ADHD Marriage | Separate Bedrooms is the key. Who Knew?

awesomeburgHere this in further detail as I am interviewed by Eric Tivers on his award winning Podcast ADHD Rewired, by clicking right here

My wife did not want me writing about the fact we have separate bedrooms, but fortunately, it got out while we were on a Podcast together. Enjoy!

Many years ago, during the first three months of our marriage, I came home to the house after a hard day’s work. I was greeted at the bedroom door by my wife. She was holding a giant garbage bag that contained all of my clothes and a box containing my non-clothes items. She informed me that we would no longer have the same bedroom or the same bathroom. I was pretty bent up about it at first, but after further thought, a soothing calm fell upon me. It was then when it occurred to me what had actually just happened.

I had actually just been crowned as “King Awesome” and was banished to the land of awesomeburg. It was as if all my royal subjects were throwing a parade in honor of my newly realized freedoms and benefits. I would now like to share with you what was bestowed on me upon that day.

ADHD Marriage | in my kingdom, I make the decisions.

I have my own space. It is a space only I go. My space is a sanctuary for me and all of my toys which will wait all day and every day for me to come home and spend time with them. There is plenty of room for these toys. There is even room for future toy expansion in the weeks and months to come. That is because it is my kingdom, and my toys are the only toys aloud to enter.

In my kingdom are many things which make me happy. There are three giant flat-screen monitors mounted around the room, two desktop computers and three laptops. I have five guitars hanging on the walls. I don’t play them anymore, but they look incredibly bad-ass hanging there. In my kingdom, it is my vote alone, that counts as to what belongs in it.

ADHD Marriage | My kingdom is a place of refuge.

adhd-marriage-Yvonne-NardoneMy wife is wonderful, but every now and then, she goes on a rampage. Yvonne recently opened the dishwasher upon our return from a vacation and a smell that could peel paint, filled the kitchen. She almost threw up; I saw her gag and knew there was trouble. She determined that the house was infected with cholera and went on what I like to call a “Cleaning Rampage”. She began dousing the kitchen with pure bleach. She wielded the gallon of Clorox, and no one was exempt from her wrath. The only way to win was not to play. So yes! I retreated and hid like a mouse in the peaceful bosom of my kingdom.

Sure a scared husband needs a place to hide, but it is other stuff too. How about phone calls? It really sucks listening to one side of a phone call. You are both watching TV and the phone rings. It drags on and on while the movie is paused. Now! I know this is the best time to make a run for it. Chances are the person on the phone is more important than I am at that moment.

ADHD Marriage | There are no entertainment conflicts

adhd-marriage-TV

I used to worry if something was on TV I really wanted to see. I would ask myself if there would be a conflict of interest this evening. I feared my own programing needs would not align with my wife’s programming needs. Would she want to watch Dexter with me or would she try to convince me again that American Idol is not a bullshit reality program? These are the questions I asked myself, but not anymore.

Guess what I watch on TV today. Yep! Whatever in the hell I want to. My wife enjoys the horse-shit the networks like to churn out every week. I don’t, and because I don’t, I do not permit this type of nonsense to exist within my kingdom.

ADHD Marriage | In my kingdom I set the standards

adhd-marriage-2I am also a slob, and my kingdom is very often a shit-pit. Guess how often this represents a problem for my wife. NEVER!! It used to be a big problem but my wife is very smart, and she has simply learned to stop entering the kingdom of Awesomeburg. If she needs me she will simply send for me. Brett will come up and tell me I have been summoned. We used to have a doorbell in my room. The button for which was in my wife’s room by her night stand. I think she lost it or threw it away when I did not answer her once.

 ADHD Marriage | In my kingdom time is not a factor

I stay up to insane hours. Sometimes until 3:00am. I get into a movie, a TV show or a story I am writing. I used to worry if my I saw my wife was tired. “OH SHIT!” I would say to myself. I hoped she wouldn’t be going to bed early tonight because I really wanted to play my new video game I got and if she went to bed, I can’t play call of duty with the rest of the kids in the country tonight.

