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Struggling 1st year marriage to ADHD husband

Community Member

Im struggling to cope with my 1st of marriage. There are time when i have regrets or think "did i make the right decision" or "what have i got myself into"

We dated for 2yr before we got engaged, and married 2yr after in Oct last year. I did have second thoughts during our engagement but i thought it was just cold feet. 4yr , I thought I know well enough about my husband.

He was born overseas, adopted to an Aus family when he was 10. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed (not trying to be condescending just stating the fact). He had ADHD and was put into medication when he was little boy for short time, he said he doesnt need it becaus he's only lowe level ADHD.

While I'm aware of his condition/history, I admit i didnt have full understanding of it or how it would affect our relationship, I was not prepared of how much harder it is to live with one.

He has no passion, not good at communicating or expressing his emotion. When I try to talk to him, sometimes I have no response back, feels like talking to a wall. He cant make decisions and when i asked question, his fav answer is "i dont know".

All these irritates me and frustrates me. Im definitely the one wearing the pants in this relationship and this affects our relationship emotionally and sexually and Im starting to become less attracted to him.

When i bring up any issue with him, he just sits there and mop but doesnt do anything about it to change or improve. So the problem will never be solved and it'll be there like a broken record. We argue multiple times in the week, over the same thing. I tried talking to him or text him so he can read and digest it slowly but the messages doesnt seem to get through to him.

I wish i could turn back the time or reset all this but i know this is not a game. I feel stuck, I cant go backwards because I promise to love him and accept him. I also dont want to leave him, and be another person that makes him feel abandons all over again. I cant move forward because nothing seems to be improving, or with his background i don't feel like there's any hope of improvement.

I cant talk to my family because they can be judgemental, but that's another topic for another day. I cant talk to any of my friends about it because most of them aren't married yet. I did read that most find 1st year of marriage is the hardest one. Can someone please tell me if this is normal for 1st year or if anyone can give me any advise on how to cope with my ADHD husband.


2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Lacus, welcome to the site, but from your post you aren't finding it easy to communicate with your husband.
There can be a problem knowing what level of ADHD he actually has and for him to make a judement that he only has low a level can't be decided by him alone, a doctor or psych has to determine how bad or how serious it is, and then adjust his medication like-wise.
Sometimes people consider themselves to be on a lower level than they should be, only because they believe that it's an illness nobody wants and wants to stay well clear of them, but with proper medication his life can go on the same as someone who doesn't have it.
It's not until you start living with someone to begin to know the whole story of how they behave, because there are many issues that are always hidden, but once you live together it all comes out.
I understand what you are saying but he will need to have a checkup to determine whether or not he needs stronger medication, this is to benefit himself, plus it's also going to make this marriage a little easier.
You shouldn't be responsible in making all the decisions, because 10 months down the track a discussion will develop between the two of you saying that what you chose wasn't the best choice, remembering at that time he didn't want to add his voice to what he wants, that's why an agreement has to be makeby the two of you.
He may resist wanting to see his doctor because in his own mind there's nothing wrong, but a doctor has to decide this, not him. Geoff.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Lacus

Hello and welcome to the forum.

In general marriage, if you were not living together beforehand, takes a little time to adjust. It's the ordinary daily events that you are both coping with, where before you were going on dates and afterwards returning to your respective homes. It is in the small things that couples find they need to accept each other's foibles. So there may be some of this happening in the background.

I appreciate this is a difficult time for you and I think the answer will take a little time. I agree with Geoff that your husband needs a diagnosis and treatment. Geoff has said people assume they have a low level condition, which may be more in hope than reality. I suggest you take him to your GP and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist, preferably one who has expertise in ADHD.

Now the tricky part is after the condition has been confirmed or not and what, if any, treatment is necessary. You need a clear explanation of the condition and what can be done to manage this. Asking your husband what the psych said may not reveal the entire truth, not because he is inherently a liar but because he doesn't want to accept the diagnosis. You do not have an automatic right to his medical record. I suggest you discuss this with your GP.

Once this has been done you will have a much more clear picture of what is happening. I understand that if he has this condition he will need treatment from a psychiatrist for some time and possibly medication which he must take. I suggest that you also see a counsellor or psychiatrist who can help you manage your husband's condition, explain it thoroughly, tell you what to expect and show you how to take care of yourself in this relationship.

I'm sure this looks very scary to you. I don't want you to think it is end of the world stuff as it really depends on him getting an up-to-date diagnosis. This must be your first and immediate step. I understand you don't want to leave him because you did love him once and probably still do. You may be very happy if your husband's treatment is successful.

Do you know how he copes at work? Have you ever met any of his colleagues.

Please continue to write in here and keep us up to date. I think you will find it helpful to talk about this situation here. It's a very safe site and you are completely anonymous.