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Living With an ADHD Wife is like Living with Dory from Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo - Dory and Marlin


Dory: No. No, you can't... STOP. Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave... if you leave... I just, I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two... forty-two... I remember it, I do. It's there, I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And-and I look at you, and I... and I'm home.


When Finding Nemo came out in 2003, I didn't know I had ADHD. My daughter was 3 and my husband and I had been together for just over 4 years.

I related to Dory with her short term memory issues so much that I collected the Dory toys and had her on my desk, and adopted her "just keep swimming " quote as my life motto and mantra and used it in my email sig line.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this movie. It still remains my favourite  pixar movie.

I always felt Dory made the movie and so many parts make me laugh in recognition of my ADHD traits. But the one part of the movie that touched me the most was the above quote Dory says to Marlin toward the end.


Living With an ADHD Spouse is like Living with Dory

Everybody says that ADHD is a gift, or a trait to embrace and make it work for you, not against you. But it is not always sunshine and roses. All my life it created chaos and wreaked havoc on my life and relationships. Not just with significant others, but with family and friends, and  even co workers.

Living with a person who has ADHD is not easy. I recognize that and always try to keep in mind what it is like for the non ADHD spouse dealing with the forgetting things, scatterbrain organization, interruptions, impulsiveness, burned dinners, forgotten laundry, missed deadlines and bills etc.

Often the non ADHD spouse feels like they are living with an immature teenager, and the ADDer resents the NON ADDer spouse for acting like a nagging parent. Maintaining romance and a good relationship while living in ADHD chaos can be so hard, and is reflected in the higher divorce rates among adults with ADHD.


I am so very lucky to have found my Marlin to my Dory

My husband and I will be together for 15 years this year.

It is not always easy. He often gets frustrated with my ADHD ways, and I saw that dynamic in the movie between Marlin and Dory. That's why that quote from Dory touches me so much.  My husband has been there with me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me,even when I tried to push him away and, like Marlin to Dory... no one has ever stuck with me for so long.


When I'm with him, I'm home

My husband is my best friend, and my biggest supporter. My strongest advocate and the strongest holder of my feet to the fire. He makes me want to be a better person.

I often am doubly disappointed ( and harder on myself for my mistakes) when I mess up because I never want to disappoint him.  His never ending support is my reason to always pick myself up when I fall down in an ADHD blunder, and try again.

We just watched Finding Nemo with the kids for family fun night tonight and I wanted to share this with you, as not only is the movie a  good lesson for the parent child relationship story it tells between Marlin and Nemo. But, it is also a wonderful example of how two people can come together with their own different debilitating traits  and /or baggage from past life experiences and compliment each other by being a strength to the other's weaknesses and work together to accomplish great and wonderful, and often seemingly insurmountable things when they become a team.

He's my Marlin



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