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ADHD Adults

Help for approaching ADHD Husband

I am very new to life with adhd spouse.  we have been married 26 yrs but his adhd diagnosis was only discovered after I filed for divorce.  We are not divorced but are in financial dire straights.  I have spent last 2 yrs working on self and co-dependent issues and FINALLY feel I am at a place to approach some things, mainly because time has run out!

He has refused counseling, support groups and has a well developed system of deflection, lying and avoidance.  I am tired and worn to shreds

I once again I MUST approach him about money issues that I am powerless to handle on my own.  His family has many resources to help coach him but after years and years of my pleading they have refused. My husband has lied and vilified me to his family and church leaders such that no one will listen or assist.  I have one son free of adhd who might could inspire him, but that is such a tough position to put him in even as a young adult.

because of years of not dealing with adhd our dynamics were bad.  he still shuts down when I approach him no matter how I change my approach.  he refuses to face the problem.  he has allowed my mom to save us, but this must stop.

How do I change this?  I need quick resources, good Godly council and a plan… Got any out there?


and yes, he has been on meds for adhd for 2 yrs with some benefit, mostly seen @ work, not so much with our relationship and communication.

Posted by Dallasgal on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:24am

I wish you the best.  Allowing your mother to save you?  Does that mean bail you two out?  Inho, that is not help.  That is like giving a bottle to an alcoholic. 

Whether or not he will listen to you, start with a debt counselor.

Debtors Anonymous has a program.  You can find them online.  They can help you come up with a plan for yourself.  They may have some literature you can give your husband.  However, he may or may not be willing to take it to heart.

You cannot force him into financial accountability anymore than you can force a drunk into sobriety. 

If you divorce, the debts will be divided between you, and you’ll each be accountable for your portion.

For your sake, I hope things go the way you would like.  Since you are preparing to divorce, make sure you do plenty of enjoyable activities.  You are the only one you have control over.  You are your greatest asset.

Best wishes.

Posted by ylt222 on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:18am

Be sure to run any financial or legal moves by your attorney.

Posted by ylt222 on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:20am

Perhaps you have already tried this, but from my experience (watching my parents interact), being too soft in this kind of situation is a mistake. For everyone’s sake, it’s important that he understands the consequences of his actions, and being direct, even if a little harsh, is the way to go in my opinion. Sometimes people get caught up in trying to be accommodating, which can be counter-productive, as it often means they take less of a disciplined approach which is what ADHDers need.

Also, I would definitely repost to this group:

A lot of women with an ADHD husband are subscribed to that group and could share their experiences if you posted there. There seem to be many in your situation and you may benefit from reading through some of the posts too..

Posted by masterchip27 on Oct 30, 2013 at 5:42pm

Good info, thx.  We are reconciling, which make debt issue harder.

Posted by Dallasgal on Oct 30, 2013 at 7:23pm

Since you are reconciling this will bring the family back together. And since he refuses therapy he may be willing to open the conversation to your children.

It’s a family matter which may go well if the whole family is involved in the discussion. At a restaurant, on the way home from church.

As to the approach, avoid the let-me-show-you-everything-that-wrong-with-you strategy. That is doomed. Instead, especially if you are reconciling, the opposite approach is much more effective. While it is not exactly apt I am reminded if one of the most powerful lessons of John 8:7. The approach of total forgiveness, love and compassion is very powerful.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Nov 01, 2013 at 1:37am

So what would be another approach that motivates change without threats?  I’m exhaused with boundries always being crashed through then no accountability on his part. Or solution or resolution.

Posted by Dallasgal on Nov 01, 2013 at 1:49am

For my issues, I had to hit rock bottom to have the lights come on for me. At that point, my relationship was over and we saved a great friendship. It took my failing of my business,  living in my shop, and having no heat last winter to finally give me the kick in the behind I needed to start getting the help I needed.

It took a complete loss of everything important in my life to wake me up. I was lucky to realize what I lost in my life which helped bring my emotions to life….something that has been lacking for 20 years. Over the loss, I was able to realize the dire situation I had let myself get to. I exhausted all financial resources with family, and put me in a place where I HAD no choice but to face my issues. It has been a long journey for me, but my life is getting easier since I have destressed my life. I can live off less than $1000 a month for everything I NEED to survive. I never had kids so that is a financial “bonus” not to stress about.  Its still a huge struggle financially, but I am adapting to my issues.

For me, letting my loved one go so I did not cause her so much financial and emotional stress was my only choice. I couldn’t stand putting her through my everyday struggle.

Posted by Newlife on Nov 01, 2013 at 1:18pm

I have always wondered about my SO and whether or not he has ADHD. Then I identified the pattern that leads to both the proof I needed and the beginning of our snowball effect towards unproductivity. I asked him to do something, he got frustrated b.c he couldn’t find his keys, and then asked about something completely irrelevant to the task I just asked him to do and started doing that thing instead. Eureka! I guess in that moment MY ADHD wasn’t as bad as usual b.c normally when that happens, I will forget what I asked him to do, walk away, and get angry at him later for not doing it. Instead, I paused and said yes, do that too, but you can do it after you do what I asked. He was totally dumbfounded, shrugged, said OK, got both done successfully and voila! No fights. I know it is seemingly small in the grander scheme of things, but start trying to observe patterns you have formed that lead to when the trouble starts, rather than trying narrow down the big picture all at once. From my own xperience, I know how exhausting, overwhelming, and counter productive that can be.

Posted by jessiela on Nov 16, 2013 at 5:23pm

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