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I am close to calling it quits with my marriage. I just can't deal with the aggression my husband shows when he is in some sort of reactive time either food or emotionally brought on. It gets directed at me when I am asking a reasonable question or trying to just have conversations. We have been married for nearly 20 years. It has been nothing but ups and downs. He has found drinking isn't something he can do. He knows he has something going on maybe as a comorbid even with ADD.

I notice huge ups and downs brought on by what I think is a food intolerance. My husband who has been diagnosed years ago with ADD (not hyper) and has so many mood swings. Tired, bad memory, crabby, reactive. He has identified wheat, dairy, pork, shrimp and I think corn syrup (or corn in general) as a trigger food. Does anyone have any suggestion how to identify (test for) and treat for these other than elimination diet?

Secondly, I think the trigger food puts him into a tailspin for days. Anyone know about how long these trigger events generally last. I am trying to figure out (he just can't rationalize. He won't even talk about it for days/weeks. While I sit feeling just totally deflated with the treats and horrible comments. I see patterns, but am not with him during the workday.

Thirdly, I think the trigger food gets it going, but not sure if that is the only problem. What if it is something else? Dr. Jeckll and Mr. Hyde so drastic and only to me! Kind, loving, sweet guy to the absolute worst threatening divorce and calling me names in 2 minutes over what he "perceives" as me going "on-and-on" about something, or me questioning him negatively.

PLEASE, PLEASE someone offer me some suggestions. We have done ADD coaching, marriage counseling, read books, restricted food (to only have him have small amounts that can cause a total relapse), mindfulness, anger management classes and he is on Adderall XR.

What doctor in MN can help identify and care for the whole thing? (Nutrition, ADD, depression (maybe), a deeper mental health issue, and relationship stuff.)

I want to be happy. I need help or to just get out! We have a 15-year-old. He only acts this way to me. No one else on earth really sees it except her, but it isn't directed at her thank goodness. I think people think I am the crazy one. They see him tired a lot, but he blames that on his stressful work. I don't want to divorce, but I just can hardly get a full week of peace anymore. Actually, I can't remember the last time he had a full good week!


9 Replies

Hello korks, sorry to hear what you've been throu and continue to go through. You are strong. Have you ever considered CBD Hemp Oil. It's natural and it's suppose to be good for neurological conditions and it helps calms the brain. Here is a book you may want to read. 'Healing With Hemp Oil: A Simple Guide to Using the Powerful and Proven Health Benefits of CBD Kindle Edition

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In addition to everything I am about to say, I strongly encourage you to read up on the 'parent-child' dynamic in Adult ADHD relationships. I recommend books written by either Ari Tuckman or Ed Hallowell. Dr. Hallowell also hosts the "Distraction" podcast (www.distractionpodcast.com) and he did feature an ADHD couple a few episodes back.

In my opinion, it doesn't matter how many years you have been together. If there is any threat to your physical, emotional, or spiritual well-being you need to leave. If you are not comfortable with divorce, then perhaps try separation. But if you stay, then you are allowing this behavior pattern to continue and not allowing either of you to heal.

Several of the things you mentioned (mood swings, verbal aggression, you're going to great lengths to help fix his symptoms) are also very common in Narcissistic Abuse (hereafter noted as NA). While I am not a clinician and I am certainly not questioning his diagnosis, I think that emotionally detaching and working on healing your unhealed traumas (like one would after NA) might be helpful. I say that as an ADHD adult who did not have the freedom to manage my symptoms until getting out of NA.

As you have seen, there is a lot of support now for adults with ADHD, be they apps, journals, forums, whatever. And there are different medications available. The patient needs to take charge of their management and work on finding what works for them. No one else can do this for us.

If you want a couple resources for healing from NA, please let me know and I'll message them to you.


It is not your job to control his ADHD. It is his responsibility. His behavior with you and only you is typical domestic abuse behavior. His is having ADHD is not the issue his being an abuser is.


If he’s on AdderallXR, he shouldn’t be having this type of mood swing, unless there’s another disorder.

Has he been checked for diabetes? Or hypoglycemia?

However, I’m inclined to agree with another responder...he’s taking out his own problems on you, classic abusive behavior.

