View Full Version : ADD And Slowness?

03-31-2016, 04:37 PM
I feel like I should start this with a disclaimer: Things are good between my husband and I, always have been. This isn't coming from a place of anger or frustration, just wanted to see if anyone had any ideas.

My husband is slow, tends to be terrible at time management and is forgetful. He always has been. When we were dating in high school his parents tested him for ADHD but nothing came of it because he wasn't hyper.
It is pretty consistent through all areas of his life, so the examples are numerous.
-He has never finished a standardized test. I used to think this was because he is an engineer, a perfectionist who looks closely at detail. But it goes beyond that.
-He consistently chooses the worst thing to spend his time on. Doing taxes this year, my husband required music. It took him 45 minutes to get music ready to start taxes.
-He forgets everything unless he is notified at least three times. This is no joke. I have a reminder on his calendar that goes off three times throughout the day to remind him of things. If I don't he forgets. No joke.

Now I appreciate that he slows me down. I tend to be quick, the anti-procrastinator. I love that he is willing to do things, even if it takes him longer, and I appreciate that he makes life calmer for me.

However, it is starting to impact our daily life pretty bad.
Recently, his boss has asked him to work longer hours because they are really busy and he has so much to get done... so he is staying late. Every day. He isn't in trouble, but I know that it's because he is setting his desk up "just right" for too long in the morning, that he forgets important tasks, focuses on wrong things to accomplish and takes forever to do them. this isn't a "hit" on my husband, it's a fact that he openly admits as well as a downfall.

When he comes home, he takes so long on baby tasks that I never see him in the evenings. Either he takes the baby and disappears for hours to feed him and change him and put him to bed (diaper changes take at least 15 minutes with him. It is tiring for me and frustrating for the baby!). Or I take over and I don't see him because I am cooking dinner, cleaning up after dinner and taking care of baby, plus anything else that needs done. Which would be fine, but he will get distracted and when I'm done he is "busy" with a movie or something on his computer.

The main thing that it's negatively impacting is my business. I give private lessons, which I moved so they can be after his work. He has been late getting home every single time, despite reminders all day. I have to entertain a fully awake baby during lessons, and I can't continue this with paying customers! He apologizes every time and he insists that he wants to help, but... I can't count on him anymore.

I miss him! And I'm tired of doing everything. And I'm mad that he has to work longer hours because he isn't getting things done in his already 50 hour work week.

Anyway, all of this to say, if it is ADD, is there anything that can be done? Suggestions? Please?

03-31-2016, 05:36 PM
My BIL has ADD and the things you describe drive my sister crazy sometimes. But she hasn't found any solutions. Except that she has negotiated with him. He's no longer on his phone or any device while the kids are up. That way he can truly help my sister and be present with the kids. (She said today that hasn't been stopping him from trying to nap on the couch, but it's something.)

03-31-2016, 07:08 PM
How did he manage his life before you got married? I mean without anyone reminding him of his appointments and tasks.
About being an engineer and perfectionist..at work in an engineering department, many-many years we had a tall (!) file cabinet full of reports that were supposed to be published. They never did, because my boss forever crossed t's and dotted i's. It was extremely frustrating.
I want to add that this might be his way of doing things. Perhaps with more stress at home he needs time to focus on his next task. Sometimes people avoid starting an important task, by doing smaller but less important things.
I am wondering if it would be possible to reduce stress at home just a bit. Do you need to give private lessons on weekdays?
I did have someone who worked for me who had ADHD. It was very frustrating. But once he got diagnosed, I started changing the way I worked with him. He did consistently spend extra hours at work, to compensate for his slowness. But he worked for many years and retired at 71.

