View Full Version : Looking for insight and perspective


netmonkey
02-27-17, 12:28 PM
Hello there,

I am a new member here and I am looking for some insight, perspective, and support.

A little background…
I have been with my wife for 14 years and we have been married for 11 years. She was diagnosed with ADHD at 5 years old and she is now 45. During that time, she was on medication for maybe 2 years. The beginning of our marriage was very rocky. There were some obvious issues, but the cause of the them were due to my crap, her crap, our crap, and her ADHD. I got to the point where I wanted us to go to counseling/therapy. However, she was absolutely opposed to getting any sort of help, but I thought that I could at least deal with my crap. So I started to see a therapist. After about 6 months of therapy, I decided that (ADHD or not) I was not going to tolerate certain behaviors and treatments from my wife. I gave her an ultimatum and told her that if she did not go get some help that I would end the marriage. So, she saw a therapist on her own and we saw a therapist together. I also continued to see a therapist on my own as well. The therapy continued for another year and our marriage greatly improved. As part of the therapy, my wife agreed to start taking medication for the ADHD. From my perspective, this improved the “issues” with the ADHD. She was much more level headed, calm, and able to focus. She also stopped the constant grunting. I can only describe this grunting as a tick that people with Tourette have. It wasn’t loud, but it was obvious and consistent.

Fast forward to the present…
It has been many years since she has taken any medication or been part of any treatment for the ADHD. For me, there are some frustrating aspects of living with someone with ADHD. The intense high energy, the consistent talking, the grunting, and the poor follow through. I try to be as supportive as I can. I have learned to say “I feel” instead of “you are too ____ “. For example, I will tell her that I feel overwhelmed when she has been talking for a long time and that I need a break (I have my man cave that I can retreat to). I also try to support her in the things that she wants to. However, it is frustrating when I don’t see her making any progress. For example, she has been wanting to go back to college for 11 years. She always talks about it, but she never makes the effort. She has a lot of fears and anxieties and I see them come through as excuses as to why she hasn’t done anything about it. There are also some other projects that she wants to do. She makes lots of lists, but then doesn’t complete them and then she feels guilty. If I try to do some of the projects on my own, then she gets mad at me. To her, she assumes that I don’t think she can handle it. To the contrary, I just want it done so I do it.

I want to see her happy, I want to see her succeed, and I want her to achieve her goals. I can’t help but think that she could benefit from some sort of treatment, but she absolutely refuses. I know there is no magic pill, but there has to be some combination of medication or support that can help her. I have talked to her about it and I have been very gentle and kind in discussing it, but I feel frustrated.

What do you guys think? How can I inspire her? How can I get her to move forward?

Thanks for your help.

dvdnvwls
02-27-17, 02:55 PM
It is hard to live with someone who has ADHD. I should know - I have it. :)

To be blunt, the major missing link in your marriage is that you personally know so little about ADHD and how it affects people who have it.

Most therapists don't know either, and they end up giving their usual advice - most of which to an ADHD person is worse than useless.

There are lots of places to learn more, but I suggest you start on the following website:

CADDAC videos on adult and teenage ADHD (http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html)

and watch especially the videos in the "executive function" section.

There's a discussion thread on this forum, titled "Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD..." (http://addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98803) - it would be very useful too.

netmonkey
02-28-17, 09:59 AM
It is hard to live with someone who has ADHD. I should know - I have it. :)

To be blunt, the major missing link in your marriage is that you personally know so little about ADHD and how it affects people who have it.

Most therapists don't know either, and they end up giving their usual advice - most of which to an ADHD person is worse than useless.

There are lots of places to learn more, but I suggest you start on the following website:

CADDAC videos on adult and teenage ADHD (http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html)

and watch especially the videos in the "executive function" section.

There's a discussion thread on this forum, titled "Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD..." (http://addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98803) - it would be very useful too.

