Reply To: ADHD relationship failing (HELP)

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Penny Williams

This is a very unhealthy relationship. While I commend your loyalty wholeheartedly, you need to set some boundaries to ensure that the relationship is beneficial to you (to both of you really). A lot of people would say to leave him. I’m sympathetic to the fact that there’s a story behind his behavior from past trauma. However, unless he deals with all of that, nothing will change. If it were me, I’d let him know that he has to get therapy for the past trauma or I’m leaving — we deserve to be treated better.

As well, I’d read up on Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) — definitely sounds like that’s at play too possibly.

How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

I get the fix-it personality, I’m the same way. However, you have to recognize that once the discussion is heated or once he feels attacked and is emotional or defensive, his amygdala hijacks his brain and blocks the frontal lobe — the thinking, rationalizing, processing part of the brain. It’s best in these moments to say, “It sounds like you need a break to calm down. I do too. Let’s park this issue/conversation for a while. We’ll come back to it when we’re both calm and clear-headed to problem solve and make some real progress.”

7 Emotions That Knock Us Off Our Feet

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism