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ADHD in Women

Husband unsupportive?

Do any of the other women here have a husband who things ADD is hogwash? My husband doesn’t believe I have serious issues. He is frustrated by all my “classic” symptoms, such as chronic disorganization, poor planning and time management and never completing a project in our home life and environment but thinks it’s just who I am. I don’t even try to convince him since he doesn’t really believe in any mental disorders (bipolar, manic depressive, etc.)


That’s quite sad that your husband doesn’t believe in ADD or any mental disorder. I have been married for 32 years and if it wasn’t for my wife reading up on ADHD and helping me massively I’d still be all over the place with my thoughts and chaotic life style. Don’t get me wrong I still am at times but without her support I would be a lot worse. Sorry to say it but he sounds very judgmental. I never used to understand mental health issues but when you’ve been there your whole opinion changes. I wish you the best of luck

Posted by GaryS on Feb 09, 2017 at 10:30am

I’m so sorry to hear you have an unsupportive spouse. A lot of adults (and children) with ADHD have people in their lives that don’t believe ADHD is real, sadly.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of getting the right article in front of them, as this woman describes:

Here’s some expert advice on enlightening a non-believer too:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 13, 2017 at 1:57pm

Hi there. Yes, I am dealing with worse than unsupportive . There are times the man I’m married to calls me an “idiot” multi-times a day. He tells our son there is no such thing as “mistakes”, only stupidity. When I tell him there is a pattern to my weak areas that fit the ADHD type, he asks if ADHD is just a modern new name for “stupid”. I’ve read about how supportive spouses can possibly help their ADHD partners and it’s hard not to be very cynical. I don’t ask for help - just not to be judged and demeaned. It took years of frustration with myself and decades learning to accept myself and now I have to deal with this. Pressure only makes my symptoms worse, seemingly “proving” his point.

Posted by Remilah on Feb 18, 2017 at 4:25am

Judging by how rife even the mainstream media is with misinformation regarding ADHD, plus things like Facebook where EVERYONE is an expert in ADHD (*major eyeroll*) and where misinformation is rapidly spread, I think this is probably pretty common.

I’d try to have him read an article written by a converted nonbeliever, or perhaps have him watch an education video. I very much enjoy watching Dr. Russell Barkley speak (Youtube has many videos) as he speaks with conviction and doesn’t dumb down material. Your husband owes it to you to spend an hour doing this for you. Rick Green also has some decent videos, but he’s not a doctor, he’s a comedian/writer who has dedicated his adult life to ADHD awareness. His information seems reliable an consistent with up-to-date research.

Posted by dmossey on Feb 19, 2017 at 8:51pm

Remilah:  With no disrespect intended, it sounds as if your husband is emotionally abusing you (and your son) when he says those things to you.  I suggest that his intolerance of your behaviours is just the easiest thing for him to focus his abusive comments on. While I hope I am wrong with this idea, I think your challenge with your husband runs deeper than just your AD/HD and that you may need to speak with a Social Worker, Psychologist or other appropriate expert on your own (without your husband initially) and seek their guidance in this matter (as well as the postings here at ADDConnect)

Posted by leelads on Feb 28, 2017 at 4:20am

Remilah- I agree with leelads your husband sounds verbally abusive.

My husband has Adult ADD, and our 9 year old daughter was diagnosed at 6 with ADHD.

Because their both high level ADHD, my life basically revolves around ADHD. I spend most of my free time reading books, articles, or on here educating myself about ADHD. Our family would not be able to function if I didn’t.

One of the most important things I’ve learned is that ADHDers are anything but stupid.

My husband comes off immature and goofy to most people. They don’t really take him seriously. He is a sloppy dresser, his truck is full of junk, he can’t manage money, and he is the definition of disorganized.

But he is truly one of the smartest people I know. He hates reading, but when it comes to math, science, and computers if he doesn’t already know it he can figure it out very quickly.

