18 answers

Husband with Terrible Memory

My husband forgets things that we talk about all the time, to the point that now I've taken to writing our conversations down just so I can show him later that we did talk about it. The topics range from all sorts of things like the kids, grocery shopping, work, personal life, everything. When the topic comes up again, it's like he has no recollection of ever talking about it *ever*. I have a lot of good examples but I think you ladies get the picture. I'll remind him that we already talked about that issue and resolved it, and he will deny that we did. It's BAD. Is this just a selective memory thing, or should I be concerned that it is a real problem that needs professional help, medical attention, pills or etc? I know that men are bad about this kind of thing *in general*, but I'd say this has gotten especially bad in the last 6 months. He is 42 years old and his family does not have a history of alzheimers or memory issues to my knowledge.

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My brother had this problem and was finally diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. Now he takes Ritalin or something like that every other day. He only takes it on the days that he needs to concentrate and focus on things, and off one day because it is hard for him to be creative on the drug (he has to be creative for his job). So what about testing for ADD?

Is it possible that you are overbearing and try to mother and boss him all the time? And he is "forgetting" to rebel against you passively? No offense to you, just a question?

Or how is he with his job? Some men have personalities where they are so intensely focused on one thing, and one thing only, that they are very unmotivated/unable to multi-task. So is he really good at his job but bad at all the other little outside details? This could just be a personality trait.

Personally, the more stress/emotion I have on my plate, the more forgetful I am and I have had husband and coworkers amazed that I have completely forgot entire important conversations with them.

Take care,

Hello D.. I empathize with this tremendously... but it's ME, not my husband with the issue. It has caused arguments between my husband and I. With the exception of getting dressed and eating, I have to write down every single part of my day just so I don't forget what I have to do.
I was recently told to take B6 which aids with memory and focus. It has been helping (at least my lists are shorter and there hasn't been any arguments ;).
Try vitamins and if it continues, he should consult a doctor. Good luck.

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I don't have a solution, but you are not alone...my husband is exactly like this. I think it is a combination of what others have said: not enough sleep (he gets maybe 5 hours a night), not being in the moment (he tells me that people tell him things all day, so he can't remember it all), and stress. I hope something works for you, because I know how terrible it feels. DH and I had multiple conversations about him taking the kids shopping for xmas presents--not only did he forget what I wanted, but also that he had ever planned to take the kids on the excursion. I have to admit I got pretty mad! Good luck to you.

Since its been a dramatic change in the last 6 months I would definitely get it checked out. Could be something as easy to take care of as sleep apnea or something like a tumor pressing on his brain.

Sounds like something he can't control, in my opinion. I spent the second 1/2 of my childhood with a mother with a traumatic brain injury and she had similar memory issues. Any chance he could have had some kind of injury like that? It can happen a number of ways - I knew one woman with a brain injury (and memory issues) from falling off her bike (that's it!) and a man with similar issues from a car accident. I think your husband should get checked out by a doctor - maybe a few if he doesn't get the answers he needs right away. There are tests they can do to figure out what is going on. Best of luck.

It sounds like something you should worry about. I've had memory issues before due to head trauma, and I didn't feel like I was forgetting anything; whole conversations would disappear and I never knew. I had other injuries and was in the hospital, though, so people were able to observe and help me without too much difficulty. It might be hard to convince someone to go get looked at if he doesn't think anything is wrong and doesn't remember having conversations.

Good luck!

The more stressed I am, the less I remember. It's the holiday season, which causes stress for most people-that could be part of his problem right now. My sister has a horrible memory to the extent that she's forgotten to schedule nurses for the surgeon she works for (thankfully another girl caught it before surgery day!)-she's had this job for 5 years now & one day just forgot. She's started taking Ginko for her memory problems. I've also heard that doing puzzles (crossword, logic, etc) is a great help-some say that keeping your brain challenged like that can help you avoid Alzheimers & demensia.
If it worries you, ask the doc the next time you go in what you can do to help him remember. If he feels hubby needs a visit & further eval, drive him in if you have to.

My husband and I just went through several months of testing for this very issue. It was affecting our marriage, our family and his job, because he couldn't remember anything unless it was written down.

See a good neurologist. My husband had a CAT scan, neuropsychological testing and two sleep studies. He does have sleep apnea and was also diagnosed as depressed - he's on meds and uses a breathing machine at night. Things have improved, though not back to where he was before.

Be sure he isn't "forgeting" for some personal advantage and then have him evaluated for a slight ADD or ADHD. I know of three male friends of mine all over the age of 40, that have been diagnosed as such recently. Weird but if you think back, that was not something we knew much about 30-40 yrs ago. Also, practice 'replay' in conversation. This is where participants repeat back what the other has just said to clarify that all was heard and understood correctly. Also, maybe have thyroid checked. Hypothyroid makes you very spacey, even forgeting mid sentence what you were going to say. Best of luck!

This very well could be a medical issue. He may want to ask his doctor about any meds he may be taking. Some medications affect short term memory.

I have difficulty with short term memory loss and I'm about your husbands age. I'm learning to carry a notebook around and write down key things that my husband and I talk about as well as other conversations and things I need to remember. It's helped a lot. Usually, after I glance at my notes to self, I can remember most of the conversation.

Some of it could be selective, but I doubt it. It's a real thing for me not to remember entire conversations or pieces of my day. Get him to buy a notebook and start taking his own notes.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

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