Spousal Differences in Those With ADD/ADHD, How I Make it Work.

Posted: April 17, 2012 in ADHD, Mental Health, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

One major problem in married adults with ADD/ADHD is that those of us with ADD/ADHD sometimes are blind to the plight of our spouse.

We See the World Differently

Recently, I discovered a difference in my husband and I that shocked me.

You see, I have my whole life planned out. I know exactly what I want, I set goals to try to reach them, and I will fight until I meet the goal I set for myself. Anything not in that plan upsets me.

My husband on the other hand, is content, always. He doesn’t like to plan his life. He calls me a “dreamer” and considers himself to “live in the now”. Thinking ahead is pointless to him, because it isn’t what is happening.

It Causes Frustrations

This past week I was hired as a ghost writer; my first real job writing. I was so excited. I desired the occupation of “writer” since I was a youngster. Blame JK Rowling, George Orwell, and perhaps a hair of the ten-thousand other books I’ve devoured in my lifetime.

This new job of mine is a side thing, it pays well and I am in no way quitting my teaching job… but I plan to eventually. Hopefully, I will eventually have my own business and take over the world (well, that may be planning too far ahead).

My lovely husband, who is fundamentally different than me, did not see this in the same light as me.

First he couldn’t understand how I could ever make any money writing. Naturally, I was fully up-to-date on the latest and greatest research and told him the going rate. He still refused to believe me, saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

That would be that live in the now mindset.

Then, when I was so excited and showed him that I could make money writing, he suddenly had a new worry.

“How are you going to do taxes?”

Valid question. I set off immediately to figure that out, calling the best expert I know and researching, researching, researching. In less than 24 hours after he posed that question, I set up a folder for receipts, I opened a separate checking account, I found billing templates and information, and I was ready to write.

I then told Jake about how it all worked.

He flat-out told me he didn’t think I could do it.

I was devastated. At first.

I don’t think he believes that, exactly. I didn’t believe his apology after I became quite angry and hurt at his words; especially since I was working so hard to accomplish my goals.

What I think happened is that I wasn’t sensitive to the way he views the world.

His coping skills are separate than mine. My ADD/ADHD brain that was in hyper-drive and was rushing to and fro frantically trying to carry out a future goal overwhelmed him.

In all reality, I think he was upset that things were changing. That the plan he envisioned (which is one of things never being any different than they are now) is not something he can control by simply living.

A home-grown business requires planning, it requires thought processes to figure out where you have to go from here. Perhaps that overwhelms him, just as not knowing can overwhelm me.

He works with my faults and differences.

Now maybe I need to learn how to work with his.

It is my business after all, he doesn’t tell me every aspect of his job, maybe I simply shouldn’t tell him every aspect of mine.

“I took care of it.”

That is probably the only thing he was looking for. Instead he got the who, what, when, where, why, how, and all the details in between—information overload. My brain wants that information, his rejects it.

Learning differences is the key trait in trying to make a marriage work, especially in adults with ADD/ADHD. Understanding what I did wrong is the way to change it. Such is life.

Lesson learned.

  1. First of all – you are a very cute couple! Secondly, this may be a female/male thing, rather than related to ADD/ADHD. I have heard similar stories from man of my friends!

    • Why thank you! 🙂 I think we’re pretty good lookin’ myself! 😉

      Secondly, perhaps you are right? I blame the ADD because we both have it. I kinda take research to the obsessive “next level” and then say EVERYTHING that’s on my mind.

      I think the SO says maybe two words the whole time. I can’t even move the living room furniture without him getting all upset! LOL!

      But, alas, perhaps you are right and this is the plight of lovers. :-/



  2. Metalmommaa says:

    My Husband and I are both ADHD and wow it took a long time to get things working. He is a hyper-focused ADHDer and I am an Impulsive ADHDer lol. We make a good team at the end of the day…. Good post.

  3. theresawiza says:

    Not married, so I can’t really comment on that part, but I enjoyed reading about the way you and your husband work things out. I’m STILL reading, “Driven to Distraction” in the midst of my own distractions and trying to make sense of this whole ADD world I feel I’m living in. It’s nice that something finally makes sense.

    • Knowing is half the battle. Learning to cope is the other half. Knowledge is power, so they say. I find that the harder I try and work with myself, versus trying to make myself someone I’m not, the more successful I am in a multitude of areas. Truthfully, my coach, Dana Rayburn, has been a Godsend. I have really learned how to be successful from her.

  4. Mooselicker says:

    One day my girlfriend is going to own a greyhound, be a successful journalist doing stories about people, and have a home near a lake in San Antonio, Texas. That’s her plan at least. I’m not sure what I’m having for dinner yet.

    Like the first poster said, it kind of is a male/female thing. I’m practically a chick anyway so I do plan way ahead. I even typed this out in an email first to check for spelling. What guy does that?

    • Okay. Either you are my boyfriend, or your girlfriend is my identical twin sister I have never met.

      No, seriously. I swear we will move to San Antonio one day (my favorite Texas city…I’m a Texan), I have considered fostering greyhounds (totally in love with that sweet, sweet breed), and well…you’re reading about my writing career. LOL!

      As for spell-check. Mozilla Firefox. 🙂

  5. My son has ADD. He also has Tourette Syndrome. The two are commonly linked. You’re probably aware of that. That and the fact that ADD people are on the whole very intelligent and usually creative. (Most quarterbacks are ADD) There’s a very good book out on this. I think its called Farmers and Hunters (or the reverse).

  6. […] Spousal Differences in Those With ADD/ADHD, How I Make it Work. (defeatingthedeficit.wordpress.com) […]

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