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  #31  
Old 10-11-11, 12:53 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirby Albee View Post
This quotation isn't about ADD, but it describes how it can feel to receive well-intentioned advice from someone who nonetheless assumes that our experience of our problems must be identical to their own.

"When you find a man living on the ragged edge of his consciousness, pent in to his sin and want and incompleteness, and consequently inconsolable, and then simply tell him that all is well with him, that he must stop his worry, break with his discontent, and give up his anxiety, you seem to him to come with pure absurdities.

The only positive consciousness he has tells him that all is not well, and the better way you offer sounds simply as if you proposed to him to assert cold-blooded falsehoods. "The will to believe" cannot be stretched as far as that.

We can make ourselves more faithful to a belief of which we have the rudiments, but we cannot create a belief out of whole cloth when our perception actively assures us of the opposite.

The better mind proposed to us comes in that case in the form of a pure negation of the only mind we have, and we cannot actively will a pure negation." -William James, Varieties of Religious Experience
Excellent explanation, thank you for sharing this.

Added - except of course, that ADHD has nothing to do with "sin."
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  #32  
Old 10-17-11, 06:56 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch View Post
I see many people who love an ADHDer who are at a loss, they don’t know what to do, where to turn or what to think. They don’t know what ADHD is to blame for and what it is not.

There’s a lot of confusing information out there. There’ also a lot of people trying to sell you something, a book, medication, a treatment plan, who will fill your head with hope and promise just to make a buck.

On the many websites, blogs, forums, in books and at support groups I often see the same thing again and again. An angry, often bitter and frustrated spouse, who just wants things to get better. I see the same questions asked over and over again and the same misconceptions time and again.

The purpose of this post is to help cover some of those questions and misconceptions that are so common among the partners (and parents) of a person with ADHD.

I know you probably feel like you’re out of you mind and maybe that your life is out of control. In no way do I wish to belittle your feelings or your experiences. In no way is this tread is NOT meant to be an attack on you. However, it might say some things that are hard for you to hear (or read, rather) or to understand at first. Please, I ask you to try, and to bear with it.

(In no particular order)

* The best research shows that ADHDers have 5 areas of the brain than develop slightly smaller than the norm. This makes it as much a physical disability as being born with one leg shorter than the other. But it affects the brain, which in turn affects everything. For more information o n how the ADHD brain functions, I suggest you watch a wonderful talk given my Dr. Barkley on the subject: http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html watch the videos in the “Executive Function” folder. Its long, but well worth having this information, this information will help you!

* Then watch all the other videos.

* For something a little bit short and sweet. Go onto Youtube and search “ADHD Barkley” for a few highlights.

* ADHD is a real disability. It is not a moral issue. People do not CHOOSE to live like this.

* ADHD does not affect your ability to be moral and make ethical choices. It affects your ability to do things and perform tasks. But that doesn’t mean we have free reign to be bad people. ADHD does not excuse infidelity or abuse. Most ADHDers are GOOD PEOPLE, if someone with ADHD is abusive, they would probably be abusive if they did not have ADHD.

* Many people confuse typical marriage and gender issues with ADHD. Example: Many wives complain that their husbands never say “Thank you” but yet expect a parade to be thrown in their honour for taking out the trash. This has nothing to do with ADHD.

* If you have met one ADHDer, you have not met us all. We are still individuals. We still will have different personality traits. Upbringing and such has a lot to do with it. Just because your ADHDer does something, does not mean another will.

* ADHD is a spectrum disorder with different subtypes. Imagine a stereo system, the kind with many dials that affect the sound and volume. Some ADHDers have the volume cranked very high, others it’s down to almost normal. Some ADHDers have certain symptoms more than others. No two ADHDers have their dials set exactly the same.

* The troubles in your marriage are not totally your ADHDer’s fault. Own what you have done to contribute to the break down. You are responsible for your own anger, resentment and issues.

* There is no cure for ADHD. Even the best treatment can only help us cope better.

* Medication will not fix anything on its own. It is only a tool, a crutch, assistance.

* Counselling will help you too, not necessarily because you are broken, but because you need assistance and to learn how to cope.

* It is not fair to expect you to do all the work when it comes to treatment, your spouse is responsible for getting his or her butt to the doctor and following through with treatment. But please understand that it is often a two steps forward, one step, back kind of progress.

* It can be difficult to come to terms with being diagnosed with ADHD, expect it to take some time for them to wrap their head around it and be ready to face it.