Ok, I watched the 3 lectures by Russell Barkley and they were very fascinating. I could definitely see my wife in what he talked about. It is interesting (and I understand) how differently from each other that my wife and I think. He talked a lot about the inability to self-direct present actions for future goals and I can see this in my wife. For example, we don’t have children, she doesn’t go to school, she doesn’t work outside of the home, she doesn’t volunteer, and she isn’t training for a marathon. Yet, she always says that she never has time to complete anything on her lists. She has great ideas and promises me that she will do things, but she can never deliver. So, I get it. I know why this is happening. However, how can we work to improve upon it when she absolutely refuses to seek any sort of help? It feels like she is stuck. It is frustrating for me when there are things that need to be done in the home and I cannot do anything about it. She wants to own these projects, but I am not allowed to help or take on the projects myself. In fact, she will become furious at me if I take over a project. So, I just have to sit back and watch things deteriorate.

So, how do I encourage her to seek help, get unstuck, and move forward?

Thanks.

sarahsweets
02-28-17, 10:09 AM
After about 6 months of therapy, I decided that (ADHD or not) I was not going to tolerate certain behaviors and treatments from my wife. I gave her an ultimatum and told her that if she did not go get some help that I would end the marriage. So, she saw a therapist on her own and we saw a therapist together. I also continued to see a therapist on my own as well.
I know that for me and many of use with adhd, ultimatums in personal relationships either dont work, or work against the person making them. Sometimes in the short term, things improve, lasting improvement isnt something that tends to happen.

The therapy continued for another year and our marriage greatly improved. As part of the therapy, my wife agreed to start taking medication for the ADHD. From my perspective, this improved the “issues” with the ADHD. She was much more level headed, calm, and able to focus. She also stopped the constant grunting. I can only describe this grunting as a tick that people with Tourette have. It wasn’t loud, but it was obvious and consistent.

I think that was a really good move on her part.

[quoet]Fast forward to the present…
It has been many years since she has taken any medication or been part of any treatment for the ADHD.[/quote]
what made her stop?

For me, there are some frustrating aspects of living with someone with ADHD. The intense high energy, the consistent talking, the grunting, and the poor follow through. I try to be as supportive as I can. I have learned to say “I feel” instead of “you are too ____ “. For example, I will tell her that I feel overwhelmed when she has been talking for a long time and that I need a break (I have my man cave that I can retreat to). I also try to support her in the things that she wants to.
Does she have a retreat from the demands you are making of her?


However, it is frustrating when I don’t see her making any progress. For example, she has been wanting to go back to college for 11 years. She always talks about it, but she never makes the effort. She has a lot of fears and anxieties and I see them come through as excuses as to why she hasn’t done anything about it. There are also some other projects that she wants to do. She makes lots of lists, but then doesn’t complete them and then she feels guilty. If I try to do some of the projects on my own, then she gets mad at me. To her, she assumes that I don’t think she can handle it. To the contrary, I just want it done so I do it.

Yes this is frustrating but its very adhd related. Maybe talking with her about her getting angry when you do things would help-as long as you dont make her feel guilty about having to do them. She also has to accept that certain things have to get done and you may have to do them.

I want to see her happy, I want to see her succeed, and I want her to achieve her goals.
Her goals or your goals?

I can’t help but think that she could benefit from some sort of treatment, but she absolutely refuses.
I wonder why that is. Have you asked her why? Did she have horrible side effects? Did the medication negatively impact her life? I think its fair for her to consider taking it.
I know there is no magic pill, but there has to be some combination of medication or support that can help her. I have talked to her about it and I have been very gentle and kind in discussing it, but I feel frustrated.

What do you guys think? How can I inspire her? How can I get her to move forward?

Thanks for your help.
You cant inspire her. That hasnt worked for you anyway and she seems to view your inspiration for her, as something she has wrong with her. I do agree with dvd about reading up on adhd. I will help you to understand what the issues are and how to deal with them.
Let me ask you...if she never changed ever, can you live with that? Or is it a deal breaker?

netmonkey
02-28-17, 12:22 PM
I know that for me and many of use with adhd, ultimatums in personal relationships either dont work, or work against the person making them. Sometimes in the short term, things improve, lasting improvement isnt something that tends to happen.

