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Couples With One ADHD Partner

Why is it so hard/scary for men to get help?

Anyone’s input is fine, but if I could get a man’s perspective that would be great. I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that my husband has ADHD for years (married 13). But he finally listened when I tried to talk to him about it 2 yrs ago. He agreed to see a dr but the dr we saw said it was depression, we didn’t disagree, he had been making very bad decisions that were really hurting me and our marriage, so I’m sure he was depressed. But we both feel it’s more than that. But after that he said, well lets just say we’re 99% sure I have ADHD and deal with it the best we can. I don’t think I have to tell you that that hasn’t been working. Just in the past month somethings have happened that have pushed me to my limit. I love him very much and don’t want our marriage to end, but I can’t take much more of the hurt. So he agreed to see a different dr and do whatever it takes to treat it. But when I asked him how he felt about that he said he was scared to death. He has an appointment in 3 wks. Although I’m angry, resentful and hurt by his actions and enduring them for all these years, I still care about him and want to be supportive. Please help me understand.


It is perfectly natural to be scared.  And then go do it anyway.

His life will change for the better, particularly if they can find him a drug that works right away for him.

It is like admitting defeat for men or something.  But tell him it is the exact same thing as having diabetes - he has an organ that isn’t working properly and there are medications that will help it work properly.

And you know, I bet it feels enormous.  If you wear glasses it would be like someone saying to you “OK you are going to learn how to see better by talk therapy!”  It would seem impossible and weird and you might be skeptical it would work.  And the idea of being prescribed drugs for your brain is bloody scary!  Why wouldn’t it be?  Let him be scared but make sure he goes.

Posted by YellaRyan on Feb 26, 2014 at 1:12am

You are doing a great job of dealing with a very difficult situation.  I think spouses of ADHDers have many more challenges than with “normal” partners.  One would be the ADHD (and symptoms) itself and the second would be helping the partner to come to terms with having ADHD.  These are really two separate issues in my opinion. 

I am a man with ADHD.  It causes many stresses in my marriage, but mainly it is the emotional parts that wear on the marriage. I can get so high and low, like a yo-yo. 

So, I think medicine may help, but learning how the both of you can cope with his moods or acting out behaviors is really a big part of success with ADHD.  Finding a therapist who deals with ADHD and who could even see you as a couple, while perhaps a big step for you both right now, may be something to bring up once the meds get going.  Maybe the new doctor could recommend someone. 

I wish you both all the best with this.  It sounds like your husband is trying to hang in there and just might need some encouraging support from an ADHD expert.

Posted by Yamalen on Mar 11, 2014 at 5:16am

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