(I have to go make lunch, does anyone have some thing HELPFUL to add?)
After 27 years of marriage, I am one of those embittered wives.
My husband just turned 60 and has done nothing to educate himself after being diagnosed.
I continually blow up over our never ending poverty, etc..etc..etc.
If I was financially able, I would have divorced my husband 10 years ago.
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  #33  
Old 10-18-11, 03:45 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Dear non-adhd spouse,

My life is like walking through a perpetual dust storm.
The responsibilities and events in my life are like trinkets, blurred and lacking in definition.
I keep what I can keep track of very close to me, so that I will know where and what they are at all times. Looking out to the events of tomorrow, I squint through a noisy haze, struggling to focus on the distant, formless shadows that lay ahead. This storm is all I've ever known, and I am weary and fatigued. I have become accustomed to losing my trinkets, and I have learned to accept their loss as a fact of life. As long as the most important of them are accounted for, worry and frustration would only make things worse.

I am thankful that you have chosen to walk with me, because you bring life into my trek through an otherwise dull and hostile world. Amid the dancing shadows of brown, black, and gray, you are my colorful constant, and your companionship brings to my journey the meaning I had hoped to find at its end. For that, I will forever be thankful.

I appreciate that you're willing to trust me with your trinkets, and I do my best not to lose them. I've often thrown my own into the wind to make room for yours, but you have more of them than I can count. Sometimes I see they are things I discarded long ago to make room for my essentials, and I try to give them back.

But you won't take them. You say it is my burden to carry, these things I sacrificed so long ago, so I could keep track of my water, my food, my compass, my boots, and my pillow--the things I cannot allow myself to lose. You leave me no choice, so I try, but my essentials must always come first. When I lose what you've given me, it does not surprise me. I have become accustomed to losing my trinkets, and I have learned to accept their loss as a fact of life. Though your pain and anger hurts me, I know that worry and frustration would only make things worse. So I remain unmoved.

I know you will keep giving me your trinkets, and though I will try my best, I know that I will continue to lose them. I know that you will get angry, and I know that I will have to ignore it. I know that you may one day get fed up and leave me walking alone again, because as real and pervasive as it may be for me, you cannot see the dust storm. So I keep doing what I've been doing, trying with everything I have to keep that storm hidden from you. I do not want you to see the world I live in. I do not want you to know the struggles I endure. You do not deserve this burden, and I do not want you to leave.
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Last edited by danpan; 10-18-11 at 04:06 PM..
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  #34  
Old 10-18-11, 11:37 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

danpan,
Thank you for writing this- my feelings exactly.
I could never be able to put into words.
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  #35  
Old 10-19-11, 10:00 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by GailFF View Post
After 27 years of marriage, I am one of those embittered wives.
My husband just turned 60 and has done nothing to educate himself after being diagnosed.
You mean he refused to educate himself for 27 years?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailFF View Post
I continually blow up over our never ending poverty, etc..etc..etc.
You mean you don't drive a Bentley?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailFF View Post
If I was financially able, I would have divorced my husband 10 years ago.
If I was an Oscar Meyer winner, everyone would be in love with me:

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  #36  
Old 10-19-11, 10:32 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by danpan View Post
Dear non-adhd spouse,

My life is like walking through a perpetual dust storm.
The responsibilities and events in my life are like trinkets, blurred and lacking in definition.
I keep what I can keep track of very close to me, so that I will know where and what they are at all times. Looking out to the events of tomorrow, I squint through a noisy haze, struggling to focus on the distant, formless shadows that lay ahead. This storm is all I've ever known, and I am weary and fatigued. I have become accustomed to losing my trinkets, and I have learned to accept their loss as a fact of life. As long as the most important of them are accounted for, worry and frustration would only make things worse.

I am thankful that you have chosen to walk with me, because you bring life into my trek through an otherwise dull and hostile world. Amid the dancing shadows of brown, black, and gray, you are my colorful constant, and your companionship brings to my journey the meaning I had hoped to find at its end. For that, I will forever be thankful.

I appreciate that you're willing to trust me with your trinkets, and I do my best not to lose them. I've often thrown my own into the wind to make room for yours, but you have more of them than I can count. Sometimes I see they are things I discarded long ago to make room for my essentials, and I try to give them back.

But you won't take them. You say it is my burden to carry, these things I sacrificed so long ago, so I could keep track of my water, my food, my compass, my boots, and my pillow--the things I cannot allow myself to lose. You leave me no choice, so I try, but my essentials must always come first. When I lose what you've given me, it does not surprise me. I have become accustomed to losing my trinkets, and I have learned to accept their loss as a fact of life. Though your pain and anger hurts me, I know that worry and frustration would only make things worse. So I remain unmoved.

