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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was curious if there were any husbands or wives on here dealing with a partner who suffers from ADD or ADHD and how it affects their relationship/marriage.

Has anyone dealt with the diagnosis of their partner? Has drug therapy helped? What sort of relationship problems did you face and were any of them solved or lessened by seeking treatment?

Just curious as my partner believes that he suffers from ADD and has asked that I support him while he pursues a diagnosis and possible treatment.
 

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I am one who does not believe in ADD/ADHD. Like one of my friends said when all 4 of her children were diagnosed and the doctor wanted her to give them drugs. She refused and said "those drugs won't cure anything more than a slap to the head won't cure". lol

However, if he wants to seek treatment, have him do it now! That way he can't do something stupid and blame it on ADD.

Do it now and support him. Do it later, um no.
 

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I have one son who is now 20 who has ADHD. I have another son, 22, who was diagnosed with ADD but I do not agree he has it. And I have an ex husband who definitely has it but remains undiagnosed at age 48 and has self medicated with drugs and alcohol all his life.

ADHD/ADD definitely do exist, but like other 'diagnosis of the month' I think they have been way overdiagnosed. And I do not believe medication is always the answer - many doctors are far too quick to prescribe Ritalin or Concerta or whatever stimulant they're prescribing these days. My 20 year did behaviour modification therapy and neurofeedback training and was off ritalin at the age of 8 and is a successful adult today.
 

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My H was diagnosed as a child with ADD. He was on medication as a child as well, he refuses to take meds as an adult now and he also refuses any diagnosis and treatment. Now the fun part, it has been a nightmare at times dealing with him. He seems to ALWAYS be having to do something. His attention shifts drastically, his energy is incredibly high, etc. I have learned to cope with it as best I can. We have so much going on at our home and it seems he always wants something more to do. I'm exhausted quite frankly.

I am not an advocate of meds personally, so I see where he is getting with that. He has learned to manage some of his behaviors, but the constant need to be doing something is draining. His focus on some things to the point of obsession is draining. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. For example, we need a larger aquarium, we can't afford it but that does not stop him from constantly looking for one and mentioning the need for one. I don't know how many times I can tell him to drop it, we can't get one, etc... he says he knows all that, but then 10 minutes later he is on craigslist searching for one. Ugh. That's just a small example. His temper is crazy at times....

Okay, so his solution is to self medicate (pot). He calms down to a normal level. Is this our long term solution? Not sure, I suppose if they legalize it, yes. Is it a cop out solution? I use to think so, but I see the difference it makes.

I don't know if this helps, but just my experience with ADHD in my H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am one who does not believe in ADD/ADHD. Like one of my friends said when all 4 of her children were diagnosed and the doctor wanted her to give them drugs. She refused and said "those drugs won't cure anything more than a slap to the head won't cure". lol
I'm of the same mind as you on this. Although it's entirely possible that it's a legitimate ailment for some I also believe that probably only 1% of the population being treated for it actually has it if it even exists.

I think perhaps my partner is looking for some excuse as to why he can't listen to me when I speak or can't remember things that he should or has trouble with focusing on things he finds boring and so on. Maybe he actually has it but I think there are plenty of other explanations for his various behaviours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My H was diagnosed as a child with ADD. He was on medication as a child as well, he refuses to take meds as an adult now and he also refuses any diagnosis and treatment. Now the fun part, it has been a nightmare at times dealing with him. He seems to ALWAYS be having to do something. His attention shifts drastically, his energy is incredibly high, etc. I have learned to cope with it as best I can. We have so much going on at our home and it seems he always wants something more to do. I'm exhausted quite frankly.

I am not an advocate of meds personally, so I see where he is getting with that. He has learned to manage some of his behaviors, but the constant need to be doing something is draining. His focus on some things to the point of obsession is draining. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. For example, we need a larger aquarium, we can't afford it but that does not stop him from constantly looking for one and mentioning the need for one. I don't know how many times I can tell him to drop it, we can't get one, etc... he says he knows all that, but then 10 minutes later he is on craigslist searching for one. Ugh. That's just a small example. His temper is crazy at times....