03-31-2016, 08:11 PM
Thanks for the response so far, ladies.
Diana, I appreciate your advice on less stress. Unfortunately, my students are almost always gone on weekends, so weekdays (only three days a week) are the only available time. And since this is really the only time I ask my husband for anything "extra" at home, I don't really find it unreasonably stressful. At the moment, because he works extra hours and is a cyclist, he basically doesn't have much to do at home unless something falls apart or I absolutely need a break from the baby. So when a light goes out I can't reach, things like that, he takes care of it (which happens rarely, and sometimes I hire people if he puts it off for too long). And I really don't know how to take away the need a break from baby without, well, going crazy. I believe in his active participation in the babies life and I don't feel bad about asking him to take him every once in a while, lol.

We married during college and dated since I was 14. I guess I'm an enabler, because I was helping him schedule, even back then :). I really don't mind doing it, and I feel I'm a blessing to him in that way. However, with the extra stress on my day now, and lack of time together, it's just becoming more difficult to deal with.

Thank you for your suggestion, though. I'll be on the lookout for stress relievers.

03-31-2016, 08:14 PM
Some of this DOES have to do with him being an engineer. My husband is an engineer, and from being around him and many of his colleagues, this is just how their brain works.

My first suggestion is to get him to a doctor for an evaluation. If nothing else, they can baseline him, so they can see 1/5/10 years from now how, if any, his memory and cognitive skills are changing. And in a best case scenario, a doctor he sees as an adult many years after his parents first took him in as a child might know more about these kinds of things and might be able to treat him with some medication that can help.

My husband is terrible with time management and is extremely forgetful. He always has been. Before we got married, these issues caused him problems with finances and others important things, but he managed. Me being the way I was, I was not able to deal with life in that way, so I took over the things that I was just naturally better at doing. He took over the things that were better for him to do. So I wonder if a re-evaluation of your division of labor in the household might be something that could work for you. Maybe give him after-dinner things to do, so you have time together before dinner, do the baby things together instead of either him or you, even if one of you is just standing there handing the other things while they change a diaper, or making conversation while the baby is being fed. Sometimes, time together is time together, and you take it when and where you can get it.

If he is overlooking reminders, they are becoming part of the background to him. Reminders work when they are unexpected and disrupt what he is doing so he pays attention to them. My husband uses reminders on his phone, and when they go off now, many times, he doesn't even notice. The very obnoxious (purposely so) ring tone becomes background noise. So occasionally, we have to change up how he is being reminded, so it is new and distracting enough.

If he's not coming home on time, you may have to nag him with phone calls.
"30 minutes til you have to leave to get home on time."
"15 minutes til you have to leave to get home on time."
"If you don't leave now, you won't get home on time."

03-31-2016, 09:10 PM
Do you have family members or friends who can help you? With your hubs long hours you DO need help.
About your husband, if I may suggest, he needs to find his own way to do things. You are not his mother. Give him space and give him an opportunity to show that he is responsible. Also allow him to fail and kindly extend him grace when that happens. I must disagree with snoochie....nagging does not work. It takes away his dignity. One of my favorite Bible verses: A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Pr 27:15.

03-31-2016, 09:30 PM
First, hugs. That is SO tough and super challenging to deal with. His choices are having a negative impact on you, and now that this is affecting your baby and your business (a source of income and something you love), you have to take steps to make your household run smoothly.

I don't view what Snooch said to do as nagging. Sometimes people need reminders to help them. As long as it is done in a respectful way with a neutral tone, I am a fan of reminders.

Does he understand how significant of an impact this is having on you, your stress level, your child, and your business?

03-31-2016, 09:51 PM
Thanks again, ladies.
Diana, since I responded to you first I'll respond to you first again :). My parents will be moving here shortly, so yes, I will have help very soon! Right now, not so much, but it's temporary. My mom is excited to be "grandma daycare".
We have done your suggestion of giving him space. I also have nothing to do with his work scheduling, so he has to plan his day there all on his own. If he fails, he feels terrible but it doesn't change anything.
Again, I don't say this begrudgingly, it's just the way it is. And even with my 'help', he still struggles sometimes.

Now, I fill like I have to say some nice things about him. He is a great dad and a great husband. When he does things, he does them really, really well, with perfect precision (engineer brain!). He is loving and if I ask him to do something, he'll drop what he's doing to do it without any argument.

