Reply To: Feeling resentful about his ADHD

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I’m sorry about your trouble with your boyfriend!

When I think about my own ADHD, here’s how it makes difficult to share living space with: I am chronically disorganized in the extreme and no matter how badly I feel about that I can only make promises to correct this, I forget what time I’ve invited house guests to come over and sometimes they show up before I’m home, I don’t notice certain details in my environment like the slow accumulation of crumbs under the toaster or mold near the shower vent so I take less initiative on cleaning, I leave my belongings all over the place, ect. I’m usually a kind person and meet my short comings with apologies and and a self-depricating sense of humor. I actually feel enormous amounts of guilt over them. Sometimes I see myself as like, not immoral, but as someone with so many defects that it’s not worth anyone’s time or patience. I live in dread that others see me as immoral and lazy and uncaring. This stress sometimes results in me interpreting silence or any change in a person’s behavior as anger or judgement against me and I start getting annoying in an attempt to be playful. However, I am pretty in tuned to how people feel and really want to make people around me as comfortable as possible, and find a way to meet the needs of others. I really, really need understanding though on how hard it is for me to get organized. Without this, I will fail.

The type of relationship I do best in is one where I don’t live with my partner. In fact, their coming over to visit motivates me to get my shit looking presentable. (I power-clean my house when someone I find attractive is visiting.) Arguably if the person is just as disorganized as I am, I often become the one taking point on delivering motivation to get things straightened up because my problems become visible in theirs. Theoretically, I also do well with a good communicator. If someone reminds me “honey, you left your clothes on the floor in the bathroom.” I will immediately address that… I won’t feel nagged, unloved, misunderstood, ect. If the clothes are picked up for me I feel an incredible amount of guilt, so, someone who just helps me not miss a step works really well for me.

If it’s these sorts of things in particular that make it hard to live with your boyfriend, you may be struggling to cope with his symptoms. Just remember that if he becomes abusive or neglectful (as in, he takes work-related stress out on you, he’s defensive and oppositional when asked to address a mess he’s made, he doesn’t accept reminders, ect) this is something he’s obligated to work on..