A year in learning I have ADHD and I’ve reached my breaking point.

Coming across videos through social media then moving to YouTube I saw many signs, basically all of them, telling me I most likely have ADHD. Now I’m not one to diagnose myself through those forms of media so I went to a psychologist and was diagnosed summer of 2021 with ADHD. At first it was some what relieving knowing who I was from a child to adulthood and all the “flaws” I saw in myself as well of having friends and family point out was not for the famous stigmas of being lazy, never remembering things telling them I don’t care or listen, it’s not that hard just do it, and my personal favorite of not caring about anything because I have no emotions. I have masked who I am and because I went 31 years not diagnosed I’ve locked up my emotions because I never knew how to handle them and still don’t to this day. As I am learning more about it I’ve learned ways to get away from what I have done trying to “fix” what I know now isn’t fixable but something to learn to live with. This past week with all bottled up emotions and feeling alone with knowing understand how hard everyday is with ADHD is because they think it’s only hyper and not being able to focus or pay attention and that’s it, has brought me to my breaking point and being burnt out emotionally and mentally. It has effected my personal life, my work life and my marriage to the point I strongly believe my diagnoses was little too late to help my marriage. I can’t focus on anything and I can’t sleep with nothing but past negative events racing through my head day and night. I’m tapped out and as I threw in the towel I learned my cousin has had it this whole time and I didn’t know and has been helping me through it. Through her help and YouTube videos I found it’s amazing what talking to someone who not understands because they’ve read and learned about ADHD but because they have it themselves. This is my first post in the forum and to be honest and straight to the point, what’s helping me is hearing the stories that I can relate to and knowing I’m not alone at the point I am at and know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

So I’m here to ask for guidance and just to talk about ADHD and what everyone’s experiences with it.

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hello and welcome!

i don’t know if it’s too late for you marriage. it seems that all you can do is try. well done on getting a diagnosis. have you sought couples counseling? if not, maybe something to ask your psychologist about. (of course you would see someone else for that.)

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I think sometimes our breaking points are really our rebuilding points.

I have known since I was a child that I have adhd but I never got diagnosed. My family did not believe in such things.

I have only gotten a formal diagnosis recently (at 42) because I was unraveling, trying to deal with perimenopausaal hormonal Flux and adhd. My developed behavioral compensations simple weren’t cutting it anymore.

My husband doesn’t believe in adhd but thankfully real things don’t require belief, they simply are.

One of our friends has been really open about their adhd and that has truly helped me so much. Just having that one person who understands makes things better… if not easier. :blush:

Hang in there.

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Welcome to the HowToADHD forums @Vazos2138 !

It’s never too late to make a change for the better.

You can’t change the fact that you have ADHD. You can’t change how it affects you, or your life up to this point. But now, knowing that you have ADHD, you can start making changes in your life to address how your ADHD affects how you feel about yourself, how you interact with others, and the effect your ADHD traits have on your marriage, your work, and other areas of your life.

I was married when I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. At first, when I was going through the assessment, and I was researching ADHD, my wife scoffed and said, “You don’t have ADHD!” Then, I got my diagnosis, and she shut up about it for a while. A few months later, she said they I was just using it as an excuse.

We’re now divorced, but my ADHD had nothing to do with it (she fell in love with someone else). We are still on good terms, which helps because we have shared custody of our youngest two kids. Now, she acknowledges the work that I’ve done to improve.

I’m on medication, and it’s very effective. I get help when I need to from a counselor, because I am prone to anxiety (my ADHD is a contributing factor, but more indirect… work and marriage issues were the cause of the anxiety, but ADHD was only a part of those issues… the chief cause of my anxiety was from what I could not control, the actions of other people).

What you can do:

  • Have ACCEPTANCE - accept yourself for who you are, for all your parts, and that includes your ADHD, that includes your past, and that includes your present state; accept that your ADHD has always been a part of you, and always will be a part of you.
  • Have UNDERSTANDING - understand that other people will not always accept your diagnosis, but that’s their problem, not yours; understand that there are things that you can do to improve the impact that ADHD has on you and your life, but there’s only so much that can be done; understand that ADHD isn’t “bad”, but like any other permanent condition, you have to make some allowances and adjustments.

Now, on the subject of marriage, it may not be too late. Like I said, my wife left our marriage, but that was because she fell in love with someone else, it had nothing to do with me and my ADHD.

  • When I had untreated severe anxiety for about a 3 year period, that did hurt our relationship. So, on that, my advice is, “if you need help, get help; don’t try to fix the problems only by yourself, because it will take much longer and be much harder”.
  • Of marriage, a wise man said, “people don’t leave what they have, unless they think what they are leaving for is ‘better’.” So, work on yourself, work on your relationship with your wife.
  • TELL HER that you are doing this, and ask her to be patient. You can change your actions starting today, but your words and beliefs will take time to change, and your relationship will take time to change.
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • Include her, invite her input. A marriage is a team. Both partners need to work on the marriage, it’s not just on you.
  • If you decide to go to marriage counseling, ask the counselor if you can meet them in advance to find out if it’s a good fit, between you and your wife and the counselor. If the counselor will not meet you for free for that session, or will not answer your concerns, look for someone who will. A question I was advised to ask the counselor (after I’d already met with a really bad one) is, “Who do you consider to be the client, me, my wife, or the marriage?” They should answer, “your marriage”. Too many marriage counselors these days act like they are simply easing your way to divorce.

