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Couples With One ADHD Partner

Desperately lost, I guess.

I am having a “fork in the road” moment; whether to stay in this marriage or not.
At the end of the day, I know that I have to make my own decision.  As there is no crystal clear, right answer,
I am trying to get all the help and info. to make a major life-decision.

I met my ADHD husband when I was 23 years old.
We’ve been together for 5 years and married for a year. I’ve been feeling like in a hell battle, tortured, heart-broken, and miserable.

Although he is working on his issue, I’m not sure if I can just waste another 5, 10 years feeling disrespected and unsatisfied.

Not only his issue are the big problem itself, I feel that we don’t have much common ground; what we enjoy, how we share the worldview, etc. You probably know how it’s almost impossible to have your spouse “meet you in half-way”. My joy has been non-existent ever since I’vet met him. Even I force him to do my “activities”, I know he is not there with me.

I feel tremendous sympathy for his incapabilities.  However I am not sure If I can be miserable like this for the rest of my life. I am young. Is there any fruits at the end of this journey???? He is a great guy who loves me , and trying his best to save our marriage. But at the end of the day, he can’t help himself…

Why is it hard for me to just leave this relationship? When I know that this is not good. :(
It seems to me that a part of reason for this writing is to find me some reason to stay. like some hopeful message?


Sympathy is no foundation or reason to be married, but it does answer your question about why it’s so hard to leave. I beat myself up all the time for not getting out when I first felt like you do now. No matter what, no matter how much I’ve put up with, nothing has changed. If your husband won’t take charge of his condition (and I mean so that things change not just that he says he will change), then all I can tell you is Get.Out.Now.

Posted by CullyRay on Jan 04, 2014 at 3:48am

Look, every situation is somewhat different because of the personalities involved. My partner, to whom I am not yet married, was diagnosed, about a year ago. She is the wrong business and job for someone with ADHD, but she lives it. I spent a lot of time studying and trying to learn as much as I could so I could learn to deal with it and her. I understand and accept it will never be perfect, or the image that I have of a marriage/committed relationship. But I resolved to work through it. Have you tried therapy for yourself ? For your spouse? Together? It worked wonders for me personally. Am I concerned that things could go south? At times, yes. But the more I understand ADHD, the more easily I come to work through it. I am so in live with her, that I believe it and her teach me a lot about myself. Not sure if this helps, but wanted you to know your not alone.

Posted by Jfarrisn on Jan 04, 2014 at 6:22am

The purpose of life is to experience joy. I think you just answered your own question.

I doubt there is a non- ADHD spouse out there who has not been in that same place and hasn’t wished in retrospect they would have left. I have a hard time thinking I might have left - we had children before diagnosis and so it feels like a betrayal of them to wish I would have left.  I don’t like to imagine my life without them.

But do keep in mind ADHD is genetic and each of your children have a 50% chance of having it too. We have one child with and one child without ADHD, guess which one will have a better life?  Make no mistake ADHD is a disability, one that can be overcome and your husband might. But if you have a child with ADHD you will overcome it with them.

Posted by YellaRyan on Jan 04, 2014 at 9:59am

You’ve gotten great responses supporting either decision so taking a little more time and involving an objective third person might give you more certainty.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Jan 04, 2014 at 1:06pm

I think the purpose of life is to experience love not joy.
As a christian joy comes with knowing love.  Love is not always pretty.  It cost Christ his life on a cross.  Knowing that kind of love makes it easier to love and forgive my husband. If you don’t have a faith or belief in something greater than both of you I don’t know why you would stay especially if there are no kids involved. 
ADHD is a real challenge! It is way bigger than I ever bargained for when i married my husband.  I have learned so much about the challenge as I watch my son struggle and it breaks my heart.  It gives me insight into why my husband is the way he is.
What keeps me hanging on is that my husband is a good man and he loves me.  He does let me down
a lot.  He hears me when I tell him I am hurt and he tries!!!  Life is never boring with my husband. It is full of adventure. Forgiveness is key to our success.

Posted by ppcmidwife on Jan 06, 2014 at 3:21pm

Melissa Orlov is somewhat of an expert on ADHD and relationships and wrote a book with Dr. Hallowell on it. Here’s an article she wrote for, called “When ADHD Adult Symptoms Get in the Way: Relationship Problems and Solutions:” that you will likely find the tips useful.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 06, 2014 at 7:56pm

Thank you seriously each one of you for your time to write. I read every comment over and over again. It is a great help, just by knowing that there are someone out there who cares.

p.s. ppcmidwife; Your comment does make me humble.  I believe your insight was from a genuine caring heart. I respect for your strength. Being said that I have a Christian husband too, and I believe that I deserve be in joy along with loving my partner. I love to Enjoy and Love my life. I simple love being on this earth, and explore what life can offer to me. I wish everyone can find a way to cherish his/her own life through joy and continuous discovery.

Posted by mcfc on Jan 07, 2014 at 5:14am

I am in the same boat you are sweetie….I feel for you, but I can’t even make up my own mind on the situation either. I hope things turn out the way they need to be for you to feel better.

Posted by Noah s Ark on Jan 09, 2014 at 3:37am

GET OUT. I wish I had.

Posted by STJ on Mar 07, 2014 at 1:24am

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