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Help, my spouse is not interested in learning about ADHD

Help, my spouse is not interested in learning about ADHD2013-11-30T00:15:22+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! No One Believes Me Help, my spouse is not interested in learning about ADHD

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    Rick had a good Webinar  called “Defending the Diagnosis” earlier this week.  Immediately after, I saw at least two people comment that they are unable to get their family, spouse, or whoever to watch any of the good videos on this site or otherwise learn about ADHD.  It’s also a problem that I have.  Education about ADHD is crucial to improving relationships.

    So who is having problems in this area and how do we get those important people in our lives to learn about how we are affected and how it affects them?

    Earlier, before the webinar, I had started trying to state the problem mentioned above for either a new thread, or message directed towards Rick as a suggestion for perhaps a future webinar.  I have  copied it below for those interested.  Warning: It’s not well stated, edited, or thought out, so feel free to skip it.

    Once you get your spouse (think spouse, parent, boss, . . .) to acknowledge that ADHD is bona fide and you have it, how do you get your spouse to learn about ADHD, how it affects the relationship involved, and what they, as your spouse, needs to be doing as “their part.” I think there is a lot of “if he/she would just take their meds, the problem would be fixed” mentality. As we know, things will never get much better until the spouse learns how ADHD is affecting behavior and the relationship and what their part is in coping with the disorder.
    On the first page of The ADHD effect on Marriage, Melissa Orlov writes “If you are married to a person who has (or might have) ADHD, …” and goes on to describe with shocking accuracy how things go in my own household. I don’t think my wife realizes (I didn’t) this stuff is ADHD related and not me acting lazy, crazy, or stupid.

    So I think what is needed are methods to get spouse inspired to get educated. At times, I can recognize my son’s behavior as being right off the pages of Hallowell’s book. I recognize it as ADHD and she sees it as him misbehaving “with malice aforethought.” Then wife gets pissed at me because I recognize it as ADHD and don’t respond. I believe that she still thinks that “trying harder” is one of the solutions for ADHD. It seems her interest in learning about ADHD is limited to the rare and often inaccurate reports that are aired on the TV.

    My wife was a RN, working in pediatrics, so she saw many kids with ADHD, mostly as a camp or school nurse. I believe she thinks she knows what ADHD is . . . and isn’t. If that were true, then she would understand why she has to remind be to do things, why I don’t remember details of conversations. etc. etc. I don’t think she has a clue as to how it affects me or my son other than in the most obvious ways. And strangely enough, while she is often “at the drop of a hat” trying to get pills down us for various and somewhat random reasons, she was opposed to ADHD meds for our son.

    Knowing that someone has ADHD is like saying that someone got shot. It really doesn’t tell you anything about the effect on that person or predict any personality traits. It is a many faceted condition that cannot be quickly or easily understood.



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    I had to skip your thing because I just don’t feel like reading it right now.

    My “significant other” has no interest whatsoever in learning about ADHD. Or anything else for that matter. No curiosity and no desire to know any more than what he knows.

    It was so funny when I was watching the DVD the ADHD doc gave me. They showed the home of one of the women they interviewed with the kitchen counters all cluttered up, dirty pots and pans everywhere, clothes all over the bedroom floor…. He looked over at the TV, looked at me, looked at the TV again, then pointed at me and said “You!”

    And  I replied “Yes, me. That’s  why I’m going to the doctor”.

    The next day he washed the pots and pans.

    So he has some basic understanding, which is likely all he will ever have. The real problem is the rest of my family. Even though they know and sort of understand they will never really get it. I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves can fully understand, even if they do watch the videos and read the books.

    i don’t know what to say. You can’t force someone to learn something they aren’t willing to learn. But you might be able to trick them into doing it……;)


    Post count: 158

    @kc5jck: Well, I have gone and bought the Kindle version of Melissa Orlov’s book so I could read the page you were talking about, and then another book by her and Hallowell about marriage in the age of distraction, skimmed through most of the first book, emailed 5 screenshots of a particularly poignant chapter to my partner, reflected on my previous marriage through Orlov’s writing and shed a couple of tears.

    All that hyperfocus “work” but I don’t have anything useful for you. Myself, I tend to go on monologues about ADD…probably leaving very little room for him to learn about it for himself. And rarely talk about it with anyone else.

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