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Posted by ckinusa on May 30, 2000 at 09:34:41:

In Reply to: spouse with ADD tip-seaker posted by bettyp13 on May 26, 2000 at 21:58:01:

: my beau is in the first stage of seeking professional help and being diagnosed/then treated with a # of things, one being ADD. i've read quite a bit about it...and i'm wondering if anyone who's non-ADD with an ADD-spouse has some specific tips regarding how to most effectively and lovingly handle the constant changing/cancellations of plans and impulsivity (both with the spending and inappropriate remarks) while he's starting to learn about himself/slowly get treatment/make positive changes in his life. His ADD and emotional problems have time and time again nearly destroyed our relationship despite how much we love one another and want to be together. We are both trying our best...I have the big answers...I'm looking more for simple advice on things like--is it best to let him 'forget' or 'get distracted' from the plans he's made with me and mess them up by taking a hands off approach...or can one lovingly find subtle ways to 'remind' him of things he's scheduled (since he has such trouble keeping track of his schedule) like saying or leaving a message 'i'm looking forward to seeing you saturday...blah blah'. And with the impulsivity...often I can let it roll off me and find responses that are mellow or humorous, but sometimes it's like fielding torpedos all day long and really exhausting. Why does it matter? because it's when he acts on this stuff that he constantly gets himself into trouble and ruins our relationship because he can't handle the situations he finds himself in and our relationship becomes the victim of his problems. Anyway, I realize that's a long post, but in the 3 books I've read nowhere does it give specific tips on good ways to deal with that stuff. Anything would be appreciated. Obviously it's a fine line because I'm not interested in running his life or telling him what to do, I'm interested in sharing with him and caring about him/myself/us and allowing our relationship to thrive despite the process he's going through. Oh, also, since he ends conversations about emotional stuff abruptly--any tips for how to deal with that? thanks..

Being a wife to an ADD husband of 13 years and a son (9) with ADHD, I can clearly relate. The best advise to you I can suggest is how about a support system for you. CHADD, organizations offer wonderful support groups for the people involved with ADD/ ADHD.
The other suggestion is how about both of you getting into a therapist whom deals esp. with ADD. It has helped our family tremendously. My husband too is always"forgetting or is late", I've found over the years I cannot take responsibility for this. It has been extremely
stressing, and still is. In a way its like dealing with an alcoholic, and staying away from being "the enabler". the first step is he needs to truly accept the fact with himself or its no use the therapy, med trials etc. My son is doing very well, with therapy and meds. My husband
refuses meds, and even acknowledging it even when the Dr. is also telling him he may benefit. Life will be hard for you I am sorry to say unless he can accept help or at least support you with your feelings. If and when you do marry there is a fairly good chance your child may have
ADD too. Being loving and supportive, not to critical, point out the positives more than the negatives, take two cars to appointments, don't make excuses....make him explain himself to others when late etc. Self esteem is a big thing with these diagnosis'. Support and love will get you through
look into the following find a local chapter for you to attend and meet others whom are also living with another with ADD, they are a wonderful organization and have many links etc. '
Good Luck!

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