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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

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  #16  
Old 11-22-17, 11:40 AM
Tired Wife Tired Wife is offline
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted

Thank you all. I am so grateful for the outpouring of supportive information. No two people with ADHD are alike but it's helpful to hear from others so I get a better understanding.

Yes Tone... I had to stay away a while to process what you said. There were red flags from the beginning. But I thought that the inertia, lack of initiative was from the ADHD and with effective treatment it would improve. It is part of executive functioning is it not? But if he has been this way his whole life there's no reason he would just suddenly change with meds and therapy I guess.

It's difficult for both of us. I feel like he wants lots of empathy and honestly, pity. And I have to walk on eggshells lest I do anything to disrupt the promise of productivity. I outsource most of the parenting to him because the child is right there in front of him, so he is reliably attentive to the child. I do the medication, dr appts, etc. but the general day to day attention to needs he is in charge of.

If I wait for him to take initiative to solve any problems unrelated to certain websites or hobbies, it will just never happen. I can't stay in that environment. I am overmanaging probably. I'm tired. I keep thinking if he has the right structure and treatment he'll step up more with some of the self-structuring so I can relax. Learn to put post its everywhere. Decide to set up a time lock on his phone to prevent time suck addictive behavior. Etc.

It's hard not to think "if he loved me he would learn to do these things" even though I know that way there be dragons. I keep trying to decide is the lack of proactive behavior a side effect of executive dysfunction, or shame from learned helplessness and years of unsuccessful efforts, or does he just really not care. The "really doesn't care" theory hurts like you wouldn't believe. I keep reading that you shouldn't personalize the adhd but what if this part of it isn't the adhd? What if it's just he has decided that unless I am actually leaving, he can't be bothered to address these things? How is that loving marital behavior?

Anyway, I do not mean to dump my bad feelings. He and I just had another argument about the pile of clutter that has to be addressed before we move. I am tired. I appreciate all the advice and feedback and am trying to respond appropriately to all of this.
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  #17  
Old 11-22-17, 03:48 PM
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted



Help! I love my husband but he is currently avoiding returning to the house to deal with this. We are moving in like a month. We have a toddler. I don't know what to do to get him to address this.
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  #18  
Old 11-22-17, 05:46 PM
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted

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Originally Posted by Tired Wife View Post


Help! I love my husband but he is currently avoiding returning to the house to deal with this. We are moving in like a month. We have a toddler. I don't know what to do to get him to address this.
Again, i don't know your husband, so i can only describe a similar situation that occured with me almost two decades ago.

We were raising a toddler son with a second child on the way, a lot of things had gone wrong financially the year before, the relationship with my partner becamse full of tension, yet i was not in the least aware of my underlying ADD back then.

All that pressure was rising above me, i felt that i had landed in a situation where i suddenly had to pay attention to everything, and the pressure became too big. And i landed in certain avoidance behaviour myself.

Pressuring someone with ADD to become on top of all the things all the time too fast, to be constantly 'on' and be clearly focused, with lots of responsability and little room for error is like asking an overweight cough patato to suddenly start running a marathon every day of the week.

That overweight couch patato will be able to run a marathon once every week, but it might take years of training and a bit of coaching and support.

And so will your husband be able to do more and do it better, but it is not just a matter of 'will', it's a matter of self-understanding, exercise and gradually raising the bar, meanwhile he will need support and coaching and the feeling that in the end you are in it 'together'.

If i think back at that period, the main thing i missed was the feeling that someone would be in it 'together' with me, call me on my ******** if needed, but also with full realisation that change could not happen overnight.
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  #19  
Old 11-22-17, 08:05 PM
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted

That is a very similar situation. But he knows he has adhd. Just yesterday I told him I don't know how he did it growing up with the severity if ADHD he has, with no support. I'm understanding. But I still need him to manage the clutter in a timely manner and listen if I say he doesn't understand something I have said. How can I act like we are in it together when he is content to dump so much on me? He still shows at salvage stores on his breaks during work. Still continues to collect without making room for things. So that dealing with it has to be a huge ordeal that we argue over and none of the other household responsibilities can be shared. I want a feeling of togetherness too. I accept the disorder. I accept my spouse even though he has it. Where does he accept my non-adhd needs? I actually believe I have ADHD too but a much less severe form of it. I need less stuff as a coping mechanism. I need fewer decisions and visual clutter. I need my flimsy effort at organizing to not be broken every day. How can I feel together when I have all this rage over how much he hasn't done and how little he is willing to take ownership for it. He's had kids before. He's done life threatening things and paid attention okay. If a room of crap causes so many issues why continue to collect more crap. I understand he can't sustain effort for an extended period of time but I need accommodation too, or I can never have a blank slate and he will continue to pour salt in my wounds intentionally or not. Queres my empathy? I am not shaming him but he avoids giving me the empathy i need to muster more patience over a huge problem that I'm tired of talking about.
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Old 11-23-17, 02:09 AM
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted

Please excuse the typos in my last message. I tried to edit and was unable to see the edit function. I understand change isn't easy. I understand a person with severe ADHD is not likely to be perfectly organized overnight. I understand the symptoms will continue to need management.

That is why I came here frustrated about poor coping. If he cannot organize his things well, why continue to shop for cheap stuff on his breaks during work and not make any room for it at home. Why not reflect on the impulse and seek a better outlet that doesn't stress the marriage. Why not learn to acknowledge responsibility for the strain on the marriage and take responsibility for waiting until I'm at the end of my rope to act.

I think my spouse actually does better when there's more to handle. When he was unemployed and I was still pregnant, he was a terrible partner. The baby being born got him to show up better. Me getting him a job helped him function better at.home than he used to or at least the additional structure to his day meant there was less time for things like a cluttered hobby space to get out of hand. I get that ADHD symptoms can be made worse with life stress but I think the more responsibility he has the better my spouse manages himself because he has to.

It would be one thing if he honestly didn't remember all those conversations where I have asked him to deal with the clutter without procrastination but he does remember. It's like he won't try until he feels accepted, it is a power struggle where I need him to adjust this behavior and he needs me to be totally accepting of the behavior. I am accepting him but need him to accept accountability. I have worked so hard to be patient and respectful in my communication but when he continues to procrastinate on things and then hides when he can tell I'm upset that doesn't help anything.

I can't just drop all my pain because he finds it inconvenient. I can't feel like we are working together if there's no room for me to have a normal human reaction to the craziness of ADHD. It doesn't feel like we are a team if he continues to throw his poor management around with no regard for the impact, and then refusing to hear that impact no matter how it is communicated. He always enjoys when that space is finally clean, and I get that ADHD keeps him from naturally keeping it clean easily but surely he could simplify like all the experts suggest and have fewer things to avoid this level of chaos and marital stress.

Censoring me through avoidance and withdrawal just means next time there is a lapse due to poorly managed symptoms I will be even more agitated, which means he will be even quicker to withdraw.

When he's responsive to my needs related to the symptoms, I think I'm pretty good at showing a spirit of togetherness. But it isn't really fair for the understanding and accommodation to go one way.
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  #21  
Old 11-23-17, 06:46 AM
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted

Lets look at worst case scenario: You take care of all your crap and your child's and dont worry about his. Let him decide to do
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  #22  
Old 11-23-17, 07:41 PM
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted

Is it possible your husband has the hording gene as well? I had an aunt who
kept buying clothing. She had it piled around the walls of the bedroom from
floor to the ceiling. Half of it didn't even fit her, it was just "on sale." She most
likely had no idea what was even in all those stacks.

This was before shows about hording were on tv so I didn't know anything
about it and I guess none of the other family members did either.
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  #23  
Old 11-24-17, 09:50 AM
Tired Wife Tired Wife is offline
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Re: My spouse won't learn better ways to cope and I'm exhausted

Lunacie, I think he is just a packrat. He has a little trouble getting rid of sentimental items but most of this is that he goes bargain hunting, forgets what he has, doesn't keep it organized, gets distracted before putting things back etc so what might be a functional collection of things is just a big pile of things. Some ADHDers can find their things in such an environment. He often cannot, buys replacements for what he has but can't find etc. I think it's a typical clutter control issue. Thank goodness he did get the sorting done, and he says it would have happened without me getting upset, but there were plenty of times he said he would do it and didn't follow through. We did have a breakthrough as I asked him to read a section in a book about the impact of ADHD on relationships and he read it. He's also agreed to read another section about stopping the dysfunctional interaction with a partner. His willingness to read about it gives me hope. I don't expect that we will both apply what we read perfectly from the outset but it's a start.
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