Okay, so his solution is to self medicate (pot). He calms down to a normal level. Is this our long term solution? Not sure, I suppose if they legalize it, yes. Is it a cop out solution? I use to think so, but I see the difference it makes.

I don't know if this helps, but just my experience with ADHD in my H.
Your H sounds a lot like my partner. Replace Aquarium with 3D TV and they are the same in that regard. Drives me crazy! I can't count the amount of times I've said "We don't NEED a god damned 3D TV!!!!" in the last few months. We certainly can't afford it either but it doesn't stop him from sending me links to TVs from Futureshop and Bestbuy endlessly.

My partner doesn't have the hyperactivity portion at all though he drinks beer nightly if it's in the house and smokes pot if it's around (though I loath drugs so I don't go for him wasting our money on it). His attention shifts wildly also and I am ever asking if he actually heard what I said. He frequently says "I didn't know you were talking to me" though he's the only one in the room or the subject matter most definitely was not directed at the baby or 2 yr old. He even forgets things he said only seconds after saying it.

He doesn't often lose his temper but when he does it's not pleasant. I don't generally provoke him to that point so I don't see it that often but I know it exists and it's not nice for sure.

Anyhow, in my experience with my partner drinking or pot most definitely do not make any of this stuff better and I do not see any marked difference besides the regular stuff that one would expect from a person drinking or smoking some pot. Then again perhaps you see the difference because you H displays the hyperactivity and this subdues it.

Thanks for the reply. I guess I was just looking to see if the diagnosis makes sense and whether medicating would help with any of the symptoms. I guess we'll find out if he pursues it with the Dr. I just don't want some quack diagnosis and then all of a sudden he has an excuse for all the crap behaviour he has. Who the hell wants to be told that their partner just can't listen or pay attention to you because they're suffering from ADD? You know?
 

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Your H sounds a lot like my partner. Replace Aquarium with 3D TV and they are the same in that regard. Drives me crazy! I can't count the amount of times I've said "We don't NEED a god damned 3D TV!!!!" in the last few months. We certainly can't afford it either but it doesn't stop him from sending me links to TVs from Futureshop and Bestbuy endlessly.

My partner doesn't have the hyperactivity portion at all though he drinks beer nightly if it's in the house and smokes pot if it's around (though I loath drugs so I don't go for him wasting our money on it). His attention shifts wildly also and I am ever asking if he actually heard what I said. He frequently says "I didn't know you were talking to me" though he's the only one in the room or the subject matter most definitely was not directed at the baby or 2 yr old. He even forgets things he said only seconds after saying it.

He doesn't often lose his temper but when he does it's not pleasant. I don't generally provoke him to that point so I don't see it that often but I know it exists and it's not nice for sure.

Anyhow, in my experience with my partner drinking or pot most definitely do not make any of this stuff better and I do not see any marked difference besides the regular stuff that one would expect from a person drinking or smoking some pot. Then again perhaps you see the difference because you H displays the hyperactivity and this subdues it.

Thanks for the reply. I guess I was just looking to see if the diagnosis makes sense and whether medicating would help with any of the symptoms. I guess we'll find out if he pursues it with the Dr. I just don't want some quack diagnosis and then all of a sudden he has an excuse for all the crap behaviour he has. Who the hell wants to be told that their partner just can't listen or pay attention to you because they're suffering from ADD? You know?
Yes, the forgetfulness :) Or I could be in mid-sentence with something and he'll change the subject... UGGGGGGHHHHH... I say "did you even hear me talking?" or "Can I finish what I was saying before we change subjects?"... He sincerely tries to work on it though. My H doesn't want a proper diagnosis as an adult, or medical treatment for it... He was on Ritalin as a child, until he was 14, and it stunted his growth, made him lethargic, made him not care, etc... I don't blame him and like another poster mentioned I do think they over medicate people nowadays to the point where it's much easier to pop a pill then ask the person to try and manage through counseling, or other behavioral treatment.

And yes, I do see a marked difference in my husband after he smokes... I've always despised pot or any illegal drug, but after seeing the improvements in him and reading up on the medical benefits, I have had a change of heart on the subject. But I will not advocate it to others... It's something that works for him so I'm okay with it.

