Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums For The Non-ADD Other Understanding a partner with ADHD

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 39 total)
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  • Anonymous
    #88141 |

    When my partner first got diagnosed, I was relieved. Now and then when I get angry, I am able to remind myself it’s partly how he is wired. But sometimes he uses it as an excuse, to avoid stuff he’s not good at or doesn’t like, and I tell him that. I understand some things are harder for him, some things are agony, but there are others that with a little effort he can plow her way through. I really love it when he accomplishes stuff he thought he’d never be able to do.

    #91545 |

    It is really about speaking to his strengths rather than worrying about his weaknesses. Hey, we all have weaknesses. I constantly forget the names of my own children…..so I just number them now.

    #91546 |

    I have a partner who really wanted me to be perfectly fine in the psychological way and emtionnally because of shame he would have to have married let s say someone diffrent

    It took him many years to finally realize I was not as organized as my IQ and general personnality might have suggest and he decided now that instead of accepted me the way I am he can t live with an unstable person anymore

    But I am stable in a way as I am never perfectly organized in things I do occasionnaly

    and I can t multitask easily without missing little things

    but In guess he can t deal with some outburst I had in the past

    I really do my best everyday especially because we have a daughter who has ADHD and I want to be a good and courageous role model for her who works so hard in her high school but sometimes I believe my husband and I are not setting the right example for her,

    It is difficult not to be accepted to way we are

    He deals badly with my weakness so then how she will perceive that for her own future relationship?

    #91547 |

    I would love to hear the experiences of spouses as their partners go through drug trials. It is a slow process and frustrating. It is hard to find things to do that are helpful at this stage.

    #91548 |

    One thing you can do is to understand that it is frustrating to ‘us’ too! We’re trying our best to improve our lives as much as we can, and the ‘pat on the back’ is what helps to make the smile go the face! If you see more patience, being on time more often, remembering appointments/where the keys are/names, or any other ‘mild’ improvements, the best thing you can do is say congradulations in any way you can. This includes leaving a little note on a sticky pad, a kiss with a “Good job on your…”, etc. It might help to make it so that she’s more relaxed and not feeling like there’s no end to the search!

    You might want to tell her doctor, (be it psych or regular), what the times are like if you can’t find a solution here.

    But, just telling her how you feel and the both of you sitting down and coming up with a problem solver in a way that would be the best for the both of you might be the only way that can find the things to do that are helpfull!

    #91549 |

    It may sound trite, but when I’m down or ‘suffering,’ I remind myself I live in the best country in the world, in one of the safest societies in history, with the best medical care, grocery stores full of foods that the richest Kings and Queens could not have imagined even a century ago, with a home full of conveniences that would have seemed like science fiction to my grandfather. It’s everywhere. I look at the traffic lights on the way home and imagine all the work it took to design and build and install them. All the people who did their part to make the drive safe. Heck, look at all the people on this website sharing and supporting each other.

    If your partner is trying to transform themselves and has setbacks, you can pat them on the back for taking it on in the first place, and for sticking with it going forward. Some of this stuff is like learning to walk. It can take years. You have to learn a whole new way of doing things. And forget a lifetime of doing them the other way. Making habits means breaking old habits. Anyone who takes that on deserves a pat on the back.

    #91550 |

    My advice to anyone who is in a relationship where the non ADDer is not accepting and supportive is to separate/divorce ! It was the turnaround I needed and really helped me to become the strong independent woman I always knew myself to be before I met my ex

    husband .I have recently met someone who has a better understanding of my ADHD but I am not sure that I would ever share my space with a partner on a regular basis again ! Self acceptance and the need to be myself is of paramount importance to me !

    My son who also has ADHD has a better attitude towards me now than when we were all together when he was becoming just as condescending as his father ! Our children need positive role models and that means happy parents whether they are together or not !

    From what I have seen and read it is more likely that a man with add/adhd will have more success in relationships as women tend to be more empathetic and caring and also the men get to go to work and are less likely to be bogged down with household chores !

    #91551 |

    By the way, you don’t have to be with someone who has ADHD. As long as they understand it, appreciate it, and allow for it.