Well, in the kingdom of Awesomeburg, I can game all night and into the morning. I can turn up the volume and talk smack on my Xbox headset as I obliterate complete strangers on a newly downloaded map, or kill zombies with my online friends.

ADHD Marriage | Disaster Strikes

adhd-marriage-3Recently while on vacation, peace was temporarily disrupted. When we got to our hotel room, I remember opening the door and my wife said, “look Tom, separate beds!” I looked at her and smiled.

It was during our second night, I was awoken by a snarling sound and it really did scare the shit out of me. It was not a lion as I had thought. It was my wife. My wife is beautiful. She is every bit, the delicate flower and virtuous woman. I love this lady to pieces, but I did not know she was capable of making noises like this. I was so afraid I thought she was about to die. I jumped up and woke her.

Women apparently do not enjoy being woken up in the middle of the night and told they are snoring. They also don’t like being asked questions about their breathing. They want to be left alone, and just be allowed to sleep. It did not go well for Tom this night. I was not in my kingdom; I was not the king and was therefore spoken to like a peasant boy.
My kingdom is a custom built fortress of solitude. It is designed to comfort and sooth me. When I am thirsty for fun, rest or excitement, it is there that I find a river of it. Ah yes! “The Great River Indulgence”, flowing without the pollutants of the things that annoy me. From it, flows the apathetic and approving waters when I need a period of procrastination or complacency. It is my oasis of homeostasis.

It’s also the only room in the house where I have any power or am allowed to make any decisions.
The truth is I love my wife more than I love myself, and I love the shit out of myself. Separate bedrooms allow us time to be by ourselves and it makes the time when we are together more special. Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder was right.

Tom-yvonne-adhd-marriage

When me or my wife have a tough day and want to be alone, separate bedrooms allow for this concession. It gives us both freedom and I think it prevents a lot of arguments. Yvonne and I almost never fight. Perhaps there is something to this.

I think many husbands and wives are ADHD-Marriage-tom and Yvonne-2divorced today because they did not have a place to take a timeout. I think being in the same bedroom provided a territorial dynamic that prevented either of them from leaving, thereby prolonging the arguments that may have led to their divorce. I am sure I must be right about this.

I am Tom Nardone and you are welcome.

Here this in further detail as I am interviewed by Eric Tivers on his award winning Podcast ADHD Rewired, by clicking right HERE

    • tomboyYou can join the ADHD People Facebook Group by clicking HERE. or iamtomnardone Here
    • Or you can enter your email address at the top of this page and click the button that says “BE AWESOME” 
    • Or you could risk never hearing from me again and go through life without the benefit of our counsel, but what would be the fun in that?
  • you can also find me on twitter @iamtomnardone or @adhdpeople
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About Tom Nardone

I write about everything that I can find humor in. I don't write about politics because I don't care what group of people are chosen to destroy this country. There are enough people doing that anyway.
This entry was posted in ADHD, FAMILY and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to ADHD Marriage | Separate Bedrooms is the key. Who Knew?

  1. ksbeth says:

    i’m happy you found a way to keep both sides of the kingdom happy. i hope there is a bridge or a moat you can cross to get to each other’s side for a visit now and then. to keep all of the royal family happy and then you can go back to your cave with your dragons and yvonne to her tower ) love it

  2. Marie says:

    I agree with you, Tom, and not just because you’re the king. I definitely could have saved a certain amount of fighting with separate bedrooms. Nobody wants to admit this, I didn’t, but sometimes it’s the smartest choice. Kudos to you and Yvonne.

  3. Danielle says:

    Wow, Tom Nardone, you are truly awesome.

    I wonder what my husband would think of separate bedrooms. Apparently we BOTH snore and he is the type with the surprise attack snore. You are right about women not liking to be woken up when sleeping. I was raised by parents who are independently neat freaks. I know this because they both remained this way after the divorce, which probably contributed to my diagnosis of ADHD happening as an adult, along with my gender and pure genius… My husband, however, proudly tells the story of his first dorm room, where there was stuff on the floor knee to waist deep depending on who is telling the story and a little path SOMETIMES cleared to the beds. I am beginning to wonder if HE had ADHD and was never diagnosed. I cannot function well enough to do any kind of work or chores in clutter. My mom claims a tornado has been through the house as soon as he arrives when he actually visits my family with me. After seeing the house where HE grew up, I know why he is this way. I tried giving him an office, the master bedroom of our old house actually. I told him he could fill that room with crap from floor to ceiling and do whatever he wanted – it was his room. The rest of the house needed to be presentable though.

    That, um, didn’t work out for us. The next thing I asked for was just the living room, my space since there was a room we never did use after he didn’t make the hatch for the hole I allowed him to cut in the floor for better access to the crawl space. Then all I asked was that nothing be put on the couch and I didn’t even get that!

    You are truly awesome for keeping it to one room!

    There’s more to the story and I do like to write novels BUT I have to get up in a couple hours and my laptop is nearly dead and I don’t know where the cord is… At the moment I have my own office now so when I make a mess of things myself, it’s only one room I have to clean to get any work done and we are considering trying a tiny apartment in Manhattan to see if my husband can live there because this house would’ve worked out if bad things didn’t happen to me between our offer getting accepted and actually moving here. Maybe if we had separate bedrooms, the 2BR apartment we had in Queens wouldn’t have had us at each other’s throats. I need my own space and he should have his too. Plus, I’m nocturnal and he’s on a normal schedule and you’ve made some very good points that either weren’t in the podcast or reinforced what was. I know what you mean about getting to bed early – he doesn’t like it when I’m still up when he gets up for work. I don’t like it when I have somewhere to be that day but wouldn’t have to worry about it on other days with separate bedrooms. If we do end up ditching the house and permanently moving to Manhattan, we will need to find a way to make an apartment work. You may just have given me the answer. Thank you for that.

    Also, I thought I could handle eating some banana bread since I listened to the podcast but alas, it ended up on the floor so I wouldn’t have that stuck in my sinuses too from laughing so hard. I guess I have some cleaning to do and the sun will surely be up by the time I make it to bed. And I am down to 1% so you get a nice short story for a comment this time 😉

    • Thanks as always for the kind words and you are so welcome. Yvonne and I are seriously considering moving into a two bedroom singlewide trailer. I dont need all of this space.

      • Danielle says:

        I’m glad you found my words kind! Thank you. I can always count on a good laugh from you even when I think I know what you’re going to say 🙂 I would need less to keep me entertained at home if I lived in a place where I could find it elsewhere. I was supposed to here… Oh well life happens, right? We either move forward with what we have and let go of what we can’t control (as hard as that is) or remain stuck and self-destruct, risking taking others down with us. You’re always funny and all about moving forward with what you have. If you do move into a trailer, please please please write about that. A 2BR in Manhattan is likely just a little smaller and a lot more expensive. I would love to hear about you and Yvonne in a small space with your own rooms! I still think it’s cool she’s trying to learn Doobie Brothers on ukulele.

    • Chantel Dickerson says:

      Hello,

      I found this last night after doing a Google search, “how to share a bedroom with an ADHD spouse.” My husband and I have not even been married 5 years. After a 6 month whirlwind of hyper courting, I married him.
      In short, it’s been rough. I still know I found a jewel and that he’s one amazing man. Its too bad I was uneducated (even though he told me he has ADHD) I chose to not hear that. I chose not to educate myself. What I thought ADHD is, is definitely not what it actually is. We’ve spent most of our marriage in anger and depression, but now we are at a turning point.
      I read this to him last night and we both (especially me) laughed and laughed. once our teens are off to their own adventure, we to shall separate the madness and find peace. Finding humor in this and educating yourself , I have found, is the only road to take! Thanks for the laughs!
      Chantel

      • Tom Nardone says:

        Chantel thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad to hear the two of you enjoyed this story. I believe you would enjoy listening to Yvonne and I talk about our marriage on our show. I dont know if you listen to podcasts but you should give us a try at thetomnardoneshow.com
        stay in touch if you wish I would love to hear more about the things you learn.
        Tom

        • Chantel says:

          I did exactly that today at work! I love hearing how “normal” we are. The fact that we are not special and pretty textbook dead on, gives me comfort. We aren’t alone in the world. I speak for myself, but as a non ADHD, I always thought he was broken. I always thought everything I did was the right way. Baby steps- baby steps! Thanks again!

