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  #1  
Old 09-30-12, 04:19 PM
Okariala Okariala is offline
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Question To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

Hello everyone,
This is my first post, but I have been reading posts in this forum for a while now. My husband-to-be has ADHD, and I don't. I am however an unnaturally anxious person. I understand that ADHD can be extremely difficult to deal with, and while we get annoyed at each other at times as any couple would, I try my best to act appropriately to his condition.

I have read on this forum keep tasks simple and straight forward. It was said that the task won't seems so overwhelming or intrusive. I also try my best not to ask for him to do timely things such as, feed the kittens at 9:00PM, or clean the bathroom every Tuesday. This being said, from the chores left over, I compiled a list and presented it to him. I asked which ones he would feel most capaple doing. Of course I got some shrugs sometimes, but when he was ready to discuss he basically chose none of them. It was a bit upsetting, but I shouldn't force him to do what he doesn't want to do right?

Oh. I should mention that he is a full time college freshman, part time worker and I am a full time college senior, and full time worker. I honestly don't have a lot of extra time. Actually I have no time to spare. Still I manage to get the house clean, cook, do cat stuff, etc.

I have brought this up to him that I am very overwhelmed, and that I would appreciate if he could help out with things. But at the same time, he is just going back to school. He has to manage time, and stay on task to do well in class and I understand that can be overwhelming for him. I just don't like when I explain how stressed I get and he replies "but housework is so easy. It makes no sense how it could stress you out. They hardly take any time to complete." But then his excuse for not doing the dishes is that he can't do it right, so he won't do it. Kinda odd, but everyone is different.

Anywho, I was wondering if anyone had advice how to help him maybe build his confidence in doing chores, or any other approaches that may be more appropriate. We also have to think economically, so hiring maids and whatnot is out of the question.

I also wanted to ask if you guys think I'm just being a wuss, and should have no problem taking care of everything. Cause sometimes I feel that way.

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-30-12, 09:10 PM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okariala View Post
I am a full time college senior, and full time worker. I honestly don't have a lot of extra time. Actually I have no time to spare. Still I manage to get the house clean, cook, do cat stuff, etc.
Excuse me, my jaws have dropped.

May I worship the ground you walk on? As an ADHDer, I'm very jealous you
can do so much.

Typically, I can do one thing well. Its hard to manage that many things.


Quote:
he replies "but housework is so easy. It makes no sense how it could stress you out.
Um, if he has ADHD and if he is unmedicated, he is lying through his teeth. Doing housework is hell for us, well, at least me, seriously.

Doing a job that would take an NT about 1/2 an hour can take me 3. It drives
my brain to utter boredom. I "zone out" really fast or procrastinate like crazy.

The only thing that gets me to clean is a dead line such as my land lord
about to evict me.

It's too bad you can't hire somebody to clean because that's what my family recommends. My brother has a few ADHD border line symptoms and he already does this to keep his wife from going nuts.

My aunt did manage my family to do chores.

What might work

You might try to get him to agree to well defined tasks?

Get him to own less stuff?

I'm not sure.

I've never had a clean place for more than a day. I'm 45.
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Old 10-01-12, 05:16 AM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

I feel like a jerk in the above post.

Truth is, some of us do find cleaning very hard.

If cleaning was as easy as your boy friend claimed, he would have likely helped out.

The fact he told you its "nothing" is very odd.

I'm still trying to understand myself by the way. I'm somewhat pressure dirven in
tasks that I'm not particularly interested in

You might look into the book, driven to distraction.

I believe medication might help wih this. I have to assume he isn't medicated?
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Old 10-01-12, 05:34 AM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

I'm ADHD myself and find housework hard, my room is a mess, a tip actually but I try and I need others to help otherwise I'm overwhelmed.

I currently share a house with housemates and it's the women who are doing any of the cleaning. That's me and one other. As I know I'm messy, I do my share of the cleaning of the common spaces. It's not fair to expect others to live in a tip.

IF I had to do it all on my own, it wouldn't be clean but the other woman there also cleans. And it helps simplify stuff.
With my former housemates who were cleaner than this present woman, (the others don't count), I had more tasks to do and I PERSONALLY sat down and wrote a checklist on how to clean a kitchen so that I would make sure when it was my turn, it was all done. I kept missing stuff otherwise. They didn't do this for me. I had a checklist for the bathroom and vacuuming.

The other two housemates who are men (non ADHDers) don't do crap, they wash THEIR dishes and the occasional spill they cause. That's all. One of them scrubbed the toilet a few months ago. Glory. I'm getting more and more ******.

I'm working part time, I'm a full time student, I have ADHD and dyspraxia yet I do more stuff than 2 non ADHDers (who are men). Your husband to be ADHD is not an excuse.

It's gotten to the point where I'm thinking if there's any way they can leave and get out of the house. I don't want them there. Everytime I keep seeing their stupid faces. Yes, talking has been done, polite. Promises have been made which they haven't attempted to keep.

