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ADHD in Women

My husband doesn't understand my ADD

I was diagnosed ADD 7 years ago at the age of 40.  I’ve been unhappily married almost the entire time being married, 26 yrs, but, we are still together. Yes, we have had separations. We have 6 kids, 4 minors.  When I was on meds I filed for divorce, in ‘09, but, didn’t follow through because it couldn’t have worked anyway.  I don’t have a paying job these days and can’t leave.  So, now I want to try meds again to help with my overwhelming life.  He’s against it.  He doesn’t understand my ADD.  We have always had problems connecting mentally and emotionally.  He’s passive and I over communicate, well I use to.  I gave that up.  It’s no use communicating with someone who always thinks I am wrong.  Actually, I think he has it too!  I’m here to hear other people who do understand.  Hopefully,others have not made a mess of their lives as I have.


I feel like I could’ve written this article.  I’m 34 and was diagnosed 2 years ago when my son was diagnosed.  My husband also doesn’t understand my ADHD or my son’s and it causes a lot of pain, fighting and hurt feelings.  Since I’ve been trying to get my son on the right path, I haven’t had time to help myself but I’m hoping to shortly. 

I just wanted to let you know you’re NOT alone!

Posted by mommygirl1979 on Aug 27, 2014 at 6:23pm

Thank you!  It’s almost time for the husband to return from work.  Crossing my fingers for a decent day.  I won’t give up communicating what’s needed; then again, whose needs are we talking about? Haha.  Have to keep my sense of humor, or I won’t make it!  Have a great day despite all the challenges.  And thank you for being one to tell me I’m not alone!  More another

Posted by gomommyez on Aug 27, 2014 at 6:42pm

I understand what you are saying.  Has it occurred to you that by making you “the problem” that your husband s deferring his requirement to check on himself?  Seriously, if you needed a new pair of glasses would he tell you that your eyes had no problems?  When did he acquire that medical degree?

If his response is based on the fact that the treating physicians for ADD are typically psychiatrists, then he does not know that it can and is often treated by neurologists, as well.  What he does not know and refused to understand is that it is problem for you and you want that to change.

Whether or not he has ADD is immaterial.  You do have it and you would probably benefit from treatment.  Does he control your doctor’s visits?  Hw absurd that would be.

Seek treatment because it is what you need, not for his benefit, but for your own.  You deserve a better view of yourself and a life that is well beyond what your spouse thinks is right or wrong with you.

If you needed medical attention for some other health problem, would he be this critical?  Besides, the only ones who have to know about your treatment is you, your doctor, and your pharmacist.

If he is worried about the “stigma” problem, then tell him to keep his mouth shut.  I mean, does he really get that intimately critical?  Improve your life as you wish.  Become who you were supposed to be.  Do not allow even your husband to rob you of your joy.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Aug 28, 2014 at 3:22am

Thank you for your reply!  Wow!  That hit home!  I was trying to describe the way I feel to him today and talked about my nervous system.  The fact that you mentioned neurologists treat ADD serves me justice.                            He’s the type of person who never goes to a Dr.  It is difficult to have a conversation with him because he confuses his opinions with facts.  It seems to me that he is critical of many things I stand for, at least that is how I process it.  He would deny that he does that.  In his mind he is protecting me, but, as I see it, he is protecting himself from me making changes. I have felt for quite some time that I could not count on him for support.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter.  I appreciate your points!  Very well put.

Posted by gomommyez on Aug 28, 2014 at 5:22am

I completely agree with Diane.  My husband tends to blame me for all the problems in our household (I recently learned that I have ADHD and our 10 yo was diagnosed a year ago as well).  It has been a tough few years even getting him to agree to treating her because he’s been worried about the stigma at school and what it will do to her self esteem, but I say that her self esteem couldn’t possibly get any worse!  We’ve been trying/adjusting her meds for 8 months and recently switched to a child psychiatrist (thank goodness we found him!) and I think we’re getting close.  I’ve also been able to FINALLY convince him to see a family therapist so we can address all these stresses as a family.  She also happens to be a marriage counselor, which can indirectly help (but I didn’t advertise that fact to him! Haha).  Just keep trying and whether or not you get your husband to buy in to the idea of you needing help, do it for yourself anyway.  It’s your life and your family.  If you have to do it alone, do it anyway!  Take care of you for you!!

Posted by eileeng on Sep 02, 2014 at 2:03pm

Thank you for addition to this discussion!  Well, I am going forward to seeing a Dr about my ADD this week.  My husband knows of my appointment and I am going to see how it goes with the Dr.  I need to do this.  I’ts time to try again.  I’ve been talking about the symptoms more frequently lately with the husband.  I’m trying to shed light on them so he can see their affects on me as opposed to his fears.  Luckily, he has some time off this week and has more time to listen!  Thank you.  I will take care of me for me.  Then I’ll be better equipped to take care of all the other stuff!  smile

Posted by gomommyez on Sep 03, 2014 at 1:15am

Good for you!  It takes time and a lot of patience on your part but I think your husband can gradually grow to accept your ADD (maybe not fully understand it, but come to terms with it at least).  There are a ton of books and resources online that may be able to help you explain it to him and the more he knows about it (it’s a real illness caused by the chemicals in your brain!  It’s not a character flaw! grin) he may not feel as threatened by it.  Good luck and take care of YOU!

Posted by eileeng on Sep 03, 2014 at 1:39am

Wow, I think Dianne of the Desert’s first comment deserves to be printed out and framed. Yes, yes it should be.

Posted by JavaMonster on Sep 03, 2014 at 4:00pm

Dianne of the Desert really did hit the mark!  I would agree with framing it.  And, I appreciate everyone who chimed in on the matter.  Thank you.

Posted by gomommyez on Sep 03, 2014 at 5:59pm

I have started the treatment and am feeling better. It’s been one week.  The husband has no complaints.

Posted by gomommyez on Sep 12, 2014 at 4:54pm

Good for you guys!  Thanks for letting us know how you’re doing. I hope things start to improve for you soon.  The meds are not a cure-all, but hopefully that and possibly some counseling can get you to your happiness.  Try tobe patient though and remember the old adage “Progress. Not perfection”.  grin

Posted by eileeng on Sep 12, 2014 at 11:59pm

I relate to this too. My husband doesn’t understand my ADD at all and is unwilling to try.

Posted by michelle f on Oct 20, 2014 at 12:58am

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