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Couples With One ADHD Partner

Could someone post some good experiences...

I’ve struggled being married to my ADHD husband for 13 years and recently I seriously considered ending our marriage for all the same reasons everyone else is struggling here. Even though that’s the last thing in the world I want. I value my marriage vows and love him. But he made his own dr appointment and started medication. So I’m hopeful. I come to this group looking for support and hope, but a lot of times the posts don’t offer a lot of encouraging stories of people making it through this with their sanity and marriage intact. Believe me I know it’s so hard and feels near impossible sometimes, but I’d like to hear some good stuff too.


I can’t say I have a lot of positives to add, but I will say that I’ve been dating someone for 2+ years who was diagnosed with ADD many years ago.  I didn’t know much about ADD until about 6 months ago.  I’ve learned I have to manage things a lot more than what I consider ‘normal’ in order to have things go ok (for me and us).  I don’t prefer it, but I’ve found it helps a great deal when I do step up to help remind him of things, arrange things for us, suggest a time for his arrival to my house (rather than him getting otherwise involved and being 2 hours late), etc.  It’s a struggle, admittedly, but I try to focus on his positive qualities.  Not sure this helps much.

Posted by DeedsNVA on Aug 26, 2014 at 2:11pm

Being ADD doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or doesn’t want to do his best for you. It just means its harder for him to function on a mundane level. The hyperfocus can be useful in a time of crisis in getting things down and in helping you feel better. Conversation is never boring - can be indepth of subjects of limited interest but you never get fobbed off with small talk. There’s no front - if he says he loves you he does. If he says he’s pissed off, he is but fewer mind games. You can be in control of most things as you need to be for your sanity but that does give some freedom. Drugs aren’t a cure all - they have their own issues. Namely a whingy partner if you disturb his sleep but they do improve life. Best thing is to try and step away from the condition - try and do things together you both want to do and where there is no pressure. Try and rediscover the person you love not the condition - its part of him, not all of him.

Posted by hilaauk on Aug 26, 2014 at 2:12pm

BTW been engaged since 1998 and lived together since 2001 so some experience of both sides. We’re not married as he’s “arranging” it but I made committment and hope to honour it. Normally best times is when he has a structure in place outside the home. Worst time is when he is not working and not contirbuting as he gets depressed at not contributing and I get annoyed at hyperfocus when he comes home. So if your hubbie isn’t working, try and get some space for yourself and him by finding a hobby outside the house for him to do a day or so a week.

Posted by hilaauk on Aug 26, 2014 at 2:16pm

First of all I want to say thanks for posting - it always makes me sad to see such negative talk on here sometimes.  And I know the frustration, I do, but there is a difference between frustrated venting and telling others to give up and your life is ruined, etc - I always make a point to try to post on those because you have to find the positives!  I just recently got married but my husband and I have been together for almost 7 years and lived together for 6 and half of the years.  When I first let him (he was 21 and myself 24) while he would admit he had ADHD and was diagnosed and started on medication by first grade, he wouldn’t admit he was any different or it should effect his life and how he operated in any way.  Oh, and he wasn’t good at taking his meds, and called weekends “his time” so he didn’t take them on weekends regardless of our plans.  NOW - to what you asked for… I wish I knew exactly what frustrated you and got you to this level so I could address those things, but hopefully what I’ve experienced is similar to you.  You have to find the positives in your life and relationship, him making the call and willingness to try meds - BIG one (especially since he is a guy and they don’t do the dr thing…) - but don’t get discouraged if the meds aren’t the right ones, and they definitely won’t fix it all - they make it to where you can have a conversation - and that means yall then have the ability to fix what you need.  And I say fix loosely - not that he, or you, need fixing… But you can’t get anywhere in a relationship without communication and ADHD makes that really difficult sometimes.  I have periods like you where I just don’t know if he cares, he seems to only think of himself and hardly acknowledge me, but you have to be able to tell him “honey, you are doing that thing again where I feel invisible - can we have a me evening this weekend?”  And we have out best talks, like those serious conversation talks that they hate because they are boring and they get defensive right away… while we are doing outside work or working on some type of project together.  I guess it is the being engaged in something that allows him time to think and respond and not have me staring which will mean a quick rude response in most cases because he needs time to process the thoughts.  Remember we have probably thought through the conversation 100 times before we being it up, and I know my husband has to process the thought before he can respond if you want a truthful response - so give him time.  I can tell you that you probably wouldn’t find a husband more loving and willing to do anything for you in this world, and remember those times he showed you that.  I’ve always told my husband - I stick by you (and stuck by you in the VERY rough beginning) because you were trying, as long as I see you are making an effort I will make the same effort.  If he wouldn’t have made the effort to see doctors and get his meds worked out and take them, etc then I wouldn’t have stayed, but he showed me his love through his effort - and sometimes when you aren’t feeling the love that’s where you have to find it.  Did he make a point to take the trash out like I asked and I didn’t have to make a reminder this time? He cares - cause that was a big deal for him, small things like that.  We had to come to the agreement - our life is different then other couples lives, but it has to be what works for you - that’s all that matters… It doesn’t matter you don’t operate like the couple next door - you do what is best for y’all and find your happiness in that.  I hope I have helped and not rambled too much - but I wish you the best and happiest future! smile please look up and listen to “endlessly” by The Cab - this is the song I dedicated to my husband at out wedding and I feel it is about an ADHD couple - think about your relationship and your love and you can’t help but see the good.

Posted by FightForLove on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:18pm

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