Friday, August 3, 2012

Married to ADHD- Whatever works!!

I have been married to my lovely ADHD husband over a decade now. We have been together for a bit over 16 years too. It is a lot of time for trial and error, and we will probably have lots more. I even think we will have a lot of this because of the nature of ADHD and how he easily grows tired of certain routines.

This has affected every aspect of our relationship, from financial to child rearing. We tried joint accounts where one managed expenses, then the other, and then finally separate accounts but shared monthly expenses and savings. We did breakfast duties him and dinner duties me, and switched, and then switched back. 
He would love to wear this shirt.

Something I haven’t been able to get rid of is the title of “Queen Nagger”. Surprisingly enough, I let a ton of things go simply because I am not insane and I know it doesn’t work to keep asking for it to get done. It only creates conflict. And yet I am the bad guy for reminding him that the leaves and branches he promised to take rake and take to the trash will not miraculously disappear after 3 months.

So what is a none ADHD wife to do with an ADHD husband?? Whatever works!!
My current strategy was to make an overly analyzed work chart, showing what each one usually does around the house and with the kids, how long it takes, and how many hours it adds up to. I finally had facts to reason with him. I could show how he indeed was doing a lot, but how much he wasn’t that he said he would, and who was picking up the slack because they were shared tasks. 

He refuses to clean toilets, so I do it.

No.1 thing I eliminated was shared duties. I did not want to be the warden in a jail telling him what to do and when to do it. I also didn’t want to feel annoyed that I was doing more than my share when he promised otherwise. I charted exactly what he was to be solely responsible for and what where mine.

He gets annoyed with folding clothes, so I do it.

No, it wasn’t an instant win. He actually argued how unfair it was that they weren’t shared. Why did he have to take out the trash every time?? Because I wash the clothes, clean the toilet, and mop the floors every time!! Wanna trade?? Didn’t think so! It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t give him attitude about it either. I presented the plan. We discussed it a few times, we argued a few others, and after a few more days to let him think about it I think we have come to an agreement. The key word here is “I think”, because he never actually admitted to it, he just started doing the things assigned to him on my chart. But that is all I need, for now. 

He actually doesn't mind taking out the trash, but he forgets.

No arguments yet. We have had a good few weeks doing this. We have managed to keep our place looking nice.

Now, we have to wait for school to start up again for both kids and him (he is in the middle of his Ph.D.), and hopefully we can keep this up. If not, then we switch it up again. Whatever works!!! Had I said that already??

How do you divide chores and tasks with your significant other?

Rossana G-A

FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

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