs.

So, as the spouse of someone with ADD, I decided to come to this forum and check out how other significant others fare. And I am very disappointed in what I have read. I expected some complaining, it is definitely a challenge some days, there is no doubt about that. But it is almost all complaining! That is shocking to me. No one is perfect, but it seems like there is a lot of focus on the bad.

Therefore, I want to point out all of the wonderful things about my husband, and even though ADD causes him to think and view the world differently, it is definitely not a bad thing.

1. He daydreams. Not just sometimes, but all the time. This means that he is a very creative person. Most of the time, if there is a problem, he will come up with a solution that would have never occurred to me.

2. He can't keep his mind focused on just one thing. This makes him an excellent artist. He can keep the end product that he is going for in his mind, and he can turn a blank canvas into a beautiful piece of art.

3. He is constantly losing things. Most of the time, this is something that we both laugh about. We have spent a lot of time together searching for his wallet, keys, pants, etc. Instead of getting upset about it, we just make it into a game.

4. He is completely disorganized. This means that in the process of searching for the tool chest, he will come across our high school yearbook (we went to high school together). Then, we can both sit down and reminisce. Life is just not nearly as interesting when you always know where things are.

5. He cannot follow a schedule to save his life. Inevitably, if he has 10 things to get done in a day, 2 of them will get done. But, those two things will get done very well, much better than someone else would have done them.

6. Many people complain that those with ADD are childlike. And to an extent, this is true. This makes him the most wonderful and dedicated father in the world. He is constantly playing with our daughter, the first time she ever laughed it was because he was doing a silly dance in front of her.

7. When he gets interested in something, he completely throws all of his effort in to it. He forgets everything around him. This makes him the most wonderful lover. I can't go too much more in to depth about that lol, but just trust me.

So, for those who live with someone who has ADD/ADHD, don't think of it as a disease. Think of it as a personality quirk. And for those who have ADD/ADHD, you are not broken. You are just different, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

salleh
01-16-14, 11:30 PM
and a great big ole WELCOME to the forums !!! you have no idea how much it lifted my heart to read this .....

...and yes I agree, all humans have faults and all humans have good qualities ....( a few at least, but don't get me started down that road ....it's political ) ...anyway .....I always thought that my good points far outweigh my bad ones ....maybe not to society, but they certainly should to my partner ! too bad my ex didn't agree with me ..filed for divorce within a few months after I was diagnosed....


......anyway...thanks for your post ....

ginniebean
01-16-14, 11:35 PM
I think we have an awesome group of people here who don't have adhd. They have shown themselves willing to listen, to share their without blaming and the conversations have been very enlightening.

There are those who I like to call drive by's. they're angry, and they want to come in and stick it to anyone. It's sad.

Then there are those who are very rigid and have a 'one right way' approach. They find accomodations for adhd a "lowering of thier standards" So, something like, leaving a toothbrush out as a visual cue and because it takes less steps, messy. Their vision of the right way for a bathroom to look is marred by this unsightly accomodation.

They'll complain that the toothbrush is not put away properly and just left on the counter, they'll complain that the person is late getting ready, but this 'vision' of how thing should be places barriers in front of the person with ADHD that waste time, and leave more room for error that causes conflict.

There are some spouses living with people they think have adhd but are living with someone who has borderline personality disorder comorbid with ADHD. These people can be hell to live with and have little insight into themselves.


There are spouses who have tried everything they know how, are living with a person who has given up or is so overwhelmed they've checked out. They've become comfortable with someone doing it all. They love their spouse but just aren't being met even close to half way.

Many spouses are angry, frustrated, hurt, feel betrayed. Some of it is legitimate, absolutly, but often the anger is expressed in condescension, contempt, disgust.. etc.. and it can be projected on to all people with adhd. These people tend to not recognise the denial they are in, and don't see how discriminatory their language is. Often the reception does not go well.

Then we have your instant victims. I've been dating someone with adhd for two weeks! I'm exhausted, feel like a parent, and should I leave him? Unfortunately, this language can be handy for certain people who want to gripe, get in the 'club', it's weird. I don't really know how to explain this one.

That said, we have some amazing people here who are just wonderful people, who are struggling, and need support, need a kind ear, and hopefully suggestionsthat might help.


I'm glad you're happy and thriving, I've no doubt there's times you also need support so stick around. People here do care.

Dreamer's Wife
01-16-14, 11:42 PM
It is great to know that this is such a supportive community! I am absolutely certain that both my husband and I will be accessing the help available here on a regular basis. Certainly, some days are better than others. But the biggest thing that non-ADD people can learn to do is pick your battles, and really think about what is important. It's the only thing that has gotten me through some days!