I know you will keep giving me your trinkets, and though I will try my best, I know that I will continue to lose them. I know that you will get angry, and I know that I will have to ignore it. I know that you may one day get fed up and leave me walking alone again, because as real and pervasive as it may be for me, you cannot see the dust storm. So I keep doing what I've been doing, trying with everything I have to keep that storm hidden from you. I do not want you to see the world I live in. I do not want you to know the struggles I endure. You do not deserve this burden, and I do not want you to leave.
Is GailFF your wife? If so, my heart goes with you my friend. I can't begin to imagine what it must feel like to watch my wife go down the slope of depression and regret. I think you asked yourself countless times how a lovely and respectful wife transitioned into an unsupportive, marriage mocking woman hit by depression. You may say to yourself it's your fault but believe me it is not. Your wife may be depressed for many reasons such as menopause, and none of those reasons include your ADHD. Your wife blames your ADHD, but is there something she would not blame in order to avoid admitting she has a problem?

I would take her to a psychiatrist immediately to obtain evaluation and proper treatment. Group therapy is not enough, the treatment has to be harsh and of a chemical nature. Depression is not to toy with! The sooner she gets treatment the better for both of you.
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  #37  
Old 10-19-11, 10:35 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by danpan View Post
Dear non-adhd spouse,

My life is like walking through a perpetual dust storm.
The responsibilities and events in my life are like trinkets, blurred and lacking in definition.
I keep what I can keep track of very close to me, so that I will know where and what they are at all times. Looking out to the events of tomorrow, I squint through a noisy haze, struggling to focus on the distant, formless shadows that lay ahead. This storm is all I've ever known, and I am weary and fatigued. I have become accustomed to losing my trinkets, and I have learned to accept their loss as a fact of life. As long as the most important of them are accounted for, worry and frustration would only make things worse.

I am thankful that you have chosen to walk with me, because you bring life into my trek through an otherwise dull and hostile world. Amid the dancing shadows of brown, black, and gray, you are my colorful constant, and your companionship brings to my journey the meaning I had hoped to find at its end. For that, I will forever be thankful.

I appreciate that you're willing to trust me with your trinkets, and I do my best not to lose them. I've often thrown my own into the wind to make room for yours, but you have more of them than I can count. Sometimes I see they are things I discarded long ago to make room for my essentials, and I try to give them back.

But you won't take them. You say it is my burden to carry, these things I sacrificed so long ago, so I could keep track of my water, my food, my compass, my boots, and my pillow--the things I cannot allow myself to lose. You leave me no choice, so I try, but my essentials must always come first. When I lose what you've given me, it does not surprise me. I have become accustomed to losing my trinkets, and I have learned to accept their loss as a fact of life. Though your pain and anger hurts me, I know that worry and frustration would only make things worse. So I remain unmoved.

I know you will keep giving me your trinkets, and though I will try my best, I know that I will continue to lose them. I know that you will get angry, and I know that I will have to ignore it. I know that you may one day get fed up and leave me walking alone again, because as real and pervasive as it may be for me, you cannot see the dust storm. So I keep doing what I've been doing, trying with everything I have to keep that storm hidden from you. I do not want you to see the world I live in. I do not want you to know the struggles I endure. You do not deserve this burden, and I do not want you to leave.
Luckily I had my Kleenex near me already when i read this...the last line sums it all up for me, for everyone I encounter and care about.
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uhmm..err...I keep wondering what to put here but I forgot who I was replying to ..???
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  #38  
Old 10-19-11, 10:50 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

The greatest richness in this world is not gold, diamonds, or dollars, but a true marriage between a caring husband and his loving wife. 27 years of marriage is one of the greatest achievements in the life of a married couple. Proclaiming that such bond was only maintained through poverty is an abomination. It betrays a selfish, immature, unloving, uncaring, marriage mocking character. I am sure she said that in a moment of self loss, and that she will regret those words for the rest of her life once she sees reason again. I wish both of you best of luck.
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  #39  
Old 10-20-11, 10:23 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Massari View Post
Is GailFF your wife? If so, my heart goes with you my friend. I can't begin to imagine what it must feel like to watch my wife go down the slope of depression and regret. I think you asked yourself countless times how a lovely and respectful wife transitioned into an unsupportive, marriage mocking woman hit by depression. You may say to yourself it's your fault but believe me it is not. Your wife may be depressed for many reasons such as menopause, and none of those reasons include your ADHD. Your wife blames your ADHD, but is there something she would not blame in order to avoid admitting she has a problem?