  My daughter can’t sit still for 60 seconds (literally). She is socially immature compared to her peers, so she struggles to keep friends. Even though she is sweet, respectful and tries hard to follow the rules at school, she is never well liked by teachers.

But she’s also an A/B student,  already able to do math problems in her head that I have to write on paper, and I go to her with questions about the computer. She’s also funny, creative, and the strongest kid I know.

They are both witty, outgoing, and have a fearless spirt that makes them want to experience everything in life.

According to society, I’m the normal one. I graduated college with a 4.0 GPA, (my husband didn’t even go to college, but he makes more money than I do), I keep my house as clean and organized as possible. I recycle, and eat healthy. I’m very conservative, quiet, and constantly worried about what everyone thinks.

They are both the first ones on stage singing Karaoke, while I cheer them on from my seat. 

While they have fun, I load the dishwasher, or fold laundry. I’m pretty sure most of our friends and family would rather hang out with them than me.

Keep focusing on your strengths, not your weaknesses. We all have faults whether we have ADHD or not. Your husband included.

My marriage is far from perfect, we struggle everyday. Just because I know why he does certain things doesn’t fix everything, but it helps.

In fact, I’m mad at him tonight which is why I’m on here at 1a.m. instead of sleeping.

For some reason reading your post gave me a light bulb moment that these are issues my own daughter will probably struggle with later in her life. So thank you for posting. I spend so much time concentrating on just getting her to college, that’s just the beginning of her life.

For what it’s worth, I’m not sure how old your son is, but I would start educating him on ADHD before he is completely brainwashed.

Posted by momofanADHDiva on Feb 28, 2017 at 7:45am

I’m curious as to what he believes about those with mental disorders. Is he just a “that’s just how you are” sort of person? Which is the more positive option, and just accepts a person, quirks and all and doesn’t like the label of “disorder”. Or does he think that mental disorders are excuses for not achieving things and doing better? Then his objections are based on a false premise. The ADHD is real article is probably the best bet then. And @Remilah, calling loved ones names and/or putting them down is abusive.

Posted by gothceltgirl on Mar 22, 2017 at 9:38pm

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and supportive replies. I truly didn’t expect that and I hope another wife in my shoes can read your helpful feedback and see the different ideas and perspectives.

First, to Remilah: I agree with the other folks, your husband is not showing the respect you deserve. You are not stupid. I think it was Dr. Phil who said people treat you the way you allow them to. I can speak from a woman who has struggled with ADD and just keeping things together seems like an impossible task, as does prioritizing the right things to do to move my life forward. This struggle which seems so elementary causes me to beat myself up frequently (mentally). Some periods (months) are worse than others but it’s been going on for year. If I were to compound my own abuse about my lack of being “normal” as someone said, in society’s eyes plus my husband telling me repeatedly how stupid I was, I’d feel as large as an ant and I’d stuggle to even look forward to the day. I can only imagine how you must feel. I highly suggest you seek individual therapy with a psychologist who treats ADD/ADHD in adults. I’ve been diagnosed as an adult with ADD and then a few years later (in my late 20’s) with generalized anxiety disorder, neither of which I’ve treated with medication but I’ve gone to a variety of therapists over the years who have helped me immensely but as with most folks with ADD, I can’t keep the consistency of my appts going!

As for me, I rarely discuss my ADD issues, it’s more apparent for me at work since I manage 9 people but I also have 3 kids and a husband so home life is chaos most of the time too.

gothceltgirl asked what my husband’s view was on ADD, he doesn’t believe in disorders. He thinks they are cop outs. Yes, he’s judgmental, I blame his family and also his line of work. He’s a Firefighter/Paramedic in Oakland and has been for many years. He’s seen people “fake’ symptoms or abuse the medical industry with disorders and has lost his empathy and understanding for most people who say they have some sort of issues. He’s also a very determined person who thinks that anything can be overcome and doesn’t believe in chemical imbalances in the brain (when I try to discuss my mother’s severe bi-polar disorder with him).

