ADHD Diagnosis Followed by a Breakup?

"My long-distance boyfriend, who was recently diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), phoned to let me know he would like to 'step back and just be friends.'" one reader tells us. "I love him, and I don't want to lose him. What should I do?"
The Experts | posted by Melissa Orlov
Melissa Orlov, a frequent ADDitude contributor with Dr. Ned Hallowell, writes about ADHD and marriage and offers relationship advice to adults with ADD.

Your boyfriend is probably confused, overwhelmed, and/or relieved by his new attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) diagnosis, but the change in your relationship status isn't an ADHD-related issue. The bottom line is that you need to respect his wishes. If he's being honest with you, he's indicated he doesn't want to be pursued. You should make it clear that everything can't remain the same. Going from girlfriend/boyfriend" to "just friends" changes your relationship. Tell him that you still care about him, but that there are new "friends only" ground rules.

Then, think about opening yourself up to other friendships and experiences, instead of waiting around for him. If he decides to get serious again, you can assess whether that works for you at that point.

Melissa Orlov is a contributor to ADDitude, a coauthor of Married to Distraction, and the author of The ADHD Effect on Marriage.

 
 
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