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Couples With One ADHD Partner

Impulsive/Compulsive buying tips?

Does anyone have any suggestions or trying to curb the impulsive/compulsive (don’t know which term is more accurate) buying that accompanies ADHD?  In the last three months my husband has wanted to buy a new computer, iPod, XBOX, smartphone, car parts, home decor, etc. and I feel bad every time I have to say “no”.  We are not in a financial situation where we can afford much (I’m sick and we’re both in couples counseling) and, even when he gets what he wants, a few months later he wants another one.  Do meds help with this?  I appreciate that he at least consults with me but I think it’s just a formality because he eventually still wants what he wants.  Any suggestions?


My husband and I found it better for me to do the bills.  Maybe give him a set spending amount that you can afford. He can save for what he wants or spend as he wants. ADD doesn’t mean no accountability.  He can con trol his spending .  He just needs to try.  My hub has made some off the wall purchases but if he does I make him take responsibility for it.  IE he bought a used car he never even test drove after I told him not too cause it wasn’t a good car. When it breaks down (frequently) if I need my car, too bad, he has to live with his choice to blow his car money on a junker. We all live with our choices adhd or not.

Posted by jann10 on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:53am

Yes! Meds definitely help with impulse control!

But allowance.  Allowance and if he really wants something he can save up (he probably won’t but at least he will understand why and what he can have).  The more he believes it is his idea the better.

Posted by YellaRyan on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:37am

Just the thought of bringing up an allowance would probably send him into a temper tantrum.  I compare his long list of “needs” to my need for medication.  I can’t tell him not to have those things because they soothe him and keep him calm, even if only for a short while.  What’s worse is that some of the spending can come in the form of medical expenses.  When he goes to the dentist or chiropractor he always comes out with some ridiculous bill of hundreds of dollars. Recently we just received a $1,000 bill because he was hospitalized for the stomach flu.  I feel like some of these things are just out of my control.  We are currently seeing a psychologist for couples counseling but how can I convince her that all of this stuff is ADHD related?

Posted by Marisol on Feb 05, 2014 at 3:37am

This may or may not be helpful, but I’ll share it just in case. My husband basically collects hobbies, all of which require him to keep purchasing more materials/pieces/games/whatever. So we set up a budget for him (for us, it’s $50/month) that he can use for his hobbies. He keeps a spreadsheet to keep track of his purchases. He sometimes goes over budget, but he keeps track of it, so he’s taking it out of the next month’s budget (at least I think he does, I don’t really check too much). It seems like your husband maybe is wanting more expensive things, but if he were somehow keeping track of it, maybe it’d help him be more aware of his spending habits?  I guess it is sort of an allowance-y idea, but it doesn’t seem so bad when it’s called a budget. smile

P.S. I think it’s hard to find psychologists/psychiatrists that get adult ADHD. When we first went to the psychiatrist my husband goes to now for meds, they had literature in the waiting room on adult ADHD, so we were hopeful. Then we went in to see him, and my husband said he had ADD, and the psychiatrist said, literally, “Aren’t you too old?” Good luck with your psychologist! Hopefully she is more knowledgeable and understanding!

Posted by EmilyPS on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:25am

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