ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community  

Go Back   ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community > ADULTS AND ADD/ADHD > Non-ADD Partner Support
Register Blogs FAQ Chat Members List Calendar Donate Gallery Arcade Mark Forums Read

Non-ADD Partner Support This is a support forum for non-ADD partners, spouses, and significant others offering feedback from both the ADD and non-ADD perspectives

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-04-04, 11:12 AM
katec katec is offline
Jr Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
katec is on a distinguished road
Non-ADD Wife needs advice about Husband with ADD/ADHD

I'm new here, but I've been reading the board for a few months. I hope someone can help me figure out how to deal with my husband without being enraged at him all the time.

We've been together for four years, married for one. I love him more than anything in the world, and I will never leave him. My question is how I can be in this relationship for the rest of my life without becoming the bitter, angry, nagging, lonely wife that I see myself transforming into.

We are very young--24 right now--and he is newly diagnosed with ADD. One of the major problems is that after having graduated from college in 2002, he has not worked. (He said he was working on a start-up business, but that turned out to be a fanciful interpretation of his daily routine.) I am the bread winner, but my income is augmented by his quickly dwindling investments, which are going even more quickly now because (against my better judgment) we bought our dream house which we've planned to move to next year. In the mean time, we've moved into his mother's house to save money and do repairs on our place. But now that we're there, I can't get him to even plan or discuss getting a job--without which we can't move. I would never have moved in with his mom if we didn't have a firm plan to get out, and I'm tearing my hair out over the prospect of being here indefinitely. Mostly, I'm furious with him for pulling the rug out from under me (again). Every dollar he spends means that we have less money, so I'm reminded daily of his refusal to act like an adult.

He in turn thinks that I am obsessive and annoying, which is increasingly true. What can I do here? How do I help him without adding to his anxiety and contrariness? I'm frightened because both options that occur to me mean that I effectively become his parent--I can either tell him what to do all the time, or I can give up and do everything myself. The first wrecks our relationship and the second will lead to more resentment on my part than I can fathom. I don't care if he forgets to do chores or spaces out while I try to talk to him--I can get over that. But when I ask him if he'll actively work with me so that we can move, his response is "I don't know." Like it isn't entirely up to him. I just want him to feel the need to take care of his family. Please help me figure out how to handle this.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-04-04, 11:58 AM
Mike911 Mike911 is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns, Calif
Posts: 41
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Mike911 is on a distinguished road
Katec, you've come to right place. I also recommend you get access to the private non-ADD support forum. The brain-barrier (by that, I mean the difference in brain functionality) between ADD'ers and non-ADD'ers can cause some miscommunications, especially if you need to vent about your husband's behaviors.

You will find a TON of support here and an abundance of information. The best advice I have for you in dealing with your own building anger, frustration and resentment is to learn about codependent behavioral patterns. You don't want to end up in a caretaking role where you sacrifice your own wants and needs to take care of your husband. Taking care of yourself needs to remain a top priority.

If this interests you at all, or if you have any questions about it, feel free to send me email or a PM.

