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ADHD husband has classed me as "unexceptional"

(180 Posts)
Garfield4321 Thu 01-Oct-20 21:05:30

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. Like many he grew out of some of the more well-known ADHD traits but now as an adult in his early thirties he still exhibits strong ADHD characteristics such as being extremely bright, a tendency to obsess over specific hobbies or subjects of interest, impulsiveness, an inability to focus or feign curiosity in anything that he doesn't consider interesting. If I ask a relative what they've been up to and they start talking about a hobby of their own which bores DH for example, he will simply walk away from the conversation without realising how rude he is being.

DH is a quick-thinker, charismatic, confident and has excelled in his vocation, albeit he achieved quite average grades throughout school and university. He has a close-knit group of friends many of whom either share some of his characteristics or, at the very least, share the same hobby. He can talk for hours with these friends and is animated, interested and complimentary.

I, on the other hand, am your textbook under-confident over-achiever in the sense that it was ingrained in me to work hard and as a result I have an excellent academic history despite probably being of probably quite average intelligence. I'm business-minded, emotionally intelligent and have a strong aptitude for problem-solving.....but I cannot recite Homer's Odyssey backwards or code a computer.

What bothers me is that I feel DH has written me off as unexceptional and, therefore, unworthy.

Any effort made to learn a new skill such as an instrument or a language is met with scepticism and disinterest. I managed to learn an instrument to exam-level in a matter of months but despite hearing me practice daily I don't think I ever heard DH say "that sounded really good". The one thing I remember is telling him I wanted to one-day learn a piece of music by X-musician and him replying that I would never be able to play to a high enough standard.

I also participate in a very challenging sporting activity and feel demeaned and disrespected when something the equivalent of running a marathon is referred to as my "little walk".

He expresses no interest in my hobbies or passions and dismisses my job as a menial glorified-admin role.

I suppose I just feel that I'm never "special" enough to be worthy of his respect.

On the flip side he can be extremely loving, affectionate, kind and considerate. I don't doubt that he loves me and he has a number of very attractive qualities.

Do I have unrealistic expectations? Is it childish of me to want my DH to occasionally give me a big smile and a "that was brilliant" or acknowledge my successes on the rare occasion when I can do something better than he can?

How much of this just goes hand-in-hand with his ADHD diagnosis in which case surely I should just accept that I can't change anything?

I don't need to be petted on the head like a puppy. I'd just like my DH to admire me for my capabilities for once.

OP’s posts: |
MoonSauce Thu 01-Oct-20 21:08:23

I have adhd. And if I treated my partner that way, I’d deserve to be left. He’s just being a nob, op flowers

ComeOnBabyPopMyBubble Thu 01-Oct-20 21:11:15

Does he ever praise you, admire you,acknowledges you're great etc even if not in regards to the things you want?

SuzieCarmichael Thu 01-Oct-20 21:12:53

It’s not the ADHD. It’s the person. He’s a bit of a shit to you.

IndieTara Thu 01-Oct-20 21:12:53

I know nothing about ADHD but if he's had it since childhood, he must surely now know how his behaviour can be perceived and how he can come across as a dick, even if he doesn't mean to.

He sounds intelligent enough to know he should take an interest and make an effort.

I just don't think he cares enough

Mistystar99 Thu 01-Oct-20 21:13:05

He's a knob

TracyMosby Thu 01-Oct-20 21:13:26

He isnt making you happy. He doesnt even want to make you happy. The adhd is irrelevant. Leave him. Life is short.

AutumnSummersBuffysCousin Thu 01-Oct-20 21:13:32

I think his ADHD isn’t really relevant, he can still be proud of your achievements whilst having ADHD. Have you ever spoken to him about it?

DerbyshireGirly Thu 01-Oct-20 21:14:33

I also have ADHD and - not to sound like a knob - while I was very intelligent, I've never done anything with it. It's totally wasted. I have SO MUCH more respect for people who work hard for their achievements instead of coasting along on accidents of birth. You sound very determined and I am so envious of that.

RattleOfBars Thu 01-Oct-20 21:19:48

ADHD usually goes hand in hand with a lack of empathy and being able to view things through another’s eyes. I don’t think he can help not being interested in your hobbies or work.

ADHD in women is a bit different, we have more receptor cells in our brains that allow us to mirror socially acceptable behaviours.

I would tell him clearly and concisely what you need from him.

JaggySplinter Thu 01-Oct-20 21:24:48

This does not sound like it's down to ADHD entirety. He seems to have learned some really awful behaviours and to have no respect for you

I suggested that you see a therapist who specialises in neurodiverse couples and see if he can learn to understand how his behaviour makes you feel. If not, he doesn't sound like a keeper.

lljkk Thu 01-Oct-20 21:24:52

Did he actually use the word "unexceptional" ?
I'm split between thinking OP has projected all of her own insecurities onto what she thinks is his opinion of her, and thinking OP has way too inflated opinion of his opinion.

He may be very literal. Most of us are supremely unexceptional, after all.

I think I'm unexceptional but I like being unexceptional.

