I started dating my Brain in high school. We’ve been together 18 years and married for 13.
My husband was diagnosed in middle school but never sought medication because his grades were always decent. I have always known his diagnosis.
While we were dating, I naively assumed he would grow out of the always being late / forgetting important things / focusing on not important things. When we were first married, I became a manager of his symptoms. Call me the queen of post-it-notes and master killer of distractions! I loved being able to help him and being an organization and time management nut, it was right up my alley.
We are now quite a few years in and have two sons, a toddler and infant. As one might expect, my life is FULL right now. I am not able to post-it or distraction kill anymore.
Without sounding too negative, it’s been a struggle recently. A lot of broken promises to help around the house or with the boys, or finish projects, a lot of important appointments missed (like our sons adoption finalization), not a lot of being present at home because time management is a problem.
I love my Brain and recognize his intelligence and genuine desire to be on top of things. I’ve encouraged him to seek treatment of some kind, but so far, he has no interest and thinks he can handle it on his own.
I joined to get to know other people with similar struggles as my husband and hopefully get some insight that could help a struggling Heart like me!
Hi Kristin, and welcome to Brain central, dear Heart!
Not to sound awful, it’s not meant as bad as thisnis gonna sound, but you sound like a far better wife than mine. And I really do feel for you having to handle one of us. My wife complains about that a LOT, about how I’m not doing as much as I ‘should’, even though I try to do what I can. I only recently got diagnosed because I had good grades in school, so it wasn’t really necessary to look into it. Now that I’ve started medication as an adult diagnosis, it doesn’t work wonders, but it helps a bit with concentration and executive function (which is what it sounds like is one of his major problems, combined with time management, both part of the inattentive part of ADHD), so it’s not so hard to get going every day, and to get started with activities I need to get done, like cleaning, etc.
As for your husband, I WISH he would get some more help. If his symptoms are bad enough that he can get an official diagnosis, it’s severe enough to affect his life in some way, and that’s extremely hard to ‘just manage on his own’, even if HE thinks he has everything under control. I suspect it might be apprehension or fear pushing him away from medication, either the effects of the drugs or the stigma of taking them/shame at having to take medication to make it through daily life. He really doesn’t need to feel bad about these things. It’s something we discuss regularly here in the forum, so totally normal thoughts to have, but hopefully it won’t stop him from getting help. He might feel the same about therapy too…
Hey @blythe ( or should I say Your Highness ) It’s awesome that you’ll here ! This probably sounds cheesy, but it’s really encouraging to see Hearts on here trying to help their Brains! I hope you find what you’re looking for!
Thank you for the responses, Marodir and ConfusedbutADHDandLD! Looking forward to being a part of the community (or watching it, in any case!). I certainly don’t feel like a very good wife at times, when I can’t help in the capacity I once did or have to remind my husband of the currently over flowing plate I’m taking care of currently and my need for his participation! And I guess I have stepped down from the Post-It Throne… we used to have a post-it budget and two drawers devoted to different colors, styles and sizes. We aren’t close to that anymore. The post-it budget is devoted to diapers these days, lol.
Thanks again for the warm welcome!
Haha, you’re a Heart, and you’re just as much a part of the community as us Brains, just the other side of the ADHD coin.
I agree with @Marodir we brains would never be able to do it without hearts like you
Newbie here, also from the midwest
Welcome and I wish you the best!
I can’t imagine how emotionally difficult it must be to take on someone else’s symptoms let alone managing their to-do list, so HUGE respect to you for doing so!
Personally, it seems like my symptoms have only gotten worse and it seems like the MORE I try to combat them, the LESS control I gain. Like a double-edged sword.
Or terrible balancing act.
Too much pressure, obligations, or responsibility - I lock up and pretty much ignore or avoid everything.
Not ENOUGH responsibility, no challenge, or things are ‘too easy/boring’ - I lash out and create the friction/excitement my mind craves.
If there’s any bit of advice I can give, it’d be:
- approach and/or tone is CRUCIAL in getting the outcome you want
- we’re all pretty sensitive, so when a commitment is not fulfilled - I’m already beating myself up enough about it…
- encourage and ‘applaud’ even the SIMPLEST of tasks
- my mind is constantly firing off all cylinders - like 100,000 ping pong balls in a tiny closet
Gosh the list could go on and on and on…I am willing to elaborate but I’m losing my focus (lol)
God Bless your Heart though, you’re awesome
bkaymcco, Thank you for your response and sharing some of your experience!
I hope this doesn’t sound insensitive, but it’s comforting to see other Brains so similar to my husbands. I know every person is unique and every ADHD diagnosis is unique, but so many things I’ve read here I feel like I can feel validated and say “yes! He does that, too! It IS ADHD!”
I certainly try to follow your advice already. It does get harder as our marriage gets longer (hard to praise small tasks 12 years in, but I still try to do it!).
Thanks for your response
Sorry to have gone MIA. I hope all of you USA Brains and Hearts enjoyed the 4th of July!
Unfortunately, I was ill during the holiday. I cdsaught a cold over 3 weeks ago from our littlest and the day before the 4th it turned into “let’s make sure everything in her body shutsdown” kind of illness. It was comical. I had a stomach bug, a raging cold, a cold sore and an eye infection. Fun! Luckily, my sweet Brain took the kids for me and had fun showing the oldest fireworks so fun was had by all. I slept for something like 20 hours. So I can’t really complain.
Anyway, as my husband and I still work our way through this new transition in life (the two kids, and honestly, I think the “we’ve been married THIS long and are still having the SAME three disagreements” phase… I think most married couples hit this at some point) we do have a few positives. My husband suddenly became very onboard to a more minimalist approach to life (less stuff to take care of or be distracted by, I’ve been living this way personally for years, but he has held on to every t shirt he has ever owned…) so that has been great because he is very motivated and I can already tell a difference in his initial reaction to entering certain areas of our home. Where his desk was often cluttered (I never touched it because I did once early on and learned that moving things is BAD), he now wants to sit and do things there like the household paperwork. WIN.
He is also trying a natural medication which is more than he has ever been willing to try. He won’t get tested yet, but telling him about these forums (I asked him if he’d be willing to join, but no free time at the moment) and knowing that I joined made him want to start making a change. So he’s trying some pills that say that support focus. It’s been a couple of weeks and he’s been taking them for work hours to see how they do. So far, so good.
Obviously this isn’t a “yay he’s all fixed and we can ignore his ADHD now!” type thing. There are still things that we will have to adjust and work through or things that will just annoy me (he made a sandwich for dinner tonight… just ham and cheese… and it took 25 minutes! HOW is that possible?!). But, a couple fo positives as of late Just thought I’d update for those interested.
Thanks for the update, Kristin! Hope things keep getting better!