I often make fun of being married to a man with ADHD and make jokes about it. It’s the only way I know how to express what it’s like. And cope.
I say things like: "Wanna know how many people with ADHD it takes to screw in a lightbulb?"
"Want to go ride a bike?"
So imagine these types of conversations, every day, all day long.
Now imagine being married to someone like this.
When we first started dating, I honestly wasn’t sure if I could be with him. This was before he told me he had ADHD. But I hated that every time I tried to have a conversation with him, it went into a completely different subject. And I’d often ask him, "How did we get here in our conversation?" But to him, we had been on the same wave link the whole time. I just thought he wasn’t interested in what I had to say … EVER.
But sometimes I also think that I wouldn’t have ever fallen in love with him if it weren’t for the ADHD. He’s funny, quick, spontaneous, and can talk to anyone about anything. He’s definitely the highlight of my day. And it also helps make for a great dad. He’s a kid himself.
The other day, at my Dad’s house, he and I and my stepmom were having a completely normal conversation when evidently, it wasn’t stimulating enough for his ADHD brain, and he took off to the back of the house. He interrupted my conversation with my stepmom with a, "Amanda … watch me!" He jumped from the bottom of the inground storm shelter to the top in one leap. I’ll admit, it was pretty impressive. But what ADULT just randomly does this?! And then he asked, "Did you see me? Hold on, I’ll do it again!" He asks questions, but doesn’t give you enough time to answer. He definitely keeps me on my toes!
I’m going on and on about my ADHD husband like he’s special needs. He’s special all right … but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with him.
He just can’t focus. And it’s extremely frustrating to him. He often gets depressed and sad about it. His legs will uncontrollably shake and he shifts a lot. He fidgets. When he's looking for something, he's not really looking. He's just destroying everything in his path in hopes it will just appear.
I get upset because he plays video games quite often, but then I remember that it helps him cope. Plus he lets me watch The Bachelorette, so there’s that.
Sometimes my husband comes across as an asshole. I know this … TRUST ME. But it’s not that he’s not interested in you or that he’s better than you. He loves everyone and wants everyone to like him. But because he has "ADHD Brain" (is what we call it), he can’t focus and give people his undivided attention. He gets chatty, and sometimes I notice people looking down at their phones only to look up and say, "well, I have somewhere I need to be". But to him, his conversational skills are extremely interesting and he doesn’t get why people don’t want to stick around and listen.
Honey-Do lists are pointless in this house. I swear our house would look like the Winchester Mystery House if I assigned him any projects. He strategically has to plan out his activities that are stimulating enough that he will complete them. Otherwise, he’s likely to launch into a frenzy of frenetic, unguided, unproductive activities.
My husband has been on Adderall for awhile now. But for some reason, he stopped taking it for a couple of months. I could definitely tell. But I also knew how to cope without him being on it. It was him that was thrown into chaos yet again. But he’s an adult and I’m not going to force his meds down his throat. He said he wants to switch to Vyvance. Again, he’s an adult.
Here is a day in the life of being married to someone with ADHD who has been off his meds for over a month...
When we wake up, Cale tells me he’s going to take down the lattice over the back patio.
3 hours later, I look out and see him mowing the yard.
At lunchtime, he says he’s going to go back out and finish taking down the lattice.
2 hours later, I look out and see him spraying weeds along the fence.
I say to him, "I thought you were taking down the lattice."
He responds back, "Oh yeah, I forgot!"
He proceeds to take down the lattice…
One hour later I go out to see how far he’s gotten and he’s filling the kids’ pool up.
I hate to distract him though. It’s his coping mechanism and helps stimulate him enough that he’s at peace. If he’s not stimulated, he’s not someone you want to be around. He’s irritable and frustrated, and blames everyone around him.
Or there’s the DAILY bedtime ordeal…
When people go to bed, most normal people go through the day’s activities or the next day’s priorities. They say their prayers and give their spouse a kiss.
Not my husband. When my husband’s head hits the pillow, he is out … COLD! So anything that I want said before day’s end, MUST be said before he puts a foot in the bed.
Evidently though, this is not common with someone with ADHD. A person with ADHD that is sleeping is just as much at battle with the outside world as they are when they’re awake.
So… not only does my husband have ADHD, but he’s also been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog.
So this week, he’s going back to the doctor to get a new prescription.
I love my ADHD Cale … but I’d much rather have him be comfortable than anything.
Come on Vyvance … do your thang!