        • Tom Nardone says:

          You have made my whole weekend Chantel. Thanks so much

  4. Susan Lafitte Watkins says:

    Awesome read as always. Thanks for the post/share!

  5. gentry says:

    Moved into my own bedroom about a year ago. Never slept better! We are saving a boatload on earplugs!

  6. I think you found the secret to a happy marriage. Good on you.

  7. goddess6666 says:

    Wow, this is absolutely Genius!!! This is up there with the discovery of the wheel, electricity, laws of physics, and the Internet! Thank you for posting this it’s truly inspirational!!!!

  8. Sandi says:

    Finally you got a good laugh out of me.I bet my husband Would like separate bedrooms considering the likes of clothing I often have around the bedroom.Also,he’s up about as late as you and I am generally in bed around 9 pm if I have to get up at 4am for work.Then there are those nasty hot flashes were I am hot one minute and cold the next.maybe that is why he’s up so late.

  9. Gina Pera says:

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! GREAT JOB, TOM!

    Who knew? I knew! And have preached about the possibility for years. If not separate bedrooms — a duplex!!

    Keep up the great work.
    Gina Pera

  10. Sherry says:

    Hello,

    I am a new reader here, my guy is ADHD, and I am LOVING your blog. We are new to the ADHD world. I find myself coming here to read whenever I get worried about ADHD related issues, or feel that deadly need to nag. Thanks for all the positivity! It’s such a relief to find that I relate to such an outlook.

    Separate bedrooms wouldn’t work for me personally, but my “dream” arrangement would be a bedroom big enough for nothing but a king bed and two tiny night stands. No clothes, no storage, nothing but a big comfy bed and some reading material. Alas, our current house doesn’t allow for this, we have our master bedroom and he has his office/kingdom. But a girl can dream!

  11. Kerry says:

    I too Tom have forged my own kingdom. my wife and I love each other dearly but have totally different night time routines and issues. I like to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning, she is a very light sleeper. I found your blog because I was wondering if anyone else had discovered the nirvana of seperate bedrooms……….and might I add….bathrooms And closets! I sold the idea to my wife by pointing out to her how she could have her bathroom and bedroom and closet all girly and to herself. Now that we have done it I don’t think she would ever go back. I have my kingdom of late night whatever the hell I want to watch, however long I want to and she has a prinCess cave. Not to mention if we are a little tired and annoyed at each other occasionally we don’t have to lay together and stew while trying to sleep. Oue sex life always was andvremains healthy and good. This must be how it felt to discover plutonium. Love your blog. From one King to another cheers!

  12. Anbee says:

    No sex? I only ask bc Adhd seems to have taken my husband’s interest in me like hours after our wedding. He sleeps in another room these days after 3 years of me trying to figure out what I did to make me ‘vanish’ and learning that learning about ADHD increases understanding and focus for him, and tells me to find a way to be happy and even appreciate invisibility. I asked him to please move to the other room bc of his bladder control issues (which he thinks are ADHD related), …I thought we would find a way to meet in between but intimacy died years before he moved to his room and I have since given up entirely the idea that i will ever find expression for that part of my self. Sad to see pieces of you die in your prime…and by intimacy I mean sex yes…but not just sex..all our attention is focused as a couple upon his counseling and his care. Funny… I never thought I’d become a nurse and not by choice. I see your humor, but I am having a hard time relating to it. To me, this whole thing is too sad. I notice people who die 30 and 40 years older than me and can’t help but think…oh god…30 more years of this? Is she able to find as much humor in this as you? I see that it gives ou a kingdom,…where are you able to express the ‘us’ part of your marriage? (I don’t mean location, but are you able? …I guess I am asking…is there hope or is that, hoping, just another trick ADHD likes to play?)

