Hey, I’m Kendall, I don’t mind helping you out a bit.
Although, let me start off by saying I haven’t been in a relationship, as I am only 19 years old. However, I do have ADHD & have had to live with it my whole life. I understand being with someone with ADHD is FAR FROM EASY. We’re MASSIVE headaches to deal with, and it can feel like a parent-child dynamic has developed in the relationship. I’ve been there (ironically with my own parents) and I know how tough it was/still is for them to deal with me sometimes. I drive them up the wall sometimes. I can sense that he does the same (or similar) for you at times, and I apologize for it, I really do.
As someone with ADHD, I would encourage you to help him out with some of his quirks & issues like talking too much & picking up on social cues (these tend to be HUGE issues for us in general). I’m not saying it shouldn’t be his responsibility to deal with it since he’s the person with ADHD. Not even saying that it’s wrong to feel embarrassed by his quirks. Just that instead of avoiding the issue by not bringing him around friends, maybe have a way in which you could signal to him whenever he’s going a bit too far & it’s making everyone awkward. We do tend to “zone out” & go off on tangents (it’s just our ADHD minds going 1000 miles a minute; Some people verbalize their thoughts, others don’t). The difference is a double-edged sword, those that DO verbalize their thoughts tend to talk too much without realizing it, which can make people uncomfortable (your former SO). Those that DON’T verbalize their thoughts tend to not say much AT ALL, which can also make people uncomfortable (ME).
While we cannot change these things about us & our ADHD, we CAN manage them & minimize their effects on ourselves & our relationships. We just need help managing it because we’ll end up spinning our wheels trying to figure it out ourselves. Essentially my point is, instead of letting his ADHD hinder your relationship & tear it apart, let it bring you together by you both working on minimizing the issues that he runs into because of his ADHD. Yes, it is difficult & different strategies work for different people, but trust me it isn’t as bad as it seems right now. Also, about the forgetfulness, making a list of the things he has to do may help with that, as he’ll be able to refer back to it if he doesn’t remember something. I know I needed visual reminders to do certain things, & once they became habits, I didn’t need them anymore. However, I still need them for things such as class assignments due for next week, as those can vary on any given day.
While ADHD certainly has its negatives, it also has positives (the adventures & traveling that you mentioned is definitely buffered by his ADHD since we tend to be HIGHLY spontaneous, adventurous, & creative). That’s definitely something exciting!
I wouldn’t give up on you just yet, just maybe try to see his ADHD from a different perspective.
-Kendall Boults Jr.