So, this ultimatum was not about the ADHD. It was about how she was treating me. She was explosive, angry, and yelled and screamed when there was conflict. She had a lot of issues from her previous marriage that she needed to deal with. That environment was not healthy for me and I decided that I was not going to live in a marriage like that. Oh, and trust me… I had my issues as well. This was not all one sided. My ultimatum was to either deal with the issues or end the marriage.

I think that was a really good move on her part.
I agree. I wish she would have continued taking the meds.


I wonder why that is. Have you asked her why? Did she have horrible side effects? Did the medication negatively impact her life? I think its fair for her to consider taking it.
what made her stop?
I didn’t notice any side effects. I didn’t see any negative impacts. She said that she didn’t like how they made her feel. I tried to explain that maybe she wasn’t on the correct medication for her. When she was a kid, there were few choices, but now, I know there are many more options including non-stimulant versions. She also insisted that she can manage everything on her own. She sees taking medication or asking for help as a weakness.


Does she have a retreat from the demands you are making of her?
Hmm… I am not sure how you inferred that I am making demands of her. I USED to say that she talked too much, or was too loud, or whatever. But now I tell her what I am feeling. I am not asking her to change, I am just telling her that I feel overwhelmed and that I need an escape for a bit. I need to be able to be true to my feelings and needs as well. I am letting her be who she is, but also letting her know how I feel without getting angry or resentful. This change in how I respond to her has greatly helped our relationship. And to answer the first part of your question, yes, she does have a retreat for when she needs to get away.


Yes this is frustrating but its very adhd related. Maybe talking with her about her getting angry when you do things would help-as long as you dont make her feel guilty about having to do them. She also has to accept that certain things have to get done and you may have to do them.
Yes, we have talked about this. She thinks that asking for help is a sign of weakness and if she cant do it, then she failed somehow. I am really not trying to make her feel guilty... I just want to get things done. She has got better about asking for my help, however.


Her goals or your goals?
So, there are different types of goals here. There are the big ones that she owns. For example, she has been wanting to go back to college for 11 years, but she just won’t do it. She says that she can’t decide on a major and hates math. I fully support and encourage her on this and we have the means for her to go to college. I have a highly technical degree and occupation and I am totally willing to tutor her in math. I know that she would be so proud to earn a degree and I would be proud of her as well.
There are the joint goals that we both own. For example, when we got married, we needed to merge our finances, legal documents, and general filing. She had a plan for how this was to be done and I was willing to let her do it. However, after 10 years of promising to do it and the multitude of cases of paper stacked in our office, she had done nothing. She would not let me do it or let me help at all. We fought over this for years until I gave her an ultimatum. I told her that if she didn’t do it by a certain date, then I was going to do it. I know that was a super crappy thing to do and I was a jerk for doing it, but the merging finally got done. That was the second of only 2 ultimatums that I have ever given her.
There are also the goals that I have. There are things that I want to accomplish and do, but some things are big items and she has to be on board with them as well.


You cant inspire her. That hasnt worked for you anyway and she seems to view your inspiration for her, as something she has wrong with her. I do agree with dvd about reading up on adhd. I will help you to understand what the issues are and how to deal with them.
Let me ask you...if she never changed ever, can you live with that? Or is it a deal breaker?
Hmm… I hear you… good points. I have read many posts here and watched lectures by Russell Barkley so I do have a good understanding of what’s going on in her head. To your last question…. That is something that I am wrestling over.

netmonkey
02-28-17, 12:53 PM
You cant inspire her. That hasnt worked for you anyway and she seems to view your inspiration for her, as something she has wrong with her.

really good point.... I hadn't considered that before.

dvdnvwls
02-28-17, 02:43 PM
Giving this ultimatum

"Climb that tree or we're through"

to a fish


... is not going to solve anything. Either the fish says "All right, then we're through", or dies trying (or you realize the ultimatum had no value and sheepishly cancel it).

