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Old 11-05-17, 10:09 AM
Wifeandmother Wifeandmother is offline
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Husband with ADHD -HELP!

I hope this is ok to post here.

I do not have ADHD, but my husband does. He was diagnosed as a teenager, alongside ODD, after a very turbalant school history landing him in a unit. He briefly took courses of fast and slow release Ritalin however self withdraw due to it making him feel withdrawn whereby 'he wouldn't want to do anything and just slept all the time'. He feels and felt he can manage any symptoms, and I personally feel he is very in denial over the diagnosis.

From about the age of 15 work, money and ambition seemed to be his hyper focus, although his impulsivity and a not great group of friends got him in a fair few sticky situations with the law over the years. For the last few years he's been on the straight and narrow and really seemed to have a handle on things. However over the last 6-9 months his hyper focus seems to have become me. He has lost any interest in anything other than me. We've been together for 10 years, yet I can't move without him what feels like obsessing over me. He wants to speak to me continuously all day every day. Even when he has nothing to say he will cause unnecessary arguments for the attention. He continuously tells me how I show him no love or affection, yet I do - however we both work full time, have 3 children - 1 with additional needs, and basically just your regular busy family life. Recently he has begun kicking off, slamming and smashing around and quite frankly I feel like I'm dealing with our 6 year old.

I have discussed with him seeking help again, either medication, CBT, even couples/family therapy, anything to get him to engage and face his difficulties but as usual he's adamant he doesn't need any of it - he just needs me to show him a bit of affection.

I'm now at the end of my tether with it all. I love him to death but I completely dislike the person he is at the moment. He's suffocating me and it's bringing my mood down daily, which is not fair on our children. I just don't know what to do for the best. I could quite easily take the easy option and walk away, but I know the problems were experiencing are caused by his ADHD and in a sense beyond his control, yet on the flip side his refusal to acknowledge them and seek help are not.

Any advice or suggestions in how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Please don't feel the need to mince your words, I am immune to being offended!!
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Old 11-05-17, 10:57 AM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

I can't blame your husband for not wanting to take meds since Ritalin was not
a good experience for him. But I believe that there are other options available
now in the UK. Dexamphetamine is a stimulant but it's different than Ritalin.
Knowing that might ease his concerns about seeing the doctor again.
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Old 11-05-17, 12:16 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

I can relate to some of this. I have ADD and I strongly believe my husband has it as well, along with something else (personality disorder? Aspergers?). His hyper focus over the years went from friends, to video games, to work, but never to me. He never even wanted to talk to me and that was always one of the most painful things, but hearing your story of your husband never leaving you alone, sounds very annoying and I can see where that would drive you crazy.

I also had the problem with my husband thinking he could manage things on his own. He even admitted he may have ADHD and/or other issues, but he refused to get seen because he said he didn't want to take meds. Which is ironic considering, by this time, our kids were on ADHD meds and he saw how much it helped them. I just started meds myself and told him about it, hoping it will make him think about getting himself seen.

No matter how many times I would explain my feelings and observations, he always invalidated them and like with you, said I just needed to show him more affection. That was always the most confusing thing to me. He never wanted to be around me, but expected me to show him affection? I honestly believe his inability to understand or care how I was feeling and see how it created so much resentment in me, stemmed from a lack of empathy related to whatever undiagnosed condition he has. I could be wrong, but it's just something I've become convinced of.

We're separated now and will get divorced when we get around to it (how do two people with ADD ever get divorced?!), but it is something I would never recommend if you can avoid it at all, especially with kids involved. One positive thing is, you say you love your husband very much. I have no love at all and I don't think my husband ever did love me.

I do think it's important for your husband to become aware of his problems and work on them. You're right that his actions may be beyond his control and it may not be his "fault" because of the ADHD. I get that, because I felt the same way with my husband. I looked at our kids, thought of how much I love them despite their symptoms and how could I be angry and resentful toward my husband for having the same symptoms? But the difference is he's not a child and he can take responsibility by getting help.