I have a very specific message for momofanADHDiva. First, thank you for pouring out your life experience. My feedback is mom to mom. My son is now 18 (and turning 19 this year). When he was a little boy in preschool the teacher told me I should have him checked for ADHD because of a few off the wall antics he pulled. I ignored her. Over the next few years he went to elementary and each teacher suggested the same thing, have him evaluated. I once again, ignored them and cynically blamed schools for the inability to work with active children (Who expects 6 or 7 year olds to sit quietly for extended periods while they are lectured to?). In any event, we had a turning point when he was in 2nd grade. The teacher said he was extremely bright and tested high and she wanted to submit him to the GATE program however she couldn’t get him to complete any projects without his notorious sloppiness. He just rushed through everything, just to “get it done” as quickly as possible and move on to the next thing. I wanted him to get in the program so I tried to do some projects with him at home and I couldn’t for the life of me get him to focus on creating something worthy of submitting. I was heartbroken. He was being passed up for a wonderful opportunity that would have challenged him. A few weeks later, he was at home with me and I was trying to help him with his math homework, he was losing it. He was so upset when he couldn’t get the answers right on the first try he would hyperventilate and cry and I had to have him focus on a spot on the ceiling until I could get him to calm down. He was mad at himself and bashed himself for weeks during homework time, again I was heartbroken. At this point, I thought: this isn’t normal behavior. I have to get him some help. He went through a variety of testing and was diagnosed with ADHD. Through elementary school he struggled socially since he was an Aug. birthday so he was younger than most, plus the ADHD made him even more socially immature and annoying to his peers. One teacher described it this way in 3rd grade. “He’s just annoying kids because he taps his pencils constantly and bounces his foot on the chair in front of him.” He was never picked for classroom group projects by other students because his quality of work was so poor yet he was always very bright. He would get into so much trouble all through elementary doing stupid impulsive things that were no doubt ADHD instigated. As he progressed to middle school, he started to get some closer friends, usually a grade level lower. His self-esteem got better. As he went through high school, sports helped his self esteem and social skills and he seemed to get normal around 15 1/2 to 16 yrs old (socially). He didn’t have a girlfriend until his senior year but I would describe him as having a very normal four years of high school despite his ADHD. As for treatment, he was on/off Adderall XR (more consistent during 2nd - 6th) then when he got to middle I let him decide when he wanted to take it. It made him lose his appetite and there were times when he would struggle with his grades and demand to get his meds but I would not be in a major hurry to get them and eventually he’d work hard and get his grades up. He “coped” through high school mostly without them. I have to say, he was a C and D student but with meds he was an A/B. It’s so crazy how night and day they are on meds. I was fine with him not taking them and getting the lower grades. He’s now in community college and going into the electrician trade program. I don’t often discuss ADHD with my son but I probably should. I just want you to know that your daughter will be just fine socially. You can find her some friends that are a year younger and she will bond.

Posted by caleo on Mar 23, 2017 at 6:36am

I’m very sorry to hear that Caleo, I was really hoping it was the former viewpoint. I wish that I could do something to help. I also hope that maybe something somehow will show him differently. Unfortunately there are a lot of people like him. I don’t really even date b/c, not only do I have ADHD, but a physical disability. I’ve had 2 guys in the past who told me that they thought that my illness wasn’t as severe as I said it was. It never was… when they saw me. They didn’t see me on the days when I couldn’t get out of bed. So they either thought that I was imagining it, or I was lying. Either way, why in the world would they want to be with me, if either of those things were true? Of course now, finding someone with the right empathy & compassion levels is too much of a challenge. I barely have the strength to get out of bed w/o some sort of stimulants.

That ended up being a bit longer than I’d intended. I’ve got a new doc appt. coming up which I’m dreading just as much as all the previous doctors who did nothing to help me despite my worsening fatigue, muscle weakness, & difficulty breathing.

Posted by gothceltgirl on Apr 05, 2017 at 9:32pm

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