Post # 1
Hi everyone. Need some advice. Been with my husband for 5 years and over the last 3 years this issue has gotten worse. i’m talking 8-10 or more times a day, and it is so frustrating. He doesn’t pay attention when I speak. He will pretend he is listening but then thinks I said the exact opposite or gets it completely wrong. Some examples. I will say hey here’s our sons milk I just warmed up, can you feed it to him while I pack his bag? And he will say yeah and then stare into the sky or something and put the bottle down on the table. I will say um can you feed him? He’s like ok ok ok. 10 minutes later, he will say ok do you want pasta for lunch? I will say no it’s too heavy. He’ll say yeah? Ok let’s get some. What? I just said no. He will say oh sorry I was thinking about something else.
this goes on all day long. I will tell him about my day and say oh a new girl started at my work, she said she went to elementary school with you. He will say Do you want to go to the mall. I will then say HELLO DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID WHY DO YOU TUNE ME OUT.
He calls from the grocery store, what do we need again? I tell him make sure you get homo milk for our son. He will come back with our 1% milk and I will say where is the homo milk? He will yell and say I didn’t tell him to get that.
it’s just non stop of him tuning me out. I know some of you will say this isn’t a communication issue and to not sweat the small stuff but please try to understand this is my life. Constantly. It’s such a battle to be heard. To the point where I angrily make him repeat things back to me and there is just so much tension I cannot take it anymore. I hate having to say things 30 times and I’m tired of it. I feel like not talking ever, because there is no point. I just want him to pay attention. I need to have a back and forth conversation. it appears he only has a normal conversation with me if it’s something he wants to talk about.
Post # 2
How old is he? He could very well have a medical issue, ex. Headlong loss, short term memory loss, trouble concentrating, ADD, can be anything. He needs to see a doctor about this, with you.
Post # 3
He’s 32. I thought maybe ADD is the issue but I’m worried about him being diagnosed medication like adderol. He has an addictive personality…
do you think that’s what it is?
Post # 4
lalagig : in not a doctor so I am not able to diagnose him. No one can. Go see a doctor.
Post # 5
This definitely seems like it could be a medical or neurological issue. Especially if it is getting progressively worse. He needs to see a doctor. Do you think he isn’t hearing you in the first place or can never remember what you just said? Either way he needs to be seen by a professional.
Post # 6
lalagig : It is possible he has a hearing problem? The same sort of thing would happen with my mom when her hearing started to fail. Either she didn’t realize it or she didn’t want to admit it. But I would speak to her sometimes and she would answer questions I wasn’t asking, or sometimes just ignore me (or so I thought). She would look at me like she was listening and then do/say something else, or the opposite of what I said. It was frustrating, but I think it was her doctor who finally got to the bottom of it, and rectified the issue.
Post # 7
You said he has an addictive personality…is it possible he’s using something that makes him distracted and distant/uncaring?
Post # 8
Thanks for the replies. No he’s not using anything. He’s actually become quite the health freak. And it’s not a hearing issue, just a paying attention issue. What makes me think it’s not add or something medical is because when he’s doing something he enjoys he gives full attention. So maybe it’s me. I don’t know
Post # 9
My ex was exactly like this. It drove me crazy. It also got much worse with age.
His primary fought me to the mat just to get a referral to a neurologist. She ordered brain and CT scans.
He was diagnosed with sleep apnea and got a CPAP. That improved his mood, but, not his memory.
He also had a raging, huge frontal cavity sinus infection that he had refused to have treated. When I finally got him to an ENT, the doctor was adamant that the infection could not cause memory issues.
The neurologist wasn’t so sure. But, after he’d had the CPAP for a few weeks, she retested him and found his memory to be normal for his age.
I nearly fell off my chair.
The really bad thing about this kind of memory problem is the number of lies it generates and the gaslighting required for him to keep convincing himself that he’s ok.
Bee, I would start by trying to get him to his primary and see what type of referral his doctor deems necessary.
In the case of my ex, I finally came up with Spectrum Disorder based on the memory issue and other observations.
Post # 10
It’s odd that you are so resistant to the thought that this could be medical. It struck me as a hearing problem as well. And no, you don’t know that it’s not a hearing problem because he hasn’t had his hearing tested. Higher frequency, including female voices, are almost always the first thing to go. I would sit down and have a very frank conversation with him that this is destroying your marriage and he needs to get his hearing tested and go to the doctor to get to the bottom of this because you won’t live every day like this. But to pass it off immediately as just him ignoring you seems odd. If that’s what you think why would you stay with him? You need to find the true cause of this behavior.
Post # 11
lalagig : OP- one of the defining characteristics of ADD is the ability to “hyperfocus” on things they enjoy. My husband has ADHD and when he’s working on a project (alone or together), he could spend hours happily doing that. But if he isn’t actually present during a converstion, he will miss all kinds of details. He doesn’t prefer to use medication. He’s also really into fitness and, for years, has been using weight lifting (and more recently meditation, too) to support him.
I agree that your husband should get checked out. And also that you need to read up on whatever results he gets so that you are well informed about what to expect. If he does have ADD (and for some reason, his ability to conceal it has been increasingly compromised), you need to be aware that he isn’t “not listening” to you on purpose. ADD is a brain difference that impacts executive function and things like his ability to distinguish your words from background noise in a busy or chaotic space. It impacts sensory awareness and can affect sleep and stress as well. I used to get really frustrated with my husband because I thought he was just dismissing me. It wasn’t until I did some research and found a recording of what reading a simple passage in a noisy room sounds like for someone with ADD/ADHD that I started to understand a bit and have some compassion. Also, if your husband does have it, your child could, too, so it’s a good idea to start learning now so that YOU can feel better in your household.
I’d start looking into doctors or ways he could get checked out asap. If things have recently gotten worse, there’s likely an explanation for that.
Post # 12
Interesting. Did you find that whatever treatment your husband is now on has helped this issue?
Post # 13
it sounds like you’re so frustrated (understandably!) and have internalized this problem so deeply that you’re a bit resistant to considering that this could be a medical issue and not a marriage issue. It honestly doesn’t have to be about you or his feelings toward you. It might be, but you have to eliminate the other, very legitimate possibilities first. And, seriously, Bee, you can’t not seek medical intervention just because you’re “afraid” of his addictive personality and the effects of Adderol. Do you want this to get better or not? Additionally, it’s not your call; if he has a medical issue, then HE is the one who has the final say about how his body is treated. And if that treatment can allow for a better quality of life for your marriage (which also means a better quality of life for your child), then I’d think you’d want to be on board.
Post # 14
lalagig : he needs to see a doctor. Some of this could also be indicative of things like Parkinson’s.
Post # 15
lalagig : my husband also has pretty selective hearing and after 13 years together I pretty much just roll with it and get mad less often. I make lists with clarity, I text him info he’s asked for and been told by phone, just in case. If we are together and it really matters, I say stop and listen and potentially have him repeat. If it’s just me talking to talk, I try not to worry that he’s not hearing it.
Is it irritating? Sometimes. Does it seem like I’m talking to a toddler now and then? Yeah. But there are so many things he’s great about, I’m willing to overlook this one and rag on him about it sometimes. We’ve all got our irritating behaviors. At other times we have fantastic debates and things, so I know he’s capable of hearing me and that he respects my opinion.
You could have a discussion about respect if that’s a concern, but I doubt it would change anything. Seems like a bad habit.