All this long post and I really don't have much advice, I'm afraid. I really don't know what can be done when a person is so unable to see their problems and unwilling to get help. Does he know there are all kinds of new medications now, besides Ritalin? Does he know that feeling "withdrawn" on Ritalin, could just mean he was on too high of a dose? Would he be more willing to be seen if you went with him? That would be a good thing to do, since he seems so unaware of himself, so the therapist could hear your side of the story. This may sound severe, but do you think if you threatened to leave, it would make him see how serious this issue is? I am a little concerned by your comment about him "slamming and smashing around". I hope you and your kids are safe. Is he becoming increasingly violent?
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Old 11-05-17, 02:06 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

I also wanted to add that while I do think separation/divorce should be avoided if at all possible, I do think you need to protect your own mental and physical health. Right before our separation, I had a major anxiety attack that almost landed me in the hospital. I really think all the stress took a huge toll on me emotionally and I may have lost years off my life.

You might want to look up ideas on how to set boundaries. Even if he refuses treatment, you can try to create boundaries to protect yourself. What would happen if you refused to engage with him and told him you needed alone time? What if you left the house and went somewhere to have alone time? Would he become angry and violent? If he's forcing you to engage with him and there's absolutely no way to get away from him, I would consider that abuse. I was focusing more on his problems refusing treatment in my first post, but reading back through your post made think it may be more serious than I first thought. If he complains a little, but does allow you to get away and have your space if you are firm about it, then I would do that. Maybe designate certain times where you are "off limits" and stick to it.

Last edited by WhiteOwl; 11-05-17 at 02:18 PM..
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Old 11-05-17, 05:03 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wifeandmother View Post
From about the age of 15 work, money and ambition seemed to be his hyper focus, although his impulsivity and a not great group of friends got him in a fair few sticky situations with the law over the years. For the last few years he's been on the straight and narrow and really seemed to have a handle on things. However over the last 6-9 months his hyper focus seems to have become me. He has lost any interest in anything other than me. We've been together for 10 years, yet I can't move without him what feels like obsessing over me. He wants to speak to me continuously all day every day. Even when he has nothing to say he will cause unnecessary arguments for the attention. He continuously tells me how I show him no love or affection, yet I do - however we both work full time, have 3 children - 1 with additional needs, and basically just your regular busy family life. Recently he has begun kicking off, slamming and smashing around and quite frankly I feel like I'm dealing with our 6 year old.
This cant all be from adhd. Otherwise all of us with adhd would be allowed to be abusive or smothering to our love ones with no reprecussions. Regardless of the reason its extremely unhealthy to focus on you this way. He needs to worry about himself or the kids.


Quote:
I have discussed with him seeking help again, either medication, CBT, even couples/family therapy, anything to get him to engage and face his difficulties but as usual he's adamant he doesn't need any of it - he just needs me to show him a bit of affection.
Deflection and projection can be very dangerous for someone who is obssesed with someone else. You have to make getting help non-negotiable. He needs to know that things cant stay this way.

Quote:
I'm now at the end of my tether with it all. I love him to death but I completely dislike the person he is at the moment. He's suffocating me and it's bringing my mood down daily, which is not fair on our children. I just don't know what to do for the best. I could quite easily take the easy option and walk away, but I know the problems were experiencing are caused by his ADHD and in a sense beyond his control, yet on the flip side his refusal to acknowledge them and seek help are not.
No,not beyond his control. He needs the right tools to control it but its very possible. And walking away isnt any more easy than staying.

Quote:
Any advice or suggestions in how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Please don't feel the need to mince your words, I am immune to being offended!!
Get yourself into therapy. You need to help you and when you start to change he will be forced to change to keep up.
You need boundaries and you need to let him know that he needs to get treatment if the marriage is going to last. The other side is, if he never changes can you live with that?
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Old 11-06-17, 02:13 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

wifeandmother,

Welcome to a great ADHD/ADD forum! This is a wonderful place where you will get great support.

I agree with the points that sarahsweets made.

ADHD doesn't cause one to have an obsession with someone. That is very different from the hyperfocus some of us can have. Whether he can control his obsession is another matter. Without intervention of some kind he probably can't.

