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ADHD husband won't consider treatment

ADHD husband won't consider treatment2013-06-18T19:38:09+00:00

The Forums Forums For The Non-ADD I Married An ADDer ADHD husband won't consider treatment

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    My husband was diagnosed at age 59, 6.5 years into our marriage. It explained so much – why he was romantic while we dated, but turned sarcastic, angry, judgmental, etc soon after we married.

    I may have mild ADHD – it runs in my family too – and I’m working on getting diagnosed.

    I’ve suggested couples counseling, so that we can harmonize our two different ways of looking at the world, but he “has no use for counselors.” He won’t even talk about meds. He won’t make time to go back to the computer training for working memory, which he liked and said helped. We can’t talk about ADHD, unless it’s about how it makes him a genius.

    I hold down the household, and he complains that I don’t know how to have fun. I clean the house, and he instantly generates another mountain of clutter. I’m trying to keep up with bills and he buys more tools for the workshop that he doesn’t have time to organize so that he can actually use it.

    Wits end!


    Post count: 445

    Oddduck— You say, “We can’t talk about ADHD, unless it’s about how it makes him a genius.” Where have we heard that before? And what to do when ADDers are convinced they possess “superhuman” mental agility but then curiously are completely unable to see the (glaring) chaos and wreckage they leave in their wakes—or don’t care. In one of his videos, Russell Barkley says he frequently sees this disconnect in interviews with ADDers, their spouses and parents during longitudinal studies. Your experience is just one more example. I don’t know how you sort out serious ADD issues when ADDers simply refuse to believe they’ve got a problem and need help. Maybe somebody who’s had some success can offer some advice…


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    @Oddduck, ADHD does give you incredible strengths.  The paradox is that it also gives you incredible weaknesses, so you need to learn how to work with both.  It doesn’t matter how many talents you have, if you can’t use them.  And relationships are a particularly tricky area.

    Please read Melissa Orlov’s book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage (http://totallyaddshop.com/products/the-adhd-effect-on-marriage-understand-and-rebuild-your-relationship-in-six-steps-paperback#.UcHWXra9KSM).

    It’s tremendously insightful, because it’s based on her own experience as a non-ADDer married to an ADDer.  That relationship began so well, and evolved into the toxic situation that so many “ADHD mixed marriages” and relationships do.

    On the verge of divorce, she and her husband realized they still had a choice: give up and walk away, or try something new:  work together to try to get back the deep love they’d had when they first met.  They resolved to try.

    It was NOT easy, but they did it.  And it worked.


    My own parents have an “ADHD mixed marriage”, and it’s been so toxic for so long, that it’s a nightmare.  Their 50th anniversary is this summer, and they have insisted on NO celebration at all, because there is NOTHING to celebrate.

    I was diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago, and my brother and I know that I inherited it from Mom.  But she has always refused to get a diagnosis…until now. Her appointment is in July.

    What changed her mind?  I think, as I’ve been sharing with her what I’ve been learning and how I’m growing since my diagnosis, she’s seeing that a diagnosis brings many things, including hope that things can and will get better.


    Melissa Orlov is the special guest at tonight’s free webinar, at 8:00 pm EDT.

    Register in advance on the TotallyADD Webinars page, and do attend…with your husband, if possible. Tell him it’ll be fun…ALL of the TotallyADD webinars are fun. And you learn stuff, too (but you don’t have to tell him about that part).


    Post count: 2

    Back in 2009, when he got diagnosed, he insisted that I read “Driven to Distraction,” which I did. The chapter on relationship issues hit me like the proverbial ton. But when I suggested we start couples counseling, or at least sit down together to talk about it, he flat out refused. Each time I’d say, “… the book says …”, he’d say, “Get your head out of the book!” The book he insisted that I read.

    I have since read “Delivered from Distraction,” and he refused to read it because one of the many suggestions is meds.

    I bought “The ADHD Affect on Marriage” in 2011 and have read it twice. He has refused to read it. He explicitly refused even to “participate” in any of the more benign techniques in the book, like the box for keeping track of household tasks. To him, that’s just another example of how I’m too “square peg,” too “agendized.”

    I bought “Is it You, Me, or Adult ADD,” and he’s refused to read it because the author encourages trying meds. BTW, this book says that spouses of ADDers have a higher incidence of Crohn’s and other digestive disorders. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, closely related to Crohn’s, five years into the marriage and two years before he was diagnosed with ADHD.

    I’ve bought “ADD Stole My Car Keys.” He says he’d like to read it. At the moment, I’ve lent it to my Mom, to see if she has any insight into how I was  as a kid. I’m trying to see if I really have mild ADHD, like I think I do.

    I’ve been in indiv counseling a couple of times, but since he refuses counseling of any sort, there’s only so much I can do.

    So, no discussions about ADHD happen if there’s any hint that it makes him less than amazing, or if it suggests that he needs to change in any way. I’m starting to fear that the only way to get through to him is to kick him out. And even then, he may simply see it as more proof of my shortcomings.

    Please pray for us, if you’re inclined!

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