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9/13/14 6:17 P

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I love all of these ideas, and I talked them over with Dean. I was amazed at how receptive he is, and how open and patient he tried his best to be. I really love him, so all of your support means the world to me.

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9/7/14 11:33 P

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Lana - I agree with Kristen. As an ADDer, myself, taking notes for me is a necessity. I no longer am employed. I do remember my boss explaining to me something he wanted me to do. I thought for sure I would remember what he said. I did not! It is now the norm for me to take notes because I will definitely not remember. I am glad that you are taking the effort to help your husband. I would suggest to try to remain calm if you get frustrated with his lack of focus, concentration, etc. It is so common for us to have these issues. It is difficult for us not to become frustrated with ourselves.

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9/7/14 2:45 P

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Wow, thank you so much Kristin this is AMAZING advice and exactly what I needed.

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9/6/14 11:48 A

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It makes me really happy that you are asking this because there are a lot of people don't make much effort with their ADHD spouses. One important thing to know about ADHDers is that we can do anything, we just tend to do things differently. So with your husband, its not a matter of finding things he can do, but helping him find the best way to do things. It's particularly hard for us to find motivation for tasks that we find boring or just don't want to do. (I'm writing this instead of doing homework!) First, I'd recommend that both of you learn more about ADHD and how it works. "Scattered Minds" and "You Mean I'm not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!" are two good books and the ADDitude Magazine website has a lot of good articles and forums. You should also encourage your husband to get treatment that can help manage some of the less than ideal aspects of ADHD. Medication can be great if he wants to try, but it should never be used alone. Diet, exercise, meditation, and cognitive behavior therapy can make a huge difference. A psychiatrist/psychologist can help with those. For me, it helps to not look at ADHD as a disorder. Studies have shown that people with ADHD basically have different wiring in their brains and use their brains a little differently than "neurotypicals". When it comes to communicating, the key is to have kindness, understanding, empathy and patience but he is still your husband so be honest. When he gets off track, acknowledge what he saying because it might be important to him, but gently bring him back to the topic at hand. Tell him that you want to resolve the first conversation you started then you two can talk about the next detail that is bothering him. Give him a change to write down a few of his thoughts so he doesn't forget them when you do get to that conversation. It might seem weird for your husband to be taking notes while you talk, but he probably doesn't have as good a memory and probably has trouble keeping in all the thoughts racing through his head. If he can write them down, it gets all the thoughts out so he can focus on whats important and he will still remember them if they are important for the two of you to talk about later. When it comes to asking him to have more responsibilities, you can tell him that you understand why it's difficult for him to do certain things but you still need some help. Ask him what he feels comfortable doing and start with those things. If you both feel like its necessary, set some expectations for what the end result should be for those tasks. Let him know you can offer some guidance if he needs it, otherwise just let him do things the way he thinks will work best. Since we ADHDers approach situations differently, we tend to solve problems and accomplish tasks differently that most people. So if he gets the job done with the right expected results, thank him and tell him he did a good job. It's important not to criticize him for doing things his own way because that will just discourage him. ADHD can be frustrating sometimes but the more you both understand it, accept it and learn the best ways to do things the easier it gets. And don't forget to take some time to learn about all of the positive aspects of ADHD too! Like I said that the beginning, it's so great that you're taking the steps to help your husband!


Edited by: SPACEYKP at: 9/6/2014 (11:55)
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9/6/14 6:41 A

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I am married to a wonderful guy that was just diagnosed with ADHD. I am scared because I am a non-ADHD spouse, and am unsure how to best communicate with him. When we do communicate I find myself getting frustrated, or he will pick the wrong detail/focus out of a conversation which will lead to him getting upset with me. He had trouble paying bills so I have to do it, and he is currently unemployed (circumstances outside of his control) so I also work full-time to support us. He is unable to drive because of severe panic attacks, so I have to be in control of our transportation. I want to have a good life with him, and for him to have task and responsibilities but I am unsure what he can do and how to ask/communicate. Lana

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