Reply To: If you could go back in time and do it all over again, would you?

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Wow! I just found this site and I can totally relate to what I’ve read in this thread of posts. I’m in 50’s and divorced for about 9 years. Met a woman of the same age online and we hit it off on the first date. She admitted to being diagnosed ADHD and her two kids also were diagnosed. All on meds. I had no real experience dating or relating in general to someone with ADHD, so I didn’t know what to expect. The first 3-4 months were exhilarating to say the least with her paying a ton of attention to me and us quickly having a pretty active physical relationship. She also told me of sexual trauma she endured as a small child (uncle) and then again as a teen (stepfather). Her mom is Borderline and suffers from trauma induced physical issues. Her sisters are both Borderline and brother diagnosed ADHD. Extremely enmeshed family situation with abusive stepfather actively in the picture financially supporting most of the grown children. With all this said, what I encountered in the relationship may be associated with ADHD and also attributed to other issues. The relationship lasted about 9 months and ended abruptly.

My ex girlfriend (and ex fiance) is a trauma based therapist and I was impressed by her career and I believe that played into my belief that she had actively dealt with her issues and they wouldn’t affect our relationship. There were significant “red flags” early on that I looked past for this reason and also I believe because of the high energy “hyper-focus” phase. And, there was a lot of good in the relationship without question. I bought into the “storybook” fantasy and we got engaged about five months in. Then, things got really confusing when the hyper-focus stage ended and her attention to our relationship significantly changed. There was also the revelation of her continuing a texting relationship with her past boyfriend. This is an ex bf with whom she was with for four years and had about a half dozen breakup/makeups. I also started to see an extremely unhealthy emotional relationship she continued to have with her ex husband. Beyond these things, the ADHD issues of forgetfulness, lack of timeliness, inability to organize her house (tons of clutter), lack of ability to be present much of the time we were together, an obsession to “save” her trauma clients, lack of financial independence, an obsession with her FOO problems and inability to enforce healthy boundaries with them, extreme hyper-sexual activities, etc. I started question what the future would look like with these issues and even had to enforce some boundaries in regards to her actions and treatment of me. What I also didn’t understand was “rejection dysphoria” which I’m convinced now played into her behavior towards the end. I got to a point where I stated we needed to see a couples therapist to help find common ground around a number of issues. Her solution was for me to spend more time meditating and doing “past life regression”, etc to help me avoid becoming frustrated or angry with her actions. I was upfront with her that I would happy to do some of these things only in consort with couples therapy and that I just felt alone in the relationship. Within a week of this discussion, she went into almost a zombie state and then emailed me an engagement breakup. The breakup reasons were projections and lacked any ownership for her own behavior. That was it and I really woke up to how I needed to permanently close the door to any future contact. There have been attempts over the past months, but I’m happy to say that I’m several months clear of this relationship and a few months into dating a non ADHD lady with whom I just don’t see the issues of the previous relationship. Eyes wide open, though!

So, long answer short – I would not date this person again nor would I choose to date someone who is either diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD. I’m a very patient and giving person, and the traits I saw and actions I experienced are not a good fit for what I want in life and relationships. Now, I live life with no regrets and feel that this past relationship experience came with a ton of needed lessons and wisdom. Again, I can’t attribute all the issues I dealt with to my ex’s ADHD but a good amount of them I can.