Ever see an adult man throw a temper tantrum? Ever wonder if you’re dealing with adult ADHD symptoms?
When your spouse shows signs of Adult ADHD Symptoms, it’s a “not-uncommon, but, still a disturbing sight.” So says Kristen about her last grocery store excursion with her husband, Jason. It was over ice cream. The flavor. Having purchased an apple pie for a family gathering, Kristen was thinking vanilla would be appropriate. But when she asked her husband if he was OK with getting something everyone liked, he blew up.
Looking back, Kristen realizes that the phrase “everyone liked” was the trigger to what came next. Jason received the message that Kristen said that nobody liked his previous choice of Chunky Monkey. Jason whirled around, stamped his foot and sputtered out loudly “Everybody liked my ice cream, everybody ate it and loved it. I don’t know why you think my choices are bad.” After that tirade, he stomped down the aisle. Clearly, Jason was struggling to manage his Adult ADHD Symptoms.
In their 25 years of marriage, Kristen and Jason have experienced many similar situations where Jason’s reaction to a perceived criticism, judgment or misunderstood comment has resulted in Jason’s over-the-top emotional response, closely aligned to a child’s meltdown. To witness this behavior in an “adult” is startling and puzzling to say the least. To be the spouse of someone who takes this action it’s chilling.
Carl is divorced with a college-aged daughter. He’s been managing his ADD for the past 10 years but is significantly challenged with the emotional self-regulation piece. Since the divorce, he feels like he’s lost his family. His daughter is away at school (within driving distance), and when she comes home she tends to stay with their mom who’s still living in the home she and Carl formerly owned jointly. It bugs him immensely that she seems to constantly choose his ex over him, except when it comes to asking for money.
In May, his daughter graduated from college. Carl had thought a lot about how the weekend would go, with dinners with his girl, hanging out, talking and setting up an apartment for her. Lots of good times with Dad.
What actually happened was an entirely different story. His ex was at graduation with her partner (who Carl detests), and her mother. All three kept their distance from him. Nobody recognized him in the way he pictured he would be, Father of the Graduate. He felt he had to beg his daughter to sit with him at dinner. She was torn between her mom and dad. She did not want to hang out with him (all the time) because she wanted to be with her friends.
Carl felt like the odd man out and reacted by starting a number of arguments with his daughter, resulting in both of them crying and feeling miserable. Carl wanted a level of support and comfort from his daughter that would be more appropriate coming from another adult his age. His daughter does not want to be her father’s caretaker.