Snooch, I try not to call him a lot while he's at work. No point in him working late if he's answering his phone all the time :).
I will ask him if he will be willing to see a doctor. I'm not a huge fan of medicating, but if it's hurting his job performance it might be necessary.

We might have to try being with baby together more often. Putting him to sleep is hard with both of us, though, because he needs a quiet room.

My parents will be here this weekend, though, and are giving us a date night! Dinner and a movie, just the two of us! So excited for some time together!

03-31-2016, 09:57 PM
Virginia, you responded while I was writing mine (writing with one hand takes for.ever).

Thank you for your sweet understanding :).

He is aware. I think if there is any stress for him, it's that he knows this is a point of stress for me. He feels terrible when he gets home late and I'm giving a lesson with Josiah. But all he can do is apologize and say he'll try harder next time. I think he legitimately tries harder every time, but it still doesn't make a difference, lol.

Hoping we can figure something out. I really don't mind taking care of a lot of it myself just not ALL the time.

04-01-2016, 12:42 PM
Dh has ADD somewhat and is very slow and meticulous about the things he focuses on. The entire world could be overrun with zombies, and he'd be still sitting there triple checking his spreadsheets. Time management is his weak spot, so he copes with timers, checklists, and spreadsheets. It's the only way he can function. When we were first married and teaching, we'd get to school at 6 am and leave when they set the alarm a 11 pm. He was so focused on everything being perfect. Timers are a big deal. Literally setting a timer/alarm for each task and for saying when he'll be done. It makes life easier.

04-01-2016, 01:46 PM
Timers are a big deal. Literally setting a timer/alarm for each task and for saying when he'll be done. It makes life easier.
True!!!! This is what I found what works for someone who has ADD and I did it for that man who worked for me.
1. Setting priorities on each project on his desk. He had yellow stickers with numbers on each pile of drawings. And changing those priorities (and the stickers) when necessary .
2. Time limit. We figured out what would be an optimum time to spend on each drawing and had a Need By sticker on each pile. He had his timer/alarm on his desk and used it all the time.
3. Minimum distraction at his workplace. His cubicle was in a quiet corner. And he tried to keep his space uncluttered and organized.
4. Routine! He needed a predictable schedule. Sometimes I needed to pull him away from his cubicle to do other things. But I tried very hard to give him an advance notice when that would happen.

04-03-2016, 05:44 PM
I hope you have/had a nice date night - aren't grandparents such a blessing?

I am pretty sure my daughter has ADD. It's very frustrating. I hope you can, with help, come up with a plan that will suit everyone.

Don't forget to bring it to the Lord in prayer!


04-04-2016, 03:52 PM
Thank you everyone. Grandparents are amazing. Currently, I'm sitting next to a sleeping grandma holding her sleeping grandson. She has fed him a couple of times and date night tomorrow will be wonderful!

I'm still thinking over solutions and have discussed it with my husband some more. It's just a tough situation because he's not sure how to change, realizes he needs to, and is frustrated that he hasn't been able to yet. It's hard.

04-05-2016, 08:17 PM
It is so hard :(

The idea of prioritizing tasks, like Diana said, maybe with color coded lists sounds really helpful. I really hope you guys can find a solution that will help your whole family. I wonder if there is some sort of professional help or support group or something that could be a resource.

04-06-2016, 02:55 PM
I've found a few books on organization but no groups yet, but that's a great idea to look into. Not that he needs another thing on his plate right now, lol, but if it helps in the long run, it's worth it.

04-06-2016, 04:15 PM
I've found a few books on organization but no groups yet, but that's a great idea to look into. Not that he needs another thing on his plate right now, lol, but if it helps in the long run, it's worth it.

The initiative only has to come from him....otherwise, it's not going to work and he will feel bad, again.
My advice is to let him find for himself what he wants to do. When he asks you for help, then help him, but the way he wants to be helped.