I would take her to a psychiatrist immediately to obtain evaluation and proper treatment. Group therapy is not enough, the treatment has to be harsh and of a chemical nature. Depression is not to toy with! The sooner she gets treatment the better for both of you.
No. I would not be writing thoughtful letters to someone who felt that way about our marriage.
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  #40  
Old 10-26-11, 12:39 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

I am learning a lot from what I read here but one question. What if your spouse is not only adhd (which most ppl do have a combo) So how can I know what is a symptom of his adhd or slight bi-polar or Ld or he's just being lazy or irresponsible?
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  #41  
Old 10-30-11, 09:47 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch View Post
I see many people who love an ADHDer who are at a loss, they don’t know what to do, where to turn or what to think. They don’t know what ADHD is to blame for and what it is not.

There’s a lot of confusing information out there. There’ also a lot of people trying to sell you something, a book, medication, a treatment plan, who will fill your head with hope and promise just to make a buck.

On the many websites, blogs, forums, in books and at support groups I often see the same thing again and again. An angry, often bitter and frustrated spouse, who just wants things to get better. I see the same questions asked over and over again and the same misconceptions time and again.

The purpose of this post is to help cover some of those questions and misconceptions that are so common among the partners (and parents) of a person with ADHD.

I know you probably feel like you’re out of you mind and maybe that your life is out of control. In no way do I wish to belittle your feelings or your experiences. In no way is this tread is NOT meant to be an attack on you. However, it might say some things that are hard for you to hear (or read, rather) or to understand at first. Please, I ask you to try, and to bear with it.

(In no particular order)

* The best research shows that ADHDers have 5 areas of the brain than develop slightly smaller than the norm. This makes it as much a physical disability as being born with one leg shorter than the other. But it affects the brain, which in turn affects everything. For more information o n how the ADHD brain functions, I suggest you watch a wonderful talk given my Dr. Barkley on the subject: http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html watch the videos in the “Executive Function” folder. Its long, but well worth having this information, this information will help you!

* Then watch all the other videos.

* For something a little bit short and sweet. Go onto Youtube and search “ADHD Barkley” for a few highlights.

* ADHD is a real disability. It is not a moral issue. People do not CHOOSE to live like this.

* ADHD does not affect your ability to be moral and make ethical choices. It affects your ability to do things and perform tasks. But that doesn’t mean we have free reign to be bad people. ADHD does not excuse infidelity or abuse. Most ADHDers are GOOD PEOPLE, if someone with ADHD is abusive, they would probably be abusive if they did not have ADHD.

* Many people confuse typical marriage and gender issues with ADHD. Example: Many wives complain that their husbands never say “Thank you” but yet expect a parade to be thrown in their honour for taking out the trash. This has nothing to do with ADHD.

* If you have met one ADHDer, you have not met us all. We are still individuals. We still will have different personality traits. Upbringing and such has a lot to do with it. Just because your ADHDer does something, does not mean another will.

* ADHD is a spectrum disorder with different subtypes. Imagine a stereo system, the kind with many dials that affect the sound and volume. Some ADHDers have the volume cranked very high, others it’s down to almost normal. Some ADHDers have certain symptoms more than others. No two ADHDers have their dials set exactly the same.

* The troubles in your marriage are not totally your ADHDer’s fault. Own what you have done to contribute to the break down. You are responsible for your own anger, resentment and issues.

* There is no cure for ADHD. Even the best treatment can only help us cope better.

* Medication will not fix anything on its own. It is only a tool, a crutch, assistance.

* Counselling will help you too, not necessarily because you are broken, but because you need assistance and to learn how to cope.

* It is not fair to expect you to do all the work when it comes to treatment, your spouse is responsible for getting his or her butt to the doctor and following through with treatment. But please understand that it is often a two steps forward, one step, back kind of progress.

* It can be difficult to come to terms with being diagnosed with ADHD, expect it to take some time for them to wrap their head around it and be ready to face it.


(I have to go make lunch, does anyone have some thing HELPFUL to add?)
Great post. I guess my feelings are part guilt at not being able to be a better spouse, the negaitives and the moodiness/rudeness that can sometimes rear its ugly head for me a a way to try to stop all the anxiety and fear that the wheels are coming off. We have been married over 10 years and it has not been easy. I tend to idolate myself at night, blame my spouse, or don't simply want to do much talking after being in a profession where I am the care provider all day and simply don't have much left in the tank to being downright frazzled by the enormity of responsibilities and tasks. Being the prefect spouse? I'm so far away, yet we are still intact, she has been rewarded with a ton of patience, although that patience has come way down since our 4 year old boy was born.