Michael
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-04-04, 12:00 PM
minn306's Avatar
minn306 minn306 is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: I forgot
Posts: 8,762
Thanks: 61
Thanked 66 Times in 55 Posts
minn306 has disabled reputation
Hello~
First I would like to give you a big warm welcome. I have gotten so much support & wonderful advice on this forum. I have been married to my ADHD husband for 11 years. It has not at all been an easy road but I love him enough to take this "journey" with him. There are 2 books that I have read that were a huge help in helping me learn more about my husband's behaviors & moods. They are Driven to Distraction(the 2nd book is Answers to Distraction, also very good) and A.D.D & Romance by Jonathon Halverstadt.
I hope you are able to find the answers & support that you need.
Please feel free to ask anything to anybody here.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #4  
Old 11-04-04, 12:06 PM
katec katec is offline
Jr Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
katec is on a distinguished road
Thanks to both of you for responding. I don't mean to sound like I just want to complain about him--actually, my point is that I'd like to stop complaining, and that seems to entail two things. 1) Him getting a job. 2) Me getting a hold of my temper. I've looked around here and haven't seen a whole lot about ADDers who just refuse to work. Is this a common problem? Or are they more likely to try and either get fired frequently or focus on a job so much that they have nothing left? What encouragement techniques have you all had success with? I can see that there's a fine line that I need to walk between nagging (really doesn't work) and giving up (makes him feel even worse about himself, which just cycles back to inactivity)--I just can't figure out what methods fall along it. Any ideas?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-04-04, 12:17 PM
minn306's Avatar
minn306 minn306 is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: I forgot
Posts: 8,762
Thanks: 61
Thanked 66 Times in 55 Posts
minn306 has disabled reputation
It does not sound like you are complaining to me. I have been there with the same exact feelings as you. The books that I mentioned really made me undertstand how to deal with certain thing better without making it feel like it was all my fault. I know that before I met my husband, he was very well known for changing jobs constantly, quitting because he felt like it or just not showing up for work. I am not sure how to answer your question about the job issue being "common" because I can not speak for other people who have AD/HD but this is what I know of about my husband.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-04-04, 12:24 PM
Mike911 Mike911 is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns, Calif
Posts: 41
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Mike911 is on a distinguished road
Katec, no matter what you do or say, you have absolutely no control over his choice to get (or not get) a job. He controls that, that is his responsibility. If you try to control that decision for him, he'll probably end up resenting it and give up, you'll resent having to do it and probably end up giving up, too. Many people with ADD go from job to job or experience long periods of not working at all. Some of this can be a result of clinical depression and learned helplessness (both conditions you should research). Nagging won't help and giving up completely won't help your dilemma.

What you do have the ability to control is your own temper. Learn all you can about your husband's particular type of ADD. I suggest Dr. Daniel Amen's book, "Healing ADD." Check his website, amenclinic.com, too. Look into depression and learned helplessness. The more understanding you have of the differences between your and your husband's, the better you'll be able to deal with his behaviors and communicate your needs to him.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-04-04, 12:37 PM
katec katec is offline
Jr Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
katec is on a distinguished road
I just can't believe that I can have no helpful (not controlling or nagging, but encouraging) influence on my husband. My anger is my problem, but it is not wrong for me to expect him to have a job ever--what I need to know is what techniques for supporting him psychologically and positively encouraging him work for people with ADD. I actually feel like finding a way to lovingly help him will in and of itself help me reduce and deal with my resentment. (It's his immediate shut-down mechanism that's driving me nuts.)

He's currently reading Driven to Distraction, but so far hasn't been bowled over by the suggestions for improvement. It has, however, led to some useful discussions between the two of us. It's just that we both still feel so lost about how to talk about this stuff and what to do. When an ADDer isn't employed, what helps him/her get employed? (I'm quite familiar with what doesn't. )
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-04-04, 12:39 PM
exeter's Avatar
exeter exeter is offline
ADDvanced Forum Guru
 

Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,100
Thanks: 0
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
exeter is on a distinguished road
Welcome to you, katec. I see how difficult your situation is. Keep in mind that I'm an ADDer who's never been married myself, but, from that perspective, it seems to me the key question is "Is he persuing treatment?" If the answer is "Yes," then I'd say supporting him with that while working toward the goal of moving out of his mom's house would be the best course.

If not, then you have much more unpleasant choices to make. You could become the parent, as you say, but that doesn't seem like a great idea to me, either. Other possibilities are much more unpleasant in the short term, but might work out better for you in the long term, such as selling the house and separating until he decides to get treated. I'm sure there are other options, but I don't see many.

People here like to claim that ADD is an advantage to them. I can believe that if the people saying so are functional adults, but it sounds like your husband isn't. It sounds like he needs treatment, maybe not just for ADD but for depression.