    • Tom Nardone says:

      Anbee thank you for your comment. We have no issues with sex. I go downstairs to her or her upstairs to me when my room is clean. They say separation can make the heart grow fonder but this does t mean it is the best choice for everyone. I sympathize with you and wish I had the answer. I did a podcast on the ERIC tivers “ADHD Rewired” I can send you the link if you wish. I am sorry to hear of your sadness.

    • Hi Tom,

      If you don’t mind, I’d like to pipe up here with Anbee. The notice just popped up in my mail for some reason; I guess I’m subscribed to comments. 🙂

      Anbee, yes, it is sad. And, oftentimes, completely unnecessary.

      But, if your partner has poorly managed ADHD and is not motivated to seek means of higher-functioning (or doesn’t think it’s even possible), it looks like it’s up to you to turn the ship around.

      So, when you ask, “Is there hope?” I’d have to say, possibly. But hope is not going to come in out of the blue. You will have to create some reason for hope, by educating yourself on what you’re up against and trying to encourage your partner to learn, too. And perhaps seek professional help.

      Is this fair, that you have to be the one to steer the ship? No, it’s not fair. But it’s up to you: To decide how you want to live the rest of your life.

      Perhaps, it is too late for ADHD education/treatment to make a difference. Some people who have lived with ADHD for many decades, not knowing they have it and developing very poor habits as a result, are simply not going to change. And sometimes the hurt in the partner is too entrenched.

      The first step in “hope” is fully facing what you’re dealing with.

      Good luck to you,
      Gina Pera

  13. Anbee says:

    Wow…you sort of just shocked me. Thank you s much for answering and so fast…I have grown to believe I am meant to go unnoticed, since I do every day. Wow… really..thank you. yes please,…will you send the podcast link? Thank you for that also.

  14. Anbee says:

    Thank you also Gina. Yes, I am a researcher so got on that part really early, he is in..on? (never remember which in English) meds now and counseling. I also helped by taking on the financial mess he hid so i would marry him and have it all neat now. His life frankly seems to be much better. I moved here from Europe when we married and the financial repair price is that I might never be able to even visit home again (or no time soon) so here am working to help him (5 years now) …his life seems to be balancing. I have high hopes for a new counselor to help with his temper explosions. But is not a marriage. Is a partnership where I help him. That is that. I thought of leaving but I feel like the skeleton holding him up. Too worried about him if I go. I’ll keep reading, and trying to figure things out,… I think facing things this fully is what makes it so clearly stark (hmm…I think that is a word). Night all. Ty again.

    • Yes, I know what you mean about the skeleton. I’ve heard similar metaphors for years.

      The thing is, there is a long line of caretakers in the world. 😉

      “Taking medication” doesn’t mean it’s the right medication(s).

      There’s a good chance the anger explosions are based in neurobiology and not as responsive to medication.

      You can learn more about adult ADHD, relationship issues, and treatment strategies at the blog I write for CHADD. http://www.YouMeADD.org

  15. Anbee says:

    I thought I’d give you an update. My husband and I went to the doc. and I told them (he and the doc.) that our marriage was at its end if things did not become relieved. They worked together and added an antidepressant to his ADHD med…. OMG…he is a totally different man! No more bullying, or temper explosions,…it has been a week and I feel like a cartoon girl putting on a quizzical face because when I expect anger he says stuff like… “no worries, we can deal with this.” I NEVER imagine his meds being readjusted could save him from the dark cloud he has been in. I will admit I am grateful but also not totally unguarded. I told him how much progress I see (no more explosions at work are helping him a lot too). I keep remembering words I read here and in Gina’s blog…Finding a counselor that could help us for us took 4 years! Not until we found this woman who also has ADHD did we get clear steps to take forward. Thank you for your blog! It lent me the fuel to keep looking for the right help. No one before had actually worked to tailor his meds to his needs.

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