View Full Version : Need opinions of whether wife is ADD


SScommy
01-13-17, 06:21 AM
Hi, I’m new here and I think my wife may be an ADDer.

Most recently my wife and I have had some major issues. Its the culmination of months / years of issues that have gone unresolved. I am constantly using Dr Google to try and help with my relationship as we are nearly at the point of divorce. It has lead me to many ADD articles and reading the symptoms I can see my wife ticks a lot of boxes.

I’d appreciate your opinions to see whether you think she may have ADD and whether I should suggest she be assessed. I brought up the topic of ADD and she dismissed it saying “I don’t believe in that”. She also let it be known that it was suggested when she was very young that she may have ADD but her mother had similarly dismissed it.

The symptoms that I see are;

Lateness: my wife is constantly late to EVERYTHING. I spoke to her about it the other day and she said that she just loses track of time. She doesn’t realise that it is already past 12pm when she said she would be home at 12pm. I’ve also noticed that when she estimates how long something will take her estimates are wildly inaccurate, of similarly if something has been going on for 5 mins she will says its been the past half hour.

Never shuts up: OK, Im exaggerating, she does shut up… occasionally. She talks a lot. I’m not much of a talker. So it works… but the problem is sometimes I will have something to say and I can read on her face that she is just waiting for me to be quiet so she can blurt out whatever it is she wants to say. She isn’t really listening to me. She is just waiting her turn to speak. She will also say things that may be hurtful without any real consideration for how I might feel. She says she is ‘direct’ but it usually just comes across as rude. There is not much of a filter between her brain and mouth.

Terrible memory: she cant remember much. Unless I have done something wrong or she paid extremely close attention to something the majority of her daily events are forgotten. This goes for dates we have been on places we have been etc. I am still, to this day, surprised at just how bad her memory is.

Changes of topics: not sure if this is related to poor memory, but we can be talking about something. Let’s say we are talking about our favourite football team for the past 10 minutes non-stop. Conversation is all good. We pause for 15 seconds and I Say “how about that goal in the last quarter” and she will respond with “what goal? what are you talking about?”. Its like the memory of the past 10 mins has been wiped and all of a sudden I’m speaking to her clone that hasn’t been implanted with her memories. It seems to me that she has moved on inside her head and forgotten the previous conversation so any reference to it is completely out of context from where she is inside her head.

Clams up: she clams up completely and will be unable to speak for a while if there is some strong emotional event happening. e.g. when I proposed she clammed up and couldn’t answer me for minutes. This happens more rarely these days, but in certain novel situations happens just as badly. There are certain words that can make her clam up (think female body parts).

Focus: sometimes she will be doing something and she is so involved in the task that if I say something to her she will give me a short response “I’m busy doing this”. She is unable to respond for fear of losing her train of thought. She is short with me and speaks rudely to me because I am trying to speak to her when she is intently working on a task. The task could be, shopping on her iPad, sending an email, sending a text message.

Zones out: I find sometimes she will just stare off into space. This might be nothing as I sometimes do this.

Distracted easily: We could be talking deep in a conversation and there is a noise or distraction (or something shiny) and I have lost her. She is off looking, paying attention to this distraction and completely forgetting we are in a conversation. She will come back after I make a comment and I will need to re-start the conversation.

Taking turns: we sometimes play board games. She is extremely impatient when taking turns. “Hurry up and take your turn” etc.

Doesn’t follow through: as well as the lateness she will often tell me she is going to do something then never does it. Not because its forgotten just because… well I don’t know. We have bags of clothes that were stored living in our bedroom that she was supposed to go through and re-pack. They have been there for over a month. There was a box of her books that she was taking to the charity shop living in our place for 6 months after we moved in. Things like this. I’ll do X, then never does it. It ends up being me who has to clean up, finish the task.

Aloneness: she is an extrovert and I can see when she mingles with other she is more lively and in a better mood but she prefers her own company. Just being alone with her thoughts.


