Reply To: Feeling resentful about his ADHD

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This is how insidious of a disorder ADHD is, and it can be worse. Once it impacts the person with the disorder, it impacts their relationships with the people closest to them. The insidious part about it is, if BOTH of you don’t completely understand how ADHD affects the person (thus your relationship), you will end up fighting like cats & dogs (NO EXAGGERATION).

Speaking as a person with ADHD,
ADHD is essentially invisible to anyone who believes that human behavior is purely based on moral code (right & wrong). Moral code simply cannot regulate ADHD because, we can understand already that something is right or wrong, and b/c of ADHD we’ll still do it anyway. *****This is because we genuinely have issues focusing on anything outside of ourselves & the present moment.***** This means that our behavior can come across as either selfish, inconsiderate, oblivious, arrogant, narcissistic, immature, or self-entitled. I’ve heard all of these (and I’m only 19) from people who have very high integrity and strict moral codes. As a result of this, it leaves the people around us feeling resentful, frustrated, angry, and despondent (as you are right now).

Now, this is where individuality comes in,
You seem like a person with INCREDIBLE patience & understanding, both in general & with your boyfriend, which is really what people with ADHD would appreciate above most things in our SOs (surely I would). HOWEVER, that same patience & understanding has come back to bite you. How so? Your patience & understanding is exactly what HIS ADHD is taking advantage of because IT takes for granted that nothing’s going to happen, so IT keeps up ITS behavior. Then, it’s because HE knows you as a fairly calm & patient person that you find IT asking why you are angry, because IT was never aware of you or your warnings to begin with. (ADHD has us in our own worlds VERY OFTEN)

The solution?
As time-consuming as it’s going to be, you have to establish a structure & boundaries so he knows what he can & can’t do in different situations. For example, try snapping your fingers in his face to get him to pay attention to you when you want to tell him something. Then, literally tell him “I NEED YOU TO FOCUS ON ME, THIS IS IMPORTANT”. Then go into what you have to say. Let him know when you need him to focus on you. ADHD has us in our own worlds VERY OFTEN, and sometimes we need a “slap in the face” to come back to reality. And make sure there’s no other distractions around so he has no choice but to pay attention to YOU. Especially since you have a lot to get off of your chest & explain to him. It seems simple, but trust me it will help A LOT.

All of this appears to boil down to communication, & this may alleviate some of you guys’ communication issues.

I really hope this helps,
– Kendall Boults Jr.