(I'm aware that fish don't speak English. :) )

sarahsweets
02-28-17, 02:52 PM
So, this ultimatum was not about the ADHD. It was about how she was treating me. She was explosive, angry, and yelled and screamed when there was conflict. She had a lot of issues from her previous marriage that she needed to deal with. That environment was not healthy for me and I decided that I was not going to live in a marriage like that. Oh, and trust me… I had my issues as well. This was not all one sided. My ultimatum was to either deal with the issues or end the marriage.
Thanks for clarifying that although a lot of it could also be indirectly due to adhd if not primarily due to it.



I didn’t notice any side effects. I didn’t see any negative impacts. She said that she didn’t like how they made her feel. I tried to explain that maybe she wasn’t on the correct medication for her. When she was a kid, there were few choices, but now, I know there are many more options including non-stimulant versions.
Other than "didnt like how it made her feel" did she elaborate on that a bit? There are so many side effects that can be considered major-and not worth it, and minor-worth working on it. And if she hasnt tried something like Stratterra she cant really say anything about it.

She also insisted that she can manage everything on her own. She sees taking medication or asking for help as a weakness.

Then she needs to read and watch what you just did. She needs to understand her adhd as much as you do-and understand how her mind works.



Hmm… I am not sure how you inferred that I am making demands of her. I USED to say that she talked too much, or was too loud, or whatever. But now I tell her what I am feeling. I am not asking her to change, I am just telling her that I feel overwhelmed and that I need an escape for a bit. I need to be able to be true to my feelings and needs as well. I am letting her be who she is, but also letting her know how I feel without getting angry or resentful. This change in how I respond to her has greatly helped our relationship. And to answer the first part of your question, yes, she does have a retreat for when she needs to get away.

I didnt mean to sound harsh. I guess what I meant is, even though the things you are asking of her a perfectly reasonable, to her they can be looked at as demands. Maybe not demands but maybe...requests she finds hard to deal with?


Yes, we have talked about this. She thinks that asking for help is a sign of weakness and if she cant do it, then she failed somehow. I am really not trying to make her feel guilty... I just want to get things done. She has got better about asking for my help, however.

Again, she needs help understanding her own condition and what a disability is vs some kind of moral failing.


So, there are different types of goals here. There are the big ones that she owns. For example, she has been wanting to go back to college for 11 years, but she just won’t do it. She says that she can’t decide on a major and hates math. I fully support and encourage her on this and we have the means for her to go to college. I have a highly technical degree and occupation and I am totally willing to tutor her in math. I know that she would be so proud to earn a degree and I would be proud of her as well.
Wanting to do something and being realistic about it are different things. She may want a degree and no doubt be proud of it, but how much would she be doing this for her and how much to satisfy you or someone else? Has she ever talked about what would happen after the degree? Like career wise?

There are the joint goals that we both own. For example, when we got married, we needed to merge our finances, legal documents, and general filing. She had a plan for how this was to be done and I was willing to let her do it. However, after 10 years of promising to do it and the multitude of cases of paper stacked in our office, she had done nothing. She would not let me do it or let me help at all. We fought over this for years until I gave her an ultimatum. I told her that if she didn’t do it by a certain date, then I was going to do it. I know that was a super crappy thing to do and I was a jerk for doing it, but the merging finally got done. That was the second of only 2 ultimatums that I have ever given her.
WOW.I cant ever see that being something that an adhd person could manage at least not for me. And the more it piled up the worse it became.

I dont normally think a spouse needs to get knee deep in the treatment process per se, but it seems like she is really doing some damage (not on purpose and not her fault) by not agreeing to take medication. I am not sure how to proceed.

Mittens
02-28-17, 03:00 PM
Disclaimer - I am by no means an expert, and still learn every day about ADD and even relationships in general from this forum, this is just based on my experience... Also, I am horrible at articulating, so I apologize in advance if anything comes out wrong.