I really hope there's another option that I missed, because it's obvious you're in love with your husband. There's no real way you can help him, though, unless he accepts your help.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-04-04, 12:58 PM
Wheezie's Avatar
Wheezie Wheezie is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: error: unmapped
Posts: 1,569
Thanks: 0
Thanked 31 Times in 7 Posts
Wheezie has disabled reputation
Quote:
Originally Posted by katec
When an ADDer isn't employed, what helps him/her get employed? (I'm quite familiar with what doesn't. )
as an ADDer, i'll answer the question from my perspective. what helped me get empolyed? or rather, what helped me *want* to get employed?

i had to find something that i love to do. it wasn't enough to do something that would put food on the table, etc. the job, in and of itself, has to be fulfilling - it has to mean something to me. i need to feel like the part i'm playing matters to someone other than myself (i'm working on that part, ideally, it would be enough that it makes me happy).

so, the job benefits, paycheck, extraneous goals, etc. are all less important than finding my true calling. because, if i can find something that i can believe i will do well, that i make a difference, that i enjoy. then it's not a job, it's not something i *have* to do.

so, it starts with a personal journey. what am i good at? what do i love to do? what makes me happy?

it seems quite egocentric to put it in terms of me-me-me. but, let's face it. a hallmark of ADD is that we are motivated to do those things that interest us.

does your husband know what his true calling is? does he have a dream? is there a way that you can encourage him to follow his dream rather than focusing on the "we need money" part of it? because, while being practical is a commendable trait. it is not necessarily what appeals to our natural inclination -- which, for me anyway, is to make a difference. to feel like what i'm doing matters.

for me the experience of getting my resume together, taking a class, and getting on the list as a substitute teacher has whetted my appetite. i feel like i *could* make a difference in the lives of students. that obstacle that remains is the dealing-with-adults part. i'm still so unsure of whether or not i'd be able to handle the paper work, lesson planning, communicating with parents, dealing with administrators/other teachers part of the job. so, while subbing may seem to some like it is less than "what i am capable of" it feels like a safe, attainable goal to me - for now. and, despite that others have told me "you'd be a great teacher" in the end, *i* am the one that has to believe that.

do you think your husband may be afraid of failing? of getting a job but failing at it? or of trying to fufill a dream - only to discover it was the wrong dream? those may be other reasons holding him back.

you see, for me anyway, it's not that the practical things aren't important. it's that not making a bill payment, or, disappointing my spouse (also a non-ADDer, who, i believe is much like you in that, no matter if i'm a disappointment, he'll continue to shake his head or whatever, but, he won't leave me. not sure what he sees worth sticking around for, but, i'm confident that he is what he says he is. dependable.) those things are much less scary to me than finding out that i really am i loser.....

who knows if this even applies to your husband or not. it is, after all, the reasons why *i* get stalled when pursuing my dream.

so, i guess what it boils down to for me is that a job isn't *just* a job - a means to an end, a paycheck. a job is part of what defines me. and, if i don't try, it's because i am afraid of finding out that i am what my negative self believes. a failure.

so, i'm not editing this stream-of-conscience writing. i'm going to post it. because, if nothing else, it is my truth.
__________________
The proof of the primordial pudding is in those eaten. -- Stanzen
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-04-04, 12:59 PM
katec katec is offline
Jr Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
katec is on a distinguished road
He's been to a doctor once, and missed his second appointment yesterday. Lol. Actually, given how many years he'd been like this, the last few months have been a big improvement, and the pressure of the house purchase seems to have motivated that. Another glitch is that I know that he has the ability to concentrate and be productive if he wants to be; he spends full days working on a political project that we're involved in. There's something about the responsibility of being paid or the expectation that comes with it that just makes him curl up and space out.

So what kind of support is okay for a person who could easily be nagged to death? What would you respond well to?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-04-04, 01:15 PM
crime_scene's Avatar
crime_scene crime_scene is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ontariariario
Posts: 2,145
Thanks: 0
Thanked 12 Times in 10 Posts
crime_scene has disabled reputation
Hi Katec,

Welcome! I"ve read all the posts so far and there have been some really great points made.I'm of the feeling that if you are not getting movement and are frustrated and it sounds to me like your husband may be also you need to do something different.

