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How Do I Get My Husband to Respond Respectfully to My ADHD?

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From a woman in the U.S.: I have looked and searched all over the internet and this site to find advice on the hazards of interrupting a person with ADHD/ADD while they are in the middle of a task. My husband does this to me all the time. I get absolutely livid at him because I have told him over and over again not to do so.

If he has to do it, then do it when there is something vitally important and not for the smallest things that can wait. Not sure if he would listen or read any advice on the subject, though I have tried to explain that you just cannot interrupt a person with ADHD/ADD. We always get in a big fight over it and it stresses me out. I find myself just getting frustrated and I  get nothing done.

I know that I contribute to the arguing, but I am not completely blaming myself, not at all. But if he does not stop, and won’t stop, what can I do to handle the situation better. I do breathing methods and count to ten, but nothing works. I would also like if I can explain better to him my disorder so he may better understand my psychological condition. Anything right now would suffice. Thank very much for listening.

How Do I Get My Husband to Respond Respectfully to My ADHD?

Answered by on -

A.

It may be some comfort to know that you are not alone. Studies suggest that about 60% of marriages where one (or both) have ADHD are stressed by the disorder. Some studies suggest that the divorce rate for such couples is about double the average.

This problem won’t be solved by giving your husband more information. You are in your 50s and I’m guessing you have been married for some time. Your husband knows everything he needs to know about ADHD. But he doesn’t know how to handle it. Often the partner of someone with ADHD feels unloved or ignored or underappreciated. From the partner’s point of view, it’s as if the ADHD is more important to the partner than they are.

Fighting with your husband won’t help. Presenting him with a ton of research won’t help. Ignoring the situation may make it worse.

If you two could resolve your conflicts about your diagnosis on your own, the fights would have led to a resolution. Since nothing you have told him has worked, it’s time to get some outside help. Please, please see a couples counselor — together if possible. If he won’t go, then go yourself to learn some new tools for managing the situation.

Counseling to specifically address the tensions around your ADHD will help you learn techniques for managing your disorder. Just as important: Counseling will help you both learn how to be more sympathetic with each other’s experience and will give you tools for working together when the ADHD seems to take over.

There must be something positive in your relationship for the two of you to have stayed together this long. A counselor will help you build on that as your address the very real problems that ADHD creates.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Get My Husband to Respond Respectfully to My ADHD?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). How Do I Get My Husband to Respond Respectfully to My ADHD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 9, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/03/08/how-do-i-get-my-husband-to-respond-respectfully-to-my-adhd/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Mar 2020 (Originally: 8 Mar 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 5 Mar 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.