*learn everything you can (there are a lot of great books out there, including ADHD and Marriage, I believe it's called) and reading the ADD side here is invaluable. It's easy to get compassion fatigue and think you need to 'fix' your partner, but that's a bad, bad mindset to get into (and very easy one to fall into). Learning what they go through is absolutely huge... like with meds - meds can be absolutely terrifying.. I mean, could you imagine taking a medication that makes you feel like a zombie, or drastically changes your personality? Trust your partner.. If they say they don't like how a medication feels- be patient and support them.... It can be a lot of work finding out what works and it's a constant work in progress as a marriage / family to work around and with ADD. I can't begin to imagine how overwhelming overstimulation and 'static' must feel....

*Your partner is not ADD, and there isn't really any place for blame. It's not a diabetics fault that they need insulin, and it's not your partners fault they have ADD. Not saying that they shouldn't get treatment, because treatment can make all the difference in the world (just in my own experience), but positive support and love will always get you and your partner farther than negativity and force or ultimatums. Pressure / negativity / force / etc = panic and chaos and pulling the fire alarm for your partner. Everything goes static and melts down. Being on *their* team, and on the same team is crucial... I am not saying it's not okay to have concerns, it absolutely is, I'm just saying how you do it and your own outlook makes all the difference in the world - if that makes sense. Support, trust, love and positive reinforcement will always get you and your partner farther than pressure or ultimatums. Someone on this forum asked me once, "If your partner never changed, would you still love them / stay?".... I think this is important... Your partner will never "change", but ideally with the right tools, they will be able to cope and function better which results in life being much better and easier for them, and consequently you and your family. Your partner is your partner, and their personality is separate from their ADD. ADD will never go away, and odds are it will always be a 'work in progress', as will you be - but that doesn't mean it's always super hard or make-or-break kind of work in progress, it just means that it will always be something that waxes and wanes and never ceases to surprise you will throwing in something random (like reacting badly all of a sudden to a medication they have been on for a year, or having the medication become ineffective, or the trials and tribulations of finding a therapist that is a good fit, etc etc).

*Throw out any ideas of "typical" expectations or "equal" workloads or really "typical" anything. Play to your strengths. At my house, I handle the money / bills, housework, kids, logistics, appt's, and anything 'list' related, however in doing so it allows my husband to focus on his business (which he is absolutely phenomenal in doing) and rock it like a Metallica concert. Every couple will be different in finding out what works for you, but finding your own 'balance' in your family really, really helps. It helps alleviate the pressure and static from your partner, and you know who is handling what and those things are dependably done by both partners because it is something both of you can handle.

*Get therapy for yourself - but make sure it is with someone with who is ADD knowledgeable, because many therapists just want to make your partner into the bad guy and it doesn't help you *at all*. This sounds easy, but my experience has been quite difficult in finally finding a therapist that was able to *constructively* help me and give *me* the tools I needed to help myself and help my partner in moving forward, not just want to throw around blame and breed resentment.

*"Typical" is dumb and has no place in a marriage or family with ADD. You do you. :)

I still have to work and focus on these things every day, and I am a constant 'work in progress' and learning. They are WAAAAYYYY easier said that done, but they really, REALLY can help. I read this forums and am constantly learning, asking questions, asking for advice - and holy man do they ever have a phenomenal group on here of non-add / add / parents / partners / all of the above etc etc.

Anyhow. Just my $0.02. Like I said, this is only based on my own experiences, and I hope this is able to help you and your partner.....

-Mittens

Mittens
02-28-17, 03:17 PM
Giving this ultimatum

"Climb that tree or we're through"

to a fish


... is not going to solve anything. Either the fish says "All right, then we're through", or dies trying (or you realize the ultimatum had no value and sheepishly cancel it).

(I'm aware that fish don't speak English. :) )

Heh.

Kind of along the same lines.

When my husband was very first diagnosed, my mom said
"Mittens, you have to make your expectations realistic... it's like me expecting the cats to learn French, because dammit it's about time someone in this house is bilingual!".