I look forward to conversing with all of you wonderful people. :-)

Fraser_0762
01-16-14, 11:48 PM
I've always said that ADHD isn't a part of you, it's simply who you are.

I'll never stop believing that.

janiew
01-17-14, 12:38 AM
Gotta take the bad with the good and try to capitalize on the good - which will be different for each of us.

anonymouslyadd
01-17-14, 12:40 AM
I don't know what to say, but I wish my ex-wife thought of me like you think about your husband.

dvdnvwls
01-17-14, 02:15 AM
Answer to "why all the hate" - unfulfilled expectations, basically.

Your list is pretty clearly "here's a normal expectation, and when I found out that expectation wouldn't work, I decided to take what I could get, and to focus on what's good, and that's been good enough for me".

Some people, when a "normal expectation" is broken, they freeze and feel they can't go on until that normal expectation is fully met.

stef
01-17-14, 04:09 AM
I was so happy to read this thread!

some people come to this section really looking for answers and support (verytired for example!) but it can just be so negative and then I end up questioning my own relationships (which are basically good) : "is this how they see me???"

Fuzzy12
01-17-14, 04:24 AM
It's not hate. There's some complaining. Mostly it's people who are worried and hurting trying to make sense out of their partner' s actions, thoughts and motivations So that they can improve their relationship ... or save it.

It's nice you can see the positives in your partner and I'm glad that you somehow click. sometimes that's not possible. Sometimes our adhd symptoms are just impairing with no upsides. It s neither fair nor helpful to accuse anyone of hate or complaining when they are hurting, tired and at the end of their rope.

dvdnvwls
01-17-14, 05:01 AM
It's not hate. There's some complaining. Mostly it's people who are worried and hurting trying to make sense out of their partner' s actions, thoughts and motivations So that they can improve their relationship ... or save it.

It's nice you can see the positives in your partner and I'm glad that you somehow click. sometimes that's not possible. Sometimes our adhd symptoms are just impairing with no upsides. It s neither fair nor helpful to accuse anyone of hate or complaining when they are hurting, tired and at the end of their rope.
There are a very few, who do deserve the "hate" label. Most of the time, it's just as you said. There are so many ways to misunderstand and to be misunderstood - sometimes it's more of a surprise that we make use of so few of those ways... that our misunderstandings are so often predictable.

People who are at (or past) the end of their rope, can become very very different people from who they normally are.

sarahsweets
01-17-14, 05:14 AM
I agree with you although I do not choose to look at adhd as a personality quirk.

sarek
01-17-14, 07:03 AM
Dreamers_Wife, I salute you! Your post is a refreshment for my soul.

Dreamer's Wife
01-17-14, 11:33 AM
Hate is far too strong a word, I definitely agree with that. I guess I meant it in more of a silly way, "Haters be hating" hehe. And yes, just like every non-ADDer I completely understand the frustration of having repeated something 100 times, and when it gets forgotten that 101st time you feel like you might snap.

I just think that the support system has just as much responsibility for the relationship as the person who has ADD. And if you aren't careful, very quickly bad thoughts can overcome the good. It takes true effort to keep a balance, but it is totally 100 percent worth it.

VeryTired
01-17-14, 05:27 PM
This thread really makes me think. As some of you know, I am definitely one who has come here more often in desperation than in celebration. I work hard to be fair when I write about my parter and his ADHD. And posting here (like reading here) has often helped me to gain or maintain perspective when times are tough. But I might well be one of the people whose anguished outcries sparked Dreamer's Wife's original post.

I am so grateful to those of you who commented that not all non-ADHD partners posting here are 'haters'--it feels great to know that it's possible to get very real and very intense about the frustrations, and yet still be known as a person of good faith. I cherish this sense of community and goodwill extending across the various divides that separate us. Thank you.

I think Dreamer's Wife's list of what she values about her husband is lovely. Of course! But nonetheless, to me, my partner's ADHD seems very different. I see it as something that routinely makes him miserable rather than as what makes him himself. OK, he is a very clever improviser when fixing broken things around the house, and I think his outside-the-box thinking in those situations does seem very ADHD-ish, somehow. Similarly, when cooking. But most of the time, I see it more as if his ADHD is stopping him from being the super-smart, funny, capable, enthusiastic guy he is when his medication is working best or who he was when in a state of remarkable hyperfocus on me at the beginning of our relationship.

When he first started taking Vyvanse, he had one very sad day when it occurred to him that he had missed many decades of his life through not being diagnosed and not being medicated. He said then that he realized that he hadn't really gotten to be himself during all those years. I was startled, but the more I observed and thought about it, the more it seemed that the ADHD was an impediment for him than a gift.

