New Forum on ADHD and Marriage

Dr. Ed Hallowell and Melissa Orlov’s excellent blog on ADHD and Marriage now has a new ADHD and Marriage forum attached to it. Check it out.

The section with the most posts so far on the new forum? The one on Anger, Frustration & ADHD. Not exactly a big surprise that it’s a popular topics in ADHD relationships.

In one post a man asks a question about his ADHD wife who isn’t getting her share of the household chores done despite being unemployed.

One respondent says something I think all adults with ADHD and their spouses/partners should read 3 times out loud. Maybe more.

I think one really important thing to remember is that ADHD medications only help with the ability to focus and get things done. They aren’t going to magically make you desire to do what you don’t really want or like to do. They aren’t going to magically make things you genuinely find difficult suddenly easy.

Some people think that all you need to do to treat ADHD is to take ADHD medications and all will be well. Not true. They’re just a tool, a very useful tool, but they’re not a complete solution to ADHD. You still need to find ways to develop self awareness (without self flagellation) and learn self management and specific skills. Every tool, tactic or strategy to effectively manage ADHD has it’s strengths and it’s limitations. It’s crucial that you understand this if you have ADHD.

There is no one “perfect” solution to managing ADHD. Not even ADD coaching is the silver bullet that solves it all and I’m an ADD coach. The best way to manage ADHD is to use a multimodal approach, i.e., multiple methods. Different things will work for different people and the best thing to do is to experiment with different solutions to find out what works the best for you.

8 thoughts on “New Forum on ADHD and Marriage”

  1. AMistyCrissy

    Hi there! I’m Crystal. I am almost 16. 🙂
    I guess – good name for this site! 😉
    It is so interestingly here, especially in this category.
    I was surfed about 3 hours before found this site. I think i’ll be here for a long time! :-*

  2. I am a married women with ADHD and its very very rough on my husband.Is there anything i can do to avoid divorce?I am already trying hard and working on impulse control and slowing down.Ive had very bad experiences with medications in the past so i try to avoid them.I have been working many weeks on impulse control and it has gotten much better.But sometimes my mind still races and sometimes i still get confused and irrational thinking due to not being able to organize my thoughts.I am also working on trying to not get overwhelmed.I am working on all this alone.What should i tell my husband?I told him i would see a therapist.We had a few very rough times where my impulses made him lose trust in me and now he is wavering on getting divorce.I love him so much and i dont know what to do.He also has some issues but refuses to knowledge them.

  3. Hi Krystal; I read or scanned over 16 books on ADD/ADHD and Dyslexia years ago, to better understand two of our children, and to help support them through school. I like to think of ADD/ADHD as a personality ‘disposition’, rather than as a disorder. At least one author described the condition as being a ‘hunter-gather’, instead of being a ‘farmer’. It makes good sense; those traits of restlessness, quickness, high energy, imagination, are all perfectly adapted to people on the move. Sadly, it’s the modern methods of schooling and the many demands of modern living that are in conflict with the spirit of folks with ADD and ADHD. And recently, I’ve noticed I have a lot of the same symptoms. Anyways, I was browsing thru books on Amazon (“see inside this book” tags), and decided to buy one, Delivered From Distraction, by Hallowell and Ratey. I like the way the info is laid out, and I like the philosophy. For one thing, they list using medication last on their list of steps to take to get support, but don’t rule it out. And they begin by saying “let’s start with defining your strengths and positive traits”. So I’m happy to recommend this book(though haven’t read it yet). Libraries will often purchase books recommended to them by the public, too, which helps to save money! You may also consider interviewing some Life Coaches who say they specialize in helping adults with ADD/ADHD. A good rule is to choose someone whom you feel comfortable talking with, and whose philosophy appeals to you(like, how do they describe the steps they will take to help you improve your situation). I always try to STOP my own negative self-talk, and to remind myself of my many wonderful traits and abilities, when things aren’t going ‘right’ and I start to feel discouraged. Or, I talk to a friend, and they remind me to see the positive(choose friends that you like and admire!! They are uplifting, and will reflect back the beauty and good they see in YOU, since that’s how they choose to see life!). And please, try not to worry about your husband’s opinion of you too much. He can expect no more of you than your sincere efforts to understand yourself and grow(at your own pace), and it sure sounds like you are! Good for you. And I can’t see why you can’t say to him, gently but firmly, ‘ You know that I’m working to improve my own situation; it would really be great if you could put your nose back on your face, and then you’d have more time to work on your own improvements, your hopes and dreams’. In our home, we aim for progress, not perfection. Anyways, if even ONE of us was perfect, then I guess that person would be too good for the rest of us! Lol. Lastly, maybe I can suggest you look at the 2 top-rated books on personal organization,(unless you’re up to your ears in org. tips), also on Amazon. One is by J. Kolberg, the other by Susan Pinsky and they both have good ideas, so either is a good book to start with. I’ve learned that if I put things out of sight, I have trouble finding them again, so when everything has its place, and it’s visible(tall shelf or extra flat table space), I can do things without losing focus and losing my ‘steam’. Another great thing to do is to start using a daily planner; the trick is to acknowledge that you actually accomplish alot on certain days, and on ‘off days’, try to set fewer goals(like 2 or 3), so that you can finish them and feel satisfied by day’s end. Again, aim for progress, like a good week instead of a perfect week. You know, I learned that I was actually doing alot more than I thought I was, and even many days writing in too many small goals (both short term and long term tasks), and I was being self-critical when I failed! Talk about setting myself up! Some times it’s a problem having all that wonderful energy, just like the low-energy days.
    Mainly, don’t give up on yourself, and do NOT listen to negative criticisms-from yourself or anyone else. Instead, maybe measure the progress you’ve made in each area, over a period of 3 to 6 months. That’s as legitimate a way to measure improvement as any other method. Take good care.