It took a *long* time for me to really put this is to practice, but I still ask myself if I am asking the cats to be bilingual when I am thinking of expectations....

sarahsweets
02-28-17, 03:23 PM
... like with meds - meds can be absolutely terrifying.. I mean, could you imagine taking a medication that makes you feel like a zombie, or drastically changes your personality? Trust your partner.. If they say they don't like how a medication feels- be patient and support them.... It can be a lot of work finding out what works and it's a constant work in progress as a marriage / family to work around and with ADD. I can't begin to imagine how overwhelming overstimulation and 'static' must feel....

Or they can be life changing and work, and the person taking them needs to get over the fact that they need meds and that meds help. Or they have to stop playing those tapes the tell you to straighten up and fly right. Not feeling right on meds could be anything, but I think its both fair and important to pursue it together.

netmonkey
02-28-17, 03:50 PM
Thanks for clarifying that although a lot of it could also be indirectly due to adhd if not primarily due to it.
That could be true. But I was at the point (ADHD or not) the behaviors had to change (mine and hers).


Other than "didnt like how it made her feel" did she elaborate on that a bit? There are so many side effects that can be considered major-and not worth it, and minor-worth working on it. And if she hasnt tried something like Stratterra she cant really say anything about it.
Ohh… now I remember.. she was on a stimulant drug that caused a loss of appetite. She didn’t eat much and lost some weight. I think she also complained about feeling “numb”. but isn’t that feeling just a calm mind? 


Then she needs to read and watch what you just did. She needs to understand her adhd as much as you do-and understand how her mind works.
I will try to get her to take a look at those videos.


I didnt mean to sound harsh. I guess what I meant is, even though the things you are asking of her a perfectly reasonable, to her they can be looked at as demands. Maybe not demands but maybe...requests she finds hard to deal with?
Ya, I see what you are saying. I think she feels guilty or that I am pushing her if I remind her of something that has not been done. Gah… its tax season and I have already reminded her of it and she got annoyed. Again, this is an example of something that she demands to be in control of, but then procrastinates to the very end. Being late on taxes has consequences and I rather have it done as soon as possible.


Again, she needs help understanding her own condition and what a disability is vs some kind of moral failing.
Right. I remind her that everyone needs help at one time or another and no one will think any less of her if she asks for it…. Especially me. Maybe watching those videos will help with this.


Wanting to do something and being realistic about it are different things. She may want a degree and no doubt be proud of it, but how much would she be doing this for her and how much to satisfy you or someone else? Has she ever talked about what would happen after the degree? Like career wise?
Ok.. right… we have approached this as “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  She wants to work and to financially contribute to the marriage. She wants to do more with her life than just be a house wife. She knows some of the fields that she wants to work in and she knows some of the jobs that she would like. So I have researched the specific degrees that would allow her to work in those fields and in those jobs. I created charts of which classes she needs (she already has some college credits) for the various degrees. We were able to narrow it down to a few choices. It is just up to her to do it.


WOW.I cant ever see that being something that an adhd person could manage at least not for me. And the more it piled up the worse it became.
Yup.. that’s what she said too. The longer it was delayed, the more over whelming that it became.

I dont normally think a spouse needs to get knee deep in the treatment process per se, but it seems like she is really doing some damage (not on purpose and not her fault) by not agreeing to take medication. I am not sure how to proceed.
Right… I am at a loss too.

dvdnvwls
02-28-17, 08:59 PM
Feeling numb on ADHD medication is normally due to a too high dose or dehydration.

unstableAngel
03-07-17, 02:46 PM
Your wife needs to get treatment. It's unfair for her to expect you to be understanding when shes doing nothing to improve her symptoms/behaviors. Insist she seek help as you did in the past. Best of luck to you!:confused:u

netmonkey
03-09-17, 03:05 PM
Your wife needs to get treatment. It's unfair for her to expect you to be understanding when shes doing nothing to improve her symptoms/behaviors. Insist she seek help as you did in the past. Best of luck to you!:confused:u

right... that's what I have been considering. I have also been wrestling with how to approach her on this. it is challenging....

Postulate
03-09-17, 08:00 PM
Could you please enumerate the behaviours that you agreed not to tolerate from your wife at the beginning of the marriage?