Get out, ASAP, with your daughter. Even if he doesn’t direct the abuse at her, she is experiencing it indirectly, and it will adversely affect her life for a long time if it isn’t stopped.

He doesn’t seem ready or willing to stop the abuse, so you need to do it by either leaving or having him leave.


I have been where your husband is. Depression! If he is "snapping" from kind to angry it is a typical case of male depression. I would refer you to Jed Diamond. Do a search. I do agree that he must take responsibility. If he will not, and you can't handle the battle to bring him around then you might have to let him go. Call it tough love. ADDers only understand immediate consequences so don't THREATEN to leave. LEAVE. A nice note explaining what he did wrong in exact, detailed terms might help too. Good luck.

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Oh goodness. This is not good for you, as you already know so well. I believe that your husband needs to meet with a regular psychiatrist on a monthly basis, at a minimum. The mood swings are typical of a lot of different diagnosis. It is my concern that he most likely have some kind of mood disorder. This can come in lots of form, notably bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can be either bipolar 1 or bipolar 2. If the mood swings are severe and he has significant depression, it may be bipolar 1. Bipolar disorder 2 typically has hypomania which can manifest in irritability and other characteristics most people do not consider manic. The biggest significance of this diagnosis is that there tends to be more significant depression than mania. I will interject on the possibility of a personality disorder such as narcissistic personality, borderline personality, hystrionic personality. I would think that food sensitivities can play a part in triggering the mood swings, but an allergist can test for any allergies.


First, I understand you are looking for advice on how to help your husband manage but I can tell you honestly that no one I have ever met has been cruel or rude to me and I have never been cruel or rude to someone I love because of what I ate. You say he is not like this to anyone but you and that is a major red flag. That tells me that he can control himself when he wants to. You say you have tried counseling, anger management, and all sorts of care. At this point, I don't think there is anything YOU can do for your husband to make him stop his horrible attitude and his mistreatment of you. It sounds like you have worked very hard to make sure HE isn't eating anything he shouldn't. What effort has he put into his own care? Has he shown remorse after these episodes? Has he initiated his own treatment or are you the one initiating and he's always following? You are not his caretaker and his bad moods and extreme mood swings are not YOUR problem, they are HIS. So now, it's time to focus on you.

First of all, you should know you don't deserve this. You need some space. That is okay. I would take this time to ask if you can spend a week or two with a friend or your parents, or other family members, away from your Husband so you can recover a little bit of yourself. Nothing, NOT EVEN ADHD OR ANY OTHER DISORDER, gives your husband the right to treat you this way. Mental illness and mental disorders do not give people the right to be verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive. You have every right to say "I don't like that you are treating me this way, and I do not want to live with someone who thinks it's okay to treat me this way."

You absolutely DESERVE to be happy. If your husband is not making you happy, you have the right to say "No more". Take the time away from your husband to decide whether you can stay in this relationship. There is one thing that I know to be true: You can't change your husband, he can only change if he wants to change himself. And it's okay if you can't say goodbye yet. If you can't here is what you can do. Stop managing his ADHD and food for him. He is an adult capable of feeding himself, and managing his own mood. If he has trouble, that is his own problem. When he yells at you, or is cruel or rude, you can say one of the following:

-Don't talk to me like that.

-That's not my responsibility.

-That is not appropriate.

One last thing... ADHD and Bipolar disorder often get misdiagnosed as the other. Perhaps your partner is not struggling with ADHD but with Bipolar Disorder? While it is not your place to seek treatment for your husband, it is a possibility he was misdiagnosed.


I am you —seriously, my husband does the same except I have Add—and my husband goes crazy—I am just realizing zing a lot of his anger or frustration with me I are add issues—at the same time he has the same personality of your husband—I think it is because he has chronic pain —but it is very very hard. I lost my job and during the 5 months off, I worked on myself—meditation-god—and just recently starting to think that the past 20 yearS of something always being wrong with me might actually be his own stuff? Have kids, trying to figure out what I need to do so I can manage my ADD and not beat myself up —and keep my spirit and kids spirit in a good space—not sure if that helps but definently reading your story made me feel not alone..


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