I would suggested finding good information like this, to help you to work on yourself and your part of the marriage:

(It talks about how to improve yourself in ways that your spouse will most likely find you to be more attractive in four areas: body, heart, mind, and soul. They came up with PIES as an acronym for the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual areas of attraction.)

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My wife believes and understands that I have ADHD but at times of stress within our relationship it’s like it all goes out the window and she says all the wrong things the right way to make it worse and that are triggers for me to retreat inward and result into my bad emotional habits that just end up bringing my walls up and resorting to anger to cover it all up. Then I just end up saying and doing things purely off anger impulsively then immediately regretting it but then do it again and again within the same argument. Just as my mind jumps from topic to topic so does our arguments and we say a lot without saying a lot.

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I have asked her to be patient and I think for our marriage it’s a little too late.

To your point it may not be but I can’t help that it is as she has found others to give her what I don’t. But when my anxiety and depression gets bad she sees the outside and takes it as me being miserable and I’m struggling with the acceptance part that it is her feelings and choices.

I can’t help but feel that I went undiagnosed for so long that I was trying to fix something and I didn’t know it was something I couldn’t do alone. With that it made it seem like j didn’t care or wasn’t trying which only made her anger and resentment worse.

We’ve had recent talks about what we feel within the relationship and I truly believe if we didn’t love each other or only wanted each other, with how both of our personalities are we would be getting a divorce.

We got there recently, at the end of last year, and I had given her my ring and told her to give it back to me when she knew that she wanted to stay to work it out. Few weeks went by and she did but we never had or have the conversations we need and we both are on the same page but different books when it comes to feelings.

I struggle speaking on mine because of being raised with the mentality “men don’t cry” amongst the anxiety i get when trying to. Then what I believe to be my ADHD kicks in and it’s like 20 songs are playing in my head and I can’t pick through it to speak on the one song I need to with her. She also doesn’t feel comfortable speaking to me with how my outside demeanor is and when my switch kicks in I speak on almost pure logic with no emotion ( something I believe I built because I never understood what I felt inside until I was diagnosed) and it’s makes her not want to speak on her emotions when she sees me as angry when I’m just emotionally shut off.

Question, can it be done that we do marriage counseling while I get my own? Or should I get the help I need, figure myself out more and then go to marriage counseling?

Perhaps you guys should try having your arguments in writing. Sit down and pass a pad of paper back and forth. It might make you really take in what your partner is saying and better organize what you want to say?

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That’s a great idea thank you.

Our best times of having a back and forth conversations have been through text messages. So I can see that we both could not only understand each other more but would allow us not to interrupt each other and would allow me to not be thinking of my response see as she speaks.

We have had times where we write letters to each other so I believe we can accomplish a decent conversation through the pad, thank you again.

This is why I came to this forum to get help.

Thank you all who have provided help.

you can get marriage counseling and individual counseling at the same time, yes.

i learned from two of my professors who were marriage therapists that it is better to get into marriage counseling sooner rather than later. (i’m not a therapist. i took psychology classes as an elective and they gave us that bit of relationship advice.)

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I ask because I think maybe it would be hard to focus on the help I need to do for myself having ADHD and then to add marriage counseling.

Possibly focusing more on my marriage with a lot of work still needing to do with myself or vice versa.

this is something to work through with your counselor. you would have different counselors for both. i think it is quite common for people to be in individual counseling while they pursue couples counseling.

it is, of course, up to you and your wife whether to do couples counseling. you don’t need to stop trying to address your stuff to do that though.

and if either of you (or both) are ready to move on from this marriage, there’s no shame in that either. just because a relationship ends, doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful. marriage is a commitment, yes, but it isn’t a prison sentence.

ending a relationship can be a profound way to honor the deeper commitment you made to care for each other. you can care enough to work on the relationship and you can care enough to let go when it’s time.

all the very best to you.

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Actually, this is what it recommended in many cases with couples who are struggling. Sometimes both people in a marriage need individual counseling while they are going through marriage counseling. Mental health issues are actually more common than people think (about 60-70% of Americans will experience mental health issues sometime in their lifetime, some chronically). And I don’t know of any couple who doesn’t experience relationship problems.

  • My parents have a very good relationship. While I don’t think they have even gotten marriage counseling, I know that they did at least one “marriage encounter” weekend, which is like an intensive group marriage counseling. I do think they would have benefited from counseling sometimes, particularly when my mom was going to counseling for depression years ago.

According to the foremost marriage researcher of our time, Dr. John Gottman, couples wait an average of 6 years after the start of problems before they get help.

  • My wife and I waited over 10 years, but only got help from our church pastor, who is not trained or educated in counseling; he did his best, but should have advised us to get professional counseling.

Now that I know why things went wrong for us, I share what I’ve learned to try to help others.


That depends on what she’s getting from others. Is it helpful and encouraging for your relationship? If so, then good! If it’s negative towards your relationship, or towards you or her in particular, then it’s not good.

It’s a myth that a husband and wife should be all that the other needs. We each need to have relationships outside the marriage that help us as an individual… friends, family, colleagues, (spiritual fellowship, for people of faith).

  • On that note, one bit of advice that seems pretty solid to me says, “you become like the 5 people you hang around the most”.

From personal experience, I can say that even amiable divorce is damaging, even traumatic. (My wife having an affair was much more traumatic.)

However, I hold onto this hopeful note that was shared by an expert on relationships, marriage and divorce: “Divorce doesn’t have to be the end.” Some divorced couples do get back together. That is my hope… (But, I’ve decided not to pin my happiness only to that chance. I’m focused now on doing what’s best for me and my kids.)

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