    Even better, if they are supportive! Also, it’s interesting how dismissive and nasty people can be about ADHD. The question to ask is, “Why?” Why, with all the stuff that’s going on in the world, do you get so steamed about this? Like asking, why do Televanglists rail against sin or homosexuals… And whaddya know, a year later they’re caught in a washroom with a Teamster.

    #91552 |

    Rick, you posted when I am down or suffering. Do you mean by your condition or just in general? I have times like that and call it similar things but I am trying to figure that part out. Its not like me at all but there are “times”.

    #91553 |

    Dr. J made a really good point with we can all dwell on our weaknesses whether we have adhd or not. I can sit at this computer and feel horrible that I have this terrible affliction called adhd or I can say tis who I am which is more important then picking on the fact that I lost my keys this morning again. What is always important to me is ME and when I can realize that it is a gift and I have survived it then look at what good there is otherwise I’ll stick my head in the sand and life is far too short. My thoughts have always been to live for today, can’t regret yesterday and I still have more hours to make a better today which will be yesterday and I know I created it.

    The other thought I would give you is please compare yourself to another person with adhd and not a non-adhder only because it isn’t the same and you can’t and will not have the same experiences or thoughts.

    Enjoy the life you have today because it is the only one you have today.


    #91554 |

    Question;; How do we get family, spouse and friends to acknowledge that ADHD is for real? I’m 54 and been married 25 years

    and I still don’t feel people believe in ADHD. My brother calls it that alphabet thing, my mother calls it that abcd thing and I

    sometimes get the feeling everybody is fed up with me but they don’t know what to do with me. My wife has actually run me

    through any published tests including answering for me and I always score very near perfect. But still she refuses to accept

    that I’m differant. Of course being a guy is the first strike and ADHD is a very big second strike. How do we educate the people

    closest to us that we are differant and it can’t change with wishful thinking. I don’t drink, smoke or use drugs. I avoid any

    stimulants like caffine,alcohol and sugar and yet the ADHD still wins on a regular basis [daily] If others understood what

    I’m dealing with they could be supportive instead of critical or judgemental. Any suggestions, information would be greatly

    appreciated. Can adults get a professional diagnosis or is it to late. My nephew was diagnosed as a child and he is very much

    like me.

    #91555 |

    Hi, Terry!

    You’ve have taken the first step. This is the best source of adult ADD information I have come across.

    I think the next step would be to suggest seeing the documentary “ADD and Loving It!”. Tell them about this website. Tell them the stories from all the people on this forum who are struggling every day with the same thing you are. You are not alone. After that, you can only hope that some of this got through. And remind them to be open minded: adult ADD is a relatively new diagnosis.

    It’s your “brainstyle” and you cannot change that, but you can change how to manage it. I was diagnosed at 57, just a few months ago. I have told my closest friends (to help explain to them why I did what I did back then…). I still haven’t disclosed to my immediate family, only because my ADD hasn’t really hasn’t impacted on them. I’m not in jail, or living in the streets, a compulsive gambler or a dope addict. So the family unit is basically intact…although disfunctional.

    Yes, I’m going through the same thing. Since it is genetic, my wife sees ADD symptoms in my mother and brother. But, apparently, they are content dealing with their lives the way they are now. Obviously they never had an existential crisis to cause them to re-evaluate things. I have them a lot. Not as much now that I know what my root cause is.

    I just had a thought (that’s what happens with our brains!)!

    How about a “reverse intervention?” Maybe have all the skeptics around you over for a party and spring the documentary on them?

    I’m thinking the “Inspector Hercule Poirot (Murder on the Orient Express, et,al) approach”: “You are all wondering why I called you here” sort of thing. Then show the documentary. It may just work. At this point, what have you got to loose?

    As to being too late. In my case: Nope!

    You can get a professional diagnosis. I have and it’s like being born again with new awareness and new skills and new eyes. While I still struggle adapting my new coping skills such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), meditation, study of Taoism into my new life, I am making slow, steady improvements in my habits and I am seeing significant changes. And I tell myself everyday “This, too, shall pass”. I’ve even picked up my hobbies again, and THAT is a great form of meditation.