As for a diagnosis for your H, it's likely going to be a combination of drugs and therapy. I don't think it should be a green light for the continued behavior that he currently has though, and hopefully you can be with him during the visits so you know what you can do to help.

As for constantly wanting things, I have tried to ignore it the best I can. For my H, it's generally a passing "want" if you will. He gets fixated on something, I try to ignore it or repeatedly let him know we STILL can't afford it :) Usually the obsession subsides within a week as long as I don't entertain what it is he's obsessed with that week. I have made the mistake of succumbing to his obsessions (i.e. bought a 120 gallon tank because he wouldn't stop buying fish for the 55 gallon that we had)... That incident I suspect has only fueled this new obsession that we need a 220 now :) But I'm standing my ground on this one!

Good luck to you :)
 

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I take a low dosage amphetamine in addition to other psychotropic drugs and such. The older I get the less absolute focus I am able to apply. Meds help to some extent. I can't tell though if it's ADD or an inability to tolerate boredom and fools.
 

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My wife has ADHD...it definitely has affected our relationship.

She needs to continually be doing something, and she will add more things on top of more things until it is completely overwhelming to me. We'll agree to a date night of watching a movie on TV, and by the time we are half way through, she'll be reorganizing the kids' toy box, folding clothes, checking her iPhone constantly and one time recently she even felt the need to vacuum. Three quarters of the way through, she'll tell me that she's sorry, but she can't watch any more - she can't sit still any longer. Took me a long time to understand she is not doing this to detract from my personal enjoyment of the date night but rather it's just the way her mind works.

The biggest problem with an ADHD spouse is that you as the spouse's partner are the only one that sees the symptoms at their full affect. Other people usually see the spouse when she is in her hyperfocused state, so they end up thinking she is the most perfect person you'd ever meet - the same way you felt when you were the hyperfocus when you started dating.
 

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Any treatment plan that includes using ADHD as an excuse is worthless. They need to learn methods of improving their focus and dealing with it effectively. Meds do this, but often the side effects outweigh the benefits.

There are a plethora of mechanisms available to people that they can learn and use in everyday life which don't include meds OR excuses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Any treatment plan that includes using ADHD as an excuse is worthless. They need to learn methods of improving their focus and dealing with it effectively. Meds do this, but often the side effects outweigh the benefits.

There are a plethora of mechanisms available to people that they can learn and use in everyday life which don't include meds OR excuses.
We've had an ongoing text message dialog on this for the last hour. I've told him that he has trouble remembering things so why not use that fancy iPhone that is always within inches of his reach to it's fullest potential. I think so much of it is laziness. I can't be bothered to input these things I should remember into my phone so maybe a pill will help.

Some people don't like to do the hard work required to fix things so they jump on the drug bandwagon instead because it's easier. My partner isn't a fan of hard work in general so I'm not surprised when he tells me that he thinks I'm not hearing him or understanding at all. I understand fully I just don't advocate the use of drugs and I question the validity of an ADD or ADHD diagnosis.
 

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He has learned to manage some of his behaviors, but the constant need to be doing something is draining. His focus on some things to the point of obsession is draining. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. For example, we need a larger aquarium, we can't afford it but that does not stop him from constantly looking for one and mentioning the need for one. I don't know how many times I can tell him to drop it, we can't get one, etc... he says he knows all that, but then 10 minutes later he is on craigslist searching for one. Ugh.
Don't tell anyone I told you this but that does not sound like ADHD. That's a common tactic us guys use to get over on the wife when we want a new toy.

The idea is to wear her down with all the pathetic whining until she finally folds and says the magic words in a tone that sounds like a deflating balloon. "oh just go out and get it."

YES... WIN :rofl:
 

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The biggest problem with an ADHD spouse is that you as the spouse's partner are the only one that sees the symptoms at their full affect. Other people usually see the spouse when she is in her hyperfocused state, so they end up thinking she is the most perfect person you'd ever meet - the same way you felt when you were the hyperfocus when you started dating.
YEPPPPPP... Many people comment that they'd love to have my H's energy, blah blah blah. He also is too quick with his work... Often times they have to ask him to slow down or they double check his work because is unbelievable, he does what it takes 4 guys to do in the same time frame on a regular basis, they can't keep up the pay scale when he's on a job.