Also, what are the key benefits that you get out of this marriage that make you want to stay with her? We could also make good use of knowing your profession and your wife's profession. Thank you!

willow129
03-09-17, 10:03 PM
Hmm it sounds like his wife maybe doesn't work at the moment. (He said she wants to financially contribute to the marriage and not be a housewife)

I'm curious about the key benefits to the marriage too...Mittens made a great point about playing to each other's strengths...

It sounds to me like your wife needs to do a lot of soul searching. I mean, I'm probably oversimplifying but if she's so stressed by math then why is she insisting on doing the taxes? Oh my gosh. I mean I really started to enjoy my math classes in high school but taxes without fail reduce me to tears. WITH. OUT. FAIL. :doh:

I just wonder if she has some idea of how she SHOULD be contributing that she's trying to live up to, without actually thinking about where her strengths are. I used to compare myself to my non-ADHD partner ALL the time...and like...yeah...his way just is not my way!! And if this is the case for her too, I think it's really easy to reinforce comparisons like this, even if it's unintentional.

If she hasn't accepted herself for who she is, what she is good at and what she is not so good at...she'll have to go through a period of grieving, letting go of her ideas about things and herself. Maybe this is part of the reason she is not accepting help or advice. EDIT: However, she can also feel a lot relief from insight into herself...

I agree that her learning about ADHD is the priority, probably before you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with strategies in the marriage.

sarahsweets
03-10-17, 05:59 AM
I'll second or third the idea of playing to your strengths. In my house, hubby and I AND all three kids have adhd. What a circus sometimes. What he is good and and what I am good at are different. He is good at long term and I mean LLLOONNGG term plans like saving for a new appliance. He will put 20$ or more away forever until he has enough to buy it. He balances the checkbook now because I always forgot and overdrawed the account. I know how to spend money on a budget, but he is good making sure there is money to spend. I am the one who handles the shopping and meal prep and what the kids are doing but he is always my partner in crime when it comes to doing family things. He fully participates in our family, I am just the one who has to balance what activities are going on.
When things are stressful, he is overwhelmed with fatigue- I am the one who has trouble sleeping. When the kids or he has to go up against and adversary like a school issue, I am the one who you release first. I sort of level out the immediate and he helps me reign it in so I dont act unreasonable.

When something breaks in the house, he can watch a youtube and figure out how to fix it. When I have to deal with it, its nothing but meltdowns and calls to him at work.
I cant tell you how many times he had to take the whole toilet off the floor when the kids were young because they dropped a toy or-in our case- two peaches and a plum-down the toilet and clogged it.
He helps me stay calm in an emergency, yet I am the one who can jump into action but in a productive way when we are together.

These are just examples of how our life works together. Its super important to find these things out, and work with the adhd and not against it.
Having preconceived notions of what you should be doing never works. You have to decided what you can handle, and contribute and work with it.
I'd love to say the loads are equal and they are sometimes- just not usually at the same time or even on the same plane.

Little Missy
03-10-17, 08:03 AM
Sarah has the way going on. It is compensating for each other's capabilities and limitations. :goodpost:

dvdnvwls
03-10-17, 03:42 PM
right... that's what I have been considering. I have also been wrestling with how to approach her on this. it is challenging....
I would try something like:
We can find the best ways of getting around the things that are difficult, so that we both end up being OK with the results, and be happier at the same time.

But I can't find another way around ADHD treatment. I would be disrespectful if I tried. That's your thing. In one way, it's kind of none of my business - but on the other hand, we're married to each other, so it partly is my business too - except it's not something I can control.

I can't do my own thing very well if you're not doing your own thing. It makes my part far harder, if you're not doing the parts that belong to you. The parts that belong to both of us, we can always compromise somehow - but I think we each need to do our individual things as well as we can, so that everything else has a chance for success.