04-07-2016, 01:51 PM
Diana, I appreciate the sentiment of that statement, I do. However, he HAS asked for my help. In the 15 years we've been together I have tried to help many times and I've tried to allow him to "take initiative" himself. Fact is, 15 years later, there has yet to be a change. I have lived with it, and am living with it, currently. I can handle the taking care of everything around the house, I can handle doing everything for the baby, etc., etc., but someday, I'm going to wear out and if something isn't done, he's not going to have much of a wife left. Or much of a relationship, if we aren't careful now.
So while I understand the idea that he needs to take the step, the fact is we are married and his actions deeply impact me because two became one flesh, so something needs to change. I'm looking for concrete ways to do that.

04-08-2016, 09:42 PM
Are you able to ask your pastor for help? Does your church have marriage counseling?

04-09-2016, 01:26 PM
We aren't in need of marriage counseling... our marriage is fine (as is stated in the first post). Back to the original post, I'm just trying to find ways to make our current situation better in regards to this particular problem. I may have sounded a little more disgruntled in my last post, but rest assured our marriage is as solid as can be. This is a problem that impacts both of our lives and we need to find a solution which is why I reached out here, for some ideas.

04-09-2016, 08:51 PM
My dear blythe, obviously, it's awfully difficult to give any advice on-line as we only know a tiny bit of the entire situation. Life is not simple and there are no quick answers. That is why I don't like to get involved in these discussions. I am sure that you noticed that from my interactions in the past.
The only reason I replied to your post because I had a very similar situation that I dealt with every day for over 20 years. About that man who worked for me...After much prayer I finally realized how he can become a productive member of our department. As I described, in the office these methods worked well. He was however not as other employees, but he was dependable and did his job well. At home it was a different story. As he continued to work long hours to compensate for his slowness and mistakes, his wife took upon herself all the family and household responsibilities. She is a very capable woman and did all that well. Eventually, this man felt not needed at home and became distanced from his family. His work and his hobby were his life. Family and the household cares were her life. Now they have grandchildren and this man does not even know how to relate to them. He thinks that now his wife wants to divorce him. For years he wanted to go to marriage counseling, but she refused.
This obviously does not apply to you. My apologies if my advice offended you.

04-09-2016, 10:04 PM
My husband doesn't have ADD but does have Aspergers and he can be very, very slow to do anything. He can be a perfectionist about some things, and then others he can completely ignore. But I just wanted to say that I understand how frustrating it can be to be married to a slow person. Any changes we make have to be introduced to him a long time ahead, and then I have to keep reminding him about it. He is very successful in his computer business but he won't let *anyone* touch the books including me lol because he is meticulous about how they are done. Yet he takes so long to file things and put things in properly that at the end of the year he is always so super stressed about taxes. Instead of him waiting for me, it is always me waiting for him. It works out ok. But it sure can be frustrating at times.

04-10-2016, 10:30 PM
A pastor is not going to be trained to provide the professional help needed by your husband to learn coping skills and techniques for living with his condition/differences/tendencies. A trained, professional counselor maybe able to, though. I wonder if that is an option for you. Counseling isn't just for people who are "broken" or have something "wrong" with them, even though there is that stigma attached to it. Counseling is an AWESOME tool that we can use to get professional advice on specific changes to implement to better our own lives.

And you're totally right- this is NOT a marriage problem. At all. It seems it is causing stress in your marriage, but it's not a problem WITH your marriage :) I get what you're saying :)


Still praying for you guys as God brings you to mind, that you can find a solution.

04-11-2016, 01:37 PM
Diana, online conversations can be difficult to maneuver, which is why I usually avoid asking for advice online (it doesn't matter how detailed you get, things will be misunderstood, both in the giving and receiving). But I feel comfortable here to ask and thought I might get some feedback.
Thank you for your participation and I wasn't offended, I was just reiterating that our marriage is good, we just know this needs to be fixed before it becomes a problem. :)

04-11-2016, 01:38 PM
Christina, thanks for your input :).

And V, as always, you are a peach and sweety. Thanks for your kind words and suggestions. Now if I ever saw the man long enough to talk about our options, we might have something ;).