You need to take care of you first. Find a good therapist who can help you set boundaries. I've heard married people say the book Boundaries in Marriage helped them to stay married and happy. Also, maybe therapy for the kids could help as it would be a safe place to share their feelings.
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Old 11-06-17, 03:29 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

The only thing that I can offer is prayers. I am with you in your times of difficulties and prayers can really help.
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Old 11-06-17, 10:40 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

Definitely get to the best therapist you can find ... You're going to need to get deep clarity about your obligations to yourself vs. your obligations to him ...

You will need to be at your very best to communicate with someone who is resistant and is going through an odd phase. You will also get help at figuring out his behavior.

You may decide to stay or leave. In any event, you've got to strengthen you at this time, or else there's no way you can think clearly about your options and develop the strength to trust yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 11-07-17, 01:58 AM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

hmmmmm..... I suggest, as difficult as it may seem, to see your dissatisfaction whollistically.

helping him, is not the root of this. As difficult as it may seem, finding space, and ways to diffuse immediacy with regards to the relationship will ease the transition you both seek.

At the end of the day, his behaviour revolve around a lack of clarity with you... So short term, be clear and stable... It will help.
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Old 11-07-17, 01:28 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

Quote:
I know the problems were experiencing are caused by his ADHD and in a sense beyond his control
No..... he may be diagnosed with ADHD, but that does NOT mean his behaviours are beyond his control.

What you are describing is him externalising the problem...... it's not me... I can't change, you have to change. He is absolving responsibility for his actions.This is NOT a good sign, and if continued, you'll probably have to leave.

As others have said..... find yourself a good therapist... this is a way of leading by example, but he may well interpret it as a signal that you have accepted his view that you need to change.... so some deft footwork may be needed to dispel that fantasy.

Once you've got a good therapist in place for yourself... then it's time for couples counselling..... if he doesn't go... then the relationship is probably over.

One thing to remember is that every relationship is reinvented every day. We get set in this idea that leaving is a big step..... but our daily decision to stay is just as big.

Sometimes stating this as a bald fact can bring people to their senses..... because their partners (particularly men) still seem to think that their women are economically and socially locked in to the relationships. If he knows you have options and can act on them this can be a catalyst.

It's VERY hard to do the work needed to live with ADHD unmedicated, and compassion is required on all sides, however this doesn't mean the ADDer neglects their duty of care to themselves and those around them.
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Old 11-07-17, 07:25 PM
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Re: Husband with ADHD -HELP!

I feel for you and what you are going through.

I don't know your husband, the only thing i can do is offer a bit of my perspective as a late diagnosed ADD'er.

I feel sorry for the 2 woman in my life that i had long term relationships with (16 and 8 years). There were periods in these relationships that i truely was the reliable husband and father they needed, but there were also periods that i must have been nothing more than another child to take care for in the household, while i was either hyperfocusing on my career or my hobbies, meanwhile avoiding all responsability.

My first relationship ended in divorce, but i was quite adept on blaming that all on my ex wife, in a way she was not right for me, but it was an easy way out to avoid seeing my own side and learn my lessons when it ended.

In my second long term relationship i found the love of my life. It started as a fairy tale but after a few years we slowly sunk into a nightmare. She had her own issues, and at first it was again easy for me to look away from my pieces of the puzzle. But i knew she was the right one for me, what we had could not end the same way, and after things turned really sour, i finally realised that it takes two to tango. When i look back, i really love her for being the one to open my eyes and turn the mirror on me, although it was painfull.

You cannot change a person, that is only something a person can do himself. If you ask someone to change, you are telling him he in his core is not good enough, and this just evokes shame and possibly further denial, leading to more conflict or clingyness.

He obviously is not feeling good himself. And clearly he has some issues that he may be trying to avoid seeing, and expect you to fix them for him. Externalising as mentioned before... It's a form of denial and it stands in the way of mutual understanding.

Why not propose him that you both go see your own individual therapists, that you both look at your own pieces of the puzzle, get some individual feedback first and then perhaps with that initial knowledge move further towards couples therapy afterwards.

If he dismisses the idea, it may need some tough(er) love to break through that denial.
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