The frustration of not getting things ahead and organized in our family have me especially feeling guilty as we go in to the cold months here in the midwest. I am sure there are those who handle pressure and indecision better then I do, which leads to frustration and depression (not getting it done, feeling hopeless, etc. Is there a daily routine that gets and KEEPS you positive and focuse? Is there someway to keep projects that are started with such excitement and promise to actual fulfillment? The sense of being an underachiever and not being able to get my life where I want it have been gnawing at me again, and it hurts my self confidence.

Thanks for listening and any ideas you may offer would be most appreciated!
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  #42  
Old 10-30-11, 10:09 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneday 613 View Post
I am learning a lot from what I read here but one question. What if your spouse is not only adhd (which most ppl do have a combo) So how can I know what is a symptom of his adhd or slight bi-polar or Ld or he's just being lazy or irresponsible?
I would say that you need to re-read RHW's post. What looks to you like laziness and irresponsibility is probably a symptom.
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  #43  
Old 10-31-11, 12:09 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

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Originally Posted by oneday 613 View Post
I am learning a lot from what I read here but one question. What if your spouse is not only adhd (which most ppl do have a combo) So how can I know what is a symptom of his adhd or slight bi-polar or Ld or he's just being lazy or irresponsible?
Learn about the disorders. And learn to communicate lovingly.
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  #44  
Old 10-31-11, 12:40 PM
Massari Massari is offline
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneday 613 View Post
I am learning a lot from what I read here but one question. What if your spouse is not only adhd (which most ppl do have a combo) So how can I know what is a symptom of his adhd or slight bi-polar or Ld or he's just being lazy or irresponsible?
Most people here will ask you to read about ADHD, learn to accept your husband and eventually do all the work at his place. While that might be ideal for the ADHDer, it's far from ideal for you. Doing your husband's work on top of your work will result in you being overstressed, crowded with problems, frustrated, worn out and for longer term marriages, it will likely cause you to pass out at an earlier age.

Yes, laziness is an ADHD symptom when ADHD is not treated chemically but while under an efficient chemical treatment, those symptoms should greatly decrease. While reading about your husband's ADHD symptoms may be an act of faith and love from your part, in theory you don't have to. It is the responsibility of the ADHDer to learn about his disability and treat himself the best he can in order to find the best working treatment. There's two cases here:

1) If laziness symptoms do not disappear while on a stimulant treatment, and your husband doesn't care, it's personal laziness, irresponsibility and has nothing to do with ADHD.

2) If laziness symptoms do not disappear while on a stimulant treatment and your husband:

- constantly expresses his concerns regarding the problem

- constantly works with his doctor to try new treatments and doses
- participates in behavioral groups and therapy

In this case, even if the laziness symptoms are not gone, they are a symptom of ADHD and you should probably help the poor man in his struggle.


ADHDers are fighters. We fight to overcome our problem. We are not parasites. We do not leach on other people. We do not beg for acceptance and help but kindly request it when needed.
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  #45  
Old 10-31-11, 01:16 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Massari View Post
Most people here will ask you to read about ADHD, learn to accept your husband and eventually do all the work at his place. While that might be ideal for the ADHDer, it's far from ideal for you. Doing your husband's work on top of your work will result in you being overstressed, crowded with problems, frustrated, worn out and for longer term marriages, it will likely cause you to pass out at an earlier age.

Yes, laziness is an ADHD symptom when ADHD is not treated chemically but while under an efficient chemical treatment, those symptoms should greatly decrease. While reading about your husband's ADHD symptoms may be an act of faith and love from your part, in theory you don't have to. It is the responsibility of the ADHDer to learn about his disability and treat himself the best he can in order to find the best working treatment. There's two cases here:

1) If laziness symptoms do not disappear while on a stimulant treatment, and your husband doesn't care, it's personal laziness, irresponsibility and has nothing to do with ADHD.

2) If laziness symptoms do not disappear while on a stimulant treatment and your husband:

- constantly expresses his concerns regarding the problem

- constantly works with his doctor to try new treatments and doses
- participates in behavioral groups and therapy

In this case, even if the laziness symptoms are not gone, they are a symptom of ADHD and you should probably help the poor man in his struggle.


ADHDers are fighters. We fight to overcome our problem. We are not parasites. We do not leach on other people. We do not beg for acceptance and help but kindly request it when needed.
I must admit I am working on the "kindly" part of requesting help when I need it. Usually it comes out in tears and frustration in not completing, or even doing something my 6 y/o could do. As I recently told a friend sometimes i feel like a toddler with my emotions.


I 100% agree assuming ADHDer realizes there is a problem. If they are expressing a desire to change or fix something then support them to the fullest.

Flip side, if they are aware and simply take no action or show interest in changing a behavior then take care of you. Which you should do regardless.

So yeah, what you said :-)
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