Lunacie
03-10-17, 03:54 PM
I didn’t notice any side effects. I didn’t see any negative impacts. She said that she didn’t like how they made her feel. I tried to explain that maybe she wasn’t on the correct medication for her. When she was a kid, there were few choices, but now, I know there are many more options including non-stimulant versions. She also insisted that she can manage everything on her own. She sees taking medication or asking for help as a weakness.



You've had some good responses already so I'm just going to address this.

There is such a horrible stigma about mental illness that doesn't happen with
physical illness. Too often we've been told we cause these problems ourselves
or we could change the problems if we "really wanted to." Bah!

If we have a cough, we take cough medicine. If we can't see well we get eye-
glasses or contacts. If we have a headache we take a pill.

But we've been told that mental illness isn't real and "big pharma" is just
ripping us off. It really and truly sucks.

It can be difficult to find the medicine that works best and the best dose. And
sometimes it takes a meds cocktail to smooth out the bumps in an ADHD life.
But it's totally worth it when it finally comes together.

It's not a magic wand that will make everything perfect, but it means we have
a fighting chance of making it work instead of fighting a losing battle.

I agree with whoever suggested your wife do some more reading and video
watching. Invite her to join this forum. We'll help her understand and be brave
enough to get that help that she actually deserves to get. Just like she'd go
get meds if she developed high blood pressure.

dvdnvwls
03-10-17, 04:00 PM
:)

The idea of "Big Eyeglasses" cheating us and fooling us into thinking there's something wrong with our eyes, I just found very funny for some reason.

Sunflower009
04-07-17, 08:14 PM
I couldn't agree more on the stigma around mental illness, and the shame and guilt of having to take medication to compensate adn live in a "normal" world. Not that this is correct of course! But so many of us really do feel this way. THere is often this idea that we SHOULD be able to do this, and if we need support then we are broken or failures. A therapist could help her work through those feelings, but even just having you understand that she may have those feelings might really work wonders. Once she acknowledges the feelings that is the first step in deciding that maybe that idea is actually not quite right, and maybe medication isn't so bad after all.

ToneTone
04-08-17, 12:30 PM
It's so interesting ... I think part of success treatment for various mental health conditions ... is not internalizing the stigma of whatever condition you have.

A friend of mine was looking for a clinic of some kind that a student of hers could go to for an emotional problem. The student wanted to be anonymous and meet with someone and just get anonymous treatment.

I told my friend, going public with your treatment and your name and sitting in the waiting room and seeing other people ... and making this all "normal" is a fundamental part of the treatment.

So giving the finger to the stigma is part and parcel of successfully working with the condition.

Tone

dvdnvwls
04-08-17, 02:52 PM
Tone, I partly agree with you. To "give the finger to" the stigma, I think the place you live and the people around you will need to already be somewhere close to being ready to accept your stance. I'm guessing for example that in some of the most conservative places in Africa you could be in real danger if you defied the stigma, while in Manhattan there would be nearly no stigma to defy. Your social status would also be part of it - someone with low status (young, not rich, not a leader socially) might need to be more concerned with keeping away from controversy. It really depends.

ToneTone
04-08-17, 07:05 PM
Thanks for bringing my comments back to the real world. Yes, all kinds of issues are complicating factors.

wifeof
04-09-17, 12:04 PM
As someone whose ADD husband has yet to find a med that both works and doesn't have horrible side effects, I feel your pain. The one thing we have found that helps is medication that stops him from beating himself up over the problems ADD causes us, which actually does help a lot.

I've ended up taking over a lot of the stuff that must be done on time - bill paying, taxes - and he does the stuff he can do well. This works for both of us. On occasion, he will decide that he is going to do something that must be done, ends up not being able to complete (or even start) it, and I end up dealing with the consequences. We've reached an agreement that he has X time to do something, where X allows me enough time to get it done if he can't. That takes the stress off of both of us.

One thing that struck me was her grunting. My husband also has Tourettes, and having to suppress his tics makes dealing with everything else far more difficult. So much energy has to go into suppression that there is little left for anything else - such as dealing with ADD... Tourettes also limits which meds can help. Home has always been the safe place where he can let his tics loose, which is extremely important.

Good luck!