Trouble regulating emotions at home - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

13,940 members3,627 posts

Trouble regulating emotions at home

michael682 profile image

Hey everyone!

I’ve been having a hard time at work. I won’t go into detail but it’s super stressful and exhausting.

I was on a roll a few months ago and was doing well with my home life. My wife brought to my attention that I’ve fallen behind and am not doing my part at home. Stress from work is making my time at home difficult and I’m not doing well regulating my emotions which is affecting my relationship with her. I’m slacking on cleaning, staying organized and realize I’m irritated whenever she talks to me about what I need to do around the place. I know she doesn’t deserve the attitude but it comes out of me and I get defensive. Im not sure why I do this but it’s my reaction to her trying to talk to me about it. Things like cleaning up after myself, taking care of joint things and projects are extremely difficult. I don’t know how to get back on track and need advice on how to stay organized at home again. I also need some insight on how you guys deal with emotions develop from work and interfere with your home life.

I love doing hobbies but it doesn’t help get rid of the stress and irritation I bring home with me and I’m totally not one to meditate.

I’m definitely disappointed with myself for taking a few steps back but know that I’ve overcame this before and can do it again!

Hope everyone is well and I would love some support and advice on these topics.

- Michael

8 Replies

I mean, this is exactly the stuff we have a hard time with. Life getting overwhelming and then the last straw ends up being the last person we want to be agitated with. But it’s the end of the day, we’re already to the max and they’re the last ones bugging us about something. It’s not ok, but I 100% get it.

What if you talked to your dr about a small evening dose to get you through the evening at home with the wife. Just while work is sucking all the life out of you.

Or maybe playing super loud, favorite songs on the way home. Really sing your butt off. Music can really help mood! Make a special play list of your favorite sing and dance songs.

What about a maid! Just while you’re busy with work. Tell her you feel like you’re stretched too thin and know you haven’t been keeping up lately and you’d love to have someone come once a week to take care of things for BOTH of you. Why not a little break for everyone! There are also professional organizers. If you have a room she complains about because it’s too cluttered with your many projects, let someone come take care of it for you.

Also, don’t under estimate romantic gestures. Some flowers here, her favorite take out there (especially if she’s usually cooking). And a maid as a gift! Hahahaha.

I hope something here helps.

I really appreciate the reply. Your input helps me see things from a different perspective and the solutions are good ideas. I will talk with my wife to see about getting a house cleaner once a week or every other week to help us feel less stressed. I’ll also talk to my dr to see if she recommends an extra dose to get me through the evening. I’ll be sure to update you at the end of this month!

Thanks a lot. :)

I hope it helps! And if you’re already on an XR, a booster dose doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be enough to help you stay calm once you’re home.

I really hope something here helps.

Cheers

Credit profile image
Credit in reply to michael682

We've hired a cleaner for every other week and it's very helpful. She cleans while we shop and go for a walk then it's sparks. Not cheap but we find it worth it.

I have struggled with this same issue for many years and I wish I had a diagnosis and some scaffolding supports. Transitions from work to home are difficult. Self-regulation was not modeled well in my childhood home but I'm finally making progress in this regard. Motivation to continue the day well into the evening or late at night can be exhausting, particularly with undesirable or boring tasks.

It sounds like you know what brings you joy in your hobbies. Use the 10 minute start, set a 10 minute alarm and start on the household bills for example. Once you've started you'll likely continue but if you're not 'feeling it' give yourself the ability to try again later or the next day. Generate a small daily list or a weekly list of chores, and give yourself a time limit - 10 minutes to take out the trash, 20 minutes to wash and dry the dishes, 40 minutes to wash load of laundry, and so on. Making the to do list the priority for an hour or so, and then rewarding yourself with hobby time could be a possible motivator to finish.

I hear you when you say meditation isn't your thing. It's worked for me but only because I've used the Headspace app which teaches meditation in a progressive way. Meditation can be active, though not exactly the same, but mindfully walking, running, yoga, or lifting weights can provide an outlet for day to day frustrations, especially when they creep up on us. Those day to day frustrations happen and we think we forgot about them, which we do until we are overwhelmed.

Maintain a sense of humor towards your feelings of stress from work; and share the joke with your wife. Use gratitude to really appreciate your wife. She probably doesn't want to be a nag or irritate you, because you are her husband, not her child. The small afternoon dose of medication, suggested earlier may provide a bit more executive support.

Using music, podcasts, or audio books to keep engaged only when doing these tasks as a sort of reward could provide some motivation.

Make getting 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis a priority.

Most of all, give compassion to yourself. Check out "The Science of Well Being" on Coursera. Wishing you all the best.

Shirley

This might sound silly but I played a training game at work on a management method called "5S". It transformed my life at work and at... home! I even started requesting that we place silverware in specific ways in the dishwasher, might sound borderline OCD but shows how effective that game was. I think it's because ADD is so sensitive to anything that creates a dopamine hit, like a game does.

I can totally relate to this. I have constantly struggled with feeling nagged and judged about chores and it made me angry and defensive. It has been a difficult road to navigate with my wife who is very driven and organized and I love her for that. Unfortunately, we had to go through a lot of pain to figure this out. I think we have a good balance now, but it didn't start out that way. I always felt judged, like my wife didn't give me any credit for the chores and things I did do around the house and like she felt like I did nothing and she did everything, and oh man it was tough.

I think the biggest key for us was getting past the timing of chores being done. My wife would hit me up with stuff to do around the house pretty close to right when I got home. I realized this added to my negative response. We worked out a deal where she would give me some unwind time from work before hitting me up with any honey dos. This helped me a lot. She also gave me some freedom to decide the timing of when to do them, but sometimes this still became an issue because I would get distracted and not always follow through, so I also had to change my mentality on this and try to just do them when she asks.

Another thing that helped was talking through expectations and even dividing up chores by days, like I agreed to do the dishes on Tuesdays , Thursdays and Sundays. We also made deals like if she cooked I would do the dishes and vice versa. Also, dividing chores by what we didn't mind doing. So I admit I hate folding laundry so I agreed to do a chore my wife didn't like doing if she would fold the laundry.

Hiring someone to help clean the house is something we have only done in the past year and I can't tell you how awesome it is for both of us. It is well worth the $$. We both work full time so it just takes some of the stress of cleaning off both our shoulders. I wish we would have done this 10 years ago. It would have probably saved us a lot of pain.

I have found visual cues and phone alarms have helped me the most with making sure I am following through with my obligations and share of the chores at home. A chore whiteboard or calendar I can check and reminder alarms on my phone.

Hope that helps. The sooner you can come up with systems that work for you and your wife the happier you both will be at home as this issue that seems little, can build up lots of frustration for both you and your wife. It took my wife and I too long to figure it out and it caused resentment for both of us, which hurt our marriage.

michael682 profile image
michael682 in reply to djgibson

Thank you so much for the insight and advice. I think the biggest thing is that “oh boy here we go” mindset kicks in whenever she asks me to do something around the house. So I think changing the way I view the situation is the first step, I’m going to look into a cleaning person to clean at least two of the rooms in the house which will help us out tons. I like the idea of splitting it up by days and trading things you don’t like with each other. I agree that this is most definitely an area that affects marriage and relationships even if it seems small and that is why I’m trying my best to get a routine in place that will minimize the stress. Thanks!

You may also like...