These are all the signs I can see right now. I’d really like to understand whether I’m just imagining a problem or whether there is something there that is creating additional stress for our relationship.

dvdnvwls
01-13-17, 01:06 PM
Even though "not believing in" ADHD is illogical and just plain silly, when someone is that way you can't just browbeat them into a more intelligent point of view.

So I suggest you get, for yourself, a copy of Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Barkley. I suggest that you learn what you can do to make things better.

It puts you in a difficult and disadvantageous position, but at least you won't be beating your head against the brick wall of irrational unbelief.

john2100
01-13-17, 01:44 PM
These are all the signs I can see right now. I’d really like to understand whether I’m just imagining a problem or whether there is something there that is creating additional stress for our relationship.


regardless if it is or isn't adhd all of those symptom,problems can be reduced,partially controlled or managed using techniques recommended for adhd people.

sarahsweets
01-14-17, 05:31 AM
Never shuts up: OK, Im exaggerating, she does shut up… occasionally. She talks a lot. I’m not much of a talker. So it works… but the problem is sometimes I will have something to say and I can read on her face that she is just waiting for me to be quiet so she can blurt out whatever it is she wants to say. She isn’t really listening to me. She is just waiting her turn to speak. She will also say things that may be hurtful without any real consideration for how I might feel. She says she is ‘direct’ but it usually just comes across as rude. There is not much of a filter between her brain and mouth.

What kinds of hurtful things are you talking about?

quote]
Clams up: she clams up completely and will be unable to speak for a while if there is some strong emotional event happening. e.g. when I proposed she clammed up and couldn’t answer me for minutes. This happens more rarely these days, but in certain novel situations happens just as badly. There are certain words that can make her clam up (think female body parts).
[/quote]
I think this could be a part of anxiety. Whenever there is something emotional going on I can shut down or clam up sometimes.


Doesn’t follow through: as well as the lateness she will often tell me she is going to do something then never does it. Not because its forgotten just because… well I don’t know. We have bags of clothes that were stored living in our bedroom that she was supposed to go through and re-pack. They have been there for over a month. There was a box of her books that she was taking to the charity shop living in our place for 6 months after we moved in. Things like this. I’ll do X, then never does it. It ends up being me who has to clean up, finish the task.

Task initiation is hard for us.

Aloneness: she is an extrovert and I can see when she mingles with other she is more lively and in a better mood but she prefers her own company. Just being alone with her thoughts.


I can see how this would hurt. especially if you are someone who needs more interaction.

These are all the signs I can see right now. I’d really like to understand whether I’m just imagining a problem or whether there is something there that is creating additional stress for our relationship.

The things you mention do sound like adhd but its important to have a professional involved. The important thing to think about is whether or not you can live with these things even if she never changes. She may get help or she may resist it. She may not think she needs help. can you live with her even if things stay the same?

SScommy
01-14-17, 08:16 PM
Thanks for the replies. I've gotten the recommended book and started reading...

SScommy
01-14-17, 08:24 PM
@sarahsweets - when I say she says hurtful things, this might be the wrong words to use on my part. Upon reflection, I would say they are inconsiderate words. Like she wont put any thought into how her words would impact me and/or others. She comes across as blunt. e.g. I've cooked dinner, she starts eating it and blurts out "this is disgusting". Personally I wouldn't say that to my partner. I would feedback that I didn't like it but in a way that was a bit less... well... blunt.


I spoke to her yesterday around being assessed, she wasn't dismissive this time. She asked a number of questions around how she would get assessed and why I think she may have ADD. I think her resistance is around being told she has a "deficit" and a "disorder". Neither of those are pleasant words.

sarahsweets
01-15-17, 03:27 AM
@sarahsweets - when I say she says hurtful things, this might be the wrong words to use on my part. Upon reflection, I would say they are inconsiderate words. Like she wont put any thought into how her words would impact me and/or others. She comes across as blunt. e.g. I've cooked dinner, she starts eating it and blurts out "this is disgusting". Personally I wouldn't say that to my partner. I would feedback that I didn't like it but in a way that was a bit less... well... blunt.


