Good afternoon, my distracted friends…
Long time listener, first time poster.
As the title states, I’ve been married to my high-school sweetheart for the last 17 years, I’m now 35 and we have 5 kids. The oldest is 16 (f), and the youngest is 6 (first boy). I was diagnosed with ADD 2 years ago and have been on Vyvanse ever since.
Here’s the rub: I have had, in my opinion, the best two years of my life, personally and professionally, since I started taking the script. The first few months on it felt like the most rapid maturation process I’ve ever been through as an individual.
My “short term vision impairment” was lifted and all of a sudden, I started really acting like an adult, planning for the future, getting stuff done instead of waiting for it to pile up, executing strategies and seeing things through. My personal relationships became more valuable to me and I began putting more effort and attention on cultivating them.
I also started to “give more of a crap” in regards to the state of my home…
Here’s the rub:
My wife thinks that Vyvanse has made me more irritable. In her words, she says she wishes that I wasn’t on it because I’m more difficult to get along with now.
For context, my wife and I come from very traditional, Christian upbringings, and we both agree that, for us, the traditional model of marriage and the roles of the husband and wife in that model, are both the model that we try to uphold. (i.e. – the husband brings home the bread, the wife tends to the house and the kids, and decisions of importance are hashed out, mutual agreement is sought but not mandatory, ultimately, the responsibility and authority ends with husband) Please don’t start flaming me on that last part… I only mentioned it to lead to this next point.
It is my opinion, through my own observation, that during the first 15 years, my “patience” with things like 2 months worth of laundry stacked in piles in the side room, 6 week dusting/sweeping rotations, homeschool clutter, and only once or twice a week fresh cooked meals, was not so much patience as intentional oversight. My wife once bragged to her sister that I “Never complained about stuff like that.”
I believe, however, that the reason I didn’t complain, wasn’t because it didn’t bother me. It was because I didn’t want to trigger reciprocity from her and her unmet expectations.
In other words, “I won’t complain about the dishes in the sink from two days ago while you play Words with Friends, if you don’t complain about the yard not being mowed while I sit here and waste time on this video game.”
Anyway, since starting Vyvanse, I am not the lazy, irresponsible guy that I feel like I once was. I’m far more likely to get up and start and then complete a project instead of procrastinating until the last minute. (Case in point, patched some drywall this past weekend and got it all painted up…that’s something that in the past would have waited until we were moving out of a place…) I don’t know if I notice the messes and the unmet expectations more now because of Vyvanse, or if I’m just not afraid anymore of being held accountable to her expectations, because I feel more equipped and willing to rise up to try to meet them…
Since February 10, we’ve fought and fought, only about 4 or 5 days of peace. In our marriage, fights have usually only lasted 3 days at most. We’re scheduled for counseling in a couple days and we’re both looking forward to it. It’ll be our first time since pre-marital.
I’d love to hear from other adult diagnosed ADD folks on here regarding how their marriage handled the adjustment to receiving treatment.
Any other feedback is welcome! Feminist and egalitarianism comments, notwithstanding. 🙂 We are both, truly both, happy with our views on our roles and relationship/family structure.
I look forward to reading your responses.
Thank you!That Guy with ADHDParticipant
Thanks for posting a very good question. While I can’t help with an experienced opinion I can say that I am generally a very laid back guy and would either overlook or forget about anything like chores not being done. In fact I usually blame myself if my wife wasn’t able to prepare a meal or do laundry as if it was somehow my fault. So if things aren’t getting done I end up doing it. Unlike you I haven’t found a medication that works but wonder how my relationship might change if I finally find the right prescription. I could easily see myself having feelings similar to yours. The transition can’t be easy for either of you. Switching gears after 17 years may put some stress on the clutch and grind a few teeth before you settle into a new one.
I’m sure there are others in the community that might have similar experiences.
AKA That Guy with ADHDsoulmantraParticipant
hard to believe the similarities to my own situation in many ways.
except my wife was completely UNsupportive of even the possibility that ADD was something i was struggling with despite often complaining about me never being able to finish anything and time just disappearing, etc.
i first started learning about ADD / ADHD because i saw my daughter struggling with things around age 4 or 5 that i still struggle with today in my late 30s! i use the term ADD to describe myself mostly because i don’t have the hyperactive component and she is very much the same. i first started reading and watching videos because of a chance sighting of the ADD AND LOVING IT video at my local library after ADD was already on my radar because of another few happy coincidences. that was 3 or 4 years ago… it took me awhile but as i learned more and more i became positive that i had it and started trying to implement strategies long prior to any medication.