I feel a large part of the problem is where the men ADHD or not, feel they are helping out and someone else is in charge of the cleaning, ie they don't feel it's part of their duties and don't care.
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Old 10-01-12, 06:26 AM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

My husband and I both have ADHD, but I am working almost full time and he is home on a Disability payment for longterm depression.

I used to do it all... Work, clean, organize everyone in the house, take care of the teens, juggle contact with two different schools. My life often tipped into overload.
No more!

I have stepped back from the housework, the food shopping and I pass a lot of tasks back to my teens or my husband. I don't care really HOW things are done, as long as they get done eventually. I am putting my blinkers on.

My Dh has a household Control Journal that I wrote up when I was taking care of the house (thanks to Flylady.net), with menu plans I already wrote up for 12 months of the year. He can use those if he wishes to, he knows where they are.

So I wash my hands of it and help out happily when I have time, but I care for myself first. It took me years to learn that.

Housework is brain-numbing... Flylady taught me to make it fun.
Good luck.
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Old 10-01-12, 01:22 PM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

Yes, he is unmedicated. However his school offers free therapy so he said he would try it out. I don't think its working though. He says he is only going for me, but not for himself. That's never a good reason for therapy.

Honestly with the chores, I think he is mostly afraid to fail. He thinks I do everything perfectly. So in his mind I think its, "why waste hours doing something I will fail at when she can do it in less time without any errors?" I must admit he would leave huge dirty spots in washed dishes, but I would always try to keep it positive. He doesn't do laundry because he thinks he will break the machine or rip the clothes or forget to go back to the laundry room to complete the next task. He doesn't sweep because he "can't see" the dirt on the floor. (I can't see it either, but I know when I sweep it'll collect into a visual pile of dust.)

As a couple we should supplement each others weaknesses and support each others strengths. I really wouldn't mind doing the house work if I didn't already have so much on my plate. No matter what I ask of him, he will come up with a reason why he would fail at it. No matter how simple the task.

I just need to find a way to get him out of his shell of belittlement.
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Old 10-02-12, 05:56 PM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

I think it's important, first off, to determine the appropriate priority for housework. It doesn't sound like you two have children so the level of daily cleanliness is lessened unless you two crawl on or eat off the floor. Since that's the case, it's likely that some housekeeping can be completed less frequently.

My AHDH husband and I each chose two main chores. I chose laundry and dishes because I can't stand it when those two things pile up and he tends to let those chores go longer than I can tolerate. Since that's my issue, I selected those chores. He chose cooking and floors.

The only person I can control is myself and so I am only concerned with whether or not my chores get done. If he doesn't do his chores, that's on him. He's grown and capable so that's his choice. Since he tends to procrastinate when it comes to chores, he doesn't do them regularly but they do get done frequently enough that the house is always pretty neat.

We split the rest of the chores, albeit I probably end up doing more of them. That's okay because while we also split outside work, he does more of that than me.

What's not okay, in my opinion, is that your boyfriend isn't carrying his weight and he's minimizing what you do. I find that my husband tends to minimize my chores whenever he's feeling guilty that he hasn't completed his or when he feels that he's been slacking. I understand that but it's still not okay for him to minimize what I'm doing to make himself feel better.

I would suggest that you identify four or so main chores that are important to the both of you and then divide those based on interest/skills/time and worry less about the more insignificant ones, which can be done as needed/wanted. Please address it though because chores - and who does/doesn't do them - seems to cause a lot of resentment in relationships. Decide now if they are that important, excepting the cat chores which are definitely important.

While you are doing more with a busier schedule, do understand that your boyfriend's ADHD will affect his ability to complete chores in the manner/time that you would. It's appropriate to be understanding and accommodating about that but that's no reason for him to be excused from having to perform these activities the same as everyone else.

Mostly, remember that you can negotiate and customize whatever setup works for the two of you. You don't have to adopt the traditionalist approach (women do it all), what your neighbors do, or what the experts advise. Do what works for you.

Oh, and my husband will ask me to write him a list of things that I want done. I resisted that for a long time because I'm not his mom and I don't want to tell him what to do BUT I eventually realized that he was telling me what would work for him. Turns out that "deadlines" motivate him and he wants to do things that make me happy so lists work for him. Now that he's retired and I'm still working, I'll occasionally write him a list of "extra" things I want done and he does them with pleasure.

I've learned that my husband knows what workarounds work for him and it behooves me to listen to him and implement his suggestions.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-07-12, 03:01 PM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWife View Post
My AHDH husband and I each chose two main chores. I chose laundry and dishes because I can't stand it when those two things pile up and he tends to let those chores go longer than I can tolerate. Since that's my issue, I selected those chores. He chose cooking and floors.
Yup! That's what me and my husband do. I do laundry, my husband mans the kitchen. We need clean clothes and we need clean dishes. The rest... well, what happens, happens. We both generally pitch in equally if we know company is coming over so we have a clean house for guests.

