Managing My Husband’s Behavior

angry wife

Let me preface this by saying that my husband is a wonderful man and an excellent father.  He is kind and patient and spends every moment he can with us as a family.

But my husband is only human.  He is allowed to get frustrated – as I do.  And there are many moments that managing my son’s behavior can be difficult.  And so I’m sure, if he ever reads this, I will be in trouble for saying the things I am going to say.  But I need to say it anyway.

My husband works all day and comes usually just in time to put our older boy to bed which means he sees him very little during the week.   Occasionally in that time when he is putting our son to bed my husband will lose his temper.  Usually my son (who by that time is no longer medicated) is having a difficult time calming down for the night, or gets distracted 400 times on his way up the stairs to brush his teeth and my husband – who has also had a long day and is tired and hungry – gets frustrated.  I do it more than I care to admit too.  But I’m the one who is with him all the time.  I’m the one who gets him off to school in the morning, gets him to his various therapy appointments, who feeds him dinner, helps him with homework (which is no small accomplishment) and gets him bathed and ready for bed- all while also chasing the two year old!

He always defers to me on every decision about our son’s treatment too.  He says that since I used to be a teacher I know more so I know what is best to do.  But it is different when it is your own child and I don’t like feeling the burden of these decisions on my own.  I appreciate the vote of confidence but we’re supposed to be in this together.   He has never been to an IEP meeting.  Or even a conference with a teacher.  Or read a book about ADHD.

And so sometimes I feel that I have to be the mommy to 3 boys: my wonderful ADHD boy, my 2 year old and my husband.  It can make me feel very alone.

Just needed to let it out.  Thanks for listening.

Kim Clary Cafiero

Kim is a stay at home mom to two boys. She came to parenthood through adoption and was a teacher and school administrator before taking the plunge to stay home full time. She lives in New Jersey.

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ADHD stress, General ADHD, Kim Clary Cafiero, parenting ADHD, parenting/FAMILY ·

About the author

Kim is a stay at home mom to two boys. She came to parenthood through adoption and was a teacher and school administrator before taking the plunge to stay home full time. She lives in New Jersey.


  1. Leeann says:

    I just wanted to say that I could really relate to parts of this. My husband works long hours as well. When my son was younger (he’s almost 12 now), my husband would come home and get him all hyped up and then start yelling when he couldn’t get him to “come back down” on a dime.

    For me, the most difficult thing is that I spend so much time with the kids and really work hard to hold my $h!t together as much as I can. I like to send them to school with a sense of peace and to bed with a sense of peace. I get upset when I’ve managed to do that all day and my husband will come home at the Nth hour and yell at him.

    That being said, he’s a great man, provider, husband and father. But these are definitely areas that tripped us up- it has gotten much better.

  2. Kristen Cornejo says:

    Well this is timely. My husband just totally lost it on my kid last week. Lucas was distracted, Hubs’ words just weren’t getting through… and he did the whole screaming/shrieking “WHEN WILL YOU LEARN TO PAY ATTENTION?!?!?!” I just about ripped my husband’s throat out. (Who also is otherwise a “good man.”) You are not alone, momma.

  3. Caroline says:

    You could have put my name where yours was in this blog. You are singing my song sister. Totally relate. Thank you for being so honest and for acknowledging that we all are flawed. However, when you are driving the bus it can sometimes be overwhelming. I often feel like it’s ok for me to get frustrated & overwhelmed but not my husband since he’s not “in it” like i am. I have to work on my patience….with him too! Thank u.

  4. Susan says:

    I hear ya loud and clear! My husband has never been involved with any of the actions taken to get our son any sort of therapy (making the decision to pursue a therapy, or getting the kid there). He has never been to a parent/ teacher conference or an IEP meeting (and the kid has been involved in special ed for 9 years). And when I decided to get our son tested for ADHD and learning disabilities, my husband saw so many similarities in the resulting report, that we ended up getting my husband tested. And yup, he also has ADHD and learning disabilities. No wonder half the time I’m talking to my husband, he’s in outer space and doesn’t get one thing I say. Thankfully, they are both low on hyperactivity. But the lack of executive functions and the fact that they both become obsessed with activities, combined with the impulsivity for my son, drives me nuts from time to time.
    My husband works 7 days of 12 hr. shifts at a time (he’s off 7 days in between), rotating between days and nights. So, I’m a single parent about 70% or more of the time. After a week of night shifts, my husband is wiped out, and it takes days to get his internal clock back around to be awake during the day. But, the days he’s off after a day shift work week, he’s pretty helpful.
    My heart goes out to you.

  5. louisa says:

    I know all those feelings and I’m with you. Sometimes I think that men struggle to understand anything that is not the norm or that affects them personally and I do believe that evolution, in giving them greater strength, also made them more self-centred (?). I’m not man-bashing, they are just different and have quicker triggers and less empathy, perhaps.

  6. I hear ya sister – I’ll give you another perspective – my husband is also ADD – so I’m managing my son’s chaos and his – when he does focus enough to be involved it disrupts all the progress I’ve made – and he’s usually angry and impatient — Hang tight sister – you’re a good mom – your son is lucky to have you – he will grow up confident and supported because of your love and sacrifice – I’m fully convinced there is a special place in heaven for the moms of ADD – we’ll be pampered in a quiet clean wonderful place and everyone will remember everything we say…. word for word – : )

  7. jpac2970 says:

    rEALLY?!!! All these responses are annoying….. I get SO FREAKING TIRED of these dads coming home, changing clothes to go work out for 2 hours and then we, as wives, are supposed to be all, “oh, honey, how can I serve you?”… NO! I’m done… these rat bastards need to stop already..

  8. Carolyn Stringellow says:

    THIS IS ME!!! My husband doesn’t really understand what I go through. My son is 4 and has not been diagnosed officially, but dispalys all of the symptoms associated with adhd.( We will have him tested as soon as we have insurance.) I also have a 2 year old daughter and let me tell you, from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, it is a challenge trying to figure out the best way to handle a situation, how to avoid a fit, how to punosh his behavior..and so on. My husband comes home and gets very frustrated very quickly and thinks his way is the best way to handle it, which of course leads to my son very frustrated. Ugh..glad Im not the only one.

  9. Ncappis says:

    Reading this has described my life!! My husband has adhd and my oldest son,. Took me forever to make the decision to put my child on medication, however it was the best thing ever. It is so hard keeping together sometimes. I love my children, but tend to find myself wanting a break .

  10. Karen says:

    My husband fight about this weekly! I end up holding in my resentment towards him all week long, and letting it out all at once. I lose my temper with my ADHD son more often than I should, but I am with him all day. I take care of school, doctors appointments, read all the books/blogs. My husband GETS to go to work 10 hours a day. He doesn’t have the right to be frustrated. And he doesn’t have the right to take it out on our little boy. I understand that my husband worked all day, and wants to come home and relax. But at the end of the day, I don’t get to “go home”.


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