Scweltish Thu 01-Oct-20 21:26:56

This isn’t ADHD at all op!! Your oh is a knob! He’s belittling you on purpose. I wonder why that is? You’ve achieved a hell of a lot through hard work and determination. It’s depressing to think he’s managed to convince you that you’re not worthy of his praise, because you’re apparently too stupid for him. What an absolute twat. Are all of his friends geniuses and that’s why they deserve his attention? I doubt it. I suspect that he knows that he’s punching above his weight with you, so he’s trying to make you feel like crap so you actually feel grateful for him gracing you with his presence. His ‘intelligence’ is the only thing he’s got going for him, so he holds that over you to make you feel inadequate.

Janicejaniceahmfallin Thu 01-Oct-20 21:27:49

My adult son has severe ADHD and we have daily struggles trying to help him manage the associated symptoms. But he’d never treat someone he loved like this, OP. Your problem isn’t his diagnosis, it’s the fact he’s a self-absorbed dickhead. Sorry flowers

Storyoftonight Thu 01-Oct-20 21:29:05

Garfield4321

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. Like many he grew out of some of the more well-known ADHD traits but now as an adult in his early thirties he still exhibits strong ADHD characteristics such as being extremely bright, a tendency to obsess over specific hobbies or subjects of interest, impulsiveness, an inability to focus or feign curiosity in anything that he doesn't consider interesting. If I ask a relative what they've been up to and they start talking about a hobby of their own which bores DH for example, he will simply walk away from the conversation without realising how rude he is being.

DH is a quick-thinker, charismatic, confident and has excelled in his vocation, albeit he achieved quite average grades throughout school and university. He has a close-knit group of friends many of whom either share some of his characteristics or, at the very least, share the same hobby. He can talk for hours with these friends and is animated, interested and complimentary.

I, on the other hand, am your textbook under-confident over-achiever in the sense that it was ingrained in me to work hard and as a result I have an excellent academic history despite probably being of probably quite average intelligence. I'm business-minded, emotionally intelligent and have a strong aptitude for problem-solving.....but I cannot recite Homer's Odyssey backwards or code a computer.

What bothers me is that I feel DH has written me off as unexceptional and, therefore, unworthy.

Any effort made to learn a new skill such as an instrument or a language is met with scepticism and disinterest. I managed to learn an instrument to exam-level in a matter of months but despite hearing me practice daily I don't think I ever heard DH say "that sounded really good". The one thing I remember is telling him I wanted to one-day learn a piece of music by X-musician and him replying that I would never be able to play to a high enough standard.

I also participate in a very challenging sporting activity and feel demeaned and disrespected when something the equivalent of running a marathon is referred to as my "little walk".

He expresses no interest in my hobbies or passions and dismisses my job as a menial glorified-admin role.

I suppose I just feel that I'm never "special" enough to be worthy of his respect.

On the flip side he can be extremely loving, affectionate, kind and considerate. I don't doubt that he loves me and he has a number of very attractive qualities.

Do I have unrealistic expectations? Is it childish of me to want my DH to occasionally give me a big smile and a "that was brilliant" or acknowledge my successes on the rare occasion when I can do something better than he can?

How much of this just goes hand-in-hand with his ADHD diagnosis in which case surely I should just accept that I can't change anything?

I don't need to be petted on the head like a puppy. I'd just like my DH to admire me for my capabilities for once.

I don't mean to patronise you OP.
Are you sure he is ADHD and not ASD?

AriettyHomily Thu 01-Oct-20 21:31:30

I don't think the ADHD is relevant. He's being a dick.

tempnamechange98765 Thu 01-Oct-20 21:31:57

He sounds like a prick. Nothing to do with his ADHD I'm sure, just his personality.

lightyearsahead Thu 01-Oct-20 21:32:02

You sound amazing.

Meuniere Thu 01-Oct-20 21:32:47

It doesn’t matter whether it’s adhd or not. It’s hurtful regardless of whether it’s done or purpose or not.

In some ways, it’s even worse when that sort of comments are made wo malice because you know it but it still hurts like hell. But you feel you can’t be resentful of that person ‘because it’s their adhd/special need’.

Have you ever told him how hurtful it is to you when he makes those comments?
What does he say to that?

BertiesLanding Thu 01-Oct-20 21:34:06

In this case, ADHD stands for Arsehole DH Disorder.

It's incurable.

Shoxfordian Thu 01-Oct-20 21:35:10

The cure is divorce @BertiesLanding

BertiesLanding Thu 01-Oct-20 21:36:09

Shoxfordian

The cure is divorce *@BertiesLanding*

Indeed!

SarahBellam Thu 01-Oct-20 21:36:29

It doesn’t matter what he is or isn’t. You’re not happy with him and he’s not going to change.

SarahBellam Thu 01-Oct-20 21:38:46

And your relationship is destroying your self esteem. You’re bright, well educated, emotionally competent, and his lack of interest is his problem, not yours. What would happen if you left?

StatementKnickers Thu 01-Oct-20 21:41:26

You need to think less about ADHD and more about LTB.

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