Redditor throwaway_adhdhell is a 27-year-old woman who is questioning her marriage to her 35-year-old husband.
As a medical resident, she is busy trying to make ends meet, and her husband’s recent change in behavior had become too much to bear.
Knowing the source of his erratic behavior, she gave him an ultimatum.
The result of that confrontation led her to visit the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, where she asked:
“AITA for refusing to help my ADHD husband until he gets treatment?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“My husband have been married for 2 years. Until the last year, I would have said that things were great.”
“My husband has had an ADHD diagnosis since he was a child and has always done well with medication. He took meds through school and has managed to hold down a good job with only some mild symptoms.
“About 6 months after we got married, I noticed that he started to change. He was a lot more forgetful, irritable, and he started doing a lot of impulsive spending.”
“I’m a medical resident and knowing he had ADHD, I asked if his meds were giving him trouble. He said that he had stopped taking them. I tried to reason with him, but he had been reading some blogs and become convinced he didn’t needs meds.”
“He said that ADHD was his ‘superpower’ and that I should love him the way he is or not at all.”
“Things have gotten worse quickly over the last year. He used to help out with chores and now can’t even load the dishwasher without losing focus and wandering off. We keep our money separate and even with a good amount of expendable income, he’s gone through a lot of his savings and has trouble paying his section of the bills.”
“He explodes verbally sometimes and has alienated one of his best college friends over a silly argument in a way that’s not likely to be forgiven. He won’t acknowledge any of this is happening and gets angry when I point out that I’ve been covering the lion’s share of the expenses for the last four months and trying to take care of the entire house while also doing my residency.”
“I reached the end of my tether when he asked me for money to cover his car payment for the third time. I told him that I would keep the utilities on, but his car, insurance, and other expenses were on him and there would be no more handouts.”
“I also told him that I couldn’t keep burning the candle at both ends, so his laundry and meals were now on him to prepare. This lasted for less than a week before he started asking for help with his car again.”
“I told him the only condition on which I would help would be if he started back on some treatment for his ADHD. Not necessarily the same meds if he didn’t like them, but something, because this was unbearable.”
“We had a fight about it and he told me that I should help him because he has ADHD so he can’t help it and needs support. I told him that he had spent the last year telling me that ADHD is his superpower, so he can superpower his way into regular car payments and laundry then without my help or get treatment and receive help.”
“He called me an ableist b!tch and stomped off.”
“I talked to a psych friend who says that the quip might have been a little unkind but the boundaries are reasonable. My SIL is angry and says I shouldn’t force him to take meds if he doesn’t want them. All I know is that it’s exhausting and as much as it hurts the next step is leaving him.”
Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.
“NTA, coming from someone with ADHD, I’m absolutely horrified at how this dude’s been brainwashed by some rubbish about this whole superpower, meds are evil and never necessary rubbish. Usually it’s just kids parents I see buying into it which is bad enough.”
“Yes it’s true that not all symptoms of ADHD are inherently bad, and that a lot of them are really only problematic in certain situations. But it is also true that ADHD symptoms can REALLLY mess a person’s life up, and it is a legitimate disorder, with legitimate symptoms that are harmful no matter the situation.”
“It’s not your job to manage your partner’s mental illness for him. Not when the reason it’s an issue at all is that he outright refuses to do it himself. That’s entitled.”
“If he doesn’t want to take meds then he should look into CBT, but he’s not even doing that, not because his illness is making it hard like is often the case, but because he made a decision to ignore his symptoms.” – Glittering_Swamp2572
“I have ADHD as well and i just forget about things because I become distracted really easily. I left milk out once because of that and sometimes forget to lock the door when I get home (usually home from work, thinking about something else after a long day).”
“I procrastinate often but I do buckle down when I know something needs to get done. Loading/unloading dishes is one, washing clothes, cleaning up my room in general.”
“Your NTA here, I know I have tasks to do and sometimes it may take awhile, If it’s important I make the time to do it. He is using it as a garbage excuse.” – DirkDoom
“As another ADHD person, definitely NTA.”
“I am pretty on board with the idea of celebrating the good parts of ADHD, but I also take meds because without them I’m constantly overwhelmed, can’t do sh*t around the house, and am dangerously forgetful (I leave the stove on a lot, forget about food cooking etc).”
“ADHD can be a ‘superpower’ but if you can’t function and it’s having a negative impact on your spouse, you need to take responsibility and get some treatment.” – peace-and-bong-life
“NTA. You didn’t marry this man. You don’t even know him and it sounds like he’s neither trustworthy, nor particularly nice. The man you married was responsible, thoughtful, and a partner, not a child.”
“He’s made adult choices, but has to be prepared for the consequences of his actions, or inactions. As reddit likes to say: play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”
“You need to protect your own mental and physical health, as well as a safe living situation. On top of that, you’re in a seriously stressful job, made more so by Covid. Trouble is, if the situation doesn’t change, something’s got to give.”
“That seems to either be you or your marriage. I don’t know if you can survive if you try to let him continue to ride roughshod over you.” – corgihuntress
“NTA also sounds like he went off meds after they were married. So she never saw this side of him before getting married. Maybe it was his plan to marry a doctor and not do anything to contribute.” – Bec_Pancakes
The OP wrote the following update:
“Update: I messaged him this morning and asked if we could talk about the state of things this evening over dinner since I’m off call and he said not until I apologize and accept that my attitude is the problem not him.”
“So, I’ve made arrangements to stay in an AirBnB to clear my head for the next few days so I can at least relax properly between call shifts, and I’ll reevaluate when I’m not feeling so worked up.”
“This is impacting my work and health too much and reading these replies I’m starting to realize that. I hope he comes around, but I’ve worked too hard to go down with him.”
Overall, Redditors supported the OP and suggested that if her husband is refusing to get back on his meds, he needs to find alternate solutions to manage his own well-being instead of constantly relying on her.