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Couples With One ADHD Partner

taking the easy way out....or acceptance?

For myself growing up with add was difficult at times and I never really considered what I could and couldn’t do.  Teachers would always say, “If only he tried /harder,” ” It is as if he doesn’t care”  “If he only applied himself like the other students.”  As a Child not knowing I had ADD, my response was always that I did try hard, the more I tried the worse it appeared to get for example showing up at class with a pencil, taking notes, bringing the right books to class. 

Eventualy I just accepted that I am going to forget my pencils.  So I would get a stack of them and give them to a student closest as a way of…coping.

As an adult in a relationship, being the one with ADD.  There is the matter of financial bills and paying them on time.  Credit Cards, phone bills, hydro, groceries.  Well To be honest I more than often fall shy of carrying the family 50/50. 

I am at the point where I give up trying to be responsible, by keeping only enough for myself to get by for the next two weeks, and (keyword) automatic transfer most of the amount to my wife.  Who is wonderful at looking after these things.

Am I taking the easy way out?  Or just accepting the fact that I am not good at these sort of tasks, and finding a way to “cope” with it.


Many great doctors on this site have said finding the right spouse is the most important thing you can do.  You are coping…and in no way are you a cop out. Give yourself a break.  Who’s measuring stick are you using? 
Don’t get sucked into negative thinking…

Posted by jetergirl on Jul 30, 2014 at 10:34pm

I am the non ADHD wife and I take care of all our finances, insurance, et . I don’t consider it the easy way out for him as he does many of the things I don’t like to do like mow the lawn and empty the dishwasher and somehow that adhd brain knows how to fix simply anything. Even in ADHD marriages there is give and take. Married 32 years.

Posted by Lila on Jul 31, 2014 at 1:37am

I agree. ADHD marriages are give and take.  I handle paying all the bills (boring for hubby) and my ADHD hubby handles the long term investments (wicked boring for me).  I am in charge of the day to day running of the house (boring for hubby) and hubby is in charge of fixing anything that breaks (Thank God! because I cannot do it.). He mows the lawn, I weed the gardens, etc. Bottom line, he does things that I can’t or don’t like to do and I do things that he can’t or doesn’t like to do. That’s the way marriage works. Married 22 years.

Posted by Abner on Jul 31, 2014 at 1:49am

What happens when you can’t do something and your ADHD partner won’t do it because s/he finds it not to his/her liking?  Also, who does the job if it bores both of you (well, I really know the answer to that one, don’t I)?  And one last question, just for now:  what do you do when your ADHD partner starts a job, which is not in your area of expertise,  and then leaves it for 20+ years…pay someone to come and do it?

Posted by Maree on Jul 31, 2014 at 5:26pm

Maree, Yes, if something really bores both of us and I am able to do it, it usually falls to me. That is not entirely unfair though as he truly does maintain, fix or replace anything that needs it in the house, cars or other mechanical toys and tools that we have. If something needs to be done that I cannot do and hubby can but won’t I generally have four or five options. I can hire it out.  I can forget about it and work around it.  I can figure out a way to make it a problem for him, which often leads to the problem being solved by him. I can pick a day where he is hanging around with not much to do and make sure that he sees me trying to do it.  He usually reaches a point pretty quickly where he cannot stand to watch me do a botched job any longer and will step in, rescue me and finish the job. My fifth option is unfortunate, but true.  If I create a fight that gets his adrenaline going, that is usually enough to stimulate his brain so that the boring job can get done. I don’t like the fourth option because I don’t like fighting, but there have been a few times when desperate times called for desperate measures. Life is not perfect, you just do the best that you can.  ...And yes, if my hubby started something 20+ years ago that was beyond ability and I just had to see it completed, I’d give him a deadline telling him that 20+ years was long enough to wait and if it wasn’t finished by the deadline, I would hire it out.

Posted by Abner on Jul 31, 2014 at 8:57pm

It makes me feel tired.

Posted by Maree on Jul 31, 2014 at 9:37pm

Me too when its all spelled out.

Posted by Abner on Jul 31, 2014 at 9:56pm

For heavens sake do what you are good at!  And do muc of it. Have a conversation with your wife about it to make sure that you won’t be overloading her but figure out what you like to do, what you can do well, what gives you a sense of accomplishment even though it might be hard for you and you do those things.  You wife will pick up the slack most likely.  At least you are fully aware and not in denial or defensive which I have to commend you on.

But there is probably plenty that you can do to take responsibility that won’t stress you out.  It is stressful for your wife waiting for you to do things you know too, and hoping they will be done right/on time/in time, etc.  Life shouldn’t be stressful regarding taking care of your house, your things, your life.  Split the chores - forget equitable but talk openly together and go for what works without anyone feeling burdened.

Posted by YellaRyan on Aug 01, 2014 at 11:08pm

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