I spoke to her yesterday around being assessed, she wasn't dismissive this time. She asked a number of questions around how she would get assessed and why I think she may have ADD. I think her resistance is around being told she has a "deficit" and a "disorder". Neither of those are pleasant words.

I can see why that would hurt- no matter the reason it still hurts. You can help her to overcome her worries about it being a disorder or deficit by watching some RUssell Barkley videos on you-tube and learning about it, and the sharing that with her.

kilted_scotsman
01-15-17, 01:51 PM
You are right, the disorder/deficit thing is negative..... plus there's an unfortunate myth that if one has a "disorder/deficit" like ADHD there's no way to change and one is consigned to the scrapheap of humanity.

The way round this may be to point out that she is likely to be having relational problems elsewhere in her life, like at work and a diagnosis can be a first step towards change in many areas.

One key thing to remember is that ADHD isn't a "disorder" it's a symptom cluster, which can have many causations. Understanding what is the likely cause in your partners case is the nest step after diagnosis..... and it's that step that makes the difference.

SScommy
01-20-17, 02:28 AM
I've tried talking to my wife a few times regarding taking a screening test. I thought that if she did the screener she may be more likely I'm not just making up stuff to try and blame her for our marital issues. She took the WHO test and scored only a couple of points on part A but nearly all high scores on part B. She is now more confused. If I try talk about it anymore I just get shut down. She clearly has the ****s with me at this point and I'm just exhausted. its like living in an alternate reality. The things I say are heard differently and the memory of events is completely different.
I'm at the end of my patience for the screwed up dynamics in our relationship and if she doesn't get it treated ASAP im ready to walk away. I don't want to issue an ultimatum but that's pretty much where I am right now. We have a marriage counselling session on Tuesday. I wanted to know if she was willing to get assessed for ADD prior and either continue with the session or cancel it based on what she was doing. Right now I'm being shut out and am so frustrated. It's up to her now.

Does anyone have stories of people managing without their ADD partner being treated? From what I read it isn't much of an existence...

sarahsweets
01-23-17, 05:22 AM
I've tried talking to my wife a few times regarding taking a screening test. I thought that if she did the screener she may be more likely I'm not just making up stuff to try and blame her for our marital issues. She took the WHO test and scored only a couple of points on part A but nearly all high scores on part B. She is now more confused. If I try talk about it anymore I just get shut down. She clearly has the ****s with me at this point and I'm just exhausted. its like living in an alternate reality. The things I say are heard differently and the memory of events is completely different.
Wow. Not being heard or validated is so hard. And being made to feel bad because you want your wife to be treated or at least seek help in the right direction is really tough.


I'm at the end of my patience for the screwed up dynamics in our relationship and if she doesn't get it treated ASAP im ready to walk away. I don't want to issue an ultimatum but that's pretty much where I am right now.
I hear what you are saying but think really hard on this. Its fine if you have decided you want to walk away if she doesnt seek the proper help but if you issue an ultimatum you must be prepared to follow through. She may likely not believe you, or realize the seriousness of it, and adhd people are terrible with recognizing or expecting consequences-so ultimatums usually dont work unless the person issuing them has plans already to check out. And honestly, dont you think if its come to ultimatums that you might as well skip that turmoil and work on getting out now? Putting all your eggs in the basket of her being willing to change with a threat is an expectation that is surely not going to be met to your satisfaction.

We have a marriage counselling session on Tuesday. I wanted to know if she was willing to get assessed for ADD prior and either continue with the session or cancel it based on what she was doing. Right now I'm being shut out and am so frustrated. It's up to her now.

Does anyone have stories of people managing without their ADD partner being treated? From what I read it isn't much of an existence...

I think you should keep the app regardless of whether she got assessed or is willing to get assessed especially if you plan on leaving the marriage.

dvdnvwls
01-23-17, 03:30 PM
I agree - if you're willing to leave over this, just leave now.