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ADHD in Women

Spouse not interested to understand ADHD

This would be my first time to post!  Hmm - I am in a situation where my husband of 15 years have said he is not interested in understanding ADHD and how it affects our lives.  My son, 8 have recently been diagnosed with ADHD, and as a result I discovered I had ADHD!

I never knew I had it for years (I am 44).  This has proved to be a journey for me - a positive one! 

I am very very sad that my precious husband doesn’t wish to understand or read articles or discuss anything related to ADHD.  For me, it is quite important for him to do so in order to provide support for me as well as my son.

I do not know how I should handle it - I have kept telling him how important for me that he show an effort.  I have even told him to leave, as I felt that my thoughts or feelings were not validated.  It is very hard on me.

Anyway, I am wondering if anyone have experience something like this?

Thank you.


I am so sorry you are going through this.  It is very frustrating when your thoughts and feelings are not validated.  I know how it feels.  Many times when speaking with my husband he misinterprets what I say.  I immediately clarify what I was trying to convey but he still gets upset with me.  He feels that I should always say exactly what I mean.  What I want to say doesn’t always come how the way I want it to.  This leads to many arguments.

My husband has read a bit about ADD but he always thinks I use it as an excuse.  I do love him and will keep trying to work this out. 

You refer to your husband as “precious” so you must love him very much and I am sure he has a lot of good qualities.  Did he tell you why he isn’t interested?  Perhaps you can find other ways to make him understand how important this is to you, especially since your son has ADHD. Keep trying. I hope he changes his views on this because it’s very difficult not having your partner’s support.  We need the people that care about us to understand this.

Posted by beth158 on Jan 17, 2014 at 7:51pm

I have been where you are.  My husband never believed mental illness existed.  To him it was an excuse.  We truly love one another and have been married now 17 years.  Everyday I believe he understands and accepts my illness a little more.  The biggest thing I have learned through the years is unless you have suffered with depression, ADD, etc., you will never be able to understand it.  All we can do is educate the people we love slowly, teach them this is who we are, and that we as a team need to support each other even when we may not understand.  smile

Posted by Katt on Jan 17, 2014 at 8:51pm

I am in the same position as you are. My husband think that this is only an excuse for me especially when I forget something, when I do something wrong in his opinion. This became a source of disputes for two of us. Talk does not help, he is convinced that ADD is just the excuse. Do anybody has an advice how to resolve this ?

Posted by alina on Jan 17, 2014 at 9:27pm

I agree with Katt .. . all we can do is educate the people we love slowly . . . .  It can be so hurtful and frustrating for us when people don’t “get” us but I guess it’s frustrating for them too. I am grateful we have this forum to express ourselves and get support from each other.  We have to keep working on ourselves too. Some days are better than others.  I love those days or I should say moments when I’m 100% focused and in the moment cause there are many other times I feel like I’m in a fog.

Thanks for listening.

Posted by beth158 on Jan 17, 2014 at 10:11pm

I dealt with this for years and finally threw my hands in the air and told my husband that he was on his own—I was going to do what I had to do so that I could do better and feel better about myself.

I talked to my doctor (MD and PhD) and my therapist about the situation.  Both of them said the same thing.  “You are the one dealing with the problem.  Make it your priority to do all that you can to make your life what it can be without waiting for your husband to acknowledge that you are doing anything.  If he wishes to come along for the ride, you will be ready for him to join you.” 

My life with ADD has not been easy, and until the past 17 years, it was not fun either.  Now?  He gets it where my ADD foibles are concerned, and I get it when he sort of cocks his head with big questions in his eyes.  It is a learning experience and even if he had not encouraged me, he would still have seen the progress…

For the present, let him be.  You concentrate on what you need to do for you and your child.  Your husband will figure it out in time. 

Dianne in the desert

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Jan 18, 2014 at 8:46am

I feel the same way, he didn’t bat an eye when I was diagnosed, though I’d been mentioned if if for a couple months prior.  Even now, he gets irritated with me, I never bring it up tho I want to, my son has adhd and he gets irritated with him as well…

Posted by Starla571 on Jan 18, 2014 at 9:27am

I found out l was adhd about5 years ago when l was 50.  My husband assumed that by taking the meditation my troubles were over.  2 1/2 years ago he moved out and sø my life is much better not having a terrier constantly yapping at my heels.  We have a son together who thankfully doesent suffer with adhd.  Life is still difficult but l havent got the bickering and fighting any more.  Next job is to divorce him!!!

Posted by fudgee on Jan 19, 2014 at 9:31pm

Hi Greenie.  If you are newly diagnosed your husband may be in denial and he’s probably scared.  The woman is usually the rock in the home.  My husband never showed much interest either, but here’s what I do.  If I find a SHORT passage in an ADD book I am reading, I copy the page that applies to my behavior (and affects my husband) and the strategy for overcoming it.  I highlight it.  The key is short.  When he’s watching tv, I just say “hon, do me a favor, please read this.  It won’t take you more than 10 seconds”.  And then I lay it on the coffee table in front of him and walk away.  I walk away because to be stubborn, he probably won’t read it in front of me.  This is working for me.  I copied a passage about how something I am looking for must be in the same place always and that it cannot change it’s look, or I won’t see it.  Keys, for example.  He usually leaves the keys to his car in a different place than where I keep my keys and that place can change.  So, if I have to use his car, I can never find his keys and I have to call him.  That irritates him.  Well, the next time I needed his car, by habit I went to the place where I keep MY keys and, viola, there were his keys waiting for me!  I didn’t have to call him and it made him very happy!!!  If you introduce small snippets that will help him understand you, he just may “get it”.  Mine is finally starting to get it (married 17 years).  He is realizing that there are very small changes that he, too, can make to make my life easier.  And, as a result, our relationship is better now.  It sounds like you really love your husband and want to help him understand you.  Maybe try my strategy.  The key is very small snippets that he can read in less than a minute.  Good luck.  If you try this, I hope it works for you.  Keep us posted.

Posted by ShihTzumama on Jan 20, 2014 at 1:15am

Never allow waiting to become a habit. That is the key problem, ShihTzumama, you say it quite clear: he just may “get it”. What to do if he just doesn’t get it ?

Posted by alina on Jun 19, 2014 at 1:17am

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