Maybe there's some glass half full, glass half empty stuff here. Or maybe it's just that different people feel differently about these things? I dunno. I don't think ADHD is a personality quirk, and I definitely do not think people with ADHD are broken. I'd characterize it as something between a fundamental form of brain processing and a severe challenge. But if I am going to generalize about people with ADHD as a group (kind of ridiculous, since there are so many different individuals), I would use the word generosity. I think most people I come across with ADHD are likely to be more than commonly generous to others in terms of acceptance, forgiveness, tolerance, etc. And that's really something to admire isn't it?

dvdnvwls
01-17-14, 05:37 PM
VeryTired: I think part of the contrast you've just noted is what ADHDers learn as we go along. All of us as ADHDers receive messages in life that we are doing it wrong, that if we don't already feel miserable about this then we'd better start. Some of us listen and heed those messages more than others do. Some of us forget more than others too. :)

Dreamer's Wife
01-17-14, 05:58 PM
VeryTired, I noticed far more the people who come here and only have 5 posts and then are gone. I have read a lot through the support forum here, and there seem to be quite a few of the "drive by" types that ginniebean mentioned. This is really sad.

But for those who stick around and genuinely try to understand their partner, I commend you. It is not easy at all. If it were, there wouldn't be a support group hehe. But I guess in the long run my point is, it is worth it. When you see that spark in their eye when they get that diagnosis and finally start on the path to controlling their AD/HD, when you see them laugh again after suffering for so long, when you see them flourish in a moment when they would usually be frustrated, in those moments it suddenly all comes together.

And VeryTired, I have enjoyed reading your posts :-) they have given me some insight on issues I have had.

Tulip7171
01-17-14, 06:00 PM
Dreamer's Wife,
Thank you so much for this post. For so long, before & after diagnosis, I've felt like such a burden to my family and because of my "deficiencies" that I would never find a partner that would accept me or that I even deserved to have a partner.

Your post gives me renewed hope that maybe there is someone out there who will see my "deficits" as "gifts".

dvdnvwls
01-17-14, 06:24 PM
Can I, without being a wet blanket that rains on anyone's parade, point out that the important part of the original post is not the acceptance? I think it's the step that comes after acceptance that really matters - and that is "finding mutually-acceptable solutions". Some people are contented with less, others demand more, that's all fine - as long as everybody gets what they need in the end.

And the problem that Dreamer's Wife outlined is really about people who won't or can't examine and negotiate their own needs and ways of getting those met - who rely on stereotype or assumption to determine their own expectations and demands.

I hope I said what I meant; I may accidentally have said something else instead. :)

RedHairedWitch
01-17-14, 07:02 PM
We also need to keep in mind that ADHD is a spectrum disorder - some people have it worse than others.

TLCisaQT
01-19-14, 02:34 PM
I will admit that I will mainly post on here when I'm frustrated or need some perspective from those with ADHD and some support from partners without! The insight and support have been tremendous. Definitely I could write a list about all the strengths my husband possesses. My struggles and frustrations previously and whether to stay with him or not were never based on who he was or being ADHD or not, but the behaviors and treatment towards me. Fortunately he finally sought further help and medication adjustment that helped him and things improved. It's not perfect, but we are trying to make it work. One article I read really gave me some insight. It was going around on Facebook. It was titled "Marriage is not for me." It was about expectations and how most people only get married thinking about how it fills their needs, when really it's about how we can love and help another, so it's not really for us but for another. I try to remember when it's tough how it's not just about me and what I want, and it helps me get through the tough times. I also remember that for him, I'm not a picnic to live with either, even if to the societal norm, I might be LOL

GRbiker
01-20-14, 09:06 PM
One article I read really gave me some insight. It was going around on Facebook. It was titled "Marriage is not for me." It was about expectations and how most people only get married thinking about how it fills their needs, when really it's about how we can love and help another, so it's not really for us but for another. I try to remember when it's tough how it's not just about me and what I want, and it helps me get through the tough times.

That sure helps my understanding. I have a vague sense of how I looked at my partner as filling my needs, but I definitely internalized that I was expected to fill a boatload of needs that I feared I wouldn't be able to meet! This was not necessarily my NT partner's fault, she just communicated her ideas and hopes about our relationship. It was I who heard them as expectations and non-negotiable.

Sometimes we take the "not about me and what I want" too far.

Mittens
01-21-14, 03:57 PM
I unfortunately have nothing to contribute to this thread - I am still very new and attempting to try and understand my parter, but I did want to say thank you very much for everyone who commented on it.

It's a really, really great thread, and appreciated.

Nicksgonefishin
01-21-14, 04:08 PM
Part of it is that people only come on when they need answers to questions about negative things that have happened.

It is like when you have a business and you get a bad service a 100 people find out versus when you do good and only 10 people hear about it.