I don't know if ADHD is a real problem or if the odd behavior is caused by something else. But I do know our nephew on his side exhibits a lot of the same symptoms my H did as a child.... He is also being raised by my H's mom... Go figure. He talks non-stop and MIL will elude that he didn't take his meds... I question that... it seems he just wants attention and she doesn't give it to him. She even suggested my 3 year old son is "probably" ADD too, so we might want to get him on meds... Holy ****, are you serious woman??? Handing out the meds like candy around there. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, the forgetfulness :) Or I could be in mid-sentence with something and he'll change the subject... UGGGGGGHHHHH... I say "did you even hear me talking?" or "Can I finish what I was saying before we change subjects?"... He sincerely tries to work on it though. My H doesn't want a proper diagnosis as an adult, or medical treatment for it... He was on Ritalin as a child, until he was 14, and it stunted his growth, made him lethargic, made him not care, etc... I don't blame him and like another poster mentioned I do think they over medicate people nowadays to the point where it's much easier to pop a pill then ask the person to try and manage through counseling, or other behavioral treatment.

And yes, I do see a marked difference in my husband after he smokes... I've always despised pot or any illegal drug, but after seeing the improvements in him and reading up on the medical benefits, I have had a change of heart on the subject. But I will not advocate it to others... It's something that works for him so I'm okay with it.

As for a diagnosis for your H, it's likely going to be a combination of drugs and therapy. I don't think it should be a green light for the continued behavior that he currently has though, and hopefully you can be with him during the visits so you know what you can do to help.

As for constantly wanting things, I have tried to ignore it the best I can. For my H, it's generally a passing "want" if you will. He gets fixated on something, I try to ignore it or repeatedly let him know we STILL can't afford it :) Usually the obsession subsides within a week as long as I don't entertain what it is he's obsessed with that week. I have made the mistake of succumbing to his obsessions (i.e. bought a 120 gallon tank because he wouldn't stop buying fish for the 55 gallon that we had)... That incident I suspect has only fueled this new obsession that we need a 220 now :) But I'm standing my ground on this one!

Good luck to you :)
Yes, the good old cut off in mid sentence. I get that A LOT. It's incredibly frustrating and irritating. Makes you feel like they could care less about what you have to say.

He says he was hyperactive as a child but was never taken to a Dr. about it so he has no experience with the treatment options.

He recently had an incident at work (he's a mechanic) where he forgot to pump up the brakes in the car he just did a break job on and he put it in reverse, gave it gas and hit another vehicle in the shop and almost knocked it off the hoist. There was a significant amount of damage. He says now that he was daydreaming as he usually does and he wants to look into an ADD diagnosis (after taking an online quiz) with a dr. Granted he does have a lot of other "symptoms" but who knows how much of it is legit and how much is simply he is absent minded, doesn't care etc.

Essentially he says his mind is chaotic; full of noise and he can't concentrate. He jumps from subject to subject constantly, interrupts, doesn't listen, forgets a lot, can't read things that he doesn't find interesting without falling asleep etc. Our relationship suffers because of our poor communication too. He even goes on to say that he chose being a mechanic because it was easy, not because he was lazy but because he couldn't sit through the telecom/computer course he was taking and the lectures no matter how hard he tried.

Anyhow, thanks. I guess we'll see what a Dr. says.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have one son who is now 20 who has ADHD. I have another son, 22, who was diagnosed with ADD but I do not agree he has it. And I have an ex husband who definitely has it but remains undiagnosed at age 48 and has self medicated with drugs and alcohol all his life.

ADHD/ADD definitely do exist, but like other 'diagnosis of the month' I think they have been way overdiagnosed. And I do not believe medication is always the answer - many doctors are far too quick to prescribe Ritalin or Concerta or whatever stimulant they're prescribing these days. My 20 year did behaviour modification therapy and neurofeedback training and was off ritalin at the age of 8 and is a successful adult today.
Glad to hear that there are some valid and successful alternate methods for treating this. I'm so anti-drug because it seems that is all anyone wants to do these days. Your marriage sucks, here's a pill. You feel sad, here's a pill. You have anxiety, here's a pill. And on it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I take a low dosage amphetamine in addition to other psychotropic drugs and such. The older I get the less absolute focus I am able to apply. Meds help to some extent. I can't tell though if it's ADD or an inability to tolerate boredom and fools.
LOL, if it were simply the inability to tolerate boredom and fools I'd be on a bunch of pills myself.