    And this too must be said. Your about my age. So we have a lot a baggage about how people and the world has treated us in general. In my case….well, let’s just say I wish it were better. The hard part will be letting all that go. We each have about 50 years of it; realize that may take a long time with some setbacks along the way.

    Another benefit I have noticed and like is that I understand what it is to be “different” and have a great deal more compassion for anyone who ‘”doesn’t fit in”. Whether it’s a different race, culture, lifestyle, sexual orientation, or disability. I feel more for them than I do for “normals”. Normals don’t need my compassion anyhow…they do just fine in this world.

    So you see, it’s never too late. It’s gonna take a lot of “blood, sweat, tears and toil”…well maybe not the blood part, but you get my drift. You are going to have to advocate for yourself in this. Mr Green has said in one of his “Rants” that you may have to educate your doctor about this. As I said, adult ADD in a new specialty, so don’t be surprised that you may encounter disbelief from some medical professionals. Keep plugging away or change doctors until you get the answers you need.

    Hope this helps…and good luck!

    Let us know how things are going.

    #91556 |

    “Understanding” a partner with ADD/ADHD?! It’s a world of contradiction; chaos, highs and lows, full of emotion with laughter and tears, great intentions with poor execution, never boring but conversely never peaceful and stable, spontaneous but always on the edge of poor impulse control, sensitive and tender, sweet and kind, egocentric, heart-wrenching because it “just misses” being great. It is one big emotional rollercoaster ride; the ups are high and the downs are really low. Yes, I am the non-ADDer married to an ADDer for almost 2 decades and we’ve recently parted ways, primarily related to addictions that I know co-exist with his ADD. I was filled with hope 5 years ago with his diagnosis because it gave me answers and rationale for the very irrationale choices he made and things he did. For awhile there Concerta saved our marriage! Conversely, he was filled with devastation at the “what could have been” had he had the diagnosis as a child as well as having a psychiatric disorder. Unfortunately, it took me years to realize that no matter how much I supported or cared, what resources I found, how hard I fought for my family, it comes back to the old saying; you can lead a horse to water but cannot make him drink. He must choose to help himself. So a question for the ADDers ; can I do anything else as one last attempt to help him help himself? Has anyone out there done inpatient treatment or retreats to learn ADD management?

    On the flipside, our teenaged daughter is everything beautiful and positive about ADD so I can live with an ADDer and embrace it!

    #91557 |


    I would suggest that, if he is avoiding doing something he doesn’t like and “making excuses”, perhaps changing which responsibilities you each have might be the solution?

    For instance, I can’t clean out the vacuum cleaner bag. Can’t do it. I had hot flashes the last time that much dust came in contact with my skin. My partner can’t tolerate the smell of the cat’s litter tray. So, I’m not expected to clean out the vacuum cleaner and he’s not expected to clean out the litter trays.

    Or maybe the things he avoids are in parts – perhaps he might find part of the activity less painful than another part? He might do the part he’s comfortable with and you take over the rest?

    We all love to see the people we care about achieveing things which were a challenge to them, but often being expected to do things that are difficult can cause undue stress. If he keeps seeing you accomplish a task without fuss and without feeling pressure to do the same, he may start to feel less anxious of failing at it and be more likely to want to try it out. The condition there, of course, would be that you don’t make him feel bad if it isn’t accomplished to perfection :-p

    Rather than getting frustrated with things he avoids doing, try to find other ways of balancing it out. It’s about reducing stress and, as Dr J said, playing to each others’ strengths.

    #91558 |

    I remember how hard it was when I first got married. My wife and I ended up going to marriage counseling in order to get on the same page regarding my ADHD. I was accusing her of being unreasonable and she was accusing me of making excuses. It turns out we were both partially right. Once we became better at communication we were better able to come up with compromises that satisfied us both. I came to realize her frustration with my inattention and the unbalanced work load and she was better able to understand that I wasn’t intentionally trying to do some of the things I was doing. We STILL have some problems in this area but we handle them a lot better now. She still gets angry at times but that is a natural response for any human. We just talk about it more now.

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