This happens in relationships too.

Cold Heart
02-09-14, 08:06 PM
Dreamer's Wife, I do not have ADHD, but I have a friend with it. You have inspired me to give a new perspective on this "disease". Thank you.

kiraffe
02-16-14, 09:11 PM
If there was nothing to complain about, we would all be off enjoying our un-problematic lives instead of being on this forum looking for help with our falling-apart relationships.

My partner has a lot of wonderful qualities and I don't hate him, but honestly, sometimes I do hate living with him because of his ADD traits.

I don't know to what extent his positive traits are related to ADD but I read it can make people less inhibited so maybe that helps him be so bold, adventurous, funny and creative. He also knows just about everything, due to all that procrastination time spent reading on the internet :)

MX2012
02-16-14, 10:21 PM
My husband of 5 years has been recently diagnosed with Inattentive ADD. This is not at all news to me (I have been pushing him to see a psychiatrist for almost as long as we have been together), but the diagnosis has allowed him to finally get the medication he needs.

So, as the spouse of someone with ADD, I decided to come to this forum and check out how other significant others fare. And I am very disappointed in what I have read. I expected some complaining, it is definitely a challenge some days, there is no doubt about that. But it is almost all complaining! That is shocking to me. No one is perfect, but it seems like there is a lot of focus on the bad.

Therefore, I want to point out all of the wonderful things about my husband, and even though ADD causes him to think and view the world differently, it is definitely not a bad thing.

1. He daydreams. Not just sometimes, but all the time. This means that he is a very creative person. Most of the time, if there is a problem, he will come up with a solution that would have never occurred to me.

2. He can't keep his mind focused on just one thing. This makes him an excellent artist. He can keep the end product that he is going for in his mind, and he can turn a blank canvas into a beautiful piece of art.

3. He is constantly losing things. Most of the time, this is something that we both laugh about. We have spent a lot of time together searching for his wallet, keys, pants, etc. Instead of getting upset about it, we just make it into a game.

4. He is completely disorganized. This means that in the process of searching for the tool chest, he will come across our high school yearbook (we went to high school together). Then, we can both sit down and reminisce. Life is just not nearly as interesting when you always know where things are.

5. He cannot follow a schedule to save his life. Inevitably, if he has 10 things to get done in a day, 2 of them will get done. But, those two things will get done very well, much better than someone else would have done them.

6. Many people complain that those with ADD are childlike. And to an extent, this is true. This makes him the most wonderful and dedicated father in the world. He is constantly playing with our daughter, the first time she ever laughed it was because he was doing a silly dance in front of her.

7. When he gets interested in something, he completely throws all of his effort in to it. He forgets everything around him. This makes him the most wonderful lover. I can't go too much more in to depth about that lol, but just trust me.

So, for those who live with someone who has ADD/ADHD, don't think of it as a disease. Think of it as a personality quirk. And for those who have ADD/ADHD, you are not broken. You are just different, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Hello Dreamer's Wife:

What a loving post.

It's funny, when I read your list, I see myself. Six of the behaviors you list, my family, employers and co-workers have tried to drum out of me.

Your husband is a lucky man.

I think the fact that you have known each other so long, you adapted and found ways to live with his unique personality.

Even I, with ADD/HD, wonder if I could live with someone with ADD/HD because groceries have be be gotten, cars need fixing, clothes need washing, bills need to be paid etc. and I know my own struggles with these daily tasks and I could not endure living in a household where no one was able to be somewhat organized in order to get these things done, so I sympathize with non-ADD spouses who feel the burden of the house and work fall on them while their ADD/HD spouse struggles.

I live alone because I do not want to burden another person with my struggles, struggles I do not think they would ever understand. My feelings of guilt would overwhelm me.

There just aren't enough people like you in the world.

Thanks again for such a loving post. I shall save it. It is remarkable.

Joker_Girl
02-16-14, 10:48 PM
I love this post, too.

I think sometimes people see adhd behavior as something that is done to be lazy, spiteful, defiant, or passive aggressive. That it is some kind of a head game we are playing in order to avoid responsibility, get attention, or some other ulterior motive.

It is just lovely to read someone who understands it's NOT. I don't even have room in my brain to play head games. There is too much random stuff happening in there. I am not emotionally complex enough to play a head game, I get exhausted just thinking about stuff like that. Also, I forget things quickly, and I am just so weird it doesn't even matter.

All it does when someone yells at you all the time for stuff you can't help, is make you anxious and even more scatterbrained. When you are used to being in trouble all the time, you internalize it and think, "wow, maybe I AM just a piece of crap."

It is wonderful that you see his strengths as well as his shortcomings. He is a lucky guy, and I bet he worships the ground you walk on.