Do you find the side effects, if any, manageable?
 

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Ok So I am in the minority on this issue, but I am going to tell you what I have experienced.

For twenty one years I have dealt with the hubby and adhd. I found as a couple, it didn't really intefere with things because we were young and really had no responsibility. When our first child was born, that was when things really started getting clearer. We went to a therapist fourteen years ago and he looked at hubby and said you have adhd. Hubby stormed out and we never went back. For twelve years I have dealt with his adhd issues on my own. Some of the things he did. Lets see.. He blurted out things before he thought about them and it got to the point people would not go out with us,it lead to many hurt feelings for me and whatever couple was with us. He couldn't tolerate his newborn screaming at the top of his lungs,he couldn't focus when we had countless conversations, he forgot things, acted impulsively, Can't sit for any length of time,had no remorse for anything he did. The only time he could focus, was when it required something mechanical to be fixed,something he was extremely good at.

What did this do.... Brought us from happy well adjusted couple to the couple you never wanted to be. I held resentment towards him for not being able to carry out simple tasks at home with the kids, couldn't be involved in any situation where it was extremely noisy,so no bday parties. Got worse when the second child came by surprise and I was handling the house, the kids, the bills, laundry, and groceries and all the cooking. This was not just an adjustment to the kids, it was beyond that. Two years ago, I asked for a divorce. It nearly killed him. After all the arguing, he didn't understand what he did wrong. He couldn't control his temper and said or should I say blurted out really mean things to the kids and me.

Two years ago, he seeked treatment for the adhd. He is on Concerta and it has made a HUGE diffrence. He now has time to think before just lashing out at us. He can tolerate being in noisy situations for short periods. He now is a boyscout leader and is able to deal with a pack of boyscouts can throw at him! He is more compassionate. He helps out around the house and remembers things.Not everything is perfect. But he wouldn't be human then. I can now go out and do things on my own without having to worry if the kids will be punished. They now have a relationship with their dad.

We still have bad days but they are few and far between and he is trying to make up for lost time. We are still working on things but I have found the love that I thought was completely gone. It isn't just about forgetting and NEVER does his diagnoses get to be an excuse for things. He knows he has to work at it and he admits when he messes up. I can now sit and watch a movie with the hubby. He can focus on our conversations. I won't trade that for anything.
 

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So ... pills don't work? Really? They're an excuse for 'lazy' people?

Wonder how that philosophy would work for people with asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, or cancer.

I don't even need to meet your husband, and I can tell you he is classic ADHD, based on your description of his work incident.

Was diagnosed in 95 as an adult after barely finishing high school, despite being very bright, and could never get through more than one semester of college. Was told that I was lazy and didn't apply myself. Got A's in subjects where the learning made sense to me. Got F's in the subjects that it didn't.

Although being somewhat impulsive, I never had the addiction piece that often goes hand in hand with the diagnosis.

I took the drugs as an adult. The difference was night and day. Can't possibly expect that to make sense to anyone that hasn't experienced the 'fog' of ADD.

Your husband should try the meds if they are prescribed. But he should be very open about whether or not they are actually helping his condition.

I no longer take the meds ... because lo and behold over the long term at high doses, they can cause prostate problems, and can affect libido. Both of which I contracted.

So, the meds do help the condition under the correct circumstances. Your husband should take as low a dose as possible that will still remediate his symptoms.

And for the record ... the condition is real, and I have never, ever, used it as an excuse for some personal shortcoming or failing.

I have had to drastically change how I perform my job as a result of no longer taking the meds. I would estimate that I am between 30% to 60% LESS productive and effective, off meds, than on.

And people close to me could always tell ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok So I am in the minority on this issue, but I am going to tell you what I have experienced.