I understand why you might be very focussed on him getting a job, but there are a number of factors at work against this happening, I think, and maybe one of them is that your husband may be depressed as has been suggested, but also may be opposing you even subconciously, might as I would if I feel pressured into something (anything actually) whether I want it or not.

I cannot pressure, drive, order, insist on anything like this with my add friend, and that became clear early on. He can deal with reasonable discussions and deadlines almost always and definitely has his heart in the right place, but sometimes stuff will not happen and that is not necessarily the way he wants it to be, just the way it is.

Anyway, in addition to the other ideas mentioned above, and finding out yourself as much as possible about ADD, I think something you might find useful is a counsellor who has had experience dealing with partner and add issues.

You might have to break your current cycle of behaviour.

Not that I worship Dr. Phil but he always says: so how's that behaviour working for you? to a guest with problems and they always say....not very well. I think about that every day in my own life, something to consider...

Hope this helps!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-04-04, 01:28 PM
katec katec is offline
Jr Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
katec is on a distinguished road
wheezie,

Thank you--that sounds a whole lot like my husband. You sound like you're really on a good track. (Congratulations. )

My guy has dreams of grandeur, I think. Books he wants to write, political ideas, etc. It's just that the work between where he is now (no work history, and an ageing college degree) and where he'd have to be to do those things (maybe a grad degree, at least a little professional history) doesn't interest him at all. He's always been smart enough to not work (know the type?), but eventually you have to put some effort in. And that's the difficulty.

What got you to the point of writing your resume? That's really a sticking point for us...
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-04-04, 03:05 PM
KarenC KarenC is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 28
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
KarenC is on a distinguished road
Kate - Believe me, I have been exactly where you are now with an ADD husband who wasn't working. The harder I pushed and the more I nagged the worst things got. I can't make your decisions for you but I can tell you a few things that have worked for me.

First, I got counseling on my own. I, too, was extremely angry and frustrated but I felt like I had to walk on eggshells to not harm his self-eseem. I didn't realize it but my husband can and was being pretty manipulative and I was letting him get away with a lot. Counseling helped me understand how to make sure my own needs are being met in the relationship and how to express my frustrations in a more appropriate manner. Couples therapy did not work for us. We find that the better we do as individuals, the better we do as a couple.

Second, my husband is ACTIVELY participating in medication and therapy. His psychiatrist and therapist are working with him on the ADD issues. This has relieved me of being the nagger to a large extent and he is more receptive to their input (rather than me screaming at him) and has the advantage of their expertise. I still get pretty frustrated with him but now I feel like I can tell him what frustrates me and he has someone outside to help him with it.

Third, you might have to reconsider your housing plans to get out of his mother's house. It may not be likely that his employment opportunites are going to be stable in the short term so I would go with housing that you can afford on your income.

I hope this has helped you. I do know how you feel and it can get better with work and help. Best of luck!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-04-04, 03:35 PM
Mike911 Mike911 is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns, Calif
Posts: 41
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Mike911 is on a distinguished road
EXCELLENT post, KarenC - I whole-heartedly agree.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-04-04, 04:19 PM
katec katec is offline
Jr Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
katec is on a distinguished road
Thank you. This is helping a lot.

To add one more wrinkle though, I've just learned that my mother-in-law plans to issue an ultimatum because she doesn't like having him in her house not working. Job by next month or we can't live there. AND she asked me not to warn him. I understand her position (too well), but I'm desperately afraid of the consequences. Just when I try to lay off, she exerts pressure. Oh man.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ADD and Romantic Relationships Andrew Relationships & Social Issues 14 10-17-14 10:07 AM
Adult with ADD seeking practical advice! Carolina General ADD Talk 17 07-31-10 01:22 PM
My view about ADD roots : short term memory problems in modern life xav General ADD Talk 8 06-21-10 01:04 AM
Ranting.... mrsnurse1965 Relationships & Social Issues 30 08-12-09 10:14 PM
Ok advice please on ADD coaching... waywardclam General ADD Talk 4 11-26-03 02:00 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) 2003 - 2015 ADD Forums