Couples With One ADHD Partner
How to keep my sanity with my ADHD husband?
I am new to this website and group. I am here because my husband and I have only been married 6 months, but I feel very overwhelmed with him and his ADHD. First of all, I didn’t find out of what having ADHD involved until we were married (and neither did he because he was diagnosed with it as a child, but never sought treatment). He also has ODD, which makes him resist my initial attempt to get him to handle things in a certain way; he usually does what he wants, admits I was right, and then wants to apply my suggestion. Add to his condition the fact that he is currently unemployed. That adds an unprecedented amount of stress to my life. I love him dearly, but I am to the point where I am regretting the whole thing. I know that if I could do it all over I would not have married him. We cannot afford to seek treatment because I am the only one with medical insurance, but we can barely afford the copay for me even with that. Here are the problems we are having:
1) He spends the little bit of money we have like crazy. I am now in charge of our finances, but while I am working crazy overtime hours, his “needs” dictate that he gets any extra money and I get maybe like $10 if I get anything at all and he gets like $100. But he quickly spends it all and keeps coming back to me for extra money as if we got it like that, and gets upset when we don’t have it. We have no savings
2) He gets depressed because of having little control over his impulses and he sees how it hurts me, and because of being unemployed and unable to provide at all. His feelings about these things makes him blow up at me sometimes over nothing or things that were actually his fault. He is never physical and always apologizes, but it is taking a toll on me emotionally.
3) He does not know how to communicate in a normal way. He is quick to negate what I say in a normal discussion, but it doesn’t make sense because he usually ends up agreeing with what I just said, like he wasn’t really listening. I cannot talk to him like a normal wife because 1) he cannot stay focused on what anyone says for longer than five seconds, and 2) he overreacts to conversations about problems we are facing. I have to handle everything on my own and I have no emotional outlet because he cannot handle it. I only have my diary but that’s just not enough, and I cannot talk to my friends because you just never know who will gossip about what and I don’t think it’s wise to involve family members because they will only continue hating the spouse long after the problem is over.
4) He has lots of energy. This means that he wants to be out of the house as much as possible. That is a problem for our automobile gas bill which is only budgeted for a certain amount from each check (he insists on having the car while I am at work, especially when he needs to take care of different errands). It is also a problem because when the weekend comes he wants to hang out all Saturday and all Sunday with friends if he could. Um, I’ve been working almost 60 hours a week, and I would really like to rest at home. I’m not saying for him not to go out ever, maybe just Saturday so I can rest Sunday. That is fair and he agrees to it in the moment, but if someone invites him to do something Sunday, he just has to do it or he is angry.
5) Recreation usually turns into what he wants to do. There have been plenty of times when he will ask what I wanted to do, I’ll tell him, he says we can do it and we’ll schedule to do it, he’ll come back some time later wanting to do something else, I’ll remind him of the original plans and tell him that we agreed on them, he’ll say we can do the original plans another time or give me lame reasons why we shouldn’t do them and should do what he wants.
These are our biggest issues and they are chipping away at the joy that comes with being a new bride. I am having a hard time distinguishing which problems are attributed to ADHD and which are just him being selfish. I am also having a hard time trying to figure out what responsibilities he can handle and which are beyond his limitations. I have a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders and I would love to delegate as much as possible, but not if he cannot handle it.
Someone please help us with one or all of these things. Neither of us see divorce as an option, but I would rather live the rest of our married life as happy as possible as opposed to just existing with a roommate. Also, even if he is not open to trying different methods, what can I do on my end to keep my sanity? I try to keep in mind what made me fall in love with him - he is kind, affectionate, funny, adventurous, social, spiritual-minded, courageous, and very clean - but sometimes I get so overwhelmed that it seems to overshadow these good traits. HELP!!!
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