JUST KNOWING made a huge difference long before the medication… i started realizing how much of my time and energy were being wasted just treading water and started to make changes in my life and my behavior. of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing and old habits are hard to break but even when i would really fail at something… i could understand why and see where i went wrong and ignored my own best interest because i got carried away.
my wife works full time and i was working part time and taking care of the kids most of the time and just over a year ago (along with many things that have nothing to do with ADD) i came to the conclusion that she needed to leave our home. in a relatively calm and collected manner i made it very clear to her that she would be moving out as soon as possible.
that was january 2017.
she was gone by february 2017.
by march 2017… i was FINALLY able to get in to see a psychiatrist and he immediately started me on concerta.
even though she was gone when i started taking the medication itself… i definitely can relate to your feelings of not really expecting much before and now expecting more of yourself and actually delivering on those expectations.
it feels great!
but sometimes when people slow us down when we’re on a roll… we don’t just derail and get distracted any more because we actually remember we had a purpose… then we get annoyed that somebody or something is in the way of getting that job done. i believe it’s very common.
i have less experience with you on medication but i have tried concerta and vyvanse and ritalin and found concerta to be the best for me so far… but even within concerta the days can vary SOOO MUCH! some days i can tell the dose is too much and i am almost back to being lazy and accomplish nothing because i am almost overstimulated to the point that i’m not stimulated at all (if that makes sense). other days it fires me up just enough to feel almost the same as if i was taking nothing… just buzzing around doing a million things but the difference is that i actually finish things on medication where as i never did without it. then there are the days where i am able to match things perfectly and don’t attempt too much but finish all or almost all of what i need to and feel very satisfied.
when i say the “dose is too much” i really don’t mean it changes… there can be 10 days where i take the same dose (or doses) at the same time of day, etc. and some days it just works and other days it doesn’t. sleep (or lack of), the situations i know are coming, the surprises, all factor in. whether i remember to take my L-tyrosine makes a big difference for me too. some 10 day periods i might only feel like we got it right for 3 or the days… other periods it could be 7 or 8!
with my psychiatrist we have tried customizing things and honestly i am finding some days less is better for getting things done… but more is better for keeping me calmer and less argumentative. kinda weird to write that as i just sort of figured that out while i was typing this and reflecting on the last few months.
i’m talking all concerta here though with some ritalin here and there depending on the day.
vyvanse for me was horrendous… it was alright while it was working but as it started to wear off i was the biggest space cadet ever!
staring into cupboards, lost in thought… and then at nighttime… oh the binge eating festivals!!! after i looked into it a bit i saw it was sometimes used to treat binge eating??? well for me it induced binge eating to the extreme!!! needless to say that one didn’t stay in the medicine cabinet too long.
i wondering if you could try adjusting the dose a little to see if a bit more or a bit less would help with the irritability, etc.?
maybe even just for certain days depending what you had going on?
might be worth asking your psychiatrist.
i have never been happier and having my wife out of the house is the best thing i could have done… the struggles with ADD and single parenting 85% of the time are very real and i am constantly working to get better but at least i don’t have to fight against somebody who wasn’t supportive of me wanting to do better for myself and my family. i have really noticed that waaay too many people are too content to just do things as they always have for no other reason and they get pretty uppity when you challenge that status quo. an example, when i stopped drinking just because it wasn’t helping me in any way and usually made the ADD worse in many ways… SOOOOOOOOOOOO many people just came out of the blue to attack me because they were feeling judged or guilty or deep down they wanted to drink less or something. it was just bizarre… people would seek me out to tell me i was wrong when i have no idea how they even knew because i wasn’t even telling anybody or making a show of it (other than obviously not having a drink in my hand). mostly my wife had a HUGE problem with it and she was telling people and resenting me.
holy novel batman… my medication is wearing / worn off and i’m off in tangentland!!!
sorry about all that… just some things to think about that are kinda sorta related.
i’m certainly not encouraging you to “drop the dead weight” like i did because our situations are radically different in many ways… but just another perspective from somebody on a similar ride.
hope your next few years are even better…
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