Ask the Experts

Adult ADHD Diagnosis Followed Relationship Problems?

“I love him, and I don’t want to lose him. What should I do?”

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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