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Posted by Terri on January 28, 2000 at 12:07:28:

In Reply to: Re: Wife of ADD Husband posted by PattiL on January 24, 2000 at 19:39:58:

: : : Help! I am worn out dealing with ADD-I try to understand and try to accommodate and compromise-try to
: : : keep a sense of humor-try to "not sweat the small stuff" but it seems to be all one way. I am tired of job changes and moving-tired of conversations that last for a few seconds before he literally leaves the room-I am tired, just plain tired- any other spouses?
: : I am not an ADD spouse, but am the spouse with ADD. However, I have gained some insight that may be helpful to you. I have struggled my whole life to get better at just about everything. I have all the tapes and books on organization, housekeeping, etc. It's pretty sad when you know how things are suppose to be done, but you just can't seem to do it. A year ago, a friend approached me and told me in a nice way that she thought I was ADD. I think she was afraid that I would be upset, but I wasn't, because it fit and I never would of thought of it. You couldn't imagine how happy my husband and I were to hear this news. Finally a reason for all this. Just knowing is half the battle, actually knowing and accepting is half the battle. Getting back to your needs with your husband, he needs to realize and accept that he is ADD. Through all this, my husband and I for the first time understand where the other is coming from. Understanding on both sides is critical to a relationship. I understand how difficult and frustrating it has been for my husband and through continually working on new ways to combat this, I have been able to make many gains in the areas that have been most frustrating to my husband. It hasn't been easy. I have seven children, the oldest is mildly autistic and a very imature 17 year old, the youngest is 18 months and I have 1 diagnosed and two others being watched for ADD. I guess what I'm trying to impress upon you is that there is hope for your husband. He first will need to be willing to do something about it. You need to understand that life as an ADD person is (from my own experience, a nightmare)very difficult especially someone who is now an adult and had been struggling with this their entire life. Just as you need to reach out to him with understanding, he is going to have to understand how this has impacted you. I have watched my husband sink into his own little world for years knowing how unhappy he was living in this situation and not understanding why his wife couldn't follow the simple directions he gave. My side of this was feeling like a complete idiot who couldn't do a thing right and knowing that this was all my fault and I couldn't fix it. I have lived in fear for most of our married life that all my mistakes would send him out the door and if it weren't for the fact that I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and the fact that someone cared enough to bring this ADD to my attention even though she had no idea how I would react, our marriage would be on it's last limb. There has never been more hope for us. We go on dates regularly and although there is still much to be worked on, we are both happier than we've been in a very long time. A year later, I am still working hard at improving, but have done much better controlling my impulses (mainly to spend money) Just being aware of where my weaknesses lie, and there are many, I have been able to keep some control. There is hope. It is so sad to see lives destroyed by this, because it can be helped. I understand your plea for help, and if I can help your husband at all to understand what he can do to help himself and his family, my e-mail address is [email protected] I realize I have rambled on, but I really want to help other people work through this. I believe we are all here to help one another and together we can.

: My husband's situation is different from what I'm
: reading. He is the kind of person who always
: has to have something to look forward to. I can't bring any touch of reality to his fantasies
: of buying boats and cars etc. because that
: then brings him down to the depths of depression and I feel like a turd. I'm tired of
: being the "grownup" in charge of all the borig
: stuff. ADD people are often plagued by addictive behaviors and my husband seems
: to latch onto anything that will bring him a
: release from the realities of life. he has used
: drugs, sex, drinking, spending money etc. to
: give him relief. He is taking Adderall but it
: hasn't stopped the addictions. He also is
: exhausted if he doesn';t take his medicine and
: he will sometimes take an extra dose if he's
: feeling tired and unfocused.:

Sometimes I feel so helpless in giving advice here, but I'll see what I can do.
I can understand where your husbands behavior stems from, unfortunately he has to be the one to understand that. The Adderall from my experience will only help him focus. It will not fix the impulsivities and goodness knows I could give you a list of what else it won't fix.
I know a lot of what I have posted sounds so easy, but believe me it hasn't been. Based on what you have shared, my advice would be (for the benefit of your relationship) to get him to go to therapy or to go together so he doesn't get depressed and think it's all him. You will probably need to humor him in this. He may not want anything to do with it, but I think he needs someone who will help him to realize where his behavior stems from and how he can go about fulfilling the needs he has that will be best for himself as well as you. I think it will make more of a strain on your marriage to try to tackle this yourself. If he won't go to a counselor, you may want to confide in a family member or friend who will be objective (I realize this may not be an option, but I'm hoping I can come up with something that will help you)and who would be willing to talk with your husband in a kind way, a way that your husband would respond to. Sometimes if a friend pretends he has a similar problem and asks the other person for advice, then that person realizes that this sounds a lot like himself and he sees that his friend is really in pain over this and maybe his family might be going through the same thing. I don't know, this is just a stab in the dark. I don't know your husband, so I couldn't say what he would respond to, but I would think hard about what appeals to him and how you could use that to get him to realize his behavior (he has to be the one who sees the problem; noone likes to be told they have a problem whether they are ADD or not), but I really think a third party is the one who may get through to him.
I don't know if any of this helps and I certainly don't want to seem insensitive, but I guess this is the best I can come up with at the moment.

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