For twenty one years I have dealt with the hubby and adhd. I found as a couple, it didn't really intefere with things because we were young and really had no responsibility. When our first child was born, that was when things really started getting clearer. We went to a therapist fourteen years ago and he looked at hubby and said you have adhd. Hubby stormed out and we never went back. For twelve years I have dealt with his adhd issues on my own. Some of the things he did. Lets see.. He blurted out things before he thought about them and it got to the point people would not go out with us,it lead to many hurt feelings for me and whatever couple was with us. He couldn't tolerate his newborn screaming at the top of his lungs,he couldn't focus when we had countless conversations, he forgot things, acted impulsively, Can't sit for any length of time,had no remorse for anything he did. The only time he could focus, was when it required something mechanical to be fixed,something he was extremely good at.

What did this do.... Brought us from happy well adjusted couple to the couple you never wanted to be. I held resentment towards him for not being able to carry out simple tasks at home with the kids, couldn't be involved in any situation where it was extremely noisy,so no bday parties. Got worse when the second child came by surprise and I was handling the house, the kids, the bills, laundry, and groceries and all the cooking. This was not just an adjustment to the kids, it was beyond that. Two years ago, I asked for a divorce. It nearly killed him. After all the arguing, he didn't understand what he did wrong. He couldn't control his temper and said or should I say blurted out really mean things to the kids and me.

Two years ago, he seeked treatment for the adhd. He is on Concerta and it has made a HUGE diffrence. He now has time to think before just lashing out at us. He can tolerate being in noisy situations for short periods. He now is a boyscout leader and is able to deal with a pack of boyscouts can throw at him! He is more compassionate. He helps out around the house and remembers things.Not everything is perfect. But he wouldn't be human then. I can now go out and do things on my own without having to worry if the kids will be punished. They now have a relationship with their dad.

We still have bad days but they are few and far between and he is trying to make up for lost time. We are still working on things but I have found the love that I thought was completely gone. It isn't just about forgetting and NEVER does his diagnoses get to be an excuse for things. He knows he has to work at it and he admits when he messes up. I can now sit and watch a movie with the hubby. He can focus on our conversations. I won't trade that for anything.
Thanks for your reply! I understand what you mean about it not interfering until you had children. Our situation is a bit different in that he had 2 young boys when we met and I had 2 older children that were not living with me. It was fine because the older of his boys lived with him only 50% and then the youngest who was 2 lived with him full time. Things changed when we had our own child and I developed a lot of resentment. This was interpreted by him as not loving him or caring about him and I spent the first 6 months after having our child avoiding sex with him. Well, not so much avoiding but just not caring because I was too busy being angry and resentful. He ended up cheating and I found out a year later. Then I found out I was pregnant a week later! That baby is now 2 months old. (Yep, that makes 6 between us!)

That was probably more info than you needed but the point was that things were ok until we brought a child into the mix. He doesn't seem to exhibit the hyperactive part of this so I'm guessing he's simply ADD. Anyhow, I took care of all the baby's needs and he played video games, drank beer and played with his friends. He sure can sit down and pay attention to those games, let me tell you. That and anything mechanical, especially with regard to computers. He is also prone to careless mishaps (this effects his work) which is likely due to him daydreaming or getting lost in though. He doesn't blurt out things that are mean or hurtful but he interrupts a lot and doesn't listen when being spoken to half the time or more. It has made communicating very difficult between us. Especially after I found out about his cheating. He also has a terrible temper given the right circumstances.

In the end I'd like to see more involvement with the kids on his part. I absolutely need to feel like I'm being heard by him and that isn't happening a lot of the time. I also need to see him be able to communicate his thoughts and feelings more. He has trouble even knowing what he thinks much less articulating it. Perhaps it truly is best that he seek out a Dr. If he really has such a jumble in his head making him behave like this I'm all for a solution that will ensure I can keep our family intact. This last year has been pretty difficult so I hope this can help.
 

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Although being somewhat impulsive, I never had the addiction piece that often goes hand in hand with the diagnosis.
Yes, forgot that too... My H is the classic addict... Anything and everything.

OP - You mention your H has trouble conveying his thoughts. Again, that happens in our marriage and his everyday life... To the point it does get him in trouble at times. :(
 
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