Though sometimes, I'll do laundry and put clean clothes on the couch and forget to fold them. Then they'll pile up to a huge stack of clothes, and I'll get overwhelmed and not doing anything about them. He'll start helping which will get the momentum going and then I'll generally finish them on my own.
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Old 10-07-12, 03:50 PM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

given a choice my brain always opts to be overwhelmed though anti depressants have hugely helped with anxiety. House hold chores are a challenge for me too. I have the house being messy or filthy but i struggle to keep on top of everything that needs to be done. I tend to prioritise the basics but never get time to for example clean the windy because I'd much rather vacuum clean again. Also except for my own and Hubby s disgust of living in filth there is rarely an urgent and immediateneed to clean which makes getting the motivation to do it even more difficult. But i hate not living in a spik and span neat house and till i clean it bothers me and is always a major item on my to do list. Fully agree with the advice you've got so far by the way.
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Old 10-29-12, 01:12 PM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

Red-flat alert: When someone is in relationship with us and only goes to treatment "because of me," I say RED FLAG/RED LIGHT/FLASHING POLICE LIGHTS. Stop the vehicle and pull over.

Yes, for ADHDers keeping a clean space is ridiculously hard ... almost impossible for some of us ... That's a hard thing to explain.

A more realistic plan ... What if he agree to do something else in exchange for you keeping up the house? ... Or what if you agreed to hire someone to come in once or twice a month to clean?

As crazy as it seems and as unrealistic (I know money is often tight), hiring someone is far better than pretending that he will change ... Some of the highest functioning ADHDers can't keep a room neat and clean ...
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Old 11-02-12, 06:54 AM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

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Red-flat alert: When someone is in relationship with us and only goes to treatment "because of me," I say RED FLAG/RED LIGHT/FLASHING POLICE LIGHTS. Stop the vehicle and pull over.
YES. Big red flag. Your bf has personal issues that have nothing to do with you, but he needs to work through them and learn to take care of himself before he can do his part in a two-way relationship. You are supposed to be his equal partner-- his peer-- not his mother. He's got a lot of growing up to do, and you'll all be better off if the ball gets rolling before you tie the knot.

Last edited by meadd823; 11-18-12 at 03:20 AM.. Reason: Code correction only
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Old 11-18-12, 02:35 AM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

No you shouldn't make anyone do something they don't want to do and you usually can't. You're not his mother. If he is not doing those "simple"chores now as you call them, you'll be doing a lot more a lone when you have kids. Also, don't let his behavior make you second guess whether your expectations are appropriate or if you are just being a wuss. A relationship is a give and take. Hopefully you can work out a give and take ratio that works for BOTH of you even if it is not "equal" by other normal standards, but if you feel you are just going to be the one always overwhelmed, then eventually you are going to start feeling resentment and trust me, it doesn't get better unless they want to get help. Even going on meds doesn't FIX everything. Good luck! It also seems like he is a few years younger, so age also plays a factor here.
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Old 11-18-12, 02:36 AM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

oh, one thought I had was doing chores together so they get done faster and he can LEARN how to do them well and see they aren't so "easy" as he put it
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Old 11-18-12, 02:35 PM
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Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

I hate housework, it is way harder than going to work, itīs boring, relentless, thankless, repetitive, unrewarding blah blah.
I work best if I clean with someone, even in a different room. ie my kids doing their rooms and me doing the rest of the house. We all have adhd and find it hard.
THe bigger tasks I need my husband around, not necessarily helping me with my task, but nearby doing something similar.
You may have to accept that the housework will not be done, or not do your standards. My husband has long accepted this. Every now and again he complains, and rightly so but on the whole he just accepts it.
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Old 11-18-12, 05:45 PM
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Red face Re: To be or not to be overwhelmed? Replies are appriciated.

As an answer to one of the replies above, we are the same age. I understand that he may need more time to begin chores, or that he may forget them. We talked about it the other day and I kinda felt bad afterwards. I suggested doing chores as a team, or trying different chores to find what matches his strength. He explained that he just can't do anything, and that he will never be able to, and that he has never been able to his whole life. I think I might have made it worse when I mentioned that I need him to try to learn how to do some taskes. I said, "what if I get sick one day and I can't do the housework, the bills, or care for the cats?" He replied, "Well I guess we'll just be screwed.", and he didn't want to talk about it anymore. I didn't ask him that in an angry tone, but more of a conserned tone. Lately I just don't ask anything, and hope that I just never get sick.

Sometimes I wish I could go spend a day or two with my sister, or my best friend. But I know for sure that I will come back to starving, dead or dehydrated cats. Or dirty dishes everywhere. I know that might seems excusable, but leaving chunks of chocolate for the cats to find is not the best idea.

I think having cats has made my whole situation trickier. If it was just me that wanted cats then I would own up and take care of them myself, but we both wanted cats. Oops I've gone on a rant. Lol.

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