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Couples With One ADHD Partner

Grr! Husband always reminding me of things I am about to do!

This is really frustrating for me, and I am not sure what to do!  I have ADHD and while I do have a tendency to be forgetful sometimes, I am pretty high functioning in that department. 

Due to those times that I have forgotten to do things, my husband seems to be hypervigilant about reminding me to do things…it happens often and usually when I am just about to do what he is reminding me of!!!  Try as I might, I just can’t muster a submissive “yes dear”, because I feel the need to let him to know that I was already “on it”, so it is usually a forced smile whilst letting him know I was about to do it, or a strained “im on it”, trying to be as calm as possible, but seething inside. 

So when it happened again today “did you remember to put the sugar out for the oatmeal?”, it clicked why I get defensive and feel the need to tell him that I had remembered ), so I calmly had a discussion with him that I feel that my dignity and confidence is being undermined every time he reminds me to do something I had remembered….and then HE got defensive!  If his confidence in me wasnt undermined due to past times that I have forgotten, he wouldnt need to remind me, and that he doesnt care if I remembered or didnt remember, he just cares about the outcome, so I should just go get whatever he is asking for and be done with it. 

Does anyone else have experience with this?  What has worked?  I dont like feeling defensive, but it also really affects me!


that’s me exactly.  or he gives me the to do lists like I don’t know what we need to get done.  In his defense, he is a BO and does so much for our family.  Then he gives me a task and I forget because he tells me before bed or when I’m in the middle of something else.  The worst is…I do all the driving (I like to drive he doesn’t) but he tells me how to do that…change lanes etc.  ARRRRGGG.
but he means well…I just get frustrated when he gets frustrated and thinks this ADD is just an excuse.

Posted by Rosiepie on Jan 13, 2014 at 7:25pm

ADD is not an excuse it is an impairment.  Just like having poor eyesight is an impairment.  Would you blame your husband if you couldn’t see well?  No, of course not.  But what you might do is take control and get some glasses.

Since it is not so obvious what the aid is for ADD it is easier just to not get one and stumble about doing the best you can.  But if you sit down and really think about where you stumble to remember things then you can figure out what assistance you need and then you can ask your husband for what you WANT.  Asking someone for what you don’t want is defensive and will lead to an argument for sure. 

But you do have to take control of your ADD.  You cannot expect your husband to read your mind and know what you need or don’t need him to do or not do for you.  All he sees is the impairment.  What he probably doesn’t know is that in adulthood ODD looks like defensiveness - that your frustration is a PART of the ADD as well.  If he did he might be more patient.

But here is one thing for sure, if you don’t take control of your symptoms, really own them and make the necessary adjustments he will continue to nag. My guess is that he has been frustrated for a very long time with all the tasks that were in your corner that didn’t get done.  So whether you need a list that he can add to, or a window of time he can make comment or you need him to let you muddle through till you figure out what works without comment, YOU need to ASK!

You have to take control of your symptoms and especially your feelings.  HE can’t make you feel anything without your permission.  ADD people are more easily triggered to frustration true but you don’t have a patent on frustration, everybody gets upset sometimes.  Defensiveness is a slippery slope and is fatal to marriage as long as it keeps up.  It will kill your marriage if you don’t get it under control so be wary.

Posted by YellaRyan on Jan 14, 2014 at 1:11am

I have the opposite kind of husband.  He never reminds me to do things and when I forget her gets frustrated.  Also, if he asown things ks me to do something, he gets frustrated i
when I try and do it right away.. he wants me to remember to do it later.  He also get’s frustrated when he finds my art room a mess or anywhere else in the house.  I try to keep most of the areas I “inhabit” most organized but I have a habit of forgetting things..out of sight out of mind….so I like to keep things that I need to get to out so I remember to do it. I even have a small dry erase board to write down what I need to do and I clip papers to it so I won’t forget to get to them… he puts everything away including my white board. UGH! Not sure how to get through to him that I need help remembering things and that my ADHD makes it difficult to keep things organized.

Posted by Giraffe39 on Jan 26, 2014 at 9:36am

Oh boy - this is so me too!!  I know deep down my love doesn’t want to manage me and in fact gets really irritated with me when he feels like I am managing him - so, I guess in the end the best advice I can give is try to understand the real root cause of where the reminders are coming from; is he trying to help you develop better habits - is he just really caring and wants you to feel like you are doing great - is it that he just doesn’t know what else to say and to fill the dead air he blurts out reminders…it comes down to intention - and trying to understand each others feelings - not that you have to agree with them - they are the other person’s after all - just understanding them and figuring out the intent goes a really long way

Posted by Beth D on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:58pm

This is a big problem for me. It always ends up in him telling me that he “Doesn’t need two kids, he doesn’t need to babysit me.” Problem with him is though, even after six years of being together and having a friend of his and myself talk to him about how this is ADD and yeah, sorry, but at times it can and will hold me back from things, he just doesn’t seem to accept it. I’ve tried convincing him to come with me when I start seeing a counselor here (We just moved to Michigan and I just got all my insurance crap figured out, now I’m just waiting on a provider directory since their site won’t work for me.) so that maybe he can address all the problems that are going on and get insight on what we both need to do to help me manage… but unfortunately he always says no. Its hard for me because I love him to death but at the same time I want someone to support me, even if that means coming with me to a counselor…

Posted by hayley8809 on Jan 31, 2014 at 7:47am

My Husband has ADHD and I’m the one who is always reminding him to do things. Sometimes he gets defensive and frustrated by it, but he doesn’t understand how badly his symptoms really affect me. I think you really need to try to understand how your Husband feels. I get so frustrated and upset that my Husband doesn’t remember to do things and they never seem to get done unless I remind him. Living with a person who has short-term memory issues and organizational/time management issues can be extremely difficult. I have told him that I wouldn’t feel the need to remind him so much if only he communicated that he is taking care of it at a certain time to me. You need to do everything you can to take control of your ADD symptoms for yourself and your marriage. I told my Husband that if he doesn’t get on meds and go to therapy then I don’t think I can stay in the marriage. I love him, but I just can’t continue dealing with his symptoms like this for the rest of my life.

Posted by mrsg13 on Feb 05, 2014 at 2:23am

I spoke to my counselor about this, and I think that the issue is that I have been getting treatment and meds which has helped me immensely to focus and remember to do things, but hubby is still in that mindset of where I was before treatment when I may have had to be reminded more to do things….now that I feel I am “on my feet again” so to speak, I remember more, and I find it frustrating that my partner hasnt noticed.  What I am doing is being super proactive and getting things prepped even before he has the chance to say anything which is helping!!

Posted by Canadadd on Feb 26, 2014 at 6:25am

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