Who wouldn’t want to married to Justin Timberlake or Will Smith? What if someone told you that if you married them you would also automatically get a big old dose of rejection, loneliness, feeling ignored, frustration, anger, exhaustion, and a sense of hopeleness? (Read here.) I know from experience that all of these emotions are part of being a spouse to someone with ADHD.
The first of my series is here where I share some of our story. It also explains my opinion that Mileva Einstein may have been able to save her marriage also if there was Ritalin back in the day. A lot of good people are getting divorced because of ADHD. Even this renowned psychologist/author just thought her hubby was a deadbeat. My hope is by sharing our story we may be able to help save some struggling marriages.
Dr. Oz says that 75% of the eight million adults with ADHD have gone untreated. He admits that there are a lot of spouses out there feeling like they are raising another child. I highly recommend his online series on ADHD and marriage.
In the beginning of the series Dr. Oz interviews a really smart doctor with an Ivy League degree who wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until after graduating from medical school. (Just like my hubby wasn’t diagnosed until after plowing through law school) I loved this quote by Dr. Hallowell when he explained why he made treating ADHD into his life’s work.
“The struggle can be turned into a victory.”
From personal experience I know that this quote is true. That is why I started writing this series. I wanted to share my experience with supporting my hubby. I wanted people to know the coping strategies not just for the individual with ADHD but for the marriage.
So, if you are having any or all of those above negative feelings, your first step is to identify the problem. You might think the problem is just laziness, addiction, trustworthiness, inability, or even just plain stupidity but it’s more than likely not any of those things…it could very likely be ADHD.
My first two suggestions, echo this great article.
1- Get educated. Go over and evaluate. One important part of ADHD evaluation is that someone close to the diagnosed also includes their opinion. Often ADHD people are not even aware of their symptoms or are in deep denial.
2- Seek optimal treatment. There are three equally important parts of treatment. First – Get medicated. Second – Make behavioral changes. Third – Changing the way interactions occur in the marriage. All of these parts require some professional help. Don’t think you can do it on your own.
Stay tuned for the next post in the series where I will talk about our favorite parts of the second and third leg of treatment.