  4. Great ideas Linda, and you have good taste in ADHD books.

    “If even ONE of us was perfect, then I guess that person would be too good for the rest of us!”

    very good point:)

  5. Thanks, Pete! I have over half a century of living behind me, raised 3 children with special challenges, have a spouse who displays certain ADHD traits, and I confess I got caught up in some of the “self-help” hoopla of the past 20 years! That suited my optimistic temperament nicely. In reading parts of the book, Delivered From Distraction, I’ve learned that many artistic, creative persons often have much in common with ADD/ADHD folks: highs and lows, need more mental/sensory stimulation than average people, so often have to guard against depression, too. That description might fit me somewhat better, though I fit the ADD profile, except for my cautious nature and having no problem reading/doing homework in school, then in college. I have really noticed two things that have affected me, personally over the past year, however. And I’m wondering if it is a wide-spread problem. The first “change” is that during the summer of 2011, I no longer felt relaxed when walking around my big back yard; gardening helped, though still not as peace-inducing as usual. By early winter, I realized that August had been the time when our city switched over from analogue Television to digital tv(exposure to new, strong RF waves). This last summer was somewhat better, for me. Perhaps our bodies adjust? (Interestingly, a panel of German doctors wrote to Pres. Obama a few years ago, and urged him not to repeat their mistake of switching the country over to digital tv!! They said they witnessed a plethora of health problems among their citizens). I found that incredible. The second thing is that I discovered that MSG sends me into a mental slump and makes me want to take a nap, within 20 minutes or so of having ingested it! MSG is a neuro-toxin, and it’s in almost everything, even in fresh whipping cream, hidden in “Carageenan”. MSG’s main property is to create a craving for it!! The site has lists of additives that really contain MSG. But the “good” news is that if you email or write to ask a company if their product contains “free glutamic acid”, they must by law answer truthfully, so one can discover if a certain favourite food item is safe or not. Going back to the strong RF waves topic, our neighbourhood over this past year has had many installations of wireless “smart meters”(we’ve resisted it), so we are surrounded by these DNA-damaging, radio frequency wave transmitters. In a (very)few European countries, RF wave emitters and towers MUST NOT exceed a certain strength of emissions- which are about 1,000 times ‘weaker’ than what is allowed here, in North America!! Our family is planning to do some renovations to and install RF shielding or diffusing material within the walls of our home. Material such as metal-mesh window screen is more affordable than say, metal and fabric bed canopies; it blocks out most RF waves, without bouncing them back at you if you have electronic appliances in the room(and who doesn’t?). Buying bulk metal screen may not be as cost-efficient as material designed to do the job, but will have to research that soon. Also, wearing a few Kyanite beads on a necklace has reversed symptoms of two relatives, who experienced insomnia, headaches and tinnitus as soon as the meters were installed in their apts. Yet, that can’t protect the whole body, can it? Unlikely. This may seem off-topic to this website, but I do wonder(and worry) if ADD/ADHD people may be among the group who are already experiencing Hyper Electro-magnetic Sensitivity Disorder(HESD?), and among those who will steadily join the ranks of this heightened sensitivity, which is predicted to gradually include over 30% of our population. I have a son living in a large city, so I certainly am concerned for him as well. I do like to help people, perhaps by sharing information and being supportive. Parenthood brought out my ” nuturing skills”, for sure. But I also have questions about ADHD and adjusting to modern life, so I will perhaps post questions on this site, to seek feedback. Take care all…and have a good one!

  6. Some people are more sensitive to chemical & other things Linda, good you know what effects you and how to manage/avoid/reduce exposure to them

  7. Hi,
    I am married and my partner was diagnosed with ADHD. Our relationship was a bit shaky but we were able to manage it, I think ADHD counseling for couples helps us to be better.

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